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Ghatafan military operation (3 A.H.) vigilance in chasing the disbelieving tribes

Ghatafan military operation  3 A.H vigilance in chasing the disbelieving tribes

Date and location of Thi Amr (Ghatafan) military operation

The operation took place in Rabi’ah Al-Awwal in the third year of Hijrah, at a well called Thi Amr near the homes of the tribe of Ghatafan in the Arabian Penninsula.

Leadership in the Ghatafan military operation

The Prophet (peace be upon him) led the army against the tribes of Ghatafan.

Reasons for the Ghatafan military operation

The intelligence personnel of Medinah brought information to the Prophet (peace be upon him) that large groups of Banu Thalabah and Muharib had gathered troops to attack the outskirts of Medinah. This was one of the attempts of the disbelieving tribes to take revenge from the Muslims after the battle of Badr in which the leaders of disbelief were ruined.

Events of the Ghatafan military operation

The Prophet (peace be upon him) left with 450 horsemen and footmen to meet the tribes preparing to fight the Muslims. This was the largest gathering of Muslims before the battle of Uhud.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) left Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) in Medinah to dispose of the affairs there. On their journey, the Muslims caught a man called Jubar from Banu Thalabah. He entered upon the Prophet and the Prophet (peace be upon him) called him to Islam. Consequently, he embraced Islam. Then he joined Bilal and became a guide for the Muslims, showing them the route to the enemies’ land. The enemies scattered in the mounaintops when they heard the Muslim army approaching [Ibn Saad].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) reached the area where they had gathered, a water place called Thi Amr, and encamped there for the rest of the month of Safar, 3 A.H. This was in order for the Arabs to realize the strength of the Muslims, and to cast fear and awe into the hearts of the Arab Bedouins. Then he (peace be upon him) returned to Medinah after eleven nights [Ibn Hesham, 2/46].

The narrators differed about the attempt of Dathor Al-Ghatfany to kill the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this military operation. Dathor Al-Ghatfany was from the tribes that fought the Muslims, according to the report of Hallaby from Ibn Saad. He attacked the Prophet with his sword when the Prophet was resting, when he had spread out his clothes to dry after becoming wet in the rain. Gibrael (may Allah be pleased with him) pushed the man on his chest to protect the Prophet, and so the man’s sword fell. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him, As a result, the man embraced Islam and then called his people to Allah. However, Bukhari related that this incident happened in another military operation.

In any case, Allah (Glorified is He) revealed an ayah (Quranic verse) about  this incident, {Believers! Remember Allah's favour upon you. When a certain people decided to stretch their hands against you, He restrained their hands from you. And fear Allah. Men of faith should put their trust in Allah alone} [Surah Al-Maidah: 11].

Results of the Thi Amr military operation

There was no fighting in this operation. One of the disbelievers entered Islam.

Lessons learnt from the military operation of Ghatfan

This operation indicated the victory of the Muslims, and increased their strength and ability to face the disbelieving tribes in the Arabian Penninsula. The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not leave any opportunity to reply to the disbelievers’ attacks, with the utmost caution and speed. He and his Companions faced them with unshakeable courage and faith. Allah made His slaves victorious by casting fear into the hearts of the enemies. The tribes became very fearful when the Muslims arrived, and they fled in order not to meet them.