Military Wiki
Second Expedition of Wadi al-Qura
DateJanuary 628AD, 10th month 6AH
LocationWadi al-Qura
  • Successful operation, 30 horsemen including enemy commander, killed[1]
Commanders and leaders
Zayd ibn Haritha Unknown
Large platoon Unknown
Casualties and losses

30 horsemen killed

Large amount captured[1]

Second Expedition of Wadi al-Qura took place in January, 628AD, 9th month of 6AH of the Islamic calendar [2][3][4] The raid was carried out by Zaid ibn Haritha or Abu Bakr, as a revenge for an ambush carried out by Banu Fazarah against a party of 12 scouts led by Zaid ibn Haritha to monitor the surroundings of Medina against attacks from hostile tribes. The party was attacked as they slept at night, nine Muslims were killed, Ziad ibn Haritha himself escaped after suffering several wounds.[1][5]


Zaid bin Harith went on a trading expedition towards Syria and with him was the merchandise for the Companions of Muhammed. While he was near Wadi’l Qura he met a party from the Tribe of Fazara of Banu Badr. They attacked him and his companions and snatched all that was with them (of merchandise).[6]

Some of his fellows were killed and he himself was carried wounded from the field. Zaid vowed that he would not wash his head for ritual purity (i.e. he vowed to abstain from sexual intercourse) until he fought the people of Fazara.[7]

Revenge attack

After his recovery from the injury and following the morning prayer, the detachment was given orders to raid the enemy. He attacked them at Wadi al-Qura and inflicted heavy casualties on them. Some of them were killed and others captured. In all 30 horsemen were killed, including the leader who was an old woman named Umm Qirfa.[1]

He took Umm Qirfa, the aunt of Uyeina back to Muhammad. Zayd also took Umm Qirfa's daughter as a captive and was given to Muhammad, who gave her to the Meccans in exchange for Muslim prisoners (according to the Sahih Muslim hadith collection).[8]

According to the Muslim jurist al-Tabari, Qais tied each of Umm Qirfa's legs with a rope, and attached the ropes to two camels. Then he drove the camels in opposite directions thus renting her in two.[5][9] The circumstances of her death however are not mentioned in any Hadith collections, leading to some scholars doubting the authenticity of the way she was killed. Another version of this story says that the leader of this raid was Abu Bakr. Mohammed did not disapprove of the way she was killed, according to the Muslim jurist al-Tabari.[5]

Islamic primary sources

The event is mentioned in detail in the Sunni hadith collection, Sahih Muslim. It mentions that Umm Qirfa's daughter was exchanged for Muslim prisoners, who were held in Mecca.

It has been narrated on the authority of Salama (b. al-Akwa') who said: We fought against the Fazara and Abu Bakr was the commander over us. He had been appointed by the Messenger oi Allah (may peace be upon him). When we were only at an hour's distance from the water of the enemy, Abu Bakr ordered us to attack. We made a halt during the last part of the night tor rest and then we attacked from all sides and reached their watering-place where a battle was fought. Some of the enemies were killed and some were taken prisoners. I saw a group of persons that consisted of women and children. I was afraid lest they should reach the mountain before me, so I shot an arrow between them and the mountain. When they saw the arrow, they stopped. So I brought them, driving them along. Among them was a woman from Banu Fazara. She was wearing a leather coat. With her was her daughter who was one of the prettiest girls in Arabia. I drove them along until I brought them to Abu Bakr who bestowed that girl upon me as a prize. So we arrived in Medina. I had not yet disrobed her when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) met me in the street and said: Give me that girl, O Salama. I said: Messenger of Allah, she has fascinated me. I had not yet disrobed her. When on the next day. the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) again met me in the street, he said: O Salama, give me that girl, may God bless your father. I said: She is for you. Messenger of Allah! By Allah. I have not yet disrobed her. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent her to the people of Mecca, and surrendered her as ransom for a number of Muslims who had been kept as prisoners at Mecca. Sahih Muslim, 19:4345

The event is mentioned by the Muslim Jurist Tabari as follows:

Allah’s Messenger sent Zayd to Wadi al Qura, where he encountered the Banu Fazarah. Some of his Companions were killed, and Zayd was carried away wounded. Ward was slain by the Banu Badr. When Zayd returned, he vowed that no washing should touch his head until he had raided the Fazarah. After he recovered, Muhammad sent him with an army against the Fazarah settlement. He met them in Qura and inflicted casualties on them and took Umm Qirfah prisoner. He also took one of Umm’s daughters and Abdallah bin Mas’adah prisoner. Zyad bin Harithah ordered Qays to kill Umm, and he killed her cruelly. He tied each of her legs with a rope and tied the ropes to two camels, and they split her in two.

[History of Tabari, Vol 8, Pg 95-97] [9]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Mubarakpuri, Saifur Rahman Al (2005). "The sealed nectar: biography of the Noble Prophet". Darussalam Publications. p. 395. ISBN 5-8.  (online)
  2. Atlas of the Quran, Shawqī Abū Khalīl, Pg 242
  3. 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
  4. Muḥammad Ibn ʻAbd al-Wahhāb, Mukhtaṣar zād al-maʻād, p. 345.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Muir, William (1861). "The life of Mahomet and history of Islam to the era of the Hegira, Volume 4". Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 12–13. 
  6. Sirat Halabiyya 2/192
  7. Tabari Vol.8:Page.96
  8. Sahih Muslim, 19:4345
  9. 9.0 9.1 Al Tabari, Michael Fishbein (translator) (1997). "Volume 8, Victory of Islam". State University of New York Press. pp. 95–97. ISBN 978-0-7914-3150-4. 


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