When the Muslims were faced with a great defeat at Uhud the enemy seized the opportunity and started such devices against the Islamic view of Oneness of Allah as had an immediate influence on simple-minded persons
Abu Sufyan, 'Ikrimah and others, who were holding big idols in their hands and were feeling very jubilant, fully availed of this opportunity and cried: "Exalted be Hubal! Exalted be Hubal!" (Hubal was the name of an idol). By this they wished to tell the Muslims that their victory was on account of their worshipping idols and if there had been any other god and the worship of One Allah had been the true religion, the Muslims should have been victorious.
The Prophet realized that the enemies were propagating something very dangerous in those delicate moments and were taking full advantage of the opportunity which they had got at that time. He, therefore, forgot all his sufferings, and immediately ordered Ali and other Muslims to reply to this proclamation of idolatry in these words: "Allah is Great and Powerful" (i.e. this defeat suffered by us is not due to the fact that we worship Allah but is the result of some persons disobeying the orders of the commander).
Abu Sufyan did not, however, stop propagating his venomous ideas and said: "We have an idol like Uzza whereas you do not have its like". The Prophet seized this opportunity and ordered the Muslims to say in reply: "Allah is our Lord and you don't have a lord like Him". (i.e. if you depend on an idol which is nothing more than a piece of stone or wood we depend on "Allah" who is Great and Powerful).
The proclaimer of polytheism said for the third time: "This day is in retaliation for the Day of Badr". To this the Muslims replied in compliance with the Prophet's orders: "These two days are not equal to each other, because our brothers who have been killed are in Paradise, whereas yours are in Hell".
Abu Sufyan was very much upset by these sharp replies which were coming out of the throats of hundreds of Muslims. Hence, after saying: "We shall meet again next year" he left the battlefield and decided to return to Makkah.36