THE CONQUEST OF MAKKA
conquest of Khaybar
be elaborated later, the treaty of Hudaybiya was a clear
victory, a door opened to new and greater victories for Islam.
The Makkan threat came to an end and God’s Messenger, upon him
be peace and blessings, while sending envoys to neighboring
countries to invite their peoples to Islam on the one hand, set
out to solve the other problems he faced within Arabia on the
the Jews belonging to the tribe of Banu Nadir had settled in
Khaybar after being expelled from Madina. Together with them,
the Jews of Khaybar did not refrain from collaborating against
Islam, sometimes with the Quraysh and sometimes with Banu
a result of the efforts made by the Jews of Banu Nadir to form
an alliance against God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and
blessings, the Quraysh had attacked Madina with a force of
around 20,000 men only to retreat in humiliation after four
weeks of hopeless siege. It was time for the Muslims to put an
end to the Jewish conspiracy in Arabia to secure the future and
free preaching of Islam. The punishment suffered by the Jews of
Banu Qurayza roused the Jews of Khaybar to make an alliance with
Banu Ghatafan and attack Madina. They were making preparations
for this when, after the treaty of Hudaybiya, God’s Messenger
marched upon Khaybar. He made as if to attack Banu Ghatafan and
forced them to shelter in their confines without daring to help
the Jews in Khaybar. Then, he suddenly turned towards Khaybar.
The farmers of Khaybar had left their homes in the early morning
with their farm implements, when they saw the Muslim army
approaching the city. They went back and sheltered in their
citadels, which were very formidable.
Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, besieged Khaybar for
three weeks. One day towards the end of the siege, he gathered
his soldiers and told them: Tomorrow I will hand the standard
to him who loves God and His Messenger and is loved by God and
His Messenger. God will enable us to conquer Khaybar through him.2
next day came, almost everyone was hoping that the standard
might be handed to him. However, God’s Messenger asked: Where
is ‘Ali? ‘He has sore eyes’, they said. The Messenger sent
for him and, after applying his saliva to ‘Ali’s sore eyes,
he submitted the standard to him.3 ‘Ali went to the
fortress and, after a fierce battle, Khaybar was conquered.
prisoners of war, there was a noble woman, Safiyya, the daughter
of Huyay ibn Akhtab, who was the chief of Banu Nadir. By
marrying her, God’s Messenger established a relationship with
the conquered people.
Battle of Mu’ta
peaceful atmosphere brought about by the treaty of Hudaybiya,
God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, sent letters
to neighboring kings inviting them to the fold of Islam. The
king of Busra, Shurahbil, who was a Christian Arab, killed the
envoy of God’s Messenger, Harith ibn ‘Umayr. This was an
unforgivable act, from the viewpoint of both international
custom and the prestige of Islam. If it had remained unresponded
to, some others might also have attempted to act in the same
Messenger formed an army of 3,000 men, and appointed Zayd ibn
Haritha as the commander. Additionally, he gave the instruction:
If something happens to Zayd, Ja’far ibn Abi Talib should
assume the command. If Ja’far is martyred, let ‘Adbullah ibn
Rawaha take over the command. In case something happens to ‘Abdullah,
choose one among you as the commander.
Muslim army reached Mu’ta, it met with a Byzantine army of
100,000 men. Obviously, it would be a fierce battle. The Muslims
would fight one against 33 men. In the meantime, God’s
Messenger was in the mosque, relating the fighting to those
around him, who were unable to participate in the campaign:
took the standard. He thrust himself into the ranks of the
enemy. They martyred him. The standard was taken by Ja’far
ibn Abi Talib. He also rose up to Paradise. ‘Adbullah
ibn Rawaha took the standard. He too was martyred. Now,
the standard was in the hands of a ‘sword’ among the
‘swords of God’.4
God’s Messenger described as ‘a sword among the swords of
God’ was Khalid ibn Walid,5 who would, from then
on, be mentioned as ‘the Sword of God’. When it was at
night, Khalid stationed the troops at the rear in the front
rank, and changed the wings, positioning those on the right to
the left and vice versa. Having seen new troops before them in
the morning, the Byzantine army was demoralized. When night
fell, the sides parted with each other and retreated.
Muslim army returned to Madina with only twelve losses. Although
this was a victory for the Muslims, they were ashamed to meet
God’s Messenger, who, however, welcomed them and consoled
them, saying: You did not flee; you retreated to join me, and
will go against them later.
1. I. Hisham, 3.226;
Diyarbakri, Khamis, 1.540.
2. Bukhari, “Maghazi,” 38.
3. Bukhari, 5.77; Muslim, 4.1872.
4. Bukhari, “Maghazi,” 44.
5. I. Hanbal, 5.299; Tabari, 3.110.