Dr. Yasir Qadhi: Battle of Badr Part 1

Seerah of Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam [35]

We thank Allah for the opportunity to gather once again after our hiatus for around two and a half month. Alhamdulillah we have covered around 35 lectures. The Makki period has been completely covered and we began talking about the Madani period and we began talking about the major change that occurred within the first few months of the Madani phase. And the most important of these was a new emphasis of the political freedom of the Muslims. For the first time the Muslims have political freedom. For the first time there is an independent state. For the first time the  Muslims  can act as a political body. Whereas in Makkah they were a persecuted minority in Madinah, they have now the beginning of a new republic. Political entity is the best description.

There were two threats facing them; internal and external, and each one will be discussed in the next few weeks.

Internal threats:

Madinah was not yet unified under Proohet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. In fact there will always be a group of people who will not be happy with the changes; the munaafiq. they didn’t want the status quo to change. They wanted to keep the old way. Prophet  sallallaahu alayhi wasallam had to deal with them until the end of his life. Internally, there were others tribes who were not Arabs and not Muslims; the Yahood tribes. In the next 4/5 years the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam will have to deal with them as well.

External threats:

The external primarily right now is only Makkah but slowly in the next few years, the entire Arabian peninsula will be involved. We need to understand that the animosity at this stage is unique; Makkah and Madinah, the Quraysh and the Muslims. Slowly but surely for the first time in human history, the entire Arabian peninsula will become polarized between two camps. This is the precursor to the unification. This unification of the Arabian peninsula which  has never happened in human history, it happened for the first time under our prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. It happened through these military expeditions and that is why the history of the Madani seerah is almost 80-90% the history of Military battles. This is the reality that we have to deal with, that we would like to know so much more information but the chroniclers only recorded that which is important from their perspectives. From their perspectives, the Madani phase is  probably 80% one battle after another and we will try to extrapolate the rest of the incidents as they occur.

To summarize what we had discussed in the last lesson, because we need to understand that before we begin the Battle of Badr, they were some minor skirmishes. Two or three is important to understand before we get to Badr. The first of them is the Sariyatu Nakhlah.


Some sahabah were sent to find information outside of Makkah. Two of them became lost but the rest of them got to Makkah. Outside of Makkah, they found an unexpected caravan and they raided the caravan and killed one person. It was a small caravan probably 8-9 camels. So a complete surprise expedition, the caravan was not armed. They brought back the booty to Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, and the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam told them “I didn’t tell you to fight. I didn’t tell you to kill the people.”

This was problematic because it occurred in the sacred months. It occurred on the very last day of the sacred months. And then Allah revealed….

The other incident is the Ghazwatul 3ushayrah.


This is the part 1 of the Battle of Badr. The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam knew the caravan of Abu Sufyan is going northwards towards Syria. So the ghazwatul 3ushayrah was the intended caravan on the way up. And the Battle of Badr was the same caravan on the way down. So the ghazwatul 3ushayrah set up ghazwatul Badr. Ghazwatul Ushayrah is phase one but it didn’t happen by the time Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam got there Abu Sufyan had heard the news so he had taken another route. So Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam never met the caravan. Other minor things happened and he formed some alliances and tribal agreements, so there was success but there was no military conflict in ghazwatul 3ushayrah. So because of ghazwatul 3Ushayrah, Abu Sufyan was on high alert (code red) because he already knows that Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam was interested in his caravan.

The concept of targeting caravans, this is something that goes back even before this. One of the interesting incident that I didn’t mention before because we don’t have a particular time of when it occurred, we have a rough idea of when it occurred; the first year after the Hijrah, when exactly we don’t know. Shows us that the targeting of the caravan was something even the Ansar were thinking about, not just the muhajiroon. It was narrated in Sahih Bukhari, that Saad Ibn Muaazh, he was the leader of the Ansar, is the most vibrant dynamic, the up and coming leader of the Ansar. He was close friends with Umayyah Ibn Khalaf, the owner of Bilal  during Jahiliyyah, and they two were business partners. So whenever Umayyah would go north, he would stop over in Madinah and stay at the house of Saad and whenever Saad would go to Makkah, he would stay at the house of Umayyah. So they had a good friendship from the days of jahiliyyah.

One time in the first year after the hijrah, we don’t know exactly when, Saad went down to Makkah, it was a business trip or something and it was a custom of that time that they would always do tawaf. So Saad asked Umayyah when is the best time to do tawaf. So Umayyah said to go when no one is witnessing. Clearly there might be some tension because Saad is not helping the Muslims. He is now a Muslim but from the incident, it appears that his Islam is not know either to Umayyah or the people of Makkah. But even if his Islam is not known, what is known for sure is that he is helping Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, he embraced the Muslims and is not helping the Muslims.

So when he asked Umayyah,

“When can I go do tawaf so there won’t be any tension?”

Umayyah says “Let’s go right in the heat of the sun when everybody would be asleep.”

So they go at noon time, at zhaahirah they call it which is when everybody takes a nap and lo and behold they meet the very worst of enemy; Abu Jahl.

He was going back home and saw these two figures and asked Umayyah “Who is your friend?”

He figures it’s something fishy because no one does tawaf when everybody is going to sleep in this hot sun.

Umayyah says “This is Saad Ibn Muaaz from Yathrib.”

Abu Jahl gets angry and says, “How is it possible that you are performing tawaf around the house in safety after you have given protection to these renegades {he uses the Arabic word Subaat. Saba2a was what they called the Muslims, that they had become Sabians, they had left the religion, it’s a term of heretic, renegade, these zindeeq, these people who have left the religion of their forefathers} and claim that you will help them and now you have the audacity to come to Makkah , show your face and do tawaf in such safety? Wallahi were it not for the fact that you are a guest of Umayyah, you would not return to your house in one piece!”

This is an open threat and this is a threat that contradicts everything of their religion and of Islam. As you know, Makkah was haram from the time of Ibrahim a.s.

Man dakhalahu kaana aamina…

No one has the right to stop anyone from coming to Makkah.

Ibn Abbas narrates that in the days of Jahiliyyah, “One of us would see a person who had killed his own father doing tawaf and we would not touch a hair on his head.”

They understood that Makkah is sacred land but when it came to Islam, the double standards began for the first time. And we’re getting a hint of this now,

“How dare you come to Makkah after what you have done?!”

What has he done? It doesn’t say he has embraced Islam, so it appears that Abu Jahl doesn’t even know that Saad is a Muslims, but rather he was saying that he was helping the Muslims and that was enough of a crime to not come to Makkah. When Saad heard this he became very angry. He raised his voice so the people of Makkah could  hear.

“Wallahi if you are going to threaten  me and deprive me of Makkah, of Tawaf, I will deprive you of something more painful to you than this and that is  your trade route to Syria! ”

He said this in front of the Kaabah so everyone in Makkah can hear. So the concept of targeting the caravan of the Quraysh wasn’t just something the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam told the Muhajiroon to do. Of course up until this time no Ansaari had participated but Saad was feeling the pressure. And he says “Khalas tit for tat! You’re going to threaten me, let’s see what I will do to you! ” That’s exactly what he did. He began to target as we’re going to see the caravan of the Quraysh in the battle of Badr.


Badr is an area/location that is named after a well, that is named after a person who dug the well. So Badr is the name of a human. Many centuries ago he dug up the well. So it was called the well of Badr. After that the whole plain/area became known as the plains of Badr. His name was Badr Ibn Yakhlud and was from the tribe of Banu Dhamrah. The land or area of Badr is around160 miles southwest of Madinah and 250 miles north of Makkah. So it is in between Makkah and Madinah. It’s closer to Madinah than it is to Makkah. In our time if you  go by car, you can easily get to Badr in an hour and 15 minutes. In those days it took around 3 days on a regular journey.

It’s also interesting to know, that literally a few weeks, less than a month before Badr, a very interesting thing happened that we talked about in our last lesson and that is the change in the Qiblah. A very significant correlation. The change of the qiblah  literally occurs 3 weeks before Badr. The time frame is too close to ignore. There is no doubt that there is a huge symbolic change taking place, that the qiblah of the Muslims will not be facing Makkah and the greatest victory that Islam ever saw shall also be given to them. In other words it’s as if it’s being said to them “How can you face Makkahand yet not have Makkah in your possession ? How can you face the Kaabah and yet the  Kaabah is polluted by idolatry?”

So Allah blessed them with that great victory right after that change of the Qiblah. It’s as if there is a sign of indication that now that the qiblah has changed and you’ve won over Badr, slowly but surely,  eventually Makkah will also be yours. You ‘re not only facing it spiritually but you will also  physically obtain the city of Makkah and that is of course exactly what happened.


Now we get to the incidents leading up to the battle of Badr. This is called the great battle of Badr , ghazwatu badr kubra, because in our last lesson we mentioned ghazwatu badr sughraa. And this ..is called such because it happened close to the place of Badr but it had nothing to do with Quraysh. The people who were attacked were local tribesman. It has nothing to do with caravan of Abu Sufyan. The ghazwa that had to do with Abu Sufyan was ghazwatu 3ushayrah, which took place Jumada Awwal of the 2nd year of the hijrah. The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam went to the land or area  of Ushayrah. When the caravan was on the way up he sallallaahu alayhi wasallam didn’t go to Badr, he went to another location and he camped there for a few days, this was in Jumaad Oolaa and he stayed there till very first few days till Jumaada Thaani and then he sallallaahu alayhi wasallam went back to Madinah. When the time came when they expected the caravan back and this was now in the month of Ramadan, the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam began sending multiple spies to see where has the caravan reached. We have at least 2 or 3 ahadeeth which mentioned different spies. So this means that over the course of a few days, he was sending out another few people. For example, in Sahih Muslim, Anas ibn Maalik says that when the time came for the caravan’s return the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam sent a spy to inform him about the advent of the caravan and when the sahabi returned p saw made sure that no one was sitting in the room except for Anas r.a. He was excused because at this time he was probably 7 years old and a personal servant. In another hadith in Ibn Ishaq Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam sent Talhah ibn Ubaydillah and Saeed Ibn Zaid. So he sent two of the famous sahabah to monitor the activities and they waited for the caravan and followed it for a while until the caravan passed them by and they galloped back quickly to Madinah and they reported to Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam that it was under the command of Abu Sufyan and it has almost 1000 camels on its entourage. A 100 camels is unbelievable wealth. Early history books say that the Quraysh had never such a large caravan in recent history This was the largest caravan in recent history. Why this is the case we don’t know but perhaps this is due to economic factors prior to this that they acquired the Muslims’ wealth, they confiscated Muslim property and land. Perhaps other things happened that the books of history don’t mentioned. This was the largest caravan in recorded history for the Quraysh. Some modern historians and economists have calculated that the net worth of the caravan would be around 50,000 dinars, 50,000 gold coins, which is basically a few million in our times. A dinar goes anywhere from $150 to $600-700 depending on the historic value of the dinar as well. Early Umayyaad dinar go from $800-900 , if you get a rare one from Al Waleed Ibn Abdul Malik you can go to $1,000. Other dinar in our time go for $200-300.

5 million dollars for the early nascent Muslim community who had nothing. You’re talking about changing the entire treasury of the early Muslims. So we can understand why  the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam was so eager. In our last lesson we had talked about how non Muslim Orientalist who had attacked Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam and said he was a highway robber. This is ridiculous because after what the Quraysh had done this is the least of what is to be expected. He was targeting the Quraysh and no one else and the reason why the Quraysh had so much money is because they confiscated from the Muslims.

Ibn Ishaq mentioned that there is hardly any household in the qabeelah of Quraysh except that  they had a camel or something on a camel that they had sent. This was their main source of income, back in those days they didn’t have salary or checks. You literally get money in bulk once or twice a year. This was their main money. Everybody who  had any money would  purchase goods and invest in this caravan, send it to Syria, purchase other goods, send it back to Yemen. This is how people of Makkah attained their wealth. They are not farmers, cultivationist, they are people who are trading winter and summer. This was their backbone of livelihood. The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam knew that if he were to acquire this caravan, he would bring the Makkan economy to a screeching halt, completely gone, every single household the Qabeelah had invested and number two, he would bring all that fortune to the Muslim economy and that was why he was so eager to obtain this wealth, to help the Islamic cause.

Talhah and Saeed rushed back to Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam and they informed him that Abu Sufyan is now coming with a 100 camels and he would be at such and such a place. Prophet  sallallaahu alayhi wasallam immediately gathered the sahabah and said.. now here is little bit of a contradiction about what exactly happened.


According to one report in Sahih Muslim, Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam didn’t announce where he was going. He said, “We have a mission to undertake so whoever has his animal ready should come with me.” Some of the sahabah said, “Ya Rasulullah, my animal is not ready, it’s in another place in Madinah, let me go get it ready.” Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam said “No, only those whose animals are right here and now, we’re leaving right now.”

In version of Ibn Ishaq, the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam said to the sahabah, “This is the caravan of the Quraysh, it’s coming back to you and it has in it the money of the Quraysh so let’s go out to meet it perhaps Allah will give it to you.”


How do we reconcile? It’s very simple to do that. It seems and Allah knows best, that when he sallallaahu alayhi wasallam stood in the masjid, he didn’t announce it who or where or what. Because in the masjid there could be munaafiqoon(hypocrites), there could be spies, Madinah at this stage still had idol worshippers. As we’ll talk about, one of the main turning points of Badr is that after Badr, all the idol worshipers  converted to Islam i.e. munaafiqoon, that’s exactly what happend, right. After Badr, shirk couldn’t exist in Madinah. So up until Badr, there are still idol worshippers, there are hypocrites, there are other groups there, so the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam saw didn’t make a public announcements. rather he said “We have a mission whoever wants to go let’s go but there is one condition, You need to be ready right here and now.” That’s the ultimate surprise tactic. Not even the sahabah knew where they were going. Then when the army leaves Makkah and the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam  can see, it’s not contained, who  he’s with, then he sallallaahu alayhi wasallam announces to them, “This is the caravan of the Quraysh, it’s coming back to you and it has in it the money of the Quraysh so let’s go out to meet it perhaps Allah will give it to you.”


By the way this is not what most of the books of seerah mention. Most books of seerah ignore reports of Sahih Muslim but the report of Sahih Muslim is very explicit in that the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam didn’t mention where he was going whereas the one in Ibn Ishaq, he sallallaahu alayhi wasallam mentioned where he was going. So the way you put this together, which actually makes a lot of sense, is that he sallallaahu alayhi wasallam didn’t  mention it in the beginning until finally they left the city and then he sallallaahu alayhi wasallam mentioned. And this shows us again and again the meticulous planning of Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. We’ve seen this in every major incident, in the hijrah, we’re going to continue to see this, we see this in bay3tu aqabah, he stationed Ali r.a. in one place, he stationed Hamzah r.a. in another, he has these meticulous care taken place, even though he’s Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. He could place his trust in Allah without doing anything but that is against the sunnah. You do everything you can and then you put your trust in Allah. You tie your camel and then you tawakal ala Allah. He sallallaahu alayhi wasallam didn’t even tell the sahabah until they’re outside of the city. He uses the utmost surprise and caution. As Anas r.a. said, he sallallaahu alayhi wasallam caused everybody to exit the room when the first spy came back so only he could hear the news. Nobody knew where they’re going until right when the caravan is right upon them, instantaneously he said “Let’s go!”


He sallallaahu alayhi wasallam didn’t even give them preparation, why? Because this was easy prey. There were only 40 armed guards to this 1,000-caravan envoy. That’s nothing. Why would the Quraysh do this, that’s a good question  I don’t have the answer. Because the time was tense. You would have thought they would have been more thoughtful in this regard. Allah knows best. 40 armed guards for a 1,000 camels, that’s like 1 person for 20 something camels. So the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam realized that if we only have 200-300 people, which is what happened at Badr, that’s all we need. And they don’t even have to be armed to the hilt. So whoever is ready, go home, get your stuff and go. That’s exactly what happened! So that’s how we understand that Badr is not meant to be a war, a battle. It was meant to be confiscation of a 1,000 camels. Badr was meant to be a quick easy one. They would have seen 200-300 men, they would have gone helter skelter. Those who wanted to make a stand would have died there and the entire 1,000 camels would have been taken by the Muslims. What was needed was speed and urgency and what was needed was that the Quraysh not find out. Allah willed other than this for a wisdom that was known to Him and we see clearly in the aftermath of Badr.

This sudden instantaneous message explains why none of the sahabah really was armed to the hilt. None of them had their armor on. The animals that were taken were the animals that just happened to be there. That the entire army only had two riding horses. The camels were less than a hundred camels for a caravan of 300 something people. Why? Because it was assumed that they would be needing fast horses or a lot of camels. This was easy prey. This was targeting a sitting duck. Show them 300 people and then take the ‘prize’.


The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, when he reaches his first encampment, and they set up tent, the first thing he does is to take a detailed survey of everyone who is now participating. He couldn’t do this in Madinah because he just wants to leave. Now he goes over every single person and makes an assessment, what do I have? what do I need to do? And he notices there are two people who are too young to participate. These are Al Baraa Ibn ‘Aazib and Abdullah Ibn Umar, both of them are younger than 14. Generally Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam would allow these young men who had passed the age of 14. 14 was the cut off point. Of course, for those times and ages, 14 is what we consider to be 18. 14 year olds in our time, we wouldn’t even  leave them alone in the house. They would be too scared to be left alone in the house. In those days we had 13 years old, Al Baraa and Abdullah, they were eager to participate. Subhanallah, every single major battle, we see the same tension, 13 year olds, 14 year olds want to participate and the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam tells them, no, you cannot do that. We’ll see the same thing in Uhud and later on as well. In their eagerness they want to be men.

And I always say that we have dumbed down our own youth. That if we were to treat them like adults, young men would have become adults faster, but because we have this false age of adolescence where biologically they are men or women but intellectually we treat them like kids, then we’re gonna get this problem. I firmly believe this that Allah has created the age of puberty to be the age of intelligence. That is the sign of the shariah, and therefore if  society were to treat these youngsters the way they deserve with intellectual integrity, honesty, with respect, then these youngsters would grow up faster. This isn’t just Islamic by the way, hundred years, 500 years ago, every society, when you’re 13 and 14, you’re an adult. It’s not just in Islamic society. This is the sad reality we have to live with, the teenagers, we ask Allah to protect us against the problems of teenagers.

So Al Baraa Ibn ‘Aazib and Abdullah Ibn Umar were sent back. Because of the short distance they were sent back alone. It’s just one journey, one day’s journey. The final count was around 315, some books mentioned 313, some books mention 317, basically 310 and an odd number. These were all the volunteers. Around 83 of the muhajiroon, 62 of the Aws and 170 of the Khazraj. The Khazraj were double the Aws and that’s because of 2 reasons. Firstly the Khazrah were more than the Aws. Secondly, the percentage of Muslims in the Khazraj was more than the percentage of the Muslims in the Aws. The Khazraj were generally the poorer tribe and Aws were generally the richer tribe and threfore generally speaking the poor convert before the rich, so the Khazraj embrace Islam quicker than the Aws. Also they were larger in number.


They were only 2 horses. They belong to Zubayr Ibn Al Awwam and Miqdad Ibn Al Aswad and there were less than a 100 camels. Some books mentioned 70 and some mention less than this. So every person had to share a camel with  3 people. Every camel, there were 3 people taking turns riding a camel. We have to point out that there seems to be some significance with this number because it occurs in multiple places in our religion.

Of them is the famous hadith of how many prophets and how many messengers. The famous hadith of Abu Zhdaar al Ghifaari.

“Ya Rasulullah, how many rasool?”

The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam said, “310 and something Jammun ghafiir (a large quantity).”

“How many anbiyaa?”

“124,00. ”

So, 310 and something here at Badr.

It’s also said that thenumber of peope who were in the army of Jaloot and Taloot, the number of people who fighting on side of Daud was also 310 and something. Allah knows best but there seems to be some significance with this number.


So, every camel is shared between 3 people. The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam was assigned the camel of Ali Ibn Abi Talib and along with them was the famus sahabi Abu Lubaabah. You will come across his name, from the famous incident of Banu Quryazhah. He was that sahabi who made a mistake, he repented and felt so guilty that tied himself to the masjid and deprived himself of food and water and said, “Until Allah forgives me, I will not leave this place.” He was almost about to die when Allah revealed his repentance in the Quran and they said, “Khalas you are forgiven!” and he said “No until the Prophet himself comes and allows me to be free, I’m not going to be free!” So the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam himself came and untied Abu Lubaabah. So the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam shares a camel with Ali r.a. and Abu Lubaabah r.a.

Imam Ahmad in his Musnad mentions a beautifil incident now. Can you imagine if you are assigned a camel with the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, what would you do? Not take your turn, right? You would say, ‘Ya Rasululullah, you take the camel, we will walk.” So both Ali r.a. and Abu Lubaabah insisted that “You take the camel and we will walk.” Full time basically.

PROPHET’S sallallaahu alayhi wasallam BEAUTIFUL RESPONSE

The response of Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam is so sweet and gentle and profound, and so full of wisdom. And this comes from the Well of prophecy. He could  have said yes, If he had said yes, who would have objected, he is Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. Forget about the religious side, he’s a leader. When doe sthe leader do eactly what the private does? A general in the army, the five star general, never ever travels the same way as the private. This is understood. You work your way up to the top and then you get the red carpet treatment and everybody accepts it.

Added to this is the religious side. That he is Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam and Khaatimu Nabiy and on and on and on. So if anybody had done this, no one would have objected that the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam is riding and the other two are walking. Alternatively he could have said, “No, let’s be fair and share,” and could have been strict with that. But he allowed them to share in a manner that is very sweetand beautiful. He smiled back at them and said, “The two of you are not any younger or stronger than I am, and I am not in any less in need of the ajr than the two of you.”

Ali r.a. was mid twenties by now and Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam is now 54,55, so even technically, the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam is the senior of them in age, but he says that neither of the two are any stronger than he was and that is true.

When he sallallaahu alayhi wasallam said this to them, they had no response. Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam is basically saying that he’s doing it for the ajr just like them, that they were 3 men of roughly equal strength. That was his way of enforcing the fairness, the equitable treatment. Can you imagine here the psychological repercussion of Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam walking. Imagine if you are in that caravan now, the heat, the sand, the thirst, the trouble and you see the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam walking, what are you going to do? You cannot complain. By the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam walking with the army there is nothing you can do.This is the wisdom and no doubt he is the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, but why was he respected? Because he acted like Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam as well. He could have pulled his rank, and who would have complained? But no. Exactly as Allah says, “You are the role model, the one who is gentle and merciful.” So he walked along with the rest of the army, so there is nothing different from him and the army.

When you have a leader like this, what is going to happen? Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, they lived the same lifestyle. When Umar goes and conquers Jerusalem. Look where is Umar learning this from? That when he gets to Jerusale and his slave is on the camel, what does he tell his slave, “Hey, it’s not fair, it’s your turn!” And he walks into jerusale and the people of Jerusalem think that the slave is Umar and Umar is the slave because what leader in the world would walk leading in his slave while he is walking? Where did Umar learn this from? He had the best teacher, the best master, the mbest muallim, and that is Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam.


Before we move on again, one of the problem of seerah is that it’s composed of many small incidents. So we need to draw a lager picture by mentioning disconnected incidents and then we just try to put them together. Another disconnected incident that is a per cursor to the battle of the Badr and we have a lot of benefit from this, very deep beenfit especially for the time and placE and political climate we live in and that is the lack of participation of two people in the battle of Badr and that is Hudhayfah Ibn Al Yamaan and his father, Al Yaman ibn Al Hakam. These two people could have participated in Badr and they wanted to participate but they were held back because of a promise they made to the Quraysh.

Hudhayfah and his father were once captured by the Quraysh and the Quraysh were almost going to kill them. Finally one of them decided, “You know what, let’s just make them promise that they’re not going to fight along with Muhammad. As long as they’re not going to fight along, send them back no big deal.”

Hudhayfah was not a muhaajir. His father is not from Makkah. He came to Madinah in the days of Jahilliyyah because of a crime he had committed. So he abandoned his tribe, and  he basically came to Madinah, adopted by the people of Madinah and then became a sahabi, he accepted Islam and then his son Hudhayfah accepted Islam. So they’re neither Makki nor Madani in this sense. They’re neither Qurayshi, neither Aws nor Khazraj. So when the Quraysh captured them they didn’t have any direct animosity. These are the people who are caught up. So they had sympathy. “We;’e not going to kill you even if you’re Muslim, but there is one condition; you’re not going to join Muhammad fighting us.”


So when the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam heard this, he didn’t allow them to participate in any of these ghazawaat. This shows us that a Muslim is upon his word and promise. A Muslim is never a traitor. They have their word and once they gave their word even in times of great trial and difficulty, they didn’t take up arms and fight against the Quraysh. The battle of Uhud, we’ll explain what happened and clarify some point there but any type of offensive battle that was taking place, Hudhayfah and his father didn’t participate, so they remained in Madinah. This shows us in our times especially, that treaties have to be respected and honored, obligations and duties including duties that are understood, duties of citizenship let’s say. These are obligations, these are legally binding contracts. If you are visa carrier, or citizen or what not, there are certain obligations upon you regardless of what is happening in the world. If you don’t like it, then you don’t have to be citizen holder or a visa holder, but you cannot be a visa or citizen holder and goes against what that entails. It’s not allowed from the shariah perspective to go against yoru word. It’s not alloewd to be a traitor. You cannot be two-faced. No one is forcing you to make that oath. If you’re not going to uphold it, then don’t say it. That’s what we learn from Hudhayfah and his father. Even if someone says, hold on, they’re going to be killed! But they  gave their word in solemn promise.

This shows us that a Muslims is upon his condition and promise. This is a hadith. Al Muslimoona 3ala shurooTihim. And the ayah in the Quran, “…awfoo bil3quud..”


Another incident that occurred as the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam is leaving Madinah, and they still think that they’re going to get the caravan of Abu Sufyan. One of the pagans of Madinah {his name is not mentioned in the book of history} who is known for his bravery and fighting skills marched up to the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam and says,

“I wish to join you to get this ghaneemah.”

The sahabah were happy to see him because they were getting a strong man. The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam asked him

“Do you testify that Allah is your Lord and I am the messenger?”

He said, “No.”

The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam said, “We do not ask for help from pagans.” So the man stayed where he was.

And a few hours later he caught up with the camp, maybe the thought of this 1,000 camels and what not came to him and again he says, “Allow me to come with yuo.”

Again Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam asks him, “Do you testify that Allah is your Lord and I am the messenger?”

He says, “No.”

The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam said, “We do not ask for help from pagans.”

And then he came again, and has gotten the point now, and so the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam asks him again and this time he says yes, and becomes Muslim. And so he was allowed to join the expedition from that point in time.


This hadith has been used poliitcally in our time and used in Gulf war I and II, It was used in all of these times, in that is it allowed to ask for military  help from non Muslims or not, because of what the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam said. This is a classical controversy among the four mazhaahib. Some scholars say it’s not allowed, some say it’s allowed with some conditions. Frankly this is not the time or place to get into these tangents. But you understand this has ppolitical ramification in the modern world, it has caused a lot of controvery in many lands. Can you get the help of a non Muslim army to help you against an aggressive army. These types of ahadeeth are then brought up. This is not the time and place to discuss both opinions but there is a spectrum of opinions and a grey area. Imam Nawawi says that this hadith shows that the general rule shows that you dont ask help from the pagan army but there are exceptions. The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam himself sought the help fof Abdullah Ibn Uraiqit (his guide in hijrah) at a time of great sensitivity. Think about it, there was a 100 camels on his sallallaahu alayhi wasallam head, and Abdullan Ibn Uraiqit could have lived comfortably for the rest of his life. But Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam trusted Allah with his life and trusted his life with Abdullah Ibn Uraiqit. So Imam Nawawi says that if a person has good opinions of Islam (sympathetic to Islam and can be trusted ) and the situation calls for it then one can ask for help from a non Muslim against an enemy.

Here Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam says we don’t seek help from a pagan, yet he himself and there are more than this time as well where Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam himself got the alliances of pagans and others for example when Abu Talib died and Abu Lahab was going to expel him, the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam got the help of Mut’im Ibn Adiy and he sallallaahu alayhi wasallam got the jiwaar (visa) of Mut’im Ibn Adiyy “If Abu Lahab wants to kick me out, then Mut’im Ibn Adiyy has allowed me to stay in Makkah.” The point being that you should know that there is a spectrum of opinion and each opinion has some strength and evidence to it and in  my humble opinion it’s a case by case situation. Once a situation arises then scholars of that land, let them talk amongst themselves and come to a conclusion. And this is an ijithaadi issue anyway.


Another interesting point here is that Subhanallah, our religion doesn’t ask us to look into the chest of people. Here is a man, the average person would doubt his Islam. The time, place, circumstances, the story, once he says no, twice he says no, and finally you know, ok khalas, I’m a Muslim. What does Islam tell us? Judge people by outward and leave the inner to Allah. We would be so much better if we would just follow this. Dont doubt people’s intention. The Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam asked him three times. And there is a lot of money to be gained if he is a Muslim. No one questions his Islam.


I have said this previously before, that there is no denying that our religion, the shariah gives incentive for people to convert, monetary sometimes, political at other times. Why?

If they convert for any reason, because Islam is true, we are confident that eventually they will convert for the right reason. We’re so confident of our faith, that you know what, alright khalas! convert for the money, no big deal! But what’s going to happen? Slowly and surely iman will enter the heart. This is the reality that we see from people in this day and age who convert for secondary reasons, primarily in our times for marriage and love. The boy’s not a Muslim, this girl says, “If you’re not a Muslim, I cannot marry you.” Boy says, “Alright khalas, I’ll be a Muslim.”

I’ve had people come up to me. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl falls in love with boy. The boy’s not a Muslim, they come to the masjid, the girl’s not practicing but she knows one thing, “I can’t marry him if he’s a non Muslim.” He literally asks me, “There’s nothing I can do? I have to convert to marry her?” He doesn’t want to convert, you know. I said, “No, unless you convert, you cannot marry her.”And so he decided to convert.

It’s not my job to look into  his heart. Eventually, these people, I have met many couples, eventuallt the one who converts becomes even more practicing than the Muslim. This is so common now that one converts and then one of them mashaaAllah will go beyond the other. So what if you convert for another reason, we’re so sure that Islam is true that whatevr your reason is, eventually you’ll be a true Muslim. This of course is a general rule, there might be exceptions here and there.


Getting back to the issue of Badr. It seems that we can guestimate that Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam left Madinah on 12th Ramadan in the 2nd year of hijrah and he put in charge of Madinah Ibn Umm Maktum, the blind sahabi. THis shows is that in our religion, and it’s a very big deal for the time that when someone was physically impaired they were literally treated as subhuman and outcasts. The very fact that Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam  chose a blind person and put him in charge of Madinah, we can say that our religion was very forward thinking at that time, that it didn’t take these handicaps as being any problem in the job that you’re doing. So what if he’s blind? He can take charge of leading the prayer, he can take charge of the civil affairs of Madinah. What has his blindness got to do with these? Whereas for other people at the time, to be blind, deaf, you would be treated as a crazy person or subhuman. This shows us our religion do not discriminate against people with handicap. In fact, Ibn Umm Maktum was put in charge of Madinah at least a dozen times. Why? Because he was a sensible, wise man. His blindness didn’t come in the way of him becoming a temporary mayor, that’s a very prestigious position. And the wisest erson they could find was him.


In the meantime, Abu Sufyan is coming back and taking extra precaution to find out what is happenin, is Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam going to attack or not,because he found that ghazwatu ushayray just barely missed him by a day. Ghazwtu ushayrah was the warning for Abu Sufyan. On the way back he took extra precaution so much so that he would send delegations to spy on the spies. Ibn Ishaq mentions that some bedouins mention that they saw two men spying on their camp. Of course this was Talhah and Saeed.

So Abu Sufyan said, “Show me where they camped.” So the bedouins took Abu Sufyan to the Muslim camp and Abu Sufyan examined their camp, and examiend their marking until finally he came across camel dung. In his intelligence and desperation, he opened up camel dung and he found the date seeds of Madinah. It shows you these are scouts, people who know how to analyze. To crack open a camel dung and examine and then to pick out the seeds and say, “These are the dates of Yathriib.”

So Abu Sufyan panics because he realizes “We are being monitored.”

And therefore this panic causes him to go into overdrive mode. He does two things, which saved him but by qadr of Allah it brought about the biggest disaster to the Quraysh that Allah blessed the Muslims with.

1. The first thing  that he did is that he took an unknown route. As soon as he found out this was happening, he hired a local guide and said, “Get us out of here! Take us from the shore” He went from a much farther route. He basically by passed the entire city so he wasn’t even close to where the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam was.

2. And the second thing he did was he sent for reinforcement. He sent his fastest rider who had the fastest camel and that was Dhamdham Ibn Amr al Ghifari, whom he sent to announce to the Quraysh that unless they do something, their caravan will be confiscated. So Dhamdham immediately went on the fastest camel possible. And it was very fast because this is probably taking place around the 10th, 2-3 days before the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam leaves, because these are the 2 spies. As soon as 2 spies come back, Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam says “Right now, let’s go!” Somebody says, “I wanna pack my bag,” he says, “No, right now!”

Look at the quickness, he doesn’t want the news to get to Abu Sufyan. So within 2-3 days Dhamdham must have reached Makkah, Makkah must have made decision on same day and within 3 days they reached Badr. This is super fast speed.


One thing happens in Makkah  before Dhamdham arrives that sets the stage and that is the dream of Atiqah Bint Abdul Mutalib, the full sister of Abdullah and Abi Talib so she is the full aunt of Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. Did Atiqah accept Islam or not? There seems to be a difference of opinion. Ibn Ishaaq says that the only aunt (3ammah) of Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wasallam to accept Islam is Safiyyah. However Ibn Saad says that Atiqah also accept Islam and that Atiqah migrated to Madinah after this and died there. Truth be told even Ibn Hajr finds this skeptical because we don’t have a single report about anything from Atiqah after this dream. And had she converted to Islam, we would  have heard stories like we did from Safiyyah. Allah knows best, maybe she did. Ibn Ishaq is the earlier and greater authority. So keep this in mind and Allah knows best. One thing for sure, we never hear from her after this dream.

So what dream did Atiqah see? She had a dream 3 days before Dhamdham arrived in Madinah. They had no clue what’s going on. She woke up flustered and agitated. She called on Abbas, her brother, she was the closest to Abbas in age and bond. And she said “I saw a nightmare and it’s making me very scared. In my dream I saw that a crier is going to come to Makkah in 3 days, racing on his camel. And he first goes to the masjid and he cires out in the masjid ‘Yaa ghudar (traitors and betrayers) meet your death in 3 days from now!’ The crier was on top of the Kaabah and says the same thing, and then he was on top of the mount of Abu Qubais (the highest peak in the immediate vicinity and many times when they want to make major announcement they’d go there sometimes and sometimes to Safa Marwa which is closer) and said the same thing. So he’s saying it 3 times again.

“Yaa ghudar! meet your death in 3 days from now!”

Ghudar is plural of ghadar. Ghadara is the worst type of traitors. They have betrayed the foundation of what they considered jahiliyah (what is most important to them; tribes). For the first time in Arab history, they have broken tribes, and they have not allowed their tribesmen to live with them. Some can also say they are traitors to the religion of Ibrahim a.s.

Then Atiqah is saying that this crier is picking up a large rock from mount of Abu Qubais and topples it from the mountain. She sees the rock go down all the way from the mountain until when it gets to the base it splinters and cracks up and continues rolling until every house in Makkah is hit by these stones. The interpretation is that whatever announcement this man makes will cause the death of these traitors in 3 days. The rock hitting every house is a sign that every house will be struck with the calamity; the death of multiple people in the household. Not a single household of Quraysh were spared in the battle of Badr.

So the crier is predicting and that is the rock coming down, that everyone of the houses will be affected by this incident that is going to happen. Abbas became very worried as well and he said to Atiqah, “This dream is a very dangeruos dream and I’m worried that if you tell people you will get into trouble so keep this dream to yourself.” It is said that Atiqah used to see these regular dreams and we know that seeing dreams is something Allah blesses people with. Dreams that can be interpreted. The king at the time of Yusuf a.s.was not a Muslim yet he sees this dream. Being a Muslim or non Muslim doesn’t mean anything.

Yet Abbas goes against his own advice and tells his best friend, Waleed Ibn Utbah.

“Yaa Waleed, please don’t tell anybody else.”

Waleed says, “I promise I wont tell anybody.”

He goes and tells his father, Utbah.

“Look , Abbas made me promise.”

Within a short period of time, the whole city of Makkah is gossiping about this dream. If you want to keep a secret dont tell anyone. You tell two people and within no time, it’s no longer a secret.

So Abbas still thinks no one knows, yet within a few hours, everyone is talking about this. There is clearly doom and threat in that dream. You don’t even need to be an expert in dream interpretation. This dream is against the Quraysh. The Quraysh is not too happy about this dream. Abbas doesn’t know. He goes to sleep and by the time he wakes up everybody in the city is gossiping but he still doesn’t know. He goes about his business, and then decides, as he usually does, as is custom of most Arabs and Quraysh at the time, to do tawaf after asr. So he goes to do tawaf and then sees Abu Jahl surrounded by his minions.

Abu Jahl says, “Yaa Abbas! When you’re done come here!”

Abbas still doesn’t know. He does tawaf and then comes to Abu Jahl.

Abu Jahl says, “Oh Children of Abdul Mutalib, since when did you get a female prophetess as well?”

Abbas says, “What do you mean?”

Abu Jahl is going on and on of course, he says, “Is it not enough that you have men who claim to be prophets and now you need women to be predicting the future as well??! If it’s true that a  crier will come in 3 days, then it will happen but if it doesn’t happen, then by Allah we will write a sign and place it by door of Kaabah that the tribe of Abdul Mutallib is the most lying of the Arabs known to man!”

Abbas, narrating the hadith himself later on says, “I was caught off guard and just denied everything.”

But, the news of what Abu Jahl has done to Abbas; he humiliated Abbas and the Banu Abdul Mutalib. Abu Jahl belongs to Banu Makhzum. Abu Sufyan belongs to Banu Umayyah. Banu Makhzum and Banu Hashim have their rivlaries, and Banu Ummayyah, these 3 have their internal rivalries. So the Makhzumites have now just publicly dissed the Mutallibites. So Banu AbdulMutalib are now fumed. Abbas denied everything, before he even gets back to his house, the women have heard what took place. How news spread. When Abbas comes back the women began lashing back at him.  They said,

“Are you not a man?! Could you not have defended your women? Have you no shame? You were dissed and your sister was dissed and the whole tribe was dissed and you just stand there and take it??!

Now it’s not a matter of the dream anymore. Forget what Atiqah dreamt. It’s a matter of tribalism now.

Until finally, Abbas says, “I decided that the next day I have to go back and rebuke Abu Jahl and defend Banu Abdul Mutalib.” So now it’s becoming tit for tat.

“For the whole day, the whole clan of the women of Banu ABdul Mutalib came and had it out with me.”

So he is now thinking,

“What can I say tomorrow?”

He is narrating this in the first person. So the first thing  he does the next day is he walks out to find Abu Jahl.

He says, “When I came to the masjid I saw Abu Jahl in the distance. As soon as he saw me, he turned pale, turned his back to me and walked away.”

Abbas is saying, “What is the matter with him? Doesn’t he have the courage to face me now? And I went to go face him when I finally saw what had caused Abu Jahl to go pale.”

It’s now the 3rd day. The 2nd day Abu Jahl rebukes him, now he wakes up and it’s the 3rd day. The crier had already arrived. Abbas didn’t hear him because he was walking out. But Abu Jahl has already heard him, so Abu Jahl is so embarrassed he couldn’t even face Abbas. And the crier is no other than Dhamdham and to make it even more melodramatic, Dhamdham had mutilated his own camel. In one narration, he chopped its nose off and smeared the blood over the camel, this would also make the camel panic to make it faster and he puts soot and dust on himself and rode the camel backwards, all this to give a melodramatic effect and to give impression that he himself have been attacked. And he cried out,

“Oh Quraysh your caravan! Your property aNd money with Abu Sufyan it’s being attcked by Muhammad and companions right now and you will not be abe to defend it unless you act immediately.”

Everything is a lie as of yet, because he said, ‘it’s being attacked’ whereas there was a threat of atack and he is coming as though he was attacked even though no one has touched him. So there is a desperation, exagerration here  where he is making this melodramatic effect.

“An Najaa An Najaa (SOS! SOS!)”

His announcement was “Come and fight!”

Atiqah’s already telling them “No, come and meet your death!”


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