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The Battle of Mu'tah

8 AH / 629 CE

The Battle of Mu'tah

It was the most significant and the fiercest
battle during t he lifetime of the Messenger of
Allh peace be upon him, a preliminary and a
prelude to the great conquests of the land of
the Christians.
Mu'tah is a village that lies on the borders of
geographical Syria.

Events that led to

The Prophet peace be upon him had sent AlHarith bin 'Umair Al-Azdi on an errand to carry
a letter to the ruler of Busra.
On his way, he was intercepted by Sharhabeel
bin 'Amr Al-Ghassani, the governor of AlBalqa' and a close ally to Caesar, the Byzantine
Emperor who tied and beheaded Al Harith
(Killing envoys amounted to war declaration)

Preparation for Battle

The Prophet peace be upon him was shocked on hearing the
news and ordered that a large army of 3000 men be mobilized
and dispatched to the north to discipline the transgressors.
Zaid bin Haritha was appointed to lead the army. Ja'far bin Abi
Talib would replace him if he was killed, and 'Abdullah bin
Rawaha would succeed Ja'far in case the latter fell.
The Prophet peace be upon him recommended that they
reach the scene of Al-Harith's murder and invite the people to
profess Islam.
Should the latter respond positively, then no war would
ensue, otherwise fighting them would be the only alternative

Special Orders of the Prophet

He ordered them: "Fight the disbelievers in
the Name of Allah, neither breach a covenant
nor entertain treachery, and under no
circumstances a new-born, woman, an ageing
man or a hermit should be killed; moreover
neither trees should be cut down nor homes

Events of the Battle

The Muslim army then marched northward towards Syria.

Met a army sent by Heraclius of 100,000 Roman troops together 100,000
Allied tribes
The Muslims, on their part had never thought of encountering such a huge
army and debated what to do??
They finally decided to march and meet the enemy at Mu'tah
Zaid bin Haritha, Ja'far bin Abi Talib, Abdullah bin Rawaha all fell after
fighting bravely.
Khalid bin Al-Waleed then took charge
He succeeded in retreating in a fully organized and well-planned
The Byzantines, seeing this new strategy, believed that they were being
entrapped and drawn in the heart of the desert.
They stopped the pursuit, and consequently the Muslims managed to
retreat back to Madinah with the slightest losses. (12 martyrs)
Byzantines lost a much larger number

Importance / Conclusion
It was the largest Muslim army never mobilized on this scale except in the
process of the Khandaq Battle.
Even though the battle did not satisfy the Muslims' objective, namely
avenging Al-Harith's murder, it resulted in a far-ranging impact and
attached to the Muslims a great reputation in the battlefields.
The battle was a real miracle proving that the Muslims were something
exceptional not then familiar. Moreover, it gave evidence that Allh backed
them and their Prophet, Muhammad, was really Allh's Messenger
Many tribes were so impressed that they embraced Islam out of their own
sweet free will.
Mu'tah Battle was the 1st but not the last encounter with the Byzantines
Many battles would follow in the years to come during the era of the
Caliphs resulting in the supremacy of the Muslims.