Sunday, May 1, 2011

Siege of Taif

Although the Muslims won the Battle of Hunayn, the soldiers who fled the battle joined other tribes who were opposed to Islam. Thus, a new risk came into being. The most prominent counterforce was the People of Taif. The People of Taif had made clear their animosity against the Islam with an arrogant attitude, which they exhibited from time to time. Those who tried to form organizations against Islam and the poets who satirized Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Muslims had fled to Taif when their lives came under threat. As a consequence, Taif had become a enemy location. The Hawaz army, who had been defeated in Awtas, had also taken shelter there. Shortly after the battle of Hunayn, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) decided to attack Taif with an army led by him.

After a reconnaissance unit of 1,000 men, led by Khalid ibn Walid, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) arrived in Taif and besieged the Saqif and Hawazin, who had taken shelter in the fortresses, for almost a month. Since the people of Taif were inside their fortresses, they were able to mount a strong defense by constantly shooting arrows at the Muslims who were attacking from the open. In this siege, where various strategies and tactics were employed, the Muslims put to use weapons like the catapult. As the sacred month approached and as it became understood that the people of Taif had stored provisions to sustain them for a year Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) lifted the siege and came to Jirana, where the captured goods had been stored. During the siege of Taif, it is said that the Muslims lost 12 men and the number of enemies killed was 3.

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