Page 111 - Islam In Focus

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if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity,
enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. With God rests the end (and decision) of all
affairs (22:38-41)
With this permission from God there was no more persecution or oppression to be
inflicted on the Muslims. There was resistance from their side to restore tranquillity,
to regain their peace and freedom, to reunite with their families and take back their
belongings. There were battles and wars with the malicious infidels who flagrantly
denied the Muslims peace and freedom. But never was there any aggression from the
Muslim side, or any destruction of homes, crops, supplies, etc., or any killing of non-
fighting children, women, elders and disabled people. The Muslims observed these
rules and remained within the limits of God. That was something which had never
been experienced before nor has been experienced after. It was under these
circumstances that the Muslims had to fight, and it was with these principles and
instructions of God that they in the end achieved decisive victories
So much has been said or written about the “ ruthless” Muslims, who emerged from
the burning and dry deserts of dark Arabia to conquer the Roman and Persian
protectorates, and even to venture around the walls of Europe. Many have expressed
the opinion that those Muslims were motivated by religious zeal to spread Islam by
force as far as they could reach. Many others consider this opinion silly and naive,
because Islam - by its nature - cannot be forced; and even if it were supposedly forced
on the conquered people, it could not have lasted there for long, and non-Muslims
would have been liquidated from the conquered regions. History bears witness to the
fact that wherever Islam reached it survived – with the exception of Spain on account
of certain reasons, and that wherever the Muslim conquerors went, they lived side by
side with non-Muslim natives. Moreover, they argue, one cannot force a religion like
Islam on anyone and find him so sincere and honest about his faith as were those
Muslim converts of the new lands. It needs more than compulsion to develop such
good Muslims out of a defeated people, and it requires much more than suppression to
make them uphold and cherish the ” forced” religion
Another trend of thought is adopted by some who like to call themselves intellectuals
or enlightened critics and authorities. They are not satisfied with that silly and naive
opinion about the spread of Islam by force. They attribute the expansion of Islam to
the aggressive wars launched by Muslims who suffocated in the heat and drought of
Arabia, and were simply motivated by economic needs and circumstances. Those
wars and adventures were not religious or spiritual but merely the outcome of
pressing wants. This may indicate that the Arabs had not arisen to such a high level of
sacrifice and devotion, or that after the death of Muhammad, his successors and their
successors lost interest in religion altogether and took off to satisfy their immediate
wants. It may also indicate that Islam itself is incapable of generating such fervor and
zeal in those Muslim Arab warriors. The indication here is manifold, and the
“ intellectuals” of this opinion are uncertain as to which probability should have
preference over others
There is still one more trend adopted by some people who ascribe the Muslim wars
out of Arabia to passionate lust for plunder and raiding. They cannot see any motive
or appreciate any appeal in the Muslims except hunger for blood and desire for loot.