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When and in what circumstances was Khybar conquered?

As will be elaborated later, the treaty of Hudaybiya was a clear victory, a door opened to new and greater victories for Islam. The Makkan threat came to an end and God�s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, while sending envoys to neighboring countries to invite their peoples to Islam on the one hand, set out to solve the other problems he faced within Arabia on the other.

Most of the Jews belonging to the tribe of Banu Nadir had settled in Khaybar after being expelled from Madina. Together with them, the Jews of Khaybar did not refrain from collaborating against Islam, sometimes with the Quraysh and sometimes with Banu Ghatafan.63 As a result of the efforts made by the Jews of Banu Nadir to form an alliance against God�s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, the Quraysh had attacked Madina with a force of around 20,000 men only to retreat in humiliation after four weeks of hopeless siege. It was time for the Muslims to put an end to the Jewish conspiracy in Arabia to secure the future and free preaching of Islam. The punishment suffered by the Jews of Banu Qurayza roused the Jews of Khaybar to make an alliance with Banu Ghatafan and attack Madina. They were making preparations for this when, after the treaty of Hudaybiya, God�s Messenger marched upon Khaybar. He made as if to attack Banu Ghatafan and forced them to shelter in their confines without daring to help the Jews in Khaybar. Then, he suddenly turned towards Khaybar. The farmers of Khaybar had left their homes in the early morning with their farm implements, when they saw the Muslim army approaching the city. They went back and sheltered in their citadels, which were very formidable.

God�s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, besieged Khaybar for three weeks. One day towards the end of the siege, he gathered his soldiers and told them: Tomorrow I will hand the standard to him who loves God and His Messenger and is loved by God and His Messenger. God will enable us to conquer Khaybar through him.64

When the next day came, almost everyone was hoping that the standard might be handed to him. However, God�s Messenger asked: Where is �Ali? �He has sore eyes�, they said. The Messenger sent for him and, after applying his saliva to �Ali�s sore eyes, he submitted the standard to him.65 �Ali went to the fortress and, after a fierce battle, Khaybar was conquered.

Among the prisoners of war, there was a noble woman, Safiyya, the daughter of Huyay ibn Akhtab, who was the chief of Banu Nadir. By marrying her, God�s Messenger established a relationship with the conquered people.

63. I. Hisham, 3.226; Diyarbakri, Khamis, 1.540.

64. Bukhari, �Maghazi,� 38.

65. Bukhari, 5.77; Muslim, 4.1872.

 

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