Continued from Phase 2
‘Ho Ho, Sons of Abd al Dar! Ho Ho, Guardians of the land! Strike down your enemies! Advance forward and we shall embrace you! Advance forward and we shall spread the carpets for you! Turn your backs and we shall avoid you! Turn your backs and we shall never come to you!’ These and other chants filled the air as swords clanged and heads split open; arms flailed and lay twitching in the desert sand, severed heads dripping blood as lifeless eyes stared accusingly upwards. The grounds were becoming treacherous with warriors slipping and losing their lives as they struggled to maintain their balance.
The women of Qureish were virtually tearing their clothes from their bodies screaming and screeching, ‘Forward! Forward!’ in a most unnerving frenzy. Men fell around them; blood spurted on them. They seemed oblivious as they picked up the swords of those fallen warriors and hacked into the opposition themselves.
‘Allahu Akbar!’ came the cry from the Muslims as they drove forward. ‘Laa ilaha illal lahu!’(There is no other God but Allah). And slowly they forged their way into the overwhelming ranks of Qureish, cutting and slicing, their blades threatening to break with every sickening thud that landed on their enemy. ‘Allahu Akbar!’
The collective sounds emitted by those engaged in this wholesale manslaughter were a total nightmare, something not of this world. It was as if a major earthquake was playing itself off in the desert using humans as its elements.
The sun was completely out, a silent witness to the killing and maiming that was Uhud now. The mountain goats had long since disappeared, frightened off by the unearthly sounds. A mountain lion who had come to inquire what the noise was all about beat a hasty retreat as it too succumbed to the terrible upheaval of hand-to-hand combat. It was horrifying!
Ali, the cousin of the Prophet (pbuh), was using his sword—or better still, his scimitar (known as ‘Zulfiqar’)—to the greatest effects. This scimitar (according to some reports) had two parallel blades (others say a split V-shaped blade) and was quite heavy in the hand. But be that as it may, Ali had promised himself that if he was going to go down he would take as many of the enemy with him, and it was with these intentions that he now removed heads clean from their shoulders as if ‘Zulfiqar’ had a life of its own.
He was cutting and slicing when he saw out of the corner of his eye someone of Qureish fighting the enemy with nails and teeth. The person was spitting and hissing furiously.
Ali disengaged himself from what was happening in front of him and hastily went to the spitting fighter. The person seemed to be oblivious of his presence.
Ali lifted his scimitar, shouting out aloud, ‘Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!’ And still the Qureishi seemed to take no notice of him.
Ali brought down his blade, intent on not only slicing off the head, but splitting the whole body in two. But just as he was about to strike, the person turned round, and in that critical instant Ali saw that it was Hind, wife of Abu Sufyan, the leader of the Qureish.
Ali hesitated for one brief moment, a split second that seemed to last an eternity, as Hind suddenly spat in his face, his sword suspended dangerously close to her head. Hind did not blink an eye. She spat in his face, vehemently, once again.
Ali turned away from her, back to the main fray. He was not going to kill her, he thought to himself fervently. He was not going to defile ‘Zulfiqar’ with the blood of such an avowed enemy of Islam, even if the urge to split her body wide open was so strong that it almost choked him!
‘Zulfiqar’ had been a present from the Prophet (pbuh), Ali knew. And, what he had learned from the Prophet (pbuh) through all the years that he had spent with him (and what he was trying hard to adopt as a policy of his life) was that in fighting for the cause of Allah, one cannot allow oneself to be distracted by one’s own inner feelings or desires. He could not kill Hind because she spat in his face, or because he hated her so much. He could only kill her if it was purely for the sake of Allah.