Battle of Autas

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The Battle of Autas or Awtas[1][2] was an early battle involving Muslim forces, fought in the year 630 in Awtas, Saudi Arabia, after the Battle of Hunayn, but prior to the Siege of Ta'if.[3] Muhammad came with 12,000 fighters against a coalition of tribes. An ambush took place and a rain of arrows were fired on the Muslims.[4]

Background[edit]

A league of Mountain tribes hostile to Muhammad formed an alliance to attack him. The non-Muslim author Washington Irving claims that the tribes were hostile to Muhammad because he was spreading Islam by the sword, which greatly displeased the tribes.[5]

The league consisted of Thakefites, Hawazins, Joshimites, Saadites and several other hardened Mountain tribes. According to Islamic tradition the valley of the Banu Sa'd (who Irving refers to as Saadites) is where Muhammad was nurtured as a child and was also purified by an Angel.[6]

The Thakefites were idolaters who worshipped Allāt. They controlled the productive area of Taif, and were also the tribe which drove Muhammad out of Taif, pelting stones at him in the public square, when he was first preaching Islam. Another reason according to Irving that the tribes joined together was that they knew Muhammad was preparing to come back to Taif with a vengeance with his newfound power.[7]

Battle[edit]

After the Conquest of Mecca, the neighboring tribes of Hawazin and Thaqueef were given the choice of converting to Islam, or going to war with Muslims. Muhammad went to Autas with 12,000 men.

As the Muslim army passed through the valley of Hunain, a group of hostile tribes fired rain of arrows on the Muslims.

The attacked surprised the Muslims, and many fled away from the arrows. Only 9 men remained with Muhammad. Including Uthman. After a while the Muslim regrouped and gathered around Muhammad. They then marched to Autas, after a confrontation, the tribes were defeated and the Muslims captured a large amount of war booty.[8][9]

Primary sources[edit]

The Sunni hadith collection Sahih Muslim mentions that Muhammad sent an army to Autas:

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported that at the Battle of Hunain Allah's Messenger sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah's Messenger seemed to refrain from having intercourse with captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that:" And women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (Quran 4:. 24)" (i. e. they were lawful for them when their 'Idda period came to an end) Sahih Muslim, 8:3432

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ashraf, Shahid (15 June 2005), Encyclopaedia Of Holy Prophet And Companion (Set Of 15 Vols.), Anmol Publications Pvt Ltd, p. 31, ISBN 978-81-261-1940-0 
  2. ^ Battle of Autas, Witness-Pioneer.com
  3. ^ Hawarey, Dr. Mosab (2010). The Journey of Prophecy; Days of Peace and War (Arabic). Islamic Book Trust. Note: Book contains a list of battles of Muhammad in Arabic, English translation available here
  4. ^ Muhammad: Victory
  5. ^ Irving, Washington (February 21, 2008), Lives of Mahomet and his successors, Kessinger Publishing, LLC, pp. 112–113, ISBN 978-0548883037 . Note: A Full version of this book is available free on Google books
  6. ^ Irving, Washington (February 21, 2008), Lives of Mahomet and his successors, Kessinger Publishing, LLC, pp. 112–113, ISBN 978-0548883037 . Note: A Full version of this book is available free on Google books
  7. ^ Irving, Washington (February 21, 2008), Lives of Mahomet and his successors, Kessinger Publishing, LLC, pp. 112–113, ISBN 978-0548883037 . Note: A Full version of this book is available free on Google books
  8. ^ Ashraf, Shahid (15 June 2005), Encyclopaedia Of Holy Prophet And Companion (Set Of 15 Vols.), Anmol Publications Pvt Ltd, p. 31, ISBN 978-81-261-1940-0 
  9. ^ Battle of Autas, Witness-Pioneer.com