Lessons from the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah

All Praises are to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I bear witness that there is no god but Him and that Muhammad(pbuh) is His messenger.

The prophet is the mercy to mankind and his steps are those perfected by Allah that whosoever follow, shall find the mercy of Allah. This makes it so important that we derive our day to day actions from lessons learnt from the life time of the prophet(pbuh).

The treaty would be best understood after taking a leap into events that precede it. The prophet was sent by Allah to deliver some message to mankind. He set out for this but not without some difficulties as the leaders of Makkah (Quraysh) at the time wouldn’t let him be. His people were tormented and there was a need to move elsewhere. The movement is called Hijrah and was to madinnah. After six years in madinnah, the prophet had a dream that He and his companions made the lesser hajj(umrah) to makkah. The Umrah would mean a great accomplishment as it would complete their dean(religion).

The prophet set out with his followers of about one thousand four hundred. They pitched their tent at a place called Hudaybiyyah. At this time, the prophet knew the Quraysh had a plan of not allowing him and his followers entry into Makkah and so, he sent Uthman bn Affan to the Quraysh to tell them his aim of visiting Makkah was for Umrah and not to fight. Uthman did as told and the Quraysh refused to grant the request of allowing the prophet and all his followers. They however told Uthman he could perform his own hajj. An entourage was sent by the Quraysh to the prophet to persuade him to go back to madinnah but he refused. A man, Suhayl bn Amr was later sent and he came for truce, what we call the treaty of Hudaybiyyah. A treaty is an agreement between two states or sovereigns.

The Treaty

The Muslims shall return this time and come back next year, but they shall not stay in Makkah for more than three days.

They shall not come back armed but can bring with them swords only sheathed in scabbards and these shall be kept in bags.

War activities shall be suspended for ten years, during which both parties will live in full security and neither will raise sword against the other.

If anyone from the Quraysh goes to  Muhammad(pbuh) without his guardian’s permission, He should be returned but if anyone goes from Muhammad(pbuh) to the Quraysh, he shall not be sent back.

Whosoever wishes to join Muhammad (pbuh) or enter into treaty with him, should have the liberty to do so; and likewise whosoever wishes to join Quraysh, or enter into treaty with them, should be allowed to do so.

After the treaty was signed, the prophet and his people went back to madinnah.

You might start to think that this was a defeat against the prophet(pbuh) but Allah revealed the following after the treaty.

Surely We have given you a clear victory, that Allah may forgive you your former and later sins, and complete His blessing on you and guide you on a straight path and that Allah may help you with a mighty help. (48: 1-3)

              Lessons from the treaty

  • He (pbuh) sent a scout to check out on the Quraysh before he got close to makkah. This is to tell us that we are never to be caught by our enemies unaware. This is seen in diplomatic circles as spies are sent to other nations to detect threat to one’s nation.
  • When He and his people got to Hudaybiyyah, they were thirsty and the little available water was from a well. The prophet put his sword into the well and water gushed forth, enough to satisfy his people. This tells us the prophet performed miracles by the power of Allah.
  • When the prophet sent Uthman to the Quraysh, he asked Uthman to further propagate Islam. Every position we find ourselves should be used in spreading the message of Islam.
  • When Uthman was in Makkah, he was asked by the Quraysh to perform his own tawaf but he declined saying he would only after the prophet did. This is a characteristic of a good follower, one  to emulate.
  • Uthman did not come back early enough from the Quraysh and there was the general fears that he was killed. The people with the prophet pledged their allegiance to him and promised to fight the Quraysh if Uthman was killed. Allah so much loved this that he sent a revelation as follows.

        ‘Allah was pleased with the believers when they were pledging their                      allegiance under the tree.'(48: 181 )

  • When the Quraysh saw the pledge under the tree, they feared. This shows how our Unity can be enough stronghold against our enemies.
  • Before an agreement was reached, the Quraysh sent a delegation to the prophet in order to ask him to go back to Makkah but he disagreed after which a man, Mikraz bn Hafs was sent. On sighting the man, the prophet remarked, ’that is a treacherous man’ but when Suhayl bin Amr was sent, the prophet said ‘it is clear that they want peace since they have sent this man’.-let our actions be good enough to always speak for us in our absence.
  • The agreement was written by Alli- this is an attestation to the prophet being unlettered.
  • The writing began with the name of Allah and then an introduction that reads- ‘This is what Muhammad, the prophet of Allah has agreed to‘. The Quraysh didn’t want it written that way and the prophet asked that it be changed to Muhammad, the son of Abdullah. Islam doesn’t allow us to be rigid. When there are options to a task, we can always go for them.
  • Alli did not agree to the change but the prophet asked Alli to show him where and erased it himself. That is leadership by example.
  • After the agreement, the prophet was distressed and so were his people- they loved him so much that his discomfort was their discomfort. Our love for Allah and the prophet should be the greatest.
  • The prophet was faced with the task of telling his people to go back to makkah after the treaty was signed, but they were too distressed to agree. He sought the advice of his wife, Umm Salamah. The Prophet never took women as second class citizens. They had the best of treatment under the Islamic rule and their voices were heard.

The Aftermath

…But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows and you know not.(2:216)

The treaty which would have been myopically seen as a defeat ended up being victory for the Muslims. The treaty allowed a mix between Muslims and non Muslims and led to the conversion of many of the Pagans to Islam as they were thrilled by the good qualities of the Muslims. The prophet performed hajj with ten thousand Muslims the following year. Islam was largely spread by good character and not by sword as misconstrued.

The treaty gave the Muslims a political recognition in the Arabian peninsula. After all, a treaty is only signed between sovereigns. It also released the stronghold the Quraysh had on Arabia as the religious leaders of the region. That broke their power and their defeat was imminent.


Any mistake in this write-up is mine and I stand corrected on them. May Allah forgive our sins, accept this as Iba’dah and help us all to be able to practice all that we have learnt from it(Amin).


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ibrosaunks
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 16:53:09

    did you mean “persuade him to go back to medinah”?



  2. Tijani
    Dec 30, 2011 @ 11:46:26

    Brilliant Piece-U know what?I will name my Daughter Ammeerrahh when I have one (Insha Allah) to honour Allah and ur intelligence.Cheers



  3. Trackback: Ali bin Abi Talib RA « Towards enlightenment
  4. Alawode
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 09:16:06




  5. sarahimr2015
    Sep 20, 2015 @ 13:23:31

    i found a really good video on “The Hudaibiyah Treaty, and its consequences” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoCR3i9-E7A
    please watch this authentic narration!



  6. Abdullah
    Feb 21, 2017 @ 21:10:47

    what is the significance of the treaty plx tell coz i m on a school work



  7. Anonymous
    Jun 18, 2017 @ 20:36:08




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