How many Companions were martyred in the Battle of Khandaq?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

In the Battle of Khandaq, which was a turning point in the history of Islam, six Muslims were martyred by arrows shot from the opposite side of the trench; on the other hand, eight enemy soldiers were killed. (Waqidi, Kitabul-Maghazi, 2/495)

The enemy army came to the vicinity of Madinah with twelve thousand people and established its headquarters. The number of Muslims was about three thousand people. (Hamidullah, İslam Peygamberi, 1246)

The polytheists were surprised because they faced the trench defense for the first time, and they could not decide how to fight. The Muslims took turns to guard and watch the trenches. In the Battle of Khandaq, where there was no clash between the Makkan polytheists and the Muslims, both parties shot arrows and some brave people tried to cross the trench, but very few people succeeded; most of them failed.

There are narrations stating that this process lasted fifteen days or a month. (see Ibn Sad, Tabaqat, 2/70; Ibn Hisham, as-Sirah, 3/207)

The lengthening of the war, which the Makkan polytheists thought would be short, put them in a difficult situation; their own food and the food of their camels ran out. Although extra food was sent, they had to retreat due to the effective wind.

The Muslims suffered great difficulties in the Battle of Khandaq and were alarmed by the large enemy army. The fact that the Prophet (pbuh), who never missed any prayers under any circumstances, had to perform the noon, afternoon, evening and night prayers together at night during the siege clearly shows the difficult conditions under which the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions were fighting.

In the Chapter of al-Ahzab, which gave its name to this war, the fear of Muslims in the face of allied armies is mentioned and it is stated that it was a test of belief; it is also stated that Allah supported the Muslims with invisible armies. (see al-Ahzab 33/9-12, 25)

The Companions who were martyred:

Sad b. Muadh.

Anas b. Aws.

Abdullah b. Sahl.

Tufayl b. Numan.

Thalaba b. Ghanama

Kab b. Zayd. (see Waqidi, ibid)

Some narrations about those who died from enemy soldiers:

A few of the enemy cavalry managed to cross the trench on their horses. One of them, Amr b. Abduwud, who was known for his courage, challenged the Muslims for a one-to-one fight; upon the order and prayer of the Messenger of Allah, Hz. Ali fought him and killed him there. (Waqidi, 2/463-464)

Upon the challenge of Amr b. Abd, who also crossed the trench and who was known for his courage, Hz. Ali fought him and killed him. Thereupon, the enemies escaped; and while escaping, Nawfal b. Abdullah fell off his horse in the trench and was stoned to death there. (Waqidi, 2/470-471)

A polytheist was killed in the battle and his body remained in the hands of the Muslims. The polytheists said, “Give us the dead body; we will give you ten thousand dirhams?” When the Prophet (pbuh) was informed about the offer, he said, “We need neither their dead bodies nor their money! Both their dead bodies and money are dirty.” (Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, 7/379)

During the battle, one of the polytheists stood up and said, “Who will fight against me?” Upon the request of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), Zubayr got up. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever gets on top of his opponent will kill him.” Zubayr got on top of his opponent and killed him. (Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, 7/379)

The attacks of the Qurayshi polytheists against Madinah, which started after the Migration, ended with the Battle of Khandaq.

After this battle, the Prophet (pbuh) changed his war tactics and prevented the attacks of the enemy forces, which were preparing to attack the Muslims, by acting before them.

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