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The Conquest of Makkah


category: History & Biographies


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Before ordering the troops to enter Mecca, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) instructed his men to lift their hands only those who obstructed against their advance or drew swords against them. He also directed them not to lay their hands on any moveable or immovable property of the Meccans or to destroy anything. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 409)


Before Abu Sufyan returned, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) decided to demonstrate the power of Islam to him. He asked ‘Abbaas to take Abu Sufyan to a place where he could review the marching squadrons.

The army on the move surged like an ocean. Different tribes passed by Abu Sufyan with their tribal colors, and as each marched ahead he asked ‘Abbaas the name of the tribe. And, when he was told about the name of the tribe, he mumbled gloomily. “What have I to do with them?” Finally the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) passed with his detachment, with all the troops clad in full armor and appearing greenish-black. It was the regiment of the Ansaar and the Muhaajirun whose eyes alone were visible because of their armor.

Abu Sufyan sighed and asked ‘ Abbaas. “Good heavens, ‘Abbaas, who are these?” When ‘Abbaas told him that they were the Ansaar and Muhaajiroon accompanying the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), he said. “None of them enjoyed this magnificence before. By Allah, O Abdul Fadl the empire of your nephew has assumed splendid proportions this morning!” ‘Abbaas replied, “Abu Sufyan, it is the miracle of prophethood.” “Yes”, said Abu Sufyan, “That’s just it.’(43)

Abu Sufyan hurried back to Mecca, assembled the Quraysh and announced to them: “O people of the Quraysh, this is Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) who has come to you with a force that you cannot resist. Now, he who enters Abu Sufyan’s house will be safe.” “Allah blast you”, cried some of the Quraysh, “How will your house suffice for us?” He added, “And who shuts his door upon himself will be safe and he who enters the sacred mosque will be safe.” Thereupon, the people dispersed to take shelter in their houses and the mosque.


The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) entered Makkah with his head lowered in thanks giving to Allah, his beard almost touching the saddle of his dromedary and the Suratul-Fath(44) on his lips(45), to denote the honor and victory granted to him.

On the day the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) victoriously entered Mecca, which was the religious and political center or rather the heart of Arabia, he took care to exemplify the principle of justice and equality to man and humility and submission to Allah, not forgetting even one cardinal virtue upheld by Islam. He seated Usama b. Zayd, the son of his ex-slave, with him on his camel although all the nobles of the Quraysh and of his own family, Bani Hashim, were present on the occasion.

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) entered Makkah on Friday, the 21st of Ramadhan.

The day Makkah fell to the Prophet of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), he happened to talk to a man who began to tremble because of his awe. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) consoled him saying, “Be at ease and do not be afraid. I am not a king but merely the son of a Qurayshite woman who used to take meat dried under the sun."(46)


S’ad b.‘Ubada passed by Abu Sufyan with a detachment of the Ansaar. While marching ahead he shouted: “Today is a day of conflict, Sanctuary is no more, Allah has humbled the Quraysh.”

In a short while, the Prophet’s regiment came near Abu Sufyan. He complained to the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) and repeated what S’ad had said. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was displeased with S’ad’s bragging and replied.

“Nay, today is the day of mercy and forgiveness. Today will Allah honor the Quraysh, and raise glory of the Sanctuary.(47)

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) sent somebody for S’ad and taking the emblem from him gave it to his son Qays. It meant as if the standard had not been taken away from him at all. (Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 423)

Whatever the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said or did, he was in fact guided from on High. The transfer of the standard was merely symbolic but not superfluous. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) set at ease, on the one hand, Abu Sufyan whose feelings had been hurt and, on the other, he avoided doing anything painful to S’ad b. ‘Ubada whose services for the cause of Islam were of no mean order.


Safwan b. Umayyah, Ikrima b. Abi Jahj and Suhaly b. ‘Amr came up against Khalid b. Walid and tried to obstruct the advance of the Muslim forces. There were a dozen casualties or so and then they gave in without any further bloodshed. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) had already forbidden his troops to use their swords with anyone except upon those who resisted them. (Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 407-8)


Finally, when normalcy returned to Makkah and the populace had settled down, Allah’s Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) went to the sacred House of Allah. First he encompassed the sanctuary seven times. The K’abah had at that time three hundred and sixty idols where he prodded each with a bow in his hand, saying: “Truth hath come and falsehood hath vanished away. Lo! Falsehood is ever bound to vanish.” [Qur'an 17:81]

And the idols collapsed, one after the other, falling on their faces.(48) There were also some images and figures in the K’abah. These were destroyed under the orders of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam).(49)


Having gone around the sanctuary, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) sent somebody for ‘Uthman b. Talha, who was in-charge of the K’abah’s keys. He took the keys from ‘Uthman and got the doors opened. Once, before his migration to Madeenah, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) had requested ‘Uthman to give him the keys of the Ka’bah, but ‘Uthman had not only refused his request but had also been impertinent to him. With exemplary forbearance, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) had then said to him, “Uthman, the day will come when you will see this key in my hands. I would then give it to whom I would like.”

‘Uthman had then retorted, “If the day comes, the Quraysh would be humiliated and crushed.” “No”, the Prophet had said calmly, it would be honored and secured.” It is related that the prediction had so haunted the mind of ‘Uthman that he had come to believe that it would happen exactly as foretold by the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam).(50)

When the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) came out of the sanctuary he had the keys in his hands. ‘Ali stood up and said, “May Allah have mercy and peace on you. Grant us the right of guarding the K’abah along with the watering of pilgrims.” But the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) ignored his request and inquired, “Where is ‘Uthman b. Talha?” ‘Uthman was summoned and then the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “Uthman, take the keys for these are yours. This is the day of good faith and benevolence. This key shall ever remain with you and none but a tyrant would take it from you.”(51)


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