Battle of Badr
Causes and Events
During the first thirteen years of his mission, the Holy Prophet had only one enemy to deal with in Makkah, the pagan Quraish, who eventually forced him to leave Makkah. But in Madinah, he had to face opposition from three quarters. First, were the Quraish of Makkah who were determined to crush Holy Prophet and his followers. The increasing strength of the Muslim was seen by them as a threat both to their prestige as custodians of the kaba and to their social and economic leadership.
Secondly there were the Jews who had entered into a treaty with the Holy Prophet, yet they began to intrigue, and their various tribes began to break treaties with the Muslims.
Apart from these two enemies, there were the hypocrites or the Munafiqin who had accepted Islam, but were working against the interests of the Muslims.
The Holy Prophet had hardly settled down in Madinah when the Quraish of Makkah sent word to the people of Madinah to hand over the Holy Prophet PBUH and the emigrants to them, or kill them. The Ansar who had themselves, invited the Holy Prophet to Madinah, refused to do so.
At that time Abu Sufyan, a rich and influential leader of the Quraish, was returning from Syria with a caravan carrying merchandise. He asked the Quraish to send an armed expedition to escort him home safely as he did not want to take the risk of interference from the Muslims on his way. The Quraish, despatched an army to join Abu Sufyan in Syria. When Abu Sufyan reached Makkah safely he asked the army to retun but they refused to do so. Some of the leaders, like Abu Jahl, insisted on advancing towards Madinah.
In the month of Safar 2 A.H., Allah had already given permission to fight against the unbelievers.
“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you”. (2: 190)
When the Holy Prophet learnt that the Quraish were advancing towards Madinah with the intention to attack, he immediately called the Muslims to take necessary steps. The Muhajirin and the Ansar got together to defend themselves. They were three hundred and thirteen men in all with only two horses and a few camels.
The Quraish stopped at Badr, which is a village at a distance of about eighty miles from Madinah. They had come with a huge quantity of food supply with them. Since they had arrived at Badr first, they occupied all important positions. They were about one thousand in number with all their best warriors and arms and a large number of horses and camels.
When the Holy Prophet and his Companions reached Badr, they were ill-equipped with arms and the place which they occupied had no water. Before the battle started, the Holy Prophet prayed to Allah to help them against the enemies of Isłam. The prayer was accepted and heavenly assistance was promised in these words of the Quran:
“Remember ye implored the assistance of your Lord, and He answered you:” I will assist you with a thousand of the angels, ranks on ranks. (8:9)
Meanwhile, there was heavy rain and the Muslims collected sufficient water for their use. Ultimately, the two armies met and the Battle started. While the Battle was going on, the Holy Prophet prostrated, before Allah and prayed:
“O Allah! lf this small band of men perish, there will be no one alive to worship you, and Your faith will be destroyed forever.”
Regarding these two ill-matched armies., the Quran says:
there has already been for you à sign in the two armies that met (in combat): One was fighting in the cause of Allah, the other resisting Allah; these saw with their own eyes twice their number. But Allah doth Support with His aid whom He pleaseth (3:13)
Allah granted victory to Muslims. The Quraish fled in disorder, leaving a large number of dead and wounded on the battiefield. In all, seventy of the Quraish were killed, which included very famous chiefs and warriors like Shaiba, Utba and Abu Jahl. Seventy were taken prisoner’s. Among them were Abbas, uncle of the Holy Prophet Aqeel, the brother of Hazrat Ali and Abu al Aas, the son-in-law of the Holy Prophet. The Muslims lost only fourteen people, six Muhajirin and eight Ansar.
The Quran mentions this victory in these words:
“Allah had helped you at Badr, when you were a contemptible little force.” (3:123)
When news of this defeat reached Makkah the whole town was struck wih grief. There was also much anger and pledges were taken to avenge the blood of their kinsmen. For this purpose, preparations were started on an extensive level.
In Madinah, the captives were dealt with very mercifully. All those captives who could pay were freed after payment of ransom. The poor and the old were fred without ransom. Those who could read and write were charged with the duty of teaching ten Muslim children each and to get their freedom utter a fixed period of teaching.