Ministry of Hajj
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Battle of Badr

Relations between Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Makkan establishment went from bad to worse. The Makkans seized all the property left behind by the Muslims when they had migrated to Madinah. In 624 CE, Muhammad (peace be upon him) led an attack party against a heavily laden caravan belonging to the eminent Makkan trader and head of the Umayyah clan, Abu Sufyan. The caravan escaped unharmed but a punitive expedition of some 800 men, under the command of Abu Jahl, was sent against Muhammad (peace be upon him). The two sides met at near a place called Badr and, in the ensuing battle, although the Muslims were outnumbered, they were victorious. Abu Jahl was amongst those who fell. The battle of Badr was a major turning point in the history of Islam.

This success strengthened the resolve of the Muslims for, against the odds, they had won a decisive victory. Through military success and the astute use of marriage relationships (he had married A'ishah, the daughter of Abu Bakr and his own daughter Fatimah married Ali, who was to become the fourth Caliph), he increased cohesion amongst his followers and strengthened his position in Madinah.

But the ummah was still far from secure. There were pagan enemies in Madinah who rejected Islam and resented the power of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his followers whom they saw as interlopers. There was a still more serious threat from the Makkans who, under Abu Sufyan, decided to expunge the humiliation they had suffered at Badr by wiping out the Muslim community. In 625 CE at Uhud, the Makkans joined battle with the Muslims and, although things went well for the Muslims initially, the Makkan gained the upper hand and defeated them.

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