Battle of Bani Quraiza – Martyrdom of Saad bin Maaz – Abu Lubabah repents

Ali bin Ibrahim, Shaykh Tabarsi etc. have narrated that when the Holy Prophet (S) returned to Medina from the Battle of Ahzab, Lady Fatima (s.a.) brought water, so that he may wash himself. The Prophet was about to enter into the bathroom and the standard was not yet wrapped up when Jibraeel arrived and according to the report of Tabarsi, he had not even dismounted and he was wearing a white turban whose ends hung upon his shoulders.

The Prophet removed dust from his head and Jibraeel said: May Allah have mercy on you, you have disarmed, but your heavenly soldiers have not. We were in hot pursuit of the idolaters of Quraish and were driving them till we took them till Rauha. According to the report of Ali bin Ibrahim, we took them till Humraul Asad. Jibraeel says: O Messenger of Allah (S), the Almighty Allah orders you to recite the Asr prayer in the locality of Bani Quraiza.

I will precede you and shake up their fort. According to the report of Tabarsi: I will pound them like seeds are pounded on a stone. The Holy Prophet (S) set out immediately and met Haritha bin Noman. He asked him about the situation. He said: “May my parents be sacrificed on you, Dahiya Kalbi is announcing that no one should pray the Asr prayer here, go and pray it at the Bani Quraiza locality.”

The Holy Prophet (S) said: “It is not Dahiya, it is Jibraeel.” Then he called for Imam Ali (a.s.) and told him to make the same announcement. Thus all of them departed from Medina. Imam Ali (a.s.) carried the big standard and preceded the army which turned to Bani Quraiza. It is mentioned in Qurbul Asnad from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that on that day the Holy Prophet (S) gave a black standard with a white flag which was called Uqab (the eagle).

And Furat bin Ibrahim has narrated that when the Holy Prophet (S) returned from the Battle of Ahzab, Jibraeel came down and said: Don’t put your arms away, because I was in pursuit of Quraish till Humraul Asad. Now the Almighty Allah commands you to go and fight Bani Quraiza. I will go first and shake up the Jews.

The Holy Prophet (S) gave the standard to Imam Ali (a.s.) and sent him behind Jibraeel and after a short delay he went out and joined him. He asked whoever he met on the way: Did you see that rider? He used to reply: Yes, I have seen Dahiya Kalbi,” because that day Jibraeel had appeared in his form and had put a purple cloth on his horse.

When the army of the Prophet reached the fort of Bani Quraiza, their announcer called: Where is Abu Lubabah bin Abu Manzar. The Holy Prophet (S) told Abu Lubabah that he was being summoned by Bani Quraiza. When he went to them they began to weep and said: We cannot face the army which is coming behind you. The story of Abu Lubabah will be narrated after this.

Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that after the flight and defeat of Quraish, Huyy bin Akhtab came and entered the fort of Bani Quraiza. And when Amirul Momineen (a.s.) fixed the Islamic standard below the fort, Kaab bin Usaid saw them from the fort. He was reviling the Muslims and insulting the Prophet, but the Messenger of Allah (S) was not responding. According to the report of Shaykh Mufeed, when they saw the Prophet, they remembered that the eliminator of Amr Ibn Abde Wudd was here.

So a terrible fright overtook them. Prophet came near the fort mounted on an ass. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) stepped forward to welcome him and he said: O Messenger of Allah (S), May my parents be sacrificed on you, don’t go near the fort.” The Holy Prophet (S) thought that it was perhaps because he did not want him to hear any insult from them and the Prophet said: “When they see me, the Almighty Allah will humiliate them further and they will desist from whatever they are uttering. And like the Almighty Allah gave you power over Amr Ibn Abde Wudd, in the same way you will helped over them. The Almighty Allah has helped me with awe and my awe is created in people from a distance of one month’s journey.

Thus when he came near the fort, he said: “O brothers of monkeys and pigs, O devotees of Satan; do you abuse me? When come to avenge from a group, that day is very unfortunate for them.” Kaab looked from the roof of the fort and said: O Abul Qasim you never resorted to abuses like ignorant people.”

Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) says: “When the Messenger of Allah (S) heard this, he was so embarrassed that his robe and staff fell down and he moved a few paces to the back.” There were many date trees around the fort so there was no place for the army to camp there. The Holy Prophet (S) signed to the trees and they spread in the desert leaving an open field around the fort.

The army camped there and laid siege to them for three days. During this period none of them came out and after three days, Ghazal bin Shamul came out and said: “O Muhammad, deal with us like you dealt with Bani Nuzayr. That is, give us security. You may take all our belongings and we shall leave this area.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “It is not possible till you don’t leave the fort to enable me to do whatever I want.” He returned and they stayed inside for some days till their women and children were restless due to the captivity. At last they came out.

According to the report of Shaykh Tabarsi, the siege lasted for 25 days. The Holy Prophet (S) ordered their men to be tied up and they numbered 700. And their women were segregated from them. Aws tribesmen approached the Prophet and submitted that “they are our confederates and friends and they always helped us against the Khazraj.

On the mediation of Abdullah bin Ubayy you forgave 700 armored and 300 un-armored men in a single day. We are not less than Ibn Ubayy.” When they insisted too much, the Prophet said: “Do you agree that I appoint an arbitrator from your tribe and will you accept what he decides?” “Yes, whom do you appoint?”

The Holy Prophet (S) said: “I appoint Saad bin Maaz.” They agreed to this appointment and brought him on a stretcher. Members of Aws tribe gathered around him and said: “O Abu Amr, have mercy on your friends and confederates as they have helped us in many engagements.” When they had argued much in their favor, that noble man said: “The occasion is that Saad must not care for any criticism.” Aws began to scream in shock. “By Allah, Bani Quraiza is destroyed.”

Women and children also began to wail. Finally when they were silenced, Saad said: “O Jews, do you accept my decision?” They said: “Yes, we do. And we hope for mercy from you.” Again Saad repeated his question. Again they replied in the affirmative. Saad turned to the Holy Prophet (S) with respect and asked him what his view was. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “O Saad, I will accept whatever you say.”

Saad said: “Kill their men, captivate their women and children and distribute their animals among Muhajireen and Ansar.” And according to the report of Tabarsi, he asked the Prophet to restrict their lands and houses to the Muhajireen. The Holy Prophet (S) arose and said: “O Saad, you have issued the judgment that the Almighty Allah delivered at the seventh heaven.

After that Saad’s tumor burst and he met his martyrdom according to his wish. His soul flew up to join the prophets and martyrs. Then by the command of the Prophet, the prisoners were brought to Medina and pits were dug up in Baqi. One by one, Jews were brought there to be eliminated. Huyy bin Akhtab asked Kaab bin Usaid: “What do you think are they doing with them?” He said, “Don’t you know that they are being executed one by one?

So be patient and remain steadfast on your religion.” It was the turn of Kaab bin Usaid. His hands were tied to his neck and he was a handsome man. When the Messenger of Allah (S) saw him, he asked: “Did you not benefit from the advice of that scholar from Shaam who said: I gave up wine and material pleasures and agreed to remain content with poverty and dates for the sake of the Prophet who is about to rise.

Who will rise from Mecca and relocate to Medina. Who lives on dried bread and some pieces of dates, rides an ass. There is redness in his eyes. There is a seal of prophethood between his shoulders. He carries his sword on his shoulders. He fights Jihad against every enemy. His kingdom will reach to all the corners of the world.”

Kaab said: “It is right. He had said in this way only. If I had not feared that people will deride me for being frightened of death, I would have indeed brought faith on you. But I have lived as a Jew and will die a Jew.” Thus he was eliminated. After that Huyy bin Akhtab was brought there. The Messenger of Allah (S) asked: “O transgressor, did you see the power of Allah regarding yourself?”

He replied: “I don’t condemn myself. I was only overcome by your enmity and I continued to make efforts to get rid of you, but one who is not helped by Allah is surely humiliated.” According to the report of Shaykh Mufeed, he turned to the people and said: “O people whatever Allah decrees happens. This is the crop that the Almighty Allah has decreed for Bani Israel.”

When he was brought to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that he may behead him, he said: “A noble is being executed by a noble.” The righteous kill the evil ones and vice versa. Woe be to the one who is killed by the righteous. “You are right; after you have killed me, please don’t take off my garments.” Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “Your clothes are unworthy of me.”

He said: “Since you have allowed me to be clothed, may the Almighty Allah also keep you clothed.” And he put his head forward and was thrown among the dead fully dressed. According the report of Shaykh Mufeed, all Bani Quraiza were killed but according to some reports, the Holy Prophet (S) killed ten men and distributed the others among the companions.

Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that during those three days, when the climate was cool, those Jews were executed and the Holy Prophet (S) had strongly emphasized that they must be supplied with fine food and potable water. He used to urge his men to behave with them nicely. Thus they were all killed, so the Almighty Allah revealed the following verses about this incident:

وَأَنْزَلَ الَّذِينَ ظَاهَرُوهُمْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ مِنْ صَيَاصِيهِمْ وَقَذَفَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الرُّعْبَ فَرِيقًا تَقْتُلُونَ وَتَأْسِرُونَ فَرِيقًا. وَأَوْرَثَكُمْ أَرْضَهُمْ وَدِيَارَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ وَأَرْضًا لَمْ تَطَئُوهَا ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرًا.

“And He drove down those of the followers of the Book who backed them from their fortresses and He cast awe into their hearts; some you killed and you took captive another part. And He made you heirs to their land and their dwellings and their property, and (to) a land which you have not yet trodden, and Allah has power over all things.”1

It is mentioned in Qurbul Asnad from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah (S) during the Battle of Bani Quraiza said that in order to distinguish the boys from matured men, you must see the hair on their backs. Those having thick hair should be considered adults and must be put to death and those without it should be considered non-adults.

The latter should be made into slaves. And Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) had sent some prisoners with Saad bin Zaid to Najd and in their exchange he bought weapons and horses for Muslims. It is said that from their women, the Messenger of Allah (S) took Murra binte Hanafa for himself and some say that he took Raihana.

Ibn Babawayh has narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that when the Messenger of Allah (S) was informed about the passing away of Saad bin Maaz, he came to his house with his companions and ordered them to perform his funeral bath. The Holy Prophet (S) stood at the door and supervised the last rites. Then his bier was lifted and the Prophet accompanied it like a mourning one till he was brought to the grave.

The Holy Prophet (S) himself descended into the grave and laid him there. After filling up the grave and leveling it, he said: “I know that his body will be pulverized. But the Almighty Allah likes one who does a job perfectly.” Saad’s mother called out: “O Saad, may you find Paradise in good cheer.” The Prophet said: “Keep quiet and don’t dictate to Allah what is to be done. Saad has been squeezed in the grave.”

When the Prophet returned, people asked: “O Prophet, why did you pay such exclusive respect for Saad’s bier?” He replied: “I walked as a mourner, because I saw angels walking like this in his funeral procession. I gave him each shoulder in turn, because my hand was in the hand of Jibraeel and I caught that same corner bier that he did.” People asked: “You recited his funeral prayer and laid him in the grave but still say that he was squeezed in the grave.” The Holy Prophet (S) said, “It was so because he was sharp-tongued to his wife.”

It is mentioned in another report that people asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that it is narrated that Arsh trembled by the death of Saad. Imam (a.s.) said: “The plank on which Saad was laid was trembling. And Kulaini and Ibn Babawayh have narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that when the Messenger of Allah (S) prayed the funeral prayer of Saad, seventy thousand angels also participated along with Jibraeel.

The Prophet asked: “What has enabled him to reach this status?” Jibraeel said: “He was always reciting Surah Tauheed.” And it is mentioned in Tafsir Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah (S), after the burial of Saad said: “O people, this Saad bin Maaz is from virtuous people.

He chose the pleasure of Allah over the displeasure of his Jew relatives and sons-in-law, exhorted them good deeds, forbid evil and became angry with them that they should talk with Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (S) and Ali, the Wali of Allah (a.s.) in a way that does not beseem their exalted position.”

Because Saad supported Muhammad and Ali (a.s.), Allah became grateful to him and prepared high ranks in Paradise for him and provided such innumerable nice things for him that cannot be described or even imagined. At last when Saad Ibn Maaz was satisfied after the extermination of Bani Quraiza tribe and after sometime he passed away, the Holy Prophet (S) remarked: “O Saad, may Allah have mercy on you, you were like a bone stuck in the throat of infidels, you would have prevented the appointing of the calf, which they want to establish in Medina, like it was done at the time of Musa (a.s.).”

Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that when the Messenger of Allah (S) laid siege to Bani Quraiza and they told him to send Abu Lubabah to them so that they might consult with him, the Holy Prophet (S) told him to go to his representatives and friends. When he went to them, men came running to him and women and children surrounded him and all began to weep.

He was aggrieved because of them. They said: “O Abu Lubabah, what do you advise? Shall we come out?” He signed to his neck that they would be killed. Then he regretted this act of his that he had been dishonest to Allah and His Prophet. On his return from the fort he did not go to the Prophet. On the contrary he went to the Prophet’s mosque and tied himself to a pillar, which is known as the pillar of repentance.

He vowed that he would not untie himself till he dies or the Almighty Allah accepts his repentance. When the Prophet was informed, he said, “If he had come to me, I would have invoked for his forgiveness. Now that he has gone to the divine court, the Almighty Allah is more deserving to decide about him.” Abu Lubabah fasted the days and broke his fast with a grain of food. His daughter came every evening to allow him to relieve himself.

When the Holy Prophet (S) returned and was in Umm Salma’s apartment, the Almighty Allah accepted the repentance of Abu Lubabah and informed the Prophet. He said: “O Umm Salma, the Almighty Allah has accepted the repentance of Abu Lubabah.” “O Messenger of Allah (S) Do you allow me to go and inform him about it?”

“Yes,” said the Prophet. Lady Umm Salma, put out her head and said: “Congratulations Abu Lubabah, the Almighty Allah has accepted your repentance.” Abu Lubabah said: “Praise be to Allah.” Muslims ran to untie him. He said: “By Allah, I will not allow anyone to untie me except the Holy Prophet (S).”

the Prophet came and said: “O Abu Lubabah, the Almighty Allah has accepted your repentance in such a way as if you have just been born.” Abu Lubabah asked: “O Messenger of Allah (S), shall I give all my property to charity?” “No,” said the Prophet. “Then two-thirds?” “No.” “Half?” “No.” “One-third?” “Yes,” said the Prophet. At that juncture, the following verse was revealed:

وَآخَرُونَ اعْتَرَفُوا بِذُنُوبِهِمْ خَلَطُوا عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَآخَرَ سَيِّئًا عَسَى اللَّهُ أَنْ يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ ﴿١٠٢﴾ خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِمْ بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ إِنَّ صَلَاتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَهُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿١٠٣﴾ أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَأْخُذُ الصَّدَقَاتِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ (104)

“And others have confessed their faults, they have mingled a good deed and an evil one; may be Allah will turn to them (mercifully); surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Take alms out of their property, you would cleanse them and purify them thereby, and pray for them; surely your prayer is a relief to them; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing. Do they not know that Allah accepts repentance from His servants and takes the alms, and that Allah is the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful?”2

  • 1. Surah Ahzab 33:26-27
  • 2. Surah Taubah 9:102-104