It is another day which is regarded very important, and so it was. The conquest of Makkah was a military victory. It established Islam as a military force and even as a moral power. But the Holy Prophet still lived under the terms of the Peace Treaty which he had concluded with the infidels. Under this treaty the disbelievers had the right of entering Makkah, circumambulating the Ka’bah and even of participating in the Hajj ceremonies. The Muslims performed Hajj according to Islamic law and the disbelievers performed it according to their own rites. In 9 A.H. Surah Bara’at was revealed. At that time it was decided that Imam Ali should go to Mina, and recite this Surah there, publicly proclaiming that thenceforth the pagans had no right to take part in the Hajj ceremonies, which were an exclusive privilege of the Muslims.
Generally it is said that the Holy Prophet first dispatched Abu Bakr at the head of the Hajj caravan. He was still on his way when the verse banning pilgrimage to Makkah by the pagans was revealed. It is unanimously held by the Shi’ah ad the Sunnis and is considered to be a point of excellence going in favour of Imam Ali, that the Holy Prophet on his own personal camel sent him to Mina as his special envoy. The Holy Prophet said to him: “You must go because I have been Divinely instructed that this surah is to be recited by none except you or someone related to you”. Imam Ali proceeded and met Abu Bakr while he was still on his way. The story goes that Abu Bakr was in a tent when the Holy Prophet’s special camel uttered a loud cry. Abu Bakr, who was familiar with this cry, came out to find that Imam Ali had come. He was set aback, and thought that there must be something very important. He said to Imam Ali: “Is there any special news?” Imam Ali said: “I have been detailed to recite Surah Bara’at to the people.” Abu Bakr said: “Has anything been revealed against me?” “No”, said Imam Ali. Here there is again some difference of opinion. The Sunnis say that Imam Ali proceeded on his way and recited the surah according to his plan. In the mean-time Abu Bakr continued his journey, though he had lost one of his assignments. But the Shi’ah believe, and many of the Sunnis also as mentioned in al-Mizan the commentary on the Qur’an that Abu Bakr returned from there, called on the Holy Prophet and said: “Messenger of Allah, has anything been revealed in this surah against me?” The Holy Prophet said: “No”.
The day on which Surah Bara’at was proclaimed, was an extraordinary day for the Muslims, because on that day the infidels were debarred from taking part in Hajj ceremonies and entering the holy precincts. It was made clear to them that they could no longer be allowed to lead a polytheistic life. Islam does not tolerate polytheism.