The Treachery of the Tribes of ‘Adhl and Al-Qaarah, and the Catastrophe of Ar-Rajee’-I
There is a difference in the narrations of the expedition of Ar-Rajee‘ regarding the reason for which the Prophet, , dispatched it. While Al-Bukhari mentioned that the Prophet, , sent some reconnoiterers to gather information about the enemy, other authentic narrations mentioned that a delegation from the two tribes of ‘Adhl and Al-Qaarah, who belong to the tribe of Banu Madhar, came to the Prophet, , in Madeenah and said, “We have some Muslims among us, so send some of your Companions to us to explain the religion for us, teach us how to recite the Quran, and make us acquainted with the Islamic teachings.”
It seems that the tribe of Huthayl was seeking revenge for the death of Khaalid bin Sufyaan Al-Huthali, and hence, it resorted to deception and betrayal. With full certainty, Al-Waaqidi mentioned that the Banu Lihyaan, a sub- tribe of the Huthayl, sent the two tribes, ‘Adhl and Al-Qaarah, to the Prophet, , to ask him to dispatch with them some of his Companions to call them to Islam and teach them religion, and offered a fee for this. In reality, they intended to ambush the Companions, capture them and sell them in Makkah.
The Prophet, , responded to their request and sent out with them ten of his Companions, under the command of ‘Aasim bin Thaabit bin Al-Aqlah, may Allah be pleased with him. [Al-Bukhari] While they were between ‘Asafaan and Makkah, the Banu Lihyaan attacked them. They were about 200 men, and the ten Companions took refuge in a high ground. The enemy then encircled them and promised not to kill them. However, ‘Aasim, may Allah be pleased with him, the commander of the expedition, refused to be under the protection of a polytheist, and said, “I vowed never to be under the protection of a polytheist.”
He continued fighting them, shooting arrows at them until he ran out of arrows and then fought them with his spear until it was broken. He then carried his sword and said, “O Allah, just as I have struggled to safeguard Your religion at the beginning of the day, safeguard my corpse at the end of the day.” They were killing the Companions and stripping them of their clothes. ‘Aasim, may Allah be pleased with him, broke the sheath of his sword and fought with them. He was finally killed after he had wounded two men and killed one of them. Then they killed him with their arrows.
Sulaafah bint Sa‘d bin Ash-Shuhayd's husband and four sons were killed in this skirmish, and ‘Aasim, may Allah be pleased with him, had killed two of them, Al-Haarith and Musaafi‘. She vowed that if Allah enabled her to kill him, she would drink wine in his skull. She allocated one hundred she-camels to the person who would bring her the head of ‘Aasim, may Allah be pleased with him. All the Arabs, including the Banu Lihyaan, knew about her vow. They, the Banu Lihyaan, desperately wanted to cut off the head of ‘Aasim, may Allah be pleased with him, and bring it to Sulaafah bint Sa‘d to take the one hundred she-camels from her.
However, Allah The Exalted sent hornets to protect him, stinging the face of anyone approaching him. The hornets appeared in huge numbers, and the polytheists failed to reach his corpse. Hence, they thought of leaving him until night when the hornets would go away. At night, Allah The Exalted sent heavy rain, although there were no clouds in the sky, and it carried ‘Aasim’s corpse away, thus they did not reach him.
‘Aasim, may Allah be pleased with him, was killed along with seven others of the members of the expedition by arrows. Then the Bedouins made a new promise not to kill the other three Companions and they accepted. However, they broke their promise as soon as they had control over them. ‘Abdullaah bin Taariq, may Allah be pleased with him, resisted them and then they killed him. Then they led the other two - Khubayb and Zayd bin Ad-Dithinnah, may Allah be pleased with them – to Makkah, where they sold them to the Quraysh. This took place during the month of Safar, the 4th year after Hijrah (emigration).
The sons of Al-Haarith bin ‘Aamir bin Nawfal bought Khubayb, may Allah be pleased with him, to kill him for he was the one who had killed their father Al-Haarith on the day of the Battle of Badr. Khubayb, may Allah be pleased with him, remained imprisoned until they unanimously decided to kill him. One day Khubayb, may Allah be pleased with him, borrowed from a daughter of Al-Haarith, a razor to shave his pubic hair, and she lent it to him. By chance, while she was inattentive, a little son of hers went to him and she saw that Khubayb, may Allah be pleased with him, had seated him on his thigh while the razor was in his hand. She was terrified, fearing that Khubayb, may Allah be pleased with him, would kill her boy in revenge. He said to her, “Are you afraid that I might kill him? Never would I do such a thing, if Allah wills.”
Later on while narrating the story, she said, “By Allah, I have never seen a better captive than Khubayb. By Allah, one day I saw him eating from a bunch of grapes in his hand while he was fettered with iron chains, and [at that time] there was no fruit in Makkah.” She would say, “It was sustenance that Allah had provided Khubayb with.”
When they took him outside the boundaries of the sacred precincts of Makkah to execute him, Khubayb, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Allow me to perform two Rak‘ahs [units of prayer] first.” They allowed him, and he performed the prayer and then said, “By Allah, had I not been afraid that you would think I was afraid of death, I would have lengthened the prayer.” He was the first one to initiate the performing of two Rak‘ahs before being killed. Then he invoked evil upon them saying, “O Allah, count them and kill them, one by one, and do not leave a single one of them.”
Before killing him, Abu Sufyaan said to him, “Do you not wish that Muhammad were with us now to take your place so that we could cut off his head, and you were with your family?” Khubayb, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “No, by Allah, I would not wish that I were with my family, and that Muhammad be here now in my place and even be pricked with a thorn that would hurt him!”
Then they executed him, crucified him and appointed someone to guard his corpse. ‘Amr bin Umayyah Adh-Dhamari then came at night, carried his corpse and buried him.
Zayd bin Ad-Dithinnah, may Allah be pleased with him, was bought by Safwaan bin Umayyah, who killed him in revenge for his father, Umayyah bin Khalaf, who was killed in Badr. Before murdering him, Abu Sufyaan said to him, “I ask you by Allah, Zayd: do not you wish that Muhammad were with us now to take your place so that we could cut off his head, and you were with your family?” Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “By Allah, I would not wish Muhammad to be in a place where even a thorn could hurt him, if that was the condition for my being with my family!”
Abu Sufyaan then remarked, “I have not seen any people who love anyone the way the Companions of Muhammad love Muhammad.”
This catastrophic incident was known as Ar-Rajee‘, as it was attributed to the water of Ar-Rajee‘ where it took place.
The Treachery of the Tribes of ‘Adhl and Al-Qaarah, and the Catastrophe of Ar-Rajee’-II