According to the scholars of Siyrah, the battle of Mu’tah was in 8th year of Hijra, Urwah Ibn Al-Zubair said that the the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent this expedition to Mu’tah in Jumadah Al-Ula the 8th year of Hijra and put zaid Ibn Harithah in command and said,
“If Zaid were slain, then Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib was to take command, and if he were killed then Abdullah Ibn Rawahah.”
People prepared themselves to set off. Their number was 3000. When they were about to see off, they bade farewell the Messenger’s chiefs and saluted them. Then, the people marched forth, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) accompanying them until he said farewell and returned.
They went on their way as far as Ma’an in Syria where they heard that Hereaclius had come down to Ma’ab in the Balqa’ with 100000 Greeks Joined by 100000 men form Lakhm, Judham, Al-Qayn, Bahra and Bali. When the Muslims heard this they spent two nights at Ma’an pondering what to do. Abdullah Ibn Rawahah encouraged the men saying, Men, what you dislike is that which you have come out in search of, viz, martyrdom. We are not fighting the enemy with numbers, or strength of multitude, but we are confronting them with this religion with Allah had honored us. So come on! Both prospects are fine: Victory or martyrdom. Then men said, ‘By Allah Ibn Rawahah is right.’
Then people went forward until when they were on the borders of the Balqa’ the Greek and the Arab forces of Heraclius met them in a village called Masharif. When the enemy approached, the Muslims withdrew to a village called Mu’tah. There the forces met and the Muslims made their dispositions, pitting over the right wing Qutbah Ibn Qatadah of Banu Udhrah, and over the left wing an Ansari called Ubaya Ibn Malik.
When fighting began Zaid Ibn Harithah fought bolding the Messenger’s standard, until he died from loss of blood among the spears of the enemy. Then Ja’far took it and fought with it until he was martyred. Abdullah Ibn Rawahah took the standard, fought until he died a martyr. In this context, Al-Bukhari the following narrations:
Nafi narrated that Ibn Umar informed me that on the day of the battle of Mu’tah he stood beside ja’far who was dead (killed in the battle), and he counted fifty wounds in his body, caused by stabs or strokes, and none of those wounds was in his back. Abdullah Ibn Umar said, Allah’s Messenger appointed Zaid Ibn Harithah as the commander of the army during the Ghazwah of Mu’tah and said, If Zaid is martyred, Ja’far should take over his position, and if Ja’far is martyred, Abdullah Ibn Rawahah should take over his position. Abdullah Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) further said, ‘I was present amongst them in that battle and we searched for Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib and found his body amongst the bodies of the martyred ones, and found over ninety wounds over his body, caused be stabs or shots (of arrows).’
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had informed the people of the martyrdom of Zaid, Ja’far and Ibn Rawahah before the news of their death reached. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, Zaid took the flag (as the commander of the army) and was martyred, then Ja’far took it and was martyred, and then Ibn Rawahah took it and was martyred. At the time, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) eyes were shedding tears. Then flag was taken by a sword amongst the Swords of Allah (Kahlid bin Walid) and Allah made them (the Muslims) victorious. Amrah said, ‘I heard Aishah saying, ‘When the news of the martyred of Ibn Harithah, Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib and Abdullah Ibn Rawahah reached, Allah’s Messenger sat with sorrow exlicit on his face. Aishah added, ‘I was then peeping through a chink in the door. A man came to him and said. ‘O Allah’s Messenger! The women of Ja’far are crying.’ Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told him to forbid them to do so. So the man went away and returned saying, ‘I forbade them but they did not listen to me.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ordered him again to go (and forbid them). He went again and came saying, ‘By Allah, they overpowered me (did not listen to me)’ Aishah said that Allah’s Messenger said (to him), Go and throw dust into their mouths. I said, ‘My Allah put your nose in the dust! By Allah, neither have you done what you have been ordered, nor have you relieved Allah’s Messenger from trouble.’
Amir said that whenever Ibn Umar greeted the son of Ja’far, he used to say (to him). Assalam Alaika (peace be on you), O the son of two-winged person.