Banu Nadir’s Treacherous Plot

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Who are Banu Nadir’s? What is banu nadirs treacherous plot?

Able to survive the Maunah Well massacre, Amir ibn Umayyah -Allah be well-pleased with him- killed two people from the tribe that attacked them, in their sleep, whom he happened to stumble upon on his way back to Medina. But little did he know at the time that the two were under the amnesty of the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- and were in fact returning from Medina. A part of the blood money that had to be paid in compensation, according to their prior pact, had to be provided by Banu Nadir; and to obtain part of the due payment, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, accompanied by a group of Companions, went to their quarters.

The fact that the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- was visiting them with only a handful of Companions, thought the Jews of Banu Nadir, was a golden opportunity; so they swiftly plotted a plan of assassination. Telling the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- they were more than happy to recompense the amount of blood money that fell to their lot, they invited him to sit under a shade while they prepared the money and, at the same time, a few treats. At the same time, they made a fast but stealthy move to get their plot under way. They were supposedly to throw a massive rock from the roof of the house, under the shade of which the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was sitting, and thereby take his life. They did, after all, have plenty of experience under their belts, from having perpetrated similar crimes against many prophets before.

In the meantime, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- quickly got up from where he was sitting and hurriedly moved away from and out of the quarters. Allah, glory unto Him, had informed His Messenger of the plot and protected him, a blessing upon Muslims of which He reminds in the following ayah:

 “O you who believe! remember Allah’s favor on you when a people had determined to stretch forth their hands towards you, but He withheld their hands from you, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; and on Allah let the believers rely.” (al-Maida, 11)

That the above ayah addresses the Believers in general, even though the assassination had only the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- in mind, goes to show that the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- is the life and soul of Muslims and that his life ought to be more precious than their own.

The Almighty revealed the following regarding the attempted assassination:

“And if you fear treachery on the part of a people, then throw back to them on terms of equality; surely Allah does not love the treacherous.” (al-Anfal, 58)

“And if they incline to peace, then incline to it and trust in Allah; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing. And if they intend to deceive you- then surely Allah is sufficient for you; He it is Who strengthened you with His help and with the Believers.” (al-Anfal, 61-62)

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- thereupon sent an ambassador to Banu Nadir telling them to either renew their pact or pack up and leave Medina within ten days. Unable to keep still, the hypocrites, in the meantime, sent Banu Nadir, who had now gotten their preparations to leave Medina under way, the message that they ought not to leave the town and assured the Jews that they would help them in masses should the Muslims threaten their existence. The secret correspondence between the Jews and the hypocrites was exposed by the Almighty in the Quran:

“Have you not seen those who have become hypocrites? They say to those of their brethren who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book: If you are driven forth, we shall certainly go forth with you, and we will never obey any one concerning you, and if you are fought against, we will certainly help you, and Allah bears witness that they are most surely liars.” (al-Hashr, 11)

For, in spite of all the traps they were secretly setting behind Muslim backs, deep down, they were terrified of the Believers; a state of mind illustrated by the Quran:

“You are certainly greater in being feared in their hearts than Allah; that is because they are a people who do not understand.” (al-Hashr, 13)

After Banu Nadir had a change of heart and decided to hold their ground after all, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was left with no other option than to lay siege to their quarters. Banu Qurayza, the other Jewish tribe of Medina, came to the aid of the besieged Banu Nadir, at the expense of violating their own pact with the Muslims.[1]

The Jews, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- saw, were making full use of their homes in their fight; ascending their rooftops to show resistance and taking refuge behind their houses during their retreat. Thus, beginning with the most nearby house, the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- commanded the demolishing of each Jewish house and the chopping or burning down of some of their date trees.

“You were forbidding mischief and reproaching mischief makers, Muhammad!” the Jews begun to shout behind their homes. “And now you chop and burn down trees?” This was cause for anxiety for some Muslims, as they suddenly felt a hesitancy coming over them. Then the Almighty removed all doubts:

“Whatever palm-tree you cut down or leave standing upon its roots, It is by Allah’s command, and that He may abase the transgressors.” (al-Hashr, 5)[2] The ayah also hinted at the need to be wary of the mind games of Jews.

After a nearly twenty day siege, consequent upon the immaculate strategy carried out by the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- and the promised aid of the hypocrites that never came, Banu Nadir surrendered and were subsequently expelled from Medina by the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. Banu Qurayza, on the other hand, for acquiescing in a renewed pact, was allowed to remain in the town.[3]

Before their migration, Banu Nadir razed to the ground with their own hands what remained of their houses, so that the Muslims could not seize possession of them. Some then ultimately relocated to Khaybar, while others headed to the direction of Syria.[4]

Allah, glory unto Him, pronounces His backing and support of the Believers in their fight against Banu Nadir, in the Quran as follows:

“He it is Who caused those who disbelieved of the followers of the Book to go forth from their homes at the first banishment you did not think that they would go forth, while they were certain that their fortresses would defend them against Allah; but Allah came to them whence they did not expect, and cast terror into their hearts; they demolished their houses with their own hands and the hands of the believers; therefore take a lesson, O you who have eyes!” (al-Hashr, 2)

For having been acquired without the use of force, properties left behind by Banu Nadir were called fay’, and were given a status different from spoils acquired through the use of force:

“Whatever Allah has restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns, it is for Allah and for the Messenger, and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, so that it may not be a thing taken by turns among the rich of you, and whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is severe in retributing (evil). It is) for the poor who fled their homes and their possessions, seeking grace of Allah and (His) pleasure, and assisting Allah and His Messenger: these it is that are the truthful.” (al-Hashr, 7-8)

The fay’ reserved for Allah and His Messenger, as stated by the ayah, is for the repairing and renovation of Kaabah and other mosques. In any case the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- used to distribute the fay’ that fell to his lot among the poor Companions. The wisdom beneath the distribution of the fay’ in this specific manner is, as indicated by the ayah, to prevent wealth from circulating only among the rich and becoming stockpiled. The ethos of Islam in financial affairs requires the maintenance of mutual aid among members of society, to ensure both the rich and the poor receive their entitlements of benefits. This carried out to the end will bring about a just social balance that brings different spectrums of society together, where there will no longer exist groups that exploit one another.

For that reason, the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- distributed the spoils of Banu Nadir among the Muhajirun, and withheld it from the Ansar, apart from three needy Companions from among them. Before the distribution, he addressed the Ansar:

“If you wish”, he said, “what you previously provided the Muhajirun with will remain with them and you can receive a share of the spoils. But if you want, you can ask back what you gave them, and cede the entirety of these spoils to them.”

The Ansar thereupon gave a magnificent and heart rending response, stating, “Neither will we ask back what we gave of our properties and houses, nor will we have anything to do with the spoils!”

The unrivalled instance of brotherhood displayed by the Ansar was among the reasons that occasioned the revelation of the below ayah:

“And those who made their abode in the city and in the faith before them love those who have fled to them, and do not find in their hearts a need of what they are given, and prefer (them) before themselves though poverty may afflict them, and whoever is preserved from the avarice of his soul, these it is that are the successful ones.” (al-Hashr, 9) (Razi, XXIX, 250; Qurtubi, XVIII, 25)

[1] Bukhari, Maghazi, 14.[2] Bukhari, Tafsir, 59/2; Ibn Hisham, III, 192.[3] Bukhari, Maghazi, 14; Muslim, Jihad, 62.[4] Ibn Hisham, III, 191-194; Waqidi, I, 363-380.

Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, The Prophet Muhammed Mustafa the Elect II, Erkam Publications

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