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Progression Of Jihad

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 13:50
The first revelation given to the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) by his Lord - limitless is He in His glory - was his order to him, "Read in the name of your Lord who created man out of a germ-cell." (96: 1-2) This was the start of his prophethood. The instruction to him was to read within himself. At that point, He did not order him to convey anything to anyone. He subsequently revealed to him: "You who are enfolded, arise and warn!" (74: 1-2) This means that Allah (azza wa jal) made him a prophet by telling him to read, and He gave him his mission by saying, "You who are enfolded, arise and warn!" (74: 1-2) Allah then ordered him to warn his immediate clan. Subsequently, he gave the same warning to his own people, then to the surrounding Arabian tribes, then all Arabs, then mankind generally.

For more than a decade after the start of his prophethood, Muĥammad (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) continued to advocate the faith without resorting to fighting or the imposition of any loyalty tax, i.e. jizyah. Throughout this period he was ordered to stay his hand, forbear patiently and overlook all opposition. Later, Allah gave him permission to migrate [from Makkah to Madinah] and permitted him to fight. He then instructed him to fight those who wage war against him and to maintain peace with those who refrain from fighting him. At a later stage, Allah ordered him to fight the idolaters until all submission is made to Allah alone. After the order was given to the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) to strive and fight for Allah's cause [i.e. jihād], unbelievers were in three categories with regard to their relations with him: those with whom he was in peace and truce, combatants fighting him, and those under his protection [i.e. ahl al-dhimmah]. Allah ordered him to honour his treaties with those whom he had a peace treaty, as long as they honoured their commitments. If he feared treachery on their part, he was to revoke the treaty but would not fight them until he had informed them of the termination of their peace treaty. On the other hand, he was to fight those who violated their treaties with him.

When Sūrah 9, al-Tawbah, was revealed, it outlined the policy towards all these three categories. The Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) is ordered there to fight his enemies from among the people of earlier faiths until they submit to his authority, paying the loyalty tax, jizyah, or embrace Islam. He is also ordered in the same sūrah to strive hard against the unbelievers and the idolaters. He strove against the unbelievers with arms, and against the hypocrites with argument and proof. A further order to the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) in Sūrah 9 was to terminate all treaties with unbelievers, classifying such people into three groups.

The first group he was ordered to fight, because these were the ones who violated their treaties with him and who were untrue to their commitments. He fought them and was victorious. The second group consisted of those with whom he had a peace treaty which they had honoured fully, and the treaty was to run for a specific term. They had given no support to any person or group who opposed the Prophet. With these he was to honour the peace treaty until it had run its course. The third group included those with whom the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) had no treaty and no previous fighting engagements, as well as those who had an openended agreement. The Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) was instructed to give these groups four months' notice, after which he was to fight them. The Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) acted on these instructions, fought those who violated their treaties, and gave four months notice to those who had no treaty or had one without a specific term. Those who honoured their treaty were to have it honoured by the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) until the end of its term. All these embraced Islam before the end of their term. As for those who pledged loyalty to him, they were to pay the loyalty tax, jizyah.

Thus, after the revelation of Sūrah 9, the unbelievers were in three different categories with regard to the Prophet's (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) relations with them: combatants, or bound by a specified-term treaty, or loyal. The second category embraced Islam shortly thereafter, leaving the other two groups: combatants who feared him, and those who were loyal. Thus, all mankind were divided into three classes: Muslims who believed in the Prophet's (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) message; those at peace with him who enjoyed security; and those who were hostile and feared him. As for the hypocrites, he was instructed to accept from them what they professed, leaving the final verdict on them to Allah (azza wa jal). He was to strive against them with informed argument. He was further instructed to turn away from them and to be hard so that he would deliver his message to them in a way that they could not refute. He was forbidden to pray for them when they died, or to visit their graves. He was informed that if he were to pray for them to be forgiven, Allah would not forgive them.

Such was the Prophet's (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) policy towards his opponents, both unbelievers and hypocrites.


(The Progress of the Prophet's (salallahu 'alayhi wasallam) Guidance on Dealing with the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites from the Start of His Mission to the End of His Life (Summarized), Zād al-Ma`ād, Mu'assasat Al-Risālah, Beirut, 1994, Vol. 3, pp.133-136, by Ibn al-Qayyim)


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