The duel was followed by a few more duels but the Makkans suffered terrible defeats in all the combats and lost some of their most precious lives. They were too much exasperated and enraged and fell upon the Muslims to exterminate them once and for all. The Muslims, however, after supplicating their Lord, calling upon Him for assistance, were made to hold to their position and conduct a defensive war plan that was successful enough to inflict heavy losses on the attackers. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to pray to his Lord ceaselessly persistently and day and night to come to their succor. When the fierce engagement grew too hot he again began to supplicate his Lord saying:
“O Allah! Should this group (of Muslims) be defeated today, You will no longer be worshipped.”
He continued to call out to his Lord, stretching forth his hands and facing Al-Qiblah, until his cloak fell off his shoulders. Then Abu Bakr came, picked up the cloak, and put it back on his shoulders and said:
“O Prophet of Allah, you have cried out enough to your Lord. He will surely fulfill what He has promised you.”
Immediate was the response from Allah, Who sent down angels from the heavens for the help and assistance of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his companions. The Noble Qur’an observes:
“Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved.” [Surah Al-Anfal, 8:12]
Allah, the All-Mighty, also inspired another message to His Messenger, saying:
“I will help you with a thousand of the angels each behind the other (following one another) in succession.” [Surah Al-Anfal, 8:9]
The Prophet (Peace be upon him), in his trellis, dozed off a little and then raised his head joyfully crying:
“O Abu Bakr, glad tidings are there for you: Allah’s victory has approached, by Allah, I can see Gabriel on his mare in the thick of a sandstorm.”
He then jumped out crying:
“Their multitude will be put to flight, and they will show their backs.” [Surah Al-Qamar, 54:45]
At the instance of Gabriel, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) took a handful of gravel, cast it at the enemy and said: “Confusion seize their faces!” As he flung the dust, a violent sandstorm blew like furnace blast into the eyes of the enemies. With respect to this, Allah says:
“And you [i.e. Muhammad (Peace be upon him) ] threw not when you did throw but Allah threw.” [Surah Al-Anfal, 8:17]
Only then did he give clear orders to launch a counter-attack. He was commanding the army, inspiring confidence among his men and exhorting them to fight manfully for the sake of their Lord, reciting the Words of Allah:
“And be quick for forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth.” [Surah Al-‘Imran, 3:133]
The spirit he infused into his men was clearly witnessed by the valour of ‘Umair, a lad of sixteen, who flung away some dates he was eating crying out: “These (the dates) are holding me back from Paradise.” So saying he plunged into the thick of the battle and died fighting bravely. Unique deeds of valour, deep devotion and full obedience to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) were exhibited in the process of the battle. The army of the faithfuls was borne forward by the power of enthusiasm which the half-hearted warriors of Makkah miserably lacked. A large number of the polytheists were killed and the others began to waver. No wonder! The standard-bearers of Truth were given immediate help, and supernatural agencies (the angels), were sent to their assistance by their Lord to help them defeat the forces of evil.
The records of Hadith speak eloquently of the fact that the angels did appear on that day and fought on the side of the Muslims. Ibn ‘Abbas said: “While on that day a Muslim was chasing a disbeliever and he heard over him the swashing of a whip and the voice of the rider saying: ‘Go ahead Haizum’. He glanced at the polytheist who had (now) fallen down on his back. The Helper came to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and related that event to him. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied: ‘You have told the truth. This was the help from the third heaven.”
One of the Helpers captured ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib, who said: “O Messenger of Allah, by Allah this man did not capture me. I was captured by a man who was bald and had the most handsome face, and who was riding a piebald horse, I cannot see him here among the people.” The Helper interrupted: “I captured him, O Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied:
“Be quiet, Allah the All-Mighty strengthened you with the help of a noble angel.”
Iblis, the archsatan, in the guise of Suraqah bin Malik bin Ju‘sham Al-Mudlaji, on seeing angels working in favour of the Muslims, and Quraish rapidly losing ground on the battlefield, made a quick retreat despite the polytheists’ pleas to stay on. He ran off and plunged into the sea.
The ranks of Quraish began to give way and their numbers added nothing but confusion. The Muslims followed eagerly their retreating steps, slaying or taking captive all that fell within their reach. Retreat soon turned into ignominious rout; and they fled in haste, casting away their armour, abandoned beasts of burden, camp and equipage.
The great tyrant Abu Jahl, however, on seeing the adverse course of the battle, tried to stop the tidal wave of the Islamic victory by nerving the polytheists and encouraging them by all means available and adjuring them by Al-Lat and ‘Uzza and all symbols of paganism to stand firm in place and retaliate against the Muslims, but to no avail. Their morale had already been drastically reduced to zero, and their lines broken down. He then began to realize the reality of his arrogance and haughtiness. None remained around him except a gang of doomed polytheists whose resistance was also quelled by an Islamic irresistible storm of true devotion-based valour and Islam-orientated pursuit of martyrdom. Jahl was deserted and left by himself on his horse waiting for death at the hand of two courageous lads of the Helpers.
‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Awf related the following interesting story in this regard: I was in the thick of the battle when two youths, still seemingly inexperienced in the art of fighting, one on the right and the second on the left. One of them spoke in a secret voice asking me to show him Abu Jahl. I asked about his intention, to which he replied, that he had a strong desire to engage with him in a combat until either of them was killed. It was something incredible to me. I turned left and the other said something to the same effect and showed a similar desire. I acceded to their earnest pleas and pointed directly at their target. They both rushed swiftly towards the spot, and without a moment’s hesitation struck him simultaneously with their swords and finished him off. They went back to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), each claiming that he had killed Abu Jahl to the exclusion of the other. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) asked if they had wiped the blood off their swords and they answered that they had not. He then examined both swords and assured them that they both had killed him. When the battle concluded, Abu Jahl’s spoils were given to Mu‘adh bin ‘Amr bin Al-Jumuh, because the other Mu‘awwadh bin Al-‘Afra’ was later killed in the course of the same battle. At the termination of the battle, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) wanted to look for this archenemy of Islam, Abu Jahl. ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ud found him on the verge of death breathing his last. He stepped on his neck addressing him: “Have you seen how Allah has disgraced you?” The enemy of Islam still defiantly answered: “I am not disgraced. I am no more than a man killed by his own people on the battlefield.” And then inquired “Who has won the battle?” Ibn Mas‘ud replied “Allah and His Messenger.” Abu Jahl then said with a heart full of grudge “You have followed difficult ways, you shepherd!” Ibn Mas‘ud used to be a shepherd working for the Makkan aristocrats.
Ibn Mas‘ud then cut off his head and took it to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) who, on seeing it, began to entertain Allah’s praise:
“Allah is Great, praise is to Allah, Who has fulfilled His Promise, assisted His servant and defeated the confederates alone.”
He then set out to have a look at the corpse. There he said: “This is the Pharaoh of this nation.”
Some Significant Instances Of Devotion:
1. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) advised his companions to preserve the lives of Banu Hashim who had gone out to Badr with the polytheists unwillingly because they had feared the censure of their people. Among them, he named Al-‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib and Abu Bukhtari bin Hisham. He ordered the Muslims to capture, but not to kill them. Abu Hudhaifah bin ‘Utbah showed great surprise and commented saying: “We kill our fathers, children, brothers and members of our clan, and then come to spare Al-‘Abbas? By Allah! If I see him I will surely strike him with my sword.” On hearing these words, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), addressing ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, said “Is it fair that the face of the Messenger’s uncle be struck with sword?” ‘Umar got indignant and threatened to kill Abu Hudhaifah; the latter later said that extreme fear had taken firm grip of him and felt that nothing except martyrdom could expiate for his mistake. He was actually killed later on during Al-Yamamah events.
2. Abu Al-Bukhtari bin Hisham had already done his best to restrain his people, the Makkans, from committing any act of folly against the Prophet (Peace be upon him) while the latter was still in Makkah. He also neither hurt nor was reported to have uttered anything repugnant with regard to the Prophet (Peace be upon him). He had as well been among the people who tried to invalidate the boycott alliance taken against Banu Hashim and Banu ‘Abdul Muttalib.
Here, however, in the battle of Badr he insisted on fighting unless his compatriot was spared. Al-Mujdhir bin Ziyad Al-Balwi, with whom he was engaged in combat, replied that the other was not included in the Prophet’s recommendation. The combat went on to end in Al-Bukhtari’s death.
3. ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Awf and Omaiyah bin Khalaf had been close friends during the pre-Islamic era. When the battle of Badr ended, ‘Abdur-Rahman saw Omaiyah and his son among the captives. He threw away the armour he had as spoils, and walked with them both. Bilal, the Prophet’s caller for prayer, saw Omaiyah and soon all the torture he had been put to at the hand of this man dawned upon him, and swore he would have revenge on Omaiyah. ‘Abdur-Rahman tried to ease the tension and address embarrassing situation amicably but with no success. The Muslims gathered around and struck Omaiyah’s son with swords. At this point, ‘Abdur-Rahman called upon his old friend to run for his life but he was put to swords from different people and lay down dead. ‘Abdur-Rahman, completely helpless and resigned said: May Allah have mercy on Bilal, for he deprived me of the spoils, and I have been stricken by the death of my two captives.
4. On the moral level, the battle of Badr was an inescapable conflict between the forces of good and those of evil. In this context, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab did not spare the life of any polytheist even his uncle on the maternal side Al-‘As bin Hisham bin Al-Mugheerah.
5. Abu Bakr shouted at his son ‘Abdur-Rahman, still a polytheist and fighting with them, “Where is my wealth, you wicked boy?” The son answered that it was gone with the wind.
6. When the battle ended, the Muslims began to hold some polytheists in captivity. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) looked into the face of Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh, the Head of the Prophet’s guards, and understood that he was hateful to taking the enemy elements as prisoners. Sa‘d agreed to what the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said and added that it was the first victory for the Muslims over the forces of polytheism, and he had more liking for slaying them than sparing their lives.
7. On the day of Badr, the sword of ‘Ukashah bin Mihsan Al-Asdi broke down so the Prophet (Peace be upon him) gave him a log of wood which he shook and it immediately turned into a long strong white sword. ‘Ukashah went on using that same sword in most of the Islamic conquests until he died in the process of the apostasy wars.
8. When the war activities had been concluded, Mus‘ab bin ‘Umair Al-‘Abdari saw his brother, still a polytheist, being handcuffed by a Ansari. Mus‘ab recommended that the Helper tighten the knot for the prisoner’s mother was wealthy enough to ransom her son. ‘Abu ‘Aziz, Mus‘ab’s brother, tried to appeal to his brother through the family ties, but the latter firmly replied that the Helper was more eligible for brotherhood than him.
9. When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered that the corpses of the polytheists be dropped into an empty well, Abu Hudhaifah bin ‘Utbah looked sadly at his dead father, who fought on the side of the polytheists. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) noticed that and asked him about it. Hudhaifah said that he had never held the least doubt that his father met his fate deservedly, but added that he wished he had been guided to the path of Islam, and that is why he felt sad. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) whispered in his ears some comforting words.
The outcome of the battle was as aforementioned an ignominious rout for the polytheists and a manifest victory for the Muslims. Fourteen Muslims were killed, of whom six were from the Emigrants and eight from the Helpers. The polytheists sustained heavy casualties, seventy were killed and a like number taken prisoners. Many of the principal men of Makkah, and some of Muhammad’s bitterest opponents, were among the slain. Chief of these was Abu Jahl. On the third day, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) went out to look at the slain polytheists, and said:
“What an evil tribe you were as regards your Prophet, you belied me but the others have believed; you let me down while the others have supported me; you expelled m, whereas the others have sheltered me.”
He stood over the bodies of twenty-four leaders of Quraish who had been thrown into one of the wells, and started to call them by name and by the names of their fathers, saying: “Would it not have been much better for you if you had obeyed Allah and His Messenger? Behold, we have found that our Lord’s promise do come true; did you (also) find that the promises of your Lord came true?” Thereupon, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab said: “O Messenger of Allah! Why you speak to bodies that have no souls in them?” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) answered: “By Him in Whose hand is Muhammad’s soul! You do not hear better what I am saying than they do.”
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