Zaynab, daughter of Muhammad
Sirat p. 314
When the Meccans sent to ransom their prisoners, Zaynab [daughter of Muhammad, Muslim] sent the money for Abul-As [son-in-law, non-Muslim]; with it she sent a necklace which Khadija [her mother, first wife of Muhammad] had given her on her marriage to Abul-As. When Muhammad saw it, his feelings overcame him, and he said: “If you would like to let her have her captive husband back and return her money to her, do so.” The people at once agreed, and they let him go and sent her money back. Muhammad was not all greed and gloating. When his daughter asked to have her husband back, sending even the necklace from Khadija, his family feeling took over. He was released free of charge, and the entire ransom returned.
A significant event
This is the Battle of Badr, in all its glory. This is where Muhammad, took his religion from a fledgling tribe of emigrants to a considerable power in Medina, by at the same time deepening his alliance with the Medina Muslims and dealing the Meccans a dramatic blow. By any measure a defining moment in history. In the Quran and other places it is frequently referred to as “The day the two armies met.” It is significant that the battle took place in the holy month of Ramadan. This underlines that fighting, even non-defensively, in the cause of Allah, is a divinely sanctioned undertaking, obliberating the traditional ban on fighting in the holy months. The victory became legendary among the Muslims. The fast of Ramadan, which is still strictly obeyed by Muslims worldwide, was instituted at this time. It might even be seen as a kind of celebration of the victory.
- The Sirat has additional three sections related to Badr:
- The 8th Sura “Spoils of War”, revealed as a response to the quarrels over the spoils. Sirat p. 321
- Lists of participating Muslims, Ansar, Quraysh, prisoners etc. Sirat p. 327
- A full 21 pages of poetry inspired by Badr. Sirat p. 340
Tidings reached me of their wicked treatment of Zaynab, It was so criminal, men could hardly imagine it. Muhammad was not put to shame when she was sent forth Because of the result of the bloody war between us. From his alliance with Damdam and his war with us Abu Sufyan got but disappointment and remorse. We bound his son Amr and his sword friend together In well-wrought jangling irons. I swear we shall never lack soldiers, Army leaders with many a companion. Driving before us infidel Quraysh until we subdue them With a halter above their noses and a branding iron. We will drive them to the ends of Najd and Nakhla. If they drop to the lowland we will pursue them with horse and foot So that our road will never deviate. We will bring upon them the fate of the Ad and Jurhum. A people that disobeyed Muhammad will regret it. And what a time for showing repentance! Tell Abu Sufyan if you meet him If you are not sincere in worship and embrace Islam Then shame will come on you speedily in this life And in hell you will wear a garment of molten pitch forever! Religious indeed. The Quraysh also have an opinion on the battle: Sirat p. 342: Al-Harith said: “I wonder at foolish men like these who sing frivolously and vainly of the slain at Badr. This was nothing more than an impious and odious crime. Men fought against their brothers, fathers, and sons. Any with discernment and understanding recognize the wrong that was done here.” Without using any molten pitch metaphors, this is one of the most apt descriptions of this battle of Badr.
Sirat p. 360
A few raids take place in the wake of Badr: Muhammad stayed only seven nights in Medina before he himself made a raid against B. Sulaym. He got as far as their watering place called al-Kudr and stayed there three nights, returning to Medina without any fighting. The motivation of the raid is not listed. It might have been plunder, like most raids. Nothing significant happens, though, and Muhammad returns without any booty. He stayed there for the rest of Shawwal and Dhul-Qada, and during that time he accepted the ransom of most of the Quraysh prisoners. At least he is able to gain some income from his prisoners being bought free by his clan.
The raid of al-Sawiq
Sirat p. 361
Then Abu Sufyan made the raid of Sawiq in Dhul-Hijja. The polytheists were in charge of the pilgrimage that year. When Abu Sufyan returned to Mecca and the Quraysh fugitives returned from Badr, he swore that he would not practice abolution [sexual intercourse] until he had raided Muhammad. The desire for revenge is hot. Accordingly, he sallied forth with two hundred riders from Quraysh to fulfill his vow. He took the Nejd road and stopped by the upper part of a watercourse which led to a mountain called thayb about one post distance from Medina. Then he sallied forth by night and came to the B. al-Nadir under the cover of darkness. He came to Huyayy b. Akhtab and knocked upon his door, but as he was afraid of him re refused to open the door. So he went to Sallam b. Mishkam, who was their chief at that time, and keeper of the public purse. He asked permission to come in, and Sallam entertained him with food and drink, and gave him secret information about the Muslims. He rejoined his companions at the end of the night and sent out some of them to Medina. Forging alliances against the Muslims has always been tricky. Many fell apart over time. They came to an outlying district caled Al-Urayd and there they burnt some young palm-trees, and finding one of the Helpers [Ansari] and an ally of his working in the fields there, they killed him and returned. People got warning of them and so Muhammad went out in pursuit. He got as far as Qarqratul-Kudr and then returned, because Abu Sufyan and his companions had eluded him. Thus ends this quite feeble attempt at getting revenge for Badr. A much more concerted effort is the Battle of Uhud.
The raid on Dhu Amarr
Sirat p. 362
When Muhammad returned form the raid of al-Sawiq, he stayed in Medina for ther rest of Dhul-Hijja, or nearly all of it. Then he raided Najd, making for Ghatafan. This is the raid of Dhu Amarr. He stayed in Najd during the month of Safar, or nearly all of it, and then returned to Medina without any fighting. There he remained for the month of Rabiul-Awwal, or a day or two less. Another raid, where Muhammad and the Muslims conquor Najd (presumably a village). The raid against the Ghatafan tribe is not accomplished.
The raid on Al-Furu of Bahran
Sirat p. 362
Then he made a raid on Quraysh as far as Bahran, a mine in the Hijaz in the neighbourhood of Al-Furu. He stayed there for the next two months and then returned to Medina without any fighting. Yet another raid against the Quraysh. This time the Muslims apparently didn’t encounter anyone to fight.