The Battle of Badr – Part 3

وَبَرَكَاتُهُ اللهِ وَرَحْمَةُ عَلَيْكُمْ السَّلاَمُ

After the Quraish had mobilised an army to defend their caravan, news and rumours began to reach the Muslims. And so now we must discuss what took place on the side of the Muslims:

When the Muslims first left Medina they were expecting to only have to raid a barely defended caravan with only 40 guards. However as they were on their way the rumour began to come to them that an army had left Mecca and that they were after the Muslims, and as well as this the prophet had previously been shown a dream that he would be fighting an army, though he was hoping that that was not meant to be for this expedition but some time later on. And so when this news began to reach them the prophet began to question the Muslims, ‘What do you think that instead if we met a group from Mecca that has already been informed of your departure?’

And the sahaba began to get worried and told the prophet that they had made no preparations to fight an army. So the next day the prophet repeated the question again, to an even firmer response that they would not be able to do this. And Allah mildly rebuked these people in Surah Anfal, ayat 5 to 7:

كَمَآ أَخْرَجَكَ رَبُّكَ مِنۢ بَيْتِكَ بِٱلْحَقِّ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِّنَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ لَكَٰرِهُونَ


Just as when your Lord brought you out of your home with the truth, while indeed, a party among the believers were unwilling,


يُجَٰدِلُونَكَ فِى ٱلْحَقِّ بَعْدَمَا تَبَيَّنَ كَأَنَّمَا يُسَاقُونَ إِلَى ٱلْمَوْتِ وَهُمْ يَنظُرُونَ


Arguing with you about the truth after it had become clear, as if they were being driven toward death while they were looking onto it.


وَإِذْ يَعِدُكُمُ ٱللَّهُ إِحْدَى ٱلطَّآئِفَتَيْنِ أَنَّهَا لَكُمْ وَتَوَدُّونَ أَنَّ غَيْرَ ذَاتِ ٱلشَّوْكَةِ تَكُونُ لَكُمْ وَيُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ أَن يُحِقَّ ٱلْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَٰتِهِۦ وَيَقْطَعَ دَابِرَ ٱلْكَٰفِرِينَ


When Allah promised you one of the two groups that it would be yours, and you wished that other than the armed one would be yours. But Allah intended to justify the truth by His words and cut off the roots of the disbelievers.



So we see that Allah promised the Muslims that whichever of the two groups they would meet – either the caravan or the army – they would be the victors. And yet a group of them still argued with the prophet that they were unprepared and out of their fear did not trust that Allah would bring them out alive, and so we see that despite being of the best of humans, the sahaba were still only human and occasionally their emotions caused them to hesitate in the path of Allah. However this did not make them disbelievers – Allah references them in these ayat as a group from the believers – and in fact the essence of their imaan was that in the end despite not wanting to go they still overcame that feeling and carried out the orders of their Lord.

Eventually when the Muslims reached the plains of Badr, they still did not know if they were going to meet an army or a caravan. And the situation was so tense that the prophet himself, along with Abu Bakr (RA), actually went out to scout for information instead of sending anyone else. And they came across an old Bedouin, and the prophet asked, ‘Do you have any information about the Quraish and about Muhammad and his army?’ And the intelligence in the way the prophet phrased his question was such that the Bedouin would not realise what his allegiance was.

But the Bedouin replied, ‘Who are you?’

‘I promise to tell you where we are from as long as you tell us any information that you have.’ And so the Bedouin was satisfied, and he told the pair what he knew of both armies and so the prophet and Abu Bakr found out that the Quraish were just on the other side of Badr to them.

And then the Bedouin asked, ‘Where are you from?’

And of course the prophet had promised, and so he said, ‘We are from water.’ And then he quickly left with Abu Bakr. Now this was technically true but not exactly what the Bedouin had asked, and so this was another example of tawriya (double meaning) which is allowed in Islam.

The prophet then returned to the camp and immediately began to pray to ask Allah for help. And while he was praying a commotion occurred, as the sahaba captured two slaves from the Quraish army. And they asked the slaves where they were from, to which they replied, ‘We are from the army of the Quraish.’ When the sahaba heard this they began beating the slaves as they did not want to believe what they said, and they kept telling them that they were from Abu Sufyan’s caravan and demanding them to tell them the truth until the slaves gave up and declared that they were from the caravan. And then a little while after they asked them again, and the slaves once again said that they were from the army and so the sahaba once again began to hit them until they surrendered once more and said that they were from the caravan.

When the prophet finished his salah (and note how long his salah must have been) he simply turned to the sahaba and said, ‘When they tell you the truth you beat them. And when they lie you let them go.’ And so finally the news was made official to the sahaba, and they realised that they would be meeting an army and not the caravan that they were expecting, and this was a very difficult realisation to come to and a great test of their imaan.

The prophet then proceeded to question the slaves himself, and he asked them, ‘Tell me, how many people are in the army?’ Now the slaves themselves did not know this answer, and so the prophet asked a different question: ‘Tell me, how many camels do they kill every day?’

And once again we see the wisdom of the prophet, as of course the slaves would not know the exact number as that was not their job, but it was their job to slaughter the animals and so they replied, ‘Nine or ten.’

And from this the prophet immediately deduced, ‘They are between 900 to 1000.’ And he then proceeded to question the slaves who of the noblemen were present, and from this he learnt that in fact, every single major nobleman and enemy of Islam was actually to be present at this battle. And this caused the sahaba to be very disheartened, however meanwhile the prophet became extremely happy. And this was because he trusted the promise of Allah that the Muslims would be given the victory in this battle, and so he knew that all of those major noblemen and enemies of Islam that the slaves had listed were to be killed in the coming battle. And he told the sahaba, ‘Look, Mecca has presented to you its best of the best, and by Allah,’ and then he began to point at certain areas of the plain, ‘Umayyah will be killed over here, and Shaybah will be killed over here, and Utbah will be killed over here, and Abu Jahal will be killed over here.’ And indeed this would come to be the case, that in every single location that the prophet pointed to it happened that the very person was found dead in that exact spot.

After this the prophet called a meeting, and he asked the sahaba what was to be done. Immediately Abu Bakr stood up, praised Allah, sent salawaat upon the prophet and then said, ‘O Rasulallah, do as you please. We are behind you.’

The prophet thanked and praised him, but then asked the question again. And so Umar (RA) stood up and declared, ‘O Rasulallah, do as you please for verily, we will do anything you want us to.’

And once again the prophet praised him, but then asked the exact question again. And this time Al-Miqdad ibn Amr (RA), another of the Muhaajiroon stood up thinking that maybe Abu Bakr and Umar hadn’t expressed the sahaba’s dedication powerfully enough, and so he began to speak eloquently: ‘O Rasulallah, do as Allah has commanded you to do and we are right behind you. O Rasulallah, we will not say to you as the Bani Israel said to their prophet Musa, rather we will say you and your Lord go fight and we are right behind you fighting. O Rasulallah, go and take us to the corner of the world and we will follow you until we meet what Allah’s decree has destined for us.’

And the prophet thanked him. But then for the fourth time he asked what was to be done. Now note, all of those who had stood up before had been from the Muhaajiroon. However the Ansar had not yet spoken, and as we know that in their covenant that they had made at Aqabah all that time ago before the Hijra, there was only the promise to the prophet that they would protect him like their own family. And this was an only defensive clause, however what the Muslims were about to embark on now was offensive. And so the prophet wanted to ask the Ansar what they thought of the matter. And so this time Sa’ad ibn Muadh (RA), the leader of the Ansar, stood up and asked, ‘Perhaps you are waiting for us, O Rasulallah?’


‘O Rasulallah, after all we believed in you. And we trusted you. And we testified that what we have come with is the truth. And we have given you our promises and our oaths that we will listen and obey you. So now, O Rasulallah, go forth and do as you see fit and we are with you, for I swear by the One who has sent you with the truth, were you to take us into the ocean and charge us galloping into it then we would go right behind you. We are not scared of meeting the enemy tomorrow, and we will show you our patience during the Battle. And inshallah, Allah will show you through us that which will comfort you. So go forth upon the blessings of Allah – we are right behind you.’ And on hearing this the prophet’s face began to glow like the shining moon, and he became extremely happy and enthused.



Dr.Yasir Qadhi’s Seerah of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 037