Banu Qurayza  

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"In 627, when the Arab Quraysh and their allies besieged Medina in the Battle of the Trench, the Qurayza entered into (eventually inconclusive) negotiations with the besiegers. Subsequently, the tribe was charged with treason and besieged by the Muslims commanded by Muhammad. The Banu Qurayza eventually surrendered and all the men, apart from a few who converted to Islam, were beheaded, while the women and children were enslaved." --Sholem Stein

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Banu Qurayza were a Jewish tribe which lived in northern Arabia, at the oasis of Yathrib (now known as Medina), until the 7th century, when their conflict with Muhammad led to their extermination.

Jewish tribes reportedly arrived in Hijaz in the wake of the Jewish-Roman wars and introduced agriculture, putting them in a culturally, economically and politically dominant position. However, in the 5th century, the Banu Aws and the Banu Khazraj, two Arab tribes that had arrived from Yemen, gained dominance. When these two tribes became embroiled in conflict with each other, the Jewish tribes, now clients or allies of the Arabs, fought on different sides, the Qurayza siding with the Aws.

In 622, the Islamic prophet Muhammad arrived at Yathrib from Mecca and reportedly established a pact between the conflicting parties. While the city found itself at war with Muhammad's native Meccan tribe of the Quraysh, tensions between the growing numbers of Muslims and the Jewish communities mounted.

In 627, when the Quraysh and their allies besieged the city in the Battle of the Trench, the Qurayza entered into (eventually inconclusive) negotiations with the besiegers. Subsequently, the tribe was charged with treason and besieged by the Muslims commanded by Muhammad. The Banu Qurayza eventually surrendered and all the men, apart from a few who converted to Islam, were beheaded, while the women and children were enslaved.

The historicity of this incident has been questioned by some scholars.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Banu Qurayza" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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