Banu al-Nazir

When the Banu Nazir attempted to deceive the Holy Prophet (sa) and sought to kill him by throwing a millstone on him, God Almighty informed the Holy Prophet (sa) of their plans through divine revelation. The Holy Prophet (sa) immediately stood up as if he had to see to an important matter of his and arrived in Medina. Soon after the Holy Prophet (sa) had left, the companions (ra) also arrived in Medina.

Upon arriving in Medina, they found out that the Holy Prophet (sa) had called for Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) submitted, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah! You stood up and left, however we were completely unaware that you had departed.” The Holy Prophet (sa) replied, “The Jews sought to deceive me, but Allah the Almighty informed me and so I left. Allah the Almighty revealed the following verse [of the Holy Quran]:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوا اذْكُرُوْا نِعْمَةَ اللّٰهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ هَمَّ قَوْمٌ أَنْ يَّبْسُطُوْا إِلَيْكُمْ أأَيْدِيَهُمْ فَكَفَّ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَنْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ وَعَلَى اللّٰهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُوْنَ

“O ye who believe! Remember Allah’s favour upon you when a people intended to stretch out their hands against you, but He withheld their hands from you; and fear Allah. And on Allah should the believers rely.” (Surah al-Maidah, Ch.5: V.11)

In any case, the Holy Prophet (sa) sent Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah to the Jews. The account of this incident has been narrated as follows that when Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah presented himself before the Holy Prophet (sa), the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “Go to the Jews of the Banu Nazir and tell them that you have been sent by the Messenger (sa) of Allah to order them to leave your town.” Their punishment to be banished from the city was because they had committed a conspiracy and thus had violated their covenant.

Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah went to the Jews and said, “I have been sent to you by the Holy Prophet (sa) with a message. However, I shall not share this with you until I have reminded you of something which you would often discuss in your gatherings.”

It was something they used to discuss amongst each other quite a long time ago.

“What is it?” the Jews enquired.

Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah stated, “I swear by the Torah which Allah the Almighty revealed to Moses (as) that I once came to you before the advent of Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (sa) and you were sat with the Torah open before you. During this gathering, you said to me, ‘O Ibn Maslamah! If you wish to eat something, then we shall present you with food and if you desire to become a Jew, then we can make you a Jew.’”

Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah said:

“At the time, I replied to present me with food and that by God, I would never become a Jew. You then presented me with a tray of food and said to me, ‘You will never become a Jew because this is the faith of the Jewish people,’” meaning the Jews said to Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah that he did not want to become a Jew because this was the faith of the Jewish people. “‘You desire the Hanifiyat which you have heard of. However, Abu Amir Rahib, is not the one whom this [prophecy] applies to.’” They had heard that a prophet would appear, but Abu Amir Rahib was not that individual. The Jews then continued. “‘A person shall come to you whose countenance will be cheerful, he will engage in battles and there will be redness in his eyes. They will appear from the direction of Yemen, mounted on camels, clad in cloaks and they will remain content with whatever little they have. Their swords will be resting upon their shoulders, they will speak with wisdom as if you have close relations with them. By God, your land shall now witness violence, killing and mutilation of the dead.’ Upon hearing this, the Jews acknowledged that this is exactly what they had said”, i.e. they acknowledged everything that was recounted to them by Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah. “However, they claimed that he (i.e. the Holy Prophet(sa)) was not that Prophet.’”

Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah then stated, “I am done with my message as I simply wanted to remind you of this.” He then conveyed the message of the Holy Prophet (sa) and stated, “I have been sent by the Holy Prophet (sa) and he has stated that you have broken the treaty which he had established with you as you sought to conspire against him.” Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah then informed the Jews of their conspiracy against the Holy Prophet (sa) and how Amr bin Jahash stood on the roof to throw the stone on the Holy Prophet (sa).

Hearing this, they fell silent and could not say another word. Then Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah said to them, “The Holy Prophet (sa) has ordered you to leave this town. You will be given ten days respite. After this, whosoever is seen around here will be put to death.” The Jews replied, “O Ibn Maslamah, we could never have imagined that we would receive this message from a man belonging to the Aus tribe.” Hazrat Muhammad (ra) bin Maslamah replied, “The hearts [of the people] are inclined to change.” The Jews spent the next few days making their preparations and brought their mounts from Zu-Jadar, which was a grazing ground situated approximately six miles from Medina in the direction of Quba. Their animals would graze in Zu-Jadar and these animals were also the mounts they used for travel. Along with their own mounts, they also borrowed camels from the Banu Ashja‘ tribe and completed preparations for their migration. This reference is found in a book of history.

(Subul-ul-Huda Wa Al-Rishad, Vol. 4, pp. 317-320, Kutub-ul-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993) (Subul-ul-Huda Wa Al-Rishad [Translation], Vol. 4, p. 754, Zaaviyah Publisher, Lahore, 2013), (Mujam-ul-Buldan, Vol. 2, p. 132)

The Ghazwah of Banu Nazir took place in Rabiul Awal, 4 AH in which the Holy Prophet (sa) besieged the fortresses of the Banu Nazir for 15 days. The Holy Prophet (sa) expelled them [from Medina] and sent them to Khaybar. When the Holy Prophet (sa) received the spoils on this occasion, he called for Hazrat Thabit (ra) bin Qais and told him to bring his people. Hazrat Thabit (ra) bin Qais submitted, “O Prophet (sa) of Allah! Do you mean the people of Khazraj?” The Holy Prophet (sa) replied, “No, bring all the people of Ansar.”

Hence, he went and called the people of Aus and Khazraj. The Holy Prophet (sa) praised Allah the Almighty which He is most worthy of and then recounted the favours of the Ansar which they conferred upon the Muhajireen whereby they allowed them to stay in their houses and gave the Muhajireen precedence over themselves. Thereafter, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated that if they wished, he would evenly distribute the spoils from the Banu Nazir, which the Muslims acquired without engaging in any actual battle against them, between the Ansar and Muhajireen. The Holy Prophet (sa) further stated that if he distributed this wealth equally between the Ansar and Muhajireen then in such a case, the Muhajireen would continue to live in their houses and partake of their wealth and will be afforded their rights which had been established owing to the bond of brotherhood that was formed between them. However, if they wished, he could distribute all the wealth among the Muhajireen as a result of which they would leave their houses.

In other words, they would receive the entire share of the wealth but would then leave the houses of the Ansar and would no longer have any of the rights they previously had as a result of the bond of brotherhood that was established between them. Upon this Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) bin Ubadah and Hazrat Sa‘d(ra) bin Mu‘az submitted to the Holy Prophet (sa) that the Holy Prophet (sa) could distribute the entire wealth among the Muhajireen and not give anything to the Ansar, but even then they could still continue to live in their houses as they were living before and the rights which were established for them as a result of the bond of brotherhood that was formed between them would also remain, i.e., they could continue to live freely in their houses. All of the Ansar unanimously agreed to this. Upon this the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “O Allah! Grant Your mercy to the Ansar and their sons.”

Hence, the spoils granted to the Holy Prophet (sa) on this occasion were distributed among the Muhajireen. Apart from two companions from among the Ansar, nothing was given to the Ansar. The two companions were Hazrat Sahl (ra) bin Hunaif and Hazrat Abu Dujana (ra) who were in need of it. Hazrat Sa‘d (ra) bin Mu‘az however was granted the sword of Abu Huqaiq.

(Subul al-Hudaa Wa al-Rashaad, Vol. 4, p. 325, Dhikri Khuruj Bani Nadheer min Ardihim, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993) (Atlas Sirat Nabwi (sa), pp. 264-265, Darul Islam, 1424A.H.) (Umdatul Qari, Vol. 12, p. 204, Kitabul Wakalah, Dar Ihyaa al Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 2003)