Banu Khazraj
بنو خزرج
Kahlanite Arab tribe
LocationMedina, Hejaz
Descended fromAl-Khazraj bin Haritha bin Tha'labah bin Amr bin 'Amir bin Haritha bin Tha'labah bin Mazen bin al-Azd
Parent tribeAzd
ReligionSunni Islam, Shia Islam

The Banu Khazraj (Arabic: بنو خزرج) is a large Arab tribe based in Medina. They were also in Medina during Muhammad's era.

The Banu Khazraj are a South Arabian Qahtanite tribe that were pressured out of South Arabia as a result of the destruction of the Marib Dam. Along with their cousin tribe, the Aws, they migrated to Yathrib, later known as Medina. [1] [2]

Early history

Abu Muhammad Al-Hasan Ibn Ahmad Al-Hamdani mentioned that the Banu Khazraj and the Banu Aws settled the area of Yathrib around the 2nd century AD as part of the Pre-Islamic Exodus of Yemen because of the Great Marib Dam damage.[citation needed]

However, all sources agree that the Banu Khazraj and Banu Aws became hostile to each other.

Jewish chronicles state that they went to war against each other in the Battle of Bu'ath a few years before the Islamic prophet Muhammad migrated to Medina.[3]

There were three Jewish tribes present in Medina: Banu Qaynuqa, Banu Nadir and Banu Qurayza.

During the battle, the Banu Nadir and the Banu Qurayza fought on the side of the Banu Aws, and the Banu Qaynuqa were allied with the Banu Khazraj. The latter were defeated after a long and desperate battle.[3]

The Nusaybah family of Jerusalem, Custodians of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, are descendants of Banu Khazraj. They arrived in Jerusalem with the 7th-century Islamic conquest.


Further information: Hijra (Islam)

The Banu Aws were included in point 30-31 of the Constitution of Medina as allies to the Muslims, being as "one nation/community with the Believers".[4][5]

Abd-Allah ibn Ubaiy, one of their chiefs,[6] is said to have plotted against Muhammad.[7] However, other Khazraj chiefs such as Saad ibn Ubadah, together with most of the clan, welcomed the prophet and, together with the Aws, they became known as the Ansar.[citation needed]

Military campaigns

Main article: List of expeditions of Muhammad

On 624 Muhammad ordered the assassination of Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf. According to Ibn Ishaq, Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf was a Jewish poet, who created verses about Muhammad after the Muslim victory in Badr. Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf was angered by this victory and went to Makkah to incite war and hatred towards the Muslims.

Shortly afterward he returned to Medina and composed amatory verses of an insulting nature about the Muslim women". Thus after his return to Medina, the order to kill him was sent by Muhammad. The Banu Aws carried out this killing.[8][9]

When men of the Banu Aws tribe murdered Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf, some Khazraj tribesman including Abdallah ibn Unais went to Muhammad and received permission to put to death the person responsible for the killing of Sallam ibn Abu al-Huqayq, who was killed during the Expedition of 'Abdullah ibn 'Atik.[10][11][12]

Sallam ibn Abu al-Huqayq (Abu Rafi) was a Jew, who helped the troops of the Confederates and provided them with a lot of wealth and supplies, on the one hand [13] and used to mock Muhammad with his poetry, on the other. When the Muslims had settled their affair with Banu Quraiza; Al-Khazraj tribe, a rival of Al-Aws, asked for Muhammad's permission to kill him (which Muhammad accepted) in order to merit a virtue equal to that of Al-Aws who had killed Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf.[11]

The Nasrids in Granada

Main article: Nasrid dynasty

Alhambra, Court of the Lions built by the Nasrid sultans

In 1228, Ibn al-Ahmar gathered the remains of the Muslim population cornered in Granada and established al-Mamlika al-Nasria derived from the Ansar of Medina whom the Nasrids trace their lineage to.[14] With the Reconquista in full swing after the conquest of Cordoba in 1236, the Nasrids aligned themselves with Ferdinand III of Castile, officially becoming a tributary state in 1238. The state officially becoming the Kingdom of Granada in 1238. The Nasrids had to turn their backs against the Muslims of Cordoba and Seville in order to survive the reconquest.

Initially the kingdom of Granada linked the commercial routes from Europe with those of the Maghreb. The territory constantly shrank, however, and by 1492, Granada controlled only a small territory on the Mediterranean coast. Arabic was the official language, and was the mother tongue of the majority of the population.

Granada was held as a vassal to Castile for many decades, and provided trade links with the Muslim world, particularly the gold trade with the sub-saharan areas south of Africa. The Nasrids also provided troops for Castile while the kingdom was also a source of mercenary fighters from North African Zenata tribes. However, Portugal discovered direct the African trade routes by sailing around the coast of West Africa. Thus Granada became less and less important for Castile and with the unification of Castile and Aragon in 1479, those kingdoms set their sights on conquering Granada and Navarre.

On January 2, 1492, the last Muslim leader, Muhammad XII, known as Boabdil to the Spanish, surrendered complete control of Granada, to Ferdinand and Isabella, Los Reyes Católicos ("The Catholic Monarchs"), after the city was besieged.

See Nasrid dynasty for a full list of the Nasrid rulers of Granada. The most prominent members of the dynasty were:


See also


  1. ^ Peters, Francis E. (1994). Muhammad and the Origins of Islam. SUNY Press. ISBN 9780791418758.
  2. ^ Watt 1986, p. 771
  3. ^ a b [1]
  4. ^ "Medina Charter - Wikisource". Archived from the original on 2006-06-27.
  5. ^ "The Message". Archived from the original on May 24, 2012.
  6. ^ a b [2]
  7. ^ "'ABD ALLAH IBN RAWAAHAH". Archived from the original on 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
  8. ^ Uri Rubin, The Assassination of Kaʿb b. al-Ashraf, Oriens, Vol. 32. (1990), pp. 65–71.
  9. ^ Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar, pp. 151–153. (online)
  10. ^ "List of Battles of Muhammad". Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
  11. ^ a b Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar (Free version), p. 204.
  12. ^ The History of al-Tabari Vol. 7: The Foundation of the Community: Muhammad At Al-Madina A.D. 622-626/Hijrah-4 A.H. SUNY Press. January 1, 1987. ISBN 9780887063442 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ Ibn Hajr Asqalani , Fath Al-Bari, p. 7/343.
  14. ^ Hitti, Philip K. (2002). History of The Arabs. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 549. ISBN 9781137039828.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Sealed Nectar The Second ‘Aqabah Pledge Archived 2006-11-28 at the Wayback Machine on
  16. ^ a b Imamate: The Vicegerency of the Prophet [3]
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b "Al-Bara' ibn Malik Al-Ansari: Allah & Paradise". Archived from the original on 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2006-12-01.