Battle of Hunayn

There has been a brief mention of the Battle of Hunayn (also spelled Hunain) in the Quran. This was one of the last battles that the Prophet fought against the polytheists of Hejaz. This battle took place in the year 8 AH and after the conquest of Mecca.

In this article on Islam4u, we will look at the following topics:

How the Battle of Hunayn Started

The news of the conquest of Mecca spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula very quickly and all the remaining polytheistic Arab tribes were baffled by Islam’s great power. One of the tribes named Hawazin (هوازن) said to themselves: Now that the army of Islam has brought one of the most prestigious Arab tribes, that is, Quraysh to its knees, we will definitely be their next target. Therefore, they decided to launch a preemptive war against Islam and the Noble Prophet, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny.

The tribe of Hawazin was a large tribe that some of its members lived in the city of Taif (طائف) and most of its members lived in tents along the way of Mecca and Taif. Most of Taif was occupied by the tribe of Thaqeef (ثقيف). In order to increase their might, Hawazin allied themselves with Thaqeef and mobilized an army of 30,000 men. In this way, they attacked Mecca.

The Prophet’s Command to Fight the Battle of Hunayn

After the Prophet found out about the conspiracy of the tribes of Hawazin and Thaqeef, he quickly ordered the Muslims to get together and march forward to confront their enemy. The army of Islam consisted of ten thousand men who had come to conquer Mecca and the new Muslims of Mecca who were two thousand.

Among them, people such as Abu Sufyan, his son Mu‘awiyah and Safwan ibn Ummayyah were also present. They had accepted Islam and were thus forced to obey the Prophet’s commands. Some Muslims had become too proud of conquering Mecca and would say, “No power can now withstand us.” They were oblivious of the fact that Allah had assisted the Muslims and the Prophet and they would only benefit His grace as long as they obey the Apostle of Allah.

Battle of Hunayn: Muslims Are Taken by Surprise in the Valley of Hunayn

The army of Islam moved toward the enemy, but they did not think that they were not too far from the enemy’s positioning. The Muslims were passing a valley called Hunayn (حُنَين) and did not know that the enemy is hiding behind the mountains. All of a sudden, the enemies of Islam started firing arrows at the Muslims from all sides. The Muslims were caught by surprise.

Insecurity of the Muslim Army at the Battle of Hunayn

This was when the foundation of the Muslim army was shaken. As a result, many well-known Muslims started fleeing, to such an extent that Abu Sufyan mockingly said, “If you let these people go free, they will run away to the red sea even.” This showed that some Muslims forcibly and reluctantly had accepted Islam and did not really believe in it.

Only ten people remained with the Prophet, nine of whom were from among the Hashemites. The Prophet ordered his uncle Abbas who had a loud voice to call the Muslims to come back. Abbas said, “O people of surah Baqarah! O people of the covenant of Shajarah! Where are you fleeing? The Prophet of Allah is here.”

Ali’s Gallantry Ensures Victory at the Battle of Hunayn

In this quagmire, Ali went to confront the formidable flagbearer of the enemy Abu Jarwal (ابو جَروَل). Ali defeated him and caused him to fall on the ground. This victory and the call of Abbas boosted the morale of the Muslims and many of them returned.

After this, with the prudence of Ali, the Islamic army circumvented the enemies and surrounded them. The rest of the enemy troops fled disgracefully. Six thousand people among the enemies were taken captive and a great deal of wealth and combat gears were taken as booty.

Battle of Hunayn in the Quran

The Noble Quran says the following about the Battle of Hunayn:

لَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ ٱللَّـهُ فِى مَوَاطِنَ كَثِيرَةٍ ۙ وَيَوْمَ حُنَيْنٍ ۙ إِذْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ كَثْرَتُكُمْ فَلَمْ تُغْنِ عَنكُمْ شَيْـًٔا وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلْأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ ثُمَّ وَلَّيْتُم مُّدْبِرِينَ ﴿25﴾

Indeed, God has helped you in many places [including in] the battle of Ḥunayn when you were impressed by your multitude [of soldiers], but it could not protect you [against the enemy] and the wide earth seemed narrow for you [so, you were in a very difficult situation,] hence you turned your back to the enemy, fleeing.

ثُمَّ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّـهُ سَكِينَتَهُۥ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِۦ وَعَلَى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَنزَلَ جُنُودًا لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَعَذَّبَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ جَزَآءُ ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ ﴿26﴾

Then God descended His tranquility on His messenger and on the believers, and He sent down an [angelic] army whom you did not see and He punished the disbelievers. That is the rewards of the disbelievers [in the world]. 1

The Siege of Taif

The Noble Prophet and his army pursued the enemy until they sought refuge in the city of Taif. They closed the gates of the city. Then, the Prophet ordered the Muslims to lay siege to the city. The Muslims did not have the necessary equipment to break the city’s fortifications. Therefore, the Prophet sent a group of people to Yemen to buy catapults and battering rams.

A few weeks went by and the Muslims could not enter the city. Meanwhile, the Prophet asked Ali to go to the surrounding areas with a group of Muslims and break the idols that were being worshipped. Ali accomplished this mission successfully. The siege of Taif seemed fruitless. Therefore, the Prophet ordered the Muslim army to return to Mecca. There, the Prophet freed the 6000 captives who had accepted Islam.

Division of the War Booty

The Noble Prophet gave a greater share of the war booty to the newly converts of Mecca in order to win their hearts. This caused a group of the Ansar of Medina to become upset and say, “Now that the Prophet has taken hold of Mecca and his polytheist relatives have become Muslims, he favors the Meccans. Has he forgotten the Medinites?”

When the Prophet heard this, he said, “What are these words I hear?! I gave these cows, camels, and sheep to the Quraysh and reserved myself for you. If I had not been born in Mecca, I would have known myself as one of the members of the Ansar. You should know that I shall be with you, that I shall return to your city, shall die there, and shall be buried in your city.” The Prophet did exactly that. After performing the farewell hajj and announcing his successor at Ghadir Khumm, he returned to Medina and stayed there until he passed away.


  1. Quran 9:25-26 (Foroutan).

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1 Comment
  1. Anonymous says

    Please what are the effects

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