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Medina, the Jewish City

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Sarah
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« on: May 12, 2007, 06:00:20 am »

Fate of Medina Jews.

There were now left only the Banu Ḳuraiẓa, and Mohammed soon found a pretext to attack them. Some of the Jewish exiles, chief among them being the above-mentioned Ḥuyayy, had stirred up the Ḳuraish and other Arab tribes against Mohammed, and they persuaded the Banu Ḳuraiẓa to join them in their plans. Mohammed, however, succeeded in making the Jews and their Arab allies suspicious of each other; and the allies, who had been besieging Medina, suddenly departed in the midst of a storm, thus leaving the Ḳuraiẓa unsupported. Mohammed marched against them, claiming to have received a special revelation to that effect, and laid siege to their fortress, which was a few miles to the southeast of the city. They surrendered after a month's siege, without having risked a fight. Their fate was left to the decision of Sa'd ibn Mu'adh of the tribe of Aus, who, in spite of the pleading of his own tribe, condemned the men to death and the women and children to slavery. The sentence was executed; and 750 Jews were killed in cold blood. Ḥuyayy was the last to die, with his last breath denouncing Mohammed as an impostor. The prophet wished to make a beautiful woman of the tribe, by the name of Riḥanah, his wife, but, tradition says, she preferred to be his slave instead. Thus the last of the powerful Jewish tribes in Medina was destroyed. Neither Mohammed, however, nor his successor drove all the Jews out of the country. That extreme measure was taken by Omar, who claimed to have heard the prophet say that all Jews should be exiled. Medina is one of the Moslem cities that neither Jews nor Christians may enter. See Banu Ḳainuḳa'; Banu Ḳuraiẓa; Banu al-Naḍir.

Bibliography: Caussin de Perceval, Essai sur l'Histoire des Arabes, passim;
Grätz, Gesch. iv. 66, 75 et seq., 81-83;

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=326&letter=M

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