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Islam's First Arrow: The Battle of Badr as a Decisive Battle in Islamic History and Its Significance Today

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Technical Report

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Air University School of Advanced Air and Space Studies Maxwell AFB United States

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This study will seek to explain the Battle of Badr as a decisive event in Islamic history. The thesis draws on the classical theorists in military history and attempts to discover what battle is and the purpose it serves. It seeks to define the mechanism that each theorist understood created decision in battle. A further analysis of modern historians and scholars are looked at in order to apply their criteria to Badr. This thesis provides a review of the events that took place at Badr in 624 in the Hijaz of Saudi Arabia. It details the battle itself, including the actions of the belligerents on either side and some of the tactics employed by both forces. This study shows how militant Islamic terrorist leaders, like Osama bin Laden, Sayyid Qutb, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Ibn Taymiyyah, have used the rhetoric of Badr in their writings and speeches to galvanize people for their cause. The conclusions the author makes is that the Battle of Badr was a decisive battle in Islamic history because it provided immediate and long-term social and political effects. The battles outcome provided Muhammad immediate legitimacy in the region and provided future radical ideologues with a rhetorical device to further their message. The study concludes with various methods to counter the master narrative that Badr is a part.

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