Katheeb al-Hannan

Katheeb al-Hannan the sand mountain
Katheeb al-Hannan, the sand mountain

This sand mountain, known as Katheeb al-Hannan, is where the Prophet (ﷺ) and the Sahabah first stayed when they arrived at Badr. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) spent the whole night here asking Allah for His help.

[Read about the previous landmark associated with the Battle of Badr: Wadi Dhafiran]

  • The Prophet (ﷺ) knew that it was vital for them to reach the wells of Badr before the Quraysh army. As they marched, it began to rain, which he saw as a sign of favour from Allah, a blessing and an assurance. The rain refreshed the men and made firm the soft sand of the valley of Yalyal. It also impeded the enemy, who had also arrived and were climbing the slopes of Mount Aqanqal, on the opposite side of the valley from Badr.
  • The wells were on the gentler slopes of the near side, and the Prophet ordered a halt at the first well they came to by Al-Udwat Ad-Duniya. However,  Hubab ibn al-Mundhir came to him and said: “0 Messenger of Allah, this place where we now are – has Allah revealed it to you, that we should neither advance nor retreat from it, or is it a matter of opinion and strategy of war?”.
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) said that it was merely a matter of opinion, whereupon Hubab said: “This is not the place to halt, but take us on, 0 Messenger of Allah, until we come to one of the large wells which is nearest the enemy. Let us halt there and stop up the wells that lie beyond it and make for ourselves a cistern. Then we will fight the enemy, and all the water will be ours to drink, and they will have none.” The Prophet (ﷺ) at once agreed, and Hubab’s plan was carried out in every detail. The further wells were stopped and the cistern was built, and every man filled his drinking vessel. The Messenger of Allah allowed the unbelievers to drink of this water too.
View from the top of Katheeb al-Hannan
View from the top of Katheeb al-Hannan – Photo: @_Islam91 (Twitter)
  • The Muslims then made a small enclosure of palm branches in which the Prophet (ﷺ) would stay while directing his men during the battle. This is where Masjid Areesh now stands. A group of Ansar youths were put under the command of Sa’d bin Mu’adh (may Allah be pleased with him) to act as lookouts. After this, the Prophet SAW walked around Badr with his men, saying “This is the spot where so and so will fall in battle tomorrow, God-willing”.
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) spent the whole night preceding the day of the battle in prayer and supplication at the foot of a tree. A gentle rain fell and lulled the men, weary after their long march, into a refreshing sleep. Allah (ﷻ) recounts His favour to the believers in the following verse of the Quran: “Remember how Allah enveloped you with drowsiness to make you feel safe. He caused rain to descend upon you from the heaven so you could clean yourselves-rain that also removed Satan’s influence, strengthened your hearts, and made you stand firm in battle.” [8:11]
  • The Muslims arrived here on the Thursday night, on the eve of the battle.
Katheeb al-Hannan on the right viewed from the main road
Katheeb al-Hannan on the right viewed from the main road

[Read about the next landmark associated with the Battle of Badr: Masjid Areesh]


References: When the Moon Split – Shaykh Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri, Muhammad (s.a.w.) the Last Prophet – Moulana Sayyed Hasan Ali Nadwi, The Life of Muhammad  (s.a.w) – Tahia Al-Ismail, Qalam Seerah notes – Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda

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