Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Battle of Banu Nadir

The Battle of the Banu Nadir was one of the three Jewish tribes in Medina; the people lived in a strong fortresses and they possessed large date fields and were mostly occupied with agriculture. The Banu Nadir was distinctly superior to the other Jewish tribes. For this reason, if somebody was killed among the Banu Nadir, full blood money was to be paid. However, half blood money was paid if somebody was killed from among the Banu Qurayza. This inequality in blood money between the two tribes was eradicated by the Prophet (pbuh) and when the people of the Banu Qurayza applied to him about this matter the blood money was equalized.

The Banu Nadir participated in the Medina Document as an ally of the Aws tribe. They were not hostile towards the Muslims, but after the Battle of Badr and the expulsion of the Banu Qaynuqa from the city, they started to behave spitefully against the Muslims. In particular, their famous poet Ka'b ibn Ashraf satirized the Prophet and his Companions in his poems and with his effective rhetoric. The poet also went to Mecca and incited Abu Sufyan and other idolaters against the Muslims by sparking feelings of hatred, spending his fortune in this matter. The Prophet was annoyed with this openly hostile attitude against Islam and wanted to put an end to it. Upon his request, Muhammad ibn Maslama and several friends made a plan and they killed Ka'b ibn Ashraf, who had not hesitated to insult the holy values of the Muslims (Rabi' al-awwal 3/September 624). The Banu Nadir Jews had gone to the headquarters of the idolaters and incited them against the Muslims during the Battle of Uhud. Apart from this, Banu Nadir had wanted to fight with the Muslims from time to time and had attempted to assassinate the Prophet. The Prophet had warned this tribe to adhere to the agreement, but he did not receive a positive answer.

When Amr ibn Umayya ed-Damri was returning back to Medina after having survived the Bi'rimauna Disaster, he killed two people from the Banu Amir ibn Sa'saa in their sleep to take the revenge for his two martyr friends. However, Amr did not know that these two people had become Muslims and had been given forgiven by the Prophet. The Prophet was extremely saddened by the death of people whom he had taken under his protection, and Amr said that he would pay the blood money of these two. The Prophet took Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali with him and went to the Banu Nadir in order to ask them to share the blood money in accordance with the Medina Document. The people of Banu Nadir welcomed the Muslims, but then attempted to kill them by throwing a rock from the roof. When the Prophet realized the situation, he left there with his Companions and returned to the city. It is reported that the Banu Nadir concocted other assassination plans when they received a proposal from the Quraishis to do so. As the Banu Nadir had violated the treaty of Medina with their assassination attempts, Prophet Muhammad sent them a messenger and asked them to leave the city within ten days. While the people of Nadir were preparing to leave the city of Medina, Abdullah ibn Ubay dissuaded them from doing so by telling them that he was going to provide help. Upon this, the Prophet set siege to them and invited them to make a treaty (Rabi'al-awwal 4/August 625). First the Jews decided to put up a resistance, yet after a siege of fifteen days, they consented to leave Medina after taking their women and children with them in a convoy of 600 camels, as well as their movable assets. Some of them went to Khaybar and some of them went to Syria and settled in Azriat.

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