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Radical Islamism and Jihad ( 5 Nov 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Islam is a Religion of Peace or a Religion of War and Violence? Part 1

By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam

6 November 2021

Answering To the Widespread Radical Agenda That Islam Is A Religion Of War And Terrorism

Main Points:

1.      As may be seen from a study of the Qur'an and Sunnah, the passages of the Quran and hadiths that contain combat injunctions are related to defensive warfare.

2.      Peace is a magnificent blessing of Allah for humanity, according to the holy Quran

3.      If we look at the Quran as a whole, we might conclude that combat was permitted in the face of injustice and evil. In today's world, we can understand why battling terrorism is acceptable.

4.      God Almighty, who chose Islam as a religion (Din) (3:19) and filled it with a message of peace and welfare.

5.      It is our responsibility to continue to spread the message of the Quran, which emphasises the importance of fostering peace.

.....

One topic that is frequently raised is whether Islam is a peaceful and quiet faith. Answers to this question are generated by two categories of people. One party claims that Islam encourages terrorism, while the other believes that Islam teaches peace and safety, with the rules of battle having to do with the abolition of oppression.

In terms of argumentation, both sides cite evidence from the Qur'an and Sunnah to support their claims. In light of these two points, I believe that whether Islam is a religion of peace or a religion of terrorism is a matter of interpretation. A major portion of the world's Muslim population views Islam as a religion of peace, whereas a smaller portion views Islam as a religion that commands to slit the throats of unbelievers and polytheists.

After examining these two groups, I have come to the conclusion that Islam teaches peace. As may be seen from a study of the Qur'an and Sunnah, the passages of the Quran and hadiths that contain combat injunctions are related to defensive warfare. Civilians should not be slain in a condition of peace, according to the Qur'an and Sunnah. Not only does Islam value peace above war and bloodshed, but it also encourages patience and forgiveness toward opponents.

The holy Quran promotes peace and establishes a unique case for doing so. It can be deduced from the fact that Iman (faith), which is derived from the Arabic word Amn (peace), is seen as a tremendous benefit for mankind. The spiritual experience of having faith in Allah leads to the realisation that humans’ fear will be replaced with peace. The believers are given good news in the holy Quran:

“He will replace their fear with peace and security so that they will worship God alone and consider no one equal to Him” (24:55)

Peace in exchange for dread, according to a Prophet’s (peace be upon him) statement is quoted as below:

Allah will assist human beings in building peace to the point where a woman will be able to travel fearlessly from Madina to Al-Hamra, or even beyond, without the need for an escort, and no thief or robber will be able to scare her. (Musnad Ahmad bin Hambal)

Peace is a magnificent blessing of Allah for humanity, according to the holy Quran. In the Quran, Allah says of this virtue,

“Who provides them with food against hunger and with security against fear (of danger” (106:4)

One of the Quran's verses plainly states that the true purpose of the Quran's revelation and the sending down of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is to open paths of peace for humanity. The verse in question is as follows:

“There has indeed come to you a light from Allah (i.e., Muhammad [blessings and peace be upon him]) and an Enlightening Book (i.e., the Holy Qur’an). By this Allah guides those who seek His pleasure to the paths to peace (and security) and takes them out of darkness (of ignorance and disbelief) by His command and leads them to the light (of faith and guidance) and directs them towards the straight road.” (5:15-16)

The way to peace, according to the Quran, is essentially the path to light. All deeds that combat oppression and injustice and promote peace and kindness are acceptable in the Quran. One of the Quranic verses clearly establishes this fact,

“O, believers! Holding fast to the cause of Allah, bear witness based on justice. And let not (even) the extreme hostility against a people provoke you into abstaining from justice (in their case). Always do justice, (for) it is closer to piousness. And fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Well Aware of your works.” (5:8)

Since its inception, Islam as a religion has played a crucial role in fostering peace and justice. It is odd, though, that some people regard Islam as a religion of war and violence. When we look at it in the light of today, we can see that it is primarily due to so-called Muslims who have given Jihad a completely erroneous connotation and equated it with violence and oppression.

If we look at the Quran as a whole, we might conclude that combat was permitted in the face of injustice and evil. In today's world, we can understand why battling terrorism is acceptable. This is something that the Quran attests to.

 “Permission (to fight in defence) is granted to those against whom (aggressive) war is waged. (This permission is granted to them) because they were oppressed and Allah is doubtlessly All-Powerful to help them (the oppressed). They are those who were unjustly expelled from their homes simply because they said: ‘Our Lord is Allah.’ And had Allah not been repelling one (aggressive) class of human society by the other (through defensive struggle), the cloisters (temples), synagogues, churches and mosques (i.e., religious centres and places of worship of all religions) would have been ruined where Allah’s Name is abundantly commemorated. And whoever helps (the Din [Religion] of) Allah, Allah surely helps him. Allah is indeed All-Powerful, Ever-Dominant.” (22:39-40)

In another passage of the Quran, a similar point is stated:

“What has happened to you (Muslims) that you do not fight in the cause of Allah (for the freedom of the oppressed and the elimination of terrorism against them), whereas those weak, helpless and tyrannized men, women and children who call out (for their freedom): ‘O our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose (affluent and influential) people are oppressors, and appoint for us some guardian from Your presence, and make someone our helper from Your presence’?” (4:75)

It's worth noting that Muslims were given permission to wage war against injustice, terrorism, and wrongdoings in order to protect the weak and helpless, but they were forced to do so under severe restrictions.

Allah says,

 “And fight (in defence) in the cause of Allah against those who impose war on you. (Yes,) but do not exceed limits. Surely, Allah does not like those who exceed limits.” (2:190)

This verse expresses Allah's hatred for violence and excess. He only supports war when there is no other option. This can also be extrapolated from another verse, which states that if adversaries seek reconciliation during a conflict, Muslims must also seek reconciliation, as Allah instructs.

 “But (do not fight) those who have allied with a people that between you and them there is a (peace) treaty, or who (losing heart) come to you in such a state that their breasts are afflicted (with this obsession) whether they should fight you or their own people. If Allah had so willed, He (strengthening their hearts) would have given them supremacy over you. Then they would certainly have fought you. So if they keep away from you and do not fight you and send you (a message) for peace, then (in the interest of peace) Allah has left no way open for you (to launch any aggression) against them.” (4:90)

In the following verse, a similar point is made;

“And if they (the combatant or hostile disbelievers) incline to peace and reconciliation, you also incline to it and put your trust in Allah. Surely, He alone is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (8:61)

So far, we've seen that the Quran wishes to encourage peace and reconciliation. We can therefore deduce from the preceding discussion that the Quran permits its adherents to undertake defensive war solely in the situation of protecting the vulnerable and oppressed and that this does not make Islam a violent faith. As a result, individuals who have misinterpreted verses of the Quran pertaining to allowing war in defence of religious oppressors and have used them to slaughter innocent people living in peace are really breaking Islam's true objective, which is the establishment of peace.

As we've seen, Allah Almighty despises violence and one's going above one's limitations. He only supports war when there is no other option. According to the Quran:

But (do not fight) those who have allied with a people that between you and them there is a (peace) treaty, or who (losing heart) come to you in such a state that their breasts are afflicted (with this obsession) whether they should fight you or their own people. If Allah had so willed, He (strengthening their hearts) would have given them supremacy over you. Then they would certainly have fought you. So if they keep away from you and do not fight you and send you (a message) for peace, then (in the interest of peace) Allah has left no way open for you (to launch any aggression) against them.” (4:90)

“By this Allah guides those who seek His pleasure to the paths to peace (and security) and takes them out of darkness (of ignorance and disbelief) by His command and leads them to the light (of faith and guidance) and directs them towards the straight road.” (5:15-16)

“What has happened to you (Muslims) that you do not fight in the cause of Allah (for the freedom of the oppressed and the elimination of terrorism against them), whereas those weak, helpless and tyrannized men, women and children who call out (for their freedom): ‘O our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose (affluent and influential) people are oppressors, and appoint for us some guardian from Your presence, and make someone our helper from Your presence’?” (4:75)

“And if they (the combatant or hostile disbelievers) incline to peace and reconciliation, you also incline to it and put your trust in Allah. Surely, He alone is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (8:61)

These are the Quranic messages to consider. God Almighty, who chose Islam as a religion (Din) (3:19) and filled it with a message of peace and welfare, prefers peace to war to the point where He commands the entire Muslim community, through the prophet (peace be upon him), to accept the hands extended for peace and tranquilly, even if the opponents (enemies) have evil intentions.

This was the spirit of the Hudaibiyya Treaty. Historians such as Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Ibn Khuldoon, Ibn Saad, and Ibn Katheer report that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) came to Makka from Madina in 6 Hijri to perform Hajj (pilgrimage), he had seventeen hundred devotees in his company who were all willing to sacrifice everything on his word and fight any enemy, but they were never commanded to attack. They didn't even battle the Quraish tribe's two hundred riders who had courageously approached the Prophet's tent (peace be upon him).

The pagans of Makka refused to let the Prophet and his 1700 companions enter the city and conduct Hajj when they arrived in Hudaybiyyah. Entering the city by force or battle, according to the Prophet (peace be upon him), would result in slaughter. It was for this reason that he and his companions reached an agreement that they would not be prevented from making their Hajj next year, and that there would be no violence between the two parties until then.

Most of the seventeen hundred strong followers who made up the Prophet's (peace be upon him) group were opposed to Hudaybiyyah's peace treaty, according to Ibn-e-Ishaq and other historians. This pact was openly opposed by companions such as Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar Farooq, and Hazrat Ali Muraza. According to the narrative in Ibn-e-Hisham, Hazrat Umar Farooq even asked the Prophet whether he was not Allah's messenger.

“I am Allah's Messenger," the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "but we are the believers, and they are the non-believers." Then Hazrat Umar inquired as to why they should be so fearful of their beliefs and why they should not confront the enemy. "I believe in Allah, and I am Allah's Messenger," the Prophet replied patiently. I shall never go against Allah's command.” (Ibn-e-Ishaq, Ibn Hisham; Vol 2, p.220)

As a result, it was Allah's will that there be no bloodshed between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the pagans of Makkah, but rather peace between the two parties. Finally, from this experience, the companions (peace be upon him) learned the lesson of peace treaty.

The pagans of Makkah broke the peace deal, according to history. After that, the fighting began. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) arrived in Makkah, he gave the following announcement:

“Those who seek refuge in the house of Abu Sufiyan shall be in peace and those who shall be in the house of Hakam bin Hazam shall remain indoors and shall have peace there.”

It's worth noting that the Prophet and his companions did not battle all Mushrikin, but only those who broke the peace accord and attacked them, as stated in verse 2:191. The Prophet had the following proclamation made to distinguish between the harmless Mushrikin and the violent Mushrikin:

 “Those (Mushrikin, pagans) who seek refuge in the house of Abu Sufiyan shall be in peace and those who shall be in the house of Hakam bin Hazam shall remain indoors and shall have peace there”.

According to Ibn-e-Aseer, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had his followers swear that they would not kill anyone on that day unless someone took up arms and attacked them. "This is the day of welfare and preserving bonds," the Prophet remarked as he entered the precincts of Kaaba and addressed the pagans of Makkah. He didn't announce just that day as a day of welfare and bond-keeping. He did, however, address the entire human race when he said,

“O Adam's sons and all the men and women of the world! Your blood, your possessions, and your prestige have been declared forever forbidden - they are as precious to you as this day and month in this Baitul Haram.”

On that day, the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared human life to be sacrosanct. Stanley Lane Pole enumerates the Prophet's (peace be upon him) tolerance, forgiveness, and magnanimity:

“Facts are harsh things and it is fact that the day of Muhammad’s greatest triumph over his enemies was also the day of his grandest victory over himself. He freely forgave the Quraish all the years of sorrow and cruel scorn they had inflicted on him: he gave amnesty to the whole population of Makka.” (The Prophet and Islam)

S.P. Scott writes:

“His magnanimity and the profound knowledge of the human heart which stamped a leader of men were evidenced by his noble conduct and princely liberation to the Quraish after the conquest of Makkah” (History of the Moorish Empire in Europe, Vol -1, pp 98-99 op. cit. The Arabian Prophet, p-390)

The holy Quran establishes a fundamental guideline in this regard, saying:

 “Whoever killed a person (unjustly), except as a punishment for murder or for (spreading) disorder in the land, it would be as if he killed all the people (of society); and whoever (saved him from unjust murder and) made him survive, it would be as if he saved the lives of all the people (of society, i.e., he rescued the collective system of human life). And indeed, Our Messengers came to them with evident signs. Yet, even after that, the majority from amongst these people are certainly those who commit excesses in the land” (5:32)

URL:   https://www.newageislam.com/radical-islamism-jihad/religion-peace-war-violence/d/125721


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