Conquest of Mecca


Conquest of Mecca
Conquest of Mecca
Part of the Muslim-Quraysh Wars
Date 11 January, 630 CE
Location Mecca
Result Muslim victory and Quraish surrender
Belligerents
Muslims Quraysh
Commanders and leaders
Muhammad Abu Sufyan ibn Harb
Strength
10,000 Unknown
Casualties and losses
0 0

Mecca was conquered by the Muslims in January 630 AD (20th of Ramadan, 8 AH).[1]

Contents

Background

In 628 the Meccan tribe of Quraysh and the Muslim community in Medina signed a 10 year truce called the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.

According to the terms of the treaty of Hudaibiyah, the Arab tribes were given the option of joining either of the parties, the Muslims or Quraish. Should any of these tribes face aggression, the party to which it was allied would have the right to retaliate. As a consequence, Banu Bakr joined Quraish, and Khuza‘ah joined Muhammed. They thus lived in peace for some time; but ulterior motives stretching back to the pre-Islamic period, ignited by unabated fire of revenge, triggered fresh hostilities. Banu Bakr, without concern for the provisions of the treaty, attacked Banu Khuza'a in a place called Al-Wateer in Sha‘ban, in 8 A.H. Quraish helped Banu Bakr with men and arms, taking advantage of the dark night. Pressed by their enemies, the tribesmen of Khuza‘ah sought the Holy Sanctuary, but here too, their lives were not spared, and, contrary to all accepted traditions, Nawfal, the chief of Banu Bakr, chased them in the sanctified area — where no blood should be shed — and massacred his adversaries.

After the incident, Quraysh sent a delegation to Muhammad, petitioning to maintain the treaty with the Muslims and offering material compensation. The Muslim forces had gathered in strength and apparently Muhammad was waiting for a pretext to settle account with Quraysh and for the final attack and the conquest of Mecca.[2][3]

Conquest

Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, the leader of the Quraysh in Mecca, sensing that the balance was now tilted in Muhammad's favour and that the Quraish were not strong enough to stop the Muslims from conquering the city, travelled to Medina, trying to restore the treaty. During his stay, he was repulsed by Ali and by his own daughter Ramlah, who now was one of Muhammad's wives. Though Muhammad refused to reach an agreement and Abu Sufyan returned to Mecca empty handed, these efforts ultimately ensured that the conquest occurred without battle.[citation needed]

Muhammad assembled an army of approximately 10,000 men and marched towards Mecca.[citation needed]

Again Abu Sufyan travelled back and forth between Mecca and Muhammad, still trying to reach a settlement. According to the sources, he found assistance in Muhammad's uncle Al-Abbas, though some scholars consider that historians writing under the rule of Abbas' descendants, the Abbasid Dynasty, had exaggerated Abbas' role and downplayed the role of Abu Sufyan, who was the ancestor of the Abbaside's enemies.[4]

Aftermath

On the eve of the conquest, Abu Sufyan adopted Islam. When asked by Muhammad, he conceded that the Meccan gods had proved powerless and that there was indeed "no god but Allah", the first part of the Islamic confession of faith. In turn, Muhammad declared Abu Sufyan's house a sanctuary:

"He Who enters the house of Abu Sufyan will be safe, He who lays down arms will be safe, He who locks his door will be safe".[5]

He also declared:

Allah has made Mecca a sanctuary since the day He created the Heavens and the Earth, and it will remain a sanctuary by virtue of the sanctity Allah has bestowed on it until the Day of Resurrection. It (fighting in it) was not made lawful to anyone before me. Nor will it be made lawful to anyone after me, and it was not made lawful for me except for a short period of time. Its animals (that can be hunted) should not be chased, nor should its trees be cut, nor its vegetation or grass uprooted, nor its Luqata (most things) picked up except by one who makes a public announcement about it.'[6]

Then along with his companions Muhammad visited the Kaaba. The idols were broken and their gods were destroyed. Thereupon Muhammad recited the following verse from the Qur'an:"Say the Truth is come and falsehood gone; Verily falsehood is ever vanishing."[7]

The people assembled at the Kaaba, and Muhammad delivered the following address:

"There is no God but Allah. He has no associate. He has made good His promise that He held to his bondman and helped him and defeated all the confederates. Bear in mind that every claim of privilege, whether that of blood or property is abolished except that of the custody of the Ka'aba and of supplying water to the pilgrims. Bear in mind that for any one who is slain the blood money is a hundred camels. People of Quraish, surely God has abolished from you all pride of the time of ignorance and all pride in your ancestry, because all men are descended from Adam, and Adam was made of clay."

Then Muhammad turning to the people said:

"O Quraish, what do you think of the treatment that I should accord you?"

And they said, "Mercy, O Prophet of Allah. We expect nothing but good from you."

Thereupon Muhammad declared:

"I speak to you in the same words as Joseph spoke to his brothers. This day there is no reproof against you; Go your way, for you are free."[8] Muhammad's prestige grew after the surrender of the Meccans. Emissaries from all over Arabia came to Medina to accept him.

Ten people were ordered to be killed:[1], Ikrimah ibn Abi-Jahl, Abdullah ibn Saad ibn Abi Sarh, Habbar bin Aswad, Miqyas Subabah Laythi, Huwairath bin Nuqayd, Abdullah Hilal and four women who had been guilty of murder or other offences or had sparked off the war and disrupted the peace.[1]

However, they were not all killed; Ikrimah lived to adopt Islam and fight in future battles among Muslim ranks.

References

  1. ^ a b c The Message by Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani, chapter 48 referencing Sirah by Ibn Hisham, vol. II, page 409.
  2. ^ Peters, Francis E. (1994). Muhammad and the origins of Islam. SUNY Press. pp. 334. ISBN 0791418758, 9780791418758. http://books.google.com/books?id=0OrCo4VyvGkC&pg=PA235&dq=%22The+violation+might+have+been+settled+in+other+ways-the+Quraysh+appeared+willing+to+negotiate+-+but+in+January+630+A.D.+Muhammad+judged+the+occasion+fit+and+the+time+appropriate+for+settling+accounts+with+the+polytheists+in+Mecca+for+once+and+for+all.%22&hl=en&ei=I8f_TaOZOoGDOtWt5N4I&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22The%20violation%20might%20have%20been%20settled%20in%20other%20ways-the%20Quraysh%20appeared%20willing%20to%20negotiate%20-%20but%20in%20January%20630%20A.D.%20Muhammad%20judged%20the%20occasion%20fit%20and%20the%20time%20appropriate%20for%20settling%20accounts%20with%20the%20polytheists%20in%20Mecca%20for%20once%20and%20for%20all.%22&f=false. 
  3. ^ Lewis, Bernard (1967). The Arabs in history. Harper & Row. pp. 200. ISBN 0061310298, 9780061310294. http://books.google.dk/books?id=_J2FAAAAIAAJ&q=%22the+murder+of+a+Muslim+by+a+Meccan+for+what+appears+to+have+been+a+purely+private+difference+of+opinion+served+as+casus+belli+for+the+final+attack+and+the+conquest+of+Mecca.%22&dq=%22the+murder+of+a+Muslim+by+a+Meccan+for+what+appears+to+have+been+a+purely+private+difference+of+opinion+served+as+casus+belli+for+the+final+attack+and+the+conquest+of+Mecca.%22&hl=en&ei=s8H_TZfkOsmZOriq_N4I&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA. 
  4. ^ John Glubb, The Life and Times of Muhammad, Lanham 1998, p. 304-310.
  5. ^ Page 329, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh by Ibn al-Athir (Arabic).
  6. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 603
  7. ^ Quran, Chapter 17: Al-Isra (The Journey by Night), verse 81
  8. ^ Related by Ibn Kathir, recorded by Ibn al-Hajjaj Muslim

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