Jihad is the most important element of peace. However, it is misperceived by those who do not have complete understanding of religion. None of the teachings [rules] of the religion [of Allah] supports violence, aggression, or unrest. To prevail peace in human society religion not only teaches its followers to do their utmost goodness to each other, but even to those who do not believe in the [true] religion.
And if anyone of the polytheists asks you for protection, give him protection so that he may hear the Word of Allah; then escort him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know (9: 6)
……………..So as long as they are upright toward you, be upright toward them. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous (9: 7)
Difference of understanding and opinion is a part of human society.
And if your Rubb had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ (11: 118)
Humanity used to be one community; then Allah sent the prophets [with religion], bringing good news and giving warnings………….. (2:213)
But the people divided their religion among them into sects – each faction, in what it has rejoicing (23: 53)
…………..and if not for a word that preceded from your Rubb, it would have been judged between them [immediately] concerning that over which they differ (10: 19)
So leave them in their confusion for a time (23: 54)
Difference of understandings, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes is a part of the test which humanity has been going through in the present life. Religion in this respect provides full guidance so that no human would make any mistake.
You will be tested through your possessions and your persons; and you will hear from those who received the Scripture before you, and from the idol worshipers, much abuse. But if you persevere and lead a righteous life – that indeed is a mark of great determination (3: 186)
And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in the best manner possible, except those who do wrong among them. And say, “We believe in what was revealed to us, and what was revealed to you; and our God and your God is One; and to Him we are submissive.” (29: 46)
And let there be among you a community calling to virtue, and advocating righteousness, and deterring from evil. These are successful (3: 104)
So to that [religion of peace] invite, and remain on a right course as you are commanded and do not follow their inclinations but say, “I have believed in what Allah has revealed of the Quran, and I have been commanded to do justice among you. Allah is our Rubb and your Rubb. For us are our deeds, and for you are your deeds. There is no [need for] argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is the [final] destination” (42: 15)
For every congregation We have appointed acts of devotion, which they observe. So do not let them dispute with you in this matter. And invite to your Rubb; you are upon a straight guidance (22: 67)
But if they dispute with you, say, “Allah is fully aware of what you do.” (22: 68)
Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection regarding what you disagree about (22: 69)
Do not insult those they call upon besides Allah, lest they insult Allah out of hostility and ignorance. We made attractive to every community their deeds. Then to their Rubb is their return, and He will inform them of what they used to do (6: 108)
Religion teaches that the invitation to peace should always be in a peaceful manner even if it is to the most hostile person.
Go to Pharaoh. He has tyrannized. But speak to him nicely. Perhaps he will remember, or have some fear (20: 43-44)
And those who fear Allah are not held accountable for the disbelievers at all, but [only for] a reminder – that perhaps they will fear Him (6: 69)
Perhaps those who disbelieve would like to become Muslims [Peacemakers] (15: 2)
So remind; you are only a reminder (88: 21)
You are not over them a controller (88: 22)
Their guidance is not your responsibility, but Allah guides whom He wills……. (2: 272)
You cannot guide whom you love, but Allah guides whom He wills, and He knows best those who are guided (28:56)
Being sorrowful for those who do not understand or believe in what they are invited is useless.
Whoever disbelieves – let not his disbelief sadden you. To Us is their return. Then We will inform them of what they did. Allah knows what lies within the hearts (31: 23)
What of him whose evil deed was made attractive to him, and so he regards it as good? Allah leads astray whomever He wills and He guides whomever He wills. Therefore, do not waste yourself sorrowing over them. Allah knows exactly what they do (35: 8)
Compelling disbelievers to believe [in the religion] does not help if logic cannot convince them.
If you find their rejection hard to bear, then if you can, seek a tunnel into the earth, or a stairway into the heaven, and bring them a sign. Had Allah willed, He could have gathered them to guidance. So do not be of the ignorant (6: 35)
Had your Rubb willed, everyone on earth would have believed. Will you compel to become believers? (10: 99)
There shall be no compulsion in religion; the right way has become distinct from the wrong way. Whoever renounces evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handle, which does not break………… (2: 256)
Whoever is guided – is guided for his own good. And whoever goes astray – goes astray to his detriment [damage]. No burdened soul carries the burdens of another, nor do We ever punish until We have sent [guidance through] a messenger (17: 15)
CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH WAGING WAR IS ALLOWED IN THE RELIGION
Religion, as we have seen in the above section, does not allow any kind of dispute or argument with those who are not convinced of the true religion. It rather encourages to have good relations with them as long as they do not make any trouble in peacemaking. Being peaceful with them means establishing a peaceful society for oneself.
Aggression is unacceptable in the religion of Allah. One who commits aggression, even if he is a believer [of Allah], is guilty [blameworthy] in the sight of Allah. However, if aggression or abuse comes from the other side, it becomes necessary to retaliate in order to restore peace. If it is not done, aggression and destruction might spread everywhere.
As for those who retaliate after being wronged, there is no blame on them (42: 41)
Blame lies on those who wrong people and commit aggression in the land without right. These will have a painful punishment (42: 42)
Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory. [They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right – only because they say, “Our Rubb is Allah.” And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned…………… (22: 39-40)
Retaliation against aggression has always been encouraged throughout time.
Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties in exchange for Paradise. They fight in Allah’s way, and they kill and get killed. It is a promise binding on Him in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Quran. And who is more true to his promise than Allah? So rejoice in making such an exchange – that is the supreme triumph (9: 111)
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Those [believers] with him are stern against the disbelievers, yet compassionate amongst themselves. You see them kneeling, prostrating, seeking blessings from Allah and approval. Their marks are on their faces from the effects of prostration. Such is their description in the Torah, and their description in the Gospel; like a plant that sprouts, becomes strong, grow thick, and rests on its stem, impressing the farmers. Through them He enrages the disbelievers. Allah has promised those among them who believe and do good deeds forgiveness and a great reward. (48: 29)
How many a prophet [fought and] with him fought many religious scholars. But they never lost assurance due to what afflicted them in the cause of Allah nor did they weaken or submit. And Allah loves the steadfast. And their words were not but that they said, “Our Rubb, forgive us our sins and the excess [committed] in our affairs and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (3: 146-147)
Aggression has no place in religion and systems of peace. So, it should be stopped at any cost.
And kill them [the aggressors] wherever you overtake them, and expel them from where they had expelled you. Oppression is more serious than murder. But do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque, unless they fight you there. If they fight you, then kill them. Such is the retribution of the disbelievers (2: 191)
But if they cease, then Allah is Forgiving and Merciful (2: 192)
As it has already been explained various times in the previous chapters that only the religion of Allah is the religion of peace, no other religion can maintain peace everywhere, all the time. It is, therefore, important to secure/retain the religion of Allah at any cost.
And fight them until there is no oppression, and worship [submission] becomes devoted to Allah alone. But if they cease, then let there be no hostility except against the oppressors (2: 193)
Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors (2: 190)
FIGHTING IN THE SACRED MONTHS
They ask you about the sacred month – about fighting therein. Say, “Fighting therein is great [sin] but averting people from the way of Allah and disbelief in Him and [preventing access to] al – Masjid al – Haram and the expulsion of its people therefrom are greater [evil] in the sight of Allah. And fitnah [persecution] is greater than killing”. And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your religion if they are able. And whoever of you reverts from his religion [to disbelief] and dies while he is disbeliever – for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and those are the companion of the Fire, they will abide therein eternally (2: 217)
Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred*. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him] (9: 36) [Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab ]*
[Fighting in] the sacred month is for [aggression committed in] the sacred month, and for [all] violations is legal retribution. So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him (2: 194)
FIGHTING BETWEEN TWO GROUPS OF BELIEVERS
As there are many dimensions to any situation, conflict of thought/opinion might arise even in the same group/community of believers.
If two groups of believers fight each other, reconcile between them. But if one group aggresses against the other, fight the aggressing group until it complies with Allah’s command. Once it has complied, reconcile between them with justice, and be equitable. Allah loves the equitable (49: 9)
The believers are brothers, so reconcile between your brothers, and remain conscious of Allah, so that you may receive mercy (49: 10)
Fighting or waging war is the last option, however, showing patience and tolerance is the most favorite attribute in the sight of Allah.
The repayment of a bad action is one equivalent to it. But whoever pardons and makes reconciliation, his reward lies with Allah. He does not love the unjust (42: 40)
But whoever endures patiently and forgives – that is a sign of real resolve (42: 43)
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND RELIGION
Each country has rules which other countries must respect if peaceful relationship among different countries is desired. Peace is maintained only when countries agree to respect the rules and boundaries of all other countries. Religion regards such agreements [treaties].
Except those who join people with whom you have a treaty [of peace], or those who come to you reluctant to fight you or fight their own people. Had Allah willed, He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. If they withdraw from you, and do not fight you, and offer you peace, then Allah assigns no excuse for you against them. You will find others who want security from you, and security from their own people. But whenever they are tempted into civil discord, they plunge into it. So if they do not withdraw from you, nor offer you peace, nor restrain their hands, seize them and execute them wherever you find them. Against these, We have given you clear authorization (4: 90-91)
Violation of an agreement is the worst act in the sight of Allah.
The worst of creatures in Allah’s view are those who disbelieve. They have no faith. Those of them with whom you made a treaty, but they violate their agreement every time. They are not righteous. If you confront them in battle, make of them a fearsome example for those who follow them, that they may take heed (8: 55-57)
And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease (9: 12)
If you fear treachery on the part of a people, break off with them in a like manner. Allah does not like the treacherous (8: 58)
And prepare against them all the power you can muster, and all the cavalry you can mobilize, to terrify thereby Allah’s enemies and your enemies, and others besides them whom you do not know, but Allah knows them. Whatever you spend in Allah’s way will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged (8: 60)
But if they incline towards peace, then incline towards it, and put your trust in Allah. He is the Hearer, the Knower (8: 61)
But if they intend to deceive you – then sufficient for you is Allah. It is He who supported you with His help and with the believers. And brought together their hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have brought their hearts together; but Allah brought them together. Indeed, He is exalted in Might and Wise (8: 62-63)
WAR IS IMPORTANT TO SUPPRESS AGGRESSION AND RESTORE PEACE
Peace in a society cannot be restored unless aggression is suppressed jointly by force.
Fighting is ordained for you, even though you dislike it. But it may be that you dislike something while it is good for you, and it may be that you like something while it is bad for you. Allah knows, and you do not know (2: 216)
So fight, in the cause of Allah; you are not held responsible except for yourself. And encourage the believers [to join you] that perhaps Allah will restrain the [military] might of those who disbelieve. And Allah is greater in might and stronger in [exemplary] punishment (4: 84)
Indeed, Allah loves those who fight in His cause in a row as though they are a [single] structure joined firmly (As Saf: 4)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THOSE WHO FIGHT FOR PEACE
O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who attack you, and let them find severity in you, and know that Allah is with the righteous (9: 123)
O you who believe! When you meet a force, stand firm, and remember Allah much, so that you may prevail (8: 45)
If Allah supports you, there is none who can overcome you. But if He fails you, who is there to help you after Him? So in Allah let the believers put their trust (3: 160)
Say, “Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us; He is our protector.” In Allah let the faithful put their trust (9: 51)
No soul can die except by Allah’s leave, at a predetermined time………………….. (3: 145)
And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Rubb, receiving provision (3: 169) [details in chap: Understanding life and death]
O you who have believed, when you meet those who disbelieve advancing [for battle], do not turn to them your backs [in flight] (8: 15)
And whoever turns his back to them on such a day, unless swerving [as a strategy] for war or joining [another] company, has certainly returned with anger [upon him] from Allah, and his refuge is Hell – and wretched is the destination (8: 16)
And do not weaken in pursuit of the enemy. If you should be suffering – So are they suffering as you are suffering, but you expect from Allah that which they expect not*. And Allah is ever Knowing and Wise (4: 104) *[Reward]
Fear of you is more intense in their hearts than fear of Allah. That is because they are a people who do not understand. They will not fight you all together except from fortified strongholds, or from behind walls. Their hostility towards each other is severe. You would think they are united, but their hearts are diverse. That is because they are people who do not understand (59: 13-14)
Say, “Do you await for us except one of the two best things [victory or shahadat] while we await for you that Allah will afflict you with punishment from Himself or at our hands? So wait; indeed we, along with you, are waiting.” (9: 52)
War in the sight of Allah is not a blind affair; it should be waged with strategy and wisdom.
It is not advisable for the believers to march out altogether. Of every division that marches out, let a group remain behind, to gain understanding of the religion, and to notify their people when they have returned to them, that they may beware (9: 122)
And do not be like those who left their homes boastfully, showing off before the people, and barring others from the path of Allah. Allah comprehends what they do (8: 47)
*Satan made their deeds appear good to them, and said, “You cannot be defeated by any people today, ……………… (8: 48) *[details in chap: What is Satan?]
Allah dislikes boasting:
Allah has given you victory in numerous regions; but on the day of Hunayn, your great number impressed you, but it availed you nothing; and the land, as spacious as it was, narrowed for you; and you turned your backs in retreat (9: 25)
Ignoring peace offers for worldly benefits is also disapproved by the religion of Allah.
O you who believe! When you journey in the way of Allah, investigate, and do not say to him who offers you peace, “You are not a believer,” aspiring for the goods of this world. With Allah are abundant riches. You yourselves were like this before, and Allah bestowed favor on you; so investigate. Allah is well aware of what you do (4: 94)
JIHAD IS THE TEST FOR THE BELIEVERS
Sometimes, worldly gains or social pressures prevent a person from going to war.
O you who believe! What is the matter with you, when it is said to you, “Mobilize in the cause of Allah,” you cling heavily to the earth? Do you prefer the present life to Hereafter? The enjoyment of the present life, compared to the Hereafter, is only a little (9: 38)
Say, “If your parents, and your children, and your siblings, and your spouses, and your relatives, and the wealth you have acquired, and the business you worry about, and homes you love, are more dear to you than Allah, and His Messenger, and the struggle in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His judgment.” Allah does not guide the sinful people (9: 24)
And know that your properties and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a great reward (8: 28)
Those who said of their brethren, as they stayed behind, “Had they obeyed us, they would not have been killed.” Say, then avert death from yourselves, if you are truthful” (3: 168)
…………………..Say, “Everything is up to Allah.” They conceal within themselves what they do not reveal to you. And they say, “If it was up to us, none of us would have been killed here.” Say, “Even if you had stayed in your homes, those destined to be killed would have marched into their death beds.” Allah thus tests what is in your minds, and purifies what is in your hearts. Allah knows what the hearts contain. (3: 154)
Say, “Never will fleeing benefit you if you should flee from death or killing; and then [if you did], you would not be given enjoyment [of life] except for a little (33: 16)
Excused from the test are those:
There is not upon the weak or upon the ill or upon those who do not find anything to spend any discomfort when they are sincere to Allah and His Messenger. There is not upon the doers of good any cause [for blame]. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful (9: 91)
Nor [is there blame] upon those who, when they came to you that you might give them mounts, you said, “I can find nothing for you to ride upon.” They turned back while their eyes overflowed with tears out of grief that they could not find something to spend [for the cause of Allah] (9: 92)
There is no blame on the blind, nor any blame on the lame, nor any blame on the sick. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger – He will admit him into gardens beneath which rivers flow; but whoever turns away – He will punish him with a painful punishment (48: 17)
The cause [for blame] is only upon those who ask permission of you while they are rich. They are satisfied to be with those who stay behind, and Allah has sealed over their hearts, so they do not know (9: 93)
Unless you mobilize, He will punish you most painfully, and will replace you with another people, and you will not harm Him at all. Allah has power over all things (9: 39)
…………….Had Allah willed, He could have defeated them Himself, but He thus tests some of you by means of others. As for those who are killed in the way of Allah, He will not let their deeds go to waste (47: 4)
Mobilize, light or heavy, and strive with your possessions and your lives in the cause of Allah. That is better for you, if you only knew (9: 41)
Retaliation against aggression is important for peace and survival.
………………..Were it not for Allah restraining the people, some by means of others, the earth would have gone to ruin. But Allah is gracious towards mankind (2: 251)
O you who believe! Shall I inform you of a trade that will save you from a painful torment? That you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your possessions and yourselves. That is best for you, if only you knew (61: 10-11)