||The Root of Terrorism
a la Islamic style
e-mail: [email protected]
[A cautionary note: This essay is a twenty parts series; its content
may be deemed offensive to some readers. The author will not be
responsible in the event any reader feels anger, umbrage, agitated,
distraught and/or derided after reading this serial. You have been
forewarned. Read at your own risk.]
‘They say we are terrorists? They are right-of course we are. That
is what we do for a living’-Khalid Shaikh Muhammad
This article investigates the very application of terror tactic that
was used some fourteen hundred years ago by the very first Jihadists of
Islam to gain booty and become quick-rich through plunder. The main
purpose of this essay is to probe whether a direct link exists among the
Modus Operandi of the Jihadists (read Islamic Terrorists) of
Muhammad’s time and their counterparts of today. In all, one
hundred (100) cases of armed conflicts were investigated for their
cause, timing, venue and the principal actor/s involved. The finding of
this detail investigation is quite disturbing indeed; mind-numbing one
may say. This exercise establishes, without any doubt whatsoever, the
uncanny similarities that exist between those Islamic fighters of
Muhammad’s time and their counterparts of today. It is also found that
except for two or three, all other cases of armed conflict were due
solely to the aggressive terrorist acts of the Muslim perpetrators. It
was invariably the Islamic Jihadists who usually initiated the conflict,
in many cases without any plausible reason/s and/or without or slightest
provocation. The result of these terror tactics was that the participant
Muslims engaged in unbound savagery that often included gratuitous
murder, genocide, ethnic cleansing, revenge killings, political
assassinations, and in many cases, simply plain plunder and armed
robbery. Muhammad followed this path of terror and pillage to reward his
followers with easy and handsome booty, land, other goods and material
benefits. The exercise of terror and its concomitant gain made the early
Jihadists rich, self-supporting and this was crucial in the
establishment of the authority of Islam in the entire Arabian Peninsula.
Please make no mistake about it.
Most biographers of Muhammad dealt at length with a handful of
well-known wars that were fought between Muslim soldiers and the
infidels’ trained army. These major combats or wars number around
thirteen in all and they are well documented by many historians.
Nonetheless, it is the so-called minor or the so-called small-scale
skirmishes that stand out as the most important events to expose the
true scale of savagery, cruelty, barbarism, unbound greed, treachery,
guile and lasciviousness of the early converts of Islam-this, truly is a
surprise discovery and is the well-kept secret amongst Islamists. It is
rather sad to note that very few biographers/historians have attempted
to investigate in detail these ‘small’ or ‘insignificant’ acts
Many cruel Sha’ria or Islamic laws were formulated based on
the examples set by Muhammad and his followers during those violent
armed conflicts/terror campaigns. Plenty of Qur’anic verses also
relate to these combative events. Since Sha’ria laws and the
Qur’an are absolutely immutable and valid for eternity, therefore,
there is no hope that any harshness of these Islamic ‘divine’ laws
can ever be diminished by reform or through peaceful means.
This prolix article is based on information culled mainly from
impeccable Islamic sources. We must first of all, realize that these ‘immaculate’
information were of course, carefully censored, filtered, cleaned,
sanitized and any ‘bad’ and/or the ‘horrendous’ elements
surgically removed before they were made public. Even then, we find
enough mind-boggling, terrible, barbaric and utterly indigestible
events/information buried deep inside those authentic Islamic books. If
true freedom of information was practiced and no Islamic censorship was
in place, imagine what would have been the content of un-sanitized,
un-censored version of these Holy resources! A really worrying find of
this study is that the latest English translated versions of the
compilation of Sahih Ahadith have been organised by ‘clinically’
removing those ‘bad,’ ‘terrible’ and ‘horrendous’ Ahadith
that make Islam look indeed, a religion of terror and Bedouin barbarism.
To gather the truth one must refer to the original Sahih Ahadith
and their original translated versions. This latest attempt of ‘surgery,’
truly, is a clever ploy by the modern ‘doctors’ of Islam to fool and
beguile the world-now that everyone harbours absolute doubt that Islam
is a religion of peace.
Finally, this study leads the author to the opinion that Islam and
terrorism are completely inseparable. The root of terror a la
Islamic fashion is in the divine command itself. It is deeply entrenched
in the preachings, commands, injunctions, inspirations, practices and
the examples set by Muhammad and his contemporary followers, who lived
by the sword (read terror) and used it as the most potent weapon to
subdue their adversaries who happened to cross their path. If a Muslim
follows the ‘Real Islam’-the unadulterated, pure Islam preached and
practiced by Muhammad, he can’t but be a terrorist-plain and simple.
B I B L I O G R A P H Y
Departing from the conventional practice of inserting the
bibliography at the end of an article, I have decided to include the
bibliography at the beginning of this essay. This is done for the
convenience of the reader. The serious reader should keep this
bibliography handy for cross-referencing and verification.
“The Holy Qur’an,” the internet version of three
English translations can be read at: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/]
Ali, Abdullah, Yusuf, “The Holy Qur’an: Translation and
Commentary,” Amana Corp., Brentwood, Maryland, 1983.
“The Holy Qur’an,” translated by Maulana Sher Ali,
Islam International Publications Ltd., Telford, Surrey, U.K., 1997.
“The Koran, “ Penguin Classic (1956), translated by N.J.
Dawood, Penguin Books, London reprint, 1999.
“The Koran,” translated by J.M. Rodwell; first published
in 1909; reissued by Phoenix Press, London, 1994.
Pickthall, Mohammad Marmaduke, “The Meaning of the Glorious
Koran, Translation and Explanation”; reprinted by Adam
Publishers & Distributors, New Delhi, India, 1996.
al-Hilali, Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din(Dr.) and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin
Khan, “The Noble Qur’an Transliteration in Roman Script And
English Translation of the Meanings,” Darussalam Publishers,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1996. [The internet version of the English
translation by these two modern translators can be read at: [ http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/
Makhlaf, Ash-Shaikh Hasnain Muhammad, “Kalimatul Qur’an,”
translated by Duraid & Faiz Fatouhi, Kitab Bhavan, 1784 Kalam
Mahal, Daraya Ganj, New Delhi, 2nd. ed. 2002.
Abu Dawud, Sulayman b. al-Ash’ath, “Al-Sunaan,” a
collection of Hadith, translated in English by Prof. Ahmad Hasan: [http://www.luc.edu/orgs/msa/abudawud/index.htm
al-Bukhari, Muhammad b. Ismail b al-Mughira, “Sahi al-Bukhari,”
translated in English by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan: [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/
Muslim, Abu al-Hussain b. al-Hajjaj al-Qushairi, “Sahi
Muslim,” translated in English by Adul Hamid Siddiqui: [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/muslim/
Malik, ibn Anas ibn Malik, Abdullah al-Asbahi al-Himyari, “Muwatta,”
translated in English by A’sha Abdurrahman at-Tarjumana and Ya’qub
Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad b. Yasr, “Sirat Rasul Allah,”
translated in English by A. Guillaume; first published by Oxford
University Press, London in 1955; fifteenth reprint by Oxford
University Press, Karachi, Pakistan, 2001.
al-Mubarakpuri, Saifur Sahman, ”The Sealed Nectar (Ar-Raheeq
al-Makhtum),” revised edition; translated in English from
Arabic by Mahir Abu Dhahab, Darussalam Publishers, Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia, 2002. [An older edition of this book can be read online at:
Ibn Sa’d, Abu Abd Allah Muhammad, “Kitab al-Tabaqat,”
vol ii, translated in English by S. Moinul Haq, Kitab Bhavan; 1784,
Kalan Mahal, Daraya Ganj, New Delhi, India, 1972.
al-Tabari, Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Jarir, “Muhammad at
Mecca,” vol. vi, translated and annotated by W. Montgomery
Watt and M.V. McDonald, State University of New York Press, Albany,
al-Tabari, Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Jarir, “The Foundation
of the Community, Muhammad at al-Medina,” vol. vii, translated
and annotated by M.V. McDonald and W. Montgomery Watt, State
University of New York Press, Albany, 1987.
al-Tabari, Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Jarir, “The Victory of
Islam,” vol. viii, translated by Michael Fishbein, State
University of New York Press, Albany, 1997.
al-Tabari, Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Jarir, “The Last Years
of the Prophet,” vol. ix, translated by Ismail K. Poonwala, ,
State University of New York Press, Albany, 1990.
Rodinson, Maxine, “Muhammad,” translated from French
by Anne Carter; first published in 1971; The New York Press
Muir, William, “Life of Mahomet” in four volumes,
Smith, Elater & Co. London, 1861: [http://www.answering-islam.org/Books/Muir/index.htm
Haykal, Muhammad Hussain, “The Life of Muhammad,”
translated by Isma’il Razi A. al-Faruqi:
Dashti, Ali, “23 Years: A Study in the Prophetic Career of
Mohammad,” translated from Persian by F.R.C. Bagley, Mazda
Publishers, Costa Masa, California, 1994.
Hamidullah, Muhammad, “The Battlefields of The Prophet
Muhammad,” 3rd. ed., Kitab Bhavan; 1784, Kalan Mahal, Daraya
Ganj, New Delhi, India, 4th., reprint, 1992.
Hughes, Patrick Thomas, “A Dictionary of Islam;” first
published in 1886; latest reprint by Kazi Publications Inc,,
Ibn al-Kalbi, Hisham, “The Book of Idols (Kitab Al-Asnam),”
translated in English by Nabih Amin Faris, Princeton University
Press, 1952. [http://www.answering-islam.org/Books/Al-Kalbi/index.htm
al-Misri, Ahmed ibn Naqib, “Raliance of the Traveller (‘Umdat
al-Salik),” revised edition, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller,
Amana Publications, Bettsville, Maryland, 1999.
Hamilton, Charles, “Hedaya,” translated in English in
1870 from the Persian version; reprinted by Kitab Bhavan, 1784 Kalan
Mahal, Daraya Ganj, New Delhi, 1994.
Doi, Abdur Rahman I.,” Shari’ah: The Islamic Law;”
first published in London, in1984; Malaysia reprint by A.S. Noordin,
G.P.O. Box No. 10066, 50704, Kuala Lumpur, 1998.
Fouda, Yosri and Nick Fielding, “Masterminds of Terror,”
Penguin Books, Australia, 2003.
I N T R O D U C T I O N
The world is fast becoming accustomed to the term ‘Islamic
Terror.’ It is a new genre of global terrorism. Thanks to the
Jihadists, Suicide Bombers, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda,
Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaishe Muhammad, Islamists, Mullahs, Maulanas, Pirs,
Hijabi Women-Islam today, dominates virtually every News Media of
every continent. Sooner or later, the term ‘Islamic Terror’ may
find a place in the English lexicon. With such a plethora of Islamic
awareness, the question is: Is Terror a la Islamic fashion is
something new or is it a product of the early Jihadists’ zeal as
taught and practiced by Muhammad? Ask any Islamist/Islamic apologist
this question and the pithy answer will, most likely be something
like: Islam is peaceful, it never advocates violence, the least of
all, ‘Terrorism’ using Islam; Osama bin Ladin and his Jihadists
who have hijacked Islam are not true Muslims, the suicide bombers do
not represent the true teachings of Islam…..and so on and so forth.
In this detailed article, by exposing the ‘true’ nature of what
Islam is all about, I would like to demolish the above paradigm of the
Islamists. Since Islam is firmly rooted in the past, in order to find
the root cause/s of the present ‘mayhem’ by the Islamic fighters,
we must analyse the past deeds, actions, philosophical and theological
attitudes of the early Jihadists under the leadership of none but
Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah. As we proceed, we must, first of
all, realise that there is no such thing as the ‘moderate Islam,’
’current Islam’ or the ‘future Islam.’ It is the past-the
actions of millennium ago that propelled all Muslims of yesterday,
haunts and impels all the Muslims of to-day and will continue doing so
to-morrow. We must look back, and not forward, to find out the truth
about Islam. Just as a tree sustains its life and continues its growth
because of its roots that are firmly anchored underground-beyond the
ocular visibility, so is Islam. Terrorism is firmly rooted in the very
‘lofty’ doctrine of an Islamic world visioned by Muhammad. This
use of terror tactic is nothing new in Islam; it was the lifeblood
through which Muhammad forced his concept of a unipolar world, devoted
only to one Semitic God, Allah. In this lengthy treatise, I have
chronicled all the events of terror, murder, deceit, lies, intrigue
and warfare that had been used to nurture, advance and propagate the
very essence of Islam: accept Islam, pay protection money (Jizya)
or die. Many readers will be shocked and surprised at the contents of
this dissertation and will shake their heads in utter disbelief. Most
Muslims will be agitated, angry, frustrated and will surely go on a
complete denial mode. To all these readers I would like to say that I,
too, went through the same phase. As I took Islam very seriously
during my formative years, I started to understand fully its doctrine
and its life force, I could not believe that a man who claimed to be
the messenger of Allah could ever indulge himself, as well as instruct
his followers in mindless murder, loot, plunder, torture and unbound
lasciviousness. As you read episodes after episodes of the early
terrorism of Islam, you will find eerie similarities with the modern
day global terrorism as perpetrated by the Jihadists of today. You
will, for sure, discover that all the ingredients of terrorist
operations are present, as they were millennium ago; it is, as if, to
use the infidel language, the ‘reincarnation’ (or resurrection) of
the past Islamic terrorists. These ingredients are/were:
Persecution and the killing of the unbelievers
Plunder and ethnic cleansing
Political assassination and revenge killing
Gratuitous murder and unabated genocide
Property grab and extreme lasciviousness
Sectarian persecution (destruction of mosques)
Let us now delve into early Islamic history and find out how and
why the early Jiahadists did what they did.
The seed of terror a la Islamic fashion was planted when
Muhammad concluded an elaborate treaty with seventy five
(seventy-three men and two women) Ansars (Medina residents)
that is commonly called the second pledge of Aqaba, Aqaba being a
small hilly hamlet (or a cave) in the outskirts of Mecca. This pact
was done in secrecy to protect the life of Muhammad when he desired to
migrate to Medina. During the negotiation process, Muhammad asked for
the solemn pledge of the Ansars to protect his life the way the
Ansars would protect their women and children. When the Ansars
pledged their complete fealty to Muhammad, to the extent of
sacrificing their own lives for his security, he promised blood to the
Meccans and paradise to the Ansars. As per Ibn Ishak, Muhammad
said to the Ansars: “Nay, blood is blood and blood not to be
paid for is blood not to be paid for. I am of you and you are of me. I
will war against them that war against you and be at peace with those
at peace with you.” Tabari writes that during the oath of Aqaba al-Abbas
and Ubadah b. Nadlah said that pledging allegiance to Muhammad was
declaring war against the world. Soon after the second pledge of Aqaba,
Allah approved this declaration of war against all infidels, first in
verses 22:40-42 and then in verse 2:198.
And true to his promise, Muhammad’s days of blood and terror
started soon after he left Mecca, and with a handful of his followers,
arrived at Medina. Except for a few, those followers were desperately
poor illiterate hoodlums and troublemakers with no saleable skill or
means to support themselves through gainful employment. Many of his
companions lived in utter unhygienic conditions, so much so that lice
grew on their heads and they developed terrible body odour. Here is a Hadith
from Sunaan Abu Dawud about the unbearable body stench of
Muhammad’s early converts:
Book 32, Number 4022:
Narrated AbuMusa al-Ash'ari:
Abu Burdah said: My father said to me: My son, if you had seen
us while we were with the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and
the rain had fallen on us, you would have thought that our smell
was the smell of the sheep.
Even Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah developed lice on his head!
Unbelievable, isn’t it? Read this Sahih Hadith from Sahih
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 47:
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Allah's Apostle used to visit Um Haram bint Milhan, who would offer
him meals. Um-Haram was the wife of Ubada bin As-Samit. Allah's
Apostle, once visited her and she provided him with food and started
looking for lice in his head. Then Allah's Apostle slept, and
afterwards woke up smiling. Um Haram asked, "What causes you to
smile, O Allah's Apostle?" He said. "Some of my followers
who (in a dream) were presented before me as fighters in Allah's Cause
(on board a ship) amidst this sea cause me to smile; they were as
kings on the thrones (or like kings on the thrones)." (Ishaq, a
sub-narrator is not sure as to which expression the Prophet used.) Um-Haram
said, "O Allah's Apostle! Invoke Allah that he makes me one of
them. Allah's Apostle invoked Allah for her and slept again and woke
up smiling. Once again Um Haram asked, "What makes you smile, O
Allah's Apostle?" He replied, "Some of my followers were
presented to me as fighters in Allah's Cause," repeating the same
dream. Um-Haram said, "O Allah's Apostle! Invoke Allah that He
makes me one of them." He said, "You are amongst the first
ones." It happened that she sailed on the sea during the
Caliphate of Mu'awlya bin Abi Sufyan, and after she disembarked, she
fell down from her riding animal and died.
Two important aspects of Muhammad’s life are clear in the above Hadith:
firstly, he lived in unhygienic condition, took infrequent bath, so
much so that lice found a fertile breeding spot on his head; secondly,
he used to be intimate with other person’s wife (or wives?). How is
it possible for a woman to touch a man’s head and look for lice
unless she is quite warm and friendly to him? As per Islamic rule even
looking at any un-related woman is totally Haram, forget about
being touched by her. I would let the readers ponder on the moral
rectitude of the messenger of Allah vis-a-vis married women from this Hadith
and judge what sort of respect he had on the very Islamic
Laws on morality that he himself had introduced.
Now, back to Muhammad’s companions. Yes, almost all of Muhammad’s
companions used to smell like sheep! Muhammad took them to Medina in
search of useful employment for them; but no one wanted those doleful,
indigent, stinky Jihadist clods to be on his/her payroll. Except for a
few, even the regular job of daily labourer was out for them. Some of
them would work as manual labourers and/or ‘coolies’ for a very
brief period and then become unemployed once again. The extent of
poverty among these early ‘birds’ of Islam has been summed up in
this Hadith of Sahi Bukhari by Aisha, Muhammad’s
Volume 2, Book 24, Number 499:
A lady along with her two daughters came to me asking (for some
alms), but she found nothing with me except one date which I gave
to her and she divided it between her two daughters, and did not
eat anything herself, and then she got up and went away. Then the
Prophet came in and I informed him about this story. He said,
"Whoever is put to trial by these daughters and he treats
them generously (with benevolence) then these daughters will act
as a shield for him from Hell-Fire." (See Hadith No.
24, Vol. 8).
The greatest surprise is that those indigent, dirt poor Muslims
later became very rich indeed. Here is a Hadith from Sahih
Bukhari about their transformation from poverty to wealth:
Volume 2, Book 24, Number 497:
Narrated Abu Masud Al-Ansar:
Whenever Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) ordered us to give in
charity, we used to go to the market and work as porters and get a
Mudd (a special measure of grain) and then give it in charity.
(Those were the days of poverty) and today some of us have one
How did Muhammad do such a miracle? Was this transformation from
dire poverty to wealth achieved through Islamic piety, spirituality,
prayer, fasting and the blessings of Allah? Or was this through ‘terrorism?’
To find the answer please read on.
When the life of the largely unemployed and underemployed Muhajirs
(refugees) became intolerable in Medina, Muhammad had to do something
for their survival, and he had to do this rather quickly before they
became disillusioned with his promise of the great treasures of
Khusroo (the Persian Emperor) and the Byzantine King. Rodinson writes
that these early Muslims had no regular sources of income and the only
method of survival for them was plundering when all else had failed.
That, the major means of livelihood for the Muslims in Medina was
from the proceeds of plunder and the forced Jizya tax on
non-Muslims, can be confirmed from the following Hadith in Sahih
Volume 4, Book 53, Number 388:
Narrated Juwairiya bin Qudama At-Tamimi:
We said to 'Umar bin Al-Khattab, O Chief of the believers!
Advise us." He said, "I advise you to fulfill Allah's
Convention (made with the Dhimmis) as it is the convention of your
Prophet and the source of the livelihood of your dependents (i.e.
the taxes from the Dhimmis.)."
[Please note that this Hadith has been removed by the
compiler from the summarised Translated (by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan)
version of Sahih Al-Bukhari. However this Hadith is
available in the Internet version of Translation of Sahih Al-Bukhari]
How did Muhammad earn his living in Medina? What job did he do? In
what occupation was he employed? What business was he involved in? All
these questions remain unanswered. Except for the following Hadith
from Sahih Bukhari, all the Sunna, the Sahih Ahadith,
the Sirah (biography) never mention of any form of acceptable
and/or dignified profession/occupation that Muhammad engaged in to
support himself and his retinue of ever increasing number of wives and
concubines: Here is that incredible Hadith:
EXACT QUOTE AND FOOTNOTE, VOL-IV (88) CHAPTER.
Narrated Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet (SA) said, "My livelihood
is under the shade of my spear,(1) and he who disobeys my orders will
be humiliated by paying Jizya"
Footnote:- (1) "Under the shade of my spear" means
"from war booty".
That’s right, Muhammad, the messenger of Allah earned his
livelihood by plunder; the above Hadith is very clear on this.
Please note that this Hadith has been carefully removed from
the Internet version of Sahih Bukhari. This hard to believe Hadith
can only be found in the original print version of the Translation of Sahi
Bukhari by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan. [Ref: The Translation of the
Meanings of Sahih Al-Bukhari, Arabic-English, Vol.IV (page 104) by Dr.
Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Islamic University-Al-Medina Al-Munauwara]
Please consult the reference provided if you have doubt. It is also
interesting to note that in the footnote the translator explains the
meaning of ‘spear’ as ‘booty’; clever indeed.
If you thought that this is too much-- that a messenger of Allah,
the best of Allah’s creation could never ever resort to sword (read
terrorism) to earn a living, then there is even more surprise awaiting
for you. Here is a Hadith from Sahih Muslim that writes
clearly, without ambiguity, that Muhammad and his followers did just
that-resort to terrorism (please note that the comment inside the
parenthesis is by the translator):
Book 004, Number 1066:
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon
him) said: I have been helped by terror (in the heart of the enemy);
I have been given words which are concise but comprehensive in
meaning; and while I was asleep I was brought the keys of the
treasures of the earth which were placed in my hand.
If those impeccable Ahadith are not convincing enough to
attest that Muhammad resorted to terrorism to enrich his followers,
here is another Sahih Hadith from Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "I have been sent with the shortest
expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made
victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and
while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were
brought to me and put in my hand." Abu Huraira added: Allah's
Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out
those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them).
To put his words into action, Muhammad even declared that booty or
plunder (read theft and armed robbery) was lawful for him, as
confirmed from this Sahih Hadith from Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 4, Book 53, Number 351:
Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah:
Allah's Apostle said, "Booty has been made legal for me."
The following Hadith tells us that Muhammad built mosques
using the proceeds of robbery, pillage and the revenue from forced Jizya
on non-Muslims. Read this Hadith carefully and you will surely
comprehend why many people flocked to Muhammad and his Islam-yes, it
was pure greed and lust for money and wealth; Muhammad broke all laws
and rules of an established contemporary civilised society just to
satisfy this greed of his followers. Here is the appropriate Hadith
from Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 4, Book 53, Number 390:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
Allah's Apostle once said to me, "If the revenue of Bahrain
came, I would give you this much and this much." When Allah's
Apostle had died, the revenue of Bahrain came, and Abu Bakr announced,
" Let whoever was promised something by Allah's Apostle come to
me." So, I went to Abu Bakr and said, "Allah's Apostle said
to me, 'If the revenue of Bahrain came, I would give you this much and
this. much." On that Abu Bakr said to me, "Scoop (money)
with both your hands." I scooped money with both my hands and Abu
Bakr asked me to count it. I counted it and it was five-hundred (gold
pieces). The total amount he gave me was one thousand and five hundred
Narrated Anas: Money from Bahrain was brought to the Prophet . He
said, "Spread it in the Mosque." It was the biggest amount
that had ever been brought to Allah's Apostle . In the meantime Al-'Abbas
came to him and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Give me, for I gave the
ransom of myself and Aqil." The Prophet said (to him),
"Take." He scooped money with both hands and poured it in
his garment and tried to lift it, but he could not and appealed to the
Prophet, "Will you order someone to help me in lifting it?"
The Prophet said, "No." Then Al-'Abbas said, "Then will
you yourself help me carry it?" The Prophet said, "No."
Then Al 'Abbas threw away some of the money, but even then he was not
able to lift it, and so he gain requested the Prophet "Will you
order someone to help me carry it?" The Prophet said,
"No." Then Al-'Abbas said, "Then will you yourself yelp
me carry it?" The Prophet said, 'No." So, Al-'Abbas threw
away some more money and lifted it on his shoulder and went away. The
Prophet kept on looking at him with astonishment at his greediness
till he went out of our sight. Allah's Apostle did not get up from
there till not a single Dirham remained from that money.
Let us now make out how the early Muslim Jihadists chose their
victims of terror.
Looking around for prey, Muhammad found that there were only two
choices for him; rob the Medina residents, or resort to armed highway
robbery for the booty of rich Meccan caravans plying the Mecca-Medina
route. He could not rob his Medina companions (Ansars) as that
would tantamount to his immediate destruction. So, the only other
choices left were the Jews, and his nemesis, the Meccan Quraysh, who
had largely rejected his call for his brand of religion. As for the
Jews, he could not agitate them so soon, as he had already entered
into a covenant with them. He had no legitimate reason to attack and
appropriate their land and goods. Please note that, in all the first
few raids, Muhammad did not want any Ansar to take part in it.
It was, because he did not want to upset the Medinites by displaying
his transformation to a true brigand. He was also fearful that if his
plundering raids were not successful (i.e. unprofitable) then the Ansars
would lose their awe and respect for him. That was why, he, at first,
did not invite any Ansar to take part in his first few terror
raids. He needed to demonstrate to his host country that terrorism
was/is profitable indeed!
With the notion of plundering the Jews out, the only choice he was
now left with was to attack and loot the Quraysh caravan. Nonetheless,
with such a feeble force at his disposal at that time, he would never
be able to launch a decisive strike on the mighty Quraysh army--he
thought correctly. After all, in the first place, this fear of
military might of the Quraysh, was the main reason for his exile from
He contrived a brilliant idea. The plan was to lay siege on the
Quraysh when they were the most vulnerable; that is, when they (the
Quraysh) were either alone, with very few comrades, or were far away
from their formidable sanctuary at Mecca. That meant, raiding the
Quraysh merchant caravans, terrorising them and robbing them either on
their way to trade with Syria or on their return journey to Mecca. But
Muhammad was clever too; he was not hasty; he was patient in seizing
the appropriate opportunity to attack the vulnerable Quraysh caravans.
The plan was very smart and lucrative, no doubt, because with this
assault, he could inspire his Jihadist followers to take
revenge on their ‘tormentors,’ while, at the same time, they could
also plunder a great booty that Muhammad could never offer to these
destitute and famished Muhajirs.
With this design in mind, Muhammad was set to move. He engaged a
few spies to supply him with the intelligence of the movement of
Meccan caravans. However, the Quraysh caravans were always well
protected with armed security guards, just to prevent it from the
plunder of highway bandits. Still then, Muhammad wanted to try his
luck, as those Meccan caravans were such richly laden with exquisite
goods-no Jihadist could resist. Apologist biographer, like Hussein
Haykal of course tries to conceal the truth by mentioning that the Muhajirs
from Mecca were homesick and were looking for an opportunity to take
revenge. While it is natural to feel a little ‘homesickness,’ the
overwhelming reason for attacking the Quraysh caravan was plundering
and booty-plain and simple. This premise bourns out from the fact that
later, when Muhammad conquered Mecca, none of those ‘homesick’ Muhajirs
decided to return to their former abode!
Let us now briefly review the first few of such many
surprise/terror raids on the Quraysh caravan. There is a controversy
as to which was the first raid on the Quraysh caravan by Muhammad. Ibn
Ishak writes that Muhammad himself conducted the first raid, and it
was the raid on a caravan at Waddan. Ibn Ishak’s book is scanty in
giving a reasonable dating of these operations. Waqidi writes that the
first raid was the raid conducted by Hamzah. Most other biographers
are quite agreeable with Waqidi’s version of the dating of Muhammad’s
raids. I have tried to use the same approach.
Note: The dates are approximate and are guides only.
The Raid on Quraysh Caravan at al-Is, or the Expedition of Sif
al-Bahr by Hamzah ibn al-Muttalib--March, 623CE
The first raid/expedition against the Quraysh caravans took place
seven or nine months after the Hijrah. Led by Hamzah ibn ‘Abd
al-Muttalib (Muhammad’s uncle), with thirty or forty men of the
emigrants; the purpose of this raid, as stated earlier, was to plunder
the Quraysh caravan. This raiding party of Hamzah assembled at the
seacoast near al-Is, between Mecca and Medina, where Abu Jahl ibn
Hashim, the leader of the caravan was camping with three hundred
Meccan riders. Hamza met Abu Jahl there with a view to attack the
caravan, but Majdi b. Amr al-Juhani, a Quraysh who was friendly to
both the parties intervened between them; so, both parties separated
This very first adventure of Muhammad in war and plunder was not a
success. Hamza returned to Medina and Abu Jahl proceeded towards
Mecca. This raid failed as the Muslims were afraid to face such a
formidable convoy of the Quraysh; they returned to Medina
Raid on Meccan Caravan at Buwat by Ubaydah b. al-Harith---April,
This raid took place nine months after the Hijrah, a few
weeks after the first terror at al-Is.
About a month after Hamzah’s abortive bid for plunder, Muhammad
entrusted a party of sixty (or eighty) Jihadists led by Ubaydah b. al-Harith
(a cousin of him) to conduct another terror operation at a Quraysh caravan
that was returning from Syria and protected by two hundred armed men,.
The leader of this caravan was either Abu Sufyan ibn Harb or Ikrima b.
Abu Jahl. The Muslim party went as far as Thanyatul-Murra, a watering
place in Hejaz. No fighting took place, as the Quraysh were quite far
from the place where Muslims were in the offing to attack the caravan.
Nevertheless, Sa’d b. Abi Waqqas, an ardent Jihadist, shot an arrow
at the Quraysh. This was the ‘first arrow of Islam.’ The
arrows thrown at them by the Medina party surprised the Quraysh. It
was completely an unprovoked attack on the Quraysh that sent the
strong message to them about what they could expect next. However, no
fighting took place and the Muslims returned empty-handed. Some say
that Ubaydah was the first Jihadist to carry the banner of Islam;
others say Hamzah (see Terror 1) was the first to carry the first
Some say that Muhammad commanded Ubaydah to conduct this raid while
he (Muhammad) was returning from the raid of al-Abwa (see Terror 4).
Raid on a Meccan Caravan at Kharar by Sa’d ibn Waqqas-April,
The very brave act of Sa’d ibn Waqqas, to shoot arrows at the
Quraysh (see Terror 2), must have greatly impressed Muhammad. During
this time, Sa’d had been between twenty to twenty-five years old.
However, his young age did not deter him from being appointed by
Muhammad as the leader of a plundering team to lay a siege, with only
twenty other Jihadissts (some say only eight), on the Meccan caravan.
All of them were from the Muahjirs (immigrants). So, one month
later, the third terrorist operation took place under the leadership
of a youthful Sa’d and his gang. Sa’d, with his minions of
committed Jihadists set up an ambush in the valley of Kharrar on the
road to Mecca and waited to raid a returning Meccan caravan from
They planned a surprise attack. Nonetheless, to their utter
frustration, they learnt that the ‘booty’ (the Meccan caravan) had
already eluded them, just one day before they arrived at the place of
plunder. The Muslims returned to Medina crestfallen.
Continued in Chapter 2
‘If terrorism is to throw terror into the heart of your enemy and
the enemy of Allah then we thank Him, the most merciful, the most
compassionate, for enabling us to be terrorists’-Ramzi BinalShibh
Raid on a Meccan Caravan and on B. Damrah at al-Abwa/ Waddan by
Muhammad became quite frustrated with the dismal failures of the
previous three attempts to plunder the vulnerable Quraysh merchant
caravans. Time was of essence, and he felt the pressure of producing
results (read profit) to please his believers. With this urgency in
mind, he personally, took charge of this raiding foray and led his
followers, to his very personal first step in the act of bloodshed and
pillage. This was the raid at al-Abwa, also known as the Ghazwah
of Waddan. As said before, he himself conducted this raid, directed at
Abwa, the spot where his mother lay buried. To his dismay, when he
arrived at the site, the Quraysh caravan had already passed.
Disappointed, he then raided the nearest tribe of B. Damra (a branch
of B. Bakr) and forced them to conclude a treaty of no aggression (by
B. Damra). This treaty was the first written accord of Muhammad with
any foreign tribe. The agreement was of benefit to Muhammad, as it
prevented the B. Damra to mobilize forces against him, nor could they
assist Muhammad’s enemy who were principally the Quraysh. In return,
Muhammad pledged not to wage any war against this tribe. Then Muhammad
went as far as Waddan in pursuit of the Quraysh caravan, but it eluded
him. Although he failed in his pursuit of the Quraysh booty, he
cleverly concluded this strategically important treaty of friendship
with this nomadic (B. Damra) tribe. The treaty provided him with an
ally in his raid on Quraysh caravans. After concluding the treaty he
returned to Medina after fifteen days.
[Please note: Ghazwa means either a military force when an
Apostle (Rasul) leads it or an Imam. It also means a sudden attack on
a caravan or another tribe for the purpose of seizing property and
Sariyah or brigade means a small force commanded by one of
the Imam’s lieutenants.
There is an allusion in Sahih Bukhari of this very first,
personal act of terrorism by Muhammad:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 256:
Narrated As-Sab bin Jaththama:
The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan,
and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan
warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and
children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women
and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)." I also heard the
Prophet saying, "The institution of Hima is invalid except
for Allah and His Apostle."
This Hadith clearly says that in his terror operations Muhammad did
not even want to spare the women and children of the infidels.
Raid on a Rich Meccan Caravan at Bawat by Muhammad-October, 623CE
A month after his raid at al-Abwa, Muhammad personally led two
hundred men including some citizens of Medina to Bawat, a place on the
caravan route of the Quraysh merchants, where a herd of fifteen
hundred (1,500) to two thousand-five hundred (2,500) camels,
accompanied by one hundred (100) riders, under the leadership of
Umayyah ibn Khalaf, a Quraysh was proceeding. The purpose of this raid
obviously, was the plunder of this exceedingly rich Quraysh caravan.
No battle took place and the raid resulted in no booty. Muhammad
went up to Dhat al-Saq, in the desert of al-Khabar. He prayed there
and a mosque was built at the spot.
This was the first raid where a few al-Usharayh Ansars took
part. They were attracted to the raid with the prospect of striking it
rich through pillage.
Raid on a Meccan Caravan at al-Ushayrah, in the district of Yanbu
by Muhammad-November, 623CE
This was Muhammad’s third personal raid. Between one
hundred-fifty and two hundred (note the increasing number of Jihadists
joining in the robbery) followers joined this terror operation. They
had thirty camels that they rode upon by turns. When they arrived at
al-Usharayh in the direction of Yanbo, they expected to waylay upon a
rich Meccan caravan towards Syria led by Abu Sufyan. Muhammad already
had the intelligence report of this caravan’s departure from Mecca.
He waited for a month (+) for this caravan to pass. Unfortunately, it
was too late; for, when Muhammad reached the intended spot of plunder,
the Meccan caravan had already passed. The readers should keep in mind
of this raid, as this was the same caravan that gave rise to the
famous action at Badr (Badr II) during its return journey. In this
operation, Muhammad entered into an alliance with Bani Mudlij, a tribe
inhabiting the vicinity of al-Usharayh. He also concluded another
treaty with Bani Damra. All those treaties established good political
connections for him.
Raid on Muhammad’s Milch Camels at Badr (Badr I) by Kurz ibn
Jabir al-Fihri-December, 623CE
After those six unprovoked and hostile attacks on the Quraysh
caravans, the Quraysh had had enough. It was now time for them to
retaliate and send a strong message to Muhammad that his highway
robbery cannot go unpunished forever. With this end in view, Kurz ibn
Jabir al-Fihri, allay of the Quarysh raided the vicinity of Medina
where Muhammad’s milch camels were pasturing. This was conducted ten
days after Muhammad returned to Medina from his unsuccessful
plundering attempt at the Quraysh caravan at al-Usharayh. Having heard
of this attack, Muhammad swiftly went out looking for Kurz until he
reached the Safwa valley, close to Badr. This was the first raid at
Badr or Badr I. Kurz escaped the capture; Muhammad returned to Medina
and stayed there for the next three months. It is said that later,
Muhammad caught Kurz and he (Kurz) converted to Islam.
Raid on Meccan Caravan at Nakhla by Abd Allah ibn Jahsh, the First
Successful Plunder-December, 623CE
After his return from the first Badr encounter, Muhammad sent Abd
Allah b. Jahsh in Rajab with eight emigrants and without any Ansar
for another terror operation. Abd Allah b. Jahsh was a maternal cousin
of Muhammad. The participants in this plunder were: 1. Abu Haudhayfa
2. Abd Allah b Jahsh 3. Ukkash b. Mihsan 4. Utba b. Ghazwan 5. Sa’d
b. Abi Waqqas 6. Amir b.Rabia 7. Waqid b. Abd Allah and 8. Khalid b.
al-Bukayr. Some historians say that there were between seven to twelve
partakers in this raiding/plundering party of the Muslims. It will be
useful to remember the names of these very first Islam’s terrorists,
as we shall witness, later, that their names crop up in many other
Muhammad gave Abd Allah b. Jahsh a letter, but not to be read until
he had travelled for two days and then to do what he was instructed to
do in the letter without putting pressure on his companions. Abd Allah
proceeded for two days, then he opened the letter; it told him to
proceed until he reached at Nakhla, between Mecca and Taif; lie in
wait for the Quraysh and observe what they were doing. Abd Allah b.
Jahsh told his companions that whoever chose martyrdom (read
terrorism) was free to join him and whoever did not could go back. All
the companions agreed to follow him (a few biographers write that two
Muslims decided not to be martyrs and chose to return to Medina). Sa’d
b. Abi Waqqas and Utbah b. Ghazwan lost a camel that they were taking
turns to ride. The camel strayed and went to Buhran. So, they went out
looking for the runaway camel to Buhran and fell behind the raiding
As instructed by the Prophet, Abd Allah and the rest of the party
then proceeded, and soon they arrived at Nakhla. Nakhla was a valley
to the east of Mecca, about halfway to Taif. It was the usual route to
Syria for the Meccan caravans. Muhammad had the secret information
that a rich Meccan caravan, lightly guarded, laden with dry raisin,
wine leather and other goods was soon to pass by the route.
Four Quraysh men guarded this donkey caravan. They were:
Amr b. al-Hadrami. He was the leader of the caravan.
Uthman b. Abd Allah b. al-Mughirah.
Nawfal b. Abd Allah b. al-Mughirah, Uthman’s brother.
Al-Hakam b. Kaysan, the freed slave (Mawla)of Hisham b. al-Mughirah.
Soon, the Meccan caravan arrived at Nakhla guarded by the four
Quraysh men. When they saw the Muslims, they were afraid of them. One
of Abd Allah b. Jahsh’s men, Ukkash b Mihsan, was shaven in head to
hide the real purpose of their journey and to give the Quraysh the
impression of lesser Hajj (Umra); for, it was the month
(Rajab) when hostilities were forbidden. When the Quraysh saw
the shaven head of Ukkash, they thought that the Muslims were on their
way for pilgrimage and they felt relieved and safe and started to
prepare food for themselves. That was how the first band of Muslim
Jihadists deceived their prey.
Due to the prevalence of a sacred month, either at the beginning of
Rajab or at the end of it (the opinion among the
historians vary), Rajab being one of the four sacred months
when there was a total ban on warfare and bloodshed in the Arabian
Peninsula, Abd Allah b. Jahsh was, at first, hesitant to attack the
caravan. Nevertheless, after much deliberation, the Muslims did not
want this rich caravan to escape their hand. So, they decided to kill
as many Quraysh as they could and take a large booty. They attacked
the Quraysh while they (the Quraysh) were busy preparing their food.
In the short battle that ensued, Waqid b. Abd Allah killed Amr b.
Hadrami, the leader of the Quraysh caravan. Nawfal b.Abd Allah
escaped. The Muslims took Uthman b. Abd Allah and al-Hakam b. Kaysan
Abd Allah b. Jahsh returned to Medina with the booty and with the
two captured Quraysh men. He had already decided to give one-fifth of
the booty to Muhammad, and divide the rest among them. The prevailing
share of the leader of a plundering party at that time was one quarter
of the booty. It is not clear why Abd Allah b. Jahsh decided on
one-fifth booty, as Allah did not yet decide the provision of ‘Khums’
(gang leader’s commission on booty of plunder/theft) for Muhammad in
verse 8:41. This verse was released after the Badr war, which
took place after the plunder at Nakhla.
And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a
fifth share is assigned to Allah,- and to the Messenger, and to near
relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer,- if ye do believe in
Allah and in the revelation We sent down to Our servant on the Day of
Testing,- the Day of the meeting of the two forces. For Allah hath
power over all things.
Since this bloodshed took place during a sacred month, Muhammad was
quite unwilling to start an un-ending cycle of revenge killings. The
Quraysh also spread everywhere the news of the raid and the killing by
Muhammad in the sacred month. Therefore, he rebuked them (the Muslims)
for fighting in the sacred month and refused to take any share from
the booty. Then verse 2:217 regarding fighting in the sacred
month was revealed.
They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say:
"Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the
sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to
prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members."
Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease
fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And
if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their
works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will
be companions of the Fire and will abide therein.
This revelation permitted Muhammad to conduct war during the sacred
Then Abd Allah b. Jahsh divided the booty, one-fifth going to
Muhammad. He also decided to make more money by asking ransom for the
two captives. However, Muhammad refused to accept the ransoms from the
Quraysh until the two of his men, Sa’d b. Abi Waqqas and Utbah b.
Ghazwan returned from searching the straying camel. He was afraid that
the Quraysh might kill them if they found them. When Sa’d and Utbah
returned unharmed, Muhammad released the two Quraysh prisoners on
payment of their ransom of one thousand six hundred (1,600) Dirhams
(one Dirham = 1/10 Dinar; one Dinar 4.235 gm of gold) per head. It is
reported that, soon after his release, Hakam b. Kaysan became a
Muslim, probably after witnessing the profitability in terrorism a
la Islamic style. Later, he was killed at the battle of Bir Mauna.
The other prisoner, Uthman b. Abd Allah returned to Mecca and died as
The Islamic name of this first successful plunder is ‘Nakhla
Raid.’ It was also the first raid on which the Muslims seized
the first captive, and the first life they took. Rightfully, Abd Allah
was called the Amir al-Mominun, that is, the commander of the
After the success of Nakhla raid, Muhammad felt militarily strong
and promulgated the rule on the justification of transaction and
distribution of spoils of plunder. He actually legalized and
This successful raid on the Quraysh caravans fully alarmed the
Meccans, because their prosperity completely depended upon the regular
and uninterrupted trade to Syria. The trading with Abyssinia and Yemen
was of lesser importance. Even the trading caravan towards Abyssinia
and Yemen did not look safe from the marauding army of Muhammad. The
Nakhla attack also greatly unnerved the Meccans. They now believed
that Muhammad had very little respect for life and absolutely no
concern for the sanctity of the sacred months. So, the Meccans
resolved to avenge the bloodshed. However, the Quraysh restrained
their hostility. Muhammad still had a few of his followers residing at
Mecca, including his own daughter, Zaynab. The Quraysh did not take
any revenge on the remaining followers of Muhammad (including Muhammad’s
daughter) at Mecca neither did they make any attempt to harass his
beloved daughter, Zaynab.
Muhammad, on the other hand, after the success at Nakhla,
contemplated a more severe and mortal attack on the Quraysh. Allah now
gave him the permission to fight the unbelievers in verses 22:39-42,
2:190-194. As well, the raid at Nakhla was justified by the ‘expulsion’
of the believers from Mecca. However, the true reason was “until the
religion became God’s alone”. That meant, until all the Meccans
(or the world) accepted Islam.
To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight),
because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for
(They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in
defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our
Lord is Allah". Did not Allah check one set of people by means of
another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries,
churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is
commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who
aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in
Might, (able to enforce His Will).
(They are) those who, if We establish them in the land, establish
regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid
wrong: with Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs.
If they treat thy (mission) as false, so did the peoples before
them (with their Prophets),- the People of Noah, and 'Ad and Thamud;
Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress
limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.
And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where
they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than
slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they
(first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the
reward of those who suppress faith.
But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and
there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, Let there
be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.
The prohibited month for the prohibited month,- and so for all things
prohibited,- there is the law of equality. If then any one
transgresses the prohibition against you, Transgress ye likewise
against him. But fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who
Those who were reluctant to join in the war of plunder were
reproved. Allah’s revelation on this came down in verses 47:20-21.
These verses granted paradise to those who fight (or terrorize and
plunder) for Islam i.e., Jihad and are killed.
Those who believe say, "Why is not a sura sent down (for
us)?" But when a sura of basic or categorical meaning is
revealed, and fighting is mentioned therein, thou wilt see those in
whose hearts is a disease looking at thee with a look of one in swoon
at the approach of death. But more fitting for them-
Were it to obey and say what is just, and when a matter is resolved
on, it were best for them if they were true to Allah.
Allah then asked these terrorists to “strike off the heads of the
unbelievers; to make a great slaughter and bind them fast in bonds”
in verse 47:3-4
This because those who reject Allah follow vanities, while those who
believe follow the Truth from their Lord: Thus does Allah set forth
for men their lessons by similitudes.
Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their
necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond
firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or
ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded):
but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted
retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to
test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of
Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost.
Furthermore, the true believers were expected not only to fight but
also to contribute materially towards the cost of war (4:66-67,
9:88, 9:111), to kill and be killed. Those who did this were
promised a higher rank in paradise (4:74, 4:95). The believers
were asked to prepare whatever force in their ability, troops, horses,
etc. to strike terror into the hearts of the unbelievers (remember Dr.
Mahathir’s famous Jewish-bashing speech at OIC conference in late
2003?) (9:73, 123, 8:60).
If We had ordered them to sacrifice their lives or to leave their
homes, very few of them would have done it: But if they had done what
they were (actually) told, it would have been best for them, and would
have gone farthest to strengthen their (faith);
And We should then have given them from our presence a great reward;
But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight
with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things:
and it is they who will prosper.
Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods;
for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His
cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth,
through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful
to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have
concluded: that is the achievement supreme.
Let those fight in the cause of Allah Who sell the life of this world
for the hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah,- whether
he is slain or gets victory - Soon shall We give him a reward of great
Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt,
and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods
and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who
strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit
(at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who
strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home)
by a special reward,-
O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and
be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed.
O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let
them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear
Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power,
including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the
enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may
not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the
cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated
These messages were promulgated within two or three years after
Muhammad’s arrival at Medina. This promulgation was not only for the
refugees (Muhajirs) but also to all the men of Medina.
(Note: From now on, to conserve space, only the verse numbers will
be quoted omitting the full texts of the verses).
Continued in Chapter 3
‘Cruelty is the first of God’s attributes-Andre Gide
The Battle of Badr II Led by Muhammad-March, 624CE
It was mentioned previously (Terror 6, CH. 2) that Muhammad, and
his accomplices narrowly missed the booty of a caravan of the Quraysh
led by Abu Sufyan. As written before, when Muhammad arrived at al-Ushayra
to attack this caravan, he learned to his dismay that this richly
laden caravan had already passed two days earlier than his advent at
the intended site of pillage. Naturally, his booty-hungry followers
were very much dejected at this unexpected loss. Muhammad, however,
was astute enough to be aware that the same caravan could be
successfully attacked during its return journey from al-Sham (Syria).
Only three months of patience and waiting was essential to seize the
returning caravan. With this end in view, Muhammad started to recruit
Jihadists for his next plundering mission.
In his mosque, he called the Muslims and tempted them to raid the
Quraysh caravan for rich booty. He told his congregation, “This is
the Quraysh caravan containing their property. Go out to attack it,
perhaps God will give it as a prey. ” Hitherto, he never mentioned
to the local people of Medina about engaging in a war for booty. They
always betook him to be altruistic, very pious, noble, peace-loving
and non-belligerent Prophet of mercy and compassion. Many Muslims were
greatly shocked at what Muhammad had said at the gathering in the
mosque, and they could not believe when he invited them to join him in
the loot that Muhammad would go to war. They were truly surprised.
However, the greed for a rich booty gripped their minds and there was
no shortage of volunteers to take a chance to improve their lot with
the proceeds of plunder.
On this greed for ill-gotten wealth, Rodinson writes (Rodinson,
“As the business began to show a profit they were joined by
volunteers from the people of Medina, in spite of the fact that their
agreement with Muhammad carried with it no obligation to take part in
The response to Muhammad’s call was mixed. Many people joined his
team willingly, but many were also forced or coerced into the Muslim
brigand. Muhammad set up the condition that only the Muslims were
eligible to join in this terror campaign. Many non-believers tried
their luck, but Muhammad was adamant that no Islam meant no share in
the spoils. In this way, his campaign was a great success among the
local Medina Muslims (Ansars). Up until now, no Ansar
had joined Muhammad in his previous missions of highway robbery. The
success of Abdullah ibn Jahsh at Nakhla, however, had raised the
desire for booty in the minds of many Ansars. This irresistible
lure and greed for the plunder of fine Quraysh merchandise was such a
great draw in that many Medinites responded to his call of raiding the
Quraysh caravan with raging alacrity. Such was the enthusiasm for this
Jihad of plunder that Muhammad quickly recruited a strong force
of three hundred and thirteen (313) men consisting of seventy-seven
(77) Muhajirs (refugee migrants) and two hundred and thirty-six
(236) Ansars. Thus, the Ansars formed the bulk of his
new raiding party of Jihadists.
A few weeks before his departure for Badr, and when the Quraysh
caravan came in the vicinity of Medina, Muhammad sent two spies,
Talhah ibn Ubaydullah and Said ibn Zayd to discover the caravan’s
whereabouts. These two men arrived at the campsite of Kashd al-Juhany
and hid there until the caravan passed. Forty men guarded the Meccan
caravan. The two Muslim spies estimated that the goods the caravan
carried were around fifty thousand (50,000) Dinars. (Remember: one
Dinar = 4.235 grams of gold. At the current price of gold, this booty
was worth about US$ 2,725,000, not including the prices of captives,
camels and other items). It was absolutely fabulous; these two spies
had no hesitation in surmising. They immediately hastened to pass this
good news to Muhammad. Muhammad, however, had already left for Badr,
just a day before these two spies returned to Medina. He was too
impatient for the booty; he could not wait for the spies’ return.
Thus, Talhah ibn Ubaydullah and Said ibn Zayd had to stay back in
Medina, missing the Muslim army. Nevertheless, Muhammad did not
disappoint these two faithful spies for their services. Each of them
received full share of the plunder when Muhammad returned to Medina.
Remaining at Medina was also Muhammad’s son-in-law, Uthman b. Affan.
Uthman’s wife, Ruqayyah (Muhammad’s daughter) fell ill during this
time and he had to stay back to look after her. Muhammad gave his
son-in-law his full share of the booty. Such was the generosity of the
Prophet of mercy! Sahih Bukhari records Muhammad’s promise of
booty to his son-in-law in this way:
Volume 4, Book 53, Number 359:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
'Uthman did not join the Badr battle because he was married to
one of the daughters of Allah's Apostle and she was ill. So, the
Prophet said to him. "You will get a reward and a share (from
the war booty) similar to the reward and the share of one who has
taken part in the Badr battle."
In the meantime, through spies and reliable sources, the news of
Muhammad’s preparation to raid the Quraysh caravan reached Abu
Sufyan. He was dreadfully alarmed. He was aware of the treaties that
Muhammad had entered into with many tribes on the caravan route; there
was a great possibility of a surprise attack by them as well. He,
forthwith, sent Damdam b. Amr al-Ghifari to Mecca for help. When
Damdam arrived at Mecca, he cut the nose of his camel, turned its
saddle and announced Muhammad’s plan to attack the caravan of Abu
Sufyan. Responding to his cry, Abu Jahl called upon all the Meccans to
join in the rescue operation. At that time, Banu Kinanah and Banu Bakr
tribes were in enmity with the Quraysh. So, they did not pay heed to
Abu Jahl’s call. Taking full advantage of the Quraysh’s bad time,
they, at first, decided to attack the Quraysh from behind, but in the
end, the chief of the Kinanah tribe, Suraqa b. Malik decided not to
betray the Quraysh. The Muslim biographer, like Ibn Ishaq calls this
Suraqa an Iblis. When the Quraysh were assured of non-aggression from
these two tribes, Abu Jahl and Amir ibn al-Hadrami (Amr ibn Hadrami’s
brother; remember? Amr was killed by the Muslims at Nakhla) convinced
the Meccans in favour of war with Muhammad. So, every able-bodied
person from the Quraysh joined in, except for Abu Lahab. He sent, in
his place, al-As b. Hisham (the maternal uncle of Umar b. Khattab) who
owed him four thousand Dirhams that he could not pay back. Abu Lahab
hired him to proxy-fight for him to clear his debt.
While the Quraysh were readying for the war, Muhammad was
completely unaware of the preparation of the Meccans to face him
militarily. He was very confident that he will prevail and will
accumulate the Quraysh booty.
So, with much hope and great confidence, on Sunday, the 10th March,
624 CE (12th Ramadan, AH2), Muhammad, along with the three hundred and
thirteen (313) (the number ranges from 307 to 318) Jihadists, marched
out from Medina towards Badr. Ahead of the Muslims were two black
flags, one carried by Ali ibn Talib and the other carried by an Ansar
man. Seventy camels marched with them and the three hundred plus
Muslim soldiers took turns to ride on them. They had only two horses
with them. Muhammad kept Abu Lubaba in charge of upper Medina. Instead
of the direct route to Mecca, to hide detection, he took an unusual
route that passed by Irqul Zabya, Saffra and Dhafiran.
On Monday, the 11th of March, Muhammad arrived near Saffra. He sent
two spies, Basbas b. Amr al-Juhani and Adi b. Abu Zaghba to Badr for
intelligence regarding any preparation being made for the reception of
Abu Sufiyan at Badr and to ascertain the whereabouts of the Quraysh
caravan. It was there that Muhammad expected to encounter the caravan
and to make a sudden attack. While there, the spies overheard the
conversation of two women near a well that the Quraysh caravan was
expected within a day or two. They hurried to Muhammad to forward this
In the early morning of Tuesday, 12th of March, Abu Sufyan came in
advance of the caravan and halted at the wadi (watering well)
and got wind of the presence of Muhammad’s party by examining the
distinct Medina camel droppings of Basbas and Adi. Abu Sufiyan was
extremely worried at the sinister plot of Muhammad and he hurriedly
went back to his main caravan; diverted it towards the coastal route,
thus saving it from the pillage by Muhammad’s soldiers. In reality,
Muhammad missed the caravan by a few hours only, Abu Sufyan himself
went along with the caravan to ensure its safe arrival at Mecca. He
sent a second courier, Qays b. Imea al-Qays to inform the advancing
Meccan army of his decision to detour the Quraysh caravan and to
forward the message that the danger was over. During this time,
Muhammad was at Rooha and drank from a well there.
On Wednesday, the 13th of March, this second courier of Abu Sufyan
met the Meccan army led by Abu Jahl at Johfa. Abu Jahl, was proceeding
to provide the added security for the threatened caravan. The courier
told Abu Jahl that Abu Sufyan felt no necessity of bloodshed since the
caravan was safe. He asked Abu Jahl and his men to return to Mecca.
But Abu Jahl insisted on advancing forward to Badr, wishing to do some
trading, as well as to enjoy some wining and dining there. The
accompanying singing girls however, were sent back to Mecca. Two
tribes of the Quraysh, B. Zohra (Muhammad’s mother’s tribe) and B.
Adi (Umar’s tribe) also decided to return to Mecca.
The remaining Meccan army marched forward and reached Badr in the
evening of Thursday, 14th of March. They encamped on the far side of
the Badr well and behind the mountain.
Meanwhile, Muhammad was proceeding forward. And in the early
morning of Thursday, the 14th of March, when he arrived at Dhafiran,
not very far from Badr, to his chagrin, he received the news of the
Quraysh army advancing to protect their richly laden caravan. He was
quite frustrated at the prospect of a bloody war instead of an easy
victory for booty. The bad news for the Jihadists was that the prized
caravan had already passed.
The news of the advancing Meccan army was completely unexpected to
the Muslims. Muhammad himself was not sure if he should proceed
further or not now that the booty had eluded them.
Facing the dilemma of whether an attack against the Quraysh
would constitute a breach of his covenant of protection with the Ansars
(a pledge that stipulated that the Ansars protect Muhammad if
he was attacked at Medina and its vicinity), Muhammad, in a
meeting of his war council, sought the advice of all the Muslims,
especially that of the Ansars. He was afraid that the Ansars
might not protect him outside Medina. Abu Bakr and Umar called for an
immediate rally. The people of Medina also pledged their support for
the march. The leader of the Ansars (from Bani al-Aws), Sa’d
b. Muadh promised that the Ansars would sink if Muhammad led
them to the sea and plunged into it. Then all the Ansars
pledged to fight with Muhammad. Deeply pleased, Muhammad asked his men
to proceed. He promised a slaughter for the enemy. To please the
booty-hungry Jihadists, he disclosed that Allah had promised them
either the army or the caravan as per verse 8:7
Trudging further, Muhammad, with his henchmen, arrived at Badr in
the early morning of Thursday, ahead of the Meccan army, and camped
there. A shelter from palm branches was built for him. He got hold of
the water wells first. As per the advice of the war veteran, al-Hubab,
Muhammad filled all the water wells except the one nearest to him. The
Muslims then made a cistern and filled it with water. This clever
strategy put the Muslims at a decisive advantage of complete control
of the water supply. Thus, the enemy was now at the mercy of Muhammad’s
soldiers if they needed water. And Muhammad’s army was ready to kill
any Meccan who ventured to approach the cistern to drink from there.
Soon after his very early morning arrival at Badr, Muhammad sought
to gather accurate intelligence about the Meccan army. First he, along
with Abu Bakr went out spying. They met a man on the road and inquired
of him about the situation. The man would not tell the truth until
Muhammad agreed to disclose his identity. So they (Muhammad and Abu
Bakr) tried to gather more information about the Quraysh army through
mendacity. The extracted information was not much use to Muhammad. In
the evening, he despatched Ali and a few others to further survey the
area surrounding a spring. There, they located two Quraysh slave water
carriers. Ali and his companions abducted these two slaves and brought
them to Muhammad. The slaves told the Muslims that they were the water
carriers of the Quraysh army. This was bad news for the
Muslims; for, they hoped that the slaves were from Abu Sufyan’s
camp. After applying apposite torture to these two slaves, the Muslims
extracted the information about the position and the probable strength
of the Quraysh army. This information, along with the fact that
the Quraysh had slaughtered nine camels on the first day and ten
camels on the second day, gave Muhammad some idea about the probable
size of the Quraysh army. He speculated that the Quraysh army must be
between nine hundred (900) to one thousand (1 000) men strong. This
guess was quite accurate; for there were nine hundred and fifty (950)
Quraysh men. They were mounted on seven hundred (700) camels and one
hundred (100) horses. When Muhammad learned about the nobles of the
Quraysh present, he said, “Here Mecca has flung its dearest flesh
and blood to you.”
At nightfall, Muhammad, along with Abu Bakr returned to his lair
and started praying to Allah for His succor. Sa’d b. Muadh kept a
vigil at the entrance. The Muslims too, were weary due to the lengthy
and arduous march they had to undertake for the last few days. Fatigue
and exhaustion overcame them and soon they went into a deep and
peaceful slumber. Then the rain came. It rained during the night but
more heavily towards the Meccan camp. Due to the rain, the Wadi bed
became soft but firm which was an advantage to the Muslims. This rain
was alluded to in the Qur’an in verse 8:11 as a purification
of Allah. At night, as mentioned in 8:45 Muhammad imagined the
army of Quraysh to be weak.
Both sides were restless until morning broke. At dawn, while
Muhammad was organizing his men into ranks, a few thirsty Quraysh men
approached the well for water. Muhammad prayed to Allah for their
The Muslims hoisted three banners; one for the refugees, in the
hands of Musab, one for the Khazarites, by al-Hobab and one for
the Bani Aws by Sad ibn Muadh.
The Quraysh also drew up their lines and started moving forward.
However, they were divided on the policy of fighting against their
kinsmen. Shayba and Utba, the two Quraysh chiefs strongly urged that
the attack should be abandoned. It should be remembered that Utba was
the father of Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan b. Harb and Shayba was Utba’s
brother (i.e., Hind’s uncle). They provided shelter to Muhammad
while he (Muhammad) was driven out from Taif by the stone-pelting
street boys. Utba and Shayba simply wanted the reparation (blood
money) for the killing of their confederate (Amr b. al-Hadrami). So
Utbah sent a message to Abu Jahl to retreat from his (Abu Jahl’s)
cousin (i.e., Muhammad).
One of Utba’s sons, Abu Hudhayfah was a new Jihadist, and he was
with Muhammad. That was why Utbah did not want to fight with
Muhammad-Abu Jahl propagated this and condemned the cowardice of Utba
to fight the Muslim army. Amr b. Hadrami’s brother, Amir b. al-Hadrami
exhorted his people to take revenge for the killing of his brother. So
reluctantly, Utba agreed to proceed with the battle, but expressed his
desire not to kill Muhammad notwithstanding the raging bitter enmity
and hatred between the two sides. Just then Omayr, a Quraysh arrowman
brought the news of the Muslim army’s preparation for a war. He
proposed a peaceful settlement with the Muslim army but Abu Jahl
rejected the proposal. So, the Quraysh army got ready for a
fight. They moved slowly over the intervening sand hills that were
made difficult from the previous night’s rain. However, as mentioned
earlier, the rain brought an advantage to Muhammad by rendering the
ground in front of Muhammad lighter and firmer to walk upon. Another
disadvantage of the Quraysh was that they faced the rising sun before
them while Muhammad’s army faced towards the west.
As soon as Muhammad had finished organizing his army ranks, he
faced the advancing column of the Quraysh appearing over the rising
sands in front. While praying to Allah for His assistance so that his
little army would not vanquish, he was very concerned and went inside
his little hut for a consultation with Abu Bakr. To assure His
unflinching aid, Allah revealed 8:46. This verse gave the
encouragement to the Muslim soldiers to advance to victory. Another
verse 2:42-44 was also revealed. Other important verses related
to Badr battle were doubling the army of Medina in 3:18……etc.
The Quraysh army now moved close, but the Muslim army did not move
from their position which was at a much higher elevation than the
Quraysh army and was, therefore, more advantageous to shoot arrows and
spears at the enemy. Observing the strength of Quraysh army, Muhammad
became nervous and started praying vigorously. This time, Allah sent
him the assurance: like 20 for 200…..etc through verses 8:65, 66.
Allah also forbade the Jihadists, in verses 8:15-16, from
fleeing from a combat. In fact, ever since then, this provision
has become a Sharia Law (Islamic Law) on combat (Reliance of
The Traveller, p.659).
While this preparation was going on, Hakim b. Hizam, followed by a
few other of the Quraysh, went to drink water from the cistern that
Muhammad had dug. Every Quraysh man who came to drink was killed on
that day with the exception of Hakim b. Hizam. It is not clear why
Muhammad had decided to spare the life Hakim b. Hizam. None of the
biographers give a convincing reason for Muhammad’s mercy upon him.
However, we learn that Hakim b. Hizam later became a Muslim. Being
alarmed at the fate of thirsty Quraysh, Abd al-Aswad Makhzami from the
Quraysh sought to destroy the trough that the Muslims had just built,
and vowed to drink water from the cistern that Muhammad had dug. When
he went out, and before he could reach the cistern, Hamzah attacked
him and cut off his foot and half of his leg. Abd al-Aswad crawled
with his gravely wounded body towards the cistern and flung himself in
it and drank the water from the spring reservoir. Hamzah hit him again
with a blow that killed him on the spot. The battle now began. It was
Friday, the 15th of March, 624CE (17th Ramadan, AH2). Although it was
the fasting month, none of the Jihadists, not even the Apostle of
Allah, fasted during fighting.
In the beginning, the three Quraysh, Utbah b. Rabiah, his brother
Shaybah b. Rabiah and Utba’s son al-Walid challenged the Muslims for
single combats with them. First, Utbah b. Rabiah, refusing to fight
with the Ansars asked the Quraysh in Muhammad’s camp to fight
him in a single combat. They wanted to fight only with the people from
their own tribe, namely their cousins, from the sons of al-Muttalib.
So, when three Medina citizens stepped forward Muhammad called them
back and asked his kinsmen, the sons of Hashim to arise and fight
instead. Following Muhammad’s instruction, Hamzah, Ali and Obaydah
(the uncle and the cousin respectively of Muhammad) went for the
battle. Hamza wore an Ostrich feather in his breast, and Ali wore a
white plume (a feather of horse hair) in his helmet.
Then Utba called his son, Walid, to arise and fight. He fought with
Ali. It was a short combat. Ali mortally wounded Walid with his sword.
When Utba moved forward, Hamza met him and killed him. Shayba now
fought with Obaydah. Both of them were quite old. They battled for a
while. At last, Shayba dealt a sword-cut on the leg of Obaydah that
nearly severed his leg and brought him to the ground. Witnessing this,
Hamza and Ali rushed on Shayba and killed him. Obaydah survived for a
few days, then he died.
The fighting then became general and a free-for-all. The first
Muslim killed was Umar’s freed slave, Mihja, slain by Amir ibn al-Hadrami.
Then Haritha b. Suraqah was killed. To incite his followers, Muhammad
invoked the prospect of paradise to those who were slain. This
motivated even a sixteen years-old boy, Umayr b. al-Humam, who was
eating dates. He threw the dates away and joined in the fighting. The
boy was simply surprised to learn from Muhammad that all he had to do
to go to paradise was to join in the Jihad and be killed. Soon, he was
killed. Muhammad now exhorted that Allah loves fanatic Jihadists.
Hearing this, an extremist, Auf b. Harith, asked Muhammad: ‘O
apostle of God, what makes the Lord laugh with joy at His servant? He
answered, ”When he plunges into midst of the enemy without mail.”
Auf drew off the mail-coat that was on him and threw it away: then he
seized his sword and fought the enemy till he was slain."
Whenever you watch on TV suicide bombers in action, remember those few
words by the Prophet of mercy and you will surely understand what
impelling force propels these fanatics to create the mind-boggling
terror and to blow them apart.
The battle raged. For further invigoration of the Jihadists,
Muhammad stooped down, lifted a handful of pebbles and threw them
towards the Quraysh, crying aloud, “May their faces be deformed.”
Allah, by declaring that it was not the act of Muhammad but that of
Allah in verse 8:17, fully approved Muhammad’s symbolic
action. The Muslim army was now full of enthusiasm and in extreme
fighting-vigour that the Quraysh army failed to withstand. As the
fighting raged, Muhammad sent an instruction to his soldiers that Abul
Bakhtari and al-Abbas, Muhammad’s two uncles were not to be killed.
It is reported that al-Abbas was a secret agent of Islam at Mecca, but
the reason to spare the life of Abul Bakhtari is not clear, although
Ibn Ishak states that Abul Bkhtari was sympathetic to Muhammad when
some pagans tormented him (Muhammad) at Ka’ba.
When many Jihadists protested at this unexpected show of mercy for a
few selected enemy combatants, Umar threatened to cut off their heads.
Thus, the dissenters had no choice but to comply with their master’s
request. Ibn Ishaq reports that, besides the general killing in the
battle, four apostates were specifically targeted for slaughter. These
four Quraysh embraced Islam but did not migrate to Medina with
Muhammad because their family members obstructed their departure by
confining them in their homes. Later, they left Islam and joined the
Quraysh in Badr. Muhammad had no mercy for them. All of them were
slain by the Jihadists. Muhammad even invented a verse (4:97)
to justify their killing.
004.097: When angels take the souls of those who die in
sin against their souls, they say: "In what (plight) Were
ye?" They reply: "Weak and oppressed Were we in the
earth." They say: "Was not the earth of Allah spacious
enough for you to move yourselves away (From evil)?" Such men
will find their abode in Hell,- What an evil refuge!
The spirit and frenzy of killing among the Jihadists was so intense
that Hazrat Umar killed his own maternal uncle, al-As b. Hisham b. al-Mughira.
(Remember? He was proxy fighting for Abu Lahab, the great enemy of
While the fighting continued, Muhammad remained at his shelter with
Abu Bakr praying to Allah for victory. He implored Allah to send His
assistance to the Muslims. So Allah replied in 8:9 to assist
Muhammad with thousands of angels! It was a stormy winter day with a
ferocious gusty wind blowing around. Three strong blasts of severe
storm lashed the battlefield, and Muhammad immediately ascribed them
as the angels sent by Allah to help the Jihadists. He told his
fighting men that the first blast was one thousand angels led by the
archangel Gabriel, the second blast was one thousand angels led
by the archangel Michael and the third blast was another one
thousand angels led by the archangel Saraphel.. Thus, as
confirmed in verse 3:124, Allah initially sent three thousand
angel soldiers to help the Muslim fighters. When fighting
became tougher Muhammad requested further reinforcement from his Allah
and Allah immediately complied by sending another two thousand angels.
Thus, as told in verse 3:125, in all, five thousand invisible
angels from the almighty Allah, in addition to the three hundred plus
Jihadists were required for the Muslim victory. The fanatic Jihadists
claimed that the signs of the angels at Badr were white turbans. or
were they yellow turbans?
Here is a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari that says that
Gabriel came down to help Muhammad:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 330:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
The Prophet said on the day (of the battle) of Badr, "This is
Gabriel holding the head of his horse and equipped with arms for the
Thus, with the help of Gabriel the Quraysh started
faltering. The heavy sands on which they stood impeded their
movements. Some of their ranks gave way. Confusion raged and they
started to retreat; began running and the Muslims were pressing after
them to capture those of the Quraysh whom they did not kill in the
battlefield. The Muslims followed their retreating steps, slaying or
taking captive those that fell into their hands. The Quraysh, in their
haste to escape, cast away their armour and abandoned their beasts of
burden with all their camps and equipment. Seventy (some say
forty-nine) Quraysh were killed and around the same number were taken
prisoners. The Muslims lost only fourteen of their men, eight were
Medina citizens and six were refugees. They also took many Quraysh
nobles as captives. Muhammad gave orders not to kill his uncle al-Abbas.
When Abu Hudhayfah (remember? his father, Utbah bin Rabiah was killed
by Ali) protested about Muhammad’s double- standard and wanted to
kill al-Abbas, while Umar threatened to cut-off the head of Abu
Hudhayfah. The Muslim soldiers caught a fleeing Abu al-Bakhtari
(another uncle of Muhammad) along with his rider companion. The
Jihadists agreed to spare the life of al-Bakhtari (as per Muhammad’s
instruction) but not the life of his companion. When Bakhtari sought
to protect the life of his companion rider the Muslims declined. So
Bakhtari fought the Muslim and was killed. This news was brought to
In all, the Muslims took seventy (some say forty-four) Quraysh as
captives. Sa’d b. Muadh wanted to kill all the prisoners, saying,
“This was the first defeat inflicted by Allah on the polytheists,
and killing the prisoners would have been more pleasing to me than
sparing them.” However, the prisoners were distributed to the
Muslims for their safe keeping until Muhammad returned to Medina.
There is a heart-wrenching tale of how cruelly the Jihadists
treated some captives. Umayah b. Khalaf was a polytheist, but he was a
friend of Abd Umar, the new convert to Islam. Therefore, Umayah and
his son Ali volunteered Abd Umar to become the prisoner of a Muslim.
The famous Jihadist, Abd al Rahman b. Awf took charge of him in the
expectation of a large ransom. It is reported that Umayah used to
torment Bilal, the well-known Negro crier of Islamic prayer calls.
When Bilal saw that Umayah and his son Ali were being led away by Abd
al Rahman b. Awf, he shouted out to the Muslims to kill his former
tormentor. Abd Rahman b. Awf immediately repudiated Bilal by calling
him (Bilal) the son of a black woman and commanded him not to kill
Umayamah and his young son, Ali. However, this plea of Abd al Rahman
fell on deaf ears. On the cry of Bilal, other Muslims hacked Umayyah
b. Khalaf and his son Ali to death and cut them into pieces. Abd al
Rahman b Awf then cursed Bilal for killing his captive as he missed
the opportunity of ransoming his captives (Umayyah b. Khalaf and his
Muhammad’s son-in-law, Abu al-Aas was also taken a prisoner.
Khadija (Muhammad’s first wife) was his aunt. His mother was Hala d.
Khuwaylid. Khadija used to regard him as her own son. Abu al-Aas did
not embrace Islam and refused to divorce his wife Zaynab, Muhammad’s
eldest daughter. He joined the Quraysh in the march against Muhammad
The other famous Quraysh taken as captive were: Amr, Abu Sufyan’s
son (not from Hind but from another wife of Abu Sufyan b. Harb) and
Amir b. Al-Hadrami, Abu Sufyan’s close friend. Another son of Abu
Sufyan, Hanzala was killed at Badr.
As soon as the battle was over, there was widespread plundering by
the Muslim soldiers. The Jihadists also told the incredible
story that the heads of polytheists would fall off before a Muslim’s
sword touched them. This they ascribed as help from the angels.
Abu Jahl, one of Muhammad’s uncles, was an implacable foe of
Muhammad. Muhammad had such an unrelenting hatred for him that he gave
him the appellation, Abu Jahl (“father of folly”) to his original
respectable name of Abul Hakam (“father of wisdom”). Not being
satisfied with such a sordid act, Muhammad wanted Abu Jahl to be
killed. To carry out Muhammad’s instruction, Muadh b. Amr, along
with two Medina youths, Auf b. Afra and Muwawwidh b. Afra, the two
sons of Afra, set out to search and slay Abu Jahl. Muadh found Abu
Jahl in a thicket and attacked him. He brought Abu Jahl to the ground
by a blow that cut Abu Jahl’s leg into two. Abu Jahl’s son, Ikrima
struck Muadh and severed one of his arms, hanging only by the skin.
Muadh then put his foot on the hanging arm, pulled it off, and went on
fighting until the extreme pain forced him to quit the fight. At that
time Muwawwidh b. Afra and his brother Auf b. Afra arrived at the site
and killed the mortally wounded Abu Jahl. After the killing of Abu
Jahl, they went back to fight the Quraysh and themselves were killed.
When the news of a dying Abu Jahl reached Muhammad, he instructed his
servant, Abd Allah b. Masud to search for Abu Jahl’s corpse. Abd
Allah b. Masud went out and found a dying Abu Jahl in the shrub
grasping for his last breath. Abu Jahl was still breathing when
Muhammad’s servant, Abd Allah ran up and cut off his head and
carried it to his master. Gloating from victory, Muhammad said, “The
head of the enemy of Allah.” Abd Allah then cast the bloody head of
Abu Jahl at his pitiless master’s feet. Muhammad said, “It is more
acceptable to me than the choicest camels in all Arabia.” Then
Muhammad rewarded Abd Allah b. Masud with the sword of murdered Abu
Jahl. Sunaan Abu Dawud records it in this way:
Book 14, Number 2716:
Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud:
At the battle of Badr the Apostle of Allah gave me Abu Jahl's
sword, as I had killed him.
We read in Sahih Bukhari that two boys killed Abu Jahl and
Muhammad rewarded them. Here is the Hadith from Sahih
Volume 4, Book 53, Number 369:
Narrated 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Auf:
While I was standing in the row on the day (of the battle) of
Badr, I looked to my right and my left and saw two young Ansari
boys, and I wished I had been stronger than they. One of them
called my attention saying, "O Uncle! Do you know Abu Jahl?"
I said, "Yes, what do you want from him, O my nephew?"
He said, "I have been informed that he abuses Allah's
Apostle. By Him in Whose Hands my life is, if I should see him,
then my body will not leave his body till either of us meet his
fate." I was astonished at that talk. Then the other boy
called my attention saying the same as the other had said. After a
while I saw Abu Jahl walking amongst the people. I said (to the
boys), "Look! This is the man you asked me about." So,
both of them attacked him with their swords and struck him to
death and returned to Allah'S Apostle to inform him of that.
Allah's Apostle asked, "Which of you has killed him?"
Each of them said, "I Have killed him." Allah's Apostle
asked, "Have you cleaned your swords?" They said,
"No. " He then looked at their swords and said, "No
doubt, you both have killed him and the spoils of the deceased
will be given to Muadh bin Amr bin Al-Jamuh." The two boys
were Muadh bin 'Afra and Muadh bin Amr bin Al-Jamuh.
My guess is that those two boys referred in the above Hadith
were the two sons of Afra. Here is another Hadith from Sahih
Bukhari on the last few moments of Abu Jahl:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 300:
The Prophet said, "Who will go and see what has happened
to Abu Jahl?" Ibn Mas'ud went and found that the two sons of
'Afra had struck him fatally (and he was in his last breaths).
'Abdullah bin Mas'ud said, "Are you Abu Jahl?" And took
him by the beard. Abu Jahl said, "Can there be a man superior
to one you have killed or one whom his own folk have killed?"
The battle over, Muhammad gave orders that all the enemy corpses,
including that of Abu Jahl and his severed head, be thrown into a
well. Twenty-four dead bodies of the infidels were thrown in this
filthy well. (See Sahih Bukhari, vol. 5, book 59, number 314.)
When this was duly done, he stood at the well, talked to the corpses
of the Quraysh, haranguing them for their folly, disbelief and for
rejecting him as the messenger of Allah. When the Muslims asked him if
the dead could hear, Muhammad replied that the dead could indeed hear
better than the living, except that the deceased could not reply.
Umayyah b. Khalaf’s body was not thrown into the well. His body
started decaying. So they covered it with stones. Sahih Bukhari
Volume 2, Book 23, Number 452:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
The Prophet looked at the people of the well (the well in which
the bodies of the pagans killed in the Battle of Badr were thrown)
and said, "Have you found true what your Lord promised
you?" Somebody said to him, "You are addressing dead
people." He replied, "You do not hear better than they
but they cannot reply."
Among the pile of dead bodies was the corpse of Utba b. Rabiah, the
father of Abu Hudhayfa, the newly recruited Islamic Jihadist. When
Muhammad observed some sadness in Hudhayfa’s face he blessed him,
thinking that Hudhayfah was probably saddened by his father’s death.
On this, the Jihadi son of Utba replied that his sadness was due to
the unbelief of his father and not for his death! The Muslim son of
Utbah, Hudhayfah regretted that his father did not embrace Islam after
all!! Such was the blind devotion and resolve of the Jihadists to
These obsequies of the infidels done, the Muslims remained in the
battlefield until the end of the day. Then they carried their dead and
wounded and retired to a valley, several miles from Badr, and buried
their slain comrades there. Now was the time to wrangle over war
booty. When the rest of the Quraysh army disappeared, the Muslims
engaged themselves in the gathering of spoils. Muhammad promised every
Jihadist that he could keep the booty he (the Jihadist) took
personally. Thus, every Jihadist was allowed to retain the plunder of
those whom he had killed with his own hands. Those who did not fight
directly, but protected Muhammad also wanted equal share of the booty.
Some people complained that Muhammad had taken a beautiful red
vestment (official garment) without the knowledge of others. So, Allah
revealed the verse 3:161:“It is not for a Prophet to conceal
booty……..,” exonerating Muhammad of any embezzlement of war
spoils. A dispute arose as to the distribution of spoils regarding who
gets more and who gets less. Muhammad had to intervene with a
revelation (8:41) from Allah. In this verse, the almighty
proclaimed one-fifth booty is to be set-aside for Him and His dearest
Prophet. Muhammad also prided himself that booty was made lawful only
to him and not to other Prophets, as he was the most favourite of
Allah. In accordance with this command of Allah, the rest of the
spoils were gathered into a common stock for a fair distribution
later, and Abdullah b. Ka’b, an officer, was appointed the guardian
of the spoils. The Muslim army then started their return march to
The next day, the spoils were divided under a tree near Saffra.
Everyone got equal share after one-fifth was set-aside for Muhammad.
Horsemen received each two extra portions for their horses. Every man
got a camel, a leather couch or some other item. Muhammad took as
booty the famous camel of Abu Jahl. He later used it for conducting
raids and as a stud for breeding camels. Reciting verse 55:45 and
ascribing this booty as a gift from Allah, he also took the sword,
Dhu al-Faqr belonging Munabbih b. al-Hajjaj. As per the spoil
distribution rule, he also had the exclusive right to choose his most
favourite item before they were duly disbursed. The captives were also
re-distributed among Muhammad’s companions for their fate to be
decided at Medina.
The true blood-thirsty character of Muhammad was unveiled when the
Muslim soldiers halted at Saffra. While distributing the captives,
Muhammad recognised al-Nadr b. al-Harith, a Quraysh poet whom the
Jihadists had captured. While Muhammad was at Mecca, al-Nadr
composed verses that were superior to the Qur’an. Muhammad was
greatly enraged by al-Nadr’s compositions. As alluded to in verse 8:31
(Dashti, p.47), Al-Nadr b. al-Harith also criticized Qur’anic
verses by uttering that they (the verses) were only fables of the
ancients, that the Meccans had heard similar verses before.Muhammad
had no kindness for al-Nadr. To quench his thirst for revenge, the
Prophet of mercy gave orders that the hapless al-Nadr be killed. Ali
carried out Muhammad’s order by beheading al-Nadr at Saffra, right
in front of Muhammad. This was the tolerance Allah’s best creation
had for his opponents who dared to challenge him intellectually.
Rodinson writes that Muhammad was extremely sensitive to intellectual
attack on him. Having finished his critic, a satisfied Muhammad now
gave order to march ahead for Medina.
Two days later, the Muslim army stopped at Irqu’l-Zabya, midway
between Badr and Medina. Here Allah’s Apostle wanted to extinguish
further, his lust for blood and retribution. Uqbah b. Abi Muyat,
another prisoner, whose daughter was married to Abu Sufyan b. Harb’s
son, ‘Amr b. Abi Sufyan, was ordered out for execution. The ‘offender’
pleaded for mercy in the name of his little daughter. But
Muhammad had no mercy for him. What did Uqba do to deserve such a
terrible punishment from the Prophet of compassion and kindness?
Muhammad claimed that Uqba tormented him when he preached his religion
of love and compassion (Islam) at Ka’ba.
Without showing even an atom of pity or kindness to his fallen foe,
Muhammad ordered the killing of Uqba. This is how it is described by
Ibn Ishaq: “When the apostle ordered him to be killed ‘Uqba said,
‘But who will look after my children, O Muhammad?’ ‘Hell’, he
said, and ‘Asim b. Thabit b. Abul-Aqlah al-Ansari killed him
according to what Abu ‘Ubayda b. Muhammad b. ‘Ammar b. Yasir told
me.” Some biographers note that it was Ali who killed Uqba.
On the killing of those two prisoners, Rodinson (Rodinson, p.168)
writes, “On the other hand he gave free rein to his anger against
two men who had attacked him on an intellectual level. They had
studied Jewish and Persian sources and had asked him awkward
questions. They had scoffed at him and his divine messages. They could
look for no mercy.”
Two additional prisoners were also killed; they were: Naufal b.
Khuweilid whom Ali killed and Mabad b. Wahb whom Umar beheaded. It is
reported that the latter refused to accept his defeat and praised
al-Lat and al-Uzza (two idols) in the presence of Muhammad. The reason
of killing Naufal is not known. So, in all, seven prisoners were
slaughtered before the Muslim army, along with the rest of the
prisoners arrived at Medina.
To spread the news of Muslim victory at Badr, Muhammad now
dispatched Zayd b. Harith to Medina ahead of the arrival of the Muslim
army contingent. When Zayd arrived at Medina, he heard the news of the
death of Ruqayyah, Muhammad’s daughter. People were preparing the
burial of her when Zayd arrived at Medina with the sweet news of
Muslim’s triumph at Badr.
On the next day, Muhammad arrived at Medina with the war booty and
received the sad news of the death and burial of his daughter Ruqyyah
during his absence. As mentioned before, Ruqayyah’s husband, Uthman
b. Affan, could not join in the plunder due to his wife’s illness.
Nevertheless, Muhammad rewarded his mourning son-in-law in the equal
share of the spoils. A few months later, Uthman married Muhammad’s
last unmarried daughter, Umm Kulthum, who was previously married to a
son of Abu Lahab, then became separated from him. When the remaining
people of Medina congratulated the Jihadists for their good catch, the
Jihadists gloated over the slaughtering of the polytheists. Many
Jihadists even admitted that slaughtering the infidels was good fun.
In the evening of next day, the rest of the Jihadists, along with
the captives arrived at Medina. Watching the crestfallen, haggard,
pitiful and depressed captives, many Medinites were sorrowful for
them. After all, many of these manacled prisoners were their kith and
kin, their own flesh and blood. A glimpse of this flow of compassion
is observed from the sympathy that Muhammad’s second wife, Sauda
showed to a prisoner. Sauda had gone to comfort the lamentation of a
family member of Afra, a citizen of Medina who had lost two sons in
Badr, as mentioned earlier. On her return, she found Abu Yazid Suhayl
b. Amr, the brother of her late husband (i.e., her brother-in law),
now a prisoner, standing by her house with his hands tied behind his
neck. Sauda preferred that instead of being caught a captive by
Muhammad, Abu Yazid should have chosen an honorable death. However,
Muhammad admonished her for saying such words. Filled with pity and
compassion, she wanted to loosen the captive’s bound hands. When she
sought Muhammad’s approval, a stern Muhammad asked her not to do
that. We also learn from her narration that during this period, the
women of Arabia did not wear any veil (Hijab) and they were
free to move on their own. Her depiction of the fierce nature of
Muhammad also exposes the myth that Muhammad’s relation with his
wives was cordial and loving; for, Sauda clearly said that she was
deeply scared of Muhammad. Here is her own words: “Suddenly the
Prophet’s voice startled me: ‘Sauda would you stir up trouble
against God and his apostle?’ I said, “By God, I could hardly
contain myself when I saw Abu Yazid in this state and that is I said
what I did.”’
Nonetheless, overall, the people of Medina treated the prisoners
with some kindness. They were given food and shelter and were not
tortured, though it is reported that Hazrat Umar wanted to pull out
Suhayl’s (another prisoner) teeth by saying to the messenger of
Allah: ‘Let me pull out Suhayl’s two front teeth; his tongue will
stick out and he will never be able to speak against you.’ But
Muhammad objected to any such mutilation of the prisoners. The good
treatment of the Meccan prisoners was also in the interest of their
Muslim captors if they (the Muslims) wanted good ransoms from the
captives’ relatives-they knew this truth. The Muslims were quite
prudent on this and due to the kindness shown by the Muslims of
Medina; a few of the poor prisoners accepted Islam and stayed in
Medina, it is claimed. It is reported that when Muhammad ordered that
all prisoners be fettered, al-Abbas, Muhammad’s uncle, was also
chained. Muhammad had a sleepless night till his followers unchained
Once the euphoria of the victory of Muslim army was over, it was
time to settle the affair of prisoners of war. As mentioned
previously, right from the beginning the fanatic Jihadist, Sa’d b.
Muadah was in favor of slaughtering all the captives that the Muslims
had in their hands. Hazrat Umar also wanted to behead all the
captives, suggesting that brother kill brother, and Abu Rawaha wanted
to burn them alive. Muhammad was quite indecisive on this. At first,
he too, wanted to kill the prisoners excepting a few. Abu Bakr
suggested taking ransoms from them. Suddenly, Muhammad found some
merit in what Abu Bakr had proposed. He found a good opportunity in
raising money for his poverty-stricken followers. Immediately, he
claimed that Allah (via Gabriel) had sent down verse 8:67,
permitting him to take ransom after a wide slaughter, and verse 8:68,
permitting him to enjoy booty. These two verses made a compromise
between a complete annihilation of the captives and taking ransoms for
Foremost in Muhammad’s mind was Abu al-Aas, his son-in-law, who,
as written before, became a captive of the Muslims. When Muhammad’s
eldest daughter Zaynab (i.e., Abu al-Aas’ wife who was living in
Mecca), heard of her husband’s capture, she sent money and Khadijah’s
(her mother, and Muhammad’s first wife) necklace as ransom for the
release of her husband. At last, Muhammad’s heart was softened
(albeit, a little bit) when he saw the necklace of his deceased wife,
Khadijah. He was certainly concerned, thinking about Abu al-Aas and
his daughter. Next morning, in his mosque, he sought the opinion of
his Jihadist followers on this matter. They unanimously agreed that
Abu al-Aas be set free without any ransom and be allowed to return to
Mecca. Muhammad was greatly relieved and freed Abu al-Aas, but with
the condition that upon his arrival at Mecca, Abu al-Aas must divorce
Zaynab and send her to Medina to join her father. Abu al-Aas promised
that he would let Zaynab return to Muhammad at Medina and, indeed,
upon his arrival at Mecca, he did exactly what he promised. He made
arrangements for Zaynab to leave Mecca. At that time, Hind (Abu Sufyan’s
wife) was friendly with Zaynab. Despite the bitter enmity between
Muhammad and Abu Sufyan, Hind volunteered to provide any material help
that Zaynab needed to escape to her father. But Zaynab thought it was
prudent to keep her plan of escape a secret. So, at an opportune time,
Zaynab borrowed a camel to leave for Medina. Her brother-in-law
accompanied her. Learning the departure of Zaynab, two Quraysh pursued
Zaynab’s camel and caught up with her at Dhu Tuwa. One Quraysh,
Habbar b. al-Aswad threatened her with a spear. Zaynab was pregnant at
that time. It is reported that she fell down from the camel and had a
miscarriage. Then Habbar tormented Zaynab, but Abu Sufyan intervened
to let her escape from the harassment of Habbar. Abu Sufyan did not
bear any vengeance whatsoever against Muhammad’s daughter Zaynab,
and advised her to leave Mecca secretly. So, after a few days, when
all the din and bustle of Badr had subsided, Zaynab surreptitiously
escaped Mecca at night.
Next, to be decided was the fate of al-Abbas, Muhammad’s uncle.
The Jihadists brought a naked al-Abbas in front of Muhammad. Muhammad
at first, had to find some clothing for his undressed uncle. Here is
the Hadith from Sahih Bukhari on this:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 252:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
When it was the day (of the battle) of Badr, prisoners of war
were brought including Al-Abbas who was undressed. The Prophet
looked for a shirt for him. It was found that the shirt of 'Abdullah
bin Ubai would do, so the Prophet let him wear it. That was the
reason why the Prophet took off and gave his own shirt to 'Abdullah.
(The narrator adds, "He had done the Prophet some favor for
which the Prophet liked to reward him.")
Because al-Abbas was a wealthy man Muhammad stipulated that al-Abbas
should ransom himself as well as his nephews and his confederates. On
this, al-Abbas claimed that he was a silent Muslim; that he was forced
to fight against the Muslims. Muhammad still wanted ransom from al-Abbas.
In fact, Muhammad owed a good amount of money to al-Abbas, but when
al-Abbas insisted that that debt should be used as ransom, Muhammad
declined. Such was the greed for money by the Prophet of mercy. In the
end, Muhammad took 20 ounces of gold (about US$ 8,000 in to-day’s
money) from al-Abbas for his release.
At first, the Quraysh played it cool in ransoming their captives so
that the Muslims did not demand high prices for the release of them.
Abu Sufyan refused to pay any ransom for his son ‘Amr. When a
Muslim, Sa’d b. al-Numan, went to perform Umra, Abu Sufyan held him
hostage in exchange for his son, Amr. Muhammad had no choice but to
set free ‘Amr b. Abi Sufyan for the release of Sa’d. Muhammad
insisted on a high ransom for a Meccan because his son was a rich
merchant. The son paid a ransom of 4,000 Dirhams (please calculate in
US$, using the conversion mentioned below) for his father’s release.
Overall, Muhammad received a large sum of money as a ransom for the
Quraysh prisoners. The ransom money for a prisoner varied from one
thousand Dirhams to as much as four thousand Dirhams. It is reported
that the Quraysh paid 250,000 Dirhams [yes, a cool quarter of a
million Dirhams; take out your calculator and estimate how much it is
in to-day’s money; use the conversion of one Dirham = 1/10 Dinar;
one Dinar = 4.235 grams of gold; and in case you have forgotten, one
ounce = 32.1 grams] as ransom to free their kith and kin who were
taken as prisoners at Badr II. The average ransom for a prisoner was
four thousand (4,000) Dirhams. Sahih Bukhari states that
besides booty and ransom money for the captives, each Jihadi received
a pension of five thousand (5,000) Dirhams per year. Here is the Hadith
from Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 357:
The Badr warriors were given five thousand (Dirhams) each,
yearly. 'Umar said, "I will surely give them more than what I
will give to others."
Some prisoners who did not have the means to pay a ransom
volunteered to teach ten Muslim boys the skill of reading and writing
for each such prisoner. When their tuition was complete, the prisoner
was then released. Zayd ibn Thabit, the poet (later, Muhammad’s
secretary) is said to have learned writing this way. This tells us
that the Meccan people were, in general, literate while the Medina
followers of Muhammad were mostly illiterate; still, the Muslims
called the Meccans ‘ignorant’!
The victory at Badr opened a new chapter in the propagation of the
nascent faith of Islam. Realizing the power of the sword, Muhammad was
now convinced that for his fascistic doctrine to triumph, he must win
militarily. Thus, from now on, sword became the language of Islam
(observe the national flag of Saudi Arabia closely) and engaging in
warfare for booty and captives became the modus operandi of the
new Jihadists for their survival and material enrichment. Commenting
on this, Maxine Rodinson writes that the only motive for Badr II was
booty. The victory at Badr became a rallying point for Muhammad’s
religion, and to the disbelievers Islam now became associated with
fear, terror, plunder and bloodshed. On the other hand, the Quraysh
and the polytheists also recognized the need for a decisive military
victory to contain the spread of menacing Islam.
Continued in Chapter 4
‘Defined in Psychological terms, a fanatic is a man who
consciously overcompensates a secret doubt’---Aldous Huxley
The Murder of Asma bt. Marwan at Medina by Umayr b. Adiy al-Khatmi
Immediately after his return from the victory at Badr, Muhammad
felt strong enough to put a halt to his critics who were displeased
that his arrival at Medina, along with his horde of marauding
Jihadists had caused fear and serious divisions among the Medinites.
Many Jews were greatly disturbed at the prospect of a militarily
strong army of the Muslims and feared that they might be Muhammad’s
next victims, because they (the Jews) possessed great wealth. During
those days, the most successful method of hurling epithets and
criticisms to opponents was through poems. Therefore, poets in those
days were what journalists are today. One such poetess was Asma bint
Marwan. She belonged to the B. Aws and did not hide her dislike for
Islam. She was married to Yazid b. Zayd, a man of Banu Khatma and had
five sons and a suckling infant. Some authors suggest that her father
was a Jew. After the Badr war, she composed some satirical poems. The
verses spread from mouth to mouth and finally reached the ears of the
Muslims and they were greatly offended. Muhammad could not at all
endure satire or vituperation. Therefore, an incensed Muhammad decided
that it was time to get rid of her.
In his mosque, at night, Muhammad sought a volunteer to assassinate
Asma bt. Marwan. A blind man, Umayr b. Adiy al-Khatmi, belonging to
the same tribe as Asma’s husband (i.e., Banu Khatma) stood up to
complete the job. In the dead of night he crept into her apartment.
Her little children then surrounded Asma while she slept. Hugging her
bosom was her infant, suckling her breast. The blind man, feeling
stealthily with his hand, removed the infant from her breast and
plunged his sword in her belly with such a force that it passed
through her back. This severe blow killed Asma on the spot. It was
just five days before the end of the month of the sacred month of
fasting, Ramadan when Muslims are not supposed to shed blood.
After murdering Asma, next morning, the killer Umayr went to pray
in the mosque while Muhammad was there. Muhammad was quite anxious to
learn if the mission of Umayr was a success or not. He said to Umayr,
the killer “Have you slain the daughter of Marwan?’ Commenting on
this Ibn S’ad writes, “This was the word that was first heard from
the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him.” When Umayr replied that
the job had been carried out with success, Muhammad said, “You have
helped God and His apostle, O ‘Umayr!’ When Umayr asked if he
would have to bear any evil consequences, the apostle said, “Two
goats won’t butt their heads about her.” Muhammad then praised
Umayr in front of all gathered for prayer for his act of murder, and
Umayr went back to his people. (Note: Some biographers suggest that
Omayr was Asma’s former husband). Five days later, the Muslims
celebrated the first Eid (the end of fasting)!
When Omayr, the killer returned to Upper Medina, he passed the sons
of Asma who were burying theirs slain mother. They accused Umayr of
murder of their mother. Without hesitation, Umayr admitted the
accusation boastfully and threatened to kill the whole family if they
dared to repeat the lampoons that their mother had composed deriding
the Prophet of mercy. This threat of terror worked wonderfully. The
entire tribe of Asma’s husband (i.e., Banu Khatma) who secretly
hated Islam, now openly professed their adherence, just to save their
lives. Ibn Ishak writes, “That was the first day that Islam became
powerful among B. Khatma. The day after Bint Marwan was killed the men
of B. Khatma became Muslims because they saw the power of Islam”.
Muhammad and his followers were now convinced that terror, plunder,
political murder do, indeed, work for Islam.
The Murder of Abu Afak at Medina by Salim b. ‘Umayr-April, 624CE
Abu Afak, a Jew of Medina was a very old man, about 120 years old.
He was active in the opposition of Muhammad’s religion. He too
composed some satirical verses that annoyed the Muslims. One month
after his victory at Badr, Muhammad showed his limit of tolerance to
his intellectual opposition by expressing his wish to eliminate this
old man. At his mosque, the apostle of Allah sought the service of a
volunteer killer, saying, ‘Who will deal with this rascal for me?’
A convert by the name of Salim b.‘Umayr, brother of B. ‘Amr b.’Auf
from the B. Amr tribe came forward to do the job. He killed Abu Afak
with one blow of his sword when the latter slept outside his house.
(Some say that Abu Afak was murdered first then Asma). Ibn S’ad
describes this gruesome murder in this way:
“He waited for an opportunity until a hot night came, and Abu ‘Afak
slept in an open place. Salim b. ‘Umayr knew it, so he placed the
sword on his liver and pressed it till it reached his bed. The enemy
of Allah screamed and the people, who were his followers rushed him,
took him to his house and interred him.”
This perfidious murder alarmed all those in Medina who did not like
Muhammad and his religion. The Jews were utterly terrified.
The Affair of al-Sawiq at Qarkarat al-Qudr by Muhammad-April, 624CE
This operation was a small reconnaissance by the Quraysh to gauge
the strength and preparedness of Muhammad to launch further attacks on
the Meccans. After suffering the ignominious defeat at Badr II at the
hands of the emerging force of the Islamic Jihadists, Abu Sufyan b
Harb, the Quraysh leader vowed not to touch women until he had
destroyed the tribes of al-Aws and al-Khazraj. He gathered two hundred
mounted followers, took the eastern road through the Nejd and secretly
arrived by night, at the settlement of B. Nadir, a Jewish tribe.
However, the Jewish chief, Huwey refused him admission to the Jewish
quarters. So, Abu Sufyan took refuge with Sallam b. Mishkan (also
known as Abu Rafi), another leading man of B. Nadir Jews. Sallam
offered Abu Sufyan’s party a hospitable welcome at night, furnishing
Abu Sufyan with the intelligence regarding Medina. At dawn, Abu Sufyan
moved forward stealthily and arrived at the corn fields and palm
gardens of Urayd, a place about two or three miles to the north-east
of Medina. He burnt these farms and killed two farmers there. Then he
returned to Mecca. Meanwhile, the news spread in Medina and the
Muslims were alarmed. Muhammad followed in hot pursuit the Abu Sufyan’s
army and went as far as Qarkarat al-Qudr. However, it was a fruitless
pursuit. The Muslims collected some of the provisions thrown away by
the Quraysh men on their return journey to Mecca to lighten the burden
on their horses. The Muslims brought back the provision that was
mostly barley and as such, it is called the affair of Sawiq.
Raid at Qarkarat al-Qudr Against the Ghatafan and Banu Sulaym led
by Muhammad-May, 624CE
This expedition was taken against the nomad tribes of Sulaym and
Ghatafan who inhabited the plains of Nejd, to the east of Medina.
These tribes belonged to the same stock of the Quraysh and were
probably incited by Abu Sufyan to commit a plunder upon Medina.
Muhammad came to learn about this impending attack through
intelligence. So, he hastened to surprise them. He took two hundred
men and reached at Qarkarat al-Qudr but found the place deserted,
except for a herd of five hundred camels under the charge of a single
boy. Muhammad took the five hundred camels as booty and divided them
amongst his men, taking one-fifth for himself as per Islamic rule on
plunder (How much one camel is worth? My guess is about US$ 300 each.
So this plunder was about US$ 150,000). That meant, from this raid, he
took one hundred camels (i.e., equivalent US$ 30,000) for himself.
Other Jihadists received two camels each. The camel boy was taken as a
captive but was released after he accepted Islam. Muhammad, after
leading this raid, stayed at Qarkarat al-Qudr for three nights and
returned to Medina without any fight. After returning to Medina he
accepted all ransoms for the Quraysh prisoners from Badr II war.
This handsome ransom from the Quraysh captives and the camels from
the Qarkarat al-Qudr plunder made him quite rich indeed in a very
short time; thus alleviating, at least temporarily, his and his
followers immediate pecuniary hardship. There was now a convincing
reason to stick to Islam, if one wanted to benefit materially!
Nonetheless, this booty was not ample to satisfy the enormous
appetite for wealth by the newly recruited Jihadists. Muhammad
was now looking forward to a far more pelf that he knew very well that
only the Jews in Medina could supply. Feeling a sense of physical
strength from his fanatical followers, he was eagerly waiting for an
opportunity to lay a siege on the Jews and grab their land and
property. Very soon, such an opportunity came up.
The Ethnic Cleansing of Banu Quaynuqa Jews from Medina by
As written previously, with the decisive victory at Badr II and
after the assassination of most of his intellectual critics at Medina,
Muhammad quickly realized that it was time to prove ‘might is right.’
He knew rather well, that the only people who stood, as a stumbling
block on his dream of establishing his and his Allah’s authority in
Medina were the Jews. These Jews were mostly successful owners of
orchards on the outskirts of Medina. Many of them were artisans,
craftsmen, jewelers and merchants. They were a wealthy, prosperous
community, living in their fortified quarters on the suburbs of Medina
in harmony with the populace of Medina city. The most prominent among
these Jews were the Banu Quaynuqa, Banu Nadir and Banu
Qurayza. When Muhammad migrated to Medina these Jewish clans made
a covenant with him to live in tranquility and harmony and to aid him,
should any attack fell on him. Nonetheless, his victory at Badr II and
his brutal killing of many Meccan polytheists unnerved the Jews and
they feared an attack on them any time soon. They were absolutely
correct. Muhammad was now in a mood to renounce all his treaties with
the Jews and conduct plunder on them, to siege their fertile,
productive land and their exquisite wealth. In fact, Gabriel
brought the decree (8:58) from Allah that he (Muhammad) was
free to break treaty with the Jews. With Allah on his side, Muhammad
started to threaten the B. Qaynuqa Jews with the consequence of Badr
II unless they accepted Islam. B. Qaynuqa Jews were the weakest of all
the Jewish tribes in Medina. This is what the prophet of ‘religious
tolerance’ told the B. Qaynuqa Jews in their market:
“O Jews, beware lest God bring on you the like of the retribution
which he brought on Quraysh. Accept Islam, for you know that I am a
prophet sent by God. You will find this in your scriptures and in God’s
covenant with you.”
Hearing Muhammad’s harangue, the B. Qaynuqa Jews retaliated by
ignoring his plea for Islam and challenged Muhammad to face them
militarily. This is what they replied to Muhammad:
“Muhammad, do you think that we are like your people? Do not be
deluded by the fact that you met a people with no knowledge of war and
that you made good use of your opportunity. By God, if you fight us
you will know that we are real men!”
Then Muhammad demanded Jizya tax from the Jews but the Jews
disparaged Muhammad by saying that His Allah was poor. An angry Allah,
in verse 3:181, immediately promised His retribution to the
The show of defiance was a fatal error on the part of B. Qaynuqa;
for, this display of insolence by the Jews was good enough reason for
Muhammad and his over-eager, booty-hungry Jihadists to wait to conduct
an attack on them. Allah also revealed verse 3:12, 13, assuring
Muhammad of his victory against the Jews. In addition, the Muslims
also complained of sowing discord between the B. Aws and B. Khazraj by
the Jews by narrating the battle of Buath, in which these two tribes
fought fiercely. It was during this time that Allah forbade, in verse 5:57,
to engage in friendship by the Muslims with the Jews and the
Christians. While this hostility between the Muslims and the Jews was
simmering, an incident took place that gave Muhammad the opportunity
he was patiently waiting to lay an attack on the Jews. The incident
was as follows:
An Arab girl, married to a Muslim convert of Medina went to the
Jewish shop of a goldsmith in the market place of Qaynuqa. While
waiting for some ornaments, she sat down. A silly neighbor secretly
pinned the lower hem of her skirt. When she arose, the awkward expose
made everyone laugh. She screamed with shame. A passing Muslim
witnessed the incident and killed the offending Jew. The brother of
the Jew then killed the Muslim. The family of the murdered Muslim then
appealed to the converts of Medina to take revenge.
The skirmish now became general and Muhammad made no attempt to
mitigate the situation, nor did he try to bring the offending parties
to justice. He immediately gathered his followers under the white
banner in the hand of Hamzah and marched forward to attack the Jewish
tribe. The Jews took shelter in their fortified apartments. So,
Muhammad laid a siege and a full blockade was imposed. The siege
lasted for fifteen days. The Jews were expecting help from their
Khazraj allies. But the help did not come. So, the desperate B.
Qaynuqa Jews had no choice but to surrender to Muhammad. Their hands
were tied behind their backs and preparations were made for their
execution. At this time, Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, the Khazarite and a new
convert to Islam (he was the nemesis of Muhammad at Medina, Muhammad
calling him a hypocrite) intervened. He could not stand that his old
faithful allies would be massacred in cold blood. He begged Muhammad
for mercy, but Muhammad turned his face away. Abd Allah persisted.
Finally, Muhammad yielded and let the prisoners escape execution. He
then cursed the Jews and Abd Allah ibn Ubay with Allah’s punishment.
Then Muhammad ordered the Jews of B. Qaynuqa to leave Medina within
three days. They were led to exile by Ubadah b. al-Samit ibn Samit,
one of the Khazarite leaders to as far as Dhubab. Then the Jews
proceeded to Wadi al-Qura. There they got assistance from the Jewish
inhabitants with carriage until they reached Adriat, a territory in
Syria where they settled permanently.
Thus, the B. Qaynuqa Jews surrendered their arms and jewel-making
machinery and were exiled from Medina. In this connection, Tabari
writes: “Allah gave their property as booty to his Messenger and the
Muslims. The Banu Qaynuqa did not have any land, as they were
goldsmiths. The messenger of God took many weapons belonging to them
and the tools of their trade”
Thanks to Allah’s permission for booty and plunder, Muhammad and
the formerly indigent Muslims were really on their way to become
wealthy residents of Medina.
Continued in Chapter 5
‘Fascism is a religion; the twentieth century will be known in
history as the century of Fascism’---Benito Mussoline (1883-1945)
Raid on Ghatafan at Dhu Amarr in Nejd by Muhammad-June, 624CE
A month after the operation of al-Sawiq Muhammad learnt that some
clans of the Ghatafan tribesmen had gathered troops at Dhu Amarr in
Nejd with aggressive design. So, Muhammad led an expedition of four
hundred and fifty fighters to search out the enemy and disperse them.
This was the largest military exercise led by Muhammad prior to the
battle of Uhud. However, the enemy got wind of Muhammad’s departure
and took to hiding. Muhammad’s army was able to capture one man who
gave information about the Ghatafan’s hideout; the Jihadists
proceeded to capture them. The captured man was forced to convert to
Islam and Muhammad used him as a guide. The enemy soon heard of
Muhammad’s approach and they took sanctuary on the tops of hills. No
fighting took place. Muhammad spent eleven days on this expedition and
then returned to Medina. Ibn Sa’d reports that a man threatened to
kill Muhammad when he (Muhammad) was sleeping and Allah revealed verse
5:11 when he was unsuccessful, as Muhammad sought the
protection of Allah.
Second Raid on Banu Sulaym at al-Qudr in Buhran by Muhammad-July,
Soon after the expulsion of B. Qaynuqa Jews from Medina, Muhammad
heard that a great force of Banu Sulaym tribesmen from Buhran in al-Qudr
was advancing on Medina. The call for Jihad went out once again, and
soon a Muslim army of between three hundred to three hundred and fifty
men marched out to attack the B. Sulaym at Buhran. Muhammad failed to
track them, and when he arrived there, he found that the enemy had
broken up. So, after staying there for three nights (or ten nights, as
per Ibn Sa’d) he returned without meeting the enemy. After returning
to Medina he accepted all ransoms for the Quraysh prisoners captured
during Badr II war.
The Murder of Ka’b b. Ashraf at Medina by Muhammad b. Maslama-August,
Ka’b, a poet was the son of a Jewess of B. Nadir. He was greatly
saddened by the victory of Muslims at Badr II. He made no attempt to
conceal his discontent on the sudden ascent of Muslim power in Medina.
He went to Mecca, and through his poetry, enticed the Quraysh for
revenge. On his return, he further angered the Muslims by composing
lampoons against Muslim women. Muhammad was greatly distressed that
this kind of free expression might subdue the morale of his followers.
He prayed to Allah for the destruction of Ka’b. Allah, in verse 4:52
also cursed those who dared to criticize Muhammad. In his mosque, he
requested for volunteers to get rid of Ka’b b. Ashraf. Muhammad b.
Maslama, belonging to B. Aws stood up and vowed to slay Ka’b b.
Ashraf. He chose four other men from B. Aws as his accomplices. When
the leader of this assassination squad told Muhammad that to murder Ka’b
they might have to resort to deceit and to tell lies, Muhammad
unhesitatingly permitted them to do so (read the Hadith quoted
The murder team drew up an elaborate plan to dupe Ka’b b. Ashraf
with sweet words and deceitful promises. They engaged Abu Naila, the
foster brother of Ka’b b. Ashraf for this purpose. Abu Naila went to
Ka’b pretending to borrow some money from him and talked bad about
Muhammad, the Prophet. Ka’b believed him and demanded some security
for the loan. Abu Naila agreed that they would pledge their arms, and
an appointment for a late hour meeting at the house of Ka’b was
organized. In the evening the band of conspirators assembled at the
house of Muhammad, the Prophet. The Prophet accompanied them to the
outskirts of the town. They took refuge in the low shrubs of the
Muslim burial ground. The Prophet then parted, giving them blessing
for the success of their mission. The killing team proceeded and
arrived at Ka’b’s house. Ka’b was then taking rest in his
bedroom with his newly married bride. Abu Naila, his foster brother
called out for him to come down. When Ka’b hastened to climb down,
his wife caught him by his blanket and wanted him not to go. Ka’b
comforted her by saying that it was his foster brother. He came down
and was not alarmed as he found his callers were not armed. They then
wandered along, conversing on the misfortunes of Medina since the
arrival of Muhammad till they reached a waterfall. Ka’b’s foster
brother found some sweet smell in Ka’b’s hair and Ka’b told him
that it was the smell from his newly married bride. Suddenly, the
traitor seized Ka’b’s hair, and dragging him to the ground
shouting, ‘’Slay him! Slay the enemy of God.” All other
conspirators then struck their swords on Ka’b while he died making a
fearful scream. His assassins then cut off Ka’b’s head and fled in
haste. When they arrived at the burial ground, they chanted the Takbir
(ie Allahu Akbar). Muahammad heard the Takbir and knew
that the work had been accomplished. At the gate of the mosque the
Prophet welcomed the assassins and praised them for their victory. The
perpetrators threw the head of Ka’b b Asharf before Muhammad. One of
the assailants was wounded in the mission. The Prophet praised Allah
for what had been done and comforted the wounded man.
Here is the Hadith from Sahih Bukhari detailing the
murder of Ka’b al-Ashraf.
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 369:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
Allah's Apostle said, "Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf
who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?" Thereupon Muhammad bin
Maslamaa got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that
I kill him?" The Prophet said, "Yes," Muhammad bin
Maslamaa said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to
deceive Ka’b). "The Prophet said, "You may say it."
Then Muhammad bin Maslamaa went to Ka’b and said, "That man
(i.e. Muhammad demands Sadaqa (i.e. Zakat) from us, and he has
troubled us, and I have come to borrow something from you." On
that, Ka’b said, "By Allah, you will get tired of him!"
Muhammad bin Maslamaa said, "Now as we have followed him, we do
not want to leave him unless and until we see how his end is going
to be. Now we want you to lend us a camel load or two of food."
(Some difference between narrators about a camel load or two.) Ka’b
said, "Yes, (I will lend you), but you should mortgage
something to me." Muhammad bin Mas-lama and his companion said,
"What do you want?" Ka'b replied, "Mortgage your
women to me." They said, "How can we mortgage our women to
you and you are the most handsome of the 'Arabs?" Ka'b said,
"Then mortgage your sons to me." They said, "How can
we mortgage our sons to you? Later they would be abused by the
people's saying that so-and-so has been mortgaged for a camel load
of food. That would cause us great disgrace, but we will mortgage
our arms to you." Muhammad bin Maslamaa and his companion
promised Ka’b that Muhammad would return to him. He came to Ka’b
at night along with Ka’b's foster brother, Abu Na'ila. Ka’b
invited them to come into his fort, and then he went down to them.
His wife asked him, "Where are you going at this time?" Ka’b
replied, "None but Muhammad bin Maslamaa and my (foster)
brother Abu Na'ila have come." His wife said, "I hear a
voice as if dropping blood is from him, Ka'b said. "They are
none but my brother Muhammad bin Maslamaa and my foster brother Abu
Naila. A generous man should respond to a call at night even if
invited to be killed." Muhammad bin Maslamaa went with two men.
(Some narrators mention the men as 'Abu bin Jabr. Al Harith bin Aus
and Abbad bin Bishr). So Muhammad bin Maslamaa went in together with
two men, and sail to them, "When Ka'b comes, I will touch his
hair and smell it, and when you see that I have got hold of his
head, strip him. I will let you smell his head." Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf
came down to them wrapped in his clothes, and diffusing perfume.
Muhammad bin Maslamaa said. " have never smelt a better scent
than this. Ka'b replied. "I have got the best 'Arab women who
know how to use the high class of perfume." Muhammad bin
Maslamaa requested Ka'b "Will you allow me to smell your
head?" Ka'b said, "Yes." Muhammad smelt it and made
his companions smell it as well. Then he requested Ka'b again,
"Will you let me (smell your head)?" Ka'b said,
"Yes." When Muhammad got a strong hold of him, he said (to
his companions), "Get at him!" So they killed him and went
to the Prophet and informed him. (Abu Rafi) was killed after Ka'b
For further details on this gruesome murder consult Ibn Ishaq,
p.368 or Tabari, vol.vii, pp.94-97
For further Hadith on Ka’b’s murder consult Sahhi
Muslim, Book 19, Hadith number 4436
The Murder of Ibn Sunyanah at Medina by Muhayyish b. Masud -July,
Ibn Sunyanah was a Jewish merchant who was friendly and helpful to
many Muslim converts. But that friendliness of Ibn Sunaynah did not
prevent some fanatic Jihadists to finish him off, just because he was
a Jew. This was how it all started:
In the morning after the murder of Ka’b b. Ashraf, Muhammad gave
a general permission to his followers to slay any Jew whom they might
chance to meet. Tabari describes this ordinance of gratuitous killing
of any Jew thus:
The messenger of God said, “Whoever of the Jews falls into your
hands, kill him.” So Muhayyish b. Masud fell upon Ibn Sunaynah, one
of the Jewish merchants who was in close terms with them and used to
trade with them, and killed him. Huwayyish b. Masud (his brother) at
that time had not accepted Islam; he was older than Muhayysih, and
when (the latter) killed (the Jew), he began beating him saying, “O
enemy of God, have you killed him? By God you have made much fat in
your belly from his wealth.” Muhayyish said, “I said to him, ‘By
God, if he who commanded me to kill him had commanded me to kill you,
I would have cut off your head.’” And, by God, that was the
beginning of Huwayyish’s acceptance of Islam. He said, “If
Muhammad had ordered you to kill me. You would have killed me?” and
I replied, “Yes, by God, if he had ordered me to kill you I would
have cut off your head.” “By God,” he said, “a faith which has
brought you to this is indeed a marvel.” Then Huwayyisah accepted
In this connection the readers may wish to recall the beheading of
Daniel Pearl, the WSJ journalist. The Islamic Jihadists killed him the
moment he uttered that he was a Jew. These fanatics simply carried out
what Muhammad had ordained them with respect to the Jews!
From the Sahih Hadith of Sunaan Abu Dawud, we read
Book 19, Number 2996:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: If you gain a
victory over the men of Jews, kill them. So Muhayyisah jumped over
Shubaybah, a man of the Jewish merchants. He had close relations
with them. He then killed him. At that time Huwayyisah (brother of
Muhayyisah) had not embraced Islam. He was older than Muhayyisah.
When he killed him, Huwayyisah beat him and said: O enemy of Allah,
I swear by Allah, you have a good deal of fat in your belly from his
Plunder of a Quraysh Caravan at Nejd by Zayd b. Haritha-September,
The Meccans lived on trade; it was their life-blood, especially the
trade with Syria. Their economy could not survive if the marauding
gang of Muhammad cut off their trade route. The interminable attack by
the fanatic Muslim Jihadists literally imposed a blockade on their
trade that could very well soon destroy Mecca and Arabia-the Quraysh
and the other Meccans were very quick to realise this truth. The
experience of Badr II had taught them a good lesson, and they did not
want a repeat of it any more. Therefore, they sought out a new trade
route for their richly laden caravan, plying between Mecca and Syria.
This alternative route was right through the middle of Nejd, across
the desert and through Iraq. Although this was a lengthy and arduous
journey, this course was thought to be safe from Muhammad’s hand.
Having decided on this alternative route, the Quraysh equipped a
caravan to traverse the plain land of the central desert. Safwan
headed the caravan. The caravan carried vessels and bars of silver.
The guide was Furat b. Hayaan who claimed to be able to lead the
caravan through a route unknown to Muhammad. Through intelligence
however, Muhammad got wind of this caravan and immediately dispatched
Zayd b.Haritha in pursuit of it. Zayd ibn Haritha was a freed slave of
Muhammad and Muhammad adopted him as his son. Later, Muhammad married
this adopted son’s wife Zaynab.This was the first expedition led by
Zayd b. Haritha He was equipped with one hundred battle-hardened men.
He trailed the caravan and made a sudden attack on it. It was a
success. The leaders of the caravan fled and Zayd took the booty as
well as two prisoners to Medina. The booty was valued at one hundred
thousand (100,000) Dirhams (using the conversion rate provided
previously convert this to equivalent US$ of today and you will be
surprised). Muhammad kept for himself one-fifth (i.e., 20,000 Dirhams,
definitely a lot of money during those days). All others received
eight hundred Dirhams per soldier. Furat became a prisoner. The
Muslims said, “If you accept Islam, the Messenger of God will not
kill you.” He accepted Islam and was allowed to go free.
The Murder of Abu Rafi at Khaybar by Abd Allah b. Unays---December,
Abu Rafi (he was also known as Sallam ibn Abul-Huqayq) was a
compatriot of Ka’b b. al-Ashraf. He was a leader of the Khaybar Jews
and lived in Hijaj. Like Ka’b b. al-Ashraf, he lamented the coming
of Muhammad in Medina and composed poems and satires to earn the ire
of Muhammad. Muhammad was contemplating of eliminating Abu Rafi in the
same manner as Ka’b, and was looking for volunteers to kill him.
Soon this opportunity came to him on a golden platter.
We learnt in Terror 17 above that a death squad formed by the B.
Aws people who murdered Ka’b b. al-Ashraf, the Jewish poet. When the
Khazaraj people heard that al-Aws had killed Ka’b Ibn al-Ashraf,
they wanted to match this killing by murdering another Jew, and Abu
Rafi became their choice. Thus, a killing competition developed
between the Aws and the Khazaraj. Soon they sought permission of
Muhammad to kill Abu Rafi. Muhammad, of course, gladly approved their
murder plan and gave them his blessing.
A five-member assassin squad was dispatched to finish off Abu Rafi.
Muhammad selected Abd Allah b. Atik as the head of this assassin team.
After the team arrived at Khaybar, they went to Abu Rafi’s house by
night and went upstairs through a spiral stair and sought permission
to enter Abu Rafi’s room. Abu Rafi’s wife came out and enquired
about the purpose of their call. They pretended to be Arab traders. So
she let them in. They entered his room and bolted the door. Abu Rafi’s
wife gave a wild scream; they wanted to kill her too, but refrained
from doing so when they remembered Muhammad’s injunction to not to
kill a woman. On their threat, Abu Rafi’s wife had to keep her mouth
shut while the assassins ran with open swords after their prey as Abu
Rafi was still in his bed. Then Abdullah b. Unaya bore down and
plunged his sword on the belly of Abu Rafi until it went right through
While escaping, Abd Allah b. Atik fell off the spiral stairway,
bruising severely his leg. His comrades took him to a nearby water
channel and treated him. The Jews made a futile search for the
assassin of Abu Rafi and then returned to a dying Abu Rafi. To confirm
Abu Rafi’s death, his killer, Abd Allah b. Unays set off and mingled
with the bereaving crowd. Abu Rafi’s wife mentioned that she could
recognize the voice of the assassin to be that of Abd Allah b. Atik
but she was not certain that Abd Allah Atik would come from a far off
place of Yathrib (Medina) to Khaybar to kill Abu Rafi. Then she
announced the death of Abu Rafi. As per Abd Allah b. Atik, he had
never heard any word more pleasing than the death of Abu Rafi. Once
they were sure of their victim’s death, the perpetrators returned to
Muhammad and each of them claimed to be the assassin of Abu Rafi.
Muhammad asked them to bring their swords for examination. From the
blood in the sword he declared that Abd Allah b. Unays had killed Abu
Rafi (Sallam Ibn Abi al-Huqayq). On this murder, Muhammad said, “This
sword of ‘Abd Allah b. Unays killed him. I can see the marks left by
bones on it.”
Hassan b. Thabit composed a poem glorifying the assassinations of
Ka’b b. al-Ashraf and Sallam b. Abi al-Huqyaq (Abu Rafi).
The murder of Abu Rafi is recorded in Sahih Bukhari in Hadith
[Note: Some biographers mention that this murder took place just
prior to Muhammad’s invasion on Khaybar]
Continued in Chapter 6
‘Young man smile in the face of death,
for you are on your way to Heaven’---from a Manual of Terror
The Battle of Uhud, Led by Muhammad-March, 625CE
The Quraysh resolutely decided to avenge their defeat at Badr II.
The need for a decisive military victory against the menacing Islam
and its diehard Jihadists became more urgent when Zayd b. Haritha
plundered their rich caravan that took the new alternative route
through Nejd (see terror 19, CH. 5). The Quraysh were now convinced
that nothing could protect their lifeline (trade) from the pillage and
terror of Muhammad. They alerted the neighboring tribes and sought to
raise money to form a formidable military operation against Muhammad.
Through contributions from different parts of Arabia they raised
250,000 Dirhams (besides the 250,000 Dirhams paid as ransom to secure
the release of the Meccan prisoners from Muhammad) for the impending
military expedition to avenge their defeat. They also concluded
alliances with other nearby Bedouin tribes. Besides this subscription
from various sources, they also decided to use the entire profit from
the caravan that escaped Badr II to use it to combat the terrorism of
Muhammad. This profit was one thousand camels and fifty thousand
Dinars (around US$ 550,000 in all, using the conversion rate mentioned
earlier) in cash, a substantial amount of money in those days. With
such a handsome resource at their disposal, the Quraysh had no
difficulty in organizing a formidable army of three thousand men,
seven hundred of them were armored warriors and two hundred mounted
cavalry, ready to fight the terror perpetrated by Muhammad and his
fanatic followers. There was also a small band of fifty Medina
citizens under Abu Amir, the Christian monk, who went over to Mecca
after being disgusted at the enthusiastic reception of Muhammad at
Medina. Besides these military personnel, a batch of fifteen Quraysh
women in camel litters also joined the military operation. Their
leader was Hind bt. Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyan Shakhr b. Harb. At
Badr II she had lost her father (Utba), uncle (Shaybah) and her son,
Hanzala. She was particularly interested in going for the blood of
Hamzah who had slain her father at Badr II. Now was the time for her
to quench her thirst for revenge. She engaged an Abyssinian slave,
Wahshi, possessing deadly javelin skill and belonging to Jubayr b. Mut’im
to kill Hamza, promising Wahshi his freedom if he was successful in
It was twelve months since the Badr II and it was the month of
Ramadan. The Quraysh remained steadfast in their revenge for the
defeat at Badr II. Now was the time to put their threat into
execution. They planned a grand attack on Muhammad. Rumor of this
grand plan had been reaching Muhammad for some time through his
informers at Mecca. He even received an oracle from Allah in 3:128 on
this preparedness. This rumor was confirmed when Muhammad
received a sealed letter from his uncle, al-Abbas while he (Muhammad)
was at his mosque at Quba, a short distance from the city of Medina. A
messenger from Mecca delivered the letter to Muhammad. The letter
contained the information that the Quraysh, with three thousand
soldiers were planning an attack on Muhammad. He kept the content of
the letter a secret and immediately returned to Medina to concur with
his advisors there. However, the news leaked out when the wife of Sa’d
b Muadh, the Khazaraj leader, overheard the conversation between him
and Muhammad. Soon, the news spread that an immediate attack was
coming from the Quraysh.
In Mecca, the Quraysh were now fully ready to set out for a
showdown with Muhammad. At last, near the end of Ramadan, the Quraysh
army started their march with three thousand soldiers and with Abu
Sufyan b. Harb as their general. The other chiefs of the Quraysh clans
also accompanied the Meccan army.
After a march of ten or twelve days, the Meccan army, taking the
usual route by the shore, arrived at Dhul Hulaifa, about five miles
west of Medina. It is reported that while at al-Abwa, Hind bt. Utbah,
Abu Sufyan’s wife suggested that they dig up the grave of Muhammad’s
mother, but the Quraysh refrained from doing such a depraved
act. It was Thursday morning, and after halting here for a
while, the Quraysh army marched northward for a few miles, bypassing
the city of Medina; instead, they proceeded about three miles further
north and encamped at Uhud, a mountainous region with some wide plain
space for the camel’s grazing. One may wonder why the Quraysh did
not attack central Medina; they could have easily done so with much
success and with plenty of booty. The reason is that the Quraysh were
not at all interested in any sort of plunder or booty. In fact, they
had no grudge against the general population of Medina; they were
angry with only one person-their co-citizen, Muhammad, who had taken
refuge there. Soon after their arrival at the plains of Uhud, the
Meccans cut down the luxuriant forest as feed for the horses and
camels. They also set loose the camels and horses to graze. Then
Friday came and it passed without any activity.
In Medina, Muhammad was kept appraised of
Meccan movements. A spy, Hobab ibn al Mundhir surveyed the Quraysh
camp on Thursday and brought back the alarming estimate of the Quraysh
army. Muhammad decided to keep that information a secret. The next
day, Friday, Muhammad discussed with his people the course to be
pursued. He had a bad dream the previous night and told the conclave
of his Jihadists about the need of protection of Medina and himself.
Due to his bad dream the previous night, a superstitious Muhammad was
quite reluctant to go for the battle. At first, it was decided that
the women and children of the suburbs and surrounding hamlets should
be brought within the city. The enemy, if they approached should be
met with arrows, stones and other missiles from the housetops. Abd
Allah ibn Ubayy, Muhammad’s nemesis supported this proposal of
defending the city of Medina should the Quraysh attacked
it. But the young converts wanted
to go out and fight the enemy in the field, as they did at Badr II.
Young Jihadists who missed the Badr II and its booty were more
enthusiastic in going out to fight the Quraysh. The picture of
paradise hovered before their eyes as martyrs in Allah’s cause was
just as the Quran had described it in 56:25-26. Hamza
was adamant, saying, “By Allah who has sent the Book down unto you,
I will not taste food till I fight them with my sword outside Medina.”
Many people supported this young faction. In the end, Muhammad gave
way to them, commanding them to make ready for the battle.
After the afternoon prayer, the people assembled in the court of
the mosque armed for the battle. Muhammad himself put on two armors,
one on top of another. When a few young Jihadists found that Muhammad
had quite reluctantly agreed to proceed for the battle, they became
repentant and wanted to abort the mission. On this, Muhammad said, “It
does not suit a Prophet that once he had put on armor. He should take
it off until Allah has decided between him and the enemy.” Some
people hesitated but Muhammad kept going. Muhammad’s child-bride,
Aisha also volunteered to join the Jihad and he allowed her. Aisha
nursed the wounded, brought water to the thirsty and rendered sundry
Then the Muslims fixed three banners on the three lances. One for
the refugees, carried by Musab b. Umayr (some say, Ali), the second,
to the leader of B. Aws, Usayd ibn Hudayl, the third to a leader of B.
Khazraj, al-Hubab ibn al-Mundhir. Abdallah ibn Umm Maktum was
appointed to look after Medina city and to lead the prayer in the
absence of Muhammad. The Muslim army consisted of one thousand men
(one hundred of them were armored), and two horses (one belonging to
Muhammad). Then Muhammad gave the orders for the march northward to
the plains of Uhud. The two Sa’ds (Sa’d b. Muadh and Sa’d b.
Ubadah) ran in front of the Muslim battalion.
Muhammad marched until he reached al-Shaykhayn and saw a
well-equipped army waiting there. On enquiry, he learned that they
were polytheists and Jews who were ready to join the Muslim army
against the Meccans. They were the allies of Abd Allah ibn Ubay.
Muhammad refused to accept them as his comrade, saying, “Do not seek
support of the polytheists against polytheists.” Then he halted at
al-Shaykhayn and reviewed his forces, rejecting those who were
disabled or too young to fight. At nightfall, the Muslim army encamped
there and Muhammad spent the night there. Abd Allah ibn Ubayy encamped
nearby. He was displeased by the unfriendly behavior of Muhammad to
his Jewish adherents. The Quraysh were also camped nearby. A ridge
separated the two armies.
In the morning the Muslim army started marching again to Uhud. When
they reached at a place called Ash Shawt
they could observe the Quraysh army in the distance.
It was at this place that Abd Allah ibn Ubayy rebelled against
Muhammad, withdrew his three hundred men from the Muslim army and
started departing for Medina thus reducing the number of Jihadists to
around seven hundred men. Two other parties of Muhammad were also
influenced by Abd Allah ibn Ubayy. They were about to join him (Abd
Allah ibn Ubayy), but at the eleventh hour, changed their minds and
decided to remain with Muhammad. As revealed in 3:122 Muhammad
claimed this change of heart to be Allah’s will. When Abd Allah ibn
Ubay departed, another band of Muhammad’s followers went along with
him, pleading Abd Allah ibn Ubayy to fight for the cause of Allah. But
ibn Ubayy was adamant in returning to Medina, thus greatly displeasing
the pleading clan. Allah, in verse 3:187 cursed the hypocrisy
of Abd Allah ibn Ubayy. So, now Muhammad had to march alone with his
seven hundred followers. Although he was quite near to Uhud, and could
easily see the Quraysh encamped in the plains of Uhud, he found that
it would not be safe to follow the main road to Uhud, because that
would engage him to a full frontal confrontation with the enemy.
Muhammad now sought the help of a local guide, Abu Khaitamah to reach
the Uhud Mountain bypassing the frontal confrontation with the Quraysh.
This guide took the Muslim army through a track that required the
trespassing through farmland belonging to a blind man named Marba b
Qyizi. When the Jihadists wanted to pass through this farmland without
the permission of the owner, the blind man protested by throwing dust
on them and saying, “You may be the apostle of God, but I won’t
let you through my garden. By God, Muhammad, if I could be sure that I
should not hit someone else I would throw it in your face.” The
Jihadists sought Muhammad’s permission to cut to pieces this blind
man. Muhammad declined; but it was too late. A diehard Jihadist had
already hit the blind man on his head with his sword that cut his head
in to two pieces. Such was the mercy of Allah’s soldiers!
Upon their arrival at Uhud, the Muslims camped at the base of the
mountain and arranged their rank to face the Quraysh. Muhammad
dispatched fifty archers to the hill of Aynayan that was opposite to
the main Uhud mountain range to guard the rear of the Muslim army. He
appointed Abd Allah ibn Jubayr as their leader and gave strict order
to not to leave their position under any circumstances, whether
victory or defeat, until they received the command from him. He issued
further orders to not to engage the enemy until he gave instructions.
Muhammad himself took up a position at an elevated place with plenty
of arrows to shoot at the enemy. Sahih Bukhari states that Some
Jihadists drank wine to imbue them further in Jihad. Here is the Sahih
Volume 6, Book 60, Number 142:
Some people drank alcoholic beverages in the morning (of the
day) of the Uhud battle and on the same day they were killed as
martyrs, and that was before wine was prohibited.
Muhammad exhorted the Jihadists to a frenzied spirit of war;
gave his sword to one cavalier, Abu Dujana who was famous for his
savagery and fanatic killing instinct. Then Muhammad sat down and
began casting arrows. He was protected by a band of Jihadists who
ensured that any attack from behind would be repulsed immediately.
However, his elite core of companions (like Abu Bakr, Ali, Hamzah,
Umar and others) were dispatched to lead the Muslim soldiers for a
fierce combat. Muhammad then waited for enemy’s approach. At this
time, Abu Sufyan b. Harb, the leader of the Quraysh army brought his
army, and facing Uhud, marshaled them in front of Muhammad. Khalid b.
al-Walid commanded the right wing, while Ikrimah b. Abu Jahl commanded
the left wing, with Abu Sufyan in command of the middle front. The
women, at first, kept to the front sounding their tumbrels and martial
verses; but as the line advanced, they fell to the rear.
The Meccan banner was borne by Talha ibn Abi Talhah. He belonged to
the Quryash clan of Abdud Dar whose duty it was to carry the banner of
the Quraysh during war. It was
Saturday, Shawwal 7, AH3 corresponding to March 23, 625. The two
armies were now poised to ignite the fire.
Before the battle started, Abu Sufyan sent a message of peace to
the men of al-Aws and al-Khazaraj, asking them to leave the matter of
battle among the cousins (i.e., among the Quraysh) only. He did not
want to have a war with al-Aws and al-Khazraj. But al-Aws and al-Khazraj
turned down his peace offer. Thus, a ferocious showdown became
The first person from the Quraysh to start the single combat was
Abu Amir (Muhammad used to call him al-Fasiq-the evildoer) with
a party of fifty of his people. They exchanged stone-throwing with the
Muslims. This continued till the Muslims gained an upper hand, and Abu
Amir and his companions turned back To keep the fervor of fighting
spirit intact, the Quraysh women came out marching, beating cymbals,
drums and tambourines and singing patriotic songs.
In the next stage of fighting, it was mainly single combat, following
the Arab customary start of a battle. Talha ibn Abu Talhah strode
forward with the Quraysh standard; Az- Zubair b. al-Awwam (some say
Ali ibn Talib) met him and killed him. On hearing the death of the
first standard bearer of the Quraysh, Muhammad rejoiced with Takbir
(Allahu Akbar) and said, “Every Prophet has a disciple and my
disciple is Az Zubair,” thus guaranteeing Az Zubair a place in
paradise, whether alive or dead in the Jihad.
After the death of Talhah, his brother Abu Shaybah Uthman b. Abi
Talhah took over the Quraysh standard reciting enticing verses. Hamzah
attacked him with his sword, cutting his hand and shoulder and
exposing his lung. Soon Abu Shaybah Uthman was killed. Then, his
brother, Abu Sa’d b. Abi Talhah took over the Quraysh flag and Asim
b. Thabit killed him. In this way, seven members from the same family
were killed. They were: Talhah, his brothers, Shaybah and Abu Sa’d;
Talha’s four sons, viz. Musafi, Al-Harith, Kilab and Julas. When
Musafi’s mother learnt the killing of her two sons in the hands of
Asim b. Thabit she vowed to avenge their death by drinking wine from
The slaughter continued and the Quraysh grew desperate. When all
the brave brothers and sons of Talhah were slain, Artat Shurahbil
raised the flag of the Quarysh and an unknown Jihadist killed
him. The Quraysh standard then went to the hand of Shurayh b. Qariz
and then to his slave Su’ab; the Muslims killed both of them. Thus,
ten Quraysh laid down their lives to keep the Quraysh standard aloft.
The Quraysh flag lay on the ground with no one to raise it. The front
line of the Quraysh was now broken; panic and terror struck their
minds and they took to the flight. They realized that it was a mistake
on their part to engage the Muslims in single combat. However, it was
too late. Hanzala b. Abu Amir (the Christian monk’s Muslim son)
dueled with Abu Sufyan and was about to kill him when Shaddad b. al-Aswad
struck Hanzala b. Amir and killed him. This was what Abu Sufyan b.
Harb later recalled in a poetic verse as ‘Hanzala for Hanzala.’
(Remember? Abu Sufyan’s son Hanzala was killed by the Muslims at
As soon as the Quraysh realized their folly in engaging the Muslim
Jihadists in single combat they launched a general engagement. In the
beginning, with the fierce attack from the Muslims, the Quraysh began
to waver. Each time they moved forward, the archers, protecting the
rear of the Muslim army in the neighboring hillock pushed them back.
The Meccan army was about to lose heart. Abu Dujana, with the sword
given by Muhammad, Hamza and Ali fought valiantly. They killed a
number of Quraysh unbelievers. The Quraysh, became desperate and
started to flee the battle leaving their standard lying on the ground
and no one to carry it. Thus ended the first phase of the Uhud battle.
The Muslim army, sensing the nervousness of the Quraysh, without
any delay, started collecting booty. Their cupidity for booty was so
intense that when the Muslim archers saw from the hilltop afar their
compatriots engaged in plunder, they simply deserted their positions
and joined in the rush for the loot. Only ten archers,
with their leader Abd Allah ibn Jubayr remained
in their position as directed by Muhammad. The rest could not care
less about Muhammad’s instruction; booty became their supreme goal.
Here is a summary of what Tabari wrote about the Jihadists desire for
When the Jihadists, guarding the rear of Muslim soldiers saw the
Quraysh and their women fleeing and saw the booty they became hungry
for spoils and said, “Let us go to the Messenger of God and get the
booty before the others beat us to it.” Another group wanted to obey
the order of Muhammad and leave their positions. On this altercation
between the two groups God revealed, “Whoso desireth….the
Witnessing the greed for booty, Ibn Masud said, “I never realized
that any of the Prophet’s companions desired the world and its goods
until that day.”
This uncontrolled greed for booty by the Jihadists provided Khaild
b. Walid, the commander of the Quraysh cavalry to charge the
booty-drunken Muslims from behind and to change the tide of war. He
soon made a vicious attack on the remaining archers, killing all of
them, including their leader Abd Allah ibn Jubayr. Khalid b. Walid was
followed by Ikrimah b Abu Hakam (Abu Jahl’s son; Abu Jahl was
brutally murdered in Badr II). It is claimed that the angels were
present but they did not fight for the Muslims. It is it clear why the
angels were reluctant to help the soldiers of Allah. When the Muslim
ranks were broken and forced back, Muhammad tried to resume the
flight. He gave a call to continue fighting in the name of the apostle
of Allah. But his call remained largely unheeded and the retreat
continued unabated. The enemy soon came closer to Muhammad. A party of
diehard devotees then rallied around his person. It was impossible for
Muhammad to escape. While this confusion was raging, a rumor, that
Muhammad had been killed, broke the backbone of the Muslim army.
Muhammad’s biographers often provide conflicting and confusing
account of this episode of the Uhud battle. Here is what I understood
after consulting a few versions of this story:
Watching the quick change of fortune in the war front and the
Muslim’s disunity, the Quraysh soon regained their spirit and
returned to fight. A Quraysh woman, Umrah bt. Alqamah Al-Harithya
lifted the lying standard on the ground. This time, the Quraysh had a
decisive upper hand in the fight. They gathered together and started
searching for Muhammad.
A band of Quraysh army, after killing the archers, pursued Muhammad
and his bodyguards. At that time most of the Jihadists were busying
themselves with the plunder. Only a small group of nine Jihadists were
protecting Muhammad, seven of them were Ansars (helpers) and
two were Muhajirs (immigrants). A part of Khalid’s army, led
by ibn Qamia started hurling stones at this little group protecting
Muhammad. One of these stones hit Muhammad’s mouth injuring his
lower right incisor and rupturing his lower lip. Another sword-attack
from Utbah b. Abi Waqqas (the brother of Sa’d b. Abi Waqqas, a
Muslim), a Quraysh injured his forehead and shoulder causing severe
The Meccans attack on the Muslims from behind put them to flight.
They (the Meccans) killed many Muslims. Some Muslims were gravely
wounded; many started to flee the battle. With a wounded person and a
wounded heart Muhammad called on his followers to fight on, but no one
was listening to him. Then Allah sent the oracle in verse 3:128,
“It is no concern at all of thee (Muhammad), whether He relent
toward them or punish them: for they are evildoers.” A helpless
Muhammad then cried out, “Who will sell his life for us?” Hearing
his desperate call, Ziyad b. al-Sakani (or Umarah b. Ziyad al-Sakani),
along with other five Jihadists, came forward to protect Muhammad.
They were killed one after another in front of him until only Ziyad b.
al-Sakani was left.
It is reported that Hatib b. Baltah followed Utbah b. Abi Waqqas
and killed him, although it was the great desire of Sa’d b. Abi
Waqqas to kill his own brother (Utbah). While the attack on Muhammad
was not mortal (because Muhammad was wearing a double coat of arms),
the blow was so heavy that it caused the two rings in his helmet to
penetrate his cheeks. An injured Muhammad vehemently cursed the
perpetrators. Initially those bodyguards fought with supreme bravery
to protect Muhammad. But the Quraysh continued their foray of
relentless attack on them-so much so, that
they killed the seven ansars in no time. Only the two Muhajirs,
namely, Talhah b. Ubaidullah and Sa’d b. Abi Waqqas, now protected
Muhammad. In the short melee that ensued, the Quraysh seriously
injured Talhah b. Ubaidullah. The standard bearer of the Muslims,
Musab b. Umayr was nearby. It happened that he resembled Muhammad in
his appearance. Ibn Qamiah attacked him and killed him. Thinking that
he had killed Muhammad, he started shouting at the top of his voice,
“Muhammad has been killed.” Hearing this terrible news, the Muslim’s
rank fell in disorder; confusion raged and they started fighting each
other. One such victim of this internecine was the father of Hudhayfa,
Al-Yaman. When he saw his father about to be killed by another Muslim,
he cried out, but to no avail. Hudhayfah later forgave his father’s
killer and did not demand any blood money for the killing of his
father. Many Muslims fled the battlefield and headed towards Medina.
Some of them took their comrades’ corpses for burial at Medina. Some
Muslims even tried to contact Abd Allah ibn Ubayy to strike a deal
with the Quraysh, so that they would not be killed by them. But this
attempt failed. Finding his position to be untenable and extremely
vulnerable from further attack, Muhammad began to run for his life. A
Jihadist, Ka’b b. Malik saw a fleeing Muhammad and rejoiced, crying
loudly, “Allah’s messenger is alive.” An unnerved Muhammad asked
Ka’b to keep his mouth shut; but the Quraysh had already heard that
their bitterest enemy was still alive. One Quraysh, Ubay b. Khalaf
rode to Muhammad in order to kill him. Muhammad took a spear from one
of his companions and hurled it at Ubay b. Khalaf injuring him. Ubayy
went back to the Quraysh with the injury in his throat and neck and
said, “By God, Muhammad has killed me.” The Quraysh found nothing
so seriously wrong with Ubayy. But Ubayy insisted that Muhammad’s
curse had afflicted him. Ubayy b. Khalaf died of his wound at Sarif
while returning to Mecca. It is stated that when the Quraysh saw Ubay
b. Khalaf’s wound and told him that it was not very serious he
refused to believe it, insisting that Muhammad had previously cursed
him to death and as such he would surely die. While there is no
evidence/record to suggest that Muhammad had killed any one with his
own hand, Ibn Sa’d writes, “Ubayyi Ibn Khalaf al-Jumahi, whom the
apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, slew with his own hand……”
While running in a hurry to save his own life, Muhammad fell into a
ditch (some kind of booby-trap) that Abu Amir, the Christian monk had
previously dug to trap Muslim soldiers. Now, hearing the joyful shout
of Ka’b, about thirty of the Jihadists, including Muhammad’s
hardcore companions like Abu Bakr, Ali, Umar etc.
started approaching him. When they came near the ditch where Muhammad
had fallen, they were greatly relieved to find him alive. Muhammad
asked them not to make much noise but to proceed north and take
sanctuary at one of the caves in the hillock. Ali put forth his hand
towards Muhammad and lifted him up from the ditch. With a live
Muhammad with them, his companions then started to proceed stealthily
towards the hillock to take shelter there, to execute a planned
withdrawal of the Muslim army and, most importantly, provide medical
attention to Muhammad and his injured companions. It is reported that
Aisha and a few other Muslimah joined Muhammad’s team. Fatima
(Muhammad’s daughter) arrived at the scene of the battle and helped
to dress the wound of her father. It took about a month for Muhammad’s
wound to heal.
Hamza’s sister, Safiya also came up. She was fondly attached to
Hamza, her brother.
The battle of Uhud also demonstrates the use of extreme
vituperative and vulgar language, mostly by the Muslims. Here is a
While such a grave predicament afflicted the Muslims, Hamzah was
fighting gallantly killing a few Quraysh. The Abissiniyan slave, Wahsi
(Remember? he was hired by Hind bt. Utbah to kill Hamzah) was watching
him close by and took up a strategic position aiming his deadly spear
at Hamzah. At this moment, Siba b. Abd al-Uzza al-Ghubshani (Abu Niyar)
passed by Hamzah. Abu Niyar was the son of a female circumciser, Umm
Ammar, a freed slave of Shariq b. Amr b. Wahb al-Thaqafi. So, Hamzah
yelled at him, “Come over here, you son of a cutter-of clitorises.”
When, Wahsi, the slave of Jubayr b. Mutim saw Hamzah yelling at Abu
Niyar, he (Wahsi) swiftly hurled his javelin at Hamzah that struck him
before he could strike Abu Niyar. The javelin struck Hamzah in the
lower part of the belly and came out between his legs. Hamzah died
quickly and Wahsi recovered his javelin and returned to his camp, thus
fulfilling his commitment of killing Hamzah. Hamzah’s body lay dead
on the ground.
Thus, we note that FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) was quite
prevalent among the Arabs in the days of Muhammad. Muhammad did not
put any ban on this practice of mutilating female private organs.
As mentioned previously, after Muhammad was pulled up from the
ditch, Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali and his other companions carried him to a
cave nearby to provide medical attention and nursing. A Jihadist
pulled out the ring that had penetrated inside Muhammad’s cheek, and
while performing this primitive ‘surgery’, he broke Muhammad’s
already injured incisor. Blood was oozing out from Muhammad’s wound
in his face. Malik b. Sinan sucked out the blood and drank it. On
this, Muhammad said, “He whose blood mingles with mine will not be
touched by the fire of hell.” Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali and his other
inner core of companions started comforting an injured Muhammad and
the gravely wounded Talhah b. Ubaidullah. To those who spread the
rumor of Muhammad’s death, Allah revealed the verse 3:144,
“Muhammad is but a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) have
passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dieth or is slain, ye
will turn back on your heels! He who turneth back doth no hurt to
Allah, and Allah will reward the thankful.”
The Jihadists surrounding Muhammad became very tired and
many of them fell asleep in the cave. In a short time, the Muslims
finally retreated from the battle and took cover in the mountains of
Meanwhile, after the Quraysh sensed that the Muslims had been
defeated and they (the Muslims) had retreated to the mountainside,
they came out in full force, many of them inspecting their fallen
foes. This way, mid-day passed. After the mid-day, the Quraysh started
looking for the body of Muhammad, and not finding it doubted his
death. Some of them engaged in mutilating the Muslim corpses. They cut
off the ears and noses (even genitalia) of their victims and made
necklaces from them. Hind bt Utbah became so obsessed with revenge
that she not only wore some such necklaces and anklets but also
proceeded to mutilate Hamzah’s corpse. She tore apart his stomach,
took out the liver and chewed it but finding that not so palatable
spat it out. Abu Sufyan denounced such a savage act of Hind.
Then Abu Sufyan came very near to the snuggery where Muhammad and
his companions were sheltered and enquired about who were inside the
cave. No one replied back to him. At this, Abu Sufyan hubristically
announced that the Quraysh had slain all the nobles of the Muslims,
including Muhammad. Unable to bear such humiliation and insult, an
angry Umar retorted back that all of them were alive, safe and sound
including Muhammad. Though a little surprised, Abu Sufyan was
reluctant to continue with further bloodshed and informed Umar that
some Quraysh had indulged themselves in mutilating the Muslim corpses
which he neither ordered nor disliked. He was satisfied that the death
of his son Hanzalah b. Abu Sufyan in BadrII had been avenged. Abu
Sufyan then issued a challenge to meet Muhammad again, next year at
Badr. Muhammad accepted the challenge. After exalting Hubal (the
biggest idol in Ka’ba) and Uzza (another idol at Nakha) for the
victory, Abu Sufyan gave order to his soldiers to pack up and march
for Mecca. At this, a defiant Muhammad proclaimed that Allah is the
protector of the Jihadists.
Once Abu Sufyan was far off from the Muslim’s sanctuary, Muhammad
instructed Ali to observe the departure of the Quraysh army. Ali
reported back that the Quraysh rode their camels and led their horses.
This news relieved Muhammad, because it was a sure sign that the
Quraysh had, indeed, departed for Mecca and had no intention of
returning to Uhud/Medina. Being reassured of no further attack
from the Quraysh, Muhammad ordered his comrades to come out of their
hideout. Thus the Muslims, once again, returned to the battlefield
that was now strewn with the corpses of the Jihadists. It was a
horrible sight, no doubt, and when Muhammad saw the mutilated body of
Hamzah who was his uncle and foster brother, he was gravely saddened
and started to weep. The sight of Hamzah’s corpse was so grotesque
that Muhammad prevented his (Muhammad’s) aunt, Saffiya to visit her
brother’s (Hamzah) dead body. But Saffiya refused and came and
looked at the macabre scene of his brother lying on the ground with
parts of his body missing or in tatter. But she was calm, composed,
and supplicated Allah for the forgiveness of Hamzah. Muhammad ordered
that Hamzah be buried with Abdullah ibn Jahsh, who was his (Hamzah’s)
nephew. Subsequently, Hamzah was buried where he fell dead. Muhammad
then vowed to take revenge by mutilating thirty Quraysh bodies for
Hamza. Some say that he vowed for seventy. However, this mutilation
practice was banned by a later revelation (16:126) in the Qur’an.
Consequently, Muhammad banned the mutilation of dead bodies but
announced: “A wounded Jihadi will be raised on the resurrection day
with blood dripping from his wounds and the smell of the wound will be
the smell of musk” In addition to this, he also said: “God put the
spirits of those killed in the Uhud in the crops of green birds and
the Jihadists would like to come back from heaven and be killed again,
again and again.”
A similar Hadith is narrated in Sunaan Abu Dawud:
Book 14, Number 2514:
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: When your brethren were
smitten at the battle of Uhud, Allah put their spirits in the
crops of green birds which go down to the rivers of Paradise, eat
its fruit and nestle in lamps of gold in the shade of the Throne.
Then when they experienced the sweetness of their food, drink and
rest, they asked: Who will tell our brethren about us that we are
alive in Paradise provided with provision, in order that they
might not be disinterested in jihad and recoil in war? Allah Most
High said: I shall tell them about you; so Allah sent down;
"And do not consider those who have been killed in Allah's
path." till the end of the verse.
After burying their dead comrades, the Muslims, along with
Muhammad, returned to Medina. While on his way to Medina, many people,
especially women were extremely eager to learn about the fate of their
dear and near ones. Muhammad had no choice but to tell them the
heart-wrenching news of the death of their relations. When he passed
by a settlement of Ansars, Muhammad heard the wailing of women
for their dear ones. He himself wept but found no women to weep for
Hamzah. When Sa’d b. Muadh heard of
this, he ordered his women folks to weep for Hamzah, the uncle of
In the evening of that day (Saturday, 7th of Shawal), Muhammad,
along with the Muslim army returned to Medina. When Muhammad entered
his family home he and Ali gave their swords to Fatima (Muhammad’s
daughter and Ali’s wife) to wash off the blood from them.
It is reported that seventy Muslims were killed at the battle of
Uhud. The Quraysh lost twenty-three men.
There were a few accidental killing of Muslims by themselves. For
instance, it was already mentioned that Husayl b. Jabir al-Yaman was
killed by Muslims who could not recognize him. Muhammad paid his son
Hudhayfah the blood money. Hudhayfah donated that money to the needy
Hatib’s son Yazid was gravely injured and was comforted by other
Muslims, for paradise was promised to a martyr. At this, Hatib was
agitated and blamed the Muslims for misleading his son to death.
Another Muslim, Quzaman, fought valiantly, killing eight or nine
polytheists and then was gravely injured. When people congratulated
him for his valor, he simply expressed his great desire to fight for
the honor of his own people. When the pain from his wound became very
severe he committed suicide by slitting his wrist with an arrow.
Muhammad was quite dissatisfied with Quzman, because he fought and
died for National cause rather than Allah and his apostle’s causes.
When Muhammad’s followers enquired about Quzman’s standing in the
life hereafter, Muhammad replied, “He is an inhabitant of fire.”
A Jew, Mukhayriq was also killed in Uhud. He fought for the Muslims
and exhorted other Jews to fight alongside Muhammad. But most Jews did
not join the battle on the plea of the Sabbath day. As his testimony,
Muhammad called Mukhyaraq the best of Jews. Sahi Bukhari
records that Muhammad’s wife, Aisha, and another woman, Umm Sulaim,
(it is not clear if she was Muhammad’s wife or not), served water to
the Muslim fighters in Uhud. Here is the Hadith:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 131:
On the day (of the battle) of Uhad when (some) people retreated
and left the Prophet, I saw 'Aisha bint Abu Bakr and Um Sulaim,
with their robes tucked up so that the bangles around their ankles
were visible hurrying with their water skins (in another narration
it is said, "carrying the water skins on their backs").
Then they would pour the water in the mouths of the people, and
return to fill the water skins again and came back again to pour
water in the mouths of the people.
On the night of their return from Uhud, the Muslim army kept a
sharp vigil on the city of Medina to prevent any intrusion from the
Quraysh. Muhammad had a rather nightmarish night. For the whole of the
night he thought over what had happened and what the future holds for
him and his hordes of followers. The defeat at Uhud was an extremely
painful blow to him and his credibility
as the messenger of Allah was now at stake-Muhammad was quick to
understand this. He needed to be calm, cool, and collected,
and must decide on a course of action to restore his lost
credibility and the awe at which his followers looked at him.
To them, he was invincible and next to Allah-nothing can be
further from this truth. Muhammad vowed that he must not lose this
magical and hypnotic mob-power on his Jihadist followers. At the same
time he was also alarmed that the Quraysh army might return and
inflict a sudden attack on Medina. The only choice for him was to go
out, look for the whereabouts of the Quraysh army and scare
(terrorize) them, somehow or other. He must cast terror on their
hearts by whatever means he could muster-he knew this truth very well.
Continued in Chapter 7
‘We have to pay a tax to go to
The Invasion of Hamra al-Aswad by Muhammad-March, 624CE
As stated earlier, Muhammad was deeply perturbed at the defeat of
Muslims at Uhud; therefore, to salvage Muslim morale as well as to
instil fear in the hearts of the Jews and the hypocrites, he planned a
few attacks against the enemy in order to offset the ignominy of the
rout at Uhud,
So Sunday the 8th of Shawaal, AH3 (March 24, 625), the next day
after Uhud, when the Muslims woke up, they heard that Muhammad had
called them to join him in the pursuit of the returning Quraysh army.
He gave a general order of mobilization of the troops, but with the
condition that only those who had participated in the Uhud battle the
previous day were eligible to join in the new operation. Undoubtedly,
he did this to elevate the spirit of the Jihadists, to remove the
impression of their disgraceful defeat at Uhud and to boost the morale
of his demoralized soldiers. One Muslim, who missed out the Uhud
battle because of his father’s reluctance to let him fight in the
Jihad was allowed to join the Muslim army. The son of a martyred
Jihadist sought Muhammad’s permission to join in this expedition; he
was also allowed in.
Besides them, several wounded Jhadists also joined this march.
A little before Muhammad set out in the pursuit of the departing
Meccan army, he sent three spies, all belonging to B. Aslam to track
the footprint of the departing Meccan army. Two of them met the Meccan
army at Hamra al-Asad, about eight (or ten, as per ibn S’ad) miles
from Medina. Abu Sufyan had already come to learn about Muhammad’s
venture to pursue the Meccans. The two spies heard the discussion
among the Quraysh: whether they should go back and finish off the
Muslims once and for all or to continue their journey to Mecca. Abu
Sufyan was in favor of inflicting a deciding blow to the Muslims, but
on the counseling of Safwan ibn Umayyah, he decided against it and,
instead, proceeded towards Mecca. It happened just a day before the
Muslim Jihadists arrived at Hamra al-Asad. Prior to their departure
from Hamra al-Asad, the Quraysh spotted the two Muslim spies, caught
them and killed them, leaving their corpses on the road. Nothing is
known about the whereabouts of the third Muslim sleuth. Presumably, he
fled and returned to Muhammad.
The Jihadists, under the leadership of a bandaged Muhammad, went up
to Hamra al-Asad, and found the two dead bodies of the spies that
Muhammad had sent for intelligence on the Quraysh. Once Muhammad
learned that the Quraysh were not there to attack him further, he felt
elated and decided to spend three nights (or five, according to ibn Sa’d)--
until Wednesday, (March 25-27, 625) before returning to Medina. While
recuperating at Hamra al-Asad from his battle wound suffered at Uhud,
he ordered five hundred fires kindled on the adjoining heights, simply
to send the Quraysh the strong message of his strength.
Further, while Muhammad was at Hamra al-Asad, he made an agreement
with Mabad al-Khuzaah at Tihamah. Both the Muslims and the polytheists
of Tihamah were trusted allies of Muhammad. They made a compact with
Muhammad to not to conceal anything from him.
Then, Mabad went to Mecca; met with Abu Sufyan and talked falsely
that Muhammad had gathered a great force to fight Abu Sufyan. At that
time Abu Sufyan and his companions were planning a massive and
decisive attack on Medina to finish off the Muslims once and for all.
Hearing Mabad’s vein talk of a great military strength of Muhammad,
Abu Sufyan retreated from his plan of an immediate attack on the
Muslims. Thus, Muhammad, once again, proved that the use of terror and
deceit do indeed work for his cause.
After the demonstration of his mettle at Hamra al-Asad, Muhammad
returned to Medina. One Quraysh soldier was loitering at Hamra al-Asad.
He was the poet Abu Azzah al-Jumahi, a poor man with five daughters.
He had just missed the Quraysh party. Previously, he was one of the
prisoners of Badr II. As he was an indigent, having no means to pay
ransom, he pleaded for his freedom. Muhammad released him freely on
the condition that he would not take up arms against Muslims again.
However, he was tempted by the Meccans to fight with the promise of a
great reward of a win; or the maintenance of his five daughters in
case of his being killed. After the Uhud battle when the Muslims
caught this hapless destitute, he begged mercy from Muhammad, but
Muhammad was not to be moved by pity or compassion; he ordered Abu
Azzah’s killing, as he had broken his promise. Hazrat Ali personally
Another Quraysh, while returning to Mecca lost his way and passed
the night near Medina. Next morning, he went to the house of Uthman
ibn Affan (Muhammad’s son-in law). Uthman procured for him, a grace
period of three days, arranged a camel and provisions for his return
journey to Mecca. Having made such arrangement, Uthman departed with
Muhammad for Hamra-al-Asad. The unlucky Quraysh tarried and stayed in
Medina until the last day of his term of grace. Muhammad, hearing
about his delay by just one day, caught him and put him to death.
Al-Harith b. Suwayd was a hypocrite. He went to Uhud with Muslims
but killed some Muslims. Then he fled to Mecca, to the Quraysh. After
that, al-Harith sent his brother to Muhammad for his forgiveness, so
that he could return to Medina. Muhammad allowed his return, but was
undecided about his fate, preferring to make a decision after
returning from Hamra al-Asad. On his hesitation Allah quickly sent the
verse 3:86 indicating that those who reject faith after
accepting it should be put to death
So, after returning to Medina, Muhammad ordered the execution of
al-Harith b. Suwayd for the suspected murder of al- Mujaddzir of B.
Aws. This incident (i.e., the alleged and unproven murder of al-Mujaddzir)
happened nine or ten years ago. Muhammad gave order to Uthman b Affan
, his son-in-law to cut off the head of al-Harith.
Hazrat Uthman beheaded al-Harith at the gate of the mosque, right
in front of Muhammad.
The success at Badr II was seen as a proof of Muhammad’s divine
claim. Now, the defeat at Uhud was subversive to his prophetic claims.
The Jews started broadcasting this argument. Muhammad was now deeply
concerned to regain his reputation and to re-invigorate his followers.
He started to preach that the defeat at Uhud was due to the
hypocrites. He claimed that Allah, in the oracle of Sura 3
told this truth to him. Then he proceeded to sift the true believers
from the hypocrites by blaming those who stayed at home and did not
join the Jihad at Uhud. Arguing that even if he died, his cause
remained, he promised future success to his believers if they remained
steadfast and be courageous. The cause itself was immortal and
divine-- he was absolutely adamant. This exhortation had its intended
effect on the true Jihadists, and they were now reassured. He was
satisfied that he could really make his gullible believers accept any
postulation that he fancied them to accept as true.
The Plunder of B. Asad ibn Khuzaymah at Katan in Nejd by Abu Salma
b. Abd al Asad al-Makhzumi -April, 625CE
Bani Asad ibn Khuzaymah, the resident of Katan, in the vicinity of
Fayd, where there was a spring, was a powerful tribe connected with
the Quraysh. They resided near the hill of Katan in the Nejd.
Muhammad, purportedly, received intelligence reports that they were
planning a raid on Medina. So, he dispatched a force of one hundred
men under the leadership of Abu Salma b. Abd al
Asad al-Makhzumi to make a sudden attack on this tribe. On the first
day of Muharram, while they were completely unprepared, Abd al-Asad,
perpetrated an unprovoked terror raid on them and took their booty.
However, this terror operation was not a huge success. When the
Jihadists arrived at the site, the victims fled and the Muslims found
three herdsmen with a large herd of camels and goats. They took the
camels and goats as booty, and the three herdsmen as prisoners. Then
the booty, along with the three captives was brought to Medina.
Muhammad took one of the prisoners (presumably as a slave) for
himself, distributed the camels and cattle among the Jihadists keeping
his due share of the plunder. This success in plunder restored some of
the Muslim prestige that had been lost at Uhud. Abu Salamah did not
live long after this raid due to the inflammation of the wound he
received at Uhud.
In this connection it may be appropriate to mention that, as per
Islamic rule on plunder, all the immovable booty must be taken out and
removed from the site of plunder. It s unlawful, according to Islamic
rule, not to take possession of infidel wealth after a successful
plunder. On the rule on Ghanimah, (plunder), the Dictionary of
Islam writes, “If the Imam, or the leader of the Muslim army,
conquer a country by force of arms, he is at liberty to leave the land
in possession of the original proprietors, provided they pay tribute,
or he may divide it amongst the Muslims; but with regard to moveable
property, it is unlawful for him to leave it in possession of the
infidels, but he must bring it away with the army and divide it
amongst the soldiers.”
The Assassination of Sufyan ibn Khalid, the B. Lihyan Chief at
Urana (the first attack on B. Lihyan) by Abd Allah b. Unays-April,
B. Lihyan, a branch of the powerful tribe of Hudhayl (a section of
the Quraysh), inhabited the vicinity of Mecca. When the terrors of
Muhammad’s Jihadists became unbearable, they rallied around their
chief, Khalid ibn Sufyan al-Hudhayli at Urana to follow up the late
victory at Uhud.
Four days after the plunder at Katan (i.e., on the fifth day of
Muharram) Muhammad learned that Sufyan b Khalid (or Khalid b. Sufyan,
there is controversy on this) was collecting people at Nakhla to make
an attack on him. So, he called Abdullah b. Unays to go to Nakhla or
Urana on a mission to kill ibn Khalid. When Abdullah b. Unays wanted a
description of his victim, Muhammad replied, “When you will see him,
you will be frightened and bewildered and you will recall Satan.”
Abd Allah b. Unays said that he was not afraid of ibn Khalid; but to
assassinate him, he (Abd Allah) would have to resort to lies and
deceit. He sought Muhammad’s permission to tell lies, and to commit
the act of deception. Muhammad unhesitatingly permitted him to do so.
Abd Allah b. Unays prayed to Allah before going on this murder
mission. He spent almost eighteen days to find a way to infiltrate ibn
Khalid’s newly recruited army. Then he found ibn Khalid in a halting
place. When he met him, he bowed his head, pretending to be a
respectful follower of ibn Khalid. When ibn Khalid asked about Abd
Allah’s identity, Abd Allah said that he was an Arab and wanted to
join as a volunteer in ibn Khalid’s force against Muhammad. Sufyan
b. Khalid trusted him and provided him with shelter. Then, once, while
conversing, Abd Allah b. Unays walked a short distance with ibn Khalid,
and when an opportunity came he struck him with his sword and killed
him. After killing ibn Khalid, he cut off his head, brought that to
Muhammad, and while he (Muhammad) was at his mosque, threw the head of
ibn Khalid at Muhammad’s feet. When he told Muhammad the details of
his act of assassination, Muhammad praised him and gave him, as his
reward, a stick as a sign between him and Abd Allah on the
resurrection day. Abd Allah fastened the stick with his sword, and it
remained with him until his death. When he died, the stick was buried
This assassination had the effect of silencing the Banu Lihyan, for
some time. But another branch of B.Lihyan wanted to take revenge of
the murder of their leader Sufyan ibn Khalid.
The Mishap at al-Rajii-May or July, 625CE
This is an important episode in the early history of Islam. In this
episode of terror and murder we have a clear glimpse of a terribly
violent society of the savage Bedouin Arabs. Spilling blood was almost
a routine affair in that barbaric culture, no matter who initiated it
or who was in the wrong or right. As you read this chilling episode of
‘peaceful’ Islam, recall the seemingly unstoppable violence that
is perpetrated around the globe by the Islamic Jihadists. There are
several versions of this story-making it difficult to ascertain its
verity. Here is the version that I compiled, mainly from the version
of Tabari and Ibn Ishaq. Variations are indicated with appropriate
Immediately after the Uhud battle, a group of men from Adal and al-Qarah
came to Muhammad; requested him to send with them a few instructors to
teach Islam to their people who had embraced Islam. Muhammad readily
agreed to this, and promptly sent six men (or ten men as per Ibn Sa’d)
with them. In reality, those emissaries were sent by the B. Lihyan
people who wanted to avenge the killing of their chief, Sufyan b.
Khalid al-Hudhayli (refer to Terror 24). Those emissaries were paid
agents of B. Lihyan. Among the six teachers of Islam selected by
Muhammad was Asim b. Thabit, the brother of B. Amr b. Awf; Marthad b.
Abi Marthad (or Asim b. Thabit as per Ibn Sa’d) was appointed the
head of this delegation.
When the Muslim party arrived at al-Raji, the delegation took rest
for the night. The Adal and Qarah, in connivance with the Hudhayl, the
owner of the watering place, made a completely surprise attack with
swords on the six Muslims to extract money from them. They promised
not to kill them, but to derive money as ransom. However, the Muslims
refused to believe the promise of the polytheists and fought back. All
the Muslims, except Zayd b. al-Dathinnah, Khubyab b. Adi and Abd Allah
b. Tariq were killed. These three Muslims surrendered and were taken
as prisoners to be sold in Mecca. After killing Asim b. Thabit,
Hudhayl wanted to sell his head to Sulafah bt. Sad b. Shuhayd, for,
she had vowed to drink from the skull of Asim b. Thabit. This was in
retribution for the killing of her sons (remember? her two sons,
Musafi and Julas were killed by Asim b. Thabit at Uhud) at Uhud. They
could not cut off the head of Asim b. Thabit, as hornets (?) protected
it and Allah sent a flood in the wadi that carried away Asim’s
body!It is claimed that Asim vowed that no polytheist should ever
touch his body nor would he touch any polytheist’s body.
When the party, along with the three captives arrived at al-Zahran,
Abd Allah b. Tariq attempted to escape, but his captors killed him by
stoning. The other two prisoners were taken to Mecca and sold there as
slaves. Hujayr b. Abi Ihab bought Khubayb on behalf of Uqbah b. al-Harith,
so that Uqbah can kill Khubyab in revenge for his father’s killing
at Uhud. Safwan b. Umayyah bought Zayd b. al-Dathinah to be killed in
revenge for the killing of his father Umayyah b. Khalaf in Badr II.
Islamic historian, such as Ibn Ishak claims that Khubyab was a
trusty slave because he did not do any harm to a minor boy of the al-Harith
family while the boy was with him and Khubayab had a blade with him to
shave his hair. Later, the mother of the little boy vouched that she
had never encountered a captive as virtuous as Khubyab. Of course,
these are exaggerated stories that are better left for the readers to
judge. Khubayb was kept in jail while waiting to be crucified and
remained imprisoned until the sacred months had passed, and then the
Quraysh killed him.
During his execution time at Ka’ba, Khubyab presumably asked to
be allowed to pray two prostrations. He was allowed to offer his
prayer and this became the tradition for those Muslims who are about
to be executed.
The prayer over, Abu Sirwaah b. al-Harith b. Amir took Khubyab out
and beheaded him.
The other captive Zayd b. al-Dathinah was given to Safwan’s
servant, Nastas for execution .Before the killing of Zayd b. al-Dathinah,
Abu Sufyan wanted to spare his life in exchange for the life of
Muhammad. But Zayd’s love for Muhammad was so great that he did not
want Muhammad to be hurt even by a thorn prick. In the end, Nistas
killed Zayd b.Dathinah.
Muhammad and the Muslim community were greatly saddened by the news
of the death of those six Jihadists. Hassan ibn Thabit, the Muslim
poet composed a poem in their memory. Muhammad was alarmed to fear the
deterioration of Muslim prestige in case such events were to repeat.
To counter such fear Allah promptly sent down His assurance in verse 2:204.
When the news of the kidnap and selling of those two slaves reached
Muhammad, he immediately dispatched Abu Kurayb to the Quraysh as a
spy. It is claimed that he untied Khubyab’s dead body from the
cross. It is also claimed that the dead body of Khubyab fell on the
ground and disappeared forever
Attempt on the Liife of Abu Sufyan b. Harb by ‘Amr b. Umayyah al-Damri-July,
After the killing of Khubayb (after the affair at al-Rajii) and his
companion, Muhammad commissioned the service of Amr b. Umayyah al-Damri,
a professional killer, along with an Ansar to murder Abu Sufyan
b. Harb. It is also claimed that during this ruction Abu Sufyan also
sent an assassin to kill Muhammad. The Muslims caught the assassin and
he pleaded for his life. Muhammad forgave him and he embraced Islam.
But Muhammad wanted to take revenge on Abu Sufyan. So he sent out a
two-man assassin squad led by the hired killer Amr b. Umayyah, having
instructed Amr to kill Abu Sufyan stealthily when he (Abu Sufyan) is
resting or retiring. These two desperado Jihadists set out, riding a
camel. As per Tabari, the Ansar had a foot problem. They went
riding the camel to the valley of Yajaj where they decided that Amr
would go to Abu Sufyan’s house to assassinate him. If there was a
commotion, or if there was any danger, then the Ansari would
immediately return to Muhammad for reporting and further instructions.
Amr’s mission to kill Abu Sufyan was not a success so he returned to
his Ansari companion.
They entered Ka’ba and did the Hajj rituals. While
exiting, a man (Muawiyah, as per Ibn Sa’d) recognised Amr b. Umaya
and cried out; for, Amr was a violent and unruly fellow. So, the Ka’ba
people got up to pursue Amr. Amr and his Ansari companion then
took to the heel and climbed the mountain and went into a cave where
they spent the night, thus eluding the Meccans. While they were in the
cave, one Quraysh went there to cut grass for his donkey. He went to
the very proximity of the cave, where Amr had taken sanctuary. Amr
came out of his cave and stabbed the Quraysh for no reason. The
Quraysh’s shrill voice attracted the attention of other Meccans
searching for Amr. When the Meccans came to the rescue of the mortally
wounded Qurasyh, he told them that Amr had stabbed him; then he died.
The Meccans were so occupied with the dead Quraysh that they had no
time to look for Amr. After two days of stay in the cave, Amr and his
companion went out, and when they reached al-Tanim they found the
cross of Khubayb. A guard was watching the cross. Apprehending that
the Ansari man was frightened, Amr advised him to mount the
camel, return to Muhammad and report the story to him. Amr alone went
to the cross, untied the corpse of Khubyab and carried it on his back.
But the Meccans soon found him out. So, Amr immediately threw down the
corpse of Khubyab, ran for his life and took the road to al-Safra,
managing to escape the Meccan chasers. His Ansari companion
mounted the camel, returned to Muhammad and narrated him what had
Amr continued on his foot until he came to another cave and took
shelter there with his bows and arrows. A one-eyed man (a shepherd) of
B. al-Dil came to this snuggery. Amr lied to him that he was a man
from B. Bakr (Quraysh’s ally). The one-eyed man also admitted that
he was from B. Bakr. Then the one-eyed man lay down beside Amr and
sang a song indicating that he would never become a Muslim as long as
he lived. This angered Amr and he waited to finish off the one-eyed
shepherd. As soon as the shepherd (the one-eyed man) slept, Amr got up
and killed the one-eyed man in the most a horrible way. He put the end
of his arrow in his sound eye; bore it down until it was forced out at
the back of his neck. After this gory killing of the Bedouin shepherd,
Amr rushed out of the cave and ran to a nearby village, then to
Rakubah and finally to al-Naqi. While there, he spotted two Meccan
spies who were sent to watch on Muhammad. Amr asked them to surrender.
One of them refused, so Amr killed him with his arrow. The other
Meccan surrendered; Amr tied him up and took him to Muhammad.
When Amr returned to Muhammad with the Meccan prisoner, Muhammad
blessed Amr for a job well done.
The Affairs of Bir Maunah-July, 625CE
This episode is indeed a tragic one for the Muslims. It involved
the slaying of forty (as per Ibn Ishaq) or seventy of Muslim
missionary by the infidels. Nonetheless, when we review the past
activities of what havoc and terror Muhammad perpetrated on those who
did not believe in him, it is quite clear-cut to guess that Muhammad
was simply asking for such retribution from his victims. After all, no
sane person can remain sober and peaceful in the face of Muhammad’s
unrelenting foray of terror, torture, political assassination, war
mongering, highway robbery…etc. It was time for the infidels to get
even and teach Muhammad a lesson that he had been asking for.
When I consulted several Islamic sources on the details of this
episode, I found quite conflicting and confusing narrations. Here is
the best way that I could summarize this important event of early
Four months after the Uhud battle, and following the return of the
hired assassin Amr b. Umayyah, Abu Bara, the aged chief of the
delegation of B. Amir b. Sasaah came to Muhammad and presented him
with a gift. Abu Bara stayed in Medina. Muhammad declined to accept
that gift because it was from a polytheist and asked Abu Bara to
embrace Islam. Abu Bara declined, although he acknowledged certain
good points of Islam. He requested Muhammad to send some Muslims to
the people of Najd to call them to Islam. At first, Muhammad was quite
apprehensive of this, as he feared that some harm might befall on
these Muslim missionaries. On Muhammad’s hesitation, Abu Bara
guaranteed the safety of the emissaries of Muhammad. So Muhammad sent
forty Islamic preachers (some say seventy), making al-Mundhir b. Amr
as the chief of this missionary team. It is claimed that they were the
best of Muslims among Muhammad’s companions.
These new missionaries (expert Qur’an reciters) rode on horses
until they arrived at the well of Bir Maunah. Bir Maunah lies between
the territories of B. Amir and B. Sulaym. At Bir Maunah, the Muslims
sent a messenger with a letter of Muhammad to Amir b. Tufayl, the
cousin of Abu Bara and the chief of B. Amir. When the messenger met
Amir b. Tufayl, the latter immediately killed him without even opening
the letter of Muhammad. Amir b. Tufayl then requested the B. Amir
people to help him fight the Muslims. They refused to entertain his
request, as they were reluctant to betray the promise of safety by Abu
Bara to the Muslims. So, Amir b. Tufayl took the help of B. Sulaym
against the Muslims. Together, they attacked the Muslims. The Muslims
fought back, but in the end, all of them were killed except for Ka’b
b. Zayd. He was at the point of death when the enemy left him. He
survived and somehow managed to return to Medina.
Sahih Bukhari records this incidence in this Hadith:
Volume 2, Book 16, Number 116:
I asked Anas bin Malik about the Qunut. Anas replied,
"Definitely it was (recited)". I asked, "Before
bowing or after it?" Anas replied, "Before bowing."
I added, "So and so has told me that you had informed him
that it had been after bowing." Anas said, "He told an
untruth (i.e. "was mistaken," according to the Hijazi
dialect). Allah's Apostle recited Qunut after bowing for a period
of one month." Anas added, "The Prophet sent about
seventy men (who knew the Quran by heart) towards the pagans (of
Najd) who were less than they in number and there was a peace
treaty between them and Allah's Apostles (but the Pagans broke the
treaty and killed the seventy men). So Allah's Apostle recited
Qunut for a period of one month asking Allah to punish them."
When the news of this massacre reached Muhammad, he was greatly
grieved and sent Amr b. Umayyah (the professional killer, remember?)
and an Aansar to investigate the whole matter. They approached
the area and discovered the killing of the Muslims by the swirling
vultures in the sky. They witnessed the Muslims lying in blood and
their killers standing by. In anger they resorted to fight. The
perpetrators killed the Ansar in no time and took Amr b.
Umayyah as a prisoner. But soon he was released by Amir b. Tufayl due
to distant kinship. Before releasing Amr, Amir cut off his forelock.
Upon his release from Amir b. Tufayl, Amr b. Umayyah traveled
towards Medina. On his way he stopped at Qarkarat, an oasis where he
met two men of B. Amir who halted next to Amr b. Umayyah. B. Amir had
a treaty of protection with Muhammad that Amr b. Umayyah was unaware
of. When they were asleep, Amr rushed and killed these two men of B.
Amir thinking that he had taken his revenge. When Muhammad learned
what Amr had done he told Amr that he (Muhammad) had to pay the blood
money. Muhammad blamed the whole episode of slaughter to Abu Bara.
When Abu Bara heard of what had previously been suspected, he was
greatly remorseful at the betrayal of Amir b. Tufayl.
One may legitimately ask why only Muhammad had to pay blood money
for the killing of the two people of B. Amir but he (Muhammad)
received no blood money for the killing of the Muslim missionaries?
Tabari explains this seemingly confusing rule on blood money in a
footnote. He writes:
“Muhammad had to pay blood money for the murder of two men of b
Amir because of the compact he had with them. He could not claim blood
money for the Muslims as presumably the B. Sulaym killed them even if
Amir b. Tufayl had asked the B. Sulaym to do so.”
On the slaying of Muslim missionaries, Hassan b. Thabit (Muhammad’s
personal poet) composed a passionate poem on the sad demise of them
and incited the sons of Abu Bara against Amir b. al-Tufayl. When
Rabiah, the son of Abu Bara heard the words of Hassan b. Thabit, he
attacked Amir b. al-Tufayl with his lance but failed to kill him. Amir
put the blame on his uncle Abu Bara and vowed to take revenge either
himself or by other people, should he die.
Naturally, Muhammad was extremely crestfallen at the Bir Maunah
affair. His followers were deeply demoralized at this tragedy. To
boost their morale Allah quickly sent down verse 3:169-173, in
which He declared that the Jihadists do not die; they live, finding
their sustenance with Him. It is said that Allah released another
verse in which the slain Jihadists informed their people that they had
met Allah; but the verse was, later, abrogated. Mubarakpuri, sourcing
from Islamic authorities, quotes this abrogated verse thus: “Inform
our people that we have met our Lord. He is pleased with us and He has
made us pleased.” It is not known why Allah suddenly changed His
mind and ostensibly abrogated this verse. Nowhere in the Qur’an the
abrogation of any such verse is mentioned!
Muhammad now started a campaign to collect blood money from the
Muslims and their Jewish allies. As the Jews were much wealthier than
the Muslims, Muhammad devised a clever plan to extract this blood
money from the Jews of B. Nadir, who were living in their sanctuary
that was not very far off from the Muslims’ quarter. Muhammad had
already made up his mind to expel this group of Jews and appropriate
their land and property, to not only to pay blood money, but also to
enrich his downhearted Jihadists who were absolutely dispirited at the
tragedy of Bir Maunah. He had to do something urgently to placate and
to lift their morale and to save his prestige and clout among his
fanatic believers. His experience with B. Qaynuqa (read Terror 14) had
already taught him how simple it was to terrorize an entire section of
infidel population, steal their land and property with impunity and
without the slightest of any compunction. Muhammad was now poised to
use terror again to his full advantage.
Continued in Chapter 8
‘One man’s faith is another man’s
delusion’---Dr. Anthony Storr (1920-2001)
The Ethnic Cleansing of B. Nadir Jews from Medina by Muhammad-July,
Bani Nadir Jews inhabited the fertile land in the vicinity of
Medina. They were prosperous Jews, having vast tracts of land, on
which they cultivated date palms. They were in confederation with the
B. Amir people. As mentioned previously (CH. 7), Muhammad went to the
Bani Nadir Jews to raise the blood money to be paid for the killing of
two men of B. Amir, whom the professional killer, Amr b. Umayya al-Damri
had killed by mistake.
So, Muhammad, with a few of his followers, including, Abu Bakr, Ali
and Umar visited the village of B. Nadir, two or three miles away from
Medina and requested the chief of B. Nadir to refund the blood money
that he had already paid. The B. Nadir Jews received Muhammad
courteously, asked him to sit down while they attentively listened to
his demand and agreed to honor Muhammad’s request. Muhammad was
quite unhappy when the B. Nadir readily agreed to his demand. In
reality, he was expecting the B. Nadir Jews to reject his demand, so
that he could have a good pretext to attack them and seize their land
After agreeing to Muhammad’s demand for blood money, the B. Nadir
Jews went for a private discussion among themselves. This unnerved
Muhammad. While he was sitting by the wall of a house, he thought that
B. Nadir Jews were plotting to kill him. He claimed that B. Nadir Jews
wanted to kill him by dropping a stone from top of the house. As
usual, he pretended that Gabriel gave him this information. So,
he suddenly stood up and left the place, as if to answer the call of
nature asking others, including Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali not to leave
the place until he returned. When his companions found that Muhammad’s
return was very much delayed, they went out looking for him. On their
way to Medina they met a man who told them he saw Muhammad was headed
for Medina. When they met Muhammad at Medina, he told them his
perception of treachery by B. Nadir and asked the Muslims to prepare
to fight the B. Nadir.
With clear war and invasion of Jewish property in mind, Muhammad
asked another of his professional assassins, Muhammad ibn Maslamah
(remember? He murdered Ka’b b. Ashraf, see Terror 17, CH. 5) to go
to the Banu Nadir Jews to announce to them the ultimatum to vacate
Medina. He gave the Jews ten days to evacuate Medina and, if after
this deadline any Jew was seen in the area, he would be killed---the
ultimatum said. The B. Nadir Jews were startled with this sudden
change of heart of Muhammad. They could not believe it coming from a
person like Muhammad who claimed to be the messenger of Allah. They
were more surprised that Muhammad ibn Maslamah, who was hitherto very
much on friendly terms with the Jews had to serve them the ultimatum.
When the B. Nadir Jews expressed their dismay at the action of
Muhammad b. Maslamah, he said, “ Hearts have changed, and Islam has
wiped out the old covenants.”
When Abd Allah ibn Ubayy learned about the precarious situation of
the B. Nadir Jews, he sent the message to them that he himself would
be coming to their assistance with two thousand Jewish and Arab
fighters. But the Banu Nadir Jews recalled that the same person
promised to help the Banu Qaynuqa Jews, but in the end, betrayed. So,
the Banu Nadir Jews, at first, decided towards removing themselves to
Khaybar or nearby. They thought that they could still come to Yathrib
(Medina) to harvest their crops and then return to their fortresses at
Khaybar. Huyayy ibn Akhtab, their leader finally resolved against this
view. He decided to send a message to Muhammad, declining his order of
expulsion,. entered in their fortified fortresses, stocked them with
enough supplies to last up to a year and got ready to defend
themselves. So, no Jew left Medina after the expiry of the ten days
ultimatum. Muhammad now had the most legitimate reason to besiege the
Accordingly, when Muhammad ibn Maslamah returned to Medina with the
news of the Jews, Muhammad, the Prophet immediately gave order to his
fanatic Jihadists in his mosque to arm themselves and march forward to
lay a siege on the fortresses of B. Nadir Jews. A band of Muslims,
with Muhammad as their leader started marching against B. Nadir who
had already taken shelter in their formidable fortresses. In the
beginning, the Jews attacked the Muslim besiegers with arrows and
stones and held out gallantly. Although not unexpected, they were
greatly disappointed when no help came from Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, nor
from any other previously trusted sources. The siege lasted for
fifteen or twenty days, and Muhammad became very impatient. At last,
to hasten their surrender, Muhammad, in contravention of the revered
laws of Arab warfare, cut down the surrounding date trees and burned
them. When the Jews protested about the breaking of sacrosanct Arab
laws on warfare, he demanded a special revelation from Allah (59:4)
that was promptly sent down, sanctioning the destruction of enemy’s
palm trees. In this verse Allah gave generous permission to the
Muslims to cut down the palm trees: it was not a destruction but the
vengeance from Allah, and to humble the evil doers that is to say, it
is alright to cut down cultivated land and burn crops in a war. The
Muslim poet (or the war correspondent of those days) Hassan b. Thabit
enjoyed this gutting of the livelihood of the B. Nadir Jews and
composed lyrics on this savage acts of the Jihadists.. Here is a Hadith
from Sahih Bukhari that describes Hassan’s mood :
Volume 3, Book 39, Number 519:
The Prophet got the date palm trees of the tribe of Bani-An-Nadir
burnt and the trees cut down at a place called Al-Buwaira . Hassan
bin Thabit said in a poetic verse: "The chiefs of Bani Lu'ai
found it easy to watch fire spreading at Al-Buwaira."
After Muhammad destroyed their only source of livelihood, the B.
Nadir found their case completely hopeless, and finding no other
alternative, they decided to surrender and abandon their lands. In
exchange for this, they wanted Muhammad to spare their lives, on which
he agreed, on condition that they could only take those of their
property that they could carry on their camels. He stipulated that the
Jews must surrender their arms. They were allowed to carry whatever
they could stock upon their camels. The Jews agreed to comply with
those humiliating conditions, loaded six hundred camels with their
goods and departed from their ancestral land with fanfare, din and
alacrity. Some of them, with their chiefs Huyey, Sallam and Kinana
went to Khaybar. The rest of them went to Jericho and the highlands of
south Syria. Only two of them embraced Islam. They were given back
their land and all of their properties.
[ Note: The Sharia Law (Islamic Law) on destruction of enemy
It is permissible in Jihad to cut down the enemy trees and destroy
Once the expulsion of B. Nadir Jews was complete, Muhammad took
over the ownership of their property making it his personal chattel
that he could dispose of as he wished. He claimed that the spoils of
B. Nadir belonged to Allah and to him exempting the land from the
usual law of distribution of booty because it was gained without
actually fighting. He divided the land according to his discretion,
choosing the best lots for himself. With the exception of two Medina
citizens (Ansar) the whole of B. Nadir lands were distributed
among the refugees (Muhajirs). In this way the refugees became
independent and affluent. Muhammad, Abu Bakr, Umar, Zubayr and the
other chief companions of Muhammad acquired valuable estates. The
other booty consisted of fifty armors coats, fifty stand of armor and
three hundred and fifty swords. Thus, the expulsion of B. Nadir Jews
was a great material success for Muhammad. An entire sura (Sura
59:al- Hashr) relates to the affair of B. Nadir,
where Allah says that the B. Nadir Jews were subdued by the striking
of terror in their hearts. Terror, duly sanctioned by Allah, thus
became a legitimate weapon in the arsenal of Muhammad.
On the success of this terror and plunder, Hussain Haykal writes
that this was the biggest prize to the Muslims. These booties were not
divided among the Muslims as war booty. They were all considered as a
trust which Muhammad divided among the early emigrants after putting
away some for the purposes of the poor and the deprived. Thus, the
necessary economic support of the Muhajirun by al-Ansar
was alleviated for the first time. The Muhajirun now acquired
as much wealth as their hosts.
Continuing further, Hussain Haykal comments:
After the expulsion of the B. Nadir Jews, Muhammad distributed
their lands to the Mohajirs and with this, they were quite satisfied
with their new lands. The Ansars were equally happy that they no
longer had to support the Mohajirs.
In this way, Muhammad became quite a rich man in Medina and the
migrant Muslims found a permanent means of their livelihood.
Until the exit of B.Nadir Jews from Medina, Muhammad’s secretary
was a Jew. Muhammad chose him because of his ability to write letters
in Hebrew and Syriac as well as in Arabic. After the evacuation of
Banu Nadir Jews, Muhammad no longer trusted a non-Muslim to write his
letters. So, he engaged Zayd ibn Thabit, a Medinese youth to learn the
two languages, and appointed him as his secretary for all affairs.
Zayd ibn Thabit also collected/compiled the Qur’an during the
caliphate of Abu Bakr and Uthman.
Muhammad claimed that B. Nadir property was a special gift from
Allah to him. He sold B. Nadir booty to purchase arms, horses,
provision for his wives and used the B. Nadir property to support his
wives. Here is a Hadith in support of the actions of Muhammad
from Sahih Bukahri:
Volume 6, Book 60, Number 407:
The properties of Bam An-Nadir were among the booty that Allah
gave to His Apostle such Booty were not obtained by any expedition
on the part of Muslims, neither with cavalry, nor with camelry. So
those properties were for Allah's Apostle only, and he used to
provide thereof the yearly expenditure for his wives, and dedicate
the rest of its revenues for purchasing arms and horses as war
material to be used in Allah's Cause.
Here is another Hadith from Sunaan Abu Dawud about
Muhammad’s exclusive rights on the annexed properties of B. Nadir,
Fadak and Khaybar:
Book 19, Number 2961:
Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab:
Malik ibn Aws al-Hadthan said: One of the arguments put forward
by Umar was that he said that the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
received three things exclusively to himself: Banu an-Nadir,
Khaybar and Fadak. The Banu an-Nadir property was kept wholly for
his emergent needs, Fadak for travellers, and Khaybar was divided
by the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) into three sections:
two for Muslims, and one as a contribution for his family. If
anything remained after making the contribution of his family, he
divided it among the poor Emigrants.
Once again, we note that terrorism had really paid a huge dividend
to Muhammad and his horde of fanatic Jihadists.
Many Islamists often claim that ‘There is no compulsion in
religion’ (2:256) to portray the religious freedom in Islam.
However, they cleverly avoid the context of this verse. This verse
relates to some Muslim children who were raised as Jews with the B.
Nadir. This happened, because during those days, many Muslims who had
difficulty in having children used to vow that if Allah gave them any
child they would make that child a Jew and raise the child with the
Jews. When Muhammad performed his ethnic cleansing on the Jews of B.
Nadir, the Muslim parents of these children asked him about what
should they do with their children. Muhammad permitted these children
to remain Jews by saying ‘There should be no compulsion in religion.’
Therefore, the verse 2:256 has no relevance with religious
Here is a Hadith from Sunaan Abu Dawud on this
Book 14, Number 2676:
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
When the children of a woman (in pre-Islamic days) did not
survive, she took a vow on herself that if her child survives, she
would convert it a Jew. When Banu an-Nadir were expelled (from
Arabia), there were some children of the Ansar (Helpers) among
them. They said: We shall not leave our children. So Allah the
Exalted revealed; "Let there be no compulsion in religion.
Truth stands out clear from error."
Raid Against B. Ghatafan at Dhat al-Riqa by Muhammad-October, 625CE
After the expulsion of the B. Nadir Jews, Muhammad stayed in Medina
for two months. Then he received the news that certain tribes of B.
Ghatafan were assembling at Dhat al Riqa with suspicious purposes. The
Ghatafan were an Arabian tribe, descended from Qais. Muhammad,
proceeding up to Nakhl led an expedition against the B. Muhamrib and
the B. Thalabah, a sub-clan of the Ghatafan. This is called the
expedition of Dhat al-Riqa’(the patchwork of mountain) because the
mountain after which it was named had black, white and red patches on
it. He made a surprise raid on them with four hundred (or seven
hundred) men to disperse them. The Ghatafan fled to the mountains,
leaving their women behind. No fighting took place but Muhammad
attacked their habitations and carried all their women off including a
very pretty girl. When the prayer time came, the Muslims were
terrified that the Ghatafan men might descend from their mountain
hideout and make a sudden attack on them while they were praying.
Apprehending this fear, Muhammad introduced the ‘service of prayer
of danger.’ In this system, a party of faithful stands guard while
the other party prays. Then they take turns. The public prayer is thus
repeated twice. A revelation came from Allah on this provision (4:100-102)
regarding shortening of a prayer.
While Muhammad was resting under the shade of a tree at Dhat al-Riqa,
a polytheist man came to him with the intention of killing him. The
man was playing with Muhammad’s sword and pointed it to Muhammad;
asked him if he was afraid of him or not. Muhammad claimed that Allah
would protect him and that he was not afraid at all. The would-be
assassin then sheathed the sword and returned it to Muhammad. On this
occasion Allah revealed verse 5:11, proclaiming His unflinching
protection for Muhammad whenever someone stretches his hand out
for his life. After fifteen days Muhammad returned to Medina.
But he was not at peace; he apprehended that the B. Ghatafan might
make a sudden attack to reclaim their women.
Surprisingly, the Sirah (biography of Muhammad) is
completely silent about what happened to those captured women of
Ghatafan. I searched most of the well-known Islamic sources, but they
are as mute as a fish. However, if I have to go by the Islamic rules
then I am pretty certain that those women were awarded to the
Jihadists to be enjoyed or sold as slaves to raise money for war as
per the booty rules
The Expedition for Badr III by Muhammad-January, 626CE
As per the appointment at Uhud (see Terror 21, CH. 6), the forces
of Mecca and Medina were to meet again at Badr within a year. That
time soon arrived. This was a year of great drought. Abu Sufyan b.
Harb thought it to be unwise to set out for a war in this year of
famine and desired that the appointment be deferred to a year of
plenty. He sent an emissary, Nuaym, to Medina who exaggerated the
preparation of the Meccans. Abu Sufyan did that hoping that this
exaggeration might dissuade the Muslims who still had in mind, the
terrible defeat at Uhud. The Quraysh, however, marched from Mecca with
two thousand foot soldiers and fifty horses. Abu Sufyan went out of
Mecca as far as Usfan, then decided to go back after two days of
marching, because he could not find a good pasture, the year being a
year of severe drought. The Meccan army was reduced to live on flour
and water only. Hence this is also known as the expedition of Sawick
The report of Nuaym greatly alarmed the Muslims of Medina. Many of
them were reluctant to meet the formidable enemy again. But Muhammad
decided to go forth. He gathered fifteen hundred men and prepared for
the march to Badr. This was the third time that the two armies were
presumably to meet at Badr. The Muslims arrived at Badr and encamped
there for eight days. They carried a lot of wares with them in
anticipation of a fair there. When they arrived at Badr they found no
Quraysh army there. Muhammad waited for the rendezvous with Abu Sufyan
b. Harb. When this did not materialise he met Makashi b. Amr al-Damri
and expressed his intention of dissolving their treaty of peace, if B.
Damri people desired. Actually, Muhammad wanted to wage a war on this
tribal people as he felt he was strong enough to terrorize smaller
tribes. But the Damri people decided to keep the treaty of peace with
The Muslim army bartered their wares, made good profit and returned
to Medina. Muhammad was much pleased with this expedition and took
that as a sign of Allah. He received the revelation 3:172-175
regarding Satan casting fear in the mind of Muhammad.
When the Quraysh heard of Muhammad’s rejoice, they were greatly
mortified, fearing further terrorism from him. They began to plan
another grand attack against Muhammad. It took them a year to plan and
execute the attack. During this period Muhammad had a little respite.
First Raid at Dumat al-Jandal byMuhammad-July, 626CE
In the summer of 626CE Muhammad purportedly received intelligence
reports that the Ghatafan tribe, once again, had mobilised troops at
Dumat al-Jandal to launch an attack on him. Dumat al-Jandal is an
oasis on the frontier between Hijaz and al-Sham, midway between the
Red sea and the Persian Gulf.on the borders of Syria. A severe drought
during this time caused famine in this area. Without wasting any time,
Muhammad immediately made a raid on this band of Ghatafan tribe and
captured their herd grazing in the neighbourhood. He led this
expedition with an army of one thousand men and reached the confines
of Syria. No fighting took place as the B. Ghatafan fled without
giving any opposition. The Muslims returned to Medina with the booty.
This expedition greatly enhanced the lust for plunder in the hearts of
Muhammad’s men. On his way back, Muhammad entered into a truce with
Uyanah b. Hisn, the leader of B. Fazarah, a powerful part of Ghatafan,
so that Uyanah b. Hisn b. Hudhayfah could pasture his herds in the
nearby territory of Taghlaman, controlled by Muhammad as Uyanah’s
territory was afflicted with drought. The land at Taghlaman
was lush with pasturage due to rain there.
Continued Chapter 9
‘Among the forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous’---George
The Battle of the Trench Led by Muhammad-February, 627CE
After the successful raids for booty, Muslims in Medina felt safe
and secure. Their need was largely ameliorated by the swag they
acquired through these plunders. Muhammad became militarily strong by
the forced evacuation of Banu Qaynuqua and Banu Nadir Jews from their
ancestral lands in Medina. However, Muhammad was always cautious, lest
the enemy strike without notice. And true to his fear, the enemy did
strike him no sooner than he was relaxing with his booty and the new
found military might. When the winter season came, the Quraysh
prepared for an attack against Muhammad. This was the battle of the
Trench or the battle of Ahzab (the confederates).
This battle took place in February, 627 (Shawal, AH 5). The major
cause of this battle was the expulsion, or the ethnic cleansing of the
B. Nadir Jews from Medina.
After the expulsion of the B. Qaynuqa and the B. Nadir Jews from
Medina, the exiled leaders of the Jews, like Salam b. Abi al-Huqayq
al-Nadri, Huyayy b. Akhtab al-Nadri, Kinanah b. al-Rabi b. Abi al-Huqayq…
etc. went to Mecca and met with the Quraysh leaders and formed a
confederation to fight a menacing Muhammad. At first, the Quraysh were
skeptical about the Jews as the Jewish religion was quite close to
Islam. They asked the Jews about whose religion was better-the
paganism or the Islam? The Jews answered that the Quraysh’s religion
(i.e., paganism) was better than that of Muhammad’s new brand of
monotheism. This pleased the Quraysh, and they accepted unhesitatingly
the Jews as their allay. On this, Allah revealed 4:51-55,
denouncing the Jews for upholding paganism and He promised hell to the
Being satisfied with the Jewish leaders, the Quraysh were now ready
to strike a mortal blow to Muhammad and his horde of fanatical
Jihadists. Having secured the agreement of the Quraysh, the Jewish
leaders approached the Ghatafan and a few other tribes around Mecca
and convinced them to launch an attack in confederation with the
Quraysh. Thus, the Quraysh, under the leadership of Abu Sufyan b. Harb
and the Ghatafan, under the leadership of Uyanah b. Hisn b. Hudhayfah
(see Terror 31, CH. 8) marched out for Medina. Some biographers list
Uyanah as the leader of B. Fazarah tribe, B. Fazarah being a sub-clan
of the Ghatafan. The other tribes that joined them were: B. Murrah and
Masud b. Rukhaylah from Ashja tribe. The Quraysh themselves brought
four thousand soldiers including three hundred horses, and fifteen
hundred camels. The entire Meccan force was of ten thousand men. They
marched in three separate camps. The general commander was Abu Sufyan
b. harb. The flag of the battle was assigned to Uthman ibn Talhah
whose father was killed in the battle of Uhud.
Soon this news of a planned attack reached Muhammad. He was quite
unprepared for this sudden attack from the Quraysh and its allies. The
experience of Uhud was still fresh in the minds of the Muslims.
Another battle against the Quraysh was out of the question.
Sensing profound trouble, Muhammad convened a conclave of his
trusted lieutenants. In this meeting, Salman, the Persian convert,
suggested digging a trench around Medina to protect it from the
impending attack of the Meccans. He had been a Christian captive of
Mesopotamia, bought by a Jew from the Bani Kalb. Then he was ransomed
and converted to Islam. He was familiar with this mode of defence of a
city in other countries. This was a completely new strategy that
Arabia had never practiced. Muhammad and his followers readily adopted
this great strategy of defence. The work consisted of digging a deep
trench, probably ten yards (thirty feet) wide and five yards (fifteen
feet) deep, three and half mile long all around the city of Medina.
For a speedy completion, the work was divided between various clans.
Muhammad now assembled his men to dig this trench and inspired them
with the rewards of Paradise. It was the fasting month of Ramadan, and
Muhammad hired the digging implements from the Jews of B. Qurayzah.
Between one thousand to three thousand Muslims worked from dawn to
dusk to complete the dry moat, and they all joined to face the
formidable army of the Quraysh and its confederates that numbered ten
thousand. Muhammad started cursing the Meccans, inviting Allahs wrath
on them as narrated in Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 415:
Allah's Apostle said Al-Qunut for one month after the posture of
Bowing, invoking evil upon some 'Arab tribes.
Some hypocrites joined in but they became sloppy and slipped away
to be with their families without the permission of Muhammad.
Nonetheless, the true believers kept going with dogged determination,
halting intermittently just to join their families with permission
from their spiritual leader. On this occasion Allah revealed 24:62,
praising these true Jihadists and promising them His forgiveness. On
the errant hypocrites, Allah revealed 24:63-64, disclosing that
He knows about their secret. After working diligently for a few days
(some say eight days), the diehard Muslims completed the trench
surrounding Medina, ahead of the arrival of the Meccan troop. They
were now very satisfied with the freshly dug dry trench, inspired by
Salman, the Farsi. Each clan claimed that Salman belonged to their
side. On this, Muhammad said, “Salman is one of us, the people of
the Household (ahl al-bayt).”
The Muslim historians, Tabari and Ishak narrate the incredible
story that while the trench was being dug, Allah caused a white rock
to emerge from the bottom of the trench. Muhammad went down into the
trench with Salman; struck the rock with his pick axe and a flash of
lightning spread out that illuminated the two tracks of Medina’s
Muhammad explained this as the sign of Allah for Muslim’s
victory. He even claimed that that spark of lightning lit up the
Byzanatine and Khusroo’s (the Persian emperor) empire, meaning that
he (Muhammad) would be victorious over them. Muhammad’s harangue
thus lifted up further, the sprit of the Muslim earth diggers. They
were now absolutely confident that Allah had assured them a signal
victory. Other miraculous stories about the increase in food supply
when the Muslim army’s provision ran out is told in Sahih Bukhari,
such as Volume 5, Book 59, Number 428. For brevity and
conciseness I refrain from quoting this lengthy Hadith.
But from the very beginning, the hypocrites were skeptical about
Muhammad’s claims and they tried to subdue the morale of the ardent
Jihadists. On this, Allah’s oracle came down in verse 33:12
revealing the diseased minds of the hypocrites.
The digging of the trench completed, on the eighth of Dzul Kada
(March 2, 626 CE), the army of Medina was posted with the trench. The
houses outside the town were evacuated and their residents were placed
for security, on tops of the double-storied houses nearby the freshly
dug trench. During this evacuation stage, the army of Mecca was
reported to have advanced at Uhud. Muhammad’s army was three
thousand men and was posted across the road leading to Uhud, having
the trench in front of them.
The Meccans, at first encamped at Uhud and finding no opposition
there rapidly moved up the road to Medina. Soon, they arrived near the
freshly dug trench, and was greatly surprised at the defense tactics
of Muhammad. They were unable to come closer to the Medina quarters.
So, they resorted to archery from a distance.
In the mean time, Huyayy b. Akhtab, the leader of the expelled B.
Nadir Jews conferred with Ka’b b. Asad, the B. Qurayzah Jew’s
chief, to break the latter’s contract of truce with Muhammad. At
first, Ka’b refused to meet Huyayy, but finally relented to Huyayy’s
Huyayy then informed Ka’b about the mobilization of the Quraysh
and the Ghatafan to confront Muhammad once and for all and urged Ka’b
to repudiate all his treaty with Muhammad. He requested Ka’b’s
co-operation, promising him his unflinching support in case the
Ghatafn and the Quraysh retreated without finishing off Muhammad. At
first, Ka’b was hesitant to tow the line with Huyayy, but finally
gave in when Huayayy vouched that in case of trouble, he (Huyayy)
would move forthwith to Ka’b’s fortress, so that, whatever befell
K’ab would be his fate too. In this way Ka’b renounced his peace
treaty with Muhammad and Huyayy moved in the fortress of B. Qurayzah
Jews to stay with them.
When this news reached Muhammad, he sent his trusted Jihadist, Sa’d
b. Muadh, along with a few of his elite companions to investigate
stealthily about its veracity.
When the team of Sa’d b. Muadh met the B. Qurayzah Jew leader Ka’b
b. Asad, he (Ka’b) immediately repudiated their treaty with
Muhammad. He demanded that the Muslims return the Jews of Banu Nadir
back to their former quarters in Medina. On this, Sa’d ibn Muadh,
who was closely allied with the Banu Qurayzah Jews, warned them that
something worse than Banu Nadir might befall the Banu Qurayzah in case
they persisted on this betrayal of covenant with the Muslims.
Nonetheless, even under such a dire threat from Sa’d b. Mudah, Ka’b
refused to surrender to his demand.
So, a disappointed Sa’d b. Muadh returned to Muhammad and told
him the extremely bad news. Muhammad took it as a treachery on the
part of B. Qurayzah, and Allah immediately confirmed this in verse 33:20.
However, please note that the B.Qurayzah were under no obligation to
honor the treaty if they wanted, as Muhammad, in the past had broken
many such treaties. Moreover, the B. Qurayzah Jews never intended to
attack Muhammad, they simply negated the pact with Muhammad.
When Muhammad heard what Sa’d had to say, he was perturbed, no
doubt, but showed no alarm; instead, he said, “God is greatest!
Rejoice, people of the
Muslims!” This was, of course, designed to keep his army in shape
and in good spirit. Allah promptly sent down verse 33:10, saying,
“The enemy came upon them from above and from beneath…..”.
regarding the double danger (from top and bottom) facing the Muslims
Although, outwardly showing no alarm, Muhammad was quite frightful
at the prospect of losing the war. He was in constant anxiety that the
trench may be overcome and that the Jews might attack from behind. The
people of Medina were greatly disappointed at that turn of the events.
Many of his followers begged to be released to look after their
properties that they had left behind. They considered Muhammad to be
weak and helpless; questioned the divine assistance for him and
apprehended that his promises of Khusroo’s and Caesar’s wealth
were hollow. Now, they felt afraid to venture outside the confines of
their city. Many of them claimed immunity from fighting, using the
alibi that their houses were exposed to the enemy as expressed in
The confederates and the Muslim soldiers stayed in their position
for twenty days (or a month) facing each other across the trench
without any fighting, except for shooting arrows at each other. On the
Quraysh side were Khalid b. Walid and Wahshi, the Abyssinian Negro
Becoming desperate with such a long drawn stalemate, Muhammad made
a clever attempt to bribe the Ghatafan to desert the battlefield.
Secretly, he sent an emissary to Uyanah b. Hisn, the leader of the
Ghatafan (or Fazarah) and tempted him to accept his offer of one-third
of the date harvest of Medina on condition that they remove themselves
from the battlefield. Uyanah signaled his willingness to accept the
deal and bargained the offer to one-half. However, when Muhammad
disclosed this deal for the approval of B. Aws and B. Khazraj, they
spurned it and offered nothing but sword to the confederates of the
Quraysh. Muhammad’s great confidante, Sa’d b. Muadh objected in
offering such a generous gift to the Ghatafan. He promised to offer
only sword to the Ghatafan, saying, “Messenger of God, we and these
people used to be polytheists, associating [other divinities] with God
and worshipping idols, and we neither worshipped God nor knew him, and
they did not hope to a single date of ours except in hospitality or by
buying. Now that God has conferred Islam on us, guided us to it, and
strengthened us with your presence, shall we give them our wealth? We
have no need for this! By God, we will offer them only the sword,
until God judge between us and them.” So, Muhammad reluctantly,
dropped this bribery deal.
On the other side, the Quraysh army, despite their vast number, was
very frustrated by the strong vigilance of the Muslim army. When this
stand-off grew intolerable, a few of the Quraysh, among them, Ikrimah
b. Abi Jahl (Abu Jahl was brutally murdered at Badr), commanded the
confederates to prepare themselves for an attack. With this
instruction, they advanced and when they reached near the freshly dug
trench, they were totally taken aback at this innovative approach of
defense that was never practiced in Arabia.They then made a general
attack through a narrow and weakly guarded part of the trench. Ikrimah
cleared the ditch and galloped in front of the enemy. Among the other
Quraysh who crossed the trench was Amr b. Abd Wudd. Ibn Sa’d.
reports that Amr was ninety years old! Ali rushed forward to confront
the intruders. When he saw Amr, Ali called him to join Islam, but Amr
readily declined. Then Ali challenged Amr to fight him, on which Amr
passionately told Ali that he did not wish to kill his nephew (Ali was
the son Amr’s brother, Abu Talib). But Ali expressed his desire to
kill Amr, his uncle. On this, an angry Amr jumped out of his horse and
A duel ensued between Ali and Amr, in which Ali killed Amr. The
rest of Amr’s companions panicked and started to disperse. Ali
managed to slaughter another polytheist, gravely injured yet another
who managed to cross the trench, but later died of his wound at Mecca.
Another Quraysh polytheist fell into the ditch while attempting to
jump over the trench. He fell inside the deep trench. The marauding
Muslim soldiers gathered at the site and pelted stone at him. When
this hapless victim shrieked in pain, Ali went down and beheaded him.
The Muslims took the corpse to Muhammad, seeking his permission to
sell it. But Muhammad declined and instructed his Jihadists to do
whatever they liked with the dead body. Nothing is known what the
Jihadists did to the polytheist’s corpse. It is reported that the
Negro slave, Wahsi, with his unerring javelin, killed one Jihadist,
al-Tufayl b. al-Numan and Dirar ibn al-Khattab (Umar’s brother?)
killed another Muslim, Kab ibn Zayd.
The Quraysh did not make any further attempt to cross the trench
during the day, but made great preparations at night. Next morning,
they launched a general attack with a massive force. But all their
attempts were without effect. They could not cross the trench. Sa’d
ibn Muadah, the chief of B. Aws was wounded severely in his arm (or
shoulder as per Muir by an arrow. He promised to exact his revenge on
B. Qurayzah, for the man, who shot him was on friendly terms with the
B. Qurayzah. The Quraysh lost three men while the Muslims lost five.
The Muslims could not offer prayer on that day. They were too busy
with the war. At night, when the enemy returned to their camp, the
Muslims gathered and offered a special prayer for those missed
We learn from the narratives of Ibn Ishaq and Tabari that there was
no wearing of Hijab (veil) by the Arab women during this
period. While the battle of Ahzab was raging, Aisha was in the
fortress of B. Haritha and the mother of Sa’d b. Muadh was with her.
Aisha wore no Hijab when Sa’d b. Muadh passed her by wearing
a coat of mail through which Aisha could view the entire forearm of Sa’d
During this time, Saffiyah bt. Abd al-Muttalib, Muhammad’s aunt
was in Fari, the fortress of Hassan b. Thabit, the official poet of
Muhammad. She discovered a Jew circling the fortress of Hassan b.
Thabit. When Saffiya requested Hassan b. Thabit to go downstairs and
kill the suspicious Jew, he declined. So she went downstairs and
clubbed the Jew to death herself. She then requested Hassan b. Thabit
to strip the Jew naked and to take his arms and coats of mail as
booty. Hassan b. Thabit refused to do that, as he was not in need of
During this lengthy blockade, Muhammad became desperate, searching
for a way out. Just then, a double-agent, Nuaym b. Masud b. Amir from
the Ghatafan approached Muhammad to offer his service of sleuthing
Muhammad’s enemies. He claimed that he had embraced Islam and was
available to offer his assistance as a double agent. Muhammad engaged
him to his advantage and told him that ‘war is deception.’ He said
to Nuaym, “You are only one man among us. Make them abandon [each
other], if you can, so that they leave us; for war is deception.”
Here is a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari that confirms Muhammad’s view of
war as an act of deception:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 269:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
The Prophet said, "War is deceit."
A similar Hadith is also found in Sunaan Abu Dawud:
Book 14, Number 2631:
Narrated Ka'b ibn Malik:
When the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) intended to go on an
expedition, he always pretended to be going somewhere else, and he
would say: War is deception.
After Muhammad’s persuasive talk, Nuaym went to the B. Qurayzah
and advised them not to trust the confederation of the Quraysh and the
Ghatafan. He harangued them that if the confederate won the war they
might take the land of the B. Qurayzah as a booty; should Muhammad
win, then the confederates would abandon the B. Qurayzah, leaving them
to defend themselves against the formidable Muslims.
Then Nuaym advised the B. Qurayzah to secure hostages from the
Quraysh and Ghatafan as a security for their pledge of assistance
against Muhammad. B. Qurayzah leaders pondered over what Nuyam had
said and found that to be very credible.
Meanwhile, after talking to the B. Qurayzah Jews, Nuaym went
straight to the Quraysh and the Ghatafan; announced that he had
abandoned Islam and Muhammad and told them that the B. Qurayzah Jews
had regretted at what they had done and was now in league with
Muhammad. Nuaym further added that the B. Qurayzah had offered
Muhammad a pledge that whatever hostages they took from the Quraysh
and the Ghatafan, they would send them to Muhammad for beheading and
Muhammad would be too pleased to execute the hostages. This news
unnerved the Meccans as they believed every word of what Nuaym had
said. Suspicion now arose in their minds regarding the pledge of the
B. Qurayzah, and they decided, as per advice of the double agent Nuaym
to refrain from dispatching any hostage that B. Qurayzah might demand
On the eve of the Jewish Sabbath day (that is, Friday evening,
Saturday being the Jewish Sabbath), Abu Sufyan sent Ikrimah b. Abi
Jahl with a group of men to B. Qurayzah to ask the Jews to come out
and to assemble to fight on the next day (i.e., on Saturday). On this,
the Jews declined to fight on their Sabbath day, claiming that on
previous occasions when they broke that tradition, the Jews were
converted into monkeys and boars for fighting on the Sabbath day.
Moreover, they demanded hostages from the Quraysh and the Ghatafan as
a pre-condition to fight Muhammad.
When this news of demand for hostages was brought to Abu Sufyan and
the leaders of Ghatafan, they were simply amazed at the veracity of
what Nuaym had already told them. The confederates then decided not to
offer a single hostage to B. Qurayzah and this decision was
communicated to the B. Qurayzah Jews. Having heard the verdict of the
confederates, the B. Qurayzah Jews were now convinced that the Quraysh
and the Ghatafan were playing tricks with them. The Jews decided not
to join in the fighting, unless hostages are secured from the
confederates and forwarded their decision to the Quraysh and the
The allied forces were now greatly disheartened. Their provisions
were running short. Their plan to attack the Muslims from the rear of
city with the help of B. Qurayza was now in doubt. Their camels and
horses were dying daily in numbers. To add more to their adversity,
the weather, too, was unkind to them. The cold, wind and rain became
merciless on their unprotected camps. The storm became a hurricane,
overturning their cooking pots and sweeping away their tents. They
took the fury of weather as an evil omen and started to flee for their
lives. With so many troublesome incidents, Abu Sufiyan suddenly
decided to break up the camp and retreat. The withdrawal was led by
the Quraysh, followed by the Ghatafan and their allies. Abu Sufyan
leaped on his camel and led away. Soon, the entire Quraysh army took
the road to Mecca by way of Uhud. In the morning not one of them was
left in sight. As usual, Muhammad claimed that Gabriel had
brought the severe storm and caused the Meccan confederates to flee.
Ibn Sa’d writes that when Gabriel met Muhammad, he (Gabriel)
said to him: “O! be happy.”. An oracle (33:9) descended
from Allah confirming His divine intervention by casting terror in the
heart of the infidels through the tempestuous wind and the biting
However, the real reason the Meccans abandoned the siege was
different. It was the ensuing of the month of Dzul Qaedah, the first
month of the three consecutive months of the Arab tradition of
cessation of hostilities-the Meccans had to go back and attend the
pilgrims that would soon start arriving at Mecca.
The news of the disunity between the confederates and the B.
Qurayzah soon reached the ears of Muhammad, and he sought the
assistance of a spy to observe the activities of his enemy, promising
him paradise or booty should the spy returned on time. On this
enticement, a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari is quoted here:
Volume 9, Book 93, Number 555:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Allah guarantees (the person who
carries out Jihad in His Cause and nothing compelled him to go out
but Jihad in His Cause and the belief in His Word) that He will
either admit him into Paradise (Martyrdom) or return him with reward
or booty he has earned to his residence from where he went
Muhammad had to promise paradise to his spy as none other had
volunteered to go to the Quraysh camp and bring back their news.
During this period, fear hunger and cold had engulfed the Muslims and
they were not in a mood for a fight. In fact, when no one volunteered,
Muhammad picked the said spy himself and commanded him to engage in
information gathering. The spy went out and saw Allah’s helpers
(i.e., angels) punishing the Quraysh and the Ghatafan with lashing
wind and bitter cold.
The spy of Muhammad observed the departure of the Abu Sufyan and
his confederates and brought the good news to Muhammad. Muhammad was
greatly relieved at the departure of his enemy; the Muslim army became
joyful and in the morning, broke up their camp and returned to their
homes. Muhammad refrained from pursuing the retreating Quraysh army
for, he feared that a confrontation with the Quraysh in the open would
not be to his advantage. He soon told the Muslims that he had Allah’s
message to attack the B. Qurayza, claiming that Gabriel came to
him in the appearance of Dihya, the Kalbite. Immediately, Muhammad
sent Bilal to announce the new call throughout the town for the new
Once the Battle of the Trench was over Muhammad vowed to be
aggressive and offensive, to make attack and not to defend. Here is a
Hadith from Sahih Bukhari that clearly indicates Islam is truly a
religion of offense and not defense:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 435:
Narrated Sulaiman bin Surd:
On the day of Al-Ahzab (i.e. clans) the Prophet said, (After this
battle) we will go to attack them (i.e. the infidels) and they will
not come to attack us."
[Please note: This Hadith cannot be found in the sanitized,
summarized version of Sahih Al-Bukhari; however you may read
this Hadith in the Internet version of Original Sahih
Continued in Chapter 10
‘LET (Lashkar-e-Toiba) volunteers neither shave nor cut their
hair and they are taught to kill ritualistically, by beheading or
slitting of throat’---A LET member
The Genocide of Bani Qurayzah Jews by Muhammad-February-March, 627
After Muhammad left the battlefield of the trench in the morning he
returned to Medina, and while he was washing his head in the house of
Umm Salamah, one of his wives, Gabriel visited him at noon and
informed him that the battle was not over yet, and that Allah
commanded him (Muhammad) to besiege the B. Qurayzah. He claimed that Gabriel
came in the form of Dhiyah b. Khalifah al-Kalbi, a handsome and a
rich merchant of Medina. Gabriel also declared his unflinching
support for Muhammad in this operation. It is claimed that Gabriel
arrived riding a horse and wearing a cloth of gold turban.
After listening to the instruction of Gabriel, Muhammad
abandoned the noon (Asr) prayer and commanded his Jihadists to march
straight to the territory of B. Qurayzah, Ali being sent ahead of the
rest. Muhammad informed his followers that during war, prayer can be
omitted, as fighting during this time was more incumbent than praying
On his way, Ali heard people talking foul about Muhammad and hurling
insult at him. A disturbed Ali hastened back to Muhammad and informed
him of what he had heard what people were saying about Muhammad.
Muhammad consoled Ali by saying that the people dared not utter any
derogatory remark about him should he (i.e., Muhammad) be personally
present amongst them. This pleased Ali and he went back to his
mission. In the evening, the Muslim soldiers marched toward the
fortress of Bani Qurayza that lay two or three miles to the south-east
of Medina. Muhammad rode an ass, while an army of three thousand
Muslims, with thirty-six horses followed him. A tent in the compound
of the mosque in Medina was also pitched where Sa’d b. Muadh took
shelter to recuperate from his painful wound (see Terror 32).
When Muhammad was near the fortress of the B. Qurayzah Jews, he
called them by yelling, ‘you brothers of apes.’ This is elucidated
in the Qur’an in verses 2:65, 5:60 and 7:166, where
Allah says that He turned the Jews in to apes. Thus, as far as Islam
goes, the Jews are still considered as apes, no exaggeration; it is a
decree by Allah, and Muhammad had confirmed this in the operation for
B. Qurayzah. Ibn Sa’d writes: Muhammad said, “O brothers of
monkeys and pigs! Fear me, fear me.”
Not being satisfied with his vocabulary of simple ‘swearing’
language, Muhammad asked his poet friend Hassan b. Thabit to make
verbal abuse of the Jews through poems. Here is a Hadith from Sahih
Bukhari to describe the mindset of the messenger of Allah:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 449:
The Prophet said to Hassan, "Abuse them (with your poems),
and Gabriel is with you (i.e, supports you)." (Through another
group of sub narrators) Al-Bara bin Azib said, "On the day of
Quraiza's (besiege), Allah's Apostle said to Hassan bin Thabit,
'Abuse them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you (i.e.
supports you).' "
Despite extreme provocation by Muhammad B. Qurayzah Jews were
patient and courteous with Muhammad, and addressed him as Abu al-Qasim
(father of Qasim, Muhammad’s dead son). This is the conversation
that took place between Muhammad and the B. Qurayzah Jews as written
‘When the Messenger of God had approached their fortresses, he
said: “You brothers of apes! Has God shamed you and sent down his
retribution on you?” they said, “Abu al-Qasim, you have never been
one to act impetuously.”’
The Muslims then attacked the Jews with archery but to no avail.
One Muslim approached the fortress carelessly and was killed by a
Jewess by casting down a millstone on him. Muhammad kept the siege on
causing a great distress among the besieged Jews. Nonetheless,
Muhammad was bent on a bloody revenge and refused to negotiate with
After twenty-five days of siege, the Jews grew desperate, exhausted
and terrified at their future. They were on the verge
of starvation. It is claimed that Allah, through Muhammad’s
terrorism, cast terror into their hearts. Among the Jews was Huyayy b.
Akhtab (see Terror 32) who, as a fulfillment of his pledge to be with
B. Qurayzah through thick and thin, did not escape with the Quraysh
and the Ghatafan, but stayed with the B. Qurayzah Jews. Unable to bear
the desperate situation of the Jewish women and children, the B.
Qurayzah leader, Ka’b b.Asad proposed that the Jews should accept
Islam to save their lives. Almost all the Jews declined to forsake the
religion of their forefathers. A distraught Ka’b proposed that they
should kill their women and children, then, all the men could go out
and fight Muhammad without any impediment. But the Jews did not want
to kill their dearest ones with their own hands. It was impossible for
them to commit such act, as they feared that it was meaningless to
live without their wives and children. Ka’b then proposed an attack
on Muhammad the next day which was a Jewish Sabbath day (ie Saturday).
The Jews flatly declined to engage in any warfare during the Sabbath.
When the Jews could not decide on their fate themselves, they sent
a message to Muhammad, asking that Abu Lubabah b. Abd al-Mundhir,
their confidante from B. Aws, be sent to them for a discussion and
advice. As soon as Lubabah arrived in the Jewish quarter, the weeping
women and children of the Jews rushed out and grabbed him hoping that
he could plead for mercy for them. Abu Lubabah was filled with pity
and compassion for them. When asked what Muhammad would do with them
should they decide to surrender, Abu Lubabah indicated through sign
language that Muhammad had slaughter in mind and that he (Abu Lubabah)
could do nothing about it.
‘When they saw him (i.e Abu Lubabah), the men rose to meet him,
and the women and children rushed to grab hold of him, weeping before
him, so that he felt pity for them. They said to him, “Abu Lubabah,
do you think that we should submit to Muhammad’s judgment”? “Yes”,
he said, but he pointed with his hand to his throat, that it would be
Haykal writes that the Jews thought that the former allies from al-Aws
tribe would give them some protection and if they were to remove
themselves, to Adhriat in al Sham, Muhammad would have no objection to
letting them go. So, the Banu Qurayzah sent the proposal to evacuate
their territory and to remove themselves to Adhriat. Muhammad flatly
rejected their proposal and insisted on their abiding by his judgment.
Having indicated by sign language what Muhammad had in mind for the
Jews, Abu Lubabah felt guilty that he had broken his promise of
secrecy with Muhammad. To atone for his ‘misdeed’ he went straight
to the mosque and bound himself with ropes to one of the pillars. This
pillar is known as the ‘pillar of repentance’ or the ‘pillars of
Abu Lubabah’. Allah expressed His displeasure with Abu Lubabah’s
conduct through verse 8:27.
When Muhammad heard of what Abu Lubabah had done, he waited for
Allah to forgive him (Abu Lubabah).
Abu Lubabah remained tied with the pillar for six nights. His wife
used to untie him for prayers. Allah promptly forgave Abu Lubaba in
verse 9:104. So, Muhammad went to him during a morning prayer
and set him free.
Finding no choice, in the morning, the crestfallen B. Qurayzah Jews
surrendered to Muhammad for his judgment. The male Jews were chained
and kept in the fortress till a decision was made about their fate.
The B. Aws people were on good terms with the B. Qurayzah Jews. They
pleaded with Muhammad for mercy and a fair judgment for their Jewish
allies. On this, Muhammad proposed that the judgment be passed by Sa’d
b Muadh who was the B. Aws leader, recuperating from his wound in a
tent nearby Medina. B. Aws and the B. Qurayzah both agreed on this
proposal of Muhammad, hoping to have some mercy from Sa’d b. Muadh.
Muhammad dispatched some B. Aws men to bring Sa’d to deliver his
judgment. Riding a donkey Sa’d arrived at the site where all the
seven or eight hundred Jewish men and many B. Aws people were standing
to listen to his judgment. Their women and children, stricken with
terror waited for the pronouncement of Sad’s verdict. Many B. Aws
people requested Sa’d to deal with the Jews with leniency and mercy.
Sa’d then asked his people if they would accept whatever judgment
he pronounced. The crowd agreed.
Then Muhammad asked Sa’d b. Muadh to pass his judgment. Sa’d
replied, “I pass judgment on them that the men shall be killed, the
property divided, and the children and women made captives.”
Everyone was shocked at this bloody decree except Muhammad. He praised
Sa’d for proclaiming a solemn judgment of the Almighty. He was cold
and unmoved and termed Sa’d’s judgment as fair and said, “You
have passed judgment on them with the judgment of God and the judgment
of His Messenger.” This statement by Muhammad clearly shows that he
wanted to murder these Jews in cold blood without any compunction or
mercy. Sahih Bukhari records this incidence thus:
Volume 5, Book 58, Number 148:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Some people (i.e. the Jews of Bani bin Quraiza) agreed to accept
the verdict of Sad bin Muadh so the Prophet sent for him (i.e. Sad
bin Muadh). He came riding a donkey, and when he approached the
Mosque, the Prophet said, "Get up for the best amongst
you." or said, "Get up for your chief." Then the
Prophet said, "O Sad! These people have agreed to accept your
verdict." Sad said, "I judge that their warriors should be
killed and their children and women should be taken as
captives." The Prophet said, "You have given a judgment
similar to Allah's Judgment (or the King's judgment)."
[Please note: This Hadith cannot be found in the sanitized,
summarized version of Sahih Al-Bukhari; however, it can be read in the
Internet version of Original Sahih Al-Bukhari]
The women and children were then separated from their husbands,
others were put under the care of Abdullah, a renegade Jew. All the
goods and possessions of the B. Qurayzah Jews, their camels and flocks
were all brought as spoils of war to be distributed amongst the
Muslims. The wine and fermented liquors were thrown away.
After Sa’d b. Muadh passed the judgment of slaughter, the B.
Qurayzah Jews were brought down from their dwellings; the men were
handcuffed behind their backs their women and children having already
been separated. They were placed under the charge of Mohammad ibn
Maslama, the assassin of Ka’b ibn Ashraf, to be despatched to Medina
to the compound of the daughter of another Muslim fanatic, al-Harith
before their execution in batches. A long trench was dug in the
marketplace of Medina. The Prisoners were then taken there, made to
kneel down and beheaded in a group of five or six. Muhammad was
personally present to witness this slaughter. Ali and Zubayr cut off
the heads of the Jews in front of Muhammad. Sourcing from Al-Waqidi,
“…the messenger of God commanded that furrows should be dug in
the ground for the B. Qurayzah. Then he sat down, and Ali and al-Zubayr
began cutting off their heads in his presence.” Ibn Ishaq writes
that they were taken in groups to Muhammad for beheading in front of
Tabari further writes:
‘The messenger of God went out into the marketplace of Medina and
had trenches dug in it; then he sent for them and had them beheaded in
those trenches. They were brought out to him in groups. Among them
were the enemy of God, Huyayy b. Akhtab, and Ka’b b. Asad, the head
of the tribe. They numbered 600 or 700-the largest estimate says they
were between 800 and 900. As they were being taken in groups to the
Messenger of God, they said to Ka’b b. Asad, “Ka’b, what do you
understand. Do you not see that the summoner does not discharge
[anyone] and that those of you who are taken away do not come back? By
God, it is death!” the affair continued until the Messenger of God
had finished with them.’
Sir William Muir describes this extremely grotesque scene thus:
‘The men were penned up in a closed yard, while graves or
trenches were being dug for them in the chief marketplace of the city.
When these were ready, Mahomet, himself a spectator of the tragedy,
gave command that the captives should be brought forth in companies of
five or six at a time. Each company was made to sit down by the brink
of the trench destined for its grave, and there beheaded. Party by
party they were thus led out, and butchered in cold blood, till the
whole were slain. One woman alone was put to death; it was she who
threw the millstone from the battlements.’
A most pathetic and heart-wrenching incidence took place when
Huyayy b. Akhtab, the banished B. Nadir Jewish leader was taken to the
execution field. Tabari describes his execution this way:
‘Huyayy b. Akhtab, the enemy of God, was brought. He was wearing
a rose-colored suit of clothes that had torn all over with
fingertip-sized holes so that it would not be taken as booty from him,
and his hands were bound to his neck with a rope. When he looked at
the Messenger of God, he said, “By God, I do not blame myself for
being hostile to you, but whomever God forsakes is forsaken.” Then
he turned to the people and said: “People, there is no injury in God’s
command. It is the book of God, His decree, and a battlefield of great
slaughter ordained against the Children of Israel. Then he sat down
and was beheaded.’
Only one woman of the B. Qurayzah was killed. She was the wife
Hasan al-Qurazi and was friendly with Aisha. Aisha narrated her story
of beheading thus:
‘Only one of their women was killed. By God, she was by me,
talking with me and laughing unrestraintedly while the Messenger of
God was killing their men in the marketplace, when suddenly a
mysterious voice called out her name, saying, “Where is so and so?”
She said, “I shall be killed.” “Why?” I asked. She said, A
misdeed that I committed.” She was taken away and beheaded. (Aisha
used to say: I shall never forget my wonder at her cheerfulness and
much laughter, even when she knew that she would be killed.).’
This incident is also recorded in a Sahi (authentic) Hadith
of Abu Dawud:
Book 14, Number 2665:
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
No woman of Banu Qurayzah was killed except one. She was with me,
talking and laughing on her back and belly (extremely), while the
Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) was killing her people with the
swords. Suddenly a man called her name: Where is so-and-so? She said:
I I asked: What is the matter with you? She said: I did a new act. She
said: The man took her and beheaded her. She said: I will not forget
that she was laughing extremely although she knew that she would be
As told before, this unlucky Jewish woman killed one Muslim soldier
by casting a millstone on his head while the Messenger of Allah
besieged the B. Qurayzah fortress.
There is another poignant story of a very old Jewish man named
Az-Zabir. Az-Zabir saved the life of a Muslim convert, Thabit b. Qays
in the Bu’ath war. Now, when Az-Zabir was about to be beheaded
Thabit requested Muhammad to save the life of this old man and his
family as a return to his favor. Muhammad reluctantly agreed to spare
this Jewish man and his family members. Az-Zabir then asked Thabit b.
Qays about the fate of the Jewish leaders such as Ka’b b. Asad and
Huayy b. Akhtab, as he preferred to die rather than to live without
them. Az-Zabir said, “Then I ask you for the sake of the favor I
once did for you to join me to my kinsmen, for by God there is no good
in living after them. I will not wait patiently for God, not even [the
time needed] to take the bucket of a watering trough, until I meet my
So Thabit brought him forward, and he was beheaded. When Abu Bakr
heard what that old man said just before his execution, he said, “He
will meet them, by God, in the Gehenna, there to dwell forever and
Muhammad commanded that all those Jewish men with puberty hair were
to be killed. One Jewish boy took refuge with a Muslim woman, Salma bt.
Qays. She requested Muhammad that mercy be shown to this Jewish boy.
It is said that Muhammad spared his life. Here is a Hadith from
Sunaan Abu Dawud on this:
Book 38, Number 4390:
Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi:
I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions)
examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were
killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who
had not grown hair.
Please note that the narrator of this Hadith, Atiyyah al-Qurazi,
was probably the very young brother of Hasan al-Qurazi, the executed
Having beheaded all the adult males of the B. Qurayzah Jews, the
Prophet of mercy now busied himself with the distribution of the
Jewish booty. He divided the wealth, the wives and the children of the
B. Qrayzah Jews among his followers. Needless to say he did not miss
his Khums (one-fifth of booty) that was reserved for him.
The booty rules were changed slightly. A horseman received three
shares: two shares for the horse and one share for the rider. A foot
Jihadist, who had no horse, received one share. It was the first booty
in which shares were allotted and from which the Khums was
deducted. This simplified rule on booty (fai) was followed in
the later plunders.
There were thirty-six cavalry in this raid. If a man had more than
two horses he could claim shares only for two horses.
[Please note: Fai is a booty taken from a country which
submits to Islam without resistance.
After executing all the adult male Jews, Muhammad sent Sa’d b.
Zayd al-Ansari with some captives (women and children) from the B.
Qurayzah to Najd to sell them in the slave market. While we do not
have an accurate price of a female slave during that time, Ibn Sa’d
writes that Khadijah, Muhammad’s first wife, bought her slave, Zayd
b. Haritha, (who would later become Muuhammad’s adopted son), for
four hundred (400) Dirhams at the slave market of Ukaz, Mecca. In
Sunaan Abu Dawud we read that the price of young slave (male or
female) varied from five hundred dirhams to eight hundred (800)
dirhams i.e, US$ 2,5000 to US$ 4000 (see Sunaan Abu Dawud hadis
numbers, 3946 and 4563). So a reasonable price of a slave as US$ 2,500
in to-day’ money will be quite a realistic assumption. Multiply this
with an approximate number of women and children, say about one
thousand (1,000), and we get a sum of US$ 2,500,000 (yes, a cool two
and a half million US Dollars). This was a huge wind fall for the
terrorists of those days. With the money raised through this
slave-trading Muhammad bought more horses and arms. Among the captive
women, he found a very pretty, youthful lass by the name Rayhanh bt.
‘Amr b. Khunafah and took her as his concubine. It is said that when
Muhammad offered to make her his wife by embracing Islam, she
declined. She preferred to remain a sex slave to becoming a Muslim.
She said, “Messenger of God, rather leave me in your possession
[as a concubine], for it is easier for me and for you.” Muhammad was
quite grieved when she rejected Islam but preferred to remain a Jew.
Some biographers write that Rayhana eventually accepted Islam.
A telling description of Muhammad’s cruelty and lust for young
women is provided by Sir Willima Muir thus:
‘Having sated his revenge, and drenched the market-place with the
blood of eight hundred victims, and having given command for the earth
to be smoothed over their remains, Mahomet returned from the horrid
spectacle to solace himself with the charms of Rihana, whose husband
and all whose male relatives had just perished in the massacre. He
invited her to be his wife, but she declined; and chose to remain (as
indeed, having refused marriage, she had no alternative) his slave or
concubine. She also declined the summons to conversion, and continued
in the Jewish faith, at which the Prophet was much concerned. It is
said, however, that she afterwards embraced Islam. She lived with
Mahomet till his death.’
After the delivery of his judgment, Sa’d was taken back on his
donkey to his tent.. His wound now became fatal. He was now lying in
his deathbed. Muhammad quickly went to visit him. He prayed to Allah
to save Sa’d’s life. However, Allah did not answer his prayer this
time. Soon, Sa’d died. His corpse was carried to his home and after
the forenoon prayer he was buried. His bier was very light to carry.
Muhammad claimed that angels carried Sa’d’s bier.
Gabriel told Muhammad that Sad B. Muadh was already in heaven;
claiming further that Allah’s throne shook when Sad b. Muadh died.
We read in Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 5, Book 58, Number 147:
I heard the Prophet saying, "The Throne (of Allah) shook at
the death of Sad bin Muadh." Through another group of
narrators, Jabir added, "I heard the Prophet : saying, 'The
Throne of the Beneficent shook because of the death of Sad bin Muadh."
What did Muhammad do with the appropriated lands of the Jews of
B.Quaynuqa, B. Nadir and B. Qurayzah? He used the plundered of lands
of B. Qurayzah and B. Nadir to return the gifts (debt) he received
from the Ansars of Medina; he gave his share of the booty to
Umm Ayman, the slave woman who nursed him in his infancy. Here is a Hadith
on this from Sahih Muslim:
Book 019, Number 4376:
It has been narrated by Anas that (after his migration to Medina)
a person placed at the Prophet's (may peace be upon him) disposal
some date-palms growing on his land until the lands of Quraiza and
Nadir were conquered. Then he began to return to him whatever he had
received. (In this connection) my people told me to approach the
Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and ask from him what his
people had given him or a portion thereof, but the Messenger of
Allah (may peace be upon him) had bestowed those trees upon Umm
Aiman. So I came to the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and he gave
them (back) to me. Umm Aiman (also) came (at this time). She put the
cloth round my neck and said: No, by Allah, we will not give to, you
what he has granted to me. The Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him)
said: Umm Aiman, let him have them and for you are such and such
trees instead. But she said: By Allah, there is no god besides Him.
No, never! The Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) continued
saying: (You will get) such and such. until he had granted her ten
times or nearly ten times more (than the original gift).
Muhammad now became militarily strong and a much feared warlord in
the Arabian Peninsula. Needless to say, all this was the fruits of his
Click here to learn the Islamic version of the massacre of B.
Continued in Chapter 11
‘You live here, but I live among the infidels. Please let me wash
off some of my sin’---Ziad al-Jarrah
Raid Against al-Qurata at Dariyaah by Muhammad ibn Maslama--July,
Readers might remember the name of Muhammad ibn Maslama. He was the
hired killer of Ka’b b. al-Ashraf, the Jewish poet (see Terror 17,
CH. 5). Hitherto, Muhammad b. Maslama was a very special person to
Muhammad, the messenger of Allah. Whenever. Muhammad needed to do
covert assassination; he (Muhammad ibn Maslama) was the trusted person
to accomplish such an act of murder. Having been satisfied with his
impeccable service for Islam (via terror), Muhammad, the messenger of
Allah, decided to assign him with a much more challenging and
rewarding job, i.e., committing plunder or Ghanimah.
So he dispatched Muhammad ibn Maslama, the professional killer, at
the head of thirty Jihadists to surround and to plunder al-Qarata, a
branch of Kilab tribe that inhabited a place called Dariyyah, about
fifty or sixty miles from Medina. Muhammad b. Maslama marched by
night, concealing during day, and when he arrived at Dariyyah, he
attacked the al-Qurata tribe suddenly, creating panic and terror
amongst the people there. During this raid the Muslims killed ten
people while others fled offering no resistance. The booty was
enormous: one hundred and fifty camels (around US$ 52,000) and three
thousand goats (around US$ 105,000) plus the household goods
(unspecified sum, probably around US$ 50,000). Muhammad ibn Maslamah
continued this looting for nineteen days; then he returned to Medina
with the booty. Muhammad, the messenger of Allah took his share (Khums,
one-fifth) and distributed the rest to his ardent companions. A camel
was made equivalent to ten goats. The Muslims also brought a prisoner
who was a disciple of Musaylamah, another claimant of messenger of
Allah and Muhammad’s bitter competitor. Muhammad, the messenger of
Allah accused this prisoner of plotting to kill him in collaboration
with Musaylamah. It is stated that the prisoner later accepted Islam.
First Raid Against B. Thalabah towards Dhu al-Qassah by Muhammad
ibn Maslama-July, 627CE
After a few successful raids, Muhammad’s herd of camels greatly
increased by the plunder. He sent this large herd of camels out to
graze in the vicinity of Hayfa, a place seven miles from Medina which
was lush with green pastures. Due to the continuous drought prevailing
in the adjoining areas during this time, B. Thalabah, a section of the
Ghatafan tribe, was greatly tempted to steal from Muhammad’s herd.
He suspected mischievousness from these people and sent his trusted
lieutenant, Muhammad b. Maslama with ten followers to plunder the
vicinity of Dhu al-Qassah of B. Thalabah. It was a night’s journey
from Medina. B. Thalabah people were already aware of the impending
attack; so they lay in wait for the Muslims, and when Muhammad b.
Maslama arrived at the site, B. Thalabah, with one hundred men
attacked them while the Muslims were making preparation to sleep; and
after a brief resistance killed all of Muhammad b. Maslama’s men.
Muhammad b. Maslama himself was severely wounded in his ankle; he
could not move. He was left in the field for dead. A Muslim who
happened to pass that way found him and assisted him to return to
Second Raid against B. Thalabah at Dhu al-Qassah by Ubayda b. al-Jarrah-August,
When Muhammad, the messenger of Allah learned of this incident
(Terror 35), he immediately dispatched an army of forty well-mounted
soldiers under the leadership of Abu Ubayda b. al-Jarrah to punish the
offenders. This plundering team arrived there (Dhu al-Qassah) just
before dawn. Immediately upon their arrival, they raided the
inhabitants who quickly fled to the mountains. The Muslims took their
cattle, clothes and captured one man. They brought the booty to
Muhammad. After taking his due share, he distributed the booty to his
men. The captured man embraced (or forced to) Islam and Muhammad
Raid Against B. Asad at al-Ghamr by Ukkash b. Mihsan-August,
During this period, Muhammad sent out forty Jihadists under the
leadership of Ukkash b. Mihsan to plunder the neighborhood of al-Ghamr
(towards Syrian frontier), a watering place belonging to B. Asad b.
Khuzaymah. When Ukkash arrived at the site of pillage he found that
the enemy had already fled. The Jihadists captured their cattle,
including two hundred camels (worth around US$ 70,000) and brought
them to Medina. They also captured a spy whom they set free.
Second Attack on Banu Lihyan at Ghiran by Muhammad -September,
Six months after the massacre of B. Qurayza, Muhammad went out to
take revenge on the B. Lihyan people for the killing of his men,
namely, Khubayb b. Adi and his companion, Zayd b. al-Dathinnah (see
Terror 25, CH. 7) at al-Rajii. After the stalemate at the battle of
the Trench and after the ethnic cleansing of B. Qurayzah, Muhammad
felt he was militarily strong enough to exact retribution to this
tribe. He selected two hundred men on camels and twenty horses.To
trick and to to make a sudden and surprise attack
on the enemy, he pretended to be heading north, towards Syria. After
proceeding north for a short distance and when he felt secure that
neither the Quraysh nor their neighbours were aware of his intentions,
he made a sudden turn to the left and followed the direct route to
Mecca leading him to the town of Ghiran, the abode of B. Lihyan. The
B. Lihyan people were already on alert, and when they saw the Muslim
army, they took up secure positions on mountain tops, taking their
cattle with them, in order to confront Muhammad’s army. Muhammad
sent some people to search for the tribe of Lihyan, but they could not
find their trace.
Having failed to attack the B. Lihyan by shock and terror, Muhammad
felt frustrated. In order not to waste this trip, he thought of
scaring the Meccans by approaching Mecca and showing his newly found
military might. So he marched out with two hundred of his men and
halted at Usfan. At Usfan, he dispatched two horsemen towards Mecca.
They went up to Kuraul Ghamin and then returned back at Usfan. Then he
tripped back to Medina. Ibn Sa’d writes that Muhammad sent Abu Bakr
with ten horsemen towards Mecca to terrorize them (the Meccans).
Raid on Muhammad’s Milch Camels at al-Ghabah by Uyana b. Hisn-September,
A few days after Muhammad returned Medina from the unsuccessful
raid on B. Lihyan, a band of armed men of Ghatafan led by Uyanah b.
Hisn raided the outskirts of the city; seized twenty milch camels of
Muhammad that were grazing in the area of al-Ghabah. They also killed
the shepherd and took his wife as a captive. A Muslim, called Amr ibn
al Akwa, saw this plunder and the carrying away of booty. He shot
arrows at them and called for help. Muhammad soon heard his call and
alerted the people of Medina.
The Second Raid on Ghatafan at Dhu Qarad by Sa’d b. Zayd/Muhammad-September,
When Muhammad heard of the raid on his camel herd at al-Gabah by
Uyanah b. Hisn, he immediately sent a battery of five hundred
cavalrymen under the leadership of Sa’d b. Zayd to search and finish
off the perpetrators. He told them that he would meet them later. The
Muslim soldiers were more in number than the bandits. They marched out
and found the bandits resting in a valley at Dhu Qarad. After a day or
two, Muhammad went out with further men and halted at the mountain of
Dhu Qarad where the rest of the Muslims joined him. The Muslims then
attacked the armed B. Ghatafan and slew several of the marauders and
recovered half of the plundered camels. In the battle that ensued,
Uyanah’s son, Abd al-Rahman was killed. The Muslims lost only one
man.He was the son of Abu Dhar Ghifari, one of the most trusted
lieutenants of Muhammad. Muhammad’s army chased the attackers as far
as towards Khaybar and rescued the camels and the woman. They also
took as booty, the weapons from the bandits.
Later, Muhammad stayed at Dhu Qarad for a day and a night, and then
the Muslims returned to Medina with the looted camels.
Plunder of B. Sulaym at Nakhl by Zayd ibn Haritha-September, 627CE
Zayd ibn Haritha was the freed slave and the adopted son of
Muhammad. Muhammad later married Zayd’s wife Zaynab. It was time to
reward this adopted son with booty. So Muhammad entrusted Zayd b
Haritha to lead a plundering team at Jamum, near Nakhl. He captured a
woman who led him to the site of B. Sulaym. Zayd’s team then raided
this place and captured cattle, sheep, camels and took many B. Sulaym
as captives. Among the captives was the husband of the woman who led
the Muslims to the plundering site. Zayd brought his booty to
Muhammad. When Muhammad heard the entire story he granted the woman
her freedom and released her husband, presumably for assisting the
Muslims in the pillage.
Plunder of the Quraysh at al-Is by Zayd ibn Haritha-September,
After the successful plunder of B. Sulaym by Muhammad’s adopted
son, Zayd ibn Haritha, Muhammad thought of entrusting him with a far
richer looting operation. Muhammad had already received information
that a highly rich caravan of the Quraysh was on its return journey
from Syria, and he did not want to waste time to plunder it. So, in
the autumn of 627 Muhammad dispatched Zayd with an army of one hundred
and seventy horsemen towards al-Is, an important trading center to
intercept this Quraysh caravan. The journey was four nights march from
Medina. The Muslim plunderers seized the caravan and looted it
entirely. Needless to say, it was a highly successful raid and the
Muslim army returned with a large amount of booty including plenty of
silver belonging to Safwan b Umayyah as well as plenty of captives.
Among the prisoners was Abu al-As, the son-in-law of Muhammad, the
husband of Zaynab, Muhammad’s eldest daughter. Abu al-As was the
nephew of Khadija (Muhammad’s first wife) and a prosperous trader in
Mecca. When Muhammad received the prophet hood, Abu al-As declined to
embrace Islam. But he also refused to divorce Zaynab at the insistence
of the Quraysh, for, his love for Zaynab was great. The love was
mutual and Muhammad was quite happy about it. When Muhammad migrated
to Medina, Zaynab, with her husband, Abu al-As remained at Mecca. In
the battle of Badr II Abu al-As was taken as a prisoner. Zaynab sent a
necklace of Khadijah to Muhammad as a ransom for the release of her
husband. His story has already been told (see Terror 9, CH. 3).
It was after three or four years that Abu al-As was caught again as
a prisoner at al-Is. When the party of prisoners arrived at Medina,
Abu al-As was given the permission to meet, at night, with his ex-wife
Zaynab for her protection. Then he rejoined the other prisoners. In
the morning when the Muslims gathered at the mosque for prayer, Zaynab
called out loudly that she had given protection to Abu al-As. Muhammad
agreed that she could treat Abu al-As as an honored guest but not as
her husband. He appealed to the captors to release Abu al-As along
with his property, if they wished. If not, then they could keep Abu
al-As as their booty. Abu al-As’ captors immediately agreed to
release him from their captivity. Abu al-As was greatly moved by this
generosity; returned to Mecca, completed his affairs there, then
returned to Medina and accepted Islam. He then rejoined his wife
Zaynab. However, Zaynab died within a year after rejoining her former
husband---purportedly due to the illness suffered as a result of her
Muhammad was greatly angered by the acts of the two Quraysh,
especially Habbar who manhandled his daughter (Zaynab) during her
attempt to escape from Mecca. He gave the order that both of them be
burned alive. Later, at night he changed his mind and decided that
they should be put to death in the ordinary way, i.e., by beheading.
Ali put one of the attackers, Huweirith, to death when the Muslims
Third Raid on B. Thalabah at al-Taraf By Zayd b. Haritha-October,
With two successful looting operations by Zayd b. Haritha, Muhammad
must have been very pleased with his adopted son. So, he sent Zayd
with fifteen men to Al-Taraf, thirty-six miles from Medina to punish
and to plunder B. Thalabah once again (see Terror 35, 36 above). When
this raid took place, the Bedouin tribe of B. Thalabah fled. Zayd’s
booty was twenty camels. He spent four nights conducting this raid
then returned to Medina with the booty.
Raid Against B. Judham at Hisma By Zayd b Haritha-October, 627CE
In the Sirah (biography) of Muhammad we read that after his
signing of Hudaibiya peace treaty with the Quraysh in Mecca, Muhammad
took himself as the true messenger of Allah. To prove his clout, he
sent several emissaries in a few neighboring countries, inviting them
to Islam. He sent Dhiyah b. Khalifah al-Kalbi, one of his devoted
followers on a mission to the governor of Syria regarding some
concession on the commerce with the Roman province. In his epistle to
Heraclius, the Byzantine emperor, Muhammad wrote: “In the name of
God, the Merciful and compassionate. From Muhammad, the Messenger of
God, to Heraclius, the ruler of the Romans. Peace to whoever follows
To proceed: submit yourself, and you shall be safe. Submit
yourself, and God shall give you your reward twice over. But, if you
turn away, the sin of the Husbandmen shall be upon you.”
Despite Muhammad’s threat and insulting remarks, Dhiya was
graciously received and was presented with a dress of honor. When,
after finishing his trip to Syria, Dhiya was returning to Medina with
those expensive gifts from the emperor; a group of bandit belonging to
B. Judham robbed him of everything when he reached Hisma, a place on
way to Syria and on the west of Tabuk.
Dihya approached the neighbouring tribe (with whom he was in good
terms) for help. They attacked Bani Judham, recovered the spoils and
returned them to Dhiya. When the news of this robbery by B. Judham
reached Muhammad, he immediately dispatched Zayd ibn Haritha with five
hundred men to punish them. The Muslim army fought with B. Judham,
killed several of them, including their chief, Al-Hunayd ibn Arid and
his son. Zayd also killed another three men from another clan of
B.Judham. The Muslims captured their women and children and plundered
a great collection of herds and flocks. Another leader of B. Judham
who had recently converted to Islam appealed to Muhammad to release
the living captives. Muhammad sent Ali to release those captives
First raid at Wadi al-Qura by Zayd b. Haritha-November, 627CE
After so many successful terror operations by Zayd b. Haritha,
Muhammad rewarded him by appointing him the Amir (ruler) of the area
surrounding Wadi al-Qura. This was an important oasis, about seven
miles from Medina, lying in the valley of Qura and on the route to
Dumat al-Jandal (Duma) and thence to Syria. It was absolutely
important that Muhammad established his full military control on this
region to secure his position. Zayd set out with twelve men to survey
this area and to monitor the movements of enemies of Muhammad, i.e.,
the unbelieving tribes inhabiting this region.
However, the inhabitants in this area were unfriendly to Zayd and
Islam. They attacked the Muslims, killing nine of them; the rest,
including Zayd, managed to escape and returned to Medina.
Continued in Chapter 12
‘Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat’---Hermann
The Raid on Bani al-Mustaliq by Muhammad-December, 627CE
Bani al-Mustaliq was a branch of the Khozaa (Jewish) tribe. Two
months after Muhammad returned from Dhu Qarad campaign (see Terror 40,
CH. 11), Allah suddenly told him that B. al-Mustaliq, under the
leadership of Haritha b. Abi Dirar was mobilizing forces against him.
Hitherto, B. al-Mustaliq people were friendly to Muhammad. But, out of
the blue, Muhammad spread the rumour that B. al-Mustaliq were now
joining with the Quraysh to launch an attack against the Muslims. The
Muslims even killed a man from B. al-Mustaliq on suspicion of spying
for them. With this pretext Muhammad rallied all the fighting men
around him to assail the B. al- Mustaliq. It is not clear why Allah
had suddenly changed His mind on B. al-Mustaliq. However, the real
reason was that B. al-Mustaliq were a prosperous Jewish clan who had
immense wealth and property and Muhammad was eyeing to appropriate
their resources through plunder. So far, he was not absolutely certain
whether his terror campaign to this peace-loving Jewish clan would be
a success or not. But when his ethnic cleaning of the Jews in Medina
was a great accomplishment, the Jews all around Medina became fearful
of his further attack on them. So B. al-Mustaliq Jews took all
precautionary measures to prevent such an invasion on them. Naturally,
they sought help from other clans as well. Now, a militarily strong
Muhammad was poised to plunder this Jewish community to further enrich
his horde of followers. We can infer this conclusion from the fact
that Muhammad gave no opportunity to this clan to embrace Islam before
facing ethnic cleansing-Islamic style. On previous occasions, he
abided by the rule that the infidels be given a three days reprieve to
decide whether to accept Islam or face liquidation. In fact, Muhammad
was not at all keen on this prosperous clan to take up Islam, as that
meant no booty to his ardent Jihadists. It was far better that B. al-Mustaliq
did not embrace Islam so that the Muslims could pillage everything
that they had through a pre-emptive attack. Here is a passage from Sahih
Muslim on this raid:
Book 019, Number 4292:
Ibn 'Aun reported: I wrote to Nafi' inquiring from him whether it
was necessary to extend (to the disbelievers) an invitation to
accept (Islam) before m". ing them in fight. He wrote (in
reply) to me that it was necessary in the early days of Islam. The
Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) made a raid upon Banu
Mustaliq while they were unaware and their cattle were having a
drink at the water. He killed those who fought and imprisoned
others. On that very day, he captured Juwairiya bint al-Harith. Nafi'
said that this tradition was related to him by Abdullah b. Umar who
(himself) was among the raiding troops.
Further confirmation of this sudden pillage is referred in Sahih
Volume 3, Book 46, Number 717:
Narrated Ibn Aun:
I wrote a letter to Nafi and Nafi wrote in reply to my letter
that the Prophet had suddenly attacked Bani Mustaliq without warning
while they were heedless and their cattle were being watered at the
places of water. Their fighting men were killed and their women and
children were taken as captives; the Prophet got Juwairiya on that
day. Nafi said that Ibn 'Umar had told him the above narration and
that Ibn 'Umar was in that army.
Therefore, with clear plunder in mind, Muhammad rallied all the
fighting men around him to attack the B.al- Mustaliq. Many Jihadists
joined him to have a share in the loot. Muhammad gave Abu Bakr the
flag for this attack. Curiously, Abdullah ibn Ubay, Muhammad’s
nemesis (and a hypocrite, as per Muhammad) was also made one of the
leaders of this strike team. The Muslim forces then started marching
with thirty horses. After eight days of marching they encamped at the
wells of Muraysi near the seashore, close to Mecca. Muhammad pitched
tents for himself, Aisha and Umm Salma, two of his wives who
accompanied him. When the B. al-Mustaliq people heard the arrival of
Muhammad’s soldiers, they were dismayed, but fought gallantly. After
exchanging arrows for a brief period, the Muslim forces advanced and
quickly surrounded the B. al-Mustaliq, and soon B. al-Mustaliq’s
ranks fell in disarray and they were vanquished, having lost some of
their men. Ali b. Talib killed a few wounded B. al-Mustaliq people;
among them were Malik and his son. Muhammad seized their cattle herd,
took many as captives and divided them among the Jihadists. Two
hundred families were taken as captives, two thousand camels
(US$700,000) and five thousand sheep and goats (US$ 175,000), as well
as a huge quantity of household goods (say US$ 100,000) were taken as
booty. Juwayriah, the young, beautiful and vivacious daughter of B.
al-Mutaliq chief was one of those captives. The household goods were
sold in an auction to the highest bidders. During the battle a Muslim
was mortally wounded by another Muslim by accident. The Muslim
soldiers were hungry for sex and Muhammad allowed them to rape the B.
Mustaliq women captives. Here is a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 459:
Narrated Ibn Muhairiz:
I entered the Mosque and saw Abu Said Al-Khudri and sat beside
him and asked him about Al-Azl (i.e. coitus interruptus). Abu Said
said, "We went out with Allah's Apostle for the Ghazwa of Banu
Al-Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives
and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to
do coitus interruptus. So when we intended to do coitus interrupt
us, we said, 'How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allah's
Apostle who is present among us?" We asked (him) about it and
he said, 'It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul (till
the Day of Resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will
After having sex (rape) with his captive-girl, Said al-Khudri took
this young girl to the nearest slave market for a quick sale. Here is
the continuation of the above story, as told by al-Waqidi (vol.i,
p.413) and excerpted by Rodinson:
“A Jew said to me: ‘Abu Said, no doubt you want to sell her as
she has in her belly a baby by you.’ I said: ‘No; I used the ‘azl.’
To which he replied [sarcastically]: ‘Then it was lesser
child-murder!’ When I repeated this story to the Prophet he said:
‘The Jews lie. The Jews lie.’”
In this connection it is worthwhile to mention the Sharia Law
(Islamic Law) on captive women and children:
Where a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by
the fact that of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is
Muhammad’s marriage to Juwayriah, his seventh wife
The captives of the B. al-Mustaliq were carried to Medina. Among
the captives were two hundred women. Men from B. al-Mustaliq soon
arrived to make terms for their release. At first, unknown to
Muhammad, the pretty Juwayriah fell in the hands of Jihadist, Thabit
b. Qays, an Ansar and one of his cousins. Juwayrah was a young
woman, the daughter of B. al-Mustaliq chief and married to Musab b.
Safwan. As soon as she became a captive, her marriage was immediately
cancelled-as per Islamic rule (see above) and she was handed over to
those two Jihadists to do with her whatever they liked. It is rather
curious to note why a young, beautiful woman captive be allotted to
two Jihadists at the same time. I have not found any other reference
of a woman captive being shared by two Muslim soldiers. However, a
note in Ibn Sa’d’s book says: “When a slave girl was allotted to
more than one person, none of them could cohabit with her.” Clearly,
this is a later invention by Muslim biographers to assert that
Muhammad married a Juwayriah who had not been ‘contaminated’ by
another Jihadist. Anyway, because of Juwayriah’s rank, her captor/s
put a ransom of nine ounces of gold (in today’s estimate, around US$
3,600). She could not raise that large sum of gold. So, she approached
Muhammad while he was resting in Aisha’s apartment and pleaded for
some remission for the heavy price demanded for her release. As soon
as Aisha saw Juwayriah she was filled with jealousy. Muhammad gently
replied that he would pay her ransom and marry her. Juwayriah agreed
on this suggestion. The ransom was paid and Muhammad immediately
married her and built a seventh quarter to house her in his ever
expanding harem. As soon as the news of marriage of Juwayriah
reached to the people, they took it as a relationship between them and
the B. al-Mustaliq and as such all the prisoners were let loose free.
Previously her name was Barra (Pious). After Muhammad married her, he
gave her the Islamic name, Juwayriah. She was only twenty (20)
and Muhammad fifty-eight (58) when he married her. Aisha was only
thirteen (13) at that time! Here is a Hadith from Sunaan Abu
Dawud that describes how Muhammad married Juwayriah:
Book 29, Number 3920:
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
Juwayriyyah, daughter of al-Harith ibn al-Mustaliq, fell to the
lot of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas, or to her cousin. She entered
into an agreement to purchase her freedom. She was a very beautiful
woman, most attractive to the eye.
Aisha said: She then came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
asking him for the purchase of her freedom. When she was standing at
the door, I looked at her with disapproval. I realised that the
Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) would look at her in the same
way that I had looked.
She said: Apostle of Allah, I am Juwayriyyah, daughter of al-Harith,
and something has happened to me, which is not hidden from you. I
have fallen to the lot of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas, and I have
entered into an agreement to purchase of my freedom. I have come to
you to seek assistance for the purchase of my freedom.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: Are you inclined
to that which is better? She asked: What is that, Apostle of Allah?
He replied: I shall pay the price of your freedom on your behalf,
and I shall marry you.
She said: I shall do this. She (Aisha) said: The people then
heard that the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) had married
Juwayriyyah. They released the captives in their possession and set
them free, and said: They are the relatives of the Apostle of Allah
(peace_be_upon_him) by marriage. We did not see any woman greater
than Juwayriyyah who brought blessings to her people. One hundred
families of Banu al-Mustaliq were set free on account of her.
There is another version of this story that goes like this:
Harith ibn Abu Dirar, the father of and the chief of B. al-Mustaliq
came to Muhammad to ransom his daughter, and after talking to
Muhammad, he became a Muslim. It is said that he was astonished at
Muhammad’s incredible power of fore-knowledge of His (Harith b. Abu
Dirar) secret of hidden camels. Then Juwayriyah followed her father
and converted to Islam as well. As soon as she became a Muslimah,
Muhammad married her and offered her a dowry of four hundred Dirhams.
Still another version runs like this:
Her (Juwayriah) father was not agreeable to her marriage to
Muhammad and that a relative of her intervened and gave her to the
prophet against the will of her father.
For more details on Muhammad’s marriage to his captive woman (Juwayriyah)
you may refer to: http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/Juwairiyah.htm
You may also wish to read the Islamic version on the raid on B. al-Mustaliq
From this raid we also learn about the internal feud between the Muhajirs
and the Ansars. Islamic history often talks of the existence of
exceptionally amicable relationship between the migrant Quraysh (Muhajir)
and the indigenous residents of Medina (Ansars). This is not
really true when we read some details as written by several Muslim
historians. Here is brief account of the acrimonious relationship that
erupted in the open during the plunder of B. al-Mustaliq.
From Tabri’s book, we learn:
An altercation took place between the Ansars and the Mohajirs
and swords were drawn while they were drawing water from a well. There
was widespread dislike for the Muhajirs in Medina. Abd Allah
ibn Ubayy (a local resident of Medina) was greatly disturbed that the
newly arrived Muslim migrants had outnumbered them and were poised to
take over the complete authority of Medina. When the verbal fight took
place between an Ansar and a Muhajir, and Abd Allah ibn
Ubay was further agitated at the new found audacity of the Muhajirs
he said, “Have they really done it? They have tried to outrank us
and outnumber us in our own lands. By God, the proverb, ‘Fatten your
dog and he will eat you up!’ fits us and [the wearers of] the jilbab
(the flowing cloak) of Quraysh to a tree. By God if we go back to
Medina, those who are stronger will drive out the weaker from it.”’
Then he turned to his tribesmen who were with him and said: “This is
what you have done to yourselves! You allowed them to settle in your
lands and divided your wealth with them. Had you kept from them what
you had, by God they would have moved to lands other than yours”
Very soon, these utterances of Abd Allah ibn Ubayy reached Muhammad
who was then sitting with Umar b. Khattab. Umar was furious and sought
Muhammad’s permission to kill Abd Allah ibn Ubayy forthwith. But
Muhammad refused to permit him to do so, saying that slaying of Abd
Allah ibn Ubay would simply aggravate the situation further by
angering the Ansars. To placate the situation, and to avoid
bloodshed, Muhammad then ordered his entourage to proceed towards
Medina without delaying further.
In this episode we also learn about the mindset of an Islamic
fundamentalist. Abd Allah ibn Ubayy’s son. Abd Allah ibn Abd Allah
ibn Ubayy was such a fundamentalist. Ibn Sa’d writes: ‘Abd Allah
ibn Abd Allah ibn Ubayy went forward and waited for his father on the
way. When he saw him, he made him sit down and said: “I shall not
let you go unless you realize that you have been humbled and Muhammad
is honorable.” That meant, for a true Jihadist, nothing, even his
father, can be dearer than Muhammad.
When Abd Allah ibn Ubayy came to learn that Muhammad is already
aware of his seditious statements, he went straight to him and denied
all allegations against him. Muhammad now became accommodative to Abd
Allah ibn Ubayy when people told him that he (Muhammad) had dashed the
hope of Abd Allah ibn Ubayy who was destined to be the king of Medina.
The Muslims traveled continuously for a day and a night until dawn.
Then they halted at a place, and soon they fell asleep. Muhammad did
this ruse on purpose to trick the Muslims on a long and exhaustive
journey, so that the talk about Abd Allah ibn Ubayy died down. In the
evening, when the Muslim army rose fresh from their sleep they marched
through the Hijaj and halted at a watering place called Naqa. In the
afternoon, while Muhammad was at Naqa a very strong wind blew, hurting
the Muslim. They became afraid and assumed that to be a curse from
Allah. But Muhammad cleverly told his followers that the strong wind
came to Muhammad to announce the death of one of the great men among
the unbelievers. When the Jihadists arrived at Medina they heard that
Rifaah b. Zayd, a prominent man among the B. Qaynuqa Jews and a great
refuge for the polytheists had died. [Note: this story is completely
implausible as Muhammad had already expelled from Medina all the Jews
of B. Qaynuqa].During this journey through the desert, the Muslims did
not have water to perform ablution; so Allah revealed the verse (4:43)
on Tayammum (ablution using dirt).On this occasion, a complete
Sura (Sura 63) was released by Allah on Abd Allah ibn Ubayy and
the hypocrites like him.
When Abd Allah ibn Ubay’s son, Abd Allah b. Abd Allah b. Ubayy
heard of what had happened he approached Muhammad and volunteered to
kill his father. He said to Muhammad: “Messenger of God, I have been
told that you want to kill ‘Abd Allah b. Ubayy because of what has
been reported to you concerning him. If you are going to do it,
command me to do it and I will bring you his head. By God, al-Khazraj
know that there has never been among them a man more dutiful to his
father than I. I am afraid that you may order someone else to do it
and he may kill him; and then my soul will not allow me to look on the
slayer of Abd Allah b. Ubayy walking among the people: I would kill
him, killing a believer to avenge an unbeliever, and thereby enter the
Fire [of hell].” Mubarakpuri calls this type of fanatic Jihadist a
However, Muhammad diplomatically advised Abd Allah (son of ibn
Ubayy) not to commit such an act but to be gentle with his father so
long as he (Abd Allah ibn Ubayy) remained a Muslim, albeit a nominal
After Muhammad arrived at Medina, a polytheist from Mecca, Miqyas
b. Subbah came at Medina and became a Muslim. He came to seek the
blood money for his newly convert Muslim brother (Hisham b. Subbah)
who was killed by mistake during the raid at B. al-Mustaliq. Muhammad
paid his blood money to Miqyas.
After receiving the blood money for his brother, Miqyas stayed at
Medina for a short while. Then he killed the slayer of his brother,
apostatized and left for Mecca. We need to remember the name of Miqyas,
as we shall see very soon that he was one of the persons whom Muhammad
targeted for killing during his occupation of Mecca. Miqyas was
earmarked for murder not because of his killing of his brother’s
killer, but because he (Miqyas) apostatized.
During this raid the affair regarding the adulterous relation of
Aisha, Muhammad’s youngest and the most favorite wife, with an
errant Bedouin youth took place. However, since this is not a case of
plunder and terror, it will not be discussed here.
Second Raid at Dumat al-Jandal by Abd al-Rahman b. Awf-December,
Abd al-Rahman b. Awf was one of the closest companions of Muhammad.
Muhammad appointed him to make the second raid on Dumat al-Jandal (Duma).
He told Abd al-Rahman, ‘Fight everyone in the way of God and kill
those who disbelieve in God. Do not be deceitful with spoils, do not
be treacherous, nor mutilate, do not kill children. This is God’s
ordinance and practice of his prophet among you. ‘
Abd al-Rahman b. Awf then set out at the behest of seven hundred
men on the expedition to Dumat al-Jandal (Duma), that lay on the route
to Khaybar, Fadak and then branching out to Syria and Iraq. Duma was a
great trading center; the inhabitants were mainly Christians and were
ruled by a Christian king. Following the Islamic rule, on reaching
Duma, Abd al-Rahman b. Awf summoned the resident tribes to embrace
Islam within three days or face execution. People had no choice but to
comply with his dreadful ultimatum. During this ultimatum period, Al-Asbagh,
a Christian chief of Bani Kalb complied and many of his followers also
followed suit. Other tribes also paid tribute (Jizya) to Abd
al-Rahman. On agreement to pay Jizya tax regularly, they were
allowed to keep their Christianity. When this good news was
communicated to Muhammad, he (Muhammad) instructed Abd al-Rahman to
marry Tamadhir, the daughter of the Christian chief, Al-Asbagh. In an
epistle to Abd al-Rahman, Muhammad wrote, “If they obey you, marry
the daughter of their king.” So Abd al-Rahman married Tumadhir
bt.al-Asbagh, the daughter of their Christian king and brought this
lady with him to Medina. She became one of his many wives, as many as
sixteen, besides many concubines.
Raid at Fadak against B. Sad by Ali ibn Talib-December, 627CE
Muhammad received intelligence information that B. Sa’d b. Bakr,
the tribe inhabiting Fadak was planning to help the Khaybar Jews. So
he sent Ali b. Abi Talib to punish them. Having traveled by night and
concealing by day, Ali arrived at the site and lay in wait for them
during the day. The Muslims caught a spy who informed them that B. Sa’d
b. Bakr had agreed to aid the Khaybar Jews in exchange for some
harvest of Khaybar crop. Ali then returned Medina with the captive.
Raid against Umm Qirfa of B. Fazarah by Zayd b. Haritha/Abu Bakr-January,
Readers may recall Zayd b. Haritha’s first raid at Wadi al-Qura
(see Terror 45, CH. 11). When this raid ended in a failure, Zayd
conducted several warlike raids of inferior importance. In one of
these operations, he set out for a mercantile trip to Syria to do some
border trading there. When he arrived at Wadi al-Qura, he again raided
the inhabitants there. However, his caravan was waylaid and was
attacked by B. Fazarah tribe. During the fighting B. Fazarah killed a
number of Muslims including Ward b. Amr, one of Zayd’s dear
comrade-in-arms. Zayd himself was wounded.
After Zayd returned to Medina with his wound he vowed to avenge the
death of his comrade by raiding B. Fazarah again. After his recovery
from the injury Muhammad sent Zayd with an army against the B. Fazarah.
He attacked them at Wadi al-Qura and inflicted heavy casualties on
them. He took Umm Qirfa (her real name was Fatimah bt. Rabiah b. Badr),
the wife of Malik b. Hudhayfah, the chief of B. Fazarah, as a
prisoner. Umm Qirfa was a very old woman having a young and extremely
beautiful daughter. She (Umm Qirfa) was the aunt of Uyeina and was
married to her cousin, Malik, the uncle of Uyeina. They formed a
branch of Fazarah, Fazarah tribe being a branch of the Ghatafan tribe.
Zayd took her daughter as a captive and ordered a Jihadist, Qays b.
Mohsin to kill Umm Qirfa. Her old age and sex did not deter her from
receiving a barbaric Islamic punishment from the Muslim army (Please
note here the hypocrisy of Islamic rule on killing a woman). Qays tied
each of her legs with a rope and attached the ropes to two camels.
Then he drove the camels in opposite directions thus renting her in
two. Rodinson writes that Umm Qirfa was torn from limb to limb by four
camels. Two brothers from the same family were also brutally executed.
When told, Muhammad fully approved this ferocious punishment meted out
to a grand old lady. When Zayd brought Umm Qirfa’s daughter to
Muhammad, he allocated her to Salamah b. Amr al-Akwa, a Jihadist who
captured her. She belonged to a very distinguished Arab family. Then
Muhammad found that one of his maternal uncles, Hazn b. Abi Wahb was
eyeing on Umm Qirfa’s beautiful daughter. So he asked her owner,
Salamah b. Amr b. al-Akwa, if he would give her to his (Muhammad’s)
uncle. Salamah readily agreed to Muhammad’s request. This
distinguished lady was then passed on to Muhammad’s uncle for his
Another version of this story says that the leader of this raid was
Abu Bakr b. Abi Quhafah (told by Salamah) and runs like this:
Muhammad appointed Abu Bakr as the leader of this raiding party.
When Abu Bakr arrived at Wadi al-Qura, he ordered his troop to rest
there; then they prayed. After prayer, Abu Bakr made a raid on B.
Fazarah. The Muslims killed a number of B. Fazarah people and captured
a number of their women and children. Among them was Umm Qirfa, a very
old lady, wearing a worn-out piece of leather coat. With her was her
young daughter, the fairest of the Arabs. Abu Bakr gave Umm Qirfa’s
pretty, young and vivacious daughter to, the Jihadist, who had
captured her as a booty. After Salamah b. al-Akwa returned to Medina
and met Muhammad at the market place, he (Muhammad) asked Salamah to
give this pretty young lass to him. Salamah told Muhammad that he
liked her but had not had sex with her yet. Then he offered her to
Quoting Salamah, Tabari (Tabari, vol. viii, p.97) writes:
‘When I returned to Medina, the messenger of God met me in the
market and said, “Salamah-how excellent the father who begot
you!-give me the woman.” I said, “Messenger of God, I like her, by
God, and I have not uncovered her garment.” He said nothing to me
until the next day, when he met me in the market and said, “Salamah-how
excellent a father begot you!-give me the woman.” I said: “Messenger
of God, I have not touched her garment. She is yours, Messenger of
God.” The Messenger of God sent her to Mecca, and with her he
ransomed some Muslim captives who were in the hands of the
There is a similar Hadith from Sahih Muslim (Refer
to: Sahih Muslim: Book 19, Hadith number 4345)
Barbarous Execution of Uraynah Robbers By Muhammad-February, 628CE
Eight members B. Uraynah , a Bedouin tribe, came to Muhammad and
embraced Islam. The climate of Medina did not suit them. They
complained about a stomach problem they were suffering from an
epidemic. Muhammad gave them some camels to take with them; instructed
them to drink the camel’s milk and urine as medicines. They took the
camels in the plain south of Quba for grazing. Following Muhammad’s
prescription, they soon recovered from their stomach problem. Then
they escaped with the camels by killing the camel herdsman by cutting
off his hands and legs and poking thorny spikes into his tongue and
eyes. When this news reached Muhammad, he dispatched twenty horsemen
in hot pursuit of the robbers. They caught the robbers and recovered
all the camels except one. The eight captives were then brought to
Muhammad. On Muhammad’s order their arms and legs were cut off and
their eyes were put off. The trunks of these wretched victims were
then laid side by side in the hot sun in the plain of al-Ghaba until
they died. On this occasion the verses on the punishment of waging war
against Allah and for theft were released (5:39, 33).
This story is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 8, Book 82, Number 796:
A group of people from 'Ukl (tribe) came to the Prophet and they
were living with the people of As-Suffa, but they became ill as the
climate of Medina did not suit them, so they said, "O Allah's
Apostle! Provide us with milk." The Prophet said, I see no
other way for you than to use the camels of Allah's Apostle."
So they went and drank the milk and urine of the camels, (as
medicine) and became healthy and fat. Then they killed the shepherd
and took the camels away. When a help-seeker came to Allah's
Apostle, he sent some men in their pursuit, and they were captured
and brought before mid day. The Prophet ordered for some iron pieces
to be made red hot, and their eyes were branded with them and their
hands and feet were cut off and were not cauterized. Then they were
put at a place called Al-Harra, and when they asked for water to
drink they were not given till they died. (Abu Qilaba said,
"Those people committed theft and murder and fought against
Allah and His Apostle.")
Assassination of Al-Yusayr b. Rizam and a party of Khaybar Jews at
Even with the assassination of Abu Rafi (also known as Sallam ibn
Abul-Huqayq), the chief of Khaybar Jews in December, 624 (see Terror
20, CH. 5) Muhammad did not feel safe from the Jews of Khaybar. The
new chief of the Khaybar Jews was Al-Yusayr b. Rizam. He maintained
the good relation with the B. Ghatafan, the tribe that Muhammad feared
a lot. Muhammad heard that Al-Yusayr b. Rizam was planning a fresh
attack against him. So he quickly dispatched Abdallah ibn Rawaha, a
leader of the B. Khazraj to Khaybar to gather intelligence to
eliminate Al-Yusayr clandestinely. But Abd Allah ibn Rawaha found the
Jews to be extremely alert for this type of covert political murder to
be a success.
When he returned to Medina with this bad news, Muhammad again sent
him openly with thirty men (or thirty selected killers) mounted on
camels to persuade al-Yusayr b. Rizam to visit Medina. When the
Muslims arrived at Khaybar the Jews treated them well. Abd Allah ibn
Rawaha pretended to be friendly with the Jews and invited al-Yusayr b.
Rizam to visit Medina with them.He assured al-Yusayr b. Rizam that
Muhammad would make him the ruler of Khaybar, giving al-Yusayr b.
Rizam a solemn guarantee of his safety. At first, al-Yusayr declined.
But due to the persistence of the Muslim delegation he finally
relented and went with them with a number of Jews. One of the Muslim
delegates, Abd Allah b. Unays mounted al-Yusayr on his beast and rode
behind him. When they arrived at al-Qarqarat, about six miles from
Khaybar, al-Yusayr suspected the ill-motive of the Muslims and changed
his mind about going to meet Muhammad. He dismounted from the beast he
was riding with Abd Allah Unays. Abd Allah b. Unays claimed that he
perceived al-Yusayr was drawing his sword. So he rushed at him and cut
off his leg. Al-Yusayr hit Abd Allah b. Unays with a piece of wood and
wounded his head. Ibn Ishak claims that later, God killed al-Yusayr.
The Muslims killed all other Jews except one who escaped on his feet.
When Abd Allah b. Unays came to Muhammad, Muhammad spat on his wound
in his head and it healed immediately! Muhammad praised Allah when he
heard the news of assassination of al-Yusayr b. Rizam and the killing
of the Jews.
Continued in Chapter 13
‘Violence is the repartee of the
illiterate’---Alan Brien (1925-)
The Raid on Khaybar and Fadak by Muhammad-May, 628CE
In the spring (around March) of 628 Muhammad, along with one
thousand and five hundred (1,500) of his devout supporters, went on a
mission to perform Umra (minor Hajj) at Mecca. However,
fearing mischief, the Meccans did not allow Muhammad to enter the
city, forcing him to encamp at a place called Hudaibiya in the
outskirts of Mecca. While there, he negotiated a ten year peace treaty
with the Quraysh that permitted him to enter Mecca beginning from the
following year and perform Hajj with his followers. This is the
famous Hudaibiya pact. After signing this treaty, and while returning
to Mecca, he heard the murmur of discontent from his followers for
entering into a treaty that was heavily in favor of the Quraysh.
Besides, the nascent Jihadists also missed an opportunity to plunder
further the Meccans. Muhammad was clever enough to realize that he
must continue rewarding his Jihadists through ill-gotten wealth
otherwise, his Jihadists would waver in their faith in him. This was
also a time of severe drought at Medina. So, while he was on his way
back (to Medina), he already made up his mind to conduct a fresh raid
on the Jews. Since all other Jews around Medina had either been
expelled or liquidated through pogrom, Muhammad decided to plunder and
loot the remaining Jews at Khaybar. Haykal writes that the the Jews
living at Khaybar were the strongest, the richest and the best
equipped for war of all the peoples of Arabia (Hykal, Ch. Khaybar
expedition).To assure and to please Muhammad in this plunder, Allah
revealed Sura al-Fath (Victory, Sura 48) forgiving his past and
future sins (48:2) and guaranteeing him triumph (48:21)
through His (Allah’s) help. In verses 48:16, 20 Allah
promised further booty for joining in Jihad; this was to improve the
material life of the Jihadists. Mubarakpuri insists that this
promise of booty meant the loot of Khaybar. Emboldened by such divine
promise of succor, Muhammad’s followers were now ready for a new
pillage, and within a few weeks after their return from Hudaibiya they
headed for Khaybar to loot it. We can confirm the truth of this
outright, unprovoked plundering operation from the history of al-Tabari:
During the prevailing draught at Medina at that time, a group of B.
Aslam who had embraced Islam came to Muhammad for assistance. But
Muhammad had nothing to assist them. So he prayed to Allah so that
they could plunder the richly laden fortresses of the Khyabar Jews
including their luscious green agricultural lands. He said, “O God,
Thou knowest their condition-that they have no strength and that I
have nothing to give them. Open to them [for conquest] the greatest of
the fortresses of Khaybar, the one most abounding in food and fat
The next morning, Muhammad plundered the fortress of al-Sa’b b.
Muadh (a Jewish chief) that had the most abundance in food.
Even Sahih Bukhari writes that the major purpose for raiding
Khaybar was food:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 547:
When Khaibar was conquered, we said, "Now we will eat our
fill of dates!"
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 548:
Narrated Ibn Umar:
We did not eat our fill except after we had conquered Khaibar.
It is important to review this embezzling operation in detail, as
the actions of the Jihadists in this terror operation portray
accurately the true mindset of the messenger of Allah.
As stated earlier, after his return from Hudaibiya, Muhammad had
promised his followers a great spoil of plunder. About six weeks
passed without much happening. His followers became impatient. He was
now looking for an excuse to perpetrate such an act of plundering the
Jews. But no such opportunity came readily. So, in May, 628 he
preemptively made a sudden and unprovoked assault on the Jews of
Muhammad’s army started marching against the Khaybar Jews with a
force of around one thousand and four hundred (1,400) strong men. He
took a big cavalry of between one and two hundred. Many Bedouins and
other tribes of Medina, who, hitherto neglected Muhammad also wanted
to join in this swag. But Muhammad refused to take them in for their
refusal to join in Hudaibiya in the first place. Kahybar booty was
meant only for those terrorists who were willing to accompany the
messenger of Allah through thick and thin. In verse 48:15 Allah
also instructed him not to entrust these hypocrite Arabs. Umm Salama,
one of Muhammad’s seven wives accompanied the Prophet of mercy.
Using lottery (his usual practice)Muhammad chose her amongst his many
wives. The Muslim army covered the distance of about one hundred miles
from Medina in about four or five days. Ibn Sa’d writes that it was
a fasting month; some Muslims fasted, some did not. Before making this
wanton attack on the Khaybar Jews, Muhammad stopped at a valley named
al-Rajii; not the al-Rajii near Taif where Muhammad’s companions
were killed (see Terror 25, CH. 7). He encamped there between the
people of Ghatafan and the people of Khaybar. This was a ruse to
prevent the people of Ghatafan to come to the aid of the Khaybar Jews
when he attacked them.
Nonetheless, when the Ghatafan heard of Muhammad’s advance they
assembled their men and marched forward to help the Khaybar people.
After marching for a day they heard from sources that Muhammad had
attacked their (i.e., Ghatafan’s) families that they had left
behind. So they hastened back to protect their families. This was a
clever ploy by the Muslims, because now the way to Khaybar was
completely open unhindered to Muhammad. Then Muhammad offered his
morning prayer and made an early morning attack on the inhabitants of
Khaybar claiming that early morning times were miserable times for the
infidels (see Sahih Bukhari, vol. 4, book 52, number 195).
The attack was so sudden that the farmers of Khaybar were
completely stunned, when early in the morning, when they were about to
go to work in their plantations, they found that the Muslim soldiers
had surrounded them. This sudden invasion by the Muslim army cut off
all the hopes of the Jews to get aid from B. Ghatafan.
Ibn Ishak writes that the war cry of the Muslims at Khaybar was,
‘O victorious one slay, slay!’
It is the Islamic custom to raid a place early in the morning
invoking the name of Allah (note the timing of 9/11). Here is a Hadith
from Sahih Bukhari to confirm the sudden and unprovoked attack
on the Khaybar Jews: (You will find quite a few similar Ahadith in
Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
Volume 1, Book 11, Number 584:
Anas bin Malik said, "Whenever the Prophet went out with us
to fight (in Allah's cause) against any nation, he never allowed us
to attack till morning and he would wait and see: if he heard Adhan
he would postpone the attack and if he did not hear Adhan he would
attack them." Anas added, "We reached Khaibar at night and
in the morning when he did not hear the Adhan for the prayer, he
(the Prophet ) rode and I rode behind Abi Talha and my foot was
touching that of the Prophet.
The inhabitants of Khaibar came out with their baskets and spades
and when they saw the Prophet they shouted 'Muhammad! By Allah,
Muhammad and his army.' When Allah's Apostle saw them, he said,
"Allahu-Akbar! Allahu-Akbar! Khaibar is ruined. Whenever we
approach a (hostile) nation (to fight), then evil will be the
morning of those who have been warned."
Initially shocked, the Khaybar Jews immediately returned to their
fortresses and prepared to fight Muhammad’s invading army. They had
some time to rally around their new leader, Abul Huqayq and posted
themselves in front of their citadel, Qamus and resolved to fight a
desperate battle. Previously, Muhammad had assassinated Sallam ibn
Abul-Huqayq (Abu Rafi) and another Jewish leader, Al-Yusayr b. Rizam
just a few months before (see Terror 51, CH. 12). In the beginning,
Muhammad made a few unsuccessful attempts to dislodge them from their
Then one of the Jews, Marhab challenged the Muslims in a single
combat. So, a Jihadist, Amir, confronted Marhab. Unfortunately, while
attacking Marhab, Amir accidentally cut his median vein by himself
that cost him his life. Many Muslims thought that Amir had committed
suicide and sought Muhammad’s clarification about those who commit
suicide while fighting the infidels. Muhammad assured them that Amir
will receive double reward for his (suicidal) action. Sourcing
authentic chain of narrators, Ibn Sa’d writes: ‘ Salamah ibn Akwa
said: “ I came across the Companions of the Apostle of Allah, may
Allah bless him, who declared: All the good deeds of ‘Amir were
lost, as he had committed suicide. Salamah said: Then I approached the
Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him weeping and asked : ‘Were the
deeds of ‘Amir vain? He said: And who said this? I said some of your
Companions (said this). The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him
said: He who said this uttered a lie. His reward has been doubled.”’
This very first act of Islamic suicide ‘attack’ is recorded in Sahih
Bukhari in this way:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 515:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
We witnessed (the battle of) Khaibar. Allah's Apostle said
about one of those who were with him and who claimed to be a
Muslim. "This (man) is from the dwellers of the
Hell-Fire." When the battle started, that fellow fought so
violently and bravely that he received plenty of wounds. Some of
the people were about to doubt (the Prophet's statement), but the
man, feeling the pain of his wounds, put his hand into his quiver
and took out of it, some arrows with which he slaughtered himself
(i.e. committed suicide). Then some men amongst the Muslims came
hurriedly and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Allah has made your
statement true so-and-so has committed suicide. "The Prophet
said, "O so-and-so! Get up and make an announcement that none
but a believer will enter Paradise and that Allah may support the
religion with an unchaste (evil) wicked man.
After the death (suicide) of Amir, Muhammad b. Maslamah (the
professional killer) went to fight with Marhab and in a grueling duel
he killed Marhab. Then Marhab’s brother, Yasir rushed forward to
avenge his brother’s death.
The Jihadist al-Zubayr went forward to meet him in a single combat.
After a short fighting, al-Zubayr killed Yasir.
In this terror operation we also note the cowardice by Umar b.
Khattab, whom the Islamists portray as an incredibly intrepid Jihadist.
When Muhammad encamped at the Khaybar, he gave the banner to Umar
b. al-Khattab. Umar went to fight with the Jews but was chased out by
them. After returning to Muhammad, his companions complained of Umar’s
cowardice. So next day, Muhammad gave the banner to Ali who, at that
time had an inflamed eye. Muhammad spat on his eyes and Ali’s eyes
Another version of killing of Marhab runs like this:
Muhammad often had migraine headache and would not come out from
his hideout for a few days. When he attacked Khaybar, he was suffering
from such a migraine headache, and so he did not venture out of his
lair. At first, Abu Bakr went out and fought vigorously. When he
returned, Umar went out and fought with more vigor and then came back
After learning about the not so successful outcomes from those two
lieutenants of him, on the next day, Muhammad sent Ali who arrived in
the morning with inflamed eyes. Muhammad spat in his eyes and the pain
departed immediately. Then Ali went out to fight. Approaching the
fortress of Khyabar, he met Marhab, the commander of the fortress
enticing the Jews to fight the invaders. They met in a single combat
in which Ali killed Marhab by a heavy blow of sword that split Marhab’s
A general battle now ensued and the Muslims were able to make a
good advance. The situation of the Jews became desperate. Muhammad
started appropriating Khaybar property piece by piece, fortress by
fortress. He captured the first fortress that belonged to Na’im.
Muhammad’s comrade Mahmud b Maslama (Muhammad b. Maslama’s
brother) was killed here when a millstone was hurled at him. The next
fortress to fall was Qamus, which belonged to Abul Huqayq. Then
Muhammad besieged the last two of the fortresses, the fortress of al-Watih
and al-Sulalim for thirteen and nineteen days respectively. The Jewish
leader, Sallam ibn Mishkam was killed and al Harith ibn Abu Zaynab
took over the leadership of the Jewish forces. Many Jews, after being
defeated at other locations had taken sanctuary at these two
fortresses that Muhammad found difficult to penetrate. So he, as per
Islamic rule, cut off their water supply. The hapless Jews then had no
choice but to submit to the invading Muslim army. Muhammad continued
with his plunder until he finished capturing all the property that he
could lay his hands on. He agreed to spare the lives of the
surrendered Jews by expelling them from their ancestral homes on
condition that they must hand over all their yellow and white metals
(i.e. gold and silver). The Jews were permitted to take with them all
their belongings that they could load on their beasts (camels and
donkeys) except for gold and silver. Failure to comply with this
stipulation meant a certain death-Muhammad warned. There was a severe
shortage of provision for the Muslim soldiers and many of them became
very hungry. Unable to find provision easily, Muhammad asked them to
eat horse meat but forbade them to eat donkey meat. Other prohibitions
imposed were: the eating of garlic (raw) and the ‘muta’
(contract) marriage. However, the Shia sect of Islam claims that no
such ban on ‘muta’ marriage was imposed.
Thus, the Muslims had a decisive victory. The Jews lost
ninety-three (93) men while the loss on the Muslim side was only
nineteen (19) men. Muhammad took some Khaybar Jews as captives,
including Safiyyah bt. Huyayy b. Akhtab, an exquisitely pretty young
newly married bride of Kinanah b. al-Rabi b. al-Huqayq. She was the
daughter of B. Nadir chief, Huayy b. Akhtab who was beheaded by
Muhammad in the slaughtering of B. Qurayzah (Muhammad had already
expelled B. Nadir Jews from Medina (see Terror 28, CH. 8). Kinanah had
recently married Safiyyah, the young, vivacious and pouted daughter of
Huyayy and had received a good treasure trove as gift. Muhammad also
took two daughters of Safiyaah’s paternal uncle. At first Dihyah al-Kalbi,
a Muslim Jihadists asked for Safiyyah. But when Muhammad saw the
unparallel beauty of her, he chose her for himself and gave her two
cousin sisters to Dihyah.
“After the Messenger of God conquered al-Qamus, the fortress of
Ibn Abi al-Huqyaq, Safiyyah bt. Huyayy b. Akhtab was brought to him,
and another woman with her. Bilal, who was the one who brought them,
led them pat some of the slain Jews. When the woman who was with
Safiyyah saw them, she cried out, struck her face, and poured dust on
her head. When the Messenger of God saw her, he said, “Take this
she-devil away from me!” she commanded that Safiyyah should be kept
behind him and that the Messenger of God had chosen her for himself.”
Muslim historians write that Safiyyah’s husband, Kinanah had
slapped her on the previous night when she showed her fascination (as
if fallen in love) for the king of Hijaz i.e., Muhammad. When Safiyyah
was brought to Muhammad she still had the mark of those slaps in her
face-it is purportedly claimed. When Muhammad asked her about the
traces of blackness in her eyes she told him the story. These lofty
claims are, of course complete fabrication, if not total lies, for,
nowhere in the biography of Muhammad we note that Safiyyah had ever
any loving feeling or attraction towards Muhammad. How is it possible
for a teenaged B. Nadir girl to develop loving feeling for an invader
of sixty years old, who, just a few years ago had expelled all the B.
Nadir Jews from their ancestral abodes at Medina and had beheaded, a
la Islamic style, her father?
Anyway, Muhammad accused Safiyyah’s husband, Kinanah and his
cousin of hiding some of their properties in contravention of the
terms of surrender. He was especially angered that Kinanah had hidden
the wealth (worth about ten thousad Dinars; i.e, US$ 500,000,
approximately) that he received from his marriage to a B. Nadir girl
(i.e. Safiyyah). A renegade Jew divulged the secret of Kinanah’s
hidden gold treasures. That Jew went and fetched the hidden treasures.
Kinanah and his cousin were promptly arrested by the Muslims.
Then Kinanah b. al-Rabi, Safiyyah’s husband was brought to
Muhammad. Muhammad charged him of hiding his wealth in some
underground storage. When Kinanah denied this allegation, Muhammad
ordered to inflict torture on him. He was tormented by branding his
chest with a heated stake and then he was beheaded (recall the recent
Islamic style torturing and beheading of Nick Berg).
Sourcing Ibn Ishak, Tabari writes:
‘Kinanah b. al-Rabi b. al-Huqyaq who had the treasure of B. Nadir
was brought to the Messenger of God, who questioned him; but he denied
knowing where it was. Then the messenger of God was brought a Jew who
said to him, “I have seen Kinanah walk around this ruin every
morning.” The Messenger of God said to Kinanah: “What do you say?
If we find it in your possession, I will kill you.” “All right,”
he answered. The Messenger of God commanded that the ruin should be
dug up, and some of the treasure was extracted from it. Then he asked
him for the rest of it. Kinanah refused to surrender it; so the
Messenger of God gave orders concerning him to al-Zubayr b. al-‘Awwam,
saying, “torture him until you root out what he has.” Al-Zubayr
kept twirling his firestick in his breast until Kinanah almost
expired; then the Messenger of God gave him to Muhammad b. Maslamah,
who beheaded him to avenge his brother Mahmud b. Maslamah.”’
Muir writes that then the heads of the two chiefs (Kinana and his
cousin) were severed off.
Because of the so-called treachery by the Jews for allegedly hiding
their treasures, Muhammad now allowed the Muslim Jihadists to take
possession of the women and children of the Jews of Khaybar
The beheading done, Muhammad sent Bilal to fetch Safiyyah, Kinana’s
wife. Her beauty was well known in Medina. Her real name was Zaynab
and, as told before she initially fell in the hands of a Jihadist,
Dhiya al-Kalbi. However, when Muhammad heard about her extreme beauty
he chose her as his Safi (i.e, special selection by Muhammad
before the khums and distribution of booty to the Muslims). So
when Zaynab became Muhammad’s Safi she became to be known as
Safiyyah (Muhammad’s special selection).
Here is a Hadith from Sunan Abu Dawud narrated by
none other than A’isha, Muhammad’s favourite wife, also a teenager
at that time:
Sunan Abu Dawud: Kitab al-Kharaj
Book 19; number 2988
‘A’isha said: Safiyyah was called after the word safi (a
special portion of the Prophet).
From this Hadith book we also read
Sunan Abu Dawud: Kitab al-Kharaj
Book 19; number 2992
Anas said: Captives were gathered at Khaibar. Dihyah came and said:
Apostle of Allah, give me a slave-girl from the captives. He said : Go
and take a slave-girl. He took Safiyaah daughter of Huyayy. A man then
came to the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and said: You gave
Safiyaah daughter of Huyayy, chief lady of Quraizah and al-Nadir to
Dihyah? This is according to the version of Ya’qub. Then the version
goes: She is worthy of you. He said: Call him along with her. When the
Prophet (may peace be upon him) looked at her, he said to him: Take
another slave-girl from the captives. The Prophet (may peace be upon
him) then set her free and married her.
(Please note: those two ahadith are not available in the
internet version of Sunan Abu Dawud. You can read those sunna
in the original Sunan Abu Dawud, (vol. ii), translated into
English by Prof. Ahmad Hasan and published by Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi,
To enjoy this special booty, Muhammad asked Bilal, the Negro crier
of prayer to fetch Safiyyah to his (Muhammad’s) camp. Bilal brought
Safiyyah and her cousin straight across the battlefield strewn with
dead and close by the corpses of Kinana and his cousin. The two cousin
sisters of Safiyyah shrieked in terror when they witnessed the
grotesque scene of the slain dead bodies of their dearest relatives
that they had to cross over. They tremulously begged a stone-hearted
Bilal for mercy but to no avail. When they were brought to Muhammad,
he cursed the panic-stricken cousins as devilish and cast his mantle
around Safiyyah indicating that she was to be his own. Muhammad
consoled a frustrated Dhiya by giving him Safiyyah’s cousin sisters.
We learn from Ibn Sa’d that Muhammad purchased Safiyyah from
Dhiyah for seven camels (around US$ 2,450). On the same night that
Muhammad took possession of Safiyyah, he hastened to his tent to sleep
with her. Here is what Ibn Sa’d writes:
: “….when it was night, he entered a tent and she entered with
him. Abu Ayyub came there and passed the nigh by the tent by the tent
with a sword keeping his head at the tent. When it was morning and the
Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, perceived (some body) moving,
he asked: Who is there? He replied: I am Abu Ayub. He asked: Why are
you here? He replied: O Apostle of Allah! There is a young lass newly
wedded (to you) with whose late husband you have done what you have
done. I was not sure of safety, so I wanted to be close to you.
Thereupon the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, said twice: O Abu
Ayyub! May Allah show you mercy.”
To hide the lascivious character of Muhammad, Muslim biographers
often mention that he married Safiyyahh before he slept with her. But
they forget to mention that Muhammad did not follow the rule of
waiting period (three monthly periods) to sleep with Safiyyahh.
The Islamic version of Muhammad’s possession of Safiyyahh runs
something like this: Muhammad quickly married Safiyyahh with a great
wedding feast. After the feast was ended, Muhammad called for a screen
to hide Safiyyahh from public gaze. This was a clear sign that
Muhammad had married Safiyyahh and did not take her as a slave girl.
Sahih Bukhari writes:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 512:
The Prophet offered the Fajr Prayer near Khaibar when it was
still dark and then said, "Allahu-Akbar! Khaibar is destroyed,
for whenever we approach a (hostile) nation (to fight), then evil
will be the morning for those who have been warned." Then the
inhabitants of Khaibar came out running on the roads. The Prophet
had their warriors killed, their offspring and woman taken as
captives. Safiya was amongst the captives, She first came in the
share of Dahya Alkali but later on she belonged to the Prophet . The
Prophet made her manumission as her 'Mahr'.
Muhammad was sixty (60) when he married Safiyyahh, a young girl of
seventeen. She became his eighth wife.
During the time of negotiation with the Khaybar Jews, Muhammad sent
a message to the Jews of Fadak asking them to surrender their
properties and wealth or be attacked.
When the people of Fadak had heard of what tragedy had befallen the
Khaybar Jews, to spare their lives, they requested Muhammad to take
over their property and banish them. Muhammad did exactly that. After
the Khaybar Jews surrendered to Muhammad and having lost their only
source of livelihood, they requested him to employ them back on their
properties for half the share of the crop. Muhammad found it much more
convenient to re-employ them, as the Jews were already very
experienced with their land, whereas the Muslims (the new occupiers of
their land) had no experience with agriculture and cultivation. So
Muhammad made some conciliation to the Khaybar Jews by re-engaging
them in their lost land, but on condition that he reserved the right
to banish them at anytime he wished. The Jews had very little choice
but to agree with that. Same terms were applied to the Fadak Jews.
Later, when Umar became the Caliph of Islam, he expelled all the Jews
from Kahybar and Fadak
Khaybar became the booty of the Muslims, but Fadak became Muhammad’s
private property (a Fai, to use the Islamic parlance), as there
was no fighting involved in Fadak. This provision was sanctioned by
Allah in verse 17:64, 59:6-7
After Muhammad had settled the affair of Khaybar, he took a rest.
While he was resting, Zaynab bt.al-Harith, a Jewess and the wife of
Sallam b. Mishkan (Muhammad had already killed him on charges of
hiding the wealth) served him a roast sheep. It is alleged that she
poisoned it to kill Muhammad. When she brought the meat to Muhammad
and his companions, Muhammad took a bite of the foreleg and chewed it
but suspected some foul play and did not swallow it. Two of his
companions chewed the meat and then swallowed it and one of them died
on the spot. Muhammad suffered from excruciating pain. Zaynab was then
summoned and interrogated as to the motive of her offence. She boldly
condemned the cold-blooded murder, by Muhammad, of her father, her
husband and her uncle. She said, “How you have afflicted my people
is not hidden from you. So I said, ‘If he is a prophet, he will be
informed, but if he is king, I shall be rid of him.’” She was then
put to death. Some say that she was set free. It is claimed that the
effect of the poison lasted until the dying time of Muhammad.
The plunder from the Khaybar raid was enormous. As usual, a fifth
of the booty was set apart for Muhammad. The remaining four-fifths
were then divided into one thousand and eight hundred (1,800) shares.
One share went for a foot soldier and three for a horseman. Different
Islamic rule was applied for land grab. One half of Khaybar land was
reserved for Muhammad and his family (i.e. a sort of crown property).
The remaining land was divided using the same rule as for the personal
booty. Only those Jihadists who had previously participated in the
Hudaibiya expedition were rewarded, irrespective of whether they
joined in the Khaybar plunder or not.
We read in Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 3, Book 39, Number 531:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
Umar expelled the Jews and the Christians from Hijaz. When
Allah's Apostle had conquered Khaibar, he wanted to expel the Jews
from it as its land became the property of Allah, His Apostle, and
the Muslims. Allah's Apostle intended to expel the Jews but they
requested him to let them stay there on the condition that they
would do the labor and get half of the fruits. Allah's Apostle told
them, "We will let you stay on thus condition, as long as we
wish." So, they (i.e. Jews) kept on living there until 'Umar
forced them to go towards Taima' and Ariha'.
Muhammad used the annexed land of the Jews of Khaybar to secure the
livelihood of his ever increasing number of wives in his Harem.
Sahih Muslim writes:
Book 010, Number 3759:
Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported: Allah's Messenger
(may peace be upon him) handed over the land of Khaibar (on the
condition) of the share of produce of fruits and harvest, and he
also gave to his wives every year one hundred wasqs: eighty wasqs of
dates and twenty wasqs of barley. When 'Umar became the caliph he
distributed the (lands and trees) of Khaibar, and gave option to the
wives of Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) to earmark for
themselves the land and water or stick to the wasqs (that they got)
every year. They differed in this matter. Some of them opted for
land and water, and some of them opted for wasqs every year. 'A'isha
and Hafsa were among those who opted for land and water.
Muhammad’s comrade-in arms, Umar ibn Khattab became the landlord
through the land-grab at Khaybar. Here is Sahih Muslim to
confirm Umar’s appropriation of Jewsih land:
Book 013, Number 4006:
Ibn Umar reported: Umar acquired a land at Khaibar. He came to
Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) and sought his advice in
regard to it. He said: Allah's Messenger, I have acquired land in
Khaibar. I have never acquired property more valuable for me than
this, so what do you command me to do with it? Thereupon he (Allah's
Apostle) said: If you like, you may keep the corpus intact and give
its produce as Sadaqa. So 'Umar gave it as Sadaqa declaring that
property must not be sold or inherited or given away as gift. And
Umar devoted it to the poor, to the nearest kin, and to the
emancipation of slaves, aired in the way of Allah and guests. There
is no sin for one, who administers it if he eats something from it
in a reasonable manner, or if he feeds his friends and does not
hoard up goods (for himself). He (the narrator) said: I narrated
this hadith to Muhammad, but as I reached the (words)" without
hoarding (for himself) out of it." he (Muhammad' said:"
without storing the property with a view to becoming rich." Ibn
'Aun said: He who read this book (pertaining to Waqf) informed me
that in it (the words are)" without storing the property with a
view to becoming rich."
Book 013, Number 4008:
'Umar reported: I acquired land from the lands of Khaibar. I came
to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: I have
acquired a piece of land. Never have I acquired land more loved by
me and more cherished by me than this. The rest of the hadith is the
same, but he made no mention of this:" I narrated it to
Muhammad" and what follows.
The Muslims became wealthy and prosperous from the booty of Khaybar.
In fact, they were so handsomely rewarded that they cleared all their
debts to the Ansars (helpers) and stopped becoming a burden to
them. Mubarakpuri, sourcing Sahih Muslim writes:
“On their return to Medinah, the emigrants were able to return to
the helpers of Medinah all the gifts they had received. All of this
affluence came after the conquest of Khaiber and the economic benefits
that the Muslims began to reap.”
Muhammad himself, became a big land-owner after he annexed the
lands of the Jews i.e. B. Nadir, Khaybar and Fadak. Here is a Hadith
from Sunaan Abu Dawud on Muhammad’s appropriation of
Book 19, Number 2961:
Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab:
Malik ibn Aws al-Hadthan said: One of the arguments put forward
by Umar was that he said that the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
received three things exclusively to himself: Banu an-Nadir, Khaybar
and Fadak. The Banu an-Nadir property was kept wholly for his
emergent needs, Fadak for travellers, and Khaybar was divided by the
Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) into three sections: two for
Muslims, and one as a contribution for his family. If anything
remained after making the contribution of his family, he divided it
among the poor Emigrants.
In this manner, by using terror and plunder, the Muslims found a
large and a permanent source of wherewithal for their survival. In
this way, Muhammad rewarded those faithfuls who showed their loyalty
to him by accompanying him to Hudaibiya. The captive-women of Khaybar
were distributed amongst the Jihadists. Many Jihadists wanted to
copulate with these hapless women even when some of them were
pregnant. So Muhammad had to promulgate the rules on co-habitation
with booty-women. Quoting sources, Ibn Sa’d writes that Muhammad
“He who believes in Allah and the last day, should not irrigate
the crop of other (i.e. should not cohabit with a pregnant hand-maid
before delivery). He who believes in Allah and the last day, should
not cohabit with an enslaved woman till she is cleared (i.e. two
periods have passed). He who believes in Allah and the last day should
not sell the booty till it is divided. He, who believes in Allah and
the last day, should not ride the beast of the booty of the Muslims in
a way that it becomes lean and then return it to the booty of the
Muslims; or wear a cloth and he return it to the booty of the Muslims
when it is worn out.”
On the plunder of Khaybar Sahih Bukhari writes:
Volume 2, Book 14, Number 68:
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) offered the Fajr prayer when it was
still dark, then he rode and said, 'Allah Akbar! Khaibar is ruined.
When we approach near to a nation, the most unfortunate is the
morning of those who have been warned." The people came out
into the streets saying, "Muhammad and his army." Allah's
Apostle vanquished them by force and their warriors were killed; the
children and women were taken as captives. Safiya was taken by Dihya
Al-Kalbi and later she belonged to Allah's Apostle go who married
her and her Mahr was her manumission.
It is reported that some women Jihadists did participate in the
expedition of Khyabar. These Muslimahs did not receive any
share of booty. Muhammad gave them small gifts from the loot (i.e.,
they were given from the one-fifth share of the plunder, especially
reserved for Muhammad) but he did not assign any share to them.
During this time, some of the exiles from Abyssinia returned to
Medina. Among them was Muhammad’s cousin, Jafar, Ali’s brother.
These newly arrived migrants shared in the booty of Khaybar.
While at Khaybar, Muhammad received, as a gift a black slave-boy,
Midam, who later, was killed by an arrow. Muhammad claimed that Allah
killed him for stealing booty from Khaybar spoils. Here is a Hadith
from Malik’s Muwatta on this:
Book 21, Number 21.13.25:
Yahya related to me from Malik from Thawr ibn Zayd ad-Dili from
Abu'l-Ghayth Salim, the mawla of ibn Muti that Abu Hurayra said,
"We went out with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him
and grant him peace, in the yearof Khaybar. We did not capture any
gold or silver except for personal effects, clothes, and baggage.
Rifaa ibn Zayd presented a black slave boy to the Messenger of
Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, whose name was Midam.
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,
made for Wadi'l-Qura, and when he arrived there, Midam was
unsaddling the camel of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him
and grant him peace, when a stray arrow struck and killed him. The
people said, 'Good luck to him! The Garden!' The Messenger of Allah
said, 'No! By He in whose hand my self is! The cloak which he took
from the spoils on the Day of Khaybar before they were distributed
will blaze with fire on him.' When the people heard that, a man
brought a sandal-strap or two sandal-straps to the Messenger of
Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The Messenger of
Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'A
sandal-strap or two sandal-straps of fire!' "
After Muhammad finished plundering Khaybar he besieged the Jews of
Wadi al-Qura for some nights then returned to Medina (see Terror 53,
CH. 14 for details).
Continued in Chapter 14
‘The enemy is stupid and Allah does
protect the mujahideen….’---Ramzi Binalshibh
Second Raid Against the Jews at Wadi al-Qura by Muhammad-June,
After Muhammad finished the affairs of Khaybar, while returning to
Medina, without any warning, he laid a siege on the Jewish settlement
at Wadi al-Qura, The site was a Jewish colony. He arrived at Wadi al-Qura
in a late afternoon and besieged the Jews. Sa’d b. Ubada, the Muslim
leader invited the Jews to Islam without any success So the Muslims
attacked the Jews. The Jews resisted for two days then they
surrendered on similar terms like the Jews of Khaybar and Fadak.
Eleven Jews were slain in this skirmish. A large amount booty fell in
the hands of the Muslims.
With Muhammad was a slave-boy (Midam) who was presented to him by
one of his companions. While the Muslims were preparing to halt, an
arrow hit the slave-boy killing him. The Muslims hailed his death as a
reward in Paradise, but Muhammad objected saying that the boy had
pilfered a cloak from the booty of Khaybar and his death was the
punishment for stealing booty. Hearing his words, another Jihadist
came forward and confessed that he too had stolen two sandals from the
loot of Khaybar. Muhammad promised him the fire of hell.
After the surrender of the Jews at Wadi al-Qura, Muhammad
established his full authority on all the Jewish tribes of Medina.
While at Wadi al-Qura, Muhammad and his companions overslept and
missed the morning prayer at its appointed time. He performed ablution
and then prayed and people followed him. He told the congregation that
if one forgets to pray at its appointed time, he could perform the
same prayer when he remembers Him (Allah).
The Muslim army stayed at Wadi al-Qura for four days then they
returned to Medina.
First Raid Against B. Hawazin at Turbah By Umar b. al-Khattab-July,
After returning to Medina from Wadi al-Qura, Muhammad sent Umar b.
al-Khattab with thirty men against a branch of the tribes of B.
Hawazin at Turbah, a distance of four nights march from Medina. Turbah
was on the way to Sana and Najjran, a Christian enclave. Umar’s
troop travelled by night and hid by day. By the time the Muslim army
arrived at Turbah, B. Hawazin already got wind of the impending Muslim
attack and they fled. Umar returned to Medina without a fight. As far
as booty was concerned it was a failed robbery.
Raid on B. Kilab at Nejd by Abu Bakr-July, 628CE
Details on this raid are not available, although it has been
learned that Abu Bakr headed a party against the Bani Kilab in Nejd.
Many were killed and taken as prisoners. A Hadith from Sunaan
Abu Dawud, that possibly relates to this raid by Abu Bakr,
demonstrates clearly the viciousness of killing by the Muslims:
Sunaan Abu Dawud: Book 14, Number 2632:
Narrated Salamah ibn al-Akwa':
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) appointed AbuBakr our
commander and we fought with some people who were polytheists, and
we attacked them at night, killing them. Our war-cry that night was
"put to death; put to death." Salamah said: I killed that
night with my hand polytheists belonging to seven houses.
First Raid on B. Murrah at Fadak by Bashir Ibn Sa’d-July, 628CE
Thirty men were sent at the behest of Bashir ibn Sa’d against the
B. Murra in the vicinity of Fadak. These Bedouins were in the desert
when the Muslims attacked their homesteads. Bashir drove off their
camels and flocks. When the Bedouins returned they pursued the Muslim
invaders, exchanged arrows with the raiders and rescued their booty.
Bashir’s companions were killed. He suffered injury in his ankle and
returned to Medina.
Fourth Raid on B. Thalabah at Mayfah by Ghalib b. Abd
Mayfah is ninety-six (96) miles from Medina, towards Nejd. Muhammad
sent Ghalib b. Abd Allah at the behest of one hundred and thirty (130)
men to plunder the tribes of B. Uwal and B. Thalabah inhabiting this
site. Usmah b. Zayd (the son of Zayd b. Haritha, Muhammad’s adopted
son) joined this team. The attack was sudden and the Muslims killed
mercilessly whomever they found and drove their camels and goats to
Usama and one of his companions killed a man, an ally of B. Murrah
who uttered ‘La ilah illa Allah’ i.e., embraced Islam at the point
of sword. When Usama returned to Medina and told this story to
Muhammad, Muhammad was displeased and said, “Usamah, who will [say]
to you ‘There is no god but God’?”
Second Raid on B. Murrah at Fadak by Ghalib b. Abd Allah-January,
After the mishap of Bashir ibn Sa’d (see Terror 55) during the
attempt to rob the B. Murrah, Muhammad entrusted Ghalib b. Abd Allah,
a fierce killer, to mop up the B. Murrah at Fadak. Muhammad said to
al-Zubayr, another leader of this two hundred men strong team: “If
Allah makes you victorious do not show leniency to them.” Usama b.
Zayd also joined in this pillage. The Muslims attacked the B. Murrah
in the morning; mercilessly killed many of them; seized their camels,
and drove the herd to Medina.
Raid on Ghatafan at al-Jinab in Yaman by Bahir b. Sa’d-February,
During the siege of Khaybar (see Terror 52, CH. 13) Muhammad heard
from his guide at Khaybar, Husayl b. Nuwayrah that a party of Ghatafan,
under the leadership of Uyanah b. Hisn had assembled at al-Jinab, on
the opposite of Khaybar and Wadi al-Qura. So he despatched Bashir b.
Sa’d with three hundred (300) men along with the guide, Husayl b.
Nuwayrah to subdue the Ghatafan. Bashir’s army travelled by night,
concealed by day till they arrived close to the enemy site. The
Muslims terrorized the tribe; seized a large number of camels and
dispersed the herdsmen. Seeing the marauding Muslim army, the Ghatafan
took shelter on mountain tops and highlands. The Muslims took booty
and killed a slave of Uyanah b. Hisn. They captured two men and
brought the camels and the prisoners to Medina.
Third Raid on B. Sulaym at Fadak by Ibn al-Awja al-Sulami-April,
B. Sulaym were a sister tribe of B. Hawazin and inhabited the area
of Najran and Turbah.
Immediately upon returning to Medina after performing the Umrah,
Muhammad sent Ibn al-Awja al-Sulami with fifty men to attack B. Sulaym.
When Ibn Awja arrived in the B. Sulaym area, he called them to convert
to Islam. When the infidels refused, the Muslims attacked them. B.
Sulaym fought back, showered the Muslims with arrows and killed many
of them. Ibn Awja was wounded and escaped to Medina with great
difficulty. However, a year later, the B.Sulaym embraced Islam after
finding that Muhammad was becoming stronger everyday.
Raid on B. al-Mulawwih at al-Kadid by Ghalib b. Abd Allah--May,
Muhammad sent Ghalib b. Abdallah al-Laythi, with between thirteen
and nineteen men to raid the B. al-Mulawwih at al-Kadid.
When the Muslims arrived at al-Kadid they met a man, al-Harith b.
Malik and took him as a prisoner. He informed Ghalib that he had come
to embrace Islam. Despite this confession, for safety reasons Ghalib
bound him over and secured him with a rope. Then Ghalib appointed a
Negro slave to guard the prisoner, issuing strict orders to cut off
al-Harith’s head should he make any trouble. Ghalib then sent a
Muslim who set out and found a settlement. In the afternoon he lay
hidden by lying face down in the ground.
Very soon, a Bedouin man from the settlement came and spotted him
as a suspected intruder and shot two arrows. Being a clever spy, the
Muslim man pulled out both the arrows and remained motionless. The man
thought it to be an object and left the place. The spy then waited in
ambush until the cattle herd of the settlement returned in the evening
from the pasture. Then, at night, when the settlement was quiet and
everyone was resting, the Muslims made a sudden attack on the
inhabitants. They killed some of them and drove away their herd of
camels. Meanwhile, the besieged people raised an alarm and cried out
Fearing reprisal from the aiding party, the marauding Muslims
hurried to leave the place. While exiting, they also took the
prisoner, al-Harith b. Malik, whom they had left bound and guarded by
a sentry. Soon, the aid party attacked the Muslims. At this hour, a
torrential rain came and nearly flooded the valley which made an
attack difficult by the aiding party of the settlement. This gave the
Muslims time for a quick exit. They took all the camels with them and
brought them back at Medina; a great deal of booty also fell on them.
The battle cry of the Muslims on that night was “Kill! Kill!”
Raid on B. Laith at al-Kadid-May, 629CE
A few weeks later, the Muslims conducted a raid against the B.
Leith. They were seized near al-Kadid on the road to Mecca. The
Muslims made a surprise attack on this tribe and took away their
camels. Further details are not available.
Forced Jizya on Zoroastrians-case 1-June, 629CE
After robbing B. al-Mulawwih Muhammad sent the Jihadist, al-Ala b.
al-Hadrami with a threatening letter to Mundhir b. Sawa al-Abdi, a
Zoroastrian and the chief of B. Tamim, to exact Jizya tax from
him. He wrote: “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate.
From Muhammad the Prophet, Messenger of God, to al-Mundhir b. Sawa:
Peace be upon you! I praise to you God, save Whom there is no god.
To proceed: I have received your letter and your messengers.
Whoever prays our prayer, eats of our sacrifice, and turns to our Qiblah
is a Muslim: permitted to him is what is permitted to Muslims, and
incumbent on whoever refuses is [the payment of] tax.” A Hadith in Sunaan
Abu Dawud, probably related to this affair. confirms Muhammad’s
doctrine, ‘pay Jizya or die’ (please note here that Magian means
Book 19, Number 3038:
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
A man belonging to Usbadhiyin of the people of Bahrayn, who
were the Magians of Hajar, came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
and remained with him (for some time), and then came out. I asked
him: What have Allah and His Apostle of Allah decided for you? He
replied: Evil. I said: Silent. He said: Islam or killing.
AbdurRahman ibn Awf said: He accepted jizyah from them. Ibn Abbas
said: The people followed the statement of AbdurRahman ibn Awf,
and they left that which I heard from the Usbadhi.
Having found no alternative, these Zoroastrians agreed to pay this
‘protection’ tax to Muhammad. Muhammad stipulated that the Muslims
cannot eat the Zoroastrian’s sacrificial meat nor the Muslims could
marry their women.
Forced Jizya on Zoroastrians-case 2-June, 629CE
Muhammad sent Amr b. al-As to Jayfar and Abbad. They were two
Zoroastrian brothers in Uman. They told Amr that they believed in the
ascendancy of Muhammad as a Prophet and in what he had brought. Being
not satisfied with it, and finding that no booty was forthcoming,
Muhammad imposed Zakat on them and forced them to pay Jizya
tax. On the matter of Zakat, it is worthwhile to mention that
Abu Bakr stipulated that this Islamic tax must be collected
ruthlessly. Here is a Hadith from Malik’s Muwatta
(from the section on Collecting Zakat and Being Firm In Doing
So ) on collection of Zakat:
Book 17, Number 17.18.31:
Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that Abu Bakr as-Siddiq
said, "If they withhold even a hobbling cord I will fight them
Raid on B. Amir at al-Siyii by Shuja ibn Wahb al-Asadi-July, 629CE
Then Muhammad sent Shuja b. Wahb with a party of tenty-four (24)
men to plunder B. Amir (a branch of Hawazin tribe) at al-Siyii. Al-Siyii
was five nights journey from Medina. After arriving at the enemy site,
Shuja made a sudden morning-attack on B. Tamim. After terrorizing and
plundering for fifteen days, the Muslims drove away their camels and
sheep as booty. During this plunder, ten goats were equated to a sheep
for booty distribution. In this plunder each Jihadist received as his
share fifteen camels
Raid on B. Qudah at Dhat Atlah by Amr b Ka’b al-Ghifari-July,
During this time, Muhammad despatched Amr b. Ka’b al-Ghifari with
fifteen men to raid the people of B. Qudah at Dhat Atlah, on the
border of Syria. After arriving there, Amr called the inhabitants to
Islam. The infidels refused. So Amr besieged the enemy. However, he
faced stiff resistance from his enemy. In this battle the Muslims were
routed. The enemy killed all of them except one who managed to escape
and returned to Medina. Muhammad was greatly saddened by this calamity
and planned to send a forceful army of Jihadists to take revenge. This
plan was shelved when Muhammad learnt that the enemy had deserted the
Raid on Mu’tah by Zayd ibn Haritha-September, 629CE
Mu’tah was a small village near al-Balqa at Damascus in Syria.
After the complete routing of the Muslim raiding team at Dhat Atlah
led by Amr b. Ka’b al-Ghifari, Muhammad was seeking an opportunity
to attack this part of the Byzantine Empire and to teach the mainly
Christian inhabitants there a lesson. This was Muhammad’s first
penetration into Byzantine Empire.
Another version of the reason for this invasion was that Muhammad
sent a messenger with a letter to the Byzantine governor of Busra.
This messenger was murdered by Shurahbil, the chief of Ma’ab or Mu’ta.
The chief of Mu’ta was called Shurahbil, son of Amr. Muhammad
immediately retaliated by assembling three thousand soldiers. He was
also emboldened by his return from a successful raid on Khaybar. His
victory at Khaybar gave him the confidence that he was powerful enough
to make an onslaught on the mighty Byzantine Empire in Syria.
He appointed Zayd b. Haritha to lead this expedition, instructing
him to march to the spot where Muhammad’s messenger was slain;
summon the inhabitants to embrace Islam, and to kill them if they
refused to become Muslims. He gave directive that if Zayd was killed
then Jafar b. Abi Talib (Ali’s brother, and Muhammad’s cousin
brother) would be the commander; if Jafar is killed then Abd Allah b.
Rawaha would be in command. So three thousand Jihadists marched out,
equipped with swords and horses. Khalid b. Walid also joined this
expedition, but as a common fighter; he was not given a senior rank at
this stage, presumably because of his recent conversion to Islam. When
they were ready for the march, Muhammad came out and bade them
farewell. Some Jihadists recalled verse 19:71, decreeing the
fate of a human being. Muhammad escorted this Jihad team up to
Thaniyat, in the outskirts of Medina and amidst a band of crying
Jihadists said, “May Allah defend you and may you come back pious
and bring booty.”
The Muslim army went forward and encamped at Mu’an, a village in
Syria. While there, Zayd received the startling intelligence of the
preparation of Surahbil’s alliance. He got the information that the
enemy was encamped at Ma’ab in the territory of al-Balqa. The Muslim
army also heard the rumour that Surahbil, together with Theodora, the
brother of Heraclius was in the field with one hundred thousand
soldiers. Another one hundred thousand Roman soldiers were readying
themselves to join in the fight. However, the Syrian army was composed
of Romans and, partly of the semi-Christian tribe of the desert.
Many Arab tribes like Lakham, Judham, Balqayn, Bahran and Bali had
also joined Heraclius’ party-Zayd heard.
After learning the news of assemblage of such a formidable Roman
army and its accessory parties, the Muslims were nervous but stayed at
Mu’an for two nights, contemplating about their course of action.
Some of them wanted to send an urgent message to Muhammad for a
reinforcement to meet the alarming army of a hundred thousand men of
the Byzantine emperor. However, Abd Allah b. Rawaha invigorated his
men with extreme Jihadi zeal and imbued them not to be cowed by the
numerical superiority of the enemy. This was the best opportunity for
a martyr-he exhorted. His men fully agreed with Abd Allah b. Rawaha
and decided to engage the enemy in a fight.
The Jihadists then marched on and when they were within the
boundary of Ma’ab they met the army of Heraclius at a village called
Masharif. When the enemy came close to the Muslim army, the Muslims
took shelter in the village of Mu’tah. A vicious battle took place
there. Zayd b.Haritha fought gallantly but soon was killed by a
javelin from the enemy. It is said that his body was cu into two
pieces. Following the instruction of Muhammad, Jafar b. Abi Talib took
up the fight. He too fought valiantly until he was also killed in the
combat. After the demise of Jafar b. Abi Talib, Abd Allah b. Rawaha
took up the banner and went forward to continue the battle.
Abd Allah b. Rawaha pressed ahead but soon was killed. Then Thabit
b. Arqam hoisted the banner and urged the Muslims to select a leader
from amongst themselves. The Muslims chose Khalid b. Walid as their
new commander. However, the Muslim ranks were already broken with
twelve Jihadists killed; the Byzantine casualties being unknown.
However, through a series of ingenious and rapid movements Khalid was
able to bring back discipline in the Muslim army ranks. He then played
a trick by deluding the Romans that a great army of Muslim soldiers
was expected at any time. The trick worked. The Muslims retreated and
so did the Byzantine army. Thus Khalid started marching towards
Medina, saving further losses to the Muslim army. A messenger ran
ahead of the Muslim army to Medina to inform an anxious Muhammad the
terrible news of the Muslim defeat.
In the pulpit of his mosque, Muhammad informed his congregation
that he had a premonition that Zayd had attained martyrdom. Then he
also testified the martyrdoms of Jafar and Abdallah b. Rawaha as well
as the eventual ascent of Khalid b. Walid as the commander of the
Muslims. He told the congregation: “Now I have seen them in heaven
sitting in thrones facing each other like brothers. In some of them I
observed an aversion for using sword. And I saw Jafar like an angel
with two wings smeared with blood feet dyed (in blood).” The Muslims
were amazed at the predictive power of their Prophet. He gave the
title ‘Sword of God’ to Khalid b. Walid. Then he exhorted his
followers to hasten and join in to reinforce the Muslim army. So they
came out and went forward in extreme heat to join their Jihadi
compatriots. But it was too late. The Muslims were already in retreat.
When the Muslim army was in the vicinity of Medina, people started
to throw dust at them, condemning them for withdrawing from the
battle. Muhammad pacified this enraged crowd by shouting that the
returning Muslims did not flee from fighting but that they would
return to fight again.
Even with such passionate pleading, the crowd was not satisfied;
they chased Muhammad and forced him to take shelter in the room of Umm
Salamah, one of his wives. When people asked for the reason why she
did not attend prayer with Muhammad, she replied:
“By God, he cannot leave the house! Every time he goes out,
people shout, ‘Did you flee in the way of God?’ So he stayed in
his house and does not go out.”
Continued in Chapter 15
‘The broad mass of a nation …..will more easily fall victim to
a big lie than to a small one’---Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)
Raid on B. Qudah at Dhat al-Salasil by Amr b. al-As-September,
Having suffered a terrible defeat in the hands of B. Qudah at Dhat
Atlah, coupled with the ignoble retreat of the Muslim army from Mu’tah,
Muhammad’s prestige was greatly affected.
It is said that he also received intelligence that a number of tribes,
including B. Qudah were now preparing to attack Medina. To salvage his
reputation he now empowered Amr b. al-As, the new convert of Islam, to
push for a decisive raid on the stubborn B. Qudah tribe. Amr b. al-As
was very furious that some of these tribes had taken the side of the
Byzantine party during the Mu’tah battle. It was time to punish
So with three hundred (300) men and thirty horses, Amr b. al-As set
out to decimate the rebellious B. Qudah who were settled at Dhat al-Salasil.
It was at a distance of ten days march from Medina. Amr b. al-As’
grandmother (i.e., the mother of al-As b. Wail, the father of Amr b.
al-As) was a woman from Qudah or Bali tribe and Muhammad sent Amr b.
al-As to convert her and her people to Islam by force. When Amr
arrived at Dhat al-Salasil he found that the enemy had heavily
outnumbered the Muslims.
Because of the feeble Islamic forces at his disposal Amr b. al-As
sought reinforcement from Muhammad. The messenger of Allah quickly
sent Abu Bakr b. Quhafa with an additional two hundred (200) men to
assist Amr b. al-As. Thus, the total number of men now numbered five
Another version of this raid runs like this:
Muhammad sent Amr b. al-As to the territory of Bali (Bali is a
branch of Qudah tribe) and Udhrah to gain their assistance for an
expedition to Syria that he had been planning for some time. Amr b.
al-As’ grandmother (i.e., the mother of al-As b. Wali, Amr b. al-As’
father) lived in Bali. So Muhammad sent Amr b. al-As to her people to
invite them to Islam and to earn their goodwill. After ten days of
marching, while on his way to Bali, Amr b. al-As came across
with B. Judham, another tribe at Dhat al-Salasil and he was frightened
at their huge number. He sent an
emergency message to Muhammad for additional men that Muhammad quickly
Muhammad sent this reinforcement, along with Abu Ubaydah b. al-Jarrah,
Abu Bakr and Umar. Abu Ubaydah was made the leader, and Muhammad
instructed them not to fight over the leadership when they had arrived
at Dhat al-Salasil. Nonetheless, despite such instruction, when Abu
Ubaydah arrived at Dhat al-Salasil a dispute arose regarding the
leadership; Amr b. al-As insisted that Abu Ubaydah was only a
reinforcement but the leadership still rested on Amr b. al-As. Abu
Ubaydah agreed with Amr b. al-As, and Amr led the worship.
With this increased number of Muslim army, Amr b. al-As charged his
enemy with much vigor and ferocity. The B. Qudah fighters went in
panic and dispersed. After subduing the enemy the Muslims returned to
Medina. No historian gives any detail about the booty the Muslims
gained in this raid.
Raid on B. Juhayna at al-Khabat (the expedition of fish) by Abu
Ubaydah ibn Jarrah-October, 629CE
In the next month, Muhammad sent Abu Ubaydah b. Jarrah along with
three hundred (300) men to attack and punish the tribe of Juhaynah at
al-Khabat, on the seacoast, five nights journey from Medina. This was
a very difficult expedition and the Muslims suffered from intense
hunger-so much so, that they had to
divide the dates by number. They even ate the leaves of trees for a
month. However, there was no fighting as the enemy had fled when they
heard of the arrival of the Muslims.
In the end, the Muslims caught a dead-sea creature (a whale) that
came ashore and ate it for half a month (or twenty days, according to
Ibn Ishak). This is why this raid is also known as the ‘expedition
of fish.’ They brought some of that stale meat to Muhammad and he
ate it too.
Sahih Bukhari records that the Muslims ate the mountain like
fish for eighteen days. Here is the Hadith:
Volume 3, Book 44, Number 663:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
"Allah's Apostle sent an army towards the east coast and
appointed Abu 'Ubaida bin Al-Jarrah as their chief, and the army
consisted of three-hundred men including myself. We marched on till
we reached a place where our food was about to finish. Abu- 'Ubaida
ordered us to collect all the journey food and it was collected. My
(our) journey food was dates. Abu 'Ubaida kept on giving us our
daily ration in small amounts from it, till it was exhausted. The
share of everyone of us used to be one date only." I said,
"How could one date benefit you?" Jabir replied, "We
came to know its value when even that too finished." Jabir
added, "When we reached the sea-shore, we saw a huge fish which
was like a small mountain. The army ate from it for eighteen days.
Then Abu 'Ubaida ordered that two of its ribs be fixed and they were
fixed in the ground. Then he ordered that a she-camel be ridden and
it passed under the two ribs (forming an arch) without touching
Beheading the leader of B. Jusham at al Ghabah by Abd Allah ibn
Hadrad -November, 629CE
Abd Allah b. Abi Hadrad al-Aslami, a Jihadist,
went to Muhammad asking him for two hundred (200) Dirhams (about US$
1,000) for the dowry he had to pay for his new bride,
since he could not consummate his marriage as he was unable to
pay this dowry. Muhammad claimed that he
had no money to help Hadrad. A few days
later, a group of B. Jusham, led by Qays b. Rifaah encamped at Ghabah,
a nearby pastureland. It is alleged that they arrived there to gather
their tribe to fight Muhammad. Muhammad called Abd Allah b. Abi Hadrad
and two other Muslims and instructed them either to capture and bring
Qays b. Rifaah or to bring further information about their movement.
The trio proceeded, armed with arrows and swords and riding a weak
camel. When they approached the encampment in the evening, Abd Allah
hid himself from the enemy camp and asked his two companions to
conceal themselves somewhere else. He then told two of his Jihadi
comrades that he was going on an assassination mission and if they
happen to hear the cry of “Allahu Akbar” from afar then they
should also shout “Allahu Akbar,” rush out and attack the enemy
simultaneously with him (Abd Allah b. abi Hadrad al-Aslami).
They waited until the darkness of night fell. During this time Qays
b. Rifaa ventured outside his camp to look for one of their herdsmen
who were late in returning to the camp. Qays came out of his camp
defying his companions warning to not to venture out during the
darkness of night. When he was within the attacking range, Abd Allah
b. abi-Hadrad shot an arrow that hit Qays in his heart killing him
instantly. Abd Allah then ran forward with his sword and cut off Qays’
head and shouted “Allahu Akbar.” His two companions responded
immediately with “Allahu Akbar.” The enemy was now in panic and
terror and they took to the heel, taking away their wives and
children. Abd Allah and his companions drove away their herd of
camels, goats and sheep and brought them to Muhammad. Abd Allah
presented Muhammad with the bloody head of Qays b. Rifaa. Muhammad was
extremely pleased beholding the severed head of Qays b. Rifaa and
rewarded Abd Allah with thirteen camels (worth about US$ 4,550) from
the booty. With this booty Abd Allah paid his bride-money and
consummated his marriage.
It is reported by al-Waqidi that the Jihadists also took four
women, including one very beautiful and sexy girl. Muhammad gave her
to Abu Qatadah, another Jihadist. When one of Muhammad’s good
friends, Mahmiyah b. al-Juz,
informed him about her extreme beauty,
Muhammad wanted her back from Abu Qatadah. But Abu Qatadah objected,
saying: “I purchased her from the spoils.” The Messenger of God
said, “Give her to me.” So he had no choice but to hand her over
to Muhammad. Muhammad gave her as a present to Mahimiyah b. al-Jaz al-Zubaydi.
Raid on a passing caravan at Batn al-Idam by Abd Allah b. Abi
Muhammad was so pleased with the success of the terrorist, Abd
Allah b. Abi Hadrad al-Aslami (see Terror 69 above),
that soon after the gory and senseless beheading of Qays b.
Rifaa, he despatched this extremely fanatic, fierce Jihadist, along
with Abu Qatadah al-Harith b. Ribi and a group of eight terrorists to
make a raid on a passing caravan at Idam, north of Medina. This
raiding party arrived at Idam and waylaid for the passing caravan. A
Bedouin caravan passed by and they greeted the Muslims with “Assalamu
Alaikum.” But the Jihadists/terrorists attacked this caravan anyway
because of past enmity, killed the leader of the caravan, and made off
with their camel and food. They returned to Muhammad and told him the
story. Allah promptly released verse 4:94 asking the raiding
party to be discriminating while committing a plunder. Historians like
Ibn Sa’d describes this raid as a prelude to attack on Mecca as
Muhammad wanted to divert people’s attention from his ‘real’
intention, while covertly preparing to occupy Mecca.
Raid on B. Khudra at Suria by Abu Qatadah-December, 629CE
This was a petty expedition against the tribe of Khudra a sub-clan
of B. Ghatafan that yielded a large plunder. Abu Qatadah led this raid
in which he seized all the property of B. Khudra.
In this way Muhammad exacted his revenge on the tribes who dared to
side with the Christians of Byzantine Empire. He became a very
fearsome and powerful war monger and many smaller tribes decided to
join the Muslim ranks to save themselves from Muhammad’s unbound
wrath; if you cannot beat them then join them-they thought. They also
found a good opportunity to enrich themselves with the plunder, if
they joined the Islamic Jihadists-they thought correctly.
Besides the above reasons, many tribes were also forced to pledge
their allegiance to him. Among them were: Bani Dzobian, B. Fazara,
with their chief, Uyana. B. Hisn, Bani Sulaym, a powerful tribe in the
Hejaz was also forced to join in Islam (see Terror 60, CH. 14).
The Prophet Muhammad, truly, had now become a ferocious warlord.
Continued in Chapter 16
‘God knows, if we did possess (a chemical bomb), we wouldn’t
hesitate one second to use it’---Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
The Occupation of Mecca by Muhammad-January, 630CE
After the debacle at Mu’tah, Muhammad remained in Mecca for about
two months without significant raids or plunder, except for those
described in CH.15. Then he received the news that a person, belonging
to B. Bakr, a confederate of the Quraysh had killed a man from B.
Khuzaa’h at a watering place at Mecca. The Khuzaa’h tribe was in
alliance with Muhammad and it was reported that the person killed was
a Muslim. This attack on Khuzaa’h was in retaliation for a long
drawn blood feud between these two warring tribes. This cycle of
revenge and counter revenge had started a long time before Muhammad
was born. However, during the Hudaibiyah treaty, it was hoped that
peace would finally be established between them by granting them
freedom to choose whatever party they thought was friendly to them.
Some Quraysh men also joined in this melee. Muhammad considered
this minor skirmish as breaking the Hudaybiah pact that was drawn
between the Quraysh and Muhammad. A representative of Khuzaa’h, Amr
b. Salim al-Khuzai hastened to Medina to inform Muhammad of this
incident and to seek his help. Muhammad was not at all interested in
peacemaking. He made no attempt to mediate the matter with the Quraysh;
instead, using this trivial incidence as an alibi he found a golden
opportunity to attack the Meccans. In fact, after the great plunder at
Khaybar Allah had revealed to him in verse 48:27 about his
conquest of the Sacred Mosque--that is, the Ka’ba in Mecca. This new
development made Muhammad confirm absolutely that it was a great
opportunity sent by Allah.
Having heard what the envoy from the Khuzaa’h had to say,
Muhammad promised his steadfast help for them. At that time, a large
cloud engulfed the sky, and a superstitious Muhammad used that as
proof of his promise to B. Khuzaa’h.
Very soon, another delegation headed by Budayl b. Warqa, a Khuzaa’h
met Muhammad at Medina. Muhammad reiterated his assurance towards
them. Having been re-assured by Muhammad, Budayl departed for Mecca.
Meanwhile, the Quraysh, realising the gravity of the situation,
wanted to have a dialogue with Muhammad to come to a peaceful
settlement without bloodshed as well as to extend the term of the
treaty. They sent Abu Sufyan b Harb to have a discussion with Muhammad
to bring calm. On his way to Medina, Abu Sufyan met Budyal b. Warqa at
Usfan and enquired whether Budayl had a dialogue with Muhammad or not.
Budayl told a blatant lie to Abu Sufyan that he had not met
Muhammad. But Abu Sufyan, at hindsight, examined the camel droppings
of Budayl and correctly concluded that Budayl, had indeed met
Muhammad; for, Budayl’s camel droppings had the distinctive Medina
pits of dates that the camel had been fed. Abu Sufyan was now quite
apprehensive that Muhammad was planning for some retaliatory action.
He was determined to prevent further bloodshed over such a small
Upon his arrival at Medina, Abu Sufyan first met his daughter, Umm
Habibah bt. Abu Sufyan. Having recently returned from Ethiopia, she
had become Muhammad’s ninth wife when her husband died in Ethiopia.
When Abu Sufyan entered her room and was about to sit on the bed of
Muhammad, she did not allow him to rest there. She berated Abu Sufyan
and told her father that as a polytheist he was an unclean person, and
was not entitled to sit on Muhammad’s hallowed bed. Abu Sufyan was
utterly displeased at her own daughter’s ungracious behaviour
towards him and told her that evil had betaken her since she had left
him and had accepted Islam.
Then Abu Sufyan came to Muhammad and spoke with him about this
matter, but Muhammad kept silent and showed no intention of mitigating
the issue through dialogue. Abu Sufyan approached Abu Bakr to speak to
Muhammad about the case; Abu Bakr refused. Then he met Umar b. Khattab,
but Umar threatened him with war. In desperation, Abu Sufyan went to
meet Ali while Ali was with Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad. Her
little son, al-Hasan b. Ali was also with her. Abu Sufyan implored Ali
for the sake of kinship to intercede on his behalf to avoid the
fighting. Ali utterly disappointed Abu Sufyan by saying that Muhammad’s
mind had already been made up, no intercession would work. Then, as a
last resort, Abu Sufyan turned to Muhammad’s daughter Fatima saying,
“Daughter of Muhammad, don’t you want to command your little son
here to make peace among the people, so that he will be lord of the
Fatima replied, “By God, my little son is not old enough to make
peace among the people, and no one can do so against the will of the
Messenger of God.” When Abu Sufyan realised that his case was
hopeless, he sought the advice of Ali as to the appropriate course of
action for a peaceful settlement of the matter. Ali further let down
Abu Sufyan by saying that nothing could be done to change the mind of
Messenger of Allah. A frustrated Abu Sufyan went to the congregation
in the mosque and said, “People, I hereby make peace among the
people.” Having implored the Muslims for peace, Abu Sufyan mounted
his camel and departed for Mecca.
When Abu Sufyan arrived at Mecca, the Quraysh asked him about the
outcome of his peace mission. They heard the full story of how
inflexible and belligerent Muhammad was. The Meccans chided Abu Sufyan
that he had, indeed, been played out by Muhammad.
Meanwhile, after Abu Sufyan had left, Muhammad asked his people to
prepare themselves for a raid, but kept the precise destination a
closely guarded secret. Even Aisha, the child bride of Muhammad, was
kept in the dark. To make sure that no one knew what was in his mind,
he sent a contingent of Jihadists under the joint leadership of Abd
Allah b. Abi Hadrad al-Aslami and Abu Qatadah al-Harith b. Ribi, to
Batn. Idam, in the north of Medina to raid a passing Meccan caravan
there (see Terror 70, CH. 15). He played this ruse so that people
thought his mission was directed towards north; while, in secret,
Muhammad was preparing a sudden attack on Mecca when the Quraysh were
least prepared for it. It was indeed a great ploy and undoubtedly
reflects on Muhammad’s great acumen and sapiency in the conduct of
terror, plunder and warfare. He was absolutely cagey in his meticulous
plan for the raid on Mecca.
When everything was fully ready, Muhammad summoned his people and
told them of his intention of making a surprise attack on Mecca. He
also invited many other neighbouring tribes to join him in the
occupation of Mecca. Fierce verses, eloquent speeches and invigorating
sermons were spread out to rouse the Jihadists for this assault on
While this readiness for the impending war was going on, a Muslim,
Hatib b. Abi Baltaah wrote a letter to the Quraysh, informing them of
the readiness of Muhammad to attack Mecca. An unlettered woman-slave
carried the letter on her head-covering by hiding it inside her hair
and proceeded to deliver it to the Quraysh. Muhammad received the news
of undercover work of Hatib from heaven and sent out Ali and another
Muslim to arrest the woman. They moved fast and caught up with the
woman and searched her saddle but found nothing. When Ali threatened
to strip her, she took out the letter from the hidden place and handed
it over to Ali b. Abi Talib. Ali brought the letter to Muhammad.
Having been informed of the content of the letter, Muhammad summoned
Hatib. b. Abi Baltaah and asked for an explanation for what he had
done. Hatib said that, as he had all the members of his family still
at Mecca, he simply wanted to warn them to save them. At this, an
irate Umar sought Muhammad’s permission to cut off the head of Hatib.
But Muhammad forgave Hatib, because Hatib was a fierce fighter for the
Muslims at Badr. Allah promptly sent down verse 60:1-4 on
forgiving Hatib b. Abi Baltah.
With full preparation to lay a siege on Mecca, Muhammad left Medina
on January 1, 630, but he kept his exact destination a secret to his
followers. Some thought he was going to invade the Hawazin tribe, some
thought he was going to plunder the Thaqif people, some said he was
going to fight the Quraysh. Although he was carrying arms, he
appointed no military commander and displayed no banner, thus making
his purpose of marching a real enigma to all. There were between eight
and ten thousand of men under the command of Muhammad who left Mecca
with full alacrity. Two of his wives, Zaynab bt. Jahsh and Umm Salamah,
accompanied him on this occasion.
It was the month of Ramadan; Muhammad fasted and so did his
followers who trailed him to Mecca. When he halted at al-Kadid, the B.
Sulaym leader Uyanah b. Hisn joined him. As he proceeded, many other
smaller tribes residing within the vicinity also joined with Muhammad.
When they asked Muhammad about his purpose of advance, Muhammad
maintained his reticence. He broke his fast at al-Kadid and told his
followers that they could observe the remaining fasts or discontinue
if they wished; then he proceeded ahead and put up his camp at Marr
al-Zahran after eight days of marching. Another one thousand-seven
hundred (1,700) members from various nearby tribes also joined him in
the rush for Mecca. Up to this point, the news of Muhammad’s advance
to Mecca was not known to the Quraysh. On the night Muhammad encamped
at Marr al-Zahran, he ordered his Jihadists to light individual fires.
So, ten thousand fires were kindled giving the impression of a massive
mobilization of troops. Abu Sufyan b. Harb along with Hakim b. Hizam
and Budayl b. Warqa went out to gather information about Muhammad’s
When Muhammad halted at Marr al-Zahran, al-Abbas b. Abd al-Muttalib
met him. As written in a previous part of this series, al-Abbas was
actually a secret agent of Muhammad, feeding him with sensitive
information about the movement of the Quraysh army. Being a top-notch
businessman and a banker, al-Abbas was a smart, astutely worldly
person. When he found, beyond a shadow of doubt, that his nephew
(Muhammad) was strong enough, he joined him, but kept that a closely
guarded secret from the Quraysh. He was warmly welcomed with favor and
affection by Muhammad.
The reason of al-Abbas’ visit to Muhammad was to secure a pledge
of safety for the Meccans; for, he feared that an onslaught by so many
Muslim Jihadists would completely decimate the Quraysh forever,
ruining his flourishing business. He told Muhammad that once he got a
pledge of safety from him, he would inform whoever he ventures to meet
in the street so that the message of security would be passed to all
Muhammad marched forward and when he halted at Niq al-Uqh, a place
between Mecca and Medina, Abu Sufyan b. al-Harith b. Abd al-Muttalib
(not Abu Sufyan b. Harb; Abu Sufyan b. al-Harith was the paternal
cousin of Muhammad and a poet) and another Quraysh sought an audience
with Muhammad. At first, Muhammad declined to meet them, as he
(Muhammad) claimed that this duo had previously tormented him while he
was in Mecca. When these two Quraysh told Muhammad’s wife, Umm
Salamah, that they would go on a huger strike if Muhammad did not meet
them, Muhammad’s stony heart was slightly softened. The duo met
Muhammad and became Muslims. Ibn Ishak reports that an irate Muhammad
punched Abu Sufyan b.al-Harith in the chest for his past action of
hitting Muhammad. Abu Sufyan b. al-Harith then requested Muhammad to
implore Allah to exonerate his (Abu Sufyan al-Harith) past sins.
After meeting Muhammad and securing his pledge of safety, al-Abbas
set out to return to Mecca. While he reached al-Arak, he met Abu
Sufyan b. Harb and Hakim b. Hizam and another Quraysh who were on
their way to investigate what was going on. When they saw the huge
fire that Muhammad’s followers had lit they were greatly
overwhelmed. They had never seen such a massive show of military power
When Abu Sufyan asked al-Abbas about the situation, the latter
informed him that Muhammad had marched with ten thousand Muslims to
invade Mecca and that if Abu Sufyan would dare to visit Muhammad, the
latter would cut off his head. Having had made no preparation to meet
such a menacing attack from the Muslims, a nervous and distressed Abu
Sufyan sought the advice of al-Abbas. Al-Abbas took Abu Sufyan behind
the mule he (al-Abbas) was riding. The other two mates of Abu Sufyan
followed on foot. The duo then passed by the groupings of Muslim
soldiers and came to the camp of Umar b. Khattab. Umar rushed out with
naked sword to kill Abu Sufyan. So, al-Abbas moved fast to escape Umar.
Then both the party (i.e., Umar and Abu Sufyan with al-Abbas) arrived
at the camp of Muhammad. First, Umar entered at the camp of Muhammad
and sought his permission to cut off the head Abu Sufyan. Al-Abbas
then pleaded with Muhammad that he had given the pledge of protection
to Abu Sufyan. On the passionate plea of al-Abbas Muhammad sent the
message that he would like to meet Abu Sufyan in the morning, next
day. Abu Sufyan was now in tenterhook and passed an agonizing night at
In the morning, next day, Umar took Abu Sufyan to meet Muhammad.
When a vaunted Muhammad extolled that he was the Messenger of Allah,
Abu Sufyan expressed his doubt on his claim. Al-Abbas quickly warned
Abu Sufyan that he should immediately submit to Islam, lest Muhammad
cut off his head. This is what al-Abbas said, “Woe to you! Recite
the testimony of truth before, by God, your head is cut off.” So, a
frightened Abu Sufyan, to save his life, had no choice but to become a
Muslim on the spot.
There were a few other compelling reasons for Abu Sufyan b. Harb to
surrender so easily to Muhammad. Previously, he had lost his trusted
and able military general, Khalid b. Walid to Muhammad when he (Khalid)
became a Muslim and joined Muhammad in the business of plunder.
Moreover, the marauding Jihadists had blocked the northern and
southern trade routes of the Quraysh on which their livelihood was
totally dependent. To add more to their misfortune, a severe famine
gripped the Meccans. It is apprehended that this famine was also the
creation of Muhammad. Sourcing ibn Hisham, Hamidullah quotes, “When
Thumamah ibn Uthal, a chieftain of Yamamah, stopped at the instance of
the Prophet, exports of grain historians record that a famine in Mecca
was the result.” Needless to say, all these unfortunate
circumstances made Abu Sufyan a desperate person and forced him to run
to Muhammad just to save the lives of the Meccans from a blood-thirsty
army that was ready to pounce on Mecca.
Then al-Abbas implored Muhammad to grant Abu Sufyan some glory as a
token for his conversion to Islam. So Muhammad said, “Yes, whoever
enters the house of Abu Sufyan shall be safe; anyone who enters the
sanctuary shall be safe; and anyone who locks his door behind him will
be safe.” In this pledge of safety, sanctuary meant the area around
Nonetheless, Sahih Muslim records that despite this
immunity, Muhammad instructed that whoever is found at the top of
mount Safa is to be killed. Here is the Hadith:
Sahih Muslim: Book 019, Number 4396:
It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah b. Rabah who
said: We came to Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan as a deputation and Abu
Huraira was among us. Each of us would prepare food for his
companions turn by turn for a day. (Accordingly) when it was my
turn I said: Abu Huraira, it is my turn today. So they came to my
place. The food was not yet ready, so I said to Abu Huraira: I
wish you could narrate to us a tradition from the Messenger of
Allah (may peace be upon him) until the food was ready. (Complying
with my request) Abu Huraira said: We were with the Messenger of
Allah (may peace be upon him) on the day of the Conquest of Mecca.
He appointed Khalid b. Walid as commander of the right flank,
Zubair as commander of the left flank, and Abu 'Ubaida as
commander of the foot-soldiers (who were to advance) to the
interior of the valley. He (then) said: Abu Huraira, call the
Ansar to me. So I called out to them and they came hurriedly. He
said: O ye Assembly of the Ansaar, do you see the ruffians of the
Quraish? They said: Yes. He said: See, when you meet them
tomorrow, wipe them out. He hinted at this with his hand, placing
his right hand on his left and said: You will meet us at as-Safa'.
(Abu Huraira continued): Whoever was seen by them that day was put
to death. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) ascended
the mount of as-Safa'. The Ansar also came there and surrounded
the mount. Then came Abu Sufyan and said: Messenger of Allah, the
Quraish have perished. No member of the Quraish tribe will survive
this day. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Who
enters the house of Abu Safyin will be safe, who lays down arms
will be safe, who locks his door will be safe. (some of) the Ansar
said: (After all) the man has been swayed by tenderness towards
his family and love for his city. At this, Divine inspiration
descended upon the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). He
said: You were saying that the man has been swayed by tenderness
towards his family and love for his city. Do you know what my name
is? I am Muhammad, the bondman of God and His Messenger. (He
repeated this thrice.) I left my native place for the take of
Allah and joined you. So I will live with you and die with you.
Now the Ansar said: By God, we said (that) only out of our greed
for Allah and His Messenger. He said: Allah and His Apostle
testify to you and accept your apology.
After his conversion to Islam and having secured the pledge of
safety from Muhammad, Abu Sufyan hurriedly went ahead of the Muslim
army’s entry to Mecca and announced the guarantee of safety for all
Meccans by Muhammad. The utterly terrorised Meccans dispersed and
hurried to their homes, or headed to the sacred sanctuary - the Ka’ba.
Many of them also proceeded towards Abu Sufyan’s house to save their
lives from the imminent attack by the Muslims.
Meanwhile, after the departure of Abu Sufyan and Hakim b. Hizam,
Muhammad sent al-Zubayr giving him his banner and commanded him to
plant the banner in the upper part of Mecca (i.e., the northern
mountain pass) and instructed him not to depart from where he was
posted. Muhammad entered Mecca from this site.
Muhammad commanded Khalid b. Walid and the recent converts like, B.
Sulaym, Qudaah etc. to enter Mecca through the lower part of Mecca
(i.e., the southern highway to Yemen). This was the site where the B.
Bakr was. Despite the surrender by Abu Sufyan, the Quraysh leader some
diehard Quraysh, under the command of Ikrimah b. Abi Jahl would not
let the Muslims walk through Mecca unchallenged. So they mobilized a
B. al-Harith b. Abd Manat and the Ahabish and other minor tribes in
this part Mecca to fight Muhammad’s army. Khalid was appointed to
fight these people there. Muhammad gave instruction to Khalid to fight
only those who fight with them. The army of Ikrimah resisted Khalid’s
aggression, so he fought back but lost the battle and took to flight.
Ikrimah b. Abi Jahl was one of those who fled. Twenty-four (or
twenty-eight as per Muir) of the polytheists were killed. This was the
only fight in Mecca. However, a section of al-Zubayr’s soldiers took
a separate path than the one stipulated by Muhammad. They blocked the
western route to the seacoast known as Kada road. The eastern and the
northern routes were blocked by Muhammad’s party. Thus, there was a
four-pronged attack on Mecca, from which the Quraysh found very
difficult to escape. Despite this siege all around, al-Zubayr’s army
met with some Quraysh soldiers on the slope of Kada and the Quraysh
killed a few of them. Then Muhammad entered Mecca where al-Zubayr had
planted his banner. It was January 11, 630, ten days after Muhammad
had left Medina. Many Meccan people swarmed him to embrace Islam.
Muhammad stayed among them for half a month.
When Muhammad entered Mecca he granted a general amnesty to the
Meccans except for eight people (or ten people, according to Ibn Sa’d).
He ordered that those were to be killed even if they were found under
the curtains of Ka’ba. Hitherto, shedding of blood in the holy
precinct was strictly forbidden by the polytheists. Muhammad wanted to
maintain that old tradition, but to quench his extreme thirst for
revenge he proclaimed that Allah had permitted only him to cause
bloodshed in the holy sanctuary, just for a few hours. Here is a Sahi
Hadith from Sahhi Bukhari on Muhammad’s exclusive right
to shed blood at the holy sanctuary:
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 303:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
Allah's Apostle said, "Allah made Mecca a sanctuary and it
was neither permitted for anyone before, nor will it be permitted
for anyone after me (to fight in it). And fighting in it was made
legal for me for a few hours of a day only. None is allowed to
uproot its thorny shrubs or to cut down its trees or to chase its
game or to pick up its Luqata (fallen things) except by a person
who would announce it publicly." 'Abbas bin 'Abdul-Muttlib
requested the Prophet, "Except Al-Idhkhir, for our goldsmiths
and for the roofs of our houses." The Prophet said,
"Except Al-Idhkhir." 'Ikrima said, "Do you know
what is meant by chasing its game? It is to drive it out of the
shade and sit in its place." Khalid said, "('Abbas said:
Al-Idhkhir) for our goldsmiths and our graves."
Muhammad’s unbound wrath was especially reserved for those who
apostatised from Islam. Among them was 1.Abd Allah b. Sa’d.
His crime was that be became an apostate after embracing Islam. He was
a scribe of Muhammad, but soon found out the trickery of Muhammad’s
claim of divine revelation, left Islam and returned to Mecca. When
Muhammad wanted Abd Allah b. Sa’d killed, he fled to Uthman, his
When the din and bustle of Mecca invasion had subsided, Uthman took
Abd Allah ibn Sa’d for an audience with Muhammad and to seek his
mercy upon him. When Uthman implored Muhammad to show mercy on Abd
Allah ibn Sa’d, he (Muhammad) kept silence for a long time before
saying, ‘yes.’ When Abd Allah ibn Sa’d and Uthman left, Muhammad’s
companions asked him about his long silence. Muhammad said that his
long hush was meant for someone to stand up and kill Abd Allah ibn Sa’d.
Then one Ansar asked Muhammad as to why the latter did not give
a signal to kill Abd Allah ibn Sa’d. Muhammad replied, “A prophet
does not kill by making signs.”
Among the others who were targeted for killing were: 2. Abd
al-Uzza b. Khatal or Abd Allah ibn. Khatal. His offence was that he
killed his slave when the slave did not cook his food (Note: killing
one’s slave was not a serious crime during that time). Then Abd
Allah ibn. Khatal fled to Mecca and renounced Islam. He had two
singing girls who used to sing satires about Muhammad. Muhammad
ordered that they too are to be killed along with Abd Allah ibn Khatal.
When it was discovered that Abdallah ibn Khatal was hiding inside Ka’ba
hanging the curtain of Ka’ba, two Jihadists, Said b. Hurayth al-Makhzumi
and Abu Barzah killed Abd Allah by ripping open his
Belly. 3. One of the singing girls named Fartana was also
killed. 4. The other girl fled. 5. Another Meccan killed
was al-Huwayrith; Muhammad charged that he maltreated his daughter
Zaynab during her escape bid from Mecca. On Muhammad’s order Ali b.
Talib killed him.
On the killing of the singing girl, Sunaan Abu Dawud
Sunaan Abu Dawud: Book 14, Number 2678:
Narrated Sa'id ibn Yarbu' al-Makhzumi:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: on the day of the
conquest of Mecca: There are four persons whom I shall not give
protection in the sacred and non-sacred territory. He then named
them. There were two singing girls of al-Maqis; one of them was
killed and the other escaped and embraced Islam.
Muhammad also killed: 6. Miqyas b. Subabah who had
previously killed the killer of his brother and then fled to Mecca and
apostatised (see Terror 46, CH. 12). Muhammad ordered his killing for
his apostasy. Numaylah b. Abd Allah killed him.
Also in the hit list were: 7. Ikrimah b. Abi Jahl and 8.
Sarah. Sarah was the freed slave-girl of one of the sons of Abd al
Muttalib. Muhammad claimed that she used to molest him while he was in
Mecca. It is reported that Muhammad eventually forgave Sarah. Ikrimah
b. Abi Jahl fled to Yemen. Later, Ikrimah’s wife pleaded for
Muhammad’s mercy on her husband. Muhammad forgave Ikrimah on
condition that he returned to Mecca and submit to Islam. Ikramah’s
wife set out to find her husband when he was about to set sail for
Ethiopia. She brought him back to Muhammad and both she and Ikrimah
accepted Islam and saved their lives.
Besides those eight Meccans, Ibn Sa’d lists two more people whom
Muhammad earmarked for killing. They were:
9. Habbar b. al-Aswad-for tormenting Muhammad’s daughter
Zaynab during her escape bid from Mecca. He concealed himself but was
caught after a few months, repented, converted to Islam and was
10. Hind bt. Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyan b. Harb. She chewed
the liver of slain Hamzah at Badr II. She accepted Islam and Muhammad
Later, Umar killed Sarah by causing his horse to trample her at al-Abtah.
On the day of occupation of Mecca, Muhammad commanded that six men and
four women be killed. The women were: 1. Hind bt. Utbah b.
Rabiah, 2. Sarah, the freed slave girl of Amr b. Hashim b. Abd
al-Muttalib; she was killed (waqidi) on the day of invasion. 3.
Quraybah; killed on the day of invasion, 4. Fartana escaped
death and lived until the Caliphate of Uthman.
Those killings of the Meccan women smacks in the face of Islam’s
claim that the religion forbids the killing of women in a war. In
fact, we can cite Sahih (authentic) Ahadith to
demonstrate that the killings of polytheist women and children and old
men are definitely sanctioned by Muhammad. Here are a few samples:
Sahih Muslim: Book 019, Number 4321:
It is reported on the authority of Sa'b b. Jaththama that the
Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women
and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid,
said: They are from them.
Sunaan Abu Dawud: Book 14, Number 2664:
Narrated Samurah ibn Jundub:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Kill the old men who are
polytheists, but spare their children.
The fate of those condemned persons had already been enumerated
All those killings done, Muhammad then descended into a valley, at
a spot close to the tombs of Abu Talib, his uncle, and Khadija, his
first wife. He pitched his tent there. When his followers asked him if
he would like to visit his old home, he said, “No”. The great
banner was planted at the door of his tent. He was now the lord of
After a while, he mounted on al-Qaswa, his camel, proceeded to Ka’ba
and made seven circuits of the holy sanctuary. Then he pointed his
staff to the idols and commanded that they be destroyed. The great
idol of Hubal in front of Ka’ba was demolished. Tradition says that
there were three hundred and sixty (360) idols in Ka’ba. All those
idols were then destroyed in front of the bewildered Quraysh, who just
a few moments ago were their idols ardent worshippers. On the
destruction of the idols, and on the religious tolerance preached by
Muhammad, Allah promptly sent an oracle (17:81) decreeing the
banishment of falsehood and the arrival of the truth.
Having conquered Mecca with extreme ease and without much
bloodshed, Muhammad halted at the door of Ka’ba and exalted Allah
and thanked Him for the victory. With him were Usama b. Zayd, Uthman
b. Talhah and Bilal, as recorded in Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 1, Book 9, Number 483:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
The Prophet entered the Ka'ba along with Usama bin Zaid, 'Uthman
bin Talha and Bilal and remained there for a long time. When they
came out, I was the first man to enter the Ka'ba. I asked Bilal
"Where did the Prophet pray?" Bilal replied, "Between
the two front Pillars."
Allah also speedily sent down verse 49:13 proclaiming that
mankind was created as male and female and that He had created many
nations and tribes.
Then he went to the house of Abraham, twenty or thirty steps from
Ka’ba, and took the key of Ka’ba and gave that to Uthman ibn Talha
to keep Ka’ba’s custody for posterity. Al-Abbas was appointed to
serve drinks to the pilgrims. Muhammad then obliterated the pictures
of Abraham and the angels that covered the walls of Ka’ba. He broke,
with his own hands, a dove made of wood and threw that away. Allah
hurriedly released the verse on Abraham (3:67) justifying
Muhammad’s obliteration of idols and images. In this verse Allah
proclaimed that Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian but a Hanif
(a Muslim?) and Muhammad was the nearest to Abraham.
Sahih Bukhari records Muhammad’s destruction of the idols at
Ka’ba in this Hadith
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 658:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin Masud:
The Prophet entered Mecca and (at that time) there were three
hundred-and-sixty idols around the Ka'ba. He started stabbing the
idols with a stick he had in his hand and reciting: "Truth
(Islam) has come and Falsehood (disbelief) has vanished."
Then Muhammad proclaimed that whoever believes in Allah must not
keep any image in his/her house and should break all idols at home. He
delivered a passionate speech declaring his attachment to the hallowed
city. Muslim historians claim that this won the hearts and minds of
the Meccans. The residents of Medina were now apprehensive that
Muhammad might stay in Mecca permanently. But Muhammad consoled them
that he would never quit Medina Then he returned to his tent. Abu Bakr
brought his aged and blind father Abu Quahafa to Muhammad and he
converted to Islam in front of Muhammad.
The destruction and the removal of all the idols from Ka’ba done,
Muhammad ordered Bilal to mount its top and offer Adhaan-the
Muslims prayer call. Then the Muslims gathered and offered prayer
led by Muhammad.
Then Muhammad announced the general amnesty for the Meccans. He sat
at al-Safa and Umar b. Khattab administered the oath of allegiance of
the Meccans to Islam. First, the men swore allegiance, then the
females. Among the females was Hind bt. Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyan
b. Harb. She was fully veiled to hide herself and she was apprehensive
that Muhammad would punish her. When she met Muhammad she implored
forgiveness from him. Muhammad forgave her and bound her on the pledge
that she should neither commit adultery nor kill children.
Since Muhammad never shook hands with women except with those whom
he was permitted, the mode of allegiance of women was that Muhammad
dropped his hand in water and then she did the same.
Safwan b. Umayyah, a Quraysh and an implacable enemy of Muhammad,
set out for Jeddah to leave for Yemen. When he heard the news of
victory of Muhammad he was about to commit suicide by throwing himself
at sea. The people approached Muhammad and told him of this. He
pardoned Umayyah and gave Umayyah his turban as a symbol of his
pardon. Umayr went to Safwan, showed the turban to Safwan and he was
brought to Muhammad and the latter gave him four months to decide
whether he should convert to Islam or die. In the end, Safwan decided
to become a Muslim. His wife, Fakhitah bt. Al-Walid also became a
Ibn Sa’d writes that Muhammad also visited the house of Umm Hani
(also known as Hind bt. Abu Talib), his cousin and offered the victory
prayer there. She became a Muslim and her husband also joined her. Two
polytheist brothers-in-law of her who were against Muhammad took
shelter in her house. Ali wanted to kill them. She pleaded with
Muhammad for mercy on them. It is reported that Muhammad granted
amnesty to them after they embraced Islam.
Wahsi, the Abyssinian slave who slew Hamza, fled to Taif and
eventually obtained a pardon.
Muhammad was quite forgiving and magnanimous after conquering
Mecca. He did this for his own interest. He did what every astute
politician would have done in this situation, grant a general amnesty.
His forgiveness gave him wide support in Mecca. Within two weeks, two
thousand Meccans embraced Islam.
Muhammad then married Mulaykah bt Dawud al-Laythiyaah. Previously,
Muhammad had killed her father. This was told to her by Muhammad’s
wives. One of the Prophet’s wives came to Mulaykah and said to her,
“Are you nor ashamed to marry a man who killed your father?” So, a
beautiful and young Mulaykah left Muhammad. It is reported that
Muhammad had killed her father on the day of the conquest of Mecca.
Muslim historians often extol Muhammad’s great ‘compassion’
in offering a general amnesty to the Meccans. They also praise the
bloodless nature of this occupation. Nonetheless, a little thought
clearly demonstrates that it was in the interest of Muhammad that he
should take up Mecca with the least possible bloodshed. A general
genocide and an unhindered plunder would be of no advantage to
him--Muhammad knew this truth very well, and therefore, he cleverly
avoided unnecessary killing of his nearest kith and kin. After all,
Muhammad belonged to the tribe of Quraysh. He had blood relations with
many of them, and he proved once again the old adage,’ blood is
thicker than water.’
We can also refute the dubious claim that this occupation was
relatively bloodless. We have already seen how a few polytheists did
put up some resistance, however feeble it was, and that a number of
them and a few Muslims died. Besides these, we shall also witness in
the next few episodes the ‘true’ vengeance of Muhammad, when he
dispatched troops after troops to annihilate any resemblance of
religious tolerance in and around Mecca, and to mop up ruthlessly any
possible future resistance against him.
Furthermore, less than two years after Muhammad granted general
amnesty to the citizens of Mecca, he revoked this official pardon when
he sent his agents, Abu Bakr and Ali to announce to the polytheists of
Mecca that they face execution if they did not convert to Islam (verse
9:5, known as the verse of the sword nullified any
amnesty/mercy granted to the polytheists of Mecca).
Nevertheless, one must appreciate the cleverness, the skillfulness,
and the agility of Muhammad in occupying the greatest citadel of
Islam, Mecca. One indeed needs the steadfastness, firmness,
mercilessness, shrewdness and cunningness and above all the adherence
to absolute fascism demonstrated by Muhammad to become a celebrated
Many Jihadists were unhappy that no exquisite Meccan booty fell on
them. They were grumbling and Muhammad had to borrow large sums from
the wealthiest Quraysh to give fifty Dirhams (about US$ 250) each to
two thousand such ‘needy’ Jihadists.
Finally, on the day Muhammad invaded Mecca, he made it compulsory
for Muslims to wage Jihad (religious war) on non-Muslims
whenever they are called to do so.
Here are a few Ahadith on the compulsory nature of Jihad
Sahih Muslims: Book 020, Number 4597:
It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that the
Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said on the day of the
Conquest of Mecca: There is no Hijra now, but (only) Jihad
(fighting for the cause of Islam) and sincerity of purpose (have
great reward) ; when you are asked to set out (on an expedition
undertaken for the cause of Islam) you should (readily) do so.
Sahih Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 42:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
Allah's Apostle said, "There is no Hijra (i.e. migration)
(from Mecca to Medina) after the Conquest (of Mecca), but Jihad
and good intention remain; and if you are called (by the Muslim
ruler) for fighting, go forth immediately.
Sahih Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 311:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
The Prophet said, on the day of the Conquest of Mecca,
"There is no migration (after the Conquest), but Jihad and
good intentions, and when you are called for Jihad, you should
immediately respond to the call."
Continued in Chapter 17
‘Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent’---Isaac Asimov
The Destruction of al-Uzza at Nakhla by Khalid b. al-Walid-January,
During the next two weeks after Muhammad’s occupation of Mecca
(see Terror 72, CH.16), Muhammads’ true notion on religious freedom
and tolerance was revealed. Immediately after he seized control of
Meeca, he dispatched troops all around Mecca to destroy the pagan
idols and to force people to Islam. The first such ‘religious
cleansing,’ just five nights before the end of Ramadan, was the
destruction of al-Uzza by the fearsome general Khalid b. al-Walid. Al-Uzza
was the biggest female idol (goddess) at Nakhla, more recent than
al-Lat and was worshipped and venerated by B. Shayban, a sub-clan of
B. Sulaym, Quraysh, Kinanah and al-Mudar, inhabiting in and around
Ibn Kalbi contends that Muhammad had once given an offering to al-Uzza.
‘We have been told that the Apostle of God once mentioned al-Uzza
saying, “I have offered a white sheep to al-‘Uzza, while I was a
follower of the religion of my people.”’
Upon Muhammad’s order, Khalid raided the temple and demolished
the idol. He raided this temple twice. In his first incursion, he cut
down a tree in the temple, broke the idol and killed its attendant and
returned to Medina. Not satisfied with this, Muhammad sent him again.
This time, Khalid went out with full fury, ransacked the temple while
the custodian of al-Uzza, Dubayyah al-Sulami started to cry. Khalid
killed him and cut down another tree in the temple compound. Then,
while Khaild was rampaging through the shrine, a wailing, naked
Ethiopian woman rushed towards Khalid. He beheaded her, took her
Jewellery and brought it back to Muhammad. Muhammad was extremely
pleased and claimed that that naked black woman was the real al-Uzza.
The Destruction of Suwa at Ruhat by Amr b. al-As-January, 630CE
Almost at the same time Muhammad sent Khalid to destroy al-Uzza, he
also sent Amr b. al-As to destroy the stone idol of Suwa at Ruhat, a
mere three kms from Mecca. Suwa was a stone in the shape of a woman to
represent mutability and beauty and was worshipped by the tribe of
Hudhayl. Its custodian was a man from B. Lihyan. Amr b. al-As broke
the stone idol in pieces and, forced its keeper under sword to accept
Islam. To his disappointment Amr did not find much valuable treasure
in this temple.
The Destruction of al-Manat at al-Kadid by Sa’d b. Zayd al-Ashhali-January,
Then Sa’d b. Zayd went out to al-Kadid with twenty horsemen and
destroyed the female idol (goddess) of Manat that the people of al-Aws
al-Khazraj, and Ghassan used to worship. Manat was the most ancient of
all idols around Mecca and its vicinity. When the Muslims arrived at
the temple, they found there a black woman with unkempt hair. Sa’d
struck her with his sword and killed her. Then Sa’d ransacked the
area for valuables but found none. Some say that Manat was destroyed
by Ali. Ali found two swords under the foundation of Manat and
Muhammad gave those two swords to Ali.
Plunder of B. Jadhimah at Tihamah by Khalid b. al-Walid-January,
Pleased with Khalid’s service, Muhammad sent him with a
detachment of three hundred and fifty (350) men to deal with the Banu
Jodhimah who inhabited the low lands of Tihamah. They were not really
pagans or polytheists, but Sabeans. The Sabeans claimed to be the
descendants of Seth, a son of Adam. They used to worship the Sun, the
Moon and the Stars, claiming their faith to be the religion of Noah.
Muhammad instructed Khalid to call them to Islam without fighting.
However, when Khalid arrived at the site, he brought up old issue of
enmity and mistreated them. B. Jadhima refused to surrender and took
up arms against Khalid.
Nonetheless, after pleading from several other senior members of
the tribe, they surrendered. Even then, Khalid b. Walid killed some of
them. Haykal writes that those who surrendered but did not accept
Islam were to be killed. When Muhammad received the news of the
atrocity by Khalid, he was very displeased and asked Allah to absolve
him from the act of violence by Khalid, the peccant. He said, “Slay
the people as long as you do not hear a Muadhdin (cryer for Islamic
prayers) or see a mosque.”
Here is Sahi Hadith from Sahih Bukhari on the level
of atrocity and cruelty perpetrated on B. Jadhimah by the Muslims:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 628:
Narrated Salim's father:
The Prophet sent Khalid bin Al-Walid to the tribe of Jadhima
and Khalid invited them to Islam but they could not express
themselves by saying, "Aslamna (i.e. we have embraced
Islam)," but they started saying "Saba'na! Saba'na (i.e.
we have come out of one religion to another)." Khalid kept on
killing (some of) them and taking (some of) them as captives and
gave every one of us his Captive. When there came the day then
Khalid ordered that each man (i.e. Muslim soldier) should kill his
captive, I said, "By Allah, I will not kill my captive, and
none of my companions will kill his captive." When we reached
the Prophet, we mentioned to him the whole story. On that, the
Prophet raised both his hands and said twice, "O Allah! I am
free from what Khalid has done."
Then Muhammad asked Ali to go to B. Jadhimah to pay the
compensation for the killing by Khalid. Ali paid the B. Jadhimah the
blood money and the compensation for the property that Khalid had
As per Ibn Ishaq Muhammad had commanded Khalid to kill the B.
Jadhimah for their refusal to accept Islam.
Here is a pitiable tale of cruelty by the Muslim army as narrated
by a Jihadist when Khalid invaded B. Jadhimah
According to Sa’id b Yahya al-Umawi…….…..Abdallah b. Abi
Hadrad, who said:
I was among Khalid’s horsemen that day. One of their young men-he
was among the prisoners, his hands were tied to his neck with a rope,
and some women were gathered not far from him-said to me, “Young
man!” “Yes,” I said. He said: “Will you take hold of this rope
and lead me by it to these women, so that I can entrust them with a
needful matter of business? Then you can bring me back to do as you
all please with me.” I said, “By God, what you have asked me is a
small thing.” I took hold of his rope and led him by it until I had
brought him to stand near them. He said, Farewell, Hubayshah, as life
After the condemned man met his sweetheart, he recited a poem for
her and the woman replied, “And you-may you be made to live ten and
seven years uninterrupted and eight right after them!”
Then the Jihadist took him away and cut off his head. The
distraught woman ran to her beheaded lover, threw herself down on him
and she kept kissing him until she died beside him.
Second Raid on B. Hawazin or the Battle of Hunayn by
B. Hawazin were a large group of north Arabian tribes who were
bitterly opposed to the Quraysh. This hostility was due to the trade
rivalry between Mecca and Taif.
The place where this battle took place was a valley, called Hunayn
and was about three days march from Mecca. This battle is mentioned in
the Qur’an in verse 9:25-26
Muhammad stayed in Mecca for a fortnight after conquering it;
sending his troops around Mecca to remove the last vestiges of
polytheism and to force the non-Quraysh people, living in the vicinity
of Mecca to Islam. He did this religious persecution with ease, as
most of the polytheists could not anticipate such a sudden ferocious
attack on them, and were completely unprepared for this atrocity. The
Hawazin and the Thaqf tribes were particularly disturbed and enraged
by the destruction of pagan idols in Mecca and within its vicinity.
They decided not to let this inhuman torment and barbarity of Muhammad’s
army go unchallenged
It is reported that when Malik b. Awf from B. Nasri (a branch of
Hawazin tribe), a tribal leader of thirty, heard of the conquest of
Mecca by Muhammad, he gathered a force, consisting of B. Thaqif, B.
Nasr and B. Jusham and other minor tribes residing in the locality.
Excepting a few minor sub-clans from the Hawazin, all other tribes
inhabiting the area joined in this battle to resist the aggression of
Muhammad. Towards the last few days during his stay, Muhammad received
information that the Hawazin and Thaqif groups of tribes had marched
out against Mecca and had already assembled at Hunayn to confront him.
The Hawazin tribe, with twenty thousand men, under the leadership
of Malik b. Awf marched against Muhammad with their women, children
and cattle, meaning that this was a fight to death. As soon as
Muhammad received the news of mobilisation of B. Hawazin and Thaqif,
he sent Abd Allah b. Abi Hadrad al-Aslami to spy on them and collect
information on their plan. This Muslim spy infiltrated the Hawazin and
Thaqif people and brought the news that they had decided to fight
Muhammad. It is reported by Tabari that when the Muslim spy, Abd Allah
b. Abi Hadrad brought the information of the B. Hawazin, Umar b.
Khattab did not believe him and called the Muslim spy a liar. On this
accusation, the Muslim spy revealed the secret that Umar had, on some
occasions, called Muhammad a liar too. This is what Abd Allah said,
“O, Umar, if you accuse me of lying, then many a time you have
denied the truth. You have accused the one who is better than me [i.e,
the Prophet] of lying.”
Tabari further reports that the Hawazin and the other Meccan tribes
considered Muhammad an apostate of his time because he parted from the
religion of the Quraysh.
Malik had vowed that either he will win against the apostate (i.e.,
Muhammad) or he would commit suicide. Malik’s people readily agreed
with him, i.e., to win or to die.
Having secured the unqualified support from his people, Malik gave
order to his people that when they saw their enemy they would attack
them as one body, thus maintaining the solid unity among his people.
Then the spies of Malik went out to gather information on the
movement of Muhammad’s army. An apocryphal account says that they
saw the white men (angels?) on black and white horses they were
blinded and returned quickly.
After Muhammad heard from the Muslim spy the news of B. Hawazin and
their confederates, he decided to march to face his new enemy. Since,
he, at that time had very little money, he approached Safwan b.
Umayyah (Safwan was under suspended death sentence by Muhammad-see
Terror 72, CH.16), an arms manufacturer, who was still a polytheist,
to lend the Muslims the weapons necessary for the war. Safwan readily
accepted Muhammad’s arms deal and supplied (on loan) and transported
all the weapons the Muslims required for their battle.
Having procured the arms from an infidel, Muhammad now marched with
ten thousand (10,000) of his Medinaan followers along with two
thousand (2,000) of his new converts of Mecca, i.e., altogether twelve
thousand (12,000) Muslim Jihadists against B. Hawazin and B.Thaqif.
This was the second raid on B. Hawazin by the Muslims (for the first
raid, see Terror 54, CH.14). He kept Attab b. Asid, a recent convert
to Islam in charge of Mecca to look after the men left in Mecca.
Foremost in the minds of these Muslim fighters was the exquisite booty
that they could have from the B. Hawazin and their confederates. Here
is a Hadith from Sunaan Abu Dawud about how Muhammad
motivated his fighters with booty. This is a lengthy Hadith; I
have quoted only the relevant part):
Book 14, Number 2495:
Narrated Sahl ibn al-Hanzaliyyah:
On the day of Hunayn we travelled with the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him)
and we journeyed for a long time until the evening came. I
attended the prayer along with the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him).
A horseman came and said: Apostle of Allah, I went before you
and climbed a certain mountain where saw Hawazin all together with
their women, cattle, and sheep, having gathered at Hunayn.
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) smiled and said: That
will be the booty of the Muslims tomorrow if Allah wills. He then
asked: Who will be on guard tonight? …………..
Muhammad arrived at Hunayn in the evening or at night and encamped
there. Ibn Ishak writes that while at a halt on their journey the
Muslims asked Muhammad to make a tree for them to hang their swords,
per the Meccan tradition whereby they would hang their swords and
sacrifice their animals in such a tree. He compared this request by
his followers to that of the request to Moses to make a heifer for
worship during Moses’ exodus across the Red sea. Allah revealed
verse 7:138 in this connection. In the very early morning,
before sunrise, (Muhammad’s usual time to conduct terror raids) he
rode Duldul (his white mule) towards the rear of the forces. In front
was B. Sulaym, led by Khalid b Walid.
When the Muslims approached the valley of Hunayn and were passing
through its canyon, the Hawazins, in the darkness of the dawn,
suddenly attacked them like one man. The Muslims were extremely
frightened and took to flight. It was each for himself as they fled.
No Jihadist cared for another Jihadist. The defeat was so severe that
no one even listened to Muhammad when he cried out to the fleeing
Jihadists to return to fight. He said, “Where are you, O men? Come
to me! I am the Messenger of God! I am Muhammad the son of Abd Allah!”
But all his desperate calls fell into deaf ears.
Except for a few core group of Jihadists, all the Muslim fighters
ran away from the battlefield. Those who remained with Muhammad were
some Muhajirs, a few Ansars and the nearest of his
family members like: Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali, al-Abbas and his son al-Fadl,
Abu Sufyan b.al-Harith and Usamah b. Zayd b. Haritha.
When the stampede of the Muslims became quite uncontrollable, Abu
Sufyan b. Harb remarked, “Their stampede will not stop until they
reach the ocean!” Abu Sufyan was about to use some kind of sorcery
but his half-brother Safwan b. Umayyah b.Khalaf said that sorcery was
useless on that day. Safwan was still a polytheist at that time of
grace period Muhammad gave him (see Terror 72, CH.16) to convert to
Islam. But Abu Sufyan b. Harb was very panicky as he preferred to be
ruled by a man from the Quraysh than by the Hawazin. A rumour also
spread that Muhammad had been killed, creating more panic and terror
among the Muslims.
However, soon the message went out that the attempt to kill
Muhammad during this panicky stage of the battle was thwarted by
divine intervention-it is claimed.
During this time, Muhammad met a pregnant woman, Umm Sulaym bt
Milhan the wife of Abu Talhah. She advised Muhammad to kill those
Jihdists who flee the battlefield just in the same manner as Muhammad
kills his enemy combatants. But Muhammad was not very enthusiastic
over this and said that Allah was enough for him. On that day she and
her husband had come fully armed to kill as many polytheists as they
could and to take their booty. Her husband, Abu Talhah, took the
spoils of twenty men he had killed himself.
When Muhammad found that his call for Jihad was in vain, he
summoned his uncle al-Abbas (who had a very thunderous voice), to cry
out very loudly for the Muslims to return and resume fighting. Al-Abbas
did the same, and, at last, one-hundred Muslims gathered around
Muhammad. They started to fight the enemy with new vigour and Muhammad
watched the fighting standing on his stirrup.
While this was going on, Ali b. Abi Talib attacked from behind a
leading man from Hawazin, who was fighting fiercely with his lance.
Ali hamstrung this man’s camel. The Muslims jumped over him and cut
off his foot and half of his shank. This brave Hawazin man still kept
on fighting and finally died.
When the battle became very intense, Muhammad got down from his
mule, Duldul, picked up some pebbles from the ground, threw them
towards the enemy (remember Badr II?) and started reciting verses from
Sura Ha-Mim (Sura 41); the enemy started retreating-so it is
claimed. Then a black striped garment descended from the sky; it was a
mass of black ants! Those were the angels descended from heaven to
help the Muslims, Muhammad exhorted. The truth is that the colony of
black ants was a probably a dark cloud in the sky, as Ibn Sa’d
writes that it rained on the day of Hunayn. With the help of those
angels disguised as black ants, the Muslims finally defeated the B.
Hawazin-Muslim historians assert. Some even claim that the angels wore
red turbans on the day of Hunayn!
After the defeat of the B. Hawazin, there was widespread killing of
them; seventy of them were slaughtered where their banner fell. Ibn
Ishak writes that the fierce general, Khalid b. Walid, killed some
women and children of the polytheists. Muhammad reprimanded Khalid for
resorting to such act.
Malik tried his best but could not rescue the women and children.
So he ran away. The women and children fell in the hands of Muhammad,
including their property, camp and flock. Six thousand prisoners were
taken. Ibn Ishak writes that a handcuffed man was beheaded for
offending the Muslims. The Jihadist soldiers then engaged in stripping
of the armours, coats of mail, and personal valuables from the corpses
of enemy soldiers that they had killed with their own hands. One
Jihadist bought his first real estate from the proceeds of such booty.
Here is a Hadith from Malik’s Muwatta to confirm this:
Book 21, Number 21.10.19:
Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab that al-Qasim
ibn Muhammad said that he had heard a man asking ibn Abbas about
booty. Ibn Abbas said, "Horses are part of the booty and
personal effects are as well."
Then the man repeated his question, and Ibn Abbas repeated his
answer. Then the man said, "What are the spoils which He, the
Blessed, the Exalted, mentioned in His Book?" He kept on
asking until Ibn Abbas was on the verge of being annoyed, then Ibn
Abbas said, "Do you know who this man is like? Ibn Sabigh,
who was beaten by Umar ibn al-Khattab because he was notorious for
asking foolish questions."
Yahya said that Malik was asked whether someone who killed one
of the enemy could keep the man's effects without the permission
of the Imam. He said, "No one can do that without the
permission of the Imam. Only the Imam can make ijtihad. I have not
heard that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant
him peace, ever said, 'Whoever kills someone can have his
effects,' on any other day than the day of Hunayn."
The loss on the Muslim side was minimal; some say the loss was
quite heavy-two tribes were completely annihilated for whom Muhammad
offered special prayer.
Muhammad lost his maid servant, Umm Ayman in this battle.
The remaining polytheists, along with their leader Malik, fled to
Taif. Some went to Nakhla, still some went to Awtas. The Awtas group
then took shelter in their camp. Later, they were eventually defeated
in a severe fight.
Muhammad’s army followed those who fled to Nakhla but returned
after a short chase. While pursuing them, the Muslim soldiers caught
Durayd b. Simmah, the old man who did not fight at all in the battle.
He was riding a camel litter hiding there as a woman. When Durayd
asked the young Jihadist, Rabiah b. Rufay, what he intended to do with
an old man like him, Rabiah said that he wanted to kill him. When
Rabiah struck his sword on Durayd it did not kill him. Durayd laughed
at the poor mastery of weapon by the young Jihadist. He gave his own
sword to Rabiah and instructed him how to perform a slaughter. Then
Durayd told Rabiah that after killing him he should go back to his
mother (Rabiah) and inform her about the slaying; for he (Durayd) had
previously saved many of their women.
After slaying Durayd, Rabiah returned to his mother and told her
about what he had done. His mother said, “By God, he set free three
mothers of yours.”
That was how Muhammad’s fanatic Jihadists treated enemy’s old
men men during war. In fact, we read in an authentic Hadith
that in a Jihad, it is permissible to kill old infidel men, sparing
their children. Read the following Hadith:
Sunaan Abu Dawud: Book 14, Number 2664:
Narrated Samurah ibn Jundub:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Kill the old men who are
polytheists, but spare their children.
[Note: Sharia law (Islamic law) permits unrestrained killing
of old infidel men in a Jihad. I have quoted the relevant Sharia
rule on this in a previous episode (see rule o9.10, p.603, Reliance of
However, in another Sahi Hadith we learn that during a night
raid, Muhammad permitted the killing of the children of infidel. Here
is a Hadith from Sahih Muslim on this matter:
Book 019, Number 4322:
It is narrated by Sa'b b. Jaththama that he said (to the Holy
Prophet): Messenger of Allah, we kill the children of the
polytheists during the night raids. He said: They are from them.
As told before, having suffered the defeat at Hunayn, Malik b. Awf
fled with many of his compatriots. One B. Hawazin men, Bijad was one
of them. Muhammad’s intense irk fell on him as he claimed that Bijad
had previously dismembered a Muslim’s body and then burnt it.
Muhammad gave directive that anyone who caught Bijad should not let
The Muslims hunted down Bijad along with his sister, Shayma bt. al-Harith,
while they were trying to flee. The Muslims caught them, bound them
like cattle, manhandled them in their captivity, and then brought them
to Muhammad. It turned out that Shayma bt. al-Harith was the foster
sister of Muhammad (i.e., Shyama was the daughter of Halima, Muhmmad’s
milk mother) but the Muslims did not believe her claim.
When she was brought to Muhammad, he wanted proof that she was
indeed his foster sister. So Shayma showed Muhammad the bite on her
back that Muhammad did when she carried him on her hip. This convinced
Muhammad and he offered her the choice between living with him or to
return to her people. She preferred the latter choice. Muhammad gave
her a slave-man called Mukhul and a slave-girl. After she left
Muhammad, she had these two slaves marry. Another version of this
story says that Shayma embraced Islam and Muhammad gave her three
slaves. It is not known what happened to Bijad.
The victory at Hunayn brought more captives and booty than the
Muslims had ever seen before. The spoil was huge: twenty-two thousand
(22,000) camels, forty thousand (40,000) goats and four thousand
(4,000) ounces of silver. The Muslims seized all of them. This booty
(worth around US$ 9 million), along with six thousand (6,000) captives
(worth around US$ 12 million), mainly women and children were
transported under Muslim protection to the valley of Jirana and stored
in a warehouse there. The Muslims were overwhelmed with greed; they
celebrated their victory and waited for the distribution of the booty.
However, Muhammad commanded his men to march to the city of Taif to
capture Malik. The booty had to wait till the mission to capture Malik
was accomplished-Muhammad ordered.
The Thaqif who escaped from the battle of Hunayn returned to Taif
and shut themselves up inside their formidable fortresses. They were
well versed in modern warfare and took preparation for a long-drawn
war. To meet them, Muhammad sent Urwah b. Masud and Ghaylan b. Salamah
to Jurash to learn the techniques of warfare with the use of catapult
and Testudo-a sort of primitive tank made from wood. These two Muslims
were not present either at Hunayn or at Taif because of their duty to
acquire modern warfare techniques.
Continued in Chapter 18
‘A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it’---
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
The Destruction of the idol Yaghuth at Dhu al-Kaffyan by Tufayl ibn
‘Amr al-Dawsi-January, 630
When Muhammad sent Urwah b. Masud and Ghaylan b. Salamah (see
Terror 77, CH. 17) to Jurash to learn the techniques of warfare with
the use of catapult and Testudo, he also despatched al-Tufayl ibn ‘Amr
al-Dawsi to destroy the idol of Yaghuth at Dhu al-Kaffyan. This idol
was in the shape of a lion (or bull), signifying brute strength
belonged to the people of Amr ibn Humamamh al-Dawasi (Tufayl’s own
people). Muhammad instructed Tufayl to gather his (Tufayl’s) people
in this demolition and, having finished this carnage, Tufayl was to
join him (Muhamad) at Taif. With the assistance of four hundred (400)
of his people, Tufayl destroyed the said idol by igniting its face and
setting it on fire. Then Tufayl, along with the four hundred rioters
marched ahead to join Muhammad at Taif. They also brought with them
the catapult and the Testudo (delivered to Tufayl by Urwah at Taif).
The Siege of Taif by Muhammad-January, 630CE
As written previously (Terror 77, CH. 17), the fugitives from
Thaqif and B. Hawazin, and from other tribes, after fleeing the battle
of Hunayn exiled in Taif. The city of Taif was famous for its luscious
vineyard and was surrounded by many strong fortresses. Ali Dashti
writes that Taif was a tourist resort for the Meccans and the B.
Thaqif did not want to antagonise the Meccans by supporting Muhammad (Dashti,
p.77). These fugitives took shelter in those fortified fortresses,
shut their doors and made preparations for a war. The city was capable
to withstand a siege for many months, as there was plentiful supply of
water. The fugitives stocked up their sanctuary with enough provision
to last them a year or so. Amongst the fugitive leaders was Malik from
B. Hawazin, and Adiy, the son of famous philanthropist, Hatim of
In the mean time, after the victory at Hunayn, Muhammad proceeded
straight to Taif and on arriving there discovered that the Thaqif and
the run-away B. Hawazin had already sheltered themselves inside those
formidable fortresses. So Muhammad laid siege on them that lasted for
fifteen (or twenty) days. While moving towards Taif, he left behind a
trail of terror, blood and destruction. At first, he halted at Bahrat
al-Rugha and built a mosque there and prayed there. Here, Muhammad
ordered the killing of a Hudhayl man who had previously killed a B.
Layth (Muslim) man. Then he introduced the regulation of a life for a
life, or the rule on retaliation for homicide. In verse 2:178, Allah
approved Muhammad’s nature of justice.
Then he halted at Liyyah and ordered the destruction of the castle
of Hawazin leader, Malik. As written before, Malik had already fled to
Taif and put himself up in one of the fortresses of Thaqif. From
Liyyah Muhammad went to Nakhb. On his way, he changed the name of some
places, simply because he did not like their existing names. While at
Nakhb, Muhammad ordered the destruction of the walled garden of a man
because the man had refused to come out of his residence when he
ordered him to do so.
Proceeding further, Muhammad halted at Taif and pitched his tent
near to the main fortress where the Thaqif people had taken shelter.
The people inhabiting the vicinity of the fort had to surrender to
him. The Thaqif showered Muhammad’s troop with arrows and killed a
few of his companions. So Muhammad moved further away and put up his
tent on a higher ground; built a mosque there and sheltered his two
wives, Umm Salamah and Zaynab bt. Jahsh in two red tents. He continued
with the siege on the Taif fortresses, prayed in the newly constructed
mosque and stayed in the two tents of his two wives.
During this time, Tufayl ibn Amr al-Dawsi, along with four hundred
(400) men joined Muhammad. Previously they were at Dhu al-Kaffayn
destroying an idol (see Terror 78, CH. 17).They also brought the
catapult and the Testudo at Taif. The Thaqif continued with their
strike on the Muslims, mainly with arrows and flames from behind their
fort, never coming out of it. The Muslims could not get through the
wall of the fort.
Then Muhammad decided to fight bitterly the Thaqif by using his new
war machines, the catapult and Testudo. The Taif citizens were fully
prepared for this type of attack. The newly arrived army used the
catapult and attacked the wall of a fortress, creating a hole there.
Then some Muslim soldiers were ported through this hole inside the new
Testudo. When the Muslim soldiers came out of their Testudo, the
Thaqif poured molten iron on them and showered them with arrows,
killing some of them and wounding many. It is reported that Abu Bakr’s
son, Abd Allah, was gravely injured in this fight. He never recovered
from his wound and eventually succumbed to his injury. The Muslims
fled in alarm. Muhammad blocked the road that stopped the supply of
food to the Thaqif. But the Thaqif were not alarmed. They had enough
provisions to last for a very long siege. Then Muhammad ordered the
famed vines of the Thaqif be cut and burned. He had already resorted
to this type of slash and burn approach during the siege of B. Nadir,
and recalled its supreme effectiveness. His new order was carried out
with merciless vigour. The Thaqif people were terrified and they began
communicating with Muhammad. On the pledge of safety by the Thaqif,
Muhammad then sent Abu Sufyan b. Harb and al-Mughira b. Shuba to
negotiate a deal with the besieged Thaqif. Abu Sufyan’s daughter,
Amina was married to the Thaqif man, Urwa b. Masud and had a son by
him. Besides them, there were also a number of Quraysh and B. Kinanah
women in the fort. Abu Sufyan wanted to evacuate these women and their
children for, he was afraid that these women would become captives of
the Muslim army. The Thaqif leader asked Muhammad to stop cutting down
their valuable orchards; in exchange for that, Muhammad was free to
take possession of them (i.e., the Quraysh and B. Kinanah women and
children residing in their fortresses). Muhammad stopped the
destruction of the orchards. Abu Sufyan asked the Quraysh women to
leave the fort, but they refused to come out, preferring to remain
with the Thaqif people. So Abu Sufyan’s peace mission returned
without any success. The siege by Muhammad continued. Soon, Muhammad
enticed the Thaqif slaves with freedom if they deserted their Thaqif
masters and embraced Islam. Most slaves did not respond to Muhammad’s
call; only a handful (numbering between 13 to 23) of them came out and
embraced Islam. Muhammad set them free
During this time, a Muslim woman approached Muhammad and requested
of him that if Allah granted victory to the Muslims he should give her
the jewellery of two Thaqif women, for those two women had the most
expensive jewellery among the Thaqif women. Such was the cupidity of
Muslims engaged in Jihad!
After a siege of fifteen days or so, Muhammad grew impatient. His
followers were eagerly waiting for the distribution of booty from the
plunder of B. Hawazin that they had stored at Jirana. They started
pestering a demurred Muhammad. He did not know what to do.
Then, suddenly, he had a bizarre dream and Abu Bakr interpreted
that dream as a negative result from this lengthy siege. Muhammad
agreed with Abu Bakr’s interpretation of his dream, ordered to break
up the Muslim camp and proceed towards Jirana. The truth was: an
expert on warfare advised Muhammad that the beleaguered Thaqif could
easily be confronted at a later date as they were like foxes in their
holes. A shrewd Muhammad understood the implication of such wise
advice and decided to end the siege, vowing to chastise the Thaqif
after he had settled the booty issue. Some of his minions were
grumbling that they might miss out the rich booty and pretty women of
the Thaqif. Muhammad consoled them to have patience for a later
victory. He was not in a hurry.
Twelve Muslims died in the siege of Taif, seven from the Quraysh,
four from the Ansars and one from B. Layth.
From the account of this siege we learn quite a bit about the major
motives of the Jihadists to join Muhammad. One such motive, obviously,
was the greed for booty as was illustrated in the example of a Muslim
woman cited above; another motive was women.
Here is an interesting anecdote:
Jihadist’s only desire was women!
When the besieged Thaqif people saw the departure of Muhammad’s
Jihadists, they cried out in joy. Having heard their victory signal,
the newly converted Muslim, Uyaynah b. Hisn expressed his solidarity
with the Thaqif people by admitting that the Thaqif, indeed had the
victory. Another Muslim soldier admonished him; but Uyaynah answered
this Muslim Jihadist by claiming that he only came to this battle to
enjoy Thaqif women. He said, “By God, I did not come to fight Thaqif
with you, but I wished Muhammad to be victorious over al-Taif, so that
I might obtain a slave-girl from Thaqif whom I might make pregnant so
that she might bear me a son, for Thaqif are clever people.” When
Umar told Muhammad what Uyaynah had said, Muhammad said, “[This man
exhibits] an acceptable foolishness.”
In the next few passages we shall witness the insatiable greed of
the Jihadits for booty.
The division of spoils of B. Hawazin
After aborting the siege of Taif, Muhammad trudged straight to
Jirana where all the booty of Hunayn battle was gathered (see Terror
77, CH. 17). This was one of the largest booty that the Jihadists ever
had. As noted previously, the spoil consisted of six thousand (6,000)
captives of women and children, twenty-four thousand (24,000) camels,
forty thousand (40,000) sheep and four thousand (4,000) ounces of
silver. The Muslims were extremely impatient to take hold of their
respective share of the loot, and Muhammad had to abandon Taif so-soon
to please them.
When Muhammad arrived at Jirana, the deputation of Hawazin came to
meet him about the release of their women and children. First, they
had to embrace Islam before they could even start a negotiation with
Muhammad. One of them, B. Sa’d b. Bakr appealed on the ground of
blood relations. They could have either their women and children or
the goods, not both-Muhammad stipulated. The B. Hawazin wanted their
family back, instead of their cattle and other properties. It is
reported that B. Sa’d b. Bakr belonged to the clan who had nursed
(by Halima) Muhammad when he was an infant. He pointed out that some
of the captives were Muhammad’s kin by suckling. During this
distribution of captives, Muhammad met with his milk sister, Shyama,
whose story had already been told before (see Terror 77, CH. 17).
This passionate plea, on the ground of kinship melted slightly
Muhammad’s heart. He contended that he would release his share
(i.e., one-fifth, or one thousand and two women and children) of the
captives and would also request other Muslims to release their
captives too. It was a voluntary offer; some Muslims readily agreed on
this but many refused. When Muhammad found out that there was a sense
of deprivation on this voluntary surrender of their prized
possessions, he set an exchange rate that whoever freed a captive
would receive six camels. In this way, most of the women and children
captives were finally released. Here is a Hadith from Sahih
Bukhari on the release of the captives of B. Hawazin:
Volume 3, Book 46, Number 716:
Narrated Marwan and Al-Miswar bin Makhrama:
When the delegates of the tribe of Hawazin came to the Prophet
and they requested him to return their properties and captives.
The Prophet stood up and said to them, "I have other people
with me in this matter (as you see) and the most beloved statement
to me is the true one; you may choose either the properties or the
prisoners as I have delayed their distribution." The Prophet
had waited for them for more than ten days since his arrival from
Ta'if. So, when it became evident to them that the Prophet was not
going to return them except one of the two, they said, "We
choose our prisoners." The Prophet got up amongst the people
and glorified and praised Allah as He deserved and said,
"Then after, these brethren of yours have come to us with
repentance, and I see it logical to return them the captives. So,
whoever amongst you likes to do that as a favor, then he can do
it, and whoever of you likes to stick to his share till we
recompense him from the very first war booty which Allah will give
us, then he can do so (i.e. give up the present captives)."
The people unanimously said, "We do that (return the
captives) willingly." The Prophet said, "We do not know
which of you has agreed to it and which have not, so go back and
let your leaders forward us your decision." So, all the
people then went back and discussed the matter with their leaders
who returned and informed the Prophet that all the people had
willingly given their consent to return the captives. This is what
has reached us about the captives of Hawazin. Narrated Anas that 'Abbas
said to the Prophet, "I paid for my ransom and Aqil's
From his share of captive women, Muhammad gave his son-in-law Ali a
slave-girl, Raytah bt.Hilal to enjoy her at his will. He also
presented, Uthman b. Affan, another of his sons-in-law, another
slave-girl, Zaynab bt. Hayyan; bestowed Umar b. Khattab with a freed
girl. Umar gave that girl to his son Abd Allah. Abd Allah sent this
girl to his maternal aunt to get her ready so that he could enjoy her
after he had circumambulated the Ka’ba! Most of Muhammad’s other
elite companions received slave-girls. It is reported that Abd Allah
released her sex-slave when he heard that Muhammad had advised the
Muslims to release their captives.
Uayanah b. Hisn received an old widow as a captive, hoping to raise
good ransom for her. When he heard Muhammad’s call to release the
captive women, he was very disappointed and refused to release her in
exchange for six camels. One of his comrades then told him ‘to let
her go for her mouth was neither cold nor were her breasts swelling,
she could not conceive, her milk was not rich and her husband would
not care.’ Being saddened with such an ‘expired’ woman, Uayanan
b. Hisn released her in exchange for six camels.
Then Uayanah met his friend al-Aqra and complained to him about his
chagrin over Muhammad’s call. His friend replied, “By God, you did
not take her as virgin in her prime nor even full-figured in her
Muhammad then offered Malik, the leader of the Hawazin, who was
hiding at Taif to come out of his recluse and pledged that if he
embraced Islam then he (Muhammad) would return his family and
possessions. When this news of conditional amnesty reached Malik, he
decided to leave Taif stealthily; he came to Jirana where Muhammad was
stationed, embraced Islam and reclaimed his family. After embracing
Islam, he aided Muhammad in fighting the Thaqif people.
Apparently, the Muslims were not quite happy with Muhammad’s
generous gesture towards his erstwhile foes. They were apprehensive
that if this ‘kindness’ by Muhammad continued unabated they might
miss out in their fair share of the prisoners and the booty. They felt
a sense of deprivation from the huge booty that they had collected
after a vigorous fight. So, while Muhammad was riding away after
releasing the captives of Hunayn, the Muslims ran after him saying,
“O Messenger of God, divide our booty of camels and small cattle
among us.” They were so persistent and forceful that they pushed
Muhammad’s back against a tree and took out his mantle. The
Jihadists were simply enraged that the booty might elude them. A
desperate Muhammad cried out, “ Give me back my mantle, men, for by
God if you had as many sheep as the trees of Tihama, I would
distribute them among you; you have not found me niggardly or cowardly
or false.” To appease this unruly bunch of booty-hungry Jihadists,
he even promised them to return his personal one-fifth share (khums)
of the booty. Only then did the Jihadists release a grossly distressed
Muhammad gave special gifts as a bribe to those newly converted
Muslims whose hearts were to be won and who were eminent among the
Quraysh. To support his action he claimed that the Quraysh were not
strong in Islam, so he had to bribe them to buy their heart. Here is a
Hadith from Sahih Bukhari on this action of bribery of
Volume 4, Book 53, Number 374:
The Prophet said, "I give to Quraish people in order to
let them adhere to Islam, for they are near to their life of
Ignorance (i.e. they have newly embraced Islam and it is still not
strong in their hearts."
Allah quickly approved this form of bribery in verse 9:60. Even
some Quraysh who were still pagan received something.
He gave one hundred (100) camels to those elite converts like, Abu
Sufyan b. Harb, his two sons Muawiyah and Yazid, Safwan b. Uumayyah,
Suhayl b. Amr, Uyayanah b. Hisn etc. When Abu Sufyan grumbled and
asked for more he gave him and each of his sons forty (40) ounces of
gold (in today’s money it is around US$ 16,000). Safwan b. Umayyah
wanted more, so Muhammad gave him another two hundred (200) camels,
i.e., all together, he received three hundred (300) camels. They
became to be known as “Men of Hundreds.” Not only that Muhammad
‘bribed’ those new converts with money and goods, but he also
elevated some of them to important positions. Thus Abu Sufyan’s son
Yazid was made the governor of Tayma and his other son Muawiya was
appointed the secretary of Muhammad. Those new converts below in rank
of the elite received less than one hundred camels, some of them
received only fifty camels. Some new Muslims were not pleased with
this type of ‘bribery discrimination’ and they reproached
To placate the ‘tongues’ of these new converts, Muhammad gave
them more camels until they were satisfied and stopped criticising
When a devoted Jihadist, Juayl b. Suraqah complained about Muhammad’s
unfairness in the distribution of B. Hawazin booty, Muhammad replied,
“By Him in whose hand is my soul, Juayl b. Suraqah is better than an
entire world full of men like Uyayanah b. Hisn and al-Aqra b. Habis,
but I have treated them generously so that they may embrace Islam, and
I have entrusted Ju’ayl b. Suraqah to his Islam.”
All the booty of Hunayn were distributed among the Quraysh and the
Bedouin tribes. The Ansars received nothing. They were very
unhappy and this mood of their discontent reached Muhammad. The Ansars
were apprehensive that Muhammad was now with his own people (Quraysh).
Muhammad gathered the Ansars and told them that the others had booty
but they had him as their own; that was better than booty. Then
Muhammad shed tears for them and promised that he was one of the Ansars
and. The Ansars expressed their satisfaction with Muhammad’s
explanation for ‘booty discrimination.’ See Sahih Muslim,
book 4, Hadith number 2303 for further details.
After this meeting with the Ansars, Muhammad left Jirana and
went to perform an Umra, and ordered that that the rest of the
spoils be kept back in Majanna, another safe location. After returning
from Umra, he left for Medina, leaving Muadh b. Jabal at Mecca
in charge of teaching Islam to the new Muslims and Attab b. Asid, a
new convert, as the Governor of Mecca with an allowance of one Dirham
a day. The rest of the loot followed him to Medina. Muhammad arrived
in Medina in April, 630.
From the Jirana booty, every Jihadist got four camels and forty
sheep. Every horseman got an additional share for his horse. A
horseman received twelve (12) camels and one hundred and twenty (120)
sheep. Convert these animals to equivalent US$ and you will surely
comprehend why Jihad was such a great attraction to all those
clodhoppers of Muhammad.
After Muhammad returned to Medina he appointed several tax
collectors to collect Jizya taxes, by force, if necessary from
those tribes who refused to accept Islam.
The Raid on B. Tamim by Uyana b. Hisn-July, 630CE
When the forced Jizya on the infidels became extremely
oppressive, many tribes rebelled against Muhammad. B. Tamim, refused
to pay Jizya and enticed other tribes to follow suit when the
Muslim tax collector approached them. So Muhammad sent Uyana b. Hisn,
at the behest of fifty horsemen to punish B. Tamim and to exact the Jizya
from them. Uyana attacked B. Tamim while they were grazing their
cattle in the desert. Most of B. Tamim fled in terror. Uyana took the
booty of camels and flocks, captured eleven men, twenty-one women, and
thirty children and brought the booty to Medina. Muhammad incarcerated
the captured men, women and children. Soon, after learning about their
incarceration, B.Tamim sent a ten man delegation to Muhammad to
negotiate their release. These Bedouins came to Medina and called out
curtly for Muhammad while the latter was resting in his apartment.
Allah was displeased with this roughness towards His messenger and
quickly sent down verses 49:4 admonishing this unruly bunch of
Arab Bedouins and forbade raising of voice volume above that of
messenger of Allah. An annoyed Muhammad talked briefly with them and
then he went to perform his prayer. Allah also released verse 49:6
warning Muhammad to verify facts before acting on it. Then Muhammad
entered into a prolong negotiation with the B. Tamim delegation. A
poetry competition was held to judge whose religion was better---Islam
or paganism. Of course, Islam won the competition; the B. Tamim
converted to Islam and Muhammad released their men, women and
children. When they converted to Islam, Muhammad praised them and Bibi
Aisha released a slave that belonged to B. Tamim. Here is a Hadith
on B. Tamim from Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 3, Book 46, Number 719:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
I have loved the people of the tribe of Bani Tamim ever since I
heard, three things, Allah's Apostle said about them. I heard him
saying, These people (of the tribe of Bani Tamim) would stand firm
against Ad-Dajjal." When the Sadaqat (gifts of charity) from
that tribe came, Allah's Apostle said, "These are the Sadaqat
(i.e. charitable gifts) of our folk." 'Aisha had a slave-girl
from that tribe, and the Prophet said to 'Aisha, "Manumit her
as she is a descendant of Ishmael (the Prophet)."
Terrorising B. al-Mustaliq for Jizya-July, 630CE
As per the Islamic rule on subjugated people, a tax collector went
to collect Jizya tax from the B. al-Mustaliq people. This tribe
surrounded the tax collector. Apprehending violence, the tax
collectors fled to Medina. Muhammad threatened them with terror and
revenge. The frightened B. Mustaliq then received the tax collector
with courtesy and paid the Jizya due on them.
Surprise Raid on B. Khatham at Talabah by Qutbah ibn Amir ibn
During this period Muhammad sent Qutbah ibn Amir at the head of
twenty men to conduct a surprise raid on B. Khatamah, inhabiting
Tabalah near Turbah, apparently for no good reason other than pure
pillage. The Muslims killed a man who pretended to be dumb. Then they
attacked the infidels while they were asleep. The Muslims slaughtered
whomever they could and took a great number of camels, goats and women
Continued in Chapter 19
‘Generally nobody behaves decently when they have power’--
Kingley Amis (1922-1995)
Raid Against B. Kilab at al-Zuji by al-Dahak ibn Sufyan al-Kilabi-August,
Muhammad sent al-Dahak ibn Sufyan to al-Zuji to invite the people
of B. Kilab to embrace Islam. When they refused, the Muslims attacked
them and forced them to flee in terror. Among the Muslims was a
devoted Jihadist, al-Asyad. He found his father, Salamah mounted on
his own horse and asked him to accept Islam. The father berated al-Asyad
for entering Islam. Al-asyad, became angry and hamstrung his father’s
horse. When his father fell down, al-Asyad held his father till other
Muslims surrounded him and killed the father. To hide this shameful,
barbaric and unconscionable murder, Muslim historians, like Ibn S’ad
specifically says that al-Asyad did not kill, with his own hands, his
Forced Conversion of Poet Ka’b-August, 630CE
Ka’b ibn Zuhayr, a Meccan poet used to construct vicious poetry
against Muhammad [Remember? the poets in those days were what
journalists are today]. When Muhammad captured Mecca, he forced Ka’b’s
brother, Bojayr (another poet) to convert to Islam. After becoming a
Muslim Bojayr rejected his brother and came to Medina. Then he wrote
to Ka’b that the Prophet was executing people who had lampooned him
or otherwise offended him, and that every poet who had done such thing
now fled Mecca and advised him (Ka’b) to come to Medina and submit
to Muhammad or face a certain death. However, Ka’b replied in
displeasing verses against his brother’s conversion to Islam.
Muhammad was highly incensed and threatened Ka’b with terror. Ka’b,
in desperation, to escape the wrath of Muhammad, sought asylum
elsewhere but was unsuccessful. So with hopelessness, he presented
himself before Muhammad and pleaded for a pardon. When he embraced
Islam, Muhammad pardoned him.
Raid Against Abyssinian at Jeddah Coast by Alaqamah b. Mujazziz-September,
A group of Abyssinian (Ethiopian) people arrived at the coastal
port city of Jeddah. The Muslims feared that they were pirates and
fled the town. When Muhammad learned about these purported attacks by
these pirates, he dispatched, Alaqamah b. Mujazziz at the head of
three hundred strong Muslim army. He chased the Abyssinians (or al-Habasha)
and pursued them to their sanctuary at an island. When the tides rose,
these so-called pirates fled fearing an attack from the Muslims.
Revenge Killing at Dhu Qarad by Alaqamah b. Mujazziz-September,
After the successful operation on the Abyssinians at the coast of
Jeddah by Alaqamah b. Mujazziz, Muhammad sent him to take revenge of
the killing of the son of Abu Dhar Ghifari (Terror 40, CH. 11) on the
day of Dhu Qarad. Alqama and his companions returned without fighting
Destruction of B. Tayii idol Yakut at al-Fuls by Ali b. Talib-September,
Ali marched out at the head of two hundred horsemen to plunder the
worshipping place of the Tayii people Although many B. Tayii people
were polytheists, its leader Adi b. Tayii, the son of the legendary
generous Arab philanthropist Hatim Tayii was a Christian. Previously,
he entered the fort of the Thaqif people at Nakhla who were mostly
polytheists. This clearly indicates that, contrary to what the Muslim
historians write about Jahiliya, the religious tolerance before
the advent of Islam was impeccable in the Arabian Peninsula. When
Muhammad attacked the Thaqif, Adi b. Hatim Tayii fled and stayed with
his own people at al-Fuls. Ali made an early-morning surprise attack
at al-Fuls, the temple where the idol of Yakut was held. Yakut was the
idol of a horse representing swiftness. When the Muslim invaders
destroyed this idol, Tayii leader, Adi b. Tayii again took to heels to
Syria to join his Christian allies. The Muslims burned the al-Fuls
temple to ground, plundered it and took plenty of booty, including
three famous swords from under the rubble of Yakut. They also took a
number of men, women and children as captives.
Among the prisoners was Hatim’s daughter (i.e., Adi b. Hatim’s
sister). Ali brought the sister of Adi and other captives to Muhammad.
Hatim’s daughter and other Tayii prisoners were incarcerated in a
She was a very old woman and pleaded mercy from Muhammad and
requested his help to track down her brother, Adi. On her pitiful,
repeated pleading, Muhammad released her and provided assistance to
her to locate her fugitive brother.
She came to her brother Adi in Syria mounted on the camel provided
by Ali and pleaded with Adi to embrace Islam as she found Muhammad to
be very kind and considerate. Adi followed her advice, came to
Muhammad and listened to Muhammad’s harangue on Islam. As stated
earlier, Adi b. Hatim was a Christian chief. He also used to collect
one-fourth from the spoils of war. Muhammad accused him of collecting
one-fourth of spoils from his men contravening the teachings of
Christianity. (Note: Muhammad’s collection of spoils of war was
one-fifth of spoils).
When Muhammad asked the reasons for his hesitancy to embrace Islam,
Adi pointed out to Muhammad that very few people accepted Islam those
days. Then Muhammad promised a great wealth to whoever embraced his
new faith. He also predicted the capture of Babylon. Hearing Muhammad’s
promise of great wealth, Adi embraced Islam and Muhammad appointed him
again the chief of B. Tayii.
During this time, Muhammad’s predicted that the symbol for the
last day was that a woman rides a camel without protection.
Raid Against al-Jinab and B. Udrah at Bali by Ukkash b. Mihsan-October,
Muhammad sent a strong army, led by Ukkash b. Mihsan to Bali to
subdue the tribe of Udrah and al-Jinab. No details of this terror
campaign are available.
Killing of Polytheists is Laudable-October, 630CE
When the various tribes of Arabian Peninsula realized the savage
power of Muhammad’s army, they accepted the fact that it pays to
succumb to Islam--at least materially. Many of these tribal leaders
made deputations to Muhammad and offered their allegiance to him in
return for a share in the plunder and the Islamic tax, viz: Jizya
and Zakat. Some of the kings of Himyar (the rulers of Southern
Arabia: Yemen, Hadhramaut, Oman, Bahrain, etc.) did just that. These
kings were the vassals of the Persian Emperor. At that time the
Persian Empire was on decline and these greedy kings did not mind
changing their allegiance to Muhammad in return for good reward and to
maintain their status-quo. They sent letters to Muhammad declaring
their acceptance of Islam, and their desire to share the plunder and
the revenue raised through extortion.
Muhammad expressed his satisfaction over the acceptance of Islam by
the Himyar kings. He lauded them for killing the polytheists and
instructed them to obey Allah and His messenger, pay Zakat,
give Khums (one-fifth of spoils) to Muhammad, the right of
Muhammad of his special selection from the booty (Safi) in
addition to Khums. Muhammad then enumerated details on Zakat.
If a Jew or a Christian embraces Islam then his rights are the same as
that of an ordinary Muslim. Jews and Christians are not to be forced
to convert as long as they pay the Jizya tax of one Dinar for
every adult or its equivalent in cloth. If they refuse to pay the Jizya
then they become the enemy of Allah and Muhammad and are to be killed.
Then Muhammad instructed the Himyar kings to hand over the Zakat
and other payments to Muhammad’s tax collectors until they are
satisfied with the collection. He further wrote thanking the Himyar
kings for killing the polytheists. Muhammad wrote, “Malik B. Murrah
al-Rahawa has reported to me that you were the first from Himyar to
embrace Islam and that you have killed the polytheists, so rejoice at
your good fortune. The Messenger of God is the master of [both] your
rich and your poor. Alms are neither lawful to Muhammad nor to his
family; it is a purifying tax to be spent on poor Muslims and the
The Raid on Tabuk by Muhammad-October, 630CE-April, 631CE
After his return from the siege of Taif, Muhammad stayed in Medina
for a few months, conducting a few more terror campaigns against the
Arab tribes living nearby. Those raids and plunders have been
described previously. Then, through grapevine, he received the news
that the Byzantines were readying their troops at Tabuk to attack
Medina. This was in retaliation against the unprovoked attack by the
Muslims at Mu’tah, he surmised. It was also rumoured that the Roman
emperor had paid their soldiers one year’s salary in advance to buy
their loyalty. Muhammad immediately gave an order of general
mobilisation for a military confrontation with the Byzantine army.
It was a season of hard times with oppressive heat and a severe dry
spell. So, many Muslims were reluctant to join in the Jihad. They were
also quite tired of endless wars; they wanted to enjoy in peace, their
new found wealth from spoils of wars in peace. Many approached
Muhammad with an alibi to be exempt from the forthcoming war. Muhammad
accepted the excuses of eighty-two of them, and they were given a
reprieve from this Jihad. Breaking his tradition of maintaining
secrecy on the destination of Jihad, Muhammad announced that the
expedition would be against the Byzantine king at Tabuk. Despite their
dislike for further Jihad, thirty-thousand Muslims got ready to take
part in this expedition. This was the largest assembly of Muslim army
ever put in motion in Arabia. Out of the thirty-thousand men, no less
than ten thousand were cavalry. The only problem was the intense heat
and the severe shortage of water.
In the narration of this expedition, we gather some interesting
insight into the Jihadists’ motivation for raid and plunder. Besides
booty, enjoying infidel women was one of the prime reasons to join
Jihad. Here is one such narration:
A Jihadi, Jadd b. Qays was reluctant to go to Jihad when Muhammad
approached him. He was fond of women. He replied, “O Messenger of
God, please excuse me from this and do not prompt me. By God, my folk
know no better admirer of women than I. I fear that if I see the women
of the Banu Asfar (i.e., the Byzantine women) I shall not be able to
control myself. Muhammad turned away from him saying, “I excuse you.”
It was Jadd on whom Allah revealed verse 9:49, berating those
who prefer to stay at home instead of fighting Allah also revealed
verses 9:42-48 admonishing those who are reluctant to join in
Another hypocrite incited the people not to join in the Jihad
because of the intense heat and also by spreading rumours about
Muhammad. To reprimand these hypocrites, Allah released verses 9:81-82,
warning them that the heat of hell is far more intense. Many
hypocrites gathered at the house of Suwaylim, the newly converted
Muslim (previously, a Jew) to prevent men from joining Muhammad in the
looming war. Muhammad instructed Talha b. Ubaydullah along with a few
men to burn down Suwaylims’s house with all the people inside. Talha
did just that. Most people escaped unharmed. However, one person broke
his leg while jumping from the roof of the house.
Muhammad sought financial help from the well-to-do people and many
of them contributed generously towards this adventure. His son-in law
Uthman b. Affan donated one thousand (1,000) Dinars, the highest
contribution. However, a few Jihadists were turned away because
Muhammad could not provide them with the resources to fight the war.
They were chagrined. Some Jihadists were provided with only a camel
and some dates to join in the expedition.
Despite the odds, having made full preparation for the war,
Muhammad set out for Tabuk with full alacrity. Tabuk was about 250
miles from Medina, on the border of the Byzantine Empire. At first, he
pitched his tent at Thaniyat al-Wada. Abdullah ibn Ubayy, Muhammad’s
nemesis joined him but he encamped separately from Muhammad. Then,
when Muhammad started to march for Tabuk, Abdallah ibn Ubayy stayed
behind with the hypocrites and the doubters.
So, Allah revealed verse 9:48 regarding the futility of the
machinations of the hypocrites. Abdallah ibn Ubayy died soon after
Muhammad returned from Tabuk.
Muhammad left behind Ali b. Abi Talib to look after his family.
Some hypocrites angered Ali by spreading the slander that he was a
burden to Muhammad. A furious Ali, taking his weapons, set off to meet
Muhammad who was already on his way to Tabuk. Ali traveled swiftly and
met Muhammad who was camped at al-Jurf. He then expressed his dismay
at what the hypocrites were fabricating about him. Muhammad told Ali
that hypocrites had lied; Muhammad asked Ali to return to his family
and assured him that he Ali was to him as Aaron was to Moses with the
exception that there would be no prophet after him (Muhammad). Pleased
and satisfied with the answer of Muhammad, Ali went back to his family
and Muhammad resumed his journey for Tabuk.
While Muhammad was at al-Hijr, people drew water from a well to
drink. After departing al-Hijr, he forbade his people from drinking or
making ablution with water from a well in an area inhabited by Allahless
people. If they used that water to make dough to prepare food then
that food should be fed to the camels. He also forbade that none of
his people should go out alone at night without a companion. One
Jihadi violated this rule. He went alone at night to relieve himself
and was choked on his way. Another Jihadist went out alone at night to
look after his camel; he was carried away by the violent sandstorm.
When Muhammad prayed for the man who was choked, he recovered. The
other man was blown away and somehow returned to Medina.
When people complained about no water, Muhammad prayed to Allah and
He quickly sent a heavy cloud and it rained very profoundly.
Muhammad moved on. On his way, his camel strayed and his companions
went searching for it. One hypocrite then said that even being a
prophet, Muhammad did not know where his camel was. Having heard of
such an insult on his prophethood, Muhammad predicted where the
strayed camel could be located. The searcher of the camel went there
and found the lost camel.
A band of hypocrites joining the Tabuk expedition expressed their
doubt about winning the battle against the Byzantine and said some
words to that effect. When Muhammad showed his displeasure at what
they had uttered, these hypocrites told him that they were simply
playing with words. On this, Allah revealed 9:65 that foretold
of the hypocritical playful words of them.
Forced Conversion and Forced Jizya on Christians and the
When the Muslim army was quite near to Tabuk, they found that there
was no mobilisation of the Byzantine force whatsoever. The entire
expedition was of no use and many of them became frustrated that they
missed a great booty. To please his greedy Jihadists, Muhammad planned
to raid the nearby tribes and to extort money from them. So, when he
reached Tabuk he announced his threat to the nearby rulers. He sent a
letter to Yuhanna b. Ru’bah (John), the Christian prince of Ayla
asking him to submit to Islam or face being attacked. The prince
quickly came with his cross and embraced Islam. He then concluded a
treaty with Muhammad that forced him to pay Jizya tax of three
hundred (300) Dinars (US$ 15,000) per year (i.e., one Dinar per-head,
as there were three hundred inhabitants there) and, in the event of
not following Muhammad’s injunction, old people are to be slain and
the children to be taken as captives. Muhammad also ordered John to
pay tributes to his favourite commanders like Zayd, Khalid, Maslama…etc.
Similar treaties were also signed with the Jewish settlements of
Makna, Adhruh and Jarba (an ancient fortress on the Roman road from
Busra to Red sea). They were required to submit to Islam. To each was
given a specified tax to be paid and Muhammad bound them to afford
refuge and aid to any Muslim traveler or Muslims merchants who might
need their assistance. Muhammad fixed the tax as fourth of whatever
A few more acts of terror while at Tabuk will be illustrated in the
next part of this episode.
Muhammad wandered over the border for ten nights, inviting all to
fight or make peace with him. Then he returned to Medina.
The last (or the second last) Sura (9) was revealed during
this period. A few of the most notorious verses on terror e.g., the
verse of ‘sword’ (9:5) was revealed during this time, after
Muhammad’s return from Tabuk. When he returned to Medina he rebuked
those who stayed back in Medina without his permission. Allah approved
His messenger’s admonition in verses 9:39-51. The most
censured were the Bedouins who stayed away (9:97) from the
It is claimed by some biographers that, while returning from Tabuk
an attempt was made by some of Muhammad’s soldiers (hypocrites) to
kill him by throwing him over a cliff. However, these ‘hypocrites’
were not successful in their attempt, as Allah cast fear in them. When
this attempt on Muhammad’s life was unsuccessful, Allah revealed the
verse 9:73-74 asking Muhammad to be harsh with the infidels and
Continued in Chapter Twenty
The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style
‘Here is America struck by Almighty Allah…..’--- Osama b.
Third Raid at Dumat al-Jandal: Forced Jizya on Ukaydir by Khalid b.
After the withdrawal from Tabuk, and after the signing of a peace
treaty with a few non-Muslim tribes, Muhammad felt secure. His terror
tactics had been immensely successful, and he found no reason to move
further. The only one he feared now was Ukaydir ibn Abd al-Malik al-Kindi,
the Christian prince of Dumat al-Jandal (Duma). Without any firm
evidence, Muhammad spread a rumour that Ukaydir was preparing to
launch a treacherous attack on him. So, while readying the Muslim
soldiers to return to Medina from Tabuk, he sent Khalid ibn Walid with
five hundred cavalrymen to deal with this threat. The rest of the
Muslim army were to return to Medina.
Khalid seized this opportunity and attacked Duma. He met with very
little resistance in the city. Its gates, however, remained tightly
closed. When Khaild attacked Ukaydir’s fort, the latter was at the
roof of his fortress with his wife. Ukaydir’s brother, Hasan,
hearing some noise from the wild cows, mounted his horse and went out
to hunt them. Khalid seized Hassan and killed him as he (Hasan)
returned home from the hunting trip. Then he threatened to kill
Ukaydir, unless the gates of the city were flung open. Ukaydir
yielded. The Muslim army entered the fort and caught Ukaydir. Khalid
took the gold-brocaded gown of Hassan and sent that to Muhammad
through a courier. On receiving this golden gown, Muhammad slighted
these royal outfits by saying, that Sa’d b. Muadh’s napkin in
paradise was better than that. Then the Muslim army plundered the city
of Dumah. They took two thousand camels, eight hundred sheep and four
hundred armoury suits and a huge cache of arms. Khalid then returned
to Tabuk with the booty, Ukaydir and another of Ukaydir’s brothers,
Musad. When Khalid brought Ukaydir and his brother to Muhammad, the
latter spared their lives on condition of payment of Jizya tax.
Ukaydir and his brother Musad were released and they returned to their
village kingdom. Sunaan Abu Dawud records that Muhammad spared
Ukaydir’s life in exchange of Jizya.
Book 19, Number 3031:
Narrated Anas ibn Malik ; Uthman ibn Abu Sulayman:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) sent Khalid ibn al-Walid to
Ukaydir of Dumah. He was seized and they brought him to him (i.e.
the Prophet). He spared his life and made peace with him on
condition that he should pay jizyah (poll-tax).
As recorded in Sahih Bukhari 1.2.24, on this occasion
Muhammad also declared that he had been ordered to fight the
Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
Allah's Apostle said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to
fight against the people until they testify that none has the
right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's
Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory
charity, so if they perform a that, then they save their lives
an property from me except for Islamic laws and then their
reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah."
The Destruction of Wadd at Dumat al-Jandal by Khalid ibn Walid-April,
Wadd, representing manly power, was the statue of a huge man,
covered with two robes, clothed with one and cloaked with the other,
carrying a sword on his waist and a bow on his shoulder. It was
probably located in one of the palatial buildings of Duma. When Khalid
b. Walid was at Duma, Muhammad gave him instructions to destroy this
beautiful statue. Khalid proceeded to demolish the statue but faced
resistance from B.Abd Wadd and B. Amir al-Ajdar who fought to defend
the statue. In the fight that ensued, Khalid defeated them; then he
smashed the statute into pieces and demolished the shrine. A man of B.
Abd Wadd was killed. His grief stricken mother fell over his body and
The Destruction of an Opposition Mosque at Dhu Awan by
Proceeding further from Tabuk on his way to Medina, Muhammad halted
at Dhu Awan at Quba (about 4 kms. from Medina), an hour’s journey
from Medina. There, an opposition Muslim group had built a mosque.
Previously, while Muhammad was making preparations for the march to
Tabuk, this group of Muslims approached Muhammad and said, “O
Messenger of God, we have built a mosque for the sick and needy and
for rainy and cold nights, and we would like you to visit us and pray
for us.” Because Muhammad was too busy with his preparations for
Tabuk, he excused himself from visiting this mosque but assured the
dissident group that he would call on their mosque while returning to
Medina (from Tabuk).
When Muhammad halted at Dhu Awan, he accused its builders of being
unjust and sent a band of Jihadists to burn and destroy the newly
constructed mosque. He said to his band of destroyers, “Go to this
mosque whose owners are unjust people and destroy and burn it.” His
band of arsonists entered the mosque and set fire to it when it was
filled with people assembled for the evening prayer. The worshippers
dispersed in terror. Allah promptly sent down verse 9:107, 110,
justifying the destruction of opposition mosques. To further validate
his gutting of this mosque, Muhammad concocted the story that he
suspected that the builders of the ‘Mosque of Dissent’ were
planning to assassinate him.
Then he extolled the virtue of the first mosque (known as Masjid
Takwa) that was built by him at Quba when he migrated to Medina
and where he had asked his followers to pray. This
instruction is written in the Qur’an in verses 9:108-109.
After the Jihadists returned to Medina, some of them started
selling their arms, thinking that Jihad had ended; but Muhammad
stopped that saying, “A party of my people will continue fighting
for truth till the emergence of Antichrist.” He also claimed that
Allah had ordered him to fight the infidels until the entire world is
converted to Islam. Here is a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari
Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
Allah's Apostle said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to
fight against the people until they testify that none has the
right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's
Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory
charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives an
property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning
(accounts) will be done by Allah."
Destruction of al-Lat at Taif by Abu Sufyan b. Harb-April, 631CE
Even after ten months since Muhammad lifted his siege on the Thaqif
at Taif, the people there still practiced idolatry. As stated in an
earlier part of this series, Urwa b. Masud, a Thaqif and the Quraysh
negotiator at Hudaibiya went to Yemen to train on the use of war
machines. On his return he found that all Meccans, except the tribes
of Taif (i.e., Thaqif) had submitted to Islam. Realising the potential
material gain to be had, he went to Medina and embraced Islam in the
presence of Muhammad. Then Urwa wanted to return to Taif and invited
his people to enter Islam too. Muhammad cautioned him saying that his
people would fight him viciously because of his conversion to Islam,
but Urwah was very confident that he would prevail.
After arriving at Taif in the evening, Urwa announced his
conversion in public and invited other Taif people to follow suit.
Ascending the upper balcony of his palace, he called out the cry for
prayer (Adhaan) at the top of his voice. The Taif people were
greatly angered by his audacity, and showered arrows at him from all
sides. He was gravely wounded in the arm and later died of this wound.
When the news of his death reached Muhammad, he greatly praised Urwa
for his bravery. Muhammad compared him to the prophet Yasin, who was
slain by his people.
The Thaqif people were pleased at the killing of Urwa, but their
joy was very short-lived. They were now continuously harassed by
attack from B. Hawazin under Malik These ferocious attacks cut off the
cattle in the field, and destroyed the wells and pasture lands. Their
resources started to dwindle fast and soon they did not have enough
strength to fight back the Muslim Arabs surrounding them. So they sent
a deputation of six Thaqif chiefs with fifteen or twenty followers to
Medina to Muhammad. The leader of this delegation was Abd Yalil b. Amr
b. Umayr. They started their journey a fortnight after Muhammad’s
return to Medina from Tabuk. When the Taif party arrived at Medina,
Muhammad gave them a cordial reception and pitched a tent near the
mosque for their accommodation. The Thaqif delegates had no choice but
to convert to Islam before starting to negotiate with Muhammad.
A treaty was then drafted between the Thaqif people and Muhammad.
During this stage they requested Muhammad to not demolish the idol of
al-Lat for three years; Muhammad promptly declined their request.
Then they reduced the time to a year but Muhammad refused-then for
a month; still, Muhammad rejected their plea. The Thaqif people simply
wanted a little time to prepare their women folk to bear the abject
sorrow of demolishing al-Lat. The delegation then requested that they
be exempted from prayer and from destroying their idols with their own
hands. Allah sent down verse 17:73 warning Muhammad not to give
any concession on prayers. So, on the question of prayer, Muhammad was
stiff; on the matter of using their own hands to destroy the idol,
Muhammad agreed that they would be exempt from it. Thus, the Thaqif
people were compelled to embrace Islam on Muhammad’s terms.
Nevertheless, Rodinson writes that Muhammad did make some compromise
on observing the fast, i.e., he made fasting less strict for the
Thaqif people. Even though they were very distraught, they said, “O
Muhammad, we will give in to you on this issue even though it is
demeaning.” Curiously, the treaty with the Thaqif people mentions
Muhammad as Muhammad ibn Abdallah and not Muhammad the Messenger of
After the Thaqif delegation left Muhammad, he sent Abu Sufyan b.
Harb and al-Mughirah b. Shubah to destroy al-Lat. Al-Lat, a more
recent idol than Manat, stood at Taif. She was a cubic rock. When they
arrived at Taif, al-Mughirah demolished the idol of al-Lat with a
pickaxe, then he burnt the temple to the ground. After the
obliteration of al-Lat and her temple, al-Mughirah warned that all the
Thaqif people will be killed if they retaliated. The women of Thaqif
came out wailing bitterly and lamenting with their heads uncovered.
After the idol of al-Lat was demolished, al-Mughirah took from under
its foundation its jewellery and ornaments that were made of gold and
onyx and sent them to Abu Sufyan. Muhammad instructed Abu Sufyan to
pay off, from this loot, the debts of Urwah b. Masud and Urwa’s
brother, al-Aswad b. Masud.
With the destruction of al-Lat and the conversion of Thaqif, the
subjugation of Hejaz to Islam was now complete.
The Genocide at Jurash, Yemen by Surad b. Abd Allah-October, 631CE
Muhammad now envisaged the conquest of entire southern Arabia,
especially Yemen. His previous attempts on this part of Arabia were
not successful. Now that the entire Hejaz was under the grip of Islam,
he commissioned Surad b. Abd Allah to attack Yemen.
Having secured the authority from Muhammad to fight (i.e., to kill)
the polytheists and having been provided with an army to do so, Surad
b. Abd Allah al-Azdi made an attack at Jurash, a closed city,
inhabited by the Yemeni tribes. Surad’s old enemy Khattam had taken
refuge at this palace/fort. When the Yemenis learnt that the Muslim
army was marching to strike, they shut themselves up in their city.
The siege lasted for a month but Yemeni tribes would not come out of
their sanctuary. So, Surad pretended to retreat. The Jurash
inhabitants, thinking that the danger was over, came out from their
refuge. The Muslims attacked them from behind with ruthless
viciousness and inflicted heavy casualties.
Before this attack came to the Jurash people, they had sent a team
of two men to Muhammad for talks on peace. While they were at Medina,
they learned that Surad had been despatched to Jurash but the team
stayed in Medina while Surad was conducting the genocide there
(Jurash). So, while with Muhammad, they enquired him of what was going
on with their people at their land. Muhammad told the team that the
Jurash people were being slaughtered like camels. Then Abu Bakr or
Uthman advised the team of Jurash to implore Muhammad to save their
people. They did accordingly, and Muhammad prayed to Allah for their
people. When this team returned to Jurash they were astonished at the
scale of pogrom by the Muslims.
With fear and terror the delegation of Jurash then returned to
Muhammad and embraced Islam.
Plunder and Forced Conversion of B. Nakha at Mudhij, Yemen by
Then Ali led a campaign with three hundred horsemen to Yemen
against the B. Nakha, residing at Mudhij, announcing to them an
ultimatum to accept Islam or face death. This was the first terror
raid in Yemen with cavalry by Ali. This was also the first army of
Hejaz led by Ali ever sent to conquer Yemen. Hitherto, it was always
the Yemen army that was sent to conquer the Hejaz. At first, the tribe
refused to accept Islam. A battle ensued and Ali’s army killed
twenty enemy men. In the end the B. Nakha lost the fight, surrendered
to Ali and embraced Islam. Some other tribes of the Mudhaj in Yemen
also followed them. The Muslim raiders took hold of anything they
could catch---booty, spoils, women, children, camels and goats. Ali
returned with the booty and on reaching Mecca, joined Muhammad in his
During this raid and plunder, Ali (Muhammad’s son-in-law) engaged
in sex with captive women and Muhammad was quite pleased with his
son-in-law’s lasciviousness. Here is a Hadith from Sahih
Bukhari on the moral rectitude of Hazrat Ali:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 637:
The Prophet sent 'Ali to Khalid to bring the Khumus (of the
booty) and I hated Ali, and 'Ali had taken a bath (after a sexual
act with a slave-girl from the Khumus). I said to Khalid,
"Don't you see this (i.e. Ali)?" When we reached the
Prophet I mentioned that to him. He said, "O Buraida! Do you
hate Ali?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Do you hate
him, for he deserves more than that from the Khumlus."
The B. Nakha then surrendered themselves to Muadh, Muhammad’s
envoy in Yemen. Two hundred of them set out to tender a personal
allegiance to Muhammad. They reached Medina at the beginning of the
eleventh year of Hijra. This was the last deputation received by
Muhammad. When Muhammad sent Muadh as the governor of Yemen he told
him not to plunder the Yemeni people if they wilfully surrendered to
Islam; otherwise, he was to take the best of their possessions. Here
is a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari containing Muhammad’s
instruction to Muadh:
Volume 2, Book 24, Number 573:
Narrated Abu Ma'bad,:
(the slave of Ibn Abbas) Allah's Apostle said to Muadh when he
sent him to Yemen, "You will go to the people of the
Scripture. So, when you reach there, invite them to testify that
none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad
is His Apostle. And if they obey you in that, tell them that Allah
has enjoined on them five prayers in each day and night. And if
they obey you in that tell them that Allah has made it obligatory
on them to pay the Zakat which will be taken from the rich among
them and given to the poor among them. If they obey you in that,
then avoid taking the best of their possessions, and be afraid of
the curse of an oppressed person because there is no screen
between his invocation and Allah."
Forced Conversion of Hamdan People at Yemen by Ali-December, 631CE
With the successes of wanton genocide at Jurash and the forced
conversion at Mudhij in Yemen, Muhammad now wanted to bring under the
sword of Islam all the tribes living in Yemen. He, at first, sent
Khalid b. Walid to convert all the people of Yemen. Khaild spent six
months there inviting them to Islam but with very little success. So,
Muhammad asked Khalid to return and sent Ali as his replacement. This
was Ali’s second venture in Yemen. When Ali arrived in the city of
Hamdan in Yemen, he offered his morning prayer there; people gathered
around him; Ali lined up his soldiers in a row and read out the letter
from Muhammad, commanding the people there to enter Islam or face the
sword. Having heard of the scale of genocide at Jurash, all the
terrified Hamdan people embraced Islam on the same day. When Muhammad
received the news of conversion of Hamdan people through fear and
coercion, he offered peace to them. Soon after the conversion of the
Hamdan people, the rest of Yemen followed suit.
Forced Conversion of Najran at North Yemen by Khalid b.
This raid took place towards the last days of Muhammad, when there
prevailed relative “Islamic peace” in Medina. Muhammad sent Khalid
to Najran, in north Yemen against B. al-Harith b. Ka’b to call on
the people of Najran (Christians, idolaters and those not in treaty
with Muhammad) to embrace Islam or fight the Muslims. Najran was
famous for its largely prosperous Christian community. There was also
a sizeable number of pagans who lived amicably with their Christian
brethren. All the Najran people belonged to the tribe of B. al-Harith.
On arriving at Najran, Khalid issued an ultimatum, giving the
residents three days notice to submit to Islam or face death.
He proclaimed, “O people, accept Islam, and you will be safe.”
The Najran people were now forced to accept Islam. Khalid stayed
with them teaching them the Qur’an and Sunnah.of
Muhammad.Then Khalid wrote to Muhammad informing him of the acceptance
of Islam by B. al-Harith people under terror.
Muhammad was pleased that B. al-Harith people accepted Islam
through intimidation and without fighting. He wrote to Khalid to
return to Medina and to bring along a delegation of B. al-Harith. When
Khalid arrived with the delegates, Muhammad asked Khalid who those
people were because they looked more like Indians. When Khalid
informed the messenger of Allah that they were Yemeni Arabs, Muhammad
admonished them repeatedly for resorting to fighting on previous
occasions. He said, “Had Khalid b. al-Walid not written to me that
you had surrendered and had not fought, I would have thrown your heads
under your feet.”
B. al-Harith people were the sons of slaves and had never committed
injustice or fought unjustly. But Muhammad insisted that they did
fight back in the pre-Islamic days. On this they replied, “O
Messenger of God, we used to overpower those who fought us because we
were the sons of slaves and were united, not divided, and never
committed an injustice against anyone.” Muhammad agreed on what they
said and he appointed Qays b. al-Husayn as their leader.
Muhammad appointed Amr b. Hazm al-Ansari to instruct the B.
al-Harith on Islam and to collect Zakat from them. He wrote a few
instructions for Amr before he (Amr) set out for Najran: To fulfil
contracts (5:1), to fear Allah (16:128), none but the
purified shall touch the Qur’an (56:79), be severe with those
who are unjust and inform people about the good news on paradise (11:18)
and warn them of hell-fire, forbid people from praying in one garment
unless it be garment whose ends could be doubled over the shoulders,
can’t wrap oneself in one garment, can’t appeal to tribes and
kinsmen when there is a dispute but appeal only to Allah, those who
appeal to tribes and kinsmen should be put to the sword, perform
ablution thoroughly with plentiful of water, offer prayers at
appointed times, Ghusl (bath) is obligatory for prayers in
congregation, the tax collector can take one-fifth of booty and Zakat
from landed property-one-tenth from the land watered by streams and
rain, one-twentieth from land watered by a leather bucket; two sheep
for every ten camels, a cow for every forty cows and a bull or a cow
calf for every thirty cows; one sheep for every forty sheep at
Another version of this raid says that al-Harith was a Christian
Bishop who refused to accept Islam. So, a delegate of them came to
Medina to discuss theological matters. It is said that the Muslims
were shocked and dazzled by the richness of the bishop of B. al-Harith
when he visited Medina. Allah revealed verse 3:61 admonishing
those who dispute with His Messenger In the end, al-Harith and his
people decided to pay the Jizya tax to escape regular Muslim
invasion in their territory. Muhammad accepted their decision and the
Christian delegate returned to Najran.
The Jizya tax was set as one dinar(or its substitute in
clothes) for every adult, male or female, free or slave. If the Jews
and the Christians refuse to pay Jizya tax then they become the
enemy of Allah (so, liable to be killed).
Destruction of Idol at Dhul Khalasa in Yemen and Forced Conversion
of Various Tribes by Jarir ibn Abd Allah-April, 632CE
Having witnessed, through terror, plunder and wanton genocide the
ferocious power of Islam, many Yemeni tribes had no choice but to
submit themselves to Muhammad and Islam. Amongst the Yemeni tribes who
readily surrendered to Islam were the B. Murad, B. Zubaid, inhabiting
the sea coast of Yemen and B. Kahlan who lived in Khaulan and B.
Bajila. Muhammad sent Jarir ibn Abd Allah to Dhul Khalasa and forced
the B. Bajila to destroy, with their own hands their famous idol of
there. This idol of B. Bajilah was known as the Ka’ba of Yemen was a
white quartz idol that stood between Mecca and Sa’na. The invading
Muslims destroyed the temple, set it on fire and killed a hundred B.
Bajila men including the custodian of the idol temple. Another two
hundred men, belonging to B. Qubafah were also slaughtered. Other
tribe of Yemen that was forced to submit to Muhammad was B. Jorsh. Sahih
Bukhari narrates this genocide and plunder this way:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 641:
In the Pre-lslamic Period of Ignorance there was a house called
Dhu-l-Khalasa or Al-Ka'ba Al-Yamaniya or Al-Ka'ba Ash-Shamiya. The
Prophet said to me, "Won't you relieve me from
Dhu-l-Khalasa?" So I set out with one-hundred-and-fifty
riders, and we dismantled it and killed whoever was present there.
Then I came to the Prophet and informed him, and he invoked good
upon us and Al-Ahmas (tribe).
A similar Hadith is narrated in 5.59.642 of Sahih Bukhari
After completing the genocide at Dhu Khalasa, while Jarrir was
returning to Medina, a messenger brought the news of that Muhammad
had died. This is recorded in Sahih Bukhari in Hadith
C O N C L U S I O N
This authentic compilation of the lengthy history of Islamic
propagation has proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the central
doctrine behind all the mindless terror, murder, and genocide carried
out by the Jihadists of today is deeply rooted in the belief system of
Islam. It is foolhardy and rather too simplistic to assume that the
war on Islamic terror is not a war with Islam. A good Muslim (i.e. a
Muslim by the Book) is a terrorist---it is the main message of the Qur’an,
the holiest book of Islamic faith. Read the Qur’an from the
beginning to the end, several times, and you will understand why the
Islamic terrorists do what they are doing today all over the world.
Read all the chapters of this book one more time and you will, for
sure, grasp a true picture of the messenger of Allah, his aims,
objectives and most importantly, his plans, methods, actions and all
the logistics necessary to achieve the goal that he had set for the
Muslims to achieve; that is, to make Islam the world religion even at
the cost of the death of millions of lives.
A Muslim who does not resort to Jihad (read violence, terror and
murder) in order to force Islam on the world population is not a
Muslim at all. Most Muslims do not follow Islam by the Book (Qur’an);
and that is why they are not terrorists. Once they come to learn the
‘real Islam’-- the Islam preached and practiced by Muhammad --
they get a shock, bewildered and confused-they just search where could
they find the ‘peaceful, tolerant, non-violent’ Islam that they
always thought the religion to be. Alas! There is no peace in Islam,
there is no tolerance in Islam; there is no compromise or negotiation
in Islam. There is only ‘submission’ in Islam-the submission to
the sword of Islam, as Muhammad said so eloquently, ‘Paradise is
under the shades of swords (Sahih Bukhari; 4.52.73).’
Let us not kid ourselves; the politically correct world may not be
at war with Islam, but surely, Islam itself is at perpetual with the
civilized world. In part one of this treatise it was mentioned that
this war of Islam against the entire civilized world had been declared
during the second pledge of Aqaba, when the nascent community of the
Jihadists declared they were ready to fight and give up their lives
for the protection of Muhammad and his Islam. The Islamists will not
end this war until all people on earth surrender (read submit) to
Islam, and, if necessary, by the sword (read war) and a wide
slaughter. Imagine what will happen if the ‘true Muslims’ are able
to stockpile a few nuclear bombs or biological and chemical weapons
and their means of delivery. Nothing will stop them from dropping
those bombs in the Western capitals, such as New York, Washington,
London, Paris, Madrid, Brussels…..and so on.
Please consider the economy of Jihad and Islamic terror. Please
think how cheaply the Islamists run their terror operations, how
inexpensively they buy the lives of young Jihadists to be sacrificed
to commit un-imaginable terror and murder. It costs them virtually
next to nothing, save for their training and the logistics, to recruit
these live terrorists, and despatch them on terror missions. Please
reflect on what motivates these terrorists to do what they do---it is
none other than the Qur’an and ahadith. Islamic terrorism
emanates from the teachings and practices of Muhammad. This book has
proved this beyond any doubt by citing episode after episode, and by
pointing out many uncanny similarities between the Islamic terrorism
of today and those of Muhammad’s time. The Jihadists of today are
following the exact footsteps of Muhammad---make no mistake on this.
While the world is spending billions of dollars to fight Islamic
terrorism militarily, doesn’t it make more sense to spend a fraction
of that billion to unmask the fascistic face of Islam and the doctrine
of terrorism that is an integral part of it? Let the vast majority of
innocent Muslims who are not terrorists and who do not have an iota of
what Islam is all about get this shocking message that Islam is not
what they always thought it to be---that is, a peaceful religion. The
sooner they realise this appalling truth, the sooner they will become
a part of the civilised world and be respected. So long as they are in
denial, they will, for sure, be a community despised and looked upon
with suspicion. Let the Muslims themselves start fighting Islamic
terrorism by its root.
T H E E N D