MembersThe Jews of Arabia and the Making of Islam, Part 9

Ezra’s curse has destroyed all solidarity between Arabian Jews.

By Yoni Israel | | Topics: Jews of Arabia
Jews of Arabia
Photo: Yaniv Nadav/Flash90

27 Days

The Battle of Khandaq, fought in Medina in 627 AD, will enter the Islamic mythos as the mother of all battles. It was this battle against the Jewish coalition of Khybar that will be remembered as the most important Muslim victory ever. Three thousand Muslim warriors led by Mohammed himself managed to overcome the 10,000 pagan Ghatafans, Quraysh and Jews headed by Hai ben Ahituv and his general, Abu Sufyan ibn Harb of the Quraysh.

The one who tips the scales in favor of the outnumbered Muslims is Salman Al-Farsi, the first Persian to convert to Islam. Al-Farsi suggests that Mohammad dig trenches at the exposed entrance to Medina. The trenches take Hai’s coalition by surprise. Not only can they not enter the city from any other side, the bad weather further demoralizes them.

The Muslims’ situation isn’t much better. Mohammed fears the betrayal of the Jewish Qurayza tribe, with whom he has signed a truce. The Qurayza are living on the other side of Medina, and to have them switch sides would mean certain defeat for the...

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