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BANU ḲAINUḲA'A:

A Jewish tribe in north Arabia, apparently the first Jews that settled at Medina, and the most powerful of all the Jewish tribes of the peninsula before Islam. They formed a gild of goldsmiths. They had also a market-place, known under the name "Market of the Banu Ḳainuḳa'a," which was the general market-place of the city before Mohammed laid out the great market-place. Besides this they possessed two strong castles in the north of Medina. After Mohammed had come to Medina, he endeavored to win all the Jews over to Islam. Failing in his efforts, he assumed a more threatening attitude and first declared war on the Banu Ḳainuḳa'a. They retired to their fortresses, but after a siege which lasted fifteen days, they surrendered. Mohammed put them in chains, and wished to have all the men executed. He was, however, persuaded to spare them on condition that they quitted the town, leaving their goods and chattels in the hands of the conquerors. Subsequently they settled in Adra'at in the north.

Bibliography:
  • In addition to the biographies of Mohammed, see Wellhausen, Skizzen und Vorarbeiten, iv. 10, 14, 82;
  • Hirschfeld, Essai sur l'Histoire des Juifs de Medine, in Rev. Et. Juives, vii. 169 et seq., x. 16 et seq.
G. H. Hir.
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