The First Dhimmis

Mohammed and the Unbelievers

The First Dhimmis


[Ed.: A dhimmi is a kafir who is a second-class citizen in an Islamic country. There are many legal restrictions on dhimmis, such as not being able to testify against a Muslim. In addition, they must pay a special tax, jizya, which can be as high as 50 percent. The wealth of Islam came from the tax on the dhimmis.]


I756 After the treaty of Hudaybiya, Mohammed stayed in Medina for about two months before he collected his army and marched to Khaybar, a community of wealthy Jewish farmers who lived in a village of separate forts about a hundred miles from Medina.

B4,52,41 I asked Allah’s Apostle, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is the best deed?”

He replied, “To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.”

I asked, “What is next in goodness?”

He replied, “To be good and dutiful to your parents.”

I further asked, “What is next in goodness?”

He replied, “To participate in jihad in Allah’s Cause.”

I did not ask Allah’s Apostle anymore, and if I had asked him more, he would have told me more.

I757 When Mohammed raided a people, he waited until the morning. If he heard the call to prayer, which meant the people were Muslims, he would not attack but if there was no Muslim call to prayer he attacked. When he rode up with his army, workers were coming out to work in the fields. When they saw Mohammed and his army, they fled. Mohammed said, “Allah Akbar! Khaybar is destroyed. When we ar-rive in a people’s square, it is a bad morning for those who have been warned.”

M19,4437 The Messenger of Allah raided Khaybar. One morning we offered prayers in the darkness of early dawn near Khaybar. Then the Messenger of Allah mounted his horse. Abu Talha mounted his and I mounted behind Abu Talha on the same horse. The Prophet of Allah rode through the streets of Khaybar and I rode so close to him that my knee touched the thigh of the Prophet of Allah. The wrapper got aside from his thigh, and I could see its whiteness .

When he entered the town, he said, “Allah Akbar! Khaybar shall face de-struction. When we descend in the city-square of a people, it is a bad day for them who have been warned and have not taken heed.” He said these words thrice.

The people of the town had just come out from their houses to go about their jobs. They said, in surprise, “Mohammed has come.”

We captured Khaybar by force.

I757 When the Ghatafan Arabs heard that Mohammed was going to attack Khay-bar, they thought to confront him there. However, as they left they heard that their homes might be attacked and so they returned for security of their own property.

M31,5917 Suhail reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that Allah’s Messenger said on the Day of Khaybar, “I shall certainly give this standard in the hand of one who loves Allah and his Messenger and Allah will grant vic-tory at his hand.”

Umar said, “Never did I cherish for leadership but on that day. I came before him with the hope that I may be called for this.”

But Allah’s Messenger called Ali, and he conferred this honor upon him and said, “Proceed on and do not look about until Allah grants you victory.”

Ali went on a bit and then halted and did not look about and then said in a loud voice, “Allah’s Messenger, on what issue should I fight with the peo-ple?”

Thereupon the Prophet said, “Fight with them until they bear testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his Messenger, and when they do that, their blood and their riches are inviolable from your hands but what is justified by law and their reckoning is with Allah.”

M19,4450 When we reached Khaybar, its king named Marhab advanced, brandishing his sword and chanting:

“Khaybar knows that I am Marhab,“A fully armed, and well tried warrior“When the war comes spreading its flames.” My uncle, Amir, came out to combat with him, saying:“Khaybar certainly knows that I am Amir,“A fully armed veteran who plunges into battles.”

They exchanged blows. Marhab’s sword struck the shield of Amir who bent forward to attack his opponent from below, but his sword recoiled upon him and cut the main artery in his forearm which caused his death.

Salama said, “I came out and heard some people among the Companions of the Holy Prophet saying: Amir’s deed has gone waste; he has killed him-self.”

So I [narrated by Ibn Salama’s father] came to the Holy Prophet weeping and I said, “Messenger of Allah. Amir’s deed has gone waste.”

The Messenger said, “Who passed this remark?”

I said, “Some of your Companions.”

Mohammed said, “He who has passed that remark has told a lie; for Amir there is a double reward.” Then he sent me to Ali, who had sore eyes, and said, “I will give the banner to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger or whom Allah and His Messenger love.”

So I went to Ali and brought him, and he had sore eyes, and I took him to the Messenger of Allah, who applied his saliva to his eyes and he got well. The Messenger of Allah gave him the banner and Ali went to meet Marhab in single combat.

Marhab advanced chanting:

“Khaybar knows certainly that I am Marhab,“A fully armed and well tried valorous warrior hero“When war comes spreading its flames.”

Ali chanted in reply:

“I am the one whose mother named him Haidar, “I am like a lion of the forest with a terror-striking countenance. “I give my opponents the measure of sandara in exchange for sa’ [i.e., return their attack with one that is much more fierce].”

Ali struck at the head of Mirhab and killed him, so the capture of Khaybar was due to him.

I758 Mohammed seized the forts one at a time. Among the captives was a beautiful Jewess named Safiyah. Mohammed took her for his sexual pleasure. One of his men had first chosen her for his own slave of pleasure, but Mohammed traded him two of her cousins for Safiyah. Mohammed always got first choice of the spoils of war and the women.

I759 On the occasion of Khaybar, Mohammed put forth new orders about forcing sex with captive women. If the woman was pregnant she was not to be used for sex until after the birth of the child. Nor were any women to be used for sex who were unclean with regard to Muslim laws about menstruation.

I759 One of the Muslim jihadists came to Mohammed to complain that he had re-ceived no spoils of war. Mohammed explained that there was none left to give him but held out hope that the next fort would be the richest in food. Sure enough, the next day Allah captured a rich Jewish fort and the man got his treasure.

B2,14,68 During the night Mohammed said the Fajr prayer, mounted his beast, and said, “God is great! Khaybar is destroyed! When we ride against a nation that has ignored our warning, they are in for the most terrible morn-ing.”

As the people emerged from the city and saw our forces, they screamed the warning, “Mohammed and his army are here.” Mohammed crushed them, killing their warriors and seizing their women and children. Dihya Al-Kalbi took Safiyah, although she was later given to Mohammed, who married her and gave Safiyah her freedom from slavery as a wedding present.

I764 Mohammed knew there was a large treasure hidden somewhere in Khaybar so he brought forth the Jew he thought knew the most about it and questioned him. This Jew was Kinana, the husband of Safiyah, Mohammed’s soon-to-be new bride. Kinana denied any knowledge. But another Jew said he had seen the man around one of the old ruins. The search was made, and a great deal of the treasure was found but not all of it. Mohammed told one of his men, “Torture the Jew until you extract what he has.” So the Jew was staked on the ground and a small fire built on his chest to get him to talk. The man was nearly dead but would not talk, so Mohammed had him released and taken to one of his men whose brother had been killed in the fight, and the Muslim got the pleasure of cutting the tortured Jew’s head off.

I760 When one fort had fallen, Bilal, Mohammed’s freed black slave, brought Safi-yah and another beautiful woman to Mohammed. He brought them past the dead and dying Jewish defenders, including their husbands. The woman with Safiyah be-gan to shriek and pour dust on her head. Mohammed said to Bilal, “Take this she-devil away from me.” Then he said to Bilal, “Had you no compassion, Bilal, when you brought the two women past their dead husbands?”

I764 The Jews of Khaybar were Mohammed’s first dhimmis. After the best of the goods were taken from the Jews, Mohammed left them to work the land. His men knew nothing about farming and the Jews were skilled at it. So the Jews worked the land and gave Mohammed half their profits.

M10,3762 Allah’s Messenger returned the date-palms of Khaybar and its land to the Jews of Khaybar on the condition that they should work with their own wealth, seeds, and implements and give half of the yield to Allah’s Messenger.

I765 When the killing and capturing were done, the men rested. The next night a Jewess named Zaynab prepared the evening meal of roast lamb for Mohammed. She asked what was Mohammed’s favorite joint and learned that it was the shoulder. She poisoned that joint and served the lamb to Mohammed and his companions. He tasted the meat and spit it out. It did not taste right, but another of his men wolfed down some of the lamb, fell ill, and died. Mohammed called her up and asked for an explanation. She told him he had killed her kin. If he was a king he would die from the poison and if he was a prophet it would not harm him, as he would know.

B4,53,394 When Khaybar was conquered, a roasted poisoned sheep was presented to the Prophet as a gift by the Jews. The Prophet ordered, “Let all the Jews who have been here be assembled before me.” The Jews were col-lected and the Prophet said to them, “I am going to ask you a question. Will you tell the truth?”

They said, “Yes.”The Prophet asked, “Who is your father?”

They replied, “So-and-so.” He said, “You have told a lie; your father is so-and-so.”

They said, “You are right.” He said, “Will you now tell me the truth, if I ask you about something?” They replied, “Yes, O Mohammed; and if we should tell a lie, you can re-alize our lie as you have done regarding our father.” On that he asked, “Who are the people of the Hell Fire?”

They said, “We shall remain in the Hell Fire for a short period, and after that you will replace us.” The Prophet said, “You may be cursed and humiliated in it! By Allah, we shall never replace you in it.”

Then he asked, “Will you now tell me the truth if I ask you a question?” They said, “Yes, O Mohammed.”

He asked, “Have you poisoned this sheep?” They said, “Yes.”

He asked, “What made you do so?” They said, “We wanted to know if you were a liar in which case we would get rid of you, and if you are a prophet then the poison would not harm you.”

I765 On the way back to Medina, one of Mohammed’s slaves was removing Mo-hammed’s saddle when a stray arrow hit and killed him. The Muslims congratulated him for dying a martyr. Mohammed said the slave would burn in Hell, since the cloak he was wearing had come from the spoils of war and he had stolen it. It was Allah’s pleasure for the Muslims to take property in jihad, but if a Muslim stole any of the spoils before it was divided he would burn in Hell.

B8,78,698 We fought alongside Mohammed at the Battle of Khaybar, and although we did not receive any gold or silver as spoils of war, we did get miscellaneous property like clothes. However, a tribesman of the Bani Ad-Dubaib, Zaid, gave Mohammed a slave named Midam.

In the Al-Qura valley, Midam was killed by an arrow shot by an unknown person. Some people said, “Congratulations to Midam for getting to Para-dise.”

Mohammed cried, “No, Midam is not going to Paradise. By Allah, the sheet that he stole from the Khaybar spoils of war is burning over him in Hell.” When the people heard what Mohammed had to say, one man re-turned a couple of leather straps that he had taken from the spoils of war. Mohammed said to him, “One strap of fire or two straps of fire for you.”

I766 On the way back Mohammed had one of the Muslim women prepare Safi-yah (she was the Jewess he had picked for his pleasure) for her wedding night with Mohammed. That night one of his men marched around his tent for the whole night with his sword. The next morning Mohammed asked what he was doing and the man replied, “I was afraid for you because of the woman. You have killed her father, her husband, and her kin, so I was afraid for you on her ac-count.” Mohammed blessed him.

I770 While Mohammed was besieging Khaybar, a shepherd who worked for a Jew came over and asked him about Islam. The shepherd decided to become a Muslim and then asked Mohammed what to do about the sheep. Mohammed told him to send them back to their owner. The shepherd joined the raiders and was killed that day without ever praying a single prayer. Still, he went straight to heaven as a martyr. Mohammed said the shepherd now had two houris for wives in heaven. Mohammed said that, when a martyr is slain, his new wives pet him and wipe the dust from his face and say, “May Allah put dust on the face of the man who put dust on your face and slay him who slew you.”

B8,77,603 We witnessed along with Allah’s Apostle the Khaybar campaign. Allah’s Apostle told his companions about a man who claimed to be a Mus-lim, “This man is from the people of the Fire [Zoroastrian].”

When the battle started, the man fought very bravely and received a great number of wounds and got crippled. On that, a man from among the com-panions of the Prophet came and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Do you know what the man you described as of the people of the Fire has done? He has fought very bravely for Allah’s Cause, and he has received many wounds.”

The Prophet said, “But he is indeed one of the people of the Fire.” Some of the Muslims were about to have some doubt about that state-ment. So while the man was in that state, the pain caused by the wounds troubled him so much that he put his hand into his quiver and took out an arrow and committed suicide with it. Off went some men from among the Muslims to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Allah has made your statement true. So-and-so has committed suicide.”

Allah’s Apostle said, “O Bilal! Get up and announce in public: None will enter Paradise but a believer, and Allah may support Islam with a wicked man.”

B9,83,29 We went out with the Prophet to Khaybar. A man from the com-panions said, “O Amir! Let us hear some of your camel-driving songs.” So he sang some of them [a lyric in harmony with the camels’ walk].

The Prophet said, “Who is the driver of these camels?”

They said, “Amir.”

The Prophet said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy on him!”

The people said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would that you let us enjoy his com-pany longer!” Then Amir was killed the following morning. The people said, “The good deeds of Amir are lost as he has killed himself.”

I returned at the time while they were talking about that. I went to the Prophet and said, “O Allah’s Prophet! Let my father be sacrificed for you! The people claim that Amir’s good deeds are lost.”

The Prophet said, “Whoever says so is a liar, for Amir will have a double reward as he exerted himself to obey Allah and fought in Allah’s Cause. No other way of killing would have granted him greater reward.”

I770 A Meccan named Al Hajjaj became a Muslim and took part in the capture of Khaybar. After the conquest he asked Mohammed’s permission to go to Mecca and finish up his affairs and collect his debts. He then asked Mohammed if he could tell lies to get his money. The prophet of Allah said, “Tell them.” So he set out for Mecca. When he got there the Meccans were asking for news from Khaybar. They did not know that the man had converted and so trusted him. He told them the Muslims had lost and that Mohammed had been captured. He said the Jews of Khaybar were going to bring Mohammed to Mecca so they could kill him.

I771 The Meccans were elated. He then asked them to help him collect his debts so he could return to Khaybar and profit from the confusion there. In good spirits they helped him collect the debts. He had been gone three days when they found out the truth of Khaybar and the fact that he was now a Muslim.


I774 There was a total of eighteen hundred people who divided up the wealth taken from the Jews of Khaybar. A cavalry man got three shares; a foot soldier got one share. Mohammed appointed eighteen chiefs to divide the loot. Mohammed got his fifth before it was distributed.

B5,59,537 On the day of Khaybar, Allah’s Apostle divided the spoils of war of Khaybar with the ratio of two shares for the horse and one share for the foot soldier.


I777 The Jews of Fadak panicked when they saw what Mohammed did to Khaybar. They would be next, so they surrendered to Mohammed without a fight. Since there was no battle Mohammed got 100 percent of their goods, and they worked the land and gave half to Mohammed each year. They became dhimmis like those of Khaybar.


I778 The first tax collector of Khaybar was killed after one year and a new man was appointed. The new tax collector was killed as well. He was found in a pool of water with a broken neck, and there was no proof of who killed him. His relatives went to Mohammed and asked for blood money and revenge. When Mohammed asked them who should pay they did not know. He then asked if they would accept fifty oaths from the Jews that they were innocent. They said, “The oath of Jews is worthless. Their infidelity is so great that they are habitual liars.” Mohammed resolved the issue by paying the blood money himself to the relatives.

I779 When Mohammed lay dying, his last words were that neither Jew nor Chris-tian should remain in Arabia. When Umar became caliph he expelled all Jews and Christians, including those of Khaybar.

Leave a Reply

We require registration to prevent excessive automated spam commenting.