The Conquest of Makkah ~ Part 4
So we are now on the 20th Ramadan, 8H and it is the morning of the conquest of Mecca. And the people of Mecca still do not know the army is an hour away. SubhanAllah the prophet PBUH made a dua to Allah that “conceal my plans from the Quraysh” and Allah answered. It is humanely impossible to conceal the plans of 10,000 people from Madinah. Yet because of that dua, Allah did not allow the plans of the prophet PBUH to be exposed literally one minute before the army of the muslims walked in. It is truly a miracle it was kept under such secrecy. And the prophet PBUH divided the army up. Al Waaqidi and others have a long list of which tribe did what – in general, there were three primary contingents who each had many smaller subgroups. One the one the prophet PBUH put the Ansar in charge; on the other side the muhajiroon and in the middle a mixture, and he was in the middle group. For the Ansar, Sa’ad ibn Ubada was in charge who is the current leader of the Ansar. Recall the two Sa’ads were the leaders of the Ansar, but Sa’ad ibn Mu’ad died after Khandak, so Sa’ad ibn Ubada is the current leader. How did he become the leader? The ansar gathered in his house after Sa’ad ibn Mu’ad died to make him the leader. So he is given a clear leadership role. And the muhajiroon have Khalid ibn Waleed in charge. It’s mentioned there were 700 muhajiroon, 4000 ansar and the rest of the army was from other tribes around Madinah. And as Sa’ad ibn Ubada is marching he chants out “today is the day of death and destruction; today the ka’bah itself will lose its haram and become halal”.
Abu Suffyan heard this and rushed to the prophet PBUH complaining “how can the haram become halal?” Of course by ‘halal’ he is implying that bloodshed will be allowed and everything else that is normally haraam. So Sa’ad is saying “today the haram will no longer be sacred”. Abu Suffyan and the Quraysh never said this themselves; they may have done things inside the haram that were wrong, but they’ve always known it’s a haram. So upon hearing this he rushed to the prophet PBUH to inform him, and the prophet PBUH said “Sa’ad made a mistake”. And the prophet PBUH ordered the banner be taken away from Sa’ad because of this mistake, and he gave the banner to Zubair ibn Al Awwam. The middle army was led by Abd Ubaidah Amr ibn Jarrah so all the leaders was from the Quraysh – this clearly shows us the thinking of the prophet PBUH that the people who enter the ka’bah should all be Qurayshi.
Only the muhajir should lead the victory into Mecca. And this also shows the prophet PBUH made ijtihad on the spot. Initially he chose Sa’ad, but when Sa’ad became eager and make a mistake, he gave the banner to Zubair ibn Al Awwam to lead. And Abbass told Abu Suffyan that “you had better rush back to Mecca and tell them not to fight”. Recall he’s a new convert so his heart is still somewhat attached to the Quraysh out of love for them. So Abu Suffyan rushes back into the city and this is when finally the people of Quraysh hear the news that the prophet PBUH is right outside the city. Honestly it is truly mind boggling how it’s possible for 10,000 to reach the door of Mecca without anyone finding out. It’s truly a miracle.
So Abu Suffyan rushes in and is screaming at the top of his lungs “Ya Quraysh here is Muhammad he has come to you with an army you can never fight. So come to my house and you will be safe”. Subhan’Allah the last place of safety the prophet PBUH mentions, he makes it the only place of safety. And indeed Abbass was correct. He said Abu Suffyan is a man of leaership “so give him something to make him feel proud”. And so the prophet PBUH agreed and gave safety to all in HIS house. So now Abu Suffyan is almost boasting and is saying “come to my house and you will be safe”. And he runs through the streets of Mecca and the people are panicking. And he tells them all the details “I was just with Muhammad; you cannot fight, surrender and take up arms”. As he’s surrounded by this crowd, his own wife is there and she cannot believe her husband is doing this. His wife is none other than Hind whose done so much in the seerah, and will do more things. She eventually accepts Islam but at this point she is still a pagan. So when she sees with her own eyes the rumours are true that her husband is telling the Quraysh to give up, she darts through the crowd and smacks her own husband in public. And she twists his facial hair, and she starts giving him the most vile curses imaginable in public. That “kill this lazy idiot”. This is the wife telling the people of the Quraysh “kill this fat coward!” And this was truly a public humiliation. But Abu Suffyan retained his dignity and responded “woe to you, don’t let her cause you to act rashly for I tell an army has come you cannot fight. Come to my house you will be safe”.
One of them said “of what use is your house?!” meaning ‘how can we fit?’ Then he spills the beans: “whoever enters the haram is safe, whoever enters their own house and closes the door is safe and whoever enters my house is safe”. So whoever had a house enters their own house. Those without a house i.e. travellers, hujjaj, or even people whose house is too far away, they entered the haram right in front of the ka’bah OR Abu Suffyans house. It’s also said the prophet PBUH allowed the house of Abbass to be a public safety house. And the prophet PBUH divided the army into three as we said – one of them entered Mecca from the western side, the other entered Mecca from the eastan side. And he forbade them “DO not kill anyone unless they attack you. It is forbidden to kill anybody” however the prophet PBUH mentioned a few names and said “if you see these people you can kill them”. In this immediate chaos a small group of Qurayshi banded together and decided to fight back. They literally had just minuted to run around, gather some people and get weapons. But it wasn’t an organised assualt against the muslims – it was just chaotic. And the one in charge was Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahal along with Safwan ibn Ummayah and Suhail ibn Amr (the one who did Hudaybiyya, Abu Jandhal’s son). So these three senior men, the remnants of the Quraysh, decided to band together and fight back. But it was obvious faliure. The books only mention a handful were killed, around 10-20 from the Quraysh and from the muslim only two were killed in the flank of Khalid ibn Waleed. After this small skirmish and all threats were eliminated, the prophet PBUH entered Mecca.
And thus Mecca was finally conquered on the 20th Ramadan in the 8th year Hijrah with barely any loss of life. After 21 years of difficulty, the prophet PBUH returned to the place of his birth after being expelled out as the undisputed conquerer. And the people of Mecca could not possibly put up a fight. So the prophet PBUH entered Mecca on his camel from the area of Kudait and he was dressed in his armour (not ihraam). And he had a red turban on him on this day, and it was flung underneath his beard. And ibn Ihsaaq mention that the prophet PBUH lowered his head all the way down to the camel, so much so, his forehead was almost touching the back of the camel. And he was praising and glorifying Allah immensely and reciting surah Fath. And the prophet PBUH made his way through the streets of Mecca, everyone in awe of him, until he stood in front of the ka’bah still on his camel, he began doing tawaaf riding the camel. And he had in his hand a staff, and everytime he passed by one of the idols (and there were over 350, some say 360 idols in Mecca one for every day of the year), every time he passed by he would point towards it and if the idol had the face forward it fell forward; if it’s face was backward it fell back. And every idol was destroyed directly by the prophet PBUH, another miracle of Allah. And the prophet PBUH kept on reciting “the truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Verily the falsehood must eventually vanish”. And every time he passed the black stone, the hajar, he would touch it with his staff. Note he did not get off his camel this whole time.
The people were gathering while he is doing tawaaf, and the haram has been filling up until finally the entire city is now packed inside the haram. And in front of the Ansar and muhajiroon, he calls for the keys of the ka’bah. And they are given to him; so he takes the keys, and with his own blessed hands he unlocks the doors and enters the ka’bah and he finds inside signs of paganism: pigeons made out of materials, and he takes them all out and destroys them to cleanse the inside of the ka’bah. There was also images inside the ka’bah of angels, and also of Ibrahim AS, and the prophet PBUH said “may Allah curse them, what has Ibrahim got to do with this paganism?” Then he recited “Ibrahim was a pure hanif that was muslim, not off the pagans”. According to ibn Sa’ad on one side of the ka’bah was a picture of Mary and Jesus. The report however is very weak and it dosen’t make sense either. It makes sense for Ibrahim and angels to be there since they thought angels were the daughters of Gods but not so much Jesus and Mary. Nonetheless all the images in the ka’bah were destroyed. Thus when all the idols had been demolished and the house of Allah returned to absolute purity; so when the prophet PBUH cleansed the haram of all the filth, he turned to the people speaking from the door of the ka’bah, standing on the footsteps of the ka’bah with the doors wide open in front of him. Imagine the scene. It’s such a pinnacle of the seerah. Here is the house of Allah and the people of Mecca, ansar, muhajir, more than 12,000 people are standing before the prophet PBUH. And they are all waiting for the prophet PBUH to speak. Now he stands and faces the entire gathering from the doors of the ka’bah itself. What symoblism and imagery. Subhan’Allah.
And he gives a very short khutbah. That “there is no God but Allah, and He has fulfilled his promise and aided His servants. And He destroyed all the enemies by himself. Verily every single claim and matter of jaheleya has now been abolished. Except two things: the sadana and sikaaya (custodianship of the ka’bah and feeding of the pilgrams).” The keys of the ka’bah were the right of Uthman ibn Mad’oon of the Banu Abd Dar, and the responsibility of feeding the hujjaj was the Banu Hashims. Then he said “verily Allah has abolished the arrogance of jaheleya (the heirachy of tribalism)”. And he said “Allah of you are from Adam and Adam was from dust”. So now if you’re Qurayshi or Kuza’a nothing matters. And he said “the one who has higher privallege is he who has more taqawah of Allah”. And then with all of the Quraysh gathered, the prophet PBUH asked “what do you think I shall do to you?” And so they said “you will do the best for us, for you are one of us, you are a noble brother and you are the son of a noble brother, you are our brother”. And the prophet PBUH gave those famous lines: “Go for you are free there is no blame on you today.” That is, he quoted Yusuf AS: “I too say to you the same thing, which my brother Yusuf said to his unkind brothers i.e., “Have no fear this day! May Allah forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful”. And subhanAllah this verse came down when the prophet PBUH when he most needed it. When he was being persecuted and totured to show him “a time shall come that you be in a position of power such that you will utter these same words just like Yusuf did”. And walahi we cannot do justice to this scene with mere words.
1) The prophet PBUH when he conquered Mecca, he wanted to honour Mecca like no other city. And he conquered Mecca by commanding the conqueres not to fight and not to attack even. Never in the history of humanity has an army been told “don’t attack; don’t unsheath your swords!” Never has it happened that a city has been conquered simply by an army marching in. This is something Allah blessed the prophet PBUH with.
2) When Mecca was conquered we see the humility and humbleness of the prophet PBUH. He did not enter Mecca with his chest out with pride and arrogance; rather he enters in a manner unprecented in human history. Neither before or after has a conquerer entered with his head bowed down in front of Allah so much so his face is almost touching the back of the camel. Who else can demostrate this type of gratefulness and humility.
3) The first thing the prophet PBUH does when he enters the city is worship Allah. He goes straight to the ka’bah and he honours and worships Allah. This is the priority. Yes the biggest history in mankind has just happened but Alllah comes first. So he thanks Allah by doing the tawaaf. And as he does the tawaaf, along with worshipping Allah, he does the second greatest act which is to reject idolism. He is worshipping Allah and as he’s doing tawaaf he destorys the filth around the ka’bah by destroying the external idols. Then he turns to the internal idols, gets rid off them and then he turns to the Quraysh.
4) His sermon is short and to the point. He summarises the main points, at that is the worship of Allah alone with no idols. He just begins with “there is no God but Allah” and this is the reality of Islam. After praising Allah he then mentions “all of your old ways are abolished and gone, and a new system of taqawah has come in – only the one of taqawah has a higher status, otherwise everyone is from Adam AS and from clay”.
5) He asks them “what do you think I will do with you?” By asking them what should be done, it’s truly beautiful psychology. He dosen’t just command, he asks. By asking many things are demonstrated. Firstly his own superiority over them. That now he is in charge of them, but he tells them in a very gentle manner. He is establishing the rank he deserves in a humble and gentle manner. At the same time, the implicit tone of the question is that “you have done much wrong, you deserve a punishment”. But the prophet PBUH does not say this. It’s implied – this is among the perfection of his mannerisms. He doesn’t say “how did you do this to me?” but he still gets the point across implicitly. Automatically it’s understood that “what have you done?” by asking the question. Lastly by asking this question he extracts their hope and admiration for him, and he allows them to testify to this. So the prophet PBUH brings it out of their hearts and they say “you must do the best, after all you are such a generous man who belongs to us”.
6) This incident and Ta’if put together is truly the seerah summarised. It demonstrates how the prophet PBUH is a mercy to mankind. When he was persecuted and alone in Ta’if, and when he was a conquerer at the head of an army at Mecca; at both times he forgave for the sake of Allah. It also shows the reality of Islam. It’s not about bloodshed or war. It’s about the worship of Allah however this is achieved. Sometimes war, usually mercy and peace and this is demonstrated throughout the seerah.
7) It is said the prophet PBUH prayed inside the ka’bah. We don’t know exactly when – some scholars say before, according to others it’s after. Allah knows best, but logically speaking it makes more sense he prayed before he gave the khutbah. According to some he prayed two raka’at, according to other six (2, 2, 2). And Bilal RA was with the prophet PBUH when he prayed. It’s narrated in Muslim that many years later, ibn Umar asked Bilal “where did the prophet PBUH pray?” when he went inside the ka’bah. So ibn Umar prayed in those same places. And of course praying inside the ka’bah is an established sunnah – a sunnah rare in our times since the ka’bah is locked up. If somehow we are blessed to pray in the ka’bah, from the narrations of Bilal RA we learn to pray facing any of the walls. The prophet PBUH began with the wall opposite the door.
When the prophet PBUH came back out and he still had the keys in his hands, Ali RA says to him “why don’t you make the sikaaya and the hijaaba together and put it to us?” Meaning, ‘why don’t you combine the care of the ka’bah and the feeding of the pilgrams to the Banu Hashim?’ Of course Ali RA wants the honour of both taking care of the pilgrams and the key fo the ka’bah for his tribe. The prophet PBUH did not answer, rather he said “where is Uthman ibn Talha?” He is from the Banu Abd Dar. So was brought immediately and the prophet PBUH said “take your keys ya Uthman, today is the day of fulfilling the promises and giving back what is due”. Allah had revealed before “return the amaanah (trusts) to the people who deserve it”. Scholars interpret this verse to be applicable here. And the prophet PBUH gave the keys back to Uthman ibn Talha, and since that time up until now, never in the history of our religion has anyone dared to take it away from the descendants of Uthman to this day. You can see on youtube an interview of the descendant of Uthman to this day. So the key is still in the tribe of the Banu Abd Dar.
Recall, what allowed the prophet PBUH to conquer Mecca? One of the allies of the Quraysh attacked one of the allies of the muslims: the Kuza’a were attacked from the Banu Bukr. So the prophet PBUH had not forgot this, so he allowed the Kuza’a to attack the Banu Bukr as a retaliation. So he allowed them to engage in a minor skirmish and he said “you have until Asr and only Asr”. So they only had a few hours and it was in the heat of the sun. This was intentionally done to finish the matter quickly. So after Asr, the prophet PBUH forbade them completely and said “there shall be no more fighting or bloodshed; the haram has been returned to the sanctity it had”. It so happened on the next day one of the people of the Kuza’a killed one of the people from the Banu Bukr. And the prophet PBUH became extremely angry and he gave a khutbah and said “the one who does it, it shall be permissable for the family to extract qisaas”. And he said “if anyone tells you the prophet PBUH himself fought and shed blood in the ka’bah, you say to him ‘Allah has allowed the prophet PBUH and he didn’t allow you. And Allah only allowed him for some time of the day’ and it has now returned to its sanctity”.
The conquest of Mecca was very unique in that:
– no war booty was taken
– no prisoners of war were taken
– no land was taken
there was no actual battle; it was something Allah blessed the prophet PBUH with without all these things because of the sacredness of the haram.
As we said, the prophet PBUH mentioned a list of people to the sahaba who were not given aminosty. The prophet PBUH said “everyone should be spared except for a few people”. How many were there? Al Waaqidi says six: two women and four men. Ibn Ishaaq gives names Waaqidi does not give. The earliest book mention 6, 7 and some even 9. So between 6 and 9. From a city of 2000+ less than a dozen were mentioned by name, and for these people the muslims were told “you may kill them where you find them”. And even in this list, still half of them were forgiven. Who were these people?
1) Ikrimah ibn Jahal – the son of the pharoh of this ummah. He was eventually spared and he has a very interesting story. When Mecca was conquered he was the one trying to fight. When he lost he fled immediately and he fled to Jeddah and then took the ship to Abyssinia. On the way to Abyssinia, a storm overtakes the ship. And the captain of the ship says “we don’t have the power to withstand the storm. For sure we will drown so now is the time to make dua to Allah for walahi you and I both know our Gods will not help us now”. Even though the captain is a pagan he is admitting only Allah can help now. SubhanAllah he’s basically saying “let’s cut the crap now we both know only one Allah can help us now, these idols won’t do nothing for us”. Ikrimah says, and he’s narrating in the first person: “that was when it struck me”. Imagine, the son of the pharoh of the ummah – Allah intended good for him. He was the number one of the list and he deserves to be there, but Allah has another plan. So on the ship after 20 years of fighting Islam, he said “it occured to me then if our Gods will not help us when we need them, why should we worship them when we don’t need them?” It’s simple common sense. So he realised after all Islam is the truth which shows us again and again, many of these people (Abu Suffyan etc) genuinenly believed these Gods were living beings that could hear, obey and listen. So finally he says “Oh Allah I promise you if you save me I will accept Islam, and I will go to the prophet PBUH, put my hand in his hand and I will find him to be merciful”. And Allah saved him. He immediately went back to Mecca, wrapped his face in a turban to hide himself, and he made his way through the camp until he stood in front of the prophet PBUH. And he uncovered himself and said the kalima, and then he gave this whole story. And the prophet PBUH forgave him and accepted his Islam. And Ikrimah died a shaheed fighting against the Romans showing his sincerity.
2) Abdullah ibn Katal – he had converted to Islam, came to Madinah and performed the hijrah, the prophet PBUH sent him on an expiditon with another sahabi, and on the way there ibn Katal murdered the sahabi, took his stuff and fled back to Mecca and became a murtad. Not only this, he purchased two slave girls known for their poetry and told them to write poetry against the prophet PBUH and the muslims. In those days this was the height of propoganda. So this is ibn Katal (note some books say ibn Aktal). And ibn Aktal/Katal had a very harsh execution. He fled to the haram itself and jumped on the doors of the ka’bah when the army was coming in and the prophet PBUH is still outside. And he begged for forgiveness using the honour of the ka’bah. And he took the curtain of the ka’bah and put it around himself i.e. he is using the height of sanctity to protect himself. When the sahaba saw this, even they felt “this is too much” so they sent an emissary to the prophet PBUH telling him ibn Katal is protecting himself with the curtains of the ka’bah. But the prophet PBUH said “kill him” so he was executed then and there.
3) Mikyas ibn Subaba – he too pretended to be a muslim only to exact a revenge killing. One of the sahaba had killed his brother in the days of jaheleya so he wanted to get revenge; he pretended to be a muslim, entered Madinah, assissinated the sahabi and returned to Mecca. So he too was executed.
4) One of the most interesting stories is Abdullah ibn Abi Sar’ah. He accepted Islam, immigrated to Madinah and he was one of the few who began writing for the prophet PBUH as a scribe. Eventually he became murtad and he returned back to Mecca and he started fabricating lies against the prophet PBUH that the Quran was from his dictation. This story is used a lot by orientalists. And he would say “I would change the Quran” but of course this is just a lie. And he would say “I would write different to what the prophet PBUH narrated”. So he became murtad and returned to Mecca. So, what happened was he was the foster brother of Uthman ibn Affan, so when the army entered Mecca, ibn Abi Sar’ah got to Uthman and begged for forgiveness. So Uthman hid him until Mecca was conquered and things calmed down. After a few days Uthman brings him to the prophet PBUH. And he begs for forgiveness and asks to be pardoned. He is standing in front of the prophet PBUH and all the sahaba are around. The prophet PBUH does not say anything. Complete deafening silence. The silence become so thick and dense, and after a long pause the prophet PBUH says “ok, accepted”. The prophet PBUH then turns to the sahaba and said “weren’t any of you wise enough to understand why I didn’t say yes? Why didn’t you execute him?” Meaning the inital command was to execute, so why didn’t you do it? One of the ansar said “Ya RasulAllah why didn’t you motion with your eyes?” The prophet PBUH said “it is not befitting that a prophet of Allah give signal with his eyes to kill someone”. But subhan’Allah, this man – when he repented he truly repented. And eventually his Islam became very strong so much so Umar RA appointed him to be the governer of Egypt. And he lived a righteous live and died a beautiful death. And again it shows us the prophet PBUH is indeed the best human but he is not Allah and Allah had a different plan. No doubt he deserved to be executed, but Allah had something else planned.
5&6) Also on the list were the two women who had written the poetry, Fartaana and Sarah. And of these two, Fartaana was executed, Sarah eventually fled and was forgiven.
So we’ve discussed 6 people so far – 3 people were spared, 3 were executed. We’ll discuss 3 more people to total 9 – out of these 3, only 1 will be killed and 2 spared. So only 4 will be killed out of 2000+.
7) Al Huraywith ibn Al Ruqaydh – he did something similar to Habaar to the younger daughters of the prophet PBUH. When the prophet PBUH immigrated, obviously his daughters stayed in Mecca and he entrusted Abbass to bring them safely to Mecca. So Fatimah and Umme Kulthoom were being taken by Abbass. But Huraywith refused to let them go; threatened them, both girls fell of their horse and recieved some harm. So he was executed, and it was Ali RA who executed him which is justice.
8) Habaar ibn Al Aswad – the founder and forefather of the habaarid dynasty of India. Habaar was the one who refused to allow Zainab, the daughter of the prophet PBUH, to immigrate to Madinah. Recall in Badr Zainabs husband was captured and the prophet PBUH made an agreement to set him free if he sent Zainab back. So he followed up but he foolishly sent Zainab back in broad daylight in the public. When the Quraysh saw this they said “how dare we return the daughter of Muhammad to him?” And they surround Zainabs camel and Habaar was the one who took his spear and shoved it at the camel. It jostled back and she fell off, and at this she had a miscarriage. Eventually he repents and he is forgiven.
9) Wahshi – the murderer of Humza bin Abdul Muttalib. And Wahshi knew he would not be spared so as soon as Mecca was conquered he fled to Ta’if. And he only converted when the people of Ta’if converted i.e. 1.5 years later. Wahshi was a member of the delegation sent from Ta’if to Madinah – we’ve already discussed his story in detail before. The prophet PBUH asked Wahshi to tell him the story of how he killed Humza in detail and Wahshi told him everything. And it’s said the prophet PBUH was crying when he heard this. After, the prophet PBUH said to Wahshi “I have forgiven you but don’t show me your face”. What a punishment. So Wahshi as long as the prophet PBUH lived, what a punishment, he could not be in the same area as the prophet PBUH. And even after, he was guilty of drinking etc and Umar RA said “I knew that Allah would not spare the killer of Humza”. Of course he was at the end of the day a sahabi but the sahaba are at levels. Not all of them are on the level of Umar and Abu Bukr RA. And Wahshi is definately not – he converted right at the end, so even if he is forgiven there are taints in his Islam.
So the full list of people is 9. Of this, only 4 are actually killed and 5 are spared. So even in the exceptions, half are forgiven other than 4 people at max being killed. Note at this moment in time the prophet PBUH is still in Mecca standing at the foot of the ka’bah.