“And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr, when you were a weak little force. So fear Allah much that you may be grateful” Quran 3:123
The Battle of Badr, also known as the day of distinction, took place on the 17th of Ramadan, two years after the hijrah. This was the first battle the Muslims ever took on with the disbelievers. And it is the first and most important battle, because of the extraordinary events that occurred. It is one of the few battles specifically mentioned in the Quran.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had supported the Muslims to go up against the Quraysh caravan which was coming back to Mecca from the Sham. The Muslims went out with 330 and some soldiers, 2 horses, and 70 camels, not expecting to fight but to overpower them. The caravan escaped, but Abu Sufyan had returned to the Quraysh and spread word among the tribe to fight Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his people. The Quraysh marched with an enormous army of 1000 men, 600 wearing shields, 100 horses, and 170 camels. The disbelievers wanted to make this a victory that would put fear into the hearts of all Arabs – they wanted to crush the Muslims and it sounded like the odds were on their side. Al-Hubab proposed that the Muslims camp further south by the nearest water well, make a basin of water for themselves, and destroy all the other wells so the Quraysh didn’t have any access to the water, and Prophet Muhammad (SAW) agreed with the proposal.
The whole night, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was praying and making supplications about the battle even thought he knew that Allah (SWT) had promised him victory. Strangely enough, the same night, instead of being nervous and unable to sleep, the Muslims enjoyed a nice and refreshing night’s rest. That was the night of the 17th of Ramadan, this is one of the heavenly favors of which Allah (SWT) mentions in the Quran:
“(Remember) when He covered you with a slumber as a security from Him, and He caused rain to descend on you from the sky, to clean you thereby and to remove from you the Rijz (whispering, evil suggestions, etc.) of Satan, and to strengthen your hearts, and make your feet firm thereby.” [8:11]
The Muslims were arranged by ranks, and when the Muslims and the Quraysh were visible to each other, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) began to supplicate, “O Allah! The conceited and haughty Quraishites are already here and defying You and and belying Your Messenger. O Allah! I am waiting for Your victory which You have promised me. I beseech You Allah to defeat them.” Prophet Muhammad (SAW) then gave strict orders to the men to not start fighting until he gave them his final word. He also recommended that they use arrows and never resort to using their swords unless the enemies came too close. The Quraysh were all confident that they were going to win with the number of weapons and the number of men they had. But, as we all know, it is Allah (SWT) who decides who wins and who loses.
“(O disbelievers) if you ask for a judgement, now has the judgement come unto you and if you cease (to do wrong), it will be better for you, and if you return (to the attack), so shall we return, and your forces will be of no avail to you, however numerous it be, and verily, Allah is with the believers.” [8:19]
The battle began with three of the strongest men from eachside — Hamza (Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) uncle) vs. ‘Utbah ibn Rabi’a — Ali (Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) cousin) vs. Al-Waleed ibn ‘Utbah — ‘Ubaidah ibn al Harith vs. Shaybah ibn Rabi’a. After the six men had fought each other, the battle between the Muslims and the Quraysh began. Allah (SWT) promised that the Muslims would win, so he sent down angels from the heavens to assist Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his companions.
“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.” Al-i-Imran 3:123–125
The Muslims were at their peak and they fought with the utmost courage, bravely wounding the Quraysh army, killing many of their men and putting fear in their hearts. Despite the odds, the muslims had trust in Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAW) and they were willing and even hoping to give their lives in this world for the sake of Allah (SWT) and the message of Islam. Because of their trust and their devotion to Allah (SWT), their Creator sent them His divine help and blessed them with VICTORY!!!