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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)

Surprise Gifts (Hadith No. 2269)

Bismillah.

Hadith no 2268 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.

Volume 3, Book 47, Number 770:
Narrated Jabir (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said to me, “I will give you so much (the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) pointed thrice with his hands) when funds of Bahrain will come to me.” But the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) died before the money reached him. (When it came) Abu Bakr (radiallaahu `anhu) ordered an announcer to announce that whoever had a money claim on the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) or was promised to be given something, should come to Abu Bakr. I went to Abu Bakr (radiallaahu `anhu) and told him that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) had promised to give me so much. On that Abu Bakr (radiallaahu `anhu) gave me three handfuls (of money).

Today’s Hadith:

Volume 3, Book 47, Number 771:
Narrated Al-Miswar bin Makhrama (radiallaahu `anhu):
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) distributed some cloaks but did not give anything thereof to Makhrama. Makhrama said (to me), “O son! accompany me to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam).” When I went with him, he said, “Call him to me.” I called him (i.e. the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)) for my father. He came out wearing one of those cloaks and said, “We kept this (cloak) for you, (Makhrama).” Makhrama looked at the cloak and said, “Makhrama is pleased,” (or the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said), “Is Makhrama pleased?”

Give to people when they expect not. Who doesn’t like pleasant surprises? :)

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