The Invasion of Ta’if
The Ta’if Campaign is in fact an extension of the Hunain Battle: that is because the majority of the defeated troops of Hawazin and Thaqif went to Ta’if with the general commander – Malik bin ‘Awf An-Nasri – and fortified themselves within it. So upon finishing with Hunain Invasion, he gathered the booty at Al-Ji’ranah in the same month (i.e., Shawwal) in the eighth year A.H.
An advance battalion of a thousand men led by Khalid bin AlWalid marched towards At-Ta’if. Whereas Allâh’s Messengerﷺ proceeded passing through the Nakhlah of Al-Yamaniyah, Qarn AlManazil and through Laiyah.
At Laiyah there was a castle that belonged to Malik bin ‘Awf, so Allâh’s Messenger Nabi Pakﷺ gave orders to have it destroyed. He resumed his march until he got to Ta’if. There he dismounted. camped near its castle and laid siege to the castle inhabitants; but not for long
How long the siege continued, is still a matter of disagreement. It however stands between 10-20 days.
A lot of arrow-shooting and rock-hurling occurred during the siege.
For as soon as the Muslims laid siege round the castle, its people started shooting arrows at them. The arrows were so intense and fierce that they looked like a swarm of locusts. A number of Muslims were wounded and twelve were killed.
To be far from the arrow-range, the Muslims had to ascend to a higher location and camp there – i.e., to what is now called AtTa’if Mosque.
The Prophet Nabi Pakﷺ set up a catapult above them and shelled the castle. Eventually a gap was made in the castle wall, through which a number of Muslims managed to pass into the castle, sheltered by a wooden tank, with the purpose of setting fire to it. The enemy poured down molten hot iron on them. Affected by this the Muslims stepped out of the tank and were again exposed to a storm of arrows and consequently some of them were killed.
To force the enemy to surrender, the Prophet ﷺ to a war policy of burning and cutting the enemy’s crops. His order was cut their vineyards and burn them. Seeing that the Muslims started rapidly cutting and burning their vines, they implored the Nabi Pakﷺ to stop and have mercy on them for the sake of Allâh and out of the ties of kinship. So the Prophets Nabi Pakﷺ agreed.
When the caller of Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ called out to people saying: “Whosoever descends and steps out of the castle is free.” Twenty-three men came out. One of them was Abu Bakrah who tied himself and let himself down by means of a small wheel, that would normally be used for drawing up water from a well. The way he let himself down made the Prophet Nabi Pakﷺ nickname him “Abu Bakrah”, i.e., the man with the wheel.
Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ set them all free and entrusted each one of them to a Muslim to care about their living affairs, this event was too hard for the castle people to bear
Seeing that the siege lasted too long and that the castle was immune and could stand any siege (for they had already stored a
supply sufficient for over a year) and that the Muslims were suffering – day by day – from being shot by arrows and struck by heated iron hooks, Allâh’s Messenger content consulted Nawfal bin Mu’awiyah Ad-Daili about that.
He said: “They are like a fox hiding inside its den. If you wait you will catch it, but if you leave, no harm would afflict you.” Allâh’s Messenger Nabi Pakﷺ decided to lift the siege and depart. ‘Umar bin AlKhattab , who was ordered by the Nabi Pakﷺ to notify people, said to them: “If Allâh wills, we are leaving the castle and going back tomorrow.” As it was too hard for the Muslims to go back and leave the castle unconquered, they complained saying, “Should we go away while the castle is still unopened?” His reply was: “Then, start fighting in the morning.” In the morning they fought and were wounded. So when he repeated this statement: “If Allâh wills, we are leaving the castle and going back tomorrow,” they were pleased and carried out the order submissively and started moving, which made Allah’s Messenger Nabi Pakﷺ the laugh.
As soon as they mounted and started moving, the Messenger Nabi Pakﷺ said:
“Say! Here we are returning, repenting, worshipping (Allah) and to our Lord we offer praise.”
When Nabi Pakﷺ was asked to invoke Allâh against Thaqif, he said:
“O Allâh, guide Thaqif and bring them to us as Muslims.”
The Distribution of the Booty at Al-Ji’ranah
Upon returning and lifting the siege in Ta’if, Nabi Pakﷺ had stayed over ten nights at Al-Ji’ranah before starting to distribute the booty. Distribution delay was due to the Prophet’s hope that Hawazin’s delegation might arrive and announce their
repentance and consequently reclaim their loss.
Seeing that none of them arrived, he started dividing the booty so as to calm down the tribes’ chiefs and the nobles of Makkah. The first to receive booty and the ones who obtained the greatest number of shares were the people who had recently embraced Islam.so that these tulaqa remain in Islam and not create any rukus.
Standing by his camel he plucked out a hair of his camel’s hump and held it between his two fingers, lifted it up and said: “O people. I swear by Allâh that I get nothing but one-fifth of your booty, and this very fifth also goes back to you.”
As soon as he had given the new converts, Allâh’s Messenger ordered Zaid bin Thabit to to fetch the booty and summon
people. Then he ordained shares to people. A footman’s share was four camels and forty sheep, and a horseman would take twelve camels and a hundred and twenty sheep.
At first the Prophet’s policy of distribution was not understood by many persons.
So Sa’d into went out and summoned them. When some Emigrants came, he let them in but forbade others. When they were all gathered together, he informed the Nabi Pakﷺ saying: “This group of the Helpers has just arrived to meet you in compliance with your orders.” As soon as the Messenger ﷺ the faced them, he
thanked Allâh and praised Him, then said to them inquiring, “I have been told that you are angry with me. Didn’t I come to you when you were astray and Allâh guided you? You were poor and Allâh gave you wealth. Weren’t you foes and Allâh made you love one another.” “Yes,” they said, “Allâh and His Messengerﷺ are better and more gracious.” Then he said: “What prevents you from replying to the Messenger of Allahﷺ, tribe of Helpers?” They said, “What should be the reply, o Messenger of Allâhﷺ, while to the Lord and to his Messenger belong all benevolence and grace.”
The Prophet ﷺ again said: “But by Allâh, you might have answered and answered truly, for I would have testified to its truth myself: ‘You came to us belied and rejected, and we accepted you; you came to us as helpless, and we helped you; you were a fugitive, and we took you in; you were poor and we comforted you.’ You Helpers, do you feel anxious for the things of this world, wherewith I have sought to incline these people unto the Faith in which you are already established? Are you not satisfied, O group of Helpers that the people go with ewes and camels while you go along with the Messenger of Allâhﷺ to your dwellings. By Him in Whose Hand is my life, had there been no migration, I would have been one of the Helpers. If the people would go through a valley and passage, and the Helpers go through another valley and passage. I would go through the valley and passage of the Helpers. Allâh! Have mercy on the Helpers, their children and their children’s children.”
The audience wept until tears rolled down their beards as they said: “Yes, we are satisfied, O Prophet of Allâh! ﷺwith our lot and share.”
Then the Prophetﷺ left the gathering and the people also dispersed.”
The Arrival of the Hawazin Delegation
The delegation of Hawazin arrived as Muslims just after the
distribution of spoils. They were fourteen men headed by Zuhair bin Surad. The Messenger’s foster uncle was one of them. They asked him to return them the wealth and the captives. They uttered so touching words that Allâh’s Messenger ﷺ said to them “You surely see who are with me. The most desirable speech to me is the most truthful. Which is dearer to you, your wealth or your women and children?” They replied: “Nothing whatsoever compares with kinship.” “Then when I perform the Noon prayer, stand up and say: ‘We intercede with Allâh’s Messenger ﷺto exhort the believers, and we intercede with the believers to exhort Allâh’s Messengerﷺ to forego the captives of our people fallen to their lot’.”
So, when Allâh’s Messengerﷺ performed the Noon prayer, they stood up and said what they had been told to say. The Messengerﷺ then said: “As for what belongs to me and to the children of Abdul-Muttalib, from now on you may consider them yours. And I will ask my folksmen to give back theirs.”
Upon hearing that the Emigrants and the Helpers said: “What belongs to us is, from now on, offered to Allâh’s Messengerﷺ.” But Al-Aqra’ bin Habis said, “I will grant none of what belongs to me and to Bani Tamim,” so did ‘Uyainah bin Hisn, who said: “As for me and Bani Fazarah, I say ‘No’.” Al-‘Abbas bin Mirdas also refused and said: “No,” for Bani Sulaim and himself. His people, however, said otherwise: “Whatever spoils belong to us, we offer to the Messenger of Allâhﷺ.” “You have undermined my position.” said Al-‘Abbas bin Mirdas instantly.
Then Allâh’s Messenger ﷺsaid: “These people have come to you as Muslims. For the same reason, I have already delayed the distribution of the booty. Besides. I have granted them a fair option but they refused to have anything other than their women and children. Therefore, he who has some of theirs and will prefer willingly to give them back, let him do so. But he who favors to keep what he owns to himself, let him grant them back too, and he will be given as a recompense, six times as much from the first booty that Allâh may provide us.”
People then said, “We will willingly offer them all for the sake of the Messenger of Allâhﷺ.” Allah’s Messengerﷺ the said: “But in this way we are not able to find out who is content and who is not. So, go back and we will be waiting for your chiefs to convey to us your decisions.”
All of them gave back the women and children. The only one who refused to comply with the Messenger’s desire was ‘Uyainah bin Hisn. He refused to let an old woman of theirs go back at first. Later on he let her go back. Allâh’s Messengerﷺ gave every captive a garment as a gift.
‘Umrah and leaving for Madinah
Having accomplished the distribution of the spoils at Al-Ji’ ranah, he left it while wearing clothing for ‘Umrah and proceeded to Makkah to perform ‘Umrah. Nabi Pakﷺ turned back from there to Madinah after appointing ‘Attab bin Asid ta on Makkah as governor. His arrival to Madinah was by the last six nights of Dhul-Qa’dah, in the year 8 A.H.”