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papyrus_nadir-campaign.pdf ARCHIV ORIENTALNI 32, 1964 233 NOTES ON THE PAPYRUS CAMPAIGN TEXT ABOUT MUHAMMAD'S AGAINST THE BANU AL-NADIR M.J. Kister, Jerusalem Document No.5 of the "Studies in Arabic Literary Papyri"1 ,carefully edited by Professor Nabia Abbott contains a passage essential for the evaluation of the document, which deserves re-examination. I Verso lines 14-26 contain the account of the causes of the campaign against the Banii al-Na<; 14-16 give an account of the visit which the Prophet paid to the Banii al-Na<;l.irand elucidate the reason for this visit; they are read by Professor Abbott as follows: lind are translated thus: "This is the book of the narrative (14) / of the nffair of the Mjessenger of God when he went to the Banii al-Na<; seeking tholl' aid in the matter of the two men of Kilab, His a narrative / collected (15 J from that which / has been related concerning it. The Messenger of God and some of his Companions went to the Banii al-Na<;l.irto ask their holp for the two men of Kilab who (16) /had/ surrendered to the Quralsh when they encamped at Ul)ud. The Messenger of God said: 'They (Banii al-Na<; them (Banii Kilab) as allies for battle and (then) dishonored /them by/ negligence'." This passage is obscure. The two men from KHab killed by cAmr b. Umayya are said to have surrendered to the Quraish, when they encamped at Ul)ud. How could they, then, have been granted the protection of the Prophet as mentioned on Verso, line 117 In the accounts of the Prophet's 1 16 - Historical orientalni Texts, Chicago 1957. Archiv 234 M. J. KISTER campaigns the word "Ouraish" denotes the unbelievers of Mecca and having surrendered to the Quraish at Uhud they could not have received from the Prophet a promise of safety. Professor Abbott in order to find a solution for the two contradictory statements comments as follows: "The Quraish of 1.16 must be, in view of Verso 1.11-12 and the comments thereon, the Quraishites in Muhammad's own camp and not the entire tribe as such. Muhammad's remark at the end of the line 16 refers to the alliance between the Banu Kllab and the Banu al-Nadir and the latter's reluctance to share in the indemnity of the two that were slain."2 This explanation cannot, however, be accepted. The translation proposed for the crucial expressions J L.•. .\I ~ ~"J.).J J L::A.l1csk ~ "..;~ A "accepted by the Banu Nadir for battle and dishonoured by negligence", does not conform to Arabic style and idiom. In order to elucidate this passage we must start with the correction of these two expressions, which form a clue for the understanding of the historical background of the account. The correct reading is csk. ~;;.:.~ 01.)".J 1 J.~ ,...A>"J..l.J L::A.l "and they spurred them on to fight and showed J I them the way to the gaps [in the frontier, not sufficiently defended]." The two expressions ~~; and r-.A> "J..l.J have as their subject the Banu al-Nac;llr; they spurred "them" on and incited "them" to fight and showed them the weak, undefended spots in the frontier. The object of ~"';'..>o 'r-"') ..I ["them") refers to the Quiraish, mentioned at the beginning of the line; the weak, undefended spots are the weak spots of the Muslim frontier. We thus obtain an important clue for the understanding of the document: the Banu al-Nadir were in peaceful relations with the Quraish when the Quraish encamped at Uhud, They plotted with them, stirred them up to fight the Prophet. The words at the beginning of the line have to be read: ..r!.j J 11".••..1 I"; l5.J "they [the Banu al-Nac;llr) had sent secretly to the . Quraish". The Banti al-Nadlr urged them to fight the Prophet and showed them the weak spots in the frontier of the Muslims. .tJl1 J y".) J w is a misreading; the correct reading is: -ill 1 J" ..•.) Jl:A.l The whole line has, therefore, to be read: I"J j .)~,...r!.J! J 1 1".•...1 I,,; l5.J . . o I) ,Al 1 csk ~"l..l.J J L::A.l csl~ r-.A> 1 ;:.;.""; .tJl1 J" ..•) J L::A.l ~ . t! (16) "and they sent secretly to the Quraish when they encamped at Uhud in order to fight the Prophet and they incited them to fight and showed them the weak spots" ... This line explains the reason why the Prophet came to the Banu al-Nadir asking them to help him to pay the indemnity of the two men of Kilab killed by one of his anderents: the Banu al-Nadir were accused of cooperation with the Quraish when they attacked the Muslim army at Uhud and their payment of a part of the 2 Op. cit., p. 74 supra (Comments Verso, 1.15-17). Notes on the Papyrus Text 235 indemnity was a kind of retribution for their hostile attitude towards the Prophet. There is a passage which closely resembles this line of the papyrus; it is a fragment of the account by Musa b. CUqbaof the campaign against the Banu al-Nadir, quoted by al-Zurqani in his "Shar!) al-Mawahtb'v and runs as follows: Verso, 1.16 is, in fact, a parenthetical sentence forming an explanation of the moral basis of the demand of the Prophet from the Banu al-Nadlr to participate in the indemnity of the two men of Kllab, protected by him and killed by one (or two) of his adherents. It is closely connected with the report of Musa b. 'Uqba: the author of the papyrus does, however, not follow Musa b. 'Uqba in the rest of his report or in his chronological order of the events: this is evident from the account quoted by al-Bukhari on the authority of Musa b. 'Uqba. This account, traced back to Ibn 'Umar, contains a version of the course of the events in the campaign of the Prophet against the Banu al-Nadir which is quite different from that given in the report of the papyrus.s The account of the papyrus is a peculiar one: it combines the tradition about the conspiracy between the Banu al-Nadir and Quraish with the tradition of the payment of the indemnity. It is obvious that we have here a version hitherto un-recorded. Verso 1. 17 is to be read: d: And when the Messenger of God spoke to them about the indemnity for the two men of Kllab they said ... II In an elaborate chapter about the author of the papyrus, Professor Abbott suggests that the author of the papyrus is Ma'rnar b. Rashld.e This conclusion is reached by a process of elimination and looks on the face of it plausible enough. A short notice, however, in al-Zurqanl's "Sharh al-Mawahib" makes this suggestion hardly tenable. Al-Zurqani, discussing the chronology of the Prophet's raid against the Banti al-Nadlr, quotes a passage in al-Suhayli's "AI-Rau<;lal-Unuf" to the effect that CUqaylb. Khalid and another (traditionist) transmitted on the authority of al-Zuhri, that the raid against the Banu al-Nadir took place 6 months after the battle of Badr.s Al-Zurqani remarks: "The other (scholar) is Ma'rnar b. Rashid."? Al-Zurqani quotes, in fact, a tradition on the autority of 'Abd al-Razzaq Ma'rnar - al-Zuhri stating that the raid against the nann al-Nadir took II, 81, 1.12. See J. B. Jones, The chronology of the Maghazt, BSOAS 1957, page 249 n. 23 and p. 268. 5 Op. cit. p. 76. 6 "al-Raud al-Unuf" 11,176 in! led. 1914). 7 Al-Zurqanl, Sharh al-Mawahlb II, 79 I. 18 led. 1325 A. H.). 3 4 16* 236 M. J. KISTER place after the battle of Badr.s The attribution of the text contained in the papyrus to Ma'rnar b. Rashid must be rejected, since according to the correct reading of Verso 1. 16 it is plaintly stated in the text that the raid against the Banti al-Nadir took place after the battle of Uhud, III There is a parallel passage to the account of the raid against the Banil al-Nadir contained in the papyrus: it is found in the "naian al-Nubuwwa" of Abu Nu'iaym al-Isfaham.e The tradition quoted by Abu Nu'aym corresponds almost verbatim to the tradition of the papyrus. It is the only account-as far as I know-in which the story of the conspiracy of the Banil al-Nadir with the Quraish is combined with the tradition about the payment of the indemnity, exactly as in the account of the papyrus. The tradition in the "naian al-Nubuwwa" is told on the authority of cDrwa b. al-Zubayr, and the chain of the transmitters is: Sulayrnan b. Ahmad Muhammad b. "Amr b. Khalld - his father lO Ibn LahicallAbu 'l-Aswadt? - 'Urwa b. al-Zubayr. Both traditions are here reprinted. I am inclined to assume that the authorship of the papyrus can be attributed to Ibn Lalu'a, who lived in Egypt, acted as Qac;H (155-164 A. H.) and died there (ca. 170 A. H.) VIII, 25; his son Abu