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The Quraysh breach of truce

The Quraysh breach of truce

After two years, the °udaybiyah Truce was broken by Quraysh. According to the fourth paragraph, any tribe was free to join either the Muslims or Quraysh. At that time, Khuz¡`ah made a treaty with Muslims and Ban£-Bakr allied with Quraysh.[1]

In the eighth year of Hegira, Ban£-Bakr attacked Ban£-Khuz¡`ah at nighttime. In this confrontation Quraysh allied with Ban£-Bakr, killing a group of the soldiers of Khuz¡`ah. This was a breach of the °udaybiyah Truce.[2] Following the chief of Khuz¡`ah’s request for assistance, the Holy Prophet announced a general mobilization[3] and decided to attack Mecca. In order for Quraysh not to know the Muslims’ plan and to surprise them in an attack so that Mecca could be captured with no bloodshed, the Holy Prophet concealed his destination[4] and ordered his men to watch the Meccan roads[5] asking God to keep Quraysh unaware of his plan.[6]

The Holy Prophet, with an army of ten thousand soldiers, headed for Mecca.[7] His tactic was successful. The spies of Quraysh were kept in the dark up to the moment when Muslim troops were stationed at the gates of Mecca.

`Abb¡s, the Holy Prophet’s uncle, lived in Mecca up to that year. As he was heading for Medina, the Islamic troops were heading for Mecca. He met the Holy Prophet at al-Ju¦afah and returned to Mecca with him. At the last night of the stationing of the Muslim troops outside the gates of Mecca, `Abb¡s saw Ab£-Sufy¡n outside the city and took him to meet the Holy Prophet.[8] Observing the Islamic troops, Ab£-Sufy¡n became frightened. The Holy Prophet pardoned him and declared, “Anybody who takes sanctuary in the Kaaba, stays at home or takes shelter at Ab£-Sufy¡n’s house is unharmed.”

Prior to the arrival of the Islamic troops in Mecca, Ab£-Sufy¡n informed the people of the Holy Prophet’s amnesty. This plan helped the lack of bloodshed and the surrender of the city; so, Mecca collapsed. Only in one section of the city where some obstinate people continued resisting were some people killed.[9]

Arriving at Mecca, the Holy Prophet circumambulated the Kaaba while he was riding on a camel and hitting with his cane the idols which had been fastened to the Kaaba with tins, saying,

The truth has come and the falsehood has vanished; surely, falsehood is a vanishing thing. (17:81)

It is well-known for historians and narrators, Imam `Al¢ then climbed upon the Holy Prophet’s shoulder and destroyed the big idols.[10] Imam al-¯¡diq states that the idol which Imam `Al¢ destroyed was Hubal. On the Holy Prophet’s order, this idol was buried under the Ban£-Shaybah Gate, one of the entrances to the Kaaba. Therefore, it is recommended that people enter the Kaaba from this gate.[11]



[1] Prior to Islam, these two tribes were on terms of enmity (Ibn Hush¡m, al-S¢rah al-Nabawiyyah 4:310). Since that time, Ban£-Khuz¡`ah were the allies of `Abd al-Mu§§alib (al-W¡qid¢, al-Magh¡z¢ 2:781).

[2] Ibn Hush¡m, al-S¢rah al-Nabawiyyah 1:33; al-W¡qid¢, al-Magh¡z¢ 2:783; Ibn W¡¤i¦, T¡r¢kh al-Ya`q£b¢ 2:47.

Ibn Hush¡m writes, “An individual from Ban£-Khuz¡`ah was killed in this attack.” (4:33) However, al-W¡qid¢ and Ibn Sa`d mention that twenty individuals were killed in this event. (al-Magh¡z¢ 2:784; Al-±abaq¡t al-Kubr¡ 2:134).

[3] al-W¡qid¢, op cit, pp. 744-800; Ibn Sa`d, op cit, 2:135.

[4] al-W¡qid¢, op cit, 2:746-802; Ibn Sa`d, op cit, 2:134.

[5] al-W¡qid¢, op cit, 2:787-796; Ibn Sa`d, op cit, 2:134.

[6] Ibn Hush¡m, op cit, 4:34; Ibn Sa`d, op cit, 2:134; T¡r¢kh al-Ya`q£b¢ 2:47.

[7] Ibn Hush¡m 4:42, pp. 63; Ibn Sa`d, op cit, 2:135; al-W¡qid¢, op cit, 2:801.

[8] Ibn Hush¡m, op cit, pp. 42, 44, 46; al-W¡qid¢, op cit, 2:817-819.

[9] The casualties were between fifteen and twenty-eight. See Ibn Hush¡m, op cit, pp. 50; al-W¡qid¢, op cit, 2:825; Ibn Sa`d, op cit, 2:136.

[10] Ibn Hush¡m, op cit, 4:49; al-W¡qid¢, op cit, 2:832; Ibn Sa`d, op cit, 2:136. Also see Shaykh al-±£s¢, al-Am¡l¢, pp. 336; al-S¢rah al-°alabiyyah 3:30; Zayn¢ Da¦l¡n, al-S¢rah al-Nabawiyyah 2:102; Qas§al¡n¢, al-Maw¡hib al-Ludaniyyah 1:322; Ibn ±aw£s, al-±ar¡’if 1:80-81; Ibn Shahr¡sh£b, al-Man¡qib 2:135-136; Zamakhshar¢, Tafs¢r al-Kashsh¡f 2:244.

All¡mah Am¢n¢ has reported this event from forty-one Sunni narrators. (al-Ghad¢r 7:10-13). On the basis of some reference books (such as: al-Khaw¡rzmi’s al-Man¡qib, Far¡'id al-Sim§ayn, Yan¡b¢` al-Mawaddah, and Tadhkirat al-Khaw¡¥¥) and in accordance with some narrations recorded in Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r, this event had taken place one year prior to the Emigration and had taken part at night without letting Quraysh know about it Most probably, the event might have happened in both ways.

The ascent of `Al¢ over the Holy Prophet’s shoulders has been mentioned by some poets, such as Ibn al-`Arandas al °ill¢, a poet of the ninth century, who composed the following:

`Al¢’s ascent on A¦mad’s shoulders was more a great virtue and a lofty point of honor for `Al¢. This virtue is different from being a relative of the prophet.

In the same way, Ibn Ab¢’l-°ad¢d, in one of his elegies, which is related to Mecca’s conquest, composed the following:

You have ascended on the loftiest shoulders which were surrounded with the Qur’¡n-reciting angels. You have climbed the shoulder of the best of God’s prophets; the shoulder of the dearest and holiest person who has ever lived on the earth.

See Mu¦ammad Ibr¡h¢m ªyat¢, the History of the Prophet of Islam, pp. 524-530.

[11] Al-°urr al-`ªmil¢: Was¡'il al-Sh¢`ah 9:323, Narration 1.

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