"Verily We have granted you a manifest Victory. That Allah may forgive you your faults of the past and those to follow, fulfil His Favour to you, and guide you on the Straight Path.
And that Allah may help you with powerful help. It is He who sent down Tranquillity into the hearts of the Believers, that they may add Faith to their Faith; for to Allah belong the Forces of the heavens and the earth, and Allah is full of Knowledge, full of Wisdom." [Quran 48:1-4]
The Truce of Hudaibiya was signed in early April 628 (late Dhul Qad, 6 Hijri). The signing of such a truce was not the intention of the Prophet as he set out for Makkah in the middle of March. His intention was to perform the pilgrimage-the off?season pilgrimage known as Umra-and he took with him 1,400 fully armed Muslims and a large number of sacrificial animals.
The Quraish, however, feared that the Muslims were coming to fight a battle and subdue the Quraish in their home town, for the initiative had now passed to the Muslims. Consequently, the Quraish moved out of Makkah and concentrated in a camp nearby, from where Khalid was sent forward with 300 horsemen on the road to Madinah to intercept the Muslim army. Khalid did not see how he could stop such a large force with only 300 men, but he decided to do whatever was possible to delay the advance of the Muslims. He arrived at Kura?ul?Ghameem, 15 miles from Usfan, and took up a blocking position in a pass through which the road crossed this hilly region.1
When the Muslims arrived at Usfan, their advance was preceded by a detachment of 20 horsemen who had been sent forward as a reconnaissance element. This detachment made contact with Khalid at Kura?ul?Ghameem, and informed the Prophet at Usfan of the position and strength of Khalid's force.
The Prophet decided that he would not waste time in fighting an action at this place. He was in any case anxious to avoid bloodshed, as his intention was the pilgrimage and not battle. He ordered his forward detachment to remain in contact with Khalid, and draw Khalid's attention to itself; and with Khalid so engaged, the Prophet moved his army from the right, travelling over little used tracks through difficult hilly country, which he crossed, not far from the coast through a pass known as Saniyat-ul-Marar.2 The march proved a strenuous one, but it was successfully accomplished and Khalid's position bypassed. It was not till the outflanking movement was well under way that Khalid saw in the distance the dust of the Muslim column, and realising what had happened, hastily withdrew to Makkah. The Muslims continued the march until they had got to Hudaibiya, 13 miles west of Makkah, and pitched camp.
At Hudaibiya battle seemed imminent for some time in spite of the Prophet's wish to avoid bloodshed. Some skirmishes took place, but there were no casualties. After a few days, however, the Quraish realised that the Muslims had indeed come for pilgrimage and not for war. Thereafter envoys travelled back and forth between the two armies, and finally a truce was agreed upon, which became known as the Truce of Hudaibiya. It was signed on behalf of the Muslims by the Prophet and on behalf of the Quraish by Suhail bin Amr. Its terms were as follows:
a. For 10 years there would be no war, no raids, no military action of any sort between the Muslims and the Quraish.
b. The following year the Muslims would be permitted to perform the pilgrimage. They would be allowed three days in Makkah.
c. Any member of the Quraish who deserted to the Muslims would be returned; any Muslim who deserted to the Quraish would not be returned.
1. This Kura-ul-Ghameem is not the Kura marked on today's maps. The latter lies by an inlet of the Red Sea, while the former was in a hilly region with the hills extending westwards from it to the sea. It was southeast of Usfan.
2. This pass was also called Zat-ul-Hanzal (Abu Yusuf: p. 209).