Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style
Chapter 10

'LET (Lashkar-e-Toiba) volunteers neither shave nor cut their hair and they are taught to kill ritualistically, by beheading or slitting of throat'---A LET member

Terror Thirty-three

The Genocide of Bani Qurayzah Jews by Muhammad - February-March, 627

After Muhammad left the battlefield of the trench in the morning he returned to Medina, and while he was washing his head in the house of Umm Salamah, one of his wives, Gabriel visited him at noon and informed him that the battle was not over yet, and that Allah commanded him (Muhammad) to besiege the B. Qurayzah. He claimed that Gabriel came in the form of Dhiyah b. Khalifah al-Kalbi, a handsome and a rich merchant of Medina. Gabriel also declared his unflinching support for Muhammad in this operation. It is claimed that Gabriel arrived riding a horse and wearing a cloth of gold turban.

After listening to the instruction of Gabriel, Muhammad abandoned the noon (Asr) prayer and commanded his Jihadists to march straight to the territory of B. Qurayzah, Ali being sent ahead of the rest. Muhammad informed his followers that during war, prayer can be omitted, as fighting during this time was more incumbent than praying On his way, Ali heard people talking foul about Muhammad and hurling insult at him. A disturbed Ali hastened back to Muhammad and informed him of what he had heard what people were saying about Muhammad. Muhammad consoled Ali by saying that the people dared not utter any derogatory remark about him should he (i.e., Muhammad) be personally present amongst them. This pleased Ali and he went back to his mission. In the evening, the Muslim soldiers marched toward the fortress of Bani Qurayza that lay two or three miles to the south-east of Medina. Muhammad rode an ass, while an army of three thousand Muslims, with thirty-six horses followed him. A tent in the compound of the mosque in Medina was also pitched where Sa'd b. Muadh took shelter to recuperate from his painful wound (see Terror 32).

When Muhammad was near the fortress of the B. Qurayzah Jews, he called them by yelling, 'you brothers of apes.' This is elucidated in the Qur'an in verses 2:65, 5:60 and 7:166, where Allah says that He turned the Jews in to apes. Thus, as far as Islam goes, the Jews are still considered as apes, no exaggeration; it is a decree by Allah, and Muhammad had confirmed this in the operation for B. Qurayzah. Ibn Sa'd writes: Muhammad said, "O brothers of monkeys and pigs! Fear me, fear me."

Not being satisfied with his vocabulary of simple 'swearing' language, Muhammad asked his poet friend Hassan b. Thabit to make verbal abuse of the Jews through poems. Here is a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari to describe the mindset of the messenger of Allah:

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 449:

Narrated Al-Bara:

The Prophet said to Hassan, "Abuse them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you (i.e, supports you)." (Through another group of sub narrators) Al-Bara bin Azib said, "On the day of Quraiza's (besiege), Allah's Apostle said to Hassan bin Thabit, 'Abuse them (with your poems), and Gabriel is with you (i.e. supports you).' "

Despite extreme provocation by Muhammad B. Qurayzah Jews were patient and courteous with Muhammad, and addressed him as Abu al-Qasim (father of Qasim, Muhammad's dead son). This is the conversation that took place between Muhammad and the B. Qurayzah Jews as written by Tabari:

'When the Messenger of God had approached their fortresses, he said: "You brothers of apes! Has God shamed you and sent down his retribution on you?" they said, "Abu al-Qasim, you have never been one to act impetuously."'

The Muslims then attacked the Jews with archery but to no avail. One Muslim approached the fortress carelessly and was killed by a Jewess by casting down a millstone on him. Muhammad kept the siege on causing a great distress among the besieged Jews. Nonetheless, Muhammad was bent on a bloody revenge and refused to negotiate with the Jews.

After twenty-five days of siege, the Jews grew desperate, exhausted and terrified at their future. They were on the verge of starvation. It is claimed that Allah, through Muhammad's terrorism, cast terror into their hearts. Among the Jews was Huyayy b. Akhtab (see Terror 32) who, as a fulfillment of his pledge to be with B. Qurayzah through thick and thin, did not escape with the Quraysh and the Ghatafan, but stayed with the B. Qurayzah Jews. Unable to bear the desperate situation of the Jewish women and children, the B. Qurayzah leader, Ka'b b.Asad proposed that the Jews should accept Islam to save their lives. Almost all the Jews declined to forsake the religion of their forefathers. A distraught Ka'b proposed that they should kill their women and children, then, all the men could go out and fight Muhammad without any impediment. But the Jews did not want to kill their dearest ones with their own hands. It was impossible for them to commit such act, as they feared that it was meaningless to live without their wives and children. Ka'b then proposed an attack on Muhammad the next day which was a Jewish Sabbath day (ie Saturday). The Jews flatly declined to engage in any warfare during the Sabbath.

When the Jews could not decide on their fate themselves, they sent a message to Muhammad, asking that Abu Lubabah b. Abd al-Mundhir, their confidante from B. Aws, be sent to them for a discussion and advice. As soon as Lubabah arrived in the Jewish quarter, the weeping women and children of the Jews rushed out and grabbed him hoping that he could plead for mercy for them. Abu Lubabah was filled with pity and compassion for them. When asked what Muhammad would do with them should they decide to surrender, Abu Lubabah indicated through sign language that Muhammad had slaughter in mind and that he (Abu Lubabah) could do nothing about it.

Tabari writes:

'When they saw him (i.e Abu Lubabah), the men rose to meet him, and the women and children rushed to grab hold of him, weeping before him, so that he felt pity for them. They said to him, "Abu Lubabah, do you think that we should submit to Muhammad's judgment"? "Yes", he said, but he pointed with his hand to his throat, that it would be slaughter."'
Haykal writes that the Jews thought that the former allies from al-Aws tribe would give them some protection and if they were to remove themselves, to Adhriat in al Sham, Muhammad would have no objection to letting them go. So, the Banu Qurayzah sent the proposal to evacuate their territory and to remove themselves to Adhriat. Muhammad flatly rejected their proposal and insisted on their abiding by his judgment.
Having indicated by sign language what Muhammad had in mind for the Jews, Abu Lubabah felt guilty that he had broken his promise of secrecy with Muhammad. To atone for his 'misdeed' he went straight to the mosque and bound himself with ropes to one of the pillars. This pillar is known as the 'pillar of repentance' or the 'pillars of Abu Lubabah'. Allah expressed His displeasure with Abu Lubabah's conduct through verse 8:27.

When Muhammad heard of what Abu Lubabah had done, he waited for Allah to forgive him (Abu Lubabah).

Abu Lubabah remained tied with the pillar for six nights. His wife used to untie him for prayers. Allah promptly forgave Abu Lubaba in verse 9:104. So, Muhammad went to him during a morning prayer and set him free.

Finding no choice, in the morning, the crestfallen B. Qurayzah Jews surrendered to Muhammad for his judgment. The male Jews were chained and kept in the fortress till a decision was made about their fate. The B. Aws people were on good terms with the B. Qurayzah Jews. They pleaded with Muhammad for mercy and a fair judgment for their Jewish allies. On this, Muhammad proposed that the judgment be passed by Sa'd b Muadh who was the B. Aws leader, recuperating from his wound in a tent nearby Medina. B. Aws and the B. Qurayzah both agreed on this proposal of Muhammad, hoping to have some mercy from Sa'd b. Muadh. Muhammad dispatched some B. Aws men to bring Sa'd to deliver his judgment. Riding a donkey Sa'd arrived at the site where all the seven or eight hundred Jewish men and many B. Aws people were standing to listen to his judgment. Their women and children, stricken with terror waited for the pronouncement of Sad's verdict. Many B. Aws people requested Sa'd to deal with the Jews with leniency and mercy.

Sa'd then asked his people if they would accept whatever judgment he pronounced. The crowd agreed.

Then Muhammad asked Sa'd b. Muadh to pass his judgment. Sa'd replied, "I pass judgment on them that the men shall be killed, the property divided, and the children and women made captives." Everyone was shocked at this bloody decree except Muhammad. He praised Sa'd for proclaiming a solemn judgment of the Almighty. He was cold and unmoved and termed Sa'd's judgment as fair and said, "You have passed judgment on them with the judgment of God and the judgment of His Messenger." This statement by Muhammad clearly shows that he wanted to murder these Jews in cold blood without any compunction or mercy. Sahih Bukhari records this incidence thus:

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)."

[Please note: This Hadith cannot be found in the sanitized, summarized version of Sahih Al-Bukhari; however, it can be read in the Internet version of Original Sahih Al-Bukhari]

The women and children were then separated from their husbands, others were put under the care of Abdullah, a renegade Jew. All the goods and possessions of the B. Qurayzah Jews, their camels and flocks were all brought as spoils of war to be distributed amongst the Muslims. The wine and fermented liquors were thrown away.

After Sa'd b. Muadh passed the judgment of slaughter, the B. Qurayzah Jews were brought down from their dwellings; the men were handcuffed behind their backs their women and children having already been separated. They were placed under the charge of Mohammad ibn Maslama, the assassin of Ka'b ibn Ashraf, to be despatched to Medina to the compound of the daughter of another Muslim fanatic, al-Harith before their execution in batches. A long trench was dug in the marketplace of Medina. The Prisoners were then taken there, made to kneel down and beheaded in a group of five or six. Muhammad was personally present to witness this slaughter. Ali and Zubayr cut off the heads of the Jews in front of Muhammad. Sourcing from Al-Waqidi, Tabari writes:

"-the messenger of God commanded that furrows should be dug in the ground for the B. Qurayzah. Then he sat down, and Ali and al-Zubayr began cutting off their heads in his presence." Ibn Ishaq writes that they were taken in groups to Muhammad for beheading in front of him.
Tabari further writes:
'The messenger of God went out into the marketplace of Medina and had trenches dug in it; then he sent for them and had them beheaded in those trenches. They were brought out to him in groups. Among them were the enemy of God, Huyayy b. Akhtab, and Ka'b b. Asad, the head of the tribe. They numbered 600 or 700-the largest estimate says they were between 800 and 900. As they were being taken in groups to the Messenger of God, they said to Ka'b b. Asad, "Ka'b, what do you understand. Do you not see that the summoner does not discharge [anyone] and that those of you who are taken away do not come back? By God, it is death!" the affair continued until the Messenger of God had finished with them.'
Sir William Muir describes this extremely grotesque scene thus:
'The men were penned up in a closed yard, while graves or trenches were being dug for them in the chief marketplace of the city. When these were ready, Mahomet, himself a spectator of the tragedy, gave command that the captives should be brought forth in companies of five or six at a time. Each company was made to sit down by the brink of the trench destined for its grave, and there beheaded. Party by party they were thus led out, and butchered in cold blood, till the whole were slain. One woman alone was put to death; it was she who threw the millstone from the battlements.'

A most pathetic and heart-wrenching incidence took place when Huyayy b. Akhtab, the banished B. Nadir Jewish leader was taken to the execution field. Tabari describes his execution this way:

'Huyayy b. Akhtab, the enemy of God, was brought. He was wearing a rose-colored suit of clothes that had torn all over with fingertip-sized holes so that it would not be taken as booty from him, and his hands were bound to his neck with a rope. When he looked at the Messenger of God, he said, "By God, I do not blame myself for being hostile to you, but whomever God forsakes is forsaken." Then he turned to the people and said: "People, there is no injury in God's command. It is the book of God, His decree, and a battlefield of great slaughter ordained against the Children of Israel. Then he sat down and was beheaded.'

Only one woman of the B. Qurayzah was killed. She was the wife Hasan al-Qurazi and was friendly with Aisha. Aisha narrated her story of beheading thus:

'Only one of their women was killed. By God, she was by me, talking with me and laughing unrestraintedly while the Messenger of God was killing their men in the marketplace, when suddenly a mysterious voice called out her name, saying, "Where is so and so?" She said, "I shall be killed." "Why?" I asked. She said, A misdeed that I committed." She was taken away and beheaded. (Aisha used to say: I shall never forget my wonder at her cheerfulness and much laughter, even when she knew that she would be killed.).'
This incident is also recorded in a Sahi (authentic) Hadith of Abu Dawud:

Book 14, Number 2665:

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
No woman of Banu Qurayzah was killed except one. She was with me, talking and laughing on her back and belly (extremely), while the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) was killing her people with the swords. Suddenly a man called her name: Where is so-and-so? She said: I I asked: What is the matter with you? She said: I did a new act. She said: The man took her and beheaded her. She said: I will not forget that she was laughing extremely although she knew that she would be killed.
As told before, this unlucky Jewish woman killed one Muslim soldier by casting a millstone on his head while the Messenger of Allah besieged the B. Qurayzah fortress.
There is another poignant story of a very old Jewish man named Az-Zabir. Az-Zabir saved the life of a Muslim convert, Thabit b. Qays in the Bu'ath war. Now, when Az-Zabir was about to be beheaded Thabit requested Muhammad to save the life of this old man and his family as a return to his favor. Muhammad reluctantly agreed to spare this Jewish man and his family members. Az-Zabir then asked Thabit b. Qays about the fate of the Jewish leaders such as Ka'b b. Asad and Huayy b. Akhtab, as he preferred to die rather than to live without them. Az-Zabir said, "Then I ask you for the sake of the favor I once did for you to join me to my kinsmen, for by God there is no good in living after them. I will not wait patiently for God, not even [the time needed] to take the bucket of a watering trough, until I meet my dear ones."

So Thabit brought him forward, and he was beheaded. When Abu Bakr heard what that old man said just before his execution, he said, "He will meet them, by God, in the Gehenna, there to dwell forever and forever."

Muhammad commanded that all those Jewish men with puberty hair were to be killed. One Jewish boy took refuge with a Muslim woman, Salma bt. Qays. She requested Muhammad that mercy be shown to this Jewish boy. It is said that Muhammad spared his life. Here is a Hadith from Sunaan Abu Dawud on this:

Book 38, Number 4390:

Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi:

I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.

Please note that the narrator of this Hadith, Atiyyah al-Qurazi, was probably the very young brother of Hasan al-Qurazi, the executed Jew.

Having beheaded all the adult males of the B. Qurayzah Jews, the Prophet of mercy now busied himself with the distribution of the Jewish booty. He divided the wealth, the wives and the children of the B. Qrayzah Jews among his followers. Needless to say he did not miss his Khums (one-fifth of booty) that was reserved for him.

The booty rules were changed slightly. A horseman received three shares: two shares for the horse and one share for the rider. A foot Jihadist, who had no horse, received one share. It was the first booty in which shares were allotted and from which the Khums was deducted. This simplified rule on booty (fai) was followed in the later plunders.

There were thirty-six cavalry in this raid. If a man had more than two horses he could claim shares only for two horses.

[Please note: Fai is a booty taken from a country which submits to Islam without resistance.

After executing all the adult male Jews, Muhammad sent Sa'd b. Zayd al-Ansari with some captives (women and children) from the B. Qurayzah to Najd to sell them in the slave market. While we do not have an accurate price of a female slave during that time, Ibn Sa'd writes that Khadijah, Muhammad's first wife, bought her slave, Zayd b. Haritha, (who would later become Muuhammad's adopted son), for four hundred (400) Dirhams at the slave market of Ukaz, Mecca. In Sunaan Abu Dawud we read that the price of young slave (male or female) varied from five hundred dirhams to eight hundred (800) dirhams i.e, US$ 2,5000 to US$ 4000 (see Sunaan Abu Dawud hadis numbers, 3946 and 4563). So a reasonable price of a slave as US$ 2,500 in to-day' money will be quite a realistic assumption. Multiply this with an approximate number of women and children, say about one thousand (1,000), and we get a sum of US$ 2,500,000 (yes, a cool two and a half million US Dollars). This was a huge wind fall for the terrorists of those days. With the money raised through this slave-trading Muhammad bought more horses and arms. Among the captive women, he found a very pretty, youthful lass by the name Rayhanh bt. 'Amr b. Khunafah and took her as his concubine. It is said that when Muhammad offered to make her his wife by embracing Islam, she declined. She preferred to remain a sex slave to becoming a Muslim.

She said, "Messenger of God, rather leave me in your possession [as a concubine], for it is easier for me and for you." Muhammad was quite grieved when she rejected Islam but preferred to remain a Jew. Some biographers write that Rayhana eventually accepted Islam.

A telling description of Muhammad's cruelty and lust for young women is provided by Sir Willima Muir thus:

'Having sated his revenge, and drenched the market-place with the blood of eight hundred victims, and having given command for the earth to be smoothed over their remains, Mahomet returned from the horrid spectacle to solace himself with the charms of Rihana, whose husband and all whose male relatives had just perished in the massacre. He invited her to be his wife, but she declined; and chose to remain (as indeed, having refused marriage, she had no alternative) his slave or concubine. She also declined the summons to conversion, and continued in the Jewish faith, at which the Prophet was much concerned. It is said, however, that she afterwards embraced Islam. She lived with Mahomet till his death.'

After the delivery of his judgment, Sa'd was taken back on his donkey to his tent.. His wound now became fatal. He was now lying in his deathbed. Muhammad quickly went to visit him. He prayed to Allah to save Sa'd's life. However, Allah did not answer his prayer this time. Soon, Sa'd died. His corpse was carried to his home and after the forenoon prayer he was buried. His bier was very light to carry. Muhammad claimed that angels carried Sa'd's bier.

Gabriel told Muhammad that Sad B. Muadh was already in heaven; claiming further that Allah's throne shook when Sad b. Muadh died. We read in Sahih Bukhari:

Volume 5, Book 58, Number 147:

Narrated Jabir:

I heard the Prophet saying, "The Throne (of Allah) shook at the death of Sad bin Muadh." Through another group of narrators, Jabir added, "I heard the Prophet : saying, 'The Throne of the Beneficent shook because of the death of Sad bin Muadh."

What did Muhammad do with the appropriated lands of the Jews of B.Quaynuqa, B. Nadir and B. Qurayzah? He used the plundered of lands of B. Qurayzah and B. Nadir to return the gifts (debt) he received from the Ansars of Medina; he gave his share of the booty to Umm Ayman, the slave woman who nursed him in his infancy. Here is a Hadith on this from Sahih Muslim:

Book 019, Number 4376:

It has been narrated by Anas that (after his migration to Medina) a person placed at the Prophet's (may peace be upon him) disposal some date-palms growing on his land until the lands of Quraiza and Nadir were conquered. Then he began to return to him whatever he had received. (In this connection) my people told me to approach the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and ask from him what his people had given him or a portion thereof, but the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had bestowed those trees upon Umm Aiman. So I came to the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and he gave them (back) to me. Umm Aiman (also) came (at this time). She put the cloth round my neck and said: No, by Allah, we will not give to, you what he has granted to me. The Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) said: Umm Aiman, let him have them and for you are such and such trees instead. But she said: By Allah, there is no god besides Him. No, never! The Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) continued saying: (You will get) such and such. until he had granted her ten times or nearly ten times more (than the original gift).

Muhammad now became militarily strong and a much feared warlord in the Arabian Peninsula. Needless to say, all this was the fruits of his terror tactics.

Click here to learn the Islamic version of the massacre of B. Qurayzah Jews.

Continued in Chapter 11 >>>

(Introduction - 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20)

Abul Kasem is an Bengali ex-Muslim and academic. He has contributed in Leaving Islam - Apostates Speak Out and Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside and Why We Left Islam.. He has also written extensively on Islam in various websites and is the author of five e-Books: A Complete Guide to Allah, Root of Terrorism ala Islamic Style, Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Who Authored the Quran? and Women in Islam. Mr. Kasem leaves in Sydney, Australia. He can be contacted at