The Truce of Hudeybiah and Story of Hadhrat Abu Jandal and Hadhrat Abu Basir (Radhiyallaho anhu-ma)
In the 6th year of Hijrah, the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam] along with his companions left for Mecca to perform Umrah. The Qureysh heard of the news and decided to resist his entry into Mecca even as a pilgrim, and so he had to encamp at Hudeybiah. The devoted Sahabah, 1 400 in number, were however determined to enter, even if it involved an open fight; but the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) viewed the matter differently and in spite of the Sahabah's eagerness to fight, entered into a treaty with the Qureysh, accepting their conditions in full.
This one-sided and seemingly ungraceful truce was a very bitter pill for the Sahabah to swallow, but their devotion to the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) would not allow them to demur, and even the most valiant man like Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) could not but submit to his decision. According to one of the articles of the treaty, converts to Islam during the period of the truce were to be returned, but not so the deserters from Muslims to Qureysh.
Hadhrat Abu Jandal (Radhiyallaho anho) a Muslim in Mecca, was suffering great persecution at the hands of Qureysh. They kept him constantly in chains. On hearing about the arrival of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) in Hudeybiah, he escaped somehow and managed to reach the Muslim camp at a time when the truce was about to be signed. His father, Suhail (till then a non-Muslim) was the envoy of Qureysh in the negotiations for the truce. He smote Hadhrat Abu Jandal (Radhiyallaho anho) on his face and insisted on taking him back to Mecca. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) represented that, since the truce had not till then been written, its application in Abu Jandal's case was premature. Suhail, however, would not listen to any argument and was not inclined to leave his son with the Muslims even at the personal request of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), and would have forgone the truce even. Abu Jandal (Radhiyallaho anho) counting his hardships remonstrated at the top of his voice but, much to the grief of the Sahabah, the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) agreed to his return. He however enjoined patience on him saying:
"Do not be distressed, Hadhrat Abu Jandal (Radhiyallaho anho), Allah will shortly open a way for you."
After the truce was signed and the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) had returned to Madinah, another Meccan Muslim Hadhrat Abu Basir (Radhiyallaho anho) escaped to Madinah and besought the Prophet's (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) protection. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) refused to accept his implorations and, in deference to the truce condition, handed him over to the two persons who had been deputed by the Qureysh to claim him. He, however, advised him as he had advised Hadhrat Abu Jandal (Radhiallaho anho) to be patient and to hope for the help of Allah. When Hadhrat Abu Basir (Radhiyallaho anho) and his escort were on their way back to Mecca, Hadhrat Abu Basir (Radhiyallaho anho) said to one of them:
"Friend, your sword is extremely fine."
The man was flattered and took it out from the sheath and said:
"Yes it is really very fine, and I have tried it on so many persons. You can have a look at it."
Most foolishly he made over the sword to Abu Basir (Radhiyallaho anho), who immediately 'tried' it on its owner and killed him. The other man took to his heels and reached Madinah to report to the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam). In the meantime Abu Basir (Radhiyallaho anho) also arrived. He said to the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam):
"0, Prophet of Allah, you once returned me and absolved yourself of the truce obligations. I had no obligations to fulfil and I managed my escape from them by this trick, as I was afraid of their forcing me to forsake my faith."
The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) remarked: "You are a war-monger. I wish you could be helped."
Hadhrat Abu Basir (Radhiyallaho anho) came to understand from this that he would be returned to Qureysh again when they demanded him. He therefore left Madinah and fled to a place in the desert on the sea shore. Abu Jandal (Radhiyallaho anho) also managed his escape and joined him there. More Muslims of Mecca followed, and in a few days quite a small group of such fugitives gathered in the wilderness. They had to undergo untold sufferings in the desert, where there was neither habitation nor vegetation. They, however, being bound by no treaty proved a great nuisance for the Qureysh by dealing blows after blows on their caravans passing that way. This compelled the Qureysh to approach the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) and beseech him to intervene and call the fugitives to Madinah, so that they might be bound by the terms of the treaty like other Muslims, and the caravans might pass in safety. It is said that Hadhrat Abu Basir (Radhiyallaho anho) was on his deathbed when the letter sent by the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) permitting his return to Madinah reached him. He died while holding the Prophet's (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) letter in his hand.
No power on the earth can make a person forsake his faith, provided it is a true faith. Moreover, Allah has given an assurance to help those who are genuine Muslims.