| Ahl al-Badr or Ashab al-Badr is the general name given to the companions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who participated in the Battle of Badr. Taking place in Badr between Muslims and the infidels of Mecca in the second year of the Hijrah, it became the first great battle in Islamic history. |
The Battle of Badr occurred on Ramadan 17th in the second year of the Hijrah. A Muslim army of 300-310 soldiers set off from Medina to hit the caravan which was carrying valuable mercantile goods of the infidels of Mecca that would be used to prepare for a battle against the Muslims. However, as the caravan changed its route towards Mecca and as an army of 900-1000 infidel soldiers took off towards Badr, the two armies met at this location.
In the face of such an unexpected incident the muhajir (migrants) stayed on the side of the Prophet in the same submission and obedience they had displayed during the Hijrah. The ansar (residents of Medina) also offered their obedience by saying: “O the Messenger of God, we believed in you. We acknowledged what you brought from Allah was right. Order us whatever you want. For the sake of Allah who sent you to us, we will dive into the sea if you do so.”
The Prophet prayed to Allah in Badr saying: “O Allah! If this small army is defeated in this battle, there will be no one left worshipping you on this Earth.” In an answer to his prayers, the Muslims defeated the infidels with the help of Allah. The companions who fought at the side of the Prophet against the infidels without a second thought despite the apparent difference in the number of soldiers are spoken of in praise in both the Quran and hadith (sayings of the Prophet). In some of his sayings, the Prophet even states that they will all end up in Heaven.
In Sahih Bukhara (source book for hadith), forty-four such names are mentioned and the hadiths declare that these companions are the most virtuous of all Muslims. As a matter of fact, during his reign, Caliph Umar also wanted Ahl al-Badr to be listed first in the state records among the companions based on the degree of their virtue.
As a result of this victory, all companions who participated in the Battle of Badr came to be loved and respected by all Muslims and it became a tradition to remember them on each possible occasion. This devotion later resulted in the formation of a new literature genre in which books were dedicated to their names and their biographies.