It was quite contrary to Arab usages of war to destroy the palm-trees and it was prohibited by the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy xx. 19). So Muhammad had by this revelation to justify his conduct after the deed was done. A special revelation also warranted him in giving great part of the booty to the Muhajirun:1

To the poor refugees also doth a part belong, who have been driven from their homes and their substance, and who seek favour from God and His goodwill and aid God and His Apostle. These are the men of genuine virtue. Sura Al-Hashr (lix) 8.
As for those who have believed and fled their country, and fought on the path of God, and given the Prophet an asylum, and been helpful to him, these are the faithful: mercy is their due and a noble provision.
And they who have believed and fled the country since and have fought at your side, these also are of you. Sura Al-Anfal (viii) 75-6.

The Jews are also thus denounced and warned in these bitter cruel words:—

Verily, those who disbelieve in our signs, we will surely broil them in hell fire; as often as their skins shall be well burned, we will give them other skins in exchange, that they may taste the torment— Sura An-Nisa'. (iv) 59.

The commentator Husain (vol. ii, p. 396) says that certain of the Hypocrites (Munafiqun) Ibn Ali, Ibn Bautal and others had promised to help the Bani Nadir, but failed to keep their promise. They are

1 The Muhajirun are also led to expect a great reward in the future life:—

Those who fled, and were turned out of their homes and suffered in my cause and were killed, I will blot out their sins from them and I will bring them into gardens beneath which rivers flow. A reward from God. Sura Al-'Imran (iii) 194-5.


likened to Satan, who persuaded man to be an Infidel and said, 'I share not thy guilt' [Sura Al-Hashr (lix.) 16]; and so Muhammad justified his exclusion of these men from a share in the booty thus:—

Hast thou not observed the disaffected (Munafiqun) saying to their unbelieving brethren among the people of the book, 'If ye be driven forth, we will go forth with you; and in what concerneth you, never will we obey any one; and if ye be attacked, we will certainly come to your help.' But God is witness that these are liars. Sura Al-Hashr (lix) 11.

In the fifth year of the Hijra the Bani Quraiza, a large Jewish tribe, was exterminated. At the time

of the siege of Madina by the Meccans they had great inducements held out to them to join with the opponents of Muhammad and doubtless, like all Jews at this time, they were sullen and discontented. As a matter of fact they did not aid the besiegers, but remained quiet. They had also refused to aid the Bani Nadir, but it was not remembered in their favour. Had they been braver and have stood by their brethren when attacked, these Jews could probably have made much better terms with Muhammad.

Their presence in Madina may have been a source of political danger; but still nothing can justify the savage treatment they received. They offered to emigrate; they pleaded for their lives, but they pleaded in vain. They appealed to their Arab friends and allies, the Bani Aws, to intercede for them. They did this most earnestly. Muhammad, to conciliate this powerful Arab tribe, suggested that a member of it should decide the case, thus adroitly shifting the responsibility from