The message of ‘Badr’
Jihad, which actually means ‘to struggle’ was given military dimensions after the oppressive practices of Meccan polytheists against Muslims. It is noteworthy that from Islamic perspective an armed struggle based on Islamic principles is termed as Qital. The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH) signed many treaties to resolve matters peacefully, but the continued oppression, faced by Muslims at the hands of pagans resulted in battles between them. In these battles, the Muslims, although militarily weak strived very hard for their existence and of religion, Islam. The first and the battle of most significance in Islamic history is ‘Battle of Badr’ that took place on 13 March 624 A.D (17 Ramadan 2 AH in the Islamic calendar). Before this battle, many small skirmishes occurred, but this was the first large-scale engagement between the forces. This battle gained such a popularity in Islam that it finds mention in Al-Quran. Moreover, the companions of the Prophet (PBUH), who participated in this battle acquired the title badri Suhaba and enjoyed a special distinction amongst the Muslims.
The significance of this battle lies in the disproportion of the army and arms between the two forces. In this battle, the Muslims fought only with 313 men having 70 camels, 2 horses, and few swordsmen. And Meccan forces were correspondingly numerous, mostly reported as, more than a thousand. Non-Muslims were conceited, for they were sizeable and heavily armored. Among Muslims, no one was aware of the outcome of the battle. The prayer that the Prophet (PBUH) made gives us a sense of the anxiety that Ummah was facing. Umar bin Khitaab (R.A) narrates, “When it was the day on which battle of Badr was fought, the Prophet (PBUH) cast a glance at pagans, and they were near about a thousand in number while his companions were few hundreds. The Prophet (PBUH) turned his face towards Qibla and supplicated; ‘O Allah, support us with the help thou promised me’. O Allah, if this small band of Muslims is destroyed, thou will not be worshipped on this earth.” (Sahih Muslim). Interestingly, the consequences of the battle were; Monotheism prevailed over polytheism, truth over falsehood, Knowledge over Ignorance, and the Meccan prestige was damaged while strengthening the political position of Muslims.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the divine intervention played a pivot role in the victory of Muslims. The Muslim army was meagre in comparison to the army of non-Muslims, but the number of former seemed more than the latter. This was because of participation of angels, who fought against the disbelievers along with Muslims by the order of Allah Almighty. Allah says in the Quran: (Remember) when you asked for help from your Lord, and He answered you,’ indeed I will reinforce you with a thousand of the angels, ranks on ranks’ (chapter 8, Surah Anfaal, v; 8-9). However; the spiritual strength of Muslims, their faith in Allah and their leader Prophet (PBUH), their grit, willingness, honesty, and determination, which Muslims displayed in the battleground can never be overlooked. Their unflinching faith in Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) made them face a mighty army. It was their intense love with Allah and his Prophet (PBUH), that on one hand, they were fighting enemies and on the other hand, were performing duties according to Islam. They fasted and prayed while being in a situation of War.
Next was their willingness, which kept them glued to their mission, which was stability and perseverance of Islam. They were ready to face every challenge wholeheartedly with full confidence that Allah will succeed them and they will get the glorious victory. Also, their loyalty to the Prophet (PBUH) was astonishing, they were prepared to sacrifice everything for Prophet’s religion ‘Islam’. The grit and determination, which was the outcome of their unwavering faith, persuaded them to dominate the massively armored opponents. If we say that foregoing prodigious attributes that they possessed also served the purpose of attracting blessings of Almighty Allah and ultimately his help, it would not be aggrandizement. Else, it is not possible for any nation to defeat the opponents, many times bigger in number and much powerful.
The day related to the Battle of Badr bears a message for us. It comes to awake us from the slumber. It evokes memories of the battlefield where hunger torn, unequipped with loincloths, 313 soldiers of Islam fought courageously, and asks us to introspect. Why, even after being a second most populous community in the world, we are chained in everywhere, it questions. It tries to galvanize our conscience and want us to contemplate about our failure. It urges all of us to understand the cause of our downfall and misery. Besides, it gives us a hope that we can regain our lost glory. Encouragingly, it enlivens our spirit and says; O Muslims, Allah is with you, He would never let you down but what you need is to turn to Him. Be faithful to Him and His Messenger Muhammad (PBUH). Do not get lost in materialism, follow the path of the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) and make them as your guide. Like the companions of the Prophet (PBUH), make Quran your way of life, love of the Prophet (PBUH) as your wealth. Plus, try to develop the attributes of Hazrat Abubakar, Hazrat Umar e Farooq, Hazrat Uthman e Gani, and Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with all of them) and others. The field of Badr in imaginary voice calls us to be Badri warriors, who did not rely on weapons, but on faith, which was their might. Honestly speaking, when we will change for good and create an environment of harmony, honesty, truthfulness, and importantly of justice that existed in the Prophetic era. In the words of the Poet of East, Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal:
‘Fizaay’e Badr Paida Kar Firishtey Teri Nusrat Ko
Utar Sakhtey Hain Gardon Say Qataar Darr Qataar Ab Bhi’
O Muslims! Create an atmosphere like that of al-Badr,
Troops of Angels from Heaven would come to your support even today!
Allah will incessantly shower His blessings on us and will again help us to dominate the world.
May Allah grant us the ability to be obedient to Him and His Messenger (PBUH).
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