Islamic History

Battle of Badr: A Lesson in Muslim Unity

Muslim Unity, Battle of Badr
The Ultimate Symbol of International Pan-Islamic Unity. © Shutterstock

Serjeel Ahmed, Micronesia

They stood at Zafran, on one side of Wadi as-Safra (the Yellow Valley), a short distance away from Badr. There were only 319 men 1, many of whom had endured thirteen long years of persecution before migrating to Medina.

It was there that the companions were informed of a great force coming for their ruin. One thousand Quraysh 2, driven by the thirst to wipe out the Muslim nation, were near, attired in the best armour, riding on superior camels and horses, and armed with a vast array of spears, swords, bows, and arrows.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) gathered the Sahaba (his companions) and sought their counsel as to what should be done. The companions stood up, one by one, offering their passionate allegiance to the Prophet Muhammad (sa). Among them, a companion, Hazrat Miqdad bin Aswad (ra) got up and made a passionate declaration of love for Islam, saying:

‘O Messenger of Allāh! We are not like the disciples of Moses (as) so that we should tell you, “Go thou and thy Lord and fight, and here we sit.” Rather, we affirm that you may go wherever you wish, we are with you, and shall fight to your right, and to your left, and in front of you and behind you.’ 3

The Prophet (sa) began to glow with joy, yet waited for a representative of the Ansar to express their council. Upon this, Hazrat Sa’d bin Mu’adh (ra) stood up and submitted:

‘O Messenger of Allāh! Perhaps it is our counsel that you seek. By God, when we have believed in you as being truthful, and have placed our hands in your hand, then go forth wherever you desire; we are with you. We swear by that Being, Who has sent you with the truth, that if you order us to dive into the sea, we shall dive into it, and not a single one of us shall hold back. God-willing, you shall find us steadfast in battle and shall witness from us that which shall be the delight of your eyes.’ 4

The Arabs, being desert-dwelling nomads, were terrified of the sea. It was thus an expression of great zeal for Hazrat Sa’d to express a desire to actually jump into it, if such was required by his beloved Prophet (sa). The Prophet (sa) was overjoyed, and preparations for the battle began.

The Sea can be a terrifying place

The worshippers prepared for the day of the battle. Before the morning light, they fell into prostration in the open field, seeking the help of their Lord. The light appeared, and they stood ready to face what Allah had destined for them. The Prophet Muhammad (sa) started to arrange the Muslims in rows.

Although the number of these companions was comparatively small and they barely had any weapons with which to defend themselves against the vast army marching to eradicate them, Allah the Almighty nevertheless granted them an incredible victory that day.

They dearly loved and obeyed Allah and His Messenger (sa), so He empowered them with His blessings, and sent an army of angels in their service.

Although these brave men had the incredible courage and the vigour of a much larger force, Allah the Almighty still provides a warning in the Holy Qur’an, a warning which would serve as a life-giving lesson to the Muslims till the end of the time:

‘O ye who believe! When you encounter an army, remain firm, and remember Allah much that you may prosper. And obey Allah and His Messenger and dispute not with one another, lest you falter and your power depart from you. And be steadfast, Allah is with those who are steadfast.’ 5

No matter how passionate the Muslims were individually, and no matter how great the love they held within their hearts for the cause of Islam, they could never truly be prosperous until they became firm and united in the way of Allah. On the day of the Battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet (sa) made an example of uniting the Muslims in firm ranks so that they would not falter, and progress in strength of unity under Allah. History bears witness that as long as the Muslims remained in complete obedience to Allah and His messenger, they remained in a position of great success and prosperity.

Today, the Muslim world is divided more than ever (e.g. the ongoing civil war in Syria) 6, and we see that the words of the Holy Qur’an provide clear insight into this situation. A glance at the state of the Muslim world today shows that, because of the disunity prevalent among the Muslims, they have had their ‘power depart’ from them, and the state of mainstream Islam is in grave danger.

Those who genuinely ponder over the verses of the Holy Qur’an and truly “obey Allah and His messenger” must come to understand that it is vital for the survival of the Islamic world that they come under one banner and unite. In this day and age, this can only happen under the banner of the Promised Messiah and his divinely appointed Khulafa (Caliphs). Allah makes it clear in this verse of the Holy Qur’an that these are the conditions for attaining success:

‘And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah and be not divided; and remember the favour of Allah which He bestowed upon you when you were enemies and He united your hearts in love, so that by His grace you became as brothers; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah explain to you His commandments that you may be guided.’ 7

There is no better way to describe the current condition of the mainstream Muslim world other than that they are on the ‘brink of a pit of fire’. To see examples of what I mean, you have to look no further than the recent bombing campaign led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen 8 or the atrocious suffering caused by the eight-year long war between Iran and Iraq in the 1980s 9.  We have all seen plenty of haunting images of Muslims suffering because of the actions of other Muslims. The only way to safety is to come under the protection of Allah, and the divinely commissioned Imam of the age. It is the formation and unity under the banner of Khilafat, which is now the only hope for the Muslims if they want to hold fast to the ‘rope of Allah’ and be saved.

Children in the ruins of a neighbourhood destroyed by a civil war between Muslims. © Richard Harvey |

The Holy Prophet (sa) gave particular importance to this, and instructed the Muslims to remain obedient to the Imam: “The Imam is a shield behind whom [believers] fight” 10. Today, Muslim leaders and their people must set aside their egos and find shelter under the shield of Khilafat.

Khilafat is the armour and protection the Muslim world and the success of the Muslim nation depends on it.

All those who think that they can bypass the will of God and become successful on their own terms are set for a destined ruin. It is only under the leadership of the Fifth Caliph and worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), under whom the Muslims must unite in order to be eligible for success, as beautifully stated in his Friday sermon:

‘Another objective of obedience towards the Holy Prophet (sa) is to become united, which cannot be achieved without the institution of Khilafat. Other Muslims may observe their prayers but, due to a lack of unity, their hearts are divided. Despite believing in the same essential doctrines, they have created divisions as a result of delving into the finer details of faith. In order to uphold their authority and fulfil their objectives – which now also include political objectives in the case of Pakistan – scholars constantly fight with one another. The same is the case of those who follow them.’ 11

Thus, the Battle of Badr holds everlasting lessons that serve as reminders for the success of the Muslims today. When a person submits themself to Allah the Almighty, He will always come to their aid and grant them success. No matter how strong the enemy is, if Muslims follow Allah and His Messenger (sa), and become firm in their unity, the help of Allah will come to them and their progress will see no bounds.

May Allah allow the world to understand the importance of Khilafat, and open the hearts of Muslim nations so that they enter into the fold of this strong citadel of Ahmadiyyat and safely prosper behind the protective shield of the Imam.

About the author: Serjeel Ahmad is a missionary currently serving as the president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the Federated States of Micronesia.


1. Ṣaḥīḥul-Muslim, Kitābul-Jihād-Wal-Siyar; Ḥadīth No. 1763

2. Ibid. 

3. Ṣaḥīḥul-Bukhārī, Kitābul-Maghāzī, Bābu Qaulillāhi Ta‘ālā Idh Tastaghīthūna Rabbakum….., Ḥadīth No. 3952

4. As-Sīratun-Nabawiyyah, By Abū Muḥammad ‘Abdul-Mālik bin Hishām, p. 421, Dhikru Ru’yā ‘Ātikah….. / Istīthāqur-Rasūlillāhi Min Amril-Anṣār, Dārul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001) * Aṭ-Ṭabaqātul-Kubrā, By Muḥammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, p. 255, Ghazwatu Badr, Dāru Iḥyā’it- Turāthil-‘Arabī, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996)

5. The Holy Qur’an, 8:46-47


7. The Holy Qur’an, 3:104



10. Sunan an-Nasā’ī Kitābul-Bay‘ah; Ḥadīth No. 4196

11. Friday Sermon, 25 May 2018, 10:14 to 11:10