[First Excerpt] - Allah Prohibits Terrorism & Promotes Tolerance
“...But if the (perceived) enemy inclines toward peace, do you (also) incline toward peace, and trust in God…” --- Qur’an [29:46]
Analysis on this verse by Yusuf Ali in his, THE HOLY QUR'AN-English Translation of the meanings & Commentary : "…even in the midst of the fight we must always be ready for peace if there is any inclination towards peace on the other side. There is no merit merely in a fight. It should be joyful duty not for itself, but to establish the reign of peace and righteousness and Allah's Law." ..
Analysis on this verse by Yusuf Ali in his, THE HOLY QUR'AN-English Translation of the meanings & Commentary: "Mere disputations are futile. In order to achieve our purpose as true standard bearers for Allah, we shall have to find true common grounds of belief, as stated in the latter part of this verse, and also to show by our urbanity, kindness, sincerity, truth, and genuine anxiety, for the good of others, that we are not cranks or merely seeking selfish or questionable aims."
Muhammad’s(S) Wisdom on Tolerance as against Terrorism
“Oh my slaves! I have forbidden oppression (persecution) on Myself and made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress each other.”
- Muslim (Hadithul-Qudsii
“He who killed a Zimmiyan (Jew or Christian), will not be granted the privilege to drink from Al-Kauthar (A fountain in Paradise), [by implication he will not enter Paradise, because, having the opportunity to enter Paradise means, one will enjoy every luxury in it].”
---Al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ibn Hiban
Test Cases of Tolerance & Mercy of the Prophet[PBUH]
Allah Ordered him to Fight Only Defensive Wars
It is even significant to know that all the wars the Prophet[PBUH] and his sahabah (companions) fought were defensive wars. It was in their bid to resist the attacks and persecutions of non-believers against him and his people. The Indian prolific writer, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan stated in his book, "Islam & Peace" that, “The biographers of the Prophet of Islam have put the number of ghazwa (battle) at more than 80. This gives the impression that the Prophet of Islam in his 23-year prophetic career waged about four battles in a year. But this impression is entirely baseless. The truth is that the Prophet of Islam in his entire prophetic life, engaged in war only on three occasions. All the other incidents described as ghazwa were in actual fact examples of avoidance of war and not instances of involvement in battle.
For instance, in the book of seerah, the incident of Al-Ahzab is called a ghazwa, whereas the truth is that on this occasion the armed tribes of Arabia, twelve thousand in number, reached the borders of Medina with all intentions of waging war, but the Prophet and his companions dug a deep trench between them, thus successfully preventing a battles from taking place. The same is the case with all the other incidents called ghazwa. The opponents of the Prophet repeatedly tried to get him embroiled in war, but on all such occasions, he managed to resort to some such strategy as averted the war, thus defusing the situation. There were only three instances of Muslims really entering the field of battle-Badr, Uhud & Hunayn. But the events tell us that on all these occasions, war had become inevitable, so that the Prophet was compelled to encounter the aggressors in self-defense. Furthermore, these battles lasted only half a day, each beginning from noon and ending with the setting of the sun. Thus it would be proper to say that the Prophet in his entire life span had actively engaged in war (in self-defense, remember) for a total of a day and a half. That is to say, the Prophet had observed the principles of non-violence throughout his 23-year prophetic career, except for one and a half days.
The Islamic method, being based totally on the principle of non-violence, it is unlawful for believers to initiate hostilities. Except in cases where self-defense has become inevitable, the Qur’an in no circumstances gives permission for violence.”
Even as they attempt these very short-term defensive wars, the Prophet would caution them to avoid killing, the elderly, women, children, animals and cutting tree, but only for food and fuel. This is manifested in one of the wars when he was quoted as saying, “…always remember that Islam is the religion of peace and love…Respect the priests and monks who live in temples and those who have given themselves to God; do not hurt them. Do not kill civilians, do not act in untoward (unpleasant) manner toward women, and so not injure the feelings of the defeated…”
The bottom line is that, “Muhammad…” as Karen Armstrong states in chapter(9) dubbed; Holy Peace, of her, Muhammad-A Biography of the Prophet, “…had always wanted to win (the heart of) the Quraysh over to his side rather than destroy(fight or terrorize) them completely,(contrary to their intention towards him) and this was essential…Even when Abdullah Ibn Sa’id…made a slight changes in the Qur’an…apostatized(reverted back to polytheism) and defected to Mecca…When he was later captured and brought Muhammad and asked for mercy. It was said that Muhammad was silent for a long time…and lifted the sentence of death…But Abdullah became a Muslim once more and held high office in the Islamic empire after Muhammad’s death.”
How he amazingly Forgave his Enemies
When Mecca was finally conquered towards the end of the Prophet’s life, but only after twenty-three years of trials and tribulations. His enemies, who had shown themselves obdurate and unrelenting then stood before him in a state of utter helplessness. That was the moment to crush them completely. However, this was not the way of Prophet Muhammad. What other, lesser men would do in such a situation is common knowledge, but the Prophet did not avenge himself upon them for their past offences. He quite simply asked them. “O people of the Quraysh, how do you think I shall deal with you? They replied, “You are our noble brother and son of our noble brother.” The prophet then said, “Go, you are all free.”
[This amazing incident of mercy and magnanimity of the Prophet fascinated an Orientalist], Stanley Lane-Poole, who, in his introduction to E.W. Lane’s Selection from the Qur’an elaborates upon the Prophet’s remarkable self-discipline:
“Now was the time for the Prophet to show his blood –thirsty nature. His old persecutors are at his feet. Will he not trample on them, torture them, revenge himself after his own cruel manner? Now the man will come forward in his own true colors: We may prepare our horror, and cry shame beforehand. “But what is this? Is there no blood in the streets? Where are the bodies of the thousands that have been butchered? Facts are hard things, and it is a 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 Quraysh all the years of sorrow and cruel scorn they had inflicted on him: he gave an amnesty to the whole population of Mecca. Four criminals, whom justice condemned, made up Mohammad’s proscription list when he entered as a conqueror the city of his bitterest enemies. The army followed the example, and entered quietly and peaceably and no house was robbed, no woman insulted.”
Had such an example of superior conduct survived from pre-historic times, perhaps in the form of a myth, it would have been regarded as fiction, being too astonishing to be a fact. History, indeed, has no match for the magnanimity of the Prophet. Sir William Muir, speaking of the treatment meted out to the prisoners of Badr by the Muslims, gives another such shining example saying:
In pursuance of Muhammad’s commands, the citizens of Medina and such of the refugees as possessed houses, received the prisoners and treated them with much consideration. ‘Blessings are on the men of Medina!’ said these prisoners in later days. ‘They made us ride, while they themselves walked; they gave us wheat and bread to eat, when there was little of it, contenting themselves with dates!’
God says in Qur’an chapter 21 verse 106 that: “We (God) sent you not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.” This finds expression in his(prophet) admonition to Muslims in their defensive wars, not to kill older people, women, children and even animals and cut down tree(environmental protection?) except for food. If they care to know, history is replete with numerous instances where the Prophet encouraged and had exhibited high sense of tolerance, forgiveness, mercy, magnanimity and leniency towards the non-Muslims who aggravated and provoked him (and his companions) physically and psychologically. He once said according to a hadith or prophetic wisdom related by Al-bukhari that: “He who does not have mercy upon people (not only Muslims), God will not have mercy on him.” And in another hadith by Al-tirmidhi, he says: “Be merciful with those on earth (not only Muslims), the one in heaven (God) will be merciful upon you.” I will mention few of these instances for the information of none Muslims and for Muslims who do not know and as a result are brainwashed by some 'holier than thou' fanatics:
Western Intellectuals view Islam as Tolerant, not Terrorist Faith
“In their wars of conquest, however, the Muslims exhibited a degree of toleration which puts many Christian nations to shame.”--- E. Alexander Powell, The Struggle for Power in Muslim Asia
“It is for this tolerance in the Islamic view that Muslims have looked at the religion of the people in the lands they conquered with respect; they did not intervene with their beliefs nor touch their churches.”--- Sefik Can, Fundamentals of Rumi’s Thought
Husseini Yushau BabalWaiz, is the Research & Outreach Coordinator at the Center for Media & Peace Initiatives Inc. New York, Author of three books and tutor in Arabic and Islamic Studies.
NB: Folks, after running the 16th in the history series “Delving Deep Inside the Islamic Historic Memory Lane". I thought is expedient to suspend this for now and start serializing my third book with the above title, “Islam Promotes Tolerance & Prohibits Terrorism”, sub-titled: Reviving the Islamic Advocacy of Mercy & Magnanimity to Mankind”. This has become necessary due to the current and contemporary cases of terrorism and radicalism which is associated with Islam and Muslim, and the western media alleges these acts of sadism and savagery are sanctioned by our faith. We this will set the record straight. And after serializing the entire manuscript, I will resume the history series by the will of Allah.