Section 5: The Battle of Badr a Proof of the Messenger's Truthfulness
قُلْ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِنْ يَنْتَهُوا يُغْفَرْ لَهُمْ مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ وَإِنْ يَعُودُوا فَقَدْ مَضَتْ سُنَّتُ الْأَوَّلِينَ
38. “Tell those who disbelieve, if they desist (from corruptions) what has past will be forgiven for them, but if they return (thereto), then what happened to the ancients has already passed.”
In this verse, the Prophet (S) is commanded to tell the pagans if they repent and really leave corruptions, their former sins will be forgiven. The verse says:
And if they return to war again and persist on infidelity, Allah's way of treatment unto the former nations has been this that He has always helped the believers and has made the enemies of the religion confronted with disgrace and misfortune.
The verse says:
When the holy verse says: /sunnat-ul-‘awwalin/ and refers ‘Allah's way of treatment’ to the ancient, it is for the reason that ‘Allah's way of treatment’ had always been executed upon them. In another occurrence, the Qur'an says:
Here, He attributes the way of treatment to His messengers, because Allah's way of treatment had been executed by them.
Therefore, in the same verse, He continues saying:
Here, He attributes the way of treatment (course) to His Pure Essence, again, because, in fact, the real executor of ‘the way of treatment’ is Allah Himself.
وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلَّهِ ۚ فَإِنِ انْتَهَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
39. “And fight with them until there be no mischief and the religion be wholly for Allah. But if they desist, then verily Allah sees what they do.”
The content meaning of this verse addresses the Prophet (S) and the Muslim believers. It commands that they should fight against pagans and root out the sedition of polytheism.
The objective meaning is that the fight against those pagans, who have not given covenant, should be continued until there will remain none of them. The reason of it is that a pagan, who has not covenant, may penetrate inside his tribe and try to invite them to his own creed and, thereby, he can create temptation in the religion of Allah. The verse says:
In that case, both the people of right and the people of wrong will wholly him and attend in the religion of Truth and will have correct beliefs. In other words, as a result of assembling people in the true religion, the whole religion will be of Allah. The verse says:
Zurarah, as well as some other commentators, has narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) who said:
“The interpretation of this verse has not come forth yet. When our Gha’im raises, those who will be alive on the earth will see its interpretation and the religion of Muhammad (p.h.u.h.) will cover throughout the world. Then there will remain no polytheist therein.”1
And Allah says:
In Islam, the aim of wars is not occupying lands and countries, but their aim is the expansion of the religion of Islam and opposing with mischief.
The Qur'anic term /fitnah/ (sedition) has a vast meaning. It includes any imposition of pressure, too. This word has also been used in the Qur’an with the meaning of ‘polytheism’.
It is, maybe, for the fact that kinds of limitations and impositions of pressures are fulfilled over the minds, societies and truth- seekers from the side of polytheists. Or, since polytheism causes the eternal punishment to be incurred, imposing infidelity on believers and pure-nature humans is counted mischief, too.
وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَوْلَاكُمْ ۚ نِعْمَ الْمَوْلَىٰ وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ
40. “And if they turn away, then know that Allah is your guardian - an excellent Guardian, and an excellent Helper!”
You should know that Allah is your guardian even if they turn away. He is a very good Guardian and an excellent helper, and He assists the believers along the way of obedience, and He does not leave His friends to them.
The verse says:
The End of Part Nine
وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ آمَنْتُمْ بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَىٰ عَبْدِنَا يَوْمَ الْفُرْقَانِ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
41. “And know that whatever thing you gain (of booties), a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for the near relatives (Ahlul-Bayt) and the orphans, and the needy and the way-farer, if you believe in Allah and what We sent down to Our servant on the day of distinction (of right from wrong), the day when the two hosts encountered (the day of Battle of Badr), and surely Allah is All-powerful over everything.”
According to some Islamic traditions that the Shi'ite believe, the meaning of the term /qanimat/ (booty) is not confined to the war spoils, but, besides that, it encompasses my kind of gain which is obtained from mains, diving, trade, and so on. Thus, the revelation of the verse concerning the battle of Badr is not evidence that its purpose is only ‘war spoils’.
Through the first verse of this Surah, the Qur’an allocated all ‘Anfal (the things gained) to Allah and the Messenger, while this verse says that ‘a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Messenger (Ahlul-Bayt)’.
If the objective meaning of the term /qanimat/ (booty) is only ‘the spoils of war’, it must be said that this verse refers to only one instance of Khums (one fifth) and other instances are discussed in some Islamic traditions.
As many traditions of the Shi'ite and also some traditions of the Sunnite indicate, the meaning of the Qur'anic term /oil qurba/ (near relatives) does not envelop all the relatives of the Prophet (S) but its purpose is the immaculate Imams (as) from Ahl-ul-Bayt who possess the rank of leadership.
So, the amount of Khoms (one fifth levy) belongs to the divine leader and the Islamic government, not to all the relatives of the Prophet (S).
Other usages of Khoms (one fifth levy) are for indigents, way-farers who are progenies of Bani-Hashim -since it is unlawful to give them alms, and their needs should be provided through Khoms.
Besides the Islamic traditions which consider the meaning of /oil qurba/ (near relatives) the immaculate Imams (as), the occurrence of the word recited in the same row. With Allah and the Messenger in the verse is a sign which implies /oil qurba/ are some persons who are along the way of Allah (s.w.t) and the Messenger of Allah (S).
1- Now that, by the help of Allah, you are victorious in the Battle of Badr, do not evade paying Khoms (one fifth) of booties.
2- ‘Khoms’ (a fifth of the gains) is for the sake of Messengership and the rank of government, not for a person.
3- Government and the leader need budget for propagation and messengership.
4- Khoms is obligatory, though the income and gains are scanty.
5- The deprive and the government are the owners of twenty percent of people's property.
6- Allah does not need to have a share. The remembrance of Allah’s share is for the sovereignty of the mastership of the line of Allah (s.w.t) and the Messenger (S).
7- The share of Allah is spent for elevating the word of Allah, the Ka' bah, Islamic religious propagations, and the establishment of the Divine Law.
8- Among the Islamic duties is to wipe out deprivation from the Islamic society. Therefore, the income gained from the holy Struggle and the spoils of war should be spent for the benefit of the poor.
9- Allah's share is at the disposal of the Messenger (S), and the Messenger's share is at the disposal of Imam.2
10- It is Imam who can decide upon the quantity of the share how to be used for the instances mentioned in the verse.3
11- In order to honour the deprive, their name has been settled in the verse beside the name of Allah and the Messenger.
12- In the same manner that the vast meaning of the Arabic term /qaramat / (indemnity) includes any damage, not merely a damage of war, the meaning of the Qur'anic term /qanimat/ (spoils ), which is referred to in this verse, also includes any gain, not merely a gain of war.4
13- The sign of a complete belief is a full submission before all Divine Laws totally, not only in worships and even in war.
14- The day of war is the day of distinction of the truthful ones from the people of lying.
15- In the Battle of Badr, the help of Allah made manifest the rightfulness of Islam.
Then, at the end of the verse, the Qur’an has pointed to the infinite power of Allah, Omnipotence, when it says:
That is, though you were in minority from any point of view in the field of the Battle of Badr and, apparently, your enemy was in majority from any point of view, Allah, the Mighty, defeated them and helped you to be victorious.
إِذْ أَنْتُمْ بِالْعُدْوَةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ بِالْعُدْوَةِ الْقُصْوَىٰ وَالرَّكْبُ أَسْفَلَ مِنْكُمْ ۚ وَلَوْ تَوَاعَدْتُمْ لَاخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِي الْمِيعَادِ ۙ وَلَٰكِنْ لِيَقْضِيَ اللَّهُ أَمْرًا كَانَ مَفْعُولًا لِيَهْلِكَ مَنْ هَلَكَ عَنْ بَيِّنَةٍ وَيَحْيَىٰ مَنْ حَيَّ عَنْ بَيِّنَةٍ ۗ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَسَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
42. “(Remember) when you were on the down side, and they were on the up side, while the caravan (of the enemy) was in below you; and had you agreed together on a tryst, you would have surely failed the tryst, but in order that Allah might bring about a matter which was to be done, that he who perishes may perish by a clear proof, and verily Allah is All; Hearing, All- knowing.”
The Qur'anic term /’udwah/ is derived from /’aduw/ with the meaning of ‘to transgress’. It is also used for the edge and surroundings of anything that has gone beyond the medium. In this verse, the objective meaning of the term /’udwah/ is ‘the side and lower extremities’.
The Arabic word /dunya/ is derived from /dunuww/ in the sense of ‘down side and nearer’, while the Arabic word /quswa / means ‘farther’.
In the Battle of Badr, the enemies not only had superiority from the points of arms, number of fighters, and preparation, but also they were preferable from the point of the site of settlement of their forces, because they could find a way at the bank of the Red Sea to escape.
But Allah caused the Muslims to encounter the pagans with the aim of confiscation of their properties, where they had no way but to fight. Yet, it was only the grace of Allah which brought triumph of that Battle for the Muslims.
The illustration of the feature of the Battle of Badr by reviewing Surah Al-‘Anfal from the beginning can show Allah's helps better.
1- They thought of confiscation of pagans’ properties, but they were not ready for war:
2- When the war began, they were worried:
3- They were afraid of death:
4- They were disabled and were seeking their Lord for help:
5- By the night of attack, Satan imposed them his uncleanness (jenabat) (major ritual impurity):
6- They did not have complete obedience from the commander:
7- They were small in number and they were fearful to be hunted by the enemy:
8- Some of them had formerly committed treachery,5
9- Their leader was threatened and plotted against by disbelievers:
10- They were thirsty, and they fell in major ritual impurity while the sand under their feet was soft and Allah sent down water for them.
11- If the affairs were at their disposal, with those many difficulties they had, they would never come to agreement:
12- Wherever Allah pleases, He removes all the factors of weakness:
13- Having all these helps, whoever does not believe will knowingly be destroyed, and whoever believes will knowingly believe:
14- Do not judge hurriedly. They did not like to fight, but, later, they found out its goodness.
15- Allah may change the ways and decisions, and, by this very way, Allah can be known.
إِذْ يُرِيكَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي مَنَامِكَ قَلِيلًا ۖ وَلَوْ أَرَاكَهُمْ كَثِيرًا لَفَشِلْتُمْ وَلَتَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ سَلَّمَ ۗ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
43. “(Remember) when Allah showed them to you as few in your dream and had He shown them as many, you would have become dishearted and disputed about the matter; but Allah did save (you). Surely He is aware of what is in the breasts.”
Following the explanation of some Allah's graces and His helps unto the Muslims, this verse speaks about the number of pagans which was shown few in the eyes of the Muslims. This was done in a few stages.
The first stage was that the Prophet (S) saw them as few in his dream, and, saying that to the Muslims, promoted their courage. The second stage was that He showed the number of the Muslims in the eyes of pagans so few that they would not call for further fresh forces from Mecca to help them.
It is principally true that prophets’ dream is a glow of revelation, but that the Prophet of Islam (S) saw the large crowd of the pagans so few in his dream was an indication to the reality of the inward state of the pagans, which was fear, weakness and incapability. Surah Al-Hashr, No. 59, verse 14 in this regard says:
However, dream is one of the ways of communication, seeking help, and taking courage through Allah's succor. It should also be noted that, in the most terrible conditions, Allah may protect believers and crush their enemies.
The verse says:
وَإِذْ يُرِيكُمُوهُمْ إِذِ الْتَقَيْتُمْ فِي أَعْيُنِكُمْ قَلِيلًا وَيُقَلِّلُكُمْ فِي أَعْيُنِهِمْ لِيَقْضِيَ اللَّهُ أَمْرًا كَانَ مَفْعُولًا ۗ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ تُرْجَعُ الْأُمُورُ
44. “And (remember) when He showed them to you, when you encountered (the enemy), as few in your eyes, and He made you few in their eyes in order that Allah may enact the matter which was destined to be done, and unto Allah all matters are returned.”
When infidels saw the crowd of the Muslims, they appeared in their eyes so few that they said they would send their slaves to destroy the Muslims.6 But when the war began and they were fighting, they saw the number of those Muslims two fold and they were afraid of them.7
Surah’ Al-i-‘Imran, No. 3, verse 13 says:
Therefore, in order to help Muslims, Allah may utilize genetic authority and interference in the sights. The verse says:
So, if the Will of Allah lies in an affair, He will remove all barriers. The verse continues saying:
- 1. Tafsir-ul-Burhan, p. 82, and Tafsir-us-Safi, p. 303
- 2. Tafsir-us-Safi.
- 3. Based upon the tradition of Imam Rida (as) recorded in Tafsir-us-Safi.
- 4. In the books of Lisan-ul-‘Arab, Taj-ul-‘Aroos, Ghamus, At-Tafsir-ul-Qurtubi, Fakhr-i- Razi, and ‘Alui, there is not found any doubt in the generality of the meaning of the word. In the Quran itself, the word /qammat / has also been applied for the gains other than that of war. For example, Surah An-Nisa, No.4, verse 94 says:
“...but with Allah are abundant spoils...”.
However, every one of these two words, /qaramat, qanimat/, has occurred six times in the Qur'an.
- 5. The event of ‘Abul-Babah, described in verse No. 27.
- 6. Tafsir-us-Safi
- 7. lbid