THE CONQUEST OF MAKKAH
When Islam was well established in the hearts of the Muslims, Allah decided that the time had come for His Messenger (S.A.W) and his community to enter Makkah. They would purify the Kabah 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 Hudaybiyah it was laid down that anyone who wanted to enter into a treaty and alliance with the Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah should be able to do so and anyone who wanted to enter into a treaty and alliance with the Quraish should also be allowed to do so. The Banu Bakr entered into an alliance with the Quraish while the Banu Khuzah entered into one with the Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah.
Amr ibn Salim al-Khuzai went to the Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah in Madina and recited some verses to him about the alliance between the Muslims and the Khuzaah. He asked for help saying that the Quraish 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 (S.A.W) 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 Quraish the chance to redress their offence. Their reply was impulsive and they ignored the likely consequences.
THE QURAISH ATTEMPT TO RENEW THE TREATY.
When the Messenger (S.A.W) 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 Quraish 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 (S.A.W) of Allah in Madina and also went to visit his daughter Umm Habibah the wife of the Prophet. However, when he went to sit on the Messenger (S.A.W) 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 (S.A.W) of Allah’s carpet and you are an unclean idol-worshipper. 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 (S.A.W) of Allah, but he did not receive any answer. Then he went to Abu Bakr and asked him to speak to the Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah for him but he refused. He tried to win over Umar, Ali and Fatima 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 (S.A.W) 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 Quraish so that we can take Makkah by surprise. He left Madina 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 Quraish, so they waited in uncertainty.
On the way, the Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah happened to meet his cousin, Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith ibn Abdul-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 (S.A.W) 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. The Messenger(S.A.W) of Allah never Likes anyone to show more mercy than he.
Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith did as All advised and the Messenger(S.A.W) of Allah replied, Have no fear this day. Allah will forgive you. He is the Most merciful of the merciful.
ABU SUFYAN IBN HARB ACCEPTS ISLAM:
The Messenger (S.A.W) 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 Quraish, said: ‘I have never seen so many fires or such an army.
Al-Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib had already left Makkah with his wife and children as a Muslim Muhajir and had joined the Muslim army. He recognised Abu Sufyan’s voice and called to him, ‘See, the Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah is here with his army. What a terrible morning the Quraish 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 (S.A.W) 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 recognised that I am the Messenger(S.A.W) 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(S.A.W) of Allah before you lose your head. Then Abu Sufyan recited the articles of faith and became a Muslim.
The Messenger (S.A.W) 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 (S.A.W) 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 (S.A.W) of Allah decided to demonstrate the power of Islam to Abu Sufyan. He asked Abbas ibn Abdul 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 (S.A.W) 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 (S.A.W) of Allah with the Muhajirun and Ansar, he answered.
‘No one has any power or resistance against them, said Abu Sufyan. By Allah, Abul-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 Quraish. 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 Ramzan, 8 A.H., the Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah entered Makkah with his head bowed. When he realised 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 Quraish 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 Quraish 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 Quraish.’
When the Messenger (S.A.W) 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 (S.A.W) of Allah, and Abu Sufyan repeated what Sa’d had called out.
The Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah disliked Sa’d’s comments and replied, ‘Today is a day of mercy and forgiveness when Allah will exalt the Quraish 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 idol-worshippers were killed when they tried to stop the advance of the Muslim forces. The rest gave in without further bloodshed. The Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah had told his men when they entered Makkah ‘Do not fight anyone unless they attack you.’
PURIFYING THE HARAM:
The Messenger (S.A.W) 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. ‘The truth has come and falsehood originates not nor brings again.’ The idols collapsed one by one, falling onto their faces. Pictures and statues were found in the Ka’bah and the Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah ordered that they should also be destroyed.
A DAY OF PIETY:
Having performed tawaf, the Messenger (S.A.W) 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 Madina 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 Quraish will be destroyed and humiliated on that day.’
‘No, ‘ said the Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah, ‘Rather it will be a day of prosperity and security for the Quraish.’ His words made such an impression on Uthman ibn Talhah that he came to believe the prediction would eventually take place.
When the Messenger (S.A.W) 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
(S.A.W) of Allah, Grant us the guardianship of the Ka’bah along with providing water for the pilgrims.’
The Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah asked,
‘Where is Uthman ibn Talhah?
Uthman was summoned and the Messenger (S.A.W) 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 (S.A.W) of Allah opened the door of the Ka’bah. The Quraish 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 abolished by me today except for the custody of the Ka’bah and providing water for the pilgrims.
O people of the Quraish ! 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 God-fearing of you. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.
In the meantime, Fatima, 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 (S.A.W) of Allah to intercede on her behalf. When he spoke to the Messenger (S.A.W) 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 (S.A.W) of Allah asked him.
Usamah beseeched him, ‘Pray for my forgiveness, Messenger (S.A.W) of Allah!’
That evening the Messenger (S.A.W) 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 Fatima 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 (S.A.W) of Allah. He received them on Mount Safa where they took the oath of allegiance. They promised to obey Allah and His Messenger (S.A.W) 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 (S.A.W) of Allah recognised 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 (S.A.W) 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 Madina.’
The Messenger (S.A.W) 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 (S.A.W) of Allah sent groups of his Companions 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 (S.A.W) of Allah assembled the Muslims 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 neither 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 (S.A.W) of Allah then returned to Madina.
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 (S.A.W) 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).