Battle of The Trench

The Battle of the Trench (Arabic: غزوة الخندق, Transliteration: Ghazwah al-Khandaq) also known as the Battle of the Confederates (Arabic: غزوة الاحزاب, Transliteration: Ghazwah al-Ahzab), was a fortnight-long siege of Yathrib (now Medina) by Arab and Jewish tribes. The strength of the confederate armies is estimated around 10,000 men with six hundred horses and some camels, while the Medinan defenders numbered 3,000. The battle began on March 31, 627.

The largely outnumbered defenders of Medina, mainly Muslims led by Islamic prophet Muhammad, dug a trench, which together with Medina's natural fortifications, rendered the confederate cavalry (consisting of horses and camels) useless, locking the two sides in a stalemate. Hoping to make several attacks at once, the confederates persuaded the Medina-allied Banu Qurayza to attack the city from the south. However, Muhammad's diplomacy derailed the negotiations, and broke up the confederacy against him. The well-organized defenders, the sinking of confederate morale, and poor weather conditions caused the siege to end in a fiasco.

The siege was a "battle of wits", in which the Muslims tactically overcame their opponents while suffering very few casualties. Efforts to defeat the Muslims failed, and Islam became influential in the region. As a consequence, the Muslim army besieged the neighbourhood of the Banu Qurayza tribe, leading to their unconditional surrender.

The defeat caused the Meccans to lose their trade and much of their prestige.

Read more about Battle Of The Trench:  Name, Background, The Confederates, Muslim Defense, Siege of Medina, Aftermath: Siege and Demise of The Banu Qurayza, Implications, Historiography, Islamic Primary Sources

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