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5 Historic Events During Ramadan that Rocked the World


Ramadan 2012 Posts

We all know that Ramadan is the month of fasting, abstinence and reflection. However, what we may not know is that Ramadan also just happens to be a month of awesome history defining events that shaped the world we live in today. Here are my top 5 events that occurred in the month of Ramadan:

5. Battle of Guadalete

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Ramadan, the 92nd year of Hijrah (711 C.E.) a slave of the Umayyad governor of Africa and his Berber troops faced off against the Visigoth king of Spain. Tariq bin Ziyad was born a slave and would die a beggar, but somewhere in between he managed to become one of the greatest generals the world has ever seen.

Having landed shortly before on a large rock at the bottom of Spain (that to this day is names after him), Tariq literally burned the boats that brought him and his comrades from the Maghreb. The extreme motivational tool worked and despite being outnumbered by the enemy by a ratio of at least 3 to 1, the Muslims managed to defeat the Visigoth King Roderic at the battle of Guadalete and race on to take over the whole of Spain and most of the France.

Thus began 800 years of Muslim rule in Andalusia that was the apogee of Umayyad civilization, laid the basis of the European enlightenment and proved that Muslims, Christians and Jews could live in harmony – well, at least until the Inquisition came along.

4. The Horns of Hattin

Salahuddin Ayyubi was one of the most awesome heroes in the history of Islam. We know he defeated the crusaders and reclaimed Jerusalem for Islam and the Muslims after almost a century of Frankish desecration. We even know that he managed to do this all whilst essentially being an extremely nice guy with chivalry and honesty being qualities that even his enemies acknowledged in him.

But did you know that he also had impeccable timing? Salahuddin had been slowly circling the Crusader kingdom for years. He was building his strength, neutralising weak points within his own ranks and essentially playing a massive game of chicken with the Crusader King. Well, in Ramadan of 1187 C.E., the game came to a head with both sides going for broke at the Horns of Hattin. What followed was less a battle and more a masterclass by Salahuddin in how to own your enemy tactically, physically and mentally. When the dust settled, the Muslims had triumphed, the leaders of the Crusader kingdom were prisoners and the road to Jerusalem was clear. Oh, and he retook that on the anniversary of israa and miraaj (the Prophet [peace be upon him] ascension to heaven via Jerusalem)… like I said, impeccable timing.

3. The last stand at Ain Jalut

Few Muslims had heard of Mongolia let alone seen anyone from there and yet here were this band of barbarians laying waste to everything that lay in their path. To give you an idea of how scared Muslims had become, it was said that if a Mongolian warrior asked a Muslim to wait kneeling for him whilst he went and found a sword to kill him with, the Muslim guy would wait patiently rather than risk a fate that was literally worse than death!

The whole of the Islamic world had collapsed in the face of this new and terrible enemy. Well, not the whole Islamic world. One last outpost remained. In Egypt, the Mamluk sultan Qutuz decided that he wasn’t just going to wait for his turn to die. He gathered his forces and made one last stand. At the springs of Goliath (Ain Jalut) the last consequential army in the Muslim world faced off against the undefeated Mongols. It was like a boxing match between some scrawny challenger and the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world – only with millions more lives at stake. The outcome of the battle see-sawed between the Muslims and the Mongols until finally, Qutuz himself led the breakthrough by charging deep into enemy ranks. That Ramadan, Ain Jalut marked the first time that the Mongols had lost a pitched battle – and Islam (not to mention the rest of the world) was saved.

2. Conquest of Makkah

The conquest of Makkah was more than just a footnote in Islamic history. It was the happy ending of one of the most amazing stories ever told. A story in which a band of men and women were tortured and harassed in their own home town because of their faith, how they had to flee as refugees and within the decade returned as conquerors.

The conquest of Makkah was a turning point in world history. Islam had returned home to where it had begun and the Kaaba was once more dedicated to the worship of Allah alone. As Makkah goes, so does the rest of Arabia and within the time it takes for news to travel, almost all of tribes in the Peninsula sent delegations to Medina with their allegiance.

Today more than 1.6 billion Muslims turn their face five times a day for prayer, go on Hajj at least once in a lifetime and bury all our dead facing towards this city conquered on one fateful day in Ramadan.

1. Battle of Badr  

The mother of all defining moments – the battle of Badr is without a doubt the most important existential battle between good and evil in the history of mankind. On one side, the last Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and just over 300 of his followers. On the other, the idolaters of Quraish with their superior numbers, weapons and wealth.

What followed was an epic battle that still resonates with Muslims across the world. Actually – the word “epic” doesn’t even begin to define the enormity of this battle. How important was this battle in the grand scheme of things? Before the battle started the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) raised his hand to the heavens and said words to the effect, “If this small band perish today, then there will be no one left to worship you on the face of this Earth.” They didn’t perish and to this day, all who profess that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger are eternally grateful.

Lesson from the History?

To see Ramadan as only a month of inward spiritual reflection and purification is to miss out on the real example of sacrifice, struggle that has been a feature of the month of Ramadan throughout our history. This Ramadan, get involved in a project and make a difference to the Muslims in your community and the world around.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Dr. Muhammad Wajid Akhter - National Council Member, Muslim Council of Britain | - Lead, National Muslim Covid Response Group | - Council Member, British Islamic Medical Association | - Founder, Charity Week for Orphans and children in need | - Co-Founder, Islamic History Channel | - International Director, FIMA Lifesavers



  1. Sceptic

    August 14, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    Five battles, three involving invasions by muslims.
    A truly peace-loving religion.

    • Muslim

      August 14, 2012 at 7:42 AM


    • WAJiD

      August 14, 2012 at 8:43 AM

      Hi Mr Sceptic,

      Battle of Guadalete – Muslims invited by Count Julian of the Iberian Peninsula to free his people and the Jews of the oppression of the Visigoths. Not an invasion if you are invited in by the people.

      Battle of Hattin – Muslims fight of invading crusaders to reclaim back Muslim land. Not an an invasion.

      Battle of Ain Jalut – Muslims successfully defend against Mongol hordes invading their lands. Not an invasion.

      Conquest of Makkah – Muslims retake the city that many of them originally come from in a nearly bloodless cakewalk. Not an invasion.

      Battle of Badr – Muslims defeat Quraish army a few miles outside the Muslim city of Medina. Not an invasion.

      Perhaps you need to look up the meaning of the word invasion?
      And while your at it, do some research about who invented Weapons of Mass Destruction, engineered the holocaust and wiped out Millions across the world. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that the industrialisation of death is a Muslim-free zone.

      • fezz

        August 14, 2012 at 5:13 PM

        ZING!!! Nice one.

      • salahudeen khalifah (@salahudin_kali)

        July 13, 2013 at 8:20 PM

        @Wajid so where is the word “invasion” anywhere in this article Bro ? :)

        • salam

          June 25, 2014 at 5:16 PM

          your confused wajid is replying to sceptic

  2. Sumaiya

    August 14, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    And Ramadhan is the month is which PAKISTAN was born! <3

    • Hassan

      August 14, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      Apparently your comment has one dislike from some Indian, alhamdulillah Pakistan came into existence on Ramadan 27th as well.

      • WAJiD

        August 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        I was the “Indian” that marked it with the dislike. Just for the record.
        And it is exactly because of nationalistic comments such as yours that I did so.

        The Prophet (SAW) said – “People should give up their pride in nations/ dead ancestors because this is a coal
        from the coals of hell-fire. If they do not give this up Allah (swt)
        will consider them lower than a lowly worm which pushes itself through
        khur (feaces).” [Abu Dawd and Tirmidhi]

        • Hassan

          August 15, 2012 at 7:35 AM

          Why is having an Islamic nation born as nationalistic comment? I see it as blessing rather. It is good thing that happened to many of us, please feel happy for your fellow muslims. Sh Waleed Basyouni mentioned in khutbah during ramadan many times, when he counts good things that happened to muslims.

          Thank you for quoting hadiths, alhamdulillah does not apply to me.

          • Mehraj

            July 11, 2013 at 8:38 PM

            I agree with Wajid. As a Pakistani myself, I really think that calling Pakistan an Islamic nation is really just a big joke. True, many muslims live in this country. But that is all.

            Did you know that Pakistan exports Alchohol (made in the famous Murree Brewery) to India among other countries? Did you know that Pakistani authorities are arresting anyone that speaks of the return of the Islamic state, including army officers? These are just a few of the features of the “Islamic nation” that you praise.

            In another comment, you say that “we make Dua for all … Muslim countries”. With all due respect, I would never make Dua for a “country” when I could make Dua for its people. These ‘countries’ such as Pakistan are just a pointless division. Seriously, if Pakistan was such an Islamic country, why was its national language not made Arabic so that we could understand the Qur’an? Think about this for a minute.

            May Allah guide us all.

            *Note from Comments Team: Your name has been edited to comply with our Comments Policy*

        • Iram

          August 20, 2012 at 5:00 PM

          Beautiful quotation of the hadeeth.

        • Maria

          July 10, 2013 at 9:31 PM

          You wrote: “I was the “Indian” that marked it with the dislike. Just for the record.
          And it is exactly because of nationalistic comments such as yours that I did so.”


          You should not have disliked sumaiya’s comment. I dont think what she said because of pride. How do you know her intentions?

      • Maria

        July 10, 2013 at 9:26 PM

        Maa-shaa-Allah informative post. Jazakallahu khair.

      • purayiap

        June 9, 2015 at 5:29 AM

        Yes, Pakistan was created by “Mulsim” League. Muslim League’s founder was Agha Khan. ( May I know his relationship with Islam?) with the help of the British Colonialists ( Just do a research of how the life of Agha Khan was and what was the relationship between his family and the British!) . Pakistan’s founding father is Mohammad Ali Jinnah ( may I know his relationship with Islam?) who had led a western style life and had married a Parsi women.. Just like they misused the name of “Muslim” when they gave their party name of “Muslim” League to emotionally influence the Muslim masses of the subcontinent for their narrow and vested political interests, they misused the month of Ramadan for defining Pakistan’s birth day as well. Probably, the birth of Pakistan was the most unfortunate thing to happen in the month of Ramadan for the people of the Pakistan, the Indian subcontinent and whole of the world!

    • YR

      August 14, 2012 at 5:07 PM

      Make that 3 this is about islam not nationalism. Its a failed pusedo islamic state.

      • Hassan

        August 15, 2012 at 11:04 AM

        Yes Islam is not about nationalism, but alhamdulillah article celebrates establishment of islamic country in Spain (which was more or less independent from central khilafah, specially during abassids time). That islamic state does not exists anymore, so someone can call it “failed” state.

        Yes Pakistan is in bad shape like many other muslim countries (that are getting better perhaps now). So as a muslim you should make dua for Pakistan and its prosperity. I mean unless you hate Pakistan because of asbiyah (nationalistic/tribalilism) reasons, then you should see the hadith quoted by brother Wajid. We muslims make dua for all muslim and all muslim countries, we should not exclude Pakistan from it. I am sure if we had mentioned any other muslim country being founded in ramadan we would not have any issue.

        • YR

          August 15, 2012 at 6:40 PM

          I don’t hate Pakistan at all. I never said that I hope Pakistan like other countries will be Islamic.

        • Hyde

          July 10, 2013 at 5:35 PM

          How long shall we wait ? How many prayers ? When the foundation is secualr, what can one say ?

  3. Yasmin

    August 14, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Jazakallah khair for this very informative and interesting post!

  4. jamaloden

    August 14, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Alhamdulillah. Educational. It enriches the mind and remember the greatest achievement of our heroes in the past.

  5. Henry Lassie

    August 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM


  6. AshrafAnam

    August 18, 2012 at 6:40 AM


    • dawud

      April 17, 2015 at 8:22 AM

      epic right its so awesome that I wish I were in one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Bro

    August 20, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Had fasting been prescribed for the Muslims during the Battle of Badr?

  8. Halima

    September 9, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    Haven’t even started reading but MM is making a comeback with all these awesome articles/stories. Good work!

  9. Pingback: WAJiD (wajid) | Pearltrees

  10. Tariq

    July 10, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    Very good article. As for those who are saying that Islam is not a peace loving religion, just want to tell them that look at the purpose of war and you would understand the concept. The concept of Jihad in Islam is “just war” in western terms and is the pinnacle of sacrifice, because the purpose is not to colonize the land and people rather just to get the people out from darkness of Kufr and oppression to the light and justice of Islam.

    • Christy

      July 8, 2015 at 9:01 PM

      I am one of those who you would call a kaafir. So exactly how does a “just war”, which would likely involve killing me since I am a believing Evangelical Trinitarian Christian, “get the people out from darkness of Kufr and oppression to the light and justice of Islam”? You mean like what Islam has done to all the native, innocent Orthodox Christians who have been murdered in the name of Allah? Hon, there are none left now to get out of darkness and oppression. So how does that work?

  11. wasi

    July 10, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    you forgot.. Martydom of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, by Khwarijites in Mosque of Kufa, on 21 Ramzan.

  12. Pingback: Wars | Pearltrees

  13. Muhammad Asim

    July 10, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    *The battle of Hattin took place 3 months before rajab, not in Ramzan.

    • Hyde

      July 10, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      Love your avatar bro.

  14. Zafar

    July 12, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    If the muslims lost to the Mongols, Europeans would be speaking Mongol until now. For Ayn Jalut, the Europeans should be thankful to the muslims during Qutuz.

  15. NerdCrunch

    July 13, 2013 at 4:20 AM

    A very timely article, reminding Muslims of thir history and the uphill task Muslims face in todays world. But signs so far suggest that it will only be a miracle that can save the Muslim world.

    Muslim world is in danger from none other than themselves.

  16. Slave of Allah

    July 15, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    Salam brother wajid

    I dont know how else to contact you. I am running a youth organization in pakistan. The objective is exactly what u said u like. I am ready to provide all details and would love to discuss with you about it. I already have very good contacts with iera. Kindly tell me how can i contact you.


  17. Christy

    July 8, 2015 at 8:49 PM

    5 HISTORIC EVENTS DURING RAMADAN THAT ROCKED THE WORLD So is it my imagination or is every historic event a war, or an Islamic military commander who kills a lot of non-muslims? Did anything peaceful and good and not related to wars and killing ever happen during Ramadan? Maybe humanitarian assistance to non-muslims? Sigh.

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