The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah

Prophet Muhammad had a dream in which he saw himself entering Makkah unopposed, doing tawaf (circling the Kaaba) in ihram, and shaving his hair. He interpreted this dream to mean he would be performing Umrah (lesser pilgrimage). So, Prophet Muhammad and 1,400 of his companions went forth to perform Umrah in Mecca.

As Prophet Muhammad and his companions were traveling to perform Umrah, as they drew near, they were warned that the idol-worshippers of Quraish had sworn to prevent Prophet Muhammad and the Muslims from entering Makkah. Prophet Muhammad decided to take a detour, taking another route to bypass the troops of Khalid bin Waleed. Then God the Almighty caused the Prophet’s camel to camp at a plain called Hudaybiyyah.

Prophet Muhammad sent an emissary to the idol-worshippers of Mecca to let them know that they were here peacefully on a mission for Umrah. The idol-worshippers of Mecca also sent emissaries to the Muslims. Then Prophet Muhammad sent Uthman Bin Affan because of his kinship with the leaders of Quraish in Mecca. Uthman Bin Affan negotiated with Abu Sufiyan and other leaders of the idol-worshippers of Mecca. The meeting took longer than expected. Then rumors started to spread that Uthman Bin Affan had been killed. Prophet Muhammad, who was sitting under a tree, and the Muslims made an oath that they would go to Mecca to seek revenge, and no matter what happens, they would not flee. A little while later, they found out that Uthman Bin Affan had not been killed.

Soon, Prophet Muhammad explained to the idol-worshippers of Quraish that they had only come to perform pilgrimage and had no intentions for fighting. After negotiating back and forth, the truce of Hudaybiyyah was signed by both groups. The treaty between the Muslims and the idol-worshippers of Quraish in Mecca stated that there would be no fighting between the two parties for ten years. And if any other tribe in Arabia wishes to join allegiance with the Muslims or idol-worshippers of Quraish, they may do so. No side is allowed to attack the other side, including the tribes that join the treaty. The treaty also stated that Prophet Muhammad and the Muslims were to return to Medina without performing Umrah and that they would be able to perform the Umrah pilgrimage the following year and stay for three days. The treaty also stated that if anyone leaves Mecca to go to Medina, he would be sent back to Mecca, even if he converted to Islam. But if a Muslim leaves Medina to go to Mecca, he does not need to be sent back.

The companions did not like the terms of the treaty, as it seemed unfavorable to them, and they were disappointed. Yet the Prophet accepted, honored, and abided by the treaty. Some of the companions spoke up to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. They asked the Prophet ‘Where is the victory that we were promised?’ and he was asked, ‘Didn’t you say we were going to perform pilgrimage?’ in which Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, responded, ‘Yes, but I never said it was this year.’ 

During the return journey from Hudaybiyyah, God the Almighty revealed a Chapter in the Holy Quran named ‘Al-Fath (The Victory).’ God revealed that this truce was indeed a great victory for the Muslims. With this new treaty, the religion of Islam was able to flourish in the Arabian Peninsula and spread rapidly. The Muslims went from having 1,400 men in this gathering to 10,000 men, two years later, to liberate Makkah. A lot of good happened in the two years after this treaty was signed. The Muslims were able to eliminate other threats, including the tribe of Khaybar. The Muslims also battled the Romans, the mighty superpower of the world at the time. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, also sent letters to the kings beyond Arabia, calling them to Islam, including the King of Persia, the Negus of Abyssinia, the Emperor of Byzantium, the Governor of Egypt, and others – inviting them to submit to Islam.

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