The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa)

Friday Sermon Summary 21st June 2024: ‘Incidents From the Life of the Holy Prophet (sa) – Treachery of the Banu Nadir Tribe’

After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that he would continue narrating incidents regarding the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir and their plot to kill the Holy Prophet (sa).

His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad

His Holiness (aba) said that it was God who protected the Holy Prophet (sa). The Holy Prophet (sa) was informed of the plot made by the Jews by way of revelation. When the Holy Prophet (sa) received revelation about the plot being hatched by the Jews he immediately got up and made his way back to Madinah. The companions caught up with the Holy Prophet (sa) in Madinah where he informed them of what happened.

His Holiness (aba) said that when a Jewish man heard the Jews of Banu Nadir conspiring to kill the Holy Prophet (sa). When he asked them what they were doing, they informed him that they were planning to kill the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa). The Jewish man asked them if they knew where he was. They said he was sitting just nearby. The Jewish man informed them that he had just seen the Holy Prophet (sa) entering Madinah. Hearing this news, the Jews of Banu Nadir were left dumbfounded. 

His Holiness (aba) said that when the Holy Prophet (sa) was delayed in returning to his companions from the Banu Nadir, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said that the Holy Prophet (sa) must certainly have received some commandment from God and so they started setting back towards Madinah. Along the way, they were informed by someone that the Holy Prophet (sa) had just entered Madinah. Upon arriving in Madinah, the Holy Prophet (sa) informed them about what the Jews were plotting to do. He had not informed the Companions sooner because there was no immediate threat to them and the Holy Prophet (sa) knew that the Companions would eventually come looking for him. It was on this occasion that the following Qur’anic verse was revealed:

‘O ye who believe! remember Allah’s favour upon you when a people intended to stretch out their hands against you, but He withheld their hands from you; and fear Allah. And on Allah should the believers rely.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 5:12)

His Holiness (aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra) who writes:

‘Apparently, it seemed as if they were joyous upon the arrival of the Holy Prophet (sa), and asked him to sit while they went and arranged for the money at once. As such, the Holy Prophet (sa) took a seat in the shade of a wall along with his companions, and the Banu Nadir retired to one side in order to deliberate. They apparently made it seem as if they were arranging for the money, but instead of this, they actually schemed that this was a perfect opportunity. They thought that as Muḥammad [sa] was sitting in the shade of a house up against its wall; if someone were to climb to the top of the house from the opposite side and throw a large stone upon the Holy Prophet (sa), he could be finished once and for all. From among the Jews, an individual by the name of Salam bin Mashkam opposed this idea and argued that this was an act of treachery, and violated the terms of their agreement with the Holy Prophet (sa), but the others did not pay heed. Finally, a Jew by the name of ‘Amr bin Jahhash climbed to the top of the house with a very large stone and was about to roll it off from above, but it is narrated that God the Exalted informed the Holy Prophet (sa) about this sinister plan of the Jews by way of revelation. The Holy Prophet (sa) stood up immediately, and this was so unexpected that his companions as well as the Jews thought that the Holy Prophetsa had stood up to attend to an immediate matter. Hence, they continued to calmly sit and wait for the Holy Prophet (sa). However, the Holy Prophet (sa) made way to Madinah at once. The companions waited for the Holy Prophetsa for some time, but when he did not return, they stood up in concern, and during the course of their search for the Holy Prophet (sa), ultimately saw their way to Madinah as well. It was then that the Holy Prophet (sa) informed the companions of the dangerous conspiracy of the Jews.’

(The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2, pp. 378-379)

His Holiness (aba) said that after realising that the Holy Prophet (sa) had left, the Jews of Banu Nadir started feeling very ashamed. One Jewish man swore by the Torah and said that the Holy Prophet (sa) would have certainly received revelation informing him of their plots. He declared that certainly, Muhammad (sa) was the Prophet of God, the Seal of Prophets. He said that the Torah itself foretold that he would be born in Makkah and migrate to Madinah. The characteristics foretold in the Torah of that prophet who was to come apply exactly to the Holy Prophet (sa). The man said that he saw only two options. Either to accept Islam and thereby become companions of the Holy Prophet (sa), thus remaining protected and being able to remain in their land, however the Jews of Banu Nadir could not do this. The second option was that when the Holy Prophet (sa) would expel them from their land, they should accept so that he would allow them to retain their wealth and assets, upon which the Jews of Banu Nadir agreed.

Decision to Expel the Banu Nadir Tribe

His Holiness (aba) said that once the Holy Prophet (sa) had reached Madinah, he delivered the verdict that the Banu Nadir should be expelled from the land. He sent for Hazrat Muhammad bin Maslamah (ra) and informed him to convey this message to the Banu Nadir. When he reached the Banu Nadir, he reminded them of a time when they presented him food to eat and asked him why he wouldn’t accept Judaism, as soon the foretold prophet would come to them who would be kind, would eradicate the opponents of truth, there would be a redness in his eyes, he would come from the direction of Yemen, riding a camel, he would wear a turban and a few pieces of dry bread would suffice for him, there would be a sword hanging round his neck and he would speak wisely and intelligently. The Jews said that they indeed had said these things. Then, Muhammad bin Maslamah (ra) informed them that due to their treason, the Holy Prophet (sa) had instructed that they should be expelled from the land of Madinah and they had ten days to depart.

Ubayy bin Sulul’s Mischievous Attempts As the Jews Prepare for War

His Holiness (aba) said that during this time while the Jews of Banu Nadir were preparing to leave, the chief of the hypocrites, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul sent a message to them saying that they shouldn’t leave but should rather should remain in their fortresses. Instead, he would send 2,000 people to them to join them in their fortresses so that when the Muslims did fight them, those 2,000 would be the ones killed and thus the Muslims wouldn’t be able to reach the Jews of Banu Nadir. And if ultimately they did have to leave then he too would leave alongside them. This hypocrisy and evil planning has also been recorded in the Holy Qur’an, when Allah the Almighty states:

‘Hast thou not seen those who are hypocrites? They say to their brethren who disbelieve among the People of the Book, “If you are turned out, we will surely go out with you, and we will never obey anyone against you: and if you are fought against, we will certainly help you.”’ (The Holy Qur’an, 59:12)

His Holiness (aba) said that Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Sulul continuously sent messages to Huyyay who was ultimately convinced and said that he would send a message to the Holy Prophet (sa) saying that they were not leaving. However, Salam bin Mashkam implored Huyyay to see reason, and the fact that the Holy Prophet (sa) really was the true Prophet and that the only reason they were unable to accept him was because of their enmity. He said that they would be able to retain their wealth and the wealth which comes from their land, so even in leaving, it would be as if they never left. However, if the Holy Prophet (sa) did besiege them then they would never be able to survive. He said that Abdullah bin Ubayy was nothing but a liar and when it came time to help them, he never would. He reminded him that he had done the same with the Banu Qainuqah; he promised to help them if the Muslims besieged them, however when it came time he remained at home and did nothing. Despite this, and despite other elders also imploring with Huyyay that he was leading the Banu Nadir to ruin, however he would not see reason. Hence, a message was sent to the Muslims saying that the Banu Nadir would not leave.

His Holiness (aba) said that upon receiving this message, the Holy Prophet (sa) said that the Banu Nadir had declared war and the companions immediately started making preparations. When Abdullah bin Ubayy was informed of this, and Abdullah bin Ubayy said that he would send word to his compatriots to join the Banu Nadir in their fortresses. However, the Jewish messenger also saw that Abdullah bin Ubayy’s son was clad in armour ready to join the Muslim army. When this news and the reaction of the Holy Prophet (sa) and the preparations being made by the Muslims were conveyed to Huyyay, he was still in denial. 

His Holiness (aba) quoted Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra) who writes:

‘The Holy Prophet (sa) called upon Muhammad bin Maslamah (ra), a chief of the Aus tribe and said:

“Go to the Banu Nadir and speak to them about this issue. Tell them that since they have gone too far in their acts of mischief and their treachery has reached its extreme limit, it is no longer appropriate for them to remain in Madinah. It is better that they leave Madīnah and take up residence somewhere else.”

The Holy Prophet (sa) gave them a time limit of ten days.

When Muhammad bin Maslamah (ra) went to them, they behaved most arrogantly and said, “Tell Muhammad [sa] that we are not prepared to leave Madinah, do what you may.” When the Holy Prophet (sa) received this response from the Jews, he spontaneously said, “God is the Greatest, it appears as if the Jews are prepared for war.” The Holy Prophet (sa) instructed the Muslims to prepare and stepped into the field of battle against the Banu Nadir with a group of his companions.’

(The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa), Vol. 2, pp. 379-380)

Siege of the Banu Nadir Fortress

His Holiness (aba) said that once the Muslims had gathered, the Holy Prophet (sa) set out with them towards Banu Nadir, with the Muslim flag being given to Hazrat Ali (ra). When the Holy Prophet (sa) reached Banu Nadir, he led prayers in an open plain. During this time, the Banu Nadir (ra) started throwing stones from atop their fortress. After leading the prayer, the Holy Prophet (sa) returned to his home, while making Hazrat Ali (ra), or according to other narrations Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), in charge of the army. The Muslims spent the night there in siege of the Banu Nadir. The Holy Prophet (sa) returned to lead the morning prayer. One of the Jewish archers struck the Holy Prophet’s (sa) tent with an arrow, and so the Holy Prophet (sa) had his tent moved outside the range of arrows. Then as night fell, Abdullah bin Ubayy did not come to the Banu Nadir, nor did he send anyone. Huyyay realised that he had been deceived. In the meantime, the Muslims realised that Hazrat Ali (ra) was nowhere to be seen. A little while later, he returned with the head of the man who had struck the Holy Prophet’s (sa) tent with an arrow. 

His Holiness (aba) said that he would continue narrating these details in the future.

Standing Shoulder to Shoulder for Prayer

His Holiness (aba) said that he received word that whilst standing for prayer not everyone stands shoulder to shoulder. His Holiness (aba) said that the Covid era is now over, so when standing in rows for prayer everyone should stand shoulder to shoulder.

Summary prepared by The Review of Religions