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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Abu Bakr - Battle of Zul Qissa

The battle of Zul Qissa. Back in Madina, Abu Bakr rallied the Muslim forces, and mustering the available reserves decided to fall on the enemy. In the late hours of the night, the Muslim forces rushed out of the city, and led a violent attack against the enemy at Zul Hissa. The tribal forces were taken unawares and they retreated to Zul Qissa. The Muslims pursued them to Zul Qissa. There was an action at Zul Qissa but the tribal force could not withstand the fury of the attack of the Muslims. Many tribesmen were cut to pieces. Those who survived fled in confusion. Before the day dawned the Muslims had won a victory and they were the masters of Zul Qissa. Abu Bakr decided to canton his forces at Zul Qissa, and make it a base for further campaigns against the apostate tribes. Abu Bakr left a detachment at Zul Qissa under the command of Nauman bin Muqran and himself returned to Madina with considerable booty captured at the battle of Zul Qissa.

Consequences of the battle of Zul Qissa. The victory of Zul Qissa was the first significant event of the caliphate of Abu Bakr. When Abu Bakr returned to Madina from Zul Qissa he was acclaimed as a hero, a worthy successor of the Holy Prophet. In the midst of most adverse circumstances he remained firm and never lost faith. By his superb leadership he had averted the threat to the city of Madina. By refusing to compromise on principles in spite of heavy odds, he established that he was made of stuff that characterize heroes. In its significance, the battle of Zul Qissa has been compared by some historians with the battle of Badr. The battle of Badr was the first battle after the Hijrat; the battle of Zul Qissa was the first battle after the death of the Holy Prophet. ln the battle of Badr the Muslims were outnumbered by the Quraish, and still they won a victory because of the superb leadership of the Holy Prophet. In the battle of Zul Qissa the Muslims were outnumbered by the tribal forces but they won a victory because of the superb leadership of Abu Bakr. If the Muslims had lost the battle of Badr, Islam was apt to be extinguished. If the battle of Zul Qissa had been lost, there was the danger of Islam losing its hold. Just as the battle of Badr set the stage for the advancement of the Muslims, thus did the battle of Zul Qissa set the pace for the overthrow of forces hostile to Islam.

Another important consequence of the battle of Zul Qissa was that it crystallized the issues. Heretofore there were tribes which favored Islam, but still wavered in their allegiance to Madina. Again there were tribes which preferred to sit on the fence and watch developments. After the battle of Zul Qissa such suspense came to an end. Many tribes sent their delegations to Madina, offered allegiance to the authorities in Madina and paid Zakat. The tribes that did not favor Islam openly apostatized. Henceforward the issue was not between Muslims and Muslims; the issue was between the ,Muslims and the apostates. The battle of Zul Qissa indeed set the stage for the apostasy campaigns.

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