Ali The Magnificent

If you want to see knowledge of Adam, the piety of Noah, the devotion of Abraham, the awe of Moses and the service and abstinence of Jesus, look at the bright face of Ali.

THE HOLY PROPHET’S PILGRIMAGE TO MAKKAH IN 6th AH AND THE TREATY OF HUDAIBIYA

The Holy Prophet desired to make a pilgrimage to the Kaaba. Ever since he migrated to Medina six years ago there had always been a longing on his part to do so.

Hasty preparations were made, and the Prophet informed the people of Medina that this trip was meant only as a pilgrimage. Arrangements for the journey having been completed, the Prophet led fourteen hundred men to Zul Hulefa on the road to Mecca. All swords were to be sheathed and the wearing of armour of any kind was forbidden.

Before approaching Mecca, the Prophet was informed that the Meccans hearing about his journey had dispatched a cavalry of two hundred to prevent him from proceeding further. To advance was out of the question as the. Pro­phet had not come to give them battle; so he diverted to the right towards Al Hudaibiya. Reaching Al Hudai­biya, on the verge of the sacred territory surrounding Mecca, his camel Al Qaswa stopped and knelt down as if refusing to go further. The Prophet took this sign as a Divine Omen that he should not proceed further; he ordered a halt and encamped there. While the Prophet and his followers waited here, the Quraish continued to hold counsel around the Kaaba. Some were for driving Muhammad away by force, a few were for allowing him to perform the pilgrimage, but the majority wanted to prevent him from entering the Kaaba while still avoiding warfare. This led to a stalemate. Negotiations con­tinued between the Prophet’s representatives for some days without the deadlock being broken. The Quraish re­mained adamant, not agreeing to allow the Prophet to enter Mecca.

Finally a treaty was signed between the Meccan re­presentative Suhail bin Amr and the Holy Prophet. The Prophet instructed Ali, his Vicegerent, to write down the treaty at his dictation, and it began thus “In the name of God, the most Gracious and Merciful’, Suhail objected to this, and said that it should begin as the Meccans used to do. Thus: “In Thy name, O God!” The Prophet agreed and ask­ed Ali to write “Bismeka Allah Hoomma’. Next he dictated:

“This is the Treaty made between Muhammad the Apostle of God and Suhail son of Amr.” Suhail again raised an objection and said that had the Meccans acknowledged him as an Apostle of God they would never have taken up arms against him1. Instead of “the Apostle of God”, Suhail asked the Prophet to have his father’s name written. The Prophet again yielded, but Ali had already written the words, “Muhammad the Apostle of God”2. The Prophet bade Ali to erase the words under objection, but as Ali hesitated, the Prophet himself taking the writing materials obliterated the words and had the words, “son of Abdullah” substituted in place of “Apostle of God”. 3He prophesied at the same time, addressing Ali that he would similarly have to yield on a similar occasion in his own time. This prophecy was fulfilled when a treaty was concluded between Ali and Muawiya some thirty years later.

By the terms of the treaty it was agreed that the Muslims should return immediately to Medina but that they could perform the pilgrimage the following year. During the period the Meccans would evacuate the city for three days and camp outside its walls. The Muslims should come as pilgrims, unarmed, save for a sword each, which they could carry for self-defence. It was further agreed that there would be a ten-year truce between the Meccans and the Muslims, and that the Meccan caravans should be allowed to pass without hindrance through their territory. It was also agreed that any Meccan who escaped to Medina to accept Islam would be handed back to the Meccans.

For the time being warfare was avoided and peace re­turned. The Muslim pilgrims returned to Medina only to find them selves once more threatened, this time by their implacable enemies-the Jews.

  1. Abul Fida
  2. Habib al-Siyar; Tazkirat-al-Kiram
  3. Rawdzat-al-Ahbab Habib-Siyar; ibn Athir
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