And when Allah promised you one of the two bands (of the enemy) that it should be yours, and ye longed that other than the armed one might be yours. And Allah willed that He should cause the Truth to triumph by His words, and cut the root of the disbelievers;
Tâiftayn the two parties” refer to the caravan of the
Quraish coming from Syria under the leadership of Abû Sufyân and
the armed force of the infidels of Makkah under the command of Abû Jahl. Two years after Hijrah, Abû Jahl raised an army of 1000 Makkans with the intention of eradicating the small Muslim
community of Madînah. The Muslims were forced to encounter the
advancing force at the time when no resources for war had been
organized. They had two alternatives: either to look for resources to
equip themselves or to fight as things stood. Their own trade caravan
was on their way back from Syria, but still two thirds of the distance
away from Madînah. At the same time a richly laden Makkan Caravan
lead by Abû Sufyân with 40 men was also on its way back, not very
far from north of Madînah. A number of the Muslims wished to attack
the Makkan caravan first, seize the riches, and equip their army.
Plundering this caravan would have been an easy, safe and lucrative
solution; however, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) did not agree with such an
Badr, where the encounter with the Makkan forces took place, lies at a
distance of six days journey or about 150 miles from Makkah, and two
days journey or about 50 miles from Madînah. Non-Muslim historians
insist that it was the Muslims who were aggressors. However, they
overlook certain facts: the place of encounter was south of Madînah,
and not to the north where the caravan of the Makkans was on its way.
On the other hand, the Makkans were already advancing towards
Madînah and were at a distance of a few days journey from Madînah.
If the Holy Prophet (pbuh) had prepared for attacking the caravan, he
would have taken a route towards the north from where the caravan of
Abû Sufyân was coming. Any intention of the army of Abû Jahl to
supply an escort for the caravan is in contradiction with the fact that
the Makkan army stayed at Badr after the caravan of Abû Sufyân
crossed Madînah in safety and had left the city of the Holy Prophet
(pbuh) far behind.
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions decided to meet the
enemy outside Madînah in order not to put in danger the lives of the
innocents. Companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) made speeches to encourage Muslims to take up arms against the enemy. Miqdâd bin Amar announced, “O Prophet of Allâh! We are with you. We will
never say to you as the people of Moses said to him, Go you and your
Lord and fight, you two, while we sit here and watch, we will fight
your enemy in front of you and your rear and on your right side and
on your left side and they cannot reach you without marching on our
dead bodies” (Bukhârî, Abû Muslim). Sad bin Ma‘âdz said, “March
out with your decision (O Prophet!). By Allâh! If you would jump in
the ocean of the enemy, we will be with you” (Bukhârî, Abû Muslim).
These speeches indicate that the aim of the Muslims was not to attack
and plunder the caravan, but to save themselves from being
overwhelmed by the Makkan forces.
NOORUDDÎN ,ALLÂMAH. (2015). Exegesis of The Holy Qur’ân Commentary and Reflections. http://www.islamicweblibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Exegesis-of-the-Holy-Quran-Commentary-and-Reflections.pdf