himself: but he, took good care that the choice of the referee should not rest with the Jews. Muhammad chose Sa'd bin Mu'adh1 who had been formerly a friend of the Jews, but having just before been wounded in a skirmish, he was vexed with them for remaining quiet instead of helping to repel the Meccans, and so had already reported unfavourably of them to Muhammad. The decision now was a foregone conclusion. Sa'd decided that the men should be slain and that the women and children should be sold as slaves. Muhammad declared the sentence to be 'the judgement of God.' The men were then taken to Madina and all slaughtered in cold blood in batches of five or six at a time in the presence of Muhammad himself. The market-place at last was drenched with the blood of nearly eight hundred men. Under the personal direction of the Prophet trenches were dug in the market-place, to the brink of which the captives were led, then forced to kneel down and so were beheaded. Their bodies were then cast into the trenches and covered over. Some of the females were divided amongst the Muslims and the rest were sold as slaves. The fifth portion which fell to the Prophet's lot came to about two hundred women and children, who were sold to the Bedouins for horses and arms. A beautiful widow, whose husband had just been slaughtered, was reserved by Muhammad for his own harem. Thus, when two tribes had been exiled and one exterminated, the power of the Jews was broken for ever in Madina, and Muhammad was

1 Mirkhund, Raudatu's-Safa, part ii. vol. ii; p. 475.


free to look farther afield for fresh conquests. There was a time when Muhammad had desired the friendship of the Jews, but each victory won, and each lot of booty captured made him less dependent on them for recognition and for funds. ' The change from a basis of reason to a basis of force had taken place gradually, but now was finally achieved.' 1

Sura Al-Ahzab (xxxiii), in verses nine to twentyseven, deals with the defeat of the besiegers of Madina in what is known at the 'battle of the ditch.' The two concluding verses of the passage make God responsible for the massacre of the Jews:—

He caused the people of the Book (the Jews) who had aided the confederates (i.e., Meccans) to come down out of their fortresses and cast dismay into their hearts; some ye slew, others ye took prisoners. 2
And He gave you their land and their dwellings and their wealth for an heritage. Sura Al-Ahzab (xxxiii) 27-8.

Raihana, the beautiful Jewess, whom Muhammad reserved to himself, refused to marry him, saying, 'Nay, O Prophet, but let me remain as thy slave: this will be easier for me and for thee.' She also refused to abandon her faith. It is reasonable to

1 Margoliouth, Mohammed, p. 334.
2 Commenting on this verse, Baidawi says that it is related that Gabriel came to the Prophet in the early morning after the Meccans had been defeated and asked why he had put off his armour, whilst the angels had not removed theirs. He then told him to go after the Bani Quraiza and not to say the evening prayer till he could say it in the locality now occupied by these Jews (vol. ii, p. 126). Bukhari relates the same story, clearly indicating that Gabriel directed the attack on the Jews. Muslim repeats the account in another form (Khalasatu'l-Tafasir, vol. iii, p. 544). Thus the early Muslims were taught to believe that this cruel massacre was carried out by the direct order of God.