Battle of Mu’tah and Death of Jafar ibn Abi Talib ~ Hi readers! Battle of Mu’tah is one of the major wars ever waged by Islamic troops. To be precise, the war occurred in the year 8 hijria. Of course, at that time the Prophet Muhammad was still alive. In that war, there were several warlords of the Islamic forces who died. His name is Jafar ibn Abi Talib. He died from being killed in very horrible circumstances.
In this article, I will explain five important things about the Battle of Mu’tah and the death of Jafar ibn Abi Talib. As Muslims, of course, we must know that. So, you have to read this article to the end.
The five things I mean are as follows:
- What is the Battle of Mu’tah?
- Who is Jafar ibn Abi Talib?
- What Causes the Battle of Mu’tah?
- How Did the Battle of Mu’tah Happen?
- How did the death of Jafar ibn Abi Talib?
What is the Battle of Mu’tah?
What is meant by the Battle of Mu’tah is a war that took place between the Islamic armies against the Roman troops and several Arab tribes. The battle was called the “Battle of Mu’tah” because it took place in a village called “Mu’tah”. So, the name of this war is taken from the name of the village.
According to Yaqut bin Abdillah al-Hamwiy ar-Rumi al-Baghdadi or commonly known as Yaqut al-Hamqi explains in the book “Mu’jamu al-Buldan”, that Mu’tah is one of the villages in al-Balqa ‘ in the area of Sham. There were produced many fine swords.
As I explained earlier, that the Battle of Mu’tah took place in the year 8 hijria. Specifically, in the month of Jumadil Ula, 8 hijria.
Who is Jafar ibn Abi Talib?
Jafar ibn Abi Talib was one of Abu Talib’s sons. He was born in Abu Talib’s marriage with Fatimah bint Asad. From this marriage, they both had four sons: Talib, Aqil, Jafar, and Ali. Talib is the first son. Aqil is the second son. Jafar is the third son. And, Ali is the fourth son. Each of their ages is ten years apart.
Jafar bin Abi Talib married Asma ‘bint’ Umais bin Ma’bad bin Taim bin Malik bin Qufahah. From that marriage they both had three sons; Abdullah, Muhammad, and ‘Aun. This is why Jafar is also known as Abu Abdillah. His three sons were born in Ethiopia (Habasyah) when he and his wife moved there with some Muslims.
Jafar bin Abi Talib is one of the Muslims who emigrated to Ethiopia (Habasyah) the second. He became the leader of the Muslims who emigrated there. In fact, he had played a very important role in convincing the king of Najasyi about the truth of Islam when the Quraish disbelievers sent messengers to ask the king to hand over the Muslims who were there. I will explain that topic in the next discussion.
Jafar bin Abi Talib himself was a very special person in the heart of the Prophet Muhammad. This was proven by his words and actions when welcoming his arrival from Ethiopia (Habasyah). It so happened that at that time the Islamic forces had also succeeded in conquering Khaibar. He who met him expressed his joy by kissing the forehead between his eyes and saying, “I don’t know what because I was so happy; the arrival of Jafar or the conquest of Khaibar. “
What Causes the Battle of Mu’tah?
Ibn Saad explained that the Battle of Mu’tah occurred because the Prophet Muhammad’s messenger named al-Harits bin ‘Umair al-Azdi to King Basrah was killed by Syurahbil bin Amru al-Ghassani in a village called Mu’tah. Al-Harits bin ‘Umair al-Azdi was the only messenger of the Prophet Muhammad who was killed. When news of the murder reached the Prophet Muhammad, he and the Muslims were very angry. They then rushed to gather troops in al-Jurf to find the killer of al-Harith bin ‘Umair and invite the people there to embrace Islam.
The number of Islamic troops dispatched as many as three thousand people. Before they left, the Prophet Muhammad advised that the person who became the main warlord in the mission was Zaid bin Harithah. If Zaid bin Harithah dies, then the position of war commander is replaced by Jafar bin Abi Talib. If he dies, then the position of warlord is replaced by Abdullah bin Rawahah. If he dies, then the Muslims are allowed to deliberate to determine who will become warlords.
In fact, Jafar bin Abi Talib questioned the election of Zaid bin Harithah as war commander in this mission. I think the reason is quite reasonable, because there are still many friends who are more qualified in experience to lead Islamic troops. However, this did not last long, let alone affected the Islamic forces. Prophet Muhammad gave a quite diplomatic answer to Jafar, “Go! In fact you do not know that it is goodness.”
In fact there is an interesting remark an-Nukman has about the determination of the warlord in the mission. What I mean is when he commented on the words of the Prophet Muhammad, “If Zaid bin Harithah dies, he will be replaced by Jafar bin Abi Talib. If he dies, then he is replaced by Abdullah bin Rawahah… ”An-Nukman said to the Prophet Muhammad,“ O Abu al-Qasim! If you are a Prophet, then you have mentioned a few or many people, then they will all fall, because the Prophets in the children of Israel, if they appointed someone to lead an army, they said, “If so-so fell, then he was replaced by so-called. . ” Even if they mention a hundred people, then the hundred people will definitely fall. ” Then an-Nukman said to Zaid bin Harithah, “Behold! If Muhammad was a prophet, then you will not come back for ever. ” Zaid bin Harithah then said, “I testify that he is a true and good Prophet.”
The sayings of an-Nukman seem to be the standard for determining the prophetic truth of the Prophet Muhammad. He used the traditions prevailing in the children of Israel to measure this truth. In fact, he also had time to say that to Zaid bin Harithah as the main warlord appointed by the Prophet Muhammad.
How Did the Battle of Mu’tah Happen?
The Muslim troops then left until they reached al-Balqa ‘. Ibn Saad’s historical data says that their departure was known to the spies of Syurahbil bin Amru al-Ghassani who had been deployed to spy on Muslims. He then returned and gathered more than a hundred thousand men to confront the Islamic army. When the Islamic forces arrived at Mu’an, they received word that Hirqal was also in Maab with an army of one hundred thousand to confront them. One hundred thousand troops came from the tribes of Bahra ‘, Wail, Bakar, Lakhm, and Judzam. So, the total enemy army was about two hundred thousand troops, while the Islamic army only numbered three thousand. The calculation is that the Islamic forces will definitely lose.
The Islamic forces finally stopped there for two nights to determine their next move. Some people suggested that they tell the Prophet Muhammad about conditions in the field as well as ask him for advice. But that was not done because Abdullah bin Rawahah urged them to keep going.
After the Islamic forces decided to continue the mission of finding the assassin of al-Harits bin ‘Umari al-Azdi and inviting the people of al-Balqa’, they continued their journey until they arrived at one of the villages in the al-Balqa ‘area called al-Masyarif. . The enemy army finally arrived. The Islamic troops then headed for a village called Mu’tah. It was there that the war between the two sides raged. In this battle, the warlords got off their horses. They fought on their own feet.
Unfortunately, what an-Nukman had said really happened. Zaid bin Harithah who fought with the white flag of the Prophet Muhammad died. After that the flag was taken by Jafar who acted as war commander to replace Zaid bin Harithah. He held the flag in his right hand and fought. But his right hand was then beheaded by the enemy. The flag fell. He then took the flag and held it with his left hand. His left hand was then beheaded by the enemy. Both of his hands were cut off. He then held the flag in his two hands, from the elbow to the remaining shoulder.
The tragic fate experienced by Jafar bin Abi Talib did not end there. He, who had lost both hands, was then killed very sadistically by one of the Roman troops. The murder was carried out by cutting his body into two parts. He too finally died.
After that, the flag of the Prophet Muhammad was taken by Abdullah bin Rawahah who became the war commander replacing Jafar bin Abi Talib. He then continued fighting until he finally died. The three warlords appointed by the Prophet Muhammad eventually died in the Battle of Mu’tah as predicted by an-Nukman. It also proves the truth of Prophet Muhammad’s prophethood from the point of view of an-Nukman as I have explained in the above paragraphs.
The flag of the Prophet Muhammad was then taken by one of the Islamic troops named Thabit bin Aqram. He then brought the flag to the Islamic troops with the aim that they would choose someone to become a warlord as the message of the Prophet Muhammad. Actually they wanted Thabit bin Aqram to become warlord to replace Abdullah bin Rawahah. But he didn’t want to. He felt unable to carry out his duties as a warlord. Finally the flag was taken by Khalid bin Walid. It was he who then led the Islamic troops to continue fighting until they succeeded in repelling the enemy forces. The sword used by Khalid bin Walid has taken many victims from the enemy. From then on he got the nickname as Saifullâh (Allah’s sword).
I need to explain here, that the Battle of Mu’tah not only killed three warlords who had been appointed by the Prophet Muhammad but also killed several other Islamic troops. In this case, there are also differences in the number of victims in historical data. One example can be found in Ibn Kathir’s historical data. One of the historical data of Ibn Kathir explains that the total casualties from the Islamic forces were eight people; from the Muhajirin there were Jafar bin Abi Talib, Zaid bin Harithah, Mas’ud bin Aswad bin Harithah bin Nadlalah, Wahab bin Sa’ad bin Abi Sarah, while from the Ansar there were Abdullah bin Rawahah, Ubadah bin Qais, Harits bin an-Nukman bin Asaf bin Nadlalah bin Abdu bin Auf bin Ghanam, and Suraqah bin Amru bin Athiyah bin Khunasa ‘. Meanwhile, other historical data states there were twelve people.
How did the death of Jafar ibn Abi Talib?
After the Battle of Mu’tah ended, the Islamic troops sought the body of Jafar bin Abi Talib. They found him there with other troops who had died in the battlefield. It turned out that the condition of Jafar bin Abi Talib’s body was worse than just two severed arms and a body that was split in two. On his body there were many wounds from the battles that had been fought.
Historical data that describes the wounds on the body of Jafar bin Abi Talib also vary. In Ibn Kathir’s own historical data, there are two different types of historical data about it. The first historical data explains, that his body contained more than ninety wounds caused by swords, spears and arrows. Meanwhile, the second historical data explains, that the total wounds on his body are fifty wounds. Although the two historical data differ regarding the number of wounds on his body, they both agree that all these wounds are on the back of the body. Information such as that in the historical data of Ibn Kathir can also be found in the historical data of al-Ashfahani. But al-Ashfahani also has historical data which explains that his total wounds were more than seventy. All of the wounds were from spears and arrows. In the historical data of Ibn al-Atsir, it is explained that the total wounds on his body are more than eighty. It was all the result of being hit by swords, spears and arrows.
Readers all! That is a brief explanation of the Battle of Mu’tah and the death of Jafar ibn Abi Talib. Do you guys understand? If you have any questions, please ask!
I think that’s all for this article. Hope it is useful. Amen!
See you again in the next article!