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Jews Beheaded

According to traditional Muslim sources, Huwayyisa was converted to Muhammad's religion by the religious fervor with which his brother, Muhayyisa, beheaded a prominent Jew named, Yahudha.  It seems that Huwayyisa was impressed that Muhayyisa enjoyed beheading Yahudha who had actually benefited him in times past.  Furthermore, Huwayyisa was struck with the fact that that Muhayyisa would have beheaded him, if Muhammad had requested him to do it.  Muhammad pacified the Aus by letting them behead some of the Jews too.  The following is a quotation of the account as given in "The Life of Muhammad" by Ibn Ishaq on page 752.

Abu 'Ubayda told me on the authority of Abu 'Amr, the Medinan, when the apostle got the better of the B. Qurayza he seized about four hundred men from the Jews who had been allies of Aus against Khazraj, and ordered that they should be beheaded.  Accordingly Khazraj began to cut off their heads with great satisfaction.  The apostle saw that the faces of Khazraj showed their pleasure, but there was no such indication on the part of Aus, and he suspected that that was because of the alliance that had existed between them and the B. Qurayza.  When there were only twelve of them left he gave them over to Aus, assigning one Jew to every two of Aus, saying, 'Let so-and-so strike him and so-and-so finish him off.'  One of those who was so handed over to them was Ka'b b. Yahudha, who was an important man among them.  He gave him to Muhayyisa and Abu Burda b. Niyar (it was Abu Burda to whom the apostle had given permission to sacrifice a young goat on the feast of Adha).  He said, 'Let Muhayyisa strike him and Abu Burda finish him off.'  So Muhayyisa fetched him a blow, which did not cut in properly, and Abu Burda dispatched him and gave him the finishing stroke.  Huwayyisa, who was still an unbeliever, said to his brother, Muhayyisa, 'Did you kill Ka'b b. Yahudha?', and when he said he did, he said, 'By God, much of the flesh on your belly comes from his wealth; you are a miserable fellow, Muhayyisa.'  He replied, 'If the one who ordered me to kill him had ordered me to kill you, I would have done so.'  He was amazed at this remark and went away astounded.  They say that he used to wake up in the night astonished at his brother's words, until in the morning he said, 'By God, this is indeed a religion.'  Then he came to the prophet and accepted Islam.  Muhayyisa then spoke the lines which we have written above.

The Sunan of Abu Dawud states,

Narrated Muhayyisah: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: If you gain a victory over the men of Jews, kill them. So Muhayyisah jumped over Shubaybah, a man of the Jewish merchants. He had close relations with them. He then killed him. At that time Huwayyisah (brother of Muhayyisah) had not embraced Islam. He was older than Muhayyisah. When he killed him, Huwayyisah beat him and said: O enemy of Allah, I swear by Allah, you have a good deal of fat in your belly from his property. 
Book 19, Number 2996

Last edited 02/22/2000
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