Negotiations Between the Messenger and the Quraysh - II
The Mediation of ‘Urwah bin Mas‘ood Ath-Thaqafi
‘Urwah bin Mas‘ood failed in his negotiations and returned to the Makkans to warn them not to enter into an armed conflict with the Prophet and his Companions. He addressed them
O people! By Allah, I have been to kings including Caesar, Khosrau and the Negus, yet I have never seen any of them more obeyed by his courtiers than Muhammad is by his Companions. By Allah, they neither stare at him nor raise their voice in his presence. It suffices that he hints for something to be done. If he spits, the spittle would fall in the hand of one of his Companions who would then rub it on his skin. When he performs ablution, they scuffle with one another to take the water of his ablution. I have estimated their number, and you should be forewarned that if you want to deal with them with your swords, they will manage the fighting. When I saw them I saw people who do not care what they suffer if it is to defend their companion [i.e. the Prophet ]. By Allah, I have seen few women with him who would never let him down.
So, beware of terrible attitudes toward him and give him some time. My advice to you is to accept his proposal, and yet I fear that you will not attain victory over him anyway. He has come simply to glorify this House and has brought the sacrificial animals to slaughter them and depart.
In response to him, Quraysh said, “Do not say this, Abu Ya‘foor [‘Urwah's nickname]. If anyone else said that, we [would] have rebuked him. We will send him back this year, and let him come next year.”
The psychological war had now shifted from the ranks of the Muslims to affect the front of Quraysh. ‘Urwah gave a true description of what he had seen, and he clarified to Quraysh how Muslims had been obedient, loving and faithful to the Messenger in Al-Hudaybiyah. He also told him of their high morale and their psychological and military preparedness.
This was a type of warning to the Quraysh neither to be hasty with their decision, nor to enter into a war with the Prophet and his Companions, since that war would end with victory for the Muslims. This alarmed Quraysh as they did not expect that, based on their evaluation of the issue. The words communicated by the leader of Thaqeef stunned the leaders of Quraysh. It should be noted here that the Messenger was guided by Allah The Almighty. He impressed ‘Urwah in such a way that disrupted the camp of Quraysh, which could not resist the steadfast power of the truth. Quraysh’s argument of gathering the Arabs against the Prophet was aborted.
The Prophet attained great success by virtue of his sagaciousness. He used a great deal of information and diplomatic methods to achieve the desired purpose, which was to shatter the internal front of the Quraysh, to put them to psychological defeat and to separate their allies from them. These outcomes were certainly considered a sweeping victory that was achieved by the Messenger on the political, propaganda and military fronts.
The Mediation of Al-Hulays bin ‘Alqamah
The Makkans then sent Al-Hulays bin ‘Alqamah Al-Kinaani, the leader of the allies of Quraysh. When the Prophet saw him, he said that he was from a people who deify Allah The Almighty and ordered the Companions to send the sacrificial animals so that he could see them and to raise their voices reciting Talbiyah [a pilgrimage related chant].
When Al-Hulays saw the sacrificial animals with their garlands filling the valley, he returned to Quraysh before he reached the Messenger . He was overawed by the situation, as the valley lacked water and pastures, which made sacrificial animals eat their hair as they had been kept for a long time away from where they should have been slaughtered. He also saw the Muslims raising their voices with Talbiyah and wearing the clothes of Ihraam (ritual consecration). They were disheveled because they had stayed for a long time in the state of Ihraam. Al-Hulays strongly condemned the attitude of Quraysh and he returned to them without broaching a topic with the Prophet or negotiating anything with him. He considered the attitude of Quraysh an aggression on the visitors of the Sacred House of Allah. He saw that because of their hostile stance, the Quraysh did not deserve support from anyone.
When the Makkans were faced by his attitude, they expressed their anger with his frankness. However, they tried to avoid a situation that would disrupt the military front of Quraysh and terminate the alliance between them and their allies. They said to Al-Hulays that what he had just seen was a deception by Muhammad and his Companions. They then asked him to let them handle the issue the way they thought was best for them.
The Prophet was fully acquainted with the character and psychology of Al-Hulays, which was indicated by his saying that Al-Hulays was from a people who deified Allah The Almighty. This clearly shows that the Prophet knew the man perfectly. By virtue of such knowledge, he studied him subjectively, bearing in mind his love for glorifying what is sacred and holy. The Messenger utilized this aspect to win over the situation. Based on this, the Messenger laid a perfect, suitable plan for the sake of getting the man to know all the facts and to show him the situation of the Muslims or at least their neutrality in such a conflict.
It is worth mentioning that Al-Hulays enjoyed a good reputation among all the Arabs due to his sagacity and because he was the commander of the Arab allied forces. He was equally respected by the Prophet and by Quraysh. So, if he was given the chance to understand that the Muslims were right, he would help to make peace between them and Quraysh. He would also curb the aggressive attitude that Quraysh adopted against the Muslims which would allow them access to Al-Masjid Al-Haraam. Hence, the study that the Messenger conducted on the character of Al-Hulays was perfectly compatible with the principle in which he believed. The study had positive and satisfactory results. Since the Prophet impressed both ‘Urwah bin Mas‘ood and Al-Hulays bin ‘Alqamah, dissent occurred in the lines of the Qurayshi polytheists.
Speaking about the ability of the Messenger to deploy energy and administer conflicts, Al-‘Aqqaad said, “The Messenger was an expert at assigning surveillance and reconnaissance missions. He was also an expert at utilizing all potentials when fighting was due; whether that was the power of an opinion, the power of eloquence, or that of authority. We do not know anyone who directed the power of Da‘wah [propagation] to attain the desired ends in a stronger and more effective way than the Messenger .” He added, “Da‘wah during the time of wartime has two main purposes, in addition to many other aims. The first is to convince the enemy and other people of one’s rights, and the second is to weaken and disrupt the lines of your enemy in order for them not to be able to fight you. In this regard, the Prophet achieved by virtue of one man what nations could not achieve by means of organized units.”
The Mediation of Mikraz bin Hafs
Mikraz bin Hafs was an ambassador sent by Quraysh to the Messenger . According to Al-Bukhari, a man from Quraysh called Mikraz bin Hafs approached the Messenger . The Messenger of Allah said that the man was wicked. While he was speaking to the Messenger Suhayl bin ‘Amr arrived. Ma‘mar quoted Ayyoob on the authority of ‘Ikrimah, may Allah be pleased with him, that when Suhayl bin ‘Amr came, the Messenger said: “The matter is now easy [since the name Suhayl is the diminutive of the Arabic word for ‘ease.’]” [Al-Bukhari]
Suhayl’s negotiations will be discussed later, if Allah wills.