For many centuries, the oasis at Khaybar was an important caravan stopping place. The center developed around a series of ancient dams that was built to hold back run-off water from the rain. Around the water catchments date palms grew, and soon Khaybar became an important date producing center.
The water from the dams at Khaybar was used to irrigate large plots of date palms. These dates became famous throughout the Arabian Peninsula. In time a large village was established. It was mostly inhabited by Jewish people.
There are many stories to feed the imagination, tales of plague, witches, and treasure at Khaybar, which is why all the roofs have been removed – people believed that the villages hid their treasure under their roofs.
The Battle for Khaybar
Below from Hadith Sahih Muslim 830
Narrated Salamah ibn al-Akwa’ By God, we had stayed there (in Medina) only three nights when we set out to Khaybar with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). (On the way) my uncle, Amir, began to recite the following rajaz verses for the people: By God, if Thou hadst not guided us aright, We would have neither practised charity nor offered prayers. (O God!) We cannot do without Thy favours; Keep us steadfast when we encounter the enemy, And descend tranquillity upon us. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Who is this? Amir said: It is Amir. He said: May thy God forgive thee! The narrator said: Whenever the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) asked forgiveness for a particular person, he was sure to embrace martyrdom. Umar bin al-Khattab who was riding on his camel called out: Prophet of Allah, I wish you had allowed us to benefit from Amir. Salamah continued: When we reached Khaybar, its king named Marhab advanced brandishing his sword and chanting: Khaybar knows that I am Marhab (who behaves like) A fully armed, and well-tried warrior, When the war comes spreading its flames. My uncle, Amir, came out to combat with him, saying: Khaybar certainly knows that I am Amir, A fully armed veteran who plunges into battles. They exchanged blows. Marhab’s sword struck the shield of Amir who bent forward to attack his opponent from below, but his sword recoiled upon him and cut the main artery in his forearm which caused his death. Salamah said: I came out and heard some people among the Companions of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying): Amir’s deed has gone waste; he has killed himself. So I came to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) weeping and I said: Messenger of Allah, has Amir’s deed gone waste? The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Who passed this remark? I said: Some of your Companions. He said: He who has passed that remark has told a lie, for Amir there is a double reward. Then he sent me to Ali who had sore eyes, and said: I will give the banner to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger or whom Allah and His Messenger love. So I went to Ali, brought him beading him along as he had sore eyes, and I took him to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), who applied his saliva to his eyes and he got well. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave him the banner (and Ali went to meet Marhab in a single combat). The latter advanced chanting: Khaybar knows certainly that I am Marhab, A fully armed and well-tried valorous warrior (hero) When war comes spreading its flames. Ali chanted in reply: I am the one whose mother named him Haydar, (And am) like a lion of the forest with a terror-striking countenance. I give my opponents the measure of sandara in exchange for sa’ (i.e. return their attack with one that is much more fierce). The narrator said: Ali struck at the head of Marhab and killed him, so the victory (capture of Khaybar) was due to him.
Below from Hadith Sunan of Abu Dawood 1308
Narrated Abdullah Ibn Umar The Prophet fought with the people of Khaybar, and captured their palm-trees and land, and forced them to remain confined to their fortresses. So they concluded a treaty of peace providing that gold, silver and weapons would go to the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him), and whatever they took away on their camels would belong to them, on condition that they would not hide and carry away anything. If they did (so), there would be no protection for them and no treaty (with Muslims). They carried away a purse of Huyayy ibn Akhtab who was killed before (the battle of) Khaybar. He took away the ornaments of Banu an-Nadir when they were expelled. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked Sa’yah: Where is the purse of Huyayy ibn Akhtab? He replied: The contents of this purse were spent on battles and other expenses. (Later on) they found the purse. So he killed Ibn Abul Huqayq, captured their women and children, and intended to deport them. They said: Muhammad, leave us to work on this land; we shall have half (of the produce) as you wish, and you will have half. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) used to make a contribution of eighty wasqs of dates and twenty wasqs of wheat to each of his wives.
Below from Sunnan of Abu Dawood Hadith 2132
Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah Ibn Shihab said: Jabir ibn Abdullah used to say that a Jewess from the inhabitants of Khaybar poisoned a roasted sheep and presented it to the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) who took its foreleg and ate from it. A group of his companions also ate with him. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) then said: Take your hands away (from the food). The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) then sent someone to the Jewess and he called her. He said to her: Have you poisoned this sheep? The Jewess replied: Who has informed you? He said: This foreleg which I have in my hand has informed me. She said: Yes. He said: What did you intend by it? She said: I thought if you were a prophet, it would not harm you; if you were not a prophet, we should rid ourselves of him (i.e. the Prophet). The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) then forgave her, and did not punish her. But some of his companions who ate it, died. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) had himself cupped on his shoulder on account of that which he had eaten from the sheep. Abu Hind cupped him with the horn and knife. He was a client of Banu Bayadah from the Ansar.