THE TREATY OF HUDAYBIYYAH, 628 AD
The Messenger (s.a.w.) ordered Ali(a.s.) to write down the text of the agreement between the two sides. He dictated to him the following:
"Write: In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful," said the Messenger (s.a.w.).
Suhail, the representative of Quraish, protested at that, and said: "Stop! I do not know the Compassionate, the Merciful!
Write, “In Your Name, our Lord."
"Write, “In Your Name, our Lord", the Messenger (s.a.w.) told Ali (a.s.). Then he said, "Write, “This is what Muhammad the Messenger of Allah had agreed upon with Suhail bin Amru".
"Stop" said Suhail. "Had I witnessed (recognized) that you are the Messenger of Allah I would not have fought you. So, write only your name and your father’s".
"Write", the Messenger (s.a.w.) said, "This is on which Muhammad bin Abdullah made peace with..." and dictated the articles of the agreement, which stated that:
1. The agreement is essentially a truce between the two parties for a period of 10 years.
2. Whoever embraces Islam and joins the Messenger (s.a.w.) without the consent of the Quraish is returned to the Quraish by the Messenger (s.a.w.). But whoever renounces Islam, among the followers of Muhammad (s.a.w.), and rejoins the Quraish, can remain there without any molestation.
3. Any Arab tribe that tends to ally with Muhammad (s.a.w.) can freely do so and they are similarly free to ally with the Quraish.
4. Muhammad (s.a.w.) and his followers have to return to the place from where they came. But, next year, during the season of hajj, they can visit the Holy House of Allah on condition that they stay only three days in Mecca with sheathed swords.
On behalf of the Muslims, the Messenger (s.a.w.) signed the agreement while Suhail bin Amru signed it on behalf of the Quraish. Shortly afterwards, the tribe of Khuza'ah allied themselves with the Messenger (s.a.w.) and the tribe of Bani Bakr allied themselves with the Quraish.
Many Muslims protested at the conclusion of the agreement. Among the protestors was Umar bin al-Khattab, for what, he thought, the toleration and resilience on the part of the Messenger (s.a.w.). Not grasping the hidden meaning of the agreement was the cause of the protests. The protestors found fault with the agreement till the revelation of the Qura'nic Surah of al-Fath (the victory) which after its signing disclosed the philosophy of the agreement. It was a sweeping victory for the Muslims and their Message. So great was the positive effects of the agreement on the historical movement of Islam that it opened closed doors for the Muslims to convey their da'wah to non-Quraishi Arabs, building and solidifying their state and strengthening their nascent community against the pressures being exerted by the Quraish on the Muslims, including their wars.
The Divine da'wah, began to win over the public support of the Arabs after the signing of the agreement. The faithful took the liberty of contacting the Arabs in their own house to convey Islam to them. Another advantageous outcome of the agreement was that the Muslims, now turned their attention to the Jews with whom they were engaged for 15 days after the return of the Messenger (s.a.w.) from Hudaibiyyah. These are some of the fruits of Hudaibiyyah Pact which was a significant turning point in the movement of the da'wah.
It was during this time while the treaty was being written that Abu Jandal, Suhail’s son, appeared on the scene. He was brutally chained and was staggering with privation and fatigue.
The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and his Companions were moved to pity and tried to secure his release but Suhail was adamant and said: "To signify that you are faithful to your contract, an opportunity has just arrived."
The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "But the treaty was not signed when your son entered the camp."
Upon this, he burst forth and said, "but the terms of the treaty were agreed upon."
It was indeed an anxious moment. On the one hand, Abu Jandal was lamenting at the top of his voice, "Am I to be returned to the polytheists that they might entice me from my religion, O Muslims!" but, on the other hand, the faithful engagement was also considered to be necessary, above all other considerations.
The Prophet’s heart welled up with sympathy, but he wanted to honour his word at all costs. He consoled Abu Jandal and said, "Be patient, resign yourself to the Will of Allâh. Allâh is going to provide for you and your helpless companions relief and means of escape. We have concluded a treaty of peace with them and we have taken the pledge in the Name of Allâh. We are, therefore, under no circumstances prepared to break it." ‘
Umar bin Al-Khattab could not help giving vent to the deep-seated agony of his heart. He rose to his feet uttering words implying deep hatred and extreme indignation and requested Abu Jandal to take his sword and kill Suhail, but the son spared his father. However, in silent resignation was therefore, Abu Jandal borne away with his chains.
When the peace treaty had been concluded, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) ordered his Companions to slaughter their sacrificial animals, but they were too depressed to do that. The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) gave instructions in this regard three times but with negative response. He told his wife Umm Salamah about this attitude of his Companions.
She advised that he himself take the initiative, slaughter his animal and have his head shaved. Seeing that, the Muslims, with rended hearts, started to slaughter their animals and shave their heads. They even almost killed one another because of their distress.
The Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam prayed three times for those who shaved their heads and once for those who cut their hair. A camel was sacrificed on behalf of seven men and a cow on behalf of the same number of people. The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) sacrificed a camel which once belonged to Abu Jahl and which the Muslims had seized as booty at Badr, thus enraging the polytheists.
During Al-Hudaibiyah campaign, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) permitted Ka‘b bin ‘Ujrah, who was in a state of Ihram (state of ritual consecration of the pilgrim) for ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) to shave his head due to illness, on the condition that he will pay compensation by sacrificing a sheep, fasting for three days or feeding six needy persons. Concerning this, the following verse was revealed:
"And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah (ransom) of either fasting (three days) or giving Sadaqa (feeding six poor persons) or offering sacrifice (one sheep)." [2:196]
Meanwhile some believing women emigrated to Madinah and asked the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam for refuge which they were granted. When their families demanded their return, he would not hand them back because the following verse was revealed:
"O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them, Allâh knows best as to their Faith, then if you know them for true believers, send them not back to the disbelievers, they are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them. But give the disbelievers that (amount of money) which they have spent [as their Mahr] to them. And there will be no sin on you to marry them if you have paid their Mahr to them. Likewise hold not the disbelieving women as wives …" [60:10]
The reason why the believing women were not handed back was either because they were not originally included in the terms of the treaty, which mentioned only men, or because the Qur’ân abrogated any terms dealing with women in the verse:
"O Prophet! When believing women come to you to give you the Bai‘a (Pledge), that they will not associate anything in worship with Allâh …" [60:12]
This is the verse which forbade Muslim women from marrying disbelieving men. Likewise, Muslim men were commanded to terminate their marriages to disbelieving women. In compliance with this injunction, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab divorced two wives he had married before he embraced Islam; Mu‘awiyah married the first woman, and Safwan bin Omaiyah married the second.
Al-Hudaibiyah Treaty: Socio-political Impact:
A series of events confirmed the profound wisdom and splendid results of the peace treaty which Allâh called "a manifest victory". How could it be otherwise when Quraish had recognized the legitimate Muslims’ existence on the scene of political life in Arabia, and began to deal with the believers on equal terms. Quraish in the light of the articles of the treaty, had indirectly relinquished its claim to religious leadership, and admitted that they were no longer interested in people other than Quraish, and washed their hands of any sort of intervention in the religious future of the Arabian Peninsula. The Muslims did not have in mind to seize people’s property or kill them through bloody wars, nor did they ever think of pursuing any coercive approaches in their endeavours to propagate Islam, on the contrary, their sole target was to provide an atmosphere of freedom as regards ideology or religion:
"Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve." [18:29]
The Muslims, on the other hand, had the opportunity to spread Islam over areas not then explored. When there was armistice, war was abolished, and men met and consulted together, none talked about Islam intelligently without entering it; within the two years following the conclusion of the treaty double as many entered Islam as ever before. This is supported by the fact that the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam went out to Al-Hudaibiyah with only 1,400 men, but when he set out to liberate Makkah, two years later, he had 10,000 men with him.
The article of the treaty pertaining to cessation of hostilities for ten years points directly to the utter failure of political haughtiness exercised by Quraish and its allies, and functions as evidence of the collapse and impotence of the war instigator.
Quraish had been obliged to lose those advantages in return for one seemingly in its favour but does not actually bear any harm against the Muslims, i.e., the article that speaks of handing over believing men who seek refuge with the Muslims without their guardians’ consent to Quraish. At first glance, it was a most distressing clause and was considered objectionable in the Muslim camp. However, in the course of events, it proved to be a great blessing. The Muslims sent back to Makkah were not likely to renounce the blessings of Islam; contrariwise, those very Muslims turned out to be centres of influence for Islam. It was impossible to think that they would become apostates or renegades.
The wisdom behind this truce assumed its full dimensions in some subsequent events. After the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam had reached Madinah, Abu Baseer, who had escaped from Quraish, came to him as a Muslim; Quraish sent two men demanding his return, so the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam handed him over to them. On the way to Makkah, Abu Baseer managed to kill one of them, and the other one fled to Madinah with Abu Baseer in pursuit. When he reached the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, he said, "Your obligation is over and Allâh has freed you from it. You duly handed me over to the men, and Allâh has rescued me from them." The Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, "Woe is his mother, he would have kindled a war if there had been others with him." When he heard that, he knew that he would be handed back to them, so he fled from Madinah and went as far as Saif Al-Bahr.
The other Muslims who were oppressed in Makkah began to escape to Abu Baseer. He was joined by Abu Jandal and others until a fair-sized colony was formed and soon sought revenge on Quraish and started to intercept their caravans. The pagans of Makkah finding themselves unable to control those exiled colonists, begged the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam to do away with the clause which governed the extradition. They implored him by Allâh and by their ties of kinship to send for the group, saying that whoever joined the Muslims in Madinah would be safe from them. So the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam sent for the group and they responded, as expected, positively.
These are the realities of the clauses of the truce treaty and as it seems they all function in favour of the nascent Islamic state. However, two points in the treaty made it distasteful to some Muslims, namely they were not given access to the Holy Sanctuary that year, and the seemingly humiliating attitude as regards reconciliation with the pagans of Quraish.
‘Umar, unable to contain himself for the distress taking full grasp of his heart, went to the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam and said: "Aren’t you the true Messenger of Allâh?"
The Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam replied calmly, "Why not?"
‘Umar again spoke and asked: "Aren’t we on the path of righteousness and our enemies in the wrong?"
Without showing any resentment, the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam replied that it was so.
On getting this reply he further urged: "Then we should not suffer any humiliation in the matter of Faith."
The Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam was unruffled and with perfect confidence said: "I am the true Messenger of Allâh, I never disobey Him, He shall help me."
"Did you not tell us," rejoined ‘Umar, "that we shall perform pilgrimage?"
"But I have never told you," replied the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, "that we shall do so this very year."
‘Umar was silenced. But his mind was disturbed. He went to Abu Bakr and expressed his feelings before him. Abu Bakr who had never been in doubt as regards the Prophet’s truthfulness and veracity confirmed what the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam had told him. In due course the Chapter of Victory (48th) was revealed saying:
"Verily, We have given you (O Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) a manifest victory." [48:1]
The Messenger of Allâh Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam summoned ‘Umar and imported to him the happy tidings. ‘Umar was overjoyed, and greatly regretted his former attitude. He used to spend in charity, observe fasting and prayer and free as many slaves as possible in expiation for that reckless attitude he had assumed.
The early part of the year 7 A.H. witnessed the Islamization of three prominent men of Makkah, ‘Amr bin Al-‘As, Khalid bin Al-Waleed and ‘Uthman bin Talhah. On their arrival and entrance into the fold of Islam, the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, "Quraish has given us its own blood."
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