Surprise Attacks: Not a Sunnah (Ahadith 2588 – 2590)

Bismillah.

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 193 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
Whenever Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) attacked some people, he would never attack them till it was dawn. If he heard the Adhan (i.e. call for prayer) he would delay the fight, and if he did not hear the Adhan, he would attack them immediately after dawn. We reached Khaibar at night.

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 194 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
Same as Hadith No. 193 above.

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 195 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) set out for Khaibar and reached it at night. He used not to attack if he reached the people at night, till the day broke. So, when the day dawned, the Jews came out with their bags and spades. When they saw the Prophet; they said, “Muhammad and his army!” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, Allahu Akbar! (Allah is Greater) and Khaibar is ruined, for whenever we approach a nation (i.e. enemy to fight) then it will be a miserable morning for those who have been warned.”

This is really interesting because Muslims had the perfect opportunity to use the element of surprise when they reached Khaibar. They could’ve raided the whole town, plundered and looted, but they didn’t. Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) waited till dawn so the Jews could come out and see that they were under attack and prepare for retaliation/defense. Fair and square. The Jews still lost and nobody could say that the Muslim army wasn’t strong enough to handle theirs. The wait would’ve helped rejuvenate the soldiers too as they got to get some rest after travelling. So that was a plus.

Do good, always.

This is all my own theory and understanding, not a scholar’s commentary. And based on the words of Anas (radiallahu `anhu), I chose the title of this post. Now there could have been some exceptions to this in the Seerah that I can’t think of right now. But this was a norm of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), so yeah, surprise attacks are not from the Sunnah.

Modern warfare need not use all the same strategies as the Prophet’s (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), since it’s a different time and our ways have changed, but as long as the basic rules laid down by the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) (for example, not cutting trees unnecessarily, not killing women and children etc.) are being followed, we’re good. (Y)

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About Yumna

Bukhari Blogger | Student and teacher of the Qur'an | Studying BAIS from IOU.

Posted on May 8, 2015, in iLook and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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