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Invasion of Banu Qurayza

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Invasion of Banu Qurayza

Invasion of Banu Qurayza
Date February/March, 627 AD
Location Fortress of Banu Qurayza
Result *Successful 25 day siege of Banu Qurayza tribe[1][2]
Belligerents
Muslims Banu Qurayza
Commanders and leaders
Muhammad
Ali ibn Abi Talib
Strength
3000 infantary, 30 horsemen Unknown [1]
Casualties and losses
2 killed[1] Muslim Sources
  • 600–900 beheaded (Tabari, Ibn Hisham)[1][2][3]
  • All Males and 1 woman beheaded (Sunni Hadith)[4][5]

The Invasion of Banu Qurayza,[1] also known as the Massacre of Banu Qurayza, took place in the Dhul Qa‘dah during February and March of 627 AD (5 AH).[6]

The Islamic prophet Muhammad besieged the Banu Qurayza for 25 days until they surrendered.[1] One of Muhammad's companions decided that "the men should be killed, the property divided, and the women and children taken as captives". Muhammad approved of the ruling, calling it similar to God's judgment,[7][8][9][10][11] after which all male members of the tribe who had reached puberty were beheaded.[2][12] According to Daniel C. Peterson and Martin Lings, this judgment was in accordance with the law of Moses as stated in Deuteronomy 20:10-14.[13][14] The Muslim jurist Tabari quotes 600–900 being executed.[1][3] The Sunni hadith do not give the number killed, but state that all males were killed and 1 woman.[15] The rest of the women and children were sold in exchange for weapons and horses, according to Islamic sources.[1]

According to Ibn Kathir, Quranic verses 33:26-27 and 33:9-10 are about the attack against the Banu Qurayza.[2][16][17]

The Banu Qurayza were allied to Muhammmad and during the Battle of the Trench they lent tools to the Muslims to defend themselves in Medina, but they did not participate in any fighting. The Qurayza were deeply offended by Muhammad's recitation of revelations which strongly attacked Jews, and according to Islamic sources (such as Al-Waqidi[18]) they negotiated with the Meccans.[19] Waqidi claims that Muhammad had a treaty with the tribe which was torn apart. Norman Stillman and Watt believe such a treaty was "doubtful" to have existed, though Watt believes the Qurayza had agreed not to assist Muhammad's enemies against him.[18][20] Al-Waqidi has been frequently criticized by Muslim writers, who claim that he is unreliable.[21] According to Mubrakpuri, Peters, Stillman, Guillaume, Inamdar and Ibn Kathir, on the day of the Meccans' withdrawal Muhammad led his forces against the Banu Qurayza neighborhood. According to Muslim tradition he had been ordered to do so by the angel Gabriel (Jibraaiyl).[1][2][7][8][9][22]

Contents

  • Banu Qurayza 1
  • Background 2
    • Agreement with Muhammad 2.1
    • Alleged decision to terminate alliance 2.2
    • Reason for attack 2.3
  • Siege of Banu Qurayza 3
  • Demise of Banu Qurayza 4
    • Surrender and execution 4.1
    • Executors 4.2
  • Islamic primary sources 5
    • Quran 5.1
    • Hadith literature 5.2
    • Biographical literature 5.3
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Sources 8

Banu Qurayza

The Banu Qurayza (Arabic: بني قريظة; بنو قريظة‎ alternate spellings include Quraiza, Qurayzah, Quraytha, and the archaic Koreiza) were a Jewish tribe which lived in northern Arabia, at the oasis of Yathrib (presently known as Medina)

Jewish tribes reportedly arrived in Hijaz in the wake of the Jewish-Roman wars and introduced agriculture, putting them in a culturally, economically and politically dominant position.[18][23]

Background

Agreement with Muhammad

The Banu Qurayza reportedly signed a treaty with Muhammad, but it is unclear whether or not their treaty with Muhammad, obliged the Qurayza help him defend Medina or merely to remain neutral,[24] according to Ramadan, they had signed an agreement of mutual assistance with Muhammad.[25] This stance is supported by medieval sources Ibn Ishaq/Ibn Hisham and al-Waqidi.[18] Both Watt and Stillman believe that no special agreement existed between Muhammad and Qurayza.[20] Watt, however, does agree that the Qurayza had agreed not to support Muhammad's enemies against him.[18]

In 627AD, Abu Sufyan, led an attack on Medina during the Battle of the Trench.[24] The Qurayza did not participate in the fighting - according to David Norcliffe, but they lent tools to the Muslims, to defend themselves in Medina. The Qurayza were deeply offended by Muhammad's recitation of revelations which strongly attacked Jews.[19] According to Al-Waqidi, the Banu Qurayza helped the defense effort of Medina by supplying spades, picks, and baskets for the excavation of the defensive trench the defenders of Medina had dug in preparation.[20] According to Watt, the Banu Qurayza "seem to have tried to remain neutral" in the battle[26] but later changed their attitude when a Jew from Khaybar persuaded them that Muhammad was sure to be overwhelmed, making them doubt whether they should help and ally with Muhammad[24] and though they did not commit any act overtly hostile to Muhammad, according to Watt,[18] they entered into negotiations with the invading army to reach a settlement.[26] Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal no. 22823 also mentions that the Qurayza helped Muhammad by turning down Abu Sufyan when he wanted there help to attack Muhammad, and that Abu Sufyan was not happy with them.[27]

According to Shibli Nomani, Ibn Ishaq writes that during the siege, the Qurayza readmitted Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the chief of the Banu Nadir whom Muhammad had exiled (during the Invasion of Banu Nadir),[28]

Alleged decision to terminate alliance

Al-Waqidi reports that Huyayy tore into pieces the agreement between Ka'b and Muhammad.[18] Rumours began to spread that the Qurayza had decided to terminate their treaty with Muhammad. So Muhammad sent some men to confirm this. According to William Muir, the Qurayza said to the men "Who is Mahomet, and who is the Apostle of God, that we should obey him? There is no bond or compact between us and him." [29] Norman Stillman denies the claims of al-Waqidi and that there ever was an agreement.[20] Watt also rejects the existence of such a special agreement, but notes note that the Qurayza had a general agreement with Muhammad because they were allied to 2 Muslim tribes (the Banu Aws and Banu Khazraj).[18] Al-Waqidi has been frequently criticized by Muslim writers, who claim that he is unreliable because he did not keep treaty .[21]

Reason for attack

According to Peters and Stillman, on the day of the Meccans' withdrawal, Muhammad led his forces against the Banu Qurayza neighborhood. According to the Muslim tradition, he had been ordered to do so by the angel Gabriel.[7][8][9][22]

According to The Sealed Nectar, a modern Islamic biography of Muhammad written by the Indian Muslim author Saif ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, the Angel Gabriel visited Muhammad while he was washing clothes at Umm Salama’s house, asking that he should unsheathe his sword and to go to the Banu Qurayza and fight them. Mubarakpuri claims Gabriel said that he with a procession of angels would go ahead the fort of Banu Qurayza and cast fear in their hearts.[1] This is also mentioned in the Sunni hadith collections in Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:52:68 .

Ibn Kathir, mentioned the sequence of events in his Tafsir, as follows:

Muhammad, immediately summoned the prayer caller and ordered him to announce fresh hostilities against Banu Quraiza, institued Ibn Umm Maktum as a ruler of Madinah, and entrusted the banner of war to ‘Ali bin Abi Talib who marched towards the appointed target and came close enough to hear the Banu Qurayza abusing Muhammad, who on his part set out at the head of 3000 infantry men and 30 horsemen of Ansar (Helpers) and Muhajireen (Emigrants).[1][30]

Siege of Banu Qurayza

When they reached the habitations of Banu Quraiza, they laid tight siege to their forts. [1][31] The Banu Qurayza retreated into their stronghold and endured the siege for 25 days. As their morale waned, Ka'b ibn Asad (the chief of the tribe) suggested three alternative ways out of their predicament: embrace Islam, kill their own children and women, then rush out for a charge to either win or die; or make a surprise attack on the

  • Peters, Francis E., Muhammad and the Origins of Islam. State University of New York Press, 1994. ISBN 0-7914-1875-8.
  • Mubarakpuri, Saifur Rahman Al (2005), The Sealed Nectar (Free Version), Darussalam Publications . Note: This is the free version available on Google Books
  • Encyclopaedia of Islam. Ed. P. Bearman et al., Leiden: Brill, 1960-2005.
  • Encyclopedia Judaica (CD-ROM Edition Version 1.0). Ed. Cecil Roth. Keter Publishing House, 1997. ISBN 965-07-0665-8
  • Kister, Meir J., "The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza. A re-examination of a tradition", in: Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 8 (1986).
  • Stillman, Norman. The Jews of Arab Lands: A History and Source Book. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1979. ISBN 0-8276-0198-0
  •  
  • Nomani, Shibli, Sirat al-Nabi. Karachi: Pakistan Historical Society, 1970.
  • Norcliffe, David, Islam: Faith and Practice. Sussex Academic Press, 1999.
  • Subhash C. Inamdar (2001), Muhammad and the Rise of Islam: The Creation of Group Identity, Psychosocial Press,  

Sources

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, Saifur (2005), The Sealed Nectar, Darussalam Publications, pp. 201–205  ( online)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h  (online)
  3. ^ a b c d Al Tabari, Michael Fishbein (translator) (1997), Volume 8, Victory of Islam, State University of New York Press, pp. 35–36,  
  4. ^ Sunan Abu Dawud 14:2665
  5. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:52:280
  6. ^  
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Ibn Ishaq, A. Guillaume (translator) (2002), The Life of Muhammad (Sirat Rasul Allah), Oxford University Press, pp. 461–464,  
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Peters, Muhammad and the Origins of Islam, p. 222-224.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands: A History and Source Book, pp. 137-141.
  10. ^ a b c Adil, Muhammad: The Messenger of Islam, p. 395f.
  11. ^ a b  
  12. ^ a b Kister (1990), Society and religion from Jāhiliyya to Islam, p. 54.
  13. ^ a b c d Peterson, Muhammad: the prophet of God, p. 125-127.
  14. ^ a b Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, p. 229-233
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b  (online)
  17. ^ Haykal, Husayn (1976), The Life of Muhammad, Islamic Book Trust, p. 338,  
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h Watt, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Section on "Kurayza, Banu".
  19. ^ a b c David Norcliffe (1999), Islam: faith and practice, Sussex Academic Press, p. 21,  
  20. ^ a b c d e Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands: A History and Source Book, pp. 14-16.
  21. ^ a b Encyclopedia of Islam, section on "Muhammad"
  22. ^ a b c d e f Subhash C. Inamdar (2001), Muhammad and the Rise of Islam: The Creation of Group Identity, Psychosocial Press, p. 166 (footnotes),  
  23. ^ a b  
  24. ^ a b c d e f g  
  25. ^  
  26. ^ a b   (free online)
  27. ^ Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, no. 22823, al-islam.com (archive)
  28. ^ Nomani, Sirat al-Nabi, p. 382.
  29. ^  
  30. ^  
  31. ^ a b  
  32. ^ Kister, Meir J., "The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza. A re-examination of a tradition", in: Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 8 (1986), p. 94 ,“These included weapons, household goods, utensils, camels and cattle. The stored wine was spilled”.
  33. ^ a b c Kister, Meir J., "The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza. A re-examination of a tradition", in: Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 8 (1986), p. 93 (footnotes). (also referenced in Society and religion from Jāhiliyya to Islam, p. 45)
  34. ^ a b  
  35. ^ Ibn Ishaq, A. Guillaume (translator) (2002), The Life of Muhammad (Sirat Rasul Allah), Oxford University Press, p. 464,  
  36. ^  
  37. ^ Encyclopedia Judaica, "Qurayza".

References

See also

The early Muslim jurist Tabari and Ibn Hisham also mention this event stating 600-900 were killed. Tabari's account is as follows:

Biographical literature

The event is also mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:57:66, Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:57:66, Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:52:68, Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:59:443, Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:59:44, Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:52:280 and many others.

According to Mubrakpuri , Peters, Stillman, Guillaume and Inamdar, Islamic tradition says that the angel Gabriel told Muhammad to go and attack the Qurayza.[1][7][8][9][22] This is also mentioned in the Sunni hadith collection Sahih Bukhari:

According to Kister all male members of the tribe who reached puberty were beheaded,[12] Ibn Kathir says those who did not reach adolescence were taken prisoners instead of being killed.[2] This is also mentioned in the Sunni hadith collection Abu Dawud:

Hadith literature

According to Ibn Kathir, Quran 33:09 and 33:10 is also related to the Banu Qurayza.[16]

Ibn Kathir commentary of the verse in his Tafsir is as follows:

The event if referenced in the Quran:

Quran

Islamic primary sources

Several accounts note Muhammad's companions as executioners, Ali and Al-Zubayr in particular, and that each clan of the Aws was also charged with killing a group of Qurayza men.[22][33] Subhash Inamdar argues that this was done in order to avoid the risk of further conflicts between Muhammad and the Aws. According to Inamdar, Muhammad wanted to distance himself from the events and, had he been involved, would have risked alienating some of the Aws.[22] the Banu Aws were allied to the Banu Qurayza and Muhammad.[19]

Executors

A few elements of the enemy embraced Islam and their lives, wealth and children were spared. As for the spoils of the war, Muhammad divided them. Women captives were sent to Najd to be exchanged with horses and weaponry. In the process of the siege laid to Banu Quraiza, one man of the Muslims, Khallad bin Suwaid was killed when a women of the Jews dropped the grinding stone on him, and another, Abu Sinan bin Mihsan, the brother of ‘Ukasha, died. The siege of Banu Quraiza’s forts lasted for 25 days.[1]

According to Mubrakpuri, only one woman of the Jews was killed because she had killed a Muslim warrior by flinging a grinding stone upon him.[1] This is also mentioned in Sunni Hadith collections:

Huyai, a chief of Bani Nadir and Safiyah’s father, had joined the ranks of Banu Quraiza when Quraish and Ghatfan defected, was admitted into the audience of Muhammad with his hands tied to his neck with a rope. In audacious defiance, he declared obstinate enmity to Muhammad. He was ordered to sit down, and was beheaded on the spot.[1]

A large arsenal of the Banu Qurayza which consisted of 1500 hundred swords, 2000 spears, 300 hundred armours and 500 shields, were confiscated by Muhammad. Trenches were dug in the bazaar of Madinah and a number of Jews between six and seven hundred were beheaded therein.[1][23][37]

This is also mentioned in the Sunni hadith collections, stating:

Sa'd dismissed the pleas of the Aws, according to Watt because being close to death and concerned with his afterlife, he put what he considered "his duty to God and the Muslim community" before tribal allegiance.[24] Tariq Ramadan argues that Muhammad deviated from his earlier, more lenient treatment of prisoners as this was seen as "as sign of weakness if not madness"[34] and Peterson concurs that the Muslims wanted to deter future treachery by severe punishment.[13]

According to Mubrakpuri, Stillman, Peters and Adil and Muir, when Sa'd arrived, his fellow Aws pleaded for leniency towards the Qurayza and on his request pledged that they would abide by his decision.[13] He then pronounced that "the men should be killed, the property divided, and the women and children taken as captives". Muhammad approved of the ruling, calling it similar to God's judgment.[7][8][9][10][11] Mubarakpuri states that the tribe who reached puberty were beheaded.[1] According to Daniel C. Peterson and Martin Lings, this judgment was in accordance with the law of Moses as stated in Deuteronomy 20:10-14.[13][14]

Muir holds that the Qurayza surrendered on the condition that "their fate was decided by their allies, the Bani Aws" but mentions that Sa'd wanted to get revenge and that he said "Suffer me not to die until my heart hadth had its revenge against them".[36] Stillman also made the same claim, he said: "Sa`d took the hint and condemned the adult males to death and the hapless women and children to slavery." Furthermore, Stillman infers from Abu Lubaba's gesture that Muhammad had decided the fate of the Qurayza even before their surrender.[20]

After their garrisons were stormed by Ali they had no choice but to comply with Muhammad's judgement. Muhammad ordered that the men should be handcuffed, and this was done under the supervision of Muhammad bin Salamah Al-Ansari while the women and children were isolated in confinement. Thereupon Al-Aws tribe interceded begging Muhammad to be lenient towards them. He suggested that Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh a Muslim convert who was a former ally of the tribe, should decide their fate.[7][8][9][10][24][24]

Tabari and Ibn Hisham mention 600-900 of the Banu Qurayza were beheaded.[3][35] Detail from miniature painting The Prophet, Ali, and the Companions at the Massacre of the Prisoners of the Jewish Tribe of Beni Qurayzah, illustration of a 19th century text by Muhammad Rafi Bazil.

Surrender and execution

Demise of Banu Qurayza

Muhammad meanwhile asked one of his poets, Hasam bin Thabit to abuse them with his poems. This is mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:449

According to Mubrakpuri, Muslims continued their siege for many days and were getting tired. Ali and Az-Zubair bin ‘Awwam proceeded with ‘Ali swearing that he would never stop until he had either stormed their garrisons or been martyred like Hamza.[1]

[34] - were placed under Abdullah ibn Sallam, a former rabbi who had converted to Islam.[33], while the women and children - numbering about 1,000Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf, who had killed Muhammad ibn Maslamah - were bound and placed under the custody of [33][7] The men - numbering between 400 and 900[32][24] The next morning, the Banu Qurayza surrendered and the Muslims seized their stronghold and their stores.[31][1]

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