Permission to spread the religion by war.
This is another successful innovation (source). Although some other religions have spread themselves using force, they had very little justification from their own religious doctrines to do so. Not so with Islam. Expanding by conquest is very much accepted and encouraged by the idea-collection. Islamic teachings present it this way: The non-Muslims need to be saved from the sin of following laws other than Allah’s. If they won’t voluntarily change their laws to Shari’a, then it is a Muslim’s duty to insist. The world cannot be at peace until every government on earth follows the laws of Allah. Mohammad’s own experience showed the example — an example, says the Qur’an 91 times, that every Muslim should follow. At first, Mohammad tried to spread Islam by peaceful means. After thirteen years he’d gained 150 converts. But then he changed tactics and started using caravan raids, warfare, executions, ransoming captives, and assassination, and within ten years he converted tens of thousands. After he died, his followers used the same tactics and converted millions. And by now it is one and a half billion. The use of warfare combines synergistically and powerfully with the instruction to create an Islamic state. So Islam spread quickly as their armies got bigger. They conquered and set up Islamic states, most of which have lasted to this day, and the laws within an Islamic state make Islam very difficult to dislodge. The laws also make it very advantageous to convert to Islam. This is one of the most effective methods ever invented for getting an idea-collection followed by huge numbers of people. It’s a method of control and indoctrination similar to those used successfully in communist and totalitarian states. But as you’ll discover below, Islam makes unique use of the power of the law to enforce complete conversion to the religion.
Islam started under unique conditions. All other major religions were started within an already-existing state. Islam is an historical exception to this rule. Any organized government will, of course, put a stop to violent uprisings of a rebellious political group — especially one that wants to wage war and apply its own system of law. Christianity arose within the Roman Empire, for example. If Christianity had been a militant or political uprising, Rome would probably have killed or imprisoned the followers. Probably many military or political religions did start up then, but we’ve never heard of them. They couldn’t get off the ground. But Islam arose in Arabia when there was no central ruling power. The whole area was comprised of individual tribes. Under those circumstances, conversion by war and the use of force was possible.
Warfare and Humanity:
It is irrational to ignore the lust of blood in stubborn man as a form of evil which has to be combated “within the limits”, set by Allah. At the time of creation of Adam: “The angels said: Will You place there one who will make mischief and shed blood? ..”(Qur’an;2:30). It may undoubtedly be realized that human beings often resort to war without solid justification, at times over petty matters. One has to look at history, the past and present. The motives of war could be many, broadly they are; (1) Pursuit of trade and to gain economic advantage, (2) Spread of influence or religion, (3) Desire for security and political power, and (4) Combination of one or more of these three. At different times and in different places, different motives are dominant. War is a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between political units, such as states or nations or between rival political factions of the same state or nation. It is a popular myth among critics that Islam was spread through wars [Jihad] ordained upon Muslims through Qur’an. Warfare is one of the ways to defend oneself when all peaceful efforts and persuasion fails, and aggressor try to impose its will upon weak. Human history is witness to the fact that those who did not resist oppression and aggression suffered.
Warfare [armed struggle, Qital] was also permissible in the previous scriptures. It is mentioned in Qur’an: “Indeed God has purchased from the believers their persons and their wealth and in return has promised them paradise; they fight in the cause of Allah and slay and are slain. This is a true promise which is binding on Him mentioned in Torah, the Gospel and the Qur’an; and who is more true in fulfilling his promise than Allah? Rejoice, therefore, in the bargain which you have made, and that is a mighty achievement.”(Qur’an;9:111). As regards actual ‘fighting with the sword’ there has been some difference in theological theories at different times, but very little in the practice of those who framed those theories.
Ruthless Wars of Extermination in Bible:
Apart form the other religions and civilizations, Judaism, Christianity and Islam have common roots, through their common ancestor Prophet Abraham [peace be upon him]. Hence a glance at their scriptures is relevant for evaluation. The Israelites took possession of the Promised Land by conquest. They engaged in a long and bloody war before the Canaanites tribes were finally subdued. Israel was employed by God to sweep them away from off the face of the earth. In entering on this new stage of the war, the tribe of Judah, according to divine direction, took the lead. In the days of Saul and David the people of Israel engaged in many wars with the nations around, and after the division of the kingdom into two they often warred with each other. They had to defend themselves also against the inroads of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians. The whole history of Israel from first to last presents but few periods of peace. With occupation of Palestinian lands, through ruthless oppression and persecution the prospects of peace in the world are bleak. The Biblical wars were ruthless wars of extermination; the Old Testament does not mince words:
“And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the word. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.” (Leviticus;26:7-8)
“Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm;149:6-9).
“And he said unto them, Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” (Exodos;32:26-28)
“Now therefore Kill every male among the little ones, and Kill every woman (female) that hath known man by lying (having sex) with him. “But keep Alive for yourselves all the Girls and all the women who are Virgins.”(Numbers;31:17-18).
The Jews salvaged for themselves; “and thirty-two thousand persons in all, women who had not known man by lying with him.”(Numbers; 31:35).
“But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, (O’ Jews) you shall save alive nothing that breathes,(Deuteronomy;20:16).
‘And they (the Jews) Utterly Destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep, and Ass, with the edge of the sword”(Joshua;6:21),”He (Joshua) let None remain alive.” (Joshua;10:28).
Qur’an also motions about Jewish warfare at ;2:54, 5:21-22; 5:26; 2:246, 2:251.
In the New Testament the Prophet Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary (peace be upon him) says:
“But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”(Luke; 9:27)
Saint. Paul, in commending the worthy fruits of Faith, mentions the warriors of the Old Testament as his ideals:
“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” (Hebrews; 11: 32-34).
The monkish morality of the Gospels in their present form has never been followed by any self-respecting Christian or other nation in history.
1) Pope Urban II (1088-99 C.E) coined the phrase ‘Holy War’, launched the Crusades movement which was subsequently vigorously supported by his followers for two centuries(1095-1291 C.E), causing death and destruction to millions besides sowing seeds of hatred and enmity among the followers of two great civilizations which still haunts the humanity.
2) The association of Missionaries with Crusades posed a moral theological problem that troubled medieval Christian thinkers.
3) Thirteenth-century Christian theologians held that conversion could not be forced, but most agreed that force could legitimately be used to preserve a situation in which peaceful propaganda was possible, and they continued to support the Crusade.
4) Furthermore, Europe’s fear was such that the Crusade idea persisted well into the 17th century, and the conviction that, in certain circumstances, war might be just became more deeply enrooted in the conscience of the West. Along with the now generally accepted use of the word ‘Crusade’ to denote any ‘Common Endeavour in a Worthy Cause’ (Christian Jihad), this is one of the most enduring results of the movement.
After the bloodstained conversions in South America, the colonization of most of the free world by diplomacy, intimidation aggression and coercion took place. Pope Pius XII was obliged, under the pressures of World War II, to clarify and redefine the church’s teachings on war and peace as well as to work out a strategy of survival. Pope Pius XII , tacitly condoned the Nazi holocaust.
The deadly wars and large scale killings of people among weaker nations mostly Muslim which goes unabated on the pretext of war against terror lead by the American Evangelist and Neocons, the claim of love and peace by the Western (Christian) world appears to be hollow. The saying of Jesus (peace be upon him) is as much applicable to them as before:
“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”(Mathew; 7:5).
Jihad Tolerance & Coexistence:
Islam, the complete way of life has not ignored this important aspect, as at times war becomes unavoidable, especially against aggression. Islam is the only religion which laid down ethics and guiding principles for conduct of warfare as evident from form following verses deliberately ignored by the critics:
“Permission to fight back (Qital) is hereby granted to the believers against whom war is waged and because they are oppressed; certainly Allah has power to grant them victory” (Qur’an;22:39).
“If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum [in battle] grant it to him so that he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to where he can be secure: that is because they are men without knowledge” (Qur’an;9:6).
“As for such ([of the unbelievers) as do not fight against you on account of (your] faith), and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, God loves the equitable. Allah only forbids you to make friendship with those who fought you on account of your faith and drove you out of your homes and backed up others in your expulsion. Those who will take them for friends are indeed the wrongdoers. (Qur’an;60:8-9)
The Quranic verses related with the conduct of warfare in battlefield are frequently quoted out of their context, there by misleading the reader to misperceive Islam as a militant religion. It should be understood that in order to fully comprehend the doctrines of Qur’an one has to see the overall “The Message of The Qur’an” in the light of all the verses related to the particular subject [no abrogation] and their complete context, like the verse: “fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them”(Qur’an;9:5) is very popular among the critics of Islam but they do not quote the next verse: “If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum grant it to him so that he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to where he can be secure: that is because they are men without knowledge.”(Qur’an;9:6).Quoting a verse or part of a verse in isolation does not serve the true purpose, this is the practice of followers of previous scriptures : “Then, for having broken their solemn pledge, We rejected them and caused their hearts to harden – [so that now] they distort the meaning of the [revealed] words, taking them out of their context; and they have forgotten much of what they had been told to bear in mind; and from all but a few of them thou wilt always experience treachery. But pardon them, and forbear: verily, God loves the doers of good.”(Qur’an; 5:13)
Jihad is a very important doctrine of Islam, which lays down guidelines and principles, to be adhered by a Muslim while striving against various forms of resistance; i.e. internal (against selfish desires and evil temptations) or external for the cause of God. Jihad is derived from the Arabic word ‘Juhd’, which means “effort”, verb Jahada, means “he struggled” or “strove hard” or “exerted himself”, namely, in a good cause and against evil. Consequently, Jihad denotes “striving in the cause of God” in the widest sense of this expression: that is to say, it applies not merely to physical warfare (qital) but to any righteous struggle in the moral sense as well; thus, for instance, the Prophet described man’s struggle against his own passions and weaknesses (Jihad An-Nafs) as the “Greatest Jihad” (Bayhaqi, on the authority of Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah).
The great German scholar Muhammad Asad, who reverted Islam, in his commentary “The Message of Qur’an”, while explaining verse 2:190, writes: ‘This [2:190] and the following verses lay down unequivocally that only self-defence (in the widest sense of the word) makes war permissible for Muslims. Most of the commentators agree in that the expression la ta’tadu signifies, in this context, “do not commit aggression”; while by al-mu’tadin “those who commit aggression” are meant. The defensive character of a fight “in God’s cause” – that is, in the cause of the ethical principles ordained by God – is, moreover, self-evident in the reference to “those who wage war against you”, and has been still further clarified in 22:39 – “permission [to fight] is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged” – which, according to all available Traditions, constitutes the earliest (and therefore fundamental) Qur’anic reference to the question of Jihad, or holy war (see Tabari and Ibn Kathir in their commentaries on 22:39). That this early, fundamental principle of self-defence as the only possible justification of war has been maintained throughout the Qur’an is evident from 60:8, as well as from the concluding sentence of 4:91, both of which belong to a later period than the above verse. In view of the preceding ordinance, the injunction “slay them wherever you may come upon them” is valid only within the context of hostilities already in progress (Razi), on the understanding that “those who wage war against you” are the aggressors or oppressors (a war of liberation being a war “in God’s cause”). The translation, in this context, of fitnah as “oppression” is justified by the application of this term to any affliction which may cause man to go astray and to lose his faith in spiritual values (cf. Lisan al-‘Arab). Consequently, the concept of a defensive war in God’s cause (Jihad) plays a very prominent role in the socio-political scheme of Islam and is frequently alluded to throughout the Qur’an. The general circumstances in which war is permitted are mentioned at verses 2:190-194, 22:39, 60:8-9.
Islam Laid Down Ethics and Rules for Conduct of Warfare:
The great religion as Islam, that provides a complete code of life, also addressed the possibility of war. The code of conduct of warfare which Qur’an provides is more civilized than any in the whole history of humanity, the salient features are:
1) Warfare [Qital] for Allah’s Cause Only: Jihad Qur’an [including the form of warfare] is not for self glory or spoils of war but for the cause of Allah only.(Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 9.625).
2) Non Aggression, Self Defence: Initially the Muslims were not allowed to fight even for self defence, however when oppression exceeded the limits, Allah granted permission to the Muslims to fight for self defense (Qur’an;22:39).
“Fight for the cause of Allah those who fight against you, but do not commit aggression. Allah does not love aggressors. Kill them wherever you may find them, and drive them away from wherever they drove you away; for oppression is even worse than killing. However, do not fight them near the Sacred Mosque unless they fight you first there. Should they fight you, then kill them. Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded. But, if they desist, know that Allah is Much Forgiving, Merciful. Fight them until there is no more oppression and submission is made to Allah. If they desist, let there be no hostility except against the wrongdoers.”(Qur’an;2:190-193).
3) Just War against Oppression: Jihad is meant to serve Allah’s cause ALONE to eliminate oppression and to ensure that people are given an opportunity to freely submit to the will of God.(Qur’an;8:39).
4) Kindness and Equity to Non Aggressors: Allah says: “As for such of the unbelievers who do not fight against you on account of your faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, Allah does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave toward them with full equity. Indeed Allah loves those who act equitably. Allah only forbids you to turn in friendship toward such as fight against you because of your faith, and drive you forth from your homelands, or aid others in driving you forth. Those who turn toward them in friendship are truly wrongdoers.”(Qur’an;60:8-9).
5) Killing a believer, or innocent human not permitted: Qur’an;4:93, 5:32,17:33.
6) Mischief on Land Rejected: Qur’an;28:77,2:11-12, 2:60, 206, 3:63, 7:56).5:33-34.
7) Kindness to Non Combatants:(Qur’an; 60:8.
8) Suicide is not permissible: Qur’an;2:195,,4:29, Sahih Al Bukhari Hadith Numbr:8.126; Sahih Muslim Hadith. Number.486.
9) Resist Persecution: Qur’an;9:41;22:78; 3:29:6.
10) Freedom of Faith: Qur’an;2:256
11) Killing by Burning not Allowed: Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.259, and 4.260).
12) Mutilation of the Dead Bodies is Prohibited : Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prohibited to mutilate the dead bodies. (Sahih Muslim Hadith.804).
13) Treachery: “If you fear treachery from any of your allies, you may fairly retaliate by breaking off the treaty with them (through properly notifying them to that effect), for Allah does not love the treacherous.”(Qur’an;8:58).
14) Peace offer be Accepted: Allah says:” If the enemy is inclined towards peace, do make peace with them, and put your trust in Allah. He is the One Who hears all , knows all.”(Qur’an 8:61).
15) Care of Sick & Hungry Captives: Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet said, “Free the captives, feed the hungry and pay a visit to the sick.(Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.282).
16) Fulfilling Safe Conduct: Al Muwata Hadith, Number.21.12.
17) Grant of Asylum : Allah says: “If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum grant it to him so that he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to where he can be secure: that is because they are men without knowledge.”(Qur’an;9:6).
18) Taking Prisoners of War :Qur’an;47:4, Qur’an;8:70-71.
19) Providing Cloths to Prisoners of War:. Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.252.
20) Prohibitions-of Killing Religious People, Women, Children, Aged, Sick People, Animals and Cutting Trees in Military Expeditions : Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.257,258, . Al Muwata Hadith. Number;21.10.
21) Safety of Mosques, Churches and Synagogues: “Had not Allah repelled some people by the might of others, the monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s praise is daily celebrated, would have been utterly demolished.”(Qur’an;22:40 also;2:114).
22) Mutilation of the dead bodies is prohibited: Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prohibited to mutilate the dead bodies. (Sahih Muslim Hadith.804).
23) Women’s Role : The women are not required to participate in combat, as per Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.128, can provide water and medical aid.(Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.134).
24) Exemption of Non Muslim Subject from Warfare: The non Muslims subjects who pay poll tax (Jazya) are exempted form military service and provided protection by the state.
Guidelines references for the conduct of warfare are summarized here:
1) To rescue the helpless oppressed old men, women, and children; 4:75
2) Obligatory; 2:216
3) Bigger Jihad (Jihad Kabira), through Qur’an (preaching) ;25:52.
4) In Allah’s cause, 4:74, 4:77, 4:84, 9:38-39, 9:41
5) Not for material gain, not to kill those seeking peace 4:94
6) Deliberate killing of believer, punishment is hell forever;4:93
7) Part of faith; 49:15
8) Warfare [Qatelu, wa-Qatalu]; 2:216-217; 4 89-91.
9) In self defense; 2:190; 22:39; 60:8; 4:91
10) Killing only during hostilities in progress, 2:191, 4:89, 4:91, 5:33, 8:39, 8:57, 9:5, 9:12 ; 9:1-6
11) Don’t fight nonbelievers who neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes, treat them justly; 60:8
12) Aggression: Forbidden, 2:190, 4:90, 60:8 , Sin of, 5:2
13) Be brave, 4:104
14) Fighting between two groups of believers, 49:9
15) Do not acquire slaves except through war, 8:67
16) Do not be fainthearted crying for peace; 47:35
17) Exemptions, 9:122, 48:17
18) Asking for it for wrong reasons, 9:43, 9:45, 9:49, 9:86, 9:93
19) For helpless, 4:98, 9:91
20) For ill, offering Salah, 4:102, 9:91
21) If foes cease, then you must cease, 2:193, 4:90, 8:37, 8:61
22) Warfare forbidden during the four sacred months, 9:36 , Unless attacked, 2:194, 2:217
23) Free slaves after fighting ends, 47:4
24) Go forth humbly, 8:47
25) Prepare well, 8:60
26) Repentance of recent belligerents, 5:34, 9:5, 9:11
27) When ordained, 2:190-193, 2:216-217, 4:91, 22:39, 60:8
28) Striving hard against disbelievers, 9:73, 25:52, 66:9
29) Striving hard in Allah’s cause, 2:218, 3:142, 4:95, 5:35, 5:54, 8:72, 8:74-75, 9:16, 9:19-20, 9:24, 9:44, 9:86, 9:88, 22:78, 29:6, 29:69, 49:15, 60:1, 61:11
30) Non-believing parents trying to persuade a believer to polytheism, 29:8, 31:15
31) Don’t create mischief [fasaad] in land; 28:77; 2:11-12; 2:60, 206, 3:63, 7:56
32) Wards off evil from those who are true believers:22:38-40
33) Suicide not Permissible; 2:195 ; 4:29
34) Sins forgiven, those participate in the cause of Allah; 61:12-13; 4:95 3:157
Tolerance & Coexistence
35) No compulsion, coercion in religion; 2:256 , 6:104,107; 88:21-26; 6:66,107; 10:108; 25:43; 39:41; 42:6; 4:80; 42:48; 3:20; 5:99; 16:3524:54; 29:18;42:48; 31:23; 18:29;
36) Some believe, some disbelieve, God will judge; 7:87
37) Sanctity of Human life ; 17:33
38) Killing one innocent human like killing humanity; 5:32
39) Help and rescue the helpless oppressed old men, women, and children; 4:75
40) Warfare in self defense, Allah does not like transgressors.;2:190
41) Don’t fight nonbelievers who neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes, treat them justly; 60:8
42) Friendship with non believers; 60:9
43) No compulsion, coercion in religion; 2:256 , 6:104,107; 88:21-26; 6:66,107; 10:108; 25:43; 39:41; 42:6; 4:80; 42:48; 3:20; 5:99; 16:3524:54; 29:18;42:48; 31:23; 18:29;
44) Preaching Islam with wisdom, fair exhortation, and reason; 16:125
45) Non believers rewarded [in this world]; 13:26; 10:7; 53:29; 3:113-115; 42:20; 28:83,84; 18:46’ 20:131
46) Non believers communities not destroyed for disbelief (only) if they behave righteously towards one an other; 11:117; 3:178
47) Muslims believe in all Previous Scriptures [Torah, Psalms, Gospel] & Prophets, Jews and Christians addressed honorability as “People of the Book”;3:199; 2:136,3:3-4, 57:26, 4:163, 2:79
48) Food [halal, permissible] of Christians and Jews allowed to be consumed; 5:5
49) Marriage with chaste Christians or Jewish women allowed; 5:5
50) Christians are nearest in affection to believers;5:82
51) Leave ignorant 7:199; 39:39-40; 109:4-6
52) Some believe, some disbelieve, Allah will judge; 7:87
53) Insult not whom they worship besides Allah; 6:108
54) Protect places of worship Mosques, Churches, Synagogues;22:40
55) Pardon; 5:13 , Bear with non-believers, 45:14 , Forgive readily, 42:36-37 , 2:109
The great historian De Lacy O’Leary wrote in “Islam At the Cross-roads”: “History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.”
Thomas Arnold, a former Christian missionary in India, who cannot be accused of being pro-Islam, in his famous book ‘The Preaching of Islam’, indicates that there have been certain periods where Muslim rulers have diverted from this tolerance, but it was due to a deviation from Islamic principles, rather than conformance to them. He concludes that the two primary reasons for the spread of Islam all over the world were merchants and the Sufis, two groups of people who went out, worked with humanity and gently invited others to their faith.
An article in Reader’s Digest ‘Almanac’, year book 1986, gave the statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in ‘The Plain Truth’ magazine. At the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity had increased only by 47%. May one ask, “Which war took place in this century which converted millions of people to Islam?”
Today the fastest growing religion in America and in Europe is Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept Islam in such large numbers? This is the spiritual sword of Truth and reason.
The question arises that if such are the principles for conduct of warfare in the cause of Allah alone [Jihad with arms], they why the Muslims conquered all the empires around Arabia and beyond? The answerer may be found in the next pint of rebuttal. [Allah knows the best]
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