Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style
Chapter 14

'The enemy is stupid and Allah does protect the mujahideen-.'---Ramzi Binalshibh

Terror Fifty-three

Second Raid Against the Jews at Wadi al-Qura by Muhammad - June, 628CE

After Muhammad finished the affairs of Khaybar, while returning to Medina, without any warning, he laid a siege on the Jewish settlement at Wadi al-Qura, The site was a Jewish colony. He arrived at Wadi al-Qura in a late afternoon and besieged the Jews. Sa'd b. Ubada, the Muslim leader invited the Jews to Islam without any success So the Muslims attacked the Jews. The Jews resisted for two days then they surrendered on similar terms like the Jews of Khaybar and Fadak. Eleven Jews were slain in this skirmish. A large amount booty fell in the hands of the Muslims.

With Muhammad was a slave-boy (Midam) who was presented to him by one of his companions. While the Muslims were preparing to halt, an arrow hit the slave-boy killing him. The Muslims hailed his death as a reward in Paradise, but Muhammad objected saying that the boy had pilfered a cloak from the booty of Khaybar and his death was the punishment for stealing booty. Hearing his words, another Jihadist came forward and confessed that he too had stolen two sandals from the loot of Khaybar. Muhammad promised him the fire of hell.

After the surrender of the Jews at Wadi al-Qura, Muhammad established his full authority on all the Jewish tribes of Medina.

While at Wadi al-Qura, Muhammad and his companions overslept and missed the morning prayer at its appointed time. He performed ablution and then prayed and people followed him. He told the congregation that if one forgets to pray at its appointed time, he could perform the same prayer when he remembers Him (Allah).

The Muslim army stayed at Wadi al-Qura for four days then they returned to Medina.

Terror Fifty-four

First Raid Against B. Hawazin at Turbah By Umar b. al-Khattab - July, 628CE

After returning to Medina from Wadi al-Qura, Muhammad sent Umar b. al-Khattab with thirty men against a branch of the tribes of B. Hawazin at Turbah, a distance of four nights march from Medina. Turbah was on the way to Sana and Najjran, a Christian enclave. Umar's troop travelled by night and hid by day. By the time the Muslim army arrived at Turbah, B. Hawazin already got wind of the impending Muslim attack and they fled. Umar returned to Medina without a fight. As far as booty was concerned it was a failed robbery.

Terror Fifty-five

Raid on B. Kilab at Nejd by Abu Bakr - July, 628CE

Details on this raid are not available, although it has been learned that Abu Bakr headed a party against the Bani Kilab in Nejd. Many were killed and taken as prisoners. A Hadith from Sunaan Abu Dawud, that possibly relates to this raid by Abu Bakr, demonstrates clearly the viciousness of killing by the Muslims:

Sunaan Abu Dawud: Book 14, Number 2632:

Narrated Salamah ibn al-Akwa':

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) appointed AbuBakr our commander and we fought with some people who were polytheists, and we attacked them at night, killing them. Our war-cry that night was "put to death; put to death." Salamah said: I killed that night with my hand polytheists belonging to seven houses.

Terror Fifty-six

First Raid on B. Murrah at Fadak by Bashir Ibn Sa'd - July, 628CE

Thirty men were sent at the behest of Bashir ibn Sa'd against the B. Murra in the vicinity of Fadak. These Bedouins were in the desert when the Muslims attacked their homesteads. Bashir drove off their camels and flocks. When the Bedouins returned they pursued the Muslim invaders, exchanged arrows with the raiders and rescued their booty. Bashir's companions were killed. He suffered injury in his ankle and returned to Medina.

Terror Fifty-seven

Fourth Raid on B. Thalabah at Mayfah by Ghalib b. Abd Allah - January, 629CE

Mayfah is ninety-six (96) miles from Medina, towards Nejd. Muhammad sent Ghalib b. Abd Allah at the behest of one hundred and thirty (130) men to plunder the tribes of B. Uwal and B. Thalabah inhabiting this site. Usmah b. Zayd (the son of Zayd b. Haritha, Muhammad's adopted son) joined this team. The attack was sudden and the Muslims killed mercilessly whomever they found and drove their camels and goats to Medina.

Usama and one of his companions killed a man, an ally of B. Murrah who uttered 'La ilah illa Allah' i.e., embraced Islam at the point of sword. When Usama returned to Medina and told this story to Muhammad, Muhammad was displeased and said, "Usamah, who will [say] to you 'There is no god but God'?"

Terror Fifty-eight

Second Raid on B. Murrah at Fadak by Ghalib b. Abd Allah - January, 629CE

After the mishap of Bashir ibn Sa'd (see Terror 55) during the attempt to rob the B. Murrah, Muhammad entrusted Ghalib b. Abd Allah, a fierce killer, to mop up the B. Murrah at Fadak. Muhammad said to al-Zubayr, another leader of this two hundred men strong team: "If Allah makes you victorious do not show leniency to them." Usama b. Zayd also joined in this pillage. The Muslims attacked the B. Murrah in the morning; mercilessly killed many of them; seized their camels, and drove the herd to Medina.

Terror Fifty-nine

Raid on Ghatafan at al-Jinab in Yaman by Bahir b. Sa'd - February, 629CE

During the siege of Khaybar (see Terror 52, CH. 13) Muhammad heard from his guide at Khaybar, Husayl b. Nuwayrah that a party of Ghatafan, under the leadership of Uyanah b. Hisn had assembled at al-Jinab, on the opposite of Khaybar and Wadi al-Qura. So he despatched Bashir b. Sa'd with three hundred (300) men along with the guide, Husayl b. Nuwayrah to subdue the Ghatafan. Bashir's army travelled by night, concealed by day till they arrived close to the enemy site. The Muslims terrorized the tribe; seized a large number of camels and dispersed the herdsmen. Seeing the marauding Muslim army, the Ghatafan took shelter on mountain tops and highlands. The Muslims took booty and killed a slave of Uyanah b. Hisn. They captured two men and brought the camels and the prisoners to Medina.

Terror Sixty

Third Raid on B. Sulaym at Fadak by Ibn al-Awja al-Sulami - April, 629CE

B. Sulaym were a sister tribe of B. Hawazin and inhabited the area of Najran and Turbah.

Immediately upon returning to Medina after performing the Umrah, Muhammad sent Ibn al-Awja al-Sulami with fifty men to attack B. Sulaym. When Ibn Awja arrived in the B. Sulaym area, he called them to convert to Islam. When the infidels refused, the Muslims attacked them. B. Sulaym fought back, showered the Muslims with arrows and killed many of them. Ibn Awja was wounded and escaped to Medina with great difficulty. However, a year later, the B.Sulaym embraced Islam after finding that Muhammad was becoming stronger everyday.

Terror Sixty-one

Raid on B. al-Mulawwih at al-Kadid by Ghalib b. Abd Allah - May, 629CE

Muhammad sent Ghalib b. Abdallah al-Laythi, with between thirteen and nineteen men to raid the B. al-Mulawwih at al-Kadid.

When the Muslims arrived at al-Kadid they met a man, al-Harith b. Malik and took him as a prisoner. He informed Ghalib that he had come to embrace Islam. Despite this confession, for safety reasons Ghalib bound him over and secured him with a rope. Then Ghalib appointed a Negro slave to guard the prisoner, issuing strict orders to cut off al-Harith's head should he make any trouble. Ghalib then sent a Muslim who set out and found a settlement. In the afternoon he lay hidden by lying face down in the ground.

Very soon, a Bedouin man from the settlement came and spotted him as a suspected intruder and shot two arrows. Being a clever spy, the Muslim man pulled out both the arrows and remained motionless. The man thought it to be an object and left the place. The spy then waited in ambush until the cattle herd of the settlement returned in the evening from the pasture. Then, at night, when the settlement was quiet and everyone was resting, the Muslims made a sudden attack on the inhabitants. They killed some of them and drove away their herd of camels. Meanwhile, the besieged people raised an alarm and cried out for help.

Fearing reprisal from the aiding party, the marauding Muslims hurried to leave the place. While exiting, they also took the prisoner, al-Harith b. Malik, whom they had left bound and guarded by a sentry. Soon, the aid party attacked the Muslims. At this hour, a torrential rain came and nearly flooded the valley which made an attack difficult by the aiding party of the settlement. This gave the Muslims time for a quick exit. They took all the camels with them and brought them back at Medina; a great deal of booty also fell on them.

The battle cry of the Muslims on that night was "Kill! Kill!"

Terror Sixty-two

Raid on B. Laith at al-Kadid - May, 629CE

A few weeks later, the Muslims conducted a raid against the B. Leith. They were seized near al-Kadid on the road to Mecca. The Muslims made a surprise attack on this tribe and took away their camels. Further details are not available.

Terror Sixty-three

Forced Jizya on Zoroastrians - case 1 - June, 629CE

After robbing B. al-Mulawwih Muhammad sent the Jihadist, al-Ala b. al-Hadrami with a threatening letter to Mundhir b. Sawa al-Abdi, a Zoroastrian and the chief of B. Tamim, to exact Jizya tax from him. He wrote: "In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate. From Muhammad the Prophet, Messenger of God, to al-Mundhir b. Sawa: Peace be upon you! I praise to you God, save Whom there is no god.

To proceed: I have received your letter and your messengers. Whoever prays our prayer, eats of our sacrifice, and turns to our Qiblah is a Muslim: permitted to him is what is permitted to Muslims, and incumbent on whoever refuses is [the payment of] tax." A Hadith in Sunaan Abu Dawud, probably related to this affair. confirms Muhammad's doctrine, 'pay Jizya or die' (please note here that Magian means Zoroastrian):

Book 19, Number 3038:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:

A man belonging to Usbadhiyin of the people of Bahrayn, who were the Magians of Hajar, came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and remained with him (for some time), and then came out. I asked him: What have Allah and His Apostle of Allah decided for you? He replied: Evil. I said: Silent. He said: Islam or killing. AbdurRahman ibn Awf said: He accepted jizyah from them. Ibn Abbas said: The people followed the statement of AbdurRahman ibn Awf, and they left that which I heard from the Usbadhi.

Having found no alternative, these Zoroastrians agreed to pay this 'protection' tax to Muhammad. Muhammad stipulated that the Muslims cannot eat the Zoroastrian's sacrificial meat nor the Muslims could marry their women.

Terror Sixty-four

Forced Jizya on Zoroastrians - case 2 - June, 629CE

Muhammad sent Amr b. al-As to Jayfar and Abbad. They were two Zoroastrian brothers in Uman. They told Amr that they believed in the ascendancy of Muhammad as a Prophet and in what he had brought. Being not satisfied with it, and finding that no booty was forthcoming, Muhammad imposed Zakat on them and forced them to pay Jizya tax. On the matter of Zakat, it is worthwhile to mention that Abu Bakr stipulated that this Islamic tax must be collected ruthlessly. Here is a Hadith from Malik's Muwatta (from the section on Collecting Zakat and Being Firm In Doing So ) on collection of Zakat:

Book 17, Number 17.18.31:

Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that Abu Bakr as-Siddiq said, "If they withhold even a hobbling cord I will fight them over it."

Terror Sixty-five

Raid on B. Amir at al-Siyii by Shuja ibn Wahb al-Asadi - July, 629CE

Then Muhammad sent Shuja b. Wahb with a party of tenty-four (24) men to plunder B. Amir (a branch of Hawazin tribe) at al-Siyii. Al-Siyii was five nights journey from Medina. After arriving at the enemy site, Shuja made a sudden morning-attack on B. Tamim. After terrorizing and plundering for fifteen days, the Muslims drove away their camels and sheep as booty. During this plunder, ten goats were equated to a sheep for booty distribution. In this plunder each Jihadist received as his share fifteen camels

Terror Sixty-six

Raid on B. Qudah at Dhat Atlah by Amr b Ka'b al-Ghifari - July, 629CE

During this time, Muhammad despatched Amr b. Ka'b al-Ghifari with fifteen men to raid the people of B. Qudah at Dhat Atlah, on the border of Syria. After arriving there, Amr called the inhabitants to Islam. The infidels refused. So Amr besieged the enemy. However, he faced stiff resistance from his enemy. In this battle the Muslims were routed. The enemy killed all of them except one who managed to escape and returned to Medina. Muhammad was greatly saddened by this calamity and planned to send a forceful army of Jihadists to take revenge. This plan was shelved when Muhammad learnt that the enemy had deserted the place.

Terror Sixty-seven

Raid on Mu'tah by Zayd ibn Haritha - September, 629CE

Mu'tah was a small village near al-Balqa at Damascus in Syria. After the complete routing of the Muslim raiding team at Dhat Atlah led by Amr b. Ka'b al-Ghifari, Muhammad was seeking an opportunity to attack this part of the Byzantine Empire and to teach the mainly Christian inhabitants there a lesson. This was Muhammad's first penetration into Byzantine Empire.

Another version of the reason for this invasion was that Muhammad sent a messenger with a letter to the Byzantine governor of Busra. This messenger was murdered by Shurahbil, the chief of Ma'ab or Mu'ta. The chief of Mu'ta was called Shurahbil, son of Amr. Muhammad immediately retaliated by assembling three thousand soldiers. He was also emboldened by his return from a successful raid on Khaybar. His victory at Khaybar gave him the confidence that he was powerful enough to make an onslaught on the mighty Byzantine Empire in Syria.

He appointed Zayd b. Haritha to lead this expedition, instructing him to march to the spot where Muhammad's messenger was slain; summon the inhabitants to embrace Islam, and to kill them if they refused to become Muslims. He gave directive that if Zayd was killed then Jafar b. Abi Talib (Ali's brother, and Muhammad's cousin brother) would be the commander; if Jafar is killed then Abd Allah b. Rawaha would be in command. So three thousand Jihadists marched out, equipped with swords and horses. Khalid b. Walid also joined this expedition, but as a common fighter; he was not given a senior rank at this stage, presumably because of his recent conversion to Islam. When they were ready for the march, Muhammad came out and bade them farewell. Some Jihadists recalled verse 19:71, decreeing the fate of a human being. Muhammad escorted this Jihad team up to Thaniyat, in the outskirts of Medina and amidst a band of crying Jihadists said, "May Allah defend you and may you come back pious and bring booty."

The Muslim army went forward and encamped at Mu'an, a village in Syria. While there, Zayd received the startling intelligence of the preparation of Surahbil's alliance. He got the information that the enemy was encamped at Ma'ab in the territory of al-Balqa. The Muslim army also heard the rumour that Surahbil, together with Theodora, the brother of Heraclius was in the field with one hundred thousand soldiers. Another one hundred thousand Roman soldiers were readying themselves to join in the fight. However, the Syrian army was composed of Romans and, partly of the semi-Christian tribe of the desert.

Many Arab tribes like Lakham, Judham, Balqayn, Bahran and Bali had also joined Heraclius' party-Zayd heard.

After learning the news of assemblage of such a formidable Roman army and its accessory parties, the Muslims were nervous but stayed at Mu'an for two nights, contemplating about their course of action. Some of them wanted to send an urgent message to Muhammad for a reinforcement to meet the alarming army of a hundred thousand men of the Byzantine emperor. However, Abd Allah b. Rawaha invigorated his men with extreme Jihadi zeal and imbued them not to be cowed by the numerical superiority of the enemy. This was the best opportunity for a martyr-he exhorted. His men fully agreed with Abd Allah b. Rawaha and decided to engage the enemy in a fight.

The Jihadists then marched on and when they were within the boundary of Ma'ab they met the army of Heraclius at a village called Masharif. When the enemy came close to the Muslim army, the Muslims took shelter in the village of Mu'tah. A vicious battle took place there. Zayd b.Haritha fought gallantly but soon was killed by a javelin from the enemy. It is said that his body was cu into two pieces. Following the instruction of Muhammad, Jafar b. Abi Talib took up the fight. He too fought valiantly until he was also killed in the combat. After the demise of Jafar b. Abi Talib, Abd Allah b. Rawaha took up the banner and went forward to continue the battle.

Abd Allah b. Rawaha pressed ahead but soon was killed. Then Thabit b. Arqam hoisted the banner and urged the Muslims to select a leader from amongst themselves. The Muslims chose Khalid b. Walid as their new commander. However, the Muslim ranks were already broken with twelve Jihadists killed; the Byzantine casualties being unknown. However, through a series of ingenious and rapid movements Khalid was able to bring back discipline in the Muslim army ranks. He then played a trick by deluding the Romans that a great army of Muslim soldiers was expected at any time. The trick worked. The Muslims retreated and so did the Byzantine army. Thus Khalid started marching towards Medina, saving further losses to the Muslim army. A messenger ran ahead of the Muslim army to Medina to inform an anxious Muhammad the terrible news of the Muslim defeat.

In the pulpit of his mosque, Muhammad informed his congregation that he had a premonition that Zayd had attained martyrdom. Then he also testified the martyrdoms of Jafar and Abdallah b. Rawaha as well as the eventual ascent of Khalid b. Walid as the commander of the Muslims. He told the congregation: "Now I have seen them in heaven sitting in thrones facing each other like brothers. In some of them I observed an aversion for using sword. And I saw Jafar like an angel with two wings smeared with blood feet dyed (in blood)." The Muslims were amazed at the predictive power of their Prophet. He gave the title 'Sword of God' to Khalid b. Walid. Then he exhorted his followers to hasten and join in to reinforce the Muslim army. So they came out and went forward in extreme heat to join their Jihadi compatriots. But it was too late. The Muslims were already in retreat.

When the Muslim army was in the vicinity of Medina, people started to throw dust at them, condemning them for withdrawing from the battle. Muhammad pacified this enraged crowd by shouting that the returning Muslims did not flee from fighting but that they would return to fight again.

Even with such passionate pleading, the crowd was not satisfied; they chased Muhammad and forced him to take shelter in the room of Umm Salamah, one of his wives. When people asked for the reason why she did not attend prayer with Muhammad, she replied:

"By God, he cannot leave the house! Every time he goes out, people shout, 'Did you flee in the way of God?' So he stayed in his house and does not go out."

Continued in Chapter 15 >>>

(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