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“There has already been for you a Sign in the two armies that met (in combat): One was fighting in the cause of Allah, the other resisting Allah; these saw with their own eyes Twice their number. But Allah doth support with His aid whom He pleaseth. In this is a warning for such as have eyes to see.”

Asad writes,

“It is generally assumed that this is an allusion to the battle of Badr, in the third
week of Ramadan, 2H., in which three hundred and odd poorly-equipped Muslims, led by
the Prophet, utterly routed a well-armed Meccan force numbering nearly one thousand men,
seven hundred camels and one hundred horses; it was the first open battle between the
pagan Quraysh and the young Muslim community of Medina. According to some commentators,
however (e.g., Manar III, 234), the above Qur’anic passage has a general import and alludes
to an occurrence often witnessed in history – namely, the victory of a numerically weak
and ill-equipped group of people, filled with a burning belief in the righteousness of
their cause, over a materially and numerically superior enemy lacking a similar conviction.
The fact that in this Qur’an-verse the believers are spoken of as being faced by an enemy
“twice their number” (while at the battle of Badr the pagan Quraysh were more than three
times the number of the Muslims) lends great plausibility to this explanation – and
particularly so in view of the allusion, in the next verse, to material riches and
worldly power”


Asad, Muhammad (1980). The Message of the Quran.

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