Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Conquest of Mecca

  Anonymous       Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Muslims, under the leadership of Muslim prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), conquered Mecca between the 10th and 20th of Ramadan in the eighth year 8AH (630 CE) of the Islamic calendarThe Hudaybiyah Treaty, which was signed in 628 by the Meccan tribe of Quraysh and the Muslim community of Medina, marked the culmination of a ten-year constant struggle between both parties.

Conquest of Mecca

What Led To The Conquest of Mecca

It was in 630 that the Quraysh ally Banu Bakr attacked the newly formed Muslim ally Banu Khuza'a, effectively breaking the truce. The Hudaybiyah Treaty provided the Arab tribes with the option of joining either the Muslims or the Quraysh, depending on their political allegiance. The party with which these tribes are allied has the right to repress if one of these tribes is attacked by another. As a result, Banu Bakr had been transformed into Quraysh, and Khuza'ah converted to Islam. 

This allowed them to live in peace for a period of time, but later motives dating back to the pre-Islamic period, motivated by an uncompromising fire of vengeance, sparked new hostilities between them. Banu Bakr launched an attack on Banu Khuza'a at an al-Wateer location in Sha'ban in 8 AH, completely disregarding the terms of the Treaty. 

Banu Bakr was aided by Quraysh in the darkness with men and weapons. The Khuza'ah tribesmen sought refuge in the holy sanctuary, but their lives were not spared when Nawfal, the head of Banu Bakr, pursued them through the sanctuary — where blood should not be shed — and slaughtered his enemies. Khuza'ah immediately dispatched a delegation to Medina to inform Muhammad of the breach of the truce and to request the assistance of their allies, the Muslims of Medina. 

Khuza'ah's delegation arrived in Medina with the message that the truce had been violated. Soon after, Quraysh sent a delegation to Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), pleading on their behalf for the continuation of the treaty with Muslims and pledging material rewards in exchange. In preparation for the final attack and the opening of Mecca, the Muslim forces increased their overall strength and prepared for the worst.

Muslim Army: A Force To Reckon With

The Muslim Army, consisting of 10,000 Muslims, embarked on its journey to Mecca on Tuesday, October 31, 629 (10 Ramadan, AH 8). At the time, this was the largest Muslim force that had ever been brought together. To deceive the Meccans about the size of Muhammad's army, Muhammad ordered everyone to light a bonfire. 

In the meantime, Abu Sufyan ibn Harb travelled between Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and Mecca, still attempting to reach a consensus in order to prevent the conquest of Mecca. His uncle Al-Abbas, Muhammad, is said to have aided him; however, historians contend that historians who wrote during Abbas' reign exaggerated Abbas's role while underplaying the importance of Abu Sufyan, the Abbasids' ancestor. 

A War Strategy That Baffled The Enemies

It took about a week to travel the 200 miles to Marr-uz-Zahran, which is ten miles northwest of Mecca. The army arrived in Mecca on Monday, the 16th of Ramadan, and the assault on the city began the following day. Mecca is located in the Ibrahim valley and is surrounded by rough, black hills that can reach up to 1,000 metres (300 metres) in height at certain times of year. 

There were four different entry points through mountain passes. These individuals hailed from the north-west, south-west, south, and north-east regions.  Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) organised his army into four columns, one for each of the four passes. Muhammad's main column was under the command of Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah. The mission was to enter Mecca through the main Medina route, which ran northwest from Azakhir. Zubiyar ibn al-Awam, Muhammad's nephew and cousin, was in command of the second column that entered Mecca via a pass west of the Hill Kuda, coming from the south-west. 

Ali ibn Abi Talib, Prophet Muhammad's cousin, was in command of the column that marched from the south through Kudai. In the northeast, the column of Khalid ibn al-Walid was tasked with entering through the cities of Kandama and Lait. 

Their strategy was to advance from all directions at the same time, with the common goal of achieving a single central objective. They were successful. This would disperse the enemy forces and prevent them from concentrating their efforts on a single battlefront. Another important reason for employing this strategy was to ensure that the attack could continue from the other side if one or two of the attacking columns encountered significant resistance and were unable to break through. This would also make it impossible for any Quraysh to flee. 

Fighting the Quraysh without launching an attack on them was critical, and Muhammad stressed this in his sermon. The Muslim army marched into Mecca on the 11th of December, 629, on a Monday (18 Ramadan 8 hijrah).  With the exception of Khalid's column, the entrance was peaceful and bloodless in three sectors. Ikrimah and Sufwan, two hardened anti-Muslims, gathered a group of Quraysh fighters and confronted Khalid's column. Muslim positions were charged by the Quraysh, who responded with swords and bows to the Muslims' attacks on them. The Quraysh were forced to surrender after a brief skirmish in which they lost twelve men. The Muslims had killed two warriors in recent weeks. 

The Fallout

Abu Sufyan converted to Islam on the eve of the conquest, after concluding that there was no other way out of his predicament. The gods of Meccans had proven to be powerless, and he confessed that "no one is worthy of worship except Allah," which was the first part of Islam's creed, when Muhammad confronted him. As a result, Muhammad declared the Abu Sufian house a sanctuary, claiming that he was the current head of the house and that all of the other people had gathered on its territory.

According to Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), "even those who enter the house of Abu Sufyan are safe, just as are those who lay down their arms and close their doors."

He also stated the following:

The holy city of Mecca has been a sanctuary since the day when God created Heaven and Earth, and it will continue to be a sanctuary until the Day of Resurrection because of God's holiness. It had not been legalised for anyone else prior to me (fighting in it). Nobody will be allowed to follow me, and it was not made legal for me to do so except for a brief period of time. This means that it is not permitted to pursue its animals (that are huntable), trees, or to uproot its vegetation or grass, or to destroy its Lukqata (mostly made up of things) unless a public announcement has been made about it first." (Detailed Reference)

Significance of Conquest

Afterwards, Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and his companions paid a visit to the Kaaba. The idols were demolished, and the gods who worshipped them were exterminated. Afterwards, Muhammad recited the verses from the Quran that followed: "Say that the Truth has arrived and that falsehood has been extinguished. Indeed, falsehood is on its way out " (17:81)

Muslims gathered at the Kaaba, where Muhammad addressed the crowd:

"There is no god other than God. He made good on his promise to his slave by assisting him in defeating all of the Confederate forces. Also keep in mind that all claims to privileges, whether based on blood or property, have been eliminated with the exception of the caretaking of the Kaaba and the provision of water to pilgrims.

Then Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) turned to face the audience and declared:

"How do you feel about your treatment, O Quraysh?" "How do you feel about your treatment, O Quraysh?"

It was referred to as "Mercy, God's Prophet." This is what they said. "We don't expect anything less than the best from you."

Then Muhammad made the following proclamation:

In the same way Yusuf spoke to his brothers, "I speak to you in the same way that there is no reproach today against you; go your own way, for you are free."

Following the defeat of the Meccans, Muhammad's reputation grew even more prestigious. Emissaries from all over Arabia made their way to Medina to welcome him to the city. 

Ten people were sentenced to death: Ikrimah ibn Abi-jahl, Abdullah ibn Sad ibn Abi Sarh, Habbar bin Aswad, Miqyas Subabah Laythi, Huwairath bin Nuqayd, Abdullah Hilal, and four women who had been convicted of murder or other crimes or disrupting the peace.

However, not all of them were killed; Ikrimah survived the conversion to Islam as well as the subsequent fighting between Muslim classes in the following centuries. Because she had converted to Islam, one of Mohammad's two singing girls was killed, while the other was spared. When Ibn Abi Sarh initially refused to take Muhammad's mandatory oath of allegiance, he was protected by Uthman ibn Afan and did not die as a result of observers' misinterpretation of Mohammad's decree, he was not killed. 


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