By Rabbi Allen S. Maller
Many Jews supported Muhammad when he arrived in Medina. I learned about one of them from Dr. Muqtedar Khan, a professor of Political Science, at the University of Delaware, who says Mukhayriq, a Rabbi from Medina is a story that contemporary Imams rarely tell their congregations.
“I have heard stories about the battle of Uhud, one of prophet Muhammad’s major battles with his Meccan enemies, from Imams and Muslim preachers hundreds of times, but not once,” writes Dr. Khan, “ have I heard the story of Rabbi Mukhayriq who died fighting in that battle against the enemies of Islam… Rabbi Mukhayriq was the first Jewish martyr of Islam.”
“Mukhayriq, a learned leader of the tribe of Tha’labah, fought and died alongside Prophet Muhammed in the battle of Uhud on March 19, 625 CE. That day was a Saturday; the Jewish Sabbath. Rabbi Mukhayriq spoke to his congregation asking them to go with him to help Muhammed. His tribe’s men declined because it was the Sabbath. Mukhayriq announced to his people that he was going to fight along side Muhammad and if he died in the battle his wealth should go to Muhammed to be distributed as charity.”