Chapter 15 MAN AND WAR Islam: A challenge to religion by G A parwez

  1. The Distant Past

Human characteristics are baffling in their complexity and contradictions. Man’s capacity for ennoblement is equalled only by his capacity for debasement. He can rise to heights of sublimity but also sinks to the lowest depths of degradation. He may adore God with a fervour which is truly angelical; on the other hand, he may take devilish delight in debauchery and sensuality. If he can rise to heights of spiritual grandeur in love and can even die for his beloved, he can also hate like a beast of the jungle. Endowed with an intelligence which can explore interstellar spaces and can weigh the sun and the earth, he may remain ignorant of his own worth and latent powers and foolishly follow a path that will surely lead to the extermination of the human race.

War has been with man throughout his existence on this planet. As far as our eye can penetrate the haze of the distant past, we see men fighting each other. Despite the splendid civilisation he has created, and despite his glorious achievements in art and science, one wonders whether a being so busy with destroying his kind deserves to be called human. It is true that from time to time great men have appeared who have held aloft the banner of peace, tolerance and fellowship, but equally prominent men have as often preached the opposite gospel and glorified war. To Nietzsche, fighting was a noble occupation. “Men should be educated for war,” he counselled, “and women for the production of warriors,” and adds, to make his meaning clear, “everything else is folly.” Mussolini looked upon war as a moral necessity. Hitler regarded war as the basic principle of life. For him law was only that which a soldier laid down. In his view, only those who help the state to prepare for war really contribute to national culture and social wellbeing. “We should demolish” says Heinrich Hauser, “all those institutions which safeguard peace and security for man. Life will be stable and simple only in an age we call barbaric.”

Although such extreme views are now generally despised and ridiculed, there are still many influential persons today who would not hesitate to plunge the world in war to settle an international dispute: fortunately they are restrained by the sober men in every country. They are also deterred by the prospect of nuclear war which would spell the annihilation of the victor and vanquished alike.

It is a fact that the menace of war has not receded from the present world. The policy of brinkmanship practised by some heads of states poses a threat to mankind. It is strange that modern man who aspires to colonise the moon and other planets cannot solve the problems that confront him on earth.

Let us see whether the Qur’an can help us in this predicament. Does it offer any effective remedy for our social malaise? If so, how can the remedy be applied? The Qur’an ascribes two significant attributes to God – As-Salaam and Al-Mu’meen. As-Salaam is the Being Who is the source of peace and concord and Who assures peaceful existence to all beings. Al-Mu’min is the Being Who shelters and protects all and bestows peace in every sphere of life on all beings. Moreover, the way of life which the Qur’an prescribes for us is called Islam, which basically means peace.

The Mu’min is the man whose life exemplifies peace. The Qur’an refers to itself as the means by which the paths of peace are made wider (5:16). It summons men to the “house of peace” (10:25). The reward for living in accordance with its tenets is “the abode of peace” (6:128). Peace reigns in the society of Mu’mins. When they depart from this world, the malaikaah receive them with the salutation: “Because of the steadfastness with which you worked on earth in the cause of peace, there is for you here a reward of peace and safety” (13:24). An ardent desire for peace is reflected in the words in which one Muslim greets another. “Peace be on you” he says to his friend, and receives the joyful answer, “and peace be on you too.” The Qur’an applies the term fasaad to any disturbance of social peace. It is hateful to God (2:205). God commands men not to cause dissension or commit violence in the world (7:56). Of the believers it is said that they do not breed mischief and violence (28:83).

It is thus clear that Islam is a staunch supporter of peace and that mischief and violence, in any form, are repugnant to it. It seeks to establish universal peace and to assure security to all peace-loving people.

It is no doubt true that human beings, by and large, wish to live in peace. Nevertheless, the outbreak of violence is by no means a rare phenomenon. The Qur’an offers us sensible advice on how we can check violence when it breaks out. If an individual disturbs the peace we can try persuasion and if it fails, the government will have to intervene and restrain him by force. However, the problem is much more difficult when a nation commits aggression against another nation.

  2. Christianity and War

Christianity favours the policy of non-resistance to evil. We are advised by it not to return evil for evil, not to meet violence with violence. The New Testament tells us that the proper answer to an act of violence is an act of love:

Ye have heard that it hath been said,

An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (St. Mathew, 5:38-41).

To do good in return for evil is said to be the best way to fight evil. No doubt, these are noble sentiments and in the personal lives of individuals may be praiseworthy. But it is doubtful if Jesus (PBUH) could have taught these precepts for universal behaviour; for experience does not prove their wisdom. They hold good in rare instances only, and Anbiya do not speak for rare exceptions. The history of Christianity too negates their authenticity. Dean Inge’s comment on this way of combating evil deserves careful consideration:

The principle of non-resistance was laid down for a little flock in a hostile environment. But an organised society cannot abstain from the use of coercion. No one would suggest that a Christian government must not suppress a gang of criminals within its own borders, and if this is admitted, can we doubt that it should defend itself against an invading enemy? ….. Augustine held that war is justified in repelling wanton and rapacious attacks and that in preventing such crimes we are acting in the true interest of the aggressor. Without justice what is empire but brigandage on a large scale? ….. Allowing that circumstances may arise which make a defensive war inevitable we have found a principle which will guide us in concrete cases.(1)

Even in the New Testament, as it exists today, there are statements here and there which are clearly at variance with the creed of non-violence and absolute non-resistence to evil. For example Christ (PBUH) is reported as saying:

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law (St. Mathew, 10:34-35).

It is obvious that the use of force to defend a good cause is not ruled out in Christianity.

In our own time, “Mahatma” Gandhi of India was believed to be a staunch and uncompromising supporter of the creed of non-violence. He too, had to tone down his idealism and adopt a more realistic attitude to evil:

If an open warfare were a possibility, I may concede that we may tread the path of violence that the other countries have, and at best evolve the qualities that bravery on the battlefield brings forth.(2)

This apostle of ahimsa* even goes so far as to admit that when the need arises, not only men but also women will have to resort to violence and meet force with force.(3) It is needless to add that the followers of this rishi** have resorted to violence whenever it suited their purpose.

  3.  Qur’an and War

The Qur’an never appeals to the passing emotions of man nor does it stoop to humour him. It faces the problems of life in a realistic manner and offers practical solutions for them. Like the

New Testament, it advises us to do good in return for evil, for such actions are likely to have a wholesome effect on the evil-doer. Our moral worth, too, will be enhanced thereby: Return a bad act by one that is beautiful and good. It may be that he, between whom and you there is enmity, becomes your bosom friend (41:34).

In another place, a mu’min is described as “one who repels wrong with right” (28:54). But if the enemy takes mean advantage of such goodness, the Qur’an permits the use of force, provided it is in accordance with the requirements of justice. While permitting force in such cases, the Qur’an advises us to be lenient towards the man who has wronged us. If he repents, he is to be forgiven. The Qur’an exhorts us to forgive our enemies and those who have wronged us:

But he who forgives and makes peace (with his adversary), his reward devolves upon God (42:40).

The Qur’an applies the term “zaalim” (cruel, oppressive) to those who do not forgive their enemies. In another place, however, the Qur’an concedes to man the right to demand that his enemy should make amends for the wrong he had done and failing that he should be punished. Those who are unjust and cruel to their fellow beings are denounced by the Qur’an. Such men deserve dire punishment (42:41-42). The Qur’an, however, inculcates in man that it is a noble thing to forgive. It asks us to forgive the man who has done us injury, whenever we have grounds for believing that such forgiveness will do good to the wrongdoer as well as to society.

  4. Law and the Use of Force

The mere enactment of good laws, the Qur’an asserts, is not enough to ensure peace in the world. It is necessary that the laws should be properly enforced:

We sent Our messengers with clear arguments and with these Our laws and the criterion of justice so that man may establish himself in justice; and with it We have also created steel wherein is mighty power and many other uses for mankind (57:25).

In other words, law which is not backed by force is no more than pious advice. Law must be enforced if the social order is to be maintained. The Qur’an, therefore, is in favour of the state maintaining sufficient power to enforce its laws. If the Qur’an calls God As-Salaam, the source of peace, it also applies to Him the terms, Protector, the Mighty, the Compeller, and the Self-reliant. The state should reflect these attributes as well.

The power vested in the state should be used to maintain law and order and as a defence against those who threaten its independence. The state is not to use its powers to curtail the freedom of individual. The purpose for which the state exists is to maintain conditions in which the individual can develop and achieve self-realisation. This purpose is fulfilled only when the state is fully independent and prepared to meet aggression from any quarter:

Make ready for your opponents all you can of armed forces and of horses tethered, that thereby you may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others beside them whom you know not (8:60).

The state should not use its power to oppress the weaker nations. It should use its power to create conditions in which the way of life ordained by God can be followed. The first battle fought by the Muslims exemplifies the right use of force.

The Rasool and a small band of his devoted followers lived in Mecca for thirteen years. During this time they suffered all kinds of persecution with patience and humility. Every insult or act of violence was received in silence or at the most it evoked a gentle protest. But their self-imposed restraint was mistaken for weakness and every day they suffered outrages. When oppression became intolerable, they left their ancestral home and sought refuge in Madina, a town several hundred miles away from Mecca. Even here they were not left in peace. Their enemies were determined to compel them to renounce the new creed or to exterminate them if they refused to do so. A formidable force marched against them. For the refugees it was a question of life and death. Even then they hesitated to meet force with force. They patiently waited for Divine guidance, that they might do which was right. They were at last permitted to resort to force and give battle to their implacable enemies:

And whoso defendeth himself after he hath suffered wrong . . .  for such there is no way of blame against them (42:41).

A clear directive is given in the following verses:

Permission is given to those who are fought against (to fight) for that they have been wronged; and verily God has the power to help them:

Those who have been driven from their homes unjustly only because they said: “Our Rabb is Allah.” For had it not been for Allah’s repelling some men by means of others, cloisters and churches and synagogues and (all other) places of worship, wherein the name of God is oft mentioned would assuredly have been pulled down. And God will certainly help him who helps Him. Verily Allah is strong, mighty (22:39-40).

We can conclude from these verses that only those who are persecuted and are not allowed to live in peace are justified in having recourse to war. The question arises, what are they to do if they do not possess the means to defend themselves? In such a case, the Qur’an commands all righteous men to hasten to their rescue and fight on their behalf:

How should ye not fight for the cause of Allah and of the feeble among men and of the women and the children who are crying: “Our Rabb! Bring us forth from out of this town whose people are oppressors. Oh, give us from before Thee some protecting friend! Oh, give us from before Thee some defender!”

Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of Taghoot. So fight the minions of Shaitaan. Lo! the Shaitaan’s strategy is ever weak (4:75-76).

The meaning is clear. Oppressed people, all over the world pray for a helper to rescue them, for a defender to fight for them. Do you not hear the cry of the oppressed? Or, do you think that, being secure yourself, there is no need for you to fight? You are wrong. It is your duty to hasten to the help of all who are groaning under oppression. It is your duty to fight against cruelty and injustice, even if the victims do not profess the values and concepts you profess and do not belong to your country or race. From wheresoever comes the cry of the oppressed, thither you should hasten and fight against the oppressor. This is what war “in the name of Allah” means.

The Mu’mins fight in the cause of Allah against cruelty, tyranny and injustice. Their purpose is to make justice prevail in the world. The unbelievers fight to subdue other people and exploit them for their own ends. The Qur’an tells us in simple and direct language when war is justified and when it is not. The principles laid down by the Qur’an are clear and definite. They are not couched in language which may be susceptible to different interpretations. The distinction between a just and an unjust war is clear and should not be blurred by sophistical arguments. For example, people, if they are really persecuted, have a right to rebel against the government of their country. However, they would be acting directly against the Qur’anic principles if they magnified any petty grievance and called it persecution. They may be said to be the victims of persecution only if the basic rights, defined by the Qur’an, are denied to them. The Mu’min will take up arms only to defend these rights, and he will hasten to help the oppressed, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.

  5. Rules of Conduct

So far about the conditions under which war is permissible. Let us now consider the rules of conduct laid down by the Qur’an for Muslims when they are at war. In the first place the duty to be just in one’s dealings with others is as binding in war as it is in peace:

O you who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not enmity of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah, Lo! Allah is well informed of what ye do (5:8).

We should be just even to our enemies. The Qur’an does not permit us to deviate from the path of justice in any circumstances. If an oppressor has deprived human beings of their basic rights, justice demands that those rights should be restored to them. As far as possible, it should be done by peaceful means. Only when these fail, recourse may be had to war. But even in war, we should respect the basic rights of the enemy. When the enemies have been vanquished they should be treated with consideration as human beings.

Secondly, the Qur’an emphatically declares that a treaty ought to be honoured always, in war as well as in peace. The peace of the world depends, above all things, on the trust placed in treaties. A treaty has value only as long as there is mutual trust. Can it command any respect if either of the parties subscribe to the view that all is fair in war? The stronger party could repudiate it whenever it suited its purpose. That is why Solon says that a treaty is a spider’s web which entangles him who is weaker than it, and it is not worth a straw for one who is stronger.

Machiavelli stoutly defended unscrupulous dealings in politics. He advises the ruler, in plain terms, to break his faith whenever it suits his purpose:

A prudent ruler ought not to keep faith when by so doing it would be against his interest and when the reasons which made him bind himself no longer exist.(4)

His disciple, Frederick II, believed that:

Policy consists rather in profiting by favourable conjunctures than by preparing them in advance. This is why I counsel you not to make treaties depending upon uncertain events, and to keep your hands free.(5)

Long before Machiavelli, a political thinker in India had set forth similar doctrines. The appellation Kautilya (cunning) which was applied to him shows that he defended the use of craft in politics. He believed that only a crafty and unscrupulous man can play the game of politics successfully. In his Arthashastra, he writes to the effect that treaties have no sanctity and can be twisted or broken according to the necessity of the moment. However, he counsels the ruler to do this with such cunning that neither his own people nor his opponents suspect him of violating the treaty.

In direct opposition to this glorification of expediency, the Qur’an categorically asserts:

Fulfil your bonds (5:1).

It reminds us that we are not only answerable to those to whom we have pledged our word, but also to Allah. Allah commands that we should keep our pledges:

Fulfil your pledges: Remember, you will be asked about your pledges (17:34).

What, however, is to be done if the other party breaks the treaty? The common view is that in such a case, the treaty automatically becomes null and void. Not so with the Qur’an. It deprecates a hasty act and counsels us to appeal to the enemy to reconsider their decision and honour the treaty. Only when this appeal has proved to be vain and the enemy persists in violating the treaty are we justified in regarding it as no longer binding on us:

If you fear treachery anyway at the hands of a people then throw back to them (their treaty) fairly and thus dissolve it with them equally: Surely Allah loves not the treacherous (8:58).

In the early days of Islam, when the Qur’anic law was invariably obeyed, the violation of treaty by Muslims was unthinkable. Even if the pledge was given by an individual Muslim, it was invariably honoured. An incident which occured during the battle of Badr, illustrates the attitude of the Rasool to the pledged word of a Muslim. At this battle, three hundred and thirteen Muslims were opposed by a strong force of over a thousand men. The odds were against them and they would have welcomed any addition to their number. When the fighting was going on and the issue was still uncertain, two armed men suddenly appeared and joined battle on their behalf. The Rasool enquired of them, how they had managed to pass through the enemy’s land. They replied that they had tried to stop them, but were allowed to go on after pledging their word that they would not take up arms against them. The Rasool said that the pledged word must be honoured. He commanded them not to fight, saying that the issue of the battle will be settled according to the Laws of God. Even at this critical juncture he did not allow his men to break their premise.

A piquant situation arose when some pagan women embraced Islam but their husbands remained faithful to the old faith. The husbands began to persecute their wives to compel them to renounce Islam. Some of these women sought refuge in Medina. The Muslims were asked to return the wives to their lawful husbands. The Islamic Law does not sanction the marriage of a Muslim woman to a pagan. Therefore, the women were told that they were free and would not be forced to return to their husbands. But their husbands were repaid whatever money they had given to their wives or spent on them (60:10). Be it noted that these men were the sworn enemies of Islam and were bent on destroying the little band of Muslims. Even from these enemies the Rasool would not withhold what was in justice due to them. This zeal for justice and fair dealing could not but impress the opponents of Islam.

Finally, if the enemies offer peace, in no case should such an offer be rejected. It may be that the Muslims have just grounds for suspecting the motives of the enemy but their suspicions should not prevent them from accepting the offer of peace. It may be that offer is made when victory is within the reach of the Muslims. Even then they should not continue war but should lay down arms and start negotiations for concluding peace. If the enemy has been forced to sue for peace, the purpose of the war has been fulfilled. The purpose was not to subjugate the enemy or seize their territory, but to repel the attack. If, for whatever reason, the enemy shows willingness to lay down arms, the Muslims should do likewise. The enemies may have made the offer of peace merely to gain time or to mask some nefarious design. Even so, the Muslims are commanded to place their trust in Gcd and accept it in good faith, “for God is sufficient for you. He it is Who supports you with His help and with the believers” (8:62). All necessary precautions, however, should be taken and the enemy made to vacate his aggression, but the offer should not be spurned merely on suspicion of ulterior motives.

How long should the war be continued if the enemies refuse to come to terms? The Qur’an enjoins the Muslims to continue the war till the purpose for which it was undertaken is fulfilled. When the purpose has been accomplished, the war should be ended forthwith. Unwarranted aggression, persecution of a religious group, oppression and the denial of human rights are some of the reasons which justify war.

If the war cannot be ended but the belligerents can agree to a temporary cessation of hostilities, the opportunity should immediately be seized. During the pause in fighting, tempers may be calmed, passions cooled and sober thinking and heart-searching may create the atmosphere in which an amicable settlement of the dispute may be possible. Nowadays, the term cease-fire is applied to such temporary arrangements. This method of terminating a war was recommended by the Qur’an fourteen centuries ago. Another step in the same direction was to establish an international convention to the effect that fighting should be forbidden during certain months (9:36).

  6. Prisoners of War

The Qur’an enjoins humane and compassionate treatment of prisoners of war. In those days in Arabia as elsewhere, prisoners of war were usually made bond-slaves. Men and women taken in war were sold as slaves. Nowhere was this practice regarded as objectionable, The Qur’an, with its insistence on the worth of the human self, could not sanction such an outrage on human dignity. It commanded Muslims to adopt other ways of dealing with prisoners of war. The directive given was:

Now when you meet in battle your opponents then it is smiting of the necks until you have routed them; then bind fast the bonds; then either give them a free dismissal afterwards or exact a ransom (47:4).

The meaning of the verse is quite clear. Prisoners of war may be exchanged for Muslims who are in the hands of the enemy, or they may be set free when the ransom fixed for them has been paid, or they may be set free unconditionally as a friendly gesture to the enemy, or on purely humanitarian grounds. Whichever alternative is adopted, the result is the same i.e., the prisoners regain their freedom. In the whole of the Qur’an, this is the only verse concerning prisoners of war. Neither here nor elsewhere is there any hint of making them slaves. The Qur’an, which directs the believers to expiate their faults for even a trivial mishap by emancipating a slave (90:13), which permits the waging of war for defending human rights, and which has proclaimed the equality of men, could not possibly sanction slavery in any form. On the contrary, it commands that prisoners should be treated as guests as long as they remain in the custody of the Muslims. Abu Aziz was one of those who were taken prisoners at the battle of Badr. After his release, he returned to his people and told them about the treatment he had received. “I was billeted on an Ansar*. He used to give me bread and other good things to eat while he himself and his family subsisted on dates. I felt ashamed and often gave back the bread to him. He refused to touch it and forced me to eat it.”

Another man who fell into the hands of the Muslims at Badr, was Sohail Bin Umar. Sohail was a famous orator and had delivered many orations denouncing and vilifying the Rasool. The Muslims naturally wished to punish him and somebody suggested that two of his front teeth be knocked out. The Rasool, however, did not give his consent to this proposal and Sohail was not touched.

Some of the prisoners taken at Badr were set free after they paid the ransom. There were many who were too poor to pay the ransom. Of these, those who were literate were told that each could buy his freedom by teaching ten Muslim boys. The remaining were set free unconditionally. Those who had paid their ransom were told that if at any time in future they came over to the side of the Muslims, the money they had paid would be refunded to them:

O Rasool ! say to those captives who are in your hands: If Allah knows any good in your hearts, He will give you better than that which has been taken from you; and will protect you (8:70).

It should be noted that whenever the words “bond-men” or “bond-maids” occur in the Qur’an, they always refer to those who were already there in Arab society. They are spoken of in the past tense. Nowhere does the Qur’an say: “Make your enemies slaves and such are the rules concerning them.” When Muslims rose to power, they gradually emancipated whatever slaves there were in Arab society, and closed the door of slavery for the future.

Men belonging to the enemy camp would now and then seek refuge in the Muslim town. The Qur’an commanded the Muslims not to turn them back. They should be given an asylum and during their stay the Qur’anic teaching should be expounded to them. They were, however, free to accept or reject it. If they decided to return to their people, they should not only be permitted to do so but also an escort should be provided for them so that they could reach their town in safety:

And if any one of your opponents seeks your protection, then protect him so that he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to his place of safety (9:6).

It is certainly the duty of the Muslims to enlighten these men on the aim and objective of Islam: but the Qur’an expressly forbids the Muslims to coerce them to accept the Islamic faith.

  7. Is the Abolition of War Impossible?

Human history presents a chequered pattern of periods of peace alternating with periods of war. Will the same pattern be continued or is permanent peace attainable in the foreseeable future? We can answer these questions with the help of the Qur’an. The verse dealing with the prisoners of war goes on to say that, “war will go on until it lays down its burdens” (47:4). In other words, the motives that lead to war are not rooted in man. They arise in a certain type of social organisation and will disappear if the social order is radically changed. The society we have built up is a competitive and acquisitive society. If it is supplanted by the Qur’anic social order, which encourages creative activity and competition in social service, war will cease to be a factor in human affairs. There will be peace all over the world. The Qur’an seeks to weld the races of man into a single harmonious universal society. All national and group rivalries will, therefore, disappear. In such a social order,     individuals as well as groups would cease to compete with each other for the prize of power, the power that might enable them to exploit others. They would have learnt to desire something nobler which would unite them instead of dividing them. They would desire self-development through serving others and working for the common good – the progress of humanity. This social order would provide man with the things he needs most – security, freedom and opportunity for self-expression and self-development. There will be nothing in it to arouse envy, jealousy, greed or malevolence in the heart of man. There will be no clash of interests and, therefore, no conflict. Then, in the words of the Qur’an, ”War will lay down its burdens,” i.e., the function it has so far performed will not be needed in the new order.

As things are, however, it may sometimes be necessary to wage a war in the cause of justice. The Rasool is reported to have said, “The purpose of war is to force the oppressor to bow before that which is just” (Tirmidhi). Bukhari, the compiler of the traditions of the Rasool, reports that once a question was put to the latter, “One man goes to war for the sake of fame, another to prove his courage and yet another for personal revenge. Of these, whose motive can we approve of?” The Rasool replied, “He who fights that the law of Allah reign supreme, his war is for Allah.”

Man-made laws merely safeguard the interests of a particular group. Such laws will not be acceptable to other groups: but God is the Rabb of all mankind. His Laws protect the interests of each and all men. His laws, consequently, provide a secure foundation for the world peace. In Islam this foundation is called “Tauheed.” i.e., Oneness. Tauheed signifies One set of Laws of the One God for the One Creation – mankind. The social order which is based on this foundation is deen and is one for all humanity.

This truth is beginning to dawn on the minds of Western thinkers. If full realisation does not come to them, the fault will lie with the Muslims who received the Divine Law fourteen centuries ago and have not yet expounded it and interpreted it to mankind, The Muslims should bear in mind that the scientific outlook has sunk deep into the modern mind and the modern man speaks the language of science. The Qur’an says: “Mankind is one community” (2:213). It is far easier for modern man to understand this truth than it was for his forebears fourteen centuries ago. Man can come into his own only as a member of a universal brotherhood. The Qur’an sought to establish such a brotherhood, and did establish it within the domain in which Qur’anic laws prevailed. Its message is not for any group but for all humanity. Each of the Anbiya who preceded Muhammad (PBUH) appealed to a particular group. Muhammad (PBUH) alone was the bearer of a message for mankind as a whole:

O Mankind! I am the messenger of Allah to you all, the messenger of Him unto Whom belongeth the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. There is no Sovereign Authority save Him (7:158).

It is, therefore, the duty of all peace-loving inhabitants of this earth to rally to the Qur’an and march forward under its banner. The dream of perpetual peace will then become a fact:

O Mankind! There hath come unto you an exhortation from your Rabb, a balm for that which is in the breasts, a guidance and Rahmah for believers (10:57).

About this social order the Qur’an says:

He who enters it, is safe (3:96).

Men all over the world should address themselves to the task of building up this social order, in which rests the hope of humanity.


  1. William Ralph Dean Inge, The Fall of Idols, pp. 176-179; 177; 181.
  2. The Young India, p. 147, (quoted by Fatima Mansur in Process of  Independence, p.44).
  3. Harijan, dated 27 October 1946.
  4. N. Machiavelli. The Prince, p. 64,
  5.  Quoted by R.H. Murray, op., cit., p.212.

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