Invasion of Banu Nadir
Part of Muhammad's campaigns
DateMay 625 CE (4 AH)

Successful invasion and Siege:

  • Banu Nadir expelled, the Muslims captured their goods as war booty[1]
Muslims of Medina Banu Nadir tribe
Commanders and leaders
Ali ibn Abi Talib
Muhammad ibn Maslamah
Zubayr ibn al-Awwam
Umar ibn al-Khattab
Saʽd ibn ʽUbadah
Huyayy ibn Akhtab
~800 Unknown

The invasion of Banu Nadir took place in May 625 CE (Rabi' al-awwal, AH) 4.[1][2] The account is related in Surah Al-Hashr (Chapter 59 - The Gathering) which describes the banishment of the Jewish tribe Banu Nadir who were expelled from Medina after plotting to assassinate the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[3]


Reason for attack

Submission of Banu Nadir to the Muslim troops (14th-century painting)
Submission of Banu Nadir to the Muslim troops (14th-century painting)

According to The Sealed Nectar, a modern Islamic biography of Muhammad written by the Indian Muslim author Safi-ur Rahman Mubarakpuri, once Muhammad with some of his Companions set out to see the Banu Nadir tribe and seek their help in raising the blood-money he had to pay to the Banu Kilab for the two men that ‘Amr bin Omaiyah Ad-Damari had killed by mistake in the Expedition of Bir Maona. On hearing his story they said they would share in paying the blood-money and asked him and his Companions Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Ali and others to sit under a wall of their houses and wait. Mubrakpuri says that the angel Gabriel came down to reveal the plot by the Banu Nadir to assassinate Muhammad, so he, with his Companions, hurried off back to Madinah. On their way, he told his Companions of the Divine Revelation. Mubrakpuri claims that the Banu Nadir Jews held a short private meeting and they conspired to kill him.[1]

According to Norman Stillman, Muhammad found a casus belli by claiming to have received a divine revelation that the Banu Nadir were plotting to assassinate him.[4] The Encyclopaedia of Islam, states that through Muhammad ibn Maslama, Muhammad ordered them to leave Medina within ten days. The tribe at first decided to comply, but Abdullah ibn Ubayy, the chief of the Khazraj, persuaded them to resist in their fortresses, promising to send 2,000 men to their aid. Huyayy ibn Akhtab decided to put up resistance, hoping also for help from Banu Qurayza, despite opposition within the tribe.[5]

Mubrakpuri claims that in this regard, the Quran says:

"If you are expelled, we (too) indeed will go out with you, and we shall never obey anyone against you, and if you are attacked (in fight), we shall indeed help you."[Quran 59:11][1]

The Banu Nadir regained their confidence and were determined to fight. Their chief Huyai bin Akhtab relied hopefully on what Abdullah ibn Ubayy said. So he sent a message to Muhammad saying: "We will not leave our houses. Do whatever you like to do."[1]


William Montgomery Watt mentions multiple possible reasons for the expulsion of the Banu Nadir in the foreword of the translation of the seventh volume of al-Tabari's History of the Prophets and Kings. First, the underlying reason for the expulsion of the Banu Nadir was the same as that of the Banu Qaynuqa, namely Jewish criticisms and hostility towards Muhammad and Islam fueling suspicion among ordinary Muslims, keeping in mind that the attack came weeks after the Muslim loss of life in Al Raji and Bir Maona. Second, some members of Banu Nadir wanting to kill Muhammad, but Watt suggests that it is possible that this allegations was an excuse to justify the attack, adding that even if true, this was not the fundamental reason for the attack. Third, a chief of Banu Nadir gave information to Abu Sufyan during the barley-meal raid in 624.[6]

Invasion of Banu Nadir

According to The Sealed Nectar, the Muslims made the decisive decisions of taking up arms whatever turn the consequences could assume. When the Muhammad received the reply of Huyai bin Akhtab he said: "God is Greatest, God is Greatest." and his Companions repeated after him. Then he set out to fight them after appointing Ibn Umm Maktum to dispose the affairs of Madinah during his absence. The standard was entrusted to ‘Ali bin Abi Talib. He laid siege to their forts for six nights — in another version, fifteen. Banu Nadeer resorted to their castles, mounted them and started shooting arrows and pelting stones at the Muslims enjoying the strategic advantage that their thick fields of palm trees provided. The Muslims were therefore ordered to burn those trees. In this respect, a Quranic Verse was revealed:

"What you (O Muslims) cut down of the palm-trees (of the enemy), or you left them standing on their stems, it was by leave of Allâh."[7]

This incident is also mentioned in the Sahih Bukhari hadith collection in Sahih al-Bukhari, 3:39:519. Quraizah tribe remained neutral, and ‘Abduallah ibn Ubayy as well as Ghatafan failed to keep their promises of support to the Banu Nadir. Mubarakpuri says that Quran 59:16 is related to this.[1] According to the Muslim jurist, Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Abu Salmah gave an ultimatum to the Banu Nadir on the orders of Muhammad. Tabari claims that he (Abu Salmah) said: "Abu Salamah: Hearts have changed, and Islam has wiped out the old covenants"[8] Further historiography regarding the aftermath of the expulsion of Banu Nadhir were transmitted by a witness of the event, sahabah named Malik ibn Aws ibn Al-Hadathan, who narrated that the spoil divide from Banu Nadir property which confiscated by the Muslims were at first were bestowed completely for the prophet himself, since there are no battle accident during this battle, so the cavalry and the camel riders does not acquire share.[9][10] Then as the whole spoils acquired by Muhammad, he in turn shared all to any whom he choose.[10] Among those chosen by Muhammad for the share were Zubayr ibn al-Awwam and Abu Salamah ibn Abd al-Asad, who both equally acquired a shared property land in al-Buwaylah area from this campaign.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, Safiur (2005), The Sealed Nectar, Darussalam Publications, p. 189, ISBN 9798694145923 (online).
  2. ^ Tabari, Al (25 September 1990), The last years of the Prophet (translated by Isma'il Qurban Husayn), State University of New York Press, ISBN 9780887066917
  3. ^ Jamie Stokes (2005), Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East, Volume 1, Infobase Publishing, p. 99, ISBN 978-0-8160-7158-6, According to Islamic tradition, the Bani Nadir were expelled from Medina in 625 after reportedly being implicated in a plot to assassinate Muhammad.
  4. ^ Stillman, Norman. The Jews of Arab Lands: A History and Source Book. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1979. ISBN 0-8276-0198-0. p. 14.
  5. ^ Vacca, V. "Nadir, Banu 'l". In P.J. Bearman; Th. Bianquis; C.E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; W.P. Heinrichs (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912.
  6. ^ Tabari, Al (2008), The foundation of the community, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-88706-344-2|page=xxxv
  7. ^ Q59:5, 50+ translations,
  8. ^ Tabari, Al (2008), The foundation of the community, State University of New York Press, pp. 158–159, ISBN 978-0-88706-344-2
  9. ^ Abu Sulayman Hamd ibn Muhammad Al Khattabi Al Busti (2009). معالم السنن - شرح سنن أبي داود 1-2 ج2 [Milestones of the Sunan - Explanation of Sunan Abi Dawood 1-2 part 2] (ebook) (Religion / Islam / General) (in Arabic). Dar Al Kotob Al Ilmiyah. p. 12. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  10. ^ a b Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani (1988). Abdullah, Ahmad (ed.). كتاب صحيح وضعيف سنن أبي داود [Sahih wa Da'if Sunan Abu Dawud albani] (in Arabic). Noor Al-Islam Center for Quran and Sunnah. p. [[2, 'Umar sent for me when the day rose high. I found him sitting on a couch without cover. When I entered upon him, he said: Malik, some people of you tribe gradually came here, and I have ordered to give them something, so distribute it among them. I said: If you assigned this (work) to some other person, (it would be better). He said: Take it. Then Yarfa' came to him and said: Commander of the Faithful, will you permit 'Uthman b. 'Affan, 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf, al-Zubair b. al-'Awwam, and Sa'd b, Abi Waqqas (to enter) ? He said: Yes. So he permitted them and they entered. Yarfa' again came to him and said: Commander of the Faithful, would you permit al-'Abbas and 'Ali ? He said: Yes. He then permitted them and they entered. Al-'Abbas said: Commander of Faithful, decide between me and this, referring to 'Ali. Some of them said: Yes, Commander of the Faithful, decide between them and give them comfort. Malik b. Aws said: It occurred to me that both of them brought the other people for this. 'Umar said: Show patience (do not make haste). He then turned towards those people and said: I adjure you by Allah by Whose order the heaven and earth stand. Do you know that Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: We are not inherited whatever we leave is sadaqah (alms). They said: Yes. He then turned towards 'Ali and al-'Abbas and said: I adjure you by Allah by Whose order the heaven and earth stand. Do you know that Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: We are not inherited whatever we leave is sadaqah (alms). They said: Yes. He then said: Allah has appointed for the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) a special portion (in the booty) which he did not do for anyone. Allah, Most High, said: What Allah has bestowed on His Apostle (and taken away) from them - for this ye made no expedition with either cavalry or camelry. But Allah gives power to His apostles over any He pleases ; and Allah has power over all things". Allah bestowed (the property of) Banu al-Nadir on His Apostle. I swear by Allah, he did not reserve it for himself, nor did he take it over and above you. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to his share for his maintenance annually, or used to take his contribution and give his family their annual contribution (from this property), then take what remained and deal with it as he did with Allah's property. He then turned towards those people and said: I adjure you by Allah by Whose order the heaven and earth stand. Do you know that ? They said: Yes. He then turned towards 'Ali and al-'Abbas and said: I adjure you by Allah by Whose order the heaven and earth stand. Do you know that ? They said: Yes. When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) died, Abu Bakr said: I am the protector of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). Then you and this ('Ali) came to Abu Bakr, demanding a share from the inheritance of your cousin, and this ('Ali) demanding the share of his wife from (the property of her) father. Abu Bakr then said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: We are not inherited. Whatever we leave is sadaqah. Allah knows that he (Abu Bakr) was true, faithful, rightly-guided, and the follower of Triuth. Abu Bakr then administered it (property of the Prophet). When Abu Bakr died, I said: I am the protector of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and Abu Bakr. So I administered whatever Allah wished. Then you and this ('Ali) came. Both of you are at one, and your matter is the same. So they asked me for it (property), and I said: If you wish I give it to you on condition that you are bound by the covenant of Allah, meaning that you will administer it as the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to administer. So you took it from me on that condition. Then again you have come to me so that I decide between you other than that. I swear by Allah, I shall not decide between you other than that till the Last Hour comes. If you helpless, return it to me.]]. Retrieved 3 March 2022. (1107) Tribute, Spoils, and Rulership (Kitab Al-Kharaj, Wal-Fai' Wal-Imarah) Chapter: Regarding Allocating A Special Portion For The Messenger Of Allah (saws) From Wealth; Al- Albani's investigation: Sahih Mukhtasar Al-Shama'il (341)
  11. ^ Yasin Mazhar Siddiqi, Muhammad (2018). "Role of Booty in the Economy During the Prophet's Time". Journal of King Abdulaziz University: Islamic Economics 1989 (in Indonesian). Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) - Department of Economics. 1. SSRN 3126870.