In 628 C.E. six years had passed since the Holy Prophet and his companions had left Makkah the city of their birth. During this period of six years the Muslims had fought three battles against the Quraish, the battles of Badr, Uhud, and the Ditch. After the Battle of the Ditch, the Quraish had lost the initiative which now came to rest with the Muslims. In view of this changed position, the Holy Prophet decide to visit Makkah with a view to performing the Hajj. During the Hajj season, the Holy Prophet along with his companions including Ali started for Makkah to perform the Hajj. When the Quraish of Makkah came to know that the Muslims were coming to Makkah, they sent Khalid b Walid and Ikrama b Abu Jahl with two hundred horsemen to intercept the Muslims and prevent their entry into Makkah. The Muslims came to know of the intention of the Quraish at the early stages of the journey. The Holy Prophet consulted his companions whether they should return to Madina or continue their journey to Makkah. The consensus of opinion was that they should go ahead and if the Quraish chose to fight, they would also fight; otherwise, not. Instead of following the direct route to Makkah, the Muslims followed a less frequented way full of rough rocks through the ravines of Mudniya. After a weary march, the Muslim caravan comprising one thousand men reached Hudaibiya on the lower side of Makkah, and within the sacred territory for the purposes of the pilgrimage.