Towards the second year of the Muslims migrating to Medina, the idol-worshippers of Mecca began a series of hostile acts against the Muslims living in Medina. They sent men to destroy the Muslim’s fruit trees and carry away their flocks. Soon, permission was given by God to Prophet Muhammad and the Muslims to fight back to protect themselves and their families because they had been wronged by the oppressive idol-worshippers, who’d kicked them out of their homes in Mecca and denied them their basic freedoms and rights. Prophet Muhammad and the Muslims prepared their state of military.
A force of about 1,300 men of Mecca’s idol-worshippers marched under their leader Abu Jahl, the great enemy of Islam, towards Medina and the Muslims to attack them. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, had sent scouts and learned their enemies were on their way to kill them.
About 313 of the Muslims gathered in the plains of Badr, located near the sea between Mecca and Medina, with only seventy camels and three horses. They had their men ride in turns since they did not have enough camels. This battle is known as the Battle of Badr because it occurred in the Valley of Badr. The two armies met in the month of Ramadan. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, spent the whole night in prayer and supplication to God, the Most-Merciful, that his small Muslim army would not be destroyed. As the two armies met in the Valley of Badr, Allah, the Glorious, supported the Muslims with 1,000 Angels that came down to fight alongside them. With the help of the Angels that God sent down, the Muslims were able to defeat the idol-worshippers.
The battle ended with the idol-worshippers of Mecca fleeing back to Mecca with a great loss. Several of their chiefs and leaders were killed, including Abu Jahl. Seventy of the idol-worshippers of Mecca were killed while only 15 Muslims died as martyrs. The idol-worshippers also had 70 of their people taken as prisoners of war, who remained in the hands of the Muslims. They were treated with great humanity, as Prophet Muhammad had strict orders to treat the prisoners of war with kindness, even though they tried to kill them. At this time, it was unheard of to treat prisoners of war this way. The Muslims would have the prisoners of war ride their animals while they would walk. The Muslims would also share their food with the prisoners of war, even though they had little of it.
The division of the spoils of war created some disagreement between the Muslims. Prophet Muhammad divided it equally among his people. Later, a Qur’an Revelation came down, ruling on how to divide the spoils of war going forward. Islam gained new converts in Medina and was growing.
After the Battle of Badr, a group of hypocrites emerged. In Mecca, there was no reason for one to become a hypocrite pretending to be Muslim as Islam was in the beginning phase and was weak and oppressed. Only a sincere and genuine person would convert to Islam. But later, when the Muslims migrated to Medina and Islam started to grow in number and power, one that would not declare himself a Muslim, would remain on the fringe of society and become amongst the few. Therefore, a group that still believed in idolatry in their hearts and did not believe or care for the Message of Islam, felt like they had no other option but to pretend they were Muslim, even though in their heart, they were not. Some pretended to become Muslim for political and economic gains. The hypocrites had a hatred for Prophet Muhammad and Islam because they were leaders of the city of Yathrib and had to give up leadership when Prophet Muhammad and Islam emerged in their city.