26. Great Grief and Sorrow

At that point, many Muslims panicked. Sadness, hopelessness, and fear entered into the heart of many men. Musa’b bin Umayr was carrying the banner of the Muslim army. When he was in full armor, he looked very much like the Prophet (s) in his build. So, when the unbelievers struck him down, they thought they had killed the Prophet (s) and they shouted out joyfully, “We have killed Muhammad!”

Prophet Muhammad (s) remained steadfast and did not leave his place, but in order to reassure the companions, although knowing this would put him in danger, he shouted, “I am the Prophet, no falsehood in that; I am the son of Abdul-Muttalib!” The unbelievers were closer to him than the Muslims so they quickly moved in on him. At first, he was fighting them alone; later, Muslims arrived and fought alongside him. But in this battle, the Prophet (s) received a cut on his forehead, his tooth got chipped, and a strike on his helmet made the metal rings dig into his cheeks. And a blow threw him to the ground on his side, and that injury would hurt him for a month. 

When the Muslims heard Prophet Muhammad’s (s) voice they rushed to defend him. First, there were only about ten. One by one, eight of the Ansar died defending him. Remember the two women who were with the group that came to meet Prophet Muhammad (s) at Aqaba, when he still lived in Mecca? One of the two women was Nusaiba or ‘Um Amara’. Now in Uhud, she found her way to the Prophet (s) and stood with those fighting and trying to shield him from the enemy. By the end of the battle, she had 13 serious wounds. Later, when people would ask her about an enormous wound on her back that a fist could fit in, she would say, “This was caused by Ibn Qami’a who was trying to kill the Prophet (s) in Uhud. He may have wounded me with his spear once, but I was able to strike him many times in return!”

The Muslims had lost the battle. A few of them disobeyed the Prophet (s), but that made all the Muslims lose. Worse than that, many Muslims were killed. Mus’ab bin Umayr was killed, and Hamza, the Prophet’s beloved Uncle, was killed – and that filled the Messenger’s heart with sorrow. When he saw him, the Prophet (s) cried and said, “Nobody’s death will hurt me like yours. Never have I been so upset.”

Before the Muslims returned to Medina, the Prophet (s) lined them up behind him at the foot of Uhud saying, “Stand in straight lines so that I may praise my Lord.” And the Muslims stood in straight rows behind him as they would for prayer. Praise? Praise means to thank, right? 

Yes, praise means to thank and honor. But the Muslims have just lost the battle. Brave and beloved Hamza is dead. The Prophet is wounded. Yes, but this was the kind of love our Messenger (s) had for his Lord and Creator. This love is what made him so strong, and so caring, and so wise. This love was what caused him to always and forever want to honor his Lord. And so, he thanked Allah, and praised Him, and he made dua. Then he made his way to Medina.

The next morning at fajr, he was told that the unbelievers were very upset that they had neither killed Muhammad (s) nor taken any prisoner of war, so they were coming back to resume the battle! The Prophet (s) called out for all who had fought in Uhud to follow him immediately, to face the enemy again. The Muslims were weak, wounded, and tired. But they all obeyed. They set up camp for three days for the unbelievers to see that they were ready. This made the enemy change their mind and leave.

But that still wasn’t the end of the sad happenings. Shortly after Uhud, someone came asking the Prophet (s) to send a few men to teach his people about Islam. The Prophet (s) sent 6 of his companions. Then someone else asked the Prophet (s) for Muslims to come to their tribe to explain this new religion to them. This time Prophet Muhammad (s) sent 70 who were memorizers of Quran. In both cases, the unbelievers betrayed the Muslims and killed them. This was a great loss to our beloved Messenger (s) and it both angered and saddened him greatly.

You probably thought, once Prophet Muhammad (s) found people to defend him and a country to live peacefully in, that his life would be easy. You probably thought, once enough people believed in him, that the thirteen years of hardship in Mecca would be forgotten. But it seems hard times keep following hard times. Prophet Muhammad’s love for Allah gave him the strength to obey Him whatever the circumstances. And Prophet Muhammad’s mercy and love for all people gave him the drive to keep trying to make sure that everyone knew about Allah and Islam; that everyone had an opportunity to find everlasting happiness.

But there were still evil people who hoped to get rid of this wonderful man (s). A wicked man called Huyay bin Akhtab and a few others came up with a horrific plan.