'Umrat ul-Qadhaa' (The Compensatory 'Umrah) - I
The Prophet set out for Makkah to perform 'Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) in the month of Thu’l Qi‘dah, 7 AH as he had agreed with Quraysh by virtue of The Al-Hudaybiyah Peace Treaty. The number of Muslims who attended 'Umrat-ul Qadhaa' were two thousand, excluding women and children. All the Muslims who witnessed Al-Hudaybiyah were with the Prophet except for those who were martyred in Khaybar or died before 'Umrat-ul Qadhaa'.
The Prophet headed towards Makkah in a grand procession, crossing villages and deserts. Whenever the procession of the Prophet passed by the dwellings of a tribe at the waysides between Makkah and Madeenah, the people would see a spectacular sight that they had never seen before. The Muslims wore the same garments of Ihraam (ritual consecration), raising their voices as they recited Talbiyah (a Hajj ritualistic chant), and were driving their sacrificial animals in their marks and garlands. It was an awesome, unprecedented scene.
Precaution Against Quraysh's Treachery
When the Prophet and his company headed for Makkah, they were heavily armed. They did not suffice with swords as they had to be prepared for any incidental action that might take place as the polytheists often break their promises and oaths.
The Prophet arrived in Khaybar heavily armed with a large number of Muslims; two hundred warriors led by Muhammad bin Maslamah, may Allah be pleased with him, in the forefront. Once this news reached Quraysh, they sent Mikraz bin Hafs, accompanied by a group of men from Quraysh, to the Prophet in order to verify the news. They met him at the center of Ya'jaj on the road of Ath-Thahraan and said, “O Muhammad, we have never known you to be treacherous. You want to enter the sanctuary while your people are there and while you are armed - even though you promised not to enter it except in accordance with the agreement that stipulates that swords must be in their scabbards.” The Prophet replied: “We will not enter it except in such a state [with swords in their scabbards].” Mikraz hurriedly returned to his companions in Makkah and informed them that Muhammad would enter Makkah with his weapons in their scabbards and that he was still true to his promise.
The Prophet left the weapons outside the Sacred Precincts, not far from him, in apprehension of any emergency. He installed two hundred warriors led by Muhammad bin Maslamah, may Allah be pleased with him, to guard the weapons awaiting the order of the Messenger to move and even fight if necessary.
The Prophet did not trust the polytheists of Quraysh. He knew they could betray the Muslims. He believed they might lie in ambush or launch a sudden attack against the Muslims. Therefore, he took the necessary precautions and kept his promise at the same time. He was teaching the Ummah (Muslim nation) a lesson to beware of their enemies. Also, a group of the Companions guarded the weapons and military supplies and watched the situation very attentively, and this reflects a sublime sense of worship in Islam.
Entering Makkah and Performing Tawaaf and Sa'y
The Prophet resumed his travel from the center of Ya'jaj to Makkah on his she-camel, called Al-Qaswaa'. He entered Makkah at the corner leading to Al-Hajoon. The Muslims surrounded him with their swords at their sides. They focused their eyes on him to shield him from the polytheists lest they should harm him. The Muslims were raising their voices with Talbiyah for Allah The Most High, The Almighty.
The continuous Talbiyah as the Muslims collectively raised their voices in reciting, continued until they entered Makkah. Their Talbiyah was of special significance. It declared the creed of Tawheed (moniotheism) and was, in fact, a symbol of Tawheed. It abolished Shirk (polytheism) and its banner, and announced the praise and glorification of Allah The Almighty who helped them to perform the rituals of Hajj. When a Muslim says, “Labayka Allahuma labayk, Labayka laa shareeka Laka labayk, inna Alhamda wan ni‘mata, laka walmulk, laa sharika Lak [Here I am, O Allah! Here I have come. Here I have come; You have no partner. Indeed, praise, blessings and sovereignty are Yours. There is no partner with You.]”
It was a very touching scene of Da'wah (propagation) when the noble procession of the Prophet started approaching the dwellings and buildings of Makkah toward the direction of the magnificent Ka‘bah. The Muslims were part of the spectacular scene, and their voices resonated in the sky. Most of the books of prophetic biography and battles mention that a group of the people of Makkah set out to the mountain tops to look at the Muslims from above. The larger part stood next to Daar An-Nadwah in the vicinity of the magnificent Ka'bah to watch the Prophet and his noble Companions while they were entering Makkah and the sacred House of Allah The Almighty.
The polytheists spread a rumor that the fever that was in Yathrib (Madeenah) had weakened the Muslims. Hearing that, the Prophet ordered his Companions to hasten their gait in the first three rounds of Tawaaf (circumambulation), and to walk moderately between the two Yemeni corners of the Ka'bah. The Prophet wanted the Muslims to show the polytheists their strength. Then, the Prophet entered the Sacred House and wrapped his body with his garment leaving his right arm and shoulder uncovered and the trail of the garment over his shoulder. He began to perform Tawaaf and his Companions imitated everything he did. Seeing that, the polytheists were astonished at the strength of the Muslims.
By revealing their right arms, hastening their gait and raising their voices as they recited the Talbiyah, the Prophet meant to terrify the Quraysh showing them the Muslims' strength, determination, abidance by the teachings of Islam and impenetrable front. This manner provoked the polytheists and made them feel uncomfortable. The Prophet would always draw closer to Allah The Almighty by annoying the polytheists. In the Battle of Uhud, for instance, he allowed Abu Dujaanah, may Allah be pleased with him, to strut in front of the polytheists to show them the Muslim’s pride as he knew this would annoy them. Abu Dujaanah, may Allah be pleased with him, wore a red bandana without the disapproval of the Prophet . Also, in Al-Hudaybiyah, the Prophet drove among the sacrificial animals the camel of Abu Jahl that was with the booties of the Battle of Badr. Seeing this increased the anger of the polytheists as it reminded them of their people who had been killed and captured in the Battle of Badr. In ‘Umrat-ul Qadhaa', the Prophet ordered the Muslims to show their stamina and run to spite the polytheists and abort their plots. Ibn Al-Qayyim said, “The Messenger of Allah would spite the polytheists as much as he could.”
This was a successful war of nerves that the Prophet launched against the polytheists. The Messenger and his Companions stayed in Makkah for three days,
Raising the Standard of Tawheed, Circumambulating the Ka'bah, Announcing the 'Athaan (call to prayer) and Performing Prayers
The Prophet lead the five daily prayers in congregation and Bilaal bin Rabaah, may Allah be pleased with him, announced the 'Athaan with his beautiful voice from the roof of the Ka‘bah, which was like a thunderbolt to the polytheists.
During these difficult times, the Prophet nevertheless did not forget the soldiers who were guarding the weapons and war supplies, so he sent some of the Companions who had already performed Tawaaf and Sa'y (walking between mount Safa and mount Marwah) to take their turn in guarding and to allow the guards to perform the rituals of 'Umrah. The Prophet was certain that he was dealing with souls that longed for the Sacred House of Allah and who did not travel that long distance again except to gain the virtue of ‘Umrah and to quench their thirst for performing Tawaaf and Sa'y. The Prophet took this matter into account and tried to satisfy their needs in order to enhance their spirituality. This was the methodology of the Prophet that he applied to the process of educating the Muslims.
(To be continued)
'Umrat ul-Qadhaa' (The Compensatory 'Umrah) - II