The Sariyya of Qardah

In Jamad Al-Awwal, 3 A.H., the Quraysh sent a trade caravan to Syria by way of Iraq. They entrusted the caravan to Safwan bin Umayya and were not overly concerned at the risks involved since the route went through Najd, far from Madinah and the menace of the Muslims.

When the Prophet came to know about the Qurayshi caravan with its precious cargo, he dispatched a cavalry of two hundred men under the command of Zayd bin Haritha . At Najd, as the caravan halted at a spring named Qardah, Zayd and his men swooped down on the caravan and its travellers. Even though the men managed to flee, their possessions fell into the hands of the Muslims as did the caravan guide, Furat bin Hayyan. The humane treatment Furat experienced at the hands of his captors so impressed him that he became Muslim.

When the booty from the caravan was evaluated, its worth stood at a hundred thousand dirhams. With this raid, the Muslims had inflicted on the Quraysh an economic defeat as devastating as the military one at Badr.