Saturday, July 30, 2005

Economic War & the Dates of the Jews of Banu Nadhir

It was a hectic day... presentation in morning, then Jumu'ah prayer - luckily I can still grab few words from the Khutbah - something about Ihsan - well, got to practice it in my life anyway... then first time being selected as a celebrity (what? I still can't believe it - still they told it to the audience - young imam! hehehe... should be helping others to get married, poor he's still single!)

Then it was already dinner time. Telur goreng again! Wahh... after Isyak just rush to get my energy back - coffee kiosk near library - what else, still need to attend two-hours history class!

Well, just came from Seerah class. The sadness of Uhud, al-Rajik and Bi'r al-Ma'unah, and now the treachery Jews of Banu Nadhir... Yeah, the Jews settled in Yathrib (Madinah) before the Arabs. 70 CE - among the years that the Jews would remember in their heart, the year Titus Flavius Vespasanius (40-81 CE), emperor of the Romans conquered Palestine. His treatment of the vanquished Jews was infamously brutal. His most notorious act was to have the Great Temple of Jerusalem destroyed (it's only remainder today, the only piece of the temple to survive Titus' wrath, is the famous 'Wailing Wall', - the most holy place to followers of the Jewish faith).

So... some of those life-loving Jews fled from their homeland - far away from the Romans brutality... Qainuqa', Nadhir and Quraizhah settled in Yathrib.

The Arabs of Yathrib were Aus and Khazraj, both are branches of Khuzaah tribe, originating from Yemen. Came later to Yathrib. The two tribes had been fighting each other (thanks to the help of the so-called Jews allies), with Qainuqa-Khazraj alliance, and the other two-Aus alliance (well, that's what happened during the cold war... the bombs were downloaded in the pawn-countries - Vietnam, Afghanistan, Congo... and the kings were saved!)

Notes: When Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. arrived in Madinah, all agreed to enter the alliance-pact with the Muslims...

Back to the topic. Well, the Jews of Banu Nadhir were departed from Madinah. There are two versions of the story, one is narrated by Ibn Ishaq (famous, frequently quoted by historians - but the chains are weak) another is narrated by Ibn Syihab al-Zuhri (not-so-famous, but good chains). Difference: Cause of the Evacuation.

Well, according to the first version, the Prophet s.a.w. went to Banu Nadhir to collect blood money, after 'Amr ibn Umayyah al-Damri r.a. (the only person saved from Bi'r al-Ma'unah massacre - after Uhud) mistakenly killed two Jews whom the Prophet had gave assurance upon their life... (well, the person just got back from a massacre, didn't know that those two were under Prophet's protection). Since the Jews promised to enter the alliance, so its time to fulfill the obligation... (hahaha... a good advise to myself - walk your talk!)

However, those Jews planned to kill the Prophet by throwing a _ stone (err... batu pengisar), still a wise among them advised them not to do, because a prophet is a prophet. Surely Allah protects him. Jibrail conveyed the news of the conspiracy to the Prophet, the Prophet went back to Madinah...

Second version, after Badr, the Quraysh of Mecca commanded the Jews of Banu Nadhir to attack the Prophet s.a.w., and black-mailed them (sure, what else would you expect from the so-coward people). Poor the Jews plotted to kill Prophet by making a so-called Inter-faith dialogue, with only three person allowed to discuss from each side... the plot failed, now it was not Jibrail who conveyed the plot, but a Jew woman who told it to her Muslim brother...

The aftermath was the same, the Jews broken their promise (in other words: betrayed their own nation!), the Muslims sieged the settlement, and the famous story of cutting down the dates of Banu Nadhir came in. The Jews had always live in fortress, and Banu Nadhir had the advantage of palm dates as natural barrier, in addition to their stronghold. The Prophet instructed the Muslims to cut down the trees, while the Jews - complained that the Prophet is destructive in nature (while forgetting their betrayals), the revelations came down, with permission from Allah for the Muslims to cut the trees.

The hypocrites + Quraizhah + Ghatfan didn't come to help, as promised by Ibn Salul... The Jews surrendered. The Prophet gave them 10 days to evacuate their homes, they were allowed to take with them all but weapons... funny to hear, but most of them disbanded their own houses - carrying the doors, windows and roof together!!!

The elites seek shelter in Khaybar, and the others went to Syam...

Well, the story is recorded in surah al-Hasyr (exile, banishment), one of those few that I managed to memorized (actually we were forced to memorize the last section of the surah during secondary-school).

During the class, I couldn't stop from imaging myself as an economist, devising strategies to weaken the enemies by attacking their economy... as if economy is the palm trees that provide strong defence to the enemies... but, cutting trees is easier than attacking the economy, I guess...

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