According to the terms of the treaty of Hudaybiyah, the Arab tribes were given the option to join either of the parties with which they desired to enter into a treaty alliance, the Prophet’s [saw] or the Quraysh’s. As a consequence, Banu Bakr joined the Quraysh, and Khuza’ah joined the Prophet, [saw]. According to the Treaty, they could not attack one another for a period of ten years. But Banu Bakr developed an evil scheme against Banu Khuza’ah and they planned to take revenge on their rivals. The Quraysh of Makkah should have held Banu Bakr back from implementing their plan against Banu Khuzaa’ah making them uphold the Treaty. Instead of preventing them, the Quraysh, totally at variance with their obligation to the Treaty, came out in the open lending full and active support to Banu Bakr with men and material. They broke their covenant to the extent that Safwaan ibn Umayyah, ‘Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl, and Suhayl ibn ‘Amr joined the fighting along with Banu Bakr.
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The combined attack of Banu Bakr and the Quraysh inflicted on Banu Khuza’ah a heavy loss of 20 or 30 men. Being caught by a surprise attack at night while they were asleep, they found no where to take refuge except at the House of Allah, the Ka’bah, and even some of them were killed there (this was also a breach of trust as the Ka’bah was a sanctuary for all).
A Few days after the incident Budayl ibn Warqa’ and ‘Amr ibn Salim came to Al-Madinah and put their complaint before the Prophet [saw]. ‘Amr ibn Salim told his tale of woe in a poem filled with gloom and grief at their being brutally attacked and killed.
The Prophet of Allah [saw] consoled them saying, “You will be helped.” At the time of their departure from Al-Madinah the Messenger of Allah [saw] remarked: “Abu Sufyan has set out from Makkah to seek an extension in the duration of Peace Treaty and get it consolidated, but his mission will end in failure.”
When the Makkans found time to think over the consequences of their misconduct, they were struck by fear. They sent Abu Sufyan to renew the Peace Treaty. The Messenger of Allah [saw] ordered the Muslims, on the other hand, to make preparations for the ensuing battle and to keep it a top secret. On the way back to Makkah, Budayl ibn Warqa’ and his group came across Abu Sufyaan who was heading for Al-Madinah. “Where have you been?” asked Abu Sufyan. “I was only up in this valley,” Budayl replied. Abu Sufyan was under the impression that the Prophet was unaware of the attack against Banu Khuza’ah that had just occurred. He was determined to get the Peace Treaty renewed as soon as possible.
Abu Sufyan in Al-Madinah
Abu Sufyan came to Al-Madinah and went to the house of his daughter Umm Habibah, may Allaah be pleased with her, (wife of the Noble Prophet [saw]). But as he went to sit on the apostle’s carpet she folded it up. “My daughter,” said he, “Do you think that the carpet is too good for me or am I too good for the carpet.” She replied, “It is the apostle’s carpet and you are an unclean polytheist.”
Being disgusted at the curt reply of his daughter, Abu Sufyan stepped out of her room and went to the Noble Prophet, [saw] but he (peace be upon him) was well aware of his tricks and did not hold him any assurance. He then approached Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, but he declined to interfere. He contacted ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, also to intercede but he made a point-blank refusal. At last he saw ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, in this connection, but he also regretted his inability to do anything for him.
Preparations for the Attack on Makkah
Immediately after the departure of Abu Sufyan, the Prophet [saw] asked the Companions to march on Makkah. In spite of the massive size of the military preparations, the Companions did not know the target of attack. It was simply because the Messenger of Allah [saw] wanted the Makkans to be caught unaware.
However, a Companion of the Prophet, Hatib ibn Abu Balta’ah, may Allah be pleased with him, informed the Quraysh of the impending Muslim attack, in a letter sent through a woman. Allah The Almighty inspired His Messenger with this. He [saw] sent ‘Ali and Az-Zubayr ibn Al-‘Awwam, may Allah be pleased with them, immediately after the woman with the description of her features. They caught her after a hard chase, searched her belongings but the letter remained hidden. However, ‘Ali was quite sure about the letter because he knew the Prophet [saw] would not say anything that wasn’t absolutely true. When ‘Ali threatened her with dire consequences, she drew out the letter from her hair and handed it over to them. The letter was from Hatib ibn Abu Balta’ah, may Allah be pleased with him, to the Quraysh. The letter along with the woman was brought to the Messenger of Allaah. Hatib was sent for and was asked for an explanation. He said, “Since my relatives were still in Makkah and in danger, I wished to oblige the Makkans by informing them about the ensuing Muslim attack so that my relatives would remain safe from them.” Having heard this, ‘Umar lost his temper and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Allow me to cut his head off.” But the Prophet [saw] forgave him and told ‘Umar that Hatib was truthful in his claim, and Allah would forgive him due to his partaking in the battle of Badr.
March to Makkah
On Ramadan 11, 8 AH, the Prophet [saw] set out from Al-Madinah at the head of a ten-thousand-man army of the Companions. The failure of Abu Sufyan’s mission had disheartened the Quraysh and they were in the dark about the plans of the believers. The Prophet’s march to Makkah was very swift. They came across his uncle Al-‘Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib, may Allah be pleased with him, on the way who, along with his wife and children, was moving to Al-Madinah after they had embraced Islam. The Messenger of Allah took Al-‘Abbas to Makkah and sent his family to Al-Madeenah. Marching quickly, the Muslim army reached Marruaz-Zahran at a distance of 8 miles from Makkah. The Makkans were still unaware of the presence of Muslim troops even though they were so close to Makkah. They encamped at that place. The Makkans came to know of the Muslim force only from the shepherds who went back in the night. Informed of this, Abu Sufyan came out to look into the matter. The Prophet [saw] had already deputed ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, at the head of a patrol party to ward off a night attack.
Al-‘Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib was anxious about the safety of his people and wanted them to accept Islam and be safe. He came out mounted on the mule of the Prophet [saw] in the night and moved towards Makkah. As per the order of the Messenger of Allah [saw] the entire Muslim army had, in separate groups of one thousand each, lit their campfires.
When Abu Sufyan witnessed the blazing campfires spread over a vast area, he was shocked and stunned to the core to think how such a large army had been collected.
Al-‘Abbas recognized the voice of Abu Sufyan even in the dark night and sounded back that the army belonged to the Prophet [saw] and was ready to invade Makkah the next morning. Abu Sufyan was left more confounded at this disheartening news. He, in a state of utmost bewilderment, drew near Al-‘Abbas to seek his counsel at this juncture. Al-‘Abbas said to him, “Ride on the back of this mule and I will bring you to the Prophet [saw] for he alone can give you protection.” Abu Sufyan got on the mule without a moment’s delay. ‘Umar recognized Abu Sufyan and wanted to kill him at once, but Al-‘Abbaas spurred the mule and quickly went into the camp of the Prophet. ‘Umar came chasing him and said, “O Prophet of Allah! Command me to kill this disbeliever, for he has come under our control without any condition.” Al-‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I have already given him protection.” But ‘Umar sought permission once again. Al-‘Abbas replied to him with a pinch of taunt, “‘Umar’! You would not have insisted on his being killed had he belonged to your family.” Thereupon ‘Umar said, “O Al-‘Abbas! I felt more happy on your accepting Islam than I would have been had my father done so because I found the Prophet eager for your becoming a Muslim.” After this exchange between the two, the Prophet of Allah [saw] enjoined, “Well, Abu Sufyan is given respite for a night.” Following this he asked Al-‘Abbas to keep Abu Sufyan in his own camp. And next morning Abu Sufyaan appeared before the Prophet [saw] and confessed Islam.
Abu Sufyan honored
Al-‘Abbas may Allah be pleased with him appeared before the Prophet of Allah [saw] and submitted, “Abu Sufyan is a person who loves honor, so would you please give him some special honor.” At this he [saw] said, “He who enters the Sacred Mosque will be safe, he who enters the house of Abu Sufyan will be safe, and he who shuts his doors upon himself will be safe.” Abu Sufyan felt elated.
The army on the move surged like an ocean. Different tribes had passed by with their tribal colors. Abu Sufyan ascended a raised spot to witness the spectacle of the Muslim troops on the march and hurried back to Makkah ahead of all to announce: “He who enters the Sacred Mosque or my house will be safe.” The Prophet of Allah [saw] wanted to avoid bloodshed at all costs. His exit from Makkah in a state of helplessness and then his victorious and glorious return must have been on his mind. This day he made a triumphant entry into Makkah with his head lowered giving thanks to Allah The Almighty. He [saw] then circumambulated the Ka’bah seven times mounted on his animal and then cleared the Ka’bah of idols. He then took the keys of the Ka’bah from ‘Uthman Ibn Talhah, and entered the Ka’bah and prayed to Allah The Exalted. Following this the Prophet of Allah [saw] stood at the door of the Ka’bah, holding its frame, while the Quraysh arranged themselves in front of him in the courtyard filled with fear and shame.
Historic Address of the Prophet
The Prophet said addressing them: “None has the right to be worshiped but Allah. He has fulfilled His Promise and help to His slave. He has alone overthrown all the Confederates. All the rites, privileges and claims to retaliation and blood compensation are beneath my feet except the custody of the Ka’bah and the giving water to the pilgrims. Even cutting down a green tree is not valid within the sanctuary. O you people of the Quraysh, Allah has abolished the haughtiness of paganism and the pride of lineage. Man comes from Adam and Adam came from clay. Allah the Almighty Says (what means): ‘O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted’. [Quran, 49:13]
O Quraysh! what do you think I am about to do with you?” “We hope for the best,” they replied, “You are a noble brother, son of a noble brother.” The Prophet of Allah said in reply, “I say to you what Yoosuf (Prophet Joseph may Allah exalt his mention) said to his brothers: ‘Have no fear this day, go your way for you are all free’.”
The address being over, the Prophet [saw] went up to Mount Safa and sat down to take the oath of allegiance to Allah and His Messenger from the people. After finishing with men, he deputed ‘Umar to take the oath from the women, and he kept seeking forgiveness of Allah for them. Safwan ibn Umayyah fled to Yemen for fear of life. Umayr ibn Wahb from his tribe sought safety for him and he was granted immunity. Safwan was the man who had resisted the entry of the Muslims into Makkah and fled from Makkah after the conquest; so did ‘Ikrimah Ibn Abu Jahl, and he too was granted safety. Both of them had the pleasure of coming to the fold of Islam after the battle of Hunayn.
The Truth came and Falsehood vanquished
Destruction of idols installed in the Ka’bah meant the destruction of the idols all over Arabia. Likewise, the entry of the Quraysh into Islam implied the whole Arabia coming to the fold of Islam, for all eyes were fixed on the Quraysh of Makkah to see whether they accepted Islam or not.
After the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet [saw] announced throughout the land that nobody becoming a Muslim was allowed to keep an idol in his house. Following this he sent a few parties to destroy idols installed in the area around Makkah. He sent Khalid ibn Al-Walid may Allah be pleased with him at the head of thirty soldiers to break ‘Uzza, the idol of Banu Kinanah and to pull down its temple. Khalid ibn Al-Walid went and broke ‘Uzza to pieces and razed its temple to the ground. ‘Amr ibn Al-‘As may Allah be pleased with him was sent to destroy Suwa’, the idol of Banu Huthayl. When ‘Amr ibn Al-‘As reached the spot, the priest said, “How will you be able to overpower it?” ‘Amr said, “Just watch.” Saying this he entered the temple and broke the idol to pieces. Sa’d ibn Zayd was sent to Qadid to destroy Manat. The priests were sure the Muslims would fail in their task but they saw with their own eyes the believers break the idols and pull the temple down. All idols and temples were destroyed.
The first priority is completed, the Prophet [saw] resumed his mission of preaching Islam through Muslim missionaries and sent them near and far.