48:1 SURELY We have given a victory to you,— a Clear Victory,
48:1 The sūrah derives its title from the word fath (lit. victory) in the opening verse, repeated several times in the rest of the sūrah. The victory refers to the peace treaty signed at Hudaibiyah, a dry gulch in the outskirt of Makkah, in the year 6 A.H./628 C.E. The sūrah was revealed when the Prophet was returning from Hudaibiyah. Most of the contemporaries of the Prophet thought the circumstances under which the treaty was singed and the conditions that were included in the treaty were largely humiliating to the Prophet and the Muslims in general. The Prophet was not allowed to sign the treaty as the customary appellation “Muhammad – the messenger of God” but as “Muhammad - son of Abdullah”. One of the conditions of the treaty was the Prophet would not perform the ‘Umrah, the lesser pilgrimage, in that year but return. Another important condition in the ten-year peace treaty said if any of the Makkans, irrespective of whether he was a Muslim or non-Muslim, migrated to the Muslim circle, he would be returned to the Makkans. On the other hand if any of the Muslims deserted the Prophet and joined the Quraish, he would not be returned to the Prophet. While the humiliation and sense of setback were bothering all Muslims, the verse declares the treaty was not only a victory but also a clear victory. The impact of the treaty was so far reaching in the history of Islam that most of the contemporary Muslims did not immediately understand it, however the double emphasis of victory in the verse indicates to its eventual far-reaching outcome. As a sequel to the victory each of the outcomes mentioned in vv. 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9 would be fulfilled. The treaty not only ended hostility for a while, but also opened up newer avenues for propagating Islam to the people, who, until that time, vehemently opposed the religion. Large number of Quraish soon afterwards actually embraced Islam and those who did not, at least softened their heart, pondered over the message of Islam and subconsciously positioned themselves to embrace Islam at the next opportune moment, which presented itself two year later when Makkah was conquered.