Allah Almighty states in the Holy Quran:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللہَ وَکُوۡنُوۡا مَعَ الصّٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۹﴾
‘O believers! fear Allah and be with the truthful.
(Al-Taubah 9, Verse 119)
عَنْ أبِيْ ثَابِتٍ، وَقِيْلَ: أبِيْ سَعِيْدٍ، وَقِيْلَ: أبِيْ الْوَلِيْدِ، سَهْلِ ابْنِ حُنَيْفٍ وَهُوَ بَدْرِيٌّ رضي الله عنه: أنَّ النَّبِيَّ – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قَالَ: «مَنْ سَأَلَ اللهَ تَعَالَى الشَّهَادَةَ بِصِدْقٍ بَلَّغَهُ مَنَازِلَ الشُّهَدَاءِ وَإِنْ مَاتَ عَلَى فِرَاشِهِ».
Sayyiduna Abu Thabit from Sahl bin Hunaif – may Allah be pleased with them – said: The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – said: “He who asks Allah for martyrdom, Allah will raise him to the high status of the martyrs, even if he dies on his bed”.
The Status of a Martyr:
One of the meanings of “Shaheed” is “someone who is a witness” and here it would mean just that. A “Shaheed” is that person who does not merely sacrifice his finger, but someone who sacrifices his head to prove the Divine Greatness of Allah Almighty. In other words, he proves beyond a shadow of doubt that for him to give his head in the Path of Allah Almighty is one of his greatest achievement. He is certain that Allah Almighty exist and if he was not certain, he would not have given such a major sacrifice.
Another meaning of “Shaheed” is also “someone who helps and assist”. We see this in the Holy Qur’an when Allah Almighty challenges people to bring their helpers to see whether they can bring something like the Holy Qur’an. The question is: if someone gives his life, how can he help and assist someone else? The answer is that by giving his life, he had managed to protect the life of thousands. He has taught others how to live. In other words, he was oppressed and saved others from oppression.
One of the major differences between his martyrdom and others is that all of them were certain of the Divine Existence of Allah Almighty but they were unaware of whether they will be martyred. As for Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him -, from a little age, he already knew that he will be martyred one day. As a matter of fact, the entire Ummah was also aware that he will be martyred one day. Some people read the Holy Qur’an and become a martyr, while Imam Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – was reading the Holy Qur’an already knowing that he would be martyred. In other words, he was already proving that a martyr is someone, who is immortal.
The blessed body of a martyr is always protected by Allah Almighty
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah Almighty declares that he who comes with one single good, he will be rewarded ten times over. He can also be rewarded seven hundred times over. Therefore, how is it possible that when you spend a single coin in the Path of Allah Almighty you are rewarded ten times and even seven hundred times, but when you spend your precious life, how can you not be rewarded? Remember that death is something which affects the body while the soul remains alive and it was also alive before entering the body. The reason is that this is the Command of Allah Almighty. We also know that after a long period, at times when the body of a martyr had been found, even his clothing was still intact and undamaged.
Imam Malik – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that after nearly forty years when they found the blessed bodies of Hadrat Sayyiduna Amar bin Al Jumhu – may Allah be pleased with him -, who had been martyred in Uhud, and Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Zubair – may Allah be pleased with him – both of whom were buried in one grave. Their blessed bodies were still the same as if they had been buried only the previous day. Their graves had become visible after strong rains.
In the same manner, in the 14th century, the blessed bodies of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Jaabir – may Allah be pleased with him – and various other companions were also retrieved from the banks of the river Dajlah in Iraq. This was because the water was entering their graves. This incident is a living reminder to the Muslims to give their lives in the Path of Allah Almighty and to be able to live forever. The government in Iraq at that time decided to bury them near the blessed grave of Hadrat Sayyiduna Salman Farsi – may Allah be pleased with him –. The most amazing thing is that when their graves were opened and their blessed bodies were exposed, their kafan (shroud) was seen to be untouched as if they had just been buried. Hundreds of people were also able to witness this miracle with their own eyes.
The same has been mentioned in the Sharahus Sudoor about three martyrs. In the 14th century Hijrah, while the Masjidun Nabawi was been expanded, the blessed body of the father of the Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – was also found. The blessed body was still the same and had remained untouched for centuries. In fact, some of those who had seen the blessed body are still alive today.
The Great Battle of Badr:
The Battle of Badr is the most famous Battle between Islam and Kufr. The battle took place on the 17th of the month of Ramadan, year 2, A.H. at the place called Badr, located between Makkah Mukarramah and Madinah Munawwarah. The Muslims were bankrupt in order to arrange the supply of weapons and they were also less in number. In total, they were 313 Muslim soldiers including the youth of Muhaajir and Ansaar, their chidren and elders in the leadership of the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – against the huge army of kuffaar.
The lack of weaponry was so tragic that there were only 6 armors in the Muslim army and eight swords and the number of the soldiers in the kuffaar’s army were 1,000, who were brave fighters. They had 100 horses of high standard, 700 camels and different kinds of disastrous weapons. The restlessness of Muslims at that time was a natural fact. The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – was praying and supplicating to Allah Almighty the whole night:
“O My Lord! If these few individuals are killed, then there will be no one to worship you on the surface of earth till the day of Resurrection.”
(Al-Seerat Al-Nabawiyyah Li Ibn Hishaam, Vol. 1, p. 554)
His shawl fell off his shoulder while making Du’a and he began to cry, and the tears were flowing from his eyes. Hazrat Abu Bakr, his companion in the cave, could not stand to see him getting restless. He took the shawl and placed it over his shoulders, held his hand and said in a trembled voice with utmost respect, “Let it be. Allah Almighty will definitely fulfil his promise.”
He concluded his Du’a after the request of his companion and said something which it is fit for a Messenger:
سَیُہۡزَمُ الْجَمْعُ وَ یُوَلُّوۡنَ الدُّبُرَ ﴿۴۵﴾
Now this multitude is being driven out and they will turn their backs.
(Al-Qamar 54, Verse 45)
The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – gave such an encouraging speech that the blood running through the veins of the soldiers began to rush with an extreme wave of energy. He gave them the glad tiding that if you, the soldiers, continue to remain firm with patience in the battlefield then Allah Almighty will send the angels from sky to help you.
Hence, the army of five thousand angels descended in the battlefield and changed the whole game of the battle in an instant. Hazrat Ali – may Allah be pleased with him – was waving the flag of Muhajireen and Hazrat Sa’d Ibn ‘Ubaadah – may Allah be pleased with him – held the flag of Ansaar. Seventy soldiers of kuffaar were killed and seventy were captured, and the rest left their belongings and fled the battlefield. Great leaders of Quraish that were known for their bravery and fighting skills had been killed which wounded the stability of the kuffaar’s army.
Fourteen were blessed with martyrdom in the Muslims’ camp, among which six were Muhaajir and eight Ansaar. The Muslims received a great deal of bounty that which the kuffar had abandoned and ran for their lives.
Allah Almighty has described the event of the battle of Badr in the Quran in the following words:
وَلَقَدْ نَصَرَکُمُ اللہُ بِبَدْرٍ وَّاَنۡتُمْ اَذِلَّۃٌۚ فَاتَّقُوا اللہَ لَعَلَّکُمْ تَشْکُرُوۡنَ﴿۱۲۳﴾
And verily, Allah did help you at Badr, when you were resourceless. So, fear Allah that perhaps you may be thankful.
اِذْ تَقُوۡلُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِیۡنَ اَلَنۡ یَّکْفِیَکُمْ اَنۡ یُّمِدَّکُمْ رَبُّکُمۡ بِثَلٰثَۃِ اٰلٰفٍ مِّنَ الْمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ مُنۡزَلِیۡنَ﴿۱۲۴﴾ؕ
When O beloved! You did say to Muslim, “Is it not enough for you that your Lord should assist you by sending down three thousand angels?”
بَلٰۤیۙ اِنۡ تَصْبِرُوۡا وَتَتَّقُوۡا وَیَاۡتُوۡکُمۡ مِّنۡ فَوْرِہِمْ ہٰذَا یُمْدِدْکُمْ رَبُّکُمۡ بِخَمْسَۃِ اٰلٰفٍ مِّنَ الْمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ مُسَوِّمِیۡنَ﴿۱۲۵﴾
Yes, why not, if you have patience and fear God, and the infidels came upon you instantly, then your Lord will send five thousand angels with marks for your help.
وَمَا جَعَلَہُ اللہُ اِلَّا بُشْرٰی لَکُمْ وَلِتَطْمَئِنَّ قُلُوۡبُکُمۡ بِہٖؕ وَمَا النَّصْرُ اِلَّا مِنْ عِنۡدِ اللہِ الْعَزِیۡزِ الْحَکِیۡمِ﴿۱۲۶﴾ۙ
And this victory Allah did not make, save for pleasing you and so that your hearts might get rest with it, and there is no help except from Allah, the Dominant, the Wise.
(Aale ‘Imraan 4, Verse 123-126)
Battlefield of Badr and the Glad Tiding of RasoolAllah:
It is reported that in the Battle of Badr when the disbelievers were rushing against the Muslims, the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – turned to the Muslims and declared, “Spring towards Jannah whose width is more than both the heavens and earth”.
When he heard this, Hadrat Sayyiduna Umair bin Hummaam Ansari – may Allah be pleased with him – asked, “Is the (reward for martyrdom) that Jannah whose width is more than both the heavens and earth?” The Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – replied that yes, it is that same.
The blessed companion then uttered words which indicated that he was ready for martyrdom. When the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – heard this, he declared, “You are certainly a person of Jannah.”
It is mentioned that at that moment, Hadrat Sayyiduna Umair bin Hummaam Ansari – may Allah be pleased with him – also had some dates with him. He uttered the words, “If I continue to consume these dates and still remain alive, then this is indeed a very long period of life.” He left the balance of the dates and sprung into battle. He fought extremely bravely and was martyred in this great battle.
Status of Those Who Partook in Badr:
It is mentioned that once, a blessed companion who also took part in the Battle of Badr became guilty of a very serious crime.
At that time, one of the female slaves of the Bani Mutallib had come to Madina Shareef while the family of Hadrat Sayyiduna Haatib bin Abi Balta’a – may Allah be pleased with him – was still in Mecca Shareef. He then wrote a private letter to the Quraish informing them that the Muslims were preparing to invade Mecca Shareef. He wrote this letter and the female slave who was returning to Mecca Shareef then hid this private communication in her hair.
However, unbeknown to them, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – had already been informed of this through Divine Revelation. He then instructed a few blessed Ashaab under the command of Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali – may Allah be pleased with him – to travel to a certain place where they will find a certain female slave. She also had a letter which was addressed to the Quraish informing them about the plans of the Muslims.
As they reached this place, they found this female and asked her to reveal the private communication which had been given to her. However, she insisted that she had no letter with her and when they searched her goods, they could not find anything. However, Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali – may Allah be pleased with him – shouted at her, “I swear by Allah that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – had not spoken a lie nor are we speaking lies. Give us this letter or we will be forced to remove your clothing in front of everyone.”
When she heard this, she asked them to turn away and when they did so, she removed the letter from her hair and handed it to them.
They then presented this letter in the blessed court of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. When they opened the letter, they noticed that it was written by Hadrat Sayyiduna Hatib bin Balta’a – may Allah be pleased with him – and was addressed to the Quraish.
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – then called him and asked him to explain what he had done. He replied, “O Prophet of Allah, I request that a hasty decision not be made against me. I swear by Allah, that I have complete belief in Allah and His beloved Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. I have not become a Murtad and neither have I changed in any manner. However, I wish to inform you that I was accustomed to life with the Quraish even though I am not a member of the Quraish. The rest of my family still lives with them. At the same time, I do not have anyone in Mecca Shareef who will be able to protect my family against the Quraish while many Muslims in Madina Shareef do have family in Mecca Shareef that would be able to safeguard their families who still remain there against their enemies. Since I had no such protection, I decided to do this favour to the Quraish by informing them of the impending invasion of the Muslims so that through this favour of mine, they would spare my family from any harm.”
When Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – heard this, he said to Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, “O Prophet of Allah! Give me permission so that I can behead this person because he has been dishonest to Allah and His Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and he has become a Munaafiq.”
When Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – heard this, he declared, “O ‘Umar! This is someone who took part in the Battle of Badr. Perhaps looking at the heart of each of these people, Allah Almighty has declared that ‘whatever they do in future, they are people who have already been pardoned by the Allah Almighty.’
When Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – heard this reply, his eyes filled with tears and he declared, “Allah and His Prophet know best.”
(Sahih Bukhari Shareef)
This Hadith highlights the merit and importance of sincere intention which in fact is so great that by virtue of it, Allah raises a person’s status to that of a martyr.
Despite the Muslims’ lack of weaponry and manpower in the battle of Badr, the open victory kissed the feet of Muslims, which teaches us a lesson that, the extravagant amount of manpower and artilleries is not the criteria of victory in a battle but the victory depends on the help of Allah Almighty, that he descends the angels, an army of angels in the battlefield and helps the Muslims, and despite not having enough artilleries and manpower, the Muslims were victorious and destroyed the armies of kuffaar, but Allah Almighty has two conditions for it; Sabr (Patience) and Taqwa (Fear of Allah Almighty). If Muslims hold onto the rope of Sabr and Taqwa and then hope for Allah’s help and step into the battlefield then, Allah-Willing, their victory will kiss the feet of Muslims at every stage and occasion and the kuffaar will taste defeat and disappear or else they will be destroyed by the Muslims’ attack and burn in hell. Therefore, it’s of vital importance that the Muslims adorn themselves with the arms of Sabr and Taqwa and have faith in Allah’s help, and remain steadfast in the battlefield without worrying about their lack of manpower and artilleries, for Allah Almighty states the following in the Holy Quran:
وَمَا النَّصْرُ اِلَّا مِنْ عِنۡدِ اللہِ الْعَزِیۡزِ الْحَکِیۡمِ﴿۱۲۶﴾ۙ
And there is no help except from Allah.
(Aale ‘Imraan 4, Verse 126)