Adil Rashid Bhatt
One of the grandest and profoundly immortal achievements of humanity has been the dramatic rise of magnificent Islamic civilization, on the blemished horizon of the forlorn world; it was purely founded on unshakable and integral faith and godly justice, inter alia natural longing to worship one true God. Islam rose as an enduring spiritual revolution that shook cultures, and nations cum echelons of power across the three continents within a short span of time of its ascendency, after the departure of Prophet Muhammed (SAW); and firmly established an empire, the Islamic Imperium.
For the people of other faiths from Asia to Europe much of the history of Islam has been obscured behind the veil of fear, concoction, false propaganda and misunderstanding; still Islam’ s forgotten history is intricately woven with civilizations across the nations; it has left deep imprints of its profound and magnificent culture and architectures across the world it ruled for a number of centuries. At a time when Europe languished in dark ages and reading science was penalized with excommunication ( banishment) by the church Muslim scholars not only translated earlier works of Greek, Persian ,and Indian scholars but , in fact, made great strides in different fields of science and arts that ultimately culminated in the transfer of knowledge to Europe and European renaissance.
The rise of Islam was a revolution par excellence the like of which have had never been witnessed by the world. But all of this began with the life of single blessed man, and the profound message he proclaimed which changed the world for all times to come .This man was none other than the magnanimous “Prophet Muhammed”(PBUH) who was born in around 570AD in the sun blasted Arabian peninsula, a land of severe water famine whose unruly Bedouin tribes were locked in perennial state of bloody animosity, a violent people who even killed neighbors camel if that trespassed into their de facto territory, rivalry over the control of a single water well, that made difference between life and death, could provoke a bloody feud that would run into generations, and culminate in recurrent blood splashed skirmishes.
There were myriad factions across the peninsula, each guarding its own territories ,trade routes, and wells. These tribes would attack each other enroute, and plunder precious valuables that they later sold in markets. In Mecca, pagans had perched almost three hundred idols of different demigods into the Qaba, the sacred house built by Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH). Each clan worshipped their own god; in fact these God’s were attributed to be harbingers of fortunes of many a kind and scale; some God’s were supposed to be harbingers of rain ,and some were supposed to bring profit in trade and so on.
The Holy Prophet(PBUH) preached against worshipping demi gods, and called people towards the powerful message of Islamic monotheism on the order of Allah-the Merciful. This raised feathers in the city of Mecca, and divided families, albeit for the time being, as people mostly youngsters keenly listened to Prophet Muhammed’s message. The message from the most high God was in turn revealed to Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) by Angel Gabriel( Jibrail alaihisalaam). After the successive deaths of Prophets’(PBUH) uncle Abu Talib, and wife Hajirah(pbuh) pagan chieftains intimidated prophet to the core. And after failing to convince him to abandon preaching Islam in Mecca the pagan chieftains hatched a conspiracy to assassinate the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in which they miserably failed. (He was the chosen one who could not be killed). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had overnight migrated to Medina,after evacuating his followers to the same blessed place, along with Abu Bakr(RA) on the invitation of generous people of tribes of Medina who had sought the Prophet’s(PBUH) leadership and guidance in amelioration of disputes cum in fighting, once for all.
This landmark migration marks the beginning of Hegirah Calendar of Muslims. Many Muslims after being inflicted torture of indescribable pain by the pagan chieftains had already migrated to Abysinia ( modern day Ethiopia)on the orders of the Prophet(PBUH) to seek refugee under the Christian king. The pagan chieftains got infuriated after the king of Abysinia refused to return Muslims who had sought his refugee in time of need, and would knit the brow on coming to know about the prophet’s(PBUH) leadership skills ,and kind treatment of him by the benevolent people of Yathrib(Medina), so much so that they plundered everything that Muslims had left behind in Mecca; and decided to trade that in Damascus, the ancient city.
Initially, the prophet(PBUH) refused to fight because Allah had not ordered him to do so, but then Allah revealed “to fight against those who fight against you, and banish those from homes who banished you”. Thus Muslims numbering 313 under the supreme leadership of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH),with meagre resources, reached to the field of Badr , a strategic trade route 70 miles away on the western side of Medina, where they captured all small and big water wells. All Meccan pagan chieftains assembled and decided to nip Muslims in the bud, once for all ,but their war mongering fell flat on the day, 17th Ramzan 2AH, they met Muslims face to face on the battle field. This was due to their obsessive stubbornness, that they were living in fool’s paradise. While as pagans feasted throughout the night prior to the battle Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) worshipped to his guardian Lord. This remarkable quality of impeccable virtue set him aside from the pagans.
Abu Sufiyan, who until then was outside the fold of Islam , schemed against Muslims and inflicted mammoth torture and pain upon them(before he entered Islam) played truant on the day of fighting. The outcome of the war was that almost all haughty pagan chieftains, like “Utbah”, “Umaiah”, “Abu Jahal”, elder son of Utbah Waleed( Utbahs younger son Huzaifa was Muslim and fought against Meccan pagans) , who issued incendiary statements against Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) ,and compelled him to migrate from Mecca were killed on the battlefield.
The Prophet’s(PBUH) close companions except Usman (RA) fought this battle. The victory was from Allah-the mighty, as alluded by Quran(3:123,3:124,3:125,3:126). A poorly equipped but spiritually and morally strong people ,313 in number, defeated a strength of more than 950 adequately resourced and well endowed force of the Quraysh. It is this battle that actually set the precedent for the success of other battles fought by Muslims against their adversaries in following years, and changed the face of the world. The prisoners of the battle were treated at par with other Muslims, and any prisoner who could teach ten Muslims would be freed, as ordered by the Prophet of wisdom (PBUH). Jabir relates: The most important thing that one must take cognizance of is that all the battles fought by Muslims under the supreme leadership of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were defensive in nature like the battle of Badr.
—The author, from Laram, Islamabad (Anantnag), can be reached at: email@example.com