How a small force can defeat a larger one if armed with faith and trust in Allah

SHAFAQNA - The 17th of the month of Ramadan marks the anniversary of the battle of Badr, the first between the Muslims and the pagans. The Muslims who were in Medina, having left Mecca after suffering from all kinds of torture and persecution, were eager to fight the pagans. And this was the battle, which they were able to win despite that they were few in number and very ill-equipped. Allah bestowed the blessings of victory on the Muslims, by the panic He filled the hearts of the pagans with, and by the Angels that were sent to help the Muslims. The Quran has dedicated many verses to talk about this battle focusing on the points of weakness the Muslims exhibited, for He, the Most Exalted, wants us to know that it is not unnatural to feel weak while confronting a major threat, but the nation ought to change its weak points into strong ones.

Displaying the strength of Muslims

The battle started when the pagans deployed their troops after the Muslims attacked a Quraishi trade convoy that was on its route from Syria to Mecca to show that the Muslims were controlling the strategic road of Quraish’s trade, and that they have become a force to reckon with. The convoy was able to flee to another road, yet the pagans decided to attack Medina, and marched until they reached a place called Badr. Meanwhile, the Messenger was trying to encourage the Muslims to fight. But fighting Quraish was no simple matter, so some of the Muslims were afraid and told him that this is a very strong army. But others from the Ansar (Muslims of Medina) said: “We will not tell you as Moussa’s people told him: ‘you go and fight along with your Lord, we are waiting for you’. We say: ‘you go with your Lord to fight and we will go with you…’” Thus, the Messenger went to fight with but a few men who were neither well-equipped now well-armed.

The best and most truthful way to tell you what happened is to recite the Quranic account: “Even as your Lord caused you to go forth from your house with the truth – for God wanted you to gain strength and to start to struggle – though a party of the believers were surely averse– being afraid of Quraish, the economic and military superpower of that age – They disputed with you about the truth after it had become clear – if they should fight or not – (and they went forth) as if they were being driven to death while they saw (it). And when Allah promised you one of the two parties that it shall be yours – either the war or the booty; the Quraishi caravan coming from Syria with all the resources of Quraish, and that is what you have chosen – and you loved that the one not armed should he yours – to get the booty without having to fight – and Allah desired to manifest the truth of what was true by His words and to cut off the root of the unbelievers – Here you have chosen a way other than Allah’s, thinking about your safety and greedy interests while Allah wants the Muslims to fight the pagans and become the dominant force, which will create a favorable atmosphere for the people to embrace Islam –that He may manifest the truth of what was true and show the falsehood of what was false, though the guilty disliked. When you sought aid from your Lord, so He answered you: I will assist you with a thousand of the angels following one another, Allah only gave it as a good news – since they did not fight with you but to help you boost your morale and feel ease at heart – and that your hearts might be at ease thereby –

Victory is only from Allah

And victory is only from Allah; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise. He made you psychologically stable to the extent that you were able to sleep and get rid of all the worries and anguish you had had: “When He caused calm to fall on you as a security from Him and sent down upon you water from the cloud that He might thereby purify you, and take away from you the uncleanness of the Shaitan, and that He might fortify your hearts and steady (your) footsteps thereby. When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. This is because they acted adversely to Allah and His Messenger; and whoever acts adversely to Allah and His Messenger, then surely Allah is severe in requiting (evil). This– taste it, and (know) that for the unbelievers is the chastisement of fire”.

This is the lesson that the Muslims should learn: to have faith in God and in themselves, and be always sure that Allah will let victory be on the side of the believers: “Allah had already given you victory at Badr when you were helpless; how oft by Allah’s will has a small force vanquished a big one”. This is what we have noticed and witnessed in Badr, as well as in the victory of the Mujahideen in Lebanon, although they were a small force compared with the Zionist occupiers, but they were able to make a new Badr.

This is the lesson of Badr: Muslims should have confidence in Allah and in Islam, and they should fight for the cause of Allah and the right, without taking their own interests into account. As we face several arrogant forces in our age, we should keep the lessons of Badr in mind: “Allah will certainly aid those who did His (cause); for verily Allah is full of Strength, exalted in Might, (able) to able to enforce His Will”.


A lecture by His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)

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