Battle of Khaibar
Buraidah al-Aslami narrates that when the Holy Prophet (sa) reached the battlefield of Khaybar, he handed the flag to Hazrat Umar bin al-Khattab (ra).
(Al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Saad, Vol. 3, p. 206, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2012) (Furhang-e-Sirat, p. 75, Zawar Academy, Karachi, 2003)
It is narrated that the Holy Prophet (sa) sent him as the collector of revenue in Khayber. He returned with excellent dates and the Holy Prophet (sa) purchased around 3 kilograms of the high-quality dates from him in return for around 7 kilograms of normal dates.
(Usdul Ghaaba, Vol. 2, p. 590, Suwaad bin Ghazyah (ra), Dar-ul-Kutub-ul-Ilmiyyah, Beirut).
The Holy Prophet (sa) liked the dates so he purchased them for its actual price by exchanging dates in return.
Some enemies of Islam allege that the Holy Prophet (sa) passed away due to this poison. This has also been discussed in certain books of history and biographies of the Holy Prophet (sa). Certain historians are willing to accept the narrative that the Holy Prophet (sa) passed away due to this poison, as they wish to declare the Holy Prophet (sa) as a martyr. However, this is contrary to the facts. The research cell has also sent a report which will be mentioned here. It is written that irrespective of what is said in any book of history or biography of the Holy Prophet (sa) or any hadith, the Holy Prophet’s (sa) demise was not due to poisoning. If someone asserts this, then either they are ignorant of all the narrations, or they are mistaken.
It should be remembered that the incident of the poisoning took place during the Battle of Khaybar, which occurred at the end of 6 AH or the beginning of 7 AH and the Holy Prophet (sa) remained alive for approximately four more years. He lived a healthy life just as he did before the incident and even went for battles. There was not even the slightest change in his routine with respect to his worship or other daily activities. To pass away after approximately four years, owing to a fever and a migraine, no rational individual would assert that his death was due to the effects of poisoning.
In actuality, there is a hadith recorded in Bukhari as well as some other books of hadith and owing to not understanding the translation correctly, people have inferred from it that the Holy Prophet’s (sa) demise was due to the effects of poisoning, whereas this is incorrect. The hadith mentioned in Bukhari is as follows – the translation is:
Hazrat Aisha(ra) narrates that during his last days, the Holy Prophet (sa) would say, “O Aisha (ra)! I have always felt the effects of what I ate at Khaybar. Even today, I feel as if my insides are have been greatly affected due to the poison.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Maghazi, Bab Marad an-Nabisa wa Wafatihi, Hadith 5073)
From this hadith, some Muslims – Muslim exegetes and scholars of Hadith – have inferred that the Holy Prophet (sa) passed away due to the effects of the poison. Some of them then explain that owing to this, the Holy Prophet (sa) can be deemed as a martyr, whereas this narration does not support this viewpoint. In this narration, the Holy Prophet (sa) simply expressed a sense of pain he felt. Everyone is aware that an injury or [specific] pain can revert at times owing to certain factors. If one analyses the details regarding the narrations about the Holy Prophet (sa) eating poisoned meat at the time of Khaybar, it is also written that the Holy Prophet (sa) put the poisoned meat in his mouth but did not swallow it. Even if he did swallow it, the fact that he lived a healthy life is proof that his death was not as a result of the poison. Indeed, the poison would have had a severe effect on the stomach or intestines and this is a natural consequence of it. Likewise, since the morsel was placed in his mouth, it would have affected the uvula and owing to this he may have occasionally felt pain whilst eating.
All the details regarding this incident can be found in the ahadith. It is also written that the Holy Prophet (sa) knew that the meat had been poisoned and he stopped his companions (ra) from eating it. When the Holy Prophet (sa) called the woman responsible for it and asked her, she said she added poison to see that if the Holy Prophet (sa) was a true prophet of God, he would be saved. Otherwise, they would be rid of him. The Jews even admit to the fact that the Holy Prophet (sa) survived. The poison that was used was fatal, yet the Holy Prophet (sa) survived. In fact, according to some narrations, this woman then accepted Islam. Nevertheless, the Jews themselves admit that the Holy Prophet (sa) survived and consider this to be a miracle. Therefore, it is utterly false to assert that the Holy Prophet (sa) passed away due to the effects of the poison.
Whilst mentioning the same incident, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) says:
“Hazrat Ali (ra) was granted an opportunity on the day of Khaibar, when the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Today I shall grant an opportunity to he who loves God and whom God Almighty loves and will give my sword to him who God Almighty has granted excellence.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) says that he was present in that gathering and he raised his head hoping that the Holy Prophet (sa) would see him and grant him the sword. However when the Holy Prophet (sa) looked towards him he remained silent.
“Hazrat Umar (ra) raised his head again, yet upon seeing him, the Holy Prophet (sa) still remained silent. Then Hazrat Ali (ra) came and he was experiencing pain in his eyes. The Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Ali, come forward.’ When Hazrat Ali (ra) stepped forward, the Holy Prophet (sa) placed his saliva on Hazrat Ali’s (ra) eyes and said, ‘May Allah Almighty heal your eyes. Take this sword which Allah Almighty has entrusted to you.’”
(Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 19, p. 614, delivered 2 September 1938)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) has mentioned the same incident in another instance when he says:
“Around five months after the Holy Prophet (sa) had returned from Hudaibiyyah, it was decided that the Jewish people who resided in Khaibar should be expelled for they resided only a short distance away from Medina and could easily plot against them. Thus, the Holy Prophet (sa) took 1,600 Companions with him and set out towards Khaibar in August 628 CE. Khaibar was a fortified city as there were forts on hills at all four corners of the city. To conquer such a well-protected city with such a small amount of people was no easy task. Various small watch-posts were overtaken after some small skirmishes; however, when all the Jewish people gathered at the central fortress of the city, all plans to conquer it began to falter.
“One day, God Almighty informed the Holy Prophet (sa) that this city was destined to be conquered at the hand of Hazrat Ali (ra). Thus, in the morning, the Holy Prophet (sa) announced that he would bestow the black coloured flag of Islam to he who was loved by God, His Messenger (sa) and by the Muslims, for God had decreed this fortress to be conquered at his hand. Then, the next morning, the Holy Prophet (sa) summoned Hazrat Ali (ra) and granted him the flag, who then led the Muslim army and attacked the fortress. Though the Jewish people were well protected, Allah the Almighty granted Hazrat Ali (ra) and other Companions such strength on this day, that before nightfall, the fortress had been conquered.”
(Dibachah Tafsir al-Quran, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 325-326)
Then, at another instance, with reference to Hazrat Ali (ra) and the same incident, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states,
“When the matter of conquering the fortress of Khaibar arose, the Holy Prophet (sa) called Hazrat Ali (ra) and desired to bestow upon him the flag of the Muslim army; however, Hazrat Ali (ra) was experiencing pain in his eyes (here, it is mentioned that his eyes were hurting) and due to the extreme pain, his eyes had become swollen. The Holy Prophet (sa) saw the state Hazrat Ali (ra) was in and said to him, ‘Come here.’ When Hazrat Ali (ra) went towards him, the Holy Prophet (sa) placed his saliva on the eyes of Hazrat Ali (ra) and his eyes were immediately relieved of the pain.”
(Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 8, pp. 398-399)
During the Battle of Khaybar, the Jewish leader was killed. When his daughter, Hazrat Safia was married to Holy Prophet (sa), the following morning, the Holy Prophet (sa) came outside to lead the prayers and saw Abu Ayub Ansari (ra) stood, watching guard. The Holy Prophet (sa) enquired as to why he was doing so. He replied, “Close relatives of Hazrat Safia have been hurt at our hands and some of them were even killed. For this reason, the thought came to my mind that I should come and keep guard lest anyone causes mischief or tries to take revenge.” The Holy Prophet (sa) then prayed for him in the following manner, “O Lord! Keep Abu Ayub always under Your protection, just as he readily stayed the whole night protecting me!”
During the Battle of Khaybar, when the well-known Jewish leader Marhab was killed by Hazrat Muhammad bin Maslamah (ra), his brother Yasir came to the battlefield and declared:
Meaning, “Who will challenge me?”
Hazrat Zubair (ra) stepped forward to challenge him. Hazrat Safia (ra) said to the Holy Prophet (sa), “O Messenger of Allah (ra), it seems that my son will be martyred today.” The Holy Prophet (sa) said, “No, rather your son will kill him.” Hazrat Zubair (ra) stepped forward to challenge Yasir and killed him.
(al-Sirat al-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hisham, Vol. 2, p. 334, Maqatal Yasir Akhi Marhab, Maktabah Wa al-Matba‘ah Mustapha al-Baabi, Egypt, 1995)
Hazrat Anas (ra) continues, “When people came out of their homes to attend to their work, they said, ‘[It is] Muhammad (sa) – Abdul Aziz used to say that some of our companions also used to add the word khamees (i.e. army) in addition to the name of the Holy Prophet (sa).’”
Hazrat Anas (ra) states, “We conquered it [Khaybar] in battle and the prisoners of war were gathered together. Hazrat Dihyah Kalbi (ra) came and said, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah! Grant me a female-servant from among these prisoners.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) replied, ‘Go and choose a female-servant.’ He then chose Huyayy’s daughter, Safia. Thereupon, someone approached the Holy Prophet (sa) and said, ‘O Prophet (sa) of Allah! You have handed the daughter of the chief of the Quraizah and Nadeer tribe, Safia bint Huyayy, to Dihyah; whereas she is only suitable for you.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) then said, ‘Bring both of them here’. So he went and both Safia and Dihyah came to the Holy Prophet (sa). The Holy Prophet (sa) said to Dihyah, ‘Choose any other of the prisoners.’”
Hazrat Anas (ra) relates further, “The Holy Prophet (sa) then freed Hazrat Safia (ra) and later married her.”
Thereafter, Hazrat Thabit (ra) asked Hazrat Anas (ra), “What did Abu Hamza, i.e. the Holy Prophet (sa) give her in dowry?” to which he answered, “He freed her and then married her, so her freedom was the dowry.” And whilst they were still returning from the expedition, Hazrat Umm-e-Sulaim (ra) prepared Hazrat Safia (ra) for the Holy Prophet (sa) and their wedding took place. The following day the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “If anyone possesses something, let him bring it forward” and he lay out a leather cloth. Some people brought dates, whilst others brought clarified butter.
Abdul Aziz says, “I believe that he also mentioned sattu [parched grain of barley] as well.” He then said that this was then all mixed together and kneaded. This was the walima [marriage] proceedings of the Holy Prophet (sa).
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabus Salat, Bab Yudhkaru fil Fakhdhi, Hadith 371)
In another narration, it is mentioned that after the conquest of Khaybar, Hazrat Safia (ra) fell in the lot of Hazrat Dihyah (ra). Many companions – it was not just one companion, rather many of the companions – came to the Holy Prophet (sa) and spoke words of praise for Hazrat Safia (ra) and also that with respect to her status and rank, it would be befitting if the Holy Prophet (sa) chose her for himself, i.e. to take her in marriage. Thus, the Holy Prophet (sa) sent a message to Hazrat Dihiyah (ra) and took Hazrat Safia (ra) in exchange for seven prisoners. He then instructed Hazrat Umm-e-Sulaim (ra) to look after her. Then, as was mentioned earlier, the Holy Prophet (sa) married Hazrat Safia (ra).
(al-Tabaqaat-ul-Kubra li ibn Sa‘d, Vol. 8, pp. 97-98, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1990)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:
“There is a very faith-inspiring incident of Hazrat Ali (ra). During the Battle of Khaybar, Hazrat Ali (ra) went against a very prominent general of the Jews. Since he was also a very skilled fighter, therefore they both continued to fight each other for a long time. Eventually, Hazrat Ali (ra) felled him to the ground and knelt upon his chest with the intention to cut his head off with the final stroke of his sword. However, he spat on Hazrat Ali (ra)’s face and Hazrat Ali (ra) immediately stood away from him.
“The Jew was surprised at the fact that Hazrat Ali (ra) had overcome him and yet had now let him go. Why would he let him go even though he easily had the opportunity to kill him, he thought. And so, he enquired from Hazrat Ali (ra) as to why he let him go. Hazrat Ali (ra) replied, ‘Till this point, I was fighting against you purely for the sake of attaining Allah’s pleasure; however, when you spat at me, I became angry and felt that now if I were to kill you, then it would not be for the sake of Allah, but owing to my personal anger. Thus, I let you go so my anger subsides, lest I kill you for a personal reason.’
“How great of an example was this which was demonstrated by Hazrat Ali (ra). Right in the midst of battle, he let a bitter enemy go free simply because he did not wish to kill him owing to any personal grievance. Rather if he did so then it would only be for the sake of Allah alone.”
(Sair-e-Ruhani, Number 2, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 16, p. 74)
There is a long narration in Sahih Muslim regarding the Battle of Khaibar, which took place in Muharram and Safar 7 AH. Hazrat Salama (ra) bin Akwa narrates, “When we reached Khaibar, their chief Marhab came out wielding his sword as he said, ‘Khaibar knows very well that I am Marhab and when battles come blazing forth, I am an armed, brave and an experienced warrior,’” meaning that he would display his bravery in such circumstances.
The narrator continues, “My uncle Amir went forth to combat him whilst saying, ‘Khaibar knows that I am Amir, the armed, brave, and one who puts himself in the face of danger.’”
The narrator further says, “Both traded blows; Marhab’s sword struck Amir’s shield. Amir tried to attack him from below the shield but he struck himself with his own sword which severed an artery as a result of which he was martyred.”
Salama (ra) continues, “When I left from there, I heard some companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) saying that Amir’s deeds went in vain as he had killed himself.”
He then further narrates:
“I went to the Holy Prophet (sa) and was crying. I asked him, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah, have Amir’s deeds been wasted?’ The Holy Prophet (sa) replied, ‘Who has said this?’ I replied, ‘Some of your companions have said this.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Whoever said this is incorrect. In fact, he [Amir] has earned a double reward.’ Then the Holy Prophet (sa) sent me to Hazrat Ali (ra), who, at the time, was experiencing an ailment of the eyes. The Holy Prophet (sa) then said, ‘I will give this flag to he who loves Allah and His Messenger (sa), or he whom Allah and His Messenger (sa) love.’”
The narrator continues to say, “I went to Hazrat Ali (ra) and brought him with me as he had some discomfort in his eyes (due to some ailment as a result of which they were swollen). Therefore, I took him along with me until we reached the Holy Prophet (sa). He placed some of his saliva on Hazrat Ali’s (ra) eyes as a result of which his pain was alleviated and then the Holy Prophet (sa) gave him the flag. Thereafter, Marhab came forward and said, ‘Khaibar knows that I am Marhab, and when battle rages forth, I am armed, brave and experienced.’
Hazrat Ali (ra) responded by saying,
أَنَا الَّذِي سَمَّتْنِي أُمِّي حَيْدَرَهْ كَلَيْثِ غَابَاتٍ كَرِيْهِ الْمَنْظَرَهْ اُوفِيْهِمُ بِالصَّاعِ كَيْلَ السَّنْدَرَهْ
‘My mother named me “Haidar”; the one who resembles a ferocious lion that roams the jungle. I shall give a Sandarah in exchange for a sa‘.’”
This is an Arabic idiom, which has the Urdu equivalents as:
سير كے مقابلے ميں سوا سير
This means to return someone’s attack with one that is fiercer. The literal meaning of sandarah is something in large scale, whilst one sa‘ only comprises of three seir [unit of measurement], thus a sandarah is greater.
The narrator continues, “After saying this, Hazrat Ali (ra) struck Marhab on his head and killed him. Thus, Khaibar was conquered at the hands of Hazrat Ali (ra).”
This narration is from Sahih Muslim.
(Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), p. 837) (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Jihad wa al-Siyar, Bab Ghazwah dhi Qirad wa Ghairiha, Hadith 4678, Urdu Tarjamah Sahih Muslim, Vol. 9, p. 240 with endnote, Noor Foundation)
In the books of history, it is written that the very first mention of a large flag being used was during the Battle of Khaybar. Prior to that there was only use of smaller flags. Buraidah al-Aslami narrates that when the Holy Prophet (sa) reached the battlefield of Khaybar, he handed the flag to Hazrat Umar (ra) bin al-Khattab.
There are further details of this in the books of history. It is recorded that the very first mention of a large flag being used was during the Battle of Khaybar. Prior to that there was only use of small flags. The flag of the Holy Prophet (sa) which was made from a cloth of Hazrat Aishahra, the Mother of the Believers, was black and it was named Uqab. The Holy Prophet (sa) also had a white flag, which he handed to Hazrat Ali (ra).
There was mention previously of a black flag which was made from a cloth of Hazrat Aishahra and then there is mention of this white flag which was given to Hazrat Ali (ra). The Holy Prophet (sa) handed one of the flags to Hazrat Hubbabra bin Munzir and the other to Hazrat Saad (ra) bin Ubadah. When the Holy Prophet (sa) reached Khaybar, he was suffering from a severe migraine and was unable to go out. On this occasion, he initially handed his flag to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), then he handed the same one to Hazrat Umar (ra). That day, a fierce battle ensued and the Muslims were unable to penetrate the fortress. The Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Tomorrow I shall grant my flag to the one through whom Allah the Almighty shall grant us victory.” The following day the Holy Prophet (sa) gave that flag to Hazrat Ali (ra), and at his hands, God Almighty did indeed grant them victory.
(Subul Al-Huda Wa Al-Rishad, Vol. 5, p. 120, 124, 125, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)
Ibn Ishaq says that he asked Ibn Shihab Zuhri that what were the conditions stipulated by Holy Prophet (sa) upon which he gave the date fields of Khaybar to the Jews. Zuhri replied that after the battle, the Holy Prophet (sa) gained victory over Khaybar and Khaybar itself was among the spoils of war which God Almighty granted to the Holy Prophet (sa). A fifth of this belonged to the Holy Prophet (sa), which he distributed amongst the Muslims.
The Jews who were prepared to be expelled from their lands after the battle came down from their fortresses. The Holy Prophet (sa) called them and said:
“If you so wish this wealth can be given to you, upon the condition that you work therein and distribute its fruits between us and yourselves. There will be a division of the produce and if you so wish to remain here then I shall grant you a place to stay where God Almighty wills for you to stay.”
So the Jews accepted this offer and continued working in these fields. The Holy Prophet (sa) would send Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Rawahah to distribute the fruits from these fields and he would equitably act when assessing how much share would be given to the Jews. It was not the case that he would keep the good fruit for the Muslims; rather, the division would be in accordance with justice. Then, when God Almighty decreed for the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa), Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) continued the same treatment with the Jews that was afforded to them by the Holy Prophet (sa).
In the beginning of his Khilafat, Hazrat Umar (ra) also continued this treatment, but then he heard what the Holy Prophet (sa) said in his final illness before his demise that two religions would not coexist in the Arab lands.
Hazrat Umar (ra) investigated this further and when this saying was proven true, he wrote to the Jews of Khaybar stating:
“God Almighty has decreed for you to be expelled. I received news that the Holy Prophet (sa) said that two religions would not coexist in the Arab lands. Hence, those Jews who had an agreement with the Holy Prophet (sa) should come to me so that I may honour it. But those who do not have an agreement shall prepare to be exiled.”
In other words, if anyone had an agreement with the Holy Prophet (sa), they could remain and he would honour that agreement with them. But if anyone did not have such an agreement, they would have to leave their land. Therefore, Hazrat Umar (ra) exiled those who had no agreement with the Holy Prophet (sa).
Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Umar says:
“I went with Hazrat Zubair (ra) bin al-Awwam and Hazrat Miqdad (ra) bin Aswad to see our property in Khaybar. When we reached, we spilt up in order to go and see our respective properties. At night, I was attacked whilst I was asleep. My joints at the elbows were dislocated. In the morning, two companions of mine came screaming as they approached me. They asked who did this to me. I told them that I did not know. They both then fixed my arms and brought me to Hazrat Umar (ra). Hazrat Umar (ra) stated that this was the work of the Jews. Hazrat Umar (ra) then stood to address the people, saying, ‘O people, the Holy Prophet (sa) stipulated a condition with the Jews that we would exile them whenever we pleased. Now the Jews have attacked Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Umar and dislocated the joints of his elbows, as you will now have come to know. Prior to this, they had also attacked an Ansari and I have no doubt that these people are their accomplices. We have no enemy other than them so if anyone has any wealth there should safeguard it, for I am about to expel the Jews from there.” Subsequently, he expelled the Jews.
Abdullah bin Muqnaf relates that when Hazrat Umar (ra) expelled the Jews from Khaybar, he himself rode with the Muhajireen and the Ansar. Hazrat Jabbar (ra) bin Sakhr and Hazrat Yazid (ra) bin Thabit also accompanied them as they went forth. Hazrat Jabbar (ra) was the one who assessed the fruits for the people of Medina and was responsible for keeping their account for them. Both of them divided [the fruits] between the people of Khaybar according to the standard set from before.
(Sirat ibn Hisham, p. 710, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)
Then, there is the incident of Hazrat Hatib (ra) who secretly sent a woman with a letter to the idolaters of Mecca, which contained some plans of the Holy Prophet (sa). The Holy Prophet (sa) received news of this from Allah the Almighty and so he sent Hazrat Ali (ra) [to retrieve it]. That lady was intercepted along the way.
Afterwards, when the Holy Prophet (sa) asked Hatib [why he had done this], Hatib presented his reason and said that his faith had not faltered at all, in fact he had firm faith. Hazrat Hatib (ra) assured the Holy Prophet (sa) of this and the Holy Prophet (sa) accepted it; however, Hazrat Umar (ra) submitted, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah, allow me to sever the head of this hypocrite.” The Holy Prophet (sa) said, “He [Hatib] took part in the Battle of Badr and you may not be aware of the fact that Allah has looked upon those who took part in Badr and said, ‘You may do as you please, for I have covered your sins and overlooked them.’”
(Sahih Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Baab Ghazwah Al-Fath, Hadith no. 4274)
Hazrat Anas (ra) bin Malik narrates that he was with the Holy Prophet (sa) when he returned from Usfaan (a place situated between Mecca and Medina). At the time, the Holy Prophet (sa) was riding his camel and had seated Hazrat Safia (ra) bint Huyayy behind him. All of a sudden, the camel stumbled, causing them both to fall. Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) immediately dismounted his camel, saying, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah, may I be sacrificed for you!” The Holy Prophet (sa) replied, “First enquire about the lady”. Hazrat Talha (ra) drew a cloth over his face as he went towards Hazrat Safia (ra), and then placed that cloth over her (which shows how much regard he had for purdah). Thereafter, he readied the camel for them to mount once again and they all formed a ring around the Holy Prophet (sa). When they reached near the outskirts of Medina, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated:
آئِبُوْنَ تَائِبُوْنَ عَابِدُوْنَ لِرَبِّنَا حَامِدُوْنَ
“We are those who return, who repent before our Lord, who worship Him and praise Him.” The Holy Prophet (sa) continued to recite these words until he entered Medina.
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitabul Jihad wa As-Siyar, Bab Ma Yaqulu Idhaa raja’a min al-Ghazwi, Hadith 3085)
In regard to this incident, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states:
“On one occasion, the Holy Prophet (sa) was returning from the Battle of Khaybar, and alongside him was his wife, Hazrat Safia (ra), when the camel suddenly stumbled in its path, consequently causing both to fall off. The camel of Hazrat Abu Talha Ansari (ra) was directly behind them, so he, at once, dismounted his camel and said, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah! May I be sacrificed for you! Have you sustained any injury?’ When Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) approached close to the Holy Prophet (sa), the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘O Abu Talha! First go to my wife, go see to my wife.’”
The Holy Prophet (sa) said this twice. Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) explains, “Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) had infinite love for the Holy Prophet (sa) and when the question ever arose about the life of the Holy Prophet (sa), his attention would be on no other person, yet the Holy Prophet (sa) told him to go and check on his wife first.”
(Uswa-e-Hasanah, Anwarul Ulum, Vol. 17, p. 126-127)
Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) presented this account whilst discussing the rights of women.
In another instance, whilst mentioning how the Holy Prophet (sa) granted cure through his blessed hands, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:
“We witness such examples in this world wherein certain people stricken with illness are miraculously cured without even undergoing any medical treatment, or at times, they are granted cure when the medical treatment proves unsuccessful. A similar kind of incident in regard to granting cure is found in the life of the Holy Prophet (sa) during the Battle of Khaybar. During the Battle of Khaybar, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, ‘The victory of Khaybar has been destined with the one whom I grant my flag to.’ Hazrat Umar (ra) relates that when the time [of battle] approached, he raised his neck and began to look around in the hope that perhaps the Holy Prophet (sa) would grant him the flag. However, the Holy Prophet (sa) did not assign him with this duty. In the meanwhile, Hazrat Ali (ra) came and at the time, he was experiencing a lot of pain in the eyes. The Holy Prophet (sa) placed his blessed saliva upon his eyes and he was immediately cured from the ailment of his eyes. The Holy Prophet (sa) then placed the flag in Hazrat Ali (ra)’s hand and entrusted him with the conquest of Khaibar.”
(Hasti-e-Bari Ta‘ala, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 6, p. 327)
With regards to the Battle of Khaybar, it is written that the Holy Prophet (sa) departed for Khaybar in the month of Muharram, 7 AH. Khaybar was an oasis situated 184 km north of Madinah. It has a series of hillocks composed of basalt rocks. The Jews had constructed many fortresses here and the ruins of some still exist today. The Muslims conquered these fortresses in the Battle of Khaybar. This area was very fertile and the largest central place for the Jews. The Holy Prophet (sa) appointed Siba‘‘bin Urfutah Ghifari as Amir of Madinah in his absence.
(Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 3, Dhikr al-Ahdath al-Ka’inah… [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2002], 144.) (Dr Shauqi Abu Khalil, Atlas Sirat Nabawisa, p. 330, Dar al-Salam) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-e-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], p. 117.)
The siege of the fortresses in Khaybar lasted more than 10 days.
(Al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Vol. 1, p. 517, Ghazwat Khaibar, Al-Maktabah al-Islami, 2004)
Hazrat Buraidah (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sa) would suffer from migraines and, as a result, would not come outside for a day or two. Thus, when the Holy Prophet (sa) reached Khaybar, he was suffering from a migraine, and so he did not come out before the people. “Dard Shaqiqah” is a migraine. The Holy Prophet (sa) sent Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) towards the fortress of Kutaibah. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) took the flag of the Holy Prophet (sa) and launched a fierce attack against the enemy. A ferocious battle ensued. After the battle, he returned but they had not gained complete victory despite their utmost effort. Then the Holy Prophet (sa) sent Hazrat ‘Umar (ra); he also took the Holy Prophet’s (sa) flag and fought vigorously and even more fierce than before, but even he returned without having secured victory.
(Mustafa ‘Abd al-Wahid, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khair al-‘Ibad, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1993], p. 124)
In most books of [Islamic] history and biographies, it is mentioned that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat ‘Umar (ra) were made commanders of the army one after the other, however, they could not conquer the fortress. However, there is a book titled “Sayyiduna Siddiq-e-Akbar”, which was published in February 2010 in Lahore; the people assigned for research have written to me about it; in the book, the author claims that the fortress was conquered by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), but he did not give a reference for it. Nonetheless, the author says that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was appointed as commander-in-chief of the army to conquer one fort, and he succeeded, and then Hazrat ‘Umar (ra) was assigned to conquer a fort and he also succeeded. A third fort was assigned to Muhammad bin Maslamah (ra), but he could not succeed in conquering it. The Holy Prophet (sa) then said: “Tomorrow I will appoint the commander-in-chief and hand the flag to the one who is dear to Allah and His Messenger (sa), and he will conquer the fortress.” The Holy Prophet (sa) gave the flag to Hazrat Ali (ra) and he conquered the Qamus fort.
(Al-Hajj Hakim Ghulam Nabi MA, Sayyiduna Siddiq-e-Akbar [Lahore, Pakistan: Abdiyat], p. 49)
There is a narration of Al-Waqidi [the historian] regarding the Battle of Khaybar, as people read history written by him, therefore I will mention it, but it is not necessary that everything is absolutely correct. Nonetheless, he writes,
“During the Battle of Khaybar, a companion, Hazrat Habbab bin Mundhir (ra) said to the Holy Prophet (sa), ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah! The Jews hold their date palm trees dearer to them than their own children, you should cut down those trees.’ Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) ordered for the trees to be cut down and the Muslims rushed to cut down the trees.” This incident up to here does not seem to be completely accurate, however, the next part seems to be correct. He writes, “Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) went to the Holy Prophet (sa) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Undoubtedly, Allah the Exalted, has promised victory to you at Khaybar, and He will fulfil His promise to you. Do not cut the trees.’ Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) ordered for them to stop cutting the trees and a crier made this announcement.”
(Al-Waqidi, Kitab al-Tarikh wa al-Maghazi, Vol. 2, Bab Ghazwat Khaibar [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2004], p. 120)
When Allah the Almighty granted the Holy Prophet (sa) victory in Khaybar, he distributed a special valley called Kutaibah between his relatives, the women of his family and also amongst the Muslim men and women. On this occasion, aside from his other relatives, the Holy Prophet (sa) gave 100 Wasaq of grain and dates to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).
(Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Dhikr Maqasim Khaibar wa Amwaliha [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 707)
One wasaq is equal to 60 Sa‘a and one Sa‘a is approximately 2.5 kg. (Lughat al-Hadith, Vol. 4, p. 487, Vol. 2, p. 648)
And so, approximately 375 maund [unit of measurement in the subcontinent, where 1 maund is equal to almost 40kg] was given to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).
Hazrat Anas (ra) relates:
“The Holy Prophet (sa) launched an attack on Khaybar and we offered the morning prayer when we had approached near Khaybar, whilst it was still dark. The Holy Prophet (sa) then mounted his camel and as Hazrat Abu Talha (ra) mounted his, I sat behind him on his camel. The Holy Prophet (sa) made his camel run fast in the valley of Khaybar and my knee was rubbing against the thigh of the Holy Prophet (sa) as they were so close to one another. Then, due to the heat, or perhaps for comfort, the Holy Prophet (sa) removed the cloth from his thigh” i.e. lifted it a little from his leg or his knee, “until I could see the whiteness of his thigh.” By “thigh”, it means the part just above the knee. “When the Holy Prophet (sa) entered the village, he stated:
اَللّٰہُ أَکْبَرُ خَرِبَتْ خَیْبَرُ إِنَّا إِذَا نَزَلْنَا بِسَاحَۃِ قَوْمٍ فَسَاءَ صَبَاحُ المُنْذَرِیْنَ
‘Allah is great! Khaybar is destroyed. When we come to a people, it is an evil morning for those who have been warned of the impending wrath of God.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) repeated this phrase three times.”