When and in what circumstances was Khybar conquered?
As will be elaborated later, the treaty of Hudaybiya was a clear victory,
a door opened to new and greater victories for Islam. The Makkan threat came
to an end and Godís Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, while sending
envoys to neighboring countries to invite their peoples to Islam on the one
hand, set out to solve the other problems he faced within Arabia on the other.
Most of the Jews belonging to the tribe of Banu Nadir had settled in Khaybar
after being expelled from Madina. Together with them, the Jews of Khaybar did
not refrain from collaborating against Islam, sometimes with the Quraysh and
sometimes with Banu Ghatafan.63 As a result of the efforts made by the Jews
of Banu Nadir to form an alliance against Godís Messenger, upon him be peace
and blessings, the Quraysh had attacked Madina with a force of around 20,000
men only to retreat in humiliation after four weeks of hopeless siege. It was
time for the Muslims to put an end to the Jewish conspiracy in Arabia to secure
the future and free preaching of Islam. The punishment suffered by the Jews
of Banu Qurayza roused the Jews of Khaybar to make an alliance with Banu Ghatafan
and attack Madina. They were making preparations for this when, after the treaty
of Hudaybiya, Godís Messenger marched upon Khaybar. He made as if to attack
Banu Ghatafan and forced them to shelter in their confines without daring to
help the Jews in Khaybar. Then, he suddenly turned towards Khaybar. The farmers
of Khaybar had left their homes in the early morning with their farm implements,
when they saw the Muslim army approaching the city. They went back and sheltered
in their citadels, which were very formidable.
Godís Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, besieged Khaybar for three
weeks. One day towards the end of the siege, he gathered his soldiers and told
them: Tomorrow I will hand the standard to him who loves God and His Messenger
and is loved by God and His Messenger. God will enable us to conquer Khaybar
When the next day came, almost everyone was hoping that the standard might
be handed to him. However, Godís Messenger asked: Where is ĎAli? ĎHe has sore
eyesí, they said. The Messenger sent for him and, after applying his saliva
to ĎAliís sore eyes, he submitted the standard to him.65 ĎAli went to the fortress
and, after a fierce battle, Khaybar was conquered.
Among the prisoners of war, there was a noble woman, Safiyya, the daughter
of Huyay ibn Akhtab, who was the chief of Banu Nadir. By marrying her, Godís
Messenger established a relationship with the conquered people.
63. I. Hisham, 3.226; Diyarbakri, Khamis, 1.540.
64. Bukhari, ďMaghazi,Ē 38.
65. Bukhari, 5.77; Muslim, 4.1872.