Six years had already passed since the Prophet and his Makkahn followers fled from their birthplace. Their hearts began to yearn for their homes and Al-Ka‘bah. The season of pilgrimage approached. The Prophet announced his intention to perform pilgrimage. Numerous voices of his disciples responded to the call. Preparations were soon made for the journey to Makkah. The Prophet accompanied by seven or eight hundred Muslims, refugees and helpers, all totally unarmed, set out for pilgrimage. Quraishites who were still full of animosity towards Muslims gathered a large army to prevent the true believers from entering Makkah. They maltreated the envoy whom the Prophet had sent to ask their permission to visit the sacred places. After much difficultly a treaty was concluded by which it was agreed that all hostilities should stop for ten years’ that any one coming from Quraishites to the Prophet without permission of his guardian or chief, should be given back to idolaters; that any Muslim persons going over to Makkahns should not be surrendered; that any tribe desirous of entering into alliance, either with Quraishites or with Muslims should be at liberty to do so without disputes; that Muslims should go back to Al-Madienah on the present occasion and stop advancing further; that they should be permitted in the following year to visit Makkah, and to remain therefore three days with the arms they used on journeys, namely, their swords in covers. The treaty thus ended, the Prophet returned with his people to Al-Madienah.
About this time it was revealed to the Prophet that his mission should be universal. “Say: “O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of God, to Whom belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He that giveth both life and death. So believe in God and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, who believed in God and His Words: follow him that [so] ye may be guided.” [7:158], consequently, he dispatched several representatives to invite the neighbouring sovereigns to Islam. The embassy to the king of Persia, Chosroes Parvis, was received with disdain and contumely. He was arrogantly amazed at the boldness of Makkahn fugitive in addressing him on terms of equality. He was so enraged that he tore into pieces the Prophet’s letter of invitation to Islam and dismissed the envoy from his presence with great contempt. When the Prophet received information of this treatment, he calmly observed; “Thus will Chosroes Empire be torn to pieces.”
The embassy to Heraclius, the Emperor of the Romans was received much more politely and reverentially. He treated the ambassador with great respect and sent the Prophet a gracious reply to his message.
Another envoy was sent to an Arab prince of the Ghassanite tribe a Christian feudatory of Heraclius. This prince instead of receiving the envoy with any respect cruelly murdered him. This act caused great anxiety among the Muslims who considered it as an outrage of international obligations.
In the same year in Moharram, 7 A.H, the Jews of Khaibar, a strongly fortified territory studded with castles and farms, lying at a distance of five days’ journey or 60-80 miles north of Al-Madienah, showed pitiless hatred towards the Muslims. After Al-Hudaibiyah Treaty, the major party of the anti-Islam tripartite coalition, Quraish, the bedouin horde of Najd tribes and the Jews was neutralized, therefore, the Prophet deemed it an appropriate time to settle his affairs with the other two wings — the Jews and the Najd tribes —Khaibar itself had always remained a hotbed of intrigue and conspiracy, and the Jews had always constituted it a source of military provocations and war instigation centre. The Jews of Khaibar had united by an ancient alliance with the Confederates, triggered Banu Quraiza to practise treachery, maintained contacts with Ghatfan and the Arabians and they even devised an attempt at the Prophet’s life.
In fact, the continual afflictions that the Muslims had sustained were primarily attributable to the Jews. Envoys were repeatedly sent to them for peaceful settlement, but all in vain. Consequently the Prophet came to the conclusion that a military campaign was a must in order to forestall their hostilities. Several branches of “Nadeer” and “Quraiza” took refuge at Khaibar which contributed to increase the feeling of animosity on part of their brethren towards the Prophet and his followers. The Prophet and his adherents were apprised of this movement.
Immediate measures had to be taken in order to repress any new attack upon Al-Madienah. An expedition of 1400 men was soon prepared to march against Khaibar. The Jews allies left them to face the war with the Muslims all alone. The Jews firmly resisted the attacks of the Muslims but eventually all their fortresses had to be surrendered, one after the other to their enemies. They prayed for forgiveness, which was accorded them on certain conditions. Their lands and immovable property were secured to them, together with the free practice of their religion.
No sooner had the Prophet discharged the affair of Khaibar than he started a fresh move towards Wadi Al-Qura, another Jewish colony in Arabia. Prior to fighting, he invited the Jews to embrace Islam but all his words and exhortations fell on deaf ears. Fighting went on ceaselessly for approximately two days and resulted in full surrender of the Jews. Their land was conquered, and a lot of booty fell in the hands of the Muslims.
The Jews of Taima’, hearing beforehand about the successive victories of the Muslim army and the defeats that their brethren, the Jews, had sustained, showed no resistance when the Prophet reached their habitation. On the contrary, they took the initiative and offered to sign a reconciliation treaty to the effect that they receive protection but pay tribute in return. Having achieved his objective and subdued the Jews completely, the Prophet and the Muslims returned to Al-Madienah in safety.
Before the end of the year, it being the seventh year of the Hijra, the Prophet and his adherents availed themselves of their armistice with the Quraishites to accomplish their desire of visiting Al-Ka‘bah. The Prophet accompanied by 2000 Muslims went on his journey to Makkah to perform the pilgrimage rites. On this occasion Quraishites evacuated the city during the three days on which the ceremonies lasted.
Muir in his Life of Muhammad Vol. 3, comments on the incident as follows: “It was surely a strange sight which at this time presented itself at the valley of Makkah, a sight unique in the history of the world. The ancient city is for three days evacuated by all its inhabitants, high and low, every house deserted, and, as they retire, the exiled converts, many years banished from their birth-place, approach in a great body accompanied by their allies, revisit the empty homes of their childhood, and within the short allotted space, fulfil the rites of pilgrimage. The outside inhabitants, climbing the heights around take refuge under tents or other shelter among the hills and valleys; and watch the visitors movements beneath, as with the Prophet at their head, they make the circuit of the Ka‘bah and the procession between Es-safa and Marwah, and anxiously scan every figure, if by chance they may recognise among the worshippers some long–lost friend or relative. It was a scene rendered possible only by the throes which gave birth to Islam.”
In accordance with the treaty terms, the Muslims left Makkah at the end of three days’ visit. This peaceful visit was followed by important conversions among the Quraishites. Khaled Ibn el-Walid, known as the Sword of God, who, before this, had been a bitter enemy of Islam and who commanded the Quraishites cavalry at Ohod; and Amr Ibn el-Aas, another important character and warrior adopted the new faith.
When the Prophet and his followers returned to Al-Madienah, they arranged an expedition to exact revenge from the Ghassnite Prince who killed the Muslim representative. A force of 3000 men, under the Prophet’s adopted son Zaid was sent to take compensation from the offending tribe, Khaled Ibn el-Walid was one of the warriors participating in the expedition. When they reached the neighbourhood of Muta, a village to the south–east of the Dead Sea, they met an overwhelming force of Arabs and Romans who were assembled to oppose them. The Muslims, however, resolved resolutely to push forward. Their courage was of no avail and they suffered great losses. In this battle Zaid, Jaafar, a cousin of the Prophet and Ibn Rawaha and several other notables were killed. Khaled Ibn el-Walid, by a series of manoeuvres, succeeded in drawing off the army, and conducting it without further losses to Al-Medina. A month later however, Amr Ibn el-Aas marched unopposed through the lands of the hostile tribes, received their submission and restored the status of Islam on the Syrian frontier.
 That is without fulfilling their proposed pilgrimage.
 Ibn Hisham, Vol. VII.
 Ibn Athir, Ibn Hisham, Caussin de Perceval, etc.
 Ch. Hughes’ Dictionary of Islam.
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