On account of the new grave developments, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) held an advisory military emergency meeting to review the ongoing situation and exchange viewpoints with the army leaders. Admittedly, some Muslims feared the horrible encounter and their courage began to waver; in this regard, Allâh says:
“As your Lord caused you (O Muhammad [Peace be upon him) ] to go out from your home with the Truth, and verily, a party among the believers disliked it, disputing with you concerning the Truth after it was made manifest, as if they were being driven to death while they were looking (at it).” [8:5, 6]
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) apprised his men of the gravity of the situation and asked for their advice. Abu Bakr was the first who spoke on the occasion and assured the Prophet (Peace be upon him) of the unreserved obedience to his command. ‘Umar was the next to stand up and supported the views expressed by his noble friend. Then Al-Miqdad bin ‘Amr got up and said: “O Messenger of Allâh! Proceed where Allâh directs you to, for we are with you. We will not say as the Children of Israel said to Moses (Peace be upon him):
“Go you and your Lord and fight and we will stay here;”
Rather we shall say:
“Go you and yourLord and fight and we will fight along with you.”
By Allâh! If you were to take us to Bark Al-Ghimad, we will still fight resolutely with you against its defenders until you gained it.”
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) thanked him and blessed him.
The three leaders who spoke were from the Emigrants, who only constituted a minor section of the army. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) wanted, and for the more reason, to hear the Helpers’ view because they were the majority of the soldiers and were expected to shoulder the brunt of the war activities. Moreover, the clauses of Al-‘Aqabah Pledge did not commit them to fighting beyond their territories.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) then said: “Advise me my men!”
by which he meant the Helpers, in particular. Upon this Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh stood up and said: “By Allâh, I feel you want us (the Helpers) to speak.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) directly said: “Oh, yes!” Sa‘d said: “O Prophet of Allâh! We believe in you and we bear witness to what you have vouchsafed to us and we declare in unequivocal terms that what you have brought is the Truth. We give you our firm pledge of obedience and sacrifice. We will obey you most willingly in whatever you command us, and by Allâh, Who has sent you with the Truth, if you were to ask us to plunge into the sea, we will do that most readily and not a man of us will stay behind. We do not grudge the idea of encounter with the enemy. We are experienced in war and we are trustworthy in combat. We hope that Allâh will show you through our hands those deeds of valour which will please your eyes. Kindly lead us to the battlefield in the Name of Allâh.”
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was impressed with the fidelity and the spirit of sacrifice which his companions showed at this critical juncture. Then he said to them: “Forward and be of cheer, for Allâh has promised me one of the two (the lucrative course through capturing the booty or strife in the cause of Allâh against the polytheists), and by Allâh it is as if I now saw the enemy lying prostrate.”
In the immediate vicinity of Badr, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his cavemate Abu Bakr conducted a scouting operation during which they managed to locate the camp of Quraish. They came across an old bedouin nearby whom they manipulated and managed to extract from him the exact location of the army of the polytheists. In the evening of the same day, he despatched three Emigrant leaders, ‘Ali bin Abi Talib, Az-Zubair bin Al-‘Awwam and Sa‘d bin Abi Waqqas to scout about for news about the enemy. They saw two men drawing water for the Makkan army. On interrogation, they admitted that they were water carriers working for Quraish. But that answer did not please some Muslims and they beat the two boys severely in order to exact from them an answer, even if it isn’t true, alluding to the caravan laden with wealth. The two boys thus lied, and so they were released. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was angry with those men and censured them saying: “On telling the truth, you beat them, and on telling a lie, you released them!” He then addressed the two boys and after a little conversation with them he learned a lot about the enemy: number of soldiers, their exact location and names of some of their notables. He then turned to the Muslims and said: “Hearken, Quraish has sent you their most precious lives.”