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Did Islam Come With Peace?

Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, came with the religion of all the prophets of God, which is:

Belief in one God ( Allah the Creator), God of prophet Moses, Jesus Christ and many others. The Creator who has no partner or child; we have to worship Him alone without an idol, stone, saint, priest or any mediator.

Islam is a religion that provides inner peace for human beings by knowing and worshiping the Creator directly without an intermediary. Islam also answers the questions that revolve in the mind of man regarding the source of his existence, the purpose of his existence, and his destiny after death.

Islam appreciates life, so it is not permissible to fight both peaceful people and civilians.

Additionally, property, children, and women must be protected even during wars.

It is also not permissible to mutilate the bodies of the dead people, as it is not an ethic of Islam.

God said in Surat Al-Anfal:

And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon God. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.
(61)

Let’s discuss some points which prove that Islam is a religion of peace.

Fighting or killing?

Islam allowed fighting, not killing, in limited cases of self-defense or repelling an aggression that prevents a Muslim from practicing his rituals. These aggressions also tend to prevent the Muslim from defining the existence of the One and Only Creator Who has no partner or son, along with worshiping Him alone.

God said in Surat Al-Mumtahinah – 8 & 9 :

God does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, God loves those who act justly.

God only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

God said in Surah Al-Ma’idah 32:

Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.

Non-Muslim is one of four:

The secured people:

They are the ones who were given safety by Muslims.

This rule includes those who entered our country with a tourist visa, and those who resided on our land.

God said in Sura Tawba – 6:

And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of God. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.

Here we understand from the noble verse that as soon as a non-Muslim hears Qur’anic verses that inform him of his Creator’s existence, along with inviting him to worship this Creator directly without a mediator, the Muslim must give him safety if he wants to remain on his faith.

People of the treaty “Ahd”:

They are the ones who are promised by Muslims to leave the fighting.

This rule includes most of the countries of the world in our time.

God said in Sura Tawba – 12:

Except those idolaters with whom you have a treaty, who have not failed you in the least, nor helped anyone against you. Fulfil your obligations to them during the term (of the treaty). God loves those who take heed for themselves.

People of the “Dhimma”:

“Dhimma” is a historical term referring to non-Muslims living in an Islamic state with legal protection by paying Al “Jizia”, which is a type of a (Poll Tax), imposed on non-Muslim citizens of an Islamic state, for which their lives, progeny, possessions, are protected by the State. They are entitled to practice their religion without any interference by anyone not from their faith. They pay this amount in submission to the divine law.

It is a small amount to be paid according to their ability. It is taken from the fighters only, which means the free adult men, but it is not taken from women, children and the irrational ones.

In addition, they are guaranteed to settle their intra community disputes according to their own traditions and laws, not according to  the Islamic law (Sharia). They are exempted from military service while being entitled to full protection from alien enemies.

It is similar to the tax paid by millions during our time in exchange for the state’s care of their affair. They pay it in submission to the human law.

The Muslim is also required to give alms (zakat), which is a percentage of the savings of the young and old in his family, even the infant among them. This percentage may reach double fold the amount which non- Muslims pay.

God said in Sura Tawba – 29:

Fight those people of the Book who do not believe in God and the Last Day, who do not prohibit what God and His Apostle have forbidden, nor accept divine law, until all of them pay protective tax in submission.

The fighters:

They are the ones who declared the fight against Muslims, as these have no covenant, no obligation, and no safety.

They are the ones in whom Almighty God said in Sura Al Anfal – 39:

And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for God; but if they desist, then surely God sees what they do. 

This category of fighters is the one that we have to fight only. God did not command killing, but fighting. There is a big difference between them.

Fighting here means confrontation during war for the purpose of self-defense. This is what all statutory laws stipulate.

God the Almighty said in sura Baqara-190:

Fight in the way of God those who fight you, but do not transgress. Indeed, God does not like transgressors.

The above verse is the rule and the decisive verse on which the concept of fighting in Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and other Qur’anic verses are measured, whose interpretation or meaning is unclear and contreversial.

fighting people:

Why did the Prophet say: I have been commanded to fight people?

Sahih Bukhari (1/14) 25 – Ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said:

I have been ordered (by God) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah (God) and that Muhammad is God’s messanger, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by God.

This saying expresses a special case for some groups of Arab tribes that prevented Muslims from practicing their religious rituals, or tribes that embraced Islam and pledged to the Messenger to establish prayer and giving almes, and to testify that there is no god but God the almighty, and persecuted them.

This is completely diferent than what some understand that Muslims have to fight all people in order to convert to Islam.

We also have to understand:

  • The Prophet had to fight only those who fought him, but if the enemy abandons the fight, he neither fights nor is killed.
  • I fight means: the confrontation between two parties.
  • I fight means: responding to the attack and resisting the attacker, not starting the attack.

God Almighty said in Surah Al Imran-173:

Those to whom people [i.e., hypocrites] said, “Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, “Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.”

The attackers of Islam understand the above verse in this sense: to whom all the people said that all people have gathered against you.

How will all people go tell all people that all the people have gathered against you, while they are in fact the same people!

So, it is logical that what is meant by people here is not all people, but a certain group of people.

The interpretations have told us that what is meant by the first people: “the people said to them,” meaning Na’im bin Mas’ud al-Ashja’i.

The second, “Indeed people” is meant by Abu Sufyan and his companions. Which means that the word “people” was used to refer to only one person!

God Almighty said in Surah An-Nisa-54:

Do they envy [other] people for the bounty God has granted them? We gave the descendants of Abraham the Scripture and wisdom- and We gave them a great kingdom

If the verse says (do they envy people), who will be envious of people, if the word people means all people and all human beings?

The word people here, logically, does not mean all people.

What is meant by people here, is Prophet Muhammad and his followers, not all human beings.

We understand from the previous explanation that:

  • I was commanded to fight the people means: I was commanded to fight those who would fight me among the polytheists of the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Assigning the meaning of the word people to the polytheists who fought him.
  • Meaning of the saying of the Prophet: I have been commanded to repel any aggression that prevents me, prevents Muslims from practicing their rituals, and persecutes them.

What is the meaning of the term Jehad:

“Jihad” means striving to stop oneself from sin. The mother’s Jihad in her pregnancy is to bear the pain of pregnancy. The student’s diligence in his studies, the struggle of the defender of his money, his family and his religion are examples of jihad. Even persevering in acts of worship such as fasting and praying on time is considered a type of jihad.

We find that the meaning of jihad is not as some claim that killing innocent and peaceful non-Muslims will help them get virgins in heavens.

It is illogical for the giver of life (God) to order man to end his life, and to take lives of others without guilt, while at the same time He says “Do not kill yourselves”. There are also other verses that forbade killing other souls unless there is a justification, such as retribution, or counteracting aggression without violating the rights of others or the death and exposing the soul to danger.

Suicide operations were found to serve the interests of groups that are not related to religion or its purposes. They are away from the grace and morals of this great religion. The bliss of Heavens should not be based on that narrow view of obtaining virgins only, for Paradise has what no eye has seen, nor an ear heard, and no heart has perceived.

Young people today suffer from economic conditions, and the inability to earn money that should help them with marriage. This kind of suffering makes them become easy prey for the promoters of these heinous acts, especially those who are addicted and those who suffer from psychological disorders.

If the promoters believed in this idea, first they would start by themselves, before they sent the youth to this task.

Religion of Instinct :

We often hear from non-Muslim monotheists that they did not know about a religion existing on the face of the earth that says there is no god but one true God.

Those monothiests thought that Muslims worship Muhammad, along with Christians worshiping Christ, and Buddhists worshiping Buddha. There are also other religions, similar to Christianity and Buddhism, that sanctify human beings.

What they find of religions on earth does not match what is in their hearts, which is the worship of the One and Only God.

The role of the Muslim comes to make it clear to them that Muslims do not worship Muhammad, but rather directly worship the One Creator.

Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, is the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers only.

It is not valid to worship Him, nor to resort to Him or others by asking for or repenting from a sin. Rather, all human beings must turn to the Creator directly.

Here, it becomes clear to us the importance of introducing people to the true religion, which was and is still eagerly awaited by many.

It aims to deliver the message of monotheism only, by giving an interpretation and meaning to the word Islam, within the limits of no compulsion in religion, and without killing, blood, or terrorism.

Non-Muslims, in return, must respect the sanctities of others, refrain from attacking Muslims, and fulfill their obligations in return for remaining true to their religion and providing them with security and protection. As happened in Egypt, Andalusia, etc.

Italian writer Dr. Laura Vicha Valery also says:

“It’s enough to say that wars, which are the most basic necessities of human life, have become, thanks to Muhammad, less brutal and cruel, as he was asking his soldiers not to kill an old man, a woman, or a child, and they would not demolish homes that were not taken as military strongholds, nor did they destroy the causes of life, nor they touch the fruit trees and palms.”

The word sword was never mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.

The countries in which the history of Islam has not witnessed wars are the ones in which most of the world’s Muslims reside today, such as Indonesia, India, China and others.

The evidence for that is the presence of Christians, Hindus, etc. to this day in the countries conquered by Muslims. On the other hand, there are few Muslims in the countries colonized by non-Muslims. These colonial countries caused wars of genocide by forcing all to embrace their faith, such as the Crusades and other wars.

Edward Montet, Director of the University of Geneva, said in a lecture:

“Islam is a rapidly spreading religion that spreads on its own without any encouragement offered by organized centers, because every Muslim is a preacher by his nature. The Muslim is very faithful, and the intensity of his faith seizes his heart and mind; this is an advantage in Islam that does not exist in other religions. For this reason, you can see a burning desire of a Muslim to preach his religion wherever he goes, and transmits the severe contagion of faith to all of the pagans. The strong Islamic faith has the greatest merit in spreading this rapid spread. In addition to faith, Islam is compatible with social and economic conditions. The Muslim has an amazing ability to adapt according to the environment, along with adapting the environment according to what this strong religion requires.”

Conclusion:

There is no justification or excuse for any terrorist act in the name of Islam.

Islam absolves of all the slanders attributed to it.

Killing innocents is a crime for which the killer will be held accountable by the Creator of the universe.


Notes:

The reference of God to Himself as WE or US in many verses of the Qur’an denotes Grandeur and Power in Arabic. In the English language this is known as the royal WE, where a plural pronoun is used to refer to a single person holding a high office, such as a monarch. For the avoidance of doubt, the Qur’an has consistently reminded us of the SINGULAR pronoun in reference to God, when called upon by His servants.

The Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Middle East use the word “Allah” to refer to God, which refers to The Only True God ( the Creator). The word Allah was mentioned in the earlier version of the Old Testament 89 times. (Refer to Genesis 2:4, Book of Daniel 6:20 Hebrew and Arabic Bible)


Reference:

Why Religion? A Journey from memory.

Faten Sabri

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