(As your Lord caused you to go out...) After Allah described the believers as fearing their Lord, resolving matters of dispute between themselves and obeying Allah and His Messenger , He then said here, "since you disputed about dividing war spoils and differed with each other about them, Allah took them away from you. He and His Messenger then divided them in truth and justice, thus ensuring continued benefit for all of you. Similarly, you disliked meeting the armed enemy in battle, who marched in support of their religion and to protect their caravan. You disliked fighting, so Allah decided that battle should occur and made you meet your enemy, without planning to do so on your part.' This incident carried guidance, light, victory and triumph. Allah said;
(Jihad is ordained for you though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.) (2:216)
(And verily, a party among the believers disliked) to meet (the armed) idolators. ''
(Disputing with you concerning the truth after it was made manifest,)
Some have commented, "(Allah says:) they ask and argue with you about Al-Anfal just as they argued with you when you went out for the battle of Badr, saying, `You marched with us to confiscate the caravan. You did not inform us that there will be fighting and that we should prepare for it.'''
(but Allah willed to justify the truth by His Words)
Allah says, `He willed for you to meet the armed enemy (rather than the caravan) so that He makes you prevail above them and gain victory over them, making His religion apparent and Islam victorious and dominant above all religions. He has perfect knowledge of the consequences of all things, you are surrounded by His wise planning, although people only like what appears favorable to them,'
(Jihad (fighting in Allah's cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you) (2:216).
Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that `Abdullah bin `Abbas said, "When the Messenger of Allah heard that Abu Sufyan had left the Sham area (headed towards Makkah with Quraysh's caravan), he encouraged the Muslims to march forth to intercept them, saying,
(This is the caravan of Quraysh carrying their property, so march forth to intercept it, Allah might make it as war spoils for you.)
The people started mobilizing Muslims, although some of them did not mobilize, thinking that the Prophet would not have to fight. Abu Sufyan was cautiously gathering information on the latest news spying on travelers he met, out of fear for the caravan, especially upon entering the area of Hijaz (Western Arabia). Some travelers told him that Muhammad had mobilized his companions for his caravan. He was anxious and hired Damdam bin `Amr Al-Ghifari to go to Makkah and mobilize the Quraysh to protect their caravan, informing them that Muhammad had mobilized his Companions to intercept the caravan. Damdam bin `Amr went in a hurry to Makkah. Meanwhile, the Messenger of Allah marched with his companions until he reached a valley called Dhafiran. When he left the valley, he camped and was informed that the Quraysh had marched to protect their caravan. The Messenger of Allah consulted the people for advice and conveyed the news about Quraysh to them. Abu Bakr stood up and said something good, and so did `Umar. Al-Miqdad bin `Amr stood up and said, `O Allah's Messenger! March to what Allah has commanded you, for we are with you. By Allah! We will not say to you what the Children of Israel said to Musa,
("So go you and your Lord and fight you two, we are sitting right here'') (5:24). Rather, go you and Your Lord and fight, we will be fighting along with you both. By He Who has sent you with Truth! If you decide to take us to Birk-ul-Ghimad, we will fight along with you until you reach it.' The Messenger of Allah said good words to Al-Miqdad and invoked Allah for his benefit. The Messenger of Allah again said,
(Give me your opinion, O people! wanting to hear from the Ansar. This is because the majority of the people with him then were the Ansar. When the Ansar gave the Prophet their pledge of obedience at Al-`Aqabah, they proclaimed, `O Allah's Messenger! We are not bound by this pledge unless, and until, you arrive in our land. When you have arrived in our area, you are under our protection, and we shall protect you in the same manner we protect our children and wives.' The Messenger of Allah feared that the Ansar might think that they are not obliged to support him except from his enemies who attack Al-Madinah, not to march with him to an enemy in other areas. When the Prophet said this, Sa`d bin Mu`adh asked him, `O Allah's Messenger! Is it us whom you meant' The Prophet answered in the positive. Sa`d said, `We have faith and believed in you, testified that what you brought is the truth, and gave you our pledges and promises of allegiance and obedience. Therefore, march, O Allah's Messenger, for what Allah has commanded you. Verily, by He Who has sent you in Truth, if you decided to cross this sea (the Red Sea), we will follow you in it, and none among us would stay behind. We do not dislike that we meet our enemy tomorrow. Verily, we are patient in war, fierce in battle. May Allah make you witness what makes your eyes pleased with us. Therefore, march with us with the blessing of Allah.' The Messenger of Allah was pleased with what Sa`d said and was encouraged by it. He proclaimed,
(March with the blessing of Allah and receive the good news. For Allah has indeed promised me one of the two camps (confiscating the caravan or defeating the Quraysh army). By Allah! It is as if I am now looking at the demise of the people (the Quraysh).)''
Al-`Awfi reported similar from Ibn `Abbas. As-Suddi, Qatadah, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam; and several others among the Salaf and later generations mentioned similarly, We have just summarized the story as Muhammad bin Ishaq briefed it.
(9. (Remember) when you sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): "I will help you with a thousand of the angels Murdifin.'') (10. Allah made it only as glad tidings, and that your hearts be at rest therewith. And there is no victory except from Allah. Verily, Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.)
Al-Bukhari wrote in the book of battles (in his Sahih) under "Chapter; Allah's statement,
((Remember) when you sought help of your Lord and He answered you) until,
(then verily, Allah is severe in punishment)'' that Ibn Mas`ud said, "I was a witness to something that Al-Miqdad bin Al-Aswad did, that I would like more than almost anything else to have been the one who did it. Al-Miqdad came to the Prophet while he was invoking Allah against the idolators and proclaimed, `We will not say as the people of Musa said, "So go you and your Lord and fight you two.''
Rather, we will fight to your right, to your left, before you and behind you.' I saw the Prophet's face beaming with pleasure because of what Al-Miqdad said to him.'' Al-Bukhari next narrated from Ibn `Abbas that on the day of Badr, the Prophet said,
(O Allah! I invoke You for Your covenant and promise (victory). O Allah! If You decide so (cause our defeat), You will not be worshipped.)
Abu Bakr held the Prophet's hand and said, "Enough.'' The Prophet went out proclaiming,
(Their multitude will be put to flight, and they will show their backs.)
An-Nasa'i also collected this Hadith. Allah's statement,
(with a thousand of the angels Murdifin) means, they follow each other in succession, according to Harun bin Hubayrah who narrated this from Ibn `Abbas about,
(Murdifin), meaning each behind the other in succession. `Ali bin Abi Talhah Al-Walibi reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Allah supported His Prophet and the believers with a thousand angels, five hundred under the leadership of Jibril on one side and five hundred under the leadership of Mika'il on another side.'' Imams Abu Ja`far bin Jarir At-Tabari and Muslim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that `Umar said, "While a Muslim man was pursuing an idolator (during the battle of Badr), he heard the sound of a whip above him and a rider saying, `Come, O Hayzum!' Then he looked at the idolator, who fell to the ground. When he investigated, he found that the idolator's nose had wound and his face torn apart, just as if he received a strike from a whip on it, and the entire face had turned green. The Ansari man came to the Messenger of Allah and told him what had happened and the Messenger replied,
(You have said the truth, that was from the reinforcements from the third heaven.)
The Muslims killed seventy (pagans) in that battle and captured another seventy.
Al-Bukhari also wrote a chapter in his Sahih about the participation of the angels in Badr. He collected a Hadith from Rifa`h bin Rafi `Az-Zuraqi, who participated in Badr, Jibril came to the Prophet and asked him, "How honored are those who participated in Badr among you'' The Prophet said,
(Among the best Muslims.) Jibril said, "This is the case with the angels who participated in Badr.'' Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith. At-Tabarani also collected it in Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabir, but from Rafi` bin Khadij, which is an apparent mistake. The correct narration is from Rifa`h, as Al-Bukhari recorded it. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to `Umar, when `Umar suggested that the Prophet have Hatib bin Abi Balta`ah executed,
(He (Hatib) participated in Badr. How do you know that Allah has not looked at the people of Badr and proclaimed, `Do whatever you want, for I have forgiven you.')
Allah said next,
(Allah made it only as glad tidings. ..)
Allah made sending down the angels and informing you of this fact as glad tidings,
(and that your hearts be at rest therewith.)
Surely, Allah is able to give you (O Muslims) victory over your enemies, and victory only comes from Him, without need to send the angels,
(And there is no victory except from Allah.)
Allah said in another Ayah,
(So, when you meet (in fight in Allah's cause) those who disbelieve, smite (their) necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until war lays down its burden. Thus, but if it had been Allah's will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight) in order to test some of you with others. But those who are killed in the way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost. He will guide them and set right their state. And admit them to Paradise which He has made known to them.) (47:4-6)
(And so are the days (good and not so good), that We give to men by turns, that Allah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the wrongdoers. And that Allah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers.) (3:140-141)
These are points of wisdom for which Allah has legislated performing Jihad, by the hands of the believers against the disbelievers. Allah used to destroy the previous nations that denied the Prophets, using various disasters that encompassed these rebellious nations. For instance, Allah destroyed the people of Nuh with the flood, `Ad with the wind, Thamud with the scream, the people of Lut with an earthquake and the people of Shu`ayb by the Day of the Shadow. After Allah sent Musa and destroyed his enemy Fir`awn and his soldiers by drowning, He sent down the Tawrah to him in which He legislated fighting against the disbelievers, and this legislation remained in the successive Laws. Allah said,
(And indeed We gave Musa -- after We had destroyed the generations of old -- the Scripture as an enlightenment. ) (28:43)
It is more humiliating for the disbeliever and more comforting to the hearts of the faithful that the believers kill the disbelievers by their own hands. Allah said to the believers of this Ummah,
(Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands, and disgrace them, and give you victory over them, and heal the breasts of a believing people.) (9:14)
This is why killing the disbelievers of Quraysh by the hand of their enemies, whom they used to despise, was more humiliating to the disbelievers and comforting to the hearts of the party of faith. Abu Jahl, for instance, was killed in battle and this was more humiliating for him than dying in his bed, or from lightening, wind, or similar afflictions. Also, Abu Lahab died from a terrible disease ﴿that caused him to stink﴾ and none of his relatives could bear approaching him. They had to wash him with water by sprinkling it from a distance, then threw stones over his corpse, until it was buried under them! Allah said next,
(Verily, Allah is All-Mighty,), the might is His, His Messengers and the believers, both in this life and the Hereafter. Allah said in another Ayah,
(We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe, in this world's life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth (Day of Resurrection). ) (40:51)
Allah said next,
(All-Wise.), in that He legislated fighting the disbeliever, even though He is able to destroy them and bring their demise by His will and power, all praise and honor is due to Him.
(11. (Remember) when He covered you with a slumber as a security from Him, and He caused water (rain) to descend on you from the sky, to clean you thereby and to remove from you the Rijz (whispering or dirt) of Shaytan, and to strengthen your hearts, and make your feet firm thereby.) (12. (Remember) when your Lord revealed to the angels, "Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes.'') (13. This is because they defied and disobeyed Allah and His Messenger. And whoever defies and disobeys Allah and His Messenger, then verily, Allah is severe in punishment.) (14. This is (the torment), so taste it; and surely, for the disbelievers is the torment of the Fire.)
Allah reminds the believers of the slumber that He sent down on them as security from the fear they suffered from, because of the multitude of their enemy and the sparseness of their forces. They were given the same favor during the battle of Uhud, which Allah described,
(Then after the distress, He sent down security for you. Slumber overtook a party of you, while another party was thinking about themselves. ) (3:154)
Abu Talhah said, "I was among those who were overcome by slumber during (the battle of) Uhud. The sword fell from my hand several times, and I kept picking it up again, several times. I also saw the Companions' heads nodding while in the rear guard.'' Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la narrated that `Ali said, "Only Al-Miqdad had a horse during Badr, and at some point, I found that all of us fell asleep, except the Messenger of Allah . He was praying under a tree and crying until dawn.'' `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "Slumber during battle is security from Allah, but during prayer, it is from Shaytan.'' Qatadah said, "Slumber affects the head, while sleep affects the heart.''
Slumber overcame the believers on the day of Uhud, and this incident is very well-known. As for this Ayah (8:11), it is describing the battle of Badr, indicating that slumber also overcame the believers during Badr. Therefore, it appears that this will occur for the believers, whenever they are in distress, so that their hearts feel safe and sure of Allah's aid, rewards, favor and mercy from Allah with them. Allah said in another Ayah,
(Verily, along with every hardship is relief. Verily, along with every hardship is relief.) (94:5-6)
In the Sahih, it is recorded that on the day of Badr, while he was in the bunker with Abu Bakr, the Messenger and Abu Bakr were invoking Allah. Suddenly, slumber overcame the Messenger and he woke up smiling and declared,
("Good news, O Abu Bakr! This is Jibril with dust on his shoulders.''
He left the shade while reciting Allah's statement,
(Their multitude will be put to flight, and they will show their backs.) (54:45)
Allah said next,
(and He caused rain to descend on you from the sky.)
`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "When the Prophet arrived at Badr, he made camp. At the time, there was a sandy piece of land between the idolators and the water (the wells at Badr). Muslims felt weak and the Shaytan cast frustration into their hearts. He whispered to them, `You claim that you are Allah's supporters and that His Messenger is among you! However, the idolators have taken over the water resource from you, while you pray needing purity.' Allah sent down heavy rain, allowing the Muslims to drink and use it for purity. Allah also removed Shaytan's whisper and made the sand firm when rain fell on it, and the Muslims walked on the sand along with their animals, until they reached the enemy. Allah supported His Prophet and the believers with a thousand angels on one side, five hundred under the command of Jibril and another five hundred under the command of Mika'il on another side.''
An even a better narration is that collected by Imam Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar, author of Al-Maghazi, may Allah have mercy upon him. Ibn Ishaq narrated that, Yazid bin Ruwman narrated to him that, `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said, "Allah sent rain down from the sky on a sandy valley. That rain made the area where the Messenger of Allah and his Companions camped firmer so that it did not hinder their movement. Meanwhile, the part that the Quraysh were camping on became difficult to move in.'' Mujahid said, "Allah sent down the rain on the believers before slumber overtook them, and the rain settled the dust, made the ground firmer, made them feel at ease and their feet firmer.'' Allah said next,
(to clean you thereby) using it after answering the call of nature or needing to wash oneself, and this involves cleansing what is on the out side,
(and to remove from you the Rijz of Shaytan,) such as his whispers and evil thoughts, this involves sinner purification, whereas Allah's statement about the residents of Paradise,
(Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver) (76:21) involves outer appearance,
(and their Lord will give them a pure drink.) (76:21) that purifies the anger, envy and hatred that they might have felt. This is the inner purity. Next, Allah said,
(and to strengthen your hearts, ) with patience and to encourage you to fight the enemies, and this is inner courage,
(and make your feet firm thereby). this involves outer courage. Allah know best.
Allah said next,
((Remember) when your Lord revealed to the angels, "Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed.'')
This is a hidden favor that Allah has made known to the believers, so that they thank Him and are grateful to Him for it. Allah, glorified, exalted, blessed and praised be He, has revealed to the angels -- whom He sent to support His Prophet, religion and believing group -- to make the believers firmer. Allah's statement,
(I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved.) means, `you -- angels -- support the believers, strengthen their (battle) front against their enemies, thus, implementing My command to you. I will cast fear, disgrace and humiliation over those who defied My command and denied My Messenger,
(so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes.) strike them on their foreheads to tear them apart and over the necks to cut them off, and cut off their limbs, hands and feet. It was said that,
(over the necks) refers to striking the forehead, or the neck, according to Ad-Dahhak and `Atiyyah Al-`Awfi. In support of the latter, Allah commanded the believers,
(So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah's cause) those who disbelieve, smite (their) necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, take them as captives).) (47:4)
Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said, "In the aftermath of Badr, the people used to recognize whomever the angels killed from those whom they killed, by the wounds over their necks, fingers and toes, because those parts had a mark as if they were branded by fire.'' Allah said,
(and smite over all their fingers and toes.)
Ibn Jarir commented that this Ayah commands, "O believers! Strike every limb and finger on the hands and feet of your (disbelieving) enemies.'' Al-`Awfi reported, that Ibn `Abbas said about the battle of Badr that Abu Jahl said, "Do not kill them (the Muslims), but capture them so that you make known to them what they did, their ridiculing your religion and shunning Al-Lat and Al-`Uzza (two idols).'' Allah than sent down to the angels,
(Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes.)
In that battle, Abu Jahl (may Allah curse him) was killed along with sixty-nine men. `Uqbah bin Abu Mua`it was captured and then killed, thus bring the death toll of the pagans to seventy,
(This is because they defied and disobeyed Allah and His Messenger.) joining the camp that defied Allah and His Messenger not including themselves in the camp of Allah's Law and faith in Him. Allah said,
(And whoever defies and disobeys Allah and His Messenger, then verily, Allah is severe in punishment.) for He will crush whoever defies and disobeys Him. Nothing ever escapes Allah's grasp nor can anything ever stand against His anger. Blessed and exalted He is, there is no true deity or Lord except Him.
(This is (the torment), so taste it; and surely, for the disbelievers is the torment of the Fire.)
This Ayah addresses the disbeliever, saying, taste this torment and punishment in this life and know that the torment of the Fire in the Hereafter is for the disbelievers.
(15. O you who believe! When you meet those who disbelieve, in a battlefield, never turn your backs to them.) (16. And whoever turns his back to them on such a day -- unless it be a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own) -- he indeed has drawn upon himself wrath from Allah. And his abode is Hell, and worst indeed is that destination!)