Kharar Caravan Raid

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Third Raid on Meccan Caravans: Al-Kharrar
Date May, 623 CE , 1 AH
Location Al-Kharrar
Result Failed raid (Caravan passed beforehand)
Muslims of Medina Quraish of Mecca
Commanders and leaders
Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas Unknown
20-21 Unknown
Casualties and losses
None None

Al-Kharrār caravan raid was the third expedition or ‘sariyyah’ (Muhammad ordered it but did not participate personally) which was entrusted to Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas. It took place in the month of Dhu al-Qi'dah in 1 A.H. of the Islamic calendar (May, 623 CE). This raid was organized on the 8th month of Hijra (migration to Medina) and about a month after the previous one in Baṭn Rābigh.[1]


The valley of al-Kharrā (الخراى) or al-Kharrār was a spring/watering place situated close to Juḥfah on the road to Mecca.


This operation was organized as a series of expeditions in order to intercept the caravans of the Quraysh, wealthy merchants of Mecca who were involved in the oppression and persecution of the Muslims. The purpose of the raids was to weaken the economic backbone of Mecca so that the Quraysh would lose their offensive capabilities against the Muslims and eventually be forced to make an agreement of peace.


Muhammad dispatched Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas at the head of 20 or 21 men on foot, selected among the Muhajirun (The Emigrants), and instructed them not to go beyond Al-Kharrār.[2]

After a five-day march they reached the spot. Sa'd, with his soldiers, set up an ambush and waited to raid a returning Meccan caravan from Syria. But they discovered that the camels of the Quraysh had left the day before. The Muslims returned to Medina without a fight.[3] Their flag, as usual, was white and carried by Al-Miqdād ibn ‘Amr.[4]


  1. ^ Saifur Raḥmān al-Mubārakpuri, Ar-Raḥīq al-Makhtūm, free version, p127
  2. ^ Az-Zarqāni, Sharḥ al-Mawāhib, volume 1, p932
  3. ^ Ibn Sa‘d, aṭ-Ṭabaqāt, volume2, p7
  4. ^ Saifur Raḥmān al-Mubārakpuri, Ar-Raḥīq al-Makhtūm, free version, p127