Never before has there been in the history of mankind, nor will there ever be a decade so memorable, so glorious, so Divinely inspired, and so vividly immortalized.
1. A Surprise Attack
After Mu’tah, the Prophet stayed in Al-Madinah for three months, Jumadah Al-Akhirah, Rajab and Sha'ban. During the month of Sha'ban he began to prepare for the attack on Makkah, since he had learnt that Quraysh had broken their pact with him by helping the tribe of Bakr, who were the allies of Quraysh, in their fight against Khuza'ah, the allies of the Prophet.
One of the Khuza'ah tribe came to ask for the Prophet’s help and the Prophet promised help, saying "May I not be helped if I do not help the sons of Ka’b (a clan of the Khuza'ah tribe).”
When Abu Sufyan learnt of Khuza'ah envoy to the Prophet, he went to Al-Madinah to see the Prophet. He asked him for an extension of the pact between him and Quraysh, but the Prophet paid no attention to Abu Sufyan’s pleas. Then, Abu Sufyan went to his daughter, Umm Habibah, the Prophet’s wife, to ask her to talk to the Prophet about the extension of the pact. As he was about to sit on the Prophet’s rug, she folded it up so that he could not sit on it. "Little daughter," Abu Sufyan said, "I hardly know if you think that rug is too good for me or that I am too good for the rug." "It is the Prophet’s rug," she said, "and you are an idolater, a man unpurified." "By Allah," Sufyan answered, "since you left me some evil has befallen you.”
The first person to be told of the intended surprise attack against Quraysh was Abu Bakr, who was asked to be ready and to keep the plan to himself. But an Emigrant called Hatib did somehow learn about the secret, and had sent a letter to Quraysh warning them of the Prophet’s intention to attack them. He had given his letter to a woman who had hidden it in her hair. The Prophet learnt of this, and he sent 'Ali and Zubayr after her and they forced her to give them the letter. They both went back and gave the letter to the Prophet who called Hatib and asked him what induced him to do that. He answered that he still believed in Allah and His Messenger, but did what he did for the sake of his son and family who were still in Makkah. At this point, 'Umar came close to cutting off Hatib’s head for being a hypocrite. But the Prophet said, "How do you know, 'Umar, perhaps Allah has looked favorably upon the people of Badr and said, Do what you will, for I have forgiven you." Thus the following verse about Hatib was revealed:
“O you who have believed, do not take My enemy and your enemy as patrons casting forth to them amity and they have shown disbelief in the Truth that has come to you and driven the Messenger and yourselves out of Makkah.” (Surah Al-Mumtahanah: 1)
2. Truth Has Come
The army of ten thousand set out for Makkah on the tenth of Ramadan, with the Prophet and the Muslims fasting until they reached Al-Kudayd, where he broke his fast. But only some Muslims broke their fast and the Prophet allowed others to keep theirs.
The arrival of the army in the vicinity of Makkah was kept a secret, until they reached Marru-'Azhzhahran. Before entering the city, the Prophet had divided the army at Dhi Tuwa, with Az-Zubayr commanding the left wing. Khalid was in command of the right wing, and was to advance through the lower part, and the Prophet and his troops would enter Makkah through its upper side. When Qaswa’ came to a halt, the Prophet bowed his head until his beard almost touched the saddle, in gratitude to Allah. There was no fighting on that day, except when a small group of Quraysh attacked Khalid and his troops. Then a skirmish took place, and two Muslims were killed, while Quraysh lost about thirty men.
When the Prophet entered his tent near the Mosque, he prayed eight Raka’at in thanksgiving. Then he entered the Mosque and performed ‘Umra (the Lesser Pilgrimage) by circumambulating the Ka'bah seven times. Then the Prophet went towards the idols which surrounded the Ka'bah, pointing at them with his staff, repeating the verse:
“And say: Truth has come and untruth has expired. Surely untruth has been expiring.” (Surah Al-Isra’: 81)
As he pointed at the 360 idols, each idol fell, one after the other. Then he went to pray at the place of Ibrahim; then to the well of Zamzam where his uncle Al-'Abbas gave him some water to drink. Then the Prophet entered the House, and ordered its door to be locked behind him. Inside the House with the Prophet, were Usamah, Bilal, and 'Uthman, who was the guardian of the House. The Prophet ordered that the paintings inside the Ka'bah should be effaced. Then, the door was unlocked, and the Prophet addressed the gathering with these words:
"Praise be to Allah, Who has His promise and His servant and routed the confederates, He Alone." Then he asked the gathering: "What do you think I am about to do with you?" They answered, "We say well, and we think well: an honorable brother, and the son of an honorable brother." To this the Prophet answered, "Go your way, for you are the freed ones."
Having commanded that all the idols be burnt, the Prophet also ordered that everyone who had idols in his house must destroy them. In large numbers, the people came to pledge their obedience to the Prophet, who sat receiving every group at As-Safa, with 'Umar below him imposing conditions on the people who came to pay homage to the Prophet, promising to hear and obey Allah and His Messenger to the best of their ability. Abu Bakr went to his father’s house to bring him, an old man, and his daughter to the Prophet to embrace Islam.
Among the women was Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan. She was veiled, because she feared that the Prophet would punish her for what she had done to Hamzah at the Battle of Uhud. She said, "O Messenger of Allah, praise be to Him Who has granted victory to the religion which I choose for myself.” Then she unveiled her face and showed herself as Hind, the daughter of 'Utbah. To this the Prophet said, "Welcome."
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