Known to be one of the most important battles in Islamic history, the Battle of Badr marked a major turning point for Muslims. Led by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Muslim community fought this battle against an army of the Quraysh that was led by Abu Jahl near Badr, Madinah province. This battle also saw the killing of important Qurayshi leaders, including Umayyah ibn Khalaf and Abu Jahl, at the hands of Muslims. According to popular beliefs, the victory of Muslims in this battle paved way for the strengthening of Prophet Muhammad’s position. Totally a decisive clash in Islamic history, the victory was attributed to divine intervention coupled with the strategic skills and valour of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Well-known as the first major skirmish between the Qurayshite Mecca and Muslims, the Battle of Badr story has been passed down in the history of Islam for centuries as an important event. One can find its mention in the holy book Quran as well.
Battle of Badr Story
Renowned as a major military victory, the Battle of Badr was fought on 13 March, 624 CE, which was also the pious month of Ramadan. In 622, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions escaped from the city of Makkah and settled in Madinah. Approximately two years after this event of Hijrah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) organised a raid against a wealthy caravan, which was led by Abu Sufyan – the head of the Umayyad dynasty. The raiding party, which comprised of nearly 300 supporters of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), lured the opposing Meccans into a battle at Badr, near Madinah. When both the armies charged at each other for a full battle, Muhammad took a handful of dust and blew it into the air. This took the form of a massive whirlwind, thereby dispersing Abu Jahl’s army. It is also said that when Prophet Muhammad’s army was proceeding towards the Meccans, he stretched his hands towards the Qibla and kept repeating, “O Allah! Should this group (of Muslims) be defeated today, You will no longer be worshipped.”
The prayer was answered as the same has been mentioned in the Quran. “Indeed, I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, rank after rank.” Quran 8:9
Therefore, in spite of a large number of forces in Abu Sufyan’s camp, the Prophet’s army was not only victorious but also managed to kill some vital figures of the opposition.
The Battle of Badr is known to be significant in many ways. The victory of Muslims against the predominant Arab tribe Quraysh established the former as a formidable force in the region. With the passing of time, the Quraysh had to allow the Prophet’s followers to worship at the Great Mosque of Makkah. As per Islamic history, in 630, the Arab tribe accepted their defeat and surrendered to Prophet Muhammad. According to the holy book Quran, post victory, Allah reminded the followers that it was due to his divine intervention that they were victorious.
“And you did not kill them, but it was Allah who killed them. And you threw not, [O Muhammad], when you threw, but it was Allah who threw that He might test the believers with a good test. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” Quran 8:17
“And Allah made it not except as [a sign of] good tidings for you and to reassure your hearts thereby. And victory is not except from Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Wise” Quran 3:126.
The Battle of Badr is also significant as it teaches not to undermine the faith and devotion towards Allah. It shows that the power of God is endless, and weapons and a large army become useless if there is no support from Allah. It is believed that for this battle, Allah sent angels from Heaven to help the Muslims.
“Yes, if you remain patient and conscious of Allah and the enemy come upon you [attacking] in rage, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand angels having marks [of distinction]” Quran 3:125
Till date, the Battle of Badr holds great importance among the Muslim community and continues to be highly relevant in the Islamic culture.
Battle of Badr Facts
One of the first major battles in Islamic history, the Battle of Badr is commemorated as one of the most significant accomplishments of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). There are some interesting facts associated with the Battle of Badr, a few of which are listed below:
1. When was the battle fought? One of the major facts of the Battle of Badr, which might not be known to many, is that it was fought on the 17th of Ramadan. This decisive battle, which was fought to counter the enemies of Islam, happened two years after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) migrated from Makkah to Madinah with the permission of Allah.
2. Prophet Muhammad’s knowledge about enemies: Not many might be aware of the fact that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had detailed knowledge about his enemies. During the Battle of Badr too, he was well aware of his opponents’ qualities, numbers and shortcomings. This factor helped them to secure a victory against the army of the Quraysh.
3. Mention of the battle in the Holy Quran: Another significant fact of the Battle of Badr is its mention in Muslims’ holy book Quran. Several verses referring to this battle can be found in the holy book.[3:123] “And Allah did certainly assist you at Badr when you were weak; be careful of (your duty to) Allah then, that you may give thanks.” [3:126] “And Allah did not make it but as good news for you, and that your hearts might be at ease thereby, and victory is only from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise.”
4. Abu Sufyan wasn’t ready for this battle: This too is not a much-known fact that the battle was forced upon Quraish by Abu Jahl. According to Islamic history, Abu Sufyan had sent the message of him being safe but as his earlier message of asking for help in getting the caravan rescued had reached Abu Jahl, the latter prepared an army of nearly 1300 warriors for the same. Even, Abu Sufyan’s message of reaching Makkah safely didn’t stop Abu Jahl and instead, he incited the warriors to wage a war against Prophet Muhammad.
5. Muslims were outnumbered by the Quraishi army: Prophet Muhammad’s army comprised of merely 313 Muslims. On the other hand, the Quraishi army had nearly 1000 well-equipped soldiers to take on the opposition.
6. Also known as Battle of Separation: The famous Battle of Badr is known for separating truth from falsehood, and hence the name ‘Battle of Separation’. This famous battle also reinforced the fact that Allah is the supreme power and is invincible.
7. Angels also helped the Prophet’s army: It is said that on the decree of Allah, 5000 angels descended from heaven to help the Prophet’s army against the Quraysh in the Battle of Badr. This act is seen as divine intervention amongst the followers of Islam. “Well, if you are steadfast and mindful of Allah, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand swooping angels if the enemy should suddenly attack you!” (Quran, 3:125)
8. Treatment of captives post victory: After emerging victorious in the Battle of Badr, the Prophet’s army captured many warriors from the Quraish army and held them as prisoners. They were required to work in accordance with the possessed skills.
9. Casualties in the war: In the Battle of Badr, nearly 14 warriors from the Prophet’s camp were martyred, while the Quraysh army lost 70 of its most important warriors, including Abu Jahl and Umayyah ibn Khalaf. One can find names of all the 14 Muslim martyrs near the Badr battlefield.
10. News of Victory in the battle: Another lesser-known fact about the Battle of Badr is that Allah had revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that this battle will see Muslims emerge victorious. When he told about this revelation to the Muslim army, they felt more motivated.
“Allah has promised to grant you victory over one of the two bands (the caravan and those who had come to defend it), but you wished to fight the one that was unarmed. He sought to fulfil His promise and to annihilate the believers, so that truth should triumph and falsehood be uprooted, though the wrongdoers wished otherwise.” – (Surah al-Anfal, 8:7)
Facts for kids
A seminal event, the Battle of Badr was fought in 624 CE. A major battle in Islamic history, the Battle of Badr even finds its mention in the holy book Quran.
Quick fact-check for kids:
Location of the battle: Badr, near Madinah province
Outcome: Muslim army, led by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), emerged victorious
Fought between: The Prophet’s Sahaba and the Quraysh army
Led by: Quraish army was led by Abu Jahl, while Muslims fought under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad
Strength: Nearly 313 Muslims fought 1000 warriors of the Quraish army
Casualties: 14 Muslims were martyred, while nearly 70 warriors of the opposition were killed.
Battle of Badr in the holy Quran
A key battle in Islamic history, the Battle of Badr is also one of the few battles that are mentioned explicitly in the Quran. Below-mentioned are some verses from the holy book that refer to the Battle of Badr:
‘Already there has been for you a sign in the two armies which met – one fighting in the cause of Allah and another of disbelievers. They saw them (to be) twice their (own) number by (their) eyesight. But Allah supports with His victory whom He wills. Indeed in that is a lesson for those of vision.’ Quran [3:13]
‘And already had Allah given you victory at (the battle of) Badr while you were few in number. Then fear Allah; perhaps you will be grateful – (Remember) when you said to the believers, “Is it not sufficient for you that your Lord should reinforce you with three thousand angels sent down? – Yes, if you remain patient and conscious of Allah and the enemy come upon you (attacking) in rage, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand angels having marks (of distinction)’ Quran [3:123-125]
‘[Remember] when you asked help of your Lord, and He answered you, “Indeed, I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, following one another.’ [Quran, 8: 9]
“And you did not kill them, but it was Allah who killed them. And you threw not, [O Muhammad], when you threw, but it was Allah who threw that He might test the believers with a good test. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” [Quran, 8: 17]
“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.” [Quran, 8:10]
Angels in the Historic Battle
Fought in the valley of Badr, this battle is of great significance in Islam. 313 Muslims fought against three times more warriors from the Quraysh camp. It is said that as Prophet’s army was in the process of proceeding towards the enemy, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) kept praying to Allah for Muslims’ victory. As per Islamic history, Allah heard his prayers, and on His command, nearly 5000 angels came down from heaven to support Prophet Muhammad’s army. It is also believed that the angels assisted Muslims from the Jabal Malaikah Mountain, which is situated adjacent to Katheeb al-Hannan.
To summarise, the Battle of Badr is said to be highly crucial as it established Prophet’s Muḥammad’s authority, in addition to boosting the self-confidence and strength of the Muslims. This battle also showed that Allah is the supreme power, and He never lets down those who have faith in Him and show great devotion.
Battle of Badr FAQs
Where is Badr located?
Badr is a small town situated in the Al Madinah province of Saudi Arabia. It is nearly two hours away by car from the holy city of Madinah. The town of Badr is a desert type, implying the summers are extremely hot and long.
What is Hijrah?
The emigration of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions from Makkah to Madinah is known as Hijrah. After his arrival, he negotiated with the regional clans regarding Madinah’s constitution, post which the Muslim community was established as a sociopolitical entity.
What is the significance of rainfall two days prior to the Battle of Badr?
As per Islamic history, the battlefield and the nearby area witnessed heavy rainfall on 15th Ramadan, two days before the Battle of Badr. Muslims believed this event to be a blessing of Allah for the followers as the non-followers had a hard time in climbing up the muddy slope.
Who was Abu Jahl?
Abu Jahl or Amr ibn Hishām al-Makhzumi was one of the top-ranking leaders of the Quraysh tribe. Known for opposing Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as well as early Muslims of Makkah, he also led the Battle of Badr against the Prophet and was killed by Abdullah ibn Masud during the war.
Who were Muhajirun and Ansar?
Advisers and companions of Prophet Muhammad, who travelled from Makkah to Madinah during Hijra, were known as Muhajirun. They were also the first ones to convert to Islam. Ansar were the local residents of Madinah, who gave shelter to the Prophet and his followers when they reached Madinah.