A Critical Exposition of the Popular 'Jihád'/Chapter 9/49

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3.—Káb, son of Ashraf.

[Sidenote: 49. Káb, son of Ashraf.]

Káb-ibn Ashraf was an influential Jew connected with the tribe of Bani Nazeer. Being very much mortified by the defeat of the Meccans at the battle of Badr, he soon after proceeded to Mecca, where he stirred up the Koreish to avenge themselves on the Moslems of Medina. On his return to the latter place he manifested avowed hostility towards the Moslem Commonwealth. He was a traitor and a turncoat, for he not only violated his allegiance to the Moslems, but preached rebellion among their enemies. Under such circumstances, he deserved execution by the military and international law, and was decapitated at Medina accordingly. The mode of execution was a sudden violence or deception, but Mohammad never fulminated any harsh commands against him either for his assassination or for his murder. He deserved capital punishment for his treachery, which was duly measured out to him in the absence of any legal tribunals for trials of criminals by jury, for in that case any man was authorized to execute the sentence of the law. Even if it be taken for granted that the Prophet had prayed "O Lord, deliver me from the son of Ashraf, in whatsoever manner seemeth good unto thee, because of his open sedition and verses;" or said, "Who can ease me of the son of Ashraf?"[1] This does not amount to a fiat for murder or execution, much less for assassination.


  1. Ibn Sad Kátib Wákidí, pp. 186, 187.