The Treaty of Hudaibiyah

The Treaty of Hudaibiyah is called by the Qur’an a “clear victory.” Six years after migrating to Medina, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had a dream that he and his followers were performing Umra (pilgrimage). After having this dream, the Prophet (SAW) and about fourteen hundred Companions started towards Makkah. Since they did not want any fighting, they did not carry any weapons with them. Nearer to Makkah, at a place called Dhul-Hulaifah, the Muslims started Umra by wearing the Ihram (special clothing for pilgrimage), which would make them safe, as they would be seen as pilgrims.

As the Muslims approached Makkah, the Quraysh started to grow anxious. They held a meeting, and decided that the best way to deal with the situation would be to resist the Prophet (SAW) and his Companions. Two hundred horsemen and soldiers from Makkah were sent with Khalid bin Al Walid, hoping to take the Muslims by surprise while they prayed dhuhr. However, the Makkan soldiers did not get a chance as the Muslims prayed dhuhr in a special way called Salat-ul-Khowf (Prayer of Fear). In this way of praying, one group of people faces the enemy, and the other group stays behind the Imam (leader).

To avoid war, the Muslims also took an alternate route, through the rugged mountains, where the Makkan soldiers did not reach them. They stopped and set up camp at an area called Hudaibiyah. Here, some Makkans came to the Prophet (SAW) , who replied that they had only come for Umra, and not to fight, unless someone came in the way of the Muslims performing pilgrimage. After a few days of negotiation, the Quraysh agreed to a treaty between them and the Muslims. The treaty stated that:

1. The Muslims would return to Medina that year without doing Umra
2. The Quraysh would allow the Muslims to perform Umra the next year as long as they did not stay for Umra more than three days
3. The Muslims would not bring any kinds of weapons with them
4. That any Muslims living in Makkah would not go to Medina with the others
5. Anyone living in Medina could come back to Makkah without any difficulty
6. That any Quraysh visiting Medina could return to Makkah, but any Muslims visiting Makkah could not return to Medina
7. The tribes could join any of the two parties

The Treaty of Hudaibiyah was the start of a more political and equal dealing between the Quraysh and the Muslims. The Muslims had the opportunity to spread Islam in other areas besides Makkah, as well. Some Muslims in Makkah, unable to escape to Medina, went to an area called Saiful-Bahr, which grew large enough that the Makkan caravans were fearful of passing through it. They soon removed the part of the treaty which did not allow Makkah’s Muslims to go to Medina.