After the Muslims' migration from Makkah
, the powerful Makkan tribes assumed that the small group of Muslims would be without protection or strength. Two years after the Hijrah, the Makkan army attempted to eliminate the Muslims in the Battle of Badr. The Muslims showed that they could fight against the odds and defend Madinah from invasion. After that humiliating defeat, the Makkan army chose to come back in full force and try to wipe out the Muslims for good.
The following year (625 A.D.), they set out from Makkah with an army of 3,000 fighters led by Abu Sufyan. The Muslims gathered to defend Madinah from invasion, with a small band of 700 fighters, led by the Prophet Muhammad himself. The Makkan cavalry outnumbered the Muslim cavalry with a 50:1 ratio. The two mismatched armies met at the slopes of Mount Uhud, just outside the city of Madinah.