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Banu Qaynuqa'

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Banū Qaynuqāʿ (Arabic: بنو قَینُقاع) was a Jewish tribe who lived in Medina in early Islam. After hijra, they made a treaty with the Prophet (s), but they broke it. Following a battle called the battle of Banu Qaynuqa', they were besieged, surrendered, and exiled.


Some sources have doubted about the Jewish origin of this tribe and considered them from the lineage of Esau, brother of prophet Jacob (a). With regards to similarity of names and many traditions of Banu Qaynuqa' with Arab's names and traditions, there is no valid reason to doubt about their Jewish lineage.

Before Islam

There is no information about their original home before migrating to Medina. A while after dominance of Jewish tribes over Medina, their power passed to Aws and Khazraj and inevitably, Jews were allied to other Arab tribes and contrary to the other two tribes (Banu Qurayza and Banu Nadir) who allied with Aws, Banu Qaynuqa' allied with Khazraj. However, Jawad Ali considers them allied with Aws. According to historical reports, there was rivalry between Banu Qaynuqa' and other Jewish tribes of Medina, i.e Banu Qurayza and Banu Nadir and they even fought some times.

After entering Medina, Banu Qaynuqa' resided in south west of the city and had a famous castle and market. Contrary to other Jews, they did not have farm lands or palm field and mostly worked in jewelry, metalwork, and shoe making.

After Islam

After emigration to Medina, the Prophet (s) made a treaty with Jews and allowed them to stay in Medina provided that they do not help anyone against him. Banu Qaynuqa' was the first tribe who broke the treaty. Following that, a battle occurred between them and Muslims who besieged them and exiled them after 15 days. First, the Prophet (s) ordered to behead their men and take their women and children as slaves, but then changed his mind and exiled them to Adhria'at, a Syrian border region.