Muslims are people who follow or practice Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran, their holy book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet and messenger Muhammad; the majority of Muslims follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad as recorded in traditional accounts. "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "submitter". The largest denomination of Islam are Sunni Muslims who constitute 85-90% of the total Muslim population, followed by the Shia who make up most of the remainder of Muslims; the beliefs of Muslims include: that God is eternal and one. The religious practices of Muslims are enumerated in the Five Pillars of Islam: the declaration of faith, daily prayers, fasting during the month of Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. To become a Muslim and to convert to Islam, it is essential to utter the Shahada, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, a declaration of faith and trust that professes that there is only one God and that Muhammad is God's messenger.
It is a set statement recited in Arabic: lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāhu muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh "There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of God."In Sunni Islam, the shahada has two parts: la ilaha illa'llah, Muhammadun rasul Allah, which are sometimes referred to as the first shahada and the second shahada. The first statement of the shahada is known as the tahlīl. In Shia Islam, the shahada has a third part, a phrase concerning Ali, the first Shia Imam and the fourth Rashid caliph of Sunni Islam: وعليٌ وليُّ الله, which translates to "Ali is the wali of God; the word muslim is the active participle of the same verb of which islām is a verbal noun, based on the triliteral S-L-M "to be whole, intact". A female adherent is a muslima; the plural form in Arabic is muslimūn or muslimīn, its feminine equivalent is muslimāt. The ordinary word in English is "Muslim", it is sometimes transliterated as "Moslem", an older spelling. The word Mosalman is a common equivalent for Muslim used in South Asia.
Until at least the mid-1960s, many English-language writers used the term Mahometans. Although such terms were not intended to be pejorative, Muslims argue that the terms are offensive because they imply that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God. Other obsolete terms include Muslimist. Musulmán/Mosalmán is modified from Arabic, it is the origin of the Spanish word musulmán, the German Muselmann, the French word musulman, the Polish words muzułmanin and muzułmański, the Portuguese word muçulmano, the Italian word mussulmano or musulmano, the Romanian word musulman and the Greek word μουσουλμάνος. In English it has become archaic in usage. Apart from Persian, Polish, Portuguese and Greek, the term could be found, with obvious local differences, in Armenian, Pashto, Hindi, Marathi, Turkish, Uzbek, Azeri, Hungarian, Bosnian, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian and Sanskrit; the Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi said: A Muslim is a person who has dedicated his worship to God... Islam means making one's religion and faith God's alone.
The Qur'an describes many prophets and messengers within Judaism and Christianity, their respective followers, as Muslim: Adam, Abraham, Jacob and Jesus and his apostles are all considered to be Muslims in the Qur'an. The Qur'an states that these men were Muslims because they submitted to God, preached His message and upheld His values, which included praying, charity and pilgrimage. Thus, in Surah 3:52 of the Qur'an, Jesus' disciples tell him, "We believe in God. In Muslim belief, before the Qur'an, God had given the Tawrat to Moses, the Zabur to David and the Injil to Jesus, who are all considered important Muslim prophets; the most populous Muslim-majority country is Indonesia, home to 12.7% of the world's Muslims, followed by Pakistan and Egypt. About 20 % of the world's Muslims lives in the Middle North Africa. Sizable minorities are found in India, Russia, the Americas and parts of Europe; the country with the highest proportion of self-described Muslims as a proportion of its total population is Morocco.
Converts and immigrant communities are found in every part of the world. Over 75–90% of Muslims are Sunni; the second and third largest sects and Ahmadiyya, make up 10–20%, 1% respectively. With about 1.8 billion followers a quarter of earth's population, Islam is the second-largest and the fastest-growing religion in the world. Due to the young age and high fertilit
Battle of Badr
The Battle of Badr, fought on Tuesday, 13 March 624 CE in the Hejaz region of western Arabia, was a key battle in the early days of Islam and a turning point in Muhammad's struggle with his opponents among the Quraish in Mecca. The battle has been passed down in Islamic history as a decisive victory attributable to divine intervention, or by secular sources to the strategic genius of Muhammad, it is one of the few battles mentioned in the Quran. All knowledge of the battle at Badr comes from traditional Islamic accounts, both hadiths and biographies of Muhammad, recorded in written form some time after the battle. There is little evidence outside of these of the battle. There are no descriptions of the battle prior to the 9th century. Prior to the battle, the Muslims and the Meccans had fought several smaller skirmishes in late 623 and early 624. Badr, was the first large-scale engagement between the two forces. Advancing to a strong defensive position, Muhammad's well-disciplined force broke the Meccan lines, killing several important Quraishi leaders including the Muslims' chief antagonist Abu Jahl.
For the early Muslims the battle was the first sign that they might defeat their enemies among the Meccans. Mecca at that time was one of the richest and most powerful cities in Arabia, fielding an army three times larger than that of the Muslims; the Muslim victory signaled to the other tribes that a new power had arisen in Arabia and strengthened Muhammad's position as leader of the fractious community in Medina. The battle established the position of Ali ibn Abi Talib as the best fighter among the Muslims, as he alone killed 22 Meccans, while the rest of the Muslims combined killed 27 Meccans. Muhammad was born in Mecca around 570 CE into the Quraish tribe. After Muhammad's revelation from Gabriel in 610 until his proclamation of monotheism to the Quraysh, Islam was practiced in secret; the Quraiysh, who traditionally accepted religious practices other than their own, became more intolerant of the Muslims during the thirteen years of personal attacks against their religions and gods. In fear for their religion and economic viability, which relied on annual pilgrimages, the Meccans began to mock and disrupt Muhammad's followers.
In 622, Muhammad bade many of his followers to migrate from Mecca to the neighboring city of Medina, 320 km north of Mecca. Shortly thereafter, Muhammad himself left for Medina; this migration is referred to as the Hijra. The Quranic Verse 22:39 uttered by Muhammad sometime shortly after the migration permitted Muslims, for the first time, to take up arms in defence. During this period Muhammad employed three broad military strategies against the Meccans. Firstly, to establish peace treaties with the tribes surrounding Medina with those from whom the Meccans could derive most advantage against the Muslims. Secondly, to dispatch small groups to obtain intelligence on the Quraish and their allies and provide, thereby, an opportunity for those Muslims still living in Mecca to leave with them. Thirdly, to intercept the trade caravans of the Meccans that passed close to Medina and to obstruct their trade route. In September 623, Muhammad himself led a force of 200 in an unsuccessful raid against a large caravan.
Shortly thereafter, the Meccans launched their own raid against Medina led by Kurz bin Jabir and fled with livestock belonging to the Muslims. In January 624, Muhammad dispatched a group of eight men to Nakhlah, on the outskirts of Mecca, led by Abdullah bin Jahsh to obtain intelligence on the Quraysh. However, Abdullah bin Jash and his party disguised as Pilgrims with shaved heads, upon being discovered by a Meccan caravan, decided to attack and kill as many of the caravan as possible, resulting in killing one of its men, Amr bin Al-Hadrami, the seizing of its goods and taking two as prisoners; the situation was all the more serious since the killing occurred in the month of Rajab, a truce month sacred to the Meccans in which fighting was prohibited and a clear affront to Arab traditions. Upon their return to Medina, Muhammad disapproved of this decision on their part, rebuked them and refused to take any spoil until he claimed to have received revelation stating that the Meccan persecution was worse than this violation of the sacred month.
After his revelation Muhammed took the prisoners. The Muslims' raids on caravans prompted the Battle of Badr, the first major battle involving a Muslim army; this was the spot where the Meccans had sent their own army to protect their caravans from Muslim raiders. In April 624, it was reported in Medina that Abu Sufyan was leading a caravan from Syria to Mecca containing weapons to be used against the Muslims. Muhammad went to Badr to intercept the caravan. However, Meccan spies informed Abu Sufyan about the Muslims coming to intercept his caravan. Abu Jahl gathered an army to fight against the Muslims. Muhammad's forces included Abu Bakr, Ali, Mus`ab ibn `Umair, Az-Zubair bin Al-'Awwam, Ammar ibn Yasir, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari; the Muslims brought seventy camels and two horses, meaning that they either had to walk or fit three to four men per camel. The future Caliph Uthman stayed behind to care for the daughter of Muhammad. Salman the Persian could not join the battle, as he was still not a free man.
Many of the Quraishi nobles, including Amr ibn Hishām, Walid ibn Utba and Umayah ibn Khalaf, joined the Meccan army. Their reasons varied: some were out to protect their financial inte
Battle of Uhud
The Battle of Uhud was a battle between the early Muslims and their Qurayshi Meccan enemies in 625 CE in the Hejazi region of the Arabian Peninsula. Many Muslims were killed and the battle was considered a setback for the Muslims; the battle was fought on 23 March 625 at the valley located in front of Mount Uhud. It occurred between a force from the Muslim community of Medina led by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a force led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb from Mecca, the town from which many of the Muslims had emigrated; the Battle of Uhud was the second military encounter between the Meccans and the Muslims, preceded by the Battle of Badr in 624, where a small Muslim army had defeated a larger Meccan army. Marching out from Mecca towards Medina on 10 December 624 CE, the Meccans desired to avenge their losses at Badr and strike back at Muhammad and his followers; the Muslims readied for war soon afterwards and the two armies fought on the slopes and plains of Mount Uhud. Whilst outnumbered, the Muslims gained the early initiative and forced the Meccan lines back, thus leaving much of the Meccan camp unprotected.
When the battle looked to be only one step away from a decisive Muslim victory, a serious mistake was committed by a part of the Muslim army, which altered the outcome of the battle. A breach of Muhammad's orders by the Muslim archers, who left their assigned posts to despoil the Meccan camp, allowed a surprise attack from the Meccan cavalry, led by Meccan war veteran Khalid ibn al-Walid, which brought chaos to the Muslim ranks. Many Muslims were killed, Muhammad himself was badly injured; the Muslims had to withdraw up the slopes of Uhud. The Meccans marched back to Mecca declaring victory. For the Muslims, the battle was a significant setback. Although they had been close to routing the Meccans a second time, their breach of Muhammad's orders in favor of collecting Meccan spoils reaped severe consequences; the two armies would meet again in AD 627 at the Battle of the Trench. Muhammad had preached the religion of Islam in Mecca from 613 to 622, he had attracted a small community of followers, but drew staunch opposition from the rest of the Quraysh, the tribe that ruled Mecca and to which he belonged.
The Muslims established themselves at Medina. The Quraysh had seized the properties and families of Muslims in Mecca and dispatched caravans to Damascus which the Muslims intercepted and raided; the Meccans sent out a small army to stop their raiding. At the Battle of Badr in 623, a small Muslim force defeated the much larger Meccan army. Many Muslims considered this unexpected victory a proof that they had been favored by God and believed they were assured such victories in the future. A number of the leading tribesmen of Quraysh had been killed at Badr and so leadership passed to Abu Sufyan, he forbade the mourning of the losses at Badr, for he was eager to exact revenge upon Muhammad, vowing to conduct a retaliatory raid on the city of Medina. Several months Abu Sufyan accompanied a party of 200 men to the city, obtaining temporary residence with the chief of the Jewish tribe Banu Nadir and learning more of the current situation in Medina, he and his party left Medina, burning down two houses and laying waste to some fields in fulfillment of his vow.
Further skirmishes between the Meccans and the Muslims would occur thereafter. The reason for the battle was to retaliate against the Muslims for the Battle of Badr; the following year on 10 December 624, with Abu Sufyan at the helm, the Meccans, anxious to avenge their defeat at Badr, raised another force numbering 3,000 and set out for the Muslim base in Medina. Rather than attacking Medina itself, populated by numerous strongholds that would have required long sieges to overcome, they camped on the pastures north of the city, hoping that the Muslims would come out to meet them. According to the early Muslim historian Ibn Ishaq, a number of Meccan women are said to have accompanied Abu Sufyan's army to provide vocal support, including Hind bint Utbah, his wife. A scout alerted Muhammad of the Meccan army's presence and numbers late on Thursday March 21; the next morning, a Muslim conference of war convened, there was dispute over how to best repel the Meccans. Muhammad and many of the senior figures suggested that it would be safer to fight within Medina and take advantage of its fortified strongholds.
Younger Muslims argued that the Meccans were destroying their crops, that huddling in the strongholds would destroy Muslim prestige. Muhammad conceded to the wishes of the latter, readied the Muslim force for battle. A group of 1,000 Muslim men set out on late Friday from Medina and managed to circle around the Meccan forces. Early the next morning, they took a position on the lower slopes of the hill of Uhud. Shortly before the battle commenced,'Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy and his followers withdrew their support for Muhammad and returned to Medina, with reports suggesting Ibn Ubayy's discontent with the plan to march out from Medina to meet the Meccans. Ibn Ubayy and his followers would receive censure in the Qur'an for this act. What ye suffered on the day the two armies Met, was with the leave of Allah, in order that He might test the believers,-And the Hypocrites also; these were told: "Come, fight in the way of Allah, or drive." They said: "Had we known how to fight, we should have followed you."
They were that day nearer to Unbelief than to Faith, saying with their lips what was not in their hearts but Allah hath full knowledg
Muhammad was the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet, sent to present and confirm the monotheistic teachings preached by Adam, Moses and other prophets, he is viewed as the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam, though some modern denominations diverge from this belief. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief. Born 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca, Muhammad was orphaned at the age of six, he was raised under the care of his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, upon his death, by his uncle Abu Talib. In years he would periodically seclude himself in a mountain cave named Hira for several nights of prayer; when he was 40, Muhammad reported being visited by Gabriel in the cave, receiving his first revelation from God. Three years in 610, Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "submission" to God is the right way of life, that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to the other prophets in Islam.
The followers of Muhammad were few in number, experienced hostility from Meccan polytheists. He sent some of his followers to Abyssinia in 615 to shield them from prosecution, before he and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina in 622; this event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. In December 629, after eight years of intermittent fighting with Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca; the conquest went uncontested and Muhammad seized the city with little bloodshed. In 632, a few months after returning from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he died. By the time of his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam; the revelations, which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the verbatim "Word of God" and around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, Muhammad's teachings and practices, found in the Hadith and sira literature, are upheld and used as sources of Islamic law.
The name Muhammad appears four times in the Quran. The Quran addresses Muhammad in the second person by various appellations. Muhammad is sometimes addressed by designations deriving from his state at the time of the address: thus he is referred to as the enwrapped in Quran 73:1 and the shrouded in Quran 74:1. In Sura Al-Ahzab 33:40 God singles out Muhammad as the "Seal of the prophets", or the last of the prophets; the Quran refers to Muhammad as Aḥmad "more praiseworthy". The name Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim, begins with the kunya Abū, which corresponds to the English, father of; the Quran is the central religious text of Islam. Muslims believe; the Quran, provides minimal assistance for Muhammad's chronological biography. Important sources regarding Muhammad's life may be found in the historic works by writers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries of the Muslim era; these include traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad, which provide additional information about Muhammad's life.
The earliest surviving written sira is Ibn Ishaq's Life of God's Messenger written c. 767 CE. Although the work was lost, this sira was used at great length by Ibn Hisham and to a lesser extent by Al-Tabari. However, Ibn Hisham admits in the preface to his biography of Muhammad that he omitted matters from Ibn Ishaq's biography that "would distress certain people". Another early history source is the history of Muhammad's campaigns by al-Waqidi, the work of his secretary Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi. Many scholars accept these early biographies as authentic. Recent studies have led scholars to distinguish between traditions touching legal matters and purely historical events. In the legal group, traditions could have been subject to invention while historic events, aside from exceptional cases, may have been only subject to "tendential shaping". Other important sources include the hadith collections, accounts of the verbal and physical teachings and traditions of Muhammad. Hadiths were compiled several generations after his death by followers including Muhammad al-Bukhari, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, Muhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi, Abd ar-Rahman al-Nasai, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, Malik ibn Anas, al-Daraqutni.
Some Western academics cautiously view the hadith collections as accurate historical sources. Scholars such as Madelung do not reject the narrations which have been compiled in periods, but judge them in the context of history and on the basis of their compatibility with the events and figures. Muslim scholars on the other hand place a greater emph
Military career of Muhammad
The military career of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, lasted for the final ten years of his life, from 622 to 632. After he and his small fellowship were pushed out of the holy trading town of Mecca, controlled by the powerful Quraish tribe, he started intercepting Meccan caravans. After his first victory in a pitched battle at Badr in 624, his power grew and he began to subjugate other tribes through either diplomacy or conquest. In 630 he accomplished his long-term goal of conquering Mecca and the Kaaba. By his death in 632, Muhammad had managed to unite most of Arabia, laying the foundation for the subsequent Islamic expansion. After the death of his uncle Abu Talib in 619, the prophet of Islam, was lacking someone who provided him security in the hostile climate of Mecca. After several failed attempts to reach for tribes outside of Mecca, he contacted the Banu Khazraj of Medina. Six of them he managed to convert to Islam. In Medina they spread the word of Muhammad and Islam and in February 621, a new delegation reached Mecca, among them two members of the Banu Aws.
The Banu Khazraj and Banu Aws were rivals at this time, fighting for control of Medina. Muhammad mediated a ceasefire between the two parties and sent them back to Medina, accompanied by a reciter of the Quran. Islam grew in Medina before in March 622, a new delegation, this time numbering 72 people, consulted with Muhammad, they pledged their readiness to wage war against Muhammad's enemies, while Muhammad declared his readiness to wage war against the Jews of Medina. The Meccans, who heard rumors of this meeting and realized that this was a call to war, failed an attempt to assassinate Muhammad in June 622. Muhammad fled, together with his companion Abu Bakr, in what is known as the Hijra. Medina was divided into five tribes: two of them the Banu Khazraj and Banu Aws, while the Jews were represented by, from smallest to largest tribe, the Banu Qaynuqa, Banu al-Nadir and Banu Quraizah. Upon arrival in Medina he set about the establishment of a pact known as the Constitution of Medina, to regulate the matters of governance of the city, as well as the extent and nature of inter-community relations, signatories to it included the Muslims, the Ansar and the various Jewish tribes of Medina.
Significant clauses of the constitution included the mutual assistance of each other if one signatory were to be attacked by a third party, the resolution that the Muslims would profess their religion and the Jews theirs, as well as the appointment of Muhammad as the leader of the state. Muhammad and his Companions soon engaged in a series of caravan raids; these raids were offensive and carried out to gather intelligence or seize the trade goods of Caravans financed by the Quraysh. The Muslims declared that the raids were justified and that God gave them permission to defend against the Meccans' persecution of Muslims. Another reason for the raids appears to have been economic stress, as the food output of Medina was capable of feeding the Muslim newcomers. Hence, the raiding of food was mandatory to supplement their diet; the order of the caravan raids is somewhat confused in the Islamic sources. What seems clear is that there were two types of raids: those led by Muhammad and those led by lieutenants.
They featured somewhere between seven and 200 warriors on foot. These fighters were, at last provided exclusively by the Muhajirun, the Muslim migrants from Mecca. Consisting of unemployed young men, they had the chance to place their name in a register if desiring to go on a raid; the first year of these raids was a “near total failure”. All Meccan caravans managed to evade Muhammad’s forces or were accompanied by forces with superior numbers, suggesting that the Quraish relied on a spy among the core of the Muslim community. Aware of this problem, Muhammad introduced the usage of sealed letters of instructions and appointed Abd-Allah ibn Jahsh to lead an expedition of eight or twelve men. After marching two days, ibn Jahsh opened the letter to learn that, according to most sources, he was instructed to gain intelligence information about the movement of Meccan caravans deep in Quraish territory, in Nakhlah. Soon the expedition met a Meccan caravan, weakly protected by only four guards; the Muslims encountered the caravan in a holy month where fighting was forbidden, it seems that Muhammad did not order the usage of violence.
Despite this, the Muslim warriors collectively decided to attack and approached the caravan disguised as pilgrims. When close enough they leaped upon the guards: one of whom escaped, two were seized and one was killed; the victim, named Amr b. al-Hadrami, was the first person killed for the cause of Islam. Ibn Jahsh and his men returned to Medina with the seized caravan, which carried wine, leather goods and raisins. In March 15, 624, Muhammad faced the Meccans in the Battle of Badr; the prelude revolved around Muhammad's plan to raid a major Meccan caravan, on its way from Syria to Mecca. It was of monumental size, composing 1000 camels transporting tens of thousands of Dinars, was escorted by 70 horseman. Attacking this caravan would have forced Mecca into action, as every Quraysh family had invested in it. Despite this risk Muhammad began the preparations before setting out on December 9, 623, with a force of around 314 men, 70 camels and two horses. Muhammad and his warriors marched offside the common roads to avoid Meccan scouts, passing through little-known canyons and wadis.
The Quraysh leader Abu Suyfan, who accompanied the caravan and realized that Muslim scou
Invasion of Banu Qurayza
The Invasion of Banu Qurayza took place in the Dhul Qa‘dah during February and March of 627 AD. The Banu Qurayza told the Muslims that they were allied to them during the Battle of the Trench, however they sided with the Pagan Arabs of Quraysh and their allies. According to traditional sources, Jewish leaders organized efforts against Muhammad and the Muslims. Three Jewish leaders from the tribe of Banu al-Nadir, three Jewish leaders from the tribe of Wa'il, various other Jewish groups and leaders united and pressured Banu Qurayza to betray their agreement to Muhammad. Afzalur Rahman states that during the Battle of the Trench, when the Muslims were surrounded by a large hostile force, the Banu Qurayza joined the enemies of the Muslims and threatened the Muslims from within the town itself. Waqidi claims that Muhammad had a treaty with the tribe, torn apart. Norman Stillman and Watt believe such a treaty was "doubtful" to have existed, though Watt believes the Qurayza had agreed not to assist Muhammad's enemies against him.
According to Mubrakpuri, Stillman, Guillaume and Ibn Kathir, on the day of the Meccans' withdrawal Muhammad led his forces against Banu Qurayza. According to Muslim tradition he had been ordered to do so by God; the Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe, were besieged for 25 days. According to Mohammed al-Ghazali, during that time the Muslims allowed the Jews who had refused to betray the Prophet during the Battle of the Ditch to leave and "go wherever they wished". Sa'd ibn Mu'adh, a companion of Muhammad, was chosen by him as an arbiter and all parties agreed to abide by his judgment. Sa'd gave his verdict that "the men should be killed, the property divided, the women and children taken as captives". Muhammad approved of the ruling, calling it similar to God's judgment, after which nearly all male members of the tribe who had reached puberty were beheaded; the Muslim jurist Tabari quotes 600–900 being executed. The Sunni hadith do not give the number killed, but state that all pubescent males were killed and one woman.
According to Ibn Kathir, Quranic verses 33:26-27 and 33:9-10 are about the attack against the Banu Qurayza. Researcher, W. N. Arafat places doubt on the description of events described by Ibn Ishaq. Arafat states in regards to the reception of Ibn Ishaq's and Tabari's account: "The attitude of scholars and historians to Ibn lshaq's version of the story has been either one of complacency, sometimes mingled with uncertainty, or at least in two important cases, one of condemnatlon and outright rejection." Ibn Ishaq was criticized by Sunni scholar, Malik ibn Anas as being "a liar" and somebody "who transmits his stories from the Jews." The Banu Qurayza were a Jewish tribe that lived at the oasis of Yathrib. Jewish tribes arrived in Hijaz in the wake of the Jewish-Roman wars and might have introduced agriculture, which may have put them in a culturally and politically dominant position; the Banu Qurayza, did not own any land. The Banu Qurayza signed a treaty with Muhammad. According to Watt it is unclear whether or not their treaty with Muhammad, obliged the Qurayza to help him defend Medina or to remain neutral.
This stance is supported by al-Waqidi. Both Watt and Stillman believe that no special agreement existed between the Qurayza. Watt, does agree that the Qurayza had agreed not to support Muhammad's enemies against him. Zafar Ali Qureshi, has criticized Watt's approach to such incidents. In 627AD, Abu Sufyan, led an attack on Medina during the Battle of the Trench; the Qurayza did not participate in the fighting - according to David Norcliffe, but they lent tools to the Muslims, to defend themselves in Medina. The Qurayza were offended by Muhammad's recitation of revelations which criticized some Jews. According to Al-Waqidi, the Banu Qurayza helped the defense effort of Medina by supplying spades and baskets for the excavation of the defensive trench the defenders of Medina had dug in preparation. According to Watt, the Banu Qurayza "seem to have tried to remain neutral" in the battle but changed their attitude when a Jew from Khaybar persuaded them that Muhammad was sure to be overwhelmed, making them doubt whether they should help and ally with Muhammad and though they did not commit any act overtly hostile to Muhammad, according to Watt, they entered into negotiations with the invading army to reach a settlement.
Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal no. 22823 mentions that the Qurayza helped Muhammad by turning down Abu Sufyan when he wanted their help to attack Muhammad, that Abu Sufyan was not happy with them. According to Shibli Nomani, Ibn Ishaq writes that during the siege, the Qurayza readmitted Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the chief of the Banu Nadir whom Muhammad had exiled, Al-Waqidi reports that Huyayy tore into pieces the agreement between Ka'b and Muhammad. Rumours began to spread. So Muhammad sent some men to confirm this. According to William Muir, the Qurayza said to the men "Who is Mahomet, and, the Apostle of God, that we should obey him? There is no bond or compact between us and him." Norman Stillman denies the claims of al-Waqidi and that there was an agreement. Watt rejects the existence of such a special agreement, but notes that the Qurayza had a general agreement with Muhammad because they were allie
Battle of the Trench
The Battle of the Trench known as the Battle of the Confederates, was a 30-day-long siege of Yathrib by Arab and Jewish tribes. The strength of the confederate armies is estimated around 10,000 men with six hundred horses and some camels, while the Medinan defenders numbered 3,000; the outnumbered defenders of Medina Muslims led by Islamic prophet Muhammad, dug a trench on the suggestion of Salman Farsi, which together with Medina's natural fortifications, rendered the confederate cavalry useless, locking the two sides in a stalemate. Hoping to make several attacks at once, the confederates persuaded the Muslim-allied Medinan Jews, Banu Qurayza, to attack the city from the south. However, Muhammad's diplomacy derailed the negotiations, broke up the confederacy against him; the well-organised defenders, the sinking of confederate morale, poor weather conditions caused the siege to end in a fiasco. The siege was a "battle of wits", in which the Muslims tactically overcame their opponents while suffering few casualties.
Efforts to defeat the Muslims failed, Islam became influential in the region. As a consequence, the Muslim army besieged the area of the Banu Qurayza tribe, leading to their surrender and enslavement or execution; the defeat caused the Meccans to lose much of their prestige. The battle is named after "trench", or khandaq, dug by Muslims in preparation for the battle; the word khandaq is the Arabised form of the Persian word kandak. Salman farsi; the battle is referred to as the Battle of Confederates. The Qur'an uses the term confederates in sura Al-Ahzab to denote the confederacy of non-believers and Jews against Islam. After their flight from Mecca, the Muslims fought the Meccan Quraysh at the Battle of Badr in 624, at the Battle of Uhud in 625. Although the Muslims neither won nor were defeated at the Battle of Uhud, their military strength was growing. In April 626 Muhammad raised a force of 300 men and 10 horses to meet the Quraysh army of 1,000 at Badr for the time. Although no fighting occurred, the coastal tribes were impressed with Muslim power.
Muhammad tried, with limited success, to break up many alliances against the Muslim expansion. He was unable to prevent the Meccan one; as they had in the battles of Badr and Uhud, the Muslim army again used strategic methods against their opponents. In this battle they dug a trench to render the enemy cavalry ineffective; the reason for this battle was to defend Medina from attack, after Banu Nazir and Banu Qaynuqa tribes formed an alliance with the Quraysh to attack him as revenge for expelling them from Medina during the Invasion of Banu Qaynuqa and Invasion of Banu Nadir. The Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir states: "The reason why the Confederates came was that a group of the leaders of the Banu Nadir, whom the Messenger of Allah had expelled from Al-Madinah to Khaybar, including Sallam bin Abu Al-Huqayq, Sallam bin Mishkam and Kinanah bin Ar-Rabi`, went to Makkah where they met with the leaders of Quraysh and incited them to make war against the Prophet" Early in 627, the Banu Nadir met with the Quraysh of Makkah.
Huyayy ibn Akhtab, along with other leaders from Khaybar, travelled to swear allegiance with Safwan ibn Umayya at Makkah. The bulk of the Confederate armies were gathered by the Quraysh of Makkah, led by Abu Sufyan, who fielded 4,000 foot soldiers, 300 horsemen, 1,000–1,500 men on camels; the Banu Nadir began rousing the nomads of Najd. The Nadir enlisted the Banu Ghatafan by paying them half of their harvest; this contingent, the second largest, added a strength of about 2,000 men and 300 horsemen led by Unaina bin Hasan Fazari. The Bani Assad agreed to join, led by Tuleha Asadi. From the Banu Sulaym, the Nadir secured 700 men, though this force would have been much larger had not some of its leaders been sympathetic towards Islam; the Bani Amir, who had a pact with Muhammad, refused to join. Other tribes included the Banu Murra, with 400 men led by Hars ibn Auf Murri, the Banu Shuja, with 700 men led by Sufyan ibn Abd Shams. In total, the strength of the Confederate armies, though not agreed upon by scholars, is estimated to have included around 10,000 men and six hundred horsemen.
In January 627 the army, led by Abu Sufyan, marched on Medina. In accordance with the plan the armies began marching towards Medina, Meccans from the south and the others from the east. At the same time horsemen from the Banu Khuza'a left to warn Medina of the invading army; the men from Banu Khuza'a reached Muhammad in four days, warning him of the Confederate armies that were to arrive in a week. Muhammad gathered the Medinans to discuss the best strategy of overcoming the enemy. Meeting the enemy in the open, waiting for them inside the city were both suggested; the outnumbered Muslims opted to engage in a defensive battle by digging deep trenches to act as a barrier along the northern front. The tactic of a defensive trench was introduced by Salman the Persian; every capable Muslim in Medina including Muhammad contributed to digging the massive trench in six days. The ditch was dug on the northern side only, as the rest of Medina was surrounded by rocky mountains and trees, impenetrable to large