The Killing of Salam bin Abul-Huqaiq Salam bin Abul-Huqaiq (Abu Rafi’) was a terrible Jewish criminal. who had gathered the troops of the Confederates and provided them with a lot of wealth and supplies, on the one hand,’ and used to harm the Prophetﷺ on the other. When the Muslims settled their affair with Banu Quraizah, Al-Khazraj tribe asked for the Prophet’s ﷺpermission to kill that criminal in order to merit a virtue equal to that of Al-Aws who had killed another criminal of the Jews, Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf. The Prophet ﷺgave them his permission provided that no women or children be killed. A group of five people with ‘Abdullah bin ‘Ateek their head. headed for Khaibar where ‘Abu Rafi’s fort was situated. When those men approached after the sun had set and the people had brought back their livestock to their homes, ‘Abdullah said to his companions, “Sit down at your places. I am going, and I will try to trick the gate-keeper so that I may enter.” So, ‘Abdullah proceeded towards the castle, and when he approached the gate, he covered himself with his clothes, pretending to answer the call of nature. The people had gone in, and the gate-keeper addressed him saying, “O servant of Allâh! Enter if you wish, for I want to close the gate.” ‘Abdullah added in his story: So, I went in and hid myself. When the people got inside, the gate-keeper closed the gate and hung the keys on a fixed wooden peg. I got up and took the keys and opened the gate. Some people were staying late at night with Abu Rafi’ for a pleasant night chat in one of his rooms. When his companions of nightly entertainment left, I ascended to him, and whenever I opened a door, I closed it from inside. I said to myself. “Should
these people discover my presence, they will not be able to cach me till i have killed him,” So, I reached him and found him sleeping in a dark place amidst his family. I could not recognize his location in the house. So, I shouted, “Abu Rafil” Abu Rafi’ said, “Who is it?” I proceeded towards the source of the voice and hit him with the sword, but because of my confusion, I could not kill him, He cried loudly, and I came out of the house and waited for a while, and then went to him again and said, “What is this voice Abu Rafi’?” He said, “Woe to your mother! A man in my house has struck me with a sword!” I again hit him hard but I did not kill him. Then I drove the point of the sword into his belly till it hit his back, and I realized that I had killed him. I then opened the doors one by one until I reached the stairs, and thinking that I had reached the ground, I stepped out and fell down, breaking my leg on a moonlit night. I tied my leg with a turban and proceeded on until I sat at the gate, and said, “I will not leave tonight until I know that I have killed him.” So, (in the early morning) when the cock crowed, the announcer of the casualty stood on the wall saying: “I announce the death of Abu Rafi’, the merchant of Hijaz.” Then I went to my companions and said, “Let us save ourselves, for Allâh has killed Abu Rafi’.”
So, I went to the Prophet ﷺand described the whole story to him. He said, “Stretch out your leg.” I stretched it out and he rubbed it, and it became alright as if I never had any ailment whatsoever.” Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/577
This is the report of Al-Bukhari. According to Ibn Ishaq, all five of the group participated in killing that enemy of Islam. Ibn Hisham 2/247, 275
This incident took place in Dhul-Qa’dah or Dhul-Hijjah in the fifth year after Hijrah. Rahmatul-lil-‘Alamin 2/223
Shortly after the conclusion of the battle with the Confederates and Quraizah, the Prophetﷺ began to dispatch disciplinary expeditions to force the aggressive tribes and rebellious Arabs to come to peaceful terms with the rising state of Islam.
Mission of Muhammad bin Maslamah
A platoon of thirty believers under the leadership of Muhammad bin Maslamah Radiallahu anhoo was dispatched on a military mission in Muharram, the sixth year of Al-Hijra, following the two previous battles. It headed for the area of Bani Bakr bin Kilab about seven nights journey from Madinah into the Najd. The Muslims attacked them and dispersed them in all directions. Plenty of spoils fell to the lot of the Muslims who returned home with a terrible disbeliever, Thumamah bin Uthal Al-Hanafi, chief of Bani Hanifah, who had gone out by order of Musailimah the
to assassinate the Prophetﷺ The Prophet’s Companions tied him to a pole of the Prophetic Mosque. To a question posed by the Prophetﷺ “What have you got, O Thumamah?” Thumamah used to say: “I have got a good thought, O Muhammad!ﷺ If you were to kill someone, then you would have to choose one who has already killed someone; if you were to be gracious, then let it be to a grateful man; and if you were to ask for money, you would have to ask for it from a generous man.” He repeated that three times on three different occasions. The third time, the Prophetﷺ ordered that he should be released. He soon went nearby, washed and then came back to profess the new faith addressing the Prophet ﷺ”There was no face on the surface of the earth most disliked by me than yours, but now your face has become the most beloved face to me. By Allâh, there was no religion most disliked by me than yours, but now it is the most As-Seeratul-Halabiyah 2/297.
beloved religion to me. Now I want to perform ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage).” The Prophet ﷺ gave him good tidings and asked him to do that. On his arrival in Makkah, the Quraishites accused him of apostasy. He denied it and affirmed that he had embraced Islam, and then swore that they would never get a grain from Yamamah, a suburban area around Makkah, unless the Prophetﷺ would allow it. In fact, he refused to send food supplies to Makkah until the Prophetﷺ interceded at the Makkans’ earnest plea.’)
Bani Libyan Invasion
Bani Lihyan had acted treacherously towards ten of the Prophet’s Companions at Ar-Raji’ and had them hanged. Their location being situated deep in the heart of Hijaz on the borders of Makkah, and due to deep-seated blood revenge between the Muslims on the one hand, and Quraish and the Arabians on the other, the Prophet ﷺconsidered it unwise to penetrate deep and come close to the greatest enemy, Quraish. However, when the power of the allied Confederates collapsed and they began to slacken and resign to the current unfavorable balance of power, Allâh’s Messengerﷺ seized this rare opportunity and decided that it was time to take revenge on Bani Lihyan. He set out in Rabi’ul-Awwal or Jumada Al-Ula in the sixth year of Al-Hijra, at the head of two hundred Muslim fighters and pretended to be heading for Syria, then soon changed route towards Batn Gharran, the scene of his Companions’ tragedy, and invoked Allâh’s mercy on them. News of his march reached Bani Lihyan, who immediately fled to the mountain tops nearby and thus remained out of his reach. On his way back, the Prophet ﷺdispatched a group of ten horsemen to a place called Kura’ul-Ghamim, so that the Quraish would hear of that which would confirm his growing military power. All of these clashes took fourteen days. after which he left to return home.
Zadul-Ma’ad 2/119: Sahih Al-Bukhari no. 4372, Fathul-Bart 7/688.
Expeditions and Delegations continued
1. A platoon led by ‘Ukashah bin Al-Mihsan was dispatched in the sixth year of Al-Hijrah. to a place called Al-Ghamr inhabited by Bani Asad. The enemy immediately fled leaving behind them to hundred camels which were taken to Madinah.
2. A platoon led by Muhammad bin Maslamah is set out towards the habitation of Bani Tha’labah in Dhul-Qassah. But a hundred enemy soldiers ambushed and killed all of them when they were sleeping, except Muhammad bin Maslamah who managed to escape badly wounded.
3. In retaliation against Bani Tha’labah, Abu ‘Ubaidah bin AlJarrah e, at the head of forty men, was dispatched to Dhul-Qassah. They walked that night and took the enemy by surprise in the morning. Again, they fled to the mountains except one who was injured, and later embraced Islam. They gained a lot of booty in that particular incident.
4. A platoon, under the leadership of Zaid bin Harithah was sent to Al-Jamum, area of Bani Sulaim in Marr Az-Zahran, in the same year. A woman from Bani Muzainah showed them the way to the enemy’s camp. There the Muslims took some captives and gained a lot of booty. Later on, Allâh’s Messengerﷺ granted the woman her freedom and married her to one of his followers.
5. Zaid bin Harithah &. in Jumada Al-Ula, sixth year of Al-Hijra, at the head of a hundred and seventy horsemen, set out to a place called Al-‘Eis, intercepted a caravan of Quraish led by Abul-‘As,and looted their camels. Abul-‘As escaped and took refuge in Zainab’s (his wife and the Prophet’s ﷺdaughter) house He begged her to ask the Prophet ﷺfor the refund of his wealth. The Prophetﷺ recommended, but without compulsion, that the people do that. They immediately gave the man back all his
wealth. He went back to Makkah, gave over the trusts to those entitled to them, embraced Islam and emigrated to Madinah where the Prophet ﷺunited him with his wife, Zainab, after three and a half years of their first marriage contract The Verse relating to prohibition of marriage between women Muslims and disbelievers had not been revealed then
6. In Jumada Ath-Thaniyah, the same year, Zaid at the head of fifteen men raided Bani Tha’labah at the place Taraf or Tarag and captured twenty of their camels but the people had fled.
7. In Rajab of the same year, Zaid tege, at the head of twelve men set out to a place called Wadi Al-Qura on a survey mission to explore the movements of the enemy. The people there attacked the Muslims, killed nine of them, while the rest including Zaid bin Harithah its managed to escape.
8. The invasion of Al-Khabat took place in the eighth year of AlHijra, i.e., before Al-Hudaibiyah Treaty. Abu Ubaidah bin AlJarrah led three hundred horsemen to observe a caravan belonging to Quraish. Because of the lack of food supplies, they began to starve so much that they had to eat Khabat (leaves of trees), hence the appellation “The Army of Al-Khabat”. One of the men slaughtered nine camels on three occasions, three each time at different stages of the mission. Abu ‘Ubaidah the leader of the campaign prohibited him from doing so. The sea presented them with a whale rich in fat and they subsisted on it for half a month. When they came back home, they narrated the story to the Prophet who ﷺcommented that it was provision granted by Alláh, and asked them to share him some of its meat. Chronologically this occurred before the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyah, after which the Muslims stopped intercepting Quraisht caravans.