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The Conquest Of Makkah

In 6 A.H., the treaty of Hudaybiya had been signed by the chiefs of the Quraysh of Makkah and the Holy Prophet (S). An important clause of this treaty stated that there would be no fighting between the two parties or their allies. In the years following the treaty, there was general peace and the Muslims went freely to Makkah to perform their pilgrimage in the presence of thousands of idol worshippers who were the enemies of Islam.

In the month of Jamadil Awwal of 8 A.H., the Holy Prophet (S) sent 3,000 soldiers to the frontiers of Syria, to punish the Romans for killing unprotected Muslim missionaries in a cruel manner. The Muslims however, did not engage in full battle but retreated after a few attacks. Although very few Muslim lives were lost, the expedition was not as successful as had been expected. When the Quraysh heard the news, they thought that the military might of the Muslims had weakened and they got bold and decided to disturb the peaceful situation.

The first action of the Quraysh was to encourage their friends, the Bani Bakr, to launch an unexpected attack on the people of Bani Khuza'ah, who were the allies of the Muslims and under their protection. The Bani Khuza'ah, who were caught by surprise could not offer much resistance and were killed in their beds and in prayers. The ones who remained alive were made prisoners.

When the news reached the Holy Prophet (S), he promised to avenge the innocent blood of the Bani Khuza'ah. The Quraysh, on hearing that the Muslims were taking this breach of the peace treaty very seriously, began to regret their hasty action. To try and calm things down, they sent Abu Sufyan to Madinah with instructions to hide the details of their crimes by all means.

When Abu Sufyan arrived in Madinah, he went straight to the house of his daughter, Umme Habiba, who was the wife of the Holy Prophet (S). When he wanted to sit on a mattress that was used by the Holy Prophet (S), his daughter folded it up. Abu Sufyan asked, "Did you not think that the bedding was suitable for me, or was I not suitable for it?". His daughter replied, "I do not wish that a person who is an unbeliever and Najis should sit on the bedding of the Holy Prophet (S)."

The experience at his daughter's house left Abu Sufyan very uneasy but he decide to go to meet the Holy Prophet (S) anyway. When he met him, Abu Sufyan talked unashamedly of strengthening the bond of peace between the Muslims and the Quraysh, as if their actions against the allies did not matter. However, the Holy Prophet (S) remained silent, thus showing him that he did not care for the proposal at all.

Abu Sufyan realised that he had no chance of changing the mind of the Holy Prophet (S) or stopping the revenge of the Muslims, so he returned to Makkah to warn the Quraysh.

The Holy Prophet (S) decided to use this opportunity to bring Makkah under the control of Islam once and for all. However, he wanted to capture this last base of the idol worshippers with as little bloodshed as possible. He planned to move swiftly and secretly to Makkah with a huge army. He hoped that when the Makkans would be faced with a powerful army that appeared by surprise, they would lose heart in fighting.

According to this plan, the Holy Prophet (S) mobilised the Muslim army on the 10th of Mahe-Ramadhan 8 A.H., and marched towards Makkah with about 10,000 men. When they reached a place called Kadid a few miles from Madinah, the Holy Prophet (S) and the Muslims broke their fasts. Then they continued onward towards Makkah.

Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib, who was the uncle of the Holy Prophet (S), lived in Makkah and used to inform the Holy Prophet (S) about the decisions of the Quraysh. Although he was a Muslim, he had good relations with the chiefs of the Quraysh.

While the Holy Prophet (S) was proceeding towards Makkah, Abbas left towards Madinah and met him at a place called Ju'fah. The presence of Abbas proved very useful in the conquest of Makkah.

The Muslim army finally stopped to camp a few miles from Makkah. The Makkans, who were unaware of the Muslim presence, were shocked when they suddenly saw the hills around Makkah light up with hundreds of fires from the Muslim camp.

Abu Sufyan and some other chiefs of the Quraysh came out of Makkah to investigate. He was met by Abbas, who protected him from the swords of the Muslims and guided him to the Holy Prophet's (S) tent.

When the Holy Prophet (S) saw him, he said, "Has the time not come for you to accept that there is no god but Allah ?" However, Abu Sufyan was not very willing to give up his belief in idols. Seeing him hesitate, Abbas warned him that if he waited for much longer, his life would not be safe. Abu Sufyan realised the danger he was in, and accepted Islam, although in his heart the hatred for the Holy Prophet (S) burned as strong as ever.

Although the Holy Prophet (S) was well aware that Abu Sufyan had only become a Muslim to save his life, he decided to accept the man's words because it would help to secure the city of Makkah without bloodshed. In order to show Abu Sufyan that he did not have any ill feelings against him, the Holy Prophet (S) declared, "Abu Sufyan is authorised to assure the people of Makkah that whoever takes refuge within the Masjidul Haraam around the Holy Ka'ba or lays down his weapons or stays in his house or takes refuge in the house of Abu Sufyan will remain safe from the action of the army of Islam."

The Holy Prophet (S) wished to show Abu Sufyan the military strength of the Muslim army so that he would tell the rest of the Quraysh how useless it would be to try and fight the Muslims. Abbas, the uncle of the Holy Prophet (S), detained Abu Sufyan in a narrow valley so they could watch the Muslim army march past.

The power and grandeur of the entire Muslim army left Abu Sufyan frightened, and all thoughts of resistance vanished from his mind. The Holy Prophet (S) set him free to return to Makkah. Abu Sufyan told the Makkans what he had seen and gave them the message of the Holy Prophet (S). He further added that it would be impossible to attack an army so large and well equipped. The morale of the Makkans was completely weakened when they heard the words of Abu Sufyan.

The Holy Prophet (S) entered the city of Makkah with great dignity riding on his camel al-Qaswa. Nobody stood to oppose him. He stopped at the side of the grave of his uncle Abu Talib and pitched his tent at that place.

Each unit of the Muslim army entered the city through different gates with no incident except for the unit of Khalid bin Walid. Some people tried to stop him and fighting broke out which was stopped by the Holy Prophet (S). Soon, the entire city of Makkah surrendered to the Muslims.

The Holy Prophet (S) won the hearts of the Makkans by saying that he would take no revenge for their past actions, and that they were all free.

He then mounted his camel and proceeded towards the Holy Ka'ba for Tawaaf. During the first round of Tawaaf, he turned towards the three big idols named Hubal, Isaf, and Na'ilah, which had been put above the door of the Holy Ka'ba. He knocked them down with a stick he was carrying and recited the following verse from the Holy Qur'an:
"Say, "Truth has come and falsehood has been banished; and falsehood is certainly doomed to banishment".     
Surah Bani Israa'il, 17:81
The Holy Prophet (S) then entered the Holy Ka'ba to clear it of the idols that were in there. He broke many idols himself. Some of them were placed too high for him to reach, so he asked Imam Ali (A) to stand on his shoulders and pull the idols down. Thus, the last traces of idol worship were removed from the Holy Ka'ba and Masjidul Haraam.

By now the time for Zuhr prayers had set in. The Holy Prophet (S) asked Bilal to recite the Adhaan. All the Muslims offered their prayers led by the Holy Prophet (S), who then delivered a speech in which he summarised the message of Islam. The entire population of Makkah then offered their allegiance to the Holy Prophet (S).

Allah had kept the promise he had made to his beloved Prophet (S) when He said in the Holy Qur'an:
"(O Muhammad,) Allah Who has commanded you to follow the guidance of the Qur'an will certainly return you victoriously to your place of birth".     
Surah al-Qasas, 28:85
Exercise
  1. Why did the treaty of Hudaybiya prove a success for the Muslims?
  2. Why were the Muslims unable to fight the Romans in Syria?
  3. What surprised Abu Sufyan in Madinah?
  4. Why did the Holy Prophet (S) march secretly to Makkah?
  5. Why did Abu Sufyan finally become a Muslim?
  6. Why did the Holy Prophet (S) accept Abu Sufyan's words?
  7. Who helped him break the idols?
  8. How did the Holy Prophet (S) win the hearts of the Makkans?
  9. What promise had Allah made to the Holy Prophet (S)?
  10. The Ayat 17:81 will be recited by our 12th Imam (A) when he re-appears. Look up the text and memorise it.
(Courtesy of:- Shia Ithna asheri Madressa)


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