Vernon M. Fareed
Muhammad the Prophet (ppbuh) was an outstanding advocate for peace and would only resort to war to stop aggression, and this is a historical fact! Even when he was in a position to crush his enemies or oppress them he never resorted to that type of behavior.
To make the point about the extent to which Muhammad the Prophet would go to work for peace, I direct the reader’s attention to the famous “Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.” The details of this extraordinary treaty are too extensive to capture in the time and space that I have, so I recommend that authoritative sources be consulted for a comprehensive account. In brief the Quraysh tribe of Mecca was determined to crush the Prophet and his followers and prevent them from making the sacred journey (hajj) to that city. While Muhammad the Prophet and his followers were on their way to Mecca an opportunity came to try and work out a peace agreement with the Quraysh.
A man named Suhayl was sent as an envoy to work out the details of the treaty on the behalf of the Meccans, and he would eventually meet with the Prophet to do so. As the two sides began discussing the details of the settlement, Muhammad the Prophet (ppbuh) appointed Ali to commit it to writing. He instructed Ali to begin the letter with the traditional heading giving honor to Allah (G-d), saying in Arabic, “With Allah’s Name, The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer.” Suhayl (the envoy for the Meccan tribe) objected to the wording stating; he did not know Allah as “The Merciful” nor as “The Redeemer” and insisted that he strike those words from the heading. He further insisted that the heading on the treaty agreement be modified to simply say, “With Your Name, O Allah.” To the dismay and disappointment of the Prophet’s followers, he (Muhammad) agreed to this.
The Prophet then instructed Ali to modify the agreement to say, “this treaty is between Muhammad the Messenger of Allah and Suhayl (the Quraysh) etc.” Once again Suhayl objected to this language saying, “I don’t believe that you are the Messenger of Allah (G-d).” Without demonstrating any sign of anger Muhammad the Prophet agreed to this concession. Those who are not of the faith of Al-Islam may not fully comprehend the magnitude of Allah’s Messenger agreeing to this concession, but this was a HUGE DEAL! Muhammad’s followers were extremely frustrated with the fact that he had agreed to give in to such outrageous requests, so much so that some of them expressed their objections openly! It must be understood that Muhammad the Prophet did not agree to these requests because he viewed them as just and true, but he did so in the interest of Peace!
Following are some particulars of the treaty to which Muhammad the Prophet agreed, and after viewing them you will clearly see that this man was truly interested in peace and not in war, nor in gaining the upper hand. The 10 year treaty contained the following points.
• Muslims should go back to Medinah after the hajj (pilgrimage)
• The Hajj (pilgrimage) would last 3 days
• Muslims (coming to hajj) could leave Islam and return to Mecca if they chose
• Meccans could leave Mecca and become Muslims only with the consent of their guardian
• Muslims agreed to send any Meccan back who did not have the consent of their guardian
With respect to the last point of this agreement, it is very ironic that Suhayl (the envoy for the Meccans) was accompanied by his son, and his own son expressed his desire to join Muhammad the Prophet and become Muslim! Suhayl objected to this so his son had to return to Mecca with him. Muhammad the Prophet being the noble man that he was, honored the agreement and therefore did not voice objection to this. He instead told Suhayl’s son that Allah (G-d) would make a way for him.
In the Encyclopedia of Seerah (History) Vol. 1 – by Afzalur Rahman, he mentions that military experts say that there are “three ways of weakening the enemy’s strength: by military defeat, by moral defeat and by psychological defeat.” The weakest of all of these, according to this writer’s report is military defeat, because it can be easily and quickly remedied with the help of allies. He goes on to say, “moral defeat is more dangerous than military defeat because it cannot be repaired so easily. It destroys all elements of life among the vanquished for a long time and is irreparable. The Quraysh had already suffered military as well as moral defeat. Hudaibiyah was their psychological defeat. This paved the way for Muhammad’s Makkah victory, which was now only a matter of time.”
Any group of individuals or entity claiming to be an “Islamic State” absolutely must adhere to the Guidance of the Qur’an and the life example and teachings of Muhammad the Prophet (the prayers and the peace be upon him). We don’t see any (to date) meeting this criterion. The so-called Muslim world is in the condition that they are; not because they are obeying these authorities, but contrarily it is because they ARE NOT following the Quran and Muhammad the Prophet!