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Treaty of Yamama

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Consequences of the Yamama.

The battle of Yamama was the bloodiest battle so far fought by the Muslims. It was a decisive battle that established the supremacy of Islam in Central Arabia. It proved to be a great trial of strength, and though the Muslims won the victory, this was achieved at a heavy cost. The casualties of Banu Hanifa were staggering. As many as 7,000 followers of Musailma died in the battle of Aqraba, and equal number fell in the Garden of Death. 

Twelvehundred Muslims met their martyrdom in this action, and although the number was very much less than the number of the dead of Banu Hanifa, the loss was nevertheless colossal. Almost every family in Makkah and Madina suffered the loss of some dear one. Most of the Muslims who had memorized the Holy Quran died in this battle, and their loss was most acute. Among the martyrs were Abu Hudhaifa, Zaid bin Khattab, Abu Dujana, Yazid bin Aus,Yazid bin Thabit, Abu Hababa bin Ghazia: Zarara bin Qais; Saib bin Awwam; Salma bin Masud, and many other distinguished persons from among the Ansars and the Muhajreen.

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Release of Maja’a.

All the important leaders of the Banu Hanifa were killed, and there was no leader to negotiate terms of surrender. Maja’a who had won the confidence of Khalid by saving the wife of Khalid, Laila, undertook to make negotiations with the Banu Hanifa. 

Maja’awas released on parole, and he went to negotiate terms with the Banu Hanifa. He returned to say that the major portion of the army was still in the fort of Yamama, and that they were poised for another action Khalid decided that he would himself go to the city to assess the situation. Maja’a sent a secret message to the Banu Hanifa that all women, old men and children should mount the battlements and display their arms. When Khalid went to the city he saw that the battlements were crowded. That set Khalid thinking. After the disastrous war of Aqraba, the Muslim forces though victorious, were too exhausted to risk another action.

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Khalid was under the circumstances keen to avoid another war. Maja’a played upon the feelings Or Khalid and said that if lenient terms were offered he might be able to arrive at some settlement with the Banu Hanifa. Khalid allowed him to go to his people again. Maja’a returned to say that if the Muslims were to be content with taking only one fourth of the property of the Banu Hanifa, peace could be negotiated. Khalid agreed and the peace treaty was signed “hereunder the Banu Hanifa were to surrender one fourth of their property.

Khalid’s marriage with Bint Maja’a.

After the treaty, Maja’a was allowed freedom and he returned to his people The gates of the city were thereafter thrown open. When Khalid rode into the city, the Banu Hanifa army was no where to be seen. “Where are your warriors” asked Khalid of Maja’a and Maja’a pointing to the women and children said, “These women and children were the warriors. I had them dressed as warriors, and made them parade on the battlements”. Khalid turned furiously to Maja’a and said, “This means that you deceived me”. Maja’a merely shrugged his shoulders and said, “You may kill me, if you like, but I had to resort to this ruse to save my people.” Khalid felt very bitter, but as he had given his promise to the people of Banu Hanifa, he was not in favor of withdrawing from the terms of the treaty. 

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Khalidhad heard of the beauty of the daughter of Maja’a, and he asked Maja’a to marry his daughter to him in case he wanted to escape his wrath. Ma a’a said, “I am at your disposal, but you know what happened when you married Laila. The Caliph did not approve of that marriage, and he will not approve of your marriage with my daughter.” Khalid retorted, “You need not bother about the approval of the Caliph. I wed your daughter tonight. You may go and make your arrangements accordingly.” That night Khalid married the beautiful daughter of Maja’a. Laila merely sulked in her tent.

Abu Bakr’s reactions.

As the Muslims had suffered heavily at the hands of Banu Hanifa, Abu Bakr sent instructions to Khalid that no mercy should be shown to the Banu Hanifa and all the male adults should be killed. Before these instructions reached Khalid, he had given these people general amnesty and they had accepted Islam.

Under the circumstances the instructions of Abu Bakr could not be complied with. Khalid sent a delegation of the people of Abu Hanifa along with the booty to Madina. The delegates expressed regrets and said that Musailma had deceived them. They assured Abu Bakr that they were sincere in their profession of Islam. Abu Bakr treated them with due courtesy and let things rest at that. He was, however, very bitter at Khalid’s marriage with Bint Maja’a. He addressed the following letter to Khalid: “O son of the mother of Khalid. What has gone wrong with you? You are out to wed women when the land around your camp is still drenched with blood of over a thousand martyrs.”

Apart from this mild censure, Abu Bakr chose to take no further action against the Victor of Aqraba.

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