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Invasion of Banu Mustaliq

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Title: Invasion of Banu Mustaliq  
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Subject: Caravan raids, Conquest of Fadak, Demolition of Dhul Khalasa, Expedition of Abdullah ibn Rawaha, Expedition of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb
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Invasion of Banu Mustaliq

The Campaign against Banū al-Muṣṭaliq
Date December 627AD in 8th month, 6AH
Location Al-Muraysī'
Result *Successful operation, 200 camels, 5000 sheep and household goods captured as booty
  • 200 families taken as captive[1]
Commanders and leaders
Muḥammad, Abū Bakr, Sa'd ibn 'Ubādah Haritha b. Abi Dirar
Unknown (Large numbert of Muḥammad's fighters) Unknown
Casualties and losses
1 killed 10 killed 200 families taken captive [1][2]

The Campaign against Banū al-Muṣṭaliq[1] took place in December, 627 AD, 8th (Sha'bān) month of 6 AH of the Islamic calendar.[3][4]

The operation was successful, and 200 families were taken as captives, 200 camels and 5000 sheep and goats, as well as a huge quantity of household goods, were captured as booty. The household goods were sold in an auction to the highest bidders.[2]

According to the Sealed Nectar, and ḥadīth collection Sunan Abū Dawūd, only one Muslim was killed by mistake by a Helper. Juwayriya bint al-Harith, daughter of the Banū al-Muṣṭaliq chief was one of the captives, and agreed to marry Muḥammad in exchange for releasing 100 prisoners who converted to Islam, as compensation.[1][5][6]


According to William Muir, Banū al-Muṣṭaliq was a branch of the Khuzā'ah (Jewish) tribe, who were friendly to Muḥammad and his cause. However, two months after Muḥammad returned from the Expedition of Dhū Qarad, he began to hear rumours that the Banū al-Muṣṭaliq were preparing to attack him, so he sent a spy, Buraydah ibn Al-Ḥasīb Al-Aslamī,[7] to confirm this.[6] The Banū al-Muṣṭaliq also believed that Muḥammad was preparing to attack them. So they in turn sent a spy reconnoiter to explore the positions of the Muslims, but he was captured and killed by them. Muḥammad summoned his men and ordered them to prepare for war. Before leaving, Zayd ibn Ḥārithah was put in charge of Madinah.[1]

Surprise attack

On hearing the advent of the Muslims, the tribe was terrified, and the Arabs that accompanied them defected and fled for their lives. Abu Bakr was entrusted as the commander of the Muhajir's (Emigrants), and Sa‘d bin ‘Ubādah was the commander of the Anṣar (Helpers). The two armies were stationed at a well called Al-Muraysī', near the sea, a short distance from Mecca. They fought with bows and arrows for an hour, and then the Muslims advanced so rapidly, they surrounded the al-Muṣṭaliq and took the entire tribe as prisoners, with their families, herds and flock. The battle ended in full victory for the Muslims.[2][8]

'Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib killed a few wounded Banū al-Muṣṭaliq; among whom were Mālik and his son.[6]

Two hundred families were taken as captives, two hundred camels, five thousand sheep, goats, as well as a huge quantity of household goods which were captured as booty. The household goods were sold in an auction to the highest bidder.[2]

Only one Muslim was killed by mistake by a Helper. Juwayrīyah bint al-Ḥārith, daughter of the Banū al-Muṣṭaliq chief was one of the captives, and agreed to marry Muḥammad in exchange for releasing 100 prisoners who converted to Islam, as compensation (according to the Muslim scholar Saifur Rahman al Mubarakpuri).[5]

Altercation between the fighters on return to Medina

The Army remained at the well of Al-Muraysī' for several days, during which an altercation ensued between the Muhājir and Anṣār. One of the Muhājirs, named Jahja attacked an Ansārī, and the two groups immediately clashed, but the quarrel was broken up by Muḥammad.[1]

'Abdullāh ibn ‘Ubayy, who was referred to as the head of the Hypocrites (al-Munāfiqūn) by Muslim historians, was furious for the challenge which the Muslims showed towards the hostile plans and vicious intrigues woven behind closed doors, and swore "the most honourable will expel the meanest out of Madinah," and added: "They (the Muslims) have outnumbered and shared us our land. If you fatten your dog, it will eat you." When that talk was reported to the Muḥammad, 'Umar,asked for permission to have Ibn ‘Ubayy killed. Muhammad naturally turned down his proposal on the grounds that it was not becoming for a Prophet to be accused of killing his people.[1]

'Abdullāh ibn Ubayy's son, who was also called 'Abdullāh, was angry at his father for the disrespect he showed. When the army reached Madinah, he drew his sword against his father and barred his father’s entry into the town until he had confessed and declared that he himself was the meanest of the citizens of Madinah and that Muḥammad was the most honourable of them. The son was ready to cut of his fathers head and bring it to Muḥammad, if he so wished.[1]

He said, according to the Muslim Historian al-Ṭabarī:

According to the Sealed Nectar, Muḥammad did not punish Abdullāh ibn Ubayy in the public interest. 'Umar ibn Al-Khattāb asked Muḥammad why he did not accept his offer to kill him, to which he replied:[1]

Islamic primary sources

Hadith literature

The event if mentioned in many collections of ḥadīth.

Many other ḥadīths mention a surprise attack, according to the historian Sir William Muir.[2]

Biographical literature

The event is mentioned in Ibn Hishām's biography of Muḥammad;, the Muslim jurist Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyah also mentioned the event in his biography of Muḥammad called Zād al-Ma'ād.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Mubarakpuri, Saifur Rahman Al (2005), The sealed nectar: biography of the Noble Prophet, Darussalam Publications, pp. 386–387  (online)
  2. ^ a b c d e   (original)
  3. ^ Abū Khalīl, Shawqī (2003). Atlas of the Quran. Dar-us-Salam. p. 242.  
  4. ^ Hawarey, Dr. Mosab (2010). The Journey of Prophecy; Days of Peace and War (Arabic). Islamic Book Trust. Note: Book contains a list of battles of Muhammad in Arabic, English translation available here
  5. ^ a b Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 29, Number 3920
  6. ^ a b c d e Sir   (see also, abridged version republished in 2009
  7. ^ The Sealed Nectar.
  8. ^   (free online)

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