Memoirs of the Prophet (S.A.W)by Saifur Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri
Al-Hudaibiyah Treaty: Socio-political Impact
A series of events confirmed the profound wisdom and splendid results of the peace treaty which Allâh called "a manifest victory". How could it be otherwise when Quraish had recognized the legitimate Muslims’ existence on the scene of political life in Arabia, and began to deal with the believers on equal terms. Quraish in the light of the articles of the treaty, had indirectly relinquished its claim to religious leadership, and admitted that they were no longer interested in people other than Quraish, and washed their hands of any sort of intervention in the religious future of the Arabian Peninsula. The Muslims did not have in mind to seize people’s property or kill them through bloody wars, nor did they ever think of pursuing any coercive approaches in their endeavours to propagate Islam, on the contrary, their sole target was to provide an atmosphere of freedom as regards ideology or religion:
"Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve." [Al-Qur'an 18:29]
The Muslims, on the other hand, had the opportunity to spread Islam over areas not then explored. When there was armistice, war was abolished, and men met and consulted together, none talked about Islam intelligently without entering it; within the two years following the conclusion of the treaty double as many entered Islam as ever before. This is supported by the fact that the Prophet [pbuh] went out to Al-Hudaibiyah with only 1,400 men, but when he set out to liberate Makkah, two years later, he had 10,000 men with him.
The article of the treaty pertaining to cessation of hostilities for ten years points directly to the utter failure of political haughtiness exercised by Quraish and its allies, and functions as evidence of the collapse and impotence of the war instigator.
Quraish had been obliged to lose those advantages in return for one seemingly in its favour but does not actually bear any harm against the Muslims, i.e., the article that speaks of handing over believing men who seek refuge with the Muslims without their guardians’ consent to Quraish. At first glance, it was a most distressing clause and was considered objectionable in the Muslim camp. However, in the course of events, it proved to be a great blessing. The Muslims sent back to Makkah were not likely to renounce the blessings of Islam; contrariwise, those very Muslims turned out to be centres of influence for Islam. It was impossible to think that they would become apostates or renegades. The wisdom behind this truce assumed its full dimensions in some subsequent events. After the Prophet [pbuh] had reached Madinah, Abu Baseer, who had escaped from Quraish, came to him as a Muslim; Quraish sent two men demanding his return, so the Prophet [pbuh] handed him over to them. On the way to Makkah, Abu Baseer managed to kill one of them, and the other one fled to Madinah with Abu Baseer in pursuit. When he reached the Prophet [pbuh], he said, "Your obligation is over and Allâh has freed you from it. You duly handed me over to the men, and Allâh has rescued me from them." The Prophet [pbuh] said, "Woe is his mother, he would have kindled a war if there had been others with him." When he heard that, he knew that he would be handed back to them, so he fled from Madinah and went as far as Saif Al-Bahr. The other Muslims who were oppressed in Makkah began to escape to Abu Baseer. He was joined by Abu Jandal and others until a fair-sized colony was formed and soon sought revenge on Quraish and started to intercept their caravans. The pagans of Makkah finding themselves unable to control those exiled colonists, begged the Prophet [pbuh] to do away with the clause which governed the extradition. They implored him by Allâh and by their ties of kinship to send for the group, saying that whoever joined the Muslims in Madinah would be safe from them. So the Prophet [pbuh] sent for the group and they responded, as expected, positively.
These are the realities of the clauses of the truce treaty and as it seems they all function in favour of the nascent Islamic state. However, two points in the treaty made it distasteful to some Muslims, namely they were not given access to the Holy Sanctuary that year, and the seemingly humiliating attitude as regards reconciliation with the pagans of Quraish. ‘Umar, unable to contain himself for the distress taking full grasp of his heart, went to the Prophet [pbuh] and said: "Aren’t you the true Messenger of Allâh?" The Prophet [pbuh] replied calmly, "Why not?" ‘Umar again spoke and asked: "Aren’t we on the path of righteousness and our enemies in the wrong?" Without showing any resentment, the Prophet [pbuh] replied that it was so. On getting this reply he further urged: "Then we should not suffer any humiliation in the matter of Faith." The Prophet [pbuh] was unruffled and with perfect confidence said: "I am the true Messenger of Allâh, I never disobey Him, He shall help me." "Did you not tell us," rejoined ‘Umar, "that we shall perform pilgrimage?" "But I have never told you," replied the Prophet [pbuh], "that we shall do so this very year." ‘Umar was silenced. But his mind was disturbed. He went to Abu Bakr and expressed his feelings before him. Abu Bakr who had never been in doubt as regards the Prophet’s truthfulness and veracity confirmed what the Prophet [pbuh] had told him. In due course the Chapter of Victory (48th) was revealed saying:
"Verily, We have given you (O Muhammad [pbuh]) a manifest victory." [Al-Qur'an 48:1]
The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] summoned ‘Umar and imported to him the happy tidings. ‘Umar was overjoyed, and greatly regretted his former attitude. He used to spend in charity, observe fasting and prayer and free as many slaves as possible in expiation for that reckless attitude he had assumed. [Fath Al-Bari 7/439-458; Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/378-381]
The early part of the year 7 A.H. witnessed the Islamization of three prominent men of Makkah, ‘Amr bin Al-‘As, Khalid bin Al-Waleed and ‘Uthman bin Talhah. On their arrival and entrance into the fold of Islam, the Prophet [pbuh] said, "Quraish has given us its own blood."