Battle of the Trench

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Combat between Ali ibn Abi Talib (left) and Amr ibn ‘Abd Wudd (right) during the Battle of the Trench.

The Battle of the Trench, also known as the Battle of the Confederates , 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 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.

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