Lessons from the Conquest of Makkah


Today, the 20th of Ramadan, is the anniversary of the Conquest of Makkah, when Allah SWT transformed the situation of the Muslims and gave them a great victory over seemingly unsurmountable odds. And in this conquest, writes Maria Akbar, we can take hope that Allah will transform our current miserable condition.

“Verily, We have given you a manifest victory.” Surah al Fath 48:1

The conquest of Makkah was a great victory for the Muslims and Islam. Just eight years earlier, the Muslims had been driven out of their homes in Makkah, persecuted and tortured at the hands of the Quraish due to their belief in Allah SWT. It saddened the Muslims deeply to have to leave their homes, but they were willing to do it for the sake of Allah.

But eight years in Madinah saw advancement for Islam with the Muslims becoming a serious power within the Arabian Peninsula. The Muslims had grown in number and had established themselves politically and socially. They had participated in battle, won and lost.

Most recently, the treaty of Hudaybiyah had been signed between the Muslims in Madinah and the Quraish in Makkah. This treaty was pivotal in ensuring peace between the two groups to assist the Muslims in entering Makkah to perform pilgrimage.

It also was an agreement of a ceasefire for a period of ten years between the two groups. It was stipulated that if any group wished to join the Prophet (pbuh), they would not be prohibited from doing so and vice versa. The treaty lasted two years but it wasn’t long before the Quraish broke it.

This occurred when the Banu Bakr tribe, an ally of the Quraysh, attacked the Banu Khuza’a tribe who had recently formed an alliance with the Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh) received revelation of the treaty being broken before the news reached him and was greatly angered. His wife Aisha (ra) reported in a hadith that she had never seen him angrier than he was at this.

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The Prophet (pbuh) planned to march out to Makkah to carry out the conquest. Initially he kept the plan a secret and did not inform anyone of this intention as he did not wish the Quraish to find out.

He was able to gather an army of 10,000 and set out to march to Makkah for a non-violent conquest. When they reached the outskirts of the city, the Muslims split into four groups that would enter from four different areas.

Eventually, the Muslims marched into Makkah and the Quraish were fiercely outnumbered, and could not do anything. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) entered in humility to the Ka’aba, with his head lowered riding on his camel reciting the pertinent verse “Verily, We have given you a manifest victory.” (48:1)

The conquest of Makkah was an extraordinary moment in the history of Islam. Makkah was the homeland that the Prophet and Muslims had been driven out from, due to their belief in Allah. They had given up their homes and lives for the sake of Allah to a foreign place where Islam flourished and gained many followers, but despite this they missed and longed for Makkah. Then Allah bestowed his favour upon the Muslims and granted them a victory with so much ease.

This was truly a turning point in the history of Islam. The idols were destroyed in and around the Ka’aba whilst he (pbuh) was reciting: “The Truth has come, and the falsehood has vanished; verily falsehood is sure to vanish.” 18:81

Lesson 1: Allah’s promise is true

Allah had foretold the triumph at Makkah over the polytheists to the Prophet (pbuh) where He (azzawajal) said in the Quran (48:27): “That which Allah inspired in his Prophet by means of a dream is true and veracious: Without any doubt you will enter the sacred mosque (in Mecca) in safety and security. You will shave your heads and shorten your hairs without any fear or anxiety. Allah knows what you do not know. And you will win a victory near at hand.”

Prophet Muhammad

This was revealed two years prior to the conquest at a time when the Muslims seemed weak and could not fathom or envision such a scenario where they would be able to enter Makkah in safety and security and then be victorious.

It was nothing short of a miracle as this was foretelling a military victory which was extremely difficult to predict. But Allah, in His infinite wisdom had the knowledge of the events, and the Prophet (pbuh) had the certainty in the words of Allah and thus was able to lead the Muslims to conquer Makkah successfully.

Often we read in the Quran of the promises of Allah for the believers and it can be difficult to envisage. However events like the conquest, that were foretold and extremely difficult to predict, should increase our faith and belief in the words of Allah.

Lesson 2: Allah can do all things

One of the most amazing things about the conquest is how Allah completely changed the situation of the Muslims. They went from being weak and outnumbered, driven out of their homes in the early days in Makkah, to strength, power and greatness in number. Allah is able to do all things in order to achieve His aim.

Muslims around the world are being oppressed in Palestine, the Uyghurs, Rohingya, India to name a few. But we should never lose hope in the ability of Allah to change situations that may seem bleak. There is a reason behind everything that happens, that is known to Allah alone in His infinite wisdom; we simply have to strive to be on the rightly-guided path, and there will be a day when Allah will change the situation as He did for the Muslims on Fattah Makkah.

Lesson 3: Use wisdom and strategise

The conquest of Makkah was carried out with great wisdom. The Prophet (pbuh) firstly kept it a complete secret for as long as possible as he did not want word to reach the Quraish in Makkah which may have jeopardised the whole situation if they were prepared militarily or came up with an alternative plan.

Instead, the Prophet wished to take them by surprise and so in his wisdom initially did not even make his intentions known to the Muslims who were marching out with him.

In this we should take example from the Prophet, to use wisdom and be strategic in all our affairs to be successful. In particular within our communities, our leaders need to behave with wisdom and a clear strategy for the Ummah to flourish.

Lesson 4: Have humility

The humility of the Prophet is unparalleled compared to any leader in history. He came into Makkah with his head lowered in humility, so low that his nose was described as touching the back of his camel.

The humility of the Prophet on that day showed that he acknowledged that this great achievement of the Muslims – the conquest of Makkah, destroying the idols, finally having access to the Ka’aba – was from Allah alone, and all praise and thanks in this situation belonged to only Him.

Often we can become self-conceited over our achievements, but we should always remember the favour of Allah upon us, and without His will and mercy, nothing would be possible.

Lesson 5: Mercy and forgiveness

On the day of the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet had an army of 10,000. The Muslims were finally in a more powerful position than the Quraish and were able to take full revenge on those who had driven them out of their homes if they wanted to.

But instead when addressing the non-Muslims, who were nervously awaiting news of what their fate would be due to all that they had put the Muslims through, the Prophet (pbuh) showed extreme mercy and forgiveness to them.

He (pbuh) said to them: “Today I will say to you as Yusuf said to his brothers: There is no blame upon you today. May Allah forgive you, for He is the most merciful of the merciful.” 12:92

The Prophet and his followers would not have been blameworthy if they had chosen to take revenge. However, they chose forgiveness and mercy in the footsteps of Yusuf (as). What then can be said about the petty grudges we hold today amongst our families and communities over trivial matters?

Lesson 6: Dawah through action

Many converted to Islam through seeing the Prophet’s actions of forgiveness and mercy at a time when he was in a position of power. The fact that he did not abuse his strength, and instead decided to forgive those who had persecuted him and the believers softened the hearts of many and led to their conversion to Islam.

We often undermine this principle of giving da’wah to the non-Muslims through our actions, especially being Muslims living amongst majority of non-Muslims. However, when individuals display qualities that are admirable, this makes others fall in love with Islam as they come to realise it is the religion of Islam that nurtures individuals to have these qualities.

This can be seen in this struggle of the Palestinians, and admiration for the strength and unity of the Palestinian people through this genocide has won the hearts of many and we have seen many converts to Islam because of it.

There are many situations today that Muslims around the world are facing, that are similar to those difficult days the early Muslims faced; being tested with starvation, poverty, persecution and abuse. We find hope in the conquest of Makkah that Allah too has the ability to change their situation, as He did for those early Muslims, by removing their difficulties and allowing their communities and Islam to flourish.

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