A battle is a combat in warfare between two or more armed forces. A war usually consists of multiple battles. Battles generally are well defined in duration, area, and force commitment.
Huthaifa Ibn al-Yamaan was one of the very pious companions of the Proaphet Muhammad (SAWA) and Ameerul Mo'mineen (AS). He is one of the four best companions of the Prophet (SAWA).
He was informed by the Prophet about the names of the Munafiqeen (hypocrites). Omar Ibn al-Khattab used to repeatedly ask him: Did the Prophet mention my name with the Munafiqeen?
He used to boycott praying on dead body of any Munafiq. He did not pray on many well known persons in Madina.
The narration that Huthaifa took part in al-Yarmouk battle is not in our books but in a Sunni book called al-Waafi bil Wafayaat by al-Safadi (V.11, P. 251).We can not trust such narration.
Huthaifa fought against Mo'awiyah in the army of Ameerul Mo'mineen (AS) in Siffeen battle.
Huthaifa was requested by Omar and Uthman to look after al-Madaa'in. Omar and Uthman wanted to show respect to him being the person who has secrets from the Prophet. He accepted to help Muslims and protect them from corrupt rulers. Imam Ali (AS) also appointed him as a ruler on al-Madaa'in.
Many the battles that were fought during the expansion of the Arab-Muslim empires after the time of the Prophet (S) were the same sort of battles that any other empire or state engages in to look after its political, financial or economic interests, although it is true that, as a side effect, it contributed to the spread of Islam by establishing a ruling class who was Muslim. So, from that angle, there is nothing special about them to make them jihad fi sabil Allah.
However, if someone was fighting in defence or for other selfless reasons, this could be considered jihad, just as it would be considered jihad fi sabil Allah today if I risked my life to defend someone who is under attack.
Perhaps for that reason, there is a dua in al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyah where Imam Zayn al-Abidin (A) prays for the soldiers on the frontier who are defending the Muslim state against enemies.
Also, even in times of jihad with the Prophet (S), whether or not fighting was counted as jihad was according to intention. For instance, some people might have gone to war for glory or financial gain, and so this is not the same thing as risking their lives or enduring battle solely for the sake of Allah.
Imam Ali (AS) never took part in any matter of the governments of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. He did not attend any Juma or Jama'ah with them (Al-Thahabi in Siyar A'laam al- Nubalaa' 9/284.
Valid Jihad must be led or permitted by the Prophet (SAWA) or his real successors.
Shi'a respect and revere every sincere Muslim who remained obeying the Prophet (SAWA). The companions who took part in the battle of Badr are fully respected unless they did wrong after that. Haatib ibn Abi Balta'ah participated in Badr battle but later on he betrayed the Prophet and Islam by writing a secret letter to the Mushriks of Makkah informing them about the preparations of the Prophet to attack the Mushriks in Makkah.( Siyar A'lamm al-Nobalaa', page 43)
Qudamah ibn Madh'oon was also in Badr battle but later on he committed major sin of drinking alcohol and was punished for that during the government of Umarvibn al-Khattab. ( Siyar A'laam al-Nubalaa' page 162 and al-Esaabah fi Tamyeez al-Sahabah).
We highly respect every companion who fulfilled his duty in obeying Allah (SWT) and the Prophet (SAWA) and did not change till the end of his life.
Yes, every battle fought by the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) was defensive. Islam does not believe in enforcing religion on any one as Allah says in Sura Al-Baqarah in Quran (There is no compulsion in religion).
The Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) never forced any one to become a Muslim. Allah says in Quran (The is no compulsion in faith لا اكراه في الدين)
The battle of Thaat al-Salasil ذات السلاسل was against enemies who decided to attack Madina. The Prophet sent Abu Bakr to counter them, but Abu Bakr failed, then Umar was sent, who failed as well, then Khalid Ibn al-Waleed was sent, who failed again, then Amr Ibn al-'Aass was sent who failed as well. The Prophet then sent Ali (AS) who attacked the enemies in the early morning and defeated them. Allah (SWT) in Quran mentioned this victory in Sura Al-'Aadiyat العاديات
In the name of Allah
During the 9 years of The Holy Prophet's life after Hijrah - depending on the definition of battle - between 80 to 100 counts of Battle between Muslims and non-muslims are recorded in history.
The Holy Prophet -Peace be upon him and his Ahlul Bayt- was personally present and leading the Army in 27 of these Battles that are called Ghazwah (غزوة). The rest were lead by his appointed generals.
It's worth mentioning that most of these battles were resolved without any/major conflict like the Conquest of Mecca.
Here you can read more details about some of these battles:
The Prophet (SAWA) and all the prophets (AS) never miss any prayer.
There are narrations from Israelites which claim wrong things against some prophets. Such narrations are rejected and have no value.
Imam Al Mahdi (ATFS) will come to establish peace and justice all over
the world. He will not fight with people and will never endanger the
life of anyone except those who fight against him. Our responsibility
is to prepare ourselves to be strong practicing believers. Our real
strength depends on th degree of our Imaan (Faith).
The secret of the strength of Imam Ali (AS) is his greatest degree of
humbleness to Allah (SWT) which is next only to the greatness of the
Holy Prophet (SAWA). And when we are unable to know the greatness of
the Holy Prophet (SAWA) and Imam Ali (AS) because of our limited
abilities of understanding, there is no question for us to understand
the secret of his extra-ordinary strength and power but only to say
that it is linked with his great humbleness and faith in Allah SWT).