'Pledge of the tree' is an event ever after referred to with great respect and regard. It is a most striking instance of the personal devotion of his followers to the Prophet and of the intense sympathy which existed between them. God is said to have been glad about it:—

Well pleased now hath God been with the believers when they plighted fealty to thee under the tree. Sura Al-Fath (xlviii) 18. 1

The end of the consultations was that the Quraish absolutely refused admission to the Ka'ba, but agreed to the following terms:—

'War shall be suspended for ten years. Neither side shall attack the other. Perfect amity shall prevail betwixt us. Whosoever wisheth to join Muhammad and enter into treaty with him shall have liberty to do so; and whosoever wisheth to join the Quraish and enter into treaty with them shall have liberty so to do. If any one goeth over to Muhammad, without the permission of his guardian, he shall be sent back to his guardian.2 But, if

1 It is called the 'Oath of good pleasure.'—بيعة الرضوان . Years after when the Khawarij opposed 'Ali and his followers, one section afterwards said that 'Ali, Talha and Zubair were in Paradise, because they had plighted fealty under the tree.
2 It will be seen that there is no distinction of sex here and it applies to females equally with males, but soon after the return of the Prophet to Mecca a young man came from Mecca to Madina. His guardian claimed him and Muhammad admitted the claim. Then a woman came over. Her brothers followed her to Madina and demanded her restoration. Muhammad now objected to give up a woman and produced the following revelation:—

O ye who believe! when there come believing women who have fled, then try them: God knows their faith. If ye know them to be believers do not send them back to the unbelievers; they are not lawful for them, nor are the men lawful for these. Sura Al-Mumtahinah (lx) 10.

The commentators on the wordsفَامْتَحنُوْهًُنَّ — then try them,' say that they are to be examined as to the real cause of their flight, in
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any one from amongst the followers of Muhammad return to the Quraish, the same shall be sent back; provided—on the part of the Quraish—that Muhammad and his followers retire from us this year without entering the city. In the coming year he may visit Mecca, he and his followers, for three days when we shall retire. But they may not enter it with any weapons, save those of the traveller, namely, to each a sheathed sword.' 1

At first the Muslims were disappointed and felt that their object in coming had not been gained, 2 but Muhammad soon produced a revelation to show how wrong that view of it was, and what benefits would be derived from this treaty of Hudaibiya. Standing on his camel, he gave what he declared to be God's message, beginning with the words:—

Verily, we have won for thee an undoubted victory. Sura Al-Fath (xlviii) 1. 3

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order to ascertain that it is nothing else than the desire to embrace Islam, for only in such a case is their detention lawful. Still, even in this case the Prophet's action was a clear breach of the treaty recently made. It is a good illustration of the great value to him, and of the practical utility, of the piecemeal revelation of the Qur'an. It needs explanation and so with reference to the condition laid down in the treaty of Hudaibiya, Husain says: 'Gabriel came and said, "O Prophet of God, the condition applies only to men and not to women".'—
جبرائيل آسد وكفت يا رسول الله آن شرط بر مردمان واقع شدة ـ نة بزنهان Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. ii, p. 397.
1 Raudatu's-Safa part ii, vol. ii, pp. 505-14.
2 It is said that Muhammad himself could not trust the Meccans and that warlike steps were sanctioned if they failed to observe the terms of the treaty of Hudaibiya (Sura Al-Baqarah (ii) 186-9). If this passage does refer to this period it is a late interpolation. See Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. i, p. 32, and Baidawi, vol. i, p. 108. The verses in Sura Al-Mumtahinah (lx) 1-9 probably refer to the same circumstance.
3 Nöldeke on vv. 1-17 of this Sura says, 'from these verses we may clearly see that Muhammad had intended to take Mecca but that the Bedouins now failed to help him; so he thought it advisable to conclude a treaty. This was good policy and a true victory' Geschichtes des Qorans, p. 161.
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