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 Nabi Pakﷺ. They thus lived in peace for sometime but hidden motives stretching back to pre-Islamic period ignited by never ending 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. The 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 – killed his enemies.
When the aggrieved party sought justice from their Muslim allies. the Nabi Pakﷺ as their leader, demanded an immediate remedy
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 essential:
- To pay blood money for the victims of Khuza’ah. 2. To terminate their alliance with Banu Bakr, or 3. To consider the truce to have been nullified.
This behavior on the part of the 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. The Quraish immediately realized the grave situation and feared the horrible consequences appearing 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 Habibah (the Nabi Pakﷺ wife). But as he went to sit on the Messenger’s bed, she folded it “My daughter,” said he, “I hardly knew if you think the bed is too good for me or that I am too good for the bed.” She replied, “It is the bed of Allâh’s Messenger, and you are an unclean polytheist.”
Being disgusted at the rude reply of his daughter. Abu Sufyan stepped out of her room and went to see the Nabi Pakﷺ , 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 action to intercede but this great Companion made a point-blank refusal. At last he saw Hazrat ‘Ali bin Abi Talib Karamulla wajehul kareem and began begging him in the most humble words, cunningly pointing to the prospects of mastery over all the Arabs if he were to intercede for the renewal of the treaty. ‘Hazrat Ali Karamulla wajehul kareem also refused,
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 ‘Hazrat Ali’s Radiallahu anhoo reaction and the meaningful silence of the Nabi Pakﷺ The Makkans were disappointed, but did not expect the forthcoming danger.
Preparations for the Attack, and the Imposition of News Blackout
On the authority of At-Tabari, Nabi Pakﷺ asked his spouse ‘Aishah Radiallahu anhoo , three days prior to receiving news relating to breaching of covenant, to make preparations peculiar to marching out for war. Abu Bakr Radiallahu anhoo meanwhile, came in and asked ‘Aishah Radiallahu anhoo 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 Salim Al-Khuza’i arrived in the company of forty horsemen to brief the Nabi Pakﷺ on the affliction of his people and seeking the Muslims’ help for retaliation. The people of Madinah then learned that the Quraish had breached the covenant. Budail followed ‘Amr, and then Abu Sufyan, and the news was unequivocally confirmed.
With the view of securing a complete news blackout concerning his military intentions, the Nabi Pakﷺ dispatched an eight-man mission under the leadership of Abu Qatadah bin Rab’i Radiallahu anhoo 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 preoccupied.
There was so much fear and terror everywhere that Hatib Radiallahu anhoo the most trusted followers of the Nabi Pakﷺ secretly dispatched a female messenger with a letter to Makkah containing intimation of the intended attack. The Nabi Pakﷺ received revelation informing him of Hatib’s action and sent ‘Hazrat Ali. AlMiqdad, Az-Zubair and Abu Marthad Radiallahu anhoo with instructions to go after her. They overtook the messenger, and after a long search discovered the letter carefully hidden in her locks. The Nabi Pakﷺ summoned Hatib and asked him what had induced him to this one act.
He replied, “O Messenger of Allâh! 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 some 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 explained.”
‘Umar Radiallahu anhoo wanted to cut his head off as a hypocrite, but the Nabi Pakﷺ accepted his excuse and granted him pardon, then addressed ‘Umar is saying:
“He is one of those who fought in the battle of Badr. What do you know ‘Umar? Perhaps Allâh has looked at the people of Badr and said: ‘Do as you please, for I have forgiven you’.”
‘Umar into released him and said, “Allâh and His Messenger know better.”
The Muslim Army proceeds to Makkah
After making full preparation, the Nabi Pakﷺ proceeded to Makkah at the head of ten thousand soldiers on the 10th of Ramadan, 8 A.H. He appointed Abu Ruhm Al-Ghifari Radiallahu anhoo to dispose the affairs of Madinah during his absence. When they reached AlJuhfah, Al-‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib Radiallahu anhoo and his family came to join the Nabi Pakﷺ at Al-Abwa’, the Muslims came across Abu Sufyan bin Al-Harith and ‘Abdullah bin Umaiyah, the Prophet’s cousins, but, on account of the harm they had inflicted, and their satiric language against the believers, they were not welcomed. ‘Hazrat Ali to addressed Abu Sufyan to go and request the Nabi Pakﷺ for pardon and confess his ill-behavior in a manner similar to that of the brothers of Yusuf (the Prophet Joseph) AlaihisSalam:
“They said: ‘By Allâhl Indeed Allâh has preferred you above us, and we certainly have been sinners.” (12:911
Abu Sufyan before the Nabi Pakﷺ
In the meantime, Abu Sufyan along with Hakim bin Hizam and Budail bin Warqa’, two terrible polytheists, went out to survey. Before they got near the camp, they met Hazrat Abbas Radiallahu anhoo the Prophet’s uncle. He informed Abu Sufyan of the situation and advised him to accept Islam and persuade his people to surrender before Nabi Pakﷺ otherwise, his head would be struck off.
Under the prevailing compelling circumstances, Abu Sufyan went in the company of ‘Abbas union seeking the chance of meeting the Nabi Pakﷺ.
The Muslim Army heads for Makkah
On the morning of Tuesday. 17th. Ramadan, 8 A.H., the Nabi Pakﷺ left Marr Az-Zahran. He ordered Al-‘Abbas • to detain Abu Sufyan at a commanding place 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 Nabi Pakﷺ 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 Nabi Pakﷺ and his Companions. Abu Sufyan said that no army however powerful could resist those people and addressing Al-‘Abbas Radiallahu anhoo, he said: “I swear by Allâh that the sovereignty of your brother’s son has become too powerful to withstand. Al’Abbaste answered, “It is rather the power of Prophethood.” to which the former agreed.
Sa’d bin ‘Ubadah s 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 Nabi Pakﷺ is who got angry and said “Nay, today Al-Ka’bah will be sanctified, and Quraish honored,” and quickly ordered that Sa’d light should be stripped off the flag, and that it should be entrusted to his son Qais in another version, to Az-Zubair .
The Quraish prepare for the Advancing Muslim Army
Al-‘Abbas Radiallahu anhoo urged Abu Sufyan to hasten into Makkah and warn the Quraish against any aggressive behavior 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 angry and pulled hard his moustache cursing him and abusing his cowardly attitude.
The people within Makkah mocked Abu Sufyan and dispersed in different directions, some into their houses, others into the Holy Sanctuary, while some undisciplined and uncontrolled wicked persons led by ‘Ikrimah bin Abu Jahl, Safwan bin Umaiyah and Suhail bin ‘Amr encamped themselves in a place called Khandamah, with a murderous intent in their minds.
The Prophet 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-Walid 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 side. He told them that if they met any resistance from the Quraish, they were to be detained until he reached As-Safa. 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 Radiallahu anhoo 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 defense and in that case they would exterminate any aggressive elements and crush any opposition.
The Muslim Army enters Makkah
The Muslim battalions marched along their strategic routes to fulfill the missions they were supposed to carry out. Khalid bin AlWalid worked his way into the heart of the town quite successively killing twelve of the wicked persons and sustaining two martyrs. Az-Zubair Radiallahu anhoo 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 Nabi Pakﷺ . A tent was pitched for the Nabi Pakﷺ and when he arrived, he offered prayers of thanks to the All-Mighty Allâh, Who, out of His immense grace, had granted him a splendid victory.
The Messenger the enters the Sacred Mosque and purifies it from the Idols
But he did not relax for a long period, and in the company of the Helpers and Emigrants, proceeded towards Al-Ka’bah, the Sacred House, which is a symbol of the Oneness and Supremacy of Allâh. It was unfortunately full of idols that numbered 360. He knocked them down with his bow while reciting the Verse of the Noble Qurận:
“And say: ‘Truth (i.e., Islamic Monotheism or this Qur’ân or Jihad 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 suhe): “The Truth (the Qur’ân and Allâh’s Revelation) has come, and Al-Batil (falsehood Iblis) can neither create anything nor resurrect (anything).” [34:49)
He then started the usual circumambulation on his ride. He was not in a state of Ihram (sacred state of pilgrimage) then. On completion, he called for ‘Uthman bin Talhah, the key holder of
Al-Ka’bah, from whom he took the key.