The Conquest Of Mecca

The Battle of Mu'tah was followed in Ramadan of the same year (8 AH. = December, 629) by the Conquest of Mecca. When the Messenger of Allah agreed on the truce of Hudaybiyyah, the Khuza'ah tribe entered into a pact of alliance with the Prophet, and the Kinanah tribe established a similar pact with the Quraysh. After two years had elapsed, a man of the Kinanah sat relating disparaging tales about the Messenger of Allah. A man of Khuza'ah objected saying: "Do not say such things." The man asked: "What is it to you?" He threatened, "If you repeat this, I will revoke our covenant." As the man dared him and repeated his words, the man of Khuza'ah struck him with his hand. Both men cried out to their people for support. The men of Kinanah were more numerous, so they beat the others back until they forced them into the Sacred Mosque, even killing some of them. The people of Quraysh aided the men of Kinanah with arms and horses.

`Amr ibn Salim (a man of the Khuza'ah tribe) rode to the Messenger of Allah with the news and recited the following verses:

No matter, but I have come to remind Muhammad, of the old alliance between him and us.
The people of Quraysh have broken their promise to you; they have indeed revoked your binding covenant,They killed us while we were kneeling and prostrate at prayer!The Messenger of Allah answered: "You have said enough O `Amr ! " He then immediately arose and, entering the chamber of his wife Maymunah, ordered water to be brought to him. He began to wash himself and repeat, "No, may I never be given support if I do not come to the aid of the people of Ka'b (i.e., the Khuza'ah)." Thus the Apostle of Allah resolved on going to Mecca. He prayed: "O Allah, remove all spies of the Quraysh, so that we might surprise them in their own home."

A man called Hatib ibn Abi Balta'ah wrote a letter to the people of Quraysh which he sent with Sarah, a servant of Abu Lahab, telling them that the Messenger of Allah would come to punish them on such and such a day. The woman set out, avoiding the main road, and going instead to the left across the Harrah district. But Gabriel came down and told the Prophet. He called 'Ali and az-Zubayr and said to them: "Go overtake her and seize the letter from her!" 'Ali and az-Zubayr set out, not stopping to speak to anyone until they reached Dhu 'l-Hulayfah (a place outside Medina on the way to Mecca). The Prophet had previously set guards over Medina, headed by al-Harithah ibn an-Nu'man. 'Ali and az-Zubayr asked the guards if they had seen the woman, but they said that they had seen no one. They then met a woodcutter and asked him; he said, "I saw a dark woman who turned down towards al-Harrah." Thus they caught her; 'Ali took the letter from her and took her back to the Messenger of Allah.

The Prophet called Hatib and said to him: "See what you have done! " The man answered: "By Allah, I have faith in Allah and His Apostle. I have never doubted, but I am a man who has close relatives and family in Mecca. I therefore wished to do the people of Quraysh a good turn in order that they in turn act kindly towards my family." `Umar ibn al-Khattab said: "Let me cut off his head, O Apostle of Allah; for-by Allah, he has acted hypocritically!" The Prophet replied: "He is of the people of Badr, whom Allah has looked kindly on and forgiven." He then commanded: "Expel him from the Mosque!" As men began to push him cut, he turned and looked at the Messenger of Allah, hoping that he would show mercy towards him. The Prophet at last ordered that he be brought back, and said to him: "I have pardoned your crime. Seek forgiveness of your Lord, therefore, and do not commit such an act again." Allah then sent down: D you who have faith, do not take my enemies and your enemies as allies . . ., and so on to the middle of the surah [see Qur'an 60:1 et seq.].

Aban related on the authority of Abu `Abdillah (as-Sadiq) that when Abu Sufyan learnt of what the people of Quraysh had done to those of Khuza'ah while he was in Syria, he went to the Messenger of Allah and said to him: "O Muhammad, stop the blood of your people from being shed! Allow that pacts of protection (jiwar) be established among the people of Quraysh, and give us longer respite! " The Prophet replied: "But you have committed treachery, O Abu Sufyan." "No", Abu Sufyan answered. The Prophet then declared: "We remain committed as we have been." Abu Sufyan met Abu Bakr soon after he left the Prophet. He requested him to grant protection to the people of Quraysh. Abu Bakr objected: "Alas for you, can anyone grant protection against the Messenger of Allah?

" Abu Sufy5n then met `Umar and repeated to him the same request. He then went to Umm Habibah, wife of the Prophet, and went to sit on a mattress she had on the floor. Umm Habibah, however, quickly folded the mattress and took it away. Abu Sufyan asked: "O daughter, would you consider me unworthy to sit on this mattress?" "Yes", she retorted, "this belongs to the Messenger of Allah. You ought not to sit on it while you are an abominable Associator! " He then went to Fatimah and addressed her saying: "O daughter of the Apostle of Allah and master of the Arabs, would you offer protection to the people of Quraysh and extend our period of truce, and thus be the noblest lady among the people? "

She answered: "My pact of protection is that of the Apostle of Allah." He begged again: "Would you order your two sons to offer protection to the people?" "By Allah", she said: "my sons would not know to whom of the people of Quraysh they should offer protection." Abu Sufyan then met 'Ali and said to him: "You are the closest in kinship to me. Matters have become difficult for me; find a way out for me." `Ali answered: "You are the chief elder of Quraysh. Stand, therefore, at the door of the mosque and establish pacts of protection among the men of Quraysh. Then ride out and go to your people." "Do you consider this to be of benefit to me?" Abu Sufyan asked. "I do not know", 'Ali answered. Abu Sufyan did as `Ali suggested and cried out: "O people, I hereby declare a covenant of protection (jiwar) among the people of Quraysh ! "

Abu Sufyan then mounted his camel and went to his people. They asked: "What news have you?" He replied: "I went to Muhammad and spoke to him, but by Allah, he gave no answer to me. I then went to Ibn Abi Quhafah (Abu Bakr), but I found no good with him. I likewise went to `Umar ibn al-Khattab, but to no avail. I went to Fatimah, but she did not answer me. I finally met `Ali, and he advised me to declare a covenant of protection among the people, and they accepted. The men of Quraysh asked: "Did Muhammad allow it?" "No", he answered. "Alas for you", they retorted, "the man (that is, `Ali) is playing tricks on you, while you declare covenants of protection among the people of Quraysh! "

The Messenger of Allah set out for Mecca on Friday after the mid-afternoon prayers on the second of Ramadan (9/630), leaving Abu Lubabah ibn `Abdi 'l-Mundhir as his representative in Medina. He then summoned the chief of every tribe and asked him to call his people to arms. It is reported on the authority of (the fifth Imam) al-Baqir that the Messenger of Allah set out for the Battle of Conquest observing the fast along with the people until they reached a place called Kura'u'l-Ghamim, where he broke his fast. The people also broke their fast except a few who were then called `the rebellious ones'. He journeyed on until he reached a place called Marru'z-Zahran. He was accompanied by around ten thousand men and four hundred horsemen, but the people of Quraysh did not learn of his coming.

On that night Abu Sufyan, Hakim ibn Hizam and Badil ibn Warqa' set out wondering if they would hear any news. al-`Abbas ibn `Abdi 'l-Muttalib had previously gone out to meet the Messenger of Allah, accompanied by Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith and `Abdullah ibn Abi Umayyah. He met him at a spot called Niqu'l-`Iqab. The Messenger of Allah was sitting under a canopy guarded by Ziyad ibn Usayd. Ziyad met them and said: "As for you O Abu 'l-Fadl, you may go to the canopy. But as for the two of you, you must go away." al-`Abbas went to the Messenger of Allah and greeted him with the salutation of peace, and said: "May my father and mother be a ransom for you, here is your cousin (that is, Abu Sufyan) and your maternal aunt's son (that is, `Abdullah ibn Abi Umayyah) coming to you repentant." He answered, "I have no need of them. My cousin has violated my family's honour. As for the son of my aunt, he is the one who says in Mecca: `We shall not believe you until you cause a cool spring to gush forth for us from the earth"' [Qur'an 17:90] . When al-`Abbas left, Umm Salamah (the Prophet's wife) pleaded with him saying: "May my father and mother be a ransom for you, here is your cousin coming to you repentant! Let him not be the most wretched of men through you. Here also is the brother of your aunt's son, and brother to your son-in-law; let him not be wretched through you! " Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith then called out to the Prophet:

"O Apostle of Allah, say to us what Allah's righteous servant (Joseph) said to his brothers: `There is no blame on you"' [Qur'an 12:92 ] . The Prophet then called both Abu Sufyan and `Abdullah ibn Abi Umayyah and accepted their repentance.

al-`Abbas commented: "If the Messenger of Allah had entered Mecca as a conqueror, it would have been the destruction of Quraysh to the end of time." He continued: "Thus I mounted the Messenger of Allah's white mule and went out of the city looking for a woodcutter or shepherd that I might send to the people of Quraysh and convey my advice that they ride to the Apostle of Allah and beg for a promise of security (aman). On the way I met Abu Sufyan, Badil ibn Warqa" and Hakim ibn Hizam, just as Abu Sufyan was asking Badil, `What are these fires?' He answered, `They must belong to the tribe of Khuza'ah.' Abu Sufyan answered, `The Khuza'ah are too few for these to be their fires. They must rather belong to either the Taym or Rabi'ah tribe.' "

al-`Abbas went on: "I recognized Abu Sufyan's voice, and called out, `Is that Abu Hanzalah?' He answered: `Here I am; who are you?' I answered, `I am al -`Abbas.' Abu Sufyan asked, `To whom do these fires belong?' `This is the Messenger of Allah with ten thousand of the Muslims', I replied. He asked further, `What is to be done?' I said, `You must ride behind me on this mule and come with me that I may beg the Messenger of Allah for a promise of security for you.' I thus put him behind me and rode with him (to the Prophet). Whenever we passed by an assembly of men, they rushed at him. But as they saw me, they turned back saying, `This is the uncle of the Apostle of Allah; let him go.' When I reached `Umar's door, he recognized Abu Sufyan and exclaimed, `Here is the enemy of Allah; praise be to Allah Who brought you into my hands!' The mule, however, galloped on until we all gathered at the entrance to the canopy.

`Umar went in and said (to the Prophet), `Here is Abu Sufyan; Allah has brought him into your hands without him having any covenant or agreement of protection. Let me, therefore, strike off his head.' "

Al-`Abbas continued his narrative. "I sat at the feet of the Apostle of Allah and begged him, saying: `Here is Abu Sufyan whom I have taken into my protection.' He answered, `Bring him in.' Abu Sufyan stood before him, and the Prophet asked, `O Abu Sufyan, is it not time for you to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that I am the Apostle of Allah?' Abu Sufyan exclaimed, `May my father and mother be a ransom for you! How noble and kind to your next of kin you are, and how clement! By Allah, had there been any other god beside Him, he would have assisted on the days of Uhud and Badr. But as for the fact that you are the Messenger of Allah, I still have some doubt in my heart concerning it.' " al-`Abbas warned him saying: "He will strike off your head right now unless you bear witness that he is the Apostle of Allah! " Abu Sufyan finally exclaimed: "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that you are indeed the Apostle of Allah." He barely mumbled it with his lips. Abu Sufyan asked al -`Abbas, "What shall we do with al-Lat and al-`Uzza (the two goddesses of Mecca)?" "Defecate on them!" `Umar retorted: Abu Sufyan said: "Fie on you, how lewd you are! What makes you intervene in a conversation between me and my cousin?" The Messenger of Allah asked Abu Sufyan, "With whom will you spend the night?" "With Abu 'l-Fadl", he replied. The Prophet said: "Take him, O Abu 'l-Fadl, and let him sleep at your home tonight, and bring him back to me in the morning."

Next morning, Abu Sufyan heard Bilal raising the call to prayer. He asked: "Who is that calling out, O Abu 'lFadl?" al-`Abbas answered: "He is the mu'adhdhin of the Messenger of Allah. Rise, therefore, perform your ablutions and offer your prayers." "How shall I perform my ablutions?" Abu Sufyan enquired. al-`Abbas then taught him how.

It is reported that Abu Sufyan looked at the Prophet performing his ablutions, while the Muslims placed their hands beneath his head so that not one drop fell on a man but that he rubbed his face with it. He exclaimed in astonishment: "O Abu 'l-Fadl, by Allah, I have never seen the like of this day in the courts of Kisra (the Emperor of Persia) or Qaysar (the Emperor of Byzantium)! " After Abu Sufyan had performed his prayers, al-`Abbas took him to the Messenger of Allah. Abu Sufyan addressed him, saying: "O Apostle of Allah, I wish that you would permit me to warn your people (that is, the Quraysh of Mecca) and invite them to the Messenger of Allah." He was granted permission.

Abu Sufyan asked al-`Abbas, "What shall I say to them? Advise me of a way in which they would be pleased." The Prophet answered: "Say to them, `Anyone who says there is no god but Allah alone, having no associate, and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah, and also restrains his hand (that is, from fighting against the Muslims), shall be granted security. Anyone who lays down his arms and sits by the Ka'bah shall have safety.' " al-`Abbas said: "O Apostle of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a man who loves boasting. Would you, then, grant him a special favour?" The Prophet then added: "Whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan shall be safe." Abu Sufyan enquired, again with astonishment, "Do you mean my house?" "Yes, your house", the Prophet answered. He went on: "Anyone who remains in his home and shuts his door, shall be safe."

When Abu Sufyan left, al-`Abbas said: "O Apostle of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a man who behaves perfidiously, and he has observed the disunity prevailing among the Muslims. The Prophet replied: "Pursue him and keep him in the narrow passes of the valley until Allah's legions overtake him."

It is reported that al-'Abbas pursued Abu Sufyan and called out to him: "O Abu Hanzalah." Abu Sufyan called back: "Is it treachery that you intend against me, O sons of Hashim? " "Treachery is not our custom, as you shall know", al-'Abbas replied, "but stay here till the morning so that you might see the legions of Allah." al-'Abbas reported that Khalid ibn al-Walid passed first, and Abu Sufyan said: "This is the Messenger of Allah." "No", answered al-`Abbas, "this is Khalid ibn al-Walid coming with the first ranks." Then az-Zubayr passed by leading the tribes of Juhaynah and Ashja`. Abu Sufyan exclaimed: "O `Abbas, this is Muhammad! " "No", he answered, "this is az-Zubayr." Thus legions followed past him one after the other until the Messenger of Allah came leading the legion of the Ansar. Then Sa'd ibn `Ubadah came up to Abu Sufyan, bearing in his hand the standard of the Messenger of Allah, and said: "O Abu Hanzalah, today is the day of war! Today shall womenfolk be taken captive! O men of the Aws and Khazraj, today is the day of your revenge for the day of the mountain (that is, for those who were killed in the Battle of Uhud)."
When Abu Sufyan heard these words from Sa'd, he left al-'Abbas and made his way through the crowds and under the spears of the men, until he stood by the Messenger of Allah. He took hold of his stirrup and kissed it. He then addressed him saying: "May my father and mother be a ransom for you; do you hear what Sa'd is saying? " He then repeated Sa`d's words to the Prophet. The Prophet answered: "Nothing of what Sa'd has said will happen." He then turned to 'Ali and said: "Go to Sa'd and take the banner from him and carry it gently into Mecca." 'Ali carried it thither as the Prophet had commanded.

It is reported that on that day Hakim ibn Hizam, Badil ibn Warqa' and Jubayr ibn Mut`im accepted Islam. Abu Sufyan ran hastily to Mecca. Even though a thick cloud of dust appeared over the mountains, the people of Quraysh knew nothing of what was taking place: Abu Sufyan came running up the valley. The men of Quraysh met him and asked the reason for his excitement, and the meaning of the dust which they saw. He said: "Here comes Muhammad with the multitudes! " He then cried out: "O people of Ghalib, run to your houses! Whoever enters my home, he shall be safe! " When Hind learnt of what was happening, she began to expel the people (from Abu Sufyan's home). She then cried out: "Kill the wicked old man (meaning the Prophet). May Allah curse such a leader, coming at the head of such a people! " Abu Sufyan retorted: "Hold your peace, woe to you! I saw the men of horns (that is, the Byzantines, descendants of Alexander the Great who was known as Dhu 'l-Qarnayn, the man with the two horns) - I saw the noble sons of Persia, the King of Kindah (an important Arab tribe) and the young men of Himyar (a large tribe of Yemen) - I saw them all accepting Islam at the end of the day (of battle). Hold your peace; alas for you, Truth has come, and calamity is near! "

The Messenger of Allah had previously bound the Muslims with a promise that they would kill in Mecca only those who might fight against them, except a few men who used to insult the Prophet - Miqyas ibn Subabah, `Abdullah ibn Sa'd ibn Abi Sarh, `Abdullah ibn Khatal and two singing girls who used to sing songs denigrating the Messenger of Allah. He commanded the Muslims, saying: "Slay them, even if you find them holding on to the curtains of the Ka'bah." `Abdullah ibn Khatal was indeed found holding on to the curtains of the Ka'bah. Said ibn Hurayth and `Ammar ibn Yasir ran to him, but Said overtook `Ammar and slew him. Miqyas ibn Subabah was killed in the market place.

'Ali killed one of the two singing girls, but the other escaped. 'Ali also killed al-Huwayrith ibn Naqidh ibn Ka'b. He learnt that Umm Hani daughter of Abu Talib had given shelter to some men of the Makhzum tribe, among whom were al-Harith ibn Hisham and Qays ibn as-Sa'ib. 'Ali went to her house heavily clad with iron armor. He cried out: "Bring forth the men you have sheltered!" The men began to urinate on themselves in fear of him. Umm Hani came out to him, not knowing who he was, and said: "O servant of Allah, I am Umm Hani, cousin of the Messenger of Allah and sister of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib ! Go away from my house." 'Ali, however, insisted: "Bring them out!" She answered: "By Allah, I shall accuse you before the Apostle of Allah! " But as he took the helmet off his head, she recognized him. She thus ran and embraced him, saying: "May I be a ransom for you! I have sworn by Allah that I would accuse you before the Apostle of Allah." "Go and fulfill your oath", 'Ali replied, "there he is at the head of the valley."

Umm Hani related: "I came to the Messenger of Allah as he was under a canopy bathing, while Fatimah stood sheltering him. When the Messenger of Allah heard my words, he exclaimed: `Welcome to you, O Umm Hani!' I replied, `May my father and mother be a ransom for you, I have endured much from 'Ali today.' He answered: `I shall grant protection (jiwar) to anyone you have taken into your protection.' Fatimah added: `So you come to accuse `Ali in that he frightened the enemies of Allah and His Apostle.' I said to the Prophet: `Bear with me, may I be a ransom for you.' The Messenger of Allah replied: `May Allah accept well his effort! As for me, I shall grant protection to anyone in Umm Hani's protection because of her relationship to 'Ali ibn Abi Talib.' "

Aban reported on the authority of (the sixth Imam) Abu `Abdillah that when Mecca was conquered, the Apostle of Allah asked: "Who has the key (of the Ka'bah)?" They answered: "It is with Umm Shaybah." He thus called Shaybah and said to him: "Go to your mother and ask her to send the key." She said to her son: "Tell him, `You have killed our fighters; do you now wish to seize our honour!' " Shaybah threatened: "You either send the key, or I shall kill you!" She finally placed it in the hand of the youth, who took it to the Prophet. The Prophet then called `Umar and said: "This is the fulfilment of my dream which I had." He then rose and opened (the Ka'bah) with the key and hung a curtain over its door. From that day on, it has become custom to cover it. The Prophet then called the youth, spread his garment, placed the key in it and said: "Take it back to your mother."

It is reported that the valiant men of Quraysh entered the Ka'bah thinking that they would not be spared the sword. The Messenger of Allah came to the House, and taking hold of the two posts of the door, exclaimed: "There is no god but Allah; He fulfilled His promise, granted His servant victory, and He alone defeated the Confederates (al-Ahzab)." Then, addressing the people of Quraysh, he asked: "What do you think, and what have you now to say?" Suhayl ibn `Amr answered: "We think well and say good: `A noble brother and a cousin.' " The Prophet replied: "I say to you what Joseph said to his brothers, `There is no blame on you today; may Allah forgive you, for He is most merciful' [ 12:92] . Let every wealth (wrongfully seized), every blood (wrongfully shed), and every revenge to be exacted belonging to the days of jahiliyyah be trampled under my foot, except the guardianship of the Ka'bah and the bearing of water at the time of the pilgrimage (siqayatu 'l-hajj); they shall be returned to their people.

Behold, the sanctity of Mecca (that is, against any kind of violence), was made inviolable by Allah. It was never allowed to be violated by anyone before me, nor was it made violable for me except for one hour of one day. It shall henceforth remain inviolable until the coming of the Hour. Its herbs shall not be cut off, nor shall its trees be cut down. Its animals shall not be hunted, nor will any valuable (thing) be picked up except by one wishing to identify it and its owner." He then said: "Bad hosts indeed you were to the Prophet! You have rejected, expelled, forcefully driven out and beaten (the Muslims). Yet, you were not satisfied until you came to me to fight against me in my own home. No matter - go, for you are free! " The people went out as though they had been raised up from the tomb, and they all entered into Islam.

It is reported that the Messenger of Allah entered Mecca without being in the state of consecration (ihram). This is because the Muslims had entered Mecca with their arms. He likewise entered the House neither performing the greater or lesser pilgrimage. He went in at the mid-afternoon hour, and ordered Bilal to go up to the roof of the Ka'bah and raise the call to prayer. `Ikrimah (ibn Abi Jahl) exclaimed: "By Allah, I hate to hear the voice of Ibn Rabah (that is, Bilal) braying on the roof of the Ka'bah." Khalid ibn Usayd said: "Praise be to Allah Who favored Abu `Attab today in not letting him see Ibn Rabah standing on the Ka'bah." Suhayl ibn `Amr objected saying: "It is Allah's Ka'bah, and He sees all things. Had He willed otherwise, He would have altered (the situation)." It is reported that Suhayl was the most sober among the men of Quraysh. Abu Sufyan said: "As for me, I shall say nothing. If I were to speak, by Allah, these walls would, I think, inform Muhammad of what I say! " The Prophet did, in fact, send for them and tell them what they had said. `Attab confessed: "By Allah, we did say all that, 0 Apostle of Allah. We therefore beg Allah's forgiveness and repent to Him." He thereafter accepted Islam and sincerely lived by it. The Messenger of Allah set him over Mecca as governor.

Mecca was conquered thirteen nights into Ramadan. Three Muslims were martyred. They were left alone at the lowest district of Mecca; they thus lost their way and were killed.

The Messenger of Allah then sent detachments of men all around Mecca calling people to Allah, but he did not command them to fight. He sent Ghalib ibn `Abdillah to the tribe of Mudlij; they said: "We are neither against you, nor are we with you." The people said: "Attack them, O Apostle of Allah! " He answered: "They have a magnanimous and prudent chief. Many a fighter of the Banu Mudlij shall be a martyr in the way of Allah."

The Prophet sent `Amr ibn Umayyah ad-Damri to the tribe of Banu 'l-Hudhayl to call them to Allah and His Apostle, but they vehemently refused his call. The people again said: "Attack them, O Apostle of Allah! " He answered: "Their chief shall now come to you. He has become a Muslim. He shall say to them, `Become Muslims', and they will answer, `Yes, we shall.' " Then the Prophet sent `Abdullah ibn Suhayl ibn `Amr to the tribe of Banu Muharib. They accepted Islam, and a group of them came back with him to the Messenger of Allah.

The Prophet also sent Khalid ibn al-Walid to the tribe of Judhaymah ibn `Amir. During the time of jahiliyyah they had captured some women of the tribe of Banu'I-Mughirah, and killed Khalid's paternal uncle. They thus received him in full armour saying: "O Khalid, we have not raised arms against Allah and against His Apostle, for we are Muslims. If the Apostle of Allah has sent you as an emissary, then there are our camels and sheep; go at them." Khalid, however, insisted, "Lay down your arms." They answered: "We fear that you will attack us because of a feud left over from the time of jahiliyyah. Yet, Allah and His Apostle have declared such feuds dead." He and the men who were with him then left them and encamped nearby. Still he attacked them with horses, slaying some and capturing others. He then ordered his men, "Let every one of you kill his captive." Thus they killed the captives. The emissary of the tribe then went to the Messenger of Allah and told him what Khalid had done. On hearing this, the Prophet lifted his hands to the heaven and exclaimed: "O Allah, I dissociate myself from that which Khalid has done!" He wept, and called for 'Ali and said to him: "Go to them and look into their affair." He also gave 'Ali a sackful of gold. 'Ali did what the Prophet commanded him to do, and pacified them.