The Killing of Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Two kinds of people cite the story of Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf.  The first are Islamophobes, who accuse the Prophet (s.a.w.) of political assassinations; and the second are extremists, who use it to justify murder.

Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf was a Jewish leader of Madina at the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  When the Prophet (s.a.w.) arrived in Madina, he established what we now call the Constitution of Madina.  It promised peace and religious freedom for Jews and Muslims.  Ka’b believed that this threatened his position.

As recorded in Sirah ibn Ishaq and elsewhere, that the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) ordered ibn al-Ashraf killed after he had gone to Makkah after the Battle of Badr and provoked Quraysh to continue the fight against the Muslims.  He also composed verses in which he lamented the casualties of Quraysh the Battle of Badr.  This was clear incitement of the enemy and sedition.  He then sought allies to fight the people of Madina.  It was only after all of this that he was ordered to be killed.  It was a targeted killing in a time of war against a traitor, to prevent a wider conflict with greater casualties.


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