The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 7: The Conquest of Makkah

 Part I: In the Time of the Prophet (SAWS)

 

Page: 3

"On this point", replied Abu Sufyan, "there is some little doubt in my mind."

Abbas now turned fiercely on Abu Sufyan. "Woe to you, O Abu Sufyan!" he hissed. "Submit, or your head will be cut off!"

"I bear witness", said Abu Sufyan hastily, "that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah!"

Abbas now had a word with the Prophet out of Abu Sufyan's hearing. "O Messenger of Allah", he whispered, "Abu Sufyan is a proud man. He has dignity and self-respect. Will you not be gracious to him and give him some special token of esteem?" 1

At this the Prophet declared, "Whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan shall be safe." The face of Abu Sufyan lit up. He had been especially honoured by Muhammad. The Prophet continued: "Whoever locks his door shall be safe. Whoever remains in the mosque shall be safe."

Abu Sufyan now returned to Makkah where the people had gathered, awaiting news of their fate. Abu Sufyan addressed the crowd: "O Quraish! Muhammad has come with power that you cannot match. Submit to him and be safe. Whoever enters my house shall be safe." This led to an uproar in the crowd. "And how many do you think could fit into your house?" the people asked with sarcasm. Abu Sufyan then added, "Whoever stays in his house and locks his door shall be safe. Whoever remains in the mosque shall be safe."

This appeased the crowd but could not appease his wife, Hind. She sprang at him like a wild cat, slapped his face and caught him by his moustaches. "Kill the fat old fool!" she screamed at the crowd. "He has turned away from us." Since Hind was no light-weight, the experience must have been a painful one for Abu Sufyan. However, he managed to shake her off and walked away to his house.'

The Muslims expected that there would be some opposition to their entry into Makkah. They could not assume that it would be an entirely peaceful operation although the Prophet hoped that blood would not be shed. With hardened anti-Muslims like Ikrimah and Safwan you could never tell. The plan of the Prophet was therefore designed to conquer Makkah as a military operation.

Makkah lies in the Valley of Ibrahim and is surrounded and dominated by black, rugged hills which rise in places to over 1,000 feet above the valley floor. The town was then approached over four routes, each one going through a pass in the hills. These routes came in from the north-west (almost north), the south-west, the south and the north-east. The Prophet divided his army into four columns, one to advance on each route. The main column, which was commanded by Abu Ubaidah and with which the Prophet travelled in person, would enter Makkah along the main Madinah route, from the north-west, via Azakhir. The second column, under Zubair, would enter from the south-west, through a pass west of the Hill of Kuda. The third column, under Ali, would enter from the south, via Kudai; and the fourth, under Khalid, would enter from the north-east, via Lait and Khandama. (See Map 5 below) 2

map 2 chapter 7

The advance consisted of convergent thrusts aimed at a single central objective which would have the effect of chopping up the enemy into small portions and also force dispersion on him, so that he would be unable to concentrate for battle on any one axis of advance. Moreover, even if the enemy succeeded in holding up the advance on some axes, the attackers would have other axes on which to break through and thus enjoy better prospects of success. All approaches were used to meet this requirement of military tactics. This was also done to prevent the escape of the Quraish; but later, when vigilance had been relaxed, some individuals did succeed in getting away.

1. 1bn Hisham: Vol. 2, pp. 402-5, Ibn Sad: p. 644; Waqidi: Maghazi: pp. 327-31.
2. MISSING REFERENCE What does it refer to?- The whole area covered by Map 5 is hilly, but since the hills could not be accurately drawn without the aid of large scale topographical maps, no hills are shown on the map-just the places and the directions of the advancing columns.