a1 aws fought the battle of bu'ath against al khazraj in which both tribes gave full vent to their chronic enmity and hostility. so fierce did the battle rage that each party was seriously considering exterminating the enemy and finishing with the affair once and for all if it could only achieve victory. abu usayd was the general not only of the legions of al aws but of their hate and resentment as well. in the first round of battle, al aws lost and they ran toward the desert for their lives. a1 khazraj, who accused them of cowardice, began to sing in verse of their unmanliness and poltroonery. when abu usayd heard this, he plunged his own spear in his leg, fell from his horse and shouted, "woe! woe! by god i shall not move from this spot until they kill me. if you my people must forsake me, go ahead and run." moved by this sacrifice of their own leader, al aws returned to the battle with such enthusiasm and resoluteness indeed despair that they inflicted a terrible defeat upon al khazraj. pressing forth against their enemy, they burnt their houses as well as their orchards until stopped by sa'd ibn mu'adh al ashhali. indeed abu usayd had intended to wipe out the khazraj tribe completely, house by house, tree by tree, and person by person, until not one of them remained alive. abu qays ibn al aslat, however, stood in his way and begged him to save al khazraj saying, "they are your co-religionists ; it would still behoove you to keep them alive. they would be better neighbors for you than the foxes and beasts of prey of the desert."
islamic beginnings in yathrib
after that day, the jews recaptured their position of dominance in yathrib. both conqueror and vanquished realized the tragedy of what they had done, and they pondered their fate with gravity. together they looked forward toward appointing a king to manage their affairs, a choice to fall upon `abdullah ibn muhammad, of the vanquished al khazraj, on account of his wisdom and sound opinions. the situation, evolved too rapidly, however, to allow a realization of this dream. a group of al khazraj made a pilgrimage to makkah where, they were met by muhammad and asked about their affairs. the prophet knew they were clients of the jews. in order to keep their clients in check, the jews used to threaten them that a new prophet was about to appear whom they would follow and bring to any of their enemies that dared oppose them the total destruction which was meted out to the ancient tribes of 'ad and iram. when the prophet talked to this group and called them unto god, they looked to one another and said, "by god, this is the prophet by whom the jews had threatened us. let us acclaim him before they do." they responded favorably to muhammad's call, were converted, and said, "we have left our people, al aws and al khazraj, who are alienated from one another and are full of hatred for one another. would to god that they might meet you and unite under your leadership! should this ever become the case, you will be the strongest man in arabia." the group included in their numbers two men from banu al najjar, the uncles of 'abd al muttalib, and the grandfather of muhammad who had protected him ever since his birth; the latter returned to madinah and reported to their people their conversion to the new faith. the relatives received the news with joy and enthusiasm, for now they could boast of a religion that made them monotheists like the jews indeed more excellent than they. soon, there was no house in al aws or al khazraj in which the name of muhammad god's peace by upon him was not mentioned with reverence and awe.