In the sixth year, the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah upon him) announced his intent to perform `Umrah and set out with 1400 men, unarmed except for the sheathed sword normally carried by a traveller. His companions drove with them the sacrificial animals. When the Quraysh learned of this, they gathered to prevent them from reaching al-Masjid al-Haraam.
Islam is a religion of loyalty and respect for promises, contracts and covenants. Allah(Almighty) has said:
O you who have believed, fulfil [all] agreements. (5:1)
And He(Almighty) said:
Fulfil [every] commitment; indeed, the commitment is that [about which one will be] questioned. (17:34)
And He(Almighty) cited as being among the people of understanding: Those who fulfil the covenant of Allah and do not break the contract. (13:20)
It had been mentioned in the treaty of Hudaybiyyah that the tribe of Khuza`ah entered an alliance with the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah upon him) and that Bakr had allied with the Quraysh. Then it happened that a man from Khuza`ah heard a man from Bakr reciting poetry insulting to the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah upon him), so he struck him and injured him. This caused hostility between them and Bani Bakr determined to fight Khuza`ah. They asked for help from the Quraysh who supplied them with weapons and animals to ride.
Allah(Almighty) ordered His Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah upon him) to pardon people and said: So by mercy from Allah, you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. (3:159)
And He (Almighty) said: So pardon them and overlook [their misdeeds]. Indeed, Allah loves doers of good. (5:13)
Mercy toward His Enemies
The Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah upon him) was a mercy for all humanity. Allah(Almighty) described him as such, saying:
"And We did not send you [O Muhammad] but as a mercy to the worlds." (21:107)
And the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah upon him) himself said, "Indeed, I was sent as a mercy." (Muslim)
His Mercy Toward Animals and Immobile Things
We have mentioned that the prophetic mercy included not only the monotheistic Muslim but the disbeliever as well. Here we may add that the Prophet's (Peace and blessings of Allah upon him) mercy went beyond humanity to include animals and even inanimate things. He (Peace and blessings of Allah upon him) said,
The Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah upon him) was unequalled in his generosity, liberality, open-handedness and leniency. His generosity was comprehensive and included all levels of giving, the highest of which is to offer one's life in the cause of Allah(Almighty). He gave himself in fighting against the enemies of Allah(Almighty) and he was closest to the enemy during battle; only the bravest soldiers would stand beside him.
delivered on 623 A.D at Arafat, Mecca.
After praising, and thanking Allah (the One God) he said:
"Oh People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether, after this year
I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you
very carefully and TAKE THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY.
O People, just as you regard this month, this day as Sacred, so regard
the life and property of every Muslim as sacred trust. Return the goods