Joined: 10 Aug 2010
|Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:21 am Post subject: The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style - part 2 of 4
The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style
by Abul Kasem
20 Nov, 2005
'Young man smile in the face of death, for you are on your way to Heaven'---from a Manual of Terror
The Battle of Uhud, Led by Muhammad - March, 625CE
The Quraysh resolutely decided to avenge their defeat at Badr II. The need for a decisive military victory against the menacing Islam and its diehard Jihadists became more urgent when Zayd b. Haritha plundered their rich caravan that took the new alternative route through Nejd (see terror 19, CH. 5). The Quraysh were now convinced that nothing could protect their lifeline (trade) from the pillage and terror of Muhammad. They alerted the neighboring tribes and sought to raise money to form a formidable military operation against Muhammad. Through contributions from different parts of Arabia they raised 250,000 Dirhams (besides the 250,000 Dirhams paid as ransom to secure the release of the Meccan prisoners from Muhammad) for the impending military expedition to avenge their defeat. They also concluded alliances with other nearby Bedouin tribes. Besides this subscription from various sources, they also decided to use the entire profit from the caravan that escaped Badr II to use it to combat the terrorism of Muhammad. This profit was one thousand camels and fifty thousand Dinars (around US$ 550,000 in all, using the conversion rate mentioned earlier) in cash, a substantial amount of money in those days. With such a handsome resource at their disposal, the Quraysh had no difficulty in organizing a formidable army of three thousand men, seven hundred of them were armored warriors and two hundred mounted cavalry, ready to fight the terror perpetrated by Muhammad and his fanatic followers. There was also a small band of fifty Medina citizens under Abu Amir, the Christian monk, who went over to Mecca after being disgusted at the enthusiastic reception of Muhammad at Medina. Besides these military personnel, a batch of fifteen Quraysh women in camel litters also joined the military operation. Their leader was Hind bt. Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyan Shakhr b. Harb. At Badr II she had lost her father (Utba), uncle (Shaybah) and her son, Hanzala. She was particularly interested in going for the blood of Hamzah who had slain her father at Badr II. Now was the time for her to quench her thirst for revenge. She engaged an Abyssinian slave, Wahshi, possessing deadly javelin skill and belonging to Jubayr b. Mut'im to kill Hamza, promising Wahshi his freedom if he was successful in his mission.
It was twelve months since the Badr II and it was the month of Ramadan. The Quraysh remained steadfast in their revenge for the defeat at Badr II. Now was the time to put their threat into execution. They planned a grand attack on Muhammad. Rumor of this grand plan had been reaching Muhammad for some time through his informers at Mecca. He even received an oracle from Allah in 3:128 on this preparedness. This rumor was confirmed when Muhammad received a sealed letter from his uncle, al-Abbas while he (Muhammad) was at his mosque at Quba, a short distance from the city of Medina. A messenger from Mecca delivered the letter to Muhammad. The letter contained the information that the Quraysh, with three thousand soldiers were planning an attack on Muhammad. He kept the content of the letter a secret and immediately returned to Medina to concur with his advisors there. However, the news leaked out when the wife of Sa'd b Muadh, the Khazaraj leader, overheard the conversation between him and Muhammad. Soon, the news spread that an immediate attack was coming from the Quraysh.
In Mecca, the Quraysh were now fully ready to set out for a showdown with Muhammad. At last, near the end of Ramadan, the Quraysh army started their march with three thousand soldiers and with Abu Sufyan b. Harb as their general. The other chiefs of the Quraysh clans also accompanied the Meccan army.
After a march of ten or twelve days, the Meccan army, taking the usual route by the shore, arrived at Dhul Hulaifa, about five miles west of Medina. It is reported that while at al-Abwa, Hind bt. Utbah, Abu Sufyan's wife suggested that they dig up the grave of Muhammad's mother, but the Quraysh refrained from doing such a depraved act. It was Thursday morning, and after halting here for a while, the Quraysh army marched northward for a few miles, bypassing the city of Medina; instead, they proceeded about three miles further north and encamped at Uhud, a mountainous region with some wide plain space for the camel's grazing. One may wonder why the Quraysh did not attack central Medina; they could have easily done so with much success and with plenty of booty. The reason is that the Quraysh were not at all interested in any sort of plunder or booty. In fact, they had no grudge against the general population of Medina; they were angry with only one person-their co-citizen, Muhammad, who had taken refuge there. Soon after their arrival at the plains of Uhud, the Meccans cut down the luxuriant forest as feed for the horses and camels. They also set loose the camels and horses to graze. Then Friday came and it passed without any activity.
In Medina, Muhammad was kept appraised of Meccan movements. A spy, Hobab ibn al Mundhir surveyed the Quraysh camp on Thursday and brought back the alarming estimate of the Quraysh army. Muhammad decided to keep that information a secret. The next day, Friday, Muhammad discussed with his people the course to be pursued. He had a bad dream the previous night and told the conclave of his Jihadists about the need of protection of Medina and himself. Due to his bad dream the previous night, a superstitious Muhammad was quite reluctant to go for the battle. At first, it was decided that the women and children of the suburbs and surrounding hamlets should be brought within the city. The enemy, if they approached should be met with arrows, stones and other missiles from the housetops. Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, Muhammad's nemesis supported this proposal of defending the city of Medina should the Quraysh attacked it. But the young converts wanted to go out and fight the enemy in the field, as they did at Badr II. Young Jihadists who missed the Badr II and its booty were more enthusiastic in going out to fight the Quraysh. The picture of paradise hovered before their eyes as martyrs in Allah's cause was just as the Quran had described it in 56:25-26.Hamza was adamant, saying, "By Allah who has sent the Book down unto you, I will not taste food till I fight them with my sword outside Medina." Many people supported this young faction. In the end, Muhammad gave way to them, commanding them to make ready for the battle.
After the afternoon prayer, the people assembled in the court of the mosque armed for the battle. Muhammad himself put on two armors, one on top of another. When a few young Jihadists found that Muhammad had quite reluctantly agreed to proceed for the battle, they became repentant and wanted to abort the mission. On this, Muhammad said, "It does not suit a Prophet that once he had put on armor. He should take it off until Allah has decided between him and the enemy." Some people hesitated but Muhammad kept going. Muhammad's child-bride, Aisha also volunteered to join the Jihad and he allowed her. Aisha nursed the wounded, brought water to the thirsty and rendered sundry services.
Then the Muslims fixed three banners on the three lances. One for the refugees, carried by Musab b. Umayr (some say, Ali), the second, to the leader of B. Aws, Usayd ibn Hudayl, the third to a leader of B. Khazraj, al-Hubab ibn al-Mundhir. Abdallah ibn Umm Maktum was appointed to look after Medina city and to lead the prayer in the absence of Muhammad. The Muslim army consisted of one thousand men (one hundred of them were armored), and two horses (one belonging to Muhammad). Then Muhammad gave the orders for the march northward to the plains of Uhud. The two Sa'ds (Sa'd b. Muadh and Sa'd b. Ubadah) ran in front of the Muslim battalion.
Muhammad marched until he reached al-Shaykhayn and saw a well-equipped army waiting there. On enquiry, he learned that they were polytheists and Jews who were ready to join the Muslim army against the Meccans. They were the allies of Abd Allah ibn Ubay. Muhammad refused to accept them as his comrade, saying, "Do not seek support of the polytheists against polytheists." Then he halted at al-Shaykhayn and reviewed his forces, rejecting those who were disabled or too young to fight. At nightfall, the Muslim army encamped there and Muhammad spent the night there. Abd Allah ibn Ubayy encamped nearby. He was displeased by the unfriendly behavior of Muhammad to his Jewish adherents. The Quraysh were also camped nearby. A ridge separated the two armies.
In the morning the Muslim army started marching again to Uhud. When they reached at a place called Ash Shawt they could observe the Quraysh army in the distance. It was at this place that Abd Allah ibn Ubayy rebelled against Muhammad, withdrew his three hundred men from the Muslim army and started departing for Medina thus reducing the number of Jihadists to around seven hundred men. Two other parties of Muhammad were also influenced by Abd Allah ibn Ubayy. They were about to join him (Abd Allah ibn Ubayy), but at the eleventh hour, changed their minds and decided to remain with Muhammad. As revealed in 3:122 Muhammad claimed this change of heart to be Allah's will. When Abd Allah ibn Ubay departed, another band of Muhammad's followers went along with him, pleading Abd Allah ibn Ubayy to fight for the cause of Allah. But ibn Ubayy was adamant in returning to Medina, thus greatly displeasing the pleading clan. Allah, in verse 3:187 cursed the hypocrisy of Abd Allah ibn Ubayy. So, now Muhammad had to march alone with his seven hundred followers. Although he was quite near to Uhud, and could easily see the Quraysh encamped in the plains of Uhud, he found that it would not be safe to follow the main road to Uhud, because that would engage him to a full frontal confrontation with the enemy. Muhammad now sought the help of a local guide, Abu Khaitamah to reach the Uhud Mountain bypassing the frontal confrontation with the Quraysh. This guide took the Muslim army through a track that required the trespassing through farmland belonging to a blind man named Marba b Qyizi. When the Jihadists wanted to pass through this farmland without the permission of the owner, the blind man protested by throwing dust on them and saying, "You may be the apostle of God, but I won't let you through my garden. By God, Muhammad, if I could be sure that I should not hit someone else I would throw it in your face." The Jihadists sought Muhammad's permission to cut to pieces this blind man. Muhammad declined; but it was too late. A diehard Jihadist had already hit the blind man on his head with his sword that cut his head in to two pieces. Such was the mercy of Allah's soldiers!
Upon their arrival at Uhud, the Muslims camped at the base of the mountain and arranged their rank to face the Quraysh. Muhammad dispatched fifty archers to the hill of Aynayan that was opposite to the main Uhud mountain range to guard the rear of the Muslim army. He appointed Abd Allah ibn Jubayr as their leader and gave strict order to not to leave their position under any circumstances, whether victory or defeat, until they received the command from him. He issued further orders to not to engage the enemy until he gave instructions. Muhammad himself took up a position at an elevated place with plenty of arrows to shoot at the enemy. Sahih Bukhari states that Some Jihadists drank wine to imbue them further in Jihad. Here is the Sahih Hadith:
Volume 6, Book 60, Number 142:
Some people drank alcoholic beverages in the morning (of the day) of the Uhud battle and on the same day they were killed as martyrs, and that was before wine was prohibited.
Muhammad exhorted the Jihadists to a frenzied spirit of war; gave his sword to one cavalier, Abu Dujana who was famous for his savagery and fanatic killing instinct. Then Muhammad sat down and began casting arrows. He was protected by a band of Jihadists who ensured that any attack from behind would be repulsed immediately. However, his elite core of companions (like Abu Bakr, Ali, Hamzah, Umar and others) were dispatched to lead the Muslim soldiers for a fierce combat. Muhammad then waited for enemy's approach. At this time, Abu Sufyan b. Harb, the leader of the Quraysh army brought his army, and facing Uhud, marshaled them in front of Muhammad. Khalid b. al-Walid commanded the right wing, while Ikrimah b. Abu Jahl commanded the left wing, with Abu Sufyan in command of the middle front. The women, at first, kept to the front sounding their tumbrels and martial verses; but as the line advanced, they fell to the rear.
The Meccan banner was borne by Talha ibn Abi Talhah. He belonged to the Quryash clan of Abdud Dar whose duty it was to carry the banner of the Quraysh during war. It was Saturday, Shawwal 7, AH3 corresponding to March 23, 625. The two armies were now poised to ignite the fire.
Before the battle started, Abu Sufyan sent a message of peace to the men of al-Aws and al-Khazaraj, asking them to leave the matter of battle among the cousins (i.e., among the Quraysh) only. He did not want to have a war with al-Aws and al-Khazraj. But al-Aws and al-Khazraj turned down his peace offer. Thus, a ferocious showdown became inevitable.
The first person from the Quraysh to start the single combat was Abu Amir (Muhammad used to call him al-Fasiq-the evildoer) with a party of fifty of his people. They exchanged stone-throwing with the Muslims. This continued till the Muslims gained an upper hand, and Abu Amir and his companions turned back To keep the fervor of fighting spirit intact, the Quraysh women came out marching, beating cymbals, drums and tambourines and singing patriotic songs. In the next stage of fighting, it was mainly single combat, following the Arab customary start of a battle. Talha ibn Abu Talhah strode forward with the Quraysh standard; Az- Zubair b. al-Awwam (some say Ali ibn Talib) met him and killed him. On hearing the death of the first standard bearer of the Quraysh, Muhammad rejoiced with Takbir (Allahu Akbar) and said, "Every Prophet has a disciple and my disciple is Az Zubair," thus guaranteeing Az Zubair a place in paradise, whether alive or dead in the Jihad.
After the death of Talhah, his brother Abu Shaybah Uthman b. Abi Talhah took over the Quraysh standard reciting enticing verses. Hamzah attacked him with his sword, cutting his hand and shoulder and exposing his lung. Soon Abu Shaybah Uthman was killed. Then, his brother, Abu Sa'd b. Abi Talhah took over the Quraysh flag and Asim b. Thabit killed him. In this way, seven members from the same family were killed. They were: Talhah, his brothers, Shaybah and Abu Sa'd; Talha's four sons, viz. Musafi, Al-Harith, Kilab and Julas. When Musafi's mother learnt the killing of her two sons in the hands of Asim b. Thabit she vowed to avenge their death by drinking wine from Asim's skull.
The slaughter continued and the Quraysh grew desperate. When all the brave brothers and sons of Talhah were slain, Artat Shurahbil raised the flag of the Quarysh and an unknown Jihadist killed him. The Quraysh standard then went to the hand of Shurayh b. Qariz and then to his slave Su'ab; the Muslims killed both of them. Thus, ten Quraysh laid down their lives to keep the Quraysh standard aloft. The Quraysh flag lay on the ground with no one to raise it. The front line of the Quraysh was now broken; panic and terror struck their minds and they took to the flight. They realized that it was a mistake on their part to engage the Muslims in single combat. However, it was too late. Hanzala b. Abu Amir (the Christian monk's Muslim son) dueled with Abu Sufyan and was about to kill him when Shaddad b. al-Aswad struck Hanzala b. Amir and killed him. This was what Abu Sufyan b. Harb later recalled in a poetic verse as 'Hanzala for Hanzala.' (Remember? Abu Sufyan's son Hanzala was killed by the Muslims at Badr II).
As soon as the Quraysh realized their folly in engaging the Muslim Jihadists in single combat they launched a general engagement. In the beginning, with the fierce attack from the Muslims, the Quraysh began to waver. Each time they moved forward, the archers, protecting the rear of the Muslim army in the neighboring hillock pushed them back. The Meccan army was about to lose heart. Abu Dujana, with the sword given by Muhammad, Hamza and Ali fought valiantly. They killed a number of Quraysh unbelievers. The Quraysh, became desperate and started to flee the battle leaving their standard lying on the ground and no one to carry it. Thus ended the first phase of the Uhud battle.
The Muslim army, sensing the nervousness of the Quraysh, without any delay, started collecting booty. Their cupidity for booty was so intense that when the Muslim archers saw from the hilltop afar their compatriots engaged in plunder, they simply deserted their positions and joined in the rush for the loot. Only ten archers, with their leader Abd Allah ibn Jubayr remained in their position as directed by Muhammad. The rest could not care less about Muhammad's instruction; booty became their supreme goal. Here is a summary of what Tabari wrote about the Jihadists desire for booty:
When the Jihadists, guarding the rear of Muslim soldiers saw the Quraysh and their women fleeing and saw the booty they became hungry for spoils and said, "Let us go to the Messenger of God and get the booty before the others beat us to it." Another group wanted to obey the order of Muhammad and leave their positions. On this altercation between the two groups God revealed, "Whoso desireth-.the Hereafter (3:145).
Witnessing the greed for booty, Ibn Masud said, "I never realized that any of the Prophet's companions desired the world and its goods until that day."
This uncontrolled greed for booty by the Jihadists provided Khaild b. Walid, the commander of the Quraysh cavalry to charge the booty-drunken Muslims from behind and to change the tide of war. He soon made a vicious attack on the remaining archers, killing all of them, including their leader Abd Allah ibn Jubayr. Khalid b. Walid was followed by Ikrimah b Abu Hakam (Abu Jahl's son; Abu Jahl was brutally murdered in Badr II). It is claimed that the angels were present but they did not fight for the Muslims. It is it clear why the angels were reluctant to help the soldiers of Allah. When the Muslim ranks were broken and forced back, Muhammad tried to resume the flight. He gave a call to continue fighting in the name of the apostle of Allah. But his call remained largely unheeded and the retreat continued unabated. The enemy soon came closer to Muhammad. A party of diehard devotees then rallied around his person. It was impossible for Muhammad to escape. While this confusion was raging, a rumor, that Muhammad had been killed, broke the backbone of the Muslim army. Muhammad's biographers often provide conflicting and confusing account of this episode of the Uhud battle. Here is what I understood after consulting a few versions of this story:
Watching the quick change of fortune in the war front and the Muslim's disunity, the Quraysh soon regained their spirit and returned to fight. A Quraysh woman, Umrah bt. Alqamah Al-Harithya lifted the lying standard on the ground. This time, the Quraysh had a decisive upper hand in the fight. They gathered together and started searching for Muhammad.
A band of Quraysh army, after killing the archers, pursued Muhammad and his bodyguards. At that time most of the Jihadists were busying themselves with the plunder. Only a small group of nine Jihadists were protecting Muhammad, seven of them were Ansars (helpers) and two were Muhajirs (immigrants). A part of Khalid's army, led by ibn Qamia started hurling stones at this little group protecting Muhammad. One of these stones hit Muhammad's mouth injuring his lower right incisor and rupturing his lower lip. Another sword-attack from Utbah b. Abi Waqqas (the brother of Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas, a Muslim), a Quraysh injured his forehead and shoulder causing severe bleeding.
The Meccans attack on the Muslims from behind put them to flight. They (the Meccans) killed many Muslims. Some Muslims were gravely wounded; many started to flee the battle. With a wounded person and a wounded heart Muhammad called on his followers to fight on, but no one was listening to him. Then Allah sent the oracle in verse 3:128, "It is no concern at all of thee (Muhammad), whether He relent toward them or punish them: for they are evildoers." A helpless Muhammad then cried out, "Who will sell his life for us?" Hearing his desperate call, Ziyad b. al-Sakani (or Umarah b. Ziyad al-Sakani), along with other five Jihadists, came forward to protect Muhammad. They were killed one after another in front of him until only Ziyad b. al-Sakani was left.
It is reported that Hatib b. Baltah followed Utbah b. Abi Waqqas and killed him, although it was the great desire of Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas to kill his own brother (Utbah). While the attack on Muhammad was not mortal (because Muhammad was wearing a double coat of arms), the blow was so heavy that it caused the two rings in his helmet to penetrate his cheeks. An injured Muhammad vehemently cursed the perpetrators. Initially those bodyguards fought with supreme bravery to protect Muhammad. But the Quraysh continued their foray of relentless attack on them-so much so, that they killed the seven ansars in no time. Only the two Muhajirs, namely, Talhah b. Ubaidullah and Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas, now protected Muhammad. In the short melee that ensued, the Quraysh seriously injured Talhah b. Ubaidullah. The standard bearer of the Muslims, Musab b. Umayr was nearby. It happened that he resembled Muhammad in his appearance. Ibn Qamiah attacked him and killed him. Thinking that he had killed Muhammad, he started shouting at the top of his voice, "Muhammad has been killed." Hearing this terrible news, the Muslim's rank fell in disorder; confusion raged and they started fighting each other. One such victim of this internecine was the father of Hudhayfa, Al-Yaman. When he saw his father about to be killed by another Muslim, he cried out, but to no avail. Hudhayfah later forgave his father's killer and did not demand any blood money for the killing of his father. Many Muslims fled the battlefield and headed towards Medina. Some of them took their comrades' corpses for burial at Medina. Some Muslims even tried to contact Abd Allah ibn Ubayy to strike a deal with the Quraysh, so that they would not be killed by them. But this attempt failed. Finding his position to be untenable and extremely vulnerable from further attack, Muhammad began to run for his life. A Jihadist, Ka'b b. Malik saw a fleeing Muhammad and rejoiced, crying loudly, "Allah's messenger is alive." An unnerved Muhammad asked Ka'b to keep his mouth shut; but the Quraysh had already heard that their bitterest enemy was still alive. One Quraysh, Ubay b. Khalaf rode to Muhammad in order to kill him. Muhammad took a spear from one of his companions and hurled it at Ubay b. Khalaf injuring him. Ubayy went back to the Quraysh with the injury in his throat and neck and said, "By God, Muhammad has killed me." The Quraysh found nothing so seriously wrong with Ubayy. But Ubayy insisted that Muhammad's curse had afflicted him. Ubayy b. Khalaf died of his wound at Sarif while returning to Mecca. It is stated that when the Quraysh saw Ubay b. Khalaf's wound and told him that it was not very serious he refused to believe it, insisting that Muhammad had previously cursed him to death and as such he would surely die. While there is no evidence/record to suggest that Muhammad had killed any one with his own hand, Ibn Sa'd writes, "Ubayyi Ibn Khalaf al-Jumahi, whom the apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, slew with his own hand--" .
While running in a hurry to save his own life, Muhammad fell into a ditch (some kind of booby-trap) that Abu Amir, the Christian monk had previously dug to trap Muslim soldiers. Now, hearing the joyful shout of Ka'b, about thirty of the Jihadists, including Muhammad's hardcore companions like Abu Bakr, Ali, Umar etc. started approaching him. When they came near the ditch where Muhammad had fallen, they were greatly relieved to find him alive. Muhammad asked them not to make much noise but to proceed north and take sanctuary at one of the caves in the hillock. Ali put forth his hand towards Muhammad and lifted him up from the ditch. With a live Muhammad with them, his companions then started to proceed stealthily towards the hillock to take shelter there, to execute a planned withdrawal of the Muslim army and, most importantly, provide medical attention to Muhammad and his injured companions. It is reported that Aisha and a few other Muslimah joined Muhammad's team. Fatima (Muhammad's daughter) arrived at the scene of the battle and helped to dress the wound of her father. It took about a month for Muhammad's wound to heal.
Hamza's sister, Safiya also came up. She was fondly attached to Hamza, her brother.
The battle of Uhud also demonstrates the use of extreme vituperative and vulgar language, mostly by the Muslims. Here is a sample:
While such a grave predicament afflicted the Muslims, Hamzah was fighting gallantly killing a few Quraysh. The Abissiniyan slave, Wahsi (Remember? he was hired by Hind bt. Utbah to kill Hamzah) was watching him close by and took up a strategic position aiming his deadly spear at Hamzah. At this moment, Siba b. Abd al-Uzza al-Ghubshani (Abu Niyar) passed by Hamzah. Abu Niyar was the son of a female circumciser, Umm Ammar, a freed slave of Shariq b. Amr b. Wahb al-Thaqafi. So, Hamzah yelled at him, "Come over here, you son of a cutter-of clitorises." When, Wahsi, the slave of Jubayr b. Mutim saw Hamzah yelling at Abu Niyar, he (Wahsi) swiftly hurled his javelin at Hamzah that struck him before he could strike Abu Niyar. The javelin struck Hamzah in the lower part of the belly and came out between his legs. Hamzah died quickly and Wahsi recovered his javelin and returned to his camp, thus fulfilling his commitment of killing Hamzah. Hamzah's body lay dead on the ground.
Thus, we note that FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) was quite prevalent among the Arabs in the days of Muhammad. Muhammad did not put any ban on this practice of mutilating female private organs.
As mentioned previously, after Muhammad was pulled up from the ditch, Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali and his other companions carried him to a cave nearby to provide medical attention and nursing. A Jihadist pulled out the ring that had penetrated inside Muhammad's cheek, and while performing this primitive 'surgery', he broke Muhammad's already injured incisor. Blood was oozing out from Muhammad's wound in his face. Malik b. Sinan sucked out the blood and drank it. On this, Muhammad said, "He whose blood mingles with mine will not be touched by the fire of hell." Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali and his other inner core of companions started comforting an injured Muhammad and the gravely wounded Talhah b. Ubaidullah. To those who spread the rumor of Muhammad's death, Allah revealed the verse 3:144, "Muhammad is but a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) have passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dieth or is slain, ye will turn back on your heels! He who turneth back doth no hurt to Allah, and Allah will reward the thankful."
The Jihadists surrounding Muhammad became very tired and many of them fell asleep in the cave. In a short time, the Muslims finally retreated from the battle and took cover in the mountains of Uhud.
Meanwhile, after the Quraysh sensed that the Muslims had been defeated and they (the Muslims) had retreated to the mountainside, they came out in full force, many of them inspecting their fallen foes. This way, mid-day passed. After the mid-day, the Quraysh started looking for the body of Muhammad, and not finding it doubted his death. Some of them engaged in mutilating the Muslim corpses. They cut off the ears and noses (even genitalia) of their victims and made necklaces from them. Hind bt Utbah became so obsessed with revenge that she not only wore some such necklaces and anklets but also proceeded to mutilate Hamzah's corpse. She tore apart his stomach, took out the liver and chewed it but finding that not so palatable spat it out. Abu Sufyan denounced such a savage act of Hind.
Then Abu Sufyan came very near to the snuggery where Muhammad and his companions were sheltered and enquired about who were inside the cave. No one replied back to him. At this, Abu Sufyan hubristically announced that the Quraysh had slain all the nobles of the Muslims, including Muhammad. Unable to bear such humiliation and insult, an angry Umar retorted back that all of them were alive, safe and sound including Muhammad. Though a little surprised, Abu Sufyan was reluctant to continue with further bloodshed and informed Umar that some Quraysh had indulged themselves in mutilating the Muslim corpses which he neither ordered nor disliked. He was satisfied that the death of his son Hanzalah b. Abu Sufyan in BadrII had been avenged. Abu Sufyan then issued a challenge to meet Muhammad again, next year at Badr. Muhammad accepted the challenge. After exalting Hubal (the biggest idol in Ka'ba) and Uzza (another idol at Nakha) for the victory, Abu Sufyan gave order to his soldiers to pack up and march for Mecca. At this, a defiant Muhammad proclaimed that Allah is the protector of the Jihadists.
Once Abu Sufyan was far off from the Muslim's sanctuary, Muhammad instructed Ali to observe the departure of the Quraysh army. Ali reported back that the Quraysh rode their camels and led their horses. This news relieved Muhammad, because it was a sure sign that the Quraysh had, indeed, departed for Mecca and had no intention of returning to Uhud/Medina. Being reassured of no further attack from the Quraysh, Muhammad ordered his comrades to come out of their hideout. Thus the Muslims, once again, returned to the battlefield that was now strewn with the corpses of the Jihadists. It was a horrible sight, no doubt, and when Muhammad saw the mutilated body of Hamzah who was his uncle and foster brother, he was gravely saddened and started to weep. The sight of Hamzah's corpse was so grotesque that Muhammad prevented his (Muhammad's) aunt, Saffiya to visit her brother's (Hamzah) dead body. But Saffiya refused and came and looked at the macabre scene of his brother lying on the ground with parts of his body missing or in tatter. But she was calm, composed, and supplicated Allah for the forgiveness of Hamzah. Muhammad ordered that Hamzah be buried with Abdullah ibn Jahsh, who was his (Hamzah's) nephew. Subsequently, Hamzah was buried where he fell dead. Muhammad then vowed to take revenge by mutilating thirty Quraysh bodies for Hamza. Some say that he vowed for seventy. However, this mutilation practice was banned by a later revelation (16:126) in the Qur'an. Consequently, Muhammad banned the mutilation of dead bodies but announced: "A wounded Jihadi will be raised on the resurrection day with blood dripping from his wounds and the smell of the wound will be the smell of musk" In addition to this, he also said: "God put the spirits of those killed in the Uhud in the crops of green birds and the Jihadists would like to come back from heaven and be killed again, again and again."
A similar Hadith is narrated in Sunaan Abu Dawud:
Book 14, Number 2514:
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: When your brethren were smitten at the battle of Uhud, Allah put their spirits in the crops of green birds which go down to the rivers of Paradise, eat its fruit and nestle in lamps of gold in the shade of the Throne. Then when they experienced the sweetness of their food, drink and rest, they asked: Who will tell our brethren about us that we are alive in Paradise provided with provision, in order that they might not be disinterested in jihad and recoil in war? Allah Most High said: I shall tell them about you; so Allah sent down; "And do not consider those who have been killed in Allah's path." till the end of the verse.
After burying their dead comrades, the Muslims, along with Muhammad, returned to Medina. While on his way to Medina, many people, especially women were extremely eager to learn about the fate of their dear and near ones. Muhammad had no choice but to tell them the heart-wrenching news of the death of their relations. When he passed by a settlement of Ansars, Muhammad heard the wailing of women for their dear ones. He himself wept but found no women to weep for Hamzah. When Sa'd b. Muadh heard of this, he ordered his women folks to weep for Hamzah, the uncle of Muhammad.
In the evening of that day (Saturday, 7th of Shawal), Muhammad, along with the Muslim army returned to Medina. When Muhammad entered his family home he and Ali gave their swords to Fatima (Muhammad's daughter and Ali's wife) to wash off the blood from them.
It is reported that seventy Muslims were killed at the battle of Uhud. The Quraysh lost twenty-three men.
There were a few accidental killing of Muslims by themselves. For instance, it was already mentioned that Husayl b. Jabir al-Yaman was killed by Muslims who could not recognize him. Muhammad paid his son Hudhayfah the blood money. Hudhayfah donated that money to the needy Muslims.
Hatib's son Yazid was gravely injured and was comforted by other Muslims, for paradise was promised to a martyr. At this, Hatib was agitated and blamed the Muslims for misleading his son to death.
Another Muslim, Quzaman, fought valiantly, killing eight or nine polytheists and then was gravely injured. When people congratulated him for his valor, he simply expressed his great desire to fight for the honor of his own people. When the pain from his wound became very severe he committed suicide by slitting his wrist with an arrow. Muhammad was quite dissatisfied with Quzman, because he fought and died for National cause rather than Allah and his apostle's causes. When Muhammad's followers enquired about Quzman's standing in the life hereafter, Muhammad replied, "He is an inhabitant of fire."
A Jew, Mukhayriq was also killed in Uhud. He fought for the Muslims and exhorted other Jews to fight alongside Muhammad. But most Jews did not join the battle on the plea of the Sabbath day. As his testimony, Muhammad called Mukhyaraq the best of Jews. Sahi Bukhari records that Muhammad's wife, Aisha, and another woman, Umm Sulaim, (it is not clear if she was Muhammad's wife or not), served water to the Muslim fighters in Uhud. Here is the Hadith:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 131:
On the day (of the battle) of Uhad when (some) people retreated and left the Prophet, I saw 'Aisha bint Abu Bakr and Um Sulaim, with their robes tucked up so that the bangles around their ankles were visible hurrying with their water skins (in another narration it is said, "carrying the water skins on their backs"). Then they would pour the water in the mouths of the people, and return to fill the water skins again and came back again to pour water in the mouths of the people.
On the night of their return from Uhud, the Muslim army kept a sharp vigil on the city of Medina to prevent any intrusion from the Quraysh. Muhammad had a rather nightmarish night. For the whole of the night he thought over what had happened and what the future holds for him and his hordes of followers. The defeat at Uhud was an extremely painful blow to him and his credibility as the messenger of Allah was now at stake-Muhammad was quick to understand this. He needed to be calm, cool, and collected, and must decide on a course of action to restore his lost credibility and the awe at which his followers looked at him. To them, he was invincible and next to Allah-nothing can be further from this truth. Muhammad vowed that he must not lose this magical and hypnotic mob-power on his Jihadist followers. At the same time he was also alarmed that the Quraysh army might return and inflict a sudden attack on Medina. The only choice for him was to go out, look for the whereabouts of the Quraysh army and scare (terrorize) them, somehow or other. He must cast terror on their hearts by whatever means he could muster-he knew this truth very well.
Last edited by truth1111 on Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:56 am; edited 1 time in total
Joined: 10 Aug 2010
|Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:24 am Post subject:
The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style
by Abul Kasem
20 Nov, 2005
'We have to pay a tax to go to Paradise'---Ramzi Binalshibh
The Invasion of Hamra al-Aswad by Muhammad - March, 624CE
As stated earlier, Muhammad was deeply perturbed at the defeat of Muslims at Uhud; therefore, to salvage Muslim morale as well as to instil fear in the hearts of the Jews and the hypocrites, he planned a few attacks against the enemy in order to offset the ignominy of the rout at Uhud,
So Sunday the 8th of Shawaal, AH3 (March 24, 625), the next day after Uhud, when the Muslims woke up, they heard that Muhammad had called them to join him in the pursuit of the returning Quraysh army. He gave a general order of mobilization of the troops, but with the condition that only those who had participated in the Uhud battle the previous day were eligible to join in the new operation. Undoubtedly, he did this to elevate the spirit of the Jihadists, to remove the impression of their disgraceful defeat at Uhud and to boost the morale of his demoralized soldiers. One Muslim, who missed out the Uhud battle because of his father's reluctance to let him fight in the Jihad was allowed to join the Muslim army. The son of a martyred Jihadist sought Muhammad's permission to join in this expedition; he was also allowed in.
Besides them, several wounded Jhadists also joined this march.
A little before Muhammad set out in the pursuit of the departing Meccan army, he sent three spies, all belonging to B. Aslam to track the footprint of the departing Meccan army. Two of them met the Meccan army at Hamra al-Asad, about eight (or ten, as per ibn S'ad) miles from Medina. Abu Sufyan had already come to learn about Muhammad's venture to pursue the Meccans. The two spies heard the discussion among the Quraysh: whether they should go back and finish off the Muslims once and for all or to continue their journey to Mecca. Abu Sufyan was in favor of inflicting a deciding blow to the Muslims, but on the counseling of Safwan ibn Umayyah, he decided against it and, instead, proceeded towards Mecca. It happened just a day before the Muslim Jihadists arrived at Hamra al-Asad. Prior to their departure from Hamra al-Asad, the Quraysh spotted the two Muslim spies, caught them and killed them, leaving their corpses on the road. Nothing is known about the whereabouts of the third Muslim sleuth. Presumably, he fled and returned to Muhammad.
The Jihadists, under the leadership of a bandaged Muhammad, went up to Hamra al-Asad, and found the two dead bodies of the spies that Muhammad had sent for intelligence on the Quraysh. Once Muhammad learned that the Quraysh were not there to attack him further, he felt elated and decided to spend three nights (or five, according to ibn Sa'd)-- until Wednesday, (March 25-27, 625) before returning to Medina. While recuperating at Hamra al-Asad from his battle wound suffered at Uhud, he ordered five hundred fires kindled on the adjoining heights, simply to send the Quraysh the strong message of his strength.
Further, while Muhammad was at Hamra al-Asad, he made an agreement with Mabad al-Khuzaah at Tihamah. Both the Muslims and the polytheists of Tihamah were trusted allies of Muhammad. They made a compact with Muhammad to not to conceal anything from him.
Then, Mabad went to Mecca; met with Abu Sufyan and talked falsely that Muhammad had gathered a great force to fight Abu Sufyan. At that time Abu Sufyan and his companions were planning a massive and decisive attack on Medina to finish off the Muslims once and for all. Hearing Mabad's vein talk of a great military strength of Muhammad, Abu Sufyan retreated from his plan of an immediate attack on the Muslims. Thus, Muhammad, once again, proved that the use of terror and deceit do indeed work for his cause.
After the demonstration of his mettle at Hamra al-Asad, Muhammad returned to Medina. One Quraysh soldier was loitering at Hamra al-Asad. He was the poet Abu Azzah al-Jumahi, a poor man with five daughters. He had just missed the Quraysh party. Previously, he was one of the prisoners of Badr II. As he was an indigent, having no means to pay ransom, he pleaded for his freedom. Muhammad released him freely on the condition that he would not take up arms against Muslims again. However, he was tempted by the Meccans to fight with the promise of a great reward of a win; or the maintenance of his five daughters in case of his being killed. After the Uhud battle when the Muslims caught this hapless destitute, he begged mercy from Muhammad, but Muhammad was not to be moved by pity or compassion; he ordered Abu Azzah's killing, as he had broken his promise. Hazrat Ali personally killed him.
Another Quraysh, while returning to Mecca lost his way and passed the night near Medina. Next morning, he went to the house of Uthman ibn Affan (Muhammad's son-in law). Uthman procured for him, a grace period of three days, arranged a camel and provisions for his return journey to Mecca. Having made such arrangement, Uthman departed with Muhammad for Hamra-al-Asad. The unlucky Quraysh tarried and stayed in Medina until the last day of his term of grace. Muhammad, hearing about his delay by just one day, caught him and put him to death.
Al-Harith b. Suwayd was a hypocrite. He went to Uhud with Muslims but killed some Muslims. Then he fled to Mecca, to the Quraysh. After that, al-Harith sent his brother to Muhammad for his forgiveness, so that he could return to Medina. Muhammad allowed his return, but was undecided about his fate, preferring to make a decision after returning from Hamra al-Asad. On his hesitation Allah quickly sent the verse 3:86 indicating that those who reject faith after accepting it should be put to death
So, after returning to Medina, Muhammad ordered the execution of al-Harith b. Suwayd for the suspected murder of al- Mujaddzir of B. Aws. This incident (i.e., the alleged and unproven murder of al-Mujaddzir) happened nine or ten years ago. Muhammad gave order to Uthman b Affan , his son-in-law to cut off the head of al-Harith.
Hazrat Uthman beheaded al-Harith at the gate of the mosque, right in front of Muhammad.
The success at Badr II was seen as a proof of Muhammad's divine claim. Now, the defeat at Uhud was subversive to his prophetic claims. The Jews started broadcasting this argument. Muhammad was now deeply concerned to regain his reputation and to re-invigorate his followers. He started to preach that the defeat at Uhud was due to the hypocrites. He claimed that Allah, in the oracle of Sura 3 told this truth to him. Then he proceeded to sift the true believers from the hypocrites by blaming those who stayed at home and did not join the Jihad at Uhud. Arguing that even if he died, his cause remained, he promised future success to his believers if they remained steadfast and be courageous. The cause itself was immortal and divine-- he was absolutely adamant. This exhortation had its intended effect on the true Jihadists, and they were now reassured. He was satisfied that he could really make his gullible believers accept any postulation that he fancied them to accept as true.
The Plunder of B. Asad ibn Khuzaymah at Katan in Nejd by Abu Salma b. Abd al Asad al-Makhzumi - April, 625CE
Bani Asad ibn Khuzaymah, the resident of Katan, in the vicinity of Fayd, where there was a spring, was a powerful tribe connected with the Quraysh. They resided near the hill of Katan in the Nejd. Muhammad, purportedly, received intelligence reports that they were planning a raid on Medina. So, he dispatched a force of one hundred men underthe leadershipofAbu Salma b. Abd al Asad al-Makhzumi to make a sudden attack on this tribe. On the first day of Muharram, while they were completely unprepared, Abd al-Asad, perpetrated an unprovoked terror raid on them and took their booty.
However, this terror operation was not a huge success. When the Jihadists arrived at the site, the victims fled and the Muslims found three herdsmen with a large herd of camels and goats. They took the camels and goats as booty, and the three herdsmen as prisoners. Then the booty, along with the three captives was brought to Medina. Muhammad took one of the prisoners (presumably as a slave) for himself, distributed the camels and cattle among the Jihadists keeping his due share of the plunder. This success in plunder restored some of the Muslim prestige that had been lost at Uhud. Abu Salamah did not live long after this raid due to the inflammation of the wound he received at Uhud.
In this connection it may be appropriate to mention that, as per Islamic rule on plunder, all the immovable booty must be taken out and removed from the site of plunder. It s unlawful, according to Islamic rule, not to take possession of infidel wealth after a successful plunder. On the rule on Ghanimah, (plunder), the Dictionary of Islam writes, "If the Imam, or the leader of the Muslim army, conquer a country by force of arms, he is at liberty to leave the land in possession of the original proprietors, provided they pay tribute, or he may divide it amongst the Muslims; but with regard to moveable property, it is unlawful for him to leave it in possession of the infidels, but he must bring it away with the army and divide it amongst the soldiers."
The Assassination of Sufyan ibn Khalid, the B. Lihyan Chief at Urana (the first attack on B. Lihyan) by Abd Allah b. Unays - April, 625CE
B. Lihyan, a branch of the powerful tribe of Hudhayl (a section of the Quraysh), inhabited the vicinity of Mecca. When the terrors of Muhammad's Jihadists became unbearable, they rallied around their chief, Khalid ibn Sufyan al-Hudhayli at Urana to follow up the late victory at Uhud.
Four days after the plunder at Katan (i.e., on the fifth day of Muharram) Muhammad learned that Sufyan b Khalid (or Khalid b. Sufyan, there is controversy on this) was collecting people at Nakhla to make an attack on him. So, he called Abdullah b. Unays to go to Nakhla or Urana on a mission to kill ibn Khalid. When Abdullah b. Unays wanted a description of his victim, Muhammad replied, "When you will see him, you will be frightened and bewildered and you will recall Satan." Abd Allah b. Unays said that he was not afraid of ibn Khalid; but to assassinate him, he (Abd Allah) would have to resort to lies and deceit. He sought Muhammad's permission to tell lies, and to commit the act of deception. Muhammad unhesitatingly permitted him to do so. Abd Allah b. Unays prayed to Allah before going on this murder mission. He spent almost eighteen days to find a way to infiltrate ibn Khalid's newly recruited army. Then he found ibn Khalid in a halting place. When he met him, he bowed his head, pretending to be a respectful follower of ibn Khalid. When ibn Khalid asked about Abd Allah's identity, Abd Allah said that he was an Arab and wanted to join as a volunteer in ibn Khalid's force against Muhammad. Sufyan b. Khalid trusted him and provided him with shelter. Then, once, while conversing, Abd Allah b. Unays walked a short distance with ibn Khalid, and when an opportunity came he struck him with his sword and killed him. After killing ibn Khalid, he cut off his head, brought that to Muhammad, and while he (Muhammad) was at his mosque, threw the head of ibn Khalid at Muhammad's feet. When he told Muhammad the details of his act of assassination, Muhammad praised him and gave him, as his reward, a stick as a sign between him and Abd Allah on the resurrection day. Abd Allah fastened the stick with his sword, and it remained with him until his death. When he died, the stick was buried with him.
This assassination had the effect of silencing the Banu Lihyan, for some time. But another branch of B.Lihyan wanted to take revenge of the murder of their leader Sufyan ibn Khalid.
The Mishap at al-Rajii - May or July, 625CE
This is an important episode in the early history of Islam. In this episode of terror and murder we have a clear glimpse of a terribly violent society of the savage Bedouin Arabs. Spilling blood was almost a routine affair in that barbaric culture, no matter who initiated it or who was in the wrong or right. As you read this chilling episode of 'peaceful' Islam, recall the seemingly unstoppable violence that is perpetrated around the globe by the Islamic Jihadists. There are several versions of this story-making it difficult to ascertain its verity. Here is the version that I compiled, mainly from the version of Tabari and Ibn Ishaq. Variations are indicated with appropriate references.
Immediately after the Uhud battle, a group of men from Adal and al-Qarah came to Muhammad; requested him to send with them a few instructors to teach Islam to their people who had embraced Islam. Muhammad readily agreed to this, and promptly sent six men (or ten men as per Ibn Sa'd) with them. In reality, those emissaries were sent by the B. Lihyan people who wanted to avenge the killing of their chief, Sufyan b. Khalid al-Hudhayli (refer to Terror 24). Those emissaries were paid agents of B. Lihyan. Among the six teachers of Islam selected by Muhammad was Asim b. Thabit, the brother of B. Amr b. Awf; Marthad b. Abi Marthad (or Asim b. Thabit as per Ibn Sa'd) was appointed the head of this delegation.
When the Muslim party arrived at al-Raji, the delegation took rest for the night. The Adal and Qarah, in connivance with the Hudhayl, the owner of the watering place, made a completely surprise attack with swords on the six Muslims to extract money from them. They promised not to kill them, but to derive money as ransom. However, the Muslims refused to believe the promise of the polytheists and fought back. All the Muslims, except Zayd b. al-Dathinnah, Khubyab b. Adi and Abd Allah b. Tariq were killed. These three Muslims surrendered and were taken as prisoners to be sold in Mecca. After killing Asim b. Thabit, Hudhayl wanted to sell his head to Sulafah bt. Sad b. Shuhayd, for, she had vowed to drink from the skull of Asim b. Thabit. This was in retribution for the killing of her sons (remember? her two sons, Musafi and Julas were killed by Asim b. Thabit at Uhud) at Uhud. They could not cut off the head of Asim b. Thabit, as hornets (?) protected it and Allah sent a flood in the wadi that carried away Asim's body!It is claimed that Asim vowed that no polytheist should ever touch his body nor would he touch any polytheist's body.
When the party, along with the three captives arrived at al-Zahran, Abd Allah b. Tariq attempted to escape, but his captors killed him by stoning. The other two prisoners were taken to Mecca and sold there as slaves. Hujayr b. Abi Ihab bought Khubayb on behalf of Uqbah b. al-Harith, so that Uqbah can kill Khubyab in revenge for his father's killing at Uhud. Safwan b. Umayyah bought Zayd b. al-Dathinah to be killed in revenge for the killing of his father Umayyah b. Khalaf in Badr II.
Islamic historian, such as Ibn Ishak claims that Khubyab was a trusty slave because he did not do any harm to a minor boy of the al-Harith family while the boy was with him and Khubayab had a blade with him to shave his hair. Later, the mother of the little boy vouched that she had never encountered a captive as virtuous as Khubyab. Of course, these are exaggerated stories that are better left for the readers to judge. Khubayb was kept in jail while waiting to be crucified and remained imprisoned until the sacred months had passed, and then the Quraysh killed him.
During his execution time at Ka'ba, Khubyab presumably asked to be allowed to pray two prostrations. He was allowed to offer his prayer and this became the tradition for those Muslims who are about to be executed.
The prayer over, Abu Sirwaah b. al-Harith b. Amir took Khubyab out and beheaded him.
The other captive Zayd b. al-Dathinah was given to Safwan's servant, Nastas for execution .Before the killing of Zayd b. al-Dathinah, Abu Sufyan wanted to spare his life in exchange for the life of Muhammad. But Zayd's love for Muhammad was so great that he did not want Muhammad to be hurt even by a thorn prick. In the end, Nistas killed Zayd b.Dathinah.
Muhammad and the Muslim community were greatly saddened by the news of the death of those six Jihadists. Hassan ibn Thabit, the Muslim poet composed a poem in their memory. Muhammad was alarmed to fear the deterioration of Muslim prestige in case such events were to repeat. To counter such fear Allah promptly sent down His assurance in verse 2:204.
When the news of the kidnap and selling of those two slaves reached Muhammad, he immediately dispatched Abu Kurayb to the Quraysh as a spy. It is claimed that he untied Khubyab's dead body from the cross. It is also claimed that the dead body of Khubyab fell on the ground and disappeared forever
Attempt on the Liife of Abu Sufyan b. Harb by 'Amr b. Umayyah al-Damri - July, 625CE
After the killing of Khubayb (after the affair at al-Rajii) and his companion, Muhammad commissioned the service of Amr b. Umayyah al-Damri, a professional killer, along with an Ansar to murder Abu Sufyan b. Harb. It is also claimed that during this ruction Abu Sufyan also sent an assassin to kill Muhammad. The Muslims caught the assassin and he pleaded for his life. Muhammad forgave him and he embraced Islam. But Muhammad wanted to take revenge on Abu Sufyan. So he sent out a two-man assassin squad led by the hired killer Amr b. Umayyah, having instructed Amr to kill Abu Sufyan stealthily when he (Abu Sufyan) is resting or retiring. These two desperado Jihadists set out, riding a camel. As per Tabari, the Ansar had a foot problem. They went riding the camel to the valley of Yajaj where they decided that Amr would go to Abu Sufyan's house to assassinate him. If there was a commotion, or if there was any danger, then the Ansari would immediately return to Muhammad for reporting and further instructions. Amr's mission to kill Abu Sufyan was not a success so he returned to his Ansari companion.
They entered Ka'ba and did the Hajj rituals. While exiting, a man (Muawiyah, as per Ibn Sa'd) recognised Amr b. Umaya and cried out; for, Amr was a violent and unruly fellow. So, the Ka'ba people got up to pursue Amr. Amr and his Ansari companion then took to the heel and climbed the mountain and went into a cave where they spent the night, thus eluding the Meccans. While they were in the cave, one Quraysh went there to cut grass for his donkey. He went to the very proximity of the cave, where Amr had taken sanctuary. Amr came out of his cave and stabbed the Quraysh for no reason. The Quraysh's shrill voice attracted the attention of other Meccans searching for Amr. When the Meccans came to the rescue of the mortally wounded Qurasyh, he told them that Amr had stabbed him; then he died. The Meccans were so occupied with the dead Quraysh that they had no time to look for Amr. After two days of stay in the cave, Amr and his companion went out, and when they reached al-Tanim they found the cross of Khubayb. A guard was watching the cross. Apprehending that the Ansari man was frightened, Amr advised him to mount the camel, return to Muhammad and report the story to him. Amr alone went to the cross, untied the corpse of Khubyab and carried it on his back. But the Meccans soon found him out. So, Amr immediately threw down the corpse of Khubyab, ran for his life and took the road to al-Safra, managing to escape the Meccan chasers. His Ansari companion mounted the camel, returned to Muhammad and narrated him what had happened.
Amr continued on his foot until he came to another cave and took shelter there with his bows and arrows. A one-eyed man (a shepherd) of B. al-Dil came to this snuggery. Amr lied to him that he was a man from B. Bakr (Quraysh's ally). The one-eyed man also admitted that he was from B. Bakr. Then the one-eyed man lay down beside Amr and sang a song indicating that he would never become a Muslim as long as he lived. This angered Amr and he waited to finish off the one-eyed shepherd. As soon as the shepherd (the one-eyed man) slept, Amr got up and killed the one-eyed man in the most a horrible way. He put the end of his arrow in his sound eye; bore it down until it was forced out at the back of his neck. After this gory killing of the Bedouin shepherd, Amr rushed out of the cave and ran to a nearby village, then to Rakubah and finally to al-Naqi. While there, he spotted two Meccan spies who were sent to watch on Muhammad. Amr asked them to surrender. One of them refused, so Amr killed him with his arrow. The other Meccan surrendered; Amr tied him up and took him to Muhammad.
When Amr returned to Muhammad with the Meccan prisoner, Muhammad blessed Amr for a job well done.
The Affairs of Bir Maunah - July, 625CE
This episode is indeed a tragic one for the Muslims. It involved the slaying of forty (as per Ibn Ishaq) or seventy of Muslim missionary by the infidels. Nonetheless, when we review the past activities of what havoc and terror Muhammad perpetrated on those who did not believe in him, it is quite clear-cut to guess that Muhammad was simply asking for such retribution from his victims. After all, no sane person can remain sober and peaceful in the face of Muhammad's unrelenting foray of terror, torture, political assassination, war mongering, highway robbery-etc. It was time for the infidels to get even and teach Muhammad a lesson that he had been asking for.
When I consulted several Islamic sources on the details of this episode, I found quite conflicting and confusing narrations. Here is the best way that I could summarize this important event of early Islam.
Four months after the Uhud battle, and following the return of the hired assassin Amr b. Umayyah, Abu Bara, the aged chief of the delegation of B. Amir b. Sasaah came to Muhammad and presented him with a gift. Abu Bara stayed in Medina. Muhammad declined to accept that gift because it was from a polytheist and asked Abu Bara to embrace Islam. Abu Bara declined, although he acknowledged certain good points of Islam. He requested Muhammad to send some Muslims to the people of Najd to call them to Islam. At first, Muhammad was quite apprehensive of this, as he feared that some harm might befall on these Muslim missionaries. On Muhammad's hesitation, Abu Bara guaranteed the safety of the emissaries of Muhammad. So Muhammad sent forty Islamic preachers (some say seventy), making al-Mundhir b. Amr as the chief of this missionary team. It is claimed that they were the best of Muslims among Muhammad's companions.
These new missionaries (expert Qur'an reciters) rode on horses until they arrived at the well of Bir Maunah. Bir Maunah lies between the territories of B. Amir and B. Sulaym. At Bir Maunah, the Muslims sent a messenger with a letter of Muhammad to Amir b. Tufayl, the cousin of Abu Bara and the chief of B. Amir. When the messenger met Amir b. Tufayl, the latter immediately killed him without even opening the letter of Muhammad. Amir b. Tufayl then requested the B. Amir people to help him fight the Muslims. They refused to entertain his request, as they were reluctant to betray the promise of safety by Abu Bara to the Muslims. So, Amir b. Tufayl took the help of B. Sulaym against the Muslims. Together, they attacked the Muslims. The Muslims fought back, but in the end, all of them were killed except for Ka'b b. Zayd. He was at the point of death when the enemy left him. He survived and somehow managed to return to Medina.
Sahih Bukhari records this incidence in this Hadith:
Volume 2, Book 16, Number 116:
I asked Anas bin Malik about the Qunut. Anas replied, "Definitely it was (recited)". I asked, "Before bowing or after it?" Anas replied, "Before bowing." I added, "So and so has told me that you had informed him that it had been after bowing." Anas said, "He told an untruth (i.e. "was mistaken," according to the Hijazi dialect). Allah's Apostle recited Qunut after bowing for a period of one month." Anas added, "The Prophet sent about seventy men (who knew the Quran by heart) towards the pagans (of Najd) who were less than they in number and there was a peace treaty between them and Allah's Apostles (but the Pagans broke the treaty and killed the seventy men). So Allah's Apostle recited Qunut for a period of one month asking Allah to punish them."
When the news of this massacre reached Muhammad, he was greatly grieved and sent Amr b. Umayyah (the professional killer, remember?) and an Aansar to investigate the whole matter. They approached the area and discovered the killing of the Muslims by the swirling vultures in the sky. They witnessed the Muslims lying in blood and their killers standing by. In anger they resorted to fight. The perpetrators killed the Ansar in no time and took Amr b. Umayyah as a prisoner. But soon he was released by Amir b. Tufayl due to distant kinship. Before releasing Amr, Amir cut off his forelock.
Upon his release from Amir b. Tufayl, Amr b. Umayyah traveled towards Medina. On his way he stopped at Qarkarat, an oasis where he met two men of B. Amir who halted next to Amr b. Umayyah. B. Amir had a treaty of protection with Muhammad that Amr b. Umayyah was unaware of. When they were asleep, Amr rushed and killed these two men of B. Amir thinking that he had taken his revenge. When Muhammad learned what Amr had done he told Amr that he (Muhammad) had to pay the blood money. Muhammad blamed the whole episode of slaughter to Abu Bara. When Abu Bara heard of what had previously been suspected, he was greatly remorseful at the betrayal of Amir b. Tufayl.
One may legitimately ask why only Muhammad had to pay blood money for the killing of the two people of B. Amir but he (Muhammad) received no blood money for the killing of the Muslim missionaries? Tabari explains this seemingly confusing rule on blood money in a footnote. He writes:
"Muhammad had to pay blood money for the murder of two men of b Amir because of the compact he had with them. He could not claim blood money for the Muslims as presumably the B. Sulaym killed them even if Amir b. Tufayl had asked the B. Sulaym to do so."
On the slaying of Muslim missionaries, Hassan b. Thabit (Muhammad's personal poet) composed a passionate poem on the sad demise of them and incited the sons of Abu Bara against Amir b. al-Tufayl. When Rabiah, the son of Abu Bara heard the words of Hassan b. Thabit, he attacked Amir b. al-Tufayl with his lance but failed to kill him. Amir put the blame on his uncle Abu Bara and vowed to take revenge either himself or by other people, should he die.
Naturally, Muhammad was extremely crestfallen at the Bir Maunah affair. His followers were deeply demoralized at this tragedy. To boost their morale Allah quickly sent down verse 3:169-173, in which He declared that the Jihadists do not die; they live, finding their sustenance with Him. It is said that Allah released another verse in which the slain Jihadists informed their people that they had met Allah; but the verse was, later, abrogated. Mubarakpuri, sourcing from Islamic authorities, quotes this abrogated verse thus: "Inform our people that we have met our Lord. He is pleased with us and He has made us pleased." It is not known why Allah suddenly changed His mind and ostensibly abrogated this verse. Nowhere in the Qur'an the abrogation of any such verse is mentioned!
Muhammad now started a campaign to collect blood money from the Muslims and their Jewish allies. As the Jews were much wealthier than the Muslims, Muhammad devised a clever plan to extract this blood money from the Jews of B. Nadir, who were living in their sanctuary that was not very far off from the Muslims' quarter. Muhammad had already made up his mind to expel this group of Jews and appropriate their land and property, to not only to pay blood money, but also to enrich his downhearted Jihadists who were absolutely dispirited at the tragedy of Bir Maunah. He had to do something urgently to placate and to lift their morale and to save his prestige and clout among his fanatic believers. His experience with B. Qaynuqa (read Terror 14) had already taught him how simple it was to terrorize an entire section of infidel population, steal their land and property with impunity and without the slightest of any compunction. Muhammad was now poised to use terror again to his full advantage.
Joined: 10 Aug 2010
|Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:27 am Post subject:
The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style
by Abul Kasem
20 Nov, 2005
'One man's faith is another man's delusion'---Dr. Anthony Storr (1920-2001)
The Ethnic Cleansing of B. Nadir Jews from Medina by Muhammad - July, 625CE
Bani Nadir Jews inhabited the fertile land in the vicinity of Medina. They were prosperous Jews, having vast tracts of land, on which they cultivated date palms. They were in confederation with the B. Amir people. As mentioned previously (CH. 7), Muhammad went to the Bani Nadir Jews to raise the blood money to be paid for the killing of two men of B. Amir, whom the professional killer, Amr b. Umayya al-Damri had killed by mistake.
So, Muhammad, with a few of his followers, including, Abu Bakr, Ali and Umar visited the village of B. Nadir, two or three miles away from Medina and requested the chief of B. Nadir to refund the blood money that he had already paid. The B. Nadir Jews received Muhammad courteously, asked him to sit down while they attentively listened to his demand and agreed to honor Muhammad's request. Muhammad was quite unhappy when the B. Nadir readily agreed to his demand. In reality, he was expecting the B. Nadir Jews to reject his demand, so that he could have a good pretext to attack them and seize their land and property.
After agreeing to Muhammad's demand for blood money, the B. Nadir Jews went for a private discussion among themselves. This unnerved Muhammad. While he was sitting by the wall of a house, he thought that B. Nadir Jews were plotting to kill him. He claimed that B. Nadir Jews wanted to kill him by dropping a stone from top of the house. As usual, he pretended that Gabriel gave him this information. So, he suddenly stood up and left the place, as if to answer the call of nature asking others, including Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali not to leave the place until he returned. When his companions found that Muhammad's return was very much delayed, they went out looking for him. On their way to Medina they met a man who told them he saw Muhammad was headed for Medina. When they met Muhammad at Medina, he told them his perception of treachery by B. Nadir and asked the Muslims to prepare to fight the B. Nadir.
With clear war and invasion of Jewish property in mind, Muhammad asked another of his professional assassins, Muhammad ibn Maslamah (remember? He murdered Ka'b b. Ashraf, see Terror 17, CH. 5) to go to the Banu Nadir Jews to announce to them the ultimatum to vacate Medina. He gave the Jews ten days to evacuate Medina and, if after this deadline any Jew was seen in the area, he would be killed---the ultimatum said. The B. Nadir Jews were startled with this sudden change of heart of Muhammad. They could not believe it coming from a person like Muhammad who claimed to be the messenger of Allah. They were more surprised that Muhammad ibn Maslamah, who was hitherto very much on friendly terms with the Jews had to serve them the ultimatum. When the B. Nadir Jews expressed their dismay at the action of Muhammad b. Maslamah, he said, " Hearts have changed, and Islam has wiped out the old covenants."
When Abd Allah ibn Ubayy learned about the precarious situation of the B. Nadir Jews, he sent the message to them that he himself would be coming to their assistance with two thousand Jewish and Arab fighters. But the Banu Nadir Jews recalled that the same person promised to help the Banu Qaynuqa Jews, but in the end, betrayed. So, the Banu Nadir Jews, at first, decided towards removing themselves to Khaybar or nearby. They thought that they could still come to Yathrib (Medina) to harvest their crops and then return to their fortresses at Khaybar. Huyayy ibn Akhtab, their leader finally resolved against this view. He decided to send a message to Muhammad, declining his order of expulsion,. entered in their fortified fortresses, stocked them with enough supplies to last up to a year and got ready to defend themselves. So, no Jew left Medina after the expiry of the ten days ultimatum. Muhammad now had the most legitimate reason to besiege the Jews.
Accordingly, when Muhammad ibn Maslamah returned to Medina with the news of the Jews, Muhammad, the Prophet immediately gave order to his fanatic Jihadists in his mosque to arm themselves and march forward to lay a siege on the fortresses of B. Nadir Jews. A band of Muslims, with Muhammad as their leader started marching against B. Nadir who had already taken shelter in their formidable fortresses. In the beginning, the Jews attacked the Muslim besiegers with arrows and stones and held out gallantly. Although not unexpected, they were greatly disappointed when no help came from Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, nor from any other previously trusted sources. The siege lasted for fifteen or twenty days, and Muhammad became very impatient. At last, to hasten their surrender, Muhammad, in contravention of the revered laws of Arab warfare, cut down the surrounding date trees and burned them. When the Jews protested about the breaking of sacrosanct Arab laws on warfare, he demanded a special revelation from Allah (59:4) that was promptly sent down, sanctioning the destruction of enemy's palm trees. In this verse Allah gave generous permission to the Muslims to cut down the palm trees: it was not a destruction but the vengeance from Allah, and to humble the evil doers that is to say, it is alright to cut down cultivated land and burn crops in a war. The Muslim poet (or the war correspondent of those days) Hassan b. Thabit enjoyed this gutting of the livelihood of the B. Nadir Jews and composed lyrics on this savage acts of the Jihadists.. Here is a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari that describes Hassan's mood :
Volume 3, Book 39, Number 519:
The Prophet got the date palm trees of the tribe of Bani-An-Nadir burnt and the trees cut down at a place called Al-Buwaira . Hassan bin Thabit said in a poetic verse: "The chiefs of Bani Lu'ai found it easy to watch fire spreading at Al-Buwaira."
After Muhammad destroyed their only source of livelihood, the B. Nadir found their case completely hopeless, and finding no other alternative, they decided to surrender and abandon their lands. In exchange for this, they wanted Muhammad to spare their lives, on which he agreed, on condition that they could only take those of their property that they could carry on their camels. He stipulated that the Jews must surrender their arms. They were allowed to carry whatever they could stock upon their camels. The Jews agreed to comply with those humiliating conditions, loaded six hundred camels with their goods and departed from their ancestral land with fanfare, din and alacrity. Some of them, with their chiefs Huyey, Sallam and Kinana went to Khaybar. The rest of them went to Jericho and the highlands of south Syria. Only two of them embraced Islam. They were given back their land and all of their properties.
[ Note: The Sharia Law (Islamic Law) on destruction of enemy properties states:
It is permissible in Jihad to cut down the enemy trees and destroy their dwellings.
Once the expulsion of B. Nadir Jews was complete, Muhammad took over the ownership of their property making it his personal chattel that he could dispose of as he wished. He claimed that the spoils of B. Nadir belonged to Allah and to him exempting the land from the usual law of distribution of booty because it was gained without actually fighting. He divided the land according to his discretion, choosing the best lots for himself. With the exception of two Medina citizens (Ansar) the whole of B. Nadir lands were distributed among the refugees (Muhajirs). In this way the refugees became independent and affluent. Muhammad, Abu Bakr, Umar, Zubayr and the other chief companions of Muhammad acquired valuable estates. The other booty consisted of fifty armors coats, fifty stand of armor and three hundred and fifty swords. Thus, the expulsion of B. Nadir Jews was a great material success for Muhammad. An entire sura (Sura 59:al- Hashr) relates to the affair of B. Nadir, where Allah says that the B. Nadir Jews were subdued by the striking of terror in their hearts. Terror, duly sanctioned by Allah, thus became a legitimate weapon in the arsenal of Muhammad.
On the success of this terror and plunder, Hussain Haykal writes that this was the biggest prize to the Muslims. These booties were not divided among the Muslims as war booty. They were all considered as a trust which Muhammad divided among the early emigrants after putting away some for the purposes of the poor and the deprived. Thus, the necessary economic support of the Muhajirun by al-Ansar was alleviated for the first time. The Muhajirun now acquired as much wealth as their hosts.
Continuing further, Hussain Haykal comments:
After the expulsion of the B. Nadir Jews, Muhammad distributed their lands to the Mohajirs and with this, they were quite satisfied with their new lands. The Ansars were equally happy that they no longer had to support the Mohajirs.
In this way, Muhammad became quite a rich man in Medina and the migrant Muslims found a permanent means of their livelihood.
Until the exit of B.Nadir Jews from Medina, Muhammad's secretary was a Jew. Muhammad chose him because of his ability to write letters in Hebrew and Syriac as well as in Arabic. After the evacuation of Banu Nadir Jews, Muhammad no longer trusted a non-Muslim to write his letters. So, he engaged Zayd ibn Thabit, a Medinese youth to learn the two languages, and appointed him as his secretary for all affairs. Zayd ibn Thabit also collected/compiled the Qur'an during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Uthman.
Muhammad claimed that B. Nadir property was a special gift from Allah to him. He sold B. Nadir booty to purchase arms, horses, provision for his wives and used the B. Nadir property to support his wives. Here is a Hadith in support of the actions of Muhammad from Sahih Bukahri:
Volume 6, Book 60, Number 407:
The properties of Bam An-Nadir were among the booty that Allah gave to His Apostle such Booty were not obtained by any expedition on the part of Muslims, neither with cavalry, nor with camelry. So those properties were for Allah's Apostle only, and he used to provide thereof the yearly expenditure for his wives, and dedicate the rest of its revenues for purchasing arms and horses as war material to be used in Allah's Cause.
Here is another Hadith from Sunaan Abu Dawud about Muhammad's exclusive rights on the annexed properties of B. Nadir, Fadak and Khaybar:
Book 19, Number 2961:
Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab:
Malik ibn Aws al-Hadthan said: One of the arguments put forward by Umar was that he said that the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) received three things exclusively to himself: Banu an-Nadir, Khaybar and Fadak. The Banu an-Nadir property was kept wholly for his emergent needs, Fadak for travellers, and Khaybar was divided by the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) into three sections: two for Muslims, and one as a contribution for his family. If anything remained after making the contribution of his family, he divided it among the poor Emigrants.
Once again, we note that terrorism had really paid a huge dividend to Muhammad and his horde of fanatic Jihadists.
Many Islamists often claim that 'There is no compulsion in religion' (2:256) to portray the religious freedom in Islam. However, they cleverly avoid the context of this verse. This verse relates to some Muslim children who were raised as Jews with the B. Nadir. This happened, because during those days, many Muslims who had difficulty in having children used to vow that if Allah gave them any child they would make that child a Jew and raise the child with the Jews. When Muhammad performed his ethnic cleansing on the Jews of B. Nadir, the Muslim parents of these children asked him about what should they do with their children. Muhammad permitted these children to remain Jews by saying 'There should be no compulsion in religion.' Therefore, the verse 2:256 has no relevance with religious freedom whatsoever.
Here is a Hadith from Sunaan Abu Dawud on this matter:
Book 14, Number 2676:
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
When the children of a woman (in pre-Islamic days) did not survive, she took a vow on herself that if her child survives, she would convert it a Jew. When Banu an-Nadir were expelled (from Arabia), there were some children of the Ansar (Helpers) among them. They said: We shall not leave our children. So Allah the Exalted revealed; "Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error."
Raid Against B. Ghatafan at Dhat al-Riqa by Muhammad - October, 625CE
After the expulsion of the B. Nadir Jews, Muhammad stayed in Medina for two months. Then he received the news that certain tribes of B. Ghatafan were assembling at Dhat al Riqa with suspicious purposes. The Ghatafan were an Arabian tribe, descended from Qais. Muhammad, proceeding up to Nakhl led an expedition against the B. Muhamrib and the B. Thalabah, a sub-clan of the Ghatafan. This is called the expedition of Dhat al-Riqa'(the patchwork of mountain) because the mountain after which it was named had black, white and red patches on it. He made a surprise raid on them with four hundred (or seven hundred) men to disperse them. The Ghatafan fled to the mountains, leaving their women behind. No fighting took place but Muhammad attacked their habitations and carried all their women off including a very pretty girl. When the prayer time came, the Muslims were terrified that the Ghatafan men might descend from their mountain hideout and make a sudden attack on them while they were praying. Apprehending this fear, Muhammad introduced the 'service of prayer of danger.' In this system, a party of faithful stands guard while the other party prays. Then they take turns. The public prayer is thus repeated twice. A revelation came from Allah on this provision (4:100-102) regarding shortening of a prayer.
While Muhammad was resting under the shade of a tree at Dhat al-Riqa, a polytheist man came to him with the intention of killing him. The man was playing with Muhammad's sword and pointed it to Muhammad; asked him if he was afraid of him or not. Muhammad claimed that Allah would protect him and that he was not afraid at all. The would-be assassin then sheathed the sword and returned it to Muhammad. On this occasion Allah revealed verse 5:11, proclaiming His unflinching protection for Muhammad whenever someone stretches his hand out for his life. After fifteen days Muhammad returned to Medina. But he was not at peace; he apprehended that the B. Ghatafan might make a sudden attack to reclaim their women.
Surprisingly, the Sirah (biography of Muhammad) is completely silent about what happened to those captured women of Ghatafan. I searched most of the well-known Islamic sources, but they are as mute as a fish. However, if I have to go by the Islamic rules then I am pretty certain that those women were awarded to the Jihadists to be enjoyed or sold as slaves to raise money for war as per the booty rules
The Expedition for Badr III by Muhammad - January, 626CE
As per the appointment at Uhud (see Terror 21, CH. 6), the forces of Mecca and Medina were to meet again at Badr within a year. That time soon arrived. This was a year of great drought. Abu Sufyan b. Harb thought it to be unwise to set out for a war in this year of famine and desired that the appointment be deferred to a year of plenty. He sent an emissary, Nuaym, to Medina who exaggerated the preparation of the Meccans. Abu Sufyan did that hoping that this exaggeration might dissuade the Muslims who still had in mind, the terrible defeat at Uhud. The Quraysh, however, marched from Mecca with two thousand foot soldiers and fifty horses. Abu Sufyan went out of Mecca as far as Usfan, then decided to go back after two days of marching, because he could not find a good pasture, the year being a year of severe drought. The Meccan army was reduced to live on flour and water only. Hence this is also known as the expedition of Sawick (barley porridge).
The report of Nuaym greatly alarmed the Muslims of Medina. Many of them were reluctant to meet the formidable enemy again. But Muhammad decided to go forth. He gathered fifteen hundred men and prepared for the march to Badr. This was the third time that the two armies were presumably to meet at Badr. The Muslims arrived at Badr and encamped there for eight days. They carried a lot of wares with them in anticipation of a fair there. When they arrived at Badr they found no Quraysh army there. Muhammad waited for the rendezvous with Abu Sufyan b. Harb. When this did not materialise he met Makashi b. Amr al-Damri and expressed his intention of dissolving their treaty of peace, if B. Damri people desired. Actually, Muhammad wanted to wage a war on this tribal people as he felt he was strong enough to terrorize smaller tribes. But the Damri people decided to keep the treaty of peace with him.
The Muslim army bartered their wares, made good profit and returned to Medina. Muhammad was much pleased with this expedition and took that as a sign of Allah. He received the revelation 3:172-175 regarding Satan casting fear in the mind of Muhammad.
When the Quraysh heard of Muhammad's rejoice, they were greatly mortified, fearing further terrorism from him. They began to plan another grand attack against Muhammad. It took them a year to plan and execute the attack. During this period Muhammad had a little respite.
First Raid at Dumat al-Jandal byMuhammad - July, 626CE
In the summer of 626CE Muhammad purportedly received intelligence reports that the Ghatafan tribe, once again, had mobilised troops at Dumat al-Jandal to launch an attack on him. Dumat al-Jandal is an oasis on the frontier between Hijaz and al-Sham, midway between the Red sea and the Persian Gulf.on the borders of Syria. A severe drought during this time caused famine in this area. Without wasting any time, Muhammad immediately made a raid on this band of Ghatafan tribe and captured their herd grazing in the neighbourhood. He led this expedition with an army of one thousand men and reached the confines of Syria. No fighting took place as the B. Ghatafan fled without giving any opposition. The Muslims returned to Medina with the booty. This expedition greatly enhanced the lust for plunder in the hearts of Muhammad's men. On his way back, Muhammad entered into a truce with Uyanah b. Hisn, the leader of B. Fazarah, a powerful part of Ghatafan, so that Uyanah b. Hisn b. Hudhayfah could pasture his herds in the nearby territory of Taghlaman, controlled by Muhammad as Uyanah's territory was afflicted with drought. The land at Taghlaman was lush with pasturage due to rain there.
Joined: 10 Aug 2010
|Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:30 am Post subject:
The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style
by Abul Kasem
20 Nov, 2005
'Among the forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous'---George Eliot (1819-1880)
The Battle of the Trench Led by Muhammad - February, 627CE
After the successful raids for booty, Muslims in Medina felt safe and secure. Their need was largely ameliorated by the swag they acquired through these plunders. Muhammad became militarily strong by the forced evacuation of Banu Qaynuqua and Banu Nadir Jews from their ancestral lands in Medina. However, Muhammad was always cautious, lest the enemy strike without notice. And true to his fear, the enemy did strike him no sooner than he was relaxing with his booty and the new found military might. When the winter season came, the Quraysh prepared for an attack against Muhammad. This was the battle of the Trench or the battle of Ahzab (the confederates).
This battle took place in February, 627 (Shawal, AH 5). The major cause of this battle was the expulsion, or the ethnic cleansing of the B. Nadir Jews from Medina.
After the expulsion of the B. Qaynuqa and the B. Nadir Jews from Medina, the exiled leaders of the Jews, like Salam b. Abi al-Huqayq al-Nadri, Huyayy b. Akhtab al-Nadri, Kinanah b. al-Rabi b. Abi al-Huqayq- etc. went to Mecca and met with the Quraysh leaders and formed a confederation to fight a menacing Muhammad. At first, the Quraysh were skeptical about the Jews as the Jewish religion was quite close to Islam. They asked the Jews about whose religion was better-the paganism or the Islam? The Jews answered that the Quraysh's religion (i.e., paganism) was better than that of Muhammad's new brand of monotheism. This pleased the Quraysh, and they accepted unhesitatingly the Jews as their allay. On this, Allah revealed 4:51-55, denouncing the Jews for upholding paganism and He promised hell to the Jews.
Being satisfied with the Jewish leaders, the Quraysh were now ready to strike a mortal blow to Muhammad and his horde of fanatical Jihadists. Having secured the agreement of the Quraysh, the Jewish leaders approached the Ghatafan and a few other tribes around Mecca and convinced them to launch an attack in confederation with the Quraysh. Thus, the Quraysh, under the leadership of Abu Sufyan b. Harb and the Ghatafan, under the leadership of Uyanah b. Hisn b. Hudhayfah (see Terror 31, CH. 8) marched out for Medina. Some biographers list Uyanah as the leader of B. Fazarah tribe, B. Fazarah being a sub-clan of the Ghatafan. The other tribes that joined them were: B. Murrah and Masud b. Rukhaylah from Ashja tribe. The Quraysh themselves brought four thousand soldiers including three hundred horses, and fifteen hundred camels. The entire Meccan force was of ten thousand men. They marched in three separate camps. The general commander was Abu Sufyan b. harb. The flag of the battle was assigned to Uthman ibn Talhah whose father was killed in the battle of Uhud.
Soon this news of a planned attack reached Muhammad. He was quite unprepared for this sudden attack from the Quraysh and its allies. The experience of Uhud was still fresh in the minds of the Muslims. Another battle against the Quraysh was out of the question.
Sensing profound trouble, Muhammad convened a conclave of his trusted lieutenants. In this meeting, Salman, the Persian convert, suggested digging a trench around Medina to protect it from the impending attack of the Meccans. He had been a Christian captive of Mesopotamia, bought by a Jew from the Bani Kalb. Then he was ransomed and converted to Islam. He was familiar with this mode of defence of a city in other countries. This was a completely new strategy that Arabia had never practiced. Muhammad and his followers readily adopted this great strategy of defence. The work consisted of digging a deep trench, probably ten yards (thirty feet) wide and five yards (fifteen feet) deep, three and half mile long all around the city of Medina. For a speedy completion, the work was divided between various clans.
Muhammad now assembled his men to dig this trench and inspired them with the rewards of Paradise. It was the fasting month of Ramadan, and Muhammad hired the digging implements from the Jews of B. Qurayzah. Between one thousand to three thousand Muslims worked from dawn to dusk to complete the dry moat, and they all joined to face the formidable army of the Quraysh and its confederates that numbered ten thousand. Muhammad started cursing the Meccans, inviting Allahs wrath on them as narrated in Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 415:
Allah's Apostle said Al-Qunut for one month after the posture of Bowing, invoking evil upon some 'Arab tribes.
Some hypocrites joined in but they became sloppy and slipped away to be with their families without the permission of Muhammad. Nonetheless, the true believers kept going with dogged determination, halting intermittently just to join their families with permission from their spiritual leader. On this occasion Allah revealed 24:62, praising these true Jihadists and promising them His forgiveness. On the errant hypocrites, Allah revealed 24:63-64, disclosing that He knows about their secret. After working diligently for a few days (some say eight days), the diehard Muslims completed the trench surrounding Medina, ahead of the arrival of the Meccan troop. They were now very satisfied with the freshly dug dry trench, inspired by Salman, the Farsi. Each clan claimed that Salman belonged to their side. On this, Muhammad said, "Salman is one of us, the people of the Household (ahl al-bayt)."
The Muslim historians, Tabari and Ishak narrate the incredible story that while the trench was being dug, Allah caused a white rock to emerge from the bottom of the trench. Muhammad went down into the trench with Salman; struck the rock with his pick axe and a flash of lightning spread out that illuminated the two tracks of Medina's black mountains!
Muhammad explained this as the sign of Allah for Muslim's victory. He even claimed that that spark of lightning lit up the Byzanatine and Khusroo's (the Persian emperor) empire, meaning that he (Muhammad) would be victorious over them. Muhammad's harangue thus lifted up further, the sprit of the Muslim earth diggers. They were now absolutely confident that Allah had assured them a signal victory. Other miraculous stories about the increase in food supply when the Muslim army's provision ran out is told in Sahih Bukhari, such as Volume 5, Book 59, Number 428. For brevity and conciseness I refrain from quoting this lengthy Hadith.
But from the very beginning, the hypocrites were skeptical about Muhammad's claims and they tried to subdue the morale of the ardent Jihadists. On this, Allah's oracle came down in verse 33:12 revealing the diseased minds of the hypocrites.
The digging of the trench completed, on the eighth of Dzul Kada (March 2, 626 CE), the army of Medina was posted with the trench. The houses outside the town were evacuated and their residents were placed for security, on tops of the double-storied houses nearby the freshly dug trench. During this evacuation stage, the army of Mecca was reported to have advanced at Uhud. Muhammad's army was three thousand men and was posted across the road leading to Uhud, having the trench in front of them.
The Meccans, at first encamped at Uhud and finding no opposition there rapidly moved up the road to Medina. Soon, they arrived near the freshly dug trench, and was greatly surprised at the defense tactics of Muhammad. They were unable to come closer to the Medina quarters. So, they resorted to archery from a distance.
In the mean time, Huyayy b. Akhtab, the leader of the expelled B. Nadir Jews conferred with Ka'b b. Asad, the B. Qurayzah Jew's chief, to break the latter's contract of truce with Muhammad. At first, Ka'b refused to meet Huyayy, but finally relented to Huyayy's persistent pleading.
Huyayy then informed Ka'b about the mobilization of the Quraysh and the Ghatafan to confront Muhammad once and for all and urged Ka'b to repudiate all his treaty with Muhammad. He requested Ka'b's co-operation, promising him his unflinching support in case the Ghatafn and the Quraysh retreated without finishing off Muhammad. At first, Ka'b was hesitant to tow the line with Huyayy, but finally gave in when Huayayy vouched that in case of trouble, he (Huyayy) would move forthwith to Ka'b's fortress, so that, whatever befell K'ab would be his fate too. In this way Ka'b renounced his peace treaty with Muhammad and Huyayy moved in the fortress of B. Qurayzah Jews to stay with them.
When this news reached Muhammad, he sent his trusted Jihadist, Sa'd b. Muadh, along with a few of his elite companions to investigate stealthily about its veracity.
When the team of Sa'd b. Muadh met the B. Qurayzah Jew leader Ka'b b. Asad, he (Ka'b) immediately repudiated their treaty with Muhammad. He demanded that the Muslims return the Jews of Banu Nadir back to their former quarters in Medina. On this, Sa'd ibn Muadh, who was closely allied with the Banu Qurayzah Jews, warned them that something worse than Banu Nadir might befall the Banu Qurayzah in case they persisted on this betrayal of covenant with the Muslims. Nonetheless, even under such a dire threat from Sa'd b. Mudah, Ka'b refused to surrender to his demand.
So, a disappointed Sa'd b. Muadh returned to Muhammad and told him the extremely bad news. Muhammad took it as a treachery on the part of B. Qurayzah, and Allah immediately confirmed this in verse 33:20. However, please note that the B.Qurayzah were under no obligation to honor the treaty if they wanted, as Muhammad, in the past had broken many such treaties. Moreover, the B. Qurayzah Jews never intended to attack Muhammad, they simply negated the pact with Muhammad.
When Muhammad heard what Sa'd had to say, he was perturbed, no doubt, but showed no alarm; instead, he said, "God is greatest! Rejoice, people of the
Muslims!" This was, of course, designed to keep his army in shape and in good spirit. Allah promptly sent down verse 33:10, saying, "The enemy came upon them from above and from beneath-..". regarding the double danger (from top and bottom) facing the Muslims
Although, outwardly showing no alarm, Muhammad was quite frightful at the prospect of losing the war. He was in constant anxiety that the trench may be overcome and that the Jews might attack from behind. The people of Medina were greatly disappointed at that turn of the events. Many of his followers begged to be released to look after their properties that they had left behind. They considered Muhammad to be weak and helpless; questioned the divine assistance for him and apprehended that his promises of Khusroo's and Caesar's wealth were hollow. Now, they felt afraid to venture outside the confines of their city. Many of them claimed immunity from fighting, using the alibi that their houses were exposed to the enemy as expressed in verse 33:13.
The confederates and the Muslim soldiers stayed in their position for twenty days (or a month) facing each other across the trench without any fighting, except for shooting arrows at each other. On the Quraysh side were Khalid b. Walid and Wahshi, the Abyssinian Negro slave.
Becoming desperate with such a long drawn stalemate, Muhammad made a clever attempt to bribe the Ghatafan to desert the battlefield. Secretly, he sent an emissary to Uyanah b. Hisn, the leader of the Ghatafan (or Fazarah) and tempted him to accept his offer of one-third of the date harvest of Medina on condition that they remove themselves from the battlefield. Uyanah signaled his willingness to accept the deal and bargained the offer to one-half. However, when Muhammad disclosed this deal for the approval of B. Aws and B. Khazraj, they spurned it and offered nothing but sword to the confederates of the Quraysh. Muhammad's great confidante, Sa'd b. Muadh objected in offering such a generous gift to the Ghatafan. He promised to offer only sword to the Ghatafan, saying, "Messenger of God, we and these people used to be polytheists, associating [other divinities] with God and worshipping idols, and we neither worshipped God nor knew him, and they did not hope to a single date of ours except in hospitality or by buying. Now that God has conferred Islam on us, guided us to it, and strengthened us with your presence, shall we give them our wealth? We have no need for this! By God, we will offer them only the sword, until God judge between us and them." So, Muhammad reluctantly, dropped this bribery deal.
On the other side, the Quraysh army, despite their vast number, was very frustrated by the strong vigilance of the Muslim army. When this stand-off grew intolerable, a few of the Quraysh, among them, Ikrimah b. Abi Jahl (Abu Jahl was brutally murdered at Badr), commanded the confederates to prepare themselves for an attack. With this instruction, they advanced and when they reached near the freshly dug trench, they were totally taken aback at this innovative approach of defense that was never practiced in Arabia.They then made a general attack through a narrow and weakly guarded part of the trench. Ikrimah cleared the ditch and galloped in front of the enemy. Among the other Quraysh who crossed the trench was Amr b. Abd Wudd. Ibn Sa'd. reports that Amr was ninety years old! Ali rushed forward to confront the intruders. When he saw Amr, Ali called him to join Islam, but Amr readily declined. Then Ali challenged Amr to fight him, on which Amr passionately told Ali that he did not wish to kill his nephew (Ali was the son Amr's brother, Abu Talib). But Ali expressed his desire to kill Amr, his uncle. On this, an angry Amr jumped out of his horse and attacked Ali.
A duel ensued between Ali and Amr, in which Ali killed Amr. The rest of Amr's companions panicked and started to disperse. Ali managed to slaughter another polytheist, gravely injured yet another who managed to cross the trench, but later died of his wound at Mecca. Another Quraysh polytheist fell into the ditch while attempting to jump over the trench. He fell inside the deep trench. The marauding Muslim soldiers gathered at the site and pelted stone at him. When this hapless victim shrieked in pain, Ali went down and beheaded him. The Muslims took the corpse to Muhammad, seeking his permission to sell it. But Muhammad declined and instructed his Jihadists to do whatever they liked with the dead body. Nothing is known what the Jihadists did to the polytheist's corpse. It is reported that the Negro slave, Wahsi, with his unerring javelin, killed one Jihadist, al-Tufayl b. al-Numan and Dirar ibn al-Khattab (Umar's brother?) killed another Muslim, Kab ibn Zayd.
The Quraysh did not make any further attempt to cross the trench during the day, but made great preparations at night. Next morning, they launched a general attack with a massive force. But all their attempts were without effect. They could not cross the trench. Sa'd ibn Muadah, the chief of B. Aws was wounded severely in his arm (or shoulder as per Muir by an arrow. He promised to exact his revenge on B. Qurayzah, for the man, who shot him was on friendly terms with the B. Qurayzah. The Quraysh lost three men while the Muslims lost five.
The Muslims could not offer prayer on that day. They were too busy with the war. At night, when the enemy returned to their camp, the Muslims gathered and offered a special prayer for those missed prayers.
We learn from the narratives of Ibn Ishaq and Tabari that there was no wearing of Hijab (veil) by the Arab women during this period. While the battle of Ahzab was raging, Aisha was in the fortress of B. Haritha and the mother of Sa'd b. Muadh was with her. Aisha wore no Hijab when Sa'd b. Muadh passed her by wearing a coat of mail through which Aisha could view the entire forearm of Sa'd b. Muadh.
During this time, Saffiyah bt. Abd al-Muttalib, Muhammad's aunt was in Fari, the fortress of Hassan b. Thabit, the official poet of Muhammad. She discovered a Jew circling the fortress of Hassan b. Thabit. When Saffiya requested Hassan b. Thabit to go downstairs and kill the suspicious Jew, he declined. So she went downstairs and clubbed the Jew to death herself. She then requested Hassan b. Thabit to strip the Jew naked and to take his arms and coats of mail as booty. Hassan b. Thabit refused to do that, as he was not in need of the spoils.
During this lengthy blockade, Muhammad became desperate, searching for a way out. Just then, a double-agent, Nuaym b. Masud b. Amir from the Ghatafan approached Muhammad to offer his service of sleuthing Muhammad's enemies. He claimed that he had embraced Islam and was available to offer his assistance as a double agent. Muhammad engaged him to his advantage and told him that 'war is deception.' He said to Nuaym, "You are only one man among us. Make them abandon [each other], if you can, so that they leave us; for war is deception." Here is a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari that confirms Muhammad's view of war as an act of deception:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 269:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
The Prophet said, "War is deceit."
A similar Hadith is also found in Sunaan Abu Dawud:
Book 14, Number 2631:
Narrated Ka'b ibn Malik:
When the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) intended to go on an expedition, he always pretended to be going somewhere else, and he would say: War is deception.
After Muhammad's persuasive talk, Nuaym went to the B. Qurayzah and advised them not to trust the confederation of the Quraysh and the Ghatafan. He harangued them that if the confederate won the war they might take the land of the B. Qurayzah as a booty; should Muhammad win, then the confederates would abandon the B. Qurayzah, leaving them to defend themselves against the formidable Muslims.
Then Nuaym advised the B. Qurayzah to secure hostages from the Quraysh and Ghatafan as a security for their pledge of assistance against Muhammad. B. Qurayzah leaders pondered over what Nuyam had said and found that to be very credible.
Meanwhile, after talking to the B. Qurayzah Jews, Nuaym went straight to the Quraysh and the Ghatafan; announced that he had abandoned Islam and Muhammad and told them that the B. Qurayzah Jews had regretted at what they had done and was now in league with Muhammad. Nuaym further added that the B. Qurayzah had offered Muhammad a pledge that whatever hostages they took from the Quraysh and the Ghatafan, they would send them to Muhammad for beheading and Muhammad would be too pleased to execute the hostages. This news unnerved the Meccans as they believed every word of what Nuaym had said. Suspicion now arose in their minds regarding the pledge of the B. Qurayzah, and they decided, as per advice of the double agent Nuaym to refrain from dispatching any hostage that B. Qurayzah might demand from them.
On the eve of the Jewish Sabbath day (that is, Friday evening, Saturday being the Jewish Sabbath), Abu Sufyan sent Ikrimah b. Abi Jahl with a group of men to B. Qurayzah to ask the Jews to come out and to assemble to fight on the next day (i.e., on Saturday). On this, the Jews declined to fight on their Sabbath day, claiming that on previous occasions when they broke that tradition, the Jews were converted into monkeys and boars for fighting on the Sabbath day. Moreover, they demanded hostages from the Quraysh and the Ghatafan as a pre-condition to fight Muhammad.
When this news of demand for hostages was brought to Abu Sufyan and the leaders of Ghatafan, they were simply amazed at the veracity of what Nuaym had already told them. The confederates then decided not to offer a single hostage to B. Qurayzah and this decision was communicated to the B. Qurayzah Jews. Having heard the verdict of the confederates, the B. Qurayzah Jews were now convinced that the Quraysh and the Ghatafan were playing tricks with them. The Jews decided not to join in the fighting, unless hostages are secured from the confederates and forwarded their decision to the Quraysh and the Ghatafan.
The allied forces were now greatly disheartened. Their provisions were running short. Their plan to attack the Muslims from the rear of city with the help of B. Qurayza was now in doubt. Their camels and horses were dying daily in numbers. To add more to their adversity, the weather, too, was unkind to them. The cold, wind and rain became merciless on their unprotected camps. The storm became a hurricane, overturning their cooking pots and sweeping away their tents. They took the fury of weather as an evil omen and started to flee for their lives. With so many troublesome incidents, Abu Sufiyan suddenly decided to break up the camp and retreat. The withdrawal was led by the Quraysh, followed by the Ghatafan and their allies. Abu Sufyan leaped on his camel and led away. Soon, the entire Quraysh army took the road to Mecca by way of Uhud. In the morning not one of them was left in sight. As usual, Muhammad claimed that Gabriel had brought the severe storm and caused the Meccan confederates to flee. Ibn Sa'd writes that when Gabriel met Muhammad, he (Gabriel) said to him: "O! be happy.". An oracle (33:9) descended from Allah confirming His divine intervention by casting terror in the heart of the infidels through the tempestuous wind and the biting cold.
However, the real reason the Meccans abandoned the siege was different. It was the ensuing of the month of Dzul Qaedah, the first month of the three consecutive months of the Arab tradition of cessation of hostilities-the Meccans had to go back and attend the pilgrims that would soon start arriving at Mecca.
The news of the disunity between the confederates and the B. Qurayzah soon reached the ears of Muhammad, and he sought the assistance of a spy to observe the activities of his enemy, promising him paradise or booty should the spy returned on time. On this enticement, a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari is quoted here:
Volume 9, Book 93, Number 555:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Allah guarantees (the person who carries out Jihad in His Cause and nothing compelled him to go out but Jihad in His Cause and the belief in His Word) that He will either admit him into Paradise (Martyrdom) or return him with reward or booty he has earned to his residence from where he went out."
Muhammad had to promise paradise to his spy as none other had volunteered to go to the Quraysh camp and bring back their news. During this period, fear hunger and cold had engulfed the Muslims and they were not in a mood for a fight. In fact, when no one volunteered, Muhammad picked the said spy himself and commanded him to engage in information gathering. The spy went out and saw Allah's helpers (i.e., angels) punishing the Quraysh and the Ghatafan with lashing wind and bitter cold.
The spy of Muhammad observed the departure of the Abu Sufyan and his confederates and brought the good news to Muhammad. Muhammad was greatly relieved at the departure of his enemy; the Muslim army became joyful and in the morning, broke up their camp and returned to their homes. Muhammad refrained from pursuing the retreating Quraysh army for, he feared that a confrontation with the Quraysh in the open would not be to his advantage. He soon told the Muslims that he had Allah's message to attack the B. Qurayza, claiming that Gabriel came to him in the appearance of Dihya, the Kalbite. Immediately, Muhammad sent Bilal to announce the new call throughout the town for the new battle.
Once the Battle of the Trench was over Muhammad vowed to be aggressive and offensive, to make attack and not to defend. Here is a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari that clearly indicates Islam is truly a religion of offense and not defense:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 435:
Narrated Sulaiman bin Surd:
On the day of Al-Ahzab (i.e. clans) the Prophet said, (After this battle) we will go to attack them (i.e. the infidels) and they will not come to attack us."
[Please note: This Hadith cannot be found in the sanitized, summarized version of Sahih Al-Bukhari; however you may read this Hadith in the Internet version of Original Sahih Bukhari]
Joined: 10 Aug 2010
|Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:40 am Post subject:
The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style
by Abul Kasem
20 Nov, 2005
'LET (Lashkar-e-Toiba) volunteers neither shave nor cut their hair and they are taught to kill ritualistically, by beheading or slitting of throat'---A LET member
The Genocide of Bani Qurayzah Jews by Muhammad - February-March, 627
After Muhammad left the battlefield of the trench in the morning he returned to Medina, and while he was washing his head in the house of Umm Salamah, one of his wives, Gabriel visited him at noon and informed him that the battle was not over yet, and that Allah commanded him (Muhammad) to besiege the B. Qurayzah. He claimed that Gabriel came in the form of Dhiyah b. Khalifah al-Kalbi, a handsome and a rich merchant of Medina. Gabriel also declared his unflinching support for Muhammad in this operation. It is claimed that Gabriel arrived riding a horse and wearing a cloth of gold turban.
After listening to the instruction of Gabriel, Muhammad abandoned the noon (Asr) prayer and commanded his Jihadists to march straight to the territory of B. Qurayzah, Ali being sent ahead of the rest. Muhammad informed his followers that during war, prayer can be omitted, as fighting during this time was more incumbent than praying On his way, Ali heard people talking foul about Muhammad and hurling insult at him. A disturbed Ali hastened back to Muhammad and informed him of what he had heard what people were saying about Muhammad. Muhammad consoled Ali by saying that the people dared not utter any derogatory remark about him should he (i.e., Muhammad) be personally present amongst them. This pleased Ali and he went back to his mission. In the evening, the Muslim soldiers marched toward the fortress of Bani Qurayza that lay two or three miles to the south-east of Medina. Muhammad rode an ass, while an army of three thousand Muslims, with thirty-six horses followed him. A tent in the compound of the mosque in Medina was also pitched where Sa'd b. Muadh took shelter to recuperate from his painful wound (see Terror 32).
When Muhammad was near the fortress of the B. Qurayzah Jews, he called them by yelling, 'you brothers of apes.' This is elucidated in the Qur'an in verses 2:65, 5:60 and 7:166, where Allah says that He turned the Jews in to apes. Thus, as far as Islam goes, the Jews are still considered as apes, no exaggeration; it is a decree by Allah, and Muhammad had confirmed this in the operation for B. Qurayzah. Ibn Sa'd writes: Muhammad said, "O brothers of monkeys and pigs! Fear me, fear me."
Not being satisfied with his vocabulary of simple 'swearing' language, Muhammad asked his poet friend Hassan b. Thabit to make verbal abuse of the Jews through poems. Here is a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari to describe the mindset of the messenger of Allah:
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 449:
The Prophet said to Hassan, "Abuse them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you (i.e, supports you)." (Through another group of sub narrators) Al-Bara bin Azib said, "On the day of Quraiza's (besiege), Allah's Apostle said to Hassan bin Thabit, 'Abuse them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you (i.e. supports you).' "
Despite extreme provocation by Muhammad B. Qurayzah Jews were patient and courteous with Muhammad, and addressed him as Abu al-Qasim (father of Qasim, Muhammad's dead son). This is the conversation that took place between Muhammad and the B. Qurayzah Jews as written by Tabari:
'When the Messenger of God had approached their fortresses, he said: "You brothers of apes! Has God shamed you and sent down his retribution on you?" they said, "Abu al-Qasim, you have never been one to act impetuously."'
The Muslims then attacked the Jews with archery but to no avail. One Muslim approached the fortress carelessly and was killed by a Jewess by casting down a millstone on him. Muhammad kept the siege on causing a great distress among the besieged Jews. Nonetheless, Muhammad was bent on a bloody revenge and refused to negotiate with the Jews.
After twenty-five days of siege, the Jews grew desperate, exhausted and terrified at their future. They were on the verge of starvation. It is claimed that Allah, through Muhammad's terrorism, cast terror into their hearts. Among the Jews was Huyayy b. Akhtab (see Terror 32) who, as a fulfillment of his pledge to be with B. Qurayzah through thick and thin, did not escape with the Quraysh and the Ghatafan, but stayed with the B. Qurayzah Jews. Unable to bear the desperate situation of the Jewish women and children, the B. Qurayzah leader, Ka'b b.Asad proposed that the Jews should accept Islam to save their lives. Almost all the Jews declined to forsake the religion of their forefathers. A distraught Ka'b proposed that they should kill their women and children, then, all the men could go out and fight Muhammad without any impediment. But the Jews did not want to kill their dearest ones with their own hands. It was impossible for them to commit such act, as they feared that it was meaningless to live without their wives and children. Ka'b then proposed an attack on Muhammad the next day which was a Jewish Sabbath day (ie Saturday). The Jews flatly declined to engage in any warfare during the Sabbath.
When the Jews could not decide on their fate themselves, they sent a message to Muhammad, asking that Abu Lubabah b. Abd al-Mundhir, their confidante from B. Aws, be sent to them for a discussion and advice. As soon as Lubabah arrived in the Jewish quarter, the weeping women and children of the Jews rushed out and grabbed him hoping that he could plead for mercy for them. Abu Lubabah was filled with pity and compassion for them. When asked what Muhammad would do with them should they decide to surrender, Abu Lubabah indicated through sign language that Muhammad had slaughter in mind and that he (Abu Lubabah) could do nothing about it.
'When they saw him (i.e Abu Lubabah), the men rose to meet him, and the women and children rushed to grab hold of him, weeping before him, so that he felt pity for them. They said to him, "Abu Lubabah, do you think that we should submit to Muhammad's judgment"? "Yes", he said, but he pointed with his hand to his throat, that it would be slaughter."'
Haykal writes that the Jews thought that the former allies from al-Aws tribe would give them some protection and if they were to remove themselves, to Adhriat in al Sham, Muhammad would have no objection to letting them go. So, the Banu Qurayzah sent the proposal to evacuate their territory and to remove themselves to Adhriat. Muhammad flatly rejected their proposal and insisted on their abiding by his judgment.
Having indicated by sign language what Muhammad had in mind for the Jews, Abu Lubabah felt guilty that he had broken his promise of secrecy with Muhammad. To atone for his 'misdeed' he went straight to the mosque and bound himself with ropes to one of the pillars. This pillar is known as the 'pillar of repentance' or the 'pillars of Abu Lubabah'. Allah expressed His displeasure with Abu Lubabah's conduct through verse 8:27.
When Muhammad heard of what Abu Lubabah had done, he waited for Allah to forgive him (Abu Lubabah).
Abu Lubabah remained tied with the pillar for six nights. His wife used to untie him for prayers. Allah promptly forgave Abu Lubaba in verse 9:104. So, Muhammad went to him during a morning prayer and set him free.
Finding no choice, in the morning, the crestfallen B. Qurayzah Jews surrendered to Muhammad for his judgment. The male Jews were chained and kept in the fortress till a decision was made about their fate. The B. Aws people were on good terms with the B. Qurayzah Jews. They pleaded with Muhammad for mercy and a fair judgment for their Jewish allies. On this, Muhammad proposed that the judgment be passed by Sa'd b Muadh who was the B. Aws leader, recuperating from his wound in a tent nearby Medina. B. Aws and the B. Qurayzah both agreed on this proposal of Muhammad, hoping to have some mercy from Sa'd b. Muadh. Muhammad dispatched some B. Aws men to bring Sa'd to deliver his judgment. Riding a donkey Sa'd arrived at the site where all the seven or eight hundred Jewish men and many B. Aws people were standing to listen to his judgment. Their women and children, stricken with terror waited for the pronouncement of Sad's verdict. Many B. Aws people requested Sa'd to deal with the Jews with leniency and mercy.
Sa'd then asked his people if they would accept whatever judgment he pronounced. The crowd agreed.
Then Muhammad asked Sa'd b. Muadh to pass his judgment. Sa'd replied, "I pass judgment on them that the men shall be killed, the property divided, and the children and women made captives." Everyone was shocked at this bloody decree except Muhammad. He praised Sa'd for proclaiming a solemn judgment of the Almighty. He was cold and unmoved and termed Sa'd's judgment as fair and said, "You have passed judgment on them with the judgment of God and the judgment of His Messenger." This statement by Muhammad clearly shows that he wanted to murder these Jews in cold blood without any compunction or mercy. Sahih Bukhari records this incidence thus:
Volume 5, Book 58, Number 148:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Some people (i.e. the Jews of Bani bin Quraiza) agreed to accept the verdict of Sad bin Muadh so the Prophet sent for him (i.e. Sad bin Muadh). He came riding a donkey, and when he approached the Mosque, the Prophet said, "Get up for the best amongst you." or said, "Get up for your chief." Then the Prophet said, "O Sad! These people have agreed to accept your verdict." Sad said, "I judge that their warriors should be killed and their children and women should be taken as captives." The Prophet said, "You have given a judgment similar to Allah's Judgment (or the King's judgment)."
[Please note: This Hadith cannot be found in the sanitized, summarized version of Sahih Al-Bukhari; however, it can be read in the Internet version of Original Sahih Al-Bukhari]
The women and children were then separated from their husbands, others were put under the care of Abdullah, a renegade Jew. All the goods and possessions of the B. Qurayzah Jews, their camels and flocks were all brought as spoils of war to be distributed amongst the Muslims. The wine and fermented liquors were thrown away.
After Sa'd b. Muadh passed the judgment of slaughter, the B. Qurayzah Jews were brought down from their dwellings; the men were handcuffed behind their backs their women and children having already been separated. They were placed under the charge of Mohammad ibn Maslama, the assassin of Ka'b ibn Ashraf, to be despatched to Medina to the compound of the daughter of another Muslim fanatic, al-Harith before their execution in batches. A long trench was dug in the marketplace of Medina. The Prisoners were then taken there, made to kneel down and beheaded in a group of five or six. Muhammad was personally present to witness this slaughter. Ali and Zubayr cut off the heads of the Jews in front of Muhammad. Sourcing from Al-Waqidi, Tabari writes:
"-the messenger of God commanded that furrows should be dug in the ground for the B. Qurayzah. Then he sat down, and Ali and al-Zubayr began cutting off their heads in his presence." Ibn Ishaq writes that they were taken in groups to Muhammad for beheading in front of him.
Tabari further writes:
'The messenger of God went out into the marketplace of Medina and had trenches dug in it; then he sent for them and had them beheaded in those trenches. They were brought out to him in groups. Among them were the enemy of God, Huyayy b. Akhtab, and Ka'b b. Asad, the head of the tribe. They numbered 600 or 700-the largest estimate says they were between 800 and 900. As they were being taken in groups to the Messenger of God, they said to Ka'b b. Asad, "Ka'b, what do you understand. Do you not see that the summoner does not discharge [anyone] and that those of you who are taken away do not come back? By God, it is death!" the affair continued until the Messenger of God had finished with them.'
Sir William Muir describes this extremely grotesque scene thus:
'The men were penned up in a closed yard, while graves or trenches were being dug for them in the chief marketplace of the city. When these were ready, Mahomet, himself a spectator of the tragedy, gave command that the captives should be brought forth in companies of five or six at a time. Each company was made to sit down by the brink of the trench destined for its grave, and there beheaded. Party by party they were thus led out, and butchered in cold blood, till the whole were slain. One woman alone was put to death; it was she who threw the millstone from the battlements.'
A most pathetic and heart-wrenching incidence took place when Huyayy b. Akhtab, the banished B. Nadir Jewish leader was taken to the execution field. Tabari describes his execution this way:
'Huyayy b. Akhtab, the enemy of God, was brought. He was wearing a rose-colored suit of clothes that had torn all over with fingertip-sized holes so that it would not be taken as booty from him, and his hands were bound to his neck with a rope. When he looked at the Messenger of God, he said, "By God, I do not blame myself for being hostile to you, but whomever God forsakes is forsaken." Then he turned to the people and said: "People, there is no injury in God's command. It is the book of God, His decree, and a battlefield of great slaughter ordained against the Children of Israel. Then he sat down and was beheaded.'
Only one woman of the B. Qurayzah was killed. She was the wife Hasan al-Qurazi and was friendly with Aisha. Aisha narrated her story of beheading thus:
'Only one of their women was killed. By God, she was by me, talking with me and laughing unrestraintedly while the Messenger of God was killing their men in the marketplace, when suddenly a mysterious voice called out her name, saying, "Where is so and so?" She said, "I shall be killed." "Why?" I asked. She said, A misdeed that I committed." She was taken away and beheaded. (Aisha used to say: I shall never forget my wonder at her cheerfulness and much laughter, even when she knew that she would be killed.).'
This incident is also recorded in a Sahi (authentic) Hadith of Abu Dawud:
Book 14, Number 2665:
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
No woman of Banu Qurayzah was killed except one. She was with me, talking and laughing on her back and belly (extremely), while the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) was killing her people with the swords. Suddenly a man called her name: Where is so-and-so? She said: I I asked: What is the matter with you? She said: I did a new act. She said: The man took her and beheaded her. She said: I will not forget that she was laughing extremely although she knew that she would be killed.
As told before, this unlucky Jewish woman killed one Muslim soldier by casting a millstone on his head while the Messenger of Allah besieged the B. Qurayzah fortress.
There is another poignant story of a very old Jewish man named Az-Zabir. Az-Zabir saved the life of a Muslim convert, Thabit b. Qays in the Bu'ath war. Now, when Az-Zabir was about to be beheaded Thabit requested Muhammad to save the life of this old man and his family as a return to his favor. Muhammad reluctantly agreed to spare this Jewish man and his family members. Az-Zabir then asked Thabit b. Qays about the fate of the Jewish leaders such as Ka'b b. Asad and Huayy b. Akhtab, as he preferred to die rather than to live without them. Az-Zabir said, "Then I ask you for the sake of the favor I once did for you to join me to my kinsmen, for by God there is no good in living after them. I will not wait patiently for God, not even [the time needed] to take the bucket of a watering trough, until I meet my dear ones."
So Thabit brought him forward, and he was beheaded. When Abu Bakr heard what that old man said just before his execution, he said, "He will meet them, by God, in the Gehenna, there to dwell forever and forever."
Muhammad commanded that all those Jewish men with puberty hair were to be killed. One Jewish boy took refuge with a Muslim woman, Salma bt. Qays. She requested Muhammad that mercy be shown to this Jewish boy. It is said that Muhammad spared his life. Here is a Hadith from Sunaan Abu Dawud on this:
Book 38, Number 4390:
Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi:
I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.
Please note that the narrator of this Hadith, Atiyyah al-Qurazi, was probably the very young brother of Hasan al-Qurazi, the executed Jew.
Having beheaded all the adult males of the B. Qurayzah Jews, the Prophet of mercy now busied himself with the distribution of the Jewish booty. He divided the wealth, the wives and the children of the B. Qrayzah Jews among his followers. Needless to say he did not miss his Khums (one-fifth of booty) that was reserved for him.
The booty rules were changed slightly. A horseman received three shares: two shares for the horse and one share for the rider. A foot Jihadist, who had no horse, received one share. It was the first booty in which shares were allotted and from which the Khums was deducted. This simplified rule on booty (fai) was followed in the later plunders.
There were thirty-six cavalry in this raid. If a man had more than two horses he could claim shares only for two horses.
[Please note: Fai is a booty taken from a country which submits to Islam without resistance.
After executing all the adult male Jews, Muhammad sent Sa'd b. Zayd al-Ansari with some captives (women and children) from the B. Qurayzah to Najd to sell them in the slave market. While we do not have an accurate price of a female slave during that time, Ibn Sa'd writes that Khadijah, Muhammad's first wife, bought her slave, Zayd b. Haritha, (who would later become Muuhammad's adopted son), for four hundred (400) Dirhams at the slave market of Ukaz, Mecca. In Sunaan Abu Dawud we read that the price of young slave (male or female) varied from five hundred dirhams to eight hundred (800) dirhams i.e, US$ 2,5000 to US$ 4000 (see Sunaan Abu Dawud hadis numbers, 3946 and 4563). So a reasonable price of a slave as US$ 2,500 in to-day' money will be quite a realistic assumption. Multiply this with an approximate number of women and children, say about one thousand (1,000), and we get a sum of US$ 2,500,000 (yes, a cool two and a half million US Dollars). This was a huge wind fall for the terrorists of those days. With the money raised through this slave-trading Muhammad bought more horses and arms. Among the captive women, he found a very pretty, youthful lass by the name Rayhanh bt. 'Amr b. Khunafah and took her as his concubine. It is said that when Muhammad offered to make her his wife by embracing Islam, she declined. She preferred to remain a sex slave to becoming a Muslim.
She said, "Messenger of God, rather leave me in your possession [as a concubine], for it is easier for me and for you." Muhammad was quite grieved when she rejected Islam but preferred to remain a Jew. Some biographers write that Rayhana eventually accepted Islam.
A telling description of Muhammad's cruelty and lust for young women is provided by Sir Willima Muir thus:
'Having sated his revenge, and drenched the market-place with the blood of eight hundred victims, and having given command for the earth to be smoothed over their remains, Mahomet returned from the horrid spectacle to solace himself with the charms of Rihana, whose husband and all whose male relatives had just perished in the massacre. He invited her to be his wife, but she declined; and chose to remain (as indeed, having refused marriage, she had no alternative) his slave or concubine. She also declined the summons to conversion, and continued in the Jewish faith, at which the Prophet was much concerned. It is said, however, that she afterwards embraced Islam. She lived with Mahomet till his death.'
After the delivery of his judgment, Sa'd was taken back on his donkey to his tent.. His wound now became fatal. He was now lying in his deathbed. Muhammad quickly went to visit him. He prayed to Allah to save Sa'd's life. However, Allah did not answer his prayer this time. Soon, Sa'd died. His corpse was carried to his home and after the forenoon prayer he was buried. His bier was very light to carry. Muhammad claimed that angels carried Sa'd's bier.
Gabriel told Muhammad that Sad B. Muadh was already in heaven; claiming further that Allah's throne shook when Sad b. Muadh died. We read in Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 5, Book 58, Number 147:
I heard the Prophet saying, "The Throne (of Allah) shook at the death of Sad bin Muadh." Through another group of narrators, Jabir added, "I heard the Prophet : saying, 'The Throne of the Beneficent shook because of the death of Sad bin Muadh."
What did Muhammad do with the appropriated lands of the Jews of B.Quaynuqa, B. Nadir and B. Qurayzah? He used the plundered of lands of B. Qurayzah and B. Nadir to return the gifts (debt) he received from the Ansars of Medina; he gave his share of the booty to Umm Ayman, the slave woman who nursed him in his infancy. Here is a Hadith on this from Sahih Muslim:
Book 019, Number 4376:
It has been narrated by Anas that (after his migration to Medina) a person placed at the Prophet's (may peace be upon him) disposal some date-palms growing on his land until the lands of Quraiza and Nadir were conquered. Then he began to return to him whatever he had received. (In this connection) my people told me to approach the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and ask from him what his people had given him or a portion thereof, but the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had bestowed those trees upon Umm Aiman. So I came to the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and he gave them (back) to me. Umm Aiman (also) came (at this time). She put the cloth round my neck and said: No, by Allah, we will not give to, you what he has granted to me. The Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) said: Umm Aiman, let him have them and for you are such and such trees instead. But she said: By Allah, there is no god besides Him. No, never! The Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) continued saying: (You will get) such and such. until he had granted her ten times or nearly ten times more (than the original gift).
Muhammad now became militarily strong and a much feared warlord in the Arabian Peninsula. Needless to say, all this was the fruits of his terror tactics.
Joined: 10 Aug 2010
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