Tribes of Hawaiian and Thaqeef. After the fall of Makkah the neighboring tribes of Hawazin and Thaqeef had to choose between Islam and war against the Muslims. They chose the war path, and the two tribes along with their allies mustered in considerable strength at Autas to the east of Makkah. The coalition was led by Malik bin Auf a fiery commander of considerable skill.
The Muslim Force. When the Holy Prophet came to know of the hostile intention of the tribes, he decided to take action against them. On a cold day in January 63 C.E. the Muslim force set out from Makkah. The force comprised 12,000 persons fully armed. Of these 10,000 were from Madina who had attacked Makkah, and 2,000 were the newly converted Muslims from Makkah. It was a large army, and as Abu Bakr saw it, he is reported to have said in some unguarded moment "It is a splendid army; who can defeat it."
Battle of Hunain. This boast was not liked by God, and later things happened which made Abu Bakr regret such a boast. As on the way to Autas the Muslim army passed through the valley of Hunain some eleven miles north east of Makkah, a rain of arrows fell on it let loose by a group of archers of the hostile tribes that lay hid in the mountain pass. Taken unaware the advance guard of the Muslim army fled in panic. There was considerable confusion, and camels, horses and men ran into one another to seek cover.