The battle of Badr was the most important among the Islamic battles of Destiny. For the first time the followers of the new faith were put into a serious test. Had victory been the lot of the pagan army while the Islamic Forces were still at the beginning of their deve -lopments, the faith of Islam could have come to an end.

No one was aware of the importance of the outcome of the Battle as the Prophet ( saw ) himself. We might read the depth of his anxiety in his prayer before the beginning of the Battle when he stood up supplicating his Lord :

God this is Quraish. It has come with all its arrogance and boastfulness, trying to discredit Thy Apostle. God, I ask Thee to humiliate them tomorrow. God, if this Muslim band will perish today, Thou shall not be worshipped. [1]

At this battle in which the pagan army consisted of 950 fighters and 314 (including the Messenger), the Islamic defense was a combination of three defensive lines :

1. The personality of the Messenger, his leadership and his unequalled firmness. He ( saw ) was to the Muslims the final refuge at Badr and at every battle he attended.

2. The Hashmites ( the clan of the Prophet ), led by Ali Ibn Abu Talib who entered this battle relatively obscure and came out with unequalled military fame. His military performances became the popular subject of the Arab caravans conversations throughout the Arabic Peninsula.

3. The hundreds of companions of the Messenger whose hearts were filled with the faith and readiness for sacrifice. Many of them viewed matrydom to be a gain, equal to life and victory. These good companions were the army of Islam, its first line of defense and thick wall behind which the Messenger ( saw ) used to stand. Thet were the attackers and the defenders.

As to the clan of the Messenger they were the ones that he used to call before any one else, to offer the heavy sacrifice. They used to stand in the first line of defense opening for the army the way through their thrusts in the line of the enemies. When the general offensives began and every companion participated, the clan of the Messenger ( saw ) were the most damaging to the enemies. They were so at Badr and at the following battles.

The battle began when Utbah Ibn Rabi – ah, his son Al Walid and his brother Sheibah ( all from the Ommayad ) stood infront of the pagan army and asked the Prophet ( saw ) to send to them their equals for a dual. Hundreds of companions were around him and many of them were expecting to be called upon by the Prophet ( saw ) but he choose to start from his own family. The load was heavy and the heavy load could be carried only by the people to whom it belonged as he called upon Ali, Al Hamza and Obeidah Al Harith ( all from the clan of the prophet ) to face the three warriors. Ali destroyed Al Walid and Al Hamza killed Utbah; then they both assisted Obeidah against his opponent Sheibah. Sheibah died immediately and Obeidah was the first martyr at this battle. He died after he lost his leg.

When the general offensive began, hundreds of companions participated in the battle and offered sacrifices and pleased their Lord. But the members of the house of the Messenger ( saw ) distinguised themselves. Ali’s endeavour was unique at this battle. When Hanthala Ibn Abu Sufyan faced him, Ali liquified his eyes with one blow from his sword. He annihilated Al Auss Ibn Saeed, and met Tuaima Ibn Oday and transfixed him with his spear, saying ” You shall not dispute with us in God after today. ”

The Messsnger ( saw ) took a handful of gravel when the battle was extremely heated. He threw it at the faces of the pagans saying ” May Your faces be disfigured. God, terrify their hearts and invalidated their feet. ” The pagans ran away, turning their faces to no one.

The Muslims went on killing them and taking prisoners. 70 pagans met their death, and the Muslims took from them 70 prisoners. History preserved in its records only fifth of the names out of the 70 pagan loses. Twenty [2] or twenty two [3] of them died at Ali’s hand.

This battle laid the foundation of the Islamic State and made out of the Muslims a force to be reckoned with by the dwellers of the Arabic Peninsula.

Ref :1. Abdul Malik Ibn Husham Al Seerah Al Nabaweyah ( Biography of the Prophet ) Published by Mustafa Al Babi Al Halabi, Egypt, 1955 A.D Part 2 page. 621 2. Same as above Part 2 page. 708-713 3. Al Maghazi ( The Invasions ) published by Oxford Printing. Part 1 page. 152

The March to The Wells Of Badr

The time was now at hand for Abu Sufyan to return with all the wares that he and his fellows had acquired in Syria. The holy Prophet sent two scouts ahead to Hawra on the sea shore due west of Medina to bring him news as soon as the caravan arrived.

This would enable him, by a quick march to the south-west, to overtake it further down the coast. His two scouts were hospitably received by a chief of Juhaynah who hid them in his house until the caravan had passed.

The Betrayal

But he and they might have spared themselves their pains, for someone in Medina, no doubt one of the hypocrites or one of the Jews, had already sent word of the Prophet’s plans to Abu Sufyan, who immediately hired a man of the Ghifari tribe, Damdam by name, to go with all speed to Mecca and urge Quraysh to march out at once with an army to their rescue, while he himself pressed forward along the coastal route, travelling by both day and night.

The Prophet rather than risk being too late decided not even to wait for the return of his scouts. So by the time they reached Medina he had already set out with an army of Emigrants and Helpers, three hundred and five men altogether.
At that time there were seventy-seven able bodied Emigrants in Medina and all these were present on this occasion except for two scouts, who arrived back from the coast too late to set out.

At the first halt, which was still in the oasis, the Prophet’s cousin Sa’ad of Zuhrah noticed his fifteen year old brother Umayr looking troubled and furtive and he asked him what was the matter.

“I am afraid. That the Messenger of God will see me and say I am too young and send me back. And I so long to go forth. It might be that God would grant me martyrdom!”

As he feared, the Prophet did indeed noticed him when he lined up the troops and said he was too young and told him to go home. But Umayr wept and pleaded and the Prophet reluctantly let him stay and take part in the expedition. Sa’ad commented.

“He was so young that I had to fasten the straps of his sword belt for him.”

The White Banner

This was given to the Prophet’s young cousin, Ali Ibin Abe Taleb, whose was his ancestral right to carry the Banner of Muslims in war, but the Banner carrier also needed to be carried by a man of most exceptional character and courage, since Ali proved in number of occasions that none other was his equal, in all the Prophet struggles of establishing Islam, either in battle or in time of peace.

After the vanguard came the Prophet himself, preceded by two black pennants:

1. One for the Emigrants.


2. One for the Helpers.

These were borne respectively by:

1. Mus’ab, no doubt because he was of the clan of Abd Ad-Dar

2. Sa’ad Ibin Mu’adh of Aws of the Helpers.

There were only seventy camels in the Muslim army, which the men rode by turns, sometimes three or four men at a time to one camel, and three horses, one of which belonged to Zubayr.

During the Prophet’s absence from Medina, the prayers were to be led by Ibin Umm Maktum, the blind man referred to in the Revelation:

“He frowned and turned away when the blind man came unto him.”

Koran:80 – verse:5-10

Meanwhile In the City Of Mecca
Shortly before the arrival of Damdam, the Prophet’s aunt Ateekah had a dream which terrified her and left her with a conviction of impending disaster for Quraysh. She sent for her brother Abbass and told him what she had seen:
“I saw a man riding a camel and he halted in the valley and cried at the top of his voice:

‘Haste ye forth, O men of perfidy, unto a disaster that in three days shall lay you prostrate.’

I saw the people gather round him. Then he entered the Mosque with the people following him, and from out of their midst his camel carried him up to the roof of the Kabah, and again he cried out the same words. Then his camel bore him to the top of Mount Abu Qubays, and yet again he cried out to the people as before. Then he wrenched free a rock and sent it hurtling down the slope, and when it reached the foot of the mount it split into fragments, nor was there any house or any dwelling in Mecca but was smitten with a piece of it.”

Abbass recounted his sister’s dream to Utbah’s son, Waleed, who was his friend, and Waleed told his father, and the news quickly spread throughout the whole city.

The next day Abu Jahl exclaimed in the presence of Abbass, with gleeful mockery:

“O sons of Abd Al-Muttaleb, since when hath this prophetess been uttering her prophecies amongst you? Is it not enough for you that your men should play the prophet? And now must your women do the same?”

Abbass could not find a rejoinder, but Abu Jahl had his answer the next day, when the crags of Abu Qubays resounded with the powerful voice of Damdam. The people streamed out of their houses and out of the Mosque to where he had halted in the valley.

Abu Sufyan had paid him handsomely, and he was determined to play his part well. He had turned round his saddle and was seated with his back to his camel’s head; and in further sign of calamity he had slit his camel’s nose, so that the blood poured forth from it, and he had rented his own shirt to ribbons and Damdam shouted.

“Men of Quraysh! The transport camels, the transport camels! Your goods which are with Abu Sufyan! Mohammad and his companions are upon them! Help! Help!”

The town was immediately in an uproar. The caravan now in danger was one of the richest of the year, and many were those who had reason to fear the loss of it. An army of about a thousand men was quickly mustered.

“Does Mohammad and his fellows think that this will be as the caravan of Ibin Al-Hadrami?”

They said, referring to Ameer, the confederate of Abdu Shams who had been killed by an arrow in the sacred month at Nakhlah.

The clan of Adi were alone in not taking part in the expedition. But every other chief of clan led out a contingent except Abu Lahab, who sent in his own stead a man of Makhzum who owed him money.

But the Bani Hashim and the Bani Abd Muttaleb had none the less their interests in the caravan and reluctantly felt in honor bound to defend it, and Abbass went with them.

The Clan Chief Umayyah of Jumah
Hakim of Assad Khadeejah’s nephew, went out with the same purpose. Like Abu Lahab, Umayyah of Jumah had also decided to stay at home, for he was an elderly man of excessive corpulence; but while he was sitting in the Mosque Utbah came to him with a censer of incense which he placed before him, saying:

“Scent thyself with that! For thou art surely of the women!”

“God curse thee!”

Said Umayyah, and made ready to set out with the others.

The holy Prophet had by now left the direct route from Medina to the south and was making for Badr, which lay on the coastal route from Syria to Mecca, to the west. It was at Badr that he hoped to waylay Abu Sufyan, and he sent ahead two of their allies of Juhaynah, who knew the of the caravan.

At The Wells Of Badr
The two scouts halted on a hill above the well and when they went to draw water from the well, they spoke to the Arabs of a near by village and Bedouins who came to draw water for their animals.

They learnt of a huge richly laden caravan of many camels that was due any day now to replenish their water supply. On learning this, they made haste back to the Prophet with the news. But if they had just stayed a little longer they would have seen a solitary rider approaching the wells from the west.

It was Abu Sufyan himself, who had hastened ahead of the caravan in order to see whether it was safe to proceed to Mecca by the nearest route, that is by the wells of Badr.

On reaching the water wells he found a villager there watering his flock of sheep and he asked him if he had seen any strangers. He answered that he had seen two riders who had made a halt on the hill above and who had then drawn some water and taken it away with them.

Abu Sufyan went to their halting place and took up some of the camel dung which he broke into pieces. There were some date stones in it.

“By God! This is the fodder of Yathrib.”

He hastened back to his followers, and turning the caravan away from the road they pressed on at full speed along the shore by the sea, leaving Badr on their left.

Meantime the two scouts from the wells of Badr returned to the Prophet with the news that the caravan was expected to reach Badr on the following day or the day after. They would certainly stop at Badr, which had long been one of the great halts on the road between Mecca and Syria, and there was ample time for the Muslims to surprise them and overpower them.

Then came the news that Quraysh had set out with an army to rescue their caravan. This had always been considered as a possibility, but now that it had become a fact the Prophet felt bound to consult his men and to let theirs be the choice between advancing and retreating.
An ally of the Bani Zuhrah who had only recently come to Medina, Miqdad by name, rose to his feet and added:

“O Messenger of God. Do what God hath shown thee to do. We will not say unto thee as did the ‘Children of Israel’ said unto Musa:

Go thou and thy Lord and fight and we shall sit here.

But we say: Go thou and thy Lord and fight, and with you we also will fight, on the right and on the left, before thee and behind thee.”

Koran:5, 24

Abd Allah Ibin Mas’ud used to tell in after years of the great light that dawned on the Prophet’s face when he heard those words and as he blessed his close and trusted Companion Miqdad.

Not that he was surprised, for he knew that the Emigrants were unreservedly with him. But could the same be said of all the Helpers who were now present?

The army had set out from Medina in hope of capturing the caravan. But now it seemed that they might have to encounter something much more formidable.

Moreover, when the Helpers had pledged allegiance to him in Aqabah, they had said that they were not responsible for his safety until he had entered their territory, but that when he was with them they would protect him as they protected their wives and their children.

Would they be prepared to help him against an enemy now that he was no longer in Yathrib?
“Men, give me your advice.”

He said, expressing himself in general but meaning the Helpers, some of whom had already divined his thoughts, though none of them had yet spoken. But now Sa’ad Ibin Mu’adh rose to his feet.

“It would seem. That we are the men thou meanest, O Messenger of God.”

He said, And when the Prophet assented he went on:

“We have faith in thee and we believe what thou hast told us, and we testify that what thou hast brought us is the truth, and we have given thee our binding oaths to hear and obey. So do what thou wilt, and we are with thee. By Him who hath sent thee with the truth, if thou shouldst bid us cross yonder sea and didst plunge into it thyself, we would plunge into it with thee. Not one man of us would stay behind. Neither are we averse from meeting our enemy tomorrow. We are well tried in war, trusty in combat. It may be that God will show thee prowess of ours such as shall bring coolness to thine eyes. So lead us on with the blessing of God.”

The Prophet rejoiced at his words; and the certainty came to him that they would indeed have to contend with either the army or the caravan but not with both.

“Onwards, and be of good cheer, for God the All Highest hath promised me one of the two parties, and even now it is as if I saw the enemy lying prostrate.”

Although they were prepared for the worst, there was still hope that they would be able to attack the caravan and be well on their way back to Medina, enriched with plunder and prisoners, before the army of Quraysh arrived.

But when they had reached a halt that was less than a day’s march from Badr, the Prophet rode on with Hamzah and obtained some information from an old man from which he concluded that the Meccan army was already near.

Returning to the camp he waited until nightfall and sent his three cousins Ali Ibin Abe Taleb, Zubayr and Sa’ad with some others of his companions to the well of Badr to see if either the army or the caravan or both had drawn water from it, or if anyone there had had any news of either party.
At the well they chanced upon two men who were loading their camels with water for the army of Quraysh, and having overpowered them they brought them back to the Prophet, and he began to question the two men, who said that they were the army’s water carriers.

And now that the Quraysh army was just beyond the hill before them but that they couldn’t be precise of their number, but it was between nine hundred and a thousand. Then the Prophet questioned.

“And what leaders of Quraysh are amongst them?”

They named fifteen and these included,

1. of Abdu Shams, the brothers Shaybah and Utbah and his son Waleed;

2. of Nawfal, Harith and Tu’aymah;

3. of Abd Ad-Dar, Nadr, who had pitted his tales of Persia against the Koran;

4. of Assad, Nawfal;

5. of Makhzum, Abu Jahl;

6. of Jumah, Umayyah;

7. of Ameer, Suhayl.

Hearing these eminent names, the Prophet remarked when he rejoined his men:

“This Mecca hath thrown unto you the best morsels of her liver.”

It was not long before news of the thousand strong army reached Abu Sufyan, and by that time he had reached a point from which his rescuers were between him and the enemy. Realizing that the caravan was now safe, he sent a messenger to Quraysh, saying:

“Ye came out to defend your camels and your men and your goods; and God hath rescued them, therefore return.”

This message reached them when they were already encamped at Jubfah, a little to the south of Badr. There was yet another reason why they should advance no further. Gloom had been cast over the whole camp on account of a dream – almost a vision – that Juhaym, a man of Muttaleb, had.

“Between sleeping and waking. I saw a man approach on horseback, leading a camel.

Then he halted and said: Slain are Utbah and Shaybah and Abul Hakam and Umayyah.”

And he went on to mention other clan chiefs of Quraysh that the horseman had named.

“Then. I saw him stab his camel in the chest and let it run loose through the camp and there was no tent that was not spattered with its blood.”

When Abu Jahl was told of this he said in a tone of triumphant derision:

“Here is yet another prophet from the sons of Muttaleb! By God, we will not return until we have been at Badr. Three days will we stay there; we will slaughter camels and make feast and make flow the wine and the songstresses shall play and sing for us; and the Arabs will hear how we marched forth and of our mighty gathering, and they will stand in awe of us for ever. Onwards to Badr!”

The he cried and most gathered around joined his cry. However not all were impressed and taken in by Abul Jahl. For Akhnas Ibin Shafeeq had come out with Zuhrah, whose confederate he was, and he now urged them to pay no attention to Abu Jahl, so they returned, from Juhfah to Mecca every man of them.

Taleb also returned with some of his fellow clansmen, for words had passed between him and others of Quraysh who had said:

“O sons of Hashim, we know that even though ye have come out with us, your hearts are with Mohammad.”

Beyond the hill, a little to the north east, the Muslims were breaking camp. The Prophet knew that it was imperative for them to reach the waters of Badr before the enemy, so he ordered an immediate advance.

Not long after they had started rain began to fall, and he rejoiced in it as a sign of favour from God, a blessing and an assurance.

The rain refreshed the men and laid the dust and made firm the soft sand of the valley of Yalyal where now they were marching; but it would impede the enemy, who had yet to climb the slopes of Aqanqal, which lay over to the left of the Muslims, on the opposite side of the valley from Badr.

The wells were all on the gentler slopes of the near side, and the Prophet ordered a halt at the first well they came to. But a man of Khazraj, Hubab Ibin Al-Mundhir, came to him and said:

“Messenger of God, this place where now we are; hath God revealed it unto thee, that we should neither advance nor retreat from it, or is it a matter of opinion and strategy of war?”
The Prophet replied that it was merely a matter of opinion, where upon Hubab said:

“Then this is not the place to halt, but take us on, O Messenger of God, until we come unto that one of the large wells which is nearest to the enemy. There let us halt, and stop up the wells that lie beyond it and make for ourselves a cistern. Then will we fight the enemy, and all the water will be ours to drink, and they will have none.”

The Prophet at once agreed, and Hubab’s plan was carried out in every detail. The further wells were stopped and the cistern was built, and every man filled his drinking vessel.

Then Sa’ad Ibin Mu’adh came to the Prophet and said:

“O Prophet of God, let us build for thee a shelter and put thy riding camels in readiness beside it. Then will we meet our enemy, and if God strengthen us and make us victorious over them, that is what we fervently desire. But, if not, then thou canst mount and ride to join those whom we left behind us. For as to some of those who came not out with thee, O Prophet of God, even our love for thee is not greater than theirs, nor had they stayed behind, if they had known thou wouldst meet with war. Through them God will protect thee, and they will give thee good counsel and fight at thy side.”

The Prophet praised him and invoked blessings upon him, and the shelter was fashioned with branches of palms. That night God sent down a peaceful sleep upon the believers, and they awoke refreshed.

lt was Friday 17 March AD 623

Which was 17 Ramadan in the year 2 Hijrah. As soon as it was dawn Quraysh marched forth and climbed the hill of Aqanqal.

The sun was already up when they reached the top, and when the holy Prophet saw them on their richly caparisoned horses and camels descending the slope into the valley of Yalyal towards Badr, he prayed:

“O God, here are Quraysh: they have come in their arrogance and their vanity, opposing Thee and belying Thy messenger. O Lord, grant us Thy help which Thou didst promise us! 0 Lord, destroy them!”
They made their camp at the foot of the slope; and since it appeared to them that the Muslims were fewer than they had anticipated they sent out Umayr of Jumah on horseback to estimate their numbers and to see if they had any reinforcements in their rear.

He reported that there was no sign of any further troops troops other than those who were now facing them on the opposite side of the valley.

“But O ye men of Quraysh! I do not think that any man of them will be slain but he shall first have slain a man of you; and if they slay of you a number that is equal to their number, what good will be left in life thereafter?”

Umayr had something of the reputation of a diviner throughout Mecca, and this added weight to his words. No sooner had he spoken than Hakem of Assad, Khadeejah’s nephew, seized his opportunity and went on foot through the camp until he came to the men of Abdu Shams, and he said to Utbah.

“Abu Waleed. Thou art the greatest man of Quraysh, and their lord and the one whom they obey. Wouldst thou be remembered with praise amongst them until the end of time?”

“How shall that be?”

Questioned Utbah.

“Lead thy men back. And take upon thyself the cause of thy slain confederate Ameer.”

Said Hakem. Meaning that Utbah should eliminate one of the strong reasons for fighting and pay the blood write to the kinsmen of the man who had been killed at Nakhlah, whose brother Ameer had in fact come to take his revenge on the field of battle.

Utbah agreed to do all that he said, but urged him to and speak to Abu Jahl, the man most likely to insist on war. Meantime he turn and addressed the troops, saying:
“Men of Quraysh! Ye will gain naught by fighting Mohammad and his companions. If ye lay them low, each man of you will for ever look with loathing on the face of another who hath slain his uncle or his cousin or some yet nearer kinsman. Therefore turn back and leave Mohammad to the rest of the Arabs. If they slay him, that is what ye desire; and if not, he will find that ye have shown self restraint towards him.”

He no doubt intended to approach Ameer Al-Hadrami at once with a view of paving the blood write for his brother, but Abul Jahl was too quick for him.

Abul Jahl taunted Utbah with cowardice, with being afraid of death for himself and also for his son Abu Hudhayfah, who was now in the ranks of the enemy. Then he turn to Ameer and urged him not to let slip his opportunity of revenge for his brothers, he said,

“Arise, and remind them of thy covenant and of the slaying of thy brother.”

Ameer leapt to his feet, and frantically striping off his clothes, he began to utter cries of lamentation at the top of his voice.

“Alas for Ameer! Alas for Ameer!”

So the fire of war was kindled and men’s souls were filled with violence and it was in vain for Utbah or anyone else to seek to turn them back.

The now general absorbedness in final preparations for battle gave one man the chance he had been waiting for. Fearing that he might escape in his absence, Suhayl had brought his son Abd Allah with him to Badr.

Umayyah, chief of Jurmah, had done the same with his son Ali, whom he had coerced into forsaking Islam.

But unlike Ali, who was a waverer. Abd Allah the son of Suhayl was unshakeable in his faith; and going out of sight of the camp behind a nearby hillock, he quickly made his way across the uneven sands to the Muslim camp, where he went straight to the Prophet, and the joy was on both their faces.
Then he joyfully greeted his two brothers-in-law, Abu Sabrah and Abu Hudhayfah.

The Battle

The holy Prophet now drew up his army, and he passed in front of each man to give them good heart and to straighten the ranks, bearing a small arrow in his hand.

“Stand in line, O Sawad.”

He said to one of the Helpers who was standing too far forward, and he gave him a slight prick on the belly with his arrow, to get in line.

“O Messenger of God, thou hast hurt me! And God hath sent thee with truth and justice, so give me my requital.”

The Prophet, immeadiately laid bare his own belly before him and said.

“Take it!”

Where upon Sawad quickly stooped down and imprinted a soft kiss where it was his due to place the sharp point of the shaft of the arrow.

“What made thee do this?”

Asked the Prophet. And Sawad answered:

“O Messenger of God, we are now faced with what thou seest; and I desired that at my last moment with thee; – If so it be? – That my skin should touch thy skin.”

And the Prophet blessed him. In the meantime now Quraysh had begun to advance. Seen across the undulating hot sandy dunes, the Meccan army appeared to be much smaller than it really was.

But the Prophet was fully aware of their true numbers and of the great disparity between the two hosts, and he now returned to the shelter and prayed for the help which God had promised him.

A light slumber came upon him, and when he woke, he said to his followers:

“Be of a good cheer! The help of God hath come to thee. Here is Jibraeel and in his hand is the rein of a horse which he is leading, and he is at war.”

In the history of the Arabs many a battle had been averted at the very last minute, even when the two forces were drawn up face to face. But the Prophet was now certain that the battle would take place, and that this formidable array was the one of the two parties that he had been promised.

The vultures also knew that carnage was now imminent and they were in wait to feed on the carcasses of the slain, some now wheeling over others perched on the rocky slopes in the rear of either army.

It was moreover, clear from the movements of Quraysh that they were to attack. They were already near and had now halted within easy reach of the cistern which the Muslims had made. It seemed likely that there move would be to take possession of it.

Aswad of Makhzum strode ahead of the others. Clearly intending to drink, but Hamzah went out to meet him and they immediately struck sword blows and Hamzah finally gave him a blow which severed one of his legs just below the knee, and then a second decisive blow across the chest which killed him instantly!
The Challenge of Single Combat

Utbah, still smarting from the taunts of Abul Jahl, stiffly dismounted and stepped out from the ranks and stopped at the mid point of the two armies.

The clan chief of Quraysh gave the challenge for single combat; and for the further honour of the family. With a small gesture of his hand by him, he invited both his brother Shaybah and his son Waleed to join him at the mid point. And they both stepped forward and stopped on either side of him.

Awf of the Najjar clan of Khazraj
Before the Prophet could make his reply. The challenge was immediately accepted by Awf of the Najjar clan of Khazraj, who had been one of the first six of the Helpers to pledge themselves to the Prophet; and with Awf stepped forward his brother Mu’awwidh.

It was their quarter in Medina that Qaswa the Prophet’s she camal that had chosen the opportune place as the ultimate halt of the Hijrah. The third to accept the challenge was Abd Allah Ibin Rawahah, who had defied his leader Sa’ad Ibin Ubadah in speaking words of welcome and comfort to the Prophet.

“Who are ye?”

Said Utbah. When the men answered. Utbah said:

“Ye are noble and our peers, yet have we naught to do with you. Our challenge is against none but men of our own kinsmen!”

Then the herald of Quraysh shouted from the ranks behind Utbah:

“O Mohammad, send forth against us our peers from our own kinsmen.”

The Prophet had not intended to do anything else, but the eagerness of the Helpers had so forestalled him. Now he turned to his own Family, since it was above all for them to initiate the battle.

The Muslim challengers were two men of mature age and one youth.

“Arise, thee O Ali! Arise, O Hamzah! Arise, O Ubaydah! ”

Ubaydah, a grandson of Abdl Muttaleb, now faced Shaybah, while Hamzah faced Utbah and the young Ali faced the tall aggrevise Waleed.

The combats were not long:

Ali Ibin Abe Taleb

The Brother, Executor and Successor of the Prophet swiftly killed Waleed. Utbah’s son suddenly lunged at Ali with a down stroke sweeping blow to Ali’s head. The blow narrowingly missed Ali.

However, with flash of speed the young Ali countered attacked and gave a sweeping side blow of his own, severing Waleed’s left arm as he swung to block Ali’s blow, with his sword.

Waleed stood tall over Ali with his sword in his right and with his left arm still hanging onto his body by a few strands of skin and bone. He looked at his dangling arm and then stared back angrily at Ali. With a roar of a bear he tore off his own arm from his body and suprised Ali by using it to club him on the head with it!

The massive blow to Ali’s head slightly dazed him, so much so that his knees nearly buckled from under him from the force of the blow. Waleed then threw aside his bloody arm and again reached for his sword.
But Ali managed to hold himself steady and dug in his heels, and delivered an equally massive striking blow of his sword straight onto Waleed’s face, before he had the chance to bring his sword down to strike at Ali.

Ali’s sword blow was so powerful that it sliced deep into his face, down through his neck, down his torso finally imbedded itself into his hipbone, eventually stoped by Waleed’s thick leather sword belt wrapped around his waist, thus splitting the tall man torso into two equal halves!

Waleed’s bloodied corpse wavered for a moment on two unsteady long legs, and then droped down onto his knees and almost immediately fell forward hard burying his face in the sand. The Muslim army behind Ali shouted in great jubilation:

Allaho Akbar! Allaho Akbar!

The Quraysh army was stunned to their toes, to see how quickly Waleed, who was one of their best champions could be dealt in such a matter of ease! Before the feet of such a young and inexperienced lad such as Ali. Now Ali looked over at his two uncles progress who were still in combat.

Hamzah Ibin Abdl Muttaleb

The Lion of the Desert, was now facing the Chief Clan of Quraysh, Utbah. Who was now meancingly circling Hamzah with his sword. Utbah took a momment to see how Ali had killed his son Waleed.

Utbah of Abdu Shams reddened and suddenly sprang forward onto Hamzah, who was alert and ready and stood frimly his ground and gave Utbah just one sudden death blow right across the neck, beheading Utbah instantly where he stood. Again for the second time the Muslim army roared in great jubilation:

Allaho Akbar! Allaho Akbar!

So now both Utbah and Waleed, father and son were lying dead on the ground, while Hamzah and Ali were unhurt:
Hamzah looked back to the Muslim ranks. Where his eyes briefly met the eyes of Abu Hudhayfah, Utbah’s son, who had converted to Islam. And Abu Hudhayfah forced some sort of a smile at Hamzah and then turn and retreated back of the ranks no doubt to console his own sorrow.

Meanwhile Ali looked at his cousin Ubaydah progress with concern, his age was telling, as an eerie silence befell the whole battlefield.

Ubaydah grandson of Abd Al-Muttalib

The eldest warrior from Bani Hashim now faced Shaybah, Utbah’s brother. Now the exhausted Ubaydah finally struck Shaybah to the ground, but only wounding him and Ubaydah breathing heavily stood over him triumphantly, thinking that the combat was ended. But then at that crucial moment, Shaybah suprised Ubaydah and delivered a sweep of his sword that severed Ubaydah right leg.

It was a triple contest, so it was three against three, hence Hamzah and Ali now turned their swords on to Shaybah. But Ali was the quicker of the two and he leaped forward to intercept Shaybah who had now already risen and was preparing to deliver his final death blow to the badly wounded Ubaydah lying defendless on the ground.

The young Ali now reached Shaybah side and without further hesitation delivered the enemy, a deadly sweeping death blow of his sword, right acrosss his middle, shredding his protecting mail vest. Shaybah looked at Ali with suprise as he dropped his sword, and instinctly put both of his hands to his belly.

But to his horror, Shaybah couldn’t stop his intestines from spilling out of his body onto the ground before him. Ali quick thinking had no doubt saved his cousin. And for the third time the Muslim army roared in great jubilation:

Allaho Akbar! Allaho Akbar!

Now all three combatants of Quraysh now laid dead on the ground. While Ali and Hamzah both carried their wounded cousin back to their camp victories. Quraysh sent men to remove their dead behind their lines.

With them Hanzala Ibin Abu Sufyan came forward in pretext to supervise the removal of their dead warriors, but instead suddenly advanced towards Ali. Hamzah saw him and warned his nephew of the danger, and Ali turned and waited until Hanzala was near and without waiting any further he delivered a quick sword blow to his enemy, that made his eyes flow with tears as he cleaved to the ground, dead.
Ubaydah had now lost a mortal quantity of blood, and the marrow was now oozing out from the stump of his leg. Knowing he would never survive such a wound for long, Ubaydah had but only one thought.

“O, Messenger of God. Am I not a martyr?”

He asked the Prophet as he approached the three victors, and the holy Prophet answered his cousin.

“Indeed thou art!”

Quraysh Attacks

Now the tense stillness between the two hosts was now broken by the sound of a singing arrow from Quraysh, and a Muslim fell to the ground, fatally wounded. A second arrow pierced the throat of Harithah, a youth of Khazraj, as he was drinking at the cistern. The Prophet now exhorted his men saying:

“By Him in whose hand is the soul of Mohammad, no man will be slain this day, fighting against them in steadfast hope of his reward, advancing not retreating, but God shall straightway enter him into Paradise.”

His words were passed on by those who heard them to those who were out of earshot. Umayr of the Salimah clan of Khazra had a handful of dates which he was eating.

“Wonder of wonders! Is there naught between me and my entering Paradise, but that these men should slay me?”

Umayr exclaimed and he flung away the dates and put his hand to his sword, in eager readiness for the word of command.
Awf was standing near to the Prophet, disappointed at having lost the honour of the challenge he had been the first to accept, and he now turned to him and said:

“O Messenger of God, what is it that maketh the Lord smile with joy at His slave?”

At once came the answer came:

“When he plungeth without mail into the midst of the foe!”

And Awf quickly began to striped off the coat of mail he was wearing, while the Prophet took up a handful of pebbles and shouted at Quraysh.

“Defaced be those faces!”

As, he hurled the pebbles at them, conscious that he was hurling disaster, and the wrath of God at the unbelivers.

“May their faces be deformed in ugliness(through the evil eye)!”

Then he gave the order to advance, and the battle cry he had devised for them:

“Ya Mansur Amit!”
“O thou whom God hath made victorious. Slay!”

Resounded loudly from every throat as the men surged forward in a quick walking formation behind Ali and his uncle Hamzah at his right leading the Muslim troops forward toward Quraysh.

And in the ranks behind them. There was Awf who was without his mail and Umayr. They were among the first to meet the enemy and both fought until they were slain.

The Muslim Martyrs

Their deaths and those of Ubaydah and the two killed by arrows brought the number of martyrs up to five. Only nine more of the faithful were to die that day, amongst them Umayr, Sa’ad’s fifteen year old younger brother, whom the Prophet had wanted to send home.

“Thou threwest not when thou threwest, but it was God that threw.”

Koran:7 17

These words were part of the Revelation which came immediately after the battle.

When the believers were ordered to charge, they did not charge alone, as well the Prophet knew, for he had been promised by Allah:

“I will help you with a thousand of the angels, troop on troop.”

Koran:7 9

And the Angels also had received a Divine Message:

“When thy Lord revealed unto the angels: Lord I am with firm the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the disbelievers. It is for you to strike off their heads, and to smite their every finger.”

Koran:7, 12

The presence of the Angels was felt by all, as a strength by the faithful and as a terror by the infidels, but that presence was only visible or audible to a few, and in varying decrees.

However two men of a neighbouring Arab tribe had gone to the top of a hill to see the issue and to take part. And they hoped to be first in the looting after the battle. However a cloud swept by them, a cloud filled with the neighing of stallions, and one of the two men dropped instantly dead.

“His heart burst with fright!”

Said the one who lived to tell of it, judging from what his own heart had One of the believers was pursuing a man of the enemy, and the man’s head flew from his body before he could reach him, struck off by an unseen hand.

Others had brief glimpses of the Angels riding on horses whose hooves never touched the ground, led by Jibraeel wearing a yellow turban, whereas the turbans of the other Angels were white, with one end left; streaming behind them.

Ali’s Victories

As the Prophet ordered the charge and the belivers were led by both Ali Ibin Abe Taleb and his uncle Hamzah. They both led the advance quickly towards the enemy. As Ali advanced forward. Towards him came the hated Nawfal Ibin Khuwaylid and the young Ali remembered the hope and prayer of the holy Prophet:
“O God! Be sufficient on my behalf in destroying Nawfal Ibin Khuwaylid!”

And Ali said to Nawfal:

“By God! Thy will never oppose the Messenger again, concerning Allah after today!”

Then he quickly thrusted his spear, killing him in the throat, before he had any chance to respond.

Ali Ibin Abe Taleb alone was met and challenged by as many as thirty-five of the best Quraysh tribe had that day to offer, and he killed them all.

None of them remained without turning their backs in flight and Quraysh and their thousand strong army were soon utterly routed and put to flight, except in small groups where the Angels had not passed.

In one of these places Abu Jahl fought on with unabated ferocity until Mu’adh, the brother of Awf, who smote him to the ground.

Ikrimah, the son of Abu Jahl, took revenge and strucked at Mu’adh and all but severed his arm at the shoulder. Mu’adh went on fighting with his good arm, while the other hung limply by its skin at his side; but when it became too painful he stoped, and putting his foot on his dead hand, he jerked himself up, tore off the encumbered limb, and threw it away, burnt the stump to stop the bleeding and then continued in pursuit of the enemy.

Abu Jahl stunned but was still full of life, and laid still hoping to be passed for dead, until help came. But Muawwidh, Awf’s second brother, stumbled on him and recognised him as he lay there. Muawwidh struck him a passing by blow anyway, which left him now truely dying. Then Mu’awwidh passed on and like Awf he fought until he was slain.

Routing Of The Captives

Most of Quraysh leadership had escaped, but some seventy were mortally wounded or killed outright in the battle or overtaken and cut down as they fled.

Ali Ibin Abe Taleb alone had killed at least thirty six of all that had been killed. And about the same number were taken captive. The holy Prophet had said to his Companions:

“I know that the men of the sons of Bani Hashim and others have been brought out, despite themselves, without any will to fight us.”

And he mentioned by name some of those whose lives should be spared if they were caught. And most of his army were in any case bent on holding their captives to ransom rather than putting them to the sword.

Since Quraysh army had so greatly outnumbered the believers, the possibility of their rallying and returning to the fight had still to be considered, and the Prophet was persuaded to withdraw to his shelter while some of the Helpers kept watch.

Sa’ad Ibin Mu’adh was standing on guard at the entrance of the Prophet’s shelter with a drawn sword, and when his fellow warriors started to bring their captives into the camp, he quickly informed the Prophet in the shelter.

The holy Prophet of Islam emerged almost immeadiately out of the shelter, followed by some of his Companions and went out to see and meet with the captives who were to held ransome.

In the aftermath of meeting with the captives. He was however struck by the expression of strong disapproval on Umar’s face.

“Umar! It would seem that what I am doing is hateful in thine eyes.”

Umar vigorously assented.

“This is the first defeat God hath inflicted on the idolaters; and I had rather see that all their men slaughtered than left alive.”

But many others disagreed and were in favour of letting the captives live, in the hope that sooner or later they might become believers, and the Prophet inclined to agree.

But later in the day, when Umar returned to the Prophet’s shelter to press his argument for the execution of the captives, he found the holy Prophet sitting in tears on account of a Revelation which had just come to him:

“It is not for a Prophet to hold captives until he hath made great slaughter in the land. Ye would have for yourselves the gains of this world and God would have for you the Hereafter, and God is Mighty, Wise.

Koran:7, 70

The Revelation then made it clear that the decision to spare the captives had been accepted by God and should not now be revoked; and the Prophet was given a message for the captives themselves:

“O Prophet, say unto those captives who are in your hands: If God knoweth any good in your hearts, He will give you better than that which hath been taken from you, and He will forgive you. Verily God is most Forgiving and most Merciful.”

There was, however, one man. Abu Jahl, in the opion of all, who clearly could not be allowed to live. However the general opinion was that he had already been killed and so the Prophet gave orders that his dead body should be searched for confirmation.

So Abd Allah Ibin Mas’ud went out again to the battlefield and searched until he found the man who had done more than any other to stir up hatred of Islam amongst the people of Mecca.

He found Abu Jahl still alive but dying. He still had enough life in him to recognise his enemy who now stood over him. Abd Allah had been the first man to recite the Koran aloud in front of the holy Kabah, and Aba Jahl had struck him a severe blow and wounded him in the face, marking him for life.
Abd Allah Ibin Mas’ud was merely a confederate of Zuhrah and a poor one at that, his mother having been a slave. Abd Allah now placed his foot triumphantly on the neck of Abu Jahl, who looked up at him and said:

“Thou hast climbed high indeed, little shepherd.”

Then he asked him of how the war had swung that day.

“God and His Messenger have won!”

He answered him. Then as he bent over and grab his long hair to cut off his head, Abu Jahl pleaded.

“I hast a small favour, I ask of thee. Whenst thy cut off my head. Cut it off from the lowest part of my neck. So that the Arabs will marvel and make poetry in honour of my stature in death as well in life!”

Abd Allah was shooked and disgusted to hear still that he held importance to his pride in the face of death. Abd Allah angrily replied.

“Nay, enemy of God! I shall but cut off thy head from were thy vile mouth speaks evilness and wickedness and then I shall show it to all thy brethren and people. Thy truest prestige of uglyness!”

He quickly bent over and started cutting off Abu Jahl’s head from his body from the opening of his gaping mouth. He carried the gruesome looking head by the hair showing it off first to all the captives and his compatriots.

Abu Jahl was not the only chief of Quraysh to be killed after the fighting had finished. Abdl Rahman Ibin Awf was carrying coats of mail which he had taken as booty, and he passed by the corpulent Umayyah, who had lost his mount and was bruised and unable to escape. With him was his son Ali, whose hand he was holding for support. Umayyah called out to his one time friend:
“Take me for I am worth more than coats of mail.”

Abdl Rahman agreed, and threw down the mails he had collected and took him and his son each by the hand. As he was leading them towards the camp Bilaal who was desperately looking for Umayyah his former cruel and wicked master and torturer during and now after battle. And when he saw them he exclaimed,

“Umayyah! The head of disbelief! May I not live if he lives.!”

Ummayah, quickly cowered behind his captor and pleaded for Abdl Rahman to protect him from his former black slave, and remminded him, of his rich worth. Abdl Rahman protested that they were his prisoners, but Bilaal, would not hear of it and repeated his cry:

“May I not live if he lives!”

Again Abdl Rahman protested that they were his prisoners,

“Wilt thou not hear me! Thou son of a black mother?”

Said the outraged captor, whereupon Bilaal stared coldly at Ummayah. And again shouted with all the power of the voice that had won him the function of the first Muslim Mu’ed’thin:

“O God! The head of disbelief, Umayyah! May I not live if he survives!”

Men came running from all sides and narrowly encircled Abdl Rahman and his two captives. After listerning to the two men arguing about the two captives. A sword was then drawn by one of the men and Ali Ummayah son was struck to the ground, but was not killed. Abdl Rahman sighed heavily and then let go the frighten Umayyah’s arm and said to him.
“Go! Take thine own escape! Yet no escape there is, for by God I can avail thee nothing!”

Abdl Rahman pushed him aside. But Bilaal quickly closed in upon the pleading and retreating Umayyah and he strucked him with just one blow across the neck, and he dropped dead at Bilaal’s feet and he raised his sword to the sky and shouted at the top of his powerful voice,

Allaho Akbar! Allaho Akbar! Allaho Akbar!

He then turned and slowly walked away.

The other men closed upon his wounded son Ali with their swords and quickly made an end of him too. Abdl Rahman then cut off both Umayyah’s and his son Ali’s heads and carried them towards the camp. He later used to say in the years after:

“God have mercy on Bilaal! My coats of mail were lost to me, and he robbed me of my two prisoners.”

The Prophet gave orders that the bodies of all the infidels slain in the battle should be thrown into a pit; and when the headless body of Utbah was being dragged towards it, the face of his son Aba Hudhayfah turned pale, and was filled with sorrow. The Prophet felt for him, and gave him a deep look of compassion, where upon Abu Hudhayfah said:

“O Messenger of God, it is not that I question thy command as to my father and the place where they have thrown him. But I used to know him as a man of wise counsel, forbearance and virtue, and I had hoped that these qualities would lead him unto Islam; and when I saw what had befallen him, and when I remembered what state of disbelief he died in after my hopes for him, it saddened me.”

Then the Prophet blessed Abu Hudhayfah and spoke to him some words

The Spoils of War

The peace and quiet of the camp was soon broken by voices raised in anger, for those who had stayed behind to guard the holy Prophet now demanded a share of the booty, and those who had pursued the enemy and captured men, armour and weapons were unwilling to give up what their own hands had taken.

But before the Prophet had time to restore harmony by ordering an equitable distribution of all that had been captured, the desired effect was achieved more simply and more immediately by a Revelation:

“They wilt question thee concerning the spoils of war. Say: The spoils of war are for God and the Messenger.”

So the holy Prophet ordered that everything that had been taken, including the captives, should be brought together and no longer be considered as the private property of any individual. The order was at once obeyed without question.

The most eminent of the captives was the chief of Ameer, Suhayl, cousin of Sawdah and brother of her first husband. Others more closely connected with the Prophet were his uncle Abbass, his son-in-law, Zaynab’s husband Abul As, and his cousins Aqeel and Nawfal.

He gave a general order that all the captives should be well treated, though clearly they had to be bound and put under guard. But the thoughts of his uncle suffering such duress prevented the Prophet from sleeping that night, and he gave orders that his bonds should be loosen.

However, other captives received less indulgent treatment from their nearest of kin. Mus’ab passed by his own brother Abu Azeez as he was being bound by the Helper who had captured him, and he said:

“Bind him fast for his mother is rich, and it may be that she will ransom him from thee.”

Mus’ab brother Abu Azeez protested:

“Brother. Is this how thou dost commend me to others?”
“They are now my brothers in thy stead,”

Said Mus’ab. None the less, Abul Azeez used to tell in after years of the good treatment he received from the Helpers, who took him to Medina whence his mother ransomed him for 4,000 Dirhims.

As soon as it became clear that the eight hundred or more Meccan troops still at large had been routed beyond possibiity of rallying, the Prophet sent Abd Allah Ibin Rawahah to take the good tidings of victory to the people of Upper Medina, that is, the more southerly part of the city, and he sent Zayd to the people of Lower Medina.

The Prophet himself with Ali remained with the army at Badr; and that night he went and stood by the pit unto which the bodies of the enemies of Islam had been thrown and sighed heavily and said with sadness.

“O men of the pit! Kinsmen of your Prophet.
Ill was the kinship ye showed him;
Liar ye called me, when others took me in;
Against me ye fought, when others helped me to victory;
Have ye found it to be true; what your Lord promised you?
I have found it to be true; what my Lord promised me!”

Some of his Companions overheard him and wondered at his speaking to dead bodies.

“Your hearing of what I say is not better than theirs. But they cannot answer me.”

Early next morning he set off for Medina with his army and the spoils. Two of the most valuable captives, that is those whose families could be relied upon to pay the full ransom Of 4,000 Dirhims, were Nadr of Abd Ad-Dar and Uqbah of Abdu Shams.

But these were two of the worst enemies Islam, and if they were allowed to return they would immediately resume their evil activities, unless the Muslims victory at Badr against such odds had made them reflect.

However the Prophet’s eye was now constantly upon them; Many Muslims, like that of Ali, Hamzah and even some of the other Companions tried their utmost to convert into Islam.
But there was no sign of any change of heart in either man, and during the march it became clear to the holy Prophet that it was not in accordance with the Will of God that they should be left alive.

At one of the first halts he gave orders that Nadr should be put to death, and it was Ali who beheaded him. At a subsequent halt Uqbah suffered the same fate at the hands of a man of Aws.

The Prophet divided the remainder of the captives and the rest of the spoils at a halt within three days march of Medina, giving in so far as was possible an equal share to every man who had taken part in the expedition.

By that time Zayd and Abd Allah Ibin Rawahah had reached Medina, and there was great rejoicing amongst all except the Jews and the hypocrites.

But Zayd was given sad news in exchange for his good news: Ruqayyah the Prophet’s daughter was dead; Uthman her husband and Usamah had just returned from burying her.

The lamentations in that part of the city were still further increased when Zayd told Afra of the death of her two sons Awf and Mu’awwidh.

Sawdah went between her own house and theirs to join the mourning in both. For Afra there was joy mingled with sorrow on account of the glorious manner of her sons deaths.

But Zayd had also to tell Rubayyah of the death of her youthful son Harithah Ibin Surdqah, whose neck had been pierced by an arrow as he was drinking at the cistern.

And as soon as the Prophet himself returned a few days later she came to him and asked him about her son; for she was troubled by the thought that the youth had been slain before the battle had started and before he had had time to strike a blow for Islam.

“O Messenger of God. Wilt thou not tell me of Harithah, so that if he be in Paradise I may bear my loss with patience, and if not I may do penance for him with weeping.”
The Prophet had already answered such questions in general at the battlefield and on the return trip, for he had promised that a believer is rewarded for what he purposes, even if he should not achieve it, he said:

“Deeds are counted according to the intention.”

Addressing the Mother of Harithah directly, the holy Prophet said to her,

“Mother of Harithah, in Paradise there are many Gardens, and verily thy son hath attained unto the All the Highest; the Firdaws.”

The Ransoming of the Captives

The captives of the battle of Badr arrived in Medina with their guards, a day after the arrival of the holy Prophet.

Sawda Bint Zam’ah, who had gone once more to visit Afra, and was astonished on her return to see her cousin and brother-in-law Suhayl, the chief of her clan, sitting in a corner of the room of her house with his hands tied to his neck. The sight aroused long forgotten sentiments and made her forget for the moment all that had replaced them.

“O Abu Yazeed! All too readily didst thou surrender. Thou shouldst have died a noble death.”


Exclaimed the Prophet, whose presence she had not noticed. The reproof in his voice immediately brought her back, not without a sense of shame though, from her pre-Islamic past to her Islamic present.
There were still hopes that Suhayl would enter Islam, and surely the impact of the now flourishing and already powerful theocracy could not fail to impress him and the other captives.

But the Prophet relied on his followers to put Islamic and not pagan ideas into their heads. Again he turned to the now repentant Sawdah and said softly to her:

“Wouldst thou foment trouble against God and His Messenger?”

The eminence of Suhayl, like that of Abu Sufyan, had been greatly enhanced by the deaths of so many leaders. His influence could have been expected to bring many waverers to Islam from his own clan and also from others; .

But his stay in Medina was cut short, for the Bani Ameer quickly sent one of their clan to ransom him, and the man consented to remain as hostage while his chief went back to Mecca to arrange the payment of the sum agreed upon.

Each of the captives had been shared between three or more of the combatants, and the group of Helpers who owned Abbass now brought him to the Prophet and said:

“O Messenger of God, allow us to forgo the ransom due to us for our sister Salma’s son.”

But the Prophet said:

“Ye shall not remit a single Dirhim.”

Then he turned to his uncle, saying:

“Ransom thyself Abbass and thy two nephews, Aqeel and Nawfal, for thou art a rich man.”

Abbass protested:

“I was already a Muslim, but the people made me march out with them.”

The Prophet answered:

“As to thine Islam, God knoweth best. If what thou sayest is true, He will reward thee. But outwardly thou hast been against us, so pay us thy ransom.”

Abbass replied that he had no money, but the Prophet said:

“Where then is the money thou didst leave with Umm Al-Fadl? Ye two were alone when thou didst say to her: If I should be slain, so much is for Fadl, for Abd Allah, for Qitham and for Ubayd Allah.”

It was maybe then only that faith truly entered the heart of Abbass.

“By Him who sent thee with the truth! None knew of this but she and I. Now I know that thou art the Messenger of God.”

And he agreed to ransom his two nephews and his confederate as well as himself.
The Necklace Of Onyx

One of the prisoners who was quartered with the Prophet was his son-in-law Abul-As, whose brother Amr came from Mecca with a sum of money sent by Zaynab to ransom him; and with the money she sent a necklace of onyx which her mother had given her on her wedding day.

When the Prophet saw the necklace he turned pale, recognising it at once as Khadeejah’s. He was so deeply moved, he said to those who had a share in prisoner:

“If ye should see fit to release her captive husband and return to her the ransom, it is for you to do so.”

They at once agreed, and both the money and the necklace were returned together with Abul-As himself. It had been hoped that he would enter Islam while he was in Medina, but he did not, and when he left for Mecca the Prophet told him that on his return he should send Zaynab to Medina, and this he sadly promised to do.
The Revelation had made it clear that a Muslim woman could not be the wife of a pagan man.

Abd Allah Ibin Jahsh had a share in Waleed, the youngest son of the now dead Waleed, the former chief of Makhzum. The youth’s two brothers Khalid and Hisham came to ransom him.

And Abd Allah would take no less than four thousand dirhems, and Khalid, the captive’s half-brother, was unwilling to give so much, but the full brother Hisham reproached him, whereupon Khalid reluctantly consented.

The Prophet, however, was against the transaction and told Abd Allah that he should ask them for nothing less than their father’s famous arms and armour.

Khalid once more refused, but again Hisham won him over; and when they had brought the heirloom to Medina they set off with their brother again for Mecca.

But at one of the first halts he slipped away from them and returned to Medina, where he went straight to the Prophet and made his formal entry into Islam, pledging his allegiance to him. His brothers followed hard after him, and, when they saw what had happened, the outraged Khalid said to him:
“Why was this not done before thou wert ransomed, and before our father’s treasured legacy had left our hands? Why didst thou not become a follower of Mohammad then, if that was thy purpose?”

Waleed answered that he was not the man to let Quraysh say of him:

“He did but follow Mohammad to escape from having to pay ransom.”

Then he went back with his brothers to Mecca to fetch some of his possessions, not suspecting that they would do anything against him. But once there they imprisoned him with Ayyash and Salamah, the two Muslim half brothers of Abu Jahl, whom Ikrimah the son of Abu Jahl still kept under guard after his father’s death.

The Prophet used often to pray for the escape of all three of them and of Hisham of Sahm and others who were forcibly detained in Mecca.

Jubayr the son of Mut’im

He came to ransom his cousin and two of their confederates, and the Prophet received him graciously. He told him that if Mut’im had been alive and had come to him on behalf of the prisoners he would have surrendered them to him free of ransom.

Jubayr was impressed by everything he saw in Medina; and one evening, at sunset, he stayed outside the Mosque and listened to the prayer.

The Prophet was reciting the Surah named Al-Tur(The Mount), which warns of the Judgement Day and of Hell, and then speaks of the wonders of Paradise, and it ends with the words:

“Wait patiently for the fulfilment of thy Lord’s decree, for verify thou art in Our sight,. and glorify thy Lord with praise when thou uprisest, and glorify Him in the night, and at the dimming of the stars.”

Koran:52, 48-9

It was then that faith took root in my heart he later would say. But he would not yet listen to its promptings for he was too engrossed with thoughts of his beloved uncle’s recent death at Badr.

But if it not be for Tu’aymah, Mut’im’s brother, who was one of those of many of whom the young lad Ali alone had killed that day at Badr, and Jubayr felt bound in honour to avenge his death; and fearing lest he should weaken in his purpose, he left for Mecca as soon as he had reached an agreement about the ransoms.

Most of the ransomers were at least courteous to the Prophet. An exception was Ubayy of Jumah, the brother of Umayyah and bossom friend of Uqbah, both of whom had been killed after the battle. As he was leaving with his ransomed son he said:

“O Mohammad, I have a horse named Awd that I feed every day on many measures of corn. I shall slay thee when I am riding him!”

The Prophet replied.

“Nay, it is I who shall slay thee, if God willth.”

Safwan and Umayr

Meantime in Mecca Ubayy’s two nephews, Safwan and Umayr, were speaking with savage bitterness about the irretrievable loss caused to Quraysh by the death of those leaders who had been thrown into the pit at Badr.

1.Safwan was the son of Umayyah and likely to become chief of Jumah now that his father was dead.
2.His cousin Umayr was the man who had ridden round the Muslim army at Badr and estimated its strength.

“By God, there is no good in life, now that they are gone.”

Said Safwan to Umayr who agreed with him. And Umayr was nearer to sincerity than the other. His son was one of the captives, but he was too heavily in debt to ransom him, and he felt so oppressed with his life that he was prepared to sacrifice it to the common cause.

“But for a debt I cannot pay, and a family I fear to leave destitute, I would ride out to Mohammad and kill him. On me be thy debt, and thy family be as mine! I will care for them as long as they live. They shall not want for aught that is mine to give them.”

Safwan immediately accepted his offer, and they swore to keep it a secret between the two of them until their end had been achieved. Then Umayr sharpened his sword, smeared it with deadly poison, and set off for Yathrib on the pretext of ransoming his son.

When he reached Lower Medina, the Prophet was sitting in the Mosque. On seeing Umayr girt with his sword, Hamzah stopped him from entering, but the Prophet called to his uncle to let the Jumahite approach. So Hamzah took some caution and said to some Helpers who were near with him:

“Go ye in unto the Messenger of God and sit with him and be on your guard for him against this villain, for he is in no wise to be trusted.”

Umayr wished them good day – a salutation of paganism – and the Prophet said:

“God hath given us a better greeting than thine, O Umayr. It is Peace, the greeting of the people of Paradise.”

Then he asked him why he had come, and Umayr mentioned his son as the reason.
“Why, then that sword?”

Said the Prophet.

“God damn swords!”

Said Umayr.

“Have they done us any good servce? Tell me the truth. To what end hast thou come?”

Said the Prophet. And when Umayr reiterated the pretext of his son, the Prophet repeated to him word for word the conversation he had had in the Hijr with Safwan.

“So Safwan took upon himself thy debt and thy family, that thou shouldst slay me; but God hath come between thee and that.”

“Who told, thee this? For by God there was no third man with us?”

Cried Umayr.

“Jibraeel told me.”

Said the Prophet.

“We called thee liar. When thou didst bring us tidings from Heaven. But praise be to God who hath guided me unto Islam. I testify that there is no god but God, and that Mohammad is the messenger of God.”

The Prophet turned to some of those who were present and said.

“Instruct your brother in his religion, and recite unto him the Koran; and release for him his captive son.”

Umayr was eager to return to Mecca that he might try to bring others to Islam, Safwan amongst them. The Prophet gave him permission to go and he made many converts.

But Safwan considered him to be a traitor, and resolutely refused to speak to him or have anything to do with him. After some months Umayr returned himself to Medina as an Emigrant.

The return of Zaynab to Medinah

When Abul Al-As returned to Mecca, he told Zaynab that he had promised her father, the holy Prophet that he would send her to Medina, as soon as he arrived in Mecca. They both agreed that their little daughter Umamah should also go with her.

Their son Ali had died in infancy, and Zaynab was now expecting a third child. When all the preparations had been made for the journey, Abul-As sent with them his brother Kinanah as escort.

They had kept their plans secret, but they none the less set off in daylight, and there was much talk about it in Mecca, until finally some of Quraysh decided to follow them and to bring Zaynab back into the bosom of the clan of Abdu Shams to which she belonged by marriage.
When they were close upon them, a man of Fihr, Habbar by name, galloped on ahead and circled closely round them, brandishing his spear at Zaynab as she sat in her howdah with Umamah, and then rejoining the others who were now close upon them.

Kinanah quickly dismounted, took his bow, knelt facing them, and emptied his quiver onto the sand in front of him.

“Let one of you come near me, and by God, I will put an arrow into him.”

The men drew back as he bent his bow. Then, after a brief consultation, his chief, Abu Sufyan, and one or two others dismounted and walked forward, asking him to unbend his bow and discuss the matter with them.

Kinanah agreed, and Abu Sufyan said to him:

“It was a grave mistake to bring the woman out publicly over the heads of the people, when thou knowest the disaster that hath befallen us, and all that Mohammad hath done against us. It will be taken as a sign that we have been humbled, and men will say that it is nothing but impotence on our part. By my life, it is not that we want to keep her from her father, nor would that serve us for revenge. But take the woman back to Mecca, and when tongues have stopped wagging about our meekness, and when the news hath spread that we went out after her and brought her back, then steal her out secretly to join her father.”

Kindnah accepted this proposal, and they all returned to Mecca together. Shortly afterwards Zaynab had a miscarriage which was attributed to the fright caused her by Habbar.

When she had recovered, and when time enough had elapsed, Kininah again took her out with Umamah under cover of the night, and escorted them as far as the valley of Yajaj, some eight miles from Mecca.

There they were met by Zayd, as had previously been arranged, and he brought them safely to Medina.




































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