What Happened at The Battle Of Badr?

The Battle of Badr was fought on March 13th, 624 CE, in the month of Ramadan. It holds paramount significance, not merely as a military encounter but as a pivotal event that shaped the course of Islam’s spread and Prophet Muhammad SAW’s position as an influential leader in the Arabian Peninsula.

Fought against the Quraysh, the Battle of Badr is regarded as the first large-scale battle in Islamic history. Prophet Muhammad SAW stated that Allah looked at the participants of the Battle of Badr with mercy and said, “Do whatever you want to do; I have forgiven you.” This hadith underscores the profound significance of the battle and its participants in Allah’s eyes.

Prior To The Battle

In 622 C.E., Prophet Muhammad SAW migrated to Madina to escape persecution at the hands of the Quraysh. Approximately two years after the Hijra, Prophet Muhammad SAW planned a raid against the wealthy caravan led by Abu Sufyan (the head of the Umayyad dynasty), which included 40 people. The raiding party consisted of 313 supporters of Muhammad PBUH (86 Muhajirun, 64 Awz, and the remaining supporters were of the Khazraj tribe), two horse riders (Miqdad bin Aswas RA and Zubair bin Awam RA), and 60-70 camels.

Meanwhile, Abu Sufyan remained vigilant, constantly checking his surroundings to forestall any attacks. To be extra careful, he left his caravan to go in search of any signs of the Prophet Muhammad SAW and his people. In his search, he reached a well where he saw camel dung containing a date kernel similar to that of Madina. Upon discovering the signs of Prophet Muhammad SAW’s army, he promptly changed the course of his caravan towards Yanbu. In an effort to ensure his safety, he dispatched one of his associates to Makkah, aiming to prepare for the impending attack.

Becoming Ready For War

When the news of the threat reached the Makkans, it caused an uproar. The aid party, consisting of 300 people from Banu Zuhra and around 700 people from Banu Hashim, became ready for war. After traveling for some distance, they received word from Abu Sufyan about being safe from the attack. The receiver of the news, Hakim ibn Hizam RA (who hadn’t been a Muslim at that time), said that there was no need for war and that they should return home.

At this, Abu Jahl refused and moved forward with his caravan, even when Hakim ibn Hizam heavily discouraged the war. When the Prophet SAW and his companions arrived near Bard, the Prophet SAW received news about the Quraysh. When he told this news to his supporters, some Muslims started to worry due to their lack of preparation. Wanting to reach a collective conclusion, the Prophet SAW consulted his supporters.

Al-Miqdad bin `Amr stood up and said to the Prophet PBUH to “march to what Allah SWT has commanded him because we are with you. By Allah! We won’t say to you what children of Israel said to Musa (i.e., so go you and your Lord and both of you fight, we are sitting right here.)”

Hearing this, the Prophet SAW became happy and said good words to Miqdad while invoking Allah SWT for his benefit.

Prophet Muhammad SAW asked once more and told the people to give him their opinion. In reality, he wanted the opinion of the people of Madina because the majority of his supporters were the Ansar.

Therefore, Sa`d ibn Muadh RA asked the Prophet SAW if he meant the Ansar. When Prophet SAW answered in the affirmative, Sa’d ibn Muadh RA said, “We (the ansar) have believed and have faith in you. We testify that what you have brought is the truth and we give you our pledges and promises of allegiance and obedience. Therefore, march to what Allah has commanded you to march to, O Prophet. Certainly, it is Allah SWT who has sent you in truth. If you decide to cross the Red Sea, all of us will cross it, and none of us will stay behind. We don’t dislike that we meet our enemy tomorrow. Truly, we are patient in war and fierce in battle. Therefore, march with us with the blessing of Allah.”

The Battle With Divine Intervention

Finally, on the 17th of Ramadan, the battle began. It is said that on the night of the 17th of Ramadan, Prophet Muhammad SAW prayed to Allah and said, “O Allah, if you decide that we will be defeated today, you will no longer be worshiped.”

Allah SWT responded in the Quran, “Remember, when you cried out to your Lord for His help and He answered, I will reinforce you with a thousand angels, followed by many others.” (in total, 5000 angels, as mentioned in 3:125)

This miracle came into view when, before the battle, a gust of wind, like a cyclone, appeared out of nowhere, and the Prophet SAW said that Jibreel AS had arrived with 500 angels. After a while, when another gust of wind appeared, Prophet SAW said that Hazrat Mikael AS had arrived with another 500 angels.

Since the angels didn’t know how to fight, Allah SWT instructed them and said, “Strike them over the necks and smite over all their fingers and toes.” It is also said that after the battle of Badr, the people used to recognize whomever the angels killed by wounds over their necks, fingers, and toes because those parts had a mark as if they were branded by fire.

Start Of The Battle

The battle started when three prominent personalities from Quraysh–Utba bin Rabia, along with his brother Shyba and son Walid bin Utba, stepped forward. Opposite them, companions of the Prophet SAW, Hamza RA, Ali RA, and Ubaidah RA emerged.

With swift action, Ali RA beheaded Walid with a single strike of his sword, mirroring the fate met by Utba under Hamza RA’s blade. However, in the heat of the battle, Shayba’s sword grievously wounded Hazrat Ubaidah RA, severing his leg. Witnessing this, Hazrat Hamza RA and Hazrat Ali swiftly intervened, beheading Shayba and putting an end to the threat. 

Afterward, they brought Ubaidah RA to the Prophet SAW, and he asked the Prophet SAW.“if he was a martyr.” Prophet Muhammad SAW replied in the affirmative and said, “Yes, you are a martyr and I am a witness to this.”

Following this intense exchange, both armies charged at each other with determination. In a moment of divine intervention, Prophet SAW collected a handful of dust and threw it. By the will of Allah SWT, the dust found its way into every opponent’s eye and nose, preventing their advance. As the battle raged on, it became increasingly apparent that the Quraysh were losing despite the size of their army.

End Of The Battle

Muslims emerged victorious over the Quraysh by killing a total of 70 people from their army, including prominent figures such as Abu Jahl and Umayyad ibn Khalaf, and taking 70 prisoners. However, victory came at a price, with 14 brave soldiers (6 Muhajirin and 8 Ansar) encountering martyrdom at the hands of Quraysh.

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