The Treaty of Hodaibiyya, a Great Victory for Islam and Muslims
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 29th of the Islamic month of Zil-Qa’dah in 6 AH, God granted Islam and Muslims a Great Victory over the pagan Arabs with the signing of the Treaty of Hodaibiyya by Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). The holy Qur\'an says in this regard in ayah number one of Surah Fath \"Indeed We have opened for you a Manifest Victory.\"
It is worth noting that when the Prophet, along with some 1,400 unarmed Muslims, set out from Medina to perform the Umrah or the minor pilgrimage and reached within 20 km of the city of Mecca, the pagan Arabs breached their word and blocked his way at a place called Hodaibiyya.
Negotiations took place between the two parties and it was decided that the Muslims would return to Mecca for now, but would be allowed to perform the pilgrimage next year. A treaty was drafted specifying the terms of truce between the two sides and their allies, provided the clauses were not violated.
Imam Ali (AS) acted as the scribe of the Prophet, who placed his seal and signature on the document despite the opposition to its contents by some of his so-called elder companions. The Prophet, however, insisted on honouring the letter and spirit of the treaty, which was indeed a new and dynamic development in the Arabian Peninsula, and established the rapidly increasing Muslim community as the paramount power.
The terms of the Treaty of Hodaibiyya were soon violated by the arrogantly ignorant Arab infidels, and two years later in 8 AH, the Prophet was commanded by God to march peacefully upon Mecca, which surrendered without bloodshed to the Muslims. This was another milestone in the history of monotheism and led to the cleansing of the holy Ka\'ba of the idols that the pagan Arabs had installed in Prophet Abraham\'s edifice to the One and Only God.
“Bara\'at min al-Mushrikeen” (disavowal of disbelievers)
On 1st of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 9 AH, shortly after Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) had dispatched to Mecca his companion Abu Bakr with the opening ayahs of Surah Towba to clarify the rules of the Hajj pilgrimage and to declare disavowal of disbelievers, Archangel Gabriel descended with the divine commandment, saying that either the Prophet should personally discharge this mission at the holy Ka\'ba or depute the one who is nearest to him.
The Prophet promptly sent his dear ward, cousin and son-in-law, Imam Ali (AS), to overtake Abu Bakr and assume personal charge of the mission. Abu Bakr returned to Medina, while Imam Ali (AS) proceeded to Mecca, where without fear of the infidels, he clarified the rules of the Hajj through practical demonstration, while performing the pilgrimage.
For three days the Imam continuously recited the opening ayahs of Surah Towba concerning “bara\'at min al-mushrikeen” (disavowal of disbelievers), and made it clear that neither the polytheists are allowed anymore to enter the sacred precincts of the Ka\'ba, nor should anyone follow the pagan practice of circumambulating the holy edifice naked, without clothes.
Thus till this day, all Muslims are indebted to the Prophet and Imam Ali (AS) for reviving the pure Abrahamic rituals of the Hajj pilgrimage by God\'s command.