Hudaybiyyah: A Victory in the Long Run

Sometimes, events happen that are deemed disturbing by those that witness them first hand. But later on, history will describe these same events as significant positive turning points.

The Treaty of Hudaybiyah (6AH, 628CE) is one such example. Allah describes this treaty in Surah Fath as the ‘Manifest victory’ (verse 1). This surah was revealed as the Muslims were returning to Madinah after the treaty had been signed. At the time it was not such a clear-cut issue, even amongst some of the senior companions. Before we describe some of the reasons why it was such an unparalleled momentous victory, let us remind ourselves of some of the key historical facts.

In 6AH, the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and peace be upon him) had a dream that the Muslims were performing Umrah. Since the dreams of Prophets are true visions, he set out with Fourteen hundred Muslims with the intent to perform Umrah and not to fight. However, despite the Muslims donning the Ihram garments, the Quraysh of Makkah decided to block the routes leading to the Sacred Mosque. Eventually, via tactful maneuvering, the Muslims reached Hudaybiyah, located about nine miles from Makkah. Uthman bin Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) was sent by the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and peace be upon him) to the Quraysh. He told the Quraysh the peaceful mission of the Muslims to perform Umrah alone and then leave. The Quraysh, being the custodians of the mosque, were generally not ones to turn anyone away, but hatred of the Muslims led them to behave otherwise.

When Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) was delayed in returning to the Muslim camp, rumors started to spread that the envoy of the Prophet of Allah (Blessings and peace be upon him) had been murdered. It was at this time that the Muslims took a pledge under a tree where the fourteen hundred Muslims swore to fight alongside the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) to the very last man and not to flee. Allah mentions their excellence and the purity of their hearts in Surah Fath, verses 10 and 18:

{Verily, those who give Bai’a (pledge) to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) they are giving Bai’a (pledge) to Allah. The Hand of Allah is over their hands. Then whosoever breaks his pledge, breaks only to his own harm, and whosoever fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah, He will bestow on him a great reward.} [Al-Fat-h 48:10].

{Indeed, Allah was pleased with the believers when they gave their Bai’a (pledge) to you (O Muhammad SAW) under the tree, He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down As-Sakinah (calmness and tranquillity) upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory,} [Al-Fat-h 48:18].

However, Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) returned to the Muslims thus averting the immediate need to act in such adverse circumstances. Quraysh recognized the gravity of the situation and thought hard how to repel the Muslims from coming to the Ka’bah. Eventually they decided to test the resilience of the Muslims and their unity by sending Urwah bin Mas’ood. Urwah was of the opinion that the Muslims would abandon the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) if pressure was applied. For this reason he was initially sent as the first of many emissaries by the Quraysh. During his dialogue with the blessed Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him), he hinted that the Muslims may abandon the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) retorted most uncharacteristically with the rudest of replies. Urwah observed the devotion the Companions had for the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) and was amazed. When he returned to the Quraysh his impression was that these people would not forsake the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) under any circumstances. He said:

“O People! By Allah! I have entered upon Kings, I have been to Chosroes, Caesar and Negus in their kingdoms, but never have I seen a king honored by his people as Muhammad is honored by his Companions. He does not expectorate except that it fall in the palms of one of his companions who will rub on his face and skin. If he orders them with something, they are quick to execute it. If he performs ablution, they fight for the remnants of the water. If he speaks, they lower their voices. They stare at him only with respect. He now offers you a reasonable plan, so do what you please.”

Just by the above examples of the Companions at the Pledge and the incident with the aggressive emissary of the Quraysh, we see a clear picture of how much love, obedience and respect they had of the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) and his mission. Yet they are then tried, resulting in hesitation by some.

When eventually Suhail bin Amr was sent as the final emissary, the course of the Muslims became other than what they expected. Imam Ibn Qayyim described the signing of the treaty:

When Suhail bin Amr came, the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) said, “Now the matter has become easy.” Suhail said to the Prophet, “Please conclude a peace treaty with us.” So the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) called the clerk and said to him, “Write: By the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.”

Suhail said, “As for ‘Beneficent’, by Allah I do not know what it means. So write: ‘By Your Name O Allah’, as you used to write previously.” The Muslims said, “By Allah, we will not write other than: ‘By the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful’.” The Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) said, “Write: ‘By Your Name O Allah’.” Then he (Blessings and peace be upon him) dictated, “This is the peace treaty which Muhammad, Allah’s Messenger, has concluded.” Suhail said, “By Allah, if we knew that you are Allah’s Messenger we would not prevent you from visiting the Ka’bah nor fight with you. So write: ‘Muhammad bin Abdullah’.” The Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) said, “By Allah! I am the Messenger of Allah even if you people do not believe me. Write: ‘Muhammad bin Abdullah’.” The Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) said to Suhail, “On the condition that you allow us to visit the House (i.e. the Ka’bah) so that we may perform Tawaf around it.” Suhail said, “By Allah, we will not (allow you this year) so as not to give a chance to the Arabs to say that we have yielded to you but we will allow you next year.” So the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) had that written.

Then Suhail said, “We also stipulate that you should return to us whoever comes to you from us, even if he embraced your religion.” The Muslims said, “Glorified be Allah! How may such a person be returned to the pagans after he has become a Muslim?” While they were in this state Abu Jandal bin Suhail bin ‘Amr came from the valley of Makkah, staggering with his fetters, and fell down between the Muslims. Suhail said, “O Muhammad! This is the very first term with which we make peace with you!” i.e. ‘you shall return Abu Jandal to me.’ The Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) said, “The peace treaty has not been written yet.” Suhail said, “I will never allow you to keep him.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari].

«فجاء سهيل بن عمرو فقال: هات اكتب بيننا وبينكم كتابا ، فدعا النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الكاتب ، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: (بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم). قال سهيل: أما الرحمن فوالله ما أدري ما هو، ولكن اكتب باسمك اللهم كما كنت تكتب، فقال المسلمون: والله لا نكتبها إلا بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: (اكتب باسمك اللهم). ثم قال: (هذا ما قاضى عليه محمد رسول الله). فقال سهيل: والله لو كنا نعلم أنك رسول الله ما صددناك عن البيت ولا قاتلناك، ولكن اكتب: محمد بن عبد الله، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: (والله إني لرسول الله وإن كذبتموني، اكتب: محمد بن عبد الله). قال الزهري: وذلك لقوله: (لا يسألونني خطة يعظمون بها حرمات الله إلا أعطيتهم إياها). فقال له النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: (على أن تخلوا بيننا وبين البيت فنطوف به). فقال سهيل: والله لا تتحدث العرب أنا أخذنا ضغطة، ولكن ذلك من العام المقبل، فكتب، فقال سهيل: وعلى أنه لا يأتيك منا رجل، وإن كان على دينك إلا رددته إلينا. قال المسلمون: سبحان الله، كيف يرد إلى المشركين وقد جاء مسلما، فبينما هم كذلك إذ دخل أبو جندل بن سهيل بن عمرو يرسف في قيوده، وقد خرج من أسفل مكة حتى رمى بنفسه بين أظهر المسلمين، فقال سهيل: هذا يا محمد أول ما أقاضيك عليه أن ترده إلي، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: (إنا لم نقض الكتاب بعد). قال فوالله إذا لم أصالحك على شيء أبدا» رواه البخاري

Abu Jandal was then taken back to Makkah by Suhail while still in his fetters. Suhail, having achieved everything he wanted for the Quraysh, would have felt victorious. The Quraysh would have felt victorious and gloated at the fact that the Muslims were unable to perform Umrah and had to return having come so far. They also would have felt they had the upper hand as anyone wanting to join them from Madinah was allowed to do so, whilst anyone leaving Makkah without the permission of their guardian would have to be returned as was the case with Suhail’s son, Abu Jandal. Suhail even opposed some of the chosen wordings of the blessed Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him). So upset was Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) regarding this, that he refused to write parts of the treaty. The Muslims, on the other hand, would have felt uneasy and surprised at the turn of the events. They had toiled much to reach thus far and now just when they were at walking distance from Makkah they were being turned back. Not only had they not achieved their primary aim of performing Umrah but now, if a tortured Muslim was to escape from the merciless Quraysh, that poor individual would have no sanctuary in the Muslims of Madinah. Many of them having experienced first-hand the pains of torture would have felt especially bitter.

The Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him), after signing the treaty, came out and said, “Get up and slaughter your sacrificial animals and have your heads shaved!” This would have allowed them to leave the state of Ihram even without going to the House in the Sacred Mosque. There was no response. He (Blessings and peace be upon him) was forced to repeat himself twice. There was still no response. He (Blessings and peace be upon him) returned to his tent and spoke in confidence to his wife, Umm Salamah. She advised him to go out and slaughter his animal and shave his head and they would follow suit. It was only when the blessed companions saw the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) completing these rites, did they follow quickly. [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

«فلما فرغ من قضية الكتاب، قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لأصحابه: (قوموا فانحروا ثم احلقوا). قال: فوالله ما قام منهم رجل حتى قال ذلك ثلاث مرات، فلما لم يقم منهم أحد دخل على أم سلمة، فذكر لها ما لقي من الناس، فقالت أم سلمة: يانبي الله، أتحب ذلك، اخرج لا تكلم أحدا منهم كلمة، حتى تنحر بدنك، وتدعو حالقك فيحلقك. فخرج فلم يكلم أحدا منهم حتى فعل ذلك، نحر بدنه، ودعا حالقه فحلقه، فلما رأوا ذلك قاموا فنحروا وجعل بعضهم يحلق بعضا» رواه البخاري

Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) was surprised by all this and said, “I never doubted my Islam except on that day.” He came to the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) and asked, “Are you not truly the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and peace be upon him)?”

The Prophet said, “Yes, indeed.”

Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) asked, “Is not our cause just and the cause of the enemy unjust?”

The Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) said, “Yes.”

Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) asked, “Then why should we be humiliated in our religion?”

He (Blessings and peace be upon him) said, “I am Allah’s Messenger; I do not disobey Him and He will make me victorious.”

Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) asked, “Did you not tell us that we would go to the Ka’bah and perform Tawaf around it?”

He (Blessings and peace be upon him) said, “Yes, but did I tell you that we would visit the Ka’bah this year?”

Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) replied, “No.”

He (Blessings and peace be upon him) said, “So you will visit it and perform Tawaf around it!” [Reported by Al-Bukhari].

«قال عمر بن الخطاب: فأتيت نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقلت: ألست نبي الله حقا؟ قال: (بلى). قلت: ألسنا على الحق وعدونا على الباطل؟ قال: (بلى). قلت: فلم نعطي الدنية في ديننا إذا؟ قال: (إني رسول الله، ولست أعصيه، وهو ناصري). قلت: أوليس كنت تحدثنا أنا سنأتي البيت فنطوف به؟ قال: (بلى، فأخبرتك أنا نأتيه العام). قال: قلت: لا، قال: (فإنك آتيه ومطوف به)» رواه البخاري

On the way back from Hudaybiyah, Surah Fath (48) was revealed which completely satisfied Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). However, the other Companions were still not quite sure.

Umar said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, was that the Victory (Fath)? The Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) replied, ‘Yes’.” [Al-Bukhari]

«فنزلت سورة الفتح، فقرأها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على عمر إلى آخرها، فقال عمر: يا رسول الله، أو فتح هو؟ قال: (نعم)» رواه البخاري

Qurtubi narrated another incident which shows the farsightedness of the Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) in contrast to the short sightedness of some of his companions (may Allah be pleased with him). A man on his way back from Hudaybiyah said, “This is not a victory. They have prevented us from the House (Ka’bah).” The Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) replied, “Rather, it is the greatest of victories! The polytheists were pleased to expel you from your land with ease and stipulated that Umrah will take place next year. They have imposed peace upon us and have seen in you that which they dislike.”

——————————————————————————–

REFERENCES:

–         Fiqh ad-Dawah in the Treaty of Hudaybiyah by Dr. Sulaymaan bin Qasim Al-Eid

–         Raheeq al-Makhtum- Sh. Mubarakpoori

–         Fiqh as-Sunnah – Sh. R. Booty

–         Sulh of Hudaybiyah– Sh. Munajjd (Audio)

–         The Treaty of Hudaybiyah – Peace and the Spread of Islam – Dr. Ja’far Sheikh Idris (Al-Jumuah Vol. 11, Issue 11)

–         Treaty of Hudaybiyah – Sh. M. Hassan (Audio)

–         Treaty of Hudaybiyah – Sh. Yasir Qadhi (Audio)

–         Zaad al-Ma’ad by Ibn al-Qayyim – Taken from Tafseer Sa’di

–         Sahih International Quran

–         Misbah Muneer fee Tahdheeb Tafseer Ibn Katheer – Sh. Mubarakpoori

Courtesy: Wathakker

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About MuQeet

This is MuQeet. Author. Educator. Soft Skill Trainer. Freelancer. Editor. YasSarNalQuR'aN is my primary blog. There are two other amazing blogs: www.Muqith.wordpress.com and www.IslamCalling.wordpress.com Subscribe if you wish to stay connected, InshaaAllah. Thank you.
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