Page 114 - Islam In Focus

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needed suppression, not so much for the comfort of the newcomers as for the sake of
the state in which these very traitors were living. This is the only time force was
applied to bring such people to their senses and make them realize their
responsibilities: either as Muslims by accepting Islam freely, or as loyal citizens by
being tributepayers, capable of living with their Muslim compatriots and sharing with
them equal rights and duties
3. It may be wise for these critics to study the Qur’ an with honest intentions to see
what it ordains with regard to war and peace. It may be wiser still for them to
investigate the status of the “ conquered” people, and the conditions under which they
lived before and after their contact with the Muslims. What will they say, if they find
out that urgent appeals were made to the Muslims by natives of the Persian and
Roman protectorates to come and deliver them from the oppressing foreign rule?
What will they think, if they happen to discover that the Muslim “ conquerors” were
joyfully welcomed by common people as well as by the religious patriarchs, who
were longing for Muslim protection and Muslim justice of administration? How
would they explain the phenomenon that some of the “ conquered” people not only
welcomed the “ invading” Muslims but also fought on their side against the
oppressors? How would they conceive the prosperity, freedom and progress of the
“ invaded” regions under Islam, in comparison to what had prevailed therein before?
We are not ascertaining any particular point of view on the matter or making any
hasty conclusions. We simply believe that the question is worth reconsidering and
deserves serious investigation. The findings will certainly by interesting and
significant. Perhaps a Western mind can understand better, if the whole matter is
considered in the light of the prevailing conditions in today’ s world. The deep concern
of the Western Allies over Berlin, the appeals of the oppressed everywhere, the
anxiety of the South Koreans, the fears of the Laotians, the NATO business, the
SEATO affairs, the Instability of the Communist Satellites - all that may help the
Western mind to understand the events of those remote centuries and the actual
policies of the Muslims of those days
4. The idea that Muslim wars in the outside world were motivated by economic needs
of the Arabs is worth considering too. Although seemingly certain of their own
assumptions, the upholders of such an idea have not really studied the case seriously.
Do they honestly think that the economic needs were the reasons to urge the Muslims
to cross their Arabian borders? On what ground do they assume that Arabia – with its
ancient centers of business, valleys and oases–was no longer capable of producing
enough for the Muslims? Have they made any serious inquiry as to how much the
“ invading” Muslims made for themselves, how much they distributed among the
people under their rule, and how much they sent back to the Central Administration in
Medina or Damascus or Baghdad or Cairo? Have they compared the revenues of the
“ invaded” territories before and after Islam, and found out whether or not the
“ invaders” were simply self-interested business adventurers? Have they any reasons
to believe that those Muslims took more than what they gave, or drew more than what
they had deposited, or made more than what they had invested? Have they come
across any evidence to prove if the Central Government in Arabia had at any time
received tributes or taxes from its “ conquered” protectorates which were needed for
the development of these very protectorates, and if so how much was received, and
was it worth the adventure in the unknown world? Have they collected any reliable
information to show that Arabia was privileged or given preference, in expenditures