The Expedition Of Ukasha Bin Al-Mihsan To Banu Asad

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It is claimed by some critics that Ukasha bin al-Mihsan was sent to attack Banu Asad bin Qhuzayma (or Khuzayma) to capture ‘booty/spoils’, and they use the following source to prove this.

Ibn Sa’d:

“SARIYYAH OF UKKASHAH IBN MIHSAN AL-ASADI TOWARDS AL-GHAMR
Then occurred the sariyyah of Ukkashah ibn mihsan al-Asadi on al-Ghamr. The Ghamr Marzuq which was the spring of Banu Asad, at (distance of) two nights (journey) from Fayd, on the first route to al-Madinah. It took place in the month of Rabi al-Awwal of the sixth year from the hijrah of the Apostle of Allah. They said: The Apostle of Allah, despatched Ukkashah Ibn Mishan to al-Ghamr with forty Muslims. He set out and moved quickly. The enemy guessed the danger, escaped; sojourned in the height of their land thinking their houses to be insecure. He sent Shuja Ibn Wahb as vanguard. He saw the footsteps of the camels. They (his men) started abd captured their spy whom they granted safety. …” [1]

 

However, what they leave out, is the fact, after the battle of Uhud (‘expedition of Qatan‘) they were the first to take up arms against the Muslims. Besides this, they also fought against the Muslims when they allied with the Quraysh against the Muslims in the Battle of trench (Scholars Hajjaj Amina Adil and Shaykh Allama Shibli Noman speak about Banu Asad’s participation in fighting against Muslims in the Battle of ditch). This expedition by Ukasha bin al-Mihsan was most probably to do with the ongoing aggression and hostilities of Banu Asad bin khuzaimah.

Furthermore, the Prophet (p) would never fight anyone who was at peace with the Muslims i.e., if they didn’t fight against the Muslims, they were left alone. The Prophet (p) prayed and urged God that his aggression be only against those who persecute Muslims. Riyad as-Salihin:

“O God, apportion to us such fear as should serve as a barrier between us and acts of disobedience; and such obedience as will take us to Your Jannah; and such as will make easy for us to bear in the calamities of this world. O God! let us enjoy our hearing, our sight and our power as long as You keep us alive and make our heirs from our own offspring, and make our revenge restricted to those who oppress us, and support us against those who are hostile to us let no misfortune afflict our Deen; let not worldly affairs be our principal concern, or the ultimate limit of our knowledge, and let not those rule over us who do not show mercy to us).” (Riyad as-Salihin Book 5, Hadith 834)

This principle of not fighting those who are at peace with the Muslims is well enshrined in the Qur’an as well. God Almighty commands Muslims to be up-right towards those who do no harm against the believers:

“God does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, God loves those who act justly. God only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” – Quran 60:8-9

Giving these facts, we may say that the Prophet (p) sent out this expedition as a consequence of the ongoing hostilities of banu Asad against the Muslims.

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References:

[1] Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir,By Ibn Sa’d, volume 2, page 105

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