Some Significant Instances of Devotion
- the prophet [pbuh] advised his companions to preserve the lives of banu hashim who had gone out to badr with the polytheists unwillingly because they had feared the censure of their people. among them, he named al-‘abbas bin ‘abdul muttalib and abu bukhtari bin hisham. he ordered the muslims to capture, but not to kill them. abu hudhaifah bin ‘utbah showed great surprise and commented saying: "we kill our fathers, children, brothers and members of our clan, and then come to spare al-‘abbas? by allâh! if i see him i will surely strike him with my sword." on hearing these words, the messenger of allâh [pbuh], addressing ‘umar bin al-khattab, said "is it fair that the face of the messenger’s uncle be struck with sword?" ‘umar got indignant and threatened to kill abu hudhaifah; the latter later said that extreme fear had taken firm grip of him and felt that nothing except martyrdom could expiate for his mistake. he was actually killed later on during al-yamamah events.
- abu al-bukhtari bin hisham had already done his best to restrain his people, the makkans, from committing any act of folly against the prophet [pbuh] while the latter was still in makkah. he also neither hurt nor was reported to have uttered anything repugnant with regard to the prophet [pbuh]. he had as well been among the people who tried to invalidate the boycott alliance taken against banu hashim and banu ‘abdul muttalib.
here, however, in the battle of badr he insisted on fighting unless his compatriot was spared. al-mujdhir bin ziyad al-balwi, with whom he was engaged in combat, replied that the other was not included in the prophet [pbuh]’s recommendation. the combat went on to end in al-bukhtari’s death.
- ‘abdur-rahman bin ‘awf and omaiyah bin khalaf had been close friends during the pre-islamic era. when the battle of badr ended, ‘abdur-rahman saw omaiyah and his son among the captives. he threw away the armour he had as spoils, and walked with them both. bilal, the prophet [pbuh]’s caller for prayer, saw omaiyah and soon all the torture he had been put to at the hand of this man dawned upon him, and swore he would have revenge on omaiyah. ‘abdur-rahman tried to ease the tension and address embarrassing situation amicably but with no success. the muslims gathered around and struck omaiyah’s son with swords. at this point, ‘abdur-rahman called upon his old friend to run for his life but he was put to swords from different people and lay down dead. ‘abdur-rahman, completely helpless and resigned said: may allâh have mercy on bilal, for he deprived me of the spoils, and i have been stricken by the death of my two captives.
- on the moral level, the battle of badr was an inescapable conflict between the forces of good and those of evil. in this context, ‘umar bin al-khattab did not spare the life of any polytheist even his uncle on the maternal side al-‘as bin hisham bin al-mugheerah.
- abu bakr shouted at his son ‘abdur-rahman, still a polytheist and fighting with them, "where is my wealth, you wicked boy?" the son answered that it was gone with the wind.
- when the battle ended, the muslims began to hold some polytheists in captivity. the prophet [pbuh] looked into the face of sa‘d bin mu‘adh, the head of the prophet [pbuh]’s guards, and understood that he was hateful to taking the enemy elements as prisoners. sa‘d agreed to what the prophet [pbuh] said and added that it was the first victory for the muslims over the forces of polytheism, and he had more liking for slaying them than sparing their lives.
- on the day of badr, the sword of ‘ukashah bin mihsan al-asdi broke down so the prophet [pbuh] gave him a log of wood which he shook and it immediately turned into a long strong white sword. ‘ukashah went on using that same sword in most of the islamic conquests until he died in the process of the apostasy wars.
- when the war activities had been concluded, mus‘ab bin ‘umair al-‘abdari saw his brother, still a polytheist, being handcuffed by a ansari. mus‘ab recommended that the helper tighten the knot for the prisoner’s mother was wealthy enough to ransom her son. ‘abu ‘aziz, mus‘ab’s brother, tried to appeal to his brother through the family ties, but the latter firmly replied that the helper was more eligible for brotherhood than him.
- when the prophet [pbuh] ordered that the corpses of the polytheists be dropped into an empty well, abu hudhaifah bin ‘utbah looked sadly at his dead father, who fought on the side of the polytheists. the prophet [pbuh] noticed that and asked him about it. hudhaifah said that he had never held the least doubt that his father met his fate deservedly, but added that he wished he had been guided to the path of islam, and that is why he felt sad. the prophet [pbuh] whispered in his ears some comforting words.