Muhammad, being now secure from any attack on the part of the Quraish, made
raids on different Bedouin tribes and so passed the time until the month for the
'Umra, or Lesser Pilgrimage, came round again. At this time some sick Bedouins
of the 'Urain and Ukka families accepted Islam and received permission to stay
on the pasture ground of the Prophet and to drink the milk of the she camels.
They were ungrateful, and, after slaying the keeper of the camels, stole fifteen
of them and ran away. They were caught and the punishment inflicted was brutal.
Their hands and feet were cut off; their eyes and tongues were pierced with
thorns (Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. i, p. 144); their eyes were pierced with
needles and they were exposed to the heat of the sun till they died (Khalasatu-t-Tafasir,
vol. ii, p. 575). Then this verse was revealed:
As to the thief, whether man or woman, cut ye off their hands in recompense
for their doings. This is a penalty by way of warning from God himself. Sura
Al-Ma'idah (v) 42.
In the spring of A.D. 629 Muhammad availed himself of the permission granted
by the Quraish, and with about two thousand followers approached Mecca. The
Quraish then retired and the Muslims, leaving their weapons outside, entered
Mecca which for seven years they had not seen. When Muhammad came to the Ka'ba 1
he said: 'May God be gracious to the man whom he shows them (the