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Sura 48
Aya 1

Chapter 48

Victoryal-Fatḥ ( الفتح )

29 verses • revealed at Medinan

»The surah that opens by acclaiming the manifest Victory or Triumph of peace that God accorded His Prophet in the truce he agreed to with the Meccans at a place called Ḥudaybiyyah. It takes its name from verse 1 wherein “victory” (fatḥ) is mentioned. The surah makes reference to the occasion when the Prophet had a vision that he and his followers would be performing pilgrimage to Mecca (verse 27). They set out, but the Meccans decided to bar them at Ḥudaybiyyah from reaching the town and sent emissaries to have discussions with the Prophet. In the end the Prophet signed a treaty that he and the believers would not enter Mecca that year, but would do so the next year. Seeing the long-term significance of this treaty, in the interests of peace he agreed to a truce often years during which time, if any Meccan went over to his side, he would return him to the Meccans, but if any of his people went over to the Meccans, they would not return them. Throughout the surah the Prophet is assured that this treaty that God has given him is a great breakthrough (verse 1ff., verse 18 ff. and verse 27). The believers are reassured that their self-restraint and obedience to the Prophet were inspired by God (verse 4 ff. and verse 24 ff.). The surah condemns both the hypocrites in Medina (verse 6) and the idolaters of Mecca (verse 6 and verse 26) and closes by praising the believers (verse 29).«

The surah is also known as Conquest, The Manifest Triumph, Triumph

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ


إِنّا فَتَحنا لَكَ فَتحًا مُبينًا

Ali Unal

This sūrah was revealed in Madīnah in the sixth year after the Hijrah, on the occasion of the Treaty of Hudaybiyah between the Muslim city-state of Madīnah and the Makkan polytheists. It has 29 verses and is named after the word al-fath (victory) in the first verse. It mentions this victory, then criticizes the attitudes of the hypocrites, continues with further promises to the Muslims, and ends by mentioning certain important virtues of the Muslim Community.
We have surely granted you a manifest victory (which is a door to further victories),1
  • This verse is about the Treaty of Hudaybiyah. After the Battle of the Trench (33: 9–25; notes 7–12), the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, told his Companions that he had had a vision (dream) that they would shortly enter the Holy Mosque in Makkah in security. His Companions, especially the Emigrants, were delighted. During that year, 628 CE, the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, set out for Makkah with 1,400–1,500 people in pilgrim dress.
    Informed of this event, the Quraysh armed themselves and the neighboring tribes to keep the Muslims out of Makkah. The Muslims halted at Hudaybiyah, 12 miles away from Makkah. Exchanges of envoys took place.
    Finally, God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, sent ‘Uthmān ibn al-’Affān to the Quraysh, a man who had powerful relatives among the Quraysh. Although ‘Uthmān came to negotiate, the Makkans imprisoned him. When he did not return at the expected time, rumors circulated that he had been killed. At this point, the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, sitting under a tree, took an oath from his Companions that they would hold together and fight to the death.
    In that moment of tension, a cloud of dust appeared in the distance. This turned out to be a Makkan delegation, led by Suhayl ibn ‘Amr. After negotiations, a treaty was concluded.
    Under this treaty, the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, and his followers could not make the pilgrimage in that year but could do so the following year, at which time the Makkans would vacate the city for three days. The treaty also stipulated a ten-year truce, that people or tribes could join or ally themselves with either side they wished, and that Qurayshī subjects or dependents who had defected to Madīnah would be returned. This last condition was not reciprocal and, thus, was opposed in the Muslim camp. However, it really was of little importance. The Muslims sent back to Makkah were not likely to renounce Islam; on the contrary, they would be agents of change within Makkah.
    The Qur’ān called the Treaty of Hudaybiyah “a manifest victory.” This proved true for several reasons, among them the following:
    • By signing this treaty after years of conflict, the Quraysh admitted that the state of Madīnah was their equal. Seeing the Makkans deal with the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, as an equal and a president, a rising tide of converts flowed toward Madīnah from all over Arabia.
    • Many Qurayshīs would benefit from the resulting peace by finally reflecting on what was really happening. Such leading Qurayshīs as Khālid ibn Walīd, ‘Amr ibn al-’Ās, and ‘Uthmān ibn Talhah, all famous for their military and political skills, came to accept Islam.
    • The Quraysh used to regard the Ka’bah as their exclusive property, and made its visitors pay them a tribute. By not subjecting the Muslims’ deferred pilgrimage to this condition, the Quraysh unwittingly ended their monopoly. The Bedouin tribes now realized that the Quraysh had no right to claim exclusive ownership.
    • At the time, there were Muslim men and women living in Makkah. Not everyone in Madīnah knew who they were. Had a fight taken place in Makkah, the victorious Muslim army might have unintentionally taken the lives of some Muslims. This would have caused great personal anguish, as well as the martyrdom or identification of the Muslims who had been keeping their faith secret. The treaty prevented such a disaster.
    • The Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, performed the minor pilgrimage the following year. The declaration, There is no deity but God, and Muhammad is God’s Messenger, rang throughout Makkah. The Quraysh, camped on the hill of Abū Qubays, heard this portent of Islam’s coming triumph. This was, in fact, God’s fulfilling the vision He had given to His Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings.
    • The treaty allowed the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, to enter into diplomatic relations with others. Their neighbors, as well as other Arab tribes, were impressed with the Islamic state’s growing strength. The Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, also sent letters to neighboring kings and chiefs, calling them to accept Islam.
    • The Muslims spread across Arabia and communicated Islam’s Message. While during the first 19 years, from the beginning of the Messenger’s mission to the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, only a few thousand people had accepted Islam, within two years after the Treaty, more than 5,000 people had converted.
    • During the period of armistice, the Muslims won new victories, such as the conquest of al-Khaybar.
    • The Muslims faithfully observed the terms of the treaty. However, a tribe allied to the Makkans did not. The Banū Bakr attacked the Banū Khudā’ah, who were allied with the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings. So in December 629 CE, the Messenger marched a 10,000-man army against Makkah, and captured it with almost no resistance on the first day of January. The Ka’bah was purified of idols and, over the next couple of days, the Makkans accepted Islam.
    So, this verse proved to be another manifest miracle of the Qur’ān.