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Battle of Trench

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In the year 5 AH, the disbelievers (including Jews) and polytheists formed a strong coalition and decided to launch an attack on the Muslims. This battle came to be known as the Battle of Trench or Khandaq (خندق) aka the Battle of Ahzab (factions).

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

How the Battle of Trench Started

In the year 4 AH, the polytheist and Jewish tribes manifested their enmity to Islam. Likewise, Quraysh was looking to destroy Islam. Meanwhile, the Jewish tribe of Bani Naḍīr (بني نضير) joined hands with the enemies of Islam. A group of the elders of Bani Naḍīr went to Mecca and visited the polytheists of Quraysh. They said, “We are willing to fight a war with the Muslims alongside you.”

When the polytheists of Mecca saw that the monotheistic Jews say such a thing, they were dumbfounded and asked them, “Tell us the truth. Is our religion better or Islam?” They said idolatry is better than Islam. In this way, the polytheists rejoiced.

The Grand Coalition of the Enemies of Islam

The tribe of Bani Naḍīr were able to win the support of many other polytheistic Arab tribes to such an extent that nearly ten factions or tribes were getting ready to destroy Islam. They prepared an army of more than ten thousand men, four thousand of which were from Quraysh. This coalition was under the leadership of Abu Sufyan.

Under such conditions, Bani Naḍīr also wanted to get the support of the tribe of Jews in Medina who were known as Bani Qurayẓah (بني قُرَيظة). So a few members of them secretly entered Medina and convinced them to join hands with them in order to destroy Islam. At first, Bani Qurayẓah refused, but when they found out about the enormous might of the coalition, they agreed to pledge allegiance to them. Everything seemed to be in favor of the enemies of Islam, except the fact that Allah was the supporter of His Prophet and the believers.

Factors that Contributed to the Victory of Muslims in the Battle of Trench

There were several factors that made the disbelievers and the enemies of Islam lose the battle and the Muslims win a decisive victory. Here we will mention them.

Leadership of the Prophet in the Battle of Trench

Prophet Muhammad’s wise leadership and the obedience of the Muslims to him was a significant factor in the victory of the Muslims over the polytheists. The Muslim army who had seen the consequence of disobedience to the Prophet in the Battle of Uhud, were completely obedient to his holiness this time around. Only some of them were negligent in digging trenches in that some of the trenches were not big enough to stop the enemies from crossing them.

Digging of Trenches

The act of digging trenches on the recommendation of Salman al-Farsi in certain parts of Medina mainly the northern parts of it was another great factor that contributed to the defeat of the polytheists. Medina was not vulnerable from the east, west, and south. Therefore, Salman al-Farsi proposed the digging of trenches in the only vulnerable region of Medina meaning the northern region. When the trenches were dug and the forces of the enemy reached them, they were shocked and did not expect such a difficulty.

Outstanding Gallantry of Ali in the Battle of Trench

Another very crucial factor that contributed to the victory of the Muslims was Ali’s bravery and gallantry. When a polytheist warrior named ‘Amr ibn ‘Abdiwad (عمرو ابن عبدود) who was the symbol of polytheism, disbelief, and hypocrisy was able to jump over one of the trenches and get to the other side of trench, three other individuals followed him. ‘Amr ibn ‘Abdiwad was a very formidable warrior and when he sought a rival in the battlefield, no one dared to fight him except Ali.

Everyone thought ‘Amr was going to win the fight. However, Ali defeated him and caused him to fall on the ground. When ‘Amr was killed, the army of the polytheists were filled with fear. This caused the Muslims to gain the upper hand in the battle.

The Unseen Assistance of Allah in the Battle of Trench

In the Battle of Trench, Allah unleashed ferocious storms on the army of the enemies that frightened them. In addition to the storms, Allah the Almighty sent angels who aided the Muslims in winning the battle. The Noble Quran says:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱذْكُرُوا۟ نِعْمَةَ ٱللَّـهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَآءَتْكُمْ جُنُودٌ فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِيحًا وَجُنُودًا لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا ۚ وَكَانَ ٱللَّـهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرًا ﴿9﴾

You Who Believe! Remember God’s favor [which He bestowed] on you when the armies came4 to you, and We sent against them a wind and an army which you did not see; and God sees what you do. 1


The Battle of Trench was another battle that the Muslims won after the Battle of Badr. Because they listened to the Prophet and obeyed all his commands, they came out victorious and Allah even assisted them with His angels. Moreover, the Prophet’s cousin, son-in-law, and vicegerent Ali ibn Abi Talib played a crucial role in winning this battle. This battle was a difficult test for the Muslims that they were able to pass.


  1. Quran 33:9 (Foroutan)

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