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The Battle of Badr

One of the greatest miracles from the time of the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa sallam) was the infamous Battle of Badr. After years of persecution by the Quraish, the Muslims were given the command to fight, to defend themselves. The battle took place on the 17th day of Ramadan. It is so significant that Allah mentioned this battle in the Qur’an and gave it a special name – ‘The Day of Distinguishing.’ Allah says:

‘If you believe in Allah and what We sent down on Our servant on the Day of Distinguishing, the day the two hosts met.’ (8: 41)

This happened two years after Hijrah, when the Prophet (Sallalahu alayhi wa sallam) had migrated from Mecca to Madinah:

“As when your Lord made you leave your home for the sake of truth…” [8:5]

The Battle of Badr was awe inspiring for the Muslims at the time of the battle up until the present day. There are many reasons we can reflect on that can help us in our lives. Below we will list some of the key events and then expand on some further.

  • The Muslims migrated to Madinah after 13 years of persecution in Makah.

  • In Makah Muslims were not given permission to retaliate or defend themselves when attacked; this changed after they migrated to Madinah, the revelation in the Qur’an (22: 39) gave Muslims permission to defend themselves physically if the Quraysh attacked.

  • The Quraysh took all the property and wealth left behind by the Muslims for themselves.

  • The Quraysh declared war against the Muslims even after they had left Makkah, and sent death threats to the Ansar (the people of Madinah) warning them against supporting the Muslims.

  • In the Year 2 AH the caravan belonging to Abu Sufyan (a leader of the Quraysh and hostile to the Muslims) passed close by Madinah on its way to Sham (Syria). The caravan was carrying lots of wealth.

  • The Prophet (saw) instructed the companions to ambush the caravan to demand back the property that the Quraysh had stolen from the Muslims.

  • Abu Sufyan sent a message to the Quraysh calling for support – Abu Jahl, the worst enemy of the Muslims, saw this as a chance not just to defend the caravan but to ‘wipe out’ the Muslims forever in a surprise battle.

  • The Prophet (saw) consulted the companions, informing them of the situation and of the need to go into battle as the Quraysh were on their way. The Muslims agreed to support the Prophet (saw).

  • There were 313 Muslims and 1,300 from the Quraysh; the Quraysh were better trained and better equipped – they had 100 horses compared to the 2 horses the Muslims had.

  • There was rainfall just before the battle.

  • The two armies met at the plains of Badr, in the desert outside Madinah – the battle took place on the 17th day of Ramadan.

  • There was a sandstorm during the battle.

  • Abu Jahl, enemy of the Muslims, was killed; the Quraysh fled.

  • 70 of the Quraysh were killed and 70 captured; among the Muslims, 14 became shuhada (martyrs) – 6 of the Muhajiroun (Muslims who migrated from Makkah) and 8 of the Ansar (Muslims originally from Madinah). It was a decisive victory for the Muslims.

1. The Muslims Were Outnumbered.

The Battle of Badr took place between roughly 313 Muslims and 1,000 Quraysh. The Quraysh army was well equipped with armour and swords while the Muslim army barely had anything. Despite their circumstances they still persevered and fought against the Quraysh. With the aid of Allah the Muslim army won and defeated the enemy.

2. The Angels Assisted the Muslim Army.

One of the most significant miracles of the Battle of Badr was that Allah SWT sent down 5,000 angels to aid the Muslims. Allah says in the Quran:

“Allah helped you at Badr when you were very weak. Be mindful of Allah, so that you may be grateful.

"Remember when you said to the believers, ‘Will you be satisfied if your Lord reinforces you by sending down three thousand angels?

"Well, if you are steadfast and mindful of Allah, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand swooping angels if the enemy should suddenly attack you!”

(Quran, 3:123 -125)

3. Allah Led the Muslims to Victory

Not only did Allah SWT send down Angels to help the Muslims, He also reminded them that when you put your trust in Him, He will come to your aid. Imagine being in a situation where you are destined to lose but then Allah comes to your aid and leads you to victory. That is exactly what happened with the Muslim army. In fact Allah mentions in the Quran:

“…and Allah arranged it so, as a message of hope for you (believers) to put your hearts at rest - help comes only from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise.” (Qur’an, 3:126)

4. Abu Jahal was Killed

During the Battle of Badr, Abu Jahal was killed along with 70 other members of the Quraysh army.

14 companions from the Muslim army were also martyred. You can find a list of their names at the site of the battle.

1) Sayyiduna ‘Umayr ibn Abi Waqas. رضي الله عنه

2) Sayyiduna Safwan ibn Wahb. رضي الله عنه

3) Sayyiduna Dhu-Shimalayn ibn ‘Abdi. رضي الله عنه

4) Sayyiduna Mihja’ ibn Salih. رضي الله عنه

5) Sayyiduna ‘Aqil bin al-Bukayr. رضي الله عنه

6) Sayyiduna ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Harith. رضي الله عنه

7) Sayyiduna Sa’ad ibn Khaythama. رضي الله عنه

8) Sayyiduna Mubashir ibn ‘Abd al-Mundhir. رضي الله عنه

9) Sayyiduna Harithah ibn Suraqah. رضي الله عنه

10) Sayyiduna Rafi’ ibn Mu’ala. رضي الله عنه

11) Sayyiduna ‘Umayr ibn Humam. رضي الله عنه

12) Sayyiduna Yazid ibn al-Harith. رضي الله عنه

13) Sayyiduna Mu’awidh ibn al-Harith. رضي الله عنه

14) Sayyiduna ‘Awf ibn al-Harith. رضي الله عنه

5. Aftermath of War

After winning the Battle of Badr, the Muslim army took many Quraysh as prisoners. The Prophet SAW treated the prisoners fairly. In fact in a hadith in Bukhari it is said:

“After the Battle of Badr, prisoners of war were brought. Among them was Al-Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib. He did not have a shirt on, so the Prophet (peace be upon him) looked for a shirt for him. It turned out that a shirt of Abdullah bin Ubayy was the right size, so the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave it to Al-Abbas to wear and compensated Abdullah with his own shirt.” (Bukhari).

The prisoners were either ransomed or were required to teach the unlettered Muslims how to read and write to earn their freedom.

Six years after the Battle of Badr, the Muslims conquered Mecca in a peaceful way filled with humility.

‘Allah has promised those among you who believe and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to(the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those who were before them, and He will grant them the authority to practice their religion that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely give them in exchange security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me’. (24: 55)

Whenever you feel overcome by challenges you are facing, remember that Allah’s Help is always near. Many other times in history Muslims have succeeded in great tasks in Ramadan just like with the Battle of Badr. The heartbreaking situation in Gaza is a reminder to always have hope in Allah’s plan and believe in His Power and His Help.

May Allah alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians and the especially the people of Gaza. May He bring hasten the victory for the people and the Muslims around the world, and unite our hearts and make us strong as an ummah, ameen.

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