Expedition of Dhu Qarad
|Expedition of Dhu Qarad|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Salamah ibn al-Akwa||Abdur Rahman Uyanah bin Hisn Al-Fazari|
|500-700 Muslims assembled, only 8 sent||40 horsemen|
|Casualties and losses|
|4 killed||4 killed|
The Expedition of Dhu Qarad also known as the Expedition of Ghaba took place in September, 627AD, 6AH of the Islamic calendar, some scholars say that it took place just before the Battle of Khaybar, in the 12th month of 6AH.
A few days after Muhammad returned Medina from the raid on the Banu Lihyan, a band of armed men of Ghatafan led by Abdur Rahman Uyanah bin Hisn Al-Fazari raided the outskirts of the city; and seized 20 milch camels. They also killed the shepherd and took his wife as a captive.
Background and reason for attack
Abdur Rahman Uyanah bin Hisn Al-Fazari made a raid, looted the camels, and killed the man who looked after them and kidnapped his wife. Salamah ibn al-Akwa was the first to find this out, and he chased after him. Muhammad later found out and joined the chase.
The place by which it was fought is known as Dhu Qarad, a reservoir of water at a day’s journey from Madinah. According to the majority of scholars, this incident took place three days before the battle of Khaibar.
Muhammad collected 500-700 fighters, but followed up by sending 8 horsemen. Only 40 enemy horsemen were involved, and the booty Muslims captured was 20 milking camels. Half the camels were recovered, and while doing so, the Muslims killed 4 of the raiders while suffering the same loss of their own men.
Islamic primary sources
The event is mentioned in detail in the Sunni hadith collection, Sahih Muslim
|“||When the day dawned, Abd al-Rahman al-Fazari made a raid and drove away all the camels of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), and killed the man who looked after them. I said: Rabah, ride this horse, take it to Talha b. 'Ubaidullah and Inform the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) that the polytheists have made away with his camels. Then I stood upon a hillock and turning my face to Medina, shouted thrice: Come to our help I Then I set out in pursuit of the raiders, shooting at them with arrows and chanting a (self-eulogatory) verse in the Iambic metre:
I am the son of al-Akwa'
And today is the day of defeat for the mean.
I would overtake a man from them, shoot at him an arrow which, piercing through the saddle, would reach his shoulder. and I would say: Take it, chanting at the same time the verse
And I am the son of al-Akwa'
And today is the day of defeat for the mean.
By God, I continued shooting at them and hamstringing their animals. Whenever a horseman turned upon me, I would come to a tree and (hid myself) sitting at its base. Then I would shoot at him and hamstring his horse. (At last) they entered a narrow mountain gorge. I ascended that mountain and held them at bay throwing stones at them.
I continued to chase them in this way until I got all the camels of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) released and no camel was left with them. They left me; then I followed them shooting at them (continually) until they dropped more than thirty mantles and thirty lances. lightening their burden. On everything they dropped, I put a mark with the help of (a piece of) stone so that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and his Companions might recognize them (that it was booty left by the enemy). (They went on) until They came to a narrow valley when so and so, son of Badr al-Fazari joined them. They (now) sat down to take their breakfast and I sat on the top of a tapering rock. Al-Fazari said: Who is that fellow I am seeing? They said: This fellow has harassed us.
By God, he has not left us since dusk and has been (continually) shooting at us until he has snatched everything from our hands. He said: Four of you should make a dash at him (and kill him). (Accordingly), four of them ascended the mountain coming towards me. When it became possible for me to talk to them, I said: Do you recognise me? They said: No. Who are thou? I said: I am Salama, son of al-Akwa'. By the Being Who has honoured the countenance of Muhammad (may peace be upon him) I can kill any of you I like but none of you will be able to kill me. One of them said: I think (he is right). So they returned. I did not move from my place until I saw the horsemen of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), who came riding through the trees. Lo! the foremost among them was Akhram al-Asadi. Sahih Muslim, 19:4450 
- Watt, W. Montgomery (1956). Muhammad at Medina. Oxford University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-19-577307-1.
Then there was the raid on Muhammad's private herd of camels by 'Uyaynah b. Hisn al-Fazari, who was doubtless annoyed because Muhammad had broken off negotiations with him over the withdrawal of Ghatafan. The raid was a small affair. Only 40 enemy horsemen were involved, and the booty was only 20 milking camels; 8 Muslims pursued on horseback, recovered half the camels, and killed 4 of the raiders for the loss of i of their own number.(free online)
- Mubarakpuri, Saifur Rahman Al (2002), When the Moon Split, DarusSalam, p. 228, ISBN 978-9960-897-28-8
- Hawarey, Dr. Mosab (2010). The Journey of Prophecy; Days of Peace and War (Arabic). Islamic Book Trust. ISBN 9789957051648.Note: Book contains a list of battles of Muhammad in Arabic, English translation available here
- Tabari, Al (25 Sep 1990), The last years of the Prophet (translated by Isma’il Qurban Husayn), State University of New York Press
- Mufti, M. Mukarram Ahmed (Dec 2007), Encyclopaedia of Islam, Anmol Publications Pvt Ltd, p. 228, ISBN 978-81-261-2339-1