Did The Muslims Instigate the Battle of Badr? A Rebuttal to David Wood
David Wood during his rebuttal in his debate with Sami Zaatari on "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?" tried to argue that the Battle of Badr was Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) fault when he said:
But once he got to Medina, he was safe. You can tell by reading sources they [i.e. the Meccans] didn't care about him anymore. He was out of their hair and he had the protection of five tribes there. So Muhammad was safe and instead of living a life of peace he chose to go out and attack them and attack them and attack them until there was a full blown war. (Time slice: 26:08-26:27)
Just like his other missionary friends (see here) David forgets to leave out certain details and distorts what really happened.
Notice that he said that once Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the other Muslims migrated from Mecca to Medina they were safe from the Meccans. At first, one should become immediately suspicious of this especially when we take into consideration that the Meccans wouldn't have such an attitude as we clearly saw when they didn't leave the Muslims alone when they first migrated to Abyssinia (read "Quraysh's Delegation to the Negus" over here)
David's statement "You can tell by reading sources they didn't care about him anymore" is just absolute falsehood.
Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri states:
That was the demo-political picture within Madinah. Five hundred kilometres away in Makkah, there still lay another source of detrimental threat, the archenemy of Islam, Quraish. For ten years, while at the mercy of Quraish, the Muslims were subjected to all sorts of terrorism, boycott, harassment and starvation coupled by a large scale painstaking psychological war and aggressive organized propaganda. When they had emigrated to Madinah, their land, wealth and property were seized, wives detained and the socially humble in rank brutally tortured. Quraish also schemed and made attempts on the life of the first figure of the Call, Muhammad [pbuh]. Due to their acknowledged temporal leadership and religious supremacy among the pagan Arabs, given the custodianship of the Sacred Sanctuary, the Quraishites spared no effort in enticing the Arabians against Madinah and boycotting the Madinese socially and economically. To quote Muhammad Al-Ghazali: "A state of war virtually existed between the Makkan tyrants and the Muslims in their abode. It is foolish to blame the Muslims for the horrible consequences that were bound to ensue in the light of that long-standing feud."[Fiqh As-Seerah p.162]
The Muslims in Madinah were completely eligible then to confiscate the wealth of those tyrants, mete out for them exemplary punishment and bring twofold retaliation on them in order to deter them from committing any folly against the Muslims and their sanctities. (Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar, Chapter on Life in Medina, Source)
Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri goes on to present his proof from the authentic Islamic sources:
The Quraishites, mortified at the escape of the Prophet [pbuh] along with his devoted companions, and jealous of his growing power in Madinah, kept a stringent watch over the Muslims left behind and persecuted them in every possible way. They also initiated clandestine contacts with 'Abdullah bin Uabi bin Salul, chief of Madinese polytheists, and president designate of the tribes 'Aws and Khazraj before the Prophet's emigration. They sent him a strongly-worded ultimatum ordering him to fight or expel the Prophet, otherwise they would launch a widespread military campaign that would exterminate his people and proscribe his women. [Narrated by Abu Da'ud]
His pride wounded and kingship no longer his, 'Abdullah bin Uabi bin Salul, a priori responded positively to his Quraishite co-polytheists. He mobilized his supporters to counteract the Muslims. The Prophet [pbuh] on hearing about this unholy alliance, summoned 'Abdullah and admonished him to be more sensible and thoughtful and cautioned his men against being snared in malicious tricks. [Narrated by Abu Da'ud] The men, on grounds of cowardice, or reason, gave up the idea. Their chief, however, seemingly complied, but at heart, he remained a wicked unpredictable accomplice with Quraish and the envious Jews. Skirmishes and provocations started to pave the way for a major confrontation between the Muslims and polytheists. Sa'd bin Mu'adh, an outstanding Helper, announced his intention to observe 'Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) and headed for Makkah. There Omaiya bin Khalaf provided tutelage for him to observe the ritual circumambulation. Abu Jahl, an archenemy of Islam saw him in the Sacred Sanctuary and threatened he would have killed him if he had not been in the company of Omaiya. Sa'd, fearlessly and defiantly, challenged him to committing any folly at the risk of cutting their caravans off. [Bukhari 2/563]
Provocative actions continued and Quraish sent the Muslims a note threatening to put them to death in their own homeland. Those were not mere words, for the Prophet [pbuh] received information from reliable sources attesting to real intrigues and plots being hatched by the enemies of Islam. Precautionary measures were taken and a state of alertness was called for, including the positioning of security guards around the house of the Prophet [pbuh] and strategic junctures. 'Aishah [R] reported that Allâh's Messenger [pbuh] lay down on bed during one night on his arrival in Madinah and said: Were there a pious person from amongst my Companions who should keep a watch for me during the night? She ('Aishah [R]) said: We were in this state when we heard the clanging noise of arms. He (the Prophet [pbuh]) said: Who is it? He said: This is Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas. Allâh's Messenger [pbuh] said to him: What brings you here? Thereupon he said: I harboured fear (lest any harm should come to) Allâh's Messenger [pbuh], so I came to serve as your sentinel. Allâh's Messenger [pbuh] invoked blessings upon him and then he slept. [Muslim 2/280; Bukhari 1/404]
This state of close vigilance continued ceaselessly until the Words of Allâh were revealed saying:
"Allâh will protect you from mankind." [Al-Qur'an 5:67]
Here, the Prophet [pbuh] peeped from the dome of his house asking his people to go away, and making it clear that Allâh would take the charge of protecting him.[At-Tirmidhi 2/130]
The Prophet's life was not the only target of the wicked schemes, but rather the lives and the whole entity of the Muslims. When the Madinese provided the Prophet [pbuh] and his Companions with safe refuge, the desert bedouins began to look at them all in the same perspective, and outlawed all the Muslims.
At this precarious juncture with Quraish, intent on pursuing their aggressive and devilish plans, Allâh, the All-High, gave the Muslims the permission to take arms against the disbelievers:
"Permission to fight is given to those (i.e. believers against those disbelievers), who are fighting them, (and) because they (believers) have been wronged, and surely Allâh is Able to give them (believers) victory." [Al-Qur'an 22:39] (Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar, Chapter on The Prophet on the Battlefield, Source)
We learn the following facts:
- The Meccans took possession of the properties of the Muslims and their wives whom they left behind after they made them escape Mecca.
- The Meccans attempted to entice 'Abdullah bin Ubai bin Salul to fight against the Muslims and wipe them out.
- The Meccans sent a threatening note to the Muslims stating that they would be destroyed.
Due to the above facts we shouldn't be surprised to see that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had bodyguards protecting him until the revelation from Allah was revealed ensuring his safety.
Now if Muhammad (peace be upon him) was safe from the Meccans as David claimed, why would the Prophet (peace be upon him) feel the need to have bodyguards protecting him? The answer is simple, it is because he wasn't safe and the Meccans didn't leave him alone.
We demand that David Wood retracts this argument, which is baseless and absurd.