The Jews had a very rich and flourishing settlement at Yathrib and built strongholds in the city and vicinity. The principal families were the Banu Ḳainuḳa', the Banu Ḳuraiẓa, and the Banu al-Naḍir. The latter two were known as the "Al-Kahinan," because they traced their descent from Aaron. In the fourth century Arab tribes from Yemen began to encroach upon the Jews in Medina. They were divided into two clans, the Banu Aus andthe Banu Khazraj. By calling in outside assistance and treacherously massacring at a banquet the principal Jews, these Arab clans finally gained the upper hand at Medina toward the end of the fifth century (for date see "J. Q. R." vii. 175, note). From this time the Jews retired into the background for about a century. About four or five years before the Hegira the Jews took an active part in the battle of Bu'ath between the Banu Aus and the Banu Khazraj. The Banu Naḍir and the Banu Ḳuraiẓa fought with the Banu Aus, while the Banu Ḳainuḳa' were allied with the Banu Khazraj. The latter were defeated after a long and desperate battle.
- Caussin de Perceval, Essai sur l'Histoire des Arabes, passim;
- Grätz, Gesch. iv. 66, 75 et seq., 81-83;
- Hirschfeld, Essai sur l'Histoire des Juifs de Médine, in R. E. J. vii. 167 et seq., x. 10 et seq.