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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Treaty of Hudaibiya

The Pledge

The Muslims encamped at Hudaibiya, and here Urwa b Masud, a son-in law of Abu Sufyan, came to see the Muslims on behalf of the Quraish. He talked in diplomatic language and tried to impress that the Quraish were strong, and would not allow the Muslims to visit Makkah. He also insinuated that at the time of crisis, the followers of the Holy Prophet were likely to leave him. Thereupon Abu Bakr flared up and said: "May God curse you; how dare you think that we will abandon the Holy Prophet. Rest assured, we will stand by him, whatever the cost, and will fight for him to the last." While talking, Urwa in the usual Arab way pushed his hand too close to the beard of the Holy Prophet. A companion who stood near warned him "Keep your hands away from the beard of the Holy Prophet for the hand that touches the sacred beard would be cut."

When Urwa returned to Makkah, the Holy Prophet sent Othman with him to assure the Quraish that the Muslims merely wanted to perform the Hajj and they had no intention of fighting against the Quraish. When Urwa returned to the Quraish, he gave his impressions about the Holy Prophet and the Muslims in the following terms: "O people of the Quraish I have seen kings, but by God I have never seen any king as I have seen Muhammad amongst his companions. If he makes his ablutions, they would not let the waterfall on the ground; if a hair of his body falls they pick it up. They will not surrender him for anything in any case, do what you may".

Othman met the Quraish leaders, but they adopted delaying tactics. When Othman took long to come, a rumor got current in the Muslim camp that Othman had been killed by the Quraish. Thereupon all the Muslims took the pledge that they would fight against the Quraish to seek revenge for the murder of Othman.

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