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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Siege of Taif

From Autas the Muslim force marched to Taif. The people of Taif chose to oppose the Muslims. They, however, shut themselves in the fort and refused to come into the open. The Muslims tried the testudo device "hereunder a group of soldiers shielded by a cover of cow hide advanced to set fire to the gate. The enemy threw red hot scraps of iron on the testudo which made it ineffective. Taif was a hill station, and the fort was situated at a height while the besiegers had to camp at a lower plane... It was not possible to take the fort by assault. The only way to overcome the resistance of the enemy was to tighten the blockade, and drag on the siege till the provisions in the fort were exhausted. That meant that the siege had to be continued for a long time. The Holy Prophet had other pressing business to undertake, and he could not afford to spend so much time in besieging Taif. The Holy Prophet held a council of war as to the course of action. The council included Uthman. After consulting his companions the Holy Prophet raised the siege of Taif and retired to Makkah.

A few days later, Malik b Auf the chief of Taif came to Makkah. As Uthman had property at Taif, Malik b Auf saw Uthman. Uthman stressed on him the advisability of accepting Islam. Malik b Auf asked a few questions and being satisfied asked Uthman to take him to the Holy Prophet. Malik b Auf declared the article of faith and became a Muslim. Thus the Muslims gained by raising the siege of Taif what they could not secure by carrying on the war. From Makkah the Holy Prophet and hit companions returned to Madina. Some eight years ego the Holy Prophet and his companions had come to Madina as refugees. Now they came to Madina as victors, the masters of Makkah and Arabia.


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