Monday, January 3, 2011

(7) Muhammad's Triumphant Return To Mecca.

By Sodium

Islam instructs all Muslims to be kind to fellow human beings. However, if attacked,self-defense becomes imperative and the Muslims should fight back with all force they might be able to muster.

Although the Muslims fled Mecca and left all their possessions behind and were confiscated by the Pagans of Mecca, the intent of the Qurayishi Pagans remain the same: they still wanted to kill the Prophet Muhammad and slaughter his followers. Muhammad had to reciprocate by planning " ghazos ",meaning " raids " against the Qurayshi caravans that travelled to Syria and other surrounding regions of Arabia, where commerce was an integral part of their way of life. The following three " ghazos ",meaning, " raids "  were mentioned frequently in Arab history books:

* The Battle of Badr.
* The Battle of Auhud.
* The Battle of Mu'atah.

The first two battles took place in Arabia, against the caravans of the Qurayshis who wanted to kill him. Mu'atah was fought by some of Muhammad's followers in southern Jordan against the Byzantiun Romans. The Muslims won the first battle, Badr, but lost the other two.

What was going on was a tet for tat kind of military warfare that was ended when both parties, the Meccan power elites and Muhammad agreed to a truce called Hudaybiyyah. The Romans were taken care of later on, after Muhammad's death by the First and Second Caliphs Abu Bakr Alsidiq and Omar ibn Al-Khattab, respectively.

The points of the Truce of Hudaybiyyah were three:

~ No more hostilities between the Pagans of Mecca and the Muslims of Medina.
~ Muslims who wish to make the pilgrimage to Ka'aba, the holy site built by the Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael, in Mecca,they might do so, beginning in the next year.
~ Muslims in Medina will extradite back to Mecca any Meccan who leaves Mecca without the consent of his or her protector.

The Muslim followers of Muhammad initially thought that their Prophet had made a mistake in agreeing to the terms of the truce of Hudaybiyyah, but later on realized he had done the right things. Reasons:

#  For the first time he was considered by the power elites of Mecca their equal, not someone whom they wanted to slay and slaughter his Muslim followers as well.
#  Free from military activities would help all Muslims to prepare better for the future.
#  The Prophet Muhammad had gained a great deal of admiration amongst the people of Mecca since he recognized the importance of the pilgrimage to Ka'aba, in a sense similar to theirs, and at the same time told them: " I have my religion and you have yours ", which implied that he did not believe in the conversion to his religion by a forceful manner.

All of the foregoing were merely a prelude to Muhammad's Triumphant Return To Mecca. Add to that that during his preaching activities in the 10 years he spent living in Medina, the number of Muslims increased exponentially.

The Truce of Hudaybiyyah lasted for two years. Now, the Prophet Muhammad could assemble more than 10,000 Muslims strong ready to back him up and defend Islam, if necessary. Unfortunately, the Truce of Hudaybiyyah broke down after two years, because of the following bloodshed that took place between the following Jewish Arab tribes:

- The Jewish tribe of Banu Khuza'a which had good relation with the Prophet Muhammad.
- The Jewish tribe of Banu Bakr which had an alliance with the Meccans.

Banu Bakr had made a night raid against Banu Khuza'a, slaughtering a few of them. The Meccans helped Banu Bakr in weapons and took part in the fighting. As the details of this bloody event unfolded, the Prophet Muhammad sent a message to the Meccans, asking them to choose one of the following conditions:

+ Pay blood money for those who were slain of the Banu Khuza'a.
+ Declare no responsibility of what the Banu Bakr had done.
+ Declare the Truce of Hudaybiyyah null.

The Meccans replied that they would accept only the last condition: Declaring The Truce of Hudaybiyyah null. Later on, the Meccans realized that their reply was a mistake. They sent Abu Sufian, one of their powerful men, to Muhammad to renew the Truce of Hudaybiyyah, but now Muhammad declined to accept Abu Sufian's request.

So it was in 629 the Prophet Muhammad organized more than 10,000 Muslims strong and marched on to Mecca. With hardly any resistance, he entered Mecca with his Muslims followers triumphantly and peacefully. Mecca whose Pagans inhabitants attempted for years to kill him and destroy his new religion had become now under his full control.

The first order of business done by Muhammad was declaring amnesty for past offenses. The second order of business was destroying all the Pagans' idols in Ka'aba and making it a holy place to the Muslims who were considered decedents of Ishmael, the oldest son of the Prophet Abraham whom the Muslims considered one of them.

Finally, most Meccans became Muslims. The influence of Mecca was extremely great in Arabia. It was a commercial hub for all tribes in Arabia. It was a gem for those who ran it. Now it is under Islamic control. As a result, all Arabia became Islamic in characteristic and no more Pagans worshipping so many idols as gods or goddesses could be found in Arabia.

Shortly after the Prophet Muhammad had made his last welfare pilgrimage to Ka'aba, (perhaps in 632 ), and retrurn to Medina, he became ill,and died shortly later in the lap of his wife Ai'asha, after asking her to distribute the few possessions he had to the poor. He was 63 year old when he died.

His achievement has been great, indeed. He changed Arabia from a tribal society, living in a tribal warfare system, tribes fighting one another over a well of water or grazing rights for their domestic animal and their harsh deserts provided them with little to sustain their lives. Hence, the first two Caliphs who ruled Arabia after the death of the Prophet wanted Arabia to remain united. One way, they thought, could accomplish that was to see what the Arabs could do outside Arabia, so that they would not go back to their tribal warfare, as they practiced it before the appearance of Islam. It is a myth to think of the Arab conquests of the old world was to spread Islam. It was not. The conquests were manifestations of some sort of imperialism. That was the case with the human nature since the time of Alexander the Great, Roman empire, Persian empire, Arab empire, Ottoman empire, British empire, French empire, Soviet empire, and now the Great American empire consisting of 737 military bases across the globe. Nothing has changed in the fundamentals of the human nature. Nothing has changed, indeed.


  1. I think the best part of your writing in this blog is the last paragraph; stating that the Arab conquest is no different than any other occupation which seeks political gain. In the end all wars have hidden agendas associated with greed & power, and it's simply naive for people to believe the righteous sincerity of good-will that governments often hide behind. Not unlike the recent war in Iraq - that hid behind a "liberation" agenda which somehow justified spreading Democracy, or Christianity... as we know, in the end these two elements were only the facade of a much more disturbing agenda related to US self-gain. The question is, can the Iraq war (or any such war) be justified if these positive achievements are eventually manifested? Meaning, if Iraq were to eventually reach a true genuine utopian democracy, will the war be justified then since the war itself was the initial vessel which allowed for such a democracy to flourish? I believe the answer is simply 'no,' it is not justified. In the same way a lie, or any form of deceit, is never justified on a moral level regardless of its potentially beneficial outcome. Morality only truly exists in the hidden process, not the revealed product.
    Along the same lines, I don't believe Muhammad's forceful control of Mecca by destroying the pagan existence is any more justifiable than what the US had done to Iraq, or any war for that matter. In the context of war, Islam is not more justifiable than Paganism (as in Muhammad's war) and Democracy is not more justifiable than Dictatorship (as in Bush's war). Power alone should not be the justification or authority for an occupying government to judge a civilization... this approach dismisses cultural, social and genuine political and religious intricacies that are vital for the continued authenticity of a people. For such a transformation to occur morally, and authentically, it must come from within.

  2. This is elisalouisa Sodium.

    I very much liked this column, especially the last paragraph.

    Frankly, Sodium, my mind has not been on blogging for some months now. My beautiful daughter-in-law has Stage IV Breast Cancer. I am heart broken. I have been very busy with the grandchildren. It is difficult to write about and also to speak of this tragedy that has befallen us.


  3. This is my last post Sodium as I am getting more involved in the care of my grandchildren, the youngest of which is 2 years old. It is highly unusual for a woman as young as my daughter-in-law who has breast fed her children to have breast cancer, much less Stage 4. I cannot help but feel that contact with chemicals has caused this. She has been an avid gardner growing beautiful roses and also vegatables. Family and friends are most supportive, she is receiving excellent care and has health insurance to cover most expenses. As well as my daughter-in-law and my son, of utmost importance to me is the grandchildren. My life is now devoted to providing courage and strength for all our family.
    As I have said before, I wish you and your loved ones well.

  4. hi dad. you figured it out on your own; i didn't do anything. :-) love, anna

    1. Dearest Anna,

      Thank you for letting me know that I can still figure it out in my own,in spite of my advanced age.

      Much love,
      Sodium,(your Daddie)