The Battle of Hunayn was fought between Muhammad and his followers against Bedouin tribe of Hawazin and its subsection Thaqif in 630 in a valley on one of the roads leading from Mecca to al-Ta`if. The battle ended in a decisive victory for the Muslims, who captured enormous spoils. The Battle of Hunayn is one of only two battles mentioned in the Qur`an by name, in Sura 9:25-26.
Battle of Hunayn
Date: 630 (8 AH)
Location: Hunayn, near al-Ta`if in south-western Arabia
Result: Muslim victory
Muslims Bedouins of the Hawazin and Thaqif tribes
Muhammad Malik ibn Awf al-Nasri
12,000 unknown but heavialy out numbered by the muslims
The Hawazin and their allies of the Thaqif began mobilizing their forces when they learnt from their spies that Muhammad and his army departed from Medina to begin an assault on Mecca. The confederates apparently hoped to attack the Muslim army while it would be besieging Mecca. Muhammad, however, uncovered their intentions through his own spies in the camp of the Hawazin and marched against the Hawazin just two weeks after the conquest of Mecca with a force of 12,000 men.
Course of the battle
The Bedouin commander Malik ibn Awf al-Nasri ambushed the Muslims at a place where the road to al-Taif enters winding gorges; the Muslims, surprised by the assault of the Bedouin cavalery who they thought was encamped at Awtas, began retreating in disarray. Academic historians have been unable to fully reconstruct the course of the battale from this point onwards because the different Muslim sources describing the battle give contradictory accounts. It appears that isolated with only a few companions, Muhammad had been in danger of being killed or captured for some time. However, the bedouins were unable to take full advantage of their initial success because of the narrow battlefront, which favored the defending side. The credit for turning the course of the battle around most likely goes Khalid ibn al-Walid, the commander of the Muslim cavalery at Hunayn, who rallied the retreating Muslim troops and began the counterattack. Muslims routed the Bedouins within a few hours with only negligible losses.
Because Malik ibn Awf al-Nasri had brought the families and flocks of the Hawazin along, the Muslims were able to capture huge spoils consisting of 6,000 women and children and 24,000 camels. Some Bedouins fled and were pursued to Awtas, while most of them found refuge at al-Ta`if, where Muhammad besieged them.
Sahih Bukhari 4:53:370
Muhammad as a warrior
^ a b c d Lammens, H. and Abd al-Hafez Kamal.. "Hunayn". Encyclopaedia of Islam Online Edition. Ed. P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912.