26.7 Rites of Pilgrimage on that Occasion
Mohamed asked the pilgrims to perform the rites of pilgrimage where they were, outside the Sacred Precincts, and to sacrifice in the same place. But they were so miserable that they sat gloomily and did nothing. Mohamed was appalled and entered his tent with horror in his eyes. Other peoples had disobeyed the command of Allah in ancient times and were annihilated. He said to his wife

"Umm Salama, the Muslims will perish. They have refused to obey the command of Allah."

This mature and experienced lady said,

"No, Messenger of Allah, they are only grieved. You go and perform the rites of pilgrimage and they will obey."

So Mohamed sacrificed the offerings he had brought, and then shaved his head according to the rituals of pilgrimage. Seeing this, all the Muslims rose to follow the example of their beloved prophet, and the situation was saved by the judicious advice of this kind lady.

As if to make the Muslims as unhappy as possible about this treaty, one of the people who believed in Allah and lived in Mecca hurried to join the Muslims as they were leaving. But according to the treaty Mohamed had just signed, those of Quraysh who wanted to join the Muslims were to be returned to Quraysh while any Muslim who wanted to defect was to be allowed to go back to Quraysh. The manís relations came to take him by force, and he cried to the Muslims,

"Help, help, Muslims! Will you leave me to the polytheists?"

The Muslims could hardly control themselves. Mohamed, whose faith in the wisdom of Allah could move mountains and who possibly knew what would happen soon after, said,

"Abu Jandal, be patient. Allah will make an opening for you and for the downtrodden. We have made a treaty with these people, swearing by Allah, and we shall not break it."

In theory the terms of the treaty seem untenable, but what happened in fact was that Muslims did not defect or go back to Quraysh. Supposing some had gone back, they would have been of no use to Allah. Keeping them in Medina would have been only hypocrisy. Far better to let them go where their hearts belonged. Then the Meccans who believed in Allah did find an opening, as Mohamed had promised, by creating new groups and growing only stronger in the faith they felt they were deprived of. Moreover only two years later, the whole of Mecca entered into Islam and this treaty became an obsolete document. At the moment, though, the Muslims could not see the future even if it was so near, all they could see was a fellow Muslim being beaten because he believed in Allah. It was only faith in Allah and His Messenger that made them endure this ordeal.