Categories
History Jews of Arabia

The Expulsion Of Banu Qaynuqa

Excerpted from Madinan Society At the Time of the Prophet, International Islamic Publishing House & IIIT, 1991

The date of the campaign

Regarding the time of its occurrence, the historians agree that this action took place after Badr. Al Zuhri defined its date as being in the month of Shawwal in the second year of the Hijrah. Al Waqidi added that it took place on a Saturday in the middle of Shawwal.1

The reason for the campaign

Regarding the background of and the reason for the expulsion, the Sirah sources mention that the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa showed anger and jealousy when the Muslims were victorious at Badr, and these feelings reached the level of open hostility.

In order to appreciate the psychological atmosphere which surrounded their expulsion, certain developments must be considered. For example, the Prophet thought of gathering the Jews together and advising them. He did this in the market place of Banu Qaynuqa. Addressing them, he said: “O Jews! Become Muslims before what befell the Quraysh befalls you.” They said: “O Muhammad, you seem to think that we are your people. Do not deceive yourself because you vanquished a contingent of Quraysh having no knowledge of war and got the better of them; for, by God, if we fight you, you will find that we are real men, and that you have not met the like of us”. Their answer clearly contained a challenge and a threat, despite the fact that they had accepted his leadership according to the terms of the treaty. This report comes through Ibn Ishaq2. Ibn Hajar said that it was hasan.3 But the isnad includes Muhammad ibn Muhammad, the freedman of Zayd ibn Thabit, whom Ibn Hajar himself said was majhul (unknown).4

Even if we accept Ibn Hajar’s suggestion that the report is hasan, that does not mean that the reason for the expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa was their refusal to accept Islam, because at that stage Islam still allowed the Muslims to live in peace with them, and the Prophet did not make entering Islam a condition for any one of the Jews to stay in Madinah. Rather, the Document5 ensured the religious freedom of the Jews. The reason for their expulsion was the aggression which they showed. This resulted in a breach of the internal security of Madinah.

There is a report which says that one of the Banu Qaynuqa tied the hem of the garment of a Muslim woman who was in their market-place, in such a way that when she stood up, she was uncovered and she screamed. One of the Muslims came and killed the Jew who had done it. Then the Jews attacked the Muslim and killed him. The Muslim’s family called on the rest of the Muslims to help them against the Jews. The Muslims became angry, and bad feelings arose between them and the Banu Qaynuqa. This is a daif report since its isnad is broken between Ibn Hisham and ‘Abd Allah iba Ja’far al Makhrami, and ends with a lesser tabi’i, Abu Awn, whose status (in hadith) is not known. But this report could be taken into consideration as regards history, and most Sirah sources include it. It describes the chain of events leading up to the expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa. Their refusal to enter Islam was not the reason for their expulsion; the true reason was their breach of security and open hostility, which convinced the Messenger that it was impossible to live with them in peace.

The siege

The report of the expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa is sahih6. Ibn Ishaq (in a report from ‘Asim ibn ‘Umar ibn Qatadah) and al Waqidi (without isnad,) give details of the Muslims’ siege of Banu Qaynuqa. The historians and Sirah writers followed them in reporting this event, in spite of the fact that these details had not been proved sahih from the point of view of hadith. But the details of the siege are among the materials which the hadith scholars allowed to be transmitted and which can be relied upon according to the methods of historical criticism, which do not make it a condition that the isnad should be sahih. These reports can be relied upon for historical study. However, if they pertain to aspects of Islamic belief and law, such reports cannot be relied upon as evidence unless they are sahih or hasan.

The reports of the siege of Banu Qaynuqa tell us that the Qaynuqa Jews were allies of Abd Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul, that they were the bravest of the Jews, and that they were goldsmiths. When they displayed open hostility and hatred, the Prophet was afraid that they might betray him. He appointed Abu Lubabah ibn Abd al Mundhir to rule in Madinah in his absence, appointed Hamzah ibn Abd al Muttalib to carry the white flag, and besieged Banu Qaynuqa for 15 days, until the beginning of Dhu al Qa’dah. Then he intensified the siege against them, and they agreed to accept the judgment of the Messenger that he should take their wealth and they should keep their women and children. He ordered that the Qaynuqa Jews should be tied up. Then their ally Abd Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul spoke to him about them and pestered him, saying: ‘400 men without armor, and 300 with armor protected me from the red and the black (i.e., every one), and you want to kill them all in one day?’ The Messenger of Allah said: ‘They are yours.'”.7

He ordered that they should be expelled from Madinah, and the one responsible for carrying out this order was ‘Ubadah ibn al Samit. The Jews went to Adhra’at. The one responsible for seizing their wealth was Muhammad ibn Maslamah al Ansari. It was shared among the companions as booty, after one-fifth of it had been taken for the Messenger.8 The following verses of the Qur’an were revealed concerning the expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa:

“Say to those who reject faith: ‘Soon will you be vanquished and gathered together in Hell’ an evil bed indeed (to lie on)! There has already been for you a sign in the two armies that met (in combat): one was fighting in the cause of God, the other resisting God…” (Al Imran 3:12-13)

Some of the commentators of the Qur’an transmitted the opinion that the following verse was revealed concerning Abd Allah ibn Ubayy’s close friendship with the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa:

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily, Allah guides not a people unjust.”(Al Ma’idah 5:54).

At the same time, ‘Ubadah ibn al Samit announced that he was disowning his Jewish allies in favor of Allah and His Messenger: “O Messenger of Allah, I have many close friends among the Jews, but I am disowning the friendship of the Jews and turning to Allah and His Messenger. I take only Allah and His Messenger for close friends.”

There is a clear difference between Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, whose heart was full of hypocrisy, and ‘Ubadah ibn al Samit, whose personality had been refined under the teaching of the Prophet, which had rid him of all traces of preIslamic tribal loyalty, Jahili Asabiyyah desires, and personal interests. He considered the interests of faith and gave them priority over his own interests. He was a good example of the conscientious and committed believer. The Expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa 1

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "The Expulsion Of Banu Qaynuqa," in Bismika Allahuma, October 16, 2005, last accessed December 4, 2021, https://www.bismikaallahuma.org/history/the-expulsion-of-banu-qaynuqa/
  1. Al Tabari, Tarikh al Rusul, 2/479; 480; Al Waqidi, al Maghazi, 1/176; Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat, 2/28-29 []
  2. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, 294; Abu Dawud, al Sunan, 3/402-3 []
  3. Fath al Bari, 7/332 []
  4. Al Taqrib, 2/205 []
  5. See the thesis: “Announcement of the Constitution” []
  6. Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 3/11 []
  7. The words of ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy were reported by Ibn Ishaq from ‘Asim ibn Umar and the isnad ends with him (Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 2/562/3). ‘Asim is one of the lesser tabi’iin. The report is daif according to the standards of the hadith scholars, but it is the kind of khabar that is allowed to be transmitted. Its importance is derived from its mentioning the number of warriors of Banu Qaynuqa. []
  8. Al Waqidi, al Maghazi, 1/176-7; Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat, 2/29 []
Categories
History Jews of Arabia

The Expulsion Of Banu Al-Qurayzah

Excerpted from Madinan Society At the Time of the Prophet, International Islamic Publishing House & IIIT, 1991

The date of the campaign

The action against Banu Qurayzah took place at the end of Dhu al Qa’dah and the beginning of Dhu al Hijjah in the fifth year1, after the Battle of the Ditch, which took place in Shawwal of the fifth year AH, according to Qatadah, ‘Urwah ibn al Zubayr, Ibn Ishaq and Abd al Razzaq.2 Imam Malik and Musa ibn ‘Uqbah suggested that the Battle of the Ditch took place in Shawwal of the fourth year. Ibn Hazm suggested the same. The three of them drew their conclusion from a hadith of Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar which said that the Prophet would not let him fight at the Battle of the Ditch, when he was 15.3

Al Bayhaqi showed that it was possible to reconcile the two suggestions. He said: “In fact, there is no difference between them, because they meant that it took place after four years had passed and before the fifth year was completed.” Al Zuhri declared that the Battle of the Ditch took place two years after Uhud. All are agreed that Uhud took place in Shawwal of the third year, except for those who suggested that the hijrah calendar should begin from Muharram of the year following the emigration, and did not take into consideration the months which remained in the year of the hijrah, from Rabi’ al Awwal onwards, as al Bayhaqi mentions. Yaqub ibn Sufyan al Fasawi suggested that Badr took place in the first year, Uhud in the second year, Badr al Maw?id in Sha?ban of the third year, and the Battle of the Ditch in Shawwal of the fourth year. This contradicts the opinion of the majority of scholars. It is well known that ‘Umar decreed that the hijrah calendar should start from Muharram of the year in which the emigration took place, and according to Malik, that it should start from Rabi’ al Awwal of that year.

There are three opinions, but the opinion of the majority, that Uhud took place in the third year, and that the Battle of the Ditch took place in Shawwal of the fifth year, is authentic.

Some of the scholars, including al Bayhaqi, explained the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar by saying that at the Battle of Uhud he had only just turned 14, whereas at the Battle of the Ditch he was 15 going on 16. This is reasonable, because when the Battle of Uhud ended, the two sides agreed to meet at Badr for another battle in the following year (Badr al Mawaid), but it did not happen. Al Bayhaqi said: “It is nonsense to say that they came to besiege Madinah two months later.”4

The reason for the campaign

The reason for the campaign goes back to Banu Qurayzah’s breaking of the treaty between themselves and the Prophet. This has been proved from different reports which, when taken together, could be used as valid evidence. Huyayy ibn Akhtab al Nadari5 incited them to break the treaty at a critical time when the Muslims were being besieged by 10,000 warriors from the various tribes. There is a strong report that the Prophet sent al Zubayr ibn al Awwam6 to check on Banu Qurayzah, then he sent Sad ibn Mu’adh, Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah, Abd Allah ibn Rawahah and Khawwat ibn Jubayr7 to check whether the rumors about the treachery of Banu Qurayzah were true. These four confirmed the rumors, and this news distressed the Muslims.

Ibn Ishaq gave a detailed report — without isnad — of the treachery of Banu Qurayzah and their breaking of the treaty. Most of the Sirah writers also reported it without isnad8.

Musa ibn ‘Uqbah mentions — also without isnad — that Qurayzah asked Huyayy ibn Akhtab to take 90 men from the nobles of Quraysh and Ghatafan as hostages, so the Quraysh would not leave Madinah before they had destroyed the Muslims. Huyayy agreed to that, so they announced their breaking of the treaty.9

The Prophet was commanded by God to fight Banu Qurayzah after he returned from the Battle of the Ditch10 so the Prophet ordered his companions to go to Qurayzah straight away, and tell them that God had sent Jibril to shake their strongholds and strike fear into their hearts11, and instructed them that no one was to pray Asr before they reached Banu Qurayzah12. The time for Asr came, and some were still on their way to Banu Qurayzah, so some of them prayed, and some of them delayed their prayer, but the Prophet did not blame either group, because they had tried their best to understand what he wanted them to do. Those who had delayed the Asr prayed it after Isha as Ibn Ishaq explained.13

The scholars reconcile the reports of al Bukhari and Muslim by suggesting the possibility that some of them had already prayed zuhr before the order came, while some had not, so the Prophet ordered those who had not yet prayed not to pray, and ordered those who had already prayed not to pray Asr. It is also possible that two groups were sent out separately: the first group was told not to pray Zuhr and the second was told not to pray Asr.1415, 7/408-9

The Prophet went out to Banu Qurayzah, and appointed Abd Allah ibn Umm Maktum16 to govern Madinah in his absence. This report could be accepted even though it has not been proved to be sahih.

There are many mursal traditions (athar) which strengthen one another to the level of hasan li ghayrih, and which say that Ali was sent to carry the flag at the head of the army.17

The reports differ as to whether the siege of Banu Qurayzah lasted for a month18, 25 days19, 15 days20 or any number of days between 10 and 1821. The strongest evidence shows that it was twenty-five days; most of the Maghazi writers favor this version, following Ibn Ishaq.22

The success of the siege and the fate of Banu Qurayzah

When the siege intensified and became unbearable for Banu Qurayzah, they wanted to surrender and accept whatever judgment the Prophet passed on them. They consulted Abu Lubabah ibn Abd al Mundhir, one of the companions of the Prophet who was also their ally, and he indicated that if they surrendered, they would be killed. Abu Lubabah later regretted saying this, and tied himself to one of the pillars in the Prophet’s Mosque until his repentance was accepted.23 Banu Qurayzah agreed to accept the judgment of Sa’d ibn Mu’adh; they thought that he would show mercy to them, because of the alliance between them and his people, al Aws.

Sa’d was carried to them, because he had been wounded in the hand by an arrow at the Battle of the Ditch, and was ill. He judged that the warriors should be killed, and their wealth shared. The Messenger confirmed this and said: “You have judged according to God’s judgment.”24 By doing this, Sad ibn Mu’adh disowned his alliance with Banu Qurayzah. This did not disturb the Aws at all, despite their alliance with Banu Qurayzah and the fact that they had only recently entered Islam. Their acceptance of this was facilitated by the fact that their leader Sa’d passed judgment on Banu Qurayzah. The number of warriors who were executed was 400.25 Three of Banu Qurayzah were spared because they entered Islam26 and they kept their wealth; three others may have been spared because they were protected by some of the companions because of their loyalty to the treaty during the siege. There are many reports dealing with this, but they cannot be taken as valid evidence. The prisoners were detained in the house of Bint al Harith.27

The executions were carried out in the market place in Madinah, where trenches were dug; they were killed in groups and thrown into the trenches.28 Only one of their women was killed29; she had killed one of the companions — Khalid ibn Suwayd — by dropping a millstone on him.

Boys below the age of puberty were released.30 After the execution of the warriors had been carried out, the Prophet divided their wealth and appointed the women to the custody of the Muslims.31 The books of Maghazi give some detail of how the division was carried out, but their reports cannot be taken as valid evidence.

The Messenger chose Rayhanah ibn Khanafah, one of the women prisoners, for himself, according to Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sa’d and many others. Al Waqidi and those who followed him said that he married her, but the first suggestion is more likely.

Some contemporary historians tend to deny and weaken the reports dealing with the punishment faced by Banu Qurayzah32 on the basis that proving these reports may hurt humanitarian feelings or serve the interests of Zionist propaganda, but this is not the case. The most authentic Islamic sources prove that it happened. The severe punishments were only given because of the acts of high treason which Banu Qurayzah committed when they betrayed the Muslims and broke the treaty, instead of participating with them in defending Madinah, in accordance with the treaty between the two sides. In this day and age, nations still execute traitors who cooperate with the enemy.

The punishment of Banu Qurayzah fitted their crime, because they had exposed the Muslims to the threat of being killed, their wealth to the threat of being seized, and their women and children to the threat of being taken prisoner; therefore, their punishment was a fitting recompense. There is no need to avoid historical facts or to deny authentic reports. The Expulsion of Banu al-Qurayzah 2

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "The Expulsion Of Banu Al-Qurayzah," in Bismika Allahuma, October 16, 2005, last accessed December 4, 2021, https://www.bismikaallahuma.org/history/the-expulsion-of-banu-al-qurayzah/
  1. Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat, 3/74; Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/715; Al Tabari, Tarikh al Rusul, 3/593; Ibn Sayyid al Nas, Uyun al Athar, 3/68 []
  2. Abd al Razzaq, al Musannaf, 5/367; Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/699; al Haythami, Majma’ al Zawa’id, 6/143: he attributed it to al Tabarani and said that the men in the isnad are thiqah. []
  3. Al Bukhari, at Sahih, 3/33, 73; see also Malik’s suggestion. []
  4. Ibn Kathir, al Bidayah, 4/934; and al Sirah at Nabawiyyah, 3/180-1; Ibn Qayyim, Zad al Ma’ad, 388-9; Ibn Hajar, Fath al Bari, 7/393 []
  5. Abd al Razzaq reported this from the mursal hadith of Sa’id ibn al Musayyab, which are the most sahih mursal hadith. The report is valid as evidence, if there are other reports which support it (al Musannaf, 5/368-373). Abu Nu’aym, from the mursal hadith of Sa’id also (Abu Nu’aym, Dala’il al Nubuwwah, 3/183). []
  6. Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 3/306; Muslim, al Sahih, 7/138 []
  7. Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/706, without isnad. []
  8. Al-Waqidi, al Maghazi, 3/454-9; Al Tabari, Tarikh al Rusul, 3/570-3; Ibn Hazm, Jawami al Sirah, 187-8; Ibn Abd al Barr, al Durar, 181-3; Ibn Sayyid al Nas, Uyun al Athar, 3/59-60; Ibn Kathir, at Bidayah, 3/103-4 []
  9. Ibn Kathir, al Bidayah, 3/103-4 []
  10. Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 3/24; Ahmad, al Musnad, 6/56, 131, 280 []
  11. Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 3/24; 144 []
  12. Bukhari (Ibid., 3/24); Muslim (Muslim, al Sahih, 5/163) say Zuhr. []
  13. Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/716-7, from the mursal hadith of Ma’bad ibn Ka’b ibn Malik, who is maqbul. []
  14. Ibn Hajar, []
  15. Fath al Bari []
  16. Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/716; Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat, 3/74 (both without isnad). []
  17. Ibn Hisam, al Sirah, 3/716; Ibn Hajar, Fath at Bari, 7/413 []
  18. Tabari, Tarikh al Rusul, 2/583, the narrator himself said that he was unsure as to whether it was a month or 25 days. []
  19. Al Sa’ati, al Fath al Rabbani li Tartib Musnad al Imam Ahmad, 21/81-3. All the narrators are reliable. []
  20. Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat, 3/74, without isnad. []
  21. Ibn Kathir, al Bidayah, 4/118-9; Ibn Hajar, Fath at Bari, 7/413; mursal from Musa ibn Uqbah from al Zuhri. []
  22. Tabari, Tarikh al Rusul, 2/583; Ibn Hazm, Jawami al Sirah, 193; Ibn Abd al Barr, al Durar, 189; Ibn Sayyid al Nas, ‘Uyun al Athar, 2/69 []
  23. Al Sa’ati, al Fath al Rabbani, 21/81-3, with a hasan isnad. []
  24. Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 2/210, 3/24-25; Muslim, al Sahih, 5/160-1 []
  25. Ahmad, al Musnad, 3/350, with a hasan isnad; Ibn Hajar (Fath al Bari, 7/14) mentioned the differences in their numbers, ranging from 400 to 900, and reconciled the different reports by saying that the increase included the followers of Banu Qurayzah, such as slaves, freedmen, and others. []
  26. Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 3/11; Muslim, al Sahih, 5/159. The three who entered Islam were: Tha’labah ibn Sa’iyah, Usayd ibn Sa’iyah and Asad ibn ‘Ubayd. []
  27. This is the report of Ibn Ishaq (Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/721). ‘Urwah mentions it was the house of Usamah ibn Zayd. The reports can be reconciled by saying that the prisoners were put in two houses because of their great numbers. []
  28. Ahmad, al Musnad, 3/351; al Tirmidhi, Sunan, 4/144-5 []
  29. Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/722; Ahmad, al Musnad, 6/277; Abu Dawud, al Sunan, 2/150. Its isnad is hasan li dhatih. []
  30. Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/724; Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat, 2/72-7 []
  31. Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 3/11; Muslim, al Sahih, 5/159 []
  32. See the research of Dr. Walid Arafat in the papers of the World Sirah Conference in Qatar. Ed. note: See the same paper in The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1976, pp. 100-107 []
Categories
History Jews of Arabia

The Conquest Of Khaybar And Of The Remaining Jewish Strongholds In Al Hijaz

Akram Diya al Umari[1]

Excerpted from Madinan Society At the Time of the Prophet, International Islamic Publishing House & IIIT, 1991

Khaybar is an agricultural oasis situated approximately 165 kilometers to the north of Madinah[2], at an altitude of 850 m above sea level. It is the second largest Harrah in Arabia, after the Harrah Banu Salim[3]. Khaybar enjoys fertile land and abundant water, hence it was famous for having many palm trees, apart from the corn and fruits it produced. For this reason it was known as the garden of the Hijaz, because of its fertility, impregnability, and livestock. There was a market place in Khaybar called Suq al Natah, which was guarded by the tribe of Ghatafan, who considered Khaybar to be within their borders.[4] Because of its economic position, many merchants and craftsmen lived there, and there was much money-changing activity.

Before the conquest, Khaybar was inhabited by a mixture of Arabs and Jews. The number of Jews increased after the expulsion of the Jews from Madinah at the time of the Prophet.[5]

The Jews of Khaybar did not show any hostility toward the Muslims until the leaders of Banu al Nadir settled among them. These leaders had been deeply hurt by their expulsion from their homes. The expulsion had not destroyed their power, because they had left Madinah with their wives and children and their wealth, followed by singers beating drums and playing wind-instruments in an act of conceit and pride, the like of which had never been seen among any people at that time.[6]

The most prominent leaders of Banu al Nadir who settled in Khaybar were Salam ibn Abu al Haqiq, Kinanah ibn Abu al Haqiq, and Huyayy ibn Akhtab. When they came to Khaybar, the people accepted their leadership.[7]

The leadership of these three men was enough to drag the Jews of Khaybar into conflict aimed at retaliation against the Muslims. They were driven by an inner hatred and strong desire to return to their homes in Madinah.

Their first move against the Muslims came in the Battle of the Ditch, when the Jews of Khaybar, led by the leaders of Banu al Nadir, played a significant role in the incitement of Quraysh and the desert Arabs against the Muslims, and spent their own money for that purpose. Then they succeeded in persuading Banu Qurayzah to betray the Muslims and cooperate with their enemies.[8]

After God had aided the Muslims in defending Madinah and defeating the tribes, the Messenger felt that it was important to deal with the situation in Khaybar, which had become a source of great danger for the Muslims.

Ibn Ishaq reports ?with an isnad containing a majhul narrator? that the Messenger sent a letter to them, calling them to Islam and reminding them of what their own Scriptures said about his coming.[9] Of course, the Jews did not accept his invitation, nor did they apologize for inciting the enemies of the Muslims. The Messenger therefore decided to liquidate their leaders who had played a part in the incitement against him, including Salam ibn Abd al Haqiq. The Messenger sent Abd Allah ibn Atik and some of the Ansar, and they killed him.

Al Bukhari gave the story of his killing in detail: Abd Allah ibn Atik found and ingenious way to enter his house, which was within his stronghold and surrounded by his bodyguard, and killed him in his bedroom.[10] This indicates that Abd Allah ibn Atik was courageous, eager and ready to make sacrifices for the sake of his beliefs.

But eliminating some of the Jewish leaders was not sufficient to remove the danger to the Muslims. The treaty of al Hudaybiyah, between the Muslims and Quraysh, which took place in the sixth year of the Hijrah, gave the Muslims the opportunity to devote themselves to the conquest of Khaybar. Many of the Qur?anic commentators suggest that God promised the Muslims that they would conquer Khaybar and take booty from it, in Surat al Fath, which was revealed on the way back from al Hudaybiyah:

“God’s good pleasure was on the believers when they swore fealty to thee under the tree: He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down tranquility to them; and He rewarded them with a speedy victory; and many gains will they acquire (besides): and God is exalted in power, full of wisdom. God has promised you many gains that you shall acquire, and He has given you these beforehand; and He has restrained the hands of men from you; that it may be a sign for the believers, and that He may guide you to a straight path; and other gains (there are), which are not within your power, but which God has compassed: and God has power over all things.” (Al Fath, 48:18-21)

The date of the campaign

Ibn Ishaq suggested that it took place in Muharram of the seventh year. Al Waqidi suggested that it took place in Safar or Rabi al Awwal of the seventh year, after the return from al Hudaybiyah in Dhu al Hijjah of the sixth year.[11] Al Zuhri and Imam Malik suggested that it took place in Muharram of the sixth year.[12] The historians followed these pioneers in establishing the date of the campaign, so their suggestions also differ. There is no great difference between Ibn Ishaq and al Waqidi; it is less than three months. The difference between them and al Zuhri and Imam Malik stem from the differences in defining the beginning of the hijrah calendar. Some of them included the months preceding Rabi? al Awwal, the month in which the hijrah took place, so they added a year to the dates of the events which took place at the time of the Prophet; others ignored those months, and considered Rabi? al Awwal as the beginning of the calendar, so they dropped a year from the dates of the events. Ibn Hajar preferred Ibn Ishaq?s suggestion to that of al Waqidi.[13]

On the way to Khaybar

When the Muslims set off for Khaybar under the leadership of the Prophet, they were shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Most Great) and “La Ilaha illa Allah” (There is no god but Allah) in loud voices, and he asked them to calm down, saying: “You are calling One who is All-hearing and Close, and He is with you.”[14]

This gives a clear picture of the spirit which was controlling the Islamic army. They were motivated by strong faith and their morale for fighting was high, while they were marching towards strongholds full of men, weapons, provisions and supplies. None of these could prevent the believers from achieving their noble aims.

Al Waqidi is the only one who gives a detailed description of the Prophet?s route to Khaybar. Al Waqidi is an expert in describing routes and in defining the places where the events of the Sirah took place. He used to follow the routes himself and ask questions about them. He explained that the Prophet left Madinah and went through Thinyat al Wada, Zaghabah, Nuqma, al Mustanah, al Watih, Asr, Sahba, and al Kharasah; he then passed between al Shiqq and al Natah, went through al Manzilah and al Raji?, from where he set off to conquer Khaybar.[15] Since al Raji? lies to the northeast of Khaybar, it seems that the Prophet wanted to cut Khaybar off from Syria and its allies in Ghatafan.

Description of the conquest of Khaybar

The Prophet conquered al Natah first, and its two strongholds, Na’im and al Sa?b, fell to the Muslims. Then he conquered al Shiqq, and its two strongholds, Abi and al Nizar, fell. Al Natah and al Shiqq lie to the northeast of Khaybar. Then he conquered al Katibah, and its stronghold, al Mani (or al Qamus), fell. This was the stronghold of Ibn Abu al Haqiq. Then he conquered al Watil, and then al Salalim, and their strongholds fell. This is the sequence of the conquest areas around Khaybar according to al Waqidi’s description.[16] Ibn Ishaq?s description differs in the order of events. He agrees with al Waqidi that the conquest began with the capture of the stronghold of Na’im in the region of al Natah, but he differs in that he puts the capture of al Qamus before the capture of al Sa’b.[17]

The authentic hadith indicate that the Prophet reached Khaybar before dawn and prayed Fajr in its vicinity. Then he attacked it before the sun rose. The Jewish peasants who came out to work with their cattle, hoes and baskets were surprised to see the Muslims there and exclaimed: “Muhammad and his army!” The Messenger answered: “Allahu Akbar! Khaybar is destroyed. When we descend into the open space of people, evil will be the morning for those who were warned (and heeded not)!”[18]

The Jews took refuge in their strongholds, and the Muslims besieged the stronghold of al Na’im. Ghatafan quickly came to the aid of the Jews of Khaybar, who were their allies, but they did not join in the fighting for fear that the Muslims might attack their homes. Al Waqidi states that Ghatafan reached the strongholds of Khaybar, but Ibn Ishaq states that they returned to their homes before reaching Khaybar. Al Waqidi is the only one who says that the Prophet offered Ghatafan a year?s date harvest from Khaybar in return for their withdrawal, and that they refused. This report cannot be relied upon because al Waqidi is weak and he is the only one who reported it.[19]

Abu Bakr carried the flag of the Muslims for the first two days of the siege of Na’im, but it did not fall to him, and stress and exhaustion overtook them. The Prophet said: ?Tomorrow I will give the flag to a man whom Allah and His Messenger love, and who loves Allah and His Messenger. He will not return until the stronghold has fallen to him??? The Muslims? spirits revived. After the Prophet had prayed Fajr the following morning, he called Ali and gave him the flag. Ali carried it on the third day, and he achieved the conquest.[20]

One report indicates that the flag-bearer before Ali was Umar ibn al Khattab, not Abu Bakr, but this is a weak report relying on Maymun al Basri who is daif.[21] Another report tells that Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali took turns in carrying the flag on the third day. This is also a weak report because its narrator, Baridah ibn Sufyan, is weak.[22]

The Prophet commanded Ali to call the Jews of Khaybar to Islam, and to tell them what their duties towards God were. He said to him: “By God, if God guides one man (to Islam) through you, it is better for you than the most valuable camels.”[23] This shows that the Prophet was not eager for the booty of Khaybar; rather he was concerned about spreading the message of Islam and removing obstacles from the path of its preparation.

When Ali asked him: “O Messenger of God, on what basis shall I fight?” he said: “Fight them until they say ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah If they do so, their blood and wealth will be protected from you, except what is due from it (i.e., zakah, etc.) and Allah knows their intentions.”[24]

Mahmud ibn Maslamah al Ansari was martyred in the siege of the stronghold of Na’im, when Marhab threw a millstone onto him from the heights of the stronghold.[25] Ali met Marhab in combat and killed him.[26] Marhab was one of the heroes of the Jews, and his death affected their morale.

Several reports tell that Ali carried a gate of the fortress of Na?im as a shield after a Jew had knocked his shield from his arm, but these are all unsubstantiated reports.[27] Rejecting these reports is not a denial of Ali?s strength and courage. There are many other reports which establish this beyond doubt.

The conquest of Na?im took ten days.[28] Afterward, the Muslims set off toward the stronghold of al Sa?b ibn Mu?adh in the region of al Natah, where there were 500 warriors with food and provisions. The Muslims were suffering from lack of food. Al Habbab ibn al Mundhir carried the flag at the conquest, and he did well and fought the Jews bravely. The conquest took three days. Then the Muslims conquered the stronghold of Qal?at al Zubayr, which was the last stronghold of al Natah. The fugitives from Na’im, al Sa?b, and the other Jewish strongholds conquered by the Muslims had gathered in Qal’at al Zubayr, and it was a high and impregnable stronghold. The Muslims cut off the water supply, and forced the Jews to come down and fight; they killed ten of the Jews and conquered the stronghold after a siege lasting three days. After they had dealt with the people of al Natah, who were strongest of the Jews, the Muslims moved from al Raji? to al Manzilah.

Undoubtedly, the position of the Muslims was much stronger after they had defeated the people of al Natah and seized their food and provisions, and the rest of the Jews of Khaybar were alarmed by the fall of al Natah.

The Muslims set off to conquer al Shiqq. This area contained many strongholds, including Abi and al Nizar. The Muslims began by conquering Abi; some of the Jewish warriors were killed in single combat in front of the stronghold. Then the Muslims stormed the fortress and gained the food and provisions inside. Some of the Jewish warriors managed to escape and barricade themselves in the fortress of al Nizar, where they fought the Muslims with arrows and stones. Their resistance collapsed before the siege of the Muslims, who conquered the fortress. The rest of the people of al Shiqq fled from their strongholds to the area of al Katibah, to the southwest of Khaybar, and barricaded themselves in the stronghold of al Qamus (al Mani’). Some of the defeated barricaded themselves with the people of the strongholds of al Watih and al Salalim. The Muslims besieged them for 14 days, before they asked for peace without there having been any fighting. Al Nizar was the last stronghold in which there was fighting. Afterwards the Jewish resistance collapsed and the Jews limited themselves to barricading themselves inside their strongholds, and this barricading always ended with their asking for peace.

The description of the conquest of the strongholds of al Sa’b and al Zubayr, and of the regions of al Shiqq and al Katibah, is based on al Waqidi.[29] He is the only one who gives a clear picture of the conquest of these areas. He is an historian (akhbari) who has abundant information, despite his being weak in the opinion of the hadith scholars. His report is of the kind which is allowable.

Ibn Ishaq?s reports about the conquest of Khaybar are confused and lack precision when compared with the location of the strongholds of Khaybar. An authentic report mentions that the Prophet fought the people of Khaybar, then seized their land and palm trees, and forced them back to their citadel. They agreed that the gold and silver, weapons and armor were for the Messenger of God, and that they could have whatever their mounts could carry, on condition that they restrained themselves and did not conceal anything. If they did so, there would be no protection for them and no treaty with them. They concealed some musk belonging to Huyayy ibn Akhtab, who had been killed before Khaybar, and who had brought it with him on the day Banu al Nadir were expelled. Sayah[30] was asked: “Where is the musk of Huyayy ibn Akhtab?” He answered: “It was spent on war and other expenses.” Then the Muslims found the musk, and killed the two sons of Abu al Haqiq, and took their women and children as prisoners.[31]

Ibn Ishaq mentions without isnad, that the one who concealed the treasure and was asked about it was Kinanah ibn al Rabi?.[32] Ibn Sa’d mentions Kinanah and his brother al Rabi’.[33] Ibn Sa’d’s isnad includes Muhammad ibn Abd al Rahman ibn Abu Layla, who is saduq, but he has a very bad memory.[34]

It has been proved that the Jews of the stronghold of al Qamus asked the Prophet for peace, but afterward broke the treaty, so he took their wealth.

The people of al Watih and al Salalim realized, after the fall of al Natah, al Shiqq and al Qamus, that their resistance was futile. They asked the Prophet to let them go and to spare their lives, and he did so.[35]

The rest of Khaybar fell to the Muslims. The people of Fidak, to the north of Khaybar, hastened to ask for peace, and to be allowed to leave in safety, and leave their wealth in return for that. The Prophet agreed to their request.[36]

Fidak was exclusively for the Messenger of Allah, because he had not made an expedition to it with either cavalry or camelry. The Muslims then besieged Wadi al Qura, a group of villages a few days? travel between Khaybar and Tayma.[37] The villages surrendered, and the Muslims took much wealth as booty, but they left the land and palm trees to the Jews, and treated them as they had treated Khaybar. Tayma made a peace treaty similar to the treaties of Khaybar and Wadi al Qura.[38]

Thus the rest of the Jewish strongholds fell before the Muslims. The report of the request for a peace treaty on the part of the people of al Watih and al Salalim, and of Fidak, was transmitted by Ibn Ishaq with a munqati isnad which is not valid evidence for the rules of Islamic jurisprudence. It is valid for describing historical events. Its narrator, Abd Allah ibn Abu Bakr ibn Amr ibn Hazm is famous for transmitting information of the Maghazi.

The number of Jewish men killed in the battle of Khaybar was 93[39] and their women and children were taken prisoners. Among the prisoners was Safiyah bint Huyayy ibn Akhtab. The Prophet freed and married her.[40]

Twenty Muslims were martyred, according to Ibn Ishaq[41], al Waqidi said that there were 15. It is a sign of Allah?s abandoning the Jews that the number of their men killed while defending well-fortified strongholds was far greater than the number of Muslims who were martyred while fighting on open ground. There is a sahih report that a Jewish woman gave the Prophet a roasted sheep she had poisoned; she had put the most poison into the shoulder when she learned that this was the part he preferred. When he tasted some of the shoulder, he realized that it had been poisoned, so he spat out the mouthful. The woman confessed, and he did not punish her[42] but later he killed her when Bishr ibn Ma?rur died as a result of having eaten poison in his food.[43]

What helped the Muslims to conquer Khaybar was the fact that after the treaty of al Hudaybiyah they were free to fight the Jews without Quraysh helping them (the Jews), and that the tribe of Ghatafan abandoned the alliance with the Jews of Khaybar out of fear for their own homes. Quraysh became dejected and angry when they heard the news of the Muslims? victory over the Jews of Khaybar.[44] The victory was unexpected, because the impregnability of the forts and strongholds of the Jews in Khaybar, and the great numbers of warriors and weapons, were well-known. Similarly, the victory at Khaybar had a resounding effect on the other Arab tribes who were astonished by the news and so panic-stricken by the victory, that they held back their hostility and turned to reconciliation. Thus new horizons opened up for the spread of Islam.

The Jews were not expelled from Khaybar at the time of the Prophet. There is an authentic report that the Prophet allowed the Jews to stay in Khaybar on the condition that they work in agriculture and spend their own money on it, and that the Muslims would receive one half of their crops. This was in spite of the fact that the Muslims had the right to expel them if they wanted to. The Jews hastened to make this offer to the Prophet, saying, ?We know the land better than you do? He agreed to this although he had intended to expel them.[45] This does not contradict the report in the Sunan of Abu Dawud[46] which says:

“When the Prophet and the Muslims gained the wealth (i.e., of Khaybar, including the land), they did not have enough workers to work the land for them, so the Messenger of Allah called the Jews, and made an agreement with them? It is possible to reconcile the two reports by explaining that the Jews made this offer to the Messenger and that he accepted after he had thought about it and seen that it was in the interests of the Muslims. Subsequently, he called the Jews and made an agreement with them).”

The fact that he intended to expel them is an indication that all of Khaybar was conquered by force, because those who made peace did so on condition that their lives would be spared and they would be able to leave.

The Jews settled in Khaybar, and the Prophet sent a man on his behalf to evaluate the crops and take the Muslims? share. On one occasion he sent Abd Allah ibn Rawahah, who evaluated half the crop as being 20,000 camel-loads (wisq) of dates. He gave the Jews the choice of taking this half, or of leaving it for him (and taking the other half). They admired his fairness and said: “This is justice, upon which the heavens and the earth are established. We agree to take it, as you said”.[47]

But there is another authentic report which says that he evaluated the crop at 40,000 camel-loads; they accepted his evaluation and had to pay 20,000 camel-loads.[48] The two authentic reports may be reconciled by explaining that by ’40’ was meant the share of both the Jews and the Muslims, and by ’20’ was meant the share of only one of the two groups.

The effects of the conquest of Khaybar

Undoubtedly, the conquest of Khaybar brought great benefits to the Muslims, and improved their economic possibilities with a continual economic income. Aishah said, commenting upon the conquest of Khaybar, “Now we can eat our fill of dates”. Ibn Umar added, “We did not eat our fill until we conquered Khaybar”.[49]

Undoubtedly, these reports give a clear picture of the benefits of the conquest of Khaybar in strengthening the economic position of the Muslims and of the economic situation before the conquest. In spite of the Muslims’ desperate need before Khaybar, the Messenger would have preferred the Jews’ becoming Muslim to receiving the booty, as is made clear by his command to Ali. Nor did he want to destroy or expel the Jews; for this reason he accepted the peace agreement which the Jews of al Qamus, al Watih and Salalim offered. After the agreement ? according to which the Jews accepted expulsion from Khaybar ? had been made, he agreed to let them stay in Khaybar according to their request, an indication of tolerance and justice. This action served the economic and military interests of the Islamic state, in that it conserved the military energies which could then be directed towards continual struggle aimed at unifying the Arab peninsula under the suzerainty of Islam. The Muslims did not turn to agriculture, which needs continual work in cultivating the land and tending plants and palms, and would use their time and energy. They also benefited from the experience and energies of the Jewish presence who maintained the level of agricultural production in Khaybar because of their experience with the land and its cultivation. The Muslims were provided with a large share (of the produce) which the state could use to equip the army and cover other expenses.

The Muslims gained moveable wealth; each man took whatever food he needed, without sharing it with the Muslims or giving 1/5 (khums) of it to the state, because it was little. This contradicts Al Waqidi’s report that there was much wealth and it was sufficient for the Muslims to feed themselves for a month or more.

References

[1] In collecting reports on this topic and selecting those which are authentic, I referred to the thesis by al Shaykh ?Awad Ahmad al Shahri, entitled Marwiyat Ghazwat Khaybar (Reports of the Khaybar Campaign), which he has submitted for a Master’s Degree in the Department of Postgraduate Studies in the Islamic University of Madinah al Munawwarah. I was a member of the examining panel.

[2] This is the distance by modern road, which is different from the route which was followed by the Messenger to Khaybar.

[3] See al Mawsu’ah al Arabiyyah al Muyassarah (The Simplified Arabic Encyclopedia), p. 770. Hamad at Jasir, Fi Shimal Gharb al Jazirah, 236-8

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/272

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/253, transmitted it from the Sirah authorities, joining their isnads together. The isnads contain a majhul narrator, who is invalidated by being mursal, but this report is acceptable, because soundness from a hadith point of view is not a condition for accepting akhbar.

[9] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 2/195

[10] Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, Kitab al Maghazi, Bab Qatal Abu Rafiq, 7/340

[11] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 2/130; al Waqidi, al Maghazi, 2/634

[12] Ibn Asakir, Tarikh Madinat Dimashq (The History of the City of Damascus), 1/33

[13] Fath al Bari, 7/464

[14] al Bukhari, al Sahih, Kitab al Maghazi, Bab Ghazwat Khaybar, 7/470

[15] Al Waqidi, al Maghazi, 2/639

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/438

[18] Al Bukhari, al Sahih, Kitab al Salah, 1/478; Kitab al Adhan, 2/89; Muslim, al Sahih, Kitab al Jihad wa al Siyar, Bab Ghazwat Khaybar, 3/426

[19] Al Waqidi, al Maghazi, 3/650; Ibn Hisham, al Sira, 3/438

[20] Ahmad, al Musnad, 5/353; al Hakim, al Mustadrak, 3/37; al Haythami, Majma al Zawa?id, 6/150. Al Hakim judged that its isnad was sahih, and both al Dhahabi and al Haythami agreed with him.

[21] Ahmad, al Musnad, 5/358; al Haythami, Kashf al Astar ?an Zawa?id Musnad al Bazar, 2/338; al Tabari, Tarikh al Rusul, 2/300; lbn Hajar, Taqrib al Tahdhib, 2/292

[22] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/455; al Tabari, Tarikh al Rusul, 2/300; al Hakim, al Mustadrak, 2/37; see also Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 1/433. Al Haythami (Majma al Zawa?id, 9/124) and al Bazar. Ibn Kathir, Al Sirah al Nabawiyah, 3/353) reported it with another isnad, which includes Hakim ibn Jubayr, who is daif, as mentioned in Ibn Hajar’s Taqrib al Tahdhib, 1/292

[23] Muslim, al Sahih, Kitab Fada?il al Sahabah, 4/1872

[24] Sharh al Nawawi ?ala Muslim, 15/177

[25] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/438; al Waqidi, al Maghazi, 2/645

[26] Muslim, al Sahih, Kitab at Jihad wa al Siyar, Bab Ghazwat Dhu Qarad, 3/1433

[27] Al Sa’ati, al Fath al Rabbani, 21/120; Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/446; Ibn Kathir, al Sirah al Nabawiyyah, 3/359; Ibn Hajar, al Isabah, 2/509

[28] Al Waqidi, al Maghazi, 2/657

[29] Ibid., 2/259, 670

[30] The paternal uncle of Huyayy ibn Akhtab, Awn al Ma’bud (The Help of God), 8/241

[31] Abu Dawud, al Sunan, Kitab al Kharaj wa al Imarah wa al Fay Bab Ma Ja’a fi Hukm Ard Khaybar, 3/408

[32] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/449

[33] Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat, 2/112

[34] Ibn Hajar, Taqrib al Tahdhib, 2/184

[35] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 32/449

[36] Ibid.

[37] Khalifah, Tarikh, 85, transmitted from Ibn Ishaq

[38] Ibn al Qayyim, Zad al Ma’ad, 1/405

[39] Al Waqidi, al Maghazi, 2/699

[40] Muslim, al Sahih, Kitab al Nikah, 2/1645

[41] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 2/804-5, where he gives a list of their names.

[42] Al Waqidi, al Maghazi, 2/700

[43] Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 5/176; Muslim, al Sahih, 7/14-15

[44] Ahmad, al Musnad, 3/138; Mawa’rid al Zaman, 413

[45] Al Bukhari, al Sahih, Kitab al Maghazi, Bab Mu?amalat al Nabi Ahl Khaybar, 7/496; Muslim, al Sahih, Kitab Musaqah, Bab al Musaqah wa al Muamalah bi Juz? min al Tamr wa al Zar 3/1186-1187; Abu Dawud, Sunan, Bab fi al Musaqah, 3/697

[46] Kitab al Kharaj, Bab Ma Ja’a fi Hukm Ard Khaybar, 3/412

[47] Al Sa’ati, al Fath al Rabbani, 21/25; it is a Sahih hadith.

[48] Abu Da’ud, Sunan, Kitab al Buyu; Bab al Khuras; Abu Ubayd, al Amwal, 198

[49] Al Bukhari, al Sahih, Kitab al Maghazi, Bab Ghazwat Khaybar, 7/495

Categories
History Jews of Arabia

The Expulsion Of Banu Al Nadir

Akram Diya al Umari

Excerpted from Madinan Society At the Time of the Prophet, International Islamic Publishing House & IIIT, 1991

The date of the campaign

Two reports, each with a sahih isnad, mention that the campaign against Banu al Nadir took place after the Battle of Badr.

1. The first was reported by al Zuhri, who said: “Abd Allah ibn Abd al Rahman ibn Ka’ab ibn Malik informed me from one of the companions of the Prophet.[1]

2. The second was reported by ?Urwah from ?Aishah[2], despite the fact that al Bayhaqi said that ?A?ishah was not specifically mentioned (ghayr mahfuz). But al Dhahabi said that she was mentioned. I think that the name has been added by a reliable scholar, and this is acceptable. Al Bayhaqi is the only one who mentions the reasons for this report being mursal. There is a mursal report from ?Urwah that this campaign took place six months after Badr.[3]

Al Bayhaqi transmitted another report from ?Urwah which indicated that the campaign took place in Muharram of the third year AH. This agrees with the first report, because Badr occurred on 17th Ramadan in the second year AH. This information was also transmitted by Musa ibn ?Uqbah.[4] ?Urwah is a second generation Muslim (tabi’i of great stature and Musa is a tabi’i of lesser stature. The isnad which goes back to them includes some men whose biographies I could not find, otherwise the report would be hasan.

Ibn Ishaq reported that the campaign took place in the fourth year of the hijrah.[5] Al Waqidi and Ibn Sad relate without isnad, that it happened in Rabi? al Awwal, 37 months after the hijrah.[6] Most of the Sirah writers followed Ibn Ishaq in giving the date of the campaign. Ibn al Qayyim is sure that al Zuhri was either confused or mistaken in saying that it happened six months after Badr. He does not doubt that it took place after Uhud, and in saying so he favors the report of the majority of Sirah and Maghazi writers.[7] Ibn Hajar thinks that what Abd al Rahman ibn Abd Allah ibn Ka?b mentioned is stronger than what Ibn Ishaq mentioned from the aspect of hadith soundness (sihhah). But he also thinks that if it can be proved that the reason for the expulsion of Banu al Nadir was connected with the collecting of blood money for the two men of Banu ?Amir who had accidentally been killed, then we should accept Ibn Ishaq?s verdict, because all the scholars are agreed that the incident at Bi?r Ma?unah took place after Uhud.[8]

Other accounts with regard to the date of the campaign are reported in the commentary of the Qur?anic verse:

“O you who believe! Call in remembrance the favor of God unto you when certain men formed the design to stretch out their hands against you, but God held back their hands from you: so fear God. And on God let believers put (all) their trust.” (Al Ma?idah 5:12)

The reports say that this was revealed concerning Banu al Nadir when they were on the point of killing the Prophet, and Allah rescued him by His grace. There is some weakness in this account, but when that is put together with other accounts, they support each other and can be accepted as valid evidence.[9]

These chronicles support what Ibn Ishaq suggested, but still the question remains without a definite answer: when did the campaign against Banu al Nadir take place? Ibn Hajar did not give a definite opinion on the matter, despite the fact that he had studied the reports and decided which one was the strongest, and he stated that Ibn Ishaq?s report could be accepted if it were proved that the campaign against Banu al Nadir was connected to the killing of the two men from Banu ?Amir. It seems that the abundance of reports, despite their weakness, support Ibn Ishaq?s verdict. This explains why Ibn Hajar did not give a definite opinion. The method of dealing with historical reports is more flexible in applying the rules of Hadith taking into consideration the specialization of other scholars, and respects the suggestions of the scholars of Maghazi.

The reasons for the campaign

The sources mention three reasons for the campaign:

1. The attempt of Banu al Nadir to kill the Messenger after the Battle of Badr. The sources mention two attempts. The first attempt came after Quraysh had written to Banu al Nadir, threatening to wage war on them if they did not fight the Messenger. Banu al Nadir complied with their wish and resolved to use treachery. The Jews sent a message to the Prophet, inviting him to come out with 30 of his companions to meet them. They promised to come out with a similar number of their rabbis, to a place in the center of Madinah, where they would listen to him: if the rabbis believed what he said, then all the Jews would convert. When the two parties approached each other, the Jews suggested that the Prophet and three of his companions should meet with three of their rabbis, and if he convinced them, then Banu al Nadir would convert. The three rabbis were carrying daggers, but one of the Jewish women whose brother was a Muslim told him about their plans. He told the Prophet who turned back and did not go to meet them. Then he besieged them until they accepted expulsion, on the condition that they could take with them whatever their camels could carry, except weapons; they even took the doors of their houses. The isnad of this report includes men who are reliable; the name of the companion is not known, but this does not affect the validity of this isnad (because all the companions are reliable).[10]

2. The second attempt was reported by Ibn Ishaq, who was followed by most of the other Sirah writers. The Prophet went to Banu al Nadir to ask them for help in paying the blood money for two men from a tribe which was party to the treaty, whom Amr ibn Umayyah al Damari had killed by mistake following the incident of al Raji. When he came to Banu al Nadir, he sat down against a wall. They were about to drop a rock onto him and kill him, but he learnt of that through divine inspiration. He left them quickly and went back to Madinah, and he ordered that they should be besieged. They agreed to a peace treaty after a siege lasting six days, on the condition that they could take with them whatever their camels could carry.[11] The isnad of this report ends with Yazid ibn Ruman, who is a lesser tabi’i, but it could be strengthened by other similar reports. Indeed, it was followed by the report of ?Urwah ibn al Zubayr in the Maghazi of Musa ibn ?Uqbah.[12] Musa ibn ?Uqbah was a writer of Maghazi who added to what Ibn Ishaq had said: “Banu al Nadir had plotted with Quraysh, encouraged them to fight the Messenger of Allah, and had told them of the Muslims? weak points.”[13]

Despite the fact that Abd al Razzaq?s report is stronger in its isnad than that of Ibn Ishaq, the Sirah writers preferred the latter. Both reports attribute the Muslims? siege of Banu al Nadir to their attempt to kill the Prophet by treachery. Musa ibn ?Uqbah does not say exactly when the Jews committed such acts against the Muslims as intrigue, incitement, and giving information to Quraysh. It is well-known that they incited the disbelievers to fight the Muslims ? this resulted in the Battle of Uhud ? and that they helped Abu Sufyan to attack the outskirts of Madinah, which caused the Muslims to pursue him after Uhud in a campaign known as Ghazwat al Suwayq. The poems which Ka?b ibn al Ashraf al Nadari composed to incite Quraysh to make war on the Muslims are well known. Musa ibn Uqbah?s reference to these events in his report was probably intended to give an indication of the deterioration of the relationship between the Muslims and Banu al Nadir, and that it came to an end when they attempted treachery. This was a direct cause of their being besieged, but it was preceded by a succession of aggressive acts.

The Prophet’s warning of expulsion to Banu al Nadir

There is no report which is sahih from the hadith point of view, which refers to the Prophet?s warning Banu al Nadir of expulsion. However, their actual expulsion is proved in a sahih hadith which was reported by Abd Allah ibn ?Umar.[14] The warning was mentioned by al Waqidi and Ibn Sa’d ? without isnad ? who said that the Prophet asked them to leave Madinah within ten days; anyone who was seen after that would be beheaded. They prepared to leave, but ?Abd Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul incited them to rebel and stay, and he promised to support them. They announced their rebellion, and the Muslims besieged them.[15] Two reports?both with isnads ending with ?Urwah ibn al Zubayr and Musa ibn ?Uqbah, and containing narrators whose biographies I could not find ? mention the Prophet?s warning the Banu al Nadir that they would be expelled.[16]

Most of the books of Sirah report this warning without giving any isnad.[17] Despite the fact that the attitude of the hypocrites (in supporting Banu al Nadir) is only mentioned in weak reports which cannot be taken as valid evidence, it can be proved by many sahih reports to have been revealed concerning Banu al Nadir.[18]

The Siege of Banu al Nadir and their Expulsion Agreement

There is enough evidence to make sahih the report that the Messenger of Allah besieged Banu al Nadir and said: “I will not guarantee your safety unless you make a treaty with me and promise to adhere to it.” They refused to make a treaty with him, so the Messenger led the Muslims in fighting them all day. The next day, he left Banu al Nadir and came to Banu Qurayzah with soldiers on horseback. He invited Banu Qurayzah to make a treaty with him; they did so and then he left them. The following day he came to Banu al Nadir with the soldiers, and fought them until they agreed to accept expulsion, on the condition that they could take with them whatever their camels could carry, except weapons. Banu al Nadir came and took with them as many of their possessions as their camels could carry, including the doors of their houses; they destroyed their houses and took from them the choicest wood.[19]

It is stated in the Qur?an[20] and hadith[21] that the Prophet burnt and cut down some of Banu al Nadir?s palm trees during the siege.

The expulsion treaty confirmed that the Jews? blood would be spared, that they would be expelled from their homes, and that they would be permitted to take with them whatever possessions and wealth their camels could carry, with the exception of weapons, which they were to leave for the Muslims. It is possible to reconcile the sahih reports which say that they were expelled to Syria[22], with Ibn Sa?d?s report[23] that they went to Khaybar, when we understand that their leaders, such as Huyayy ibn Akhtab, Salam ibn Abu al Haqiq, Kinanah ibn al Rabi? and others went to Khaybar, while most of them went to Syria. Ibn Sa’d?s report is weak and without isnad, but it is proved by later events which are mentioned in strong reports, such as reports of their fighting at the Battle of Khaybar, of the killing of Kinanah and of the capture of Safiyah, and the report about Salam ibn Abu al Haqiq. The reports can be reconciled by the explanation that Banu al Nadir were expelled to Syria, and some of them settled in Khaybar. Ibn Ishaq suggested this.[24] Two men from Banu al Nadir had become Muslims, so they kept their possessions; they were Yamin ibn ?Umar ibn Ka?b and Abu Sa?d ibn Wahb.[25] The wealth and palm trees of Banu al Nadir were exclusively for the Messenger according to the text of the Qur?an[26]. Surat al Hashr was revealed concerning Banu al Nadir.[27] He spent some of the income from it on his family every year, and used what was left to buy weapons and horses in readiness for fighting for the cause of Allah. The Prophet distributed the Jews? land among the Muhajirun; he gave land to only two Ansar ? Sahl ibn Hanif and Abu Dujanah Sammak ibn Kharashah?because they were poor.[28]

The expulsion of Banu al Nadir led to the collapse of power of the Jews and the hypocrites in Madinah. The Qurayzah renewed the treaty with the Muslims during the siege of the Banu al Nadir, and showed their willingness to adhere to the treaty until the Battle of the Ditch. The hypocrites did not fulfill their promise of support to Banu al Nadir, and the Jews realized the futility of relying on the hypocrites.

Islam became stronger by getting rid of Banu al Nadir and benefitting from their lands which were given to the Muhajirun, who had previously relied on the lands and houses of the Ansar.

Banu al Nadir’s incitement of the Mushrikun

The Jews of Banu al Nadir continued to hate the Muslims; this hatred led them to incite the disbelievers of the Quraysh and other tribes to attack Madinah in the Battle of the Ditch. Several reports have been transmitted which are weak either because they are mursal or munqati or because one of the narrators in the isnad is majhul.[29] But when these reports are put together, they can be taken as evidence, and they strengthen one another. The reports go back to ?Urwah ibn al Zubayr, ?Asim ibn ?Umar ibn Qatadah, Abd Allah ibn Abu Bakr ibn Hazm, Sa’id ibn al Musayyab and Musa ibn ?Uqbah. Some of them gave the names of the inciters from Banu al Nadir and Ibn Ishaq mentioned some of them: Salam ibn Abu al Haqiq, Kinanah ibn Abu al Haqiq al Nadari and Huyayy ibn Akhtab al Nadari.[30]

References

[1] Abd al Razzaq, al Musannaf, 5/357; Abu Dawud, al Sunan, 2/139-26, Kitab al Kharaj wa al Fay wa al Imarah

[2] Al Hakim, al Mustadrak, 2/483, Kitab al Tafsir

[3] Abd al Razzaq, al Musannaf, 5/357

[4] Al Bayhaqi, Dala’il al Nubuwwah, 3/446-450; Abu Nu’aym, Dala’il al Nubuwwah, 3/176-7

[5] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/683; al Bukhari, al Sahih, 3/11, Mu’allaq from Ibn Ishaq.

[6] Al Waqidi, al Maghazi, 1/363; Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat, 3/57). Ibn Hisham agrees with them that it took place in Rabi? al Awwal (Al Sirah, 3/683).

[7] Ibn al Qayyim, Zad al Ma’ad

[8] Fath al Bari, 6/388-9

[9] See isnads in al Tabari (Tarikh al Rusul, 6/146-7) some of which end with Yazid ibn Ruman. Some include Muhammad ibn Hamid al Razi, who is weak, and Salamah ibn al Fadl al Abrashi, Da’la`il al Nubuwwah, by al Bayhaqi, 3/446-8. with two isnads going back to Urwah ibn al Zubayr and Musa ibn Uqbah (the two isnads end with them; Ibn Kathir, al Tafsir, 3/31, transmitted from Ibn Ishaq, Mujahid and Ikrimah).

[10] Abd al Razzaq, al Musannaf, 5/359-60; see also, Ibn Hajar, Fath al Bari, 7/331; Abu Dawud, Sunan, 2/139-40, Kitab al Kharaj wa al Fay wa al Imarah

[11] Ibn Ishaq, al Sirah, 3/191

[12] Ibn Hajar, Fath al Bari, 7/331

[13] Ibid., 7/332

[14] Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 3/11; Muslim, al Sahih, 5/159

[15] Al Waqidi, al Maghazi, 1/363-70, but al Waqidi is matruk; Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/682, without isnad; Ibn Sa?d, al Tabaqat, 3/57-8, without isnad; al Bayhaqi, Dala?il al Nubuwwah, 3/446-50, with two isnads which include four men who are majhul.

[16] Al Bayhaqi, Dala?il al Nubuwwah, 3/446-8; Abu Nu?aym, Dala?il al Nubuwwah, 3/176-7. Their isnads include Abu Ja?far Muhammad ibn ?Abd Allah al Baghdad, Abu Alaqah Muhammad ibn ?Amr ibn Khalid, Muhammad ibn ?Abd Allah ibn ?Itab and al Qasim ibn ?Abd Allah ibn al Mughirah; I did not find their biographies, but the other men in the two isnads are reliable (thiqah).

[17] Al Tabari, Tarikh al Rusul, 3/334-5; Ibn Sayyid al Nas, Uyun al Athar, 3/48; Ibn Kathir, al Bidayah, 3/45, and others

[18] Ibn Sayyid al Nas, Uyun al Athar, 2/49; Ibn Kathir, al Tafsir, 4/330; al Suyuti, Lubab al Nuqul fi Asbab al Nuzul, 214

[19] Abd al Razzaq. al Musannaf, 5/358-361; Abu Dawud, al Sunan, 3/404-7; al Bayhaqi, Dala?il al Nubuwwah, 3/446-8; see also, Ibn Hajar, Fath al Bari, 7/331

[20] Surat al Hashr (59:5): ?Whatever you cut down (O you Muslims) the tender palm trees, or you left them standing on their roots, it was by leave of Allah?”

[21] Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 3/11, 143; Abu Dawud, al Sunan, 3/36; al Tirmidhi, al Sunan (with the commentary Tuhfat al Ahwadhi, 5/157-8; Ibn Majah, Sunan, 3/948-9

[22] Abd al Razzaq, al Musannaf, 5/358-361

[23] Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat, 3/58

[24] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/683, without isnad. It is strengthened by what is in at Bayhaqi’s Dala?il al Nubuwwah, 3/446-9, with an isnad going back to ?Urwah and Musa ibn ?Uqbah. The two isnads mention men whose biographies I could not find.

[25] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/683, with an isnad going back to Abd Allah ibn Abu Bakr.

[26] “What God has bestowed on His Apostle (and taken away) from them?for this you made no expedition with either cavalry or camelry: but God gives power to His Apostle over any He pleases: and God has power over all things.” (al Hashr 59:6)

[27] Sahih al Bukhari, 3/131 and Sahih Muslim, 8/345

[28] Abd al Razzaq, al Musannaf, 5/358-361; Abu Dawud, al Sunan, 3/404-7; see also Ibn Hajar, Fath al Bari, 7/331 and Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/683-4

[29] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/700-1; Abd al Razzaq, al Musannaf, 5/368-373; Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat, 3/65-6; Ibn Hajar, Fath al Bari, 7/412-4

[30] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/700-701

Categories
History Jews of Arabia

The Prophet's Document Between The Muhajirun, The Ansar And The Jews

Akram Diya al Umari

Excerpted from Madinan Society At the Time of the Prophet, International Islamic Publishing House & IIIT, 1991

The text of the document (Majmu’at Al Watha’iq al Siyasiyah)

Bismi Allah al Rahman al Rahim

Clause:

(1) This is a document from Muhammad, the Prophet (governing the relations) between the believers and Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib, and those who followed them and joined them and struggled with them.

(2) They are one community (ummah) to the exclusion of all men.

(3) The Quraysh Muhajirun, according to their present custom, shall pay the blood money within their number and shall redeem their prisoners with the kindness and justice common among believers.

(4) The Banu Awf, according to their present custom, shall pay the blood money they paid hitherto, and every section shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among believers.

(5) Banu al Harith (Ibn al Khazraj), according to their present custom, shall pay the blood money they paid hitherto and every section shall redeem its prisoners with kindness and justice.

(6) Banu Sa’idah, according to their present custom, shall pay the blood money they paid hitherto, and every section shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among believers.

(7) Banu Jusham, according to their present custom, shall pay the blood money they paid hitherto, and every section shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among believers.

(8) Banu al Najjar, according to their present custom, shall pay the blood money they paid hitherto, and every section shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among believers.

(9) Banu ‘Amr ibn ‘Awf, according to their present custom, shall pay the blood money they paid hitherto, and every section shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among believers.

(10) Banu al Nabit, according to their present custom, shall pay the blood money they paid hitherto, and every section shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among believers.

(11) Banu al Aws, according to their present custom, shall pay the blood money they paid hitherto, and every section shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among believers.

(12a) Believers shall not leave anyone destitute among them by not paying his redemption money or blood money in kindness.

(12b) A believer shall not take as an ally against him the freedman of another Muslim.

(13) The God-fearing believers shall be against the rebellious or anyone who seeks to spread injustice, or sin, or enmity, or corruption between believers; the hand of every man shall be against him even if he be a son of one of them.

(14) A believer shall not slay a believer for the sake of an unbeliever, nor shall he aid an unbeliever against a believer.

(15) God’s protection is all-embracing, the least of them may give protection to a stranger on their behalf. Believers are friends and protectors one to the other, to the exclusion of outsiders.

(16) To the Jews who follow us belong help and equality. He shall not be wronged nor shall his enemies be aided.

(17) The peace of the believers is indivisible. No peace shall be made when believers are fighting in the way of God. Conditions must be fair and equitable to all.

(18) In every foray a rider must take another behind him.

(19) The believers must avenge the blood of one another shed in the way of God.

(20a) The God-fearing believers enjoy the best and most upright guidance.

(20b) No polytheist shall take the property or person of Quraysh under his protection nor shall he intervene against a believer.

(21) Whosoever is convicted of killing a believer without good reason shall be subject to retaliation unless the next of kin is satisfied (with blood money), and the believers shall be against him as one man, and they are bound to take action against him.

(22) It shall not be lawful to a believer who holds by what is in this document and believes in God and the last day, to help an evil-doer or to shelter him. The curse of God and His anger on the day of resurrection will be upon him if he does, and neither repentance nor ransom will be received from him.

(23) Whenever you differ about a matter, it must be referred to God and to Muhammad.

(24) The Jews shall contribute to the cost of war so long as they are fighting alongside the believers.

(25) The Jews of the Banu Awf are one community with the believers (the Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs), their freedmen and their persons except those who behave unjustly and sinfully, for they hurt but themselves and their families.

(26) The Jews of Banu al Najjar are like the Jews of Banu ‘Awf.

(27) The Jews of Banu al Harith are like the Jews of Banu ‘Awf.

(28) The Jews of Banu Sa’idah are like the Jews of Banu ‘Awf.

(29) The Jews of Banu Jusham are like the Jews of Banu ‘Awf.

(30) The Jews of Banu al ‘Aws are like the Jews of Banu ‘Awf.

(31) The Jews of Banu al Tha’labah are like the Jews of Banu ‘Awf, except for whoever behaves unjustly and sinfully, for they hurt but themselves and their families.

(32) Jafnah, a clan of the Tha’labah, are as themselves.

(33) The Jews of Banu al Shutaybah are like the Jews of Banu Awf. Righteousness is a protection against sinfulness.

(34) The freedmen of Tha’labah are as themselves.

(35) The close friends of the Jews are as themselves.

(36a) None of them shall go out to war save with the permission of Muhammad.

(36b) But he shall not be prevented from taking revenge for a wound. He who slays a man without warning slays himself and his household, unless it be one who has wronged him, for God will accept that.

(37a) The Jews must bear their expenses and the Muslims their expenses. Each must help the other against anyone who attacks the people of this document. They must seek mutual advice and consultation, and righteousness is a protection against sinfulness.

(37b) A man is not liable for his ally’s misdeeds. The wronged must be helped.

(38) The Jews must pay with the believers so long as war lasts.

(39) Yathrib shall be a sanctuary for the people of this document.

(40) A stranger under protection shall be as his host doing no harm and committing no crime.

(41) A woman shall only be given protection with the consent of her family.

(42) If any dispute or controversy likely to cause trouble should arise, it must be referred to God and to Muhammad, the Apostle of God (may God bless him and grant him peace), God accepts what is nearest to piety and goodness in this document.

(43) Quraysh and their helpers shall not be given protection.

(44) The contracting parties are bound to help one another against any attack on Yathrib.

(45a) If they are called to make peace and maintain it, they must do so; and if they make a similar demand on the believers, it must be carried out except in the case of one engaged in combat for the sake of the religion.

(45b) Everyone shall have his portion from the faction to which he belongs.

(46) The Jews of al Aws, their freedmen and thus themselves, have the same standing with the people of this document and the same loyalty from the people of this document. Righteousness is the protection against sinfulness: each person bears responsibility for his actions. God approves of this document.

(47) This deed will not protect the unjust and the sinner. The man who goes forth to fight is safe and the man who stays at home in the city is safe, unless either has been unjust and sinned. God is the protector of the righteous and God-conscious, and Muhammad is the Apostle of God (may God bless him and grant him peace).

Analysis of the document

We have already come to the conclusion that the document was originally two. Any discussion or analysis of it must, therefore, be based on a distinction between the material which deals with the Jews and that which organizes the relationships among the Muslims and defines their rights and duties.

We will discuss the clauses dealing with the Jews first, because it seems more likely that, chronologically speaking, they come first, despite the fact that they come later in the order of the clauses in the document, in which the clauses of the second document, dealing with the Muhajirun and the Ansar, come first.

The document of the peace treaty with the Jews

Clauses (24) through (47) of the document deal with the peace treaty with the Jews. This order indicates that the clauses of the two documents have not become intermingled. The clauses of each document are presented as a whole and in sequence. However, Clause (16) is included in the document dealing with the Muhajirun and the Ansar, although it deals with the Jews, because it ensured that the Muslims will deal justly with their allies, the Jews. Hence, this clause should not necessarily be included in the document dealing with the peace treaty with the Jews.

Clause (24) shows that the Jews had committed themselves to contribute to the expense of a war in defense of Madinah and that the Jews continued to contribute so long as the believers were at war. Abu ?Ubayd al Qasim ibn Salam is of the opinion that the financial commitments of the Jews were not limited to a defensive war; he thinks that the Jews also used to go on military campaigns with the Muslims. He said:

“We think that the Jews used to receive a share of the booty when they went on campaigns with the Muslims, on the condition that they made contributions. If there had been no such condition, they would not have received any share of the Muslims’ booty.”[1]

He also related:

“Abd al Rahman ibn Mahdi reported to us from Sufyan from Yazid ibn Yazid ibn Jabir from al Zuhri, who said: ‘The Jews used to go out on campaigns with the Messenger of Allah and were given a share of the booty.'”[2]

However, this is one of al Zuhri’s mursal hadith, and cannot be relied upon. But other hadith were reported about the Jews’ participation in campaigns with the Prophet. These are, in addition to what has been mentioned previously:

1. “The Messenger of Allah asked the Jews of Qaynuqa for help (in fighting).” This hadith was reported through al Hasan ibn Imarah, and Abu Yusuf[3] and al Bayhaqi also included it. Al Bayhaqi mentions that al Hasan ibn Imarah is matruk[4], in spite of the fact that it is not agreed that he is daif. But most of the critically scrupulous scholars consider him daif to the extent that Suhayli relates a consensus to this effect.[5]

2. “The Prophet gave a share of the booty to some of the Jews who had fought with him.” Al Tirmidhi[6] reported it as mursal through al Zuhri, and said that it was hasan gharib. Al Tirmidhi states the principle that the mursal hadith of al Zuhri cannot be relied upon.

3. “The Prophet used to go out on campaigns with the Jews.”[7] This is one of the mursal hadith of al Zuhri, and cannot be relied upon.

4. “The Messenger of Allah went out on a campaign with some of the Jews.” This was reported by al Bayhaqi (al Bayhaqi, Sunan, 9/53), who said that it was munqati. It is also one of the mursal hadith of al Zuhri.

5. “The Messenger of Allah went out with ten of the Jews of Madinah and raided Khaybar.” Al Waqidi[8] reported it, but he is daif. Al Bayhaqi[9] and al Zayla’i[10] reported it from him.

6. “Some of the Jews fought with the Prophet in some of his wars, and he gave them a share of the booty, as he gave the Muslims.” Al Khatib al Baghdadi[11] reported it from Abu Hurayrah, but its isnad is daif and omits some of the narrators.

Hence, it becomes clear that all of the hadith which report the Jews’ participation in wars with the Messenger of Allah are weak. Some hadith have been reported which show that the Prophet prevented the Jews from taking part in wars with the Muslims. They are:

1. Abu Abd Allah al Hakim[12] reported a hadith from Abu Hamid al Sa’idi who said: “The Messenger of Allah went out beyond Thinyat al Wada’, where he found a group of warriors. He asked: “Who are they?” He was told: “Banu Qaynuqa. They are the people of Abd Allah ibn Salam”. He then asked: ‘Have they become Muslims?’ He said: ‘Tell them to go back; we do not ask help from the Mushrikun.’

Al Hakim reported this as evidence in support of another hadith, in which it is said: “We do not ask Mushrikun for help against other Mushrikun.” Al Hakim said: “It is sahih in the isnad, but they (i.e., al Bukhari and Muslim) did not report it’ This hadith was reported as dealing with the Battle of Uhud, but al Hakim’s report mentions that it dealt with one of the campaigns, without specifying which one[13]. Specifying the battle of Uhud is definitely an error, because the Banu Qaynuqa were banished a year before Uhud. Al Bayhaqi also reported it from Abu Hamid al Sa’idi through al Hakim.[14] Al Waqidi and Ibn Sa’d reported that they were allies of Abd al Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul, and that the Prophet said: “Do not ask Mushrikun for assistance against other Mushrikun.”[15]

2. Ibn Ishaq[16], Imam Sahnun[17], and Ibn al Qayyim[18] all reported through al Zuhri that “on the day of Uhud, the Ansar said: ?Why don’t we ask our Jewish allies for help?’ He said: ?We have no need of them.”

The first hadith is more authentic in its isnad than any other, although it includes Sa’d ibn al Mundhir, who is an accepted narrator (maqbul) according to Ibn Hajar. The view is more likely because of the report in the document which refers to the Jews’ participation in contributing to the war effort; the contribution is, however, confined to wars in defense of Madinah. Clause (44) offers the following explanation: “The contracting parties are bound to help one another against any attack on Yathrib’

But why did some of the Jews go out to help the Muslims, as suggested by al Hakim? This goes back to the alliances which existed between al Aws, al Khazraj and the Jews before the coming of Islam. The Jews probably wanted to reinforce these alliances and to strengthen their ties with their old allies, and to use this to set the Muslims against one another, to weaken their morale and to spread hypocrisy among them. But the Prophet prevented them from carrying out this plan by refusing any help from them so long as they remained unbelievers. It is clear, from what the Ansar said to the Prophet at Uhud that the influence of the old alliance between the Aws, Khazraj, and the Jews persisted. They said: “Why do we not ask our Jewish allies for help?” It is also affirmed by the intervention of Abd Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul, the leader of the hypocrites, on behalf of Banu Qaynuqa, who were the allies of his people, al Khazraj, and by the attempt of some of the Aws to protect their Jewish allies, the Banu Qurayzah, from being killed after they had accepted the judgment of the Prophet. The Prophet had appointed Sa’d ibn Mu’adh as judge, and the latter sentenced them to death. By doing so, Sa’d disowned their alliance, just as ‘Ubadah ibn al Samit (who was from Banu ‘Awf of the Khazraj) had done before him, when Banu Qaynuqa had fought against the Messenger.

Clauses (25-35) define the relationship with the Judaized members of al Aws and al Khazraj. The clauses mention their tribal Arab origins, and confirmed their alliance with the Muslims: “The Jews of the Banu ‘Awf are one community with the believers”. Al ‘Ibarah, however, gave a variant reading in al Amwal, when he reported: “…..one community among the believers,” which led Abu Ubayd to say: “He was referring to their helping the believers against their enemies with contributions, a condition imposed upon them”. But they had nothing to do with the religion (i.e. Islam). Did the Prophet not make it clear when he said, “The Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs?”.[19] Ibn Ishaq says, “with the believers” which is more reliable. The phrase in al Amwal has probably been altered.

Clause (25) guarantees freedom of worship to the Jews, and limits the responsibility for crimes to the one who commits them (except those who behave unjustly and sinfully, for they hurt themselves and their families). The criminal will receive his punishment, and if he is a member of a tribe which is party to this treaty, “this deed will not protect the unjust and the sinner.”

Clause (45) prohibits the Jews from protecting or helping the Quraysh. The Prophet was planning to intercept the Qurayshite trade caravans which used to pass to the west of Madinah on their way to Syria. It was necessary to include this commitment in order to prevent any conflict between the Jews and the Muslims which could arise from the Jews protecting the trade caravans of Quraysh.

Clause (29) prevents the Jews from leaving Madinah except with the permission of the Messenger. This restriction on their movements may have been intended, in the first place, to prevent them from undertaking any military activity, such as participating in tribal wars outside Madinah, which could affect the security and economy of the city. As citizens of the Islamic state, the Jews had to obey the laws of the state.

According to Clause (42), the Jews recognized the existence of a higher legislative authority which all the inhabitants of Madinah, including the Jews, respected. The Jews were not obliged to refer to Islamic legislation in every case, but only when the incident or conflict was between themselves and the Muslims. In their own matters, they referred to the Torah and their rabbis judged among them. If they wished, they could appoint the Prophet as their judge. The Quran gave the Prophet the choice of accepting to be their judge or of sending them back to their rabbis: … . If they do come to you, either judge between them, or decline to interfere. If you decline, they cannot hurt you in the least. If you judge, judge in equity between them. For Allah loves those who judge in equity” (Al Ma’idah 5:42)[20] No doubt, they only appointed the Prophet as their judge later, after they had become weaker, as Surat al Ma’idah was one of the later Surahs to be revealed.

In Clause (45), the treaty is expanded to cover other allies of the Muslims and the Jews, as this clause obliges each party to establish friendship with the allies of the other parties. But the Muslims excluded the Quraysh because they were in a state of war against them.

Clause (32) considers the area of Madinah to a sanctuary: “Yathrib shall be a sanctuary for the people of this document.” A sanctuary is a place which is not violated, its animals are not to be hunted, and its trees are not to be cut down. Madinah is a sanctuary between the eastern Harrah and western Harrah, and between the Mountain of Thawr in the north and the mountain ‘Ir in the south. Wadi al Aqiq is part of the sanctuary.[21] This clause ensured the internal security of Madinah and prevented any war within it.

The document between the Muhajirun and the Ansar

The document between the Muhajirun and the Ansar begins by defining the allied parties: “The believers and Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib, and those who followed them and joined them and struggled with them.” The distinction between the believers and the Muslims is clear, because, as is well known, the believer (mu’min) is the one who believes and confirms his belief by speech, and is convinced of it in his heart. The Muslim is the one who follows the Islamic laws and carries out the compulsory duties of worship. These two types were only clearly distinguishable in Yathrib because of the appearance of hypocrisy among the inhabitants after the battle of Badr. None of the Muhajirun was a Muslim without also being a mu’mim who believed in his heart.

Clause (2) confirms that: “They are one community to the exclusion of all men” a community whose members are linked by bonds of belief, not of blood, so that they are united in their feelings, thoughts, aims and purposes. Their loyalty is to Allah, and not to the tribe. Their arbitration is according to the Shariah, and not according to custom. They differ in all these ways from other people (“to the exclusion of all men”). These bonds are confined to the Muslims, and do not include anyone else, such as the Jews or their allies. No doubt the religious community was made distinct in order to increase their solidarity and self-respect. This was clarified by the Qiblah, which was changed towards the Ka’bah, after it had been in the direction of Bayt al Maqdis (Jerusalem) for 16 or 17 months.[22]

The Prophet went on to make his followers different in many ways, and explained to them that his aim was to make them different from the Jews. For example, the Jews did not pray wearing their shoes, so the Prophet permitted his companions to pray wearing their shoes. The Jews did not dye their grey hairs, so the Muslims dyed their grey hairs with henna and katam (a plant used for dying the hair black). The Jews used to fast on the day of Ashura’ (the tenth day of Muharram), and the Prophet also fasted on this day. Towards the end of his life, he intended to fast on the ninth day of Muharram too, in order to be different from the Jews. The Prophet established the principle of being different from non-Muslims. He said: “Whosoever imitates a people, he is one of them” and “Do not imitate the Jews”. There are many hadith about this, and they give the meaning that the Muslims are different from, and superior to, non-Muslims. No doubt, imitating others conflicts with our self-respect and superiority to the unbelievers.[23] This distinction and superiority does not form a barrier between Muslims and non-Muslims. The Islamic society is open and expandable, and any one who accepts its ideology can join it.

But Clause (21) prevents those people of the Aws and the Khazraj who had remained polytheists from giving protection to Quraysh and their trade and from trying to prevent the Muslims from intercepting their trade, as the Prophet was determined to pursue the policy of intercepting the trade of Quraysh. No doubt, the Muslims of the Aws and Khazraj – who were the overwhelming majority of their clans – were responsible for applying this ruling in the case of the idolaters in their clans. This commitment had previously been undertaken by the Jews when the peace treaty with them was concluded. The repetition of this text supports the view that the document is composed of two separate documents, as already stated.

It is quite possible that the document of the alliance between the Muhajirun and the Ansar would mention treating with kindness and justice the Jews who were allied to the Muslims, and not inciting one another against them or harming them, despite the fact that the Jews were not present when these clauses were written. This is an example of the moral consistency of Islamic politics, and shows that it does not recognize deceit and backstabbing Clause (16).

Clause (23), at the end of the document dealing with the alliance between the Muhajirun and the Ansar, affirms that the Prophet is the sole point of reference for any differences which may arise among the Muslims of Madinah: “Whenever you differ about a matter it must be referred to Allah and to Muhammad.”

References

[1] Abu ‘Ubayd, al Amwal, 296

[2] Ibid.

[3] Abu Yusuf, al Radd ‘ala Siyar al Awzai, 40

[4] al Bayhaqi, Sunan, 9/53

[5] Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 2/304-308

[6] Al Tirmidhi, Sunan, 7/49

[7] Al Zayla’i, Nasb al Riyah, 3/422

[8] Al Waqidi, Kitab al Maghazi, 2/284

[9] Al Bayhaqi, Sunan 9/53, who states: “This is munqati and its isnad is daif”.

[10] Al Zayla’i, Nasb al Rayah 3/422

[11] Tarikh Baghdadi, 4/160, who said: “Al Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abd Allah al Muqri informed me that Ahmad ibn al Faraj al Warraq reported that Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn (al Razin) reported that (al Razin) said: “It was read to Rizq Allah ibn Musa, while I was listening, that: Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah reported from Yazid ibn Yazid ibn Jabir from Abu Hurayrah”. It is clear that Yazid ibn Yazid ibn Jabir could not have met Abu Hurayrah, because Yazid was born circa 77 AH, and Abu Hurayrah died in 57 AH.

[12] Al Hakim, al Mustadrak ‘ala al Sahihayn, 2/122

[13] Al Zayla’i, Nasb al Rayah, 3/423

[14] Al Bayhaqi, Sunan, 9/37

[15] Al Waqidi, Kitab al Maghazi, 1/215-6; Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat, 2/27

[16] Ibn Hisham, Sirah, 2/64

[17] Malik ibn Anas, al Mudawwanah al Kubra, 3/40

[18] Ibn Hisham, Sirah, 2/64

[19] Abu Ubayd, al Amwal, p.296

[20] See also, ‘Izzah Durruzah, Sirat al Rasul, 2/148

[21] Muhammad Hamid Allah, Majmu’at al Watha’iq, 441-442

[22] Khalifah, al Tarikh, 32-42; Ibn Hisham, Sirah, 1/550

[23] Ibn Taymiyyah gives a clear idea of this meaning in his book, Iqtida al Sirat al Mustaqim (The Requirements for Following the Straight Path).

Categories
History Jews of Arabia

The Announcement Of The Constitution Of Madinah

Akram Diya al Umari

Excerpted from Madinan Society At the Time of the Prophet, International Islamic Publishing House & IIIT, 1991

The treaty with the Jews

The Prophet (P) organized the relationships between the various inhabitants of Madinah, and recorded this in a document which is reported in the historical sources. The aim of this document was to explain the commitments of each group within Madinah, and to define their rights and duties. In the old sources this document is called at-Kitab (the book) and al-Sahjfah (sheet of paper). Modern research calls it at-Dustur (the Constitution) or al-Wathiqah (the Document).

The sources through which the Document was reported

Contemporary researchers have relied upon the document as the basis for their study of the Messenger?s reforms in Madinah.[1]

But it is most essential to ascertain to what extent the document is authentic, before basing any studies on it, especially since one of the researchers considers the document to be fabricated.[2]

In view of the legal (shar’i) importance of the documents, besides its historical importance, it must be judged according to the standards of the scholars of hadith, in order to determine its strength or weakness. It should not be dealt with as lightly as other historical reports. The earliest scholar who reported the text of the Constitution was Muhammad ibn Ishaq (d. 151 AH), but he reported it without an isnad.[3] Both Ibn Sayyid al Nas[4] and Ibn Kathir[5] claimed to have transmitted it from him, and they both transmitted it without isnad also. Al Bayhaqi[6] referred to Ibn Ishaq?s isnad of the document which defines the relationships between the Muhajirun and the Ansar, without including the clauses which dealt with the Jews. For this reason, we cannot be sure that he took it from the same source. Ibn Sayyid al Nas relates that Ibn Abu Khaythamah[7] also reported it through ‘Abd Allah ibn Salih in an isnad similar to that reported by Abu ?Ubayd.[8]

These are the ways in which the full text of the document were reported. All the reports are very similar, apart from some differences in the arrangements of phrases, or slight differences in vocabulary, or a slight increase in the number of phrases. But these differences do not affect its general content.

The extent of the document’s authenticity

A number of modern scholars have based their studies on the document, but on the whole, Professor Yusuf al ?Ish has suggested that the document is a fabrication. He says: “It was not reported in the books of jurisprudence and authentic hadith, in spite of its legislative importance. Rather, Ibn Ishaq reported it without isnad, and Ibn Sayyid al Nas transmitted it from him.”

He added that Kathir ibn Abd Allah ibn Amr al Muzani reported it from his father, and from his grandfather. Ibn Hibban al Busti mentioned that Kathir al Muzani reported a fabricated version from his father and grandfather. It is not permitted (halal) to include it in a book or to narrate from it, except for the purpose of expressing amazement.[9] Al ?Ish thinks that Ibn Ishaq relied on the report of Kathir, but deliberately omitted the isnad.[10]

Professor al ‘Ish made that suggestion because he thought that the Document had not been reported by anybody other than Ibn Ishaq. He could not find any other isnad for it apart from that which Ibn Sayyid al Nas refers to from Ibn Abu Khaythamah?s report of it through Kathir al Muzani. But Abu ‘Ubayd al Qasim ibn Salam cited the Document through al Zuhri. This is an independent chain which has no connection with Kathir al Muzani. In view of the fact that Ibn Ishaq was one of the most distinguished students of al Zuhri, there is a possibility that he cited the Document through al Zuhri except for the fact that al Bayhaqi identified Ibn Ishaq?s isnad for the Document which defined the relationships between the Muhajirun and the Ansar, without including the clauses which dealt with the Jews. We cannot be sure whether Ibn Ishaq took the clauses which dealt with the Jews from this source or from another. Al Bayhaqi said: ?Uthman ibn Muhammad ibn al Mughirah ibn al Akhnas ibn Shurayq said: “I took this Document, along with the document of al sadaqah, from the family of ?Umar ibn al Khattab.” The hadith is daif in this isnad, because the isnad includes men who are daif in one way or another, such as ‘Uthman, who is trustworthy, but sometimes is confused and makes mistakes; and Yunus ibn Bukayr, who is known to make mistakes; and al Attar, who is weak. This report should be considered seriously, in spite of its weakness, and it has been acknowledged. The text destroys the base upon which Professor al ?Ish built his opinion. It is not possible to judge the Document as being fabricated just because the books of hadith did not report its complete text. The books of hadith reported many of its clauses, as will be pointed out in this study.

Hence, it becomes clear that it is reckless to judge the Document as being fabricated. The Document as a whole, however, cannot be put on a par with the authentic sahih. Ibn Ishaq reported it in his Sirah without isnad, which makes his report daif. Al Bayhaqi also reported it from Ibn Ishaq, with an isnad which includes Sa?d ibn al Mundhir, who is maqbul (acceptable) only. Ibn Abu Khaythamah reported it through Kathir ibn Abd Allah ibn Amr al Muzani, who has narrated fabricated material. Abu ?Ubayd al Qasim ibn Salam reported it with a munqati? isnad (an isnad having a missing link) which only goes back to al Zuhri, who is one of the lesser Tabiun, so his mursal hadith (transmission of a tradition of a successor from the Prophet directly, dropping the companion from the isnad) cannot be taken as evidence.

But there are some texts of the Document which have been reported in the books of hadith, some of which were reported by al Bukhari and Muslim. These texts are among authentic hadith. The jurists used them as evidence and based their rulings on them. Some of these texts were reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, and in the Sunan of Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and al Tirmidhi. These texts came through a different source, independent of the chain of transmitters through which the complete document came. Even if the document, as a whole, is not valid as evidence for the rulings of the Shariah ? apart from the parts which were reported in the authentic books of hadith ? it is still valid as a basis for historical study, which does not require such a high level of authenticity as is required for legal judgments, especially since the Document was reported through numerous chains of transmitters which combine to give it strength. Al Zuhri is one of the greatest scholars among the early pioneers in writing the Sirah of the Prophet. The most important books of Sirah and historical sources included the Prophet’s peace treaty, which was written down[11] and also referred to his drawing up a written agreement between the Muhajirun and the Ansar.

The style of the Document supports its authenticity. “Its paragraphs are formed of short and simple ? not complicated ? sentences. There is much repetition, and it uses words and expressions which were common at the time of the Messenger, and which became less frequently used, eventually proving too difficult for those who had not studied that period in depth. There is nothing in the Document to commend or condemn any individual or group. Hence we can say that the Document is authentic, and not a forgery”[12]. The many similarities between the style of the Document and the style of other writings dictated by the Prophet also commend it as being authentic.

The date of the writing of the document

It is more likely that there were originally two parts to the document, which historians joined together. One of them dealt with the Messenger?s peace treaty with the Jews, and the other explained the commitments, rights and duties of the Muslims, both Muhajrun and Ansar.

It is most likely that the document of the peace treaty with the Jews was written before the Battle of Badr[13] and the document between the Muhajirun and Ansar was written after Badr. The sources mention that the peace treaty with the Jews was concluded when the Messenger first came to Madinah. Abu Ubayd al Qasim ibn Salam said that the document “recorded two events: the coming of the Messenger of God to Madinah before Islam became strong and before he was ordered to take Jizyah from the People of the Book”[14]. Islam became strong after the Battle of Badr. Al Baladhuri says:

“It was said that when the Messenger of God came to Madinah he made a peace treaty with the Jews there and wrote a document between them and himself. He stipulated that they should not assist his enemies and should support him in fighting invaders, and that he should not fight for Ahl al Dhimmah. So the Messenger of Allah did not fight anyone and no one provoked him. He did not send out an expeditionary force (sariyyah) until Allah revealed to him:

“To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged ? and verily, Allah has indeed the power to succor them”. (Al Hajj, 22:39)

The first party he sent out was led by Hamzah ibn Abd al Muttalib.”[15]

Thus, al Baladhuri explains that the document of the peace treaty with the Jews was written before the first expeditions were sent out. It is known that the expedition of Hamzah took place in Ramadan of the first year AH, just over a year before Badr[16] Ibn lshaq considers that the sariyyah of ?Ubaydah ibn al Harith took place before that of Hamzah. He explained that they happened very close together, and that they happened in Rabi al Awwal in the year 2 AH. Both al Tabari and Ibn Ishaq agreed that the first sariyyah were sent out before Badr. This is the point of this research.[17]

In another place, where he discusses the military action against Banu Qaynuqa, al Baladhuri says: “The reason for this ghazwah was that when the Messenger of God came to Madinah, he made a peace treaty with all the Jews, which was written in a document; and when he won the Battle of Badr and returned uninjured and in triumph to Madinah, they became hostile and broke the treaty.”[18] Thus al Baladhuri is certain that the treaty with the Jews took place before Badr.

Al Tabari says: “After returning from Badr, the Messenger of God stayed in Madinah. He had made a treaty with the Jews when he came to Madinah, which stipulated that they should not support anyone against him, and that if Madinah were invaded by an enemy, they should support him. When the Messenger of Allah killed some of the idolaters of Quraysh, the Jews showed jealousy and hostility towards him, and broke the treaty.”[19] Thus the text of al Tabari supports the claim that the peace treaty with the Jews was concluded when the Prophet came to Madinah, before the Battle of Badr.

In his Sunan, Abu Dawud[20] reports – after confirming the killing of Ka’b ibn al Ashraf and the complaint of the Jews and the Mushrikun about this to the Messenger – that “the Prophet invited them to draw up a document between them and himself, to which they could refer to in the future. So the Prophet had a document written between them, himself, and the Muslims in general”. It is known that the killing of Ka?b ibn al Ashraf happened after Badr, so we must reconcile this event with the historical reports. According to the conditions of the hadith scholars, this report is stronger than the reports of the historians which I mentioned earlier. But as long as it is possible to reconcile them, there is no need to dismiss all other historical reports, because it is possible that after the killing of Ka’b, the Document was rewritten in order to affirm and renew it, to restore the feeling of security after this event which had frightened the Jews and Mushrikun.

Al Bayhaqi mentioned the following report with a different chain of narrators from that of Abu Dawud, and with more detail: “The Messenger of Allah had the document written beneath the palm tree at the residence of Bint al Harith. After the death of the Messenger of Allah, the document was in the keeping of Ali ibn Abu Talib.”[21]

The document between the Muhajirun and the Ansar was written after the document of the treaty with the Jews, in the second year of the hijrah. Among the events of the second year, al Tabari mentions, “it is said that in this year the Messenger of Allah had the texts of a document written, and it was attached to his sword.”[22] The name of this sword was Dhu al Fiqar, which he had taken as booty at the Battle of Badr.[23]

These ma?aqil which were attached to the sword were the texts of the document between the Muhajirun and the Ansar, as the report of Ibn Sa’d indicates: “‘Ubayd Allah ibn Musa told us that Isra’il told him from Jabir from ?Amir, who said: “I read on the scabbard of the sword of the Messenger of Allah, Dhu al Fiqar: All believers should pay blood money, nobody should be destitute in Islam, and no Muslim should be killed in return for a Kafir.”[24] Afterwards, Ali kept the sword with the document. On one occasion, Abu Juhayfah[25] asked ‘Ali about the document, and on a second occasion, al Ashtar[26] asked him. He told them about it either by giving the meaning or by quoting it, and he also mentioned its contents briefly in one of his sermons.[27]

For example, Ali said: “We did not write down anything from the Prophet except the Qur’an and what is in this document. The Prophet said: Madinah is a sanctuary from the ‘Air mountain to such-and-such a place, and whoever perpetrates there an heresy or commits a sin, or gives shelter to such a perpetrator will incur the curse of Allah, the Angels and all the people; none of his compulsory or optional good deeds of worship will be accepted.”[28] Ali also pointed out that the different types (ages) of camel required in compensation for injuries were stipulated in the document. He once added: “A Believer should not be killed in return for a Kafir, and the one who is party to an agreement cannot be killed so long as the agreement remains in force.”[29]

Ahmad reported it from the chain of references of ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb from his father and from his grandfather that the Prophet judged that a Muslim should not be killed in return for a Kafir.[30]

He also mentioned that it contained the words: “Blood money and ransom of the captives also.”[31] The companions of Ali read in the said document:

“Ibrahim sanctified Makkah, and I sanctify the whole of Madinah between its two Harrahs (areas of volcanic rock). No one is to pick the wild plants or to hunt the wild animals. It is not permitted to keep anything which you find without announcing it. We should not cut down any trees, except for a man to feed his camel, and no weapon for fighting should be carried here.”[32]

It is clear that most of these extracts correspond exactly with what was reported in the document. They cover most of the clauses of the document which deal with the duties of the Muslims ?both Muhajirun and Ansar? toward each other, but they do not give any indication of the clauses which deal with the peace treaty with the Jews. This makes it more likely that the document is composed of two treaties, and that the document which was attached to the sword of the Prophet, and which later came into the possession of Ali, was in fact the document between the Muhajirun and the Ansar

It is worth adding that there are some texts which correspond with the document between the Muhajirun and the Ansar, but they are attributed to other documents which the Prophet had written. For example, ?Amr ibn Hazm reported that the Messenger had a letter written to the people of al Yaman which included the following: ?Whosoever is convicted of killing a believer without good reason will be subject to retaliation unless the next of kin is satisfied (with blood money).[33] This letter was sent after the document was written.

Some of the reports make it clear that on the day of the liberation of Makkah, the Prophet said: “No believer can be killed in return for a Kafir.”[34] These texts are considered to have been written at a later date when the document was written. But this does not prove that the document is a collection of letters which were written at different times and then added to the document.[35] There is nothing to suggest that the Prophet did not mention some of the clauses of the document in his letters. We should be aware of the fact that there are no clauses concerning the Jews in the document which deals with the forts (ma’aqil). This makes it more likely that the document of the peace treaty with the Jews was independent of the document with the forts. This view is supported by the hadith of Anas ibn Malik: “The Messenger of Allah made an alliance between the Muhajirun and the Ansar in the house of Anas ibn Malik”.[36] Anas did not mention the presence of the Jews in this alliance.

It is also supported by the hadith of Amr ibn Shu’ayb, from his father, from his grandfather, that: “The Prophet had a document written between the Muhajirun and the Ansar, which stated that they should pay the blood money, redeem their prisoners with kindness and make peace among the Muslims.”[37] The Jews are not mentioned in this document. This is probably supported by the fact that al Bayhaqi identifies the clauses dealing with the Muhajirun and the Ansar with an isnad mentioned by Ibn Ishaq. There is no reference to the Jews, and the clauses correspond with what Ibn Hisham reported from Ibn Ishaq.

The reports which I have identified make it more likely that there were two separate treaties. The first one dealt with the relationship with the Jews and was written before Badr, when the Prophet first came to Madinah. The second dealt with the alliance between the Muhajirun and the Ansar, and was written after Badr. The historians joined the two treaties together under one document.

References

[1] The following have been written about the Constitution:

Dr. Salih Ahmad al Ali, in his article, “Tanzimat al Rasul al Idariyyah fi al Madinah” (The Administrative Set-Up of the Messenger in Madinah); Dr. ?Abd al Aziz al Duri, in his book al Nuzum al Islamiyyah and Sergeant, “The Constitution of Medina”, in Islamic Quarterly VIII (1964): 3-16.

Others have also written about this subject, and are cited by Professor Muhammad Hamid Allah in his book Majmuat al Watha?iq al Siyasiyyah (The Collection of Political Documents), pp. 39-41

[2] This is the opinion of Professor Yusuf al ‘Ish, in his footnote to al Dawlah al ?Arabiyyah wa Suqutuha (The Arab State and its Decline), by Wellhausen, trans. by al ‘Ish, p. 20, footnote no. 4.

[3] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 1/501-4

[4] Ibn Sayyid al Nas, ?Uyun al Athar, 1/197-8

[5] Ibn Kathir, al Bidayah, 3/224-6

[6] Al Sunan al Kubra, Kitab al Diyat, 8/106

[7] That is, al Hafiz al Hujjah al Imam Ahmad ibn Abu Khaythamah Zuhayr ibn Harb al Nasa’i (d. 279 AH). The third volume of this history has reached us. (See: Akram al Umari, Buhuth fi Tarikh al Sunan al Musharrafah, pp. 87-90) reported the document with the following isnad:

“Ahmad ibn Khabbab Abu al Walid narrated that ‘Isa ibn Yusuf narrated from his father, and from his grandfather, that the Messenger of Allah established a treaty in writing between the Muhajirun and the Ansar, and he asserted that it was similar to the document which was reported by Ibn Ishaq.” (Ibn Sayyid al Nas, ‘Uyun al Athar, 1/198).

However, it appears that the constitution was reported in that part of the Tarikh of Ibn Abu Khaythamah which is now lost, because it is not extant in those parts of the book which have reached us. The document was also reported in Kitab al Amwal, by Abu ‘Ubayd al Qasim ibn Salam with another isnad, which reads:

“Yahya ibn Abd Allah ibn Bakir and Abd Allah ibn Salih narrated to me that al Layth ibn Sad narrated that ?Uqayl ibn Khalid narrated from Ibn Shihab who said: ?I heard that the Messenger of God established this treaty in writing ?” and mentioned it.”

The document was also reported through al Zuhri in Kitab al Amwal by Ibn Zanjawayh (Hamid ibn Zanjawayh – d. 247)

[8] See Kitab al Amwal by Ibn Zanjawayh, revised by Dr. Shakir Dhib Fayad, n. 750

[9] See what Ibn Hibban said in Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib, 8/422

[10] Yusuf Al ‘Ish, footnote no.9, p. 20 of al Dawlah al Arabiyyah wa Suqutuha

[11] Al Baladhuri, Ansab, 1/286, 308; al Tabari, Tarikh al Rusul, 2/479; al Maqdisi, Kitab al Bad? wa al Tarikh, 4/179; Ibn Hazm, Jawami? al Sirah, 95; al Maqrizi, Imta? al Asma 1/49; Ibn Kathir, al Bidayah, 4/103-104, transmitting from Musa ibn ?Uqbah. He reports that Banu Qurayzah destroyed the paper on which the treaty was written. This report is given without isnad, but when all the reports are put together they strengthen one another and reach the level of hasan li ghayrihi.

[12] Dr. Salih al Ali, Tanzimat al Rasul al Idariyyah fi al Madinah, pp. 4-5. For the contrast in styles, refer to Majmu?at al Watha’iq al Siyasiyyah

[13] Dr. Salih al Ali suggests that it was also written after Badr, Tanzimat al Rasul al Idariyyah fi al Madinah, 6

[14] Al Amwal, no. 518

[15] Al Baldhuri, Ansab, 1/286

[16] See at Tabari, Tarikh al Rusul, 2/402, transmitting from al Waqidi.

[17] See Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 1/595

[18] Al Baladhuri, Ansab, 1/308

[19] Al Hakim, al Mustadrak, 2/483, Kitab al Tafsir

[20] Abd al Razzaq, al Musannaf, 5/357

[21] Al Bayhaqi, Dalail al Nubuwwah, 3/446-450; Abu Nu’aym, Dalail al Nubuwwah 3/176-7

[22] Ibn Hisham, al Sirah, 3/683; Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 3/11, Mu’allaq from Ibn Ishaq

[23] Al Waqidi, al Maghazi, 1/363; Ibn Sa’d, al Tabaqat, 3/57

[24] Al Sirah, 3/683.

[25] Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 9/14; al Tirmidhi, Sahih, 6/182; Ibn Majah, al Sunan, 2/887; Ahmad, al Musnad, 1/79

[26] Ahmad, Al Musnad, 1/119, 122

[27] Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 2/296

[28] Al Bukhari, al Sahih, 2/296; Ibn Majah, al Sunan, 2/887

[29] Ahmad, al Musnad, 1/19

[30] al Musnad 2/178. See other reference chains for this hadith in Ibn Majah, al Sunan 2/887, and al Bukhari, al Sahih 9/14, 16, and Sahih al Tirmidhi, explained by Ibn al Arabi, 6/182

[31] al Bukhari, Sahih, 9/14; Ahmad, Musnad, 1/79; see also al Shawkani, Nayl al Awthar, 7/10.

[32] Ahmad, al Musnad, 1/119, see also 4/27. Also in Sahih Muslim with commentary (9/136) of al Nawawi from Jabir, the Prophet said: “I sanctify what is between the two Harrahs of Madinah: no one is to cut down the bushes or hunt the wild animals. At the beginning of the Umayyad period, the people were in possession of a document written on skin, in which the Prophet defined the sanctity of Madinah.” (Ahmad, al Musnad, 4/27; and al Khatib al Baghdadi, Taqyid al Ilm, 72).

[33] Al Shawkani, Nayl al Awtar, 7/61; see also, Hamid Allah’s, Majmu’at al Watha’iq, 186, which explains that this is from the Prophet’s letter which he had written to ‘Amr ibn Hazm who was his governor in al Yaman.

[34] al Shawkani, Nayl al Awtar, 7/10

[35] Sergeant suggests this in his article, “The Constitution of Medina”, Islamic Quarterly 8 (1964): 3-16.

[36] Ibn Kathir, al Bidayah, 3/224. He said that Imam Ahmad, al Bukhari, Muslim, and Abu Dawud reported it.

[37] Ahmad, al Musnad, 1/371, 2/204. Ibn Kathir (reporting from Ahmad), al Bidayah, 3/224