Hilf-ul-Fudool [حِلفُ الفُضُول]

Frequent fights had ruined the lives of hundreds of Arab families. With looting and plundering becoming the order of the day, there was no peace in the country. The lives and wealth of people were quite unsafe. They were living in a state of constant fear day and night. After the war of Fujjaar ended, some peace-loving people campaigned to establish permanent peace. Therefore, the prominent chiefs of the tribes of the Quraysh such as Banu Haashim, Banu Zuhrah and Banu Asad etc. gathered at the house of ‘Abdullah Bin Jud’aan where the uncle of the Holy Nabi, Zubayr Bin ‘Abdul Muttalib suggested that a peace treaty should be made so that violence and destruction could be prevented. Therefore, based on the principle ‘live and let live’, a treaty was made by the chiefs of the Quraysh. They swore under oath that (1) they would end violence in the country, (2) they would protect travellers, (3) they would help the poor, (4) they would support the oppressed,(5) they would not let any oppressor1 or usurper2 live in Makkah.

The Beloved and Blessed Rasool صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم also participated in the treaty. He صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم valued it very much. Even after the declaration of Nubuwwah, he صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم was so pleased with it that he صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم would say: Even if anyone gives me red camels, I will not get as much pleased with anything as I am with it. Even today after the emergence of Islam, if any oppressed person calls me for help, saying ‘یَا آل حِلفُ الفُضُول’, I am prepared to help him.

That historical treaty was called ‘Hilf-ul-Fudool’ for the reason that a quite similar treaty was also made by the chiefs of the tribe ‘Jurhum’ in Makkah long before this treaty of the Quraysh. The names of those people from the tribe ‘Jurhum’ who played a vital role in this treaty contained the word ‘Fadl’ such as Fadl Bin Haaris, Fadl Bin Wada’ah and Fadl Bin Fadaalah. Hence it was called ‘Hilf-ul-Fudool’. That is, the treaty made by some people whose name was ‘Fadl’.3

1i.e. a cruel person.
2i.e. the person who takes somebody’s position and power without any right to do this.
3As-Seerat-un-Nabawiyyah li Ibn Hishaam, pp. 56

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