The First Encounter: <i>Muhammad and the Jews of Arabia</i>

in Jews, Christians, and the Abode of Islam

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780226471075
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226471099 | DOI:
The First Encounter: Muhammad and the Jews of Arabia

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This chapter presents a discussion on Muhammad and the Jews of Arabia. D. S. Rice's discovery revived interest in an old theory that Jews came to Arabia after being exiled from the Land of Israel by the Babylonian monarch. The Jews of Medina were joined by migrating pagan tribesmen from the south of Arabia. The hypocrites could represent a more potent challenge to the Prophet's authority than their Jewish clients. Ibn Ubayy and the others clearly foresaw the likely reaction of the Meccans. The Meccans and their allies had a significant advantage, but in the end they were denied success. The failure of the Meccans to deal decisively with Muhammad changed the political calculus in the region. The Truce of Hudaybiyah was a setback for Muhammad and completely unanticipated. The victory over the Jews of Khaybar marked the end of Jewish political influence in western Arabia.

Keywords: Muhammad; Jews; Arabia; D. S. Rice; Medina; Ibn Ubayy; Meccans; Khaybar

Chapter.  11279 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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