The Mission of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) started in the early 7th century, when Allah (SWT) selected Muhammad (pbuh) as his Last Messenger. When the Holy Prophet (PBUH) announced about the first Quranic Revelation and that He is the Final Apostle of the Almighty Lord, the Qureyshi idolaters and polytheists denied Him. They became worst enemies of whoever accepted Islam and tortured them both physically and mentally. This eventually led to mass emigration of Muslims from Makkah to Madina with the permission of God, the Exalted. In the year 622 CE, the Prophet (PBUH) and approximately one hundred of his followers fled violent persecution in Mecca and settled in the city of Yathrib (Medina) situated to the north. This pivotal event in Islamic history is known as the hijra, or “migration,” and it marks the start of year one in the Islamic calendar. The Muslims, group by group, fled Mecca hastily to undertake the arduous journey through the harsh Arabian desert to Medina. They took with them only what they could carry on their backs and those of their camels or horses, and left their homes behind. Mecca was a merchant city that benefited from the existence of a major religious shrine, the Ka’aba. It was not an agricultural settlement. In fact, it had insufficient water supplies (only the well of Zamzam) to sustain farming. Medina, however, was just the opposite. It was an oasis settlement with a thriving agricultural industry (e.g., date palm trees) and a diverse tribal population that included a substantial number of Jews. The Muslim migrants from Mecca, known as the Muhajirun, arrived at Medina without homes, jobs, or the skills to work in its main industry, agriculture. But there was still one traditional method of revenue left open to the migrants-ghazi raids. The Muslims were within the traditional cultural norms of Arabia by launching raids against pagan caravans for booty. Furthermore, when the Muslims left Mecca, they left behind any goods that they were unable to carry. Those goods were confiscated by the pagans, and some of those goods were sent off on the seasonal trade caravans to Syria and other markets. The Muhajireen (emigrants of Makkah) left most of their belongings behind them, which were eventually taken by the Qureyshi disbelievers. In the second year of Hijrah (Migration), in 623 A.D, Muslims came to know of Qureyshi caravan coming back from Syria to Makkah. So, they thought of avenging their losses of possessions in Makkah by raiding that convoy lead by Abu Sufyan. While going to Syria Abu Sufyan had realized that the Prophet was pursuing his caravan. He was, therefore, careful at the time of his return and enquired from other caravans whether Muhammad (PBUH) had occupied the trade routes. It was reported to him that the Prophet (PBUH) had left Madina along with his companions and might be pursuing the caravan of Quraysh. Abu Sufyan refrained from proceeding further. He did not see any alternative except to inform Quraysh about the impending danger to the caravan. He, therefore, hired a swift camel-driver named Zamzam bin ‘Amr Ghafari and gave him the following instructions: “Go to Makkah and inform the valiant men of Quraysh and the owners of the merchandise to come out of Makkah to guard the caravan against the attack of the Muslims”. Zamzam hastened to Makkah. As ordered by Abu Sufyan he cut off the ears of his camel, pierced its nose and turned its saddle upside down and tore his shirt from the front as well as from the back side. He then stood up on his camel and cried: “O people! The camels which are carrying musk are in danger. Muhammad and his friends intend confiscating the merchandise. I am doubtful whether it will reach your hands. Help! Help!” The pitiable condition of the camel from whose ears and nose blood was trickling and the impression which Zamzam created by his continuous wailings and cries for help roused the Makkans and all their brave men and warriors got ready to go, with the exception of Abu Lahab, who did not participate in this battle, and hired As bin Hisham for four thousand dirhams to go and fight on his behalf. One of the chiefs of Quraysh, Umayyah bin Khalaf, for some reasons, to participate in this battle and had been told that Muhammad (PBUH) had said: “Umayyah shall be killed at the hands of Muslims”. The leaders of the community felt that the absence of such an important person would certainly be harmful for their cause. While Umayyah was sitting in Masjidul Haram with some other persons, two men, who had volunteered to fight against Muhammad, came and placed a tray and a collyruim-box before him and said: “O Umayyah! Now that you have declined to defend your land, wealth and trade, and have chosen to lead a secluded life like women instead of fighting on the war front, it is only proper that you should apply collyrium to your eyes like women and your name should be struck off the list of brave men”. This taunt had such a great effect on Umayyah that he immediately collected the provisions for his journey and proceeded along with Quraysh to safeguard the caravan. The Apostle (PBUH) of Allah had no plan of going into battle, but when He came to know about arrival of thousands of armed disbelievers for purpose of demolishing Muslims, they eventually had to go into first battle between them and the infidels. The forces of truth and falsehood faced each other for the first time in the Valley of Badr. The number of the army of truth did not exceed 313 whereas the army of falsehood was three times as big as that. The Muslims were not properly equipped. This clash is known as Ghazwa (battle in which the Prophet (pbuh) took part in Himself) Badr, which occurred on 17th of Ramadan and was won by Muslims who were 313 in number only, against the mighty army of above 1000 Makkan disbelievers. The account of the happenings during this heroic clash of Madinans (Believers) with the Makkans (Non Believers) is described as (a) Preparation For The Decisive Encounter: When the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) came to know about the powerful preparation of the disbelievers against Muslims, He had no choice but to arrange a strong group of believers to fight against them. It was a great testing time for the faith of the disciples of Islam. The Ansaar (Natives of Madina) also had to make a decision whether to take part in this combat or not, as the Pact of Brotherhood between them and Muhajireen did not include fighting enemies outside the boundaries of Madina. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stood up and said: “What is your view in the matter? ” Abu Bakr (r.a) stood up first and said: “The chiefs and warlike men of Quraysh have joined this army. Quraysh have not at all expressed faith in a religion and have not fallen from the zenith of glory to the abyss of degradation. Furthermore, we have not come out of Madina fully prepared”. (He meant to say that it was not appropriate to fight, and they should return to Madina). The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Sit down”. Then Umar (r.a) rose and repeated what Abu Bakr had said. The Prophet (PBUH) asked him also to sit down. Thereafter Miqdad stood up and said: “O Prophet of Allah! Our hearts are with you and you should act according to the orders given to you by Allah. By Allah! We shall not tell you what Bani Israel told Musa. When Musa (A.S) asked them to perform jihad they said to him: ‘O Musa! You and your Lord should go and perform jihad and we shall sit here’. We, however, tell you quite the reverse of it and say: Perform jihad under the auspices of the blessings of Allah and we are also with you and shall fight”. The Prophet (PBUH) was very much pleased to hear Miqdad’s words and prayed for him. Rasulullah (PBUH was ecstatic at this great sight of Muslim unity and standing firm against the enemies of Allah. In the end, a small defense force of 313 Muslims; most of them were unarmed and had only 70 camels and two horses, was ready to face the disbelievers.(b) Acceptance Of The Prophet`s (PBUH) Entreaty: The idolaters of Makkah, under the command of Abu Jahl marched towards Madina. When Muslims came to know about it, they also moved out of the city and stationed at the wells of Badr near a sea between the two cities, where both armies collided in the end. Before the start of battle, the Holy Prophet (PBUH ) prayed to the Almighty Lord that this small amount of Muslims may not be destroyed, for there would be no one else left to take His Name till the Day of Judgment on the surface of the earth. Allah SWT accepted request of His Messenger, and later said in the Holy Quran: “[Remember] when you asked help of your Lord, and He answered you, “Indeed, I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, following one another. [Quran, 8: 9] The above mentioned Ayah clearly indicates towards the Help of Allah SWT in the form of good news of thousand Angels assisting Muslims during their fight against non believers who were triple their number. The prayer of Rasulullah (PBUH) itself shows His great trust and faith in Allah Almighty`s Assistance. (c) Clash At The Site of Badr: Muslims were 1/3rd in figure as compared to the infidels. When both the armies faced each other at the place of Badr, the battle began with the normal Arab Tradition of a fight, with nominated warriors from each side coming into clash with each other. A triplet of disbelievers namely: Utbah Ibn Rabi-ah, his son Al Walid and his brother Sheibah (all belonging to the Ummaya Family) came in front of the Makkan army, and asked the Prophet (PBUH ) to send His men of equal strength and caliber to fight them. Every Mo`min was ready to come forward and was wishing to be called by the Apostle (PBUH ) of God to fight the idolaters, but Rasulullah (PBUH ) chose to start the combat with His own family. So, He selected His own Son in Law, Hazrat Ali (R.A), His uncle, Hazrat Hamza (R.A) and one of His close companions, Hazrat Ubayda (R.A). The first two had great wins over their opponents, while the Last One got martyred in the end. After the general battle started, valor of Hazrat Ali (R.A) was highly prominent, who horrified and killed his rivals with great bravery. The Holy Prophet (PBUH ) took a handful of soil and threw it in the air towards the faces of the idolaters. This caused them to tremble and they turned their backs, thereupon, Muslims took them with great power, killed 70 of them and took 70 as prisoners, who were treated with great humility and kindness. The Almighty narrates this happening in Furqan e Hameed as: “And you did not kill them, but it was Allah who killed them. And you threw not, [O Muhammad], when you threw, but it was Allah who threw that He might test the believers with a good test. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” [Quran, 8: 17] In this Quranic verse, the Creator of the world of the worlds indicates towards His Assistance when only a mere handful of soil thrown by the Prophet (PBUH ) resulted in Muslim victory. Allah (SWT) made it clear to the Muslims that their victory was made possible due to His Power and Support.
Let’s remain united with all humans and protect one another by being socially responsible. May Allah (s.w.t.) guide us towards true path, protect us and our loved ones from harmful diseases.
One may think that the result of the battle was unbelievable and illogical: the Makkans had lost only 140 fighters in the encounter. They still had over 800, that is more than double the whole Muslim contingent .One would suppose they should withdraw, then reorganize and resume the battle. However, deeply scrutinizing the tactics employed by the Muslim army at this instance, their first battle, explains the resounding success. The reasons behind the success can be outlined as follows: (a)Unity of leadership: The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the supreme commander in the battle, an ideal leader who consulted with his companions, accepted good advices and went at the head of his forces when the need arose. This generated a magnificent discipline in the Muslim army, which is contrary to the deep divisions that characterize the armed forces of the enemies.(b) Military Competence: The Muslim soldier was known for exemplary fighting competence, rigorous discipline, obedience to the commander and a strong communal spirit which the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had worked hard to inculcate in his companions. This was exemplified in the brotherhood between the Muhaajirun (Makkan Muslims) and the Ansaar (Madinan Muslims). On the opposite side, we see that extreme selfishness and individualism were dominant in the ranks of the Makkan pagan army. (c) . New Troop Disposition Plan: The march of the Muslim army from Madeenah was in a combative form, which resembles modern fighting strategies. The Prophet (PBUH) sent off a vanguard and left behind a rear-guard, made use of exploratory patrols, raided the enemy camps to take captives that divulge information before the battle and braved the war in a new fashion based on cooperation, that of fighting with closed ranks. On the other hand, the Makkan pagan army followed a hit-and-run approach. 4. High Spirits: Muslim fighter enjoyed high morale emanating from firm faith. The Prophet (PBUH) encouraged his men and enhanced their spirits with constant prayers and promising them with success. (d) Clarity of Purpose: The chief purpose of the Muslims was to destroy the heads of infidelity and remove the obstacles from the way of the mission (e). Having a Sublime End: Muslims were fighting to attain God’s pleasure, to raise God’s word over all others and to remove material obstacles facing Islam which aims to liberate man from slavery and oppression. On the other side of the spectrum, the Pagans were fighting for lowly worldly aims, corrupt decrepit ideas or in fanatic support of a tribe or clan. The Battle of Badr is one of the greatest and most famous battles of Islam and those who participated in it enjoyed a special distinction amongst the Muslims. It is concluded that the battle of Badr proved as a foundation of Muslim strength as they were quite a few in numbers, who were given the eventual victory against the mighty and well armed disbelievers of Qureysh. Let’s remain united with all humans and protect one another by being socially responsible. May Allah (s.w.t.) guide us towards true path, protect us and our loved ones from harmful diseases. ——- (Ameen!)
(The authors write regularly on Islamic topic for “ The Kashmir Horizon” exclusively. Views are their own)