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We move to one of the most significant and interesting lessons in the seerah of

the prophet PBUH. It is the pre cursor to the conquest of Mecca, and Allah calls
this incident a 'clear victory'. And this ayat in Surah Fateh, the 'fateh' whic
h means victory, came down during this incident therefore it is this incident th
at is the clear victory, and this incident is none other than the treaty of Huda
The treaty of Hudaybiyya is especially relevant to muslims living in the west. T
here is a mark of signficance for us and we will see why. In a nutshell, the tre
aty demonstrates at time politicial alliances/agreements forces us to allow othe
r states to do injustice, and all that we can do is turn to Allah for help. This
treaty shows that sometimes we only have the option to make dua to Allah to hel
p. As we will see, clearly injustice happened and the prophet PBUH because of th
e agreement he had, he could not defend those paticular muslims and he had to sa
crifice a few for the benefit of the ummah. And of course Allah took care of all
The first issue: what do we call it? Some call it the 'treaty of Hudaybiyya' and
others 'the gazwa of Hudaybiyya'. Most of the later more modern writers referen
ce it as the former. However the sahaba referenced it as the latter. This is int
eresting because there was no gazwa. Recall a gazwa is when the prophet PBUH fou
ght/took part in some sort of battle. Yet most of them call this event 'gazwa tu
l Hudaybiyya'. One sahabi called it a gazwa explicitly. So why gazwa? Beacuse th
e fighting didn't actually take place, but the prophet PBUH and the sahaba came
a hairs width close to fighting. They had the determiation and resolve to fight
they might as well have fought (but no fighting happened). Also this incident is
so significant politically that it is more appropiate to call it a gazwa and a
What was the cause? Sometime during the 6th year of the Hijrah, the prophet PBUH
saw a dream of doing tawaaf, wearing ihraam and then shaving his head i.e. all
the stages of umrah. He interperrated this as Allah telling him to go and do umr
ah. The Quran itself references this: "Verily the dream that you saw, Allah will
cause it to be true in the future". Also in the hadith of Bhukari that Umar RA
came up to the prophet PBUH and said "Ya RasulAllah did you not tell us we would
be doing tawaaf and shaving our head?" So this is reference clearly to his drea
m. So the prophet PBUH tells the sahaba what he saw; the Islamic political area
has become relatively large so the prophet PBUH announces his intention to do um
rah to a large group of people.
All of the historians agree when this took place: he left Madinah on the 1st Dhu
l Qa'da 6H. He had made the announcement to the Ansar, muhajiroon and surroundin
g tribes. We can imagine the sahaba have not seen Mecca for 6 years, and the exc
itement and anticipation would have been so high for them. Along with this the n
ervousness of 'whats going to happen when we get there?!'. When the news reached
the sahaba they immediately prepared: as for the bedouins, the people around Ma
dinah, they refused to participate. The Quran references this that:.
Those who remained behind of the bedouins will say to you, "Our properties and o
ur families occupied us, so ask forgiveness for us." They say with their tongues
what is not within their hearts. Say, "Then who could prevent Allah at all if H
e intended for you harm or intended for you benefit? Rather, ever is Allah , wit
h what you do, Acquainted.
"Those who remained behind from the bedouins said "Our properties, money and fam
ilies prevented us, so ask Allah to forgive us". They say with their tongues wha
t is not in their hearts. You though the prophet PBUH and the believers will nev
er return back alive, and you thought the worst thoughts, and you were a wretche
d people."

SubhanAllah Allah exposed them in the Quran. And in the books of seerah its repo
rted they said "this man wants us to go to the very nation who came here to kill
us, surely this won't happen. Let us just tell him a excuse". And subhanAllah t
heir laziness and fear prevented them from upgrading themselves from having the
highest level. The sahaba have ranks remember: the first highest is the promised
10. Second highest are the badris. And the third highest are the people of Huda
ybiyya. We see here a causal relationship: those who were brave and eager to go,
Allah blessed them with such an immense blessing that the prophet PBUH said "no
one on Earth is more pious and righteous than this group" referring to the saha
ba who came with him to Mecca. And this is well known: the more tawaqul you have
in Allah, the more Allah blesses you.
In the end 1400 muslims leave Mecca. We see here that the muslim nation is growi
ng steadily. At badr there was 300 men; Uhud there was 700; Khandak we estimated
1000 and now we have 1400 men who are going out for umrah. This clearly shows t
he muslims are numbering in the thousands. They left Madinah for Mecca and there
are a number of reports. Here the books differ: were they armed for battle or n
ot? There seems to be both opinions. One book mentioned they were only wearing d
efensive swords; others say fighting swords which are sharper swords for actual
battle. One way to reconcile is that they were not wearing these weapons and arm
our, but they had them in case they needed them. Obviously they are not wearing
it because they are in ihraam - and you cannot wear these things in the state of
ihraam. So those who said 'they had arms' means they had them in the caravaan.
And this makes sense: the prophet PBUH would not walk in blindly. Indeed the who
le seerah shows us the maticulous cautions which the prophet PBUH took when he a
pproached anything.
Another interesting thing: the prophet PBUH left Madinah on 1st Dhul Qa'da. What
is interesting about this? The sacred months start from this month. Recall the
Quraysh used to swap back and forth the sacred months as they pleased. And Allah
said "this is the essence of blasphemy" i.e. playing around with the sacred pre
ordained sacred months of Allah. It just so happened when the prophet PBUH did
hajj, the 12 months were in perfect order. At that time the prophet PBUH said "O
n this year the months have reverted to their original order when Allah created
the heavens and the Earth, so let there be no more changing around". And this wa
s one of the reasons they couldn't have a calender: from that year the months ha
s been set in stone. So the sacred months are Dhul Qa'da, Dhul Hijjah, Muharram
and Rajab. The prophet PBUH left Mecca on the beginning of the sacred month - so
he is delaying his depature until it begins. This is clearly intended - he want
s to send the clearest message possible to the Quraysh that "I have no desire fo
r war. I am going peacefully to Mecca".
Now this was a huge gamble/risk. Technically the Quraysh are supposed to allow e
veryone to come to Mecca in the sacred months. Ibn Abbass himself said in the sa
cred months in the haram a person would see his father's murderer but he could n
ot do anything. This is the law of Jaheleya the Quraysh prided themselves on. On
ce the sacred months were announced there should not be any fighting. And recall
when the sahaba killed someone on the first day of a sacred month. And the Qura
ysh made a big deal out of it - at this Allah revealed "they ask you about fight
ing in the sacred months? Fighting in the sacred months is a 'kabeer'." This mea
ns anyone who engages in offensive war during these months is a major sin. Allah
is saying there must be 1/3 of the year where everyone must be at peace: for ec
onomical, political etc reasons and other wisdoms known to Him. And therefore th
e prophet PBUH leaves on the first day of a sacred month to send a peace message
to the Quraysh, and they technically they should let him enter since they've ne
ver in their history refused entry. This would be the very first time they would
disobey the law of Ibrahim - knowing its the sacred month, still they don't all
ow the pilgrams access to the ka'bah.
So the prophet PBUH reaches the miqaat of Madinah, Dhul Hulayfa, and it is the s

unnah to pray two raka'at there before mocing towards Mecca. They are prayed bec
ause of the valleys of the Dhul Hulayfa, not because of ihraam. Rather, the prop
het PBUH prayed there because he said it's a sacred valley. So the prophet PBUH
prayed two raka'at and put on his ihraam. After this he consecrated the animals
- this is a practice instituted by Ibrahim AS and it was very common up until re
cent history. Its a sunnah almost entirely lost by the ummah today. In one repor
t the prophet PBUH took 70 camels with him; during the hajj he takes 100 - and t
his shows whenever he does something he wants to do it better and with more volu
me. So what does concesecrating the camels mean? In arabic its called 'ihlaal' w
hich means to decorate the camels with signs, decorations etc. This is to design
ate that this animal is for the poor people, and it will be sacrificed for the s
ake of Allah. And seeing these animals was a sign of imaan - once you had consec
rated an animal you shouldn't use it unless you have to. Allah says with regards
to the camels "whoever shows honour to the symbols of Allah comes from the taqw
ah of the heart". So when you go for hajj/umrah, you are supposed to consecrate
the animals to show they are for Allah.
So the prophet PBUH consecrated all 70 camels, and towards the end of the story
he shows these animals to some of the emissaries who came from the Quraysh. And
this softened their hearts and they say "all of these animal for Allah?! It is n
ot allowed to stop these people from entering Mecca". So it was at Dhul Hulayfa
the prophet PBUH consecrated the animals, and he also sent a sahabi Busl ibn Saf
wan al Kazaai to go to Mecca and find out what the Quraysh are doing. Again and
again we find the caution of the prophet PBUH. His tawaqul is perfect - but he d
oes everything in his power to make sure the plan is perfect. Tawaqul means you
do everything you can. And who did he send? A sahabi that no one knows; he is ne
ither an ansari or muhajir so he won't be recognised. He's from the Kuza'a which
was a neutral tribe - this is pure wisdom. So the prophet PBUH told him to find
out the reaction of the Quraysh. This also shows us the prophet PBUH was expect
ing oppisition, and unlike the other expiditions he didn't try to double-back this was a common tactic. But when it came to Hudaybiyya he went straight to Mec
ca to demonstrate he has nothing to hide and he dosen't have another agenda exce
pt to do umrah peacefully.
As he was proceeding, news reached him that there was a group of riders in an ar
ea called Gaikhar and the prophet PBUH thought this might be the Quraysh, so he
sent a small group to verify who they were. It turns out it was a false alarm bu
t the incident happened that the books of fiqh always discuss. And every book of
hadith also mentions this incident including Bhukari, Muslim etc. In this mini
expidition (and this also shows the prophet PBUH has guards around the army: he
has conveys and lookouts and scouts around the group to inform the prophet PBUH
of anything happening). On the way back from this mini expidition, there were a
group of sahaba and amongst them was Abu Kutada al Ansari. For some reason that
the books don't mention, he was not in ihraam, while everyone else was. It's als
o mentioned he was put in charge of the sacrificial animals. What happens? On th
e way back the sahaba see a herd of zebras/gazelles. This shows in the time of t
he prophet PBUH there were wild animals such as zebras in Arabia, there are no m
ore. The term for zebra is 'himaar al wahshi', and the shariah has allowed zebra
s to be hunted but has forbidden donkeys. The prophet PBUH explicitly said this
after Badr. So the sahaba saw a flock of zebras and none of them moved. They did
n't even tell Abu Kutada there are zebras over there because its haraam for them
to hunt while in the state of ihraam. Abu Kutada is not in ihraam - so what do
you do if there's a group, some in ihraam and some not? Can those not in ihraam
hunt for those IN ihraam? This is irrelevant for us, but once upon a time it was
a crucial fiqh issue. So Abu Kutada saw the zebras and he didn't have his bow a
nd arrow with him, it was in the bag. So while on his horse he told a sahabi to
hand him his bow and arrow. But they refused to do so - they said "we are in the
state of ihraam". So he jumped off the horse, got his own bow and arrow, jumped
back and then started galloping towards the zebras and slaughtered one of them.
He then comes back with zebra meat but the sahaba said "we cannot touch or eat

from this". And so they

s this meat allowed for
motion to him where the
as". They said "no". So

returned back to the camp and asked the

us to eat?" The prophet PBUH asked them
zebras were? Did any of you help him in
he said "eat from it and any extra meat

prophet PBUH "wa

"did any of you
hunting the zebr
bring it to me".

Thus the fiqh here is very clear: if someone in non-ihraam hunts by himself an a
nimal then its allowed for those in ihraam to eat. Scholars say even 'nudging' s
omeone and winking 'there's an animal over there' is not allowed because this is
helping. Even just pointing or handing him a bow and arrow - this constitutes a
s 'helping'. But if the one not in ihraam hunts by himself and gifts the meat to
those in ihraam, it becomes halal. And again and again we find the cautiosness
of the sahaba: no doubt they wanted that meat. No doubt it's a delicacy. For sur
e they haven't eatan meat for a while. They only must have been eating dates and
water. There is this exotic delicious meat but they do nothing to capture it. W
hen it is presented to them on a table, still they say no. SubhanAllah what imaa
n is this. And how laxed we are especially about food or drink. We just say "who
cares insh'aAllah Allah will forgive". And the sahaba know the big sin of eatin
g sin: the prophet PBUH said "the one who eats haraam his dua won't be answered"
. Thus the outside side of Islam is he who 'eats from what is allowed' - that is
a muslim. So we find here the remarkable example of the sahabi - they did not t
hink of eating until they asked the prophet PBUH.
Back to the story: Busl ibn Safwan al Kazaai who went to Mecca and pretended he'
s a regular pilgrim to find out what the Quraysh are planning returns to the pro
phet PBUH. At this time the prophet PBUH had reached a place called 'Asfaan' aro
und midway between Mecca and Madinah. Busl informs the prophet PBUH the Quraysh
have armed themsevles and worn their 'leapord skins' which was a sign of war. Th
ey even took their women and children with them to show their strength. And he s
aid they sent Khalid ibn Waleed to camp near Kumayn - which is a plane right out
side Mecca. So he is camped there to block the muslims and prevent them from ent
ering. When the prophet PBUH heard this he said "woe to Quraysh - they have been
consumed by war. What would they lose if they let me and the other people. If t
he other arabs attack me and win they will get the result they want. If I win ov
er them, the honour will be theres". He is a qurayshi thus if he wins automatica
lly the Quraysh will bask in that victory. The prophet PBUH then said "for by Al
lah I will continue to fight them with what Allah has sent me until He gives me
victory or this neck of mine is cut off". And subhanAllah we sense her the angui
sh and pain: "why do my own people hate me so much?" This clealy shows us what i
s in his heart. He loves his own people dearly, he is saying "why are they doing
this to me?! Its a win-win if they leave me be, and its a lose-lose if they fig
ht me". INdeed whoever wins out of the Quraysh and muslims, it's still a loss si
nce they are killing one another and they are family. This also shows clearly th
e prophet PBUH did not enjoy war. He did not want to fight or shed blood - this
is a clear indication: our prophet PBUH only fought out of necessity.
So when the prophet PBUH heard this he stopped the caravan and addressed the ent
ire group. He started by praising Allah and doing the normal khutbah tul Hajjah.
And then he explained: the Quraysh have sent out an expidition, Khalid ibn Wale
ed is camped at such a place. "We should attack the surrounding tribes that have
also sent men with the Quraysh". Then he said "what do you think we should do?"
At this Abu Bukr RA stood up and said "Ya RasulAllah you only left your house i
ntending the house of Allah. You didn't want any war or battle - this was not yo
ur intention. So let us go straight to the kab'ah and we will only fight if they
fight us". So this was his opinion. The prophet PBUH liked this plan and said "
let us go forth in the name of Allah swt". This shows us again and again the con
cept of shura in Islam. And again this is the sign of a true leader. If a leader
just says "obey me because I am the leader" the people will not truly follow: b
ut shura creates genuine trust and enthusiasm. Also the prophet PBUH clearly cha
nged his opinion: he had a position but he changed it to Abu Bukrs. This shows u

s the ijtihad of the prophet PBUH is from himself. He has his own ijithad and Al
lah allows this. But he changed his ijtihad when he saw Abu Bukrs opinion. It's
said at Asfan he prayed salaatul Qahf because he was afraid the Quraysh might at
tack them. Here there is a big contraversy: was this the first time salaatul Qah
f was prayed or not? One opinion is it was prayed now. Frankly it's a trivial is
sue but many scholars say the first time it was prayed now on the way to Mecca a
t Asfaan - this is the majority opinion.
Since Khalid blocked the path, they had to find an alternative route. So the pro
phet PBUH asked "who came take amongst such and such a path?" He knows there is
another path, but he didn't know exactly where it was. This shows there were wel
l-known highways that everyone travelled on. Well known pathways all caravans to
ok, and on the way there would be mini-shops or people camping. So the prophet P
BUH said "who can take us down the other path?" and a sahabi said "I can guide y
ou there". So the prophet PBUH made him the guide and in order to get to the oth
er highway, they had to pass through an entire valley of thorns and volanic rock
. It caused them to bleed and their feet to become sore, so much so the prophet
PBUH encouraged them by saying "this valley for you is like the door was for the
Bani Israel". What door was that? The prophet PBUH said "no one shall pass thro
ugh this valley except that all of his sins will be forgiven". It was so difficu
lt and hard the prophet PBUH promised him this. And this gave them immense motiv
ation to go through the valley. However the prophet PBUH made one exception: "..
except the man with the red camel". The sahaba were puzzled and were wondering w
ho this man is. Right at the back of the group someone shouts out "I've lost a r
ed camel has anyone seen it?" So this must be the man. The sahaba went up to him
and asked "why don't you come with us, let us go to the prophet PBUH and perhap
s he will include you in forgiveness". It turns out this man was a bedouin with
nifaaq (hypocrisy) in his heart, and his response shows this. He said "for me to
search for my red camel is more beloved to me than to go to your companion and
have my sins forgiven". So Jibreel AS told him this man won't be forgiven and in
deed it was true.
Also, this shows not everyone who was physically with the sahaba WAS an actual s
ahabi. Allah says in the Quran "amongst the beduoins there are many who have hyp
ocrisy". Why is this problematic? Because the other 'non sunni' group JUMP at th
ese texts and say "Allah is clearly saying there are munafiqun around the prophe
t PBUH". And they are referring to Abu Bukr RA, Umar RA etc. What a stupid posit
ion to hold. Allah clearly says "those who around you of the bedouins are munafi
q". As for the major sahaba, there is no doubt the Quran and sunnah has praised
them to extreme levels directly and indirectly. We don't take a generic verse an
d use it to negate specific evidences that Abu Bukr RA is Jannah, Umar RA is in
Jannah, Uthman RA in Jannah etc. That Umar is this and Abu Bukr is that etc. The
se are clear cut authentic evidences. You cannot take a generic verse and use it
to trump explicit verses. And there is no question if anyone accuses such sahab
a of hypocrisy, then they themselves (shias) are hypocrites. This is the reality
. You cannot accuse Abu Bukr RA, Umar RA, Aisha RA and Uthman RA of having evil
except the evil is in your own heart.
So they spent the entire day walking through this valley, and by the time they e
xited the night has just began to fall. And they reached the plane known as Huda
ybiyya. Now they reached Hudaybiyya. So this valley of thorns was between them a
nd Hudaybiyya which led directly to the road which the prophet PBUH wanted to ge
t to. From Hudaybiyya to Mecca there is a direct and easy road - it's not the ro
ad from Madinah, its on the way from Jeddah to Mecca which is west. So he went a
cross all the way because he dosen't want war. So the night begins to fall and a
s soon as they enter Hudaybiyya, this is when the prophet PBUHs camel refuses to
move and in fact sits down. And of course no one was in front of the prophet PB
UH, he was leading the pack. So when the prophet PBUHs camel sat down, the rest
of the sahaba had to stop. And so the sahaba started yelling at the camel "Hal H
al" meaning 'stand and go'. This was the natural call of the camel. And the came

l did not move - so they began getting angry at the camel, and they said "Kaswaa
has become stubborn" and the prophet PBUH said "Kaswaa has not become stubborn,
and neither is it in her nature. Rather, the one who stopped the elephant has a
lso stopped her (ALLAH)". At this point in time, they ran out of water, and they
complained to the prophet PBUH about this. Indeed they were not expecting to go
away from the main road which had stations of purchasing water.
By the way what is Hudaybiyya? It seems as if the name comes from the arabic ter
m 'Hadbaa' which means 'hunchback'. Apparently there was a tree in these planes
going down like a hunchback. And there was a well next to this tree. So they cal
led this whole land 'Hudaybiyya'. In our times its called "As Shumaysi". It is 2
0km outside of Mecca on the road from Jeddah to Mecca. And that's the distance t
hey would do in a few hours so it was one journey away from Mecca.
From this we gain some benefits:
1. First and foremost, the name of the prophet PBUHs camel. This shows us if we
know the name of his camel, we know far more important things. We know even the
number of white hairs in his beard (14). The detail with which the seerah has be
en preserved is amazing. So the prophet PBUHs sword, sheild, camel etc all have
been preserved.
2. When they criticised the camel, the prophet PBUH defended the honour of the c
amel. SubhanAllah. If the honour of a camel deserves to be protected, how about
the honour of a muslim? "Neither has she become stubborn nor is it in her nature
3. The beautiful linkage the prophet PBUH said: "the One who stopped the camel i
s He who stopped the camel". Look at how eleqouent that is. In both cases they a
re animals, and in both cases the kab'ah is being honoured. And just like there
was a wisdom stopping the elephants, so to there is a wisdom to stop Kaswa.
So where the camel stopped they set up camp and they went to the well of Hudaybi
yya, and lo and behold the water had almost dried out. There was just a little b
it left so they complained to the prophet PBUH "we don't have any water, our ani
mals are thirsty etc". So the prophet PBUH went to the well, sat on it and he to
ld some of the sahaba went into the well, and the prophet PBUH handed them some
of his arrows. Then he gargled some water, threw it back into the bucket and low
ered it. The sahaba said the water then began to gush out and the ones in the we
ll had to rush out so they don't drown. SubhanAllah. The entire camp of 1400 peo
ple drank and continued to drink from that well. Their animals drank to their fi
ll and this was yet another miracle of the prophet PBUH. Now that he realised ne
gotiations will begin, the prophet PBUH made an announcement: "Walahi the Qurays
h will not ask of me any condition that the signs of Allah are respected except
that I will give them". Notice how keen he is not to fight. Anything they ask he
will agree as long as it's not haraam. This is a prelude to some very harsh con
ditions which even Umar RA could not understand.
Khalid ibn Waleed obviously knows where they are via scouts, so Khalid returned
to Mecca and the Quraysh decided on the right tactic, and sent an emissary out t
o meet the muslims.