Battle Of Khaybar

The battle of Khaybar is a memorable one in the history of Islam. The war took place in 628 C.E. between Muslims led by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Jewish tribe which was living in the Khyber oasis of Arab (Present Saudi Arabia).

The Jews were strong opponents of Muslims and wanted to destroy the Muslims of Madina. They wanted to attack the Muslims of Madina and for that purpose, they also sought the help of the Banu Giftan group and offered them they would give them half of the produce of Madina after winning the war against Muslims.

Also, the Jewish tribe had the support of the fake Muslims of Madina who were actually against the Muslims of Madina and were informing the Jews about the plans of Muslims residing in Madina. When the Holy Prophet (PBUH) found out about the evil plotting of Jews and the BanU Gaftan group, he decided to attack Khyber for the protection of Muslims.


Initially, The Muslim army of 1,500 soldiers under the leadership of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) reached the place called Raji which was between the Khyber and Banu Gaftan. The people of Banu Gaftan got so scared of the Muslim army that soon the Muslims will attack them and thus due to fear, they backed off and decided not to support Jews anymore in their war against Muslims.

The Battle of Khaybar was not a single, decisive engagement but rather a series of skirmishes and sieges at various fortresses within the oasis. The Muslims began their siege, facing a determined and well-organized defense by the Jewish inhabitants. Muslims had to face many struggles in captivating the forts of Khyber which was essential to defeat the Jews of Khyber.


Under the direction of Abu Bakr (RA), the Muslims led the assault against the Jews on the first day. There was no conflict, and the Jews remained sequestered in their forts. The Muslim forces were under Umar (RA)’s command the next day. There was no conflict because the Jews remained confined to their forts.

Sahl bin Saad (R.A.) narrated about the battle of Khyber:

On the day of Khaybar, Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W.) said,

 “Tomorrow I will give this flag to a man through whose hands Allah will give us victory. He loves Allah and His Apostle, and he is loved by Allah and His Apostle.”

The whole night everyone was wondering whom the Holy Prophet (PBUH) would hand over the flag. In the morning the Holy Prophet (PBUH) asked about Hazrat Ali (RA), and people of the army told the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that Hazrat Ali (RA) was suffering from an eye infection. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) called him and put his saliva in the eyes of Hazrat Ali (RA), The saliva of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) instantly cured the infection of Hazrat Ali’s eyes. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) gave the flag to Hazrat Ali (RA) and said:

“Proceed and do not hurry. When you enter their territory, call them to embrace Islam and inform them of Allah’s Rights which they should observe, for by Allah, even if a single man is led on the right path (of Islam) by Allah through you, then that will be better for you than the nice red camels.” (Sahih Bukhari: 4210)

Hazrat Ali (RA) took the responsibility of leading the Muslim army and with his bravery and strength, Hazrat Ali (RA) attacked several forts of the Khyber which gave the Muslims the confidence to win. One by one Muslims attacked all the forts of Jews. The Jews realized that Muslims were much stronger than them and they decided to surrender before Muslims. They accepted their defeat and asked the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to spare their lives and let them go.


The Jews asked the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to set them free and in return they would give Muslims half of the share of the fruits and grains produced on the lands of the Khyber. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) accepted their offer and allowed them to live freely in Khaybar. According to an authentic report, the Prophet (PBUH) agreed to let the Jews stay in Khyber if they worked in agriculture, spent their own money on it, and gave the Muslims half of their harvest. Although the Muslims had the authority to expel them if they so desired, they did not.


Twenty days were spent fighting and seizing Jewish strongholds in the Khyber oasis during the Battle of Khyber. In this period around 15 Muslim soldiers were martyred while 93 Jewish were killed by the Muslim army.

As a result, the Muslim community became stronger economically. Additionally, the victory encouraged other Arab tribes to make alliances and agreements with Muslims, which helped Islam grow. In Khyber, the Jewish tribes slowly lost their influence and many left or joined the Muslim community. As a result of the battle, it proved that the Muslim leaders, including Hazrat Ali (RA), were capable and strong and could face any hardship and adversity with their strong will power and strength.

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