Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Prophet Muhammad
After the Prophet emigrated to Medina, his enemies did not leave him in peace. Even in Medina, they posed a threat to him, and the Muslims were forced to fight back. Battle after battle ensued, none of which decisively turned the scales towards either the Muslims or their enemies. Finally, the Prophet made peace with his opponents, unilaterally accepting all the conditions they laid down. This peace treaty, signed at Hudaybiyyah in the year 6AH, opened the way to final victory for the Muslims. In Abu Bakr’s words: “There was no greater triumph in Islam than the triumph of Hudaybiyyah.” (Tarikh Dimashq by Ibn Asaakir, Vol. 73, p. 55)
But it was no easy task for the Muslims, accepting the terms of this treaty, for it was made entirely according to the dictates of the enemy. With the sole exception of Abu Bakr, all the Companions opposed it. In later life, Umar ibn Khattab recalled the episode in these words: “Were the Prophet to have given someone authority over me, and he were to sign the peace that the Prophet signed, and make the concessions that he made, then I would not listen and I would not obey. One of the concessions the Prophet made to them was that anyone who joined the Muslims from the idolators would be returned, while the idolators would not have to return anyone who joined them from the Muslim camp” (Aṭ-ṭabaqāt Al-kabīr by Ibn Sa'd, Vol. 2, H. 1733).
In the whole of human history, no group has achieved success on the scale of the early Muslims. But there was a price that had to be paid for this huge success. On the way to their success, the Muslims had to bear the unbearable, not insisting on the return of something of theirs, which went to their enemy, while at the same time agreeing to return to their enemy anything of his that was in the Muslims’ possession.