The Expedition of ‘Abdullah Ibn Jahsh: A Root-Cause of the Great Battle of Badr Ibn Ishaq narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent ‘Abdullah Ibn Jahsh IbnRi’ab Al-Asdi in the month of Rajab on his return from the first Badr. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent with him eight men from Al-Muhajireen. The names of the eight Muhajreen were Abu Huzaifah Ibn ‘Utbah, ‘Akashah Ibn Mihsin, ‘Utbah Ibn Ghazwan, Sad Ibn Abi Waqqas, ‘Amir Ibn Rabfah Al-Wa’ili, Waqid, Ibn ‘ Abdullah Ibn ‘ Abd Manaf, Khalid Ibn Al-Bakir, and Sahl Ibn Baida’ Al-Fihri. Ibn Ishaq continued saying that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) wrote for Ibn Jahsh a letter and ordered him not to look at it until he had journeyed for two days, to carry out what he was ordered to do, and not to compel anyone of his companions to do so. Having journeyed for two days, Ibn Jahsh opened the letter which said: “When you read my letter proceed forward until you reach Nakhlah between Makkah and At-Ta’if so as to lie in wait there for Quraish and find out to us their news.” When he read the letter he said, “I’m the one who listens (the orders of his leader) and obeys.” Then he told his companions what the letter said and declared, “He – the Messenger of Allah – has forbidden me to force anyone of you do so; thus if anyone wishes for the martyrdom, let him proceed forward; and he who does not, let him go back; as for me I’m going to carry out what the Messenger of Allah has ordered me. He, Subsequently, proceeded forward and so did all his companions. He journeyed along the Hijaz until at a mine called Bahrain above Al-Funf, Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas and ‘Utbah Ibn Ghazwan lost the camel which they were riding by turns, so they stayed behind to look for it, while ‘ Abdullah and the rest of his companions proceeded until they reached Nakhlah. A caravan of Quraish, in the meanwhile
passed by them. The Quraishi men in that caravan were ‘Amr Ibn Al-Hadrami, ‘ Uthman Ibn ‘ Abdullah Ibn Al-Mughirah Al-Makhzumi and his brother Naufal, and Al-Hakam Ibn Kaisan, freedman of Hisham Ibn Al-Mughirah. When the caravan saw them – Ibn Jahsh and his companions – they were afraid of them because they had camped near them. ‘Akashah, however, appeared to them with his shaved hair, and when they saw him they felt safe and ‘ Ammar said, “They would cause you no harm – he thought that they were pilgrims.” On their part, they Companions took counsel among themselves, for this was the last day of Rajab, and they said, “If you leave them alone tonight they will get into the prohibited Area and will be safe from you; and if you kill them, you will kill them in the prohibited month.” Consequently, they were hesitant and feared to attack them. Then, they encouraged each other and decided to kill as many as they could of them and take what they had. Waqid Ibn ‘ Abdullah shot ‘ Amr Ibn Al-Hadrami with an arrow which caused the latter to die; ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Abdullah and Al-Hakim Ibn Kisan were captured while Naufal Ibn ‘ Abdullah escaped. ‘ Abdullah Ibn Jahsh and his companions proceeded back to Madinah with the caravan and the two prisoners until they reached the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Someone of ‘ Abdullah’s family reported that he said to his companions, “A fifth of what we have taken belongs to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).” This was before the revelation of the Qur’anic verse that decides the way of dividing the booty. Therefore, v Abdullah set apart for the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), a fifth of the caravan, and divided the rest among his companions.
When the Qur’an came down with the way that should adhered to in dividing the booty, it was in agreement with what ‘Abdullah Ibn Jahsh had done.
When they came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), he said, “I have not commanded you to fight in the prohibited month.” Thereupon, he held the caravan and the two prisoners in suspense and refused to take anything from. When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said this, the men were in despair and thought that they were doomed. Their Muslim brothers reproached them for what they had done. Quraish, likewise, said that Muhammad and his Companions have violated the prohibited Month, shed blood therein, taken booty, and captured men. Muslims, who were in Makkah, defended them, saying, “They had done it in the month of Sha’ban.” The Jews turned this raid into an omen against the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) by saying that ‘ Amr Ibn Al- Hadrami whom Waqid Ibn ‘ Abdullah had killed meant “Amaratul-Harb (war has come to life), Al-Hadrami meant Hadaratul-Harb (war is present), and Waqid meant Waqadatul- Harb (war is kindled). Allah, Most High, turned this against them, not for them; and when there was much talk about it, Allah sent down to His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) the following Qur’anic verse, “They ask thee concerning fighting in prohibited Month. Say, ‘Fighting therein is a grave (offense). But graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the sacred Mosque, and drive out its members. Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. (Al-Baqarah: 21I)