"When comes the Help of Allah and Victory..." [Quran 110:1]
As stated earlier, two of the tribes of Makkah had entered the Truce of Hudaibiya, the Khuza'a on the side of the Muslims and the Bani Bakr on the side of the Quraish. These two tribes had an old feud dating back to pre?Islamic days, which had lain dormant during the past few years, and it might have been expected that now that they had joined the truce, peace would prevail between them. But this was not to be. The Bani Bakr once again took up the thread of the feud. They organized a night raid on the Khuza'a in which they were secretly assisted by the Quraish, who gave them not only weapons but also a few warriors, among whom were Ikrimah and Safwan bin Umayyah. In this raid twenty of the Khuza'a were killed.
A delegation of the Khuza'a at once rode to Madinah and informed the Prophet of this flagrant breach of the truce. The visitors invoked the alliance between their tribe and the Muslims and asked for help.
Abu Sufyan had not been directly concerned with the assistance given by the Quraish in this raid. He was now seriously alarmed as he had not wished to break the truce; and fearing Muslim retaliation, he travelled to Madinah to negotiate a fresh truce. On arrival at Madinah he first went to see his daughter, Umm Habiba, wife of the Prophet, but she gave him the cold shoulder. He next went to the Prophet and spoke to him, proposing a fresh truce, but the Prophet remained silent and this did more to frighten him and disturb his peace of mind than any threat could have done.
Not knowing just where he stood with the Prophet, Abu Sufyan decided to enlist the aid of the important Companions. He went to Abu Bakr with the request that he talk with the Prophet and urge a fresh truce, but Abu Bakr refused. He next went to Umar who, as warlike as ever, replied, "By Allah, if I had nothing more than an army of ants, I would wage war against you." Abu Sufyan then went to the house of Ali, and there spoke first to Fatimah and then to Ali. "Once the Messenger of Allah has made up his mind," explained Ali, "nothing can dissuade him from his purpose."
"Then what do you advise?" asked Abu Sufyan.
"You are a leader of the Quraish, O Abu Sufyan! Keep peace among men."1
This advice could be interpreted in many ways, but somehow it gave Abu Sufyan more satisfaction than he had got from the others. Not knowing what else to do, he returned to Makkah. He had achieved nothing.
Soon after the departure of Abu Sufyan, the Prophet ordered immediate preparations for a large scale operation. His intention was to assemble and move with such speed, and observe such strict secrecy, that the Quraish would not get knowledge of the coming of the Muslims until the Muslims were virtually knocking at their door. Thus the Quraish would not have time to organise another alliance with neighbouring tribes to face the Muslims. While the assembly of forces was in progress, the Prophet came to know that a woman was on her way to Makkah with a letter warning the Makkans of the preparations being made against them. He sent Ali and Zubair in haste after her. These two stalwarts caught up with the woman, found the message and brought back message and messenger to Madinah.