December 21, 2006

What is the Hudabaiya / Hudaibiya Treaty?

In 638 CE, Mohammed attempted to conquer the Jewish Koreish tribe in Arabia. When he failed, he made a 10 year peace treaty with the tribe, known as the Treaty of Hudabaiya. Soon after sealing this treaty, Mohammed began reinforcing his military and two years later he violated that treaty, massacring all the men and selling the women and children into forced conversion and slavery.

The Hudaibiya Treaty is used in Sharia law (Islamic law). According to Muhammed Hamidullah, an Arab scholar of Islam, in The Muslim Conduct of State (7th rev'd. ed. Lahore: 1977, p. 266.), "Muslim jurists conclude that treaties of friendship should not be concluded with non-Muslims in perpetuity. Generally the jurists agree that ten years should be the maximum period." This legal precedent is also noted by Bernard Lewis in The Arabs in History (9th ed. Oxford: 1993, p. 43), and probably innumerable other places.

Arafat, and other Palestinian leaders, have used their esteemed prophet's example to explain in Arabic why they make treaties with 'the infidels'. Whether you agree that Mohammed violated the treaty or had just cause (as some Muslim visitors to this website may believe), it does not change the fact that ARAFAT believes that likening the Oslo Accords (and other agreements with Israel) to the Hudabaiya treaty is akin to acknowledging that the agreements between the PLO/PA and Israel are temporary stepping stones to the destruction of Israel.

Shortly after the Oslo Accords were formalized, Arafat addressed a Johannesburg, South Africa mosque on 10 May 1994, unaware he was being filmed:

"The Jihad will continue, and Jerusalem is not [only] for the Palestinian people, it is for all the Muslim nation... This agreement [Oslo], I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Mohammed and the Koraish, and you remember that Caliph Omar had refused this agreement and [considered] it a despicable truce... We are in need of you as Moslems, as warriors of Jihad [Mujaheddin]." - Ha'aretz, 23 May 1994
In a 15 May 2002 speech to the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah, Arafat professed that peace was the PA's strategic choice. He then went on to say:
"Our national fight will be continued in all forms [read: terrorism].... Let us remember the Hudaibiya Conciliation Accord out of our concern for the national and pan-Arab interest of our people and nation"
In an address to a rally in Ramallah on 15 November 1996 (shortly after the Wye River Accords) broadcast on official Palestinian Television, Arafat declared:
"We chose the peace of the brave out of faith in the prophet, in the Khudaibiya agreement."
Arafat-appointed Palestinian Police Chief Col. Ghazi Jabali made remarks which were broadcast on official Palestinian Authority-controlled television on 30 October 1998, one week after the signing of the Wye River Memorandum between Israel and the PLO:

"We wish to build an independent state and to build our nation - even the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him, accepted the Hudabiya agreement, which contained unjust conditions."

In an interview with Egyptian government-controlled Orbit TV on 18 April 1998, Arafat was asked, "How do you explain that you occasionally ask the Palestinian street not to explode?" Arafat responded:

"When the prophet Muhammad made the Hudabiya agreement, he agreed to remove his title “messenger of Allah” from the agreement. Then, Omar bin Khatib and the others referred to this agreement as the “inferior peace agreement"... The peace agreement which we signed (Oslo, Interim Agreements, Hebron Accords) is an 'inferior peace'."

In an interview with the PA-controlled Al-Quds newspaper on 10 May 1998, Arafat was asked "Do you feel sometimes that you made a mistake in agreeing to Oslo?" Arafat responded:
"No... no. Allah's messenger Mohammad accepted the al-Hudabiya peace treaty and Salah a-Din accepted the peace agreement with Richard the Lion-Hearted [which Saladin violated shortly thereafter]."
From MythBustingTheMideast.

For more information on the Hudabaiya / Hudaibiya Treaty, click here, here or here.