Jihad in the Koran

The Civil War Which Started It All

Battle of Khaybar

Jihad in the KoranThe Prophet will use the breathing space provided by the Treaty of Hudaibiyah to complete the encirclement of Mecca. Under the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, Mecca must remain neutral in disputes between the Muslims and their enemies.

In the meantime, Allah will deliver the promised spoils in revelation 48:19 with the attack on Khaybar (also spelled Khaibar).

The eight “fortresses” of Khaybar fall to the Muslims in just ten days. Apart from a tribute of gold and silver, the confiscation of arms and the enslavement of wives and daughters, the Jewish farmers who survived the slaughter are allowed to continue to farm the oasis of Khaybar with half of whatever they produce going to the believers.

A revelation about the conquest of Khaybar followed by what scholars believe is a verse about the eventual conquest of Mecca:

48:20 Allah has promised you many spoils, for you to take, and He has hastened this one (the spoils of Khaybar) and held the hands of people back of you (the clause in the Treaty of Hudaibiyah that prevented the Meccans from intervening), that it may be a sign to the believers and that He might guide you to the straight path.

48:21 And another one (Mecca) which you could not take; Allah had besieged already. Allah has power over everything.


Most probably this is a reference to the Conquest of Makkah. The same is the opinion of Qatadah and Ibn Jarir. It seems to mean this: "Though Makkah has not yet fallen to you, Allah has encircled it, and as a result of this victory at Hudaibiyah, it will also fall to you."

The Bedouins who refused to accompany the Prophet on his attempted pilgrimage to Mecca were denied Khaybar. But the Prophet, always thinking ahead, will give them a chance to redeem themselves, revelation 48:16, in what he expects will be a much bigger challenge, the taking of Mecca.

48:11 The Bedouins who stayed behind will say to you: “Our possessions and our families preoccupied us; so ask forgiveness for us.” They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. Say: “Who can avail you anything against Allah, if He wishes to harm you or He wishes to profit you? No, Allah is fully aware of what you do.

48:12 “Rather, you thought that the Messenger and the believers will never return to their families; and that was embellished in your hearts and you entertained evil thoughts and were a useless people.”

48:13 He who does not believe in Allah and His Messenger, We have, indeed, prepared for the unbelievers a blazing fire.

48:14 To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He forgives whomever He wishes and punishes whomever He wishes. Allah is All-Forgiving and Merciful.

48:15 Those who stayed behind will say, when you set out after certain spoils to seize them: “Let us follow you”; intending to change Allah’s Words. Say: “You shall not follow us; thus has Allah said already.” They will then say: “No, you are jealous of us.” Rather, they understand but a little.

48:16 Say to those who stayed behind: “You shall be called up against a people of great might; you shall fight them or they shall submit. If, then, you obey, He will grant you a fair wage; but if you turn away as you turned away before, He will inflict a painful punishment upon you.”

Some who did not make the journey were not to blame:

48:17 The blind are not to blame, nor the cripple is to blame, nor the sick are to blame. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will admit him into Gardens beneath which rivers flow; but he who turns away, He will inflict upon him a painful punishment.

There is more to being a believer than simply saying “we submit” as the Bedouins have yet to discover.

49:14 The Bedouins say: “We believe.” Say: “You do not believe, but say: ‘We submit’; for belief has not yet entered your hearts. If you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not stint you any of your works. Allah is surely All-Forgiving and Merciful.”

49:15 Indeed, the believers are those who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, then were not in doubt, but struggle with their possessions and themselves in the Cause of Allah. Those are the truthful ones.

49:16 Say: “Will you inform Allah about your religion, while Allah knows what is in the heavens and in the earth? Allah has knowledge of everything.”

49:17 They regard it a favour to you that they have submitted. Say: “Do not regard your submission a favour to me; rather Allah has favoured you when He guided you to belief, if you are really truthful.

49:18 “Allah knows the secrets of the heavens and the earth, and Allah sees well the things you do.”