The open and secret collaboration of the Jews with the polytheists of Quraysh
By: Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani
The sublime teachings of Islam and the high morals and manners of the Prophet became the cause of daily increase in the number of the Muslims. Their military, economic and political conditions also improved considerably. This continuous advancement of Islam created a strange agitation and unrest in the religious circles of the Jews, because they had been thinking that with their strength they would be able to attract the Prophet of Islam to themselves and had never imagined that one day his own strength would surpass even that of the Jews and the Christians. In the circumstances they began to indulge in disruptive activities. By asking knotty religious questions they endeavoured to shake the faith of the Muslims in the Prophet, but these blunt weapons did not have any effect on the compressed ranks of the Muslims. A large part of these debates has been narrated by the Holy Qur'an in Surah al-Baqarah and Surah al-Nisa.
By studying the said two surahs the dear readers can very well understand the enmity and the obstinacy of the Jews. They received a clear reply to every question asked by them but in order to avoid shouldering the burden of Islam they replied very obstinately to the Prophet's invitation to Islam: "Our hearts are sealed and we do not consider what you say to be correct".
ABDULLAH BIN SALAM EMBRACES ISLAM
These debates increased the enmity and the grudge of the Jews, but at times they became the cause of some persons embracing Islam. Abdullah bin Salam was one of the priests and scholars of the Jews. He embraced Islam after having detailed discussions with the Prophet of Islam.[For the text of his discussions with the Prophet vide Biharul Anwar, vol. XIX, page 131] Soon afterwards another scholar of theirs named Mukhayriq also joined him.
Abdullah thought that if his kinsmen came to know about his embracing Islam they would abuse and slander him. He, therefore, requested the Prophet that until an acknowledgement of his learning and piety had been obtained from his tribe he might not make public the fact of his embracing Islam. The Prophet, therefore, asked the Jews: "What is your opinion about Abdullah?" All of them replied "He is our religious leader and the son of our religious leader and an eminent scholar". Then Abdullah proceeded to his own area and informed the people of his tribe about his embracing Islam. As soon as the news of his becoming a Muslim spread amongst the Jews they got excited with anger. Though they had collectively acknowledged his learning and piety only a few hours ago, yet, now all of them began calling him a characterless and ignorant person.[Seerah-i Ibn Hisham, vol. I, page 516]
ANOTHER PLAN TO OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT OF ISLAM
Debates and knotty questions of the Jews not only strengthened the faith of the Muslims in the Prophet but also became the cause of his sublime personality and Divine knowledge becoming clearly known to everyone. As a result of these very discussions different groups of the idolaters and the Jews inclined to him. To achieve their ends, therefore, the Jews formed another plan and, resorting to their method of 'divide and rule', thought of reviving the 120-year-old feud of Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj, which had petered out under the auspices of faith, Islam, brotherhood and equality. They wished that fighting and bloodshed might start within the ranks of the Muslims and they might be consumed by the flames of internal strife.
One day some men of Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj were sitting together. The unity and brotherhood of the members of this group, who had been till a few days back the bloodthirsty enemies of one another, was very much disliked by a mischievous Jew who had joined them with a view to starting the evil plot of creating dissension and discord among the Muslims. He reminded the men of Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj of the bitter memories of the past wars between the two tribes and narrated in detail the events of the Battle of Bu'ath, in which Bani Aws had eventually emerged victorious. He dilated upon these old and long-forgotten events so much that strife and self glorification started between the two groups of Muslims (Aws and Khazraj). It was quite possible that a regular battle might have commenced but in the meantime the news reached the Prophet and he became aware of the nefarious plot of the Jews. He, therefore, reached the spot with some of his companions and reminding the two groups of the aim of Islam and his own sublime programme said: "Islam has made you brothers of each other and has made all the enmities and the grudges a forgotten thing of the past". He counselled them for some time and reminded them of the result of their discord. Suddenly all of them began to cry and weep and embraced one another to strengthen their brotherhood and prayed to Allah for forgiveness.
The schemes of the Jews did not end here, but they extended the scope of their treachery, crime and breach of promise and established special contacts with the unbelievers of Aws and Khazraj and also with those persons who were doubleminded in the matter of their Islam and faith. They openly intervened in the battles fought by the Muslims against Quraysh and were very active in promoting the interests of the idol-worshippers.
The open and secret collaboration of the Jews with the polytheists of Quraysh resulted in bloody wars between the Muslims and the Jews which eventually ended with the extirpation of the Jews from Madina. The details of these occurrences will be given later with the events of the third and fourth years of migration and it will become clear as to how the Jews rewarded the Prophet for his good treatment (which is evident from the two agreements concluded with them) by the breach of promises, open activities against Islam and the Muslims, conspiracies against the Prophet, and lending support to his enemies, and thus compelled the Prophet, by their actions, to ignore the above-mentioned agreements.