Page 109 - Islam In Focus

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us and in that which came down to you; our God and your God is one; and it is to Him
we bow (in Islam) (29:46)
Now if Islam is so designated for peace, and if the Muslims are so dedicated to peace,
and if the Qur’ an is favorable to peace, why then did Muhammad launch wars and
command battles? Why does the Qur’ an say ‘slay them’ and fight them? To examine
this seemingly innocent inquiry, it is indispensable to mention some historical facts
that accompanied and anticipated the Muslim wars against the infidels
After receiving the Charge from God, Muhammad called a public meeting and told
the assembly of what he had received, appealing to them to give up their idol-worship
and believe in the One True God. His first peaceful and logical appeal was met not
only with resistance but also with jeers, mockery and laughter. He tried continually to
present his people with the blessed call but had little success. Because he was not left
free to propagate Islam in the open, he had to resort to private preaching for some
years to save the lives of his few followers and mitigate their hardships. When
instructions from God came to him to preach in the open, persecutions and torture
increased and were brutally inflicted on the Muslims. But the more the persecutions
increased, the higher the number of Muslims arose. The infidels tried all kinds of
pressure and temptation to silence the Call of God. But the more they tried, the firmer
Muhammad and the Muslims stood. When the infidels failed to shake the Faith of the
Believers by threats, pressure, confiscation of property, jeers, etc., they organized a
harsh boycott, a fierce campaign of ostracism, against the Muslims. For some years
the Muslims were forced to remain within a very tight circle of association, unable to
preach or sell or buy or marry or contact any of their fellow Meccans. Even this did
not shake the Muslims’ Faith. The boycott went on until the infidels themselves were
tired of its observance and had to call it off
Bringing the severe boycott to an end was no indication of peace or anticipation of
tranquillity on the part of the infidels. On the contrary, pressure and persecution
continued with a rapid increase, but it was all in vain as far as the Muslims were
concerned. Finally, the infidels convened a summit conference behind closed doors to
discuss what to do next to eliminate Islam and get rid of Muhammad once and for all.
A unanimous resolution was adopted to select a strong man from every tribe and
murder Muhammad in his bed. The mission of Muhammad was not destined to end at
that level. So, God instructed him to leave Mecca, his dear hometown, and migrate to
Medina to reunite with the native Muslims and the earlier emigrants who had fled
from Mecca to Medina (see Qur’ an 8:30; 9:40). This was the Great Event of Hijrah or
Emigration with which the history of Islam began and by which the Muslim Calendar
Fleeing from Mecca, the Muslims were forced by a variety of circumstances to leave
behind practically all their properties, belongings and even families. As soon as they
settled in Medina, Muhammad resumed his peaceful preaching and his gracious
invitation to Islam. Some natives responded favorably to the Call of God and
immediately became full-fledged members of the Muslim community. Others did not
embrace Islam but maintained their traditional beliefs. And because Muhammad was
dedicated to dignified peace and reform, he concluded treaties with the non-Muslims
assuring them of freedom and security, and creating in their hearts, for the first time, a
socio-national conscience instead of the narrow tribal allegiance