Hazrat Abu Lubaba Ibn Al Mundhir (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)

Abu Lubabah ibn Abd al-Mundhir

Abu Lubabah ibn Abd al-Mundhir was a leading member of the Banu Aws, an Arabic tribe in Madinah, today known as Medina. At some point after Rasulullah SAW arrival at Madinah in 622, Abu Lubabah converted to Islam.

 He appears in 627 during the siege of the Banu Qurayzah, a Jewish tribe in conflict with Muhammad.

The Qurayzah had a long-standing alliance with the Aws and during the siege asked to confer with Abu Lubabah RA. According to Ibn Ishaq, Abu Lubabah ibn Abd al-Mundhir RA felt pity for the women and children of the tribe who were crying and when asked whether the Qurayzah should surrender to Rasulullah SAW, advised them to do so.

However Abu Lubabah ibn Abd al-Mundhir RA also “made a sign with his hand toward his throat, indicating that [their fate] would be slaughter”.

After Abu Lubabah ibn Abd al-Mundhir RA had left, the Banu Qurayzah unconditionally surrendered. Still man infers from Abu Lubabah’s gesture that Rasulullah SAW had decided the fate of the Qurayzah even before their surrender.

Ibn Ishaq’s account, going back to Abu Lubabah’s own statements, related that he regretted his actions, stating: “My feet had not moved away from the spot before I knew I had been false to Allah and Rasulullah SAW”. Abu Lubabah ibn Abd al-Mundhir RA then went to the mosque in Madinah, tied himself to a pillar and declared: “I will not leave this place until Allah forgives me for what I have done”.

Abu Lubabah ibn Abd al-Mundhir RA also added that he would never enter the locality of Banu Qurayzah in recompense for the deadly mistake he made. When Rasulullah SAW was informed of this incident, Rasulullah SAW said: “I would have begged Allah to forgive him if he had asked me but since he tied himself out of his own free will, then it is Allah Who would turn to him in forgiveness”.

Abu Lubabah ibn Abd al-Mundhir RA stayed tied for six nights. One early morning, Rasulullah SAW declared that Allah SWT had forgiven him after reportedly receiving a revelation.

Ibn al-Dausi (died 1200) stated ten more people tied themselves to pillars.

 
Illustration Only: Abu Lubabah RA tied
himself to the pillar of Masjidul Nabi.Islamic History
recorded that Abu Lubabah tied to the same pillar
where Thumamah ibn Uthar before embracing Islam
was tied.

The Banu Qaynuqa Campaign.

At the time when Rasulullah SAW emigrated to Madinah, virtually half of the city’s population consisted of Jews from the Banu Nadir, Banu Qaynuqa and Banu Qurayzah tribes.

It is not known for certain when the Jews began to settle in the Arabian Peninsula or, more specifically, in Madinah. There are also views holding that the Jews in the Arabian Peninsula did not come from outside, but were Arabs who had accepted Judaism.

It is generally accepted that they came to the Peninsula from abroad; however, there are differing views on the exact time of their arrival. According to some narrations, Jews that had been expelled from Palestine following either the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II’s (605–562 BC) occupation of Jerusalem and the subsequent destruction of the Temple of Solomon, or in later attacks, settled in various regions of the Arabian Peninsula such as the Hejaz, Wadi al-Qura’, Khaybar, Tayma, Yathrib(Madinah) and Ayla.

Those who came to in Madinah first settled in city’s outskirts, and later increasing in strength expelled the Amaliqa and Jurhum tribes residing therein and like so gained control of the city.

Following the Great Flood (Sayl al-‘Arim) in Yemen during the second century AD, leader of the ‘Azd branch of the Qahtani tribes, Harith ibn Talabah ibn ‘Amr Muzaykiya, emigrated from Yemen with his tribe and settled in the outskirts of Madinah; over time, his descendants, the Aws and Khazraj tribes gained ascendancy over the Jews and gained control of the city.

Losing their dominance to the Aws and Khazraj, the Jewish tribes continued their existence in the region, with some siding with the Aws and others with the Khazraj in disputes that arose between them.

In the Battle of Bu’ath for instance, which broke out five years before the Emigration (617 AD), the Banu Qurayzah and Banu Nadir Jews formed allied with the Aws while the Banu Qaynuqa sided with the Khazraj; the ensuing battle ended with the defeat of the Khazraj. On the other hand, there were also various disputes and conflicts between the Banu Qaynuqa and the other Jewish tribes.

In contrast to the situation in the political arena, the Jewish tribes were much more influential than the Arab tribes economically. Agriculture, trade, ironworking, arms manufacture, textiles, and jewelry making were all in the hands of the Jewish tribes.

The Banu Qaynuqa was famous for jewelry-making, the Banu Nadir in agriculture, and the Banu Qurayzah in the leather trade.

The Jewish tribes had become wealthy by participating in trade fairs, and when they could not collect the money that they had loaned with interest, they would impound the assets and estates of debtors and as such began to live in prosperity. In addition, there were also those who made money from fortune telling and soothsaying.

The Jews also owned an education and teaching center (Bayt al-Midras) in Madinah. It is known that Rasulullah SAW and some of his Companions visited this center for the purpose of conveying the message of Islam.

The Banu Qaynuqa, who resided in Madinah’s southwest, lived in fortresses (utum) which were found throughout the city. Known among Madinah’s Jewish tribes for its bravery and militancy, the Banu Qaynuqa made its living from trade, arms manufacture and jewelry-making in particular.

For this reason, they did not possess agricultural land. They owned a marketplace in Madinah called the Suq al-Banu Qaynuqa, used by both Jews and Muslims. It was due to these activities that the Banu Qaynuqa was wealthier than the other Jewish tribes.

The Banu Qaynuqa Jews joined the pact that Rasulullah SAW made with Madinah’s Arab and Jewish tribes, known as the constitution of Madinah, as an ally of the Khazraj tribe. With this pact, it was envisaged that in the event of any attack on Madinah, the Jewish tribes too would join the defense – with an attack on any tribe being considered an attack on all the others and all parties responding in unison – and that, furthermore, the Jews would not side with the Quraish or the other enemies of the Muslims.

The attitude that Rasulullah SAW adopted towards the Jews in Madinah yielded certain positive results, with one of the prominent scholars of the Banu Qaynuqa ‘Abd Allah ibn Salam RA and his family accepting Islam.

However, despite threatening members of the Aws and the Khazraj with their assertions that they would follow the Prophet to appear in the near future and that they would thus gain an advantage over his enemies, they refused to accept the Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad SAW because he was not from among them.

Furthermore, they took particular steps in order to turn Muslims away from their religion, from time to time mocking the Qur’an and Rasulullah SAW. Dredging up the old rivalry and hostility between the Aws and the Khazraj, they attempted to cause dissension, thus inciting the hypocrites. Some of them stated that they accepted Islam, but joined the ranks of the hypocrites.

The Muslims’ triumph over the Makkan polytheists at the Battle of Badr, despite their small numbers, disturbed the Jews. They made their annoyance clear in various ways and began creating uproar. Gathering the Jews at the Banu Qaynuqa market in response, Rasulullah SAW told them that he was a Messenger sent by Allah and that they ought to take lesson from all that befall the Quraish; Rasulullah SAW asked them to asked Islam.

However, the Jews had the audacity to suggest that Rasulullah SAW not be deceived by his victory over the Quraish who had little understanding of the art of war, and that he would see what war really was and how fierce an enemy they were if they were to fight against them.

There are accounts which state that the Quranic verses revealing that the disbelievers would shortly be defeated with the help of Allah by drawing attention to the Battle of Badr were revealed in relation to this response of the Banu Qaynuqa:

While this tension continued, an incident occurring in the Banu Qaynuqa marketplace proved to be the final straw. A Muslim woman from the Helpers who went to a jeweler in the market was harassed by those Jews present there. Upon the woman’s calling for help, another Muslims rushed to her aid and, unable to contain him, attacked and killed the Jewish jeweler – a member of the Banu Qaynuqa.

The Jews then killed this man. Demonstrating the insignificance and present invalidity of the pact signed earlier, this incident simultaneously weighed very heavily on Rasulullah SAW and the Muslims.

Rasulullah SAW began to feel concern that the Banu Qaynuqa, the first among the Jewish tribes to violate the pact, could behave treacherously at any time. Upon this, the verse declaring that should the Prophet have strong reason to fear treachery from those with whom he had treaty, he could publicly dissolve the pact was revealed (An-Anfal, 5:58).

Twenty months after the Emigration, from mid-Shawwal onwards, Rasulullah SAW laid siege to the quarter where the Banu Qaynuqa resided, appointing Abu Lubabah ibn Abd al-Mundhir RA as his deputy. Rasulullah SAW himself wore the armor, known as Zat al-Fudul, and handed the white standard to his uncle Hamzah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib RA.

While no combat occurred nor any arrow drawn in the siege that lasted fifteen days up until the beginning of Dhu al-Qaedah, the Banu Qaynuqa Jews were compelled to surrender when they remained shut-off in their fortresses and all their connections with the outside world completely severed; they also consented to the ruling that the Prophet – who refused their request to be released – was to make (2 Dhu al-Qaedah/April 642).

Upon Rasulullah SAW’s deciding that the male warriors among the prisoners of war – said to number around 700 – were to be put to death, leader of the Khazraj, ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul, declared that the Banu Qaynuqa were their allies, that they had helped them, especially during the Battle of Bu’ath, and asked that Rasulullah SAW forgive them.

Although Rasulullah SAW knew that ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy was the leader of the hypocrites, in the face of his persistent petitions, Rasulullah SAW revoked his decision for the men to be killed and ordered that all the Banu Qaynuqa be expelled from Madina, leaving their possessions behind to the Muslims.

Giving the Banu Qaynuqa a period of three days to vacate the city, Rasulullah SAW assigned Muhammad ibn Maslamah RA to receive their possessions and ‘Ubadah ibn Samit RA to oversee their departure until they were well away from the city.

In the meantime, upon the Banu Qaynuqa’s request, they were granted permission to collect their debts. Rasulullah SAW also stated that the Banu Qaynuqa could always come to Madinah to carry out their business and stay therein for up to three days.

Leaving a great many armaments and materials for arms manufacture behind them, the Banu Qaynuqa left Madinah under the watchful eye of ‘Ubadah ibn Samit RA. After staying in Wadi al-Qura’ for a month, they later went to Syria and settled along the Syrian border.

After taking three swords, three spears, two suits of armor and two bows, and one-fifth of the war spoils (khumus), Rasulullah SAW divided the remaining four-fifths among the Muslims. He also gave a suit of armor each to Muhammad ibn Maslamah RA and Saad ibn Mu’adh RA.

While there are debates concerning when khumus was first implemented in Islamic history, there are views to the effect of its first being applied during the distribution of war spoils from the Banu Qaynuqa campaign.

However, with due consideration to narrations regarding the earlier expedition of ‘Abd Allah ibn Jahsh RA and the distribution of spoils from the Battle of Badr, it is accepted that khumus was previously applied according to existing traditions and that its first application after the revelation of the relevant Quranic verse (An-Anfal, 8:41) was after the Banu Qaynuqa campaign.

 

Hypocrites

One of the significant problems that Rasulullah SAW experienced while in Madinah was the dissension created by a band of hypocrites. Leading the group of those pretending to be Muslim despite not believing in Islam or in the Prophethood of Muhammad SAW was ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul. Chieftain of the Khazraj, ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy was promised control of Madinah at the cessation of hostilities between the Aws and Khazraj tribes, but this had come to nothing when Rasulullah SAW emigrated to Madinah.

It was precisely for this reason that he bore an unending enmity towards Rasulullah SAW, lasting until his death. The Jews living in the city and the Makkan polytheists incited this hostility of his. Advising their townspeople against supporting the Emigrants, ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy together with all the other hypocrites wanted to ensure that they left the city.

The hypocrites were always in favor of dissension in the many incidents that arose in the Madinan period and attempted ceaselessly to weaken the solidarity of the Muslims. The sixty-third chapter of the Qur’an, entitled The Hypocrites, was revealed in relation to this faction and those similar ones.

Repentant of Abu Lubabah Al Mundhir RA

For seven days and nights tying himself without food and drinks Rasulullah SAW came to untie Abu Lubabah Al Mundhir RA. Rasulullah SAW did accept the repentant of Abu Lubabah Al Mundhir RA  earlier but because of his insistent to know for sure that his repentant is bestowed by Allah SWT which later revealed by Rasulullah SAW. As noted by Ibnu Hisyam.

What we can learn and take precedent how a good Muslim should repent immediately, and seek forgiveness from Allah SWT upon committing any mistake or sin. For Allah mercy and forgiving are in abundance to those who seek “Taubah” full heartedly.  

Here we also gather the commitment of every Muslim, to hold steadfastly in keeping all secrets, trusts and honesty. For the good cause of the Muslim Ummah, a good Muslim must acquire the highest level of faithfulness to the guidance of Allah SWT and His Rasul.

Muslim committing treacherous sin, must repent immediately and comeback to the straight path. As mentioned in the Majmu Fatawa li Ibn Taimiyah. Muslim with treacherous sins and not repenting will carry with them a flag indicating their sin during the day of “Yaumil Qiyamah”.

 

Selected Hadiths Narrated and Attributed Narration from Abu Lubabah RA.

Found In: Imam Malik’s Muwatta Chapter No: 54, General Subjects

Hadith no: 31

Narrated: Abu Lubaba

Malik related to me from Nafi from Abu Lubabah that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade killing snakes which were in the houses.

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Found In: Imam Malik’s Muwatta Chapter No: 22, Vows and Oaths

Hadith no: 16

Narrated:

Yahya related to me from Malik from Uthman ibn Hafs ibn Umar ibn Khalda that Ibn Shihab had heard that Abu Lubabah ibn Abd al-Mundhir RA, when Allah turned to him said, “Messenger of Allah, should I leave my people’s house in which I committed wrong action and keep your company, and give away all my property as sadaqa for Allah and His Messenger? “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Giving away a third of it is enough for you.”

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Found In: Imam Malik’s Muwatta Chapter No: 22, Vows and Oaths

Hadith no: 17 

Narrated: Aisha

Yahya related to me from Malik from Ayub ibn Musa from Mansur ibn Abd ar-Rahman al-Hijab from his mother that Aisyah RA, Umm al-Muminin, may Allah be pleased with her, was asked about a man who devoted his property to the door of Kabah. She said, “Let him do kaffara for it with the kaffara of the oath.” Malik said, that someone who devoted all his property in the way of Allah, and then broke his oath, should put a third of his property in the way of Allah, as that was what the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did in the case of Abu Lubabah.

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