“Mukhayreeq is the best of the Jews”

In his monumental book chronicling the entire span of human existence, al-Haafidh ibn Kathir mentions the following in his coverage of the battle of Uhud:

قال ابن إسحاق‏:‏ و كان ممن قتل يوم أحد مخيريق، وكان أحد بني ثعلبة بن الغيطون، فلما كان يوم أحد قال‏:‏ يا معشر يهود، والله لقد علمتم أن نصر محمد عليكم لحق‏.‏ قالوا‏:‏ إن اليوم يوم السبت‏.‏ قال‏:‏ لا سبت لكم، فأخذ سيفه وعدته وقال‏:‏ إن أصبت فمالي لمحمد يصنع فيه ما شاء‏.‏ ثم غدا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقاتل معه حتى قتل، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما بلغنا‏:‏ ‏(‏‏(‏مخيريق خير يهود‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

Ibn Ishaaq said: One of those who was killed on the day of Uhud was Mukhayreeq, and he was a member of the Banu Tha’labah ibn al-Ghaytoon clan. So on the day of Uhud, he said, “O Jewish people! By Allah, you well know that aiding Muhammad is a duty upon you!” They said, “Verily today is the day of the Sabbath (a day of rest for the Jews)” He replied, “May there be no rest for you,” then he took his sword and his accoutrements and said, “If I am killed (during the battle), then my wealth goes to Muhammad, who may do with it what he wishes.” Then he went out to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and fought alongside him until he was killed. So the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said about him, “Mukhayreeq is the best of the Jews.”

قال السهيلي‏:‏ فجعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أموال مخيريق – وكانت سبع حوائط – أوقافاً بالمدينة لله‏.‏

al-Suhayli said: Then the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) made the wealth of Mukhayreeq – and it was a significant amount – as a waqf (charitable trust) for the sake of Allah in al-Madinah.

قال محمد بن كعب القرظي‏:‏ وكانت أول وقف بالمدينة‏.‏

Muhammad ibn Ka’b al-Qarthi* said: That was the first waqf in al-Madinah.

[al-Bidayah w’al-Nihayah 4/42]

Translator’s note: Muhammad ibn Ka’b al-Qarthi (d. 108 AH) was a prominent scholar of seerah among the taabi’een. Ibn Kathir described him elsewhere in al-Bidayah w’al-Nihayah as someone who narrated from a large group of the Sahabah, a scholar of the tafsir of the Qur’an, and a righteous worshipper [ibid 9/285]. the attribution “al-Qarthi” refers to the his descent from the Jewish tribe of Banu Quraithah.

Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalaani mentions the following concerning Mukhayreeq:

 مخيريق النضري الإسرائيلي من بني النضير ذكر الواقدي أنه أسلم واستشهد بأحد وقال الواقدي والبلاذري ويقال إنه من بني قينقاع ويقال من بني القطيون كان عالما وكان أوصى بأمواله للنبي صلى الله صلى الله عليه و سلم وهي سبع حوائط الميثب والصائفة والدلال وحسنى وبرقة والأعواف ومشربة أم إبراهيم فجعلها النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم صدقة

Mukhayreeq al-Nadhari al-Israa’eeli from the Banu Nadheer clan. al-Waaqidi mentions that he entered into Islam and became a martyr at Uhud. And al-Waaqidi and al-Balaadhiri said that some say that he is from Banu Qaynuqaa’, and some say that he is from Banu Qityoon. He was an ‘aalim (a scholar) and he endowed his wealth to the Prophet (ﷺ), and it was a vast amount of various items. So the Prophet (ﷺ) turned it into a saqadah.

 قال عمر بن شبة في أخبار المدينة حدثنا محمد بن علي حدثنا عبد العزيز بن عمران عن عبد الله بن جعفر بن المسور عن أبي عون عن بن شهاب قال كانت صدقات رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أموالا لمخيريق فأوصى بها لرسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم وشهد أحدا فقتل بها فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم مخيريق سابق يهود وسلمان سابق فارس وبلال سابق الحبشة

‘Umar ibn Shubbah said in (his book) Akhbaar al-Madeenah that ibn Shihaab said that the sadaqaat of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was the wealth from Mukhayreeq which he endowed to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), and he witnessed (the battle of) Uhud where he was killed. So the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Mukhayreeq is the forerunner of the Jews, and Salman is the forerunner of the Persians, and Bilaal is the forerunner of the Abyssinians.”

[al-Isaabah fee Tamyeez al-Sahaabah 6/57]

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