Campaigns of Hunayn and al Ta'if

After its conquest, the Muslims remained in Makkah for two weeks during which they showed their joy over the victory which God had granted to them. They gave thanks that such a great victory had been achieved with such little bloodshed. They hurried to the sanctuary every time Bilal delivered the adhan calling them to prayer. They strove to be near the Prophet where he went. The Muhajirun visited their old houses and their relatives and friends whom God had guided to the truth after the conquest. Everybody was satisfied that Islam was now firmly established and that the greater part of the holy war had been victorious. Fifteen days of their stay in Makkah had hardly passed when news broke out which shook the Muslims out of their joy and feeling of security. They learned that Hawazin, the tribe living a few miles to the southeast of Makkah, had mobilized its forces and was marching against the Muslims in Makkah. This tribe had learned of the conquest of Makkah by the Muslims and of the subsequent destruction of the idols of the Ka'bah. Apparently, their men feared that the time would soon come for the Muslims to fight them on their own ground. Anxious to prevent such a tragedy, they thought this hour of Muslim intoxication with victory the right time to mobilize their forces for an attack. Their purpose, however, was the larger one of wrecking the Muslims' general plan of uniting all the tribes of the Peninsula under the banner of Islam.

 

Malik ibn `Awf's March against the Muslims

It was toward this end that Malik ibn `Awf al Nadri succeeded in uniting the Hawazin and Thaqif tribes and rallying the tribes of Nasr and Jusham in one front opposing the Islamic movement as a whole. Only the Ka'b and Kilab clans of Hawazin refused to join the new alliance. Durayd ibn al Simmah, of the Jusham tribe, was a very old man,. too old to fight, but he was extremely wise and had the advantage of an extensive military experience and career. The anti-Islamic alliance had mobilized all its members, men, women, and children, and carried to battle all the treasures it possessed. It completed its mobilization in the valley of Awtas. When Durayd, who was blind, heard the braying of donkeys and lowing of cattle mixed in with the crying of children and the bellowing of goats, he asked Malik ibn `Awf why he had brought women, children, and treasures to the front. Malik answered that he meant thereby to encourage the fighting men and to incite them to greater self-exertion in war. Durayd answered: "But what do we do in case of defeat? Does the vanquished ever keep anything he brings to the battlefield? If we are to be victorious, surely such victory will be brought about not by the women or children but by the fighting men and their swords, arrows, and javelins. But if we should lose the war, then we would be shamed and scandalized by the capture of our families and treasures." Malik disagreed with Durayd, and the people followed the former. Malik was a youth of thirty years, a man of strong will and firm resolution. Durayd, anxious to safeguard the newly forged unity, decided, against his better judgment, to go along with the majority. Malik commanded his people to stand by on the tops of the Sulaym hills at the entrance to the valley and, at the proper signal, to fall upon the Muslims like one man and break their ranks as they passed in file through the canyon. Such a plot would reduce the Muslim ranks to a rabble, and the Muslims would not be able to distinguish their own soldiers from the enemy. They would be vanquished; and with their defeat, their victory over Makkah would be cancelled and to the tribes of Hawazin and Hunayn would belong the honor of destroying a power which came close to engulfing the whole Peninsula. The tribes obeyed the orders of Malik and dug themselves in on the sides of the canyon.

 

The Muslims March to Hunayn

As for the Muslims, they went forth under the leadership of Muhammad with such power and such numbers that they themselves had never seen before. There were twelve thousand of them, ten thousand of which were those who conquered Makkah and two thousand who were newcomers from Quraysh including Abu Sufyan. Their war equipment was excellent and their armies were preceded by their cavalry and camel corps carrying their provisions and ammunition. Theirs was an army the like of which the Arabian Peninsula had never seen before. It consisted of many tribes, and each tribe had its own banner which it carried high above its ranks. It was a sight convincing any spectator of Muslim invincibility. Indeed, many Muslims told one another: "To say the least, our numerical strength has today made us invincible." They arrived at Hunayn in the evening and camped at the entrance of the valley until dawn. At dawn the following day the army began to move, and Muhammad, riding his white mule, was in the rear while Khalid ibn al Walid, commanding a group of soldiers from Banu Sulaym, was in the vanguard.

 

Muslim Defeat

As the Muslims passed through the canyon of Hunayn, Malik ibn `Awf ordered his army to attack in the darkness before dawn, first with arrows and then with a general charge. The Muslims' ranks broke up and were stricken with panic. Some of them ran out of the canyon as fast as they could in search of safety. Witnessing what had befallen the Muslims, Abu Sufyan felt no little pleasure at the defeat of his previous enemies who until now had been celebrating their victory over Makkah. He said, "The Muslims will not be defeated until they are thrown into the sea." Shaybah ibn `Uthman ibn Abu Talhah, whose father was killed at Uhud, said, "Today is my day of vengeance from Muhammad." Likewise, Kaladah ibn Hanbal said, "today, the fate of the Muslims is cast," only to be answered by his brother Safwan "Silence! Cursed be your tongue. By God, to be lorded over by a man from Quraysh is better than by a man of Hawazin." These remarks were exchanged while Muslim ranks were falling apart, and soldiers, fleeing in face of the enemy, were bypassing the Prophet in the rear unaware of his presence.

 

Muhammad's Resoluteness and Bravery

What would Muhammad do? Would he allow the sacrifices of twenty years to be lost in this moment of predawn darkness? Could he think that God had abandoned him in this hour? Such could never be! Better death and annihilation. Better that Muhammad die in the thick of battle! At any rate, when one's hour has struck, to what purpose is delaying or advancing it a little? Muhammad therefore held his ground and was surrounded by a number of Muhajirun, Ansar, and immediate relatives. As his men passed by, he called out to them and sought to rally them back to the ranks. But they neither heard nor wanted to hear. The sudden onslaught of Hawazin and Thaqif robbed them of their senses. This terrible picture the Muslims had of the enemy was not exaggerated. From the sides of the canyon the tribesmen of Hawazin poured down in overwhelming numbers. Their leader rode a red camel and held a black banner attached to a long spear which he plunged into the chest of every Muslim that came anywhere near him. Hawazin and Thaqif tribesmen, as well as their allies, fought in the same way. It was a sea of drawn spears. At one moment, Muhammad almost plunged with his mule into enemy lines to stop their torrent of blows. Abu Sufyan ibn al Harith ibn `Abd al Muttalib hold back the reins of the mule and prevented it from carrying the Prophet forward.

 

Al `Abbas's Call for Regrouping

Al `Abbas ibn `Abd al Muttalib was a man of large stature who had a very resonant voice. He called loudly enough to reach all the Muslims: "O Ansar Company! O Men who opened their homes and helped Muhammad! O Muhajirun Company! O Men who pledged their allegiance under the tree! Muhammad is still alive. Charge forward with him." Al `Abbas repeated his call until the whole valley reverberated with its echo. Then, the miracle happened. The covenanters of al `Aqabah and the Muhajirun heard. They remembered Muhammad and their oaths of allegiance to him as well as their sacrifices in the cause of Islam. The other Muslims also heard and realized that Muhammad was still there, alive, holding his ground, and fighting the enemy just as he had held his ground and fought the enemy at the Battle of Uhud. Suddenly, they were gripped by a consciousness of shame at their conduct and of apprehension at what might befall their Prophet and God's religion in case the associationists carried the day. Al `Abbas's call continued to reverberate through the valley; the Muslims' hearts were immediately touched and their wills kindled. There and then, from every corner and quarter came the resounding cry, "At Your command, O God, at Your command!" The Muslims returned to battle and fought with utmost resolution and gallantry.

 

Muslim Counterattack and Victory

Muhammad was reassured as he saw them return to the battlefront. In the meantime, the whole Hawazin camp had come out of their trenches in the hills and confronted the Muslims face to face in the valley. At that time, too, the darkness was dissipated by sunrise. Around the Prophet a few hundred soldiers stood and repelled the attacks of the Hawazin. Their ranks began to swell as the fleeing Muslims returned. The Ansar began to call to one another, "Rally forth to battle." They quickly reorganized themselves according to tribes and clans while Muhammad watched the progress of the battle. As the Muslim soldiers refilled their ranks and began to march shoulder to shoulder together, the Prophet proclaimed: "Now the battle has begun. God will not fail the Prophet and will fulfill the promise He gave him." Then, turning to al `Abbas and asking for a handful of pebbles, the Prophet threw the pebbles in the face of the enemy with the war cry, "Woe to the enemies of God!" With this, the Muslims charged, throwing themselves upon their enemies. They were convinced that theirs would be the victory and the fate of the martyr would even be greater than that of the surviving victor. The battle raged and men fell on all sides. Soon Hawazin, Thaqif, and their allies realized that their efforts were vain and that they faced annihilation. They turned around and started to flee, leaving behind them their women, children, and all their properties: 22,000 camels, 40,000 goats, and 4,000 ounces of silver. The captives which numbered 6,000, were transported under Muslim protection to the valley of al Ji'ranah where they were held until the Muslims returned from their pursuit of the enemy and from their blockade of Thaqif tribe in the city of al Ta‘if.

 

The Muslims' Pursuit of Their Enemies

The Muslims gave their enemy close pursuit, and they were further encouraged by the Prophet's proclamation that whoever killed an associationist would receive his victim's booty. Ibn al Dughunnah overtook a camel carrying an open palanquin which he thought might be carrying a woman whom he could take captive. He brought the camel to its knees, looked into the palanquin and discovered an old man unknown to him. The old man asked his pursuer what he wanted. Ibn al Dughunnah answered, "I wish to kill you," and hit him with his sword. The blow was so light that the old man was not even cut. Aware of the shame that had befallen him and his people, the old man had no desire to live; he addressed his attacker in these words of disdain and pride: "Woe to your mother who taught you how to bear arms! Take my sword from my saddle and strike with it. Hit neither the chest nor the head but apply all your strength to one blow against the neck. In this way I used to kill my own enemies in days gone by. And if your miserable mother should ask you whom you killed in this fashion, tell her that you have killed Durayd ibn al Simmah. By God, it was a wretched day on which I extended my protection to your women and saved them by my arm." When Rabi'ah ibn al Dughannah returned and told the story to his mother, she cried in agonies of conscience and said to her son: "To fire with both your arms! What crime have they perpetrated! Durayd sought to remind posterity of our obligation to him. By God, it was he who granted freedom to three of your own mothers in one day;. myself, my mother, and the mother of your father." The Muslims followed Hawazin all the way to the plain of Awtas where they inflicted upon them the most terrible defeat, capturing all their women and property. Only then did they return to Muhammad. Malik ibn `Awf al Nadri gave the Muslims some resistance but then ran away with his people and some Hawazin tribesmen to Nakhlah. From there he escaped to al Ta'if where he took refuge.

Thus, Muslim victory was complete. The unbelievers were vanquished after they had almost defeated the Muslim army. The advantage they had secured by their surprise attack in pre-dawn darkness was shattered when the Prophet called his men back to their ground. The steadfastness of Muhammad and of the small number of believers that surrounded him turned the tide and proved the Muslims invincible. In this regard, the following verses were revealed

"God has given you victory on many occasions as well as on the Day of Hunayn. The numerical superiority of which you were so proud did not avail you. The tide overwhelmed you and you ran away in face of the enemy. But God brought down His peace upon the Prophet and believers. He sent forth soldiers whom you could not see to fight on the Prophet's side, and inflicted upon the unbelievers the great punishment they deserved. However, God accepts the repentance of whomsoever He pleases. He is merciful and forgiving. O Men who believe, the unbelievers are impure. They shall hence not enter the holy Mosque. In case you fear a reduction of your incomes as a result of this proscription, remember that God gives you of His bounty. For God is all wise and all knowing." [Qur'an, 9:25-28]

 

The Price of Victory

Victory was not cheaply achieved. The Muslims paid a very high price. True, they could have done it at much lesser loss had they not fallen back at the beginning and occasioned Abu Sufyan's derisive remark that they would be thrown into the sea. Although the source books of biography have not listed all the casualties of the battle, they did mention that two tribes of Muslims were almost totally annihilated, and that the Prophet held a funerary prayer for them in which he asked God to let them enter Paradise. Partially offsetting this tremendous cost in human lives was the unquestioned supremacy the victory brought to the Muslims. Moreover, victory brought more captives and booty than the Muslims had ever seen before. As long as the war itself is an honorable one, victory, its final objective, must be achieved regardless of prices. That is why the Muslims did not mind the initial loss, celebrated the victory, and awaited the distribution of the booty.

Muhammad, however, had other plans. Seeking to make the victory still more spectacular, he commanded the Muslims to march immediately. Malik ibn `Awf, leader of the enemy alliance, had taken refuge in the city of al Ta'if with the tribe of Thaqif, his allies against Muhammad. Full justification was therefore provided for the next Muslim move. Observing the same strategy employed at Khaybar following the Battle of Uhud, and at Qurayzah following the campaign of al Khandaq, the Prophet ordered the army to march against al Ta‘if. Perhaps Muhammad remembered on that day how, many years before the Hijrah, he came to al Ta'if calling its people to Islam ; how he was met with derision, driven away and pelted with stones; and how he sought shelter from its street children inside the closed vineyard. Perhaps he remembered how at that time he was alone, weak, and devoid of all support except God's; and how he had nothing but the great mountain moving faith which filled his soul. Today, Muhammad found himself going again to the same city but at the head of a Muslim army the like of which Arabia had never seen before.

 

The Siege of al Ta'if

The city of al Ta'if, capital of the Thaqif tribe and refuge of Malik ibn 'Awf, loomed before Muhammad and his companions as the next objective. It was a fortified city and, like most Arab towns in that period, had gates which shut out the undesirable intruder. Its people had wide military experience, especially in the art of siege. Their great wealth had enabled them to make their fortifications the strongest in the world. As the Muslims approached al Ta'if, they passed by Liyyah where stood a fortress of Malik ibn `Awf. The fortress as well as a nearby building belonging to a tribesman from Thaqif were destroyed. The army was commanded to put up camp in the vicinity, and the Prophet called his companions together to map out a strategy. Ta'if, on the other hand, learning of their approach, observed . Muslim movements from the top of its fortresses and towers, and showered the Muslims with volleys of deadly arrows. It was not possible for the Muslims to storm these strong fortresses with their old weapons. New means of waging war, destructive and innovative weapons were needed. It was suggested that perhaps they could starve Ta'if into surrender by simply maintaining the siege. Those who favored a frontal attack could not find the necessary means with which to launch it. One immediate decision had to be taken at once, namely, to move the Muslims' camp and forces beyond the reach of al Ta'if's arrows. Once this danger was removed, the Muslims thought they could afford the leisure requisite for a sound decision as to strategy. At the Prophet's command, the Muslims erected their tents at a distance from the fortresses. There they built a mosque which was handed over to the city after its surrender and conversion to Islam. This preliminary measure was unavoidable considering that the arrows of Ta'if had accounted for the deaths of 18 Muslims and the wounding of a great number, including one of the sons of Abu Bakr. In the same locality two red tents were erected for the Prophet's wives, Umm Salmah and Zaynab, who had accompanied him throughout this expedition. It was near his tents that Muhammad used to call men to prayer, and, perhaps, it was precisely in that spot that the mosque of Ta'if was subsequently built.

 

Bombardment of al Ta'if by Catapult

The Muslims encamped and waited for new orders. Some tribesmen spoke to the Prophet in favor of a prolonged siege, claiming that nothing the Muslims had would help them scale Ta'if's fortifications. Time alone, they argued, would eventually force Ta'if's people out of their safe foxholes. Muhammad, however, found it difficult to return without having achieved a victory over Ta'if. Banu Daws, one of the tribes living to the south of Makkah, were fully acquainted with the use of the catapult and had experience in tank-led assaults upon high fortifications. A1Tufayl, one of its leaders, who had accompanied Muhammad ever since the conquest of Khaybar, stood at the Prophet's side always on the ready to fulfill his wishes. At Muhammad's command, al Tufayl speeded to his tribe with a request for their assistance, and they responded by bringing with them their tools of war. Reaching al Ta'if four days after the Muslim siege began, they put their catapult to immediate use. They also brought their tanks into the battlefield, and sent a number of their men under their cover to the fortified walls. The soldiers of Ta‘if, however, were clever enough to force the men of Banu Daws to flee. Having heated pieces of iron to red hot temperatures, they threw these missiles onto the tanks and put them to flame. The Muslim soldiers which the tanks were covering had to flee or be burnt alive. As they emerged from under their tanks, they were shot at with arrows and a number of them were killed. Having failed at this new effort, the Muslims became convinced that there was no way to storm the fortresses of Ta'if.

 

Destruction of al Ta'if's Orchards

What was left for them to do? Muhammad pondered this question for a long while. Suddenly, the thought occurred to him that he had achieved victory over Banu al Nadir and forced their evacuation simply by destroying their orchards. The vineyards of Ta'if were far more important than the orchards of Banu al Nadir and were known throughout Arabia for their produce. It was due to them that the city of al Ta'if acquired the reputation of being a little paradise in the desert. Without further ado, Muhammad gave the order, and the Muslims began systematically to cut down and burn the orchards. Upon discovering this destruction and realizing that Muhammad really meant to spare none of their vineyards, the Ta'if tribesmen sent to him pleading that they would rather give away their vineyards to Muhammad, or to those citizens of al Ta’if-and there were large numbers of them who were bound to Muhammad in blood relationships. Muhammad stopped his men temporarily and called out to the besieged city that he would set free any man who surrendered to him. Twenty people responded to his appeal. From them he learned that enough ammunition and provisions were available that the city could withstand the siege for a very long time. Considering that his own men were anxious to return home and enjoy the fruits of their victory over Hawazin-indeed, that their patience would be at an end if the siege were prolonged-Muhammad ordered the Muslims to withdraw. With the arrival of the new moon (the month of Dhu al Qi'dah) the siege had become one month old, and the holy season during which no war was permitted had begun. Muhammad returned to Makkah with his army, visiting the holy places and performing the lesser pilgrimage or `umrah. He announced that he would resume the war against al Ta’if at the expiration of the holy months.

 

Hawazin Captives liberated and Returned to Their Tribe

In their withdrawal to Makkah, the Muslims turned in the direction of al Ji'ranah where they had left their booty and captives. There, they stopped long enough to divide their spoils. The Prophet separated one fifth for himself and distributed the rest among his companions. Before they finished, a delegation from the Hawazin tribe who had already accepted Islam appealed to Muhammad to return to them the women, children, and property that the Muslim army had seized. They complained that they were anxious to see their families and that they had suffered enough from this war. Muhammad met this delegation in person and listened attentively as one of them said: "O Prophet of God; the captives in the wards of your army are themselves your relatives. Among them are your aunts on your father or mother's side and your nurse-mothers who held you in their arms as a baby. Had our women played similar roles to al Harith ibn Abu Shimr, or to al Nu'man ibn al Mundhir, and had any of these kings inflicted upon us what you have inflicted, he would have granted every request of ours if we but asked for his mercy and compassion and reminded him of his obligation. You, on the other hand, are the most merciful and compassionate and the least needful of being reminded of your obligations." The Hawazin delegation did not err in reminding Muhammad of his blood relationship to them. Among the captives, an older looking woman whom the soldiers had treated roughly shouted in their faces: "Woe to you! Learn that I am the sister of your leader by virtue of having had the same wet nurse as he." The soldiers did not believe her and brought her to Muhammad to verify her story. The Prophet immediately recognized her. She was al Shayma', daughter of al Harith ibn `Abd al `Uzza. Muhammad went out to meet her and spread out his mantle for her to sit on. After reassuring her of his devotion and respect, Muhammad asked the old lady whether she chose to stay in his camp or to return to her people. When she chose to return, Muhammad gave her some gifts and returned her to her people unharmed. It was natural for Muhammad, considering his relationship to the Hawazin Muslims who came pleading for mercy, that he granted their request. Such loyalty, remembrance, and considerateness to anyone who had shown him any respect or consideration, were second nature with Muhammad. Gratitude was with him a matter of course, and compassion for the wounded-at-heart was innate. After hearing their plea, Muhammad asked: "Which are more precious to you, your women and children or your property? They answered, "O Prophet of God, if you are giving us a choice between our relatives and our property, we take the former." Muhammad said: "All that I have set aside for me and for Banu `Abd al Muttalib is yours. After the noon prayer, rise in the midst of the worshippers and plead: `We appeal to all the Muslims in the name of the Prophet of God, and to the Prophet of God in the name of all the Muslims for the return of our women and children.' I shall then publicly declare that I relinquish my share as well as my tribe's share." The delegation followed the advice of the Prophet and pleaded as he taught them. No sooner than they did, the Prophet declared his plan as he had promised them. Thereupon, the Muhajirun rose and said: "Anything that is ours belongs automatically to the Prophet of God and is hereby relinquished." Al Ansar and all the Muslims did likewise except al Aqra` ibn Habis, speaking for Tamim; `Uyaynah ibn Hisn, speaking for himself; and al `Abbas ibn Mirdas, speaking for Banu Sulaym. The last named was immediately contradicted by his people. The Prophet said

"Anyone among you who has declined to give up his right in this instance has my word that if he does, I will make it up to him six-fold on the next campaign." Thus, all the captives of Hawazin were returned and the tribe converted to Islam en masse.

 

The People's Fear of Losing Their Booty

Muhammad inquired from the Hawazin delegation concerning Malik ibn `Awf al Nadri and learned that he was still in al Ta’if. The Prophet asked the delegation to inform Malik that should he surrender and convert to Islam, Muhammad would return to him his family and property as well as make a gift to him of 100 camels. Upon hearing of this promise and invitation of the Prophet, Malik did not hesitate to steal out of al Ta'if on his mare under cover of night. Upon arrival at the Prophet's camp, he proclaimed his conversion to Islam, picked up his family, his property, and the prize of 100 camels and then went home. Indeed, the people even feared that should Muhammad continue such giveaways to the defectors from the other camp, soon there would be little left of the booty. They therefore insisted that each Muslim should receive his share, and they whispered one to another to this effect. As this whispering reached the ears of Muhammad, he pulled out a hair of the camel nearest him, lifted it up for his people to see and said: "O Men! By God, no part of your booty shall come to me that exceeds my legitimate share by as much as this hair, and this very share of mine I hereby return to you." The Prophet then asked everyone to return what he had taken that Muhammad might redistribute it to each according to his due. The Prophet proclaimed that anyone un-justly taking anything however little, would be guilty of eternal shame and hellfire.

Muhammad made this proclamation while enraged against those of his followers who had picked up his mantle thinking that it was part of the spoils of war. However, they returned it to him after he called out to them: "Return my mantle to me, O Men. By God, even if your cattle were as numerous as the trees of Tihamah, I would still divide it all among you in absolute fairness and justice, without avarice, fear, or deception. That which I have given away belongs to the fifth which is my due." It was out of the fifth which was due him that Muhammad distributed some spoils to those who were previously Islam's strongest and most hostile enemies. He gave, for instance, 100 camels each to Abu Sufyan, to his son Mu'awiyah, to al Harith ibn al Harith ibn Kaladah, to al Harith ibn Hisham, to Suhayl ibn `Amr, and to Huwaytib ibn `Abd al `Uzza as well as to each of the nobles and chieftains of the tribes which he had won over after the conquest of Makkah. He gave 50 camels each to the lesser notables of the same tribes. Those who were so rewarded counted a few score, but the effect of this giving was far reaching. The Prophet of God was praised as the exemplar of hospitality and mercy by the very people who until recently indeed, until the day beforehand been fighting him with all their power. Now, they joined in an eloquent chorus of praise and gratitude. There was no request which Muhammad did not manage to fulfill for them. When `Abbas ibn Mirdas complained that Muhammad had given more favorable treatment to `Uyaynah, to al Aqra`, and others than to him, the Prophet sent his companions to give him more until he was perfectly satisfied.

 

Al Ansar and the Reconciliatory Gratuities

The reconciliation of the enemies of yesterday which the Prophet had just effected caused al Ansar to murmur that the Prophet had done what he did because the people involved were his own tribesmen and people. Sa'd ibn `Ubadah reported this murmur to the Prophet but sided with them and justified their complaint. The Prophet commanded him to bring his people together. When they were assembled, the Prophet said "O Ansar ! It has been reported to me that you were personally angry, that you do not approve of my distribution of the booty. Do tell me, when I came to you, did I not find you languishing in misguidance and error and did not God guide you to the truth through me? Did I not find you in a state of need and did not God make you affluent? Did I not find you enemies of one another and did not God reconcile your hearts?" Confused, al Ansar answered: "Indeed! God and his Prophet have been very generous and very loving;" and they fell into silence. Muhammad continued: "Will you not then say more than this, O Ansar? By God, had you replied, `Rather, it was you Muhammad, who were under our obligation. Did you not come to us belied by your fellow men and did we not believe in you? Did you not come to us vanquished and defeated and did we not come to your rescue? Did you not come to us banished and repulsed and did we not give you shelter? Did you not come to us in want and need and did we not give you of our bounty?' Had you replied to me in this vein you would have said nothing but the truth and I would have had to agree. O Ansar, are you angry because I have given away some goods to those whom I sought to win to Islam? Because I deemed their faith confirmable by material goods whereas I deemed yours to be based on solid conviction, to be candid beyond all dissuasion? Are you not satisfied, O Ansar, that all the people return from this conquest loaded with goods and camels whereas you return with the Prophet of God? By Him who dominates Muhammad's soul, except for the fact of my birth, there is no people to whom I love to belong beside al Ansar. If all mankind went one way, and al Ansar went another, I would certainly choose the way of al Ansar. O God, bless al Ansar, their children, and their grandchildren. Show Your mercy to them and keep them under Your protection." The Prophet said these words out of great affection for all the men of al Ansar who had pledged their loyalty and allegiance to him, who had helped him, who had reinforced his ranks and found their strength in him. Indeed, he was so moved by his feelings for them that he cried. The Ansar cried with him and declared their contentment.

Thus the Prophet showed that he was above the temptation of wealth. Although the booty of the Hunayn War surpassed anything he had ever seen, he showed that he had no wish for it. Rather he made of it a means for reconciling the hearts of those who had been associationists. He hoped that they might find in the new faith some happiness in this world besides the happiness of the hereafter. If in distributing this wealth Muhammad encountered such difficulties that the Muslims almost accused him of injustice, and if by giving liberally to those whose hearts he sought to soften he had infuriated al Ansar, he also proved his justice, farsightedness and such deep wisdom in administering the affairs of his people that he was able to cause the thousands to return home happy, contented and prepared to lay down their lives in the cause of God. The Prophet left al Ji'ranah to visit the holy places in Makkah. After performing the `umrah, or lesser pilgrimage, he appointed `Attab ibn Usayd governor of Makkah, and Mu'adh ibn Jabal to teach the religion and the Qur'an. Together with al Ansar and al Muhajirun, Muhammad returned to Madinah to await the birth of his son Ibrahim and to enjoy a moment of peace and security before undertaking the next expedition to Tabuk on the frontiers of al Sham.