Before the Holy Prophet PBUH could leave Makkah for Madinah, he received reports that the Hawazin and Saqeef, the two very strong and warring tribes of Taif, had collected a large army for attacking the Muslims. The Holy Prophet PBUH therefore, postponed his departure for Madinah and made preparations for meeting this new challenge. He proceeded against them with an army of 12,000 Muslims, ten thousand of which had come from Madinah and two thousand were the new converts to Islam.
Probably the enemy had received reports of the route to be followed by the Muslim army. So they posted archers in secret places and made a surprise attack on the Muslims while they were passing through a narrow valley near Hunain, As a result, Muslims began to retreat in disorder. The Holy Prophet PBUH and his Companions called the retreating men to return. The Muslim army responded to the call and the Holy Prophet PBUH rallied his forces. Thus within no time, the defeat was changed into victory, The Quran says:
“Assuredly Allah did help you in many bațtlefields and on the day of Hunain: Behold! your great numbers elated you, but they availed you naught; and ye turned back in retreat. But Allah did pour His calm on the Messenger and on the Believers and sent down forces which ye saw not:” (9: 25, 26)
In this battle, the Muslim army took six thousand prisoners of war, twenty-four thousand camels and forty thousand goats.
Siege of Taif
After their defeat at Hunain, some of the enemy took refuge in Taif. The Holy Prophet deputed a small army which defeated them and captured many of them, Thereafter, the Holy Prophet PBUH himself proceeded with his army and laid siege to the fortresses in which the enemy had taken refuge. The siege Continued for twenty days after which it was lifted. ln 9 A.H, the whole of Taif embraced Islam