Skirmishes and incidents between Badr and Uhud
Shaykh Tabarsi and Ali bin Ibrahim have narrated that when the Messenger of Allah (S) returned from the Battle of Badr to Medina, he gathered Jews in the bazar of Bani Qinqaa and said: “O Jews, fear Allah for the matter that He sent on Quraish in the Battle of Badr and embrace Islam before divine chastisement overtakes you.
And know that I am a Messenger Prophet and you have seen my attributes mentioned in your books. Jews said: “O Muhammad, you should not be deceived by the fact that you had to confront those who were ignorant of techniques of warfare and thus you gained victory on them. By Allah, if you confront us, you will come to know that we are the stalwarts of the battlefield.” At that juncture, the Almighty Allah revealed the following verse:
قُلْ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَتُغْلَبُونَ وَتُحْشَرُونَ إِلَىٰ جَهَنَّمَ ۚ وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ
“Say to those who disbelieve: You shall be vanquished, and driven together to hell; and evil is the resting-place.”1
After that the Holy Prophet (S) laid siege to Bani Qinqaa for six days. It is mentioned that it was from the 15th of Shawwal in the 20th month of Hijra, on Saturday and the Jews prayed for peace after six days and they came to him and accepted that the Prophet may issue any command against them. At that time, Abdullah bin Ubayy stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), they are our friends and confederates and they have always supported us.
Three hundred of them are in coats of mail and four hundred unarmed. Do you want to kill them, even though they are confederates of Khazraj tribe and have no treaty with the Aws tribe?” Thus he exaggerated so much in pleading their case that the Holy Prophet (S) was bound to forgive them and gave up the intention of having them eliminated. They left the residence of Medina and went and settled at the rural area of Shaam. The Almighty Allah revealed the following verse about Abdullah bin Ubayy and some persons of Khazraj who had advocated the case of Jews:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۘ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
“O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”2
Shaykh Tabarsi and Ibn Shahr Ashob have narrated that when the Messenger of Allah (S) returned to Medina from the Battle of Badr, he turned his attention after seven days to the tribe of Bani Sulaym, because he had received information that they had gathered at the well of Kedar. The Holy Prophet (S) camped there for three days and no confrontation took place, but he was able to gain many sheep as booty.
Then the remaining days of Shawwal and the whole month of Zilqad was spent in Medina during which ransom was taken from the prisoners and they were released. After that he set out for the expedition of Suwaiq, because the accursed Abu Sufyan had vowed that till he had not fought Muhammad, he would not touch women, and he set out from Mecca with a hundred riders and camped near Bani Nuzayr at a distance of four farsakhs from Medina, who were a group of Jews of Medina.
He knocked at the door of Huyy bin Akhtab, their leader, but he didn’t open the door. From there he went to Salam bin Maskan, a noble of Bani Nuzayr and called him a number of times; after that he came back to his companions and sent a group of Quraish to Medina who came till the outskirts of Areez, killed two persons from Ansar and returned.
When the Messenger of Allah (S) learnt about this, he came out in their pursuit and reached till Qarqaratal Kadr. When Abu Sufyan came to know about this, he ran from there and since they had to flee from there in a hurry, they left their rations behind, which contained parched barley meal. Muslims seized it all and as a result of this it became famous as the Battle of Suwaiq.
In that same journey, companions of the Prophet passed Arab markets and traded profitably in it. When they returned, they said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), we made only profit in this journey and there was no hardship. Did we get the reward for Jihad? “Yes,” said the Messenger. It is narrated that in that same year during the month of Zilhajj, Uthman bin Mazun, a most pious companion and a ward of the Prophet departed for the eternal abode and was buried in Baqi cemetery. His biography will be mentioned in the coming pages.
When the Holy Prophet (S) returned from the expedition of Suwaiq, he passed the remaining days of Zilhajj and full month of Mohurrum in Medina. Meanwhile information was received that Bani Ghitfan intend to attack Medina in unison under the leadership of Dasur bin Harith. So the Holy Prophet (S) set out from Medina with 450 men and when he caught up with them, they fled to the mountains. The Holy Prophet (S) camped in the Zawamir valley.
It was raining heavily and the Prophet separated from his army, passed the valley alone and went to the other side. He removed his clothes and hung them on a tree to dry and lay down under the shade of that tree. Enemies saw the Holy Prophet (S) from the hill and said to Dasur, their leader, that Muhammad was alone and it was a good opportunity to slay him.
If he calls for his companions they will not reach there in time to save him. And according to a report there was a flood in the valley and the companions, were unable to cross that valley. Thus Dasur took his sword and went to the Prophet. He said: “Who can save you today?” “Allah,” said the Prophet. Jibraeel slapped his chest and he dropped the sword.
The Holy Prophet (S) picked up the sword and asked: “Now tell me who can save you?” “No one,” he replied, “I testify to the oneness of God and that you are His messenger and I swear that I will never mobilize an army against you.” The Messenger of Allah (S) returned his sword and freed him. Dasur said, “You have done a favor to me and you are better than me.
Who is more deserving to do a favor?” When Dasur returned to his men they asked him why he did not kill him when he was asleep?” He replied: “I saw a tall man clad in white, who slapped me on the chest I fell down on my back and I understood that he was an angel; so I recited the Kalimah and embraced Islam. And I swore that I would never ever fight against the Prophet. After that he invited his people to Islam. The Almighty Allah revealed the following verse:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ هَمَّ قَوْمٌ أَنْ يَبْسُطُوا إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ فَكَفَّ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَنْكُمْ
“O you who believe, remember Allah’s favor on you when a people had determined to stretch forth their hands towards you, but He withheld their hands from you…”3
After that occurred the Battle of Qarda and its story is that six months after the Battle of Badr, the Prophet came to know that a caravan of Quraish under Abu Sufyan and according to a report, under Safwan bin Umayyah was traveling to Shaam through the Iraq route as after the incident of Badr, due to the fear of Prophet, they avoided traveling to Shaam through the Hijaz route.
And it was learnt that they were carrying a huge quantity of silver. The Holy Prophet (S) sent a hundred riders under the command of Zaid bin Haritha; when they reached the caravan, all the leaders and chiefs of the caravan ran away and the Muslims seized the caravan along with the remaining prisoners.
The Holy Prophet (S) separated one-fifth (Khums) which according to one report, amounted to 20000 dirhams and the rest was distributed among the people who has taken part in the expedition. Two chiefs of the caravan were also apprehended, one of them being Furat bin Hayyan who accepted Islam and was released and another was executed.
It is mentioned in reliable books that in the 2nd year of Hijra, occurred the expedition of Umair bin Adi. Its story is that there was a Jewess named Asma binte Marwan, who used to condemn the Muslims a great deal and also mimicked the Prophet. The Holy Prophet (S) sent Umair who entered her place at night, eliminated her and returned to pray the Morning Prayer with the Prophet. Some have said that this occurred in the 3rd year of Hijrat as will be described after this.
Kaab bin Ashraf, a noble and a poet of Jews, was killed that same year and he always mimicked the Muslims and the Prophet and he used to harass them. When he came to know about the Muslim victory of Badr, he was shocked and he came to Mecca and asked the infidels of Quraish about it and wept a great deal. He instigated them to take up arms against the Holy Prophet (S).
When he returned and the Prophet came to know about it, he cursed him in the following words: “O Allah, suffice us from Ibn Ashraf in the way You like best.” Muhammad bin Muslima said: “If you permit, I can finish him off.” The Holy Prophet (S) accorded the permission to him and he discussed this matter with Saad bin Maaz and sent Abu Naila to procure wheat on loan from Kaab.
Kaab was a foster brother of Kaab. Since Abu Naila was a close friend of Kaab, he said: “I have come to you with a request, and I hope you will not reveal this secret. O Kaab, the coming of that person (Muhammad) to Medina is a great trouble for us, because all Arabs have become inimical to us and are prepared to fight us. There is no commercial or social ties with them.”
Kaab said: “I warned you about it much before.” Abu Naila said: “Some people of our tribe support this stand. Right now I want some wheat on loan and I can pawn anything you like against it.” Kaab said: “Pawn your women with me.” “I will do that,” agreed Naila, “But you are a handsome young Arab and our women will be attracted to you.” He said, “Then pawn your sons with me.”
Abu Naila made excuses saying that it would be a matter of shame and that he was prepared to pledge his weapons. “I will bring them in the dead of the night so that no one can know.” Thus Abu Naila came back and reported his conversation to the Holy Prophet (S) and in the dead of the night, he set out with Muhammad bin Muslima, Salkan bin Salama, Harith bin Aus and Abu Ais bin Jubair.
The Holy Prophet (S) accompanied him till Baqi and prayed from him. It was the 14th of that month. They came to the gate of his mansion and called him. He was in the company of his wife and was newly married. When he heard them he arose and his wife asked where he was going at night. He said that his brother, Naila has arrived and he a going to meet him.
She said: “Don’t go, because I hear a sound through which blood seems to drip.” Thus she restrained him much but he did not desist and he came down to them. Muhammad bin Muslima said to his men, “When he comes, I will catch his head and smell it. When you see that I have caught his hair firmly you must strike off his head.
When Kaab came out of his courtyard, they brought him away on the pretext of talking with him in the moonlight. Then Muhammad bin Muslima, and according to another report, Naila said: “What a nice perfume you are wearing. Can I smell your hair?” and saying this he began to smell them taking hold of them firmly. Then he said: “Kill the enemy of God.”
He was attacked but none of the hits proved effective. So Muhammad bin Muslima stabbed him with a dagger and slashed below his navel. He screamed aloud and all the residents of the fort heard it and they lit a fire. Harith bin Aus was injured by mistake by his own people and people carried him on their shoulders.
They decapitated Kaab and brought the severed head of Kaab to the Prophet. He prayed for them, applied his saliva on Harith’s wounds and he was instantly cured. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “You may slay any of the Jews that you like.” This occurred on the 14th of Rabiul Awwal.
The Khazraj tribe said: “We must also kill all those who are like Kaab.” So that this honor does not remain restricted to them. At last it was decided to eliminate Abu Rafe who was known as Salam bin Abil Haqiq. It was so, because the Muslims were harassed much on account of him and he used to support the idolaters. He was a brother of Kanana, husband of Safiya.
He had a fort on the outskirts of Khyber. Thus Abdullah bin Ateek, Abdullah bin Anees, Abdullah bin Atba and Qatada and one more person sought the Prophet’s permission and set out for Khyber. The Messenger of Allah (S) appointed Abdullah bin Ateek as their commander. When they reached the fort of Abu Rafe, the sun was setting and their goats and sheep were returning from the pasture and entering the fort.
Abdullah bin Ateek said to his companions: “Stop here, I will go and try to enter the fort by some trick.” So he came to the gate and entered the fort and no one recognized him. He hid in a corner. Gate-keepers locked the gate and hung the keys from a nail. When all had gone to sleep, Ateek unlocked the gate and they climbed the stairs to Abu Rafe’s chambers.
There was pitch dark in that place and they could know where he was sleeping. So they called him and he replied. They attacked in the direction of the voice and came out of the bedroom. After waiting for sometime, they re-entered and said in a disguised voice: “What noise was that?” Abu Rafe said: “Someone attacked me with a sword.”
They followed this voice and reached him and keeping the sword on his belly give it a push in such a way that it came out of his back. Ateek came out after that and descended the stairs fast, but he slipped and broke his thighbone. So he tied it up with his turban and limped back to his companions outside the fort. When he came back to the Prophet, he drew his hand over his thigh and it was instantly cured.
It is narrated that in the 3rd year during the month of Shaban, the Holy Prophet (S) married Hafasa binte Umar bin Khattab and in that same year in the month of Ramadan, entered into wedlock with Zainab binte Khuzaimah. That same year on 15th Ramadan, Imam Hasan (a.s.) was born.