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The Battle of Badr

The Battle of Badr

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Published by Zeeshan Ul Haq

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Zeeshan Ul Haq on Feb 23, 2011
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The Battle of Badr 
In the second year of the Hijrah, during the month of Ramadan, the Muslims came up against theinfidels in the decisive battle of Badr which was to prove the turning point not only in the destinyof Islam but of the entire human race. This event in which the under equipped Muslims emerged victorious still stands today as one of the founding moments in Islamic history. The battle of Badr was one of the major signs of God, inwhich He demonstrated that those who believed in Him and His religion would in the end bemade victorious despite the apparently overwhelming obstacles in store ahead. This day hasbeen remembered in the Holy Quran as the Day of Criterion (between right and wrong): If you believe in Allah and that which We revealed unto Our slaves on the Day of Criterion(between right and wrong), the day when two armies met. [Qur'aan 8:41] The circumstances that led to this battle began with the news received by the Prophet (peace beupon him) that a great caravan with lots of money and merchandise, was being led by AbuSufyan on its way back to Mecca from Syria. A state of belligerence already existed between theMuslims and the Quraish, for the latter was doing all in their power to harm and abuse theMuslims, to impede their progress and to seize their rising power. They were sparing none of their financial and physical resources to get on the job and their armed detachments very often wadeddeep into the limits of Madinah and its pastures to pound upon the Muslims. Abu Sufyan, was one of the worst enemies of Islam, therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him)asked the Muslims to get ready to intercept the caravan. However, since it was a commercialcaravan the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not make any elaborate arrangements for fighting,but merely positioned himself in order to catch it flat-footed. Informed of the Prophets (peace be upon him) decision to stop him, Abu Sufyan sent a courier toMecca with an urgent request for reinforcements. Thereupon, the Quraish ably supported andaccompanied by all the notable chiefs of Mecca hastily formed an armed force. Such supportgroup enlisted every man available therein from the neighbouring tribes - and this army went forthto assist the caravan. The Quraysh were so flared up that hardly a man was left behind in Mecca. FAITHFULNESS OF THE ANSAAR News came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) that a strong Meccan army was on its way toengage him in a battle. The Prophet (peace be upon him) thereupon summoned his followers andsolicited for their advice. He really wanted to ascertain the reaction of the Ansaars, for, their original oath of allegiance with him obliged them to defend him in Madinah and did not compelthem to take part in a military expedition outside their territory. The Muhajirin responded first andassured him of their help and loyalty. The Prophet (peace be upon him), however, repeated hisappeal and the Muhajirin gave similar reply but the Prophet (peace be upon him) threw the samequestion once again for the third time. Now the Ansaar realised that the question was meant for them. Sad b. Muad immediately got up to say in reply, O Prophet of God, it appears that the question is directed to us and you want to have our answer.Perhaps you think, O Prophet of God, that the Ansaar have offered to help you on their ownterritory only. I want to tell you in behalf of the Ansaar that you may lead us wherever you like,align with whom you may desire or break relations with whom you may think fit; you may takewhatever you desire from our property and give us as much as you want; for, whatever you wouldtake from our property would be dearer to us than what you would leave for us. We will followwhatever you command us to do. By God, if you go ahead until you reach Bark Ghimdan, (1) wewill accompany you, and by God if you march into the sea, we will also do it with you.
 Then Miqdad got up and said, O Prophet of God, we will not say as the Children of Israel said toMoses: Go thou and thy Lord and fight, we will sit here; [Qur'aan 5:24]. We will fight with you onyour left and on your right, in your front and in your rear. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was delighted to hear the replies given by his companions. Hesaid, Go ahead with glad tidings. (2) ENTHUSIASM OF THE YOUNGSTERS When the detachments went out from Madinahh, a boy of sixteen, whose name was Umair b. AbiWaqqas also accompanied the warriors stealthily because he feared that if the Prophet (peace beupon him) saw him, he would send him back due to his juvenile age. When his elder brother, Sadb. Abi Waqqas saw Umair avoiding detection of the Prophet (peace be upon him), he verified this.Umair replied, I am afraid that the Prophet of God will send me back due to my age, but I want totake part in the battle. God may perhaps honour me with martyrdom. When the Prophet (peacebe upon him) saw Umair, he asked him to go back but he started crying and so he was allowed tostay with them. Umair was killed in the battle and thus his heart's desire was fulfilled. (Usd ul-Ghaba, Vol. IV, p. 148) STRENGTH OF THE CONTENDING PARTIES The Prophet (peace be upon him) rallied forth to the battlefield with three hundred and thirteencombatants who were not even well-equipped. The Muslims had seventy camels and two horseson which men rode by turns; (Zad al-maad, Vol. I, p. 342) there was nothing to distinguish thesoldiers from the captains, not even the eminent companions like Abu Bakr and Umar (May Allahbe pleased with themaa) or the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself bore any mark of distinction. The standard banner of the army was given to Musab b. Umayr, the flag of the Muhajirin was withAli (May Allah be pleased with him) and that of the Ansaar with Sad b. Muadh (May Allah bepleased with him). Upon learning of the approaching Muslim army, Abu Sufyan turned his caravan towards theseacoast. He also sent word to the Quraish army, when he was at a safe distance from theMuslims, to go back home as it it was no longer essential for them to proceed ahead. Many of theMeccans too wanted to return home but Abu Jahl insisted to charge ahead in order to punish theraiders. His forces were a thousand strong with all the veterans and noted fighters of Mecca andall were well-armed. He did not want to miss the opportunity to engage the Muslims in battle. (Zadal-Maad, Vol. I, p. 343 and Ibn Hisham, Vol. pp. 618-19) On coming to know the names of theMeccan chiefs accompanying Abu Jahl, the Prophet (peace be upon him) remarked: Mecca hasbrought the pieces of heart to you! THE DEMOCRATIC WAY The Quraish army halted on reaching a Wadi (valley) near Badr while the Muslims pitched their tents on the other side of the enemy. Hubab b. Al-Mundhir, however, called upon the Prophet(peace be upon him) to inquire: O Prophet of God, is this a place which God has ordered you tooccupy, so that we cannot leave the place, or is it a matter of opinion and military tactics? No,replied the Prophet (peace be upon him), It is only a matter of opinion and military tactics. Hubabthen said, O Prophet of God, it is not the place we should occupy. He suggested another placenearer to the water (wells of Badr), which was more suitable for engaging the enemy. TheProphet (peace be upon him) agreed and ordered his men to move there immediately. (IbnHisham, Vol. I, p. 620) The Prophet (peace be upon him) and some of his close companions were the first ones to arriveat the new camping ground that evening; a cistern was built and filled with water from which the
enemy was also allowed to replenish its drinking-vessels. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, p. 622) God sent down rain during the night, which caused the infidels great inconvenience by hinderingtheir movement, yet, it revived the vanishing spirits of the Muslims by making the weather pleasant and turning the soft sand of the wadi (valley) into a compact surface. This was a sign of victory which God disclosed in the following verse of the Quran: And he sent down water from the sky upon you, that thereby he might purify you, and removefrom you the fear of Satan, and make strong your hearts and firm (your) feet thereby. [Qur'aan8:11] PROPHET AS A GENERAL We find, on this occasion, the Prophet exhibiting the marvelous qualities of an experiencedmilitary tactician, which complemented his eternal mission of delivering the universal guidance tomankind, providing yet another indication that the inspiration received by him could have onlybeen from Almighty God. (3) The way in which he organized his troops for battle, as well as hisreactions to the sudden and surprise attacks by the superior enemy forces despite the limitednumber of soldiers needs to be studied to truly appreciate the prodigious military genius of theProphet (peace be upon him). PREPARATION FOR THE FIGHTING A booth of palm-branches was erected for the Prophet (peace be upon him) on a hill overlookingthe battlefield. Thereafter, the Prophet (peace be upon him) traversed the plain and pointed outthe spots to his companions where the enemy chiefs were to fall dead. As it was found later on,his predictions proved entirely correct for not a single Quraish chief was found slain at a placedifferent from that indicated by the Prophet of God (peace be upon him). When the two contending forces met, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: O God, here comethe Quraish in their vanity and pride: they contend with Thee calling Thy Prophet a liar. This was the night of Friday, the seventeenth of Ramadan. At the first manifestation of themorning, the entire force of the Quraish streamed out into the valley and distributed themselves inthe battlefield while the Muslims positioned before them in the foreground. (Zad al-Maad, Vol. pp.343-344) BESEECHMENT AND ENTREATY TO THE LORD The Prophet (peace be upon him) set the ranks of his force in order and returned to the hut withAbu Bakr. Putting his head against the earth, he supplicated and beseeched God for divineassistance. He knew fully well that if the victory in the battle was to be gauged by sheer numbersand strength, prowess and weapons of the two forces, the result was a foregone conclusion. Hehad no illusion for he fully realized that the Muslims were weak and few, and the enemy strongand numerous. He clearly saw the situation in favour of the Quraish; and now he sought tocounteract it with a heavier weapon. Despondently, he supplicated to the Lord of the heavens andthe earth, Who engineers all ends and means, to come to the assistance of Muslims in their hour of difficulty. He appealed to God; O God! If thou were to exterminate this small group of Muslims,Thou will not be worshipped on Earth any more! In a state of extreme exaltation, his hands raisedin prayer and on bent knees supplicated the prayer: O God! Fulfill what thou had promised to me!Help us Thou, O God! So lost was he in the prayer that the mantle on his shoulder fell on theground. Abu Bakr, who was too distressed to see the Prophet of God (peace be upon him) intears, consoled and comforted him. (4) THE TRUE POSITION AND STATURE OF THE MUSLIMS

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