AL-AHZAB (the Confederates) INVASION The battle of trench Fifth year of Hijrah
Twenty chiefs of the Jews went to makkah to negotiate an unholy alliance with Quraish. They began to provoke the people there to attack the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), promising them full support and backing
All Quraish Kinanah and other allies from Tihama, in the south; rallied, ranked and recruited four thousand men under the leadership of Abu Sufyan.
From the east there came tribes of Banu Saleem, Ghatfan, Bani Murrah, etc. They all headed for Madinah and gathered in its vicinity at a time already agreed upon it was a great army of ten thousand fighters.
They in fact outnumbered all the Muslims in Madinah, women, lads and elders included, to tell the truth, if they had launched a surprise attack against madinah. But alert and intelligent the leadership of Madinah already knew the plans before hand, And started the defence plan immediately.
The Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) summoned a high advisory board and conducted a careful discussion of a plan to defend Madinah. After a lengthy talk between military leaders and people possessed of sound advice, it was agreed, on the proposal of an honourable Companion, Salman Al- Farisi, to dig trenches as defensive lines.
. Forty yards was allocated to each group of ten to dig along with the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him), the men used to dig and evacuate the earth on their backs. It was really an unprecedented wise plan
The northern part of Madinah was the most vulnerable, all the other sides being surrounded by mountains and palm tree orchards, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) as a skillful military expert, understood that the Confederates would march in that direction, so the trench was ordered to be on that side. The Muslims went on digging the trench for several days;
The Muslims dug a trench five meters deep and five meters wide on the sides round the unprotected quarters of Madinah. On two sides there was the protection of the high lava rocks while on the third side were the thick palm groves of Madinah.
the huge army of the idolaters; which numbered, as many as ten thousand fighters, arrived and settled in the vicinity of Madinah in places called Al-Asyal and Uhud.
Three thousand Muslims, with Muhammad (Peace be upon him) at their head, came out to encounter the idolaters, with Allâh’s Promise of victory deeply established in their minds. They entrenched themselves in Sila‘ Mountain with the trench standing as a barrier between them and the disbelievers
On attempting to attack the Muslims and break into Madinah, the idolaters were surprised to see a wide trench, a new stratagem unknown in Arabia before, standing as an obstinate obstruction. Consequently they decided to lay siege to Madinah and began to manoeuvre around the trench trying hard to find a vulnerable spot through which they could infiltrate into Madinah.
It is clear that, and because of the trench standing between the two parties, no direct engagement took place, but rather there were military activities confined to arrow hurling, consequently the fight claimed the lives of a small number of fighters, six Muslims and ten polytheists, one or two killed by sword.
In the middle of such difficult and nerve breaking siuation jews broke their covenent with muslim and started planning to launch war operations against the Muslims especially the secluded garrisons that housed the women and children of the Muslims
A man from the tribe of Ghatfan called Na‘im bin Mas‘ud came to the Prophet (pbuh) and declared that he had embraced Islam secretly and asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to order him do anything that might benefit the Muslims.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) asked him to do anything that could help the Muslims in the present distress and use any stratagem of avail. Nuaim, being extremely intelligent and master in war tactics, managed to incite doubts and mistrust between the Jews, Quraish and Ghatfan and consequently to let down each other.
Meanwhile, the Muslims were preoccupied supplicating their Lord to protect their homes and provide security for their families. “Oh, Allâh! You are quick in account, You are the sender of the Book, we beseech You to defeat the confederates.”
Allâh the Glorious, the Exalted, responded to the call of the Muslims on the spot. Coupled with the disagreement and conflict that found their way into the hearts of the disbelievers, forces of nature — wind, rain and cold wearied them, tents were blown down, cooking vessels and other equipage overthrown.
That very cold night the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) despatched Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman to hunt around for news about the enemy. He found out that they were preparing to leave frustrated for their inability to achieve their target.
Allâh did really fulfill His Promise, spared the Muslims fighting a formidable army, supported His slave [Muhammad (Peace be upon him)] and inflicted a heavy blow on the Confederates.
The battle of the Trench took place in the fifth year Hijri. The siege of Madinah started in Shawwal and ended in Dhul Qa‘dah, i.e. it lasted for over a month. It was in fact a battle of nerves rather than of losses.
No bitter fighting was recorded; nevertheless, it was one of the most decisive battles in the early history of Islam and proved beyond a shadow of doubt that no forces, however huge, could ever exterminate the nascent Islamic power growing steadily in Madinah.