Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah (صلح الحديبية) was an event that took place during the formation of Islam. It was a pivotal treaty between the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, representing the state of Medina, and the Quraysh tribe of Mecca in March 628 (corresponding to Dhu al-Qi’dah, 6 AH). It helped to decrease tension between the two cities, affirmed a 10-year peace, and authorised Muhammad’s followers to return the following year in a peaceful pilgrimage, later known as The First Pilgrimage.
Muhammad had a premonition that he entered Mecca and did tawaf around the Ka’bah. His companions in Madinah were delighted when he told them about it. They all revered Mecca and the Ka’bah and they yearned to do tawaf there. In 628, Muhammad and a group of 1,400 Muslims marched peacefully without arms towards Mecca, in an attempt to perform the Umrah (pilgrimage). They were dressed as pilgrims, and brought sacrificial animals, hoping that the Quraish would honour the Arabian custom of allowing pilgrims to enter the city. The Muslims had left Medina in a state of ihram, a premeditated spiritual and physical state which restricted their freedom of action and prohibited fighting. This, along with the paucity of arms carried, indicated that the pilgrimage was always intended to be peaceful.
Muhammad and his followers camped outside of Mecca, and Muhammad met with Meccan emissaries who wished to prevent the pilgrims’ entry into Mecca. After negotiations the two parties decided to resolve the matter through diplomacy rather than warfare, and a treaty was drawn up.
The treaty was written by Ali ibn Abi Talib.
After the treaty was signed, most of the pilgrims objected to Muhammad giving in on most points to the Quraysh, refusing to use the name of Allah and refusing to call himself the Messenger of God. That led to Umar having doubts about Muhammad’s truthfulness and asking Muhammad if he really was the Messenger of God. This has even been recorded in Sahih Muslim. Umar later said that if a hundred men had supported him, he would have left Islam then.
The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah was, and still is, very important in Islam. After the signing of the treaty, the Quraysh of Mecca no longer considered Muhammad to be a rebel or a fugitive from Mecca. They also recognized the Islamic state in Medina by signing the treaty. The treaty also allowed the Muslims who were still in Mecca to practice Islam publicly. Further, as there was no longer a constant struggle between the Muslims and the polytheists, many people saw Islam in a new light, which led to many more people accepting Islam. In addition, the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah paved the way for many other tribes to make treaties with the Muslims. The treaty also serves as an example that Islam was not merely spread with the sword, as Muhammad had an army that could have attacked Mecca, but Muhammad chose to make a treaty instead of attacking.
A verse of the Quran was revealed about the treaty, which translates to,
“Verily we have granted thee a manifest victory” (Quran 48:1).
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