MembersThe Jews of Arabia and the Making of Islam, Part 11

Part XI

By Yoni Israel | | Topics: Jews of Arabia
Jew of Yemen
Photo: Public domain

Saturday Afternoon

Nothing is left of the Quraysh-Ghatafan-Nadir coalition. They have all returned to Mecca. The exhausted Muslim soldiers are planning to do the same, until Mohammed announces that “none should perform the afternoon prayer but in the Qurayza’s camp,” which means there is no rest between battles. Now is the time to fulfill the Koranic mandate to slaughter the Jewish Qurayza, our former allies (Sura 33, 16).

The afternoon prayer takes place in the large synagogue at the Qurayza compound. Things are not as usual, and Hai ben Ahituv’s heart is racing. He knows something terrible has happened, but he says nothing until evening because the Jews of Yemen-Hejaz strictly observe the law that prohibits mundane talks until after Sabbath.

The moment the Sabbath subsides, Ahituv asks the head of the Qurayza, Ka’b ibn Asad, if he should light the torches on the walls. Lighting the torches means preparing for battle.

“I have not breached my pact with Mohammed, nor have I initiated any offensive act against him,” retorts Asad, as he refuses to go on...

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