When Hazrat Huzaifah ibn Yamān and his father embraced Islam, they were on their way to Madeenah Munawwarah. However, they were intercepted by Abu Jahl and he asked as to where they were going. Hazrat Huzaifah ibn Yamān رضي الله عنه told Abu Jahl that he was going to Madeenah Munawwarah to meet Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم. Abu Jahl said; "Then I will not spare you because when you go there, you will join forces against us." Hazrat Huzaifah رضي الله عنه replied; "Our purpose is only to meet Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم and to see him. We will not take part in the battle." Abu Jahl then extracted a promise from them that they will only meet Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم and not take part in the battle.
When Hazrat Huzaifah ibn Yamān and his father reached Madeenah Munawwarah, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم had already left with his companions for Badr. We must understand that the Battle of Badr was the first combat between truth and falsehood. The battle is termed in the Holy Qur'ān as يوم الفرقان. The participants in this battle are called Badrī and are they are regarded with great esteem and respect. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم had given the glad tidings to the Badrī companions رضوان الله عليهم اجمعين of the forgiveness and special reward from Allah Ta'ala جل جلاله. It was on this occasion that Hazrat Huzaifah ibn Yamān رضي الله عنه promised Abu Jahl that he would not participate in the battle.
When Hazrat Huzaifah ibn Yamān and his father met Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم, they related to him what had transpired when they were confronted by Abu Jahl. Abu Jahl made them promise that they will not participate in the battle. On this occasion when there was a great need for the Muslims, Hazrat Huzaifah رضي الله عنه requested that they be allowed to participate in this memorable battle because he said that the promise to Abu Jahl was extracted with the sword on their throats. Hazrat Huzaifah رضي الله عنه further added that if they had not promised not to take part in the battle, they would not have been allowed to meet Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم. They thus requested permission to join Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Sahaba رضوان الله عليهم اجمعين and gain the honour and excellence of being participants in the first battle between truth and falsehood. (Al-Asabah, Vol:1 Page 316)
However, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said; "No! You have made a promise and he (Abu Jahl) has released you on the condition that you will see me but not join me in battle. So, I do not permit you to participate in the battle."
There are times when man is put through tests and Allah Ta'ala جل جلاله ascertains how we honour our promises. If it were people like us, we would have put forward many excuses. We could have said that technically, there was no sincerity in the heart and it was due to compulsion that we had to make a promise. We could have said that the promise was made as an excuse to joining Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم in the battle against disbelief. Furthermore, each man was vital to Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم because the Muslim army was ill-equipped with only 313 men. They had only seventy camels, two horses and eight swords. The others had a baton, a stick or a stone. The Muslims were confronted by an army of a thousand men who were well armed. Each person was important but let us understand the temperament of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم and the truth of Islam; our Noble Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم advised that what was given as an assurance will not be violated.
Many have misconceptions with regards to Jihād; there was no agenda to acquire territory nor was there a desire for leadership, but rather Jihād was to uphold the truth. How is it possible that one is involved in transgression and at the same time strive for the cause of Islam? Transgression and striving cannot be combined. The failure of the Muslims today is that we seek to propagate and enforce Islam whilst being rebellious to the laws of Allah Ta'ala جل جلاله. We can offer thousands of excuses and we can say that due to circumstances, we can look for loopholes.
The difference between the Sahaba رضوان الله عليهم اجمعين and us is that they were only motivated and driven to attain the pleasure of Allah Ta'ala جل جلاله. There was no other objective; they were not after property nor did they desire to be called brave nor was it to even win the battle - the only aim was to please Allah Ta'ala جل جلاله and to be faithful to their promises. Thus, both Hazrat Huzaifah and Hazrat Yamān رضي الله عنهما were not granted permission to take part in the battle and deprived of the honour of being participants in Badr.
This is the Islam we are asked to enter into completely.
Source: The Meaning of Islam