Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


Destruction of Jews in the Environs of Madina – A Template For Later Times

Dt:  6/1/22

Destruction  of Jews in the Environs of Madina –

A Template For Later Times


Dr T H Chowdary*


(Prophet) Mohammed was orphaned in childhood. He was looked after by uncle Abu Talib in Macca. As an adult he was employed by a rich merchant widow Khadija whom he, at age 25 married her, aged 40.  In the employment of  Khadija he traded for her camel -loads of merchandise between Macca and Syrian markets. On the way he came across Jewish settlements. From conversations with Jews he acquired good knowledge of Jewish Prophets of the Old Testament of the Bible and their prophecy of a Messiah to come. While in the house-hold of Khadija, he got messages from Allah, through Angel Gabriel. He went to Jerusalem, to the Jewish temple from where he was escorted to Heaven to have darshan of Allah. He was convinced he was  Allah’s Prophet, as foretold by the Jews in the Bible.


2. Prophet Mohammed could not get any good number of  Meccans to his faith , Islam. On the contrary he was ridiculed and ostracized and insulted, short of being assaulted. He, with his band of a few score followers (Momins) emigrated (Hijra) to Medina, from where his mother Amina on marriage came to Mecca. The Medinese, calling Mohammed’s followers refugees, sheltered them; were hospitable to the Muslims. There were three Jewish tribes, Beni Kainuka, Beni An Nadir and Beni Koraiza  in and in the vicinity of Madina. They were rich through crafts, date palm culture and trading . They lived in their fortified settlements , in amity with the Medinese.



3. Prophet   Mohammed was unsuccessful in convincing the Jews that he was the Messiah / the Prophet in the line of the earlier Prophets. Rebuffed, he changed the kibla , the direction to which Muslims turn during prayer, from Jerusalem Jews’ holy place to Mecca; the place of his birth. He started persecuting the Jews as he became stronger with more Arabs coming to accept his Prophet- hood, Islam the  religion. Allah the creator and Lord of the universe. Every act of the persecution of Jews by him had the sanction of a revelation from Allah . Five  instances of Prophet Mohammed ordering terrible punishment on Jews are narrated here.


4. The first Jewish tribe that became the victim of Mohammed for not accepting him as their Prophet  was Beni Kainuka  of about 300 persons. After the battle of  Badr at which Mohammed with 300 men scored a spectacular victory over 1000 Meccans, Mohammed summoned  the chief men of Beni Kainuka  to acknowledge him as their Prophet. “You know full well that I am the Apostle of God. Believe therefore before that happens to you which has befallen koreish the Mekkans at Badr”. They refused and defied him to his worst. Taking an incident which happened to a Moslem  woman in a Jews’ shop; Mohammed marshalled  a force and besiezed the Kainika settlement. It surrendered after 15 days. As the Jews came out, their hands were tied behind their backs and preparations were made for execution / massacre  in cold blood .  A  chief of Madinese , Abdallah  begged Mohammed not to massacre the surrendered Jews. As this Abdullah was yet a  strong and highly respected non -Muslim Medinese, Prophet Mohammed relented and instead of execution, exiled them, from their settlement confiscated their houses and wealth, mostly gold, silver ornaments and their tools. So, Muslims in power exiling those unwilling to convert has become a practice initiated by the Prophet himself ( pages 242 & 243)


5. The next Jewish tribe incurring the Prophet’s wrath, for not accepting his Prophethood was Beni An Nadir. Mohammed visited their settlement, had a divine message  that the chiefs of  Nadir  conspired to kill him. So his command, “thus sayeth the Prophet of the Lord, ye shall go forth out of my land within the space of 10 days ; whosoever remain the   after 10 days will be put to death”. The Nadir decided to defy, reluctant to  abandon their  fertile fields and date groves. The settlement was besieged. Mohammed’s  men cut down the palm trees and burnt them to the roots. The Prophet justified this by a divine command.  The  Nadir tribe  surrendered. They were exiled; their fields, arms and other wealth was confiscated and distributed among the “refugees” , that is, Mohammed’s followers from Macca. They were no longer dependent upon their kind hosts, the Medinese ( called helpers in Islam). The defeated’s properties became wakf (as in India)  for the  welfare of the conquering hordes. The Prophet exulted  in his vengeful triumphs over the non- converting Jews. He dismissed his hitherto trusted Jewish amanuenses (in the  3rd year of  Hijra) .


6. The next Jewish tribe that met the cruelest fate was Beni Koraiza, in the fifth year of  Hijra (AD 627) . In the battle of the Ditch with the Meccans, Mohammed’s men did not farewell.  But the Meccans did not pursue the  ill-performing Moslems. Mohammed suspected the Jews of Beni Koreiza to have exulted in the  reverses suffered by Mohammed’s men in the Mekkans’ assault in the Battle of the Ditch.  Mohammed got a message from Gabriel to proceed against the Beni Koraiza Jews.  Mohammed besieged the  fortress of Beni Koraiza with 3000 Muslims.  The Beni Koraiza surrended after two weeks.  Judgement was pronounced : all the males  to be lined up and beheaded and the bodies to be thrown into the ditch dug by the condemned . The  beheading of over thousand Jews was presided over by Prophet Mohammed. One lovely Jewess Rehana was led to his camp; she refused to convert and be his wife; she opted to be the Prophet’s concubine; keeping her faith!  Thus was the terror struck on those who did not convert.  Women and children  were spared as slaves.  The properties and  wealth of the  Beni Koraiza enriched the Muslims.


7. The fourth Jewish tribe to suffer was that at Khaibar on the way to Syria in AD 628, after the conquest of Mecca itself.  Mohammed’s army of 1600 and cavalry of  over 100 attacked  the villages of luxuriant date groves and fields of corn. Kheibar Jews were defeated and became his vassals – dhimmis, protected people who paid zezia  for their protection !  Prophet Mohammed, now at 60, took an 18 year young Jewess, Sofia as yet another wife.  Sofia was married to one Kinana only a few days before; he was killed by Mohammed’s men in the battle.  The wealth of the Jews confiscated enriched the conquerors and incentived them to  go on for further conquests and conversions.


8.  At the behest of Prophet Mohammed, two notables assassinated were Asma bint Merwan, an Arab poetess of Medina who did not like the  Prophet and his strife with Mekkans.  She wrote poems derogatory of Mohammed.  This angered him no little.  He wished  she was got rid of . A Muslim, Omeir , a former husband of Asma, assassinated Asma in the night .  The Prophet hailed him the next morning in the  mosque ( p 239, 40).

  Another murder committed  with the express authority of Mohammed was that of a centenarian Jewish poet,  Abu’Afak who, like Asma wrote poems uncomplimentary to the Prophet. “Who will rid me of the pestilent fellow” said Mohammed and lo !   A convert slew the poet while he was asleep (p 240).

Yet another  murder, prompted by Mohammed was that of  Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf, son of a Jewess of  Beni an Nadir.  He converted to Islam, but got disaffected when Mohammed changed the Kibla from  Jerusalem to Mekka. He wrote poems derogatory to Mohammed and inciting Mekkans to avenge their defeat at Badr.  Mohammed asked his followers, “ who will ease me of the  son of AL-Ashraf? For he troubleth me?”  That was enough . Mohammed, son of Maslama  came forward and counselled by the Prophet, murdered , K’ab ( p 246).


9. Here in India, two notable victims, zealots of the Prophet were Mahashe Rajpal who published  a book, Rangeeta Rasool.  He was  murdered by  a Muslim carpenter, Ilmuddin.  This murderer was hanged for this crime by British justice on 31 Oct 1929.  At the trial Md. Ali Jinnah defended him, in vain.  Another, victim was Swami Sradhananda, an eminent scholar and  Arya Samaj leader and one of the leaders of the  khilafat movement.  He had the distinction of having  been invited to  address a  nammoth prayer meeting of Muslims  in Jama Masjid in Delhi.  He was murdered on 23-12-1926 by a Muslim Abdul Rashid for bringing Muslims  back to Hinduism   through Suddhi.  Muslims can convert Hindus ; but Hindus should not  convert Muslims. Gandhiji called Rashid, brother and did not condemn his act.  Rashid was hanged for the crime.


10. Muslims revere Prophet Mohammed  as a flawless, ideal person.   They hold that every  act of their  Prophet is imitable  and any criticism of  him is  blasphemy, inviting murder ( sar tan se juda).  The   expulsion,  expropriation  and extermination  of Jewish critics  and tribes was no crime in the view of Muslims.  Conversion or death  offered to Hindus  in Malabar  by Moplah Muslims  during their Caliphate in Aug 1921 to Jan 1922 was no crime, they  hold  as such was the Prophets judgements.   Hindus who refused to  convert were decapitated in exactly the same manner as the Beni Koraiza in Madina.


11. When the Congress discussed the Moplah riots and proposed to condemn the Moplahs for their acts of forcible conversion, a “nationalist” Muslim leader in Congress,   Maulana Hasrat Mohani said: “ there were  no forced conversions.  The concerned Hindus  were given the option : convert or get killed.  They chose to convert. Where then was the force?” And  Mahatma Gandhi  said: “ The Moplahs are  god-fearing” people and declared that “they are fighting for what they consider as religion and in a manner they consider as religious” .  


What  Gandhiji said was true; equally true was what Moplahs did to  Malabar Hindus to  what Prophet Mohammed did to the hundreds of  Beni Koraiza – Jews, decapitation.


 12. Prophet Mohammed is a unique person in the history of  mankind so far.  He used terror, violence, slaughter and war  to suppress opposition and win converts to Islam.  Allah always sent him  revelations to justify  whatever he said  or did.   This is the unique  case of God obliging   his Prophet.   That is why it seems  a Muslim may  not  get enraged and resort to murder if somebody disparages  Allah,  but he would consider  it his duty   to meet out  instant punishment to the person who  blasphemes his Prophet !


Note: Narrations  about the destruction of Jews are based on the texts of the widely acclaimed books: The Life of Mohammed From Original Sources  -  by  Sir William  Muir &  Mohammed and  The Rise of  Islam by D S Margoliath. The page numbers in  parenthesis in the text of the  article referred to Sir William Muir’s book.     (1,7805 words)