5TH YEAR OF HIJRAT
After the battle of Uhad, the Muslims were able to regain their former position. The Quraish could not reconcile themselves with the growing power of the Muslims because they felt it was a threat to their social and religious position as well as their commercial prosperity.
The Jewish tribe of Banu Nazir who had settled at Khyber kept on plotting against the Muslims. Their chiefs went to Makkah and asked for help against the Muslims which the Quraish agreed to give. Then they went to Ghatafan tribe and obtained their support too. Some other tribes also agreed to give full support against the Muslims. With an army of ten thousand men under the command of Abu Sufyan, they marched to Madinah.
When the news came to the Holy Prophet PBUH, he consulted his companions. Hazrat Salman Farsi advised to dig a trench. Madinah was safe on three sides on account of population and oasis. The fourth side that was on the Syrian route was unsafe. The Holy Prophet PBUH, therefore, decided that a trench be dug on the side that Was open to attack. Three thousand companions worked along with the Holy Prophet PBUH in digging the trench.
At first, the banu Quraiza had refused to support the unbelievers. But later they also came out against the Muslims and broke their treaty with the Holy Prophet PBUH. Thus there was a mighty attack on Muslims from all sides. For this reason, the battle is also called Battle of Ahzab or the “Battle of Allies” The Holy Quran says:
“Behold! they came on you from above you and from below you, and behold! the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats, and ye imagined various (vain) thoughts about Allah! In that situation were the Believers tried: they were shaken as by a trenmendous shaking.” (33: 10-11)
The hypocrites among the Muslim army, finding the situation dangerous, asked permission from the Holy Prophet PBUH to return to their homes on the excuse that their homes were not safe. In this connection, the Quran says:
“Behold! a party anmong them said: “Ye men of Yasrib! ye cannot stand (the attack)! Therefore go back! And a band of them asked for leave of the Prophet, saying, Truly our houses are bare and exposed, though they were not exposed: they intended nothing but to run away.” (33:13)
The siege lasted for a month, during which the Muslims had to face hunger, cold and constant attacks from the enemy. Allah, however, came to the help of the Holy Prophet PBUH and the Muslims. One night there was a piercing blast of cold wind, the enemy’s tents were torn up, their fires were extinguished, the sand and the rain beat in their faces. The enemy, stricken by cold and terror from the severe storm, withdrew in utter confusion. The Holy Quran mentions this in the following words:
“O ye who believe! Remember the Grace of Allah (bestowed) on you, when there came down on you hosts (to overwhelm you): but We sent against them a hurricane and forces that ye saw not. But Allah sees (clearly) all that ye do (33:9)
Islam emerged successful from the trial and was more firmly established than ever. This was the end of the aggressive power of the chiefs of Makkah. After the Battle of Trench the strength of the enemy was broken forever.
The Jewish tribe of Banu Quraiza, in violation of the agreement signed with the Holy Prophet PBUH, had helped the enemies of Islam in the battle of Ahzab.
The Holy Prophet PBUH therefore, advanced against their fortresses and surrounded them. The siege continued for about a month after which the Banu Quraiza surrendered. They agreed to accept the decision of Sa’ad Bin Mu az regarding their fate. Sa’ ad Bin Mu’az was the chief of the Aus tribe With whom the Jews had been in alliance. Sa’ad applied the Jewish law of the Old Testament.
According to this law the men of Quraiza were Killed, the women and children taken as captives of war and their lands and properties divided among the Muslims. The Holy Quran refers to this incident in these words: