Incidents From the Life of the Holy Prophet (sa) – The Expeditions of Badr al-Mau’id & Dummat al-Jandal

After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that he would be mentioning two expeditions.

His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad

The Expedition of Badr al-Mau’id

His Holiness (aba) said that the first expedition he would mention is the Expedition of Badr al-Mau’id which took place in 4 AH. There are varying narrations as to the exact month in which this expedition took place, however it is understood that this expedition took place in 4 AH. His Holiness (aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra) who writes:

‘In 4 A.H. at the end of the month of Shawwal, the Holy Prophet (sa) set out from Madinah with a force of 1,500.’

(The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2, p. 386)

His Holiness (aba) said that the reason for this expedition was that as Abu Sufyan bin Harb was returning from the Battle of Uhud, he loudly proclaimed, ‘Next year, we shall meet again ad Badr al-Sufra where we shall fight’. The Holy Prophet (sa) instructed Hazrat Umar (ra) to respond by saying, ‘God-willing’. Abu Sufyan had made this proclamation out of arrogance, however as the appointed time grew nearer he started becoming fearful of fighting the Muslims. However, he had been acting as if he was preparing a large army in hopes of the news reaching Madinah and the Muslims becoming scared of him. 

His Holiness (aba) said that another man went to Abu Sufyan in Makkah and informed him about the various preparations being made by the Muslims in Madinah. He told Abu Sufyan that the Muslims had countless weapons, camels and horses and that they had also been joined by their allied tribes. He said to Abu Sufyan that he had been the one to call them to battle and that he must go out and fight them. However, Abu Sufyan said that they were facing a famine and thus were in straitened circumstances. As such, he said to the man, named Nu’aim, that he should go back to Madinah and convey to them the grandeur and fierceness of the Makkan army, so as to scare the Muslims from coming out to fight. Abu Sufyan offered 20 camels as a reward for doing so, which Nu’aim accepted. 

His Holiness (aba) said that when Nu’aim reached Madinah, he told the Muslims about the Makkan army and greatly embellished how big and prepared the Makkan army was, advising the Muslims not to leave Madinah for battle. Nu’aim sought to strike fear in the Muslims, and it worked because some Muslims became frightened and fearful because of the news they were hearing. In light of this, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Umar (ra) went to the Holy Prophet (sa) and said that Allah and His Messenger (sa) would prevail and suggested that they had made a promise to meet Abu Sufyan for battle and so they should not back down now. The Holy Prophet (sa) was very pleased to hear this, and said that he would be going even if no one else joined him. Seeing this greatly increased the confidence of the Muslims and they began preparing with great zeal. 

His Holiness (aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra) who writes:

‘Despite the victory at Uhud, and a force this large, [Abu Sufyan’s] heart was fearful and even though he was bent upon the destruction of Islam, he wished not to confront the Muslims until he could gather a larger force. As such, he was still in Makkah, when he dispatched a man by the name of Na‘im, who belonged to a neutral tribe, towards Madinah and emphatically instructed him that in any way possible, he should intimidate and threaten the Muslims, and craft fabricated stories to hold them back from setting out for war. Hence, this individual came to Madīnah and crafting false stories of the preparation, strength, zeal and fury of the Quraish, created a state of unrest in Madīnah. This was carried out to such an extent that various people of weaker dispositions began to harbour fear in taking part in the Ghazwah. However, the Holy Prophet (sa) encouraged the Muslims to go forth and in his address he stated: 

“We have already accepted the challenge of the Quraish and we have promised to set out on this occasion, therefore, we cannot turn back. Even if I am required to go alone, I shall go and stand firm in the face of the enemy.” 

As a result, the fear of the people was dispelled and they became prepared to set out in the company of the Holy Prophet (sa) with great zeal and sincerity.’

(The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2, pp. 386-387)

His Holiness (aba) said that the Holy Prophet (sa) set out with an army of 1,500 and he gave the flag of the Muslim army to Hazrat Ali (ra). The Muslims set out towards Badr with the wealth from their trades and business, showing the Muslims’ belief that either Abu Sufyan would not come to the battle, or that even if he did the Muslims would win a decisive victory. As promised, the Holy Prophet (sa) waited at Badr for Abu Sufyan. 

His Holiness (aba) said that the Quraish were taking solace in the news that Nu’aim had delivered to the Muslims, thinking that the Muslims would not come out for battle. And so, they set out thinking that if the Muslims would not come for battle, then they could say that they waited for them. If the Muslims did come for battle, then they could simply tell them that due to the famine, the battle should be delayed to a later time. 

His Holiness (aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra) who writes:

‘In any case, the Holy Prophet (sa) set out from Madina with 1,500 Companions and on the opposing end Abu Sufyan set out from Makkah with his 2,000 warriors. However, the power of God was such that the Muslims reached Badr according to their promise, but the army of the Quraish came out to some distance and then retreated to Makkah. The account is that when Abu Sufyan learnt of the failure of Na‘im, he became fearful in his heart and after having travelled some distance, he retreated with his army admonishing them: “This year the famine is very severe, and people are facing financial difficulty. Therefore it is not wise to fight at this time. We shall attack Madinah with greater preparation when a time of affluence is at hand.” The Muslim army stayed at Badr for eight days, and since a carnival would take place there every year in the beginning of Dhu Qa‘dah, during the carnival, many Companions engaged in trade and were able to generate significant profits. As a matter of fact, in this eight-day business venture, they were able to multiply their initial capital two-fold. When the carnival came to an end, and the army of the Quraish did not arrive, the Holy Prophet (sa) departed from Badr and returned to Madinah. The Quraish returned to Makkah and began to prepare for an attack upon Madinah.’

(The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2, pp. 387-388)

The Expedition of Dummat al-Jandal

His Holiness (aba) said that the second expedition he would mention is Dummat al-Jandal, which took place in Rabi al-Awwal 5 AH. Dummat al-Jandal is located about 450 kilometers from Madinah. At that time, it would have taken about 15 to 17 days to reach there from Madinah. 

His Holiness (aba) said that all previous battles and expeditions had taken place either near Madinah or within HIjaz.  However, this was the first expedition which took place at a distance of 15 days’ travel from Madinah near the then-Roman state of Syria. 

His Holiness (aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra) who writes:

‘Therefore, Dummatul-Jandal, the Ghazwah of which we now mention, was situated near the Syrian border, and it was at a distance of no less than fifteen or sixteen days travel from Madinah.

The reason for this Ghazwah was that the Holy Prophet (sa) received news that many people from Dummatul-Jandal had gathered and were occupied in robbing and looting others. They would attack travellers and caravans passing by and would disturb them by robbing and looting them. Along with this, it was apprehended that they may turn their sights towards Madinah as well, and thus become a source of distress for the Muslims. A prime objective of the military operations of the Holy Prophet (sa) was also the establishment of peace. Therefore, although the Muslims of Madinah were not directly in severe danger by the pillaging and plunder of these people, the Holy Prophet (sa) urged the Companions that the robbery and injustice being perpetrated there should be put to an end. Hence, upon the encouragement of the Holy Prophet (sa), 1,000 Companions set out with him to undertake this far-off and arduous journey. 

In the fifth year of Hijrah, during the month of Rabi‘ul-Awwal, the Holy Prophet (sa) went forth from Madinah. After completing a long and tiresome journey of fifteen to sixteen days, the Holy Prophet (sa) reached Dummatul-Jandal. However, upon reaching there it was ascertained that these people had scattered here and there upon receiving news of the imminent arrival of the Muslims. Although the Holy Prophet (sa) remained there for a few days, and also dispatched small companies in search of them so that intelligence could be gathered with respect to these trouble-makers, they disappeared in such a manner that they were nowhere to be found. However, a shepherd from among them who was taken captive by the Muslims accepted Islam upon the preaching of the Holy Prophet (sa). After a stay of a few days, the Holy Prophet (sa) returned to Madinah.’

(The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2, p. 402)

His Holiness (aba) said that after remaining at Dummat al-Jandal for about three days, the Holy Prophet (sa) set out towards Madinah.  It is stated that the sole purpose of this expedition was not a battle, but was also to keep aware of the happenings in the North of the Arabian peninsula. As such, the expedition of Dummat al-Jandal proved very useful. This was also a means of stemming any other potential attacks of those who may have wanted to attack the Muslims after seeing their temporary defeat at Uhud. 

His Holiness (aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra) who writes:

‘This Ghazwah was the first of its kind, where its primary purpose, or at least its major purpose, was the establishment of peace in the country. There was no direct quarrel between the people of Dummah and the Muslims. They were so far from Madinah that apparently, the fear that they would undertake such a long and strenuous journey towards Madinah and cause harm to the Muslims was no real threat. Thus, in reality, there was no other reason for undertaking such a difficult journey of fifteen days against them, except so that the pillaging and plunder which they were perpetrating, and their harassing of innocent caravans and travellers, could be put to an end. In actuality, this journey of the Muslims was for the public peace and overall stability of the country, and there was no selfish motive whatsoever. Furthermore, this is a practical response to those people who completely by way of dishonesty and injustice, have alleged that the early military campaigns, which the Muslims engaged in under the command of the Holy Prophet (sa), were offensive or fueled by selfish motives. One outcome of this Ghazwah was that the people of Dummah became awe-stricken and held back from their rebellious designs, and oppressed travellers were delivered from this injustice. Secondly, in a way, Islam was introduced to the border of Syria, where until now, Muslims were only known by name and people were completely unaware of the truth of Islam. As a result, the people of this region became aware of the practices and values of the Muslims to some extent. A group of Christians inhabited the surrounding proximity of Dummatul-Jandal as well.

However, narrations do not specify whether the rebels against whom this expedition was directed were Christians or idolators. However, it may be presumed by circumstances that these people were perhaps idolators, because if this campaign was directed towards the Christians, historians definitely would have alluded to it.’

(The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2, p. 403)

His Holiness (aba) said that it is clear that these expeditions were to stem the evils of the enemy, to end their evil plots and to establish security for all. They were not for the purpose of fighting, exerting power or to ruin the peace. Hence, allegations against the Holy Prophet (sa) are refuted by the incidents of these expeditions, because these expeditions resulted in peace not just for Muslims, but for all people. 

His Holiness (aba) said that this concludes mention of the above two expeditions. 

Mubarak Mosque

Appeal for Prayers

His Holiness (aba) said that we should pray for the general peace of the world, towards which the Holy Prophet (sa) also made great efforts during his lifetime. This was the very purpose of his advent and the true message of Islam. However, this can only be achieved through the special grace of Allah Almighty.

His Holiness (aba) said that worldly people are bent upon destruction and it seems that there is no sight of peace. On the other hand, the agenda in the West against Muslims has intensified greatly and it seems it will continue to grow in the future. The Muslims must thus unite and reform themselves in order to face this. His Holiness (aba) prayed that the Muslims are able to understand this.

His Holiness (aba) mentioned that in Sudan, the Muslims themselves are perpetrating injustices against Muslims and prayed that Allah Almighty enables them to establish peace. This is because they have forgotten the purpose of religion. His Holiness (aba) prayed that they are enabled to serve their people and establish harmony rather than fulfil their self-vested interests.

Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.