The Conquest of Khaybar

(7th year of the Migration, toward the end of the month of Muharram / AD 628)

Khaybar was a city located on a volcanic area and having seven strong castles. It was on the way of Damascus and in the north west of Madinah; it was about 100 miles (161km) away from Madinah.

Most of the Jews that were expelled from Madinah because they violated their treaty with the Messenger of God had settled there and they virtually transformed Khaybar to a center for Jews.

As we have mentioned before, the Jews living there caused the Battle of Khandaq to take place by organizing all of the Arab tribes around and leading them to Madinah. After the Battle of Khandaq, they did not behave well and they slandered and talked against Muslims everywhere.

On the other hand, they made a new treaty with Makkan polytheists. According to this treaty, the people of Khaybar would attack Madinah if the Prophet walked against Makkah; if the Prophet walked against Khaybar, the Qurayshi polytheists would attack Madinah. However, their plan failed due to the Treaty of Hudaybiyah.

The Messenger of God protected Madinah from the polytheists by signing the treaty with them. However, the north side (where Khaybar Jews lived) was still deprived of security. It was necessary for the acceleration of the Islamic development to make the north secure.

Besides, the greatest trade destination for Arabs was Damascus. The Jews were on this way and started to develop as a strong element. It was a danger in terms of Islamic development. 

All of those reasons made it necessary for Muslims to settle the issue of Khaybar.

Moreover, God Almighty had promised Muslims the conquest of Khaybar in the chapter of al-Fath while returning from the Expedition of Hudaybiyah.

Setting off from Madinah

The Messenger of God decided to go Khaybar and told his Companions to get ready for the expedition.

Many people who had avoided joining the Expedition of Hudaybiyah due to their fear wanted to join the Expedition of Khaybar due to the booty to be obtained from this productive and fertile city. They said, “We want to go to Khaybar with you.”

Thereupon, the Prophet said, “Those who will fight in the way of exalting the name of God as it is necessary should get ready. Nobody else can come with us. They will not be given anything out of the booty.”[1]He declared it openly to the people of Madinah.

This order of the Messenger of God clearly teaches us that jihad in the way of God needs to be made for the sake of God and without expecting or even thinking of any material returns.

Besides, the lofty and luminous aim of war in Islam is exalting the name of God.

Upon the order of the Messenger of God, Muslims gathered at once. There were 1600 people, two hundred of whom were cavalrymen.[2]They were the Muslims that would set off from Madinah together with the Prophet. Afterwards, when the Prophet was in Khaybar, four hundred Muslims from the tribe of Daws, among whom was Abu Hurayra, and Muslim migrants who returned from Abyssinia would join the Islamic army. 

Moreover, there were twenty women together with Umm Salama, one of the wives of the Prophet, in the Islamic army that set off from Madinah. They were going to treat the wounded mujahids, cook and meet the needs of the mujahids during the battle.[3]

The Prophet appointed Siba’ b. Urfuta from Ghifar as his deputy in Madinah and set off toward Khaybar with his army toward the end of the month of Muharram.

The mujahids who had been painted by the spiritual paint of the prophethood proceeded with enthusiasm. Amir b. Aqwa, the poet, expressed his excitement and loyalty with the following poem: “O God! If you had not guided us, we would not have found the right path; we would not pay zakah nor perform prayers. When a nation walks against us and tries to make us exit from our religion, send tranquility to our hearts and make our feet strong when we fight.”[4]

The Prophet asked who recited the poem. When he was told that Amir b. Aqwa recited it, he said, “May God show mercy on him!”[5]

The mujahids hesitated for a second because this prayer meant that Amir was going to be martyred.

“He is neither deaf nor absent…”

The mujahids proceeded uttering takbirs. The earth and the sky resounded with the sound of takbirs. Once, they uttered takbir very loudly: “Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! La ilaha illallahu Allahu Akbar!”

Upon this act of the Companions, the Messenger of God said, “Show mercy to your souls; do not shout so loudly. You are not addressing a dead being or a being that is absent. You are praying God, who knows and hears everything and who is near to everything from anything else.”[6]

Yes, God, to whom we pray, is neither deaf nor absent. He is nearer to us from our jugular veins with His knowledge, will and power: “It was We who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.”[7]

Only He knows the most secret things in our hearts; therefore, He answers our requests and meets our needs.

The Messenger of God prayed his lofty Lord as follows wherever he stopped for a break:

“O God!  I take refuge in you from the worries about the future, sorrows of the past, weaklessness, laziness, stinginess, cowardice, heavy debts, and the inflictions of oppressors and unjust people.”[8]

The Islamic Army is in Raji’

The Prophet reached a place called Raji’ with his army and stopped there. It was a place between Kahybar and the land of Ghatafans. There was a reason why they stopped there. Khaybar Jews had asked helped from Ghatafans and they had accepted; they said Jews could come to their castles and fight against the Islamic army together.  The Messenger of God was informed about it. In order to prevent this help, he made this offer to Ghatafans:  “If you do not help Jews, we will give you the crop of the dates of Khaybar to be conquered for one year.” However, they did not accept the offer.

Thus, the Prophet aimed to prevent any help that could come from Ghatafans to Jews by settling there. As a matter of fact, Ghatafans could not help Khaybar Jews and had to stay in their land when the Messenger of God settled in Raji’.

The Islamic Army is in front of Khaybar

Later, the Prophet left Raji’ with his army and proceeded to Khaybar. They reached Khaybar at night. The Prophet did not use to attack at night; so he waited for the morning.  

The Prayer of the Prophet

When the Messenger of God reached in front of Khaybar, he prayed as follows: “O God, who is the Lord of the skies and what they shade! O God, who is the Lord the earth and those on the earth! O God, who is the Lord the devil and those that the devil misguides! O God, who is the Lord of the winds and what they blow! We wish from you the goodness of this city, the wellbeing of its people and the goodness of everything in the city. We take refuge in you from the evil of this city, of this people and of everything in it!”[9]

The Prophet prayed like that whenever he entered a city.

When the people of Khaybar woke up in the morning, took their tools to go to their fields and left the castle, they saw the Islamic army in front of them. They were astonished; they shouted, “There is Muhammad and his army” and ran back to their castle.[10]

They faced something unexpected. Many of them did not think it to be possible for the Prophet to leave Madinah and to come there to fight them. Their castle was strong; they had many men; they had plenty of weapons; therefore, they thought the Messenger of God could not face the risk of fighting them. That was what they had thought. However, it did not turn out to be like that; so, they were astonished.  

When the Messenger of God saw their astonishment and that they ran back to their castle in panic, he said,“Allahu Akbar, Allaha Akbar! Kharibat Khaybar [Khaybar was destroyed]! How bad is the state of a frightened tribe when we enter their land unexpectedly!”[11]He repeated that sentence, which indicated the conquest of Khaybar, three times.[12]

The Enemy Front

Khaybar Jews negotiated the situation and decided to remain in the castle and defend their castle. 

The Jews that would fight gathered in the Castle of Natat, their strongest castle. They put their wives and children into other castles.

Fighting Starts

Fighting started when Jews started to shoot arrows at the mujahids from the Castle of Natat, where they had gathered. The Islamic army had encamped in front of the Castle of Natat.

The first day passed like that. About fifty mujahids were wounded by the arrows shot from the castles.

On the second day, upon the order of the Messenger of God, the Islamic army moved their headquarters to Raji’. Thus, the mujahids were protected from the attacks that could come from the houses around and they would be away from the swamp where they had encamped. 

The Prophet and the mujahids took their weapons every morning and went to the upper part of the Castle of Natat, fought the Jews until the evening and then returned to Raji’. 

The Prophet Gets Ill

Meanwhile, the Prophet had a headache. He could not go out near the mujahids. He appointed Hazrat Abu Bakr as the leader of the army to fight the Jews. Despite severe clashes, Khaybar was not conquered. Next time, the Prophet gave his white flag to Hazrat Umar and sent him to fight together with the mujahids. Severe clashes took place again but Khaybar was not conquered.[13]

It went on like that for seven days.

Meanwhile, one person from the Islamic army was martyred: Mahmud b. Masla­ma... While he was resting in the shade of the Castle of Natat in a very tired state due to the hot weather and severe clashes, he was wounded in the head by a stone thrown by the Jews from the castle and was martyred three days later.[14]

Amir b. Aqwa is martyred

Meanwhile, Amir b. Aqwa and Marhab, one of the famous heroes of the people of Khaybar encountered. They started to swing their swords against each other. When Amir hit Marhab’s leg severely with his sword, the blade of his own sword moved toward his leg and cut the vein in the middle. He was taken to the headquarters of the Islamic army in a wounded state. He died there due to the wound.[15]The Prophet had pointed out before reaching Khaybar that he would be martyred.[16]

The People of Daws Join the Islamic Army

Tufayl b. Amr, the poet, the leader of the Daws tribe had talked to the Prophet when he was in Makkah and become a Muslim. Since then, he had invited his tribe to Islam.

Tufayl b. Amr went to Madinah with about four hundred Muslims from his tribe in the 7th year of the Migration. When they heard that the Prophet went to Khaybar to fight, they came to Khaybar and joined the Islamic army and fought against the Jews.[17]

Abu Hurayra, who was going to be famous later, was among the four hundred people.[18]Abu Hurayra, who met the Messenger of God in Khaybar, joined the people of Suffa and never left the Prophet after that. Since God Almighty granted him a strong memory, he narrated many hadiths. He said, “Abdullah Ibn Umar knows more hadiths than me; he wrote what he heard but I did not write.”

Hazrat Ali Has the Flag

The siege continued.

Once, the Messenger of God said, “I will give the flag to such a person tomorrow that God and His Messenger loves him and he loves God and His Messenger. God will realize the conquest through his hands.”[19]

The mujahids became very curious: Who was going to have this great honor? Every mujahid had the same sincere desire and feeling: to be able to receive the flag from the Messenger of God. Everybody spent the night with a hope and desire. In the morning, their curiosity and excitement increased. Later, Hazrat Umar expressed his excitement and sincere desire by saying, “I had never wanted to be the commander so much as I wanted it in Khaybar.”[20]

All of the mujahids were waiting with the same desire, excitement and feeling; the Messenger of God ordered the flag to be fetched after the morning prayer. The flag was brought. Everybody was looking at the flag in the blessed hand of the Prophet carefully and waiting for the words that his blessed mouth would utter the name of the person who would realize the conquest. Amongst this curiosity and excitement, the Messenger of God said, “Where is Ali?”

The conqueror was certain now.

Strangely, Hazrat Ali had a pain in his eyes at that time. 

They said, “O Messenger of God! He has a pain in his eyes.”

Despite this, the Messenger of God said, “It does not matter! Call him here.”

When Ali was informed about it, he went to the presence of the Prophet. His eyes that had a pain were cured through the blessed prayer of the Messenger of God.[21]

The Prophet also prayed as follows for him: “O God! Make him free of the troubles of heat and cold.”

Hazrat Ali said,

“I have never been disturbed by the heat or cold since then.”[22]

Indeed, Hazrat Ali was not disturbed though he wore a warm coat in the summer; he did not feel cold in the coldest days of the winter even if he wore thin clothes.[23]

Now, Hazrat Ali had the white flag of the Messenger of God.  The curious looks were transformed to envious looks. He was the person that God and His Messenger loved; and he was the person who loved them. Khaybar was going to be conquered by him. Each Companion envied this hero of Islam. 

The Messenger of God gave the flag to Ali and clothed him an armored shirt. He placed his sword, Dhul-Fiqar, around Ali’s waist and said, “Fight until God grants you the conquest and never turn back!”[24]

Ali proceeded heroically with the flag in his hand. After he walked for a while, he asked, “O Messenger of God! What will I fight for with them?”

The Messenger of God answered,

“Fight them until they witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. If they witness so, they will save their lives and goods. God will account them for what is in their hearts.”[25]

After receiving this answer, Hazrat Ali said resolutely and joyfully, “O Messenger of God! I will fight them until they become Muslims.”

Thereupon, the Messenger of God said, “Walk solemnly until you reach their castle; then, invite them to Islam. If they become Muslims, inform them about their obligations. By God, if God makes only one of them a Muslim through you, it is better for you than having many red camels and giving them away to the poor in the way of God.”[26]Thus, the Prophet stated what the purpose of Islamic conquests was. 

Hazrat Ali against Marhab

Hazrat  Ali walked in front of the mujahids and planted the flag in his hand in the ground in front of the Castle of Natat. He explained the Jews about the principles of Islam and invited them to become Muslims. However, the Jews did not accept to become Muslims. They left their castles to fight. Many Jews were killed by the mujahids during the clashes.  

Meanwhile, Marhab, who was regarded as the bravest person among the Jews, heard that his brother had been killed; so he left the castle with his men. He had two armors on it. He had two swords and he had wrapped two turbans around his head. He shouted and boasted while he walked solemnly, “I often kill lions with my sword and spear even when they come roaring!”

Hazrat Ali, who was a brave hero, did not heed what he said and answered, “My mother named me Haydar [Lion]. I am like the most majestic lions in the jungle in terms of courage. I will not let you live. I will kill you.”[27]

In the one on one fight, Marhab, the strongest man of the Jews, could not resist Hazrat Ali, “the Lion of God”, and his head was cut off by Ali’s sword Dhulfiqar.[28]

When the Messenger of God saw it, he gave the good news to the mujahids: “Be happy! Now, the conquest of Khaybar has become easier.”[29]

After that, the mujahids attacked the enemy courageously and killed several of them. Hazrat Ali alone killed eight Jews that day. During the fight, he dropped his shield. He pulled away the gate of the castle near him and used it as a shield. He did not drop the gate until the castle was conquered. After the castle was conquered, Hazrat Ali put the gate on the ground. Eight people tried to lift the gate together but they could not lift it.[30]

When the other Jews saw that their men were killed one by one, they started to run away back to the castle. The enemy was being defeated. As the Messenger of God had stated, God realized the conquest through the hands of Hazrat Ali. Hazrat Ali and the mujahids entered the Castle of Natat running after the Jews that were escaping. However, they found only children there. They did not touch the children. When the Jews saw that they would be killed, they had to leave the Castle of Natat.  

This time, the mujahids proceeded toward the Castle of Naim. Severe clashes took place there too. The enemy lost many of his men in the clash that took place in front of this castle. Then, the castle was captured by the mujahids.

After the conquest of the Castle of Naim, the Castle of Sa’b b. Muadh was conquered.

The Shepherd that Became a Muslim and then was Martyred

The Prophet had besieged a few castles of Khaybar.

Meanwhile, they saw someone herding the sheep and coming toward the Islamic army. He was an Abyssinian slave called Yasar; he belonged to Amir, one of the Jews of Khaybar. He herded Amir’s sheep. When he saw that Jews were putting on their weapons when their castles were besieged, he asked, “What do you want to do?”

The Jews said, “We want to kill that man who declared that he was a prophet. When Yasar, the Abyssinian, heard the word prophet, he hesitated a bit; he felt that the word prophet covered his body like a compassionate hand.

Yasar did not find what the Jews said sufficient. He wanted to find out about this prophet from the prophet himself.

Therefore, he herded the sheep toward the Islamic army and went to the presence of the Messenger of God. He asked,

“What do you say and what do you invite people to do?”

The Messenger of God said, “I invite people to Islam. I invite them to witness that there is no god but Allah and that I am His messenger; I also ask them not to worship anyone but God.”

Yasar asked, “If I believe in and witness as you say, what will I have?”

The Messenger of God said, “If you die with this belief and witnessing, you will go to Paradise.”[31]

Thereupon, Yasar embraced Islam there at once.

The Messenger of God told him that he would go to Paradise if he died with this belief and witnessing but Yasar was hesitant. In the place where he lived, people were treated based on their positions and ranks, wealth or poverty, and beauty or ugliness. Nobody showed respect to ugly people and especially to slaves.  

Therefore, he asked again, “O Messenger of God! I am a black Abyssinian; I have an ugly face and I am poor. I am a slave. If I fight the Jews and die, will I enter Paradise?”

The Messenger of God gave the following answer, which made Yasar joyful: “Yes, you will.”[32]

This time, Yasar said, “O Messenger of God! These sheep have been entrusted to me. What shall I do with them?”

The Messenger of God said, “Take them out of the headquarters. Throw some small stones at them and shout. They will return to their owners.”

Yasar stood up at once. He picked a handful of sand from the ground and threw it at the sheep, and shouted: 

“Come on! Go back to your owners.”

All of the sheep went to their owners as if someone was herding them.[33]

Yasar is Martyred

Yasar, who was honored by Islam, became a mujahid who fought in the way of God. He attacked the ranks of the enemy courageously. After a short while, he was martyred by the stones thrown from the castles. Thus, he received the title, “the Muslim who flew to Paradise without having time to perform even one prayer.”[34]

The dead body of Yasar was brought to the headquarters. It was covered and lying on the ground. The Messenger of God, who was looking at the dead body, turned his face away for a while. The Companions asked him, “O Messenger of God! Why did you turn your face away?”

The Messenger of God explained the reason as follows: “When a martyr is shot and falls on the ground, two houris from Paradise come and wipe the dust on his face and say, ‘May God put the face of the person into dust who put your face into dust and kill the person who killed you.’ God granted good things to him. I saw two houris of Paradise near him though he had not prostrated to God even once.”[35]

There it is: few but sincere deeds and endless bliss and rewards!

This incident teaches us that the most important element in our acts, attitudes and words is sincerity.

We also understand from this event that the Prophet did not differentiate between people no matter what their social positions were when he invited people to belief and Islam. Yes, Yasar was a black slave with an ugly face; besides, he belonged to the lowest class in the eyes of the people living at that time. Despite this, the Prophet did not despise him; he did not look down on him when he explained Islam to him; he talked seriously; thus, he helped him attain the endless bliss.

Those who serve Islam and belief need to act with the same criteria and thought.  

Result

When the Jews saw that their castles began to be captured one by one during the siege that lasted for ten days, they had to ask for peace. The Prophet accepted their request. The following articles were determined between the Jewish delegates and the Messenger of God:

1) The Jews that took part in the clashes would not be killed.

2) They would be let leave Khaybar with their children.

3) They would take nothing but what an animal could carry.

4) All of the movable and immovable properties of the Jews including bows, helmets, horses, gowns, armors, shirts and the clothes and fabrics except the ones that they were wearing would be left to the Messenger of God.

5) Nothing that would be given to the Messenger of God would be concealed; those who concealed would be excluded from the protection of God and His Messenger.[36]

After the treaty was signed and peace was made based on the articles listed above, the Jews got ready to leave Khaybar. Meanwhile, they made another offer to the Prophet: “We own property. We know and can maintain and run the property better than you. Let us stay in the land of Khaybar.”[37]

The Messenger of God and the Companions would not be able to stay there. They would not be able to take care of the land. Therefore, the Prophet accepted their offer and let them stay in their land in return for half of the crop of Khaybar. However, this treaty would be annulled by the Prophet whenever he wanted.[38]Thus, the Jews would give half of the share of the land they would cultivate as if they had set up a partnership with the Islamic state in an agricultural business.

The Messenger of God sent Abdul­lah b. Rawaha to Khaybar during the time of harvest every year. Hazrat Abdullah divided the crops into two and let them choose either part. Upon this just treatment, the Jews said, “The earth and the sky keep existing thanks to this justice.”[39]

The Number of the Martyrs and Dead People

At the end of the war, it was seen that more than twenty people had been martyred among the Islamic army that consisted of one thousand and six hundred people. On the other hand, the Jewish army, which was in the position of defending and fought in their own castles, and which consisted of twenty thousand people, had lost ninety-three lives.[40]

As a result of this bright victory, Khaybar was included among the boundaries of the Islamic state.

Migrants from Abyssinia Arrive in Khaybar

Before the Messenger of God left Khaybar, Muslim migrants from Abyssinia led by Jafar b. Abi Talib arrived.[41]The Messenger of God was very pleased when he saw them. He said, “I do not know which one should I be happy for? The conquest of Khaybar or the arrival of Jafar?”[42]The Prophet allocated some of the booty of Khaybar to them.[43]

Those with Double Migration and Double Reward

After they returned to Madinah, some of the mujahid migrants said to the migrants from Abyssinia, “We are superior to you in terms of migration.” Once, Hazrat Asma, the wife of Jafar b. Abi Talib, who had migrated to Abyssinia, went to visit Hazrat Hafsa in her home. She met Hazrat Umar there. When Umar found out that she was Asma bint Umays, he said, “We are superior to you in terms of migration. Therefore, we are close to the Messenger of God (pbuh) than you.”

Hazrat Asma got angry when she heard this and said, ”No. The reality is not as you say. By God, you were near the Prophet. He fed those of you who were hungry and educated those of you who were ignorant by preaching and advising. We had to go to Abyssinia due to the oppression we suffered because of our religion. We did it only for the sake of God.” Then, she said, “By God, I will tell the Messenger of God what you said and I will ask him whether it is true or not.”

Meanwhile, the Messenger of God arrived.

Asma bint Umays told the Messenger of God what Umar had said to her.

The Messenger of God asked, “What did you say in response?”

Hazrat Asma said, “I said this and this.”

Thereupon, the Messenger of God said to Asma, “There is nobody closer than you to me regarding this issue. Umar and his friends have one reward for migration but you, the people of the ship, have two rewards.”[44]

When the Muslims who returned from Abyssinia heard this, they became very happy. This incident shows how much importance Muslims give to migration. 

Booty

The booty captured in Khaybar, was distributed to all of the Companions who were near the Prophet during the Peace Treaty of Hudaybiyah whether they took part in the Expedition of Khaybar or not.[45]For God Almighty had given the good news that Khaybar would be conquered and that He would give them a lot of booty to those who took part in the Expedition of Hudaybiyah.[46]

The Messenger of God allocated some of the booty to the four hundred Muslims who joined the Islamic army in Khaybar from the tribe of Daws and to the migrants who returned from Abyssinia, led by Jafar b. Abi Talib.[47]

Upon the order of the Messenger of God, the booty was divided into five first. One fifth of it was given to the Prophet. The remaining booty was sold upon the order of the Prophet. 

The Prophet distributed the money that was obtained when the booty was sold to Muslims equally.[48]

The immovable property of Khaybar, that is, the land and income of Khaybar, was divided as the property of Shiqq, Natat and Katiba. The property of Shiqq and Natat was regarded as the four-fifths share of the Muslims and the property of Katiba was given to the Prophet to be put into the Treasury as the share of the Prophet.[49]

The Messenger of God divided the property and crops of Katiba among his relatives, wives and the Muslim men and women based on their needs.[50]

Among the booty, there were several copies of the Torah. The Jews demanded the copies of the Torah. Upon the order of the Prophet, the Muslims returned the copies of the Torah to the Jews. Thus, they showed their tolerance toward the other religions. This incident also indicated the respect Muslims showed toward the holy books to the previous prophets by God.  

The Jews Try to Poison the Prophet

Despite all of the good will and nice treatment of the Prophet, the hatred and the enmity of the Jews against Islam in their hearts never faded away. It was virtually their habit to respond to good treatment with bad treatment and treason.

Khaybar had been conquered and the Prophet started to rest with his Companions. The Jews, who could not defeat the Messenger of God in the war, made a treacherous plan. They decided to poison the Prophet. Zaynab, the wife of Sallam b. Mishkam, a famous Jew, undertook this duty. In accordance with the plan, Zaynab grilled a female goat and spread poison all over it. She found out that the Prophet liked the arm and shoulder of the animal; so, she put more poison on those parts. 

The deceitful Jewess took the grilled and poisoned goat to the Prophet and said, “O Abu’l-Qasim! I am giving this to you as a present.” Then, she put it before the Prophet.

When the woman started to leave, the Prophet and the Companions who were there got ready to eat it. The Messenger of God put a small part from the shoulder of the goat into his mouth; but, before he swallowed it, he said to his Companions, “Remove your hands! This blade tells me that the meat is poisoned.”[51]

Everybody removed their hands. However, Bishr b. Bara had swallowed the morsel. It was so poisonous that his body became purple and he was martyred at once.[52]

Jews, who were famous for killing their prophets and who could poison people better than any other nation, could not succeed in poisoning the Prophet. The Prophet summoned Zaynab, who tried to poison him. Zaynab confessed it. The Prophet asked, “Why did you do it?” She replied, 

“If you really were a prophet, you would be informed about it and it would not harm you. If you were not a prophet but a king, I did it to make people get rid of you.”[53]

According to some narrations, the Prophet, who never had the feeling of personal revenge, did not kill the woman; he forgave her.[54]However, according to other narrations, he had the woman killed. The researchers said:

The Messenger of God did not have her killed but he gave her to the inheritors of Bishr; and they killed her in retaliation.[55]

What was Forbidden in Khaybar

The Messenger of God forbad four things for Muslims on the day of Khaybar:

1) To touch women slaves,

2) To eat the flesh of domesticated donkey,

3) To eat the flesh of wild animals and animals with fangs,

4) To sell or buy the booty before it is divided.[56]

Making a Treaty with Fadak Jews

After the conquest of Khaybar, the Prophet sent Mu­hay­yi­sa b. Mas’ud to the Jews living in the village of Fadak, two destinations away from Madinah, to invite them to Islam. The Jews of Fadak had come together with the Jews living around and decided to attack Madinah but they could not do it.

The Jews of Fadak did not accept the offer of the peace treaty of Muhayyisa, the envoy of the Messenger of God, first but then they feared that they would be like the Jews of Khaybar and made a peace offer. The Prophet accepted their peace offer.

According to the peace treaty, no Fadak Jews would be killed. Half of their land was left to them but the other half was allocated to the Prophet. It was not divided among the other Muslims because according to the sixth verse of the chapter of al-Hashr, the places captured through peace, without any military force, were allocated to the Prophet. Since that was what happened in Fadak, half of the land of Fadak was allocated to the Prophet.[57]The Messenger of God used the income from the land of Fadak for himself, the children of Sons of Hashim and to marry the orphans among them off.[58]

The Conquest of Wadil-Qura

After that, the Prophet left Khaybar and proceeded toward Wadil-Qura. It was a place consisting of villages between Khaybar and Tayma. Before Islam, Jews had settled there and built up that area.

After the Jews of Sons of Qurayza had been punished due to their treason, the Jews of Wadil-Qura decided to attack Madinah together with the Jews around; however, they could not do it. 

The Messenger of God invited the Jews living there to Islam. He told them that they would not be killed if they embraced Islam, that their goods would be left to them and that what they had in their hearts would be dealt with by God.[59]The people of Wadil-Qura did not accept the peace offer and got ready to fight.

Thereupon, the Prophet besieged them. During the first day of the siege, about ten Jews were killed.[60]

The Messenger of God invited them to Islam again. They did not accept it and resisted against the mujahids. However, they could not resist any longer and had to surrender when the sun was about a spear-length high.[61]

The Muslims obtained a lot of booty there. The Messenger of God divided the booty into five. He distributed four-fifths of the booty among the mujahids and allocated one-fifth to the Treasure. He left the land to the people of Wadil-Qura on the condition that they would give half of the crops to Muslims, as it was done in Khaybar.[62]

The Jews of Tayma Agree to Pay Jizyah

The Jews also lived in the place called Tayma, which was between Khaybar and Tabuk, on the way between Madinah and Damascus. They heard what the Prophet had done in Khaybar and Wadil-Qura. Therefore, when the Islamic army arrived there, they agreed to pay jizyah. Thus, they did not have to leave their hometown and they did not lose their land.[63]

The Importance of the Conquest of Khaybar

With the conquest of Khaybar, almost all of the Jews in the Arabian Peninsula became subject to the Islamic state. With the Peace Treaty of Hudaybiyah, any dangers from the polytheists had been prevented. Thus, Islam had a great freedom.

Thanks to the Peace Treaty of Hudaybiyah, the polytheists had not been able to help the Jews or to cooperate with them; thanks to the conquest of Khaybar, it became impossible for the Jews to attempt any cooperation with the polytheists. From then on, there was no light of hope for the polytheists or the Jews to get help from each other. Thus, the Qurayshi polytheists were regarded to have lost one of their supports they had always planned to use.   

This conquest caused a lot of sensation around because everybody knew that Khaybar had very strong castles, that the Jews of Khaybar were very good at fighting, that they were superior in terms of weapons and that they had many brave people.

The fact that they were defeated by the Islamic army despite their advantages intimidated everybody. They realized that Muslims had become an invincible power. Therefore, the tribes around surrendered voluntarily, accepting the sovereignty of Islam. Therefore, the conquest of Khaybar has an important place in the history of Islam.

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[1]Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 2, p. 106.

[2]Ibn Hisham, Sirah, Vol. 3, p. 364.

[3]Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, Vol. 5, p. 271.

[4]Ibn Kathir, Sirah, Vol. 3, p. 344-345; with different expressions in Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 3, p. 48; Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 3, p. 1427-1429.

[5]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 343; Muslim, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 1428.

[6]Bukhari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 50.

[7]Qaf, 16.

[8]Nasai, Sunan, Vol. 8, p. 265.

[9]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 343; Ibn Qayyim, Zadu’l-Maad, Vol. 2, p. 148.

[10]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 343; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, Vol. 3, p. 111.

[11]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 344; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 2, p. 109; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 111.

[12]Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 111.

[13]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 349; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, ibid, Vol. 5, p. 353.

[14]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 303.

[15]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, c 4, p. 303.

[16]Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 3, p. 1428.

[17]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 327.

[18]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 328.

[19]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 111; Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 3, p. 51; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, Vol. 3, p. 353.

[20]Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 4, p. 1872.

[21]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 340; Bukhari, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 51.

[22]Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, ibid, Vol. 1, p. 99.

[23]Suhayli, Rawdu’l-Unf, Vol. 6, p. 560.

[24]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 349; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 110; Ibn Kathir, Sirah, Vol. 3, p. 352.

[25]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 110; Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 352.

[26]Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 3, p. 51; Ibn Qayyim, Zadu’l-Maad, Vol. 2, p. 149; Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 351.

[27]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 347; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2. p. 112; Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 3, p. 94; Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 357.

[28]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 112; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, Vol. 4, p. 52.

[29]Waqidi, Maghazi, Vol. 2, p. 657.

[30]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 349-350; Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 359.

[31]Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 361.

[32]Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 362.

[33]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 359.

[34]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 359.

[35]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 359.

[36]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 110; Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 376-377; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, Vol. 2, p. 744.

[37]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 352-371.

[38]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 352.

[39]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 369.

[40]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 107.

[41]Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 4, p. 1946.

[42]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 35.

[43]Muslim, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 1946.

[44]Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 3, p. 53-54; Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 4, p. 1947.

[45]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 364.

[46]Al-Fath, 18-19.

[47]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 108; Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 4, p. 1946.

[48]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 107.

[49]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 363.

[50]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 365-367.

[51]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 352; Abu Dawud, Sunan, Vol. 4, p. 175.

[52]Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, Vol. 2, p. 767.

[53]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 352; Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 3, p. 95; Ibn Kathir, Sirah, Vol. 3, p. 397.

[54]Qastalani, Mawahibu’l-Ladunniya, Vol. 1, p. 181.

[55]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 107; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, Vol. 2, p. 769.

[56]Ibn Hisham, Sirah, Vol. 3, p. 345.

[57]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 368.

[58]Muhammad al-Khudari, Nuru’l-Yaqin, p. 195.

[59]Ibn Kathir, Sirah, Vol. 3, p. 413.

[60]Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 413.

[61]Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 413.

[62]Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 413.

[63]Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 413; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, Vol. 2, p. 775.

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