When did the badr war happen? Where did the badr war take place? What is the history of the Battle of Badr?
The Battle of Badr Major (17 Ramadan 2/ 13 March 624)
Quraysh sent an enormous trade caravan in the second year of Hegira made up of a thousand camels strong, with an estimated worth of 50,000 dinars provided by the entire town, men and women alike, bound for the Gaza Fair in Damascus. Thirty to forty prominent idolaters took part in the journey, most notably Abu Sufyan, Muhammad ibn Nawfal and Amr ibn As.
The idolaters had already sensed that in retaliation to denying them entrance into Mecca, the Believers would in all likelihood try to cut off their vital trade route to Syria. Full-blown fear began caving in on their return from Damascus. Abu Sufyan hired Damdam ibn Amr, who was part of the caravan at the time, for 85 grams of gold, and immediately sent him from Tabuk to Mecca to report the urgency of the situation.
Meanwhile, three nights prior to Damdam’s arrival in Mecca, Atiqah, the Noble Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- aunt, saw a frightening dream. She recounted the dream to her brother Abbas.
“The dream I saw rattled me”, she said. “I fear that something terrible might happen to your tribe. Keep what I am about to tell you a secret; do not tell anyone!”
“Go on…what did you see?”
“A man astride a camel came and stood at Abtah (between Muhassab and Mecca) and declared aloud, three times, ‘Listen up, you bunch of insincere people! Report within three days to the field of battle, to the spots where you shall fall!’ People who heard him flocked around. The man then entered the courtyard of Kaabah and the others followed. With everyone swarmed around him, the man, again, repeated aloud the same words before, this time behind Kaabah. He then ascended Mount Abu Qubays and did the same thing there. Afterward, he grabbed hold of a rock and rolled it down. Rolling its way down the mountain, the rock then exploded tremendously near the base and there was neither a house, nor a spot left in Mecca left untouched by its pieces.”
“This sounds like an important dream, I swear”, commented Abbas. “Whatever you do, do not tell anyone about it!”
Later on, after parting ways with Atiqah -Allah be well-pleased with her-, Abbas -Allah be well-pleased with him- stumbled upon his friend Walid ibn Utbah. Abbas told him of the dream, nonetheless insisting him to keep a closed lid on it. But worried, Walid told his father and soon, the dream became the word on everybody’s lips in Mecca.
Abbas -Allah be well-pleased with him- recounts the developments thereafter.
“Abu Jahil was furious and asked me, ‘Since when have you also had a female prophet? Wasn’t a male prophet sufficient enough that your women also saw themselves fit for the role? Atiqah apparently heard someone telling Quraysh in her dream to report to where they shall fall within three days. We will wait three days. If what she heard is true, then certainly something will come up. But if three days pass and nothing comes up, then we will have it written down that your women are the greatest liars among the entire Arab women!’
Despite of the excruciating difficulty of denying it, I told him there was no such thing. On the third morning of Atiqah’s dream, infuriated, I headed towards Kaabah hoping to find Abu Jahl there and give vent to my frustration for having held back what he deserved to hear over what he had said three days before. Just as I was entering, he was immediately making his way out, heading out from the Sahm gate of the Sacred House, which had me thinking, ‘the scoundrel avoided me for he knew I wanted to have a go at him’. Little did I know that he had in fact heard the voice of Damdam. But soon I too found out, as I from a distance I saw Damdam, who, to draw attention to the urgency of the situation, had slashed his camel’s nose, shredded his shirt and turned his saddle the other way round. He was in the middle of the valley of Mecca, screaming at the top of his shrill voice:
‘The caravan, Quraysh, the caravan! Muhammad and his men have raided your properties you had left under the surveillance of Abu Sufyan! You have no time to waste in catching up with them…Help, help!’ The shouting of Damdam made us forget about all rest else.” (Ibn Hisham, II, 244-247; Waqidi, I, 29-31)
Quraysh wasted no time in getting prepared. It only took two or three days for them to be armed and ready. Weapons were purchased for those without, and the wealthy took great pains in aiding the weak in their preparation. Notables like Suhayl ibn Amr, Zama bin Aswad were animatedly proclaiming in the streets of Mecca:
“Camels and food are on us, more than you can ever imagine! All of you set out! Let there not be even a single person remaining back! If Muhammad seizes the caravan, he will most certainly use it to sponsor his march into Mecca!”
Almost the entire men of Mecca joined the crew and those who could not, hired and sent others in their place. Come the day when Abu Jahl ordered the troops to mount their rides and march, Umayya ibn Khalaf began dragging his feet, sensing deep inside it would be his final march out of Mecca, for the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- ,the Trustworthy, had already foretold of the doom awaiting him a while back.
“I swear, Muhammad never lies when he speaks”, he was saying, overcome with tremendous fear. Eventually, the persistent nagging of Abu Jahl persuaded him to set out.
When Utbah ibn Rabia and his brother Shaybah began grooming their weapons, their slave Addas asked him as to what they were getting ready for.
“Do you remember the man who you offered dates at our vineyard in Taif?” they asked.
‘Certainly, I do!”
“We are going to fight him!”
Addas fell at their feet and began pleading.
“Do not go! He is a prophet! You will only meet your doom!” Tears had trickled down to his cheeks. Utbah and Shaybah remained indifferent to the plea and left regardless.
The idolaters were nine-hundred and fifty to a thousand in number. A hundred or two-hundred of those were on horseback while the other seven-hundred were on camels. Most were armored. All the notables of Quraysh were there, accompanied by slave girls, playing their drums to the beat of anti-Muslim poems they were fervently chanting as they headed out of Mecca.
It was the second year of Hegira, the twelfth of Ramadan. The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- left Abdullah ibn Ummi Maqtum -Allah be well-pleased with him- in Medina to lead the salats and left Medina with an army of three-hundred and thirteen Believers, sixty-four of them from Muhajirun and the rest from Ansar. Three were on horseback, seventy were on camelback and the rest were on foot.
The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- halted the army of Believers at Buyut’us-Suqya, a mile out of Medina, and commanded the return of the elderly and the juvenile. Saad ibn Abi Waqqas -Allah be well-pleased with him- recounts:
“Moments before the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- began ordering the youngsters to return, I saw my brother Umayr trying to hide.
‘What are you trying to do?’ I asked him.
‘I am worried the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- might see me and tell me to go back’, he said, ‘but I so dearly want to come, in hope that I may perhaps be martyred!’
Indeed, upon catching a glimpse of him, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- saw that he was too young and advised him to go back. But then Umayr began to cry, so much that the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- allowed him to remain. As he had a slender frame, I tied his sword around him. Umayr was around sixteen when he was martyred at Badr.” (Waqidi, I, 21; Ibn Sad, III, 149-150)
Owing to a shortage of camels, three people took turns to ride each camel. The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- shared his with Ali and Abu Lubabah -Allah be well-pleased with them-. When it was the Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- turn to walk, they insisted he remain on the camel and let them walk instead. But the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- said, “Neither can you handle the strain of walking more than I, nor do I stand in less need of gaining rewards than you!” (Ibn Sad, II, 21; Ahmad, I, 422)
This attitude crystallizes the profound love for the Almighty the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- nurtured inside and his enthusiasm in gaining an even greater closeness to Allah, glory unto Him, with each deed and moment. No less, he teaches the necessity of abiding by justice, no matter who the person is or what the circumstances may entail.
The Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- later sent Abu Lubabah -Allah be well-pleased with him- back to Medina to act as deputy until their return.
Recognizing no other refuge than Allah, glory unto Him, referring to Him all his needs and unable to bear seeing his ummah so weak and underprivileged on their way to Badr, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- uttered the following prayer:
“Allah…Give them their rides for they have none! Clothe them for they are naked! Feed them for they are hungry!”
Indeed, once victory at the field of Badr came, each Believer returned home with one or two camels, clothes and on a full stomach. (Abu Dawud, Jihad, 145/2747)
In these strenuous days which coincided with the month of Ramadan, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- ordered the Believers to break their fasts, for they needed all the physical strength they could garner prior to the battle. All Muslim men who took part in Badr adjourned their fasts until their return.
The first army of Islam was making its way towards Badr. They had arrived at the Valley of Aqiq when two men, Hubayb ibn Yasaf and Qays ibn Muharris, who wanted to join the army solely for the purpose of taking a share of spoils, caught upto them.
“Did you set out with us in the first place?” asked the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- to Hubayb.
“No”, replied he. “But you are our neighbor and cousin from your mother’s side. So we joined to aid our people and lay claim on the spoils!”
“Do you believe in Allah and His Messenger?” this time asked the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- . When Hubayb answered in the negative, he was met with the following response:
“Then return, for we do not want the help of an idolater!”
Hubayb would not take no for an answer. “Everybody knows how courageous I am on the battlefield and the amount of damage I can exact on the enemy!” he said. “Can’t I simply fight on your side in return for some spoils?”
“No. Become a Muslim first then fight!” replied the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- , moments before he continued leading the army on their path.
But not long after, Hubayb caught up once again and restated his offer. The answer remained unchanged, however. Hubayb was confused. He after all had an illustrious reputation among Arabs for his gallant feats on battlefields. Still, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was not allowing him entry, for the sole reason that he was not a Muslim. The Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- dignified attitude, in spite of the glaring difference between the strength of the Believers and the force the idolaters in all likelihood had mobilized, had shaken Hubayb to the core. For a moment, he let himself go in the depths of his inner world and was able to see the lights of a realm of truth he had never before seen. Then, getting up, he ran to the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- . This time he had something else in mind.
“Yes”, he passionately exclaimed. “I believe in Allah and His Messenger!”
The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was visibly happy. “Now, you may join as you wish”, he said. (Muslim, Jihad, 150; Tirmidhi, Siyar 10/1558; Waqidi, I, 47; Ibn Sad, III, 535)
The incident provides a standard of iman, according to which irrespective of how demanding a given circumstance may be, a wrong means or method must never be utilized to achieve a right purpose. What one instead ought to do is take all the necessary precautions and then keep trust in the Almighty. By virtue of denying Hubayb from joining the Muslim army for the reason that he had not yet affirmed iman, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- has provided, for his ummah to come, an exemplary attitude that is motivated by a profound sensitivity of iman. The great Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- very well knew that all forms of help and grace came only from Allah, glory unto Him, in Whom he sought refuge in all circumstances and to Whom he turned to at all times. The approach is a quintessential example and a living case in point of the tawakkul, reliance in the Almighty only, made mentioned in the ayah:
“Allah is sufficient for us; He is the best protector.” (Al’i Imran, 173)
Hudayfah -Allah be well-pleased with him- narrates:
“We had set out with my father Husayl. The Qurayshi idolaters held us back, accusing us of ‘…wanting to join Muhammad’s ranks’. But we assured them we were going to Medina to settle some other affair. Thereupon they made us swear an oath that we would not join the Messenger of Allah and fight by his side. Once we eventually arrived in Medina, we disclosed the matter to the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-, he said:
‘Then, return. We will keep the promise you made for you and seek the aid of Allah against them!’ That was the reason I was not present at Badr.” (Muslim, Jihad, 98). This incident is again a brilliant testimony to the magnanimous trustworthiness of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- that extended even to his enemies.
There were also women who wanted to take part in the Battle of Badr. One of them was Umm Waraqa, who had rushed to the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-, and pleaded:
“Please, Messenger of Allah, allow me to join…I will treat the wounded and the ill, and Allah willing, I might even be given martyrdom!”
“Better you go and recite some Quran at your home”, the Blessed Prophet advised her instead, “and Allah will surely grant you martyrdom.”
Following this conversation, Umm Waraqa came to be called ‘Shaheedah’ (martyr) among the Companions. Bursting with an insatiable thirst for martyrdom, later on, when Omar -Allah be well-pleased with him- was caliph, she was choked to death with a velvet blanket by her servants. Upon being informed, Omar -Allah be well-pleased with him- remarked, “Allah and His Messenger spoke the truth”, immediately after which those responsible were caught and punished accordingly. (Abu Dawud, Salat, 61/591; Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, IV, 505)
After being made aware that the Believers were headed towards Badr, Abu Sufyan, without delay, changed the direction of the caravan towards the coast, leaving Badr to his left. Realizing he had saved the caravan, he then sent an envoy to the Quraysh Army, with the message:
“You had set out to protect your caravan, men and properties. But now that the danger has been repelled, you can return!”
Compliant with Abu Sufyan’s message and with the advice of Ahnas ibn Sharik, the clans of Ibn Zuhra and Ibn Kaab returned. But Abu Jahl was adamant.
“We will not return until we make it to Badr”, he bellowed. “We shall stay there for three days. We will slaughter camels and celebrate; the women will dance and sing. The Arabs around will hear us and fear us from here on end. Let’s march!”
When Abu Sufyan heard about the decision of the Meccans to march ahead regardless, he commented, “My sorry tribe…This must be Ibn Hisham’s (Abu Jahl) idea! His unwillingness to return is due his zeal to become the leader of the people…it is transgression! And transgression is a bad omen!” (Waqidi, I, 43-45; Ibn Hisham, II, 258)
Intimately following the turn these developments were taking, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- now realized they were facing an inevitable life or death battle. Gathering the Companions, he asked:
“What do you think is more appropriate: following the caravan or meeting the Qurayhs Army?”
Speaking on behalf of the Muhajirun, Abu Bakr and Omar -Allah be well-pleased with them-assured that they were ready to face up to the army of idolaters. The Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- wished to hear the opinions of the Ansar, too; and that was when getting up on his feet, Miqdad ibn Aswad -Allah be well-pleased with him- made the following speech:
“Rest assured, Messenger of Allah, that we will never say what the Jews said to Musa -upon him peace-, ‘You and Your Lord go and fight!’ (al-Maida, 24). True to the word we gave you at Aqabah, we are ready at all times to fight the enemy on your right and left, in front of you or behind you, until the very end!” (Bukhari, Maghazi, 4; Tafsir, 5/4)
Getting up after Miqdad -Allah be well-pleased with him- was Saad ibn Muadh -Allah be well-pleased with him-:
“Messenger of Allah…We have believed you and borne witness to the truth of the Quran you have delivered. Do as you wish! If you were to dive into the ocean, we would follow from behind you. Not a single Ansari would even hesitate!”
These words of loyalty and submission put a comforting smile on the magnificent expression of the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-, and after a brief prayer for their wellbeing, he declared:
“Then, let’s march ahead with the blessings of Allah! Congratulations to you from now…for Allah has promised you one of two things, without specifying which one. By Allah, it is as if I am seeing the exact spots where Quraysh will fall to their feet on the battlefield!” (Muslim, Jihad, 83; Waqidi, I, 48-49; Ibn Hisham, II, 253-254)
By the time the Muslim Army had arrived at Badr, Quraysh had already camped in Yalyal Valley, behind a sand hill, in the furthermost distant side to Medina. The wells of Badr, on the other hand, stood on the side of the valley nearest to Medina. When the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- reached the well nearest to Badr, he discussed with the Ansar the most favorable spot for encampment. Hubab ibn Munzir -Allah be well-pleased with him- made his feelings explicit:
“This is not an appropriate spot to camp, Messenger of Allah. We should instead camp by the well nearest to the Quraysh Army and then shut off the remainder of the wells behind us, except for that one. We could then set up a pool around that well to collect its water.”
The Prophet of Mercy -upon him blessings and peace- concurred. (Ibn Hisham, II, 259-260; Ibn Sad, II, 15)
A group of idolaters including Hakim ibn Hizam came to get some water from the well the Believers had set up camp by. Though the Companions wished to prevent them from doing so, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- intervened, saying, “Leave them alone; let them drink from the well.” Bar Hakim, all the others of the group ended up slain at the battlefield that day; and Hakim, in due course became a Muslim. Thereafter, whenever he wished to make an oath to reinforce the strength of his word, he would utter, “By Allah, who saved me from death at Badr and graced me with the blessings of iman…” (Ibn Hisham, II, 261)
By allowing the enemy to drink from the well, despite knowing that the same enemy would be looking to slaughter them only moments later, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- set a universal standard and a manner of extending guidance. Benevolent behavior of the kind has ended up softening many a heart of stone, subsequently opening a door therein to the guiding light of truth.
Once the Muslim Army encamped, Saad ibn Muadh -Allah be well-pleased with him- said:
“Messenger of Allah…Let’s put up a shade for you and keep your rides next to you. We will then go into battle with the enemy. If Allah grants us victory, then so be it. But in case He does not, you will then mount your horse and return to our brothers whom we have left behind. Prophet of Allah..! They love you as much as we do. If they knew you would end up fighting, in no way would they have remained behind! They, too, are bound to you from the bottom of their hearts and will fight by your side no matter what it takes!”
The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- praised Saad -Allah be well-pleased with him- and prayed for his wellbeing. Saad -Allah be well-pleased with him- then drew his sword from his scabbard and stood guard by the shade that was put up. (Ibn Hisham, II, 260; Waqidi, I, 49)
The Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace-, for the last time, sent Omar -Allah be well-pleased with him- to the Meccans, with the message, “Turn back…Fighting others is a lot more preferable to us!”
Hakim ibn Hizam was willing to take heed. “This is a considerate move; we better accept it”, he said. “We will not be given consideration by anybody after this point!”
His words of good intent were stifled by the doggedness of Abu Jahl.
“I swear, we shall not return until we have taken our revenge; especially after Allah has put us on the verge of it. We will teach them such a lesson that they will no longer be able to stalk our caravans and hold them back!” The words galvanized Quraysh to fight. (Waqidi, I, 61-65)
The idolaters sent Umayr ibn Wahb and the prominent cavalryman Abu Usama to inspect the Muslim Army. After circling the stationed Believers once, they returned, commenting, “We saw no sterile and brawny camels or horses…nor were there large number of men, nor a great preparation for that matter. But we saw such a unit, who wish that they would rather be killed than return to their families! They have neither a shelter to take refuge in, nor anything to defend themselves apart from their swords!” (Waqidi, I, 62)
Omar -Allah be well-pleased with him- recounts:
“On the night prior to the Battle, the Messenger of Allah showed, on by one, the very spots where the idolater notables would fall. By Allah who sent him as the true prophet, none of them were able to flee from the spots they were shown. They were thereafter thrown in a well, piled up on one another.” (Muslim, Jannat, 76, Jihad, 83)
The surface where the Believers had encamped at Badr was sandy, making it difficult to walk. The declining amount of water had also meant they were facing shortage. It was becoming difficult finding enough water even for wudu. These constraints, added by the glaring superiority of the idolaters in terms of strength and number, gave Shaytan sufficient excuses to try and cast fear into Muslim hearts.
But that night it pelted down rain, enough to flood the valley. The Believers stored up the water and used it abundantly to take care of both their own needs and those of their animals. The rain, at the same time, had washed away the dust and settled the surface, making it firmer. It had forced the Meccans, on the other hand, to a standstill; they could not move about from their encampments. Allah, glory unto Him, moreover granted the Believers a soothing state of sleepiness, all of which is recounted in the ayah:
“When He made the slumber fall upon you as a reassurance from him and sent down water from the sky upon you, that thereby He might purify you, and remove from you the fear of Satan, and make strong your hearts and firm (your) feet thereby.” (al-Anfal, 11)
The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- offered salat all throughout the night and prayed Allah, glory unto Him, as confirmed by Ali -Allah be well-pleased with him-:
“I remember all too clearly that on the night of Badr all of us except for the Messenger of Allah slept. Until morning, the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- offered salat and wept.” (Ibn Huzayma, II, 52)
At dawn, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- called out, “to salat, servants of Allah”. Leading the fajr salat, he then urged the Believers for jihad. (Ahmad, I, 117)
Prior to the idolaters assuming their positions against the Believers, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, with an arrow in his hand, straightened out the Muslim ranks, making each Believer get in a straight line, subsequent to which he counted them. At that point, he slightly poked the belly of Sawad ibn Ghaziyaa, who had momentarily stepped out of line, telling him to step back in.
“You hurt me, Messenger of Allah”, said Sawad. “Allah has sent you with the Truth. So I want to get even, as is my right!”
The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-, without further ado, lifted his shirt and exposed his abdomen. “But he is the Messenger of Allah, Sawad,” the Companions were saying in an attempt to dissuade him. But Sawad was adamant.
“No person is superior to another when it comes to justice”, he replied. The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- told him to settle the scores. That was when Sawad stretched out and kissed the Blessed Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- abdomen.
“Why did you do that, Sawad?” asked the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace.
“You see, Messenger of Allah, we are on the brink of going into battle. So I wanted my last moment to be a moment with you!” The Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- then prayed for his wellbeing. (Ibn Hisham, II, 266-267; Ibn Sad, II, 15-16)
The two forces lined up against one another on the plain of Badr, on 17th of Ramadan. It was a very hot day. Arabs, until then, used to fight out of reasons tribal, motivated by protecting their kindred. Tribalism was now replaced by religion; religious spirit had dispensed with the strong solidarity of kindred of yesterday, such that fathers found themselves raising their swords against their own sons, uncles against nephews and brothers against each other. That day, Abu Bakr -Allah be well-pleased with him- locked swords with his own son, Abu Ubaydah ibn Jarrah -Allah be well-pleased with him- with his father and Hamza -Allah be well-pleased with him- with his brother. It was an incredible scene.
Allah, glory unto Him, proclaims:
“Indeed there was a sign for you in the two hosts (which) met together in encounter; one party fighting in the way of Allah and the other unbelieving, whom they saw twice as many as themselves with the sight of the eye and Allah strengthens with His aid whom He pleases; most surely there is a lesson in this for those who have sight.” (Al’i Imran, 13)
Having arrived at the battlefield full of arrogance, the idolaters were lost in their own conceit as they considered themselves invincible. Their conditions are depicted in the Quran as follows:
“Be not as those who came forth from their dwellings boastfully and to be seen of men, and debar (men) from the way of Allah, while Allah is surrounding all they do. And when Shaytan made their deeds seem fair to them and said: No-one of mankind can conquer you this day, for I am your protector. But when the armies came in sight of one another, he took flight, saying: I am guiltless of you; I see that which ye see not; I fear Allah. And Allah is severe in punishment.” (al-Anfal, 47-48)
Their conceit was, however, overturned, dashed against the rock of Divine Pride:
“Those who disbelieve spend their wealth in order that they may debar (men) from the way of Allah. They will spend it, then it will become an anguish for them, then they will be conquered. And those who disbelieve will be gathered unto hell.” (al-Anfal, 36)
 Ibn Hisham, II, 244; Waqidi, I, 27-28. Waqidi, I, 31-39; Bukhari, Manaqib, 25; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah, III, 294-295. Waqidi, I, 23-24; Ibn Hisham, II, 250-251; Ibn Saad, II, 12. Ibn Hisham, II, 251. Ibn Hisham, II, 57. Ibn Masud -Allah be well-pleased with him- says, “I witnessed Miqdad utter words of such conviction that just to have uttered those words myself, I would be willing to forfeit saying all other words of worth…” (Bukhari, Maghazi, 4; Tafsir, 5/4) One of the things promised in the 7th ayah of al-Anfal is Quraysh itself, that is, their defeat and ultimate detainment into captivity, while the other is the great caravan of Quraysh coming from Damascus. Ibn Hisham, II, 259. According to the reports of locals, even though the other sand hills at Badr shift every five or ten years owing to persisting winds, the sand hill on which the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- set up camp has remained stable to this day. Arabs during the Age of Ignorance accepted the existence of Allah, glory unto Him; yet worshipping other deities beside Him, they had deviated from the path of tawhid into shirk. It was thus habitual for them, as seen in this case in point, to mention Allah’s name and articulate His Divineness. Culpable for their falling into shirk were their worshipping of idols, motivated with the desire to attain closeness to Allah by using them as supposed intercessors and the belief that honor was to be gained by doing so. (see, al-AnKaabut, 61; az-Zumar, 3) Tabari, Tafsir, IX, 256-261.