Using Madinah's natural geography as a tool, the Muslim defenders took up positions along the slopes of Mount Uhud. The mountain itself prevented the attacking army from penetrating from that direction. The Prophet Muhammad assigned about 50 archers to take up post on a nearby rocky hill, to prevent the vulnerable Muslim army from attack at the rear. This strategic decision was meant to protect the Muslim army from being surrounded or encircled by the opposing cavalry.
The archers were under orders to never leave their positions, under any circumstances, unless ordered to do so.