Download PDF: [S] The Expedition of Saweeq
When one exits the blessed Masjid in Madina Shareef through a door named “Baab-e-Malik Fahad”, on the northern side, one will be able to see a mountain which is reddish in appearance. In fact, this mountain is spread a few miles around. The name of this mountain is Uhud. Pertaining to this mountain, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that this mountain loves us and we love this mountain.
At the bottom of this mountain a great battle took place which is historically known as the Battle of Uhud. In the book “Al Bidaayah” it is mentioned that one of the reasons for the name of “Uhud” for this mountain is because it stands alone from other mountains. In other words, it seems separate and distinct from the other mountains around it, hence the name “Uhud” (or one or unique). However, as time went on, the entire mountain range became known as “Uhud”.
The Battle of Uhud took place in the third year of migration in the month of Shawwal. In fact, the Kuffaar were so shocked by their defeat in the Battle of Badr that they refused to accept that their mighty army had been defeated. It is mentioned that the person who first brought the news to the Meccans after the Battle of Badr was someone named Haysaam or Hayman bin Abdullah Khuzaa’i. The people gathered around him and were waiting expectantly for him to explain what had happened in the battle of Badr. He informed them that the main leaders of the Meccans such as Utbah, Shaybah, Abu Jahl, etc. had been killed. When the son of Ummayyah, Safwaan, heard this news he informed the people that this person had lost his mind and whatever he was saying was false. He then asked those around to ask this person to explain to them his identity which would verify that he had lost his mind. The person replied that Safwaan was sitting near the Hatim, but he have seen the dead bodies of his father and his brother. Only then, did people realise that this person was speaking the truth.
All the females then began to wail and scream in grief. However, the kuffaar soon realized that if the women continue to wail in this fashion, the news would reach the Muslims who would be overjoyed, hence they stopped the females from wailing and weeping aloud. Ibn Katheer explains that this itself was a form punishment because when a person weeps, he is able to vent his sadness and these people were not even allowed to do this.
After the Battle of Badr, the leadership of the Quraish fell to Abu Sufyan. He also made a promise and took an oath that as long as he does not avenge what happened at Badr, he will never take a bath.
Keeping to his promise, he took a battalion of two hundred soldiers and departed from Mecca Shareef. He camped about twelve miles from Madina Shareef. At night, he entered neighbourhood of the Bani Nudair and knocked on the door of Hayy bin Akhtab. However, this person was so fearful that he refused to open the door. He then went to another person of the Bani Nudair who was also its Minister of Finance, namely Salaam bin Mashkam. He opened the door for them. He warmly welcomed Abu Sufyan and also revealed a few secrets of the Muslims.
Abu Sufyan then left Madina Shareef and camped at a place called Ureed. At this place, they martyred an Ansari named Hadrat Sayyiduna Sa’ad bin Amar – may Allah be pleased with him – and they also martyred the person who was his adopted brother from Mecca Shareef. They also burnt some dates trees and some other greenery. In their eyes, they had fulfilled their promise of avenging what happened in Badr.
When Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – heard about this, he took a group of Ashaab to capture these people. When Abu Sufyan heard that the Muslims were arriving very soon, he escaped from this place with his band of soldiers but they also left the grain which they had brought with them and they also threw some portion of this on the road as they speedily escaped. In Arabic, the name for barley is “Saweeq” and this is the reason that this incident is known as “the expedition of Saweeq”. (Al Bidaayah; As Seerat An Nabawiyah)