When the survivors of the defeated Quraysh at Badr to Mecca gathered to speak with Abu Sufyan. They said, 'Muhammad has the best men, so help us to fight him so that we may avenge those we have lost.' In order to do this it was agreed that everyone who had had a share in the caravan should put his profits towards the cost of a new army, which would be three times as big as the one at Badr.
Among those who joined the new army was an Abyssinian slave called Wahshi; who was known for his accuracy with the spear. His master, Jubayr ibn al-Mut'im, said to him, 'Go with the army and if you kill Hamzah,the uncle of Muhammad, in revenge for my uncle's death, I will set you free. When Hind, Abu Sufyan's wife, heard about this, she sent a Wahshi to say that she would clothe him in gold and silk if he would carry out his master's wish, for she, too, wanted Hamzah dead because he had both her father and brother.
While the Meccans made their plans, the Prophet's uncle, 'Abbas, one the few Muslims still living in Mecca, sent a letter of warning to the Prophet (pbuh) in Medina. He told him that Quraysh were setting out with a huge army for Uhud, a place just outside Medina. On receiving this timely warning the Prophet (pbuh) gathered his companions around him to discuss what they should do. He thought it would be better to wait for the enemy inside city rather than go out to meet them, because it would be easier to defend Medinah from inside the city walls. But the young Muslims were go out and face Quraysh. They said, '0 Prophet of Allah, lead us out against our enemies, or else they will think we are too cowardly and too weak to fight them.
' One of the rulers of Medina, 'Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, however, agreed with the Prophet (pbuh) and advised him to remain in the city, saying, 'Whenever we have gone out to fight an enemy we have met with disaster, but none has ever come in against us without being defeated.'
But when the Prophet (pbuh) saw that the majority were in favor of going out to meet Quraysh, he decided to do so, and after the Friday prayer he put on his armor.
The Muslims then set out with one thousand men in the direction of Mount Uhud which overlooks Medina. The enemy was camped on the plain below the mountain where they were laying waste the crops of the Muslims.'Abd Allah ibn Ubayy was angry that the Prophet (pbuh) had not followed his advice and after going part of the way, turned back for Medina, taking one third of the entire army with him. This left the Prophet (pbuh) with only seven hundred men to meet the enormous Meccan army, which numbered three thousand.
The remainder of the Muslims went on. There the Prophet (pbuh) ordered them to stand in ranks in front of the mountain, so that they would be protected from behind. He then positioned fifty archers on top of the mountain, giving them the following order: 'Keep the Meccan cavalry away from us with your arrows and don't let them come against us from the rear, whether the battle goes in our favor or against us. Whatever happens keep to your places so that we cannot be attacked from your direction, even if you see us being slain or booty being taken.'
When the Muslims were in position, the Prophet (pbuh) held up his sword and said, 'Who will use this sword with its right?' This was a great honor and many men rose to claim it, but the Prophet (pbuh) decided to give it to Abu Dujanah, a fearless warrior. Then the battle commenced. The Muslims were well organized and had the advantage, because although Quraysh had more than four times as many men, they were tired from their journey and thus not ready to fight.
As a result, the Muslims were able to make a surprise attack, led by Abu Dujanah, who was wearing a brilliant red turban. As the fighting increased, the Quraysh women, led by Hind, began to beat their drums to urge their men on. They called out poems to encourage their men to be brave. 'If you advance, we hug you, spread soft rugs beneath you; if you retreat, we leave you. Leave and no more love you.'
Abu Dujanah said: 'I saw someone urging the enemy on, shouting wildly, and I made for him, but when I lifted my sword against him he screamed and I saw that it was a woman; I respected the Apostle's sword too much to use it on a woman.' That woman was Hind. As usual, Hamzah, the Prophet's uncle, fought with great courage, but while leading the Muslims in a fierce attack, which nearly defeated the Meccans, he was suddenly and cruelly struck down by the slave Wahshi. Later, Wahshi told how it happened: 'I was watching Hamzah while he was killing men with his sword. I aimed my spear until I was sure it would hit the mark and hurled it at him.