Allaah, the Exalted, said:
أَوَلَمَّا أَصَابَتْكُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَدْ أَصَبْتُمْ مِثْلَيْهَا قُلْتُمْ أَنَّى هَذَا قُلْ هُوَ مِنْ عِنْدِ أَنْفُسِكُمْ
Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (رضي الله عنه) said, “On the day of Badr the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) looked towards his companions who numbered just over three hundred, then he looked towards the polytheists and found them to be over a thousand. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) then faced the qiblah (the direction for prayer) and spread open his arms while wearing his izaar (lower garment) and his ri’daa (upper garment) then he said: ‘O Allaah, where is what you promised me! O Allaah, fulfill for me what you promised me! O Allaah, if you allow this small group of Muslims to be destroyed you will never be worshipped on earth!’ He continued to seek the aid of his Lord (عز و جل) and supplicate Him to the point where his upper garment fell off, so Abu Bakr came to him and picked up his upper garment and put it back on him and stood behind him, then he said, ‘O Prophet of Allaah, your imploring your Lord is sufficient, for verily He will fulfill for you what He promised you.’
Allaah (عز و جل) sent down:
إِذْ تَسْتَغِيثُونَ رَبَّكُمْ فَاسْتَجَابَ لَكُمْ أَنِّي مُمِدُّكُمْ بِأَلْفٍ مِنَ الْمَلائِكَةِ مُرْدِفِين“(Remember) when you sought help from your Lord so He answered you (saying): ‘I will help you with a thousand of the angels each behind the other in succession.” - Al-Anfaal (8):9
When that day took place and they met in battle, Allaah (عز و جل) defeated the polytheists. Seventy of their men were killed and seventy more were taken prisoner. The Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) then sought the advice of Abu Bakr, and Ali, and ‘Umar (رضى الله عنهما).
Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) said, ‘They are our cousins, and relatives and brothers. It is my opinion that you take from them the ransom money so what we take from them will give us strength against the disbelievers, and perhaps Allaah will guide them then they will support us.’
The Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) then said, ‘What is your opinion, O son of Al-Khattaab?’ I said, ‘By Allaah, I don’t agree with what Abu Bakr took as an opinion, rather, my opinion is that you let me have so-and-so, the relative of Umar, then let me chop his head off, and that you let Ali (رضي الله عنه) have Aqeel (his brother) then let him chop his head off, and that you let Hamzah have his brother so-and-so then let him chop his head off, so Allaah will know there is no favoritism in our hearts for the polytheists. These people are their leaders, and rulers and commanders.’
The Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) favored what Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) said and he did not favor what I said so he took from them the ransom money.”
Umar (رضي الله عنه) said, “The next day I went to the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and found him and Abu Bakr sitting down crying. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, tell me what makes you and your companion cry so if I find tears I can cry and if I don’t find tears I will fake crying because of your crying.’ The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, ‘That which your companions presented to me about taking the ransom money. It was shown to me your punishment which will soon occur (in a time period) closer than this tree. It is a tree not far away.’
Allaah (عز و جل) sent down:
مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَى حَتَّى يُثْخِنَ فِي الأرْض
“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he has made a great slaughter (amongst his enemies gaining the upper-hand) in the land.” - Al-Anfaal (8):67
Up to His statement:
لَوْلا كِتَابٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيمَا أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيم“Were it not for a previous ordainment from Allaah a severe torment would have touched you for what you took.” - Al-Anfaal (8):68
(Meaning): from the ransom money. Then Allaah made the war booty permissible for them.
When the day of the battle of Uhud came in the following year they were punished for what they did on the day of Badr when they took the ransom money. Seventy of them were killed. The companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) deserted the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). His tooth was broken and his helmet on his head was smashed. Blood poured down on to his face and Allaah (عز و جل) sent down:
أَوَلَمَّا أَصَابَتْكُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَدْ أَصَبْتُمْ مِثْلَيْهَا“(What is the matter with you?) When a single disaster befalls you, although you inflicted (your enemies) with one twice as great!” - Aali Imraan (3):165
That was because they took the ransom money.”
This hadeeth, Al-Imaam Ahmad transmitted it in his Musnad, volume 1, page 30.