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 Sirat Rasoul Allah

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22- Conquest of Mecca

The apostle reached Marr al‑Zahran with an army of ten thousand; the Bedouin tribes ‑ the Sulaym and the Muzayna ‑each contributed a thousand men, and many of them Believers. Not an Emigrant nor a Helper remained in Medina . The Quraysh knew nothing of the apostle's approach, although Abu Sufyan and Budayl constantly sent out in search of news. But the apostle's uncle, al‑Abbas, came out from Mecca and joined the apostle.

When the apostle of Allah was encamped at Marr al‑Zahran  his uncle al‑Abbas said to himself, ' "It will be the end of the Quraysh if the apostle enters Mecca by force without their having come to implore mercy from him." So I mounted the white mule of the apostle and rode out, thinking, "Perhaps I may meet some wood‑gatherer who will tell the Meccans where the apostle is encamped, so that they may come out to him and ask for mercy before he has to take the town by force." After I had gone some way, I heard two voices and they were the voices of Abu Sufyan and Budayl. Abu Sufyan said, "I have never seen as many fires as there are this night, nor so great an army!" and Budayl replied, "These are the Khuzaa, aroused by war." But Abu Sufyan interrupted, "The Khuzaa are too mean and few for these to be their fires and troops." .

'Then I appeared and greeted him and he asked, "What is afoot?" I said, "Woe betide thee, Abu Sufyan! That is the apostle of Allah with his people! All is over with the Quraysh! " He asked, "What is to be done?" and I told him, "If he conquers you, he will strike off your head. Mount behind me on this mule and I will take you to the apostle to ask for mercy." So he mounted behind me, but his companion returned to Mecca .

'I rode back and whenever I passed near a fire of the Muslims, they said, "This is the uncle of the apostle" and let me pass. Then I passed the fire of Umar and, seeing Abu Sufyan, he ex­claimed, "This is the enemy of Allah! Praise be to Allah who has delivered him into our hands." Then he ran to the apostle, but I spurred the mule and overtook him, and hastened in to the apostle with Umar following. Umar cried, "Allow me to strike off the head of Abu Sufyan!" but I said "No. I have granted him protection." Then we argued the case and the apostle told me to guard Abu Sufyan and bring him to the apostle in the morning.

'At dawn we went to the apostle, who said to Abu Sufyan, "Is it not yet clear to thee that there is no other god save Allah!" He replied, "Had there been another god he should have proved himself by now and aided me!" The apostle continued, "Is it not yet clear to thee that I am the apostle of Allah?" Abu Sufyan replied, "I still have doubts in my mind as to that." Then I said to him, "Woe betide thee! Make profession of Islam and say, ‘I testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the apostle of Allah,' before he strikes off thy head!" So Abu Sufyan testified to the truth, and made profession of Islam. I said to the apostle, "Abu Sufyan is a man who likes to have something to boast of. Grant him some favour," and the apostle granted that any man entering the house of Abu Sufyan would be secure, so also would any man who locked himself in his own house, and so also would any man who entered the mosque.

'Then I took Abu Sufyan to a hollow of the mountain to watch the apostle and his army pass by. And all the auxiliary tribes passed first. At last the apostle appeared with the dark legion.' It was called 'dark', because of all the armour it wore; only the eyes of the men were visible. 'Abu Sufyan exclaimed, "None could resist men such as these! 0 Abbas, the power of your nephew has become great!" I replied, "It is the power of his prophecy! " Then I told him, "Hasten back to your people!" '

As soon as Abu Sufyan reached Mecca he cried aloud to the people, 'Muhammad comes and cannot be resisted; but whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan will be safe’ They replied, 'Curses be upon you. Your house cannot shelter all!' so he told them, 'And whoever shuts himself up in his own house will be safe, and whoever enters the mosque will be safe’ Then the people dispersed to their houses and to the mosque.

When the apostle of Allah arrived at Dhu Tuwa he rose in his stirrups and humbly bowed his head to Allah as he observed the empty streets which betokened victory.

Starting from Dhu Tuwa, the apostle divided his troops, giving al‑Zubayr command of the left wing, and giving the Helpers to Sad b. Ubada. But one of the Emigrants heard Sad chanting, 'This is a day of slaughter; today the sanctuary will be profaned.' So the apostle sent Ali after him with orders to take the banner from Sad and lead the Helpers himself. Khalid was appointed over the right flank, which consisted of the Arab tribes, and Abu Ubayda commanded the Emigrants, who were followed by the apostle himself He entered the upper part of Mecca and had his tent pitched there.

Safwan b. Ummaya, Suhayl b. Amr, and Ikrirna the son of Abu Jahl, however, had gathered some men together to fight at al‑Khandama. They were attacked by Khalid's column of tribesmen, two of whom strayed from the main body and were slain; but twelve or thirteen of the idolaters were killed, and the others put to flight. The apostle had instructed his commanders not to fight against any man except those who attacked. There were, however, some enemies of Allah whom he ordered to be slain even if they were hidden in the curtains of the Kaba itself. One of these was Abdullah b. Sad; the apostle of Allah ordered him to be killed because, after having made a profession of Islam and assisted the apostle in writing the revelations, he had relapsed into idolatry, returned to his home, and taken refuge with his milk‑brother. This brother concealed him, but at last brought him to the apostle of Allah, after Mecca had settled down peaceably. He pleaded for him, and it is recorded that the apostle of Allah remained silent for a long while; then he said, 'Yes.' After the man had departed, the apostle turned to his companions and said, 'I remained silent, expecting that one of you would rise and strike off his head.' Then a man of the Helpers asked, 'Why didst thou not give me a sign, o apostle of Allah?' and he replied, 'A prophet does not kill by a sign.’

Another ordered to be slain was a man who, after becoming a Muslim and being sent by the apostle of Allah with one of the Helpers to collect the poor‑tax, had killed his freedman, who was a Muslim. Whilst on a journey he had halted at a caravanserai and had ordered his freedman to slaughter a kid and prepare a meal from it, but the freedman had fallen asleep. When his master awoke and found that nothing was prepared he fell upon him and killed him; then he relapsed into idolatry, and kept two singing‑women, both of whom sang songs insulting the apostle of Allah, who ordered them to be killed with their master.

Another who had insulted two daughters of the apostle was also killed, and some who had persecuted the apostle himself were put to death. But some were given pardon. The daughtor of Abu Talib, the uncle and one‑time guardian of the apostle of Allah, told how 'Two men of the tribe of my father‑in‑law fled to me, then my brother came and said "By Allah, I shall kill them." I locked my house upon them and went to the apostle of Allah, who was in the upper part of Mecca . I found him washing himself from a kneading trough still containing vestiges of dough, whilst his daughter Fatima was shielding him with his robe. After he had finished he put on his garments and recited his morning prayers. Then he turned to me, saying "Welcome! What has brought thee here?" I told him about the two men and about my brother's wish to kill them, and he replied, "We protect whom thou protectest, and we grant safety to whom thou grantest safety  He shall not kill these two men." '

When peace reigned once more the apostle went to the Kaba and rode seven times round it on his camel, touching the sacred stone with a stick which he held in his hand. After this, he called Uthman b. Talha and took from him the key of the Kaba. This was opened to him, and he entered. There he found a pigeon made of aloe‑wood, and he broke this idol with his own hand and threw it outside. The other idols stood fixed with lead, and the prophet made a sign with his stick in the direction of the idols, saying, 'Truth has arrived and falsehood has gone, because falsehood was perishable.' Nor did he point to the front of any idol, but it fell down on its back; nor did he point to its back, but it fell down on its face. Not one idol remained standing. The apostle remained at the door of the Kaba and the people from the mosque surrounded him.

Then the apostle said, 'There is no God but Allah alone. He has kept His promise, and aided His servant. He alone has put the confederates to flight. Every prerogative now lies with me save two ‑ the guardianship of the Kaba, and the office of pro­viding water for pilgrims.

'Killing, when heavy injury was all that was intended, must be made good by a fine of one hundred camels, among which there must be forty pregnant ones.

'People of the Quraysh! Allah has freed you from the arrogance of idolatry. All men are from Adam, and Adam is from earth! . . How do you expect I shall deal with you?' They said,

Well. Thou art our noble brother’, and he replied, ‘You may go free.’ The apostle of Allah then entered the Kaba with Bilal, and ordered him to give the call to prayers.

On the day of the conquest a man entered Mecca who had murdered one of the allies of the Khuzaa. He was recognized and menaced by the Khuzaa. 'Then came Khirash, warding off the swords of the Khuzaa and shouting "Keep away!" We imagined his intention was that the people should leave the man alone, but when we moved away he himself attacked and speared him through the belly; and I can still see him with his entrails spilling out and his eyes becoming fixed. The man gasped, "You have done wrong, you Khuzaa", and then died.'

The apostle of Allah said, 'There has been enough slaughter.' He said further, 'Allah established Mecca as a sanctuary on the day He created the heavens and the earth; therefore it is a sanc­tuary till the day of the resurrection. No man who believes in Allah and in the resurrection may shed blood in it or fell a tree in it. It was not permitted to anyone who came before me, nor will it be permitted to anyone after me. It has been permitted to me only during this hour, because of the wrath of Allah towards the inhabitants of Mecca ; now again it is a sanctuary as before. Let those of you who are present tell this to those who are absent. If any man says to you, "Verily the apostle of Allah has killed in Mecca ", say "Allah has made it right for His Apostle but not for you." 0, ye Khuzaa! Stay your hands from killing. You have committed a murder for which I shall pay the blood ransom; but if after my stay here anyone is killed, the relative of the murdered man will have the choice between the blood of the murderer or a ransom.'

Then the apostle paid the ransom due for the [blood of the] man whom the Khuzaa had slain. The amount of the ransom was one hundred camels.

The apostle sent out expeditions to the surrounding territory to invite the people to Allah, but not to kill. Khalid, however, used violence on one expedition, against the Jadhima, and killed some of them. The apostle remained in Mecca for twenty‑five days after the conquest.  

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