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The Early Islamic Conquests: A moral and religious persepective

Updated on August 3, 2015
Early Islamic military campaigns experienced amazing success including defeat of the two world super-powers of the day: The Roman Byzantine and Persian-Sassanid
Early Islamic military campaigns experienced amazing success including defeat of the two world super-powers of the day: The Roman Byzantine and Persian-Sassanid

Introduction

I was motivated to research and write this Hub after coming across comments that some Muslims felt difficulty in defending certain military conflicts in the early history of Islam. Also, a brother from Pakistan—a country that suffers deeply from religious violence—expressed the desire to better understand the nature of these military conflicts and to reconcile them with religious teachings especially as these occurred during the time of the holy Rashideen Caliphate (the rightly-guided successors of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh)).

I will not be covering the conflicts during the time of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which are generally understood as defensive. I will, however, cover the incident of the punishment of death for the Jewish tribe of Banu Quraizah after the ‘Battle of The Ditch’ when their treason was revealed. For the purpose of remaining focused I will also not cover the ‘Ridda’ or ‘Apostasy’ wars that occurred shortly after the death of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)—these were largely a typical tribal reaction to pledges and agreements that were considered null and void by tribal leaders as they rebelled in an attempt to arrest the development of Islam by capitalizing on the death of its highly successful founder, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Hence, several tribal leaders such as the famous Musailma Kazaab rose against Medina and were decisively put down despite the Muslim army spread thin up to the Syrian border to draw a front against the imminent confrontation with the Roman-Byzantine Empire. My focus, largely, will be on the highly successful invasions and subsequent expansion by the early Muslims in the two neighboring and warring super-powers of the time: The Persian Sassanids and the Roman Byzantine.

But first, allow me to touch upon why this is important. Opponents of Islam today use these conflicts as a polemic. They attempt to equate modern terrorism with these early Islamic campaigns. The terror groups themselves leverage these events to draw credit and argument for themselves. Muslims too feel they need to reconcile these with religious teachings. Perhaps most important of all in the understanding of the nature of these conflicts and their wider context is that many Muslims believe, per literal interpretations of symbolism used in Islamic eschatology, that there will be a heavenly resurgence of such glorious victories in the latter-days under the leadership of The Messiah or The Mahdi ushering in the final victory of Islam. This notion is wrongly equated with a Jihad-of-the-sword. Hardline clerics exploit such misconceptions and inculcate a mentality of animosity and confrontation. This at times results in terrible acts of violence and unrest.

This controversial video below called ‘The Third Jihad’ assembled by personalities perceived as anti-Islam is a good case in point. The video is about the threat to western liberties. Interestingly, it is authored by a Muslim in the United States known as Dr. Zudi Jasser who is obviously concerned over these brewing notions of Jihad and appears to believe that a ‘Third’ Jihad is in the planning. His statements reveal a conflict. On the one had he claims to be a devout Muslim and follower of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). On the other, he equates a threat to western liberties, whether militant or cultural, with the military campaigns that occurred during or shortly after the life of Muhammad (pbuh). This is an unacceptable contradiction. I would highly recommend those interested in this subject to watch this one hour video because it reflects the nature of the conflict that Muslims themselves feel with the history of these wars.

The Documentary "The Third Jihad" reflects westerns fears and interpretations of Islamic ambitions

This charter, issued by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), was requested as protection of freedom of religion by Christians St. Catherine's Monastery at Mt. Sinai. It bears the hand-print of  the Prophet (pbuh)
This charter, issued by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), was requested as protection of freedom of religion by Christians St. Catherine's Monastery at Mt. Sinai. It bears the hand-print of the Prophet (pbuh)

The legacy of the Islamic Organization with Migration to Medina

After 13 years of intense persecution of Muslims in Mecca, it had become apparent that migration must be considered to escape the society that was bent on destroying them. When Muhammad (pbuh) received an invitation from the delegates of the city of Medina, it was not for him to come there and to begin a military operation to reign in the feuding tribes of Medina. He had no such experience at the time. He was chosen for the task of an arbitrator. It was thought that as a follower of monotheism and a believer in the Biblical prophets he would resonate with the Jewish tribes. And, as an Arab he may resonate with the polytheist tribes. He had the profile to bring them to the negotiating table and succeed. They were not wrong. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had immediately set to the task of establishing agreements, treaties and rights among the tribes. There was a tireless effort so that peace could be established in and around the city of Medina and the Muslims come through on the task that was entrusted to them. Meccans were furious. After relentless efforts attempting to stamp out the Islamic movement, in a short time it had not only found a new home in Median but a position of leadership and government. In a burst of fury, they took to looting the homes and properties of Muslims some of which were abandoned and some remained with relatives. The loot would be taken to Damascus to be sold off but the Muslims from Medina would rightfully intercept such trade expeditions to reclaim their property where possible. Mecca then raised an army to destroy the Muslims with battles in the offing.

The Constitution of Medina, drafted by Prophet Muhammad for organizing peace and agreement between the feuding Medina tribes, is the first reported document to guarantee freedom of conscience and religion. The 'Charter of Privileges' issued per request of St. Catherine's Monastery at Mt. Sinai guaranteeing their freedom of religion is further proof of this. He emphasized deeply on social and racial equality. According to historian Bernard Lewis, "Historians generally agree that Islamic social reforms in areas such as social welfare, family structure, slavery and the rights of women and children improved on the status quo of Arab society". Lewis also writes that one of the reasons of the amazing and rapid success of early Islam was its rejection of traditional privileges and hierarchies and an emphasis on talent and merit. (source: Islamic Revolution by B. Lewis)

The death-punishment for treason makes for sensational images and reactions. However, the treason was during a military campaign to destroy Islam and the punishment may have been issued by prominent Jewish convert Saad bin Maadah per Jewish law
The death-punishment for treason makes for sensational images and reactions. However, the treason was during a military campaign to destroy Islam and the punishment may have been issued by prominent Jewish convert Saad bin Maadah per Jewish law

The Treason and Punishment of the Jewish tribe of Banu Quraizah

I chose to cover this incident because of its intense nature and because it comes up a lot during discussions of early Islam. The Banu Quraizah were a Jewish tribe under pact with the Muhammad (pbuh) that they will not oppose them during an armed conflict. However, historical reports agree that they engaged in negotiations with The Confederate Army that had assembled against the Muslims in what is known as “The Battle of The Ditch”. The negotiations are reported to have failed. The attacking army was expected to be so large and so serious about destroying the Islamic movement, that it was decided a ditch be dug all around Medina in order for a chance to survive the onslaught. It worked. After a siege lasting days ending in a stalemate the Confederates retreated and the Muslims emerged victorious in defense.

Immediately, the Banu Quraizah were pursued on account of their treason and after a successful siege that lasted many days, reportedly a punishment of execution was passed against the tribe. A couple of versions of history exist on how this may have happened. Depending on whose version one reads (Jewish or Muslim), accounts differ on the indiscriminate nature and method of the punishment. According to accounts narrated by Muslims Banu Quraizah had submitted to judgment by Saad bin Ma’adah, a prominent Jewish convert to Islam, who issued the decree of death consistent with Jewish law in The Torah (Deuteronomy 20:15). The Holy Quran makes a summary statement of the event in 33:26 stating that "some were killed while others taken prisoner"—so the punishment was not indiscriminate and spared those not deemed as having participated directly in the treason. As Muslims, we are bound to accept this statement of The Holy Quran.

However, for one to judge the severity of the punishment we must take account of the circumstances and sensitivities at the time. The Battle of the Ditch was the third fought between the Muslims and their enemies. The first was a humiliating defeat for the non-Muslims. The second had nearly ended in victory for the Muslims but a premature claim of victory and a rush for the spoils-of-war permitted a flank attack resulting in a strategic retreat. The Meccans then set about to call on every sympathetic party to raise The Confederate Army-- it would not have been hard to sell the notion that given all that had happened up to that point, the Islamic movement was emerging as a powerful threat to authority in the region. And, if it is not put down and destroyed now, it may be too late. The Muslims had to prepare fervently for battle as well reaffirming and confirming every pact and agreement they had on their side. Given the attempt to destroy the Islamic movement, sensitivities would be at their greatest. All this goes to reveal the severity of the situation. Under such circumstances treason is the last thing one hopes to have to deal with, and if it did happen then the strongest possible punishment against it cannot be argued with.

The seal of Khalid bin Walid who defaulted to commander in Battle of Mutah as his seniors were all killed. He later led the successful military expeditions that brought down the Persian and Roman Empires
The seal of Khalid bin Walid who defaulted to commander in Battle of Mutah as his seniors were all killed. He later led the successful military expeditions that brought down the Persian and Roman Empires

Khalid bin Walid and The Battle of Mutah (First Blood Drawn by The Romans)

The reason I want to cover this battle is to highlight the fact that there was an early face-off between the Muslims and the Roman Byzantine empire-- later to be successfully invaded and routed by Muslim armies. According to Muslim historians, an emissary had been sent to the Roman empire to deliver the invitation to the religion of Islam. The emissary was murdered by The Ghassanid dynasty which was part of the Roman Empire at the time. As a response to this act, a Muslim army of 3,000 was despatched. The Ghassanids managed to assemble a reported 200,000. Hence ensued the Battle of Mutah which raged for days and is known for a lot of tactical maneuvering. This is the battle that brought the famous Khalid bin Walid to the forefront of battlefield command as three others in the chain of command before him lost their lives. The battle ended in a tactical retreat by the Muslims. Khalid bin Walid reported that the fighting was so fierce that he went through nine swords. Having faced off and survived an army nearly ten times their size, Muhammad (pbuh) awarded Khalid bin Walid the title of “Saifullah” (The Sword of Allah). Khalid bin Walid would later go on to become one of the greatest military commanders the world had ever seen, especially for his tactical battlefield brilliance. He is reported to have won over a hundred battles including the successful military conquest leading to the fall of the Roman and Persian Empires. This event is the first reported military engagement between the Muslims and Romans, and indicates that first blood was drawn by The Romans.

The Real Islamic Caliphate

The Caliphate of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab

The Caliphate of Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) is a very important event in the study of this subject. Whereas the successful military expeditions into the Persian and Roman empires occurred during the Caliphate of Abu Bakar (may Allah be pleased with him), historians have cast Caliph Omar as the ‘founder of the Islamic Empire’. Umar’s reign as Caliph not only saw further conquest but consolidation and widespread political activity that lead to the greatest expansion of the empire and a footprint which with the exception of Spain survives to this day after 1,400 years. Caliph Umar is known as a political genius more than a military one. In fact, given Caliph Umar’s faith in divine decree, he retired Khalid bin Walid as field commander and then later retired him from active military duty for the sake of proving that the Islamic Empire was not built on the principle of military conquest. This in itself is a great testimony that Islam did not spread nor holds the doctrine of spreading the religion on the basis of a Jihad of aggression. Omar remained faithful to Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) principles of religious freedom and after conquering Jerusalem, he ended a ban on Jews from entering the city. Below is the text of Caliph Umar's announcement upon the conquest of Jerusalem:

In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, most Beneficent. This is a covenant of peace granted by the slave of Allah, the commander of the faithful 'Umar to the people of Jerusalem. They are granted protection for their lives, their property, their churches, and their Crosses, in whatever condition they are. All of them are granted the same protection. No one will dwell in their churches, nor will they be destroyed and nothing will be reduced of their belongings. Nothing shall be taken from their Crosses or their property. There will be no compulsion on them regarding their religion, nor will any one of them be troubled.

History speaks of remarkable efforts and advances in political and civil administration under the rule of Caliph Umar. There was a particular emphasis on formulating the correct public policy for areas and regions under the empire. Not only was policy formulation a key priority but its effectiveness and results were keenly observed and anticipated. There was also strong emphasis on the welfare of the poor and afflicted. Caliph Umar is known to personally review the results of policies by canvassing the towns and cities under his rule and speaking often with ordinary citizens about the effects of public policy.

Under his leadership the Islamic legacy grew remarkably and formed itself as not just great campaigns in the battlefield but as developers of civilization with achievements in government, meritocracy, urban development, public policy, science, arts, culture etc.

It is believed that this framework was key in laying the foundation of the Abbasid Caliphate which saw the greatest advancement in scientific knowledge and application since The Greek Civilization.

This map from the early Islamic era shows the two super-powers of Byzantium-Rome and Persia bordering with Arabia. As the Islamic movement gained unity and power, a conflict would have been thought to be inevitable.
This map from the early Islamic era shows the two super-powers of Byzantium-Rome and Persia bordering with Arabia. As the Islamic movement gained unity and power, a conflict would have been thought to be inevitable.

The Sassanid-Persian and Roman-Byzantine Wars

Shortly after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Arabian tribal chieftains made a last ditch effort to rise against the Islamic movement to capitalize on the death of its founder. Some battles were fought and the rebels were decisively put down. Arabia was now truly consolidated under the Islamic State espousing principles of equality, peace, justice, human rights, fair trade among others. These values for the early Muslims would provide immense strength and foundation for the expansion of the empire. Since the Islamic movement had now truly emerged as a unified power to be reckoned with, they would have the attention of the Romans and Persians. And, given the emissary murder episode and the Battle of Muta as given above in the Hub, a conflict with these powers was inevitable. Skirmishes between units of the armies of the Muslims and these super-powers had already occurred making a larger conflict inevitable.

The Roman and Persian empires had been at war for a protracted period of time. The seemingly endless war had taken a terrible toll on the populations starved of resources and burdened by a heavy war tax that had grown over the years. This condition is one of the reasons that historians cite as factor in the speedy conquests of the Islamic military advance that began with the Persians under the first Caliphate of Abu Bakar. The Muslims were tenacious to the rules and principles laid out by the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which accorded autonomy and rights to locals as well as espousing principles of higher education and establishing services for communities. Following are the instructions that the First Caliph Abu Bakar (may Allah be pleased with him) gave to his armies . . .

"When you leave a place do not cause them difficulty in marching. Do not punish your men harshly. Consult them on every matter. Do not abandon justice and stay far from injustice and tyranny because no tyrant nation has ever obtained success. Do not slay any small child, old people, women or pre-adolescent. Do not approach the harvests of the trees. Crops should not be burnt nor fruit trees cut. Do not slaughter any animal which is impermissible. Do not break any agreement which you make with the enemy, and after peace, do not tear up your treaties. Remember that you will also meet such people who have undertaken monasticism in their monasteries, thinking this to be for the sake of Allah. Do not interfere with them and do not destroy their monasteries and do not kill them".

It must be pointed out that these conquests should not be held with the holy injunction of Jihad as prescribed in The Holy Quran verses 22:39-40. These verses permit Muslims to take up a Jihad in the battlefield when they were unduly wronged and persecuted. This does not go to say that these events did not have a heavenly decree. In fact, the next section discusses a prophecy of The Holy Bible that very much indicates that, despite the benefit of bringing down two warring powers with exhausted populations, there was even a heavenly decree to these conquests.

Mirza Bashirudin Mehmud (Allah be pleased with him), the 2nd Caliph of The Islam-Ahmadiyya Movement interpreted "the stone" as the early Islamic conquests in King Nebuchadnezzar's famous dream of the Statue from the The Book of Daniel in the Torah
Mirza Bashirudin Mehmud (Allah be pleased with him), the 2nd Caliph of The Islam-Ahmadiyya Movement interpreted "the stone" as the early Islamic conquests in King Nebuchadnezzar's famous dream of the Statue from the The Book of Daniel in the Torah

Holy Bible Prophecy

The passage below is reproduced from "An Introduction to the Study of The Holy Quran" by Mirza Bashirudin Mehmud (may Allah be pleased with him) who was the second Caliph of the The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. The passage is also available from his booklet known as "Muhammad in The Bible".

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According to the book of Daniel, chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had a dream, which he forgot soon after. Then he called upon the wise men of his time to tell him both the dream and its meaning. None of them, however, was able to do so. Daniel prayed to God and had the dream and its meaning revealed to him.

The dream was as follows:—

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth (Daniel 2:3135).

The interpretation which Daniel gave of the dream was the following:

Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain, without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure (Daniel 2:37-45).

His feet (i.e., the image’s) part of iron and part of clay (2:33). The description points to the fact that the Roman Empire would cover parts of Europe as well as Asia. Iron legs denote the European part of the Roman Empire and point to the strength of a single nationality and a single faith. But the feet, says the dream, were partly of iron, partly of clay. This meant that the European power was to subjugate parts of Asia and thus become an imperial power. Imperial powers command large territories and vast resources, but they also suffer from the inherent weakness which comes from lack of cohesion among their peoples. The dream evidently means that in latter years the Roman Empire would begin to decline because of this lack of cohesion. The dream, however, proceeds to say more important things:

Here we have a prediction of the rise of Islam. Early Islam clashed first with Rome and then with Iran. When they clashed with Rome, Rome had conquered the Alexandrian Empire of Greece and had become more powerful than ever; and when they clashed with Iran, Iran had extended its power over Babylon. When their clashes resulted in the destruction of both Rome and Iran, then did the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, break to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors. The order of events in the dream and their interpretation by Daniel leave no doubt as to their meaning.

Everybody knows that Babylon was succeeded by Persia and Midia and the power of Persia and Midia was broken by Alexander and the Empire of Alexander was replaced by that of Rome which from its Eastern seat of authority at Constantinople laid the foundation of a mighty Europo-Asiatic Empire. This Asiatic Roman Empire was defeated and destroyed by the Holy Prophet and his Companions. Once receiving a report that the Roman armies intended to attack the Muslims, he led an expedition in person to the Syrian border. But no regular fighting then took place. Irregular skirmishes and raids, however, continued till regular fighting was resumed in the time of Abu Bakr which resulted in the total discomfiture and annihilation of the Roman Empire in the time of Umar, the Second Khalifa, when the Persian Empire also suffered defeat at the hands of Muslim armies. The Roman Empire also suffered defeat at the hands of Muslim armies. Thus both these once mighty empires shrank into diminutive and distant States.

And from Matthew, chapter 21, it appears that the Promised One— the stone of the prophecy—is not Jesus, but another coming after Jesus, and in 21:44 we have a fine description of the stone: And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Similarly in Psalms 118:22 we have: The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. To this there is reference also in Matthew (21:42): Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. As we have shown above, Jesus himself denies all claim to this prophecy, which applies to one coming after the son is slain. Christians today fondly apply the prophecy to their Church. But this attempt will not avail. According to Daniel, the thighs of the image were made of brass, the legs (i.e., the Roman Empire) of iron and the feet of iron and clay; the stone smote the image upon his feet. Early Islam, that is to say, was to clash with the borders of the Asiatic part of the Roman Empire and smash it to pieces. The Roman Empire was the temporal expression of the Christian Church. The stone of the prophecy, therefore, was to clash with the Church. The stone could not be the Church, for the Church could not clash with the Church. Nor could it be Jesus. For Jesus came long before the Eastern Roman Empire. Whoever destroyed the might of the Roman Empire, fulfilled this prophecy. The prophecy, therefore, applies to the Holy Prophet of Islam and his followers, and to no one else. The stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth (Daniel 2:35).

This is exactly what happened. The Holy Prophet and his band of devotees defeated the Kaiser and the Chosroes, and Muslims became rulers over the whole of the then known world. The stone did become a great mountain; for a thousand years the direction of world affairs remained in the hands of Muslims.

An Image of the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar which Prophet Daniel interpreted as various empires following King Nebuchadnezzar's. And the stone that smashed them.
An Image of the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar which Prophet Daniel interpreted as various empires following King Nebuchadnezzar's. And the stone that smashed them.

An Account of the Islamic Legacy as narrated by contemporary documentarian

Part 2

Reconciling to the True Legacy

In my opinion, the way to view the early Islamic military campaigns is to put them in perspective of the overall legacy of history. Opponents of Islam will draw attention to these events as the principal modus operandi to spread Islam. The have 'headline' and 'attention' value and are sensational in nature, but do not stand to the test of thorough study. The Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) principles of freedom of religion and conscience as dictated by The Holy Quran were always indispensable to those Muslims who truly followed his guidance.

The Muslims were always impassioned proselytizers of their religion given their sense of conviction. There are plenty of examples in the history of Islam where vast swaths of population converted without any military campaigns at all. Interestingly, the most populous Muslim country today, Indonesia with an estimated 200 million people, was won over entirely by exposure through traders and delegates who were also active proselytizers. Malaysia, which is now majority Muslim, also has the same story. China has an estimated 20 million Muslims where no Muslim conquest has ever taken place. The Mongolian Empire in history must be commended for their policy of religious freedom. In a unique turn in history, sometime after the Mongolian conquest of Iran in 1219 AD, as the Mongolians were exposed to Islam, three of the four major Khanates (states of the Mongolian Empire) had converted to Islam. In the Indian Subcontinent, although the Moghul rulers came there in conquest, the Great Moghul Emperor Akbar kept non-Muslim wives including one from the Hindu religion as a symbol of his commitment to freedom of religion. Today, some 500 million + Muslims live in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh whose forefathers were converts; nobody put a sword to their throat. In fact, unlike events like the Spanish Inquisition where people were forced to convert to Christianity and accept the doctrine of The Trinity or be put to death, no such event of compulsion on the basis of religion can be found in the early history of Islam. I will cover the contemporary problems related to terrorism in a later Hub.

Finally, there are two video clips in this section of 10 minutes each from a documentary called “When The Moors Ruled Spain”. In it, British historian Bethany Hughes narrates the Islamic legacy of Cordoba in Spain is marked by world-authority, splendor in scientific progress, urban development, architecture and culture that was the envy of the world at the time. Bethany states that one of the key attributes of Islam was that it was a religion dedicated to the pursuit of learning and development. As Bethany Hughes explores the aesthetic enchantment and the mathematical ingenuity of the Alhambra palace in Spain with Professor Antonio Fernandez-Puertas, she articulates as follows . . .

"The Alhambra is so enchanting it’s all too easy to view it as a fairy tale palace isolated from history, but that is romantic nonsense! This palace was the product of a very real very gritty history. The Alhambra was built by a religious empire that at the pinnacle of its power dominated land from China to Africa, an empire which had the wealth and intellect to build such masterpieces, an empire whose history goes back to the deserts of 7th century Arabia.

The Alhambra was the creation of the richest, most intellectually powerful civilization in the world. The roots of this civilization lie not in Spain but in the deserts of Arabia. At the beginning of the 7th century in Saudi Arabia something happened that would change the religious makeup of the world forever. A merchant called Muhammad asserted that he had been visited by the Archangel Gabriel who had revealed to him the true words of God. These revelations, which came to Muhammad throughout his life, came to be known as The Quran, and the religion was Islam."

Islam spread by a variety of means
Islam spread by a variety of means

Disclaimer: The contents of this hub do not represent The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam or The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The official website of The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam or The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is www.alislam.org

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    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 7 weeks ago from Houston, TX USA

      Nancy, will you take the Peace Testimony?

      "I renounce war and fighting for any reason or under any pretense whatsoever."

      Do you believe one person should not harm another?

      Do you believe we are all of One Race, The Human Race?

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Through all the "Holy Books" I have read, I come back to my own experiences which were shared by others. I know my experiences are true, it is the foundation of all faith. A book is just a book. There are many books, which one is Holy? I resonate with the teachings of Jesus. The best source for Jesus is Matthew, Mark and Luke. I renounce any teaching contrary to Jesus. I believe Mohammad (pbuh) recognized this and wanted to turn Christianity back to a pure form (Jesus). It is too bad he set such a bad example with his conquests. I will not make the same mistake (again).

    • amer786 profile image
      Author

      amer786 2 years ago from Los Angeles

      Yes, I think its possible robust telepathic experiences exist. But I am not sure how that surpasses a particular Holy Book or dispensation.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Hello again, you wrote, "If there is any other inspiration that surpasses this then let it prove itself as such."

      Yes, we must have proof. I offer my own verified telepathic experiences as proof of a spirit, see Hub, "My Telepathic Experiences."

      There are also about 14,000 readings on file at the Association of Research and enlightenment (ARE), Edgar Cayce Foundation.

      You might also read a biography of Edgar Cayce. In some cases Cayce got information from beyond any known source and it was correct.

    • amer786 profile image
      Author

      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      I will read your Hubs but please be patient, really tied down these days.

      I have already answered that misinterpretations of verses to justify violence does not impact my thinking. All the violence in the name of Christianity that I gave above, I have never asked any Christian to defend it because I don't believe the people who carried out such violence were Christians.

      Though it is pretty much impossible to summarize why I chose Islam I will that one of its great qualities is the universalism (a belief in all prophets and heavenly books), consolidation of religious teaching, rationality, as well as explanations and philosophies that make sense to me. Nothing I have come across can surpass it.

      Yes I think we can have inspiration now, but I believe it can only happen with in the confines of the Heavenly Law that now serves as the final Seal of Heavenly books. Why do I think that? Because the Quran itself says so. Remember, in Deuteronomy 18:18 God says that He will put his own words into the mouth of this Prophet to come from the Ishmaelites. No text other than Quran can make this claim. And it is by those words that I go and make my allegiance to.

      If there is any other inspiration that surpasses this then let it prove itself as such.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Thank you for your response and for staying with me so long. Perhaps I was not clear. Let me try again.

      First, did you read the Hub, "The twelve suggestions?"

      Second, please give me your ideas on the Hub, "My Telepathic Experiences." The purpose of this is to find out whether you can accept that telepathy exists.

      Third, I have read the Qu'ran and based on all my reading and experience I find it poorly written and subject to interpretation. That is not to say it did not come from a heavenly vision, I am saying it can be too easily interpreted by groups and used to justify violence. Otherwise, why is violence in the name of Islam being done?

      Fourth, please do not be mad at me. I am Not targeting Islam and violence. I know very well of violence in Christianity as well as in Hinduism. Violence in religion seems to be universal and I renounce all of it. Try reading the Hub, "Cartoons to make you think." Perhaps that Hub will clear things up.

      Fifth, I am asking you to canvass all experiences and books BEFORE declaring an alliance to any book. Saying this book is Holy or that book is Holy is circular reasoning: it is because it is. Why did you choose Islam? Why not some other method of thought? Who is to say we could not have an inspiration now?

    • amer786 profile image
      Author

      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      A book dispensed by God Almighty is not for man to tamper with nor attempt to improve upon-- not only would that be foolish but most dangerous. I believe it we who need to commit to the understanding and following of heavenly law.

      I don't believe it is the book that leads to the violence, rather it is abandoning the book that has caused this sorry state of affairs (see Quran verse 25:30).

      Take the history of Christianity (the followers of The New Testament) for example:

      What about all the violence after the Council of Nicea as the non-cannonized Gospels were violently suppressed. Constantine I himself announced that anyone caught with one of these non-approved Gospels will be put to death.

      What about when the Crusaders who captured Jerusalem in 1095 AD and slaughtered most of its defenseless inhabitants including women and children. In stark contrast to that when the Muslim armies re-captured Jerusalem 88 years later they offered safe passage to all Christians and took no revenge. So what happened there if the books are the real cause of such acts?

      The Spanish Inquisition was a murderous rampage by the Church against anyone who dared to question Christian doctrines. Many were put to death in this campaign. What passages of the New Testament were motivating them?

      What about the Christian Phalangists who murdered 3,500 civilians in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila in 1982? Which verses of The New Testament were they following?

      So, I'm my opinion, such things happen when people abandon the holy books and start following their own notions or those concocted by clerics who themselves lust after power and earthly passions. Like Shakespeare wrote so eloquently, "And thus I clothe my naked villainy, with old odd ends stolen forth from holy writ, and seem a saint while most I play the devil".

      Again, I would suggest that you read The Holy Quran cover to cover with patience and supplication. If you are in Houston then you can visit The Ahmadiyya Mosque and Center at 1333 Spears Road and they would be happy to gift you a copy. Their phone is 281-875-3400.

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      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Thank you for the information and your opinion. It occurs to me that some groups become militant and justify their position based on one book or another. This is not limited to Islam.

      I wonder whether a book which can so easily be used to justify violence should have been better written. Wouldn't it be better to have a clear and concise statement which could not be misinterpreted rather than a long account which is subject to various interpretations?

      Do you understand? Perhaps we need a new book which is concise and states the basic principles needed. Then we could all agree to it. This is my vision. To that end I wrote the Hub, "The Twelve Suggestions." What do you think?

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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      How can we be certain of facts 1,500 years on? History is recorded according to the opinions and views of writers. So one has to make a judgement call on what is recorded as fact.

      Wikipedia is probably more or less stating the recorded accounts of history, if verifiable.

      I do not believe that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ordered assassinations.

      Most of what I understand of the Islamic perspective on the early military campaigns is what I have written in this Hub.

      You don't have to be a scholar of The Quran to read it or be able to understand it. Just read the text in its entirety with care and patience, and without bias.

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      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Yes, I did not mean for you to do an elaborate dissertation on the subject.

      Is Wikipedia accurate?

      Did Muhammad order assassinations?

      I would like the facts, not opinion. I want to know what Islam teaches about: "The Early Islamic Conquests." I am Not a scholar of the Quran. Please help me out.

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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      It would not be prudent not practical for me to respond to every piece of historical reference out there. One should undertake an elaborate and patient study of the subject and reconcile for themselves what is agreeable and what is not. And always maintain deep and fervent prayer for guidance in such matters.

      Muslims themselves will accept different sources for what is authentic and what is not. The golden rule tends to be that The Holy Quran is indisputable, and other sources like biographies and narrations attributed as sayings (Hadith) or practices (Sunnah) of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) should be reconciled with The Holy Quran.

      Naturally, it takes broad and drawn study as well as prayer to develop a good perspective.

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      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Thank you, I do not want to believe it either, however it is reported as true in Wikipedia. What other source is accepted by Islam on the biography of Muhammad? Perhaps you should correct Wikipedia.

      Did Muhammad raid a Quraysh caravan carrying 50,000 gold Dinars and kill 70 people? See Battle of Badr 624.

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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      I don't believe that to be true. It contradicts too profoundly the teaching of The Holy Quran which were instructions for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

      Verse 38:17 begins with "Bear patiently what they say . . .".

      And then verse 50:39, "So bear with patience what they say, and glorify your Lord before the rising of the sun, and before (its) setting".

      And again in verse 73:10, "And bear patiently all that they say, and part with them in a decent manner"

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      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Please see Wikipedia: "List of expeditions of Muhammad."

      Is it true Muhammad (pbuh) had a woman and a man assassinated because they wrote poetry criticizing him? (Asma bint Marwan and Abu Afak in 624)

      Thanks for your help.

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      theomajor 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Respectively, the Gospel Of James is recognised by proponents of Islam as testimony of Mary, pbuh. It appears the early account by Luke is largely based on what is now this manuscript. Contrary to many Islamic myths, the Qur'an states (4:157), in agreement to Christianity and the Talmud, that it appeared the Messiah was crucified. Therefore the events at Golgotha were witnessed en masse. This must not be denied. More than this is cause for greater debate. I cannot emphasise more strongly the need to research these matters properly and highly recommend my own hub; "The Cup Will Not Pass..." as a starting point.

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      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      From the standpoint of the individual (soldier or civilian) there is no offense or defense, there is only violence which lives in the minds of people their entire lives.

      Offensive or defensive battles are distinctions made by people far away or removed in time. These are artificial distinctions. To the individuals violence is violence.

      The only way out is not to fight at all. Remove oneself from the situation and avoid the result: negative emotions. Learn to forgive because they know not what they do.

      Have you learned?

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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      @Jay C:

      I respect your courage in sharing your personal story. It puts things in perspective. As you seem a devoted follower of Jesus (pbuh) I pray you will overcome such challenges. Indeed, war does bear a great burden.

      @theomajor:

      I would add that The Holy Quran is the only document outside of The New Testament that bears witness to the virgin birth of Jesus (pbuh). It accords probably the highest station to Mary (may Allah be pleased with her) among women. It also reveals that Jesus (pbuh) did not die an ignominious death on the cross at the hands of his persecutors. God willing, one day this truth will also manifest.

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      theomajor 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Brother, I think the first verse to examine is actually found in 2:285. I believe the Prophet Mohammad, pbuh, also taught us not become too argumentative over lesser issues in religion where the answer is debateable. To me the greatest thing about the Qur'an is its confirmation over many issues that were not well defined or altered in the Jewish and Christian texts. Now there is certainty where the Qur'an backs up a bible. Hence I must draw your attention to a fact you apparently overlook. The only woman who gets an entire surah devoted to her name is the sole parent of the Messiah. In the Jewish and Israelite Tanakh any king could be a messiah. The Qur'an defines only one king as a messiah; the son of Mary, pbuh. It is not that the Hebrew text lies, the Qur'an is making a subtle statement about who HaMashiach Yeshua, pbuh, really is, and the honour to Miriam.

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      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      OK, perhaps I see the problem. You are looking at peace from the standpoint of nations and treaties; whereas I am looking at peace from the standpoint of the individuals.

      Romans and Persians may have declared peace by treaty, but that did nothing for the individuals involved. The families of the slain suffered as well as the surviving soldiers. Focus on the mental aspect of the individuals. People who kill become hardened to it and change.

      Personal story: my step-father, Jim entered the Korean War in his mid-teens. He was taught to kill by military training. He was in bloody battles and it tormented him the rest of his life. My mother and I suffered at his hands as a result of his tormented mind. This story is repeated for every soldier (and their families) who has experienced combat.

      In the end religion is about the individual. The goal is to remove the negative emotions (fear, anger, hatred, etc.) from our minds.

      Over identification with presidents, kings and power indicate megalomania. Place God/Allah above nation. It is better to lose the nation than your soul (as Jim did).

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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      But war has brought peace.

      When the Roman Byzantines and the Persian-Sassanids were conquered by the Muslims, there was peace as these two empires and been at war with each other for a long time and their populations were exhausted.

      Idealism is one thing, but facts need to be acknowledged too.

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      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      You wrote, "In my view fighting for defense, justice, peace, to establish order or address a cruel tyrant can be reconciled."

      Yes, I understand this line of reasoning, however I disagree with it. What I suggest is: education, time and patience (perhaps beyond one lifetime) can change human understanding.

      If "fighting" is used to mean persuasion, then I agree with you. War does not bring peace...ever. War and fighting only brings bitterness from the survivors and tormented minds in the soldiers. There is no distinction between offensive, defensive and pre-emptive war. They blur together.

      Any verse now in the Quran, Bible or Bhagavad-Gita which commands or condones violence is wrong. It was bent or twisted from the original vision.

      Can we all agree that God/Allah/Krishna is Not psychotic (subject to fits of rage, jealousy, anger or violence)?

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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      The Quran instructs us not to draw distinctions between prophets. It is a beautiful teaching and a beautiful verse below. It would be best to leave it at that.

      "Say, `We believe in ALLAH and that which has been revealed to us, and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and in that which was given to Moses and Jesus and other Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them and to HIM we submit." (Qur’ân 3-84)

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      theomajor 3 years ago from New Zealand

      The Qur'an is pure truth, I have no dispute with this. This position must be upheld. In regard to certain verses that expound military dominance and war, etc. these must be taken in context of the period where Islam established itself. Just like the Tanakh, these scriptures rarely speak in support of modern warfare. Of course God will condone an animal to be slaughtered under the right circumstances. Are we infinitely superior to all animals?

      Islam gave us a lesser, albeit essential, priesthood through the Qur'an. The Messiah gave us a higher priesthood that was established amongst non-Israelites in the decades after his ministry. Then Jerusalem was destroyed again. Mohammad, pbuh, was never sent to re-establish the priesthood given to the Israelites and subsequently to the Followers Of The Way. This is the heritage of Isaac, pbuh, for he was given the greater part of the inheritance of Abraham, pbuh. The Messiah is in fact the Malaki Tsadek who met Abraham after the battle for the captives recorded in Genesis. He is the one who witnessed the creation of Earth, as recorded by Solomon, pbuh, in Proverbs 8. It was not the great prophet of Islam, but the greatest prophet. This matter is also supported by other Tanakh and NT verses.

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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      My deep and sincere apologies for the tone I took, I am truly sorry. I respect your response and you are staying true to your position.

      In my view these early military campaigns are reconciled. Also, my view is not restricted to the Hebrew Prophet Jesus (pbuh) much as he was a great prophet of Yahweh. Like I said he came to a Hebrew nation deeply flawed in its concept of violence as a means to cleanse the Holy Land. That is why his teaching are mostly around shunning the sword. It is a great teaching but particularly for those Hebrews.

      In my view fighting for defense, justice, peace, to establish order or address a cruel tyrant can be reconciled. I hope you can respect that and my apologies again.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      You wrote:

      "Let me ask you again, I asked you before but you don't seem to want to face the question . . . Given your views on violence, do you reject the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible)? Jesus (pbuh) never rejected it. Do you reject it? Can I get a YES or a NO on that please?"

      Please do not become aggravated with me. I am trying to articulate as best as possible.

      The simple answer is: Yes, I reject the Old Testament as written. I reject it due to the violence it presents. God/Allah/Yahweh/The Lord is not and never has been psychotic (prone to acts of violence). The Lord should never be depicted as having negative human emotions.

      Did Jesus reject the Old Testament as it is written today? Yes.

      There are a couple of lines of reasoning we could follow. First, the written words were garbled or misunderstood and translated incorrectly. Second, a misidentification occurred. The Hebrews misidentified a person to be The Lord. Perhaps both problems occurred.

      Thank you for your patience.

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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Let me ask you again, I asked you before but you don't seem to want to face the question . . . Given your views on violence, do you reject the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible)? Jesus (pbuh) never rejected it. Do you reject it? Can I get a YES or a NO on that please?

      Below is the Old Testament verses I am referring to in the context of this discussion (these are only a few) . . .

      Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. [Numbers 31:17-18]

      And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. [Ezekiel 9:5-6]

      And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. [Joshua 6:17-21]

      Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. [1 Samuel 15:3]

      Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. [Hosea 13:16]

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Renounce war and fighting for any cause or under any pretense whatsoever.

      Title:

      The Early Islamic Conquests: A moral and religious perspective.

      The Early Islamic conquests cannot be reconciled with the teachings of Jesus.

    • amer786 profile image
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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      By knowing that it is corroborated by the prophecies of the Biblical scriptures like the ones from Deuteronomy that I've quoted. And the one I gave in this Hub about King Nebuchadnezzar's dream interpreted by prophet Daniel (pbuh).

      And then the agreement from secular historians such as Bernard Lewis who I quoted in the Hub and others like Michael Hart who ranked Muhammad (pbuh) as the most influential man in history for the reasons I gave above.

      And then by many scholars, scientists and respected personalities of history in how they came to cast him as I've given in the Hub below

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Muhammad-...

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      How do you know what happened so long ago?

    • amer786 profile image
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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      I am not deifying Muhammad (pbuh) in the least and the Muslims have never inclined to that in all the existence of Islam and neither ever been accused of it. Muslims have always been known to hold fast to strict monotheism and the oneness of Allah.

      What I said is in the same spirit as stated in Deuteronomy 18:18 that Allah will put His words into the mouth of this prophet-- that does not deify him. The words are not subject to his thinking or interpretations. He simply acted as a medium.

      As for wars or what you see as naked violence, I think we have exchanged our views on that already. There's nothing to add to the conversation really.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      You wrote, "The Quran, which was uttered by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), is the only prophetic scriptural text believed to be entirely the word of Yahweh without any human intrusion at all."

      Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is human and therefore subject to the same prejudices and viewpoints as anyone else.

      Whatever vision came through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is subject to his thinking. Do not deify Muhammad.

      Any verse now in the Quran which commands or condones violence is wrong. It was bent or twisted from the original vision. See2:191, 2:244, 2:216 and 4:74 to start. Violence is still violence whether offensive, defensive or preemptive. Violence is in the Mind in the form of negative emotions.

      The goal is to overcome the negative emotions within ourselves. Allah is at Peace always. Let us hold up a peaceful image.

      Any Caliphate who does not understand and teach this has little understanding.

    • amer786 profile image
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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      If this is the criteria then why do you hold the Messiah (pbuh) born of the virgin as greater? Adam (pbuh) is believed to be without father or mother, why not cast him as greater? Why is virgin birth the criteria?

      If you study the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) it really is the only one from the prophets that is all-encompassing. It encapsulates so many facets of personal, communal and political life that one wonders if anything at all is left out. From being persecuted and attacked to the brink of extinction to great victories over his foes. I have already given the verse above from Deuteronomy 33:2 which illustrates the rising from Paran (Arabia) as the greatest. In Deuteronomy 18:18 it says that the prophet who will from the brethren of Isaac (pbuh) that God will put His words into this prophet's mouth and that he will speak unto them all that God commands him to. The Quran, which was uttered by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), is the only prophetic scriptural text believed to be entirely the word of Yahweh without any human intrusion at all.

      I agree with the 6000 years. The 7th epoch or millennium is 6000-7000 and God willing it will be the Day of the Lord. The Second Coming of the Messiah heralds this last day (6000-7000) so he would be already here. Those who do not have a personage to identify as The Messiah will develop alternative notions such as the one you mentioned about covert operations (indeed no prophet in the past has operated like this). Others are toying with notions like The Second Coming is with in us like a spiritual resurrection of the Christ with in us. Many Muslims today are also abandoning the concept of The Mahdi and Messiah as they too do not have anyone to identify with. Others keep saying it may happen soon or at sometime in future.

      According to The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam it has already happened per many prophecies. We believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh) came in the power and glory of Jesus Christ (pbuh) as The Promised Messiah . . .

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-Secon...

    • theomajor profile image

      theomajor 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Respectively, what is your source for the Messiah being subordinate to Mohammad, pbuh? Only two beings of all the alameen do we know as born without a son of Adam. That is Adam, being born without a man or woman, and the Messiah, being born without a man. This distinction is significant in the Qur'an. Have you any evidence that 7000 years have elapsed since Adam first walked the Earth? All Judeo-christian reckoning places us around 6000 years since Adam and Eve first walked our world. The Messiah has not openly returned although many christians believe he is operating here covertly. This is a prevalent part of theology in Mormonism.

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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      @ theomajor

      Indeed, the seventh millennium (or epochal) has already begun as it is now 1,400 years past prophet Muhammad (pbuh). According to us, The Messiah has already come and he has openly stated that he is subservient and subordinate to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

      Those waiting for someone else who supposedly is most superior, would be getting tested in their patience.

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      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      You began:

      "I was motivated to research and write this Hub after coming across comments on Hubs that some Muslims felt difficulty in defending certain military conflicts in the early history of Islam. Also, a brother from Pakistan—a country that suffers deeply from religious violence—expressed the desire to better understand the nature of these military conflicts and to reconcile them with religious teachings especially as these occurred during the time of the holy Rashideen Caliphate...."

      Military conflicts cannot be reconciled with religion. Learn and grow. Admit when a mistake has been made. Rise above All the Holy Books.

      Renounce war and fighting for any end or under any pretense whatsoever.

    • theomajor profile image

      theomajor 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Back to the matter of the greatest prophet, Sahih al-Bukhari V.3, 43:656 strongly suggests it is the Messiah who will return to establish the seventh millennium, not Mohammad, pbuh.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      I am just going by the books. In Islam it is the Quran. That is why I asked about the following verses: 2:191-193; 2:244; 2:216-217; and 4:74.

      What I propose is that any depiction of God/Allah as violent or enabling violence is a false doctrine. Violence voided the Hebrew Covenant. There never was a covenant because violence was involved. Why? Because God/Allah is never violent. A perfect mind is not violent. Fighting violently is Never the solution. Fighting by the Pen, as I am doing is not violent. I do not wish to offend, but please try to heighten your understanding and go beyond the Quran. Now I will say it: The Quran is Wrong.

      Example: 2:216 "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.:

      2:216 is false teaching unless "fighting" is used to mean "striving." Please, please try and elevate your thinking. From your past writings I think you can.

      The Bhagavad-Gita is wrong for the same reason.

      p.105 Considering your specific duty as a ksatriya, you should know that there is no better engagement for you than fighting on religious principles; and so there is no need for hesitation.

      All major religions of the world try to justify violence and they are all wrong. Please come with me to a higher level of consciousness.

    • amer786 profile image
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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      You use the term "violence" on its own which obviously makes it derogatory. Violence itself is not a religious teaching in any religion. Violence can occur as a result of fighting but the underlying theme has to be the pursuit of justice, to fulfill a right, bring about peace or a required defense.

      It seems you entirely immerse your philosophy in Jesus (pbuh) and the New Testament and seem removed from the Old Testament. Like I said, Jesus and The New Testament have a certain context. Jesus himself said that he has not come to abolish the law (OT), but to fulfill it. He never said the OT was wrong because it has violence. Jesus, in the context I gave above, fulfilled the Isaiah 2:4 prophecy that its time to "beat the swords into plowshares . . ."

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      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      You had me to the end, then you wrote:

      "He experienced situations requiring perseverance, forgiveness, and even the responsibility of having to fight."

      The responsibility to fight (for religion) appears in Hinduism, Judaism, The Old Testament and according the above passage, Islam.

      What is our concept of God? Why is this important? We are made in the image and likeness of God. God is like us. Your concept of God is your concept of yourself.

      Please consider a God which is Peaceful, non-accusatory and forgiving... always. A God which vacillates between being peaceful and violent is a God which is Schizophrenic, insane.

      Peace of mind is a sinless mind. Sin is in the mind as a negative emotion. To have peace of mind one must have an ideal which is sinless, peaceful. To be violent towards another is to be violent to yourself. Jesus taught this reflective principle.

      Perhaps I am going on too much but let me add; There was no covenant between the Hebrews and The Lord because violence was involved. There is no Holy Land because it was taken by violence. Violence voids the covenant. We are all connected. If you harm another you are harming self. Do you understand the connection?

    • amer786 profile image
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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      So I think you have answered your own question for the most part. I don't think you should cling just to the story of Jesus (pbuh). Remember, there were biblical prophets like David (pbuh) and Solomon (pbuh) who fought in wars. Fighting must be reconciled with justice if it is to hold true religious and moral context.

      Jesus (pbuh) came at a time when there was no justification to the fighting or violence among the Jews. They believed in cleansing the Holy Land with violence whereas their own moral condition was questionable. Jesus brought them the teaching that The Kingdom of Heaven is with in them, they have to reform internally and spiritually, any kingdom on earth as reward is secondary to that. They rejected this. The Jewish factions of the time such as the Zealots, the Sicarii, and yes-- that's where "bandits" comes from, these were all terrorist groups too who unjustly killed in the name of religion.

      Jesus's legacy should be taken in the context of his environment and the situation he was commissioned by God to address. But that is not the all in all or the end all. Prophets have come into different circumstances with their context and so their legacies are different.

      We believe that the legacy of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) encompasses most forms of circumstances. That is why he is called the 'Seal of The Prophets'. He experienced situations requiring perseverance, forgiveness, and even the responsibility of having to fight.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Yes, you bring up a good question. Let me see if I can answer it.

      Bandits usually attack by surprise. The idea is to use normal (not paranoid) caution. Look around, stay near a lighted area, or obtain an escort or go in a group. It is also a good thing to carry a false wallet you can give the bandit as you walk away.

      Terrorists may attack hometown with or without notice. Usually terrorists want notoriety, but not always. If the hometown is in an area targeted for attack, consider moving. If the attack is without any kind of build-up, but complete surprise, then it will happen and then you should consider your options. Itis important to understand the terrorist is a human being with a tortured soul. Learn forgiveness, but stay out of his way.

      Defensive fighting is still fighting. The idea is to become smart and alert and take proper precautions. The best defense is offense, this leads to pre-emptive strikes. Now we have offensive fighting based on a defensive strategy.

      The idea is not to have enemies in the first place. By declaring openly you have no enemies (and doing no harm) it may deter the terrorist.

      I will go so far as to say: do not use pre-emptive strikes, do not fight overseas, do not fight in your personal life, do not fight at all. The result is a clear conscious. This is what religion is about, getting your mind right with God/Allah. God/Allah is Peaceful of mind always. Fight the voices in your head clamoring for revenge, anger, jealousy, fear, etc. Most fear is in peoples' heads!

      Follow the example of Jesus. I hope you understand.

    • amer786 profile image
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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Jay C, tell me something . . .

      If a foreign army, or a group of bandits, or some terrorist group attack your hometown and country, threatening to snatch your belongings and even kill you and your family, what would you do in that situation?

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      I have found some citations which cause me concern: 2:191-3; 2:216-17; 2:244 and 4:74. There seem to be more, but let us work with these. They all deal with fighting and killing in the name of religion.

      Fighting and killing in the name of religion is the last thing we want to teach. I find the Quran very difficult to read, but I do not believe in teaching this doctrine.

      What do you think?

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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Amen.

      To anyone who believes in violence, I would invite to the true path of the One Almighty God!

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      The only legitimate Caliph (leader) is one who teaches peace over violence. Violence voids leadership.

      What do you say to someone who believes in violence?

    • amer786 profile image
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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      ISIS believes in a return to the glory days of the early status of Islam as I've showcased in this Hub. This is also a prophecy of Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that the Islamic Caliphate will re-institute during end-times. But they believe in violence and killing to cleanse the population of those who oppose their views and probably also who they deem as infidels (which includes most Muslims who don't agree with them).

      Their caliphate is bogus because they have no prophet to initiate the Caliphate. Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said that the Caliphate will re-institute at the precepts of prophethood (The Messiah to come).

      Countries like Syria and Iraq are shattered and groups like ISIS are able to form these militias in the chaos.

      Students of Christian eschatology are also watching with a keen eye. They believe that the fourth beast kingdom (the Anti-Christ) from Prophet Daniel's (pbuh) dream will rise out of the Middle East.

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      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Thank you. Please forgive my ignorance, but I cannot tell from the news in the U.S. what is really going on in the Mid-east. Therefore I am asking you.

      What does ISIS, etc. believe? Why? How do you know? Thanks.

    • amer786 profile image
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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Jay C, there are other citations but I don't have handy. If you come across one and would like me to look at and comment upon, feel free to post.

      The conflicts during Muhammad (pbuh)'s ear were primarily the two battles fought while in Medina as opponents plotted to destroy the movement. Final victory over Mecca was mostly bloodless.

      Pakistan/Syria/Iraq suffers from sectarian violence and organizations like Pakistani Taliban and ISIS who believe in violence and aggression to take over and impose their flawed ideology of an Islamic revolution. They think they are following in the footsteps of the early Islamic legends.

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      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Thank you. I am looking for how Islam sees a divine right to fight.

      So 22:39 gives the right to respond to an attack to practice one's religion.

      Are there other citations I should be aware of? Please list.

      You wrote: "I will not be covering the conflicts during the time of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which are generally understood as defensive."

      What conflicts?

      What religious violence in Pakistan? What are they fighting about?

    • amer786 profile image
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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      The injunction to take up arms and engage in battle is permissible when one is being attacked-- naturally defense is a moral right in such situations. In the context of 22:39 the attack was for the right to practice one's religion, and especially one which is true and disseminated by the one true God.

      So yes, there is a parenthetical there which carries conditions and context.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      You wrote: "It must be pointed out that these conquests should not be held with the holy injunction of Jihad as prescribed in The Holy Quran verses 22:39-40. These verses permit Muslims to take up a Jihad in the battlefield when they were unduly wronged and persecuted."

      Please help me out. Does the Holy Qur'an give permission to fight and kill other people?

      22:39 To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged...

      Where does the parenthetical (to fight) come from? I have run into other parentheticals and they vary by translation. Does 22:39 give permission to fight and kill other people?

    • amer786 profile image
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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      No Muslim I have ever met holds such a notion that given the virgin birth, Jesus's (pbuh) status is exalted above Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

      However, I suggest you read the short booklet "Muhammad in The Bible" at . . http://www.alislam.org/library/books/muhammadinbib...

      In Deuteronomy 33:2, it says" And he said, the Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran

      and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them."

      The rising at Sinai is Prophet Moses (pbuh), Seir is Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and Paran is the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The 10,000 saints mentioned is the bloodless conquest of Mecca when the Holy Prophet was accompanied by an army of 10,000-- historical record agrees with this. The fiery law is The Holy Quran. According to this verse the third rising appears to be the most glorious one. You can read the details of this on page 17 of the "Muhammad in The Bible" booklet.

      Shalom brother.

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      theomajor 3 years ago from New Zealand

      !!! Messiah, son of Mary must be the greatest prophet in Islam. I have heard only that message from other believers!!! Muhammad, pbuh, is the second greatest according to everyone I have heard from. How can a prophet be greater than the Messiah? Was Muhammad, pbuh, born of a virgin?

      You need to spend a little time on geometry. The "head of the corner". A pyramid comprises a multi-sided shape with one head. There are usually four corners formed on that head. The head is the peak of the pyramid. Christians are usually quite misguided in this notion too. Salom.

    • amer786 profile image
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      amer786 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Agree on Davidic vs Daniel, as given above Jesus (pbuh) cannot be the fulfillment of the stone in statue dream because he is before the Christian Roman empire. The "stone" has to be consistent with the expressions used to interpret the tiers of the statue. Since Prophet Daniel (pbuh) himself interprets these as world-powers, then same should be applied to the stone.

      Doesn't surprise me about the Satanists, they would want to be on top of the pyramid. But cornerstone is foundation and everything rests upon it. They may not appear defeated but the world hasn't ended yet either.

      Messiah is not the greatest Prophet in Islam, it is the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who is described as 'Seal of the Prophets' in Quran. The Messiah (pbuh) has same relationship to Muhammad ( pbuh) as Jesus (pbuh) has to Moses (pbuh)-- that is why Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) termed the Messiah as "Son of Mary".

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      theomajor 3 years ago from New Zealand

      A fascinating article with an interesting case for the Daniel prophecy. However the Davidic prophecy has no connection to Daniel's. Is the Messiah not the greatest prophet in Islam? Then who is the head of the corner? The head of the corner is the top of the pyramid! The Satanists have put their deceptive cyclops messiah upon the top of the pyramid and they have not been defeated, yet, unlike the ancient kingdoms of power.