At this time, there was growing peace and security in Medina. However, a Jewish tribe called Banu Nadir attempted to invoke a string of indecencies upon Prophet Muhammad SAW and the Muslims, leading them to become exiled from the city. This exile angered them and they wanted to find a way to kick the Muslims out of Medina. Seeing that the Quraysh were upset over their battle against the Muslims, in which only hundreds of Muslims were able to overcome an army of thousands and a win could only be snatched from the Muslims through a sneaky attack, the Jews offered them a more promising opportunity to fight against the Muslims by promising them resources and their full support.
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It initially broke out by the stratagem of Banu Nadir tribe. Quraysh tribe became united with all its allies including polytheist 'Arab tribes in order to eradicate Islam. The number of their soldiers was ten thousand, yet Muslim army was only three thousand soldiers. Banu Qurayza tribe had promised to be impartial in case of war; nevertheless, they violated the contract and became confederate with the unbelievers.
To take up arms against the unbelievers, Muslims dug a trench around Medina , an idea from Salman al-Farsi. The war terminated by Muslim's victory and the army of polytheists had to withdraw. During the battle, 'Amr b. Muslims remained silent, while they were overwhelmed with panic. Ultimately, 'Ali a volunteered and went for the challenge with the Prophet s 's consent.
He succeeded to take 'Amr's life. This had such a huge positive impact on Muslim's spirit that led to them triumphing over the enemy. This war is named as al-Khandaq trench because Muslims dug a trench. This war is also well-known as al-Ahzab confederates since Quraysh tribe got unified with other tribes to eradicate Islam. The majority of historians believe the date of its occurrence is the fifth year of Hijra.
There are different views about the exact month. Some sources believe it was Shawwal , and some others refer to Dhu l-Qa'da. Being exiled by the Prophet s owing to their disloyalty, Banu Nadir tribe went to Khaybar and instigated other Jews to arrange a war against Muslims. This could be the chief cause of the war.
Akhtab, Sallam b. Abi l-Huqayq, Kinana b. Rabi' b. Abi l-Huqayq, Hawdhat b. Abu Sufyan accepted their plan with open arms, thus Jews and Quraysh got unified. As following plans, Jews mentioned earlier met Ghatafan tribe, led by 'Uyayna b. Hisn al-Fazari. They persuaded them to take part in the war by promising to provide them with one-year date product of Kaybar area.
Then, they visited Banu Sulaym b. Mansur and convinced them as well. The unbelievers' army all together were ten thousand men. Four thousands of them along with three hundred horses and 1, camels were from Quraysh tribe and its confederates. The unity of the unbelievers and Jews in this war represents their determination to eliminate Islam. That is why, when Imam 'Ali a confronted 'Amr b. Some sources believe the number of Muslims was only three thousand. Being informed about polytheists' determination by a supporter from Khuza'a tribe, the Prophet s asked for people's opinions about whether to stay in Medina and fight there, or leave the city and confront the polytheists out of the city.
Having been conquered in the Battle of Uhud due to their opposition with Prophet's s opinion and leaving the city , people chose to stay in town and accepted Salman's suggestion to dig trench. Digging trench was not commonplace among 'Arabs up to that time, and it provoked amazement among both Muslims and the polytheists. The Prophet s ordered people to dig a trench before them, having Mount Sal' behind.
The Prophet s specified forty Dhira' around twenty meters for every ten people and made each tribe responsible for digging each part. The Prophet s himself contributed to the work. He made doors for trench and the responsibility of guarding them lay with a person from each tribe.
Muslims borrowed many implements such as spade, pickaxe, axe, and basket from Banu Qurayza , who were Prophet's s confederate at that time. Allah sent some verses to the Prophet s about the pious men who did not cease working without the Prophet's s approval, and also about hypocrites who were not dedicated to work and abandoned the job to visit their families without Prophet's s permission.
While excavating the ground, Muslims came across an extremely impenetrable rock. The Prophet s struck it three times. By each sparkle out of each stroke, the prophet foretold the blessing news of Muslim's future conquests in Syria , Yemen , and Iran. Confederations al-Ahzab comprising of three armies by the command of Abu Sufyan arrived in Medina. Quraysh along with some tribes Ahabish and their confederate tribes such as Kinana and Tihama were domiciled in Ruma, between Jurf and Zaghaba.
And Ghatafan tribe camped near Mount Uhud with their confederate tribes. The Prophet s and Muslims were domiciled at the foot of Mount Sal' , and brought the women and children to Qila'. The most difficult time for Muslims was when it was known that Banu Qurayza tribe, who had promised to be impartial in case of war, violated the contract and leaned towards the polytheists.
Ka'b b. Asad al-Qurazi , the leader of Banu Qurayza, despite his unwillingness at the beginning, chose to be on the polytheists' side after the because of the persuasion of Huyayy b. The Prophet s sent the leaders of Aws and Khazraj tribes in order: Sa'd b. Mu'adh and Sa'd b. He asked them to inform him in a way that no one found out so that it would not put Muslims in low spirits.
Banu Qurayza had the worst behavior with them with the most insulting words. They came back to the Prophet s and notified him by naming the two tribes 'Adal and Qara. What they meant by it was the remembrance of the treachery of these two tribes towards Khubayb b. Muslims feared very much, since they were nervous about their family condition inside Medina situated at the back of their domicile , and they had to confront those enemy warriors passing the trench every now and then.
The Qur'an depicted Muslim's fear and their suspicion about God's promises very plainly. Qushayr, a hypocrite, said that Muhammad promised us the conquest of Iran and Rome ; however, no one dares to go out even to ease his nature.
Muslims guarded the trench in turn, day and night, enduring severe cold weather and hunger. Some miracles ascribed to the Prophet s about satisfying Muslim's hunger have been narrated. One time, there were so many attacks from the enemy that the Prophet s didn't manage to say Noon and Afternoon prayers , and had to perform them later along with Sunset and Dusk prayer. Some of the Muslims like Banu Haritha asked the Prophet s for the permission to leave, putting forward the excuse that their houses are unprotected and they worry about enemy's attacks or burglary.
There have been some narrations about shooting arrows, hard fighting, and injuries from both sides such as Sa'd b. Also, it has been said that Khalid b. Banu Qurayza's treachery, severe cold weather, famine, and starvation had put so much pressure on Muslim's shoulders.
Qur'an has mentioned this through some verses. When the danger of Banu Qurayza's night attack to the center of Medina intensified, the Prophet s made two groups of the companions responsible for guarding Muslim's houses. Since Muslims' anxiety was more about Banu Qurayza attack to women and children rather than about Quraysh attacks to themselves, they recited takbir until morning. Once at night, two groups of Muslims encountered each other, shooting one another unintentionally. Afterwards, they applied a secret slogan to avoid similar plausible incidents.
The slogan was: Ha Mim, la yunsarun means the enemy will not conquer. During the war, 'Amr b. But they were impeded by 'Ali a and some other Muslims. Having been injured in the Battle of Badr , thus being deprived of participating in the Battle of Uhud , 'Amr was fresh enough to throw down the challenge and call for an opponent.
Even though Imam 'Ali a volunteered to fight with him, the Prophet s did not allow him, hoping that someone else would stand against him. No one became volunteer owing to their fear. As this condition lasted for quite a long time, 'Amr announced proudly that he got a sore throat because of calling constantly for a rival! Ultimately, Imam 'Ali a got ready to begin the combat with the Prophet's s permission. The Prophet s put his 'imama turban on 'Ali's a head, gave his sword to him and sent him to the battle.
Ali a proceeded and told 'Amr either to become Muslim or to call off the combat. Ali's a action of killing 'Amr b. About it, the Prophet s said:. Aside from Ali's a combat with 'Amr b. Nu'aym met the Prophet s covertly. He told Nu'aym to undermine the enemy and to arise disputes among them. Nu'aym asked the Prophet s for the permission to say whatever he wants to achieve this goal. The Prophet s allowed him and said, "war is deceit".
Nu'aym b. Mas'ud met Banu Qurayza , whom he already had intercourse with. He recommended that they had better ask Quraysh and Ghatafan for hostages, on account that they had no worry about their houses being accessible, thus they could easily leave Banu Qurayza alone. Then, he visited Quraysh and Ghatafan and informed them about Banu Qurayza's regret and disloyalty.
He told them Banu Qurayza had decided to take a hostage from them and give the hostages up to Muhammad s , and then establish peace between themselves and Muslims. He recommended that they not give any hostages to Banu Qurayza. Consequently, disputes arose among them. Polytheists' defeat and withdrawal in the Battle of Khandaq paralyzed them in a way that it was impossible for them to rearrange their army and devise another scheme for a fight.
Moreover, it built up the newly-established Islamic government of Medina.
Battle of Khandaq
Ali bin Ibrahim, Shaykh Mufeed and Shaykh Tabarsi have narrated that the expedition entitled Ahzab or Khandaq was undertaken in the month of Ramadan, in the fifth year of Hijrat, and was occasioned in the following manner: When the Bani Nuzayr 1 were expelled from Medina, some of them went to Khyber and their chief, Huyy bin Akhtab, went to Mecca, and induced Abu Sufyan to organize an expedition against the Prophet; supporting his cause by the mention that Muslims have driven them out of Medina and confiscated their property; he also added that men of Bani Quraiza who remained behind in Medina have a treaty with the Prophet but they are brave fighters, I will persuade them to violate the treaty so that they may help us against Muhammad. You attack from one side of Medina and they will attack from the other side and together you can finish off Muhammad and his men. Abu Sufyan assured them of his assistance and told them to persuade the Quraish. Tell us which religion is better and who is more rightful?
Full Story of Battle Of The Trench (Ghazwa Khandaq) – With Facts
Early Wars in Islam. Search this site. Battle of Badr in AD. Battle of Khandaq in AD. Battle of Uhud in AD. The strength of the confederate armies is estimated around 10, men with six hundred horses and some camels, while the Medinan defenders numbered 3, The battle began on March 31,