In this article there are four statements I want to share some thoughts about.
Section 1: The argument that jahadaka philogically does not mean “holy war” is senseless because the argument is an attempt to rid the meaning of jihad of any physical violence which is false. Notice as a good Muslim, the author wants to blame the Orientalist for the Muslim’s mistaken belief that jihad refers to holy war. It is enough that jihad be used to describe the Muslim’s role in a war. This hadith and explanation is from The 40 Hadiths On Jihad.
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar narrates that Rasulullah said: “The mujahid who is fighting in the cause of Allah shall receive the reward for his jihad and the person who prepares such a mujahid shall receive his reward [for preparing him] and the reward of the mujahid.”
This Hadith explains the virture of preparing a mujahid, i.e. the virtue of helping him financially. We learn from this Hadith that the mujahid receives one reward, i.e. for waging jihad. While the person who prepared him receives two rewards; one for spending his wealth and secondly for the mujahid who fights because of the formers wealth. This is because he is the means for the jihad of that mujahid. However, this will not result in any decrease in the reward of the mujahid.(The 40 Hadiths On Jihad.)
The individual is called a mujahid who is fighting a jihad for the cause of Allah. A mujahid is a soldier who fights a war which is said to be for Allah’s cause. So, whether jahadaka means holy war is meaningless for the jihad is used to describe a war fought for the cause of Allah which is by definition a holy war.
Additionally, the above information makes the author’s challenge disingenuous. His challenge is meant to actually throw you off the trail of what he does not you to find which is that jihad does refer to a war propagated in Allah’s cause. Here is another way to think about it. The Umdat Al-Salik refers to jihad as war when it states, “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims and it is etymologically derived from the word mujahada signifying war to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad.” (o.9) But even if we assume that jihad does not war but a struggle, which is exactly what a war is, we have to ask the question, Can war not be used as the means by which the struggle is perpetrated? Of course it can.
Section 2: The author’s use of Surah Al-Furqan 25:52 in his second point is disingenuous because this is a Meccan surah and Mohammad was not permitted to use violence. The author is trying to make the point that jihad means only to struggle and is not and cannot be holy war. But anyone who knows Islam knows that the term jihad in this geo-chronological setting cannot refer to holy war. If the author is going to prove his point he must use jihad as used in the Medinan period only.
Section 3: The author quotes Al-Hajj and Al-Ankabut. Al-Ankabut is another Meccan surah and therefore, also fails to prove the author’s point. Al-Hajj is a Medinan surah. The phrase strive hard is used other Medinan surahs to refer to physical fighting. Look at the following:
Do you consider the providing of drinking water to the pilgrims and the maintenance of Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) as equal to the worth of those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah? They are not equal before Allah. And Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers). (At Tawbah 9:19)
At Tawbah 9 is a surah about the battle of Tabuk. This battle was fought in the Cause of Allah which seems to refer to a holy battle or war. Additionally, Mohammad is chastising Muslims who mistakenly believed that taking care of The Masjid Al-Haram was more important than being a soldier fighting in Allah’s wars. This passage actually disproves the author’s point.
Section 4: The author’s use of jihad as a the best of deeds is useless really. Everyone who knows about jihad understands the term is used to refer any form of struggle. But the author’s purpose is to attempt to show that the “best” jihad is NOT physical combat. Nevertheless, there are other passages which contest his view and conflict with the ayats he presented.
Mohammad stated, “The most important thing is Islam, and it is supported by prayer, and its apex is jihad in the path of Allah.” (Magazine Moheet)
So, according to the above hadith, jihad which in this case is physical combat is the most important in Islam.
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: Allah’s Apostle said: “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform a that, then they save their lives an property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah.” (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24)
According to Islam worshiping the proper Deity is THE most important issue in a person’s life. In fact, the greatest shirk possible is polytheism. It was for this reason, to force people to follow the five pillars of Islam, that Mohammad was sent. What could be more best than that?
A man asked Rasulullaah (s.a.w): “. . .and what is Jihad?” He (s.a.w) replied: “You fight against the disbelievers when you meet them (on the
battlefield).” He asked again: “What kind of Jihad is the highest?” He (s.a.w) replied: “The person who is killed whilst spilling the last of his blood.” [Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad 4/114 – Hadith sahih. Al Haithami states: “Narrators upheld it.”“ (Majmauz Zawaid 1/59)
Notice in this hadith the highest, best, form of jihad is not one of those the author mentions. Rather, it is a mujahideen spilling the last of his blood on the battlefield.
Finally, in this section listen to an hadith. “I asked the Prophet, ‘What is the best deed?’ he replied, ‘To believe in Allah and fight for His Cause.’” (Sahih Buhkari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 694)
In this hadith Mohammad does not mention a single item the author claims is the best of jihad. Rather, the phrase “fight for his Cause” is understood to refer to physical combat and Mohammad makes jihad either an a part of the first pillar or its extension. Mohammad does not refer to a single issue the author does.
Section 5: The author quotes Al-Baraqah 2:190, 193 and interprets the passage to refer to self-defense. This is very difficult to believe. Al-Baraqah 2:193 is not defensive for it calls upon Muslims to stamp out all religion everywhere so that the religion that is left is for Allah. Of course a faithful Muslim would argue that believing a deity other than Allah is an act of shirk and slanders Allah. This is nonsense. Al-Baraqah 2 goes beyond mere self-defense and permits Muslims to seek out any religion any where and eradicate it.
Section 6: Here the author shows he is either ignorant of his theo-political teachings or a liar using taqqiya or kitman to make sure that non-Muslim does not find out the truth. He claims that jihad can be used positively to support non-Muslim allies who are being attacked. Actually, this is true until At-Tawbah 9. The first 38 ayats of At-Tawbah are the last verses of the Surah. In the first five ayats of this section Allah one-sidely declares that he and his merry band of Muslims are free from all obligations to non-Muslims. In essence Mohammad claims that within four months the Caliphate is not permitted to make treaties with non-Muslim countries. So, now that the Caliphate is not permitted to make treaties, what happens now? In all cases, non-Muslims will have three choices: convert, dhimmi or die. Listen to At-Tawbah 9:5:
Then when the Sacred Months (the Ist, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Interesting, the author does not tell his readership this fact.
Section 10: Ah, now we get to the heart of the matter. The heart that the author buries in his text. Jihad, physical fighting, is to be used to eradicate everything that stands in the way of Da’ wah. In fact, Da’ wah refers to conflict brought about by preaching. Americans are not concerned with Muslims proclaiming their version, no matter how vile and wrong it may be, to gain the ignorant. In fact, religious groups in America have been doing so since the inception of our country and yes, there have been some sporadic fighting due to over zealousness. But it has always, eventually, been condemned because the Bible does not permit a Christian to use violence to shut another up or force the conditions for conversion.
That is the role of jihad. Allah permits jihad to remove the obstacles which stand in the way of Islam being proclaimed and the non-Muslim being able to hear the message without interference. In America there are three institutions which stand in Islam’s way which are the Republic, non-Islamic religion and the stanch unbeliever. Therefore, Muslims are permitted to use jihad to destroy our Republic, dominate and subjugate our religions and to kill the unbeliever.
Section 11: This section helps you understand why Muslims whine so much in America. Read the emails sent by CAIR, formerly HAMAS and a Muslim Brotherhood organization. They are constantly whining about how Muslims are so persecuted, their civil rights are daily being violated and they are racially being subjugated. Why? Because jihad is permitted to be used to remove any tyranny subjugating Muslims and keeping them from worshiping Allah. So all the whining is not merely to whine but to create a litany of complaints that can be used to justify the use of jihad (physical warfare).
In the section to last section the author asks, What should Muslims do when they are victorious? His answer is classic. He says, “Muslims should remove tyranny, treachery, bigotry, and ignorance and replace them with justice and equity.” The justice issue is very important. I am sure he is betting that no non-Muslim understands what he is actually saying. In the Umdat Al-Salik Chapter O is Justice. Section 9 is jihad. The Umdat Al-Salik defines jihad as “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims and it is etymologically derived from the word mujahada signifying war to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad.” Interesting. Jihad is actually a subdivision of Justice. The purpose of Islamic justice is to remove shirk (polytheism) and the means by which it does it jihad. If you also notice not a single ayat the author uses in this section applies to a non-Muslim. So, victory in the author’s world is the eradication of non-Muslims.
Finally, in the last section the author continues to engage in taqqiya for he attempts to console the ignorant non-Muslim by claiming that Islam is not permitted to force conversion nor is Islam striving for national power. First, as mentioned earlier in this article Mohammad clearly taught he had been sent by Allah to fight (war) against everyone till everyone accepted the Islamic pillars of faith which means they are now Muslim. As to his second point.
Islam is to dominate all religions:
﴿هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ﴾
(It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth.) `Guidance’ refers to the true narrations, beneficial faith and true religion that the Messenger came with. `religion of truth’ refers to the righteous, legal deeds that bring about benefit in this life and the Hereafter.
﴿لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ﴾
(to make it (Islam) superior over all religions) It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said, . . .(Tafsir Ibn Kathir)
Islam is to be the only religion:
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-Baraqah 2:193)
I am not sure where the good Professor received his information but Fitnah exists and does so worldwide because of those who refuse to accept Allah as the the only Deity. Therefore, the only possible way this passage can be fulfilled is if that which causes the fitnah is eliminated. What causes this fitnah? Non-Islamic religions and stanch unbelievers. Since fitnah is worldwide it means that every non-Muslim religion and every stanch unbeliever must be eradicated to remove fitnah.
The Institute of Islamic Information & Education
Brochure No. 18
In the linguistic sense, the Arabic word “jihad” means struggling or striving and applies to any effort exerted by anyone. In this sense, a student struggles and strives to get an education and pass course work; an employee strives to fulfill his/her job and maintain good relations with his/her employer; a politician strives to maintain or increase his(1) popularity with his constituents and so on. The term strive or struggle may be used for/by Muslims as well as non-Muslims; for example, Allah, the One and Only True God says in the Qur’an:
“We have enjoined on people kindness to parents; but if they strive (Jahadaka) to make you ascribe partners with Me that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not…”
(The Holy Quran, 29:8; also see 31:15)
In the above two verses of the Qur’an , it is non-Muslim parents who strive (jahadaka) to convert their Muslim child back to their religion. In the West, “jihad” is generally translated as “holy war,” a usage the media has popularized. According to Islamic teachings, it is unholy to instigate or start war; however, some wars are inevitable and justifiable.
If we translate the words “holy war” back into Arabic, we find “harbun muqaddasatu,” or for “the holy war,” “al-harbu al-muqaddasatu.” We challenge any researcher or scholar to find the meaning of “jihad” as holy war in the Qur’an or authentic Hadith collections or in early Islamic literature. Unfortunately, some Muslim writers and translators of the Qur’an, the Hadith and other Islamic literature translate the term “jihad” as “holy war,” due to the influence of centuries-old Western propaganda.
This could be a reflection of the Christian use of the term “Holy War” to refer to the Crusades of a thousand years ago. However, the Arabic words for “war” are “harb” or “qital,” which are found in the Qur’an and Hadith.
For Muslims the term Jihad is applied to all forms of striving and has developed some special meanings over time. The sources of this development are the Qur’an (the Word of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad(S) [(S) denotes Sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, meaning peace and blessings of Allah be upon him]. The Qur’an and the Hadith use the word “jihad” in several different contexts which are given below:
1. RECOGNIZING THE CREATOR AND LOVING HIM MOST:
It is human nature to love what is seen with the eyes and felt with the senses more than the unseen reality. The Creator of the Universe and the One God is Allah. He is the Unseen Reality which we tend to ignore and not recognize. The Qur’an addresses those who claim to be believers:
“O you who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for protectors if they love disbelief over belief; whoever of you takes them for protectors, such are wrong-doers. Say: if your fathers, and your children, and your brethren, and your spouses, and your tribe, and the wealth you have acquired, and business for which you fear shrinkage, and houses you are pleased with are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way: then wait till Allah brings His command to pass. Allah does not guide disobedient folk.”
(The Holy Quran 9:23, 24)
It is indeed a struggle to put Allah ahead of our loved ones, our wealth, our worldly ambitions and our own lives. Especially for a non-Muslim who embraces Islam, it may be a tough struggle due to the opposition of his family, peers and society.
2. RESISTING PRESSURE OF PARENTS, PEERS, AND SOCIETY:
Once a person has made up his mind to put the Creator of the Universe above all else, he often comes under intense pressures. It is not easy to resist such pressures and strive to maintain dedication and love of Allah over all else. A person who has turned to Islam from another religion may be subjected to pressures designed to turn him back to the religion of the family. We read in the Qur’an:
“So obey not the rejecters of faith, but strive (jahidhum) against them by it (the Qur’an) with a great endeavor.”
(The Holy Quran, 25:52)
3. STAYING ON THE STRAIGHT PATH STEADFASTLY:
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And strive (Jadihu) for Allah with the endeavor (Jihadihi) which is His right. He has chosen you and has not laid upon you in the deen (religion) any hardship…”
(The Holy Quran, 22:78)
“And whosoever strives (Jahada), strives (yujahidu) only for himself, for lo! Allah is altogether independent of the universe.”
(The Holy Quran, 29:6)
As for those who strive and struggle to live as true Muslims whose lives are made difficult due to persecution by their opponents, they are advised to migrate to a more peaceful and tolerant land and continue with their struggle in the cause of Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Lo! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they wronged themselves, (the angels) will ask: ‘In what you were engaged?’ They will way: ‘We were oppressed in the land.’ (The angels) will say: ‘Was not Allah’s earth spacious that you could have migrated therein?'”
(The Holy Quran, 4:97)
“Lo! Those who believe, and those who emigrate (to escape persecution) and strive (Jahadu) in the way of Allah, these have hope of Allah’s mercy…”
(The Holy Quran, 2:218)
Allah tests the believers in their faith and their steadfastness:
“Or did you think that you would enter Paradise while yet Allah knows not those of you who really strive (Jahadu), nor knows those (of you) who are steadfast.”
(The Holy Quran, 3:142)
“And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and fruits; but give tidings to the steadfast.”
(The Holy Quran, 2:155)
We find that the Prophet Muhammad(S) and his clan were boycotted socially and economically for three years to force him to stop his message and compromise with the pagans but he resisted and realized a moral victory(2).
4. STRIVING FOR RIGHTEOUS DEEDS:
Allah declares in the Qur’an:
“As for those who strive (Jahadu) in Us (the cause of Allah), We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good doers.”
(The Holy Quran, 29:69)
When we are faced with two competing interests, it becomes jihad to choose the right one, as the following Hadith exemplify:
“Aisha, wife of the Prophet(S) asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, we see jihad as the best of deeds, so shouldn’t we join it?’ He replied, ‘But the best of jihad is a perfect Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).'”
(Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 2784)
At another occasion, a man asked the Prophet Muhammad(S):
“‘Should I join the jihad?’ He asked, ‘Do you have parents?’ The man said, ‘Yes!’ The Prophet(S) said, ‘Then strive by serving them!'”
(Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 5972)
Yet another man asked the Messenger of Allah(S):
“‘What kind of jihad is better?’ He replied, ‘A word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler!'” (Sunan Al-Nasa’i , No. 4209)
The Messenger of Allah(S) said:
“…the Mujahid (one who carries out jihad) is he who strives against himself for the sake of Allah, and the Muhajir (one who emigrates) is he who abandons evil deeds and sin.”
(Sahih Ibn Hibbanm, No. 4862)
5. HAVING COURAGE AND STEADFASTNESS TO CONVEY THE MESSAGE OF ISLAM:
The Qur’an narrates the experiences of a large number of Prophets and good people who suffered a great deal trying to convey the message of Allah to mankind. For examples, see the Qur’an 26:1-190, 36:13-32. In the Qur’an, Allah specifically praises those who strive to convey His message:
“Who is better in speech than one who calls (other people) to Allah, works righteous, and declares that he is from the Muslims.” (The Holy Quran, 41:33)
Under adverse conditions it takes great courage to remain a Muslim, declare oneself to be a Muslim and call others to Islam. We read in the Qur’an:
“The (true) believers are only those who believe in Allah and his messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their selves for the cause of Allah. Such are the truthful.” (The Holy Quran, 49:15)
6. DEFENDING ISLAM AND THE COMMUNITY:
Allah declares in the Qur’an:
“To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to defend themselves), because they are wronged – and verily, Allah is Most Powerful to give them victory – (they are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right – (for no cause) except that they say, ‘Our Lord is Allah’…”
(The Holy Quran, 22:39-40)
The Qur’an permits fighting to defend the religion of Islam and the Muslims. This permission includes fighting in self-defense and for the protection of family and property. The early Muslims fought many battles against their enemies under the leadership of the Prophet Muhammad(S) or his representatives. For example, when the pagans of Quraysh brought armies against Prophet Muhammad(S), the Muslims fought to defend their faith and community(3). The Qur’an adds:
“Fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress limits. Lo! Allah loves not aggressors. …And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against transgressors.”
(The Holy Quran, 2:190, 193)
7. HELPING ALLIED PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT BE MUSLIM:
In the late period of the Prophet Muhammad’s(S) life, the tribe of Banu Khuza’ah became his ally. They were living near Makkah which was under the rule of the pagan Quraysh, Prophet Muhammad’s(S) own tribe. The tribe of Banu Bakr, an ally of Quraysh, with the help of some elements of Quraysh, attacked Banu Khuza’ah invoked the treaty and demanded Prophet Muhammad(S) to come to their help and punish Quraysh. The Prophet Muhammad(S) organized a campaign against Quraysh of Makkah which resulted in the conquest of Makkah which occurred without any battle(4).
8. REMOVING TREACHEROUS PEOPLE FROM POWER:
Allah orders the Muslims in the Qur’an:
“If you fear treachery from any group, throw back (their treaty) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms. Lo! Allah loves not the treacherous.”
(The Holy Quran, 8:58)
Prophet Muhammad(S) undertook a number of armed campaigns to remove treacherous people from power and their lodgings. He had entered into pacts with several tribes, however, some of them proved themselves treacherous. Prophet Muhammad(S) launched armed campaigns against these tribes, defeated and exiled them from Medina and its surroundings(5).
9. DEFENDING THROUGH PREEMPTIVE STRIKES:
Indeed, it is difficult to mobilize people to fight when they see no invaders in their territory; however, those who are charged with responsibility see dangers ahead of time and must provide leadership. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad(S), had the responsibility to protect his people and the religion he established in Arabia. Whenever he received intelligence reports about enemies gathering near his borders he carried out preemptive strikes, broke their power and dispersed them(6). Allah ordered Muslims in the Qur’an:
“Fighting is prescribed upon you, and you dislike it. But it may happen that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing which is bad for you. And Allah knows and you know not.”
(The Holy Quran, 2:216)
10. GAINING FREEDOM TO INFORM, EDUCATE AND CONVEY THE MESSAGE OF ISLAM IN AN OPEN AND FREE ENVIRONMENT:
Allah declares in the Qur’an:
“They ask you (Muhammad) concerning fighting in the Sacred Month. Say, ‘Fighting therein is a grave (offense) but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its inhabitants. Persecution is worse than killing. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith, if they can…”
(The Holy Quran, 2:217)
“And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) fight back.”
(The Holy Quran, 42:39)
To gain this freedom, Prophet Muhammad(S) said:
“Strive (Jahidu) against the disbelievers with your hands and tongues.”
(Sahih Ibn Hibban, No. 4708)
The life of the Prophet Muhammad(S) was full of striving to gain the freedom to inform and convey the message of Islam. During his stay in Makkah he used non-violent methods and after the establishment of his government in Madinah, by the permission of Allah, he used armed struggle against his enemies whenever he found it inevitable.
11. FREEING PEOPLE FROM TYRANNY:
Allah admonishes Muslims in the Qur’an:
“And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? – Men, women, and children, whose cry is: ‘Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You, one who will protect; and raise for us from You, one who will help.'”
(The Holy Quran, 4:75)
The mission of the Prophet Muhammad(S) was to free people from tyranny and exploitation by oppressive systems. Once free, individuals in the society were then free to chose Islam or not. Prophet Muhammad’s(S) successors continued in his footsteps and went to help oppressed people. For example, after the repeated call by the oppressed people of Spain to the Muslims for help, Spain was liberated by Muslim forces and the tyrant rulers removed. After the conquest of Syria and Iraq by the Muslims, the Christian population of Hims reportedly said to the Muslims:
“We like your rule and justice far better than the state of oppression and tyranny under which we have been living.”(7)
The defeated rulers of Syria were Roman Christians, and Iraq was ruled by Zoarastrian Persians.
WHAT SHOULD MUSLIMS DO WHEN THEY ARE VICTORIOUS?
Muslims should remove tyranny, treachery, bigotry, and ignorance and replace them with justice and equity. We should provide truthful knowledge and free people from the bondage of ‘associationism’ (Shirk, or multiple gods), prejudice, superstition and mythology. Muslims remove immorality, fear, crime, exploitation and replace them with divine morality, peace and education. The Qur’an declares:
“Lo! Allah commands you that you restore deposits to their owners, and if you judge between mankind that you judge justly. Lo! It is proper that Allah admonishes you. Lo! Allah is ever Hearer, Seer.”
(The Holy Quran, 4:58)
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah’s witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety and fear Allah. And Allah is well acquainted with all that you do.”
(The Holy Quran, 5:8)
“And of those whom We have created there is a nation who guides with the Truth and establishes justice with it.”
(The Holy Quran, 7:181)
“Lo! Allah enjoins justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbids lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorts you in order that you may take heed.”
(The Holy Quran, 16:90)
“Those who, if We give them power in the land, establish prescribed prayers (salah) and pay the poor-due (zakah) and enjoin right conduct and forbid evil. And with Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs.”
(The Holy Quran, 22:41)
DID ISLAM SPREAD BY FORCE, SWORDS OR GUNS?
The unequivocal and emphatic answer is No! The Qur’an declares:
“Let there be no compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam). The right direction is distinctly clear from error.”
(The Holy Quran, 2:256)
Here is a good study of the question of the spread of Islam by a Christian missionary, T. W. Arnold:
“…of any organized attempt to force the acceptance of Islam on the non-Muslim population, or of any systematic persecution intended to stamp out the Christian religion, we hear nothing. Had the caliphs chosen to adopt either course of action, they might have swept away Christianity as easily as Ferdinand and Isabella drove Islam out of Spain, or Louis XIV made Protestantism penal in France, or the Jews were kept out of England for 350 years. The Eastern Churches in Asia were entirely cut off from communion with the rest of Christiandom throughout which no one would have been found to lift a finger on their behalf, as heretical communions. So that the very survival of these Churches to the present day is a strong proof of the generally tolerant attitude of Mohammedan [sic] governments towards them”(8).
Islam does not teach, nor do Muslims desire, conversion of any people for fear, greed, marriage or any other form of coercion.
In conclusion, jihad in Islam is striving in the way of Allah by pen, tongue, hand, media and, if inevitable, with arms. However, jihad in Islam does not include striving for individual or national power, dominance, glory, wealth, prestige or pride.
— M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.
For the sake of simplicity and easy reading, masculine pronouns have been used throughout this brochure. No exclusion of females is intended. (back)
Haykal, M. H., The Life of Muhammad, Tr. Ismail R. Faruqi, American Trust Publications, 1976, p. 132. (back)
Haykal, pp. 216, 242, 299 and 414 for the Battles of Badr, Uhud, Al-Khandaq and Hunayn, respectively. (back)
Haykal, p. 395 for the conquest of Makkah. (back)
Haykal, pp. 245, 277, 311 and 326 for campaigns against the tribes of Banu Qaynuqa’, Banu Al-Nadir, Banu Qurayzah and Banu Lihyan, respectively. Also, see p. 283 for the Battle of Dhat Al-Riqa’. (back)
Haykal, pp. 284, 327, 366, 387, 393, 443 and 515 for the Battles of Dawmat Al-Jandal, Banu Al-Mustaliq, Khayber, Mu’tah, Dhat Al-Salasil, Tabuk and the Campaign of Usama Ibn Zayd, respectively. (back)
Hitti, Philip K., History of the Arabs, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1970, p. 153. (back)
Arnold, Sir Thomas W., The Preaching of Islam, a History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith, Westminister A. Constable & Co., London, 1896, p. 80. (back)
The Institute of Islamic Information & Education
P.O. Box 41129,
Chicago, IL 60641-0129