Objection of Fleeing from the Frontlines of Battle

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September 11, 2015
Accusation of Him not Being the Khalifah of Rasulullah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam
September 11, 2015

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Objection of Fleeing from the Frontlines of Battle

 

Battle of Uhud:

Those who lay false accusations against the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum claim that the senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were not firm in the Battle of Uhud and they fled from the battle.

 

Answer

In reply to this, a number of points are presented below, from which this objection will be dismissed totally.

1. Whoever slipped in the Battle of Uhud, it was on account of a misunderstanding with regards to implementing a command of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam . However, Allah Ta’ala forgave this slip of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and revealing the following verse in the Qur’an:

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَلَّوْاْ مِنكُمْ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ إِنَّمَا اسْتَزَلَّهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ بِبَعْضِ مَا كَسَبُواْ وَلَقَدْ عَفَا اللّٰهُ عَنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللّٰهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ

 

Indeed, those of you who turned back on the day the two armies met (at Uhud) — it was Satan who caused them to slip because of some (blame) they had earned. But Allah has already forgiven them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.[1]

 

2. Moreover, at this point the scholars of tafsir and hadith have explained that there were approximately fourteen people who remained steadfast with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam : seven from the Muhajirin and seven from the Ansar. The names of the Muhajirin who remained steadfast are clearly mentioned: Sayyidina Abu Bakr, Sayyidina ‘Umar, Sayyidina ‘Ali, Sayyidina Talhah, Sayyidina ‘Ubaidullah, Sayyidina ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Sayyidina Zubair and Sayyidina Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Subsequently, Tafsir al Khazin states:

 

ولم يبق مع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الا ثلاثة او اربعة عشر رجلا من المهاجرين ومن الانصار سبعة فمن المهاجرين أبو بكر وعمر وعلي وطلحة بن عبيد الله وعبد الرحمن بن عوف الزبير وسعد بن ابي وقاص رضي الله عنهم

 

Only thirteen or fourteen remained with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from among the Muhajirin and seven from the Ansar. From the Muhajirin: Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah, ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Zubair, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhum.[2]

 

The same subject matter has been mentioned by Hafiz Ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah in the famous commentary of Bukhari, Fath al Bari.[3]

 

In short, the biographers and historians have clarified that in the Battle of Uhud, Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, along with other senior Sahabah were of those who stood their ground and were not amongst those who slipped in fleeing.

Therefore, the accusation levelled against Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma can never be correct. Furthermore, Allah Ta’ala has forgiven all those who slipped on that day, thus criticism cannot be levelled against any of them.

 

Battle of Hunayn

After this, the accusation is levelled against the Sahabah regarding the Battle of Hunayn. A few points are mentioned below, through which this accusation will be dismissed.

In reality, the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum did not flee from the Battle of Hunayn, but there was a shortcoming in strategy. The disbelievers were laying in ambush on the right and left, with the path in the valley being narrow. When the Islamic army passed through, the disbelievers of the Hawazin began firing arrows with great ferocity, thereafter launching a full scale assault on the Muslims. When arrows were being fired from all directions, it became difficult for the Muslims to remain firm-footed and due to this great confusion, the ranks of the Muslims were broken. Allah Ta’ala then sent His special help and tranquillity upon His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and upon the Mu’minin, and sent upon them unseen assistance by means of the angels. In this manner, after their momentary disarray, they were granted victory, as the Qur’an explains:

 

ثُمَّ أَنَزلَ اللّٰهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَنزَلَ جُنُودًا لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَعذَّبَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَذَلِكَ جَزَاء الْكَافِرِينَ

 

Then Allah sent down His tranquillity upon His Messenger and upon the believers and sent down soldiers (i.e. angels) whom you did not see and punished those who disbelieved. And that is the recompense of the disbelievers.[4]

 

We learn from this:

  • During the sudden attack, they were thrown into disarray, but Allah then sent His special help and the battlefront changed. His assistance descended and victory was attained.
  • At this point, the senior scholars have written that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not rebuke anyone that turned away on this occasion nor did he take them to task because he was aware of their excuse and forced circumstances. So, it will not be permissible for others to criticise them either. Subsequently, Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz says:

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not reprimand them, because he knew of their excuse, so no one else can criticise or accuse them.[5]

 

At the end of this response, it is beneficial to note that the names of those who remained firm with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the Battle of Hunayn have also been recorded.

 

عن جابر قال ثبت معه ابو بكر و عمر و علي و العباس …الخ

It has been reported from Jabir radiya Llahu ‘anhu that amongst those who remained firm with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Ali, ‘Abbas…

 

In summary, in light of the above quotations it is proven that those who turned away in the Battle of Hunayn, did so on account of the severe circumstances that befell them, but Allah later changed their condition to one of assistance and victory.

Moreover, the scholars have clearly written that in the Battle of Hunayn, Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were not of those who turned back. Therefore, it can never be correct to accuse them of fleeing from battle.

 

NEXT⇒ Accusation of Him not Being the Khalifah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam


[1]  Surah Al ‘Imran: 155

[2] Tafsir al Khazin vol.1 p.437

[3]Fath al Bari vol.7 p.289

[4]  Surah al Towbah: 26

[5]Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah p. 338

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