A Mass Murderer
There were three Jewish tribes living in and around Yathrib, the
Banu Qainuqa’, the Ban Nadir and the Banu Quraiza. Once
Muhammad realized that they are not going to accept him as their new
prophet, he turned against them. He banished the first two, after
confiscating their properties and wealth and massacred the last one.
of Banu Quraiza:
(From Understanding Muhammad)
The last Jewish tribe of Yathrib to fall victim to Muhammad’s
vindictiveness was the Banu Quraiza. Soon
of the Trench (Khandaq) was over, the Meccans, fed up with
Muhammad’s constant raids on their caravans, came to the gates of
to punish him. Advised by
a Persian believer, they dug trenches around the city making it
difficult for Muhammad’s enemies (The Confederates) to enter,
causing their retreat. Muhammad set his eyes on the Banu Quraiza. He
claimed that the Archangel Gabriel had visited him “asking that he
should unsheathe his sword and head for the habitation of the
seditious Banu Quraiza and fight them. Gabriel
noted that he with a procession of angels would go ahead to shake
their forts and cast fear in their hearts,"
writes Al-Mubarakpouri. Al-Mubarakpouri continues: “the
Messenger of Allâh immediately summoned the prayer caller and ordered
him to announce fresh hostilities against Banu Quraiza,”
It is important, in studying Islam, to note that the call to prayer was
also the call to war. Muslim’s riots and hooliganism always initiate
from the mosques after they offer their prayers. They
are most vicious during the holy month of Ramadan and on Fridays. In
a sermon commemorating the Birthday of Muhammad, in 1981, the
Ayatollah Khomeini said:
(Mosque) means the place of war, the place of fighting. Out of
the mehrabs, wars should proceed. Just as all the wars
of Islam proceeded out of the mehrabs. The
prophet had sword to kill people. Our
Holy Imams were quite militants. All of them were warriors. They
used to wield swords. They
used to kill people.
We need a Caliph who would chop hands, cut throats, stone
people. In the same way that the messenger of Allâh used to
chop hands, cut throats, and stone people.
Muhammad headed an army of three thousand infantry men and
thirty horsemen of Ansar (Helpers) and Muhajireen
(Emigrants). The Banu
Quraiza was accused of conspiring against the Muslims with the Quraish.
In reality, these Muslim
historians deny this charge and say the Meccans withdrew without
fighting because they did not receive support from the Banu Quraiza.
When Muhammad made his
intentions known, Ali, his cousin and staunch supporter, swore he
would not stop until he either stormed their garrisons or was killed. This
siege lasted 25 days. Finally
the Banu Quraiza surrendered unconditionally. Muhammad
ordered the men to be handcuffed, while the women and children were
confined in isolation. Thereupon the Aws tribe, who were allies of the
Banu Quraiza, interceded, begging Muhammad to be lenient towards them.
Muhammad suggested that
Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh, a ruffian among them who had been fatally wounded
by an arrow, give a verdict on the Jews. Sa’d
was a former ally of the Banu Quraiza, but since his conversion to
Islam he had a change of heart against them. He
also blamed them for the fatal wound he received when a Meccan threw
an arrow during the Battle of Trench. Muhammad
knew how Sa’d felt about the Banu Quraiza. He was, after all, his
bodyguard and slept in the mosque.
Sa'd's verdict was that
“all the able-bodied male persons belonging to
the tribe should be killed, women and children taken prisoners and
their wealth divided among the Muslim fighters.”
Muhammad became pleased with this cruel verdict and said that “Sa‘d
(had) adjudged by the Command of Allâh."
often credited Allâh for his own decisions. This
time he chose Sa’d to verbalize his whims.
Al-Mubarakpouri adds that “In fact, the Jews deserved that severe
punitive action for the ugly treachery they had harbored against
Islam, and the large
arsenal they had amassed, which consisted of one thousand and five
hundred swords, two thousand spears, three hundred armors and five
hundred shields, all of which went into the hands of the Muslims.”
What Al-Mubarakpouri forgets to mention is that the Banu-Quraiza had
loaned their weapons as well as their shovels and picks to Muslims so
they could dig the trench and defend themselves. Muslims
will never be grateful to those who help them. They
will take your help and will stab you in the back the moment they no
longer need you. We shall
see in the next chapter the psychology of this pathology.
Muslim historians have been quick to accuse the Banu Quraiza of the
usual baseless charges to justify their massacre. They
accused them of being mischievous, causing sedition, being
treacherous and plotting against Islam. However
no specifics exist as to the nature of those sins to warrant such a
severe punishment and their total genocide. Trenches were
dug in the bazaar of
and between 600 to 900 men were beheaded and their bodies dumped in
Huyai Ibn Akhtab, the chief of
the Banu Nadir whose married daughter, Safiya, Muhammad took as his
share of the booty when he invaded Khaibar, was among the captives. He
was brought to the victor with his hands tied from behind. In
an audacious defiance he rejected Muhammad and preferred death to
submission to this brute man. He
was ordered to kneel and was beheaded on the spot.
To determine who should be killed, the youngsters
were examined. Those who had grown pubic hair were bundled with the
men and beheaded. Atiyyah al-Quriaz,
a Jew who had survived this massacre later recounted: “I was among
the captives of Banu Quraiza. They (the Muslims) 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.”
Muhammad killed and banished several Jewish tribes, among them are B.
Qainuqa’, B. Nadir, B. Quraiza, B. Mustaliq, B. Jaun and the Jews of
Khaibar. On his deathbed,
he instructed his followers
to cleanse the
of all non-believers,an order that Omar, the second Caliph carried out later. He
exterminated the Jews, the Christians and the pagans, forcing them to
convert, leave or put them to death.
Now, enriched with the loot, Muhammad could be even generous to those
who believed in him. Anas
narrated: “People used to give some of their date palms to the
Prophet (as a gift), till he conquered Banu Quraiza and Banu An-Nadir,
whereupon he started returning their favors.”
There is a verse in the Qur’an that speaks about the massacre of the
Banu Quraiza approving Muhammad’s butcheries of their men and taking
women and children as prisoners.
those of the People of the Book who helped them (i.e. the Quraish) to
come out of their forts. Some
you killed, some you took prisoner. (Q.
Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 288
Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 176
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