before leaving the scene of the battle, dispute concerning the spoils of war arose among the muslim warriors, as the rule relating to their distribution had not yet been legislated. when the difference grew wider, the messenger of allâh [pbuh] suspended any solution whereof until the revelation was sent down.
‘ubadah bin as-samit said: "we went out with the messenger of allâh [pbuh] and i witnessed badr with him. the battle started and allâh, the exalted, defeated the enemy. some of the muslims sought and pursued the enemy, some were intent on collecting the spoils from the enemy camp, and others were guarding the messenger of allâh [pbuh] and were on the alert for any emergency or surprise attack. when night came and the muslims gathered together, those who had collected the booty said: "we collected it, so no one else has any right to it." those who had pursued the enemy said: "you do not have more right to it than we do; we held the enemy at bay and then defeated them." as for the men who had been guarding the prophet [pbuh], they also made similar claims to the spoils.
at that very time, a qur’ânic verse was revealed saying:
"they ask you (o muhammad [pbuh]) about the spoils of war. say: ‘the spoils are for allâh and the messenger.’ so fear allâh and adjust all matters of difference among you, and obey allâh and his messenger (muhammad [pbuh]), if you are believers." [al-qur'an 8:1]
on their way back to madinah, at a large sand hill, the prophet [pbuh] divided the spoils equally among the fighters after he had taken al-khums (one-fifth). when they reached as-safra’, he ordered that two of the prisoners should be killed. they were an-nadr bin al-harith and ‘uqbah bin abi muait, because they had persecuted the muslims in makkah, and harboured deep hatred towards allâh and his messenger [pbuh]. in a nutshell, they were criminals of war in modern terminology, and their execution was an awesome lesson to oppressors. ‘uqbah forgot his pride and cried out, "who will look after my children o messenger of allâh?" the prophet [pbuh] answered, "the fire (of hell).[sunan abu da'ud with 'aun-ul-ma'bood 3/12]" did ‘uqbah not remember the day when he had thrown the entrails of a sheep onto the head of the prophet [pbuh] while he was prostrating himself in prayer, and fatimah had come and washed it off him? he had also strangled the prophet [pbuh] with his cloak if it had not been for abu bakr to intervene and release the prophet [pbuh]. the heads of both criminals were struck off by ‘ali bin abi talib.