Once he moved from Mecca to Medina, Muhammad was in a permanent state of war with the people of Mecca. He thought that by killing Abu Sufyan, one of the leaders there, he could gain a significant advantage against Mecca. The plan failed, however.
Muhammad’s tactic of wanting to physically eliminate an important enemy leader reminds us of the execution by an Israeli airstrike in 2004 of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin while Ariel Sharon was the Prime Minister of Israel.
But there is an important difference. According to their Charter, the objective of Hamas was and remains the destruction of Israel by violence.
Muhammad’s opponents, on the contrary, were only interested in warding off the constant threat that Muhammad posed with his persistent attacks on Meccan caravans.