The Holy Prophet-SW is being instructed to urge upon the believers to undertake Jihad and to explain the blessings and the benefits associated with it. Islam fundamentally is a promoter of peace not only in this world but also in the Hereafter. However, all the negative forces which pose a threat to peace and which not only disrupt the harmony of a society but also try to deprive it of eternal bliss must be dealt with an iron hand.
Jihad is the only deterrent which guarantees peace for mankind. And it is such a noble deed that whenever the Muslims enter the arena for this purpose, Allaah-SWT will make them overpower an enemy ten times their number. This means that twenty believers fighting in the Cause of Allah-SWT will overcome two hundred non believers and a hundred will be able to repulse the attack of a thousand. This is because the non believers are oblivious of Allah-SWT's Greatness and have no sense of His-SWT Cognition. So the question of Allaah-SWT helping them does not arise, while the believers enter the battlefield without any personal interests only to obey Allah-SWT . Hence they will be blessed with Divine Succour.
The Basis of Trust in Allah-SWT
The Ayah being discussed makes it as if mandatory for every believer to fight against at least ten non believers. But this inner strength will not be the same always, because Trust in Allah-SWT is directly based on one's level of Allah-SWT's Cognition. It is directly proportionate to the spiritual status in terms of Cognition and Nearness to Allaah-SWT and attracts the Divine Succour correspondingly. Since with the passage of time, the spiritual level would not be the same as was in the Holy Prophet-SW era, Allah-SWT has lightened the burden of the believers. As time passes by the level of courage will decline too. Therefore, Allah-SWT lowers the high standards of one believer against ten infidels to one against two, a hundred against two hundred, and a thousand against two thousand infidels, provided the believers stand fast and persevere.
In daily life, abstaining from the forbidden and adhering to what is permitted by Allah-SWT is also perseverance. Whereas bearing the hardships of war on the battlefield and standing fast against all odds is the highest degree of perseverance. This decree is now universal that the believers will overcome an enemy twice their size because of the exclusive Divine Succour they are promised. In fact perseverance is a quality, which leads to Allah-SWT's Company, and whoever is blessed with it cannot be harmed by any number of enemies.
In this context, the proposal put forward by the Companions-RAU to expiate the captives of Badr was not appropriate because majority of them were the chieftains of Makkah. Seventy of the infidels had already been killed; had these seventy prisoners been put to sword too the polytheists of Makkah would have lost all their leadership and so this mischief would have been eradicated forever.
The Leadership of a Nation is its Destiny
It is also a strange fact that the leadership of a nation is a reflection of its destiny. I was wondering as I stood by the Parliament House in London, how Britain being a small island once ruled the entire world. At that time it was inhabited by few hundred thousand people but it conquered and ruled so many. In this Parliament house was decided the destiny of so many nations. Whereas today they have progressed in terms of technology as well as manpower, the perimeters of their rule have shrunk to this island once again. After all there has to be a reason for this. A friend of mine standing close by said that the people are still the same, the difference is in the leadership. And he was absolutely right. I have never been an admirer of the British leadership because they have always manipulated the facts. Their history is marked with wickedness and treachery but it has to be admitted that they proved their supremacy over the other nations of the world in contrast to the failures of the present leadership, who cannot control the Northern frontier of their own country.
This is also true of the Arab countries. I always felt the anguish for the Arabs who have been so weakened that a few hundred thousand Jews are driving them mad. But the Jihad of Afghanistan recorded such deeds of valour by the Arab warriors, who have revived the heroic memories of the Companions-RAU, proving beyond doubt that it is not the Arabs who have changed, but it is their leadership, which has degenerated. The same conditions prevail in our country where the ineptitude of the leadership becomes apparent by having a close look at the contradictions in the society.
The Holy Prophet-SW is being directed to cripple the might of disbelief, and the prisoners who are mischief mongers with no hope of reformation, should be put to the sword. This execution of a few will ensure the safety of thousands, because if they are spared they will certainly be the cause of more battles and mischief. Although human beings are myopic in their approach, the Almighty Allaah-SWT decrees what is eternally beneficial for the mankind because He-SWT is the All Knowing, the Prudent.
Since the booty had been permitted to the believers already, the Fidyah received from the captives will also fall in the same category. Had it not been permitted, the believers would have been taken to task for releasing the prisoners in return for Fidyah. Badr was the very first formal battle when the rules of war were revealed for all times to come. When the Holy Prophet-SW sought advice of his-SW Companions-RAU about the prisoners of war, Hadhrat Umar-RAU and S'ad ibn M’az-RAU suggested that they should be executed by their own relatives amongst the believers.
All the other Companions-RAU suggested that they should be released on payment of Fidyah as it will provide finances to the Muslims, while the possibility of their embracing Islam could not be ruled out. The Holy Prophet-SW accepted the latter advice. Those incapable of making the payment were to teach the believers children how to read and write. This decision was followed by a Divine Revelation that it does not befit a Prophet-AS to spare the person who is the root cause of evil and mischief. Rather it is most appropriate to eradicate this evil. But since booty had already been made permissible, and letting the captives go did involve some monetary benefit for the believers, the Companions-RAU who had proposed this were also forgiven. Now what has been acquired may be enjoyed by the believers as booty is permissible as well as pure. And the Muslims must constantly fear Allaah-SWT and seek His-SWT Pleasure for He-SWT is the Most Merciful and Forgiving.