The Muhajireen were now feeling very conscious of the love they bore for their beloved city Makkah. They had left behind their homes, their many possessions, relatives and friends. They longed to see them again and they shed tears when this thought overcame them.
Rasulullah himself loved Makkah; but he would go about consoling the Muhajireen and often made dua:
A year after the Battle of the Trenches, Rasulullah dreamt that he was performing the Tawaf (circumambulation) of the Ka'ba. This dream increased his longing to see the Ka'ba again.
According to the age-old tradition, the Arabs maintained that friends and foes alike had the privilege of putting aside all their differences and proceeding to Makkah during the season of Hajj. Everyone was free to perform this sacred rite without interference from anyone. The greatness of the Ka'ba was traditionally accepted by all the Arabs regardless of their religious beliefs.
The Muslims were the only group who were stopped from entering Makkah because of the persecutions and wars carried out against them by the kuffar. During the past five years, the Muslims had so impressively proved their power as a new nation that they did not expect any opposition from the people of Makkah.
Therefore, in Zil-Qadah 6 A.H. Rasulullah left Madinah accompanied by 1400 Sahaba (R.A.) with the intention of performing 'Umrah'. They dressed themselves in 'Ehram' and took along 70 camels for sacrifice. This in itself was proof enough that they had no intention of confronting the Quraish and by the same token, the Quraish had no right to stop anyone from performing the pilgrimage. They carried only sheathed swords which was part of Arab dressing.
Hazrat Bishr ibn Soofyaan (R.A.) sent by Rasulullah to scout around for information about the Quraish. Bishr met Rasulullah at Asfan and reported:
'O Rasul of Allah, the Quraish know that you are on your way. They have called upon the 'Ahbash and Thaqif who are coming to face you. At the moment they are encamped at Dhu Tuwa. Khalid ibn Walid, at the head of the cavalry (soldiers on horseback) is in ambush at Kara al Ghamim'.
'Who can guide us along some other road than that by which they expect us?' inquired Rasulullah .
A guide of the Aslam tribe offered his services and led the Muslims through an unknown path. They went through the pass of Al-Morar and arrived at the foot of the hill of Hudaybiyah; a day's journey from Makkah. At this spot, Rasulullah 's camel al' Qaswa suddenly knelt and refused to get up.
'Is she tired?' asked the Sahaba (R.A.).
'No she is not restless'. replied Rasulullah ; 'but she is commanded by Allah to stop just as the elephant of Abraha was stopped and prevented from entering Makkah'.
'By Allah, I will accept anything the Quraish have to say providing that the principles of Islam are not trampled upon', said Rasulullah .
Later Rasulullah and the Muslims camped in the plains of Hudaybiyah near as oasis (fertile spot in the dessert) where they come across an old well which had very little water. Soon the tired and weary Muslims drank whatever little water there was in the well. Many of the Sahaba (R.A.) were still thirsty. Rasulullah took an arrow and asked Hazrat Ba'ra ibn Aazib (R.A.) to throw the arrow in the well. By Divine help, suddenly the dried up well brimmed up to the top with fresh water for the use of the Muslims.
The Quraish were also aware of the presence of the Muslims in the vicinity of Makkah. A lengthy series of negotiations followed between the Quraish and the Muslims. Budail ibn Warqa, the chief of the Banu Khuza'ah who had a good understanding of the Muslims offered to mediate. But the Quraish were divided in their opinion on the issue because they had no faith on the Kuza'ah man whose secret sympathy for Prophet Muhammed was known.
Urwa ibn Mas'ud al Thaqafi, chief of the tribe, was sent by the Qiraish to mediate. When he came before Rasulullah he said:
'O Muhammed , you have gathered together a horde of people of all countries and you have come to your place of birth to smash it with their assistance! Now the Quraish have sworn a most solemn oath, to the effect that never, so long as their eye-lashes quiver on their eye-lid shall you set foot again in Makkah, unless by force of arms, and by our gods! The scum surrounding you will flee from your side before the sun sets on another day'.
At these words a flame of indignation lit up the eyes of the Sahaba (R.A.) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) went up to the infidel and shouted to him:
'Be gone, and bite the belly of Laat. your idol. Do you think for a moment we could abandon Allah's messenger'
During Urwa ibn Mas'uds conversation with Rasulullah he was able to observe how boundless was the respect of the Sahaba (R.A.) for their leader. When Rasulullah performed his wudhu (ablution) his companions rushed to share the water he had used. Whenever Rasulullah uttered a word everybody tries to fulfil his desire and commands. They speak to him in a soft voice. Out of sheer respect they would never look him straight in the eye.
On his return impressed with the civility of the Muslims and the nobleness of Rasulullah he declared to the Quraish:
'I have seen the Khusroe of Persia in the midst of his sumptuous Persian court; Caesar, in the proud senate of the Roman patricians (noble families); the Negus, at the head of his formidable bodyguard of Abyssinia warriors. Well then, I swear that I have never met with a monarch who surrounded by the noblemen of his court, held the same position as Muhammed among his companions. And what is more remarkable, contrary, to what takes place round about other leaders, Muhammed 's followers expect nothing from him; neither favour riches nor honours. This is what I have observed. I beseech you to give careful consideration to their request for a peaceful 'Umrah' and a safe return to Madinah.
Although the Quraish were deeply affected by his declaration, they persisted in their trickery and sent 50 of their warriors to prowl around the Muslim camp with the idea of suprising and capturing a few soldiers of Islam. The Muslims were on their guard and it was they who captured a certain number of infidels prisoners. They were subsequently released at the request of Rasulullah to show the Quraish their sincere intention of performing the 'Umrah' and returning home.
Rasulullah wanted to send Hazrat Umar ibn Kattab (R.A.) into Makkah to negotiate a safe and cordial entrance into the Haram to perform 'Umrah'. Hazrat Umar (R.A.) replied:
'O Rasulullah of Allah! the Quraish know my feelings towards them as shown by my many unfriendly acts towards them. I have everything to fear from them, because their is no longer any member of my family in Makkah. But I can show you a man whose influence will be more effective than mine. I mean Uthman ibn Affan'. Eventually Rasulullah sent Hazart Uthman ibn Affan (R.A.), his son-in-law. Hazrat Uthman (R.A.) proceeded to Makkah and on its outskirts was met by Aban ibn Said who extended his protection for the duration of the time it would take him to convey his message. Hazrat Uthman (R.A.) approached the noblemen of the Quraish and handed over Rasulullah 's message. They suggested to him that he might make 'Tawaf' (circumambulation) of the Ka'ba if he wished. But Hazrat Uthman (R.A.) declined saying:
'I shall never do so until the Rasool of Allah had done so himself '.
Hazrat Uthman (R.A.) continued to insist that the Muslims had come to Makkah simply in order to visit the Ka'ba and to glorify it and to perform the religious duty of the pilgrimage. He pointed out that the Muslims had brought with them sacrificial animals and pleaded that if they were allowed to sacrifice them, they would return in peace.
The Quraish insisted that the Muslims return to Madinah as they had already sworn defiantly that Muhammed would not be allowed to enter Makkah this year.
The negotiation lasted a long time during which Hazrat Uthman (R.A.) was detained in Makkah. Soon the Muslims began to suspect that Hazrat Uthman (R.A.) had been treacherously put to death. Whatever the reason, Hazrat Uthman (R.A.)'s failure to return quickly caused the Muslims at Hudaybiyah great anxiety. With tension rising in the Muslim camp and everybody reaching for his sword, Nabi assured them that he would not allow them to return without challenging their enemies.
He called the Sahaba (R.A.) to him under a large tree in the middle of the valley, and there they pledged with Rasulullah to fight to the last man. Their fate was certain, their conviction was strong, and their will was determined to avenge the blood of Hazrat Uthman (R.A.).
This pledge was the 'Pledge of Al-Ridwaan'; and in its regard the following Qur'aanic verses was revealed:
'Allah is pleased with the believers who have
pledged with you under the tree. Allah knows what
is in their hearts and, therefore, He has granted
them great victory'.
(Surah Fatah - Verse 18)
When the Muslims concluded their pledge, Rasulullah pledged the same pledge on behalf of Hazrat Uthman (R.A.), and the latter was regarded as if he was present. Thereupon the Muslims realised that war with the kuffar was inevitable. Everybody looked forward to the day if victory or martyrdom with a mind convinced and satisfied, and a heart reassured and at peace, while in this state, the news reached the Muslim camp that Hazrat Uthman (R.A.) had not been murdered, and soon the man himself returned safe and sound.
The pledge of 'Al-Ridwaan'. however, like the great pledge of 'Al-Aqabah' remained a great landmark in Muslims history. Nabi was particularly pleased with the pledge for the evidence it furnished of the strength of the bounds which tied him and the Sahaba (R.A.) together. He was further assured of the readiness of the Muslims to face the greatest dangers without fear.
Upon his return, Hazrat Uthman (R.A.) conveyed to Rasulullah the message of the Quraish that the Muslims should go back to Madinah and return for the same purpose the following year. Although many of the Quraish were against any form of a compromise with the Muslims, they sent a staunch Quraishi, Suhail bin Amr with a flag of truce (peace) giving him following instructions :
'Offer peace to Muhammed and ask him to return the following year for the same purpose of Umrah'
Suhail bin Amr began his negotiations with Rasulullah , and these lasted a long time during which they were interrupted and resumed again by both parties.
Suhail bin Amr obstinately refused to make any concessions whereas Rasulullah was prepared to accommodate for the sake of peace. The Muslim camp was becoming uneasy and losing patience with the negotiations. Were it not for the absolute confidence the Muslims had in Rasulullah they would have never accepted the terms reached by these negotiations. A great man as Hazrat Umar ibn Khatab (R.A.) lost patience and said to Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) :
'O Abu Bakr (R.A.), is not Muhammed the Rasool of Allah ?'
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) replied that it was true. Hazrat Umar (R.A.) then said:
'Why should we then give in to the unbelievers in a matter vital to our faith?'
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) replied:
' Umar, do not trespass one inch where you ought not to go.
Remember, that I bear witness our leader is the Rasool of Allah'.
Angrily Hazrat Umar (R.A.) then turned to Rasulullah and complained to him with the same anger and resentment, but could not alter Rasulullah 's determination and patience. Their conversation was concluded with Rasulullah 's statement that he was the Servant of Allah and his Rasul and that he would not deviate from the Divine Commandment nor entertain any doubt of Divine support.
Rasulullah called Hazrat Ali ibn Abu Talib (R.A.) and said to him:
'Write, in the name of Allah, the merciful, the Compassionate'.
Suhail ibn Amr , the Non-Muslim delegate of the Quraish interrupted:
'Stop'. he said 'I do not know either 'The Merciful, or the Compassionate'. Write: 'In the name of God'.
Rasulullah instructed Hazrat Ali (R.A.) to write accordingly and continued:
'Following is a text of a pact reached by Muhammed . the Rasul of Allah and Suhail ibn Amr'.
Suhail ibn Amr again interrupted:
'Stop it. If I accepted you as the Rasul of Allah I would not have been hostile to you. You should write only your name and the name of your father'.
The Rasul of Allah instructed Hazrat Ali (R.A.) to write accordingly, referring to himself as Muhammed ibn Abdullah.
The Conditions of the Treaty of Hudaybiyah:
1. The Muslims were to return to Madinah without performing the Umrah.
2. They were to come for Umrah the following year and stay for three days only in Makkah.
3. They shall not come bearing arms except their swords in their scabbards (sheaths).
4. Any person from the Quraish emigrating to Rasulullah 's camp without permission from their guardian would have to be returned to Makkah.
5. Any Muslims emigrating from Rasulullah 's camp to Makkah would not have to be returned.
6. Any tribe was free to ally itself to Rasulullah 's camp without incurring any hindrance from the Quraish.
7. Any tribe seeking an alliance with the Quraish could do so without obstacle or hindrance from the Muslims.
8. This treaty shall be binding for ten years during which time neither party shall oppose each other but should observe peace and harmony.
Just as the Treaty was concluded, Hazrat Abu Jandal ibn Suhail ibn Amr (R.A.), the son of Suhail ibn Amr came staggering up to Rasulullah pleading in desperation to be saved from tortures of the Quraish. He had been severely beaten up for embracing Islam and his feet were shackled in chains. He called upon the Muslims to save him from the fate of being returned to the unbelievers who would persecute him. Rasulullah pleaded to Suhail ibn Amr to release his son to him, but Suhail ibn Amr would not hear of it and the Treaty just signed bound Rasulullah in such manner that he could not demand the release of Hazrat Abu Jandal (R.A.). Rasulullah spoke to Hazrat Abu Jandal (R.A.) :
' O Abu Jandal, have patience and be disciplined; for Allah will soon provide for you and your other persecuted colleagues a way out of your suffering. We have entered with the Quraish into a treaty of Peace and we have exchanged with them a soleman pledge that none will cheat the other'.
It was a sad moment for the Muslims and also for Hazrat Umar ibn Khattab (R.A.) as he had remonstrated with Rasulullah for allowing Suhail ibn Amr to take Hazrat Abu Jandal (R.A.) back to Makkah as a prisoner. Hazrat Umar (R.A.) later realized that Rasulullah would never had broken his promise to anyone, even to his enemies. His regret was so great for having questioned Rasulullah that he resolved to repent for his behaviour by freeing bonded slaves for the rest of his life.
Rasulullah requested all the Sahaba (R.A.) to complete the formalities of 'Umrah' by shaving of their hair and sacrificing their animals. The pilgrims then returned to Madinah. The answer to their achievement on this pious journey was revealed to Rasulullah in Surah 'Fatah'. The significance of this Surah only dawned on the Muslims when subsequent events led to the cancellation of clause 4 of the Treaty by the Quraish themselves.
Hazrat Abu Baseer Utbah ibn Usayd (R.A.), Hazrat Abu Jandal (R.A.) and a group of young Muslims escaped from Makkah and settled in Ais on the sea coast near Saif-al-Bahr which was a trading route of the Quraish to Syria. This group of about 70 Muslims began to attack every Quraish trade that passed that way.
The Quraish were so frustrated at this continuous harassment of their caravans that they wrote to Rasulullah asking him to call these Muslims away to Madinah and consider clause 4 of the Treaty null and void. Rasulullah agreed to this request readily and the Muslims were free to enter and leave Makkah at their own will.
During the same year, Rasulullah sent Hazrat Umayyah ibn Zamree (R.A.) to Abyssinia to recall all the Muhajireen to come and settle in Madinah. He also wrote an epistle to Najjashi; king of Abyssinia, to accept Islam. The King gladly embraced Islam and sent back all the Muhajireen to Madinah with gifts of appreciation.
It was also during the same year that Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R.A.) embraced Islam.