30. Mecca Purified

Allah Most High, allowed the Prophet (s) to see the battlefield. With sorrow in his voice he said, “Your army marched until they met the enemy, and Zaid was killed as a martyr. Then Ja’far bin Abi Talib took the banner, and he fought until he was killed as a martyr. Then Abdullah bin Rawaha took the banner, and he fought until he was killed as a martyr. Then Khalid bin al-Waleed took the banner. Oh, Allah he is a sword of your swords so grant him victory.” And that became Khaled bin al-Waleed’s name.

It had been eight years since the Muslims left Mecca. The number of people coming to Islam was increasing, especially after the peace agreement. But Quraish still believed in revenge.  Doing wrong, if it could be hidden, was okay with some of them. So when a tribe on their side asked for their help to attack a tribe that had joined the Muslims in the truce, they agreed. Less than two years after the Peace Agreement of Hudaybiah, Quraish had broken the treaty! They hoped they wouldn’t be discovered, but news of their betrayal became known. They tried to make excuses in order to keep the peace treaty, but their deed signaled the end of the agreement; and Prophet Muhammad (s) realized it was time to march toward Mecca.

A very large army was quickly prepared; it included the Ansar, the Muhajireen, and all the tribes that had entered Islam. The Prophet (s) prayed he would be able to take Quraish by surprise. He divided the army into sections. Each troop would enter Mecca from a different point. Al-Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle  who lived in Mecca as a Muslim, with Prophet Muhammad’s approval, was now on his way to the Prophet (s) with his family. When the army neared Mecca, Abu Sufyan came to ask Prophet Muhammad (s) not to attack Quraish. The Prophet (s) asked him, “Isn’t it time you admit there is no God but Allah?” Abu Sufyan said he knew this to be the truth now. After hesitating a bit about admitting Muhammad to be the Messenger of Allah, he finally said the shahada. Abu Sufyan then told the Prophet (s) that the people of Mecca were frightened. The Prophet (s) said, “Tell them whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan is safe, whoever enters his own home and closes his door is safe. And he whoever enters the masjid is safe.” This pleased Abu Sufyan, and he hurried to announce it to the people.

The Muslims did surprise the people of Mecca. Quraish had no time to prepare an army, and frankly they were not interested in another war. But they were frightened nevertheless. What would the Muslims, that they had mocked and harmed and fought for so many years, do to them?

Here comes Muhammad (s) victorious, having won the battle with no fighting. He is entering the city that harmed him, plotted against him, threw him out, and attacked him with armies. But where is he? Where is the leader of this army, the head of all the Muslims, the Messenger of Allah to all people everywhere? Are you looking for someone sitting up straight and proud and happy? What a mistake. By now you ought to know this incredibly wonderful human being, our beloved Prophet (s), better. By now you ought to know, he would not be gloating or thinking of getting even with them. Watch how he sits on his camel, leaning over so that his chest touches the camel’s back. Listen to him recite surah al Nasr. He is showing thanks and humbleness to his Lord. And now watch! Watch how he goes around the Kaba. 360 idols tumble to the ground as he jabs each with his staff. And now he has asked for the keys of the Kaba. He has ordered the idols in there to be removed and the images on the walls inside to be erased.

And who is that climbing onto the roof of the Kaba? It is our master Bilal of the beautiful voice. Remember when he was a slave being persecuted by his master, calling out, “Ahad, Ahad”? Listen to him call the Adhan. Watch the people amazed by how important he is now, and by the words he calls out.

And now there is a hush. People are frightened. What will the Prophet (s) do to them? How will he punish them? They gather round to hear him speak. He stands at the door of the Kaba holding on to the door’s frame. “Oh Quraish,” he calls out, “how do you think I will deal with you?” The people who boycotted the Muslims and starved them, the people who hurt them and called Muhammad a liar and sorcerer and crazy, those very people are standing now before him with their grown children. Timidly they say, “You are a generous brother and the generous son of a brother.” “Go,” he answers gently, “you are free!”

He has forgiven them! Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be. From the very beginning, all Prophet Muhammad (s) wanted to do was to save people, all people, no matter who they were, or how they acted; no matter if they were Arabs or not, rich or poor, nobility, or servants, free or slaves. All he ever wanted was to save people from punishment on the Day of Judgement and to allow them to feel Allah being pleased with them.

And now they gather around him in great crowds, wanting to say their shahada. And this becomes the end of the long period of hate Quraish had for the Muslims.

But the tribes of Hawazen and Thaqeef are not happy with what has happened. They have decided to fight Prophet Muhammad (s) and the Muslims. They march towards the Muslims, and when they realize that an army of 12,000 Muslims is coming to fight them, they hide in the mountains surrounding the valley of Hunain. The Muslims are sure they will win this battle. Never have they had an army that was this large. As soon as the Muslims reach the valley, the disbelievers come streaming down from every direction! 

The Muslims are taken by surprise, their horses are frightened, and the army flees! The largest Muslim army has been defeated! But Prophet Muhammad (s) charges towards the enemy on his white mule, calling, “Come to me Oh servants of Allah, I am the Prophet, and that is the truth.” He has been abandoned but for two people, his uncle al-Abbas,who is trying to pull the reins to slow down the mule, and his cousin. Suddenly, al-Abbas calls out, “Oh people of the Tree!”