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Mecca Liberated

Less than two years after the treaty of Hodaybiyah, Quraysh grew impatient with the environment of peace and security that reigned in the land. Muslim losses in the battle of Mu'tah in north Arabia - in today's Jordan - encouraged the Quraysh to stir up unrest in the land and break the treaty that they had signed with the Messenger of Allah at Hodaybiyah. They began to distribute weapons to their allies and urged them to attack the allies of the Muslims at night, in breach of the peace treaty they had with the Muslims.

The Messenger of Allah left Medina on a Friday in the month of Ramadan in the eighth year of the Hijrah. He took with him all the Muslim troops which numbered ten thousand and nearly four hundred horsemen. Then the Messenger of Allah proceeded until he arrived at Marr al-Dhahran, the heights of Mecca, in the evening. He ordered his companions to light more than ten thousand fires. News of his progress had been kept hidden from the Quraysh who were concerned and feared that he might attack them.

It is reported that Abu Sufyan, the Prophet's archenemy, was saying: 'I have never seen such fires as last night nor such a camp.' He said: 'What is the news and what are all these fires?'

The narrator responded to him: 'The news is that the Messenger of Allah has arrived here. He has come with a force you cannot resist; with ten thousand of the Muslims.'

Abu Sufyan said: 'What is to be done?' I said: 'By Allah, if he defeats you he will surely strike your head off so ride this donkey with me so that I can take you to the Messenger of Allah and I will ask him for an amnesty for you.' So he rode behind me.

It is related that Ali ibn Abu Talib said to Abu Sufyan ibn al- Harith: 'Go to the Messenger of Allah and say to him what Joseph's brothers said to Joseph: e By Allah, Allah has preferred you over us and we have certainly been sinful 6 Then the Messenger of Allah said in answer to him and seeking to best him in speech: e He said: Let there be no reproach upon you this day. Allah will forgive you and he is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy 7

The banner of the Muslims was with Sa'ad ibn 'Ibadah and when he passed by Abu Sufyan he said to him: 'Today is the day of slaughter, today the women will be captured'. Abu Sufyan heard him and kept it to himself until the Messenger of Allah passed by him when he said: 'Do you know what Sa'ad ibn 'Ibadah has said?'

The Messenger of Allah said: 'What he has said is of no consequence.' Then he sent someone to Sa'ad and took the banner from him and passed it to Ali and said: 'Enter with kindness.' Ali took the banner and began to proclaim: 'Today is the day of mercy, today honour will be protected.' Then the Messenger of Allah turned to Abu Sufyan and said to him: 'O Abu Sufyan, proceed to Mecca and let them know of the sanctuary.'

When the Messenger of Allah entered Mecca, a tent was pitched for him by the grave of his uncle Abu Talib. He refused to enter his house or the houses of his companions in Mecca that had been confiscated by the Polytheists.

Then the Messenger of Allah, after having rested a little in his tent, bathed and mounted his camel and set out for the sacred mosque. The Muslims were before him and behind him and all around him and they were repeating along with the Messenger of Allah the words of Allah Almighty: e The truth has come and falsehood has perished, indeed falsehood is (by nature) perishing 8.

Mecca resounded with the sound of their voices until he entered the sacred mosque and approached the black stone at the corner of the Ka'bah, and kissed it. Then he circled the House upon his camel and with a bow in his hand. Around the House there were some three-hundred and sixty idols and he began to stab at them with his bow saying: e The truth has come and falsehood has perished, indeed falsehood is perishing f and e The truth has come and falsehood will not revive again and will not return 9 while the idols fell upon their faces. Then he raised Ali upon his shoulders so that he could bring down the rest of the idols which were upon the Ka'bah.

And thus a whole era of idol worshipping in Arabia was brought to an irreversible end, and Mecca was liberated. The conquest of the Capital City of the idolaters and the liberation of the holy city of Mecca at the hands of Prophet Muhammad took place without bloodshed.

But the Prophet never again took his birth city, Mecca, as his abode. The Prophet only stayed in the city for fifteen days to manage its affairs. When he left the city of Mecca for Medina, he appointed Etab ibn Osayd, 21 years of age, as the city's governor.

Notes:

6. The Holy Qur'an: Joseph (12): 91.

7. The Holy Qur'an: Joseph (12): 92.

8. The Holy Qur'an: The Tribe of Israel (17): 81.

9. The Holy Qur'an: Sheba (34): 49.

Adopted from the book : "The Prophet Muhammad; a Mercy to the World" by : "Ayatullah Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"