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Battle of Banu Al-Mustaliq (Muraisi’)

Battle of Banu Al-Mustaliq (Muraisi’)

Why it was called the Battle of Banu Al-Mustaliq (Al-Muraisi’)

It is called after the main tribe of Khoza’ah: Banu Al-Mustaliq. As for the term ‘Al-Muraisi’, it is the place where the battle occurred, in the direction Qadeed.

When and where was the Battle of Banu Al-Mustalak (Muraisi’)?

The battle took place in the month of Shaban in 5 A.H., according to the most acceptable view of the scholars of the Prophet’s battles. (Ibn Is-haq related that it occurred in 6 A.H., after the Battle of the Confederates). The battle took place at the watering place of Khoza’ah called Al-Muraisi’.

Who was the leader in the Battle of Banu Al-Mustaliq, and who held the flag?

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was the leader in this battle. He was in charge of 700 Companions in the battle. He gave Abu Bakr As-Sadeeq (may Allah be pleased with him) the flag for the Muhajareen (Immigrants), and Sa’d ibn Ubadah (may Allah be pleased with him) the flag for the Ansar (Helpers).

The battle targeted the army of Banu Al-Mustaliq, which was lead by Al-Harith ibn Dirar.

Reasons for the Battle of Banu Al-Mustaliq (Al-Musairi’)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) learnt that Al-Harith ibn Dirar had started to gather people from his tribe and some of his Arab allies who wanted to fight the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). They had bought horses and weapons, and they had previously helped Quraish in the Battle of Uhud.

Events of the Battle of Banu Al-Mustaliq (Al-Muraisi’)

When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) learnt that the tribes of Banu Al-Mustaliq were planning to attack Medinah, he sent Buraidah ibn Al-Haseeb Al-Aslami to obtain information about the tribes. When Buraidah returned confirming the tribes’ intention to attack Medinah, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) quickly prepared to leave with 700 fighters and 30 horses. The Messenger of Allah raided them when they were unaware. Abdullah ibn Omar (Allah be pleased with them) said, “The Messenger of Allah  attacked Banu Al-Mustaliq when Banu Al-Mustaliq were preparing to attack the Muslims, and their cattle were drinking water. He killed some soldiers, and captured others. Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith was among the war captives that day” [Related by Al-Bukhari].

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) marries Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith

Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith ibn Dirar, daughter of the leader of the tribe, was among the war captives which the Muslims captured. She was a blessing for her people. Aisha said, And they married. Aisha continued, [related by Ahmad].

The trial from the head of the hypocrites after the Battle of Al-Mustaliq

This battle gave an opportunity for the hypocrites to reveal their hatred against Islam during the events that happened after this battle. After the hypocrites failed to turn the Arabs and their armies against the Muslims, and found that the Muslims were determined and had the strength to defeat the enemies, they (the hypocrites) started to spread strife among the Muslims themselves. They even attacked their honour to defame the call and P.

These events include:

A) The trial between the Muhajareen (Immigrants) and the Ansar (Helpers)

After the battle had finished, a man from the Muhajareen hit a man from the Ansar. As a result, each one called his people to help him. The hypocrites, led by Abdullah ibn Abay ibn Salul, made use of this situation, and encouraged the Ansar to attack the Muhajareen. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) heard about this, and said, <’You still have traits of the time of ignorance.’ They replied, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, one of the Muhajareen hit one of the Ansar.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) answered, ‘Leave this matter, as it is a trial for you.’> [related by Al-Bukhari].

B) Ibn Salul and his followers spread doubts to weaken the Muslims’ certainty in the faith

When he failed to cause a disagreement between the Muhajareen and the Ansar, Abdullah ibn Abay ibn Salul, the leader of the hypocrites, tried to obstruct the efforts of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) towards the Islamic call, and stopped the finance that was being used for this purpose. He also promised that he would expel the Messenger of Allah from Medinah when he returned to it after the battle, saying, “When we return to Medinah, the strong will expel the weak from the city.”

When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) learnt about this, he called Ibn Salul and his friends (the hypocrites) to ask them about the matter. However, they denied that this had happened, and swore that they had not said anything. As a result, Allah revealed Surah Al-Munafiqeen denying the verity of what they had said and revealing the falseness of their oath, and clearly verifying the truthfulness of what the Companion Zaid ibn Arqam  (may Allah be pleased with him) had said. This is stated in Allah’s saying, {It is they who say, “Give nothing to those who are with the Messenger of Allah so that they may disperse.” (They say so although) the treasures of the heavens and the earth belong to Allah. But the hypocrites do not understand. They say, “When we return to Madinah, the honourable ones will drive out from it those that are abject.” In truth, all honour belongs to Allah, and to His Messenger, and to the believers. But the hypocrites do not know} [Surah Al-Munafiqeen: 7, 8].

Abdullah ibn Abdullah ibn Abay ibn Salul asked permission to kill his father after what he had said about the Messenger of Allah, but the Messenger of Allah did not allow him to do this, and he even ordered him to deal well with his father.

Abdullah ibn Abay ibn Salul always felt that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had robbed him of his rule and sovereignty of the Aws and the Khazraj. His dealings with the Muslims were very shameful. He used to persistently defend the Jews of Banu Qainuqa (when they were against the Muslims), and returned with one third of the Muslim army just before the Battle of Uhud in order to help Quraish win the battle. He was very harmful and deceitful; he used to appear on the pulpit that he supported the Prophet of Islam. But after the Muslims sat with him after the Battle of Uhud, they called him the enemy of Allah. At this time, his true self became apparent. He also refused the Messenger of Allah’s offer to ask Allah to forgive him.

He used to keep contact with Banu An-Nadir in order to plot with them against the Muslims. Allah reports this fact in His saying, {Did you not see the hypocrites saying to their brethren, the unbelievers among the People of the Book, “If you are banished we too will go with you and will not listen to anyone concerning you; and if war is waged against you, we will come to your aid.” But Allah bears witness that they are liars} [Surah Al-Hashr: 11]. The hypocrites participated in the Battle of Al-Mustaliq with their usual tricks. Allah states, {Had they gone forth with you, they would have only added to your trouble, and would have run about in your midst seeking to stir up sedition among you, whereas there are among you some who are prone to lend ears to them. Allah knows well the wrong-doers} [Surah At-Tawbah: 47].

C) The slander against Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her)

When the hypocrites failed in their evil plots, they tried to give a bad impression about Islam by speaking badly about the honor of the believers in the the Messenger of Allah’s family, committing a heinous crime. In the draw with her co-wives, which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) usually performed before leaving on any expedition, Aisha had won to leave with the Messenger of Allah for the Battle of Al-Mustaliq. When the Muslims returned from the battle, Aisha left her howdah to look for her sister’s necklace, which Aisha had lost. While she was looking for the necklace, her camel and howdah left with the caravan without those who carried it onto the camel realizing that she was not inside.

When Aisha returned, she kept calling the caravan, but no one heard her. She therefore sat in a nearby spot and fell asleep. Safwan ibn Al-Muattal (may Allah be pleased with him) came. He used to travel behind the army. When he saw her, he said, “Truly, to Allah we belong, and truly to Him shall we return,” in surprise. Consequently, Aisha woke-up. He then brought his ride and made it kneel down for Aisha to climb onto it. He did not say even one word to her as he continued on his journey, leading the animal until they reached the army, who had taken a rest during the midday heat.

When the people saw Sawfan coming with Aisha on his ride, each one remarked about what they saw. The hypocrites and Abdullah ibn Abay took this great opportunity to smear them; some of them talked badly about Aisha and Safwan. They said, “They committed an act which angers Allah.” When the army entered Medinah, these hypocrites started to spread this lie. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) kept quiet about the matter, not saying anything at all about it as he was so upset. Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) hinted to the Messenger of Allah that he should divorce Aisha, but Usama bin Zaid (may Allah be pleased with him) adviced the Messenger of Allah to keep her and ignore the enemies’ rumours.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) climbed the pulpit and asked Allah for protection from Abdullah ibn Abay. Usayd Ibn Hudayr, the leader of Al-Aws, said he was willing to kill him (Abdullah ibn Abay), but the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prohibited him from doing this, as Ibn Abay was from Al-Khazraj tribe, so Usayd killing him would result in the rift between the two tribes returning again. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) preferred to imprison the hypocrite instead of fulfilling the prescribed punishment on him, for fear of causing sedition.

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) fell ill for a month after returning from her journey; she was not aware of what the people were saying about her. When she learnt about the slander, she kept crying until as though her liver had been cut into pieces due to her feelings of injustice. She asked to stay at her parent’s house. She knew that whatever she said would not prove her innocence unless it was supported by evidence from Allah. She repeated to her parents the words of Prophet Yusuf {So I will bear this patiently, and in good grace. It is Allah's help alone that I seek against your fabrication} [Surah Yusuf: 18]. Abu Bakr told her that if she was truly innocent, Allah would make her innocence clear.

Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari told his wife Um Ayyub, “Have you heard what they have said (about the slander)?” She replied, “If you were in Safwan’s position, would you have entertained such an evil thought with the Messenger of Allah’s female relatives?” He answered in the negative. She then said, “If I was in Aisha’s position, I would not have betrayed the Messenger of Allah. And Aisha is better than me, and Safwan is better than you.”

About this time, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was no longer unhappy, and he started to laugh. This was because he had received revelation from the heavens that proved Aisha’s innocence. Consequently, he went to his beloved to tell her the news, being the happiest of people. Aisha’s mother told Aisha to go to him to thank him. However, Aisha replied, “By Allah, I will not go to him (to thank him); I will not praise anyone but Allah.” The verses which were revealed say, {Surely those who invented this calumny are a band from among you. Do not deem this incident an evil for you; nay, it is good for you. Every one of them has accumulated sin in proportion to his share in this guilt. And he who had the greater part of it shall suffer a mighty chastisement} [Surah An-Nur: 11].  

The prescribed punishment of eighty lashes was given to those who were involved in spreading this slander. These people included Mistah ibn Athatha, Hassan ibn Thabit and Hamnah bint Jahsh. As for Abdullah ibn Abay, Allah promised him a severe punishment.

Consequences of the Battle of Banu Al-Mustaliq (Muraisi’)

There was no fighting in this battle, but the battle is one of the most important battles in Islam. This is because it resulted in a whole tribe entering Islam. It also raised the status of the Muslims and their presence in the military and economic scene, and spread the religion of Allah.

Lessons we learn from the Battle of Banu Mustaliq (Muraisi’)

Allah exonerates the faithful slaves. The innocence of Aisha, a pure and chaste lady, came from above the seven heavens. This slander was an opportunity for the true state of the malicious hypocrites to become apparent; they stirred up strife between the Muhajaren and the Ansar, they then claimed that the Muslims would never be victorious, and finally they talked badly about the honour of the Muslims. For these reasons, they deserve a severe punishment