by Jake Steinfeld
As Jews across the world prepared to celebrate Passover on Friday, March 30, a riot took place at the border of Gazah with Israel.
As if the world had not had enough of marches, this display of fury marked the beginning of the annual, six-week “March of Return,” culminating in “Nakbah Day,” where Muslims who identify as “Palestinians” complain that the establishment of Israel was their version of the Holocaust on the same day Israelis celebrate their independence.
A total of 18 Muslims were shot to death by the IDF as the riot advanced towards entrenched troops on the border.
CNN fancied itself as covering the 1944 Warsaw Ghetto uprising as it lamented the “value of land in blood and tears” and the bravery of “rocks [hurled] with slingshots” met with “Israeli bullets.”
A typical week in the life of Israel.
But this event is paradoxically as momentous as it has been utterly mischaracterized.
What the media barely mentioned was that during the riot the Palestinians were doing more than just heroically throwing rocks or carrying flags. Words were coming out of their mouths; not just “slogans,” but actual words.
Words every Jew should know.
On Saturday, March 31, video, shared only by Israeli social media personality Chanan’yah Naf’tali of The Israel Project, surfaced of what these Palestinians were actually chanting. And what they were chanting added the element of showing who these Palestinians really are.
Khaibar, Khaibar, yā Yaḥud! Jaish Muḥammad sawfā ya’ūd! the men screamed ecstatically. While that line may be unfamiliar to many, the rioters were considerate enough to add in the classic Allāhu akbar! to make things slightly more obvious.
The popular slogan, “Khaibar, Khaibar, oh, Jews! The Army and Sword of Muḥammad shall return!” refers to one of the most important events in Islāmic history. Its importance, however, is far greater and far more complicated than most Muslims know.
The slogan in question refers to Muḥammad’s conquest of the Arabian oasis of Khaibar in the spring of 628. The Sīrat Rasūl Allāh of Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (c. 704 – c. 770), the earliest biography of Muḥammad, tells of how a small but very wealthy community of Jewish date farmers lived there, and Muḥammad — his greed whetted — brutally attacked the settlement (pp. 510 – 523), captured the women as rape-slaves (pp. 510, 514 – 515), and beheaded between 600 and 900 men and teenage boys (p. 464).
Muḥammad also heard that a chieftain of the Jewish tribe of Bānu an-Naḍīr named Kenānah ibn ar-Rabī’ was in charge of guarding the tribe’s vast vault of gold and silver. For this, he tortured Kenānah horrifically by building a fire on the poor man’s chest, and when, even in helpless agony, the Jew refused to reveal the location of the gold and silver, Muḥammad ordered him beheaded by a Muslim, Muḥammad ibn Maslamah, whose brother Maḥmūd had been killed during the battle and siege of Khaibar (p. 515).
Kenānah’s new wife was the 17-year-old beauty Ṣafīyah bint Ḥuyai ibn Akhṭab. When the women were divided and taken as rape-slaves, the beautiful Jewish girl was taken by a Muslim warrior, Diḥyah ibn Khalīfah al-Kalbī (p. 511). Muḥammad, however, hearing of her youth and beauty, ordered that she be brought to him that he could “marry” her (p. 515).
Muḥammad seemed not to realize that even a slight girl of 17 could possibly kill nearly a 60-year-old warlord for conquering her community and slaughtering her family.
The hatred and misery his actions had incurred seemed not to occur to him.
Volume 39 (pp. 184 – 185) of The History of the Prophets and Kings by Abū Ja‘far Muḥammad ibn Jarīr at-Ṭabarī (c. 839 – 923) chronicles Ṣafīyah’s Jewish heritage, but also that Muḥammad placed no guards outside his tent that night as he raped her, causing one of his followers to worry and volunteer himself:
…While the Prophet was lying with Ṣafiyyah Abū Ayyūb stayed the night at his door. When he saw the Prophet in the morning he said “God is the Greatest.” He [Abū Ayyūb] had a sword with him; he said to the Prophet “O Messenger of God, this young woman had just been married, and you killed her father, her brother and her husband, so I did not trust her [not to harm] you.” The Prophet laughed and said “Good” (p. 185).
Muḥammad seemed not to realize that his loathsome treatment of others just might endanger his own life.
Once the remaining Jewish warriors of Khaibar had finally surrendered, in exchange for their lives, they offered to work their date palm plantations and give the Muslims half of their produce as a protection tax (p. 515). This is the root of the concept of a dhimmī — a Jew or a Christian who agrees to work as they had before, but hand over half of their income or produce (jizyah) to their conquerers on pain of immediate death in exchange for a Muslim respite from slaughter.
Still, not every Jew whom Muḥammad had subjugated was content to simply accept dhimmitude. An older Jewish woman named Zaināb, whose father, husband, and uncle had all been slain by Muḥammad’s army, offered to prepare dinner for the man who had laid waste to her people. Blindly, Muḥammad accepted the offer. Ibn Isḥāq’s biography describes what then happened when “the apostle had rested”:
Zaynab d. al-Ḥārith, the wife of Sallām b. Mishkam [a Jew who had been killed in battle] prepared for [Muḥammad] a roast lamb, having first inquired what joint he preferred. When she learned that it was the shoulder she put a lot of poison in it and poisoned the whole lamb. Then she brought it in and placed it before him. He [Muḥammad] took hold of the shoulder and chewed a morsel of it, but he did not swallow it. Bishr b. al-Barā’ b. Ma‘rūr who was with him took some of it as the apostle had done, but he swallowed it, while the apostle spat it out, saying, ‘This bone tells me that it is poisoned.’ Then he called for the woman and she confessed, and when he asked her what had induced her to do this she answered: ‘You know what you have done to my people. I said to myself, If he is a king I shall ease [rid] myself of him and if he is a prophet he will be informed (of what I have done).’ So the apostle let her off. Bishr died from what he had eaten (p. 516).
Though the Muslim sources dispute Zaināb’s fate, what is known is that Muḥammad’s own life was entering its final chapter.
Around three years later, Muḥammad developed an agonizing, wasting illness which left him paralyzed and lying in his bed groaning in pain. He told the child he had married at and age 6 and raped at 9, Ā’ishah — his favorite wife — of his pain, which years later she could not forget: “Ā’ishah said: ‘I never saw anyone suffer more pain than the Messenger of Allāh’” (Sunan Ibn Mājah 1622).
What was the source of Muḥammad’s illness? The very next paragraph of Ibn Isḥāq reveals it directly:
Marwān b. ‘Uthmān b. Abū Sa‘īd b. al-Mu‘allā told me [Ibn Isḥāq]: The apostle had said in his illness of which he was to die when Umm [mother of] Bishr d. al-Barā’ came to visit him, ‘O Umm Bishr, this is the time in which I feel a deadly pain from what I ate with your brother at Khaybar’ (p. 516).
Though Muḥammad spit out the poisoned lamb in time to save himself from the immediate death which befell Bishr, the bite he took allowed him to ingest enough poison to incur a slow, wasting death as his internal organs and nervous system gradually disintegrated.
These facts, which Muslims have never collectively digested, come from the most trusted of Islām’s primary texts, which every imām and sheikh are required to know — but are not required (quite understandably) to teach their fellow Muslims.
Because Muḥammad conquered, murdered, raped, and robbed the Jews of Khaibar, he died a humiliating, miserable death — precisely the opposite of the glorious end for which he yearned.
Muḥammad could not escape the consequences of his vile treatment of his fellow human beings. His blind, childish faith in his own omnipotence could not save him from what he had done.
Muḥammad died because he attacked and laid waste to Khaibar.
Muḥammad hated the Jews so because at the beginning of his “prophetic” career in Makah, he had used the Jewish concept of a prophet who is the voice of a single God to advance his assertion that he himself was the last of that same God’s holy prophets. As an illiterate merchant, Muḥammad had met rabbis and Jewish traders on his many business trips across Arabia as a young man. They had told him of the basic tenets of Judaism — Abraham as father of the Jewish people, circumcision, the oneness of God, and of the Jews’ many prophets. As barely any Jews lived in Makah, Muḥammad was safe from interrogation as to his knowledge of the Torah. When he emigrated in 622 to the oasis town of Yathrīb, however (later renamed Madīnah, or “City [of the Prophet]”), the city was nearly half-Jewish. The wealthy, well-educated Jews of Yathrīb did indeed test the illiterate former camel caravan master’s knowledge of Judaism and Torah — and he, as the Jews discovered immediately, knew almost nothing. They forcefully rejected him as a prophet, for they knew that the oratory which had worked upon the ignorant, illiterate Arabs of Makah could never sway the learned.
Muḥammad never forgave the Jews, for they — on whom he was counting to back up the details of his theological con trick — had “betrayed” him.
On account of this, Muḥammad did more than any man in human history, by his own hand, to demean, demonize, and provoke loathing towards Jews. He made himself quite clear in Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhārī 2926 (Islām’s most authentic collection of Muḥammad’s traditions):
Narrated Abū Hurairah: Allāh’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’”
Islām believes that Jews, pigs, and women, more or less, are the most repulsive creatures in Allāh’s repertoire of creation. Jews are “cursed”; pigs are “forbidden”; women are hopelessly moronic, and damned to Hell.
Muḥammad, who created these characterizations — apart from the prohibition against pork, which he had borrowed from Judaism — just happened to die, Islām’s most revered sources say, when he was outwitted by a Jewish woman in revenge for being less of a man than a pig. The very Jews and women whom he had insulted and brutalized so piggishly throughout his life would be his very undoing.
But the gouty irony is even richer than that.
Because Muḥammad died in such agony, he could not focus on naming a clear successor, and died before making that decision. Therefore, nearly 1,400 years of internal violence has sprung from Muḥammad’s early death. One faction believed he had chosen his trusted follower Abū Bakr, while another believed he had chosen his son-in-law Alī. Abū Bakr’s faction believed that any Muslim who followed and submitted to the example of Muḥammad’s life (sūnnah) could be the khalīfah (“successor”), while the other believed the khalīfah could only be a blood descendant of Muḥammad, fathered by Alī with Muḥammad’s daughter Fāṭimah. Thus began the Sunnī-Shī’ah schism, and so many generations of death.
Fast-forward to March 30, 2018: raging Islāmic Nazis chant Khaibar, Khaibar, yā Yaḥud! Jaish Muḥammad sawfā ya’ūd! knowing nothing of what the curse of Khaibar has meant for Islām.
They speak of Khaibar with such pride, but do not know that that hollow victory over the Jews was the death of their beloved “Prophet.”
So few Muslims have taken the time to study their most important scriptural sources that they cannot comprehend the humiliating irony of screaming of the glory of the Battle of Khaibar as IDF bullets fly.
When those rounds found their marks, they did not create shuhadā’ or “martyrs.” Instead, they reinforced Islām’s eternal degradation at the hands of the people whom Muḥammad thought he had crushed 1,390 years earlier.
No wonder CNN never mentioned this:
The original Nazis — as they proudly assert themselves to be — were indeed gunned down, on Pesach — the Jewish festival of liberty — by the armed forces of the Jewish State, while they mindlessly chanted slogans of a battle Muḥammad thought he won, but which sentenced him to die in wasting agony, as the “cursed” Jews re-enacted Islām’s greatest humiliation with the guns fate has finally allowed us.
How much more irony can be stuffed into one day?
Muslims should remember Khaibar. It will show them that Muḥammad is the perfect example of how human greed and lust for power can condemn untold millions to suffer for one man’s sins.
It is a divine mercy that the Jewish people — those “who have have evoked [Allāh’s] anger” — have been able to crawl from beneath the Islāmic jackboot, and today be on the cusp of celebrating 70 years of living as a free people in our land, the land of Tziyon and Yerushalayim.
Jake Steinfeld is a conservative Jewish activist and self-taught Islāmic scholar.