Some notable examples of those who were spared include the former fierce enemies of Islam. Sufyan ibn Umayyah and Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl fought against them in previous battles. Hind bint Utbah was the wife of Abu Sufyan and was infamous for mutilating the body of Hamza ibn Abdul Muttalib after the Battle of Uhud. Such is the state to any person who accepts Islam, their previous sins were forgiven and they became valued members of the Muslim community, with Ikrimah dying as a martyr during the Battle of Yarmuk.

The attitude towards this conquest was symbolised through the sayings of the Prophet (SAW). When Sa’d ibn Ubadah, a leader of one of the Muslim battalions, overzealously proclaimed “Today is the Day of Slaughter. Today, the Ka’bah will be deemed lawful for killing!”, the Prophet (SAW) severely rebuked him. He (SAW) proclaimed instead that “On this day, Allah will honour the Ka’bah, and on this day the Ka’bah will be covered in cloth”, meaning the mercy and justice of Islam. The Prophet (SAW) would then give the banner of leadership to his son Qais ibn Sa’d. Again similar to the privilege he bestowed to Abu Sufyan, the Prophet (SAW) leadership skills were in display. By providing the banner of Islam to his son, Sa’d ibn Ubadah was punished for his statement but his honour was not disputed as his son represented him. All those years of torture and persecution was forgiven and some of the most dangerous enemies of Islam would on this day become Muslims on their own accords. On Friday 20th Ramadan 8 A.H, The Prophet (SAW) performed Tawaaf and would also enter the Ka’bah and rid the holy mosque from the idols inside, symbolically heralding a new age of prosperity in Makkah. Bilal Ibn Rabah, the former slave who had suffered the worse of treatments at the hands of the Quraysh, stood on top of the Ka’bah and recited the Athaan, cementing the message of Tawheed and expanding the Islamic domains for centuries to come.

This was not merely a conquest, but a liberation and the opening for something far greater. The example set by the greatest of examples in the Opening of Makkah set a precedent for just conquering of lands in the name of Islam throughout our history. When we analyse numerous battles and conquests in our history, such as the taking of Jerusalem under Umar ibn Khattab or the invasion of Spain under Tariq ibn Ziyad, we see the example of the Prophet (SAW) being implemented. Innocents are to be spared and the rules of war and conquest as dictated in the Quran and Sunnah established.

A stark comparison must be made to the liberation of Jerusalem in 1187 under Salah Uddin Ayyubi. When the city was retaken from the Crusaders, we must imagine what Salah Uddin and his army would have imagined when they entered the city. Nearly 88 years before, the Crusaders had ransacked the city killing all women and children. In one Crusader account in the Gesta Francorum it stated, “where there was such a massacre that our men were wading up to their ankles in enemy blood.” The soldiers of Salah Uddin would have surely heard those stories but Salah Uddin had instilled in them incredible resolve. What he and his soldiers were reminded of was the mercy of the Prophet (SAW) during the Opening of Makkah. In the same way the Prophet (SAW) had spared all innocents despite his persecution years before, Salah Uddin and his army preserved the Prophet (SAW)’s example and teachings when they allowed the citizens of Jerusalem safe passage.

The example of the Prophet (SAW) came in all aspects of life. From home life to conquering cities, Islam had guidelines and wisdom behind everything. The Opening of Makkah was the precedent for future leaders in Islamic history and would only immortalise the justice of Islam even in times of war. This was no doubt one of the most important events in the history of Islam.

By Niyaz Ahmed

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