23.4 The Women and Children
The women and children were placed in fortified houses behind the trenches, and piles of stones were placed beside these houses for defense. Then the men, with Mohamed at their head, came out and placed the mountain of Sal as a shield between them and the enemy.
The converging hosts expected to attack Medina immediately, to kill, loot, pillage, and return victorious, laden with spoils. They were amazed to find a trench around the city. What curious thing was this? They did not know how to send missiles across it. Baffled and furious, they accused the Muslims of being cowards to hide so behind a trench, a thing the Arabs had never heard of before. They exchanged a few arrows with the Muslims, then, in frustration, set up camp to watch.