The Honourable Civilized Principles of the Holy War (Jihad) of the Prophet PBUH

The second discredit about the character and way of conduct of the Proph-et PBUH was the claim that he was bloody, and unrestrained in killing peo-ple, and destroying innocent lives. This accusation falls to pieces, like the first accusation, in view of the historic facts during the life of the Prophet PBUH, his battles, and the capturing of other countries by his successors (caliphs) later on. Such accusation comes to nothing also in view of the rules of the Islamic law (the Shareea), and the restrictions and principles that such law has imposed when practicing holy war (Jihad). More details are in the following researches:

Legitimacy of the holy war (Jihad)(1)

The war or armed fighting is an act or measure taken by most nations of the world (if not all of them) when peaceful means and methods fail to secure what such nations aim at, or fail to prevent what such nations hope to drive away. The final judgment whether such an act is good or bad depends on whether what such nations call for is legitimate, whether their objectives are honorable, and whether their means and methods are fair.

Holy war (Jihad) derives its legitimacy from the Quran, the Sunnah (what the Prophet PBUH did and said), the consensus, and sound judgment.

Some of what Allah (the Almighty) said in the Quran about the holy war (Jihad) are the following:«Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their proper-ties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah›s Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Quran. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success.»(At Tauba: 111)

«And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.»(Al Baqrara : 190)

«And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)» (Al Baqara : 193)

Several sayings of the Prophet PBUH indicate that the holy war (Jihad) is legitimate.

Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet PBUH was asked what acts are

most loved by Allah (the Almighty). The Prophet PBUH replied: «Firm faith in Allah, and His Messenger». «Then what?» he was asked again. His reply was: «Jihad in the way of Allah». «Then what?» he was asked once more. The Prophet PBUH replied: «Doing a blessed and accepted pilgrim (Hajj)»Also reported by Abu Huraira that the Prophet PBUH said: «The best who is doing good to people, is a man holding the reins of his horse (in Arabic meaning completely on alert and ready to fight) in the way of Allah, ready to fly on its back whenever he hears any scared call for help, craving after being killed (in the way of Allah), and to the place where death is most likely.»

Those texts together give the same indication that the holy war (Jihad) is legitimate and right. Interpreters and scholars of the sayings of the Prophet PBUH, after making a consensus about the legitimacy the holy war (Ji-had), they differed over whether this is a collective duty that must by done by each and every Muslim, or if some Muslims do it, other Muslims are absolved of doing it. This can be discussed in detail elsewhere.Among what has been said about the holy war (Jihad) as an example of sound judgment were the words of the late Mr. Mustafa Al-Sibayee (May Allah have Mercy on him) in his lecture about «What regulates peace and war in Islam». He said: «As regards the regulation of peace and war in Islam, there is no doubt that it is based on the view held by every other realistic law (or system), admitting the idea of war, and that some people cannot get deterred by reasoning or by law from being aggressive and tyrannous. Also some na-tions may get tempted by their own strength, and by the weakness of their neighbours, to launch aggression and rule them as colonies. Needless to say that it is good to legalize the use of force in such cases.»

So, Islam was not the first to legalize war. In that, it was preceded and followed by other religions, and nations. What gives Islam an advantage over others in that connection is its right guidance when fighting, and its continued willingness to keep its honest objectives, fair means, and the legitimacy of its slogans.

Fight Legislation Stages:

Islam is not a message enforcing people to accept it or believe in; it is rather a self-power propagation relying upon clear-cut facts and supreme

instructions. Allah the Almighty said: {There is no compulsion in the reli-gion; right-mindedness has already been evidently (distinct) from misguid-ance. So whoever disbelieves in the Taghû t (i.e. false gods, idols, devils and seducers) and believes in Allah, then he has already upheld fast the most binding Grip, with no disjunction (ever); and Allah is Ever-Hearing, Ever-Knowing.} (Al-Baqara: 256).

However, the old customs and traditions in addition to the fancies of people are the main obstacles which prevent people from accepting the right and rejecting the false. Not only this, the boasting of certain haughty persons who enslave people may lead them to announce the war against the people who are propagating the right and defending it, and will also incite people to fight them by all ways. There-fore, due to this war against the people who propagate the right, it is not reasonable that the propagators remain like bystanders, do not face the tyrants or fight the enemies.Accordingly, Allah the Almighty has legislated fighting on four stages:

The First Stage: Preventing Muslims from Fighting

This stage continued as long as the stay of the Prophet, peace be upon him, in Makka for thirteen years suffering from injustice, persecution, re-striction and boycott. The companions was approaching the Prophet – peace be upon him – to take his permission for fighting the injustice but he was preventing them and telling them to be patient in order to com-plete the stages of the right faith education which is compulsory on those who will be the pioneers of the Islamic propagation. In this regard, the companion Khabbab bin Al-Arat – May Allah be pleased with him – one of the first people who embraced Islam and suffered from the bitterness of this stage, narrated the following being an eyewitness. He said: (We have complained to the Prophet – peace be upon him – while he was sitting beside the Kaba and said: O Prophet of Allah, support us, supplicate to Allah The Almighty to help us? The Prophet – peace be upon him – replied: ((In the previous eras, the tyrants was bringing the faithful man, digging a pit in the ground, putting him inside, then they saw him by the saw into two halves in order to change his belief but he remains de-termined, firmed and insisting on his faith. They were tearing his flesh into pieces but he remains firmed and insisting on his faith.

I swear by Allah The Almighty that Allah will perfect this religion to the degree that the passenger will walk from Sana›a to Hadramount fearing nothing except Allah The Almighty and the wolf from eating his sheep but you are anticipating matters)) (1). Even the Prophet – peace be upon him – was not spared the harm and torture of his people. He was suffering with his companions alike but Allah The Almighty did not permit Prophet – peace be upon him – and his companions to fight even for the purpose of defending themselves.

The Second Stage: The Permission to Fight

This stage commenced after Hijra (immigration) to Medina. The Muslims in this stage were allowed to fight for the purpose of defending themselves from injustice, increasing their number and obtain enough weapons. Al-lah The Almighty said: {To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid;-} (Hajj: 39).

The heads of disbelievers in Quraish were still wishing to undermine the Islamic propagation. Dr. Mahdi Ris-quallah Ahmad said in this regard: (When Allah The Almighty permitted his Prophet and the believers to fight, the started building their force in order to defend themselves from Quraish and their supporters. The tribe of Quraish wanted to show the Muslims that it has a support in the Madina; therefore, the Muslims wanted to show Quraish that the Muslims are not weak as Quraish is thinking and that they are able to defeat Quriash and break its legal and economic boycott and recover their usurped rights).

Moreover, the purpose of allowing Muslims to fight in this stage was to put an end to the hypocrites in the Medina who were headed by Abdullah bin Ubai; the person who was looking for domination. In this stage, the battle of Bader and Uhud took place and were preceded with military maneuvers in the form of brigades.

The Third Stage: Permitting Muslims to Fight Who Fight them

Allah The Almighty in this stage revealed this verse: {And fight in the way of Allah the ones who fight you, but do not transgress; surely Allah does not love the transgressors.}(Baqara: 190). It was the right stage to achieve the progress and prosperity of the Islamic Nation, develop the same and form its organized and trained army, especially after the battle of Badr & Uhud.

The Fourth Stage: The Order to Fight All Disbelievers

In this stage, Allah The Almighty has revealed this verse: {fight the Pagans all together as they fight you all together. But know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves}(At-Tawba: 36). The order of fighting all disbe-lievers has came as a response to the International aspect of the Islamic Propagation then, and to the kings who heard about the Islamic Propagation and insisted on standing against its noble aims like freeing the nations from injustice and persecution.

It is worth mentioning here that these stages did not supersede each other because each stage has its own conditions, circumstances and justifications concerning the power and weakness, the change of the position of the enemy in war and peace, the kind of disbelievers and the other things to be detailed in another place. Mustafa As-Siba’i, May Allah has mercy on his soul, said: (The history of the Prophet – peace be upon him – in the wars is the most clear-cut proof for the noble aim behind the wars and battles of the Prophet who did not announce the war except after the torture and persecution faced by them, and after exiling them from their homelands; therefore, the battle of Bader and the following ones came for the purpose of achieving the religious liberty and attaining the security & stability in the Arabian Peninsula. This sought peace was violated by the Arab pagans who changed the lands of Makka into fields for slaughtering the believers, torturing them, exiling them from their land and confiscating their properties).

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