How did the Prophet (pbuh) lead the prayer during the Battle of Badr?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Performing prayers is so important that it is necessary not to abandon it even in war if it is possible to perform it. As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) and his distinguished Companions performed the prayer in congregation even during the most severe moment in the Battle of Badr. The army of the polytheists had soldiers more than three times than the Muslims. It was a struggle of death and life. He the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and his Companions preferred to perform the prayer in congregation in the presence of Allah to saving their lives.  

When half of them performed the prayer, the other half fought; when those who performed the prayer started to fight, the other group performed the prayer in congregation. This issue is narrated as follows in the Quran:

“When thou (O Messenger) art with them, and standest to lead them in prayer, Let one party of them stand up (in prayer) with thee, Taking their arms with them: When they finish their prostrations, let them Take their position in the rear. And let the other party come up which hath not yet prayed - and let them pray with thee, Taking all precaution, and bearing arms...” (an-Nisa, 4/102)

O Muhammad! When you are among the mujahids who are in fear and who are allowed to shorten the prayer and when you lead them in prayer, let some of them perform the prayer behind you; that is, divide the soldiers into two; let some of them stand against the enemy and the others perform the prayer with you. Let those who perform the prayer with you take their weapons with them; do not let them leave their weapons. When they finish the rak'ah by prostrating, let them go toward the enemy and let the other group that did not perform the prayer come and perform the second rak'ah with you.   

That is, the prayer that was performed was a two-rak'ah prayer and some soldiers performed the first rak'ah and the others performed the second rak'ah. Then, what about the other rak'ah for each soldier? The second rak'ah needs to be completed by them in turns like that unless the battle starts again or something that increases fear occurs. It is explained by the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) like that. As it is reported from Ibn Umar and Ibn Masud, when the Prophet (pbuh) led the prayer of fear, he performed one rak'ah with the first group and one rak'ah with the other group. Then, the first group came and performed the first group returned and performed the second rak'ah they missed without qira’ah and saluted; then, the other group came and performed the first rak'ah they missed without qira’ah and saluted. Thus, each group performed two rak'ahs.

(Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır, The interpretation of the verse in question)

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