Tag Archives: Madinah

Explanation Of “Do Not Say ‘Salaam’ To Jews…” Hadith

Kaleef K. Karim

I have always advised Muslims and others that when you use a Hadith or a Quranic verse, you should know the historical background as why it was said and when it was revealed. If you do not know the very basics of when and why a verse of the Quran was revealed or why the Prophet (p) said a statement, don’t try give an explanation and lead  innocent people astray. Without its historical background one will at times give an interpretation that may be alien to the way it was understood when it was uttered. For example, the following Hadith is often quoted and twisted by individuals who want to paint the Islamic faith negatively:

“Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: Do not greet the Jews and the Christians before they greet you and when you meet any one of them on the roads force him to go to the narrowest part of it.” (Sahih Muslim Book 26, Hadith 5389. Eng. Tran., https://sunnah.com/muslim/39/16 )

And:

“Narrated Abu Hurairah: that the Messenger of Allah said: “Do not precede the Jews and the Christians with the Salam. And if one of you meets them in the path, then force them to its narrow portion.” (Jami at-Tirmidhi volume 5, Book 40, Hadith 2700. Eng. Tran., Sahih Darussalam, https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/42/13 )

Just reading the above reports by itself may seem to give a reader an impression that the Prophet (p) discriminated against other religious groups. However, this is not the case when we consult historical sources on the same incident. This saying was uttered mainly against an enemy group who aimed to harm the Prophet (p) and the Muslims. There are two Hadith reports on this:

“It was narrated from Abu ‘Abdur-Rahman Al Juhani that the Messenger of Allah said: “I am riding to the Jews tomorrow. Do not initiate the greeting with them, and if they greet you, then say: Wa ‘alaikum (and also upon you)”. Sunan Ibn Majah volume 5, Book 33, Hadith 3699. Eng. Tran., Hasan Darussalam https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah/33/43 )

And here:

“Abu Basra al-Ghifari reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I will ride to the Jews tomorrow. Do not give them the greeting first. If they greet you, then say, ‘and on you.’” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad Book 44, Hadith 1102. Eng. Tran., Sahih Al-Albani, https://sunnah.com/adab/44/2 )

The part where it says, “I will ride to the Jews” or “I am riding to the Jews” indicates that the Prophet (p) was at war with this group of people in his time. There are two clear proofs from classical scholars that this statement was made in relation to war.

The 9th century Persian Islamic scholar Abu Isa Muḥammad ibn Isa as-Sulami ad-Darir al-Bughi at-Tirmidhi (824 – 892 CE) placed this Hadith in the category of “The Book on military expeditions” [1]:

“21 THE BOOK ON MILITARY EXPEDITIONS
(41)Chapter: What Has Been Related About Greeting The People Of The Book With Salam
Narrated Abu Hurairah:That the Messenger of Allah said: “Do not precede the Jews and the Christians with the Salam. And if one you meets one of them in the path, then force him to its narrow portion.” (Jami at-Tirmidhi volume 3, Book 19, Hadith 1602 Eng. Tran., Sahih Darussalam, https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/21/65 

The 14/15th century Shafi’I scholar Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (1372 – 1449 CE) placed this Hadith in the category of “The Book On Jihad”:

“Bulugh al-Maram – The Book on Jihad
Abu Hurairah (RAA) narrated that The Messenger of Allah said: “Do not start by saluting the Jews and the Christians (when you meet them), and if you meet any of them on the road, force him to go to the narrowest part of the road.” (Bulugh al-Maram Book 11, Hadith 1350. Eng. Tran., https://sunnah.com/urn/2116100 )

It is quite clear that among classical scholars of Islam, they deemed this Hadith report to be in relation to war only.

Who exactly was this group that the Prophet (p) and his companions were at war with? This saying was uttered on the occasion of the Banu Qurayza incident. The Prophet and his people were marching to the Banu Qurayza tribe. This tribe just had violated the peace treaty and attacked the Muslim community. They had violated the treated and helped the Quraysh in war against the Muslims, in the battle of Khandaq: “Battle Of The Trench (al-Khandaq – al-Ahzab)“ https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/03/18/battle-of-the-trench-al-khandaq-al-ahzab/

For more information on Banu Quraizah incident, see the following article please: “Re-Examining Banu Qurayzah Incident” https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/01/01/re-examining-banu-qurayzah-incident/

The medieval sunni scholar Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (1292 – 1350 CE) states that the Hadith was uttered in relation to when the Muslims “went out to Banu Quraizah” [2]:

“Regarding His Guidance In Giving Salutations Of Peace To The People Of The Scripture
It has been authentically reported from the Prophet that he said:
‘Do not anticipate them in offering salutations of peace; and if you meet them in the road, force them to the narrowest part of it.’
However, it has been said: That was in special circumstances, when HE WENT OUT TO BANU QURAIZAH and he said: ‘Do not anticipate them in offering salutations of peace.’ ” (Provisions for the Hereafter (Zaad Al-Ma’ad) by Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, page 211 – 212)

Contemporary Professor Said Fares Hassan comments on this particular Hadith and gives a plausible explanation(s) as why the Prophet uttered those words on that occasion:

“The Qur’an is the ultimate source, and the Sunnah runs in its orbit and does not depart from it. Therefore if the Qur’an states the principle of justice and righteousness in dealing with non-Muslims, then prophetic hadith such as ‘do not initiate peace greeting i.e., saying ‘peace be upon you,’ with the Jews and oblige them to take the side of the road’ should be reinterpreted in terms of the Qur’an and not otherwise. Such a statement should not be taken at its face value. The Sunnah has to be considered as an integral structure in its own right, however closely linked to the Qur’an as an elaboration of its values in a relative specific context. Based on the principle, the above hadith is applicable only in its specific context. It is reported that the Prophet instructed Muslims not to greet the Jews when he was heading to war against the Jewish community of BANU QURAYZAH for the breaching of their covenant with him. Muslims were advised not to greet them because if they exchange greetings, THIS WILL BE LIKE GIVING THE JEWS AN AMAN, THAT IS, CONCLUDING A PEACE TREATY, which is not desired in this specific situation. Against this specific incident, the Qur’an lays the general principle that ‘Allah does not forbid you to deal justly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes’ (Qur’an 60:8). If one adds to this some other prophetic Hadiths that support the Qur’anic principle, one can conclude the inapplicability of the statement preventing the greeting of non-Muslims.” (Fiqh al-Aqalliyat – History, Development, and Progress [Palgrave Macmillan, 2013], by Said Fares Hassan, page 104)

This explanation offered by Professor Said Fares Hassan has also been given by other classical scholars in the past. The highly respected scholar Ishaq bin Rahwaih (777 – 852 CE) comments in relation to the report under discussion. He writes:

“إذا كانت حاجة إليه فلك أن تبدأه بالسلام، ومعنى قول النبي (لا تبدؤوهم بالسلام)لما خاف أن يدعوا ذلك أمانا وكان قد غدا إلى يهود
“If there is a need for it, then initiate the greeting. As for the meaning of the words of the Prophet “Do not greet them”, he said this out of fear that this might signify to them that they are safe, while he already marched against the Jews (Banu Qurayzah).” (Masaa’il al-Imam Ahmad wa Ishaq bin Rahwaih, volume 1, page 87)

When the historical context of the Hadith is taken into account, we see that the Prophet (p) said this statement in the time of war. Hence, the Hadith reports under discussion has been understood from the earliest of days of Islam as a safeguard not to give false hope to the enemy. For example, since the Prophet (p) and his companions were going out to battle against a treacherous group of people, they did not want to greet them since that would amount to giving them security. Hence, that would be considered treachery on their part if they did. Thus, the companions at the time were prohibited from greeting them.

Furthermore, to better explain what scholar Ishaq bin Rahwaih (777 – 852 CE) is saying, we have to look Islamic teachings and see how strict Islam is when it comes to treachery:

“Aman may be given by Muslims to non-Muslims and by non-Muslims to Muslims. At the time of ‘Umar, the second Caliph, during a war, a Persian soldier took shelter at the top of a tree. A Muslims soldier told him in Persian cum Arabic ‘matrasi’ (don’t be afraid). His adversary thought that he was given a pledge and protection and came down. Sadly, he was killed by the Muslim soldier. The matter was reported to the Caliph, who warned the commander, saying ‘As God is my witness, if I hear anyone has done this I shall cut his neck.”’ (Badruddin Ayni, Umdah Al-Qari Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhari, (Cairo Al-Taba Muneeriya, n.d.), volume 15, page 94) (The Concept Of Treaty In Relation To War And Peace In Islam, [Fikr-O-Nazar Urdu Journal (July-Sept 2009)], by Dr. Muhammad Munir, volume 47, No. 1, page 43 – 65)

And according to Shaybani (749 -805 CE):

“‘Umar wrote to his commander in Iraq that if anyone gave pledge to any enemy soldier buy sing, inter alia, the Persian words ‘matrasi’, then these words are binding.’ (Shaybani, Siyar al-Kabir, volume 1, page 199) (The Concept Of Treaty In Relation To War And Peace In Islam, [Fikr-O-Nazar Urdu Journal (July-Sept 2009)], by Dr. Muhammad Munir, volume 47, No. 1, page 43 – 65)

Muwatta Malik (711 -795 CE):

“…DO NOT ACT TREACHEROUSLY. Do not mutilate and do not kill children.” (Muwatta Malik Book 21, Hadith 11 Eng. Tran.)

And:

“Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; DO NOT COMMIT TREACHERY; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children.” (Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4294)

Conclusion:

In light of the context, the Prophet Muhammed (p) was worried that he was going to give the enemy a false sense of security by imitating greetings. If one is responsible in any way for providing the enemy a false sense of security and then you fight him, Islam considers this to be an act of treachery. That is the justice of Islam. And so the Prophet was just trying to be extra cautious in regards to this situation with the Banu Qurayza.

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Related articles:

(1) – “‘Those Who Wage War And Make Mischief’ – Quran 5:33” (Ukil & Urayna) https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/03/18/those-who-wage-war-and-make-mischief-quran-533/

(2) – “Baseless Story Of Kinana Ibn Al-Rabi – Treasure?” https://discover-the-truth.com/2015/04/04/baseless-story-of-kinana-ibn-al-rabi-treasure/

(3) – “Hadith Without Context Is Meaningless: Abu Bakr’s ‘Apostasy’ Wars” https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/10/17/hadith-without-context-is-meaningless-abu-bakrs-apostasy-wars/

(4) – “Revisiting Abu Bakr’s Conversation With Umar And The Delegation(s): Ridda Wars” https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/10/22/revisiting-abu-bakrs-conversation-with-umar-and-the-delegations-ridda-wars/

(5) – “The Hadith ‘…Fight Until They Say There Is No god But Allah’ Explained” https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/12/25/the-hadith-fight-until-they-say-there-is-no-god-but-allah-explained/

(6) – “Early Expeditions And Battles Of Islam” https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/03/25/early-expeditions-and-battles-of-islam/

(7) – “Muhammed A Mercy: Analysing Dogs Killed In Madinah” https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/12/06/muhammed-a-mercy-analysing-dogs-killed-in-madinah/

(8) – “What Happened To The Captive Women In Awtas Incident?” https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/06/23/what-happened-to-the-captive-women-in-awtas-incident/

(9) – “Most Misinterpreted Verses Of The Quran?” https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/05/27/most-misinterpreted-verses-of-the-quran/

(10) – “Did Jews Get Expelled From Arabia?” https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/01/10/did-jews-get-expelled-from-arabia/

(11) – “Ali Ibn Abi Talib Did Not Burn Apostates Alive – Historical Analysis” https://discover-the-truth.com/2017/03/11/ali-ibn-abi-talib-did-not-burn-apostates-alive-historical-analysis/
Reference:

[1] Commenting on this, classical scholar Abu Eisa stated that those people were at war with they should not be honored:
[He said:] There are narrations on this topic from Ibn ‘Umar, Anas, and Abu Basrah Al-Ghifari the Companion of the Prophet.
[Abu ‘Eisa said:] This Hadith is Hasan Sahih. And regarding the meaning of this Hadith: “Do not precede the Jews and the Christians”: Some of the people of knowledge said that it only means that it is disliked because it would be honoring them, and the Muslims were ordered to humiliate them. For this reason, when one of them is met on the path, then the path is not yielded for him, because doing so would amount to honoring them.” (Jami at-Tirmidhi volume 3, Book 19, Hadith 1602 Eng. Tran., Sahih Darussalam, https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/21/65 )
[2] 14th century scholar Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (1335 – 1393 CE) comments in regards to treachery:
“…if he makes a contract he is treacherous and does not fulfil the contract. He says:
Fullfill your contracts. Contracts will be asked about.’ Surat al-Isra:34)
And he says:
‘Be true to Allah’s contract when you have agreed to it, and do not break your oaths once they are confirmed and you have made Allah your guarantee’ – Surat an-Nahl: 91
And he says:
‘Those who sell Allah’s contract and their own oaths for a party price, such people will have no portion in the akhirah and on the Day of Rising Allah will not speak to them or look at them or purify them. They will have a painful punishment.’ – (Surah Al Imran:77)
There is in the two Sahih books from Ibn Umar that the Prophet said, ‘For every treacherous one there is a banner on the Day of Rising by which he will be recognised.’
And in a version, ‘The treacherous one will have set up for him a standard on the Day of Rising, and it will be said, ‘This is the treachery of so-and-son! Al-Bukhari (3188) and Muslim (1735)
They both also narrated it in a hadith of Anas in the same sense.
Muslim narrated a hadith of Abu Sa’id that the Prophet said, ‘Every treacherous one will have a standard at his buttocks on the Day of Rising.’ Muslim (1738)
TREACHERY IS HARAM IN EVERY CONTRACT between Muslims and another, EVEN IF THE PERSON WITH WHOM THE CONTRACT IS MADE IS A KAFIR. For this reason there is in the hadith of Abdullah ibn Amr from the Prophet ‘Whoever kills a person whom he has an agreement without a just cause will not smell the gragrance of the Garden, and its fragrance can be experienced at a distance of forty years travel.’ Al-Bukhari narrated it. (Al-Bukhari (3166, 6914).
Allah, exalted is He, commands in His Book that we fulfil idolaters contracts if they undertake to fulfil their contracts and do not fail in them.” (“Jami’al –Ulum Wal – Hikam”) – Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali [Translated by Abdassamad Clarke – Turath Publishing, 1428/2007], page 744 – 745)

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Hadith: Vicious And Rabies Infected Dogs Were Killed In Madinah?

Kaleef K. Karim

1. Introduction
2. Hadith On Dogs Killed
3. The Understanding From Scholars On The Hadith
4. Prohibition Of killing Animals Who Are Harmless
5. Harming animals Forbidden (Haram)
6. The Command To Be Good To Animals
7. Conclusion

1. Introduction

Prophet Muhammed and dogs have been an ongoing topic among Muslim scholars for centuries. The dogs at the time of Prophet Muhammed (p) was very different to the ones we have in the Western World, fluffy and friendly like. The dogs in Arabia at the time of the Prophet (p) were very vicious and even at times would attack humans in packs. The disease among dogs was very wide spread, the people 1400 years ago did not have the medicine to cure the deadly diseases some of the dogs may have carried.

In this articles we seek to explain and give a better understanding of few reports which have been mispresented or at times those who read it may get an unintentional, and misinformed view of the narrations.

Whenever the Prophet Muhammed (p) made statements, ordered things and are reported in authentic Hadith books, they should not be seen separately but rather holistically to get a better historical understanding. On the issue of dogs being killed in Madinah, we need to analyse the reports in regards to this incident in their context to get a better understanding.

2. Hadith On Dogs Killed

In recent times I have come across claims made in relation to dogs being killed in Madinah, in the life time of Prophet Muhammed. One of the assertions made is that Muhammed was not a mercy to mankind for ordering the killing of dogs in Madinah. The reports that are used by critics are the following:

“Maimuna reported that one morning Allah’s Messenger was silent with grief. Maimuna said: Allah’s Messenger, I find a change in your mood today. Allah’s Messenger said: Gabriel had promised me that he would meet me tonight, but he did not meet me. By Allah, he never broke his promises, and Allah’s Messenger spent the day in this sad (mood). Then it occurred to him that there had been a puppy under their cot. He commanded and it was turned out. He then took some water in his hand and sprinkled it at that place. When it was evening Gabriel met him and he said to him: you promised me that you would meet me the previous night. He said: Yes, but we do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture. Then on that very morning he commanded the killing of the dogs until he announced that the dog kept for the orchards should also be killed, but he spared the dog meant for the protection of extensive fields (or big gardens).” (Sahih Muslim, Book 024, Number 5248 (The Book Pertaining to Clothes and Decoration (Kitab Al-Libas wal-Zinah)) http://searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=024&translator=2&start=0&number=5248)

And:

“Abu Zubair heard Jabir b. Abdullah saying: Allah’s messenger ordered us to kill dogs, and we carried out this order so much that we also killed the dog coming with a woman from the desert. Then Allah’s Apostle forbade their killing. He (the Holy Prophet) further said: It is your duty to kill the jet black (dog) having two spots (on the eyes), for it is a devil.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3813)

From the above reports, it is deduced by some that Muhammed was “anything but compassionate” to the dogs he ordered to be killed. It is further asserted that the dogs were merely killed as a result of the angel not entering his house because there was a dog and a picture.

The second report on “black dog” is referred too metaphorically. They are not literally the devil. Rather they were the most vicious dogs in the lifetime of Muhammed (p). They used to harm and attack people all the time. The scholars further down will elaborate further on this matter.

Here lies the confusion at the critics’ doorstep, this Hadith was never understood the way it is portraited by some critics. This is why we have scholars to explain things to us. One cannot take a single Hadith report and make a whole judgment without reading other historical reports to get a better understanding, especially someone who is not learned nor qualified to write on these matters that one has no knowledge on.

We are told by some of our earliest scholars all the way to the present century that one of the reasons these dogs were killed was as a result of them having a disease. Rabies and some wild dogs (called “devil” metaphorically) caused a lot of problems in Madinah. As such they were dealt with. Those days there weren’t any vaccinations, where such diseases could be cured. Wild dogs in the desert could literally rip human beings apart, they used to roam around in packs. Anybody who is familiar with Arabian wild dogs would know you would not come near them. In some western countries, legislators have tried to pass laws to kill dogs which are deemed very dangerous. This law is targeted at dogs which most likely attack and bite people. The Staffordshire Bull terrier in Britain has been banned, this dog has killed many babies and grown adults. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Coming back to the subject at hand in relation to the report(s). If the claim of the critics are true, that Muhammed (p) killed dogs because he hated them, why did his grandsons, Hasan and Hussein have dogs in the Prophet’s house?

“Narrated AbuHurayrah: The Messenger of Allah said: Gabriel came to me and said: I came to you last night and was prevented from entering simply because there were images at the door, for there was a decorated curtain with images on it in the house, and there was a dog in the house. So order the head of the image which is in the house to be cut off so that it resembles the form of a tree; order the curtain to be cut up and made into two cushions spread out on which people may tread; and order the dog to be turned out.
The Messenger of Allah then did so. THE DOG BELONGED TO AL-HASAN OR AL-HUSAYN and was under their couch. So he ordered it to be turned out (taken outside). …” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 33, Hadith 4146, Sahih Albani https://sunnah.com/abudawud/34/139

This is also reported in Jami at-Tirmidhi:

“Narrated Abu Hurairah: that the Messenger of Allah said: “Jibra’il came to me and said: “Indeed I had come to you last night, and nothing prevented me from entering upon you at the house you were in, except that there were images of men at the door of the house, and there was a curtain screen with imagines on it, and there was a dog in the house. So go and sever the head of the image that is at the door so that it will become like a tree stump, and go and cut the screen and make two throw-cushions to be sat upon, and go and expel the dog.” So the Messenger of Allah did so, and the dog was A PUPPY BELONGING TO AL-HUSAIN OR AL-HASAN which was under his belongings, so he ordered him to expel it.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi volume 5, Book 41, Hadith 2806, Sahih Darussalam https://sunnah.com/urn/630300)

It is inconceivable for him to hate dogs. Why would he say to take the dogs outside and did not deal with them? If he hated dogs as it is claimed, wouldn’t he have commanded his grandsons’ dogs be killed first? The above report shows that the Prophet (p) did not have an issue with his grandsons having a dog, except that it had to be catered for outside of the house. This shows that the dogs that were killed the next day were as a result of them having diseases which could have killed human beings if it was not dealt with immediately. Cruelty to animals is Haram (forbidden), as we will show in a number of Hadith reports shortly.

3. The Understanding From Scholars On The Hadith

The classical and contemporary scholars say the reason the dogs were killed was as a result of wild rabies spreading. There was also among them were wild black dogs which attacked people.

Dr. Gehan S. A. Ibrahim states that only harmful dogs were killed that spread disease. He also gives many Hadith reports where the Prophet (p) commanded to be kind to all animals:

“’Narrated Hafsa: Allah’s Messenger said: It is not sinful (on a non-Muhrim or a Muhrim)) to kill five kinds of animals namely: a crow, a kite, a mouse, a scorpion and a rabid dog.’

Based on this concept, Muslim literature has further given a clear explanation to this particular case of getting rid of HARMFUL ANIMALS. Muslim scholar, like Ali Ibn Abbas al-Majusi (384 A.H. /994 AD), Ibn Sina (428 A.H. / 1036 A.D.), Ibn Al-Nafis (687 A.H. / 1288 A.D.), and Al-Damiri (808 A.H. / 1405 A.D.), who wrote about animals in the Muslim era, recognized a DISEASE CAUSED BY RABID STRAY DOGS. According to what these physicians wrote in regard to this disease, there was a great awareness of the contagious aspects of this DISEASE that transfers to human through their contacts with INFECTED DOGS. This led to raise a consciousness to avoid the danger of the stray RABID dogs and their harmful impact on the environment. …

ISLAM DOES NOT TOLERATE CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. It has condemned all forms and methods of unkindness towards animals since they contradicts with the virtues of Islam. On the outset, as many Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad urged Muslims to generally treat animals with kindness and care, a particular stress was given on preventing the striking of animals or cauterizing them on the face, as acts to be considered highly banned. As these practices cause pain to the animal, Islam prohibits all sorts of pain and specifically on the sensitive parts of the animal’s body, like the face. Furthermore, the Hadiths of the Prophet had clearly stated the punishment given to the one who commits such malpractices to animals by being cursed by Allah:

‘Jabir told that the Prophet Muhammad forbade the face or branding on the face of animals. The same companion of the Holy Prophet reported him as saying, when an ass which had been branded in its face passed him by: ‘God curse the one who branded it.’

‘Jabir reported that a donkey that had been branded on the face passed by the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and he said: ‘May Allah curse the one who branded him.’

If in previous remark the Quran declared the supremacy of humans over animals, why would then humans have to treat animals with kindness and respect? The answer to this question lies in the fact that even though the Quran has in many instances announces the supremacy of humans over animals it certainly contains many verses that call for equality between animals and human beings before Allah. As the Quran in a previous remark mentioned that animals are equal to humans in their worship to Allah and reward for their deeds, the Hadiths were not less emphatic on the same notion. In a similar way, the Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad show that Muslims were even required to perform equality tasks as virtues in dealing with animals comparable to their dealings with each other. Thereupon, the ethics of doing good to animals, and avoiding cruelty to them were looked upon in Islam as equal in reward to treating humans likewise. These are, thus, among the virtues the Muslims should acknowledge in handling animals. Evidence to this is illustrated in some Haiths that reflect the close link between treating animals with equality to humans and devoting a charitable work of Allah:

“Doing good to beasts is like the doing of good to human beings, a deed of charity, whilst cruelty to animals is FORBIDDEN, just like cruelty to human beings.’

A story and event from the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions establishes the virtue of equality between humans and animals. It shows how Islam forbids an animal to be separated from its offspring or to be frightened. While the Prophet Muhammad was on his way on a journey, he passed with a bird nest and an ant village. In this story, the Prophet Muhammad was an exemplar to teach the Muslims to respect the feelings of a mother bird and her anxiety over her little ones, which were taken by the Prophet’s companions. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have told his companions to return the little ones to the nest upon seeing the concern of the mother bird. Accordingly, the bird has the right to be looked at as a human whose motherhood instinct towards her children should be respected. Hence, the Hadith instructed the Muslims the moral value of being king to birds and respect their feelings. Furthermore, on seeing the ant village burnt, the Prophet Muhammad disapproved this act and considered it UNLAWFUL IN ISLAM sine it is deprived of any mercy towards little animals:

‘Narrated Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud: We were with the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) during a journey. He went to ease himself. We saw a bird with her two young ones and we captured her young ones. The bird came and began to spread its wings. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) came and said: ‘Who grieved this for its young ones? Return its young ones to it. He also saw an ant village that we had burnt. He asked: ‘Who has burnt this?’ We replied: ‘We’. He said: ‘It is not proper to punish with fire except the Lord of fire.’

In another story, the Prophet Muhammad related to the Muslims an example in treating helpless creatures, like ants with mercy and respect. This is particularly true in the case of considering stories of previous Prophets in the Quran and their attitude towards animals. Working from this perspective, the Prophets were not to ignore the moral imperatives towards animals. The story exhibited by the Prophet Muhammad was narrated to the Muslims with these meanings in which he described a Prophet underneath a tree who got bit by an ant. The Prophet’s reaction towards the ant herd was merciful since he had realized that he must have infringed over the ants properties by mistake and destroyed their settlement by his luggage. Therefore, the Prophet felt guilty for the loss he had caused the ants and ordered his luggage to be removed to save and spare the lives of the rest of the ant’s herd:

‘Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Once, while a Prophet amongst the Prophets was taking a rest underneath a tree, an ant bit him, he therefore ordered that his luggage be taken away from underneath that tree.’

The Prophet Muhammad further explained one of the noteworthy and fascinating examples to illustrate the punishment of ill-treating animals in Islam. According to this statement, the Prophet Muhammad made clear that TREATING ANIMALS WITH KINDNESS IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE MUSLIM FAITH AND CONSTITUTES AN ACT OF WORSHIP. The Muslim will be rewarded if he observes this and will be severely punished if he fails to acknowledge this fact. …” (Virtues in Muslim Culture: An Interpretation from Islamic Literature, Art and Architecture [First edition, Published by New Generation, 2014], by Dr. Gehan S. A. Ibrahim page 151 – 152)

The scholar and translator of Sahih Muslim, Abdul Hamid Siddiqui, states that there were stray dogs which had rabies,

“The Hadith gives us an idea why the Holy Prophet commanded to kill dogs. There must have been an excess of STRAY DOGS AND THUS THE DANGER OF RABIES IN THE CITY OF MEDINA and its suburbs. The Holy Prophet, therefore, ordered to kill them. Later on when it was found that his companions were killing them indiscriminately, he forbade them to do so and told them that only FEROCIOUS BEASTS WHICH WERE A SOURCE OF DANGER TO LIFE SHOULD BE KILLED. The word ‘devil’ clarifies this point. Here DEVIL STANDS FOR FEROCIOUS…” (Sahih Muslim by Imam Muslim, rendered into English by Abdul Hamid Siddiqui [Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 11th Reprint 1995], volume III & IV, Book X (10). Kitab Al-Buyu (Pertaining To Business Transactions), page 825 (footnote 2012))

Another commentary states:

“Regarding the command to kill dogs, the As-hab opined that it is permissible to kill a RABID DOG; yet, a harmless dog, irrespective of its color, MAY NOT BE KILLED. Imam al-Haramayn stated that the command to kill dogs was abrogated. It was related that the Prophet Muhammad ordered the killing of dogs. Then, that was abrogated, except for pure black dogs. And thereafter, KILLING ANY HARMLESS DOG WAS PROHIBITED. Thus, it is only permissible to kill a dog that MAY CAUSE HARM, like one with RABIES.” (Sharh Sahih Muslim volume 3, page 536 and volume 10, page 1931)

 

The above commentary shows that the dogs that were killed used to cause harm to human beings, be that through disease or attacking humans. Such measures were in place to protect the community from harm. Another scholar comments on this incident, specifically in the “black dog”:

“Some of the narrations mention “the dog that bites indiscriminately” (al-kalb al-`aqur). Others: “The jet-black dog” (al-kalb al-aswad al-bahim). The gist of the reference seems to be that a WILD-LOOKING DOG, OR ONE KNOWN TO BE DANGEROUS, has the greatest potential for distracting attention. The black dog is a devil either literally, i.e. a favored form for a devil to take among animals, or figuratively with respect to its negative aspects whatever these may be; and Allah knows best.” (Problematic hadiths and various questions, by Mufti Ebrahim Desai FATWA DEPT., online source http://www.livingislam.org/fiqhi/fiqha_e54.html)

Imam and scholar John (Yahya) Ederer states that preserving human life and health on this occasion outweighed the sanctity of this infected, dangerous dogs:

“I agree with the scholars that have rightly logically understood this whole matter as being a past OUTBREAK OF RABIES, where the Islamic value of PRESERVING LIFE AND HEALTH HAD TO OUTWEIGH THE SANCTITY OF THE LIFE OF DOGS, and obliged us to wash all potentially ingestible dog saliva. Therefore I hold that dogs are not in any way impure, and that there is nothing impure with petting and even getting licked by a dog. It makes perfect sense to me that the reason for killing the black dog was that there was a particular type of black dog which was RABID OR VIOLENT in some way, and that is why the Prophet called it a devil. (Man’s Best Friend? The Islamic View on Dogs, by John (Yahya) Ederer, online source http://www.virtualmosque.com/islam-studies/faqs-and-fatwas/mans-best-friend-the-islamic-view-on-dogs/)

And finally, two non-Muslim scholars who also recognised that the dogs on that incident were killed as a result of a rabies outbreak.

Merritt Clifton:

“The Prophet Mohammed is widely believed to have fought a rabies outbreak in the walled city of Medina by closing the city gates to prevent the outbreak from spreading, and then exterminating dogs. This is according to the order recounted by his disciple Bukhari in Hadith 4:540-a Hadith that perplexes Islamic scholars because Bukhari in particular was known to be fond of animals, and narrated several other sayings of Mohammed that URGED KIND TREATMENT OF DOGS [21].” (How to eradicate canine rabies: a perspective of historical efforts, [Asian Biomedicine, August 2011] by Merritt Clifton volume 5, page 561 – 562 (No. 4))

Barnaby Rogerson:

“…that action of the Prophet, when he ordered the disposal of the RABID DOGS OF MEDINA. …
The Prophet’s actions in attempting to RID MEDINA OF RABIES in the seventh century also gave legal protection to dogs. He had spared the working dogs – those who guarded, those who herded and those who hunted – and this is not forgotten. In my experience a traditional Muslim family, especially one living in the countryside, will have no problem in keeping such dogs. But these dogs exist to work, and can never be treated as a household pet, or allowed into a house, tent or courtyard in a manner freely given to sheep, cats, horses, camels and cows. (Critical Muslim 06: Reclaiming Al-Andalus [C. Hurst & Co (Publishers) Ltd., 2013] by Barnaby Rogerson, page 196)

4. Prohibition Of killing Animals Who Are Harmless

Furthermore, the following Hadith demonstrate that the Prophet Muhammed (p) only commanded those animals (dogs) be killed who caused harm to human beings. And he prohibited the killing of animals (dogs) that were harmless (Muwatta Imam Malik):

“Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab that Umar ibn al- Khattab told people to kill snakes in the Haram.
Malik said, about the “wild dogs” which people were told to kill in the Haram, that any animals that WOUNDED, ATTACKED, OR TERRORISED MEN, such as lions, leopards, Iynxes and wolves, were counted as “WILD DOGS.” However, someone who was in ihram SHOULD NOT KILL BEASTS OF PREY THAT DID NOT ATTACK (PEOPLE), such as hyenas, foxes, cats and anything else like them, and if he did then he had to pay a forfeit for it. Similarly, someone in ihram should not kill any predatory birds except the kinds that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, specified, namely crows and kites. If someone in ihram killed any other kind of bird he had to pay a forfeit for it.” (Muwatta Malik Book 20, Hadith 92, https://sunnah.com/urn/408080)

And:

“3314. Narrated Aishah: The Prophet said, ‘Five kinds of animals are FUWAISIQ (HARMFUL) and can be killed even Al-Haram (Sanctuary). They are: a mouse, a scorpion, a kite, a crow, and a RABID DOG.” (Sahih al-Bukhari volume 4, page 319)

And:

“A’ishah (RAA) narrated ‘The Messenger of Allah said: “FIVE KINDS OF ANIMALS ARE VICIOUS AND HARMFUL, AND THEY MAY BE KILLED outside or inside the sacred area of Ihram (Sanctuary). These are: the scorpion, the kite, the crow, the mouse, and THE RABID DOG.” Agreed upon.” (Bulugh al-Maram Book 6, Hadith 755, Eng. Tran., https://sunnah.com/bulugh/6/29)

The five harmful animals mentioned here refers to those which spread disease or cause physical harm to humans.

5. Harming animals Forbidden (Haram)

The prophet had forbidden malpractices or harming animals. One day a donkey (ass) was passing by and his face had been branded, the Prophet cursed the one who had done this to the animal:

“Jabir reported the Prophet as saying when an ass which had been branded on its face passed him. Did it not reach you that I CURSED HIM WHO BRANDED THE ANIMALS ON THEIR FACES OR STRUCK THEM ON THEIR FACES. SO HE PROHIBITED IT.” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 14, Hadith 2558, Sahih Al Albani, https://sunnah.com/abudawud/15/88)

This incident is also reported elsewhere:

“Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: An ASS with a brand on the face happened to pass before the Prophet. Thereupon he said, “MAY ALLAH CURSE THE ONE WHO HAS BRANDED IT (on the face).”
[Muslim].

Another narration in Muslim is: “The Messenger of Allah prohibited us from hitting across the face and branding on the face (of an animal).” (Riyad as-Salihin Book 18, Hadith 1608 https://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/18/98)

The physical harm which is forbidden in Islam equally is also abstaining from mental cruelty to animals. The following Hadith reported by one of Muhammed’s companions relates a story:

“Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: We were with the Messenger of Allah in a journey when he drew apart (to relieve nature). In his absence, we saw a red bird which had two young ones with it. We caught them and the red mother bird came, beating the earth with its wings. In the meantime the Prophet returned and said, “WHO HAS PUT THIS BIRD TO DISTRESS ON ACCOUNT OF ITS YOUNG? RETURN THEM TO HER.” He also noticed a mound of ants which we had burnt up. He asked, “Who has set fire to this?” We replied: “We have done so.” He said, “None can chastise with fire except the Rubb of the fire.” (Riyad as-Salihin Book 18, Hadith 1610 https://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/18/100)

And:

“Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas’ud: We were with the Messenger of Allah during a journey. He went to ease himself. We saw a bird with her two young ones and we captured her young ones. The bird came and began to spread its wings. The Messenger of Allah came and said: WHO GRIEVED THIS FOR ITS YOUNG ONES? RETURN ITS YOUNG ONES TO IT. He also saw an ant village that we had burnt. He asked: Who has burnt this? We replied: We. He said: It is not proper to punish with fire except the Lord of fire.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 2675 Book 14, Hadith 2669, Eng. Tran. Sahih, Al-Albani, https://sunnah.com/abudawud/15/199)

6. The Command To Be Good To Animals

There are countless Hadith reports where the Prophet urged and commanded Muslims to be kind to all animals.

A sinner was forgiven by God on the act of giving a thirsty dog some water:

“3321. Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah’s Messenger said, ‘A prostitute passed by a panting dog near a well and SAW THAT THE DOG WAS ABOUT TO DIE OF THIRST, she took off her khuff (leather sock or shoe) and tied it with her head-cover and DREW OUT SOME WATER FOR IT. So, ALLAH FORGAVE HER BECAUSE OF THAT.” (The Translation Of the Meanings Of Sahih Al-Bukhari, Arabic English, Translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (Formerly Director, University Hospital, Islamic University, Al-Madina Al-Munawwara) [Darussalam Publishers and Distributors, Riyadh – Saudi Arabia, Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 1997], volume 4, page 322)

There is also a similar story but with a man who done similar act:

“Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah said, “While a MAN WAS WALKING ON HIS WAY HE BECAME EXTREMELY THIRSTY. He found a well, he went down into it to drink water. Upon leaving it, he SAW A DOG WHICH WAS PANTING out of thirst. His tongue was lolling out and he was eating moist earth from extreme thirst. The man thought to himself: ‘This dog is extremely thirsty as I was.’ So he descended into the well, filled up his leather sock with water, and holding it in his teeth, climbed up and QUENCHED THE THIRST OF THE DOG. ALLAH APPRECIATED HIS ACTION AND FORGAVE HIS SINS“. The Companions asked: “Shall we be rewarded for showing kindness to the animals also?” He said, “A REWARD IS GIVEN IN CONNECTION WITH EVERY LIVING CREATURE“.

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

In the narration of Al-Bukhari, the Prophet is reported to have said: “Allah forgave him in appreciation of this act and admitted him to Jannah”. (Riyad as-Salihin Book 1, Hadith 126 https://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/1/126)

The Prophet further emphasized in another report that humans should be good to each other, this act of goodness is also extended to all animals:

“Doing good to beasts is like the doing of good to human beings, a deed of charity, whilst cruelty to animals is FORBIDDEN, just like cruelty to human beings.’” ((Virtues in Muslim Culture: An Interpretation from Islamic Literature, Art and Architecture [First edition, Published by New Generation, 2014], by Dr. Gehan S. A. Ibrahim page 151)

When the context for the Hadith report is shown, it is inconceivable accuse Muhammed (p) of being the hater of dogs. The occasion of those dogs being killed was an exception because of the rabies disease and wild dogs attacking human beings. Hence, there was no alternative left but to deal with this danger.

7. conclusion

Reading other historical Hadith reports and the scholarly statements we see clear evidence as to why Muhammed (p) at that time ordered some dogs be killed in Madinah. The Rabies disease if not dealt with would have spread and may have killed 100s if not 1000s of people. This disease at the time of the Prophet (p) was very serious, so serious that he had to outweigh the sanctity of human life over the dogs.

The Prophet (p) did not order to kill any dog as a result of their appearance (Black dog), or else God Almighty would not have created such a creature in the first place. As the scholars explained the “black dog” were dealt with as a result of them being the most vicious and attacking people. The Prophet (p) commanded kindness to all animals, this incident was an exception.

The fact of the matter is when we have looked at the report in his historical context and the reason why he did what he did, Muhammed was a mercy to creation. He only dealt with those dogs as a wild disease was spreading. His teachings have indeed brought great good to the World.

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References:

[1] “EATEN ALIVE Woman, 65, ripped apart by a pack of up to ‘100 stray dogs’ terrorising a town in India” Last accessed 6th December 2016 https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1647893/pack-of-100-strays-mauls-mother-and-partly-eats-her-on-beach-in-the-southern-indian-state-of-kerala/
[2] “Pack of 50 stray dogs attack, partly eat elderly woman at Indian beach” Last accessed 6th December 2016 https://www.rt.com/news/356604-dogs-woman-attack-india/
[3] “Do India’s stray dogs kill more people than terror attacks?” Last accessed 6th December 2016 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-36035456
[4] “Beware of dogs! Rabies on the prowl in Lagos” Last accessed 6th December 2016 http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/10/beware-of-dogs-rabies-on-the-prowl-in-lagos/

 

reward

Did Quraysh Continue Persecuting Muslims When They Fled To Madinah?

Kaleef K. Karim & Aliyu Musa Misau

Introduction:

Missionaries and other critics often repeat the baseless ‘claim’ of ‘atrocities’ committed by Muhammad (p) against Quraysh, glossing over the fact that these incidents they injudiciously referred to as “atrocities” were nothing but just responses to the attacks initiated by the Quraysh, and continued even when the Muslims fled to Medina, fleeing persecution.

For instance, some try to justify Muhammad (p) and his followers being persecuted, tortured and killed just for expressing their beliefs in Mecca! They claim that what the Quraysh were doing to Muhammad (p) and the Muslims then was a direct result of Muhammad’s (p) preaching against their polytheism, idolatry. So they try to justify thirteen years of persecution and torture by blaming Muhammad (p) for preaching Monotheism; that the Muslims deserved what they got for exercising their right of free speech, their right to express their conscience.

This is the sick mind of some who try to justify crimes committed against a minority. I guess freedom of speech is not applicable to Muslims!

It is our intention, in a number of articles in the pipeline, to deal with the claims that the Muslims were not the ones who started hostilities against the Quraysh, to show that the claim is not supported by the earliest Islamic sources. In this very article, we will see that the evidences shows that it was the Quraysh who started physically attacking the Muslims, making them flee from their birth-place Makkah to Madinah, to escape the persecution and still followed them down to Medina to exterminate them just for their beliefs.

Our primary interest in these articles will be when the Prophet (p) and his followers arrived in Medina, fleeing persecution. What happened when they arrived in Medina? Did the Muslims start war against Quraysh as soon as they arrived in Madina? Or was it the other way around?

The Evidence:

The evidences used for this work are taken from most authoritative and canonical sources of Islam, the Quran and Hadith. The Hadith books we used are the canonical Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawud, Jami at-Tirmidhi, Musnad Ibn Hanbal, and Baiyhaqi’s Dala’il An-Nabuwwah. Besides the Quran and Hadith, we have also used the works of al-Tabari and Ibn Ishaq’s biography of Muhammad (p) (Sirat Rasulullah).

Click on the following links for more information:

 

1. LINK – Quraysh threatened to murder inhabitants of Madina for giving sanctuary to the persecuted Muslims.

 

2. LINK – When the Prophet (p) arrived in Madina he couldn’t sleep. He had to have guards near him, he believed that the Quraysh were still out to kill him.

 

3. LINK – Sa’d Ibn Mu’adh’s Lesser Pilgrimage to Mecca, where he was confronted by Abu Jahl, threatening to kill him for giving safe haven to Muslims in Madinah.

 

4. LINK – The Prophet (p) Used to forgive the Quraysh enemies while in Madina, until verses of fighting were revealed.

 

5. LINK – The Quraysh declared war against Muslims before the battle of Badr ensued.

 

6. LINK –  The Prophet (p) sent Abdullah Ibn Jahsh to Nakhlah to collect information on what the Quraysh were doing.

 

7. LINK – Expedition against Kurz b. Jabir al-Fihri, he raided camels and cattle of Madinah.

 

8. LINK – Property of Muslims stolen – robbed by the Quraysh in Makkah, and continued oppressing Muslims while they fled to Madinah.

 

Related articles:

Does the Quran order violence against the innocent?

Does Islam encourage Muslims to lie – Taqiyya?

Does the Holy Bible allow Christians to lie?

What does Islam say about Rape? [Part 1]

What does Islam say about Rape? [Part 2]

What does the Arabic word ‘Jihad’ mean?

Can Christians And Jews Be Friends With Muslims? [Part 1]

Can Christians And Jews Be Friends With Muslims? [Part 2]

Did Muhammad Order Or Support The Killing Of Innocents?

fact

Detailed Historical Examination Of Banu Qurayzah’s Treachery

Kaleef K. Karim & Aliyu Musa Misau

Content:

1. Introduction
2. Jewish tribes Made a Pact with Muslims
3. Events that Occurred Before Quraiza Incident
4. Prophet Muhammed Thwarted Their Plans
5. Banu Qurayza Siding, Waging War and Supplying Enemies with Weapons
6. Banu Qurayza were Left to Face the Music Alone
7. Who were Killed?
8. Were Children Killed?
9. Were All the Banu Qurayza Men Killed?
10. How Many Men of the Quraiza were Killed?
11. Anti-Semitism Claim
12. Conclusion

1. Introduction

The aim of this article is to examine an episode in the life time of Prophet Muhammed (p), concerning the Banu Qurayza warrior-men being killed. In this piece, we will respond to claims orientalists and other critics have made regarding this incident of the Arab Jewish tribe, Banu Qurayza.

For many reasons, it is obvious that this episode of the Banu Qurayza incident has had a lot of attention from non-Muslim scholars and apologists. But, I find a lot of their conclusions about it has either been lacking substance in showing the true picture of the event or deliberately misconstrued this historical event in showing Prophet Muhammed (p) in a bad light for allowing Sa’d ibn Mu’adh (a former Jew) judge those that committed treachery.

2. Jewish tribes made a Pact with Muslims

The Muslims, fleeing persecution from Makkah, found Medina (Yathrib) a safe sanctuary to live in. Shortly after the persecuted Muslims arrived and welcomed in Medina, they made a pact with the Jewish tribe Banu Quraiza (and other tribes) that so it happens if an enemy were to attack Madinah, they would all protect each other and will not aid the enemy in any way. These facts are related to us in a number of early sources:

“… To the Jew who follows us belongs help and equality. He shall not be wronged nor shall his enemies be aided. The peace of the believers is invisible … The Jews shall contribute to the cost of war so long as they are fighting alongside the believers… The Jews must bear their expenses and the Muslims their expenses. Each must help the other against anyone who attacks the people of this document. They must seek mutual advice and consultation, and loyalty is a protection against treachery. A man is not liable for his ally’s misdeeds. The wronged must be helped. The Jews must pay with the believers so long as war lasts. Yathrib shall be a sanctuary for the people of this document. …. Quraysh and their helpers shall not be given protection. The contracting parties are bound to help one another against any attack on Yathrib. If they are called to make peace and maintain it they must do so; and if they make a similar demand on the Muslims it must be carried out except in the case of a holy war. Every one shall have his portion from the side to which he belongs; the Jews of al-Aws, their freedmen and themselves have the same standing with the people of this document in pure loyalty from the people of this document.” [1]

 

Mawsili:

“The first treaty which the Messenger of God concluded with the Jews of Medina took place when he concluded a truce with the Nadir, Qurayza, and Qaynuqa in Medina, stipulating that they refrain from supporting the pagans and help the Muslims. …” [2]

The above evidences show that the Muslims and Banu Quraiza (and other tribes) in Madinah made a pact that no one will help an enemy against any of them. But, as we shall soon witness, this is exactly what the Banu Quraiza did against the Muslims!

3. Events that occurred Before Quraiza incident

The events that took place prior to the killing of the treacherous Banu Quraiza warrior-men, 1400 years ago.

With the help of the Jewish tribe, Banu Nadir, the polytheist Quraish leader Abu Sufyan had rounded up a force of 10.000 men to attack Madinah and kill the Muslims once for all. All Muhammed (p) could gather to fight back against Quraish was 3000 men; and they adopted a new way of defending the city of Madinah by digging a trench around where Muslims resided in Medina so that the enemy warriors couldn’t easily attack the Muslims inside the city. The idea of digging up a trench was suggested by a Persian Muslim convert Salman Al Farisi.

When the polytheists attacked Madina, the Muslims were under siege for two weeks.

Abu Sufyan’s army was thrown aback by the design made for the defence of the city i.e., the great trench made around Madina where the Muslims resided, without which they were open, weak to cavalry attack. The offensive enemy found themselves unprepared for such an unexpected defence when they arrived. On the other hand, while the Muslims were busy protecting the community from the deadly attack of the confederates, the Medinan Jewish tribe, Banu Qurayza were busy making negotiations with the polytheists of Makkah to turn against Muhammed (p). Authentic reports state that the polytheists and Quraiza were in negotiations:

Ibn Ishaq:

“The enemy of God Huyayy b. Akhtab al-Nadri went out to Ka’b b. Asad al-Qurazi who had made a treaty with the apostle. When Ka’b heard of Huyayy’s coming he shut the door of his fort in his face, and when he asked permission to enter he refused to see him, saying that he was a man of ill omen and that he himself was in treaty with Muhammad and did not intend to go back on his word because he had always found him loyal and faithful. Then Huyayy accused him of shutting him out because he was unwilling to let him eat his corn. This so enraged him that he opened his door. He said ‘Good heavens, Ka’b, I have brought you immortal fame and a great army. I have come with Quraysh with their leaders and chiefs which I have halted where the torrent-beds of Ruma meet; and Ghatafan with their leaders and chiefs which I have halted in Dhanab Naqma towards Uhud. They have made a firm agreement and promised me that they will not depart until we have made an end of Muhammad and his men.’ Ka’b said: ‘By God, you have brought me immortal shame and an empty cloud which has shed its water while it thunders and lightens with nothing in it. Woe to you Huyayy, leave me as I am, for I have always found him loyal and faithful.’ Huyayy kept on wheedling Ka’buntil at last he gave way in giving him a solemn promise that if Quraysh and Ghatafan returned without having killed Muhammad he would enter his fort with him and await his fate. Thus Ka’b broke his promise and cut loose from the bond that was between him and the apostle.” [3]

 

Al-Tabari:

“The enemy of God, Huyayy b. Akhtab, went out and came to Ka’b b. Asad al-Qurazi, who was the possessor of the treaty and covenant of the Banu Qurayzah. Ka’b had made a truce with the Messenger of God for his people, making a contract and covenanting with him on it. When Ka’b heard Huyayy b. Akhtab, he shut his fortress in his face. Huyayy asked to be allowed in, but Ka’b refused to open to him. Huyayy called to him, ‘Ka’b, open to me!’ ‘Woe to you, Huyayy,’ answered Ka’b, ‘you are a man who brings bad luck! I have made a treaty with Muhammad and will not break the pact that exists between me and him. I have seen nothing but faithfulness and truth on his part.’ Huyayy said: ‘Woe to you! Open to me, and I will speak to you!’ ‘I will not do it,’ said Kab.
Huyayy said, ‘ By God, you have shut me out only on account of your gruel, lest I should eat any of it with you.’ This angered the man, so that he opened to him. Huyayy said: ‘Woe to you, Ka’b! I have brought you everlasting might and an overflowing sea. I have brought you Quraysh, with their leaders and chiefs, and have caused them to encamp where the stream beds meet at Rumah, and Ghatafan, with their leaders and Chiefs, and have caused them to encamp at Dhanab Naqama beside UHUD.
They have made a treaty and covenant with me not to withdraw until they root out Muhammed and THOSE WHO ARE WITH HIM.’ Ka’b b. Asad said to him: ‘By God, you have brought me everlasting humiliation – a cloud that has already sheds its water, that thunders and lightens but has nothing in it. Woe to you! Leave me to continue with Muhammad as I am now, for I have seen nothing from Muhammed except truth and faithfulness.’
But Huyayy kept wheedling Ka’b UNTIL HE YIELDED TO HIM, Huyayy having given him a promise and oath by God that ‘If Quraysh and Ghatafan retreat without having killed Muhammed, I will enter your fortresses with you, so that whatever happens to you shall happen to me.’ So Ka’b b. Asad broke his treaty and renounced the bond that had existed between him and the Messenger of God.” [4]

From the above reports, we see that Huyayy b. Akhtab al-Nadri visited Ka’b b. Asad al-Qurazi house on changing his mind to break his pact and that he should join the enemies of the Muslims in order to slaughter the Muslim community.

At first Ka’b b. Asad al-Qurazi was not convinced and tried avoiding what Huyayy b. Akhtab was saying but eventually, as the report informs us, Ka’b b. Asad gave in and sided with the enemies of Muhammed (p) to fight against the Muslims.

4. Prophet Muhammed (p) Thwarted Their Plans

Reading the above reports, we see that the Muslims were surrounded from all sides during the siege, Muhammed (p) had no choice left at this point but send Nu’aym Ibn Mas’ud, to divide his enemies from within:

Ibn Ishaq:

“Then Nu’aym b. Mas’ud b. Amir b. Unayf b. Tha’alaba b. Qunfud b. Hilal b. Kalawa b. Ashja b. Rayth b. Ghatafan came to the apostle saying that he had become a Muslim though his own people did not know of it, and let him give what orders he would. The Prophet said: ‘You are only one man among us, so go and awake distrust among the enemy to draw them off from us if you can, for there is deceit in war. Thereupon, Nu’aym went off to B. Quryaza, with whom he had been a boon companion in His heathen days, and reminded them of his affection for them and of the special tie between them. When they acknowledged that they did not suspect him he said: ‘Quraysh and Ghatafan are not like you; the land is your land, your property, your wives, and your children are in it; you cannot leave it and go somewhere else. Now Quraysh and Ghatafan have come to fight Muhammad and his companions and you have aided against him, but their land, their property, and their wives are not here, so they are not like you. If they see an opportunity they will make the most of it; but if things go badly they will go back to their own land and leave you to face the man in your country and you will not be able to do so if you are left alone. So do not fight along with these people until you take hostages from their chiefs who will remain in your hands as a security that they will fight Muhmmad with you until you make an end of him.’ The Jews said that this was excellent advice.

Then he went to Quraysh and said to Abu Sufyan b. Harb and his company: ‘You know my affection for you and that I have left Muhammad. Now I have heard something which I think it my duty to tell you of by way of warning, but regard it as confidential.’ When they said that they would, he continued, ‘Mark my words, the Jews have regretted their action in opposing Muhammad and have sent to tell him so, saying: ‘Would you like us to get hold of some chiefs of the two tribes of Quraysh and Ghatafan and hand them over to you so that you can cut their heads off? Then we can join you in exterminating the rest of them. He has sent word back to accept their offer; so if the Jews send to you to demand hostages, don’t send them a single man.’

Then he went to Ghatafan and said: ‘You are my stock and my family, the dearest of men to me, and I do not think that you can suspect me.’ They agreed that he was above suspicion, and so he told them the same story as he had told Quraysh. On the night of the Sabbath of Shawwal 5 A.H., it occurred by divine providence that Abu Sufyan and the chiefs of Ghatafan sent Ikrima b. Abu Jahl to B. Qurayza with some of their selected men saying that they had no permanent camp, that the horses and camels were dying; therefore they must make ready for battle and make an end of Muhammad once and for all. They replied that it was the Sabbath, a day on which ritually do no work, and it was well known what had happened to those of their people who had violated the Sabbath. They added: ‘Moreover we will not fight Muhammad along with you until you give us hostages whom we can hold as security until we make an end of Muhammad; for we fear that if the battle goes against you and you suffer heavily you will withdraw at once to you country and leave us alone with the man in our country, and we cannot face him alone.’

When the messengers returned with their reply, the Quraysh and Ghatafan said that what Nu’aym told them was thus the truth. Then they resolved: ‘Send to B. Qurayza that we will not give them a single man, and if they want to fight let them come out and fight.’ Having received this message from the Quraysh, B. Quryaza said: ‘What Nu’aym told you is the truth. The people are bent on fighting and if they get an opportunity they will take advantage of it; but if they do not they will withdraw to their own country and leave us to face this man alone here. So send word to them that we will not fight Muhammad with them until they give us hostages as a security.’ But the Quraysh and the Ghatafan refused to do so, and God sowed distrust between them and sent very strong cold wind against them in those winter nights which upset their cooking-pots and overthrew their tents.

Then Abu Sufyan said: ‘O Quraysh, we are not in a permanent camp; the horses and camels are dying; the B. Qurayza have broken their word to us and we have heard disquieting reports of them. You can see the violence of the wind which leaves us with neither cooking-pots, nor fire, nor tents to count on. Be off, for I am going! Then he went to his camel which was hobbled, mounted it, and beat it so that it got up on its legs… The Ghatafan heard of what the Quraysh expectedly did, that they broke up and returned to their own country.
In the following morning, the Prophet and the Muslims left the trench and returned to Medina, laying their arms aside. [5]

Al-Tabari:

When the news of the treachery of B. Qurayza reached the Messenger of God and the Muslims, the Messenger of God sent out Sa’d b. Mu’adh b. al-Nu’man b. Imru al-Qays (one of the Banu Abd al-Ashhal who at that time was the chief of al-Aws), Sa’d b. Ubadah b. Dulaym (one of the Banu Sa’idah b. Kab b. al-Khazraj who at that time was the chief of al-Khazraj), and with them Abdullah b. Rawahah (a member of the Banu al-Harith b. al-Khazraji) and Khawwat b. Jubayr (a member of the Banu Amr b. Awf), and said:
‘Go and see whether what has reached us about these men is true or not. If it is true, speak to me in words that we can understand but that will be unintelligible to others, and do not break the strength of the people. But if these men remain loyal to the pact between us and them, announce it to the people.’
So they went out and came to the B. Qurayza. They found that they were actually guilty of worst of what had been reported about them! They slandered the Messenger of God and said, ‘There is no treaty between us and Muhammad and no covenant.’ Sa’d b. Ubadah reviled them and they reviled him – Sa’d was a man with sharp temper.
So Sa’d b. Mu’adh said to him, ‘Stop reviling them, for the disagreement between us and them is too serious for an exchange of taunts.’ The two Sa’d’s and the men with them went back to the Messenger of God, and having greeted him, said, ‘Adal and al-Qarah!’ [They meant that it was like the treachery of Adal and al-Qarah to the companions of the Messenger of God who were betrayed at al-Raji)’.(Khubayb b. Adi and his Companions..
The Messenger of God said: ‘God is the greatest! Rejoice, people of the Muslims!’” [6] [7]

 

In simple words, Nuyam was sent to disunite the enemies within so as to weaken them and wouldn’t have the chance of attacking the Muslim community all together at once. Hence, Prophet (p) succeeded in this.

5. Banu Qurayza Siding, Waging War and Supplying Enemies with Weapons

Besides the foregoing evidences for the Banu Qurayza siding with the enemy, there are further evidences that the Banu Qurayza were also arming the enemy of the Muslims with weapons and supplies. Conclusively, there are evidences in other historical reports that the Banu Qurayza actively fought against the Muslims:

Commentary on Quran 8:55 – 58 from Tabari;

“Those of them with whom thou hast made compact, then they break their compact every time’: ‘You, Muhammed, took from them their bonds (muwathiqahum) and compacts (uhudahum) that they would not fight you nor aid anyone who fights you, like Qurayza and (people) like them, who had compacts (ahd) and treaties (aqd)’; then they break’ … : they fight you (harabuka) and aid (zaharu) against you.’ (Al-Tabari, Tafsir, [ed. Shakir] volume 14, page 21 – 22) [8]

Muqatil ibn Sulayman al-Balkhi – Muqatil Tafsir:

‘The Jews violated the compact between them and the Prophet and aided the unbelievers of Mecca by providing them with weapons with which to fight the Prophet and his Companions. (Tafsir Muqatil, volume 1, 147a) [9]

Tafsir Baghawi on 8:56

[This verse refers] to the Jews of Qurayza who broke the treaty between themselves and the Messenger of God by furnishing the heathen with weapons in order to help them in fighting the Prophet. But afterwards they said: ‘We forgot, and we did wrong.’ Therefore the Prophet concluded a second treaty with them, until they broke it by inciting the unbelievers against the Messenger of God on yawm al-Ahzab. Ka’b b. al-Ashraf went to Mecca and established an alliance, directed against the Prophet, between them.”(Tafsir Baghawi, volume 2, page 257) [10]

 

Besides the above, we also have historical Hadith shedding more light on Banu Qurayzah’s treachery:

Sahih al-Bukhari:

“Narrated Ibn `Umar: Bani An-Nadir and Bani Quraiza fought (against the Prophet violating their peace treaty), so the Prophet exiled Bani An-Nadir and allowed Bani Quraiza to remain at their places (in Medina) taking nothing from them till THEY FOUGHT AGAINST THE PROPHET AGAIN. He then killed their men and distributed their women, children and property among the Muslims, BUT SOME OF THEM CAME TO THE PROPHET AND HE GRANTED THEM SAFETY, and they embraced Islam. He exiled all the Jews from Medina. They were the Jews of Bani Qainuqa’, the tribe of `Abdullah bin Salam and the Jews of Bani Haritha and all the other Jews of Medina.” (Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Hadith 362).

Sunan Abi Dawud:

“Ibn ‘Umar said ‘The Jews Al Nadir and Quraizah fought with the Apostle of Allah, so the Apostle of Allah expelled Banu Al Nadir and allowed the Quraizah to stay and favored them. The Quraizah thereafter fought (with the Prophet)‘. So he killed their men and divided their women, property and children among Muslims except some of them who associated with the Apostle of Allah. He gave them protection and later on they embraced Islam. The Apostle of Allah expelled all the Jews of Madeenah in toto, Banu Qainuqa, they were the people of ‘Abd Allah bin Salam, the Jews of Banu Harith and any of Jews who resided in Madeenah.” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 19, Hadith 2999)

Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq:

“Abd al-Razzaq on the authority of Musa b. Uqba: The Nadir and Qurayza fought the Prophet; the Prophet expelled the Nadir and agreed that Qurayza should stay. Later QURAYZA FOUGHT THE PROPHET. They were defeated, the men were executed, the women, children and property were divided among the Muslims. SOME OF THE JEWS RECEIVED THE AMAN (SAFETY) OF THE PROPHET and converted to Islam.” (Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq, volume 6, pages 54 – 55) [11]

Musnad ibn Hanbal:

“The Jews of Banu Nadir and Banu Qurayza attacked the Messenger of God. So the Messenger of God in turn expelled the Banu Nadir, but warranted the security of the B. Qurayza and made an agreement with them. [This lasted] until the Qurayza took to military action after that.” (Musnad Ibn Hanbal, volume 9, page 181) [12]

The following Hadith also shows that the Prophet (p) was on guard and warning his people that the Banu Qurayza tribe may attack, slaughter Muslims:

“Carry your weapons with you for I fear the tribe of Quraiza (may harm you).” (Sahih Muslim Book 26, Hadith 5557)

 

These above historical traditions show that the Banu Qurayza more than once supported the Quraysh enemy in attacking the Muslims in Madinah, financially, militarily, and giving them supplies of weapons against the Muslims. It thus shows that the Banu Qurayza weren’t innocent as orientalists and other critics make them out to be.

6. Banu Quraiza were left to face the music alone

What Nu’aym Ibn Mas’ud did was indeed a victory and now the Banu Qurayza were left by themselves to face the music. Coming back from Khandaq after which the Meccan polytheists Makkans retreated, the Prophet (p) didn’t even put his armour and sword down when Angel Gabriel commanded him to march against the Banu Quraiza for what they had done:

Sahih Muslim:

“Narrated by A’isha : … When he returned from the Ditch and laid down his arms and took a bath, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and he was removing dust from his hair (as if he had just returned from the battle). The latter said: You have laid down arms. By God, we haven’t (yet) laid them down. So march against them. The Messenger of Allah asked: Where? He pointed to Banu Quraiza. So the Messenger of Allah fought against them. They surrendered at the command of the Messenger of Allah, but he referred the decision about them to Sa’d who said: I decide about them that those of them who can fight be killed, their women and children taken prisoners and their properties distributed (among the Muslims).” (Sahih Muslim: Book 19, Hadith 4370)

As he heard these words from Angel Gabriel, the Prophet (p) aroused his Companions (Sahaba) to march upon the Banu Qurayza tribe. They arrived and found the Banu Quraiza in their fortresses. The Prophet (p) would have forgiven them had they asked, but they preferred to resist fighting him and hurl abuse at him at the same time [Ibn Ishaq]:

“The prophet ordered it to be announced that none should perform the afternoon prayer until after he reached B. Qurayza. The apostle sent Ali forward with his banner and the men hastened to it. Ali advanced until he came near the forts he heard insulting language used of the apostle.” [13]

Instead of begging for forgiveness for what they did do against the Muslims, here we the Banu Qurayzah insulting the Prophet (p) at the same time still wanted to fight ready from their fort.

The Prophet (p) besieged them for over 3 weeks at the end they surrendered in terms that they should be left to be judged by a former Jew, by the name of Sa’d bin Mu’adh to judge them on their treachery. Hence Sa’d brought out the Torah to judge them, and he decreed by the Law of Torah (Deuteronomy) that warrior-men who participated in this be killed and the rest be enslaved or freed:

“When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. (Bible – Deuteronomy 20:10-14)

I find it amusing for the double standards and hypocrisy of the detractors, they attack Prophet Muhammed (p) for the judgement passed onto the Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza, from their own Book. If Christians and Jews and others find this Jewish ruling from their own book abhorrent then they should tear away such verses apart from the Bible. The blame should be on the Bible for making such rulings for those who commit treachery and wage war.

Lastly, critics always fail to tell is the judgement was not passed by Prophet Muhammed himself but by a former Jew, Sa’d Ibn Mu’adh, who was CHOSEN by the Banu Qurayza to judge their treachery according to their scriptures.

7. Who Were Killed?

According to historical evidences only the warrior-men were killed. Those who actively participated in the treachery and were siding in fighting against the Muslims were killed. Historical reports state the following:

Kitab Futuh al-Buldan:

The Prophet besieged banu Kuraizah for few days in Dhu-l-qa’dah, and a few days in Dhu-l-Hijjah, of the year 5 After Hejira, the whole period being fifteen days. These Banu Quraizah were among those who had assisted in the fight against the Prophet in the battle of al-Khandaq (the moat) also called battle of al-Ahzab [the confederates]. Finally they surrendered and he installed Sa’d ibn Mu’adh al-Ausi as their ruler. The latter decreed that every ADULT BE EXECUTED, that women and children be carried as captives and that all that they possessed be divided among the Moslems. …” (Kitab Futuh al-Buldan, volume 1, page 40) [14]

 

Sahih al-Bukhari:

The people of (Banu) Quraiza agreed to accept the verdict of Sa`d bin Mu`adh. So the Prophet sent for Sa`d, and the latter came (riding) a donkey and when he approached the Mosque, the Prophet said to the Ansar, “Get up for your chief or for the best among you.” Then the Prophet said (to Sa`d).” These (i.e. Banu Quraiza) have agreed to accept your verdict.” Sa`d said, “KILL THEIR WARRIORS and take their offspring as captives, “On that the Prophet said, “You have judged according to Allah’s Judgment,” or said, “according to the King’s judgement.”(Sahih al-Bukhari volume 5, Book 59, Hadith 447)

 

Sahih Muslim:

“It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar that the Jews of Banu Nadir and Banu Quraiza fought against the Messenger of Allah who expelled Banu Nadir, and allowed Quraiza to stay on, and granted favour to them until they too fought against him THEN HE KILLED THEIR MEN, and distributed their women, children and properties among the Muslims, except that some of them had joined the Messenger of Allah who granted them security. They embraced Islam. The Messenger of Allah turned out all the Jews of Medina. Banu Qainuqa’ (the tribe of ‘Abdullah b. Salim) and the Jews of Banu Haritha and every other Jew who was in Medina.”(Sahih Muslim Book 19 Hadith 4364)

 

Ibn Ishaq:

The Apostle had ordered that every adult (who participated in treachery) of theirs should be killed. Shu’ba b. al-Hajjaj told me from Abdu’l-Malik b. Umayr from Atiya al-Qurzai: The Apostle had ordered that every adult of B. Qurayza should be killed. I was a lad and they found that I was not an adult and so they let me go.[15]

 

Kitab al-Maghazi – al-Waqidi:

… Ibrahim b. Ja’far related to me from his father, who said: When the Banu Qurayza were killed, Husayl b. Nuwayra al-Ashjari arrived at Khaybar- he had gone for two days. The Jews of the Banu Nadir- Sallam b. Mishkam, Kinana b. Rabi b. Abi l-Huqayq and the Jews of khaybar were sitting in council to consider the news of the Qurayza. It had reached them that the Messenger of God had besieged the Qurayza, and they dreaded what it was. They said, ‘What brought you’? He said, ‘Evil. The QURAYZA WARRIORS were executed by the sword,’… ” [16]

 

Abu Dawud:

Ibn ‘Umar said “The Jews Al Nadir and Quraizah fought with the Apostle of Allaah, so the Apostle of Allaah expelled Banu Al Nadir and allowed the Quraizah to stay and favored them. The Quraizah thereafter fought (with the Prophet).” So HE KILLED THEIR MEN and divided their women, property and children among Muslims except some of them who associated with the Apostle of Allaah. He gave them protection and later on they embraced Islam. The Apostle of Allaah expelled all the Jews of Madeenah in Toto, Banu Qainuqa, they were the people of ‘Abd Allaah bin Salam, the Jews of Banu Harith and any of Jews who resided in Madeenah.” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 19, Hadith 2999)

 

Reading the above reports, one thing stands out clear, only men, “warriors” (adults), who participated in war against the Muslims were killed.

8. Were Children Killed?

A myth that has been circulating among orientalists and other critics of Islam is that children of Banu Qurayza were executed along with the men, a claim which I shall respond too and debunk, God willing.

The reports used for the allegations are the following:

Sunan an-Nasa’i:

It was narrated that Kathir bin As-Sa’ib said: “The sons of Quraizah told me that they were presented to the Messenger of Allah on the Day of Quraizah, and whoever (among them) had reached puberty, or had grown pubic hair, was killed, and whoever had not reached puberty and had not grown pubic hair was left (alive).” (Sunan an-Nasa’i Volume 4, Book 27, Hadith 3459).

Sunan an-Nasa’i:

“It was narrated that ‘Atiyyah said: ‘I was among the prisoners of Quraizah; we were examined, and whoever had grown (pubic) hair was killed, and whoever had not grown hair, he was allowed to live and was not killed.” (Sunan an-Nasa’I volume 5, Book 46, Hadith 4984).

Jami at-Tirmidhi:

“Narrated ‘Atiyyah Al-Qurazi: “We were presented to the Messenger of Allah on the day of (the battle of) Quraizah. Whoever had pubic hair was killed and whoever did not was left to his way. I was of those who did not have pubic hair so I was left to my way.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi, volume 3, Book 19, Hadith 1584)

Reading the above reports, some critics claim that kids were among those killed of the Banu Qurayza.

However, what critics fail to mention, or deliberately leave out, is that “pubic hair” was not the only factor used in this incident. We have a report from early Islamic scholar Al-Shaybani (Born: 749 Ad, died 805) telling us that revelation was sent down to Prophet Muhammed (p) instructing him that puberty was the limit of their penal responsibility as fighting warriors those who willingly participated in this:

Al-Shaybani’s opinion is different: he points out that there are differences in the age of puberty between various peoples (for instance between Turks and Indians). But in the case of Banu Qurayza the Prophet disclosed to Sa’d b. Mu’adh (on the basis of a revelation) that their age of puberty WAS THE LIMIT OF THEIR PENAL RESPONSIBILITY AS FIGHTING PERSON” (Al-Shaybani, op. cit., volume 2, page 591) [17]

Some may ask, what is penal responsibility?

Penal responsibility, or criminal responsibility, refers to a person’s ability to understand when the crime was committed. A person is responsible and could go to jail having fully known at the time of the crime what they did, and that they understood the implications.

So besides the prerequisite for pubic hair, the treacherous Banu Qurayza were also checked out for having possessed the requisite state of mind when they committed the treachery.

Hence, those who understood clearly and were aware that what they did were the only ones who were killed. Those who didn’t understand the crime because they don’t know what was right or wrong (even though having pubic hair), were not touched.

To recap, the historical reports already mentioned all quite clearly state that people who were killed for actively been involved in this treachery were:

“Men”

“Warriors”

“Adults”

In fact one of those who witnessed everything explicitly states in a report in Ibn Ishaq that only adults who actively engaged in this treachery were killed;

“Shu’ba b. al-Hajjaj told me from Abdu’l-Malik b. Umayr from Atiya al-Qurzai: The Apostle had ordered that every adult of B. Qurayza should be killed. I was a lad and they found that I was not an adult and so they let me go” [18]

 

So for critics to claim that children were killed is a lie which has no historical basis. Furthermore, there are countless Hadiths where Prophet Muhammed (p) categorically and unequivocally forbade the killing of children:

Sahih al-Bukhari:

“Narrated Ibn `Umar: During some of the Ghazawat of Allah’s Messenger a woman was found killed, so Allah’s Messenger forbade the killing of women and children.” (Sahih al-Bukhari volume 4, Book 52, Hadith 258)

Sunan Abi Dawud:

“It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet saw a woman who had been killed on the road, and he forbade killing women and children.” (Sunan Abi Dawud, volume 4, Book 24, Hadith 2841).

Jami at-Tirmidhi:

That a woman was found killed in one of the expeditions of the Messenger of Allah, so the Messenger of Allah rebuked that, and he prohibited killing women and children. (Jami` at-Tirmidhi Volume 3, Book 19, Hadith 1569)

Sunan Abi Dawud:

“Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet said: Go in Allah’s name, trusting in Allah, and adhering to the religion of Allah’s Apostle. Do not kill a decrepit old man, or a young infant, or a child, or a woman; do not be dishonest about booty, but collect your spoils, do right and act well, for Allah loves those who do well.” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 14, Hadith 2608).

Muwatta Malik:

“Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. …” (Muwatta Malik Book 21, Hadith 10).

Sunan al-Bayhaqi:

“The Messenger of God forbade those whom he sent to Ibn Abi l-Huqayq to kill women and children.(Sunan al-Bayhaqi, volume 9, page 78) [19]

 

9. Were all the Banu Qurayza Men Killed?

Another myth propagated by critics is that not a single man of the Qurayza was left alive. Thus they call it “genocide”. This claim again when we scratch the surface of it will be seen as nothing but lie based on distortion of historical facts.

The most authoritative book in Islam is the Quran. The Quran indicates that some of them lived and some were killed:

“And He brought down those who supported them among the People of the Scripture from their fortresses and cast terror into their hearts [so that] a party you killed, and you took captive a party” – Qur’an 33:26.

The Book of Hadiths also report to us some were killed and some were left alive:

Sahih Bukhari:

“Narrated Ibn `Umar: Bani An-Nadir and Bani Quraiza fought (against the Prophet violating their peace treaty), so the Prophet exiled Bani An-Nadir and allowed Bani Quraiza to remain at their places (in Medina) taking nothing from them till they fought against the Prophet again. He then killed their men and distributed their women, children and property among the Muslims, BUT SOME OF THEM CAME TO THE PROPHET AND HE GRANTED THEM SAFETY, and they embraced Islam. He exiled all the Jews from Medina. They were the Jews of Bani Qainuqa’, the tribe of `Abdullah bin Salam and the Jews of Bani Haritha and all the other Jews of Medina.” (Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Hadith 362)

Al-Musannaf abd al-Razzaq:

“Abd al-Razaq on the authority of Musa b. Uqba: The Nadir and Qurayza fought the Prophet; the Prophet expelled the Nadir and agreed that Qurayza should stay. Later Qurayza fought the Prophet. They were defeated, the men were executed, the women, children and property were divided among the Muslims. SOME OF THE JEWS RECEIVED THE AMAN (SAFETY) OF THE PROPHET and converted to Islam. (Al-Musannaf abd al-Razzaq, volume 6, page 54) [20]

 

Kitab Futuh al-Buldan:

“… The Prophet pressed siege against banu Quraizah until they surrendered to Sa’d ibn Mu’adh who decreed that their men be executed, their children be taken as captives and their possessions be divided. Accordingly, A CERTAIN NUMBER OF MEN WERE PUT TO DEATH ON THAT DAY.” (Kitab Futuh al-Buldan, volume 1, page 41) [21]

 

Sunan Abi Dawud:

Ibn ‘Umar said “The Jews Al Nadir and Quraizah fought with the Apostle of God, so the Apostle of God expelled Banu Al Nadir and allowed the Quraizah to stay and favored them. The Quraizah thereafter fought (with the Prophet).” So he killed their men and divided their women, property and children among Muslims EXCEPT SOME OF THEM WHO ASSOCIATED WITH THE APOSTLE OF GOD. HE GAVE THEM PROTECTION AND LATER ON THEY EMBRACED ISLAM. The Apostle of God expelled all the Jews of Madinah, Banu Qainuqa, they were the people of ‘Abd Allaah bin Salam, the Jews of Banu Harith and any of Jews who resided in Madeenah.” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 19, Hadith 2999)

I would like to emphasize here those that did receive pardon, later converted to Islam freely. Forced conversion is forbidden (Haram) in Islam. They were most probably pardoned because they weren’t involved in the treachery. In fact, the last Hadith (above) in Sunan Abi Dawud quoted, clearly states they were freed and “later” embraced Islam.

We also have definitive proof from a number of early historical sources, specifically mentioning names of Banu Qurayzah men who were left alive because they didn’t participate in this treachery in waging war against the Muslims:

Al-Tabari:

“…Tha’labah b. Sa’yah, Usayd b. Sa’yah, and Asad b. Ubayd – a group of men from the Banu Hadl, not from the Banu Qurayzah or al-Nadir [their genealogy was superior to that], but cousins of the men in question – became Muslims the night that Qurayzah submitted to the judgment of the Messenger of God. During that night, Amr b. Su’da al-Qurazi went out and passed by the guards of the Messenger of God – Muhammad b. Maslamah al-Ansari was in charge of them that night. When the latter saw Amr, he said, ‘Who said it?’ Amr b. Su’da,’ he replied. Amr had refused to go along with the Banu Qurayzah in their treachery toward the Messenger of God. ‘Never’, he had said, ‘Will I act treacherously toward Muhammad.’ Having recognized him, Muhammad b. Maslamah said, ‘O Noble’ – and he let him pass. Amr went his way and spent that night in the mosque of the Messenger of God in Medina. Then he went away, and no one knows to this day into which of God’s lands he went. His story was mentioned to the Messenger of God who said, “He was a man whom God rescued for his loyalty.” According to Ibn Ishaq: Some men allege that he was bound with an old frayed rope along with the Banu Qurayzah who were bound when they submitted to the judgement of the Messenger of God. In the morning his rope was cast aside, and no one knew where he had gone. …” [22]

 

Ibn Ishaq:

“Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri told me that Thabit b. Qays b. al-Shammas had gone to al-Zabir b. Bata al-Qurazi who was Abu Abdu-l-Rahman. Al-Zabir had spared Thabit during the pagan era. One of al-Zabir’s sons told me that he had spared him on the day of Bu’ath, having captured him and cut off his forelock and then let him go. Thabit came to him (he was then an old man) and asked him if he knew him, to which he answered, ‘Would a man like me not recognize a man like you?’ He said: ‘I want to repay for your service to me. ‘He said, ‘The noble repays the noble.’
Thabit went to the Apostle and told him that al-Zabir had spared his life and he wanted to repay him for it, and the Apostle said that his life would be spared. When he returned and told him that the Apostle had spared his life he said, ‘What does an old man without family and without children want with life?’ Thabit went again to the Apostle, who promised to give him his wife and children. When he told him he said, ‘How can a household in the Hijaz live without property?’ Thabit secured the Apostle’s promise that his property would be restored and came and told him so, and he said, ‘O Thabit, what has become of him whose face was like a Chinese mirror in which the virgins of the tribe could see themselves, Ka’b b. Asad?’ ‘Killed,’ he said.

‘And what of the prince of the Desert and the sown, Huyayy b. Akhtab?’ ‘Kiled.’ And what of our vanguard when we attacked and our rearguard when we fled (T. returned to the charge), Azzal b. Samaw’al?’ ‘Killed.’ ‘And what of the two assemblies?’ meaning b. Ka’b b. Qurayza and B. Amr b. Qurayza. ‘killed’. He said, ‘Then I ask of you, Thabit by my claim on you that you join me with my people, for life holds no joy now that they are dead, and I cannot bear to wait another moment to meet my loved ones.’ So Thabit went up to him and struck off his head.

Thabit b. Qays said concerning that, mentioning al-Zabir b. Bata:
My obligation is ended; I was noble and persistent when others swerved from steadfastness. Zabir had a greater claim than any man on me And when his wrists were bound with cords I went to the Apostle that I might free him. To Apostle was a very sea of generosity to us.” [23]

 

Kitab Al-Maghazi – Al-Waqidi:

… al-Zabir b. bata had done a favour for Thabot b. Qays on the day of Bu’ath. Thabit came to al-Zabir and said, ‘O Abu Abd al-Rahman, do you know me?’ He replied, ‘Do you think one like me will not know the likes of you.’ Thabir said, ‘You have done me a good deed and I want to repay you.’ Zabir replied, ‘Indeed the noble reward the noble. I am in the greatest need of your help today.’ Thabit came to the Messenger of God and said, ‘O messenger of God, Zabir helped me when my hopes were cut off on the day of Bu’ath. I mentioned this good deed to you, for I desire to help him, so give him to me.’ The Messenger of God said, ‘He is for you.’ Then Tabit came to Zabir and said, ‘ Indeed the Messenger of God has given you to me.’ Al-Zabir said, ‘I am an old man. I have no family or son or wealth in Yathrib. What will I do with my life?’ So Thabit came to the Messenger of God and said, ‘O Messenger of God, give me his son.’ So he gave him his son. Then he said, ‘O Messenger of God, give me his property and his family.’ So the Messenger of God gave Thabit Zabir’s property, son and family.
Thabit returned to al-Zabir and said, ‘Indeed the Messenger of God has given me your son and your property and your family.’ Zabir said, ‘O Thabit, you have rewarded me and repaid your debt, but, what has happened to him whose face is like a Chinese mirror, in which virgins of the neighbourhood could see themselves, Ka’b b. Asad?’ He said, ‘He is killed.’ Al-Zabir said, ‘What happened to the master of the cities and the desert, the lord of the two neighbourhoods who carries them in war and deeds them at home, Huyayy b. Akhtab?’ He said, ‘He is killed.’

Al-Zabir said, ‘What happened to the leader of the vanguard of the Jews at war when they charge, and their protector at the back when they retreat, Ghazzal b. Samaw’al?’ He said, ‘He is killed.’

Al-zabir said, ‘O Thabit? What good is life after those? Must I return to the home they were living in to stay after them? I do not desire that. Indeed I ask you in return for my debt to send me forward and kill me with the killing of the nobility of the Banu Qurayza. Take my sword for surely it is sharp, and strike me with it, and finish it off. Raise your hand away from the food and bring it closer to the head, lower from the brain. Indeed it is best that the body remain with the neck. O Thabit, I am impatient to find my loved ones.’

‘O Thabir, send me forward and kill me.’ Thabit said, ‘I will not kill you.’ Al-Zabir said, ‘I do not care who kills me! But, O Thabit, see to my wife and my son for they anxious about death. Ask your friend to releasethem and return their property. I will go towards Al-Zubayr b. al-Awwam.’ He reproached al-Zubayr and al-Zubayr struck off his head.
Thabit asked the Messenger of God about his wife and his property and his son. The Messenger of God returned all of that to his son. He set his wife free, and he returned their property of dates and camels and clothes, but not the weapons, to them. They stayed with the family of Thabit b. Qays b. Shammas. [24]

 

Although Zabir Thabit was forgiven for taking part in this, he none the less, sadly wanted to be killed since his other friends were killed because of the treachery they were involved in. Notice, the Muslims didn’t want to kill him but he insisted on it.

Moreover, the above reports show that his family actively participated in this treachery and wanted to wage war against the Muslims. Notice the words that were used that they got everything back except “their weapons”. Showing that some of the family members were also liable for death penalty hadn’t it been for one of the Companions of the Prophet (p) intervening on their behalf by being forgiven them. The Prophet in his noble, merciful character let all the family go and they got everything back; they walked away free including Zabir’s grown son.

Islamic scholars also mention a number of Banu Quraiza men’s names who were left alive for their faithfulness in not getting involved in this treachery.

Imam Shafi’i , a prominent second-century scholar, says:

“…not all of them took part in aiding against the Prophet and his Companions, but all of them remained in their stronghold and did not abandon the treacherous people from among them, EXCEPT A SMALL PARTY (NAFAR) AND THIS (ACTION) SAVED THEIR LIVES AND KEPT THEIR POSSESSIONS IN THEIR HANDS“. [25]

 

Shaykh Muhammed Al-Ghazali says:

“The siege continued for twenty-five days during which the Muslims allowed the Jews who had refused to betray the Prophet during the Battle of the Ditch TO LEAVE AND GO WHEREVER THEY WISHED AS A REWARD FOR THEIR FAITHFULNESS. [26]

 

Islamic scholar, Syed Maududi:

From among the prisoners of the Banu Quraizah, the Holy Prophet forgave Zabir bin Bata and ‘Amr bin Sa’d (or Ibn Su’da), the former because he had given refuge to Hadrat Thabit bin Qais Ansari in the Battle of Bu’ath, in the pre-Islamic days of ignorance; therefore, he handed him over to Hadrat Thabit that he may repay him for his favor. And he forgave ‘Amr bin Sa`d because it was he who was exhorting his tribe not to be treacherous when the Bani Quraizah were committing breach of the trust with the Holy Prophet. [27]

 

Dr. Resis Haylamaz:

THE FATE OF THOSE PARDONED AND THE CAPTIVES:
“The judgement passed by Sa’d ibn Muadh did not include all of the Banu Qurayza; among the Banu Qurayza that day there were youths such as atiyyatu-l-Qurazi and Rifa’a ibn Shamwal Amr ibn Su’da, ibn Sa’ya’s sons Salaba and Usayd and their cousin Asad ibn Ubayd. THESE MEN OF CONSCIENCE WERE FORGIVEN. Zabir ibn Bata had cone a great favour for Thabot ibn Qays ibn Shammas during the times of Buath wars. …” [28]

 

10. How Many Men of the Quraiza were Killed?

Ibn Ishaq:

“Then they surrendered, and the Apostle confined them in Medina, in the house of d. al-Harith, a women of banu al-Najjar. Then the Apostle of God went out to the market of Medina and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads…”[29]

 

Number of those executed is uncertain: According to few sources, the number given for the men killed, for the treachery they committed are, 400, 500, and Ibn Ishaq puts it as high 600 – 900 men were executed. These numbers are not given in the Quran, and Hadith which are the most authoritative in Islam. The numbers are only reported in some sources which some scholars have doubt on.

This doubt itself is well evidenced. When we read Ibn Ishaq he tells that after the banu Quraiza surrendered to be judged, they were sent to the house (dar) of Bint al-harith, a women belonging to the Banu al-Najjar tribe.

If the number of 600 – 900 is true, then each of the warrior men would on average, have two kids plus wife, times the 900 by 3, we would have over 2000 people confined in one house. This is impossible given the fact that no such prison existed in Madinah, to house that many people. In fact it was not even a prison, it was just a house.

Furthermore, if we were to go with this, Madinah must have had one of the most advanced, well-organized prison’s ever. Given that over 2000 people had to be tied up, how big was Haritha’s house? Were the prisoners routinely fed, taken to toilet whenever needed? Given that none of the fully grown warriors (900) didn’t run away I doubt (as other scholars have) that such was the number of soldiers killed.

Thus the most appropriate thing regarding the number of the treacherous Banu Quraiza men executed is to ignore the contradictory and doubtful sources that mention the numbers. If these sources can’t agree with one another besides being doubtful to begin with, how can we be confident that such were the actual number of the men executed? Given the fact that Quran and Hadith are silent on the number and most importantly tell us that only some were killed and some were spared, we can confidently say that the varying numbers from 400 to 900 is nothing but conjecture.

Islamic scholar Barakat Ahmad lists a number of great examples where the Quraysh made major issues regarding smaller matters and if such a “massacre” ever occurred why isn’t it mentioned in any historical record from Jews, Christians or any reliable Muslim record?

The incident of the B. Qurayzah occurred before the armistice of Hudaybiyah and the peace with Khaybar were achieved. It is impossible that the pagans and the Munafiqun (hypocrites) would have remained muted. When Jahsh violated the sacred month and shed blood therein, when the palms of the B. al-Nadir were burnt, when the Apostle married the divorced wife of his adopted son, the people criticised and the Qur’an defended the Apostle. It is improbable that the Apostle’s critics would have paid less attention to the lives of the Banu Qurayzah than to the palms of the B. al-Nadir. That the news of this ‘massacre’ did not reach Syria, which included Jerusalem and Adhra’at, with which the Medina Jews had contacts, and the Exilarchate in Iraq, which exercised religious authority over them is highly unlikely. [30]

 

11. Anti-Semitism claim

Another widely false idea held by critics, believed and circulated by bigots, is that the Banu Qurayza were killed because of the inherent hatred Muslims and the religion Islam have towards Jews as a race.

However, as we have already read the sources in history, these are baseless lies. The historical reports tell us that some of the Banu Quraiza men were killed because they actively committed the crime of treason, waged war and supplied the enemies of the Muslims with weapons and supplies, while they had a pact with the Muslims that they would not do any of this. And, the Banu Qurayza were Arab Jews. So it is inconceivable for Arabs to hate other Jews just for their race.

Muslims and the Arab Jews have been living in peace and harmony for centuries, from the time of the Prophet Muhammed to this. In fact we have authentic historical reports where the Prophet (p) even after the Banu Quraiza incident showed love, mercy, and kindness to Jews.

If the Prophet (p) really hated Jews as some critics claim, then why did he free those who didn’t partake in the treachery? The evidences shown in this article quite clearly show us that the Prophet (p) only killed some Banu Qurayza warrior-men because they broke the pact, waged war, and supplied enemies with weapons against the Muslims.

We have a number of incidents after the Banu Qurayza episode in which the Prophet (p) and his companions showed utmost respect to Jews.

11.1 – Islamic faith has never taught its followers to be anti-semitic. The Arab-Israeli conflict is a political conflict which started in the 1948, Muslims, Christians and Jews have lived in that area for centuries.

11.2 – The Quran tells us that Kosher food prepared by Jews is allowed for Muslims (Qur’an 5:5).

11.3 – Islam accepts and respects all Jewish Prophets: Moses, Solomon, David, Abraham etc.

11.4 – When the Prophet was asked by one his Companions why he stood up for Jewish funeral procession, he remarked that we are all equal in death. Respect was given to a funeral of a Jew at time of Mohammed (p):

Sahih Muslim:

…while Qais b. Sa’d and Sahl b. Hunaif were both in Qadislyya a bier passed by them and they both stood up. They were told that it was the bier of one of the people of the land (non-Muslim). They said that a bier passed before the Prophet and he stood up. He was told that he (the dead man) was a Jew. Upon this he remarked: Was he not a human being or did he not have a soul?  (Sahih Muslim  Book 4, Hadith 2098)

 

Sunan Abi Dawud:

Narrated Jabir: We were with the Prophet when a funeral passed hi and he stood up for it. When we went to carry it, we found that it was a funeral of a Jew. We, therefore said: Messenger of Allah, this is the funeral of a Jew. He said: Death is fearful event, so when you see a funeral, stand up. (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 20, Hadith 3168)

 

Sunan an-Nasai:

Jabir said: “The Prophet and his Companions stood up for the funeral of a Jew until it disappeared.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i Vol. 3, Book 21, Hadith 1930)

 

Sahih al-Bukhari:

A funeral procession passed in front of us and the Prophet stood up and we too stood up. We said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! This is the funeral procession of a Jew.” He said, “Whenever you see a funeral procession, you should stand up.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, volume 2, Book 23, Hadith 398)

 

Sahih al-Bukhari:

Sahl bin Hunaif and Qais bin Sa`d were sitting in the city of Al-Qadisiya. A funeral procession passed in front of them and they stood up. They were told that funeral procession was of one of the inhabitants of the land i.e. of a non-believer, under the protection of Muslims. They said, “A funeral procession passed in front of the Prophet and he stood up. When he was told that it was the coffin of a Jew, he said, “Is it not a living being (soul)?” (Sahih al-Bukhari, volume 2, Book 23, Hadith 399)

 

11.5 – The Prophet had a Jewish wife called Saffiya. Once, one the Prophet’s wives, Hafsah, called her, ‘daughter of a Jew”. Upon this, the Prophet (p) cautioned her to “Fear God”. He was not happy with her to call her such, and reprimanded her to think about what she says because she would be held liable for hurting her.

Jami at-Tirmidhi:

Narrated Anas: said: “It reached Safiyyah that Hafsah said: ‘The daughter of a Jew’ so she wept. Then the Prophet entered upon her while she was crying, so he said: ‘What makes you cry?’ She said: ‘Hafsah said to me that I am the daughter of a Jew.’ So the Prophet said: ‘And you are the daughter of a Prophet, and your uncle is a Prophet, and you are married to a Prophet, so what is she boasting to you about?’ Then he said: ‘Fear Allah, O Hafsah.’” (Jami at-Tirmidhi Vol. 1, Book 46, Hadith 3894)

 

11.6 – The Qur’an tells us that Muslim men are allowed to marry Jewish women (Qur’an 5:5). Thus if the religion and its founder were as the misguided critics claim then this would never have been allowed. But on the contrary, we see this endorsed by God and His Messenger in order to bring love and mercy and blood ties among Muslims and Jews.

11.7 – Once the Prophet (p) didn’t have enough food in his house, so he went to a Jew who had food and mortgaged his armour for the food.

Narrated `Aisha: The Prophet purchased food grains from a Jew on credit and mortgaged his iron armor to him. (Sahih al-Bukhari volume 3, Book 34, Hadith 282)

 

11.8 – The Prophet greeted Jews and Muslims together and insisted that Muslim should greet everyone:

Narrated Usamah bin Zaid: that the Prophet passed by a gathering in which the Muslims and the Jews were mixed, so he gave the Salam to them. (Jami at-Tirmidhi  volume 5, Book 40, Hadith 2702)

 

Adab Al-Mufrad:

Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Return the greeting to whomever it is, Jew, Christian, or Magian. That is because Allah says, ‘When you are greeted with a greeting, greet with one better than it or return it.’ (4: 86)” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad Book 44, Hadith 1107)

 

Riyad as-Salihin:

The Prophet passed by a mixed company of people which included Muslims, polytheists and Jews, and he gave them the greeting (i.e., saying As- Salamu ‘Alaikum). (Riyad as-Salihin Book 6, Hadith 868)

 

11.9 – A companion of the Prophet (p), Jabir owned some money to a Jew. When he couldn’t pay back, he asked the Jew if he could pay the amount he owned the following year, the Jew refused and wanted his money straight away. The Prophet hearing this went over to the Jew and asked him to wait patiently till next year when he could pay. But the he refused even when the Prophet (p) insisted. Thus there seemed to be compromise, so the Prophet (p) told Jabir to start working for the Jew by plucking dates so that he could pay back his money in time. Jabir agreed and started working hard until he paid back the Jewish man in full.

Sahih Bukhari:

“Narrated Jabir bin `Abdullah: There was a Jew in Medina who used to lend me money up to the season of plucking dates. (Jabir had a piece of land which was on the way to Ruma). That year the land was not promising, so the payment of the debt was delayed one year. The Jew came to me at the time of plucking, but gathered nothing from my land. I asked him to give me one year respite, but he refused. This news reached the Prophet whereupon he said to his companions, “Let us go and ask the Jew for respite for Jabir.” All of them came to me in my garden, and the Prophet started speaking to the Jew, but he Jew said, “O Abu Qasim! I will not grant him respite.” When the Prophet saw the Jew’s attitude, he stood up and walked all around the garden and came again and talked to the Jew, but the Jew refused his request. I got up and brought some ripe fresh dates and put it in front of the Prophet. He ate and then said to me, “Where is your hut, O Jabir?” I informed him, and he said, “Spread out a bed for me in it.” I spread out a bed, and he entered and slept. When he woke up, I brought some dates to him again and he ate of it and then got up and talked to the Jew again, but the Jew again refused his request. Then the Prophet got up for the second time amidst the palm trees loaded with fresh dates, and said, “O Jabir! Pluck dates to repay your debt.” The Jew remained with me while I was plucking the dates, till I paid him all his right, yet there remained extra quantity of dates. So I went out and proceeded till I reached the Prophet and informed him of the good news, whereupon he said, “I testify that I am Allah’s Messenger.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari volume 7, Book 65, Hadith 354)

 

Sunan an-Nasa’i:

“My father owed some dates to a Jew. He was killed on the Day of Uhud and he left behind two gardens. The dates owed to the Jew would take up everything in the two gardens. The Prophet said: ‘Can you take half this year and half next year?’ But the Jew refused. The Prophet said: ‘When the time to pick the dates comes, call me.’ So I called him and he came, accompanied by Abu Bakr. The dates were picked and weighed from the lowest part of the palm trees, and the Messenger of Allah was praying for blessing, until we paid off everything that we owed him from the smaller of the two gardens, as calculated by ‘Ammar. Then I brought them some fresh dates and water and they ate and drank, then he said: ‘This is part of the blessing concerning which you will be questioned.’” (Sunan an-Nasa’i, volume 4, Book 30, Hadith 3669)

 

Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated Jabir bin `Abdullah: When my father died he owed a Jew thirty Awsuq (of dates). I requested him to give me respite for repaying but he refused. I requested Allah’s Messenger to intercede with the Jew. Allah’s Messenger went to the Jew and asked him to accept the fruits of my trees in place of the debt but the Jew refused. Allah’s Apostle entered the garden of the date-palms, wandering among the trees and ordered me (saying), “Pluck (the fruits) and give him his due.” So, I plucked the fruits for him after the departure of Allah’s Apostle and gave his thirty Awsuq, and still had seventeen Awsuq extra for myself. Jabir said: I went to Allah’s Messenger to inform of what had happened, but found him praying the `Asr prayer. After the prayer I told him about the extra fruits which remained. Allah’s Messenger told me to inform (`Umar) Ibn Al-Khattab about it. When I went to `Umar and told him about it, `Umar said, “When Allah’s Messenger walked in your garden, I was sure that Allah would definitely bless it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, volume 3, Book 41, Hadith 581)

 

What is remarkable about this story is that the Prophet (p) then in Medina had the power and the authority force the Jew to be paid back in any time he wished. But that was not his character, never was. He respected the Jewish man and recognized his due right and thus told his companion to work for him to pay back his debt in the shortest time possible. This also shows that Muslims at the time freely interacted with the Jews and conferred them their due rights. They never treated others (non-Muslims) unjustly. This is the noble character of our beloved Prophet Muhammed (p) and those with him.

11.10 – Some Jews at the time of the Prophet (p) used to be very disrespectful in Madinah, so whenever they used to see the Muhammed (p) they used to greet him with, “As-Samu-Alaikum.” (i.e. death be upon you). Aisha the wife of the Prophet (p), hearing this, got angry and responded by saying to them: Death and the curse of God be upon you! The Prophet (p) demanded her to be calm and then told her that God loves the one who is kind and lenient in all matters:

Sahih Bukhari:

“Narrated `Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet) A group of Jews entered upon the Prophet and said, “As-Samu-Alaikum.” (i.e. death be upon you). I understood it and said, “Wa-Alaikum As-Samu wal-la’n. (death and the curse of Allah be Upon you).” Allah’s Messenger said “Be calm, O `Aisha! Allah loves that one should be kind and lenient in all matters.” I said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Haven’t you heard what they (the Jews) have said?” Allah’s Messenger said “I have already told them: Upon you”(Sahih Bukhari, volume 8, book 53, Hadith 83).

11.11 – Another remarkable example is of Abdullah bin Amr who had slaughtered a sheep for his family and he asked whether he would give some of that meat to their neighbour who was a Jew. The Companion, Abdullah bn Amr, was thus following the Prophet Muhammed (p) in treating their neighbours kindly and politely and to share with them when there was enough food in their houses.

Jami at-Tirmidhi:

“Abdullah bin Amr had a sheep slaughtered for his family, so when he came he said: ‘Have you given some to our neighbour, the Jew? Have you given some to our neighbor, the Jew? I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: ‘Jibril continued to advise me about (treating) the neighbors so (kindly and politely), that I thought he would order me (from Allah) to make them heirs.” (Jami at-Tirmidhi, volume 4, Book 1, Hadith 1943).

 

Sunan Abi Dawud:

Abdullah ibn Amr slaughtered a sheep and said: Have you presented a gift from it to my neighbour, the Jew, for I heard the Messenger of Allah say: Gabriel kept on commending the neighbour to me so that I thought he would make an heir? (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 42, Hadith 5133)

 

Here again, we witnessed the noble character of our beloved Prophet Muhammed (p). He cared for everyone, be they those who have a religion or not – he treated all the same.

11.12 – The Prophet visited a sick Jew in bed:

Chapter: Visiting A Sick Dhimmi
Narrated Anas: A young Jew became ill. The Prophet went to visit him. He sat down by his head and said to him: Accept Islam. He looked at his father who was beside him near his head, and he said: Obey Abu al-Qasim. So he accepted Islam, and the Prophet stood up saying: Praise be to Allah Who has saved him through me from Hell. (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 20, Hadith 3089)

 

11.13 – A Jew gave free food because he heard about the noble, merciful character of Prophet Muhammed (p). This shows had the Prophet (p) been hostile to Jews, this Jew wouldn’t have given him something for free.

Sunan Abi Dawud:

Sahl bin Sa’d said: `Ali bin Abi Talib entered upon Fatimah while Hasan and Husain were crying. He asked: Why are they crying? She replied: Due to hunger. ‘Ali went out and found a dinar in the market. He then came to Fatima and told her about it. She said: Go to such and such a Jew and get some flour for us. He came to the Jew and purchased flour with it. He said : Are you the son-in-law of him who believes that he is the Messenger of Allah. He said : Yes. The Jew said : Have your dinar with you and you will get the flour. Ali then went out and came to Fatima. He told her about the matter. She then said: Go to such and such a butcher and get some meat for us for a dirham. Ali went out and pawned the dinar for a dirham with him and got the meat, and brought it (to her). She then kneaded the flour, put the utensil on fire and baked the bread. She sent for her father : (i.e. the Prophet (SWAS). He came to them. She said to him : Messenger of Allah, I tell you all the matter. If you think it is lawful for us, we shall eat it and you will eat with us. She said: The matter is such and such. He said: eat in the name of Allah. So they ate it. While they were (eating) at their place, a boy cried adguring in the name of Allah and Islam: He was searching the dinar. The Messenger of Allah (SWAS) commanded and he was called in. He asked him. The boy replied, I lost it somewhere in the market. The Prophet (SWAS) said : `Ali, go to the butcher and tell him that the Messenger of Allah (SWAS) has asked you : send the dinar to me and one dirham of yours will be due on me. The butcher returned it and the Messenger of Allah (SWAS) handed it to him (the boy). (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 9, Hadith 1712)

 

From the above we may judge that the Prophet (p) always had kind feelings towards every human being. He loved and respected everyone. Hatred is something he never had, it was against his nature. And those who accuse him of anti-Semitism are nothing but bigots propelled by their inherent hatred towards Muhammad (p) to say anything bad against him with a view to tarnishing his noble character.

12. Conclusion:

The evidences presented on Banu Qurayza’s treacherous warrior-men’s fate shows that we can get the clear picture that they were not innocent as some would like us to believe. Only the warrior-men who committed treachery and participated in combat against the Muslims were executed. Hadn’t Sa’d ibn Mu’adh dealt with the treacherous among them, they would have gone and come back with other enemies to kill the Muslims once again. Just as Banu Nadir did when the Prophet (p) let them go – they came back and plotted to kill the Muslims in Madinah. We have to look at the fact, hadn’t the Prophet (p) executed the traitors’, punished the treacherous warrior-men of Qurayza, they would have come back and slaughtered Muslim men, women and children. We have to remember, the Banu Qurayza already were forgiven once before for siding with enemies and when the Prophet forgave them, they hatched up further plots to kill Muslims.

The evidences shown proves that the Banu Qurayza broke the pact they had, they sided with enemy against the Muslims. They attacked Muslims, waged war against the Muslims. They armed Quraysh (and other enemies) with weapons and provisions against the Muslims. The Banu Qurayza waging-war against Muslims part is mentioned in many authentic Hadiths, sadly the sources do not give us any more details where this battle took place. However, given these facts, we can safely state that, what those treacherous Banu Qurayza warrior-men got was justice of the highest order demanded for them to be their fate.

References:

[1] Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad [Translated by A. Guillaume], page 232-233
[2] Dhimmis and Others”, (“Jews and Christians and the World of Classical Islam”,) [Israel Oriental Studies], by Michael Lecker, volume 17, page 31
[3] Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad [Translated by A. Guillaume], page 453
[4] History of al-Tabari, The Victory of Islam. Muhammad at Medina, [Translator Professor W. Montgomery Watt], volume 8, Page 14 – 15
[5] Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad [Translated by A. Guillaume], pages 458 – 460).
[6] The History of al-Tabari – The Victory of Islam: Muhammad at Medina [Michael Fishbein – Translator], Volume 8, page 15
[7] Understanding who Adal and al-Qarah were, footonote 84 gives an explanation. “For the story of how a group of men from the clans of Adal and al-Qarah came to Muhammed in Medina in A. H. 4 and asked for me to instruct them in Islam and how, after Muhammed had sent six men back with them (including Khubayb b. Adi), they betrayed the six to the pro-Meccan Lihyan subtribe of Hudhayl (which had a vendetta against the Muslims) at the watering place of al-Raji…
At the same time Prophet Muhammed (p) sent out Nu’aym Ibn Mas’ud on a mission to the Banu Qurayza (he was old friend of them) to persuade them that they shouldn’t side with polytheists of Makkah until they promised for them that if the battle ceased or the allies withdrew they would have faced Mohammed all alone.”
The History of al-Tabari – The Victory of Islam: Muhammad at Medina [Michael Fishbein – Translator], volume 8, page 16, footnote 84
[8] The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza. A re-examination of a tradition – [Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam (Magnes Press, Hebrew University of Jerusalem – 1986)] by, Professor Meir J. Kister, 8, page 81
[9] The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza. A re-examination of a tradition – [Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam (Magnes Press, Hebrew University of Jerusalem – 1986)] by, Professor Meir J. Kister, 8, page 95
[10] The Biography of Muhammad: The Issue of the Sources [Copyright 2000] By Marco Scholler, volume 32, page 31
[11] Al-Musannaf abd al-Razzaq’s Isaad as recorded, Abd al-Razzaq – Ibn Jurayj – Musa b. Uqba – Nafi – Ibn Umar, volume 6, pages 54-55, number 9988). The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza. A re-examination of a tradition – [Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam (Magnes Press, Hebrew University of Jerusalem – 1986)] by, Professor Meir J. Kister, volume 8, page s 82 -83
[12] This report is also mentioned in the following hadith books, Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq, volume 6, page 54; Musnad Ibn Hanbal, volume 9, page 181; and Bayhaqi, Dala’il, volume 3, page 183; “The Biography of Muhammad: The Issue of the Sources”, [Copyright 2000], by Marco Scholler, volume 32, page 32
[13] Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad [Translated by A. Guillaume], page 461
[14] Kitab Futuh Al-Buldan, By al-Imam abu-l Abbas Ahmad Ibn-Jabir al-Baladhuri, (Translated by Philip Khuri Hitti, PH. D.), [New York – Columbia Univeristy, Longmans, Green & Co., Agents – London: P. S. King & Son, LTD. 1916], volume 1, page 40
[15] Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad [Translated by A. Guillaume], page 465 – 466
[16] The Life of Muhammad: Al-Waqidi’s Kitab Al-Maghazi [ Translator: Rizwi Faizer], page 260
[17] The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza. A re-examination of a tradition – [Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam (Magnes Press, Hebrew University of Jerusalem – 1986)] by, Professor Meir J. Kister, volume 8, page 73
[18] Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad [Translated by A. Guillaume], page 465 – 466
[19] (Shafi’I, Umm, al-hukm fi qital al mushrikun wa-mas’alat mal a;-harbi, volume 4, page 239; Sunan al-Bayhaqi, volume 9, page 78). The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza. A re-examination of a tradition – [Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam (Magnes Press, Hebrew University of Jerusalem – 1986)] by, Professor Meir J. Kister, 8, page 67
[20] The Insaad for Al-Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq’s Hadith as recorded: Abd al-Razzaq – Ibn Jurayj – Musa b. Uqba – Nafi – Ibn Umar.
The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza. A re-examination of a tradition – [Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam (Magnes Press, Hebrew University of Jerusalem – 1986)] by, Professor Meir J. Kister, 8, page 82 – 83
[21] Kitab Futuh Al-Buldan, By al-Imam abu-l Abbas Ahmad Ibn-Jabir al-Baladhuri, (Translated by Philip Khuri Hitti, PH. D.), [New York – Columbia Univeristy, Longmans, Green & Co., Agents – London: P. S. King & Son, LTD. 1916], volume 1, page 41
[22] The History of al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam: Muhammad at Medina, [Translator: Michael Fishbein], volume 8, page 32 – 33
[23] Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad [Translated by A. Guillaume], page 465 – 466
[24] The Life of Muhammad: Al-Waqidi’s Kitab Al-Maghazi, page 254 – 255
[25] Al-Shafi’i. al-Umm, n.p. 1321; repr. Kitab al-Sha’b, 1968, volume 4, page 107. The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza. A re-examination of a tradition – [Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam (Magnes Press, Hebrew University of Jerusalem – 1986)] by, Professor Meir J. Kister, 8, page 67
[26] Fiqh-Us-Seerah – Understanding The Life Of Prophet Muhammad,[International Islamic Federation of student organizations – IIFSO: – Revised second edition, copyright CE 1999/AH 1420] by Muhammad Al-Ghazali, page 346
[27] The Meanings of the Holy Quran Syed Maududi: chapter 47. Last accessed 31st December 2015, Time 21:01 pm,http://www.englishtafsir.com/Quran/47/index.html#sdfootnote8sym)
[28] The Prophet Muhammad, The Sultans of Hearts, by Resit Haylamaz volume 2, page 133
[29] Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad [Translated by A. Guillaume], page 464
[30] Muhammad and the Jews: A Re-examination, [New Delhi: Vikas, 1979], by Barakat Ahmad, page 93 – 94

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