From the Door
It seems that this journey was a touchstone, entirely a test from end to end. As such, when Surah-Al-Fath was revealed on the return-journey, saying:
"Verily! We have given thee (O Muhammad) a manifest victory,"
The hearts were heavy with the shock of being driven away from the door and under a mountain of woe eyes were shedding tears. And in this state the Companions received the divine order not to consider it a setback, a discomfiture, but to call it a victory. They were asked not to be woeful by considering it a defeat but to express joy since Allah called it a victory.
Apparently it has been called a victory quite contrary to circumstances, events and observation. Was it a test? If not what was it? Had it not been a test of Iman and endurance but the consolation was meant by these noble verses, than at least there should have been some prophecy of glories to come. However it seemed to be a test. Test of heart and tongue. Call it a Victory and believe it to be from deep down. And with these holy beings it cannot be anything else but obedience. Hypocrisy was not their way. That is in fact our way of life today. Persian couplet:
On the tongue is ‘Ya Samad’ (Allah, the Eternally Besought of all) and in the heart is ‘Ya Sanam’ (0 beloved idol). You are an infidel in the heart. Why do you then show yourself to be a Muslim?
At that time there was not the slightest scope for suspecting Allah's and the Holy Prophet's orders, as otherwise divine revelation (wahy) would have revealed and exposed the reality.
The most aggrieved man on this occasion was Hazrat Umar ^. Since it was he who had conversed with the Holy Prophet on this matter. The Prophet called him particularly to recite this surah to him as he was most provoked and intoxicated with this sentiment, just to observe whether he would believe it as a victory or not or would express any doubt about it.
In short, it appears from looking into all the events and particulars of this journey that the real purpose of this journey was just to test the Companions' faith, that they should always be ready to sacrifice their sentiment and eagerness, love and liking and every thing else for Allah's and the Holy Prophet's .