June 23, 2024

In the Name of Allah—the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Does Quran Preach Violence
Against Nonbelievers?

The Quran does provide guidelines for
Muslims to defend themselves in case of attack, but it emphasizes the
importance of peace, compassion, and justice. For example, in Chapter 2, Verse
190, the Quran says:

 “Fight in the cause of Allah those who
fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.

This verse makes it clear that Muslims
are only allowed to engage in self-defense when they are attacked, and they
should do so in a just and proportionate manner.

Similarly, in Chapter 60, Verse 8, the
Quran says:

Allah forbids you not, with
regard to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your
homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are
just.”

This verse emphasizes the importance
of treating non-believers with kindness and justice, even if they do not share
the same faith.

It is also important to note that the
Quran promotes dialogue and peaceful coexistence between Muslims and
non-Muslims. In Chapter 29, Verse 46, the Quran says:

 “And argue not with the People of the
Book (i.e. Jews and Christians) except in (a way) that is best, except for
those who transgress, and say, ‘We believe in what has been revealed to us and
revealed to you. Our God and your God is one, and to Him we submit.’

Persecution
of Muslims at Makkah

Muslims faced significant persecution
in Makkah during the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), especially in
the early years of his mission. Some of the forms of persecution that Muslims
faced included:

Social Boycott:

The
Meccan society, which was largely polytheistic, ostracized the Muslims and
boycotted them socially, economically, and politically. The Muslims were
shunned by their families, businesses refused to deal with them, and they were
prevented from accessing basic necessities such as food and water.

Physical Torture:

Some
Muslims were subjected to physical torture and abuse, including beatings,
whippings, and other forms of violence. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon
him) himself was physically assaulted on several occasions.

Forced Migration:

Some
Muslims were forced to seek refuge elsewhere in order to escape persecution.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions migrated to Medina
in 622 CE, an event known as the Hijra.

Assassination attempts:

The
leaders of nonbelievers also plotted to assassinate the Prophet Muhammad (peace
be upon him) on several occasions in order to prevent the spread of Islam.

Despite the persecution, the Muslim community in Makkah continued
to grow, as many people were attracted to the message of Islam and the
teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The perseverance of the
early Muslims in the face of adversity are seen as a testament to the strength
and resilience of the faith.

How did Prophet
Muhammad React to Persecution?

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
reacted to the persecution of Muslims in Makkah with patience, perseverance, and
a commitment to the message of Islam. Despite facing significant challenges and
obstacles, he continued to spread the message of Islam and worked to build a
community of believers who would support one another in the face of
persecution.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
taught his followers to respond to persecution with patience and forgiveness and to trust in God’s plan for their lives. He also encouraged his followers to
seek refuge and protection in places where they would be safe, such as in
Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia) where the Muslim community found refuge for a
time.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
himself endured great hardship and persecution, including physical assaults and
assassination attempts. However, he remained steadfast in his faith and
continued to preach the message of Islam, even in the face of extreme
adversity.

Overall, the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon
him) response to persecution was characterized by patience, perseverance, and a
commitment to spreading the message of Islam through peaceful means. His
example continues to inspire Muslims around the world today to respond to
adversity with grace and faith.

Principle for
Muslims Living as Minority

كفوا
أيديكم
(kuffu
aydiaykum
) is an Arabic phrase that is often translated as “hold 
back
your hands” or “restrain your hands”. The phrase appears in
Chapter 4, Verse 77 of the Quran, and is often used to encourage Muslims to
exercise restraint and avoid violence. This Ayah refers to the situation of
Muslims at Makkah when they were ordered to restrain their hands instead of
retaliating in response to persecution. This is a great principle for Muslims
living as a minority in a different community. This is the core principle of coexistence.

The phrase reflects an important
principle in Islamic teachings, which emphasizes the importance of
non-violence, forgiveness, and peaceful conflict resolution. Muslims are
encouraged to respond to adversity with patience, grace, and a commitment to
justice, rather than resorting to violence or aggression.

At its core, “kuffu aydiaykum
” is a call for Muslims to exercise self-control and resist the urge to
lash out in anger or frustration. By holding back their hands, Muslims are
encouraged to take a step back from conflict and to seek peaceful solutions to
problems, rather than escalating the situation through violence or aggression.

In the context of
modern times, ” kuffu aydiaykum ” can be seen as a reminder of
the importance of peaceful conflict resolution, mutual respect, and
understanding between different cultures and communities. It is a call for
people of all faiths and backgrounds to exercise restraint and work towards
peaceful solutions to the problems facing our world today.

War on
Muslims

When
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions (May Allah

 be pleased
with them) migrated to Medina to escape persecution in Makkah, and the Arab pagans
launched a war against them. He established a Muslim state at Medina to defend Islam and Muslims. This war resulted in several battles starting with
the Battle of Badr, which was a pivotal moment in the early history of Islam and
marked a turning point in the struggle between the Muslims and the pagans. Later battles including the Battle of Uhud and the Battle of Ahzab were also defensive in nature because pagans of Makkah attacked the State of Medina repeatedly.

While
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) migrated to Medina the following verses
were revealed to him:

“Permission
˹to fight back˺ is ˹hereby˺ granted to those being fought, for they have
 been
wronged.
 And Allah is truly Most Capable of helping them ˹prevail
. They are those who have been expelled from
their homes for no reason other than proclaiming: “Our Lord is Allah.” Had
Allah not repelled ˹the aggression of˺ some people by means of others,
destruction would have surely claimed monasteries, churches, synagogues, and
mosques in which Allah’s Name is often mentioned. Allah will certainly help
those who stand up for Him. Allah is truly All-Powerful, Almighty.”

[Al-Hajj,
22:39-40]

The Quran permits Muslims to
defend themselves against those who fight against them. This is known as the
principle of self-defense, which is recognized in many legal systems around the
world.

The principle of self-defense
refers to the right of individuals or groups to use force to protect themselves
against an immediate threat of harm. This principle is recognized in many legal
systems around the world and is considered to be a fundamental human right.

In general, the use of force in
self-defense is considered to be justifiable when it is necessary to prevent
imminent harm and when the level of force used is proportional to the threat
faced. For example, if someone is physically attacking you, you have the right
to use force to defend yourself and stop the attack, but you cannot use
excessive force that is not necessary to stop the attack.

The principle of self-defense is
often invoked in situations of armed conflict, where it is considered to be a
fundamental element of the laws of war. The rules governing the use of force in
armed conflict are complex and vary depending on the specific circumstances of
the conflict, but in general, the use of force in self-defense is considered to
be justifiable when it is necessary to repel an attack or protect oneself from
immediate harm.

Prisoners of War

Islam teaches its followers to treat prisoners of war with kindness and respect, regardless of their beliefs or actions. This is demonstrated in the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who treated his prisoners with compassion and mercy.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was known for his compassionate and merciful treatment of prisoners of war. He instructed his followers to treat them humanely and with respect, even if they were enemies of Islam.

During the early Islamic battles, prisoners of war were usually taken and held for ransom or exchange. However, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) discouraged the mistreatment of prisoners and instructed his followers to provide them with basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. He also encouraged the release of prisoners of war without ransom or exchange if it was in the best interest of Muslims.

There are several instances in which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) demonstrated his kindness towards prisoners of war. For example, during the Battle of Badr, he ordered his companions to treat the prisoners humanely and even allowed some of them to be released without ransom. In another instance, during the Battle of Hunayn, the Prophet ordered his followers to provide the prisoners with food and water and to treat them kindly.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also emphasized the importance of forgiving and pardoning prisoners of war. He once said, “The strong man is not the one who overcomes others by his strength, but the one who controls himself while in anger.”

The kind treatment of prisoners of war in Islamic history is evidence that Islam does not promote violence against disbelievers, even if they were involved in a war against Muslims. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) specifically instructed his followers to treat prisoners of war humanely, with kindness and compassion.

Quran
Preaches Peace

The Quran encourages Muslims to be compassionate and merciful towards others, even in the face of adversity. In Surah Al-Ma’idah, it states:
 “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do” [5:8]

This verse from Surah Al-Ma’idah highlights the importance of justice and fairness in Islam and encourages Muslims to always strive for it, even in the face of opposition or hatred from others. It emphasizes that Muslims should not let their personal feelings towards a certain group of people cloud their judgment or prevent them from being fair and just.

The verse also reminds Muslims to be mindful of Allah and His commandments, as Allah is fully aware of their actions and intentions. It encourages them to hold themselves accountable for their behavior and to always strive to do what is right and just.

Furthermore, the Quran frequently emphasizes the importance of compassion, mercy, and kindness towards others, regardless of their faith or background. Muslims are encouraged to be forgiving and to treat others with respect and dignity, even if they disagree with them. This message is exemplified in the character of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who was known for his compassion and kindness towards all people.

The Quran promotes peaceful conflict resolution through dialogue

and negotiation. In Surah Al-Anfal, it states:

And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing” [8:61].

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) signed several peace treaties with non-Muslims during his lifetime.

The Treaty of Medina, also known as the Constitution of Medina, was a historic document signed in the year 622 CE between Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Muslims of Medina, and several Jewish tribes and their allies. It was signed just after the Hijra, the migration of Muslims from Makkah to Medina.

The treaty established a new society in Medina based on principles of justice, cooperation, and mutual respect. It recognized Muslims as a separate community with their own rights and responsibilities and provided for the protection of both Muslims and Jews living in Medina. The treaty also established rules for resolving disputes and protecting the community from outside threats.

The Treaty of Medina is considered a groundbreaking document in the history of Islam, as it established a new model of governance based on cooperation and tolerance between different religious communities. It also paved the way for the expansion of Islam beyond Medina and the Arabian Peninsula.

The treaty demonstrates the importance of building strong relationships between different communities based on mutual respect and cooperation. It also highlights the importance of upholding principles of justice and fairness in all interactions, even between communities with different beliefs and practices.

 One of the most well-known of peace treaties was the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, which was signed between the Muslims of Medina and the pagans of Makkah in 628 CE. The treaty was negotiated after the Muslims had attempted to perform the Umrah pilgrimage to Makkah but were prevented from doing so by the nonbelievers. The treaty included provisions for a 10-year ceasefire, during which time both sides agreed not to engage in hostilities, and also provided for peaceful relations between the two communities.

The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah was a
significant turning point in the early history of Islam, as it helped to
establish a framework for peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims.
It also allowed the Muslims to focus on building their community and spreading
the message of Islam without the constant threat of attack from their enemies.

While the treaty was initially seen as a victory for the pagans, who had prevented the Muslims from performing the Umrah, it ultimately proved to be a significant boon for the Muslims. The treaty allowed the Muslims to focus on consolidating their power in Medina and building their community, without having to worry about the constant threat of attack from the pagans.

In addition to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah,
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) signed several other peace treaties with
non-Muslims during his lifetime. These included the Treaty of Aqaba, which was
signed with the people of Yathrib (later known as Medina) before the Hijra, and
the Treaty of Khaybar, which was signed with the Jewish tribe of Khaybar after
the Muslims had conquered their territory.

These peace
treaties demonstrate the importance that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
placed on peaceful coexistence and the resolution of conflicts through
negotiation and diplomacy, even in the midst of war and conflict.

When the nonbelievers of Makkah  violated the Treaty of Hudaybiyayh, the
following verses were revealed:

This is a discharge from all obligations, by Allah and His Messenger, to the polytheists you ˹believers˺ have entered into treaties with: “You
˹polytheists˺ may travel freely through the land for four months, but know that
you will have no escape from Allah and that Allah will disgrace the disbelievers.” A declaration from Allah and His Messenger is made to all people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Messenger are free of polytheists. So if you ˹pagans˺ repent, it will be better for you. But if you
turn away, then know that you will have no escape from Allah. And give good
news ˹O Prophet˺ to the disbelievers of a painful punishment. As for the
polytheists who have honoured every term of their treaty with you and have not
supported an enemy against you, honour your treaty with them until the end of
its term. Surely Allah loves those who are mindful ˹of Him˺. But once
the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists ˹who violated their
treaties˺ wherever you find them, capture them, besiege them, and
lie in wait for them on every way. But if they repent, perform prayers, and pay
Zakat, then set them free. Indeed, Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 

[Al-Tawbah, 1-5]

This is the Quranic narrative that is
often criticized by the opponents of Islam. They take this narrative out of
context and claim that the Quran commands Muslims to kill non-Muslims wherever
they are. Based on this narrative they claim that the Quran teaches violence
against nonbelievers.

During the time of
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Muslims

were engaged in a series of
conflicts with the pagan tribes of Arabia. The pagans were often hostile
towards the Muslims and had broken their treaties with them on several
occasions. The verse we mentioned is one of several verses in the Quran that
were revealed to address the situation at that time.

The last verse
mentions a number of options regarding the polytheists who oppressed the
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions, expelled them from
their houses at Makkah, and left them no way except to migrate to a safe place.
Further, they launched a war against the Prophet (peace be upon him) and broke
the covenant.

Moreover, these
verses were revealed in the last month of the 9th year of Hijrah, after the Conquest of Makkah, just 14 months before Prophet’s death, while the majority of
people had accepted Islam in response to Prophet’s Dawah. Actually, this
declaration merely aimed to threaten the rest of the pagans who rebelled and challenged
the writ of the Muslim state. Still killing these rebellions was not the only
option, rather capturing, besieging, or letting them accept Islam voluntarily,
were other options. So the opponents of Islam misinterpret these verses to
raise allegations against Muslims.

Hence, claiming that
these verses forced non-Muslims to accept Islam on the point of a sword is nothing but denying the sound
facts. Even these verses don’t support this misleading propaganda literally.
Everyone who knows the context and has the ability to understand a text would
deny this false propaganda

It is important
to understand that some of the Quranic narrative like many religious texts, is a complex and
nuanced document that cannot be reduced to simple black-and-white
interpretations. While there are certain verses in the Quran that speak about
the use of force in certain situations, it is important to understand these
verses in their historical and cultural context.

Many scholars of Islam believe that
the imperatives to fight and kill mentioned in the Quran were specific to the
historical context in which they were revealed, namely the early battles that
the Muslims fought against the pagan tribes of Arabia. These battles were often
fought in self-defense, and the Muslims were facing persecution and oppression
at the hands of the pagans. Quran relates several accounts of the battles
between Muslims and Arab pagans, but it is surprising that Quran did not use
the word ‘sword’ even a single time.

At the same time, it is important to
note that the Quran also emphasizes the importance of peace, justice, and
mercy, and encourages Muslims to seek peaceful solutions to conflicts whenever
possible. The Quran teaches that killing a single innocent person is equivalent
to killing all of humanity and that Muslims should always strive to be just
and compassionate.

Overall, it is
important to approach the Quran with a nuanced and balanced perspective, taking
into account both the historical context in which it was revealed and the
timeless principles of justice, mercy, and compassion that it espouses. While
there are certain verses in the Quran that speak about the use of force in
certain situations, these verses should be understood within the larger context
of the Quranic message of peace, justice, and compassion.

FAQ

Does the Quran promote violence against non-Muslims?

No,
the Quran does not promote violence against innocent people or those who have
not harmed Muslims. While there are verses in the Quran that discuss the use of
force in certain situations, they must be understood in their historical
context and in light of the Quran’s overall message of peace, justice, and
mercy.

Did Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sign any peace treaties
with non-Muslims?

Yes,
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) signed several peace treaties with
non-Muslims, including the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. These treaties were important
in establishing peaceful relations between Muslims and non-Muslims and setting
guidelines for how they should interact with one another.

Did Muslims face persecution in the early days of Islam?

Yes,
Muslims faced persecution in the early days of Islam, particularly in the city
of Makkah. They were often subjected to physical violence, social boycotts, and
economic sanctions due to their beliefs. This led to the migration of Muslims
to Medina, which is known as the Hijrah.

Does the Quran encourage Muslims to defend themselves against violence?

Yes,
the Quran encourages Muslims to defend themselves against violence and
oppression. However, it also emphasizes the importance of showing restraint and
avoiding excessive force in such situations.

How
should we understand verses in the Quran that speak about the use of force?

Verses
in the Quran that speak about the use of force must be understood in their
historical context and in light of the Quran’s overall message of peace,
justice, and mercy. They are specific to the situations faced by the early
Muslims and are not a general command to engage in violence. Muslims must also
adhere to Islamic principles of just war, which require that force be used only
as a last resort and with proportionality.

 What is the Treaty of Medina?

The Treaty of Medina was a pact signed between Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

and the tribes of Medina, including both Muslims and non-Muslims, in the year 622 CE. It

established the first Islamic state and provided a framework for social and political order in

the city.

What was the significance of the Treaty of Medina?

The Treaty of Medina was a pivotal moment in the early history of Islam, as it provided a legal and social framework for the nascent Muslim community. It established the principle of a single, unified community (umma) that transcended tribal and religious boundaries, and it provided a model for Islamic governance that would be followed in later centuries.

Was the Treaty of Medina a binding agreement?

Yes, the Treaty of Medina was a binding agreement that established a legal and political framework for the Muslim community in Medina. It was respected and upheld by all parties involved, and it served as a basis for the social and political order in the city.

Did the Treaty of Medina have any impact beyond Medina?

Yes, the Treaty of Medina had a profound impact beyond the city itself. It established a model for Islamic governance and provided a framework for a social and political order that would be followed in later centuries. It also established the principle of a single, unified community (umma) that transcended tribal and religious boundaries, which remains a fundamental concept in Islamic thought and practice to this day.
What is the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah?
The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah is an agreement that was signed between Prophet Muhammad and the leaders of Mecca in the year 628 CE. It allowed for a 10-year period of peace between the Muslims and the Meccans.

What were the terms of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah?

Under the terms of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, the Muslims were allowed to enter Mecca to perform the pilgrimage the following year. The treaty also included a provision that allowed any tribe to ally itself with either the Muslims or the Meccans, depending on their preference.

Why was the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah significant?

The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah was significant because it represented a turning point in the relations between the Muslims and the Meccans. It allowed for a period of peace that gave the Muslims the opportunity to consolidate their power and expand their influence in the region.

Was the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah successful?

While the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah was initially seen as a victory for the Meccans, it ultimately proved to be a success for the Muslims. The treaty allowed for a period of peace that allowed the Muslims to focus on building their community and consolidating their power.

Did the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah last for the entire 10-year period?

No, the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah was broken by the Meccans just two years after it was signed. However, the period of peace that it allowed for was still significant in the history of Islam.

What lessons can be learned from the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah?

The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah teaches us the importance of patience, diplomacy, and compromise in resolving conflicts. It also emphasizes the value of upholding agreements and treaties, even when they may not seem to be in our immediate interests.

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