Invasion of Waddan
|Invasion of Waddan or Abwa|
|Part of the Muslim-Quraish Wars|
|Muslims of Medina||Quraysh of Mecca
Banu Ḍamra ibn Bakr ibn ‘Abdu Manāt ibn Kināna
|Commanders and leaders|
Hamza ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib
|Abu Sufyan ibn Harb
Makhshī ibn ‘Amr ad-Ḍamrī
|(60 commanded by Muhammad)200+ ||Unknown|
|Casualties and losses|
|0 killed||Unknown (Injuries Only)
Invasion of al-Abwā’ (ابواء) or Waddān (ودان) , is also known as the Battle of Waddan or Battle of Abwa; nevertheless no actual battle, invasion nor casualty took place. It was the first military expedition led by the Prophet Muhammad himself. So it is called a ‘Ghazwah’ (غزوة). It was the fourth raid and the first Ghazwah which was preceded by the Sariyyah lead by Sa‘d ibn Abī Waqqāṣ.
Waddān & Abwā’, 6 miles apart, were two places located near the coast of Red Sea and traversed by the Syrian trade caravans of Mecca. The territorial authority of Waddān was under Banu Ḍamrah (ضمرة).
With the escalating military threats posed by the Quraysh of Mecca, the Prophet took the initiative of securing the protection of the Muslims by gaining as many allies as possible, especially within the vicinity and the outskirts of Madīnah. Therefore, the purpose of this expedition was solely diplomatic as well as missionary. So any account of raiding Banu Ḍamrah of Waddān is unauthenticated.
As the leader of the Muslim forces, Muḥammad began negotiations with the tribal leader Makhshī ibn ‘Amr ad-Ḍamrī and both parties signed a treaty to maintain neutrality.
According to Muslim scholar Muhammad al-Zurqani, the provisions of the pact/treaty go as follows :
"This document is from Muḥammad, the messenger of Allah, concerning the Banu Ḍamrah. In which he (Muḥammad) provided them safety and security in their wealth and lives. They can expect support from the Muslims, unless they oppose the religion of Allah. They are also expected to respond positively if the prophet sought their help"
The treaty meant that both parties were forbidden from raiding each other, to join hostile concentrations against each other and to support each other's enemies. William Montgomery Watt, saw this as a deliberate attempt by Muhammad to provoke the Meccan's.
Ḥamzah ibn ‘Abdu’l-Muṭṭalib was given the charge of raising the white flag on behalf of Madīnah. The custody of Madīnah was under Sa’d ibn ‘Ubayd while the Prophet was away.
The campaign lasted for 15 days until the Prophet returned to Madīnah. The Prophet remained there for the rest of Ṣafar and the beginning of Rabī‘u’l-awwal.
- Haykal, Husayn (1976), The Life of Muhammad, Islamic Book Trust, p. 217, ISBN 978-983-9154-17-7
- Mubarakpuri, Saifur Rahman Al (2005), The sealed nectar: biography of the Noble Prophet, Darussalam Publications, p. 244, ISBN 978-9960-899-55-8
- Muḥammad ibn Sa‘d, aṭ-Ṭabaqāt, 2:8
- Watt, W. Montgomery (1956). Muhammad at Medina. Oxford University Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-19-577307-1. (free online)
- The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of ibn Isḥāq’s Sīrat Rasul Allāh with introduction & notes by Alfred Guillaume, Oxford University Press, 1955