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Lessons from Ahâdeeth Shareef by Moulana Naeem Motala | Commentary on 40 Ahâdeeth | Arba’een | of Imaam Nawawi رحمة الله عليه with emphasis on perfecting one’s character
| LESSON NINE |
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ نَحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ وَنُؤمِنُ بِهِ وَ نَتَوَ كَّلُ عَلَيهِ ، وَنَعُوْذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ شُرُوْرِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا، مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللَّهُ فَلاَ مُضِلَّ لَهُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلاَ هَادِيَ لَهُ ، وَنَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ ، وَنَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَناَ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
Verily all praise is for Allah, we praise Him and seek His aid and ask for His forgiveness and we believe in Him and we place our trust upon Him, and we seek refuge with Allah from the evils of ourselves and our evil actions. Whomsoever Allah guides there is none who can misguide him, and whomsoever Allah misguides there is none who can guide him, and we bear witness that none has the right to be worshiped except Allah alone, having no partner, and we bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger
اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِناَ مُحَمَّدٍ ، وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِناَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَبَارِكْ وَسَلِّمْ
Allahumma Salli ‘ala Sayyidina Muhammad Wa’ala Aali Sayyidina Muhammadin Wa Baarik Wa Sallim | Oh Allah shower blessings and peace upon our Master Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam and upon the family of Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam
| HADITH 8 |
The Sanctity of a Muslim
عَنْ ابْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم قَالَ : أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أُقَاتِلَ النَّاسَ حَتَّى يَشْهَدُوا أَنْ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ، وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ، وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ؛ فَإِذَا فَعَلُوا ذَلِكَ عَصَمُوا مِنِّي دِمَاءَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ إلَّا بِحَقِّ الْإِسْلَامِ، وَحِسَابُهُمْ عَلَى اللَّهِ تَعَالَى
[رَوَاهُ الْبُخَارِيُّ] ، [رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ]
Hazrat Abdullah ibn Umar Radiallahu Anhuma narrates : Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said,
“I have been commanded to fight against the people [idolaters] until they testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad [Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam] is the Messenger of Allah, and until they establish the Salaah and pay the Zakaah. And if they do that then they will have gained protection from me for their lives and property, unless [they commit acts that are punishable] in Islam, and their reckoning will be with Allah.”
[Saheeh Buhkaari] [Saheeh Muslim]
| BRIEF EXPLANTION |
One needs to analyse the background of this Hadith and the context it was said, to understand this Hadith correctly.
As a result of the Arab polytheists breaking their treaty with the Muslims ; murdering many people of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam’s allies ; persecuting the Muslims for many years ; breaking their oaths and pacts ; causing bloodshed and showing open aggression and hostility against the Muslims … it was in this circumstance that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam mentioned this Hadith, saying : “I have been commanded to fight against the people [idolaters] until they say Laa ilaaha ilallah”, so that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam could save his community from further harm.
Fighting was a policy of last resort, when all other means had failed. The Muslims would first give Da`wah [invite] the non-muslims and polytheists towards Islam in an excellent manner. Endeavours were made to stop the hostilities, for the enemy to put down their weapons and live peacefully under the Muslim rule, either by embracing Islam voluntarily, or, if they wished to remain on their own creeds and religions, they would have to pay Jizyah [a small amount of tax] to the Muslims.
However, if all this failed and the polytheist resort to fighting, that is when Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam would react to a combative aggression in the same way.
So, whilst inclining to absolute peace with the enemy, there were times when Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam and the Sahabah Radiallahu Anhum had to combat the aggression of the enemy, when they insisted on fighting the Muslims.
The word أُقَاتِلَ mentioned in this Hadith means to “fight or oppose” and not the verb قَتَلَ [qatala] which means to “kill”. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam was commanded to oppose and not kill. Also, this particular Arabic verb implies that it is not a one~sided action but a participation of both sides. In other words, when somebody attacks you first [with the intent to kill you], you oppose the person and defend yourself [fight back] in response to the opponents aggression.
Note : The word النَّاسَ in this Hadith, refers to only those [Mushrikeen of Makkah/Arab polytheists] who were waging war against the Muslims and not the Ahle~Kitaab [Jews and Christians].
Islam commanded the Muslims to be just to people of other faiths [eg: Jews Christians, pagans]. Islam calls us to treat them kindly and win their hearts as long as they do not take up arms against Muslims.
In fact, Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala mentions in the Noble Qur’aan :
لَا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ
Allah forbids you from not dealing kindly and justly with those who neither fight against you or drive you out of your homes. For Allah loves those who are just. [Surah Al-Mumtahinah 60:8]
And, Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam mentions in a Hadith :
مَنْ قَتَلَ مُعَاهِدًا لَمْ يَرَحْ رَائِحَةَ الْجَنَّةِ، وَإِنَّ رِيحَهَا تُوجَدُ مِنْ مَسِيرَةِ أَرْبَعِينَ عَامًا
Whoever kills any person [despite having a peace covenant with this person], then this person [the Muslim] will not smell the fragrance of Paradise, though its smell is perceived from a distance of forty years [Saheeh Bukhaari]
It should be understood that the Qur’aan rejects force conversion to Islam. It was not obligatory for the polytheists to accept Islam in order to make peace with the Muslims. If they stopped their hostilities against the Muslims and sought refuge, then the Muslims were commanded to grant them protection and safe passage even if they did not accept Islam.
Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala mentions in the Noble Qur’aan :
لَّسْتَ عَلَيْهِم بِمُصَيْطِرٍ
You are not a dictator over them. [Surah Al-Ghaashiyah 88:22]
In other words, you cannot force someone to accept Islam.
There are several examples in the Seerah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, when Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam stopped the Muslims from killing any enemy, who on the battlefield recites the Shahadah [Kalimah] and accepts Islam. Hence, if any person embraces Islam, then the Muslims will have to treat him like any another Muslim [ie: this person’s life and property are protected and is sacred].
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam says : وَحِسَابُهُمْ عَلَى اللَّهِ Wa Hisaabuhum alallah “and their reckoning will be with Allah”. The meaning of Wa Hisaabuhum alallah is : we are not responsible for their internal conditions, and we are only responsible for the external conditions of the person. Hence, if a person has affirmed his Shahadah [Kalimah] and shows himself as a Muslim [he observes his Salaah and discharges his Zakaah] then one has to regard him as a Muslim. It is left to the knowledge of Allah whether he is a Believer or disbeliever and whether he is sincere or not.