The battle of the Trench is also known as Ghazwa e Khandaq, it was the 30-day long fight of Yathrib by Arabian and Jewish tribes.
The defenders of Medinah were Muslims led by Prophet Muhammad PBUH, he ordered a Trench to be dug after taking a suggestion from Salman Farsi (RA). These trenches gave Muslims the benefit of defeating enemy armies of suffering fewer casualties.
The commanders of Muslims in this battle were Prophet Muhammad PBUH, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (RA) and Salman Farsi (RA). And on the enemy’s side, the commanders were Abu Sufyan, Amr Ibn Abd Al Wud and Tulayha.
This story is also mentioned in the Holy Quran in the Surah Al Ahzaab. In the Quran, this battle was quoted to tell Muslims that whoever went against Islam would be defeated in every battle.
After a fight from Makkah, Muslims fought Quraysh at the Battle of Badr in 624, and after that in 625, Muslims fought Battle of Uhud, in which Muslims were never lost or won at the battle, but Muslims’ army was growing at a rapid scale.
The reason of starting the Battle of the Khandaq (Trench) was to protect Madinah from the attack that was led by Banu Qaynuqa and Nazir tribes who were in alliance with the Quraish tribe to attack as an act of revenge from expelling them from Medina during the invasion of Banu Nadir and Banu Qanquya.
A group of Jews, Sallam ibn Abi al-Huqayq and Huyayy ibn Akhtab, together with a number of Banu Wa’il, went to Quraish Tribe and told them they have Jews’ full support to attack Makkah and start a war against Prophet Muhammad PBUH.
The Jews group went to Ghatafan and Qays Aylan tribes and urged them to start a war against Prophet Muhammad PBUH and gave them the same support.
When Prophet Muhammad PBUH heard about this news that Jews are lobbying against Muslims, he called up his companions. As usual, Prophet Muhammad PBUH started taking suggestions from his companions. Salman Farsi (RA) was the one who told Prophet Muhammad PBUH to start digging a Trench around the Madina, there is also a story of sheep is linked to this incident when Muslims were digging the trench.
It took Muslims 6 whole days of hard work to dig it. Prophet Muhammad PBUH divided Muslims into groups of 10 and dug the trench alongside them. He also ate Dinner at Jabir RA’s house, whose miracle is also in Hadiths.
Due to this ditches dug by Muslims, the Muslims who were in fewer numbers were able to defeat the enemy forces, and the victory of this war had already predicted by Prophet Muhammad PBUH while he was digging the ditch, he said “This is Quraish’s last attempt to destroy Islam and Muslim, and from now on we will rule over them.”
Outcome of the Battle of the Trench
Muslim won this battle very easily, Although Muslims were just 3,000 and enemy forces were 10,000 yet Muslims only suffered 1 to 5 casualties while the opponents ended up losing 80% of their army.
After that Muslims further conquered Banu Qurayza neighborhoods and ruled over these tribes proudly as more people from these tribes accepted Islam and later Islam flourished in this region.
Facts about Battle of the Trench (Khandaq)
- Battle of Trench took place in 5 AH. It started in the last week of Shawwal and continued till Ramadan.
- Salman Farsi RA gave the suggestion of digging the trench around the city of Madinah, these trenches were dug in 6 days.
Miracletook place at Jabir RA’s house.
- Mount Dhubab (Also known as Mount Ra’yah) was the place where Prophet Muhammad PBUH was stuck under a large rock, which was broken down into pieces and emitted light. After seeing this light, Prophet PBUH congratulated Muslims for upcoming victory over Persia, Yemen, and Syria. It was the place where Masjid Ra’yah is located.
- Due to trenches, Enemy forces were unable to enter the city of Madinah.
- Ali Ibn Abi Talib (RA) killed Amr, who was one of the top enemy commanders and regained the charge of the area called
- To the south, Muslim Women and Children were attacked by Banu Qurayaza. Their houses were horsed by Banu Qurayaza.
- When Prophet Muhammad PBUH came to know that Muslim women and children are being attacked in the south, he sent the army to protect them, which also defeated the Banu Qurayaza there.
- Nuaym ibn Masud, who was well respected by the enemy tribes came to Prophet PBUH and told him that he had accepted Islam. Also offers his help to Muslims, Prophet PBUH asked him to break the trust of Confederates and Banu Qurayaza. Nuaym went back to Banu Qurayaza and told them that Muslims are going to win this battle, he advises to keep Banu Qurayza safe is to give some leaders given as a hostage to Banu Qurayza.
- Nuaym went to Confederates’ leader Abu Sufyan and warned him that Banu Qurayza is forming an alliance with Muslims again, this caused a big mistrust between these two groups and that also became a reason why 10,000 lost to 3,000.
- Prophet PBUH prayed and asked Allah to destroy the Confederates for good. Allah sent down a wind, possibly a storm which took away everything that belonged to enemy forces.
- Masjid Fatah was the place where Prophet PBUH prayed to Allah to defeat the enemy forces.