Why is Fighting Legislated?
in july, 622 ad, muslims emigrated from mecca to medina (1) escaping with their religion to establish a new safe islamic society in order to be the base of islamic call where all envoys and delegates moving from to all over the world proclaiming god's message to the universe.
actually, muslims succeeded to put the roots of the first state of islam. prophet muhammad (pbuh) began to make allies and agreements with tribes and groups in both internal and external sides. muslims became, for the first time, an entity admitted from those tribes.
the more progress muslims are making, the more rage idolaters feel against them.
muslims became in a bad need to be armoured defending themselves, their belief and state. accordingly, a quranic verse has been revealed permitting muslims to defend themselves by sword, in addition to attacking financial and business interests of quraish in order to restore their money and rights quraish stole from weak muslims during migration.
allah, almighty says: "sanction is given unto who fight because they have been wronged; and allah is indeed able to give them victory". al-hajj: 39
the permission to fight and restore rights by force was legislated for many reasonable legitimated and logical considerations:
1stconfiscation of muslims' money and properties.
when muslims emigrated from makkah to medina, they lived in straitened circumstances, where disbelievers in makkah confiscated muslims' money, properties and business. they unjustly and unlawfully shared muslims' money with bolds of makkah!!
trade caravans of quraish were passing back and forth through medina in the summer caravans which was a golden opportunity for muslims to restore some of their stolen money.
2eddeclaration of war against the budding islamic state.
makkah leaders started to declare the war against muslims, using their best efforts to attempt making civil war in medina. they sent to their disbeliever ally, abdullah ibn ubai ibn saloul, the head of medina before hijra (migration) where both al-awus and al-khazrajj tribes were about to make him their king, but the prophet's migration (pbuh) hindered it. they wrote to ibn saloul and his hypocrite followers in a deep rage and wrath sound against muslims:
"you are indeed lodging our enemy (prophet muhammad)! and we swear by god if you don't indeed fight him or get him out, all of us will come and fight you and kill your people and violate your women"…
when abdullah ibn ubai and his idolater followers received the message they decided to fight the prophet (pbuh). when the prophet (pbuh) was informed about it, he met them and said: "indeed the quraish threat has went deeply into your minds! such threat shall not deeply affect you but this is really what you want to do. will you fight your citizen and brothers?!! when they heard the speech from the prophet (pbuh), they got divided (2).
in this situation, cleverness of the wise educator leader arises, may prayer and peace be upon him. he (pbuh) eliminated sedition in the beginning, getting inside minds through their tribal glory. prophet muhammad (pbuh) was in acquaintance with the inner souls of those he were dealing with, so his speech touched the hearts of the disbelievers of yathrib. (3)
his great morals (pbuh) were shown in this situation; muhammad did not take the side of his companions against the supporters (al ansar) or the side of the muslims of madienah against other citizens of madienah, on the contrary; he was concerned about madienah as a whole bloc, regardless the different religions and cults of madienah society. the prophets concern was to defend madienah from the outside enemies.
3edthreatening muslims' security
it's another legitimate consideration to permit fighting especially for defending lives of citizen whether inside or outside the state of islam, bearing in mind the situation of trying to prevent honourable companion, saad ibn mua'adh to make umrah (minor hajj/pilgrimage):
abdullah ibn masoud, may allah be pleased with him, reported that saad ibn mua'ath said that he was a friend of umaiah ibn khalaf to the extent that when umaiah went to medina, he used to stay with saad, and when saad went to makkah he used to stay with umaiah. after prophet muhammad (pbuh) immigrated to medina, saad went to makkah to make umrah (minor hajj) and stayed with umaiah in makkah. "give me one hour to circumambulate the kaaba”, he said to umaiah. while they were going out in midday, abu jahl met them and said: "o' abu safwan, who is your companion? "it's saad." umaiah replied. abu jahl said to saad: "i think you are going to circumambulate the kaaba safely although you are lodging the renegades, proclaiming you are defending them! i swear by god if you were not abi safwan's companion, you wouldn't return to your family safely!! saad told him loudly: "i swear by god if you prevent me to do this, i shall prevent your caravans coming through madina". (4).
this situation indicated that abu jahl considers saad ibn mua'adh as an enemy to makkan disbelievers (5). unless saad was protected by one of makka’s leaders, he was definitely been killed.
scrutiny read the words of abu jahl to saad, "i swear by god if you were not abi safwan's companion, you wouldn't return to your family safely!!" no one of the muslims can inter makkah even to make umrah or hajj or something like that except protected by one of the idolater leaders, as you see.
it’s obviously clear to say that “kaaba” became under real occupation, humiliation, and clear insolence from those who make themselves guardians of “kaaba“, and they are not indeed. allah the almighty says: "what (plea) have they that allah should not punish them, when they debar (his servants) from the inviolable place of worship, though they are not its fitting guardians. it's fitting guardians are those only who keep their duty to allah. but most of them knew not." al-anfal: 34.
"they are not the keepers of this place and even not their own property. they are the enemies and extortionists of this place. god's inviolable place is not a heritance predecessors left it, but god's place, and only god shall give it to his supporters and religious". (6)
this situation also indicated – from saad speech – that muslims in this period of time didn't even try to attack any of the trade caravans of makkah, although the state of islam didn’t deal with makkah disbelievers as their enemies in this time. this means that the people of makkah are the ones who declared war against the state of islam, threatening muslim pilgrims, making them their enemies, not allowing them to inter makkah without seeking protection or asking for security. (7)
consequently, muslims had to defend their religion, land, state and prophet…
jihad in islam doesn't only mean to refute attacks, or being one thing of one stage… absolutely not, but divided into number of stages and divisions. in the beginning, jihad was limited to peaceful call in addition to bearing ordeals and distress. after hijra (migration), allah the almighty legislates defensive fighting, i.e. repelling each attack with a same one. then legislated to fight anyone shall hinders establishing islamic society where infidels and disbelievers shall not be accepted but being muslims as they are completely contrary with true islamic society rules because of their infidelity and heathens rules; on the other hand people of the book easily submit to islamic society rules, living in its country and shall pay what is called (tribute) which is the equal to "zakat" muslims pay. by this last stage, islam defined jihad to be as mentioned above. this is what islam induces muslims to do throughout the ages if they have necessary power and equipments. for this stage, allah the almighty says: "fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that allah is with those who keep their duty (unto him)." al-tauba: 123. about this prophet muhammad (obuh) said: " i have been directed to fight against people till they say: there is no god but allah, and he who professes it, is granted full protection of his property and life on my behalf except for a right cause". (8)
1-ralf linton: tree of civilization, 1/341
2-sunan abu dawuud: an-nadeer story section, hadith no. 2610, al-albani makes it authentic, weak in sunan abu dawuud.
3-see: ali muhammad al-salabani, prophet biography, 1/364
4-sahih al-bukhari, prophet (pbuh) referring to martyrs in badr battle section. vol. 3656.
5-see: muhammad khair haikal, jihad and fighting 3/476 & ali muhammad al-salabani, prophet biography, 1/364.
6-saied qutb, fi dzilal al-qur'an (under the wings of holy qur'an), al-anfal chapter, verse 34.
7-see: muhammad khair haikal, jihad and fighting 3/476 & ali muhammad al-salabani, prophet biography, 1/364.
8-muhammad saied ramadan al-bouty, fiqh al-sunnah 126, hadith is agreed.