After the battle of Badr, Islam gained a firm footing at Madinah and the importance of the City began to increase. The Quraish considered the rise of Madinah as a threat to their political and commercial interests. Moreover, they could not forget their defeat in the battle of Badr. Several of their important leaders were killed in the battle, and they wanted to avenge their deaths.
Ka’ab bin Ashraf of the Jewish tribe of Banu Nazir went to Makkah to participate in the mourning for those killed at Badr. He and other Jewish poets wrote poems to instigate the Quraish to fight against the Muslims. Abu Sufyan. the commander of the Quraish army, which was defeated at Badr, went to meet the Jews of Banu Nazir, who promised help. Meetings were held where it was decided to collect funds and raise a strong army for attacking Madinah and wiping out the Muslims. Some other tribes were also invited to join in this war. Finally a fully armed force of three thousand men left Makkah for Madinah.
The Holy Prophetou consulted his companions about the best way to meet the enemy. The consensus of opinion was that the Muslims should go out of Madinah to meet the enemy. Although the Holy Propheto had a different opinion, yet when the majority insisted on meeting the enemy outside Madinah, he agreed.
Three miles to the north of Madinah, the Quraish camped at the foot of a hill known as Uhad. The Prophet PBUH advanced towards Uhad with one thousand companions. On the way, Abdullah bin Ubbay, the leader of the hypocrites, deserted with three hundred of his men on the excuse that the Holy Prophet PBUH had turned down his suggestion of fighting the enemy from inside the city.
The Holy Prophet PBUH, with the remaining seven hundred men, reached Uhad and also set up camp. He posted fifty archers to protect the pass in the Uhad mountain and defend the Muslims from any possible attack by the enemy from behind. They were given strict instructions not to leave their post under any circumstances.
Several Quraish women accompanied the army of the pagans including Hinda, the daughter of Utba, who was killed in the Battle of Badr; Umm-Hakeem, the grand daughter of Abu Jahl, also killed in the Battle of Badr and Fatima, the sister of Khalid bin Walid.
When the fighting started, the Quraish attacked first. The Muslims fought bravely under the command of the Holy Prophet PBUH and killed and wounded many warriors of the Quraish, who began to flee in disorder leaving behind a great deal of booty. When the archers saw the enemy retreating, they left their posts to collect the booty. Khalid bin Walid, the head of the enemy cavalry found the opening in the mountain undefended. He attacked from behind. The Muslim force was taken by surprise and there was utter confusion.
The enemy tried to reach the spot where the Holy Prophet PBUH was. He was wounded in the head and face and lost one of his teeth. The enemy raised the cry that the Holy Prophet PBUH was killed and the confusion increased.
The Holy Prophet PBUH, however, stood firmly and called out to his companions to come back. When the Muslims saw their leader, they rejoined the battle.
Soon, more support came to the Prophet PBUH and a group of his companions moved him to a well protected area at the foot of the mountain. Now the fighting was less one-sided. The Muslims who had rallied put up a determined fight. Both parties were, however, extremely exhausted. Soon the fighting died down and each army prepared to leave.
In this encounter seventy Muslims were killed and forty injured; while the enemy lost only thirty of their men. Hamzah, an uncle of the Holy Prophet PBUH was killed by a slave of Hinda, wife of Abu Sufyan. Hinda mutilated the corpse and chewed his liver in order to avenge the death of her father, Utba, killed in the Battle of Badr at the hands of Hamza.
It was on this occasion, that for the first time, Muslim ladies went to the battlefield to give water to the soldiers and to nurse the wounded. The Holy Quran mentions this. battle in these words: