The Banu Qurayza ( _ar. بني قريظة; بنو قريظة alternate spellings include Quraiza, Qurayzah, Quraytha, and the archaic Koreiza) were a
Jewish tribe who lived in northern Arabia until the 7th century, at the oasis of Yathrib (now known as Medina).
Jewish tribes reportedly arrived in Hijaz in the wake of the
Jewish-Roman warsand introduced agriculture, putting them in a culturally, economical and politically dominant position.Peters, "Muhammad and the Origins of Islam", p. 192f.] However, in 5th century, the Banu Awsand the Banu Khazraj, two Arab tribes that had arrived from Yemen, gained dominance. When these two tribes became embroiled in conflict with eacher other, the Jewish tribes, now clients or allies of the Arabs, fought on different sides, the Qurayza siding with the Aws.Watt, "Muhammad", in: "The Cambridge History of Islam".]
622, the Islamicprophet Muhammadarrived at Yathrib from Meccaand reportedly established a compact between the conflicting parties.Alford Welch, "Encyclopaedia of Islam", "Muhammad".] While the city found itself at war with Muhammad's native Meccan tribe of the Quraysh, tensions between the growing numbers of Muslims and the Jewish communities mounted.
627, when the Quraysh and their allies besieged the city in the Battle of the Trench, the Qurayza entered into (eventually inconclusive) negotiations with the besiegers. Subsequently, the tribe was charged with treason and besieged by the Muslims commanded by Muhammad.Peterson, "Muhammad: the prophet of God", p. 125-127.] Ramadan, "In the Footsteps of the Prophet", p. 140f.] The Banu Qurayza eventually surrendered and all the men, apart from a few who converted to Islam, were beheaded, while the women and children were enslaved. [Hodgson, "The Venture of Islam", vol. 1, p. 191.] [Brown, "A New Introduction to Islam", p. 81.]
History in pre-Islamic Arabia
Extant sources provide no conclusive evidence whether the Banu Qurayza were ethnically Jewish or
Arabconverts to Judaism.Watt, " Encyclopaedia of Islam", "Kurayza, Banu".] Just like the other Jews of Yathrib, the Qurayza claimed to be of IsraelitedescentWatt, " Encyclopaedia of Islam", "Al-Madina".] and observed the commandments of Judaism, but adopted many Arab customs and intermarried with Arabs. They were dubbed the "priestly tribe" ("kahinan" in Arabic from the Hebrew kohanim). [Stillman, "The Jews of Arab Lands: A History and Source Book", p. 9.] " Encyclopedia Judaica", "Qurayza".] Ibn Ishaq, the author of the traditional Muslim biography of Muhammad, traces their genealogy to Aaronand further to AbrahamGuillaume, "The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah", p. 7-9.] but gives only eight intermediaries between Aaron and the purported founder of the Qurayza tribe.
5th centuryCE, the Qurayza lived in Yathrib together with two other major Jewish tribes: Banu Qaynuqaand Banu Nadir. Al-Isfahani writes in his 10th century collection of Arabic poetry that Jews arrived in Hijaz in the wake of the Jewish-Roman wars; the Qurayza settled in Mahzur, a wadiin Al Harrah. [Serjeant, "The "Sunnah Jami'ah, Pacts with the Yathrib Jews, and the "Tahrim" of Yathrib: Analysis and Translation of the Documents Comprised in the So-Called Constitution of Medina", p. 2f.] The 15th century Muslim scholar Al-Samhudi lists a dozen of other Jewish clans living in the town of which the most important one was Banu Hadl, closely aligned with the Banu Qurayza. The Jews introduced agriculture to Yathrib, growing date palms and cereals, and this cultural and economic advantage enabled the Jews to dominate the local Arabs politically.Peters, "Muhammad and the Origins of Islam", p. 192f.] Al-Waqidiwrote that the Banu Qurayza were people of high lineage and of properties, "whereas we were but an Arab tribe who did not possess any palm trees nor vineyards, being people of only sheep and camels." Ibn Khordadbehlater reported that during the Persian domination in Hijaz, the Banu Qurayza served as tax collectors for the shah.
Account of the king of Himyar
Ibn Ishaq tells of a conflict between the last
Yemenite King of Himyar[Muslim sources usually referred to Himyar kings by the dynastic title of "Tubba".] and the residents of Yathrib. When the king was passing by the oasis, the residents killed his son, and the Yemenite ruler threatened to exterminate the people and cut down the palms. According to Ibn Ishaq, he was stopped from doing so by two rabbis from the Banu Qurayza, who implored the king to spare the oasis because it was the place "to which a prophetof the Qurayshwould migrate in time to come, and it would be his home and resting-place". The Yemenite king thus did not destroy the town and converted to Judaism. He took the rabbis with him, and in Mecca, they reportedly recognized Kaabaas a temple built by Abraham and advised the king "to do what the people of Mecca did: to circumambulate the temple, to venerate and honor it, to shave his head and to behave with all humility until he had left its precincts." On approaching Yemen, tells Ibn Ishaq, the rabbis demonstrated to the local people a miracle by coming out of a fire unscathed and the Yemenites accepted Judaism. [Peters, "Muhammad and the Origins of Islam", p. 49f.]
Arrival of the Aws and Khazraj
The situation changed after two Arab tribes named
Banu Awsand Banu Khazrajarrived to Yathrib from Yemen. At first, these tribes were clients of the Jews, but toward the end of the 5th century CE, they revolted and became independent. Most modern historians accept the claim of the Muslim sources that after the revolt, the Jewish tribes became clients of the Aws and the Khazraj. William Montgomery Watthowever considers this clientship to be unhistorical prior to 627 and maintains that the Jews retained a measure of political independence after the Arab revolt.
Eventually, the Aws and the Khazraj became hostile to each other. They had been fighting possibly for around a hundred years before 620 and at least since 570s.Watt, "Muhammad", in: "The Cambridge History of Islam".] The Banu Nadir and the Banu Qurayza were allied with the Aws, while the Banu Qaynuqa sided with the Khazraj. [For alliances see Guillaume, p. 253.] There are reports of the constant conflict between Banu Qurayza and Banu Nadir, the two allies of Aws, yet the sources often refer to these two tribes as “brothers”. ["Encyclopedia of the Qur'an", "Qurayza (Banu)".] Aws and Khazraj and their Jewish allies fought a total of four wars. The last and bloodiest altercation was the
Battle of Bu'ath, the outcome of which was inconclusive.
The Qurayza appear as a tribe of considerable military importance: they possessed large numbers of weaponry, as upon their surrender 1,500
swords, 2,000 lances, 300 suits of armor, and 500 shields were later seized by the Muslims.Heck, "Arabia Without Spices: An Alternate Hypothesis", p. 547-567.] Kister notes that these quantities are "disproportionate relative to the number of fighting men" and conjectures that the "Qurayza used to sell (or lend) some of the weapons kept in their storehouses". He also mentions that the Qurayza were addressed as "Ahlu al-halqa" ("people of the weapons") by the Quraysh and notes that these weapons "strengthened their position and prestige in the tribal society".
Arrival of Muhammad
The continuing feud between the Aws and the Khazraj was probably the chief cause for several emissaries to invite
Muhammadto Yathrib in order to adjudicate in disputed cases. Ibn Ishaq recorded that after his arrival in 622, Muhammad established a compact, the Constitution of Medina, which committed the Jewish and Muslim tribes to mutual cooperation. The nature of this document as recorded by Ibn Ishaq and transmitted by Ibn Hishamis the subject of dispute among modern historians, many of whom maintain that this "treaty" is possibly a collage of agreements, of different dates, and that it is not clear when they were made.Firestone, "Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam", p. 118, 170. For opinions disputing the early date of the Constitution of Medina, see e.g., Peters, "Muhammad and the Origins of Islam", p. 119.] Welch, "Muhammad", "Encyclopaedia of Islam".] Watt holds that the Qurayza and Nadir were probably mentioned in an earlier version of the Constitution requiring the parties not to support an enemy against each other.
Aside from the general agreements, the chronicles by Ibn Ishaq and al-Waqidi contain a report that after his arrival, Muhammad signed a special treaty with the Qurayza chief
Ka'b ibn Asad. Ibn Ishaq gives no sources, while al-Waqidi refers to Ka’b ibn Malik of Salima, a clan hostile to the Jews, and Mummad ibn Ka’b, the son of a Qurayza boy who was sold into slavery in the aftermath of the siege and subsequently became a Muslim. The sources are suspect of being against the Qurayza and therefore the historicity of this agreement between Muhammad and the Banu Qurayza is open to grave doubt. Among modern historians, R. B. Serjeant supports the historicity of this document and suggests that the Jews knew "of the penalty for breaking faith with Muhammad".Serjeant, p. 36.] On the other hand, Norman Stillmanargues that the Muslim historians had invented this agreement in order to justify the subsequent treatment of the Qurayza.Stillman, p. 14-16.] Watt also rejects the existence of such a special agreement but notes note that the Jews were bound by the aforementioned general agreement and by their alliance to the two Arab tribes not to support an enemy against Muhammad. Serjeant agrees with this and opines that the Qurayza were aware of the two parts of a pact made between Muhammad and the Jewish tribes in the confederation according to which "Jews having their religion and the Muslims having their religion excepting anyone who acts wrongfully and commits crime/acts treacherously/breaks an agreementclarifyme, for he but slays himself and the people of his house."
During the first few months after Muhammad's arrival in Medina, the Banu Qurayza were involved in a dispute with the Banu Nadir: The more powerful Nadir rigorously applied
Lex talionisagainst the Qurayza while not allowing it being enforced against themselves. Further, the blood moneypaid for killing a man of the Qurayza was only half of the blood-money required for killing a man of the Nadir [Ananikian, "Tahrif or the alteration of the bible according to the Moslems", p. 63-64.] , placing the Qurayza in a socially inferior position. The Qurayza called on Muhammad as arbitrator, who delivered the surah cite quran|5|42-45|expand=no|style=nosup and judged that the Nadir and Qurayza should be treated alike in the application of lex talionis and raised the assessment of the Qurayza to the full amount of blood money. [Guillaume, p. 267-268.] Serjeant, p. 36.] Nomani, "Sirat al-Nabi", p. 382.]
Tensions quickly mounted between the growing numbers of Muslims and Jewish tribes, while Muhammad found himself at war with his native Meccan tribe of the Quraysh. In 624, after his victory over the Meccans in the
Battle of Badr, Muhammad expelled the Banu Qaynuqa from Medina. The Qurayza remained passive during the whole Qaynuqa affair, apparently because the Qaynuqa were historically allied with the Khazraj, while the Qurayza were the allies of the Aws. [See e.g. Stillman, p. 13.]
Soon afterwards, Muhammad came into conflict with the Banu Nadir. He had one of the Banu Nadir's chiefs, the poet
Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf, assassinated and after the Battle of Uhudaccused the tribe of treachery and plotting against his life and expelled them from the city. The Qurayza remained passive during this conflict, according to R. B. Serjeant because of the blood money issue related above.
Battle of the Trench
In 627, the Meccans, accompanied by tribal allies among whom were Abyssinian mercenaries [Zeitlin, " [http://books.google.com/books?id=_ScS1MjUzdYC&printsec=frontcover&hl=de&sig=4v9XMEdNJvqmnHJYYLw2lHcAg2I#PPA12,M1 The Historical Muhammad] ", p. 12] as well as the Banu Nadir [F. Donner: "Muhammad's Political Consolidation in Arabia up to the Conquest of Mecca, The Muslim World, 69 (1979), p.233] - who had been very active in supporting the Meccans [Bernard Lewis, "The Political Language of Islam", p. 191.] - marched against Medina - the Muslim stronghold - and laid siege to it. It is unclear whether or not their treaty with Muhammad, obliged the Qurayza help him defend Medina or merely to remain neutral, according to Ramadan, they had signed an agreement of mutual assistance with Muhammad. The Qurayza did not participate in the fighting - according to David Norcliffe, because they were offended by attacks against Jews in Muhammad's preaching - but lent tools to the town's defenders. [Norcliffe, "Islam: Faith and Practice", p. 21.] According to Al-Waqidi, the Banu Qurayza helped the defense effort of Medina by supplying spades, picks, and baskets for the excavation of the defensive trench the defenders of Medina had dug in preparation. According to Watt, the Banu Qurayza "seem to have tried to remain neutral" in the battleWatt, "Muhammad at Medina", p. 36-38.] but later changed their attitude when a Jew from Khaybar persuaded them that Muhammad was sure to be overwhelmedWatt, "Muhammad, Prophet and Statesman", p. 170-176.] and though they did not commit any act overtly hostile to Muhammad, according to Watt, they entered into negotiations with the invading army.
Ibn Ishaq writes that during the siege, the Qurayza readmitted
Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the chief of the Banu Nadir whom Muhammad had exiled and who had instigated the alliance of his tribe with the besieging Quraysh and Ghatafan tribes.Nomani, p. 382.] According to Ibn Ishaq, Akhtab persuaded the Qurayza chief Ka'b ibn Asad to help the Meccans conquer Medina. Ka'b was, according to Al-Waqidi's account, initially reluctant to break the contract and argued that Muhammad never broke any contract with them or exposed them to any shame, but decided to support the Meccans after Huyayy had promised to join the Qurayza in Medina if the besieging army would return to Mecca without having killed Muhammad. [Guillaume, p. 453.] Ibn Kathirand al-Waqidi report that Huyayy tore into pieces the agreement between Ka'b and Muhammad. [See also above for the critical view on the historicity of this treaty.]
Rumors of this one-sided renunciation of the pact spread and were confirmed by Muhammad's emissaries,
Sa'd ibn Mua'dhand Sa'd ibn Ubadah, leading men of the Aws and Khazraj respectively. Sa'd ibn Mua'dh reportedly issued threats against the Qurayza but was restrained by his colleague.Muir, "A Life of Mahomet and History of Islam to the Era of the Hegira", [http://www.answering-islam.org/Books/Muir/Life3/chap17.htm chapter XVII] , p. 259f.] As this would have allowed the besiegers to access the city and thus meant the collapse of the defenders' strategy, Muhammad "became anxious about their conduct and sent some of the leading Muslims to talk to them; the result was disquieting." According to Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad ordered Nuaym ibn Masud, an well-respected elder of the Ghatafan who had secretly converted to Islam, to go to Muhammad's enemies and sow discord among them. Nuaym went to the Qurayza and advised them to join the hostilities against Muhammad only if the besiegers provide hostages from among their chiefs. He then hurried to the invaders and warned them that if the Qurayza asked for hostages, it is because they intended to turn them over to the Medinan defenders. When the representatives of the Quraysh and the Ghatafan came to the Qurayza, asking for support in the planned decisive battle with Muhammad, the Qurayza indeed demanded hostages. The representatives of the besiegers refused, breaking down negotiations [Guillaume, p. 458f.] [Ramadan, p. 143.] and resulting in the Banu Qurayza becoming extremely distrustful of the besieging army. The Qurayza did not take any actions to support them until the besieging forces retreated. Thus the threat of a second front against the defenders never materialised.
iege and surrender
On the day of the Meccans' withdrawal, Muhammad led his forces against the Banu Qurayza neighborhood. According to the Muslim tradition, he had been ordered to do so by the
angel Gabriel. The Banu Qurayza retreated into their stronghold and endured the siege for 25 days. As their morale waned, Ka'b ibn Asad suggested three alternative ways out of their predicament: embrace Islam, kill their own children and women, then rush out for a charge to either win or die; or make a surprise attack on the Sabbath. The Banu Qurayza accepted none of these alternatives. Instead they asked to confer with Abu Lubaba, one of their allies from the Aws. According to Ibn Ishaq, Abu Lubaba felt pity for the women and children of the tribe who were crying and when asked whether the Qurayza should surrender to Muhammad, advised them to do so. However he also "made a sign with his hand toward his throat, indicating that [their fate] would be slaughter".Guillaume, p. 461-464.] Peters, "Muhammad and the Origins of Islam", p. 222-224.] Stillman, p. 137-141.] Inamdar, "Muhammad and the Rise of Islam", p. 166f.] The next morning, the Banu Qurayza surrendered and the Muslims seized their stronghold and their stores. [These included weapons, household goods, utensils, camels and cattle. The stored wine was spilled. See Kister, p. 94.] The men - numbering between 400 and 900 - were bound and placed under the custody of Muhammad ibn Maslamah, who had killed Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf, while the women and children - numbering about 1,000Kister, "The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza", p. 93f.] - were placed under Abdullah ibn Sallam, a former rabbi who had converted to Islam.Muir, p. 272-274.] [Ramadan, p. 145.]
Demise of the Banu Qurayza
The circumstances of the Qurayza's demise has been related by
Ibn Ishaqand other Muslim historians. Since their accounts are contradictory [Ahmad, "Muhammad and the Jews: A Re-examination", p. 79-81.] , modern scholars have interpreted them differently:
According to Watt, Peters and Stillman, the Qurayza surrendered to Muhammad's judgement - a move Watt classifies as unconditional. The Aws, who wanted to honor their old alliance with the Qurayza, asked Muhammad to treat the Qurayza leniently as he had previously treated the Qaynuqa for the sake of Ibn Ubayy. (Arab custom required support of an ally, independent of the ally's conduct to a third party.) Muhammad then suggested to bring the case before an arbitrator chosen from the Aws, to which both the Aws and the Qurayza agreed to. Muhammad then appointed
Sa'd ibn Mua'dhto decide the fate of the Jewish tribe.
According to Hashmi, Buchanan and Moore, the tribe agreed to surrender on the condition of a Muslim arbitrator of their choosing. [Hashmi, Buchanan & Moore, "States, Nations, and Borders: The Ethics of Making Boundaries".] According to Khadduri (also cited by Abu-Nimer), "both parties agreed to submit their dispute to a person chosen by them" [Khadduri, "War and Peace in the Law of Islam", p. 233f.] Abu-Nimer, "A Framework for Nonviolence and Peacebuilding in Islam", p. 247.] in accordance with the Arabian tradition of arbitration.
Muir holds that the Qurayza surrendered on the condition that "their fate was decided by their allies, the Bani Aws". [Muir (p. 272-274) rejects as unlikely the view that the Qurayza surrendered to Muhammad (as later espoused by Watt) as well accounts that the besieged Jews, refusing to surrender to Muhammad, instead named Sa'd as alternative and subsequently surrendered to him.]
In all accounts, the appointed arbitrator was
Sa'd ibn Mua'dh, a leading man among the Aws. During the Battle of the Trench, he had been one of Muhammad's emissaries to the Quarayza (see above) and now was dying from a wound he had received later in the battle. When Sa'd arrived, his fellow Aws pleaded for leniency towards the Qurayza and on his request pledged that they would abide by his decision. He then pronounced that "the men should be killed, the property divided, and the women and children taken as captives". Muhammad approved of the ruling, calling it similar to God's judgment.Adil, "Muhammad: The Messenger of Islam", p. 395f.]
Sa'd dismissed the pleas of the Aws, according to Watt because being close to death and concerned with his afterlife, he put what he considered "his duty to God and the Muslim community" before tribal allegiance. Tariq Ramadan argues that Muhammad deviated from his earlier, more lenient treatment of prisoners as this was seen as "as sign of weakness if not madness" [Ramadan, p. 145.] and Peterson concurs that the Muslims wanted to deter future treachery by severe punishment.
According to Stillman, Muhammad chose Sa'd so as not to pronounce the judgment himself after the precedents he had set with the Banu Qaynuqa and the Banu Nadir: "Sa`d took the hint and condemned the adult males to death and the hapless women and children to slavery." Furthermore, Stillman infers from Abu Lubaba's gesture that Muhammad had decided the fate of the Qurayza even before their surrender.
Ibn Ishaq describes the killing of the Banu Qurayza men as follows:
Several accounts note Muhammad's companions as executioners,
Aliand Al-Zubayrin particular, and that each clan of the Aws was also charged with killing a group of Qurayza men. Subhash Inamdar argues that this was done in order to avoid the risk of further conflicts between Muhammad and the Aws. According to Inamdar, Muhammad wanted to distance himself from the events and, had he been involved, would have risked alienating some of the Aws.
It is also reported, that alongside all the men, one woman who had thrown a millstone from the battlements during the siege and killed one of the Muslim besiegers, was put to death.Muir (p. 277) follows Hishami and also refers to Aisha, who had related: "But I shall never cease to marvel at her good humour and laughter, although she knew that she was to die." ( [http://web.archive.org/web/20040625103910/http://www.hraic.org/hadith/ibn_ishaq.html#banu_qurayza Ibn Ishaq, "Biography of Muhammad"] ).]
Ibn Asakirwrites in his "History of Damascus" that Banu Kilab, a clan of Arab clients of the Banu Qurayza, were killed alongside the Jewish tribe.Lecker, "On Arabs of the Banū Kilāb executed together with the Jewish Banū Qurayza", p. 69.]
Three boys of the clan of Hadl, who had been with Qurayza in the strongholds, slipped out before the surrender and converted to Islam. The son of one of them, Muhammad ibn Ka'b al-Qurazi, gained distinction as a scholar. One or two other men also escaped.
The spoils of battle, including the enslaved women and children of the tribe, were divided up either upon the warriors that had participated in the siege or among the emigrees from Mecca (who had hitherto depended on the help of the Muslims native to Medina.Kister, "The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza", p. 95f.] Rodinson, "Muhammad: Prophet of Islam", p. 213.] Muhammad himself took a fifth of the value, as was customary among Muslims. As part of his share of the booty, Muhammad selected one of the women, Rayhana, and took her as part of his captives. She is said to have later become a Muslim. and Muhammad offered to free and marry her. According to some sources she accepted his proposal, while according to others she rejected it. [Ramadan, p. 146.]
Some of the women and children of the Banu Qurayza were bought and sold by Jews ,in particular the Banu Nadir. Peterson argues that this is because the Nadir felt responsible for the Quarayza due to the role of their chieftain in the events.
Walid N. Arafat and
Barakat Ahmadhave disputed that the Banu Qurayza were killed on a large scale.Meri, "Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia", p. 754.] Arafat disputes large-scale killings and argued that Ibn Ishaqgathered information from descendants of the Qurayza Jews, who embellished or manufactured the details of the incident.Arafat, "New Light on the Story of Banu Qurayza and the Jews of Medina", p. 100-107. Arafat relates the testimony of Ibn Hajar, who denounced this and other accounts as "odd tales" and quoted Malik ibn Anas, a contempory of Ibn Ishaq, whom he rejected as a "liar", an "impostor" and for seeking out the Jewish descendants for gathering information about Muhammad's campaign with their forefathers.] Ahmad argues that only some of the leaders of the tribe were killed, while some of the fighters were taken prisoners.Ahmad, p. 85-94.] [Nemoy, "Barakat Ahmad's "Muhammad and the Jews"", p. 325. Nemoy is sourcing Ahmad's "Muhammad and the Jews".] Watt finds Arafat's arguments "not entirely convincing", while Meir J. Kister has contradicted clarifyme the arguments of Arafat and Ahmad. [Kister, "The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza".]
The Qur'an briefly refers to the incident in Surah cite quran|33|26|expand=no|style=nosup and Muslim jurists have looked upon Surah cite quran|8|55-58|expand=no|style=nosup as a justification of the treatment of the Banu Qurayza, arguing that the Qurayza broke the pact with Muhammad, and thus Muhammad was justified in repudiating his side of the pact and declaring war on the Qurayza. Arab Muslim theologians and historians have either viewed the incident as "the punishment of the Medina Jews, who were invited to convert and refused, perfectly exemplify the Quran's tales of what happened to those who rejected the prophets of old" or offered a political explanation. [Peters, "Islam. A Guide for Jews and Christians", p. 77.]
In the 8th and early 9th century Muslim jurists, such as
Ash-Shafii, based their judgements and decrees about collective punishment for treachery on the accounts of the demise of the Qurayua, with which they were well acquainted.Kister, "The Massacre of the Banū Quraiza", p. 66.] However, the proceedings of Muhammad with regard to the Banu Nadirand the Banu Qurayza were not taken as a model for the relationship of Muslim states toward its Jewish subjects. ["Handwörterbuch des Islam", "Ahl al-Kitab".] [Ayoub, "Dhimmah in Qur'an and Hadith", p. 179; "Sahih al-Bukhari", [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/023.sbt.html#002.023.475 Vol. 2, Book 23, Number 475] and [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/057.sbt.html#005.057.050 Volume 5, Book 57, Number 50] ) as authorities.] ["Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam", "Ahl al-Kitab".] [Lewis, "The Jews of Islam", p. 32.] clarifyme [Khadduri, p. 175.]
ParetParet, "Mohammed und der Koran", p. 122-124.] and WattWatt, "Muhammad at Medina", p. 217-218.] say that the Banu Qurayza were killed not because of their faith but for "treasonable activities against the Medinan community". Watt relates that "no important clan of Jews was left in Medina" but he and Paret also note that Muhammad did not clear all Jews out of Medina. [The "Encyclopedia Judaica" (Vol. XI, col. 1212) estimates the Jewish population of Medina at 8,000 to 10,000.
Barakat Ahmad(p. 43) calls this an understatement and calculates that there still remained 24,000 to 28,000 Jews in Medina, after the demise of the Qurayza. These figures are cited by Peters ("Muhammad and the Origins of Islam", p. 301 (note 41): "According to Ahmad, whose estimate of the Jewish population at 36,000-42,000 has already been cited, the departure of the Banu Nadir and the decimation of the Banu Qurayza would still have left between 24,000-28,000 Jews at Medina.") but are disputed by Reuven Firestone (" [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0411/is_n4_v46/ai_20583579/print The failure of a Jewish program of public satire in the squares of Medina] "). Watt ("Muhammad, Prophet and Statesman", p. 175f.) describes the remaining Jews as "several small groups".]
Aiming at placing the events in their historical context, Watt points to the "harsh political circumstances of that era" and argues that the treatment of Qurayza was regular Arab practice. [Watt, "Muhammad at Medina", p. 296.] Similar statements are made by Stillman, Paret, Lewis [Bernard Lewis: "The Political Language of Islam". University of Chicago Press, 1991. p.191] and Rodinson. On the other hand, Michael Lecker and Irving Zeitlin consider the events "unprecedented in the Arab peninsula - a novelty" and state that "prior to Islam, the annihilation of an adversary was never an aim of war." [Zeitlin, " [http://books.google.com/books?id=_ScS1MjUzdYC&printsec=frontcover&hl=de&sig=4v9XMEdNJvqmnHJYYLw2lHcAg2I#PPA133,M1 The Historical Muhammad] ", p. 133.] Similar statements are made by Hirschberg [Hirschberg, "Yisrael Ba'Arav", p. 146.] and Baron. [Baron, "A Social and Religious History of the Jews. Volume III: Heirs of Rome and Persia", p. 79.]
References in literature
The fate of the Banu Qurayza became the subject of
Shaul Tchernichovsky's Hebrew poem "Ha-aharon li-Venei Kuraita" ("The Last of the Banu Qurayza").
Rules of war in Islam
Muhammad as a general
Criticism of Islam
Criticism of Muhammad
Encyclopaedia of Islam". Ed. P. Bearman et al., Leiden: Brill, 1960-2005.
Encyclopedia Judaica" (CD-ROM Edition Version 1.0). Ed. Cecil Roth. Keter Publishing House, 1997. ISBN 965-07-0665-8
*"Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam". Ed. Hamilton A. R. Gibb, Johannes Hendrik Kramers. Leiden:Brill, 1953.
*"Handwörterbuch des Islam". Ed. A. J. Wensinck, J. H. Kramers. Leiden: Brill, 1941.
*Arafat, Walid N., " [http://www.haqq.com.au/~salam/misc/qurayza.html New Light on the Story of Banu Qurayza and the Jews of Medina] ", in: "JRAS" 1976, p. 100-107.
*Ahmad, Barakat, "Muhammad and the Jews, a Re-examination", New Delhi. Vikas Publishing House for Indian Institute of Islamic studies. 1979
*Baron, Salo Wittmeyer. "A Social and Religious History of the Jews. Volume III: Heirs of Rome and Persia". Columbia University Press, 1957.
*Firestone, Reuven, " [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0411/is_n4_v46/ai_20583579/print The failure of a Jewish program of public satire in the squares of Medina] ", in: "Judaism" (Fall 1997).
*Hirschberg, Hayyim Ze'ev, "Yisrael Ba'Arav". Tel Aviv: Mossad Bialik, 1946.
*Kister, Meir J., "The Massacre of the Banu Quraiza. A re-examination of a tradition", in: "Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam" 8 (1986).clarifyme
*Lecker, Michael, "On Arabs of the Banū Kilāb executed together with the Jewish Banū Qurayza", in: "Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam" 19 (1995), p. 69.
*Newby, Gordon Darnell, "A History of the Jews of Arabia: From Ancient Times to Their Eclipse Under Islam" (Studies in Comparative Religion). University of South Carolina Press, 1988.
*Lewis, Bernard, "The Jews of Islam". Princeton University Press, 2004.Bernard Lewis, "The Political Language of Islam", University of Chicago Press, 1991.
*Nemoy, Leon, "Barakat Ahmad's "Muhammad and the Jews"", in: "The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series", vol. 72, No. 4. (April 1982), p. 325.
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Background: Muhammad, Islam and Arabia
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