TREATY OF HUDAYBIYYAH
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
One of the most momentous incidents in the seerah is the treaty of Hudaybiyyah. So much Fiqh is derived from the treaty as well as from the Bayatul Ridwan (The pledge of allegiance to fight the Quraysh if they attacked the Muslims), which also took place at the same time.
This article is a rough draft of the chapter on the treaty from my upcoming Seerah Work… Please make dua that Allah allows me to finish it and so that others may benefit from it, I am trying to keep it easy reading with facts thrown in. In sha Allah, I will also touch on Fiqh and Aqeedah points as we come across them.
What I am trying to do is piece together a chronological series of events that will in sha Allah give the reader a good understanding of the series of events that happened right before Hudaybiyyah and right after it also.
All ahadith are gradeed Sahih and Hasan, and due to the length of this piece not every hadith has been referenced, but I will gladly send references to anyone that wants them. At a later time if Allah permist I may add the references in the footnotes.
In sha Alah the reader gets a greater understanding of the treaty and what it actually entails.
It is the pre cursor to the conquest of Mecca, and Allah calls this incident a ‘clear victory’ – many muslims think surat al-fath was revealed for fath ul Makkah, but it was revealed for hudaybiyyah.
And this ayat in Surah Fath, the ‘fath’ which means victory, came down during this incident therefore it is this incident that is the clear victory, and this incident is none other than the treaty of Hudaybiyya.
Now, the treaty of Hudaybiyya is especially relevant to Muslims living in the west. There is a mark of signficance for us and we will see why.
In a nutshell, the treaty demonstrates at time politicial alliances/agreements forces us to allow other states to do injustice, and all that we can do is turn to Allah for help. This treaty shows that sometimes we only have the option to make dua to Allah to help. As we will see, clearly injustice happened and the Prophet ﷺ because of the agreement he had, he could not defend those paticular Muslims and he had to sacrifice a few for the benefit of the ummah. And of course Allah took care of all.
The first issue: what do we call it?
Some call it the ‘treaty of Hudaybiyya’ and others ‘the Ghazwa of Hudaybiyya’.
Most of the later more modern writers reference it as the former. However the sahaba referenced it as the latter. This is interesting because there was no Ghazwa. Recall a Ghazwa is when the Prophet ﷺ fought/took part in some sort of battle.
Yet most sahaba call this event ‘Ghazwa tul Hudaybiyya’. One sahabi called it a Ghazwa explicitly. So why Ghazwa? Beacuse the fighting didn’t actually take place, but the Prophet ﷺ and the sahaba came a hairs width close to fighting. They had the determiation and resolve to fight they might as well have fought (but no fighting happened). Also this incident is so significant politically that it is more appropiate to call it a Ghazwa and a conquest.
What was the cause? Sometime during the 6th year of the Hijrah, the Prophet ﷺ saw a dream of doing tawaaf, wearing ihraam and then shaving his head i.e. all the stages of umrah. He interperrated this as Allah telling him to go and do umrah. The Quran itself references this: “Verily the dream that you saw, Allah will cause it to be true in the future”.
Also in the hadith of Bukhaari that Umar RA came up to the Prophet ﷺ and said “Ya RasulAllah did you not tell us we would be doing tawaaf and shaving our head?” So this is reference clearly to his dream.
So the Prophet ﷺ tells the sahaba what he saw; the Islamic political area has become relatively large so the Prophet ﷺ announces his intention to do umrah to a large group of people. All of the historians agree when this took place: he left Madeenah on the 1st Dhul Qa’da 6H. He had made the announcement to the Ansar, muhajiroon and surrounding tribes.
We can imagine the sahaba have not seen Mecca for 6 years, and the excitement and anticipation would have been so high for them. Along with this the nervousness of ‘whats going to happen when we get there?!’.
When the news reached the sahaba they immediately prepared: as for the bedouins, the people around Madeenah, they refused to participate. The Quran references this that: ”Those who remained behind of the bedouins will say to you, “Our properties and our families occupied us, so ask forgiveness for us.” They say with their tongues what is not within their hearts. Say, “Then who could prevent Allah at all if He intended for you harm or intended for you benefit? Rather, ever is Allah , with what you do, Acquainted.”
Those who remained behind from the bedouins said “Our properties, money and families prevented us, so ask Allah to forgive us”. They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. You though the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ and the believers will never return back alive, and you thought the worst thoughts, and you were a wretched people.”
SubhanAllah Allah exposed them in the Quran. And in the books of seerah its reported they said “this man wants us to go to the very nation who came here to kill us, surely this won’t happen. Let us just tell him an excuse”.
And subhanAllah their laziness and fear prevented them from upgrading themselves from having the highest level. The sahaba have ranks remember: the first highest is the promised 10. Second highest are the badris. And the third highest are the people of Hudaybiyya.
We see here a causal relationship: those who were brave and eager to go, Allah blessed them with such an immense blessing that the Prophet ﷺ said “no one on Earth is more pious and righteous than this group” referring to the sahaba who came with him to Mecca. And this is well known: the more tawaqul you have in Allah, the more Allah blesses you.
In the end 1400 Muslims leave Mecca. We see here that the Muslim nation is growing steadily. At badr there was 300 men; Uhud there was 700; Khandaq we estimated 1000 and now we have 1400 men who are going out for umrah. This clearly shows the Muslims are numbering in the thousands. They left Madeenah for Mecca and there are a number of reports. Here the books differ: were they armed for battle or not?
There seems to be both opinions. One book mentioned they were only wearing defensive swords; others say fighting swords which are sharper swords for actual battle.
One way to reconcile is that they were not wearing these weapons and armour, but they had them in case they needed them. Obviously they are not wearing it because they are in ihraam – and you cannot wear these things in the state of ihraam.
So those who said ‘they had arms’ means they had them in the caravaan. And this makes sense: the Prophet ﷺ would not walk in blindly. Indeed the whole seerah shows us the maticulous cautions which the Prophet ﷺ took when he approached anything.
Another interesting thing: the Prophet ﷺ left Madeenah on 1st Dhul Qa’da. What is interesting about this? The sacred months start from this month. Recall the Quraysh used to swap back and forth the sacred months as they pleased.
And Allah said “this is the essence of blasphemy” i.e. playing around with the sacred pre ordained sacred months of Allah. It just so happened when the Prophet ﷺ did hajj, the 12 months were in perfect order.
At that time the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ said “On this year the months have reverted to their original order when Allah created the heavens and the Earth, so let there be no more changing around”. And this was one of the reasons they couldn’t have a calendar: but from that year the months has been set in stone. So the sacred months are Dhul Qa’da, Dhul Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab.
The Prophet ﷺ left Mecca on the beginning of the sacred month – so he is delaying his depature until it begins. This is clearly intended – he wants to send the clearest message possible to the Quraysh that “I have no desire for war. I am going peacefully to Mecca”.
Now this was a huge gamble/risk. Technically the Quraysh are supposed to allow everyone to come to Mecca in the sacred months – asharu hurum – minna arbatul hurum. Ibn Abbass himself said in the sacred months in the haram a person would see his father’s murderer but he could not do anything. This is the law of Jahiliya the Quraysh prided themselves on. Once the sacred months were announced there should not be any fighting. And recall when the sahaba killed someone on the first day of a sacred month. And the Quraysh made a big deal out of it – at this Allah revealed “they ask you about fighting in the sacred months? Fighting in the sacred months is a ‘kabeer’.”
This means anyone who engages in offensive war during these months it is a major sin. Allah is saying there must be 1/3 of the year where everyone must be at peace: for economical and political reasons and other wisdoms known only to Him Ta’ala. And therefore the Prophet ﷺ leaves on the first day of a sacred month to send a peace message to the Quraysh, and they technically they should let him enter since they’ve never in their history refused entry.
This would be the very first time they would disobey the law of Ibraheem – knowing its the sacred month, still they don’t allow the pilgrams access to the ka’bah.
So the Prophet ﷺ reaches the miqaat of Madeenah, Dhul Hulayfa, and it is the sunnah to pray two raka’at there before moving towards Mecca. They are prayed because of the valleys of the Dhul Hulayfa, not because of ihraam. Rather, the Prophet ﷺ prayed there because he said it’s a sacred valley. So the Prophet ﷺ prayed two raka’at and put on his ihraam. After this he consecrated the animals – this is a practice instituted by Ibraheem AS and it was very common up until recent history. Its a Sunnah almost entirely lost by the ummah today. In one report the Prophet ﷺ took 70 camels with him; during the hajj he takes 100 – and this shows whenever he does something he wants to do it better and with more volume.
So what does concesecrating the camels mean? In arabic its called ‘ihlaal’ which means to decorate the camels with signs, decorations etc. This is to designate that this animal is for the poor people, and it will be sacrificed for the sake of Allah. And seeing these animals was a sign of imaan – once you had consecrated an animal you shouldn’t use it unless you have to.
Allah says with regards to the camels “whoever shows honour to the symbols of Allah comes from the taqwah of the heart”. So when you go for hajj/umrah, you are supposed to consecrate the animals to show they are for Allah.
So the Prophet ﷺ consecrated all 70 camels, and towards the end of the story he shows these animals to some of the emissaries who came from the Quraysh. And this softened their hearts and they say “all of these animal for Allah?! It is not allowed to stop these people from entering Mecca”. So it was at Dhul Hulayfa the Prophet ﷺ consecrated the animals, and he also sent a sahabi Busl ibn Safwan al Kazaai to go to Mecca and find out what the Quraysh are doing.
Again and again we find the caution of the Prophet ﷺ. His tawaqul is perfect – but he does everything in his power to make sure the plan is perfect. Tawaqul means you do everything you can. And who did he send? A sahabi that no one knows; he is neither an ansari or muhajir so he won’t be recognised. He’s from the Khuza’a which was a neutral tribe – this is pure wisdom. So the Prophet ﷺ told him to find out the reaction of the Quraysh. This also shows us the Prophet ﷺ was expecting opposition, and unlike the other expeditions he didn’t try to double-back – this was a common tactic. But when it came to Hudaybiyya he went straight to Mecca to demonstrate he has nothing to hide and he dosen’t have another agenda except to do umrah peacefully.
As he was proceeding, news reached him that there was a group of riders in an area called Gaikhar and the Prophet ﷺ thought this might be the Quraysh, so he sent a small group to verify who they were. It turns out it was a false alarm but the incident happened that the books of fiqh always discuss. And every book of hadith also mentions this incident including Bukhaari, Muslim etc. In this mini expedition (and this also shows the Prophet ﷺ has guards around the army: he has conveys and lookouts and scouts around the group to inform the Prophet ﷺ of anything happening).
On the way back from this mini expedition, there were a group of sahaba and amongst them was Abu Qatadah al Ansari. For some reason that the books don’t mention why, he was not in ihraam, while everyone else was. It’s also mentioned he was put in charge of the sacrificial animals. What happens? On the way back the sahaba see a herd of zebras/gazelles.
This shows in the time of the Prophet ﷺ there were wild animals such as zebras in Arabia, there are no more. The term for zebra is ‘himaar al wahshi’, and the shariah has allowed zebras to be hunted but has forbidden donkeys. The Prophet ﷺ explicitly said this after Badr.
So the sahaba saw a flock of zebras and none of them moved. They didn’t even tell Abu Qatadah there are zebras over there because its haraam for them to hunt while in the state of ihraam. Abu Qatadah is not in ihraam – so what do you do if there’s a group, some in ihraam and some not?
Can those not in ihraam hunt for those IN ihraam? This is irrelevant for us, but once upon a time it was a crucial fiqh issue. So Abu Qatadah saw the zebras and he didn’t have his bow and arrow with him, it was in the bag. So while on his horse he told a sahabi to hand him his bow and arrow. But they refused to do so – they said “we are in the state of ihraam”. So he jumped off the horse, got his own bow and arrow, jumped back and then started galloping towards the zebras and slaughtered one of them. He then comes back with zebra meat but the sahaba said “we cannot touch or eat from this”. And so they returned back to the camp and asked the Prophet ﷺ “was this meat allowed for us to eat?” The Prophet ﷺ asked them “did any of you motion to him where the zebras were? Did any of you help him in hunting the zebras”. They said “no”.
So he said “eat from it and any extra meat bring it to me”. Thus the fiqh here is very clear: if someone in non-ihraam hunts by himself an animal then its allowed for those in ihraam to eat.
Scholars say even ‘nudging’ someone and winking ‘there’s an animal over there’ is not allowed because this is helping. Even just pointing or handing him a bow and arrow – this constitutes as ‘helping’. But if the one not in ihraam hunts by himself and gifts the meat to those in ihraam, it becomes halal. And again and again we find the cautiosness of the sahaba: no doubt they wanted that meat. No doubt it’s a delicacy. For sure they haven’t eatan meat for a while. They only must have been eating dates and water. There is this exotic delicious meat but they do nothing to capture it. When it is presented to them on a table, still they say no. SubhanAllah what imaan is this. And how laxed we are especially about food or drink.
We just say “who cares insh’aAllah Allah will forgive”. And the sahaba know the big sin of eating sin: the Prophet ﷺ said “the one who eats haraam his dua won’t be answered” and ”The one who eats haram won’t enter Jannah/his flesh”.
Thus the opposite side of Islam is he who ‘eats from what is allowed’ – that is a Muslim. So we find here the remarkable example of the sahabi – they did not think of eating until they asked the Prophet ﷺ.
Back to the story: Busl ibn Safwan al Kazaai who went to Mecca and pretended he’s a regular pilgrim to find out what the Quraysh are planning returns to the Prophet ﷺ . At this time the Prophet ﷺ had reached a place called ‘Asfaan’ around midway between Mecca and Madeenah. Busl informs the Prophet ﷺ the Quraysh have armed themsevles and worn their ‘leapord skins’ which was a sign of war. They even took their women and children with them to show their strength. And he said they sent Khalid ibn Waleed to camp near Kumayn – which is a plane right outside Mecca. So he is camped there to block the Muslims and prevent them from entering.
When the Prophet ﷺ heard this he said “woe to Quraysh – they have been consumed by war. What would they lose if they let me and the other people. If the other Arabs attack me and win they will get the result they want. If I win over them, the honour will be theres”.
He is a qurayshi thus if he wins automatically the Quraysh will bask in that victory. The Prophet ﷺ then said “for by Allah I will continue to fight them with what Allah has sent me until He gives me victory or this neck of mine is cut off”.
And subhanAllah we sense her the anguish and pain: “why do my own people hate me so much?”
This clealy shows us what is in his heart. He loves his own people dearly, he is saying “why are they doing this to me?! Its a win-win if they leave me be, and its a lose-lose if they fight me”.
Indeed whoever wins out of the Quraysh and Muslims, it’s still a loss since they are killing one another and they are family. This also shows clearly the Prophet ﷺ did not enjoy war.
He did not want to fight or shed blood – this is a clear indication: our Prophet ﷺ only fought out of necessity.
So when the Prophet ﷺ heard this he stopped the caravan and addressed the entire group. He started by praising Allah and doing the normal khutbah tul Hajjah. And then he explained: the Quraysh have sent out an expedition, Khalid ibn Waleed is camped at such a place. “We should attack the surrounding tribes that have also sent men with the Quraysh”. Then he said “what do you think we should do?”
At this Abu Bakr RA stood up and said “Ya RasulAllah you only left your house intending the house of Allah. You didn’t want any war or battle – this was not your intention. So let us go straight to the kab’ah and we will only fight if they fight us”. So this was his opinion.
The Prophet ﷺ liked this plan and said “let us go forth bismillaah”. This shows us again and again the concept of shura in Islam. And again this is the sign of a true leader.
If a leader just says “obey me because I am the leader” the people will not truly follow: but shura creates genuine trust and enthusiasm. Also the Prophet ﷺ clearly changed his opinion: he had a position but he changed it to Abu Bakrs. This shows us the ijtihad of the Prophet ﷺ is from himself. He has his own ijithad and Allah allows this. But he changed his ijtihad when he saw Abu Bakrs opinion.
It’s said at Asfan he prayed salaatul Khawf because he was afraid the Quraysh might attack them.
Here again there is a big Fiqh contraversy: was this the first time salaatul Khawf was prayed or not? One opinion is it was prayed now. Frankly it’s a trivial issue but many scholars say the first time it was prayed now on the way to Mecca at Asfaan – this is the majority opinion.
Since Khalid blocked the path, they had to find an alternative route. So the Prophet ﷺ asked “who can take us amongst such and such a path?” He knows there is another path, but he didn’t know exactly where it was. This shows there were well-known highways that everyone travelled on. Well known pathways all caravans took, and on the way there would be mini-shops or people camping. So the Prophet ﷺ said “who can take us down the other path?” and a sahabi said “I can guide you there”.
So the Prophet ﷺ made him the guide and in order to get to the other highway, they had to pass through an entire valley of thorns and volanic rock. It caused them to bleed and their feet to become sore, so much so the Prophet ﷺ encouraged them by saying “this valley for you is like the door was for the Bani Israel”. What door was that? The Prophet ﷺ said “no one shall pass through this valley except that all of his sins will be forgiven”. It was so difficult and hard the Prophet ﷺ promised him this. And this gave them immense motivation to go through the valley.
However the Prophet ﷺ made one exception: “..except the man with the red camel”. The sahaba were puzzled and were wondering who this man is. Right at the back of the group someone shouts out “I’ve lost a red camel has anyone seen it?” So this must be the man.
The sahaba went up to him and asked “why don’t you come with us, let us go to the Prophet ﷺ and perhaps he will include you in forgiveness”. It turns out this man was a bedouin with nifaaq (hypocrisy) in his heart, and his response shows this. He said “for me to search for my red camel is more beloved to me than to go to your companion and have my sins forgiven”.
So Jibreel AS told him this man won’t be forgiven and indeed it was true. Also, this shows not everyone who was physically with the sahaba WAS an actual sahabi. Allah says in the Quran “amongst the beduoins there are many who have hypocrisy”. Why is this problematic?
Because the other ‘non sunni’ groups JUMP at these texts and say “Allah is clearly saying there are munafiqun around the Prophet ﷺ“. And they are referring to Abu Bakr RA, Umar RA etc.
What a stupid position to hold. Allah clearly says “those who around you of the bedouins are munafiq”. As for the major sahaba, there is no doubt the Quran and Sunnah has praised them to extreme levels directly and indirectly. We don’t take a generic verse and use it to negate specific evidences that Abu Bakr RA is Jannah, Umar RA is in Jannah, Uthman RA in Jannah etc. That Umar is this and Abu Bakr is that etc. These are clear cut authentic evidences. You cannot take a generic verse and use it to trump explicit verses.
And there is no question if anyone accuses such sahaba of hypocrisy, then they themselves (shias) are munafiqeen and we state this with the authority of the Qur’an and Sunnah. This is the reality. You cannot accuse Abu Bakr RA, Umar RA, Aisha RA and Uthman RA of having evil except the evil is in your own heart.
So they spent the entire day walking through this valley, and by the time they exited the night has just began to fall. And they reached the plane known as Hudaybiyya. Now they reached Hudaybiyya. So this valley of thorns was between them and Hudaybiyya which led directly to the road which the Prophet ﷺ wanted to get to. From Hudaybiyya to Mecca there is a direct and easy road – it’s not the road from Madeenah, its on the way from Jeddah to Mecca which is west.
So he went across all the way because he dosen’t want war. So the night begins to fall and as soon as they enter Hudaybiyya, this is when the Prophet ﷺ camel refuses to move and in fact sits down.
And of course no one was in front of the Prophet ﷺ , he was leading the pack. So when the Prophet ﷺ camel sat down, the rest of the sahaba had to stop. And so the sahaba started yelling at the camel “Hal Hal” meaning ‘stand and go’. This was the natural call of the camel. And the camel did not move – so they began getting angry at the camel, and they said “Qaswaa has become stubborn” and the Prophet ﷺ said “Qaswaa has not become stubborn, and neither is it in her nature. Rather, the one who stopped the elephant has also stopped her (ALLAH)”.
At this point in time, they ran out of water, and they complained to the Prophet ﷺ about this. Indeed they were not expecting to go away from the main road which had stations of purchasing water.
By the way what is Hudaybiyya? It seems as if the name comes from the arabic term ‘Hadbaa’ which means ‘hunchback’. Apparently there was a tree in these planes going down like a hunchback. And there was a well next to this tree. So they called this whole land ‘Hudaybiyya’. In our times its called “As Shumaysi”. It is 20km outside of Mecca on the road from Jeddah to Mecca. And that’s the distance they would do in a few hours so it was one journey away from Mecca.
So far we have gained many benefits:
- First and foremost, the name of the Prophet ﷺ camel. This shows us if we know the name of his camel, we know far more important things. We know even the number of white hairs in his beard (14). The detail with which the seerah has been preserved is amazing. So the Prophet ﷺ sword, sheild, camel etc all have been preserved.
- When they criticised the camel, the Prophet ﷺ defended the honour of the camel. SubhanAllah. If the honour of a camel deserves to be protected, how about the honour of a Muslim? “Neither has she become stubborn nor is it in her nature!”
- The beautiful linkage the Prophet ﷺ said: “the One who stopped the elephants is He who stopped the camel”. Look at how eleqouent that is. In both cases they are animals, and in both cases the kab’ah is being honoured. And just like there was a wisdom stopping the elephants, so to there is a wisdom to stop Kaswa.
So where the camel stopped they set up camp and they went to the well of Hudaybiyya, and lo and behold the water had almost dried out. There was just a little bit left so they complained to the Prophet ﷺ “we don’t have any water, our animals are thirsty etc”. So the Prophet ﷺ went to the well, sat on it and he told some of the sahaba went into the well, and the Prophet ﷺ handed them some of his arrows. Then he gargled some water, threw it back into the bucket and lowered it. The sahaba said the water then began to gush out and the ones in the well had to rush out so they don’t drown.
SubhanAllah. The entire camp of 1400 people drank and continued to drink from that well.
Their animals drank to their fill and this was yet another miracle of the Prophet ﷺ. Now that he realised negotiations will begin, the Prophet ﷺ made an announcement: “Wallaahi the Quraysh will not ask of me any condition that the signs of Allah are respected except that I will give them”.
Notice how keen he is not to fight. Anything they ask he will agree as long as it’s not haraam. This is a prelude to some very harsh conditions which even Umar RA could not understand.Khalid ibn Waleed obviously knows where they are via scouts, so Khalid returned to Mecca and the Quraysh decided on the right tactic, and sent an emissary out to meet the Muslims.
We continue bismillaah with the treaty of Hudaybiyya.
And we discussed the incident of Hudaybiyya, how the Prophet ﷺ entered into the area, and that Allah caused the Prophet ﷺ camel to camp at the plane of Hudaybiyya. The Prophet ﷺ realised Allah wanted them to stop, so they set up their camp.
During the course of the next few days many things happen, and the standard problem of the whole seerah is that we have tid-bits of various incidences, but how do you peice it together? What is the correct chronological order of events?
Again we have lots of small narrations but peicing them together is difficult. One sahabi gives us one incident, another gives us other incidences etc.
One of the jobs of modern scholars is to piece it together because the chronology is something we have to do. One thing is that the Quraysh tried to suprise attack the Muslims who are camped in Hudaybiyya. When did this happen?
Nothing is mentioned so we have no idea. It might have happened right at the end or right at the beginning. We mention it seperately because it’s one incident – the rest will the sending of emissaries back and forth between the Quraysh and the Prophet ﷺ . So the Quraysh launched a suprise attack; this is reported in Sahih Muslim. 80 people from the Quraysh launched a suprise attack from the mountain area of Tan’eem and they suprise attacked right around salaatul Fajr hoping to catch them unprepared. However the Muslims were well prepared; they had scouts and envoys, so the Muslims knew they were coming. Thus instead of suprise attacking the Muslims, the plan backfired and the Muslims surrounded them, and forced them to surrender without causing any bloodshed.
They brought them to the Prophet ﷺ , and the Prophet ﷺ forgave all of them and sent them back to the Mecca. This is an amazing story that clearly demonstrates the Prophet ﷺ has NO interest in bloodshed. He has the full right to kill these people – if the whole 80 people had been decimated, every legal system in the world would say it’s fully justified, as they clearly came to kill him. Yet not a single drop of blood is shed and they are returned to Mecca.
Allah mentions this in the Quran, surah Fateh verse 24. And note all of Fath is a reference to Hudaybiyya. It’s not referring to the conquest of Mecca as we said earlier. #Fath’ means any conquest – but suratul-Fath has nothing to do with the conquest. It was revealed in its entirety right after Madeenah. So the First Ayat is: “indeed we have given you a clear conquest” The conquest is Hudaybiyya.
Verse 24 says: “He is the One who stopped their hands from reaching you, and your hands from reaching them in the valleys of Mecca even after you had victory over them”.
Imagine 80 people fully armed attacking people who were all sleeping – 100s of sahaba would have died but Allah protected them. And similarly Allah said He stopped the Muslims from killing a single person. And this is crucial. Why?
If the Prophet ﷺ even killed one of them there would never have been a Hudaybiyya. And it was the biggest victory Allah gave after the conquest of Mecca. So this shows the Prophet ﷺ intentions which were fully for peace.
Now we will discuss at length the negotiations and emmisaries which went back and forth. Many scholars have tried to reconstruct who went first etc because we simply don’t know. The following viewpoint is just one theory. The first person who appears to be an emmisary is neither qurayshi nor madani. He is from the tribe of Khuza’a which was generally sympathetic to Islam but was neutral overall and hadn’t embraced Islam. One of the leaders of Khuza’a volunteered to be an emmisary since he was a neutral party. He is a noble arab and does not want any civil war, so he was an emmisary at this time (eventually he accepts Islam but right now he isn’t a Muslim). So he offers the Prophet ﷺ “Ya Muhammad I have just come from the other side of Hudaybiyya and I’ve left the sons of Amr ibn Luhay armed to the tee”.
Who is Amr ibn Luhay? The great great grandfathers of Quraysh. “And they are waiting to fight you and prevent you from entering Mecca”. Meaning he is trying to tell the Prophet ﷺ to calm down. The Prophet ﷺ said “we have not come to fight; rather we’ve come to show honour to the house of umrah.” And he says the same phrase he said to the Muslims, and he will say again and again to every emmisary who comes. “Indeed war has damaged the Quraysh, and they have been hurt by it. If they wish we can negotiate and be peaceful. If they wish,I will show them what we are made of, and my neck will not be chopped off until Allah decides the matter” meaning it’s up to them.
And then he said “If they want I can give them some time and they can leave the city for us” i.e. for a short time the Quraysh go out, the Muslims can go in, perform the umrah and then leave.
Eventually This suggestion of rasulAllaah the Quraysh accepted but their condition was NEXT year, not this year. So the Prophet ﷺ is saying “if it’s akward I understand, I will give them a few days and they can leave Mecca. We will enter, do the umrah and leave. If they refuse, I swear by Allah I will fight them until my neck is cut off and Allahs decree is done”.
So Budail said he will inform the Quraysh about the Prophet ﷺ position. As of yet the Quraysh do not officially know why they are here. So Budail told the Quraysh “I have spoken to this man and I’ve heard him say something. If you wish I can repeat it for you.”
Ibn Ishaaq says the foolish amongst them said “we have no reason to listen to you, you’ve nothing new to tell us”. But the ones of Intelligence said “let him speak”. And so Budail informed him of the Prophet ﷺ peaceful intentions, that “war is a lose-lose, let’s be in peace, let me visit the kab’ah and we will return to Madinah, and if you refuse I will fight you to death”. Notice over here it’s always the ignorant and closed minded who don’t even want to hear what the other side of the story is. It dosen’t matter how reasonable or rational something is, they’ve decided already what Islam is. This is the foolish amongst them. The people of wisdom are open minded and control their emotions. And also this shows us the evils of arrogance: the foolish don’t even care about the Prophet ﷺ reason for coming. They don’t even want to listen! All they want is war and bloodshed. And arrogance is so foolish it blinds you. And indeed this is the case of Iblees too.
So Budail summarised the message of the Prophet ﷺ and then he gave his own advice: “you are being hasty with this man, he has not come to fight, he has come to visit this house honouring its sanctity”.
So Budail understands the Prophet ﷺ message, and he is sowing the seeds of doubt into the Quraysh. Budail is the first person of many more who will side with the Prophet ﷺ . The Quraysh responded “By Allah we will never let him enter Mecca as the Arabs will say he had the better hand over us”. And sadly the Quraysh stuck with this to the very end. Why? Its all a matter of pride and honour – that “my pride will be harmed if the Arabs hear the Prophet ﷺ entered Mecca”. And in the end they got this condition. So the matter of Budail ended and no negotiations were done.
Therefore what began after this was another exchange of messages, but this time the emissaries are directly from either side. It appears the first person to go from the Quraysh was Urwah ibn Masud, from the tribe of Taqif. Its based in Ta’if, and Ta’if was the sister city of Mecca. There was a little bit of tension between them but there’s alliances against the Prophet ﷺ and Islam so they put their problems aside. So Urwah stands and says “Am I not a father to you? Don’t you know my loyalties lie with you?” He is beginning this way to get the approval of the Quraysh to be an official emissary. And they keep on saying “No no we know who you are”. Then Urwah mentions his resume and blessings, that “did I not help you here, cause some bloodshed to be averted etc”. And he’s presenting all this to make them realise that he will look after their best interests. And so they praised him until finally he said “Budail has come to us with some news, let me go back and see what I can negotiate”.
So Urwah ibn Masud becomes the first real emissary the Quraysh send to negotiate and see what can be done.The Prophet ﷺ tells him the exact same thing he told Budail: the exact same paragraph. That “why don’t the Quraysh let us be, we are just like the normal people let us do tawaaf and we will go back”. And the exact same conditions he offers and its very reasonable. He is appealing to the emotions of the Quraysh: “why the bloodshed, enough is enough, I’m just coming for peace, let me go like all others and if you feel akward I’ll give you some time, you leave the city, we’ll enter, do tawaaf and then go back.”
So the same plan is given to Urwah and Urwah says “what is really the matter with you? You say you call to Allah, but then you come with people whom we don’t know. And you break the ties of kinship (meaning the Aws and Khazraj etc). We don’t know who these peple are. And you break the sanctity of the haram and you intend to spill blood”. Its as if he didn’t hear anything the Prophet ﷺ said. He already has something in his mind: so the Prophet ﷺ refutes everything “I’ve only come to fulfill the ties of kinship not to break them, and I’ve come to better the religion of my people, and I’ve come to make their lives a better life”. Look at what he is smearing the Prophet ﷺ with – breaking the ties of kinship, bringing forth a new religion and breaking the haram sanctity. In reality, in all of these smears, there is a kernal of truth that has been layered with lies.
From their perspective they genuinely believe all of this: the Prophet ﷺ is bringing something new so HE is breaking the ties. HIS religion is the strange religion and he is bringing new people. Why are we mentioning this? Because every single smear and attack against Islam and the Prophet ﷺ, deep down inside has perverted truth. There’s a mixture of truth and alot of falsehood. It’s the Sunnah of Allah that mankind with bad intention take this small truth and coat it with lies. It’s because of this kernal of truth that even the worst allegation people believe in it.
For example being a magician – did not our Prophet ﷺ have miracles? They also accused him of being a poet – and what is the most beautiful type of poetry to them, The Qur’an. So theres a kernal of truth but its put with so many lies. Thus we as Muslims need to have the perception and wisdom to see through the kernal of truth. Imagine if all you see is voilence coming from Muslim lands, you will think Islam is voilent. But of course it isn’t – thus we need to understand the kernal of truth people speak with and then respond back.
So the Prophet ﷺ responds back: “I am fulfilling ties, I want good for my people etc”. This is the same reality to this day: that Islam suppresses women etc. Look at the culture around us – who is the one exploiting women? We protect and honour them but just because we do, that protection becomes exploitation. So we need to understand peoples perspectives.
So Urwah responded: “Oh Muhammad if you were to remove the matter of your people, have you ever heard of an arab who destroyed his own tribe before you?”
Meaning you and the Quraysh are at such odds you might even cause their destruction. “And if its the other (meaning if they fight you and win)” So he’s trying to reason with him from a Jahiliya perspective, that you will kill your own tribe if you win, is that what you want? And if its the other, then “By Allah I don’t see around me men I recognise, rather they seem to be a mixture of bandits who will run away and leave you at the earliest chance possible”. What’s he saying? He is suggesting the sahaba will not be loyal because they are all of different tribes. From Urwahs perspective, its unbelieavable this mixture of Arabs are behind the Prophet ﷺ . The way he’s viewed the world is just division by tribe. It’s a gang mentality, that you are with your tribe no matter what the cost or who does what. So now for the first time in his life he is seeing a group of people together but nothing unites them from his perspective. He dosen’t understand the unity of Islam. Its completey blind to him. Right now he has no imaan at all – all he can see are people ‘disunited’.
He is saying “why will Aws guard your back?” Indeed the bulk of the 1400 were non Qurayshi. So he’s saying “they aren’t even men I don’t recognise any of them”. When Urwah said this, he heard a vile curse and its very vile and vulgar. And it came from the last sahabi you would ever expect: when Urwah said “I don’t see any men around you – who are these people? The minute you start fighting they will abandon you” he heard a loud shout. And he heard a voice say a very vulgar phrase. Urwah said “who is that?!” Abu Bakr said “Ibn Abi Qahafa”. Urwah says that “wallaahi had it not been for a favour you did to me and I hadn’t yet paid you back, I would respond with a similar remark”.
The vulgar thing has to do with a private part of a female, Al-Lat is the God mentioned and ‘omsos’ (arabic phrase) means to suck on – so you can peice the phrase together.
So Abu Bakr utters this extremely vile curse to Al-Lat, and why? Because Al-Lat was the God of Taqif which was where Urwah was from. And it was the most famous of the vicinity of Taqif. So Urwah is the chieftain and guardian of Al-Lat. So Abu Bakr utters those words and then he says “do you really think we will abandon him? That’s what you think?” What we find is amazing: his anger goes to 0 to 100 in 0.1 seconds. Instantly – why? Because this man has accused the Muslims of abandoning the Prophet ﷺ . And he becomes so angry that the most gently, shy, kind etc loses his anger and temper and he curses a vile curse.
This shows us the imaan of Abu Bakr – he wasn’t angry he was insulted. He was angry the Prophet ﷺ is being insulted that his own people will leave him. And he felt such anger he uttered a phrase that is very inappropiate. This shows us there are very rare exceptions that sometimes being vulgar gets the point across. And the Prophet ﷺ did not rebuke Abu Bakr – his anger just got the better of him, and sometimes being vulgar has some benefit (but only once in a blue moon). Also Urwah had a debt, so Abu Bakr gave him the money to pay that debt off – so Urwah says “you still have a favour I haven’t repaid, had it not been for that I would have responded in kind” i.e. he is saying the repayment of the favour is that he won’t insult Abu Bakr. Urwah dosen’t realise what he is saying, he thinks he is being sympathetic to the Prophet ﷺ that “Muhammad come to your senses look around you! These people won’t fight for you” but he dosen’t know what Islam or imaan is – nor the anger Muslims feel when the Prophet ﷺ is insulted.
Urwah continued to try and convince the Prophet ﷺ to give up and it was the custom of the people of those times that when two leaders met they would hold on to each others beards as a gesture of brotherlyness and being equals. And he did this a few times, but every time he did it the andle of a sword would strike him on his hand. And the hitting got harder and harder until finally he heard a voice which said “get your hand away from the beard of the Prophet ﷺ before the hand is cut off”. And he said “who is this voice?” And it turns out it is his own blood nephew Mughira ibn Shu’ba, a takafi. He is his brothers son, his own nephew.
And Mughira has a story too – in his early days he was a ‘playboy’ and bandit. He got involved with the wrong company and became one of the thugs and he began partcipating in robbery etc. Until one day he participated in pure highway robbery where he used to kill people and steal all their goods. And so he was apart of this group, and one time he did this highway robbery to another tribe. That tribe however declared war against the Taqif, so the Taqif, had to pay alot of blood money to calm down the situation. At this Mughira and all his companians had to rush away from Taqif; and Mughira eventually heard of Islam, converted and came to Madeenah. So he’s turned over a completely new life. So the Prophet ﷺ told him many years ago “as for your Islam we will accept it so you can join us; but as for your money that you stole we will not accept it”. This shows us the wisdom of the Prophet ﷺ : he had haraam money so the Prophet ﷺ did not accept it. This shows us the fairness of Islam – in Islam the lives of non Muslims are sacred and indeed many people claim the Prophet ﷺ was a robber but who did he attack? Only the caravans of the Quraysh – never of neutral tribes. So this incident of Mughira shows us the Prophet ﷺ and the sahabah were not only NOT highway robbers, they refused any money from highway robbery.
There are many hadith from Mughria, he is a famous companion, and when his own uncle is putting his hand on the Prophet ﷺ he said “get your hand away”. After all Urwah is the chieftain of Taqif so the other sahaba were wary but Mughira had the one who had the courage to do this. So Urwah said “who said that?!” And Mughira said “It is Mughira ibn Shu’ba” i.e. Urwahs own nephew. And Urwah responds back “Oh traitor, are you still not basking in your deciet?” i.e. you’ve ruined our reputation and you are still living like an evil traitor. This shows us again the Prophet ﷺ fairness but Mughira could not respond because it was a valid point: the tribe of Taqif had to pay alot of money to avoid war with the tribe that Mughira killed in Jahiliya days.
So negotiations broke down and he returned to the Quraysh and his description of the sahaba is one of the most amazing descriptions in the whole seerah. Why? He describes the sahaba as an outsider. Indeed at the time he is an outsider, later on he will become a Muslim. This is the first exposure to Islam for himself. So we hear descriptions of the sahaba now that no other sahaba has said. What does he say? Urwah says “Oh people, I have visited the kings, and entered the palace of Rome, and Kisra of Persia, and Najashi of Abyssinia”. Because he’s the chieftain of Taqif he has the honour of going to all these kings palaces. He is a true noble man – he can say he’s been to all of these leaders. “Wallaahi, by Allah, I’ve never seen any king being shown respect the way that the companion of Muhammad show respect to him. No one has that amount of honour – wallaahi he didn’t even spit except that one of the companions caught that spit before it touched the ground and rubbed it on his face and body. And never did he wash himself except that it is as if they were fighting one another to catch the drops of water coming from him.”
Now subhanAllah none of the sahaba told us this. Why? Because they took it for granted – it was natural for them, and there was an element of modesty. But here we have Urwah ibn Masud as an outsider whose never seen such a bizzare scene in his life. What king has people that when he spits the people catch that spit? Wallaahi this is not normal. And Urwah continues, that “if he wanted to command them something, he only needed to raise his face and look and they would race to do it. When he spoke, they all lowered their heads and voices, and none of them would look at them directly out of respect”.
SubhanAllah. It is an amazing situation and description. And the Prophet ﷺ did not command them to do this – but they had such an immense respect they aren’t even looking at his eyes. This reminds us of that famous hadith of Amr ibn Al As, who was one of the last sahaba to accept Islam. He said “wallaahi there was nothing more beloved to me than to stare at the Prophet ﷺ but I could never raise my head and look at him out of respect for him”. SubhanAllah. He loves to look at him but at the same time he can’t look at him so he’s battling with himself.
What happens to Urwah in one hour? What was he saying at the beginning? “Who are these people?! They will abandon you at the first sign of a sword!” Then in ONE hour what happens? Look – “wallaahi I’ve never seen any group like them! Neither Najashi nor Kisra nor this nor that. They can’t even look at him or..” Just one hour of looking at the sahaba with the Prophet ﷺ is enough to convert Urwah into a believer of the sahaba. Think about this. He dosen’t see beyond Islam, but after one hour he tells the Quraysh what we’ve said. And he says “Know, if you wish the sword, they will give what you wish“. Look again the change – he’s telling the Prophet ﷺ first that the sahaba will adandon him. Now when he goes back to the Quraysh without the Prophet ﷺ opening his mouth to defend the sahaba; to see his own nephew take a sword and poke him; to see Abu Bakr utter such a vile phrase; he comes back a convert not yet to Islam but a convert in the ultimate imaan of the sahaba. so he says “I’ve seen a group who don’t care what happens to them if their companion is harmed. They will do everything to protect him, even the women amongst them will never hand him over whatever the cost”.
Look at how powerful this is – he says “Take my advice, you will not be able to win over him.” Even though quantity wise the Quraysh are triple. Then he says “besides he is a man who has come to this house wishing to honour it, with sacrifical animals, but instead he is being deprived and prevented”. Immediate change of sides.
Look at what he was saying when he left Mecca, after one hour meeting the Prophet ﷺ , his heart is now with the Prophet ﷺ. SubhanAllah this comes only from raw imaan – when people see and sense the imaan of a group they will respect it. Our main weapon is not arms, it’s our belief in Allah. If we have that, the rest will fall into place. This clearly shows this. The Prophet ﷺ never intelectually responded – all that was shown was Islam and the Muslims.
At this the Quraysh got angry, and they said “If only someone else besides you had said this” meaning ‘we thought better of you!’. And they accepted what he said but still insisted “we will not allow him this year”. So once again their arrogance and stubborness is being shown, and they stick to this right to the end. And here we find so many benefits: wallaahi a kaafir, pagan idol worshipper recognises the status of the sahaba. What do we say to those who claim to be Muslim but do not recognise the maqaam and status of the sahaba? A pagan is saying he is so impressed and that he’s never seen a group of people like these before. Yet, and it is shameful and sad that there are people who do not respect the sahaba, and yet they claim to be worshipping Allah. Also we see the Prophet ﷺ is waging a type of psychological battle, and clearly he is winning. Anyone who comes to see him goes back convinced. Therefore the battle is not just verbal or physical, there is a psychological side, and one of the best ways to win this battle is simply to stick to your pricinples. Be firm in what you believe and people will respect you for that firmness.
Unfortunately sometimes we are too embarassed to stand up for Islam. We also witness the long term thinking, strategy and diplomacy of the Prophet ﷺ . His ways of dividing the Quraysh up so bit by bit people will break away from the Qurayshi posiiton. This is the long term strategy.
After the conquest of Mecca, Urwah accepted Islam in the 9th year of the Hijrah. And we will discuss his story inshaAllah when we get to the story of Taqif. He was one of the first elders of Taqif to accept Islam and Taqif was perhaps THE most difficult tribe. After all they did and what they did in Ta’if, and it was the most stubborn tribe right to the end. Even when they accepted Islam, they gave the most bizzare conditions: “Ya RasulAllah its cold in Ta’if, we don’t want to do wudu (literally). We don’t want to do jihad with you; how about zakat we don’t want to give our money to you?” This is Taqif – even when they converted they had all these conditions and issues. And Urwah eventually accepted Islam, and he travelled to Madeenah to embrace Islam at the hands of the Prophet ﷺ and the Prophet ﷺ told him “I’m scared for you – when you go back what might happen to you”. And Urwah was very confident. He said “Ya RasulAllah, if I am sleeping they would never wake me” i.e. they respect him so much. Well they respected him before Islam. Now he’s a Muslim its a different story. So he felt so confident despite the Prophet ﷺ knowing his people. The Prophet ﷺ was more respected amongst the Quraysh than Urwah was amongst the Taqif, yet look what happened. But he insisted so the Prophet ﷺ let him go back home. And Urwah returns to his people and starts preaching Islam, but he starts hearing vile and vulgar phrases that he would never imagine. And so he goes back to his house, saddened and distressed, and spends the night. The next morning its Fajr time so he goes on his roof, gives the azaan and starts praying. But when someone saw him praying, someone got their bow and arrow out and killed him. And its said the arrow pushed him back so he fell right down into the valley. When the news reached the Prophet ﷺ he said “Urwah is like the one of ‘Ya Sin'” meaning surah Ya Sin. So he is like that person who called his people to Allah, and in response they killed him.In any case, this is Urwah but at this stage he isn’t a Muslim.
Clearly at this stage Islam first entered his heart when he saw the respect the sahaba had for the Prophet ﷺ. And he realised its not human – something divine and special is happening here. That Allah has given a level of respect to the Prophet ﷺ that the kings don’t even get. And wallaahi its so true: every politican, even in power, the people respect him only for his chair and what he can offer. Whereas we love and respect the Prophet ﷺ for who they are, not what they gave. So Urwah goes back and he sides with the Prophet ﷺ so Taqif cuts off now. Taqif will not participate with the Quraysh. And bit by bit the size of the Quraysh is being cut off. Here the Prophet ﷺ felt the need to send someone from his side and he chose Kiraash ibn Umaya from the tribe of Khuza’a, not from the Quraysh, Aws or Khazraj so he is not ansari or muhajir. So perhaps the Prophet ﷺ chose him because he was from a neutral tribe. So he is sending him so the Quraysh don’t get riled up – clearly they will have some things against Abu Bakr, Umar etc as they are fellow qurayshis.
So the Prophet ﷺ sends Karaashi ibn Umayyah and to demonstrate he wanted peace, he sent Kiraash on one of his own camels by the name of ‘At Ta’lab’. And in those days people knew each others camels, so the Quraysh knew this camel was the Prophet ﷺ . So by sending his own personal camel the Prophet ﷺ is sending a peace message. When the Quraysh saw the camel, their tensions riled up and a mob gathered, they cut a ligament off the camels leg and they are about to kill Kiraash until finally another person from Khuza’a calms them down who was in Mecca. He says “this is a Khuza’ai” and the Quraysh send him back without any discussions taking place.
Now its the Qurayshs turn. And they send someone called Al Hulays ibn Alkama from the tribe of Kinana. It was the largest tribe in the surrounding areas outside of Mecca, the ahabish which was the name given to tribes around Mecca. The biggest of them is Kinana, so Al Hulays volunteers. Again other tribes are getting involved: its a major issue. There is not only tension from the past, but there is a theological issue that the Quraysh are preventing a group from entering Mecca and this is a very big deal because they aren’t allowed to do this. So Al Hulays volunteers and the Quraysh agree to send him. When Al Hulays approaches the Prophet ﷺ recognises from a far away distance, and the Prophet ﷺ says “this is Al Hulays ibn Alkama from Kinana and his people show respect, and consider sacred the sacrificial animals”. So this paticular tribe valued the decorations of animals. So the Prophet ﷺ said “show him our sacrifical animals”. As Hulays is walking towards the Prophet ﷺ sahaba take out hundreds and hundreds of camels that were decorated for sacrifice. Remember the Prophet ﷺ alone had 70, the sahaba had many more. And these are just the camels – on top of this there were sheeps, goats etc. All of them are decorated with markings, ribbons and strings etc all demonstrating its a camel dedicated for the sake of Allah, and the poor people of Mecca. So Al Hulays is coming, and before he even gets to the camp, the sahaba bring out 100s of camels, and they bring them to the valley he is entering, and he sees the entire valley full of camels that have been decorated for the poor of Mecca. And he sees the Muslims in ihraam doing the talbiya, and Al Hulays dosen’t even enter the camp of the Muslims. He turns around and goes to the Quraysh and says “subhanAllah it is NOT allowed for preventing these animals to reach their destination, and to prevent the pilgrams from visiting the house of Allah”. Without even speaking to the Prophet ﷺ he is converted over. Again we see the wisdom and diplomacy of the Prophets ﷺ psychological warfare – he sees Hulays and recognises his soft spot.
And that is showing him the camels, showing the sahaba in ihraam doing talbiya etc. And also because of the difficult journey the sahaba went through, not only were the sahaba hungry but the camels were tired and hungry. And this is dangerous because these camels if they don’t get to the kab’ah the meat will be gone to waste – you could see the camels thinning up, so Hulays feels a sense of great anger against the Quraysh. When they heard him switch sides, they insulted him and said “who are you – you are just an ignorant bedouin, our mistake was to send you”. SubhanAllah as soon as he said this, Al Hulays swore by Allah none of the ahabish will support the Quraysh. And thats a massive loss. SubhanAllah we see here the truth always win. Its clear black and white – the Muslim had 110% truth, they just want to do umrah. And the Quraysh are clearly wrong. And thus honest people can see this – even though they are pagans, they realise what the Quraysh is doing is wrong. And its mentioned Hulays was considered to be a wise man, a person of Intelligence. So when they insult him and say “you’re just a bedouin” its 100% racism that “who are you? We shouldnt have even sent you” so he swears by Allah none of his people will be on their side. So bit by bit people are leaving the Quraysh, and eventually it will only be them left.
Also we see over here that every community has its righteous people. This is a point that unfortunately a minority of Muslims in their over-zealousness become so narrow-minded about, that they truly think if you’re not a Muslim you don’t have any good in you. This is ridiculous. If you are not a Muslim, they no doubt your theology is wrong, but does this mean you cannot be honest, or truthful or stand up for justice? In the whole seerah we have so many examples of idol worshippers standing up for what is true. And the Prophet ﷺ appreciated and acknowledged this.
And its similar in our times. A lot of non Muslims stand up for the rights and values of justice, and even Islam. So many Australian non Muslim people helped prevent anti-shariah bills being passed. Every society has good and bad, and the Muslims takes advantage of this. We also see that its apart of Prophetic wisdom to use psychological factors that appeal to every group. And no doubt we do not change what Islam says: if some people say its ‘unethical’ to kill animals for food, we draw the line here and point out this is where the boundary of Islam stops. It is Sunnah to eat meat and alhamdhulillah for this. No doubt we don’t change the shariah, but if there’s a trend going on in society is there anything wrong with talking about it within Islam? This is clearly what the Prophet ﷺ did to Hulays.
So now its back to the Prophet ﷺ and he decides to send a Qurayshi. Who? The Prophet ﷺ chooses Umar ibn Al Khattab. Why? Because of his strength and bravery. Because whoever is sent will be walking into real danger. However Abu Bakr is there, Ali is there, Uthman is there so these sahabah could have been chosen – why Umar? Perhaps because he was physically the most strongest and bravest. And this is the very first time an official emissary has come from the Prophet ﷺ side back into Mecca. SubhanAllah. 6 years have gone by and no Muslim has sent foot in Mecca as an emissary. Yes there has been prisoners of war, but no Muslim has walked into the lions den. That requires true courange. And who better than he who announced his Islam publically and then said “whoever wants his mother to cry for him tonight, let him meet me tonight for I am leaving for Madeenah”.
And Umar RA says “Ya RasulAllah my animosity to the Quraysh is well known, and I fear they will kill me. And I don’t have anyone from my tribe to protect me (i.e. people from the Bani Adi). So if you want me to go I will go, but Uthman ibn Affan has more nobility in their eyes than I do”.
Remember, in the eyes of the Quraysh what protects you? Its not physical strength – it is lineage and nobility. No one will ever accuse Umar RA of being a coward, but he is suggesting perhaps Uthman RA is the better choice. By the way Utham was the closest in lineage to the Prophet ﷺ. Abu Bakr and Umar were literally 6th and 8th cousins however Uthman is from Banu Abd Shams.
Hashim and Abdul Shams are brothers, therefore its only two/three generations back. And who is Banu Abd Shams? Abu Suffyan. He is Banu Abd Shams and he is a second cousin to Uthman, and thats very close for the Arabs. And Abu Suffyan is the undisputed leader of Mecca so he will have more sympathy towards Uthman RA. So, Umars idea is accepted by the Prophet ﷺ and again it shows: the Prophet ﷺ made itjihad, and he saw a better position and he took it. So the Prophet ﷺ sent Uthman ibn Affan RA.
Umar said as we mentioned “Ya RasulAllah I fear the Quraysh might not accept me as my aminosity is well known, and I don’t have anyone from the tribe of Bani Adi to protect me. If you wish I will go, but if you wish send someone more noble than I, that is Uthman ibn Affan”. This shows us the true fiqh of Umar RA. There is no one more fearless than Umar – this is very well known. Had it been an issue of ego, he would be at the front “let me go, so what whatever happens etc”. But he is looking at the bigger picture: he is worried his animosity with the Quraysh will cause the Quraysh not to have a solid treaty with the Muslims. So he is sacrificing his ego for the sake of the Muslims. No one can accuse him of backing down – but they know who he is, they know what he’s done at Badr, Uhud etc. So he is saying “they might even kill me so the purpose of sending me will be pointless. So send someone they genuinely look up to and that is Uthman ibn Affan”. And the main thing Uthman is the great grandson of the Banu Abd Shams, and he was closest to the Prophet ﷺ (except for Ali RA). Abu Bakr and Umar was 6 and 8 generations apart. Uthman is Banu Ummayah, and they are relatively close to the Banu Hashim. Not only that, the Banu Ummayah have people of power still alive and that is Abu Suffyan. So Umar RA sacrificed his own spotlight – this is not cowardice. To claim it is is purely ridiculous. His entire life demonstrates how immensely brave he was. And the Prophet ﷺ agreed and sent Uthman ibn Affan RA.
As Uthman entered Mecca, there were protectors blocking the roads to Mecca. So when he comes in he crosses a road called Baldah and the group there stopped him, mocked him and told him to go back. So he was about to go back, but in that group there was his own cousin: Abaan ibn Saeed ibn Al Aas. And Uthman was Uthman ibn Affan ibn Al Aas ibn Ummayah thus they are first cousins. When Abaan saw how the people were treating his own cousin, he got off his own horse, took it to Uthman and he said “you ride and I will protect you in Mecca”. And these were the ways the jahelya Arabs gave ‘visas’. You needed someone to say THEY will be your protectors. You needed someone to say “you are under my amaan (protection)” and this is what Abaan did for Uthman. And he led him into Mecca and he took Uthman ibn Affan to meet the leaders of the Quraysh.Uthman met with Abu Suffyan, and remember they are direct cousins from the Banu Ummayah tribe. Abu Suffyan and Affan are first cousins, which is why in the civil war when Uthman RA was killed, Muawiyah said “you have to avenge the death of Uthman”.
So to reitreate, Abu Suffyan and Uthman are uncle/nephew first cousins. So he meets his uncle Abu Suffyan and the other leaders, but none of them allow the Muslims to come this year. Each one of them says the exact same phrase “Let not the Arabs say we were forced to let them in”. Also the Prophet ﷺ told Uthman that if he is able to get into Mecca, he should meet all the Muslim converts who were in dire situations and trapped, and tell them Allah is aware of their situation, and He will make a way out for them soon. So Uthman met these Muslims who were in chains and this shows us, there were a group of Muslims still trapped in Mecca, not out of personal choice but by force of toture and persecution. So in the whole negotiations, it took much longer than expected. We can imagine it took multiple hours, even the better part of a whole day. And that is way beyond what anyone was expecting, and no news was coming out. So it is understandable how and why some of the sahaba panicked. And small rumours got bigger and bigger, until it becomes a solid fact. The details we don’t know: but its self evident, someone must have said “what if he’s been killed?” As its passed along people are saying “most likely he’s dead” and as it passes further it becomes “for sure he is dead”. Until finally there was this dread amongst the Muslims, therefore the news was accepted as a fact that he is dead. Surely if he were alive he would have come back by now.
When the rumours spread to the Prophet ﷺ, he said “we will not leave until we exact revenge upon them and we fight them” i.e. its simply too much. Look at the circumstance: the Quraysh are at least 3x greater in number. The Muslims are tired, hungry and thirsty whereas the Quraysh are full rested. Additionally the animals of the Muslims are tired. The Quraysh are fresh and rested in their houses with unlimited food, water, armour etc. The Muslims, everything is limited and running out. Most importantly, they weren’t prepared for battle. They had no war preparations. This was only an umrah trip.
When the Prophet ﷺ is calling them for a battle, this really is almost certain death. You are outnumbered, outflanked etc. There’s no chance to win. And this is why this oath is so important in our religion that Allah and His messenger have both praised immensely. A crier was sent to all the Muslims that Jibreel AS has come down to the Prophet ﷺ and he is calling you to give the alliegance to him. Of course Allah knows full well Uthman is perfectly fine. This is a test for the believers to see if they would give their oath. So the crier went out, and the Prophet ﷺ is calling all the Muslims for an oath and pledge to fight the Quraysh to the death. The pledge was “fight the Quraysh and do not turn back”. So you cannot flee backwards, if you die in battle you die.
And this oath was eventually called ‘Bayat ul-Ridwan’. And ‘Ridwan’ means pleasure – why? Because Allah revealed in Surah Fateh verse 18:“Certainly was Allah pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you, [O Muhammad], under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquillity upon them and rewarded them with an imminent conquest”
The Prophet ﷺ was sitting under a tree at the time, and the Prophet ﷺ took an oath of allegiance from all the people except for one person who was a hypocrite, and when the call came out he hid behind his camel. Some ulama say this is the same person who was the owner of the red camel. And when all of the sahaba finished the bayaa (oath), the Prophet ﷺ in front of everyone, took his left and put it in his right hand and said “this is for Uthman”. So he took the oath on behalf of Uthman ibn Affan. So this is the ‘Bayaatul Ridwan’.
And obviously it shows us the bravery of the sahaba: they were unarmed, defenceless, travelling, not having proper weapons, willing to fight people that are fully rested, healthy, firm and 3x their number. Yet they are still willing to fight to the death.
And that is why, the people who swore alliegance to the Prophet ﷺ on ‘Bayatul Ridwan’ are given a status that is second only to Badr. Only to Badr as a whole group. SubhanAllah.
Of course above the Badri’s are individuals i.e. the promised 10. But generally as a group Badr is at the top, and then the sahaba of Bayaatul Ridwan are right below them. There are many ayat and hadith to show this. And there many references in surah Fath. And Allah mentions in the Quran that “Allah is pleased with them” and He says “Allah knows what was in their hearts” and this is the highest testification. None of them were cowards: Allah knew their hearts were ready to fight for His sake, so Allah revealed the ‘sakeena’ i.e. peace. And Allah says His own hand is above their hand. SubhanAllah. So what happens is the sahabas hand would grab the Prophet ﷺ hand and swear an oath. So Allah is saying His own hand was above their hand when they made the oath. What a praise for these sahaba. What a praise and blessing, and what a great honour they had. They took the oath of alliegance from the Prophet ﷺ but Allahs hand was above theirs too. And the Prophet ﷺ said “you are the best people on Earth”.
And in one hadith he said “no one who has given the Bayaatul Ridwan should ever enter the fire of hell”. And this is in sahih Muslim. Therefore Allah gave these people glad tidings, that Allah will give them a major victory. And we will in sha Allaah discuss this victory later which was the battle of Khaybar. Remember surah Fath has nothing to do with the Fath ul-Mecca (conquest of Mecca). It was revealed before. In surah Fath, Allah says he will give the Muslims ‘ghaneema’ and a major victory. And indeed in a short while the Muslims will win the battle of Khaybar, and the ghaneema from this battle was the greatest financial income in the history of Islam to date. It changed the financial situation of the entire ummah. And Allah says THAT is the ghaneema that will happen.
This shows us again a direct correlation: when you stand up for Allah, He will give you much more. We’ve seen this constantly throughout the seerah. In Badr, Allah says He will give the Muslims one of two things (victory or caravan) and they ended up getting both. And here aswell, at a point where they are facing death, they pledged alliegance and Allah says He is “well pleased with them”. And only Hunayn was a bigger financial boost during the seerah than Khaybar – it was a massive financial income boost. Also, we see the great blessings of Uthman ibn Affan. They had such an honour. All the sahaba had such a great honour that they gave allieagance in the hand of the Prophet ﷺ – but Uthman had an even higher honour because the Prophet ﷺ represented Uthman with his own body and hand. How much more noble do you want? The Prophet ﷺ is saying “since he is not here, let ME stand in his place”. SubhanAllah. Here you have RasulAllah testifying for Uthman. How can anybody utter one word against this man?
Wallaahi any one who utters one words against this man, there is nifaaq in his heart. Anyone who has anything about Uthman cannot have genuine love for the Prophet ﷺ . If you insult Uthman, you insult the Prophet ﷺ. Because he took Uthmans place himself. Imagine this. And subhanAllah the bitterness of Uthman is nothing new: the khawarij critcised and killed him. And in Bukhaari its narrated one of the kharijites saw a large gathering around an old man in Mecca so he said “who is he?” and they told him “this is Abdullah ibn Umar”.
So he made his way through the crowd and said “Oh ibn Umar, I have some questions to ask you” and it their methadology to be rude and harsh and fanatic. “I ask you by Allah did Uthman turn his back and run away at Uhud?” Right now Uthman is the khalifa, so he is trying to find faults within Uthman. Eventually him and his group will kill Uthman. Ibn Umar says “You ask me by Allah I answer yes”. The man said “was Uthman absent at Badr?” Ibn Umar said “You ask me by Allah I answer yes”. And the man said “was he missing at Bayaatul Ridwan?” Ibn Umar said “You ask me by Allah I answer yes”. So the man said “Allahuabkar!” and he turned around and walked away. Ibn Umar siad “come back here”. As for your first question “yes Uthman fled Uhud, but Allah testified in Surah Al Imraan that Allah has forgiven them, so I testify he is forgiven. As for your second question, he was married to Ruqqiyyah bint Muhammad (who eventually died and the Prophet ﷺ commanded him to stay in Madeenah, and he got a share of the ghaneema thus he is a badari. And as for your third question, Ridwan only occured because of Uthman! And the Prophet ﷺ used his own hand to take the oath on behalf of Uthman, so go back now with all of this to your people”.
And this shows us the blessings of Uthman ibn Affan RA. And there are so many hadith, the Prophet ﷺ said “should I not be ashamed and shy of he whom the angels are shy of?” This is in Bukhaari and Muslim. That even the angels are shy of him – he’s such a humble and noble person. SubhanAllah. That is mindblowing. Anyone who therefore criticises Uthman is either a jahil or a kaafir, he can not have eemaan and criticize him radiAllahu anh.
So 1400 sahaba participated in Bayaatul Ridwan, and all of the famous sahaba are here. Thus this is one of the most explicit evidences, among million others, that the sahaba are worthy of our ultimate respect. This is the cornerstone of sunni Islam.
What does Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama’a mean? Its the group who follow the Sunnah and the jama’at which are the sahaba. This is what seperates us from all other groups who don’t respect the sahaba.
And literally the Quran, Sunnah, common sense, logic etc all tell you the sahaba have the highest status. And if you ridicule the sahaba you have no religion left. Who gave you the Quran? Who gave you the Sunnah except the sahaba? You have no knowledge of Islam were it not for the sahaba. And one of the famous imams said “if you were to ask the Jews who are the most righteous people. They will the 70 who accompanied Moses on the mountain of Toor. And if you ask the christians, they will say the 12 disciples of Jesus. And if you ask the other group (the shia) who is the worst and vile scum? They will say those who accompanied the Prophet ﷺ “.
Wallaahi it dosen’t even make logical sense. By common sense Allah will choose the best people to be around the Prophet ﷺ . Anyone who disagrees will be dealt with by Allah. Even if you reject hadith what will you do with Surah Fath? Allah is saying HE is pleased with them. Where do we get ‘Radi-Allahu anhu’ from?! The Quran. Abu Bakr was there, Umar was there, Uthman, Ali etc. How can anyone criticise them?
As for which tree it was, its said Jaabir ibn Abdullah, who was still a young man 19/20, and he lives a very long life (78 when he dies), eventually he becomes blind and he says “If only I could see I would show you exactly that tree we sat under”. The tree is signifcant because Allah mentions it in the Quran and the Prophet ﷺ sat under it for a long time. At the same time the majority of the sahaba couldn’t really recognise it. Simply because all trees look the same.
Its narrated in Bukhaari that one of the companions said “when we got there we tried to find the tree but we couldn’t agree which one it was”. Its also narrated that within a decade after the death of the Prophet ﷺ, they began decorating the tree and built a masjid there. And one of tabi-tabioon saw this masjid in the middle of nowhere outside of Mecca, so he asked the people “what is this masjid?” And the people said “this is the tree wherein the Prophet ﷺ took the Bayaatul Ridwan”.
So he went back to Mecca and there was the student of Ibn Abbas, Saeed ibn Musayyab, who was very knowledgable. And he said “my father was of those who took Bayaatul Ridwan, and he couldn’t figure out what tree it was. Are you telling me these people know better than the sahaba?” And its authentically narrated Umar RA news reached him the bedouins had built a masjid there, some of them were rubbing their backs on it for some blessings etc. So he chastised them and commanded the tree they were renovating be chopped down.
This shows the whole issue of renovating places, icons or objects that some people believe are sacred. We have a tension between ignorant, or superstitous or emotional practices on the one side, and authentic, academic, knowledge based Islam on the other. And this tension is there to this day. There is a tension between the emotional side. Even if the Prophet ﷺ DID sit under this tree, what will you do? Prostrate to it?
This was the fiqh and thinking of Umar. This generation were simply rubbing their backs and building a masjid. If this is happening while Umar was alive, what do you think will happen in the next 100-1000 years? Wallaahi it would now be an idol that is worshipped besides Allah. In fact what is an idol other than taking a holy place/person and making them bigger and bigger? And all you need to do is look at the bulk of places in Pakistan, India and ther places. And one finds the grave of a righteous person and people are doing sajdah to the grave, tawaaf around the grave, making dua to the grave. This is unbelievable.
And what is the grave of any person with the very tree mentioned in the Quran and where the Prophet ﷺ sat there for several hours. And this shows us the difference between emotion and academic Islam. Our religion is not based upon feelings. Its based upon what the Prophet ﷺ and Allah told us.
As for his droppings of wudu. this is allowed. But not where he sat under a tree. The sahaba understood this difference. And it shows us this tension between mystical Islam and academic Islam existed before, and still now. And who followed this mystical Islam? The ignorant bedouins, while the more intelligent sahaba said “what are you doing?” This shows us aswell if we visit any site of early Islam, we go for historical reasons, NOT for baraqah etc. But rather to take lessons of it, and remember “this is where Badr took place” etc. You go so you are overwhelmed and feel a sense of awe. And who can accuse Umar RA of insulting the Prophet ﷺ ? This is what people say in response but wallaahi their renovation is not something the Prophet ﷺ would approve off.
The news of the treaty of Ridwan reached Mecca, so the Quraysh panicked and sent Uthman back. When Uthman came back, and the Muslims heard he is coming, some of them said “how lucky he is, he must have gone inside and done the tawaaf” i.e. at least he got to do it. Here the Muslims were waiting for at least 4/5 days at Hudaybiyya.
But the Prophet ﷺ said “I don’t think he will do the tawaaf, how can he do it when we haven’t?” Meaning the Prophet ﷺ realised Uthmans adab and respect would never allow him to do it. But the other Muslims said “why not? Why wouldn’t he do it if he was protected in Mecca?” And subhanAllah we see here how eager the sahaba are to do tawaaf and umrah. They’ve been kicked out of Mecca, they haven’t seen the kab’ah for 6 years and they are missing the tawaaf so much, and are feeling jealous that “Uthman has done it and not us”. Look at this. SubhanAllah. They wanted to respect the house of Allah. And when they saw him return they surrounded him and said “have you satisfied yourself with the kab’ah?” To which Uthman replied “what an evil thought you had off me, did you think I would do tawaaf while the Prophet ﷺ is here? Wallaahi if I stayed in Mecca for one year I would not do tawaaf until the Prophet ﷺ did it before me”.
Here again we have the defence of the Prophet ﷺ for Uthman. And again it shows us the respect the sahaba and especially Uthman gave to the Prophet ﷺ.
According to al Bayhaqee when the news reached the Quraysh they trembled with fear. And what does that show? A small group of Muslims, unprepared, tired etc but they have imaan. And they can cause the mighty tribe of the Quraysh to tremble. And this was why they decided ‘we need to re-negotiate’. And so they sent an official delegation. Initially they sent someone by the name of Mikras ibn Hafs and it appears this was just a quick sending. They didn’t think things through, and when the Prophet ﷺ saw Mikras, he said to the sahaba he is an evil man. And when Mikras apporached he and the Prophet ﷺ began negotiating but there was no agreements. Mikras was given completely unacceptable conditions.
In the distance, another delegation was coming forth that was genuine and it was a final delegation that would solve the problems. The senior and main person was Suhail ibn Amr. When the Prophet ﷺ saw Suhail, he said “Suhail has come, Allah has made things easy for you now”. SubhanAllah he is saying through Suhail is ease and opening will be reached.
Here we see another AQEEDAH point: good omens.
The Prophet ﷺ said “there is no such thing as superstitions or bad omens”. And “believing in (bad) omens is a type of shirk”.
So the Prophet ﷺ said its all shirk. Then he said “BUT I like positive optimism”. So they asked “what do you mean?” And he said “a good word or a good phrase someone hears”. What is this?
A good omen is to read in two conditions:
- A positive sign/message
- The message is linked to Allah
If these two conditions are met, a good omen is recommended and apart of our religion. And a good omen is nothing other than being optimistic in Allah. An example of such an omen we can understand; if one of us is making dua on a cloudy day, and after finishing we look up and the skies have cleared and we see a beautiful rainbow. If we say “this is a sign from Allah that my dua will be answered” there is nothing wrong with this, and in fact its good. Why?
Because, shouldn’t we already be thinking Allah will give us what we want? Anything that boosts that optimism is mustahab (recommended). So anything we read as a positive sign that makes out heart brighter and happiness is a good omen and allowed.
Its ok and its good as we learn for the Prophet ﷺ. One of the examples from the seerah is when Suhail come. ‘Suhail’ comes from a root word which means ‘to make things easy’. Thus when Suhail came the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ said “Suhail has come, Allah has made things easy for you”. So he derived a positive omen from this that the matter will be made easy, and thats exactly what happened. And there are other examples: there is a name in arabic called ‘waajid’ which means ‘the one who finds’. So one of the sahaba said “imagine you lose something and you are trying to find it, then somebody calls out to his friend ‘ya waajid, ya waajid’ and you hear that – you should take this as a good sign and say “I will be THE waajid”.” So its a sign from Allah.
So saying ‘inshaAllah my dua will be answered’ etc – this is allowed and is a positive optimistic omen. Bad luck from a cat crossing a path or a crow crowing etc etc? This is foolish and stupid.
So Suhail comes. And who is he? Suhail firstly is the highest level delegate sent to the Prophet ﷺ during Hudaybiyya. And he is one of those who is a member of the Quraysh parliment called the ‘Nadi’. He is a member of that group, so he is a senior politican. This is a man with superior authority. And he is clearly a high profile members of the Quraysh; when he was captured as a prisoner of war, the Prophet ﷺ housed him in his house. And where in the history of humanity did a leader house prisoners in his house? Truly this can be said only for the Prophet ﷺ. And the Prophet ﷺ housed the elite members of the Quraysh; one of them was Suhail ibn Amr. And one of wives of the Prophet ﷺ rushed back home and sees Suhail ibn Amrs tied to his neck, and she kind of slipped. She said “why are you embarrasing us as being a prisoner of war? It would have been more befitting if you died!” In other words seeing someone as noble as Suhail made her slip, and she said “you are humiliating US by being a prisoner!” And the Prophet ﷺ turned to her and said “are you taking sides agianst Allah and His messenger?!” It was just a slip – but she was so shocked because of the great status of Suhail. And in fact he was called ‘kateeb ul Quraysh’ because he was a powerful orator, and when it came to debates and negotiations, he was the main man. And this is why he is being chosen to negotiate with the Prophet ﷺ at Hudaybiyya. And also this is why, when Umar RA saw Suhail captured, he said “Ya RasulAllah let me cut his tongue off so he dosen’t speak against us again”. And the Prophet ﷺ said “I am a Prophet ﷺ and we have not been commanded to mutilate people”. So he forbade him; but then he turned to Umar RA and said “perhaps one day he will say something that will please you”.
And this shows us that this mentality that if you aren’t a Muslim you are an evil to the core – this is wallaahi so stupid and foolish. Only those who have no clue about reality spout this black and white world view. No doubt Suhail is a kaafir at this time, and he is an enemy against Allah and His messenger. And he participated in Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. Yet deep down there was goodness in him, and the Prophet ﷺ recognised this, but Umar RA did not. And imagine what must he have said that got Umar RA so angry “let me just cut his tongue off”.
But the Prophet ﷺ saw in him good, and indeed Suhail eventually converted. He did however convert during the conquest of Mecca, so right at the end. Thus there is no doubt the status of Suhail is not the status of the earlier converts; Suhail is not a muhajir, yet the books of seerah mention out all of the converts that converted after the conquest, the most worship minded was Suhail. The most salah, the most fasting, the most zakat etc.
And when the Prophet ﷺ died, Suhail was still in Mecca, and the people in Mecca by and large were all converts after the conquest. As we will see none of the muhajir lived in Mecca after the conquest; they had to go back to Madeenah. So who is living in Mecca? All the people who converted 1.5 years ago. Abu Suffyan, Suhail etc. And so many of them flirted with the idea of leaving Islam. So much so the sahabi governer of Mecca feared for his life and went into hiding, because commotions began and mobs gathered after the news of the Prophet ﷺ death.
Whose the one who calmed them down? Suhail ibn Amr. He stood in front of the kab’ah and gave them a fiery lecture. And he warned and admonished them, and he said “Oh people of Mecca, do not be the last group to convert, and the first to renegate and apostisise”. SubhanAllah. How elegant is this speach. And he played a major role in bringing them back to Islam, and he was the one who brought the gorverner out of hiding. Its also mentioned when Suhail and Abu Suffyan visited Umar RA in Madeenah, they saw a line. And in that line are Bilal, Suhaib Ar Rumi, ibn Masud etc – all the people they once considered to be low. And Suhail and Abu Suffyan had to wait in line while all of these sahaba went before them. At this Abu Suffyan says to Suhail “I have never seen a day like this before. We are here!” And realise who these people are. This is the kings of Quraysh, the MPs of Quraysh. And who is Bilal and other people? And they are Muslims but still there is some Jahiliya so Abu Suffyan says “I’ve never seen a day like this. We are here and these slaves have been given precedence over us”. Look at what Suhail says. And this shows the imaan of Suhail. Even in Hudaybiyya we see how harsh he was with the conditions, but deep down inside there was good. And when the Prophet ﷺ managed to get to that good, it overwhelmed him. What did Suhail say to Abu Suffyan? “I can see the anger in your faces, but if you wish to be angry, then be angry at yourselves. For they were called to Islam and we too were called Islam; they raced forward and we lagged behind. And the blessings they obtained in racing forward are far more than the honour of them entering the door of Umar before us now”.
In the eyes of Allah accepting Islam first was a much greater blessing: so he is saying “be jealous at THAT good they have, rather the honour they have of entering Umars door”. And Suhail joined the army to fight the Romans in Syria, and he died a shaheed in Syria. Again an amazing story – out of the converts of the conquest, Suhail was the most righteous.
However, right now he is still a bitter enemy, and the Quraysh have sent him to negotiate a treaty with the Prophet ﷺ. And they clearly told him: make sure he does not enter Mecca this year “for let not the Arabs say he had the better hand over us”. And Suhail had two sons who were Muslims. And the both of them had given Suhail and his family much troube and dishonour. His elder son, Abdullah ibn Suhail ibn Amr, was a secret convert and there were tensions between him and his father. So he didn’t go public with his conversion as he realised it would cause big problems. And so he basically kept him Islam secret. When Badr happens, he sees an opportunity to get to Madeenah. How? In the very army he is meant to fight in. So Abdullah volunteers, and he walks literally with them under their noses as apart of the army. And when they camp for the first time, Abdullah takes his horse and sneaks away. And he joins the ranks of the Muslims and fights against the Quraysh. Can you imagine the shame and criticisms Suhail had to deal with in Mecca? How embarrased he must have been.
He became a prisoner of war and his own son is on the side of the Muslims. And this called Suhail so much anguish and pain; guess what – when Abdullah runs over to Madeenah, his younger brother Abu Jandal ibn Suhail also converts and clearly expresses irritation he can’t go to Madeenah either. And it was clear to Suhail that Abu Jandal is a Muslim. So Abu Jandals Islam is certain – so Suhail locks up Abu Jandal and tells the servants to toture him, thrown him in the dungeon, deprive him of food and water etc. And he is chained since Badr right the way up to the present day i.e. Hudaybiyya. That is 4.5 solid years of being chained up. Toturing him, telling him to worship the idols etc. And he refuses to let Abu Jandal go to Madeenah, so he has been locked up for all this time.
Suhail then comes as the official delegat, and the Prophet ﷺ and Suhail agree to write a treaty.
And this is the famous story that the Prophet ﷺ called for a scribe, and Ali ibn Abi Talib was the scribe. So Ali RA began writing down, and the Prophet ﷺ dictated. This shows us the assertiveness of the Prophet ﷺ. He isn’t a meak leader – everytime he says something first.
This shows us Suhail might have been the ‘kateeb’ of the Quraysh, but the Prophet ﷺ is even more eloquent. So the Prophet ﷺ said “let us start writing: ‘Bismillah irahmaan araheem'”. Suhail says “as for this phrase I’ve never heard it, and I don’t know who ‘Ar-Rahmaan’ is, let us write it the way we are accustomed ‘BismikAllah hom'”. Again its a matter of ego and pride. And remember what the Prophet ﷺ said very publically so the Muslims understand what is at stake: “by Allah no condition will the Quraysh ask of me, which respects the sign of Allah, except I will give them that condition” i.e. all to avoid bloodshed. Don’t forget they are in the haram, in ihraam during the sacred months, so fighting would be a major sin.
So the Prophet ﷺ agreed, and again the Prophet ﷺ took charge: “this is what Muhammad, RasulAllah has agreed to with Suhail ibn Amr”. And he writes the words ‘RasulAllah’. But by the time Suhail hears this, he says “as for you being RasulAllah, wallaahi if we believed this, neither would we prevent you from the kab’ah, nor would we have fought you. Rather write it the way your people knew you: Muhammad ibn Abdullah”.
Again its major ego – Suhail wants the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ to know ‘we won’t let you get away with anything’. And the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ said “wallaahi I am RasulAllah, even if you deny it, so write down ‘Muhammad ibn Abdullah'”. And Ali RA said “I will not delete ‘RasulAllah'” – Ali RAs own anger got the better of him. So its said in one version, the Prophet ﷺ took it and scrapped it out with his own hands. This shows us the humility of the Prophet ﷺ and the imaan of Ali RA. Amazingly by disobeying the Prophet ﷺ he is honouring him. And the Prophet ﷺ understands Alis dilemma so he rubbed it off himself.
And the Prophet ﷺ said “the Quraysh will let the Muslims do umrah”. Notice again he is no coward – every time he is the one coming forward and dictating. But Suhail says “as for this year, NO, we cannot do this, rather that will be for next year”. Khalas that is is – there is no compromise on this. And this was the main thing the Prophet ﷺ wanted, to do umrah, but Suhail did not allow it. He improvised and said “yes you can do it, but NOT this year, only next”. And then Suhail put forth conditions: “not a single man from us, renegades or defects over to you even if he be on your religion except that you hand him back to us”. Suhail especially has been harmed: his son is on the other side, and his own son is chained up. So he wants this condition because they have lost alot of people from defecting over to Madeenah.
And the Muslims said “subhanAllah what an unfair condition! How can we return any Muslim back to you?!” And a commotion began; and Ali RA did not write it. There is tension and talks that “how can we agree to this?”.
Then Allah willed one of the most interesting and clearly melodramatic epsiodes of the seerah. There is no denying this is the will of Allah, that something happens that is so melodramatic and so difficult to stomach, this was a test for all of the Muslims.
Recall Abu Jandal is still chained up, but he’s been chained for 4.5 years. So he must have figured out a way to get out. But even if he does escape where would he go? He dosen’t have a horse or camel – how would he leave Mecca? On top of that, he would be in chains and people would see him. What would he do? He has no money, no ride, the people of Mecca all know him. Now he’s heard for the last three or four days the Muslims are camped outside.
However he did, he manages to escape – he still has his chains and he flees hoping to be protected by the Muslims. And while they are discussing this very thing – they hear the dangling of the chains, and in the distance they hear Abu Jandal crying out “Ya Muslimeen I found you yes!” Yet he doesn’t know his own father is sitting there. Nor does he know what is being discussed: the very condition being discussed is his freedom. And Suhail turns to the Prophet ﷺ and says “this is the first one that this condition will be applied on”.
So before this condition is written down, a number of sahaba reject and they say “subhanAllah how can we return one of ours to the mushrikoon when he has chosen us as his protection?” And realise if this condition was applied 6 years ago there would be no Islam. And note every one of the muhajir in the Madeenah, this condition would have applied to them. So they feel personally – every few days people migrate and flee from persecution and get protection in Madeenah. However implementing this condition would mean this would cut off completely and there would not be a surge of Islam. And no doubt its a big factor. There’s the issue of quantity and quality for the ummah – also, the moral issue of helping fellow Muslims who want protection. So the Muslims find this condition to be very harsh, and they are objecting to Suhail. The very fact they are objecting while its being said shows how emotional they were.
Technically its not their place to be getting involved. And a number remarked “how can we return a Muslim to the pagans when he has come to us?” But Suhail insists “no this is the condition”. And subhanAllah by the Qadr of Allah right when they are discussing this decision Suhails own captive son, Abu Jadnal, comes to the army of the Muslims. His chains are still tied to his hands, the toture marks are clearly visible, his upper chest is clearly exposed – he was deprived for 4 years plus. When he hears the Muslims are outside the city, he realises now “this is my chance – I can escape right to the army”.
As we explained what are you going to do after you escape? How can you get to Madeenah? But the Muslims were right outside Mecca so this was his golden opportunity. So he throws himself upon the Muslims and he calls out “oh Muslims help me, oh Muslims save me”. And Suhail sees his own son in the distance and he recognises this is Abu Jandal. Of course Abu Jandal dosen’t know his own father is sitting there. Nor does he know what is being discussed: the very condition being discussed is his freedom. And Suhail turns to the Prophet ﷺ and says “this is the first one that this condition will be applied on”. So he is saying “He is the first one you shall return to us as per this condition”. And the Prophet ﷺ said “we haven’t written down this condition yet, we are still discussing them”. But Suhail said “if you don’t agree to this then the treaty will be over”. And obviously this is Suhails son – so he is saying “if you refuse I will not agree with anything ever after this”. The Prophet ﷺ said “gift him to me, then we’ll start the condition after. Just one gift”. And Suhail said “No”.
And the Prophet ﷺ pleads multiple times, and in our entire reading of the seerah there is no other place where the Prophet ﷺ plead this many times. He plead multiple times “just make an exception, gift him to me etc”. But of course Suhail is his father and he said “no – this is the condition take it or leave it”. This went back and forth until finally Mikras, Suhails companion, said “Ok we will guarantee his safety i.e. he won’t be totured”. So Mikras said this to break the deadlock, and Abu Jandal is watching the entire proceedings. His father on one side, the Prophet ﷺ on the other. And its clear that the negotiations are against him.
Abu Jandal cries out “oh Muslims will you return me to the pagans while I come to you as a Muslim?” Put yourself in his shoes. For three, four years he is imprisoned dreaming and hoping to make his way to Madeenah. He is constantly dreaming “when will I get safety, when will I get to Madeenah?!” And subhanAllah look at how he was tested. He freed himself, made it to the Muslims but now he is being turned away. So he is begging for his life “don’t you see what they’ve done to me?” And the narrator in Ibn Hishaam said the marks of toture were very clear. The whips, lashes, chains, blood etc all very clear. And the Prophet ﷺ addressed him directly: “Be patient Abu Jandal, for Allah will make a exit out for you”. And we see here how persistant the Prophet ﷺ was, but when he could not get it, he at the very least gave Abu Jandal a direct consolation.
When Umar RA saw this happening, he stood up and walked towards Abu Jandal and he said to him “be patient oh Abu Jandal, and realise that their blood is not worth anything”. And he said this while he is pointing with his eyes to his sword. That “look, here’s the sword, use it against them (Suhail and Mikras)”. Umar is saying here “we can’t do anything. But if you were to get rid off them, that’s your business and we won’t get involved”. So he gave him this opportunity – that “here’s the sword, take it and do something with it”. But at the end of the day Suhail is his father, and so he did not do this.
And Abu Jandal was therefore put back in his chains and returned to Mecca. But as Mikras said he was not totured thereafter.
And other conditions were placed.
1) No umrah this year for “not let the Arabs say you had the upper hand”. But umrah was allowed next year – and this was a big blow for eagerness of the Muslims. They had been marching for a week, plus being camped for days outside.
2) When umrah takes place next year, the Quraysh will vacate the city for three days and the Muslims can complete their umrah.
3) Not a single man from the Quraysh can renegade or defects over to the Muslims even if he be on Islam except that he is handed back. So if any Muslim rejects the people of Mecca and goes to Madeenah he will be returned.
4) If any Muslim came to Mecca after having rejected Islam and becoming a pagan again, he shall NOT be returned. So it’s clearly a one way street.
5) There would be a peace for 10 years. For 10 years neither side will fight, and both sides said the common Arabic phrase “no armour and no swords”.
6) Both of the two sides can engage with treaties with any other entity. And if any tribe entered with the Muslims, all of these conditions are applied to that tribe, and same for the Quraysh.
`So there is now this sense of political seperation. There is a full right for each camp to negotiate with any other group.
So the conditions were very harsh – especially the first four which was almost a slap in the face of the Muslims. We mentioned it was Ali RA who wrote the contract, except for one phrase ‘RasulAllah’. And both sides had their witnesses. On the side of the Muslims was Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali i.e. all of the four rightly guided khalifas.
On the side of the Quraysh there was Suhail, Mikras and a few more. Before we move on: whatever negatives that we will feel at this point in time, the one biggest positive that is clearly occuring, is that for the very first time the Muslims are being treated as an independant, powerful entity. Yes we feel anger at the conditions, and the sahabas anger was far more than ours, obviously a million times more. But for the first time the Muslims and Quraysh are on the same political table. Because you don’t write a treaty except with an equal.
This shows the Muslims have been upgraded to a status and honour of being a seperate political entity. So much so, notice on one side you have a religious identity: Muslims. On another side, you have a tribal identity: Quraysh. And we see here the clear beginnings of the divide between Islam (truth) and Paganism (falsehood). That in Islam your religion ties you together, whereas in all other societies there are things that trump your religion. So even though they are two different entities, the Muslims was a religious entity.
And regarding the 6th clause: the entire Arabian Peninsula is being divided into two. Islam and Kufr. It is the pre cursor to the conquest of Mecca and the conquest of entire Arabia. In the beginnings of Islam it was just Banu Hashim vs Quraysh i.e. something relatively small. Slowly but surely the entire Arab race is being dragged in. Until finally and this is amazing, within only a few years from this incident there will be no more Arabs who worship idols. SubhanAllah. Think about this – how they were and what happened. So this is the camp being divided. On the one side Islam, on the other side paganism, idoletry, tribalism, Jahiliya etc. So people have to decide to be Muslim or not. So Suhail returns back happy and content. At this Umar RA was the one verbalised what was in the minds of many Muslims. And he came up to the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ and asked him a series of rhetorical questions.
- 1. “Are you not the messenger of Allah?”
- “Are we not upon the truth and the enemies upon the misguidance?”
- “Then how can we accept the lower hand, the humiliation and being disgraced in Islam?”
Put yourself in his shoes and the shoes of the sahaba. The majority of the sahaba are feeling very angry at the Quraysh.
They must be thinking: “How could they have done this to us – and why did we accept? We came in peace, we’ve been waiting here for weeks. We are tired, hungry, away from home – we just want to go to the kab’ah but we’ve been stopped. On top of that now there are all these other conditions. We have to return every Muslim back to them?! And we can allow people from us go to them?”
And the Prophet ﷺ replied to all of this: “I am the messenger of Allah, and I will not disobey Him, and He will help me”. Meaning this was what the Prophet ﷺ was commanded to do. And he is saying he dosen’t know where this is leading or why Allah wanted it to happen.
But, “Allah has told me to accept the conditions, and I will not disobey Him. And He will help me”. And this is a solid response: that Allah will help him. So Umar RA cannot argue. So Umar RA backtracks and attempts a new line of reasoning.
He said “Ya RasulAllah didn’t you tell us we would be doing tawaaf around the kab’ah? You told us but we are not doing it now”. The Prophet ﷺ said “Indeed I told you, but did I say we will do it this year?” Umar RA said “No”. So the Prophet ﷺ said “So you’ll do it next year – my vision will come true, Allah didn’t tell me what year, I assumed its this year but we now know its next year”.
Here we say Umar RAs anger is for the religion of Islam. He is angry because he feels the Muslims have been short changed. His anger is coming for Islam – however its clear he made an error and a mistake to question rasulAllaah. Because the Prophet ﷺ represents Islam completely, and Umar RA does not. And emotions make a man do things they regret. This is why when a man came to the Prophet ﷺ and said “advise me”. The Prophet ﷺ said “don’t get angry”. And the Prophet ﷺ repeated 3x. Because in anger a man does what he regrets. Even though the base of this anger was Islam and imaan, he genuienly felt the religion of Islam was humiliated, but he went beyond his bounds and he himself realises this. But not yet – he needs someone else to put him in his place.
And what man is there to do this to Umar, except Abu Bakr RA. So he goes to Abu Bakr after the Prophet ﷺ, and this again shows us the rank of Abu Bakr. Out of all of the sahaba even Umar knew only Abu Bakr was second to the Prophet ﷺ. And Umar RA asked Abu Bakr the exact same three questions he asked the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ. And Abu Bakr replied “Ya Rajul” and that is a very harsh thing to say. That “Oh man!” “Hey”. “YOU”. so he said “Oh Rajul, watch out, he IS the messenger of Allah, and he will not disobey His Lord, so you hang on the stirup of his saddle otherwise there is no hope for you”.
And we clearly see Abu Bakr has analysed everything, and yet he has no issues accepting whats happened. That Abu Bakr, even though he is angry and hurt, he understands Allah knows best. So he said the exact same things to Umar “yes indeed he said we will do tawaaf, but he didn’t say this year, so we’ll come back and do it next year”. And this shows us that without the Prophet ﷺ teling Abu Bakr, Abu Bakr said the same things as the Prophet ﷺ.
We also see a side of Abu Bakr that is overlooked: our image of Abu Bakr is an extra polite, crying, humble and soft man. This is valid – but there is a harsh side that comes out to protect his messenger and Islam.
And later on when the Prophet ﷺ passes away Umar RA cannot fathom it – he cannot imagine a world without the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ; it is Abu Bakr that puts him in his place. It is Abu Bakr that quotes him the verse. Nobody has the audacity to speak to Umar, except Abu Bakr. SubhanAllah. When push comes to shove, nobody beats Abu Bakr aswell, including Umar.
And Umar RA later on said “after this I continue to performed good deeds hoping Allah will forgive me for what I’ve done”. And its said he freed so many slaves, fasted so many days, prayed so many nights i.e. meaning he realised he done more than what was allowed. And he said “I continued to do things until I feel I had made it up”. And he later remarked during his khilafa that “on the day of Hudaybiyya, the Prophet ﷺ put a condiiton on us, that if any other leader put it on me I would never have accepted this”.
He cannot understand except that it came from the Prophet ﷺ. Also its important to note Umar RA was not alone. Yes he was the only one who went direct to the Prophet ﷺ, but the fustration and anger was common among the sahaba. We find another sahabi, Sahil ibn Hanif, many years later in the battle of Sifeen when the Muslims were lined up to fight other Muslims, he is trying to calm them down. And he says “Oh people always find your own opinions blameworthy over the Quran and Sunnah”. “Verily I remember myself on the day of Abu Jandal..” Notice he didn’t even call it Hudaybiyya. Can you imagine the trauma and shock he had to endure. The sahaba would rather have died in battle defending Abu Jandal that willingly hand it back. This is their imaan. So the whole day is “the day of Abu Jandal”. And he says “If I could have rejected the command of the Prophet ﷺ I would have done so”. This is an amazing quote. Sahil ibn Hanif is a great sahabi. And he confesses something to an open group – because the battle of Sifeen was very traumatic. And there was alot of tensions in both camp, so Sahil wanted to calm them down: “Just obey Allah and His messenger, accuse your own opinions first” i.e. he is trying to prevent the fighting.
Wallaahi this quote needs to memorised by everyone, especially now when everyone thinks their opinion holds more weight than the Quran and Sunnah. Wallaahi it is kufr to deny authentic hadith – this type of attitude is common in the ummah that, when we are quoted a hadith or a verse in the Quran we think “oh no we know better”. This is not Islam – rather Islam is “we hear and we obey”. And this is what Sahil is saying – accuse your own opinions, because “I was about to reject the command of the Prophet ﷺ, and if I could have done it I would have”. Of course later on he himself realised Hudaybiyya was a victory, but at the time all he could see was “we have lost and accepted humiliation”. So many sahaba felt this way.
No doubt we also see a very important lesson in making up ones mistakes. Umar RA made a mistake and he made it up by doing good deeds. Thus the best way to come closer to Allah and make up our bad sins is to increase our good deeds. And this is why REAL tawbah should bring about extra actions and a change in lifestyle. Allah says “excepts who repents and believes AND does righteous deeds”.
This is what Umar RA himself understood – he made a mistake so he did a lot of good deeds to compensate. Also, no doubt what Umar RA did was beyond what was appropiate. The non-sunni group use this type of stuff and say about Umar what they say. But this is ludicrous: his anger isn’t coming from his own ego, its not personal, its not “I’m not going to listen you” like Abdullah ibn Ubay said at Uhud – that is nifaaq and kufr, but rather as for Umar, there is no doubt he went beyond the boundaries.
His emotions and anger got the better of him. But the mistake was a mistake of emotion stemmed from imaan, not of arrogance. Similarly to the man who made a mistake when he found his camel in the middle of the desert. Secondly, where does the emotion come from? For the love and sake of Islam. We need to take this into account, and the Prophet ﷺ and sahaba all understood this, so they let it be.
And Umar RA himself made up for it – so the non-sunni groups have no grounds. The main point is that objecting to, and arguing with, the leader is something the shariah allows. So bringing another point of view and trying to see your viewpoint is allowed. You can criticise and give other positions to the rulers. Of course you cannot make fun of Allah and His messenger – there is a line there. But you have the freedom to argue a point. Umar RA was arguing with three/four tactics. And if this is being done with the Prophet ﷺ, how about normal people? So no doubt if its a legitimate khalifah and he insists then you should follow, but you have the right to object and give a new viewpoint.
So now that this was done, the Prophet ﷺ told all the sahaba “stand up, shave your heads and let us return”. This was such an anti-climatic moment. The sahaba had to wrap up their bags after having been built up that “inshaAllah we will go to the kab’ah, Suhail will make things easy for us etc”. And the sahaba were so depressed that the only time in the whole seerah, nobody had the heart to implement what the Prophet ﷺ said. This really shows us how traumitised they were. One humiliation after another. And then finally “shave your hair and lets go”.
SubhanAllah. By the way, this is a new part of the shariah: that if you cannot go to the kab’ah, you get out of your ihraam, shave your head and return. It’s now a standard part of our shariah – if any of us are prevented to go to the kab’ah (political or economical etc), this is what you do. Wherever you are stuck, then you will shave there, sacrifice your camels there, get out of ihraam right then and there and make it up later on. Now this ruling was new and indeed it was the first time in the history of the seerah they are applying such a ruling. So not only is it anti-climatic, not only is it humuliation, now they are faced with a bizzare ruling. Indeed these animals were meant for the kab’ah, and they thought “our ihraam cannot be removed until we do tawaaf”. Now they’re being told “don’t worry about it – it’s done, shave your hair, sacrifice your camel, get out of ihraam and lets go home”.
So what happened is the entire congregation just sat there and did not move. Of course when no single person is being commanded and all of them sit there, there is a complacency with the mob. So the Prophet ﷺ repeated himself a second time, yet nobody moved. He repeated it a third time and nobody moved.
Clearly the tension is great, and the Prophet ﷺ returns back to his tent. And Ummi Salama in his tent, and the Prophet ﷺ is visibly agitated and he tells her “I commanded them to shave their heads, but not one of them follow me”. Umme Salama then said “do you wish they follow you?” He said “yes”. So she said “why don’t you show them you are doing it, when they see you doing it they will follow you”. SubhanAllah basic human psychology. And the Prophet ﷺ took this advice, went outside, called for his barber and began to shave his hair off in front of everyone.
When the sahaba saw the Prophet ﷺ shaving his hair off and they realised this really is it now, they started fighting one another to shave each others heads.
SubhanAllah. So now everyone is fighting to shave their hair off, and its here aswell the Prophet ﷺ made dua for shaving ones head, that the Prophet ﷺ said “may Allah have mercy for those who shave their head”.. and some sahaba said “and those who cut”. So the Prophet ﷺ repeated “may Allah have mercy for those who shave their head” three times, and on the fourth time he added “and those who cut”. From this we derive clearly that shaving is much more rewarded than trimming. So the animals were sacrificed and it is said the meat was still sent to Mecca. And its also said the first camel which the Prophet ﷺ sent was Abu Jahals camel that he captured during Badr. It was a well known expensive camel, and they recognised it was Abu Jahals. And this was painful for the Quraysh. So nonetheless the Prophet ﷺ shaved his hair, sacrificed the camels and made his way back to Madeenah.
On the way back, Umar RA feels greatly troubled by what he has done and said. When he calms down he realises he needs to apologise and make up to the Prophet ﷺ. So he rides up to the camel of the Prophet ﷺ and tries to engage in conversation. He says ‘salaam’ but there’s no response. He says ‘salaam’ for a second time, and no response. Says ‘salaam’ for the third time, and this is the maximum you are meant to say, and again there was no response.
So Umar RA thought the worst that “I am now finished”. And he said to himself “Let Umars mother mourn the loss of her son”. And he thought that because of what he did, he has lost any chance of mercy and it appears that his fears were confirmed by a rider who says to him “the Prophet ﷺ is calling you”. So he is thinking “this is it I am going to end” – he rides up to the Prophet ﷺ and he sees the Prophet ﷺ face beaming with joy. Just light coming out of it.
And the Prophet ﷺ started reciting the famous verses of Surah Fath that:
- Indeed, We have given you, [O Muhammad], a clear conquest
- That Allah may forgive for you what preceded of your sin and what will follow and complete His favor upon you and guide you to a straight path
- And [that] Allah may aid you with a mighty victory.
And subhanAllah the entire surah was revealed right then and there. The beginning of the surah summarises: “we have surely given you a CLEAR victory”. And Umar RA said “is this a victory?!” And the Prophet ﷺ said “By Allah it is a victory”. So Umar RA began shouting “allahu Akbar” and started racing up and down saying “Allah has given us the biggest victory”. And the Prophet ﷺ said “Allah has sent down a surah that is more beloved to me than everything on this Earth”.
And Surah Fath of course predicts many things, but one of the main themes of the surah is praising the sahaba. And Allah praises them with one of the most poetic examples: he compares them to a beautiful tree that has been planted by a farmer, and the farmer is happy with the tree, and the farmer here is the Prophet ﷺ and he is happy with what the sahaba have done. Indeed no doubt it was a difficult test. But in the end when push comes to shove they followed through. Imagine how much they went through yet they still obeyed.
And so Allah praises the sahaba throughout Fath and He promises them a large victory which was the battle of Khaybar. And Surah Fath changed the Muslims’ attitudes from depression to thanking Allah. And in this there is a very controversial theological point. The fact that the sahabas psychology changed instantly at the revelation of Surah Fath, most notably Umar RA, this clearly demonstrates they realised the humanity of the Prophet ﷺ, and the infalibity of Allahs wahi.
Because the whole point was they were worried that “maybe this is your ijitihad” – they weren’t certain this is all because of Allah. Thats why there were feeling “this isn’t the best”. Until Allah confirms it, and this is a very controversial point that the Prophet ﷺ was allowed ijtihad by Allah, and that ijtihad is binding on the ummah regardless of whatever it is – but the sahaba felt that even though we will follow it, maybe there could have been a better option etc. But Allah says “no this was the greatest victory”.
The change of psychology clearly demonstrates that ijitihad of the Prophet ﷺ is something Allah allowed. And if He wanted to change it He would send wahi, if not Allah would be silent.
So the sahaba returned to Madeenah. They stayed at Hudaybiyya for 20 days, and the entire trip lasted a month and a half.
And when they returned back the first incident occured that will test this treaty and that is of Abu Baseer. He is someone who lives in Mecca, and his tribe, Khuza’a, is associated with Mecca. He is the first muhajir after Hudabiyya, and he comes to Madeenah, but the Prophet ﷺ does not say anything.
After two or three days, the Khuza’a tribe sends an emissary and says to the Prophet ﷺ “hand us back Abu Baseer in accordance to the treaty”. So the Prophet ﷺ calls Abu Baseer and says to him “these two men have come to take you, and you came knowing the treaty we signed, and I won’t be trecharous so return to your people”. Now, notice here Abu Baseer and everyone knows the treaty. But he must feel “come on you won’t really do it”. So he leaves Mecca and comes to Madeenah. And notice when he comes the Prophet ﷺ does not turn him away, why?
Because he is following the treaty to the letter and not the actual spirit of the contract. The letter did not say “YOU have to return the person”. The enforcement of the contract is not up to the Prophet ﷺ. Its open – so the Quraysh come for their people. And when they come the Prophet ﷺ gave them back. So if they had not come, its not the Prophet ﷺ job to enforce.
So Abu Baseer lived for a few days in Madeenah, and when his tribe came the Prophet ﷺ had to give him back. And Abu Buseer says the same thing Abu Jandal says, that “are you going to return me after Allah has saved me?”. And he was told “Allah will make a way out for you”. So Abu Baseer was handed back, and the story goes when he was with their company, he started chatting with them and became friendly with them. And Abu Baseer starts praising one of the mans swords: “I’ve never such a beautiful sword”. So the man starts bragging and saying “I went to this battle, killed so and so etc”. So Abu Baseer says “oh great etc” and made the mans ego bigger.
Then Abu Baseer says “let me see it!” And of course the man hands him the sword naively – instantly, Abu Baseer chops off his head, turns to the other man but he just runs and screams and races back to Madeenah. And he makes it back to Madeenah before Abu Baseer made it back.
And its barely been two hours since the Prophet ﷺ handed Abu Baseer over, and this Qurayshi comes yelling and screaming into the masjid “my companion has been killed and I am next so protect me!”. And after a while Abu Baseer came and said “Ya RasulAllah you fulfilled your responsiblities but Allah allowed me to escape!” And the Prophet ﷺ didn’t address him directly, he turned to the air and said “woe to his mother” meaning he won’t be alive any longer. By turning away the indication is given that ‘before anyone else comes you better get out of my sight. You cannot live here beacuse the treaty clearly says no one can live here’.
And so the Prophet ﷺ basically hinted ‘I can’t help you’ and so Abu Baseer understood this, and he instantly fled and ran away. And he eventually set up a small place to live in close to Jeddah, and he sent a message out that “I’m over here at such and such a place”. At this Abu Jandal hears off this, manages to escape and meets up with Abu Baseer. So the news spreads that “you can’t go to Madeenah so come over to us”. And so 10, 15, 60, 80 people eventually congregate and they form a full settlement away from Madeenah but still a Muslim village.
And what will they do now they are 80 strong? Attack the caravans of the Quraysh. And they made it their livelihood and this is fully justified. The Quraysh did not let them live in Mecca in peace, they didn’t let them go to Madeenah, so now they will attack back, and they became a sore in the eyes of the Quraysh, they realy stung their caravans.
And notice aswell the treaty said there will be peace for 10 years: but this group is not being allowed to sign a treaty with the Prophet ﷺ, by the orders of the Quraysh. So they aren’t on the side of the Prophet ﷺ officialy, so the treaty dosen’t apply to them. Thus they make it their livelihood that every caravan that went to Syria would be attacked. And the situation became so bad because it was impossible to protect a caravan on 90 camels against fighting men that lived in a desert. The Quraysh had no idea where they would attack from. So within a year and half, the Quraysh sent a delegation to Madeenah begging the Prophet ﷺ to take the 80 people and put them in Madeenah. He begged the Prophet ﷺ by the rights of kinship that “if you really are our blood, have mercy and take these people and keep them with you in Madeenah”.
And so the Prophet ﷺ sent a messenger to Abu Baseer and told him to bring all his people back. Abu Baseer however died out of sickness before he reached Madeenah, but the rest of the sahaba went to Madeenah and settled there. And here we see a first sign of the ‘victory’ of Hudaybiyya. And we see here again Allah is the best of all planners. And look at the wisdom of Allah: the pagans have to beg the Prophet ﷺ to take back the very people they stopped in the first place. And the very person who set it all off, Abu Jandal, he is the one who led the camp back into Madeenah.
Also an amazing lesson is the imaan of Abu Jandal in paticular, and then Abu Baseer. Can you think off a test more difficult than being rejected for political reasons by the very Prophet ﷺ you believe in? Abu Jadnal was totured for four years, and he finally saw the Muslims and the Prophet ﷺ, and yet the Prophet ﷺ said “I can’t help you”. Can you imagine how their imaan was shook to the core? Look at how weak our imaan is compared to Abu Jandal. The very messenger he trusts tells him “I can’t do anything”. Abu Jandal remained firm and what happens out of nowhere he returns to Madeenah leading an entire caravan with lots of ghaneema from the Quraysh. SubhanAllah. He who puts his trust in Allah, Allah will always fulfill that trust.
And Abu Baseer shows this too. Twice he comes to Madeenah yet still the Prophet ﷺ says ‘I can’t help you’. Abu Baseer can’t go back to Mecca, he can’t go back to Madeenah, and every other city has a treaty either with the Quraysh or the Muslims. There is no neutral land! What does he do? He finds his own settlement and village.
One person all alone. And can you imagine how long he was alone for, how he survived etc. Put yourself in his shoes: no wife, no family and no society. But then Abu Jandal heres where he is and he manages to meet up with Abu Baseer. Both of them are legends and instantly one, two, ten, 70, 80 build in one place. This is what happens when you have ultimate taqwah in Allah.
After Abu Baseer another immigrant came but this was Umme Kulthoom bint Uqbah ibn Muayt. And Ubqab was the one who threw the camels intenstines on the Prophet ﷺ. He had a daughter, Umme Kulthoom who converted to Islam at around this time. And she flees persectuion and she finds her way to Madeenah. Now this is very sensitive. Its one thing to return a man to be totured, but to return a women? This is very painful.
Even the Prophet ﷺ did not know to do. And then Allah revealed Surah Mumtahinah, verse 10: “O you who have believed, when the believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them. Allah is most knowing as to their faith. And if you know them to be believers, then do not return them to the disbelievers; they are not lawful [wives] for them, nor are they lawful [husbands] for them. But give the disbelievers what they have spent. And there is no blame upon you if you marry them when you have given them their due compensation. And hold not to marriage bonds with disbelieving women, but ask for what you have spent and let them ask for what they have spent. That is the judgement of Allah ; He judges between you. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.”
So you must first test the women and if they are genuine converts, “don’t return them to the kuffar”. And Umme Kulthoom was married to Zaid ibn Harithah, but any other women with mahr has to return that mahr. Now why was it allowed to have the women stay? Because once again the Prophet ﷺ is following the letter of the law. It was Suhail who said “no MAN shall come to you except you return HIM to us”. Its understood ‘man’ here applies to a person, male or female. And so no doubt it includes women but it dosen’t say so. So Allah confirms this and says “you did not agree to sending women back, only men”.
And thus Allah made the decree it will not apply to women, and therefore women were allowed to immigrate.
One last thing occured on the way back of Hudaybiyya. After a long day of heavy marching, and it was the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ to march as much as he could at night time. In a hadith the Prophet ﷺ says “land shortens at night” meaning you can cover much more distance at night. So the Prophet ﷺ travelled as much as he could, until finally when everyone is exhausted the sahaba all settle down, and the Prophet ﷺ says “who shall protect us and wake us for Fajr?” And Bilal RA volunteers to be the guard, protector and the alarm clock. But everyone is dead tired, and the first to wake up was the Prophet ﷺ Abu Bakr or Umar when they felt the rays of sun on their head. So this was around 8:00 in the morning.
Imagine how tired they were. For a group that never ever sleeps past the crack of dawn – they are programmed to wake up at dawn, not just because of Fajr but their livelihood. The entire 1400, not a single one woke up until the heat of the sun got to them. And Abu Bakr or Umar start saying “Allahu Akbar!” – of course they never had the audacity to wake the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ up by shaking him. So the Prophet ﷺ woke up, and lo and behold Bilal RA is still asleep. They all surround Bilal RA and he is still asleep. Obviously he tried his best, but sleep got the better off him. And he was the last to fall asleep so he is the last to wake up.
So Bilal wakes up and everyone is staring at him, and so he said “Ya RasulAllah I tried but the One who took my soul took my soul”. So the Prophet ﷺ said “let us get away from this place” and they prayed Fajr a little bit further away.
Did this happen twice or once? We already mentioned this story in a previous year – some scholars say it happened twice in the life of the Prophet ﷺ, others only once. And note the only salah to be missed by the Prophet ﷺ is Fajr which was this time. Only Asr was missed during Khandaq, not out of laziness but war.
And the Prophet ﷺ made Asr up before he prayed Magrib which is what we do now (make up first and then pray the current). Here its no doubt a blessing in disguide: the once salah humanity oversleeps is Fajr.
In the entire 23 years of the Prophet ﷺ, once OR maybe twice max he missed Fajr. Both of them never once at home. He only missed them after something like this – a long day of camping and oversleeping. In this there is some consolation that its human once in a blue moon to miss Fajr.
Of course there is no comparison, we have beds, heaters, alarm clocks etc. But the point is if Allah wanted Jibreel AS could have woken him up. But there is a wisdom here and that is that, even the best of us, once a while if something happens, the alarm clock dosen’t go off, we don’t wake up etc and we miss Fajr, we ask forgiveness and make it up right away.
As we mentioned surah Fath came down in its entirety while the Prophet ﷺ is going back to Mecca. And this was a very rare thing. Surah Baqarah took 9 years to come down; other surahs came down over time.
But Fath came down in one whole go:
- Indeed, We have given you, [O Muhammad], a clear conquest
- That Allah may forgive for you what preceded of your sin and what will follow and complete His favor upon you and guide you to a straight path
- And [that] Allah may aid you with a mighty victory. So Allah is saying this treaty and incident is another way of showing honour and forigiving sins of the Prophet ﷺ. Also any honour or blessing given forgives sins.
- It is He who sent down tranquillity into the hearts of the believers that they would increase in faith along with their [present] faith. And to Allah belong the soldiers of the heavens and the earth, and ever is Allah Knowing and Wise.
- [And] that He may admit the believing men and the believing women to gardens beneath which rivers flow to abide therein eternally and remove from them their misdeeds – and ever is that, in the sight of Allah , a great attainment – So Allah has given the conquest to forigve the Prophet ﷺs sins and cause the believers to enter Jannah.
- And [that] He may punish the hypocrite men and hypocrite women, and the polytheist men and polytheist women – those who assume about Allah an assumption of evil nature. Upon them is a misfortune of evil nature; and Allah has become angry with them and has cursed them and prepared for them Hell, and evil it is as a destination.
- And to Allah belong the soldiers of the heavens and the earth. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.
- Indeed, We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner
- That you [people] may believe in Allah and His Messenger and honor him and respect the Prophet ﷺ and exalt Allah morning and afternoon.
- Indeed, those who pledge allegiance to you, [O Muhammad] – they are actually pledging allegiance to Allah . The hand of Allah is over their hands. So he who breaks his word only breaks it to the detriment of himself. And he who fulfills that which he has promised Allah – He will give him a great reward. So Allah is saying the hand of Allah is over the sahabas hands when they gave the bayaatul Ridwan.
- Those who remained behind of the bedouins will say to you, “Our properties and our families occupied us, so ask forgiveness for us.” They say with their tongues what is not within their hearts. Say, “Then who could prevent Allah at all if He intended for you harm or intended for you benefit? Rather, ever is Allah , with what you do, Acquainted. Here the munfaiqun are referenced and their excuses are mentioned clearly.
- But you thought that the Messenger and the believers would never return to their families, ever, and that was made pleasing in your hearts. And you assumed an assumption of evil and became a people ruined.” So Allah exposes their excuse. Of course there is so many miracles: before the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ returns to Madeenah Allah tells the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ what the bedouins will tell him. And the bedouins had not even heard Surah Fath yet, but when the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ asked them they literally quoted Surah Fath. They give an excuse that “we’re busy, harvest season etc”. They in fact thought the Quraysh would kill the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ which was very evil.
- And whoever has not believed in Allah and His Messenger – then indeed, We have prepared for the disbelievers a Blaze.
- And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.
- Those who remained behind will say when you set out toward the war booty to take it, “Let us follow you.” They wish to change the words of Allah . Say, “Never will you follow us. Thus did Allah say before.” So they will say, “Rather, you envy us.” But [in fact] they were not understanding except a little.
- Say to those who remained behind of the bedouins, “You will be called to [face] a people of great military might; you may fight them, or they will submit. So if you obey, Allah will give you a good reward; but if you turn away as you turned away before, He will punish you with a painful punishment.”
- There is not upon the blind any guilt or upon the lame any guilt or upon the ill any guilt [for remaining behind]. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger – He will admit him to gardens beneath which rivers flow; but whoever turns away – He will punish him with a painful punishment.
- Certainly was Allah pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you, [O Muhammad], under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquillity upon them and rewarded them with an imminent conquest This is the highest level of praise here. Allah exposed the hearts of the hypocrites as He knows whats in their hearts, but this verse is affirming the believers were genuine. And Allah promises the believers a “near victory” and as will see it is the conquest of Khaybar, and in it the Muslims will get the greatest booty ever recieved up until now.
- And much war booty which they will take. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.
- Allah has promised you much booty that you will take [in the future] and has hastened for you this [victory] and withheld the hands of people from you – that it may be a sign for the believers and [that] He may guide you to a straight path.
- And [He promises] other [victories] that you were [so far] unable to [realize] which Allah has already encompassed. And ever is Allah , over all things, competent.
- And if those [Makkans] who disbelieve had fought you, they would have turned their backs [in flight]. Then they would not find a protector or a helper. And subhanAllah Allah is saying even if there was a war, the Muslims would have remained and the Quraysh would have fled. And this is another phrase of great praise for the muhajir and Ansar. And we see here Allah knows past, present and future, but He also knows the future that didn’t happen – if it did, HOW it would have happened Allah knows. SubhanAllah. This is also of the knowledge of Allah. Allah is predicting something here that didn’t happen. There was no battle. Yet Allah says “if you would have fought them they would have fled”.
- [This is] the established way of Allah which has occurred before. And never will you find in the way of Allah any change.
- And it is He who withheld their hands from you and your hands from them within [the area of] Makkah after He caused you to overcome them. And ever is Allah of what you do, Seeing.
- They are the ones who disbelieved and obstructed you from al-Masjid al-Haram while the offering was prevented from reaching its place of sacrifice. And if not for believing men and believing women whom you did not know – that you might trample them and there would befall you because of them dishonor without [your] knowledge – [you would have been permitted to enter Makkah]. [This was so] that Allah might admit to His mercy whom He willed. If they had been apart [from them], We would have punished those who disbelieved among them with painful punishment Allah is criticising the Quraysh here that they prevented the Muslims from entering Mecca. He also is saying in Mecca there are many Muslims who are persecuted and hiding their faiths. And if there was a battle, they would be forced to be on the side of the Quraysh, and so the Muslims could have killed them which would led to a large amount of grief.
- When those who disbelieved had put into their hearts chauvinism – the chauvinism of the time of ignorance. But Allah sent down His tranquillity upon His Messenger and upon the believers and imposed upon them the word of righteousness, and they were more deserving of it and worthy of it. And ever is Allah , of all things, Knowing.
- Certainly has Allah showed to His Messenger the vision in truth. You will surely enter al-Masjid al-Haram, if Allah wills, in safety, with your heads shaved and [hair] shortened, not fearing [anyone]. He knew what you did not know and has arranged before that a conquest near [at hand]. In the final verse Allah reaffirms the vision and dream, that surely Allah has shown the Prophet ﷺ a true dream. And the Muslims WILL enter Mecca. And Allah says they will get a victory in the future; some scholars say this was either Khaybar or the conquest of Mecca (or other victories as we’ll see).
- It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion. And sufficient is Allah as Witness.
- Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah ; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers – so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.The final verse has the phrase ‘Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’ and this phrase only occurs twice in the whole Quran.
The rest of the verse is a praise for the muhajir and Ansar. Those who are ‘WITH’ him. Again there is immense praise for the sahaba here. Andanother interesting fact the last verse of Surah Fath is one of only two verses in the Quran in which ever single letter of the Arabic alphabet occurs.
Historical Seerah benefits of Hudaybiyyah
- Of the greatest benefit is that is forced the Quraysh to treat the Muslims like an equal party. For the first time the Quraysh and the Prophet ﷺ complete a treaty as equals. Therefore this demonstrates the Muslims aren’t only gaining, eventually they will gain an upper hand. Many of the Quraysh realise the tide is turning, and this realisation made them so paranoid they said “whatever happens you won’t enter this year, ‘let not the Arabs say you had the upper hand over us'”. This in fact shows the Muslims DID have the upper hand but there is this stubborn and arrogance. In this we notice their insecurity and as the tables are turning, some of them embraced Islam. And very soon we will come to the last converts before the conquest of Mecca: Khalid ibn Waleed, Uthman ibn Abi Talha and Amr ibn Al As. It was the treaty of Hudaybiyya which was the last straw – they realised without doubt Islam is the truth. And these group of people needed to see signs before embracing Islam and Hudaybiyya was that final sign.
- This peice brought about for the Muslims a comfort and security they never felt before. Badr, Uhud, Khandaq etc. These are all fresh and recent. And there was always a fear of ‘when will they attack again?’. But now this treaty is in place, it brings about a sense of peace and calm. And this allows the Muslims to concentrate on other issues. First and foremost, the issue of the remaining jewish tribes which were in Khaybar. There was a big thorn to the Muslims from the Banu Nadheer and Banu Qaynuqa living in Khaybar – and why couldn’t the Muslims deal with them before? Khaybar was a fortress. And it will require alot of work – who has the time and energy to dedicate on it when the Quraysh are a threat?
- This peace allowed for the first time for the Prophet ﷺ to act globally. Now that the local threat is eliminated, for the very first time he starts writing letters to international leaders. Hudaybiyya took place in the 7th Hijrah and the letters started in the 8th Hijrah.
- It showed the Muslim ummah is a truely political independant entity. The Prophet ﷺ is writing letters to the leaders as a political leader.
- Perhaps the best seerah blessing was that it allowed for the first time Muslims and pagans to interact without fear of any bloodshed. Throughout the Arabian penesillia, it allowed Muslims and pagans to engage in buying, selling, mixing with one another etc. And this allowed the message of Islam to spread peacefully which led to many people converting. Thus Hudaybiyya was a jihad of peace and dawah, and it was far more effective than any jihad of war. You will never convert people by the sword. But you will with peace and talking. Ibn Shihab al-Dhuhri, the most famous scholars of the tabioon, died 124H and clearly he is one of the main architects of our fiqh, usool, seerah etc. We don’t know much about him but we owe almost everything to him. Al Dhuhri said there was no victory given to Islam before Hudaybiyya than Hudaybiyya. Why? He says “the people were all at peace with one another, so they would mix and talk about Islam, and so not a single intellgant person heard about Islam except that he entered it. And in the next two years after Hudaybiyya, the number of Muslims doubled or even more than this”. SubhanAllah in just two years the number of converts doubles from the 19 years of preaching pre-Hudaybiyya. Think about that. And ibn Hisham quotes al Dhuhri and then he says “the proof of Al Dhuhri’s statement is that
In Bayaatul Ridwan there were 1400 people, two years later in the conquest of MEcca there are 10,000 people”. So all you have to do is look at the numbers: the bulk of Muslims participated in bayaatul Ridwan. Just two years later 1400 became 10,000. Where did these 8,600 come from? The two years in between of peaceful free dawah.
- The sahaba present during Hudaybiyya were given of the highest blessing and status. As we said the Prophet ﷺ said to the sahaba “you are the best people on Earth” and he said “no one who gave me the bayaa will ever enter the fire of hell”.
- Hudaybiyya was a direct line to the conquest of Mecca. It was this treaty which allowed the Prophet ﷺ to engage in a military expedition when the Quraysh broke the treaty. Thus without Hudaybiyya there would be NO conquest of Mecca.So it was the most clearest and greatest victory without a doubt.
Aqeedah Benefits of Hudaybiyyah:
- Ibn al-Qayyim writes, and note Ibn al-Qayyim was one of the greatest masters at extracting benefits from the seerah. Hardly anyone has done this type of analysis, which is to really THINK about the seerah and then extract points of benefits. So Ibn al-Qayyim says “of the benefits from Hudaybiyya, the permissability of standing guard for a person of importance”. Typically this is not allowed: our Prophet ﷺ has forbidden a Muslim ruler to sit while everyone stands in his presence. So the general rule is you don’t stand up as a token of respect. But in Hudaybiyya when the emissaries came Abu Bakr all stood up with their swords ready. Even though it was never the habit of the Prophet ﷺ to have armed bodyguards, at Hudaybiyya it took place to show the Quraysh the Muslims respect their leader at the most. To show them the protocol they were accustomed to. If the sahaba had all been sitting down, the emissaries of the Quraysh would have understood “you don’t care about your leader”. So in this case it was allowed.
- The issue of Al-Fa’l which was optimism and good omens. Reading in something positive, and the two conditions for it being legitimate was:i) a positive sign/message (no such thing as bad luck)ii) the message is linked to Allah so you say ‘it’s from Allah’And the Prophet ﷺ when Suhail came he said “now Allah is sending the ease” so from Suhails name which means easiness he derived a positive omen.
- At one point in time it rained very hard during the 20 days camp of Hudaybiyya. So one or two of the Muslims remarked “it rained because of such-and-such a star”. The Prophet ﷺ after Asr salah said “do you know what Allah said last night?” Allah said “some of my believers have woken up believing in me, and others have woken up believing in the stars and rejecting me”. So those who said “its rained because of the stars” have rejected Allah. Alot of theology here but briefly, we see the superstitous customs of Arabs of attributing rain to stars or seasons etc is clearly haraam. In our times we have similar types of things. There is no doubt when the sahaba said this they did not mean it in their hearts. So when you say something without meaning it, it’s minor shirk. When you say it and mean it it is major sick. Therefore we must ascribe everything to Allah. We cannot say “I was sick but the doctor cured me”. We don’t say “that house was under fire but the fireman saved the house”. This is inappropiate and minor shirk. We say “I was sick but Allah cured me through the efforts of the doctor”. We link it with Allah. We don’t like it to secondary causes. We believe of course in causality but we don’t ascribe blessings except to Allah. This is proven in this hadith. You never say “it rained because of the star”.
- The issue of the remnants of the Prophet ﷺ wudu, spit, hair etc to seek blessings. We clearly see from hadith this was something that is clearly allowed and no-one can deny this. Its clearly allowed the sahaba could seek blessings from the Prophet ﷺ in this way, but only for him and no-one else. No other person is of this level, that we kiss someones hand and try to get blessings. This is wrong and haraam. Also there is an authentic hadith wherein the Prophet ﷺ said “why are you doing this?” They said “because we wish to get blessings”. The Prophet ﷺ said “whoever wishes Allah and His messenger love him, let him be truthful in his speech, trustworthy in his promises and let him not irritate his neighbours”. So the Prophet ﷺ is not forbidding the sahaba to get blessings from remnants of wudu etc but he is saying to get even more blessings speak truthfully, be trustworthy etc.
- Of the greatest benefits is the issue of Qadr. And that is that, sometimes things happens and we don’t understand what happens. On the surface it appears nothing but wrong, chaos, evil and harm. Yet Allah knows and we do not know. Indeed one of the fundamentals of Qadr is to put your faith in Allah. And you expect the best from Allah. Allah says “It is possible you hate something but Allah will bring alot of good from that thing you hate”. This is the perfect example. Even the Prophet ﷺ did not know what to say to Umar RA. All he says is “Allah will help me”. Indeed at face value it seems as a complete humiliation, but it turned out to be the single greatest victory ever.
- From the incident we learn to never ever assume we know better than the Quran and Sunnah. Umar RA and Suhail ibn Hanif both of them said “accuse your own opinion before you accuse the religion”. SubhanAllah. Umar RA said “I saw myself almost rejecting Islam” meaning he is worried on that day he might have gone into kuffar. Therefore you NEVER say “I think” or “My opinion is” when Allah and His messenger have spoken. When there is clear cut explicit verses/hadiths our opinion dosen’t matter. When the Quran and Sunnah is explicit, we obey.7. Very interesting tangent: a huge controversy erupted in Andaloos over the question ‘did the Prophet ﷺ read or write or not?’ One of the great maliki scholars Al Baji in Andaloos claimed the Prophet ﷺ can read and write. And this spread amongst the masses, and other scholars got involved and they said “anyone who claims the Prophet ﷺ can read or write is a KAFIR”. Why? In the Quran it says the Prophet ﷺ was “an unlettered Prophet ﷺ”. So there was a literal court case brought against Abu Waleed al Baji, the most famous scholar of his time, and the Sultan had to get involved, and he basically said “look all of the scholars are accusing you of being a kaafir”. Al Baji said “I have clear evidences he can read and write”. Sultan said “what?” Al Baji said “number one evidence, hadith in Bukhaari, incident of Hudaybiyya that when Ali RA refused to erase ‘RasulAllah’, one version in Bukhaari literally says the Prophet ﷺ took the kitaab, he didn’t know how to write and he wrote ‘Muhammad ibn Abdullah'”. So this version in Bukhaari says “he didn’t know how to read or write, but HE WROTE”. The scholars said in response how about the verse in the Quran? He said that verse describes the Prophet ﷺ in the early stage i.e. when he didn’t know how to read or write. But later on he learnt. Then they said “you never wrote with your right hand”. And he said “this ayah is in evidence for me and against you”. Why? Because it says “from before the revelation of the Quran, you didn’t recite a book or write” which means AFTER the Quran was revealed the Prophet ﷺ DID KNOW how to read and write. And the other scholars could NOT defeat him. And in the end the case was dismissed because he had legitimate Quranic and Sunnah evidences against them. They could not say it was kuffar. And this shows it is up to the scholars of theology especially to know what is kuffar and not. In the end the case was dismissed and he held this position until he died. But it remained a minority position, and later scholars wrote entire volumes on this issue to refute him. The majority opinion remains that the Prophet ﷺ was unlettered. As for the version in Bukhaari there are two interpretations: first is that he wrote his name only, and the evidence for this is that most people who can’t read and write can at least write their name. The second stronger opinion, sticking to the Quran when it says the Prophet ﷺ was an ‘unlettered Prophet ﷺ’ and when it says ‘you never wrote with your hand’. Even though it says this phrase in the past, it dosen’t mean it became true in the future. In Usool al Fiqh this is ‘mafool al macaalaf’ and its not a very strong ‘istidlaal’. So they say the Prophet ﷺ did not write but he commanded someone to write. When we say for example ‘the governer rebuilt the highway’ we mean the governer COMMANDED the rebuilding of the highway. It’s allowed to speak in this type of language when the leader is involved. So its clear the Prophet ﷺ commanded someone to write.
Fiqh Benefits of Hudaybiyyah
- The most obvious blatant fiqh benefit is the permisability of engaging in peace treaties with an otherwise completely evil enemy. The Quraysh were not neutral about freedom and democracy, they were the worst enemy the ummah has ever seen. Why? Nobody has ever opposed the Prophet ﷺ except for the Quraysh. Anytime a group of people oppose Muslims now, they are not opposing the Prophet ﷺ – but the only people who opposed the one man whom Allah sent was the Prophet ﷺ. Even when an enemy attacks an Islamic state because of religion, they are not attacking the Prophet ﷺ himself directly. However the Quraysh attacked him, expelled him, persecuted him etc. What greater injustice is this. Yet still the Prophet ﷺ engaged with them and had a peace treaty with them. Thus even the most vile and crookest and evil people can be engaged with in peace treaty. Imam Shafi’ says the maximum is 10 years of peace but you keep on renewing if you want. Abu Hanifah said “10 years was just what the Prophet ﷺ did, there is no limit”. And this is the stronger position, just because the Prophet ﷺ ﷺ said 10, it isn’t the maximum. And some modern scholars Al Kardawi and others say in light of current circumstances, we can extrapolate there can be permanent peace if that is the way the world is expected to be.
- Even though vulgarity and cursing is haraam, there are some very specific scenarios where it becomes allowed. Abu Bakrs cure was so extremely vulgar but the fact that someone as shy, humble, full of adhab etc utters such a curse to get a point across to someone who just insulted Islam and the Prophet ﷺ, shows there are minor exceptions to the rule because the Prophet ﷺ didn’t criticise Abu Bakr afterwards.
- The one who cannot continue Hajj or Umrah must stop where he is, shaves his hair, sacrifices the animal and removes his ihraam.
- The ruling for ihraam is that you can get out of it for a legitimate reason. A sahabi, Ka’ab ibn Ujrah, suffered from a major medical issue which was that he was infested with lice. And he was highly sick and irritated, and when the Prophet ﷺ saw him he said “why didn’t you tell me it was this bad? Shave your hair off and then give a fidyaa”. So in ihraam if you have a medical issue because of which you must wear other clothes, its completely legit. They must do it and then they give a fidyaa (feeding people etc). So any legit reason for breaking the ihraam is allowed.
- Ibn al Qayyim mentions the permissibility of seeking the help of a pagan if you trust him. According to ibn Al Qayyim the first envoy the Prophet ﷺ sent (Bishar) was a pagan; others say he was a new convert to Islam. In our seerah we took the line he is a Muslim however ibn al Qayyim felt it he was not. But we know even if this evidence is not strong its allowed to seek help from trustworthy non Muslims from the hijrah etc.
- The permissibility of being literal about a treaty even if you contradict the spirit of the treaty. One example is that of women migrating. The treaty said “no MAN shall come” so in this case the Prophet ﷺ stuck by the letter and retained any women who seeked protection in Madeenah. Also the Prophet ﷺ was not told its his job to send the people who came to him back. So much so when Abu Baseer came back again, the Prophet ﷺ just spoke to the air and said “if only there was someone to help him” i.e. he allowed him the opportunity to leave. So the Prophet ﷺ wasn’t obliged to hand over Muslims who came to him back to the Quraysh; this was not in the treaty.
- We mentioned it rained severely, and on the day it rained Maghrib and Isha was not prayed in Jama’a. On this day the muazzin changed the azan and to this day we are meant to change the azaan when Muslims cannot enter the masjid. We change “hasten to salah” to “pray in your homes”. The sahaba said “pray in your tents” in the azaan. Similarly the sahaba prayed in their tents and not in Jama’a. This shows in times of difficulty (winds, snow etc) it is better not to pray in Jama’a.
- If one oversleeps Fajr, in a lifetime it happened once to the Prophet ﷺ (or maybe twice), never once in Mecca or Madeenah. And in this there is mercy in Allah – it is something that once in a while happens so we should ask Allah for forgiveness and pray as soon as we can.
- Modern Political thought benefits
The treaty of Hudaybiyya and the slander of Aisha RA. These two were the most intruging. Especially the treaty of Hudaybiyya because it is very relevant (RE 9/11). Because the fact is we are living in difficult times, and there are so many internal and external problems. The people are far from Islam, the rulers are who they are and to make matters worse non-Muslim governments are harming the ummah with political and economic policies etc. So many things going on – the creation of Isreal, the persecution of Palestine, large loans to countries and then interest and cheap exportation of goods etc. This is blatant criminal behaviour but this is the reality. Militarily with drones and the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan etc.
These policies are affecting Muslims so much so it is the belief the west is engaging in an all out war against Islam. This is a belief many people hold. This in turn has caused people to react in many different ways. Many people around the world hate America for what they’ve done. And indeed its not only Muslim lands. So all of this has caused alot of people to react in different ways. Some of them verbally, others physical eg: Al Qaida. Many of them say its haraam for us to remain in the west, to be paying taxes etc. Why?
Because its not faithful to Allah – you are funding the killing of Muslims. Much can be said but for now, but we look atit objectively if the lands that had oil in them were bhuddists, it would not have changed American forgein policy that much. That is, its not a war against Islam as a whole.
Yes it helps they label the Muslims as the brown “other”. But in essence what America and the West in general is doing is in its own interest: economically and politically, not to directly attack Islam. The point is that western Muslims are accused of doing that which is haraam. What does Hudaybiyya do? It shows us it is allowed for different portions of the ummah to have different treaties and alliances with those who are pure enimies of Allah and His messenger. How much more so when there is no khalifa, when the current countries might not be fighting for religion. They aren’t even religious people! By and large American foreign policy dosen’t stem from the Bible. It stems from their love of power and money.
Putting this all together, we learn…
From Hudaybiyya we learn it is allowed to have treaties with some political entities even if that entity is harming or even killing some Muslims. Can you imagine the personal pain and anguish of the Prophet ﷺ, as he sees Abu Jandal himself with blood and chains saying “you will return me to them when I seek protection from you?!” This is why Umar RA lost it that “how can we return him?” But this sacrifice needed to be made to achieve the greater good of the treaty. Indeed Allah called it a great victory, but it clearly did not appear this way initially. In our times we don’t have Abu Jandal but we have the prisoners of the many Prisons and the infamous Gunatanamo bay.
On top of this, the hundreds of thousands who have been killed by drones, invasions, wars etc.
And our heart bleeds for them – and we are very angry but no doubt at the end of the day, it is still allowed to engage in treaties for the sake of good. What is that good?
In light of current circumstances of the world, we living in the west are afforded the opportunity to worship Allah, and do dawah etc in ways even if we were in Muslim lands we could not do.
As we speak there are at least 50 million Muslims living in western democracies. Just discussing the main European powerhouses at least 50 million. What will we say to them? That they must leave? Where will they go? What land will take them? On top of this, some shooyukh do view western governments to be waging war against Islam. Others say They just do it for greed and power. But its not just Muslims, this is the reality of an empire. The point being, western Muslims need to decide: do they wish to enter a treaty with the governments in return for rights and privilleges?
Indeed even more so those born in the west, where are they meant to go, the one born in Australia or America or England, where does that one go, his home is where he was born, where he grew up in, it is a very difficult hypothesis?
So the treaty of Hudaybiyya teaches us it is allowed for Muslims to have different political treaties. What might be allowed for one group might be haraam for another. So for western Muslims to be living in this land with a visa and passport – this is their treaty. And whats the conditions?
You must be a law abiding citizen. If you have a passport, the laws become binding even if you see Abu Jandal.
Someone will say Hudaybiyya was unique to the Prophet ﷺ. But this attitude destroys the whole seerah. The general rule is anything the Prophet ﷺ does is something he does for us. Thus the concept of making treaties we extract, and further Abu Jandal and Abu Baseer could do things which the Prophet ﷺ could not do (i.e. raid caravans).
So it is allowed for scholars to make itjihad, and its allowed for them to extrapolate from Hudaybiyya.
- Yes, if we say a person with a visa and passport cannot do certain things, that does not mean other Muslims cannot.
- As for Muslims living in foreign lands, if they defend their land against an invasion this is allowed.
- But if you hold a passport, you cannot go against your own ‘treaty’ which is an agreement with the government to obey the laws.
And those people who are, let’s call them fanatics, generally speaking don’t have scholars amongst them.
By and large mainstream scholars of all sunni movements, they are opposed to this type of military action and fanaticism. And they never talk about issues of fiqh, spirituality etc, its always jihad. And jihad is a very deep and importnant topic, and to master it you must master all the other fields. The main issue is that the people who get caught up in the Jihadi movement are for the most part not scholarly, and they do not go to proper scholars, they listen to self-taught people who claim they are scholars.
Another point of criticism is that, they follow opinions from which they construct a position that frankly, a basic understanding of the Quran and seerah is enough to refute.
You don’t need to be a scholar to know suicide bombing is haraam – that blowing up a shia mosque is haraam – or someone going into a shopping mall and killing kids is haraam.(And I am not talking all of the time all of the places, because there is always an exception, a person may be pressured to commit an act that is forbidden, Like Amar Ibn Yassir)
And anytime you try to reason with these fanatics they say “oh but they did this” – all the people they kill are innocents!
If they fight back against the real people attacking them this is fine! But responding by killing innocent men, women and children – no good comes from this. Just further destruction and chaos. What was accomplished, what have you gained by killing innocent people except you made your self equal to the tyrants?!
Wallaahi our hearts bleed for the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay; the inhumanity is just sad and pathetic. They treat dogs better than our brothers in Guantanamo Bay – we know this. But what can we do?
Make dua to Allah, make our own lives better, protest it in the right way, and I do not mean picket, but engage intellectually educate your selves, academically they can not compete with the muslims, we are doctors, engineers, architects, surgeons. But for the benefit of the ummah we must be rational. What will be accomplished by pricking a pin in the tyrant? What is the backlash? Allah will take care.
And as for people with passports, you are in a treaty whether you like it or not, and we cannot lie OR GO against the treaty, as this would be going against the sunnah.
I ask Allah to grat us a firm understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah, so that we are able to relay it to others.
والله تعالى أعلم
وصلى اللهم وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه والتابعين
أخوك أبو ناصر