ever since the hijrah, revelation persistently confirmed this orientation of muhammad and caused him strongly to incline toward peace, away from fighting, hostility or war. it made him regard fighting as the last resort in defense of this freedom and this faith. when, at the cry of the qurayshi spy, the people of yathrib who pledged to him their allegiance at the second al `aqabah meeting proclaimed, “by god who sent you as a messenger of the truth, if you wish us to pounce on the quarter of mina tomorrow morning with swords drawn, not one of us will stay behind,” did muhammad not respond: “god has not commanded us to fight”? did not the first verse granting such authority say: "permission to fight is granted to those who are being fought, for they suffer injustice, and god is certainly capable of coming to their assistance"?[qur'an, 22:39]. was not this verse immediately followed by the revelation,
"and fight them until all persecution has stopped and religion has become all god's"[qur'an, 8:39]
muhammad's thought was then guided by one final objective, namely, the guarantee of freedom of religion and thought. it was for the sake of this freedom alone that fighting was permitted. it was in its defense that repulsion of the aggressor was allowed, that no one might be persecuted on account of his faith and that no injustice might befall anyone because of his faith or opinion.