The Jewish Plots and the Prophet's Attitude toward them
we have mentioned that the prophet peace be upon him drew up a treaty with the jews of madinah and a mutual agreement that there would be no transgression. but they quickly broke that agreement and began to do that for which they are infamous: disregarding their covenants and devising plots and conspiracies.
among the deceptions practiced by the jews of bani qaynuqaa` was that they took advantage of the prophet's peace be upon him involvement with the muslims in the battle of badr. one of them harassed a muslim woman and exposed her body in front of some people in the marketplace. when the woman screamed a man among the muslims killed the jew. the jews then gathered around him and killed him. when the prophetpeace be upon him returned from badr, he peace be upon him called the jews and questioned them about the evil incidents that had taken place. they responded with harsh words, sent back the page of the treaty and prepared for battle. so, the prophet peace be upon him besieged them, and when they saw that they could not win against the muslims they asked the prophet peace be upon him to allow them to leave with their women and children in exchange for their properties. he accepted that from them and evicted them from madinah. the muslims confiscated many weapons and other instruments from their fortresses.
as for the jews of bani an-nadheer, they had broken the pact and attempted to assassinate the messenger of allahpeace be upon him. for in the fourth year after the hijrah, the prophet peace be upon him went to them to seek their help in the payment of blood money. but at the same time they were waiting behind a wall planning to kill him. `amr ibn jahhash was to throw a millstone down on the prophetpeace be upon him, but he received information of it from the heaven, so he got up and went back to madinah. after that, the prophet peace be upon him penalized them by exiling them from madinah tokhaybar. they carried their possessions on six hundred camels and destroyed their houses with their own hands before leaving for khaybar.
and as for the jews of bani quraydhah, it has been mentioned that they broke the treaty and allied themselves with the polytheists and other parties to fight against the messenger of allah peace be upon him in the battle of al-khandaq. so, after almighty allah defeated and dispersed the confederates and they had departed, the prophet peace be upon him went out with a company of three thousand to punish bani quraydhah. he besieged them and tightened the blockade, so they requested of the prophet peace be upon him that sa`d ibn mu`adh may allah be pleased with him be allowed to give the verdict about them. sa`dmay allah be pleased with him ruled that their men who were able to fight would be killed, their women and children would be taken captive and their properties confiscated and divided. so, their men were executed by the sword with the exception of a few. this was the punishment the jews had brought upon themselves when they asked that sa`d ibn mu`adh may allah be pleased with him judge concerning them. they thought he would favour them because of their relationship with the aus tribe.
however, the jews punished their captives in ways worse than that. for in the old testament, numbers 31:9-18 it says: "and the children of israeltook all the women of midian captives and their children, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. and they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt and all their goodly castles with fire. and moses was angry and said unto them, "have ye saved all the women alive? now therefore kill every male among the children, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. but all the female children that have not known a man by lying with him, keep them alive for yourselves."
but indeed, moses (peace be upon him) would never have ordered this mass extermination. this is how they distorted their scripture, and so it is their law regarding captives.