When Islam was well-established in the hearts of the Muslims, Allah decided that the time had come for His Messenger and his community to enter Makkah. They would purify the Ka'bah so that it would be a blessed place of guidance for the whole world. They would restore Makkah to its previous status and the sacred city would offer security for all people once again.
A broken treaty
In the Peace Treaty of Hudaybiyyah it was laid down that anyone who wanted to enter into a treaty and alliance with the Messenger of Allah should be able to do so; and anyone who wanted to enter into a treaty and alliance with the Quraysh should also be allowed to do so. The Banu Bakr entered into an alliance with the Quraysh while the Banu Khuza'ah entered into one with the Messenger of Allah.
Longstanding hostility existed between the Banu Bakr and Banu Khuza'ah. The coming of Islam had put a barrier between the people as they had become engrossed in its affairs. The Peace Treaty enabled the Banu Bakr to settle an old score against the Banu Khuza'ah. One night the Banu Bakr attacked the Banu Khuza'ah by night when they were camped by a spring and killed some of their men. Á skirmish developed and the Quraysh helped the Banu Bakr by providing weapons.
Some Quraysh leaders also fought with the Banu Bakr secretly at night, and the Khuza'ah were driven into the Haram. Some of the Quraysh said, 'We have entered the Haram. Mind your gods!' Others replied thoughtlessly, 'There is no god today, men of Banu Bakr. Take your revenge! You may never have another chance!'
'Amr ibn Salim al-Khuza'i went to the Messenger of Allah in Madinah and recited some verses to him about the alliance between the Muslims and the Khuza'ah. He asked for help, saying that the Quraysh had violated the agreement. His tribe had been attacked at night, he maintained, and men had been killed in ruku' and sajdah, while performing prayers.
The Messenger of Allah assured him, 'You will be helped, 'Amr ibn Salim!' He then sent a man to Makkah to get confirmation of the attack and to offer the Quraysh the chance to redress their offence. Their reply was impulsive and they ignored the likely consequences.
The Quraysh attempt to renew the treaty
When the Messenger of Allah heard their answer, he said, 'I think you will see Abu Sufyan coming to strengthen the treaty and to ask for more time.'
That happened. The Quraysh were so concerned about what they had done that they charged Abu Sufyan with the task of getting the treaty ratified.
Abu Sufyan came to the Messenger of Allah in Madinah and also went to visit his daughter, Umm Habibah, the wife of the Prophet. However, when he went to sit on the Messenger of Allah's carpet, she rolled it up from under him.
Puzzled, he said to her, 'My daughter, I do not know whether you think the carpet is too good for me or whether I am too good for the carpet.'
She replied, 'This is the Messenger of Allah's carpet and you are an unclean idolworshipper. I do not want you to sit on his carpet.'
'By Allah,' Abu Sufyan retorted. 'You have been spoiled since you left me.'
Abu Sufyan fails
Abu Sufyan went to the Messenger of Allah, but he did not receive any answer. Then he went to Abu Bakr and asked him to speak to the Messenger of Allah for him but he refused. He tried to win over 'Umar, 'Ali and Fatimah but they all said that the matter was too serious for them to get involved. Abu Sufyan became confused about what to do.
The Messenger of Allah asked the Muslims to start preparing for an expedition but he asked them to keep it a secret. Later he announced that he was going to Makkah and ordered them to get ready.
He said, 'O Allah! Impede the informers of the Quraysh so that we can take Makkah by surprise.' He left Madinah with ten thousand men in Ramadan 8 A.H. and advanced as far as Marr az-Zahran where they set up camp. Allah concealed this information from the Quraysh, so they waited in uncertainty.
On the way, the Messenger of Allah happened to meet his cousin, Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith ibn 'Abdu'l- Muttalib. He ignored him because he had suffered insults and persecution from Abu Sufyan. The cousin complained to 'Ali that he had been ignored. 'Ali said to him, 'Go to the Messenger of Allah and say to him what the brothers said to Yusuf, "By Allah, Allah has preferred you to us and we were indeed sinful." (12:91) The Messenger of Allah never likes anyone to show more mercy than he.'
Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith did as 'Ali advised and the Messenger of Allah replied, 'Have no fear this day. Allah will forgive you. He is the Most merciful of the merci- ful.'
Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith accepted Islam and was known for his piety. He did not raise his head ever again in front of the Messenger of Allah because he felt so ashamed of his past behaviour.
Abu Sufyan ibn Harb accepts Islam
The Messenger of Allah was commanding the army and he ordered the campfires to be lit. Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, who was spying out the ground for the Quraysh, said: 'I have never seen so many fires or such an army.'
Al-'Abbas ibn 'Abdu'l-Muttalib had already left Makkah with his wife and children as a Muslim Muhajir and had joined the Muslim army. He recognized Abu Sufyan's voice and called to him, 'See, the Messenger of Allah is here with his army. What a terrible morning the Quraysh will have!'
He made Abu Sufyan ride on the back of his mule, fearing that if a Muslim saw him, he would kill him. Al-'Abbas took him to the Messenger of Allah who said, 'Woe to you, Abu Sufyan! Has not the time come for you to acknowledge that there is no god but Allah?'
Abu Sufyan replied, 'How kind and gentle you are! By Allah, I think that if there had been another god besides Allah, he would have helped me today.'
'Woe to you, Abu Sufyan! Is it not time that you recognized that I am the Messenger of Allah?'
Abu Sufyan replied, 'May my father and mother be your ransom! How kind and generous you are! But by Allah, I still have some doubt as to that.'
Al-'Abbas intervened, 'Woe to you, Abu Sufyan! Become a Muslim and testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah before you lose your head.' Then Abu Sufyan recited the articles of faith and became a Muslim.
The Messenger of Allah was generous in granting amnesty to everyone so that no one in Makkah need be killed that morning. Only those who courted danger ran any risk of losing their life. He declared, 'Whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan is safe. Whoever locks his door is safe. Whoever enters the mosque is safe.' The Messenger of Allah told his army not to use arms against anyone when they entered Makkah unless they met opposition or resistance. He directed the army not to touch property or possessions belonging to the people of Makkah and nothing should be destroyed.
Abu Sufyan's influence
The Messenger of Allah decided to demonstrate the power of Islam to Abu Sufyan. He asked 'Abbas ibn 'Abdu'l-Muttalib to take Abu Sufyan to where the marching squadrons would pass by.
The Muslim squadrons passed by like a surging sea with the different tribes bearing their standards. Whenever a tribe passed by, Abu Sufyan would ask 'Abbas about it and, when he heard the name of the tribe, he would mumble gloomily, 'What have I got to do with them?' Finally the Messenger of Allah passed by with his squadron in full, gleaming green armour. It was the regiment of the Muhajirun and the Ansar. Only their eyes were visible because of their armour.
Abu Sufyan said, 'Glory be to Allah! 'Abbas, who are these?'
'This is the Messenger of Allah with the Muhajirun and Ansar,' he answered.
'No one has any power or resistance against them,' said Abu Sufyan. 'By Allah, Abu'l-Fadl, the authority of your brother's son has certainly increased.'
'Abu Sufyan,' 'Abbas said, 'This is not a kingdom, it is prophethood.'
Abu Sufyan replied, 'Then it is wonderful.'
He stood up and shouted at the top of his voice, 'O men of the Quraysh! This is Muhammad with a force you cannot resist. He has ten thousand men of steel. He says that whoever enters my house will be safe.'
The men shouted back, 'Allah slay you! What good is your house to us?'
Abu Sufyan added, 'And whoever locks himself indoors is safe and whoever enters the mosque is safe.' So the people dispersed and went into their homes or into the mosque.
A humble victory
On the morning of Friday, 20 Ramadan, 8 A.H., the Messenger of Allah entered Makkah with his head bowed. When he realized the honour of the conquest Allah had bestowed upon him, he felt so humble before Allah that his chin almost touched the back of his camel. He was reciting Surat al-Fath as he rode into Makkah in victory. He raised the standard of justice, equality, and humility. Behind him rode Usamah ibn Zayd, the son of his freed slave, rather than any sons of the Banu Hashim or of the Quraysh leaders, even though they were present.
One man, trembling with awe on the Day of the Conquest, was told, 'Be at ease. Do not be afraid. I am not a king. I am only the son of a woman of the Quraysh who used to eat meat dried in the sun.'
Mercy not slaughter
When Sa'd ibn 'Ubadah in the squadron of the Ansar passed by Abu Sufyan he called out, 'Today is a day of slaughter. Today there is no more sanctuary. Today Allah has humbled the Quraysh.'
When the Messenger of Allah's squadron came near Abu Sufyan, he complained, 'Messenger of Allah, did you not hear what Sa'd said?'
'What was that?' said the Messenger of Allah, and Abu Sufyan repeated what Sa'd had called out.
The Messenger of Allah disliked Sa'd's comments and replied, 'Today is a day of mercy and forgiveness when Allah will exalt the Quraysh and raise honour for the Ka'bah.'
He then sent for Sa'd, took the standard from him and gave it to his son Qays. This meant that the standard did not really leave Sa'd because it only went to his son. But Abu Sufyan was satisfied and Sa'd was not too upset.
A small skirmish broke out between Safwan ibn Umayyah, 'Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl and Suhayl ibn 'Amr, who came up against the companions of Khalid ibn al-Walid. Twelve of the idolworshippers were killed when they tried to stop the advance of the Muslim forces. The rest gave in without further bloodshed. The Messenger of Allah had told his men when they entered Makkah, 'Do not fight anyone unless they attack you.'
Purifying the Haram
The Messenger of Allah got down from his camel when everything had calmed down. He went to the Ka'bah first and performed tawaf. Around the Ka'bah were three hundred and sixty idols. With a stick he was carrying he began to push them over, saying, 'The truth has come and falsehood has vanished away. Falsehood is ever vanishing.' (17: 81) 'The truth has come and falsehood originates not nor brings again.' (34: 49) The idols collapsed one by one, falling onto their faces. Pictures and statues were found in the Ka'bah and the Messenger of Allah ordered that they should also be destroyed.
A day of piety
Having performed tawaf, the Messenger of Allah called 'Uthman ibn Talhah who had the key of the Ka'bah. The doors were unlocked and he went in. He had asked 'Uthman for the key before the hijrah to Madinah but he had received a rude answer and insults. He had shown tolerance by answering, 'Uthman, one day you will see this key in my hand. I will then put it where I wish.'
'Uthman had retorted, 'The Quraysh will be destroyed and humiliated on that day.'
'No,' said the Messenger of Allah, 'Rather it will be a day of prosperity and security for the Quraysh.' His words made such an impression on 'Uthman ibn Talhah that he came to believe the prediction would eventually take place.
When the Messenger of Allah came out of the Ka'bah, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib stood up holding the key of the Ka'bah in his hand. He said to the Messenger of Allah, 'Grant us the guardianship of the Ka'bah along with providing water for the pilgrims.'
The Messenger of Allah asked, 'Where is 'Uthman ibn Talhah?'
'Uthman was summoned and the Messenger of Allah said to him, 'Here is your key, 'Uthman. Today is a day of piety and good faith. Keep it forever as an inheritance. Only a tyrant would take it from you.'
Islam: Tawhid and unity
The Messenger of Allah opened the door of the Ka'bah. The Quraysh had filled the mosque, and were waiting in rows to see what he would do. Holding the door frame, he said,
There is no god but Allah alone. He has no partner. He has made good His promise. He has helped His servant and He alone has put all allies to flight. Every claim of privilege, property or bloodline are abol- ished by me today except for the custody of the Ka'bah and providing water for the pilgrims.O people of the Quraysh! Allah has abolished the haughtiness of the Jahiliyyah and its veneration of ancestors. People all spring from Adam, and Adam came from dust.' Then he recited this verse, 'O mankind, We have created you male and female, and appointed you races and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely the noblest among you in the sight of Allah is the most godfearing of you. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (49: 13)
Prophet of Love, Prophet of Mercy
Then the Messenger of Allah said, 'Men of the Quraysh! What do you think I will do to you?'
They said, 'We hope for the best. You are a noble brother and the son of a noble brother!'
He replied, 'I say to you what Yusuf said to his brothers, "No reproach shall be on you this day." Go on your way, you are free.'
He ordered Bilal to climb up on the roof of the Ka'bah and give the adhan. It was the first time the leaders of the Quraysh had heard the word of Allah rising up; the valley of Makkah reverberated with the sound. The Messenger of Allah entered the house of Umm Hani bint Abi Talib, had a bath and prayed eight rak'ats of Salatu'l- Fath, the Prayer of Victory, to thank Allah for the conquest.
In the meantime, Fatimah, a woman of the Banu Makhzum had been apprehended for theft. Her community went to Usamah ibn Zayd, hoping that he could persuade the Messenger of Allah to intercede on her behalf. When he spoke to the Messenger of Allah about it, however, he was put to shame.
'Do you dare to speak to me about one of the hudud, the limits laid down by Allah?' the Messenger of Allah asked him.
Usamah beseeched him, 'Pray for my forgiveness, Messenger of Allah!'
That evening the Messenger of Allah made a speech. After praising Allah, he said, 'The people before you were destroyed because when one of their noblemen stole, they ignored the offence but when one of the poor people stole, they administered the hadd (prescribed punishment). By the One who holds my life in His hand, if Fatimah bint Muhammad, were to steal, I would have her hand cut off.'
Then he ordered that the woman's right hand be cut off. She genuinely repented of her sin and went on to marry and lead a normal life.
Paying homage in Islam
A large crowd gathered in Makkah to accept Islam and to pay homage to the Messenger of Allah. He received them on Mount Safa where they took the oath of allegiance. They promised to obey Allah and His Messenger to the best of their ability.
When the men had pledged their faith, the women took the oath, including Hind bint 'Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyan. She was veiled and tried to disguise herself because of what she had done to Hamzah, but the Messenger of Allah recognized her bold talk. 'Forgive what is past and Allah will forgive you,' she said to him.
'My life is with you and my death will be among you'
When Allah opened up Makkah to His Messenger, and he was back in his own homeland and city of birth once more, the Ansar said among themselves, 'Allah has given him power over his homeland and city so he will probably stay here and not return to Madinah.'
The Messenger of Allah asked them what they were talking about. No one else knew about the conversation. At first they were too shy to tell him but eventually they confessed what they had said.
He assured them, 'I seek refuge with Allah! I will live with you and I will die among you.'
Removing all vestiges of idolworship
The Messenger of Allah sent groups of his Com- panions to destroy the idols standing round the Ka'bah. All of the idols were broken including al-Lat, al-'Uzza, and Manat. He sent a crier to announce in Makkah, 'Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should destroy any idol in his house.' He also sent representatives to the surrounding tribes telling them to destroy their idols.
Then the Messenger of Allah assembled the Mus- lims in Makkah and declared that the city would be a sanctuary forever. He said, 'It is not lawful for anyone who believes in Allah and the Hereafter to spill blood in the city nor to cut down a tree. It was not lawful for anyone before me nor shall it be lawful for anyone after me.' The Messenger of Allah then returned to Madinah.
Outcome of the conquest of Makkah
The conquest of Makkah had a tremendous impact on the Arabs. It showed that Islam was the religion of Allah and paved the way for the whole of Arabia to accept the faith. From far and wide people came to pay their respects to the Messenger of Allah and to accept Islam at his hands. Allah spoke the truth:
When comes the help of Allah and victory and you see people entering the religion of Allah in throngs (Surah al-Nasr 110: 1-2).
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