Page 166 - Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum

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then undertook to meet Marhab in combat, and managed to kill him. Yasir, Marhab’s brother, then
turned up challenging the Muslims to a fight. Az-Zubair was equal to it and killed him on the spot.
Real fighting then broke out and lasted for a few days. The Jews showed courage and proved to be
too formidable even to the repeated rushes of the veteran soldiers of Islam. However, they later
realized the futility of resistance and began to abandon their positions in An-Na‘im and infiltrate into
the fortress of As-Sa‘b.
Al-Hubab bin Al-Mundhir Al-Ansari led the attack on As-Sa‘b fortress and laid siege to it for three
days after which the Muslims stormed it with a lot of booty, provisions and food to fall to their lot
therein. This victory came in the wake of the Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) invocation to Allâh to
help Banu Aslam in their relentless and daring attempts to capture that fort.
During the process of the war operations, extreme hunger struck the Muslims. They lit fires,
slaughtered domestic asses and beto cook them. When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) inquired
about the fires and cooking, he ordered that they throw away the meat and wash the cooking pots,
forbidding the practice of eating such meat.
The Jews, meanwhile, evacuated An-Natat and barricaded themselves in Az-Zubair fort, a
formidable defensive position inaccessible to both cavalry and infantry. The Muslims besieged it for
three days, but in vain. A Jew spy told the Prophet about a subterranean water source that provided
them with water, and advised that it be cut off in order to undermine their resistance. The Prophet
(Peace be upon him) did that so the Jews got out to engage with the Muslims in fierce fighting
during which some Muslims and ten Jews were killed, but the fort was eventually conquered.
Shortly after this battle, the Jews moved to ’Abi Castle and barricaded themselves inside. The same
events recurred; the Muslims besieged the new site for three days and then the great Muslim hero
Abu Dujanah Sammak bin Kharshah Al-Ansari — of the red ribbon— led the Muslim army and broke
into the castle, conducted fierce military operations within and forced the remaining Jews to flee for
their lives into another fort, An-Nizar.
An-Nizar was the most powerful fort, and the Jews came to the established conviction that it was
too immune to be stormed, so they deemed it a safe place for their children and women. The
Muslims, however, were not dismayed but dragged on the siege, but because standing at a
commanding top, the fort was impregnable. The Jews inside were too cowardly to meet the Muslims
in open fight but rather hurled a shower of arrows and stones on the attackers. Considering this
situation, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered that rams be used and these proved effective
and caused cracks in the ramparts providing an easy access into the heart of the fort, where the
Jews were put to rout and fled in all directions leaving behind their women and children.
With these series of military victories, the first division of Khaibar was totally reduced, and the Jews
in the other minor fortresses evacuated them and fled to the second division.
When the Prophet (Peace be upon him), along with his army, moved to this part of Khaibar, Al-
Katiba, he laid a heavy siege to it for fourteen days with the Jews barricading themselves inside
their forts. When he was about to use the rams, the Jews realized that they would perish, therefore,
they asked for a negotiable peace treaty.
There is one controversial point in this context. Was this part of Khaibar (with its three forts)
conquered by force? Ibn Ishaq clearly stated that Al-Qamus fort was conquered by force. Al-Waqidi,
on the other hand, maintained that the three forts were taken through peace negotiations, and
force, if any, was resorted to only to hand the fort over to the Muslims; the two other forts
surrendered without fighting.
Ibn Abi Al-Huqaiq was despatched to the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) to negotiate the
surrender treaty. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) agreed to spare their lives on condition they
evacuate Khaibar and the adjacent land, leaving whatever gold and silver they had in their
possession. However, he stipulated that he would disavow any commitment if they concealed
anything. Shortly afterwards, the forts were handed over to the Muslims and all Khaibar was
reduced and brought under the sway of Islam.
This treaty notwithstanding, Abi Al-Huqaiq’s two sons concealed a leather bag full of jewels, and
money belonging to Huyai bin Al-Akhtab, who carried it with him when Banu Nadir had been
banished. Kinanah bin Ar-Rabi‘, who had hidden the musk somewhere, was obdurate in his denial
and so he was killed when the musk was discovered and his dishonesty was proven. Abi Al-Huqaiq’s
two sons were killed in recompense for breaching the covenant, and Safiyah, Huyai’s daughter was
taken as a captive.
In accordance with the agreement already concluded, the Jews would be obliged to evacuate
Khaibar, but they were anxious to keep on cultivating the rich soil and fine orchard for which
Khaibar was famous. They, therefore, approached the Prophet (Peace be upon h im) with the request
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