Translated by: Manal Samhat
The treaty of Hudaibiya is considered a conquest in the course of the struggle between Quraish and the Meccans on the one hand, and the Prophet (p) and his Muslim companions on the other hand. That is because the Prophet (p) was able to impose the treaty on Quraish and this emphasizes that the struggle has reached a stage of a balance of force that ended the phase in which Quraish had the upper hand. Quraish tried to stop the Prophet (p) from entering Mecca to circumambulate around the Kaaba since it was afraid that the Arabs would no longer fear it and thus it started to search for a solution that preserves its dignity. Therefore, it signed the Hudaibiya treaty under some conditions: Muslims would go back that year without entering Mecca. The following year they would come for three days and stay in Mecca in order to perform Umrah.
Another condition was that there would be no war for ten years and this reveals that the balance of force shifted towards the Muslims especially that the Prophet (p.) was planning to open Mecca by a show of force and not war.
The Hudaibiya Treaty
During the six years following the Hegira, the polytheists prevented the Prophet (p) and the Muslims from entering Mecca even in the Haram months. On the 6th year of Hegira, in the month of Zul Kaada, the Prophet (p) decided to go to Mecca for performing Umrah and put on Ihram for that purpose. His companions (Muhajireen, Ansar and some Arab followers) accompanied him. He wanted to people to know that he did not want to fight, but he came to Mecca only to visit the Holy Kaaba and perform the religious rites… He (p) expressed that by saying: "Woe to Quraish, their hostility is undoing them. What if they left the issue between me and the tribes. If the Arabs defeat me then it would fulfill what they wanted to happen. And if Allah gives me the victory then the people of Mecca would be able to enter Islam safely without being touched and if they did not want to enter Islam then they can fight me while they are strong; what does Quraish think. I make a pledge to Allah that I will continue struggling (jihad) in this issue which Allah has sent me with until Allah gives me the victory or I lose my neck."
At that time, Quraish set a trap for the Prophet (p) on the way to Mecca so that he had to pass through a very rugged road in order to be safe from their trap.
When the Prophet (p) felt secure, Badil Bin Warkaa Al-Khouzaii, a man of Banu Khouzaa came to him and asked him about the reason of his coming. The Prophet (p) answered that he does not want war, but he came only to visit the Sacred House of Allah and glorify it. Banu-Khuzaa told Quraish what the Prophet (p) told them, but Quraish promised to prevent him (p) from entering Mecca.
The Muslims as well as the polytheists of Banu Khouzzaa allied with the Prophet (p) and they kept on trying to reconcile between him (p) and Banu Quraish, but instead of dealing positively with the Prophet's (p) envoy, Quraish tried to kill him, but Al-Ahabish prevented them from doing so, and then he was released.
Quraish sent fifty men and ordered them to draw close to the Prophet's (p) camp in order to kill any of his companions, but the Muslims captured all of them and then the Prophet (p) released them although they had thrown stones and arrows at his (p) soldiers.
In spite of all that, the Prophet (p) continued to try to enter to Mecca peacefully. He sent to Mecca Othman Bin Affan, but Quraish imprisoned him. The Prophet (p) and the Muslims were told that Othman was killed, so the Prophet said: "We will not leave until we fight those people."
Therefore, the Prophet (p) called upon the people to pay him homage which led to Al-Radwan homage (Baiaa). Besides, none of the Muslims deserted the Prophet (p) except Al-Jaddou Bin Kais, the brother of Bani Salma. At that time, Jabir bin Abdallah came to the Prophet (p) and told him that Othman was not killed….
After that, Bnau Quraish sent Sohail Bin Amro, the brother of Bnai Amir Bin Loaay to the Prophet (p) asking him (p) to reconcile with Quraish. After negotiations, both parties agreed that he (p) would go back that year without entering Mecca. The following year he (p) would come for three days and stay in Mecca in order to perform Umrah.
It is written in the text of the treaty that: This is what Muhammad b.Abdallah has agreed with Suhayl b. Amr: they have agreed to lay aside war for ten years during which men can be safe and refrain from hostilities on condition that if anyone of those with Quraish comes to Muhammad without the permission of his guardian he will return him to them; and if anyone of those with Muhammad comes to Quraish they will not return him to him. We will not show enmity to one another and there shall be no secret reservation of bad faith….
While the Prophet (p) was heading to Medina, Surat Al-Fatih was revealed to him (P) Verily We have granted thee a manifest Victory. One of his (p) companions asked him (p): "O apostle of Allah, is it a victory?" The Prophet (p) replied, "By Him in whose hand is my soul, it is surely a victory."
The Manifest Victory
The Holy Quran expressed this reconciliation as a manifest victory in which Allah, the Most Exalted said: Verily We have granted thee a manifest Victory. That was because Allah has opened the polytheists' hearts to accept to make a balanced reconciliation with the Prophet (p) and Muslims. This reconciliation gave the Muslims time to engage wholly in planning for opening Mecca when they have the opportunity for that. In this way, the Muslims were given the chance to become stronger. That is because signing any treaty between the two parties represented an admission that both parties were equal in force, since Al-Hudaibiya reconciliation indicated that Quraish recognized that Islam is a new force.
The Relationship between the Conquest of Mecca and the forgiveness of sins
Despite the importance of this conquest and although Allah described it as the manifest victory, we find that Allah, the Most Exalted, has made a strong relation between the conquest and the forgiveness of sins. He, the Almighty said: That Allah may forgive your past faults and those to follow.
In this respect, the following two questions are to be raised:
The first question is: What is the relation between the conquest and the forgiveness of sins?
The second question is: What is the meaning of forgiving the Prophet's (p) sins, knowing that he (p) is infallible in all his sayings and actions. Then, what is the meaning of the forgiveness of sins before they are committed?
There are many answers for these two questions. For example: it is said that the sins are not that of the Prophet (p) towards Allah, but towards the people of Mecca since they believed that the Prophet's (p) Daawa (Islamic call) that led to the military and the unmilitary struggle represented the big sin, considering this call as being the movement that caused the death of many of their men and made them lose their prestige. Thus, the conquest that started morally with the Hudaibiya treaty and ended as a matter of fact with the conquest of Mecca and after the Prophet (p) forgave the polytheists in the aftermath of the conquest, revealed that they have forgiven him (p) for the sins he had committed towards them. That was because the greatness of the Prophet's (p) forgiveness of their sins cancels all his (p) past and following sins. In this way, the word conquest is in agreement with the act of forgiveness.
On the other hand, another interpretation reveals that the sins are that of his (p) Umma (people) since the Prophet (p) represents the leadership of the people whom he morally shoulders the responsibility of their acts.
It is also said that the sins are meant to be that of Adam and Eve, whose sins were forgiven by virtue of the blessings that were bestowed upon him (p).
Another interpretation shows that the issue lies in the natural supposition considering that he (p) is a human being who might commit a sin in the future or might have committed any in the past. Thus, this explanation tackles the issue from the point of view that if the Prophet has committed a mistake or might commit a sin in the future, Allah would forgive him or would have forgiven him. That is because such a manifest conquest represents the best deed that might cancel all sins.
Others said that the sins are that of the Shiites of Ali (a.s.).
In this sense, some narrators said on the authority of Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) that: "He did not commit any sins and he was not going to commit any, but Allah has shouldered him the responsibility of the acts of his Shiite people and then he forgave him for their sins" - but we do not believe in the authenticity of these narrations because they do not agree with the Islamic intellectual principles and because they are meaningless -. They also said that: "Allah assured him to forgive all the past and the following sins of the Shiites of Imam Ali (a.s.)." We also do not agree with this saying because it is meaningless to say that the Prophet (p) was responsible for their sins. Besides, it is meaningless to consider the conquest as the basis of all that, at a time the Shiites did not really exist in the Muslim society. So, how could the Quran talk about a result of the conquest that has no relation with it?!
When we examine this issue and study the expression of the Ayah, we realize that all these explanations were trying to avoid the apparent interpretation, meaning that the Prophet has past and following sins and that Allah has made the conquest a reason to forgive. That is because this interpretation contradicts the infallibility, and the perfection of the Prophet (p) or his prophetic personality that represents the role model. Hence, his human nature might be subjected to points, but his message that came through revelation would grant his personality its strength. Besides, the merits, that he enjoyed throughout forty years before the message was revealed to him, should be studied in order to build a personality based on it, considering that the people who lived with him (his relatives and companions) could not score any black points on his past behavior. For that reason, the issue of forgiving his sins contradicts with his pure and luminous past that has become brighter and purer …
In the light of that, we ought to go deep into this meaning for it embodies many inspirations that agree with the spiritual pureness of his prophetic personality. Perhaps, it is better for us to inspire from forgiveness the meaning of satisfaction, love and mercy. That is because they represent the results of forgiveness, meaning that Allah has granted him His satisfaction and love and this has a positive meaning that cancels the negative meaning, considering that the Prophet (p) represents the starting point that opens for Islam the wide door of life that guides people to the righteous path. Moreover, the Prophet (p) tried hard to reach this result with the success Allah bestowed upon him (p) and which reveals Allah's love to him.
The revelation continues talking about the blessings that were bestowed upon the Prophet (p) and about guiding him to the right path as well as granting him victory and complete His favor to you that is through the Prophet's (p) arrival to the land (Mecca) that he lived in during his childhood and youthfulness and when he became an old man he started his (p) call in it. Then, he (p) left it due to the oppressions that he was exposed to. After his sufferings, he returned to it (Mecca), and opened it with his message that is open on the entire reality in which he started a new era full of prosperity so that the entire religion became to Allah only and the Prophet's victory became a natural end for his Jihad in which Allah completes His blessings upon him (p). And guide you to the right path that is the path which started with unifying Allah and continued with His Sharia that makes man responsible for his sayings, seeking to meet Allah on the Day of Judgment and that is the goal of the message and that is what Allah has guided the Prophet (p) to through revelation. In this way, Allah, the most Exalted, grants the Prophet (p) victory through giving him power And that Allah might help you with a mighty help and emphasizes the power that conquers all challenges in which Islam became the dominant and the only power (in the Arabian Peninsula).
In this way, we see that the moral conquest that lied in the Hudaibiya treaty and the actual conquest of Mecca represent the key to Allah's satisfaction and blessings and the key to guidance, and victory of Islam in the entire life.