1e. Genocide of Banu Qurayza

Genocide of Banu Qurayza (Jewish Tribe)

Majority of Muslims have no idea that Muhammad has committed a genocide of a jewish tribe called Banu Qurayza who used to live in Medina peacefully before Muhammad arrived and started fighting them and killing them. Muhammad ordered the beheading of 600-900 Jewish men and their heads were thrown into ditches. All the women and children were enslaved and they were used either as concubines or sold in markets to purchase weapons and horses. Let’s examine how brutal and wicked Muhammad was.

Shortly after arriving in Medina from Mecca in 622, Muhammad began raiding the merchant caravans traveling to and from neighboring Mecca. He would steal their property and kill anyone who defended it (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 424-425). After a few years of this, the Meccans eventually realized that they would have to try and capture Medina, since it was being used as a base of operations by Muhammad and his pirates. In 627, they sent an army to the outskirts of the city and appeared poised to take it in what has been called the Battle of the Trench (the Muslims dug a trench around the exposed northern and western parts of the city to stop the Meccan military advance). Muhammad and Jewish Banu Qurayza of Medina had signed an agreement of mutual assistance to defend themselves against Meccan Quraysh and their allies. In 627, when the Quraysh and their allies besieged the city of Medina in the Battle of the Trench, the Qurayza violated a treaty with Muhammad by entering into negotiations with the Meccan army, aiming to attack Muslims from behind while the other attackers attack from the front. The Qurayza did not participate in the fighting and contrary to popular misconceptions; the Qurayza had not attacked the Muslims. When the representatives of the Quraysh and the Ghatafan came to the Qurayza, asking for support in the planned decisive battle with Muhammad, the Qurayza indeed demanded hostages. The representatives of the besiegers refused, breaking down negotiations and resulting in the Banu Qurayza becoming extremely distrustful of the besieging army. A half-hearted effort on that day to breach the defenses proved fatal to the Meccan, thus convincing their leader that they could not win unless the Qurayza joined the battle from the other side. However, the Qurayza refused, ironically enough, thus prompting the Meccans to immediately abandon the siege. The Qurayza did not take any actions to support them until the besieging forces retreated. A grand total of just six Muslims had been killed at the Battle of the Trench. After the withdrawal of Meccans and its allies, Muhammad led his forces against the Banu Qurayza neighborhood. Subsequently, the tribe was charged with treason. The Banu Qurayza were forced to surrender and the men were beheaded, while all the women and children were taken captive and enslaved. Trenches were dug where they were beheaded and were thrown. And as always their women were distributed among horny Muslim men to have fun with. Muhammad picked another 17 years old name Rayhana bint Zayd for himself. Earliest Islamic scholars have this massacre well documented. Muhammad decided to give punishment to the whole tribe including young boys.

Al-Tabari -Volume 8, Page 38
Muhammad had boys of Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza beheaded. The Messenger of Allah commanded that all of the Jewish men and boys who had reached puberty should be beheaded. Then the Prophet divided the wealth, wives, and children of the Banu Qurayza Jews among the Muslims.

Al-Tabari, Volume 8, Page 29-30
From his share of captive women, prophet gave his son-in-law, Ali a slave girl, Raytah bt Hilal to enjoy her at his will. He also presented Uthman b. Affan, his son-in-law, another slave girl Zainab b. Hayan, and bestowed another girl (name unknown) to his father in-law Omar Ibn Khattab. Omar gave that girl to his son Abdullah. Most of Prophet’s other elite companions received slave girls as gifts.

Ibn Ishaq – Sirat e Rasulullah (Guillaume)
Then they surrendered, and the apostle confined them in Medina in the quarter of d. al-Harith, a woman of B. al-Najjar. Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. Among them was the enemy of Allah Huyayy b. Akhtab and Ka`b b. Asad their chief. There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900. As they were being taken out in batches to the apostle they asked Ka`b what he thought would be done with them. He replied, ‘Will you never understand? Don’t you see that the summoner never stops and those who are taken away do not return? By Allah it is death!’ This went on until the apostle made an end of them.

Ibn Ishaq – Sirat e Rasulullah, Page 464
After 800-900 male adults of Bani Quraiza were beheaded in batches, and thrown in trenches dug in Medina, the apostle divided their property, wives and children as booty… He took Rayhana d. Amr b. Khunafa for himself.

Ibn Kathir – The Campaign against Banu Qurayzah
“Then the Messenger of Allah commanded that ditches should be dug, so they were dug in the earth, and they were brought tied by their shoulders, and were beheaded. There were between seven hundred and eight hundred of them. The children who had not yet reached adolescence and the women were taken prisoner, and their wealth was seized.”

Old Testament-Deuteronomy 20:10-15 (Torah-Devarim) was implemented against the Banu Quraiza.
10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace.
11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you.
12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city.
13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it.
14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies.
15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

Quran mentions this incident briefly in two verses 33.26-27.
Q33:26-27 “And He brought down from their strongholds those of the people of the Scripture (the Jews of Medinah, the perfidious Banu Quraizah) who had backed them (the invading enemies). He inspired awful terror into their hearts (so much so that) some of them you were able to slay and others you could take as captives. And He allowed you to inherit their land, their homes and their belongings. And He shall give you yet more lands (the land of Khaibar; and the land of the Persian and Roman Empires) on which you have not so far set your foot. And Allah is Possessor of prudential power over all that He will.”

Sahih Bukhari – Volume 4, Book 52, Hadith 68
Narrated Aisha: When Allah’s Apostle returned on the day (of the battle) of Al-Khandaq (i.e. Trench), he put down his arms and took a bath. Then Gabriel whose head was covered with dust, came to him saying, “You have put down your arms! By Allah, I have not put down my arms yet.” Allah’s Apostle said, “Where (to go now)?” Gabriel said, “This way,” pointing towards the tribe of Bani Quraiza. So Allah’s Apostle went out towards them.

It is interesting to note that after the enemy had left, Muhammad seemed not to be aware of any alleged treason the Banu Qurayza had committed. Obviously this treason did not have any consequences in the field.

Sahih Bukhari – Volume 5, Book 59, Hadith 362
Narrated Ibn `Umar: Bani An-Nadir and Bani Quraiza fought (against the Prophet violating their peace treaty), so the Prophet exiled Bani An-Nadir and allowed Bani Quraiza to remain at their places (in Medina) taking nothing from them till they fought against the Prophet again). He then killed their men and distributed their women, children and property among the Muslims, but some of them came to the Prophet and he granted them safety, and they embraced Islam. He exiled all the Jews from Medina. They were the Jews of Bani Qainuqa’, the tribe of `Abdullah bin Salam and the Jews of Bani Haritha and all the other Jews of Medina.

Sahih Muslim – Book 19, Hadith 4364
It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar that the Jews of Banu Nadir and Banu Quraizi fought against the Messenger of Allah who expelled Banu Nadir, and allowed Quraiza to stay on, and granted favour to them until they too fought against him Then he killed their men, and distributed their women, children and properties among the Muslims, except that some of them had joined the Messenger of Allah who granted them security. They embraced Islam. The Messenger of Allah turned out all the Jews of Medina. Banu Qainuqa’ (the tribe of ‘Abdullah b. Salim) and the Jews of Banu Haritha and every other Jew who was in Medina.

Sunan Abu Dawud – Book 19, Hadith 2999 – Same Hadith

Sahih Muslim – Book 19, Hadith 4368
It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri who said: The people of Quraiza surrendered accepting the decision of Sa’d b. Mu’adh about them. Accordingly, the Messenger of Allah sent for Sa’d who came to him riding a donkey. When he approached the mosque, the Messenger of Allah said to the Ansar: Stand up to receive your chieftain. Then he said (to Sa’d): These people have surrendered accepting your decision. He (Sa’d) said: You will kill their fighters and capture their women and children. (Hearing this), the Propbot said: You have adjudged by the command of God. The narrator is reported to have said: Perhaps he said: You have adjuged by the decision of a king.
Ibn Muthanna (in his version of the tradition) has not mentioned the alternative words.

Sahih Bukhari – Volume 4, Book 52, Hadith 280
Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri: When the tribe of Bani Quraiza was ready to accept Sad’s judgment, Allah’s Apostle sent for Sad who was near to him. Sad came, riding a donkey and when he came near, Allah’s Apostle said (to the Ansar), “Stand up for your leader.” Then Sad came and sat beside Allah’s Apostle who said to him. “These people are ready to accept your judgment.” Sad said, “I give the judgment that their warriors should be killed and their children and women should be taken as prisoners.” The Prophet then remarked, “O Sad! You have given a judgment similar to Allah’s Judgment (or the King’s judgment).”

Sahih Muslim – Book 19, Hadith 4371
It has been narrated on the authority of Hisham (who learnt it from his father) that the Messenger of Allah said (to Sa’d): You have adjudged their case with the judgment of God. The Exalted and Glorified.

Jami’at-Tirmidhi – Volume 1, Book 46, Hadith 3849
Narrated Anas bin Malik: “When the funeral of Sa’d bin Mu’adh was carried, the hypocrites said: ‘How light his funeral is.’ And this was due to his judgment concerning Banu Quraizah. So this reached the Prophet, and he said: ‘Indeed, the angels were carrying him.'”

Sunan Abu Dawud – Book 38, Hadith 4390
Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi: I was among the captives of Banu Qurayza. 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.

Sunan Abu Dawud – Book 14, Hadith 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 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.

Sahih Bukhari – Volume 52, Book 4, Hadith 220
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand.” Abu Huraira added: Allah’s Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them).

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