shortly after the great conquest, the prophet [pbuh] began to despatch platoons and errands aiming at eliminating the last symbols reminiscent of pre-islamic practices.
he sent khalid bin al-waleed in ramadan 8 a.h. to a spot called nakhlah where there was a goddess called al-‘uzza venerated by quraish and kinanah tribes. it had custodians from bani shaiban. khalid, at the head of thirty horsemen arrived at the spot and exterminated it. on his return, the prophet [pbuh] asked him if he had seen anything there, to which khalid gave a negative answer. here, he was told that it had not been destroyed and he had to go there again and fulfill the task. he went back again and there he saw a black woman, naked with torn hair. khalid struck her with his sword into two parts. he returned and narrated the story to the prophet [pbuh], who then confirmed the fulfillment of the task.
later, in the same month, ‘amr bin al-‘as was sent on an errand to destroy another idol, venerated by hudhail, called suwa‘. it used to stand at a distance of three kilometres from makkah. on a question posed by the door-keeper, ‘amr said he had been ordered by the prophet [pbuh] to knock down the idol. the man warned ‘amr that he would not be able to do it. ‘amr was surprised to see someone still in the wrong, approached the idol and destroyed it, then he broke the casket beside it but found nothing. the man immediately embraced islam.
sa‘d bin zaid al-ashhali was also sent in the same month and on the same mission to al-mashallal to destroy an idol, manat, venerated by both al-aws and al-khazraj tribes. here also a black woman, naked with messy hair appeared wailing and beating on her chest. sa‘d immediately killed her, destroyed the idol and broke the casket and returned at the conclusion of his errand.
khalid bin al-waleed at the head of 350 horsemen of helpers, emigrants and bani saleem was despatched once again in the same year 8 a.h. to the habitation of bani khuzaimah bedouins to invite them to the fold of islam. he was instructed to carry out his mission with peace and goodwill. there, the people were not articulate enough to communicate their intentions, so khalid ordered his men to kill them and take the others as captives. he even had in mind to kill the captives but some of the companions were opposed to his plan. news of bloodshed reached the prophet [pbuh]. he was deeply grieved and raised his hands towards the heaven, uttering these words: "o allâh! i am innocent of what khalid has done," twice. [sahih al-bukhari 1/450, 2/622] he immediately sent ‘ali to make every possible reparation to the tribes who had been wronged. after a careful inquiry, ‘ali paid the blood-money to all those who suffered loss. the remaining portion was also distributed amongst the members of the tribe in order to alleviate their suffering. khalid, due to his irrational behaviour, had a row with ‘abdur rahman bin ‘awf. hearing this, the prophet [pbuh] got angry, and ordered khalid to stop that altercation adding that his companions (meaning ‘abdur rahman bin ‘awf) were too high in rank to be involved in such arguments.
that is the story of the conquest of makkah and the decisive battle that exterminated paganism once and for all. the other tribes in the arabian peninsula were waiting and closely watching the final outcome of the bitter struggle between the muslims and idolaters, already convinced that the holy sanctuary would not fall but in the hands of the righteous party. it had been a conviction deeply established in their minds ever since the elephant army of abraha al-ashram advanced from yemen intending to destroy the sacred house 50 years before.
al-hudaibiyah peace treaty was the natural prelude to this great victory in which people believed deeply and over which people talked a lot. the muslims in makkah, who had feared to declare their faith in public, began to appear and work ardently for this new approach of life. people began to convert into islam in hosts, and the muslim army that numbered 3000 only in the previous ghazwah, now came to reach 10,000 in number. in fact, this decisive change provided people with the keen insight to perceive things and the world around them as a whole in a different perceptive. the muslims were then to steer the whole political and religious affairs of all arabia. they had monopolised both the religious supremacy and temporal power.
the whole post-hudaibiyah phase had been well-fledged in favour of the new islamic movement. streams of the desert arabians began to pour in paying full homage to the messenger of allâh [pbuh], embracing the new faith and then carrying it to different quarters for propagation.