The Battle of Badr

After the Hijra (migration from Makkah to Madina) there had been several small skirmishes fought between the Muslims and the Quraish (clan to which the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him belonged to) of Makkah. The first real large scale battle between the Muslims and the Quraish was the Battle of Badr which was fought on the 17th of Ramadan 2 AH (March 624 CE) and took place at Badr, about 65 miles south of Madina. This battle was of great importance in early Islam.

The intention of the Muslims was to intercept a trade caravan travelling from Syria to Makkah which was led by Abu Sufyan. The Muslims expected the caravan to stop at Badr (which was on the trade route from Syria to Makkah) where they would capture it.

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Before reaching Badr, Abu Sufyan was informed that the Muslims were intending to capture the trade caravan. He immediate sent a messenger to Makkah to warn the Quraish. The Quraishi leaders started to assemble an army to rescue the caravan.

As the Muslim army approached Badr, they learned of the news that the Quraish had gathered an army which was on it's way to Badr. Around this time Abu Sufyan changed course and avoided the Muslim army.

The wells of Badr

The Muslims reached the valley of Badr before the Quraish and captured the wells of Badr. The Prophet peace be upon him of Allah subhanahu wata'ala wanted to camp close to the nearest well. Hubab radi allahu anhu asked if this was a divine order or whether it was the Prophet's peace be upon him own opinion. When the Prophet peace be upon him of Allah subhanahu wata'ala replied that it was his own decision, Hubab radi allahu anhu suggested that they occupy the well closest to the enemy so that the Quraishi army have no access to water.

The eve of the battle

On the eve of the battle Hazrat Muhammad peace be upon him wept and prayed during the night and in the morning he led the Muslims in prayer.

The Muslim Army versus The Quraishi Army

The Muslim army was commanded by the Messenger peace be upon him of Allah subhanahu wata'ala himself which consisted of about 313 men, around seventy camels and two horses. Prominent sahaba such as Hazrat Hamza radi allahu anhu, Hazrat Abu Bakr radi allahu anhu, Hazrat Umar radi allahu anhu and Hazrat Ali radi allahu anhu were also part of the army.

The army of the Quraish was commanded by Abu Jahl which consisted of around 950 to 1000 men with around 700 camels and about a 100 horses.

The Battle

The battle started when three warriors from the Quraishi army, Utbah (father in-law of Abu Sufyan), Shaybah (Utbah's brother) and Al Walid (Utbah's son) emerged and challenged the Muslims. From the Muslim army three Ansaar of Madina emerged but the Quraish refused to fight them. They started taunting the Muslims and said that they have nothing against the people of Madina and they only wish to fight the people from Makkah.

After this the Ansaar were called back and Hazrat Ali radi allahu anhu and Hazrat Ubaydah radi allahu anhu, cousins of Hazrat Muhammad peace be upon him and Hazrat Hamza radi allahu anhu, uncle of Muhammad peace be upon him responded to the challenge. Hazrat Ali radi allahu anhu and Hazrat Hamza radi allahu anhu killed their opponents but Hazrat Ubaydah radi allahu anhu, despite killing his opponent, was severely injured and died a few days after.

The Muslim army was ordered by Hazrat Muhammad peace be upon him to charge the Quraishi army. It wasn't long before the Quraishi army tuned their backs and ran, some were taken prisoner by the Muslims.

Abu Jahl the commander of the Quraishi army was killed along with about 70 other Quraishi men. The Muslims lost about 14 sahaba that day, they were called the first shaheed (martyrs) of Islam.

There is strong evidence in the Hadith and the Holy Quran that Allah subhanahu wata'ala sent down angels led by Hazrat Jibraeel alaihissalam (Gabriel) to help the Muslims in the Battle of Badr. This was the first major victory of Islam against the unbelievers.

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