In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.
Love for All, Hatred for None.
Yet another great thing happened during the year. Muslims and the Quresh fought their first battle at Badr. The Prophet learnt that the Quresh were on their way to Medina with a big army. He started to meet the enemy far away from the town. He also came to know that a big trade caravan of the Quresh was on its way to Mecca; the Meccan army was there ostensibly to protect it. The prophet was prepared as best as he could. But he had not many means for an armed conflict. He had not many men either. Muslims were prepared to meet only the caravan. They were not in a position to meet the Quresh army.
The Meccans had raised a big force. They had enlisted every fighting man. Only two chiefs of the town were not willing to join them. One was Abu Lahab, an uncle, but a great enemy of the Prophet. His sister had had a fearful dream. He was frightened on that account. The other was Umaiyya bin Khalaf, another bitter enemy of Islam. He greatly feared death. He had learnt that Prophet had predicted that he would die in the battlefield. He knew the Prophet spoke the truth but he was forced to join the army against his will.
Before the Prophet took to the field, he wanted to know the mind of the Muslims. The Muhajirs were eager to lay down their lives at his command. The Ansar were no less willing. When asked, their chief, Saad bin Moaz, said,
"We are with you, wherever you go, o Prophet of Allah, if you tell us to jump in the sea, by God, we will."The Prophet was highly pleased. He told them that God had promised him a great victory. When they reached the valley of Badr, they found the enemy camp already there. Its force numbered one thousand. The Muslims numbered 313. The Quresh had 800 mounts, the Muslims only 30. Three hundred of the enemy had armour, of the Muslims only two.
The follower of the Prophet camped close to the enemy. A pavilion shaded the Prophet where he and Abu Bakr spent the night together. The Prophet prayed throughout the night and the next day. It was the 17th of Ramazan. Soon after sunrise the enemy made advance. Some of them came to the spring to fetch water. Muslims made to stop them. But the Prophet said,
"No, let them have access to the water."The Quresh sent out one Umar bin Wahab to do scout duty. He went round the Muslims on horse back. He returned to the Quresh in a state of panic. He said,
"O Quresh I did not see men on the mounts, I saw death riding on the backs of camels."So did the Muslims appear to him.
The first of the enemy force to seek battle were Utba, Shaiba and Walid. The Prophet ordered Hamza, Ali and Ubaidah to meet them. Hamza and Ali killed all three. Ubaida was fatally wounded. Then the Quresh made a general attack. The Prophet, who watched from his tent, prayed thus:
"O Lord, make good Thy promise. If today this party of Muslims is wiped out, there will be none left to worship Thee."Abu Jahl was also praying. His prayer was:
"O God, if we are in the wrong then stone us from above or punish us otherwise."
The dead Quresh were buried in one pit. The Prophet addressing the dead enemy, said,
"Did you find true the promise God had made to you? Well, I found His promise to me true."Then he said,
"O ye who lie in the pit, you were bad relations of your Prophet. You rejected me, others accepted me. You turned me out of my home, others gave me shelter. You made war on me, others aided me."
"There is a fire burning inside me. I would love to weep to my heart's content."The servant returned with the answer that woman had lost her camel and was therefore crying. Aswad was a poet. He at once uttered these lines:
"O woman, thou art weeping over the loss of a camel. Its grief is keeping thee from sleep. If thou must weep, then weep over Badr where our luck failed us. Aye, if thou must weep, then weep over my Adil and weep over my Harith, who was a lion among lions."Then there followed general mourning in Mecca. The only house that did not join was that of Abu Sufiyan. His wife Hinda would not shed a tear. She had lost her father and two brothers in Badr.
"Tears cannot put out the fire of my grief,"she said,
"If they could, I would shed plenty."She wanted them to go to war against Muhammad. So did many others. Mecca made ready for revenge. It was to be a great battle. They wanted to finish the Muslims! So they made big preparations.
For the Muslims it was a great honour to have fought in Badr. Saad bin Abi Viqas was one of them. Later, he founded Kufa. He was also governor of Iraq. He conquered Iraq. He conquered Iran. He was young when he took part in the battle of Badr. He died at the age of eighty. Before his death, he asked for the cloak he had worn at Badr. He had kept it safe. He put it on when he was dying. He said he had saved it for that day. He was buried in the same cloak.
Muslims were very good to the Quresh prisoners of war. They gave them food and starved themselves. They gave them mounts and themselves walked on foot.