How did "the Expedition of Sawik", which ended without fighting, take place?
Submitted by on Wed, 03/04/2019 - 15:28
Dear Brother / Sister,
2nd Year of Hijrah, Dhul-Hijjah, 5 Sunday.
When seven hundred people from the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa were expelled from Madinah, the city felt relieved. This act of the Prophet was very important in terms of the development of Islam. If those Jews, who were the source of mischief and sedition, had been left in Madinah, they would have definitely set many treacherous plans against Muslims. Their banishment prevented them from doing so.
Peace and calm prevailed in the city. However, the security was not very good outside the city. The polytheists of Quraysh did not forget the pain of their defeat in Badr; they did not want to forget it, either. When many of the notables of the Quraysh were killed, Abu Sufyan started to regard himself as the leader of the Quraysh; he started to make preparations in order to take the revenge of Badr. He vowed that he would not approach women, would not put on nice smells and would not have a bath or shower unless he took his revenge on Muslims. (Tabaqat, II/30)
In order to keep his vow, Abu Sufyan approached Madinah with two hundred cavalrymen. In fact, he himself knew very well that he could not fight against Muslims with that army. However, he went to Madinah only to keep his vow and to show that he did not give up his vow. At night, he went to the leader of the Jewish tribe Banu Nadr, who were still residing in Madinah then, and received some secret information about Muslims from him.
Then, the polytheists approached a place called Urayz, which was three miles away from Madinah, and set fire to a date orchard and two houses. Meanwhile they martyred a Muslim from Ansar and his worker, who were defenseless and who were working on the field. (Ibn Hisham, Sirah, 3:48; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, 2:30)
Abu Sufyan regarded that he had kept his vow by having done so and left that place rapidly lest he should be followed and got caught; and he set off to Makkah.
The Messenger of Allah was informed about the attack. He left Madinah with two hundred men from Ansar and Muhajirs to follow the polytheists. He did not find anyone. He found out that they had fled rapidly. The polytheists had brought roasted wheat flour called “sawiq” with them as food. They left the bags of flour on the way because they were heavy and prevented them from running away fast. The mujahids collected those bags of sawiq. That is why the expedition was given the name “sawiq”. (Ibn Hisham, Sirah, 3:48; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, 2:30.)
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