Execution of Two Captives
while the muslims were on their way back to madinah, two of the captives were executed, al nadr ibn al harith and `uqbah ibn abu mu'ayt. neither muhammad nor his companions had until that moment any law regarding the captives regulating their execution, ransom, or enslavement. a1 nadr and `uqbah were terribly hard on the muslims in makkah and had inflicted upon them all the harm and injury they could. a1 nadr was executed when the captives were arrayed in front of the prophet near the locality called al uthayl. as the prophet looked at al nadr, the latter trembled and called to his neighbor: "muhammad is surely going to kill me. he had looked at me with eyes in which i saw the judgment of death." his neighbor rejoined: "you are a coward." ai nadr approached mus'ab ibn 'umayr, the closest of the captives to muhammad and asked him: "please approach your relative concerning me. let him allow me to be one of his companions. if you do not, i am certain he is going to kill me today." mus'ab replied, "you used to speak all kinds of calumnies against the book of god and his prophet; you also used to persecute and harm his companions." al nadr said, "had quraysh taken you captive, i would have never allowed them to kill you as long as i was alive"; to which mus'ab replied, "by god i do not believe you; i am not like you; islam has severed my relations with you." al nadr was the captive of al miqdad who expected to receive a great ransom from the captive's family. when al miqdad heard the conversation regarding the execution of al nadr, he said: "al nadr is my captive. hands off!" at this the prophet-may god's blessing be upon him-said: "strike his neck. 0 god, give al miqdad plenty of your bounty instead." `ali ibn abu talib executed the prophet's order with the sword. as the party arrived at `irq al zubyah, the prophet ordered the execution of `uqbah ibn abu mu'ayt. when `uqbah pleaded, "who will take care of my children, 0 muhammad?" muhammad answered, "the fire." according to one version, it was `ali ibn abu talib who executed him; according to another, it was `asim ibn thabit.
news of the victory in madinah
before the prophet and the muslims reached madinah, the two messengers, zayd ibn harithah and `abdullah ibn ka'b, had arrived and entered the city from different directions. `abdullah galloped through the city on his horse and zayd ibn harithah followed him riding on al qaswa', muhammad's she-camel. both were calling al ansar and announcing to them the victory, mentioning the names of the fallen idolators. the muslims, pleased to hear the news, went out of their houses and gathered in the streets acclaiming this great victory. as for the jews and the idolators of madinah, they were saddened by this turn of events. indeed, they even tried to convince themselves as wellas the muslims in madinah that it was not true. they proclaimed at the top of their voices: "muhammad was killed, and his companions were defeated. there is his she-camel which we all know. had he achieved victory, his she-camel would have stayed there. zayd said otherwise because he lost his mind out of terror in the course of fighting." the muslims, however, quickly confirmed the news and went on with their celebration. only the death of ruqayyah, daughter of the prophet, which had occurred on that day, marred their joy. as his daughter was sick on the day muhammad left for badr, he ordered her husband, `uthman ibn `affan, to stay behind and take care of her. when the idolators and munafiqun realized that the news of victory was true, they felt that their position was degenerating into one of weakness and isolation. a jewish leader said, "death for us is better on this day than life. what kind of life can we have now that the noblest of men, their lords and kings-the makkan guardians of security and peace-are dead or vanquished?"