22.1 Banu Nadir's Plot
During these years the Jews had never ceased plotting and trying to create misunderstanding between Muslims, between Emigrants and Supporters, between Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj. Here the wisdom of making the Emigrants and Supporters brethren in Islam appears, for it forestalled many a misunderstanding. The Jews together with the Hypocrites (people who pretended to be Muslims but who had entered into Islam for political reasons only) were constantly creating trouble. Perhaps they thought that if they could not defeat Mohamed in open warfare, they could assassinate him by treachery.
An opportunity presented itself when the Messenger with only a handful of men went to the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir to discuss with them the blood money that had to be paid for two men who had been killed by mistake. These men were from Banu Amir, allies of Banu Nadir.
Banu Nadir met the Prophet with great welcoming and rejoicing, but planned to throw a large rock from above while he sat with them discussing the blood money. He sat with them for a moment and then got up suddenly without a word and left. Everyone thought he would be back in a moment and waited for him but he did not return.
Banu Nadir did not know what to think. If Mohamed by super-natural means had found out their design what were they to do with his friends? If they killed them, he was sure to retaliate. The best thing was to pretend that nothing had happened and hope that they had not been found out. So they remained hospitable to his friends until the latter could wait no longer, took leave of them, and went out to look for Mohamed.
On the way a man met them and said that the Prophet requested their presence in the mosque. In answer to their questions, he replied that Mohamed had come back and headed straight to the mosque. So they went there where all important meetings took place. The Messenger related to them what had been happening behind the scenes while they sat there. Then he sent an emissary to Banu Nadir to say,
"Get out of my city for you have broken the covenant between you and us when you plotted to kill me by treachery. You have ten days to leave the city. Whoever of you is found in it after the ten day period expires shall die."
Banu Nadir were shocked to find out that Mohamed knew all their designs to the last detail. All they said to the messenger, a man who had been their ally before Islam, was,
"We never thought it would be you who would carry these words to us."
"Hearts have changed,"
While they were yet undecided as to what to do, a messenger came to them from the head of the Hypocrites, Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul, saying that he had two thousand warriors ready to withdraw into their forts with them to defend them. Many of them had no confidence in Ibn Salul. Had he not previously made promises to Banu Qaynuqa, then at the crucial moment deserted them? But their chief, Huyayy ibn Akhtab, said,
"I shall send to Mohamed saying that we will not leave our houses and our possessions. Let him do what he will. All we have to do is to strengthen our forts, then get in all we need. We have food that will last for a year and our water is perennial. Mohamed will not besiege us for a year."
So the ten day period expired and Banu Nadir did not leave the city, thinking that their forts and the armed warriors of' Abdullah ibn Ubayy would defend them. On this occasion the holy verses say:
Have you seen the hypocrites telling their companions,
from those who deny of the people of the Book,
If you are driven out, we shall go out with you,
and we obey no order from anyone against you,
and if you are fought with, we shall support you,
and Allah witnesses that they are liars.
If they are driven out, they win not go out with them;
if they are fought with, they win not support them,
and if they do, they win turn in flight, then they shall not be delivered. (59: 11-12)
When the ten days expired and Banu Nadir showed no signs of leaving, the Muslims went and besieged them. Whenever the Muslims took a fort or house, the Jews destroyed it and climbed to the one behind it. In vain did they wait for Abdunah ibn Ubayy to fulfill his promise. All he wanted was to create more trouble for Mohamed by their resistance; he had never intended to help them in earnest. This the Koran had pointed out.
At last they realized that they would be defeated, so they asked for a truce and permission to leave. This was granted. For each individual there was granted a camel's load of whatever he desired to carry with him: money, clothes, articles, etc. They departed leaving to the Muslims many weapons and shields and also their lands. They went to Khaybar where many Jewish tribes lived and where some of them owned land, while some of them went to Azriat, near Al-Sham, as Banu Qaynuqa had done before them.
Mohamed distributed the lands of Banu Nadir among the Emigrants, those who had left their lands and money for Allah’s sake, so they became independent of the Supporters, the native inhabitants of Medina. He allotted the revenue of one fifth of this land to the poor.