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Prophet Muhammad ﷺ sent a letter to the leader of Busra by the carrier Al-Harith bin Umair al Azdi رضي الله عنه which became the reason for the battle of Mutah.
Battle of Mutah dates
Battle of Mutah took place in 📍 Mu’tah, a town in Karak Governorate in Jordan, in 🗓️ September 629 AD, corresponding to Jamadi ul Awwal 8 Hijri. It was the 5th battle of Islam after the battle of Khyber.
Al-Harith bin Umair was killed
When Al-Harith bin Umair رضي الله عنه went there and invited the leader of Basra in Syria towards Islam, on his way to Syria, when he reached Tafilah, the leader of Mutah from the Byzantine Empire Sharahbil bin Amr Al-Ghassani killed him.
There were many letters sent by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to different leaders of the world to invite them to embrace Islam but out of all the carriers, only Al-Harith bin Umair رضي الله عنه was killed.
Muslim Army of 3,000 men
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ prepared an army of 3,000 men to be led by Zaid bin Haritha رضي الله عنه. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ told the army that;
- if Zaid is killed, Ja’far bin Abu Talib رضي الله عنه will lead.
- if Jafar is killed, Abdullah bin Rawahah رضي الله عنه will lead.
- If Abdullah is killed, the army will decide their own leader.
Byzantine Army of 100,000 men
When the Muslims approached Mutah on 1 Jamadi ul Awwal 8 Hijri, they were surprised to see 100,000 Byzantine men ready for the battle. The Muslims, on the other hand, were only 3,000 in number. The competition was tough, as each man had to face 33 men.
The Muslims, although outnumbered by 33 times, decided to fight the enemy instead of going back.
Muslim leaders continued to be martyred
The leader of the Muslim army held a flag in his hands. The banner held the name of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
- When Zaid رضي الله عنه held the lead, he had the flag in his hand until he died.
- When Jafar رضي الله عنه was the leader, he held the flag in his left hand after his right hand got cut off during the battle. When the enemy cut off his left hand, he had the flag in his upper arms. He made sure that the flag was suspended in the air until he died.
- Abdullah رضي الله عنه also made sure that he did not let go of the flag until he breathed his last on the battlefield.
The three leaders died on the battlefield; the next leader was to be chosen by the Muslim army. They chose Khalid bin Waleed رضي الله عنه, the man who was later known as the Sword of Allah.
Khalid bin Waleed – fearless leader
Khalid bin Waleed رضي الله عنه took charge just before the sunset. Both armies went back to their camps at night time. In the morning before sunrise, he positioned his men so that they appeared to look greater in number.
Byzantine Army thought that reinforcements had arrived for Muslims. They were on the back foot, trying to make a new strategy. Khalid bin Waleed took advantage of the situation and attacked them, which made them run away. Both armies left the battlefield without having a declared winner.
Khalid bin Waleed رضي الله عنه said: On the day of Mu’tah, nine swords were broken in my hand, and only a Yemenite sword of mine remained in my hand. – Sahih al-Bukhari 4266
Lesson for the Enemy
The Battle of Mutah might have ended without a result, yet it had significant impacts. The enemy knew that Muslims were a great force.