Fort of Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf

Ruins of a jewish poet who propagated against Islam and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in his time, was killed here by 5 Sahabas

Medinah Sharif, Saudi Arabia

Coordinates: 24.418862, 39.633544

Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf was a Jewish leader in Medina sharif and a poet.

He was killed on the order of the Hz. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ after the Battle of Badr.

This place marks the spot where Hz. Muhammad bin Muslimah رضي الله عنه and 4 other Sahabas killed him.

Reason for killing Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf

According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, following the victory of the Muslims over the Quraysh in the Battle of Badr, in March 624, Ka’b was angry at the execution of a number of Meccan notables who had been captured after that battle.

According to Ibn Ishaq, Hz. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ called upon his followers to kill Ka’b because the latter “had gone to Mecca after Badr and provoked Quraysh against Hz. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.”

Ka’b went to Mecca, where he composed verses in which he bewailed the victims of Quraysh who had been killed at Badr in a poem.

Shortly thereafter he returned to Medina and composed amatory verses of an insulting nature about the Muslim women.”

Other sources state that the reason for killing of Ka’b was that he had plotted with a group of Jews to kill Hz. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Some reports from islamic scholars says that Ka’b was killed because Hz. Jibrael عليه اسلام had informed Hz. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ about a treaty signed by himself and Aba Sufyan رضي الله عنه creating an alliance between the Quraysh and forty Jews against Hz. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ during Ka’b’s visit to Mecca.

Plot to kill him

Finally, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ asked Sahaba to kill Ka’b bin Ashraf.
The Prophet ﷺ gathered the Muslims and asked them who would volunteer to kill Ka’b bin Ashraf. 5 men volunteered among whom Hz. Muhammad bin Muslimah رضي الله عنه and Ka’b bin Ashraf’s foster brother was also present.

Hz. Muhammad bin Muslimah رضي الله عنه and his companions went to meet Ka’b bin Ashraf and told him that the Prophet ﷺ had brought trouble to the people of Madinah. Now Ka’b bin Ashraf appreciated anyone who was against the Prophet ﷺ and he was blinded by this hatred.

Hz. Muhammad Bin Muslimah رضي الله عنه then asked Ka’b bin Ashraf for a loan to which he had no objection as he thought that anyone who hated the Prophet ﷺ was one of his own. He, therefore, approved of it, but his disgusting personality made him ask for their women and children as a guarantee.

The Sahabas could not approve of that, therefore, they persuaded Ka’b bin Ashraf to keep their weapons as collateral. Ka’b bin Ashraf agreed to meet them later.

Killing him

Ka’b bin Ashraf was present in his fortress when the five sahabas who set out to kill Ka’b bin Ashraf called upon to him. Ka’b bin Ashraf’s wife called out to him to take care of himself, but he was so overwhelmed to be dealing with the haters of the Prophet ﷺ that he did not care about anything else.

The Sahabas were armed and Ka’b bin Ashraf set out with them on a walk. Appreciating the fragrance of his head, one of the men held his head while the other struck his axe on his abdomen. Ka’b bin Ashraf screamed horribly with pain and died on the spot.

Ka’b bin Ashraf’s men came out of the fortress but couldn’t see anyone as the Muslims had fled. Ka’b bin Ashraf’s men also took the matter to the Prophet ﷺ saying that the Muslims had killed Ka’b bin Ashraf with deceit.

The Prophet ﷺ replied that Ka’b bin Ashraf had propagated against the Muslims for long enough with his evil ways and had done enough propaganda against Islam. To this, the Jews remained silent.

The fort of Ka’b bin Ashraf

Ka’b bin Ashraf was killed in his own fort. The ruins of his fortress are still present which remind us of his painful death.