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  2. The Civilized Principles in the Prophet's Biography
  3. The Manners of the Prophet In Fighting Enemies

The Manners of the Prophet In Fighting Enemies

38723 2008/01/27 2024/05/21

the third research:

the manners of the prophet in fighting enemies:

the world did not know a president or conqueror more merciful than prophet muhammad – peace be upon him – in dealing with his enemies and captives. this big headline may look too exaggerated, but mentioning some evidences and examples will sure prove the truth. in this part, we will deal with the manners of the prophet – peace be upon him – before, during and after fighting in order to extract the best moral lessons, the human principles and the cultural values.

first: his manners before fighting

the prophet – peace be upon him – was not hostile or aggressive in dealing with his opponents. he was distinguishing between the covenanters, the warriors and non-muslims under the ruling of islam. he did not violate the treaties or act treacherously toward his enemies; contrary, he was dealing with each of them according to the peace & war relations. ibn al-qayyem has summarized the fighting manners of the prophet – peace be upon him – in his book "zad al-ma'ad" by saying: (after allah the almighty has ordered muslims to fight the disbelievers, the prophet has classified the disbelievers into three categories; covenanters, warmongers and non-muslims under the islamic rule. he instructed to honor the treaties which were entered with the covenanters as long as they are honoring their promises but if he fears that they will violate the treaties, he will terminate the treaties and will not fight them except after notifying them duly about the termination of the treaty. allah the almighty has ordered the prophet – peace be upon him – to fight any party who violates the treaties and promises. after the revelation of the verses of "bara'a" which demonstrated the methods of dealing with such categories, the prophet – peace be upon him – was ordered to fight the enemies from the jews & christians until they pay tributes or embrace islam and was ordered also to fight the disbelievers; therefore, the prophet – peace be upon him –

has fought the disbelievers by sword and fought the hypocrite by proof and evidence.

these are the rules which were organizing his relations with his opponents; the peace loving or warmongers. peace was exchanged under certain conditions and war was preceded with objective premises aiming at attaining peace such as the propagation for embracing islam by own will or paying the tribute to the islamic state; otherwise, if they insisted on war, continued their stubbornness and fought the islamic propagation they will find what they want.

second: his manners during the fight

although fighting is a process wherein the people are killed or injured, the prophet – peace be upon him – has legislated to his people supreme morals and principles governing the manners of the muslim fighter and imposing severe punishments on the violators in the current life and the hereafter. accordingly, the holy fighting should not be used except under the permissible means and the fair methods. safwan bin assal – may allah be pleased with him – said: (the prophet – peace be upon him has sent me with a brigade and said: start fight in the name of allah the almighty and don't exceed the proper bounds and don't be treacherous…)) (1)?

yahia bin saeed said: abu bakr – may allah be pleased with him – has sent the armies to al-sham and told yazid bin abi sufian the following: (i have ten commandments to you: don't destroy inhabited places, don't kill sheep or camels except for eating, don't sink palms or burn it, don't exaggerate, don't be coward, don't kill children, women, or old people, don't cut fruitful trees) (2).

in another narration he said: (you will pass by people who dedicated their time for hermitages, don't bother them). these texts and the other islamic military rules established by the prophet comprised the moral principles of war, such as:

1. dedication and neutrality concerning the actual objectives of the war and leave any thing related to the hatred, treachery, revenge or retaliation.

2- keep the environment and avoid spoiling the land such as burning trees and killing the animals except when necessary.

3- not confronting the non-warriors such as the women, children and the old people.

4- religious forgiveness, respecting the sacred places of the others, not killing the priests or ministers unless they fight muslims or support fighting the muslims and avoid their churches and worship places.

those who accuse the prophet – peace be upon him – and his followers of being bloodthirsty or barbaric are ignorant about these manners and morals and do not care about it in their wars (there are several laws which tell people the most faithful, dutiful and kind teachings & instructions but when the matter came to the actual manners they forget such teachings & instructions and turn into the hatred, severity and mocking the rights of people, blood shedding and making the wars. one of the best examples on this fact is the clear-cut contradiction between the french wealth principles and the actions of the french people in the countries which are under their control such as the arabic north african countries which suffered and still suffering from all kinds of injustice, persecution and humiliation. the same is also applicable on the large countries which declared the legislation of human rights while they were the first who ignored human rights and breached the dignity and liberty of the people on their land and wealth) (1)

not only this, the large countries have ignited wars and committed genocides against their opponents under the pretext of fighting terrorism, liberating people, achieve democracy and the other alleged principles while they do not have mercy on the children, old people or woman. just see the prisons of gwantanamo or abu ghraib and the other horrible examples of their manners and morals.

third: his manners after fighting

when the battle has come to an end and the victorious party appears, if the muslims were the victorious party and the enemy fell under the control of the muslim and their states defeated by armies of islam the prophet – peace be upon him – applied the just & fair rules of islam on the captives by considering the welfare of the muslims, the dignity of man and the security aspect of the captives toward muslims.

the jurists of the prophet's life have demonstrated the manners of the prophet

– peace be upon him – and the rules of islam after the fight. they said: (as for the defeated party, we respect their believes, lives, money and temples and they will be under the protection of the state and shall have the rights of the citizens. they will not be obliged to do any thing except keeping loyalty toward the country and pay a simple amount called the tributes which were imposed on the defeated nations by the victorious nations before and after islam. several countries in our era are imposing tributes on their citizens as a personal tax on people …) (1).

ibn al-qayyem al-jawziah has summarized the manners of the prophet – peace be upon him – toward the captives by saying: (he was freeing some captives, kill others, take ransom for some of them, exchange them with the muslim captives and all of this according to the muslims' welfare. the prophet – peace be upon him – has taken ransom for the captives of bader battle and said: if al-mute'm bin adai was alive and negotiated with me about those captives i will sure leave them to him. on the treaty of hudaibiah, more than eighty armed people attacked the prophet – peace be upon him – suddenly, but the prophet – peace by upon him – defeated them and took them as captives and then released them. he has captured thumama bin athal, the head of bani hanifa tribe, then released him. seeing the mercy & forgiveness of the prophet – peace be upon him, thumama has embraced islam.

the treatment and the dealings of the prophet – peace be upon him – during his battles were conforming to the statements of the scholars and here are some of his wise stands toward the captives:

 captives of bader battle: they were seventy captives. the prophet – peace be upon him – consulted abu baker and omar – may allah be pleased with them – about the captives, but each of them has different opinion. abu baker's opinion was to take ransom due to their kinship so that they may embrace islam while omar's opinion was to kill them because of their previous torture & persecution to the muslims. the prophet – peace be upon him – adopted the opinion of abu baker. then allah the almighty has revealed this verse supporting the opinion of omar: {in no way can any prophet have captives until he has subjugated (the enemy) in the earth; you (i.e., the believers) are willing to have the (chance) advantages of the present (life), (literally: the lowly “life”, i.e., the life of this world) and allah wills the hereafter; and allah is ever-mighty, ever-wise} (al anfal: 67).


 the ransom started from four hundred dirham and reached four thousand dirham. (1). the prophet – peace be upon him – has took the ransom from al-mutaleb bin hantab, saifi bin abi rifaa and abu iza al-jamahi in addition to abi al-as provided that the later should release zainab and let her immigrate to the medina. - the captives of bani al-mustalek battle: the muslims in this battle has captured women and children, among them was juwairiah bint al hareth, the head of bani al-mustalek. she was the share of thabit bin qais bin shamas who entered an agreement with her against a certain sum of money. the prophet – peace be upon him – has paid for her and married her. seeing that, the muslims said: the relatives of the prophet's wife are arrested by us?? then they released the captives of bani al mustalek who have all entered islam (3).

- his ruling on bani quraidha: bani quraida was in alliance with the parties who formed a union in order to invade the prophet – peace be upon him – although they were in treaty with the prophet – peace be upon him. after the battle of al-ahzab directly, the prophet – peace be upon him – invaded and blockaded them for twenty five days. when the blockade became very severe and they felt the pain of the plight, they were told to submit to the ruling of the prophet – peace be upon him. they have then consulted abu lubaba bin abdul munther but he told them it is only the death; hearing that, they said we will submit to the ruling of sa'ad bin mu'ath. the prophet – peace be upon him – agreed, and sa'ad was called and brought on a donkey. when he reached, they began asking him for sympathy and to alleviate their punishment. sa'ad has applied on them the judgment of allah the almighty which is: the men to be killed, the women and children to be taken as captives and the money to be distributed. this judgment was fair and just because in addition to their betrayal, bani quraida have collected one thousand and five hundred swords, two thousand spears, three hundred armors, and five hundred shields to fight muslims but the muslims have taken the same after they have conquered their dwelling.

- the stand of the prophet in the day of makka conquest: when the prophet – peace be upon him – conquered makka, controlled it and commanded the heads of makka who have tortured him and his companions the prophet – peace be upon him – gave them the full security and stability on their properties and bloods except certain group of them who have committed crimes against the muslims such as: abdul ozza bin khatal, abdullah bin saad ibn abi sarah, al hareth bin nufail bin wahb, ikrema bin abi jahl, maqis bin sababa, habar bin al-aswad, two female singers for ibn khatal who were satirizing the prophet – peace be upon him – and sara's the female slave of certain person of bani abdul mutaleb who was caught having the letter of hateb. as for abi sarah, othman bin affan has brought him to the prophet – peace be upon him – and pleaded for him; therefore, the prophet forgave him as he has embraced islam before and immigrated but then converted again to polytheism and went back to makka. as for ikrema bin abi jahl, he escaped away to yemen but his wife requested protection from the prophet – peace be upon him – and the prophet gave him the protection; therefore, she followed him and he returned back with her and embraced islam. as for bin khatl, he was clinging to the curtains of the kabba, then a man came to the prophet – peace be upon him – and told him about that. the prophet said: "kill him"; therefore, he killed him. as for maqis bin sababa, he was killed by numaila bin abdullah. maqais was a muslim but he killed a man from the people of the medina, converted to polytheism and supported the polytheists. as for al-hareth, he has harmed the prophet – peace be upon him – very much; therefore, ali – may allah be pleased with him – has killed him.

as for habar bin al-aswad who has harmed zainab, the daughter of the prophet – peace be upon him – when she immigrated and made her fell on the rock and caused her abortion, he escaped a way to hibar at the day of makka conquest then embraced islam. as for the two female signers, one of them was killed and the other was protected. sara also was protected then she embraced islam (1). thereafter, the prophet – peace be upon him – has gathered the people of makka and told them: (non has the right to be worshipped except allah the almighty alone, who has honored his promises, supported his prophet and defeated the al-ahzab (the conspiring polytheists parties). any exploit, blood or claimed money is under my feet except the custody of the kaba and supplying water to the pilgrims. the one who is killed by mistake by lash or stick is subject to a blood money of one hundred camels, forty of which are pregnant. o people of quraish, allah the almighty has liberated you from the zeal and the glorification of your fathers before islam. all people came from adam and adam was created out of soil, then the prophet – peace be upon him recited this verse {o mankind! we created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). verily the most honoured of you in the sight of allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you} (al-hujurat: 13) then he said: ((o people of quraish, what do you think i'll do with you?)) the replied: sure forgiveness, you are the dear brother and nephew. he said: (go! you are free)) (1)

no doubt, if the prophet – peace be upon him – has killed them he will not be unjust with them because they have tortured him and his companions, killed several of them, took their money, exiled them from their houses, fought them for their religion, supported their enemies and satirized them by their poets!! see his mercy in dealing with his people, his enemies and his opponents.


submission to allah and thanking him after victory & stability

the kings of the earth and the masters of the world, when they achieved victory in their wars, used to take proud in such victories, recite the speeches, say the poems, talk about their achievements via all media means out of their joy and they forgot that the victory is one of the blessings of allah and that he is alone the one who grants victory. but the prophet – peace be upon him – has invented unprecedented manner for the conquerors and invaders by submission to allah the almighty and thanking him for the blessing of victory. the prophet – peace be upon him – has entered makka lowering his head and submitting to allah the almighty after wining the blessings of allah by conquering makka and remained lowering his head until he felt that his beard will touch his saddle … (1).

sheikh safurahman al-mubarakfori said: (the prophet – peace be upon him – then entered the house of umm hane' bint abi taleb, made a shower and prayed eight rak'as (prayers) in her house at the time of the morning. people thought that this is the prayer of dhuha which is not like this but it is the prayer of conquest …)(2).

all of this was to comply with the order of allah the almighty mentioned in the surah of an-nasr which stated: {when comes the victory of allah, and the conquest, and you see mankind entering the religion of allah in troops, so extol with the praise of your lord, and ask him forgiveness; surely he has (always) been superbly relenting}




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