Salaam everyone, Why did Muhammad (s) make a surprise attack on Banu Mustaliq. In books of sirah, it says Banu Mustaliq were preparing to make an attack, but I don't trust books of sirah. Please can someone provide me a sahih/hasan hadith or a commentary on hadith (e.g. An-Nawawi, Ibn Hajar) on the reason behind the attack on Banu Mustaliq

  • Hi, can you add a brief description of the event from the sources you mention?
    – SpiderRico
    Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 12:40
  • 2
    What makes you think that the information from seerah books is wrong? Please elaborate and see How to Ask.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Oct 6, 2020 at 11:10

4 Answers 4


I am not aware of any specific Sahih or Hassan hadith on the reason for the attack.

However there are generic ahadith which give the reason for all the offensive expeditions carried out by the Prophet ﷺ:

أمرت أن أقاتل الناس حتى يشهدوا أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله، ويقيموا الصلاة، ويؤتوا الزكاة، فإذا فعلوا ذلك عصموا مني دماءهم وأموالهم إلا بحق الإسلام، وحسابهم على الله

I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger (ﷺ), and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah.


من قاتل لتكون كلمة الله هي العليا فهو في سبيل الله

He who fights so that Allah's Word (i.e. Islam) should be superior, fights in Allah's Cause.


اغزوا باسم الله في سبيل الله قاتلوا من كفر بالله ... وإذا لقيت عدوك من المشركين فادعهم إلى ثلاث خصال ... ادعهم إلى الإسلام ... فإن هم أبوا فسلهم الجزية ... فإن هم أبوا فاستعن بالله وقاتلهم

Go out to fight in the Name of Allah, for the sake of Allah. Fight those who disbelieve in Allah ... When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action ... Invite them to Islam ... If they refuse, then ask them to pay Jizyah ... If they refuse that, then seek the help of Allah and fight them.


That is the Prophet ﷺ fought people because that had been commanded by Allah and because it led to the superiority of Islam. And the condition which led to a people being attacked was that they were disbelievers who had refused to accept Islam and (if they were Ahl al-Kitab or Majoos) also refused the alternate of accepting Islamic rule and Jizyah.

The case for Banu Mustaliq would be the same. They were disbelievers to whom the invitation to Islam had previously reached but they had rejected it, and they lacked any protective treaty. Hence attacking them was prescribed because of the command of Allah, and any further reason is not necessary.

However it is possible that there was wisdom in prioritizing an attack on them at that time:

  • They had previously aided the Quraish in the Battle of Uhad, and so they could have been attacked to prevent them from providing any future support.

  • They were occupying a strategically important location near Makkah, so they were attacked to make Makkah more vulnerable, by taking down its allies.

  • They were already planning to attack Medinah. So the Muslims acted first as that affords a tactical advantage. This is based on the report recorded by Ibn Ishaq:

    بلغ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن بني المصطلق يجمعون له، وقائدهم الحارث بن أبي ضرار أبو جويرية بنت الحارث، زوج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فلما سمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بهم خرج إليهم، حتى لقيهم على ماء لهم يقال له:المريسيع، من ناحية قديد إلى الساحل، فتزاحف الناس واقتتلوا، فهزم الله بني المصطلق، وقتل من قتل منهم، ونفل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أبناءهم ونساءهم وأموالهم، فأفاءهم عليه

    Word reached the Messenger of Allah ﷺ that the Bani al-Mustaliq were gathering against him under the leadership of al-Harith b. Abi Dirar ... When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ heard about them, he set out toward them and met them at one of their watering places called al-Muraysi', near Qudayd toward the coast. The people advanced toward each other and fought fiercely. Allah put the Bani al-Mustaliq to flight, those who fought were killed, and the Prophet (ﷺ) took over as booty their women, children and possessions.

    Seerah Ibn Hisham - quoting Ibn Ishaq

    Although this hadith is mursal as Ibn Ishaq narrates this from the Tabieen, without mentioning a chain leading to the time of the Prophet ﷺ.

Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari and Nawawi in his Sharah have not given any unique reason for this attack. Ibn Hajar has rather discussed that Ibn Ishaq's version of the battle is dissimilar to the one in the saheeh hadith:

Nafi' wrote in reply to my letter that the Prophet (ﷺ) had suddenly attacked Bani Mustaliq without warning while they were heedless and their cattle were being watered at the places of water. Their fighting men were killed and their women and children were taken as captives; the Prophet (ﷺ) got Juwairiya on that day. Nafi' said that Ibn 'Umar had told him the above narration and that Ibn 'Umar was in that army.

As the sahih hadith suggests a surprise attack while Ibn Ishaq's account suggests something different. However he has also offered a possible reconciliation: that Ibn Ishaq might be referring to a different phase of the attack.


The answer to your question can be found here:-


The following are the most important reasons behind this Battle

A- The tribe of Banu Al-Mustaliq supported Quraysh and joined it during the Battle of Uhud against the Muslims. It was among the block of Ahaabeesh tribes who participated in the battle supporting Quraysh.

B- The tribe of Banu Al-Mustaliq governed the main road leading to Makkah. It was a strong barrier that prevented the Muslims from reaching Makkah.

C- News came to the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) that Banu Al-Mustaliq were mobilizing an army to fight him under the leadership of Al-Haarith bin Abi Dhiraar. Having heard about that, the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) set out and met them in one of their watering areas called Al-Muraysee‘ in the direction from Qadeed to the sea coast. The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) made them taste a bitter defeat there.


News reached the Prophet [peace be upon him] on Sha'ban 2nd. to the effect that the chief of Bani Al-Mustaliq, Al-Harith bin Dirar had mobilised his men, along with some Arabs, to attack Madinah. Buraidah bin Al-Haseeb Al-Aslami was immediately despatched to verify the reports. He had some words with Abi Dirar, who confirmed his intention of war. He later sent a reconnoiterer to explore the positions of the Muslims but he was captured and killed. The Prophet [peace be upon him] summoned his men and ordered them to prepare for war. Before leaving, Zaid bin Haritha was mandated to see to the affairs of Madinah and dispose them. On hearing the advent of the Muslims, the disbelievers got frightened and the Arabs going with them defected and ran away to their lives. Abu Bakr was entrusted with the banner of the Emigrants, and that of the Helpers went to Sa'd bin 'Ubada. The two armies were stationed at a well called Muraisi. Arrow shooting went on for an hour, and then the Muslims rushed and engaged with the enemy in a battle that ended in full victory for the Muslims. Some men were killed, women and children of the disbelievers taken as captives, and a lot of booty fell to the lot of the Muslims. Only one Muslim was killed by mistake by a Helper. Amongst the captives was Juwairiyah, daughter of Al-Harith, chief of the disbelievers. The Prophet [peace be upon him] married her and, in compensation, the Muslims had to manumit a hundred others of the enemy prisoners who embraced Islam, and were then called the Prophet's in-laws. [Za'd Al-Ma'ad 2/112,113; Ibn Hisham 2/289,290,294,295]

This was also narrated by Aasim bin Amr bin Qutada and collected by Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani in Fathul Bari (496/7).


Assalamualaikum waramatullahi wabarakatuhu

Actually, the surprise attack was done to Banu mustaliq and the reason was, prophet Muhammad SAW hear that they are preparing to attack Muslim, and with reference with the following Hadith

Ibn 'Aun reported : I wrote to Nafi' inquiring from him whether it was necessary to extend (to the disbelievers) an invitation to accept (Islam) before engaging them in fight. He wrote (in reply) to me that it was necessary in the early days of Islam. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) made a raid upon Banu Mustaliq while they were unaware and their cattle were having a drink at the water. He killed those who fought and imprisoned others."Sahih Muslim vol.3 book 17 no.4292 p.942.

Mohammed led a surprise attack on the Banu al-Mustaliq tribe while they were inattentive and their cattle were drinking water. That was when Juwairiyyah bint al-Harith was obtained. [as Mohammed's wife]" Abu Dawud vol.2 no.227 p.727-728

Jazakumul llahu khayran

  • This just confirms what OP is saying. I think he is more interessted in knowing what led to this attack not whether it is mentioned.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 12:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .