The Battle of Badr, Saudi Arabia, was a major turning point in the spread of Islam. The Muslim victory over a stronger force of secular merchants from Mecca established Mohammed as one of the most powerful leaders on the Arabian Peninsula.
Image courtesy Topkapi Palace Museum

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  • On March 13, 624, Mohammed led Muslims to victory in the Battle of Badr, Saudi Arabia. This was a major event in the spread of Islam on the Arabian Peninsula.
    Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam, had left his hometown of Mecca years before, a migration called the hijra. He settled in the town of Medina. The conflict between Muslims in Medina and Mohammed’s family, the powerful Quraysh tribe of merchants, had grown as the new faith attracted followers. Muslims engaged in frequent skirmishes with Quraysh caravans, which traveled to and near Medina on trade routes that included a stop in the valley of Badr.
    The Battle of Badr was the first large-scale confrontation between Muslims and the Quraysh. More than a thousand men engaged in the battle, which lasted hours and resulted in a decisive Muslim victory. Six years later, the Quraysh in Mecca peacefully surrendered to an army led by Mohammed.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    army Noun

    military land forces.

    caravan Noun

    group of people who travel together for safety and companionship through difficult territory.

    confront Verb

    to address a problem or person directly.

    decisive Adjective

    able to make decisions with certainty.

    frequent Adjective


    hijra Noun

    (622) migration of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina to escape persecution.

    Islam Noun

    religion based on the words and philosophy of the prophet Mohammed.

    merchant Noun

    person who sells goods and services.

    migration Noun

    movement of a group of people or animals from one place to another.

    Mohammed Noun

    (570-632) founder of Islam. Also called the Prophet and Muhammad.

    Muslim Adjective

    having to do with Islam, the religion based on the words and philosophy of the prophet Mohammed.

    peninsula Noun

    piece of land jutting into a body of water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: peninsula
    prophet Noun

    person who delivers a message from a god to religious followers.

    skirmish Noun

    fight or dispute involving few people.

    surrender Verb

    to give up.

    trade route Noun

    path followed by merchants or explorers to exchange goods and services.

    valley Noun

    depression in the Earth between hills.