The Fath of Mecca: The Truth Has Arrived and Falsehood Perished

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What is the conquest of mecca? What is the fath of mecca?

The period of peace, according to the Treaty of Hudaybiyah signed between the Muslims of Medina and the idolaters of Mecca, was to last ten years. Feelings of unease were creeping more and more into the idolaters, however, with each passing day, seeing Islam take the entire Arabia in its hold. They hence began feeling an urgent need for violating the terms of the Treaty, and as time passed, they began to show nerve and give an open signal that they would not abide by the terms for much longer. Only seventeen or eighteen months had passed since the Treaty when the Meccans provoked the Banu Bakr tribe, their allies, to attack Huzaa, who were Muslims and therefore untouchable by the terms of the Treaty. Reportedly, some Qurayshis also took active part in this callous attack.[1]

Huzaa, who had pledged allegiance to the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, were offering their salats when the attack took place; some were in sajdah, some in ruqu, while others in qiyam, as the brutal massacre staked a claim to their lives. Some managed to make it to the Haram territory, the inviolable sanctuary where they hoped to save their lives. But enraged, Banu Bakr and the few men of Quraysh carried on their massacre ruthlessly. The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- soon found out about the incident.[2]

Tears were flowing freely from the Noble Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- eyes while listening to Amr ibn Salim -Allah be well-pleased with him- deliver the news of the heartrending tragedy. He was deeply upset. As words of comfort for Amr ibn Salim, he said, “You shall be helped, Amr!” (Ibn Hisham, IV, 12; Waqidi, II, 784-785)

In spite of everything that had taken place, bearing in mind they were still under a Treaty with the idolaters, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- sent an ambassador to Mecca regarding the raid on Huzaa. Accordingly, Quraysh would either have to pay the blood money of the martyred victims of Huzaa or expel Banu Bakr from their protection. Failure to comply with any one of these options would, they were to be aware, altogether nullify the Treaty of Hudaybiyah.

The idolaters, blinded by hatred and desire for blood, agreed on the last option: to call an end to the Treaty.[3] Little were they aware that they were virtually extending an invitation to the Muslims for the fath of Mecca.

Although the idolaters came to their senses a short time later, it was all too little too late, as the Treaty had officially been cancelled by both sides. In hope of rectifying the situation, the desperate and remorseful Abu Sufyan set out for Medina. Through Divine inspiration, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- informed his Companions, at the instant, that Abu Sufyan had departed from Mecca to renew the peace.[4] The Believers in Medina, still tense from the recent massacre of Huzaa, had better ideas than to indulge Abu Sufyan upon his arrival; such that even his own daughter Umm Habibah, among the honorable wives of the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace-, pulled a cushion away from him just as he wanted to sit, much to his astonishment.

“Is it that I am unworthy of the cushion or is the cushion unworthy of me?” he asked his daughter.

The honorable Umm Habibah, who had perished in the love of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, replied, “That cushion belongs to the Messenger of Allah; and you, as an unclean idolater, are never worthy of sitting on it!”

Abu Sufyan was petrified. “You have become something else since you left us”, he stammered.

“No”, she responded. “Only Allah has honored me with Islam!” (Ibn Hisham, IV, 12-13)

The stance of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- and the entire Companions meant that Abu Sufyan had no other choice than to return to Mecca empty-handed. When trying to explain the fact that peace was no longer possible to the anxious idolaters gathered around him wishing to know the outcome of his visit, Abu Sufyan could do little to hide his astonishment:

“I am returning”, he said, “from a people, whose hearts are one. Believe me when I tell you that I spoke to men and women, young and old, and everyone who I thought might be of help…but to no avail!” (Abdurrazzaq, V, 375)

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- in the meanwhile ordered the Believers to prepare for a campaign on Mecca. He summoned the nearby Muslim tribes to Medina while telling the distant tribes to remain in their places and join the Muslim army on the way. The intense preparation was conducted in utmost secret. To stop the Meccans from becoming suspicious, the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- even sent a small unit towards Syria. All sides were under tight control. With the help of Allah, glory unto Him, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was adamant in his wish to take Mecca without shedding a drop of blood, for which he took numerous strategic measures:

Firstly, even though the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- ordered the Companions to prepare for a campaign, he did not specify the destination, keeping a closed lid on his intention.[5] Even Abu Bakr  -Allah be well-pleased with him-, his closest friend and confidant, did not realize the campaign was to be on Mecca and asked Aisha  -Allah be well-pleased with her-, his daughter and wife of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, of the intended destination. Yet, she knew nothing more than her father.

“I do not know”, she said. “He is perhaps intending on Banu Sulaym or Thaqif or may be even Hawazin!” (Ibn Hisham, IV, 14)

To ensure the fath of Mecca was carried out peacefully, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- had all the incoming roads to Medina under surveillance, lest the idolaters would find out about the preparations, and becoming suspicious, would begin preparations of their own. Likewise, he took measures against spies carrying news of the preparation to Mecca and prayed:

“O my Lord! Arrest the spies of Quraysh, make then blind and deaf, until we suddenly descend on their land! Blind their eyes so that they suddenly see me in front of them!” (Ibn Hisham, IV, 14)

When the Muslim army eventually departed from Medina, again, to confuse the idolaters, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- lead them to the opposite direction, where they stopped over by their allies. Trekking a circular path only placed greater uncertainty on the Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- intended destination. Once they got within a visible distance of Mecca, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- had each Muslim soldier light up a separate flame in order to give the impression they were more in number than what Quraysh thought.[6] In similar fashion, the Muslim army did not enter through Dhulhulayfa, the miqat spot lying on the way to Mecca, by which the Prophet of Allah –upon him blessings and peace- continued keeping the destination of the journey a secret.[7]

Once the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- seized power, he did not abuse it by massacring human beings and conquering their lands by force. He much rather used it to open their hearts to the Almighty and steer them to true happiness and guidance. He was after all the Prophet of Compassion sent as a mercy and guidance to the worlds.

Allah, glory unto Him, elaborates the Muslim notion of war and peace in the following ayah:

“They are those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong. With Allah rests the end and decision of all affairs.” (al-Hajj, 41)

While all the Companions kept the destination of the Campaign a secret upon finding out, Khatib ibn Baltaa, a veteran of Badr, sent a letter to Mecca, with a certain woman, informing them of the situation. The Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was made aware of the incident through Divine inspiration and commanded Ali, Zubayr and Miqdad -Allah be well-pleased with them- to seize and bring the woman to him, telling them her exact whereabouts. She was caught at the precise location the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- said she was. The letter read:

“Quraysh…! The Messenger of Allah is coming to you with such a tremendous force, an army, as terrifying as the dark of night that will flow like the flood. By Allah, even if the Messenger of Allah was to come to you on his own, Allah will surely make him victorious and fulfill His promise. Take care of yourselves, from now!” (Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah, IV, 278)

In truth, these words were neither contrary to the facts, nor did they suggest a betrayal. But it still meant that a move that was supposed to remain hidden was being disclosed to the enemy. The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- therefore immediately called Khatib next to him and asked:

“Why did you do this Khatib?” Khatib explained, remorsefully, “All the Muhajirun, Messenger of Allah, have someone to take care of their families and properties in Mecca. But I have nobody. By writing them a letter, I thought I could gain their appreciation and thereby protect my wife and children there. Otherwise and by Allah, I am not a spy working for them. I could never accept kufr after Islam. By Allah, my iman to Allah and His Messenger is boundless. I have not changed religions…no way!”

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, an ocean of compassion, thereupon said, “Khatib has defended himself rightly”, before declaring him forgiven. He then reminded Omar -Allah be well-pleased with him-, who wished to execute Khatib for betrayal, of the general amnesty given by the Almighty to the participants of the Battle of Badr, stating, “But he was present at the Battle of Badr. You never know; it just might be that Allah the Almighty, aware of their situation, has declared, ‘Do as you wish; I have forgiven you!’” (Bukhari, Maghazi, 9; Muslim, Fadail’us-Sahabah, 161)

With that said, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- communicated the harm of befriending the enemies of Allah, to the entire Companions, first and foremost Khatib, through the following ayah revealed in the meantime:

O you who believe! Do not take My enemy and your enemy for friends: would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth, driving out the Messenger and yourselves because you believe in Allah, your Lord? If you go forth struggling hard in My path and seeking My pleasure, would you manifest love to them? And I know what you conceal and what you manifest; and whoever of you does this, he indeed has gone astray from the straight path.

If they find you, they will be your enemies, and will stretch forth towards you their hands and their tongues with evil, and they ardently desire that you may disbelieve. Your relationship would not profit you, nor your children on the day of resurrection; He will decide between you; and Allah sees what you do.” (al-Mumtahinah, 1-3)[8]

These ayat prohibited Muslims from befriending nonbelievers from family or property related fears. In fact, Nuh’s -upon him peace- son Kenan perished for remaining amongst the nonbelievers, just like Lut’s -upon him peace- wife called wickedness onto herself for siding with the wicked and was beset with Divine wrath. In the end, their physical closeness to a prophet did not benefit them in the least.

In the eighth year of Hegira, on the tenth of Ramadan, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- lead his magnificent army of ten-thousand Believers strong out of Medina. Being on a campaign in the way of Allah, he broke his fast on the way and commanded the Believers do the same.[9]

Near Juhfah, they met Abbas -Allah be well-pleased with him-, who until then, had been keeping his acceptance of Islam hidden from Quraysh and remaining in Mecca, had been providing the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- in Medina with continuous updates of the situation on Mecca. Another reason as to why he remained in Mecca was the chore of supplying water for the pilgrims, a task that had been entrusted with him. Thinking time had finally come, he had departed from Mecca with his family to accomplish his long awaited Hegira.[10] The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- was extremely happy to see him.

“Just like I am the last of the prophets, you are the last of the Muhajirun”, he said. (Ali al-Muttaqi, XI, 699/33387)

The spectacular journey enroute to the fath of Mecca also stood witness to a glorious scene of compassion, a blueprint for entire humankind to follow. It was a sheer expression of seeing the created through the eye of the Creator. The Noble Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- army was marching forth like a surging flood. Tribes streaming from all the four corners of Arabia were joining the Muslim army in masses, adding to the size of a crowd rarely seen before. As the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was leading the charge of his splendid army from Arj to Talub, he noticed a dog, stretched out over her pups, breastfeeding them. He quickly called Juayl ibn Suraqa and commanded him to stand guard over the dog and her pups, instructing him to keep an eye on the dog and her pups and make sure nobody did the slightest thing would frighten them.[11]

What an incredible scene! One cannot help but wonder whether the history of humankind has ever witnessed a like scene of compassion?[12]

Even when on the verge of a historically groundbreaking event like the fath of Mecca, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- busied himself with what many would consider to be detail and regarded himself responsible for the wellbeing of a dog and her pups. A lesson to be drawn from this concerns those who are in executive positions; they need to conduct themselves with a consciousness of responsibility in fulfilling every minute detail of their duties and be ready for whatever unexpected might crop up in relation.[13]

The Meccans, in the meanwhile, had no idea of what was going on. They thus became tongue-tied when they heard that the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- had an army encamped at the Valley of Marr’uz-Zahran in nearby Mecca, all the more when they eventually stood witness to the spectacular view provided by the separate fires lit by each Muslim unit with the order of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. Their minds were boggled.

Taking Hakim ibn Hizan and Budayl with him, Abu Sufyan left Mecca to see what exactly was going on. Before too long the three encountered a barrage of separate flames lit by the Muslim soldiers. They at first tried guessing who the encamped soldiers might be, not having the slightest clue that they were actually in fact the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- and his Companions. As Mecca was virtually surrounded on all sides, Abu Sufyan and his two friends were arrested soon afterwards and brought to the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- .[14]

While Omar  -Allah be well-pleased with him- was urging the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- for the execution of Abu Sufyan, Abbas  -Allah be well-pleased with him-, the Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- uncle, was insisting he be forgiven. But instead the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace-, employing his matchless political genius in a psychological tactic, told his uncle Abbas to, “Take Abu Sufyan to where he can see the army of Islam march past and let him gaze at its splendor!”

This move was to ensure the leader of Quraysh became engrossed in a state of mind that would convince him that any preparation undertaken against the Muslims, after this point in time, would be useless. A lack of interest by the idolaters in showing resistance would thereby almost certainly prevent bloodshed.

Compliant with the Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- advice, Abbas -Allah be well-pleased with him- took Abu Sufyan where he could freely see the Muslim army with his own two eyes. The army had just begun moving and was advancing forth in units. Echoes of Allah’u Akbar bursting forth from hearts of iman had the skies trembling.

Abu Sufyan was dazzled. Just when the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was marching past at the front of his unit, he could not help but give vent to his amazement, exclaiming, “How great a kingdom your nephew has built for himself, Abbas!”

“This is not kingdom”, replied Abbas, “it is prophethood!”

“True, true…” was all Abu Sufyan could say. (Bukhari, Maghazi, 48; Haythami, VI, 164; Ibn Saad , II, 135; Ibn Athir, al-Kamil, II, 242)

The two then returned next to the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace-, who looked at Abu Sufyan and asked, “Has not the time come yet for you to say La ilaha ill-Allah?”

After thinking for a moment, Abu Sufyan repeated the words of tawhid, without, however, adding the part which confirms acceptance of the prophethood of the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-. So he asked again:

“Has not the time come for you to say I am the Messenger of Allah?”[15]

Although Abu Sufyan asked for some time to think, with the pressure of Abbas -Allah be well-pleased with him-, he said the words of shahadah in full. To win his heart over completely and warm it to Islam, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- thereupon referred to Abu Sufyan’s home as among the safe havens, for the locals of Mecca, once the Muslim army stepped foot in the town:

“Whoever enters Masjid’ul-Haram shall be safe. Whoever remains home shall be safe. And whoever seeks refuge in Abu Sufyan’s house shall be safe!” (Abu Dawud, Kharaj, 24-25/3021-3022; Haythami, VI, 164-166; Ibn Hisham, IV, 22)

Just as Abu Sufyan was returning to Mecca after being released, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- gave his final order:

“Do not draw your swords unless you come under attack!” (Ibn Hisham, IV, 28)

Shortly after, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- commanded the Muslim army, which he had already divided to four corps, to advance. Mecca thereafter began quivering with the sounds of Allah’u Akbar echoing from all four sides.

Eight years after being forced to leave Mecca, in low spirits, in the company of merely two people and a couple of camels, the grace of Allah, glory unto Him, was now seeing the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- return to the sacred turf accompanied by a magnificent army of ten-thousand Muslims. A wrongfully persecuted man of then was today triumphant in his home land. But never letting pride take sway, he was entering Mecca prostrating on camelback, immersed in thanking the Almighty, who had granted him this enormous blessing. So much had he lowered his head in humbleness that his beard was touching his saddle. Meanwhile, he was constantly saying, “Allah…Life is only the life of the Hereafter!”[16] (Waqidi, II, 824; Bukhari, Riqaq, 1) No different was the mood of the Companions, trained under prophetic morals.

The Muslim army encountered almost no resistance. The tactics applied on Abu Sufyan had worked; upon his return to Mecca, he persuaded Quraysh that there was no point in putting up resistance and as a result nobody dared putting up a fight. There was a minor conflict only at the passage where Khalid ibn Walid -Allah be well-pleased with him- entered the town but that was quickly taken under control.

Reciting surah al-Fath, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- approached Kaabah with his Companions. Without dismounting from his camel, he circumambulated the Sacred House, and reciting the ayah:

“The Truth has arrived and falsehood perished…” (al-Isra, 81), he personally began tipping over and destroying the idols stationed in Kaabah, with the stick in his hand. (Bukhari, Maghazi, 48; Muslim, Jihad, 87; Waqidi, II, 831-832)

Seeing images on the inner walls of Kaabah, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- did not initially enter and commanded them to be wiped out. The Companions executed the order at the instant. Inside, there were images of Ibrahim and Ismail –upon them peace- holding fortune arrows in their hands. Upon seeing them, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- stated:

“May Allah perish the idolaters who drew these…By Allah, these prophets never sought their fortune with arrows!” (Bukhari, Anbiya, 8; Hajj, 54, Maghazi, 48)

Mawlana Rumi –Allah have mercy on him- explains the degree of gratitude we ought to have for the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, who for a life time endured the most unthinkable of hardships to shatter idols and overthrow oppression:

“You, who today enjoys being a Muslim; know that had it not been for the supreme effort of Our One and Only Ahmad, and his resolve in smashing the idols, you too would have been an idolater like your forefathers.”

The day the Believers took over Mecca, they continuously circumambulated Kaabah until morning amid chants of Allah-u Akbar. Watching them from a distance, Abu Sufyan murmured to his wife Hind, “Do you believe this is from Allah?”

“Yes”, replied Hind. “This could only be the work of Allah!”

In the early hours of the following morning, Abu Sufyan visited the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, who recounted to Abu Sufyan the conversation that took place between him and Hind. Abu Sufyan then said:

“I bear witness you are the Messenger of Allah! By Allah, in whose Hand of Might my life resides, nobody heard what I said except for Allah and Hind!” (Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah, IV, 296)

The Meccans, in the meantime, were taking their children to the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- , who caressing them, was praying for their wellbeing. (Ahmad, IV, 32)

[1] Ibn Hisham, IV, 4; Beyhakî, Delâil, V, 6.[2] Ibn Hisham, IV, 11; Waqidi, II, 783.[3] Waqidi, II, 787.[4] Ibn Hisham, IV, 12.[5] Ibn Saad, II, 134.[6] Hamîdullâh, I, 264-265.[7] Nebî Bozkurt, DİA, “Mekke” entry. XXVIII, 557.[8] Bukhari, Tafsir, 60.[9] Bukhari, Maghazi, 47.[10] Ibn Hisham, IV, 18.[11] Waqidi, II, 804.[12] Still, adversaries of Islam give joint mention to it with terror, a contemporary tragedy of humanity. Terror and anarchy are built upon heartlessness, without the least qualm for morality. Ever since its birth, Islam, on the other hand, has taken a stance against terror and anarchy and has made it a priority to uphold the rights of all beings, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, even of non-living entities. The twenty-three year prophethood of the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- has virtually been a struggle against terror.

[13] Poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy gives elegant voice to Omar’s -Allah be well-pleased with him- legendary sense of administrative responsibility:

If a wolf was to snatch a sheep by the Tigris,

It would be Omar called to account by Divine Justice,

An old woman left alone …Omar is to blame!

Her orphans swept away by woe…Omar is to blame!

A nest of poverty neglected to crumble,

It is Omar again, nobody else, left under its rubble

When, with betrayal, one sheds a drop of blood,

That one drop rises to drown Omar in its flood,

Omar is heard from every break of heart,

From every mourning, it is Omar driven out,

When Omar is Caliph, who else is there to blame?

What can Omar do, o Lord, when man is tyrant and lame,

Demanded from Omar is what from Muhammad was expected,

Omar, Omar…how was this load, on your shoulders, rested?

[14] Bukhari, Maghazi, 48.

[15] Clearly understood from the declaration of Allah, glory unto Him, in the Quran:

“Say: Obey Allah and the Messenger; but if they turn back, then surely Allah does not love the nonbelievers” (Al-i Imran, 32) is the fact that iman in the Almighty and obeying Him alone are not enough. Those who have iman in and obey only Allah excluding His Messenger, or vice-versa for that matter, are classified by the ayah as unbelievers whom Allah, glory unto Him, dislikes. The important thing is for one to regulate his iman in accordance with the Divine Will and Command, not with his inadequate understanding.

In that respect, when the Almighty has granted His Messenger this status and has specified recognizing and obeying His Messenger as a fundamental pillar of faith, how ignorant and even treacherous must it be to claim, like many ignorant do today, the Holy Quran to be sufficient, and on such a pretext based on their shallow understanding, to reject the Sunnah of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-.

[16] During his lifetime, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-is known to have frequently repeated this prayer, which draws attention to the weight of the Hereafter compared to the life of the world. Narrated among the occasions in which he made this prayer are during the construction of Masjid’un-Nabawi, during the digging of the trenches prior to Handak, when entering Mecca on the Day of Fath and during the farewell pilgrimage upon seeing the enormous number of Believers in front of him. (See, Bukhari, Jihad 33, 110, Manaqib’ul-Ansar 9, Maghazi 29; Muslim, Jihad, 126, 129; Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 55; Ibn Majah, Masajid, 3)

Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, The Prophet Muhammed Mustafa the Elect II, Erkam Publications

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