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A time for Peace

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    A time for Peace

    All praise is due to Allah, Whose proof of existence is evident in the signs of His Creation, Whose Wisdom is Supreme, Whose foresight encompasses all time, and Whose Power is over all things. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the greatest of messengers, the seal of the Prophets, Muhammed, and upon his pure progeny, his righteous companions, and his loyal followers, all of them.

    Allah commanded the Noble Prophet (upon whom be the peace and blessings of Allah) to establish Islam amongst his people and then to spread it over the world. For the first 10 years of his mission, the Messenger of Allah lived under dangerous condition where the Quraysh sat on their wealth and affluence and held at the center of this prestige their idols and false deities. During this entire time period, the Prophet did not once pick up a sword and run into the streets of Makkah to fight people until they submitted to Islam. Contrary to old western legends, Islam was not spread by the sword.

    Instead, as Allah says in the Qur'an:

    Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance. (Qur'an 16:125)

    This was an essential theme throughout the entire mission of the Prophet. Finally, after the hijra to Madinah, the covenant with the people of Madinah, and the establishment of an Islamic community, Muslims were forced to take military action. Even in this circumstance, the military action was taken to remove the oppression that the Quraysh had imposed upon the Muslims. Never was war used as a means to spread the religion or to gain political power over any people.

    The question one might ask is why, if the Muslims had been oppressed since the beginning of the mission, did they wait until they migrated to Madinah to fight back with military expeditions? Why did they not use guerilla warfare and other such tactics while in Makkah? The reason is in the purpose of the Islamic mission. Its mission was to establish service to Allah, justice, peace, and equality. The migration to Madinah established alliances with both Muslims (the ansar community) and with the Jews.

    The Muslims did not engage in warfare until they had an established governance and were able to execute military operations without endangering innocent lives (either theirs or their enemy's). Under no circumstances are Muslims allowed to kill innocent men, women, or children. We also see from the life of the Prophet, that the Muslims eventually established peace with the people of Makkah. They signed the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, despite the fact that some of the conditions that the Quraysh requested did not seem to be in favor of the Muslims. Nevertheless, the thoughtfulness and tact of the Messenger of Allah in realizing the implications of peace were tremendous.

    In only two years of peace, the Muslim community multiplied and spread. By establishing trust between themselves and the non-Muslims, they were able to open up dialogue, invite people to Islam, and gain more allies in Arabia and also in other countries. The wisdom of peace takes maturity and foresight into the true goal of the Islamic mission. The model for human excellence established by our beloved Prophet is not one of conquering and dominance but rather of peace-loving dialogue and trust. It is no wonder that for the years leading up to the beginning of his mission, the Prophet was known by the Quraysh as As-Sadiq (the Truthful) and Al-Amin (The Trustworthy).

    Even when the Quraysh opposed the Prophet, they could not ignore his honesty and good will towards them. Those who were taken as prisoners of war by the Muslims probably lived better lives than if they had stayed with the disbelievers. It was through this type of assurance of goodwill and insurance of alliances that the Muslim community grew and eventually led to the Conquest of Makkah, which was done without any bloodshed.

    The question one must inevitably ask is, where do we as a Muslim community stand now? We are undoubtedly being oppressed in the world, and we must undoubtedly stand up against that oppression. Is this situation, however, the type of situation that calls for war or for the peaceful dialogue and da'wah that was the larger portion of the Prophetic mission?

    It is time for us to re-evaluate our position. If the only way that we, as Muslims, can fight against a formidable oppressor is by compromising our own religious principles, then we should not be fighting at all. Under no circumstances is the taking of innocent lives permissible in Islam. In Palestine, for example, the world has now seen the evil that Israel has created and spread throughout the region. Much of the world is willing to stand with the Muslims against Israel. But what happens when another suicide bombing takes place? The world cringes and they start to question whether or not the Muslims deserve their support at all.

    It is time for Muslims to support those who are oppressed whether in Palestine, Turkey, Kashmir, China, the Philippines, Chechnya, etc., not through guerilla warfare and not through rallies and angry letters to political officials. Instead we must establish trust among the common people. We must look to the average non-Muslim and reach deep inside each person to find the innate goodness that all humans are given at birth. People are looking for truth and morality more than ever, and we must be at the forefront of groups calling for the reformation and refinement of moral principles, justice, and equality.

    When the Prophet, upon whom be peace, finally conquered Makkah and all of Arabia, it was not like any conquering that the world had before witnessed. It was not a pillaging, terrorizing, destructive conquest. In fact it was not a military or political conquest at all. It was a conquest of the hearts of the people. Islam will be victorious through the hearts of people, not through bombing and gun battles.

    Let us embark on a struggle (jihad), not of military might, which we do not have, but rather of superior intellect, morality, and compassion. The world should see each and every Muslim and say, "Yes, he is truthful, and yes, she is trustworthy." Such will be the true victory of Islam. Such will be path of salvation, not only for the Muslims, but for all of humanity. Such is the nature of peace.

    When comes the help of Allah, and the Victory. And you see people entering the religion of Allah in crowds. Then, celebrate the praises of your Lord and ask His forgiveness. For He is Oft-Returning (in grace and mercy). (Qur'an 110:1-3)

    #2
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      #3
      From a non-Muslim, that injunction above is not improvable. It stands as the best defense against injustices done against people of the Islamic faith. I have seen the better side of the Ummah many times in western media. They can't supress it. The goodness and steadfastness of the best of Islam is undefeatable. That is the guide that must be followed. An idea and faith is stronger than any military, except when the believers are so few in number that it dies. The current tactics used by the Palestinians were derived from the Jews. This has now changed into the sick practice of martyr bombing. Get up, stand up for Islam-don't die like that for land. It is demeaning to be associated with that behavior. The recognition of Palestine is 50 years overdue. The blame lies on the shoulders of both parties. As for other places where the situation is less than acceptable to Muslims, the answer is still political. At the end of any war, there are the political ends that need tied up.

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