Center for the Study of Political Islam International

The Battle That Changed the World

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Mohammed and the Unbelievers

The Battle That Changed The World



I428 Mohammed heard from spies that Abu Sufyan, the chief of the Quraysh, was coming from Syria with a large caravan and thirty or forty men. Mohammed called the Muslims together and said, “Go out and attack it, and perhaps Allah will give us the prey.” Many were eager, but others were reluctant. Some of the Quraysh were their relatives and they did not want to fight and kill them.

I428 As the caravan approached Medina, Abu Sufyan became worried and ques-tioned every rider on the road about Mohammed. Then he was informed that indeed Mohammed was going to attack. He sent out a fast rider to Mecca for aid. When the rider entered Mecca, he called out, “Oh Quraysh, the caravan! Mohammed and his companions are lying in wait to steal your property. Help! Help!”

I430 The Quraysh said this raid would not be as easy as killing an unarmed man. The leaders and their men saddled up and prepared to protect what was theirs, but as they prepared for war they remembered an old score with an enemy clan. The quarrel had never been settled. Would their enemies attack Mecca while they were away? One of the chiefs of the enemy clan said they would not attack and the Quraysh left with haste.

I433 Mohammed and his men headed out of Medina for what was to prove one of the most important battles in all of history, a battle that would change the world for-ever. The party had seventy camels and about three hundred men. On the way they met a nomad and asked if he had seen the Quraysh. He had not. Then the men told him to salute the prophet of Allah. The nomad said, “Well, if he is a prophet, can he tell me what was in the womb of my she-camel?” One of Mohammed’s men replied, “Don’t question Mohammed, but I can tell you what is in the womb of your camel. It is a goat from the last time you had sex with her.” They went on their way but no wiser.

I434 News came to Mohammed that the Quraysh had set out from Mecca with armed men to defend their property. He stopped and held a strategy meeting. The Meccan Immigrants said they would go wherever Mohammed told them to go and do whatever he asked. The leader of the Helpers said although their treaty with Mo-hammed covered only the defense of Medina they would fight for him for any reason, at any place, and at any time. “We believe in you. We hear and we will obey. By Allah, if you asked us to plunge into the sea we would do so to the last man. We do not fear the enemy. We are experienced warriors and trustworthy in combat.”

I435 Mohammed was cheered. He said, “I see the enemy dead on the ground. Al-lah has promised me either the caravan or their army.” They headed toward Badr and camped near there for the night. Mohammed sent several scouts to the well at Badr, where they found two black slaves with water camels. The scouts felt sure they were from the Quraysh caravan and brought them back to Mohammed. Two of Mohammed’s men questioned them as Mohammed prayed nearby. The men replied that they were from the Quraysh army. Mohammed’s men began to beat and torture the slaves as Mohammed continued praying. Then the slaves said they were from Abu Sufyan’s caravan and the men stopped beating them.

I436 Mohammed told his men that the slaves had been truthful until they started to beat and torture them. Then the slaves had lied, but it had been the lie their captors wanted to hear. “By Allah, you beat them when they tell the truth and leave them alone when they lie.” Mohammed then took over the interrogation and asked the men how many of the Quraysh there were. They did not know. He then asked how many camels they killed each day for food and was told nine or ten. That meant there were nine hundred to a thousand Quraysh fighters. He then asked who the leaders of the Quraysh were, and they told him. Mohammed was delighted and told his warriors that Mecca had sent their best men to be slaughtered.

I437 Two other scouts had obtained information from two village girls that the caravan would arrive the following day.

I437 Abu Sufyan rode ahead of his caravan and met one of his own scouts at the well. He asked if they had seen anything to cause concern, and they told him they had seen only two riders on the hill above. Sufyan rode to the top of the hill, dis-mounted, and examined the camel dung there. He crumbled the dung in his hands and saw a certain type of date seeds. Medina! The camels were from Medina. Mo-hammed’s scouts had been there! He hurried back and directed the caravan away from Badr.

I438 Abu Sufyan had saved the caravan, and now he went to the armed band of the Quraysh who had come out to protect it. He told them the caravan was safe and they could return home. But the band’s leader, Abu Jahl, said they were now near Badr and it was a time for a fair, and to the fair they would go. They would feast and drink and the Arabs would respect them for not running away from Mohammed. Two of the clans who were allied with the Quraysh wanted no part of such a useless display and bowed out and returned to Mecca.

I439 Each army had an idea of the location of the other. Mohammed went ahead to choose a place to camp and set up for battle on the morrow. One of his men asked if the choice were by Allah or if Mohammed made a personal choice. It was a personal choice. His man then suggested they choose a spot at the well farthest from the area where the Quraysh would camp and plug the wells between them and the Quraysh. That way, the next day they would have water and the Quraysh would have none. Mohammed agreed and put men to the task. Islam would have water and the kafirs would be dry.

I440 The Quraysh marched forth at daybreak. Mohammed watched as they came down the hill into the valley. They stopped at the bottom and sent out a scout. While the scout was gone, the Quraysh began to talk among themselves. Some ar-gued not to fight because half the Muslims were from Mecca and kin. One man had a dream that portended ill for the Quraysh. Morale was sinking but one of the Quraysh rallied them with the memory of Amr whom the Muslims had killed even though he was Quraysh.

I440 As Mohammed saw the Quraysh march into the small valley, he said, “O Allah, here come the Quraysh, in their vanity and pride, contending with You and calling me a liar. O Allah, give me the help You promised. Destroy them this morning!”

I443 One of the Quraysh had a hot temper and decided on his own that he would drink from the well in front of the Muslims. Off he went to be met by Islam’s finest and strongest man, Hamza. In one blow Hamza’s sword cut through the man’s leg at the shin. He fell on his back with his leg pointed toward his companions, gushing blood. The man then started to crawl to the well. Hamza killed him by sword before he could reach the well. Islam drew first blood, and the killing was a bad omen for the Quraysh.

I443 Three of the Muslims stepped forth from their ranks to engage in single-handed combat with three of the Quraysh. One of the Quraysh yelled for them to identify themselves. The Muslims gave their names, and the Quraysh replied, “O Mohammed, send forth some warriors who are peers of ours; we are nobles. Don’t send peasants to fight with nobility.” Mohammed sent forth three new men. They identified themselves, and the Quraysh said, “Yes, these are nobles and our peers.”

I443 The men went at each other with swords. Two of the Muslims, Ali and Hamza, quickly killed their opponents. The other Muslim and Quraysh wounded each other and Ali and Hamza quickly killed the Quraysh. They took their mortally wounded comrade back to Mohammed. The dying Muslim asked Mohammed if he was a mar-tyr. “Indeed, you are,” replied Mohammed.

B4,53,352 Allah’s Apostle said, “Allah guarantees him who strives in His Cause, and whose motivation for going out is nothing but jihad in His Cause and belief in His Word, that He will admit him into Paradise, if martyred, or bring him back to his dwelling place, whence he has come out, with what he gains of reward and spoils of war.”

I445 Some arrows flew and one Muslim was killed. Mohammed addressed his army. “By Allah, every man who is slain this day by fighting with courage and advancing, not retreating, will enter Paradise.” One of his men who had been eating dates said, “You mean there is nothing between me and Paradise except being killed by the Quraysh?” He flung the dates to the side, picked up his sword, and set out to fight. He got his wish and was later killed.

I445 One of Mohammed’s men asked what made Allah laugh. Mohammed an-swered, “When a warrior plunges into the midst of the enemy without armor.” The man removed his coat of mail, picked up his sword, and made ready to attack.

I445 It was time for the two armies to close ranks and move forward. Mohammed had said his warriors were not to start until he gave the order. Now he took a handful of pebbles and threw them at the Quraysh and said, “Curse those faces.” The Muslims advanced. The battle had begun.

B4,59,333 Az-Zubair said, “I met Ubaida Bin Said Bin Al-As on the day of the Battle of Badr, and he was covered with armor, so much that only his eyes were visible. He was surnamed Abu-Al-Karish. He said proudly, ‘I am Abu-Al-Karish.’

“I attacked him with the spear and pierced his eye and he died. I put my foot over his body to pull that spear out, but even then I had to use a great force to take it out as its both ends were bent.”

Urwa said, “Later on, Allah’s Apostle asked Az-Zubair for the spear, and he gave it to him. When Allah’s Apostle died, Az-Zubair took it back. After that Abu Bakr demanded it, and he gave it to him, and when Abu Bakr died, Az-Zubair took it back. Umar then demanded it from him, and he gave it to him. When Umar died, Az-Zubair took it back, and then Uthman demanded it from him, and he gave it to him. When Uthman was mar-tyred, the spear remained with Ali’s offspring. Then Abdullah Bin Az-Zubair demanded it back, and it remained with him till he was martyred.”

I446 Mohammed had issued orders that his uncle, Al Abbas, who had defended Mohammed in Mecca, was not to be killed. One of the Muslims said, “We are to kill our own relatives while we save Al Abbas? By Allah, if I meet him I will sink my sword into his flesh.”

I446 When Mohammed heard a report of this he said to Umar, “Should the face of the uncle of a prophet be marked with the sword?” Umar said, “Let me cut off the head of the man who said that! He is a false Muslim.” The Muslim who had made the remark said, “I never felt safe after that.”

I446 While the battle was raging, one of the Muslims approached Al Abbas and told him of his security. He asked if his friends would be saved as well. “No, we will not spare any of your friends.” He replied, “In that case I will die with them. The women of Mecca will not say that I saved myself and forsook my friends.” He then said:

A son of the Free betrays not his friend

Till he is dead, or sees him safe on his way. -Al Abbas

He was killed.

I446 As the battle was ending and the prisoners were being rounded up, Moham-med saw a look of disgust on Saed’s face. He said, “You seem to dislike what you see.” Saed replied, “Yes, by Allah, this is our first defeat of the kafirs and we should slaugh-ter them all to the last man.”

I451 As the battle wound down, Mohammed issued orders for the fighters to be on the lookout for Abu Jahl, the enemy of Allah, among the slain. He was found still fighting in a thicket. When a Muslim fighter got to within striking distance of Abu Jahl, the Muslim made for him and cut off his lower leg and sent it flying. It flew like a date stone flying from the pestle in a date mill. Another Muslim passed as Abu Jahl lay dying and put his foot on his neck. The Muslim said, “Has Allah put you to shame, enemy of Allah?” Abu Jahl gasped, “How has He shamed me? Am I any more remarkable than any other you have killed?” The Muslim cut off his head.

I452 He took the head back to Mohammed and said, “Here is the head of the en-emy of Allah,” and threw it at Mohammed’s feet. The prophet said, “Praise be to Al-lah.”

B4,53,369 At the Battle of Badr, I [Abdur-Rahman] stood in the front line between two young boys and wished that I had been the stronger man. One of them got my attention and said, “Uncle, do you know Abu Jahl?”

I said, “Yes, why do you ask?”

He replied, “People tell me he speaks ill of Mohammed. By Allah, if I see him, I will not break off my attack until one of us

is dead.”

I was shocked to hear this. Then the other boy said to me the same thing. Sometime later, I saw Abu Jahl and I pointed him out to the boys, saying, “There is the man you seek.”

After ferociously attacking and killing him, the boys went to Mohammed and told him of Abu Jahl’s death.

Mohammed asked, “Who killed him?” They both truthfully said, “I have killed him.”

Mohammed asked, “Did you clean your swords?”

They answered, “No.”

Mohammed glanced at their swords and said, “Obviously, you both killed him, so his possessions will be divided between the two of you.”

I455 As the bodies were dragged to the well, one of the Muslims saw the body of his father thrown in. He said, “My father was a virtuous, wise, kind, and cultured man. I had hoped he would become a Muslim, but he died a kafir. His abode is Hell-fire for-ever.” Before Islam, killing of kin and tribal brothers had been forbidden since the dawn of time. After Islam, brother would kill brother and sons would kill fathers fighting in Allah’s cause: Jihad.

I454 The bodies of the Quraysh were thrown into a well. The Apostle of Allah leaned over the well and shouted at the bodies, “O people of the well, have you found what Allah promised to be true?” The Muslims were puzzled by his question. “Are you speaking to dead people?” they asked. Mohammed explained that the dead could understand him.

I454 In the middle of the night Mohammed’s companions heard him say, “O peo-ple of the well. Have you found what my lord promised me to be true? You were evil kinsfolk to your prophet. You called me a liar when others believed me. You cast me out when others took me in. You fought against me when others fought alongside me. Have you found what your Lord promised you to be true?”

I456 Now it was time to take the property from the dead who could no longer claim what was theirs. It was now the spoils of jihad and the profit of Islam. As the spoils of war piled up the Muslims began to quarrel over who got what for profit. Those who were on the front lines argued that they did the killing; therefore, the goods were theirs. Those who stayed behind to guard Mohammed said they had equal right. Mo-hammed confiscated the whole trove. He then divided it equally among all who were there. He took one-fifth for himself.

B4,53,359 Uthman did not join the Badr battle because he was married to one of the daughters of Allah’s Apostle, and she was ill. So, the Prophet said to him, “You will get a reward and a share from the spoils of war similar to the reward and the share of one who has taken part in the Badr battle.”

Those who survived the battle became rich through the spoils of war. The dead were martyrs and had the best reward.

B4,52,64 Um Ar-Rubai bint Al-Bara came to the Prophet and said, “O Al-lah’s Prophet! Will you tell me about Hartha?”

Hartha had been killed [i.e., martyred] on the day of Badr with an arrow thrown by an unidentified person.

She added, “If he is in Paradise, I will be patient; otherwise, I will weep bitterly for him.”

Mohammed said, “O mother of Hartha! There are Gardens in Paradise and your son got the best place in Paradise.”

There was one prisoner from Mecca whom Mohammed knew well. He knew the stories of the Greeks and Persians. When Mohammed had told his stories of the Jews and Arabs, he had told the stories of the Greeks and Persians and said he was the bet-ter story-teller. It was Al Nadr.

I459 They set off for Medina with the treasure of war and the prisoners to be ran-somed, except for Al Nadr. Mohammed had a grudge against him and ordered him killed. Before the sword struck, Al Nadr asked, “Who will care for my family?”

M230 The prophet replied, “Hell!” After he fell dead, Mohammed said, “Unbeliever in Allah and His prophet and His book! I give thanks to Allah who has killed you and made my eyes satisfied.”

I462 A survivor took the news of the disaster to the Meccans. One of the chiefs or-dered that there be no wailing or public mourning so the Muslims could draw no pleasure from their loss. They also decided to be slow to pay the ransom to Moham-med for the captured Meccans in order to help lower the ransom price.

I464 An old Muslim had gone from Medina to Mecca on a pilgrimage and wound up in Mecca after the loss. He was made a prisoner and was exchanged for one of the Meccans.


I461 When Mohammed saw Ummul Fadl she was a crawling baby and he said, “If she grows up and I am still alive, I will marry her.” At this time he was about 55.