Expedition Of Qatan (Katan)

Expedition Of Qatan (Katan)

Mohamad Mostafa Nassar


Prophet Muhammed (p) received intelligence that some people among the tribe of Banu Asad bin Kuzaymah, were trying to attack the Muslim community. The Prophet (p) in return dispatched his soldiers to counter the enemy.

Historical report

Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir – Ibn Sa’d:

Then (occurred) the sariyyah of Abu Salamah Ibn Abd Al-Asad al-Makhzumi against Qatan, a mountain in the vicinity of Fayd, where there is a spring of Banu Asad Ibn Khuzaymah. It took place on the day of the appearance of the moon of al-Muharram after the commencement of the thirty-fifth month from hijrah of the Apostle of Allah.

It was because (a report) had reached the Apostle of Allah that Tulaybah and Salamah, sons of Khuwaylid, were moving about among their people to induce them to fight against the Apostle of Allah. Thereupon the Apostle of Allah called Abu Salamah and handed over a flag to him. He despatched one hundred and fifty Muhajirs and Ansars with him, and said: March till you reach the land of Banu Asad, and attack them before their parties attack you. …” [1]


Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri:

The first people to take arms against the Muslims in the aftermath of Uhud reverse were Banu Asad bin Khuzaimah. The intelligence Corps of Madinah reported that Talhah and Salamah, sons of Khuwalid have mustered some volunteers to fight the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).

The Prophet (pbuh) immediately despatched a 150-man-platoon of helpers and emigrants headed by Abu Salamah. The Muslim leader took Bani Asad bin Khuzaimah by surprise in their own homeland, neutralized their attempts…” [2]

Bashir Aḥmad M.A.:

“Mischief by the Bana Asad and the Sariyyah of Abu Salamah – Muḥarram 4 A.H.
The defeat suffered in the battle of Uḥud by the Muslims made the tribes of Arabia even bolder than before in raising their heads in opposition to the Muslims. As such, much time had not passed since the battle of Uḥud, and the Companions had not even become fully discharged from tending to their wounds.

When in Muḥarram 4 A.H., the Holy Prophet suddenly received news in Madinah that Ṭulaiḥah bin Khuwailid, chief of the Asad tribe and his brother Salamah bin Khuwailid were inciting the people of their region to wage war against the Holy Prophet. 

As soon as this news was received, the Holy Prophet, who under the circumstances of his own country understood the dangers of such news, immediately assembled a fast riding detachment of 150 Companions and appointed Aba Salamah bin ‘Abdul-Asadra as their Amir. 

The Holy Prophet emphatically instructed that they should march towards the enemy and cause them to disperse before the Banu Asad were able to practically execute their hostile motives.

As such, Abu Salamah advanced swiftly but silently and caught the Banu Asad at a place called Quṭn (Qatan), situated in central Arabia, but no fighting took place. As a matter of fact, the people of Banu Asad dispersed as soon as they caught sight of the Muslims. After an absence of a few days, Abu Salamah returned to Madinah.

Due to the strenuous labour of this journey, the injury sustained by Abu Salamah at Uhud, which had apparently healed until then, began to deteriorate again.

Despite medical treatment, the wound continued to worsen, and ultimately in this very illness, a faithful and pioneer Companion of the Holy Prophet, who was also the foster-brother of the Holy Prophet passed away. Ṭulaihah, the chief of Banu Asad, who has been mentioned above became a Muslim later on.

However, he later became an apostate, rather, falsely claiming to be a Prophet, he became the cause of much disorder and sedition, but was ultimately overcome and fled from Arabia. However, after some time he repented again and took part in many Islamic wars, whereafter he died as a Muslim.” [3]

Al-Sirah Al-Nabawiyya – Ibn Kathir:

“… He went out to near Qatan, which is a well belonging to Banu Asad, where Tulayha al-Asadi and his brother Salama, both sons of Khuwaylid, were also present. He had assembled his allies from banu Asad with the intention of making war against the Prophet. But one of their men had come to the Messenger of God and told him of what they were planning against him. He had therefore dispatched Abu Salama on this expedition.” [4]


[1] Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, by Ibn Sa’d, volume 2, Page 59
[2] Sealed nectar – The Biography Of The Prophet, Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri, page 186
[3] The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets (Sirat Khatamun-Nabiyyin) By Mirza Bashir Aḥmad M.A. volume 2, page 360 – 361
[4] The Life Of The Prophet Muhammed (‘Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya’), – [Translated by Professor Trevor Le Gassick], Ibn Kathir, volume 3, page 83