back index next

The Prophet remained in Medina the rest of Shawwăl and Dhü ‘l-Qi’dah (the tenth and eleventh month, which are sacred months during which no fighting is allowed). During this respite, the Prophet ransomed most of the Muslims captured by the men of Quraysh during the Battle of Badr.
The next military engagement of the Muslims with the people of Quraysh was known as the Battle of Suwayq. This was provoked by Abfl Sufyan who had vowed after the defeat of Badr that he would never perform the ritual wash-ing (after sexual intercourse) until he had waged war against Muhammad. He therefore set out with a hundred horsemen of the Quraysh in order to fulfill his vow. When he was a short distance from Medina, he went by night to the quarter of the tribe of Banü ‘n-Nadir, and knocked at the door of I.-Iuyayy ibn Akhtab, who refused to let hUn in. He thus left

* The client of ‘Umar I ibn al-Khat.~abI was also killed by an arrow;

he was the first martyr of the Muslims. (ed.)

him and went to Sallam ibn Mishkam, who was the chief of BanU ‘n-Naçli7r. He requested and was granted permission to enter, and thus went in and spoke secretly to him.
Abü Sufyan returned next morning to his men and sent a few men as raiders to Medina. They came to a spot called al-’Ari~l, where they came upon a man of the Ansar and his ally, both of whom they killed, and then ran away. The men of Medina also vowed revenge. The Messenger of Allah went out after them until he reached Qarqaratu ‘l-Kudr near the quarter of the tribe of Sulaym, about eight miles from Medina. The Prophet, however, returned without overtaking Abü Sufyan. The Muslims found some provisions which AbU Sufyăn and his men had left on the road in order that they might lighten their load and thus run more swiftly to safety. The Muslims asked the Apostle of Allah when they returned to Medina: “0 Apostle of Allah, do we deserve to consider this a battle (that is, an act of jihăd in Allah’s way)?” “Yes”, he replied.

The Raid of Dhü Aniarr

This was follwed by the raid of DhU Amarr, which the Prophet undertook after remaining in Medina for the months of DhU ‘l-Hijjah and Muharram (the last and first months of the Muslim calendar, which are also sacred months). He set out on this mission after hearing that a group of men of the tribe of Ghatafan had assembled to launch a raid against the suburbs of Medina. They were lbd by a man called Du’thUr ibn al-Harith ibn Muhărib. The Prophet set out with four hundred and fifty men with a number of horses. But these Bedouins fled before him to neighboring moun-tain peaks. The Prophet then encamped with his men in the spot of DhU Amarr. It rained heavily while they were in that place. The Messenger of Allah went out to answer the call of nature across the valley from the camp. He took off his


clothes and hung them on a tree to dry out, having been soaked by the rain. He lay down under the tree, while the Bedouins watched intently his every movement. One of the men said to Du’thür, who was their chief and the bravest man among them: “See now, Muhammad has given you control! He has separated himself from his Companions, so that if he were to cry out for help, they would not hear him. Go and kill him!” He thus chose a sharp sword and hastened until he stood at the head of the Apostle of Allah with his sword outstreched. He then exclaimed: “0 Muham-mad, who shall protect you against me today?” “Allah”, he answered. Gabriel struck the man in the chest so that he fell back, dropping the sword from his hand. The Messenger of Allah took up the sword and, standing at the man’s head, asked: “Who shall protect you against me now?” The Bedouin replied: “No one! But I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah! By Allah, I shall never again join any group against you!” The Messenger of Allah returned his sword to him. The man turned to go, but then turned back and said: “By Allah, you are a better man than me!” The Messenger of Allah replied: “I am indeed worthy of that.”
When the man returned to his people, they questioned him: “Where is all your talk now. — he was unprotected before you, and you had a sword in your hand!” He replied:
“By Allah, this was the case! But I saw a bright and tall man who struck me in the chest, and I fell flat on my back. I knew that he was an angel. Thus I bore witness that Mul~iammad is the Apostle of Allah! By Allah, I shall never add to the number of any group that would assemble against him.” The man then began to invite his own people to Islam. Then Allah sent down the verse: 0 you who have faith, remember the bounty ofAllah towards you, when some people intended to stretch out their hands against you; yet He restrained their
hands from harming you [Qur. 5:111].

The Raid of al-Qaradah

This was followed by the raid of al-Qaradah. The Messen-ger of Allah sent Zayd ibn al-I3ärithah with a detachment, six months after his return to Medina from Badr. At the well called al-Qaradah, Zayd and his men came upon a caravan of the Quraysh led by Abü Sufyan, who had much silver. After the Battle of Badr, the Quraysh [of Mecca] did not feel safe taking their usual route to Syria. They therefore travelled the Iraq road, having hired as a guide a man of the tribe of Bakr ibn Wă’il called Furăt ibn Ilayyăn. Zayd ibn al-Ilărithah was able to capture the caravan, but the men eluded him and escaped. According to the report of al-Wăqidi52 the caravan was led by Safwan ibn Umayyah. The Muslims captured one or two men, whom they brought with the caravan to the Messenger of Allah. Furăt was himself a captive. Bhe ac-cepted Islam, and was thus spared.
The reprisal against the tribe of Banü Qaynuqa’ for this action took place on Saturday, in mid-Shawwăl, twenty months after the Migration. The Messenger of Allah assem-bled the people of the tribe in their market and warned them saying: “Beware lest Allah afflict you with the same punishments as those with which He afflicted the people of Quraysh! Enter into Islam, for YQU know well the grace with which Allah has favored me, and you recognize my characteristics, which are in your scriptures.” They answered:
“0 Muhammad, be not deceived by the fact that you met your own people in battle and defeated them. Yet if we were to wage war against you, you would, by Allah, know that we are not like them!” They nearly came to blows. It was concerning the people of Qaynuqa’ that the verse: There was a sign for you (the Muslims) in the two groups which encountered one another: the one fighting


in the way of Alldh, the other rejecting faith ... [Qur. 3:13], was sent down.
It is reported that the Messenger of Allah besieged them for six days until finally they surrendered to him. ~Abdullăh ibn Ubayy came to him and interceded on their behalf saying: “0 Apostle of Allah, these are my allies and clients who have defended me against the black and the red (that is, against all kinds of people). They were three hundred armored soldiers and four hundred without armor. Would you now cut them down all in one morning? By Allah, I can then find no security; rather I dread the turns of for-tunes!” The people of Banü Qaynuqa’ were allies of the Khazraj tribe only, and not of the Aws. ‘Abdullăh ibn IJbayy persisted in his entreaties until the Prophet relented and granted him their blood. But seeing the humiliation which they had suffered, the people of BanU Qaynuqă’ left Medina altogether and settled in Adhri’ät in Syria. Then Allah sent down concerning ‘Abdullăh ibn Ubayy and others of the Khazraj tribe: 0 you who have faith, take not the Jews or the Christians as patrons... [Qur. 5:51—521.

The Battle of Uhud

Then the Battle of Uhud followed, a year after that of Badr. The leader of the Associators in that battle was Abü Sufyän ibn Harb. The Companions of the Apostle of Allah were on that day seven hundred and the Associators numbered two thousand.
The Messenger of Allah set out for the battle after con-sulting with his Companions. Although his own opinion was that the men should engage in street fighting, while those who were not strong enough for fighting should shoot arrows from the rooftops, yet they insisted on going out to meet the Quraysh in the battle. But on the way they changed their minds and asked to turn back. He refused saying: It is not

fit for a prophet to turn back once he has decided to set out to engage a group in the battle.” They were actually a thousand men. On the way, however, ‘Abdullăh ibn Ubayy deserted with a third of the men. They said in justification of their decision, “By Allah, we know not for what are we going to kill ourselves, while the enemy are his own people!” The men of BanU Hărithah and Banü Salmah likewise were at the point of deserting. However, Allah, be He exalted, restrained them, as He says: When two groups of you had nearly lost heart; yet Allah was their Master
(Qur. 3:1231.
The Messenger of Allah woke up next morning ready for fighting. He charged ‘All with the banner of the Immigrants, and that of the An~ăr, Sa’d ibn ‘Ubădah. The Messenger of Allah joined the banner of the Ansăr. He then went to inspect the archers, who were fifty men led by ‘Abdullăh ibn Jubayr. He admonished them and reminded them of their duty saying: “Fear Allah and be steadfast. Even if you see us snatched by wild birds, do not leave your spot until I send you a word.” The Prophet then stood at the top Ci’ the valley. At first the Associators were clearly defeated, so that the Muslims slew them with the sword.
The archers under the leadership of ‘Abdullăh ibn Jubayr, seeing this, cried out, ‘The booty! Your people have van-quished the enemy; what are you waiting for!” ‘Abdullăh said to them, “Have you forgotten the Words of the Messen-ger of Allah? As for me, I shall never abandon the spot which the Apostle of Allah assigned to me.” But they disregarded his command and disobeyed him, when they saw what they had desired. They thus hastened to the spoils of war. Khălid ibn al-Walid, who lay in ambush with other men of the Associators, rushed out at them, and Khălid came to ‘Abdullăh and killed hint
The Muslims were put to the sword as men rushed at them from behind. Satan cried out, “Muliammad has been slain!” In the meantime, the Messenger of Allah called out to them as they turned back, “0 people, I am the Apostle of Allah! Allah has promised me victory; why are you fleeing?” They heard the voice, but did not turn around. The outcry of Satan went on until it was heard in the houses of Medina. Thus Fătimah raised the wail; nor was there any Hăshimite or Qurayshite woman but that she placed her hand upon her head, wailing.
It is related on the authority of the sixth Imăm Ja’far as- Sădiq that as people deserted the Apostle of Allah, he was filled with rage. Whenever he became angry, sweat dripped from his face and forehead like pearls. He looked around, and there was ‘All by his side. He asked him: “Why did you not run to the sons of your father?” ‘All answered: “0 Apostle of Allah, should I reject faith after I have become a Muslim! Rather, I shall stay with you and endure your fate.” “If it be so”, the Prophet said, “then spare me the evil of these men!” ‘All rushed out at them, and as he struck the first man he encountered, Gabriel exclaimed: “This ‘is indeed true consolation, 0 Muhammad!” “He is of me, and I am of him”, said the Apostle of Allah. Gabriel added “I too am of you.”
A group of men then turned to .the Messenger of Allah and gathered around him. Seventy men of the Muslims were slain. Of these, four were of the Immigrants: Hamzah ibn ‘Abdi ‘l-Muttalib, ‘Abdullăh ibn Jatish, Mus’ab ibn ‘Umayr and Shammăs ibn ‘Uthman ibn ash-Sharid; the rest were of the Ansar.
It is reported that at that time Ubayy ibn Khalaf came on his horse to the battlefield saying: “So this is the son of Abü Kabshah (meaning the Prophet)! Turn back with your own misdeeds! May you never be saved, even if you are spared (this time).” The Messenger of Allah was standing
between al-Hărith ibn a-Simmah and Sahl ibn llunayf, leaning upon them. Ubayy rushed to attack him, but Mus ‘ab ibn ‘Umayr shielded him with his body. Ubayy thus stabbed Mus’ab and killed him. The Messenger of Allah then took a lance which was in the hand of Sahl ibn ~1unayf and struck Ubayy with it above the collar of his armor. Ubayy fell over his horse embracing it, and ran to his camp lowing like a bull. AbU Sufyan said to him: “Woe to you, what is it that frightens you? It is only a scratch; it is nothing!” He answered: “Woe to you 0 son of Ijarb, do you know who stabbed me? It was Muhammad who stabbed me! He said to me in Mecca, ‘I shall kill you’. I thus knew that he would be the one to kill me. By Allah, if all the people of the I.-Iiiăz were to suffer what I am suffering, it would finish them all!” The accursed man continued to moan until he went to the Fire.

It is reported in the book of Abăn ibn ‘Uthmăn53 that when Fătimah and Safiyyah (the Prophet’s paternal aunt) came to the Messenger of Allah, he said to ‘All, “As for my aunt, keep her away from me, but let Fătimah come.” When Fătimah came close to the Apostle of Allah and saw that he had been wounded in the face, and that blood was gushing out of his mouth, she began to wipe away the blood, weeping and saying: “May Allah’s wrath rage against those who caused the face of the Messengey of Allah to bleed!” The Messenger of Allah took in his hand the blood that ran down his face and threw it up in the air, and not one drop returned to earth. The sixth Imäm as.-Sădiq is said to have declared: “By Allah, if one drop of that blood had come down to the ground, severe punishment would have come down to earth.” Abăn ibn ‘Uthmăn said: “This was told to mon his authoritr by as-Sabbăh ibn Suyyabah. I asked him, “Were his upper interior teeth broken, as these

people claim?’ He replied: ‘No, by Allah, Allah always protected him from all disfigurement. It was rather that he was wounded in the face.’ I asked: ‘What about the cave on Mount U~ud to which they claim that the Apostle of Allah fled?’ He answered: ‘By Allah, he did not move from his spot.’
Someone said to the Prophet, “Would you not invoke Allah against them?” He said: “0 Allah, guide my people aright, for they do not know.” Ibn Qami’ah threw a stone at the Messenger of Allah which hit him on the palm so that the sword fell from his hand. The man exclaimed: “Take it from me, for I am the son of Qami’ah!” The Messenger of Allah replied: “May Allah humiliate and bring you low!” ‘Utbah ibn Abi Waqqas struck the Prophet with a sword so that blood gushed out of his mouth, and ‘Abdullah ibn Shihäb threw a stone at him, hitting him on the wrist. No one of these died a natural death. As for Ibn Qami’ah, a ram came to him while he was sleeping in Najd and struck its horns in his stomach. The man cried out with pain until the ram penetrated him with its horns to the neck.
Wahshi (the man who killed Hamzah) reported: “Jubayr ibn Mut’im, whose slave I was, said to me, ‘All you know that ‘All killed my uncle Tu’aymah in the Battle of Badr. If you therefore kill Muhammad, Muhammad’s uncle, or Muhammad’s cousin, you shall be free.’ I thus went with the army of Quraysh to Uhud with a lance, only seeking freedom. I wished for nothing else, nor did I wish to kill Muhammad. I said to myself, ‘Perhaps I will meet with ‘All or Hamzah at whom I would throw my lance’, I never missed in throwing lances, an art I learnt in Abyssinia. Hanizah used to rush out on his attacks, after which he would return to his spot.” AbU ‘Abdillah (the sixth Imăm) reported that Wahshi struck Ijamzah in the chest. He fell, and the men rushed at him and killed him. Wahshi went to Hamzah and

splitting his stomach, took his liver and ran with it to Hind daughter of ‘Utbah (and wife of AbL~ Sufyăn), who took it and began to chew it. But the flesh became as hard as a knee bone, so that she spat it out.
It is reported that al-Halls ibn ‘Alqamah saw AbU Sufyăn on a horse stabbing Ilamzah’s corpse in the mouth with a spear. al-Halls exclaimed: “0 people of Banü Kinanah, look at this man who claims to be the chief of Quraysh — look at what he is doing to his cousin who has become dead flesh!” Abü Sufyăn repeated as he did so, “Taste death, you rebel!” He then said to al-IIalis: “You are right; it is a grave fault which I have committed. Keep it a secret.”
Abü Sufyan stood up and called out to some of the Muslims: “Is Ibn AM Kabshah (that is, the Prophet) still alive? As for (‘All) ibn Abi Tălib, we see him still standing in his spot.” ‘All replied: “Yes, by Him Who sent him with the truth, he hears your words!” Abü Sufyăn said: “In this battle with you, some mutilation has taken place. By Allah, I neither ordered it nor did I prevent it. Our next appointment with you shall be the time of Badr, next year.” The Messenger of Allah said to ‘All, “Say yes.” “Yes,” ‘All repeated. Abü Sufyän then said to ‘All: “Ibn Qami’ah told me that he had killed Muhammad. But you are more truth-ful and righteous in my sight.” He then went back to his Companions and said: “Take the night as your camel (that is, travel without stopping) and deparj’
The Messenger of Allah then called ‘All and said to him, “Follow them. See where they are going. If you see them riding their horses and leading the camels, it means that they will go to Medina. But if they are riding their camels and leading the horses, that means that they are going to Mecca.” It is also reported that the Prophet sent Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqă~, who returned and said: “I saw the horses beating around with their tails tied behind and being led by camels, and the
men all riding on camels” Ii. e., readying for travel and not for war]. The Muslims were glad to see their enemies gone, and scattered about to look for their dead. Every corpse was mutilated except that of Hanzalah ibn AM ‘Amir whose father was with the Associators; thus he was spared for him. They found 1Iamzah with his stomach split open, his nose and ears cut off and his liver taken away. When the Messenger of Allah saw him in this condition, he was choked with tears and said: “I shall mutilate seventy men of Quraysh!” But Allah sent down: If you punish, then punish in the same manner as you were punished [Qur. 16:126]. The Prophet then said: “I would rather be patient.” He then asked: “Who is that man whom the angels are washing on the side of the mountain?” They answered: “Here is his wife”, and she said:
“He left the house impure through sexual intercourse.” This was Uan~alah ibn Abl ‘Amir, who was known thereafter as ‘the washed one’.
Abän reported further on the authority of AbU Ja’far (the fifth Imăm, Muhammad al-Baqir — a. s.) who said: “A man called Quzman ibn al-Hărith al- ‘Absl (the Hypocrite concerning whom the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Allah shall strengthen this religion with a reprobate man’) was men-tioned to the Apostle of Allah, who said, ‘He is of the people of the Fire.’ Someone came to the Messenger of Allah and told him that Quzmán was martyred. He observed: ‘Allah does whatever He wills.’ Again, someone came and told him that Quzmăn had killed himself. The Prophet exclaimed: ‘I bear witness that I am the Apostle of Allah.’”
It is reported that Quzman fought valiantly and killed six or seven of the Associators. When he was finally incapaci-tated by his wounds, he was carried to the quarter of the tribe of ~afar. The Muslims said to him: “Be of good cheer, O Quzmăn for you have done well today!” He replied: “Of what do you bring me such glad tidings? By Allah I did not

fight except for the sake of my people’s noble geneologies; had it not been for this, I would have never fought!” Thus, when his wounds had become too painful to bear, he took a sharp arrow from his quiver with which he killed himself.
It is also reported that a woman of the BanU ‘n-Najjăr whose father, husband and brother were killed with the Apostle of Allah, approached the Messenger of Allah while the Muslims stood all around him. She asked a man: “Can I greet the Messenger of Allah and gaze upon him?” “Yes”, he answered. The people made room for her, and she came close to him and said: “Every calamity is light since you have returned safe and sound;” having said this, she went away.
After burying the dead, the Messenger returned to Medina. As he passed the quarters of the ‘Abdu ‘l-Ashhal and ~afar tribes, he heard the women mourning their dead. The eyes of the Messenger of Allah were filled with tears. He wept saying: “But there are no women mourning for Ilamzah today!” When Sa’d ibn Mu’ădh and Usayd ibn ~uçlayr heard this, they said: “Let no woman mourn over her loved one until Fătimah comes and aids her.” Thus when the Messenger of Allah heard the wail raised for Ijamzah, as he stood by Fătimah at the door of the Mosque he addressed the women saying: “Return, may Allah have mercy upon you. You have indeed consoled us with your grief.”

The Battle of Hamră’u ‘l-Asad

The Battle of I-iamră’u ‘l-Asad [a place about eight miles distance from Medina] took place immediately after that of IJhud. Abän ibn ‘Uthmän reported that the day after the Battle of Uhud, the Messenger of Allah called upon the Muslims to prepare for battle. They all responded, even though they had suffered much pain and many wounds in the previous battle. ‘All preceded him with the banner of the Immigrants until they reached Hamră’u ‘l-Asad. But they all returned to Medina without fighting. These were:
Those who answered the call of Allah after they had been afflicted with wounds [Qur. 3:1721.
Abfl Sufyän departed and came to a place called ar-Rawtla’, where he remained intending to return and again attack the Messenger of Allah. He said: “Now that we have killed their great warriors, if we return we shall be able to exterminate them!” He met a man called Ma’ bad al-Khuză’i whom he asked: “What news have you, 0 Ma’bad?” He an: “By Allah, I left Muliammad and his people burning with the passion of war against you! ‘All ibn Abi Talib has come leading the men. All those who deserted him before have now rejoined his forces. This has inspired me to compose some verses.” AbU Sufyan asked: “What did you recite?” “I recited: “, Ma’bad answered.
My mount came, nigh collapsing from all the clamor, When the ground was covered with flocks of warring vultures.
You shall fight with noble lions, not cowards,
In the confrontation of battle; nor are they hollow men who fled!
This caused Abü Sufyän and those who were with him to change their minds.
Then a small caravan belonging to the people of the tribe of ‘Abdu ‘l-Qays passed by on their way to Medina for trade. AbU Sufyan said to them: “Go and tell Muljiammad that I intend to return to his Companions in order that I might exterminate them. As for you, I would fill your loading sacks with raisins when you come to the Market of ‘Ukäz (in Mecca).” The men conveyed the message to the Prophet and the Muslims with him in Hamra’u ‘l-Asad, and they all exclaimed: “AllAh is sufficient for us; He is the best trustee.” The Messenger of AllAh then returned to Medina on Friday.
It is reported that when the Messenger of Allah went for the raid of Ilamră’u ‘1 -Asad, a lewd woman of the tribe of Khatmah called al-’Asmă’ Umm al-Mundhir ibn al-Mundhir went around the assemblies of the Aw, and Khazraj tribes reciting verses inciting people against the Prophet. There was then only one Muslim in the tribe of the Banü Kha~mah, called ‘Umayr ibn ‘Adiyy. When the Messenger returned, ‘Umayr went to the woman and killed her. He then came to the Messenger of Allah and said: “I have killed Umm al-Mundhir because of the invective poetry which she recited.” The Messenger of Allah struck his shoulders, exclaiming:
“This is a man who lent support to Allah and His Apostle in his absence! By Allah, not even two rams shall butt one another concerning her (i.e., no two men shall fight over her blood).” ‘Umayr ibn ‘Adiyy said: “I passed by her home the next day while she was being buried; no one stopped me or spoke to me.”

The Battle of ar-Raji’

After this came the Battle of ar-Rail’. The Messenger of Allah sent Marthad ibn Abi Marthad al-Ghanawi, who was Hamzah’s ally, Khălid ibn Bukayr, ‘A~ini ibn Thăbit ibn al-Aflaj, Khubayb in ‘Adiyy, Zayd ibn Dathnah, and ‘Abdullah ibn Tăriq, all under the leadership of Marthad, with a delega-tion of the tribes of ‘Adl and ad-Dish who came requesting that some Muslims go with them to teach them the Qur’ăn and the fundamentals of the faith. They travelled with the people until they reached the depres~ion of ar-Raji’, a spring of water belonging to the tribe of Hudhayl. Some men of one of the quarter of Hudhayl called BanU LiliyAn then killed the entire company.
Abăn reported that the people of Hudhayl, when they killed ‘Asini, wanted his head to sell to Sulăfah daughter of Sa’d, she had vowed after h~ had killed her son in the Battle of Uhud that if she were able to obtain his head, she would


drink wine in his skull. They were, however, prevented from cutting off his head by wasps. As they were unable to ap-proach ‘A~im’s corpse, they agreed to leave it to the night, when the wasps would have left it. At night, however, Allah caused a heavy rainfall, so that the valley was flooded and the waters carried the corpse away. This was because ‘Asini had made a covenant with Allah that he would never touch an Associator, nor an Associator touch him all his life. Thus Allah protected him after death against that which he had protected himself during his life.

The Raid of Ma’ünah

Four months after the Battle of U~iud, the raid of Ma’U-nah took place. This was when Abü Bară’ ‘Amir ibn Mälik ibn Ja’far, nicknamed ‘Mulă’ibu ‘l-Asinnah’ (the welder of spears) came to the Messenger of Allah in Medina and ac-cepted Islam. The man then suggested to the Prophet that he send men to the people of Najd to call them to Islam. “I hope,” the man continued, “that they will answer your call.” The Prophet answered: “I fear lest the people of Najd do you harm.” But AbU Bară’ insisted saying: “I have a pact of protection with them.” The Messenger of Allah sent al-Mundhir ibn ‘Amr with twenty some men. It is also reported that they were forty, or seventy men of the best Muslims. Among them were al-Hărith ibn as-Simmah, lIarAm ibn Milhăn and ‘Amir ibn Fuhayrah, Abü Bakr’ s client. They all travelled until they reached the well of Ma’ünah, which was located between the land of the BanU ‘Amir and the plain of the Banü Sulaym. From there, they sent Ilaräin ibn Milhăn with a letter from the Messenger of Allah to ‘Amir ibn a~-Tufayl. But ‘Arnir did not take the time to look at the letter before he rushed at Iarăm and killed him. He then cried out: “Allah is Most Great; I have achieved victory, by the Lord of the Ka’bah!” He called the men of Banü ‘Amir

to aid him in fighting against the Muslims, but they refused saying: “We shall not betray the covenant of AbU Bară’.” He then called upon some of the clans of the tribe of Sulaym:
‘Asiyyah, Ri’l and Dhakwăn, who answered his call. These were the people against whom the Prophet invoked Allah’s curse. They surrounded the Muslims as they sat around their goods. Seeing this, the Muslims took up their swords and fought with them until they all died.
‘Amr ibn Umayyah ad-Danui had taken out the animals of the Muslims to pasture along with a man of the An~ăr. They were so close to the battlefield that they could see birds flying over the fighters. They said to one another: “No doubt these birds mean something.” When they went to see, they found the men lying dead in their blood. The man of the Ansăr asked ‘Amr: “What do you suggest?” He answered:
“I suggest that we go immediately to the Messenger of Allah and tell him what happened.” But the man of the An~är replied: “I would not save myself and leave a place where al-Mundhir ibn ‘Amr is.” He thus fought against the enemies of the Muslims until he was killed.
‘Amr returned to Medina and related to the Messenger of Allah what had happened. The Prophet said: “This was the deed of Abü Bară’; I did not wish to engage in it.” When Abü Bară’ heard the news, he was angry with ‘Amir for betraying his covenant of protection, and for what had happened to the people of the Messenger of Allah. Abü Bară’, however, died soon after. His son Rabi ‘ah attacked ‘Amir ibn at-Tufayl, stabbing him as he sat in the assembly of his people. He missed killing him, and instead stabbed him in the leg. ‘Amir said: “This must be the deed of my uncle Abü Bară’. If I die, my blood belongs to my uncle, and no one should demand it from him. But if I live, I shall decide what to do about it.”


These events were followed by the battle against the Jewish tribe of Banü ‘n-Naçlir. This happened when the Messenger of Allah went to Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf to ask for a loan. The man welcomed him saying: “You are welcome to our home, 0 Abu ‘l-Qasim!” When the Messenger of Allah and his Companions had settled down, Ka’b got up as though to prepare some food for them. But he thought to himself that he should kill the Apostle of Allah. Gabriel came down and told him about the treacherQus intentions which the people had for them. The Prophet, therefore, went out as though to answer a call of nature, knowing that they would not kill his friends while he was alive.
He thus took the road to Medina where he met with a group of Ka’b’s people on whom Ka’b had called to help him against the Messenger of Allah. Ka’b was informed of what had happened, and the Muslims got up and left quickly for their homes. Then ‘Abdullăh ibn Süriyă, who was the most learned for the Jews, said: “It was his Lord, by Allah, who informed him of the treachery you had planned for him. Soon, by Allah, the emissary of Mutiammad shall come to you commanding you to migrate, all of you. Obey me, therefore, in two things, for there is no good in any third — either you accept Islam and thus be secure in your homes and properties, or depart when a man shall come to ordeyou to leave your homes.” They replied: “The second is preferable to us.” Ibn Süriyă then said: “The first is surely better for you. Had I not wished not to disgrace you, I
• would have myself accepted Islam.
The Prophet soon sent Mu~iammad ibn Maslamah to them ordering them to vacate their homes and properties and depart. He instructed him to give them only three days respite.54


The Battle Against the Tribe of Liliy ăn

The next battle was that against the tribe of Li~iyän. It
was the battle during which the Prophet offered salätu ‘1-khawf (the prayer of fear, which is usually attenuated and hurriedly offered in times of war) in a place called ‘Asfăn, near Medina, where he then received revelation from Allah informing him of what the Associators were intending. It is reported that this battle took place after that of the tribe of Banü Qurayzah (6/627).
After this the raid of Dhătu ‘r-Riqa’ took place, [two months after that of BanU ‘n-Nadir]. (al-Bukhäri reported that it was after the Battle of Khaybar 7/628.) The Prophet met a group of men of the tribe of Ghatafăn in a place called Dhătu ‘r-Riqă’, but there was no fighting between them. This was because both groups feared the other. The Prophet offered saldtu ‘l-khawf and departed with his people. It is reported that the place was so called because it was a moun-tain with red, black and white patches (riqd’). It is also reported that the reason was that the skin of men’s feet began to crack, so that they were obliged to cover them with patches of cloth.
The Prophet stood at the side of a valley and his Com-panions on the other side. In the meantime the valley filled with water, so that he was separated from his men. A man of the Associators called Ghawrath saw him alone. He said to his people: “I shall kill Muhammad for you!” He thus took his sword and came to the Prophet saying:
“Who shall save you now from me, 0 Muhammad!” “My Lord shall save me! “, the Prophet answered. The man fell flat on the ground. The Prophet took the sword from him, and sitting on his chest, asked: “Who shall save you from me now, 0 Ghawrath?” He answered: “Your clemency and generosity, 0 Muhammad!” The Prophet let him go. He stood up repeating: “You are more generous and more noble than I!”

back index next