A Brief Sketch of the Life of

The Prophet Muhammad


Muhammad Ali

Muslim Town, Lahore, India (1946)

[3] The Arabian Lands embrace Islam
and the Prophet's Farewell Pilgrimage

Web Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia - Southern Spring of '96

The Prophet Muhammad - Part [3]

The Adoption of Islam by the Lands of Arabia
and the Prophet's Farewell Pilgrimage ...

The conquest of Mecca was practically bloodless. The Quraish were unable to meet this force and the Prophet declared a general amnesty, guaranteeing safety to all those who entered Abu Sufyan's house, or closed the doors of their own houses or entered the sacred precincts of the Ka'ba. Conversion to Islam formed no part of the conditions which guaranteed security of life and property. There were strict orders to the advancing army that there should be no bloodshed. There were only about a score of casualities due to 'Ikrima, son of Abu Jabl, attacking a party of the Muslim forces under Khalid, who was now a Muslim.

Mecca having thus been entered, the first thing that the Prophet did was to clear the Ka'ba of the idols. He then addressed the assembled Quraish who had been guilty of most heinous offences against the Muslims. They were standing before him now as culprits who had persecuted Muslims, inflicted on them the severest tortures, put many of them to death and ultimately expelled them from Mecca. They had not even allowed the Muslims to live a peaceful life at their new home in Medina, but had attacked that city thrice with large forces which they knew the Muslims had no means to meet.

It was these men who were now at the Prophet's mercy, and addressing them, he put to them the question:

They knew al-Amin of old; they knew Muhammad had a generous heart within his breast.

They were yet unbelievers, but mark the magnanimity of that great soul who would not even reproach them for their evil deeds, who let them go even without taking a pledge from them for the future. Here was a practical proof of that laudable precept Love thine enemy. Not only was Mecca conquered, but with it were conquered also the hearts of the bitterest foes of Islam. They now saw with their own eyes how the combined forces of opposition offered by the whole country had proved an utter failure against the mighty truth which came from the lips of a man who had stood alone in the midst of all opposition. The righteousness of the cause was now only too clear to them and men and women came forward spontaneously to embrace the faith. There was not a single instance of conversion by force. Those that still adhered to the old religion were treated in the same spirit of friendliness as the members of the brother-hood. Even a hostile critic has to admit:

The fall of Mecca was a signal to the whole of Arabia. In fact, the Quraish were generally at the bottom of all organized opposition. With the sole exception of the battle of Hunain, which had to be undertaken against the Hawazin immediately after the conquest of Mecca, regular warfare between the Muslims and the non-Muslims in the whole of Arabia now came to an end, and even at Hunain, the unbelieving Meccans fought on the side of the Muslims.

Islam was now free from trouble from within, but the Christian power on the north viewed its strength with a jealous eye, and persistent news as to preparations of the Roman Empire to attack Arabia could not be ignored. Accordingly, an expedition of 30,000 men was led by the Prophet personally to the northern frontier in the ninth year of the Flight. When he reached Tabuk, however, he found that his march had a restraining effect on the enemy, and there being no hostile force in the field, the Prophet returned without either attacking the Romans or declaring war against them. In fact, the Prophet always observed the Quranic injunction to fight only with those who took up the sword first to fight against the Muslims.

After the return from Tabuk, peace was apparently established in the peninsula, but the Islamic territory was infested with hordes of marauders belonging to the tribes that had entered into agreement with the Muslim state, but had little respect for their treaties:

These people had become a menace to the security of life and property, and accordingly, towards the end of the ninth year of the Hijra, the Prophet sent 'Ali to make an important declaration of immunity regarding such agreements at the annual pi!grimage at Mecca. This declaration is contained in the opening verses of the chapter entitled The Immunity:

By idolaters were meant the idolaters spoken of in the previous chapter, already referred to, "those with whom Thou makest an agreement then they break their agreement every time." This is made clear in the next few verses by making an exception in favour of those who had not violated their treaties:

And again:

The idolaters concerned met 'Ali with the retort: " O 'Ali ! Deliver this message to thy cousin (i.e. the Prophet) that we have thrown the agreements behind our backs, and there is no agreement between him and us except smiting with spears and striking with swords." The result of the Prophet's firm attitude was that such tribes surrendered, and a settled condition of peace prevailed throughout the peninsula.

This dedaration of immunity towards the violaters is sometimes misunderstood as meaning an abrogation of the conditions of war laid down at the beginning: "Fight with those who fight with you and do not exceed this limit." As a matter of fact, the condition laid down remained effective to the end. The Prophet's return from Tabuk without attacking either the Roman territory or the territory of any other tribe is a dear evidence of this. And even after the declaration of immunity, the Muslims were required to fight with those who attacked them first:

Deputations which had already started coming to the Prophet in the ninth year of the Flight to learn the truth about Islam now became more abundant. People came from different corners from all over Arabia and embraced Islam of their own free will. As soon as peace was established, Islam spread be leaps and bounds, and the tenth year of the Flight witnessed the conversion of the whole of Arabia to Islam, including some Christian tribes. It was not only a conversion in the sense that idolatry was given up for the purest monotheism from one end of the vast peninsula to the other; it was a reformation in all spheres of life. The whole course of life of an entire nation was changed - ignorance, superstition and barbarism giving place to the spread of knowledge and to a rational outlook in all aspects o life.

At the end of the tenth year of the Hijra, the Prophet set out to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca.- As the whole of Arabia was now Muslim, there was not a single idolater in the huge concourse of 124,000 pilgrims assembled at Mecca from all corners of the country. The very spot where the Prophet was only twenty years ago a rejected person, to whose word no one was willing to lend his ear, was now the scene of marvellous devotion to him. To whichever side he turned his eye, he saw hosts of devoted friends who recognized him both as their temporal as well as their spiritual head. An inspiring manifestation of Divine power to him as well as to those who had assembled there.

It was here on the ninth day of Dhul Hijja, the day of the assembling of the pilgrims at Mount 'Arafat, that he received a revelation from on High which sent a thrill of joy through the vast gathering:

Obviously the Prophet perceived that the message of the perfection of religion meant his approaching end. Here he delivered the following sermon - Islam's sermon on the Mount to the whole of Arabia through representatives of tribes coming from every quarter:

This is known as the Prophet's Farewell pilgrimage. A little while after his return to Medina, he fell ill. At first he went to the mosque to lead the prayers even during his illness, but later on he became too weak and appointed Abu Bakr to lead the prayers. After about twelve days' illness, on the 12th of Rabi' I on a Monday in the 11th year of the Flight, at the age of sixty-three, he commended his soul to his Maker, his last words being:

A Brief Sketch of the Life of the Prophet Muhammad (571-634 AD)
Authored by Muhammad Ali, Moslem Town, Lahore, India (1946)
Conclusion of Part 3 - The Adoption of Islam by the Arabian Lands
and the Prophet's Farewell Pilgrimage


BlueDot Part 4 of 5 BlueDot

A Brief Sketch of the Prophet's Life (571-634)

The Prophet Muhammad


Muhammad Ali
Lahore, India (1946)

[3] - The Adoption of Islam and
the Prophet's Farewell Pilgrimage

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Further Islamic Resources
Web Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia - Southern Spring of '96