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The Battle of Badr: Lessons and Morals

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The Battle of Badr occurred on the seventeenth or nineteenth of the holy month of Ramadan in the second year of Hijrah[1].

Badr and the Victory of Muslims

The victory of Islam and Muslims under the banner of monotheism and the command of the noble presence of the Prophet of God, peace be upon him and his progeny, in the Battle of Badr, stands out as a very significant and majestic victory in the history of Islam. This battle was the first confrontation of the Islamic army with disbelief and the battle of the people of monotheism against the people of polytheism.

In this battle, the polytheists had superiority in terms of equipment, weapons, and ammunition, and their numbers were almost three times that of the Islamic army.

The victory of the Islamic army in this battle was of special value and importance for the future of Islam and had a considerable effect on the direction of Islamic history, apparently.

This battle was vitally important for the religion of monotheism and the universal creed of Islam, and the conquest achieved therein became the foundation and mother of all future conquests. Its importance was such that the Messenger of God, peace be upon him and his progeny, raised his hands in prayer and said to the Almighty God:

“O God, this is Quraysh coming with their pride and arrogance to challenge You and to deny Your Messenger. O God, grant us the victory You have promised me. O God, bestow Your goodness upon them in the morning.”[2]

And it is narrated in another tradition that when he saw the multitude of polytheists and the fewness of Muslims, he faced the Qibla and said: “O God, fulfill what You have promised me. O God, if this group is destroyed, You will not be worshiped on Earth.”[3]

And he kept his hands raised in prayer to the extent that his cloak fell from his blessed shoulders.”

The Standard-Bearer and Exemplary Hero of the Battle of Badr

The standard-bearer and flag bearer of the Messenger of God, peace be upon him and his progeny, in the Battle of Badr was Ali, peace be upon him[4].

Ibn Sa’d in Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra quotes Qatadah saying: The bearer of the Messenger of God’s, peace be upon him and his progeny, flag on the day of Badr and in every other battle was Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him[5].

Tabari mentions in his history that the bearer of the flag for the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, was Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him, and the bearer of the Ansar’s flag (banner) was Sa’d ibn Ubada[6].

The hero and the unique warrior and martyr of this battle and other battles was the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him. Although he had not yet reached the age of twenty and had not participated in any battle before this one, the bravery and courage he showed did not manifest from seasoned soldiers and elderly men. His share in this field of jihad, in terms of the number of people that the warriors of Islam killed from among the polytheists, was almost equal to that of the others. According to the narration of Al-Irshad, thirty-six of the notable polytheists were killed, unanimously, by the hand of the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him; besides a group whose killers are disputed, and aside from those whom he killed jointly with others[7].

The verse: “These two opponents dispute with each other about their Lord;” was revealed regarding the combat of Imam Ali, peace be upon him, with Walid ibn Utba, and Hamza’s fight with Utba, and Ubaida ibn al-Harith ibn Abdul Muttalib in this battle[8].

Muawiya said: “I saw Ali in this battle like a lion, no one stood against him in combat but he killed them; and he struck nothing but he split it[9].

It was in this battle that the heavenly voice was heard: “There is no sword except Zulfiqar, and no youth except Ali.[10]

It was in the Battle of Badr that Gabriel, Michael, and Israfil, each with their group of angels, paid their respects and greeted him when Ali, peace be upon him, went to fetch water for the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, and his companions[11].

Sayyid Humairi has mentioned this virtue in his poems:

“I swear by Allah and His blessings, And a man is accountable for what he says, Indeed, Ali ibn Abi Talib Is molded on piety and goodness.”

He swears by Allah and His blessings that a person is accountable for what they say, and indeed, the nature of Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him, is formed on piety and goodness. He then says:

“That is the one whom, on a night, Gabriel and Michael greeted, Michael with a thousand angels, and Gabriel in A thousand, followed by Israfil.[12]

Lessons from the Battle of Badr

1- Merely the strength of argument and evidence, the clarity of knowledge, and the dominance of the truth in consciences and hearts, without it prevailing in the external world and societal appearances, will not lead to the absolute governance of truth and the eradication of falsehood. Simply believing that one matter is true and another false does not make truth the standard and reference in the world of people and societal life, nor does it expel falsehood from the world of humans. As long as the dominion of falsehood remains and, like in the era of Pharaoh, the people of truth are oppressed, society will be deprived of the blessings of true governance. Falsehood must be driven out and struck down, and truth must replace it; truth and its adherents must prevail, and the army of falsehood must be defeated, manifesting the meaning of: “That He might cause the truth to triumph and bring falsehood to naught, even though the criminals dislike it.”

Islam is a religion of movement and revolution against the faces of darkness and the worshipers of falsehood; it is not merely a theoretical belief or scientific theory.

This lesson is one of the very important lessons of this event that Muslims of our era must understand and seek the cause of their decline in their lack of attention to it.

In the present era, for hundreds of millions of its followers, Islam has become merely a simple belief and a correct and robust theory, confirmed by logic, science, and evidence, without considering its other meanings and the necessity of its connection with the external world. Muslims, despite their large population, influence, countries, and territories, do not practically include movement, uprising, governance formation, industrial and scientific progress, and the application of Islam to the reality of their situations and society among the concepts of Islam.

2- Believers must rely on God’s plan and His help, and with trust in Him, they should not lose themselves or become shattered in the face of the multitude of the followers of falsehood, knowing that the strongest factor in the jihad of the truth-seekers against the followers of falsehood, leading to dominance and victory, is faith in the origin and reality, steadfastness, integrity, purpose, and destination.

The warriors of the Battle of Badr fought with a strong spirit, determination, and desire to support the truth, longing for martyrdom and the meeting with Allah, understanding that jihad leads to “one of the two good things”: either victory and triumph or martyrdom and paradise, and they avoided pride in weapons, an abundance of ammunition, arrogance, and selfishness.

With these supports, the people of truth are always victorious, even if they appear to be defeated outwardly. The followers of falsehood are defeated, even if they appear to dominate outwardly.

In summary, the causes of victory and triumph, as derived from the verses related to the Battle of Badr, are:

1- Steadfastness during jihad and encountering the enemy and in any battle against the followers of falsehood.

2- Connection to the remembrance of God and reliance on His help and plan.

3- Obedience to God and His Messenger.

4- Avoidance of dispute and division.

5- Patience and endurance against the dangers and hardships of jihad.

6- Avoidance of hypocrisy, oppression, and self-centeredness.

These are qualities that today’s Muslims possess less of and are factors in their defeat and weakness against the infidels.

If the early Muslims were defeated in a battle or saw the enemy’s economic strength or military equipment and ammunition as stronger, they did not retreat in spirit or surrender and valued their possessions more than the enemy’s, considering the blessing of faith superior to everything else; they saw their spiritual and intellectual power as dominant over and superior to the enemy’s material and outward power.

Today’s Muslims, instead of relying on God’s help and intellectual and spiritual assets and spiritual courage, place more trust in the material power of foreigners, fall for their empty promises and political tricks, compete with each other in imitating their vile customs, by turning their backs on religious habits and ignoring Islamic commitments, bring themselves closer to foreigners. Some have become so Westernized and self-lost that they cannot participate in an international forum in national and Islamic dress, even neglecting to wear a tie, which is a symbol of bondage, and in their official meetings, they do not allow anyone who has not tied this knot to participate; while we see other nations participating in any official and international assembly in their national dress, and no one considers this adherence a sign of their backwardness.

3- Islamic unity and accord, which was the greatest means of strength, dignity, and victory for Muslims, has today turned into discord and division, and the disintegration of countries. In every region and climate, a separate, isolated, and independent community has been formed, and small and weak governments are leading the dispersion and division in the Muslim world, never truly ready to take a step against the interests of exploiters from the East and West and move towards Islamic unity and eliminate these false and fabricated distances, thus depriving the Islamic world of a central force, a center of gravity, and a single assembly or government that leads the Muslim world.

Wherever there is a melody and in every spot a voice is raised, the noise of Western nationalism and other nationalisms has deafened ears and set Islamic nations against each other for the benefit of foreigners.

The biggest factor in the survival of the Jewish state in the heart of Islamic countries is this division and dispersal, and it is these government leaders who are preventing the victory of Muslims.

In those days, Muslims, under the leadership of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his progeny, had a unified government and a cohesive nation, and throughout the Islamic world, there was nothing like “ethnic nationalism,” “secessionism,” etc.

No one thought of seizing a region or area for themselves. Those who rose against governments, each one of them Muslim and a follower of Islamic thoughts, did not aim at secession but rather adjustment, reform, and establishing an Islamic government.

A day also came for Muslims when in every spot, a powerful individual or a puppet of foreigners and colonizers introduced themselves as local leaders and placed the Muslim people of one area against other Muslims – separated by lies and the provocations of foreigners – making these helpless people sacrifices and victims of their government.

So where is that single nation and unique society that the Quran invites us to, and which of these nations is it? And where should we seek the nation described by the verse: “Harsh against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves” and also: “Humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers”?

It is shortcomings like these that have made the Muslim community sick, and the Muslims of the early Islam were immune to them, and until these diseases are cured, the Islamic Ummah will not have the ability to regain its past glory and greatness.


[1] Ibn Hisham, The Prophetic Biography, Vol. 1, p. 626; Mufid, The Path of Shi’a, p. 29; Baha’i, Explanation of Objectives, p. 16

[2] Ibn Hisham, The Prophetic Biography, Vol. 1, p. 621; Waqidi, The Campaigns, Vol. 1, p. 59; Tabari, History, Vol. 2, p. 441.

[3] Ibn Abi Shaybah Kufi, The Classified, Vol. 7, p. 95; Vol. 8, p. 474; Tabarsi, Collection of Statements, Vol. 4, p. 437; Majlisi, Oceans of Lights, Vol. 19, p. 221.

[4] Ibn Hisham, The Prophetic Biography, Vol. 1, pp. 612-613; Haythami, Collection of Additions, Vol. 6, pp. 92-93.

[5] Ibn Saad, The Major Classes, Vol. 3, p. 16.

[6] Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 138.

[7] Mufid, The Guidance, Vol. 1, pp. 70-72.

[8] Bukhari, Vol. 5, pp. 6-7; Muslim Nishapuri, Authentic, Vol. 8, p. 246; Furat Kufi, Interpretation, pp. 271-272; Tabari, Comprehensive Interpretation, Vol. 17, pp. 172-173; Wahidi, Reasons of Revelation, p. 231; Tabarsi, Collection of Statements Vol. 7, p. 139.

[9] Abu Na’im Isfahani, The Adornment of the Saints, Vol. 9, p. 145; Firuzabadi, Virtues of the Five, Vol. 2, pp. 316-317.

[10] Tabari, History, Vol. 2, p. 197.

[11] Ibn Asakir, History of the City of Damascus, Vol. 42, p. 337; Tabari, Treasures of the Hereafter, p. 68; Ibn Damishqi, Jewels of the Quests, Vol. 1, p. 91; Muttaqi Hindi, Treasure of the Workers, Vol. 10, p. 421.

[12] – Tusi, The Amali, pp. 197-198; Tabari, The Good News of the Chosen One, pp. 94-95; Arbili, Unveiling of the Grief, Vol. 2, pp. 18-19.

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