Prophet Muhammad's Return to Mecca
Prophet Mohammad was the core individual behind the creation and development of Islam as a religion. In 634, he was chased away from Mecca after trying to dissuade the people of Mecca from polytheism, and worship at Kaaba, which hurt tourism and economy of the city. He advocated for Islam, a religion he claimed to have been guided into by Angel Gabriel during one of his meditation sessions in the mountains. After the flight, Hijra, he settled in Medina where he strengthened Islam and differentiated it from other religions such as Christianity and Judaism. After a little influence by Christianity and Judaism after his arrival in Medina, he started to advocate for Muslims to change their direction of praying from facing Jerusalem to Mecca. After this stay, he moved back to Mecca for a pilgrimage but was denied by the ruling clan of Mecca, the Qurayish. However, they agreed on a 10 year truce that would last 10 years, when Muslims from other regions would be allowed into Mecca for pilgrimage without any resistance. Although the truce worked for two years, it was squashed when Qurayish people attacked some Muslims and killed them, which prompted Mohammad to recapture Mecca with an army of 10,000 soldiers, to which the Qurayishi authorities surrendered. The return and conquer of Mohammed during this return was highly significant to Islam as a religion to date. It was integral in its development and helped in shaping its values and ideals. This paper will evaluate some of the impacts that the return of Prophet Mohammad had on the growth and character of Islam.
Destroying of Idols and Building of a Mosque in Kaaba
After his triumphant return, Mohammad made Kaaba one of the most important places in Mecca. Prior to this, it still was an important place due to its oasis and the black stone that tourists went to see. Kaaba was also a very important point in the culture of the Qurayishis because it provided a sanctuary for them and their many gods. Taking control of such a place was a very significant move by Mohammad. The significance of tourists at Kaaba led to its economic significant in Mecca and its authorities. By taking control of this point, Mohammad virtually took control over the religious and economic center of Mecca. He then built one of the biggest and oldest mosques for his religion, Islam, the Al-Masjid Al-Haram. The erection of the mosque asserted his religious authority. He further destroyed the Qurayishi gods that rendered Islam as the supreme religion in Mecca. Having initiated Mecca as the religious city before, by advocating for Muslims to pray facing, it strengthened the religion and ensured that it had a stable geographical location from where it could be built from. It increased the significance of Mecca as a central point of reference.
Mecca is believed to be the region where Abraham met his son born out of wedlock with his maid Haggai, where Allah made a spring for him before he could perish of thirst with her son, Ismael. Ismael is believed to be Gods chosen son whose descendants became Muslims. This makes Kaaba a highly significant religious point for Islam. Mohammads successful conquest returned the significance of Islam and its fundamental beliefs. The destruction of the pagan idols was a step that ensured an end to polytheism in Mecca and a beginning of monotheism. Mohammads political influence coupled with his trade and religious inclinations ensured that every social aspect in Mecca supported the growth of Islam.
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Massive Conversion to Islam
After the successful conquest for Mecca, Mohammad destroyed all the idols owned and worshiped by pagans, destroying their sanctuaries and turning them into Islam territory. There was a lot of opposition from pagans who saw him as a rival who wanted to destroy their beliefs and traditional tendencies. This made him many enemies. However, his declaration for clemency to those who did not fight Muslims surprised most people, especially the pagans. He did not force them to join his religion, but declared that as long as they did not fight Islam, Muslims would co-exist with them. From their traditions, they expected lethal attacks from Mohammad and his followers due to their religious inclination. This move by the Prophet made people regard Islam as a peaceful, tolerant and just religion. Most pagans started to see it positively which led to recruitment of pagans to Islam in masses. As the place of pilgrimage, it was important to have many Muslims in the Mecca. The massive transformation of people to Islam created an impetus for conversion and ensured that there was little or no opposition to Muslims who went for pilgrimage. Ismail would become very strong and Mecca would become a Muslim city, thus ensuring that the annual rituals were adopted both by the political and religious settings. With this, the longevity of Islam beyond Mohammad was assured since the city was positive about Islam.
Growth of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula
Today, the Arabian Peninsula is dominated by Muslims. Other religions are almost non-existent and most people raised there are Muslims. Mecca was one of the most important city in the Arabian Peninsula due to its oasis at Kaaba as well as its historical and religious impacts. People travelled from far and wide to visit the city making it economically endowed due to the money that was left by the tourists who visited the region. In fact, it is regarded as one of the most visited cities in the region at the time of Mohammads return. Mohammads conquest the all-important city in the region was vital in its growth and development. The curious tourists who continued to visit the city realized the changes that had occurred, both in social and religious fronts, and naturally became endowed with the aspects of the new monotheistic religion, Islam. As they saw its positive impacts to the people of Mecca, as well as continuous teachings by the Prophet and his book, the Koran, the visitors were able to share a lot of information about its beliefs and values. Therefore, they were easily converted from their earlier polytheistic settings and adopted Islam. Eventually, Islam became the central religion in the Arabian Peninsula, an aspect that has remained intact to date. This widened Islam base as a religion from a small city of Mecca to masses all over the Arab Peninsula. With their organized leadership systems and advanced study systems, the spread of Islam across the Arabian Peninsula was vital in the overall spread of Islam to the rest of the world. It was able to rival older religions such as Christianity and Judaism, getting a fair share of converts along the way.
One of the fundamental beliefs that shape Islam is that of the existence of only one God, Allah. Allah is to be worshiped by all, and there is no other like Him. This very strong aspect of Islam was strengthened when Mohammad went back to Mecca. Before moving out, he had tried to persuade people to leave their ways and start worshipping Allah, whom he said was the true God. The people, however, turned against him and chased him away, prompting him to flee to Medina. This move seemed to have defeated Mohammads course. However, his return in a majestic way, with an army of 10,000 people was a way to show that Allah would win and remains the mighty Supreme Being. After his return, he destroyed all polytheistic sanctuaries, with Allah remaining as the only true God. These actions were enough proof and support of supremacy of Allah from then to date. Mohammads clemency to pagans further underlined the fact that Allah was lenient and caring to all those that were not opposed to Him.
Commitment to Religion
Mohammads conquest for Mecca was integral in the development of character of Islam. It created the aspect of high value obedience and commitment to religion. First, after his return, the prophet sanctified the places of worship and ensured that all religious practices in these sanctuaries were eliminated and paved way for the only true religion, Islam. At the same time, the pilgrimage gained a permanent venue in Mecca. Mohammed made it clear that it was compulsory that at least every Muslim ensured thy paid a pilgrimage to Mecca in their lifetimes. By conquering mecca, he simply sanctified the city and ensured that it could harbor Islam years after his death.
Mohammad was the True Prophet of Allah
Mohammad went back to Mecca triumphantly after fleeing under very dangerous circumstances of rejection and opposition. Therefore, a triumphant return with a huge army, yet returned with no bloodshed was an indication of humility and avoidance of revenge. As a worldly leader, he would have commanded his army to attack and kill people to revenge, but opted to have a very peaceful re-entry. After his return, he ensured that only Allah remained relevant and all the other gods were eliminated and destroyed. Polytheism was also highly discouraged with pagans being labelled against the will of the true God. All these activities ensured that only Allah remained standing amongst the people of Mecca. From this experience, there was true and passionate fight for Allah. Before leaving Mecca, he had ran away for his advocacy for Allah, and eventually came back with bigger resolve and zeal to ensure that only Allah remained placed high. All these fights proved that prophet Mohammad as a fighter and advocate of Allah.
Mohammads return to Mecca was highly significant to Islam and its development. It was highly significant in both its spread to the rest of the world, starting from Mecca, to the Arabian Peninsula and ultimately to the rest of the world. Prophets sanctuary in Medina had been interfered with by the traditional religions that reigned there, including Christianity and Judaism. Therefore, it was important to ensure that Islam had their own base, which they obtained in Mecca. The religion got a very strong base, eliminating the existing paganism and became the main religion, restricting the old values of idol worship and reverence.
The conquest also had massive impact on the character of Islam as a religion. The basic understanding of religion is the presence of a common Supreme Being who becomes the main uniting factor of people following that specific religion. Furthermore, Islam is created on the basis of the belief that Mohammad was Allahs last true prophet. Mohammads return to Mecca became one of the most iconic events and made Mecca one of the most important cities. One of the values of Islam requires that a Muslim visits Mecca for a pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. These two show important aspects of Islam that were created and strengthened during Mohammads return to Mecca. Therefore, this return remains one of the most significant events in the history of Islam.