The Treaty of Hudaibiya

by | Last updated Apr 7, 2024 | Blog

From this article, we can learn about The conditions of The Hudaibiya treaties that are signed by our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)


The Prophet’s journey

Allah’s Messenger () set out at the time of Al-Hudaibiya (treaty), and when they proceeded for a distance, he said, “Khalid bin Al-Walid leading the cavalry of Quraish constituting the front of the army, is at a place called Al-Ghamim, so take the way on the right.”

By Allah, Khalid did not perceive the arrival of the Muslims till the dust arising from the march of the Muslim army reached him, and then he turned back hurriedly to inform Quraish. The Prophet (ﷺ) went on advancing till he reached the Thaniya (i.e. a mountainous way) through which one would go to them (i.e. people of Quraish).

The She-Camel Incident

The Prophet’s perspective on the she-camel’s behavior, connecting it to Allah’s will.

The she-camel of the Prophet () sat down. The people tried their best to cause the she-camel to get up but in vain, so they said, “Al-Qaswa’ (i.e. the she-camel’s name) has become stubborn! Al-Qaswa’ has become stubborn!” The Prophet () said, “Al-Qaswa’ has not become stubborn, for stubbornness is not her habit, but she was stopped by Him Who stopped the elephant. By the Name of Him in Whose Hands my soul is, if they (i.e. the Quraish infidels) ask me anything which will respect the ordinances of Allah, I will grant it to them.” The Prophet () then rebuked the she-camel and she got up.

Thirst at Al-Hudaibiya

The shortage of water, the miracle of water gushing from an arrow, and the relief of the people’s thirst.

The Prophet () changed his way till he dismounted at the farthest end of Al-Hudaibiya at a pit (i.e. well) containing a little water which the people used in small amounts, and in a short while the people used up all its water and complained to Allah’s Messenger (); of thirst. The Prophet () took an arrow out of his arrow-case and ordered them to put the arrow in that pit. By Allah, the water started and continued sprouting out till all the people quenched their thirst and returned with satisfaction.

Budail’s Warning

Budail’s message about potential threats from Ka`b and Amir bin Luai, and his suggestion for a truce.

While they were still in that state, Budail bin Warqa-al- Khuza`i came with some persons from his tribe Khuza`a and they were the advisers of Allah’s Messenger () who would keep no secret from him and were from the people of Tihama. Budail said, “I left Ka`b bin Luai and ‘Amir bin Luai residing at the profuse water of Al-Hudaibiya and they had milch camels (or their women and children) with them, and will wage war against you, and will prevent you from visiting the Ka`ba.”

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “We have not come to fight anyone, but to perform the `Umra. No doubt, the war has weakened Quraish and they have suffered great losses, so if they wish, I will conclude a truce with them, during which they should refrain from interfering between me and the people (i.e. the ‘Arab infidels other than Quraish), and if I have victory over those infidels, Quraish will have the option to embrace Islam as the other people do, if they wish; they will at least get strong enough to fight. But if they do not accept the truce, by Allah in Whose Hands my life is, I will fight with them defending my Cause till I get killed, but (I am sure) Allah will definitely make His Cause victorious.”

Budail said, “I will inform them of what you have said.” So, he set o ff till he reached Quraish and said, “We have come from that man (i.e. Muhammad) whom we heard saying something which we will disclose to you if you should like.” Some of the fools among Quraish shouted that they were not in need of this information, but the wiser among them said, “Relate what you heard him saying.” Budail said, “I heard him saying so-and-so,” relating what the Prophet (ﷺ) had told him.

`Urwa’s Consultation

Urwa’s conversation with the Prophet, his observations about the Prophet’s companions, and his eventual understanding of the situation.

`Urwa bin Mas`ud got up and said, “O people! Aren’t you the sons? They said, “Yes.” He added, “Am I not the father?” They said, “Yes.” He said, “Do you mistrust me?” They said, “No.” He said, “Don’t you know that I invited the people of `Ukaz for your help, and when they refused I brought my relatives and children and those who obeyed me (to help you)?” They said, “Yes.” He said, “Well, this man (i.e. the Prophet) has offered you a reasonable proposal, you’d better accept it and allow me to meet him.” They said, “You may meet him.” So, he went to the Prophet () and started talking to him. The Prophet () told him almost the same as he had told Budail. Then `Urwa said,

“O Muhammad! Won’t you feel any scruple in extirpating your relations? Have you ever heard of anyone amongst the Arabs extirpating his relatives before you? On the other hand, if the reverse should happen, (nobody will aid you, for) by Allah, I do not see (with you) dignified people, but people from various tribes who would run away leaving you alone.”

Hearing that, Abu Bakr abused him and said, “Do you say we would run and leave the Prophet (ﷺ) alone?” `Urwa said, “Who is that man?” They said, “He is Abu Bakr.” `Urwa said to Abu Bakr, “By Him in Whose Hands my life is, were it not for the favor which you did to me and which I did not compensate, I would retort on you.”

`Urwa kept on talking to the Prophet (ﷺ) and seizing the Prophet’s beard as he was talking while Al-Mughira bin Shu`ba was standing near the head of the Prophet, holding a sword and wearing a helmet. Whenever `Urwa stretched his hand towards the beard of the Prophet, Al-Mughira would hit his hand with the handle of the sword and say (to `Urwa), “Remove your hand from the beard of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ).” `Urwa raised his head and asked, “Who is that?” The people said, “He is Al-Mughira bin Shu`ba.” `Urwa said, “O treacherous! Am I not doing my best to prevent evil consequences of your treachery?” Before embracing Islam Al-Mughira was in the company of some people. He killed them and took their property and came (to Medina) to embrace Islam.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said to him, “As regards your Islam, I accept it, but as for the property, I do not take anything of it. (As it was taken through treason). `Urwa then started looking at the Companions of the Prophet. By Allah, whenever Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) spat, the spittle would fall in the hand of one of them (i.e. the Prophet’s companions) who would rub it on his face and skin; if he ordered them they would carry his orders immediately; if he performed ablution, they would struggle to take the remaining water; and when they spoke to him, they would lower their voices and would not look at his face constantly out of respect.

`Urwa returned to his people and said, “O people! By Allah, I have been to the kings and to Caesar, Khosrau and An- Najashi, yet I have never seen any of them respected by his courtiers as much as Muhammad is respected by his companions. By Allah, if he spat, the spittle would fall in the hand of one of them (i.e. the Prophet’s companions) who would rub it on his face and skin; if he ordered them, they would carry out his order immediately; if he performed ablution, they would struggle to take the remaining water; and when they spoke, they would lower their voices and would not look at his face constantly out of respect.” `Urwa added, “No doubt, he has presented to you a good reasonable offer, so please accept it.”

A man from the tribe of Bani Kinana said, “Allow me to go to him,” and they allowed him, and when he approached the Prophet and his companions, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “He is so-and-so who belongs to the tribe that respects the Budn (i.e. camels of the sacrifice). So, bring the Budn in front of him.” So, the Budn were brought before him and the people received him while they were reciting Talbiya. When he saw that scene, he said, “Glorified be Allah! It is not fair to prevent these people from visiting the Ka`ba.” When he returned to his people, he said, ‘I saw the Budn garlanded (with colored knotted ropes) and marked (with stabs on their backs). I do not think it is advisable to prevent them from visiting the Ka`ba.” Another person called Mikraz bin Hafs got up and sought their permission to go to Muhammad, and they allowed him, too. When he approached the Muslims, the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Here is Mikraz and he is a vicious man.”

Suhail bin `Amr’s Negotiations

Suhail’s negotiations, disputes over the wording of the treaty, and conditions presented by both parties.


Mikraz started talking to the Prophet and as he was talking, Suhail bin `Amr came. When Suhail bin `Amr came, the Prophet () said, “Now the matter has become easy.” Suhail said to the Prophet “Please conclude a peace treaty with us.” So, the Prophet () called the clerk and said to him, “Write: By the Name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.” Suhail said, “As for ‘Beneficent,’ by Allah, I do not know what it means. So write: By Your Name O Allah, as you used to write previously.” The Muslims said, “By Allah, we will not write except: By the Name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.” The Prophet () said, “Write: By Your Name O Allah.” Then he dictated, “This is the peace treaty which Muhammad, Allah’s Messenger () has concluded.” Suhail said, “By Allah, if we knew that you are Allah’s Messenger () we would not prevent you from visiting the Ka`ba, and would not fight with you. So, write: “Muhammad bin `Abdullah.”

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “By Allah! I am Apostle of Allah even if you people do not believe me. Write: Muhammad bin `Abdullah.” (Az-Zuhri said, “The Prophet (ﷺ) accepted all those things, as he had already said that he would accept everything they would demand if it respects the ordinance of Allah, (i.e. by letting him and his companions perform `Umra.)” The Prophet (ﷺ) said to Suhail, “On the condition that you allow us to visit the House (i.e. Ka`ba) so that we may perform Tawaf around it.” Suhail said, “By Allah, we will not (allow you this year) so as not to give chance to the ‘Arabs to say that we have yielded to you, but we will allow you next year.” So, the Prophet (ﷺ) got that written. Then Suhail said, “We also stipulate that you should return to us whoever comes to you from us, even if he embraced your religion.” The Muslims said, “Glorified be Allah! How will such a person be returned to the pagans after he has become a Muslim?

Abu Jandal’s Dilemma

The arrival of Abu Jandal bin Suhail and the ensuing complications.

While they were in this state Abu- Jandal bin Suhail bin `Amr came from the valley of Mecca staggering with his fetters and fell down amongst the Muslims. Suhail said, “O Muhammad! This is the very first term with which we make peace with you, i.e. you shall return Abu Jandal to me.” The Prophet () said, “The peace treaty has not been written yet.” Suhail said, “I will never allow you to keep him.” The Prophet () said, “Yes, do.” He said, “I won’t do.: Mikraz said, “We allow you (to keep him).” Abu Jandal said, “O Muslims! Will I be returned to the pagans though I have come as a Muslim? Don’t you see how much I have suffered?” Abu Jandal had been tortured severely for the Cause of Allah.

The terms of the peace treaty.

(1) There was to be a truce between the Muslims and the Quraish for a period of ten years.

(2) If any tribe wanted to enter into treaty with the Muslims it could do so, and whoever wished to enter a covenant with the Quraish was likewise free to do so.

(3) If any one from the Quraish came to the Muslims without the permission of his guardian, he was to be returned to the Quraish. On the other hand if a Muslim sought refuge with the Quraish, he was not to be delivered to the Muslims.

(4) The Muslims were to withdraw that year without performing the pilgrimage. They were free to perform the Hajj the following year when they could stay in Mecea for three days.

Reflecting on the Event

`Umar bin Al-Khattab and Abu Bakr’s reflections on the events.

`Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “I went to the Prophet () and said, ‘Aren’t you truly the Messenger of Allah?’ The Prophet () said, ‘Yes, indeed.’ I said, ‘Isn’t our Cause just and the cause of the enemy unjust?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Then why should we be humble in our religion?’ He said, ‘I am Allah’s Messenger () and I do not disobey Him, and He will make me victorious.’ I said, ‘Didn’t you tell us that we would go to the Ka`ba and perform Tawaf around it?’ He said, ‘Yes, but did I tell you that we would visit the Ka`ba this year?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘So you will visit it and perform Tawaf around it?’ ”

`Umar further said, “I went to Abu Bakr and said, ‘O Abu Bakr! Isn’t he truly Allah’s Prophet?’ He replied, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Then why should we be humble in our religion?’ He said, ‘Indeed, he is Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and he does not disobey his Lord, and He will make him victorious. Adhere to him as, by Allah, he is on the right.’ I said, ‘Was he not telling us that we would go to the Ka`ba and perform Tawaf around it?’ He said, ‘Yes, but did he tell you that you would go to the Ka`ba this year?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, “You will go to Ka`ba and perform Tawaf around it.”

(Az-Zuhri said, ” `Umar said, ‘I performed many good deeds as expiation for the improper questions I asked them.’ “)

The Aftermath

The establishment of trust between the Prophet and the people, the impact on Quraish, and the eventual developments among the Muslims.

When the writing of the peace treaty was concluded, Allah’s Messenger () said to his companions, “Get up and’ slaughter your sacrifices and get your head shaved.” By Allah none of them got up, and the Prophet repeated his order thrice. When none of them got up, he left them and went to Um Salama and told her of the people’s attitudes towards him. Um Salama said, “O the Prophet () of Allah! Do you want your order to be carried out? Go out and don’t say a word to anybody till you have slaughtered your sacrifice and call your barber to shave your head.” So, the Prophet () went out and did not talk to anyone of them till he did that, i.e. slaughtered the sacrifice and called his barber who shaved his head. Seeing that, the companions of the Prophet () got up, slaughtered their sacrifices, and started shaving the heads of one another, and there was so much rush that there was a danger of killing each other. Then some believing women came (to the Prophet () ); and Allah revealed the following Divine Verses:– “O you who believe, when the believing women come to you as emigrants examine them.

When the Prophet (ﷺ) returned to Medina, Abu Basir, a new Muslim convert from Quraish came to him. The Infidels sent in his pursuit two men who said (to the Prophet (ﷺ) ), “Abide by the promise you gave us.” So, the Prophet (ﷺ) handed him over to them. They took him out (of the City) till they reached Dhul-Hulaifa where they dismounted to eat some dates they had with them. Abu Basir said to one of them, “By Allah, O so-and-so, I see you have a fine sword.” The other drew it out (of the scabbard) and said, “By Allah, it is very fine and I have tried it many times.” Abu Basir said, “Let me have a look at it.” When the other gave it to him, he hit him with it till he died, and his companion ran away till he came to Medina and entered the Mosque running. When Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saw him he said, “This man appears to have been frightened.” When he reached the Prophet (ﷺ) he said, “My companion has been murdered and I would have been murdered too.” Abu Basir came and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), by Allah, Allah has made you fulfill your obligations by your returning me to them (i.e. the Infidels), but Allah has saved me from them.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Woe to his mother! what excellent war kindler he would be, should he only have supporters.” When Abu Basir heard that he understood that the Prophet (ﷺ) would return him to them again, so he set off till he reached the seashore. Abu Jandal bin Suhail got himself released from them (i.e. infidels) and joined Abu Basir.

So, whenever a man from Quraish embraced Islam he would follow Abu Basir till they formed a strong group. By Allah, whenever they heard about a caravan of Quraish heading towards Sham, they stopped it and attacked and killed them (i.e. infidels) and took their properties. The people of Quraish sent a message to the Prophet (ﷺ) requesting him for the Sake of Allah and Kith and kin to send for (i.e. Abu Basir and his companions) promising that whoever (amongst them) came to the Prophet (ﷺ) would be secure. So the Prophet (ﷺ) sent for them (i.e. Abu Basir’s companions) and Allah I revealed the following Divine Verses: “And it is He Who Has withheld their hands from you and your hands From them in the midst of Mecca, After He made you the victorious over them. … the unbelievers had pride and haughtiness, in their hearts … the pride and haughtiness of the time of ignorance.” (48.24-26) And their pride and haughtiness was that they did not confess (write in the treaty) that he (i.e. Muhammad) was the Prophet of Allah and refused to write: “In the Name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,” and they (the mushriks) prevented them (the Muslims) from visiting the House (the Ka`bah).


(Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 3, Book 50, Hadith 891)

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