Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mohammad's Raids on Arabia's Jewish Tribes

Nadene Goldfoot
Jews were living  in Arabia  after being attacked by the Assyrians in 701 BCE and again in 722 BCE and then by  the Babylonians in 640-538 BCE.   In 586 BCE Judah fell and some Jews wound up in Arabia.  After 70 CE when Jerusalem fell and again in 135 after Bar Kochba's failed revolt, people were either taken as slaves or fled to that area. According to their own Koran, written by Mohammad around 630 CE, it was Abraham that took his first son, Ishmael, mothered by Hagar, the Egyptian handmaid of Sarah to be sacrificed to G-d (human sacrifice).  Judaism has Isaac being the one selected, son of Sarah and the story's main idea is that human sacrifice is not to be done Abraham is told to stop, just testing your faith and obedience.  The Islamists continue that later Abraham took Ishmael to Arabia to the Ka'ba.

 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, we also wept, when we remembered Zion. We hung our lyres on the willows in its midst. For there those who carried us away captive required of us a song; and those who tormented us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember you, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy. (Psalms 137:1-6)

 Jewish tribes  were still living in Mecca and Medina before Muhammad's birth. Yemen found Jews settling there in the 1st century CE.  Arabs were converting to Judaism then.  Even the ruler, Dhu Nuwas converted to Judaism, so that by the 6th and early 7th centuries the Jewish population had grown  in Hejaz and especially in Medina and the surrounding area.  The same thing happened to Khazaria, near or part of Russia, with the royal family converting to Judaism.  Smaller communities were in Bahrein and further north.  When Islam arose, these Jews had to pay special taxes, but most of the Hajazi Jews were either expelled or killed.  Yemen was a refuge for most.  Many became assimilated with their Arab neighbors in language and culture, manners and customs, social organization and mentality.  Today most all have immigrated to Israel.

Mohammad the Islamic Prophet was born in the year 570 in Mecca to the Hashemite clan which was part of the Quraysh ruling merchant  tribe.  When he decided to espouse his new religion of Islam, he was expelled from this tribe.  He  became a terrorist leader wearing a type of armor who raided many of the  Jewish tribes.

By 619 He must have raided a Jewish tribe and was able to take 6 year old Aisha as his bride.  He took her as she was so pretty, and after consummating the marriage in 622 when she was 9, she became his favorite. This was a common practice of marrying young girls.  It's still considered okay to marry a girl as soon as she is 13 which is about the time her menstrual period starts.  Muhammad counseled parents that it is embarrassing to have their daughters show first blood in their house, meaning they should be married off before this happens.

In 624 Muhammad and his Muslim band besieged the Jewish Qaynuqa tribe and exiled them from Medina. The next year in 625 they attacked  and exiled the Jewish Nadir tribe that was  also in Medina.  I have found my male Ydna haplogroup of Q1b1a line of my father to be matching with several Saudi Arabian Muslims.  This could be how it happened.

By 626-627 some of the remaining Jews that had not been expelled went to the Quraysh tribal members to align with them against Muhammad and the new Muslims.  It was a deal.  The story goes that the Quraysh felt their religion was better than what Muhammad was offering and asked these Jews their opinion.  They replied that the Quraysh was better, and when Muhammad heard this was highly ticked off  as these were pagans who believed in idols and many gods.Al-Lat was a goddess, one of many, worshipped by the pagan Quraysh tribe.    Under these circumstances, the Jews wanted to be connected to them in an alliance and were not about to make them angry.

In 627 The Jewish Qurayzah tribe was treated even worse after betraying Muhammad.  .  Muhammad had the Jewish males beheaded and took as slaves the women and children.  It was called The Battle of the Trench.  Muhammad had a trench dug around Medina.  It was a difficult chore for so many, and some would slip away.  The Rabbi, Abdullah bin Salam (probably Abdullah son of Solomon) became an early convert to Islam to save his own life.

Muhammad continued his attacks on the other 15  Jewish tribes.  In 628 he besieged the Khaybar oasis and exiled the Jews from there.  I'm wondering where all these exiled Jews went and wonder if some didn't wind up in Persia, where many Jews from the time of Queen Esther already were living.  Somehow, someone in Khaybar poisoned him.It didn't kill him though, as he conquered Mecca in 630. Kinana ibn Rabi was a Jewish leader at Khaybar who was tortured and killed on Muhammad's orders because he refused to tell where treasure was.

Then he had to fight in the Battle of Hunayn which resulted in him becoming the master of Arabia.  Those Arabian tribes that hadn't followed him previously now had to accept Islam by 631.  Muhammad took on the Christians and fought against them in the expedition to Tabuk.  He died at age 62  in Medina on June 8, 632.  

In 620, he had managed to get to Jerusalem and have a night journey that impressed many of the pagan tribes with the result of their joining up with him. He needed something stupendous after being expelled from his own tribe.   He reported to have been carried to Paradise and met many of the prophets of the Jews while riding on Buraq, a winged horse with a human head.  He said he got from Mecca to Jerusalem that way also. From the Kaba in Mecca to Jerusalem is 666 miles.   Now this is the only site that is important to Islam, the place in Jerusalem that he arose and returned.

Ka'b bin al-Ashraf was a Jewish poet who mocked Muhammad in his verses and was assassinated upon Muhammad's orders for doing so.  Muhammad had first thought of Jews as People of the Book and respected them, but then after not converting, changed his attitude.  The Koran has many sections showing his hatred for Jews.  The most well known is that they will be hiding behind trees and rocks and to find them and kill them.  In July 2006 a writer on a British Muslim Internet forum declared:  "I'm so fed up with these dirty, filthy Israeli dogs.  May Allah curse them and destroy them all, and may they face the same fate as Banu Quayzah!"   That's mild compared so some things I've personally read.

The situation is that Muhammad is a role model to all Muslims, and what he has done or feels is a trait that others are to emulate.  It doesn't make it easy on Jews who are trying to come to peace agreements with them.

Resource: Movie now in DVD "The Message" starring Anthony Quinn -life of Muhammad, on
The Truth about Muhammad by Robert Spencer
The Standard Jewish Encyclopedia Temple of the Center of Time (miles from Kaba to Jerusalem


  1. Dear Nadene
    Also the royal Kindah and Hiyerite tribe in Yemen were mostly jewish long before. The royal kindite revolted after death of Mohammed and faced a terrible fate identical to the benu Quraiza jews. Those who escaped were forced to be Muslims to protect themselves. There is no justice in all these events but keep in mind that arabs do not hate jews but in fact have common history and culture. Eventually a woman slave of jewish heratage from kindah royalty captured by muslim army gave birth to a man who establishex abbaside caliph dynasty which took over Umaiyad dynsty and ruled in Bagdad in a golden age for science and literature with more tollerance and justice. The message is not to loose faith and keep hope in gods ways of bringing good in earth for all. I agree with your article but alot of jews in Arabia went to yemen and felt more at home as the strong Himyerite and Kindite tribes of Yemen were the historically of jewish heratage long before Islam. They have same flesh and blood of one culture wisdom for the love of life that exceeds relegion.

  2. Hi Mohammed,
    Thanks for this added information. Yes, Jews would have migrated to Yemen from Israel or Judah, and Jerusalem, which was then a part of Judah, fell in 70 CE to the Romans. Some may have escaped to more eastern parts of the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and Yemen. No wonder we share some of our DNA. My knowledge of Yemen includes Ofra Haza, a beautiful Jewish woman from Israel who came from Yemen. Hope you can get to hear some of her songs. You can find her on She sang modern songs as well as Yemenite songs.

  3. Hi Nadene;
    I think Ofra had a beautiful voice. God bless her soul. By the way Ofra means "Afra which means the beautiful small deer or Gazzel in Arabic and some say it is a white land or unihabited or cultivated peace of land. I guess I have no much to say about DNA except that we commonly in Arabia teach sons & daughters to memorize their names for far back as we can remember. I know mine goes to Juktan or Qahtan in Arabic and as a tribe had adopted Judiasm around 100 CE. I can say that all hate history came after death of prophet of Islam not before so he might be innocent of hate but Muslims or so called Muslim armies can not be innocent as they spread selfish propaganda from dictator leaders to scare arabic tribes who adopted judiasm as well as Jews whome they wanted to protect as they lived together for centuries. Islam as a teaching and prophet might be innocent but not people who understood wrong way. As wrong interpretation of prophet teachings has caused such propaganda to spread among early Muslim army men happened during the time when prophet was dead sick at his house and more after his death. To be clear there is no direct word in the Quran that tells a just man or women to hate others. In fact it repeatly mentions that people of the book including jews are worth of a proud state and at one time states that some of them are a good standing state. As arabs and Muslims we should be proud that Israel or whatever jewish state is among us in this part of world. As people of jewish heratage in the past one should not fall in hate and propaganda. What hearts you hearts us too but one do not escape to hate just because others force us. If you want to find about history of our jewish tribal past search article from the Hebrew university "Judiasm among kinda" by Mickael Lecker.

  4. Thanks, Mohammed, for your comment. What you say makes good sense to me. It is the interpreters who just don't understand. Your words are making my day. I have noted that there are lots of intelligent people who do not understand the main points of an essay or story and only see their own point of view and not what the writer was stressing. I do appreciate you saying that you should feel proud that Jews are among you. When that day comes that others think like you, we shall have peace in the Middle East. G-d bless you. I'll try to find that article.

  5. I guess I've started to repeat myself. Here's a newer article I wrote with added information about Jewish tribes in Saudi Arabia. I guess I forgot I had written this one already.

  6. Thanks Nadene. I guess the old good jewish heritage is at heart in our tribe even if we are Muslims now. I am from Oman but sure my tribe origins is from Yemen.They left at early Muslim age and settled in east arabia like you mentioned. We consider all jews of Yemen to be cousins and kins and were mostly close to our tribe and the Himyerite which is my mothers tribe and were biggest arab tribe to adopt judiasm in Arabia in the past and still bigest in Yemen. I would not be surprised if many Yemeni jews have Arab genes as jewish arab tribes adopted Judiasm in Yemen for centuries before Islam and thus jews deserve our respect to hold their Judiasm as one of the greatest relegions in the world. Naturally we all share same genes and we are closest to our jewish cousins in Israel and elsewhere in the world. I hope we all share peace despite the politics. I feel jews are good and justful and likwise Israel is a good state for all. It is God's will to love our cousins and be kind to them as part of us. May God make your heart happy and peaceful and grant you wealth and wisdom. Salam

  7. Hi Mohammed, yes, we are interrelated. I also hope we all share peace with each other despite the politics that are separating us. Thank you so much for your comments. They mean a great deal to me. May you also have a long and happy life. It's people like you who will help to bring peace to us all.