Billions of Dollars, Euros, Pounds, Shekels and other currencies are used by the enemies of Islām to smear and tarnish the name and the image of the Deen of Islām and the person of Nabi Muhammad (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). The media moguls and the promoters of Islāmophobia, through electronic as well as press media, are hell-bent on misleading people into believing Islām to be a terror-oriented religion. Millions of anti-Islāmic websites and blogs have been initiated to criticize, insult and make fun of Islām and the noble personality of Nabi Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). The anti-Islāmic nations and their governments are diplomatically and militarily leaving no stone unturned to hinder Islām’s progress. However, being Deenul Haqq (the True Religion), Islām continues to be protected by Allāh Himself since time immemorial, as He protected His Majestic House (the Ka’bah) when Abraha dared to attack it.
Unfortunately, the individual as well the collective efforts of the Kuffār (outright rejectors of the Religion) have led a great majority of non-Muslims all around the world to have a grossly distorted image of Islām. One of the age old tactics the enemies of Islām are using is to mislead people into believing that Rasool (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) used the sword to force non-believers into accepting Islām, naudhubillāh (may God be our refuge from that claim)!
When Allāh Ta’ala has clearly stated in His Book, Qur’ān Majīd that ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ (Surah Al-Baqra Āyat 256), how can His beloved Prophet then use a sword to force the non-Muslims to come into the fold of Islām?
To set the records straight here is a short analysis with facts and figures regarding the ‘military campaigns’ (if at all you can call them that!) of Nabi (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). Readers can judge for themselves the validity, or rather, the invalidity of the Kuffār claims.
Rasulullāh’s call towards Tawhīd (doctrine of Monotheism or Oneness of God in Islam) was in no way acceptable to the Mushrikīn (Polytheists). Consequently, Allah’s Messenger (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and his followers were subjected to intense oppression and persecutions that included, among others, a social ban for three agonizing years during which Rasulullāh (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was shut up with all his kinsfolk in Shu’ab Abu Talib, a valley near Makkah. For three long years, nobody could see them nor could they see anybody. They could not purchase anything in Makkah nor from any trader coming from outside. Soon their stock of food was exhausted and they were reduced to a state of famine. Their children and especially the suckling babies would cry with hunger for hours on end, and this was harder on them than their own starvation.
Rasulullāh (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), however, remained in Makkah until he learned of the Quraysh’s plot to assassinate him. He waited for the command from Allāh Ta’ala for emigration. When, finally that command did come, he and Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiAllāhu ‘anhu) made Hijrāh to Madinah in the year 622.
Not very long after the Hijrāh, Nabi (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) received the following Revelation from Allāh granting him and his Sahābah the permission to fight in the path of Allāh:
Permission to fight is given to those (i.e. believers against disbelievers), who are fighting them, (and) because they (believers) have been wronged, and surely, Allāh is Able to give them (believers) victory. Surāh 22 Ayāh 39
Rasulullāh (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) knew that the permission here was a command, and the obligation of war had been stressed.
The battles in which Nabi (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) participated personally are called Ghazwāt (singular Ghazwāh) and the battles in which he sent the Sahābah but did not participate personally are called Sarāyyah (singular Sariyyah).
The total number of all the battles that took place in the time of our beloved Nabi (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was 70 (some sources have quoted 82). Given below is the breakdown of these battles and the number of casualties that resulted:
Total: 70 (or 82 according to some narrations)
Shahādat (Believers Martyred): 259
Deaths of Mushrikīn (Pagans): 759
How can these meager figures be compared with the number of deaths that have occurred in any other wars or battles that took place in those periods? What about the modern-day wars? In fact this number is like a drop of water in front of an ocean when you compare it with the vast number of people who lose their lives or get displaced in the modern-day wars where the weapons of mass destructions are used!
Most of the enemies of Islām are from militarily powerful countries that are notorious for forcefully occupying other people’s lands, thus rendering the indigenous people as ‘refugees’ in their own lands. Countries like Israel have proved to be the worst savages in this respect. While there are other nations that, under the guise of establishing their brands of ‘democracy’, attack unstable and defenseless countries thereby setting up one-sided combats. Consequently, the casualties are mostly sustained by the weaker nations and they run in millions. The sad part is that the victims are mostly unarmed civilians that include women and children in massively large numbers. The aftermath of a modern-day war (or even a typical battle fought in the past) is very painful. The civilian infrastructures are the main targets and the resultant destruction is massive. The criminal laws are kept aside and the soldiers of the winning countries involve themselves in frenzied sprees of looting and raping. The afflicted nations take years to recover and rehabilitate.
A glaring example is when Muslims were defeated by Christians in Spain. The stories of the atrocities that were committed by the Christian authorities against the Muslims can move the most hard-hearted person to tears. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims were massacred. Those who survived were forcefully converted to Christianity, masājid (mosques) were transformed into churches, homes were destroyed, mothers were separated from their children, people were stripped of their wealth and humiliated and anyone who dared to rebel was either killed or reduced to slavery.
This is not a lone example; history is strewn with accounts of such atrocities committed against Muslims when they were defeated in any war. The savage armies of Chengiz (Genghis) Khan invaded and destroyed most of Central Asia and Persia razing to ground such great cities as Bukhara, Samarkand, Herat, Nishapur, and Balkh. He did not attack Baghdad, but paved the way for that invasion by his grandson, Halaku (Hulagu) Khan. In 1258, Halaku ransacked Baghdad, killing 1.6 million Muslims (some sources have quoted the figure 1.8 million) in the city and ending forever the signs of the glory of the great city. They emptied the libraries that contained the most treasured Islāmic literature into the Tigris, ending the city’s scholarly preeminence enjoyed for nearly 500 years. Hence the legend developed, ‘that the river ran black from the ink of the countless texts lost in this manner, while the streets ran red with the blood of the city’s slaughtered inhabitants.’ They came, they looted, they destroyed, they burned, they killed and they left.
On the other hand, the scenarios after the Islāmic campaigns in Nabi’s times presented totally different pictures. The changes that took place after the Islāmic victories were noted for serenity, security, justice and peaceful coexistence. History is full of examples to illustrate this point. Even during the time when the battles were fought the safety of the women and the children were the main concern of Rasulullāh (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). He had given strict instructions to his Sahābah not to kill women and children. Hadith number 257 in Sahih Bukhāri Volume 004, Book 052, quoted below, bears witness to that.
During some of the Ghazawāt of the Nabi a woman was found killed. Allāh’s Apostle disapproved the killing of women and children.
At the time of ‘Fateh Makkah’ (conquest of Makkah) when the Nabi entered the Holy precincts of Makkah on 20th Ramadhan (some sources have cited 21st Ramadhan) Hijri 8 with the believers’ contingent comprising 10,000 Sahābah chanting Surāh Fattah, there was a great jubilation among the believers while the Mushrikīn were scared to death. They suspected that the Muslims under the leadership of Rasulullāh (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) will now take revenge of every atrocity and cruelty they had inflicted upon the believers.
However, what transpired was something they (the Mushrikīn) had least expected. It has remained an unparalleled example in the annals of history.
Part of a lengthy Hadith narrated by Hadhrat Abu Hurayra (RadhiAllāhu ‘anhu) states that:
‘Rasulullāh (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) came to the Kabah and while holding the doorframe, asked, “What do you people have to say? What are your expectations?” The people responded, “We say that you are our nephew and a most lenient and merciful son of our uncle.” This they repeated thrice. Rasulullāh (SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “I shall say as Yusuf said:
There shall be no blame on you today (no revenge will be taken). May Allah forgive you. He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.”
With these words Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) granted a general amnesty to the Quraish and the Makkans! These were the same people who had manhandled, abused and oppressed him, had thrown rubbish and all kinds of filth over him, had tried to strangulate him, had strewn thorns on his way. However, Rasulullāh’s magnanimous heart was so clean and pure and totally free of hatred that no enmity, antagonism or hostility could ever find a place in it.
In the most crucial moment, Allāh gave him power over his enemies. However, Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) being Rahmatul-Lil-‘Ālamīn (Mercy for the worlds) used this power to forgive his enemies thereby offering mankind of all generations the most perfect example of kindness, sympathy, benevolence, truthfulness, nobility and magnanimity.
Hadhrat Abu Hurayra (RadhiAllāhu ‘anhu) narrates further that the people then dispersed as if they had been revived from their graves and they accepted Islām.
After ‘Fateh Makkah’ all the Jahiliyyat, atrocities, fitnāh and fasād came to a grinding halt in Arabia. So much peace and justice prevailed in the entire country that a woman could leave al-Qadisiyyah (in Iraq) on her camel and fearlessly arrive at the house of Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in Madinah, or a foreign woman, fully adorned with the most expensive jewelry, could walk unaccompanied from Hira (in Yemen) and do the tawāf of Baitullāh and no man would even throw a glance at her!
After going through these historical facts can an open-minded, rational person, whom Allāh has guided with wisdom, conclude that Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) used the sword to force non-believers into accepting Islām, naudhubillāhi?
In fact, Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) used another weapon more often than he used the sword. That weapon, far more powerful and effective than the sword, was his Husn-e- Akhlāq (the beauty of his character)! Nabi Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was undoubtedly the fountainhead of excellent manners and decorum. An incredible number of people were attracted towards Islām due to this ‘Sublime Weapon’ of Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)!
The sword was used only to conquer the lands of the Kuffār and annex them to the Islāmic empire.
These are absolute facts and history bears a resolute witness to them!
…and Allāh Ta’ala Knows Best