But Qureish, in the meantime, was steadfastly repairing for Mecca, smarting profusely from the beating they had taken from the Muslims and licking their wounds as they plodded desolately through the desert sand. They needed time to come to come grips with this defeat. They needed time to mourn their dead and systematically plan a constructive method of revenge. Muhammed (pbuh) was not going to get away with this!
Meanwhile, it was decided to spare most of the captives; only a few of the mischief-makers, those who continued to show disrespect to the Prophet (pbuh) by bad-mouthing him and instigating others to do the same, were executed.
Perhaps the greatest manifestation of clemency came from Muhammed (pbuh) himself when he spared the life of the son of Abu Lahab, the man whom Allah Himself curses in the 'Holy Quran'!
This particular son was married to the Prophet's (pbuh) daughter. In fact, Abu Lahab had two of his sons married to Muhammed's (pbuh) two daughters, Umme Kulthum and Ruqayah. But when the Prophet (pbuh) started his ministries about the One God, Allah, and that he was the 'Messenger of that God', Abu Lahab was the one who sent the two women packing and forbade his sons to have anything further to do with them.
Another significant show of forgiveness was that most of the captives were ransomed off to their families in Mecca. However, those who were poor, or who had no relatives, had to teach those Muslims who were illiterate to read and write. And those who could not even do this were sent back to their people in Mecca, provided they swore not to take up arms against the Muslims in the future.
Medina was never going to be the same again!