Madina Period: Overt Jihad

During 622 AD, the Prophet and his companions migrated to Madina from Makkah, citing harassment, attacks and general intolerance from the pagan Arabs of Makkah.

“Indeed, those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth and lives in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided – they are allies of one another. But those who believed and did not emigrate – for you there is no guardianship of them until they emigrate. And if they seek help of you for the religion, then you must help, except against a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty. And Allah is seeing of what you do.” 8:72

When the troupe arrived in Madina, they were given a hearty welcome by the Aboriginal tribes of the city, known the Ansar.  The locals believed the various stories of victimhood narrated to them and sympathized with the Muslims.  The king of Abyssinia had previously given shelter to Muslims who were escaping from the Arab pagans of Makkah.  This was followed by the establishment of a pact which was down as the Constitution of Madina, between the Muslims of Makkah, the local Madina Ansars, and various tribes of Jewish business communities of the city, to regulate the matters of governance in the city as well as the nature and intent of inter community relations.  One of the key conditions of this pact was boycotting the Quraish (Arab pagans), abstinence from rendering any kins of support or assistance to them, and to assist one another when attacked.  It was through this pact that the Prophet was able to expel the Jewish tribes out of Madina at various stages.  Initially, the plan was that the large population of Jews will confirm the Prophethood and come under the fold of Islam, Muslims will have strength in numbers as well as a huge financial backing.  This is why most of what he preached was derived from the Jewish sacred verses.  However, the Jews chose to ridicule him and hold contempt against him, for virtually copying their verses.  There came a stage where he was faced with the possibility of losing credibility not only among others but also within his own new Muslim community.  This was the time when the Prophet began to resent them and started finding ways to show them as renegades who had become corrupted from the path of Ibrahim, in order to strengthen his own claim of being Allah’ true representative.  At the same time, the Prophet was in the process of sending delegations to the tribes nearby, while trying to built a collaboration between the monotheists.  The only hindrance on this was the Makkah Pagans, who incidentally were the Prophet’s own tribe.

It was at this point when the Muslims showed their true intent and started violently attacking the Jews in any way they could.  At the same time, the attacks had started on trading caravans of the Makkah pagans, to build his resources for the nascent Islamic state.  The revelations at this point also started to become more and more aggressive, as was the need of the hour.  One of the strongest verse on Jihad was revealed at this stage

“But once the Sacred Months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, capture them, besiege them, and lie in wait for them on every way (ambush). But if they repent, perform prayers, and pay poor due (zakat), then set them free.” 9:5 Quran

Another verse, which minces no words in narrating what this stage of Jihad stood for,

“It is not fit for a prophet to take captives until he slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lures of this world, while Allah desireth the Hereafter.” 8:67

This verse for revealed during the battle of Badr This was the first successful campaign of Muslims, in which they caught a lot of opponents as captives.  A proposal was then floated by Abu Bakr, the closest companion of the Prophet, which sought to spare the captives in lieu of ransom.  These were the idolators from the Quresh tribe.  There were suggestions that all of them should be slaughtered, but the Prophet chose to take the suggestion of Abu Bakr.  This particular verse in the Quran was a reprove questioning why the captives were spared, and that since they are idolaters, you should have murdered them.  There are number of such verse, but the ones we choose to share with you here are the ones which convey the context which was presented in the Calcutta Quran Petition.

Here is another once which is where the sanction for Jaziya (tax taken from non Muslims) is derived.

“Fight against such of those who have been give scriptures as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His Messenger and follow not the religion of truth until they pay the tribute, willingly submitting, fully humbled.” 9:29

This particular applies only to those of scriptures (Ahl e Kitab).  It DOES NOT apply to Hindus.  Until today there is an ongoing discussion among Muslim scholars whether the status of Jizya should be given to Hindus, and whether they qualify for the title of Dhimmi (those who Jizya can be taken from).  Only the Hanafi school of Islam qualifies the Hindus for this position, and all other schools specially the Shias deny this to us.  In this context, there is a famous conversation between Alauddin Khilji and his Qazi, when the latter asked this very question – what should we do with the captured Hindus?  Khlji answered saying my predecessors have allowed them. The Qazi informed him that your predecessors were wrong, and they should all be slaughtered.  This soundbite is a part of the conversations recorded in the compilation called Tabaqat e Nasir.  Another conversation in the same collection asks Jalaluddin Chili as to why he is being so lenient with the Hindus of India.  When Timur attacked India, it was a Muslim attacking a Muslim country which was paying jizya to the Caliphate at the time, sit fell under the Caliphate.  The premise of Timur’s attack was that these people are being lenient and letting Kuffar who should be slaughtered, get away with just paying Jizya.

The Quran is very clear about the objective of Jihad, and the same is the case with all the religious scholars preaching the faith to millions.  There is no concession to be made in this and any concession which is made is only because of exigencies.

Those who have believed, emigrated, and strived in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives are greater in rank in the sight of Allah. It is they who will triumph. 9:20

It is clearly laid out, that Jihad Bis Saif is the ultimate Jihad which is greatly revered among the Muslims.  This verse also explains that the worth of a person who takes up Jihad, a Mujahid, is more than any other person in the eyes of the Almighty. It is commonly believed among the community that all Muslims are Mujahids at some level, and among them, the largest Mujahid is the ones who takes up arms and indulges into fighting.  Their ideology does not leave any space for ignominy with terrorists and this is why there is generally so much sympathy for terrorists in the community.

(This is the 9th article from an ongoing series of articles on The Calcutta Quran Petition. The series will continue)

Part 1:

What is The Calcutta Quran Petition

Part 2:

The Calcutta Quran Petition – Responses of Government

Part 3:

What was the response of the judiciary on Calcutta Quran Petition

Part 4:

How the judgment on Calcutta Quran Petition completely missed the main point

Part 5:

Is the Calcutta Quran Petition true to its conviction (1)

Part 6:

Is The Calcutta Quran Petition True To Its Conviction (2)

Part 7:

Calcutta Quran Petition – How it identifies the true meaning of Jihad

Part 8:

Calcutta Quran Petition – What are the three stages of Jihad (1)


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