When Dhul Qada month approached towards the
close of the seventh year A.H., the Prophet [pbuh] ordered his people, and the men who
witnessed Al-Hudaibiyah Truce Treaty in particular, to make preparations to perform Umrah
(lesser pilgrimage). He proceeded with 2000 men besides some women and children [Fath Al-Bari 7/700], and 60 camels for
sacrifice, to visit the Holy Sanctuary in Makkah. The Muslims took their weapons with them
fearing the treachery of the Quraishites, but left them with a party of two hundred men at
a place some eight miles from Makkah. They entered the city with the swords in their
scabbards [Za'd Al-Ma'ad 2/151; Fath Al-Bari 7/700],
with the Prophet [pbuh] at their head on his she-camel, Al-Qaswa, while the
surrounding Companions attentively focusing their look on him, all saying: "Here I
am! at Your service O Allâh!" The Quraishites had left the place and retired to
their tents on the adjoining hills. The Muslims performed the usual circumambulation
vigorously and briskly; and on recommendation by the Prophet [pbuh] they did their best to
appear strong and steadfast in their circumambulation as the polytheists had spread
rumours that they were weak because the fever of Yathrib (Madinah) had sapped their
strength. They were ordered to run in the first three rounds and then walk in the
remaining ones. The Makkans meanwhile aligned on the top of Quaiqaan Mount
watching the Muslims, tongue-tied at witnessing their strength and devotion. When they
entered the Holy Sanctuary, Abdullah bin Rawaha walked before the Prophet
"Get out of his way, you disbelievers, make
way, we will fight you about its revelation with strokes that will remove heads from
shoulders and make friend unmindful of friend."
After ritual walking and running between the two
hills of Makkah, Safa and Marwah, the Prophet[pbuh] with the Muslims halted at the latter
spot to slaughter the sacrificial animals and shave their heads.
The main body of the pilgrims had now performed the
basic rites of the lesser pilgrimage, but there remained those who were entrusted the
charge of the weapons. The Prophet had these relieved, and they went through the same
devotions as the others did.
On the morning of the fourth day of the pilgrimage,
the notables of Quraish asked Ali bin Abi Talib to tell the Prophet [pbuh] to leave
Makkah along with his Companions. He, of course, could not conceive of violating the terms
of Al-Hudaibiyah Treaty, therefore he ordered his men to depart for a village called Sarif
where he stayed for some time.
It was during this visit of the Prophet [pbuh] to
Makkah for pilgrimage that his uncle Abbas offered the hand of his sister-in-law,
Maimuna the daughter of Harith, to him. The Prophet [pbuh] was kind enough to
accept this offer since it was an effective step towards cementing the ties of
relationship between the Prophet [pbuh] and the influential men of Makkah. The wedding
took place in Sarif. [Za'd Al-Ma'ad
Narrators attached different designations to this
lesser pilgrimage. Some called it the compensatory lesser pilgrimage, performed instead of
that uncompleted of Hudaibiyah; and the other one, given preponderance by jurists, is the
lesser pilgrimage consequent on certain terms of a treaty already agreed upon.
On the whole, compensatory, judicial consent,
retribution and reconciliation are all terms applicable to that visit.
Some military operations, directed against some
still obdurate desert Arabians, took place at the conclusion of the lesser pilgrimage, of
which we could mention:
- A platoon of 50 men led by Ibn Abi Al-Awja was despatched
by the Prophet [pbuh] to the habitations of Bani Saleem inviting them to embrace Islam,
but all the words fell on deaf ears. Fierce fighting erupted between both parties during
which the Muslim leader was wounded, and two of the enemy were captured.
- Ghalib bin Abdullah at the head of 200 men was despatched to
Fadak where they killed some rebels and a lot of booty fell to their lot.
- Banu Qudaa had gathered a large number of men to raid the
Muslim positions. On hearing the news, the Prophet [pbuh] despatched Kab bin
Umair Al-Ansari at the head of 15 men to deal with this situation. They encountered
the army, and called them to enter into the fold of Islam but the rebels gave a negative
response and showered the Muslims with arrows killing all of them except one who was
carried back home later seriously wounded. [Rahmat-ul-lil'alameen 2/231]
There was also an insignificant skirmish that
occurred in Rabi Al-Awwal 8 A.H. Shuja bin Wahab Al-Asadi, along with 25 men,
marched towards Bani Hawazin tribe where they encountered no resistance but managed to
gain some booty. [Talqeeh
Fuhoom Ahl Al-Athar p.33; Rahmat-ul-lil'alameen 2/231]