[incomplete] Tricks and Treason – In the Footsteps of the Prophet

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In this chapter, two tribes betray the Prophet and receive punishment: Banu Nadir and Banu Qurayzah. The battle of the Moat (al khandaq) occurs; despite the great danger that the Muslims were subjected to, they managed to win using smart war tactics. [The summary of this chapter is incomplete]

After the battle of Uhud, the Muslim became in a weak position in the Arabian Peninsula. Many of their enemies took advantage of this and planned some attacks and expeditions. Muslims were taken prisoners and killed. The Quraysh took advantage of this and planned a war against Medina.

A man named Abu Bara from Banu Amir asked the Prophet to send with him forty men to teach his tribe about Islam, pledging to protect them. His nephew, however, betrayed the pledge and killed the Muslim group near Bir al-Maunah, except for two Muslims who were away fetching water. One of them preferred to die fighting while the other, Amr ibn Umayyah, returned to the Prophet to tell him what happened. On his way back he killed two men from Banu Amir, whom he thought were responsible for the attack. The Prophet decided he should pay blood money for the two men mistakenly killed, since Banu Amir, with the exception of the nephew, were faithful to the pledge. He asked Banu Nadir Jews for financial help (with was part of their pact), but instead, they betrayed the pact and were planning to kill him. Therefore, he ordered them to leave within ten days, taking with them their belongings. They refused, so he besieged them for more than ten days. They were promised help by the hypocrite, Ibn Ubayy. Help did not come their way. The Prophet decided to cut the tallest palm trees, visible from inside their besiege so that thy realize the seriousness of the threat. The Prophet’s plan was successful, they surrendered but instead of applying his threat (which was executing them), the Prophet allowed them to leave with their women, children and what belongings the camel can carry. Later, they were ungrateful enough to fight against the Muslims in the Moat.

Abu Sufyan had told Umar and the Prophet (at Uhud) that they were to meet at Badr the next year. The Prophet kept his word and went to Badr with 500 men. Abu Sufyan left Mecca with 2000 men but then turned back. The Muslims waited for 8 days then returned to Medina.

Abu Lubabah was a man the Prophet highly relied on. He trusted him with Medina when the Muslims left for Badr the first time. Abu Lubabah was the man who refused to give his palm tree to the orphan. Another companion, Thabit Ibn Dandanah later sold his garden to Abu Lubabah in return for the tree (so that he gives it to the orphan). The tree was Abu Lubabah’s so the Prophet didn’t blame him for his actions, but only rejoiced Thabit’s.

It was not a question of giving up one’s right; rather, it involved learning to sometimes reach beyond, for the sake of those reasons of the heart that teach the mind to forgive, to let go , and to give from oneself and from one’s belongings, moved by shared humanity or love.

Abu Lubabah was also sent to Banu Qurayzah to convey the terms for their surrender. He did the mission but spoke too much; feeling bad about him self, he tied himself to a tree for six days waiting for God’s and the Prophet’s forgiveness. Eventually it came, and the Prophet himself unfastened Abu Lubabah ties.

… spiritual edification was never totally accomplished, that conscious was constantly being tried, and that the Prophet accompanied his teaching with strictness but also with benevolence.

The Prophet was married to Zaynab from the Banu Amir clan. She was  um al-masakin. She died eight month after her wedding and a few month later, the Prophet married Um Salamah, the widow of Abu Salamah and she lived in Zaynab’s modest dwelling. Um Salamah was beautiful and wise, and Aicha was sometimes jealous of her. The Prophet also married Zaynab, Zayd’s (the Prophet former adopted son) divorced wife. All these marriages took place for a certain purpose.

The Moat
Banu Nader, living now in Khaybar, allied with Quraysh against the Muslims. They contacted Banu Asad, Banu Ghatafan, and Banu Sulaym and all went to attack Medina. Abbas sent a secret delegation to Medina to tell the Prophet about this attack. The Prophet consulted his companions and Salman Al farisi suggested digging a moat around the city. The Prophet always appreciated creativity and innovation and cultural diversity. He says, “Wisdom is the believer’s lost belonging; he is the most worthy of it wherever he finds it.” [Reported by Tirmithi]
The Prophet dug along with his companions. He invoked God, recited poems and sung songs. This created a sense of belonging among the people and a bond beyond what they shared in faith. He was one of them. The Muslims gathered all the crops outside the moat.
Banu Qurayzah had signed an assistance agreement with the Muslims. Huyay, the chief of Banu Nadir decided to make a deal with them. They were first reluctant but then they complied. The deal was a real threat since the enemies army now had access to inside the city. This meant Muslims’ extermination. The Muslims, however remains determined, united and full of trust. In the heart of this turmoil, the Prophet was upset he had to miss a few prayer-