a. Quraish. The main objective of the Quraish, as before, was to eliminate the Muslims and knock out their base at Madina. b. Muslims. For Muslims, it was the battle of their survival. At this stage they could not hope to eliminate their enemies at Makkah. They however wanted to establish their military reputation and consolidate the gains of the Battle of Badr.
| | |Quraish |Muslims | |a. |Commander |Abu Sufian |Muhammad (peace be upon him) | |b. |Infantry |3000 |650 | |c. |Armoured men |700 |100 | |d. |Horse Cavalry |200 |50 | |e. |Camels |3000 |Not known |
Assembly of Forces and Move
a. Quraish. The Quraish started war preparations from the day they arrived in Makkah after their defeat at Badr. Abu Sufian wished to attack with a much larger force to ensure complete victory but he was constrained due to superior Muslim strategy. b. Muslims. The Muslims had been receiving the news of war preparations by Makkans but could not do much due to their limited resources. They were still very weak in manpower, war material, horses and camels, but their unshakable faith in Islam had given them a complete psychological ascendancy over Quraish. They signed pacts with Jews of Madina and went about spreading the word of Allah as best as they could.
The Battle Field. Uhud is a massive feature lying four miles north of Madina (the reference point being the ‘Masjid-e-Nabvi’). It is 1000 feet high and 5 miles long. In the western part of Uhud, a large spur descends steeply to the ground and to the right of this spur, as seen from the direction of Madina, a valley rises gently and goes up and away as it narrows at a defile about 1000 yards from the foot of the spur. Beyond this defile it shrinks into nothingness as it meets the main wall of the ridge.
The Muslim Plan. On receipt of information of departure of Quraish Army from Makkah, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) assembled his advisers and discussed the courses open t him for fighting a battle. One was to fight a defensive battle from inside Madina and the second to encounter the enemy outside the town. Following were major considerations for choosing Uhud as a battle ground in favour of Madina:-
a. Non_existence of a parameter wall around Madina and lack of adequate manpower to organize a proper fortress defence. b. Lack of trust in Jews who were expected to betray Muslims from inside Madina at any crucial moment. c. Fear of treachery from a group of so-called Muslims later termed as ‘Munafeqeen’ (hypocrites). d. Uhud provided tactically better position since an attack on Madina from the most expected direction of north would expose the enemy’s rear and flanks to Muslims occupying Uhud.
As soon as the Muslim Army moved out of Madina Abdullah Bin Abayy left the Muslim camp as the head of 300 strong contingent on the plea that fighting the Quraish outside Madina had no prospects of success. Thus the Holy Prophet’s (peace be upon him) fear of ‘Munafeqeen’ came to be true. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) reached the foot of Mount Uhud and deployed his 700 men strong Army for battle. The salient features of the deployment were:-
a. Muslim forces were organized as a compact formation with a frontage of 1000 yards. b. The right wing of...