THE TRUCE OF HUDAIBIYA  6th Zilqad ---AND IT’S RELEVANCE  

Excerpts from the Series of Talks on Seerat e Rasool  by Moulana Sadiq Hassan  

 English Transcript by  SAYED TAHIR BILGRAMI

 SYNOPSIS 

The relevance of and the lessons for the posterity from the Truce of Hudaibiya are: 

1.     The Prophet (s.a) never fought a battle of aggression. At Hudaibiya the situation was such the majority of the contingent, excepting the Prophet (s.a) and Hazrat Ali (a.s) were raring to attack the infidels in Makkah. But the Prophet (s.a) manifested the great spirit of patience and forbearance despite the fact that he was facing the infidels from a position of strength.

2.     In Islam there is no relevance of Shura or 'consensus' on many occassions. This has been proved by the Truce of Hudaibiya that the majority was opposed to it and the Prophet (s.a), Ali (a.s) and a few others were for it.

3.     The Jews were spreading their tentacles in Madina and other places and instigating the Meccans to weaken the Muslims by repeated attacks. With this end the Jews had entrenched themselves in the forts at the oasis of Khaibar. If the Muslims invted Khaibar, the infidels of Makkah would certainly have attacked while the fighting men were away from Medina. The Treaty of Hudaibiya did away with any such contingency and the campaign of Khaibar was carried out successfully.

4.     The Truce of Hudaibiya was the first agreement made by the Muslims with their sworn adversaries. The wordings of the Truce played a significant role in the success of the Muslims that was realized in the future. The Treaty provided protection to the Muslim women and also to those Muslims who remained back in Makkah to practice their Faith without any hindrance. This is a pointer to the people in the future to exercise maximum care in selecting proper wording when they entered into covenants with others.

  

Although every aspect of the Prophet (s.a)’s Seerat is a beacon of light for the Muslims, it is deemed necessary that the present generation understands the event of the Truce of Hudaibiya. This is more so that the adversaries are upbraiding different groups of Muslims to create schisms among them and weaken them through internecine disputes. 

The best example of this machination of the adversaries was the Gulf War which was instigated by them and in the end they put the blame squarely on the disputants. The adversaries derived full benefit at the cost of the warring groups! Therefore one must study in depth the terms of the Truce of Hudaibiya and the circumstances that led to the truce and those which followed thereafter!  

The Battle of the Trench (Qandaq) was won decisively by the Muslims. Then followed several events that the Jews, who were spread all over the Arabian Peninsula , and particularly in the environs of Madina, withdrew backwards and entrenched themselves in the Fort of Khaybar. The events took such a turn that they had perforce to do this. They first went to the outskirts of Madina and in quick stages they concentrated themselves in the fortified Khaybar. The Truce of Hudaibiya gave to the Prophet (s.a) the much needed respite from the infidels of Makka that he could deal with the intrigue of the Jews who were fortifying and entrenching themselves in Khaybar. If the Truce of Hudaibiya wasn’t concluded, it wouldn’t have been possible to undertake the campaign of Khaybar as the hordes of the Infidels of Makka would certainly have taken advantage of the absence of the fighting men from Madina.

 It was evident that the small, insignificant tribes would join hands with the enemies and would be a regular source of trouble for the Islamic Army. Therefore minor campaigns (Sariyas) were conducted against many of such tribal settlements. There is no doubt that these tribes were insignificant when compared with the hordes of the Infidels of Makka. But they did have the capability of creating a lot of trouble for the Muslims through hit-and-run tactics. To subdue these tribes, each consisting of 200 to 300 fighting men, the Prophet (s.a) sent Abd ar Rehman ibn e Auf to the Domat al Jundal region which lies between Madina and Syria . Abd ar Rehman ibn e Auf carried a letter form the Prophet (s.a). The opening part of the missive was: 

In the name of Allah and the Prophet participate in the Ghazwa, DO Jehad! Beware of deceptive acts, don’t usurp the trusts and keep your promises. Abstain from slaying any minors….

In these few words the Prophet (s.a) highlighted the essence of the Islamic Jihad. The tribes against whom the campaign was sent were certainly insignificant and could be subdued with the least effort. But the commander of the contingent was exhorted to be fair in his dealings and to abstain from any deception or stealth. He also asked his men not to harm the minors and the weak. The Sariya of Abd ar Rehman ibn e Auf is prominent in the annals of the history because of this exhortation that the Prophet (s.a) made to him. The Prophet (s.a) also advised Ibn e Auf not to commence the fight immediately on reaching Domat al Jundal. He was asked first to invite the people to embrace Islam. In the event of the people accepting Islam, he asked him to deal with them affectionately and kindly. The Prophet (s.a) also gave the good tiding to Ibn e Auf that he would enter into matrimony with the daughter of the chief of the Tribe!   

With the Prophet (s.a)’s document in his hand, Abd ar Rehman ibn e Auf reached the territory of Daumat al Jundal . He extended invitation to the chief of the tribe, who was a Christian, to embrace the Faith of Islam. The person made some inquiries about the Faith and not only willingly accepted to adopt it but also offered his daughter in marriage to Abd ar Rehman to strengthen the bond of love and friendship between the two groups. It is recorded in the history that the lady, Tamama, mothered Abd ar Rehman’s son, Abu Salama, who was recognized as one of the top seven Fuqaha (Jurists) during the time of the Fourth Imam Zainal Abedin (a.s).  

The norms laid down by the Prophet (s.a) in his document of instructions mandated that all the rights of tribes in the area were preserved and no hardship was inflicted on them by the men in the Army of Islam. If any penalty was to be imposed on any individual, it was to be restricted to the punishment prescribed for the particular offence.  

Thus the Prophet (s.a) sent advance messages in a very logical manner   that those who extended a hand of love and affection, he would reciprocate to them in a similar manner. The representatives of one of the tribes, out of fear of reprisal, went voluntarily to the Prophet (s.a) to express their allegiance. The Prophet (s.a) gave them gifts to dispel their fears. The tribes that had taken part in conspiracy against the Muslims were suitably reprimanded and punished. Thus all the small tribes were subdued and calm was established in the area. Now there remained only two big groups of adversaries. The infidels of Mecca had no strength left to invest Madina again after they were vanquished in the battle of the Trench. But if the Muslims left Madina unprotected for a campaign to Khaibar, the infidels were quite capable of attacking from the rear. Therefore it was imperative to totally subdue the infidels of Mecca before organizing a campaign to Khaibar.

 The sequence of the events was as follows:

The Prophet (s.a) first controlled rebellion and the intrigues in the area. Then arrived the month of Shawal 6 H. This was the most important year in the annals of the Islamic history that, according to some Ulama, the mandate for performance of the Haj too came in the same year. About this mandate we shall discuss later on.  

One morning the Prophet (s.a) entered the Mosque when he gathered the Muslims and told them that he had seen a dream the previous night. There is a mention about this dream in Surat al Fath (the 48th Verse of the Holy Quran) that was revealed immediately after the event of Hudaibiya. This verse says: 

“laqad sadaq Allah ar Rasoola al rooya bil-haq - Certainly Allah has fulfilled His Apostle’s vision in all truth 

La tadkhulnal Masjid al Haram  -You will certainly enter the Sacred Mosque, 

Insha Allah aameneen - God willing , in safety 

Mohlaqeen raoosakum wa muqassareen  -With your heads shaven or hair cropped,

Laa taqaafoon -Without any fear.” 

The Muslims asked the Prophet (s.a) to relate the details of the dream. The Prophet (s.a).said, “I saw in the dream that I was entering the precincts of Mecca with my friends and companions! Then I saw that we were getting our heads tonsured of the hairs.” The Prophet (s.a) later on said that it was a message and a mandate from Allah for all the Muslims---for those migrants who had left their homes and hearths in Mecca and had migrated to Madina six years back and the Ansars, the Helpers, who were the local inhabitants of Madina who had extended wholehearted help to the migrants. The migrants were particularly pining to set their eyes on their home-town where the Kaaba and the hills of Safa and Marwa were beckoning them. They were getting nostalgic about their visits to the Kaaba. While they used to set their eyes on the holy structure, in the past, several times in a day, they had to remain away from it for six long years! When they heard the Prophet (s.a) narrate his dream, their desire to reach Mecca redoubled! This was more so when the Prophet (s.a) said that it was a mandate from Allah that they must proceed to Mecca . All the Muslims expeditiously prepared for the journey. Here we would like to mention one fact that at every step several messages and indications were manifesting themselves about the Treaty of Hudaibiya. Leaving aside all the battles won by the Muslims, the Holy Quran says Inna fathana laka fathan mubeenan—Indeed we have inaugurated for you a clear victory! It doesn’t say this about the battles of Badr, Khandaq, Khaibar, Hunain etc when the Muslims had completely vanquished their enemies! The Holy Quran deems the Treaty of Hudaibiya as Fath e Mubeen—a clear victory--- when not a single sword was unsheathed! There is a manifest reason about this statement which, Insha Allah, we shall elucidate later on!! 

The treaty of Hudaibiya also manifests that in Islam there isn’t any place for democracy and the process of voting. No historian has contested the fact that on that day 99% of the Islamic army was opposing the treaty and the Prophet (s.a) and Ali (a.s) strongly upheld the conclusion of the Truce. On that fateful day there wasn’t any voting, Shura, consultation or any attempt to ascertain the public opinion!! The Treaty was wholly what the Prophet (s.a) dictated and Ali (a.s) rendered on the paper.  

You must have noticed that generally the people of faith act on their own understanding of things and don’t go to the nitty-gritty of the words. The terms of the Treaty will be discussed in detail at the appropriate place, but here I would like to briefly mention about the Clause No.2 of the Treaty. It says that if any Momin from Mecca came to Madina during the operative period of the Treaty, he would have to be returned back. A Muslim man from Mecca did reach the Prophet (s.a)’s camp at Hudaibiya after the signing of the Treaty and he was instantly returned back in accord with the terms of the truce. Around the same time a Momina (Muslim woman), the daughter of Uqba ibn e Moeeth, too got an opportunity to reach the presence of the Prophet (s.a). She said, “O Prophet of Allah (s.a)! I was forced into matrimony with an infidel. Since I was in Mecca I had no opportunity for escape. But now that I knew that the army was near at hand, I managed to escape from Mecca and have reached your presence. I plead with you to give me succor!”  Around that moment her husband too reached the presence of the Prophet (s.a) and said that the woman was his wife and had run away from home and must be handed over to him. The Prophet (s.a) rejected the claim of the man and asked his men to give shelter and protection to the woman.  

The Meccans said that this action was in contravention of the terms of the Treaty. The Prophet (s.a) said, “No! If I was contravening the terms of the Truce I wouldn’t have returned back the man who approached us for refuge.” He was then asked why he was giving refuge to the woman? The Prophet (s.a) said that the clause of the truce was specifically for Momins (Believer Men) and not for Mominas (Believer Women). It was binding, in terms of the Truce, to return back to Mecca any Momin who escaped from there and reached the Prophet (s.a)’s camp for refuge but the terms of the truce were silent about the Mominas. At that juncture the Surat al Mumtahanah was revealed. The verse No. 10 of this Surat says: 

Ya ayyuhal lazeena aamanu - O you who have faith! 

Iza ja-aa kum al Mominaatu muhajiraatin  -When faithful women come to you as immigrants 

Fa am te hu hunna -Test them 

Fala tarjeoo hunna ilalkuffaar -Do not send them back to the faithless 

Laa hunna hillun lahum - They (the believer women) are not lawful for them (The unbelieving men)

Wa laa hum yahilloona lahunna -Nor are they (the unbelieving men) lawful for them.

 This Revelation of the Holy Quran doubly confirmed the verdict of the Prophet (s.a), particularly when some of the Companions expressed doubts as to why different yard-sticks for handling of men and women seeking refuge? The timely Revelation of the Surat dispelled the doubts and confusion of those Muslims! 

The Prophet (s.a) asked the woman a question why she decided to abandon her husband and cross over to the camp of the Muslims? He also asked her if she wished to seek the pleasure of Allah or just to change the spouse? He further asked her if she intended to gain sympathy and monetary help by forsaking her infidel husband?   

After this little digression let us come back to the main topic of discussion. In the initial stage the Prophet (s.a) informed the Muslims that he had dreamed that he was entering the Haram al Kaaba and that he was getting his hair tonsured. The veracity of the Prophet (s.a)’s dream cannot be questioned. But in reality when the Muslims traveled to Mecca , along with the Prophet(s.a), they had perforce to terminate their journey from Hudaibiya and return back to Madina. But this doesn’t mean that the Prophet(s.a)’s dream wasn’t answered. It was Allah’s wish that the dream must be answered at a later date! The Holy Quran confirms about the fulfillment of the dream in the following words:

 Laqad sadaq Allah ar Rasool ar-rooya bil haq -Certainly Allah has fulfilled His Apostle’s vision in all truth  

Four things are manifesting themselves. The historians say that the dream remained unfulfilled, the Muslims had journeyed to circumambulate the Kaaba but they were unable even to enter the ramparts of the Haram. The Prophet (s.a) dreams that he entered the Masjid al Haram but was turned back from Hudaibiya, the outer limits of Mecca . The dream did come to fruition after the lapse of one year when the Muslims were able to perform all the rites of Umra, the minor pilgrimage. This Umra is termed as the Umrat al Qaza or the missed-Umra. The Muslims who wore the mandatory apparel for the Umra in one year were able to perform it during the same period in the next year in accord with the terms of the Truce of Hudaibiya. The Muslims were rightly under the impression that since the Prophet (s.a) had said that they must accompany him to Mecca for the minor pilgrimage, his dream must be fulfilled during the same trip.  

One fact has come to light that any tradition of the Prophet (s.a), or the Imams (a.s), certainly comes to fruition. But if they hadn’t indicated the time of the event happening, it would certainly come about any time in the future. Another important fact must be borne in mind that all other mandates were communicated by Allah to the Prophet (s.a) through the Archangel , Jibraeel, and the mandate about Hudaibiya was through the medium of the dream.     

After the announcement by the Prophet (s.a), the Muslims left Madina. At a distance of about six miles from Madina there is a place, Dual Halifa, which is now known as Diyar Ali, where a mosque, Masjid e Shajra, is located. This is the place where the Muslims adopt the Ihram or the apparel for the pilgrimage. Since the city of Madina has expanded, Diyar Ali is now hardly a mile from the outskirts of the city. The Prophet (s.a) stopped his caravan there, everyone took a bath and attired in the Ihram for the pilgrimage. Then the group, in unison, recited the Talbiya—the supplication that is recited by the pilgrims while they are proceeding towards the Kaaba in the state of Ihram. They were also having the sacrificial animals with them. It is recorded in the history that there were 63 or 70 heads of such animals with the group.  

Since the purpose of the journey was only to perform the pilgrimage at the Kaaba, and not to combat with the infidels, the Prophet (s.a) had directed the Muslims to abstain from fighting even if the infidels of Makka tempted them to the maximum extent. This statement of the Prophet (s.a) emboldened the infidels to attempt coaxing the Muslims the more. The Prophet (s.a) exhorted the Muslims to move in such a manner that even from a distance they must give an indication that it was a group of people traveling in peace and proceeding on a journey of pilgrimage. They were ordered not to carry any arms other than their swords which, in those days, were a part of the peace-time apparel of the Arab men. They were also ordered to wear the Ihram during the journey that required them, traditionally, not to commit any act of aggression. He also asked them to put identification marks on the animals to indicate that they were sacrificial animals for the pilgrimage to Mecca . There are two ways of putting identification marks on the animals. The first method was that the hump of the camel was to be slit with a dagger and the blood that came out was to be rubbed on the back of the animal. From a distance this mark would be visible and convince the observers that it wasn’t for use in combat. The other identification mark was that the animal would be adorned with garlands of flowers. Even in our times Aghai Qooee has given a Fatwa (Edict) that the sacrificial animals for Haj and Umra be given either of the two identification marks described above.

 Now this caravan of 1400 Muslims started their journey from Madina, wearing their Ihrams and the accompanying animals with identification marks manifesting their intent for peaceable travel.  

The people of Mecca got wind that the Prophet (s.a) had made a public announcement of his intent for the pilgrimage to the Kaaba and that the caravan was on the move. The Prophet (s.a) had first related his dream to the Muslims, some days were spent in getting together the retinue, then they moved to Masjid e Shajra, halted there for a day. The infidels of Mecca received their intelligence of the movement of the contingent of 1400 men advancing towards them. They started worrying. Memories came back to them of their abject defeat at the hands of the Muslims at Badr, Uhad and Khandaq. They felt that even if the Muslims performed their pilgrimage at the Kaaba and returned peacefully, it would go as an insult for the residents of Mecca, the keepers of the Holy Site, in the view of the Arab tribes that they were unable to resist the move! They felt that the Arabs might even remove them from the honor of the keepership of the Kaaba. They were also scared of abject defeat if a fight became inevitable. They were thinking of a subterfuge of sending back the Muslims from the ramparts of Mecca without gaining entrance to the Holy Site.  

Khalid ibn e Walid hadn’t joined the ranks of Muslims till that time. He was deputed with 200 cavaliers to make a preemptive attack on the Muslims, who were advancing towards Mecca, and kill all of them. 

The Infidels of Mecca had received intelligence that the contingent of the Prophet (s.a) was heading for their city without combat paraphernalia, particularly arrows, that become very handy for attacking the adversary from a distance; nor did they have any animals essential for the purpose. They felt that it would be very easy to launch a preemptive attack on the Islamic caravan.

I have mentioned in many of my talks that the Prophet (s.a) had devised a very effective system of gathering intelligence of the movements of the enemy groups. He also had the Divine support in this respect. Once Khalid ibn e Walid started with a 200 strong column, the Prophet (s.a) got the intelligence about the movement. The Tribe of Junia, who hadn’t embraced Islam till that time, was however sympathetic to the cause of the Muslims. A person from the tribe went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) and gave the first information about the movement of Khalid and his men. Khalid was conscious of the fact that he had only 200 men and the Muslim contingent was 1400 strong. He was aware that at Badr the Muslims were only 313 against 1000 infidels and were victorious, at Ohod the Muslims were 700 who forced the 10,000 infidels to flee in defeat. These thoughts forced Khalid to refrain from making any preemptive attack on the Muslim caravan. He had the realization that the Muslims were moving with a peaceful intent and would be interested in a truce.

 One fact came to the mind of Khalid bin Walid at that moment. He thought that this caravan of the Muslims was proceeding under the leadership of the Prophet (s.a). He observed from a vantage point from a hill that the Muslims were forming columns to offer their prayers. He knew that they never missed their prayers. He regretted that he had missed the chance of attacking them with arrows. But he resolved that at the next prayer he would have his 200 archers ready to send a barrage of arrows. He told his men to be ready for the action at the next opportunity to annihilate all the Muslims in the midst of their congregational prayer.  

Here I would like to draw your attention to the fact that during the early days of Islam the Prophet (s.a) used to offer prayers in the precincts of the Haram of Mecca. It had become the pastime of some mischievous Arabs to cause disturbance to his prayers.

 

The verse of Surat al Alaq says:

Ara-yatal lazi yanhaa -Hast thou seen him who dissuadeth 

Abadan izaa sallaa?-A slave when he prayeth? 

This is in the middle of the Surat al Alaq and prostration is mandatory when one recites the last verse of this Surat : 

Kalla laa nutmehoo -No indeed! Do not obey him, 

Wa asjudu wa aqtarib -But prostrate and draw near (to Allah)! 

Khalid Ibn e Walid was waiting for the next prayer to ambush the Muslims with a barrage of arrows. Here we would take another digression to prove a point. This event proves the fact that the Prophet (s.a) did combine the two noon prayers on several occasions that he went for the Asr prayer immediately after the Zuhr prayer. The Prophet (s.a) was about to commence the Asr prayer when Jibraeel came to him. This event took place in the 6th year of Hijri. For 13 years the Muslims lived in Mecca and for 6 years they were in Madina. This makes a total of 19 years. During the past 19 years history records no occasion when the community offered the Namaz e Khauf ( The Prayer on occasion of Fear. The Prophet (s.a) announced that Jibraeel had visited him and communicated the mandate from Allah that half the congregation must offer the prayer and the other half stand guarding the group. After the first group completed the prayer, the second half must stand up for the prayer.  

When Khalid bin Walid witnessed this scene, he felt that his scheme of attacking the Muslims by surprise was defeated. He wondered how the Muslims got wind of his carefully camouflaged scheme! There was no possibility of any sleuth warning the Muslims at such short notice. He asked himself a question, “Who has taught the Muslims the strategy that they fulfilled their obligation of uninterrupted prayer and the contingent remained safe from an attack by the enemy?” 

At this stage the Prophet (s.a.) changed his route feeling that the infidels were planning to obstruct the progress of the journey of the caravan. The new route presented many problems that supplies of provisions for the maintenance of men and animals weren’t available on the way.  

Now the Muslims started showing signs of fear. They started wondering that if such a contingency was to present itself they would have come fully equipped to face the adversaries. The caravan was now nearing Hudaibiya. Before reaching Hudaibiya the caravan came across a hillock. The Muslims didn’t know what was there on the other side of the hill. They feared that perhaps the enemy was sitting in ambush on the other side of the hill. They had no paraphernalia of war and thought that if the enemy took them unawares, they would all be decimated. They thought that generally men at higher elevation have an upper hand if they are fully equipped for combat. But in their case the enemy would score over them because they had ventured out absolutely unprepared for combat! 

At this juncture the Prophet (s.a) made a very unusual statement. Sensing the fear of the Muslims of the unknown danger which might be lurking on the other side of the hill he said, “O Muslims! Keep climbing the hill and remember that scaling it is like entering Baab e Hitta (the Threshold of Hitta)!” Hitta was the test to which Bani Israel were put. The Holy Quran said that following the drowning of the Pharoh the people of Bani Israel were stranded in the wilderness for 40 years as a punishment for their disobedience. They reached their destination when they repented their fault that they were ungrateful in not acknowledging and accepting Allah’s Bounties. When Allah accepted their repentance it was announced that while entering the thresholds of the city that they reached they must prostrate and keep chanting “Hitta”. Hitta is a word of the Syriac language that means repentance. Bani Israel had loitered for full 40 years in the wilderness. They had ungratefully rejected Mann wa salva (Manna and Quails) saying that they wanted variety in their food and didn’t want to eat the same thing meal after meal. The result of their ungrateful rejection was that they didn’t get anything to eat. They then received the aforesaid message and saw the gate of the city and the sprawling habitation within. They now forgot the thought of repentance and to prostrate and utter the word Hitta! It is recorded in the histories that they entered the town proudly. Instead of prostrating, most of them held their heads high in conceit. Instead of saying Hitta (Repentence) the people started uttering the word Hinta that means the grain of wheat!  

The Prophet (s.a) said, “Remember! Climbing the hill of Hudaibiya is like entering the city chanting Hitta!” This was a test of the strength of the faith of the Muslims. The youth of the Medinite tribes of Aus and Khazraj raised slogans of “Allaho Akbar” and speedily scaled the hill. When they reached the peak they saw a stretch of greenery and a well on the other side. Now the contingent of Islam moved to the other side of the hill. They noticed a woman giving water to her child near the well. When she saw the group of men moving towards her, she caught hold of the child and started to run away. She was scared that if the men were enemies they would kill and destroy everything. But when she realized that the new arrivals were Muslims, she stopped running and told her son that they wouldn’t cause them any harm. By that time it was established in every nook and corner of Arabia that the Muslims, even if they invaded any place, they wouldn’t harm women, children, old and weak persons. The Prophet (s.a) now reached near the well and asked the women to draw some water from the well for him to quench his thirst. The woman said that the well yielded hardly any water. She said that she had to wait for hours to get some for her little child.  

The Prophet (s.a) then went near the well, peeped into it and put some of his saliva into the well. Miraculously the level of water came up so much that it was nearly touching the parapet of the well. The woman tasted the water and exclaimed, “There wasn’t so much water in the well and never so sweet!”  

 Immediately after the Well of Hudaibiya the precincts of the Haram start. In this area hunting of any animals or picking of even the leaves of any plants is taboo.  

The infidels of Mecca got news that the Prophet (s.a)’s contingent had halted at Hudaibiya. The cause of the halt was that the Prophet (s.a)’s she-camel, Qusvi, sat down and refused to budge a little from the spot. The Prophet (s.a) remained quiet and the other Muslims in the contingent tried their best to make the camel rise to commence the journey. The Prophet (s.a) asked them to leave it alone. The Prophet (s.a0 said that when Abraha came to attack the Kaaba, his elephant, Mehmood, sat down and refused to move. Abraha beat the animal so much that it died. The Prophet (s.a) said that the elephant was refusing to move with Allah’s will and similarly the camel too was under His command not to budge from its place. Hearing this, all the men in the contingent dismounted from their steeds and started pegging their tents. This was the time when Allah had put the Muslims to two tests. They had started from Madina with provisions for 8 days. But since they had taken a circuitous route, they took 10 days to reach Hudaibiya. In this time they had exhausted all their provisions and found themselves in a wilderness where nothing was available. They were now on the verge of starvation.  

Our Sixth Imam, Jafar e Sadiq (a.s), making a commentary on the following verse of Surat al Maidah (Verse 94) : 

Ya ayyuhal lazeena aamanu-O you who have faith! 

Layabluwannakum Allaho be-shaiyyin min al sayd -Allah wll surely test you with some of the game  

Tanalahu aidiyakum wa rimahakum - Within the reach of your hands and spears,

Says: 

“Do you know what test is alluded to in this Verse?” The narrator said that he wasn’t aware. The Imam (a.s) said, “Listen! This refers to the event of Hudaibiya. When the contingent of Islam halted at Hudaibiya, and it had no provisions whatever for sustenance, the men were reduced to the state of starvation, they received a message from Mecca that even if one person entered the precincts of the Haram, he will be instantly killed! The Prophet (s.a) did send his messenger. The messenger’s steed was butchered and the person was rescued by some of his friends there.” 

The Imam (a.s) then added, “Listen! All the men of the contingent were in Ihram! While one is in the Ihram about 23 or 24 things are taboo for him. Of these 24 things hunting of animals is one.” The Imam (a.s) says, “At the time of the treaty of Hudaibiya Allah had tested the Muslims as He tested Bani Israel on the Sabbath (Saturday) prohibiting catching fish on that day. The fishes knew that on the Sabbath none would catch them. They came in huge schools from the sea into the rivers. Those of the Bani Israel who acted against the mandate were transformed into monkeys!”

 Although the Muslims hadn’t as yet entered the precincts of the Haram they were prohibited from hunting because they were in Ihram. Inside the Haram, even those not in Ihram are prohibited from killing any animal or even the insects.

 The Imam (a.s) said that the animals in the wilderness got a message from Allah that the Muslims, although famished with hunger, cannot touch any animal being in Ihram.

 The narrator says, “The Muslims who were at Hudaibiya informed their children, later on, that a time came when the animals fearlessly entered their tents and they could touch their bodies. In normal times the animals would run away from human beings!

Allah tested the Muslims at Hudaibiya in this manner. They were hungry, bordering on starvation, and the wild animals were literally brushing their bodies with their bodies. But they were in Ihram and prohibited from butchering the animals.

 Almost the entire contingent of Islam, comprising of about 1,500 men, appeared unanimous complaining on one thing that the events that took place at Hudaibiya culminated in the signing of the truce despite their being in a position of strength. There were two or three persons in the contingent who were absolutely convinced of the veracity of the truce. The majority felt that Muslims have been ridiculed and belittled because of the signing of the treaty. But Allah said emphatically about the truce in Surat al Fath: Inna fatha na laka fathan mubinan -Indeed We have inaugurated for you a clear victory 

Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s) has said about the Truce of Hudaibiya that it was the most felicitous and great event in the life of the Prophet (s.a). Therefore one must read the entire Surat al fath with great attention and care to realize that the Muslims at that time were getting absolutely disheartened and Allah decided to reveal the Verse to the Prophet (s.a) as a balm for the disturbed thoughts of the Muslims. The Prophet (s.a) had been victorious in many a battle prior to Hudaibiya, but Allah had deemed this treaty as Fath e Mubin (Clear or Manifest Victory). We shall deal with the Surat al Fath at greater length later on, but it must suffice now to say that all the Muslims are assured that the greatest success was near at hand! The Verse 27, Surat al Fath says—Laqad sadaq Allah Rasoolahu ar-rooya bilhaqCertainly Allah has fulfilled His Apostle’s vision in all truth 

And Allah had rendered true the Prophet (s.a)’s dream:  

La tudkhul nal Masjid al harama Insha Allah aameneen -You will surely enter the Sacred Mosque Insha Allah in peace

 Mohalleqeen raoosakum wa muqassareen laa taqafoona - With your head shaven or hair cropped, without any fear

 

In this Surat also is the Verse 25 that highlights the imperative need of the Truce of Hudaibiya. It says:

Wa lau laa rijaalun Mominoon was nisaaun Mominaat - And were it not for (certain) faithful men and faithful women,

 Lam taalamoohum - Whom you did not know  

An tatoohum  -lest you should trample them, 

Fa tuseebakum minhum ma-arratum - And thus blame for (killing) them should fall on you 

Beghair e ilmin -Unaware (He held you back) 

t further says: La-azzabnal lazeena kafaru minhum -We would have surely punished the faithless among them. 

In this Verse Allah has very lucidly highlighted the need for the Truce that a combat would have become the cause of the death of innocent Muslims resident in Mecca at that time.  

It was now known why Allah mandated compromise through the Truce of Hudaibiya. The fact also came to our knowledge that a group of Muslims tried to ridicule and belittle the events of the treaty. We must bear in mind that the Infallibles wield their swords with utmost care and discretion with the assurance that the person they struck dead wouldn’t have Momin (s) in his progeny! Allah says in the Surat al Fath that the infidels of Mecca were deserving of retribution, but He will Himself wreak retribution on them and wanted the Muslims to refrain from initiating any fight to ensure the safety of the innocent Muslims residing in the city of Mecca .  

The events took place in the following manner: 

- The Prophet (s.a), and his contingent, reached Hudaibiya, about 16 miles from Mecca , during the month of Zilqiddah, 6th Year of Hijri.  

- The people of Mecca had received intelligence about the arrival of the contingent much earlier. They were getting information, from every stage, as the journey of the contingent progressed. They had confirmed intelligence that the Prophet (s.a) wasn’t headed for Mecca to initiate a fight with them.

 - It is the trait of mean persons that when they get assured of the good intentions of the contending party, they become bolder in creating unnecessary impediments. The Qureish of Mecca adopted the same attitude. They started deputing emissary after emissary who raised unnecessary, and untenable, objections. One emissary was the chief of the Tribe of Bani Khaza-aa, who were traditionally the friends of Bani Hashem. Hudaibiya, in fact, was in the territory of this tribe. Then came the chief of the Habishi Tribe, Owais, to talk on behalf of the infidels of Mecca . This tribe lives in the hilly tract in the vicinity of Mecca and has nothing to do with Abbyisinia in Africa . The Prophet (s.a) didn’t have any discussions with him and sent him back with gift of camels. In the end came Urwa bin Masood Thaqafi, the grand-father of Hazrat Umm e Laila. In fact he was visiting Mecca at that time to resolve some matters. He was sent as the third emissary of the Meccans. While he was about to return after the discussion, the Prophet (s.a) ordered his contingent to do the ablutions for congregational prayer. The entire contingent offered the prayer in an organized column. Urwa, who was a respected person in Arabia, was much impressed with the organized activity of the Muslims. If Abu Sufian, and others were chiefs of Mecca, he was equally important chief of Taif. Although the ablution and the prayer is expressly for Allah, the Prophet (s.a) ordered the Muslims to do the ablutions and offer prayer immediately after concluding his talk with Urwa. At that moment Urwa had nothing to do with the ablution or with the congregational prayer, but the scene left a lasting impression on his mind. When he reported back in Mecca , Urwa warned the chief not to commit the blunder of fighting with the Muslims. He said that he had seen the monarchs of Rome and Persia, the King of Egypt and the Najashi but the contingent of Mohammed (s.a) was exemplarily disciplined and their activities most organized.  

Now the Prophet (s.a) felt that the Meccans were playing delaying tactics. He wanted to break the dead-lock. He now sent his own emissary to Mecca . He sent Khiraj ibn e Umayya bani Khaza-aa. The well of Hudaibiya fell in the territory of this tribe. The Prophet (s.a) sent him with the task of finding out why the Qureish were so quiet. To prove that Khiraj was going as his personal emissary, the Prophet (s.a) gave to him his personal camel for use during the mission. When he reached near the Haram of Kaaba, the men, women and children there recognized that the person was riding the camel owned by the Prophet (s.a). The Arabs those days had a special skill of recognizing the pedigree, and thus the ownership of animals, by having a look at them. Before the emissary could open his mouth a group of the youth of Qureish attacked and killed the camel at the same spot. Then they turned towards Khiraj. At this moment the men of the Habshi Tribe went forward and said that they had agreed to side with the Qureish but they wouldn’t tolerate their attacking an emissary.  They said that even if they touched Khiraj, the Habashi tribe would call off their agreement of support to the Qureish. The chief of the Habashi Tribe took away Khiraj to a place of safety. Khiraj somehow reached back Hudaibiya and the Prophet (s.a) learned about what happened to him.  

The Prophet (s.a) was now looking for an emissary who had immunity that the Qureish wouldn’t attack him. But in the meantime the youth of Qureish planned to ambush the contingent of the Prophet (s.a) in the early hours of the morning when generally people are fast asleep. There are several versions that they were 30 or 40 or 50 or 80 men. With this purpose the group climbed the Hill of Tan-eem in the dead of the night. Tan-eem is the place where presently the Masjid e Aisha or Masjid e Shajra is located. Before dawn the group stealthily moved towards Hudaibiya. They were all excellent marksmen with bows and arrows ready with them. That was the time when the Prophet (s.a) encouraged the people to offer the Namaz e Shab (the Late Night Prayer). This group of the 50 archers never thought that they would find the Muslims fully awake and alert. The result was they were all apprehended and arrested. Allama Majlisi quotes on the authority of Jabir bin Abd Allah Ansari that the group consisted of archers, and not swordsmen, and they had no need to come close to attack. They could have used their arrows even if they found the Muslims awake. Jabir said, “ The Prophet (s.a) was offering his Namaz e Shab at that time. After the prayer he would generally supplicate for the honor and dignity of the Muslims and the destruction of infidelity! As a felicity of this prayer the archers were momentarily blinded and it appeared as if they were unable to see our group. We were therefore able to apprehend and arrest them with ease.”

 

In Surat al Fath this event is recorded in the Verse 24 as follows: 

Wa huwal lazi kaffa aidiyahum ankum- It is He who withheld their hands from you,  

Wa aidiyakum anhum  - And your hands from them, 

Ba batan e Mekka  -In the valley of Mekka  

Mim baade an azfarakum alaihim-After He had given you victory over them, 

Wa kaan Allahho bema taalamoona baseera.-And Allah sees best what you do. 

The Prophet (s.a), however, didn’t want to initiate a battle at that time. It was certainly within the rights of the contingent of Islam to execute or punish the intruders. But the Prophet (s.a) released them without levying any penalty on them or punishing them in any manner. But the Qureish in Mecca didn’t mend their ways. They were not advancing the negotiations and, to the contrary, had ill-treated the two emissaries sent by the Prophet (s.a). Now the Prophet (s.a), after due consideration, asked Hazrat Omer to proceed to Mecca and give impetus to the negotiations. He excused himself saying that none of the members of his clan was in Mecca at that time. If any untoward event happened there, he wouldn’t have any support or protection. He suggested that the people of the clan of Hazrat Othman were still resident in Mecca and they would certainly protect him. The Prophet (s.a) agreed and deputed Hazrat Othman for the task. When he reached the ramparts of Mecca, one of the chiefs of the city, Aban bin Said, who was returning from some errand, met him and asked Hazrat Othman where he was going? He informed Ibn e Said that he had been deputed by the Prophet (s.a) to find out the conditions in Mecca. Aban took Hazrat Othman along with him offering him his protection and hospitality. He took Othman to the Haram and announced that the emissary of the Prophet (s.a) was under his protection. If anyone harmed him, it would be tantamount to harming his protector. Because of the arrival of Hazrat Othman, the infidels of Mecca gave some indication of interest in the negotiations. The Muslims were thinking that Hazrat Othman would return back from Mecca the same evening. But three days went by and there was no news of him. Rumors spread that perhaps the infidels of Mecca had assassinated him as an act of  vengeance  against the Muslims. At that juncture the Prophet (s.a) assembled all the Muslims under a tree and took a Baiath (Oath of Allegiance). The Ulema and scholars say that the Oath was taken only on one sentence that they would not desert even if death stared in their eyes. At that moment the following verse of the Holy Quran was revealed: 

Laqad razi Allaho an il mominnena -Allah was certainly pleased with the faithful 

Iz yuba yaoonaka that al shajara-When they swore allegiance to you under the tree. 

This oath of allegiance is popularly known as the Baiath e Ridwan. Through the above quoted Verse, Allah has expressed His support to those of the group who were men of strong faith. Maktaba Tameer e Adab has published an excellent book “Baiath e Ridwan” in Urdu. Those who are interested in the subject may make access to the good book. After the Baiath the Muslims were bubbling with high spirit and enthusiasm when the group noticed Hazrat Othman arriving from Mecca. He reported to the Prophet (s.a) that the infidels of Mecca had agreed for a negotiated settlement. But he said that they have two issues to be resolved. The first was that they were bound with an oath that they wouldn’t allow the Muslims to enter Mecca. The second issue was that if they did allow the Muslims to enter Mecca, they, the infidels,  would be the targets of ridicule in the consideration of the entire Arab world that their enemy entered the city, worshipped at the Holy Site and went away unopposed. Hazrat Othman said that these two issues were troubling the Qureish. However, he added, that they were sending an emissary to discuss and find a way out of the problem. While this discussion was in progress, the representative of the Qureish arrived at the scene. This representative was Sohail bin Omer, who was also known as Khatib al Arab—the orator of Arabia . This person was of very tough and adamant nature. He never accepted the other point of view in any debate. He would go to the extent of sacrificing himself and his children to uphold his point of view. When the event of Hudaibiya took place Sohail’s own son, Abu Jundal, had embraced Islam and was facing torture and incarceration at the hands of his own father, Sohail, as punishment for the act. The Qureish did want to send a tough negotiator and thus their eyes fell on Sohail. They said that Mohammed (s.a) was a magician and a milder person would come under his spell and yield to him! The Muslims saw him coming from a distance and immediately recognized him. They felt that even if there was some chance of any progress in the negotiations, it would be nullified by him. Sohail was bitterly inimical against the Muslims. He had bitter memories of being incarcerated by the Muslims after the battle of Badr. Contrary to the thoughts of the majority of Muslims there, when the Prophet (s.a) set eyes on Sohail, he made an augury saying, “Sahal amarna—With sohail here our task has been eased!” The Prophet (s.a) was that day negotiating the very difficult matter with the enemy when most of the Muslims there had the least hope of any success. The negotiation wasn’t done in-camera in closed-door environment. Everything was done in the presence and the hearing of all the Muslims. Sohail bin Omer went on making objection after objection and the Prophet (s.a) kept acceding to his objections. In the end the Muslims felt that two of the six clauses of the truce were such that they were absolutely against the interests of the Muslims.  

The first clause was that the Muslims would immediately return to Madina and visit Makka after the lapse of one year only for three days. During their visit they wouldn’t carry any arms other than those necessary for safety during the journey. These arms, too, they would have to keep away while in Mecca.

 The second clause was that if any Muslim went from Medina to Mecca , the people of Mecca would detain him there and wouldn’t return him. But if some Muslim from Mecca went to Medina , it would be binding on the Medinans to send the person back. There was a lacuna in the use of the words that gave advantage to the Muslims over the infidels. The words used were that the Medinans would “send back the persons” and not “hand over the persons”. Then they used the word “Muslim” in the document. In Arabic “Muslim” is masculine gender and the feminine gender would be “Muslima”. The document of the treaty was therefore silent on the method of handling the females if they escaped from Mecca and crossed over to the other side. About this clause some interesting event took place that we shall discuss later on.

 The third clause was that the Arab Tribes were free to align with any of the two parties at their discretion. The third party would not raise any objection to such treaties.

 The fourth clause was that the truce would be valid for a period of 10 years. During the validity of the truce there will not be any hostility or battles between the two parties.

All the four clauses of the truce of Hudaibiya have not been mentioned uniformly in the books of history. Some mention two, some three and others four.       

The fifth clause was that the assets and wealth of the infidels and the Muslims was to be immune from attack and appropriation by the opposite party.

 The sixth clause, which was very important, and was of great advantage to the Muslims of Mecca, was that they would be free to practice their religion without any hindrance from the infidels from the day of the signing of the Truce. The Muslims of Mecca who were observing Taqayya (Dissimulation) till that time were free to practice their religion openly. Their lives and properties too were to be given protection. This clause too hasn’t been mentioned by most of the Ulama. But our Ulama viz: Sheik Mufeed, Allama Tabrisi, Allama Majlisi have taken care to mention this very important clause in their works.

  The terms of the Truce had been agreed and were just to be reduced to writing and signing by the parties. The Prophet (s.a) asked Hazrat Ali (a.s) to reduce the terms of the Truce to writing, in duplicate, to be signed by the Prophet (s.a) on behalf of the Muslims and Sohail bin Omer as the representative of the infidels of Mecca. All other Muslims were standing dumb-struck thinking that the terms of the treaty were one-sided and giving all the advantage to the infidels. Some of them were even expressing their disagreement in very clear terms! One person objected that why he was agreeing to send back a Muslim if he escaped from Mecca and sought refuge in Medina . The Prophet (s.a) replied that he had trust in Allah that He would protect such persons! He said that there was no guarantee of a person living on if he migrated to Medina . If Allah wished, the person would die anywhere, at any moment. He also said that if any person, on his own, went to Mecca , the Muslims needn’t go after him to give him protection! This reply of the Prophet (s.a) was certainly very terse! Contrary to the natures of the other prominent Muslims, Ali (a.s)’s nature was different. In the field of battle he was a valorous warrior and on the negotiation table he exercised maximum equanimity and patience. This was the reason that the Prophet (s.a) kept him near during the negotiations and had asked him to reduce the treaty to writing. What he wrote in the document were implicitly the words of the Prophet (s.a) . The Prophet (s.a) dictated to him thus:

 Bismillah hir Rehman ir Rahim. This is a truce agreement between the Prophet of Allah and the Qureish” At this point Sohail ibn e Omer asked, “What is Bismillah hir Rehman ir Rahim? We do know Allah but we don’t know who is Rehman and Rahim? You must write only what we know.” The Prophet (s.a) asked Hazrat Ali (a.s) to delete the two words. The Muslims around the table were getting worked up about this. But one thing must be remembered that if Sohail had asked starting the document in the names of “Laat” and “Manaat” the Prophet (s.a) would have strongly rejected the suggestion. Sohail raised another objection. He said, “You have said that it is a truce agreement between the Prophet of Allah and the Qureish, O son of Abd Allah! What is the Prophet of Allah? If we accept you as the Prophet of Allah, then there remains no dispute between us! What objection you have over writing your name and your father’s name on the document?” The Prophet (s.a) asked Ali (a.s) to delete the words “Prophet of Allah” and insert “Mohammed ibn e Abd Allah” in their place. Hazrat Ali (a.s) refused to do this. The Prophet (s.a) himself took the pen from the hands of Hazrat Ali (a.s) struck off the words “Prophet of Allah” and inserted the words “Mohammed Ibn e Abd Allah”. This event also proves that the Prophet (s.a) wasn’t an utter Ummi and he knew his reading and writing!

 The document was ready and was about to be signed by the parties when Abu Jundal arrived at the scene. He fell on the feet of the Prophet (s.a) and pleaded that he had managed to escape from the incarceration of his tyrannical father and wanted refuge. Sohail ibn e Omer recognized that it was his own son whom he had tortured and confined, chained, to a room since he had embraced Islam. Sohail was about to put his signature on the document of the Truce, but he withdrew his hand. The Prophet (s.a) said that Abu Jundal was a Muslim and it was the duty of every Muslim to give refuge and help to a Muslim. Sohail ibn e Omer said, “O Muhammed! This is the time to test how sincere you are about the terms of the Truce! Just now the terms of the Treaty have been finalized that you will not give refuge to anyone crossing from our side to Medina .” The Prophet (s.a) replied, “You are absolutely right. But since the document is not yet ratified with signatures, we may still give refuge to Abu Jundal!” Sohail bin Omer said, “ If such is the case, keep the document of the Truce with you . We are not willing to make any agreement!” Sohail bin Omer was making such a strong statement being fully aware that the Qureish wouldn’t be able to bear the onslaught of 1,400 strong contingent of the Muslims. He had made such a drastic statement because he had guessed that the Prophet (s.a) wished to ratify the Truce at any cost. Sohail bin Omer had two other Qureishites with him in the delegation. They took pity on Abu Jundal, caught hold of his hand and guided him to the group of Muslims asking them to take care of him. Sohail bin Omer got angry on the two persons and said that he was the chief negotiator and wouldn’t tolerate any interference from them. He insisted that the treaty wouldn’t be finalized if his son wasn’t sent back to Mecca with him. The Prophet (s.a) made all the efforts to get the custody of Abu Jundal but had to yield to the adamant insistence of Sohail ibn e Omer. Then he looked at the father and the son and said, “O Abu Jundal! Do as your father says and go back to Mecca !” Abu Jundal bared the wounds that he had suffered at the hands of his father. The Muslims were becoming angrier with the passage of every moment. The Prophet (s.a) was aware of this, but he said, “O Abu Jundal! Do go away! Allah will protect you and devise some way of your escape from the torture!” Abu Jundal now moved towards his father. Some historians have recorded that a couple of Muslims came closer to him and tempted him to pick up a sword and kill his father. Abu Jundal told them, “The Prophet (s.a) has given his verdict. I should rather go into incarceration and bear the torture! I cannot act against the decision of the Prophet (s.a)!” He now surrendered himself to his father. Sohail ibn e Omer realized now the feelings of brotherhood the Muslims had for Abu Jundal. He then started beating Abu Jundal and his wounds started bleeding again. The Prophet (s.a) quietly observed the torture inflicted by a father on his son. He was thus giving a lesson that sometimes one has to quietly observe the acts of tyranny for the sake of Islam. Now Sohail bin Omer handed over the son to his slaves and put his signature on both the copies of the document of Truce. He took one copy of the document and departed with his entourage for Mecca . The other copy of the document was with the Prophet (s.a).             

After sending away Sohail ibn e Omer the Prophet (s.a) gave his attention to the Muslims. They were very angry and upset with the events of the day. He addressed them thus, “O Muslims! We will not be able to perform the Umra now. Therefore get your hair tonsured and come out of the Ihram.” The somber group remained quiet. They were shell shocked as if they were in delirium. It seemed as if their eyes were wide open but their minds were unable to comprehend anything. . The Prophet (s.a) once again asked them to change into ordinary apparel from the Ihram. Now the Prophet (s.a) entered his personal tent with a sad countenance. It was his practice that whenever he traveled, he took one of his spouses along. On this journey Hazrat Umm e Salama was with him. Umm e Salama noticed the unhappiness reflected on the face of the Prophet (s.a). She asked him the reason of his moroseness. He informed her of the attitude of the Muslims. Umm e Salama advised him that although the Muslims were in a state of shock and were unable to understand anything he needn’t tell them anything. He may just set the example before them by getting his hair tonsured, sacrifice the animal and change from the Ihram to ordinary apparel. They will certainly then follow suit! Seeing the Prophet (s.a) going through the rituals, there were signs of activity in the 1500 strong contingent. They started emulating the Prophet (s.a)’s action. For Umrah it is prescribed that the men must either get their hair completely tonsured or are permitted even to clip some of the hair from the head. At Hudaibiya those Muslims who were highly dedicated to the Prophet (s.a) got their hair tonsured in his emulation and there were also some who got their hair clipped just to fulfill the ritual! For women tonsuring of the head is taboo and they just have to get their hairs clipped as a ritual. When the Prophet (s.a) got his hair tonsured at Hudaibiya or at Hujjat al Wida, the Muslims took small quantities to keep as holy relic. People have preserved these relics for centuries. It is very difficult to provide proof of the authenticity of the relics, but it is certain that in many families people have preserved the hairs and keep them on view on special occasions!

 When the Prophet (s.a) saw that some persons had tonsured their hair and the others only got some hair clipped, he said, “Rahem Allah alal mohallaqeen—May Allah bless those who got their hair tonsured!” from one corner someone raised his voice, “What do you say about those who have just clipped some of their hairs?” The Prophet (s.a) repeated his words, “Rahem Allah alal mohallaqeen.” At this juncture those who had just clipped their hairs moved forward in a group. Now the Prophet said, “May Allah Bless them as well!” Another person asked, “O Prophet of Allah! Why you have talked so strongly of those who tonsured their heads and lightly of those who just got their hairs clipped?” The Prophet (s.a) now replied, “Those who have tonsured their heads have total faith and belief in my prophet-hood and the others are not firm in their faith!” The Prophet (s.a) now said that the contingent was to return back to Medina . One person asked, “O Prophet of Allah! Didn’t you say when we started our journey from Medina that we shall circumambulate the Kaaba and do the Sa-ee between the hills of Safa and Marwa!” The Prophet (s.a) replied, “Yes! I did say all that!” The man said, “The Prophet (s.a)’s word hasn’t come true!” The Prophet (s.a) said, “I didn’t say that we shall perform the rituals in this year only. Remember! Allah will fulfill His promise!” The contingent moved a little distance on its journey when Jibraeel came and revealed Surat al Fath (Chapter 48 of the Holy Quran). The very first verse of the Surat is Bismillahir Rehman ir Rahim Inna fathana laka fathan mubeenan, MEANING, we have given you a manifest victory or a victory which is very obvious! This word wasn’t used after any of the earlier battles viz: Badr, Ohod, Khandaq or even Khaibar immediately thereafter! But Allah chose to use this adjective specifically after the conclusion of the Truce of Hudaibiya! Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s) says, “ In Islam no event is more felicitous than the Truce of Hudaibiya!” In this truce there are many blessings. We shall talk about them bye and by.

 But before mentioning about the blessings, we would like to mention, as recorded by Sheik Toosi, Allama Tabrisi,  Sayed Qutb al Din Rawandi, Ibn e Sahr Ashoob and many other Shia and Sunni historians that after returning to Medina after signing the Treaty, the Prophet (s.a) abided there only for 20 days. On the 21st day the contingent moved towards the Oasis of Khaibar. The Truce of Hudaibiya has a great relevance to the campaign of Khaibar.

 I have mentioned earlier, and am reiterating again, that the words used in agreements have a great bearing in regard to their implementation. As the contingent of Islam reached Medina, the daughter of Uqba bin abi Moeed,Umm Kulthum,  went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) and sought refuge. Uqba, a Meccan, was a sworn enemy of Islam and his daughter faced torture from him because she had embraced the new Creed. The Prophet (s.a) gave her refuge. At that time her two brothers, Walid and Ammar, arrived in her pursuit and said, “O son of Abd Allah! We do know that you never breach the trust and infringe the terms of the agreements! This is the reason that the people of Makka call you Sadiq, the truthful, and Amin, the trustworthy! Our sister has escaped from Makka and is under your refuge. There is an agreement between you and us that if any of our persons comes to you, you will forthright return the person to us.” The Prophet (s.a) replied, “The truce agreement does say that if a Momin corsses over from your territory to us for refuge he shall have to be returned back to you. But Momin means a man and the agreement is silent about Mominat or the women!” At that time some of the Muslims around the Prophet (s.a) meekly protested that the statement was rather playing with the words. The Prophet (s.a) said that the agreement mentions about Muslim (the masculine gender) and not Muslima (the feminine gender) He stressed that they had not made any agreement for repatriating the women who sought refuge with the Muslims! Some of the Muslims became doubtful that the clause of the agreement was for Muslims seeking refuge in Medina, whether men or women! At this juncture the Surat al Mumtahana was revealed. The Verse 10 of the Surat says: 

Ya ayyuhal lazeena aamanu-O you who have faith! 

Iza jaa aa kum al mominaatu muhajiraatin -When faithful women come to you as immigrants, 

Fa amtheuhunna -Test them

Later in the same Verse the Holy Quran says: Fala tarjeoo hunna ilal kuffaar -Do not send them back to the faithless. 

The Holy Quran thus confirmed the decision of the Prophet (s.a) with regard to the refuge granted to Umm Kulthm bint e Uqba ibn e abi Moeed.  

Now the Prophet (s.a) started from Medina on the Campaign of Khaibar. Eminent scholars and historians have written volumes on the cause and effects of the Truce of Hudaibiya. I am enumerating here the main advantages that accrued to the Muslims as a result of this treaty: 

The first advantage was that as a result of the signing of the treaty, the Muslims in Mecca could freely and openly start practicing the Creed. Hitherto they were observing Taqayya, or dissimulation, to safeguard themselves against the persecution from the infidels. This Truce came as a blessing for them. Even the Holy Koran, in the Surat al Fath ( Verse 25) ordains restraint in attacking Mecca because there were faithful men and faithful women in the city, unknown to the contingent of the Muslims, who could have been trampled in the event of a battle fought in the Holy City . The Treaty brought out these faithful persons from their hiding and they started freely practicing the tenets of Islam.

 The second advantage accruing from the Truce was there was a sort of Iron Curtain separating the people of Mecca from the people of Medina. Even the smaller tribes, who were inclined to be friendly with the Muslims were shy to establish any contacts with them as a safety measure. With the signing of the Treaty they started freely interacting with the Muslims. The tribe that inhabited the area of Hudaibiya, Bani Khaza-aa, who had strong links with the Bani Hashim since the times of the Prophet (s.a)’s grand-father kept discreetly away from the Muslims fearing reprisals from the Khoreish in their neighborhood. As soon as the Treaty was signed, they declared that they would side with the Muslims!

The third advantage was that those Muslims who had migrated to Medina were separated from their kith and kin in Mecca. With the signing of the Treaty, the Muslims from Mecca were enabled to visit their relatives in Medina and exchange gifts. The infidels of Mecca too started interacting with the Muslims. Hitherto they used to consider the Muslims as sorcerers and were shy of interacting with them. When they experienced the exemplary manners and behavior of the Muslims, they realized their mistake.

 The fourth big advantage was that the Prophet (s.a) got the breathing time to propagate the Mission of Islam. Hitherto the Muslims were attacked by the Koreish at regular intervals that kept the community at high alert not leaving sufficient time for propagating the Creed in the other areas. After the signing of the Treaty the Prophet (s.a) started corresponding with the rulers in Egypt, Abbysinia, Iran Rome etc.  

The fifth advantage was that after the Koreish, the Jews were the biggest challenge to the fledgling Community. So far the Koriesh and the Jews were hand in glove against the Muslims. With the Truce of Hudaibiya the Prophet (s.a) disrupted the cooperation between these adversaries of Islam. This enabled the Prophet (s.a) to undertake the successful campaign to Khaibar, where the Jews had entrenched themselves in large numbers, within 20 days of returning to Medina after signing the Truce of Hudaibiya.   

The sixth advantage to the Muslims was the clause that initially upset the majority of the Community that it said that any Muslim who crossed over to Medina from Mecca because of the persecution from the infidels would be expelled and asked to return back. This very clause became a bone in the necks of the infidels. In terms of this clause, Abu Jundal was handed over to his infidel father Sohail ibn e Omer who put him in a torture chamber. Abu Jundal propagated the Creed of Islam to his warders and as many of 70 of them embraced Islam. Abu Jundal heard that on the coast there was a settlement of Muslims who were exiled by the infidels and were not acceptable in Medina in terms of the Treaty of Hudaibiya. He escaped from the incarceration, along with the 70 brethren of his, to the new sea-side settlement started by Utbah ibn e Usaid, popularly known as Abu Basir. He had sought refuge in Medina immediately after the signing of the Truce of Hudaibiya. Two men from Mecca, who were shadowing him also went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) said that it would be an infringement of the Truce if he was given refuge and wanted to take Abu Basir with them to Mecca. Abu Basir pleaded that if he went to Mecca he would be tortured to no end. The Prophet (s.a) however advised him to go away from Medina. On the way to Mecca, near Dual Halifa, Abu Basir praised the sword of the leader of his two captors and asked him to give it to him for inspection. The man gave him the sword and he, unsheathing it, gave such a blow that the person’s head was decapitated. The other captive of Abu Basir ran back fast to Medina and reported the incident to the Prophet (s.a) and expressed fear that Abu Basir might slay him as well. At that juncture Abu Basir too arrived there and told to the Prophet (s.a) he was handed over to the Meccans in terms of the Treaty but he had earned his freedom himself and should be allowed to stay in Medina. The Prophet (s.a) expressed his inability to give him refuge. When he was finally turned out of Medina he started the sea-side settlement which was growing by the day. There were many Muslims resident in Mecca. When they heard about the new habitation established by Abu Basir, they started moving down to settle with him. Naturally only men were moving to the new settlement because they weren’t acceptable as refugees in Medina. The old men were unable to take the adventure of facing the harsh environment of the new settlement. Only young and able bodied persons joined the group of Abu Basir. Abu Jundal, with his 70 companions, too headed towards the sea-side settlement. They started way-laying the trading caravans that passed that way to arrange sustenance for themselves. It was a tradition that the trading caravans of the Koreish were not plundered by the Arabs because they were the keepers of the Kaaba. Since the times of Hazrat Ismail (a.s), the Koreish hadn’t faced any plunder of their caravans during their journeys. They thought it would be better that the Muslims who had moved to the settlement were admitted to Medina . When the infidels moved the matter with the Prophet (s.a), he said that he didn’t give refuge to those persons in terms of the Truce. If they now wanted action contrary to the Clause, a letter would be sent to the leader of the settlement to move to Medina. When the Prophet (s.a)’s letters reached the settlement, it was like the day of Eid for the people there. The leader of the group, Abu Basir, was seriously ill at that moment. Abu Jundal was his deputy. He took the letter to Abu Basir and congratulated him saying that the Prophet (s.a) has himself sent a letter asking all of them to move over to Medina. Abu Basir opened his eyes and said, “Alhamd u Lillah! All my efforts are bearing fruit today! Keep the letter on my chest that when I breathe my last it is with me! I don’t have sufficient strength to reach the presence of the Prophet (s.a)!” Abu Jundal bent down and gingerly put the letter on the chest of Abu Basir. As the letter was put on the chest of Abu Basir, his spirit departed from his body! Abu Jundal interred the mortal remains of Abu Basir at the same place and constructed a small mosque there. Abu Jundal moved with his group of 300 Muslims to Medina, went to the presence of the Prophet (s.a) and recounted to him what transpired at the sea-side settlement! 

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