Military Wiki
Expedition of al Raji
Date625, 4 AH
Locational Raji
  • Muhammad sends missionaries to preach islam
  • Missionaries were set up and killed[1]
Muslims Banu Lahyan tribe
10 [1] Unknown
Casualties and losses
6-10 Muslims killed[2] 0

The Expedition of al Raji, occurred directly after the Battle of Uhud in the year 4 A.H[2] of the Islamic calendar.[1][3]


Immediately after the Uhud battle, a group of men from Adal and al-Qarah came to Muhammad; requested him to send with them a few instructors to teach Islam to their people who had embraced Islam. Muhammad agreed to this, and promptly sent six men (or ten men as per Ibn Sa’d[4]) with them. However, those emissaries were sent by the Banu Lahyan, who wanted to avenge the killing of their chief, Sufyan bin Khalid al-Hudhayli in the Expedition of Abdullah Ibn Unais. Among the six missionaries selected by Muhammad was Asim bin Thabit,who was appointed the head of this delegation.[1]

Attack on muslims

When the Muslim party arrived at al-Raji, the delegation took rest for the night. Then a completely surprising attack with swords was initiated on the six Muslims to extract money from them. They promised not to kill them, but to derive money as ransom. However, the Muslims refused to believe the promise of the polytheists and fought back. All the Muslims, except Zayd bin al-Dathinnah, Khubyab bin Adi and Abd Allah bin Tariq were killed. These three Muslims surrendered and were taken as prisoners to be sold in Mecca. Zayd bin al-Dathinah was sold to Safwan bin Umaiyah, Abu Sufyan wanted to spare his life in exchange for the life of Muhammad. But Zayd’s love for Muhammad was so great that he did not want Muhammad to be hurt even by a "thorn prick". After killing Asim bin Thabit, Hudhayl wanted to sell his head.[5]

It was then that Khubaib (one prisoner) who first set the tradition of praying in prostration before being executed. According to Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar), he then said:

"O Lord! Count them one by one, exterminate them to the last one."[1][3]

Motives for attacking Muslims

According to William Montgomery Watt, the most common version of the event states that the motives of the Banu Lahyan for attacking Muslims, was that the Banu Lahyan wanted to get revenge for the assassination of their chief at Muhammad's instigation. So they bribed the two tribes of Khuzaymah to say they wanted to convert to Islam. Watt also said that the seven men Muhammad sent may have been spies for Muhammad and instructors for Arab tribes. He also said that the it is difficult to verify the exact date the assassination of their chief took place.[6]

Islamic Sources

Biographical literature

This event is mentioned by Muslim historians Tabari, Ibn Hisham. The Muslim jurist Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya also mentions the event in his biography of Muhammad, Zad al-Ma'ad.[3][7] and Ibn Sa’d also mentions the event is his book about Muhammad's battles.[4] Modern secondary sources which mention this, include the award winning book,[8] Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar).[7]

Hadith literature

The event is mentioned in the Sahih Muslim hadith collection as follows:

Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed Qunut for one month invoking curse upon some tribes of Arabia (those who were responsible for the murders in Bi'r Ma'una and Raji'), but then abandoned it Sahih Muslim, 4:1442

According to Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar), the event is also mentioned in the Sahih Bukhari hadith collection.[3][7]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Mubarakpuri, The sealed nectar: biography of the Noble Prophet, pp. 350-351.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hawarey, Dr. Mosab (2010). The Journey of Prophecy; Days of Peace and War (Arabic). Islamic Book Trust. Note: Book contains a list of battles of Muhammad in Arabic, English translation available here
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Witness, "The Event of Ar-Raji"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ibn Sa’d Tabaqat, vol.ii, p.66
  5. Mubarakpuri, The sealed nectar: biography of the Noble Prophet , pp. 350-351.
  6. Watt, W. Montgomery (1956). Muhammad at Medina. Oxford University Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-19-577307-1. "The common version, however, is that B. Lihyan wanted to avenge the assassination of their chief at Muhammad's instigation, and bribed two clans of the tribe of Khuzaymah to say they wanted to become Muslims and ask Muhammad to send instructors."  (online)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Mubarakpuri, The sealed nectar: biography of the Noble Prophet, p. 351. (footnote 1)
  8. Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum - The Sealed Nectar. Dar-us-Salam Publications


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