Revisiting Banu Nadir Affair: Countering Myths

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Salaam Zaid Al-Iraqi & Kaleef K. Karim

Introduction:

This article is a refutation to “The Religion Of Peace” (TROP) website, where the Christian missionary by the name of Glen Roberts dedicated an article to one of our article’s. Much of Glen Roberts article is no more than just his own commentary on the Banu Nadir incident – he didn’t present classical scholars to give an all round historical background on the incident. The Banu Nadir incident occurred in the life of Prophet Muhammed (p). You can access Glen Roberts’ piece in the reference section further down. [1]

The Banu Nadir Incident

“The Sira tells us that the Banu Nadir was one of three Jewish tribes at Medina which were expelled or massacred at Muhammad’s direction. In the case of the Nadir, they were robbed of their wealth and evicted. Some leaders were even murdered.”

Right off the bat we have a statement with no clear evidence or direct sources, although we will come to them later on, it is important as an opening statement for his hypothesis he needs to provide evidence when he makes arguments like these:

“In order to justify this, DTT contends that the Banu Nadir had given information to the Quraish enemy and also attempted to assassinate Muhammad by dropping a rock on him.” “Discover the Truth goes into great detail about the Banu Nadir telling the Quraish “the weak spots of the Muslims in battle… where the Muslims were, where to attack, and where to hide, lay in wait to kill the Muslims” (although this seems to have completely eluded the early Sira and Hadith compilers). Only two references are provided by DTT from established sources: Abu Dawud and Ibn Ishaq. Neither one mentions information being sent to the Quraish. Ishaq makes a reference to an assassination plot (more on that later), but the Sahih hadith verse makes no mention of either a plot or information passed from the Nadir to the Quraish.“

This is unbelievably deceptive. A quick search on Sunnah.com will easily put this claim to rest. Karim’s article, the author in fact dedicated 3 articles on this subject, in response to Banu Nadir:

“As already mentioned, the Quraish had sent to the Jews of the Banu Nadir to kill Muhammad (p) or they would themselves be exterminated. The Banu Nadir being already hostile, this message from the Quraish served as an impetus. They invited the Prophet to come with thirty men to meet their religious scholars, promising that if on hearing him, the divines would declare him to be true, they would not hesitate to accept him as a Prophet.”

 

We shall leave a link where DTT provided detailed analyses with sources regarding Banu Nadir treachery: Analysing The Banu Nadir Incident

Glen continues,

“A laughable account from al-Waqidi’s Kitab al-Maghazi contradicts the rest and has thirty Jews trying to assassinate Muhammad with concealed daggers. It’s one more reason why al-Waqidi is dismissed as a fabricator.“

Glen Roberts, you need to provide a citation if you’re going to make those wild claims without showing us a single report. Question: where is Al-Waqidi’ account for us to analyse your claims? Where are your sources? Glen Roberts continues,

“The Banu Nadir were evicted following the Muslim defeat at Uhud, when Muhammad would have been angry and looking for a way to save face with his cult-like band of believers.”

Citation is needed. This is the third time you make an argument with no proof. Glen continues,

“There are two stories of the Banu Nadir incident. One mentions the alleged assassination attempt and the other does not. Neither account says that the Banu Nadir attacked Muhammad or assisted the enemy against him. A Sahih verse from Abu Dawud simply says that the Quraish sent a letter to the Nadir tribe, attempting to recruit them.“

Citation needed again. This is the fourth time you make an argument with no proof. Putting your commentary aside – we do have an account directly saying that the Banu Nadir attacked the Prophet (p). Abu Dawud (817 – 889) reports:

“”Ibn ‘Umar said “The Jews AL NADIR and Quraizah FOUGHT WITH THE APOSTLE OF ALLAH, SO THE APOSTLE OF ALLAH EXPELLED BANU AL-NADIR and allowed the Quraizah to stay and favored them. The Quraizah thereafter fought (with the Prophet).” So he killed their men and divided their women, property and children among Muslims except some of them who associated with the Apostle of Allaah. He gave them protection and later on they embraced Islam. The Apostle of Allaah expelled all the Jews of Madeenah in Toto, Banu Qainuqa, they were the people of ‘Abd Allaah bin Salam, the Jews of Banu Harith and any of Jews who resided in Madeenah.” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 19, Hadith 2999. Sahih, Al-Albani, https://sunnah.com/abudawud/20/78 )

It’s important to understand that “fought with” here doesn’t mean that they fought alongside him as allies, no, they fought against him as the Arabic text clearly states,

“حاربو رسول الله”

The meaning here is that they directly fought Prophet Muhammed (p). If this is not good enough evidence, from Sunan Abu Dawood, we have another account from the second most authentic source after Bukhari, Sahih Muslim (more reports will be shown further down the article) which states:

“It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar that the Jews of Banu Nadir and Banu Quraiza fought against the Messenger of Allah who expelled Banu Nadir, and allowed Quraiza to stay on, and granted favour to them until they too fought against him Then he killed their men, and distributed their women, children, and properties among the Muslims, except that some of them had joined the Messenger of Allah who granted them security. They embraced Islam. The Messenger of Allah turned out all the Jews of Medina. Banu Qainuqa’ (the tribe of ‘Abdullah b. Salim) and the Jews of Banu Haritha and every other Jew who was in Medina.” (Sahih Muslim Book 19, Hadith 4364, https://sunnah.com/muslim/32/73 )

Not only do we have an authentic account here saying that the Banu Nadir attacked the prophet, but it also mentions the Banu qurayza (we will address them later) directly mentioned as aggressors who attacked the Prophet (p) as well.

Glen Roberts continues:

“The hadith clearly shows that the Banu Nadir were caught between the Quraish and Muhammad. They had lived peacefully in Medina well before he arrived and brought his feud with him. The Nadir were repeatedly threatened by the Quraish for having given shelter to someone who had declared war on the Quraish. In one case Muhammad talked them out of defending themselves by assuring them that they were safe:

Glen then provides the following Hadith with his false interpretation and deliberately leaves out many important bits, which we shall provide in full in order for readers to understand the context:

“The infidels of the Quraysh wrote (a letter) to Ibn Ubayy and to those who worshipped idols from al-Aws and al-Khazraj, while the Messenger of Allah was at that time at Medina before the battle of Badr. (They wrote): You gave protection to our companion. We swear by Allah, you should fight him or expel him, or we shall come to you in full force, until we kill your fighters and APPROPRIATE YOUR WOMEN. When this (news) reached Abdullah ibn Ubayy and those who were worshippers of idols, with him they gathered together to fight the Messenger of Allah. When this news reached the Messenger of Allah, he visited them and said: The threat of the Quraysh to you has reached its end. They cannot contrive a plot against you, greater than what you yourselves intended to harm you. Are you willing to fight your sons and brethren? When they heard this from the Prophet, they scattered. This reached the infidels of the Quraysh. The infidels of the Quraysh again wrote (a letter) to the Jews after the battle of Badr: You are men of weapons and fortresses. You should fight our companion or we shall deal with you in a certain way. And NOTHING WILL COME BETWEEN US AND THE ANKLETS OF YOUR WOMEN. When their letter reached the Prophet, they gathered Banu an-Nadir to violate the treaty. They sent a message to the Prophet: Come out to us with thirty men from your companions, and thirty rabbis will come out from us till we meet at a central place where they will hear you. If they testify to you and believe in you, we shall believe in you. The narrator then narrated the whole story.
When the next day came, the Messenger of Allah went out in the morning with an army, and surrounded them.
He told them: I swear by Allah, you will have no peace from me UNTIL YOU CONCLUDE A TREATY WITH ME. BUT THEY REFUSED TO CONCLUDE A TREATY WITH HIM. He therefore fought them the same day. Next he attacked Banu Qurayzah with an army in the morning, and left Banu an-Nadir. He asked them to sign a treaty and they signed it. He turned away from them and attacked Banu an-Nadir with an army. He fought with them until they agreed to expulsion. Banu an-Nadir were deported, and they took with them whatever their camels could carry, that is, their property, the doors of their houses, and their wood. … ” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 19, Hadith 2998. Sahih Al-Albani, https://sunnah.com/abudawud/20/77 )

This story is also reported in an earlier book, Kitab al-Maghazi by Ma’mar Ibn Rashid (714 – 770):

“Subsequently, the battle of Badr transpired. It was after the events at Badr that the infidel Quraysh wrote the Jews as follows: ‘Indeed, you are a well-armed and well-fortified people, so you had better kill our tribesman, or else we will surely take action and NOTHING WILL STAND BETWEEN US AND THE ATTENDANTS OF YOUR WOMENSFOLK’ – by ‘the attendents of your womensfolk’ they meant their golden anklets. When their letter reached THE JEWS, THE CLAN OF AL-NADIR CHOSE TREACHERY. Then they sent a message to the Prophet, saying, ‘Come out to meet us with thirty of your companions, and we will come forth with thirty Rabbis. We can meet at such-and-such place, half-away between you and us, and listen to what you have to say. If the Rabbis believe in the truth of what you say and believe in you, then we shall all believe.’ The Prophet then set out, taking thirty of his companions with him. Thirty of the Jews Rabbis also came out to meet him, and eventually they had all gathered at an open expanse of earth. The Jews began to say to one another, ‘How will we be able to reach Muhammad when he has thirty of his companions at his side – each of them more willing than the next to lay down his life for him?’ So they sent him this message: ‘How can we understand what’s being said if we number altogether sixty men? Come forward with only three of your companions, and three of our scholars will set out to meet with you so that they can listen to what you have to say. And if they believe in your message, we too will believe, all of us, and testify to the truth of your message.’ The Prophet then set out with only three of his companions. THE JEWS HAD BROUGHT DAGGERS AND CONCEALED THEM, FOR THEY WANTED TO ASSASSINATE GOD’S MESSENGER. However, AN HONEST JEWESS FROM AL-NADIR SENT WORD TO HER NEPHEWS – FOR HER BROTHER WAS ONE OF THE MUSLIM ALLIES – AND SHE INFORMED HER BROTHER ABOUT THE PLANS OF AL-NADIR TO BETRAY THE MESSENGER OF GOD. Quickly her brother set off, and when he reached the Prophet he disclosed their secret plans before the Prophet had reached the Nadir clan.
The Prophet turned back and then came to the Nadir clan the next morning with several arrays of armed men and besieged them. He said to them, ‘Unless you ENTER INTO A PACT WITH ME, you’ll have no guarantee of protection.’ THEY REFUSED TO AGREE TO A PACT WITH THE PROPHET, so he and the Muslims fought against them that very day. The following morning, the Prophet went to the Qurayzah clan with cavalry and several arrays of armed men, leaving the Nadir clan behind. He summoned the Qurayzah clan to make a pact with him, and so they did. The Prophet then turned away from the Qurayzah clan and headed back to the Nadir clan with his armed men. He fought them and eventually they surrendered, agreeing to be exiled and to take with them only what their camels could carry, minus any arms – meaning weapons. The clan of al-Nadir left Medina carrying only as many of their effects as their camels could bear. These included even the doors of their homes and the wooden beams, for they had taken apart their houses and dismantled them to carry away all the wood they could salvage. …” (Kitab al-Maghazi – Ma’mar Ibn Rashid, page 69 – 71)

From the above account we gather the following facts:

– The Quraysh wanted to drive out the Muslim community out of Madinah, even though they hadn’t done anything to them.

– The Quraysh threatened to wage war against the Jews for giving sanctuary to the persecuted Muslim minority.

– The Quraysh insisted on warfare against the Muslim community.

A further important points needs to be highlighted to our respected readers:

– Let’s assume that the Prophet threatened the Quraish (even though there is not one single evidence for this).

– Let’s assume that the Muslims are guilty of the worst crimes against the Quraish (not true).

– Let’s assume that the Banu Nadir were also guilty of these acts as a result of sheltering the Muslim minority.

On what grounds does it justify the Quraish threatening to rape (“appropriate your women”)  Banu Nadir’s wives and daughters? For the Quraish to write in clear words that they will “appropriate your women” (rape their women) for sheltering the persecuted Muslim community, it just shows the mindset and barbaric ways these Quraishi men conducted themselves. They are by far the worst of the worst of people the Prophet (p) had to deal with.

We would like to thank for Glen Roberts for showing the readers this Hadith report, showing what sort of a people Prophet Muhammed was dealing with. This letter is a clear example, showing how the Quraysh are far from innocent. For sheltering a persecuted minority they threaten Banu Nadir’s leaders of rape – shows how sadistic and evil the Quraishi polytheist men were. The Quraish polytheists took pleasure from inflicting pain, suffering and humiliation on to others.

Glen Roberts continues with his theories:

“These are not the actions of a man of peace, but one who craves power and material possessions. Once the situation with the Quraish was dealt with, Muhammad turned right around and attacked the Banu Nadir again until they were defeated and expelled. Nothing is said about treachery – on the part of the Nadir, at least. Clearly, the Jewish tribe was the one being forced to act in self-defense. “

What a ridiculous statement to make. Readers would be aware by now that the author Glen Roberts loves to make stuff up which are contrary to historical facts. Let’s proceed now and show all the sources that tell us that the Banu Nadir not only broke the treaty but also waged war on the Prophet and the Muslim community. The following historical sources completely debunks the fictional account of Glen Roberts.

The 11th century scholar Al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan al-Kubra (994 – 1066 AD) has a report in which he details treachery and instigating war on the Muslim community:

“Abu Abdullah al-Hafiz – Ismail bin Muhammad al-Sha’raani on the authority of his grandfather – Ibrahim bin al-Mundhir al-Hizami – Muhammad bin Fulayh – Musa bin ‘Uqbah on the authority of Ibn Shihab said: This is the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) when he set out to the Banu Nadir to seek their help to settle the blood money of the Kilaabiyeen [i.e. Banu Kilab] and they had spoken secretively to Quraysh when they went to Uhud to fight the Messenger of Allah – peace be upon him – and incited them and informed them of their [i.e. the Muslims’s] weak spots…. [the story continues to tell the story of how the Prophet sat resting on the wall and how they conspired to kill him] (Al-Bayhaqi’s Sunan al-Kubra, Hadeeth no. 17,207, online source, https://library.islamweb.net/hadith/display_hbook.php?bk_no=673&hid=17207&pid= )

And:

“Musa Ibn Uqba reports; Banu Nadir incited the Quraysh to fight against the prophet and sent them secret information.” (Dala’il – Bayhaqi , volume 3, page 180)

The classical scholar Ibn Hajar (1372 – 1449 AD) also reports this account:

“The cause of the war [against Banu Quraidah] was due to their breach of the treaty. As for al-Nadir [i.e. Banu Nadir], the reason [for their banishment] is due the following reason, which was mentioned by Musa bin ‘Uqba in “al-Maghazi”. He said: al-Nadir spoke secretively to Quraysh and incited them to fight the Messenger of Allah – peace be upon him – and informed them of their weak spots [in the Muslims defense] …” (Fath al-Bari – Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, volume 7, page 421)

Ibn Hajar gives few more details in regards to the Banu Nadir affair:

“It was the Banu an-Nadeer tribe that conspired with the Quraish, encouraging them to fight the Messenger of Allah and guiding them to the weaknesses (of al-Madeenah).” (Fath al-Bari, Ibn Hajar, volume 7, page 332)

al-Zurqani (1645 – 1710):

“And they (Banu Nadir had sent secretly to the Quraish when they encamped at Uhud in order to fight the Prophet and they incited them to fight and showed them the weak spots.” (Sharh al-Mawahib, al-Zurqani, volume 2, page 81)

Abu Nu’aym (948 – 1038):

“The Muslims found out that the Banu al-Nadir had secretly collaborated with the Quraysh when they encamped at Uhud in order to fight the Messenger of God. So they incited them (the Quraysh) to fight and gave them information about the weak spots (in the Muslim defense).”(Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, by Abu Nu’aym, page 423. See also Uyun al-Athar, by Ibn Sayyid al-Nas, volume 2, page 70)

The following evidences provide more proof as to how the Banu Nadir leaders broke the treaty. Note: as the result of Banu Nadir’s leaders assisting the Quraysh, it resulted in the death of some innocent men.

Ibn Ishaq (704 – 768):

“then Abu Sufyan b. Harb made the raid of Sawiq in Dhu’l-Hijja. The polytheists were in charge of the pilgrimage that year. Muhammad b. Ja’far b. al-Zubayr and Yazid b. Ruman and one whose veracity I do not suspect from Abdullah b. Ka’b b. Malik who was one of the most learned Helpers told me that when Abu Sufyan returned to Mecca and the Quraysh fugitives returned from Badr, he swore that he would not practice ablution until he had raided Muhammad. Accordingly he sallied forth with two hundred riders from Quraysh to fulfil his vow. He took the Nejd road and stopped by the upper part of a watercourse which led to a mountain called Thayb about one post distance from Medina. Then he sallied forth by night and come to the B. al-Nadir under cover of darkness.
He came to Huyyayy b. Akhtab and knocked upon his door, but as he was afraid of him he refused to open the door, so he went to Sallam b. Mishkam, who was their chief at that time, and keeper of the public purse. He asked permission to come in and Sallam entertained him with food and drink, and gave him secret information about the Muslims. He rejoined his companions at the end of the night and sent some of them to Medina. They came to an outlying district called Al-Urayd and there they burnt some young palm-trees and finding one of the Helpers and an ally of his working the fields there, they killed them and returned. People got warning of them and so the apostle went out in pursuit. He got as far as Qarqaratu’l-Kudr and then returned because Abu Sufyan and his companions had eluded him. They saw some of the provisions which the raiders had thrown away in the fields to lighten their baggage so as to get away quickly. ‘Do you hope that this will count (with God) in our favour as a raid?’ and he replied, ‘yes’.”  (Ibn Ishaq, [Alfred Guillaume (translator)]. The life of Muhammad: a translation of Isḥaq’s Sirat rasul Allah. page 361)

Kitab al-tabaqat al-Kabir – Ibn Sa’d (784 – 845):

“Then (occurred) the ghazwah of the Prophet, known as ghazwah al-Sawiq (lit. gruel of parched barley). The Apostle of Allah emerged on Sunday, the twenty fifth of Dhu al-Hijjah after the commencement of the twenty-second month after his hijrah. He appointed Abu Lubabah Ibn Abd al-Mundhir al-Amiri as his vicegerent in al-Madinah. (The course of this ghazwah) was that Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb had made the use of oil unlawful (for himself) after their (polytheists) retreat from Badr to Makkah until they had taken revenge from Muhammad and his companions. So he set out at the head of two hundred persons, according to the version of al-Zuhri, and according to the version of Ibn Ka’b at the head of forty.
They marched to al-Najdiyah and came to Banu al-Nadir in the night. They knocked at the door of Huyayyi Ibn Akhtab to gather information about the Apostle of Allah and his companions. He refused to open the door. They knocked at the door of Sallam Ibn Mishkam who opened the door, feasted them, offered them drink and supplied information about the Apostle of Allah. When it was morning, Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb set out and went to al-Urayd, about three miles from al-Madinah. There he killed a man of the Ansars and his servant and put a few houses and grass to fire. … Then he turned his back and fled away. The news reached the Apostle of Allah. He called his companions and set out at the head of two hundred persons from among the Muhajirs, and the Ansars in their pursuit. Abu Sufyan and his companions were throwing bags of gruel of parched barley, their general provisions, to render themselves light. The Muslims seized them (Bags) and so it has come to be called ghazwah al-Sawiq. They did not encounter them (Muslims). The Apostle of Allah returned to al-Madinah from where he had been absent for five days.” (Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, by Ibn Sa’d, volume 2, page 33 – 34)

Abu Ja’far Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838 – 923):

“In order to fulfil his vow, he set out at the head of two hundred horsemen of Quraysh and took the Najdi route, halting in the upper part of Qanat by a mountain called Tayt (variant Thayb), a stage or so from Medina. Then he set out by night and came, while it was still night, to the Banu al-Nadir. He went to Huyayy b. Akhtab and knocked at his door, but Huyayy refused to open up, being afraid of him. Then he went to Sallam b. Mishkan, who was the chief of al-Nadir at that time and their treasurer, and asked to be allowed to enter. Sallam did so, provided him with food and drink, and gave him confidential information about the Muslims. Towards the end of the night, Abu Sufyan left and returned to his companions, then sent some men of Quraysh into Medina. These went to a district called al-Urayd, set fire to the date gardens there, and killed a man of the Ansar and his confederate whom they found in arable ground belonging to the man. After that, they left and went back. The Muslims caught sight of them, however, and the Messenger of God set out in pursuit. He went as far as Qarqarat al-Kudr but then turned back, because Abu Sufyan and his companions had eluded them. The Muslims saw provisions which these had discarded in the fields in order to lighten their load and escape. …” (The History of al-Tabari: The Foundation of the Community: Muhammad. volume 7, page 90)

 

In the account of Zurqani, another classical scholar he states clearly that the Banu Nadir broke the treaty:

“Ibn Mardaveih, and Abd-bin-Hameed, and Abdu Razzaq have related traditions to the effect that, ‘after the event of Badr, the Koreish had written to the Jews of Medina to make war upon Mohammad, and the Bani Nazeer has resolved to break the compact. (Zoorkanee, part II (vol. 2), page 96 – 97)

Musannaf of Abd al-Razzaq San’ani (744 – 826):

Musa b. Uqba – Nafi – Ibn Umar: “The JEWS OF BANU AL-NADIR and Qurayza ATTACKED THE MESSENGER OF GOD. SO THE MESSENGER OF GOD EXPELLED THE BANU AL-NADIR, but warranted the security of the Banu Qurayza and made an agreement with them. This only lasted until the Banu Qurayza took military action after that.” (Al-Musannaf of Abd al-Razzaq, volume 6, page 54. Also See Musnad Ibn Hanbal volume 9, page 181)

Abd al-Razzaq San’ani (744 – 826) gives more details elsewhere. In the following report it shows that the Banu Nadir did not want peace instead they chose war. Even when the Prophet (p) asked the Banu Nadir to make a treaty of peace, they refused:

“the Prophet, informed about the treacherous intentions of the Nadir, marched out against them with troops and besieged them. The Prophet demanded that they conclude a treaty with him; if they refused, he in turn would refuse to grant them an assurance of safety. They (i.e., Banu Nadir) refused and the forces of the Prophet fought them. Next day the Prophet left the Banu Nadir, went out with horsemen and troops against Qurayza and summoned them to conclude an treaty; they consented and concluded a treaty and the Prophet left them. He returned with his troops to the Banu Nadir and fought them until they surrendered on condition that they would be expelled.” (Al-Musannaf, by Abd al-Razzaq, volume 5, page 360)

Baghawi (1044 – 1122):

“Al-Kalbi – Abu Salih – Ibn Abbas: … As there had been a treaty been stipulated between the Messenger of Allah, the Jews (Banu Nadir) broke the treaty by Ka’b Ibn al-Ashraf going to Makkah, accompanied by sixty horsemen, in order to incite the Makkan leaders until they agreed to join their forces to fight the Messenger of Allah.” (Tafsir al-Baghawi, volume 1, page 282, commentary on Surah 3:12)

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (1292 – 1350):

“There were three Jewish tribes, namely Banoo Qaynaqaa’, Banoo An Nadeer, and Banoo Quraydha, and all of them were hostile. In fact, Banoo An Nadeer is mentioned in Al Hashr and Banoo Quraydha is mentioned in Al Ahzaab.” (Zaad al-Ma’ad, by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, page 282 – 283)

Besides the above accounts, there are other reports to the effect that Banu Nadir’s leaders on another occasion attempted to assassinate Prophet Muhammed (p).

Ibn Ishaq (704 – 768) reports:

“THE DEPORTATION OF THE B. AL-NADIR, A.H. 4
According to what Yazid b. Ruman told me the apostle went to B. al-Nadir to ask for their help in paying the bloodwit for the two men of B. Amir whom Amr b. Umayya al-Damri had killed after he had given them a promise of security. There was a mutual alliance between B. al-Nadir and B. Amir. When the apostle came to the about the bloodwit they said that of course they would contribute in the way he wished; but they took counsel with one another apart, saying,
‘You will never get such a chance again. Who will go to the top of the house and drop a rock on him (T. so as to kill him) and rid us of him?’ The apostle was sitting by the wall of one of their houses at the time. ‘Amr b. Jihash B. Ka’b volunteered to do this and went up to throw down a rock. As the apostle was with a number of his companions among who were Abu Bakr, Umar, and Ali news came to him from heaven about what these people intended, so he got up (T. and said to his companions, ‘Don’t go away until I come to you’) and he went back to Medina. When his companions had waited long for the prophet, they got up to search for him and met a man coming from Medina and asked him about him. He said that he had seen him entering Medina, and they went off, and when they found him he told them of the treachery which the Jews meditated against him. The apostle ordered them to prepare for war and to march against them (670), Then he went off with the men until he came upon them (680). (Ibn Ishaq – Siratu Rasulillah – (Translator: A. Guillaume), page 437)

Kitab Al-tabaqat Al-Kabir – Ibn Sa’d (784 – 845):

“They said: O Abu al-Qasim, we will do as you like. Then some of them went into secret consultation and decided to act treacherously against him (Prophet). Amr Ibn Jihash Ibn Ka’b Ibn Basil al-Nadari said:
I shall ascend on the roof of the house from where I shall throw a stone down (on him). Thereupon Sallam Ibn Mishkam said: Do not do it. By Allah, he will come to know what you intend to do with him. It would be a violation of our agreement with him. The Apostle of Allah, received information of what they intended to do.”  (Kitab Al-tabaqat Al-Kabir by Ibn Sa’d, volume 2, page 69)

Kitab Futuh al-Buldan:

“The Prophet once accompanied by Abu Bakr, Umar and Usaid ibn Hudair came to the Banu an-Nadir who were Jews and solicited their aid for raising the bloodwit of two men of the Banu-Kilab ibn Rabi’ah who had made peace with him and who were killed by Amr ibn Umaiyah ad-Damri. The Jews intended to drop a stone on him but the Prophet left them and sent them word ordering them to evacuate his city [Yathrib] because of their perfidy and violation of covenant. The Jews refused to comply, and announced hostility. …” (Kitab Futuh al-Buldan, volume 1, Page 34)

 

In another version, it is related that the Banu Nadir had asked Muhammed (p) to come out to them, planning to stab (dagger) him up. They didn’t succeed because a Jewess lady informed one of her own relatives who was on the Muslim side, on what the Banu Nadir were going to do (Ma’mar Ibn Rashid’s – Kitab al-Maghazi).

Kitab al-Maghazi – Ma’mar Ibn Rashid (714 – 770) reports:

“Subsequently, the battle of Badr transpired. It was after the events at Badr that the infidel Quraysh wrote the Jews as follows: ‘Indeed, you are a well-armed and well-fortified people, so you had better kill our tribesman, or else we will surely take action and nothing will stand between us and the attendants of your womensfolk’ – by ‘the attendents of your womensfolk’ they meant their golden anklets. When their letter reached the Jews, the clan of al-Nadir chose treachery. Then they sent a message to the Prophet, saying, ‘Come out to meet us with thirty of your companions, and we will come forth with thirty Rabbis. We can meet at such-and-such place, half-away between you and us, and listen to what you have to say. If the Rabbis believe in the truth of what you say and believe in you, then we shall all believe.’ The Prophet then set out, taking thirty of his companions with him. Thirty of the Jews Rabbis also came out to meet him, and eventually they had all gathered at an open expanse of earth. The Jews began to say to one another, ‘How will we be able to reach Muhammad when he has thirty of his companions at his side – each of them more willing than the next to lay down his life for him?’ So they sent him this message: ‘How can we understand what’s being said if we number altogether sixty men? Come forward with only three of your companions, and three of our scholars will set out to meet with you so that they can listen to what you have to say. And if they believe in your message, we too will believe, all of us, and testify to the truth of your message.’ The Prophet then set out with only three of his companions. The Jews had brought daggers and concealed them, for they wanted to assassinate God’s Messenger. However, AN HONEST JEWESS FROM AL-NADIR SENT WORD TO HER NEPHEWS  – for her brother was one of the Muslim Allies – and she informed her brother about the plans of al-Nadir to betray the Messenger of God. Quickly her brother set off, and when he reached the Prophet he disclosed their secret plans before the Prophet had reached the Nadir clan.
The Prophet turned back and then came to the Nadir clan the next morning with several arrays of armed men and besieged them. He said to them, ‘Unless you enter into a pact with me, you’ll have no guarantee of protection.’ They refused to agree to a pact with the Prophet, so he and the Muslims fought against them that very day. The following morning, the Prophet went to the Qurayzah clan with cavalry and several arrays of armed men, leaving the Nadir clan behind. He summoned the Qurayzah clan to make a pact with him, and so they did. The Prophet then turned away from the Qurayzah clan and headed back to the Nadir clan with his armed men. He fought them and eventually they surrendered, agreeing to be exiled and to take with them only what their camels could carry, minus any arms – meaning weapons. The clan of al-Nadir left Medina carrying only as many of their effects as their camels could bear. These included even the doors of their homes and the wooden beams, for they had taken apart their houses and dismantled them to carry away all the wood they could salvage. …” (Kitab al-Maghazi – Ma’mar Ibn Rashid, page 69 – 71)

Ali ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi (d. 1075):

“Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Farisi informed us –
Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Fadl al-Tajir – Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Hafiz – Muhammad ibn Yahya – ‘Abd al-Razzaq – Ma’mar – al-Zuhri – Ibn Ka’b ibn Malik – one of the Companions of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, who related that the unbelievers of Quraysh wrote the following to the Jews after the Battle of Badr: “You are people of armaments and fortresses. Verily, you either fight our man or we shall do this and that, such that nothing will prevent us from the bracelets on your women’s anklets”. When their letter reached the Jews, the Banu’l-Nadir were unanimously in favour of treason. They sent to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, saying: “Come with thirty of your men and we will send thirty of our men. Let us meet in a location halfway between you and us so that our men hear you and if they believe in you, we will all believe in you”. However, when they reached a certain location, some Jews said: “How are you going to get to him when he has with him thirty of his Companions who all desire to die before him? Send to him and say: ‘How are we going to understand [what you are going to say to us] when there are sixty of us? Come along with three of your Companions and three of our scholars will meet you. If they believe in you, we will all believe in you and follow’. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, proceeded with three of his Companions. On the other side, three Jews proceeded armed with knives, intending to kill the Messenger of Allah. A sincere woman advisor from Banu al-Nadir sent a message to her brother, a Muslim from the Helpers, informing him of the treachery which the Banu al-Nadir were planning against the Messenger of Allah. Her brother hurriedly set off to see the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. He caught up with him and informed him of the plan, and so the Prophet, went back. The following day, he sent troops to them. He besieged their fortress and fought them until they agreed to move out of Medina, carrying with them anything their camels could carry, except for armaments. They proceeded to destroy their own houses and take whatever wood they could take with them.” (Asbab al-Nuzul by Ali ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi (Translated by Mokrane Guezzou), page 150 – 151. Commentary on Surah 59:1-6)

Glen continues:

“This episode even follows the assassination of several key members of the Jewish tribe by Muhammad, including Ka’b al-Ashraf. These would surely be called violations of the treaty had they been Muslims, but such is the double standards of Islam. Needless to say, the Banu Nadir had every reason to doubt the wisdom of allowing Muhammad into the fold.

Ka’b Ibn al-Ashraf was killed as a result of him conspiring with the Quraysh to fight the Muslims. This is well documented in our earliest sources. For example, nearly all the classical historians and scholars such as Ibn Ishaq (704 – 768), al-Tabari (838 – 923), Imam al-Bayhaqi (994 – 1066), al-Baghawi (1044 – 1122), Ali ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi (d. 1075), Ibn Kathir (1301 – 1373), Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (1372 – 1449), Imam Al-Qastalani (1447 – 1557), Al-Jalalayn (15/16th century scholars), al-Zurqani (1645 – 1710) and others state that Ka’b Ibn al-Ashraf was a enemy combatant who advocated warfare against the Muslim community. For full details on Ka’b Ibn al-Ashraf, see the following article please: Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf’s Killing, DeceptionWas The Prophet (p) Annoyed?

Glen continues to make statements that are contrary to historical facts:

The supposed plot to assassinate Muhammad appears in the Sira, but not in the Hadith. In this version of the ‘incident’, Muhammad goes to ask the Banu Nadir for help with paying blood money to another tribe for a member who was killed by Muslims. This would have been a strange thing to do if the Nadir had just helped out the Quraish, as occurred in DTT’s fictionalized account.”

We have shown more than a dozen authentic reports that say the Banu Nadir broke the treaty, assisted the Quraysh in war and attempted to murder Prophet Muhammed (p).

As for your claim of blood money, yes a companion did kill a member of the tribe of Amir (or Banu Kilab) by accident. When the Quraysh waged war against Muslims at Uhud, one of the injured companions escaped the battle still alive. While the companion Amr bin Umayya Damri was on the way back to Madina injured, he seen two persons whom he thought were part of the Quraysh enemy, he killed the two people thinking it was a Qurayshi enemy. He was mistaken.  The Prophet (p) upon hearing what took place straight away sought to pay the tribe full compensation due to what one of his companions did.

As for the reason why the Banu Nadir had to pay towards the compensation, there are two reasons. (1) One of the clauses in the treaty with the Banu Nadir is that they had to contribute towards blood money. (2) The second reason for the Banu Nadir having to pay is as a result of their cooperation with the Quraysh i.e., assisting the enemy in the battle of Uhud. It was due to Banu Nadir’s treachery which resulted in the death of a number of Prophet Muhammed’s companions at Uhud and the death of two members of the tribe of Amir by Amr bin Umayya Damri. Jewish Historian and scholar Meir Jacob Kister (1914 – 2010) explains this:

“the reason why the Prophet came to the Banu al-Nadir asking them to help him to pay the indemnity of the two men of Kilab killed by one of his adherents: the Banu al-Nadir were accused of cooperation with the Quraish when they attacked the Muslim army at Uhud and their payment of a part of the indemnity was a kind of retribution for their hostile attitude towards the Prophet.” (Notes On The Papyrus Text About Muhammad’s Campaign Against The Banu Al-Nadir, [Archiv Orientalni 32, 1964], by M. J. Kister, page 234 – 235)

Professor M. J. Kister’s words are echoed by the 11th century Muslim scholar al-Bayhaqi. Imam Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn Husayn Ibn Ali Ibn Musa al-Bayhaqi’ (994 – 1066) in his Sunan al-Kubra (994 – 1066 AD) has a report in which he details Banu Nadir’s treachery, instigating war on the Muslim community and the blood-money that had to be paid:

“Abu Abdullah al-Hafiz – Ismail bin Muhammad al-Sha’raani on the authority of his grandfather – Ibrahim bin al-Mundhir al-Hizami – Muhammad bin Fulayh – Musa bin ‘Uqbah on the authority of Ibn Shihab said: This is the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah when he set out to the Banu Nadir to seek their help to settle the blood money of the Kilaabiyeen [i.e. Banu Kilab] and they had spoken secretively to Quraysh when they went to Uhud to fight the Messenger of Allah – and incited them and informed them of their [i.e. the Muslims’s] weak spots…. [the story continues to tell the story of how the Prophet sat resting on the wall and how they conspired to kill him] (Al-Bayhaqi’s Sunan al-Kubra, Hadeeth no. 17,207, online source, https://library.islamweb.net/hadith/display_hbook.php?bk_no=673&hid=17207&pid= )

This authentic hadith is recorded in many more places. Thus, if it wasn’t for the cooperation of Banu Nadir assisting the Quraysh enemies many more Muslims would have been alive. The death of two innocent members of Amir (Banu Kilab) tribe would not have taken place had Banu Nadir not assisted the enemy Quraysh in their scheme.

Paying blood-money was common. Historical reports tell us that a member of the Banu Nadir murdered a Jewish person belonging to the tribe of Banu Qurayzah in which it resulted in compensating the victim’s family:

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas: Qurayzah and Nadir (were two Jewish tribes). An-Nadir were nobler than Qurayzah. When a man of Qurayzah killed a man of an-Nadir, he would be killed. But if a man of an-Nadir killed a man of Qurayzah, a hundred wasq of dates would be paid as blood-money. When Prophethood was bestowed upon the Prophet, a man of an-Nadir killed a man of Qurayzah.
They said: Give him to us, we shall kill him. They replied: We have the Prophet between you and us. So they came to him. Thereupon the following verse was revealed: “If thou judge, judge in equity between them.” “In equity” means life for a life. The following verse was then revealed: “Do they seek of a judgment of (the days) ignorance?” Abu Dawud said: Quraizah and al-Nadir were the descendants of Harun the Prophet.” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 40, Hadith 4479. Sahih Al-Albani, https://sunnah.com/abudawud/41/1 )

Glen continues this time on “sequence of events” on the Nadir affair ,

“The sequence of events from the Sira is as follows:

1) Muhammad goes to visit a Jewish tribe to beg for money

2) Muhammad learns of an assassination plot… from an angel

3) Muhammad convinces his tribe to attack and evict the Banu Nadir

4) Muhammad confiscates the wealth of the Banu Nadir tribe entirely for himself”

1 – Money to be given that was agreed upon in the treaty. And the Banu Nadir had to pay as a result of their cooperation with the Quraish enemy in which it resulted in the death of two innocent people, which we explained earlier.
2 – Not only an angel, he was also informed from a Jewess lady about the plot.
3 – He convinced the Muslims after asking the Banu Nadir to sign a peace treaty, in which they refused and instead chose war.
4 – Regarding sequence 4 did Muhammad really kept the wealth for himself? Let’s check the sources:

“The properties of Banu al-Nadir were part of what Allah bestowed on His Apostle from what the Muslims has not ridden on horses or camels to get; so they belonged especially to the Messenger of Allah who gave his family their annual contribution. Ibn ‘Abdah said: His family (ahlihi) and not the members of his houses (ahl baitihi) ; then applied what remained for horses and weapons in Allah’s path.” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 19, Hadith 2959. Sahih Al-Albani, https://www.sunnah.com/abudawud/20/38 )

Even using his own source, he clearly didn’t keep it for “himself” entirely. Lets’ check other sources too:

“Allah bestowed (the property of) Banu al-Nadir on His Apostle. I swear by Allah, he did not reserve it for himself, nor did he take it over and above you. The Messenger of Allah used to his share for his maintenance annually, or used to take his contribution and give his family their annual contribution (from this property), then take what remained and deal with it as he did with Allah’s property.” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 19, Hadith 2957. Sahih Al-Albani, https://sunnah.com/abudawud/20/36 )

The only thing that was taken from the Banu Nadir was weapons (“arms”) and the land, this is reported by the 9th century scholar Abu Ubayd al-Qasim Ibn Sallam (774 – 838):

(18) “The messenger of god besieged banu nadir, who were a tribe of the jews living near the outskirts of madina, till they agreed to abondon their land on condition of taking as many goods, EXCEPT ARMS, as could be loaded on camels. (Kitab al-Amwaal by Abu Ubayd al-Qasim Ibn Sallam, page 7)

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (1292 – 1350):

“Finally, Banoo An Nadeer agreed to leave Al Madeena, and the prophet (may Allaah send salutations upon him) allowed them to take all that their camels could carry except for weapons. However, he did not divide the spoils.” (Zaad al-Ma’ad, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, page 298)

Based on the above evidences we see that the Banu Nadir were allowed to take everything with them except for weapons.

Conclusion:

Based on the overall historical sources on the Banu Nadir incident we get a clear picture that they were a treacherous tribe. When we delved into Glen Roberts’ piece we see that his assertions are contrary to historical facts. Banu Nadir tribe committed many crimes, (1) they broke the treaty; (2) they assisted the Quraysh in war against the Muslims; (3) they attempted to assassinate the Prophet on a number of occasions; (4) they refused to sign a peace treaty and chose war. The end result was they got expelled in order for the community to feel safe from their hostilities. [2] [3] [4] 

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Related Articles:

(1) – Prophet Muhammed’s Charity To Non-Muslims

(2) – Generosity Towards Non-Muslim Neighbours

(3) – Social Conditions: Christians And Jews In Early Period Of Islam

(4) – The Relationship Of The Muslim With Non-Muslims

(5) – What Does Islam Teach about Justice?

(6) – Early Expeditions And Battles Of Islam

(7) – Most Misinterpreted Verses Of The Quran?

References:

[1] Glen Roberts piece can be accessed here: Last accessed 18th November 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20170701182609/https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/games/discover-truth/topics/nadir.aspx
[2] Muhammad Talaat al-Ghunaimi:
“2 The tribe of ‘Amir had been divided into sections, one of which was in alliance with the Muslims. In june, 625, at the well of Ma’unah, some of the hostile section attacked a group of Muslims and killed all except two who managed to flee. One of the two who escaped met two men of ‘Amir and killed them in revenge, not knowing that they were from the allied section. So the Muslims had to pay a blood wit for the two murdered at Ma’unah.” The Muslim Conception of International Law and the Western Approach, [The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1968], by Muhammad Talaat al-Ghunaimi, note 2, page 38.
[3] “It is noteworthy that, before Islam, the Medinan Leader ‛Amr ibn Annu‛man seriously thought of deporting a[l]-Nadir and Qurayzah because of their hostility to the other Arabs of Medina.” (Muhammad Talaat al-Ghunaimi, The Muslim Conception of International Law and the Western Approach (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1968), note 2, page 39)
[4] “Another attempt to kill the Prophet was in the fourth year of migration when Amr bin Umayya Damri had killed two men of the clan of Amir. The Prophet went to Banu Nadair clan seeking their help to pay blood-money according to charter of Madinah. They showed a welcoming approval to contribute. However, in his absence they said to one another, while the Prophet (pbuh) was sitting beside the wall of one of their houses, “You will never find the man in this position again. Who will go up the house to throw a big stone on him and rid us of him? Amar ibn Jahash volunteered to undertake this task (Ibn Hisham, 2000: 161). But the Prophet had a premonition; he left the place and came away.” (Religious Conflict In Early Islam: A Study Of Its Causes From Qur’an Sunnah Perspective [Quranica, International Journal of Quranic Research, Vol. 6, Issue.2, December 2014], by S. M. Yunus Gilani & Tazul Islam page 16)

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1 Response »

  1. Reblogged this on Blogging Theology and commented:

    Why Were The Banu Nadir Tribe Exiled Out Of Madinah? The following article shows the sequence of events which led to their exile. The article is a refutation, but a great piece nonetheless on this incident for anyone interested in knowing that part of history…

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