Mohammed’s Genocide of the Qurayza Jews and Knife-Jihad in Israel

Andrew Bostom

The following is background discussion on the cover art for Andrew Bostom’s new book, Koranic Jew-Hatred.

Friday, October 9, 2015, brandishing a knife, Gaza cleric Sheikh Muhammad Sallah “Abu Rajab”’s sermon at the Al-Abrar Mosque in Rafah explicitly fomented murderous knifing attacks on Israeli Jews as sanctioned by Muhammad’s actions towards the Jews of the Khaybar oasis, and the Medinan Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza. “Abu Rajab” further invoked the murderous verdict, and even ghost-like spirit, of Muhammad’s vindictive “arbiter” against the Qurayza, Sa’d b. Mu’adh.

Across a half millennium of authoritative constancy, the seminal 15th century Koranic commentary Tafsir al-Jalalayn, and an important 20th century gloss by modern Koranic expert Shabbir Ahmad Usmani in his Tafsir-e-Umani, make plain that Koran 33:26 refers to the circumstances of the Medinan Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza alluded to by the good Sheikh “Abu Rajab.”

Tafsir-e-Usmani confirms the key reference in Koran 33:26 to the Qurayza: These people are the Jews of Banu Qurayza.” After reiterating the Muslim apologetic narrative justifying the Qurayza’s slaughter for allegedly “betraying” the Muslims, this modern gloss elaborates the following details:

After the Battle of Azhab (the Battle of the Trench; purportedly 627 C.E.), the Holy Prophet was busy taking a bath etc. (when) the (angel) Jibraeel (Jibril) came… and said, “O Messenger of Allah, you have taken off weapons whereas the angels are still armed. The order of Allah is that attack should be made on the Banu Qurayza.” At once (a) proclamation was made that attack shall be made on the covenant breaker Jews of Banu Qurayza. With great rapidity the Islamic Army besieged their fortresses. The siege continued for about 24 or 25 days. At last the surrounded Jews could not endure much (longer), (and) they sent messages to the Holy Prophet. Finally from their side it was announced that they were ready to come out of their fortresses and make Sa’d b. Mu’adh—of the Aus tribe—an arbitrator to decide the matter between them. Any judgment Sa’d pronounced would be accepted by them. The Holy Prophet agreed… Sa’d came and decided as a Muslim arbitrator that all the young men of the Banu Qurayza should be slain and all the women and boys should be made captive and all their wealth and properties should be given to the Muhajirun (i.e., first Muslim converts of Muhammad who accompanied him on the “hijra,” or emigration, from Mecca to Medina). This was a righteous punishment for the betrayal of Allah and His Messenger…According to this judgment hundreds of young Jews were slain, and hundreds of women and boys were made captive, and their wealth and properties came into the possession of the Muslims.

Turning to the sira accounts (i.e., the pious Muslim biographies of Muhammad) of these events, the Muslim prophet used the Koranic epithets “apes/monkeys,” and/or “pigs” to characterize the Qurayza tribe Jewish victims of his jihadist campaign, whose males Muhammad himself subsequently beheaded. 

A consensus Muslim account of the massacre of the Qurayza has emerged as conveyed by classical Muslim scholars of hadith, biographers of Muhammad’s life (especially Ibn Ishaq), jurists, and historians. This narrative is summarized as follows: Alleged to have aided the forces of Muhammad’s enemies in violation of a prior pact, the Qurayza were subsequently isolated and besieged.

Twice the Qurayza made offers to surrender and depart from their stronghold, leaving behind their land and property. Initially they asked to take one camel load of possessions per person, but when Muhammad refused this request, the Qurayza asked to be allowed to depart without any property, taking with them only their families. However, Muhammad insisted that the Qurayza surrender unconditionally and subject themselves to his judgment. Compelled to surrender, the Qurayza were led to Medina.

The men, with their hands pinioned behind their backs, were assembled in a court, while the women and children were said to have been gathered into a separate court. A third (and final) appeal for leniency for the Qurayza was made to Muhammad by their tribal allies the Aus. Muhammad again declined, and instead appointed as arbiter Sa’d b. Mu’adh from the Aus, who was motivated by his lust for personal vengeance on a tribe which had caused him a painful wound.

Predictably, Sa’d Mu’adh soon rendered his concise verdict: The men were to be put to death, the women and children sold into slavery, the spoils to be divided among the Muslims. Muhammad ratified the judgment stating that Sa’d’s decree was a decree of Allah pronounced from above the Seven Heavens.

Thus some six hundred to nine hundred men from the Qurayza were led on Muhammad’s order to the Market of Medina. Trenches were dug, and all the men, including barely post-pubescent males, were beheaded by Muhammad (per Ibn Ishaq); and their heads, and decapitated corpses were buried en masse in the trenches.

Read more at Andrew Bostom’s site.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.