READ THE PASSAGE | The Conquest of Hearts

It was the 13th of the month of Ramadan and had fallen on a Friday. The army of Islam took off from Marr ad-Dhahran towards Mecca. Our Prophet absolutely did not want any blood to be shed. The only permission to fight was towards those who resisted them. And so, the great conquest had begun. Eight years ago, the Messenger of Allah had left Mecca with only two people, and today, together with those who joined them along the way, they were going to enter the city with twelve thousand. As he advanced along the road, riding his camel Qaswa, he was constantly praising and thanking Allah, reciting the surahs, or chapters from the Qur’an, al-Fath and an-Nasr, and was saying, “This is what Allah had promised me.”

The city of Mecca had submitted and encompassed into a great silence. They could not stand against the army of Islam with their already scattered army, anyway. There was only one thing that caused the non-believers to worry. All this time, they had committed all the possible evil towards Muhammad (SAW), the Trustworthy. They had even attempted to kill him. They wondered, now, what “ he would do to them.

From that point on, the Messenger of Allah had only one goal, and that was to reunite with the Ka’ba. Our beloved Prophet reached the Ka’ba. As soon as “he saw it, he greeted it from afar and then started to shout out cries of takbir, or exaltation. His Companions chanted in exaltation together with him. The polytheists had run to the tops of the surrounding mountains, and, with alarm, they listened to the shouts of praise which filled the earth and skies. After circling around the Ka’ba in worship, the Ka’ba was thoroughly cleansed of the idols and pictures, atop, inside and out.

Meanwhile, the time for the Noon Prayer had come. Upon the request of our Prophet, Bilal stood atop the Ka’ba and cried out the call for the Noon Prayer. This holy structure was finally freed of being the center for idolatry and had once again reached its true identity.

Meanwhile, the people were standing in the courtyard of the Ka’ba and were waiting to hear our Prophet’s decision about what was to become of them. Starting his words with words of praise to Allah, the Messenger of Allah said, “O people of Quraysh! How do you expect me to judge you on this day?”

“These people had harmed both our beloved Prophet and the believers in every possible way, and so deserved every kind of punishment. However, the Prophet of mercy and compassion was going to approach them in a most different way. He forgave all those people who had done nothing but evil and harm for all these years. After all, he had been sent for the salvation of all humankind. When met with such great compassion, the Meccan polytheists could not help but say, “You truly must be the Prophet of Allah. Such goodness and compassion can only be found in a Prophet of Allah. You are, after all, known among us for your benevolence and trustworthiness.”

After all the things that they heard and experienced on that day, their hearts truly softened and, group by group, they accepted the religion of Islam as their faith. Praising his Gracious Lord for this conquest of hearts, the Messenger of Allah provided lengthy information to the believers, who had been honored with the religion of Islam on that day, about their newly chosen religion. For days, afterwards, it was as though the Meccan Muslims were racing with each other in this conquest.

Now, our Prophet’s intention was to go back to Medina. However, news coming from the polytheist tribes surrounding Mecca was not very pleasant. After hearing of the conquest of Mecca, the Hawazin and Thaqif tribes had grown anxious about their own fates. They said, “Now, it will be our turn. We must confront them before they have a chance to confront us,” and tried to gather more and more people to support them. Paying heed to this news they confronted the affiliate army of polytheists and defeated them. This battle was called the Battle of Hunayn. Following the battle, some leaders of the tribes ran off to Ta’if and took refuge there. Their intention was to gather strength there and prepare to attack the Muslims once more. And, indeed, the people of Ta’if united and did so.

After hearing of the recent developments, the new target for the believers was Ta’if. First of all, the Messenger of Allah sent a vanguard troop to Ta’if, under the leadership of Khalid ibn Walid. Khalid made great effort to discuss and come to an agreement with the people of Ta’if, but when they openly challenged the Muslims in response, the Messenger of Allah also changed his direction towards Ta’if. Ta’if was a city full of bitter memories for our Prophet. Ten years ago, he had arrived in this city wanting to invite its people to Islam and the message from Allah and had left wounded and bleeding. Ta’if was still the same Ta’if. Despite all the years that had passed and all the beautiful things that had occurred in the name of faith, they still insisted on denying the truth. As they drew closer to Ta’if they offered to sit and discuss once more, but the people of Ta’if responded with arrows, stones and catapults. Then the siege began. More than twenty days passed without being able to come to any positive conclusion. The Messenger of Allah ordered for the siege to be lifted and the Islam army started to leave Ta’if. As they headed back, the Messenger of Allah turned towards the fortresses of Ta’if, opened his hands to the skies and prayed, “O my Gracious Lord! Guide the people of Thaqif to the truthful path, relieve them of their financial difficulties and enable them to join us in belief.”

Excerpt From: Rahime Kaya. Prophet Muhammad. (SAW)