The Treaty of Hudaibiyyah
Description: The hidden victory of a non-aggression treaty between the Muslims and the Makkans.
In the same year the Prophet r had a vision in which he found himself entering Makkah unopposed, therefore he determined to attempt the pilgrimage. Besides a number of Muslims from Madinah, he called upon the friendly Arabs to accompany him, whose numbers had increased since the miraculous discomfiture of the clans at the Battle of the Ditch, but most of them did not respond. Attired as pilgrims, and taking with them the customary offerings, a company of fourteen hundred men journeyed to Makkah. As they drew near the valley they were met by a friend from the city, who warned the Prophet r that the Quraysh had sworn to prevent his entering the sanctuary and that their cavalry was on the road before him. On that, the Prophet r ordered a detour through mountain gorges, so the Muslims were tired out when they came down at last into the valley of Makkah and encamped at a spot called Hudaibiyyah; from thence he tried to open negotiations with the Quraysh, to explain that he came only as a pilgrim. The first messenger he r sent towards the city was maltreated and his camel hamstrung. He returned without delivering his message. The Quraysh, on their side, sent an envoy that was threatening in tone, and very arrogant. Another of their envoys was too insolent in the way he spoke to the Prophet r, and had to be reminded sternly of the respect due to him. It was he who consequently said, on his return to the city of Makkah: “I have seen Caesar and Chosroes in their pomp, but never have I seen a man honoured as Muhammad is honoured by his comrades.”
The Prophet r sought to send some messenger who would impose respect. Uthman t was finally chosen because of his kinship with the powerful Umayyad family. While the Muslims were awaiting his return the news came that he had been murdered. It was then that the Prophet r, sitting under a tree in Hudaibiyyah, took an oath from all his comrades that they would stand or fall together. After a while, however, it became known that Uthman t had not been murdered. After a while, a troop that came out from the city to molest the Muslims in their camp was captured before they could do any harm and brought before the Prophet r, who forgave them on their promise to renounce hostility.
Truce of Hudaibiyyah
Eventually proper envoys came from the Quraysh. After some negotiation, the truce of Hudaibiyyah was signed. It stipulated that for ten years there were to be no hostilities between the parties. The Prophet r was to return to Madinah without visiting the Ka’bah, but he would be able to perform the pilgrimage with his comrades in the following year. The Quraysh promised they would evacuate Makkah to allow him to do so. Deserters from the Quraysh to the Muslims during the period of the truce were to be returned; not so deserters from the Muslims to the Quraysh. Any tribe or clan who wished to share in the treaty as allies of the Prophet r might do so, and any tribe or clan who wished to share in the treaty as allies of the Quraysh might do so. There was dismay among the Muslims at these terms. They asked one another: “Where is the victory that we were promised?”
It was during the return journey from Hudaibiyyah that the chapter entitled “Victory” was revealed. This truce proved, in fact, to be the greatest victory that the Muslims had till then achieved. War had been a barrier between them and the idolaters, but now both parties met and talked together, and the new religion spread more rapidly. In the two years which elapsed between the signing of the truce and the fall of Makkah the number of converts was greater than the total number of all previous converts. The Prophet r travelled to Hudaibiyyah with 1,400 men. Two years later, when the Makkans broke the truce, he marched against them with an army of 10,000.
Edited by the Prophet of Mercy team