Islam Undressed: The Battle of Badr

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam
Jump to: navigation, search
Islam Undressed
By: Vernon Richards
Introduction: The View from Outside
The Issues at Hand
‘Real Islam’ from the Religious Texts
Islam and Jihad
Muhammad’s Actions, Speaking Louder than Words
The Battle of Badr
Actions of the four "Rightly Guided" Caliphs
Early Islam and the Crusades
Islam, Non-Muslims and Apostates
Islamic Honesty and Honor
The American Muslim
Worldwide Islam Today, by Country
Today’s News from Peaceful Islam
Real Islam; a Case Study
Islamic Psychology 101
Islamic Politics 101
The Infidel POW
Beslan, Russia and Islam
Persia-Egypt and Islam
Islamic Aid (Jizyah)
Spin …The Art of Ignoring the Obvious
The Gathering Storm
Seeds of Armageddon
Roots of Today’s Campaign
Liberty Threatened
Hard Options in Israel
Islamic Contradictions and Hypocrisies
Never-Ending Islamic Conspiracies
The Final Analysis on Real Islam
The Path Ahead
Epilogue: Dark Premonitions
About the Author

(Revised from an original article by Anwar Shaikh a renowned Indian Islamic scholar and historian)

The Battle of Badr is a tiny event by any stretch of the imagination, yet it has significantly influenced the course of human history. A deeper study of the March 624 event reveals that it served as the first successful exhibition of the Islamic doctrine known as Jihad. Emboldened by this small success, Jihad contined to be utilized in perpetual wars against infidels ever since. Thus it served as the practical foundation of the Muhammad’s Arabic Empire, at the same time gaining permanent foothold as a pillar of Islam. Muhammad succeeded in transforming his concept of Allah into a new principal of divinely ordained and never ending Holy War. This author claims that Jihad was ordained primarily for the purpose of establishing his vision of Islamic-Arab Cultural Imperialism. To establish if this is true, we must first look into the geographical and political background of Arabia at that time.

At the time of Muhammad, the economic plight of Arabia created a pastoral society which had developed into two groups: firstly, the majority, known as the Bedouins, who wander in search of pastures, often supplementing a meager livelihood by resorting to brigandage (raiding commercial caravans and other tribes). Though it was sheer looting, brigandage assured them security and survival, and so was not looked down upon as sinful but a source of power, pleasure and prestige. This institution of brigandage known as ghazwa (razzia) had existed long before the advent of Muhammad. The Umayyad poet al-Qutami has alluded to this custom in his two verses: "Our business is to make raids on the enemy, on our neighbor and on our own brother, in case we find none to raid but a brother."

It appears that even before Muhammad’s time, robbing others was a compulsive trait of the Arab national character, considered more an act of honor and manliness than immorality. Realizing its entrenched cultural significance, the Prophet easily converted that practice into a religious doctrine called 'Jihad', renaming it the Holy War against infidels. The Arab Empire he built thereby was in essence exactly like any other empire, except in appearance it was designed to look godly. The doctrine of Jihad, then, is a derivative concept incorporating the Arab custom of 'razzia' (raiding for booty), seeking ascendancy of Arabia and annihilation of non-Arabs in the name of Allah, the Most Merciful.

Though we have already studied the nature of Jihad, but it’s necessary to be repetitive for elucidating this bloodthirsty war mechanism. The first principle of Jihad is that a person loses his free will and becomes a slave of Allah

"Verily Allah has purchased the believers their lives and their properties; For theirs (in return) is paradise. They fight in His (Allah's) cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him." (9:3).
The first principle of Jihad

Now we know that Islamic Paradise is a place of luxury where toil, sickness, ageing and death are unknown, and where eroticism and gluttony abounds. Moreover, we have learned that Allah's ‘cause’ is simply killing infidels, Repentance 9:25 is where Muslims get the specific command to wage a war against Christians and Jews "until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled".

With regard to infidels, the cause of Allah is to convert or simply to kill them. And what is an infidel? He or she is someone who denies Muhammad; it does not matter a jot if he/she is a lover of God! So fond is Allah of murdering the unbelievers to glorify Himself and Muhammad that He permanently divided humanity into two perpetually hostile groups. In a nutshell, it means that Muslims are God's party because they do not love their closest relations if they happen to be infidels. Owing to their belief, they are destined to be victorious against the unbelievers (who are Satan's party, see sure 58:20). Justification for Jihad has been constant for 1400 years; …denying Muhammad is sufficient cause for a Muslim state to raid and subjugate non-Muslim territories. The Qur’an is specific in commanding the faithful to wage war against non-Muslims until survivors surrender and pay tribute as a sign of their humiliation. Receiving tribute from unbelievers in the name of Allah is then the true purpose of Islam.

Thus one can clearly see in Jihadic doctrine its Arab roots in the custom of brigandage, newly sanctified in the guise of Muhammad’s new religion. A religion wherein looting, arson, revenge, murder, slavery, and rape against non-Muslims are no longer wicked acts, but instead made acts of great piety deserving the highest reward Allah can bestow. The Prophet made sure that brigandage no longer remained a low and haphazard affair, but a highly respected and disciplined process, now stamped with divine approval. The battle of Badr served as a major inspirational source for this new Spiritual Arab Imperialism, which has been steadily expanding for the last fourteen centuries.

Throughout history other charaismatic men have inspired the admiration of others enough to fight with the sword for gain. Muhammad's genius lay not only in sanctifying the sword but also finding a beneficial use for it to magnetizing his own person for gathering crowds of followers around himself. An overwhelming majority of those early followers who acknowledged him as their spiritual guide were hungry, haggard and hounded men; they would do anything to improve their economic plight and take revenge from their Meccan oppressors, who had forced them to leave their homes to seek refuge in Medina. This migration from Mecca to Medina had been necessitated by Muhammad's aggressive preaching of his faith, which annoyed unbelievers to the hilt. Bitterness of the refugees had been further aggravated by the fact that they had to rely on the local Muslim believers of Medina (Ansaars) for their sustenance. Though these refugees appreciated their brotherly hospitality, they resented their dependence, which custom held as a sign of disrespect, derision and degradation. Realizing the despondency of his followers, the Prophet turned it into a rage for vengeance, which then sought to plunder and persuade those who had inflicted torture on them and cast them out. However, these would-be predators did not have to bear the blemish of impiety like other brigands and assassins because they were told that although their acts might look putrid, they had been rendered pure, pious and perfect by the Almighty who now recategorized and renamed such acts Holy War.

This commandment of holy loot invoked at Badr also served as an effective way of helping boost fighters moral sky-high because they believed that they were doing all to please Allah, with the thought of lining their own pockets just a happy coincedence. Normal feelings of guilt toward the various victims were thus overcome by a scantified lust for revenge, combined with zealous religious excitement, with the additional bonus of the opportunity for huge personal gain from relatively little effort. Thus inspired, a soldier of Allah had to be at least twice as brave, boisterous and bullish as an ordinary fighter to prove his sincerity.

The Prophet revealed Allah's pleasure (The Pilgrimage: sura 22:38): "Assuredly, God will defend those who believe, surely God loves not any traitor. Leave is given to those who fight because they were wronged - surely God is able to help them - who were expelled from their habitations without right.... Assuredly God will help him who helps Him - surely God is All-strong, All-mighty."
The Pilgrimage: sura 22:38

Note Allah's promise to help the Muslims to take revenge against those who had wronged them. So now the setteling of personal scores means helping Allah, and vengeance becomes a divinely inspired and pushed aspect of proper Islamic thinking. It smells of divine stratagem which, as we shall see, subsequently lays down the metholology of looting and murdering non-Muslims as a righteous way of fulfilling that divine directive for retrubition and reprisal; the Battle of Badr being the first successful model to this new way of life. Though small in size, it became a major event, exerteing an important influence in determining the course of history. It is therefore, interesting to know the details:

Muhammad's effort in spreading Islam had not borne much fruit until the summer of 621 A.D. when twelve men from Medina, visiting Mecca to perform the annual Hajj ceremony, embraced the faith that he preached. They undertook to propagate it among the fellow Medinites. Next year, in June, 622, a party of seventy-five pilgrims, including two women, came from Medina; they all had embraced Islam. Driven by the zeal of their new gospel, they invited the Prophet to come and live among them to avoid persecution. Muhammad, who had become safety-conscious, asked them if they would defend him as if he were one of their own. Their answer, though positively enthusiastic, was conditional: "What shall we get in return, if we suffer damage or death in the process?" "Paradise, of course," answered the Prophet.

These private meetings known as the two Pledges of al-Alaqba, encouraged the Prophet to persuade his Meccan followers to emigrate to Medina in small groups. When about seventy of them had done so, Muhammad himself quietly undertook the highly dangerous journey because his Meccan enemies had taken the oath of killing him before he could escape. Making use of the unfrequented paths, Muhammad reached his destination on September 24, 622. This flight is called HIJRAH and ranks as the traditional starting point of Islamic history, though the Islamic era begins on the first day of the Arabic year in which the HIJRAH or the flight took place i.e. July 16, 622. However, the significance of this date is believed to lie not in the act of emigration but "the belief that this day marks severance of kinship ties and announces unity of all Muslims, no matter where they come from."

To understand its background, one must realize that Muhammad belonged to the Quresh of Mecca whereas the people of Medina had their blood ties with other tribes. Thus, accepting common denominator of Islam, they all, including Muhammad, lost their tribal distinctions.

This understanding of the act of HIJRAH, though looks golden at first sight, becomes murky when subjected to investigation because when Muhammad grew strong, he declared emphatically that the right to rule belongs to the Quresh i.e. the people of his own tribe! This is the reason that all Arab caliphs both in the east and the west belonged to Muhammad's clan, i.e. the Quresh.

It took the Meccan emigrants eighteen months to settle in Medina. Muhammad was given a piece of land to build a house for himself. As he gathered power, he became a polygamist after the death of his first wife, Khadija, who also happened to be his employer. Around that house were eventually built several apartments to accommodate his nine wives and concubines. As his followers met in his home to offer prayers, it came to be known as the Mosque of Medina.

Muhammad's followers, both the emigrants and Medinites, expected rewards for embracing Islam, "the only true and exalted faith of Allah." The believers quite rightly expected favors from God at the expense of the Kafirs (unbelievers). The All-knowing Allah, responding to the prayers of the devotees revealed through Muhammad, gave them the doctrine of Jihad to meet that expectation …the murdering of non-Muslims for the object of possessing their wealth, property and women. Is was easily accepted not just out of economic necessity for the unaccomplished and unsuccessful followers, but also because there was nothing new in the practice of robbery for Arabs already practiced in plundering commercial caravans. But by reshaping it into a divine pursuit, it inspired even greater lust for plunder with an added pious force that turned the looters into crusaders. They then carried out their atrocities with greatly enhanced enthusiasm compared to typical robbers; in fact, they became ferocious robots who thought of pillage as piety and equated murder with melody.

The Quresh of Mecca were a trading community. In autumn, their commercial caravans proceeded to the Yemen and Abyssinia, and during spring to Syria. Among their merchandize were frankincense, gems, precious metals and leather. The last item was their major export, which had a high demand in Syria and Persia; it commanded high prices. These Meccan entrepreneurs exchanged them for piece-goods, silk and other items of luxury at Gaza and other marts. By the old standards, these caravans were really huge because they might consist of as many as 2,000 camels whose cargo could excel the value of 50,000 dinars or mithkals; the latter was a golden coin having the worth of a Byzantine Aureus, roughly equal to two-thirds of a pound sterling. Fourteen centuries ago, 50,000 dinars represented the same value which millions of dollars do today.

The special trait of these caravans was that they constituted the economic life of the Meccans because they were financed not only by the rich of their community but also the small man, who might have saved a dinar or two and also wanted a little profit. These caravans represented communal investment. Because of their high value, they were often the target of highway robbers. Therefore, they had to be accompanied by an 'army of defenders', whose size corresponded with the value of the goods. These commercial caravans had a good deal in common with the seafaring joint stock companies of old England, whose venture capital was contributed by many participants, entitled to profit according to their size of stake.

The successful journey of these caravans was a matter of special delight for the shareholders, securing prosperity and life to families and towns. But whenever one succumbed to the attack of Muhammad’s plundering mafia it created highly heart-rending scenes of women beating their breasts, pulling hair, and singing mournful songs to express their loss, which might also include the death of some defenders. The feared expeditions of caravan pillaging were called razzias by the Muslims.

Enunciation of the doctrine of Jihad struck new terror into the hearts of already concerned Meccan traders, alarmed about their trade with the north because its route passed between Medina and the sea coast putting caravans at risk to the zealous marauders. It is baffling to realize that the same Prophet, who prescribed hand-cutting as punishment for stealing, personally led the Ghazawats (i.e. pillage-expeditions) against several Meccan caravans in 623. Though he failed in his first three attempts, in January, 624, he succeeded in robbing a caravan returning from Yemen as it reached Nakhlah near Mecca.

Failure of the Prophet's third razzia is actually a part of the famous battle of Badr. Abu Sufyan led a caravan to Syria in October, 623 A.D. (A.H.II). It carried huge loads of the Arab products demanded in the Syrian market. The Prophet asked for volunteers to join this predatory expedition. About 200 men came forward. They had only 30 camels, which they rode in turn. The plan was to attack the caravan at Osheira on its way to Yenbo, but it had passed this point by the time the holy plunderers reached there.

These rich cargoes were very important to the Muslims, who initially had hardly any effective equipment to fight the unbelievers and spread Islam. Islam needed funding, so Muhammad enhanced his influence in the territory of Osheira making the caravan trade more hazardous for the Meccans. His efforts did bear fruit, and a number of tribes living in the area entered into alliance with him and his followers to participate in the plunder and/or protect their own trade. The initial escape of the Badr caravan seemed to have disturbed the apostolic plan, but Muhammad became determined to waylay Abu Sufyan on his return journey. During the espionage activities, the Prophet found his son-in-law, Ali, asleep "on the dusty ground under the shade of a palm grove". Seeing his face soiled, the Prophet, in a pleasantry said, "Sit up, O, Abu Turab", and he sprang up immediately, conscious of his neglect. This became his sobriquet during the rest of his life. This is why he is called "Ali, Abu Turab".

So alarming was the Prophet's resolve to rob the caravan that his Medinite opponents warned Abu Sufyan's people at Mecca of the impending danger. Damdam, a swift and efficient courier, was immediately sent to Mecca with the bad news.

As a reconnaissance, Muhammad dispatched two scouts, in early January, to the caravan station at Al-Haura. They were well received by the chief of the Juheina tribe, who took suitable measures to protect their identity. His services were thought so valuable that after the battle of Badr, he was rewarded with the grant of Yenbo.

It was Sunday, the 12th of Ramadan, when realizing the significance of the caravan, the Prophet set out on the predatory exercise without waiting for the return of his two spies, who were to brief him on the situation. It seems that the impatience to possess all that the caravan was carrying, played heavily on the minds of the Muslims. Hearing tales of the expected rich booty, even some non-Muslim citizens of Medina tried to join the expedition. Having noticed a couple of them, the Prophet called them to his camel that he rode and asked them about the nature of their business. They told him that they were heathen but as their city had extended protection to him, he ranked as their kinsman and they wanted to join him for plunder. The Prophet replied that it was meant for the believers only, and the unbelievers were not allowed to participate in such ventures. He emphasized in no uncertain terms: "Believe and fight". Since this was the only way to share the loot, they confessed that Muhammad was the Prophet of God. It is then that they got the permission to join his party.

His army, after necessary adjustments, contained 315 men; amongst them eighty were Refugees i.e. who had emigrated from Mecca with the Prophet, and of the remainder "about one-fourth belonged to the Aus, and the rest to the Khazraj". They had two horses and thirty camels which they rode in turns to overcome tediousness of the long hard journey. In terms of size and equipment, it may not be called an army, but in effectiveness, even the mighty hosts may not be compared with it because it had no equal in fervor, ferocity and fortitude. Their newly acquired faith was a novel specimen of moral justice and piety; being based on Jihad, it did not condemn but commended rapine, rape and ruination of unbelievers and held it as the way to secular success in this life and paradisiacal comfort in the next world. The fervor of such a faith, which obliterated all thoughts of loss, defeat and sin, goaded Allah's warriors with unequal zeal to march, seek and rob the precious cargoes that lawfully belonged to the investors.

For a couple of days the holy warriors took a direct route to Mecca, but reaching As-Safra they moved in the direction of Badr, a resting station on the road to Syria. Through local gossip Muhammad's spies came to know that Abu Sufyan's caravan was about to appear there at any time. The report was correct but Abu Sufyan was a shrewd fellow. Realizing the immediate danger, he at once dispatched a courier to Mecca asking for a strong defending force.

The Meccans having suffered losses at Nakhla were not prepared to see the repetition of similar humiliation. Again, it was the caravan of the year because the cargo it carried was worth more than 50,000 golden pieces. Its loss might render the whole community bankrupt. A mixed current of fear and fervor swept the Meccan society and every household contributed a warrior to the defense of the caravan according to the size of its stake. Soon an army of 800 men was raised, accompanied by a band of women, who specialized in singing war songs, which lent a lion's heart to a bleating lamb. Their battle-melodies accompanied by the sounds of their tabrets and footwork excited the Meccan soldiers to die for the honor of their city and ancestors.

As the army reached Al-Johfa, the envoy of Abu Sufyan appeared. He told Abu Jahl, the head of the army that Abu Sufyan had succeeded escaping Muhammad through stealth and rapid marches, and all was well. They heaved a sigh of relief, but the question arose if they should return without an engagement. A passionate debate took place among the chiefs of the army. One party argued that, since no harm had been done, there was no cause for a deadly contest. Moreover, it was argued that the people on the other side were their close relations: killing them would constantly torture their conscience. It was not only wise but also desirable to return home peacefully.

Abu Jahl, the head of the Makhzum clan, on the other hand, advocated a fight to the bitter end. He advocated that their return would be interpreted as a sign of their cowardice, and it was also politic to nip evil in the bud; otherwise, the specter of Muhammad would grow in potential threat all the time. His persuasion won the argument, and they passed three days making merry by the fountain.

On the other hand, Muhammad had also been advancing toward Badr. When he reached Al-Ruha, he heard that the Quresh, being aware of the danger, were marching on him. This necessitated a council of war. Unlike the Meccans, the Muslims showed contempt for blood ties and expressed a strong desire for an immediate contest.

Here the charisma of Muhammad's personality and political sagacity deserves mention. He had emigrated to Medina on the promise of his Medinite followers that they would defend him with their blood while he would be amongst them. Addressing the war council, and particularly to the men from Medina, he declared that their pledge neither induced his defense in any aggressive action nor had it any connection with the events that took place away from the city (Medina). Therefore, they were at liberty to leave him if they so wished.

Of course, a political mind would interpret this occasion differently but to the faithful this declaration conveyed a message of the Prophet's holiness, greatness and moral dignity hitherto unknown in the Medinite annals. How they were moved by this speech is expressed by their spokesman Moadh|Sa'd Bin Moadh. He said, "Prophet of the Lord! march where you desire; encamp where you may choose; make war or conclude peace with whom you will. For I swear by Him (Allah) who has sent you with the truth, that if you were to march till our camels fell down dead, we would go forward with you to the world's end. Not one of us will be left behind."

It should also be noted that at the end of the meeting, the Prophet who claimed to be "Mercy of God to All Mankind", invoked Divine curse on the infidels, and prayed, "O lord, let not Abu Jahl, the Pharaoh of his people, escape. Let not Zama'a escape; rather let the eyes of his father run sore for him weeping and become blind".

This curse of the Prophet had a psychological purpose. Being fewer in numbers than the infidels, it made his followers believe that they already possessed the power to inflict death on their enemies. To the sincere believers of Muhammad, who had their own unbelieving parents and brethren as a sign of respect to the Apostle, it was unimaginable that his supplication against the unbelievers could go astray. Reinforced by this belief, they became even more determined to deliver them a dose of violence blended with the worst pillage.

Badr was chosen as the place of battle by the Prophet. It vouched for his martial skill as well as seriousness of purpose i.e. he wanted the battle to be decisive; neither party must escape lightly. He knew that the courage of his followers, which emanated from their religious convictions, was far more forceful than the strength that the superiority of numbers bestowed upon his enemy. A decimating blow to the unbelievers would lay the foundation of the Islamic Empire.

Badr is situated close to Medina, 'the City of the Prophet'. It is a valley which consists of a plain, having steep hills to the north and east; on the southern side is a low rocky range, and the west is closely dotted with sandy hillocks. A small stream also ran through it breaking into springs here and there. The Prophet chose the most useful reservoir for his army and destroyed the rest. This was a wise military maneuver, which assured him mastery of the water sources of the battlefield.

The day before the engagement took place, Muhammad had placed the banner of the refugees (the emigrants) in the hands of Mus'ah; ensign of the Khazrajite was given to al-Hobab and the flag of Aus was handed to Sa'd Bin Moadh.

Here one again sees the tactical wisdom of Muhammad in choosing the fighting spot. As the Quresh army, comprising a thousand men advanced toward Muhammad, the glaring rays of the Arabian sun struck their eyes, making their movements troublesome. Also, the vastly numerical superiority of the enemy was hidden by the fall of the ground behind. Knowing the gravity of the situation, the Prophet again resorted to the device of praying to Allah for harnessing the superstitious energies of his followers' belief into a combating force. Raising his hands upward, he solicited the Maker,

"O Allah, accomplish for me what Thou hast promised me. O Allah, bring about what Thou has promised to me. O Allah, if this small band of Muslims is destroyed, Thou wilt not be worshipped on this earth".
(Muslim, Vol. 3, 4360)

Religionists may find it strange that a man is telling his Creator what will happen if He does not listen to him, with the Almighty apparently agreeing to his suggestion for fear of losing worshippers, but his followers were intoxicated by such statements and promises of heavenly virgins and boys. They believed that Allah is directed by Muhammad and, therefore, the battle shall end in a resounding victory for them. Intoxicated and prepared, the band of robbers anxiously savored the opportunity to inflict murder and mayhem on the caravan’s defenders.

It was customary among the Arabs to enter single combats before starting the battle. As Sheiba, his brother Otba and Al-Walid (son of Otba) moved forward to challenge for single duels, three Citizens (not emigrants but natives of Medina) came out from the Muhammadan ranks to encounter them.

Here we notice the tribal tendencies of the Prophet, who did not want the honor of starting the contest go to anyone but his own kith and kin. Calling them back, he turned to the fellow Emigrants and shouted "you sons of Hashim, arise and fight, according to your right."

However, this pro-Quresh leaning of the Prophet is well balanced by the choice of his combatants. Out came three warriors, known for their valor, courage and fighting skills. They were Ali (the Prophet's adopted son and son-in-law), Hamza (the Prophet's uncle) and Obeida. As the infidels saw their heroes become sacrificial lambs at the Muslim altar, their spirits began to sink. Even more daunting was the bravery displayed by the Prophet, who recited verses from the Koran, and brandishing his sword stood by his followers like a lofty granite and assured them that paradise was the reward for martyrdom.

The story of Omeir, a sixteen-year-old Muslim boy, who was allowed to participate in this battle, is worthy of note. He was hungry and eating dates, when he heard the prophet associate paradise with martyrdom. Looking at the dates scornfully, "is it these", he cries ruefully "that hold me back from paradise? Verily, I shall taste no more of them until I meet my Lord". Motivated by the force of belief, he rushed upon the enemy and tasted the wine of martyrdom loathed by many and loved by a few. Yet another story worthy of narration is that of Moadh, who slew Abu Jahl, and was attacked by his son Ikrima. In this catastrophic action, Moadh's arm was nearly severed from his shoulder. Martyrdom was also his goal, which he coveted, and believed that a second rate action was not compatible with the dignity of such a heavenly prize. Since his best performance was being checked by his dangling arm, he put his foot on it, and ripping it off with the courage of a divine knight, he attacked the enemy to achieve his most cherished aim.

Was it the valor of his followers that won the day? Of course, it was a great factor in securing the field, but the inspiration that the Prophet provided was the paramount reason of success. Though he is considered 'illiterate' by his followers, he was the master of mob psychology and excelled in operating this mechanism.

The day, i.e. 17 Ramadan, the second year of Hijrah (623 A.D.) when the battle took place, was punctuated with sharp gales. As the first violent blast swept across the valley, the Prophet told his followers that the Angel Gabriel had arrived with one thousand angels to help the Muslim cause. The following two piercing blasts were interpreted by him as the arrival of the angel Michael and the angel Israpheel, each heading a reinforcement of 1,000 angels to fight on the side of the Muslims!

Nobody stopped to think why were they not visible to the crusaders, but to Muhammad only? Again, the angels must be very weak creatures if three thousand of them were required to fight just 1,000 Meccans. The Koran testifies to this event:

"And Allah most surely helped you at Badr, when you were utterly abject. So fear Allah, and happily you will be thankful. When you saidst to the believers: 'Is it not enough for you that your Lord should reinforce you with three thousand angels sent down upon you, Yea: if you are patient and god fearing, and the foe come against you instantly, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand swooping angels"
The House of Imran: III:120


By this statement Muhammad secured the entire credit for his Prophet-hood, which had been honored by Allah with a reinforcement of 3,000 heavenly fighters, and a promise of 5,000 belligerent angels in any future engagement against the infidels.

One ought to know the attitude of the Prophet toward his chief adversary, Abu Jahl, who was presented to him when he was about to breathe his last. As he lay at his feet, the Prophet looked at him and said,

"it is more acceptable to me than the choicest camel in Arabia"


Now, we come to booty, the goal of the Islamic warfare, which Allah Himself sanctioned to strike terror in the hearts of those who refuse to bow before the Islamic Imperialism and claim their right to human dignity.

By modern standards the booty acquired from the Battle of Badr may look trivial but by then prevailing economic conditions of Arabia, its psychological effects, and the part it played in building the Arab Empire, was simply terrific;

"the loot consisted of 115 camels, 14 horses, a great store of vestments and carpets, articles of leather, with much equipage and armor"
The famous sword of Abu Jahl

. The famous sword of Abu Jahl, known as 'Dhul-Fikr' fell to the share of the Prophet.

The Battle of Badr was fought on the doctrine of Jihad, which essentially means building the Arab Empire by denying non-Muslims all rights except the right to serve their Arab masters, which servitude is perpetual humiliation of non-Muslims through a system of subjugation and payment of tribute (i.e. imperialism). When we delve deeper into this doctrine, it transpires that its tentacles equally spread to the non-Arab Muslims, who are converted to Islam with the force of arms; they are, of course, exempted from the payment of Jaziya i.e. poll tax, but are treated as second-class citizens and may be exploited economically as well as psychologically through the hegemony of faith, which favors the Arab Muslims against the non-Arab Muslims. I shall return to this point later.

To further explain the novelty of Jihad as the Doctrine of Struggle against the infidels, the following point should be made: A Muslim nation requires no particular reason to attack a non-Muslim country. It is in itself a heinous crime not to acknowledge Muhammad as the last Prophet of God. According to the Koran all religions are false except Islam. Thus Allah is the enemy of non-Muslims, who are regarded as the worst kind of beasts under the sun. It is a myth that the Jews and Christians being 'People of the Book' are exempt from this restriction. Having abrogated all other religions, the Prophet prescribes the course of action against them as Jihad. Muhammad’s solution for the problem of any person or nation denying Islam is a perpetual war against them until the infidels are killed or subdued.

All previously imperial nations, as they became civilized and conscious of human dignity, abandoned imperialism tendencies, eventually realizing that it is morally wrong to maim, mutilate and murder other people for personal or collective gain. In fact, gradually, those same nations increasingly uphold human rights through a code of justice and economic improvement, applying the concept to all people irrespective of race and color. Today, civilized nations live in a world where murder, rape, robbery, denial of justice and usurpation of rights are considered great moral vices, …but that standard of morality is utter nonsense in the world of Islam. Denial of Islam is considered a serious crime justifying stripping of human rights and subjecting the guilty to perpetual abuse until he/she repents and acknowledges the Prophet-hood of Muhammad. Faith in Islam, Muhammad in particular, is considered the only true virtue. This is the reason that a Muslim, no matter how wicked, shall go to paradise, whereas a highly righteous non-Muslim shall be thrown into hell, irrespective of his piety! This sort of discrimination is a basis of Islamic culture, and Jihad a fundamental Islamic doctrine to enforce that discrimination. Jihad teaches murder, rape, and plunder of infidels increases a Muslim's piety and guarantees paradise. However, its inspiration greatest predatory motive at Badr was to accomplish booty. The Battle of Badr which still serves today as a ruinous guiding precedent for all Muslims. The obvious contradiction between Islamic doctrines and universally accepted principals of human rights, dignity, and equality are not lost on Muslims, they are just simply ignored. To them, Islamic doctrine simply abrogates all contradicting principals and virtues not based on Muhammad’s words and example. Principals of human dignity and rights of infidels are simply dismissed as worthless.

To assess the significance of the Battle of Badr, one must realize that had the Prophet lost it, the doctrine of Islam would have been laid to rest along with the bodies of its crusaders. This little event, in fact, proved to be a vigorous seed, whose branches grew and spread both east and west.

Note: Ali Sina, an Islamic scholar and intellectual, further illuminates the dynamics of this pivotal event in his article ‘The examples of Muhammad‘, some of which is quoted here.

The Battle of Badr marks the begging of Muhammad’s rise to power, wherein the Meccans lost 49-70 men, with about the same number taken hostage. How Muhammad dealt with the injured and the captives in this and other battles set the tone for subsequent Islamic savagery, which has lasted to this day. It’s only by knowing these personal accounts of Muhammad that we can understand terrorist obsessions to cut off the heads of their victims, and why Muslim mobs cry out to cut off the heads of their victims"Allah is great" while in the very act of committing gruesome murder. They do this because of the numerous examples by the Prophet himself.

Among the people who were slain was Aba Hakam (Abu Jahl, as derogatorily he came to be called by Muslims). Aba Hakam was severely wounded but still alive when Abdullah, the servant, of Muhammad, ran up, put his foot on Aba Hakam’s neck, got hold of his beard and started insulting the fatally wounded man whom his own people had named the father of wisdom. Abdullah cut off Aba Hakam’s head and carried it to his master. {{Quote|exclaimed Muhammad joyously|"The head of the enemy of God!" exclaimed Muhammad joyously; ----

"God! There is none other God but he!"
responded Abdullah

- "Yea There is no other!" responded Abdullah, as he cast the severed head at the Prophet’s feet.

"It is more acceptable to me;" cried Mohammad, hardly able to contain his joy, "than the choicest camel in all Arabia"
Mohammad, hardly able to contain his joy


According to some historians, Muhammad is said to have given orders for Aba Hakam’s body to be mutilated and disfigured. (Waqidi, p. 85) Another man who fell in Badr and whose body was mutilated was Umaiya bin Khalaf. The reference to his mutilation can be found in the Book of Bukhari (Volume 5, Book 58, Number 193). These were men with whom Muhammad had personal enmity. According to one Hadith, Muhammad had vowed to kill Umaiya long time before the battle of Badr. (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, Number 826, and Volume 5, Book 59, Number 286). After three days the bodies of the slain were dragged and dumped in a well. Muhammad stood by the well and looked on triumphantly, as the bodies were brought up and cast in. Abu Bakr stood by, and examining their features, called aloud their names. Unable to contain his joy Muhammad started calling them by name and bragged to the corpses about his victory. The following account can be found in Sahih Muslim Book 040, Number 6869:

Anas b. Malik reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) let the dead bodies of the unbelievers who fought in Badr (lie unburied) for three days. He then came to them and sat by their side and called them and said: O Abu Jahl b. Hisham, O Umayya b. Khalaf, O Utba b. Rab'ila, O Shaiba b. Rabi'a, have you not found what your Lord had promised with you to be correct? As for me, I have found the promises of my Lord to be (perfectly) correct. Umar listened to the words of Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah's Messenger, how do they listen and respond to you? They are dead and their bodies have decayed. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, what I am saying to them, even you cannot hear more distinctly than they, but they lack the power to reply. Then he commanded that they should be buried in the well of Badr
Sahih Muslim Book 040, Number 6869

. The "promise" that Muhammad was talking about was a curse that the vindictive prophet had laid on these men when he was in Mecca and they had derided him when someone dumped the manure of camel on his back. On that occasion Muhammad said:

"O Allah! Punish Abu Jahl, 'Utba bin Rabi'a, Shaiba bin Rabi'a, Al-Walid bin 'Utba, Umaiya bin Khalaf, and 'Uqba bin Al Mu'it.
Bukhari Volume 1, Book 4, Number 241)

The following story can cast more light on the revengeful and implacable character of Muhammad. Among the captives was Abul Bokhtari. He had shown kindness to Muhammad and was especially instrumental in procuring his and his followers release from the quarters of Abu Talib, in a time that the Quraish had boycotted him and his family and they were living in a state of self-imposed house-arrest, Muhammad, mindful of this favor, proclaimed that he should not be harmed. However, Abul Bokhtari had a companion whom Muhammad did not want to let go. He pleaded for his friend’s life but Muhammad would not budge. So he exclaimed: "The women of Mecca; shall never say that I abandoned my comrade through love of life. Do thy work upon us both." Thus, feeling released from all moral obligations, Muhammad killed both of them. Here we see a man not only murdering prisoners of war, but also killing someone to whom he owed a personal favor simply because he could not let go of the pleasure of taking revenge on a personal enemy.

On their way back to Medina from the raid at Badr, one of the prisoners put to death was a devoted father named Uqbah bin abi Muait. Before his execution the man pleaded with Mohammed saying, "Who, then, will take care of my little girl?" Mohammed’s ‘merciful’ answer: "Hell-fire."

So who exactly was this Muhammad, the man hundreds of millions are striving to emulate? As has been shown, the face he showed his enemies was not nearly so beautiful and pleasing as the face shone to believers. Muhammad was a man of war who sent out or went out on at least 74 expeditions and raids in only a ten year period (622-632), and who personally conducted 24 major military campaigns. His carnal lusts for young flesh (wives, sex-slaves, and even children) are legendary, but it was through violence and murder where he gained power and wealth. He was wounded in battle (Battle of the Trench) and undoubtedly personally slew victims. By promising virgins and bounty in this life and the next, he inspired men to his self-serving cause. Through Jihadic war he unified the Arab tribes, further consolidating his power through personally ordered assassinations of individual opponents as well as murder, exile, or enslavement of all defeated peoples.

Tabari (AD 839-923) was an early Muslim historian considered largely reliable by scholars today. Tabari lists Muhammad’s assets at his death (horses, camels, milch sheep, and so on), including his weapons. In fact Tabari records the nicknames Muhammad’s had lovingly given those instruments which were such a large part of his life. Muhammad nicknamed three swords that he took from the Qaynuqa Jewish tribe after banishing them from Medina: “Pluck Out,” “Very Sharp,” and “Death”. Two other swords from elsewhere are named: “Sharp” and “That is wont to sink” (presumably into human flesh). After his Hijrah (Emigration) from Mecca to Medina in 622, he owned a sword called “Having the vertebrae of the back.” which he collected as booty from his victory at the Battle of Badr. Muhammad also named bows: “Most conducive to ease, or wide,” “white,” and “of nab wood”. The name of a coat of mail implies “ampleness” or “redundant portions,” probably because Muhammad was portly (cf. Ibn Ishaq, Life of Muhammad, trans. Guillaume, p. 383). Finally, Muhammad himself had a few nicknames. After Tabari lists several positive ones, he matter-of-factly provides one that is particularly telling: “The obliterator”. (Tabari; Volume 9, pp. 153-55, trans. Ismail K. Poonawala.; University of New York Press)

Previous Previous - Muhammad’s Actions, Speaking Louder than Words            Actions of the four "Rightly Guided" Caliphs - Next Next