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15 July 2019 CE | 13 Dhul-Qadah 1440 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation

Treachery of Banu Qurayza

“Jibreel said to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), ‘May Allah forgive you! Have you laid down your weapons?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ Jibreel said, ‘We have not laid them down since the time the enemy first came upon you and I was seeking them out until Allah defeated them.’ They say that traces of dust were on Jibreel’s face. Jibreel said to him, ‘Allah commands you to fight the Banu Qurayza and I am going to them with those of the angels who are with me to shake their fortresses, so bring out the people.’

“The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) went out after Jibreel and passed by a gathering of the Banu Ghanm who were waiting for the Messenger of Allah and he asked them, ‘Did a horseman just ride past by you?’ They replied, ‘Dihya al-Kalbi passed by us on a white horse with a brocade cloth or rug under him wearing a bandage.’ They mentioned that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘That was Jibreel.’ The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) used to say that Dihya resembled Jibreel.” [Musa bin Uqba in “Raids” from az-Zuhri]

In 5 A.H. the Jewish tribe Banu Nadir instigated polytheists from all over Arabia to come with them and finish off the Muslims in Madina. When the Allied armies arrived they found a trench dug around Madina by the Muslims to keep them out. There was no water in it but it still offered some protection to the Muslims. The Allies numbered 10,000 while the Muslims numbered 3000. The Muslim women and children were in fortresses inside Madina. It was at this time that the Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza broke the treaty that they had concluded between themselves and the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam). According to this treaty they were allowed to live as Jewish citizens in the state of Madina that was ruled by Shariah, in return for not conspiring against the Muslims and not joining forces with the enemies of the Muslims.

The Banu Qurayza had a fortress to the east of Madina and 800 fighters. The Banu Nadir kept at them till they broke their treaty and supported the Allies against the Muslims. This was an extremely difficult time for the Muslims. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) attests to it in the Quran saying, “At that time the believers were tested and severely shaken.” [33:11]

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) helped the Muslims and after about a month long siege the enemy forces retreated, disappointed and empty-handed. The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) returned to Madina victorious and people laid down their weapons. This is when Jibreel (alaihis salam) came to the Messenger of Allah, while he was washing off the dust from the expedition in the house of Umm Salama (radi Allahu anha), telling him that Allah commands him to not lay his weapons down till he has dealt with the treachery of the Banu Qurayza.

Anas bin Malik (radi Allahu anhu) said, “It is as if I can see the dust rising in the alley of the Banu Ghanm from the procession of Jibreel when the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) went to Banu Qurayza.” [Bukhari]

Among other things, this hadith shows us that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) helps Muslims with powerful angels when they are working purely for His cause. However, we have to do our share alongside the angels.

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