It was the fifth year of the Hegira. The Jewish sons of Nâdir, who were a source of anarchy and disorder, had been exiled from Medina, had been divided into groups, some of them went to Damascus, some of them to Khaybar. However, their hearts were full of feelings of hostility and desire for revenge against Islam and our Master, the Prophet. Their leader, Huyayy, went to Mecca with twenty prominent figures of his people. They met with Abû Sufyân and began to negotiate to kill our beloved Prophet. They said, “We will be on your side and we will not leave you alone until we finish this business,” Abû Sufyân said, “Those who are enemy to our enemy are appreciated by us. However, for trusting you, you must worship our idols. Only after this, can we accept that you are sincere and we can be sure of you.” The treacherous Jews, who could give up even their religion to attain their goal, prostrated themselves on the ground in front of the idols. While they were disbelievers with a holy book, after prostrating they became disbelievers without a holy book. They swore to kill our beloved Prophet and to demolish Islam. The polytheists started preparations for war immediately. They sent men to neighboring polytheist tribes too. The Jews also took action to persuade various tribes. They armed some of the tribes by promising them money and palm dates. The polytheists had extracted a force of four thousand men from around Mecca. Abû Sufyân unfurled their banner at Dâr-un-Nadwa and gave it to ’Uthman bin Abî Talha. In the army, there were three hundred horses, many weapons and one thousand five hundred camels. When the polytheist army of four thousand soldiers came to Marrazzahrân, many tribes such as the sons of Suleiman, the sons of Fazâra, the Ghatafanites, the sons of Murra and the sons of Asad had increased the number of the troops to ten thousand with their reinforcement of six thousand soldiers. This was a very large force at that time.

The Khuzâa tribe, who had friendly relations with our Prophet (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) had informed Medina of the situation. A horseman who passed the ten days’ way in four days had given detailed information about the polytheists to our Master, the Prophet. Hadrat Muhammad Prophet, who counseled with his Companions in his businesses, gathered the Companions and discussed the situation. Each Companion gave his opinion about where and how to make the war. In this council, Hadrat Salmân-i Fârisî took the permission to talk and said, “O Rasûlullah! We have a war method. When we feared that the enemy might raid, we used to dig a trench around us and make defense.” Our
Master, the Prophet and the Companions liked this method and it was decided to fight against the enemy in this manner.

Our Master, the Prophet immediately went to see where the trench should be dug. There were gardens in the south of Medina and they were full of trees. The possibility of a collective polytheist attack from there was weak. Furthermore, a small force could defend there. In the east, there was a Jewish tribe, called Banî Kurayza, with whom there was a treaty made. For this reason, the polytheists could attack only from the open lands in the west and in the north. The locations where the trench should be dug were determined. To each companion, a place of around 3 meters was allotted.
Each person should dig his place at the height of two persons (around 3,5 meter) and the trench should have a width that a running horse could not jump over. The time was limited. The enemy had left Mecca and they were marching towards Medina. It was necessary to dig the trench at the soonest.

Hadrat Muhammad Prophet, with his heroic Companions, first chose by saying Bismi’llâhi’r- rahmâni’r-rahîm. Everyone was trying to dig the trench as soon as possible with his all power. Even the children participated in this task. A tent was prepared for our Master, the Prophet on the Zubâb Hill. Earth from the trench was thrown around this hill and stones were picked from the mountain of Sal’. Those who could not find a vessel were carrying earth by their own clothes. Hadrat Muhammad Prophet also was working until he was tired. The Companions who saw this situation were saying, “May our lives be sacrificed for your sake, O Rasûlullah! Our work will suffice. Do not work, rest.” He was replying, “I wish to participate in your rewards you earn by working”.
In those days, the weather was very cold. Furthermore, that year there was a famine due to drought. It was very difficult to find food. Including the Master of the worlds, all the companions suffered a great hunger. To make themselves feel powerful, they
roped stones around their abdomens, so that the feel of hunger would perish by pressing it.
Hadrat Muhammad Prophet, who has been sent as a mercy for the worlds, would not think about his hunger, he was very sad due to the difficulties of his companions, working in cold and in hunger. He was praying, “O my Allah! There is no life (to be desired)
except the Hereafter. O my Rabb! Forgive the Ansâr and the Muhâjirs.” They were replying to our Master, whom they loved more than their own lives, saying, “We have become obedient to our Master Rasûlullah on the path of Allah, to spread the religion
of Islam until the end of our lives.” This mutual love uprooted many difficulties such as hunger and thirst. Digging the trench started early every morning and continued until evening. One
day, during the digging of the trench, Hadrat Alî bin Hakam received an injury on his foot. They brought him on a horse to our Master, the Prophet. The Master of the worlds rubbed his foot, saying, Bismi’llâhi’r-rahmâni’r-rahîm. As the miracle of our Master, his foot’s bleeding and pain stopped suddenly.

The trench digging continued. Meanwhile, the Companions were faced with solid earth. It was not possible to dig. They came to our Master, the Prophet and told him about the situation. He came and went in the trench. He demanded a cup of water. He took a drop and returned it to the cup. Then he spread the water onto the hard earth. He then took a sledgehammer and dispersed that place with one strike, as if it were sand. That place became very easy to be dug. During that strike, the garment covering the
blessed abdomen of our Master had been opened and the companions saw that a stone was tied on his abdomen due to hunger. Hadrat Jâbir bin Abdullah saw that and asked
for permission by saying, “May my mother and father be sacrificed for your sake, O
the Messenger of Allah! If you allow me, I will go home and come back.” Hadrat Jâbir
informed about what happened, after having taken permission, as follows:
I went home and asked my wife, “I saw signs of hunger on Rasûl ’alaihi’s-salâm
that are not possible to bear. Is there any food at home?” She answered, “Except for
this goat and a few fistfuls of barley, there is nothing to eat.” Immediately, I butchered
the goat and my wife turned the barley into flour from a handmill. She put the meat
in the pot and began to cook it in the tandoor oven. After that, I went to our Master
Rasûlullah and said, “O Rasûlullah! I have very little food. With a few persons, please
come for the meal.”
Rasûlullah (’alaihis-salâm) asked, “How much food do you have for your meal?”
I said how much it was. Upon this, he said, “It is both a bounteous and beautiful
meal. Tell your wife not to take the meat pot or the bread from the tandoor until I
come.” Then, he turned towards the mujâhids and said, “O the people of the trench!
Stand up! We will go to the feast of Jâbir!” Upon this order, the Ashâb-i kirâm
gathered and started to walk behind our Prophet. I went to my home immediately and
told my wife what happened. When I asked, “What will we do now?” She said, “Did
Rasûl ’alaihis-salâm not ask about the quantity of the food?” I replied, “Yes, he did
and I told him.” My wife asked, “Did you or our Master Rasûlullah invite the Ashâb-i
kirâm?” When I said, “Rasûlullah invited them,” she soothed me, saying, “Rasûl ’alaihis-
salâm knows better.”
After a short while, the luminous face of our Master, the Prophet was seen at our
door. He said to the crowded Sahâbîs, “Come in, without crowding each other.”
My sahâbî brothers sat down in groups of ten people. The Esteemed Prophet prayed
for abundance of the bread and the meat. Then, without taking the pot out from the
tandoor, he took the ingredients with a ladle, put them on the bread, and gave them
to his Companions. Until all the Ashâb were full, he went on in this manner. I swear
that although the people who ate were more than one thousand, the bread and the meat
remained in the same quantity. After we ate too, we distributed it to our neighbors.237
Hadrat Salmân-i Fârisî would dig trenches very well. He was making the job of ten
people by himself. While he was digging the place allotted to himself with his friends, he faced a very hard and big white rock. They persevered to break it apart. However,
all their efforts were in vain. Furthermore, their sledgehammers and shovels were
broken too. Hadrat Salmân went to our beloved Prophet and submitted the situation
to him, saying, “May my parents be sacrificed for your sake O Rasûlullah! We have
encountered a hard rock. Although our tools, made of iron, were broken, we could not
even make it move.” Our Master Habîb-i akram sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam went
there and demanded a sledgehammer. The Ashâb-i kirâm were curiously waiting for
the result.
Our Master, the sultan of the Prophets went into the trench. He lifted the sledgehammer,
saying, Bismi’llâhi’r-rahmâni’r-rahîm, and then he struck the rock with
so much strength that lightning, which enlightened Medina, appeared from this strike
and a of the rock fell to the ground. Our Master, the Prophet said takbîr, “Allahu Akbar!”
Those Ashâb who heard this, said takbîr too. Then, he stroke the sledgehammer
to the rock a second time. Again, there was lightning and pieces fell down from the
rock… Hadrat Muhammad Prophet said takbîr, “Allahu Akbar.” The Ashâb-i kirâm repeated
this after him. When the sledgehammer struck the third time, another lightning had
appeared and the rock was in pieces. The Master of the worlds said takbîr again and
his honorable Ashâb again repeated this after him.
Hadrat Salmân extended his hand. Hadrat Muhammad Prophet ’alaihis-salâm climbed up.
When Salmân-i Fârisi asked, “May my parents, my life be sacrificed for your sake,
O Rasûlullah! I have just seen something, which I had never seen in my life before.
What is the explanation of this?” Our Master, the Prophet turned towards his Companions
and asked, “Did you also see what Salmân saw?” They answered, “Yes, O
Rasûlullah! When you hit the sledgehammer on the rock, we saw that there was an
intense lightning. When you said takbîr, we said takbîr too.” Our Master, the Prophet
said to them, “In the light of the previous strike, the palaces of the ruler of Iran
(which were in Madâyin) were shown to me. Jabrâil (’alaihis-salâm) (Archangel
Gabriel) came and told me, ‘Your community will own those lands.’ In the second
strike, the red mansions of the Roman province (that is of Damascus) were shown
to me. Jabrâil (’alaihis-salâm) came and told me, ‘Your community will own that
land too.’ In the third, the residences of San’a (that is of Yemen) were seen. Jabrâil
(’alaihis-salâm) told me, ‘That place also will be owned by your community’.”
After this, when the sultan of the worlds described the palace of the Persian Shah in
Madâyin, Hadrat Salmân, who was from that place, said, “May my life be sacrificed
for your sake, O Rasûlullah! I swear by Allahu ta’âlâ Who sent you with a true religion
and a true book, those palaces are exactly as you mention. I bear testimony that
you are the Messenger of Allahu ta’âlâ.” Our Master, the Prophet said, “O Salmân!
Absolutely, Damascus will be conquered. Heraclius will run to the most desolate
place of his lands. You will take control all over Damascus. No one will be able to
oppose you. Absolutely, Yemen will be conquered. Absolutely, that Eastern Land too will be conquered and the Shah will be killed. Allahu ta’âlâ will grant these
conquests to you after me.”238
Hadrat Salmân-i Fârisî communicated, “I saw all these glad tidings of our Master
Rasûlullah come true.”
The enemy was then about to come. The trench was speedily being dug and was
attempted to be completed as soon as possible. Only in case of strong necessity, by
taking permission from our Master, the Prophet, the Mujâhids would only cease working
long enough to meet their need and would run back to their task.
The hypocrites were working in an extremely lazy manner. They were coming to
work whenever they wished, they were leaving the work, without taking permission,
whenever they wanted. Furthermore, they were making fun of the efforts of the
Ashâb-i kirâm. In addition, they were talking about the glad tidings of our Master, the
Prophet, by saying, “We are taking refuge in the trenches out of fear from the enemy.
He is promising us the mansions of the Yemenese, Roman and Persian lands. We are
astonished by you!…”
Upon this, in the âyat-i karîma, which descended regarding the mujâhids, it was
purported, “Only those are believers, who (sincerely) believe in Allah and His
Messenger and when they are with him (Rasûlullah) on a matter requiring collective
action (such as the Holy War, measures regarding the Holy War, Friday or Eid
gatherings) they do not depart until they have asked for his leave. (O My beloved!)
Therefore those who ask for thy leave are those who believe in Allah and His
Messenger. So when they ask for thy leave, for some business of theirs, give leave
to those of them whom thou wish, and ask Allah for their forgiveness. For Allah
is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.”239
In the âyat-i karîmas, which descended regarding the hypocrites, it was purported,
“Deem not the summons of the Messenger like the summons among you (which
you sometimes accept and sometimes not) (immediately run to his summons and do
not leave without his permission)! Verily, Allahu ta’âlâ knows those of you who slip
away by making each other a shield to themselves. Then let those who withstand
the Messenger’s order beware of inflicting a calamity in the world and a bitter
torment in the Hereafter! Pay attention! To Allahu ta’âlâ belongs whatever is in
the heavens and on earth. He knows well what belief you are upon (whether you
are a believer or a hypocrite) and the Judgment Day when they (hypocrites and
disbelievers) will be brought back to Him. Allahu ta’âlâ will tell them what they
did in the world. Allahu ta’âlâ knows everything.”240
Six days had passed since the commencing of the digging of the trench. Everyone
had duly completed his work. However, due to insufficient time, one place could not
be dug deep and wide enough. Our Master, the Prophet expressed his concerns about place and said; “The polytheists could not pass, except here.” He set sentries
When the polytheist army came very near to Medina, Huyayy, the chief of the Jewish
sons of Nâdir, informed the Quraysh army commander that Qurayzâ Jews in Medina
were in treaty with the Muslims, however, he could deceive their leader, Ka’b bin
Asad and make them join their ranks. The commander said, “O Huyayy! At once, go
to Ka’b bin Asad. Tell him to break the treaty which they made with Muslims and to
help us.” One of the articles of this treaty was, “uniting with Muslims and resisting, if
an enemy army attacks Medina.”
During the night, Huyayy, the Jew left the polytheist army and came to the house
of Ka’b, chieftain of the Banî Kurayzâ. He knocked on the door and introduced himself.
He said, “O Ka’b! I have brought all the army of the Quraysh, many tribes such
as the sons of Kinâna and Ghatafanites as an army of ten thousand soldiers. Now,
Muhammad and his Ashâb will not be able to survive. We have made an oath with
the Qurayshîs not to leave here until we destroy them totally!” Ka’b expressed his
concern, “If Muhammad and his Companions cannot be killed and the Quraysh and
the Ghatafanites return to their lands, we will remain here alone. I am afraid that they
will kill us all in the end.” Huyayy said, “To eliminate this fear, demand seventy people
as hostage. They cannot leave here as long as these hostages are with you. If they
are defeated and they go, I will not abandon you. Whatever calamity befalls you, will
befall me too.” He deceived Ka’b first, then the other Jews. He made them tear apart
the treaty with Muslims. Thus, the treaty was broken.
Huyayy returned to the polytheist army and told them about the situation. He informed
them that the sons of Kurayzâ would stab Muslims in the back.
On the seventh day, the polytheists, with a large army of ten thousand soldiers, came
to the West and the North sides of Medina and established their military headquarter.
The headquarters was at the same place where the trench had been dug. The plan of
the polytheists, with this large army, was to destroy Medina completely, and by killing
our Master, the Prophet (’alaihis salâm) and his Ashâb, to demolish Islam. Apparently,
this was an army very large and very difficult to be resisted.
When the polytheists saw the trench barrier, which they had never expected, they
became perplexed and dispirited. Because, the trench had a width which a good and
speedy horse could not jump over. No one who fell into it could go out easily either.
Especially, for a man in armor, it was very difficult to climb up.
Hadrat Muhammad Prophet learned that the polytheists had come. He immediately gathered
his Companions who were tired, due to six day’s ceaseless work, and he established
his military headquarters on the slopes of Sal Mountain. Behind them, there
were Sal Mountain and Medina, in front of them, there was the trench and beyond
it the enemy. Again, Ibn-i Umm-i Maktûm was left in Medina as the deputy of our
Master, the Prophet. The women and the children were in the fortresses. In the Islamic
Army of three thousand soldiers, there were thirty-six horsemen. The banners were carried by Hadrat Zayd bin Harisa and Hadrat Sa’d bin Ubâda.241 The skin tent of our
Master Rasûlullah was set up on the slope of Sal Mountain.
The Ashâb-i kirâm, who would show many heroisms again, began to watch the
enemy movements intently. Meanwhile, it was seen that Hadrat ’Umar came to the
presence of our beloved Prophet. He said, “O Rasûlullah! I heard that the Jews of the
Kurayzâ have broken the treaty between us and they are preparing for war against us!”
The Master of the worlds replied to this unexpected news by saying, “Hasbunallâhu
wa ni’mal wakîl – Allahu ta’âlâ suffices for us. He is such a beautiful helper.” He
was greatly saddened. Now, the Islamic Army was in crossfire. In the north and in the
west, there were polytheist armies, in the South East, there were Jews.
Our Master Rasûlullah sent Hadrat Zubayr bin Awwâm to the fort of the sons of
Kurayzâ. Hadrat Zubayr went there and learned the situation. When he came, he told
about what he saw, “O Rasûlullah! I saw them repairing their fort, making military
training and maneuvers. Also, they were collecting their animals.” Upon this, our
Master, Habîb-i akram, (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) sent Sa’d bin Mu’âz, Sa’d
bin Ubâda, Hawwât bin Jubayr, Amr bin Awf, Abdullah bin Rawâha to the sons of
Kurayzâ to advise and to renew the treaty.242
These five Companions went to the fort of the Kurayzâ Jews and advised them.
However, the advice did not work. The Jews began to insult them. As a final word,
they said, “You have broken our arms and wings, by expelling our brothers, the sons
of Nâdir, from their lands. Who is Muhammad? There is neither a promise nor a treaty
between him and us. We have made an oath to collectively attack on your prophet and
kill him. Certainly, we will back our brothers and help them!…”
Hadrat Sa’d bin Mu’âz and his friends came to the presence of our Master Rasûlullah
and told about the situation inexplicitly, so that not everyone would understand.
Our Master, the Prophet (’alaihis-salâm) said, “Keep your news secret. Tell it to only
those who already know it. Because, war is of measure and trick.”243
The Ashâb-i kirâm, on their side of the trench, were waiting for our Master, the
Prophet. They wondered what they would do. After a short while, the sultan of the
worlds honored the place where his heroic Companions were. He said takbîrs, “Allahu
Akbar! Allahu Akbar!” Hearing this, the glorious sahâbîs said takbîr collectively
and announced the highness of the blessed name of Janâb-i Haqq. They injected fear
to the hearts of the polytheists who crowded the other side of the trench. The polytheists,
when they heard the takbîrs, said, “Probably rejoicing news came to Muhammad
and his Ashâb.”
Our Master, the Prophet told his Ashâb, “O Muslim community! Be joyful with
the conquest and help by Allahu ta’âlâ!” Thus, he gave the good news that they
would be victorious. The glorious Ashâb were present in many military expeditions, they had joined the Holy Wars of Badr and Uhud so far. They had defeated the polytheists,
who were in large numbers and more powerful, with the permission of Allahu
ta’âlâ and the benediction of our Master, the Prophet’s invocation. As long as “the
Crown of the Creatures” was with them, there could not be an impossible task, an
unendurable difficulty. The weather was cold, the shortage was severe, and the hunger
was great. Including our Master, the Prophet, many of them, tied stones on their blessed
abdomens. Against them, there were innumerable enemies! However, for the glorious
Ashâb, the number of the enemy or the endured difficulties had no importance.
Allahu ta’âlâ was the most beautiful helper. They depended on Him, they counted on
Him and they took refuge to Him.
The prominent commanders of the Quraysh and the chiefs of other tribes which
came with the Quraysh, before making a decision to arrange the all out attack, began
to search for a place where they could pass to the other side of the trench. They walked
all along the trench. Finally, they stopped where the trench had not been completed
due to the lack of time. The polytheist soldiers followed their commanders, they were
amazed. They looked at the trench and the glorious Ashâb. They said, “We swear that
this is not a method which Arabs use. Certainly, that Persian man recommended it!”
When the Quraysh commanders, showing the narrowest part of the trench, asked,
“Who can jump over here and pass to the other side?” five horsemen went forward.
They would pass over to the other side to fight face to face. The glorious Ashâb-i
kirâm and the polytheist soldiers began to watch the actions of these five horsemen
with curiosity. They moved back to gain speed. Then, they turned the heads of their
horses towards the narrowest part of the trench. At full gallop, these five thoroughbred
horses succeeded in reaching the other side with one jump. Many horsemen wanted to
follow them, however, they could not succeed and they stayed on the other side of the
trench. There was a very strong man, named Amr bin Abd, among those that passed
over. He was in full armor, he had a majestic look. This man, who caused fear by his
appearance, shouted at the mujâhids, “If there is anyone who can combat me, let him
come to the battle field?…”
Meanwhile, it was seen that Hadrat Ali came to the presence of our beloved Prophet
and asked for his permission, saying, “May my life be sacrificed for your sake, O
Rasûlullah! Let me fight him.” He did not even have his armor on. The Ashâb-i kirâm
watched him in admiration. Hadrat Muhammad Prophet removed his blessed armor and had
Hadrat Ali put it on. He gave his sword to Hadrat Ali. He removed his turban from his
blessed head and wrapped it over Hadrat Ali’s head. Then he invoked, “O my Allah!
In the Battle of Badr, Ubayda, my uncle’s son and in the Battle of Uhud, Hamza,
my uncle became martyrs. With me, Ali, who is my brother and my uncle’s son,
is left. Protect him. Bestow your help on him. Do not leave me alone.” The Ashâb-i
kirâm said, “Âmîn (Amen)!”
The lion of Allahu ta’âlâ, who walked forward, surrounded by invocations and takbîrs,
stopped in front of Amr bin Abd, who looked like a monster. Amr, fully covered
by armor except his eyes, could not recognize this hero and asked who he was. Hadrat Ali answered, “I am Ali bin Abî Talib.” Amr replied, as if he pitied him, “O my brother’s
son! (A customary way of addressing a person) Your father was my friend. Therefore,
I do not want to shed your blood. Is there not any one from your uncles who can
encounter me?” Hadrat Ali provoked him by saying, “O Amr! I swear by Allah that I
wish to shed your blood. However, is it not necessary for us to be on equal terms? Is it
not suitable to the fame of bravery? I am on foot, you are on horse!”
Hearing this, Amr’s zeal of bravery filled him. He dismounted his horse at once.
He cut his horse’s legs with his sword. Then he stood in front of Hadrat Ali. While
he was about to attack, the lion of Allahu ta’âlâ asked him, “O Amr! I heard that you
made an oath to perform one of the two wishes of a Qurayshi, when you meet him.
Is this true?” He answered, “Yes, it is true.” Hadrat Ali invited him to Islam, “So, my
first wish is your believing in Allahu ta’âlâ and His Messenger and embracing Islam.”
Hearing this, Amr became angry. He said, “Don’t mention this! I do not need this!”
Hadrat Ali said, “My second wish is your giving up the combat and returning to Mecca.
Because, if Rasûlullah becomes victorious over the enemy, you will have helped
him with this act of yours!..” Amr said, “Don’t mention this too! I made an oath not
to use fragrances unless I get my revenge. If you have another wish, tell me.” Hadrat
Ali said, “O the enemy of Allahu ta’âlâ! There is nothing left except fighting you!”
Amr laughed at these words. He said, “Unbelievable! I never thought that there
could be a warrior in Arabia who could challenge me! O my brother’s son! I swear that
I do not want to kill you. Because, your father was my friend. I wish one of the notables
of the Quraysh, like Abû Bakr or ’Umar, would confront me.” Hadrat Ali said,
”Even though that may be, I have come here to kill you.” Amr became furious. With
a great speed, he swung his sword. The lion of Allahu ta’âlâ was expecting something
like this, so, he jumped aside and met the strike with his shield. However, Amr had
broken apart many a shield like that. Even the strongest shields could not resist his
strike. Again, the same thing happened. The shield of Hadrat Ali was torn down. In
addition, the sword went very near to his head and he was wounded. Now, the turn
of attack was of Hadrat Ali. Saying, “Yâ Allah!”, he swung the Zulfikâr (the name of
our Prophet’s sword) at the neck of Amr. With his strike, the Islamic Army sounded,
“Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!” The army of infidels were screaming. Yes, the crown
of the creatures’, the sultan of the prophets’ invocation had been accepted. Monstrous
Amr had fallen to the ground. His blood was pouring from him body. His head in his
helmet had flown away. His friends, seeing that Amr was defeated, attacked Hadrat
Ali immediately. The Ashâb-i kirâm ran there. Zubayr bin Awwâm wounded Nawfal
bin Abdullah and made him fall, with his horse, into the trench. Hadrat Ali went down
into the trench and parted Nawfal into two. The others passed the trench in difficulty
and retreated. The commander-in-chief of the polytheist army was despaired at the
beginning of the war.
Then, the formation of the war had been established. The trench impeded face-toface
combat. They tried to harm each other with shots of arrows. That had no use
except delaying the end. The polytheists understood that they could not overcome them in that manner and decided that the most suitable way was to attack from all
around the trench. They attacked. The large enemy army of ten thousand soldiers tried
to pass over the trench and the glorious army of three thousand Muslims, with arrows
and stones, strove not to let them pass. A horrific struggle had started. This struggle
lasted until the evening.
Our Master, Rasûl-i akram sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam set sentries at various
points of the trench at night. He himself started to stand sentry at a narrow place. He
sent a military patrol of five hundred soldiers to Medina and ordered them to loudly
say takbîrs (Allahu Akbar) in the streets. Thus, causing a timely prevention from the
danger from Jews or Quraysh polytheists; women and children would be protected.
The Kurayzâ Jews sent Huyayy bin Akhtab to the polytheists and demanded a force
of two thousand soldiers to make raids at night. They would attack women and children
who were defenseless at night. But, the patrolling of the mujâhids, until morning,
and the sound of their takbîr “Allahu Akbar!” spread a great fear over their hearts.
They retreated to their fort and began waiting for an opportunity. From time to time,
they tried to enter Medina in small groups.
One night, Ghazzâl, one of the prominents of the sons of Kurayzâ, with his military
unit of ten soldiers, succeeded in reaching the mansion of our mother Safiyya, who
was the maternal aunt of our beloved Prophet. Inside, there were women and children.
They did not even have a weapon to defend themselves. Firstly, the Jews shot
arrows at the mansion. Then, they tried to enter. One of them entered the inner court
and started searching for a suitable place to enter the building. Meanwhile, the brave
aunt of our beloved Prophet told those that were there to be silent. She went down
to where the door was. With a headscarf, she made a turban and disguised herself in
a man’s appearance. She took a stick and a knife. She opened the door slowly and
approached that Jew from behind. She hit his head with the stick. Without losing any
time, she killed the Jew who fell to the ground. Then, she threw the head of the Jew
at his friends who were shooting arrows from outside. When they saw the decapitated
head of their friend, the Jews were terrified and started running away. They were saying,
“We had been told that Muslims sent all the men from their homes to the war!…”
The war continued with the same intensity in the morning. Arrows were shot. The
Master of the worlds (’alaihis-salâm) told his glorious Companions, “I swear by Allahu
ta’âlâ Who owns my existence, all the difficulties we meet will be removed
from you and you will be taken to ease.” He advised them to be patient and gave
the glad tidings that the victory would belong to the believers. Having taken this good
news, the heroic Companions forgot such difficulties as hunger and famine. They did
their best. They did not allow even one polytheist’s passing from the trench. Hadrat
Sa’d bin Mu’âz, one of the prominent of the Ashâb-i kirâm, was fighting with a great
zeal. During the war, he was wounded on his arm by an arrow shot by a polytheist
named Hibbân bin Qays bin Araka. The arrow hit an artery vein and caused too much
blood loss. Seeing how much they were trying to stop the blood, he understood that
the situation was dangerous. He invoked, “O my Rabb! If the Quraysh will continue
to battle, grant me a longer life span. Because, I do not like anything more than fighting
these polytheists who have denounced and tormented your Messenger. If the war
between us is ending, grant me to reach the degree of martyrdom. But, do not take
my soul until I see the end of Banî Kurayzâ.” His invocation was accepted and the
bleeding stopped.
The hypocrites, like Abdullah bin Ubayy, who seemed to be combating among the
Companions, were very reluctant. They did not approach the front lines. In addition,
they were doing all they could to demoralize the Mujâhids. They were trying to cause
disorder, saying, “Muhammad (’alaihis-salâm) is always promising you the treasures
of the Roman Emperor and Iranian Shah. In fact, we are imprisoned in the trench. Out
of fear, we cannot even go to the toilet. Allah and His Messenger are not doing anything
except fooling us, they promise nothing indeed!…” Whenever they felt difficulty,
they left their positions, claiming that the enemy could attack their homes. These
kinds of acts of the hypocrites were another problem.
The polytheist army, to obtain results as soon as possible, was spending all its
power; however, they could not succeed against the heroic defense of the glorious
Companions. The place where they attacked the most was the narrow passage. Our
Master, the Prophet did not leave there and he encouraged his Ashâb to battle. The
Ashâb-i kirâm, wishing to reach the honor of fighting near our Master, the Prophet,
were showing unprecedented heroism in the battlefield. At one stage, it was seen that
the polytheists started a vehement barrage of arrows. Their only target was the tent
where the sultan of the worlds was.
An armor covered our beloved Prophet’s (’alaihis-salâm) body. He had put his helmet
on. He was standing in front of the tent and commanding his Companions according
to the course of the war. Sometimes, the polytheists made a joint attack to a
point where they regarded weak and the blessed companions were reaching there and
fighting until they expelled the enemies of the religion. This unprecedented struggle
was very intense; the heroic companions could not find even an opportunity to
look around them. That day, this fight having starting in the morning, continued until
late in the night. Whenever a time of prayer came, the glorious companions said, “O
Rasûlullah! We could not perform the ritual prayer,” the Master of the worlds was
replying to them, “I swear by Allah that I could not either.” At night, they waged
an attack and dispersed the polytheist group who did not permit them to make their
worships. The Quraysh and the Ghatafanids could not reorganize and they retreated
to their headquarters. The Mujâhids walked to the tent of our beloved Prophet. Then,
Fakhr-i âlam, who was sent as a mercy for the worlds, even though it was not his
custom to utter maledictions, he said about the polytheists, “May Allahu ta’âlâ fill
their homes, their abdomen, their graves with fire, since they made us busy until
the sunset and kept us from performing our ritual prayers!” After performing the
delayed ritual prayers of noon, afternoon and evening; he conducted the night prayer.
After their struggles to demolish Islam completely, the polytheists understood that
they could not overcome Muslims in day light. According to them, the only solution was to organize sudden attacks at night. The Muslims could be defeated only in this
way. They carried out their decision immediately. They started making night raids,
together with the Jewish sons of Kurayzâ. The polytheists divided their soldiers into
groups. They were attacking by turns. These attacks continued for many days. Hadrat Muhammad
Prophet and brave Companions went on defense even though they were hungry,
sleepless, tired. No enemy soldier could pass the trench. This hearty defense was more
fearful, more intense, and more difficult than the previous wars.
A food scarcity started among the polytheists who fought for days. Their horses and
camels too began to die, since they could not find even a handful of dry plants on the
ground. For this reason, the commander of the polytheists sent a military unit under
the command of Dirâr bin Khattâb to the Jews of Kurayzâ to obtain provisions. The
Jews, who sacrificed all they had for the disbelievers, immediately delivered twenty
camel-loads of wheat, barley, dates and hay for the animals. While Dirâr was happily
returning with his soldiers, they met a group of sahâbîs near Quba. The heroic Ashâb
attacked at once. After a bloody combat, they put the enemy to flight. They delivered
the loaded camels to our Master, the Prophet and they obtained an abundance of his
The sultan of the worlds, our Master (sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) showed a great
deal of compassion for his brave Companions who lived through many difficult times
during this vehement fight which continued about a month. Seeing his glorious Companions’
extraordinary efforts, he was invoking about his Companions, “O my Allah
Who helps people who are in difficulty. O my Allah who accepts the invocations
of the needy! Verily, You see and know the conditions of me and my Companions.
O my Rabb! Rout the disbelievers. Spread disunity among them. Grant us victory
against them!…”
Hadrat Muhammad Prophet repeated his invocation often in the last days.
The polytheists, because of the additional difficulties of scarcity, were spending
all their power to destroy Muslims as soon as possible. One evening, a person from
the polytheist army, whose heart had the love of Islam, came to the presence of our
Master, the Prophet. This person was Nu’aym bin Mas’ûd from the Ghatafan tribe.
He told our beloved Prophet, “O Rasûlullah! I have come here to testify that Allahu
ta’âlâ is one and you are a true prophet. I thank Allahu ta’âlâ that I am honored by
becoming Muslim. So far, I fought against you. From now on, I will fight against the
disbelievers. I am ready to do what you order me! O Rasûlullah! Even my people do
not know that I have become a Muslim! Our Master, Rasûl-i akram said, “Can you
infiltrate the ranks of these disbelievers and try to separate them by causing disagreements
among them?” He said, “O Rasûlullah! With the help of Allahu ta’âlâ,
I can separate them from each other. However, do you permit me to say whatever I
wish?” Our Master said, “War is about tricks. You may tell whatever you want.”
Hadrat Nu’aym bin Mas’ûd firstly went to the Jews of Kurayzâ and told them, “You
know my love towards you. What we will speak of must remain between us. No one
must know it!” The Jews made oaths and said nobody would know them. Upon this,
Hadrat Nu’aym said, “That man (our Master Prophet)’s business is a real problem.
You know what he did to the sons of Nâdir and Kaynukâ. You all saw that he has
expelled them from their homelands. Now, the Quraysh and Ghatafanites have come
and are fighting against Muslims. You are helping them. Although we have fought
for many days, we could not get any result. It seems that the siege will extend. The
Quraysh people and the Ghatafanites do not have their properties, homes, children
here as you do. If they find an opportunity and become victorious, they will gather the
loot and leave. If they lose, they will go away and leave you alone against Muslims.
However, you do not have enough power to overcome Muslims. The current state of
war shows that Muslims will attain the victory. If what I suppose occurs, Muslims will
put you to the sword. For this reason, we must urgently take precaution.244
The Jews, who listened to these words in excitement and fear, were very glad that
Hadrat Nu’aym took such care of them. They said, “You have shown us your friendship
duly. Tell us which precaution we should take.” Nu’aym bin Mas’ûd was waiting
for this, he replied, “The truth is, unless you take some of the notables of the Quraysh
and Ghatafan as hostage, never engage in war against Muslims! As long as the hostages
are with you, they cannot escape from the war!” Accepting this as a very good
precaution, they thanked him and offered gifts.
Hadrat Nu’aym left the Jews and went directly to the Quraysh headquarters. He
told their commanders, “You know my enmity towards Muhammad and how much I
do like you. Out of our friendship, I have regarded it a great duty to inform you what
I have learned. But, you should give promise and make an oath that you will not tell
anybody what you will hear.” They made an oath, and asked curiously, “Tell us, we
are listening to you.” He said, “Know that the Jews of Kurayzâ have become regretful
of making an alliance with you and they sent a message to Muhammad. They told him
that they should take captives from the notables of the Quraysh and the Ghatafan to
deliver them to him. Then, they should fight, in alliance with him, against the polytheists
until they all were destroyed. However, he should forgive the sons of Nâdir, their
brothers, and leave their homelands. Muhammad has accepted these requests of the
Jews. If the Jews ask for hostages from you, never accept it, they will kill all of them!”
The Quraysh people thanked Hadrat Nu’aym very much for this important news and
paid respects to him.
Nu’aym bin Mas’ûd left there and came to the Ghatafanites. He said to them what
he told the Quraysh people too.
The next day, the Quraysh commander notified the sons of Kurayzâ, “Now, it is
very difficult for us to stay here. Because, the weather is cold, our animals are dying
of hunger. Let us make a good preparation this night and launch a vehement attack
tomorrow.” The Jews replied, “First, we do not make war on Saturday. Second, to be
able to join the war, you need to give many notables of yours to us as hostage. If the siege period extends and if you become helpless and return to your lands, it will mean
that you have delivered us to Muhammad. If you give us hostages, you will not abandon
us!…” When this news reached the Quraysh commander, he said, “So, the words
of Nu’aym bin Mas’ûd were true!” He sent a message to the Jews again, “We will not
give you any man as collateral. If you come and fight shoulder-by-shoulder tomorrow,
it is very good. If not, we will go to our homeland and you will be left alone against
Muhammad and his Companions!…”
Hearing that, Kurayzâ Jews thought the words of Nu’aym came true. They replied,
“In this case, we will not unite with you and we will not fight against Muslims.” Thus,
the hearts of the two parties fell into fear.245
Jabrâil ’alaihis-salâm (Archangel Gabriel) came. He gave the good news to our
Master, the Prophet that Allahu ta’âlâ would make the polytheists wretched with a
windstorm. Upon this, the Master of the universe, he kneeled down, outstretched his
blessed hands and submitted his thanks to Allahu ta’âlâ by saying, “O my Allah! I
thank You for You pitied me and my Companions.” Then, he informed his heroic
Ashâb of the glad tidings.
That was a Saturday night. There was pitch darkness. Then, a sheer cold and a
strong wind started. Hadrat Huzayfa-t-ibn Yemân reported:
“It was such a night that we had never, till then, seen any night as dark as it was.
In addition to this deep darkness, a horrific wind started with a noise like thunder.
Meanwhile, our Master, the Prophet told us that the polytheist army was in horror and
disunity. We could not stand up due to the icy cold, hunger and the terror of the night.
We had put on some covers and waited where we were.
Rasûlullah started performing a ritual prayer. In a part of the night, he prayed. Then,
he turned towards us and asked, “Is there anyone among you who will go near the
polytheist army and, by inspecting their conditions, bring me the news? I shall
request from Allahu ta’âlâ that, the one who brings me the news will be a friend
to me in Paradise.” Due to the vehement hunger and cold, no one there could stand
up. Then, our Master Rasûlullah came to me. Out of cold and hunger, I was sitting
on my two knees. Our Master Rasûlullah touched me. He asked, “Who are you?” I
answered, “I am Huzayfa, O Rasûlullah.” Our Master Rasûlullah told me, “Go and
see what these people are doing! Until you return to me, do not shoot any arrow
or throw any stone at them, do not attack them with your sword or spear. Until
you come back to me, you will not be harmed by cold or heat, you will not be
captured or tortured.”
I took my sword and bow, and got ready to go. Our Master Rasûlullah invoked
blessings on me, “O my Allah! Protect him from in front and behind of him, from
his right and left, from above and below him.”
I started walking towards the polytheists. As if, I were walking in a bath. I swear by
Allah that I had no fear, no coldness, no shivering. Finally, I reached the headquarters
245 Ibn Hishâm, as-Sira, II, 228; Wâqidî, al-Maghâzî, I, 481; Suhaylî, Rawzu’l-unuf, III, 433.
of the polytheists. Their commanders and leaders had set a fire and they were getting
warm. Abû Sufyân was saying, “We should go away from here.” At that moment, I
thought to kill him. From my arrow bag, I took out one arrow and placed it on my
bow. I wanted to shoot him by by taking advantage of the light of the fire. When I was
about to shoot, I remembered that Rasûlullah had told me, “Until you return to me,
you will not cause any incident.” Therefore, I gave up killing him. After this, I found
a great courage in myself. I approached the polytheists and sat down near the fire. The
unprecedented strong wind and the invisible army of Allahu ta’âlâ (that is Angels)
struck them. In the wind, their kitchen tools were falling down, their fires and lights
were put out, and their tents were collapsing over their heads. At one stage, Abû Sufyân,
the commander of the polytheist army stood up and said, “Beware! There may
be watchers and spies among you. Let everyone check who the person beside him is!
Let everyone hold the hand of the person sitting next to him.” Abû Sufyân had nearly
sensed that there was a stranger among them. I stretched my hands at once. I held the
hands of the two persons on my right and my left. I asked for their names, before they
asked me. Thus, I prevented my being recognized.
Finally, Abû Sufyân addressed his army, “O Quraysh! You are not at an appropriate
place to stay. Horses and camels have begun to die. Famine is everywhere. You see
what has happened to us because of the wind. Immediately leave here and go! Now, I
am going.” He got onto his camel. The polytheist army, in a wretched condition, gathered
and moved towards Mecca. They were in a harsh sand storm.246
When the Quraysh army left, I walked towards our Master Rasûlullah. When
I reached halfway along the way, I met with twenty horsemen (angels) with white
turbans. They told me, “Inform Rasûlullah. Allahu ta’âlâ has made the enemy
wretched.” When I returned to where Rasûlullah was, he was performing the ritual
prayer on a rug. However, as soon as I returned, my condition of being cold and
shivering began again. After the ritual prayer, our Master Rasûlullah asked me what
news I brought. I told him the polytheists were wretched, and they departed. Rasûlullah
greatly rejoiced at this news and he smiled. We were sleepless for days. Our
Master, the Prophet covered me with a part of the rug he had used, as a blanket. In the
morning, there was no trace left of the polytheist army. Until they approached close
to Mecca, there was a vehement wind behind them and they constantly heard sounds
of takbîr.
When the Quraysh polytheists left their headquarters and escaped, other polytheist
tribes that also came with them, left Medina. They were in a deep grief due to a great
defeat, which they could not forget. While they were suffering this great loss, the Master
of the worlds (sall Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) and his honorable Companions, in sajdas
of thankfulness, were paying gratitude and praising Allahu ta’âlâ. The mujâhids
headed toward luminous Medina with sounds of “Allahu akbar!… Allahu akbar!…”
The streets of Medina were flooded with children. They were out to meet the sultan of the worlds and their blessed fathers, paternal uncles, maternal uncles, older brothers.
Our Master, the Prophet replied to them by smiling…
In the Holy War of Trench, six Muslims became martyred… Regarding this Holy
War, Allahu ta’âlâ purported in the âyat-i karîmas, “Allahu ta’âlâ (in the War of
Trench) made those disbelievers return with their anger. They gained no good, no
victory. Thus Allahu ta’âlâ (with angels and wind) sufficed to believers (for their
victory) in the battle. Allahu ta’âlâ’s power suffices for all. He is triumphant over
“O Believers! Remember the blessings Allahu ta’âlâ grants to you. When Armies
had attacked you (in the Battle of Trench) We had sent a wind and armies (of
angels) which you did not see over them.”248
After this war, our beloved Prophet, (’alaihis-salâm) said, “Now, it is your turn.
From now on, the Quraysh will not be able to march against you.”