48. Fat-h

Syed Abu-Ala' Maududi's Chapter Introductions to the Quran


It is derived from the words Inna fatah-na laka fat-han mubina of the very first verse. This is not only a name of the Sura but also its title in view of the subject matter for it deals with the great victory that Allah granted to the Holy Prophet and the Muslims in the form of the Truce of Hudaibiyah. Period of Revelation Traditions concur that it was sent down in Dhil-Qadah A. H. 6 at a time when the Holy Prophet was on his return journey to Madinah after concluding the Truce of Hudaibiyah with the disbelievers of Makkah.

Historical Background

The events in connection with which this Sura was sent down began life this: One day the Holy Prophet saw in a dream that he had gone to Makkah with his Companions and had performed the umrahthere. Obviously the Prophet's dream could not be a mere dream and fiction for it is a kind of Divine inspiration as Allah Himself has confirmed in verse 27 below and said that He Himself had shown that dream to His Messenger. Therefore it was not merely a dream but a Divine inspiration which the Holy Prophet had to obey and follow. Apparently there was no possible way of acting on this inspiration. The disbelieving Quraishhad debarred the Muslims from proceeding to the Ka'bahfor the past six years and no Muslim had been alliowed during that period to approach the Kabahfor the purpose of performing hajjand umrah. Therefore it could not be expected that they would allow the Holy Prophet to enter Makkah along with a party of his Companions. If they had proceeded to Makkah in the pilgrim garments with the intention of performing umrah along with their arms this would have provoked the enemy to war and if they had proceeded unarmed this would have meant endangering his own as well as his Cumpanions' lives. Under conditions such as these nobody could see and suggest how the Divine inspiration could be acted upon. But the Prophet's position was different. It demanded that he should carry out whatever Command his Lord gave fearlessly and without any apprehension and doubt. Therefore the Holy Prophet informed his Companions of his dream and began to make preparations for the journey. Among the tribes living in the suburbs also he had the public announcement made that he was proceeding for umrahand the people could join him. Those who could only see the apparent conditions thought that he and his Companions were going into the very jaws of death none of them therefore was inclined to accompany him in the expedition. But those who had true faith in Allah and His Messenger were least bothered about the consequences. For them this information was enough that it was a Divine inspiration and Allah's Prophet had made up his mind to carry it into effect. After this nothing could hinder them from accompanying the Messenger of Allah. Thus 1 400 of the Companions became ready to follow him on this highly dangerous journey. This blessed caravan set off from Madinah in the beginning of Dhil Qa'dah A. H. 6. At Dhul Hulaifah they entered the pilgrims robe with the intention of umrah took 70 camels with collars round their necks indicating that they were sacrificial animals; kept only a sword each in sheaths which the pilgrims to the Kabahwere allowed to carry according to the recognized custom of Arabia but no other weapon. Thus the caravan set out for the Ka'bah the House of Allah at Makkah chanting the prescribed slogan of Labbaik Allahuma labbaik. The nature of the relations between Makkah and Madinah in those days was known too well to every Arab. Just the previous year in Shawwal A. H. 5 the Quraishmustering the united strength of the Arab tribes had invaded Madinah and the well known Battle of the Trench had taken place. Therefore when the Holy Prophet along with such a large caravan set off for the home of his blood-thirsty enemy the whole of Arabia looked up with amazement and the people also noticed that the caravan was not going with the intention to fight but was proceeding to the House of Allah in a forbidden month in the pilgrims garb carrying sacrificial animals and was absolutely unarmed. The Quraishwere confounded at this bold step taken by the Holy Prophet. Dhil-Qa'dah was one of those foibidden months which had been held as sacred for pilgrimage in Arabia for centuries. Nobody had a right to interfere with a caravan which might be coming for hajjor umrahin the pilgrims garb in this month; so much so that even an enemy tribe could not hinder it from passing through its territory according to the recognized law of the lan

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