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Mecca and Ta’if

The ubiquitous influence of the Quraysh in Mecca and its surrounding regions had not only made the city a less than fertile ground for the growth of the Islamic faith, but had prevented the tribal people of the area from showing any eagerness to embrace the new religion in the first few years after the hijrah. The first indications of a change in the situation came about during the clashes which broke out between certain groups of Katanah and Khaza`ah tribes in 6 AH, both of whom held to the same beliefs, with a long history of alliance. Their animosity escalated to the point that during the events of Hudaybiyyah, the Banu Bakr of the Kananah tribe sided with the Quraysh while the members of Khaza`ah tribe decided to go over to the side of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). In 8 AH, the appearance of conducive political and cultural grounds, together with the violation by the Quraysh of their agreement with Muslims provided the latter with the pretext to dispatch an army to Mecca. Abu Sufyan, the head of the Meccans, who saw the situation as hopeless opted for reconciliation as the best possible course of action, thus, he decided to convert to Islam, at which point the Meccan resistance against Muslims was brought to an end. Mecca fell peacefully to the Muslims, who entered the city and cleansed the Ka`bah of idols and promulgated an amnesty which resulted in the people of the city offering their allegiance to the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) then appointed a group of his followers to remain in Mecca as instructors of the Qur`an and shari`ah to the new converts. 

Soon after the fall of Mecca, the Hawazin tribe, which had remained a source of concern for the Muslims, rallied a number of tribes of the area sympathetic to its anti-Islamic cause and mustered an army that was to be a last-ditch effort to stem the rising tide of Islam. A bloody battle ensued in Hunayn which resulted in the total destruction of the anti-Muslim armies. In the same year (8 AH), on their march to the southern parts of the peninsula, the Muslim army encountered the resistance offered by the members of the Thaqif tribe, which was swiftly put to rest. 

Unlike Medina, which was the seat of the Islamic mission and the Companions, it took some time before the tree of Islam could strike its roots in the Meccan soil. Apart from a few obscure members of the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) companions and a few of the early Successors, such as `Ubayd b. `Umayr Laythi, the well known Meccan storyteller, the acquaintance of the people of Mecca with Islam was due to the efforts of the learned personality of Ibn `Abbas and the distinguished members of his school, such as Mujahid b. Jabr, `Ata’ b. Abi Ribah and Tawus b. Kaysan. In addition, they played a crucial role in the spread of the Islamic faith and culture in other regions, like Yemen, Iraq and Khurasan.

 source: Hajmanoochehri , Faramarz "Islam Entry" The Great Islamic Encyclopedia. Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.8 , pp.501 - 502

 

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