We mentioned the prophet PBUH and the Quraysh had a back and forth until finally the prophet PBUH decided to send Umar RA. And he most likely chose him because of his very strong physical presence, he was intimidating and he had the courage to walk into Mecca. But Umar said as we mentioned “Ya RasulAllah I fear the Quraysh might not accept me as my aminosity is well known, and I don’t have anyone from the tribe of Bani Adi to protect me. If you wish I will go, but if you wish send someone more noble than I, that is Uthman ibn Affan”. This shows us the true fiqh of Umar RA. There is no one more fearless than Umar – this is very well known. Had it been an issue of ego, he would be at the front “let me go, so what whatever happens etc”. But he is looking at the bigger picture: he is worried his animosity with the Quraysh will cause the Quraysh not to have a solid treaty with the muslims. So he is sacrificing his ego for the sake of the muslims. No one can accuse him of backing down – but they know who he is, they know what he’s done at Badr, Uhud etc. So he is saying “they might even kill me so the purpose of sending me will be pointless. So send someone they genuinely look up to and that is Uthman ibn Affan”. And the main thing Uthman is the great grandson of the Banu Abd Shams, and he was closest to the prophet PBUH (except for Ali RA). Abu Bukr and Umar was 6 and 8 generations apart. Uthman is Banu Ummayah, and they are relatively close to the Banu Hashim. Not only that, the Banu Ummayah have people of power still alive and that is Abu Suffyan. So Umar RA sacrificed his own spotlight – this is not cowardice. To claim it is is purely ridiculous. His entire life demonstrates how immensely brave he was. And the prophet PBUH agreed and sent Uthman ibn Affan RA.
As Uthman entered Mecca, there were protectors blocking the roads to Mecca. So when he comes in he crosses a road called Baldah and the group there stopped him, mocked him and told him to go back. So he was about to go back, but in that group there was his own cousin: Abaan ibn Saeed ibn Al Aas. And Uthman was Uthman ibn Affan ibn Al Aas ibn Ummayah thus they are first cousins. When Abaan saw how the people were treating his own cousin, he got off his own horse, took it to Uthman and he said “you ride and I will protect you in Mecca”. And these were the ways the jahelya arabs gave ‘visas’. You needed someone to say THEY will be your protectors. You needed someone to say “you are under my amaan (protection)” and this is what Abaan did for Uthman. And he led him into Mecca and he took Uthman ibn Affan to meet the leaders of the Quraysh.
Uthman met with Abu Suffyan, and remember they are direct cousins from the Banu Ummayah tribe. Abu Suffyan and Affan are first cousins, which is why in the civil war when Uthman RA was killed, Muawiyah said “you have to avenge the death of Uthan”. So to reitreate, Abu Suffyan and Uthman are uncle/nephew first cousins. So he meets his uncle Abu Suffyan and the other leaders, but none of them allow the muslims to come this year. Each one of them says the exact same phrase “Let not the arabs say we were forced to let them in”. Also the prophet PBUH told Uthman that if he is able to get into Mecca, he should meet all the muslim converts who were in dire situations and trapped, and tell them Allah is aware of their situation, and He will make a way out for them soon. So Uthman met these muslims who were in chains and this shows us, there were a group of muslims still trapped in Mecca, not out of personal choice but by force of toture and persecution. So in the whole negotiations, it took much longer than expected. We can imagine it took multiple hours, even the better part of a whole day. And that is way beyond what anyone was expecting, and no news was coming out. So it is understandable how and why some of the sahaba panicked. And small rumours got bigger and bigger, until it becomes a solid fact. The details we don’t know: but its self evident, someone must have said “what if he’s been killed?” As its passed along people are saying “most likely he’s dead” and as it passes further it becomes “for sure he is dead”. Until finally there was this dread amongst the muslims, therefore the news was accepted as a fact that he is dead. Surely if he were alive he would have come back by now. When the rumours spread to the prophet PBUH, he said “we will not leave until we exact revenge upon them and we fight them” i.e. its simply too much. Look at the circumstance: the Quraysh are at least 3x greater in number. The muslims are tired, hungry and thirsty whereas the Quraysh are full rested. Additionally the animals of the muslims are tired. The Quraysh are fresh and rested in their houses with unlimited food, water, armour etc. The muslims, everything is limited and running out. Most importantly, they weren’t prepared for battle. They had no war preparations. This was only an umrah trip.
When the prophet PBUH is calling them for a battle, this really is almost certain death. You are outnumbered, outflanked etc. There’s no chance to win. And this is why this oath is so important in our religion that Allah and His messenger have both praised immensely. A crier was sent to all the muslims that Jibreel AS has come down to the prophet PBUH and he is calling you to give the alliegance to him. Of course Allah knows full well Uthman is perfectly fine. This is a test for the believers to see if they would give their oath. So the crier went out, and the prophet PBUH is calling all the muslims for an oath and pledge to fight the Quraysh to the death. The pledge was “fight the Quraysh and do not turn back”. So you cannot flee backwards, if you die in battle you die. And this oath was eventually called ‘Baya tul Ridwan’. And ‘Ridwan’ means pleasure – why? Because Allah revealed in Surah Fateh verse 18:
“Certainly was Allah pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you, [O Muhammad], under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquillity upon them and rewarded them with an imminent conquest”
The prophet PBUH was sitting under a tree at the time, and the prophet PBUH took an oath of allegiance from all the people except for one person who was a hypocrite, and when the call came out he hid behind his camel. Some say this is the same person who was the owner of the red camel. And when all of the sahaba finished the bayaa (oath), the prophet PBUH in front of everyone, took his left and put it in his right hand and said “this is for Uthman”. So he took the oath on behalf of Uthman ibn Affan. So this is the ‘Bayaatul Ridwan’. And obviously it shows us the bravery of the sahaba: they were unarmed, defenceless, travelling, not having proper weapons, willing to fight people that are fully rested, healthy, firm and 3x their number. Yet they are still willing to fight to the death. And that is why, the people who swore alliegance to the prophet PBUH on ‘Bayatul Ridwan’ are given a status that is second only to Badr. Only to Badr as a whole group. SubhanAllah. Of course above Badr are individuals i.e. the promised 10. But generally as a group Badr is at the top, and then the sahaba of Bayaatul Ridwan are right below them. There are many ayat and hadith to show this. And there many references in surah Fath. And Allah mentions in the Quran that “Allah is pleased with them” and He says “Allah knows what was in their hearts” and this is the highest testification. None of them were cowards: Allah knew their hearts were ready to fight for His sake, so Allah revealed the ‘sakeena’ i.e. peace. And Allah says His own hand is above their hand. SubhanAllah. So what happens is the sahabas hand would grab the prophet PBUHs hand and swear an oath. So Allah is saying His own hand was above their hand when they made the oath. What a praise for these sahaba. What a praise and blessing, and what a great honour they had. They took the oath of alliegance from the prophet PBUH but Allahs hand was above theirs too.
And the prophet PBUH said “you are the best people on Earth”. And in one hadith he said “no one who has given the Bayaatul Ridwan should ever enter the fire of hell”. And this is in sahih Muslim. Therefore Allah gave these people glad tidings, that Allah will give them a major victory. And we will discuss this victory was the battle of Khaybar. Remember surah Fath has nothing to do with the Fath-Mecca (conquest of Mecca). It was revealed before. In surah Fath, Allah says he will give the muslims ‘ganeema’ and a major victory. And indeed in a short while the muslims will win the battle of Khaybar, and the ganeema from this battle was the greatest financial income in the history of Islam to date. It changed the financial situation of the entire ummah. And Allah says THAT is the ganeema that will happen. This shows us again a direct correlation: when you stand up for Allah, He will give you much more. We’ve seen this constantly throughout the seerah. In Badr, Allah says He will give the muslims one of two things (victory or caravan) and they ended up getting both. And here aswell, at a point where they are facing death, they pledged alliegance and Allah says He is “well pleased with them”. And only Hunayn was a bigger financial boost during the seerah than Khaybar – it was a massive financial income boost. Also, we see the great blessings of Uthman ibn Affan. They had such an honour. All the sahaba had such a great honour that they gave allieagance in the hand of the prophet PBUH – but Uthman had an even higher honour because the prophet PBUH represented Uthman with his own body and hand. How much more noble do you want? The prophet PBUH is saying “since he is not here, let ME stand in his place”. SubhanAllah. Here you have RasulAllah testifying for Uthman. How can anybody utter one word against this man?
Walahi any one who utters one words against this man, there is nifaaq in his heart. Anyone who has anything about Uthman cannot have genuine love for the prophet PBUH. If you insult Uthman, you insult the prophet PBUH. Because he took Uthmans place himself. Imagine this. And subhanAllah the bitterness of Uthman is nothing new: the khawarij critcised and killed him. And in Bhukari its narrated one of the kharijites saw a large gathering around an old man in Mecca so he said “who is he?” and they told him “this is Abdullah ibn Umar”. So he made his way through the crowd and said “Oh ibn Umar, I have some questions to ask you” and it their methadology to be rude and harsh and fanatic. “I ask you by Allah did Uthman turn his back and run away at Uhud?” Right now Uthman is the khalifa, so he is trying to find faults within Uthman. Eventually him and his group will kill Uthman. Ibn Umar says “You ask me by Allah I answer yes”. The man said “was Uthman absent at Badr?” Ibn Umar said “You ask me by Allah I answer yes”. And the man said “was he missing at Bayaatul Ridwan?” Ibn Umar said “You ask me by Allah I answer yes”. So the man said “Allahuabkar!” and he turned around and walked away. Ibn Umar siad “come back here”. As for your first question “yes Uthman fled Uhud, but Allah testified in Surah Al Imraan that Allah has forgiven them, so I testify he is forgiven. As for your second question, he was married to Ruqqiyyah bint Muhammad (who eventually died and the prophet PBUH commanded him to stay in Madinah, and he got a share of the ganeema thus he is a badari. And as for your third question, Ridwan only occured because of Uthman! And the prophet PBUH used his own hand to take the oath on behalf of Uthman, so go back now with all of this to your people”. And this shows us the blessings of Uthman ibn Affan RA. And there are so many hadith, the prophet PBUH said “should I not be ashamed and shy of he whom the angels are shy of?” This is in Bhukari and Muslim. That even the angels are shy of him – he’s such a humble and noble person. SubhanAllah. That is mindblowing. Anyone who therefore criticises Uthman is a jahil.
1400 sahaba participated in Bayaatul Ridwan, and all of the famous sahaba are here. Thus this is one of the most explicit evidences, among million others, that the sahaba are worthy of our ultimate respect. This is the cornerstone of sunni Islam. What does Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama’a mean? Its the group who follow the sunnah and the jama’at which are the sahaba. This is what seperates us from all other groups who don’t respect the sahaba. And literally the Quran, sunnah, common sense, logic etc all tell you the sahaba have the highest status. And if you ridicule the sahaba you have no religion left. Who gave you the Quran? Who gave you the sunnah except the sahaba? You have no knowledge of Islam were it not for the sahaba. And one of the famous imams said “if you were to ask the jews who are the most righteous people. They will the 70 who accompanied Moses on the mountain of Toor. And if you ask the christians, they will say the 12 disciples of Jesus. And if you ask the other group who is the worst and vile scum? They will say those who accompanied the prophet PBUH”. Walahi it dosen’t even make logical sense. By common sense Allah will choose the best people to be around the prophet PBUH. Anyone who disagrees will be dealt with by Allah. Even if you reject hadith what will you do with Surah Fath? Allah is saying HE is pleased with them. Where do we get ‘Radi-Allahu anhu’ from?! The Quran. Abu Bukr was there, Umar was there, Uthman, Ali etc. How can anyone criticise them?
As for which tree it was, its said Jaabir ibn Abdullah, who was still a young man 19/20, and he lives a very long life (78 when he dies), eventually he becomes blind and he says “If only I could see I would show you exactly that tree we sat under”. The tree is signifcant because Allah mentions it in the Quran and the prophet PBUH sat under it for a long time. At the same time the majority of the sahaba couldn’t really recognise it. Simply because all trees look the same. Its narrated in Bhukari that one of the companions said “when we got there we tried to find the tree but we couldn’t agree which one it was”. Its also narrated that within a decade after the death of the prophet PBUH, they began decorating the tree and built a masjid there. And one of tabi-tabioon saw this masjid in the middle of nowhere outside of Mecca, so he asked the people “what is this masjid?” And the people said “this is the tree wherein the prophet PBUH took the Bayaatul Ridwan”. So he went back to Mecca and there was the student of Ibn Abbas, Saeed ibn Musayid, who was very knowledgable. And he said “my father were of those who took Bayaatul Ridwan, and he couldn’t figure out what tree it was. Are you telling me these people know better than the sahaba?” And its authentically narrated Umar RA news reached him the bedouins had built a msajid there, some of them were rubbing their backs on it for some blessings etc. So he chastised them and commanded the tree they were renovating be chopped down.
This shows the whole issue of renovating places, icons or objects that some people believe are sacred. We have a tension between ignorant, or superstitous or emotional practices on the one side, and authentic, academic, knowledge based Islam on the other. And this tension is there to this day. There is a tension between the emotional side. Even if the prophet PBUH DID sit under this tree, what will you do? Prostrate to it? This was the fiqh and thinking of Umar. This generation were simply rubbing their backs and building a masjid. If this is happening while Umar was alive, what do you think will happen in the next 100-1000 years? Walahi it would now be an idol that is worshipped besides Allah. In fact what is an idol other than taking a holy place/person and making them bigger and bigger? And all you need to do is look at the bulk of places in Pakistan, India etc. And one finds the grave of a righteous person and people are doing sajdah to the grave, tawaaf around the grave, making dua to the grave. This is unbelievable. And what is the grave of any person with the very tree mentioned in the Quran and where the prophet PBUH sat there for several hours. And this shows us the difference between emotion and academic Islam. Our religion is not based upon feelings. Its based upon what the prophet PBUH and Allah told us. As for his droppings of wudu etc. this is allowed. But not where he sat under a tree. The sahaba understood this difference. And it shows us this tension between mystical Islam and academic Islam existed before, and still now. And who followed this mystical Islam? The ignorant bedouins, while the more intellegant sahaba said “what are you doing?” This shows us aswell if we visit any site of early Islam, we go for historical reasons, NOT for barakah etc. But rather to take lessons of it, and remember “this is where Badr took place” etc. You go so you are overwhelmed and feel a sense of awe. And who can accuse Umar RA of insulting the prophet PBUH? This is what people say in response but walahi their renovation is not something the prophet PBUH would approve off.
The news of the treaty of Ridwan reached Mecca, so the Quraysh panicked and sent Uthman back. When Uthman came back, and the muslims heard he is coming, some of them said “how lucky he is, he must have gone inside and done the tawaaf” i.e. at least he got to do it. Here the muslims were waiting for at least 4/5 days at Hudaybiyya. But the prophet PBUH said “I don’t think he will do the tawaaf, how can he do it when we haven’t?” Meaning the prophet PBUHs realised Uthmans adhab and respect would never allow him to do it. But the other muslims said “why not? Why wouldn’t he do it if he was protected in Mecca?” And subhanAllah we see here how eager the sahaba are to do tawaaf and umrah. They’ve been kicked out of Mecca, they haven’t seen the kab’ah for 6 years and they are missing the tawaaf so much, and are feeling jealous that “Uthman has done it and not us”. Look at this. SubhanAllah. They wanted to respect the house of Allah. And when they saw him return they surrounded him and said “have you satisfied yourself with the kab’ah?” To which Uthman replied “what an evil thought you had off me, did you think I would do tawaaf while the prophet PBUH is here? Walahi if I stayed in Mecca for one year I would not do tawaaf until the prophet PBUH did it before me”. Here again we have the defence of the prophet PBUH for Uthman. And again it shows us the respect the sahaba and especially Uthman gave to the prophet PBUH.
According to al Bayhaqee when the news reached the Quraysh they trembled with fear. And what does that show? A small group of muslims, unprepared, tired etc but they have imaan. And they can cause the mighty tribe of the Quraysh to tremble. And this was why they decided ‘we need to negotiate’. And so they sent an official delegation. Initially they sent someone by the name of Mikras ibn Hafs and it appears this was just a quick sending. They didn’t think things through, and when the prophet PBUH saw Mikras, he said to the sahaba he is an evil man. And when Mikras apporached he and the prophet PBUH began negotiating but there was no agreements. Mikras were given completely unacceptable conditions. In the distance, another delegation was coming forth that was genuine and it was a final delegation that would solve the problems. The senior and main person was Suhail ibn Amr. When the prophet PBUH saw Suhail, he said “Suhail has come, Allah has made things easy for you now”. SubhanAllah he is saying through Suhail ease and opening will be reached.
Here we see another theological point: good omens. The prophet PBUH said “there is no such thing as superstitions or bad omens”. And “believing in omens is a type of shirk”. So the prophet PBUH said its all shirk. Then he said “BUT I like positive optimism”. So they asked “what do you mean?” And he said “a good word or a good phrase someone hears”. What is this? A good omen is to read in two conditions:
1. A positive sign/message
2. The message is linked to Allah
If these two conditions are met, a good omen is recommended and apart of our religion. And a good omen is nothing other than being optimistic in Allah. An example of such an omen we can understand; if one of us is making dua on a cloudy day, and after finishing we look up and the skies have cleared and we see a beautiful rainbow. If we say “this is a sign from Allah that my dua will be answered” there is nothing wrong with this, and in fact its good. Why? Because, shouldn’t we already be thinking Allah will give us what we want? Anything that boosts that optimism is mustahab (recommended). So anything we read as a positive sign that makes out heart brighter and happiness is a good omen and allowed. Its ok and its good as we learn for the prophet PBUH. One of the examples from the seerah is when Suhail come. ‘Suhail’ comes from a root word which means ‘to make things easy’. Thus when Suhail came the prophet PBUH said “Suhail has come, Allah has made things easy for you”. So he derived a positive omen from this that the matter will be made easy, and thats exactly what happened. And there are other examples: there is a name in arabic called ‘waajid’ which means ‘the one who finds’. So one of the sahaba said “imagine you lose something and you are trying to find it, then somebody calls out to his friend ‘ya waajid, ya waajid’ and you hear that – you should take this as a good sign and say “I will be THE waajid”.” So its a sign from Allah. So saying ‘inshaAllah my dua will be answered’ etc – this is allowed and is a positive optimistic omen. Bad luck from a cat crossing a path? This is foolish and stupid.
So Suhail comes. And who is he? Suhail firstly is the highest level delegate sent to the prophet PBUH during Hudaybiyya. And he is one of those who is a member of the Quraysh parliment called the ‘Nadi’. He is a member of that group, so he is a senior politican. This is a man with superior authority. And he is clearly a high profile members of the Quraysh; when he was captured as a prisoner of war, the prophet PBUH housed him in his house. And where in the history of humanity did a leader house prisoners in his house? Truly this can be said only for the prophet PBUH. And the prophet PBUH housed the elite members of the Quraysh; one of them was Suhail ibn Amr. And one of wives of the prophet PBUH rushed back home and sees Suhail ibn Amrs tied to his neck, and she kind of slipped. She said “why are you embarrasing us as being a prisoner of war? It would have been more befitting if you died!” In other words seeing someone as noble as Suhail made her slip, and she said “you are humiliating US by being a prisoner!” And the prophet PBUH turned to her and said “are you taking sides agianst Allah and His messenger?!” It just a slip – but she was so shocked because of the great status of Suhail. And in fact he was called ‘kateeb ul Quraysh’ because he was a powerful orator, and when it came to debates and negotiations, he was the main man.
And this is why he is being chosen to negotiate with the prophet PBUH at Hudaybiyya. And also this is why, when Umar RA saw Suhail captured, he said “Ya RasulAllah let me cut his tongue off so he dosen’t speak against us again”. And the prophet PBUH said “I am a prophet and we have not been commanded to mutilate people”. So he forbade him; but then he turned to Umar RA and said “perhaps one day he will say something that will please you”. And this shows us that this mentality that if you aren’t a muslim you are an evil to the core – this is walahi so stupid and foolish. Only those who have no clue about reality spout this black and white world view. No doubt Suhail is a kaafir at this time, and he is an enemy against Allah and His messenger. And he participated in Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. Yet deep down there was goodness in him, and the prophet PBUH recognised this, but Umar RA did not. And imagine what must he have said that got Umar RA so angry “let me just cut his tongue off”. But the prophet PBUH saw in him good, and indeed Suhail eventually converted. He did however convert during the conquest of Mecca, so right at the end. Thus there is no doubt the status of Suhail is not the status of the earlier converts; Suhail is not a muhajir, yet the books of seerah mention out all of the converts that converted after the conquest, the most worship minded was Suhail. The most salah, the most fasting, the most zakat etc.
And when the prophet PBUH died, Suhail was still in Mecca, and the people in Mecca by and large were all converts after the conquest. As we will see none of the muhajir lived in Mecca after the conquest; they had to go back to Madinah. So who is living in Mecca? All the people who converted 1.5 years ago. Abu Suffyan, Suhail etc. And so many of them flirted with the idea of leaving Islam. So much so the sahabi governer of Mecca feared for his life and went into hiding, because commotions began and mobs gathered after the news of the prophet PBUHs death. Whose the one who calmed them down? Suhail ibn Amr. He stood in front of the kab’ah and gave them a fiery lecture. And he warned and admonished them, and he said “Oh people of Mecca, do not be the last group to convert, and the first to renegate and apostisise”. SubhanAllah. How elegant is this speach. And he played a major role in bringing them back to Islam, and he was the one who brought the gorverner out of hiding. Its also mentioned when Suhail, Abu Suffyan etc visited Umar RA in Madinah, they saw a line. And in that line are Bilal, Suhaib Ar Rumi, ibn Masud etc – all the people they once considered to be low. And Suhail and Abu Suffyan had to wait in line while all of these sahaba went before them. At this Abu Suffyan says to Suhail “I have never seen a day like this before. We are here!” And realise who these people are. This is the kings of Quraysh, the MPs of Quraysh. And who is Bilal and other people? And they are muslims but still there is some jaheleya so Abu Suffyan says “I’ve never seen a day like this. We are here and these slaves have been given precedence over us”. Look at what Suhail says. And this shows the imaan of Suhail. Even in Hudaybiyya we see how harsh he was with the conditions, but deep down inside there was good. And when the prophet PBUH managed to get to that good, it overwhelmed him. What did Suhail say to Abu Suffyan? “I can see the anger in your faces, but if you wish to be angry, then be angry at yourselves. For they were called to Islam and we too were called Islam; they raced forward and we lagged behind. And the blessings they obtained in racing forward are far more than the honour of them entering the door of Umar before us now”. In the eyes of Allah accepting Islam first was a much greater blessing: so he is saying “be jealous at THAT good they have, rather the honour they have of entering Umars door”. And Suhail joined the army to fight the Romans in Syria, and he died a shaheed in Syria. Again an amazing story – out of the converts of the conquest, Suhail was the most righteous.
However, right now he is still a bitter enemy, and the Quraysh have sent him to negotiate a treaty with the prophet PBUH. And they clearly told him: make sure he does not enter Mecca this year “for let not the arabs say he had the better hand over us”. And Suhail had two sons who were muslims. And the both of them had given Suhail and his family much troube and dishonour. His elder son, Abdullah ibn Suhail ibn Amr, was a secret convert and there were tensions between him and his father. So he didn’t go public with his conversion as he realised it would cause big problems. And so he basically kept him Islam secret. When Badr happens, he sees an opportunity to get to Madinah. How? In the very army he is meant to fight in. So Abdullah volunteers, and he walks literally with them under their noses as apart of the army. And when they camp for the first time, Abdullah takes his horse and sneaks away. And he joins the ranks of the muslims and fights against the Quraysh. Can you imagine the shame and criticisms Suhail had to deal with in Mecca? How embarrased he must have been. He became a prisoner of war and his own son is on the side of the muslims. And this called Suhail so much anguish and pain; guess what – when Abdullah runs over to Madinah, his younger brother Abu Jandal ibn Suhail also converts and clearly expresses irritation he can’t go to Madinah either. And it was clear to Suhail that Abu Jandal is a muslim. So Abu Jandals Islam is certain – so Suhail locks up Abu Jandal and tells the servants to toture him, thrown him in the dungeon, deprive him of food and water etc. And he is chained since Badr right the way up to the present day i.e. Hudaybiyya. That is 4.5 solid years of being chained up. Toturing him, telling him to worship the idols etc. And he refuses to let Abu Jandal go to Madinah, so he has been locked up for all this time.
Suhail then comes as the official deleget, and the prophet PBUH and Suhail agree to write a treaty. And this is the famous story that the prophet PBUH called for a scribe, and Ali ibn Abi Talib was the scribe. So Ali RA began writing down, and the prophet PBUH dictated. This shows us the assertiveness of the prophet PBUH. He isn’t a meak leader – everytime he says something first. This shows us Suhail might have been the ‘kateeb’ of the Quraysh, but the prophet PBUH is even more eloquent. So the prophet PBUH said “let us start writing: ‘Bismillah irahmaan araheem'”. Suhail says “as for this phrase I’ve never heard it, and I don’t know who ‘Ar-Rehman’ is, let us write it the way we are accustomed ‘BismikAllah hom'”. Again its a matter of ego and pride. And remember what the prophet PBUH said very publically so the muslims understand what is at stake: “by Allah no condition will the Quraysh ask of me, which respects the sign of Allah, except I will give them that condition” i.e. all to avoid bloodshed. Don’t forget they are in the haram, in ihraam during the sacred months, so fighting would be a major sin. So the prophet PBUH agreed, and again the prophet PBUH took charge: “this is what Muhammad, RasulAllah has agreed to with Suhair ibn Amr”. And he writes the words ‘RasulAllah’. But by the time Suhail hears this, he says “as for you being RasulAllah, walahi if we believed this, neither would we prevent you from the kab’ah, nor would we have fought you. Rather write it the way your people knew you: Muhammad ibn Abdullah”. Again its major ego – Suhail wants the prophet PBUH to know ‘we won’t let you get away with anything’. And the prophet PBUH said “walahi I am RasulAllah, even if you deny it, so write down ‘Muhammad ibn Abdullah'”. And Ali RA said “I will not delete ‘RasulAllah'” – Ali RAs own anger got the better of him. So its said in one version, the prophet PBUH took it and scrapped it out with his own hands. This shows us the humility of the prophet PBUH and the imaan of Ali RA. Amazingly by disobeying the prophet PBUH he is honouring him. And the prophet PBUH understands Alis dilemma so he rubbed it off himself.
And the prophet PBUH said “the Quraysh will let the muslims do umrah”. Notice again he is no coward – every time he is the one foward. But Suhail says “as for this year, NO, we cannot do this, rather that will be for next year”. Khalas that is is – there is no compromise on this. And this was the main thing the prophet PBUH wanted, to do umrah, but Suhail did not allow it. He improvised and said “yes you can do it, but NOT this year, only next”. And then Suhail put forth conditions: “not a single man from us, renegades or defects over to you even if he be on your religion except that you hand him back to us”. Suhail especially has been harmed: his son is on the other side, and his own son is chained up. So he wants this condition because they have lost alot of people from defecting over to Madinah. And the muslims said “subhanAllah what an unfair condition! How can we return any muslim back to you?!” And a commotion began; and Ali RA did not write it. There is tension and talks that “how can we agree to this?”. Then Allah willed one of the most interesting and clearly melodramatic epsiodes of the seerah. There is no denying this is the will of Allah, that something happens that is so melodramatic and so difficult to stomach, this was a test for all of the muslims. Recall Abu Jandal is still chained up, but he’s been chained for 4.5 years. So he must have figured out a way to get out. But even if he does escape where would he go? He dosen’t have a horse or camel – how would he leave Mecca? On top of that, he would be in chains and people would see him. What would he do? He has no money, no ride, the people of Mecca all know him. Now he’s heard for the last three or four days the muslims are camped outside. However he did, he manages to escape – he still has his chains and he flees hoping to be protected by the muslims. And while they are discussing this very thing – they hear the dangling of the chains, and in the distance they hear Abu Jandal crying out “Ya muslimeen I found you yes!” Yet he dosen’t know his own father is sitting there. Nor does he know what is being discussed: the very condition being discussed is his freedom. And Suhail turns to the prophet PBUH and says “this is the first one that this condition will be applied on”.