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brenton
01-13-2007, 01:06 PM
In reading the threads about violence, a number of Muslims noted that Islam teaches that Muslims can respond to violence, but are not to be violent just for the sake of violence or power. Much of the violence in the Prophet's life was the result of attacks on him and his community, and Mecca was taken without the shedding of blood after Muhammad had escaped earlier.

So I was wondering about how Muslims look at Islam's imperial and colonial past. It is true the Khan's converted as leaders like Rome converted to Christianity after centuries. But Muslims not only threw off oppressors, but conquered terroritories as far east as India, north to the Balkans and the "stan" nations, south into Africa and west into Spain--and even made entrees into France.

That century of battle was not self-defense, but for the purpose of Empire building. Is that view by you Muslim folks as necessary and "just" violence or as against Muslim principles?

My own belief about Christianity is that "Christian" nations or post-Christian nations should not be building empires by violence and force. I wonder what Muslims think.
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Woodrow
01-14-2007, 02:34 AM
I will only speak of what I am familiar with. My ancestors the Lipkas, were invited into Lithuanian to help protect Lithuania from the the Crusaders that were conquering Hungry, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

They did rise to promenance in Lithuania and did introduce Islam into the Baltics. But, they never ruled Non-Muslims within those countries and as I said early they came as invited defenders and not as invaders.
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Malaikah
01-14-2007, 07:42 AM
Originally Posted by brenton
That century of battle was not self-defense, but for the purpose of Empire building. Is that view by you Muslim folks as necessary and "just" violence or as against Muslim principles?
It was not about empire building, it was about spreading Islam to the people for their own good (i.e. to save them from hell fire)
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Trumble
01-14-2007, 11:43 AM
Originally Posted by Malaikah
It was not about empire building, it was about spreading Islam to the people for their own good (i.e. to save them from hell fire)
Substitute 'democracy' for 'Islam' and that sounds very familiar!

Historically speaking it is important to be honest, I think. For most involved in the muslim conquest it had far more to do with acquiring land, wealth, fame and glory than in "spreading Islam to the people for their own good". Much the same was true of the Crusades.
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Malaikah
01-14-2007, 11:46 AM
^Not during the time of the prophet and the companions.
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brenton
01-14-2007, 01:53 PM
Originally Posted by Malaikah
It was not about empire building, it was about spreading Islam to the people for their own good (i.e. to save them from hell fire)
Why not do it as in parts of Southeast Asia--without the sword?
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- Qatada -
01-14-2007, 01:59 PM
Islaam spread to the other lands and established its authority because the people at that time were obliged to follow the religion of their ruler. If they decided to follow another religion they were likely to be executed, hence when islaam settled there the people had a chance to either accept islaam or follow their religion so long as they payed the jizya tax [the same way the muslims payed the zakaah.]

The people could accept islaam, yet at the same time they could live in that country following their scripture. This was a form of freedom for these people and they were happy to live under islamic rule because 1) they weren't forced to leave their own faith 2) their blood and honor was protected so long as they payed the jizya. Only the muslims would fight, and the non muslims wouldn't have to.



Peace.
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Fishman
01-14-2007, 02:07 PM
:sl:
I think one of the reasons for the empire-building in Europe, North Africa and Western Asia was because of the political climate at the time. The Byzantines, for example, had long been an enemy of Islam ever since the time of the Prophet (pbuh) and had betrayed the Muslims many times. The Byzantine's allies included many European countries, such as Spain and Italy. These countries probably had some interest in establishing ports in North Africa, which would provide them with greater trade. So the Muslims took the Maghreb, the coast of North Africa, and advanced onward to Sicily, Italy and Spain, all of which did not have a very good opinion of Islam. In the areas of North Africa further south, desert tribes ruled, and there was very little confict.

The conquest of India, however, was probably due to imperial ambitions and expansionism. There were many massacres and bloody battles, and unfortunately most of these were commited by Muslims. Later during the Muslim rule of India, things became more peaceful.
:w:
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Malaikah
01-15-2007, 03:27 AM
Originally Posted by Fi_Sabilillah
Islaam spread to the other lands and established its authority because the people at that time were obliged to follow the religion of their ruler. If they decided to follow another religion they were likely to be executed, hence when islaam settled there the people had a chance to either accept islaam or follow their religion so long as they payed the jizya tax [the same way the muslims payed the zakaah.]
:sl:

Wow, that is interesting. Where did you hear this from? Do you have a source?

Why not do it as in parts of Southeast Asia--without the sword?
Simply because that does not always work- different places, different situations. (As highlighted rather nicely by Fi_Sabilillah's post).
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brenton
01-15-2007, 10:40 AM
Malaikah, there were Christian groups that were persecuted by other Christian groups sometimes, so there were times when Christians would cheer has Muslim warriors would march into town and liberate them from the Byzantines. Not always, but sometimes.

It was interesting that conquered peoples were not forced to become Muslim, as the Qu'ran forbids it from what I heard. That's why your response puzzles me. It seems to me that empire building is against a couple of Qu'ran principles.
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- Qatada -
01-15-2007, 02:25 PM
Originally Posted by Malaikah
:sl:

Wow, that is interesting. Where did you hear this from? Do you have a source?


:wasalamex


This happened within the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when a governor/ruler became muslim, and he was from Al-Shaam [Greater Syria.] Because Al-Shaam was under the rule of the Byzantinian Romans at that time, he was killed, and i think this was one of the reasons why the expedition of Tabuk or Mu'tah took place. wa Allaahu a'lam.


We also know that Heraclius wanted to become muslim [the famous hadith of Abu Sufyan] and its mentioned in Ibn Iss-haaq that he called his people (the priests etc.) and he told them that he believes in the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him.) Then there was a big noise and Heraclius told Abu Sufyan (who was none muslim at that time) to leave. Heraclius feared for his life and loved his kingdom too much so he told them that he was just jesting and testing their faith in Jesus (peace be upon him) as they were christians at that time.


Al-Najaashi of Al-Habasha [Ethiopia] was also a formal christian, he became muslim, and he concealed his faith because his priests became angry and may have overthrown him (when Al-Najaashi said that he agrees with the message Ja'afar ibn abi Talib [the cousin of Rasool Allaah] recited to him. - i.e. Surah Maryam)

However we know that without a doubt he became muslim due to the hadith of the janaaza [the prayer of funeral] of someone who isn't in the same location as the one who performs the prayer. [When the Messenger of Allaah and the muslims in Medina performed janaaza for him even though they were in Medina.]


So we see that not just the normal people got harmed for leaving the religion of their rulers, but even the ruler himself could be overthrown if he left the religion. So by actually having authority in the land, the muslims are allowing people to make their own choice of following their scripture or accepting islaam without having the threat of being persecuted for becoming muslim.



I heard all this from The Seerah [biography] of the Messenger of Allaah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) by Bashar Shala.

http://www.pleasantviewschool.com/me...t%20%28pbuh%29



And Allaah Almighty knows best.



:salamext:


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Bittersteel
01-15-2007, 03:23 PM
Brenton,it was the personal ambition of leaders.Conquest,empire building were common things at that time.some leaders were good and just,others had too much greed.
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brenton
01-15-2007, 03:40 PM
Originally Posted by Emir Aziz
Brenton,it was the personal ambition of leaders.Conquest,empire building were common things at that time.some leaders were good and just,others had too much greed.
Hardly something only for Muslims!

It just seems so opposite to me: the message of Muhammad vs. the Umayyad dynasty.
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Malaikah
01-16-2007, 10:09 AM
Originally Posted by brenton
It was interesting that conquered peoples were not forced to become Muslim, as the Qu'ran forbids it from what I heard. That's why your response puzzles me. It seems to me that empire building is against a couple of Qu'ran principles.
Why does it puzzle you?

Also, the purpose must be strictly for the sake of Allah, the spread the word of Islam, overthrow oppressive rulers etc. Conquering for the purpose of fame/land/wealth is strictly forbidden, as is forcing people to convert to Islam. But there is no doubt certain circumstances where there is only one practical opinion, and that is war.
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Abu_Jihad
01-16-2007, 10:31 AM
Listen lets not get history all mixed up here for a moment? This rubbish, islam spread the religion by the sword is ludicrous, for one simple reason? Why would someone who is a caliph, recieving a penalty tax from indigenous populations want too ruin his income and wealth? i know i wouldn't and i would prefer if they stayed non-muslim for the sake of revenue raising...i know that's not the politically correct thing too say, but hey it's a fact...Humans are greedy regardless of religion...
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Malaikah
01-16-2007, 10:34 AM
^What?! What proof do you have for that? I recall one specific incident when the people choose the tax over accepting Islam and the Muslim involved explicitly expressed his disappointment! And even if they did become Muslim they would have to pay zakat anyway!
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Abu_Jihad
01-16-2007, 10:40 AM
Listen, the caliph's as much as i admire them and everything..im just looking at it from a common sense approach...i have no factual evidence regarding this, im just saying if i was in their shoes, i wouldn't convert anyone too islam for my wealth gain, why it's not because im a bad muslim as such...It's because wealth would be on my top priority....and lets be real for one second, allah didn't create hell for nothing..someone has too fill it...

ps: im sorry if i sould rude, but im just fairly straight forward
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Malaikah
01-16-2007, 10:47 AM
Maybe wealth is YOUR priority but the priority of a Muslim is pleasing Allah!!

Did you know that Abu Bakr gave ALL HIS WEALTH as charity to the prophet?? And he was the first Caliph. If you honestly think money is what they cared about then you know nothing about them.

and lets be real for one second, allah didn't create hell for nothing..someone has too fill it...
What?? Is that what worries you? Making sure the hellfire wont go empty? Well trust me, it wont. That doesn't mean we shouldn't save as many people as we can!
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Abu_Jihad
01-16-2007, 10:51 AM
Well can you refute the irrefutable fact? Did God create hell for a purpose? of course he did, somebody must occupy it? and if the whole world is muslim then it defeats the purpose of the creation of hell? and maybe that's how the caliph saw it when they didn't force conversion on the indigenous populations...

At least im not a hypocritical muslim like so many around, some act like they are saints from heaven, but are alcoholic wife bashing lunatics...at least i don't pretend like most muslims..i have weaknesses and i don't hide that fact...
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Abu_Jihad
01-16-2007, 10:56 AM
I would never preach too anyone my religion, i just don't see the point...some are saved and some are not...im not saying i am, im not exactly what you could call an ideal muslim, but nevertheless i am muslim and i don't need to grow a beard and show off about it unlike some..
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Malaikah
01-16-2007, 11:02 AM
Why would you make your user name name Abu_Jihad when you obviously don't care about it?

We already know from that Quran about many, MANY people who died as kafirs, so we know that hell already has many candidates and that it will not go empty so you dont need to worry so much about the 'poor' hell fire who might go hungry but perhaps the 'human' in you would worry at least a little about the millions of people who are walking down that path towards the fire.

Da'wah (preaching the religion and sharing it with the non-muslims) is an Islamic obligation.

You do not know how is saved and who is not so you should assume that the person who you can yourself lead to Islam is destined for the hell fire just because he is not a Muslim, you do not know that he might not be destined to become a Muslim.

I'm sorrry but your mentality is wrong on so many levels.

Oh, and by the way, do not assume just because you are a Muslim yourself that you are saved from the hell fire, firstly because you have no guarantee that you will die as a Muslim and secondly because even sinful Muslims will go to hell for a while if they are not forgiven. The same goes to every one.
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Muezzin
01-16-2007, 11:15 AM
Can we stick to the topic please?
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brenton
01-16-2007, 12:00 PM
Originally Posted by Abu_Jihad
Listen lets not get history all mixed up here for a moment? This rubbish, islam spread the religion by the sword is ludicrous, for one simple reason? Why would someone who is a caliph, recieving a penalty tax from indigenous populations want too ruin his income and wealth? i know i wouldn't and i would prefer if they stayed non-muslim for the sake of revenue raising...i know that's not the politically correct thing too say, but hey it's a fact...Humans are greedy regardless of religion...
My claim is not that anyone was forced to convert. I have the same reading on the Caliphs--not that they forced anyone not to convert--but when people were converting under the Umayyad, there were economic problems. And non-Arab converts were treated poorly, particularly in the Tigris-Euphrates area.

Is your point: Empire building was not about Islam spreading?
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Malaikah
01-16-2007, 12:11 PM
^You need to clarify who you are talking about brenton. You need to specify whether you are talking about the early caliphs or the late ones.

The early ones are held in the highest esteem and are very respected by Muslims (as they were the trusted companions of the prophet)
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- Qatada -
01-16-2007, 06:50 PM
:salamext:


Referring to Abu_Jihad; the wealth that the muslims get from zakaah and jizya is for the benefit of the ummah, not for the ruler himself. Therefore this money is stored in the bayt ul maal - and this wealth is to strengthen the ummah, and to help the needy etc.



To brenton; we know that there were some people who were oppressive within the ummayad dynasty, and Yazid the son of Mu'awiya was from the ummayads [bani ummayah] too, and he killed the grandson of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) - Hussain.

So yes, we do know there was some oppression. But these people weren't of those whom we follow, rather we follow the Khulafah al-Raashidoon [the guided caliphs; i.e. abu bakr, umar, uthman, ali.] because these companions were rightly guided. And the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said that this ummah would split up into 73 sects, and those who would be guided were those who followed the way of him and his companions.


Mu'awiya [the father of Yazid] was a late companion of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) and he was the son of Abu Sufyan [who i mentioned in the previous post - the one who met Heraclius.] Abu Sufyan became muslim at the conquest of Makkah, which shows that he never actually got the full taste of Islaam like the other famous companions like abu bakr, umar, uthman, ali etc. did. Rather he was of the severest enemies who lead many wars against the Prophet (peace be upon him) [of which include the battle uhud, the trench/khandaq etc.] And he became muslim only one year before the passing away of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him.)

Mu'awiya became muslim at a similar time to his father, hence he never got the same depth of faith as the other companions did either. Because we know that these companions never lived with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and they only became muslim at the conquest of Makkah, and a year after the conquest of Makkah and the hajj [pilgrimage] of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Messenger of Allaah left this world.



The first 4 successors & Khulafah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were - Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali. These were the guided khulafah/khulafah al-raashidoon.

The 5th Khalifah was Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan [Mu'awiya the son of Abu Sufyan, who i mentioned earlier.] He isn't classed as being part of the khulafah rashidoon, rather he is the first person to start the dynasties where people pass the position onto their children/relatives etc. This was contrary to what the arabs did because they used to usually give a position to their seniors, or like the previous khulafah - they would either elect someone who was most suitable for the position [i.e. applying the islamic law], or the previous khalifah would select someone they felt was most suitable for it etc.


What happened in the ummah has already been prophecised by the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) himself:


The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said:
"The Prophethood will last among you for as long as Allah (God) wills, then Allah would take it away. Then it will be (followed by) a Khilafah [caliphate] Rashida (rightly guided) according to the ways of the Prophethood. It will remain for as long as Allah wills, then Allah would take it away. Afterwards there will be a hereditary leadership which will remain for as long as Allah wills, then He will lift it if He wishes. Afterwards, there will be biting oppression, and it will last for as long as Allah wishes, then He will lift it if He wishes. Then there will be a Khilafah Rashida according to the ways of the Prophethood," then he kept silent.

[recorded in Musnad Imam Ahmad (v/273)]


We know that the Prophethood lasted for 23yrs, after this were the khulafah raashidoon [abu bakr, umar, uthman, ali], after this came the dynasties of ummayah, abbasi, all the way upto the ottomans [which fell in the 1920's] after this we now have oppressive leaders, and inshaa'Allaah (God willing.) the rest of the prophecy will soon come into effect, and we will have [guided] khalifah according to prophethood once again.

And Allaah Almighty knows best.



Peace. :)






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brenton
01-17-2007, 01:21 AM
I guess I'm struggling with this.
In the first 12 years after the Prophet's Muhammad's death, the Caliphs lead military campaigns into Persia, collapsing the Sassanid empire, and into Syria and Egypt, using military might to take out local leaders and replace the Byzantines as the imperial rulers.

How does this fit with Qur'an teaching? Or is it that the Caliphs were wrong or made mistakes? Or were they perfect?
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north_malaysian
01-17-2007, 04:22 AM
Originally Posted by Woodrow
they came as invited defenders and not as invaders.
The muslims were also invited to Spain right?
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north_malaysian
01-17-2007, 04:40 AM
First of all the Malays were Animists, then came Hinduism. As the rulers love the caste system, they converted to Hinduism since then, Malays were mostly Animists rule by Hindu rulers.

When Srivijaya Empire emerged in island of sumatra and adopted Buddhism, many Malays became Buddhists. During this time, Malays were 50% Hindus and 50% Buddhists.

During the establishment of small Kingdom of Malacca, lots of Muslims from India and Arabia came to Malaysia as traders.... in fact in some parts of Malaysia there were Chinese Muslim traders spreading Islam among the Malays (especially on the east coat areas). When the first King of Malacca, Parameswara converted to Islam, the whole population became Muslims. Since then Malacca became Islamic missionary centre and successfully Islamized the Malays...

Thus, Islam is not spread by the sword in this part of the world...

Unfortunately, the Portuguese came to Malacca arrogantly and demolished the Sultanate of Malacca in 1511. They killed Muslims, and enslaved the women and children. The Malay women they married were forced to convert to Christianity - Their descendant are known as Serani (presently, 10% of them reverted back to Islam). Mosques and cemeteries were destroyed. The famous "A Famosa" fort were built using Muslim tombstones.

That's why for Malays, it's Christianity that was spread by sword not Islam.
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cleo
01-17-2007, 04:44 AM
Originally Posted by Malaikah
It was not about empire building, it was about spreading Islam to the people for their own good (i.e. to save them from hell fire)
Good answer, I will remember those wise words..
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brenton
01-17-2007, 11:10 AM
Originally Posted by north_malaysian
First of all the Malays were Animists, then came Hinduism. As the rulers love the caste system, they converted to Hinduism since then, Malays were mostly Animists rule by Hindu rulers.

When Srivijaya Empire emerged in island of sumatra and adopted Buddhism, many Malays became Buddhists. During this time, Malays were 50% Hindus and 50% Buddhists.

During the establishment of small Kingdom of Malacca, lots of Muslims from India and Arabia came to Malaysia as traders.... in fact in some parts of Malaysia there were Chinese Muslim traders spreading Islam among the Malays (especially on the east coat areas). When the first King of Malacca, Parameswara converted to Islam, the whole population became Muslims. Since then Malacca became Islamic missionary centre and successfully Islamized the Malays...

Thus, Islam is not spread by the sword in this part of the world...

Unfortunately, the Portuguese came to Malacca arrogantly and demolished the Sultanate of Malacca in 1511. They killed Muslims, and enslaved the women and children. The Malay women they married were forced to convert to Christianity - Their descendant are known as Serani (presently, 10% of them reverted back to Islam). Mosques and cemeteries were destroyed. The famous "A Famosa" fort were built using Muslim tombstones.

That's why for Malays, it's Christianity that was spread by sword not Islam.
I agree. That's my point: did the early Caliphs have to spread Islam (as quoted just above) by conquering lands? I don't think so.
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- Qatada -
01-17-2007, 01:49 PM
Originally Posted by brenton
I guess I'm struggling with this.
In the first 12 years after the Prophet's Muhammad's death, the Caliphs lead military campaigns into Persia, collapsing the Sassanid empire, and into Syria and Egypt, using military might to take out local leaders and replace the Byzantines as the imperial rulers.

How does this fit with Qur'an teaching? Or is it that the Caliphs were wrong or made mistakes? Or were they perfect?

The Byzantinian Romans were preparing to get rid of islaam before it left the Arabian Peninsula anyway [on the day the Messenger of Allaah passed away], this is why the expedition of Usama ibn Zayd [the son of Zayd ibn Harithah] took place. The Khalif was Abu Bakr.


The battle of Mu'tah was when Zayd ibn Harithah [the father of Usama] got martyred. The Byzantinians decided to come to kill the muslims even before the Conquest of Makkah. It was 3000 muslims V 200,000 Romans, and Khalid ibn Al-Waleed made a quick retreat with the muslim army.

So from there we see that the Byzantinian Romans were actually working hard to destroy islaam. They even were preparing to attack islaam in the battle of Tabuk, but they fled when they found out that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) was coming with an army of around 30,000.


Regarding the Persians, i can't really say anything because i havn't heard much lectures on it.



Peace.
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snakelegs
01-18-2007, 02:24 AM
Originally Posted by Malaikah
it was about spreading Islam to the people for their own good (i.e. to save them from hell fire)
i read some christian missionaries justifying proselytizing among muslims in countries where it meant that muslims could be killed if they changed their religion, saying exactly what you have written above.
i was horrified.
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Malaikah
01-18-2007, 02:55 AM
What does 'proselytizing' mean? :? All I said was we are spreading the message, not forcing it on to them.
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
01-18-2007, 03:02 AM
its the attempt to try and convert others to something. its mostly referred to a religion.
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