MUHAMMAD'S  ISLAMIC  RELIGION


ISLAM  AND  WAR….HISTORICAL  SETTING


PAGES  116, 117, 118  OF  THE  QURAN, fifth US edition 2009


SURAH 8


Ah-Anfal, "The spoils”, takes its name from the first verse by which it is proclaimed that property in war belongs “to Allah and His messenger" - that is to say, to me theocratic State, to be used for the common weal. The date of the revelation of this surah is established, from the nature of the contents, as me time that elapsed between the battle of Badr and the division of the spoils—a space of only one month— in the second year of the Hijrah The concluding verses are of later date and lead up to the subject of surah 9.


A Meccan caravan was returning from Syria, and its leader, Abu Sufyan, fearing an attach from Al-Madinah sent a camel-rider on to Mecca with a frantic appeal for help; which must have come too late, considering the distances, if as some writers even among Muslims have alleged, the Prophet had always intended to attack the caravan. Ibn Ishaq (apud Ibn Hisham) when treating of the Tabuk expedition, says that the Prophet announced the destination on that occasion, whereas it was his custom to hide his real objective. Was not the real objective hidden in this first campaign? It is a fact that he only advanced when the army sent to protect the caravan or rather (it is probable) to punish the Muslims for having plundered it, was approaching Al-Madinah. His tittle army of hundred and thirteen men, ill-aimed and roughly equipped, traversed the desert for three days till, when they halted near the water of Badr, they had news that the army of Qureysh was approaching on the other side of the valley. Then rain fell—heavily upon Qureysh so that they could not advance further on account of the muddy state of the ground, lightly on the Muslims, who were able to advance to the water and secure it. At the same time Abu Sufyan, the leader of the caravan, which was also heading for the water of Badr, was warned by one of his scouts of the advance of the Muslims and turned back to the coast-plain. Before the battle against what must have appeared to all men overwhelming odds, the Prophet gave the Ansar, the men of Ah-Madinah, whose oath of allegiance had not included fighting in the field, the chance of returning if they wished; but they were only hurt by the suggestion that they could possibly forsake him. On the other hand, several, of Qureysh, including the whole Zuhri clan, returned to Mecca when they heard the caravan was safe, having no grudge otherwise against the Prophet and his followers, whom they regarded as men who had been wronged.


Still the army of Qureysh outnumbered the Muslims by more than two to one, and was much better mounted and equipped, so that their leaders counted on an easy victory. When the Prophet saw them streaming down the sandhills, he cried: “O Allah! Here are Qureysh with all their chivalry and pomp, who oppose Thee and deny Thy messenger. O Allah! Thy help which Thou hast promised me! O Allah! make them bow this day!”


The Muslims were successful in the single combats with which Arab battles opened. But the melee at first went hard against them; and the Prophet stood and prayed under the shelter which they had put up to screen him from the sun, and cried: “O Allah! If this little company is destroyed; there will be none left in the land to worship thee" Then he fell into a trance and, when he spoke again, he told Abu Bakr, who was with him, that the promised help had come. Thereupon he went out to encourage his people. Taking up a handful of gravel, he ran towards Qureysh and flung it at him, saying: "The faces are confounded!" on which the tide of battle turned in favour of the Muslinis. The leader of Qureysh and several of their greatest men were killed, many were taken prisoner and their baggage and camels were captured by the Muslims. It was indeed a day to be remembered in the early history of Al-Islam, and there was great rejoicing in Al-Madinah. But the Muslims are warned in this surah that it is only the beginning of their struggle against heavy odds. In fact, in the following year at Mt. Uhud (referred to in Sur. 3), the enemy came against them with an army of three thousand, and in the fifth year of the Hijrah, an allied army of the pagan clans, amounting to 10,000 besieged Al-Madinah in the “War of the Trench" (see Sur. 33, "The Clans”).


The date of revelation is the second year of the Hijrah for the most part. Some good Arabic authorities hold that w. 30-40, or some of them, were revealed at Mecca just before the Hijrah.

………………..


WE  SEE  THAT  WARFARE  FOR  MUHAMMAD  AND  ISLAM  WAS  NOW  COMMON  IN  THEIR  THEOLOGICAL  FAITH  AND  LIFE.  THEY  WERE  A  PEOPLE  NOW  FORMING  INTO  A  NATION,  WITH  A  WAR  MACHINE  IF  NEEDED  TO  CONQUER  WHATEVER  THEY  THOUGHT  THEY  NEEDED  TO  CONQUER,  IN  THEIR  THEOLOGICAL  FAITH  TO  ALLAH.


SOME  WILL  ARGUE  THAT  “CHRISTIANITY”  ALSO  IN  ITS  HISTORY  HAD  STATE  AND  RELIGION  COMBINED.  HENCE  A  WAR  MACHINE  TO  LITERALLY  FIGHT  IN  THE  NAME  OF  “CHRIST”  IF  SO  NEEDED  TO  DO.


BUT  MY  CHALLENGE  TO  THOSE  WHO  SO  ARGUE,  IS,  FIND  ME  THE  CHAPTER  AND  VERSE/S  IN  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  -  THE  WORDS  OF  CHRIST,  THE  WRITINGS  OF  PAUL  AND  THE  OTHER  APOSTLES,  WHERE  CHRISTIANS  ARE  TOLD  THEY  CAN  COME  TOGETHER  AND  ARM  THEMSELVES  TO  MAKE  A  WAR  MACHINE  TO  LITERALLY  FIGHT  NATIONS  WHO  ARE  ENEMIES  TO  CHRISTIANITY.


YOU  WILL  NEVER  FIND  ANY  SUCH  TEACHING  OR  INSTRUCTIONS  TO  THAT  EFFECT  IN  THE  CHRISTIAN  NEW  TESTAMENT.


THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  CHURCH  OF  GOD  WAS  TO  BE  THE  LITTLE  FLOCK [GREEK  MEANS  VERY  LITTLE  FLOCK]  AND  THE  SALT  OF  THE  EARTH  -  SPRINKLED  HERE  AND  THERE.  IT  WAS  NEVER  TO  BE  SO  LARGE  AS  TO  GOVERN  OR  CONTROL  NATIONS.


THIS  IS  ONE  REASON,  SOME  KEY  TEACHINGS  THAT  ISLAM  CAN  WAGE  HOLY  WAR  -  WHY  AYAAN  HIRSI  ALI  IN  HER  BOOK  “HERETIC”  CLAIMS  ISLAM  NEEDS  A  REFORMATION  NOW!  SHE  WAS  BROUGHT  UP  AS  A  MUSLIM,  KNOWS  THE  INS  AND  OUTS  OF  THE  ISLAMIC  THEOLOGY…..SHE  SPEAKS  AS  ONE  FROM  THE  INSIDE,  WHOSE  BEEN  THERE.


Keith Hunt