History Podcasts

Are there any contemporary references to the Battle of Badr outside of the Qur'an?

Are there any contemporary references to the Battle of Badr outside of the Qur'an?

As the question reads, I'm trying to find sources for the Battle of Badr outside of the Qur'an from the same time period.


It depends what you are prepared to accept as "sources".

If you are looking for written sources, then you are likely to be disappointed. The Wikipedia article on the Battle of Badr lists the extant primary sources.

Although the Battle of Badr was the first relatively large-scale confrontation between the followers of Muhammad and those of his opponents in Mecca, it was still not what many people would consider to be a large battle. There were only about 1500 combatants, and less than 100 casualties. It was fought in a part of the Arabian Peninsula that was relatively isolated from much of the rest of the world.

Its significance was that the smaller Muslim army had defeated a much larger force. The Muslims could argue that this showed that God was on their side (in much the same way as the English did after the Battle of Agincourt), but it is hardly a surprise that it wasn't widely known about outside the region. Few people had any reason to write about it, and, as far as we know, only Muhammad did.

Of course, in addition to the record of the battle preserved in the Quran, the battle would have been preserved in oral traditions. The fact that the battle was explicitly mentioned in the Quran would have made those traditions more important. The hadiths are later collections of these oral traditions and so are also sources for the battle, with all the usual caveats about oral tradition.


WE DEFEND ISLAM

These verses refer to the battle of Badr (624 AD) and those who migrated to Madinah, fleeing persecution.

Analysing Verses

8:61 And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.

8:65 O Prophet, urge the believers to battle. If there are among you twenty [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome a thousand of those who have disbelieved because they are a people who do not understand.

8:66 Now, Allah has lightened [the hardship] for you, and He knows that among you is weakness. So if there are from you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you a thousand, they will overcome two thousand by permission of Allah. And Allah is with the steadfast.

8:67 It is not for a prophet to have captives [of war] until he inflicts a massacre [upon Allah’s enemies] in the land. Some Muslims desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires [for you] the Hereafter. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

8:68 If not for a decree from Allah that preceded, you would have been touched for what you took by a great punishment.

8:69 So consume what you have taken of war booty [as being] lawful and good, and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

8:70 O Prophet, say to whoever is in your hands of the captives, “If Allah knows [any] good in your hearts, He will give you [something] better than what was taken from you, and He will forgive you and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

8:71 But if they intend to betray you – then they have already betrayed Allah before, and He empowered [you] over them. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.

8:72 Indeed, those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth and lives in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided – they are allies of one another. But those who believed and did not emigrate – for you there is no guardianship of them until they emigrate. And if they seek help of you for the religion, then you must help, except against a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty. And Allah is Seeing of what you do.

8:73 And those who disbelieved are allies of one another. If you do not do so, there will be oppression on earth and great corruption.

8:74 But those who have believed and emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided – it is they who are the believers, truly. For them is forgiveness and noble provision.

8:75 And those who believed after [the initial emigration] and emigrated and fought with you – they are of you. But those of [blood] relationship are more entitled [to inheritance] in the decree of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of all things.

8:61 – If the enemy stops hostilities and offers peace, then the Muslims have to offer peace to them as well.

8:65 – The Muslims were commanded to get ready to defend the community from the Quraish (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas). The verse eludes to the battle of Badr (624 AD). Here we are the believers are told that if they are ‘twenty’ they could defeat two hundred of them. And if they are ‘hundred’ of them, the believers could defeat a thousand of the enemy soldiers.

8:67 – This verse refers just after the battle of Badr (624 AD). The injunction in this verse states that no one could be made prisoner unless there was war. So when one becomes the victor, this is the only time Muslims were allowed to take soldiers captive. The Prophet (p), throughout Islamic scripture never beheaded any prisoner. In fact, he released most of them (Asad, Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas, Tafsir Ibn Kathir [1], and Maulana Muhammed Ali).

8:69 – God tells the Muslims at the aftermath of the battle of Badr, that they should go and enjoy what they gained, spoils of war (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas). When one sides loses and there remains there stuff behind, the victors take that home to either share it among themselves or the poor, needy and orphans.

8:70 – God here tells the Prophet (p) to say those who were captured in the battle of Badr (624 AD), that if they have any good in their hearts that they will be forgiven for their past hostilities against the Muslims (further details on this verse, who it referred to, read the commentary by Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi).

8:71 – The verse is directed at those captives at the battle of Badr, who were captured. The verse doesn’t tell us specifically if they were released straight away or voluntarily converted to Islam, and then released. The words used here does infer that they were released, and hence shows some may intend on betraying the Muslims, by waging war against the Muslims (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas).

8:72 – “Those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth”, refers to those who believed in the religion of Islam and emigrated to Madinah, and fought to defend the community with their wealth, are true believers (Further details on the verse, read the Quran commentary by Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas).

8:74 – The verse emphasizes on those Muslims that emigrated to Madinah, fought alongside other believers in protecting the persecuted community, and gave shelter, that they are the true believers in the sight of God Almighty. They will be rewarded (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas).

8:75 – Here again, as explained previously it mentions the believers who migrated, believed in Islam and fought against the Quraysh,

“And those who afterwards) after the first Emigrants (believed) in Muhammad (pbuh) and in the Qur’an (and left their homes) and migrated from Mecca to Medina (and strove along with you) against the enemy, (they are of you) they are with you in secret and openly (and those who are akin) those who are related by their lineage, the closer then the one who comes next, etc., (are nearer one to another) in relation to the division of estates (in the ordinance of Allah) in the Guarded Tablet.” – (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas Online source)

Commentaries

“1140. The verse, besides embodying an important principle about making of peace-treaties, throws interesting light on the character of the wars undertaken by Islam. Muslims did not resort to war to force men to embrace Islam but to establish and maintain peace. If any people after having made war upon Muslims sued for peace the latter were enjoined not to reject the offer, even if the enemy might be suing for peace only to deceive them and gain time. This shows to what lengths Islam goes to establish peace among nations.
1141. The verse seems to give 20 as the minimum number that makes a fighting party.
1142. Because they are mercenaries, and do not realize the righteousness of the cause they fight for, they feel no real interest for it. Or the meaning may be that they have no higher ideals which they seek to pursue and serve.
1143. The verse should not be understood to abrogate the preceding one. The two verses refer to two different states of the Muslim community. In the beginning they were weak, ill-equipped and ill-trained in the art of war. In that state of weakness they could successfully fight against only their double number.
But as with the passage of time their all-round condition, fighting experience and military resources had very much improved they could defeat an enemy ten times their number. In the battles of Badr, Uhud, and of the Trench, the disparity between the number of forces of both sides progressively increased, yet the Muslims quite successfully held their own, till at the Battle of Yarmouk, mere 60.000 Muslims defeated an army of more than a million strong.
1144. The verse lays down the general rule that captives should not be taken unless there is regular fighting and the enemy is completely overpowered. It cuts at the root of slavery. Only those, who take part in war in order to destroy Islam and are defeated, can be made prisoner. See also 2739
1145. The words refer to the Divine promise of help (8:8-10).
1145A. Ransoming of captives was already in vogue. What is emphasised here is that prisoners could only be taken in regular fighting in the course of war.
1146. Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle was taken prisoner at Badr. When subsequently he embraced Islam and came over to the Holy Prophet, he requested, on the authority of the verse under comment, that as God had promised to give the prisoners more than was taken from them as ransom, the promise may be fulfilled in his case. The Holy Prophet granted his request (Jarir, x. 31).

1149. As all Muslims are declared to be brothers, one to another, in verse 73 and the Holy Prophet had established at Medina a sort of brotherhood between the Refugees and the helpers, the misunderstanding might have arisen that they could inherit one another’s property so it is enjoined here that blood relations alone are entitled to inheritance and other Muslims are only brothers in faith and not heirs.” [2]

“65a. It should be noted that the war to which the Muslims were to be urged was the defensive war which the Muslims had to fight to save themselves and to protect the religion of Islam. The sword had been taken up against them see 2:190, 2:217, 22:39, etc.
65b. The Muslims were very few as compared with their enemies, and there was not even one Muslim to ten disbelievers. Thus there is a clear prophecy here that, notwithstanding their fewer numbers, the Muslims shall be victorious. After the battle of Badr came the battle of U√ud, in which the Muslims were less than 1 to 4 against the enemy this was followed by the battle of the A√zåb, in which they were 1 to 10, yet the enemy was routed.
66a. This verse is supposed by some to abrogate the previous verse, where it is stated that twenty patient Muslims shall overcome two hundred disbelievers. This is not a correct view. Firstly, because only an injunction could be said to be abrogated, and not a statement. Secondly, because the two statements relate to two different states of the Muslims. At the time of the battle of Badr there was no Muslim army in existence. Every man available, young or old, sick or healthy, had to fight to save the life of the community. They had very few arms, and they had never been trained. This is referred to in the words He knows that there is weakness in you. So the Muslim forces as then constituted could at most be a match for double their numbers. But a time did come when they were a match for ten times their numbers. So both the statements in the Qur’an proved true. But even if the words may be taken as an injunction to the Muslims to overcome twice and afterwards ten times their numbers, there is no question of abrogation. There are two commandments, one in accordance with the circumstances of the Muslim society as it was then, another in accordance with a future state when they would be well-armed. 67a. There exists some misunderstanding as to the meaning of yuthkhina used here. Thakhuna means he or it became thick, and athkhana means ghalaba, he overcame (LA). The same word is again used in the Holy Qur’an exactly in the same sense: “then, when you have overcome them, make them prisoners” (47:4). On the authority of certain reports, the commentators are of opinion that this verse and the next refer to releasing the prisoners of war taken at Badr after taking ransom from them, which act, it is said, is here disapproved. But various considerations show that these verses refer to some other incidents. Firstly, the condition laid down here for taking prisoners is that the Prophet should fight against the enemy, and that had actually been done at Badr. Secondly, the taking of prisoners and their release on this very occasion is justified in clear words only two verses further on, “O Prophet, say to those of the captives who are in your hands: If Allah knows anything good in your hearts, He will give you better than that which has been taken from you” (v. 70). This shows that these verses were revealed when the prisoners were still in the hands of the Muslims and that which has been taken is clearly the ransom, which must have taken many days to reach Madinah. If the verse had conveyed a Divine commandment to slay the prisoners and not to release them, that step could still have been taken. But the very fact that no such step was taken shows clearly that the verse conveyed no such Divine commandment. The legality of the Holy Prophet’s procedure on this occasion is clearly borne out by an earlier revelation: “So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, smite the necks then, when you have overcome them, make them prisoners, and afterwards set them free as a favour or for ransom” (47:4). The Prophet never slew a single prisoner of war, even after the battle of Badr, though thousands of prisoners were taken in some of these battles. On the other hand, the prisoners were almost always set free as a favour, and ransom was taken only from the Badr prisoners. The question is, what is then hinted at in this verse and in the one that follows? To me it seems quite clear that the reference is to the desire (mark the word desire used in the verse) — not to an action already completed — of a party of the Muslims referred to in v. 7, and you loved that the one not armed should be yours. Some Muslims desired to
68a, 68b, see next page. Attack and capture the unarmed caravan, but depredations like these, though committed by disbelievers upon the Muslims, were not fit for a prophet. He must fight a hard fight in his defence first and then, if he overcomes the enemy, he may take prisoners. Thus this injunction also declares slavery to be illegal, and allows only the retaining of those who are taken prisoners in war. The frail goods of this world appropriately refer to the caravan and its merchandise, while the addition of the concluding words in v. 69, eat then of the lawful and good things which you have acquired in war, shows that the ransom received on account of the prisoners is among the lawful and good things.
68a. That ordinance from Allah is referred to in several places in this chapter it was to bring about an encounter with the main army of the Quraish at Badr: “And when Allah promised you one of the two parties that it should be yours … and Allah desired to establish the Truth” (v. 7) and again: “In order that Allah might bring about a matter which had to be done” (v. 42).
68b. You say akhadha fi kadha meaning he took to a thing, or set about or commenced doing it (LL). 72a. The friendship alluded to in this verse has been a matter of much discussion among the commentators. The meaning seems to be clear. Those who believed, and, having been persecuted, fled from their homes, formed a community at Madinah along with those who gave them shelter and helped them, i.e., the Ansar. But there were those who chose to remain in their homes. The Muslim community at Madinah could not undertake to guard the interests of such persons, and this is what is meant by saying, you are not responsible for their protection. But if they seek help in the matter of religion, it is incumbent on the Muslim community to give them help, unless there exists a treaty of alliance with the people against whom such help is sought.
73a. If you do not help your brethren in the matter of religion, the disbelievers will become more daring in their persecutions and in causing mischief and disorder in the land.
75a. When even strangers who have accepted Islam and fled from their homes become “of you”, those who have in addition ties of relationship, possess every title to have their interests guarded by the Muslim community.” [3]

“69 For an explanation of the phrase harrid al-mu’minin, see surah 4, note 102. Consistently with my interpretation, the words ‘ala ‘l-qital can be rendered here in either of two ways: “[with a view] to fighting” or “when fighting”. On the basis of the conventional interpretation of the verb harrid as “urge” or “rouse”, the phrase could be translated as “urge the believers to fight”: but this, as I have pointed out in the earlier note referred to above, does not convey the true sense of this injunction.
70 Some of the commentators see in this verse a divine prediction, thus: “If there be twenty of you …. they shall overcome two hundred …”, etc. Since, however, history shows that the believers, even at the time of the Prophet, were not always victorious against such odds, the above view is not tenable. In order to understand this passage correctly, we must read it in close conjunction with the opening sentence, “Inspire the believers to conquer all fear of death”, whereupon we arrive at the meaning given in my rendering: namely, an exhortation to the believers to conquer all fear of death and to be so patient in adversity that they might be able to overcome an enemy many times their number (Razi: see also Manar X, 87). The concluding words of this verse –because they are people who cannot grasp it [i.e.. the truth]” – can be understood in either of two ways: (a) as giving an additional reason of the true believers’ superiority over “those who are bent on denying the truth” (alladhina kafaru), inasmuch as the latter, not believing in the eternal verities and in life after death. Cannot rise to that enthusiasm and readiness for self-sacrifice which distinguishes the true believers: or (b) as explaining that “those who are bent on denying the truth” deny it simply because their spiritual deafness and blindness prevents them from grasping it. To my mind, the second of these two interpretations is preferable, and particularly so in view of the fact that the Qur’an often explains in these terms the attitude of “those who deny the truth” (e.g., in 6:25, 7:179, 9:87, etc.).
71 This relates to the time at which the above verse was revealed, namely, immediately after the battle of Badr (2 H.), when the Muslims were extremely weak both in numbers and in equipment, and their community had not yet attained to any significant degree of political organization. Under those circumstances, the Qur’an says, they could not – nor could any Muslim community of later times, in similar circumstances – be expected to bring forth the effort and the efficiency required of a fully developed community of believers but even so they should be able to stand up to an enemy twice their number. (The proportions one to two, or – as in the preceding verse, one to ten – are not, of course, to be taken literally as a matter of fact, the Muslims defeated at Badr a much better armed army more than thrice their own number.) The reference to God’s having “lightened the burden” imposed on the believers in this respect makes it clear that both this and the preceding verse imply a divine command couched in terms of exhortation, and not a prediction of events to come (Razi). 72 I.e., as an aftermath of a war in a just cause. As almost always in the Qur’an, an injunction addressed to the Prophet is, by implication, binding on his followers as well. Consequently, the above verse lays down that no person may be taken, or for any time retained, in captivity unless he was taken prisoner in a jihad – that is, a holy war in defence of the Faith or of freedom (regarding which see surah 2, note 167) – and that, therefore, the acquisition of a slave by “peaceful” means, and the keeping of a slave thus acquired, is entirely prohibited: which, to all practical purposes, amounts to a prohibition of slavery as a “social institution”. But even with regard to captives taken in war, the Qur’an ordains (in 47:4) that they should be freed after the war is over.
73 This is apparently a reference to the captives taken by the Muslims at Badr, and the discussions among the Prophet’s followers as to what should be done with them. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab was of the opinion that they should be killed in revenge for their past misdeeds, and in particular for their persecution of the Muslims before the latters’ exodus to Medina Abu Bakr, on the other hand, pleaded for forgiveness and a release of the prisoners against ransom, supporting his plea with the argument that such an act of mercy might induce some of them to realize the truth of Islam. The Prophet adopted the course of action advocated by Abu Bakr, and released the captives. (The relevant Traditions are quoted by most of the commentators, and especially – with full indication of the sources – by Tabari and Ibn Kathir.) The reference in the above verse to the “tremendous chastisement” that might have befallen the Muslims “but for a decree (kitab) from God that had already gone forth” – i.e., a course of action fore-ordained in God’s knowledge makes it clear that the killing of the captives would have been an awesome sin.
74 I.e., “If God finds in your hearts a disposition to realize the truth of His message, He will bestow on you faith and, thus, the good of the life to come: and this will outweigh by far your defeat in war and the loss of so many of your friends and companions.” Although these words relate primarily to the pagan Quraysh taken prisoner in the battle of Badr, they circumscribe the Islamic attitude towards all unbelieving enemies who might fall into the believers’ hands in the course of war. For a further discussion of the problem of prisoners of war, see 47:4. 75 I.e., by falsely pretending to a change of heart and an acceptance of Islam in order to be freed from the obligation of paying ransom.
76 Sc., “and He can, if He so wills, do it again”. Thus, the Muslims are enjoined, by implication, to accept the declarations of the captives at their face value, and not to be swayed by mere suspicion of their motives. The possibility of treachery on the part of those captives, and even a later discovery that some of them had indeed played false, should not induce the Muslims to deviate from the course ordained by God.
77 See surah 2, note 203. Historically, this expression relates to the Meccan Muslims who migrated with the Prophet to Medina but the sequence makes it clear that the definitions and injunctions provided by this verse are in the nature of a general law, valid for all times. With all this, it should be noted that the hijrah referred to here has a preponderantly physical connotation, implying an emigration from a non-Muslim country to a country ruled by the Law of Islam.
78 This refers, in the first instance, to the ansar at Medina – that is, to the newly-converted Muslims of that town, who gave shelter and whole-hearted aid to the muhajirin (“emigrants”) from Mecca before and after the Prophet’s own migration thither: but, similar to the spiritual meaning attaching to the terms hijrah and muhajir, the expression and transcends its purely historical connotation and applies to all believers who aid and give comfort to “those who flee from evil unto God”.
79 I.e., those Muslims who, for some reason or other, remain outside the political jurisdiction of the Muslim state. Since not every non-Muslim country is necessarily a “domain of evil”, I am rendering the phrase wa-lam yuhajiru as “without having migrated [to your country]”.
80 Lit., “to succour them in religion”: implying that they are exposed to persecution on account of their religious beliefs.
81 I.e., a treaty of alliance or of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. Since in such cases an armed intervention of the Islamic state in behalf of the Muslim citizens of a non-Muslim state would constitute a breach of treaty obligations, the Islamic state is not allowed to seek redress by force. A solution of the problem could conceivably be brought about by negotiations between the two states or, alternatively, by an emigration of the persecuted Muslims.
82 The fact of their being bent on denying the truth of the divine message constitutes, as it were, a common denominator between them, and precludes the possibility of their ever being real friends to the believers. This refers of course, to relations between communities, and not necessarily between individuals: hence my rendering of the term awliya’, in this context, as “allies”.
83 See note 5 on verse 4 of this surah.
84 Although the expression alladhina amanu (lit., “those who have come to believe”) is in the past tense, the words min ba’d (“afterwards” or “henceforth”) indicate a future time in relation to the time at which this verse was revealed: hence, the whole sentence beginning with alladhina amanu must be understood as referring to the future (Manor X, 134 f. see also Razi’s commentary on this verse).
85 I.e., they, too, shall belong to the brotherhood of Islam, in which the faith held in common supplies the decisive bond between believer and believer.
86 The classical commentators are of the opinion that this last clause refers to actual family relations, as distinct from the spiritual brotherhood based on a community of faith. According to these commentators, the above sentence abolished the custom which was prevalent among the early Muslims, whereby the ansar (“the helpers” – i.e., the newly-converted Muslims of Medina) concluded, individually, symbolic ties of brotherhood with the muhajirin (“the emigrants” from Mecca), who, almost without exception, arrived at Medina in a state of complete destitution: ties of brotherhood, that is, which entitled every muhajir to a share in the property of his “brother” from among the ansar, and, in the event of the tatter’s death, to a share in the inheritance left by him. The above verse is said to have prohibited such arrangements by stipulating that only actual close relations should henceforth have a claim to inheritance. To my mind, however, this interpretation is not convincing. Although the expression ulu ‘l-arham is derived from the noun rahm (also spelt rihm and rahim), which literally signifies “womb”, one should not forget that it is tropically used in the sense of “kinship”, “relationship” or “close relationship” in general (i.e., not merely blood-relationship). Thus, “in the classical language, ulu ‘l-arham means any relations: and in law, any relations that have no portion [of the inheritances termed fara’id]” (Lane III, 1056, citing, among other authorities, the Taj al-‘Arus). In the present instance, the reference to “close relations” comes at the end of a passage which centres on the injunction that the believers must be “the friends and protectors (awliya’) of one another”, and that all later believers shall, similarly, be regarded as members of the Islamic brotherhood. If the reference to “close relations” were meant to be taken in its literal sense and conceived as alluding to laws of inheritance, it would be quite out of tune with the rest of the passage, which stresses the bonds of faith among true believers, as well as the moral obligations arising from these bonds. In my opinion, therefore, the above verse has no bearing on laws of inheritance, but is meant to summarize, as it were, the lesson of the preceding verses: All true believers, of all times, form one single community in the deepest sense of this word and all who are thus closely related in spirit have the highest claim on one another in accordance with God’s decree that “all believers are brethren” (49:10).” [4]

Don’t forget to follow Discover The Truth on Facebook and Twitter. PLEASE help spread the word by sharing our articles on your favourite social networks.


Quran 8:61 – 75 Battle Of Badr

These verses refer to the battle of Badr (624 AD) and those who migrated to Madinah, fleeing persecution.

Analysing Verses

8:61 And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.

8:65 O Prophet, urge the believers to battle. If there are among you twenty [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome a thousand of those who have disbelieved because they are a people who do not understand.

8:66 Now, Allah has lightened [the hardship] for you, and He knows that among you is weakness. So if there are from you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you a thousand, they will overcome two thousand by permission of Allah. And Allah is with the steadfast.

8:67 It is not for a prophet to have captives [of war] until he inflicts a massacre [upon Allah’s enemies] in the land. Some Muslims desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires [for you] the Hereafter. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

8:68 If not for a decree from Allah that preceded, you would have been touched for what you took by a great punishment.

8:69 So consume what you have taken of war booty [as being] lawful and good, and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

8:70 O Prophet, say to whoever is in your hands of the captives, “If Allah knows [any] good in your hearts, He will give you [something] better than what was taken from you, and He will forgive you and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

8:71 But if they intend to betray you – then they have already betrayed Allah before, and He empowered [you] over them. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.

8:72 Indeed, those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth and lives in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided – they are allies of one another. But those who believed and did not emigrate – for you there is no guardianship of them until they emigrate. And if they seek help of you for the religion, then you must help, except against a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty. And Allah is Seeing of what you do.

8:73 And those who disbelieved are allies of one another. If you do not do so, there will be oppression on earth and great corruption.

8:74 But those who have believed and emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided – it is they who are the believers, truly. For them is forgiveness and noble provision.

8:75 And those who believed after [the initial emigration] and emigrated and fought with you – they are of you. But those of [blood] relationship are more entitled [to inheritance] in the decree of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of all things.

8:61 – If the enemy stops hostilities and offers peace, then the Muslims have to offer peace to them as well.

8:65 – The Muslims were commanded to get ready to defend the community from the Quraish (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas). The verse eludes to the battle of Badr (624 AD). Here we are the believers are told that if they are ‘twenty’ they could defeat two hundred of them. And if they are ‘hundred’ of them, the believers could defeat a thousand of the enemy soldiers.

8:67 – This verse refers just after the battle of Badr (624 AD). The injunction in this verse states that no one could be made prisoner unless there was war. So when one becomes the victor, this is the only time Muslims were allowed to take soldiers captive. The Prophet (p), throughout Islamic scripture never beheaded any prisoner. In fact, he released most of them (Asad, Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas, Tafsir Ibn Kathir [1], and Maulana Muhammed Ali).

8:69 – God tells the Muslims at the aftermath of the battle of Badr, that they should go and enjoy what they gained, spoils of war (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas). When one sides loses and there remains there stuff behind, the victors take that home to either share it among themselves or the poor, needy and orphans.

8:70 – God here tells the Prophet (p) to say those who were captured in the battle of Badr (624 AD), that if they have any good in their hearts that they will be forgiven for their past hostilities against the Muslims (further details on this verse, who it referred to, read the commentary by Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi).

8:71 – The verse is directed at those captives at the battle of Badr, who were captured. The verse doesn’t tell us specifically if they were released straight away or voluntarily converted to Islam, and then released. The words used here does infer that they were released, and hence shows some may intend on betraying the Muslims, by waging war against the Muslims (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas).

8:72 – “Those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth”, refers to those who believed in the religion of Islam and emigrated to Madinah, and fought to defend the community with their wealth, are true believers (Further details on the verse, read the Quran commentary by Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas).

8:74 – The verse emphasizes on those Muslims that emigrated to Madinah, fought alongside other believers in protecting the persecuted community, and gave shelter, that they are the true believers in the sight of God Almighty. They will be rewarded (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas).

8:75 – Here again, as explained previously it mentions the believers who migrated, believed in Islam and fought against the Quraysh,

“And those who afterwards) after the first Emigrants (believed) in Muhammad (pbuh) and in the Qur’an (and left their homes) and migrated from Mecca to Medina (and strove along with you) against the enemy, (they are of you) they are with you in secret and openly (and those who are akin) those who are related by their lineage, the closer then the one who comes next, etc., (are nearer one to another) in relation to the division of estates (in the ordinance of Allah) in the Guarded Tablet.” – (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas Online source )

Commentaries

“1140. The verse, besides embodying an important principle about making of peace-treaties, throws interesting light on the character of the wars undertaken by Islam. Muslims did not resort to war to force men to embrace Islam but to establish and maintain peace. If any people after having made war upon Muslims sued for peace the latter were enjoined not to reject the offer, even if the enemy might be suing for peace only to deceive them and gain time. This shows to what lengths Islam goes to establish peace among nations.
1141. The verse seems to give 20 as the minimum number that makes a fighting party.
1142. Because they are mercenaries, and do not realize the righteousness of the cause they fight for, they feel no real interest for it. Or the meaning may be that they have no higher ideals which they seek to pursue and serve.
1143. The verse should not be understood to abrogate the preceding one. The two verses refer to two different states of the Muslim community. In the beginning they were weak, ill-equipped and ill-trained in the art of war. In that state of weakness they could successfully fight against only their double number.
But as with the passage of time their all-round condition, fighting experience and military resources had very much improved they could defeat an enemy ten times their number. In the battles of Badr, Uhud, and of the Trench, the disparity between the number of forces of both sides progressively increased, yet the Muslims quite successfully held their own, till at the Battle of Yarmouk, mere 60.000 Muslims defeated an army of more than a million strong.
1144. The verse lays down the general rule that captives should not be taken unless there is regular fighting and the enemy is completely overpowered. It cuts at the root of slavery. Only those, who take part in war in order to destroy Islam and are defeated, can be made prisoner. See also 2739
1145. The words refer to the Divine promise of help (8:8-10).
1145A. Ransoming of captives was already in vogue. What is emphasised here is that prisoners could only be taken in regular fighting in the course of war.
1146. Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle was taken prisoner at Badr. When subsequently he embraced Islam and came over to the Holy Prophet, he requested, on the authority of the verse under comment, that as God had promised to give the prisoners more than was taken from them as ransom, the promise may be fulfilled in his case. The Holy Prophet granted his request (Jarir, x. 31).

1149. As all Muslims are declared to be brothers, one to another, in verse 73 and the Holy Prophet had established at Medina a sort of brotherhood between the Refugees and the helpers, the misunderstanding might have arisen that they could inherit one another’s property so it is enjoined here that blood relations alone are entitled to inheritance and other Muslims are only brothers in faith and not heirs.” [2]

“65a. It should be noted that the war to which the Muslims were to be urged was the defensive war which the Muslims had to fight to save themselves and to protect the religion of Islam. The sword had been taken up against them see 2:190, 2:217, 22:39, etc.
65b. The Muslims were very few as compared with their enemies, and there was not even one Muslim to ten disbelievers. Thus there is a clear prophecy here that, notwithstanding their fewer numbers, the Muslims shall be victorious. After the battle of Badr came the battle of U√ud, in which the Muslims were less than 1 to 4 against the enemy this was followed by the battle of the A√zåb, in which they were 1 to 10, yet the enemy was routed.
66a. This verse is supposed by some to abrogate the previous verse, where it is stated that twenty patient Muslims shall overcome two hundred disbelievers. This is not a correct view. Firstly, because only an injunction could be said to be abrogated, and not a statement. Secondly, because the two statements relate to two different states of the Muslims. At the time of the battle of Badr there was no Muslim army in existence. Every man available, young or old, sick or healthy, had to fight to save the life of the community. They had very few arms, and they had never been trained. This is referred to in the words He knows that there is weakness in you. So the Muslim forces as then constituted could at most be a match for double their numbers. But a time did come when they were a match for ten times their numbers. So both the statements in the Qur’an proved true. But even if the words may be taken as an injunction to the Muslims to overcome twice and afterwards ten times their numbers, there is no question of abrogation. There are two commandments, one in accordance with the circumstances of the Muslim society as it was then, another in accordance with a future state when they would be well-armed. 67a. There exists some misunderstanding as to the meaning of yuthkhina used here. Thakhuna means he or it became thick, and athkhana means ghalaba, he overcame (LA). The same word is again used in the Holy Qur’an exactly in the same sense: “then, when you have overcome them, make them prisoners” (47:4). On the authority of certain reports, the commentators are of opinion that this verse and the next refer to releasing the prisoners of war taken at Badr after taking ransom from them, which act, it is said, is here disapproved. But various considerations show that these verses refer to some other incidents. Firstly, the condition laid down here for taking prisoners is that the Prophet should fight against the enemy, and that had actually been done at Badr. Secondly, the taking of prisoners and their release on this very occasion is justified in clear words only two verses further on, “O Prophet, say to those of the captives who are in your hands: If Allah knows anything good in your hearts, He will give you better than that which has been taken from you” (v. 70). This shows that these verses were revealed when the prisoners were still in the hands of the Muslims and that which has been taken is clearly the ransom, which must have taken many days to reach Madinah. If the verse had conveyed a Divine commandment to slay the prisoners and not to release them, that step could still have been taken. But the very fact that no such step was taken shows clearly that the verse conveyed no such Divine commandment. The legality of the Holy Prophet’s procedure on this occasion is clearly borne out by an earlier revelation: “So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, smite the necks then, when you have overcome them, make them prisoners, and afterwards set them free as a favour or for ransom” (47:4). The Prophet never slew a single prisoner of war, even after the battle of Badr, though thousands of prisoners were taken in some of these battles. On the other hand, the prisoners were almost always set free as a favour, and ransom was taken only from the Badr prisoners. The question is, what is then hinted at in this verse and in the one that follows? To me it seems quite clear that the reference is to the desire (mark the word desire used in the verse) — not to an action already completed — of a party of the Muslims referred to in v. 7, and you loved that the one not armed should be yours. Some Muslims desired to
68a, 68b, see next page. Attack and capture the unarmed caravan, but depredations like these, though committed by disbelievers upon the Muslims, were not fit for a prophet. He must fight a hard fight in his defence first and then, if he overcomes the enemy, he may take prisoners. Thus this injunction also declares slavery to be illegal, and allows only the retaining of those who are taken prisoners in war. The frail goods of this world appropriately refer to the caravan and its merchandise, while the addition of the concluding words in v. 69, eat then of the lawful and good things which you have acquired in war, shows that the ransom received on account of the prisoners is among the lawful and good things.
68a. That ordinance from Allah is referred to in several places in this chapter it was to bring about an encounter with the main army of the Quraish at Badr: “And when Allah promised you one of the two parties that it should be yours … and Allah desired to establish the Truth” (v. 7) and again: “In order that Allah might bring about a matter which had to be done” (v. 42).
68b. You say akhadha fi kadha meaning he took to a thing, or set about or commenced doing it (LL). 72a. The friendship alluded to in this verse has been a matter of much discussion among the commentators. The meaning seems to be clear. Those who believed, and, having been persecuted, fled from their homes, formed a community at Madinah along with those who gave them shelter and helped them, i.e., the Ansar. But there were those who chose to remain in their homes. The Muslim community at Madinah could not undertake to guard the interests of such persons, and this is what is meant by saying, you are not responsible for their protection. But if they seek help in the matter of religion, it is incumbent on the Muslim community to give them help, unless there exists a treaty of alliance with the people against whom such help is sought.
73a. If you do not help your brethren in the matter of religion, the disbelievers will become more daring in their persecutions and in causing mischief and disorder in the land.
75a. When even strangers who have accepted Islam and fled from their homes become “of you”, those who have in addition ties of relationship, possess every title to have their interests guarded by the Muslim community.” [3]

“69 For an explanation of the phrase harrid al-mu’minin, see surah 4, note 102. Consistently with my interpretation, the words ‘ala ‘l-qital can be rendered here in either of two ways: “[with a view] to fighting” or “when fighting”. On the basis of the conventional interpretation of the verb harrid as “urge” or “rouse”, the phrase could be translated as “urge the believers to fight”: but this, as I have pointed out in the earlier note referred to above, does not convey the true sense of this injunction.
70 Some of the commentators see in this verse a divine prediction, thus: “If there be twenty of you …. they shall overcome two hundred …”, etc. Since, however, history shows that the believers, even at the time of the Prophet, were not always victorious against such odds, the above view is not tenable. In order to understand this passage correctly, we must read it in close conjunction with the opening sentence, “Inspire the believers to conquer all fear of death”, whereupon we arrive at the meaning given in my rendering: namely, an exhortation to the believers to conquer all fear of death and to be so patient in adversity that they might be able to overcome an enemy many times their number (Razi: see also Manar X, 87). The concluding words of this verse –because they are people who cannot grasp it [i.e.. the truth]” – can be understood in either of two ways: (a) as giving an additional reason of the true believers’ superiority over “those who are bent on denying the truth” (alladhina kafaru), inasmuch as the latter, not believing in the eternal verities and in life after death. Cannot rise to that enthusiasm and readiness for self-sacrifice which distinguishes the true believers: or (b) as explaining that “those who are bent on denying the truth” deny it simply because their spiritual deafness and blindness prevents them from grasping it. To my mind, the second of these two interpretations is preferable, and particularly so in view of the fact that the Qur’an often explains in these terms the attitude of “those who deny the truth” (e.g., in 6:25, 7:179, 9:87, etc.).
71 This relates to the time at which the above verse was revealed, namely, immediately after the battle of Badr (2 H.), when the Muslims were extremely weak both in numbers and in equipment, and their community had not yet attained to any significant degree of political organization. Under those circumstances, the Qur’an says, they could not – nor could any Muslim community of later times, in similar circumstances – be expected to bring forth the effort and the efficiency required of a fully developed community of believers but even so they should be able to stand up to an enemy twice their number. (The proportions one to two, or – as in the preceding verse, one to ten – are not, of course, to be taken literally as a matter of fact, the Muslims defeated at Badr a much better armed army more than thrice their own number.) The reference to God’s having “lightened the burden” imposed on the believers in this respect makes it clear that both this and the preceding verse imply a divine command couched in terms of exhortation, and not a prediction of events to come (Razi). 72 I.e., as an aftermath of a war in a just cause. As almost always in the Qur’an, an injunction addressed to the Prophet is, by implication, binding on his followers as well. Consequently, the above verse lays down that no person may be taken, or for any time retained, in captivity unless he was taken prisoner in a jihad – that is, a holy war in defence of the Faith or of freedom (regarding which see surah 2, note 167) – and that, therefore, the acquisition of a slave by “peaceful” means, and the keeping of a slave thus acquired, is entirely prohibited: which, to all practical purposes, amounts to a prohibition of slavery as a “social institution”. But even with regard to captives taken in war, the Qur’an ordains (in 47:4) that they should be freed after the war is over.
73 This is apparently a reference to the captives taken by the Muslims at Badr, and the discussions among the Prophet’s followers as to what should be done with them. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab was of the opinion that they should be killed in revenge for their past misdeeds, and in particular for their persecution of the Muslims before the latters’ exodus to Medina Abu Bakr, on the other hand, pleaded for forgiveness and a release of the prisoners against ransom, supporting his plea with the argument that such an act of mercy might induce some of them to realize the truth of Islam. The Prophet adopted the course of action advocated by Abu Bakr, and released the captives. (The relevant Traditions are quoted by most of the commentators, and especially – with full indication of the sources – by Tabari and Ibn Kathir.) The reference in the above verse to the “tremendous chastisement” that might have befallen the Muslims “but for a decree (kitab) from God that had already gone forth” – i.e., a course of action fore-ordained in God’s knowledge makes it clear that the killing of the captives would have been an awesome sin.
74 I.e., “If God finds in your hearts a disposition to realize the truth of His message, He will bestow on you faith and, thus, the good of the life to come: and this will outweigh by far your defeat in war and the loss of so many of your friends and companions.” Although these words relate primarily to the pagan Quraysh taken prisoner in the battle of Badr, they circumscribe the Islamic attitude towards all unbelieving enemies who might fall into the believers’ hands in the course of war. For a further discussion of the problem of prisoners of war, see 47:4. 75 I.e., by falsely pretending to a change of heart and an acceptance of Islam in order to be freed from the obligation of paying ransom.
76 Sc., “and He can, if He so wills, do it again”. Thus, the Muslims are enjoined, by implication, to accept the declarations of the captives at their face value, and not to be swayed by mere suspicion of their motives. The possibility of treachery on the part of those captives, and even a later discovery that some of them had indeed played false, should not induce the Muslims to deviate from the course ordained by God.
77 See surah 2, note 203. Historically, this expression relates to the Meccan Muslims who migrated with the Prophet to Medina but the sequence makes it clear that the definitions and injunctions provided by this verse are in the nature of a general law, valid for all times. With all this, it should be noted that the hijrah referred to here has a preponderantly physical connotation, implying an emigration from a non-Muslim country to a country ruled by the Law of Islam.
78 This refers, in the first instance, to the ansar at Medina – that is, to the newly-converted Muslims of that town, who gave shelter and whole-hearted aid to the muhajirin (“emigrants”) from Mecca before and after the Prophet’s own migration thither: but, similar to the spiritual meaning attaching to the terms hijrah and muhajir, the expression and transcends its purely historical connotation and applies to all believers who aid and give comfort to “those who flee from evil unto God”.
79 I.e., those Muslims who, for some reason or other, remain outside the political jurisdiction of the Muslim state. Since not every non-Muslim country is necessarily a “domain of evil”, I am rendering the phrase wa-lam yuhajiru as “without having migrated [to your country]”.
80 Lit., “to succour them in religion”: implying that they are exposed to persecution on account of their religious beliefs.
81 I.e., a treaty of alliance or of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. Since in such cases an armed intervention of the Islamic state in behalf of the Muslim citizens of a non-Muslim state would constitute a breach of treaty obligations, the Islamic state is not allowed to seek redress by force. A solution of the problem could conceivably be brought about by negotiations between the two states or, alternatively, by an emigration of the persecuted Muslims.
82 The fact of their being bent on denying the truth of the divine message constitutes, as it were, a common denominator between them, and precludes the possibility of their ever being real friends to the believers. This refers of course, to relations between communities, and not necessarily between individuals: hence my rendering of the term awliya’, in this context, as “allies”.
83 See note 5 on verse 4 of this surah.
84 Although the expression alladhina amanu (lit., “those who have come to believe”) is in the past tense, the words min ba’d (“afterwards” or “henceforth”) indicate a future time in relation to the time at which this verse was revealed: hence, the whole sentence beginning with alladhina amanu must be understood as referring to the future (Manor X, 134 f. see also Razi’s commentary on this verse).
85 I.e., they, too, shall belong to the brotherhood of Islam, in which the faith held in common supplies the decisive bond between believer and believer.
86 The classical commentators are of the opinion that this last clause refers to actual family relations, as distinct from the spiritual brotherhood based on a community of faith. According to these commentators, the above sentence abolished the custom which was prevalent among the early Muslims, whereby the ansar (“the helpers” – i.e., the newly-converted Muslims of Medina) concluded, individually, symbolic ties of brotherhood with the muhajirin (“the emigrants” from Mecca), who, almost without exception, arrived at Medina in a state of complete destitution: ties of brotherhood, that is, which entitled every muhajir to a share in the property of his “brother” from among the ansar, and, in the event of the tatter’s death, to a share in the inheritance left by him. The above verse is said to have prohibited such arrangements by stipulating that only actual close relations should henceforth have a claim to inheritance. To my mind, however, this interpretation is not convincing. Although the expression ulu ‘l-arham is derived from the noun rahm (also spelt rihm and rahim), which literally signifies “womb”, one should not forget that it is tropically used in the sense of “kinship”, “relationship” or “close relationship” in general (i.e., not merely blood-relationship). Thus, “in the classical language, ulu ‘l-arham means any relations: and in law, any relations that have no portion [of the inheritances termed fara’id]” (Lane III, 1056, citing, among other authorities, the Taj al-‘Arus). In the present instance, the reference to “close relations” comes at the end of a passage which centres on the injunction that the believers must be “the friends and protectors (awliya’) of one another”, and that all later believers shall, similarly, be regarded as members of the Islamic brotherhood. If the reference to “close relations” were meant to be taken in its literal sense and conceived as alluding to laws of inheritance, it would be quite out of tune with the rest of the passage, which stresses the bonds of faith among true believers, as well as the moral obligations arising from these bonds. In my opinion, therefore, the above verse has no bearing on laws of inheritance, but is meant to summarize, as it were, the lesson of the preceding verses: All true believers, of all times, form one single community in the deepest sense of this word and all who are thus closely related in spirit have the highest claim on one another in accordance with God’s decree that “all believers are brethren” (49:10).” [4]

Don’t forget to follow Discover The Truth on Facebook and Twitter . PLEASE help spread the word by sharing our articles on your favourite social networks.


Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman

With these words, the Prophet, peace be upon him, addressed Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman when he met him for the first time in Makkah. How did Hudhayfah come to have this choice'?

His father, al-Yaman was a Makkan from the tribe of Abs. He had killed someone and had been forced to leave Makkah. He had settled down in Yathrib, becoming an ally (halif) of the Banu al-Ash-hal and marrying into the tribe. A son named Hudhayfah was born to him. The restrictions on his returning to Makkah were eventually lifted and he divided his time between Makkah and Yathrib but stayed more in Yathrib and was more attached to it.

This was how Hudhayfah had a Makkan origin but a Yathribite upbringing. When the rays of Islam began to radiate over the Arabian peninsula, a delegation from the Abs tribe, which included al-Yaman, went to the Prophet and announced their acceptance of Islam. That was before the Prophet migrated to Yathrib.

Hudhayfah grew up in a Muslim household and was taught by both his mother and father who were among the first persons from Yathrib to enter the religion of God. He therefore became a Muslim before meeting the Prophet, peace be upon him.

Hudhayfah longed to meet the Prophet. From an early age, he was keen on following whatever news there was about him. The more he heard, the more his affection for the Prophet grew and the more he longed to meet him.

He eventually journeyed to Makkah, met the Prophet and put the question to him, "Am I a muhajir or am I an Ansari, O Rasulullah?"

"If you wish you may consider yourself among the muhajirin, or if you wish you may consider yourself one of the Ansar. Choose whichever is dearer to you," replied the Prophet. "Well, I am an Ansari. O Rasulullah," decided Hudhayfah.

At Madinah, after the Hijrah, Hudhayfah became closely attached to the Prophet. He participated in all the military engagements except Badr. Explaining why he missed the Battle of Badr, he said: "I would not have missed Badr if my father and I had not been outside Madinah. The disbelieving Quraysh met us and asked where we were going. We told them we were going to Madinah and they asked whether we intended to meet Muhammad. We insisted that we only wanted to go to Madinah. They allowed us to go only after they extracted from us an undertaking not to help Muhammad against them and not to fight along with them.

"When we came to the Prophet we told him about our undertaking to the Quraysh and asked him what should we do. He said that we should ignore the undertaking and seek God's help against them."

Hudhayfah participated in the Battle of Uhud with his father. The pressure on Hudhayfah during the battle was great but he acquitted himself well and emerged safe and sound. A rather different fate, however, awaited his father.

Before the battle, the Prophet, peace be on him, left alYaman, Hudhayfah's father, and Thabit ibn Waqsh with the other non-combatants including women and children. This was because they were both quite old. As the fighting grew fiercer, al-Yaman said to his friend: "You have no father (meaning you have no cares). What are we waiting for? We both have only a short time to live. Why don't we take our swords and join the Messenger of God, peace be on him? Maybe, God will bless us with martyrdom beside His Prophet."

They quickly prepared for battle and were soon in the thick of the fighting. Thabit ibn Waqsh was blessed with shahdah at the hands of the mushrikin. The father of Hudhayfah, however was set upon by some Muslims who did not recognize who he was. As they flayed him, Hudhayfah cried out: "My father! My father! It's my father!"

No one heard him. The old man fell, killed in error by the swords of his own brothers in faith. They were filled with pain and remorse. Grieved as he was, Hudhayfah said to them: "May God forgive you for He is the most Merciful of those who show mercy."

The Prophet, peace be on him, wanted diyah (compensation) to be paid to Hudhayfah for the death of his father but Hudhayfah said: "He was simply seeking shahadah and he attained it. O Lord, bear witness that I donate the compensation for him to the Muslims."

Because of this attitude, Hudhayfah's stature grew in the eyes of the Prophet, peace be on him. Hudhayfah had three qualities which particularly impressed the Prophet: his unique intelligence which he employed in dealing with difficult situations his quick wittedness and spontaneous response to the call of action, and his ability to keep a secret even under persistent questioning.

A noticeable policy of the Prophet was to bring out and use the special qualities and strengths of each individual companion of his. In deploying his companions, he was careful to choose the right man for the right task. This he did to excellent advantage in the case of Hudhayfah.

One of the gravest problems the Muslims of Madinah had to face was the existence in their midst of hypocrites (munafiqun) particularly from among the Jews and their allies. Although many of them had declared their acceptance of Islam, the change was only superficial and they continued to plot and intrigue against the Prophet and the Muslims.

Because of Hudhayfah's ability to keep a secret, the Prophet, peace be on him, confided in him the names of the munafiqin. It was a weighty secret which the Prophet did not disclose to any other off his companions. He gave Hudhayfah the task of watching the movements of the munafiqin, following their activities, and shielding the Muslims from the sinister danger they represented. It was a tremendous responsibility. The munafiqin, because they acted in secrecy and because they knew all the developments and plans of the Muslims from within presented a greater threat to the community than the outright hostility of the kuffar.

From this time onwards. Hudhayfah was called "The Keeper of the Secret of the Messenger of Allah". Throughout his life he remained faithful to his pledge not to disclose the names of the hypocrites. After the death of the Prophet, the Khalifah often came-to him to seek his advice concerning their movements and activities but he remained tight-lipped and cautious.

Umar was only able to find out indirectly who the hypocrites were. If anyone among the Muslims died, Umar would ask:

"Has Hudhayfah attended his funeral prayer?"

If the reply was 'yes', he would perform the prayer. If the reply was 'no', he became doubtful about the person and refrained from performing the funeral prayer for him.

Once Umar asked Hudhayfah: "Is any of my governors a munafiq?" "One," replied Hudhayfah. "Point him out to me," ordered Umar. "That I shall not do," insisted Hudhayfah who later said that shortly after their conversation Umar dismissed the person just as if he had been guided to him.

Hudhayfah's special qualities were made use of by the Prophet, peace be on him, at various times. One of the most testing of such occasions, which required the use of Hudhayfah's intelligence and his presence of mind, was during the Battle of the Ditch. The Muslims on that occasion were surrounded by enemies. The seige they had been placed under had dragged on. The Muslims were undergoing severe hardship and difficulties. They had expended practically all their effort and were utterly exhausted. So intense was the strain that some even began to despair.

The Quraysh and their allies, meanwhile, were not much better off. Their strength and determination had been sapped. A violent wind overturned their tents, extinguished their fires and pelted their faces and eyes with gusts of sand and dust.

In such decisive moments in the history of warfare, the side that loses is the one that despairs first and the one that wins is the one that holds out longer. The role of army intelligence in such situations often proves to be a crucial factor in determining the outcome of the battle.

At this stage of the confrontation the Prophet, peace be on him, felt he could use the special talents and experience of Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman. He decided to send Hudhayfah into the midst of the enemy's positions under cover of darkness to bring him the latest information on their situation and morale before he decided on his next move.

Let us now leave Hudhayfah to relate what happened on this mission fraught with danger and even death.

"That night, we were all seated in rows. Abu Sufyan and his men - the mushrikun of Makkah - were in front of us. The Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayzah were at our rear and we were afraid of them because of our wives and children. The night was stygian dark. Never before was there a darker night nor a wind so strong. So dark was the night that no one could see his fingers and the blast of the wind was like the peel of thunder.

"The hypocrites began to ask the Prophet for permission to leave, saying, 'Our houses are exposed to the enemy.' Anyone who asked the Prophet's permission to leave was allowed to go. Many thus sneaked away until we were left with about three hundred men.

"The Prophet then began a round of inspection passing us one by one until he reached me. I had nothing to protect me from the cold except a blanket belonging to my wife which scarcely reached my knees. He came nearer to

me as I lay crouching on the ground and asked: 'Who is this?' 'Hudhayfah,' replied. 'Hudhayfah?' he queried as I huddled myself closer to the ground too afraid to stand up because of the intense hunger and cold. 'Yes, O Messenger of God,' I replied. 'Something is happening among the people (meaning the forces of Abu Sufyan). Infiltrate their encampment and bring me news of what's happening,' instructed the Prophet.

"I set out. At that moment I was the most terrified person of all and felt terribly cold. The Prophet, peace be on him, prayed: 'O Lord, protect him from in front and from behind, from his right and from his left, from above and from below.'

"By God, no sooner had the Prophet, peace be on him, completed his supplication than God removed from my stomach all traces of fear and from my body all the punishing cold. As I turned to go, the Prophet called me back to him and said: 'Hudhayfah, on no account do anything among the people (of the opposing forces) until you come back to me.'

"I went on, inching my way under cover of darkness until I penetrated deep into the mushrikin camp and became just like one of them. Shortly afterwards, Abu Sufyan got up and began to address his men:

'O people of the Quraysh, I am about to make a statement to you which I fear would reach Muhammad. Therefore, let every man among you look and make sure who is sitting next to him. '

"On hearing this, I immediately grasped the hand of the man next to me and asked, 'Who are you?' (thus putting him on the defensive and clearing myself). "Abu Sufyan went on:

'O people of the Quraysh, by God, you are not in a safe and secure place. Our horses and camels have perished. The Banu Qurayzah have deserted us and we have had unpleasant news about them. We are buffered by this bitterly cold wind. Our fires do not light and our uprooted tents offer no protection. So get moving. For myself, I am leaving.'

"He went to his camel, untethered and mounted it. He struck it and it stood upright. If the Messenger of God, peace be on him, had not instructed me to do nothing until I returned to him, I would have killed Abu Sufyan then and there with an arrow.

"I returned to the Prophet and found him standing on a blanket performing Salat. When he recognized me, he drew me close to his legs and threw one end of the blanket over me. I informed him of what had happened. He was extremely happy and joyful and gave thanks and praise to

Hudhayfah lived in constant dread of evil and corrupting influences. He felt that goodness and the sources of good in this life were easy to recognize for those who desired good. But it was evil that was deceptive and often difficult to perceive and combat.

He became something of a great moral philosopher. He always warned people to struggle against evil with all their faculties, with their heart, hands and tongue. Those who stood against evil only with their hearts and tongues, and not with their hands, he considered as having abandoned a part of truth. Those who hated evil only in their hearts but did not combat it with their tongues and hands forsook two parts of truth and those who neither detested nor confronted evil with their hearts, tongues or hands he considered as physically alive but morally dead.

Speaking about 'hearts' and their relationship to guidance and error, he once said: "There are four kinds of hearts. The heart that is encased or atrophied. That is the heart of the kafir or ungrateful disbeliever. The heart that is shaped into thin layers. That is the heart of the munafiq or hypocrite. The heart that is open and bare and on which shines a radiant light. That is the heart of the mumin or the believer.

Finally there is the heart in which there is both hypocrisy and faith. Faith is like a tree which thrives with good water and hypocrisy is like an abscess which thrives on pus and blood. Whichever flourishes more, be it the tree of faith or the abscess of hypocrisy, wins control of the heart."

Hudhayfah's experience with hypocrisy and his efforts to combat it gave a touch of sharpness and severity to his tongue. He himself realized this and admitted it with a noble courage: "I went to the Prophet, peace be on him and said: 'O Messenger of God, I have a tongue which is sharp and cutting against my family and I fear that this would lead me to hell-fire.' And the Prophet, peace be upon him, said to me: 'Where do you stand with regard to istighfar - asking forgiveness from Allah? I ask Allah for forgiveness a hundred times during the day. "

A pensive man like Hudhayfah, one devoted to thought, knowledge and reflection may not have been expected to perform feats of heroism in battlefields. Yet Hudhayfah was to prove himself one of the foremost Muslim military commanders in the expansion of Islam into Iraq. He distinguished himself at Hamadan, ar-Rayy, ad-Daynawar, and at the famous Battle of Nihawand.

For the encounter at Nihawand against the Persian forces, Hudhayfah was placed second in command by Umar over the entire Muslim forces which numbered some thirty thousand. The Persian forces outnumbered them by five to one being some one hundred and fifty thousand strong. The first commander of the Muslim army, an-Numan ibn Maqran, fell early in the battle. The second in command, Hudhayfah, immediately took charge of the situation, giving instructions that the death of the commander should not be broadcast. Under Hudhayfah's daring and inspiring leadership, the Muslims won a decisive victory despite tremendous odds.

Hudhayfah was made governor of important places like Kufa and Ctesiphon (al-Madain). When the news of his appointment as governor of Ctesiphon reached its inhabitants, crowds went out to meet and greet this famous companion of the Prophet of whose piety and righteousness they had heard so much. His great role in the conquests of Persia was already a legend.

As the welcoming party waited, a lean, somewhat scrawny man with dangling feet astride a donkey approached. In his hand he held a loaf of bread and some salt and he ate as he went along. When the rider was already in their midst they realized that he was Hudhayfah, the governor for whom they were waiting. They could not contain their surprise. What manner of man was this! They could however be excused for not recognizing him for they were used to the style, the pomp and the grandeur of Persian rulers.

Hudhayfah carried on and people crowded around him. He saw they were expecting him to speak and he cast a searching look at their faces. Eventually, he said: "Beware of places of fitnah and intrigue." "And what," they asked, "are places of intrigue?" He replied: "The doors of rulers where some people go and try to make the ruler or governor believe lies and praise him for (qualities) he does not possess."

With these words, the people were prepared for what to expect from their new governor. They knew at once that there was nothing in the world that he despised more than hypocrisy.


On the Path of the Beloved - The Battle of Badr

In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful. All praise be to Allah and prayers and blessings be upon His Messenger (SAWS). Yesterday was the anniversary of the battle of Badr, and today we will talk about it. This battle occurred on Friday the 17th of Ramadan in the second year after migration.

When the Prophet (SAWS) arrived to Madinah, there were many challenges: The migrants from Makkah who left their families, homes and properties were homeless and unemployed in Madinah. The nature of work in Madinah (farming) was different from what they were used to in Makkah (trade). Accordingly, their financial status was getting worse and they were getting poorer. Many of the poor migrants were called "Ahlul-Soffa" due to their abject poverty. The Prophet (SAWS) assigned a small place for them in his mosque, where they were to live until they find a better option. Furthermore, the customs in Madinah and the health atmosphere were totally different. The migrants felt lonely and estranged, being away from their homeland.

As for the Ansaar (Muslims from Madinah), there was rivalry between the two tribes "Aws" and "Khazraj" even after they embraced Islam. They were challenging each other: which of them would play the key role in the new society? Besides, there were still some disbelievers from Aws and Khazraj in Madinah. As the power of Islam was growing, there appeared the new category of hypocrites in the Muslim society. They declared themselves Muslims, yet they held grudges and hatred towards Muslims and plotted against them. In addition, there were three major Jewish tribes controlling the economy of Madinah: trading grains, dates, liquors, and clothes, and even owning the water wells. The Jews felt they were far better than the Arabs, as they thought the last Prophet would be one of them. Hence, when the Prophet came from the Arabs, the Jews felt angry and envious. Outside Madinah, Quraysh was still there, monitoring the events and bearing in mind that the struggle did not end.

To control the internal affairs, the Prophet (SAWS) implemented the following three tactics:

1- Building the mosque: not only for worshipping but also as a place where all Muslims (migrants and Ansaar, Aws and Khazraj) would meet, and their hearts and minds would converge.
2- Establishing brotherhood between migrants and Ansaar: by making one Muslim from the migrants live with a Muslim from the Ansaar. Hence, the problem of residence would be solved for the migrants, the migrants would teach the Ansaar about Islam, and the society would experience collaboration.

3- Setting a constitution of the rights and duties of citizenship for the inhabitants of Madinah: This would apply to the Muslims and the Jews, as they were to live together and co-exist in a new society based on the principles of Islam.

Accordingly, the society started to move towards charity and goodness. People were very positive and reacted positively to what the Prophet (SAWS) did. Unfortunately, nowadays people in our countries are the exact opposite. Let us examine an example of charity in Madinah. A poor migrant went to the Prophet as he was homeless. The Prophet asked the Muslims to host that poor man for the night. A man and his wife from the Ansaar took the man to their home, and started preparing dinner unfortunately, the food was not enough, and their children were hungry. They were really poor, but they wanted to do something good. We have to learn that charity and generosity are not restricted to rich people only any body who loves Islam can do this. Well, the poor couple put their children to sleep without dinner, dimmed the light, and placed the food before their guest. They pretended that they were eating with him so that he would have all the food. They did this without intending to tell anybody in order to gain Thawab (reward) and be rewarded by Allah (SWT). In the morning, when they went to perform the morning prayer, they found that the revelation was sent with an Ayah to the Prophet (SAWS). Allah sent what can be translated as, " . and prefer (the Muhajirn) above themselves, even though penury be (their portion)" (TMQ, 59:9)[1]. They wanted to keep it as a secret, but Allah (SWT) wanted to announce it they wanted to do it faithfully for the sake of Allah, and Allah wanted the news to spread and good to prevail. After the prayer, the Prophet (SAWS) told them, "Allah is satisfied with what you did with your guest last night". Allah (SWT) did this because the society was very poor and needy, hence values of good and beneficence had to prevail. When we started the projects of Life Makers (collecting clothes and Ramadan bags), some people suggested doing it secretly without announcing the numbers. Well, announcing such acts helps people to imitate each other and accordingly, good prevails. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "secretly and in public" (TMQ, 2:274).

On the economical level, the society was very poor, but they moved towards developing all aspects of life. At that time the role of businessmen started. Othman Ibn-Affan, who was very rich, bought a water well from the Jews and offered it to the Muslims as a gift. The Prophet also set up a new market in Madinah, as the Jews were controlling the trade. This was to prepare new Muslim businessmen who would be able to shoulder the mission, e.g. Abdel-Rahman Ibn-Ouf. Youths also started having a role 70 youths from the companions established a group to teach Ahlul-soffa some crafts (small projects) to practice by day like turnery and smithery. At night, these youths used to teach them Qur'an. Those 70 companions were named "The Readers" because they taught people the Noble Qur'an. For their help in solving the economic problem in the society, Allah (SWT) rewarded them all with martyrdom at the same day. You can have a message in media, art, or business, and this would still be considered a big deed for Islam. Dear brothers and sisters! we have to note that good and beneficence does not only mean spending on orphanages or teaching Qur'an.

At this time, the duties of Islam started to be revealed. Prayer was obligated during Al-Israa and Al-Mi'raj[2], but each prayer consisted of 2 Raka'as (unit of the prayer). However, in Madinah they were set to what we know now. Forms of worship were set here because Muslims were in need for a huge spiritual boost. Fasting was ordained for the first time in Madinah, two years after the migration. Hijab was set as a duty, and Zakat[3] too because the society needed money and funding. Notice that everything in our religion was revealed at the right time, when the society needed it.

Creativity found an outlet as well: using the Mimbar (pulpit) was the idea of a woman from the companions. She told the Prophet (SAWS) that to achieve better communication, he should stand on a high place to see the people and to be seen by them while delivering his speeches. As for the Adhan (call for prayers), Muslims were wondering how to gather people for prayers. They wanted to have some method that is different from other religions. Abdullah Ibn-Zaid, one of the companions had a dream that a man taught him the words of the Adhan. He told the Prophet about the dream and the Adhan wording, and the Prophet said that it was a good vision. This man was thinking hard for the sake of Islam, and this was why Allah (SWT) guided him to what he was seeking. If you love Islam and dream for it, Allah (SWT) will send you ideas. Can you see that Abdullah is gaining Thawab until the Day of Judgment because he cared for Islam and dreamt for it? Notice that the Prophet (SAWS) asked Belal to make the call for prayers with the Adhan because he had a beautiful voice. Islam cares a lot for values of beauty, and the Prophet wanted the Adhan to be performed in the best way.

The Prophet (SAWS) represented a role model for the people in this society. They were very poor, and when one of them went to the Prophet to complain of hunger, he found the prophet in the same state too. The Prophet never ate except after the people ate months would pass before any cooking would be done in his house, and he mainly ate dates and water. Being such an example, the Prophet helped the people to be patient. If you can visit the houses of his wives, you will find them very small, although at that time they used to have big and nice houses.

Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) set an example in selflessness as well. One time when it was very cold during a winter in Madinah a woman from the Ansaar weaved a woolen outfit for the Prophet (SAWS). The Prophet was very happy to have it, and wore it for Fajr prayer. One of the Ansaar saw it and said, "What a beautiful outfit! Would you give it to me, Messenger of Allah?" The Prophet (SAWS) immediately took it off and put it on the man. The companions blamed the man for doing this, but the man said, "I didn't want it because of the cold, but to be shrouded with it in my grave".

As for the situation outside of Madinah, the conflict between truth and falsehood did not end, although the "truth" left Makkah. Actually the battles and wars would start. There is something very important we have to note: within the current world events, we are not ashamed of Jihad, or of the Prophet's ahadith about martyrs and mujahedoon (fighters for the sake of Allah). We have to understand the reasons behind the Prophet's jihad. Remember the first words for the Prophet (SAWS) when he entered Madinah, "O people! Spread peace among you . You will get in Jannah peacefully". The Prophet hated spilling blood the total number of those who got killed during all the battles of the Prophet was 400, in 17 or 18 battles. The Prophet could have turned battles into blood baths, especially when conquering Makkah, but he did not. The Prophet (SAWS) got into these wars only for the sake of the Message. The Prophet wanted Quraysh to allow him to convey his message to the whole of mankind. Then they would be free to choose, because embracing the message cannot be enforced. Leaving Makkah was a solution for the Prophet because he was at a safe place where he was able to communicate his message freely to people. The Prophet (SAWS) did not escape from Makkah to live a luxurious life. Nevertheless, Quraysh was still an obstacle in the way of delivering the message. Arab tribes refused to listen to the Prophet because they had treaties and they allied with Quraysh, so they feared spoiling their relations and interests with them. The Prophet (SAWS) insisted on delivering the message of Allah, even if he was obliged to go into war.

On the day of the battle of Badr, Otba Ibn-Rabi'a said, "O people of Quraysh! Let's get back to Makkah. Let Muhammad deliver his message to the people. If the Arabs kill him, you will be relieved. If he conquers the Arabs, his glory and honor is then yours." Abu-Jahl told him, "What a coward you are! Do we leave our money?" Again the problem was the personal interests: money, positions, superiority, idols, and the treaties with Arabs. The Prophet (SAWS) felt that if there would be no solution but war in order to deliver the message, then he would go for it, even he would get killed.

Remember that many of the companions were deprived of their money and properties when they left Makkah even the Prophet's house was taken and sold. The Prophet would never leave the rights of these people, and the ones who were killed, like Somaya. One may ask, why didn't the Prophet fight them when he was in Makkah? No! The Prophet respected his home and its system he respected the rights and duties of citizenship. He knew he had no right to destroy his hometown. But after going to Madinah, he and Quraysh became two separate entities. Above all, Quraysh was preparing itself to fight the Prophet anyway. So the Prophet's wars were not defensive, and at the same time Islam did not prevail by the sword. The whole issue lies in the fact that the prophet (SAWS) wanted Quraysh to give him the opportunity to deliver his message to the people, but they refused.

Something very important then happened: the Kiblah (direction of prayer) changed from Bait Al-Makdis (Jerusalem) to Makkah. It is as if Allah (SWT) wanted them to focus on Makkah, because it is a strategic place and the center for all Arabs.

The Prophet (SAWS) started preparing his army for the struggle between truth and falsehood. He knew that there would be a battle with Quraysh. The Prophet (SAWS) asked the companions to get him a statistical report with the number of Muslims, those who could use weapons, and those who were literate. He wanted to determine the strength of the army he could prepare, and he knew that this religion would only spread through knowledge and education.

The Prophet (SAWS) also established an intelligence service to make comprehensive investigation and research throughout the Arabian Peninsula, especially the roads between Makkah and Madinah. They were divided into small groups led by Talha Ibn-Obaidullah and Said Ibn-Zaid (Omar's brother-in-law), who were both promised to enter Al-Jannah. The Prophet ordered them to move in a small group of eight or ten people in the road between Makkah and Madinah and study it by heart, and track all the movements that occur there. They kept working for two years, getting all the possible news and information, passing by all the tribes on the road to convince them to be neutral.

Furthermore, the Prophet (SAWS) sent brigades to move through the road between Makkah and Madinah, as a kind of training and in preparation for the war. All these brigades consisted of the migrants and did not include anyone from the Ansaar, because the migrants knew the road better.

Two months before the battle of Badr, the Prophet (SAWS) sent a brigade led by Abdullah Ibn-Jahsh. The Prophet gave him a sealed letter and told him to open it after two days. After two days, Abdullah read the letter which instructed him to go to a place between Makkah and Taif, a place very close to Makkah in order to get news and information about Quraysh. The Prophet knew the value of the intelligence service and the benefit of knowing the enemy's strength. The Prophet sent this brigade in the inviolable months (in which no warfare is permitted) to prevent any struggle or fight with Quraysh. He also instructed Abdullah not to force his companions to go with him. They all agreed to proceed, but two of them got lost and were captured by Quraysh (one of the two was Saad Ibn-Abi-Waqas). This happened on the last day in Rajab, and the companions were unsure as to what their reaction should be. At the same time a caravan of Quraysh was passing by them. The companions were not in agreement some wanted to capture two from the Quraysh caravan, and others felt that this would be against the Prophet's orders, especially during the inviolable month. The final decision was to capture two from Quraysh for revenge. They shot an arrow, and it killed the caravan's leader. They unfortunately killed a man during the inviolable month, and got two captives before going back to the Prophet (SAWS). Once Quraysh knew of this incident, they spread the news that, "Muhammad killed in the inviolable months". The Prophet (SAWS) was very angry at Abdullah Ibn-Jahsh, until Allah (SWT) sent an Ayah that can be translated as, "They ask you concerning the Inviolable month, (and) fighting in it. Say, "Fighting in it is great (transgression) and barring from the way of Allah, and disbelief in Him and the Inviolable Mosque, and driving its population out of it, is greater (transgression) in the Reckoning of Allah and temptation is greater than killing." (TMQ, 2:217). The Qur'an admitted the mistake committed by the Muslims, but declared that what Quraysh did was far worse. This applies nowadays to terrorism and violence such acts are unjustified, unacceptable, and wrong, however, the absence of justice, truth and freedom is what led to all this.

The battle of Badr was the first battle between Muslims and Quraysh, and the first victory for Islam and the truth against Quraysh and falsehood. This battle is very important in history, and Allah (SWT) called it "The Day of the Criterion." Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "and what We sent down upon Our Bondman on the day of the all-distinctive Criterion, the day the two gatherings encountered" (TMQ, 8:41). Allah called it "Criterion" because it was a criterion distinguishing between right and false, values of justice and rightness and personal interest, and Quraysh's leadership and the Prophet's new leadership. Before Badr, Quraysh was in control of everything, but after it all the Arabs started to recognize the new power of the Prophet (SAWS) and got attracted to listen to him the message started to spread everywhere. This resulted in a big change in the history of humanity.

Quraysh sent a caravan to the Levant led by Abu-Sufiyan, with a thousand camels and 10 thousand dinars. What an amount of money!! Note that this is the money of the companions who were deprived of it and of their properties when they left Makkah. The caravan was on its way back to Makkah, and was guarded by only 40 men, because Quraysh felt safe due to its treaties with the Arab tribes. Thanks to the intelligence service conducted by Said Ibn-Zaid and Talha, the Prophet (SAWS) knew of that caravan. The caravans coming from Levant used to pass by Madinah on their way to Makkah. The Prophet told the Muslims that Allah (SWT) would compensate them with the money of the caravan instead of what they lost when they emigrated. Remember when the Prophet planned to leave Makkah, he returned the valuables and money that were entrusted to him to their owners. Why didn't he take it to compensate the Muslims' rights that were seized by Quraysh? Isn't this a contradiction? How could he think now of attacking the caravan to take the money? The Prophet was trusted to keep the valuables and money in Makkah, and he knew that ethically this trust could not be betrayed. Besides, the Prophet was then a member of that society, and according to the code of citizenship the Prophet (SAWS) could never think of harming his society. But now, as a separate entity, the Prophet decided to regain the Muslims' rights that were previously seized by Quraysh.

The Prophet also aimed at warning Quraysh that he was able to obstruct their trading and traveling routes, so it would be better for them to let him communicate with people to deliver his message, instead of waging war. It is as if he was telling them that he did not want to fight. However, Quraysh was stubborn. The Prophet's army consisted of 313 companions. Abu Sufiyan knew that the Prophet (SAWS) was preparing an army, and he sent Amr Ibn-Damdam to tell Quraysh that the Prophet was planning to attack the caravan. That man tore his clothes and stained himself with blood before entering Makkah. He entered Makkah screaming "Help! Help! What a disaster! What a disaster." He falsely claimed that the Prophet Muhammad attacked Quraysh's caravan and took the money, although it hadn't happened yet. Abu-Jahl swore that they would go to fight the Prophet that night, and he quickly prepared the army.

Three days before that, Aateka the Prophet's aunt who was living in Makkah had a dream that a man was calling the people of Makkah "O people of betrayal! Your end is after three days," then he threw some dust that was scattered into all the houses of Makkah. She knew that this meant something bad would happen in the town, and she told her brother Al-Abbas who told Al-Walid Ibn-Otba. The news spread, and Abu-Jahl started mocking Al-Abbas. He swore that if after three days nothing happened, he would hang a document in the Ka'ba declaring that Bani Hashim are the worst liars among Arabs.

So, when Amr Ibn-Damdam brought the news, the army was prepared and consisted of 950 fighters, 200 of which riding horses, while the rest riding camels. An additional 100 camels were taken to feed the army. The Prophet was going to meet the caravan and did not plan for a battle. He took only 313 fighters riding two horses and 70 camels. Every three people shared riding a camel. The distance was 150 kilometers, and each of the three rode 1/3 the distance while the others walked. The Prophet (SAWS) was with Ali Ibn-Abu-Talib and another companion. Ali and the other companion were young so they wanted to walk and let the Prophet (SAWS) ride the camel, but he refused because he was so keen on gaining Thawab. Dear brothers, you should be ambitious about gaining Thawab.

Abu Sufiyan changed the direction of the caravan and followed another route away from Madinah. Then he sent to Quraysh to inform them that the caravan was safe. All of Quraysh's leaders, especially Utba Ibn-Rabi'a, wanted to return rather than fight. But Abu-Jahl refused, as he wanted the Arabs to know that Quraysh was still powerful and dominant.

Note that there were two men who did not go with the Quraysh army: Abu-Lahab and Omaya Ibn-Khalaf. Abu-Lahab was scared, and so he hired a man to replace him in the army. Yet, he was destined to die in Makkah. He was hitting a young servant of Al-Abbas, when the maid of Al-Abbas hit him with a piece of iron on his head. As a result, he was afflicted by a skin disease, and his skin started to fall until he died. His people feared to approach him because of the infection, and instead of burying him they pulled down the house over his body. As for Omaya, he was the one who used to torture Belal. One time while he was torturing Belal, he told him, "The Messenger of Allah told us that we will kill you." He believed him and asked if it would happen in Makkah or outside, but Belal did not know. He was really scared to go to the battle. Abu-Jahl's friend mocked him for his fear and cowardice, so he went with Quraysh and he was killed in the battle.

There were two men who were forced to go to the fight with Quraysh: Al-Abbas Ibn-Abdel-Mutalib, the Prophet's uncle, and Abul-Aas Ibn-Al-Rabi', the Prophet's son-in-law. Abul-Aas was still living with Zeinab, the prophet's daughter, in Makkah. Note that at the time, the prohibition of the marriage between Muslim women and non-Muslim men was not yet revealed. Abul-Aas was forced to fight with Quraysh against the Prophet in order not to be considered a coward.

The Prophet's army included both migrants and Ansaar. The agreement between the Ansaar and the Prophet stated that they would defend him inside Madinah, but this battle was outside Madinah. The Prophet (SAWS) respected the limits of the agreement, and so he humbly sought advice from the fighters. He did not ask the Ansaar directly because he did not want to embarrass them. Some companions from the migrants talked and supported him enthusiastically, yet, he was waiting for the words of the Ansaar. Finally, Saad Ibn-Moaz, leader of the Aws tribe, spoke. As he knew the Prophet was concerned about the Ansaar's stand, he told the Prophet that they would fight with him until the last breath and would go with him wherever he went. He told the Prophet to take from their money what he wished, to hold peace with whoever he wished, or wage war against whoever he wished, and in all cases he will find them to be honest, loyal, and supportive that he may be satisfied with them. Can we say such words? Can we promise the Prophet (SAWS) that he will be satisfied with us on the Day of Judgment??
The Prophet (SAWS) adopted an innovative strategy. Quraysh was used to the technique of attack and flight however, the Prophet (SAWS) set the whole army in one long row, hiding another row of archers behind them. When Quraysh would attack, the archers would shoot their arrows and confuse the fighters.

The prophet (SAWS) wanted to estimate the strength of the Quraysh army. He sent Ali Ibn-Abu-Talib and Az-Zubair Ibn-Al-Awwam as an investigation team. They caught a servant who was responsible for providing water to Quraysh's army. They hit him until he confessed, wrongfully, that he was a member of the caravan of Abu-Sufyan and not the army, because this is what they wanted to believe. The Prophet (SAWS) told them, "You hit him when he tells you the truth, and you leave him when he lies to you!" He then asked him, "How many people are in the army of Quraysh?"" The man answered, "I have no idea." The Prophet (SAWS) then asked him, "How many camels do they slaughter?" The man replied, "Sometimes nine and sometimes ten." The Prophet (SAWS) inferred, "The army ranges between 900 and 1000." Notice how the illiterate Prophet could calculate it! The Prophet (SAWS) then asked him, "Who is in the army?" The man replied that all the chiefs of Quraysh were there.

The companions of the Prophet were scared because they knew their power was not compatible with Quraysh's. In order to pull their spirits up, the Prophet (SAWS) immediately said, "Allah is the greatest! Quraysh has thrown to you the best of their sons." Note how much the Prophet (SAWS) cared about intelligence and preparations being two crucial factors in war.

The Qur'an talks about the battle in what can be translated as, "As you were on the closer embankment, and they were on the remotest embankment" (TMQ, 8: 42). The Muslim army stood in Udwat duniya (the closer embankment) and the Quraysh army stood in Udwat al-Quswa (the farthest embankment). The two armies could not see each other, and the area between them would become the battlefield. The caravan of Abu-Sufyan was now far away from the battlefield.". and the cavalcade (of riders) was below you" (TMQ, 8: 42).

". and if you had made a mutual appointment, you would indeed have differed about the promised appointment, but that Allah might decree a Command that was to be performed" (TMQ, 8: 42).

What is the significance of the places of the two armies? Look at this miracle! Allah is going to make it rain. The nature of the land of the farthest embankment is that when it rains it becomes muddy. Thus, the movement of the fighters would become hard leading the army to be exhausted whereas the land in the closer embankment is solid, so it would become easier to walk on when it rains. All thanks be to Allah! Notice, the timing of this miracle! When the Muslims demonstrated their belief and strength, so they became worthy of the support of Allah. "Surely His Command, if He wills a thing, is only to say to it, "Be!" and it is" (TMQ, 36: 82). Isn't this nation humiliated nowadays? It could be tomorrow the greatest among nations. It's very easy and Allah is capable of that but do we deserve it? Allah has His own enactment in the universe. He does not favor anyone. The idle one who does not have a message to carry to the world does not deserve Allah's help.

On the night of the battle, it began to rain, and Quraysh got soaked. Their great number turned out to be a disadvantage as they could not move freely whereas the small number of the Muslims turned out to be an advantage as they were light and they moved easily.

The Muslims were afraid and felt apprehensive for the non-compatible battle. Allah says what can be translated as, "As also as your Lord brought you (The prophet) out of your home with the truth, and surely a group of the believers indeed are hating that. Disputing with you concerning the truth, after it had become evident, as though they were being driven to death while looking (at it)" (TMQ, 8: 5-6). It was Allah who decided the time and place of the battle. It was as if the battle of Badr was led by heaven angels are even going to descend after a little while in order to help the Muslims.

Being anxious, the Muslims could not sleep at night. Allah sends another miracle and describes it in what can be translated as, "As He was making drowsiness to envelop you as secure (reassurance) from Him, and sending down on you water from the heaven to purify you thereby, and to put away from you the chastisement of Ash-Shaytan, (The all-vicious: one" i.e., the Devil) and to brace your hearts, and to make firm (your) feet thereby (TMQ, 8: 11).

In the battlefield, the Muslim army stood behind water wells so that the wells were between them and Quraysh. One of the companions, Al-Hobab Ibn Al-Mundher, asked the Prophet (SAWS), "Has Allah ordered you to choose this place for the battle? Or is it a war plan?" The Prophet (SAWS) replied that it was a war plan. Al-Hobab then said, "The choice of this place is inappropriate." The Prophet (SAWS) asked him, "So, what do you suggest, Hobab?"" He replied, "I think we should fill up all the wells but one, and place our army in front of it. Thus, we can drink while they cannot. Being thirsty, they are going to fight us for water, while we are going to fight for our cause." The prophet liked his suggestion and implemented it. Have you seen anywhere where the individual's opinion is respected thus? One of the main causes of the passiveness of people is that they know that their opinion is not going to be heard or taken into consideration. How great is our Prophet in each and every aspect!

As the prophet (SAWS) prepared the army, he addressed them concerning Jihad and its virtues. Any country on the verge of war encourages its fighters to be brave and courageous. There is nothing to be ashamed of in relating the sayings of the Prophet (SAWS) concerning Jihad and martyrdom in its appropriate place. As long as it is not cited to encourage destruction in our land. This is the first Hadith talking about Jihad, "Vie swiftly for a garden whose breadth is the heavens and the earth." Meaning that whosoever dies today in the battle will be admitted to paradise. There comes the Ahadith of Jihad, in their due time. Thus, we conclude that the religious discourse should be in the appropriate time and place not anything can be said at any time. We should not make use of the enthusiasm of youths by the Ahadith of Jihad when said in a wrong timing.

Umair Ibn-Al-Himam, one of the Prophet's companions, wondered, "How wonderful!" I wish I could be one of the inhabitants of paradise today." The Prophet (SAWS) told him, "You shall be one of its inhabitants." When Umair said these words, he was eating some dates before going to battle. He threw them immediately as to not waste any more time and went fighting until he died as a martyr. He was one of the very first martyrs of Badr.

Other martyrs included Haritha. He was an eighteen-year-old young man who was a devoted worshipper to Allah. He used to pray Qiyam (night prayer). Before the battle, he was mistakenly shot by an arrow. His mother came to the Prophet (SAWS) crying and asked him, "O, Prophet of Allah, is my son in paradise so that I can rejoice? Or is he elsewhere so that I have right to lament him?" The Prophet replied, "Mother of Haritha, it is not one paradise that your son got into but many your son is in the highest level of paradise." An eighteen-year-old young man is in the highest level of paradise! This is because he frequently prayed Qiyam during Ramadan and prostrated himself to His Lord. Such people are the ones who deserve the highest level of paradise.

The battle began when three fighters from Quraysh stepped forward for man-to-man combat: Otba Ibn-Rabi'a, Shaiba Ibn-Rabi'a and Al-Walid Ibn-Otba. Three Muslims from al-Ansaar stepped forward to fight them, but they refused and demanded to fight their peers (from the migrants). The Prophet (SAWS) chose the following three: Ali Ibn-Abu-Talib, Hamza Ibn-Abd-Al-Muttalib and Abu-Ubaida Ibn-Al-Harith Ibn-Abd-Al-Muttalib. Note that whenever sacrifice was required, the Prophet (SAWS) sacrificed his own family, not strangers. Are you convinced now that there is no one in the whole world who is great in every aspect except our Prophet (SAWS)? The result of the fight was the death of Al-Walid and Shaiba by the hands of Ali and Hamza, respectively. However, Otba and Abu-Ubaida kept fighting until Abu-Ubaida's leg was cut. When he was in his last breath, he looked at the Prophet (SAWS) asking him, "Have I done my duty, Prophet of Allah?" Do you see the extent of love and loyalty? The Prophet (SAWS) then said, "O, Allah. I call You to witness that Abu-Ubaida has done his duty." Have you done your duty towards the Prophet? All this sacrifice happened so that Islam, truth, and reform are spread have we done our duty towards him?

Then a full-fledge battle began, and the leaders of Quraysh fell one after another. A great surprise happened from two boys. The right wing of the Muslims, was led by Abdul-Rahman Ibn-Awf (RA), and consisted of only 15-20 people. He saw among his soldiers a fifteen-year-old boy called Mu'adh and his cousin, a fourteen-year-old boy, called Mu'awwedh. One of the two boys tugged at his clothes and asked him, "O Uncle, where is Abu-Jahl?" Abdul-Rahman Ibn-Awf was surprised and asked him about the reason for his question. He told him that his mother told him not to return home unless he killed Abu-Jahl. Then the other boy asked him the same question and told him the reason he was looking for Abu-Jahl, "I heard that he abused the Prophet (SAWS), which is something I cannot bear. I swear that I am going to take revenge for the Prophet (SAWS)." Abdul-Rahman Ibn-Awf said, "They lifted my spirits. I have never experienced such a feeling of admiration as I felt towards these two young men".

The Sunnah of the Prophet (SAWS) is forsaken nowadays. Who is going to defend the Prophet nowadays? This is not a call for murder or committing suicide it is a call for reforming our country for the sake of the Prophet, so that we deserve to be part of his nation.

On a side note, the prophet did not allow children to participate in wars, in respect for the children's rights. However, he allowed these two boys after their insistence and after they proved to him that they can handle being in the battlefield. The two boys ran like two swift arrows. They tied the swords around their arms as they could not carry them in the normal way, being very young. They agreed on a plan. Mu'adh told Mu'awwedh, "You stab the horse so that the man falls and I am going to stab him." They implemented their plan as they intended it.

However, Ikrima Ibn-Abu-Jahl ran after them and cut the arm of Mu'adh so that it was left barely hanging from his shoulder. Mu'adh said, "I found that my cousin was going to reach the Prophet before me I wanted to deliver the good news to the Prophet before him. I put my arm under my leg and I took it off so that it would not be an obstacle in my way to the Prophet. Then, I ran to the Prophet telling him the good news of the death of Abu-Jahl." Abdullah Ibn-Mas'oud, the weakest among the companions of the Prophet, went to verify the truth of this piece of news. He found Abu-Jahl in his last breath, so he killed him. The irony is that the death of Abu-Jahl took place at the hands of two teenagers and the weakest man from the companions of the Prophet.

The Prophet announced to the army not to kill Abul-Bukhturi Ibn-Hisham, as a sign of gratitude to him for his attitude with the Muslims on the days of the siege. Note the military ethics of the Prophet (SAWS), these ethics which the world has only known after World War Two. When one of the companions of the Prophet saw the man, he avoided him instead of fighting with him. The man was amazed, and he asked the companion of the Prophet, "Why don't you fight me?" The companion replied, "The Prophet ordered us not to fight you." The man was amazed and he wondered why. The companion replied, "In order to show our gratitude for what you did with us on the days of the siege." However, he ruthlessly asked him, "What if I started the fight with you?" The companion answered, "I'm going to flee from you, in obedience to the Prophet's order." The man kept chasing him until the companion was forced to kill him to defend his life. He went to the Prophet afterwards crying and apologized that he was forced to do so in order to defend himself. The Prophet (SAWS) replied, "Take it easy. I just wanted to show them that we have gratitude."

Angels descend at the end, not in the beginning, of the battle. This is because the Prophet (SAWS) in the beginning of the battle prayed and supplicated to Allah for a very long time. "O, Allah if this group of believers are defeated, You shall not be worshipped on earth anymore." It was not a matter of victory for the Prophet (SAWS) his main concern was the message, and he was crying. This is the meaning of ". indeed Allah readily granted you victory at Badr, and you were humble" (TMQ, 3: 123). You should be humbled to Allah in Ramadan so that He grants you victory after Ramadan. Jibril (AS) (Gabriel) descended with a thousand of angels in order to stand by the believers. "As Your Lord was revealing to the Angels, (saying), "I am with you so make the ones who believe stand firm. I will soon cast into the hearts of the ones who have disbelieved horror so strike above the necks, and strike every finger-tip of them" (TMQ, 8: 12).

This is a very important lesson for you, Muslims, to learn. You should put your trust in Allah however, at the same time, you should exert your maximum efforts. Badr is a very important lesson - well planning then a miracle from Allah the battle was lead by heaven and at the same time there was a lot of effort exerted on earth. Courage and seriousness on the part of the Muslims, and at the same time rain and angels from heaven. The result was a crushing victory for Muslims. Everyone who harmed the Muslims in the past was taken revenge from. Seventy of the leaders of Quraysh were killed. even Abu-Lahab, who refused to join the army died in Makkah in a horrible way. The Prophet (SAWS) dug a pit called Al-Qulayb, in which the bodies of the 70 dead people from Quraysh were buried. He stood in front of the grave and asked, "Have you found what your Lord promised to be true?"

The battle resulted in the death of fourteen of the Prophet's companions, 13 of which are from al-Ansar and only one from the migrants their pledge with the Prophet (SAWS) was a deal on sacrifice until the last breath.

Are you going to dedicate your lives to the message of the Prophet (SAWS)?

Are you going to love the Prophet (SAWS)?

Is the Prophet (SAWS) going to be satisfied with you?

Are you going to tell him that you have done your duty towards him ?

Amr Khalid is an Egyptian Muslim activist and preacher. The New York Times Magazine, in reference to Khaled's popularity in Arab countries, described him in its April 30, 2006 issue as"the world's most famous and influential Muslim televangelist. Amr Khaled has recently been chosen as number 62 of the world's most influential people by Time Magazine.


Review Of The Battle Of Badr

Having given a bare description of events, we now proceed to a critical examination of the question whether the battle of Badr was a defensive measure against the Quraish or, as generally stated by historians, a high-way robbery directed against a trade-caravan.

I know there is a difference between history and a court of law, and that history narrates its facts not quite in the same manner as a court of law adopts to write down its verdict. I also admit that my duty is to narrate facts and not to write down a judgment. But there is an occasion when a historical event has assumed the nature of a law suit, and I am forced to deviate from the usual style and deal with the issues on the lines of a legal judgment.

In doing so, I fear naught if all the historians and biographers stand arrayed against me. It shall soon be evident that truth, single-handed, may conquer a host. In order to ensure continuity in the line of thought, we must first tell our readers what, (in the light of our researches) was the real situation.
The fact is that the whole of Mecca was crying for revenge at the death of Hadramu. This had led to petty skirmishes and each party was living in dread of the other. As usual in such circumstances, rumours take wing. At this time Abu Sufyan travelled to Syria at the head of a big trade caravan. He was still in Syria when a rumour was bruited abroad that the Muslims were planning an attack on the caravan. Abu Sufyan despatched a messenger post-haste to Mecca to inform the Quraish, and Quraish started making preparations for war. In Medina it was believed that the Quraish were bringing up a huge army to attack the city. The Prophet (p) decided to take defensive measures and thus took place the battle of Badr.

In order to decide the issue, let us first state the principles uncontroversially accepted by all of us. They will serve as established fundamentals in the progress of our discussion. They are as follows:

1. If a fact has been described by the Qur’an in clear words, no contradictory report, from whatsoever source, shall be deemed reliable.

2. Due regard shall be paid to the grade of authenticity in which each book on traditions has been generally placed.

It is generally agreed that when the Prophet (p) came to know that the Quraish had set out from Mecca with great preparations, he turned to the Companions and sought their views. The Muhajirs were highly enthusiastic in volunteering themselves but the Prophet (p) was anxious to know if the Ansar were willing. Sa’d or some other respectable Ansari realised the situation and stood up, and thus addressed the Prophet: ‘Is it we you mean? We are not the sort of people who had told Moses to go himself with his God and carry on the fight, while they would sit where they were. By Allah, if you order us, we will plunge down into sea or fire.’

It is also agree that there were some of the Companions who hesitated to take part in the battle. The Holy Qur’an says:

‘Though a party among the believers were averse.’ Quran – 8:5

Historians and traditionists generally accounted for the Prophet’s anxiety to know the views of the Ansar, by reference to the promise given by them at the time of Bai’at (oath of allegiance) at Mecca. There the Ansar had promised to oppose the enemy if Medina itself was attacked. They were not pledged to give battle out of Madina. The crucial point in our controversy is the location of the place where the consultations took place. Historians say that the Prophet (p) had mind to attack the trade caravan when he first set out from Medina, but when he had gone a distance of a few stages he came to know of the approach of the Quraish army. It was then and there that the Prophet (p) called the Ansar and the Muhajirs to ascertain their views. All that followed took place here. But, transcending the writers on Sira (biography) or any other source whatsoever, we have the testimony of the Qur’an, which we must all accept in humble submission. The Quran says:

‘This is like what time the Lord had caused thee to go forth from thy house for a party among the believers were averse. Disputing with thee respecting the right cause after it had become manifest, as though they were led forth unto death while they looked on. And recall what time Allah was promising you one of the two parties that it should be yours, and ye would fain have that the one without arms were yours whilst Allah besought to justify the truth by His words and to cut off the root of the infidels.’ – Quran 8:7

According to the rules of Arabic grammar, the Wa’u occurring in the phrase ‘Wa Inna’ in the above passage is ‘Wa’u Haliyah’ or consequential, which makes the flinching of a group from battle, a simultaneous occurrence with the setting out of the Prophet (p) from Medina and not with a later time when he had marched off some stages. Wa’u Haliyah Or the consequential Wa’u denotes that the time when they hesitated was no other than the time they were coming out of their houses.

2. The foregoing Verse clearly indicates that it was a time when the Muslims could expect either the trade caravan or the army coming from Mecca. Historians allege that it speaks of the time when the Prophet (p) had reached Badr. But we know that by the time the Prophet (p) reached Badr, the trade caravan had safely passed off. In these circumstances how could God promise to place at their disposal one of the two-the trade caravan or the Quraish army. Thus it is evident that according to the Qur’anic verse the consultations were held at a time when either of the two could be attacked that is, the time when the Prophet was still at Medina and when a trade caravan was reported to be on the road under Abu Sufyan, while a Quraish army fully equipped for battle, on the march from Mecca.

3. Another point that deserves to be noted is that, of the two bodies of infidels spoken of in this verse, one is the trade caravan and the other a force splendid and equipped Ghair Dhat Shaukatah, namely the Quriahs army advancing from Mecca to give battle. The verse also clarifies that a section of the Muslims were in favour of an attack on the caravan, which God disapproved in these words.

‘And you would fain have that the one without arms were yours whilst besought to justify the truth by His words and to falsify the false even though the guilty ones were averse.’ – Quran 8:4

On one side are those who want to attack the caravan and on the other is God who wills to establish the truth with His word and uproot infidelity altogether. Which side would the Holy Prophet take? I shudder at the thought of the answer to this question, if it should accord with the statements of our historians and traditionists.

4. Let us now consider another aspect. The prophet (p) is marching out of Medina with the best force he could muster. Three hundred Muhajirs and Ansar he commands-including Ali, the future victor of Khaibar, and Amr Hamza, the top-most warrior, each of whom is by himself a match for a whole army. With all that that (as clearly mentioned in the Qur’an) some of the Companions feel their hearts sinking for fear as though they were being driven into the jaws of death. The Qur’an says:

‘While a party among the believers were averse. Disputing with thee respecting the right cause after it had become manifest, as though they were led forth unto death.’ – Quran 8:4-5

If the object was merely to attack the trade caravan, why then this fear, this fidgety feelings, this evasive attitude. Many a time before this, as the historians report, batches of men had been despatched to pillage the caravans. None of them had ever been injured. Why should this particular caravan inspire so great a fear that a good many of them, in spite of their numbers, are seen drooping down unnerved? Decidedly it proves that the approach of a huge army had been reported to the Muslims before they left the city.

5. The Holy Qur’an has yet another verse regarding this affair. It was revealed at the time when the Holy Prophet (p) was still in Medina as expressly reported in Sahih Bukhari (commentary on Sur Nisa or the Women). The verse runs thus:

‘Allah with their riches and their lives. Allah hath preferred in rank the strivers with their riches and their lives above the holders-back, and unto all Allah hath promised good.’ – Quran 4:95

Sahih al-Bukhari quotes here comment of Ibn Abbas who said that those who did not participate in the battle could not be equated with those who participated. Sahih al-Bukhari adds that the verses when first revealed made no exception in case of those suffering from physical disability. Abdullah Ibn Maktum, when the verse was reported to him, came to the Prophet (p) with a request to be excused as he had lost his eyesight. Then and there the words ‘except those who are disable’ were revealed to be appended. This makes it certain that while still at Medina the Muslims had come to know that they were going not to attack a trade caravan, but to measure swords and lay down their lives.

6. Regarding the Quriash pagans who came from mecca to fight at Badr, the Holy Qur’an says:

‘And be not like unto those who came forth from their homes vaunting and to be seen of men and hindering others from the wy of Allah and that Allah is the Encompasser of that which they work.’ – Quran 8:47

Next to the Qur’an is the status of the Hadith. A number of books on traditions give brief or detailed description of Badr. Barring the report narrated on the authority of Ka’b ibn Malik, I did not come across, in my study of these books, a ingle report saying that the Prophet (p) had set out for Badr in order to intercept the trade-caravan. The report of Ka’b Ibn Malik is worth discussing in the following facts:

1. Ka’b ibn Malik himself had not been a participant in the battle of Badr, hence he does not report from personal observation.

2. The motive behind the report is to under-estimate the importance of Badr so that he might forgive himself for his absence. That it was an eventful encounter may best be judged from the fact that the Qur’an called it the ‘Day of Proof or Decision’, and promised absolution from sins to those who took part in it.

The participants in this battle were always highly honoured, and received the highest pensions in the days of Umar. To be called a Badri (participant in the battle of Badr) was a special mark of honour.
The report of Ka’b Ibn Malik is as follows:

‘From Ka’b who says: I never kept away from accompanying the Holy Prophet (p) in any battle except that of Tabuk and the Ghazwa of Badr, the which too I missed and no displeasure was shown to any who did not join it for the Holy Prophet (p) had set out in search of the caravan, but God brought the two forces face to face unexpectedly.’

Against this there is a report on the authority of Anas mentioned by Muslim. It runs thus:

1. Anas reported that when the Prophet (p) came to know of the approach of Abu Sufyan, he held consultations and sought advice. Abu Bakr spoke, but the Prophet (p) was not attentive to him. Then Umar, followed Abu Bakr and the Holy Prophet (p) was again not attentive.

Then Sa’d Ibn Abada stood up and asked if the Prophet wanted to know their views. On oath he declared that if he ordered them to jump with their horses into a river, they would do it, and if he ordered them to go up to Bark –al-Ghammad, they would go. Anas said that on hearing these words the Prophet (p) invited people to take part in the battle. They started and stopped at Badr.

2. The first to arrive was an advance party of the Quraish, which included an Abyssinian slave of Bani Hajjaj. The Muslims arrested him and asked him the whereabouts of Abu Sufyan. He said he knew not where Abu Sufyan was, he could only say that Abu Jahl, Shaiba and Umayya Ibn Khalaf were coming. At this he was beaten again and would again promise to give a clue.

But again when they stopped beating him, he said that he knew nothing of Abu Sufyan, but that Abu Jahl and the other chiefs were coming. The Holy Prophet (p) was offering prayers and had to intervene saying.

‘By God who has my life at His mercy, when he tells a lie you leave him.’

The first part of this report says that when the Prophet (p) came to know of the approach of Abu Sufyan, he consulted the Companions and desired help from the Ansar. Now it is agreed on all hands that Abu Sufyan’s arrival had become known in Medina.

It follows that Medina was the place where the Prophet (p) sought help from the Ansar. Had this taken place outside Medina, as mentioned in books on Sira, how could the Ansar be there? The same part of the report says that after having consulted his companions, the Prophet (p) invited the people to battle.
If the version of the books on Sira be accepted then the order of events would be that the Ansar, contrary to their custom and promise, first marched out to take part in the fighting, then the Prophet, (p) ascertained their views, and then he asked them to join the battle-obviously an insane statement.

The second part of the report clearly indicates that through revelation or some other source, the Prophet (p) had come to know that it was not the trade-caravan they had to face but a force of fighting men. It is quite possible that other people might have not known it.

In this report there is yet another knot to be undone. If the Muslims had the knowledge of the approach of Abu Sufyan and knew nothing of the Quraish army, why would the Prophet be at pains to call in the entire Muslims strength? If the narration of facts, instead of beginning with the ‘On hearing of the approach of Abu Sufyan’, had been with ‘On knowing of the approach of the infidels of Mecca’, that would have been more in keeping with the circumstances. Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, Ibn Abi Shaiba in his Musannaf, Ibn Jarir in Tarikh and Baihaqi in his Dala’il have all recorded the event with the words substituted as above and also declare it to be the correct version reported by the hero of Badr, the lion-hearted Ali Ibn Abi Talib. ‘

‘On the authority of Ali who says that when we came to Medina, we got fruits to eat and they did not agree with us. We fell ill. The Holy Prophet (p) would often inquire about Badr. When we got the news that the pagans were coming, the Prophet (p) set out for Badr. Badr is the name of a well and here we reached before the arrival of the infidels.’

This version clearly states that the Prophet (p) had set out, when he had been informed of the advance of the Quraish and that he ordered a halt when he had come to Badr. This report makes no mention of the trade caravan.

With these texts before us no further argument is called for. The following facts may, however, serve to set at rest doubts, if any:

1. All the expeditions sent from time to time by the Prophet (p) to harass the caravans of the Quriahs had comprised from twenty to two hundred men, but none of them had ever included a single Ansari. The historians explicitly mention this fact and feel called upon to do so, as the Ansar had not committed themselves to fight outside Medina. Consequently, it is obvious that the Ansar should not have been there with the Muslim army in case it had merely aimed at falling upon a trade-caravan.

On the contrary we find that the Ansar constituted the major portion of the Muslim force on this occasion-out of 305 only 74 being the Muhajirs, and the rest Ansar. This is then a conclusive argument establishing the fact that the Quraish had already been reported to be making for Medina before the Muslims moved from the city. It was for this reason that the Prophet (p) addressed the Ansar for it was now time to itillize their services.

2. The caravan route to Syria passed close by Medina. The tribes living between Mecca and Medina were mostly under the domination of the Quraish. On the other hand the Quriash had no influence over the tribes living between Medina and Syria. If the trade-caravan had been the target, the Muslims ought to have advanced towards Syria. That the caravan was coming from Syria and the Prophet (p) was in the know of the fact, yet he marched out in the direction of Mecca, instead of going towards Syria, only to learn that the caravan had made its escape and he was to measure swords with the Quraish, is simply unthinkable.

3. The chronological order of events is this:

(a) The Quraiysh wrote to Abdullah Ibn Ubayy that they should turn Muhammad (p) and his companions out of Medina or they would come to Medina and destroy them all. (already mentioned on the authority of Sunan Abu Dawud).

(b) Abu Jahl told Sa’d Ibn Mu’adh that he had given shelter to their enemies, and if he had not been promised protection by Umayya Ibn Khalaf, he would have killed Sa’d.

(c) Kurz Ibn Jabir raided the grazing fields belonging to the Medinites in Jamadi al-Thani of the 2nd year of the Hijra and made off with the Prophet’s camels.

4. Next month the Prophet (p) deputed Abdullah Ibn Jahsh to watch and report the movement of the Quraish.

5. Abdullah Ibn jahsh, against the directions of the Prophet (p), pillaged a small caravan of the Quraish, killing one and taking two of them prisoners. Let us keep in view all that the Quraish had done to the Muslims in Mecca, and note that their craving for revenge had known no abatement. They had written to Abdullah Ibn Ubayy that they would come to Medina and destroy them and the Prophet both and then Kurz Fihri had attacked the pasture lands of Medina.

Then Abdullah Ibn Jahsh attacked their caravan and two of their dignitaries were taken prisoner, which was adding fuel to fire. But the Quraish put up with all that and did not think of any sort of revenge. Only when the Prophet comes out to loot their caravan which carries the entire investment of the Meccans, do they feel forced to come out for defence. Even then at a short distance from Badr, when they come to know of the same passage of the caravan, their leaders, including the commander-in-chief, Utba, suggest that it is no use fighting and they had better turn back. Is this presentation of facts in keeping with the revengeful spirit of the Quraish, or does it do credit to a Prophet’s character as a Messenger of God?

6. Most of the historians state that people did not show much enthusiasm when they were asked to advance against the caravan. Then thought it was neither a true battle nor a religious war, but simply a bid for booty: hence only those who sought material gain joined the expedition. But facts point the other way.

Leading personalities and warriors of note among the Ansar were out to a man. Need and indigence, if there was any, was to be met with among Muhajirs but the Ansar were twice as many as the Muhajirs.

7. Those who came forward with a willing response to the call of the Prophet (p) included Abu Bakr, Umar and Miqdad, from the Muhajirs, and Sa’d Ibn Ubada from amongst the Ansar. Sa’d Ibn Ubada could not participate in the battle of Badr and was unable to leave Medina. Thus it must be concluded that Sa’d made his reply in Medina where it was already known that the Quraish were on the march for an attack. The fact that the consent of the People was sought at Medina follows as a logical corollary.

8. The assertion that the Prophet (p) did not meet with a unanimous response when he called upon people to start for Badr, that there were some who flinched from it as they knew that it was not a religious war, but only a raid for plunder, and so they were free to go or stay back, are not confined to historians some books on tradtions tell the same tale. Tabari has it in these words:

‘People have reported that when the Prophet heard of Abu Sufyan’s departure from Syria, he called the Muslims and informed them that a caravan of the Quraish, was coming laden with the wealth of the Quraish, and he asked them to proceed in its direction for God might perhaps grant them something out of it as booty. People evinced their readiness but some of them shrunk from it, thinking that the Holy Prophet (p) would not have to fight.’

This statement contradicts the explicit text of the Qur’an, which says that those who felt disinclined did so, not because they were not ready, but because they saw death staring them in the face. The words are:

‘And a party among the believers were averse. Disputing with thee respecting the right cause after it had become manifest, as though they were led forth unto death while they looked on.’ – Quran 8:5-6

9. The books on tradition and history all say that a mile away from Medina (at a place known as Bi’r Abi Ghabah) the Holy Prophet (p) reviewed the Muslim army and ordered Abdullah Ibn Umar and others to return back as they were below fifteen years or had not attained majority. Had it been the object to raid the caravan, the youngsters should have done it better. In fact they had a religious war on hand, which was a sacred duty, obligatory only for adults. Minors were therefore, ordered back as ineligible for it.

10. Hafiz Ibn Abd al-Barr, in Isti’ab, reports that on the occasion when the Prophet (p) advised the Muslims to attac(k) the Quraish, Khaitama, an Ansari, asked his son, Sa’d, to let him go, while he (Sa’d) should stay there to look after the women. ‘Respected Sir,’ said the son, ‘I should have surely given you precedence over myself on any other occasion, but here is a chance for martyrdom I will not forego this privilege.’

They had to draw lots and Sa’d won. He went to the battle and was killed. This makes it decidedly certain that it was going to be a religious war, not a highway-man’s business they were coveting the honour of martyrdom.

THE REAL CAUSE OF THE GHAZWA BADR

It was the characteristic of Arab race to start a bloody war whenever a man from a certain tribe got killed at the hands of another. Huge hosts swarmed up from both sides and blood ran in streams. These wars continued for years, whole tribes were destroyed but the fighting knew no end. The Arabs were not generally literate, yet the name of the murdered was preserved, written down on a price of paper, and passed on to succeeding generations.

Little children were taught to remember it so that they might take a revenge when they grew up. The horrible wars of Dahis and Basus each of which continued for almost forty years and claimed thousands of lives, were fought for no other reasons. The Arabic word for such a revenge was ‘Thar’, a word that looms large in the national history of the Arabs.

As already mentioned, Amr Ibn Hadrami had been slain in an encounter with Abdullah Ibn Jahsh. Hadrami was an ally of Utba Ibn Rabi’a and Utba was the chief of the whole Quraish community. Badr, and all the battles that followed, were in consequence of revenge for this man’s death. Urwa Ibn Zubair, the son of A’isha’s sister, has explicitly stated in these words:

The cause that led to Badr and all the battles fought between the Prophet (p) and the infidels of Arabia, was, as stated by Urwa Ibn Zubair, the death of Amr Hadrami, who was slain by Waqid Ibn Abdullah Tamimi.

A general mistake that leads to fallacious view of facts is the presumption that Badr was the first battle fought against the infidels. As a matter of fact several engagements had actually preceded it. ‘

‘Urwa Ibn Zubair wrote a letter to Abd al-Malik, the opening sentence of which was: Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb was coming from Syria with seventy riders all of whom were Quraish.’

This was reported to the Prophet (p) and his companions. Hostilities had already broken out between the two parties, and a few persons from the other party including Ibn Hadrami had been slain and some taken prisoners…… And this had been the event that had led to war between the Prophet (p) and the Quriash. This had also been the first occasion when losses were mutually inflicted and this encounter had taken place before Abu Sufyan departed for Syria. (Tabari, p. 1285)

The best way to arrive at the truth is to see what the other side had to say. Such evidence is rarely found, but fortunately, it is available in this case. Hakim Ibn Hizam (a nephew of Khadija), who was still an unbeliever had come with the Quraish army. He was five years older than the Prophet (p) and had been friendly to him in the pre-ministry days and continued to be so even when the Prophet (p) had entered upon his mission. However he did not embrace Islam till the conquest of Mecca. Ibn Hakim was a Quraish dignitary, held the office of Rifada, and owned and managed Dar al-Nadwa. He lived till the days of the Caliph Marwan Ibn Hakam.

Once he went to see Marwan, who received him with great honour. Marwan left his royal seat, sat by his side and asked him to relate the events at Badr. Having described the preliminary details, he said,

‘When the Quraish had encamped, I went to Utba and said to him, ‘O’ father of Walid, won’t you like to win a life-long fame? How is it possible? Asked Utba, and I answered, You see, the Quraish demand from Mohammad nothing more than blood for the blood of Hadrami, and he was your ally. Why don’t you pay his blood-money yourself and let all your people march back home-ward. Utba liked this proposal, but Abu Jahl did not consent to it. Abu Jahl called Amir Hadrami, the brother of the deceased Hadrami, and said that he should stand out and invoke the aid of the nation, for he had his chance of vengeance close at hand. According to Arab custom, Amir Hadrami cast off his clothes and cried, ‘Oh Amr Hadrami, Oh, Amr Hadrami, Oh Amr Hadrami!’ (Tabari, pp. 1314-1316)

The first man who came into the battle-field was this Amir Hadrami. Hakim Ibn Hizam and Amir Hadrami were both non-believers, when Badr was fought. Utba and Abu Jahl, the leading chiefs died infidels. When persons of consequence, such as these, regarded the battle of Badr as a revenge for Hadrami’s blood, we need not care if other, born hundreds of years after the battle, believed that it had been the outcome of an intended plunder of the caravan.

The fact thus stands definitely established that the battle of Badr was not the sequel to a plundering expedition.

But it is our duty to explain how the entire body of biographers mistook a fact so patent and manifest, and why in books like Sahih al-Bukhari, we meet with statements that the original case of the battle was the attack planned against the trade-caravan.

As a matter of fact, in keeping with the rules of military campaigns, it was seldom disclosed where expedition was to be sent and why. In Shahih al-Bukhari (Ghazwa Tabuk) there is a report on the authority of Ka’b Ibn Malik, a well-known companion, who reports that:

‘Whenever the Prophet (p) decided on a Ghazwa, he would speak of some other place.’

The commentators of Sahih al-Bukhari have explained that on such occasion the Prophet (p) used ambiguous and double meaning words. I do not feel inclined to accept this interpretation of the word as a general rule. However it can be gathered from a survey of events that on certain occasions the real object was so ambiguously expressed that people were left making different conjectures.

It is how Sa’d Ibn Khaithama might have come to know before-hand, on the occasion of Badr, that a fighting force, not a trade-caravan, was to be handled while on the contrary, in sahih al-Bukhari on the authority of Ka’b Ibn Malik himself we meet with a report to the effect that on the occasion of Badr only the trade caravan was the objective.’

We have already pointed out that an occurrence reported by a narrator (not expecting the companions), is, in many cases, not the objective truth, but the interpretation of the narrator himself, that is, he reports as he viewed it. This is what happened in the case of Badr. No wonder then that the Companions guessed differently, and the guess in accord with the general temperament of the people got current.

The battle of Badr had manifold effects on the religious and political conditions. In fact it was the first step of Islam towards progress. The powerful grandees of the Quraish, each of whom stood like a wall of steel in the way of Islam, were all wiped off. On the death of Utba and Abu Jahl, the Supreme leadership of the Quraish devolved on Abu Sufyan, which paved the way for the Umayyad ascendancy but the hay-day of the power of the Quraish was over.

In medina Abdullah Ibn Ubayy Ibn Salul had been till now a declared infidel. He now made a show of crossing over to Islam, though throughout life he remained a hypocrite and died as such. The tribes of Arabia that had watched the trend of events were overawed, though not won over. Side by side with the favourable turns, the hostile forces also showed new developments. The Jews had entered into a pact to remain aloof. But the decisive victory at Badr roused their jealousy, which they could not rein back. …

Till now the Quraish had to lament the single loss of Hadrami. After the battle of Badr every Meccan house went into mourning and each Meccan child thirsted for revenge. The Ghazwa of Sawiq and the battle of Uhud were the outcome of the vehemence of this feeling. [1]


TRANSCRIPT OF SH. DR. YASIR QADHI'S SEERAH OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD PBUH LECTURES

When the Prophet PBUH saw the enthusiasms coming from the sahaba, he began the preparations for the war. He divided the army into three flanks, and he gave the primary flag which was white to Mus'ab ibn Umayr. (Note: The Prophet PBUH had different flags in every battle — sometimes white, sometimes black, and sometimes other colors.) On the right-hand side he PBUH placed Ali ibn Abi Talib and he gave him all of the Muhajirun. On the left side he placed Sa'd ibn Mu'adh and he gave him all of the Ansar. According to one report, the Prophet PBUH had a backup group as well, maybe for reinforcements, and he placed them under the charge of Qays ibn Abi Sa'sa'a (قيس بن أبي صعصعة). But the two primary groups were the ones on the right and left.

1) In this division between the Muhajirun and the Ansar, we learn that Islam takes into account cultural and ethnic divisions. The Prophet PBUH divided up the Ansar and Muhajir because they both knew each other better. They felt more comfortable around each other. Thus the attitude of some Muslims (in our times) to ignore culture completely is an extreme and is wrong. Allah clearly says, "We have made you into peoples [i.e. ethnicities/races] and tribes" [Quran, 49:13]. So Allah is saying He's made us into various ethnicity so we can get to know each other. In other words, if we were all the same, how would anyone stand out? We wouldn't. Each one of us has a personal identity. So the Prophet PBUH took advantage of this ethnic division. Birds of a feather flock together - people of a particular area will socialize more with each other - and there's nothing inherently un-Islamic about this as long as it's not taken to an extreme.

2) When you give the position of leadership, you need to give it to those people who are respected in the community.

2b) Notice also the Prophet PBUH chose as the flag bearer someone who both the Ansar and the Muhajirun look up to i.e. Mus'ab ibn Umayr. He is of course a Muhajir and a Qureshi, but he is the earliest of people to immigrate to Madinah, therefore the respect he has amongst the Ansar is unparalleled, as most of the Ansar converted at his hands. So he was the most 'Madani' of the Muhajirun, respected by both the Muhajirun and the Ansar. Hence the Prophet PBUH chose him to symbolize the entire army. This shows us the wisdom of the Prophet PBUH.

(Footnote about flag bearer: One of the main purposes of the flag bearer is to mark your army and make it easier to organize. And although honorable, it's a very dangerous position because the flag bearer is always the target of the enemy. The enemy wants the flag to fall because it symbolizes omen. So when the other army sees the flag fall, it encourages them and gives them a morale-boost. And therefore the flag bearer is always the center of attack. Also note that the flag bearer is always impaired since he has one hand holding the flag. So he cannot fight to the same level as those who are not holding the flag.)

The Prophet PBUH arrived at Badr before the Quraysh, preceded them by a day. He came to the Plains of Badr on the 16th Ramadan, 2 AH. And he immediately set up his camp and tents on the outskirts of the plains. Before he had set up camp, one of the scouts, al-Hubab ibn al-Mundhir (الحباب بن المنذر) asked him, "Ya Rasulullah, this place that you have decided for us to camp, is this something Allah has told you to do such that we are not allowed to move one inch forward or backward, or is it your own opinion based on tactics and strategies of war?" The Prophet PBUH said, "No, this is my own strategy." So he said, "In that case, ya Rasulullah, I suggest we don't camp at the corner of the plain, rather we should proceed until we are beyond midpoint, and therefore the wells of Badr will be behind us. In this case, we shall have plenty of water, and they (the enemy) will have to rely on their jugs and canisters." And of course to not have access to water is a big demoralizing factor. The Prophet PBUH followed this advice and said, "You have directed us to the better opinion." In one narration it's said Jibril AS came down to tell the Prophet PBUH, "Follow the advice of al-Hubab." So the Prophet PBUH proceeded onward until the Muslims had blocked all of the wells and camped there. The Prophet PBUH put all the wells behind him, and blocked the smaller wells after taking water out and putting the water into the big well. And the biggest well was positioned such that it was in the center of the Muslim camp.

This incident is one of dozens of examples the Prophet PBUH would take advice from the sahaba and sometimes even change his opinion based on them. The concept of shura is shown over and over again. He would always take the opinions of the sahaba.

Now note this issue is a huge topic in Usul al-Fiqh (أصول الفقه): Did the Prophet PBUH sometimes do things from his own opinion, not from Allah SWT? And this incident suggests sometimes he did. This is true. There's not a problem to say that. But the problem comes that some people take this exception and make a general rule out of it, e.g. by saying, "Look, we see in this incident that the Prophet PBUH sometimes did things from his own opinion. Therefore we can go through the whole sunnah and pick and choose what was a personal opinion that he used to do, and what was from Allah." And this is wrong for many reasons:

1. You cannot extrapolate the incident of Badr into sharia. The incident of Badr is a particular strategy of war. You cannot say when the Prophet PBUH commanded us to pray that that was just his opinion. The sharia is what he is *commanding* you to do. Whereas the location he is camping at Badr, there is no sharia to be derived, as the Battle of Badr is only going to take place once. We don't do Badr every year. When the Prophet PBUH camps at Badr, he isn't intending to *legislate a position* of where to camp at Badr. Whereas when he prays, fasts, legislates laws for inheritance, divorce, marriage, etc. all of this is sharia - he intends for the Muslims [of all generations] to follow him. Therefore we cannot equate one time incident of Badr with the rest of the sharia.

2. Notice al-Hubab had to ask him PBUH point blank - he didn't assume he can understand which one is from Allah's wahy (وحي - revelation) and which one is from the Prophet's PBUH opinion, "Ya Rasulullah, is this from Allah's wahy, or is it from your ijtihad?" We obviously cannot do this now, as the Prophet PBUH is no longer living amongst us.

3) The Prophet PBUH in the Battle of Khaybar told Ali ibn Abi Talib, "Go forth and do not come back until you are victorious." And Ali RA walked 10 spaces but then he had a question. He was about to turn around, but then he realized the Prophet PBUH said, "Don't come back until you are victorious." So because he didn't want to turn around, he shouted out loud, "Ya Rasulullah! What should I tell them" etc. He was being so literal that he doesn't even turn around. He didn't want to turn his back until he was victorious.

And we have hundreds of examples like this. But we only have one or two instances where there's an overriding reason why one of the sahaba asks, "Is this wahy from Allah or is this just a suggestion?"

So after they took all the water out of the small wells and transported it to the big wells, this is when Sa'd ibn Mu'adh suggested, "Ya Rasulullah, why don't we make for you a special khayma (خيمة) i.e. headquarters where you can monitor the battle?" The Prophet PBUH agreed, and the sahaba chose an area where he could see the battle and built for him a headquarters on the Plains of Badr. And night fell and the Quraysh were seen on the horizon. It was thus known to all the battle would take place the very next morning.

And it's narrated in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad that the Prophet PBUH spent the whole night awake making du'a to Allah SWT and making prolonged sajdah. And he said, "O Allah, if You destroy this group, You are not going to be worshiped on earth" - because he PBUH is the final prophet. And in the middle of the night, light rain began to fall, and the people had to take their belongings and shelter themselves under trees, shrubs, and maybe in the shade of their camels. And the Prophet PBUH continued to pray and make du'a until finally the dawn broke. And he was the one who said, "O people, time for salah." And thus began the 17th of Ramadan in the second year of the Hijrah. According to modern historians, this is March 17th 624 CE, and it was a Friday.

Allah mentions in Surah al-Anfal both the rain and sleep as a miracle from Him. He says, "When sleep overcame you, this was a blessing from Him. And He sent down for you from the skies rain to purify you [with a physical bath], to wipe away the filth of shaytan from you [with a spiritual bath], and to make your footsteps firm" [see Quran, 8:11]. Subhan'Allah, when there is no rain, the desert sand is difficult to walk in, and a lot of rain is impossible to walk but the right amount of rain makes the sand firm, and Allah caused their side of the field to be firm.

As the sun is rising and finally the two armies can see one another, the Prophet PBUH saw a man galloping (on a red camel) back and forth in the lines of the Quraysh, and the Prophet PBUH said to the Muslims, "If there is any good in the Quraysh, it's in that person and if they have any good in them, they shall listen to him." Or in another version he said, "If they listen to him, they shall be successful." And the Prophet PBUH said to Ali RA, "O Ali, call out to Hamzah (who was standing right in the front) and ask him, 'Who is that man, and what is he saying?'" Note we infer from this that Allah gave the Prophet PBUH wahy that the man on the red camel is saying good but didn't specify what.

Also when the Prophet PBUH saw the Quraysh, once again he began to raise his hands to Allah and making du'a against the Quraysh, "O Allah, this is the Quraysh, they have come against You with their pride and their arrogance challenging You and rejecting Your Messenger. O Allah, Your Help that has been promised, O Allah, Your Help that has been promised, O Allah, Your Help that has been promised. O Allah, cause them to be destroyed today." So he continues to make du'a even until the very last minute.

1. His uncle al-Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib (العباس بن عبد المطلب)
2. Abu al-Bukhturi ibn Hisham (أبو البختري بن هشام). One of the major things about him was he was one of the most important people to break the Boycott.

And he PBUH mentioned some others, and then said, "All of these people, they are fighting even though they don't want to. They have been forced to fight."

3. Utbah's son al-Walid ibn Utbah (الوليد بن عتبة)

This is the cream of the crop of the Quraysh - second-tier, just one level below Abu Jahal. Utbah and Shaybah were elderly people, maybe in early 60s or late 50s. They marched forth and shouted out, "Who will come forth and battle us?" Immediately three young people from the Ansar stood up in their eagerness, and they were:

So the Prophet PBUH sent out three people that were noblemen and core Qureshi. Utbah asked, "Who are you?" - because they were far away he cannot recognize by features. So they introduced themselves, and when Utbah heard the names, he said, "Noble adversaries. Come and let us fight!"

Ubaydah ibn al-Harith ibn al-Muttalib ibn Abd Manaf was the oldest of the three. Remember al-Muttalib is the uncle of Abdul Muttalib. So Ubaydah was the Prophet's PBUH father's second cousin. Note he's not Banu Hashim by the way, because Hashim is al-Muttalib's brother, but he is still a Qureshi (from Banu Abd Manaf's branch). He was the oldest among them so he goes towards Utbah, Hamzah goes to Utbah's younger brother Shaybah, and then of course the two youngsters are Ali and al-Walid so they fight each other. (Some of the books of hadith mention different pairing, but this is Ibn Ishaq's version.) Indeed it's the only logical pairing that each pairing is by age. It's said both Hamzah and Ali instantly pounced and killed their opponent without a single injury on themselves. As for Ubaydah, Utbah managed to slice his leg off, so Ubaydah fell down and Utbah was about to kill him, but by that time both Hamzah and Ali had finished off the other two, so they came to the rescue of Ubaydah and killed Utbah. So Utbah's side: father, brother, and son all died, all because Utbah was insulted that Abu Jahal called him a coward. Think about that.

Allah references this mubaraza in Surah al-Hajj verse 19:

According to the majority of the scholars of tafsir, this is a revelation regarding this mubaraza: One group has one position about their Lord, and another group has another position. And Ali RA used to say, "I will be the first person who will argue on the Day of Judgment since I was the first to kill on Badr. And this ayah came down about me." This is one of the interpretations of this verse.

Then Ubaydah was carried on the shoulders of Hamzah and Ali, and he died a few days later from the effects of the wounds - because his whole leg was cut off and they couldn't stop the bleeding. And he was an elderly man as it is. So he became an after-effect shaheed a few days later. As for now, when it appeared that all three of them came back safe, killing all three of the mushriks, this was a big morale boost to the Muslims. And of course this was just an 'appetizer' that Allah gave to the Muslims, and eventually the whole victory would be theirs.

1. The most common posture: palms outwards (see the video - 1:12:00). And the Prophet PBUH explicitly said, "Do not ask Allah from the backs of your palms."

2. Sometimes the Prophet PBUH would make du'a by simply raising a finger (see the video - 1:12:27), especially for dhikr or istighfar (astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah).

"[Remember] when you asked help of your Lord, and He answered you, 'Indeed, I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, following one another.'" [Quran, 8:9]

One angel could have taken care of all of them, but Allah SWT sent 1,000 angels! Subhan'Allah.

And the Prophet PBUH began reciting:

The Prophet PBUH then stooped down, picked up some pebbles, threw it towards the direction of the Quraysh, and said, "شاهت الوجوه (May these faces be cursed)" 3 times. And every single person in the army of the Quraysh felt blinded by this (they got something in their eye and nostrils), even though the Prophet PBUH was far away. This was a miracle. Allah says this in the Quran:


The Day of Battle

Further information: List of participants at the Battle of Badr

At midnight on 13 March, the Quraish broke camp and marched into the valley of Badr. It had rained the previous day and they struggled to move their horses and camels up the hill of ‘Aqanqal.

After they descended from ‘Aqanqal, the Meccans set up another camp inside the valley. While they rested, they sent out a scout, Umayr ibn Wahb to reconnoitre the Muslim lines. Umayr reported that Muhammad’s army was small, and that there were no other Muslim reinforcements which might join the battle.

However, he also predicted extremely heavy Quraishi casualties in the event of an attack (One hadith refers to him seeing “the camels of [Medina] laden with certain death”). This further demoralized the Quraish, as Arab battles were traditionally low-casualty affairs, and set off another round of bickering among the Quraishi leadership.

However, according to Arab traditions Amr ibn Hishām quashed the remaining dissent by appealing to the Quraishi’s sense of honor and demanding that they fulfill their blood vengeance.

The battle began with champions from both armies emerging to engage in combat. Three of the Ansar emerged from the Muslim ranks, only to be shouted back by the Meccans, who were nervous about starting any unnecessary feuds and only wanted to fight the Quraishi Muslims. So Hamza approached forward and called on Ubayda and Ali to join him.

The Muslims dispatched the Meccan champions in a three-on-three melee. Hamza killed his opponent Utba Ali killed his opponent Walid ibn Utba Ubayda was wounded by his opponent Shayba, but eventually killed him. So this was a victorious traditional 3 on 3 combat for the Muslims.

Now both armies began striking arrows at each other. A few Muslims and an unknown number of Quraish warriors were killed. Before the real attack began, Muhammad had given orders for the Muslims to attack with their ranged weapons, and only engage the Quraish with melee weapons when they advanced.

Now he gave the order to charge, throwing a handful of pebbles at the Meccans in what was probably a traditional Arabian gesture while yelling “Defaced be those faces!” The Muslim army yelled “Yā manṣūr amit!” “O thou whom God hath made victorious, slay!” and rushed the Quraishi lines. The Meccans, understrength and unenthusiastic about fighting, promptly broke and ran. The battle itself only lasted a few hours and was over by the early afternoon.

The Qur’an describes the force of the Muslim attack in many verses, which refer to thousands of angels descending from Heaven at Badr to terrify the Quraish. It should be noted that Muslim sources take this account literally, and there are several hadith where Muhammad discusses the Angel Jibreel and the role he played in the battle.


Notes

  1. ↑ Quraish refers to the tribe in control of Mecca. The plural and adjective are Quraishi. The terms "Quraishi" and "Meccan" are used interchangeably between the Hijra in 622 and the Muslim Conquest of Mecca in 630.
  2. ↑ The hatred many Muslims have towards Hishām can be seen in his nickname, "Abū Jahl" (Father of Ignorance), which is how the majority of Muslims know him today.
  3. ↑ Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources (Inner Traditions International, 1983, ISBN 0892811706), 138-139.
  4. ↑Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 59, Number 287 Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  5. ↑Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 53, Number 359 Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  6. ↑ Lings, 139-140.
  7. ↑Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 59, Number 286 Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  8. ↑ Ibn Ishaq says that Abu Sufyan himself rode ahead to reconnoiter the area and discovered the Muslim scouts via the dates left in their camels' droppings.
  9. ↑ Lings, 140.
  10. ↑ 10.010.1Sahih Muslim: Book 19, Number 4394 Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  11. ↑ 11.011.1 Lings, 142.
  12. ↑ Lings, 154.
  13. ↑ Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet (HarperCollins, 1992, ISBN 0062508865), 174.
  14. ↑ Lings, 142-143.
  15. ↑ Armstrong, 175.
  16. ↑ Lings, 143-144.
  17. ↑ Armstrong, 174-175.
  18. ↑ Lings, 144-146.
  19. ↑Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 14, Number 2659 Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  20. ↑Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 14, Number 2658 Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  21. ↑ 21.021.121.2 Armstrong, 176.
  22. ↑ 22.022.122.2 Lings, 148.
  23. ↑ "O thou whom God hath made victorious, slay!"
  24. ↑ Qur'an: Sura 3:123-125. "Allah had helped you at Badr, when ye were a contemptible little force then fear Allah thus May ye show your gratitude. Remember thou saidst to the Faithful: "Is it not enough for you that Allah should help you with three thousand angels (Specially) sent down? "Yea, - if ye remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels Making a terrific onslaught."
  25. ↑Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 276 Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  26. ↑ Qur'an:Sura 8:67-69. "It is not fitting for an apostle that he should have prisoners of war until he hath thoroughly subdued the land. Ye look for the temporal goods of this world but Allah looketh to the Hereafter: And Allah is Exalted in might, Wise. Had it not been for a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe penalty would have reached you for the (ransom) that ye took. But (now) enjoy what ye took in war, lawful and good: but fear Allah. for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
  27. ↑Sahih Al-Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 38, Number 498 Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  28. ↑Al Muslim: Book 040, Number 6870 Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  29. ↑Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 59, Number 325 Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  30. ↑ Marshall Hodgson, The Venture of Islam: The Classical Age of Islam (University of Chicago Press, 1974, ISBN 0226346838), 176-178.
  31. ↑ Including the elderly Abu Lahab, who was not at Badr but died within days of the army's return
  32. ↑Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 59, Number 357 Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  33. ↑Sahih Al-Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 59, Number 358 Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  34. ↑ Hugh N. Kennedy, The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphate (Longman, 1985, ISBN 0582405254), 355.

Truth About The Jizyah Verse: Qur’an 9:29

This article examines chapter 9, verse 29 of the Quran, in its historical context. Some claim that the verse (Q. 9:29) endorses and ‘sanctions Muslims to kill innocent Christians and Jews’. This is simply not true. We undertook the task to investigate the verse (Q. 9:29) as a result of some critics misusing, and twisting the verse to mean something it has never intended to say. It is only appropriate to respond to their claims, given the fact that, not even Prophet Muhammed (p) interpreted it as such during his own life.

2. Background

It is agreed by some of the earliest classical to modern commentators on the Quran that this verse (Q. 9:29) was revealed concerning the expedition to Tabuk, to face Byzantine (Roman) Empire’s army (Mujahid Ibn Jabr (645-722 AD), Hud b. Muhakkam Hawwari [1], Al-Tabari (838-923 AD) [2], Baghawi (1044-1122 AD), and Ibn Kathir (1301-1373 AD)).

3. The Verse – Historical Context

Let us read the verse [Muhammed Asad Translation]:

“[And] fight against those who – despite having been vouchsafed revelation [aforetime] – do not [truly] believe either in God or the Last Day, and do not consider forbidden that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and do not follow the religion of truth [which God has enjoined upon them] till they [agree to] pay the exemption tax with a willing hand, after having been humbled [in war].” – Qur’an 9:29

So the verse tells Muhammed (p) to fight against those who were revealed previous scripture. Who does the verse refer to? As mentioned previously, some of the earliest Islamic exegesis on the Quran say that the verse (9:29) was revealed concerning Tabuk expedition.

The Hadith, collections of reports from what Prophet Muhammed (p) said, approved off, or sometimes what the Companions of the Prophet (p) said. According to Sahih Muslim (Hadith) and Riyad us-Saliheen, they report to us that the Tabuk expedition was undertaken as a result of the impending army of the Byzantine’s (Romans) who were advancing on the Syrian border for war. Sahih Muslim:

“I never remained behind Allah’s Messenger from any expedition which he undertook except the Battle of Tabuk and that of the Battle of Badr. So far as the Battle of Badr is concerned, nobody was blamed for remaining behind as Allah’s Messenger and the Muslims (did not set out for attack but for waylaying) the caravan of the Quraish, but it was Allah Who made them confront their enemies without their intention (to do so). I had the honour to be with Allah’s Messenger on the night of ‘Aqaba when we pledged our allegiance to Islam and it was more dear to me than my participation in the Battle of Badr, although Badr was more popular amongst people as compared with that (Tabuk). And this is my story of remaining back from Allah’s Messenger on the occasion of the Battle of TABUK. Never did I possess means enough and (my circumstances) more favourable than at the occasion of this expedition. And, by Allah, I had never before this expedition simultaneously in my possession two rides. Allah’s Messenger set out for this expedition in extremely hot season the journey was long and the land (which he and his army had to cover) was waterless and HE HAD TO CONFRONT A LARGE ARMY, so he informed the Muslims about the actual situation (they had to face), so that they should adequately equip themselves for this expedition, and he also told them the destination where he intended to go. …” (Sahih Muslim Book 37, Hadith 6670)

“Abdullah bin Ka’b, who served as the guide of Ka’b bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) when he became blind, narrated: I heard Ka’b bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) narrating the story of his remaining behind instead of joining Messenger of Allah when he left for the battle of Tabuk. Ka’b said: “I accompanied Messenger of Allah in every expedition which he undertook excepting the battle of Tabuk and the battle of Badr. As for the battle of Badr, nobody was blamed for remaining behind as Messenger of Allah and the Muslims, when they set out, had in mind only to intercept the caravan of the Quraish. Allah made them confront their enemies unexpectedly. I had the honour of being with Messenger of Allah on the night of ‘Aqabah when we pledged our allegiance to Islam and it was dearer to me than participating in the battle of Badr, although Badr was more well-known among the people than that. And this is the account of my staying behind from the battle of TABUK. I never had better means and more favourable circumstances than at the time of this expedition. And by Allah, I had never before possessed two riding-camels as I did during the time of this expedition. Whenever Messenger of Allah decided to go on a campaign, he would not disclose his real destination till the last moment (of departure). But on this expedition, he set out in extremely hot weather the journey was long and the terrain was waterless desert and HE HAD TO FACE A STRONG ARMY, so he informed the Muslims about the actual position so that they should make full preparation for the campaign.” (Riyad as-Salihin Book 1, Hadith 21)

Notice, in the above two reports we read that the Byzantine army were already there, ready, and equipped to go to war. These following reports (below) also shed information that news had reached the Muslims that the Ghassanid tribe, which was part of the Byzantine (Roman) empire were preparing to attack the Muslim community.

“… I left her (and went home). At that time I had a friend from the Ansar who used to bring news (from the Prophet) in case of my absence, and I used to bring him the news if he was absent. In those days we were afraid of one of the kings of GHASSANID TRIBE. We heard that he INTENDED TO MOVE AND ATTACK US, so fear filled our hearts because of that. (One day) my Ansari friend unexpectedly knocked at my door, and said, “Open Open!’ I said, ‘Has the king of Ghassan come?’ He said, ‘No, but something worse God’s Messenger has isolated himself from his wives.’ …” (Sahih al-Bukhari volume 6, Book 60, Hadith 435)

“I had a friend from the Ansar. When I had been absent (from the company of the Prophet) he used to bring me the news and when he had been absent I used to bring him the news, and at that time we dreaded a KING OF GHASSAN. It was mentioned to us that he INTENDED TO ATTACK US, AND OUR MINDS WERE HAUNTED BY HIM. My friend, the Ansari, came to me, and he knocked at the door and said: Open it, open it. I said: Has the Ghassanid come? He said: (The matter is) more serious than that. The Messenger of Allah has separated himself from his wives. …” (Sahih Muslim Book 9, Hadith 3508)

“‘My house was in Al-Awali among those of Banu Umayya, and I had a neighbour among the Ansar, and he and I would take turns visiting the Messenger of God.’ He said: ‘One day I would visit him and bring the news of the Revelation, and one day he would visit him and bring the same. We heard that GHASSAN WERE PREPARING THEIR HORSES TO ATTACK US. He said: ‘One day he came to me in the evening and knocked on my door, so I went out to him. He said: “A horrible thing has happened.” I said: “Ghassan has come?” He said: “Worse than that. The Messenger of God has divorced his wives.’ … “(Jami` at-Tirmidhi volume 5, Book 44, Hadith 3318)

In relation to this, Ibn Sa’d (784-845 AD), in his book Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir states that news had reached Prophet Muhammed that the Byzantine (Romans) had ‘concentrated large forces’, and Heracluis had sent some his military to ‘Balqa’. This is when the Muhammed (p) ‘summoned’ his people to the expedition of Tabuk:

“They (narrators) saud: It (report) reached the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, that the ROMANS HAD CONCENTRATED LARGE FORCES IN SYRIA had, that Heraclius had disbursed one year’s salary to his soldiers, and that tribes of Lakhm, Judham, ‘Amilah and Ghassan had joined hands with him. THEY SENT HAD SENT THEIR VANGUARDS TO AL-BALQA. THE MESSENGER Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, SUMMONED THE PEOPLE TO MARCH. He set out and informed them about the place which he intended, so that they could make necessary preparations. He sent (messengers) to Makkah and to the tribes of Arabia (asking them) to send help. This took place in the days of intense heat.” (Ibn Sa’d, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, vol. 2, pp. 203-204) [3]

9th Century historian Aḥmad Ibn Yaḥya al-Baladhuri (D. 892 AD), also reports in his book, ‘Kitab Futuh Al-Buldan’, in clear words that the Prophet (p) learned that the Byzantine army ‘had assembled against him’:

“Tabuk make terms. When in the year 9 AH the Prophet marched to TABUK in Syria for the invasion of those of the Greeks, Amilah, Lakhm, Judham and others WHOM HE LEARNT HAD ASSEMBLED AGAINST HIM, he met no resistance. So he spent a few days in Tabuk, whose inhabitants made terms with him agreeing to pay poll-tax.” (Kitab Futuh Al-Buldan, vol. 1, p. 92) [4]

Moreover, Al-Waqidi’s account is similar and consistent with what we have shown already, that the Byzantine had prepared for war against the Muslims first.

Al-Waqidi’s (745–822 AD) report is a bit more detailed on this incident. He states that some Nabateans came to Medina for business related matters, as they usually did throughout the year. They told the Muslims that the Byzantines (Romans) had assembled their troops in Syria to launch an attack on Madinah. And that some of the military already had reached ‘Al-Balqa’. The report suggests that some among the Nabateans were Muslim traders who had gone to al-Sham [Syria], they seen with their own eyes the number of troops, their equipment and arms. All this took place before Prophet Muhammed (p) decided to set out to engage the Byzantine army:

“…The saqita – they were Nabateans who arrived in Medina with flour and oil in Jahiliyya and after Islam arrived. Indeed there was news of al-Sham [Syria] with the Muslims every-day. Many of those who came to them were from Nabatea. A group arrived which mentioned that the BYZANTINE’S HAD GATHERED [ASSEMBLED] MANY GROUPS IN AL-SHAM [SYRIA], and that Heraclius had provisioned his companions for a year. The Lakhmids, Judham, Ghassan, and Amila had gathered with him. THEY MARCHED and their LEADERS LED THEM TO AL-BALQA where they camped. …there was no enemy feared more by the Muslims, this because of what they had seen regarding their numbers, their equipment and their arms when they had set foot in their territory as traders.” (Al-Waqidi, vol. 3. pp. 989 – 990) [5]

Moreover, we also want to include the episode of Masjid al-Dirar, in relation to Tabuk expedition. To get a better understanding of Byzantine army’s intend to attack the Muslim community in Madinah.

Masjid al-Dirar was a mosque built by the hypocrites with the help of Abu Amir (Amr), a Christian monk, who had in previous years fought against the Muslims. Abu Amir went to Syria, and had a close relationship with the Byzantine leader. Abu Amir having hatred and enmity towards Muhammed (p) asked Heraclius to give him men, money and weapons so that he could assassinate Muhammed (p). With the help of Heraclius, a Mosque was built, and the hypocrites invited the Prophet (p) to come to this Mosque and pray, so that they could assassinate him. However, the Prophet declined and was busy with Tabuk expedition. Ali ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi (d. 1075 AD), states the following:

“… The Banu ‘Amr ibn ‘Awf built a mosque at Quba’ and sent for the Messenger of Allah, to come to them. He went there and prayed in that mosque. Their brothers from the Banu Ghunm ibn ‘Awf envied them resentfully and said: ‘Let us built a mosque and send for the Messenger of Allah, to pray in it as he prayed in the mosque of our brothers, and let Abu ‘Amir al-Rahib (the monk) also pray in it when he comes back from Syria‘. This Abu ‘Amir had embraced Christianity and became a monk in the pre-Islamic period. But when the Messenger of Allah, moved to Medina, Abu ‘Amir rejected the religion of Islam and showed enmity toward it. The Prophet, called him then Abu ‘Amir al-Fasiq (the corrupt)… ABU AMIR LEFT FOR SYRIA AND THEN SENT A LETTER TO THE HYPOCRITES in which he wrote: ‘PREPARE YOURSELVES AND MAKE READY WHATEVER YOU CAN OF FORCE AND WEAPONS. Built a Mosque for me, for I AM GOING TO THE CAESAR TO REQUEST HIM TO SEND WITH ME BYZANTINE SOLDIERS SO THAT I DRIVE OUT MUHAMMAD AND HIS COMPANIONS‘. And so, they built for him a mosque by the Quba’ mosque. Those who built this mosque were 12 men: Khidham ibn Khalid (this mosque of opposition was an extension of his house), Tha’labah ibn Hatib, Mu’attib ibn Qushayr, Abu Habibah ibn al-Az’ar, ‘Abbad ibn Hunayf, Jariyah ibn ‘Amir, his two sons Majma’ and Zayd, Nabtal ibn Harith, Bahzaj ibn ‘Uthman, Bijad ibn ‘Uthman and Wadi’ah ibn Thabit. When they finished building this mosque, they went to the Messenger of Allah, and said: ‘We have built a mosque for the sick and the needy and also for use in rainy and wintry nights, and we would like you to come and pray in it’.” [6]

The respected scholar Abu l-Fidaʾ Ismail Ibn Umar Ibn Kathir (1301-1373 AD), also mentions that Abu Amir got the backing of Heraclius to launch an attack on the Muslim community:

“Masjid Ad-Dirar and Masjid At-Taqwa
The reason behind revealing these honorable Ayat is that before the Messenger of Allah migrated to Al-Madinah, there was a man from Al-Khazraj called “Abu `Amir Ar-Rahib (the Monk).” This man embraced Christianity before Islam and read the Scriptures. During the time of Jahiliyyah, Abu Amir was known for being a worshipper and being a notable person among Al-Khazraj. When the Messenger of Allah arrived at Al-Madinah after the Hijrah, the Muslims gathered around him and the word of Islam was triumphant on the day of Badr, causing Abu `Amir, the cursed one, to choke on his own saliva and announce his enmity to Islam. He fled from Al-Madinah to the idolators of Quraysh in Makkah to support them in the WAR AGAINST THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH. The Quraysh united their forces and the bedouins who joined them for the battle of Uhud, during which Allah tested the Muslims, but the good end is always for the pious and righteous people. The rebellious Abu Amir dug many holes in the ground between the two camps, into one of which the Messenger fell, injuring his face and breaking one of his right lower teeth. He also sustained a head injury. Before the fighting started, Abu Amir approached his people among the Ansar and tried to convince them to support and agree with him. When they recognized him, they said, “May Allah never burden an eye by seeing you, O Fasiq one, O enemy of Allah!” They cursed him and he went back declaring, “By Allah! Evil has touched my people after I left.” The Messenger of Allah called Abu Amir to Allah and recited the Qur’an to him before his flight to Makkah, but he refused to embrace Islam andREBELLED. The Messenger invoked Allah that Abu Amir die as an outcast in an alien land, and his invocation came true. After the battle of Uhud was finished, ABU AMIR realized that the Messenger’s call was still rising and gaining momentum, so HE WENT TO HERACLIUS, THE EMPEROR OF ROME, ASKING FOR HIS AID AGAINST THE PROPHET. HERACLIUS GAVE HIM PROMISES AND ABU AMIR REMAINED WITH HIM. He also wrote to several of his people in Al-Madinah, who embraced hypocrisy, promising and insinuating to them THAT HE WILL LEAD AN ARMY TO FIGHT THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH TO DEFEAT HIM AND HIS CALL. He ordered them to establish a stronghold where he could send his emissaries and to serve as an outpost when he joins them later on. These hypocrites built a Masjid next to the Masjid in Quba’, and they finished building itBEFORE the Messenger went to TABUK. They went to the Messenger inviting him to pray in their Masjid so that it would be a proof that the Messenger approved of their Masjid.” [7]

Similarly, Tafsir al-Jalalayn affirms the Masjid al-Dirar incident:

“And, among them, those who have chosen a mosque — these were twelve men from among the hypocrites — by way of HARM, to cause distress for those of the mosque of Quba’, and disbelief, since they built it on the orders of the monk ABU ‘AMIR, as a sanctuary for him, so that whoever comes from his side may stay there: HE HAD GONE TO THE BYZANTINE EMPEROR (QAYSAR) TO BRING TROOPS TO FIGHT AGAINST THE PROPHET (s), and to cause division among the believers, who pray in the mosque of Quba’, by having some of these pray in their [the hypocrites’] mosque, and as an outpost, an observation post, for those who waged war against God and His Messenger before, that is, before it was built — meaning the above-mentioned Abu ‘Amir — they will swear: ‘We desired nothing, by building it, but, to do, good’, by way of kindness towards the poor in times of [heavy] rain or [extreme] heat and in order to provide [a place of worship] for the Muslims and God bears witness that they are truly liars, in this [claim of theirs]. They had asked the Prophet (s) to perform prayers in it, and so the following was revealed…” [8]

Likewise, 9th century Islamic scholar Abu Ja’far Muḥammad ibn Jarir al-Ṭabari (838-923 AD) has this story in his Tafsir, in detail [9]. These incidents were not the first time the Byzantine had engaged in war against the Muslims. When the Prophet (p) sent one of his messenger’s with a letter to the King of Busra, he was intercepted by Shurabbil Ibn Amr al-Ghassani and his men, they executed Muhammed’s messenger, and those who were with him. Which led to the battle of Mu’tah (Mutah).

From the evidences, we gather Muhammed (p) was well aware of the Byzantine army’s approach towards Madinah. What he did not know was that some of the hypocrites, Abu Amir the monk, and with the help of Heraclius, were attempting to assassinate him in the Masjid al-Dinar mosque, in Madinah. All this took place before the Muhammed (p) set out to Tabuk.

In view of all the that has been mentioned so far, all the historical evidences shown supports the fact that the expedition to Tabuk, was started as a consequence of the Byzantine (Roman) Empire’s army advancing, to attack the Muslim community. Thus, 9:29 is understood historically that the verse was aimed at those who were hostile, and aimed to harm the Muslims.

4. Jizya (Jizyah)

Moreover, when the Muslims got to Tabuk, to face the enemy, the Muslims found that the Byzantine army had fled. So what did the Muslims do to those Christians and Jews that were allies of the Byzantine, and had sided with them against the Muslims? Did Muslims start killing them indiscriminately? No harm was inflicted on any Christian or Jew. Sahih al-Bukhari and Kitab Futuh al-Buldan report to us the following:

“We accompanied the Prophet in the Ghazwa of Tabuk and the king of ‘Aila presented a white mule and a cloak as a gift to the Prophet. And the Prophet wrote to him a peace treaty allowing him to keep authority over his country.” (Sahih al-Bukhari vol. 4, Book 53, Hadith 387)

“Tabuk make terms. When in the year 9 AH the Prophet marched to Tabuk in Syria for the invasion of those of the Greeks, Amilah, Lakhm, Judham and others whom he learnt had assembled against him, he met no resistance. So he spent a few days in Tabuk, whose inhabitants made terms with him agreeing to pay poll-tax.” (Kitab Futuh Al-Buldan vol. 1, p. 92) [10]

With the Prophet (p) and his army’s arrival there, we read that he made peace treaties with the tribes that had allegiance to Byzantine Empire. These two reports are very interesting! It thoroughly debunks the myth perpetuated by some that Prophet Muhammed (p) conquered, and converted them the sword. We have to remember that these tribes were guilty of siding with the Byzantine in harming the Muslims, yet when the Prophet (p) had the opportunity to avenge them for what they did (i.e., siding with Byzantine in killing Muslims), he left them alone.

Part of this peace-treaty was that they will live in their territory peacefully, no harm will come to them as long as they do not harm the Muslims. They also got full protection, and freedom from the Muslim Government. Another intriguing part of this treaty (which is mentioned in this section, Bukhari quotes) was that the Prophet (P) allowed the Christian King Yuhanna (John) of Aila to have full control over his territory, as long as he remained peaceful and paid the poll-tax due to the Prophet (p).

Some claim that the poll-tax (Jizyah) levied on them was ‘discriminatory’ and ‘oppressive’. For those readers who are not aware of what ‘Jizya’ is, Jizyah is a tax on Christians and Jews who live under the Protection of the Muslim government. This is not imposed on all of them. It is only levied on the men. Women, children, old men and handicapped or the poor are exempted from paying this. Similarly, the Muslims were also obliged to pay similar tax called ‘Zakat’ yearly. If the non-Muslim men joined the Muslim military service, they were exempt from paying Jizya. Whereas, even if the Muslims paid Zakat, they were still obliged to join military service, it was compulsory on the Muslims.

As mentioned, the non-Muslims got full freedom, and protection from the Islamic Government, as in the case of the Christian King Yuhanna (John) of Aila, he had full control over his territory. Part of this ‘full-protection’ was that if an enemy country were to think of attacking non-Muslims, the Muslims would have protected them. The enemy would have to fight the Muslims first before they could harm the non-Muslim citizens.

This payment (tax) in turn would have paid for hospitals, schools, military defence of the country, helping the poor and needy. Both of these taxes (Jizya and Zakat) was needed for the Government to function, and adequate care for its citizens be met.

The claim that ‘Jizya’ was oppressive is found by those who are pushing a certain agenda to paint the Islamic faith negatively.

In-fact, anyone who hurts or be ‘oppressive’ towards a dhimmi (modern terminology non-Muslim citizen) will be held accountable, and has gone against God and the Prophet’s teachings. The Prophet states, as it is reported in Tabarani:

“He who hurts a dhimmi hurts me, and he who hurts me annoys Allah. (Narrated by at-Tabarani in Al-aswat on good authority)

“Whoever hurts a dhimmi, I am his adversary, and I shall be an adversary to him on the Day of Resurrection.” (Narrated by Khatib on good authority)

“One the Day of Resurrection I shall prove to be wrong anyone who oppresses a person from among the People of the covenant, or infringes on his right, or puts a responsibility on him which is beyond his strength, or takes something from him against his will.” (Narrated By Abu Dawud)

These sayings are from Muhammed’s (p) own mouth, he categorically forbade the harming, hurting or imposing something beyond the ability the non-Muslim citizen. The Prophet’s companions [11], his successors safeguarded these rights and sanctities of non-Muslim citizens. The Maliki jurist, Shihab ad-din al-Qarafi states:

“The covenant of protection imposes upon us certain obligations toward ahl adh-dhimmah. They are our neighbours, under our shelter and protection upon the guarantee of Allah, His Messenger (p), and the religion of Islam. Whoever violates these obligations against any of them by so much as an abusive word, by slandering his reputation, or by doing him some injury or assisting in it, has breached the guarantee of Allah, His Messenger (p), and the religion of Islam. (Al-Qarafi, Al-furuq)

“If the enemy of a dhimmi comes with his forces to take him, it is our obligation to fight this enemy with soldiers and weapons and to give our lives for him, thus honouring the guarantee of Allah and His Messenger (p). To hand him over to the enemy would mean to dishonour this guarantee.” (Ibn Hazm, Maratib al-ijma) [12]

The Quran calls for non-Muslims to be treated with goodness and be just to them:

“God does not forbid you, with regard to those who do not fight you on account of your religion nor drive you out of your homes, totreat them with goodness and to be just to them truly, God loves those who are just. …” – Quran 60:8

This same Quran also permits Muslims to marry Christian and Jewish woman:

“… The food of those who were given Scripture (before you) is permitted to you and your food is permitted to them. And (lawful to you in marriage are) chaste women from among the Believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture (Christians and Jews) before you…” – Quran 5:5

In the same book, God Almighty informs us that through marriage HE has put love and mercy between the couple’s.

“…and He has put love and mercy between you.” – Quran 30:21

5. Conclusion:

We see that chapter 9, verse 29 of the Quran, that God Almighty only permitted the fighting, in the context of Byzantine (Roman) Empire’s impending army to attack the Muslims. The verse does not in any-way allow or permit aggression against peaceful people. Rather the injunction in the verse has to be understood within the historical context that it was revealed at the time of Prophet Muhammed (p). As explained, the context of which was to do with the aggression and the hostilities of the Byzantine Empire’s actions, as we showed in a number of historical reports. Which led to Prophet Muhammed’s (p) decision in confronting the enemy head-on in Tabuk.

For some to claim that the verse allowed aggression and warfare against innocent people, this has no historical truth to it. The evidences shown tell us, Islam respects, and treats those who adhere to other religions with kindness, care and goodness.

Don’t forget to follow Discover The Truth on Facebook and Twitter. PLEASE help spread the word by sharing our articles on your favourite social networks.

List of site sources >>>


Watch the video: Die Schlacht von Badr (January 2022).