SHAIKH MIR ASEDULLAH QUADRI
Al-Baqara | Sura # 2| 286 verses | Madinah
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate and the Merciful
Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 186وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ - [ And when My servants ask you about Me, indeed I am near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me. So let them respond to Me, and believe and trust in Me, so that they may be guided. ]Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says, 'Indeed I am near and I answer the prayers of My servants. Let them respond to Me and believe and trust in Me so that they are guided'. How can we comprehend/visualize Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) presence around us? How do we respond and get His guidance?It is in Hadith - Abdullah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : 'Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is not hidden from you'. (Bukhari)It is in Hadith - Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was asked "What is Ihsan?" He (the Prophet ﷺ) replied, 'Ihsan is to pray seeing Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ), and if you are unable to see Him (unable to focus our attention towards Him because of our too much attention on worldly things), know it well that He is seeing you.' (Bukhari, Muslim – part of the Hadith).It is in Quran - فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ [Whichever side you turn, you will find Allah. ] (Al-Baqara - 115)It is in Quran - وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ [Wherever you are, He is with you.] (Al-Hadid - 4).It is in Quran - وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ [And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.] (Qaf - 16)It is in Quran - وَفِي أَنفُسِكُمْ ۚ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ [ And Allah is in your own self, will you not then see. ] (Adh-Dhariyat - 21)How can we sway our attention away from worldly things and focus our attention on Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ)? For this purpose, we need to know about our own selves. Who we are and how did we come into existence? It is because, a person who knows about himself, without doubt he will know about Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).Before our creation, we were known to Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). He created us with His prior knowledge. We existed in His knowledge as per our facts/natures. He knew elephant as elephant and human being as human being. Our individual fact in Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) knowledge is known as 'probate archetype' (Ain-e-Thabita - عینِ ثابتہ). There is a schedule of creation in Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) knowledge and as per this schedule we all were born in a sequence. First the grand father, then father, then his son.How were we created?It is in Quran - إِنَّمَا قَوْلُنَا لِشَيْءٍ إِذَا أَرَدْنَاهُ أَن نَّقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ [A thing We want to create, We only say 'Be', and there it is (it comes into existence)] (An Nahl - 40).It is in Quran - هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ ۖ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ [He is Allah, who creates from nothing, gives form to everybody, and He has all graceful epithets (names)] (Al-Hashr - 24).What is the meaning of Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) command "Be"', and there it is' (كُن فَيَكُونُ)? When Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) wanted to bring us from internal existence to external existence, He looked at our fact which existed in His knowledge and reflected his Tajalli on it and gave the command 'Kun'. After the command, we were born.Where do we exist now after our creation? We are still in Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) knowledge. Earlier our existence was internal, in the shape of our individual facts. After our birth, we are still in His knowledge in the shape of external existence. Nothing comes out of Allah's Unity (ذاتِ الہي) in any format. Our internal and external existence are two facets of His knowledge.It is in Quran - وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُّحِيطًا [And Allah encompasses all the things.] (An-Nisa - 126)This is how Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) knows what is in our hearts, what we supplicate and He is the one who listens to our supplications and guides us to His path.There is one more important thing for us to know. We know that Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is the source of all existence in this Cosmos.It is in Quran - اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ [ Allah is the light (existence) of Heavens and Earth.] (An-Noor - 35)Independent existence belongs to Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and our existence is dependent upon Him.It is in Quran - قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ . اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ . لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ . وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ [ Say (O'Prophet ﷺ), Allah is one (and one all the way. His Being does not contain elements. He is not a compound). Allah is independent (everybody is dependent upon Him). He does not have children (He has not given birth to anyone). Nobody has given birth to Him. (Allah is there from the beginning and no one precedes Him). No one can match Him or can equal Him.] (Al-Ikhlas 1-4).Every creature is created as per the its individual nature which was known to Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) prior to its creation. All creatures portray their individual natures. Thus no shape, no form, no physical body and no creature can be attributed with divinity. Everything in this cosmos is a place of manifestation of Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) existence. Our dependent existence is a reflection of His Independent existence.
It is in Quran - شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ وَأُولُو الْعِلْمِ قَائِمًا بِالْقِسْطِ [There is no God but He; that is the witness of Allah, his Angels and those endued with knowledge standing firm on justice.] (Aal-i-Imran-18).It is in Quran - لَّا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ [ Eyes cannot encircle Him.] (Al-An'aam - 104).
It is in Quran - لَيۡسَ كَمِثۡلِهِۦ شَىۡءٌ۬ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡبَصِيرُ [ Nothing is like Him, and He is the Seer and Hearer (of all the things).] (Ash-Shura - 11).A person who considers the Unity of Allah (ذاتِ الہي) as the source of all manifestations in this Cosmos, meaning, he considers the real source to be the Unity of Allah (ذاتِ الہي) and gains Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) visualization in such a way that he considers himself also a place of manifestation of the Independent existence of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and sees the reflection of His existence on the facts of things/creatures; certainly he recognizes the Sustainer of the worlds (رب العالمين).The fact is, we are seeing Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and understanding the creatures - الْحَقُّ مَحْسُوسٌ وَاَلْخَلْقُ مَعْقُولٌ [Allah is sensed and creatures are understood].Individual existences of creatures with their specific natures are so complex that we are lost in them and are unable to visualize the real independent existence of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). In fact what we are seeing in the Cosmos is the existence of Allah (وجودِ الہي) in various manifestations in the shape of His creatures. All these manifestations carry their individual natures and are creatures. The source of all these manifestation is the real God.This is Islamic monotheism in its purest form and this is the correct Islamic faith.Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 187أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَائِكُمْ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَهُنَّ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنْتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنْفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنْكُمْ فَالْآَنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ وَلَا تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنْتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آَيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ - [ On the night of the fast it is lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives. They are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them. Allah knew that you used to betray yourselves, so He pardoned you and excused you. So now associate in intimacy with them and seek what Allah has ordained for you. Eat and drink until you discern the white streak of dawn against the blackness of night; then observe the Fast until night sets in. But do not have sexual intercourse with them while you are in retreat in the mosques. These are Allah’s limits, so do not go near them. This way does Allah make His Signs clear to people so that they may guard themselves. ]
Islam is a way of life. We are required to give equal attention to all aspects of life, be it physical or spiritual. In the above verse, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) explains us the etiquette of conjugal relationship between spouses, specific for in the month of Ramadhan.
It is in Hadith - The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, fast (during the day) as well as eat and drink (in the night). Stand in prayer, as well as, sleep. This is because your body has a right upon you, your eyes have a right upon you, your wife has a right upon you, and your guest has a right upon you.” (Bukhari)
Islam is middle way. We are taught to maintain a delicate balance between various obligations that demand our attention towards our physical and spiritual lives.Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says : 'they (the wives) are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them.' A garment is the clothing that covers the body. It protects skin skin and shields private private parts. In the same way, spouses are a cover and protection to each other.Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says, 'He knew that you used to betray yourselves, so He pardoned you and excused you.' This command shows that people were required to stay away from physical intimacy during the whole month of Ramadhan. However, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) eased this restriction on the Ummah of His beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says : 'But do not have sexual intercourse with them while you are in retreat in the mosques. These are Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) limits, so do not go near them.' A limit is a boundary and barrier that separates two areas. The boundaries for us are the prohibitions in Islam and we are not supposed to go near them.
It is in Hadith - Nu’man ibn Basheer (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said: I heard the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) saying : “Surely, the Halal (permissible) is clear and the Haram (impermissible) is clear and between the two are doubtful unclear matters that many of the people do not have knowledge of. So, whoever abstains from the doubtful matters has saved his Religion and his honor, and whoever falls into the doubtful matters falls into the Haram (impermissible); just as the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary is likely to indulge freely grazing therein. Truly, every king has a sanctuary, and Allah’s () sanctuary is His prohibitions. Verily in the body, there is a morsel of flesh that if it is correct then the whole of the body is set aright, and if it is corrupt, the whole of the body is corrupt. It is the heart. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Subhanallah, these are the meticulous teachings of Islam where no aspect of our lives has been left untouched.Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 188وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتُدْلُوا بِهَا إِلَى الْحُكَّامِ لِتَأْكُلُوا فَرِيقًا مِنْ أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالْإِثْمِ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ - [ And do not consume each other's wealth unjustly, nor offer it to men in authority with intent of seizing unlawfully and knowingly a part of the wealth of others. ]
Islamic laws allow us to eat and drink whatever permissible and whatever we own. We are not allowed to eat indiscriminately without regard to its lawfulness. We are allowed to eat what is lawfully ours and are prohibited to consume others wealth unlawfully. When the possessions of each person is respected and protected, the society functions properly. If you allow yourself to earn a living by cheating others, then you will not be able to stop others from doing the same to you. You may be able to cheat a few people and earn some extra money, but if everyone you deal with, cheats you, you will end up in ultimate loss. This is how a corrupt society makes everyone a loser.
It is in Quran - يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّهِ [ O'You who believe, eat the good things We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah.] (Al-Baqara - 172)It is equally important that we protect our children from using unlawful wealth. We cannot offer something to our children that is taken unlawfully from others. This will create a lot of problems for them in their lives in future. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) wants us to work and lawfully earn in order to fulfill our needs for food, drink, and shelter. An honest work culture is important in society. If work is valued, everyone strives to attain it. But if all efforts are only to make money by lawful and unlawful means, then corruption spreads throughout the society.There are some people among Muslims who make money unlawfully and spend some of it on charity and drumbeat this charity in society to claim leadership. This is not allowed in Islam. There is another destructive practice these days. The people who have grown richer by unlawful means, bribe the politicians in power in order to lobby for legislation that legitimizes unlawful dealings. In other words, there are those who spend money in order to get special treatment from the authorities and have them look the other way when unjust dealings are taking place. The result of this fraudulent transaction is that bribed rulers pass legislation allowing the rich to grab other people’s wealth and possessions unjustly.Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 189يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْأَهِلَّةِ قُلْ هِيَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَالْحَجِّ وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَنْ تَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ ظُهُورِهَا وَلَكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَى وَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ - [ They ask you about crescent moons. Say, ‘They show the times appointed for people, and for the pilgrimage.' Righteousness does not consist of entering houses from the back; the truly righteous is the one who is mindful of Allah. So enter your houses by their main doors and be mindful of Allah so that you may prosper. ]
Before the advent of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), people did not know about the workings of the celestial objects. In the above verse, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) answers to their question in accordance with their understanding capacity at that time.
Moon looks bright to us in our dark nights as it reflects sun’s light. Through all of its phases, half of the moon is always illuminated by the Sun. The phase of the moon refers to what shape the moon appears to us and how much of its lit surface is visible to the people on Earth. The moon orbits around earth roughly once per month.
Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) explains that the phases of moon are the tools for the measurement of time. By sighting the moon people can calculate the beginning, middle and the end of a month.
It is in Quran - هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَاءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُورًا وَقَدَّرَهُ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعْلَمُوا عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ ۚ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ ذَٰلِكَ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ۚ يُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ [ It is He who made the sun a shining radiance and the moon a light, determining phases for it so that you might know the number of years and how to calculate time. Allah did not create all these without a true purpose; He explains His signs to those who have knowledge.] (Younus - 5)
It is in Quran - إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللَّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ [ Allah decrees that there are twelve months ordained in Allah’s Book on the Day when He created the heavens and earth. Four months of which are sacred, this is the correct calculation. ] (At-Tawba - 36)
There is a lot of wisdom in using lunar calendar. If Islam had adopted a solar calendar, then for instance, Ramadhan would have occurred in the same season every year. In some parts of the world, Muslims would have had to fast in summer each year while in other parts they would had to fast in the winter each year. Usage of Lunar calendar is Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) mercy on people of all continents for their ease in living, praying and fasting.
Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is teaching us righteousness and morality in the above verse. He says, 'Righteousness does not consist of entering houses from the back; the truly righteous is the one who is mindful of Allah. So enter your houses by their main doors and be mindful of Allah so that you may prosper.' During Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) time, some tribes had made these rules. They used to enter houses from back door at certain times and from the front door at certain times. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) wanted to break these customs.
Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 190وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ - [ Fight in Allah’s cause against those who fight you, but do not overstep the limits. Allah does not love those who overstep the limits.]Three things have been addressed in this verse; (i) fighting in Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) cause, (ii) fighting only with those who fight against you, and (iii) not to overstep the limits in fighting.(i) Fighting in Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) causeAllah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is the creator of all human beings. It is not that He is the creator of only Muslims. He loves all His servants. What He does not like is someone who does not try to understand Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) signs in the Cosmos, denies His merciful bounties, stages a rebellion and creates oppression and tyranny on other human beings.Human history is a witnessed that how tyrant rulers have resorted to oppression, killing and tribulations in the world. This is the reason, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) sent Prophets in every nation to rid people off their ignorance, , provide them justice and free them from the clutches of tyrant rulers/tribal heads.The prophets fought back with these tyrants in order to provide justice to the people and re-establish order and peace. This is known as fighting in the cause of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).Human beings are chosen ones in Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) creation as they are complete within themselves, in the sense that both virtue and evil are inherent in them. However, they are required to strive to prevail virtue over the evil within themselves. This aspect has been described in the Quran.It is in Quran - وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا - فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا - قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا - وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا [And the 'self' (نفس) and the completeness given to it. Thus was given awareness of its evil and its virtue. He succeeded who purified it and he failed who corrupted it.] (Ash-Shams - 7-10)It is in Quran - وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِ وَنَهَى النَّفْسَ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ ، فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَىٰ [As for whoever exceeded the limits and preferred the life of this world, surely his abode will be the Hell Fire; and as for whoever feared to stand before his Lord and restrained the desires of his self, surely his abode will be Jannah." (An-Naaziaat - 39-40)Some people wrongly claim that Islam's early wars were fought to spread Islam in the world. They forget the fact that 'belief' is related to heart and no way it can be achieved by sword. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) wants faith to emanate from the heart, not through fear or compulsion. He wants to enlighten people's minds and hearts about Himself and His creation in this Cosmos, rather than bowed head in fear.When the truth is crystal clear, there is no reason to force people to choose. People naturally want what is good for themselves.
It is in Quran - لَعَلَّكَ بَاخِعٌ نَّفْسَكَ أَلَّا يَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ - إِن نَّشَأْ نُنَزِّلْ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ آيَةً فَظَلَّتْ أَعْنَاقُهُمْ لَهَا خَاضِعِينَ [Are you (O Apostle ﷺ) going to worry yourself to death because they will not believe? If We had wished, We could have sent them down a (fearful) sign from the sky, at which their necks would stay bowed in utter humility.] (Ash-Shu'araa - 3-4)It is in Quran - لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ ۖ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ ۚ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ [There is no compulsion in the Religion. The right way stands there clearly distinguished from the false. Hence he who rejects the tyrant powers of evil, and believes in Allah, has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it; and Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.] (Al-Baqara - 256)
We are required to invite people to Sahih Iman through reason and, more importantly, by being an example of what is good and upright. Only then would people accept Iman wholeheartedly and apply its teachings willingly. He who forces religion upon others, oppresses people into Islam is not acting on the commandments of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and His Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
In the first 13 years from the declaration of Prophet-hood, there was no commandment to fight with the oppressors. Even when a small community of Muslims was established in Madina, Muslims did not fight with the Pagans. The war was imposed on them by pagans and Muslims fought the first defensive war of Islam in Badar, Madina, in which Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) provided victory to Muslims.
When Makka was taken by Muslims, no one was forced to accept Islam. The entire population embraced Islam looking at the generosity of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) towards them in spite of the fact that they had tortured him and his followers for 13 long years.
In subsequent battles, wherever Muslims won, the local populations were not forced to accept Islam. They were allowed to profess their religion. As a matter of fact, protection was given to them from their enemies. Muslims are required to pay Zakat whereas non-Muslims are free from this obligation. In its place, a tax called Jizya was taken from non-Muslims to meet the expenses of providing them protection and a peaceful living in the country. Some people talk a lot about Jizya and portray this requirement in a bad light. They forget the fact that Muslims pay Zakat and non-Muslims pay Jizya. So where is the disparity? If the Government does not take taxes, how will it function?
(ii) Fighting only with those who fight against you
History of early Islam is witness that Muslims did not fight with anyone who wanted to live in peace with them. They took up arms only against those tyrants who were existential threat to Muslims and those who were the sworn enemies. Thus, the wars were essentially defensive in nature and the aim was to establish order and peaceful living in the world. If Muslims had done what Christians/Jews had done in Spain and other places, entire continents of Asia, Africa and half of Europe would have 100% Muslim population today.
(iii) Not to overstep the limits in fighting
The basic principle, stipulated in Quran, about fighting in a war is that other communities should be treated as your own. Fighting is justified for legitimate self-defense, to aid other Muslims or to help populations suffering under the oppression of tyrant rulers. Once the war is won and tyrants are subdued, it was commanded to treat them well, ignoring the harm they had done earlier.
It is in Quran - وَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ وَدَعْ أَذَاهُمْ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا [ Do not give in to the disbelievers and the hypocrites. Ignore the harm they cause you and put your trust in Allah. Allah suffices as a Guardian. ] (Al-Ahzaab - 48)
Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to give guidelines to army entrusted to fight in a conflict. Based on these instructions, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) is reported to have given the following rules to the Army.
Addressing the Army under the command of Usama bin Zaid (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) who were entrusted to fight in Syria in 632 AD, Abu Bakr (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said : "O people! I charge you the rules for your guidance. Listen carefully and remember them.
You shall not engage in treachery; you shall not act unfaithfully; you shall not engage in deception; you shall not indulge in mutilation; you shall kill neither a young child nor an old man nor a woman; you shall not fell palm trees or burn them, you shall not cut down (any) fruit-bearing tree; you shall not slaughter a sheep or a cow or a camel except for food. You may pass by people who may have devoted their lives to monastic services, leave them alone. Some people may bring you vessels in which are varieties of food; if you eat anything from (those dishes), mention the name of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) over them. Go ahead in Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) name." (Tabari, Volume 9, Pages 163-164)
The above principles were honored during the Crusades by Sultan Saladin and al-Kamil. After al-Kamil defeated the Franks during 5th crusade (1217-1221), Oliverus Scholasticus praised the Islamic laws of war. Commenting on how al-Kamil supplied the defeated Frankish army with food, Oliverus Scholasticus is reported to have said, "who could doubt that such goodness, friendship and charity come from God? Men whose parents, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, had died in agony at our hands, whose lands we took, whom we drove naked from their homes, revived us with their own food when we were dying of hunger and showered us with kindness even when we were in their power."
Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 191وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ وَأَخْرِجُوهُمْ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَخْرَجُوكُمْ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ وَلَا تُقَاتِلُوهُمْ عِنْدَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ حَتَّى يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِيهِ فَإِنْ قَاتَلُوكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوهُمْ كَذَلِكَ جَزَاءُ الْكَافِرِينَ - [ And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and persecution is worse than killing. And do not fight them at the Sacred House until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. ]
History of early Islam is witness that Muslims did not fight with anyone who wanted to live in peace with them. They took up arms only against those tyrants who were existential threat to Muslims and those who were the sworn enemies. Thus, the wars were essentially defensive in nature and the aim was to establish order and peace in the world. If Muslims had done what Christians/Jews did in Spain and other places, entire continents of Asia, Africa and half of Europe would have 100% Muslim population today.
This verse is about the Mushrikeen of Makka who persecuted Muslims, tortured and did not allow them to pray in the sanctified house (Ka'ba). Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says that persecution is worse than killing. It is a universal right to defend one’s home and fight with aggressors who want to expel you out of your home. A nation which cannot defends itself, will surely perish.
Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) commands Muslims to avoid fighting in and around sanctified Kaba. But if the Pagans start a fight there, then Muslims are free to repulse their attack.Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 192فَإِنِ انْتَهَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ - [ But if they stop, then God is most forgiving and merciful. ]
Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) does not want Muslims to overstep in anything in their lives, including during wars of self defense. He commands, 'do not fight with anyone who is not fighting with you', and 'who is not resorting to aggression and excesses upon you'. Even if someone has done evil in the past, and after he is subdued, Muslims are commanded to forgive them. For their act of kindness, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) promises a greater reward them in both the worlds.
It is in Quran - وَإِنْ عَاقَبْتُمْ فَعَاقِبُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبْتُم بِهِ ۖ وَلَئِن صَبَرْتُمْ لَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لِّلصَّابِرِينَ [ If you have to retaliate to an attack, make your response proportionate, but if you endure patiently, it is indeed better for the people who are patient.] (An-Nahl - 126)
It is in Quran - وَجَزَاءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِّثْلُهَا ۖ فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ [ Let harm be retaliated by an equal harm, though anyone who forgives and puts things right will have his reward from Allah. Allah does not like those who do wrong.] (Ash-Shura - 40)Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 193وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ لِلَّهِ فَإِنِ انْتَهَوْا فَلَا عُدْوَانَ إِلَّا عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ - [ Fight them until there is no more persecution, and worship is devoted to Allah. If they cease hostilities, there shall be no reprisal except against the wrongdoers. ]
Muslims were persecuted by Makkan Pagans for first 13 years in Makka. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), his family and followers were pushed to live in an open valley under harsh weather for over 3 years where they did not have food, shelter and water. Individual torture of Muslims was carried out by street goons for years. Muslims were physically harmed, humiliated and denied the basic necessities of life. The details can be read in authentic history books of Islam.
In this verse, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) commands Muslims to fight until there is no persecution left in the land. But again Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) reminded Muslims that once the persecutors are subdued, they should not resort to reprisal. Forgiveness is better for them as it carries better reward from Almighty.Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 194الشَّهْرُ الْحَرَامُ بِالشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ وَالْحُرُمَاتُ قِصَاصٌ فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُوا عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ - [ A sacred month for a sacred month : violation of sanctity calls for fair retribution. So if anyone commits aggression against you, assail him in the manner he assailed you, but be mindful of Allah, and know that He is with those who are mindful of Him. ]
The above verse is meant to discipline Muslims against any kind of desire for revenge. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) wants the believers to be wise, patient and careful in carrying out His teachings. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) wants the believers to resort to fighting only as a last option, and only after careful deliberation and reflection. Fighting should be a tool to defend values, not to seek gain, revenge or spread fear.
The above commandments are meant to resort to a defensive war, that too, against only those who attack you in sacred places where you are unarmed. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says, A sacred month for a sacred month: violation of sanctity calls for fair retribution. So if anyone commits aggression against you, attack him as he attacked you.'
The sacred months
Before the advent of Islam, there was extreme animosity and internal warfare among various tribes of Arabia. No person, tribe or Caravan was considered safe to travel fearing aggression, plunder, capture and killing. However, the Sacred House of of Kaba was held in honor by all Arab tribes unanimously. They all accepted three months of Hajj, namely, Dhul-Qaadah, Dhul-Hijjah, and Muharram and the month of Rajab dedicated for Umrah as absolutely sacred wherein any type of war or aggression was absolutely prohibited and treated as a sacrilege. In all, the turmoil that existed in the Arabian peninsula, it was only in these four sacred months that people could travel and move about in absolute safety and without fear and perform the pilgrimage of Hajj or Umrah at the Sacred House in Makkah. The other huge benefit was it was during these months that the trade caravans moved about their business, crossing the vast Arabian desert towards Syria in the north and Yemen in the south. This tradition was continued after the advent of Islam as well.
It is in Quran - يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِيهِ ۖ قُلْ قِتَالٌ فِيهِ كَبِيرٌ ۖ وَصَدٌّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَكُفْرٌ بِهِ وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَإِخْرَاجُ أَهْلِهِ مِنْهُ أَكْبَرُ عِندَ اللَّهِ ۚ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ [They ask you about the sacred month - about fighting therein. Say, "Fighting therein is great (sin), but averting (people) from the way of Allah and disbelief in Him and (preventing access to) al-Masjid al-Haram and the expulsion of its people therefrom are greater (evil) in the sight of Allah. And fitnah is greater than killing. ] (Al-Baqara - 217)Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 195وَأَنْفِقُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ وَأَحْسِنُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ - [ Spend in Allah’s cause : do not contribute to your destruction with your own hands, but do good, for Allah loves those who do good. ]Charity is one of the principles of Islam. Zakat is one of the pillars of Islam. If you have excess money after spending on your basic necessities in life in a given year, you are required to pay 2.5% of the money held by you to aid the poor in society. In addition, you are required to take care of your relatives, neighbors and general poor in society. In Islam, money is not allowed to be held in a few hands. The moment a person dies, his wealth is distributed among his heirs and in charity. This kind of distribution of wealth brings prosperity to society and helps in building a strong economy.Those who do not invest into building a strong economy are in fact throwing their future into ruin. The minute you stop investing for yourself and for your society, is the minute your competitor starts gaining ground to overtake you. This is the meaning of Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) command 'do not contribute to your destruction with your own hands.' When your enemy sees your complacency, he become daring over you. A prosperous society helps its people to be vigilant and fully prepared to repulse aggression from enemies. There are countless historical examples where mere act of military preparedness prevented a potential war. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is guiding Muslims how to build a vibrant nation, well protected from the enemies.Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 196وَأَتِمُّوا الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ فَإِنْ أُحْصِرْتُمْ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ وَلَا تَحْلِقُوا رُءُوسَكُمْ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ الْهَدْيُ مَحِلَّهُ فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مَرِيضًا أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِنْ رَأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِنْ صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُكٍ فَإِذَا أَمِنْتُمْ فَمَنْ تَمَتَّعَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ وَسَبْعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ تِلْكَ عَشَرَةٌ كَامِلَةٌ ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ أَهْلُهُ حَاضِرِي الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ - [ And complete the pilgrimage and the Umrah for the sake of Allah. If you are prevented from doing so, then whatever offering for sacrifice you can afford, and do not shave your heads until the offering has reached the place of sacrifice. If any of you is ill, or has an ailment of the scalp, he should compensate by fasting, or feeding the poor, or offering sacrifice. When you are in safety, anyone wishing to take a break between the Umrah and the Hajj one must make whatever offering he can afford. If he lacks the means, he should fast for three days during the Hajj, and seven days on his return, making ten days in all. This applies to those whose household is not near the Sacred Mosque. Always be mindful of Allah, and be aware that He is stern in punishment. ]There are 5 major principles of Islam, (i) Iman, (ii) Salah, (iii) Zakat, (iii) Fasting, and (v) Hajj. Hajj is an obligation only for those who can afford it. The above verse is related to Hajj.It is in Quran - وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا [ The Hajj Pilgrimage to the House is a duty owed to Allah by people who are able to undertake it. ] (Aal-e-Imran - 97).Certain aspects of Hajj are mentioned in the verse. Like if you are prevented from entering Makka al-Mukarrama, you can sacrifice the animal, shave your head and take out the Ahram. Similarly, if you fall ill or have a ailment of scalp, then compensate it by having fasts.Most of the rituals for Hajj and Umra in the sacred mosque are similar. However Umra can be done anytime of the year, while Hajj is only for specific days in the month of Dhul Hijja. In addition, your brief stay in Arafa and Mina are mandatory for Hajj. For Umra, you do not have to go to Mina and Arafat. During the day of Hajj, Hajj and Umra can be done separately with break, or together, simultaneously. The rules for all these options are slightly different from each other.Our Fiqh scholars (Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafii and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal - رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہم اجمعين) have done a great job in establishing Islamic rulings for for Muslims for all our needs in the world. What they did was, they gathered all related Quranic verses and Ahadith on a specific topic and in the light of all those, came to certain conclusions which are followed by all Muslims.Deviant sects like Salafis/Wahhabis and their like minded groups claim that every individual should read Quran and Hadith independently and act on them. How is it possible for individuals to understand these subjects and deduce rulings? Needless to say that deviant sects have spread ignorance among their followers in the name of religion.Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 197الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَعْلُومَاتٌ فَمَنْ فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ - [ The Hajj pilgrimage takes place during the well-known months. So whoever undertakes the duty of Hajj in them, there should be no indecency, mischief, or quarreling during the pilgrimage. Whatever good you do, Allah is well aware of it. Provide well for yourselves: the best provision is to be mindful of Allah. Always be mindful of Me, you who have understanding- ]
As Hajj requires long travel and stay in Makka, Mina, Arafat and Madina. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is commanding us to plan ahead for all our requirements. Travel for Hajj, performing the rituals and return journey tires a person as he is away from his home's comfort zone. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is commanding us to be patient during this journey, avoid any indecency, mischief or quarrel during Hajj.Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 198لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ تَبْتَغُوا فَضْلًا مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ فَإِذَا أَفَضْتُمْ مِنْ عَرَفَاتٍ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ عِنْدَ الْمَشْعَرِ الْحَرَامِ وَاذْكُرُوهُ كَمَا هَدَاكُمْ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الضَّالِّينَ - [ There is no blame on you for seeking bounty from your Lord. But when you depart from Arafa, remember Allah at the sacred landmark. And remember Him, as He has guided you, for indeed, you were before that among those astray. ]
Arafat is a valley about about 22 kilometers away from Masjid al-Haram in Makka al-Mukarrama. It is mandatory for Hajj pilgrims to seek Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) forgiveness and His bounties during their brief stay in Arafat.
Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 199ثُمَّ أَفِيضُوا مِنْ حَيْثُ أَفَاضَ النَّاسُ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ - [ Then stream out from where the people stream out, and plead to Allah for forgiveness; indeed Allah is All-forgiving, all-merciful. ]
After stay in Arafat during the day, the pilgrims head towards a place called Muzdhalifa which is 13 Kilometers away. These places get overcrowded during Hajj. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is commanding us to be patient and follow the stream of people from moving one place to another. And, all this time, we are required to seek Allah's (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) forgiveness and His bounties for our success in both the world.
Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 200فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمْ مَنَاسِكَكُمْ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ آَبَاءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آَتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآَخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَاقٍ - [ When you have completed your rites, remember Allah as much as you remember your own fathers, or even more. There are some who pray, ‘Our Lord, give us good in this world,’ and they will have no share in the Hereafter. ]
Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 201وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آَتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآَخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ - [ And there are others who say, ‘Our Lord, give us good in this world, and good in the Next World, and safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire. ]
Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 202أُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا وَاللَّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ - [ Those will have a share of what they have earned, and Allah is swift in account. ]
Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 203وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَعْدُودَاتٍ فَمَنْ تَعَجَّلَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ وَمَنْ تَأَخَّرَ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ لِمَنِ اتَّقَى وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ - [ Remember Allah on the appointed days. If anyone is in a hurry to leave after two days, there is no blame on him, nor is there any blame on anyone who stays on, so long as they are mindful of Allah. Be mindful of Allah, and remember that you will be gathered in front of Him. ]
The appointed days referred to in the verse are known as the 'Days of Tashreeq (أيام التشريق). These days are 11, 12, and 13th of Dhu al-Hijja. On the 9th day of Hajj, the pilgrims stay in Arafat. The night of 10th day, they spend in Muzdaalifa. The pilgrims depart on the 10th day morning and head towards Jamarat where the symbolic stoning of the devil takes place. After this point, people slaughter their animal sacrifice, remove their Ahram and head back to the Ka’ba to perform the circumambulation of Ifadha (طواف الإفاضة) which completes their Hajj.The phrase ‘If anyone is in a hurry to leave after two days’ suggests that the 'appointed days' are three (11, 12 & 13th). But Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has applied the same ruling for a two day and three day stays. Meaning those who are in hurry can leave 12th afternoon. Those who stay till thirteenth there is no blame on them either. Whether pilgrims stay two or three days, they will earn their reward in full.
Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 204وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يُعْجِبُكَ قَوْلُهُ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيُشْهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا فِي قَلْبِهِ وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ الْخِصَامِ - [ And from among the people are those whose words about worldly life please you, and he cites Allah as witness to what is in his heart. ]
Every human interaction has two sides, the apparent and hidden. Some people deceive others by their good appearance and hiding their evil motives. Those who practice it, are hypocrites. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is warning us about these people. He says : ‘And from among the people are those whose words about worldly life please you, and he cites Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) as witness to what is in his heart.‘ They pretend to be good but conceal evil in their hearts.Juz 2, Al-Baqara, Verse 205وَإِذَا تَوَلَّى سَعَى فِي الْأَرْضِ لِيُفْسِدَ فِيهَا وَيُهْلِكَ الْحَرْثَ وَالنَّسْلَ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَسَادَ- [ Yet he is the fiercest of opponents. And when he turns his back, he strives about the earth to foment disorder and corruption; destroying crops and future generations. Allah does not like corruption. ]
This verse is continuation of the earlier verse about hypocrites. From inside, the hypocrites are the fiercest enemies. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says : And when he (the hypocrite) turns his back, he strives about the earth to foment disorder and corruption; destroying crops and future generations.' On the face, the hypocrites say something which looks pleasing on the face, but as soon as they turns away, they show the reality which was hidden in his heart.
It is in Quran - وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ - أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْمُفْسِدُونَ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَشْعُرُونَ [ When it is said to them (the hypocrites), ‘Do not cause corruption in the land,’ they say, ‘We are only putting things right,’ No indeed! They are the trouble makers, but they are not aware of it. (Al-Baqara -11-12)