Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
A Trial for Muslims
Islam is not just reciting shahada orally but it is about applying it to upon oneself (verifying it inwardly). It is one needs to practically adopt the attributes of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Such as patience, gratitude, knowledge, humility, tolerance, generosity etc. One should remain content on the will of Allah. Without hesitation a seeker must sacrifice his/her family, wealth and relations in the path of truth as these are transitory things. We must do everything that leads to the pleasure of Allah and His beloved.
The sacred life of the Companions, is a beacon of light for us. They were acquainted with the attributes of the Holy Prophet and had forgotten their own personalities. Every moment of their lives was in accordance with sunna, and their every action was filled with patience and contentment.
They treated each other with meekness, modesty and forgiveness. They supported the Holy Prophet with such courage and bravery that it is difficult to find an example in history. Whenever the Holy Prophet (pbuh) commanded, they immediately obliged no matter how powerful the enemy was. Even in the state of having no weapons and arms they proved to be a wall of courage. Allah says in Quran:
Do people think that they will be released (just) on saying: ‘We have believed,’ and they will not be tried? (29: 2)
The Place of Hudaybiyyah
There are numerous incidents in the history of Islam that prove that the Companions loved the Holy Prophet ardently. They were not so-called Muslims but successfully passed through every trial. One of these trials is the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. This was a treaty between the Muslims and the polytheists of Makkah (Mecca). It took place in the month of Dhu al-Qa’dah, 6 AH.
Hudaybiyah was a well near Makkah (Mecca), some tribes settled around it due to which the area became known as Hudaybiyyah. It is about nine miles from Makkah (Mecca).
Being fed up with the persecution of the infidels, on Allah’s command the Holy Prophet and the Muslims migrated from Makkah (Mecca) to Madinah (Medina). The city where they had spent big part of their lives, where they had relatives, business and property. The city where House of Allah (Kaaba) was situated and which was famous for its sanctity throughout the land. People from far and wide used to come to visit it. It was not easy to leave this city, but Ishq (Divine love) is tested only through trials.
The Muslims in Makkah (Mecca) endured the cruelty and abuse of polytheists with patience because of the order of the Holy Prophet. As soon as the Holy Prophet migrated, the Muslims too left their homes and came to Madinah (Medina). This greatly increased the anger and violence of the polytheists of Makkah (Mecca). They decided not to let the Muslims live in peace under any circumstances. They continued their conspiracies which resulted in decisive battles. These include Battle of Badr, Battle of Uhud and Battle of the Trench. In these wars, the infidels of Makkah (Mecca) had to suffer severe loss of life and property. The polytheists stopped Muslims from entering Makkah.
Dream of Holy Prophet about Makkah
The House of Allah, whose walls they used to pray for blessings, whose charity they used to plead for the fulfilment of their needs, whose circumambulation brought joy to the body and soul, whose sight quenched the thirst of their eyes; deprivation of this pilgrimage made the Muslims restless and uneasy.
Perhaps this was a test for Muslims. Those who are with Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) who is the soul of the universe, whose sight Allah himself longs for, who is the centre and pivot of every creation on earth and in the sky, it is not the way of lovers to look elsewhere in his presence. One day the Holy Prophet told the Companions that he had a dream that all the Muslims were entering the Kaaba in peace and security. Hearing this, the Muslims were over the moon. They knew that this dream of the Holy Prophet would definitely come true.
They had no doubt in it but they also wondered how would this be possible? They thought, the infidels will not allow them to enter Makkah easily, will there be a war? Muslims started preparing for Makkah with numerous worries in their minds. The Holy Prophet also asked the Muslim tribes around Madinah to accompany him.
Journey to Hudaybiyyah
On the 1st of Dhu al-Qa’dah, the caravan of the lovers of the Prophet left Madinah (Medina) for Makkah. They were around fourteen to fifteen hundred in numbers. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) was riding his camel. They also took seventy sacrificial camels along. On reaching the place of Dhul-Hilaifah, about seven miles from Madinah (Medina), everyone put on Ihram. At that time everyone had only one sword that was for their own protection and not for war. Besides, the Muslims had no weapons because they only intended to perform pilgrimage and not to engage in war. It was the tradition of the Holy Prophet that in every journey, one of his sacred wives had the honour to accompany him.
During this journey, Umm Al-Momineen Umm Salama (RA) accompanied the Holy Prophet (pbuh). When Quraysh learnt about the departure of Muslims, they had many whispers and fears in their minds. They thought the pilgrimage to Bait Allah (Baitullah) was just an excuse, that the Muslims were coming to occupy Makkah. They convened a meeting. After consultation, they decided not to let Muslims enter Makkah in any case due to the amount of life and financial damage they have caused to them in the last few years.
When the caravan reached Isfan, which was only two days’ journey from Makkah, the Holy Prophet met a man from Banu Ka’b. He said that the disbelievers of Makkah are aware of their arrival and they are camping outside Makkah at the station of Zu Tuwa. The disbelievers have despatched a regiment of two hundred horse riders under the command of Khalid ibn al-Walid to stop Muslims (Khalid ibn al-Walid had not accepted Islam at that time)e
Caravan’s Stop Outside Makkah
The Holy Prophet consulted the Companions whether they should fight the infidels or head towards Makkah to perform pilgrimage. After consultation, the Holy Prophet agreed and ordered to move towards Makkah. Khalid ibn al-Walid’s troops immediately ran to inform the Quraish when they saw the large army of Muslims advancing.
The Muslim caravan reached the hill leading down to Makkah. On reaching this place, the Holy Prophet was riding camel named Quswa, who sat down. The Muslims thought that maybe she (camel Quswa) was tired. But the Holy Prophet said that she was prevented from moving forward by the same Lord who prevented the army of Abraha from moving forward towards Kaaba. The Holy Prophet further said: “By the One in Whose Power is my soul, I will give whatever the people of Makkah ask of me to maintain the majesty of the Haram.”
Miracle of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) at Hudaybiyyah
The caravan halted at Hudaybiyyah, not even a drop of water was available for drinking. The Muslims asked the Holy Prophet that all the wells are dry. Prophet Mohammad gave an arrow from his bow to a Companion and asked him to put it in the well. As soon as he put the arrow in the well, it filled with water up to the brim. All the people as well as the animals present there drank its water.
At the same time, Budayl bin Warqa came to the Holy Prophet. He used to convey all the news of Makkah to him. He informed the Holy Prophet that the army of Khalid bin Waleed had been formed.
The Holy Prophet said to him, “Inform the Quraysh that we have come only with the intention of visiting the House of Allah and performing Hajj and not with the intention of war.
The past battles have weakened the Quraysh. If they wish to arm themselves, we will make peace with them for a fixed period of time. During this period, they will not fight us nor we will fight them. Neither will other tribes interfere between us. In the meantime, if they overcome the Muslims, then their intention will be fulfilled. If we prevail over them, the Quraish have the right to convert to Islam if they wish. And if they don’t want to become Muslims, they will not have to suffer because of the treaty. If the Quraysh do not accept all these things, then by God in Whose power is my soul, I will fight with them for the sake of religion until my neck is severed from my body. It is certain that Allah will grant His religion the upper hand.”
Stubbornness of Quraish of Makkah
Budayl bin Warqa went to Makkah and told the Quraysh that Muslims only intended to visit the house of Allah. They had no intention of war. Do not block their way and let them visit. Along with this, he also presented the message of the Holy Prophet before them. But the Quraish did not agree because of their enmity against Islam. Quraish had sent Mikraz ibn Hafs from Banu Amir tribe to the Muslims.
When the Holy Prophet saw him, he warned the Companions that he was a deceitful person. When he came closer, the Holy Prophet said the same thing to him. He returned to Quraysh with the peace statement of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
The Makkans had made friendship agreements with some of the surrounding tribes. At that time they needed their help and support because they were expert archers and warriors. The Quraysh sent the chief of these tribes Halas bin Alqamah as their representative to the Holy Prophet. When the Holy Prophet saw him coming, he said to the Companions, “This man is one of those who guard the truth and sanctity of Allah, so pass the sacrificial animals in front of him. When Halas saw the sacrificial animals, he went back without any conversation and told Quraysh, “I saw something that is not permissible to stop.” They are sacrificial animals, their necks are tied, and their bones have been eaten due to being kept for too long. The Quraish got angry with him and scolded him that you are bad and you do not know anything.
Urwa bin Masood
After that, the Quraish of Makkah asked Urwa bin Masood al-Thaqafi (who had not yet become a Muslim) to go to the Holy Prophet to persuade him to return. At first he denied because he had seen Halas bin Alqamah disgraced before his eyes. However, the chiefs of Quraysh talked about his sageness and convinced him about this. Urwa bin Masoud came to the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet said the same thing to him as he had said to the earlier ones. Urwa said that Makkah is the centre of your nation, if you fight, you will destroy your own nation. Have you ever heard of someone uprooting his own nation before? If Quraysh prevail, I swear by God, I see many faces who will leave you and run away (because many of the Companions, i.e. the emigrants, belonged to different tribes of Makkah.
Companions’ Respect for Prophet Mohammad
Abu Bakr Siddiq was nearby, he gave a sharp reply to Urwa that how is it possible that we would leave the Holy Prophet and run away. After spending some time in Muslims’ tents, Urwa bin Mas’ud returned to Makkah and told the Quraysh that the Muslims did not come with the intention of war, but with the intention of visiting the House of Allah.
I have also been to the courts of Kaiser, Qusra and Najashi, but I have never seen so passionate lovers before. They do not allow a single drop of the ablution of Mohammad (pbuh) to fall down, nor even a drop of saliva. Rather, they put this saliva and ablution water on their faces and bodies. If he orders them to do something, everyone tries to excel in doing that work. When they speak, they lower their voice in view of the greatness of their Prophet and lower their gaze in order to respect the beloved to the extreme. If you think the Muslims will leave their Prophet and go away, then this will not happen.
Quraish Provoked Muslims
Since the Quraysh were not allowing the Muslims to come to Makkah, they were afraid that if the news reached other tribes and regions, there would be a lot of infamy that the Muslims were being prevented from visiting Bait Allah (Baitullah). Quraish were portraying themselves as the owners of Bait Allah (Baitullah), rather than its guardians. In view of the sanctity of Bait Allah (Baitullah), Quraysh did not even want to wage war, but they were determined to provoke the Muslims so that they would take the initiative in war. They sent many of their wicked servants in the dark of night who pelted stones at Muslims. The Muslims caught them and presented them to the Holy Prophet, but the Prophet forgave them.
The leaders of Quraish were not reaching any conclusion. All the ambassadors of Quraish advised them not to stop Muslims but they did not pay any heed to them.
Muslim Ambassador to Makkah
The Holy Prophet intended to send Umar ibn al-Khattab as an ambassador to Makkah. However, he said that Uthman ibn Affan was more respected by the people of Makkah. Therefore, Prophet Mohammad sent Uthman ibn Affan as ambassador. He tried hard to convince the Quraysh of Makkah that Muslims were wearing Ihram and had not come with any wrong intention. The chiefs of Quraish said, “Now that you have come here, you can circumambulate the Kaaba.” But the lover of beloved Prophet, Uthman ibn Affan (RA) did not perform Tawaf without the Holy Prophet (pbuh). How it was possible for him to do the Tawaf of the Kaaba without his beloved? The Quraish were not willing to give up their stubbornness. They had taken an oath not to allow Muslims to enter Makkah that year, so they wanted them to return to Madina and come back the following year.
Meanwhile, a rumour spread in the caravan of Muslims that Uthman ibn Affan had been martyred. The Holy Prophet gathered all the Companions and took oath from them that they will not return until they avenge the martyrdom of Uthman. The Holy Prophet was sitting under a tree and all the Companions were waiting to sacrifice their lives for their beloved in the passion of martyrdom. This was at a time when they had no means to fight and there was no sign of any help from anywhere. But Divine love does not rely on physical means. Lovers only know how to obey their beloved’s orders. To see the pleasure of the beloved and the beauty of his face, the lover puts his head to the ground. All the Companions also vowed that they will not go back under any circumstances until they have avenged the martyrdom of Uthman ibn Affan.
Allah gave Glad Tidings to Muslims
Angel Gabriel came to the Holy Prophet and gave the glad tidings of Allah that those people who have pledged allegiance in your hand, Allah is pleased with them. That is why this bayah is called Bayt-e-Rizwan. On the other hand, when the infidels of Makkah found out about this allegiance, they got scared. They had already witnessed the faith of the Muslims in three wars and many skirmishes. They sent Suhail bin Amr for peace and insisted that the clause in the peace agreement must be kept that the Muslims should go back this year without performing pilgrimage so that the Arabs could not say that Mohammad (pbuh) came to Makkah forcefully. Usman ibn Affan also returned with them.
After long discussions on various aspects, an agreement was reached. The agreement began with Bismillahi-Rahmani-Raheem. But Sohail said that we do not know Rehman. You write in the name of Allah (Bismika Allahuma). It was written like this on the order of the Holy Prophet. This is the peace document written after that, on which Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, made peace treaty. Sohail objected to this too that we do not believe you to be the Messenger of Allah, if we did, then what was the quarrel? Therefore, write “Muhammad bin Abdullah. Ali ibn Abi Talib, who was writing the contract, refused to strike these words. The Messenger of Allah himself striked these words with his blessed hand, because he had previously said that he would give whatever polytheists asked for in order to maintain the majesty and sanctity of the House of Allah.
Key Points of Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
The points of agreement were;
- For the next ten years both parties will not engage in any war or in any covert or overt act to turmoil peace.
- During this period, if a person from Makkah goes to Madinah without the permission of his/her guardian, then the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) will send him back.
- But if a person goes to Makkah from Madinah, the people of Makkah will not turn him back.
- All the Bedouin tribes of Arabia are free, they can make friends with whomever they like, Muslims or infidels.
- Mohammad (pbuh) will return to Madina this year and will come back next year to perform Umrah. They will be allowed to stay in Makkah for three days, during which time they will not have any weapons except swords. The sword will also remain in the sheath.
- The people of Makkah will go out of Makkah during these three days and when the Muslims start returning from Makkah, they will not take anyone from Makkah with them.
Concern of Muslims on the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
While this agreement was being written, Abu Jundal, the son of Suhail bin Amr, who had converted to Islam and was fastened in chains, arrived at the place of Hudaybiyyah, and cried to the Holy Prophet for his freedom. The Holy Prophet advised him to be patient and ordered him to go back according to the agreement and said that soon Allah will make means for his release. Apparently, from these conditions, it appeared that Muslims were oppressed by the infidels in every respect and every condition of the infidels was accepted. Muslims were very anxious about this agreement and their hearts were extremely saddened. The return of Abu Jundal further saddened them.
Umar ibn Khattab also expressed his anxiety, he said, “O Messenger of Allah! Are you not truly the messenger of Allah, the Prophet? The Holy Prophet (pbuh) replied, “Why not? Umar (RA) again said, “Are we not on the truth and our enemies on the falsehood?” The Holy Prophet then replied, “Why not?” Umar asked, “How can we let any kind of disrepute to rise in Islam?” The Holy Prophet said, “I am the Messenger of Allah, I will not go against His will. He is my Helper.”
Umar expressed his concerns to Abu Bakr Siddique (RA) too, but he was content, he knew that the Muslims were unaware of the hidden wisdom behind the decision of the Holy Prophet at the time. Allah and His Messenger know best about these wisdoms. Therefore, he comforted Umar.
Victory of Islam
After the peace agreement, the Holy Prophet ordered everyone to remove ihram and sacrifice the animals there. However, no one obliged and there was a great uncertainty amongst them that they had come to visit the house of Allah. Yes, how can this happen! Even after being told three times, no one removed their Ihram. So, the Holy Prophet went to his tent. Umm al-Momineen, Umm Salma (RA) said to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) “Muslims are victims of tyranny. If you remove ihram they will follow you. This is what happened. Seeing the Holy Prophet, all the Companions removed Ihram. All the animals reserved for sacrifice were slaughtered and they all returned to Madinah. On this return journey, Allah revealed Surah al-Fath in which the Muslims were given glad tidings of “glorious win”, and also mentioned about bringing peace to the hearts of Muslims.
And indeed this is how it unfolded. On the announcement of this victory by Allah, the anxiety of the Muslims ended. The polytheists of Makkah who were happy to make an agreement with the Muslims on their own terms and did not allow them to visit the House of Allah, Allah made it clear about them in Surah al-Fath that he would soon remove this wrongdoing of theirs. In the years to come, the following benefits of this treaty came to light.
Outcome of Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
- The agreement showed that the infidels of Makkah accepted the freedom of Muslims.
- Before this agreement, Muslims were always under the threat that the polytheists could attack at any time. But this agreement end this anxiety from the hearts of believers. There was an opportunity to promote and spread Islam. As a result, more people entered Islam than the 19 years prior to this treaty. Whole tribes accepted Islam.
- Islamic government was established on an orderly and systematic basis in the areas that had fallen under the influence of Islam. With the implementation of Islamic laws, the Muslim society got acquainted with a new civilisation.
- After the peace treaty of Hudaybiyyah, the key centres of the Jews; Khyber, Fadak and Tabuk gradually came under the flag of Islam.
- Bedouin tribes who were earlier allies of Quraish also started accepting Islam one by one.
- Abu Baseer, who had converted to Islam, was imprisoned in Makkah. One day he escaped from prison and reached Medina. According to the agreement, the Holy Prophet returned him. But Abu Baseer ran away and camped near the Red Sea (Bahr Ahmar). The other Muslims who were suffering persecution in Makah also fled and reached Abu Baseer. In this way, about seventy people gathered there. They started robbing the caravans of Quraish that passed from there. On this, Quraish themselves requested the Holy Prophet to call these Muslims to him and terminate this clause of the agreement. Thus, the Muslims were sure of their victory through this treaty.
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) Performed Four Umrah
The next year, according to the agreement, in the month of Dhu al-Qadah, the Holy Prophet performed Umrah. The Holy Prophet performed four Umrah. Anas bin Malik has narrated that the Holy Prophet performed four Umrah in total and in addition to his Hajj Umrah, he performed all three Umrahs in Dhu al-Qadah. One Umrah at the time of Hudaybiyyah (which could not be performed in practice, but it was accepted), the second Umrah was performed in the following year of Dhu al-Qadah after Hudaybiyya, coming from the place of Jaarana where the Holy Prophet distributed the war booty from Hunain. He also performed this Umrah in Dhu al-Qadah and he performed the fourth Umrah along with his Hajj (Farewell Hajj) in Dhu al-Hijjah. (Muslim 3033)
Importance of Faith in Spiritual Guide
The seekers are certainly not aware of the wisdom of their spiritual guide’s strategies and orders. However, Allah reveals the hidden facts at the right time. Through this reconciliation, Allah tested all Muslims. On this occasion, those hypocrites also became apparent who used their families and their business as an excuse for not going with the Holy Prophet. Perhaps they were under the impression that the Muslims would never return.
Where the hypocrites suspected Muslims would face loss of life and property, they found excuses not to join them. On the other hand where they hoped to get war booty, they used to come along. In Surah al-Fath, Allah gave clear orders regarding these hypocrites and commanded Muslims not to accept any of their excuses. Therefore, the hypocrites were not taken along in the battles that took place after the treaty of Hudaybiyyah. Those who left their homes and went with the Holy Prophet, Allah gave them glad tidings and succeeded them in this world and hereafter.
May Allah grant us the ability to sincerely act upon every command of our spiritual guide (Murshid).
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