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Eid-ul-Fitr – indeed a victory celebration of Battle of Badr

Fasting was made compulsory in the second year after the migration for the Muslims. (فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ) “So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it” (Quran 2:185). Just a few days had passed in the month of Ramadan when, according to the divine proclamation, the Holy Prophet left Madinah with his 313 followers. There was no intention of war, neither the opportunity nor the capability therefore no preparation was done to increase the military strength but on 17th Ramadan 2 AH (13th March 624 AD), the Battle of Badr took place.

The battle between the believer and the disbeliever and between truth and falsehood began. (قَدْ کَانَ لَکُمْ آیَۃٌ فِیْ فِیْءَتَیْنِ الْتَقَتَا ، فِءَۃٌ تُقَاتِلُ فِیْ سَبِیْلِ اللّٰہِ وَ اُخْریٰ کَافِرَۃٌ) “Already there has been for you a sign in the two armies which met – one fighting in the cause of Allah and another of disbelievers.” (Quran 3:13) And Prophet (pbuh) picked up a handful of pebbles and threw them at the faces of the Quraysh. The Book of Allah described it as وَمَا رَمَيَتَ ​​ِْذْ رَمَيَتَ ​​وَ لَكِنَّ اللَّهَ رَمَى)) “And you threw not, [O Muhammad], when you threw, but it was Allah who threw that”. After that, the Prophet (pbuh) ordered a counterattack and said, Heaven is waiting for you. Umayr bin Hammam responded: Very well!

Surprisingly, Prophet of Islam with outstretched hands, continuously يا حي يا قيوم “O Living, O Sustaining” on his tongue, was praying for the victory before Allah said, اللھم انجز لی ما وعدتنی “O Lord! Fulfill what you have promised me”.

And when the battle was at its peak, he prayed: اللھم ان تھلک ھذہ العصابۃ من اھل الاسلام لا تعبد فی الارض “O Lord! If this group of Muslims perishes, then there will be no one on earth to worship you.” (Because this ummah is the last ummah)

He was too engrossed in his prayer to notice that the body warp fell from his shoulders. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique picked up the shawl and put it back on his shoulders, held his hand and said, یا رسول اﷲ!” حسبک فقد الححت علی ربک” “O Messenger of Allah! Please stop, you have wept a lot before Allah”. The Quran made Prophet remember in these words: اذ تستغیثون ربکم فاستجاب لکم انی ممدکم بالف من الملائکۃ مردفین (Quran 8:9) [Remember] when you asked help of your Lord, and He answered you, “Indeed, I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, following one another.” and says, سالقی فی قلوب الذین کفروا الرعب (Quran 8:12) “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved”.

According to Sahih Bukhari, Prophet was continuously reciting this verse: سیہزم الجمع و یولون الدبر (Quran 54:45) [Their] assembly will be defeated, and they will turn their backs [in retreat]. Soon signs of trouble began to appear in the army of the polytheists and they were forced to retreat in disarray. There was a stampede among them as they were defeated and finally the Muslims achieved the absolute victory.

Abu Jahl was killed by Muaaz ibn Amr and Muawwidh, both sons of Afra. Ikrima (who had not yet converted to Islam), in support of his father Abu Jahl, struck Muaaz on the shoulder with such force that his hand was cut off and hanged with a brace. Muaaz continued to fight in this condition till evening. When the pain became unbearable, he pressed his hand under his foot and pulled it with such force that the brace got separated; he remained alive till the caliphate of Hazrat Uthman Ghani. However his brother Muawwidh fought bravely and became one of the martyrs in the battle of Badr. Fourteen Muslims were martyred in this battle including six Muhajir (Immigrants) and eight from the Ansar (The Helpers). But 70 men of the polytheists were killed and 70 were imprisoned who were chiefs and leaders of Quraysh tribe. For example, Utbah ibn Rabi’ah, Shaybah ibn Rabi’ah, Abu al-Hakam ibn Hisham, Umayyah ibn Khalaf, Zam’ah ibn al-Aswad, Nabiya and Manbah. Some leaders were killed. The seized booty was entrusted to Abdullah ibn Ka’b. While returning, when Muslims reached the valley of Safra, Prophet distributed the booty among the Muslims.

The Battle of Badr, in which the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) numbered 313, overcame an army of one thousand polytheists. He sent Abdullah ibn Rawaha towards his family and Zayd ibn Harithah towards people of Madinah to announce the good news of the victory, but the news reached Madinah when the funeral of Usman Ghani’s wife and Tayyab and Tahir’s sister Hazrat Ruqiya was being conducted. Hazrat Usman Ghani who could not participate in Badr to take care of Hazrat Ruqiya, but was counted with those participated in battle of Badr as the non participance was on the order of the Holy Prophet.

Walking from valley of Safra, taking stoppage in between their caravan reached Madinah along with prisoners. When they reached Madinah, Prophet divided the prisoners among the Companions and said: “استوصوا بالاساری خیرًا” “Treat prisoners kindly”.

So the Companions first fed the prisoners and later ate themselves. If nothing left to eat then they used to be content with just dates. Musab ibn Umair’s brother Abu Aziz ibn Umair was also among the prisoners. He says, “I was among a group of Ansar…Whenever they had lunch or dinner they would give me the bread and eat dates himself. I felt ashamed and insisted them to eat bread but they did not eat and said that the Prophet (pbuh) had commanded us to treat the prisoners well.”

Those who were poor and could not pay the ransom later released without any compensation or ransom.

Abul Aas, husband of Hazrat Zainab – Prophet’s daughter, was among the prisoners. Hazrat Zainab had sent a necklace gifted by her mother Hazrat Khadija at the time of her marriage as ransom. The messenger of mercy and benevolence saw the necklace given by Hazrat Khadija and felt pity. Permission was sought from the Companions, the companions of Muhammad (pbuh), who are the like stars of the Ummah, accepted it wholeheartedly. Abul Aas was released without ransom on the condition that he would not block the return of Hazrat Zainab.

The people of Makkah also knew how to read and write. It was decided that those who did not have the ransom money should teach ten children of Madinah to read and write and secure their freedom. That will be considered their ransom.

Even after facing the loss of lives and property for 13 years after embracing Islam, the attitude of the Companions of Muhammad towards these polytheists of Makkah cannot be found in history despite much searching. These are the shining signs of faith for the believers.

This was the first battle of truth against falsehood and this battle was in fact the cornerstone for the splendour of Islam. Father versus son, brother versus brother stood against each other. The swords were unleashed over the difference of principles; the oppressed had extinguished the fire of their anger by clashing with the oppressor. Therefore, those who took part in this war were declared to get place in Paradise because Quraysh were the biggest enemies of Islam and their power was diminish.

Thus, the expression of happiness on every success is the innate desire of the human being, especially after winning the ‘war’, all the ancient and modern nations have and will continue to celebrate happiness. Naturally, the Arabs are emotional, the Muslim warriors of Arabia achieved an absolute victory over the polytheists of Makkah, and so they had a natural desire to celebrate this great victory.

Although it was a legitimate demand, the time when this happened was the month of Ramadan in which Muslims were obliged to fast first time. And the main purpose of ‘fasting’ is not to boast but to suppress it. It is not a matter of letting go of emotions, but of controlling them. It is not to show arrogance and conceit, but to turn away from it. Pleasure is not to be shunned, but to be wary of it. The requirements of fasting are not a show of strength but a test of self. It is not about name and appearance but humility and prostration.

The month of Ramadan restricts open demonstration of the soul satisfying manifestations, and the expression of joy at victory was the greatest pleasure of the rebellious soul. Therefore, the Prophet (pbuh) could never allow it. Therefore, the Prophet (pbuh) did not allow Muslims to hold celebrations in Ramadan, considering the restrictions of Ramadan. The impatience of the self is over, the emotions were tamed and the river of desires stopped flowing. On the other hand, Ramadan ended, the moon of Shawwal came out.

Arab considered the month of Shawwal as the month of joy and happiness. Considering the sentiments of the Arabs, on the morning of 1st Shawwal, the Holy Prophet allowed the Muslims to fulfill their legitimate desire to celebrate the ‘Victory of Badr’ – the first and great military victory. So, with the permission, Muslims went out to celebrate the ‘celebration of happiness’.

Since in Islam, (ِّنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكْيِ وَمَحَيَاءَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ) “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah” (Quran 6:162) presents the philosophy of life. The celebration started with Muslims performing two rak’ats of prayers along with various Islamic slogans and several military takbirs (Allāhu ʾakbar). After the prayers, Prophet delivered a sermon to acquaint believers with Islamic and moral teachings. Post that, Muslims celebrated throughout the day. Children danced in joy, young girls sang on daf (a musical instrument).

Prophet of Islam declared the day of celebration of the Battle of Badr an Islamic and national day for the Muslims so that when Eid-ul-Fitr comes, the scenes from the first battle would make their blood flow in their veins. And remind them of the early days of Islam battling for its existence between life and death. And when the oppressed in the world call upon them for help, they respond and run towards them. (Summarized from Ma’l-e-Baseerat written by Attaullah Palvi)

Sadaqat al-Fitr (charity) was imposed in 2 AH, the month of Ramadan and it was announced that it is necessary for Muslim men, women, free, slaves, young and old alike to pay a Sāʿ (ancient measurement of volume) because it is a celebration of happiness.

In the same year, after the Battle of Badr, in Dhu al-Hijjah 3 AH, Prophet (pbuh) married his youngest daughter, Hazrat Fatima Zahra, at the age of eighteen, to Hazrat Ali. The gifts included a banyan bed, a leather mattress, a water bag, musk, two millstones and two clay pots. In the same year he married his second daughter Umm Kulthum to Hazrat Uthman bin Affan. The sacrifice (animal sacrifice) was also fixed in the same year.

A translated excerpt from the Urdu book “Seerat e Badr-ud-Duja” authored by Maulana Syed Shahabuddin Salfi Firdausi.

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