The Expeditions, Battles and Victories of Ramadan

borIndeed, the month of Ramadān has a feature distinguishing it from other months. It is the month of Qur’ān, staying up for prayer, fasting, and charity, in addition to other acts of worship done in Ramadān. It is a month in which the Muslims expend an effort that they do not expend in other months.

As for jihād in this month, then the welcoming of Ramadān by the mujāhidīn is greater and the heed they take is more. This is because Allah (SWT) opens gates for the Muslims in Ramadān and upon them He sends His mercy. Thus, it is indeed a noble month. The gates of Jannah are opened and the gates of Hell are closed. The devils are chained up. It is a noble month in which good deeds are multiplied and lowly desires are subdued. It is a month in which one who fasts and stands in night for prayer with īmān, hoping for reward, is forgiven for that which has preceded from his sins. If this is the case, then what do you think of one who fasts, stands in night for prayer, and wages jihād with his self, his wealth, and his tongue?

 Because of these distinguishing features, throughout history, the months of Ramadān were days of jihād and battles. In these months many Islamic expeditions, battles, and victories occurred, victories that history would never forget. We will be brief and mention a selection of them only inshā’allāh.

The Expeditions the Prophet Dispatched in Ramadān

The definition of a ghazwah is a battle in which the Prophet (SAW)  went out with his companions and himself led the battle. A sariyyah on the other hand is one he was not present in and did not lead. The total number of sarāyā he dispatched was 73, 11 of which were sent out in the month of Ramadān. These 11 are the following:

1) The Sariyyah of Sāhil al-Bahr: This occurred in the Ramadān of the first year after the Hijrah. It was the first expedition dispatched in Islam. The Prophet (SAW) appointed Hamzah (RA) as its leader and sent him with 30 men from the Muhājirīn. They went out to face a trade caravan belonging to Quraysh that had come from Shām. They reached Sīf Al-Bahr, an area on the coast of the Red Sea, facing the kuffar and preparing rows for battle. Majdī Ibn ‘Amr al-Juhanī who was an ally of both sides, came between the two sides and as a result they did not fight.

2) The Sariyyah of ‘Umayr Ibn ‘Adī al-Khitmī: This occurred in the Ramadān of the second year after the Hijrah. The Prophet (SAW) dispatched this expedition to kill ‘Asmā’ Bint Marwān, a woman who used to insult Islam and incite against the Prophet (SAW). ‘Umayr Ibn ‘Adīy al-Khitmī came to her house at night and placed his sword on her chest, applying pressure until he had carried it through to her back.

3) The Sariyyah of Zayd Ibn Hārithah: In the Ramadān of the sixth year after the Hijrah, the Prophet (SAW)  dispatched an expedition for Banū Fazārah in a region of al-Qurā Valley. The reason was that men from Banū Fazārah had intercepted a trade caravan belonging to the Muslims and looted it. Zayd Ibn Hārithah left for them while heading a troop of the Prophet’s companions. They reached them in the morning and surrounded them and took Umm Qirfah Fātimah Bint Rabī’ah al-Fazāriyyah. She was an old woman venerated and obeyed by her people. She had prepared 40 cavaliers from her sons and her son’s sons to kill the Prophet (SAW). The noble companion Zayd Ibn Hārithah killed them all including Umm Qirfah.

 4) The Sariyyah of ‘Abdullāh Ibn ‘Atīk: This occurred in the Ramadān of the sixth year after the Hijrah. The tribes of al-‘Aws and Khazraj used to compete in their defense of the Prophet (SAW). So when the ‘Aws killed Ka’b Ibn al-Ashraf, who used to cause the Prophet (SAW)  harm, the Khazraj searched for someone who was similar to him in opposition to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) . They found their target in Abū Rāfi’ Salām Ibn Abī Haqīq an-Nadrī. He was the one who gathered the parties on the day of the Khandaq (Trench) and prepared the Ghatafān tribe to fight the Messenger of Allah (SAW). He would also disparage Allah’s Messenger (SAW) in the various gatherings. The Khazraj from the Sahābah sought permission from the Prophet (SAW) to kill Abū Rāfi’. He gave them permission so they sent five of their members with ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Atīk leading them. The sariyyah raided the house of Abū Rāfi’, killed him, and returned.

5) The Sariyyah of Ghālib al-Laythī: In the Ramadān of the seventh year after the Hijrah, the Prophet (SAW) sent this detachment to Banū ‘Uwāl and to Banū ‘Abd Ibn Tha’labah, two tribes from the Bedouins of Najd. The men of the two tribes used to conduct raids on the outskirts of al-Madīnah whilst the Muslims were pre-occupied with their battles against Quraysh and the Jews. Under the leadership of Ghālib al-Laythī, 130 fighters from the Muslims marched towards them. They attacked them at the time of Fajr and killed everyone who stood against them. The remaining fled. They seized livestock and sheep from them which they took back to alMadīnah.

6) The Sariyyah of Abū Qatādah as-Salamī: This occurred in the Ramadān of the eighth year after the Hijrah. This was at the time that the Prophet (SAW) contemplated attacking Makkah. He sent Abū Qatādah as-Salamī with 8 others to Batn Idam (a valley north of Makkah). This was in order to trick Quraysh with regards to the true goal of the Muslims, and make them think that the Muslims were targeting that area and not Makkah. The sariyyah reached the target without facing anything and so departed, joining up with the Muslim army.

7) The Sariyyah of Khālid Ibn al-Walīd: This occurred in the Ramadān of the eighth year after the Hijrah. The Prophet (SAW) had destroyed all of the idols that had been in the Ka’bah at the time of the Conquest of Makkah. He sent military expeditions to destroy the idols in the neighboring areas and sent Khālid Ibn al-Walīd with 30 cavaliers to the idol of al-‘Uzzā in Nakhlah (a valley between Makkah and Tā’if). They reached it and destroyed it.

8) The Sariyyah of ‘Amr Ibn al-‘Ās: At the same time, the Prophet (SAW) sent ‘Amr Ibn al-‘Ās at the head of a sariyyah to the idol of Suwā’ in the area of Ruhāt (near Makkah). They destroyed it.

9) The Sariyyah of Sa’d Ibn Zayd al-Ashhalī: Similarly to preceding examples and also in the Ramadān of the eighth year after the Hijrah, the Prophet (SAW) sent Sa’d Ibn Zayd with 20 cavaliers to the idol of Manāt in an area known as al-Mushallal (on the coast of the Red Sea). When they reached it, a dark, naked woman came out with her hair disheveled, shouting of woe and calamity whilst slapping her chest. Sa’d killed her and destroyed the idol.

10) The Sariyyah of ‘Alī Ibn ‘Abī Tālib: In the Ramadān of the tenth year after the Hijrah, the Prophet (SAW) sent ‘Alī to Yemen and arranged a battalion for him. He wrapped ‘Alī’s turban for him with his own hand. ‘Alī departed with 300 riders. When they arrived, he sent his soldiers who returned with spoils of war seized from the kuffār (money, women, children and livestock). He then met their army and called them to Islam. They refused and fired arrows and threw stones at the Muslims. In response, ‘Alī lined up his companions and fought them. He killed 20 of their men. The rest split up and escaped. ‘Alī did not pursue them and called them once again to Islam and they responded.

11) The Sariyyah of Jarīr Ibn ‘Abdillāh al-Bajalī: In Ramadān of the same year, the Prophet (SAW) sent Jarīr Ibn ‘Abdillāh with 150 cavaliers to the idol of ThulKhalasah. The idol was a house in the area of Tabālah (between Makkah and Yemen). It was known as the Ka’bah of Yemen as people used to perform hajj to it in the Jāhiliyyah. When they reached ThulKhalasah they burned it and destroyed it.

The Ghazawāt of the Prophet in Ramadān

The number of battles that the Prophet (SAW) himself led reaches 28. The greatest two battles from amongst them occurred in Ramadān. They are the Great Battle of Badr and the Conquest of Makkah.

1) The Battle of Badr: It occurred in the Ramadān of the second year after the Hijrah. Allah (SWT) described it as {the day of criterion – the day when the two armies met} [Al-Anfāl: 41] and described His giving victory to the Muslims through this battle and His honoring of them after their humiliation, {And already had Allah given you victory at [the battle of] Badr while you were few in number} [Āl ‘Imrān: 123].

In the Battle of Badr, the Muslims, under the leadership of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) departed to intercept a convoy belonging to Quraysh that was led by Abū Sufyān. But Abū Sufyān changed his path to the coast and called upon the people of Makkah to aid him. They departed to fight the Muslims, being led by Abū Jahl. The two armies met in Badr (a well between Makkah and al Madīnah) and Allah supported the Muslims who were 317 fighters against the mushrikīn who were more than one thousand. 14 Companions were martyred in the battle (6 from the Ansār and 8 from the Muhājirīn). 70 from the mushrikīn were killed and 70 were taken prisoner.

2) The Conquest of Makkah: In the Ramadān of the eighth year after the Hijrah, the Prophet (SAW) moved to conquer Makkah with ten thousand warriors after Quraysh broke their covenant. Allah (SWT)  granted them victory in Makkah after an easy battle in which 12 mushrikīn were killed and 3 Companions were martyred. Ibnul-Qayyim described the Conquest of Makkah saying, “It was the greatest conquest. By it, Allah honored His religion, His Messenger, His soldiers and his trustworthy party. Through it, He retrieved His land and His house – that He made as a guidance for the people – from the hands of the kuffār and the mushrikīn. It is the conquest over which the inhabitants of the Heavens rejoiced. The loftiness of its honor reached the heights of the stars. The people entered into the religion of Allah in multitudes. And the world was illuminated with brightness and joy” [Zād al-Ma’ād].

 This is Ramadān! This is how as-Salaf as-Sālih (the Righteous Predecessors) were in it! Jihād, battles, and action, as well as support and victory from Allah! What a great difference there is between as-Salaf as-Sālih and one who spends the days of Ramadān in sleep and artistically preparing different types of food and drink, who spends his nights in amusement and play.

Therefore, O you who remains sitting back from jihād even as the mujāhidīn march out day after day in this blessed month to face the legions of kufr gathered to wage war against Allah’s religion, do not allow another Ramadān after this one to pass you by except that you have marched forth to fight for Allah’s cause. And O you who continues residing in the lands of kufr under the authority of the crusaders and the tawāghīt, in the shade of their man made laws, hearing them revile Allah’s Sharī’ah day and night in their media and describe it as backwards, oppressive, and barbaric, do not allow another Ramadān after this one to pass you by except that you have made hijrah from the lands of kufr to the lands of the Islamic State!

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