Timeline of Battle of Badr

By the Editors of the Madain Project

The Timeline of the Battle of Badr, provides an overview of the events in a chronological manner. The Battle of Badr was fought on March 13, 624 CE, between the forces of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the Meccan army.


The Battle of Badr (also spelled as the Battle of Badar) was a turning point in the early history of Islam, as it demonstrated the strength and determination of the Muslim community and helped to establish the dominance of the Muslim forces in the Arabian Peninsula.

In the Quran, the battle is referred to as Yawm al-Furqan (Arabic: يَوْمُ الْفُرْقَانْ, lit. 'The Day of the Criterion.

The following is a timeline of the events of the battle:

Brief Timeline

March 624 CE

Early March
Prophet Muhammad receives intelligence that a Meccan caravan, led by Abu Sufyan, is on its way from Syria to Mecca and decides to send a raiding party to intercept it.

March 10 or 11
The Muslim forces, consisting of around 313 men (mostly ill-equipped for a battle), set out from Medina to intercept the caravan. The guardianship and administration of Medina was entrusted with Ibn Umm Maktum, but later with Abu Lubaba ibn 'Abd al-Mundhir. With prophet Muhammad in the lead, the army marched out along the main road to Mecca, from the north..

March 11 (Ramadan 15)
On the preceding night of 11 March (15 Ramadan), when both of the armies were about a day's march from the the battlefield, it rained over the battlefield and the surrounding region. Muslims believe this was a blessing from Allah for the believers and a curse for the disbelievers, who suffered hardship in trying to climb the muddy slope.

Later in the day, a scouting mission was sent to get information about the area and enemy's movements or position. Two Meccan water-bearers were captured at or near the wells of Badr, providing the information reqarding the Meccan strenght and position.

The Muslim forces reach the wells of Badr, which are located near the Meccan caravan route. They camp there for the night and prepare for the battle to come. The Meccan forces, consisting of around 1000 men, are caught off guard but heavily outnumbered the Muslim force.

March 13, Early-morning
At midnight on 13 March (17 Ramadan), the Quraish broke camp and marched into the valley of Badr. 'Umayr ibn Wahb al-Jumahi made a survey of the Muslim position and reported 300 men keen on fighting to the last man.

Before the main battle event, a number of notable men dueled. First duel was between al-Aswad bin 'Abdul-Asad al-Makhzumi, one of the men from Abu Jahl's clan, the Banu Makhzum, and Hamza ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib, one of prophet Muhammad's uncles. Hamza struck al-Aswad's leg before dealing him another blow that killed him.

After this, three men protected by armor and shields, Utbah ibn Rabi'ah, alongside his brother, Shaybah ibn Rabi'ah and son, al-Walid ibn 'Utbah, emerged from the Makkan ranks. From the Medinian ranks Hamza approached and called on Ubaydah ibn al-Harith and 'Ali ibn Abu Talib to join him. In this duel Hamzah and 'Ali killed their opponents quickly but Ubaydah was seriously wounded; when Shaybah was killed by 'Ali.

Following the duels the Meccans took the offensive and charged upon the Muslim lines; the two armies collide near the wells of Badr and the battle ensues.

March 13, Mid-morning
The battle begins with both sides exchanging arrows. The Meccan forces initially gain the upper hand, but the tide of the battle turns with the passage of time.

March 13, Late-morning
The Makkans, understrength and unenthusiastic about fighting, promptly broke and ran. As the Meccan forces begin to retreat the Muslim forces pursue them, killing many of the Meccans and capturing several prisoners.

March 13, Afternoon
The battle itself only lasted a few hours and was over by early afternoon. The battle ends with the Meccan forces in full retreat and the Muslims in control of the battlefield giving chase.

March 18
The Muslims stayed in the battlefield for another three days after the battle, on the 18th of March prophet Muhammad left Badr for Medina. The Muslim forces return to Medina with their captives and the spoils of war, having secured a decisive victory in one of the most significant battles in Islamic history.

Some 70 prisoners were taken captive and are noted to have been treated humanely, including a number of Quraysh leaders.

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