The Story of Bani Al-Nadeer Under Scrutiny
10 Jan, 2009
In this study, I investigate the story of the banishment of Bani Al-Nadeer, a Jewish tribe from Medina, by the prophet of forgiveness Muhammad (PBUH). No views are offered in advance, but rather the events are discussed as they come. At the end of this article, I present to the reader some of the related.
The full story can be found in “The Life of Muhammad: A translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah” translated by A. Guillaume – twenty first impression, 2007 (pages 437-8). A summary of the story follows this sequence of events:
The prophet Muhammad goes to Ban Al-Nadeer, along with some Muslim leaders like Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali, and asks them to help him in paying bloodwit money for two men of Ban Amer killed by mistake by Muslims. It is important here to remember that Bani Al-Nadeer were under no obligation to help the Muslims here. The agreement between the Muslim camp and the Jewish tribes of Medina was to help each other in case there is an external threat to attack Medina (i.e. Quraysh coming to town to attack the Muslims, or the Medinan tribes).
Bani Al-Nadeer tell Muhammad that they will help him with money.
Muhammad leaves the other Sahaba in the meeting and vanishes.
He actually went back home.
His Sahaba leave after they realize that Muhammad is not coming back.
When the Sahaba see the prophet, he tells them that the Jews, Bani Al-Nadeer, were conspiring to kill him. How? By having someone go on the top of the wall that was behind them where they were meeting, and dropping a rock on him (Muhammad) thus killing him.
Muhammad gives orders to prepare for war against Bani Al-Nadeer, and marches against them. Muhammad lays siege to Bani Al-Nadeer, who sought refuge in their forts. He also orders the burning and destruction of their palm trees (Bani Al-Nadeer were mostly farmers who tended the land and raised crops). Orders were carried out to the letter.
Bani Al-Nadeer receive some promises of help from other
tribes that never materialized.
Finally Bani Al-Nadeer struck an agreement with the prophet (PBUH) to allow them to leave town with all their belongings except their weapons. This, in fact, came to pass. Some of them went to Khaiber and some went to Syria.
All of their left property and land became Muhammad’s. He distributed it amongst the first immigrants, and a couple of Ansars who were in need. (What a generous thief!!)
The above, pretty much sums up what happened. Please note that Bani Al-Nadeer were in no position to fight the Muslims. The reasons for my claim here is that Muhammad has become the main war lord of Medina. Earlier, he had successful attacks against the Meccan commercial caravans. He had attacked unprovoked Ban AL-Mustaliq. He had gotten rid of the Qainuqa tribe from Medina. He had just assassinated Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf, the Bani Al Nadeer leader. He suffered no consequences from all this. This, in my view, indicates that a farming community like Bani Al-Nadeer was in no position to put up a good fight against the Muslims. So, when Muhammad went to them asking for money to help the Muslims who killed two men from another tribe, Bani Al-Nadeer were under no obligation to help the Muslims financially. But they knew what Muhammad was up to. He was looking for their refusal to pay, so that he can have a reason to attack them in war and take their belongings. However they were smart enough to tell him that they’ll help him. That answer did not sit well with Muhammad, and so he leaves in a hurry and invents the story that they were plotting to kill him with a big rock dropped from the top of a wall behind where they were sitting. What a ridiculous story. Even a naïve person can read between the lines and see that they, Bani Al-Nadeer, could have killed all the Muslims’ leaders who were in that meeting if they wanted to. After all, Muhammad and his Sahaba in the meeting were probably no more than five or six men, sitting in in the heart of Bani Al-Nadeer tribe. Bani Al-Nadeer could have killed them all right then during that meeting. This did not take place, and we are supposed to believe that ridiculous story about the Jews trying to kill his holiness, Prophet Muhammad the First, with a big rock! Only a man with no reflective thinking ability can believe such a story. The fact of the matter is, Muhammad wanted to attack them, one way or another. He hoped they will say no to his money request. When this did not work out, he invented the “rock from the top of the wall” story. And, amazingly enough, Muslim apologetics buy into such a story. Religious fervor blocks their brain cells, and no analytical thinking is done. They just believe a ridiculous story and move on.
Hadiths and Qur’an references related to the Bani Al-Nadeer incident
Hadith- burning of palm trees:
Muslim -Book 019, Number 4324:
It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) ordered the date-palms of Banu Nadir to be burnt and cut. These palms were at Buwaira. Qutaibah and Ibn Rumh in their versions of the tradition have added: So Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, revealed the verse:" Whatever trees you have cut down or left standing on their trunks, it was with the permission of Allah so that He may disgrace the evil-doers" (lix. 5).
Hadith – prophet Muhammad gets all of the Bani Al-Nadeer’s properties
Muslim-Book 019, Number 4347:
It has been narrated on the authority of Umar, who said: The properties abandoned by Banu Nadir were the ones which Allah bestowed upon His Apostle for which no expedition was undertaken either with cavalry or camelry. These properties were particularly meant for the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him). He would meet the annual expenditure of his family from the income thereof, and would spend what remained for purchasing horses and weapons as preparation for Jihad.
Hadith – Qur’anic Sura “Al-Hashr” was revealed because of the above incident
Muslim-Book 043, Number 7185:
Sa'id b. Jubair reported: I said to Ibn 'Abbas about Sura Tauba, whereupon he said: As for Sura Tauba, it is meant to humiliate (the non-believers and the hypocrites). There is constantly revealed in it (the pronoun) minhum (of them) and minhom (of them, i. e. such is the condition of some of them) till they (the Muslims) thought that none would be left unmentioned out of them who would not be blamed (for one fault or the other). I again said: What about Sura Anfal? He said: It pertains to the Battle of Badr. I again asked him about Sura al-Hashr. He said: It was revealed in connection with (the tribe) of Banu Nadir.
Here are the links in Arabic and in English to this Sura:
This Sura is no more than a Muhammadan justification to take over the belongings of Bani Al-Nadeer, mixed with a lot of threats from Muhammad’s sock-puppet, Allah.
Ibn Kamuna an Arabic-speaking writer. He can be contacted at email@example.com.