Leaving Islam





Banu Qaynuqa


There were three Jewish tribes living in Medina, the Banu Qainuqa, the Bani Nadir and the Bani Quraiza. Each of these tribes had alliances with other Arab tribes and if there were skirmishes between their Arab allies and the other Jewish tribes they would have sided with their Arab friends. This is the proof that in Medina prior to Islam there were no religious strives. All the religious intolerance was introduced by the Prophet.

When the Prophet entered Medina, he was hopeful that the Jews would accept his religion. He was preaching the same god of the Jews, approving of their prophets and telling their stories. He had chosen their holy land as his qibla (point of adoration) and was humbugging them for their allegiance. 

W. N. ARAFAT who denies the first holocaust writes; "It is also generally accepted that at first the Prophet Muhammad hoped that the Jews of Yathrib, as followers of a divine religion, would show understanding of the new monotheistic religion, Islam." (1)

But to his dismay the Jews, just like the Quraish, ridiculed him and paid little heed to his calling. After his hopes were shattered and his patience vexed the Prophet grew hostile towards the Jews and it became evident that he would one day take his revenge.


The first group of the Jews that fell under the wrath of the Prophet were the Banu Qaynuqa. They lived in quarters within Madinah named after them. As for jobs, they took up goldsmithery, blacksmithing and crafts of making household instruments, that is why war weaponry was available in large quantities in their houses. 

Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri in AR-Raheeq Al-Makhtum writes;
"They (the Banu Qaynuqa) started a process of trouble-making, jeering at the Muslims, hurting those who frequented their bazaars, and even intimidating their women. Such things began to aggravate the general situation, so the Prophet (Peace be upon him) gathered them in assemblage, admonished and called them to be rational, sensible and guided and cautioned against further transgression. Nevertheless they remained obdurate and paid no heed to his warning, and said: “Don’t be deluded on account of defeating some Quraishites inexperienced in the art of war. If you were to engage us in fight, you will realize that we are genuine war experts.” (2)

Whatever those few Jews retorted to Muhammad, it was not the official voice of the whole population. But for a man looking for an excuse to strike it was a golden opportunity. Maududi says, “This was in clear words a declaration of war.”

But it wasn’t. These words did not come from the chief of the Bani Qainuqa and they were not threatening. They were shouted down by a bunch of hooligans, to someone who tried to bully them while they were acting on the instructions of their own religion and took a life for a life. Only one whose brain is numbed by his religious fanaticism can interpret the defiant words of a few youth as the declaration of war made by the entire Jews against Muslims. It is the ultimate injustice to punish an entire population with such severity with the pretext that few of them killed one man in retaliation of him killing one of theirs. That is despite the verse that says "... no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another" (Q. 53: 38)

The Muslim historians want to blame it all on the Jews and depict them as the villains of the story. Jeering, however is not a crime. But by paying a little attention to the response of the Jews to the Prophet it is not difficult to see that he did not go there to counsel them but to threaten them.  

The following verse that was issued for that occasion reveals the hostile tone of the Prophet when he met the Jews. 

“Say [O Muhammad  to those who disbelieve: ‘You will be defeated and gathered together to Hell, and worst indeed is that place to rest.’ There has already been a Sign for you (O Jews) in the two armies that met (in combat — i.e. the battle of Badr): One was fighting in the cause of Allâh, and as for the other (they) were disbelievers. They (the believers) saw them (the disbelievers) with their own eyes twice their number (although they were thrice their number). And Allâh supports with His Victory whom He pleases. Verily, in this is a lesson for those who understand.” [Q.3: 22,13

"One day a Jewish goldsmith provoked a Muslim woman whose genitals become uncovered when he had tied the edge of the garment to her back. A Muslim man happened to be there and killed the man; the Jews retaliated by killing that Muslim. The man’s family called the Muslims for help and war started." (2)

Incidents like these often happen in primitive societies. As a matter of fact even in very civilized societies many people are killed over something as trivial as road rage. Humans are not completely rational beings. Most people react in a very unpredictable way often with dire consequences. Any wise man, in similar situations would have eased the tension and would have calmed the mob without taking sides. But Muhammad was far from it. Already emboldened by his plundering of the passing caravans, he had his eyes on the wealth of the Jews in Yathirb and was looking for an excuse to make his move. This incident presented the golden opportunity that the Prophet was waiting for and On Saturday, Shawwal 15th, 2 A.H., he marched out with his soldiers,  and laid siege to the Jews’ forts for 15 days. Without the water, the Bani Qainuqa was forced to surrender and defer to the Prophet's judgement on their lives, wealth, women and children. 

Maududi writes, “Consequently, the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) laid siege to their quarters towards the end of Shawwal (and according to some others, of Dhi Qa'dah) A. H. 2. The siege had hardly lasted for a fortnight when they surrendered and all their fighting men were tied and taken prisoners. Now Abdullah bin Ubayy came up in support of them and insisted that they should be pardoned. The Holy Prophet conceded his request and decided that the Bani Qainuqa would be exiled from Madinah leaving their properties, armour and tools of trade behind. (Ibn Sa'd, Ibn Hisham, Tarikh Tabari). (3)

The details of Ubayy's intercession with the Prophet is reported in the first Islamic history book,  Sirat. 

"Asim b. `Umar b. Qatada said that the B. Qaynuqa` were the first of the Jews to break their agreement with the apostle and to go to war, between Badr and Uhud, and the apostle besieged them until they surrendered unconditionally. `Abdullah b. Ubayy b. Salul went to him when God had put them in his power and said, 'O Muhammad, deal kindly with my clients' (now they were allies of Khazraj), but the apostle put him off. He repeated the words, and the apostle turned away from him, whereupon he thrust his hand into the collar of the apostle's robe; the apostle was so angry that his face became almost black. He said, 'Confound you, let me go.' He answered, 'No, by God, I will not let you go until you deal kindly with my clients. Four hundred men without mail and three hundred mailed protected me from all mine enemies; would you cut them down in one morning? By God, I am a man who fears that circumstances may change.' The apostle said, 'You can have them.' [Sirat, p. 363]

In the words of al-Mubarakpuri "Banu Qainuqa‘ handed over all materials, wealth and war equipage to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), who set aside one fifth and distributed the rest to his men. After that they were banished out of all Arabia to Azru‘a in Syria where they stayed for a while and soon perished away." (2)

No one ever asked, why? Why a trivial incident should become the excuse for the envoy of God to banish a whole population and confiscate their entire belongings. The scene of the exiles from Kosovo is too fresh in our memories yet even Milosovic who is now a war criminal did not put hand on the properties of the refugees. And the Jews did not have a UN refugee camp set for them out of Medina with Red Cross and and other humanitarian organizations waiting to alleviate their pain. How any decent human being could justify these ruthless genocidal acts of the Prophet? How can any person call himself a Muslims after learning these historic truth about Muhammad? The fact that Abdullah bin Ubayy, whom al-Mubarakpuri does not hesitate to call a "hypocrite" came to the prisoner's support pleading that they be pardoned demonstrates that Muhammad’s original plan was to execute them all. It was bin Ubayy’s intervention that saved their lives. How is it that a "hypocrite" was more compassionate than the Messenger of Allah and Allah himself? Wasn’t he a superior man to Muhammad? 

By Ali Sina


The Invasion of Bani Nadir

The Invasion of Banu Quraiza



1-    From Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, (1976), pp. 100-107 By W. N. ARAFAT http://homepages.haqq.com.au/salam/misc/qurayza.html

2-  AR-Raheeq Al-Makhtum  by Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri  http://islamweb.islam.gov.qa/english/sira/raheek/PAGE-26.HTM

3-     http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/maududi/mau59.html 







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