Download PDF: [S] The Idea to Build a Trench

During the 5th year of Hijrah, Madina Shareef was still a small growing city. Approximately five thousand people inhabited this blessed city. It was made up of both the young and the old. However, that year, the Quraish had amassed a huge army with the purpose of wiping this city off the face of the earth. The army which approached Madina Shareef was said to total nearly ten thousand which was far larger than the actual population of the blessed city.


There is no doubt that the Jews have always been ardent enemies of Islam and the Muslims and even in this battle they did not remain behind. In fact, twenty leaders from the Bani Nudair had gone to Mecca Shareef with the purpose of encouraging the Meccans to fight against the Muslims and had also promised that they will also help and assist the Quraish. The Quraish accepted their word.


They then approached the Banhi Ghatfaan who also promised to help.


In this manner, they went from tribe to tribe encouraging them to make war against the Muslims.

In the south, Abu Sufyan had prepared an army of nearly four thousand and approached Madina Shareef. When he came to Marruz Zahraan, the Bani Sulaim also joined him.


In the West, the Bani Ghatfaan was joined by the tribes from Najd.


However, the people in Madina Shareef were always fully aware of the nefarious intention of these people.


At every moment, the people in Madina Shareef made sure that they protect themselves from attacks which might come suddenly. When the scouts informed the Muslims of this massive army which was approaching Madina Shareef, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – had an urgent meeting with the blessed Ashaab. Many of them presented different plans on how to deal with this threat, however, the plan submitted by Hadrat Sayyiduna Salman Farsi – may Allah be pleased with him – was warmly welcomed. Bear in mind that this was that blessed companion who had travelled thousands of miles prior to arriving in Madina Shareef and he was fully aware of different strategies adopted during different battles. He realised that since three sides of Madina Shareef were protected by date orchards and other trees, the disbelievers could only attack the blessed city from the North. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – warmly accepted his suggestion.


The Muslims then began to dig a trench on the northern section of Madina Shareef. Each group of ten Muslims were given the opportunity of digging a forty feet section. Everyone was equal in this effort and no favouritism was displayed. In fact, even Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – was helping in this effort. As a matter of fact, while he was doing, he was loudly making Du’a which was: “O Allah! There is no doubt that true existence is the existence of the Hereafter.Therefore, pardon the Ansaar and the Muhajireen.”


In reply, both groups were saying collectively: “We are those people who have sworn allegiance to Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – (to be with him) in Jihad until our last breath. And we will remain steadfast on this until the last moments on this earth.” (Sahih Bukahari, Sahih Muslim)