Performing Umrah

(7th year of the Migration, the month of Dhulqadah / AD 628)

One year ago, the Qurayshi polytheists had prevented the Prophet and the Companions from visiting the Kaaba and performing umrah; according to the articles of the Hudaybiyah Treaty signed at that time, the umrah of the Messenger of God and the Muslims had been postponed to the following year.

Thanks to the help of God Almighty, the Prophet obtained many achievements during this period. He informed the rulers of that period about Islam and invited them to Islam. Some of them embraced Islam at once. Besides, he conquered Khaybar and became sovereign almost all of the Jews in the Arabian Peninsula. He showed that Islam got stronger and stronger day by day by sending military expeditions to many tribes and made them accept the sovereignty of Islam.

After those achievements, it was time to visit the Kaaba and perform umrah.

When the month of Dhulqada started, the Messenger of God told his Companions to make preparations for umrah. According to the order of the Prophet, all of those who were present in the Hudaybiyah Expedition would perform umrah.[1]

Meanwhile, there were many Muslims who came to Madinah from distant places and who were needy. They went to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of God! We have neither food nor anybody to feed us.”

The Messenger of God asked the people of Madinah to help those needy people and to look after them. Thereupon, the Companions said, “O Messenger of God! What shall we give them? We cannot find anything to give them.”

The Messenger of God said, “It does not matter what you give. Give something even if it is half a date.”

Setting of From Madinah

The Messenger of God appointed Uwayf b. Azbat as his deputy in Madinah and left Madinah to go to Makkah to visit the Kaaba with about two thousand Muslims.[2]The Muslims had sixty camels with them. The Prophet marked his camel to be sacrificed with his own hands.

The Messenger of God and the mujahids also had one hundred horses and helmets, armors and spears in case they were attacked by the Qurayshi polytheists. However, according to the treaty, they could only have swords in their sheaths. Then, why did the Messenger of God, who never broke his promise, act like that? It caught the attention of the Companions. They asked, “O Messenger of God! You had promised that we would only have swords in their shields. However, we have weapons.”

The Messenger of God said, “We will not take these weapons to the Kaaba; we have them with us in case we need them.”[3]

The Prophet Enters Ihram

The hearts of the Muslims were full of excitement and joy. The joy and excitement of the mujahids could not be expressed in words. They would rejoin their hometown, which they had left seven years ago, and they would visit the magnificent Kaaba. Above all, they would show the excellence, honor, magnificence and grandeur of Islam to the Qurayshi polytheists, who had despised and tortured them. Therefore, their hearts were full of excitement.

When they reached Dhul-Hulayfa, the Messenger of God sent the weapons and the camels to be sacrificed with the cavalrymen led by Muhammad b. Maslama before him and he entered ihram there.[4]

Everywhere was resounding with the voices of the Messenger of God and Muslims uttering talbiya:

“Labbayk! Allahumma Labbayk! Labbayka la sharika Laka Labbayk! Innal hamda wan’nimata laka wa’l-mulka la sharika laka. (Here I am, O God, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner.)”[5]

The Fear and Panic of the Polytheists

The cavalrymen of one hundred Muslims and the weapons led by Muhammad b. Maslama proceeding before the Messenger of God and other Muslims were seen by some polytheists near the place called  Mar­ru’z-Zahran. 

They asked, “What are these?”

Muhammad b. Maslama said, “They are the cavalrymen of the Messenger of God. He also will be here tomorrow morning inshaallah.”[6]

They were astonished and rushed toward Makkah to give the news. The polytheists were terrified and panicked. They said to each other, “Muhammad will attack us!”

As a matter of fact, the Messenger of God said after the Battle of Khandaq, “From now on, we will go and fight them; they will not dare to come and fight us!” However, the aim of this expedition was different. They came in order to circumambulate the Kaaba and perform umrah, as it was stated in the treaty.  

Despite this, the polytheists were very worried. They sent their men to the Prophet in order to find out about the reason of the expedition. 

The Prophet is in Marru’z-Zahran

Leaving Dhul-Hulayfa among the sounds of talbiya, the Prophet reached Marru’z-Zahran. He sent all of the weapons to the place called  Batn Ya’jaj from there. He appointed two hundred Muslims led by Aws b. Hawli to guard the weapons.[7]

The Prophet is in Batn Ya’jaj

Then, the Prophet and his Companions went to the place calledBatn Ya’jaj, from where Makkah could be seen very clearly. 

Meanwhile, the Qurayshi delegate arrived. They said, “O Muhammad!” We have not committed any treachery or disloyalty. Despite this, are you going to enter Haram with your weapons? You had agreed to enter there only with your swords, which are regarded as the travelers’ weapons, in their sheaths.”

The Prophet explained the issue as follows:  “We will enter Haram with our swords in their sheaths. I have always been known as a person who keeps his promise and who is loyal. However, I would like the weapons to be in a place near me.”

Mikraz b. Hafs, the leader of the Qurayshi delegate, confirmed his words: “What is expected from you and what befits you are goodness and loyalty.”[8]

Makkah is Evacuated

The Qurayshi delegates informed the Qurayshis about the situation. As a result of the feeling of jealousy, they evacuated Makkah so as not to see the magnificent joy and luminous festival of Muslims.[9]

The Prophet is in Makkah

The Messenger of God entered Makkah on his camel called Qaswa with an exceptional magnificence and dignity. The Muslims looked like luminous stars around him. The Messenger of God shone like the sun among those stars. They were approaching the Kaaba, the house of God, step by step in an order and grandeur. The sounds of  “Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk!” resounded everywhere in Makkah; the mountains and rocks replied it. The polytheists went to secluded places and mountains; they virtually closed their ears so as not to hear that lofty sound and closed their eyes so as not to see that majestic view.  

Abdullah b. Rawaha, the poet, was holding the bridle of Qaswa, the Prophet’s camel, and reciting a poem:

“O sons of unbelievers! Keep clear from the way of the Messenger of God! God, who is the most merciful, has sent down verses stating that he is the true Prophet. All good deeds and favors belong to the Prophet and his path. The best death is to die while fighting in his way!”[10]

Amidst this lofty view, the Messenger of God and the Muslims arrived at the Kaaba. When the Messenger of God entered the Kaaba, he placed the end of his rida under his right arm and put the top part of it over his left shoulder; he left his right shoulder open and said, “May God show mercy on the heroes who will show their strength and fitness to the polytheists.”[11]

Then, he ordered the Companions to circumambulate the Kaaba three times by running and moving the shoulders.[12]The Prophet ordered so because the polytheists had spread the following rumor: “Muhammad and his friends suffered illnesses and poverty after he left us.” They tried to console themselves like that.

God Almighty informed His beloved Messenger about the rumors; so, he ordered the Companions to look strong and powerful.

Circumambulating the Kaaba

The Seal of the Prophets was on Qaswa. Abdullah b. Rawaha was holding the bridle of Qaswa. The Companions were waiting for the circumambulation with bare shoulders.

The Prophet went to Hajar al-Aswad (the Black Stone), touched it with his staff, greeting it; then, he kissed the staff. The Companions did the same thing.

In the first three tours of the circumambulation, the Companions walked fast and stately. They completed the first three tours like that. 

Abdullah b. b. Rawaha was both circumambulating the Kaaba and reciting poems:

“I start with the name of God, out of whose religion there is no real religion.

I start with the name of God, whose Messenger is Muhammad.

Move out of the way of the Messenger of God; O sons of unbelievers!”[13]

Hazrat Umar did not like this act of Abdullah b. Rawaha. He said,

“O Ibn Rawaha! Will you keep reciting this poem in front of the Messenger of God and in the House of God?”, asking him to stop.

The Messenger of God answered Hazrat Umar instead of his poet: “O Umar! Do not stop him! By God, his words are more effective that shooting arrows at the polytheists.”[14]Then, he turned to Ab­dullah b. Rawaha and said, “Go on, go on o Ibn Rawaha!” Thereupon Hazrat Umar kept silent.[15]

After a while, the Messenger of God ordered Ab­dullah b. Rawaha to recite the following prayer: “There is no god but Allah. He is unique; it is He who gave victory to His slave and strength to his soldiers; It is He who defeated the tribes that gathered.”[16]

The Companions started to recite this prayer, which the Messenger of God taught, altogether.

The Astonishment of the Polytheists

The notables of the Quraysh, whose hearts were full of enmity, hatred and jealousy, went to the top of the mountains to watch the Messenger of God and his Companions.

When they saw the Muslims circumambulating the Kaaba three times, they expressed their astonishment by saying, “The fever and malaria of Madinah did not weaken the Muslims. Look at them! Let alone walking, they are running by moving their soldiers.”[17]

Performing Sa’y

After circumambulating the Kaaba seven times, the Prophet performed a two-rakah prayer at Station of Ibrahim; then, he went to Safa Hill to perform sa’y. He rode his camel Qaswa seven times between Safa and Marwa hills. After the sa’y was performed, the Prophet and the Muslims started to sacrifice the animals. The Muslims sacrificed their animals together with the Messenger of God. Khirash b. Umayya, one of the Companions, shaved the head off the Prophet. The Companions had their hair cut, too.[18]

Thus, the dream that the Messenger of God had seen just before the Expedition of Hudaybiyah turned out to be true.

Bilal Recites the Adhan

When umrah was completed, the Messenger of God wanted to enter the inner Kaaba. However, the polytheists did not allow him by saying, “It is not present in our treaty.”

The time for the noon prayer started. The Messenger of God ordered Bilal to go on top of the Kaaba and call the adhan. The Prophet and the Muslims listened to the adhan recited by Bilal with awe and tranquility; meanwhile, the notables of the polytheists seemed very restless and depressed. They uttered very nasty words. Ikrima, the son of Abu Jahl, said, “God blessed Abu Jahl because he did not make him listen what that slaves says.” Safwan b. Umayya, another polytheist said, “Fortunately, God killed my father before he saw all of those events.” Meanwhile, some of them covered their faces without saying anything.[19]

While they were uttering nasty words due to their hatred, enmity and jealousy, the Companions were performing the noon prayer in the presence of God, Lord of the realms.

The Prophet Marries Maymunah

Maymunah, whose real name was “Barra”, was the sister of Umm al-Fadl, the wife of Ibn Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle, and the sister of Asma, the wife of Jafar. She became a widow when her husband died.[20]

Abbas wanted the Prophet to marry her. That is why, he mentioned her name with praise and appreciation whenever he saw the Prophet. When the Messenger of God sett off from Madinah for umrah and stopped at Juhfa, Abbas went to see the Prophet there. He said, “O Messenger of God! Maymunah bint Harith became a widow. Will you marry her?” The Prophet accepted his offer.[21]

The Messenger of God was still in Makkah when Maymunah heard that the Messenger of God accepted to marry her. When she heard the news, she was on her camel. She said, “The camel and everything on it belong to the Messenger of God” Thus, she showed her happiness because she would marry to the Prophet.[22]

Thereupon, Abbas married Maymunah off to the Prophet by receiving four hundred dirhams as mahr.[23]

The Prophet Wants to Stay in Makkah a bit more

It can be said that the Prophet wanted to lighten the tension between him and the Qurayshi polytheists by marrying Maymunah. We see that the Prophet used this as a means of staying there a bit more in order to talk to the Qurayshis. According to the Peace Treaty of Hudaybiyah, the period of time the Prophet was allowed to stay was three days. When three days passed, the Prophet said to the notables of the Quraysh, “If you let me, I want to stay three more days for my wedding and invite you to my wedding feast.” However, the notables of the Quraysh did not accept his offer. They sent a delegate to ask him to leave Makkah.

Meanwhile, Sa’d b. Ubada, one of the notables of Madinah Muslims, was near the Prophet. He could not bear it when the Qurayshi delegates talked harshly against the Messenger of God and said to Suhayl b. Amr, one of the delegates, “This is not your or your father’s land. By God, the Messenger of God (pbuh) will leave here because of the articles of the treaty; you cannot force him to leave otherwise.”

Thereupon, the delegates of the Quraysh kept silent.

The Prophet smiled at this situation.[24]

When the Period of Three Days was Over

The three days determined as the period of staying in Makkah by the Peace Treaty of Hudaybiyah passed.

The Messenger of God, who never broke his promise even with his enemies, had to leave Makkah although he wanted to stay there more because he did not want to break his promise. Actually, in a sense, he was not leaving Makkah; the time to conquer Makkah was approaching. From then on, every day and every hour would approach the conquest of Makkah and the hearts. 

During those three days, the Muslims had the opportunity to meet their relatives there. They also had the opportunity to show the beauty, loftiness, grace and elegance of Islamic ethics through their honest acts and attitudes. They also displayed the true Islam and the trueness worthy of Islam to the polytheists in the form of a luminous view.  Consequently, a warm interest and a sincere tendency toward Islam arose in the hearts of many people except for the ferocious polytheists. It was as if the hearts of the people were ready to be conquered before the conquest of Makkah.

“Uncle! Uncle!”

While the Messenger of God was leaving Makkah with his Companions, he heard a voice calling out “Uncle! Uncle!”

They turned round. It was the voice of Umama, the only daughter of Hamza, “the Master of the Martyrs”. She was living in Makkah. Her voice expressed a desire for help; it was as if she was saying, “Save me from this land of polytheism!” It was as if the whole Makkah asked for help together with this child, calling out, “Do not leave me!”

The Messenger of God, whose heart was like a sea of compassion and mercy, returned, held the hand of this child and took her to Madinah.[25]

The Prophet is in Sarif

After leaving Makkah with his Companions, the Messenger of God stopped at Sarif. He married Maymunah there.[26]

Returning to Madinah

The Prophet left Sarif in the evening and proceeded at night. He arrived in Madinah in the month of Dhulhijjah.[27]

Umama, the daughter of Hamza, is Given to Jafar

When Umama, the daughter of Hamza and Salma bint Umays, was brought to Madinah, a controversy arose.  

The Prophet had rendered Zayd b. Haritha and Hamza brothers. Therefore, Zayd stated that he was the guardian of the children of Hamza after Hamza was martyred and said, “I have the right to take care of my brother’s daughter more than anybody else.”

When Jafar heard this, he objected to it: “The maternal aunt is also regarded as the mother. My wife Asma bint Umays is the maternal aunt of Umama. Therefore, I have the right to take care of Umama more than anybody else.”

Hazrat Ali said that she had the right to take care of her more than anybody else, saying, “I took my cousin from among the polytheists and brought her here. You are not as close to her as me as a relative.  I have the right to take care of Umama more than you.”

It was up to the Messenger of God to settle the problem.

He said, “O Zayd! You are the friend of God and His Messenger! O Ali! You are my brother and friend! O Jafar! You are the person who resembles me the most in terms of nature and characteristics!” Then, he expressed his decision as follows:

“O Jafar! You have the right to take care of Umama more than the others because you are married to her maternal aunt. A woman cannot marry to a man who is married to her maternal or paternal aunt.”[28]

When the Messenger of God expressed his decision, Jafar stood up suddenly; he started to hop around the Prophet.

When the Messenger of God asked, “O Jafar! What are you doing?”, Jafar answered, “O Messenger of God! The Abyssinians acted like that toward their king when they were happy. The Negus did the same thing when he liked somebody.”[29]


[1]Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 2, p. 120.

[2]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 120.

[3]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 121.

[4]The places of entering ihram are as follows: Dhul-Hulayfa for the people coming from Madinah, Juhfa for the people of Damascus, Dhat Irq for Iraqis, Qarn for the people of Njad and Yalamlam for the people of Yemen.

[5]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 121; Ibn Kathir, Sirah, Vol. 3, p. 435.

[6]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 121.

[7]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 121.

[8]Tabari, Tarikh, Vol. 3, p. 101; Ibn Kathir, Sirah, Vol. 3, p. 436.

[9]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 121; Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 436; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, Vol. 2, p. 780.

[10]Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 432.

[11]Ibn Hisham, Sirah, Vol. 4, p. 12-13.

[12](It is called “rami” in shariah.) Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 2, p. 123; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, Vol. 1, p. 306; Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 2, p. 923.

[13]Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 432.

[14]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 123; Halabi, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 784.

[15]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 122.

[16]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 122.

[17]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 122.

[18]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 122.

[19]Waqidi, Maghazi, Vol. 2, p. 738.

[20]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 8, p. 137; Ibn Abdi’l-Barr, al-Istiab, Vol. 4, p. 1915-1916.

[21]Ibn Abdi’l-Barr, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 1916.

[22]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 8, p. 132; Ibn Kathir, Sirah, Vol. 3, p. 439.

[23]Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 439.

[24]Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 433; Halabi, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 783.

[25]Ibn Qayyim, Zadu’l-Maad, Vol. 2, p. 171; Ibn Kathir, Sirah, Vol. 2, p. 443.

[26]Ibn Hisham, Sirah, Vol. 4, p. 14; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 2, p. 122, Vol. 8, p. 133-134.

[27]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 122.

[28]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 8, p. 159-160.

[29]Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 8, p. 160.

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