Expedition Of Zaid Ibn Haritha To Wadi al-Qura (Kura)

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Zaid Ibn Haritha was sent out to Syria for business related matters. On the way there, they were ambushed by the Banu Fazara tribe, whose leader was Umm Qirfa. The merchandise was robbed and all the companions who set out with Zayd Ibn Haritha were murdered, except for Zaid Ibn Harithah who was wounded and made it back to Madinah.

Some say that Zaid was sent out to monitor [1] what the Banu Fazara were doing and got attacked. But the overwhelming historical reports state that he was sent to Syria for business related matters. As a consequence of the companions being murdered by the Banu Fazara, Zaid vowed that he will take revenge on them as soon as he recovered. When Zaid Ibn Harithah recovered from his wounds, he (Zaid) set out to Wadi al-Qura and killed the criminals who were responsible for the murder of his companions.

Al-Waqidi:

“THE EXPEDITION OF ZAYD B. HARITHA TO UMM QIRFA
Abu Abdullah Muhammad b. Umar al-Waqidi related to me that Abdullah b. Ja’far related to us from Abdullah b. al-Husayn b.al-Husayn b. Ali b. Abi Talib, who said: Zayd b. Haritha set out with merchants to al-Sham. He had money from the companions of the Prophet, and he took two testicles from a billy-goat, tanned them, and put the goods in them. Then he set out until when he was outside Wadi al-Qura with people from his companions, groups from the Banu Fazara of the Banu Badr saw him and struck him and his companions until they thought they were dead, and took what Zayd had brought with him. But, Zayd escaped and arrived in Medina before the Prophet. The Prophet sent him on an expedition, saying, ‘Hide by day and march by night.’ One of their guides set out with them. The banu Badr were about them, so they looked for them in the morning from the top of the mountain overlooking the road, which they believed they were coming from. Observing the determined route by day, he says, ‘Move freely, there will be no harm to you on this night of yours.’ When Zayd b. Haritha and his companions were marching to the route at night, the guide mistook the road with them, and he took them on another road until in the evening they knew they were mistaken. They they waited for them in the night until it dawned on them, but Zayd b. Haritha stopped them as they were far from their goal. He said: then he advised them not to disperse and asad, ‘when I proclaim takbir, you proclaim takbir.’ They encircled the residents, then he proclaimed takbir and they proclaimed takbir. Salama b. al-Akwa set out seeking a man of theirs to kill. He was thorough in his search, and he captured a girl, the daughter of Malik b. Hudhayfa b. Badr, whom he found in one of their houses-her mother was Umm Qirfa. Umm Qirfa was Fatima, daughter of Rabi’I b. Zayd-and they plundered.” [2]

Kitab Al-tabaqat Al-Kabir – Ibn Sa’d:

“Then (occurred) the sariyyah of Zayd Ibn Harithah against Umm Qirfah in the vicinity of Wadi al-Qura, which is at a distance of seven nights journey from al-Madinah, in the month of Ramadan of the sixth year from hijrah of the Apostle of Allah, They (narrators) said: Zayd Ibn Harithah set out with merchandise to Syria. He had with him goods belonging to the Companions of the Prophet. When he was near Wadi al-Qura, some men of the Fazarah, a branch of Banu Badr confronted him, beat him and his companions, and robbed what they had with them. Then Zayd recovered (from his wounds) and arrived before the Apostle of Allah, and informed him (about it). The Apostle of Allah sent him back against them. They remainedin concealement in the dayand travelled in the night. Banu Badr became aware of them. Then in the morning Zayd and his Companions said takbir (Allah is Great), surrounded those who were present there, and captured Umm Qirfah, whose name was Fatimah Bint Rabi’ah Ibn Badr and her daughter al-Jariyah Bint Mailk Ibn Hudhyafah Ibn Badr. … Qays Ibn uhassir turned towards Umm Qirfah, who was very old. He killed her mercilessly. He tied her legs with a rope and then tied her between two camels. Then he made them run and they killed her. …” [3]

Tabari:

“The Messenger of God sent Zayd b. Harithah to Wadi al-Qura, where he encountered the Banu Fazarah. Some of his companions were killed there, and Zayd was carried away wounded from among the slain. One of those killed was Ward b. Amr, one of the Banu Sa’d b. Hudhaym he was killed by one of the Banu Badr [B. Fazarah]. When Zayd retruned, he vowed that no washing [to cleanse him] from impurity should touch his head until he had raided the Fazarah. After he recovered from his wounds, the Messenger of God sent him with an army against the Banu Fazarah. He met them in Wadi al-Qura and inflicted casualties. Qays b. al-Musahhar al-Ya’muri killed Mas’adah b. Hakamah b. Malik b. Badr took Umm Qirfah prisoner. [Her name was Fatimah bt. Rabi’ah b. Badr. She was married to Malik b. Hudhayfah b. Badr. …] … Zayd b. Harithah ordered Qays to kill Umm Qirfah, and he killed her cruelly. …” [4]

Rabi’a al-Adawiyya Al-Qaysiyya:

“We hear of another warrior woman of this period who fought against Islam named Umm Qirfa Fatima, daughter of Rabi’a, and widow of Malik, son of Hudhayfa. When Zayd, the adopted son of Muhammad, was conducting a caravan on its way from Medina to Syria he was attacked by the tribe of the Fezara, acting under the orders of Umm Qirfa; the caravan was captured and Zayd wounded. This woman lived not far from the Wadi al-Kora, in a fortress well-stocked with weapons of war, and had such a reputation that the people of her time used to say proverbially, ‘more unassailable than Umm Qirfa.’ Zayd swore that he would be revenged on her, and when he recovered from his wounds he invested her fortress, surprised her troops, he slew and scattered them and put her to a cruel death.” [5]

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References:

[1] “In Rajab of the same year, Zaid, at the head of twelve men, set out to a place called Wadi Al-Qura in a reconnaissance mission to explore the movements of the enemy. The People there attacked the Muslims, killed nine of them, while the rest including Zaid bin Haritha managed to escape.”
Sealed Nectar (‘Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum’), By Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri, page 147
[2] The Life of Muhammad: Al-Waqidi’s Kitab Al-Maghazi [by Rizwi Faizer], page 277
[3] Kitab Al-tabaqat Al-Kabir, by Ibn Sa’d volume 2 – Page 111
[4] History of al-Tabari: The: The Victory of Islam: Muhammad at Medina, volume 8, page 96
[5] Rabi’a The Mystic and her Fellow-Saints in Islam: Being the Life and Teachings of Rabi’a al-Adawiyya Al-Qaysiyya of Basra together with some account of the place of the Women Saints in Islam [Part Three, chapter XI], by Margaret Smith, page 121

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