The Descent of the Angels
The Prophet ﷺ in his trellis, dozed off a little and then raised his head calling loudly in joy:
“O Abu Bakr, glad tidings are there for you: Allâh’s victory has approached, by Allâh, I can see Gabriel on his mare in
the thick of a sandstorm.” He then came swiftly upon the ground reciting aloud:
“Their multitude will be put to flight, and they will show
their backs.” [54:45] At the instance of Gabriel eten, the Prophet ﷺ took a handful of gravel, cast it at the enemy and said: “Confusion seize their faces!” As he flung the dust, a violent sandstorm blew into the eyes of the enemies. With respect to this, Allâh says:
“And you (i.e., Hazrat Muhammadﷺ ) threw not when you did throw but Allâh threw.” (8:17)
Only then did he give clear orders to launch a counter-attack. He was commanding the army, Inspiring confidence among his men and encouraging them to fight manfully for the sake of their Lord.
reciting the Words of Allâh:
Vis “And be quick for forgiveness from your Lord, and for
Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth.” (3:133] The spirit he infused into his men was clearly witnessed by the valor of ‘Umair, a lad of sixteen, who flung away some dates he was eating crying out: “These (the dates) are holding me back from Paradise.” So saying he ran into the thick of the battle and died fighting bravely. Unique deeds of valor, deep devotion and full obedience to the Prophet ﷺwere exhibited in the process of the battle. The army of the believers fought by the power of enthusiasm which the half-hearted warriors of Makkah miserably lacked. A large number of the polytheists were killed and the others began to waver. No wonder! The standard-bearers of Truth were given immediate help, and supernatural agencies (the angels), were sent to their assistance by their Lord to help them defeat the forces of evil. The records of Hadith speak clearly of the fact that the angels did appear on that day and fought on the side of the Muslims. Ibn ‘Abbas been said: “While on that day a Muslim was chasing a disbeliever and he heard over him the swashing of a whip and the voice of the rider saying: ‘Go ahead Haizum’. He glanced at the polytheist who had (now) fallen down on his back. The Helper came to Allâh’s Messenger sent and related that event to him. The Prophetﷺ replied: ‘You have told the truth. This was the help from the third heaven.” One of the Helpers captured ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib, who said: “O Messenger of Allâhﷺ, by Allâh, this man did not capture me. I was captured by a man who was bald and had the most handsome face, and who was riding a piebald horse. I cannot see him here among the people.” The Helper interrupted: “I captured him. O
Messenger of Allâh.” The Prophetﷺ replied:
“Be quiet, Allâh the All-Mighty strengthened you with the help of a noble angel.”
Iblis (Satan) flees from the Battle
Iblis, in the guise of Suraqah bin Malik bin Ju’sham Al-Mudligi
on seeing angels working in favor of the Muslims, and Quraish rapidly losing ground on the battlefield, made a quick retreat despite the polytheists’ pleas to stay on. He ran off and jumped into the sea.
The Makkan Ranks begin to flee
The ranks of Quraish began to give way and their numbers added nothing but confusion. The Muslims followed eagerly their retreating steps, killing or taking captive all that fell within their reach. Retreat soon turned into shameful runaway; and they flied in haste, casting away their armor, abandoned beasts of burden. camp and equipment.
Abu Jahl stands firm
The great tyrant Abu Jahl, however, on seeing the adverse course of the battle, tried to stop the tidal wave of the Islamic victory by nerving the polytheists and encouraging them by all means available and begging them in the name of Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzza and all symbols of paganism to stand firm in place and hit back against the Muslims, but to no avail. Their morale had already been significantly reduced to zero, and their lines broken down. He then began to realize the reality of his pride and arrogance. None remained around him except a gang of ill-fated polytheists whose resistance was also crushed by an Islamic irresistible storm of true devotion-based courage and Islam-orientated pursuit of martyrdom. Abu Jahl was deserted and left by himself on his horse waiting for death at the hand of two courageous lads of the Helpers
Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Awf clients related the following interesting story in this regard: I was in the thick of the battle when two youths, still seemingly inexperienced in the art of fighting, one on the right and the second on the left
. One of them spoke in a secret voice asking me to show him Abu Jahl. I asked about his intention, to which he replied that he had a strong desire to engage with him in combat until either of them was killed. It was something incredible to me. I turned left and the other said something to the same effect and showed a similar desire. I responded to their intense desires and pointed directly at their target. They both rushed swiftly towards the spot, and without a moment’s hesitation struck him simultaneously with their swords and finished him off. They went back to Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ, each claiming that he had killed Abu Jahl to the exclusion of the other. The Prophet ﷺasked if they had wiped the blood off their swords and they answered that they had not. He then examined both swords and assured them that they both had killed him. When the battle concluded, Abu Jahl’s spoils were given to Mu’adh bin ‘Amr bin Al-Jamuh, because the other Mu’awwidh bin Al-‘Afra later killed in the course of the same battle.
At the termination of the battle, the Prophet ﷺwanted to look for this archenemy of Islam, Abu Jahl. ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud found him on the verge of death breathing his last. He stepped on his neck addressing him: “Have you seen how Allâh has disgraced you?” The enemy of Islam still rebelliously answered: “I am not disgraced. I am no more than a man killed by his own people on the battlefield.” And then inquired: “Who has won the battle?” Ibn Mas’ud replied “Allâh and His Messengerﷺ.” Abu Jahl then said with heart full of bitterness: “You have followed difficult ways, you shepherd!” Ibn Mas’ud Radiallahu anhoo used to be a shepherd working for the Makkan nobles. Ibn Mas’ud celties then cut off his head and took it to Allâh’s Messengerﷺ than who, on seeing it, began to entertain Allâh’s praise:
“Allâh is Great, praise is to Allâh. Who has fulfilled His Promise, helped His servant and Alone defeated the
Confederates.” He then set out to have a look at the corpse. There he said:
“This is the Pharaoh of this nation.”
Some Significant Instances of Devotion
1. The Prophetﷺ his advised his Companions to preserve the lives of some men from Banu Hashim who had gone out to Badr with the polytheists unwillingly because they had feared the censure of their people. Among them, he named Al-‘Abbas bin ‘AbdulMuttalib and Abul-Bukhtari bin Hisham. He ordered the Muslims to capture, but not to kill them. Abu Hudhaifah bin ‘Utbah showed great surprise and commented saying: “We kill our fathers, children, brothers and members of our clan, and then come to spare Al-‘Abbas? By Allâh! If I see him I will surely strike him with my sword.” On hearing these words, Allâh’s Messenger ﷺaddressing ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab Radiallahu anhoo said: “Is it fair that the face of the Messenger’s uncle be struck with sword?” ‘Umar got angry and threatened to kill Abu Hudhaifah; later he said that extreme fear had taken firm grip of him and felt that nothing except martyrdom could expiate for his mistake. He was actually killed later on during Al-Yamamah events.
2. Abul-Bukhtari bin Hisham had already done his best to restrain his people, the Makkans, from committing any act of folly against the Prophetﷺ while the latter was still in Makkah. He also neither hurt nor was reported to have uttered anything repugnant with regard to the Prophet ﷺhad as well been among the people who tried to invalidate the boycott alliance taken against Banu Hashim and Banu ‘Abdul-Muttalib.
Here, however, in the battle of Badr he insisted on fighting unless his compatriot was spared. Al-Mujdhir bin Ziyad Al-Balwi, with
whom he was engaged in fighting, replied that the other was not included in the Prophet’sﷺ recommendation. The fight went on to end in Abul-Bukhtari’s death.
3 . Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Awf and Umaiyah bin Khalaf had been close friends during the pre-Islamic era. When the battle of Badr ended. ‘Abdur-Rahman saw Umaiyah and his son among the captives. He threw away the armor he had as spoils, and walked with them both. Bilal actionthe Prophet’s ﷺ caller for prayer, saw Umaiyah and soon all the torture he had been put to at the hand of this man dawned upon him, and swore he would have revenge on Umaiyah. ‘Abdur-Rahman tried to ease the tension and turn an uneasy situation favorably but with no success. The Muslims gathered around and struck Umaiyah’s son with swords. At this point, ‘Abdur-Rahman called upon his old friend to run for his life but he was put to the sword by different people and lay down dead. ‘Abdur-Rahman, completely helpless and resigned said: “May Allâh have mercy on Bilal, for he deprived me of the spoils, and I have been stricken by the death of my two captives.”
4. On the moral level, the battle of Badr was an inescapable conflict between the forces of good and those of evil. In this context, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab he did not spare the life of any polytheist even his uncle on the maternal side, Al-‘As bin Hisham bin Al-Mughirah.
5. Abu Bakr Radiallahu anhoo shouted at his son ‘Abdur-Rahman, still a polytheist and fighting with them. “Where is my wealth, you wicked boy?” The son answered that it was gone with the wind.
6. When the battle ended, the Muslims began to hold some polytheists in captivity. The Prophet ﷺmy looked into the face of Sa’d bin Mu’adh, the Head of the Prophet’sﷺ guards, and understood that he was hateful to taking the enemy elements as prisoners. Sa’d said that it was the first victory for the Muslims over the forces of polytheism, and he had more liking for slaying them than sparing their lives,
7 On the day of Badr, the sword of ‘Ukashah bin Mihsan Al Asdi in broke down so the Prophet gave him a log of wood which he shook and it immediately turned into a long strong white sword. ‘Ukashah went on using that same sword in most of the Islamic conquests until he died during the apostasy wars.
8. When the war activities been concluded, Mus’ab bin ‘Umair Al’Abdari cer saw his brother, still a polytheist, being handcuffed by an Ansari man. Mus’ab recommended that the Helper tighten the knot for the prisoner’s mother was wealthy enough to ransom her son. ‘Abu ‘Aziz, Mus’ab’s brother, tried to appeal to his brother through the family ties, but the latter firmly replied that the Helper was more eligible for brotherhood than him.
9. When the Prophet ﷺordered that the corpses of the polytheists be dropped into an empty well, Abu Hudhaifah bin ‘Utbah looked sadly at his dead father, who fought on the side of the polytheists. The Prophet ﷺ noticed that and asked him about it. Hudhaifah said that he had never held the least doubt that his father met his fate deservedly, but he wished he had been guided to the path of Islam, and that is why he felt sad. The Prophetﷺ whispered in his ears some comforting words. The outcome of the battle was as aforementioned an humiliating defeat for the polytheists and a manifest victory for the Muslims. Fourteen Muslims were killed, of whom six were from the Emigrants and eight from the Helpers. The polytheists sustained heavy casualties, seventy were killed and a like number taken prisoners. Many of the principal men of Makkah, and some of Muhammad’s bitterest opponents, were among the slain. Chief of these was Abu Jahl. On the third day. Allâh’s Messengerﷺ the went out to look at the slain polytheists, and said:
“What an evil tribe you were as regards your Prophetﷺ, you belied me but the others have believed: you let me down
while the others have supported me you expelled me,
whereas the others have sheltered me.” He stood over the bodies of twenty-four leaders of Quraish who had been thrown into one of the wells, and started to call them by name and by the names of their fathers, saying:
“Would it not have been much better for you if you had obeyed Allâh and His Messengerﷺ? Behold, we have found that our Lord’s Promise do come true; did you (also) find
that the promises of your lord came true?” Thereupon, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab Radiallahu anhoo said: “O Messenger of Allâh!ﷺ Why you speak to bodies that have no souls in them?” The Prophetﷺ answered:
“By Him in Whose Hand is Muhammad’sﷺ soul! You do not hear what I am saying any better than they do.”
Makkah meets the Distressful News
The polytheists having received a large dose of punishment and heavy defeat, fled away in great disorder in the valleys and hillocks heading for Makkah panicked and too ashamed to see their people. Ibn Ishaq related that the first herald of the bad news was AlHaisuman bin ‘Abdullah Al-Khuza’i. He narrated to them how their notables were killed. People there did not believe him at first and thought that he had gone mad, but soon the news was confirmed and a state of incredible bewilderment overwhelmed the whole Makkan scene. Abu Sufyan bin Al-Harith gave Abu Lahab a full account of the mass murder and the disgraceful defeat they sustained with emphasis on the role that the angels played in bringing about their tragic end. Abu Lahab could not contain himself and expressed his feelings of hatred in beating, abusing and slapping Abu Rafi’, Radiallahu anhoo a Muslim, for reiterating the role of the angels. Ummul-Fadl Radiallahu anhoo another Muslim woman, greatly frustrated by Abu Lahab’s thoughtless behavior, struck him with a log and
cracked his head. Seven days later, he died of a worst kind of ulcer and was left for three days unburied. His sons, however, for fear of shameful rumors, drove him to a pit and keeping their distance, hurled stones and dust at him, The defeat was a matter of great shame and grief for the Makkans. In almost every house there were silent tears for the dead and the captives. They were burning with humiliation and were thirsting for revenge. Wailing, lamenting and crying however were decreed strictly forbidden lest the Muslims should rejoice at their affliction.
Madinah receives the News of Victory
Two announcers, ‘Abdullah bin Rawahah and Zaid bin Harithah were dispatched to Madinah, to convey the glad tidings of victory to the Muslims there.
The multiethnic and ideological structure of Madinah featured different respective reactions. Rumormongers amongst the Jews and hypocrites spread news to the effect that the Prophetﷺ had been killed, and tried to impress their false assumption on the fact that Zaid bin Harithah Radiallahu anhoo was riding Al-Qaswa’, the Prophet’s she-camel. Having reached there, the two messengers conveyed to the Muslims the happy news of victory, and furnished accurate information about the course of events in order to establish the sense of reassurance deep in the hearts of the anxious, but now, joyous Muslims. They immediately started acclaiming Allâh’s Name and entertaining His praise at the top of their voices. Their chiefs went out of the city to wait and receive the Prophet ﷺthe road leading to Badr.
Usamah bin Zaid Radiallahu anhoo to related that they received the news of the manifest victory shortly after Ruqaiyah , the Prophet’s ﷺdaughter. and the wife of ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan ﷺhad been committed to earth. She had been terminally ill and the Prophet ﷺhad asked ‘Uthman to stay in Madinah and look after her.
Disputes over the Spoils of War
before leaving the scene of the battle, disputes concerning the spoils of war arose among the Muslim warriors, as the rule relating to their distribution had not yet been legislated. When the hifterence grew wider. Allâh’s Messengerﷺ things suspended any wution whereof until the Revelation was sent down. Uhadah bin As-Samit said: “We went out with Allâh’s Messenger ﷺand I witnessed Badr with him. The battle started and Allah the Exalted defeated the enemy. Some of the Muslims sought and pursued the enemy, some were intent on collecting the spoils from the enemy camp, and others were guarding Allâh’s Messengerﷺ & and were on the alert for any emergency or surprise
then night came and the Muslims gathered together, those who had collected the booty said: ‘We collected it, so no one else has any right to it.’ Those who pursued the enemy said: ‘You do not have more right to it than we do; we held the enemy and then defeated them.’ As for the men who were guarding the Prophetﷺ they said, ‘We feared that the enemy might strike him so we were detained by that.’ So Allâh revealed:
, They ask you (O Muhammad about the spoils of war. Say: “The spoils are for Allâh and the Messengerﷺ.’ So fear Allâh and adjust all matters of difference among you, and obey Allâh and His Messenger (ﷺ ). if you are
ﷺbelievers.” (8:1] So Allâh’s Messenger than distributed it among the Muslims.”
The Army of the Prophet his heads back to Madinah
After three days at Badr, Allâh’s Messenger ﷺthings began leading the
army, along with the captured pagans toward Madinah. They also had a group of wounded pagans who were under the charge of ‘Abdullah bin Ka’b Radiallahu anhoo On their way back to Madinah, at a large sand hill, the Prophet ﷺ divided the spoils equally among the fighters after he had taken Al-Khums (one-fifth). When they reached As-Safra’, he ordered that An-Nadr bin Al-Harith, who carried the banner for the pagans at the battle of Badr, should be killed, because he was one of the greatest criminals of the Quraish, one of those who fought most against Islam, and because of his persecuting Allâh’s Messengerﷺ So Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib AlaihisSalam beheaded him. When he reached ‘Irquz-Zabyah, he ordered that ‘Uqbah bin Abu Mu’ait be killed. We have already mentioned some of the ways that he harmed Allâh’s Messenger ﷺHe was the one who put the entrails of the dead animal on the head of Allâh’s Messengerﷺ met ones while he was praying and wrapped his garment around his neck nearly killing him when Abu Bakr bit came to his aid. When he ordered that he be put to death ‘Uqbah said, “Who will look after my children?” To which the Prophet ﷺsaid, “The fire.He was killed by ‘Asim bin Thabit Al-Ansari Radiallahu anhoo, and some say it was ‘Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib AlaihisSalam. Killing these two tyrants was essential due tɔ their atrocities both in and out of war.
The Joyous Reception from the People of Madinah
At Ar-Rawha’, a suburb of Madinah, the Muslim army was received by the joyous Madinese who had come to congratulate the Prophet ﷺ on the manifest victory that Allâh had granted him. Usaid bin Hudair Radiallahu anhoo acting as a mouthpiece of the other true believers, after entertaining Allâh’s praise, he excused himself for not having joined them on grounds that the Prophet’s ﷺintention was most probably, an errand aiming to intercept a caravan of camels only, he added that if it had occurred to him that it would be real war, he would have never remained behind. The
Prophet ﷺ assured Usaid that he believed him. The Prophetﷺ now entered Madinah as a man to be counted for in a new dimension – the military field. In consequence, a large number of the people of Madinah embraced Islam, which added a lot to the strength, power and moral standing of the true religion. The Prophetaruhant encouraged the Muslims to treat the prisoners well to such an extent that the captors gave the captives their bread (the more valued part of the meal) and ate only dates themselves.
The Judgment about the Captives
Prisoners of war constituted a problem awaiting to be resolved because it was a new phenomenon in the history of Islam. The Prophetﷺ consulted Abu Bakr and ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab as to what he should do with the prisoners. Abu Bakr suggested that he should ransom them, explaining this by saying: “They are after all our relatives, and this money would give us strength against the disbelievers, moreover, Allâh could guide them to Islam.” Umar are advised killing some of them, saying, “They are the leaders of Kufr (disbelief).” The Prophet ﷺ preferred Abu Bakr’s suggestion to that of ‘Umar’s. The following day, ‘Umar e visited the Prophet ﷺand Abu Bakr alt og and found them weeping. He showed extreme astonishment and inquired about the situation so that he might weep if it was worth weeping for, or else he would act as if weeping. The Prophetﷺ said that a Qur’ânic Verse had been revealed rebuking them for taking ransom from the captives rather than slaying them:
“It is not for a Prophetﷺ that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land. You desire the good of this world (i.e., the money of ransom for freeing the
captives), but Allâh desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise. Were it not a previous ordainment from Allâh, a severe torment would have touched you for what you
took.” (8:67, 68) The previous Divine ordainment went as follows:
is “Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e., free them
without ransom) or ransom.” [47:41 It included an area providing permission to take ransom, that is why no penalty was imposed. They were rebuked only for taking prisoners before taking control of all the land of disbelief. Apart from this, the polytheists taken to Madinah were not only prisoners of war but rather criminals of war whom modern war penal law brings to justice to receive their due sentence of death. The ransom for the prisoners ranged between 4000 and 1000 dirhams in accordance with the captive’s financial situation Another form of ransom assumed an educational dimension: most of the Makkans, unlike the Madinese, were literate and so each prisoner who could not afford the ransom was entrusted with ten children to teach them the art of writing and reading Once the child had been proficient enough, the instructor would be set free. Another clan of prisoners was released without ransom on grounds of their poor condition. Zainab, the daughter of the Prophetﷺ paid the ransom of her husband Abul-‘As with a necklace. The Muslims released her prisoner and returned the necklace as a respect to the Prophet ﷺ but on condition that Abul-‘As would allow Zainab to migrate to Madinah, which he actually did. In captivity, there was also an eloquent orator called Suhail bin ‘Amr. ‘Umar suggested that they pull out his front teeth to disable him from speaking, but the Prophet ﷺturned down his suggestion for fear Quraish should get revenge in the same manner on one hand, and on the other for fear of Allâh’s wrath on the Day of Resurrection.
Sa’d bin An-Nu’man , who had been detained in Makkah by Abu Sufyan while performing ‘Umrah, was released in exchange for Abu Sufyan’s son ‘Amr.
The Battle of Badr in its Qur’ânic Context
The Chapter of Al-Anfal (Spoils of War) was revealed on the occasion of the battle of Badr, Ramadan 17th 2 A.H. It constituted a unique Divine commentary on this battle. Allâh the All-High in the context of this Chapter draws on major issues relating to the whole process of Islamization. Allâh, here draws the attention of the Muslims to the still remaining moral shortcomings in their character. He wants them to build a united and purified society. He tells them about the invisible help He sent down to His obedient servants to enable them to accomplish their noble objectives. He wants the Muslims to rid themselves of any characteristic of arrogance or pride that might creep in. He wants them to turn to Him for help, obey Him and His Messenger ﷺAfter that He described the noble objectives for which the Messenger ﷺ launched that bloody battle, and directed them to the merits and qualities that brought about the great victory. The polytheists, hypocrites, the Jews and prisoners of war were also mentioned, being admonished to surrender to the Truth and adhere to it only The question of the spoils of war was resolved and the principles and basics relevant to this issue were clearly defined. The laws and rules pertinent to war and peace were legalized and codified, especially at this advanced stage of the Islamic action. Allâh wanted the Muslims to follow war ethics dissimilar to those of pre-Islamic practices. The Muslims are considered to surpass others in ethics, values and fine ideals. He wants to impress on the world that Islam is not merely a theoretical code of life, but it is rather based on practical principles that cultivate mind and provide a way of life. In this context, He established inter and
intrastate relations. The fast of Ramadan was established as an obligatory observaner in the year 2 A.H., along with the duty imposed upon Muslims paying Zakat (alms tax, poor-due) in order to lessen the burden of the needy Emigrants. A wonderful and striking coincidence was the establishment of Shawwal ‘Eid (the Festival of the Fast-Breaking directly after the manifest victory of Badr. It was actually the finest spectacle ever witnessed of Muslims leaving their houses, prayingacclaiming Allâh’s Name and entertaining His praise at the top of their voices in recognitiun of His favor and grace, and last but not least, the support He rendered them and through which the forces of the Truth overpowered those of evil.
“And remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the land, and were afraid that men might kidnap you, but He provided a safe place for you, strengthened you with His help, and provided you with good things so that you might be grateful.” [8:26]