What is the pledge of ridvan?
A few more ambassadors from Quraysh visited the Believers in the interim. But because a definite peace agreement could not be secured, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- sent Othman -Allah be well-pleased with him- to Mecca, to speak to the idolaters and put an end to the matter, telling him to:
“Go to Quraysh! Tell them that we have not come here to fight with anyone, that we have only come to visit the House of Allah, respecting and observing its sanctity, and that we will slaughter the sacrificial camels we have with us and return! Then invite them to Islam!” The Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- , at the same time, commanded him to talk to each and every Muslim in Mecca, male and female, and herald them with the upcoming fath of Mecca, assure them that Allah, glory unto Him, was aiding His religion and that the day in which they will freely proclaim their faith in Mecca was near. (Ibn Sad, II, 97; Ibn, Qayyim, III, 290)
Compliant with the command of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, Othman -Allah be well-pleased with him- immediately went to Mecca and passed on the message to the idolaters. The idolaters were still adamant not to allow passage. Keeping Othman -Allah be well-pleased with him- under close surveillance, they told him he could circumambulate the Sacred House if he wished. Bu as would befit a devotee of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- of his caliber, he responded:
“I will not until the Messenger of Allah does. I will only visit the Sacred House behind him!” (Ahmad, IV, 324)
Othman -Allah be well-pleased with him- was detained by Quraysh for longer than expected; so much so that rumors that ‘Othman had been murdered’ took the Muslims ranks by storm, giving rise to a nervous tension between both sides. Weighing the likelihood that his ambassador may indeed have been murdered, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- gathered all the Companions, telling them, “It seems we will not be able leave without fighting the idolaters!” (Ibn Hisham, III, 364)
He then demanded a pledge from the entire Companions to die in the way of the Almighty if need be. Every single one of them gave a wholehearted pledge of allegieance. (Waqidi, II, 603)
The Believers promised to fight until death in the way of Allah, glory unto Him, by placing their hands above that of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. At the end of the pledge, holding his one hand with the other, the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-, said, “…and this is Othman’s pledge!” (Bukhari, Ashab’un-Nabi, 7)
The pledge given under a tree was known thereafter as the Pledge of Ridvan or of Hudaybiya. Bar a single hypocrite, every Companion gave his pledge that day; a pledge that had the Almighty pleased with them:
“Certainly Allah was well pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance to you under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquillity on them and rewarded them with a near victory.” (al-Fath, 18)
Later on, while next to the honorable Hafsa -Allah be well-pleased with her-, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- commented, “Allah willing, none of those who pledged under the tree shall enter Hellfire.”
Curious, Hafsa -Allah be well-pleased with him- felt the urge to ask, “But how will that be, Messenger of Allah, when the Allah the Almighty states:
“And there is not one of you but shall come to it; this is an unavoidable decree of your Lord.” (Maryam, 71)
To that, the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- responded by saying, “Allah the Almighty has also stated:
“And We will deliver those who guarded (against evil), and We will leave the unjust therein on their knees.” (Maryam, 72)
Consequently, it became evident that the ayah implied, not an actual entrance into Hellfire, but passing it by while crossing the sirat. (Muslim, Fadail’us-Sahabah, 163)
Jabir -Allah be well-pleased with him- recounts:
“People were worn out by thirst on the Day of Hudaybiyah, so they came to the Messenger of Allah, who, at the time, had a water container made of leather in front of him. He had just taken wudu when people moved closer toward him.
‘What is bothering you?’ asked the Messenger of Allah.
‘We have no water left to drink and to take wudu except the little amount in front of us’, they explained.
The Prophet of Allah placed his hands inside the container. At the instant, water then began to spring forth from between his fingers; it was exactly like a jetting spring. We all drank and took wudu from it.”
“How many were there of you that day?” Jabir -Allah be well-pleased with him- was asked.
“Had we been a hundred-thousand, the water would still have been enough; but at the time, we were one-thousand-five-hundred all up.” (Bukhari, Manaqib, 25)