7 Small Armies That Devastated Larger Foes

Bal’ami, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

624 AD – The Battle of Badr

Fought on March 17, 624 CE, the Battle of Badr, also referred to as The Day of the Criterion, was a pivotal moment in the early days of Islam. Just two years earlier, Muhammad and his followers had left Mecca and moved to the city of Medina. This event is now known as the Hijra. There had already been several minor skirmishes between the tribesmen of Mecca known as the Quraysh led by Amr ibn Hishām (or Abu Jahl) and the community of Muslims. However, the Battle of Badr would be the first major conflict between the two groups.

Muhammad and 313 of his followers planned to attack a caravan coming to Badr as the Quraysh funded it, but they got work of these plans and sent a force of between 900 to 1000 men to protect it. However, the army was disorganized, and its leaders fought amongst themselves. The battle started with Muhammad’s men raining arrows down on the Quraysh before rushing in.

Only 14 men were lost from Muhammad’s group when the fighting was over, while the Quraysh had lost approximately 70. Although a small battle in terms of numbers, Muhammad’s victory at Badr would be a turning point in the history of Islam and helped it gain popularity.

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