Today is the 17th Ramadān 1440. On this very day 1438 years ago corresponding to 2 AH the same moon we saw last night on this same earth we inhabit today, Rasullalah (saw) stood on a Friday night hands stretched out beseeching his lord saying:
“O Allāh! Should this group be defeated today, You will no longer be worshipped.”
It was a revolutionary moment in the history of Islām: the Battle of Badr. This decisive battle laid the foundation for the Islamic empire and elevated the status of the Muslim Ummah, making them a powerful and influential force within the Arabian Peninsula.
So, what happened?
A battle took place between the Muslims and the tribe of Quraish at Badr, located approximately 100km from the city of Madīnah. This was known as the trade route to Syria.
The Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was sent divine revelation to prepare the Muslims for Jihād:
“Fight in the way of God with those who fight against you; but do not transgress, for indeed God does not love the transgressors.” 
The Muslims only consisted of 313 men. It is said they only had 2 horses and 70 camels in contrast to the Quraish, who marched with an army of a thousand men, and a cavalry of 200 horsemen and 100 camels. The Muslims needed to take control of the water stream at which point the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) made earnest du’ā for Allāh’s assistance.
Unusually, on the night of the 17th Ramadan 2AH, the night when tensions were mounting for one of the biggest events in history, the night before the battle that would signify the progress or defeat of Islam, instead of being nervous, worried and unable to sleep, the Muslim army enjoyed a sound and refreshing sleep. This was a Divine favor which Allah (swt) mentioned in the Quran:
“(Remember) when He covered you with a slumber as a security from Him, and He caused rain to descend on you from the sky, to clean you thereby and to remove from you the Rijz (whispering, evil suggestions, etc.) of Satan, and to strengthen your hearts, and make your feet firm thereby.” [Qur’an 8:11]
The second favour from Allah mentioned in this verse is the rain that Allah sent upon the believers that very night and as coincidence would have it, so too to being a Friday night where we too have witnessed rain here in the UK. The area which the Muslims had encamped on was a hard sandy place which was difficult to walk on so the rain helped soften the ground and make their feet firm for the mode decisive battle in the history of the earth.
The battle was initiated by three leaders of the Quraish, ‘Utba, Shaiba, and Walīd, who challenged the Muslims to single combat. The challenge was accepted by ‘Alī, ‘Ubaida, and Hamza (may Allāh be pleased with them). By the grace of Allāh, ‘Alī (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) killed Walīd, ‘Ubaida (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) killed Shaiba, and Hamza (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) killed ‘Utba.
The Quraish’s army were shocked at the death of their three chosen leaders. This was the start of their demise and ultimate defeat.
Following this, the battle intensified. We know from the verses in the Qur’ān that Allāh sent angels to assist the believers and help defeat the Quraishi army, Alhamdulillāh.
“Indeed, if you remain patient and conscious of Allāh and the enemy come upon you [attacking] in rage, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand angels having marks [of distinction].” 
A truly improbable victory for the Muslims was secured.
Today, we see many Muslims around the world fighting battles in which the enemy of Islām is much larger and stronger. The Ummah thinks to itself ‘how can we ever be victorious against such might?’ In the last few days especially, in Masājid around the world, the following āyāt have been recited, heard and repeated; āyāt describing when Saul went forth with the soldiers and a few said,
“There is no power for us today against Goliath and his soldiers.” But those who were certain that they would meet Allāh said, “How many a small company has overcome a large company by the permission of Allāh. And Allāh is with the patient.”
And when they went forth to [face] Goliath and his soldiers, they said, “Our Lord, pour upon us patience and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” 
O Muslims, the Ummah is one body, and when one part of it is in pain the whole body is in pain. All of us want the atrocities to stop, whether it is bombing from the skies in Gaza or the inhumane slaughter in Burma and Syria. But, what can we do?
Let us reflect on the lessons from Badr:
- Turn to Allāh
We must first and foremost turn to Allāh for help. No matter how big or small we are; victory will only come when Allāh wishes through his infinite Mercy.
A Muslim victory does not depend on its numbers or the strength of its armies, but rather, it is dependent on our reliance and connection with Allāh; on how we strive for the best in the Hereafter. This is illustrated when Allāh states:
O you who have believed, when you encounter a company [from the enemy forces], stand firm and remember Allāh much that you may be successful.
And obey Allāh and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength departs; and be patient. Surely, Allāh is with the patient. 
- Reliance in Allāh
The Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) knew that he and his Companions were not alone in this battle. The Qur’ān revealed that angels joined the battlefield to help the Muslims.
Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) states,
“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved.” 
According to the tafsīr of Ibn Kathīr, what is meant is:
“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.” 
This emphasises the imperative need for tawakkul in Allāh. It highlights the need to obey Him and His Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) for ultimate victory both in confrontations and this life as a whole.
- The Power of Du’ā and Fasting
The Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) first organised the ranks and then prayed. He said, ‘O Allāh, if you let this group of men die, no one after them will worship you on the earth.’ He called out to his Lord, ‘O Allāh, give me the help which You promised me.’ Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) then revealed the following ayah:
[Remember] when you sought help of your Lord and He answered you saying, “I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, following one another.” 
Abu Bakr (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) consoled and comforted the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) saying, ‘O Messenger of Allāh, this prayer of yours to your Lord will suffice you, and He will fulfill for you what He has promised you!’
And, indeed, Allāh (subhānahu wa ta’ālā) did; the battle was won by the Muslims, Alhamdulillāh.
Fasting was also a key part of the preparation in strengthening the Taqwa and discipline of the muslims. Ramadān is one of the best months to increase our closeness to Allāh, and the reward is between the servant and Allāh alone!
The Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Allāh said: ‘Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it…’” 
- Never fear the enemy
The Muslim army was only 313 in number and was outnumbered by over 1000 men. Allāh’s help is greater than any challenge we may face in any situation. One of the keys to success is facing your fears; it is often a case of mind over matter. Always remember your purpose and your objective, and you will never fail. Whatever challenge lies before you, know that we as Muslims are ready and will be victorious, as long as Allāh is pleased with us.
- Unity and concern
This is a key lesson we learn from the battle of Badr. The Ansār and the Muhājirūn demonstrated such brotherhood. Even with the odds stacked against them they fought together like one body, not allowing fear to enter their hearts. This unity and fellow-feeling should not be limited to the past. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was concerned not only for the Muslims of that time, but about how Islām would continue and flourish after him. As such, we must embrace this attitude even now.
Look at the Ummah today; fractured and disjointed. We have divisions all around the world. How far are we from the qualities that we see and learn from the Battle of Badr?
Let us all start by making a change. Let us learn from this one ayah when Allāh tells us:
“And whoever obeys Allāh and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allāh has bestowed favor of the prophets, Siddīqīn (the steadfast affirmers of truth), the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.” 
If we desire to be amongst the closest people to Allāh, let us be from Siddīqīn.
What does this mean?
Whatever situation we are in we must strive to please Allāh and Him alone, working on our ākhirah over everything else. It is through this that we will attain victory.
As brothers, let us ask ourselves:
- How is my Salāh?
- When was the last time I prayed all 5 obligatory prayers in the masjid?
And, brothers and sisters, we must all ask ourselves:
- When was the last time I prayed the 12 daily Sunnah rak’āt?
- When was the last time I read the entire Qur’ān?
- When was the last time I sat after Salāh and did my adhkār?
- When was the last time I gave sadaqah?
- When was the last time I visited the sick?
- When was the last time I helped the oppressed?
- When was the last time I spread the message of Lā ilāha illa Allāh Muhammad Rasūl Allāh?
These are all things from the Sunnah that we can implement into our lives. Why do we belittle and forget these actions? And yet, we ask why the Muslims are not victorious.
The Siddīq is the one who will always strive to the best of their ability regardless of their situation. There is no better example of this than Abū Bakr al-Siddīq (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu).
Abū Huraira reported that Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) asked: “Who amongst you is fasting today?” Abū Bakr said, “I am.”
He asked, “Who amongst you followed a funeral procession today?” Abū Bakr said, “I did.”
He asked, “Who amongst you served food to the needy?” Abū Bakr said, “I did.”
He, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), again asked, “Who amongst you has today visited the sick?” Abū Bakr said, “I did.”
Thereupon Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Anyone in whom [these good deeds] are combined will certainly enter paradise.” 
To our oppressed Muslims
By Allāh, be patient as Allāh says:
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” 
To the oppressed men – be strong and do what you can in resistance against the oppressor. Either you will be victorious in front of Allāh with shahādah in your hearts or victorious in repelling the oppression and spreading the message of Islām.
To the oppressed women – be strong in the absence of your men and know that:
Allāh will not burden a soul except with that which it can bear. 
To our Muslims in the West
For victory to come, let us lose the love of the dunya and replace it with the love of the Hereafter. Let us make more du’ā. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to stand all night before battles to seek Allāh’s help. If this was the way of our beloved Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), who was the closest to Allāh, then we are most certainly in need of making even more du’ā.
Help arrange protests and put pressure on the media. Remember the Siddīq is one who does all they can based on their circumstances.
Give generously in charity to help the resistance against oppression. Once again taking him as an example, Abū Bakr (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) would give all he had in charity for the cause.
If we all work as a united body then it is only a matter of time before Allāh bestows upon us another Badr in our lifetimes over the enemies of Islām, inshā’Allāh.
Some will be tested with jihād, others with their wealth and some of us with our health. The key is, O Muslims, whatever our situation may be, let us plant that seed, even if we are close to death:
“If the Hour (the day of Resurrection) is about to be established and one of you is holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it.” 
By Allāh, we do not know which deed of ours will help us after we die.
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.” 
“Allāh has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous good deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] in the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them [i.e. Islām] and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me and do not associate anything [in worship] with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient.” 
We ask Allāh to send down thousands of angels to aid the Muslims against the oppressors.
O Allāh, make us all from the Siddiqīn and grant us the highest place in paradise. Give the ummah victory today like you gave Muhammad (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) victory at Badr on that day, O Allāh.
And let us end by sending peace and blessing upon the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam).
Notes: Al-Qur’ān 2:190  Al-Qur’ān 3:125  Al-Qur’ān 2:249-250  Al-Qur’ān 8:45-46  Al-Qur’ān 8:12  Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr  Al-Qur’ān 8:9  Bukhāri and Muslim  Al-Qur’ān 4:69  Sahīh Muslim  Al-Qur’ān 2:155  Al-Qur’ān 2:286  Authenticated by al-Albāni  Al-Qur’ān 16:125  Al-Qur’ān 24:55