The Banu Qurayza (Arabic: بنو قريظة, Hebrew: בני קוריט'ה; alternate spellings include Quraiza, Qurayzah, Quraytha, and the archaic Koreiza) were a Jewish tribe which lived in northern Arabia, at the oasis of Yathrib (now known as Medina), until the 7th century, when their conflict with Muhammad led to their massacre.
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. However, in the 5th century, the Banu Aws and the Banu Khazraj, two Arab tribes that had arrived from Yemen, gained dominance. When these two tribes became embroiled in conflict with each other, the Jewish tribes, now clients or allies of the Arabs, fought on different sides, the Qurayza siding with the Aws.
In 622, the Islamic prophet Muhammad arrived at Yathrib from Mecca and reportedly established a pact between the conflicting parties. While the city found itself at war with Muhammad's native Meccan tribe of the Quraysh, tensions between the growing numbers of Muslims and the Jewish communities mounted.
In 627, when the Quraysh and their allies besieged the city in the Battle of the Trench, the Qurayza initially tried to remain neutral but eventually entered into negotiations with the besieging army, violating the pact they had agreed to years earlier. Subsequently, the tribe was charged with treason and besieged by the Muslims commanded by Muhammad. The Banu Qurayza eventually surrendered and their men were beheaded. The spoils of battle, including the enslaved women and children of the tribe, were divided up among the Islamic warriors that had participated in the siege and among the emigrees from Mecca (who had hitherto depended on the help of the Muslims native to Medina.
Extant sources provide no conclusive evidence whether the Banu Qurayza were ethnically Jewish or Arab converts to Judaism. Just like the other Jews of Yathrib, the Qurayza claimed to be of Israelite descent and observed the commandments of Judaism, but adopted many Arab customs and intermarried with Arabs. They were dubbed the "priestly tribe" (kahinan in Arabic from the Hebrew kohanim). Ibn Ishaq, the author of the traditional Muslim biography of Muhammad, traces their genealogy to Aaron and further to Abraham but gives only eight intermediaries between Aaron and the purported founder of the Qurayza tribe.
In the 5th century CE, the Qurayza lived in Yathrib together with two other major Jewish tribes, the Banu Qaynuqa and Banu Nadir. Al-Isfahani writes in his 10th century collection of Arabic poetry that Jews arrived in Hijaz in the wake of the Jewish-Roman wars; the Qurayza settled in Mahzur, a wadi in Al Harrah. The 15th century Muslim scholar Al-Samhudi lists a dozen other Jewish clans living in the town of which the most important one was Banu Hadl, closely aligned with the Banu Qurayza. The Jews introduced agriculture to Yathrib, growing date palms and cereals, and this cultural and economic advantage enabled the Jews to dominate the local Arabs politically. Al-Waqidi wrote that the Banu Qurayza were people of high lineage and of properties, "whereas we were but an Arab tribe who did not possess any palm trees nor vineyards, being people of only sheep and camels." Ibn Khordadbeh later reported that during the Persian domination in Hijaz, the Banu Qurayza served as tax collectors for the shah.
Ibn Ishaq tells of a conflict between the last Yemenite King of Himyar and the residents of Yathrib. When the king was passing by the oasis, the residents killed his son, and the Yemenite ruler threatened to exterminate the people and cut down the palms. According to Ibn Ishaq, he was stopped from doing so by two rabbis from the Banu Qurayza, who implored the king to spare the oasis because it was the place "to which a prophet of the Quraysh would migrate in time to come, and it would be his home and resting-place". The Yemenite king thus did not destroy the town and converted to Judaism. He took the rabbis with him, and in Mecca, they reportedly recognized the Kaaba as a temple built by Abraham and advised the king "to do what the people of Mecca did: to circumambulate the temple, to venerate and honor it, to shave his head and to behave with all humility until he had left its precincts." On approaching Yemen, tells Ibn Ishaq, the rabbis demonstrated to the local people a miracle by coming out of a fire unscathed and the Yemenites accepted Judaism.
The situation changed after two Arab tribes named Banu Aws and Banu Khazraj arrived to Yathrib from Yemen. At first, these tribes were clients of the Jews, but toward the end of the 5th century CE, they revolted and became independent. Most modern historians accept the claim of the Muslim sources that after the revolt, the Jewish tribes became clients of the Aws and the Khazraj. William Montgomery Watt however considers this clientship to be unhistorical prior to 627 and maintains that the Jews retained a measure of political independence after the Arab revolt.
Eventually, the Aws and the Khazraj became hostile to each other. They had been fighting possibly for around a hundred years before 620 and at least since 570s. The Banu Nadir and the Banu Qurayza were allied with the Aws, while the Banu Qaynuqa sided with the Khazraj. There are reports of the constant conflict between Banu Qurayza and Banu Nadir, the two allies of Aws, yet the sources often refer to these two tribes as “brothers”. Aws and Khazraj and their Jewish allies fought a total of four wars. The last and bloodiest altercation was the Battle of Bu'ath, the outcome of which was inconclusive.
The Qurayza appear as a tribe of considerable military importance: they possessed large numbers of weaponry, as upon their surrender 1,500 swords, 2,000 lances, 300 suits of armor, and 500 shields were later seized by the Muslims. Meir J. Kister notes that these quantities are "disproportionate relative to the number of fighting men" and conjectures that the "Qurayza used to sell (or lend) some of the weapons kept in their storehouses". He also mentions that the Qurayza were addressed as Ahlu al-halqa ("people of the weapons") by the Quraysh and notes that these weapons "strengthened their position and prestige in the tribal society".
The continuing feud between the Aws and the Khazraj was probably the chief cause for several emissaries to invite Muhammad to Yathrib in order to adjudicate in disputed cases. Ibn Ishaq recorded that after his arrival in 622, Muhammad established a compact, the Constitution of Medina, which committed the Jewish and Muslim tribes to mutual cooperation. The nature of this document as recorded by Ibn Ishaq and transmitted by Ibn Hisham is the subject of dispute among modern historians, many of whom maintain that this "treaty" is possibly a collage of agreements, of different dates, and that it is not clear when they were made. Watt holds that the Qurayza and Nadir were probably mentioned in an earlier version of the Constitution requiring the parties not to support an enemy against each other.
Aside from the general agreements, the chronicles by Ibn Ishaq and al-Waqidi contain a report that after his arrival, Muhammad signed a special treaty with the Qurayza chief Ka'b ibn Asad. Ibn Ishaq gives no sources, while al-Waqidi refers to Ka’b ibn Malik of Salima, a clan hostile to the Jews, and Mummad ibn Ka’b, the son of a Qurayza boy who was sold into slavery in the aftermath of the siege and subsequently became a Muslim. The sources are suspect of being against the Qurayza and therefore the historicity of this agreement between Muhammad and the Banu Qurayza is open to grave doubt. Among modern historians, R. B. Serjeant supports the historicity of this document and suggests that the Jews knew "of the penalty for breaking faith with Muhammad". On the other hand, Norman Stillman argues that the Muslim historians had invented this agreement in order to justify the subsequent treatment of the Qurayza. Watt also rejects the existence of such a special agreement but notes that the Jews were bound by the aforementioned general agreement and by their alliance to the two Arab tribes not to support an enemy against Muhammad. Serjeant agrees with this and opines that the Qurayza were aware of the two parts of a pact made between Muhammad and the Jewish tribes in the confederation according to which "Jews having their religion and the Muslims having their religion excepting anyone who acts wrongfully and commits crime/acts treacherously/breaks an agreement, for he but slays himself and the people of his house."
During the first few months after Muhammad's arrival in Medina, the Banu Qurayza were involved in a dispute with the Banu Nadir: The more powerful Nadir rigorously applied lex talionis against the Qurayza while not allowing it being enforced against themselves. Further, the blood money paid for killing a man of the Qurayza was only half of the blood-money required for killing a man of the Nadir, placing the Qurayza in a socially inferior position. The Qurayza called on Muhammad as arbitrator, who delivered the surah 5:42-45 and judged that the Nadir and Qurayza should be treated alike in the application of lex talionis and raised the assessment of the Qurayza to the full amount of blood money.
Tensions quickly mounted between the growing numbers of Muslims and Jewish tribes, while Muhammad found himself at war with his native Meccan tribe of the Quraysh. In 624, after his victory over the Meccans in the Battle of Badr, Banu Qaynuqa threatened Muhammad's political position and assaulted a Muslim woman which led to their expulsion from Medina for breaking the peace treaty of Constitution of Medina. The Qurayza remained passive during the whole Qaynuqa affair, apparently because the Qaynuqa were historically allied with the Khazraj, while the Qurayza were the allies of the Aws.
Soon afterwards, Muhammad came into conflict with the Banu Nadir. He had one of the Banu Nadir's chiefs, the poet Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf, assassinated and after the Battle of Uhud accused the tribe of treachery and plotting against his life and expelled them from the city. The Qurayza remained passive during this conflict, according to R. B. Serjeant because of the blood money issue related above.
In 627, the Meccans, accompanied by tribal allies as well as the Banu Nadir - who had been very active in supporting the Meccans - marched against Medina - the Muslim stronghold - and laid siege to it. It is unclear whether their treaty with Muhammad obliged the Qurayza to help him defend Medina, or merely to remain neutral, according to Ramadan, they had signed an agreement of mutual assistance with Muhammad. The Qurayza did not participate in the fighting - according to David Norcliffe, because they were offended by attacks against Jews in Muhammad's preaching - but lent tools to the town's defenders. 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. According to Watt, the Banu Qurayza "seem to have tried to remain neutral" in the battle but later changed their attitude when a Jew from Khaybar persuaded them that Muhammad was sure to be overwhelmed and though they did not commit any act overtly hostile to Muhammad, according to Watt, they entered into negotiations with the invading army.
Ibn Ishaq writes that during the siege, the Qurayza readmitted Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the chief of the Banu Nadir whom Muhammad had exiled and who had instigated the alliance of his tribe with the besieging Quraysh and Ghatafan tribes. According to Ibn Ishaq, Huyayy persuaded the Qurayza chief Ka'b ibn Asad to help the Meccans conquer Medina. Ka'b was, according to Al-Waqidi's account, initially reluctant to break the contract and argued that Muhammad never broke any contract with them or exposed them to any shame, but decided to support the Meccans after Huyayy had promised to join the Qurayza in Medina if the besieging army would return to Mecca without having killed Muhammad. Ibn Kathir and al-Waqidi report that Huyayy tore into pieces the agreement between Ka'b and Muhammad.
Rumors of this one-sided renunciation of the pact spread and were confirmed by Muhammad's emissaries, Sa'd ibn Mua'dh and Sa'd ibn Ubadah, leading men of the Aws and Khazraj respectively. Sa'd ibn Mua'dh reportedly issued threats against the Qurayza but was restrained by his colleague. As this would have allowed the besiegers to access the city and thus meant the collapse of the defenders' strategy, Muhammad "became anxious about their conduct and sent some of the leading Muslims to talk to them; the result was disquieting." According to Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad sent Nuaym ibn Masud, a well-respected elder of the Ghatafan who had secretly converted to Islam, to go to Muhammad's enemies and sow discord among them. Nuaym went to the Qurayza and advised them to join the hostilities against Muhammad only if the besiegers provide hostages from among their chiefs. He then hurried to the invaders and warned them that if the Qurayza asked for hostages, it is because they intended to turn them over to the Medinan defenders. When the representatives of the Quraysh and the Ghatafan came to the Qurayza, asking for support in the planned decisive battle with Muhammad, the Qurayza indeed demanded hostages. The representatives of the besiegers refused, breaking down negotiations and resulting in the Banu Qurayza becoming extremely distrustful of the besieging army. The Qurayza did not take any actions to support them until the besieging forces retreated. Thus the threat of a second front against the defenders never materialised.
After the Meccans' withdrawal, Muhammad then led his forces against the Banu Qurayza neighborhood. According to Ibn Ishaq, he had been asked to do so by the angel Gabriel. The Banu Qurayza retreated into their stronghold and endured the siege for 25 days. As their morale waned, Ka'b ibn Asad 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 Sabbath. The Banu Qurayza accepted none of these alternatives. Instead they asked to confer with Abu Lubaba, one of their allies from the Aws. According to Ibn Ishaq, Abu Lubaba felt pity for the women and children of the tribe who were crying and when asked whether the Qurayza should surrender to Muhammad, advised them to do so. However he also "made a sign with his hand toward his throat, indicating that [their fate] at the hands of the Prophet would be slaughter". The next morning, the Banu Qurayza surrendered and the Muslims seized their stronghold and their stores. The men - Ibn Ishaq numbers between 400 and 900 - were bound and placed under the custody of one Muhammad ibn Maslamah, who had killed Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf, while the women and children - numbering about 1,000 - were placed under Abdullah ibn Sallam, a former rabbi who had converted to Islam.
The circumstances of the Qurayza's demise have been related by Ibn Ishaq and other Muslim historians who relied upon his account. According to Watt, Peters and Stillman, the Qurayza surrendered to Muhammad's judgement - a move Watt classifies as unconditional. The Aws, who wanted to honor their old alliance with the Qurayza, asked Muhammad to treat the Qurayza leniently as he had previously treated the Qaynuqa for the sake of Ibn Ubayy. (Arab custom required support of an ally, independent of the ally's conduct to a third party.) Muhammad then suggested to bring the case before an arbitrator chosen from the Aws, to which both the Aws and the Qurayza agreed to. Muhammad then appointed Sa'd ibn Mua'dh to decide the fate of the Jewish tribe.
According to Hashmi, Buchanan and Moore, the tribe agreed to surrender on the condition of a Muslim arbitrator of their choosing. According to Khadduri (also cited by Abu-Nimer), "both parties agreed to submit their dispute to a person chosen by them" in accordance with the Arabian tradition of arbitration. Muir holds that the Qurayza surrendered on the condition that "their fate was decided by their allies, the Bani Aws".
In all accounts, the appointed arbitrator was Sa'd ibn Mua'dh, a leading man among the Aws. During the Battle of the Trench, he had been one of Muhammad's emissaries to the Qurayza (see above) and now was dying from a wound he had received later in the battle. 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. He then decreed 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. Chiragh Ali argued that this statement may have referred to "king" or "ruler" rather than God.
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. Tariq Ramadan argues that Muhammad deviated from his earlier, more lenient treatment of prisoners as this was seen "as sign of weakness if not madness", Peterson concurs that the Muslims wanted to deter future treachery by setting an example with severe punishment. Lings reports that Sa'ad feared that if expelled, the Qurayza would join the Nadir in the fight against the Muslims.
According to Stillman, Muhammad chose Sa'd so as not to pronounce the judgment himself, after the precedents he had set with the Banu Qaynuqa and the Banu Nadir: "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.
Ibn Ishaq describes the killing of the Banu Qurayza men as follows:
Then they surrendered, and the apostle confined them in Medina in the quarter of d. al-Harith, a woman of B. al-Najjar. Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. Among them was the enemy of Allah Huyayy b. Akhtab and Ka`b b. Asad their chief. There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900. As they were being taken out in batches to the apostle they asked Ka`b what he thought would be done with them. He replied, "Will you never understand? Don't you see that the summoner never stops and those who are taken away do not return? By Allah it is death!" This went on until the apostle made an end of them. Huyayy was brought out wearing a flowered robe in which he had made holes about the size of the finger-tips in every part so that it should not be taken from him as spoil, with his hands bound to his neck by a rope. When he saw the apostle he said, "By God, I do not blame myself for opposing you, but he who forsakes God will be forsaken." Then he went to the men and said, "God's command is right. A book and a decree, and massacre have been written against the Sons of Israel." Then he sat down and his head was struck off.
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. 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, he would have risked alienating some of the Aws.
It is also reported that one woman, who had thrown a millstone from the battlements during the siege and killed one of the Muslim besiegers, was also beheaded along with the men. Ibn Asakir writes in his History of Damascus that the Banu Kilab, a clan of Arab clients of the Banu Qurayza, were killed alongside the Jewish tribe.
Three boys of the clan of Hadl, who had been with Qurayza in the strongholds, slipped out before the surrender and converted to Islam. The son of one of them, Muhammad ibn Ka'b al-Qurazi, gained distinction as a scholar. One or two other men also escaped.
The spoils of battle, including the enslaved women and children of the tribe, were divided up among the Islamic warriors that had participated in the siege and among the emigrees from Mecca (who had hitherto depended on the help of the Muslims native to Medina.
Mohammad collected one-fifth of the booty, which was then redistributed to the Muslims in need, as was customary. As part of his share of the spoils, Muhammad selected one of the women, Rayhana, for himself and took her as part of his booty. Muhammad offered to free and marry her and according to some sources she accepted his proposal. She is said to have later become a Muslim.
Some of the women and children of the Banu Qurayza who were enslaved by the Muslims were later bought by Jews, in particular the Banu Nadir. Peterson argues that this is because the Nadir felt responsible for the Qurayza's fate due to the role of their chieftain in the events.
According to Islamic traditions, the Qur'an briefly refers to the incident in Surah 33:26, yet it is historically doubtful whether the Qur'an really refers to this event. Muslim jurists have looked upon Surah 8:55-58 as a justification of the treatment of the Banu Qurayza, arguing that the Qurayza broke their pact with Muhammad, and thus Muhammad was justified in repudiating his side of the pact and killing the Qurayza en masse.
Arab Muslim theologians and historians have either viewed the incident as "the punishment of the Medina Jews, who were invited to convert and refused, perfectly exemplify the Quran's tales of what happened to those who rejected the prophets of old" or offered a political, rather than religious, explanation.
In the 8th and early 9th century many Muslim jurists, such as Ash-Shafii, based their judgments and decrees supporting collective punishment for treachery on the accounts of the demise of the Qurayza, with which they were well acquainted. However, the proceedings of Muhammad with regard to the Banu Nadir and the Banu Qurayza were not taken as a model for the relationship of Muslim states toward its Jewish subjects.
In his 1861 biography of Muhammad Sir William Muir argued that the massacre cannot be justified by political necessity and "casts an odious blot upon the prophet's name". Leone Caetani argued that the judgement was in fact dictated by Muhammad, making him responsible for the massacre. Francesco Gabrieli commented that "we can only record the fact... that this God or at least this aspect of Him, is not ours".
Paret and Watt say that the Banu Qurayza were killed not because of their faith but for "treasonable activities against the Medinan community". Watt relates that "no important clan of Jews was left in Medina" but he and Paret also note that Muhammad did not clear all Jews out of Medina.
Aiming at placing the events in their historical context, Watt points to the "harsh political circumstances of that era" and argues that the treatment of Qurayza was regular Arab practice ("but on a larger scale than usual"). Similar statements are made by Stillman, Paret, Lewis and Rodinson. On the other hand, Michael Lecker and Irving Zeitlin consider the events "unprecedented in the Arab peninsula - a novelty" and state that "prior to Islam, the annihilation of an adversary was never an aim of war." Similar statements are made by Hirschberg and Baron.
Some authors assert that the judgement of Sa'd ibn Mua'dh was conducted according to laws of Torah. Muhammad Hamidullah goes further and says that Sa'd "applied to them their own Biblical law [...] and their own practice." No contemporaneous source says explicitly that Sa'd based his judgment on the Torah. Moreover, the respective verses of the Torah make no mention of treason or breach of faith, and the Jewish law as it existed at the time and as it is still understood today applies these Torah verses only to the situation of the conquest of Canaan under Joshua, and not to any other period of history.
Walid N. Arafat and Barakat Ahmad have disputed that the Banu Qurayza were killed on quite such a large scale. Arafat disputes large-scale killings and argued that Ibn Ishaq gathered information from descendants of the Qurayza Jews, who embellished or manufactured the details of the incident. Arafat relates the testimony of Ibn Hajar, who denounced this and other accounts as "odd tales" and quoted Malik ibn Anas, a contemporary of Ibn Ishaq, whom he rejected as a "liar", an "impostor" and for seeking out the Jewish descendants for gathering information about Muhammad's campaign with their forefathers. Ahmad argues that only some of the tribe were killed, while some of the fighters were merely enslaved. Watt finds Arafat's arguments "not entirely convincing", while Meir J. Kister has contradicted the arguments of Arafat and Ahmad.
It is pointed out that this sentence was given according to the rules of Banū Qurayzah’s own religion, specifically the Book of Deuteronomy (20:10–15).
Abu Lubaba ibn Abd al-Mundhir was a leading member of the Banu Aws, an Arabic tribe in Yathrib, today known as Medina.
At some point after Muhammad's arrival at Medina in 622, Abu Lubaba converted to Islam.
He appears in 627 during the siege of the Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe in conflict with Muhammad. The Qurayza had a long-standing alliance with the Aws and during the siege asked to confer with Abu Lubaba. According to Ibn Ishaq, Abu Lubaba felt pity for the women and children of the tribe who were crying and when asked whether the Qurayza should surrender to Muhammad, advised them to do so.
Ibn Ishaq's account, going back to Abu Lubaba's own statements, related that he regretted his actions, stating: "My feet had not moved away from the spot before I knew I had been false to God and His Apostle". He then went to the mosque in Medina, tied himself to a pillar and declared: "I will not leave this place until God forgives me for what I have done". He also added that he would never enter the locality of Banu Qurayza in recompense for the deadly mistake he made. When Muhammad was informed of this incident, he said: "I would have begged God to forgive him if he had asked me but since he tied himself out of his own free will, then it is God Who would turn to him in forgiveness".Abu Lubaba stayed tied for six nights. One early morning, Muhammad declared that God had forgiven him after reportedly receiving a revelation.Theologist Ibn al-Dschauzi (died 1200) statet ten more people tied themselves to pillars.Abu al-Rafi ibn Abu al-Huqayq
Abu al-Rafi ibn Abu al-Huqayq was a chieftain of the Jewish tribes of the Khaybar oasis. When Al-Huqayq approached neighbouring tribes to raise an army to attack Muslims, they assassinated him, aided by an Arab who spoke a Jewish dialect. His brothers the famous poets Al-Rabi ibn Abu al-Huqayq and Sallam ibn Abu al-Huqayq were also assassinated at Muhammad's orders.
He succeeded Huyayy ibn Akhtab who was killed in 627 CE alongside Banu Qurayza. He was succeeded by Usayr ibn Zarim.Al-Rabi ibn Abu al-Huqayq
Ar-Rabī' bin Abī 'l-Huqayq (Arabic: الربيع بن أبي الحقيق) was a Jewish poet of the Banu al-Nadir in Medina, who flourished shortly before the Hegira (622).
His family was in possession of the fort Qamus, situated near Khaybar. Like most of the Medina Jews, he took part in the quarrels between the two Arab tribes of that town, and was present at the battle of Bu'ath, 617, which took place in the territory of the Banu Qurayza.
Al-Rabi was a poet of note. He had a contest at capping verses with the famous Arabic poet, al-Nabighah, the latter reciting one hemistich, while Al-Rabi had to supply the next, keeping to the same meter and finding a rhyme. He has been credited with the authorship of other poems, but upon dubious authority. One of these poems used to be recited by Abun, the son of the Caliph Uthman. From its contents, however (it criticizes the folly of his own people), it seems more likely to have been written by one of Abun's sons, who bore the same name as Al-Rabi. It might, then, have been composed after the submission of the Banu Qurayza.
Al-Rabi's three sons (Al-Rabi ibn al-Rabi, Kinana ibn al-Rabi and Sallam ibn al-Rabi) were among Muhammad's most bitter opponents. An account of Al-Rabi can be found in vol. xxi. of the Kitab al-Aghani, ed. Brünnow, p. 91. He is cited among the Arabic Jewish poets by Moses ibn Ezra in his Kitab al-Muhadharah (Rev. Ét. Juives, xxi.102).Arabian tribes that interacted with Muhammad
There were several Arabian tribes that interacted with Muhammad.Banu Aws
The Banū Aws (Arabic: بنو أوس pronounced [ˈbanuː ʔaws], "Sons of Aws") or simply Aws (Arabic: أوس, also romanised as Aus) was one of the main Arab tribes of Medina. The other was Khazraj, and the two, constituted the Ansar ("helpers [of Muhammad]") after the Hijra.Aws and Khazraj are descendants of Azd tribe and were known as Banū Qayla (بنو قيلة [ˈbænuː ˈqɑjlæ]) in pre-Islamic era.Banu Khazraj
The Banu al-Khazraj (Arabic: بنو الخزرج Arabic pronunciation: [ˈbɛ.nʊl.ˈxɑz.ɾɑd͡ʒ]) was one of the tribes of Arabia during Prophet Muhammad's era. The Banu al-Khazraj are renowned for their generosity and hospitality.Aws and Khazraj are descendants of Azd tribe and were known as Banū Qayla (بنو قيلة [ˈbɛ.nuː ˈqɑj.lɛh]) in pre-Islamic era.Banu Nadir
The Banu Nadir (Arabic: بنو النضير, Hebrew: בני נצ'יר) were a Jewish tribe who lived in northern Arabia until the 7th century at the oasis of Medina. The tribe challenged Muhammad as the leader of Medina, planned along with allied nomads to attack Muhammad and were expelled from Medina as a result. The Banu Nadir then planned the battle of the Trench together with the Quraysh. They later participated in the battle of Khaybar.Battle of the Trench
The Battle of the Trench (Arabic: غزوة الخندق, translit. Ghazwat al-Khandaq), also known as the Battle of the Confederates (Arabic: غزوة الاحزاب, translit. Ghazwat al-Ahzab), was a 30-day-long siege of Yathrib (now Medina) by Arab and Jewish tribes. The strength of the confederate armies is estimated around 10,000 men with six hundred horses and some camels, while the Medinan defenders numbered 3,000.
The largely outnumbered defenders of Medina, mainly Muslims led by Islamic prophet Muhammad, dug a trench on the suggestion of Salman Farsi, which together with Medina's natural fortifications, rendered the confederate cavalry (consisting of horses and camels) useless, locking the two sides in a stalemate. Hoping to make several attacks at once, the confederates persuaded the Muslim-allied Medinan Jews, Banu Qurayza, to attack the city from the south. However, Muhammad's diplomacy derailed the negotiations, and broke up the confederacy against him. The well-organised defenders, the sinking of confederate morale, and poor weather conditions caused the siege to end in a fiasco.
The siege was a "battle of wits", in which the Muslims tactically overcame their opponents while suffering very few casualties. Efforts to defeat the Muslims failed, and Islam became influential in the region. As a consequence, the Muslim army besieged the area of the Banu Qurayza tribe, leading to their surrender and enslavement or execution.
The defeat caused the Meccans to lose their trade and much of their prestige.Invasion of Banu Qurayza
The Invasion of Banu Qurayza took place in the Dhul Qa‘dah during February and March of 627 AD (5 AH).The Banu Qurayza initially told the Muslims that they were allied to them during the Battle of the Trench, however, later they sided with the Pagan Arabs of Quraysh and their allies. According to traditional sources, Jewish leaders organized efforts against Muhammad and the Muslims. Three Jewish leaders from the tribe of Banu al-Nadir, three Jewish leaders from the tribe of Wa'il, and various other Jewish groups and leaders united and pressured Banu Qurayza to betray their agreement to Muhammad. Afzalur Rahman states that during the Battle of the Trench, when the Muslims were surrounded by a large hostile force, the Banu Qurayza joined the enemies of the Muslims and threatened the Muslims from within the town itself. 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. According to Mubrakpuri, Peters, Stillman, Guillaume, Inamdar and Ibn Kathir, on the day of the Meccans' withdrawal Muhammad led his forces against Banu Qurayza. According to Muslim tradition he had been ordered to do so by God.The Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe, were besieged for 25 days until they surrendered. According to Mohammed al-Ghazali, during that time 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". Sa'd ibn Mu'adh, a companion of Muhammad, was chosen by him as an arbiter and all parties agreed to abide by his judgment. Sa'd gave his verdict 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, after which nearly all male members of the tribe who had reached puberty were beheaded. The Muslim jurist Tabari quotes 600–900 being executed. The Sunni hadith do not give the number killed, but state that all pubescent males were killed and one woman.According to Ibn Kathir, Quranic verses 33:26-27 and 33:9-10 are about the attack against the Banu Qurayza.Researcher, W. N. Arafat places doubt on the description of events described by Ibn Ishaq (which was used later by Tabari as his sole source). Arafat states in regards to the reception of Ibn Ishaq's and Tabari's account: "The attitude of scholars and historians to Ibn lshaq's version of the story has been either one of complacency, sometimes mingled with uncertainty, or at least in two important cases, one of condemnatlon and outright rejection." Ibn Ishaq was criticized by Sunni scholar, Malik ibn Anas as being "a liar" and somebody "who transmits his stories from the Jews."Ka'b ibn Asad
Ka'b ibn Asad was the chief of the Qurayza, a Jewish tribe that lived in Medina until 627. A tribesman, Al-Zabir ibn Bata, claimed that his face "was like a Chinese mirror, in which the girls of the tribe could see themselves", presumably meaning that Kaab had a youthful and innocent appearance.Military career of Muhammad
The military career of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, lasted for the final ten years of his life, from 622 to 632. After he and his small fellowship were pushed out of the holy trading town of Mecca, controlled by the powerful Quraish tribe, he started intercepting Meccan caravans. After his first victory in a pitched battle at Badr in 624, his power grew increasingly and he began to subjugate other tribes through either diplomacy or conquest. In 630 he finally accomplished his long-term goal of conquering Mecca and the Kaaba. By his death in 632, Muhammad had managed to unite most of Arabia, laying the foundation for the subsequent Islamic expansion.Muhammad's views on Jews
The Islamic prophet Muhammad's views on Jews were informed through the contact he had with Jewish tribes living in and around Medina. His views on Jews include his theological teaching of them as People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab), his description of them as earlier receivers of Abrahamic revelation; and the failed political alliances between the Muslim and Jewish communities.
After his migration (hijra) to Medina from his home-town of Mecca, he established an agreement known as the Constitution of Medina between the major Medinan factions, including the Jewish tribes of Banu Qaynuqa, Banu Nadir, and Banu Qurayza that secured equal rights for both Jews and Muslims as long as Jews remained politically supportive.Non-Muslim interactants with Muslims during Muhammad's era
This is a list of the non-Muslim interactants with Muslims during Muhammad's era. In Islam, the Ṣaḥābah (Arabic: الصحابة "companions") were the companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This form is plural; the singular is Ṣaḥābi (fem. Ṣaḥabiyyah). A list of the best-known companions can be found at List of companions of MuhammadNuaym ibn Masud
Nuaym ibn Masud Al-Ghatafani (Arabic: نعيم بن مسعود) was a companion of Muhammad hailing from Najd in the northern highlands of Arabia, belonging to the powerful Ghatafan tribe. His first exposure to the Muhammad was when Abu Sufyan sent him to Medina to convince the Muslims to not fight the Qurayshi army by exaggerating their numbers. This was in regards to the second battle of Badr which had been agreed to by both parties at the Battle of Uhud.During the battle of the Trench he approached Muhammad professing his Islam and offering his services. He asked for permission to help with the war effort by using his position in his tribe. The Prophet responded "War is deception." Nuaym then came up with an efficient stratagem. He first went to the Banu Qurayza and warned them about the intentions of the rest of the Confederacy. If the siege fails, he said, the Confederacy will not be afraid to abandon the Jews, leaving them at the mercy of Muhammad. The Qurayza should thus demand Confederate leaders as hostages in return for cooperation. This advice touched upon the fears the Qurayza had already harbored.Next Nuaym went to Abu Sufyan, the Confederate leader, warning him that the Qurayza had defected to Muhammad. He stated that the Jewish tribe intended to ask the Confederacy of hostages, ostensibly in return for cooperation, but really to hand over to Muhammad. Thus the Confederacy should not give a single man as hostage. Nuaym repeated the same message to other tribes in the Confederacy.Nuaym's stratagem worked. After consulting, the Confederate leaders sent Ikrimah to the Qurayza, signaling a united invasion of Medina. The Qurayza, however, demanded hostages as a guarantee that the Confederacy would not desert them. The Confederacy, considering that the Qurayza might give the hostage to Muhammad, refused. Messages were repeatedly sent back and forth between the parties, but each held to its position stubbornly.Abu Sufyan summoned Huyayy ibn Akhtab, informing him of Qurayza's response. Huyayy was taken aback, and Abu Sufyan branded him as a "traitor". Fearing for his life, Huyayy fled to the Qurayza's strongholds.The Bedouins, the Ghatafan and other Confederates from Najd had already been compromised by Muhammad's negotiations. They had taken part in the expedition in hopes of plunder, rather than any particular prejudice against Islam. They lost hope as chances of success dwindled, uninterested in continuing the siege. The two confederate armies were marked by recriminations and mutual distrust.The provisions of the Confederate armies were running out. Horses and camels were dying out of hunger and wounds. For days the weather had been exceptionally cold and wet. Violent winds blew out the camp fires, taking away from the Confederate army their source of heat. The Muslim camp, however, was sheltered from such winds. The enemy’s tents were torn up, their fires were extinguished, the sand and rain beat in their faces, and they were terrified by the portents against them. They had already well nigh fallen out among themselves. During the night the Confederate armies withdrew, and by morning the ground was cleared of all enemy forces.Qamus
Qamus was one of the fortresses of the Jewish poet Al-Rabi ibn Abu al-Huqayq, and his Jewish tribe called Banu Qurayza. The fortress was situated near Khaybar in what is now Saudi Arabia. The fortress was attacked by Muslim forces and defeated. It was after this event that Muhammad married Safiyyah bint Huyayy.Rayhana bint Zayd
Rayhāna bint Zayd (Arabic: ريحانة بنت زيد) was a Jewish woman from the Banu Nadir tribe, who is revered by Muslims as one of the Ummahaatu'l-Mu'mineen, or Mothers of the Faithful - the Wives of Muhammad.Safiyya bint Huyayy
Safiyyah bint Huyayy (Arabic: صفية بنت حيي, c. 610 – c. 670) was one of the wives of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. She was, along with all other wives of Muhammad, titled Umm-ul-Mu'mineen or the "Mother of Believers".After Muhammad's death, she became involved in the power politics of the early Muslim community, and acquired substantial influence by the time of her death.Sarah of Yemen
Sarah of Yemen (Arabic: سارة, fl. C6 CE) is noted as one of the small number of Arabic-language female poets known for the seventh century CE. It is possible that she was Jewish, in which case she is one of only three attested female medieval Jewish poets (the others being the anonymous, tenth-century wife of Dunash ben Labrat and the probably twelfth-century Qasmuna).The poem attributed to her survives in the tenth-century anthology named Kitab al-Aghani:
The eulogy implies that Sarah was a member of the Banu Qurayza, commenting on their defeat by Muslims around 627. Little more is known about Sarah, but she 'reputedly participated in a guerrilla action against Muhammad before a Muslim agent killed her.'Unconditional surrender
An unconditional surrender is a surrender in which no guarantees are given to the surrendering party. In modern times, unconditional surrenders most often include guarantees provided by international law. Announcing that only unconditional surrender is acceptable puts psychological pressure on a weaker adversary, but may also prolong hostilities. Perhaps the most notable unconditional surrender was by the Axis powers in World War II.