Battle of Badr (Ghazwa-e-Badr) was the first major battle between Muslims and Quraysh. The battle was fought in 2 AH (624 AD). It was a decisive battle in favor of Muslims and they emerged as a major political power of Arabian Peninsula after their victory in this battle.
Muslims had to migrate to Madinah in order to save themselves from persecution of Quraysh in 623 AD. In Madinah, they established Muslim brotherhood between the local Muslims (Ansars) and the emigrants (Muhajirin) and also signed a treaty (Charter of Madinah) with other groups living inside Madinah in order to produce harmony among all the people. This situation was alarming for Quraysh as the Muslims were now free to spread their religion which could lessen the importance of Quraysh in the Arabian Peninsula.
Quraysh were also worried due to the strategic location of Madinah which was located closer to the main trade route from Makkah to Sham. Thus, Muslims were able to block this trade route which would be disastrous for the Makkans economically.
Causes of Battle of Badr
In 2 AH, a Qurayshi leader Karz bin Jabir Fahri invaded a pasture near Madinah and looted several cattle belonged to Muslims. This event infuriated the Muslims.
Few days later, Prophet (PBUH) dispatched a group of 12 men under the leadership of Abdullah bin Jahsh (RA) to check the trade caravan of Quraysh. This group confronted with a party of Quraysh during which a Qurayshi leader Amr bin al-Hadrami was killed while two others were arrested. Quraysh used this incident (which occurred during the sacred month of Rajab) for their propaganda.
The trading caravan of Abu Sufiyan bin Harb was returning from al-Sham to Makkah and when Abu Sufiyan heard the news of murder of Amr bin al-Hadrami, he called Quraysh for his help so that the Muslims may not loot his trading wealth.
Meeting of Two Armies at Badr
After hearing the call from Abu Sufiyan, the Quraysh hasted in order to save their caravan. They also decided to eliminate the Muslim threat forever and around 1000 fighters of Quraysh marched to the north of Makkah. After knowing about the safety of caravan at Juhfah (south of badr), people from the tribes of Banu Adi and Banu Zuhrah left the Quraysh army but their major part remained intact and they reached Badr for a decisive battle.
On the other side, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) consulted Ansar about their decision and they assured him their full support. Total 313 men marched towards Badr. Muslims were not only lesser in number but they were also lacking riding animals (just 2 horses and 70 camels).
Events during Battle of Badr
Battle of Badr was fought on 17th Ramadan 2 AH (13th March 624). The battle started with the traditional three-on-three duel. Utba ibn Rabi’ah, Walid ibn Utba and Shaybah ibn Rabi’ah were the champions came out from Quraysh. Three Ansari Muslims emerged from ranks of Muslim army but the Makkans refused to fight them. Instead they asked for their Qurayshi counterparts. At that moment; Hamza bin Abdul Mutallib, Ali ibn Ali Talib and Ubayda ibn al-Harith came forward to fight against the Makkan champions. All the three Makkans champions were killed by Muslims while Ubaydah ibn al-Harith died later due to the injuries he received during combat against Shaybah ibn Rabi’ah. These combats gave psychological advantage to Muslims before the start of main battle.
Before real attack, both the armies strike each other with arrows. Then the major battle started. Muslims fought vigorously for their faith and also that it was their battle for survival. On the other hand, Quraysh were expecting an easy victory due to which there was lack of enthusiasm among them while the loss of their champions during initial combat also broke their hearts. The result was a comprehensive victory for Muslims. Only 14 Muslims embraced martyrdom while the Muslims killed 70 Makkans and arrested 70 others.
Reasons of Muslim Victory
· Muslims were fighting for a cause and they had complete faith on their religion and help from Allah which made them brave and strong. On the other side, Quraysh were devoid of any major motivation. Few tribes were only interested in saving their trading profit while others wanted to avenge the blood of Amr bin al-Hadrami.
· Muslims were united under the leadership of Muhammad (PBUH) and obeyed his orders unconditionally while Quraysh were lacking any such leader who can unite them under one banner and every clan was obeying orders from leader of its own clan.
· Quraysh were full of arrogance due to their higher numbers and thought it to be limited battle with easy victory due to which they didn’t planned for the battle seriously while Muhammad (PBUH) planned the battle strategically and Muslims stuck to his strategy till the end of battle.
· According to Holy Qur’an, Allah also helped Muslims with rain, composure and angels.
Effects of Battle of Badr
· Victory in Battle of Badr strengthened the position of Muslims as a major political power of Arabian Peninsula.
· The position of Quraysh deteriorated severely as they not only achieved a humiliating defeat but also lost many important leaders like: Utba ibn Rabi’ah, Walid ibn Utba, shaybah ibn Rabi’ah, Sa’ad bin al-As, Umayah ibn Khalaf and Amr ibn Hisham (Abu Jahl).
· The battle also proved the capabilities of Muhammad (PBUH) as a military leader.
· Victory of Muslims also threatened Jews of Madinah and they started conspiracies against Muslims.