Date: 17th of Ramadan : 2 years after Hijri - 624 Common Era
Confronted Location: 80 miles south west of Madina Shareef
The Battle of Badr is the most important battle in all human history as it firmly established Islam as a universal religion for the whole of humanity till the end of time. It took place in 2 After Hijri, [624 Common Era]. The Beloved Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam, together with 313 of his Companions(and also Angels, sent by Allah to help them), defeated about 1000 better armed polytheists of Makkah.
Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, says in the Noble Qur'an: And Allah certainly helped you at Badr when you were weak. So be in reverential awe of Allah that perhaps you may be thankful (3:123).
The Companions of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam, who took part are the Muhajirin and the Ansar. The Muhajirin are the Muslims from Makkah who had migrated to Madina. The Ansar are the Muslims of Madina who helped them settle in Madina.
The two main tribes of Madina were Aws and Khazraj. The Ansar (Helpers) of Madina, are thus classified either as Awsi (belonging to the Aws tribe) or Khazraji (belonging to the Khazraj tribe).
The number of Companions that are normally listed in Classics of Muslim Spirituality are more than those who actually took part because there are some Companions who were considered by the beloved Prophet Muhammad to be Ahl Badr (The Warriors of Badr) even though they were not actually present because they were sent by him on special assignments elsewhere at that time. (Allah Knows Best).
Prophet In Madina
The persecution by the Makkans on prophet and his followers grew so fierce, had made it necessary for them to migrate from their beloved Mecca to Medina by the order of Allah.
Where they had been offered support and freedom to worship. However, their migration had not been a mass exodus, rather, it had been spread over a period of time in order to escape the immediate attention of the Meccans.
When the migrants arrived in Medina they had very few possessions, so in the true spirit of Islam, the believers of Medina, welcomed them into their homes and shared everything they owned with them.
The Prophet named the migrants as "Muhajirs" and and those who welcomed them the "Ansar".
Most of the migrants had been deprived of a livelihood in Mecca and whatever wealth they might have once, had been mostly plundered by the Meccans. Once they
they have used their wealth to release convert slaves from their bondage.
Before Muslims came to Medina, the population of Medina consisted of three groups of people, namely Aws, Khazraj and Jews. Amongst them several had pledged allegiance to the Prophet before his arrival and were responsible for inviting him to migrate to Medina.
That period of time Jews had awaited the coming of a new prophet as it was mentioned in their books, that a new prophet would arise from a nearby city of Arabia.
Each tribe of the Jews hoped that their own tribe would aspire to such honor, and it was for that reason their predecessors had migrated to Arabia.
However, as the Jews were in the minority they found it to be in their best interests to ally themselves to the idolaters as they deemed it to be a necessary evil in order to survive.
With the arrival of the Muslims in Medina there were now four groups, that included an ever increasing number of converts from the tribes of Aws and Khazraj.
The new leaderhip in Madina
However, the tribes recognized the noble qualities of leadership in the Prophet together with his remarkable ability to unify once hostile tribes.
The great majority of the tribes including the Jews were in a bitter fact of life, as they witnessed their own influence dwindle within their tribes.
Yet, some of them appeared as Muslims for mere personnel interests, concealed their true feelings.
were later on referred to as "the hypocrites".
The seeds of unrest amongst the hypocrites and those outside the fold of Islam was strong. For each party concealed either its own tribal or racial resentment, and so it was not surprising that there were constant underlying currents of indefinable hostility.
Trade route of Meccans to Syria
The Quraysh always felt their trade route to Syria under serious threat because of the Muslim concentration in Madina.
They first threatened the Madinans, in a letter addressed to 'Adbullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul, to kill their males and enslave their females unless they expelled God’s Messenger from Madina.
Until now, the Muslims had refrained from any forms of retaliation against the Koraysh. This was not on account of them being faint hearted but that they awaited a Revelation that would give them permission to defend themselves. However, they didn't have to wait much longer as Allah sent down verses that permitted them to take up arms against the enemy.
Also, the Makkans quite regularly sent invading parties. In such circumstances, the Muslims were left no choice but to gain and consolidate control over that trade route in order to force the Quraysh and other tribes unfriendly to the Muslims to reconsider their hostile policy.
THE MECCAN CARAVAN:
When news that the Koraysh Chieftain, Abu Sufyan, and his Meccan caravan -- which included a member from each branch of the Koraysh tribe -- had set out on their return journey from Syria laden with merchandise, the Prophet , praise and peace be upon him, called the Muslims together and informed them of his intent to raid the caravan.
The raid would be in reprisal for not only their plundered possessions in Mecca but the more recent Koraysh attacks and raids on Muslim properties that lay on the outskirts of the City. The raid would also send the aggressors another message, which was, that for now on they were a force to be reckoned with when their rights were threatened. For no matter how good the policy of turning ones cheek in the case of an individual maybe, it spells suicide for the existence of a community.
Shortly after the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, had announced his intent, he sent Talha and Sa'id, the son of Zayd to reconnoiter the coastal caravan route near the village of Hawra -- a distance of approximately a hundred miles from Medina. At Hawra, Talha and Sa'id were met by the friendly chieftain of the Juhaynah who offered them his protection and concealed them in his house until Abu Sufyan's had caravan passed by.
CONSPIRACY OF THE ALLIED:
Despite their alliance, the hypocrites and leaders of those outside the fold of Islam conspired against the Prophet and sent word to Abu Sufyan alerting him of the impending raid. When the news reached him he was so alarmed that he hired Damdam, the son of Amr Al Ghifari to hasten on to Mecca to rally the support of the Koraysh with the message that they must join him immediately in defense of their property as he feared the raid to be imminent.
NEWS REACHES MECCA OF THE IMPENDING RAID:
Damdam did not spare his camel as he sped onto Mecca at a breakneck pace. In order to attract immediate attention, as soon as he reached the valley of Mecca, he mutilated his poor camel by slitting its ears and cutting off its nose, then, he turned his saddle backwards, tore his shirt and screamed the news at the top of his voice as he entered the City.
It wasn't long before the alarm had reached each sector of Mecca. The Meccans knew that the caravan was richly laden and that each of the Koraysh tribes had one of their own accompanying it. Immediately, Abu Jahl, one of the foremost persecutors of the Muslims, called the Koraysh chieftains, its warriors, and in fact all able men to prepare themselves and meet him in the precincts of Ka'ba. Utba, the son of Rab'ia was appointed as Commander in Chief, and the combined Koraysh army looked formidable; there were no less than 950 armed soldiers, 700 camels and 3 horses with more than adequate provisions
The tribe of Adi, however, decided not to partake in the impending battle and remained behind. Two other people also decided to do likewise, namely Abu Lahab and Umayya, the son of Khalaf.
Al-As was deeply in debt to Abu Lahab, for he owed him four thousand dirhams and could not find a way to repay it. With this in mind Abu Lahab called for Al-As and told him that if he took his place in the battle he would be prepared to void his debt. Al-As accepted and joined the others in their preparation for the battle.
As for Umayya, he was elderly and somewhat corpulent so he decided not to go. However, his honor was challenged by Ukba, the son of Abu Mu'ayt who marched up to him as he sat near the Ka'ba with a vessel of burning scented wood and insulted him saying: "Perfume yourself with this. You belong with the women!" Outraged. Umayyya got up saying "May Allah curse you and what you have brought!" and rode off to join the others who had already set off to fight the Prophet. In the meantime Abu Sufyan force marched his caravan by day and night along the coastal route hoping to avoid a confrontation.
It was with reluctance that the tribes of Hashim and Muttalib, who were closely related to the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, joined with the Koraysh. Talib took command of both tribes and Abbas and Hakim, Lady Khadijah's nephew, from the tribe of Asad accompanied them.
THE FIRST STAGE OF THE PROPHET'S MARCH:
Meanwhile in Medina, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, and his followers prepared themselves for the march. The Prophet decided it was in their best interests not to wait for the return of Sa'id and Talha and appointed two standard bearers, one from the Ansar and another from the Muhajir.
With the exception of eight Muslims, who for valid reasons remained in Medina, and the hypocrites, the Prophet together with the Muhajir and Ansar - whose number were but 305, set off in search of Abu Sufyan and the caravan on Saturday, 12th of Ramadan. Between them they had only seventy-two mounts -- 70 camels and 2 horses -- which they took turns to ride. Although the Prophet's army was small, poorly equipped and had less than adequate provision on account of their reduced circumstances, their spirits were high, trusting in Allah and His Prophet.
Among those that remained behind was Othman( ), husband of the Prophet's daughter Lady Rukiyah( ). Lady Rukiyah had been taken seriously ill and so the Prophet instructed him to remain at her side. In his absence the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, appointed Amru(ra), the son of Umm Macktum to act as the Imam of Medina, as the loyalty of the hypocrites and those outside the fold of Islam could not be relied upon.
THE YOUNG WARRIORS:
Shortly after the Muslims set out from Medina, the Prophet called his army to a halt in order that he might review them. He found that in their anxiousness to lend their support, several youngsters had joined their ranks. Although he was touched by their willingness to fight alongside him, he told them that they must return home as the battlefield was no place for boys so young.
Among those told to return was Umair the son of Abi Wakkas. He was so disappointed that he broke down and wept so deeply that the Prophet relented toward him and allowed him to accompany them. Umair was delighted, dried his tears and Sa'd(ra), his elder brother, hung a sword around his neck.
The Prophet gave the order to proceed and so they continued their march southwards and then turned towards the direction of Badr which lay further down the coast from Hawra. The Prophet's intention was to reach Badr before Abu Sufyan and intercept him there. In the meantime, the Prophet sent two of his allies from the Bedouin tribe of Juhaynah, who were familiar with the area, to search for the caravan and bring him news while they rested from the rigors of the march.
Just outside Badr lies a water well at the foot of a hill, and upon reaching it, the tribesmen of Juhaynah went down to fill their water bags and let their camels drink. At the well they found two girls drawing water and as they hauled the water one of the girls was overheard saying to the other: "The caravan will arrive either tomorrow or the next day, I will work for them and then I will be able to repay you the money I owe." It was the news the scouts had been hoping for. They wasted no time and rode in all haste back to the Prophet's camp, which was but a days' ride away, to tell him the news.
ABU SUFYAN AT THE WELL OF BADR:
Meanwhile, Abu Sufyan had ridden on in advance of the caravan, no doubt to make sure that it was safe for the caravan to proceed. There were other routes to Mecca but the one that passed through Badr was the quicker, and he wanted to reach Mecca as quickly as possible.
Abu Sufyan reached the well only a short time after the scouts had left and found a villager drawing water. Abu Sufyan inquired if he had seen any strangers recently, whereupon the villager told him that the only strangers he had seen were two men that had come over the hill and stopped to draw water.
When Abu Sufyan learned of the two men he left nothing to chance and glanced furtively around for some camel's dung. Medina, or Yathrib as the City had until recently been called, was famous for its plump dates and it was more than probable that if the camels were from Medina their dung would contain pieces of undigested date fiber and some date stones. He followed the tracks back up the hill, found a piece of dung and examined it quickly. As he broke the dung in half his adrenaline raced as his eyes fell upon some date stones and undigested dates, and cried out: "By Allah, it is the food of Yahrib!" His worst fear were confirmed so he returned immediately to the caravan camped further up the coast.
THE RETURN OF THE SCOUTS:
Later that day, the scouts of Juhaynah had returned to the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, and told him that the caravan's arrival was imminent in Badr. It was good news for they thought themselves to have the upper hand and would be able to overcome their enemy in a surprise attack.
THE RESOLVE OF THE MUHAJIR AND ANSAR:
The hopes of the Muslims were high but soon after news arrived that a large army of Koraysh had set out from Mecca to support Abu Sufyan. The Prophet's example was always a lesson for his followers so out of respect he called upon the Muhajir and Ansar and asked them for their opinion whether or not they should advance.
Abu Bakr and Omar represented the Muhajir and Omaracted as their spokesman. Omar told the Prophet that they were of one voice to advance. Then, one of the latest migrants, Mikad, from the tribe of Zuhrah got up and said: "O Messenger of Allah, do whatever Allah has directed. We will not be like the children of Israel who said to Moses: 'Go with your Lord and fight.' We will fight with you to the right, to the left, in front and at the rear." When the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, heard these words, his face shone knowing well the strength of the Muhajir's faith.
Then Sa'd, the son of Mu'adh of the Ansar stood up and said: "O Messenger of Allah, we believe you and we believe what you have brought to us, and we bear witness that what you have brought is the truth. We have given you our oath to hear and obey, do whatever you wish, we are with you. By Him who has sent you with the truth, if you ask us to cross the sea and travel to Abysinnia, we would do the same. We are not loathe to met our enemy tomorrow, we have fought before and are to be trusted in combat. Allah willing, our valor will refresh your eyes, so lead us with the blessing of Allah!"
There was great rejoicing, the Ansars and Muhajirs were united in their resolve, yet only a matter of a few years prior to this such unification of such diverse tribal backgrounds would have been unthinkable.
The Prophet, together with his small army of companionsmarched on towards Badr. Less than a day's march to Badr, the Prophet called for a halt and he and Abu Bakr rode on for a while until they came across an elderly Bedouin. Abu Bakr asked the Bedouin if he had any news, but the Bedouin was cunning an asked to which party they belonged; that of Muhammad or that of the Koraysh. Abu Bakr told the man that if he told him the whereabouts of each party he would tell him from whence they came.
The old Bedouin knew well the paths of the desert and told him that in his opinion, as Muhammad's party had left Yathrib on 12th of Ramadan, they should by now have reached such and such a place -- his estimation was correct -- and that the Koraysh should be very near the place in which they were standing. Then the man asked Abu Bakr where he and his companion were from, Abu Bakr could not afford to trust this wylie old man so he replied with a clever conundrum saying that he was from "Ma", which is Arabic for water, as man is comprised of water. The Bedouin was satisfied, he assumed that he referred to Iraq on account of its two rivers.
The Prophet and Abu Bakr returned to their camp and when night fell, he sent Ali,Zubair and Sa'd together with their companions to the well and told them to find out if anyone there had news of their enemies, or, if either force had drawn water from the well.
THE FIRST PRISONERS:
When they reached the well they found two men from Koraysh filling their containers with water and loading them onto the backs of their camels. One of the men was a slave belonging to the children of Al Hajjaj, the other was Arid Abu Yasar from the children of Al-As. With stealth, Ali(ra), Zubair(ra), Sa'd(ra) and the others overcame them and took them back to the Prophet as prisoners.
Upon their return to the camp they found the Prophet occupied in his prayer and as they waited for him a crowd gathered and started to question the prisoners. The prisoners told them that they were only Koraysh water-men, whereupon their inquisitors started to beat them hoping that they had lied and were from the caravan. It became clear to the water-men that their captors wanted to hear them say that they were Abu Sufyan's men so they retracted their first claim and told them what they wanted to hear.
After the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, concluded his prayer, he told them that they should not have treated their prisoners in such a way and informed them that the prisoners were from the Koraysh and not from Abu Sufyan's caravan.
When the Prophet asked the prisoners where the Koraysh were camped, they told him, without coercion, pointing to the hill of Akankal and told him that their camp lay on its slopes on the other side. He asked the size of the army, but the men were unable to estimate their number but said there were many. So the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, asked how many camels were slaughtered each day to feed them and was told nine or ten. From this the Prophet deduced that their numbers must be within the range of nine hundred to a thousand. Then, he asked the prisoners for the names of their leaders and learned that the brothers Utba and Shayba were amongst them, together with Abu Jahl, Hakim, Nufail, Al Harith, the son of Amir, Tu'mayma, Al Nadr, Zama'a, Umayya, Nabi, Munabbih, Suhayl, and Amr, the son of Abdu Wudd. When the Prophet learned of this he turned to his followers and said: "Mecca has thrown to you the piece of its liver!" From this they understood that they would fight against their chief enemies.
A FEELING OF SAFETY:
When Abu Sufyan discovered the date stones in the camel's dung he decided to take the longer route to Mecca feeling sure that in doing so the caravan would escape the attack. Feeling a sense of security he sent word to his fellow Koraysh chieftains saying: "You came out to save your caravan, your tribesmen and your merchandise, but Allah has delivered us, therefore return." When Abu Jahl heard these words he exclaimed: "By Allah, we will not return until we have been to Badr! There, we will spend three days feasting, slaughtering camels, drinking wine and the girls will entertain us. When the tribes of Arabia hear of us they will henceforth hold us high in their esteem!"
TALIB, AL AKHNAS AND THE TRIBE OF ZUHRA:
When Al Aknas, the son of Sharik, an ally of the tribe of Zuhra learned of Abu Jahl's intent, he said to his allies: "Allah has saved you, your property and your tribesmen. Makhrama, son of Nufail, the only reason for your presence here was to protect them, should you be charged with cowardice, let the blame rest of me. There is no point going to war with this man without profit as Abu Jahl would have us do." The tribe of Zuhra heeded Al Akhnas' words an together they returned to Mecca.
Talib, the son of Abu Talib, an uncle of the Prophet, had reluctantly ridden out with the Koraysh hating the thought of fighting against his nephew so he supplicated saying: "O Allah, it is not my desire to join the Koraysh in war, but if it is to be, let me be plundered and not the plunderer, and be the vanquished, not the victor." There were several others of the Koraysh who felt the same as Talib so they went to him and together they returned to Mecca.
THE WELLS OF YALYAL:
The Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, ordered his followers to break camp and march on to the well near Badr before their enemy had chance to reach it. As they started to march rain began to fall and they gave thanks to Allah for it contains both His blessing and purification.
When they reached the soft sands of Yalyal they found that the rain had made it firm and so they crossed the valley with unexpected ease. The rain helped the Muslims, however, it was a hindrance to the Koraysh army for they had to climb the hill of Akankal that lay on the opposite side of the valley from Badr.
When the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, reached one of the many wells in the area he called for a halt. Hubab(ra), the son of Al Mundhir, an Ansar, approached and asked: "O Messenger of Allah, is this the place that Allah has made known to you from which we should neither advance nor retreat, or, is it a matter of opinion; a strategy of war?" The Prophet replied that it was just a matter of opinion, whereupon Hubab(ra) told him it was in his opinion not the best place to establish themselves. Hubab(ra) advised the Prophet that it would be better to march on to one of the larger wells, closer to the Koraysh, and that once they had situated themselves, to send scouts out to locate the remaining wells and plug them so that the Koraysh would be deprived of water. He also advised the Prophet that they should dig a reservoir to contain water from their well. It was sound advise and the Prophet approved the plan, and so when they reached a larger well no time was wasted in implementing Hubab's(ra) plan.
Sa'd(ra), the son of Mu'adh was concerned for the Prophet's safety so he went to him saying: "O Messenger of Allah, let us erect a shelter for you and keep your camels in readiness next to it. If Allah gives us strength when we meet the enemy we will be victorious, but if it is not written, you can ride back to Medina and join those we left behind, for they love you as much as we do and would not have remained behind if they had known that there was going to be a battle. Allah will protect you and they will council you well and fight at your side. The Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, thanked him for his thoughtfulness, praised him and supplicated for blessing upon Sa'd, and a shelter was built from palm branches.
HOURS BEFORE THE BATTLE:
It was the night of Friday, 17th of Ramadan and as the believers settled themselves for the night, Allah in His Mercy, sent down upon them a blessed, peaceful sleep. The next morning when they awoke to offer their prayers they felt totally refreshed and prepared to meet their enemy.
Meanwhile, in the other camp, the Koraysh army with their 950 well equipped men stirred and made their way with their camels to the top of the hill of Akankal.
By the time the Koraysh reached the top of the hill the sun had already risen and they were visible to the Prophet. Upon seeing the army, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, supplicated saying: "O Allah, the Koraysh are here. In arrogance they come, opposing You and belying Your Messenger. O Lord, give to us Your help which You have promised. O Lord, destroy them this day."
Not long after, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, chanced to see Utba, the son of Rab'ia riding a red camel and said to his companions: "If there is any good with any one of them, it will be with this man riding the red camel. If they obey him they will take the right path."
The Koraysh also had sight of the believers and were surprised to find that they were so few, and thought perhaps there might be another force concealed somewhere to the rear.
When they reached the valley, the Koraysh struck camp and sent Umair on horseback to estimate their numbers and see if there were any concealed reinforcements. When Umair returned he proclaimed: "Men of Koraysh, I have seen camels carrying death. These men have neither defense nor refuge. They have only their swords, yet, I do not think that any of them will be slain unless he has first slain one of us. Even if each party were to slay the other, one for one, what good will be left in our lives, what will you do?"
Upon hearing Umair, Hakim, from the tribe of Asad, nephew of Lady Khadijah went straight to Utba, father of Waleed with the men of Abdu Shams. Utba had consented to join the Koraysh against the believers on account of his dead kinsmen, the brother of Amir Al Hadrami, killed at Nakhlah during the Sacred month. When Hakim found Utba he tried to persuade him not to take part in the battle saying: "You are the greatest man, the lord of the Koraysh, and one who is obeyed. Would you like men to remember you with praise for all time?" Utba asked: "How could this be?" "Lead your men back, the Koraysh demand from Muhammad nothing more than blood for the blood of Hadrami who was your ally," replied Hakim.
Hakim's words appealed to Utba, he agreed and urged him to speak with Abu Jahl who had for many years opposed the Prophet and was the most anxious among them to wage war against him.
Utba gathered his men together and said: "Men of Koraysh, you will gain nothing by fighting Muhammad and his companions. If you defeat them, each man among you will for as long as he lives look dispisingly at an another who has slain either his uncle, a cousin or kinsmen. Therefore, turn away and leave Muhammad to the rest of the Arabs, If they kill him, you have your desire. On the other hand, if they do not, you will have shown self-restraint towards him."
When Hakim reached Abu Jahl he found him oiling his coat of mail and conveyed the message. Abu Jahl was infuriated, he had long awaited this encounter and addressed his army saying: "By Allah, we will not turn back until it is decided between us and Muhammad." Then in front of the army he called Utba a coward, afraid of death for himself and his son Abu Hudhayfah who was a Muslim.
To add fuel to the fire, Abu Jahl called upon Amir, the brother of the slain Amr and challenged him not to let this opportunity to avenge his brother's death slip from him. Emotions ran high and Amir in a state of great distress tore his clothes as he screamed: "Woe for Amr, woe for Amr," which incited the army to fight. Utba's words had fallen on deaf ears, nothing would stop them. When he learned that Abu Jahl had accused him of cowardice his pride was sorely challenged, so he abandoned his attempt and searched for a helmet, however, he was unable to find one large enough, so he wound a piece of cloth around his head to protect him -- the final preparations for battle were now under way.
Abdullah(ra), the son of Ummaya, was a Muslim, however his father, the chief of the tribe of Jummah, torturer of Bilal(ra), had brought pressure to bear upon his son that prevented him from joining the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, and his brothers-in-law Abu Sabrah and Abu Hudhayfah in Medina. Ummaya had forced his son to join him the march against the Prophet, however, the opportunity to escape to the Prophet was just about to present itself as his father, and every other soldier were busy with their preparations for the battle. Unnoticed, Abdullah(ra) managed to slip away and made his way to the Prophet's camp and as he greeted the Prophet immense joy was evident upon both their faces.
Sometime after the Koraysh had established themselves at the foot of the hill, several of their men dared to make their way to the reservoir of the believers, and drink from it. When the believers saw this they drew the matter to the attention of the Prophet who told them to let them take their fill. With the exception of Hakim, Lady Khadijah's(ra) nephew, all that drank its water were killed later on that day.
THE BATTLE OF BADR:
As the Koraysh began to advance, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, called his companions to form their ranks, exalted Allah and spoke to them with words of encouragement and certainty. Their lines were now as straight as arrows with one exception, one of the Ansar, Sawad(ra), stood slightly more forward than the rest, so the Prophet went up to him and gently prodded his midriff with an arrow. Sawad(ra) seized upon the opportunity and said: "O Messenger of Allah, you have hurt me. Allah has sent you with the truth and justice, so give me my rights." Upon this the Prophet uncovered his midriff and Sawad(ra) bent down and kissed it. The Prophet asked him what prompted him to do this, whereupon Sawad(ra) said: "O Messenger of Allah, things are as you see, and if it is written, it is my wish that my last moments should be spent with you -- that my skin has touched yours." Upon hearing these moving remarks, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, supplicated to Allah asking for blessings upon him.
Not long after, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, withdrew to his shelter with Abu Bakr(ra) and prayed to Allah for His help. After his supplication, a brief slumber overtook him and upon waking he said to Abu Bakr: "Be well pleased, Allah has sent His help to you. Gabriel is here and in his hand is the rein of a horse which he leads, and he is armed for the battle!"
The Koraysh army had drawn nearer and Allah in His mercy made their numbers appear considerably smaller than they were to the believers; now they were but a short distance from the reservoir.
Referring to their numbers Allah says in the Qur’an:
"Indeed, there was a sign for you in the two armies
which met on the battlefield.
One was fighting in the way of Allah,
They (the believers) saw with their eyes
that they were twice their own number.
But Allah strengthens with His aid whom He will.
Surely, in that there was a lesson for those possessed of eyes."
Chapter 3 verse 13
"And when Allah made them appear to you
in a vision as a small band.
Had He shown them to you as a great army,
your courage would have failed you
and you would have quarreled over the affair.
But Allah saved;
He knows the thoughts in the chests.
And when you met them,
He made each appear to the other few in number,
that He might accomplish what He had ordained.
To Allah shall all things return.
Believers, when you meet their army
stand firm and pray fervently to Allah,
in order that you triumph.
Obey Allah and His Messenger
and do not dispute with one another,
lest you lose courage and your resolve weaken.
Have patience - Allah is with those who are patient.
Do not be like those who left their homes
elated with insolence and showing off to people.
They debar others from the Path of Allah -
but Allah has knowledge of all their actions.
And when satan made their foul deeds
seem fair to them, he said:
'No man shall conquer you this day.
I shall be your protector.
But when the two armies came within sight of each other
he took to his heels saying:
'I reject you, for I can see what you cannot.
I fear Allah. His punishment is stern.'
Chapter 8 verses 43 - 48
Al Aswad, the son of Abdul Asad from the tribe of Mackzum, known for his disagreeable personality, was the first to initiate hostilities as he cried out in defiance: "I will drink from their reservoir, destroy it or else die before reaching it!" Hamza(ra), the son of Abdul Muttalib took up the challenge and as the two engaged in combat Hamza(ra) struck him with such force that his foot and shin were severed. Al Aswad was determined to fulfill his oath and crawled toward this reservoir, however, Hamza struck him yet again and he died as he fell into it.
Utba, the son of Rab'ia accompanied by his brother Shayba and his son Al Walid were the next to challenge and cried out for one-to-one combat. From the Ansar, three men stepped forward, they were the brothers Auf(ra), Mu'awwidh(ra), the sons of Harith and another, most probably Abdullah(ra), the son of Rawaha. Utba asked who they were, and they replied: "We are from the Ansar!" whereupon Utba cried out: "Our affair is not with you, we know that you are equal to us in lineage but we wish to fight those of similar standing from our own tribe!" At that moment someone from the Koraysh called out: "Muhammad, send out against us our equals from our own tribe!"
The Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, called upon Ubayda(ra), the son of Harith, Hamza(ra) and Ali(ra) to go forth to meet their enemies. As they approached, the Koraysh asked them to identify themselves. After their identification had been made known to them the Koraysh accepted to fight them.
Ubayda(ra) fought Utba, Hamza(ra) fought Shayba, and Ali(ra) fought Al Walid. The combat between Ali(ra) and Al Walid, Hamza(ra) and Shayba was over quickly -- both Ali and Hamza slew their enemies. Ubayda and Utba had struck each other twice and had now Ubayda had fallen. When Hamza(ra) and Ali(ra) saw what had happened to their companion they turned upon Utba whereupon he did not live to see the evening. Gently, Hamza(ra) and Ali(ra) carried Ubayda(ra) to the Prophet. His leg had been severed and he had already lost a tremendous amount of blood. When he saw the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, he looked up at him and asked: "O Messenger of Allah, am I to be a martyr?" "Indeed you are," replied the Prophet, and Ubayda(ra) was happy. Then in his weakened state Ubayda(ra) said: "If Abu Talib was alive he would know that his words: "We will not give him up until we lie dead around him, not thinking of our women and children,' have been fulfilled in me."
Before the armies advanced on each other, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, ordered his companions not to attack until he gave the word, and in the event that they might find themselves surrounded by the enemy they were to keep them at bay by showering arrows above their heads. He also told them that among the Koraysh were those that had been forced to take up arms against them and if they happened to encounter any of them they must not kill them. They were the Prophet's uncle Abbas(ra), the children of Hashim and Abdul Bakthtari. Abdul Bakhtari had supported the Prophet on several occasions and was one of those responsible for ending the boycott against the Muslims in Mecca. He had also sided with Hakim over the matter of Lady Khadijah's(ra) flour when he struck Abu Jahl forcefully with the jaw of a camel in the fight that ensued.
Meanwhile, the adrenaline coursed quickly through the veins of the Koraysh and in their anxiousness to get on with the battle two arrows were fired. The first struck Mihja(ra), the freeman of Omar(ra) who became the next believer to be martyred, then the second arrow flew through the air and pierced the neck of Haritha(ra), the son of Suraka and grandson of Al Najjar as he drank from the reservoir.
As the battle was about to commence, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, picked up a handful of small pebbles and said looking at the Koraysh: "May their faces be defaced," then he threw the pebbles towards them and ordered his companions saying: "Now stand up and proceed towards Paradise, its width is that of the heavens and the earth."
When Umair(ra), the son of Hamam, heard his he inquired: "O Messenger of Allah, is the width of Paradise that of the heavens and the earth?" "Yes," he answered. Umair(ra) exclaimed: "Well, well!" whereupon the Prophet asked: "What has prompted you to say: 'well, well'" Umair answered: "O Messenger of Allah, by Allah, I uttered these words to express the hope that I might become an inhabitant of Paradise." Whereupon the Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, informed him: "You are indeed one of its inhabitants."
With happiness in his heart he took some dates from his quiver and began to eat, then paused saying: "If I were to survive until I finished eating these dates, that would indeed be a long interval!" So he threw down the remaining dates, rushed into battle and fought with great courage until he was martyred.
The Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, inspired his companions saying: "By Allah, in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, there is no man slain this day; fighting against them with unwavering courage -- advancing and not retreating -- that Allah will not cause to enter Paradise." The promise of Paradise was the best reward they could ever hope for and the intensity of the battle increased.
As Ukkashah, from the tribe of Jahsh, fought valiantly against the unbelievers, his sword broke so he returned to the Prophet and requested another weapon. Instead of a sword, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, gave him a wooden club. As Ukkashah(ra) took hold of it a miracle occurred, the club was transformed into a strong, long, shinning sword and he threw himself once again into the heat of the battle. From that time onwards, Ukkashah(ra) used the sword in every battle and called it "Al Awn", meaning "the Help".
THE REWARD OF ABU JAHL, ABU'L HAKAM:
The Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, ordered his companions to be on the lookout for Abu Jahl. Mu'az, the son of Amr overheard one of the others saying that Abu Jahl had been seen somewhere in a thicket, but that he was difficult to reach. Mu'az was not deterred and began to search for him. Shortly afterwards he found him and they engaged each other in fierce combat until Mu'az struck him with such force that Abu Jahl's foot and shin were sliced off and flew through the air as if they had been date stones struck by a pestle. When Ikrima, Abu Jahl's son saw what had happened to his father he turned upon Mu'az and yielded him such a blow that his hand was almost completely severed and hung by a limp piece of flesh whereupon Mu'az continued to fight with his other hand. When the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him saw the condition of Mu'az's hand he blew some of his salvia upon it whereupon his hand was restored to its former self. Mu'az returned to the battlefield and died many years later during the caliphate of Othman.
Sometime later, Mu'awwidh, the son of Afra discovered Abu Jahl laying in the thicket and noticed that he was still alive, so he struck him leaving him for dead. Mu'awwidh continued to fight against the Koraysh and was among those martyred that day.
The ferocity of the battle continued for most of the day, then Allah in His Mercy caused the small army of believers to be victorious. After it was all over, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, ordered his companions to search for the body of Abu Jahl, telling them that he had a scar just above his knee that would identify him.
Abdullah(ra), the son of Masood found him in the throes of death and put his foot upon his neck and said: "Allah has put you to shame, you are the enemy of Allah!" Arrogant to the bitter end, Abu Jahl replied: "How has He shamed me, am I anything other than just a man you are about to kill. How did the battle go?" Abdullah(ra) told him that it had been in favor of Allah and His Messenger then slew him.
MIRACLES DURING THE BATTLE:
Throughout the battle continuous winds had blown against the unbelievers -- Allah had answered the supplication of the Prophet, his companions had not been left alone to fight the battle.
"And when you prayed to your Lord for help,
'I am sending you aid,
a thousand angels in succession.'"
Chapter 8 verse 9
Directly after the battle had been won, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, received another Revelation that informed:
"It was not you, but Allah, who slew them.
It was not you who threw at them,
Allah threw at them
so that He might richly reward the believers.
He is Hearing, Knowing."
Chapter 8 verse 17
Miraculous events occurred continuously throughout the battle. Many were the times when the believers in pursuit of their enemy found that the heads of their enemy would fly off before they had chance to strike them.
Some of the companions were blessed to witness the angels fighting fiercely alongside them and reported that the hooves of the horses they rode never touched the ground.
As the believers searched for their martyred companions among the dead they noticed unusual burn marks on the necks and joints of the slain unbelievers. When they mentioned this to the Prophet, he told his companions that when Allah commanded the angels to slay the unbelievers they did not know how to kill human beings so they asked Him how they should be slain. Allah told them to smite the unbelievers with their swords upon their necks and joints and so the burn marks of which they spoke were the marks left by the swords of the angels.
Later, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, spoke of the winds that had accompanied them, telling his companions that the first had been brought by Angel Gabriel(as) together with a thousand angels. The second by Angel Mik'ail(as) and a thousand angels on his right flank. The third by Angel Israfil(as) and a thousand angels on his left flank and that the angels had fought alongside the believers wearing turbans of white with a piece that hung down from the back. He also spoke of their mounts and told his companions that the angels rode piebald horses. This was the only battle in which the angels took part.
THE CLOUD OF ANGELS:
A non-combatant from the tribe of Ghifar later told ibn Abbas that during the battle he and his cousin had positioned themselves at the top of the hill overlooking the battle field with the intention of looting once the battle was over. As they looked down upon the battle, a white cloud approached the hill, and in it they heard the whinnying of horses and a voice saying: 'Onwards, Hayzum!" As for the man's cousin, it was too much for him and his head burst open and he died. The narrator himself, told ibn Abbas that he too almost die from absolute terror.
Fourteen believers were martyred that day; six from the Muhajir and eight from the Ansar. Among their ranks was Umair(ra), the young brother of Sa'd(ra) who pleaded with the Prophet to let him accompany them.
Fourteen Sahaba (Companions) were martyred in the Battle of Badr. Their names are shown below. Al-Fatiha!
Harithah ibn Suraqa ash-Shahid al-Khazraji, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Dhu'sh-shimilayn ibn 'Abd 'Amr ash-Shahid al-Muhajiri, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Rafi' ibn al-Mu'alli ash-Shahid al-Khazraji, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Sa'd ibn Khaythama ash-Shahid al-Awsi, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Safwan ibn Wahb ash-Shahid al-Muhajiri, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Aqil ibn al-Bukayr ash-Shahid al-Muhajiri, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Ubaydah ibn al-Harith ash-Shahid al-Muhajiri, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Umayr ibn al-Humam ash-Shahid al-Khazraji, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Umayr ibn Abi Waqqas ash-Shahid al-Muhajiri, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Awf ibn al-Harith ash-Shahid al-Khazraji, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Mubash-shir ibn 'Abdu'l Mundhir ash-Shahid al-Awsi, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Mu'awwidh ibn al-Harith ash-Shahid al-Khazraji, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Mihja' ibn Salih ash-Shahid al-Muhajiri, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
Yazid ibn al-Harith ibn Fushum ash-Shahid al-Khazraji, Rady Allahu 'Anhu
When the time came to bury the martyrs, the Prophet ordered that their bodies should not receive the customary washing because on the Day of Resurrection the would be revived with their wounds exuding with the perfume of musk.
THE DEAD OF THE UNBELIEVERS:
As for the Koraysh, seventy unbelievers were slain, many of whom were their chieftains. The unbelievers were buried together in a pit, as the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, name each and every one of them together with their lineage. After their burial the Prophet spoke to them asking if they had found what Allah had promised them to be true, for indeed he knew the promise of Allah to be true. When Omar heard the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, speaking to the dead, he asked if the dead could hear, whereupon the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, replied that they could hear just as well as he but they were prevented from replying.
Seventy unbelievers were taken captive for whom their tribesmen were to pay a ransom of between three or four thousand dirhams. As for those unable to pay the ransom, they were mercifully released by the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, without payment.
THE REVENGE OF BILAL AND THE PERSECUTED:
Amongst those taken prisoner was Ummaya, the notorious persecutor of impoverished, underprivileged Muslims. Before Islam his captor, Abdu Amr, who had since become a Muslim and taken the name Abdul Rahman, had been Ummaya's friend. However, Ummaya refused to call him by is new name, instead he would call him Abdulillah, which Abdul Rahman(ra) accepted.
After the battle, whilst Abdul Rahman(ra) gathered the enemy's armor as spoils of war, Abdul Rahman(ra) saw Ummaya standing holding his son's hand and heard him call out: "Abdu Amr", but he ignored him until he addressed him as Abdulillah when he said: "Won't you take me prisoner, I am more valuable than those coats of mail!" Abdul Rahman(ra) answered: "By Allah, I will," and threw down the coats of mail he had gathered.
Abdul Rahman(ra) took them by the hand and led them to his camp. As they walked, Ummaya asked the name of the person that had worn an ostrich feather on his chest. Abdul Rahman(ra) replied that it was Hamza(ra), whereupon Ummaya commented that it was he who had harmed the Koraysh most.
Bilal(ra), who had been tortured so very harshly by Ummaya happened to catch sight of Abdul Rahman(ra) leading his prisoners to the camp and cried out: "It is the great unbeliever, Ummaya, the son of Khalaf, may I not live as long as he lives!" Abdul Rahman(ra) said: "They are my prisoners," but Bilal(ra) continued to cry out: "O helpers of Allah, the great unbeliever Ummaya, the son of Khalaf, may I not live as long as he lives!" It wasn't long before the believers gathered and encircled Abdul Rahman(ra), Ummaya and Ali, then one of them stepped forward and cut off Ali's foot and Ummaya screamed with all his might. Abdul Rahman(ra) told him that there was nothing he could do for him and the crowd killed the infamous torturer and his son.
TREATMENT OF PRISONERS:
The Prophet gave orders that although the prisoners were to be bound they must be well treated and fed with the same food as their captors.
Amongst the captives was Abu Aziz, the brother of Mus'ab(ra). When Mus'ab saw that his brother had been taken captive by an Ansar he advised him saying: "Bind him well, his mother is rich and she might be prepared to pay a handsome ransom for him!" When Abu Aziz heard his brother's remark he said: "Brother, is this the way you speak of me to others?" Mus'ab(ra) replied: "He is my brother in your place." However, much to Abu Aziz's surprise the Ansar treated him well and would commend his captors' fair treatment of him in the years to come.
Mus'abs(ra) assumption proved to be correct. Later, when his mother learned of her son's capture she offered a handsome ransom of no less than 4,000 dirhams for his release.
Amongst the other prisoners were several members of the Prophet's own family. There was Suhayl, the chief of Amir, cousin and former brother-in-law of Lady Swadah(ra), the Prophet's wife. The Prophet's uncle, Abbas, had also been taken captive, however, he inclined greatly to Islam but had not as yet made it known as many of the Koraysh owed him large sums of money and he feared they might not repay him if they suspected his inclination. Abdul As, the estranged husband of the Prophet's daughter, Lady Zaynab(ra), and his two cousins Nufail and Akil who were also the nephews of Abbas were also taken captive.
As the darkness of night fell the companions settled themselves down to sleep, however, the Prophet was unable to rest, the thought of his uncle being bound bothered him so he sent word for him to be untied.
The companions had also succeeded in taking two of their most hostile enemies -- Nadr, from the tribe of Abd Ad-Dar and Ukba, from the tribe of Shams captive. The Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, contemplated on whether to let them live or not, for he knew that if they were to remain alive they would no doubt continued their hostilities towards him and his followers. However, there was a chance that the events of the battle had changed their hearts and caused them to reflect and convert to Islam. With this in mind, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, decided to observe their attitude and actions over the coming days and then take whatever action was necessary. Meanwhile, the Prophet sent Zayd(ra) and Abdullah(ra) on in advance to Medina with the great news of their victory.
Three days before reaching Medina, the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, halted the caravan and divided the prisoners and spoils of war between his followers; each companion received an equal share.
NEWS OF THE VICTORY:
When Zayd(ra) and Abdullah(ra) reached Medina the news of the Prophet's victory spread like wild-fire throughout the City and there was great thanksgiving and rejoicing among the Muslims. However, the hypocrites, idolaters and Jews of the tribes of Nadir, Krayzah and Kaynuka were greatly dismayed. All had hoped for the destruction of the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, and his companions so that their way of life would return once more to how it had been before his arrival in Medina.
Ka'b, the son of Ashraf had been born of a Jewish mother and an idolatrous Arab from the tribe of Tayy. On account of his mother being a Jewess, the Jews accepted him as one of their own into the tribe of Nadir. Ka'b was wealthy and known as a poet -- a status much sought after in Arabia -- and over the years he had become an influential tribesman of the Nadir. When he first heard the news of the Koraysh defeat and that so very many of its chieftains had been slain, his tongue instantly revealed his innermost thoughts as he exclaimed: "By Allah, if Muhammad has slain these, can the bowels of the earth be better than its surface!" Anxiously, Ka'b sought further news to ascertain whether or not the report he had first received was correct. Much to his dismay everyone he asked confirmed the first report so he set out for Mecca to incite the Koraysh to rise up once more and avenge themselves by fighting the Prophet in Yathrib. To add fuel to the fire he composed a poem in honor of the lamented Koraysh chieftains and tribesmen which he knew would interact upon their emotions.
THE DEATH OF LADY RUKIYAH:
Although it was a time for great elation, it was also a time for sorrow. Shortly before the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, had left Medina, his daughter Lady Rukiyah(ra) had been taken seriously ill. Her illness was so distressful that the Prophet had instructed her husband, Othman(ra), to stay at her side and not to accompany him. Lady Rukiyah's(ra) illness proved terminal and on the same day Zayd(ra) and Abdullah(ra) brought news of the glorious victory, Othman(ra) and Osama(ra) buried Lady Rukiyah(ra), may Allah be pleased with her.
Zayd(ra) made his way to Afra's(ra) home to break the news that her two sons Awf(ra) and Mu'awwidh(ra) had fought valiantly and that both had been martyred. It was indeed a great loss for Afra(ra), but deep down she knew that her sons had been honored with the death of martyrs.
From Afra's(ra) house Zayd(ra) visited Haritha's(ra) mother and told her how her son had been one of the first to be mortally wounded at the onset of the battle. A few days after the Prophet's return to Medina, Afra(ra) went to him and asked: "O Messenger of Allah, tell me about Haritha(ra). If he is in Paradise I can endure it with patience but if not I shall weep." The Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, consoled her saying: "O Mother of Haritha, there are many ranks in Paradise, and your son has achieved the highest garden - Firdous Al A'la."
This was the first battle in Islam, there had been many provocations before this time, but the Prophet and his companions(ra) waited patiently for the permission of Allah to take up arms against the unbelievers.
Stories reach ibn Marzook that people who visited or passed the burial place of those martyred(ra) at Badr heard the beat of unseen drums, similar to grandeur of those that accompanied monarchs. Ibn Marzook was unsure if the stories were a reality, however, one year when he went on pilgrimage he passed by the burial place and heard for himself the beating of drums. This was not the only time he was to hear the drums, for he passed that way several times after that and each time he heard the beating drums.