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lays down arms

Conquest of Mecca

Mecca was conquered by the Muslims in January 630 AD (10th day of Ramadan8 AH).

Background

In 628 the Meccan tribe of Quraish and the Muslim community in Medina signed a 10 year truce called the Treaty of Hudaybiyya.

In 630, this truce was broken when the Banu Bakr, allies of the Quraish, attacked the Banu Khuza'a, who had recently become allies of the Muslims.

Conquest

Abu Sufyan, the leader of the Quraish in Mecca, sensing that the balance was now tilted in Muhammad's favour and that the Quraish were not strong enough to stop the Muslims from conquering the city, travelled to Medina, trying to restore the treaty. During his stay, he was repulsed by Ali and by his own daughter Ramlah, who now was one of Muhammad's wives. Though Muhammad refused to reach an agreement and Abu Sufyan returned to Mecca empty handed, these efforts ultimately ensured that the conquest occurred without battle or bloodshed.

Muhammad assembled an army of approximately 10,000 men and marched towards Mecca. Again Abu Sufyan travelled back and forth between Mecca and Muhammad, still trying to reach a settlement. According to the sources, he found assistance in Muhammad's uncle Al-Abbas, though some scholars consider that historians writing under the rule of Abbas' descendants, the Abbasid dynasty, had exaggerated Abbas' role and downplayed the role of Abu Sufyan, who was the ancestor of the Abbaside's enemies.

Aftermath

On the eve of the conquest, Abu Sufyan adopted Islam. When asked by Muhammad, he conceded that the Meccan gods had proved powerless and that there was indeed "no god but Allah", the first part of the Islamic confession of faith. When asked about the second part, the prophethood of Muhammad, Abu Sufyan still expressed some doubt but eventually yielded to threats, issued according to different sources by either Abbas or Umar. In turn, Muhammad declared Abu Sufyan's house a sanctuary:
"Who enters the house of Abu Sufyan will be safe, who lays down arms will be safe, who locks his door will be safe".

He also declared:

Allah has made Mecca a sanctuary since the day He created the Heavens and the Earth, and it will remain a sanctuary by virtue of the sanctity Allah has bestowed on it until the Day of Resurrection. It (fighting in it) was not made lawful to anyone before me. Nor will it be made lawful to anyone after me, and it was not made lawful for me except for a short period of time. Its animals (that can be hunted) should not be chased, nor should its trees be cut, nor its vegetation or grass uprooted, nor its Luqata (most things) picked up except by one who makes a public announcement about it.'

Then along with his companions Muhammad visited the Ka'aba. The idols were broken and the stone gods were destroyed. Thereupon Muhammad recited the following verse from the Qur'an:"Say the Truth is come and falsehood gone; Verily falsehood is ever vanishing."

The people assembled at the Ka'aba, and Muhammad delivered the following address:

"There is no god but Allah. He has no associate. He has made good His promise that He held to his bondman and helped him and defeated all the confederates. Bear in mind that every claim of privilege, whether that of blood or property is abolished except that of the custody of the Ka'aba and of supplying water to the pilgrims. Bear in mind that for any one who is slain the blood money is a hundred camels. People of Quraish, surely God has abolished from you all pride of the time of ignorance and all pride in your ancestry, because all men are descended from Adam, and Adam was made of clay."

Then Muhammad turning to the people said:

"O ye Quraish, what do you think of the treatment that I should accord you?"

And they said, "Mercy, O Prophet of Allah. We expect nothing but good from you."

Thereupon Muhammad declared: '' "I speak to you in the same words as Joseph spoke to his brothers. This day there is no reproof against you; Go your way, for you are free. Muhammad's prestige grew after the surrender of the Meccans. Embassies from all over Arabia came to Medina to submit to him.

Ten people were ordered to be killed:

  1. Ikrimah ibn Abi-Jahl
  2. Abdullah ibn Saad ibn Abi Sarh
  3. Habbar bin Aswad
  4. Miqyas Subabah Laythi
  5. Huwairath bin Nuqayd
  6. Abdullah Hilal
  7. four women who had been guilty of murder or other offences or had sparked off the war

However, they were not all killed; at least Ikrimah lived to adopt Islam and fight in future battles among Muslim ranks.

Prophecies of the event in other books

Certain Muslim scholars believe the conquest of Mecca was foretold in Deuteronomy 33:2 and Song of Solomon 5:10 of the Bible.

And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand [went] a fiery law for them.

My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.

These scholars argue

  • that it was from Sinai that "God came from", the place Moses had his most glorious moment by revealing the ten commandments.
  • that Seir, from where "God dawned", is where Jesus had had his moment of glory, the place where he held The Sermon on the Mount
  • that it was in Paran that Ishmael came to live
  • that the "ten thousand saints" are the troops of Muhammad, who was from Ishmael's progeny, which conquered Mecca. The Hebraic word that is translated as "ten thousands" is ribboth, the plural of ribabah, which means multitude, myriad, or just ten thousand.
  • that Muhammad had a "fiery law for them". The Hebraic word that is translated as "fiery law for them" is eshdath {esh-dawth'}, and means "fiery law", "fire of a law", or "fire was a law" (meaning uncertain). It is believed to come from a Persian word and could mean "something set" or "right", "Justice" or "to give". Muslims believe that Muhammad gave the Right and Just Law, that would "be set" and never be changed.
  • that "He shined forth" implied the zenith, or height and perfection of revelation.

This event is also argued to have been prophesied in the Hindu book Bhavishya Purana.

When he saw that the moral law of conduct was declining he went to conquer all the directions of his country with ten-thousand soldiers commanded by Kalidasa. He crossed the river Sindhu and conquered over the gandharas, mlecchas, shakas, kasmiris, naravas and sathas. He punished them and collected a large amount of wealth. Then the king went along with Mohamada, the preceptor of mleccha-dharm.

References

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