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  The Return to Makkah

Description: Events which led to the conquest of Makkah, and eventually to the end of idolatry in Arabia.

The Campaign of Khayber

In the seventh year or the Hijrah the Prophet r, led a campaign against Khayber, the stronghold of the Jewish tribes in North Arabia, which had become a hornets’ nest of his enemies. The Jews of Khayber thenceforth became tenants of the Muslims. It was at Khayber that a Jewish woman prepared poisoned meat for the Prophet r, of which he only tasted a morsel. Hardly had the morsel touched his lips than he became aware that it was poisoned. Without swallowing it, he warned his companions of the poison, but one Muslim, who had already swallowed a mouthful, died later.

Pilgrimage to Makkah

In the same year the Prophet’s vision was fulfilled: he visited Makkah unopposed. In accordance with the terms of the truce the idolaters evacuated the city, and from the surrounding heights watched the procedure of the Muslims.

Truce broken by the Quraysh

A little later, a tribe allied to the Quraysh broke the truce by attacking a tribe that was in alliance with the Prophet r and massacred them even in the sanctuary at Makkah. Afterwards, afraid of the consequences of their actions, they sent Abu Sufyan to Madinah to ask for the existing treaty to be renewed and, its term prolonged. They hoped that he would arrive before the news of the massacre reached the Prophet r. But a messenger from the injured tribe had been before him and Abu Sufyan failed again.

Conquest of Makkah

Then the Prophet r summoned all the Muslims capable of bearing arms and marched towards Makkah. The Quraysh were overawed. Their cavalry put up a show of defence before the town, but were routed without bloodshed; and the Prophet r entered his native city as conqueror.

The inhabitants expected vengeance for their past misdeeds, but the Prophet r proclaimed a general amnesty. In their relief and surprise, the whole population of Makkah hastened to swear allegiance. The Prophet r ordered all the idols which were in the sanctuary to be destroyed, saying: “Truth has come; darkness has vanished away;” and the Muslim call to prayer was heard in Makkah.


Battle of Hunain

In the same year there was an angry gathering of pagan tribes eager to regain the Ka’bah. The Prophet r led twelve thousand men against them. At Hunain, in a deep ravine, his troops were ambushed by the enemy and almost put to flight. It was with difficulty that they were rallied to the Prophet r and his bodyguard of faithful comrades who alone stood firm. But the victory, when it came, was complete and the booty enormous, for many of the hostile tribes had brought out with them everything that they possessed.

Conquest of Taif

The tribe of Thaqeef were among the enemy at Hunain. After that victory, their city Taif, was besieged by the Muslims, and finally reduced. The Prophet r appointed a governor of Makkah, and himself returned to Madinah to the boundless joy of the Ansār, who had feared lest, now that he had regained his native city, he might forsake them and make Makkah the capital.

The Tabuk Expedition

In the ninth year of the Hijrah, hearing that an army was again being mustered in Syria, the Prophet r called on all the Muslims to support him in a great campaign. In spite of infirmity, the Prophet r led an army against the Syrian frontier in midsummer. The far distance, the hot season, and the fact that it was harvest time and the prestige of the enemy caused many to excuse themselves and many more to stay behind without excuse. They camped the nights with limited food or drink, sheltering behind their camels; and finally reached the oasis of Tabuk, converting several tribes on the way. Fortunately, the campaign ended peacefully without a fight.

Declaration of Immunity

Although Makkah had been conquered and its people were now Muslims, the official order of the pilgrimage had not been changed; the pagan Arabs performing it in their manner, and the Muslims in their manner. It was only after the pilgrims’ caravan had left Madinah in the ninth year of the Hijrah, when Islam was dominant in North Arabia, that the Declaration of Immunity, as it is called, was revealed. Its purport was that after that year Muslims only were to make the pilgrimage, with the exception being made for some of the idolaters who had an ongoing treaty with the Muslims and had never broken their treaties nor supported anyone against those they had treaties with. Such, then, were to enjoy the privileges of their treaty for the term thereof, but when their treaty had expired they would be as other idolaters. This proclamation marked the end of idol-worship in Arabia.


Edited by the Prophet of Mercy team