Having subdued two powerful sides of the Confederates coalition,
the Prophet peace be upon him started preparations to discipline the third
party, i.e. the desert bedouins, who took Najd for habitation, and continued
in their usual practices of looting and plundering. Unlike the Jews of
Khaibar and people of Makkah, they had a liking for living in the wilderness
dispersed in scattered spots, hence the difficulty of bringing them under
control, and the futility of carrying out deterrent campaigns against
them. However, the Prophet peace be upon him was determined to put an
end to this unacceptable situation and called the Muslims around him to
get ready to launch a decisive campaign against those harassing rebels.
Meanwhile it was reported to him that Bani Muharib and Banu Tha'lbah of
the Ghatfan tribe were gathering army in order to encounter the Muslims.
The Prophet peace be upon him proceeded towards Najd at the head of 400
or 700 men, after he had mandated Abu Dhar - in another version, 'Uthman
bin 'Affan - to dispose the affairs of Madinah during his absence. The
Muslim fighters penetrated deep into their land until they reached a spot
called Nakhlah where they came across some bedouins of Ghatfan, but no
fighting took place because the latter had agreed to go into reconciliation
with the Muslims. The Prophet peace be upon him led his followers that
day in a prayer of fear.
Al-Bukhari, on the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari, narrated
that they set out on an expedition with the Messenger of Allâh peace be
upon him. "We were six in number and had (with us) only one camel
which we rode turn by turn. Our feet were injured. My feet were so badly
injured that my nails came off. We, therefore, bandaged our feet with
rags, so this expedition was called Dhat-ur-Riqa' (i.e. the expedition
Jabir narrated: In the course of Dhat-ur-Riqa' expedition,
we came to a leafy tree where the Prophet peace be upon him sat shading
himself off the burning sun. The others dispersed here and there seeking
shelter from heat. The Prophet peace be upon him had a short nap after
he had hung his sword on the tree. A polytheist, meanwhile came, seized
the sword and unsheathed it.
The Prophet peace be upon him woke up to find his sword drawn
in the man's hand. The bedouin here asked the Prophet (unarmed then):
"Who would hold me back from killing you now?" The Prophet peace
be upon him then answered: "It is Allâh." In another version,
it was reported that the Prophet peace be upon him took the sword when
it had fallen down and the man said: "You (the Prophet) are the best
one to hold a sword." The Prophet peace be upon him asked the man
if he would testify to the Oneness of Allâh and the Messengership of Muhammad.
The Arabian answered that he would never engage in a fight against him,
nor would he ally people fighting the Muslims. The Prophet peace be upon
him set the man free and let him go to his people to say to them that
he had seen the best one among all people.
A woman from the Arabians was taken prisoner in the context
of this battle. Her husband, on hearing the news, swore he would never
stop until he had shed the blood of a Muslim. Secretly at night, he approached
the camp of the Muslims when he saw two sentries stationed there to alert
the Muslims against any emergency. He shot the first one, Abbad bin Bishr,
who was observing prayer, with an arrow but he did not stop prayer, he
simply pulled it out. Then he was shot by three other arrows but would
not interrupt his prayer. After he had done the closing salutations, he
awakened his companion 'Ammar bin Yasir, who remonstrated that he should
have alerted him to which the latter replied that he was half way through
a Chapter and did not like to interrupt it.
The victory at the expedition of Dhat-ur-Riqa' had a tremendous
impact on all the Arabians. It cast fear into their hearts and rendered
them too powerless to antagonize the Muslim society in Madinah. They began
to acquiesce in the prevailing situation and resigned themselves to new
geo-political conditions working in favour of the new religion. Some of
them even embraced Islam and took an active part in the conquest of Makkah
and the battle of Hunain, and received their due shares of the war booty.
From that time onward, the anti-Islam tripartite coalition
had been subdued, and peace and security prevailed. The Muslims, then
started to redress any political imbalance and fill in the small gaps
that still triggered unrest here and there in the face of the great drive
of Islamization that enveloped the whole area. We could in this context
mention some of these incidental skirmishes which pointed markedly to
the ever-growing power of the Muslim society.
- 1. A platoon headed by Ghalib bin 'Abdullah Al-Laithi
in Safar or in Rabi' Al-Awwal 7 A.H. was despatched to muffle the provocative
behaviour of Bani Al-Muluh. The Muslims managed to kill a large number
of the enemy soldiers and captured a great deal of booty. A large army
of polytheists rushed in their heel but floods hindered the pursuit,
and the Muslims managed to withdraw in safety.
- 2. 'Umar bin Al-Khattab, at the head of a 30-soldier group,
set out to a spot called Turbah in Sha'ban 7 A.H. to discipline the
people of Hawazin. He no longer arrived at their habitation that they
fled for their lives.
- 3. Thirty men with Basheer bin Sa'd Al-Ansari headed for
Bani Murrah in Sha'ban 7 A.H. in Fadak area. He killed a large number
of the enemy and seized a lot of their camels and cattle. On his way
back, the enemy gathered up forces and overtook the Muslims at night.
They showered Basheer and his men with arrows, and killed all the Muslims
except Basheer, who took refuge in Fadak and stayed with the Jews there
until his wounds healed.
- 4. Ghalib bin 'Abdullah Al-Laithi at the head of a platoon
of 130 men launched an attack against Bani 'Awâl and Bani 'Abd bin Tha'lbah
in Ramadan 7 A.H. They killed some of the enemy's men and captured their
cattle and camels. 'Usama bin Zaid killed Mardas bin Nahik, a polytheist,
but after he had pronounced the testimony of Allâh's Oneness to which
incident the Prophet peace be upon him commented addressing his Companions:
"Would you rip open his heart to discern whether he is truthful
or a liar?"
- 5. A thirty-horseman group headed by 'Abdullah bin Rawaha
marched towards Khaibar on reports that Aseer (or Basheer bin Razam)
was rallying the ranks of Bani Ghatfan to attack the Muslims: They managed
to persuade that Jew to follow them to Madinah encouraging him that
the Prophet peace be upon him would institute him as a ruler of Khaibar.
On their way back there occurred a sort of misunderstanding that gave
rise to fierce fighting between the two parties resulting in the death
of Aseer and the thirty men with him.
- 6. In Shawwal 7 A.H., Basheer bin Sa'd Al-Ansari marched
towards Yemen and Jabar at the head of 300 Muslim fighters to subdue
a large mob of polytheists who gathered to raid the outskirts of Madinah.
Basheer and his men used to march at night and lurk during the day until
they reached their destination. Having heard about the advent of the
Muslims, the polytheists fled away leaving behind them a large booty
and two men who later embraced Islam on arrival in Madinah.
- 7. In the year 7 A.H., shortly before the Compensatory
'Umrah (lesser pilgrimage), a man called Jashm bin Mu'awiyah came to
a spot called Ghabah where he wanted to gather the people of Qais and
entice them into fighting the Muslims. The Prophet peace be upon him,
on hearing these reports, despatched Abu Hadrad with two men to see
to the situation. Abu Hadrad, through a clever strategy, managed to
rout the enemy and capture a lot of their cattle.
When Dhul Qa'da month approached towards the close of the
seventh year A.H., the Prophet peace be upon him ordered his people, and
the men who witnessed Al-Hudaibiyah Truce Treaty in particular, to make
preparations to perform 'Umrah (lesser pilgrimage). He proceeded with
2000 men besides some women and children, and 60 camels for sacrifice,
to visit the Holy Sanctuary in Makkah. The Muslims took their weapons
with them fearing the treachery of the Quraishites, but left them with
a party of two hundred men at a place some eight miles from Makkah. They
entered the city with the swords in their scabbards, with the Prophet
peace be upon him at their head on his she-camel, Al-Qaswa', while the
surrounding Companions attentively focusing their look on him, all saying:
"Here I am! at Your service O Allâh!" The Quraishites had left
the place and retired to their tents on the adjoining hills. The Muslims
performed the usual circumambulation vigorously and briskly; and on recommendation
by the Prophet peace be upon him they did their best to appear strong
and steadfast in their circumambulation as the polytheists had spread
rumours that they were weak because the fever of Yathrib (Madinah) had
sapped their strength. They were ordered to run in the first three rounds
and then walk in the remaining ones. The Makkans meanwhile aligned on
the top of Qu'aiqa'an Mount watching the Muslims, tongue-tied at witnessing
their strength and devotion. When they entered the Holy Sanctuary, 'Abdullah
bin Rawaha walked before the Prophet peace be upon him reciting:
"Get out of his way, you disbelievers, make way, we
will fight you about its revelation with strokes that will remove heads
from shoulders and make friend unmindful of friend." After ritual
walking and running between the two hills of Makkah, Safa and Marwah,
the Prophetpeace be upon him with the Muslims halted at the latter spot
to slaughter the sacrificial animals and shave their heads.
The main body of the pilgrims had now performed the basic
rites of the lesser pilgrimage, but there remained those who were entrusted
the charge of the weapons. The Prophet had these relieved, and they went
through the same devotions as the others did.
On the morning of the fourth day of the pilgrimage, the notables
of Quraish asked 'Ali bin Abi Talib to tell the Prophet peace be upon
him to leave Makkah along with his Companions. He, of course, could not
conceive of violating the terms of Al-Hudaibiyah Treaty, therefore he
ordered his men to depart for a village called Sarif where he stayed for
It was during this visit of the Prophet peace be upon him
to Makkah for pilgrimage that his uncle 'Abbas offered the hand of his
sister-in-law, Maimuna - the daughter of Harith, to him. The Prophet peace
be upon him was kind enough to accept this offer since it was an effective
step towards cementing the ties of relationship between the Prophet peace
be upon him and the influential men of Makkah. The wedding took place
Narrators attached different designations to this lesser
pilgrimage. Some called it the compensatory lesser pilgrimage, performed
instead of that uncompleted of Hudaibiyah; and the other one, given preponderance
by jurists, is the lesser pilgrimage consequent on certain terms of a
treaty already agreed upon. On the whole, compensatory, judicial consent,
retribution and reconciliation are all terms applicable to that visit.
Some military operations, directed against some still obdurate
desert Arabians, took place at the conclusion of the lesser pilgrimage,
of which we could mention:
There was also an insignificant skirmish that occurred in
Rabi' Al-Awwal 8 A.H. Shuja' bin Wahab Al-Asadi, along with 25 men, marched
towards Bani Hawazin tribe where they encountered no resistance but managed
to gain some booty.
It was the most significant and the fiercest battle during
the lifetime of the Messenger of Allâh peace be upon him, a preliminary
and a prelude to the great conquests of the land of the Christians. It
took place in Jumada Al-Ula 8 A.H. / September 629 A.D. Mu'tah is a village
that lies on the borders of geographical Syria.
The Prophet peace be upon him had sent Al-Harith bin 'Umair
Al-Azdi on an errand to carry a letter to the ruler of Busra. On his way,
he was intercepted by Sharhabeel bin 'Amr Al-Ghassani, the governor of
Al-Balqa' and a close ally to Caesar, the Byzantine Emperor. Al-Harith
was tied and beheaded by Al-Ghassani.
Killing envoys and messengers used to be regarded as the
most awful crime, and amounted to the degree of war declaration. The Prophet
peace be upon him was shocked on hearing the news and ordered that a large
army of 3000 men be mobilized and despatched to the north to discipline
the transgressors. It was the largest Muslim army never mobilized on this
scale except in the process of the Confederates Battle.
Zaid bin Haritha was appointed to lead the army. Ja'far bin
Abi Talib would replace him if he was killed, and 'Abdullah bin Rawaha
would succeed Ja'far in case the latter fell. A white banner was raised
and handed over to Zaid.
The Prophet peace be upon him recommended that they reach
the scene of Al-Harith's murder and invite the people to profess Islam.
Should the latter respond positively, then no war would ensue, otherwise
fighting them would be the only alternative left. He ordered them:
"Fight the disbelievers in the Name of Allâh, neither
breach a covenant nor entertain treachery, and under no circumstances
a new-born, woman, an ageing man or a hermit should be killed; moreover
neither trees should be cut down nor homes demolished." At the conclusion
of the military preparations, the people of Madinah gathered and bade
the army farewell. 'Abdullah bin Rawaha began to weep at that moment,
and when asked why he was weeping, he swore that it was not love for this
world nor under a motive of infatuation with the glamour of life but rather
the Words of Allâh speaking of Fire that he heard the Prophet peace be
upon him reciting:
"There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell);
this is with your Lord, a Decree which must be accomplished." [19:71]
The Muslim army then marched northward to Ma'ân, a town bordering
on geographical Syria. There news came to the effect that Heraclius had
mobilized a hundred thousand troops together with another hundred thousand
men of Lakham, Judham and Balqain - Arabian tribes allied to the Byzantines.
The Muslims, on their part had never thought of encountering such a huge
army. They were at a loss about what course to follow, and spent two nights
debating these unfavourable conditions. Some suggested that they should
write a letter to the Prophet peace be upon him seeking his advice. 'Abdullah
bin Rawaha was opposed to them being reluctant and addressed the Muslims
saying: "I swear by Allâh that this very object which you hold in
abhorrence is the very one you have set out seeking, martyrdom. In our
fight we don't count on number of soldiers or equipment but rather on
the Faith that Allâh has honoured us with. Dart to win either of the two,
victory or martyrdom." In the light of these words, they moved to
engage with the enemy in Masharif, a town of Al-Balqa', and then changed
direction towards Mu'tah where they encamped. The right flank was led
by Qutba bin Qatadah Al-'Udhari, and the left by 'Ubadah bin Malik Al-Ansari.
Bitter fighting started between the two parties, three thousand Muslims
against an enemy fiftyfold as large.
Zaid bin Haritha, the closest to the Messenger's heart, assumed
leadership and began to fight tenaciously and in matchless spirit of bravery
until he fell, fatally stabbed. Ja'far bin Abi Talib then took the banner
and did a miraculous job. In the thick of the battle, he dismounted, hamstrung
his horse and resumed fighting until his right hand was cut off. He seized
the banner with his left hand until this too was gone. He then clasped
the banner with both arms until a Byzantine soldier struck and cut him
into two parts. he was posthumously called "the flying Ja'far"
or "Ja'far with two wings" because Allâh has awarded him two
wings to fly wherever he desired there in the eternal Garden. Al-Bukhari
reported fifty stabs in his body, none of them in the back.
'Abdullah bin Rawaha then proceeded to hold up the banner
and fight bravely on his horseback while reciting enthusiastic verses
until he too was killed. Thereupon a man, from Bani 'Ajlan, called Thabit
bin Al-Arqam took the banner and called upon the Muslims to choose a leader.
The honour was unanimously granted to Khalid bin Al-Waleed, a skilled
brave fighter and an outstanding strategist. It was reported by Al-Bukhari
that he used nine swords that broke while he was relentlessly and courageously
fighting the enemies of Islam. He, however, realizing the grave situation
the Muslims were in, began to follow a different course of encounter,
revealing the super strategy-maker, that Khalid was rightly called. He
reshuffled the right and left flanks of the Muslim army and introduced
forward a division from the rear in order to cast fear into the hearts
of the Byzantine by deluding them that fresh reinforcements had arrived.
The Muslims engaged with the enemies in sporadic skirmishes but gradually
and judiciously retreating in a fully organized and well-planned withdrawal.
The Byzantines, seeing this new strategy, believed that they
were being entrapped and drawn in the heart of the desert. They stopped
the pursuit, and consequently the Muslims managed to retreat back to Madinah
with the slightest losses. The Muslims sustained twelve martyrs, whereas
the number of casualties among the Byzantines was unknown although the
details of the battle point clearly to a large number. Even though the
battle did not satisfy the Muslims' objective, namely avenging Al-Harith's
murder, it resulted in a far-ranging impact and attached to the Muslims
a great reputation in the battlefields.
The Byzantine Empire, at that time, was a power to be reckoned
with, and mere thinking of antagonizing it used to mean self-annihilation,
let alone a three-thousand-soldier army going into fight against 200,000
soldiers far better equipped and lavishly furnished with all luxurious
conveniences. The battle was a real miracle proving that the Muslims were
something exceptional not then familiar. Moreover, it gave evidence that
Allâh backed them and their Prophet, Muhammad, was really Allâh's Messenger.
In the light of these new strategic changes, the archenemies among the
desert bedouins began to reconcile themselves with the new uprising faith
and several recalcitrant tribes like Banu Saleem, Ashja', Ghatfan, Dhubyan,
Fazarah and others came to profess Islam out of their own sweet free will.
Mu'tah Battle, after all, constituted the forerunner of the
blood encounter to take place with the Byzantines subsequently. It pointed
markedly to a new epoch of the Islamic conquest of the Byzantine empire
and other remote countries, to follow at a later stage.
Dhat As-Salasil is a spot situated ten days' walk north of
Madinah. The Muslims are said to have encamped in a place with a well
of water called Salsal, hence the terminology Dhat As-Salasil. In view
of the alliance between the Arabian tribes on the borders of Syria and
the Byzantines, the Prophet peace be upon him deemed it of top urgency
to carry out a wisely-planned manoeuvre that might bring about a state
of rapport with those bedouins, and would at the same time detach them
from the Byzantines. For the implementation of this plan, he chose 'Amr
bin Al-'As, whose paternal grandmother came from Bali, a tribe dwelling
in that area. This motive in mind, combined with provocative military
movements, by Bani Quda'a, precipitated this preemptive strike which started
in Jumada Ath-Thaniya, 8 A.H.
'Amr bin Al-'As was awarded a white flag with a black banner
to go with it. He set out at the head of 300 Emigrants and Helpers assisted
by a cavalry of 30 men, and was recommended to seek help from Bali, 'Udhra
and Balqain tribes. He used to march at night and lurk during the day.
On approaching the enemy lines and realizing the large build up of men,
he sent for reinforcements from Madinah, and these arrived on the spot
headed by Abu 'Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah leading further 200 men as well as
other platoons including Abu Bakr and 'Umar bin Al-Khattab. All of them
were given strict orders to cooperate, work in harmony and never leave
any area for disagreement. At noon, Abu 'Ubaidah wanted to lead the Muslims
in prayer, but 'Amr objected on grounds that the former came only to assist,
and leadership in prayer was given to 'Amr.
The Muslim army reached the habitations of Quda'a and penetrated
deep in their land, destroyed the enemies and obliged the others to flee
for their lives in different directions. At the conclusion of the military
operations, a courier was despatched to the Messenger of Allâh peace be
upon him to brief him on the developments of events and the ultimate victory
In Sha'ban month 8 A.H., news reached the Prophet peace be
upon him of amassing troops by Bani Ghatfan, still outside the domain
of Islam. He urgently summoned Abu Qatadah and sent him at the head of
fifteen men to discipline those outlaws. It took fifteen days to teach
them an unforgettable lesson. Some were killed, others captured and all
their property confiscated.
Ibn Al-Qaiyim described the conquest of Makkah as the greatest
one by which Allâh honoured His religion, Messenger, soldiers and honest
party. He thereby rescued the Sacred House, whose guidance all people
seek. It was the greatest propitious event in heaven and on earth. It
was the most significant prelude to a new era that was to witness the
great march of Islamization and the entry of people into the fold of Islam
in huge hosts. It provided an ever shining face and a most glowing source
of inspiration to the whole earth.
According to the terms of the treaty of Hudaibiyah, the Arab
tribes were given the option to join either of the parties, the Muslims
or Quraish, with which they desired to enter into treaty alliance. Should
any of these tribes suffer aggression, then the party to which it was
allied would have the right to retaliate. As a consequence, Banu Bakr
joined Quraish, and Khuza'ah joined the Prophet peace be upon him. They
thus lived in peace for sometime but ulterior motives stretching back
to pre-Islamic period ignited by unabated fire of revenge triggered fresh
hostilities. Banu Bakr, without caring a bit for the provisions of the
treaty, attacked Banu Khuza'ah in a place called Al-Wateer in Sha'ban,
8 A.H. Quraish helped Banu Bakr with men and arms taking advantage of
the dark night. Pressed by their enemies, the tribesmen of Khuza'ah sought
the Holy Sanctuary, but here too, their lives were not spared, and, contrary
to all accepted traditions, Nawfal, the chief of Banu Bakr, chasing them
in the sanctified area - where no blood should be shed - massacred his
When the aggrieved party sought justice from their Muslim
allies, the Prophet peace be upon him, as their leader, demanded an immediate
redress for not only violating the treaty but also slaying men allied
to him in the sanctified area. Three demands were made, the acceptance
of any one of them was imperative:
This behaviour on the part of Quraish was clearly a breach
of the treaty of Al-Hudaibiyah and was obviously an act of hostility against
the allies of the Muslims, i.e. Banu Khuza'ah. Quraish immediately realized
the grave situation and feared the horrible consequences looming on the
horizon. They immediately called for an emergency meeting and decided
to delegate their chief Abu Sufyan to Madinah for a renewal of the truce.
He directly headed for the house of his daughter Umm Habiba (the Prophet's
wife). But as he went to sit on the Messenger's carpet, she folded it
up. "My daughter," said he, "I hardly knew if you think
the carpet is too good for me or that I am too good for the carpet."
She replied, "It is the Messenger of Allâh's carpet, and you are
an unclean polytheist."
Being disgusted at the curt reply of his daughter, Abu Sufyan
stepped out of her room and went to see the Prophet peace be upon him,
but the latter was well aware of his tricks and did not hold him any assurance.
He then approached Abu Bakr, but the latter too declined to interfere.
He contacted 'Umar to intercede but this great Companion made a point-blank
refusal. At last he saw 'Ali bin Abi Talib and began begging him in the
most humble words, cunningly alluding to the prospects of mastery over
all the Arabs if he were to intercede for the renewal of the treaty. 'Ali
also briefly regretted his inability to do anything for him. Abu Sufyan
turned his steps back to Makkah in a state of bitter disappointment and
utter horror. There he submitted a report of his meeting with his daughter,
Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Ali's reaction and the meaningful silence of the
Prophet. The Makkans were dismayed, but did not expect imminent danger.
On the authority of At-Tabari, the Messenger of Allâh peace
be upon him asked 'Aishah ÑÖì Çááå ÚäåÇ, his spouse three days prior to
receiving news relating to breaching of covenant, to make preparations
peculiar to marching out for war. Abu Bakr, meanwhile, came in and asked
'Aishah ÑÖì Çááå ÚäåÇ what the matter was, showing surprise at the preparations
being made as it was not, as he said, the usual time for war. She replied
that she had no idea. On the morning of the third day 'Amr bin Sâlim Al-Khuza'i
arrived in the company of forty horsemen to brief the Prophet peace be
upon him on the plight of his people and seeking the Muslims' help for
retaliation. People of Madinah then got to know that Quraish had breached
the covenant. Budail followed 'Amr, and then Abu Sufyan and the news was
With view of securing a complete news black-out concerning
his military intentions, the Prophet peace be upon him despatched an eight-men
platoon under the leadership of Qatadah bin Rab'i in the direction of
Edam, a short distance from Madinah, in Ramadan 8 A.H., in order to divert
the attention of people and screen off the main target with which he was
There was so much dread and fear everywhere that Hatib, one
of the most trusted followers of the Prophet peace be upon him secretly
despatched a female messenger with a letter to Makkah containing intimation
of the intended attack. The Prophet peace be upon him received news from
the heaven of Hatib's action and sent 'Ali and Al-Miqdad with instructions
to go after her. They overtook the messenger, and after a long search
discovered the letter carefully hidden in her locks. The Prophet peace
be upon him summoned Hatib and asked him what had induced him to this
act. He replied, "O Messenger of Allâh peace be upon him! I have
no affinity of blood with Quraish; there is only a kind of friendly relationship
between them and myself. My family is at Makkah and there is no one to
look after it or to offer protection to it. My position stands in striking
contrast to that of the refugees whose families are secure due to their
blood ties with Quraish. I felt that since I am not related to them, I
should, for the safety of my children, earn their gratitude by doing good
to them. I swear by Allâh that I have not done this act as an apostate,
forsaking Islam. I was prompted only by the considerations I have just
'Umar wanted to cut his head off as a hypocrite, but the
Prophet peace be upon him accepted his excuse and granted him pardon,
then addressed 'Umar saying: "Hatib is one of those who fought in
the battle of Badr. How do you know that he is a hypocrite? Allâh is likely
to look favourably on those who participated in that battle. Turning then,
to Hatib, he said: "Do as you please, for I have forgiven you."
After making full preparation, the Prophet peace be upon
him proceeded to Makkah at the head of ten thousand soldiers on the 10th
of Ramadan, 8 A.H. He mandated Abu Ruhm Al-Ghifari to dispose the affairs
of Madinah during his absence. When they reached Al-Juhfa, Al-'Abbas bin
'Abdul Muttalib and his family came to join the Prophet peace be upon
him. At Al-Abwa', the Muslims came across Abu Sufyan bin Al-Harith and
'Abdullah bin Omaiyah, the Prophet's cousins, but, on account of the harm
they had inflicted, and their satiric language, on the believers, they
were not welcomed. 'Ali addressed Abu Sufyan to go and beseech the Prophet
peace be upon him for pardon and confess his ill-behaviour in a manner
similar to that of Yusuf's (the Prophet Joseph) brothers:
"They said: 'By Allâh! Indeed Allâh has preferred you
above us, and we certainly have been sinners.'" [12:91] Abu Sufyan
observed 'Ali's counsel, to which the Prophet quoted Allâh's Words:
"He said: 'No reproach on you this day, may Allâh forgive
you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!'" [12:92]
Abu Sufyan recited some verses paying a generous tribute
to the Prophet peace be upon him and professing Islam as his only religion.
The Muslims then marched on in a state of fasting until they
reached a place called Al-Qadeed where water was available. There they
broke fast and resumed their movement towards Mar Az-Zahran. The Quraishites
were quite unaware of the development of affairs, but the Prophet peace
be upon him did not like to take them by surprise. He, therefore, ordered
his men to kindle fire on all sides for cooking purposes. The idea behind
this was that Quraish should be afforded full opportunity to assess the
situation in which they were pitchforked correctly, and should not endanger
their lives by leaping blindly in the battlefield. 'Umar bin Al-Khattab
was entrusted with the guard duty. In the meanwhile, Abu Sufyan along
with Hakim bin Hizam and Budail bin Warqua', two terrible polytheists,
went out to reconnoiter. Before they got near the camp, they met 'Abbas,
the Prophet's uncle. He apprised Abu Sufyan of the situation and advised
him to accept Islam and persuade his people to surrender before Muhammad
peace be upon him; otherwise, his head would be struck off.
Under the prevailing compelling circumstances, Abu Sufyan
went in the company of 'Abbas seeking the Prophet's peace be upon him
audience. The Muslims were furious to see Abu Sufyan and wanted to kill
him on the spot. But the two men managed, not without difficulties, to
see the Messenger of Allâh peace be upon him who advised that they see
him the following day. The Prophet peace be upon him addressed Abu Sufyan
saying: "Woe to you! Isn't it time for you to bear witness to the
Oneness of Allâh and Prophethood of Muhammad?" Here, the archenemy
of Islam began to beseech the Prophet peace be upon him in the most earnest
words that testify to the Prophet's generosity and mild temper begging
for pardon and forgiveness, and professing wholeheartedly the new faith.
On request by 'Abbas, the Prophet peace be upon him, in the context of
the general amnesty he proclaimed, gave Abu Sufyan, who had a liking for
bragging, a special privilege, saying: "He who takes refuge in Abu
Sufyan's house is safe; whosoever confines himself to his house, the inmates
thereof shall be in safety, and he who enters the Sacred Mosque is safe."
On the morning of Tuesday, 17th. Ramadan, 8 A.H., the Prophet
peace be upon him left Mar Az-Zahran. He ordered Al-'Abbas to detain Abu
Sufyan at a commanding gorge that could afford a full view of the Muslim
army parading on its way towards Makkah, and hence give him the chance
to see the great and powerful soldiers of Allâh. The different tribes
successively passed with their banners flown up, until at last the battalion
of the Emigrants and Helpers with the Prophet peace be upon him at their
head heavily armed marched by. Abu Sufyan began to wonder who those people
were, to which Al-'Abbas told him that they were Muhammad peace be upon
him and his Companions. Abu Sufyan said that no army however powerful
could resist those people and addressing Al-'Abbas, he said: "I swear
by Allâh that the sovereignty of your brother's son has become too powerful
to withstand." Al-'Abbas answered, "It is rather the power of
Prophethood," to which the former agreed.
Sa'd bin 'Ubadah carried the flag of the Helpers. When he
passed by Abu Sufyan, he said "Today will witness the great fight,
you cannot seek sanctuary at Al-Ka'bah. Today will witness the humiliation
of Quraish." Abu Sufyan complained about this to the Prophet peace
be upon him who got angry and said "Nay, today Al-Ka'bah will be
sanctified, and Quraish honoured," and quickly ordered that Sa'd
should be stripped off the flag, and that it should be entrusted to his
son Qais, in another version, to Az-Zubair.
Al-'Abbas urged Abu Sufyan to hasten into Makkah and warn
the Quraishites against any aggressive behaviour towards the Muslims.
There in Makkah, he shouted at the top of his voice and warned against
any hostilities advising them to seek safety in his house. His wife got
indignant and tugged at his moustache cursing him and abusing his cowardly
stance. The people within Makkah mocked Abu Sufyan and dispersed in different
directions, some into their houses, others into the Holy Sanctuary while
some undisciplined reckless ruffians led by 'Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl, Safwan
bin Omaiyah and Suhail bin 'Amr encamped themselves in a place called
Khandamah, with a murderous intent in their minds.
The Prophet peace be upon him, on his part, was quite modestly
and calmly drawing the final touches for the military breakthrough awaiting
the Muslims, by Allâh's Will. He appointed Khalid bin Al-Waleed as a leader
of the right flank of the army with Aslam, Sulaim, Ghifar, Muzainah and
Juhainah tribes under his command to enter Makkah through its lower avenues.
Az-Zubair bin 'Awwam was to lead the left flank and would storm Makkah
from the upper side holding up the Messenger's banner. Abu 'Ubaidah took
command of the infantry and was to penetrate into the city via a side
valley. They were given full and decisive orders not to kill unless in
self defence and in that case they would exterminate any aggressive elements
and quell any opposition.
The Muslim battalions marched out each in its already drawn
route to fulfill the missions they were supposed to carry out. Khalid
bin Al-Waleed worked his way into the heart of the town quite successively
killing twelve of the ruffians and sustaining two martyrs. Az-Zubair set
out and reached the fixed destination where he planted the banner at Al-Fath
(conquest) Mosque and waited there for the arrival of the Prophet peace
be upon him. A tent was pitched for him where he offered prayers of thanks
to the All-Mighty Allâh, Who, out of His immense grace, had granted him
a splendid victory. But he did not repose long. He, in the company of
the Helpers and Emigrants, got up and proceeded towards Al-Ka'bah, the
Sacred House, which is an emblem of the Oneness and Supremacy of Allâh.
It was unfortunately infested with idols that numbered 360. He knocked
them down with his bow while reciting the verse of the Noble Qur'ân:
"And Say: 'Truth (i.e. Islamic Monotheism or this Qur'ân
or Jihâd against polytheists) has come and Batil (falsehood, i.e. Satan
or polytheism, etc.) has vanished. Surely! Batil is ever bound to vanish.'"
[17:81] And Allâh further said:
"Say (O Muhammad peace be upon him): "The Truth
(the Qur'ân and Allah's Inspiration) has come, and Al-Batil (falsehood
- Iblis) can neither create anything nor resurrect (any thing)."
[34:49] He then started the usual circumambulation on his ride. He was
not in a state of Ihram (ritual consecration) then. On completion, he
called for 'Uthman bin Talhah, the janitor of Al-Ka'bah, from whom he
took the key. He went in and saw images of Prophets Ibrahim and Ishmael,
ÚáíåãÇ ÇáÓáÇã, throwing divination arrows. He denounced these acts of
Quraish and ordered that all idols be dismantled, images and effigies
deleted. He then entered the sacred hall to face the wall opposite the
door and there again performed devout prostrations, and went around acclaiming
Allâh's Greatness and Oneness. Shortly afterwards, he returned to the
door-way and standing upon its elevated step, gazed in thankfulness on
the thronging multitude below and delivered the following celebrated address:
"There is no god but Allâh Alone. He has no associates.
He made good His Promise that He held to His slave and helped him and
defeated all the Confederates along. Bear in mind that every claim of
privilege, whether that of blood, or property, is under my heel, except
that of the custody of Al-Ka'bah and supplying of water to the pilgrims.
Bear in mind that for anyone who is slain, even though semi-deliberately,
with club or whip, for him the blood-money is very severe: a hundred camels,
forty of them to be pregnant.
"O people of Quraish! surely Allâh has abolished from
you all pride of the pre-Islamic era and all conceit in your ancestry,
(because) all men are descended from Adam, and Adam was made out of clay."
He then recited to them the verse:
"O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female,
and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily,
the most honourable of you near Allâh is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa
[i.e. one of the Muttaqûn: i.e. pious and righteous persons who fear Allâh
much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden),
and love Allâh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)].
Verily, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Aware." [49:13] He further added:
"O you people of Quraish! What do you think of the treatment
that I am about to accord to you?" They replied:
"O noble brother and son of noble brother! We expect
nothing but goodness from you." Upon this he said:
"I speak to you in the same words as Yusuf (the Prophet
Joseph) spoke unto his brothers: He said: "No reproach on you this
day," [12:92] go your way, for you are freed ones." As for the
door-keeping of Al-Ka'bah and supplying of water to pilgrims, the Prophet
peace be upon him ordered that these jobs remain in the hand of 'Uthman
bin Talhah and that the key will stay with him and his descendants for
When time for prayer approached, Bilal ascended Al-Ka'bah
and called for prayer. Abu Sufyan bin Harb, 'Itab bin Usaid and Al-Harith
bin Hisham were meanwhile sitting in the yard. 'Itab bin Usaid commented
on the new situation (Bilal ascending Al-Ka'bah and calling for prayer)
saying that Allâh honoured Usaid (his father) having not heard such words.
The Prophet peace be upon him approached and assisted by Divine Revelation
told them that he had learnt about what they had spoken of. Al-Harith
and 'Itab, taken by incredible surprise, immediately professed Islam and
bore witness to the Messengership of Muhammad peace be upon him adding
that "We swear by Allâh that none had been with us to inform you."
On that very day, the Prophet peace be upon him entered 'Umm
Hani's house where he washed and offered prayers of victory. 'Umm Hani
had sheltered two Makkan relatives of hers in her house in which act she
was granted support by the Prophet peace be upon him.
Shedding blood of nine arch-criminals was declared lawful
even under the curtains of Al-Ka'bah. Nevertheless, only four of them
were killed while the others were pardoned for different reasons. As for
those who were killed, mention could be made of 'Abdul 'Uzza bin Khatal
who had become a Muslim and then deputed to collect alms-tax in the company
of a Helper. They had also a slave with them. 'Abdullah, in a fit of rage,
killed the Helper's slave on account of a mere trifling dispute, and joined
the pagan Arabs as an apostate. He was never repentant at this heinous
crime but rather employed two women singers and incited them to sing satirically
about the Prophet peace be upon him.
The other man who was put to death was Miqyas bin Sababa.
He was a Muslim. A Helper accidently killed his brother Hisham. The Prophet
peace be upon him had arranged the payment of blood money to him, which
he had accepted. His revengeful nature, however, was never appeased, so
he killed the Helper and went to Makkah as an apostate.
Similarly, Huwairith and one woman singer went to death.
On the other hand, every attempt was made to grant pardon
to the people. 'Ikrimah bin Abu Jahl, who had attacked Khalid's detachment
at the time of the entry into Makkah, was forgiven. To Wahshi, the murderer
of Hamzah, the Prophet's uncle, and to Hind, who had chewed his liver,
was also extended his generous clemency. The same generous treatment was
accorded to Habar who had attacked the Prophet's daughter with a spear,
while on her way from Makkah to Madinah, so grievously that she ultimately
died of the fatal injuries.
In the same context of magnanimity peculiar to Muhammad peace
be upon him, two chiefs of Quraish were pardoned once they had embraced
Islam. They were Safwan bin Omaiyah and Fudalah bin 'Umair. The latter
had attempted to assassinate the Prophet peace be upon him while circumambulating
in the Holy Sanctuary. The Prophet's matchless tolerance and broad-mindedness
instigated by his mission as 'A mercy to all people', converted a terrible
hypocrite into a faithful devout believer.
On the second day of the great conquest, the Prophet peace
be upon him stood up and addressed the people in matters relating to the
holy status of Makkah. After entertaining Allâh's praise, he proclaimed
that Makkah was a holy land and would remain so till the Day of Judgement.
No bloodshed was allowed therein. Should anyone take the liberty of fighting
within Makkah on grounds derived from the events that characterized the
conquest, he should remember that it had been a licence granted temporarily
to the Prophet, and virtually does not go for others. Ibn 'Abbas ÑÖì Çááå
ÚäåãÇ narrated: The Prophet Õáì Çááå Úáíå æ Óáã said: "Allâh has
made Makkah, a sanctuary, so it was a sanctuary before me and will continue
to be a sanctuary after me. It was made legal for me (i.e. I was allowed
to fight in it) for a few hours of a day. It is not allowed to uproot
its shrubs or to cut its trees, or to chase (or disturb) its game, or
to pick up its fallen things except by a person who would announce that
(what has found) publicly." Al-'Abbas said: "O Allâh's Messenger!
Except the lemon grass (for it is used) by our goldsmiths and for our
homes." The Prophet peace be upon him then said: "Except the
lemon grass." In this context, out of the spirit of revenge, the
tribesmen of Khuza'ah killed a man from Laith Tribe. Here the Prophet
was indignant and ordered Khuza'ah to stop those pre-Islamic practices.
He, moreover, gave the family of anyone killed the right to consider either
of two options, blood-money or just retribution (the killer is killed).
After having delivered his address, the Prophet peace be
upon him rode to a small hill, Safa, not far from Al-Ka'bah. Turning his
face towards the Sacred House, amidst a vast admiring and devotional multitude,
he raised his hand in fervent prayer to Allâh. The citizens of Madinah
who had gathered round him entertained fear, as Allâh had given him victory
over his native city, he might choose to stay here. He insisted on explanation
of their fear and so they spoke openly. He immediately dispelled their
fears and assured them that he had lived with them and would die with
Immediately after the great conquest, the Makkans came to
realize that the only way to success lay in the avenue of Islam. They
complied with the new realities and gathered to pledge fealty to the Prophet
peace be upon him. The men came first pledging full obedience in all areas
they can afford. Then came the women to follow the men's example. The
Prophet peace be upon him with 'Umar bin Al-Khattab receiving the pledge
of fealty and communicating to them for him. Hind bint 'Utbah, Abu Sufyan's
wife, came in the trail of women disguised lest the Prophet peace be upon
him should recognize and account for her, having chewed the liver of Hamzah,
his uncle. The Prophet peace be upon him accepted their allegiance on
condition that they associate none with Allâh, to which they immediately
agreed. He added that they should not practise theft. Here Hind complained
that her husband, Abu Sufyan, was tight-fisted. Her husband interrupted
granting all his worldly possessions to her. The Prophet peace be upon
him laughed and recognized the woman. She implored him to extend his pardon
to her and efface all her previous sins. Some other conditions were appended
including the prohibition of adultery, infanticide or forging falsehood.
To all these orders, Hind replied positively swearing that she would not
have come to take an oath of allegiance if she had had the least seed
of disobedience to him. On returning home, she broke her idol admitting
her delusion as regards stone-gods.
The Messenger of Allâh peace be upon him stayed in Makkah
for 19 days. During that period he used to define the way to Islam, guide
people to the orthodox path. He ordered Abu Usaid Al-Khuza'i to restore
the pillars of the Holy Sanctuary, sent missions to all quarters inviting
them to adopt Islam and break down the graven images still lying in the
vicinity of Makkah, and he did have all of them scrapped, inculcating
in the believers' ears his words:
"Whoever believes in Allâh and the Hereafter is supposed
to scrap out the idols that should happen to be in his house."
Shortly after the great conquest, the Prophet peace be upon
him began to despatch platoons and errands aiming at eliminating the last
symbols reminiscent of pre-Islamic practices. He sent Khalid bin Al-Waleed
in Ramadan 8 A.H. to a spot called Nakhlah where there was a goddess called
Al-'Uzza venerated by Quraish and Kinanah tribes. It had custodians from
Bani Shaiban. Khalid, at the head of thirty horsemen arrived at the spot
and exterminated it. On his return, the Prophet peace be upon him asked
him if he had seen anything there, to which Khalid gave a negative answer.
Here, he was told that it had not been destroyed and he had to go there
again and fulfill the task. He went back again and there he saw a black
woman, naked with torn hair. Khalid struck her with his sword into two
parts. He returned and narrated the story to the Prophet peace be upon
him, who then confirmed the fulfillment of the task.
Later, in the same month, 'Amr bin Al-'As was sent on an
errand to destroy another idol, venerated by Hudhail, called Suwa'. It
used to stand at a distance of three kilometres from Makkah. On a question
posed by the door-keeper, 'Amr said he had been ordered by the Prophet
peace be upon him to knock down the idol. The man warned 'Amr that he
would not be able to do it. 'Amr was surprised to see someone still in
the wrong, approached the idol and destroyed it, then he broke the casket
beside it but found nothing. The man immediately embraced Islam. Sa'd
bin Zaid Al-Ashhali was also sent in the same month and on the same mission
to Al-Mashallal to destroy an idol, Manat, venerated by both Al-Aws and
Al-Khazraj tribes. Here also a black woman, naked with messy hair appeared
wailing and beating on her chest. Sa'd immediately killed her, destroyed
the idol and broke the casket and returned at the conclusion of his errand.
Khalid bin Al-Waleed at the head of 350 horsemen of Helpers, Emigrants
and Bani Saleem was despatched once again in the same year 8 A.H. to the
habitation of Bani Khuzaimah bedouins to invite them to the fold of Islam.
He was instructed to carry out his mission with peace and goodwill. There,
the people were not articulate enough to communicate their intentions,
so Khalid ordered his men to kill them and take the others as captives.
He even had in mind to kill the captives but some of the Companions were
opposed to his plan. News of bloodshed reached the Prophet peace be upon
him. He was deeply grieved and raised his hands towards the heaven, uttering
these words: "O Allâh! I am innocent of what Khalid has done,"
twice. He immediately sent 'Ali to make every possible reparation to the
tribes who had been wronged. After a careful inquiry, 'Ali paid the blood-money
to all those who suffered loss. The remaining portion was also distributed
amongst the members of the tribe in order to alleviate their suffering.
Khalid, due to his irrational behaviour, had a row with 'Abdur Rahman
bin 'Awf. Hearing this, the Prophet peace be upon him got angry, and ordered
Khalid to stop that altercation adding that his Companions (meaning 'Abdur
Rahman bin 'Awf) were too high in rank to be involved in such arguments.
That is the story of the conquest of Makkah and the decisive
battle that exterminated paganism once and for all. The other tribes in
the Arabian Peninsula were waiting and closely watching the final outcome
of the bitter struggle between the Muslims and idolaters, already convinced
that the Holy Sanctuary would not fall but in the hands of the righteous
party. It had been a conviction deeply established in their minds ever
since the elephant army of Abraha Al-Ashram advanced from Yemen intending
to destroy the Sacred House 50 years before.
Al-Hudaibiyah Peace Treaty was the natural prelude to this
great victory in which people believed deeply and over which people talked
a lot. The Muslims in Makkah, who had feared to declare their Faith in
public, began to appear and work ardently for this new approach of life.
People began to convert into Islam in hosts, and the Muslim army that
numbered 3000 only in the previous Ghazwah, now came to reach 10,000 in
number. In fact, this decisive change provided people with the keen insight
to perceive things and the world around them as a whole in a different
perceptive. The Muslims were then to steer the whole political and religious
affairs of all Arabia. They had monopolised both the religious supremacy
and temporal power.
The whole post-Hudaibiyah phase had been well-fledged in
favour of the new Islamic movement. Streams of the desert Arabians began
to pour in paying full homage to the Messenger of Allâh peace be upon
him, embracing the new faith and then carrying it to different quarters