8. In the Battle of Uhud the Muslims passed through a similar experience see (Al'lmran 3: 154) above. On both occasions, when prevalent conditions should have produced intense fear and panic among them, God filled their hearts with such peace and tranquillity that they were overpowered with drowsiness.
9. This refers to the heavy downpour on the night preceding the Battle of
Badr. It helped the Muslims in three ways. First, it provided them with an abundant
water supply which they quickly stored in large reservoirs. Second, rain compacted
the loose sand in the upper part of the valley where the Muslims had pitched
their tents. This helped the Muslims plant their feet firmly and facilitated
their movement. Third, where the Quray'sh army was stationed in the lower part
of the valley, the ground turned marshy.
The defilement caused by Satan which occurs in the verse refers to the fear and panic which initially, afflicted the Muslims.
10. In view of the general principle propounded in the Qur'an we presume that the angels did not take part in the actual fighting. What we may suggest is that the angels helped the Muslims and as a result their blows became more accurate and effective.
11. In recounting the events of the Battle of Badr, the Qur'an aims to explain the significance of the word al-anfal (spoils of war). In the opening verse of the surah the Muslims were told that they should not deem the spoils to be a reward for their toil. Rather, the spoils should constitute a special reward granted to the Muslims by God, to Whom the spoils rightfully belong. The events recounted here support this. The Muslims could reflect on the course of events and see for themselves to what extent the victory they had achieved was due to God's favour, and to what extent it was due to their own efforts.
12. Here the discourse is suddenly directed to the unbelievers who we mentioned in( verse 13) as deserving of God's punishment.
13. The Qur'an does not forbid orderly retreat under strong pressure from the enemy provided it is resorted to as a stratagem of war, for example seeking reinforcements or joining another party in the rear. What the Qur'an does forbid is disorderly flight produced by sheer cowardice and defeatism. Such a retreat takes place because the deserter holds his life dearer than his cause. Such cowardice has been characterized as one of those three major sins which, if committed, can be atoned for by no other good deed whatsoever. These three sins are: ascription of divinity to anyone or anything other than God, violation of the rights of parents, and flight from the battlefield during fighting in the way of God. (See al-Mundhiri, 'Kitab al-Jihad', 'Bab al-Tarhib min al-Firar min al-Zahf'- Ed.) In another tradition the Prophet (peace be on him) has mentioned seven deadly sins which totally ruin a man's Next Life. One of these is flight from the battlefield in an encounter between Islam and Unbelief. (Muslim, 'K. al-lman', 'Bab al-Kabi'ir wa Akbaruha'; Bukhari, 'K. al-Wasaya', 'bab - fi Qawl Allah - Tala: inna al-ladhina Ya'kuluna Amwal al-Yatami Zulman' - Ed.) This has been declared a deadly sin because in addition to being an act of sheer cowardice, it demoralizes others and can generate demoralization which can have disastrous consequences. An individual soldier's desertion might cause a whole platoon, or even a whole regiment, and ultimately the whole army, to take flight. For once a soldier flees in panic, it is hard to control the others.
14. This refers to the occasion wnen the armies of the Muslims and the unbelievers stood face to face in the Battle of Badr and were on the verge of actual fighting. At that moment, the Prophet (peace be on him) threw a handful of dust at the enemy saying: 'May, their faces be scorched.' So saying the Prophet (peace be on him) made a gesture and the Muslims started their charge. (See Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 368; Ibn Hisham, vol. 1, p. 668; Ibn Kathir, comments on the verse - Ed.)
15. Before marching out from Makka the unbelievers held the covering of the Ka'bah and prayed: 'O God! Grant victory to the better of the two parties.' Abu Jahl, in particular invoked God's judgement: 'O God! Grant victory to the one who is in the right and cause humiliation to the wrong-doer.' God answered these prayers fully and the outcome of the battle clearly pointed to the party which was in the right.