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The Pledge Of Rizwaan

In 5 A.H. the Holy Prophet (S) received the commandment of Allah making Hajj Wajib on all Muslims. In the following year he saw in a dream that he was actually performing the Hajj along with his companions. He therefore decided to perform Hajj that very year.

The Holy Prophet (S) announced to the Muslims that he intended to go for pilgrimage to Makkah in the month of Zilqad of 6 A.H. The Muhajireen, who had migrated to Madinah with the Holy Prophet (S), were delighted at this opportunity to return to their beloved home town. The Ansar, who were the original residents of Madinah, were also keen to undertake this blessed journey. In all, about 1,400 Muslims prepared to accompany the Holy Prophet (S) to Makkah.

The Holy Prophet (S) left Madinah on schedule and sent an advance party to scout the route ahead and to warn him of any threat from the Quraysh. He ordered the Muslims not to carry any arms other than swords. Along the journey, the Holy Prophet (S) and his companions put on their Ehram, and chose 70 camels for sacrifice during the Hajj.

Meanwhile, the Quraysh learned of the advance of the Muslims towards Makkah and despatched 200 soldiers to stop them. When the Holy Prophet (S) received word that an ambush awaited them, he asked their guide to take them on a route that would bypass the enemies. Finally, after travelling through rough country, they reached a place where there was a well by the name of Hudaybiya, 10 miles from Makkah.

Here, the Holy Prophet (S) ordered the Muslims to stop and pitch their tents. He then sent a message to the Quraysh that he wished to enter Makkah to perform the pilgrimage. He also let them know that he had come in peace and wished to settle matters by discussions.

The Holy Prophet (S) then asked Umar bin Khattab, who had not fought the Quraysh in any battle, to act as a representative of the Muslims and go to Makkah. Umar excused himself, saying that his position was weak. The Holy Prophet (S) therefore sent Uthman bin Affan, who was the nephew of Abu Sufyan, the chief of the Makkans.

Because he was related to Abu Sufyan, Uthman was warmly received in Makkah. The Quraysh told him that he was free to do the Hajj himself, but they would not allow the rest of the Muslims to enter the city. Uthman refused to perform the Hajj alone, so he was detained in Makkah.

When Uthman did not return, the Muslims feared that he had been killed. The Holy Prophet (S) said that there was a possibility of battle breaking out, so he took a solemn oath of allegiance from the Muslims that they would support him even in the face of death. This famous allegiance was taken under an acacia tree, and is known as the Pledge of Rizwaan. The event has been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an as follows:
"Indeed Allah was well pleased with the believers when they pledged their allegiance to you under the tree. He knew what was in their hearts so He sent down peace on them and rewarded them with an immediate victory."      Surah al-Fath, 48:18
Soon afterward, Uthman returned from Makkah, safe and unharmed. With him was a man called Suhail who was sent by the Quraysh with instructions to settle the dispute peacefully. As a result of the discussions between Suhail and the Holy Prophet (S), a peace treaty was signed between the Muslims and the Quraysh. The conditions of the treaty were:
  1. The Muslims should return to Madinah that year without performing Hajj.
  2. They could return the next year but their stay would not exceed 3 days.
  3. The Muslims should not bring any arms with them except sheathed swords.
  4. There would be no war between the Quraysh and the Muslims for 10 years.
  5. Any idolater or Makkan Muslim visiting Madinah without permission of his tribe would be sent back to Makkah, but a Muslim of Madinah going to Makkah without permission would not be allowed to return.
Any tribe of Arabia would be free to join any of the parties to the treaty and the allies also would be bound by this treaty.

At the conclusion of this treaty, the weak-faithed Umar accused the Holy Prophet (S) of selling them short. Although some of these terms seemed to be against the interests of the Muslims, it proved not to be the case. After staying 3 days at Hudaybiya, the Muslims returned to Madinah. On the way, the Surah of Fath (Victory), was revealed, which described the treaty as an open victory for the Muslims.

The Treaty of Hudaybiya brought welcome peace to Arabia after a long period of unrest. In the 2 years after this treaty, more people accepted Islam than in the whole 19 years since the beginning of the Holy Prophet's (S) mission.

(Courtesy of:- Shia Ithna asheri Madressa)