Lessons From the Battle of Badr
One of the historical battles during the lifetime of Allah’s messenger was the battle of Badr. It happened on the month of Ramadan, two years after Allah’s messenger’s emigration to Medina. The first battle that was completely won by the muslims was the first blow to the disbeliever of Quraish. They didn’t expect the muslims, who were oppressed in Mecca, now turned the tide and showed off their power.
The battle of Badr had long finished. We could only read about it in the books about history of Islam. We do not engage in it physically, nor that we trudged together along with the Messenger’s troops at that time, since we are separated by centuries. However, there are many lessons and morals that we could draw from the history of the Messenger’s and his companions’ struggle. And that is why histories are told to the next generation, so that they could take worthy lessons from the history of their own religion. Hence, history is not just a tale to be conveyed as bed time story.
We’d like to invite you to think about several precious lessons that we’ll take from the history of the battle of Badr. There are only two lessons, by Allah’s permission.
The first lesson: to do a righteous deed because Allah the Exalted commands us to, and not just spurred by enthusiasm.
The struggle of propagating Islam was already started since the Prophet was in Mecca, 13 years before he emigrated to Medina. The muslims in Mecca had went through a lot of hardships and grieves to practice their religion. Tortures, disgraces, oppression, and boycotts – all had been tasted, to the extent that they have to move abroad, to Habasya. They ran away from their birth land to save their religion.
One day, at year 13 after the prophethood, a historical event took place in Mecca, or in Mina to be exact, and in Aqaba, precisely. There, in Aqaba, a pledge of loyalty between the Messenger of Allah and people from Medina was sealed. However, even though they did it in secret, it was discovered by the disbelievers.
At that time, one of the delegation from Medina named Abbas Ibn Ubadah told the Messenger of Allah, “By Allah, if you wish, O messenger of Allah, we will attack them tomorrow with our swords!”.
The Messenger of Allah answered, “We are yet to be ordered to fight by Allah.”
Behold! The Messenger of Allah wasn’t provoked by the eagerness of his followers to fight. All of his deeds was based on Allah the Exalted’s order. If there was no order to fight, then the Messenger of Allah would still command his followers to be patient.
After they emigrated to Medina, Allah the Exalted finally granted them permission to fight the disbelievers. Allah the Exalted decreed,
أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَاتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى نَصْرِهِمْ لَقَدِيرٌ
“Permission (to fight) has been granted to those for they have been wronged. Verily Allah has the power to help them:” (Chapter the Pilgrim:39)
The second lesson: Not all of our goals could be achieved with ease
To fight the disbelievers at the land of Badr was not the original intention of the Messenger of Allah and his companions. At the beginning, the Messenger of Allah persuaded his companions to intercept the path of the Quraish merchants who were just returning from their trading expedition in Syam. The merchants brought with them no less than 50,000 dinars and 1000 camels. And there were only 40 men that guarded them.
The Messenger of Allah persuaded his companions, saying, “Here come the Quraish entourage with your wealths. Lets intercept them, may Allah the Exalted grant the spoils of war to you.”
However, obtaining the said wealth was not as easy as they imagined. In fact, the Quraish led by Abu Sufyan knew about the Messenger’s plan. They sent a messenger to plead for back up army from Mecca.
Eventually, the muslim’ initial thought was wrong; they, of 313 men, calculated to fight against only 40 guards, but instead of that small number, they have to fight about 1300 people from Mecca.
But even though the road was not as easy as they hoped, the muslims succeeded to overpower the disbelievers at that unforeseen battle.
The third lesson: Faith is stronger than just a pact
At the time the pledge of Aqaba between the Messenger of Allah and delegation from Medina took place, the Messenger of Allah only accept their pledge of protecting him from any kind of disturbance when he emigrate to Medina. It didn’t mention that the residents of Medina (The helper) have to be ready to fight to defend the Messenger of Allah even at the outskirt of Medina. It only stated that they have to protect the Messenger of Allah inside the city of Medina.
But the unforeseen battle was already before their eyes, at Badr. The Messenger of Allah couldn’t demand the Helper to join it, because their initial plan was only to take over the wealth of the Quraish merchants.
When the Messenger of Allah consulted his companions, the prominent figures of the emigrants (from Mecca), amongst them were Abu Bakr, Umar Ibn Khattab, and Miqdad Ibn Amr, all supported him to join the battle. But there was still no happy face from Allah’s messenger upon hearing their answer.
But the leader of the Helpers, Sa’d Ibn Muadz, understood what the Messenger of Allah wished for. He said, “It seems like you’re waiting for our answer, O Messenger of Allah?”. He replied, “True.” Then Sa’d Ibn Mu’adz said, “We’ve believed in you, we believe that your teaching is true, also we’ve promised to obey you. Head wherever you wish, O Allah’s messenger, we’ll follow you. Even if you enter the sea, we’ll join you.”
Only then happiness shone from the face of Allah’s messenger, after hearing the answer of the leader of the Helpers. Because they defended Allah’s messenger out of their faith, and not just to follow the content of their pledge.
The fourth lesson: Do not exaggerate the power of the enemy so that it will induce fear and trepidation
At the battle of Badr, Allah the Exalted sent down the verse:
إِذْ يُرِيكَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي مَنَامِكَ قَلِيلًا وَلَوْ أَرَاكَهُمْ كَثِيرًا لَفَشِلْتُمْ وَلَتَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ
“And recall when Allah showed them to you in your dream to be few in number. And had He showed them to you to be numerous, you would have flagged and disagreed with one another about fighting them. But Allah saved you. Surely Allah knows what is hidden in the breasts.” (Chapter Al Anfal/the spoils of war:43)
And in another verse it is said that,
وَإِذْ يُرِيكُمُوهُمْ إِذِ الْتَقَيْتُمْ فِي أَعْيُنِكُمْ قَلِيلًا وَيُقَلِّلُكُمْ فِي أَعْيُنِهِمْ
“And recall when He made them appear to be few in your eyes when you met them in the battle just as He lessened you in their eyes so that Allah might accomplish what had been decreed. To Allah are all matters referred for decision. “ (Chapter Al Anfal/The Spoils of War:44)
Hence, although in fact the number of the Quraish men at that time was 1300 people, but when they faced the muslims, Allah the Exalted let them to be perceived as if they were just small number of men.
Ibn Mas’ud who join the battle of Badr asked his friend when the armies stood facing each other to commence the battle, “I think they are just around 70 men, right?”. His friend replied, “No, they are 100 men.”
This is how we are supposed to behave, instead of spreading issues that will frighten the muslims. You probably ever got a short message or BBM about military activity of the Shiites (Syiah), which said that they are specially trained by certain military personnel??
In my opinion, this kind of message shouldn’t be spread, since it will just trigger anxiety among muslim society. It is different if we know about it in order to prepare a strategy of war. In this case, it is alright to spread it so that the muslims can make proper preparation. But if it is just spread as an information, then what’s the point??
Therefore, issues regarding public interest should be given thorough consideration before it is spread, since it is related to the overall wellness of the muslims.
Author: Ustadz Muhammad Yassir, Lc (Lecturer at STDI Imam Syafi’i Jember)
Article of www.Syaria.com