Ka´b ibn al Ashraf


Salam alaikum,
Did the Prophet (saw) order to kill Ka´b ibn al Ashraf and if yes, why he was killed?


Waalaikum Salam.

Imam al-Baydawi said in his Tafsir under Surat al-Hashr 59:1:

[59:1] {All that is in the heavens and the earth is glorifying the One God, and He
is the Almighty, the All-Wise
}: it is narrated that when he–upon him peace–
came to Medina he made a treaty with the Banū al-Naḍīr stipulating that they
would neither be with him nor be against him. When the Day of Badr came
(Ramadan 2/March 624) they said, “Verily he is the Prophet described in the
Torah as graced with help.” But when the Muslims were routed on the day of
Uḥud (3/625) they became full of suspicion and breached it. Kaʿb b. al-Ashraf
went out to Mecca, one of forty riders, and they swore to an alliance with Abū
Sufyān.(*) At this the Messenger of Allah–upon him the blessings and peace of
Allah–ordered Kaʿb’s foster-brother who then ambushed and killed him.(**)
Then he attacked them with troops in the early morning and besieged them
until they bowed to a truce on condition that they would be banished. He
banished most of them to Syro-Palestine(***) and one section joined Khaybar
and al-Ḥīra, whereupon Allah revealed All that is in the heavens and the earth is
glorifying the One God until His statement, and the One God is, over everything,
All-Powerful (al-Ḥashr 59:1-6).(****)


(*) In 5/627. Cf. al-Anfāl 8:56. See the documentation under al-Nisāʾ 4:51, first note. The
Naḍīr had also planned to assassinate the Prophet: see al-Māʾida 5:11 and fourth note.

(**) His name was ʿAbbād b. Bishr b. Waqsh al-Awsī per Balādhurī, Ansāb (1:374) or Abū
Nāʾila Silkān b. Salāmat b. Waqsh per Ibn Hishām (2:55) and al-Ṭabarī, Tārīkh (2:487-
489) one of five of the Aws led by Muḥammad b. Maslama per the narration from (i)
Jābir by al-Bukhārī (Maghāzī, qatl Kaʿb b. al-Ashraf) and Muslim (Jihād wal-siyar, qatl
Kaʿb b. al-Ashraf ṭāghūt al-Yahūd); (ii-iii) al-Zuhrī and ʿIkrima by ʿAbd al-Razzāq,
Ṭabarī and Ibn Abī Ḥātim (Baqara 2:109, Āl ʿImrān 3:186); Ṭabarī, Tārīkh (2:487-491);
and, in short form, (iv) Ibn ʿAbbās by Aḥmad (4:221 §2391); Abū Dāwūd (al-Kharāj
wal-imāra); Ṭabarānī, Kabīr (§11554-11555); Ḥākim (2:98); al-Bayhaqī, Dalāʾil (3:199-
200). Cf. ʿAbd al-Razzāq, Muṣannaf (5:203-204); al-Zaylaʿī, Takhrīj (3:437-438 §1318);
MZ (6:196); Ibn Ḥajar, Fatḥ (7:338); and Kāfī (p. 283 §1152).

(***) To Adhriʿāt. See al-Baqara 2:198 and al-Nisāʾ 4:47, first two notes and al-Ḥijr 15:88.

(****) Cited thus in full without chain by Thaʿlabī per Zaylaʿī; Ibn Ḥajar, Kāfī; [Zakariyya
al-Ansari, Fath al-Jalil]; but its contents are supported by the narrations cited in the
three notes preceding.

Source: Baydawi’s Complete Commentary on the Quran. Translation, introduction
and notes by Gibril Fouad Haddad. (Unpublished)

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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