Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Banu Qurayza

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The Jewish tribe of the Banu Qurayza were one of the three Jewish tribes, along with the Banu Nadir and the Banu Qaynuqa, mentioned by the sira tradition as being present in and around Medina at the time of the arrival of the prophet. They refused to convert to Islam, and eventually allied with the pagan Meccans against Muhammad and the Muslims, despite an earlier oath with Muhammad not to attack the Muslims. For this betrayal, on the order of Allah by means of his angels, all of the adult men of the tribe were beheaded and the women and children sold into slavery. For more info, see The Massacre of the Banu Qurayza.


Abu as-Sa'ib, the freed slave of Hisham b. Zuhra, said that he visited Abu Sa'id Khudri in his house, (and he further) said: [...] There was a young man amongst us who had been newly wedded. We went with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) (to participate in the Battle of the trench) when a young man in the midday used to seek permission from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) to return to his family. One day he sought permission from him and Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) (after granting him the permission) said to him: Carry your weapons with you for I fear the tribe of Quraiza (may harm you). The man carried the weapons and then came back and found his wife standing between the two doors...
Narrated Abd-Allah ibn al-Zubayr: During the battle of Al-Ahzab, I and 'Umar bin Abi-Salama were kept behind with the women. Behold! I saw (my father) Az-Zubair riding his horse, going to and coming from Banu Qurayza twice or thrice. So when I came back I said, "O my father! I saw you going to and coming from Banu Qurayza?" He said, "Did you really see me, O my son?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Allah's Apostle said, 'Who will go to Bani Quraiza and bring me their news?' So I went, and when I came back, Allah's Apostle mentioned for me both his parents saying, "Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you."'
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.
Narrated Anas ibn Malik: As if I am just now looking at the dust rising in the street of Banu Ghanm (in Medina) because of the marching of Gabriel's regiment when Allah's Apostle set out to Banu Qurayza (to attack them).
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah's Messenger offered the Fajr prayer when it was still dark, then he rode and said, 'Allah Akbar! Khaibar is ruined. When we approach near to a nation, the most unfortunate is the morning of those who have been warned." The people came out into the streets saying, "Muhammad and his army." Allah's Messenger vanquished them by force and their warriors were killed; the children and women were taken as captives. Safiya was taken by Dihya Al-Kalbi and later she belonged to Allah's Apostle go who married her and her Mahr was her manumission.
Narrated `Abdul `Aziz: Anas said, 'When Allah's Messenger invaded Khaibar, we offered the Fajr prayer there (early in the morning) when it was still dark. The Prophet rode and Abu Talha rode too and I was riding behind Abu Talha. The Prophet passed through the lane of Khaibar quickly and my knee was touching the thigh of the Prophet. He uncovered his thigh and I saw the whiteness of the thigh of the Prophet. When he entered the town, he said, 'Allahu Akbar! Khaibar is ruined. Whenever we approach near a (hostile) nation (to fight) then evil will be the morning of those who have been warned.' He repeated this thrice. The people came out for their jobs and some of them said, 'Muhammad (has come).' (Some of our companions added, "With his army.") We conquered Khaibar, took the captives, and the booty was collected. Dihya came and said, 'O Allah's Prophet! Give me a slave girl from the captives.' The Prophet said, 'Go and take any slave girl.' He took Safiya bint Huyay. A man came to the Prophet and said, 'O Allah's Messenger! You gave Safiya bint Huyay to Dihya and she is the chief mistress of the tribes of Qurayzah and An-Nadir and she befits none but you.' So the Prophet said, 'Bring him along with her.' So Dihya came with her and when the Prophet (ﷺ) saw her, he said to Dihya, 'Take any slave girl other than her from the captives.' Anas added: The Prophet then manumitted her and married her." Thabit asked Anas, "O Abu Hamza! What did the Prophet pay her (as Mahr)?" He said, "Her self was her Mahr for he manumitted her and then married her." Anas added, "While on the way, Um Sulaim dressed her for marriage (ceremony) and at night she sent her as a bride to the Prophet. So the Prophet was a bridegroom and he said, 'Whoever has anything (food) should bring it.' He spread out a leather sheet (for the food) and some brought dates and others cooking butter. (I think he (Anas) mentioned As-Sawaq). So they prepared a dish of Hais (a kind of meal). And that was Walima (the marriage banquet) of Allah's Messenger."
Narrated Abd-Allah ibn Umar: On the day of Al-Ahzab (i.e. Clans) the Prophet said, "None of you Muslims) should offer the 'Asr prayer but at Banu Qurayza's place." The 'Asr prayer became due for some of them on the way. Some of those said, "We will not offer it till we reach it, the place of Banu Quraiza," while some others said, "No, we will pray at this spot, for the Prophet did not mean that for us." Later on it was mentioned to the Prophet and he did not berate any of the two groups.
Narrated Abu-Sa'id al-Khudri: When the tribe of Banu Qurayza 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 judged amongst them with (or similar to) the judgment of the King Allah."
Narrated Abd-Allah ibn Umar: Banu Nadir and Banu Qurayza 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 Banu Qaynuqa, the tribe of Abdullah bin Salam and the Jews of Bani Haritha and all the other Jews of Medina.
Narrated Aisha: No woman of Banu Qurayza 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.
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.
It was narrated that 'Abdul-Malik bin`Umair said: “I heard 'Atiyyah Al-Quazi say: 'We were presented to the Messenger of Allah on the Day of Quraizah. Those whose public hair had grown were killed, and those whose public hair had not yet grown were let go. I was one of those whose pubic hair had not yet grown, so I was let go.” (Sahih)
According to Ibn Ishaq: Then they were made to come down, and the Messenger of God imprisoned them in the dwelling of al-Harith's daughter, a woman of the Banu al-Najjar.155 The Messenger of God went out into the marketplace of Medina (it is still its marketplace today) 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 think will be done to us? " Ka'b said: "On each. occasion you do not 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.
al-Tabari (d. 923), Michael Fishbein, ed, The History of al-Tabari [Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-muluk], vol. VIII, SUNY Press, p. 39, ISBN 0-7914-3149-5, https://archive.org/details/HistoryAlTabari40Vol/History_Al-Tabari_10_Vol/page/n2028/mode/2up 
أبو جعفر الطبري, تاريخ الرسل والملوك, vol. 2, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, p. 588, https://app.turath.io/book/9783 
See Also Ishaq:464
Then the apostle divided the property. wives, and children of B. Qurayza among the Muslims, and he made known on that day the shares of horse 693 and men, and took out the fifth. A horseman got three shares, two for the horse and one for his rider. A man without a horse got one share. On the day of B. Qurayza there were thirty-six horses. It was the first booty on which lots were cast and the fifth was taken. According to its precedent and what the apostle did the divisions were made, and it remained the custom for raids.
Ibn Ishaq (d. 768); Ibn Hisham (d. 833), A. Guillaume, ed, The Life of Muhammad [Sirat Rasul Allah], Oxford UP, p. 466, ISBN 0-19-636033-1, 1955, https://archive.org/details/GuillaumeATheLifeOfMuhammad/page/n1/mode/2up 
ابن إسحاق; ابن هشام, سيرة ابن هشام ت السقا, vol. 2, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, p. 241, https://app.turath.io/book/23833 
The Messenger of God selected for himself from their women Rayhanah bt. 'Amr b. Khunafah, a woman from the Banu 'Amr b. Qurayzah, and she remained his concubine; when he predeceased her, she was still in his possession .' 70 The Messenger of God offered to marry her and impose the curtain (Ihijab) on her, but she said, "Messenger of God, rather leave me in your possession [as a concubine], for it is easier for me and for you." So he did so. When the Messenger of God took her captive, she showed herself averse to Islam and insisted on Judaism. So the Messenger of God put her aside, and he was grieved because of her. Then, while he was with his companions, he heard the sound of shoes behind him and said, "This must be Tha'labah b. Sa'yah coming to bring me tidings of Rayhanah 's acceptance of Islam." He came to him and said, "Messenger of God, Rayhanah has become a Muslim"-and it gave the Messenger of God joy.
al-Tabari (d. 923), Michael Fishbein, ed, The History of al-Tabari [Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-muluk], vol. VIII, SUNY Press, p. 39, ISBN 0-7914-3149-5, https://archive.org/details/HistoryAlTabari40Vol/History_Al-Tabari_10_Vol/page/n2028/mode/2up 
أبو جعفر الطبري, تاريخ الرسل والملوك, vol. 2, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, p. 245, https://app.turath.io/book/9783 
Then the Messenger of God sent Sa'd b. Zayd al-Angara (a member of the Banu 'Abd al-Ashhal) with some of the captives from the Banu Qurayzah to Najd, and in exchange for them he purchased horses and arms.
al-Tabari (d. 923), Michael Fishbein, ed, The History of al-Tabari [Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-muluk], vol. VIII, SUNY Press, p. 39, ISBN 0-7914-3149-5, https://archive.org/details/HistoryAlTabari40Vol/History_Al-Tabari_10_Vol/page/n2028/mode/2up 
أبو جعفر الطبري, تاريخ الرسل والملوك, vol. 2, al-Maktabah al-Shamilah, p. 245, https://app.turath.io/book/9783 


The men and women were penned up for the night in separate yards.... [they] spent the night in prayer, repeating passages from their scriptures, and exhorting one another in constancy. During the night graves or trenches... were dug in the market-place. ... when these were ready in the morning, Mahomet, himself a spectator of the tragedy, gave command that the captives should be brought forth in companies of five and 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 after party they were thus led out, and butchered in cold blood, till the whole were slain.... For Zoheir, an aged Jew, who had saved some of his allies of the Bani Aus... Sabit intervened and procured a pardon.... "But what hath become of all our chiefs-of Kab, of Huwey, of Ozzal, the son of Samuel?" asked the old man.... He received to each inquiry the same reply;-they had all been slain already - "Then of what use is life to me any longer?  Leave me not to that bloodthirsty man who has killed that are dear to me in cold blood - But slay me also, I entreat thee. Here take my sword, it is sharp; strike high and hard." Sabit refused, and gave him over to another, who under Ali's orders beheaded the aged man.
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. It is said, however, that she afterwards embraced Islam.
Muir, Sir William. The Life of Mahomet. vol. III (pp. 276-279).

See Also

  • Banu Qurayza - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Banu Qurayza