The Battle of the Trench was, in the sequence of battles, after the Battle of Uhud. As you may remember, the Battle of Uhud was a challenging battle for the Muslims. Although the Muslims were not thoroughly defeated, they did learn a huge lesson from that battle. Fortunately, regardless of their mishap in the Battle of Uhud, the muslims rose together and united again to protect their city of Medina (previous known as Yathrib at the time) against the Quraysh forces and the forces against Islam.
The Meccan forces, led by their Quraysh leader : Abu Sufyan, were witnessing the strength and progress that Islam has made. Regardless of their stumble in the Battle of Uhud, the religion of Islam was progressing and gaining followers and momentum. This threatened and enraged the Mecca leaders to retaliate, even more bloodthirsty for the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) than before.
The battle was a 27- day long siege of the city of Medina. In terms of numbers, the Muslims were (just life prior battles) outnumbered by the opposing forces. It was approximately 10,000 men, 600 horses and some camels from the Meccan tribe. As for the Medina tribe, they had 3,000 men being led by the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).
News broke out to the Prophet that the Meccan forces were aligning with Jewish and Arab tribes of the area in their fight against Islam. Soonafter, news spread stating that another battle against Islam was on its way. Quickly, the Prophet held a meeting with his closest companions to discuss ways to save their city. It was obvious that they were outnumbered, and although it worked for them before, they still had to think of a new strategy to keep the Muslims safe. It become obvious that this battle was no longer a battle of manpower but rather a battle of wits. One of the Prophet’s (pbuh) companions was Salman Farsi. Salman Farsi was the first Persian to convert to Islam during the time. He grew up in Syria and Palestine and was raised a Christian. However, he converted to Islam after hearing about the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and sought out to the Arabian Penisula. Salman Farsi was a very intelligent man who was well-versed in tactical strategies in warfare. He knew both Persian and Roman warfare tactics used in battle. It was there that he suggested to dig a large trench encapsulating the city of Medina. The plan, although unheard of at the time (a completely new strategy that had never been used in battle before)), was ingenious. Reasoning was that Medina was natural blessing with volcanic lava, mountains and forestries. This meant that naturally Medina was protected by mother nature. The openings and entrances of Medina were the gap that needed to be filled. That is where the men and the Prophet (pbuh) started to dig the trenches (which took 6 days to complete, and just in time).
It was obvious at this point that the city of Medina had it’s own defensive walls. From the blessed nature of Allah (s.w.t) to man-made trenches. The forces of the Meccan army had no way into the city, and therefore no way of attacking. Abu Sufyan (who is infuriated at this point) decides to block off all exits from Medina causing a siege on Medina, in hopes that this will make the Muslims surrender. However little did they know that the Muslims will only prevail.
Article is written by:
Fatin Najwa binti Daud, is a medical student studying at IMU Malaysia. She is a freelance writer of this blog at Zaahara. Interests include music, art, sports and travel.
-Photos are taken from google images
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