The air hung heavy with grief, loss and the stench of death. The battle was lost.
The fallen were gathered from the battlefield. The commander of the defeated army was heavy of heart. He had lost over 70 men. Good, strong, faithful men were dead due to the folly of a few who had abandoned their post prematurely. Their bloodied garments were not enough to shroud them.
Among the dead was one whose loss the commander felt most acutely. He was an incredibly brave, skillful warrior, and a great and noble man – he was the commander’s own uncle. He had been hunted down, killed and spitefully mutilated by the slave of a woman bent on avenging her father and brother, who he had fought and killed in a previous battle.
His sister quickly learnt of his death. She made her way through the wails of the mourning families and the silence of the defeated soldiers, intent on seeing her brother. The commander, whose own grief ran deep and painfully raw, forbade her from coming close. He was a gentle man, and desperately wanted to save his aunt from the terrible distress of seeing her brother’s body in such a state.
But she was not to be deterred. She ignored all attempts to stop her, and pushed forwards until she reached the fallen warrior.
She did not cry out or wail. As she gazed at the torn, broken body of her beloved brother, her unwavering faith pierced through the pain-filled haze of loss and gave her strength. “To God we belong, and to Him we return” were her simple words.
(Visualising History – Aftermath of the Battle of Uhud)
The courage and patience of the noble lady Safiyya – descendant of the Prophet Ibrahim; daughter of the chieftain and Keeper of the Keys to God’s House, Abdul Muttalib; sister of the mighty warrior, Hamza; aunt of the greatest man who ever lived, Commander of the Muslims, Seal of God’s Prophets, Muhammad, may God’s peace and blessings be upon him and his family.
In a moment of extreme, unimaginable pain and grief, the sheer strength and faith of this woman is awe-inspiring and a lesson for us all. No declarations of revenge or utterances of hate – she maintained her dignity and that of her family, and placed all her trust in the only One who has power over life and death. She knew that her patience and her brother’s bravery would be rewarded by God, and God alone.