The Battle of Badr was the first great battle in the history of Islam, and those who participated in it were granted honor and grace by Almighty Allah. There are many Qur’anic verses revealed with regard to the Battle of Badr, but what attracts attention are the first verses of Surat Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War), in which Almighty Allah states that the spoils of war belong to Him and to His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). Allah says: [They ask thee (O Muhammad) of the spoils of war. Say: “The spoils of war belong to Allah and the Messenger, so keep your duty to Allah, and adjust the matter of your difference, and obey Allah and His Messenger, if ye are (true) believers”] (Al-Anfal: 1).
After that, Almighty Allah points out the attributes of those true believers: [They only are the (true) believers whose hearts feel fear when Allah is mentioned, and when the Revelations of Allah are recited unto them they increase their faith, and who trust in their Lord. (They are those) who establish prayers and spend of that We have bestowed on them. Those are they who are in truth believers. For them are grades (of honor) with their Lord, and pardon, and a bountiful provision] (Al-Anfal: 2–4).
Then, without introduction, Almighty Allah directly resumes talking about the events of the great Battle of Badr, saying: [Even as thy Lord caused thee (Muhammad) to go forth from thy home with the Truth, and lo! a party of the believers were averse (to it), disputing with thee of the Truth after it had been made manifest, as if they were being driven to death visible. And when Allah promised you one of the two bands (of the enemy) that it should be yours, and ye longed that other than the armed one might be yours. And Allah willed that He should cause the Truth to triumph by His Words, and cut the root of the disbelievers] (Al-Anfal: 5–7).
That is to say, Almighty Allah begins the surah with talking about the Battle of Badr, then He moves to point out the attributes of the true believers, and then He resumes tackling the events of Badr. This undoubtedly attracts attention, demands reflection, and makes one think why, especially that this is stated in a Book that [falsehood cannot come at it from before it or behind it] (Fussilat: 42) namely the Glorious Qur’an. Thus, one wonders why the verses pointing out the manners of “true believers” are mentioned between the verses dealing with the events of the Battle of Badr. Moreover, what increases one’s state of wonder is the hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in which he says about the Muslim fighters of Badr “How can you tell? Perhaps Allah, Exalted and Glorified be He, looked upon the people of Badr and said, ‘Do whatever you want, for I have already forgiven you’” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). Again, one wonders, “Why the people of Badr in particular?”
The answer to these questions lies in understanding the aforementioned verses and their contexts. The answer is because they are [in truth believers] (Al-Anfal: 4). They are the participants of the Battle of Badr, whom Almighty Allah wants to describe to us and whose glorious attributes He wants to point out. They are those believers who reached the highest degrees in supporting Allah’s religion and rendering it victorious and so they were granted Almighty Allah’s support, for they were in truth believers. Therefore, they were worthy of Allah’s great reward, honor, forgiveness, and bountiful provision.
Thus, Almighty Allah points out to us the attributes of His victorious servants while stating the wondrous events of the Battle of Badr, the greatest and most important battle in the history of Islam. That was why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) invoked Allah with the following heartfelt, moving, noble supplication: “O Allah, accomplish for me what You have promised me. O Allah, bring about what You have promised me. O Allah, if this small band of Muslims is destroyed, You will not be worshiped on this earth.” The Prophet continued his supplication to his Lord, stretching his hands, facing the qiblah, until his mantle slipped off his shoulders. So Abu Bakr came to him, picked up his mantle, and put it on his shoulders. Then he embraced him from behind and said: “O Messenger of Allah, this prayer of yours to your Lord is sufficient, and Allah will fulfill for you what He has promised you” (Muslim).
Allah points out the attributes of those true believers so that we may realize and understand how and why they were granted victory, and learn the principles and values of the desired victorious generation.
All Muslims are touched and their hearts are bleeding for what is going on in the Islamic world today. We all have painful memories of the cruel scenes of the occupation in one Islamic state and the usurpation of another one, and the carnages carried out in a third. Whenever we remember any of such many painful scenes, our hearts grieve, our eyes shed tears, and our sense of responsibility towards our religion increases. However, some of us are content with the feelings of pity and sympathy and the shedding of tears, doing nothing else; whereas some others keep trying and endeavoring to reinstate the Muslim nation’s status and restore its might and honor. Yet, such devoted believers lack a successful approach to the laws and signs of Almighty Allah in this universe, and fall short of the crucial requirements of victory such as learning the lessons of history, fulfilling the prerequisites for victory, and, most importantly, becoming true believers.
On remembering the great Battle of Badr, we need to pinpoint the attributes of those victorious warriors who were in truth believers, and try hard to realize these attributes, heart and soul, and practically apply them to our lives. These glorious attributes of the true believers can be summarized in the following phrases from the first verses of Surat Al-Anfal:
* They keep their duty to Allah.
* They adjust the matter of their difference.
* They obey Allah and His Messenger.
* Their hearts feel fear when Allah is mentioned.
* When the Revelations of Allah are recited to them, they increase in faith.
* They trust in their Lord.
* They establish Prayers.
* They spend of what Allah has bestowed on them.
When we realize these attributes, we will deserve to be among those [who are in truth believers. For them are grades (of honor) with their Lord, and pardon, and a bountiful provision] (Al-Anfal: 4). Only then do we become worthy of Allah’s support and help. Almighty Allah says: [When ye sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): “I will help you with a thousand of the angels, rank on rank.” Allah appointed it only as good tidings, and that your hearts thereby might be at rest. Victory cometh only by the help of Allah. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise. When he made the slumber fall upon you as a reassurance from Him and sent down water from the sky upon you, that thereby He might purify you, and remove from you the fear of Satan, and make strong your hearts and firm (your) feet thereby. When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying:) “I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger”] (Al-Anfal: 9-12).
The attributes of the true believers are so clear now, but who will apply and stick to them?
The Muslim nation is waiting for those [who are in truth believers] and when they come, victory will be achieved, for Allah says: [Allah appointed it only as good tidings, and that your hearts thereby might be at rest. Victory cometh only by the help of Allah. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise] (Al-Anfal: 10).
In fact, the Battle of Badr was witnessed by those who are in truth believers so let the members of this Muslim nation follow in their footsteps and be among those who are in truth believers.