Conquest of Mecca

The Treaty of Hudaibia had been now nearly two years in force. Acting on the discretion allowed by the treaty, Banu Khazao and Banu Bakr, inhabiting Mecca and its neighbourhood, the former had become the allies of Muhammad, the latter had entered into an alliance with Qoraish. These two rival tribes had been fighting among them for a long time. Aided by a party of Qoraish, Banu Bakr attacked by night an unsuspecting encampment of Banu Khazao, and slew several of them. The Khazao were forced to take refuge in the Kaba, where they were also persecuted. A deputation of forty men from the injured tribe, mounted on camels, hastened to Medina, and spread the wrongs of Banu Bakr before Muhammad, and pleaded that the treacherous murders be avenged. Muhammad sent a messenger to Qoraish, offering three alternatives:- a) Blood-money for all the men killed be paid. b) The Qoraish should withdraw their help for the Banu Bakr. c) It should be announced that the treaty of Hudaibia has been abrogated.

Qaratah bin Umar, on behalf of Qoraish, said that only the third alternative was acceptable. After the departure of the messenger, the Qoraish regretted their reply, and sent Abu Sufian as their ambassador to get the treaty of Hudaibia renewed. Abu Sufian came to Medina, but he got no reply, and returned back to Mecca unsuccessful. Muhammad was therefore impelled to march with a force of ten thousand Muslims. The move of the army started from Medina on 10th Ramdan, 8/January 1, 630. Having no courage to resist, the Meccans laid down their arms. Muhammad triumphantly entered Mecca at the head of a formidable force after a banishment lasting for years, on 20th Ramdan, 8/January 11, 630. Many had lost their nearest and dearest at the hands of the people now completely at their mercy. All of them carried in their hearts bitter memories of cruelty, persecution and pain inflicted by their now humble enemies. Yet none thought of vengeance or retribution, and none raised his arm against a defenseless foe. Stanley Lane Poole writes in "The Speeches and Table-Talk of the Prophet Mohammad" (London, 1882. p. 47) that, "It was thus Mohammad entered again his native city. Through all the annals of conquest there is no triumphant entry comparable to this one."

As soon as Mecca was occupied, Muhammad went to Kaba, and circumambulated the House of God seven times. Ibn Hisham (2nd vol., p. 412) writes that Muhammad soon turned and looked at the Qoraish. There was a hushed silence as the assembled populace gazed at him, wondering what their fate would be. "O Qoraish!" called Muhammad, "How should I treat you?" "Kindly, O noble brother, and son of a noble brother!" the crowd replied. "Then go! You are forgiven." Muhammad now entered Kaba with Ali and saw the idols and deities arranged along its walls. In and around the Kaba, there were 360 idols which had long polutted its sanctity; being carved of wood or hewn out of stone, including a statue of Abraham holding divining arrows. Muhammad smashed these idols to pieces. When the task was finished, he felt as if a great weight had been lifted off his shoulders. The Kaba had been cleansed of the false gods; now only the true God would be worshipped in the House of God. The conqueror of Mecca ordered no celebration mark his glorious victory. Instead, the Muslims bowed themselves in genuflections of prayer and gave thanks to God.

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