The Expeditions Preceding The Battle Of Badr

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Scholars statements regarding the expeditions preceding the battle of Badr, namely Hamza’s expedition to the sea-shore confronting Abu Jahl’s troops.

Shaykh Allamah Shibli Nomani:

It was in these circumstances that, before the battle of Badr, parties of fifty or a hundred persons came to be despatched along the road to Mecca. The Holy Prophet (p) did not personally join any expedition before the one sent to Abwa, in afar of the 2nd year of the Hijra. Historians record three earlier expeditions as Sirya of Hamza, Sirya of Ubaida Ibn Harith and Sirya of Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas. But there was no shedding of blood on any occasion; either the Quraish managed to avoid an encounter or the parties yielded to the intervention of some peace-maker. Historians declare that these expeditions were intended to let not the trade caravans have a smooth sailing. As warned by Sa’d Ibn Mu’adh, the object was to close the Syrian route for the Quraish. Adverse criticism interprets them as designed to train the Companions in loot and plunder. It is a charge based on sheer ignorance. In the first place Islam declares loot and plunder to be a heinous crime. Moreover, facts tell their own tale. There is not a single report on record to say that the Companions ever seized the merchandise of the caravan. Thirdly, if loot had been the object, the Meccan caravan should not have been the only target.” [1]

Muḥammad Ḥusayn Haykal:

“This general hypothesis of the historians is supposedly proved by events which took place eight months after the Hijrah of Muhammad. The Prophet then sent his uncle Hamzah ibn Abd al-Muttalib with forty riders from the Muhajirun, rather than the Ansar, to the sea coast near al-Is where Abu Jahl ibn Hisham was camping with three hundred Makkan riders. Hamzah was just about to enter into battle with the Quraysh force when Majdi ibn Amr al-Juhani, who was in peaceful relation with both parties, interfered to separate them before the battle had begun.” [2]

Bashir Aḥmad M.A.:

“Sariyyah of Ḥamzah bin ‘Abdil-Muṭṭalib – Rabi‘ul-Awwal 2 A.H.
In this very month, the Holy Prophet dispatched another company of thirty men mounted on camels to Saiful-Baḥr in the east of Madinah, where the region of ‘Iṣ was situated, under the command of his biological paternal uncle, Ḥamzah bin ‘Abdil-Muṭṭalib. When Ḥamzah and his companions promptly arrived, they found the head chieftain of Makkah, Abu Jahl, present there to welcome them with an army of 300 mounted men. This number was ten times the number of Muslims, but the Muslims had gone forth from their homes in order to carry out the command of God and His Messenger, and the fear of death could not force them back. Both armies began to line up before one another and battle was about to begin when the chief of that region, Mujaddidi bin ‘Amr Al-Juhni, who held relations with both parties, intervened and on the brink of war, conflict was averted. Ibni Sa‘d, who often follows his teacher Waqidi, writes that this was a caravan of the Quraish which encountered the Muslims. However, Ibn Isḥaq, as quoted by Ibni Hisham, has not made mention of a caravan. He has only written that 300 mounted men of the Quraish were encountered, and they were commanded by Abu Jahl. In light of other factors, the number of disbelievers as reported by Ibni Isḥaq proves to be correct. Furthermore, it is definite that this company of disbelievers set out against the Muslims. As such, the attack of Kurz bin Jabir Fihri which shall appear ahead, supports this notion.” [3]

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[1] Sirat -un- Nabi [Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam] By Shaykh Allamah Shibli Nomani (r.a) – volume 2, Page 6 – 7
[2] The Life of Muhammad By Muḥammad Ḥusayn Haykal, page 217
[3] The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin) By Mirza Bashir Aḥmad M.A. volume 2, page 100

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