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.[5]

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.[5]

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.[1][2]

Primary sources[edit]

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

The Quran verse [Quran 4:24] is also related to this incident,[6] it states:

The Muslim Mufassir Ibn Kathir's commentary on this verse in his book Tafsir ibn Kathir is as follows:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 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  Page 31 in which volume?
  2. ^ a b Battle of Autas, Witness-Pioneer.com[dead link]
  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. ^ a b c Irving, Washington (February 21, 2008), Lives of Mahomet and his successors, Kessinger Publishing, LLC, pp. 111–113, ISBN 978-0548883037 . Note: A Full version of this book is available free on Google books
  6. ^ a b Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Ibn Ḥanbal, Susan Ann Spectorsky (translator), Isḥāq ibn Ibrāhīm Ibn Rāhwayh (1993). Chapters on marriage and divorce: responses of Ibn Ḥanbal and Ibn Rāhwayh. University of Texas Press. p. 38. ISBN 9780292776722. 
  7. ^ Saed Abdul-Rahman, Muhammad (11 November 2009), Tafsir Ibn Kathir Juz' 5 (Part 5): An-Nisaa 24 to An-Nisaa 147, MSA Publication Ltd, p. 24, ISBN 9781861795632  (online)