Monday, October 10, 2005

Was Islam Spread by the Sword? ...

This is a tricky question. For if one replies with the correct answer, which is "Yes!", then the Islamophobe says, "Hey, you see, you guys had nothing genuine to offer, so you used the Sword to get your job done." On the other hand, if one answers the question with the defeatist answer, "No", then the historic military campaigns launched against the enemies of Islam lose their legitimacy and significance. In an attempt to simultaneously protect both the pacifism and the authenticity of his religion, the "progressive, enlightened Muslim" is forced to respond with the latter answer. This is an extremely unfortunate situation, for it strips Islam of its vital military aspect. While on the one hand, this is a reflection on the art of deception of the Islamophobes, on the other hand, it is also a reflection on the spiritual crisis that has pervaded the Ummah. The fact of the matter is that Islam did spread by the Sword. One cannot ignore the fact that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) is the most successful army general of all time, having fought several battles and won virtually all of them. Nor can one ignore the fact that the military campaigns carried out by the First Four Caliphs were directly in consonance with the military injunctions of the Qur'an. However, the automatic derivation that once having occupied foreign lands, the conquering Muslims took to a campaign of forceful conversion of the natives to Islam, is a slander borne out of spite and is not supported by historical evidence. In fact, the subjugated populations were allowed religious liberty and basic human rights were not suspended. Conversion to Islam took place only when the conquered populations came into close contact with Islam and Muslims. These were personal decisions that were made for spiritual reasons and not under threat or for worldly reasons.

The lesson to be learnt for all of us is that the rebirth of Islam from the current state of ignominy will necessarily entail some amount of military conflict. Those people who discount the role of the Sword in the name of pacifism do a great disservice to Islam. I would also like to mention as a disclaimer the fact that Islam is the most pacifist religion; the killing of innocent civilians is expressly prohibited in Islam and the present-day acts of terrorism cannot find their motivation from Islam.

2 comments:

hamraj said...

where you say "However, the automatic derivation that once having occupied foreign lands, the conquering Muslims took to a campaign of forceful conversion of the natives to Islam, is a slander borne out of spite and is not supported by historical evidence"

I have to say that's a load of rubbish.

When Islam was 'flourishing' in Mughal India, Emperor Aurangzeb, ordered the conversion of ALL non-believers.

Sikhs and Hindu's were persecuted and forced to accept Islam or to die.

There is countless historical evidence to support this through historians and millions of Sikhs and Hindu's and even Muslims worldwide.

At the time Aurangzeb saw the new Sikh faith as an obstacle and wanted it eliminated before it grew in strength.

And it was at this time the tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, created the Khalsa Army and he in turn crushed Aurangzeb's mughal soldiers on numerous occasions, Aurangzeb even admired the tenth Guru's courage and valour.

The tenth Guru also had 5 sons, who gave up their young lives for their faith on the battle field. 2 of them however were bricked alive for not accepting Islam.

Now you tell me if your statement at the start of my post holds any water at all.

May peace be upon you..

Fayyaz Khan said...

Dear Hamraj,

Thank you for your wishes.

You have said:

When Islam was 'flourishing' in Mughal India, Emperor Aurangzeb, ordered the conversion of ALL non-believers.

Islam debuted in India during the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Muslim rule started in the 8th century AD and continued until the 18th century AD - that's a millenium of Muslim rule in India. Aurangzeb, who ruled from 1658 to 1707 AD, is the last Muslim ruler to have ruled over a substantial part of India. By your own admission, Islam was flourishing in India prior to Aurangzeb's rule. I will ask you to ponder over how Islam came to flourish in India prior to Aurangzeb's rule, regardless of what Aurangzeb did or did not do.