By Bassam Zawadi
There seems to be a Christian who has a problem with the expulsion of Bani Qurayda. Besides the fact that this issue has already been dealt with I just want to address the most important objection, which is the execution of the men of Bani Qurayda. First I urge everyone to first read the article I linked to and understand how significant the crime that the Jews committed against the Muslims was and about how it lead to their destruction.
There is an opinion that when the Muslims finally laid siege to them and defeated them. They did not go ahead and execute everyone. The ones that stuck to the treaty were spared…
The siege continued for twenty-five days, during which the Muslims allowed the Jews who had refused to betray the Prophet (peace be upon him) during the Battle of the Ditch to leave and go wherever they wished as a reward for their faithfulness. (Muhammad Al Ghazali, Fiqh-Us-Seerah: Understanding the Life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), International Islamic Publishing House, p346)
It was the warriors who were to be executed and not the women and children…
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 280:
Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri:
When the tribe of Bani Quraiza was ready to accept Sad’s judgment, Allah’s Apostle sent for Sad who was near to him. Sad came, riding a donkey and when he came near, Allah’s Apostle said (to the Ansar), “Stand up for your leader.” Then Sad came and sat beside Allah’s Apostle who said to him. “These people are ready to accept your judgment.” Sad said, “I give the judgment that their warriors should be killed and their children and women should be taken as prisoners.” The Prophet then remarked, “O Sad! You have judged amongst them with (or similar to) the judgment of the King Allah.”
Volume 5, Book 58, Number 148:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Some people (i.e. the Jews of Bani bin Quraiza) agreed to accept the verdict of Sad bin Muadh so the Prophet sent for him (i.e. Sad bin Muadh). He came riding a donkey, and when he approached the Mosque, the Prophet said, “Get up for the best amongst you.” or said, “Get up for your chief.” Then the Prophet said, “O Sad! These people have agreed to accept your verdict.” Sad said, “I judge that their warriors should be killed and their children and women should be taken as captives.” The Prophet said, “You have given a judgment similar to Allah’s Judgment (or the King’s judgment).”
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 447:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
The people of (Banu) Quraiza agreed to accept the verdict of Sad bin Mu’adh. So the Prophet sent for Sad, and the latter came (riding) a donkey and when he approached the Mosque, the Prophet said to the Ansar, “Get up for your chief or for the best among you.” Then the Prophet said (to Sad).” These (i.e. Banu Quraiza) have agreed to accept your verdict.” Sad said, “Kill their (men) warriors and take their offspring as captives, “On that the Prophet said, “You have judged according to Allah’s Judgment,” or said, “according to the King’s judgment.”
Volume 8, Book 74, Number 278:
Narrated Abu Said:
The people of (the tribe of) Quraiza agreed upon to accept the verdict of Sa’d. The Prophet sent for him (Sa’d) and he came. The Prophet said (to those people), “Get up for your chief or the best among you!” Sa’d sat beside the Prophet and the Prophet said (to him), “These people have agreed to accept your verdict.” Sa’d said, “So I give my judgment that their warriors should be killed and their women and children should be taken as captives.” The Prophet said, “You have judged according to the King’s (Allah’s) judgment.” (See Hadith No. 447, Vol. 5)
At that time, anyone who reached the age of puberty was eligible to fight and was thus considered to be a warrior and they were only ordered to be executed if they fought against the Muslims. I already showed that the ones who stuck to the treaty were spared.
James Arlandson asks this question:
So did all the men and adolescent boys have to be executed and all the women and children enslaved? Could only the leaders not have been executed?
I already showed that there was an opinion that NOT ALL were executed.
However, I personally believe that all able-bodied men were executed, for it would have been possible for the Bani Qurayda men to surrender their leaders over to the Muslims. IF they weren’t able to do so then they could have at least escaped the fortress and joined the Muslim side in order to abide by the peace treaty. However, they sheltered those criminals, defended them and protected them. They were an obstruction to justice and therefore deserved the same fate as their leaders. Indeed they deserved to be punished:
However, Sad did not forget, amid the cries of hope directed towards him, that Islam and its sons, that Madinah, its fruits, crops, its progeny and its sanctuaries were rescued from the vehemence of the attacking forces only by a miracle of Providence. It was the Banu Quraydah and those whom they harbored who had been the instigators and the unholy allies in this war, which had been declared to crush true monotheism and its upholders. Sad did not forget that the Quraydah had broken their treaty and greeted him with a shower of abuse when he went to plead with them to remain faithful. Did he not say to them, “I fear for you what happened to the Banu al Nadir or worse than it? Despite this, their reply was “Eat your father’s.!” (Ibid. p 346)
Ironically the Jews were being judged according to their own law! The very thing that James Arlandson is trying to call brutal and unfair is actually the law that is found in his own Bible!…
10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies
This is what happened. The Muslims offered a treaty with the Bani Quraydah, which the Bani Quraydah broke. They refused to surrender even after they broke the treaty and they fought to protect the criminals. Therefore, they were judged with their own law and ironically even the leader who caused this entire problem even admitted that he deserved such a punishment and that it was the order of God:
Huyayy was brought to face his end, and Huyayy, as you know was the germ of these troubles. He looked at the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “By God, I do not blame my self for my hostility towards you. Nevertheless, whoever deserts God deserts him. Then he turned to the people and said: “O people, I have nothing against the order of God. He has decreed slaughter for the Children of Israel!” Then he sat down and was beheaded. About this a poet says:
By your life, Ibn Akhtab did not blame himself,
But whoever deserts Allah is deserted
He fought until he reached his limit,
And stirred up trouble,
And every trouble maker seeks glory (Ibid. p 348)
To most people it could appear that the punishment that the Jews faced was too extreme. However, on the contrary what was more extreme is how the Jews deceptively tricked the Muslims by breaking the treaty and wanted to end their very existence. For such treachery they indeed deserved what they got. If any Christian wants to condemn this judgment then he is actually condemning his own Bible because it was by a law found in their Bible which the Jews were judged by. Plus it was not Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who issued the order; it was Saad bin Muadh whom the Jews selected to judge their fate.
The Muslims needed to make examples out of these people. You can’t expect the Muslims to go and forgive those who fight against them. That would just encourage more people to go and fight against the Muslims. If you think about it, the Muslims resorted to such extreme measures only when it was necessary and not for revenge. It was necessary to show everyone that you cannot go and mess with Muslims by fighting against them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was in charge of the security of his people. If he went on forgiving anyone who attacked them, then this would only encourage people to fight against the Muslims, since they would think that even if they lose the Muslims will simply forgive them.
Read about how the Prophet and Muslims were very forgiving at times to their enemies here. So the Muslims only resorted to fighting when it was deemed necessary. If they were truly butchers they would have done it all the time.
Read about the terror in the Bible here.