It is no use trying to avoid or evade
the battle with false gods that are forced on the callers to the True Lord at
Falsehood does not bear the existence of truth. Even if truth wants
to live away from falsehood – leaving their end to the Judgment of Allah –
falsehood will not accept that.
It will chase and attack truth until it destroys it. False gods
will only leave truth holders when they leave their religion entirely and return
to the man-made creeds from which Allah rescued them.
Prophet Shu‘aib r said to his people: (And
if there is a party of you who believes in that with which I have been sent and
a party who does not believe, so be patient until Allah judges between us, and
He is the Best of judges.)1 But the
disbelieving party did not accept that plan from Shu‘aib r.
They could not bear to see the truth living or a group
delivered from the authority of false gods to worship Allah Alone: (The
chiefs of those who were arrogant among his people said, ‘We shall certainly
drive you out, O Shu‘aib, and those who have believed with you, from our town,
or else you (all) must return to our religion.’)2 Shu‘aib r
stood for truth and announced his refusal: (‘Even though we hate
it! We would have invented a lie against Allah if we returned to your religion,
after Allah has rescued us from it.’)3
There is no escape then from fighting
the battle, and showing patience and perseverance until Allah U grants victory; and to
say as Shu‘aib r said4: (In
Allah (Alone) we put our trust. Our Lord, judge between us and our people in
truth, for You are the Best of those who give judgment.)5
Before the ‘Aqabah Pledge, the Messenger of Allah r was not permitted to
fight. He r
was commanded to hold on to prayer, patient endurance, and forgiveness.
But evil is wild and armed. It assaults without scruple and
beats without mercy. It can force people away from goodness after being guided
to it, away from truth after their hearts opened to it.
The Quraish brutally persecuted those who followed the
tempting them away from their religion and exiling them from their homeland.
Muslims were tempted, tormented at their merciless hands, or forced to flee to
other lands – some to Abyssinia
and others to Al-Madinah.
It was an insolent rebellion against Almighty Allah U
in which the Quraish cast behind their backs the grace He U
wanted for them, and used every weapon to belie His Prophet r, torturing and expelling whoever worshiped Allah
Alone, believed in His prophet, and adhered to His Religion.
Therefore, Allah gave His Messenger r permission to fight
and prevail over those who wronged and oppressed them. For faith,
righteousness, and truth to live they must be protected and strengthened. Allah
will not leave them defenseless, only depending in their battle on the power of
faith and the deep sense of truth and goodness within their hearts. Material
forces in the hands of falsehood will ultimately shake the hearts and pull away
the souls, as people’s endurance has limits known to their Creator.6
The first revealed Ayat to
legislate fighting was Allah’s Saying: (Indeed, Allah defends
those who believe. Indeed, Allah likes not any treacherous ingrate to Allah.
Permission (to fight) has been given to those who are being fought, because
they were wronged. Indeed, Allah is able to give them victory. Those who have
been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is
Allah.’ For had it not been that Allah checks one set of people by means of
another, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and Masjids (mosques), wherein the
Name of Allah is often mentioned, would surely have been pulled down. And Allah
will surely support those who support Him (His Religion). Indeed, Allah is
Powerful and Exalted in Might. Those who, if We give them power in the land,
perform the Salah, give the Zakah, enjoin good and forbid evil. And with Allah
rests the end of (all) matters.)7
Thus, Muslims were permitted to fight for what they believed
in; for believers who, when given power in the land, would offer worship, give
alms, enjoin righteousness, and forbid evil and sin.
Then Allah U
revealed: (And fight
them until there is no more Fitnah), until there is freedom to
embrace Islam and believers are no longer subjected to trials and persecution
because of their religion; (…and the religion is only for Allah)8, the Law of
Allah prevails and rules.
After Allah U gave His Messenger r permission to fight and the Ansar swore
allegiance to him and vowed that they would uphold Islam, support him and those
who followed him, and provide shelter for the Muslims, the Messenger of Allah r commanded his Companions – both those who had
emigrated and those who were still with him in Makkah – to immigrate to
Al-Madinah and join their brothers from the Ansar.
The Prophet r said,
“Allah U has made for you brothers and a home
where you can be secure.”9
1 Translated meanings of Al-A‘raf
meanings of Al-A‘raf 7: 88.
meanings of Al-A‘raf 7: 88-89.
4 Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade
of the Qur’an, interpretation
of Surat Al-A‘raf [7: 87-89], thirty-sixth edition, Dar Al-Shorouk.
5 Translated meanings of Al-A‘raf 7: 89.
6 Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade
of the Qur’an, interpretation
of Surat Al-Hajj 22: 38-41.
Translated meanings of Al-Hajj 22: 38-41.
8 Translated meanings of Al-Baqarah 2:
9 Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah, The Command to Fight
Sent Down to the Messenger r, vol. 2.