The Conquest of Makkah
the muslim battalions marched out each in its already drawn route to fulfill the missions they were supposed to carry out. khalid bin al-waleed worked his way into the heart of the town quite successively killing twelve of the ruffians and sustaining two martyrs. az-zubair set out and reached the fixed destination where he planted the banner at al-fath (conquest) mosque and waited there for the arrival of the prophet [pbuh]. a tent was pitched for him where he offered prayers of thanks to the all-mighty allâh, who, out of his immense grace, had granted him a splendid victory. but he did not repose long. he, in the company of the helpers and emigrants, got up and proceeded towards al-ka‘bah, the sacred house, which is an emblem of the oneness and supremacy of allâh. it was unfortunately infested with idols that numbered 360. he knocked them down with his bow while reciting the verse of the noble qur’ân:
"and say: ‘truth (i.e. islamic monotheism or this qur’ân or jihâd against polytheists) has come and batil (falsehood, i.e. satan or polytheism, etc.) has vanished. surely! batil is ever bound to vanish.’" [al-qur'an 17:81]
and allâh further said:
"say (o muhammad [pbuh]): "the truth (the qur’ân and allah’s inspiration) has come, and al-batil (falsehood - iblis) can neither create anything nor resurrect (any thing)." [al-qur'an 34:49]
he then started the usual circumambulation on his ride. he was not in a state of ihram (ritual consecration) then. on completion, he called for ‘uthman bin talhah, the janitor of al-ka‘bah, from whom he took the key. he went in and saw images of prophets ibrahim and ishmael, [aws], throwing divination arrows. he denounced these acts of quraish and ordered that all idols be dismantled, images and effigies deleted. he then entered the sacred hall to face the wall opposite the door and there again performed devout prostrations, and went around acclaiming allâh’s greatness and oneness. shortly afterwards, he returned to the door-way and standing upon its elevated step, gazed in thankfulness on the thronging multitude below and delivered the following celebrated address:
"there is no god but allâh alone. he has no associates. he made good his promise that he held to his slave and helped him and defeated all the confederates along. bear in mind that every claim of privilege, whether that of blood, or property, is under my heel, except that of the custody of al-ka‘bah and supplying of water to the pilgrims. bear in mind that for anyone who is slain, even though semi-deliberately, with club or whip, for him the blood-money is very severe: a hundred camels, forty of them to be pregnant.
"o people of quraish! surely allâh has abolished from you all pride of the pre-islamic era and all conceit in your ancestry, (because) all men are descended from adam, and adam was made out of clay."
he then recited to them the verse:
"o mankind! we have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. verily, the most honourable of you near allâh is that (believer) who has at-taqwa [i.e. one of the muttaqûn: i.e. pious and righteous persons who fear allâh much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which he has forbidden), and love allâh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which he has ordained)]. verily, allâh is all-knowing, all-aware." [al-qur'an 49:13]
he further added:
"o you people of quraish! what do you think of the treatment that i am about to accord to you?"
"o noble brother and son of noble brother! we expect nothing but goodness from you."
upon this he said:
"i speak to you in the same words as yusuf (the prophet joseph) spoke unto his brothers: he said: "no reproach on you this day," [al-qur'an 12:92] go your way, for you are freed ones."
as for the door-keeping of al-ka‘bah and supplying of water to pilgrims, the prophet [pbuh] ordered that these jobs remain in the hand of ‘uthman bin talhah and that the key will stay with him and his descendants for ever.
when time for prayer approached, bilal ascended al-ka‘bah and called for prayer. abu sufyan bin harb, ‘itab bin usaid and al-harith bin hisham were meanwhile sitting in the yard. ‘itab bin usaid commented on the new situation (bilal ascending al-ka‘bah and calling for prayer) saying that allâh honoured usaid (his father) having not heard such words. the prophet [pbuh] approached and assisted by divine revelation told them that he had learnt about what they had spoken of. al-harith and ‘itab, taken by incredible surprise, immediately professed islam and bore witness to the messengership of muhammad [pbuh] adding that "we swear by allâh that none had been with us to inform you."
on that very day, the prophet [pbuh] entered ‘umm hani’s house where he washed and offered prayers of victory. ‘umm hani had sheltered two makkan relatives of hers in her house in which act she was granted support by the prophet [pbuh].
shedding blood of nine arch-criminals was declared lawful even under the curtains of al-ka‘bah. nevertheless, only four of them were killed while the others were pardoned for different reasons. as for those who were killed, mention could be made of ‘abdul ‘uzza bin khatal who had become a muslim and then deputed to collect alms-tax in the company of a helper. they had also a slave with them. ‘abdullah, in a fit of rage, killed the helper’s slave on account of a mere trifling dispute, and joined the pagan arabs as an apostate. he was never repentant at this heinous crime but rather employed two women singers and incited them to sing satirically about the prophet [pbuh].
the other man who was put to death was miqyas bin sababa. he was a muslim. a helper accidently killed his brother hisham. the prophet [pbuh] had arranged the payment of blood money to him, which he had accepted. his revengeful nature, however, was never appeased, so he killed the helper and went to makkah as an apostate.
similarly, huwairith and one woman singer went to death.
on the other hand, every attempt was made to grant pardon to the people. ‘ikrimah bin abu jahl, who had attacked khalid’s detachment at the time of the entry into makkah, was forgiven. to wahshi, the murderer of hamzah, the prophet’s uncle, and to hind, who had chewed his liver, was also extended his generous clemency. the same generous treatment was accorded to habar who had attacked the prophet’s daughter with a spear, while on her way from makkah to madinah, so grievously that she ultimately died of the fatal injuries.
in the same context of magnanimity peculiar to muhammad [pbuh], two chiefs of quraish were pardoned once they had embraced islam. they were safwan bin omaiyah and fudalah bin ‘umair. the latter had attempted to assassinate the prophet [pbuh] while circumambulating in the holy sanctuary. the prophet’s matchless tolerance and broad-mindedness instigated by his mission as ‘a mercy to all people’, converted a terrible hypocrite into a faithful devout believer.
on the second day of the great conquest, the prophet [pbuh] stood up and addressed the people in matters relating to the holy status of makkah. after entertaining allâh’s praise, he proclaimed that makkah was a holy land and would remain so till the day of judgement. no bloodshed was allowed therein. should anyone take the liberty of fighting within makkah on grounds derived from the events that characterized the conquest, he should remember that it had been a licence granted temporarily to the prophet, and virtually does not go for others. ibn ‘abbas [r] narrated: the prophet [pbuh] said: "allâh has made makkah, a sanctuary, so it was a sanctuary before me and will continue to be a sanctuary after me. it was made legal for me (i.e. i was allowed to fight in it) for a few hours of a day. it is not allowed to uproot its shrubs or to cut its trees, or to chase (or disturb) its game, or to pick up its fallen things except by a person who would announce that (what has found) publicly." al-‘abbas said: "o allâh’s messenger! except the lemon grass (for it is used) by our goldsmiths and for our homes." the prophet [pbuh] then said: "except the lemon grass."
in this context, out of the spirit of revenge, the tribesmen of khuza‘ah killed a man from laith tribe. here the prophet was indignant and ordered khuza‘ah to stop those pre-islamic practices. he, moreover, gave the family of anyone killed the right to consider either of two options, blood-money or just retribution (the killer is killed).
after having delivered his address, the prophet [pbuh] rode to a small hill, safa, not far from al-ka‘bah. turning his face towards the sacred house, amidst a vast admiring and devotional multitude, he raised his hand in fervent prayer to allâh. the citizens of madinah who had gathered round him entertained fear, as allâh had given him victory over his native city, he might choose to stay here. he insisted on explanation of their fear and so they spoke openly. he immediately dispelled their fears and assured them that he had lived with them and would die with them.
immediately after the great conquest, the makkans came to realize that the only way to success lay in the avenue of islam. they complied with the new realities and gathered to pledge fealty to the prophet [pbuh]. the men came first pledging full obedience in all areas they can afford. then came the women to follow the men’s example. the prophet [pbuh] with ‘umar bin al-khattab receiving the pledge of fealty and communicating to them for him. hind bint ‘utbah, abu sufyan’s wife, came in the trail of women disguised lest the prophet [pbuh] should recognize and account for her, having chewed the liver of hamzah, his uncle. the prophet [pbuh] accepted their allegiance on condition that they associate none with allâh, to which they immediately agreed. he added that they should not practise theft. here hind complained that her husband, abu sufyan, was tight-fisted. her husband interrupted granting all his worldly possessions to her. the prophet [pbuh] laughed and recognized the woman. she implored him to extend his pardon to her and efface all her previous sins. some other conditions were appended including the prohibition of adultery, infanticide or forging falsehood. to all these orders, hind replied positively swearing that she would not have come to take an oath of allegiance if she had had the least seed of disobedience to him. on returning home, she broke her idol admitting her delusion as regards stone-gods.
the messenger of allâh [pbuh] stayed in makkah for 19 days. during that period he used to define the way to islam, guide people to the orthodox path. he ordered abu usaid al-khuza‘i to restore the pillars of the holy sanctuary, sent missions to all quarters inviting them to adopt islam and break down the graven images still lying in the vicinity of makkah, and he did have all of them scrapped, inculcating in the believers’ ears his words:
"whoever believes in allâh and the hereafter is supposed to scrap out the idols that should happen to be in his house."