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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Battle of Khyber

The Khyber

About a hundred miles from Madina on the route to Syria was an important settlement of the Jews called the Khyber. Literally "Khyber" means a fort, and the place was so named because it consisted of a series of forts. There were six or seven forts, and each fort was occupied by a different section of the Jews. It was an oasis in the desert, and was conspicuous for its fields and groves of date palms. It was an important market as well. After their expulsion from Madina, most of the Jews of Banu Qainuqa and Banu Nadir took refuge in Khyber. In the Battle of the Ditch, the Jews of Khyber had helped the Quraish. When after the Battle of the Ditch, the Jews of Banu Quraizah were executed, the Jews of Khyber vowed vengeance, and they planned an invasion of Madina on a large scale. They were seeking an alliance with the Quraish. In the meantime by the treaty of Hudaibiya, the Quraish had made a truce with the Muslims and were no longer free to join the Jews in an attack on Madina. That was the first advantage that accrued to the Muslims as a result of the treaty of Hudaibiya. After the neutralization of the Quraish, in any conflict between the Muslims and the Jews, the initiative now came to lie with the Muslims. Taking full advantage of this favorable situation, immediately on return from Makkah after signing the Hudaibiya pact, the Holy Prophet led a Muslim force to Khyber.

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