The Aid of the Angels

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 What is the aid of the angels? When did the aid of the angels come?

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- threw his glance towards the idolaters; they were around a thousand in number. His Companions, on the other hand, were three-hundred and thirteen.[1] Turning to the direction of Kaabah, he at once lifted his hands aloft and began pleading his Lord in the following:

“Allah…Fulfill the promise You made me! Grant me victory! My Lord…If You annihilate this community of Islam today, none will remain on Earth from now on to worship You!”

So fervently did the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- continue pleading with his hands lifted up towards the skies that his rida (frock) fell off from his shoulders. Seeing this, Abu Bakr -Allah be well-pleased with him- came next to him and putting his rida back over his shoulders, said:

“Messenger of Allah…You have pleaded your Lord as much as necessary. Allah will surely fulfill His promise to you!”

The hearts of all Believers, too, were in a rapturous state of pleading; and it was not long after that they were complemented with the grace of Rahman:

“Remember ye implored the assistance of your Lord, and He answered you: “I will assist you with a thousand of the angels, ranks on ranks. Allah made it but a message of hope, and an assurance to your hearts: (in any case) there is no help except from Allah: and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.” (al-Anfal, 9-10)

“Allah had helped you at Badr, when you were a contemptible little force; then fear Allah; thus May ye show your gratitude. Remember thou saidst to the Faithful: “Is it not enough for you that Allah should help you with three thousand angels (Specially) sent down? Yea, – if ye remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels Making a terrific onslaught.” (Al’i Imran, 123-125)

Allah, glory unto Him, aided the Believers that day with angels;[2] and compliant with their sincerity, increased their number to a thousand, three-thousand and ultimately five-thousand.

Even though the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- had foretold the exact spots where each and every idolater would end up being slain and knew from beforehand, through Divine Grace, that he would be granted victory, he still pleaded the Almighty until the break of dawn, ardently praying to the point of almost laying waste to himself. This state is one of the most vital manifestations of servanthood. Allah, glory unto Him, expects nothing from us, apart from servanthood. There is no firmer way of gaining closeness to Allah, glory unto Him, than pleaing Him, humbly and beseechingly.

On the day of Badr, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was heard to have remarked:

“There is Jibril! He has seized his horse’s mane, equipped with his battle gear (and has come to your aid)!” (Bukhari, Maghazi, 11)

Huwaytib ibn Abduluzza confesses:

“I was with the idolaters on the day of Badr and I saw many amazing scenes and, above all, the angels. They were killing the men of Quraysh, between the skies and earth, and taking them prisoners. There and then I said to myself, ‘This man must be under the protection of Allah’. But for a long time, I did not tell anyone about what I saw.” (Hakim, III, 562/6084)

Recounting below is Abu Dawud al-Mazini:

“I pursued an idolater on the day of Badr to strike and kill him. Before my sword even made contact with him, I saw his head tumble down on the ground. I realized somebody else, an angel, had struck him!” (Ahmad, V, 450)

According to the report of Anas -Allah be well-pleased with him-, once the idolaters began approaching, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- said:

“Rise in preparation to enter Paradise whose breadth is as great as the distance between the skies and earth!” Umayr ibn Humam -Allah be well-pleased with him-, from the Ansar, said:

“…Paradise whose breadth is as great as the distance between the skies and earth, Messenger of Allah?”

“Yes”, replied the Prophet of Mercy -upon him blessings and peace- .

“How wonderful”, then remarked Umayr.

“What makes you say that?” then inquired the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- .

“By Allah”, said Umayr, “I only said it out of my desire to be among the dwellers of Paradise; nothing else!”

“Most definitely, you are one of them”, then assured the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- .

Briefly after the Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- words, Umayr took a few pieces of dates from out of his bag and began eating them. Almost immediately, however, he remarked:

“If I live long enough to finish these dates, then that would surely be a long life”; and flinging the dates aside, he paced towards the battlefield. He fought gallantly until he was ultimately martyred. (Muslim, Imara, 145; Ahmad, III, 137)

The Battle of Badr began with a mubaraza, a one-on-one showdown. The three warriors nominated from the Muslim ranks, Hamza, Ali and Ubayda -Allah be well-pleased with them- made light work of their enemies. Ubayda -Allah be well-pleased with him-, however, returned with a fatal leg wound, becoming a martyr soon after hearing the soothing words of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- :

“You have made it!” (Waqidi, I, 69-70)

Thereafter, the forces moved closer towards one another. The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- did not allow the Believers to launch an offensive straight away, for there were many among Quraysh who were tentative to fight, knowing that the caravan was no longer threatened; and since the Muslims were taking their time to strike, their hesitation was increasing all the more, undermining the overall resolve of the Meccans. Besides, the slaying of the three warriors they had sent to meet the three Muslim challengers had sent shivers down their spines. Their silent moments of unease were broken, however, by the vile shriek of Abu Jahl:

“Do not be fooled by the death of a couple of people…March ahead!” (Waqidi, I, 71)

Spurred, the idolaters thereupon launched an all-out offensive. The genuine pleas coming from the Muslim ranks and the thunderous shouts of Allah’u Akbar sending fear into idolater ranks were ceaseless, inciting hearts filled with iman into states of ecstasy.

The moment finally came and the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- commanded the Believers to launch an offensive. The two sides locked swords. It began fiercely; and its ferocity only increased by the moment.

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was running to and fro in Muslim ranks, seeking the aid of the Almighty and, to spur on the Companions, was constantly reciting:

“Soon shall the hosts be routed, and they shall turn (their) backs.” (al-Qamar, 45), proclaiming at the same time:

“Whoever patiently keeps his ground against the enemy and falls martyr, he will surely be placed in Paradise by the Almighty. The Paradise of Firdaws is awaiting those who fall martyr today. Make a move and attack!” (Ibn Hisham, II, 267-268)

Then turning to Abu Bakr -Allah be well-pleased with him-, who was by his side, he said:

“Glad tidings…! Jibril and the angels have come to our aid!”

At one stage, he grabbed small pebbles from the ground and threw it towards the idolaters, saying “may their faces blacken”.[3] Right at that moment, a fierce wind began to blow towards the enemy, whirling up so much dust that they could hardly catch sight of each other.

[1] Bara -Allah be well-pleased with him- later said, “We used to tell each other that the number of the Believers at Badr was exactly the same as the number of those in Talut’s army to pass the river; that is three-hundred and thirteen.” (Bukhari, Maghazi, 6; Tirmidhi, Siyar, 38/1598)

[2] Bukhari, Maghazi, 4, 6; Muslim, Jihad, 58.

[3] Ibn Hisham, II, 267.

Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, The Prophet Muhammed Mustafa the Elect II, Erkam Publications

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