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ḤUYAYY IBN AKHṬAB:

Chief of the Banu al-Nadir; executed at Medina March, 627. Ḥuyayy was a courageous warrior and the most inveterate enemy of Mohammed, so that Ibn Hisham, Mohammed's biographer, calls him "the enemy of Allah." He was also a learned man, and on one occasion had a discussion with Mohammed upon the mystical letters beginning some of the suras in the Koran. At first, when the Banu al-Naḍir were located at Medina, Ḥuyayy's hostility to Mohammed was not pronounced, and when Abu Sufyan, the Ḳuraiẓite leader and an enemy of Mohammed, presented himself before Ḥuyayy's house. Ḥuyayy, fearing to compromise himself, refused to admit him. But when the Jews, driven by Mohammed from Medina, settled at Khaibar, Ḥuyayy incited them, with the Arab tribes of Ḳuraish and Ghaṭafan, into active revolt against Mohammed. When Ḥuyayy came to Ka'b ibn As'ad, the chief of the Banu Ḳuraiẓa, the latter, having sworn allegiance to Mohammed, hesitated to receive him; but Ḥuyayy convinced him of the danger which threatened the Jews from Mohammed, and induced the Banu Ḳuraiẓa to support him. Later, Mohammed took Ḳamuṣ, the fortress of the Ḳuraiẓites, carried to Medina from seven to eight hundred Jews, among them being Ḥuyayy, and executed them in the market-place. When Ḥuyayy was brought before Mohammed, he said to him: "I reproach not myself for having carried on war against thee." Ḥuyayy's daughter Safiyyah was also captured by Mohammed, and a few months afterward embraced Islam and became a wife of the prophet.

Bibliography:
  • Ibn Hisham, Kitab Sirat Rasul Allah, ed. Wüstenfeld, p. 351, passim;
  • Caussin de Perceval, Essai sur V Histoire des Arabes, iii. 83, passim;
  • Grätz, Gesch. 3d ed., v. 100-102, 105.
G. M. Sel.
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