The Command of War in Islam

Certain verses of the Qur'an give the command to do battle (22:39). Here are a few points on this subject that we learn from our study of the Qur'an.

The first point is that to initiate aggression or armed confrontation is absolutely forbidden for Muslims. That is why the Qur'an clearly states: Fight in the cause of God those who fight against you, but do not transgress (2:190).

Islam allows only a defensive war. That is, when aggression is resorted to by others, Muslims may engage in war only in self-defence. The initiation of hostilities is not permitted for Muslims. Combat may be engaged in only when "they (the opponents) were the first to commence hostilities against you." (Qur'an, 9:13)

Furthermore, even in the face of aggression, Muslims are not immediately to wage a defensive war. Instead they are to employ all possible means to prevent a carnage from taking place. They are to resort to fighting only when it becomes totally unavoidable. All the battles that took place during the life of the Prophet provide practical examples of this principle. For instance, during the campaign of Ahzab, the Prophet attempted to avoid the battle by digging a trench, and thus successfully averted war. If, on the occasion of Hunain, the Prophet had to engage in battle, it was because it had become inevitable.

There was another kind of war, according to the Qur'an, which was temporarily desirable. That was the struggle to end religious persecution (fitna) (2:193).

In this verse 'fitna refers to that coercive system which reaches the extremes of religious persecution. Prevalent all over the world in ancient times, this system had effectively closed the doors to all kinds of spiritual and material progress for man. Therefore, God commanded His devotees to put an end to the kings' and emperors' reign of terror in order to usher in an age of freedom in which man might receive all kinds of spiritual and material benefits.

This task was undertaken internally within Arabia during the life of the Prophet of Islam. Afterwards, the Sassanid and Byzantine empires were dismantled by divine succour during the period of the rightly-¬guided caliphs. Consequently, the coercive political system ended at the international level, and thus began an age of intellectual freedom.

In this connection we find a very authentic tradition recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari. When, after the caliphate of Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abdullah ibn Zubayr and the Umayyads engaged themselves in political confrontation, Abdullah ibn Umar (son of the second Caliph) and the senior-most surviving companion of the Prophet kept himself aloof from this battle. A group of people came to him and, referring to the verse (2:193), which commanded the believers to do battle in order to put an end to persecution, asked him why he was not willing to join the battle, Abdullah ibn Umar replied that ‘fitna’ did not refer to their political confrontation, but referred rather to religious persecution, which they had already brought to an end. (Fathul Bari, 8/160).

This makes it clear that the war putting an end to persecution was a temporary war, of limited duration, which had already been concluded during the period of the rightly guided caliphs. Now justifying the waging of war by citing this verse is not at all acceptable. This verse will apply only if the same conditions prevail in the world once again.

Biographers of the Prophet have put the number of war campaigns at 80. When a reader goes through these biographies, he receives the impression that the Prophet of Islam during his 23-year prophetic period waged wars at least four times a year. But this impression is entirely baseless. The fact is that the Prophet of Islam in his entire prophetic period fought only three battles. All the other incidents, called ghazwa, or military expeditions, are in fact, examples of avoidance of battle, rather than of involvement in battle.

For instance, the incident of al-Ahzab has been called a battle in the books of seerah. Whereas in reality, on this occasion, 12,000 armed tribesmen of Arabia came to the border of Madinah in order to wage war, but the Prophet and his companions did not allow the battle to take place by digging a trench, which acted as a buffer between the Muslims and the aggressors. The same is the case with all those incidents, called ghazwa, or battles. Whenever the Prophet's opponents wanted to involve him in battle, the Prophet managed to defuse the situation by adopting one strategy or another.

There are three occasions when the Prophet entered the field of armed combat – at Badr, Uhud and Hunain. But as proven by events, fighting had become inevitable on all these occasions. The Prophet had no choice but to do battle with the aggressors. Furthermore, each of these military engagements lasted for only half a day, beginning at noon and ending by sunset. Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that the Prophet in his entire life took up arms only for one and a half days. That is to say, of the entire 23-year prophetic period, except for one and a half days, the Prophet observed the principle of non-violence.

While giving the command of battle to the Prophet and his companions, the Qur'an clearly states that it was the other party, which had commenced hostilities (9:13). This verse gives conclusive evidence that there is only defensive war in Islam. It is absolutely unlawful for the believers to wage an offensive war. The Islamic method is entirely based on the principle of non-violence. Islam does not allow for violence in any circumstance except that of unavoidable defence.

taken from: http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/command-war-islam

Allah Creates a Vicegerent

The creation of Adam by Allah T'ala is mentioned several places in the Holy Quran. The first narration appears in Chapter 2 (Surah Al-Baqarah) as follows:
2.029  It is He Who hath created for you all things that are on earth; Moreover His 
design comprehended the heavens, for He gave order and perfection to the seven 
firmaments; and of all things He hath perfect knowledge.
2.030  Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." 
They said: "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed 
blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He said: "I 
know what ye know not."
2.031  And He taught Adam the nature of all things; then He placed them before 
the angels, and said: "Tell me the nature of these if ye are right."
2.032  They said: "Glory to Thee, of knowledge We have none, save what Thou 
Hast taught us: In truth it is Thou Who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom."
2.033  He said: "O Adam! Tell them their natures." When he had told them, God 
said: "Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what 
ye reveal and what ye conceal?"

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Zul-Qarnain

They ask thee concerning Zul-Qarnain. Say, "I will rehearse to you something of his story. Verily We established his power on earth, and We gave him the ways and the means to all ends. One (such) way he followed, Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness." He said: "Whoever doth wrong, him shall we punish; then shall he be sent back to his Lord; and He will punish him with a punishment unheard-of (before). "But whoever believes, and works righteousness,- he shall have a goodly reward, and easy will be his task as We order it by our Command."

Then followed he (another) way,Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun. (He left them) as they were: We completely understood what was before him.

Then followed he (another) way, Until, when he reached (a tract) between two mountains, he found, beneath them, a people who scarcely understood a word. They said: "O Zul-qarnain! the Gog and Magog (People) do great mischief on earth: shall we then render thee tribute in order that thou mightest erect a barrier between us and them?

He said: "(The power) in which my Lord has established me is better (than tribute): Help me therefore with strength (and labour): I will erect a strong barrier between you and them: "Bring me blocks of iron." At length, when he had filled up the space between the two steep mountain-sides, He said, "Blow (with your bellows)" Then, when he had made it (red) as fire, he said: "Bring me, that I may pour over it, molten lead." Thus were they made powerless to scale it or to dig through it.

He said: "This is a mercy from my Lord: But when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will make it into dust; and the promise of my Lord is true." On that day We shall leave them to surge like waves on one another: the trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them all together. And We shall present Hell that day for Unbelievers to see, all spread out.

(The Holy Quran, 18:83-100)

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Attributes of Allah

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Hajj - The Pilgrimage

Islamic Caligraphy

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Islamic Architecture

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Natural Beauty

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