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That we should strike you sorely on account of its exegesis;
As we struck you on account of its revelation;
Such blows as would remove heads from bodies! Lord, I do believe in all that he says!
The Prophet stayed in Mecca for three days. There he married Maymunah al-Hilăliyyah, daughter of al-l.lärith. He left Mecca and went into her in a place called Sarf (outside the city); he then returned to Medina, where he remained till the beginning of the eighth year of the Hijrah.

The Engagement of Mu’tah

The engagement of Mu’tah (on the borders of Syria) took place in Jumădă ‘l-Ulă = August, 629. The Prophet dispatched a large army under the leadership of Zayd ibn al-Hărithah. He directed that if Zayd were killed, then Ja’far ibn Abi Tălib would take his place. If Ja’far were also slain, then ‘Abdullah ibn Rawăhah should succeed him. Should he too be slain, then the Muslims must choose one from among themselves to be their leader. In a tradition related by Abăn ibn ‘Uthmăn on the authority of the sixth Imarn as-Sadiq, we are told that the Prophet appointed Ja’far as their leader. Should he be killed, then Zayd would succeed
him, and if Zayd were also to be slain, then ‘Abdullăh ibn
Rawăhah would assume the leadership of the army.
The men set out, and when they reached Ma’ăn (on the pilgrimage route between Mecca and Syria), they heard that Hiraql (Heraclius) had encamped at a nearby place called Ma’rib with an army of 100,000 Byzantine and a similar number of Arabized people. According to Abän ibn ‘Uthm~n, they heard of the great multitudes of the rejecters of faith, both Arabs and non-Arabs: the Lakhm, Judhäm, Baliyy and Qudă’ah. The Associators then moved to a place called al-Mashărif. Swords are called ‘al-mashrafiyyah’ because they were manufactured for Solomon son of David in that place.
The Muslim fighters encamped in Ma’än for two days. After consulting with one another, they decided to send word to the Messenger of Allah telling him of the large numbers of their enemies, and await his instructions. But ‘Abdullăh ibn R~wăhah objected saying: “Ok people — by Allah, we fight not with our numbers, but with this faith with which Allah has honored us.” They all agreed saying:
“You speak the truth!” Thus they prepared for war, even though they were only three thousand. They met the Byzan-tine armies in a town of the land of Balqä’ called Sharf. The Muslims then moved to Mu’tah, a small town near al-Ahsă’.
It is related on the authority of Anas ibn Mălik that:
“Allah announced to the Prophet the death of Ja’far, Zayd ibn al-Hărithah and ‘Abdullăh ibn Rawăhah bethe news reached him.” His eyes were filled with tears, as related by al-Bukhări in his as-Sahfh. ~ Abăn related on the authority of AbU Ja’far (the fifth Imăm): “Ja’far fell on that day having sustained fifty wounds, twenty-five of which were to his face.” Ja’far’s son ‘Abdulläh said: “I remember when the Messenger of Allah came to my mother to announce to her the death of my father. I looked at him while he stroked me and my brother on the head, his eyes flowing with tears until his beard was soaked. He then said: ‘0 Allah, behold:
Ja’far has come to you, to the best of rewards. Grant that his progeny be among the best you have granted any of your servants.’ He then addressed my mother saying: ‘0 Asmă’, shall I announce the good news to you?’ ‘Yes’, she answered, ‘may my father and mother be a ransom for you, 0 Apostle of Allah!’ He said: ‘Allah has granted Ia’ far two wings with which to soar in Paradise.’ ‘Tell people about it’, she de-manded. The Messenger of Allah then arose and took me by the hand, all the while patting me on the head, until he went up on to his pulpit and seated me before him on the lowest step. Sorrow was visible in his face. He addressed the people saying: ‘A man feels great sorrow at the death of his brother or his cousin. Ja’far has been martyred. He was given two wings with which to soar in Paradise.’ He then came down and went into his home. He took me with him and ordered that some food be prepared for me. He also sent for my brother, so that we both ate with him a blessed meal. We stayed in his home for three days, accompanying him wher-ever he went around his wives’ chambers. When at last we returned to our home, the Messenger of Allah came to us while I was bargaining to sell a sheep belonging to one of my brothers. He prayed: ‘0 Allah, bless his bargain for him.’” ‘Abdullăh then concluded: “I never thereafter bought or sold anything but that Allah blessed it for me.”
It is related on the authority of a~-Sadiq that the Apostle of Allah said to Fatimah: “GO and mourn your cousin. Do not cry, ‘0 my bereavement!’ Anything else you say about him (that is, enumerating his virtues), would be speaking the truth, for many are his virtues.” Muhammad Ibn Is~iaq related on the authority of ‘Urwah ibn az-Zubayr that: “When the men of the Battle of Mu’tah returned, the Apostle of Allah met them with the other Muslims, who then began to throw dust upon them saying: ‘You retreaters! You have indeed taken to flight in the way of Allah!’ The Messenger of Allah retorted: ‘No, they are not retreaters.


Rather, they are brave attackers, Allah willing.’”

The Battle of Mu’tah was followed in Ramadăn of the same year (8 AH. = December, 629) by the Conquest of Mecca. When the Messenger of Allah agreed on the truce of Hudaybiyyah, the Khuză’ah tribe entered into a pact of alliance with the Prophet, and the Kinănah tribe established a similar pact with the Quraysh. After two years had elapsed, a man of the Kinănah sat relating disparaging tales about the Messenger of Allah. A man of Khuză’ah objected saying:
“Do not say such things.” The man asked: “What is it to you?” He threatened, “If you repeat this, I will revoke our covenant.” As the man dared him and repeated his words, the man of Khuză’ah struck him with his hand. Both men cried out to their people for support. The men of Kinănah were more numerous, so they beat the others back until they forced them into the Sacred Mosque, even .kiling some of them. The people of Quraysh aided the men of Kinănah with arms and horses.
‘Amr ibn Sălixn (a man of the Khuza’ah tribe) rode to the Messenger of Allah with the news and recited the following verses:
No matter, but I have come to remind Muhammad, of the old alliance between him and us.
The people of Quraysh have broken their promise to you; they have indeed revoked your binding covenant.
They killed us while we were kneeling and prostrate at prayer!
The Messenger of Allah answered: “You have said enough
0 ‘Amr!” He then immediately arose and, entering the chamber of his wife MaymUnah, ordered water to be brought to him. He began to wash himself and repeat, “No, may I never be given support if I do not come to the aid of the


people of Ka’b (i.e., the Khuză’ah).” Thus the Apostle of Allah resolved on going to Mecca. He prayed: “0 Allah, remove all spies of the Quraysh, so that we might surprise them in their own home.”
A man called Hătib ibn Abi Balta’ah wrote a letter to the people of Quraysh which he sent with Sarah, a servant of Abü Lahab, telling them that the Messenger of Allah would come to punish them on such and such a day. The woman set out, avoiding the main road, and going instead to the left across the Harrah district. But Gabriel came down and told the Prophet. He called ‘All and az-Zubayr and said to them: “Go overtake her and seize the letter from her!” ‘All and az-Zubayr set out, not stopping to speak to anyone until they reached Dhü ‘l-Ilulayfah (a place outside Medina on the way to Mecca). The Prophet had previously set guards over Medina, headed by al-Hărithah ibn an-Nu’min. ‘All and az-Zubayr asked the guards if they had seen the woman, but they said that they had seen no one. They then met a woodcutter and asked him; he said, “I saw a dark woman who turned down towards al-Harrah.” Thus they caught her; ‘All took the letter from her and took her back to the Messenger of Allah.
The Prophet called Hătib and said to him: “See what you have done!” The man ai~swered: “By Allah, I have faith in Allah and His Apostle. I have never doubted, but I am a man who has close relatives and family in Mecca. I therefore wished to do the people of Quraysh a good turn in order that they in turn act kindly towards my family.” ‘Umar ibn al-Khattăb said: “Let me cut off his head, 0 Apostle of Allah; for’by Allah, he has acted hypocritically!” The Prophet replied: “He is of the people of Badr, whom Allah has looked kindly on and forgiven.” He then com-manded: “Expel him from the Mosque!” As men began to push him cut, he turned and looked at the Messenger of Allah, hoping that he would show mercy towards him. The Prophet at last ordered that he be brought back, and said to him: “I have pardoned your crime. Seek forgiveness of your Lord, therefore, and do not commit such an act again.” Allah then sent down: 0 you who have faith, do not take my enemies and your enemies as allies..., and so on to the middle of the sürah [see Qur. 60:1 et seq.].

Abăn related on the authority of Abfl ‘Abdilläh (as-~ădiq) that when Abü Sufyăn learnt of what the people of Quraysh had done to those of Khuză’ah while he was in Syria, he went to the Messenger of Allah and said to him:
“0 Muhammad, stop the blood of your people from being shed! Allow that pacts of protection (jiwăr) be established among the people of Quraysh, and give us longer respite!” The Prophet replied: “But you have committed treachery, 0 AbU Sufyän.” “No”, Abü Sufyän answered. The Prophet then declared: “We remain committed as we have been.” AbU Sufyan met AbU Bakr soon after he left the Prophet. He requested him to grant protection to the people of Quraysh. Abü Bakr objected: “Alas for you, can anyone grant protection against the Messenger of Allah?” AbU Suf-yăn then met ‘Umar and repeated to him the same request. He then went to Umm Habibah, wife of the Prophet, and went to sit on a mattress she had on the floor. Umm Habibah, however, quickly folded the mattress and took it away. Abü Sufyăn asked: “0 daughter, would you consider me Un-worthy to sit on this mattress?” “Yes”, she retorted, “this belongs to the Messenger of Allah. You ought not to sit on it while you are an abominable Associator!” He then went to Fătimah and addressed her saying: “0 daughter of the Apostle of Allah and master of the Arabs, would you offer protection to the people of Quraysh and extend our period of truce, and thus be the noblest lady among the people?”

She answered: “My pact of protection is that of the Apostle of Allah.” He begged again: “Would you order your two Sons to offer protection to the people?” “By Allah”, she said. my Sons would not know to whom of the people of Quthey should offer protection.” Abü Sufyan then met ‘All and said to him: “You are the closest in kinship to me. Matters have become difficult for me; find a way out for me.” ‘All answered: “You are the chief elder of Quraysh. Stand, therefore, at the door of the mosque and establish pacts of protection among the men of Quraysh. Then ride out and go to your people.” “Do you consider this to be of benefit to me?” Abü Sufyän asked. “I do not know”, ‘All answered. AbU Sufyăn did as ‘All suggested and cried out: “0 people, I hereby declare a covenant of protection (jiwăr) among the people of Quraysh!”
Abu Sufyan then mounted his camel and went to his people. They asked: “What news have you?” He replied:
“I went to Muhammad and spoke to him, but by Allah, he gave no answer to me. I then went to Ibn Abi Quhafah (AbU Bakr), but I found no good with him. I likewise went to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattăb but to no avail. I went to Fătimah, but she did not answer me. I finally met ‘All, and he advised me to declare a covenant of protection among the people, and they accepted. The men of Quraysh asked: “Did Muham-mad allow it?” “No”, he ans.wered “Alas for you”, they retorted, “the man (that is, ‘All) is playing tricks on you, while you declare covenants of protection among the people of Quraysh!”

The Messenger of Allah set out for Mecca on Friday after the mid-afternoon prayers on the second of Ramadăn (9/630), leaving Abü Lubăbah ibn ‘Abdi ‘l-Mundhfr as his representative in Medina He then summoned the chief of every tribe and asked him to call his people to arms.


It is reported on the authority of (the fifth Imăm) al-Baqir that the Messenger of Allah set out for the Battle of Conquest observing the fast along with the people until they reached a place called Kură’u ‘l-Ghamlm, where he broke his fast. The people also broke their fast except a few who were then called ‘the rebellious ones’. He journeyed on until he reached a place called Marm ‘z-Zahrăn. He was accom-panied by around ten thousand men and four hundred home-men, but the people of Quraysh did not learn of his coming.
On that night AbU Sufyan, Haklm ibn Jlizaxn and Badil ibn Warqa’ set out wondering if they would hear any news. al-’Abbăs ibn ‘Abdi ‘l-Muttalib had previously gone out to meet the Messenger of Allah, accompanied by Abü Sufyăn ibn al-Hărith and ‘Abdullăh ibn Abi Umayyah. He met him at a spot called Nlqu ‘l-’Iqab. The Messenger of Allah was sitting under a canopy guarded by Ziyad ibn Usayd. Ziyad met them and said: “As for you 0 Abu ‘l~Façll, you may go to the canopy. But as for the two of you, you must go away.” al-’Abbăs went to the Messenger of Allah and greeted him with the salutation of peace, and said: “May my father and mother be a ransom for you, here is your cousin (that is, Aba Sufyăn) and your maternal aunt’s son (that is, ‘Abdullăh ibn Abi Umayyah) coming to you repentant.” He answered, “I have no need of them. My cousin has violated my family’s honor. As for the son of my aunt, he is the one who says in Mecca: ‘We shall not believe you until you cause a cool spring to gush forth for us from the earth’” [Qur. 17 :901.
When al-’Abbăs left, Umm Salamah (the Prophet’s wife) pleaded with him saying: “May my father and mother be a ransom for you, here is your cousin coming to you repent-ant! Let him not be the most wretched of men through you. Here also is the brother of your aunt’s son, and brother to your son-rn-law; let him not be wretched through you!” Abü Sufyăii ibn al-llărith then called out to the Prophet:

“0 Apostle of Allah, say to us what Allah’s righteous ser-vant (Joseph) said to his brothers: ‘There is no blame on you’” IIQur. 12:921. The Prophet then called both AbU Sufyăn and ‘AbdulThh ibn Abi Umayyah and accepted their repentance.
al- ‘Abbăs commented: “If the Messenger of Allah had entered Mecca as a conquerer, it would have been the destruction of Quraysh to the end of time.” He continued~ “Thus I mounted the Messenger of Allah’s white mule and went out of the city looking for a woodcutter or shepherd that I might send to the people of Quraysh and convey my advice that they ride to the Apostle of Allah and beg for a promise of security (amdn). On the way I met Abü Sufyan, Badil ibn Warqa’~ and Hakim ibn Hizăm, just as AbU Sufyăn was asking BadIl, ‘What are these fires?’ He answered, ‘They must belong to the tribe of Khuză’ah.’ Abü Sufyăn answered, ‘The Khuză’ah are too few for these to be their fires. They must rather belong to either the Taym or Rabi’ ah tribe.’
al-’Abbăs went on: “I recognized AbU Sufyan’s voice, and called out, ‘Is that AbU Hanzalah?’ He answered: ‘Here I am; who are you?’ I answered, ‘I am al-’Abbăs.’ AbU Sufyăn asked, ‘To whom do these fires belong?’ ‘This is the Mess-enger of Allah with ten thousand of the Muslims’, I replied. He asked further, ‘What is to be done?’ I said, ‘You must ride behind me on this mule and come with me that I may beg the Messenger of Allah for a promise of security for you.’ I thus put him behind me and rode with him (to the Prophet). Whenever we passed by an assembly of men, they rushed at him. But as they saw me, they turned back saying, ‘This is the uncle of the Apostle of Allah; let him go.’ When I reached ‘Umar’s door, he recognized AbU Sufyăn and exclaimed, ‘Here is the enemy of Allah; praise be to Allah Who brought you into my hands!’ The mule, however, gal-loped on until we all gathered at the entrance to the canopy.
‘Umar went in and said (to the Prophet), ‘Here is Abü Suf-yăn; Allah has brought him into your hands without him having any covenant or agreement of protection. Let me, therefore, strike of f his head.’”
al-’Abbăs continued his narrative. “I sat at the feet of the Apostle of Allah and begged him, saying: ‘Here is Abü Sufyăn whom I have taken into my protection.’ He answered, ‘Bring him in.’ AbU Sufyăn stood before him, and the Prophet asked, ‘0 Abü Sufyän, is it not time for you to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that I am the Apostle of Allah?’ Abü Sufyăn exclaimed, ‘May my father and mother be a ransom for you! How noble and kind to your next of kin you are, and how clement! By Allah, had there been any other god beside Him, he would have assisted on the days of Uhud and Badr. But as for the fact that you are the Messenger of Allah, I still have some doubt in my heart concerning it.’” al-’Abbăs warned him saying: “He will strike off your head right now unless you bear wit-ness that he is the Apostle of Allah!” AbU Sufyän finally exclaimed: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that you are indeed the Apostle of Allah.” He barely mumbled it with his lips. AbU Sufyăn asked al-’Abbăs, “What shall we do with al-Lăt and al-’Uzză (the two goddesses of Mecca)? ‘~ “Defecate on them!” ‘Umar retorted: AbU Sufyan said: “Fie on you, how lewd you are! What makes you intervene in a conversation between me and my cousin?” The Messenger of Allah asked AbU Sufyän, “With whom will you spend the night?” “With Abu ‘l-Façll”, he replied. The Prophet said: “Take him, 0 Abu ‘l-Fadl, and let him sleep at your home tonight, and bring him back to me in the morning.”
Next morning, AbU Sufyan heard Bilăl raising the call to prayer. He asked: “Who is that calling out, 0 Abu ‘1-Fadl?” al-’Abbăs answered: “He is the mu ‘adhdhin of the
Messenger of Allah. Rise, therefore, perform your ablu-tions and offer your prayers.” “How shall I perform my ablutions?” Abü Sufyan enquired. al-’Abbăs then taught him how.
It is reported that Abü Sufyăn looked at the Prophet performing his ablutions, while the Muslims placed their hands beneath his head so that not one drop fell on a man but that he rubbed his face with it. He exclaimed in astonish-ment: “0 Abu ‘l-Façll, by Allah, I have never seen the like of this day in the courts of Kisră (the Emperor of Persia) or Qay~ar (the Emperor of Byzantium)!” After Aba Sufyăn had performed his prayers, al-’Abbăs took him to the Messenger of Allah. Aba Sufyän addressed him, saying: “0 Apostle of Allah, I wish that you would permit me to warn your people (that is, the Quraysh of Mecca) and invite them to the Messenger of Allah.” He granted permission. AbU Sufyan asked al-’Abbăs, “What shall I say to them? Advise me of a way in which they would be pleased.” The Prophet answered: “Say to them, ‘Anyone who says there is no god but Allah alone, having no associate, and that Mu~ummad is the Apostle of Allah, and also restrains his hand (that is, from fighting against the Muslims), shall be granted security. Anyone who lays down his arms and sits by the Ka’bah shall have safety.’” al-’Abbăs said: “0 Apostle of Allah, Abü Sufyän is a man who loves boasting. Would you, then, grant him a special favor?” The Prophet then added: “Who-ever enters the house of Abü Sufyän shall be safe.” Abu Sufyăn enquired, again with astonishment, “Do you mean my house?” “Yes, your house”, the Prophet answered. He went on: “Anyone who remains in his home and shuts his door, shall be safe.”
When Abü Sufyan left, al- ‘Abbas said: “0 Apostle of Allah, Abü Sufyan is a man who behaves perfidiously, and he has observed the disunity prevailing among the Muslims.


The Prophet replied: “Pursue him and keep him in the narrow passes of the valley until Allah’s legions overtake him.”
It is reported that al-’Abbas pursued Abü Sufyan and called out to him: “0 Abü Ijan~alah.” Abü Sufyan called back: “Is it treachery that you intend against me, 0 sons of Hashim?” “Treachery is not our custom, as you shall know”, al-’Abbăs replied, “but stay here till the morning so that you might see the legions of Allah.” al-’Abbăs reported that Khälid ibn al-Walid passed first, and Abü Sufyän said:
“This is the Messenger of Allah.” “No”, answered al-’Abbăs, “this is Khălid ibn al-Walid coming with the first ranks.” Then az-Zubayr passed by leading the tribes of Juhaynah and Ashja’. Aba Sufyän exclaimed: “0 ‘Abbas, this is Muham-mad!” “No”, he answered, “this is az-Zubayr.” Thus legions followed past him one after the other until the Messenger of Allah came leading the legion of the An~ăr. Then Sa’d ibn ‘Ubădah came up to AbU Sufyän, bearing in his hand the standard of the Messenger of Allah, and said: “0 AbU Han-~alah, today is the day of war! Today shall womenfolk be taken captive! 0 men of the Aws and Khazraj, today is the day of your revenge for the day of the mountain (that is, for those who were killed in the Battle of Uhud).”
When Abü Sufyän heard these words from Sa’d, he left al-’Abbas and made his way through the crowds and under the spears of the men, until he stood by the Messenger of Allah. He took hold of his stirrup and kissed it. He then addressed him saying: “May my father and mother be a ransom for you; do you hear what Sa’d is saying?” He then repeated Sa’d’s words to the Prophet. The Prophet answered:
“Nothing of what Sa’d has said will happen.” He then turned to ‘All and said: “Go to Sa’d and take the banner from him and carry it gently into Mecca.” ‘All carried it thither as the Prophet had commanded.
It is reported that on that day Ilakim ibn Hizăm, Badil ibn Warqa’ and Jubayr ibn Mu~’im accepted Islam. Abü Sufyăn ran hastily to Mecca. Even though a thick cloud of dust appeared over the mountains, the people of Quraysh knew nothing of what was taking place~ AbU Sufyän came running up the valley. The men of Quraysh met him and asked the reason for his excitement, and the meaning of the dust which they saw. He said: “Here comes Muhammad with the multitudes!” He then cried out: “0 people of Ghälib, run to your houses! Whoever enters my home, he shall be safe!” When Hind learnt of what was happening, she began to expel the people (from Abü Sufyän’s home). She then cried out: “Kill the wicked old man (meaning the Prophet). May Allah curse such a leader, coming at the head of such a people!” AbU Sufyăn retorted: “Hold your peace, woe to you! I saw the men of horns (that is, the Byzantines, descendants of Alexander the Great who was known as Dhü ‘l-Qc.rnayn, the man with the two horns) — I saw the noble Sons of Persia, the King of Kindah (an important Arab tribe) and the young men of Himyar (a large tribe of Yemen) — I saw them all accepting Islam at the end of the day (of battle). Hold your peace; alas for you, Truth has come, and calamity is near!”

The Messenger of Allah had previously bound the Mus~ lims with a promise that they would kill in Mecca only those who might fight against them, except a few men who used to insult the Prophet — Miqyas ibn Subabah, ‘Abdulläh ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh, ‘Abdullah ibn Khatal and two~singing girls who used to sing songs denigrating the Messenger of Allah. He commanded the Muslims, saying: “Slay them, even if you find them holding on to the curtains of the Ka’bah.” ‘Abdullăh ibn Khatal was indeed found holding on to the cur-tains of the Ka’bah. Sa’id ibn Hurayth and ‘Ammăr ibn Yasir ran to him, but Sa’ld overtook ‘Ammär and slew him. Miqyas ibn Subabah was killed in the market place. ‘All killed one of the two singing girls, but the other escaped. ‘All also killed al-~uwayrith ibn Naqldh ibn Ka’b. He learnt that Umm HănI daughter of Abü Talib had given shelter to some men of the Makhzüm tribe, among whom were al-Hărith ibn Hishăin and Qays ibn as-Sa’ib. ‘Ali went to her house heavily clad with iron armor. He cried out: “Bring forth the men you have sheltered!” The men began to urinate on themselves in fear of him. Umm HănI came out to him, not knowing who he was, and said: “0 servant of Allah, I am Umm Hăni, cousin of the Messenger of Allah and sister of ‘All ibn Abi Talib! Go away from my house.” ‘All, however, insisted:
“Bring them out!” She answered: “By Allah, I shall accuse you beforc the Apostle of Allah!” But as he took the helmet off his head, she recognized him. She thus ran and embraced him, saying: “May I be a ransom for you! I have sworn by Allah that I would accuse you before the Apostle of Allah.” “Go and fulfill your oath”, ‘All replied, “there he is at the head of the valley.”
Umm Hănl related: “I came to the Messenger of Allah as he was under a canopy bathing, while Fă4imah stood sheltering him. When the Messenger of Allah heard my words, he exclaimed: ‘Welcome to you, 0 Umm Hăni!’ I replied, ‘May my father and mother be a ransom for you, I have endured much from ‘All today.’ He answered: ‘I shall grant protection (jiwdr) to anyone you have taken into your protection.’ Fătimah added: ‘So you come to accuse ‘All in that he frightened the enemies of Allah and His Apostle.’ I said to the Prophet: ‘Bear with me, may I be a ransom for you.’ The Messenger of Allah replied:
‘May Allah accept well his effort! As for me, I shall grant protection to anyone in Umm Hăni’s protection because of her relationship to ‘All ibn Abl Tălib.’”

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