Division of Khaybar

Although the terms of the surrender called for exile, which had been conceded in place of death, many of the Jews were reluctant to leave Khaybar. After obtaining immunity, they submitted a new proposal before the Prophet . The implored, “O Muhammad, let us stay to till this land, for we know more about it than you do. We will farm the land for payment of half its fruits and grain.” The Prophet granted their request, and subsequently the Jews lived in peace and security as wards of the Muslim state. However, during the caliphate of Umar , they resumed their subversive acts and were eventually exiled.

As for the territory of Khaybar, the Prophet divided it into thirty-six parts, each part consisting of a hundred shares. Half of it was allocated to meet the needs of the entire community, and the other half, comprising of eighteen parts, was divided among the troops so that every foot soldier received one share for every three a cavalry soldier got. The 200 cavalry men, thus shared its six parts, while the 1200 foot soldiers divided twelve parts among themselves.

Khybar was a fertile area, replete with dates and grain, and its conquest brought prosperity for the Muslims. ‘Aishah relates that when Khaybar was conquered she rejoiced; “Now we shall get dates to the fill.” Upon returning from Khaybar, the poor Muhajireen, who had finally attained economic self-sufficiency, returned the date trees given to them by the Ansar.

The Prophet is poisoned

Now that peace prevailed and the threats of death and exile had receded, the Jews launched a different kind of warfare. They conspired to kill the Prophet . Through the wife of Sallam bin Mishkam, they presented a roasted goat to the Prophet. Knowing that the Prophet relished the shoulder, she peppered that portion liberally with poison. One morsel was enough to warn the Prophet , who quickly spat it out saying, “This is poisoned.”

Upon being summoned by the Prophet , who wished to ascertain the facts, the Jews and the woman confessed their crime and said, “We thought that if you were a pretender, we would get rid of you, but if you were truly a Prophet, the poison would be ineffective.” At that the Prophet forgave them, but when Bishr bin Bara bin Marur died from eating the meat, the woman was killed as retribution.

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