JEHAD AND CIVILIZATION - 1
(The Battle of Badr)
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 episode reveals that this mole assumed
mountainous proportions because it served as the first practical exposition of
the Islamic doctrine known as JEHAD.
'Jehad' is an Arabic word, which literally means
'endeavor', but as an Islamic doctrine, it implies fighting in the way of Allah
(the Arabic God) to establish His supremacy over unbelievers until they
relinquish their faith to become Muslims or acknowledge their subordination by
paying a humiliation-tax called JAZIYA.
Jehad is a perpetual war against infidels which include
Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Deists, Skeptics as well as Jews and Christians.
According to this doctrine, a person's biggest crime is to deny Allah and
Muhammad's exclusive right to be believed in and adored. Therefore, this is a
sufficient cause for a Muslim state to raid and subjugate non-Muslim
territories. What is amazing is the fact that Allah bribes the Muslims to wage
Jehad by declaring murder, arson, rape and enslavement of non-Muslims as the
greatest piety whereas even an ordinary human thinks of them as the most heinous
atrocities and acts of utter moral degradation.
Can Allah be really a righteous God or is it just a
manipulation of the concept of Allah to establish Arab Cultural Imperialism? To
answer these questions we want to look into the geographical background of
Arabia because physical conditions of a land play a major role in determining
its habits and culture:
The economic plight of Arabia created a pastoral
society which had developed into two groups: firstly, the majority, known as the
Bedouins, who had not only to keep wandering in search of pastures but also
supplement their meager livelihood by resorting to brigandage, which meant
raiding other tribes and commercial caravans. Though it was sheer looting, it
assured them solace, security and survival, and, therefore, it 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 prophet Muhammad, the greatest Arab national hero. 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."
Obviously, robbing others, was a compulsive trait of
the Arab national character and this is the reason that it was not considered an
act of impiety but a mark of honor and manliness. Realizing its significance,
the Prophet converted this institution into a religious doctrine called 'Jehad'
i.e. the Holy War against infidels to build an Arab Empire. However, the Arab
Empire, though in essence was exactly like any other empire, in appearance it
was to look godly. Therefore, it was named as Empire of Allah, who is said to be
the greatest, yet dependent on man for its creation!
The doctrine of Jehad which incorporates the Arab
custom of 'razzia' (raiding for booty), is really stunning in its constitution
and application. Since it seeks ascendancy of Arabia and annihilation of
non-Arabs in the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, it vouched for the great
wisdom of its author by making the wolf appear as a lamb, wrong as right and
bleak as bright.
Though I have already tried to explain the nature of
Jehad, in view of its complexity and emotional appeal, I think, it is necessary
to be repetitive for elucidating this blood-thirsty war mechanism, which served
not only as the cornerstone of the Arab Empire but also as the pillar of its
Spiritual Empire, which sprang from the ashes of the former, and has now emerged
as the most formidable challenge to the intellectual and moral dignity of man
and his civilization. I, therefore, re-present a short sketch of this divine
1. The first principle of Jehad is that a person loses
his free will and becomes a slave of Allah when he accepts Islam because it
creates certain duties and rewards which do not come within the jurisdiction of
morality abnormally understood by cultured people:
"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:III)
Remember that paradise is the place of luxury which
abounds in beautiful virgins and boys and where everything is available free of
charge; again, toil, sickness, ageing and death are also unknown there.
2. What is Allah's cause? It is simply killing
infidels. 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 has permanently divided
humanity into two perpetually hostile groups:
"Those (unbelievers) are Satan's party; why
Satan's party, surely, they are the losers! Surely, those who oppose God and His
Messenger, those are among the most abject. God has written 'I shall assuredly
be the Victor, I and My Messenger....' Thou shalt not find any people who
believe in God and the Last Day who are loving to anyone who opposes God and His
Messenger, nor though they were their father, or their sons or their brothers,
or their clan....And he shall admit them into gardens underneath which rivers
flow. God well pleased with them, and they well pleased with God. They are God's
party; why surely God's party - they are the prosperers." (The Disputer
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.
Now comes the specific command to wage a war against
"Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last
Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden - such as men as
practice not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book
- until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled."
This verse emphasizes the duty of a Muslim to fight
non-Muslims; People of the Book i.e. Jews and Christians are also included in
the category of infidels. They must be fought until they surrender and pay
tribute as a sign of their humiliation.
Receiving tribute from unbelievers in the name of God,
is the true purpose of Islam. One can clearly see here the Arab custom of
brigandage, sanctified in the guise of religion. Thus loot, murder and rape are
no longer wicked actions, which attract retribution, but made to look the acme
of piety to deserve the highest reward that Allah can bestow on His followers.
If the crusader survives, he gets loot and also legally becomes entitled to
possess women of the vanquished. Along with it goes the enjoyment of imperialism
that accrues from receiving perpetual tribute. And if he is killed in the
battlefield, he goes straight into paradise where rivers of wine, milk and honey
flow and where most beautiful virgins and pretty boys anxiously wait for them
with open arms! Thus, a Mujahid (the holy warrior) wins dead or alive!
The Prophet made sure that brigandage no longer remains
a low and haphazard affair, but a highly respected and disciplined organization,
stamped with divine approval:
"Know that paradise is under the shade of
swords." (Sahih Al Bukhari: 4.73)
Thus, the sword became the connecting bridge between
pillage and paradise and served as the motivating power for the Arabs to conquer
and rule the world. The Battle of Badr though in itself a tiny event, served as
the major source of the Spiritual Arab Imperialism, which has been steadily
rising in magnitude for the last fourteen centuries.
Muhammad's genius lay not only in sanctifying the sword
but also finding the beneficial use for it with a view to magnetizing his own
person for gathering crowds of followers around himself. An overwhelming
majority of those, 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 Ansaars i.e. the local Muslim believers
of Medina, for their sustenance. Though these refugees appreciated their
brotherly hospitality, they resented their dependence, which the custom held as
a sign of disrespect, derision and degradation.
Realizing despondency of his followers, the Prophet
turned it into a rage for vengeance, which sought to plunder and persuade those,
who had inflicted torture on them. 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 because He categorized them as
Jehad i.e. Holy War against the infidels.
Allah is so intoxicated by the love of absolutism that
He does not care for justice or decency! Who else could have the audacity to
declare that murdering, looting and raping people for the sheer folly of not
believing in Muhammad, ranks as the highest act of piety. One ought to note that
a person may believe in God most sincerely yet he remains an infidel, subject to
Jehad, unless he/she acknowledges Muhammad as the Prophet. Obviously, the pivot
of faith is Muhammad and not Allah!
This commandment of holy loot also served as an
effective way of boosting their moral sky-high because they believed that they
were doing all this to please Allah and not line their own pockets. Therefore, a
soldier of God had to be at least twice as brave, boisterous and bullish as an
ordinary fighter. Thus the Prophet revealed Allah's pleasure:
"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: XXII:38)
Note Allah's promise to help the Muslims in taking
revenge from those who had wronged them. What is surprising is the fact that
here vengeance means helping Allah! It smells of divine stratagem, which as we
shall see, lays down the principle of looting and murdering non-Muslims as the
righteous way of life; the Battle of Badr is the first precedent to this effect.
Though small in size, it became a major event, which exerted 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
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 this house, eventually,
were 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, the doctrine of Jehad i.e. murdering
non-Muslims for possessing their wealth, property and women.
In essence, there was nothing new in it because the
Arabs were customarily used to plundering the commercial caravans. To exploit
this vice, Islam cleverly renamed brigandage and killing as Jehad, which was to
be carried out to glorify Allah, the Great. By reshaping common robbery into a
Divine pursuit, it inspired the lust for plunder with the spirit of untold
devotion, discipline and desire that turned the looters into crusaders, who
carried out their atrocities with greatly enhanced enthusiasm; in fact, they
became ferocious robots who thought of pillage as piety and equated murder with
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 people of the community but also the small men, who might have saved
a dinar or two, and wanted to profit, which usually amounted to 50%. These
caravans represented communal investment, and because of their high value, 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, but whenever, it succumbed to the
attack of the plundering mafia, it created highly heart-rending scenes of women,
beating their breasts, pulling hair and singing mournful songs to express their
loss, that might also include the death of some defenders.
Enunciation of the doctrine of Jehad struck terror into
the hearts of the Meccan traders, who were alarmed about their trade with the
north because its route passed between Medina and the sea coast. It is baffling
to realize that the Prophet, who prescribed hand-cutting as the punishment for
stealing, personally led the Ghazawats i.e. pillage-expeditions (razzias)
against the Meccan caravans in 623. Though he failed in all 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 had hardly any effective equipment to fight the unbelievers for spreading
Islam. So, Muhammad tried to enhance his influence in the territory of Osheira
to make 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 them.
The initial escape of the caravan seems to have disturbed the apostolic plan and
he 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 Jehad, 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 paradisiac 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 an 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 any time. The
report was correct but Abu Sufyan was a shrewd fellow. Realizing immediate
danger, he at once dispatched a courier to Mecca asking for a strong defending
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
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 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
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)
The historian may find it strange that a man is telling
his Creator what will happen if He does not listen to him, and the Almighty
agrees to his suggestion for fear of losing worshippers, but his followers
intoxicated by the promises of heavenly virgins and boys had no such qualms.
They believed that Allah is directed by Muhammad and, therefore, the battle
shall end in a resounding victory for them.
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 (the
natives of Medina as distinct from the Emigrants) 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
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
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:
By this statement Muhammad secured the entire credit
for his Prophethood, 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
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,
it was simply terrific; "the loot consisted of 115 camels, 14 horses, a
great store of vestments and carpets, articles of leather, with much equipage
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 Jehad,
which essentially means building an Arab Empire by denying non-Muslims all
rights except the right to serve their Arab masters. This servitude is not
ephemeral but eternal because Jehad seeks perpetual humiliation of non-Muslims
through a system of everlasting subjugation and payment of tribute. 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 but here I may
further explain the novelty of Jehad as the Doctrine of Struggle against the
1. 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. A hadith of the Prophet says:
The Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) said "...he who
amongst the community of Jews or Christians hears about me, but does not affirm
his belief in that with which (Koran) I have been sent, and dies in this state
(of disbelief) he shall be but one of the denizens of Hellfire". (Sahih
Muslim, Vol. One, Hadith: 284)
Having abrogated all other religions, the Prophet
prescribes the course of action against them:
"I have been commanded (by Allah) to fight against
people, till they testify to the fact that there is no God but Allah, and
believe in me (that) I am the Messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have
brought. And when they do it, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection
on my behalf except where it is justified by Law..." (Sahih Muslim, Vol.
One, Hadith: 31)
Here it is quite clear that the biggest crime for any
person or nation is the denial of Islam, and the true solution of the problem is
a perpetual war against infidels and renegades!
2. Of course, the institution of Imperialism is not an
Arabian invention. Murder of other nations for booty by the Romans, the
Iranians, the Mughals, the Turks or the British, is equally bad.
All imperial nations as they became civilized and
conscious of human dignity, realized that it is morally wrong to maim, mutilate
and murder other people for personal or collective gain. In fact, gradually,
they upheld human rights through a code of justice and economic improvement and
the concept applied to all people irrespective of race and color. Today, we live
in a world where murder, rape, robbery, denial of justice and usurpation of
rights are considered the greatest moral vices but this standard of morality is
an utter nonsense in the world of Islam. Why?
Because denial of Islam is considered a serious crime
that is a total justification for stripping a person of his human rights and
subjecting him to perpetual grilling until he/she acknowledges the Prophethood
of Muhammad. The faith in Islam 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 irrespective of his piety, shall be thrown into
hell! Practicing this discrimination in this world is also the basis of Islamic
culture. Small wonder, Jehad is the fundamental Islamic doctrine, which treats
murder, rape and plunder of non-Muslims as the loftiest virtue and sure
guarantee of paradise. However, its prominent attraction is booty, which acts as
the greatest predatory motive and despite being highly impious, is believed to
increase a Muslim's piety. This man- hating philosophy is deeply ingrained in
the Battle of Badr and serves as the guiding precedent for all Muslims.
The Arabs have never treated non-Arab Muslims as equals
in their countries. For example, no Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi Muslim
holds an important ministerial or administrative post in any Arab country. Their
practical status is even worse than that of the infidels: when non-Muslim
subjects broke chains of the Arab domination, they became free, and even their
superior, over a period of time, but the non-Arab Muslims even when they are
politically independent, remain spiritual and psychological slaves of Arabia.
This is the specialty of the Arab Imperialism, which vouches for the patriotism
and wisdom of Muhammad. This is not a fiction but a fact because Islam is
essentially the ambassador of Arab national interest, seeking to perpetuate it
as Arab Imperialism in the guise of religion. One cannot help applauding the
genius of the Prophet, who made his own country the center of Divine reverence
and then persuaded his followers all over the world, under the threat of hell,
to prostrate toward Mecca to qualify for paradise!
Look at the underlying stratagem for yourself. The
1. God, the Creator of the world had Kaaba (Mecca, the
center of Arabia) built as His own House by Adam, and then rebuilt by Abraham.
Thus the land of Arabia, being the Home of Allah, is superior to all other
2. On death, the body of a Muslim must be buried facing
Mecca (to show his devotion to Arabia), otherwise, he shall not be admitted into
3. So sacred is Mecca (the birth-place of Muhammad)
that nobody must defecate facing this City. He who does so, is an infidel and
shall go to hell.
4. Arabic is not only the language of the Koran but
also of Allah. So all Muslims must learn and speak Arabic to be godly.
5. The hadith no. 5751 (Mishkat, Vol. 3) reports the
Prophet saying: "Love the Arabs for three reasons because (1) I am an Arab
(2) the Holy Koran is in Arabic, and (3) the tongue of the dwellers of paradise
shall also be Arabic.
6. Every Muslim, no matter where he lives, must come to
Mecca for pilgrimage a least once in a life-time, if he has the means to do so.
This religious duty of the Muslims has been an
important economic artery of (Saudi) Arabia for centuries and serves as a
substitute for the tribute that the Prophet laid on non-Muslims to glorify the
7. What really makes Islam as the ambassador of Arab
Imperialism is the fact that it demands of non-Arab Muslims to follow the Arab
cultural and moral lead blindly. How is it done?
This impossible goal has been made possible by the
Divine Command that states Allah has made Muhammad for every believer the model
of Behavior, which he must follow to avoid the fire of hell and qualify for the
luxuries of paradise:
"You (Muslims) have had a good example in God's
Messenger (Muhammad) for whosoever hopes for God and the Last Day." (The
In Islam, the 'Last Day' is the Day of Judgement when a
person's fate shall be decided in terms of heaven and hell: the basis of verdict
shall be whether or not he or she has followed the Prophet as the Model of
Behavior. In simple language, paradise is meant only for those who believe,
feel, think, walk, talk, sleep, eat and drink as Muhammad did. We all know that
Muhammad was a great Arab patriot and practiced the Arab culture. Therefore,
every non-Arab Muslim must adore Arabia like Muhammad and adopt all Arab
cultural, moral and spiritual values.
This is not a wishful interpretation, but is actually
happening in all countries that lie within the pale of Islam: this principle is
the foundation of the Arab Imperialism, and it perpetuates itself through the
force of faith irrespective of whether the Arabs are politically ascendant or
Again, Islam or the Arab Imperialism is different from
the Roman, Iranian, Turkish or British Imperialism because it is not based on
political or economic power but exploitation of human weakness, emanating from
instinctive fear of uncertainty, which makes man feel that he is drowning and
must clutch at a straw to survive, irrespective of how irrational this act might
By imposing dictatorship of faith on its followers,
Islam has crucified their rational and inventive faculties, leading to the
degradation of their national cultures; this has become the major cause of their
backwardness, and all the evils that spring from it.
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 spread into both the east and west.
However, the west checked its growth in the Battle of Tours. Such a great
contribution has been made by this event to the survival and advancement of
civilization that I am tempted to continue it as part two of this article.