Invasion of Dul Ashir (Al-Ashayra) – Quraysh’s Caravan?

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Ibn Ishaq:

“THE RAID ON AL-USHAYRA
Then he raided the Quraysh. … He made a treaty of friendship there with B. Mundlij and their allies B. Damra and then he returned to Medina without a fight.” [1]

The raids on Quraysh criminals were done at a time when they had declared war on the Muslims (see here: (‘Did Quraysh Persecute Muslims When They Fled To Madinah?‘). One has to remember the Muslims were persecuted for over a decade just in Makkah. Even when the small Muslim community were exiled out of Makkah, the disbelievers wrote letters to Madinah to kill the Muslims, or they would come and murder everyone (See here: ‘Quraysh Threatened Madinah’s Leaders For Giving Sanctuary To Muslims?‘)

This raid against the Quraysh was done at a time of war. In Fact, Tabari hints to us that one of the reasons this expedition took place was because the Quraysh raided outskirts of Madinah and robbed many camels. Not long after this incident, the Prophet received intelligence that the Quraysh were in the area. So he set out in pursuit of them to redeem what was taken from them:

Tabari:

EARLIER, in Rabi’ al-Awwal (which began September 2, 623), he went on an expedition at the head of the Emigrants in pursuit of Kurz b. Jabir al-Fihri. This man raided the flocks of Medina which were pastured in al-Jamma and had driven them off, the Messenger of God pursued him as far as Badr but failed to catch up with him. His banner was carried by Ali b. Abi Talib, and he left Zayd b. Harithah in command of Medina. In this year the Messenger of God set forth at the head of the Emigrants to intercept the caravan of Quraysh when it set off for Syria. This was the expedition of al-Ushayrah, and it went as far as Yanbu. He left Abu Salamah b. Abd al-Asad in command of Medina. His banner was carried by Hamzah b. Abd al-Muttalib.” [2]

Although no fighting took place on this occasion, the Muslims made treaties with few tribes.

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References:

[1] Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah – The Life of Muhammad Translated by A. Guillaume, page 285
[2] The History of al-Tabari: The Foundation of the Community: Muhammad – volume 7, page 15 – 16

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