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Critical Podium Dewanand


The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style Part Three

Sacrificer           unknown
Sacrifice code       wfor0233
Sacrifice date       25 march 2009

The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style

Part Three

Abul Kasem
e-mail: abul88@hotmail.com

[A cautionary note: This essay is a twenty parts series; its content may be
deemed offensive to some readers. The author will not be responsible in the
event any reader feels anger, umbrage, agitated, distraught and/or derided
after reading this serial. You have been forewarned. Read at your own

'Cruelty is the first of God's attributes-Andre Gide (1869-1951)

Terror Nine

The Battle of Badr II Led by Muhammad-March, 624CE

It was mentioned previously (Terror 6, TROTIS 2) that Muhammad, and his
accomplices narrowly missed the booty of a caravan of the Quraysh led by Abu
Sufyan. As written before, when Muhammad arrived at al-Ushayra to attack
this caravan, he learned to his dismay that this richly laden caravan had
already passed two days earlier than his advent at the intended site of
pillage. Naturally, his booty-hungry followers were very much dejected at
this unexpected loss. Muhammad, however, was astute enough to be aware that
the same caravan could be successfully attacked during its return journey
from al-Sham (Syria). Only three months of patience and waiting was
essential to seize the returning caravan. With this end in view, Muhammad
started to recruit Jihadists for his next plundering mission.

In his mosque, he called the Muslims and tempted them to raid the Quraysh
caravan for rich booty. He told his congregation, "This is the Quraysh
caravan containing their property. Go out to attack it, perhaps God will
give it as a prey." Hitherto, he never mentioned to the local people of
Medina about engaging in a war for booty. They always betook him to be
altruistic, very pious, noble, peace-loving and non-belligerent Prophet of
mercy and compassion. Many Muslims were greatly shocked at what Muhammad had said at the gathering in the mosque, and they could not believe when he
invited them to join him in the loot that Muhammad would go to war. They
were truly surprised. However, the greed for a rich booty gripped their
minds and there was no shortage of volunteers to take a chance to improve
their lot with the proceeds of plunder.

On this greed for ill-gotten wealth, Rodinson writes: "As the business
began to show a profit they were joined by volunteers from the people of
Medina, in spite of the fact that their agreement with Muhammad carried with
it no obligation to take part in his campaigns."

The response to Muhammad's call was mixed. Many people joined his team
willingly, but many were also forced or coerced into the Muslim brigand.
Muhammad set up the condition that only the Muslims were eligible to join in
this terror campaign. Many non-believers tried their luck, but Muhammad was
adamant that no Islam meant no share in the spoils. In this way, his
campaign was a great success among the local Medina Muslims (Ansars). Up
until now, no Ansar had joined Muhammad in his previous missions of highway
robbery. The success of Abdullah ibn Jahsh at Nakhla, however, had raised
the desire for booty in the minds of many Ansars. This irresistible lure and
greed for the plunder of fine Quraysh merchandise was such a great lure that
many Medinites responded with raging alacrity to his call of raiding the
Quraysh caravan. Such was the enthusiasm for this Jihad of plunder that
Muhammad quickly recruited a strong force of three hundred and thirteen
(313) men consisting of seventy-seven (77) Muhajirs and two hundred and
thirty-six (236) Ansars. Thus, the Ansars formed the bulk of his new raiding
party of Jihadists.

A few weeks before his departure for Badr, and when the Quraysh caravan came
in the vicinity of Medina, Muhammad sent two spies, Talhah ibn Ubaydullah
and Said ibn Zayd to discover the caravan's whereabouts. These two men
arrived at the campsite of Kashd al-Juhany and hid there until the caravan
passed. Forty men guarded the Meccan caravan. The two Muslim spies
estimated that the goods the caravan carried were around fifty thousand (50
000) Dinars. (Remember: one Dinar = 4.235 grams of gold. At the current
price of gold, this booty was worth about US$ 2 725 000, not including the
prices of captives, camels and other items). It was absolutely fabulous;
these two spies had no hesitation in surmising. They immediately hastened to
pass this good news to Muhammad. Muhammad, however, had already left for
Badr, just a day before these two spies returned to Medina. He was too
impatient for the booty; he could not wait for the spies' return. Thus,
Talhah ibn Ubaydullah and Said ibn Zayd had to stay back in Medina, missing
the Muslim army. Nevertheless, Muhammad did not disappoint these two
faithful spies for their services. Each of them received full share of the
plunder when Muhammad returned to Medina. Remaining at Medina was also
Muhammad's son-in-law, Uthman b. Affan. Uthman's wife, Ruqayyah (Muhammad's daughter) fell ill during this time and he had to stay back to look after her. Muhammad gave his son-in-law his full share of the booty. Such was the
generosity of the Prophet of mercy! Sahih Bukhari records Muhammad's promise
of booty to his son-in-law in this way:

Volume 4, Book 53, Number 359:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:

'Uthman did not join the Badr battle because he was married to one of the
daughters of Allah's Apostle and she was ill. So, the Prophet said to him.
"You will get a reward and a share (from the war booty) similar to the
reward and the share of one who has taken part in the Badr battle."

In the meantime, through spies and reliable sources, the news of Muhammad's
preparation to raid the Quraysh caravan reached Abu Sufyan. He was
dreadfully alarmed. He was aware of the treaties that Muhammad had entered
into with many tribes on the caravan route; there was a great possibility of
a surprise attack by them as well. He, forthwith, sent Damdam b. Amr al
Ghifari to Mecca for help. When Damdam arrived at Mecca, he cut the nose of
his camel, turned its saddle and announced Muhammad's plan to attack the
caravan of Abu Sufyan. Responding to his cry, Abu Jahl called upon all the
Meccans to join in the rescue operation. At that time, Banu Kinanah and Banu
Bakr tribes were in enmity with the Quraysh. So, they did not pay heed to
Abu Jahl's call. Taking full advantage of the Quraysh's bad time, they, at
first, decided to attack the Quraysh from behind, but in the end, the chief
of the Kinanah tribe, Suraqa b. Malik decided not to betray the Quraysh. The
Muslim biographer, like Ibn Ishaq calls this Suraqa an Iblis. When the
Quraysh were assured of non-aggression from these two tribes, Abu Jahl and
Amir ibn al-Hadrami (Amr ibn Hadrami's brother; remember? Amr was killed by
the Muslims at Nakhla) convinced the Meccans in favour of war with Muhammad.
So, every able-bodied person from the Quraysh joined in, except for Abu
Lahab. He sent, in his place, al-As b. Hisham (the maternal uncle of Umar b.
Khattab) who owed him four thousand Dirhams that he could not pay back. Abu
Lahab hired him to proxy-fight for him to clear his debt.

While the Quraysh were readying for the war, Muhammad was completely unaware of the preparation of the Meccans to face him militarily. He was very
confident that he will prevail and will accumulate the Quraysh booty.

So, with much hope and great confidence, on Sunday, the 10th March, 624 CE
(12th Ramadan, AH2), Muhammad, along with 313 (the number ranges from 307 to 318) Jihadists, marched out from Medina towards Badr. Ahead of the Muslims
were two black flags, one carried by Ali ibn Talib and the other carried by
an Ansar man. Seventy camels marched with them and the three hundred plus
Muslim soldiers took turns to ride on them. They had only two horses with
them. Muhammad kept Abu Lubaba in charge of upper Medina. Instead of the
direct route to Mecca, to hide detection, he took an unusual route that
passed by Irqul Zabya, Saffra and Dhafiran.

On Monday, the 11th of March, Muhammad arrived near Saffra. He sent two
spies, Basbas b. Amr al-Juhani and Adi b. Abu Zaghba to Badr for
intelligence regarding any preparation being made for the reception of Abu
Sufiyan at Badr and to ascertain the whereabouts of the Quraysh caravan. It
was there that Muhammad expected to encounter the caravan and to make a
sudden attack. While there, the spies overheard the conversation of two
women near a well that the Quraysh caravan was expected within a day or two.
They hurried to Muhammad to forward this important information.

In the early morning of Tuesday, 12th of March, Abu Sufyan came in advance
of the caravan and halted at the wadi (watering well) and got wind of the
presence of Muhammad's party by examining the distinct Medina camel
droppings of Basbas and Adi. Abu Sufiyan was extremely worried at the
sinister plot of Muhammad and he hurriedly went back to his main caravan;
diverted it towards the coastal route, thus saving it from the pillage by
Muhammad's soldiers. In reality, Muhammad missed the caravan by a few hours
only, Abu Sufyan, himself, went along with the caravan to ensure its safe
arrival at Mecca. He sent a second courier, Qays b. Imea al-Qays to inform
the advancing Meccan army of his decision to detour the Quraysh caravan and
to forward the message that the danger was over. During this time, Muhammad
was at Rooha and drank from a well there.

On Wednesday, the 13th of March, this second courier of Abu Sufyan met the
Meccan army led by Abu Jahl at Johfa. Abu Jahl, was proceeding to provide
the added security for the threatened caravan. The courier told Abu Jahl
that Abu Sufyan felt no necessity of bloodshed since the caravan was safe.
He asked Abu Jahl and his men to return to Mecca. But Abu Jahl insisted on
advancing forward to Badr, wishing to do some trading, as well as to enjoy
some wining and dining there. The accompanying singing girls, however, were
sent back to Mecca. Two tribes of the Quraysh, B. Zohra (Muhammad's
mother's tribe) and B. Adi (Umar's tribe) also decided to return to Mecca.

The remaining Meccan army marched forward and reached Badr in the evening of
Thursday, 14th of March. They encamped on the far side of the Badr well and
behind the mountain.

Meanwhile, Muhammad was proceeding forward. And in the early morning of
Thursday, the 14th of March, when he arrived at Dhafiran, not very far from
Badr, to his chagrin he received news of the Quraysh army advancing to
protect their richly laden caravan. He was quite frustrated at the prospect
of a bloody war instead of an easy victory for booty. The bad news for the
Jihadists was that the caravan had already passed.

The news of the advancing Meccan army was completely unexpected to the
Muslims. Muhammad himself was not sure if he should proceed further or not
now that the booty had eluded them. Facing the dilemma of whether an attack
against the Quraysh would constitute a breach of his covenant of protection
with the Ansars (a pledge that stipulated that the Ansars protect Muhammad
if he were attacked at Medina and its vicinity), Muhammad, in a meeting of
his war council, sought the advice of all the Muslims, especially that of
the Ansars. He was afraid that the Ansars might not protect him outside
Medina. Abu Bakr and Umar called for an immediate rally. The people of
Medina also pledged their support for the march. The leader of the Ansars
(from Bani al-Aws), Sa'd b. Muadh promised that the Ansars would sink if
Muhammad led them to the sea and plunged into it. Then all the Ansars
pledged to fight with Muhammad. Deeply pleased, Muhammad asked his men to
proceed. He promised a slaughter for the enemy. To please the booty-hungry
Jihadists, he disclosed that Allah had promised them either the army or the
caravan as per verse 8:7

Trudging further, Muhammad, with his henchmen, arrived at Badr in the early
morning of Thursday, ahead of the Meccan army, and camped there. A shelter
from palm branches was built for him. He got hold of the water wells first.
As per the advice of the war veteran, al-Hubab, Muhammad filled all the
water wells except the one nearest to him. The Muslims then made a cistern
and filled it with water. This clever strategy put the Muslims at a decisive
advantage of complete control of the water supply. Thus, the enemy was now
at the mercy of Muhammad's soldiers if they needed water. And Muhammad's
army was ready to kill any Meccan who ventured to approach the cistern to
drink from there.

Soon after his very early morning arrival at Badr, Muhammad sought to gather
accurate intelligence about the Meccan army. First, he, along with Abu Bakr,
went out spying. They met a man on the road and inquired of him about the
situation. The man would not tell the truth until Muhammad agreed to
disclose his identity. So they (Muhammad and Abu Bakr) tried to gather more
information about the Quraysh army through mendacity. The extracted
information was not much use to Muhammad. In the evening, he despatched Ali
and a few others to further survey the area surrounding a spring. There,
they located two Quraysh slave water carriers. Ali and his companions
abducted these two slaves and brought them to Muhammad. The slaves told the
Muslims that they were the water carriers of the Quraysh army. This was bad
news for the Muslims; for, they hoped that the slaves were from Abu Sufyan's
camp. After applying apposite torture to these two slaves, the Muslims
extracted the information about the position and the probable strength of
the Quraysh army. This information, along with the fact that the Quraysh had
slaughtered nine camels on the first day and ten camels on the second day,
gave Muhammad some idea about the probable size of the Quraysh army. He
speculated that the Quraysh army must be between nine hundred (900) to one
thousand (1 000) men strong. This guess was quite accurate; for there were
nine hundred and fifty (950) Quraysh men. They were mounted on seven hundred
(700) camels and one hundred (100) horses. When Muhammad learned about the
nobles of the Quraysh present, he said, "Here Mecca has flung its dearest
flesh and blood to you."

At nightfall, Muhammad, along with Abu Bakr returned to his lair and started
praying to Allah for His succor. Sa'd b. Muadh kept a vigil at the entrance.
The Muslims too, were weary due to the lengthy and arduous march they had to
undertake for the last few days. Fatigue and exhaustion overcame them and
soon they went into a deep and peaceful slumber. Then the rain came. It
rained during the night but more heavily towards the Meccan camp. Due to the
rain, the Wadi bed became soft but firm which was an advantage to the
Muslims. This rain was alluded to in the Qur'an in verse 8:11 as a
purification of Allah. At night, Muhammad imagined the army of Quraysh to be
weak as mentioned in 8:45.

Both sides were restless until morning broke. At dawn, while Muhammad was
organizing his men into ranks, a few thirsty Quraysh men approached the well
for water. Muhammad prayed to Allah for their destruction.

The Muslims hoisted three banners; one for the refugees, in the hands of
Musab, one for the Khazarites, by al-Hobab and one for the Bani Aws by Sad
ibn Muadh.

The Quraysh also drew up their lines and started moving forward. However,
they were divided on the policy of fighting against their kinsmen. Shayba
and Utba, the two Quraysh chiefs strongly urged that the attack should be
abandoned. It should be remembered that Utba was the father of Hind, the
wife of Abu Sufyan b. Harb and Shayba was Utba's brother (i.e., Hind's
uncle). They provided shelter to Muhammad while he (Muhammad) was driven out from Taif by the stone-pelting street boys. Utba and Shayba simply wanted
the reparation (blood money) for the killing of their confederate (Amr b.
al-Hadrami). So Utbah sent a message to Abu Jahl to retreat from his (Abu
Jahl's) cousin (i.e., Muhammad).

One of Utba's sons, Abu Hudhayfah was a new Jihadist, and he was with
Muhammad. That was why Utbah did not want to fight with Muhammad-Abu Jahl propagated this and condemned the cowardice of Utba to fight the Muslim
army. Amr b. Hadrami's brother, Amir b. al-Hadrami exhorted his people to
take revenge for the killing of his brother. So, Utba, reluctantly, agreed
to proceed with the battle, but expressed his desire not to kill Muhammad
notwithstanding the raging bitter enmity and hatred between the two sides.
Just then, Omayr, a Quraysh arrow man brought the news of the Muslim army's
preparation for a war. He proposed a peaceful settlement with the Muslim
army but Abu Jahl rejected the proposal. So, the Quraysh army got ready for
a fight. They moved slowly over the intervening sand hills that were made
difficult from the previous night's rain. However, as mentioned earlier, the
rain brought an advantage to Muhammad by rendering the ground in front of
Muhammad lighter and firmer to walk upon. Another disadvantage of the
Quraysh was that they faced the rising sun before them while Muhammad's army
faced towards the west.

As soon as Muhammad had finished organizing his army ranks, he faced the
advancing column of the Quraysh appearing over the rising sands in front.
While praying to Allah for His assistance so that his little army would not
vanquish, he was very concerned and went inside his little hut for a
consultation with Abu Bakr. To assure His unflinching aid, Allah revealed
8:46. This verse gave the encouragement to the Muslim soldiers to advance to
victory. Another verse 2:42-44 was also revealed. Other important verses
related to Badr battle were doubling the army of Medina in 3:18……etc.

The Quraysh army now moved close, but the Muslim army did not move from
their position which was at a much higher elevation than the Quraysh army
and was, therefore, more advantageous to shoot arrows and spears at the
enemy. Observing the strength of Quraysh army, Muhammad became nervous and
started praying vigorously. This time, Allah sent him the assurance: like 20
for 200…..etc through verses 8:65, 66. Allah also forbade the Jihadists, in
verses 8:15-16, from fleeing from a combat. In fact, ever since then, this
provision has become a Sharia Law (Islamic Law) on combat.

While this preparation was going on, Hakim b. Hizam, followed by a few other
of the Quraysh, went to drink water from the cistern that Muhammad had dug.
Every Quraysh man who came to drink was killed on that day with the
exception of Hakim b. Hizam. It is not clear why Muhammad had decided to
spare the life Hakim b. Hizam. None of the biographers give a convincing
reason for Muhammad's mercy upon him. However, we learn that Hakim b. Hizam
later became a Muslim. Being alarmed at the fate of thirsty Quraysh, Abd
al-Aswad Makhzami from the Quraysh sought to destroy the trough that the
Muslims had just built, and vowed to drink water from the cistern that
Muhammad had dug. When he went out, and before he could reach the cistern,
Hamzah attacked him and cut off his foot and half of his leg. Abd al-Aswad
crawled with his gravely wounded body towards the cistern and flung himself
in it and drank the water from the spring reservoir. Hamzah hit him again
with a blow that killed him on the spot. The battle now began. It was
Friday, the 15th of March, 624CE (17th Ramadan, AH2). Although it was the
fasting month, none of the Jihadists, not even the Apostle of Allah, fasted
during fighting.

In the beginning, the three Quraysh, Utbah b. Rabiah, his brother Shaybah b.
Rabiah and Utba's son al-Walid challenged the Muslims for single combats
with them. First, Utbah b. Rabiah, refusing to fight with the Ansars asked
the Quraysh in Muhammad's camp to fight him in a single combat. They wanted
to fight only with the people from their own tribe, namely their cousins,
from the sons of al-Muttalib. So, when three Medina citizens stepped
forward, Muhammad called them back and asked his kinsmen, the sons of Hashim
to arise and fight instead. Following Muhammad's instruction, Hamzah, Ali
and Obaydah (the uncle and the cousin respectively of Muhammad) went for the
battle. Hamza wore an Ostrich feather in his breast, and Ali wore a white
plume (a feather of horse hair) in his helmet.

Then Utba called his son, Walid, to arise and fight. He fought with Ali. It
was a short combat. Ali mortally wounded Walid with his sword. When Utba
moved forward, Hamza met him and killed him. Shayba now fought with Obaydah.

Both of them were quite old. They battled for a while. At last, Shayba dealt
a sword-cut on the leg of Obaydah that nearly severed his leg and brought
him to the ground. Witnessing this, Hamza and Ali rushed on Shayba and
killed him. Obaydah survived for a few days then died.

The fighting then became general and a free-for-all. The first Muslim killed
was Umar's freed slave, Mihja, slain by Amir ibn al-Hadrami. Then Haritha
b. Suraqah was killed. To incite his followers, Muhammad invoked the
prospect of paradise to those who were slain. This motivated even a sixteen
year-old boy, Umayr b. al-Humam, who was eating dates. He threw the dates
away and joined in the fighting. The boy was simply surprised to learn from
Muhammad that all he had to do to go to paradise was to join in the Jihad
and be killed. Soon, he was killed. Muhammad now exhorted that Allah loves
fanatic Jihadists. Hearing this, an extremist, Auf b. Harith, asked
Muhammad: 'O apostle of God, what makes the Lord laugh with joy at His
servant? He answered, "When he plunges into midst of the enemy without
mail." Auf drew off the mail-coat that was on him and threw it away: then he
seized his sword and fought the enemy till he was slain." Whenever you
watch on TV suicide bombers in action, remember those few words by the
Prophet of mercy and you will surely understand what impelling force propels
these fanatics to create the mind-boggling terror and to blow themselves

The battle raged. For further invigoration of the Jihadists, Muhammad
stooped down, lifted a handful of pebbles and threw them towards the
Quraysh, crying aloud, "May their faces be deformed." Allah fully approved
Muhammad's symbolic action in verse 8:17 by declaring that it was not the
act of Muhammad but that of Allah. The Muslim army was now full of
enthusiasm and in extreme fighting-vigour that the Quraysh army failed to
withstand. As the fighting raged, Muhammad sent an instruction to his
soldiers that Abul Bakhtari and al-Abbas, Muhammad's two uncles, were not to
be killed. It is reported that al-Abbas was a secret agent of Islam at
Mecca, but the reason to spare the life of Abul Bakhtari is not clear,
although Ibn Ishak states that Abul Bkhtari was sympathetic to Muhammad when
some pagans tormented him (Muhammad) at Ka'ba. When many Jihadists protested at this unexpected show of mercy for a few selected enemy combatants, Umar threatened to cut off their heads. Thus, the dissenters had no choice but to
comply with their master's request. Ibn Ishaq reports that, besides the
general killing in the battle, four apostates were specifically targeted for
slaughter. These four Quraysh embraced Islam but did not migrate to Medina
with Muhammad because their family members obstructed their departure by
confining them in their homes. Later, they left Islam and joined the Quraysh
in Badr. Muhammad had no mercy for them. All of them were slain by the
Jihadists. Muhammad even invented a verse (4:97) to justify their killing.

004.097: When angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their
souls, they say: "In what (plight) Were ye?" They reply: "Weak and oppressed
Were we in the earth." They say: "Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough
for you to move yourselves away (From evil)?" Such men will find their abode
in Hell,- What an evil refuge!

The spirit and frenzy of killing among the Jihadists was so intense that
Hazrat Umar killed his own maternal uncle, al-As b. Hisham b. al-Mughira.
(Remember? He was proxy fighting for Abu Lahab, the great enemy of Islam!)

While the fighting continued, Muhammad remained at his shelter with Abu Bakr
praying to Allah for victory. He implored Allah to send His assistance to
the Muslims. So, Allah replied in 8:9 to assist Muhammad with thousands of
angels! It was a stormy winter day with a ferocious gusty wind blowing
around. Three strong blasts of severe storm lashed the battlefield, and
Muhammad immediately ascribed them as the angels sent by Allah to help the
Jihadists. He told his fighting men that the first blast was one thousand
angels led by the archangel Gabriel, the second blast was one thousand
angels led by the archangel Michael and the third blast was another one
thousand angels led by the archangel Saraphel. Thus, Allah initially sent
three thousand angel soldiers to help the Muslim fighters as confirmed in
verse 3:124. When fighting became tougher, Muhammad requested further
reinforcement from his Allah and Allah immediately complied by sending
another two thousand angels. Thus, as told in verse 3:125, in all, five
thousand invisible angels from the almighty Allah, in addition to the three
hundred plus Jihadists were required for the Muslim victory. The fanatic
Jihadists claimed that the signs of the angels at Badr were white turbans
or were they yellow turbans? Here is a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari that says
that Gabriel came down to help Muhammad:

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 330:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

The Prophet said on the day (of the battle) of Badr, "This is Gabriel
holding the head of his horse and equipped with arms for the battle."

Thus, with the help of Gabriel the Quraysh started faltering. The heavy
sands on which they stood impeded their movements. Some of their ranks gave
way. Confusion raged and they started to retreat; began running and the
Muslims were pressing after them to capture those of the Quraysh whom they
did not kill in the battlefield. The Muslims followed their retreating
steps, slaying or taking captive those that fell into their hands. The
Quraysh, in their haste to escape, cast away their armour and abandoned
their beasts of burden with all their camps and equipment. Seventy (some
say forty-nine) Quraysh were killed and around the same number were taken
prisoners. The Muslims lost only fourteen of their men, eight were Medina
citizens and six were refugees. They also took many Quraysh nobles as
captives. Muhammad gave orders not to kill his uncle al-Abbas. When Abu
Hudhayfah (remember? his father, Utbah bin Rabiah was killed by Ali)
protested about Muhammad's double standard and wanted to kill al-Abbas,
while Umar threatened to cut-off the head of Abu Hudhayfah. The Muslim
soldiers caught a fleeing Abu al-Bakhtari (another uncle of Muhammad) along
with his rider companion. The Jihadists agreed to spare the life of
al-Bakhtari (as per Muhammad's instruction) but not the life of his
companion. When Bakhtari sought to protect the life of his companion rider,
the Muslims declined. So, Bakhtari fought the Muslim and was killed. This
news was brought to Muhammad.

In all, the Muslims took seventy (some say forty-four) Quraysh as captives.
Sa'd b. Muadh wanted to kill all the prisoners saying, "This was the first
defeat inflicted by Allah on the polytheists, and killing the prisoners
would have been more pleasing to me than sparing them." However, the
prisoners were distributed to the Muslims for their safe keeping until
Muhammad returned to Medina.

There is a heart-wrenching tale of how cruelly the Jihadists treated some
captives. Umayah b. Khalaf was a polytheist, but he was a friend of Abd
Umar, the new convert to Islam. Therefore, Umayah and his son Ali
volunteered Abd Umar to become the prisoner of a Muslim. The famous
Jihadist, Abd al Rahman b. Awf took charge of him in the expectation of a
large ransom. It is reported that Umayah used to torment Bilal, the
well-known Negro crier of Islamic prayer calls. When Bilal saw that Umayah
and his son Ali were being led away by Abd al Rahman b. Awf, he shouted out
to the Muslims to kill his former tormentor. Abd Rahman b. Awf immediately
repudiated Bilal by calling him (Bilal) the son of a black woman and
commanded him not to kill Umayamah and his young son, Ali. However, this
plea of Abd al Rahman fell on deaf ears. On the cry of Bilal, other Muslims
hacked Umayyah b. Khalaf and his son Ali to death and cut them into pieces.
Abd al Rahman b Awf then cursed Bilal for killing his captive as he missed
the opportunity of ransoming his captives (Umayyah b. Khalaf and his son).

Muhammad's son-in-law, Abu al-Aas was also taken a prisoner. Khadija
(Muhammad's first wife) was his aunt. His mother was Hala d. Khuwaylid.
Khadija used to regard him as her own son. Abu al-Aas did not embrace Islam
and refused to divorce his wife Zaynab, Muhammad's eldest daughter. He
joined the Quraysh in the march against Muhammad at Badr.

Other famous Quraysh taken as captive were: Amr, Abu Sufyan's son (not from
Hind but from another wife of Abu Sufyan b. Harb) and Amir b. Al-Hadrami,
Abu Sufyan's close friend. Another son of Abu Sufyan, Hanzala was killed at

As soon as the battle was over, there was widespread plundering by the
Muslim soldiers. The Jihadists also told the incredible story that the heads
of polytheists would fall off before a Muslim's sword touched them. This
they ascribed as help from the angels.

Abu Jahl, one of Muhammad's uncles, was an implacable foe of Muhammad.
Muhammad had such an unrelenting hatred for him that he gave him the
appellation, Abu Jahl ("father of folly") to his original respectable name
of Abul Hakam ("father of wisdom"). Not being satisfied with such a sordid
act, Muhammad wanted Abu Jahl to be killed. To carry out Muhammad's
instruction, Muadh b. Amr, along with two Medina youths, Auf b. Afra and
Muwawwidh b. Afra, the two sons of Afra, set out to search and slay Abu
Jahl. Muadh found Abu Jahl in a thicket and attacked him. He brought Abu
Jahl to the ground by a blow that cut Abu Jahl's leg into two. Abu Jahl's
son, Ikrima, struck Muadh and severed one of his arms hanging only by the
skin. Muadh then put his foot on the hanging arm, pulled it off, and went on
fighting until the extreme pain forced him to quit the fight. At that time
Muwawwidh b. Afra and his brother Auf b. Afra arrived at the site and killed
the mortally wounded Abu Jahl. After the killing of Abu Jahl, they went back
to fight the Quraysh and themselves were killed. When the news of a dying
Abu Jahl reached Muhammad, he instructed his servant, Abd Allah b. Masud to
search for Abu Jahl's corpse. Abd Allah b. Masud went out and found a dying
Abu Jahl in the shrub grasping for his last breath. Abu Jahl was still
breathing when Muhammad's servant, Abd Allah ran up and cut off his head and
carried it to his master. Gloating from victory, Muhammad said, "The head of
the enemy of Allah." Abd Allah then cast the bloody head of Abu Jahl at his
pitiless master's feet. Muhammad said, "It is more acceptable to me than the
choicest camels in all Arabia." Then Muhammad rewarded Abd Allah b. Masud
with the sword of murdered Abu Jahl. Sunaan Abu Dawud records it in this

Book 14, Number 2716:
Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud:

At the battle of Badr the Apostle of Allah gave me Abu Jahl's sword, as I
had killed him.

We read in Sahih Bukhari that two boys killed Abu Jahl and Muhammad rewarded
them. Here is the Hadith from Sahih Bukhari:

Volume 4, Book 53, Number 369:

Narrated 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Auf:

While I was standing in the row on the day (of the battle) of Badr, I looked
to my right and my left and saw two young Ansari boys, and I wished I had
been stronger than they. One of them called my attention saying, "O Uncle!
Do you know Abu Jahl?" I said, "Yes, What do you want from him, O my
nephew?" He said, "I have been informed that he abuses Allah's Apostle. By
Him in Whose Hands my life is, if I should see him, then my body will not
leave his body till either of us meet his fate." I was astonished at that
talk. Then the other boy called my attention saying the same as the other
had said. After a while I saw Abu Jahl walking amongst the people. I said
(to the boys), "Look! This is the man you asked me about." So, both of them
attacked him with their swords and struck him to death and returned to
Allah'S Apostle to inform him of that. Allah's Apostle asked, "Which of you
has killed him?" Each of them said, "I Have killed him." Allah's Apostle
asked, "Have you cleaned your swords?" They said, "No. " He then looked at
their swords and said, "No doubt, you both have killed him and the spoils of
the deceased will be given to Muadh bin Amr bin Al-Jamuh." The two boys were
Muadh bin 'Afra and Muadh bin Amr bin Al-Jamuh.

My guess is that those two boys referred in the above Hadith were the two
sons of Afra. Here is another Hadith from Sahih Bukhari on the last few
moments of Abu Jahl:

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 300:

Narrated Anas:

The Prophet said, "Who will go and see what has happened to Abu Jahl?" Ibn
Mas'ud went and found that the two sons of 'Afra had struck him fatally (and
he was in his last breaths). 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud said, "Are you Abu Jahl?"
And took him by the beard. Abu Jahl said, "Can there be a man superior to
one you have killed or one whom his own folk have killed?"

The battle over, Muhammad gave orders that all the enemy corpses, including
that of Abu Jahl and his severed head, be thrown into a well. Twenty-four
dead bodies of the infidels were thrown in this filthy well. (See Sahih
Bukhari, vol. 5, book 59, number 314.) When this was duly done, he stood at
the well, talked to the corpses of the Quraysh, haranguing them for their
folly, disbelief, and for rejecting him as the messenger of Allah. When the
Muslims asked him if the dead could hear, Muhammad replied that the dead
could indeed hear better than the living, except that the deceased could not
reply. Umayyah b. Khalaf's body was not thrown into the well. His body
started decaying. So they covered it with stones. Sahih Bukhari records:

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 452:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:

The Prophet looked at the people of the well (the well in which the bodies
of the pagans killed in the Battle of Badr were thrown) and said, "Have you
found true what your Lord promised you?" Somebody said to him, "You are
addressing dead people." He replied, "You do not hear better than they but
they cannot reply."

Among the pile of dead bodies was the corpse of Utba b. Rabiah, the father
of Abu Hudhayfa, the newly recruited Islamic Jihadist. When Muhammad
observed some sadness in Hudhayfa's face, he blessed him, thinking that
Hudhayfah was probably saddened by his father's death. On this, the Jihadi
son of Utba replied that his sadness was due to the unbelief of his father
and not for his death! The Muslim son of Utbah, Hudhayfah regretted that his
father did not embrace Islam!! Such was the blind devotion and resolve of
the Jihadists to fanaticism.

These obsequies of the infidels done, the Muslims remained in the
battlefield until the end of the day. Then they carried their dead and
wounded and retired to a valley, several miles from Badr, and buried their
slain comrades there. Now was the time to wrangle over war booty. When the
rest of the Quraysh army disappeared, the Muslims engaged themselves in the
gathering of spoils. Muhammad promised every Jihadist that he could keep the
booty he (the Jihadist) took personally. Thus, every Jihadist was allowed to
retain the plunder of those whom he had killed with his own hands. Those who
did not fight directly, but protected Muhammad, also wanted equal share of
the booty. Some people complained that Muhammad had taken a beautiful red
vestment (official garment) without the knowledge of others. So, Allah
revealed the verse 3:161:"It is not for a Prophet to conceal booty……..,"
exonerating Muhammad of any embezzlement of war spoils. A dispute arose as
to the distribution of spoils regarding who gets more and who gets less.
Muhammad had to intervene with a revelation (8:41) from Allah. In this
verse, the almighty proclaimed one-fifth booty is to be set-aside for Him
and His dearest Prophet. Muhammad also prided himself that booty was made
lawful only to him and not to other Prophets, as he was the most favourite
of Allah. In accordance with this command of Allah, the rest of the spoils
were gathered into a common stock for a fair distribution later, and
Abdullah b. Ka'b, an officer, was appointed the guardian of the spoils. The
Muslim army then started their return march to Medina.

The next day, the spoils were divided under a tree near Saffra. Everyone got
equal share after one-fifth was set-aside for Muhammad. Horsemen received
each two extra portions for their horses. Every man got a camel, a leather
couch or some other item. Muhammad took the famous camel of Abu Jahl as
booty. He later used it for conducting raids and as a stud for breeding
camels. Reciting verse 55:45 and ascribing this booty as a gift from Allah
he also took the sword, Dhu al-Faqr belonging Munabbih b. al-Hajjaj. As per
the spoil distribution rule, he also had the exclusive right to choose his
most favourite item before they were duly disbursed. The captives were also
re-distributed among Muhammad's companions for their fate to be decided at

The true blood-thirsty character of Muhammad was unveiled when the Muslim
soldiers halted at Saffra. While distributing the captives, Muhammad
recognised al-Nadr b. al-Harith, a Quraysh poet whom the Jihadists had
captured. While Muhammad was at Mecca, al-Nadr composed verses that were
superior to the Qur'an. Muhammad was greatly enraged by al-Nadr's
compositions. Al-Nadr b. al-Harith also criticized Qur'anic verses by
uttering that they (the verses) were only fables of the ancients, that the
Meccans had heard similar verses before, as alluded to in verse 8:31.
Muhammad had no kindness for al-Nadr. To quench his thirst for revenge, the
Prophet of mercy gave orders that the hapless al-Nadr be killed. Ali carried
out Muhammad's order by beheading al-Nadr at Saffra, right in front of
Muhammad. This was the tolerance Allah's best creation had for his
opponents who dared to challenge him intellectually. Rodinson writes that
Muhammad was extremely sensitive to intellectual attack on him. Having
finished his critic, a satisfied Muhammad now gave order to march ahead for

Two days later, the Muslim army stopped at Irqu'l-Zabya, midway between Badr
and Medina. Here Allah's Apostle wanted to extinguish further, his lust for
blood and retribution. Uqbah b. Abi Muyat, another prisoner, whose daughter
was married to Abu Sufyan b. Harb's son, 'Amr b. Abi Sufyan, was ordered out
for execution. The 'offender' pleaded for mercy in the name of his little
daughter. But Muhammad had no mercy for him. What did Uqba do to deserve
such a terrible punishment from the Prophet of compassion and kindness?
Muhammad claimed that Uqba tormented him when he preached his religion of
love and compassion (Islam) at Ka'ba. Without showing even an atom of pity
or kindness to his fallen foe, Muhammad ordered the killing of Uqba. This is
how it is described by Ibn Ishaq: "When the apostle ordered him to be killed
'Uqba said, 'But who will look after my children, O Muhammad?' 'Hell', he
said, and 'Asim b. Thabit b. Abul-Aqlah al-Ansari killed him according to
what Abu 'Ubayda b. Muhammad b. 'Ammar b. Yasir told me." Some biographers note that it was Ali who killed Uqba.

On the killing of those two prisoners, Rodinson writes, "On the other hand
he gave free rein to his anger against two men who had attacked him on an
intellectual level. They had studied Jewish and Persian sources and had
asked him awkward questions. They had scoffed at him and his divine
messages. They could look for no mercy."

Two additional prisoners were also killed; they were: Naufal b. Khuweilid
whom Ali killed and Mabad b. Wahb whom Umar beheaded. It is reported that
the latter refused to accept his defeat and praised al-Lat and al-Uzza (two
idols) in the presence of Muhammad. The reason of killing Naufal is not
known. So, in all, seven prisoners were slaughtered before the Muslim army,
along with the rest of the prisoners arrived at Medina.

To spread the news of Muslim victory at Badr, Muhammad now dispatched Zayd
b. Harith to Medina ahead of the arrival of the Muslim army contingent. When
Zayd arrived at Medina, he heard the news of the death of Ruqayyah,
Muhammad's daughter. People were preparing the burial of her when Zayd
arrived at Medina with the sweet news of Muslim's triumph at Badr.

On the next day, Muhammad arrived at Medina with the war booty and received
the sad news of the death and burial of his daughter Ruqyyah during his
absence. As mentioned before, Ruqayyah's husband, Uthman b. Affan, could not
join in the plunder due to his wife's illness. Nevertheless, Muhammad
rewarded his mourning son-in-law in the equal share of the spoils. A few
months later, Uthman married Muhammad's last unmarried daughter, Umm
Kulthum, who was previously married to a son of Abu Lahab, then became
separated from him. When the remaining people of Medina congratulated the
Jihadists for their good catch, the Jihadists gloated over the slaughtering
of the polytheists. Many Jihadists even admitted that slaughtering the
infidels was good fun.

In the evening of next day, the rest of the Jihadists, along with the
captives arrived at Medina. Watching the crestfallen, haggard, pitiful and
depressed captives, many Medinites were sorrowful for them. After all, many
of these manacled prisoners were their kith and kin, their own flesh and
blood. A glimpse of this flow of compassion is observed from the sympathy
that Muhammad's second wife, Sauda showed to a prisoner. Sauda had gone to
comfort the lamentation of a family member of Afra, a citizen of Medina who
had lost two sons in Badr, as mentioned earlier. On her return, she found
Abu Yazid Suhayl b. Amr, the brother of her late husband (i.e., her
brother-in law), now a prisoner, standing by her house with his hands tied
behind his neck. Sauda preferred that instead of being caught a captive by
Muhammad, Abu Yazid should have chosen an honorable death. However, Muhammad admonished her for saying such words. Filled with pity and compassion, she wanted to loosen the captive's bound hands. When she sought Muhammad's approval, a stern Muhammad asked her not to do that. We also learn from her narration that during this period, the women of Arabia did not wear any veil (Hijab) and they were free to move on their own. Her depiction of the
fierce nature of Muhammad also exposes the myth that Muhammad's relation
with his wives was cordial and loving; for, Sauda clearly said that she was
deeply scared of Muhammad. Here is her own words: "Suddenly the Prophet's
voice startled me: 'Sauda would you stir up trouble against God and his
apostle?' I said, "By God, I could hardly contain myself when I saw Abu
Yazid in this state and that is I said what I did."'

Nonetheless, overall, the people of Medina treated the prisoners with some
kindness. They were given food and shelter and were not tortured, though it
is reported that Hazrat Umar wanted to pull out Suhayl's (another prisoner)
teeth by saying to the messenger of Allah: 'Let me pull out Suhayl's two
front teeth; his tongue will stick out and he will never be able to speak
against you.' But Muhammad objected to any such mutilation of the
prisoners. The good treatment of the Meccan prisoners was also in the
interest of their Muslim captors if they (the Muslims) wanted good ransoms
from the captives' relatives-they knew this truth. The Muslims were quite
prudent on this and due to the kindness shown by the Muslims of Medina; a
few of the poor prisoners accepted Islam and stayed in Medina, it is
claimed. It is reported that when Muhammad ordered that all prisoners be
fettered, al-Abbas, Muhammad's uncle, was also chained. Muhammad had a
sleepless night until his followers unchained al-Abbas.

Once the euphoria of the victory of Muslim army was over, it was time to
settle the affair of prisoners of war. As mentioned previously, right from
the beginning the fanatic Jihadist, Sa'd b. Muadah was in favor of
slaughtering all the captives that the Muslims had in their hands. Hazrat
Umar also wanted to behead all the captives, suggesting that brother kill
brother, and Abu Rawaha wanted to burn them alive. Muhammad was quite
indecisive on this. At first, he too, wanted to kill the prisoners excepting
a few. Abu Bakr suggested taking ransoms from them. Suddenly, Muhammad found some merit in what Abu Bakr had proposed. He found a good opportunity in
raising money for his poverty-stricken followers. Immediately, he claimed
that Allah (via Gabriel) had sent down verse 8:67, permitting him to take
ransom after a wide slaughter, and verse 8:68, permitting him to enjoy
booty. These two verses made a compromise between a complete annihilation of
the captives and taking ransoms for their release.

Foremost in Muhammad's mind was Abu al-Aas, his son-in-law, who, as written
before, became a captive of the Muslims. When Muhammad's eldest daughter
Zaynab (i.e., Abu al-Aas' wife who was living in Mecca), heard of her
husband's capture, she sent money and Khadijah's (her mother, and Muhammad's
first wife) necklace as ransom for the release of her husband. At last,
Muhammad's heart was softened (albeit, a little bit) when he saw the
necklace of his deceased wife, Khadijah. He was certainly concerned,
thinking about Abu al-Aas and his daughter. Next morning, in his mosque, he
sought the opinion of his Jihadist followers on this matter. They
unanimously agreed that Abu al-Aas be set free without any ransom and be
allowed to return to Mecca. Muhammad was greatly relieved, and freed Abu
al-Aas, but with the condition that upon his arrival at Mecca, Abu al-Aas
must divorce Zaynab and send her to Medina to join her father. Abu al-Aas
promised that he would let Zaynab return to Muhammad at Medina and, indeed,
upon his arrival at Mecca, he did exactly what he promised. He made
arrangements for Zaynab to leave Mecca. At that time, Hind (Abu Sufyan's
wife) was friendly with Zaynab. Despite the bitter enmity between Muhammad
and Abu Sufyan, Hind volunteered to provide any material help that Zaynab
needed to escape to her father. But Zaynab thought it was prudent to keep
her plan of escape a secret. So, at an opportune time, Zaynab borrowed a
camel to leave for Medina. Her brother-in-law accompanied her. Learning the
departure of Zaynab, two Quraysh pursued Zaynab's camel and caught up with
her at Dhu Tuwa. One Quraysh, Habbar b. al-Aswad threatened her with a
spear. Zaynab was pregnant at that time. It is reported that she fell down
from the camel and had a miscarriage. Then Habbar tormented Zaynab, but Abu
Sufyan intervened to let her escape from the harassment of Habbar. Abu
Sufyan did not bear any vengeance whatsoever against Muhammad's daughter,
Zaynab, and advised her to leave Mecca secretly. So, after a few days, when
all the din and bustle of Badr had subsided, Zaynab surreptitiously escaped
Mecca at night.

Next, to be decided was the fate of al-Abbas, Muhammad's uncle. The
Jihadists brought a naked al-Abbas in front of Muhammad. Muhammad first, had
to find some clothing for his undressed uncle. Here is the Hadith from Sahih
Bukhari on this:

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 252:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:

When it was the day (of the battle) of Badr, prisoners of war were brought
including Al-Abbas who was undressed. The Prophet looked for a shirt for
him. It was found that the shirt of 'Abdullah bin Ubai would do, so the
Prophet let him wear it. That was the reason why the Prophet took off and
gave his own shirt to 'Abdullah. (The narrator adds, "He had done the
Prophet some favor for which the Prophet liked to reward him.")

Because al-Abbas was a wealthy man Muhammad stipulated that al-Abbas should
ransom himself as well as his nephews and his confederates. On this,
al-Abbas claimed that he was a silent Muslim; that he was forced to fight
against the Muslims. Muhammad still wanted ransom from al-Abbas. In fact,
Muhammad owed a good amount of money to al-Abbas, but when al-Abbas insisted that that debt should be used as ransom, Muhammad declined. Such was the greed for money by the Prophet of mercy. In the end, Muhammad took 20 ounces of gold (about US$ 8 000 in to-day's money) from al-Abbas for his release.

At first, the Quraysh played it cool in ransoming their captives so that the
Muslims did not demand high prices for the release of them. Abu Sufyan
refused to pay any ransom for his son 'Amr. When a Muslim, Sa'd b. al-Numan,
went to perform Umra, Abu Sufyan held him hostage in exchange for his son,
Amr. Muhammad had no choice but to set free 'Amr b. Abi Sufyan for the
release of Sa'd. Muhammad insisted on a high ransom for a Meccan because his
son was a rich merchant. The son paid a ransom of 4 000 Dirhams (please
calculate in US$, using the conversion mentioned below) for his father's

Overall, Muhammad received a large sum of money as a ransom for the Quraysh
prisoners. The ransom money for a prisoner varied from a thousand Dirham to
as much as four thousand Dirhams. It is reported that the Quraysh paid 250
000 Dirhams [yes, a cool quarter of a million Dirhams; take out your
calculator and estimate how much it is in to-day's money; use the conversion
of one Dirham = 1/10 Dinar; one Dinar = 4.235 grams of gold; and in case you
have forgotten, one ounce = 32.1 grams] as ransom to free their kith and kin
who were taken as prisoners at Badr II. The average ransom for a prisoner
was four thousand (4 000) Dirhams. Sahih Bukhari states that besides booty
and ransom money for the captives, each Jihadi received a pension of five
thousand (5 000) Dirhams per year. Here is the Hadith from Sahih Bukhari:

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 357:
Narrated Qais:

The Badr warriors were given five thousand (Dirhams) each, yearly. 'Umar
said, "I will surely give them more than what I will give to others."

Some prisoners who did not have the means to pay a ransom volunteered to
teach ten Muslim boys the skill of reading and writing for each such
prisoner. When their tuition was complete, the prisoner was then released.
Zayd ibn Thabit, the poet (later, Muhammad's secretary) is said to have
learned writing this way. This tells us that the Meccan people were, in
general, literate while the Medina followers of Muhammad were mostly
illiterate; still, the Muslims called the Meccans 'ignorant'!

The victory at Badr opened a new chapter in the propagation of the nascent
faith of Islam. Realizing the power of the sword, Muhammad was now convinced
that for his fascistic doctrine to triumph, he must win militarily. Thus,
from now on, sword became the language of Islam (observe the national flag
of Saudi Arabia closely) and engaging in warfare for booty and captives
became the modus operandi of the new Jihadists for their survival and
material enrichment. Commenting on this, Maxine Rodinson writes that the
only motive for Badr II was booty. The victory at Badr became a rallying
point for Muhammad's religion, and to the disbelievers Islam now became
associated with fear, terror, plunder and bloodshed. On the other hand, the
Quraysh and the polytheists also recognized the need for a decisive military
victory to contain the spread of menacing Islam.

To be continued in part four


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