Section 2: The Battle of Badr
Surah Al-Anfal – Verse 11
إِذْ يُغَشِّيكُمُ النُّعَاسَ أَمَنَةً مِنْهُ وَيُنَزِّلُ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ بِهِ وَيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمْ رِجْزَ الشَّيْطَانِ وَلِيَرْبِطَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتَ بِهِ الْأَقْدَامَ
11. (Remember) when He made the slumber fall upon you as a security from Him and sent down water from the sky upon you to purify you with it and take away from you the uncleanness of Satan and to fortify your hearts, and to steady (your) footsteps thereby.
When the Battle of Badr occurred, at first the wells of drinking water were under the control of the enemy and the Muslims were terrified. After that, it rained and the land under their feet became firm so that they would not slip, and it used them to be encouraged.
Maybe, the purpose of the Qur'anic phrase: “to steady roar footsteps” is the very ‘perseverance’, not to steady feet on the land drenched by rain.
During the war, the ability of having a slumber for a striver is a great bounty of Allah. It both removes the occasional fatigue and does not let the enemy have the opportunity of a light attack.
By the help of Allah's Will, it is also possible for a striver to have a calm-giving sleep while confronting the mass of armed enemies. But, if He does not please, there will not be a comfortable sleep possible in the best gardens either, or the sleep may not be a calm-giving one.
Surah Al-Anfal – Verse 12
إِذْ يُوحِي رَبُّكَ إِلَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ أَنِّي مَعَكُمْ فَثَبِّتُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۚ سَأُلْقِي فِي قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الرُّعْبَ فَاضْرِبُوا فَوْقَ الْأَعْنَاقِ وَاضْرِبُوا مِنْهُمْ كُلَّ بَنَانٍ
12. “(And remember) when your Lord revealed unto the angels, (saying): ‘Verily I am with you, so confirm those who believe. Soon I will cast fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them’.”
One of other divine bounties upon the Muslim strivers in the Battle of Badr was the horror that Allah cast into the hearts of the pagan enemies and terribly weakened their spirits. In this regard, the verse says:
This fact was truly wonderful that the powerful troops of Quraysh were so frightened that some of them were in terrible horror to combat with the small number of Muslim strugglers in the Battle.
Then the verse reminds them the command that He had ordained upon the Muslims in the battle-field of the Battle of Badr by the way of the Prophet (S).
The command was that, at the time of fighting against those pagans, they should avoid striking some uneffective blows and not to spend their strength in that state, but they should smite severely upon the entity of the opposite party, upon above their necks; that is, upon their brains and heads. The verse says:
And, by smiting their fingers, they should cause the enemies’ hands and feet to become inactive. The holy verse continues saying:
Surah Al-Anfal – Verses 13-14
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ شَاقُّوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ وَمَنْ يُشَاقِقِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
ذَٰلِكُمْ فَذُوقُوهُ وَأَنَّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابَ النَّارِ
13. “That is because they opposed Allah and His Messenger; and whoever opposes Allah and His Messenger, then verily Allah is severe in retribution.”
14. “That (is your award), therefore taste it, and (know) that for the disbelievers is the chastisement of the (Hell) Fire.”
They were deserving of that Punishment so that their heads and their fingers should be smited, because they had raised to fight against Allah (s.w.t) and His Messenger (S). The verse says:
Then, the holy verse threatens the opponents of Allah and His Messenger, when it says:
Those who stand to fight against Allah and His Messenger (S), will be destroyed in the world and, in Hereafter, they will abide in an eternal and severe chastisement.
Through the second verse, the Quran says Allah has provided the punishment of destruction and captivity for them to taste in this world. The verse says:
That is, this is the decree of Allah. Then, they should examine the taste of the decree of Allah in this world, and know that in other world both they and the totality of infidels will be involved with the divine painful punishment. The verse says:
Surah Al-Anfal – Verse 15
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا لَقِيتُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا زَحْفًا فَلَا تُوَلُّوهُمُ الْأَدْبَارَ
15. “O’ you who have Faith! when you meet those who disbelieve (to attack) in battle, then do not turn your backs to them.”
The Arabic word /zahf/ means: ‘to crawl, creep’ and ‘to drug on the ground. Since the movement and advance of a large army from the distance seems that it crawls and proceeds, it is called such.
The abundance of the forces of the enemy cannot be taken is an allowance to flee from the battle-field.
The verse says:
Imam Rida (as), upon the philosophy of the banning of escape (from the battle-field), in a tradition has said:
“Flight is the weakness of religion, contempt of the leader of the Truth, encouraging the enemy, and wiping out the school of law.”1
Among the advantages that Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as) had, and to which as an example he himself sometimes referred, was the very matter of flight from the battle-field. He has said:
“Verily I have never fled from (the abundance of enemy in) any battle (although I have participated in many battle-fields), and none combated me save that I satiated the earth from his blood.”
Surah Al-Anfal – Verse 16
وَمَنْ يُوَلِّهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ دُبُرَهُ إِلَّا مُتَحَرِّفًا لِقِتَالٍ أَوْ مُتَحَيِّزًا إِلَىٰ فِئَةٍ فَقَدْ بَاءَ بِغَضَبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَمَأْوَاهُ جَهَنَّمُ ۖ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ
16. “And whoever turns his back to them on that day, unless withdrawing to fight again or removing to join another troop, he has incurred wrath from Allah, and his abode is Hell; and an evil destination it is.”
In Islam, it is unlawful to flee from battle-fields, but there are two exceptions mentioned in this verse for it. One of them is that the escape is done with the purpose of renewing the equipments and the situation and the second is to remove in order to join another group of Muslims, so that they attack wholly with together.
In some commentary books, there have also been mentioned some other instances. For example: flight with the aim of giving information to Muslims, or protecting some more important entrenchments.2
These examples are also some extentions of the first aspect.
The Arabic term /mutuharrifan/, mentioned in the verse, is derived from /harrafa/ (to pervert), and means ‘one who turns aside’ in order to make the enemy tired and to pervert him and, then, to strike.
The Qur’anic word /mutuhayyizan/, also mentioned in this verse, means: ‘one who goes aside’ in order to join to another group of Muslim strivers when the striver feels lonely and is unable to continue fighting.
However, flight from the battle-field is one of the great sins for which Allah has warned His wrath and punishment.
The verse says:
Surah Al-Anfal – Verse 17
فَلَمْ تَقْتُلُوهُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ قَتَلَهُمْ ۚ وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ رَمَىٰ ۚ وَلِيُبْلِيَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْهُ بَلَاءً حَسَنًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
17. “You did not slay them, but Allah slew them; and you (O’ Muhammad) did not throw when you did throw, but Allah threw, that He might test the believers by a gracious trial from Himself. Verily Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”
In order that Muslims might not be proud of the victory in the Battle of Badr and that they would not rely on their own bodily power alone, but they should make their minds and spirits clear and encouraged with the remembrance of Allah and His helps, the Quran says:
Then, it addresses the Holy Prophet (S) saying that it was not he who threw dust and sand unto the faces of them in that battle, but Allah (s.w.t) threw. The verse immediately after that continues saying:
In the continuation of the verse, the Qur’an points to another important matter. The fact is that the battle-field in the Battle of Badr was a trial place for Muslims from the side of Allah. The verse says:
Then, the verse is concluded with this holy, phrase:
That is, Allah has heard the invocations of the Prophet (S) and the believers, and He was aware of the truthfulness of their intention and of their sincerity. That was why that He bestowed His grace upon all of them and made them victorious over their enemy.
In future, too, Allah (s.w.t) will treat Muslim believers according to the intention and standard of the sincerity and level of perseverance that they will show.
Surah Al-Anfal – Verse 18
ذَٰلِكُمْ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ مُوهِنُ كَيْدِ الْكَافِرِينَ
18. “That (was the grace of Allah) for you, and that Allah weakens the plan of disbelievers.”
The beginning word of the verse /oalikum/ (that) points to the situation of the Muslims in the circumstances of the Battle of Badr. It reminds them the divine helps, which were sent from heaven to the earth, and the honor and victory bestowed upon the Prophet of Islam (S). As if, the holy verse would have said: ‘That was the grace of Allah upon you’. The verse says:
Thus, if the strivers act according to their duty in battle- fields against the enemy, and obey the divine leader, Allah will also nullify the enemy's plots against them. The verse continues saying:
Surah Al-Anfal – Verse 19
إِنْ تَسْتَفْتِحُوا فَقَدْ جَاءَكُمُ الْفَتْحُ ۖ وَإِنْ تَنْتَهُوا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ تَعُودُوا نَعُدْ وَلَنْ تُغْنِيَ عَنْكُمْ فِئَتُكُمْ شَيْئًا وَلَوْ كَثُرَتْ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
19. “(O' infidels!) If (Islam's) victory you are seeking, the victory has already come upon you, and if you desist, it will be better for you. But if you return, We (too) shall return, and your forces shall avail you nothing though they may be many, and (know) that Allah is with the believers.”
The addressee of this verse may be either the pagans who were defeated in the Battle of Badr, or the Muslims who disputed upon the division of the spoils of war. The evidence for the first meaning is the connection of this verse with the previous one which says:
Also, it was the expression of Abujah, the commander of pagan troops, which he uttered when he was going to come out of Mecca. He held the curtain of Ka'ba, and said:
“O' God! make victorious of these two groups the one that is more guided.”
When he said this sentence, he was sure of his own victory, but later he defeated.
And, if it addresses the Muslims, it is a warning to them, saying that after that victory they would leave put their protests. Therefore, if they had returned to their murmurs and protests, Allah would have also withheld His grace from them again. In that case, the enemies would be delivered and overcome them.
However, Allah's wrath and grace depend on our choice and our treatment. Allah has completed the argument and has shut all the doors of seeking excuses and pretexts. The verse says:
The largeness of population has no role or function before Allah's wrath, and certainly Allah is with the believers. The verse says: