The Conquest of Khaibar’s Forts:
According to Ibn Ishaq, the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) besieged the people of Khaibar in their two forts Al-Watih and Al-Sulaim until they could hold out no longer they asked him to let them go, and spare their lives, and he did so. Now, the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) had taken possession of all their property – Al-Shaqq, Al-Nata, and Ak¬ Katibah and all their forts – except what appertained to these two.
When the people of Fadak (garden oasis in Khaibar,) heard of what had happened, they sent to the Messenger (S.A.W.) asking him to let them go and spare their lives and they would leave him their property, and he did so. The one who acted as intermediary was Muhqyisa Ibn Masud, brother of Banu Harithah (one of Jews tribe). When the people of Khaibar surrounded on these conditions, they asked the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) to employ them on the property with half share in the produce, saying, “We know more about it than you and we are better farmers.”
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) agreed to this arrangement on the condition that: “If we wish to expel you we will expel you.” (Ref. Sahih Bukhari: 2338)
The rest of Khaibar fell to the Muslims. The people of Fadak, to the north of Khaybar, hastened to ask for peace, and to be allowed to leave in safety, and leave their wealth in return for that. The Prophet (S.A.W.) agreed to their request.
After conquering Khaibar, the Jews were not expelled from Khaibar at the time of the Prophet (S.A.W.). There is an authentic report that the Prophet (S.A.W.) allowed the Jews to stay in Khaibar on the condition that they work in agriculture and spend their own money on it, and that the Muslims would receive one half of their crops. This was in spite of the fact that the Muslims had the right to expel them if they wanted to. (1)
Martyrs and Deaths during the Battle:
The number of Jewish men killed in the battle of Khaibar was 93. Twenty Muslims were martyred, according to Ibn Ishaq.
(1) (The above sections were adapted from islamicfinder.org)
The phrase “many spoils”
mentioned here refers to the sizeable spoils that fell into the hands of Muslims in the conquests which followed the victory at Khaibar, in the rest of Arabia and the neighboring countries. This verse embodies a prophecy that Muslims will achieve other great victories after the victory of Khaibar, and in consequence many spoils until the end of the world. However, before those numerous conquests, the conquest of Khaibar was given first, the spoils of which were reserved by Allah exclusively for the participants of Hudaibiyah. But the spoils to be achieved in all the next conquest would be common to all. This shows that the injunction of reserving the right of participating in Khaibar is not laid down explicitly in these verses. That injunction was laid down, as detailed earlier, in a separate category of revelation, that is, in the unrecited revelation. The Holy Prophet (SAW) acted upon the injunction and imparted its knowledge to the noble Companions.
Fear of the Muslims
(…and He has restrained the hands of men from you. … 48:20).
This refers to the unbelievers of Khaibar. In this battle, Allah did not allow them the opportunity to show much strength or force. Imam Baghawi says that the tribe of Ghatafan was the ally of the Jews of Khaibar. When it heard of the Holy Prophet’s march against the Jews of Khaibar, it equipped itself with heavy arms to defend the Jews. But Allah infused terror into their minds, and they were worried that if they went forward, it was possible that a Muslim army might attack their homes in their absence. As a result, they got cold feet and did not have the courage to proceed (Mazharf).
(…And that He may guide you to the Straight Path…. 48:20) They were all already guided on the straight path. Here it refers to the degree of guidance which they had not yet attained, that is, full reliance on Allah and increase in the power of faith.
(Maariful Quran – Vol 7, pg 94-95)
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