THE CONQUEST OF MAKKAH

In accordance with the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, the Muslims were permitted to perform the 'Umrah; the following year. Therefore in Zul Qadah 7 A.H. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) gathered all the Sahaba (R.A.) who had been deprived of the opportunity to perform the 'Umrah' the previous year, to prepare for the journey to Makkah. Other Sahaba (R.A.) also joined the group.

Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) led this group of 2000 Muslims towards Makkah. As a precautionary measure, the Muslims took a few weapons and a hundred horses because the Quraish were unpredictable where a 'treaty' was concerned. Reaching the border of Makkah Nabi (peace and blessing be upon him) left the horses and weapons at Batan Ya Hooj in the care of 200 Muslims. The Muslims then entered Makkah and went into the 'Haram' (Holy courtyard of the Ka'bah). The 200 Muslims left outside Makkah were able to complete their Umrah at a later stage.

When Nabi (peace and blessing be upon him) reached the Ka'bah he wrapped his Ihram (mantle) under his right arm, bearing his shoulder and praying: 
'O Allah have mercy on anyone performing this Umrah today'. 
Nabi (peace and blessing be upon him) then stopped near the Hajre Aswad (Black Stone) to begin the Tawaaf (circumambulation) of the Ka'bah. The first three circuits were made with a swift march pace (called 'Ramal), with view of proving the fine state of health of the believers to the kuffaar looking on. The kuffaar shook their heads gloomily saying to each other : 
'So these are the men described to us as weakened by the heat and fever of Al-Madinah'. 
Deep down in their heart, the Kuffaar were forced to confess that such men as these, their mental well-being surpassing even their bodily health were unconquerable.

The Muslims ran between Safaa and Maarwah; they sacrificed animals and shaved their heads bare. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) was aware of the time limit of three days allowed to the Muslims to stay in Makkah and he had no intention of breaking his promise. At the end of the third day, the leaders of the Quraish lost no time in creating a commotion and fuss to remind the Muslims to leave Makkah. During the short stay in Makkah, Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) married widowed Hazrat Maymoonah binte Harith (R.A.).

In due course, Islam spread far and wide. The younger generation of the Quraish were being drawn towards Islam. But the older people would not leave their ideology of pagan worship.

The Treaty of Hudaybiyah prescribed that any non-Makkan wishing to join the camp of Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) or that of the Quraish may do so without obstructions. On the basis of this agreement the tribe Khuza'ah joined the ranks of Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) and that of the Banu Bakr joined the Quraish. Between Khuza'ah and Banu Bakr a number of old unsettled blood feuds had to be suspended on account of the treaty. It was not long before the idolaters of Makkah violated the ten years truce (peace) signed at Hudaybiyah. The Banu ak Dil, a clan of Banu Nakr encouraged by the Quraish, especially by Ikramah ibn Abu Jahl and others who furnished them with arms and equipment launched an attack on the Khuza'ah tribesman camping near a well of theirs called 'Al-Watir'. The Khuza'ah party fled to Makkah and took refuge in the house of Budayl ibn Warqa. They complained to him that the Quraish and their Banu Bakr allies violated their treaty with Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him)
After running in full haste towards Madinah, Amr ibn Salim al Khuza'i related to Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) and the Muslims in  Masjid-e-Nabawi what had happened and asked for assistance. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) answered: 
'Certainly ,O, Amr ibn Salim, we shall come to your rescue'.

Another group of Khuza'ah tribesman together with their Makkan host, Budayl ibn Warqa followed him and confirmed their predecessor's report.

The region of inequity and oppression had lasted too long at Makkah, and this flagrant violation by the Quraish of the Treaty was forcing his hand to conquer Makkah, Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) sent word to the Muslims all over Arabian Peninsula to get together at once. The reason for this call, however, he kept as a secret.

The wise elders of the Quraish realized the danger to which Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl and his youthful companions had exposed Makkah, for their action was a clear violation of the Hudaybiyah Treaty. Should Muhammed (peace and blessing be upon him) decide to avenge his Khuza'ah allies against the Makkans, the holy city would be exposed to the strongest danger. What should they do? it occurred to them to send Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb to Madinah to reaffirm the Treaty. Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb, chief statesman and leader of Makkah proceeded to Madinah to conduct negotiations.

On his arrival to Madinah he decided that he had better see his daughter, Umme Habiba (R.A.), the wife of Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him), rather than Muhammed (peace and blessing be upon him) himself.

After the treacherous violation of the Treaty of Hubaybiyah by the Makkans, Hazrat Umme Habiba (R.A.) knew well Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him)'s feelings regarding the Quraish, though she did not know of his plans for Makkah. Entering into his daughters house, Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb was about to sit upon the mattress of Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) when Hazrat Umme Habiba (R.A.) moved it away. When he asked her whether she had done so in order to save her father from the mattress or the mattress from her father , she replied: 
'This is the mattress of the Rasool of Allah. You are an idolater and hence impure. You may not therefore be allowed to sit on Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him)'s mattress'. 
Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb was angered by this reply and left the house saying to his daughter: 
'By God after you left my house, you must have become utterly mad'.

His strategy exposed, he proceeded to see Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him). Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him), however, refused to give him an audience. Thereafter he approached Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A.), Hazrat Umar ibn Khattab (R.A.) and Hazrat Ali ibn Abu Talib (R.A.) to intervene on his behalf and reaffirm the treaty 
The common reply was that nobody could change the mind of Raulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) once it was made up.

Finally, Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb went to Masjid-e-Nabawi and there proclaimed on behalf of his tribe, the Banu Kinanah, his willingness to make peace with the people. He then mounted his horse and returned to Makkah. His heart was full of sorrow and his pride badly wounded partly by his own daughter and partly by the rejection of those, who prior to their emigration from Makkah, had longed for the least bit of consideration or compassion from the Kuffar leader.

Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb returned to Makkah and reported to his people the frustration of his effort to reaffirm the peace treaty. He informed them of his proclamation in Masjid-e-Nabawi and Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him)'s refusal to come to any new term; the Kuffar had boken the treaty.

Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) was now fully convinced that the time had eventually arrived to free the sacred land of the Ka'ba from intrigue and sedition of the kuffaar. It was Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him)'s  plan not to give the Quraish the time to prepare for war. Having confidence in Allah's assistance, Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) sought to suprise the enemy before they could build up their defense. His aim was to conquer without bloodshed. He therefore first commanded the people to get ready and inform them of his plans for Makkah later. He asked the Muslims to hurry and made dua that the Quraish would not find out his plans before it was too late. While the Muslim army prepared to leave Madinah, Hazrat Hatib ibn Abu Balta'ah (R.A.) rote a letter informing the Quraish about the Muslim move. He gave it to a women called Sarah, a client of some members of the house of Banu 'Abd al Muttalib. He commanded her to take it to Makkah and hand it over to the Quraish leaders. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) came to know by Divine inspiration of Hazrat Hatib ibn Abu Balta'ah (R.A.) attempt and sent Hazrat Ali ibn Abu Talib (R.A.) and Hazrat Zubayr` ibn Al Awwam to intercept the messenger. She was arrested and her horse and saddle searched, but no letter was found. Hazrat Ali (R.A.) threatened her that unless she produce the letter voluntarily, he would be forced to search her own person and to unveil her body in the process. When the women realized how serious Hazrat Ali (R.A.) was she unloosened the plaits of her hair, brought out the letter and handed it over. The women was returned to Madinah and Hazrat Hatib ibn Abu Balta'ah (R.A.) was called to give an explanation of his action.

In his own defense Hazrat Hatib ibn Abu Balta'ah (R.A.) said: 
'O Rasool (peace and blessing be upon him) of Allah, by Allah I swear, that I am still a believer in Allah and his Rasool (peace and blessing be upon him) My Imaan (faith) has not changed by one jot or bit. But I am a man here in the Muslim camp having no relations, family or clan, Whereas in Makkah, I have children. family and relatives whom I want no evil to befall'. 
Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) forgave him for his ill action.

On the 10th Ramadhaan 8 A.H. the Muslim army proceeded from Madinah to Makkah determined to conquer that city and taking the holy Haram which Allah declared for all mankind. This army had more men than Madinah had ever seen before. The tribe of Sulaym, Muzaynah, Ghatafaan and others joined the Muhajireen and Ansaars in such numbers and with such weapons that the wide expanse of the desert was filled with them.

They moved fast, and at every station many more tribes joined their ranks and added to their weaponry and equipment. Every soul was filled with the faith of Islam and had no doubt that Allah's help will bring victory. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) led this army at the forefront. His greatest concern was to seize the holy Ka'bah without shedding any unnecessary Blood. By the time the army arrived at Zahraan, 8 kilometers from Makkah, its number had  reached 10,000. Until then the kuffaar of Makkah knew nothing about the advancing army.

In the mean time, the kuffaar leaders continued to consult with one another regarding the measures to be taken by them to meet the Muslim anger. Hazrat Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib (R.A.) the uncle of Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) withdrew from the discussion, took all the members of his family and went to the direction of Madinah. At Juhfa he met Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) and embraced Islam.

The Quraish felt gravely scared ever since the Muslims arrived at Zahraan. They sent Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb, Budayl ibn Warqa and Hakim ibn Hazzam, the relatives of Hazrat Khadija binte Khuwaylid (R.A.) to survey the field and assess the danger. While riding in the area of Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him)'s white mule, Hazrat Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib (R.A.) overheard a conversation between Abu Soofyan and Budayl ibn Warqa. Hazrat Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib (R.A.) recognized the voice of Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb and called out to him:

'Watch out O Abu Soofyaan! what you see is the Rasul (peace and blessing be upon him) of Allah leading his people. Misfortune will befall the Quraish tomorrow morning, when his army storms the city'. 
Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb exclaimed: 
'What shall we do? 
Hazrat Abbas (R.A.) invited him to mount his mule, send his companions back to Makkah and returned with him to the Muslim camp. Before reaching the Muslim camp Hazrat Ummar ibn Khattab (R.A.) recognized Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb. He hurried to the tent of Nabi (peace and blessing be upon him) and asked for permission to strike the neck of Abu Soofyaan. Hazrat Abbas (R.A.) entered the tent saying: 
'O Rasul (peace and blessing be upon him) of Allah, I have extended my protection to this man'. 
Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) said: 
'O Abbas, take your guest to your tent and bring him over in the morning'. The following morning Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb was brought before Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) and he accepted Islam. Hazrat Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib(R.A.) said: 
O Rasool (peace and blessing be upon him) of Allah Abu Soofyaan is a proud man. Would you not grant him some privilege?' 
Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) declared: 
'Any person who takes refuge in Abu Soofyaan ibn Harab's house shall find security; any person who shuts himself up in his own house shall find security and any person who enters Haram (courtyard) of the Ka'ba shall be considered safe'. 
Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) prepared to enter Makkah. Each of the Muslim commanders proudly displayed the banner of Islam and cries of 'Allahu Akbar' (Allah is great) echoed in unison around Makkah. Hazrat Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb (R.A.) was given an elevated position on a hilltop to review the columns of the Muslim army entering Makkah. He repeated Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him)'s promise of safety to those who took shelter in his house or in the courtyard of the Ka'ba. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) 's greatest desire at the time was to avoid any bloodshed if possible.

The spectacle of Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) astride his famous camel 'al Qaswa', entering the city from the upper end of Makkah and all the while reciting Surah Fatah, was a sight the Sahaba (R.A.) would never forget. Hazrat Khalid ibn Walid (R.A.) enterd Makkah from the lower end of the city with his army where he had to put down some resistance from Safwan ibn Ummayyah, Suhail ibn Umr, Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl and their men. Hazrat Khalid ibn Walid (R.A.) and his men quickly dispersed them, with Sawan ibn Umayyah, Suhayil ibn Amr and Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl taking flight as soon as they realised the hopelessness of their resistance.

Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) and the Muhajireen were overwhelmed at the thought of their Hijrat and now their triumphant return with such splendor and glory of Islam for which they had sacrificed so much for the pleasure of Allah. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) , moved by the sight of Makkah and by the remembrance of Allah's wahi (revelation), let tears fall from his eyes as he thanked Allah, praised Him, and witnessed that there is no truth and no power except in Allah. So emotional were all these feelings that Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) rode towards the Ka'ba where he performed the 'tawaf (circumambulation) seven times while he was still astride his mount. He then dismounted and called upon Uthman ibn Abu Talhah to open the Ka'ba for him.

Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) ordered the destruction of the idols while reciting:

"Truth has come and Falsehood vanished and no more shall falsehood return" (Sahih al-Bukhari.)
 

The idols where then torn down and broken, and the House of Allah was purified. That which Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) had called for during the last twenty years was now accomplished. That which Makkah had opposed most strongly was now a fact of history. The destruction of the idols and the wiping put of Paganism in the holy sanctuary was  now completed before the very eyes of the Quraish. The Makkan idols, the objects of reverence and worship inherited from the ancestors, crumbled to bits under the hammering blows.

Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) then delivered his historical Khutbah (sermon) from the doorway of the Ka'ba:

                                             'Allah is one and He has no partner. He has fulfilled 
                                              His promise to his believers and defeated those who 
                                              do not believe. It will not be permissible for anyone 
                                              who believes in Allah and His Rasool (peace and blessing be upon him) to kill any 
                                              one in Makkah. Nor shall any one destroy the greenery 
                                              of Makkah. I have forbidden the practice of all custom 
                                              of the age of illiteracy; but the care of the Ka'ba and 
                                              the supply of Zam Zam water shall be continued as 
                                              before. O people of Quraish, Allah forbids you to display 
                                              your pride and arrogance and glorify your ancestory. 
                                              All men were created from Adam and Adam (A.S.) 
                                              had been created from dust. O men of Quraish what do 
                                              you think I am about to do with you?' Everything good', 
                                              they answered, 'for you are a noble brother and a noble 
                                              nephew of ours'. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) said: ' Well I am telling you 
                                              now what Yusuf (A.S.) said to his brothers: 
                                              'Today there is no reproach against you. Go, you are all 
                                               free'.

With these words Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) gave a general amnesty to all the Quraish and all the Makkans. No unfriendliness, antagonism or hostility could find permanent abode in the heart of Muhammed (peace and blessing be upon him). His heart was absolutely free of injustice, of malice, of tyranny or false pride. In the most decisive moment, Allah gave him power over his enemy. However, Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) chose to forgive, therby giving all mankind and all the generations the most perfect example of goodness, truthfulness, nobility and magnanimity.

After the Khutbah Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) sat on top of Mount Safa and the Muslims took the pledge of loyalty to Allah and His Rasul (peace and blessing be upon him). He then asked Hazrat Umar ibn Khattab (R.A.) to accept the pledge of the womenfolk while he made dua to Allah for their forgiveness. Hazrat Bilal (R.A.) was asked to call the first Adhaan in Makkah. His rich beautiful voice echoed throughout Makkah.

The destruction of the idols in and around Ka'ba meant the eventual disappearance of the idols in Arabia. The attention of the people of Arabia was on the Quraish whether they were going to accept Islam. Most of them became Muslims but there were others however, who continued their own form of worship. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) did not impose any conditions upon them but he persisted on peace and harmony among all the people, regardless of their religious beliefs. The concession so impressed the non believers that in due course nearly all the people of Makkah became Muslims.

Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) then issued a proclamation prohibiting any idol in a Muslim home. He ordered the destruction of all idols in and around Makkah. Hazrat Khalid ibn Walid (R.A.) was sent with a cavalry of 30,000 to an oasis where they laid waste the great idol 'Uzza' to the ground. Su'a', the idol of Bani Hazeel and the famous 'Manat' at Qadeed were razed to the ground.

After the conquest of Makkah Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) spent 15 days in the city, during which he organized the affairs of Makkah and instructed its people in Islam. During this period, he sent forth delegations to call men peacefully to Islam without shedding blood and to destroy the idols.

Certain arch enemies of Islam were pardoned by Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) and they embraced Islam. Hinda the wife of Abu Soofyaan ibn Harb who had disemboweled the martyred body of Hazrat Hamza (R.A.) Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) inspite of the detestable mutilation of the body of Hazrat Hamza (R.A.) forgave her. Hinda when she returned to her house, lavished insults on her private family idol: 
'O powerless idol! How mad we all were to rely on thy assistance and help'! And she smashed it to pieces. Ikrimah the son of Abu Jahl, who had organized the ambush that nearly entrapped Hazrat Khaild ibn Walid (R.A.) and his cavalry, had fled to the sea coast. Umme Hakim, daughter of al Harith ibn Hisham and the wife of Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl converted to Islam and sought pardon for her husband directly from Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him). She was granted it. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) also forgave Safwan ibn Umayyah who accompanied Ikrimah on his escape towards the sea and thence to Yaman. 
Habbar bin Aswad had maltreated Hazrat Zainab binte Muhammed (R.A.)  when she was leaving Makkah for Madinah. She was far advance in pregnancy and as she was mounting her camel, Habbar ibn Aswad drove the butt end of his lance against her, throwing her to the ground, and eventually causing her death. Fearing deserved punishment, he fled. After hiding for some time he presented himself before Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) and embraced Islam in all sincerity. The wrong was great; the crime was atrocious- but the injury was personal. Pardon was unconditionally granted.

Wahshi al Habashi (R.A.), the slayer of Hazrat Hamza (R.A.) was pardoned after embracing Islam.

As the Ansar of Madinah witnessed all this, and as they saw Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) on the top of Mount Safa inviting the Makkans to embrace Islam, they feared he might now give up Madinah and settle in his native city Makkah. It was quite likely that Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) would now make Makkah his capital. Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) inquired concerning their fears and said: 
'Never by Allah! I have pledged to join you in life and death. I shall remain true to my promise'.

Evidently, neither relative, nor native city, nor even the Holy Ka'ba itself could change Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him) from not honoring his pledge he once gave to those who stood by him in his hour of need. His word given at the conclusion of the 'Covenant of Aqabah' was to be honored in exemplary faithfulness and loyalty.

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