Greater Battle of Badr
The full account of this battle is found in histories of those times, an abridgment of which, according to Ali bin Ibrahim, Shaykh Tabarsi, Abu Hamza Thumali and Ibn Shahr Ashob is as follows: A Quraish caravan of forty men, under Abu Sufyan, was returning from Shaam with a very large amount of property in which all the tribe were more or less concerned.
At the news of their returning, the Prophet encouraged his followers to go and attack them, and commanded them either to accomplish their object, or be fairly conquered by the Quraish. He roused in them the strongest desire to plunder the caravan, but the main object was to defeat the idolaters, exalt Islam, and strengthen the Muslims. The Prophet marched in person with three hundred and thirteen men, the number with which Talut overcame Jalut.
Ninety-seven of the army were Muhajireen, and two hundred and sixteen Ansaris: the standard of the former was borne by Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.), and Saad bin Ubadah carried the banner of the latter. There were in the army seventy camels, two horses or as Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) says, one horse; eight suits of steel armor, and seven swords.
The expedition left Medina on the twelfth of the month of Ramadan, the second year of the Hijrat. The army did not expect to fight, but marched to plunder the caravan of Abu Sufyan, who hearing of this movement, retrograded towards Shaam, and on his arrival at Nuqra, hired a man for ten dinars, and gave him a camel to go and inform the Quraish of the danger which threatened their merchandise and friends.
Abu Sufyan ordered Zamzam bin Amr Khuzai, his messenger, on arriving at Mecca to cut off his camel’s ears that blood might flow down the animal’s head, and rend his garments before and behind and on entering the city to turn his face towards the camel’s tail, and yell to the people to protect their property, and add, “I don’t think you can now save the caravan, for Muhammad and his followers have advanced to capture it.”
While Zamzam was on his way to Mecca, Atiqa, the daughter of Abdul Muttalib, dreamed that a mounted man entered Mecca, and shouted to Aale Adi and Aale Fahr to go to a place where in three days from that time they would be slain. She then saw the man ascend mount Abu Qubais, and roll down a rock which broke into small fragments, one of which entered every Quraish house.
She then saw the brooks of Mecca full of blood, and awaking in fear, told the dream to her brother, Abbas, who related it to Atba bin Rabiah, on which the latter observed, “This dream indicates that a calamity is coming on the Quraish.” The story being circulated through Mecca, Abu Jahl exclaimed, “Atiqa lies; she has had no such dream; she is the second prophet of the children of Abdul Muttalib.” He then swore by Laat and Uzza, that if the dream was not verified in three days, a declaration should be signed that the Bani Hashim were the greatest liars among the Arabs.
The third day after Atiqa’s dream, Zamzam appeared in the valley of Mecca, in the woeful plight ordered by Abu Sufyan, on which the whole city was thrown into a tumult, and preparations were hastily made to fly to the rescue of the caravan. Suhail bin Amr, Safwan bin Umayyah, Abul Bakhtari bin Hisham, Manba bin Hajjaj, his brother, Baniya, Naufal bin Khuwailad proclaimed: It would be the greatest calamity that had ever befallen the tribe; Muhammad and his followers want to plunder you. They want to make you helpless from operating any business henceforth.
By Allah, there is none in Quraish who does not have a stake in that caravan. Then Safwan bin Umayyah advanced five hundred gold coins, which example was followed by Suhail, according to their ability or generosity, by all the Quraish, and preparations for a rapid march were soon made. The army, mounted on strong, easy paced camels, set out with great speed, as Allah declares in Qur’an: And be not as those who went out their houses in an insolent manner, and to appear with ostentation unto men, and turned aside from the way of Allah; for Allah comprehended that which they do,”
They said: “Whoever does not come with us, we will destroy his house.” Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib, Naufal the son of Harith bin Abdul Muttalib, and Aqeel bin Abu Talib, were forced to go with them. They took women to dance and sing, who drank wine on the way, beat tambours, sang and made merry.
The Prophet was advancing with three hundred and thirteen men and on arriving within a stage or day’s march of Badr, he dispatched Bashir bin Abir Raba and Majdi bin Amrur to procure intelligence of the caravan. These men rode to the well of Badr, made their camels lie down, and drew water and drank.
Their attention was now drawn to two women quarrelling about a dirham which one had loaned the other. In the course of the dispute the debtor said, “The Quraish caravan came yesterday to such a place, and tomorrow they will be here, when I will do them some service and earn money I will pay you.”
The spies immediately returned to the Prophet and reported what the woman had said. After the spies had left Badr, Abu Sufyan and the caravan arrived near that place, and he himself came to the wall, where he met Kasab Jahni, of the tribe of Jahina, and demanded if he knew anything about the Prophet and his army, to which he said, “No.”
“By Laat and Uzza,” replied Abu Sufyan, “If you have any knowledge of Muhammad’s movements, and conceal it from me, the Quraish will forever be your enemies, for they all have a stake in this caravan.” Kasab swore he knew nothing about the Prophet and his party, and all he could tell was, that two men came to the well today, made their camels lie down, and then drew water, after which they returned, but he did not know who they were.
Abu Sufyan went to the place where the camels had lain, and breaking their dung, found date-stones, and exclaimed, this is a sign of Medina camels and added with an oath, “The men were Muhammad’s spies.” Hastening back with all speed he marched the caravan off by the sea-shore road to Mecca with all possible speed. Jibraeel now descended to inform the Prophet that the caravan had escaped and that an army of Quraish infidels were advancing against him, whom he must fight, for Allah would help him.
He was camping at a stage called Safra, one stage from Badr. The news which Jibraeel brought the Prophet announced to his army, on which they were struck with great fear and dejection. The Prophet, in a council of war, directed his followers to speak their minds. Abu Bakr arose, and after commenting on the pride and power of Quraish, remarked that the Muslims had not come prepared for action, and were not able to give the enemy battle.
This speech displeased the Prophet; he ordered Abu Bakr to take his seat, on which Umar rose and repeated Abu Bakr’s advice. The Prophet ordered him to be seated, when Miqdad arose and said, “The Quraish crowd came in all their arrogance and pride, but we have believed in you and have declared you a true Prophet. We witness that what you have received from God is true, and if you command us to go into the fire, or to scourge our own bodies with the thorns of the desert, we will not flinch from it. We will not say to you as the Bani Israel did to Musa:
فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَاهُنَا قَاعِدُونَ
“…go therefore you and your Lord, then fight you both, surely we will here sit down.”1
Rather we say that you proceed and we shall fight on your side. “May Allah give you a good reward,” added the Prophet, as Miqdad took his seat, and again called on his followers to express their minds, his object being to bring out the Ansaris, who composed the greater part of his army, and who had pledged themselves at Aqbah that if he came to Medina, they would protect him as they did their nearest relatives.
His fear was that they would consider themselves obligated by the league to protect him at the city only and not outside Medina. One of them, Saad bin Maaz said, “May my parents be sacrificed on you, O Messenger of Allah (S), perhaps we are the cause of your requiring public advice to be given several times.” “Yes,” said the Prophet. “I suppose,” then resumed Saad, “that you started on one business and are now commanded to attend another.”
“Yes,” replied the Prophet, “I marched to intercept the caravan, and am now commanded to fight the idolaters.” Saad replied, “May my parents be sacrificed on you, O Messenger of Allah (S), we have believed in you, confessed you to be true, and testified that all you have received from the Almighty Allah is true. Command what you please and we will obey.
Take what you like of our property, and what you take shall please us more than what you leave. If you order us to jump into the sea, we will not flinch from it. There are many at Medina whose faith and ardor is not inferior to ours, who had they known that a battle was before us, would have been here; but few as we are let us get the camels ready and advance against the enemy and attack them like heroes, and we are hopeful God will cause you to rejoice victorious.
But if we are overcome and slain, fly on our camels to our kindred, who after us will be your helpers.” The Prophet rejoiced at this speech and replied, “Insha Allah there will be no occasion for fleeing, for the Almighty Allah has promised me victory.
Advance under the blessing of God; as it were I see the place where such and such a one of the enemy will fall,” naming Abu Jahl, Atba, Shaibah, Manba and Baniya and other idolatrous chiefs of the Quraish, and describing the manner in which they would slain and which came to be true. Then Jibraeel came with the following verses:
كَمَا أَخْرَجَكَ رَبُّكَ مِنْ بَيْتِكَ بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لَكَارِهُونَ ﴿٥﴾ يُجَادِلُونَكَ فِي الْحَقِّ بَعْدَمَا تَبَيَّنَ كَأَنَّمَا يُسَاقُونَ إِلَى الْمَوْتِ وَهُمْ يَنْظُرُونَ ﴿٦﴾ وَإِذْ يَعِدُكُمُ اللَّهُ إِحْدَى الطَّائِفَتَيْنِ أَنَّهَا لَكُمْ وَتَوَدُّونَ أَنَّ غَيْرَ ذَاتِ الشَّوْكَةِ تَكُونُ لَكُمْ وَيُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَنْ يُحِقَّ الْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَيَقْطَعَ دَابِرَ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿٧﴾ لِيُحِقَّ الْحَقَّ وَيُبْطِلَ الْبَاطِلَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُجْرِمُونَ
“Even as your Lord caused you to go forth from your house with the truth, though a party of the believers were surely averse. They disputed with you about the truth after it had become clear, (and they went forth) as if they were being driven to death while they saw (it). And when Allah promised you one of the two parties that it shall be yours and you loved that the one not armed should be yours and Allah desired to manifest the truth of what was true by His words and to cut off the root of the unbelievers. That He may manifest the truth of what was true and show the falsehood of what was false, though the guilty disliked.”2
It is proved from the previous report that it alludes to Abu Bakr and Umar who wanted to avoid fighting. In the evening, the Prophet ordered his companions to advance, and accordingly they marched to the well of Badr, which was called Adawiya Shamiya, where they encamped. The Quraish infidels came and halted at a well Adawiya Yamaniya, which was then dry, and sending their servants to the other well for water, the Muslims made them prisoners and brought them to the Prophet, who was then engaged in performing prayers.
Meanwhile the captors demanded of their prisoners where the Quraish caravan was, and on their affirming that they had no intelligence of it, they were beaten very severely by the Muslims. When the Prophet had finished prayers he demanded of the captors, “Will you beat your prisoners for telling the truth; but if they lie, let them alone?”
He then ordered the prisoners to be brought to him, when he inquired, “Who are you?” They answered: “We are slaves of Quraish.” “Of how many men does their army consist?” They replied, “We do not know the number.” “How many camels do they slaughter daily?” “Sometimes nine and sometimes ten,” said the prisoners: on which the Prophet remarked, “There must be from nine hundred to a thousand persons.”
Then he asked: “Who from Bani Hashim are with you?” “Abbas, Naufal and Aqeel.” The Holy Prophet (S) ordered them to be detained. And Shaykh Mufeed has narrated from Imam Ali (a.s.) that he said: “When we set out for Badr, none except Miqdad bin Aswad possessed a horse. And on the night before the battle the whole army went to sleep, except the Prophet who stood under a tree and continued in prayer and supplication till morning.
And Ali bin Ibrahim etc. have narrated that when the Quraish were informed about the arrival of the Prophet, they were terrified by it. Atba bin Rabiah came to Abul Bakhtari Ibn Hisham and said: “Did you see the fruits of our uprising? By Allah, we cannot see where we stand. We left our homes to defend our caravan while it has escaped them so if we confront them now it would be mere rebellion and by Allah, the group which is rebellious is never successful.
If only the caravan had not gone with the wealth of Abde Manaf. Abul Bakhtari said: “You are an elder of Quraish. Take the loss and ransom of what Muhammad has looted at Nakhla upon yourself and render it to its owners and pay the blood money of Ibnul Hadhrami who was killed in that caravan because he was your confederate so that the Quraish are satisfied and they may return.
Atba said: “You remain a witness that I have taken all this upon myself and I think that except for Abu Jahl, no one will oppose us. So you go and meet him about this; perhaps he will give up his corrupt intention.
Abul Bakhtari says: I went to Abu Jahl’s tent and found him cleaning his coat of mail. I said: Abul Walid has sent a message for you. Abu Jahl was enraged and he said: “Did he not have any other messenger?” He said: “If anyone else had tried to send me to you, I would never have come here. But he is an elder of the clan, and his obedience is obligatory, therefore I have come.”
This enraged him further and he said: “You call Atba as the leader and elder of the clan?” I said: “Not only me, all Quraish consider him as such. He is prepared to compensate for the loss of the caravan and the blood money of Ibnul Hadhrami.” Abu Jahl said: “Atba is having a loose tongue and his speech is very eloquent. He is a supporter of Muhammad, because he is from the descendants of Abde Manaf and his son is also with Muhammad. He wants to discourage the people from fighting Muhammad.
By Allah, we shall pursue him till Medina and take them all prisoners and lead them to Mecca so that all Arabs come to know how we dealt with them; so that in future no one may obstruct our trade.” Abu Jahl mentioned Atba’s son, Abu Huzaifa because he was with the Holy Prophet (S).
Meanwhile the caravan reached home in safety, and Abu Sufyan sent to assure the Quraish army of the fact, and advise their return, as the object for which they had marched was accomplished; or at least to send back the female singers and dancers, lest they should be taken prisoners. Abu Sufyan’s messenger met them in Johfa and Atba wanted to return but Abu Jahl and his clan did not agree and neither did they allow the ladies and servants to be returned.
The Muslims on being apprised of the number of the Quraish were greatly alarmed, wailed and wept and sought refuge in God, on which the Almighty Allah sent this verse to console them:
إِذْ تَسْتَغِيثُونَ رَبَّكُمْ فَاسْتَجَابَ لَكُمْ أَنِّي مُمِدُّكُمْ بِأَلْفٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ مُرْدِفِينَ.
“When you sought aid from your Lord, so He answered you: I will assist you with a thousand of the angels following one another.”3
Tabarsi has narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that when the Messenger of Allah (S) noticed the excess of idolaters and paucity of Muslims, he faced the Qiblah and raised his hands for prayers and said: O Allah, fulfill the promise You have made me; if this company of Muslims is destroyed, none will be left on earth to worship You.” The Prophet kept his hand raised towards heaven and prayed and supplicated till his robe fell from his blessed shoulders. The Almighty Allah then revealed this verse:
وَمَا جَعَلَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بُشْرَىٰ وَلِتَطْمَئِنَّ بِهِ قُلُوبُكُمْ ۚ وَمَا النَّصْرُ إِلَّا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
“And Allah only gave it as a good news and that your hearts might be at ease thereby; and victory is only from Allah; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.”4
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that the Almighty Allah made sleep overcome the companions of the Prophet and some of them had nocturnal discharge as a result of which they became liable perform the ritual bath and the place they had camped was sandy and unstable and the infidels had taken precedence to gain control over water supply; whereas Muslims had no water.
When they awoke they were highly distraught and they said to the Prophet: “We are on soft ground and the idolaters are on hard ground. We have had nocturnal emission and we have no water to perform the ritual bath and if we are killed in this condition we would be killed in a condition of ritual impurity.”
Meanwhile the Almighty Allah sent rain and it was a very light drizzle which hardened the ground and it rained heavily on the side of the infidels and it turned the ground slippery and it was difficult to move on it. The Almighty Allah created terror among the infidels lest Muslims attack secretly at night. This lent courage to the Muslims and they began to hope in divine mercy as the Almighty Allah says:
إِذْ يُغَشِّيكُمُ النُّعَاسَ أَمَنَةً مِنْهُ وَيُنَزِّلُ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ بِهِ وَيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمْ رِجْزَ الشَّيْطَانِ وَلِيَرْبِطَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتَ بِهِ الْأَقْدَامَ
“When He caused calm to fall on you as a security from Him and sent down upon you water from the cloud that He might thereby purify you, and take away from you the uncleanness of the Shaitan, and that He might fortify your hearts and steady (your) footsteps thereby.”5
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that on that night the Holy Prophet (S) sent Ammar Yasir and Abdullah bin Masud to find out the circumstances of the infidel army. They found the disbelievers in a terrified condition. When their horses wanted to neigh, they used to cling to their snouts so that they may not create any sound.
Suddenly Manba bin Hajjaj was heard saying: “We are dying of hunger and there is no food, we will be killed or die a natural death.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “By Allah they had eaten to satiation but they were making such statements due to fear, because the Almighty Allah had put awe into their hearts, as He Himself says:
إِذْ يُوحِي رَبُّكَ إِلَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ أَنِّي مَعَكُمْ فَثَبِّتُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۚ سَأُلْقِي فِي قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الرُّعْبَ فَاضْرِبُوا فَوْقَ الْأَعْنَاقِ وَاضْرِبُوا مِنْهُمْ كُلَّ بَنَانٍ
“When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”6
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that in the morning, the Holy Prophet (S) arranged his ranks. There were two horses: One was owned by Zubair and another by Miqdad, and there were seventy camels on which people rode in turns. Messenger of Allah (S), Imam Ali (a.s.) and Marthad Ibn Abi Marthad Ghanwi rode one camel, which belonged to Marthad.
The Quraish army had 400 camels and according to reliable reports the army of the Prophet consisted of three hundred and thirteen men, while that of the Quraish was between nine hundred and a thousand. One tradition says that the Almighty Allah, in order to bring on this engagement and give the victory to the Muslims, caused both armies to appear very small and inconsiderable to each other, so that each was encouraged to begin the attack.
But after the first onset, when the armies fairly closed with each other, the infidels imagine the Muslims to be double their own number, and were consequently dispirited and defeated. It is mentioned in many reliable reports that the Battle of Badr was fought on Friday, the seventeenth or according to Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) on ninth of Ramadan, the first date being most probable, and in the second year of the Hijrat.
When the Prophet had formed his line of battle, he took post behind it, and commanded his men to cover their eyes and not begin the fight nor utter a word till he should give the order. Their small number led Abu Jahl to say, “They are only a morsel for us; our servants could take them all prisoners.”
Atba replied, “Perhaps they have a large division in ambush;” on which Amr bin Wahab Ajami, their greatest stalwart, was sent to confront. He approached very near the Muslims and then ascended a high spot, and seeing no reserve, returned and reported accordingly to the Quraish. He said, moreover, that the camels of the Muslims were poor creatures, used at Medina for carrying water. “Do you not observe,” continued he, “that their tongues are tied? and that they dart about their mouths like vipers?
They have no refuge but in their own glittering swords, and my opinion is they will not turn their backs, nor will they be killed till they have slain a number equal to themselves. Make a skillful attack, therefore and do not rashly engage them.” Abu Jahl retorted with his usual courtesy, saying to the spy. “You lie; the sight of their glittering swords has turned your gall to water.”
As the Muslims feared the formidable numbers of the enemy, the Almighty Allah sent this verse:
وَإِنْ جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ
“And if they incline to peace, then incline to it and trust in Allah…”7
The Holy Prophet (S) sent a message to Quraish, saying he did not wish his first war to be against them, and proposing they should leave him to the Arab tribes, which if he overcame, the Quraish would still be dear to him, as they were his tribe and kindred, but if he was a liar and false Prophet, the said Arab tribes were enough to rid the Quraish of Him.
On hearing the message, Atba swore that whoever did not accede to such terms would not escape. He then mounted a red camel, called the Quraish about him, and adjured them to obey him that day if they never did again, and return immediately to Mecca and taste the joys with there awaited them, and not shed the blood of their kindred who were in the army of the Prophet, and who was himself their relative and of their noblest ranks.
He concluded by again offering to pay loss and blood money of Ibn Hadhrami who was slain at Nakhlah. Abu Jahl was enraged at this address, and after taunting Atba with being eloquent and plausible, charged him with cowardice and meanly giving up the victory when it was in their hands, and when they able to wreak their hatred on the Muslims.
At this reproach, Atba leaped from his camel, tore Abu Jahl from his horse, and dashed him so violently on the ground, that it was thought he intended to kill him. However, he turned from him and hamstrung Abu Jahl’s horse, saying to him, “Do you charge me with cowardice? The Quraish will know today which of us is a coward and corrupter of our people.
Come with me, if you dare and let us two unaided attack the Muslims, and make it obvious which is the braver.” The chiefs interposed, and begged Atba by all that was sacred, to leave Abu Jahl, and not himself begin the rout of their army. Atba now turned to his brother, Shaibah and his son, Walid, and ordered them to put on their helmets and coats of mail.
He himself called for a helmet, but his head was so large, the helmet would not fit him, and as a substitute he bound two turbans on his head and drawing his sword, advanced with his brother and son, and challenged the Prophet for antagonists equal in number and renown. Three of the Ansaris, sons of Awad, Amuz and Afra accordingly advanced against them, but Atba demanding who they were, ordered them to retire, as he would engage with none but his Quraish equals.
Neither did the Prophet wish the Ansaris to begin the fight, and therefore himself ordered the three volunteers to return. He then turned to his cousin, Ubaidah bin Harith, who was seventy years of age, and to Hamza his illustrious uncle, and to the youthful Ali, and commanded them to engage the Quraish champions.
The three Muslims, sword in hand, stood before the Prophet and were exhorted by him to implore assistance from Allah who would not suffer his own light and truth to be extinguished. He then directed Ubaidah to attack Atba, Hamza to engage Shaibah, and Ali, Walid.
When the Muslim heroes approached their antagonists, Atba was so blinded by rage that he did not recognize them, and demanded who they were, and on learning that they belonged to the renowned family of Abdul Muttalib, observed, “You are worthy antagonists, but may the curse of God rest on one who has forced us to this encounter.”
After the parley Ubaidah assaulted Atba, and at a single stroke cleft his head in two, receiving at the same instant his antagonist’s blow, which was aimed at, and cut off both his legs, so both fell together. Hamza and Shaibah mutually warded each other’s blows with their shields till their swords were blunted.
Amirul Momineen (a.s.) aimed so powerful a stroke at Walid’s right shoulder that he cut off the whole limb, upon which, said Ali, he seized his amputated arm with his left hand, and gave me such a blow with it on the head, that I thought the heavens had fallen on me. Walid had a gold ring on his hand, the gleam of which when he swung round his arm illuminated the desert and he uttered such a yell that both armies trembled. The wounded champion ran towards his father, but Ali pursued and gave him another blow which brought him to the ground. He then recited the following Rajaz:
“I am the son of one who made two pools for the Hajis. I am the dear-most descendant of Hashim who during the period of famine and drought, used to feed the people. I fulfill my promise and I am supporting the Prophet who has an exalted lineage.”
Hamza and Shaibah, after many ineffectual passes, grappled with each other, upon which the Muslims shouted to Ali, “Do you see how the dog has seized your uncle?” Rushing to the struggling champions, he told Hamza to bow his head, which he did on Shaibah’s breast, when Ali at a blow struck off the infidel’s head.
Ali then advanced to Atba, in whom the last breath of life still remained, and finished him. Ali and Hamza then carried Ubaidah to the Prophet, who wept over him. The dying man exclaimed, “O Messenger of Allah (S), may my parents be sacrificed on you, am I a martyr?” “Yes,” replied the Prophet, “the first martyr of my Ahlul Bayt.” Ubaidah said: “If your uncle had been alive, he would have seen that I am according to his statement the first martyr.” “Which uncle?” asked the Prophet. “Abu Talib, who in reply to infidels of Quraish has composed two couplets as follows:
“O infidels of Mecca. You utter lies in the house of Allah, that you will overcome Muhammad (S) before we hit you with a spear and an arrow. We will not surrender him to you till we are not killed. We will forget our wife and children in his support.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Don’t say such a thing about Abu Talib. See how his son is fighting like a lion in the service of Allah and His Prophet and how his another son has migrated to Habasha for the sake of Allah.” Ubaidullah asked: “Are you angry with me because of this?” “No, but I didn’t like that you should speak about him in such a manner.”
It is mentioned in another report that Atba was confronted by Hamza and Shaibah was confronted by Ubaidah as Shaykh Mufeed has narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: “I was surprised at the daring of Quraish in the Battle of Badr.
They saw that I had killed Walid bin Atba and Hamza had slain Atba and I shared the killing of Shaibah with Hamza, Hanzala bin Abi Sufyan came to confront me and I slashed his head and his eyes were gouged out and fell to the ground.”
Ali bin Ibrahim etc. have narrated that when Atba, Shaibah and Walid were killed, Abu Jahl said to Quraish: “Do not make haste, do not display terror and fear just as the sons of Rabia have done; that they did not like you to fight the people of Medina. You should kill the Ansar of Medina and don’t touch the Quraish.
You should take them as prisoners so that we may take them to Mecca and expose their deviation.” Some Meccan youths has embraced Islam but their fathers had forced them not to migrate to Medina. They were not of a strong faith. Like Qays bin Walid bin Mughira, Abu Qays bin Fakah, Harith bin Rabiah, Ali bin Umayyah and Aas bin Manba. The Quraish had brought them to Badr with them. When they saw the paucity of Muslims, they faltered in their faith and began to say: “Their religion has deceived them and very soon they will be killed.” At that juncture, the Almighty Allah revealed the following verse:
إِذْ يَقُولُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ مَرَضٌ غَرَّ هَٰؤُلَاءِ دِينُهُمْ ۗ وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
“When the hypocrites and those in whose hearts was disease said: Their religion has deceived them; and whoever trusts in Allah, then surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.”8
At that moment, the accursed Iblis appeared in the form of Surakha bin Malik and came to Quraish and said: “I will help you with my clan, give me your standard.” Taking the standard, he showed them a large army of devils. All the members of Surakha’s clan became visible to the infidels and Muslims. Due to this the Quraish became bolder.
The Messenger of Allah (S) came to know about this and said to his companions: “Close your eyes and don’t look at the infidels till I allow you and neither should you draw your swords.” After that he supplicated the Almighty and said: “O Lord, these are the supporters of Your religion, if they are killed, no one will worship You on the earth.”
Meanwhile the Prophet seemed to lose consciousness and it was a sign of coming of revelation. When it was over, perspiration dripped from his forehead and he said: “O Muslims, Jibraeel is coming to help you with a huge army of angels.” A black cloud appeared with lightning and hovered over the Muslim army and sounds of weapons were audible from it. Someone was saying: “O Haizun, move on.” Haizun was the horse that Jibraeel rode that day.
When the accursed Iblis saw Jibraeel, he dropped the standard and fled from there. Manba bin Hajjaj caught him by the collar and said: “Where are you going, Surakha? You want to flee with your army?” Iblis slapped him on his chest and said: “Go away, you can’t see what I see. I am terrified from the Lord of the universe.” Thus the Almighty Allah has alluded to this incident in the following verse:
وَإِذْ زَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ وَقَالَ لَا غَالِبَ لَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَإِنِّي جَارٌ لَكُمْ
“And when the Shaitan made their works fair seeming to them, and said: No one can overcome you this day, and surely I am your protector…”9
It is mentioned that since between Quraish and the tribe of Kanana there was perpetual enmity, when Quraish reached to that tribe their enmity was refreshed so they wanted to assure that Kanana should not attack them taking advantage of the situation. In that same condition, the accursed Iblis appeared in the form of Surakha bin Malik, a leader of that tribe, with a huge army of demons and he said: “I stand as a guarantee that no harm will reach you from Kanana tribe.
فَلَمَّا تَرَاءَتِ الْفِئَتَانِ نَكَصَ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ وَقَالَ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِنْكُمْ إِنِّي أَرَىٰ مَا لَا تَرَوْنَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللَّهَ ۚ وَاللَّهُ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
“…but when the two parties came in sight of each other he turned upon his heels, and said: Surely I am clear of you, surely I see what you do not see, surely I fear Allah; and Allah is severe in requiting (evil).”10
It is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the accursed Satan was holding the hand of Harith bin Hisham when he noticed the angels and immediately he fled from there. Harith said: “Where are you going leaving us in a lurch.” Iblis said: “You cannot see what I can.”
Harith was thinking that it was Surakha, so he said: “You are a liar, you are seeing the degraded ones of Medina.” But Iblis slapped the chest of Harith and ran away from there and the infidels also fled with him and when they reached Mecca, they blamed Surakha for having misled them. When Surakha heard this, he came to Quraish and swore that he was not even aware of this confrontation. “I only came to know about your flight much later.”
After accepting Islam, they came to know that the accursed Iblis had impersonated him. And Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that Jibraeel attacked Satan and he fled. Jibraeel pursued him and he dived into the sea and he used to say: “O Lord, you have given me respite till Judgment Day, so please honor your commitment.”
According to another report it is mentioned that Iblis fled from Jibraeel saying: “Perhaps you don’t know that I have been given respite.” It is narrated that people asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.): “Would Jibraeel had killed Satan if he had succeeded in apprehending him?” “No,” said the Imam, “He would have given him such a blow that he would have remained wounded till Judgment Day.”
Thus after the killing of Atba and others, Abu Jahl stood between the two armies and said: “O Lord, between the two of us destroy the one who has broken off relations and has brought something that we don’t know.” And according to the report of Abu Hamza Thumali, he said: “O Lord, our religion is ancient and the religion of Muhammad is new; help the religion you prefer.” At that juncture, the Almighty Allah revealed the following verse:
إِنْ تَسْتَفْتِحُوا فَقَدْ جَاءَكُمُ الْفَتْحُ
“If you demanded a judgment, the judgment has then indeed come to you…”11
After that, Imam Ali (a.s.) picked a handful of dust and gave it to the Holy Prophet (S) and he, under the advice of Jibraeel threw it at the infidels chanting: May the faces be degraded. The Almighty Allah sent a breeze which thrashed the sand on the faces of idolaters and they fled from there. Whoever was hit with those particles was killed that day as the Almighty Allah has said:
وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ رَمٰى
“…and you did not smite when you smote (the enemy), but it was Allah Who smote…”12
On that day eighty idolaters were killed and eighty taken prisoners. The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Don’t allow Abu Jahl to escape alive. Amr bin Jamuh saw Abu Jahl and slashed his thigh; who attacked in return, cutting off his arm and it dangled loose. Amr held it with his foot and separated it completely; then he continued to fight. Abdullah Ibn Masud says that I reached when the accursed Abu Jahl has fallen from the camel and was turning around in his blood. I said: “Thank be to the Lord who degraded you in this way.”
He looked up and said: “May Allah, degrade you, whose religion is truth?” Amr said: “The religion of Allah and the Prophet is true, now I am going to slay you.” And I placed my foot on his neck, the accursed one said: “Sheep stealer, you have placed your foot on a very hard neck. Nothing is harder on me than that a person like you should kill me.
If only I had been killed by someone from the family of Abdul Muttalib or Quraish.” I removed his helmet and decapitated him and brought his severed head to the Holy Prophet (S) and placed it as his feet. The Messenger of Allah (S) looked at the severed head and fell down in prostration of thanksgiving.
And it is narrated from Ibn Abbas that when the Messenger of Allah (S) saw those who were killed in Badr, he said: “O people, may Allah recompense you with evil; you alleged that I was a liar, whereas I am truthful; you alleged that I was dishonest, whereas I am honest.” Then he turned to Abu Jahl and said: “This man was more deviated than Firon, when Firon became certain of his death, he confessed to the unity of Godhead.
But when this accursed one became sure of death, he called Laat and Uzza.” It is mentioned in books of prophetic biography quoting from Sahl bin Amr who says: “On the day of the Battle of Badr, I saw men clad in white between the sky and the earth. Each was holding an ensign and they were slaying the infidels and taking them as prisoners. And it is narrated from Abu Dharr Ghiffari: I and my cousin were at the well of Badr.
When we saw the paucity of the companions of the Prophet and excess of the Quraish army, we noted: When the armies face each other, we would annihilate the army of Muhammad. We were of the view that Muhammad’s army was one-fourth of Quraish army and we were discussing this when a cloud appeared on the army and we could make out the clanging of weapons. Meanwhile followers of Muhammad came out to confront the Quraish. My cousin was shocked by this and he fell down dead. I went to the Prophet and embraced Islam.
It is narrated from Suhaib that on the day of the Battle of Badr, a large number of hands were severed and many wounds were caused that did not bleed and all these were signs of the attack of angels. Abu Barda says: On the day of the Battle of Badr, I brought three severed heads to the Prophet, two of which were severed by me and with regard to the third I saw him attacked by a white clad tall man cutting off the head. I picked it up.
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “That tall man was an angel.” Saib says: On the day of the Battle of Badr, no one took me a prisoner. When Quraish fled from Badr, I also fled with them. I saw a white faced tall man riding a piebald horse come down from the sky and he tied me up. Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf passed from there and on seeing me tied, he picked me up and brought me to the Prophet.
It is narrated from Abu Rafe, the Prophet’s slave that: I was a slave of Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib and Islam had reached our home and I had also converted. Ummul Fazl, wife of Abbas had also embraced Islam but Abbas was afraid of the people hence he had concealed his faith. It was so because he was very wealthy and had lot of outstandings owed by the people.
Abu Lahab had personally not participated in Badr, having sent Aas bin Hisham in his stead. When he came to know about the rout of Quraish, he felt very much humiliated and we gained courage and strength. Since I was aged, I used to make arrows in the chamber of Zamzam.
One day I was working on the arrows and Ummul Fazl was also sitting with me and we were rejoicing at the victory of Muslims. We suddenly saw Abu Lahab come dragging his feet. He sat down facing away from us and after sometime he was joined by Abu Sufyan. Abu Lahab said: “O my nephew, come here; you must be aware of the facts.” He seated Abu Sufyan next to himself and many people came and surrounded them.
Abu Lahab asked, “O nephew, tell me what all passed on your army?” He said, “By God, nothing but that we confronted them and when they attacked us we were routed and we fled. They killed us and took the others as prisoners and did what they liked.
Even though I don’t blame my army men, because we saw white clad persons astride piebald horses between the sky and the earth, whom none can face.” Abu Rafe said: “They were angels.” Abu Lahab slapped me and was about to kill me. Ummul Fazl arose and taking a tent pole attacked him on his head saying: “Do you think he has no guardian?”
Abu Lahab arose and went back home, and not even seven days had passed that he contracted gastro-enteritis and died as a result of it. Since it was a contagious disease, no one came to bury him and he lay dead for three days. Even his sons were afraid to approach him.
At last people condemned them and they were forced to pull him by ropes and threw him in a valley and rolled rocks upon him. This place is situated on the route to Umrah and all those who pass from there cast a pebble at it. It has assumed the shape of a small hillock.
Abul Yaseer wanted to apprehend Abbas but he failed, so an angel helped him and he was taken as a prisoner. Shaykh Mufeed has narrated from Zuhri that when the Messenger of Allah (S) heard that Naufal bin Khuwailad has also come in the army he beseeched Allah to accord refuge from him.
When the Quraish ran away, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) saw him bewildered in the battlefield. Imam Ali (a.s.) slashed him and his helmet fell down. Then he slashed and cut off his legs. He fell down and Ali (a.s.) cut off his head and brought it to the Holy Prophet (S). The Prophet was just asking if anybody had any report of Naufal and Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: “I have finished him.”
The Holy Prophet (S) exclaimed: “Allahu Akbar, praise be to Allah, who accepted my supplication.” Ibn Shahr Ashob has narrated that when Abul Yaseer Ansari captured Abbas and brought him to the Prophet, Abbas said: “He has not captured me, my nephew Ali has taken me as a prisoner.”
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “My uncle is right, it was a huge angel who had come in the form of Ali and all the angels that the Almighty Allah sent to help me were sent in the form of Ali so that his awe may increase in the hearts of the enemies.” According to another report, it is narrated from Abu Yaseer that he says: I saw Abbas and Aqeel being taken prisoners by a man on a piebald horse and he brought and handed them to Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) saying: “Take your uncle and brother, because you are more deserving of them.”
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “He was Jibraeel.” In reliable traditions, it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that on the day of the Battle of Badr whichever wounded infidel was asked who had attacked him, he used to say: “Ali Ibn Abi Talib,” and fall dead.
In most reliable books of Shia and Sunni it is narrated from Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.), Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and Abbas etc. that there was water shortage in the army of the Prophet on the eve of the Battle of Badr. The Holy Prophet (S) asked: “Who will take the water skin and bring water?”
No one volunteered as the night was very dark and a very cold wind was blowing. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) picked up a water skin and reached to the well of Badr. Since no bucket was available, he climbed into the well, filled the skin and returned from there. On the way a very sharp gust of wind approached which made it difficult to go on.
He sat down, till the wind blew. When he got up again a wind of that same intensity arose and he again sat down to let it pass and this happened thrice. And according to another report each time water leaked from the skin and he again used to fill it up and start again. When he returned to the Prophet he asked him what had delayed him.
He said: “Three times there was such a terrible wind that its fury made me tremble.” The Holy Prophet (S) asked: “Do you know what it was? The first time Jibraeel came with a thousand angels and passed you after saluting you. The second time Mikaeel came with a thousand angels and each of them saluted you. And the third time it was Israfeel with a thousand angels and they saluted you. All of them have arrived to help us.”
It is mentioned in authentic traditions from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) that on the day of the Battle of Badr the angels had white marked turbans an end of which hung on their chest and an end on their back. According to another report, the Messenger of Allah (S) put on the turban and hung one of its end on his chest and another end on his back. Jibraeel followed suit and the Messenger of Allah (S) also tied the turban to Imam Ali (a.s.) likewise and he said: “By Allah, the crowns of the angels are also like this.”
It is narrated from authentic reports from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that on the day of the Battle of Badr, 5000 angels of the earth helped the Messenger of Allah (S) and as long as they don’t help Imam Mahdi (a.s.), they will not return to the heavens. We should know that there is difference of opinion about the number of polytheists killed by the sword of Imam Ali (a.s.).
According to Sunnis, 49 were killed from the infidels, 22 of whom were slain by Amirul Momineen (a.s.). Most scholars have said that he killed twenty-seven. And Muhammad bin Ishaq has narrated from the Sunnis that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) killed more infidels than other companions. And according to Shia reports 70 infidels were killed in Badr, 35 of whom were killed by all companions and angels and according to the report of Shaykh Mufeed, more than half were slain by Amirul Momineen (a.s.).
According to reliable chains of narrators it is narrated from Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) that on the day of the Battle of Badr, the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Don’t kill or take any prisoner from the descendants of Abdul Muttalib, because they are not participating in the battle by their own choice.” And Kulaini has narrated through correct reports from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) when Quraish brought the descendants of Abdul Muttalib to the Battle of Badr and the Quraish Rajaz singers began to sing, Talib, the son of Abu Talib also began to recite the Rajaz in which he condemned their team members that they should be killed and defeated by the forces of Islam and he used to supplicate for the victory of Islam.
When Quraish heard their compositions they remarked that he will bring us defeat and they sent him back. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “They were actually Muslims.” Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that Abul Yaseer Ansari took Abbas and Aqeel as prisoners and brought them to the Prophet and the latter asked him: “Has anyone co-operated with you in taking them as prisoners?”
He replied: “Yes, a man clad in white, whom I don’t recognize.” The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “He was an angel.” Then he said to Abbas: “Pay the ransom of yourself, your nephew Aqeel bin Abi Talib and Naufal bin Harith.” Abbas said: “I was a Muslim, but they forced me to participate in this battle.
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “The Almighty Allah knows better. If it is true, he would reward you for it. But apparently you had come to help our enemies. O uncle, you wanted to confront Allah, but He made us overcome you. Pay your and your nephew’s ransom.” Since he had brought 40 Awqiya gold and Muslims had plundered it and included it in the booty, Abbas said: “Include that gold in my ransom.”
“No,” said the Prophet, “Whatever Allah has given me cannot be included in the account of Allah.” Abbas said: “I have nothing besides it.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “What about the money you entrusted to Ummul Fazl saying that if anything happened to you they can distribute it among themselves?” “Who told you about that?” asked Abbas. “My Lord,” said the Prophet. Abbas said: “I testify that you are the Messenger of Allah, indeed, except for Allah, no one knew anything about it. You can take all that I demand from the people. At that juncture, the following verse was revealed:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِمَنْ فِي أَيْدِيكُمْ مِنَ الْأَسْرَىٰ إِنْ يَعْلَمِ اللَّهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ خَيْرًا يُؤْتِكُمْ خَيْرًا مِمَّا أُخِذَ مِنْكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
“O Prophet! say to those of the captives who are in your hands: If Allah knows anything good in your hearts, He will give to you better than that which has been taken away from you and will forgive you, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”13
According to reliable narration it is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) at the end of this story that when Abbas, after accepting Islam, migrated to Medina and the Holy Prophet (S) obtained booty, he said to Abbas: “O uncle, spread your sheet and take your share from this.” Abbas spread out his sheet and the Holy Prophet (S) gave a lot of wealth and said: “It is from the share about which the Almighty Allah has mentioned: “He will give to you better than that which has been taken away from you…”
And Kulaini has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the above verse was revealed about Abbas, Aqeel and Naufal and the Holy Prophet (S) on the day of the Battle of Badr had prohibited the killing of anyone from Bani Hashim as also the killing of Abul Bakhtari. But Abul Bakhtari resisted being taken as prisoner and he was killed. And these three were apprehended from Bani Hashim.
When the Messenger of Allah (S) sent Amirul Momineen (a.s.) to see who had been captured from Bani Hashim and he passed by Aqeel, he looked down and moved ahead. Aqeel said: “Brother, come here, can’t you see my condition?” Imam Ali (a.s.) still ignored him and he returned to the Messenger of Allah (S) and said: “So and so has apprehended Aqeel, Abbas was caught by so and so and Naufal by so and so.”
The Holy Prophet (S) came to them and when he came near Aqeel he said: “Abu Jahl is killed.” Aqeel said: “You don’t have any rival in Mecca like him. If you have finished them all, you should march to Mecca.” After that Abbas was brought to the Prophet who said: “O uncle, pay the ransom of yourself and your nephews.”
Abbas said: “I will go and beg from Quraish.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Pay the ransom from the money you have kept with Ummul Fazl saying that if anything happens to you she can spend it on herself and her children.” Abbas asked: “Nephew, who has informed you about it?”
The Holy Prophet (S) replied: “Jibraeel has informed me from the Almighty Allah.” Abbas said: “No one had any information of this! I witness that you are the Messenger of Allah.” Thus all the prisoners were freed after taking ransom and they returned to Mecca. Aqeel, Abbas and Naufal embraced Islam and remained in Medina. The Almighty Allah revealed the above verse about them.
Thus, the Messenger of Allah (S) said to Aqeel: “The Almighty Allah has killed Abu Jahl, Atba, Shaibah, Manba, Baniya and Naufal. And Suhail bin Amr, Nazar bin Harith and Aqba bin Muit etc. have been taken prisoners.” Aqeel said: “Now no one can confront you in Mecca, if you wounded them seriously or killed them.
If they have any strength remaining, you should pursue them. Those killed at Badr numbered seventy and seventy were taken prisoners. Out of them only Amirul Momineen (a.s.) had killed twenty-seven. No Muslim was taken as a prisoner by the idolaters. Muslims tied up the prisoners and brought them to Medina.
Nine companions of Prophet were martyred: one of them was Saad bin Khathima, who was a noble and after that the Messenger of Allah (S) mounted and set out from there and reached Asil at sunset which was at a distance of two farsakhs from Badr. On the way, he noticed Aqba bin Muit and Nazar who were tied in a single piece of rope. Nazar said to Aqba: “Both of us will be killed.” Aqba said: “Before all the Quraish?”
“Yes, because Muhammad has looked at us with the glance of death.” After reaching the stage of journey the Holy Prophet (S) asked Ali (a.s.) to bring Aqba and Nazar. Aqba was a handsome man with long tresses. Ali (a.s.) caught him by his hair and brought him to the Prophet. Nazar said: “I adjure you for the sake of close relation, consider me also as a member of Quraish.
If you kill them, you kill us also, if you take ransom from them, take ransom from us also.” The Prophet said: “There is no relationship between me and you. And the Almighty Allah has broken off relations through Islam. O Ali, bring him here and strike off his head.” Aqba said: “O Muhammad, did you not say that Quraish should not be killed in captivity?”
The Prophet said: “You are not from Quraish, you are a fire-worshipper from the Safooriya. You are elder to one whom the people consider your father.” Then he said: “O Ali, kill Nazar also.” And both were killed. Seeing this Ansar were terrified that perhaps the Holy Prophet (S) would slay all the prisoners.
They came to him and said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), we killed seventy persons of Quraish and took seventy as prisoners, who belong to your tribe and clan. O Messenger of Allah (S), forgive them for our sake and take ransom from them and set them free.” At that juncture, the Almighty Allah revealed the following verse:
مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ يُثْخِنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ تُرِيدُونَ عَرَضَ
“It is not fit for a prophet that he should take captives unless he has fought and triumphed in the land…”14
In the verses following this, the Almighty Allah has condemned the greed of believers for booty and ransom and then said:
فَكُلُوا مِمَّا غَنِمْتُمْ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا
“Eat then of the lawful and good (things) which you have acquired in war…”15
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that in this verse, the Almighty Allah has permitted release of prisoners after taking the ransom but under the condition that if they take ransom from them, the next year they will be killed at their hands. Muslims agreed on this to enjoy the worldly bounties and the next year they will gain martyrdom and reach Paradise.
Thus when seventy Muslims were martyred in the Battle of Uhud, the other companions said: “Why did this happen when you, O Messenger of Allah (S), had promised divine help. The Almighty Allah said: “It was so because you had agreed to take ransom in the Battle of Badr. And Shaykh Tusi has narrated that most idolaters were made to pay 4000 dirhams and some few were made to pay 1000 dirhams as ransom.
Quraish used to send the ransom gradually and get their prisoners released, till Zainab, the ward of the Holy Prophet (S) sent her necklace for the ransom of her husband, Abul Aas, which Lady Khadija had presented to her. When the Holy Prophet (S) saw that necklace, it reminded him of Lady Khadija and he was deeply aggrieved.
On seeing this condition, companions returned Zainab’s necklace and forfeited the ransom, and according to another report, the Holy Prophet (S) requested them and they forgave it. The Holy Prophet (S) released Abul Aas without ransom but on the condition that he would not hinder Zainab from joining the Prophet in Medina and he fulfilled this condition.
Ibn Abil Hadid, a famous Ahle Sunnat scholar has mentioned in Sharh Nahjul Balagha: When I read this incident in the presence of my teacher, Sayyid Naqib, he asked if at that time Abu Bakr and Umar were not present and did they not see that the Holy Prophet (S) was so moved by seeing the necklace that he requested the Muslims to forgive the ransom.
Was Fatima Zahra who is better than the ladies of the world, having a status lower than that of Zainab, against whom they used the fabricated tradition of the Prophet? Did Fatima have no share in Fadak and could they have not appealed to the Muslims to give up Fadak to please Fatima? Would the Muslims have objected to it?
Thus, when the Muslims saw that the Holy Prophet (S) does not like their taking ransom, Saad bin Maaz said: O Messenger of Allah (S), this is our first battle with the infidels. It would be better to kill these prisoners, rather than release them on ransom. Umar also said: “They have rejected you and driven you out of Mecca, so you must strike off their heads.
Tell Ali (a.s.) to kill Aqeel and order me to kill so and so.16 According to the consensus of Shia and Sunni scholars, in brief, difference arose on this matter between the companions and finally it was decided to accept the ransom as was mentioned above. And it is narrated from Abbas that the Almighty Allah gave him more than what he had to pay as ransom and that at present twenty slaves were trading on his behalf, the least capital held by one of them is 20000 dirhams; the Almighty Allah gave me the position of supplying drinking water to the pilgrims, which cannot be compared to any wealth and forgiveness is expected from the Almighty Allah.
It is mentioned in Tafsir Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that: When the Holy Prophet (S) migrated for Mecca to Medina, Abu Jahl sent a message to him: O Muhammad, your madness made your stay difficult in Mecca and you came to Medina. Your madness will haunt you till you spoil the town for its inhabitants and they shall be sorrowful of your tricks; I know the result.
People will unite to attack you and your beguiled followers. Those who deny your prophethood and are your enemies will also help you in this battle, because they are afraid that if you are killed, they will also be killed and their children will suffer and be impoverished.
Because they know, that when your enemies overpower you and enter the city, they will not discriminate between your friends and enemies and along with you they will punish them also. Like they made your children poor and plundered their belongings they will also plunder their property. One who has warned is excused and one who explained clearly has conveyed the message.
When Abu Jahl’s message arrived, His Eminence (S) was outside Medina in the company of many companions and a group of Jews of Bani Israel who denied his prophethood was also present there. Abu Jahl had ordered his messenger to deliver the message in this way only so that the Jews may consider the believers cowardly and the other infidels who are present there may be encouraged to attack His Eminence (S).
At last His Eminence (S) said to the messenger: Have you concluded your message? He said: Yes. His Eminence (S) said: Now listen to my answer. O Abu Jahl! You frighten me of difficulties and destruction, but the Lord of the worlds promises help and victory; the information of Allah is very true and to accept His command is most preferable. No harm comes to Muhammad if someone does not help him or is angry with him when Allah is his helper and favors him with His generosity.
O messenger, go and tell Abu Jahl: The message you sent me was suggested to you by Shaitan and what I reply is that which the Beneficent Lord has revealed to me. (And it is) that there will be fight between us for 29 days and a very aged companion of mine will eliminate you. Very soon, you will bring Atba, Shaibah, Walid and so-and-so to confront me.
And His Eminence (S) mentioned the names of some people who participated in the campaign of the well of Badr. He said: I will kill 70 persons from you; arrest 70 others and release them on a heavy ransom.
Then he said to the believers, Jews, Christians and others who were present there: If you want to see the place where they will be slain, come to Badr, because it is the place where a great calamity will befall them; so that I can show where each of them will be killed. After that you will soon know that it is the same place. Neither more nor less, and no kind of change will be there in it; and not a moment sooner or later and not less or more.
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated through trustworthy chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that on the day of the Battle of Badr when the idolaters fled, the companions of the Prophet divided into three groups: A group was near the Prophet’s tent, a party was seizing the booty and a group was in pursuit of the enemies and apprehending them and confiscating their property. When the booty and the prisoners were gathered, Ansaris began to talk about the prisoners and the Almighty Allah revealed the following verse:
مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ يُثْخِنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ
“It is not fit for a prophet that he should take captives unless he has fought and triumphed in the land…”17
Saad bin Maaz Ansari was among those who were close to the Prophet’s tent and he said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), we have neither fought the enemies nor that we did not like to perform Jihad, and it is also not that we were frightened of the enemies, we remained with you only to assure that the enemy does not attack you from the other side and find you alone.
A large number of Muhajireen and Ansars were in that group. People are more and the booty is less. If you distribute the booty only to those who have actively participated in the battle, nothing will be left for you and your companions.” He was worried that the Prophet will distribute all the plundered items of the dead infidels among those who had taken part in actual fighting and not give anything to those who were guarding him. Thus there was an argument among the companions and the Holy Prophet (S) came to know about it and they asked to whom that booty was going to be distributed. At that juncture, the following verse was revealed:
يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْأَنْفَالِ ۖ قُلِ الْأَنْفَالُ لِلَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ
“They ask you about the windfalls. Say: The windfalls are for Allah and the Apostle.”18
When this verse was revealed, they did not get anything from the booty and they returned dejected. After that the Almighty Allah revealed the verse of Khums. The Holy Prophet (S) gave them their Khums and distributed everything among them. At that time Saad bin Abi Waqqas said: O Messenger of Allah (S), “Will you give equal share to the mounted fighter as well as the weak one who does not fight?” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “May your mother mourn for you, the Almighty Allah has given you victory through the auspiciousness of the weak.
Qutub Rawandi etc. have narrated that the Holy Prophet (S) was not able to sleep that night. When people asked him about the reason, he said: “I could not sleep because of the moaning of Abbas due to the tightness of rope.” So people untied Abbas and the Prophet was able to sleep.
Ibn Babawayh has narrated from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that he says: “Before the Battle of Badr, one night, I saw Khizr (a.s.) in dream and said: Please teach me a supplication through which I can gain victory over the enemies. He said: Recite: “O He, O one who is not except that He is.” I described this dream to the Prophet in the morning and he said: “O Ali, Khizr has taught you the great name of Allah (Isme Azam).” Imam Ali (a.s.) says: “I was repeating these great names on the day of the Battle of Badr.”
It is mentioned in Ikhtisas from Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) that Abbas was among the prisoners of Badr and he said that he had nothing to pay as ransom. Jibraeel came down and told the Prophet that Abbas has buried gold in his house and informed Ummul Fazl about it. Send Amirul Momineen (a.s.) to ask Ummul Fazl for it. The Holy Prophet (S) mentioned this to Abbas and then sent Abbas and Ali to get it from Ummul Fazl. When Ali (a.s.) brought that gold, Abbas said: “O nephew, you have impoverished me.” At that juncture, the Almighty Allah revealed the following verse: “If Allah knows anything good in your hearts, He will give to you better than that which has been taken away from you…”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the Holy Prophet (S) recited seven Takbirs on the martyrs of Badr.
Nomani has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that on the day of the Battle of Badr Jibraeel brought a standard for the Holy Prophet (S) which was neither made of cotton nor silk or wool. It was made from the leaves of the trees of Paradise. The Holy Prophet (S) opened it and gained victory. Then he wrapped it up and gave to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and he opened it in the Battle of Basra and gained victory. After that he wrapped it up and kept it away and it is with us and no one will unfurl it, except the Qaim Aale Muhammad.
It is mentioned in some reliable books that during the Battle of Badr, Habib bin Yasar’s shoulder was hacked and he brought the severed limb to the Prophet who placed it back and prayed and it joined without leaving a scar.
Also the sword of Akkasa bin Mohsin was broken and the Holy Prophet (S) gave him a stick and by the miracle of the Prophet, it was transformed into a sharp sword and he used it in the battle till the idolaters fled and he had retained that sword till the end of his life. In the same way, the sword of Salma bin Ashal broke down, the Holy Prophet (S) gave him a stick and said: “Fight with this.” It became a fine sword and he always employed it in Jihad.
It is narrated that on the day of the Battle of Badr, idolaters fled in the afternoon and the Prophet said: “Throw the dead bodies of infidels in the well and fill it up with mud.” After that the Messenger of Allah (S) came to the well of Badr and called each idolater by name and asked: “Did you find the promise of your Lord to be true?
You were bad people for your prophet. Others verified in my favor while you refuted me. You drove me out of my home and others accorded refuge to me. You fought me and others gave me shelter. You fought me and others helped me.” Some companions remarked: “O Messenger of Allah (S), are you speaking to the dead?” The Holy Prophet (S) replied: “They hear me as you do but they cannot reply. Now they have understood that what I used to say was truth.”
Then the Holy Prophet (S) prayed Asr prayer and set out from there to reach Asil before sunset and he camped there. According to another report, he recited Asr prayer at Asil. After he had completed the first rakat, he smiled and after the prayer, people asked him why he had smiled. He said: “Mikaeel passed by me and there was dust on his wings.”
He told me smiling that he was pursuing the idolaters. After that came Jibraeel riding a mare, which had a lot of dust on its mane. He said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), when the Almighty Allah sent me to help you, He ordered me not to leave why till you don’t assent. Do you allow me to go now?” The Holy Prophet (S) replied: “Yes.”
We should know that there is difference of opinion with regard to the martyrs of Badr. Some say that they were 14, six Muhajireen and eight Ansar. Some have said that they were 11, four from the Muhajireen and seven from Ansar. Some have stated them to be 12, in which eight were from Ansar.
Some other have said that the total martyrs of Badr are nine, but the first opinion is more famous. The following were the martyrs of Badr: (1) Ubaidah bin Harith, cousin of the Messenger of Allah (S), who was injured in Badr and died in Sufra and was buried there (2) Amr bin Abi Waqqas (3) Umair bin Abde Wudd, who is also known as Zul Bishumalin (4) Aqil bin Abi Bukair (5) Mahja, freed slave of Amr (6) Safwan bin Baiza.
From the Ansar they were: (1) Mabsah bin Abdul Manzar (2) Saad bin Khathima, who was a noble (3) Haritha bin Surakha (4) Auf (5) Mauq bin Azar (6) Umair bin Hammam (7) Rafe bin Maali (8) Yazid bin Harith. Some say that the three persons who were freed slaves of the Holy Prophet (S) were martyred in the Battle of Badr. And some say that Maaz bin Aas and Ubaid bin Maskan were wounded in Badr and they died due to those injuries, indeed we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.
- 1. Surah Maidah 5:24
- 2. Surah Anfal 8:5-8
- 3. Surah Anfal 8:9
- 4. Surah Anfal 8:10
- 5. Surah Anfal 8:11
- 6. Surah Anfal 8:12
- 7. Surah Anfal 8:61
- 8. Surah Anfal 8:49
- 9. Surah Anfal 8:48
- 10. Surah Anfal 8:48
- 11. Surah Anfal 8:19
- 12. Surah Anfal 8:17
- 13. Surah Anfal 8:70
- 14. Surah Anfal 8:67
- 15. Surah Anfal 8:69
- 16. The author says: The only aim of Umar was to assure that Aqeel may be killed, although the Messenger of Allah (S) had announced at the beginning of the battle and that no one from Bani Hashim should be killed, because they have not taken part in the battle at their own choice. Such courage is surprising against the prisoners who were tied up while Umar did not display any valor during battles and he did not slay a single infidel.
- 17. Surah Anfal 8:67
- 18. Surah Anfal 8:1