Originally Posted by m4rouf
Muslims have become too defensive and weak recently. We should not hide and be apologetic about "offensive Jihad." It is part of our history. Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent with a message for entire universe. During last few years of his life, he started writing letters to Kings of nearby Dynasties (Ask yourself why)? He also sent Muslims to nearby tribes, countries during his life time and many of them did not attack Muslims first. Same thing was continued during the first 100 years after Prophet's death ( including the 32 years of Rightly guided Caliphs). If it was not due to these military contests, you and I may not be worshipping one Allah. See link below for all the battles in which Prophet (peace be upon him) participated and list of all expeditions sent during his own time.
But we also need to understand that unlike the military conquest of other religions like Hinduism and Christianity, the Islamic conquerors did not force the conquered people to convert to Islam. Rather they were known as ahl al-dhimma or dhimmis, which means the protected people. They did not have to convert at the point of a sword. We can save the whole dhimmi question for another discussion but the point is that, yes, Islam spread by military conquest and jihad is not only defensive. It can be offensive as well. Whether these were offensive or defensive, no one was forced to convert by sword. Muslims had certain rules for these wars and those were strictly followed.
Before engaging in battle, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed his soldiers:
- Do not kill any child, any woman, or any elder or sick person. (Sunan Abu Dawud)
- Do not practice treachery or mutilation. (Al-Muwatta)
- Do not uproot or burn palms or cut down fruitful trees. (Al-Muwatta)
- Do not slaughter a sheep or a cow or a camel, except for food. (Al-Muwatta)
- If one fights his brother, [he must] avoid striking the face, for God created him in the image of Adam. (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)
- Do not kill the monks in monasteries, and do not kill those sitting in places of worship. (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal)
- Do not destroy the villages and towns, do not spoil the cultivated fields and gardens, and do not slaughter the cattle. (Sahih Bukhari; Sunan Abu Dawud)
- No one may punish with fire except the Lord of Fire. (Sunan Abu Dawud).
And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help! [Quran 4:75]
These military contests were necessary during the 7th century to safe and expand the Muslim empire. There were no borders and no peace treaties at that time like we have now. People were being oppressed by tyrants and in many instances, Muslims were welcomed by locals because they wanted to get rid of oppressors. History also tells us that many people kept the same religion. For example, till today, we find Hindus have existed and thrived in sub-continent. If religion was to be forced, Muslims could have easily killed them all or forced them to be Muslims. Similarly, in Egypt, we still find more than 10% Coptic Christians. All these are clear proof that "offensive Jihad" was done to save people from oppression, show them beauty of Islam by treated them with justice and to protect the Ummah at a time when might was right and for the most part peace treaties were not honored. This was the only was for any Civilization to thrive.
Is this Jihad obligatory today? May be and may be not, but what we need is to unite the Ummah under one Caliphate. Only a Caliph can order for offensive Jihad and I hope Imam Mahdi will bring this back to life as it is told in some hadiths. However, defensive Jihad is still part of our Deen. We should be doing Jihad in Palestine and Kashmir and where ever Muslims are being oppressed because UNO is only a puppet of USA. For 70+ years they have only used peace treaties to oppress Muslims and occupy their lands unjustly. Without Jihad, we will be humiliated by these so called peace makers.
I know my view may be considered as a minority view. But I am happy to express this on this platform. I will be happy to correct my view if someone provides a better explanation of all the military conquests done by the Muslims of first three generations specifically by Khulfa-e-Rashidoon.
And Allah knows the best!