Expedition of Ubaydah ibn al-Harith

In April 623, the Islamic Prophet Muhammad sent Ubaydah ibn al-Harith with a party of sixty armed Muhajirun (Muslim exiles in Medina) to the valley of Rabigh, in modern-day Saudi Arabia. They expected to intercept a Quraysh caravan that was returning from Syria under the protection of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb and 200 armed riders.[1][2][3][4][5] The Muslim party travelled as far as the wells at Thanyat al-Murra,[1][4] where Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas shot an arrow at the Quraysh. This is known as the first arrow of Islam.[6][7] Despite this surprise attack, "they did not unsheathe a sword or approach one another," and the Muslims returned empty-handed;[2][3][4] however, two Meccans traders left their caravan, became Muslim, and went with the expedition back to Medina.[8]

Expedition of Ubaydah ibn al-Harith
DateApril, 623 , 1 AH
Muhajirun (Muslim exiles to Medina) Quraish of Mecca
Commanders and leaders
Ubaydah ibn al-Harith Abu Sufyan
60-80 200
Casualties and losses
Unknown (Arrows fired) Unknown (1 arrow fired)


Some say that Ubaydah ibn al-Harith was the first to whom Muhammad gave a banner on a military expedition; others say Hamza was the first.[2]

Some scholars assert that Muhammad sent out the expedition while he was in Al-Abwa' or upon his return to the Medina from the raid of Al-Abwa'.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume, p. 281.
  2. ^ a b c Ibn Saad/Bewley, p. 37.
  3. ^ a b Haykal, M. H. (1935). Translated by al-Faruqi, I. R. A. (1976). The Life of Muhammad, p. 256. Chicago: North American Trust Publications.
  4. ^ a b c Mubarakpuri, S. R. (1979). Ar-Raheeq Al-Maktum (The Sealed Nectar), p. 92. Riyadh: Darussalem Publishers.
  5. ^ Hawarey, Dr. Mosab (2010). The Journey of Prophecy; Days of Peace and War (Arabic). Islamic Book Trust. ISBN 9789957051648.Note: Book contains a list of battles of Muhammad in Arabic, English translation available here
  6. ^ Razwy, Sayed Ali Asgher. A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims. p. 128.
  7. ^ Muir, Sir William (1877). The Life of Mohammed. London.
  8. ^ Razwy, Sayed Ali Asgher. A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims. p. 128.
  9. ^ Al-ʻUmarī, Burayk Muḥammad Burayk (1996). Al-Sarāyā wa-al-buʻūth al-Nabawīyah ḥawla al-Madīnah wa-Makkah : dirāsah naqdīyah taḥlīlīyah السرايا والبعوث النبوية حول المدينة ومكة : دراسة نقدية تحليلية (in Arabic). Dār Ibn al-Jawzī. p. 81.
Preceded by
Expeditions of Muhammad Succeeded by