At the end of the sixth year after Prophet Muhammad’s migration to Al-Madeenah, he, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, wanted to perform pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah and visit Allaah’s Sacred House (the Ka`bah). He went out accompanied by one thousand and four hundred Muslim men and he appointed `Abdullaah Ibn Umm Maktoom to be in charge of Al-Madeenah during his, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, absence. When they reached a place called Thul-Hulayfah, the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and those who were with him, assumed the state of Ihraam (the state of ritual consecration). The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, moved on until he reached the creek of Thaatul-Ashtaat where he met Bishr Ibn Sufyaan Al-Ka`bî, who told him:
"O Messenger of Allaah! The tribe of Quraysh has found out where you are going, so they have prepared themselves to fight you. They insist that you will never enter Makkah while they are in it, so they have prepared an army to fight you and Khaalid Ibn Al-Waleed is the head of this army with the cavalry (horsemen).
The Prophet was grieved, and said: "Woe to the Quraysh! War has eaten them up! What harm would it be to them if they let me address all the Arabs?"
Then he, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, asked his companions for their suggestions saying: "O people what do you suggest I should do?" Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "O Messenger of Allaah! You have gone out with the intention of performing pilgrimage and not to fight anyone. So go ahead and do what you have intended to do, and if anyone should prevent us, we shall fight him."
The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, then said: "Move on in the Name of Allaah!"
Then he, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, ordered the Muslims who were with him to take a road leading to Hudaybiyah. When he reached a place called Thaniyyatul-Muraar, his she-camel knelt down and refused to move on. The Muslims were amazed when they s aw that but the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, told them that she had been commanded to do so and that Allaah had prevented her from entering Makkah.
The place at which the Muslims stopped was a wasteland near Hudaybiyah and there was no sign of life there except for the small hole of an old well where there was only a small quantity of water. The Muslims had become very thirsty because of their long march in that barren desert under the burning rays of the sun. Therefore, they rushed to the water and drank all of it. Then they went to the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and told him that they were still thirsty and asked him to camp in another place where grass and water would be available.
The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, pulled an arrow from his quiver and commanded them to prod it in that well. Then he sat at the edge of the well and asked for a vessel then rinsed his mouth with some water and invoked Allaah then poured it into the well. He asked them to wait for an hour. After that, water sprang out of the well until all the Muslims drank their fill.
During that time Budayl Ibn Warqaa’ Al-Khuzaa`ee came with a group from his people 'Banu Khuzaa`ah' who were allies of the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam. Budayl told the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, what Bishr Ibn Sufyaan had told him before and added:
'I have left Ka`b Ibn Lu’ay and `Aamir Ibn Lu’ay with a group of Quraysh encamping at Hudaybiyah. They have gone out with their wives and children so that no fighter would flee if war should start between them and the Muslims.'
The Prophet became even more grieved because of the way the Quraysh was dealing with the matter, for he had not gone there for war.
When Banu Khuzaa`ah returned to the Quraysh, they told them that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and his companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, had not come for war, saying:
"O People of Quraysh! You have been hasty and judged Muhammad wrongly! He has not come to fight, but rather to visit this House (the Ka`bah)."
However, the chiefs of Quraysh were arrogant, and said stubbornly:
"Even if he has come for that purpose, he will not enter it by force, as the Arabs will talk about that."
The Quraysh did not believe that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, had come with that large number of Muslims without the intention of fighting them. They wanted to discover the truth, so they sent Mikraz Ibn Hafs Ibn Al-Akhyaf.
When he met the Prophet, he knew that he only intended to visit the Sacred House, so he returned to the Quraysh and told them. They then sent Al-Hulays Ibn `Alqamah Al-Kinaani to him. When the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, saw him he asked his Companions to display the sacrificial animals which they had brought with them (for Pilgrimage) to let Al-Hulays see them so that he would realize that they were being truthful. The man saw them then returned to the Quraysh, and said:
"O People of Quraysh! I have seen something that cannot be legally prevented! The sacrificial animals have been allotted (i.e., marked to be recognized as being for Pilgrimage), and they have eaten their hair because they have been kept away from their grazing area for a long time!"
They told him: "Sit down! You know nothing about that!"
The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, sent `Uthmaan Ibn `Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, to the Quraysh to tell them that he had not come for war but as a visitor to the Sacred House. `Uthmaan went to Makkah. Abaan Ibn Sa`eed Ibn Al-`Aas met him so he dismounted and carried him on his mount. He also promised to protect him until he had told them the Prophet’s message. Thus `Uthmaan Ibn 'Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, moved on until he met Abu Sufyaan and the chiefs of Quraysh and told them the Prophet’s message.
They said to `Uthmaan Ibn 'Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him: "You may circumambulate the House if you want."
`Uthmaan Ibn 'Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "I would never do that until the Messenger of Allaah has done so!"
`Uthmaan Ibn 'Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, stayed waiting in Makkah until the Quraysh had consulted one another and made up their minds. 'Uthmaan Ibn 'Affaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, did not return to the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and the Muslims fast enough, and a rumor to the effect that Quraysh had killed him had spread. Therefore, the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, called the Muslims to pledge allegiance to him that they would support him and fight alongside him. That was the pledge of Ridhwaan which took place under the tree.
While the Prophet and the Muslims were preparing to march toward Makkah, the Quraysh had made up their mind and decided to negotiate with the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. So, they sent Suhayl Ibn `Amr to negotiate on their behalf with the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.
When the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, saw him coming, he said: "The people (of the Quraysh) have chosen peace, as they have sent this man."
Suhayl came to the Prophet and told him that the Quraysh wished to make peace with him, and that they wanted the Prophet and his followers not to enter Makkah that year, so that their dignity might not be lost among the tribes and so that people would not say that the Muslims entered it against the will of the Quraysh.
The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, was listening to Suhayl solemnly and calmly and no sign of anger appeared on him. However, the Muslims who were listening to the Quraysh’s conditions could not hide their rage because of those unjust conditions, but they remained silent venerating and glorifying the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam. `Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, was the most enraged person among them.
Suhayl moved his eyes between the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and the Muslims who were surrounding him, then said:
"Write down a document about what we and you will agree upon."
The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, asked `Ali Ibn Abu Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him, to write down the peace treaty with the Quraysh, but `Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, could not endure it any longer so he jumped up from his place and approached the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and said:
"O Messenger of Allaah! Is it not right that you are the Prophet of Allaah? "
The Prophet said: "Yes, I am."
`Umar Ibn Al-Al-Khattaab said:
"Is it not right that we are following the truth and that our enemy is following falsehood?
The Prophet answered: "That is right."
`Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, was astonished and said, as he was resisting his anger:
"So why are we given (such) ignoble (conditions)?"
The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, replied confidently and quietly:
"I am the Messenger of Allaah. I will not disobeying Him, and He will help me."
Then the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, turned to `Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him, and said: "Write 'In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Ever Merciful'."
Suhayl said: "I do not know this, but write instead 'In Your Name, O Allaah'."
The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "Write, 'In Your Name, O Allaah! This is what was said according to which Muhammad, the Messenger of Allaah, has reconciled with Suhayl Ibn `Amr'."
Suhayl Ibn `Amr said: "If I testified that you are the Messenger of Allaah, I would not fight you. Write, 'Muhammad Ibn `Abdullaah'; your name and the name of your father."
The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, went on dictating to `Ali confidently and quietly:
"This is what was said according to which Muhammad Ibn `Abdullaah has reconciled with Suhayl Ibn `Amr. They have agreed to stop fighting for ten years during which time the people will live in safety and will not harm one another."
Thereupon, Suhayl declared that whoever would come to the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, without the Quraysh’s permission, he was to send him back to them; and whoever would go to the Qurasyh from among the Muslims without the Prophet’s permission, they would not send him back. When the Muslims heard that, some of them objected.
The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:
"Yes, whoever will go to them from among us, then may Allaah keep him away; and whoever will come to us from among them and we send him back, Allaah will make a way-out for him."
Then Suhayl turned to `Ali and went on dictating the treaty to him:
"He who wishes to enter into a covenant and agreement with Muhammad may do so, and he who wishes to enter into a covenant and agreement with the Quraysh may do so."
On one hand the people of Khuzaa`ah jumped up and said, “We are in a covenant and agreement with the Messenger of Allaah”. On the other hand, the people of Banu Bakr said, “We are in a covenant and agreement with the Quraysh”.
Suhayl said to the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam:
"You should also return this year. You shall not enter Makkah against our will. But the following year, we shall leave it for you to spend three days with your Companions therein, and you will then bring with you nothing more than riders’ weapons; swords in sheaths."
When they finished, the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, called some men from among the Muslims and some from among the Qurasyh to testify to the peace treaty. The Muslims who signed this agreement were: Abû Bakr As-Siddîq, `Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, `Uthmaan Ibn `Affaan, `Ali Ibn Abu Taalib, `Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn `Awf, Sa`d Ibn Abi Waqqaas, Abu `Ubaydah Ibn Al-Jarraah, and Muhammad Ibn Salamah Al-Ansaari. Also, two men from among the disbelievers signed it: Huwaytib Ibn `Abdul-`Uzzaa and Mikraz Ibn Hafs Ibn Al-Akhyaf.
When the Prophet, and the Muslims who were with him, returned to Al-Madeenah, a man from the Quraysh came to him; he had embraced Islam and escaped to Al-Madeenah. Then the Quraysh sent two men to ask for him and the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, handed him over to them. The man managed to escape and moved on until he reached the sea shore where he stayed. Then it was not long until Abu Jandal Ibn Suhayl came after him fleeing. Moreover, whenever a man of Quraysh embraced Islam and escaped, he would catch up with the others who had gone out before him until they became a group. Whenever they heard that a caravan of the Quraysh had gone out to the Levant, they would stand in its way and take its goods. As a result, the Quraysh sent a message to the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, begging him not to return any one who would come to him from among them after that day!
After only two years from the time the Quraysh entered into a covenant with the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, they broke that covenant. It so happened that they helped their allies from Banu Bakr in their assault against the tribe of Khuzaa`ah, the Prophet’s allies. When the Prophet knew what the Quraysh had done, he was very angry and decided to go to Makkah and put an end to the Quraysh’s assaults and disloyalty. Thus, he commanded the Muslims to prepare for war.
The Quraysh expected that the Muslims would prepare to fight them, so they realized the danger of what they had done. Therefore, they sent Abu Sufyaan Ibn Harb to meet the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, and renew their covenant.
When he mentioned this to the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, did not reply to him. So he went to Abu Bakr and asked him to intercede for him with the Messenger of Allaah but he refused to do so. Then Abu Sufyaan went to `Umar Ibn Al-Al-Khattaab who scolded him, so he went to `Alî Ibn Abi Taalib but he also refused. Thereupon, Abu Sufyaan returned to Makkah as his mission had failed.
The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, appointed Abu Ruhm Kulthoom Ibn Husayn Al-Ghifaari to be in charge of Al-Madeenah and headed for Makkah on the 10th of Ramadhaan in the 8th year after Hijrah (migration).
The Muslims approached Makkah until they reached its heights. The night came and enveloped the wide desert along with the Muslim army which had encamped near Makkah waiting for the Prophet’s order to march.
Worry and expectation prevailed throughout Makkah and so its people spent that night in fear and caution. In the morning, Abu Sufyaan went to the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and on seeing the Muslim army he became terrified. The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, offered him to embrace Islam and he hardly hesitated. Then Abu Sufyaan returned to Makkah and declared to the Quraysh loudly:
"O People of Quraysh! Muhammad has come to you with something that you cannot put off. So, he who enters the house of Abu Sufyaan will be safe; he who shuts his door and remains in his house will be safe; and he who enters the (Sacred) Mosque will be safe.”
Upon hearing this, the people scattered to their houses and to the Mosque.
The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, marched towards Makkah while wearing a black turban whose ends fell loose over his shoulders. His banner was white and his flag was black.
The Prophet’s procession entered the streets of Makkah amidst the crowds of Muslims. He proceeded until he reached the Sacred House, which he then circumambulated and destroyed the idols that were surrounding it. Then he ordered Bilaal to call the Athaan (call for the prayer) from above the Ka`bah as an indication that Allaah had given power to His religion. After that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, performed two rak`as (units of prayer) inside the Ka`bah.
The Quraysh assembled around the Prophet while they were overcome by despair and fear; they had always declared themselves to be the enemy of the Muslims and they had tormented them severely. The Prophet was the first to speak, saying:
"O People of Quraysh! What do you expect I will do with you?"
They were full of hope and all of them answered:
"Good, as you are a noble brother, and the son of a noble brother!"
the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said to them tolerantly and humbly:
"Go, for you are free!"
With these words, which are full of mercy and love, and with this moral victory the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, topped his great military victory. And Allaah’s promise to His believing slaves was fulfilled and the people entered Allaah’s Religion – Islam overwhelmingly.