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The Battle Of Trench, Madinah: Reasons, History, Facts And Learnings


After the Battle of Badr and Battle of Uhud, the Muslims started to realize their increasing military strength and combat knowledge. The Muslims’ prowess in strategic planning was on display in a skirmish – the Battle of Trench. In the battle, they dug trenches in the ground to slow down the cavalry archers of the enemy. The battle distinguishes believers from non-believers and truth from false. It took place in the fifth year of Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) migration during the month of Shawwal. The battle was fought between an army of three thousand fighters led by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and an army of ten thousand led by Abu Sufyan.

The Battle of Trench is known by many other names, including the Battle of Khandaq, the Battle of Ditch, The Battle of Ahzab, and the Battle of the Confederates. The first two refer to the trenches dug by the Muslims. The latter two names resulted from the unison of other tribes with the Quraysh for one common goal, which was to eliminate Islam.

In this blog, we look at the Battle of Trench summary, facts, miracles, reasons and much more.

The reason behind the Battle of Trench

Muslims fought the battle to safeguard Madinah from the attack led by Banu Qaynuqa and Nazir tribes. Both declared war on Muslims to take revenge for their expulsion from Madinah during the expedition against Banu Qaynuqa in 624 AD and the invasion of Banu Nadir in 625 AD. Also, many Makkans hated the messenger of Allah for giving them a new religion and demolishing the worshipping of idols. As a result, the two groups rallied with the Quraish tribe against Prophet Muhammad’s army.

Battle of Trench summary and history

The Battle of Trench was a 30-day long siege of Madinah by Jewish and Arab tribes. It was also known as the Battle of the Confederates. The term confederates are used in the Holy Quran to denote the Confederacy of Pagans and Jews against Islam. Upon learning that Jews were rallying against Muslims, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) suggested digging a trench around Madinah. Even though the Confederate army tried multiple moves to cross the trench, they failed repeatedly. The ditch defended the Muslim army from the Confederate army.

Consequently, the confederates lay a siege on the city of Madinah for 20 nights. Such sieges were not as common in Arabian warfare at that time, so the Confederates never knew what they were up against. As the Quraish veterans grew restless, ‘Amr challenged Muslims into fighting a duel. And so, Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) sent Ali ibn Abi Talib in response to the challenge, who ultimately won the battle for Muslims.

The opponent was not aware of the trench as a defence; hence, the Battle of Trench became a fine example of winning by one’s wits. It is said that the Prophet (PBUH) had already predicted the outcome of the war while digging. He stated, “This is Quraish’s last attempt to destroy Islam and Muslim, and from now on, we will rule over them.”

Battle of Trench Result

Even after the various trials by the Confederates, they could not pass the trench. They were getting restless, and their battle animals were dying of war wounds. The harsh winds of Madinah were also presenting a great challenge for the raiding army. Meanwhile, the Muslims were well sheltered against the stormy desert winds. As a consequence, Banu Qurayza surrendered unconditionally to the Muslims of Madinah.

Miracles during the Battle of Trench

There are a few mentions of miracles during the Battle of Trench. Below are three reported instances of miracles:

Instance 1: On the second day of the battle, the Prophet (PBUH) broke a rock to pieces using pickaxe. The moment the axe struck the stone, there was a flash of lightning, so bright that the Muslims could see the palaces of Shaam (an area dominated by Damascus in Greater Syria).

Instance 2: Ibn Babawayh has narrated that Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) narrate that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said, “We were busy in digging the trench in the company of the Prophet when Lady Fatima (s.a.) brought a piece of bread for the Holy Prophet (S) he asked from where she had brought it and she said that she had cooked it for Hasan and Husain and from that she has also brought a piece for him.”

Instance 3: When the Quraish army was fighting bitter cold winds, Huzaifa said: “I am trembling of cold, how can I cross the trench?” But it was the miracle of the Holy Prophet that became warm enough to easily cross the trench and reached the Quraish army.

The Battle of Trench Facts


  • The battle is known by many names like the battle of Azhab and the battle of Khandaq.
  • Salman Al Farsi stated that citizens only needed to protect the north end of Madinah as surrounding mountains and dense forests defended the remaining borders.
  • It is said that a miracle took place at Mount Ru’yah while people were digging the Trench, Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) struck a large rock that was crushed into pieces and emitted light.
  • The above miracle ensured him of glad tidings of victories which he passed on to Muslims of Syria, Persia, and Yemen. Muslims pitched the tent of the Prophet (PBUH) at the same site during the digging of the Trench.

Battle of Trench Literature and Hadiths

The Battle of Trench is quoted in Sahih al-Bukhari, which is one of the six major books of the Hadith collection. The Sahih al-Bukhari mentions the death of Sa’d ibn Mu’adh and also states that Muslims had to carry out attacks against their opponents even after the battle. Additionally, the event is present in the Sahih Muslim Hadith collection. Regarding biographical literature, the event is found in various works of historical writers during the third and fourth centuries of the Muslim era. Another source mentioning the battle is the history of Muhammad’s campaigns, a Sirah, by al-Waqidi.

Learnings from Battle of Trench

Muslims can learn to put their faith in Allah and that whatever happens, it’s his divine intention. Therefore, Tawakul, or relying on Allah, is a vital deed that only comes with the perseverance and preparation of an individual. The Muslims won the battle as they made efforts to become victorious by thinking out of the box and making necessary preparations. While leading the Muslim army, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also actively participated in the battle preparation. Hence, leadership is the act of management with active participation.

The Battle of Trench facts and images are not easily available these days. However, it is evident that it (the battle of Khandaq) played a decisive role in the spreading of Islam. After the battle was won, Muslims ruled over the tribes of Banu Qurayza neighborhoods and spread the teachings of Islam.

Suggested Read: The Battle of Badr: Story, Significance, Key Facts, And Hadiths

Battle Of Trench FAQs

Who died in the Battle of Trench?

Saad ibn Muadh, the Chief of Banu Aws Tribe, died in the Battle of Trench due to wounds caused in the battle.

When did the Battle of Trench occur?

The Battle of Trench took place on December 29, 626 AD.

Who was the leader of the Quraysh in the Battle of Trench?

Abu Sufyan was the leader of Quraysh in the Battle of Trench.

Who suggested the Muslims dig the Trench?

Salman, the Persian, who was also the companion of Prophet Mohammad PBUH, suggested digging a trench that later led to Muslims

What was the length of the trench in Battle of Trench?

The trench was 5.5 km long, 4.5 m deep and 9 m wide.

Who won the Battle of Trench??

The Muslim army won the Battle Of Trench. Their army, led by Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) defeated the Quraish and the Confederate army.

Dr Omar Ayoub

Dr. Omar Ayoub is a tech enthusiast and a part time researcher and accounts authorship of several international publications. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from USA and has an experience of more than 10 years in Saudi Arabia working in tourism, hospitality, education, technology and retail sector. His interests include traveling, writing, and exploring trending technologies.

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