Battle of Badr 17th March 624 AD
As was the normal custom of the time the Muslims of Medina would send raiding parties against the trade caravans of Mecca. Normally these raids were forbidden during the month of Rajab. Following a revelation from God, Muhammad and his followers started raids during this month. Muhammad led a force of about 300 against a trade caravan of the Quraysh tribe which was returning from Syria. The caravan escaped the raiders who were then trapped themselves by a large relief force from Mecca. According to accounts the Mecca force outnumbered the Muslims three-to-one. The battle started with the traditional duel between heroes with three warriors from each army duelling before the main battle.
Muhammad’s forces advanced strongly instead of the starting with the expected prelude of missile fire and smashed the Meccan lines killing several of their leaders. The Muslim forces were victorious and tradition says that the Muslims were added in battle by a force of angels led by the arch angel Gabriel (Jibreel). Certainly the enthusiastic charge by the Muslim forces came as a surprise and shock to their enemies who quickly broke. The Muslims took the victory as an indication that God was with them. Accounts indicate the encounter was fairly minor with around 50-70 Meccans killed, but what it did do was establish Muhammad as a leader.
| The Message. One of the very few films about the life of Muhammad and is reasonably accurate in its depictions of the battles. As it is respectful of Muslim beliefs Muhammad is not portrayed by an actor and is not ‘seen’ during the film.
How to cite this article:
Dugdale-Pointon, T (22 January 2008), Battle of Badr 17th March 624 AD, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_badr.html