Expedition Of Muhammad Ibn Maslamah To Banu Bakr

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The Expedition (Sariyyah) of Muhammed Ibn Maslamah took place in the year 627 AD (6 Hijri).

Prophet Muhammed sent a  team of thirty companions under the leadership of Muhammed Ibn Maslamah on a mission to confront Banu Bakr (Banu Bakr bin Wa’il).

The companions led a surprise attack on the enemy and they all fled. In this mission, one man, the chief of the Banu Hanifa was captured. His name was Thumamah bin Uthal. Although some reports make no mention as to why the Muslims led this military expedition, Thumamah bin Uthal, on the other hand begs for mercy and at admits to spilling Muslim blood before i.e., in the report he admits to killing Muslims. This testimony of his maybe the most important information regarding this expedition. That the Prophet (p) sent his companions on this expedition to deal with Banu Bakr criminals who had murdered Muslims.

With the chief of Banu Hanifah (a branch of Banu Bakr) asking for leniency, and to forgive him for killing Muslims, the Prophet (p) pardoned him.

 

Sahih Bukhari:

“The Prophet sent some cavalry towards Najd and they brought a man from the tribe of Banu Hanifa who was called Thumama bin Uthal. They fastened him to one of the pillars of the Mosque. The Prophet went to him and said, “What have you got, O Thumama?” He replied,” I have got a good thought, O Muhammad! If you should kill me, you would kill a person who has already killed somebody, and if you should set me free, you would do a favor to one who is grateful, and if you want property, then ask me whatever wealth you want.” He was left till the next day when the Prophet said to him, “What have you got, Thumama? He said, “What I told you, i.e. if you set me free, you would do a favor to one who is grateful.” The Prophet left him till the day after, when he said, “What have you got, O Thumama?” He said, “I have got what I told you. “On that the Prophet said, “Release Thumama.” So he (i.e. Thumama) went to a garden of date-palm trees near to the Mosque, took a bath and then entered the Mosque and said, “I testify that None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and also testify that Muhammad is His Apostle! By Allah, O Muhammad! There was no face on the surface of the earth most disliked by me than yours, but now your face has become the most beloved face to me. By Allah, there was no religion most disliked by me than yours, but now it is the most beloved religion to me. By Allah, there was no town most disliked by me than your town, but now it is the most beloved town to me. Your cavalry arrested me (at the time) when I was intending to perform the ‘Umra. And now what do you think?” The Prophet gave him good tidings (congratulated him) and ordered him to perform the ‘Umra. So when he came to Mecca, someone said to him, “You have become a Sabian?” Thumama replied, “No! By Allah, I have embraced Islam with Muhammad, Apostle of Allah. No, by Allah! Not a single grain of wheat will come to you from Jamaica unless the Prophet gives his permission.” (Sahih Bukhari volume 5, Book 59, Number 658)

 

Sahih Muslim:

“It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira who said: The Messenger of Allah sent some horsemen to Najd. They captured a man. He was from the tribe of Banu Hanifa and was called Thumama b. Uthal. He was the chief of the people of Yamama. People bound him with one of the pillars of the mosque. The Messenger of Allah came out to (see) him. He said: O Thumama, what do you think? He replied: Muhammad, I have good opinion of you. If you kill me, you will kill a person who has spilt blood. If you do me a favour, you will do a favour to a grateful person. If you want wealth, ask and you will get what you will demand. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be pon him) left him (in this condition) for two days, (and came to him again) and said: What do you think, O Thumama? He replied: What I have already told you. If you do a favour, you will do a favour to a grateful person. If you kill me, you will kill a person who has spilt blood. If you want wealth, ask and you will get what you will demand. The Messenger of Allah left him until the next day when he (came to him again) and said: What do you think, O Thumama? He replied: What I have already told you. If you do me a favour, you will do a favour to a grateful person. If you kill me, you will kill a person who has spilt blood. If you want wealth ask and you will get what you will demand. The Messenger of Allah said: Set Thumama free. He went to a palm-grove near the mosque and took a bath. Then he entered the mosque and said: I bear testimony (to the truth) that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His bondman and His messenger. O Muhammad, by Allah, there was no face on the earth more hateful to me than your face, but (now) your face has become to me the dearest of all faces. By Allah, there was no religion more hateful to me than your religion, but (now) your religion has become the dearest of all religions to me. By Allah, there was no city more hateful to me than your city, but (now) your city has become the dearest of all cities to me. Your horsemen captured me when I intended going for Umra. Now what is your opinion (in the matter)? The Messenger of Allah announced good tidings to him and told him to go on ‘Umra. When he reached Mecca, somebody said to him: Have you changed your religion? He said: No! I have rather embraced Islam with the Messenger of Allah. By Allah, you will not get a single grain of wheat from Yamama until it is permitted by the Messenger of Allah.” (Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4361)

 

Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir – Ibn Sa’d:

“SARIYYAH OF MUHAMMAD IBN MASLAMAH AGAINST AL-QURATA
… He (Prophet) despatched him against al-Qurata, an under tribe of Banu Bakr a branch of the Kilab. They used halt at al-Barakat, a place in the vicinity of Dariyyah. Dariyyah is situated at (a distance of) seven stages from al-Madinah. He had ordered him to surround it from all sides. So he marched in the night and remained concealed during day time. He attacked them, killed a few of them and the others fled away.” [1]

Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri:

“MISSION OF MUHAMMAD BIN MASLAMAH
A platoon of thirty believers under the leadership of Muhammad bin Maslamah were dispatched on a military misson in Muharram, 6 A.H., following the two previous battles.
It headed for the area of Bani Bakr bin Kilab, which was about seven nights journey from Madinah and situated in the area of Najd. The Muslims attacked them and dispersed them in all directions. … the Muslims, who returned home with a terrible disbeliever, Thumamah bin Uthal Al-Hanafi, the Chief of Bani Hanifah. He had been sent out by the order of Musailimah the liar to assassinate the Prophet.” [2]

Dr. Shawqi Abu Khalil:

“The expedition of Muhammad ibn Maslamah Al-Ansari to Al-Qurata on 10 Muharram 6 AH.
He led thirty riders to Al-Qurata, which is a valley in (the land of ) Banu Bakr of Kilab.” [3]

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References:

[1] Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, By Ibn Sa’d, volume 2, page 96
[2] Sealed Nectar (‘Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum’), By Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri, page 311
[3] Atlas Al-sirah Al-Nabawīyah – Atlas On The Prophet’s Biography: Places, Nations, Landmarks, By Dr. Shawqi Abu Khalil, page 157

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