Battle of Khaybar

📅 628 CE | 7 AH

When the Quraysh got news of Muhammed’s 1500 strong army setting out to Kahybar, they were jubilant, certain that the Muslims would be defeated. Surrounded, like Madinah, with plains of volcanic rock and defended by seven large fortresses, Khaybar was thought to be impregnable.

The Prophet and his men reached Khaybar in three days with the Jews caught extremely by surprise. The Jews sent for help from the tribe of Ghatafan but the Muslim army prevented any such assistance from reaching Khaybar. Moreover, they were able to benefit from the internal strife within the Khabarite ranks as each tribe was autonomous and they found it difficult to unite against a common enemy.

The siege lasted a month with the Muslims systematically surrounding each fort in turn, bombarding it with arrows until it surrendered. And so each fort fell one after the other. Eventually the Jews approached Muhammad with an offer of peace when it was quite clear that they could not possibly win. The Prophet mercifully accepted their plea and permitted them to stay on their land whose title now passed to him by right of conquest. The terms of their surrender were that Muhammad would give the Jews of Khaybar military protection in return for half their date-crop.

Thus, all the Jews of the Peninsula submitted to the authority of the holy Prophet and the northern flank of Muslim power, namely the whole area north of Medina, was now as secure as the south had become through the treaty of al Hudaybiyah.

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