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Encouraging Believers to fight in Jihad; the Good News that a Few Muslims can overcome a Superior En Print E-mail

Allah encourages His Prophet and the believers to fight and struggle against the enemy, and wage war against their forces. Allah affirms that He will suffice, aid, support, and help the believers against their enemies, even if their enemies are numerous and have sufficient supplies, while the believers are few. Allah said,

﴿يَـأَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ حَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَى الْقِتَالِ﴾

(O Prophet! Urge the believers to fight), encouraged and called them to fight. The Messenger of Allah used to encourage the Companions to fight when they faced the enemy. On the day of Badr when the idolators came with their forces and supplies, he said to his Companions,

«قُومُوا إِلَى جَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَوَاتُ وَالْأَرْض»

(Get ready and march forth towards a Paradise as wide as the heavens and earth.)

`Umayr bin Al-Humam said, "As wide as the heavens and earth'' The Messenger said,

«نَعَم»

(Yes) `Umayr said, "Excellent! Excellent!'' The Messenger asked him,

«مَا يَحْمِلُكَ عَلَى قَوْلِكَ: بَخٍ بَخ»

(What makes you say, `Excellent! Excellent!') He said, "The hope that I might be one of its dwellers.'' The Prophet said,

«فَإِنَّكَ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا»

(You are one of its people.) Umayr went ahead, broke the scabbard of his sword, took some dates and started eating from them. He then threw the dates from his hand, saying, "Verily, if I lived until I finished eating these dates, then it is indeed a long life.'' He went ahead, fought and was killed, may Allah be pleased with him.

Allah said next, commanding the believers and conveying good news to them,

﴿إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمْ عِشْرُونَ صَـبِرُونَ يَغْلِبُواْ مِاْئَتَيْنِ وَإِن يَكُنْ مُّنكُمْ مِّاْئَةٌ يَغْلِبُواْ أَلْفًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ﴾

(If there are twenty steadfast persons among you, they will overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons, they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve.)

The Ayah says, one Muslim should endure ten disbelievers. Allah abrogated this part later on, but the good news remained. `Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak said that Jarir bin Hazim narrated to them that, Az-Zubayr bin Al-Khirrit narrated to him, from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas, "When this verse was revealed,

﴿إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمْ عِشْرُونَ صَـبِرُونَ يَغْلِبُواْ مِاْئَتَيْنِ﴾

(If there are twenty steadfast persons among you, they will overcome two hundred...) it became difficult for the Muslims, when Allah commanded that one Muslim is required to endure ten idolators. Soon after, this matter was made easy,

﴿الَـنَ خَفَّفَ اللَّهُ عَنكُمْ﴾

(Now Allah has lightened your (task)), until,

﴿يَغْلِبُواْ مِاْئَتَيْنِ﴾

(they shall overcome two hundred. ..)

Allah lowered the number ﴿of adversaries that Muslims are required to endure﴾, and thus, made the required patience less, compatible to the decrease in numbers.'' Al-Bukhari recorded a similar narration from Ibn Al-Mubarak. Muhammad bin Ishaq recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "When this Ayah was revealed, it was difficult for the Muslims, for they thought it was burdensome since twenty should fight two hundred, and a hundred against a thousand. Allah made this ruling easy for them and abrogated this Ayah with another Ayah,

﴿الَـنَ خَفَّفَ اللَّهُ عَنكُمْ وَعَلِمَ أَنَّ فِيكُمْ ضَعْفاً﴾

(Now Allah has lightened your (task), for He knows that there is weakness in you...)

Thereafter, if Muslims were half as many as their enemy, they were not allowed to run away from them. If the Muslims were fewer than that, they were not obligated to fight the disbelievers and thus allowed to avoid hostilities.''

﴿مَا كَانَ لِنَبِىٍّ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَى حَتَّى يُثْخِنَ فِي الاٌّرْضِ تُرِيدُونَ عَرَضَ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّهُ يُرِيدُ الاٌّخِرَةَ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ - لَّوْلاَ كِتَـبٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيمَآ أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ - فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا غَنِمْتُمْ حَلَـلاً طَيِّباً وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴾

(67. It is not (fitting) for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he has fought (his enemies thoroughly) in the land. You desire the goods of this world, but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.) (68. Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe torment would have touched you for what you took.) (69. So enjoy what you have gotten of booty in war, lawful and good, and have Taqwa of Allah. Certainly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said, "The Prophet asked the people for their opinion about the prisoners of war of Badr, saying,

«إِنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَمْكَنَكُمْ مِنْهُم»

(Allah has made you prevail above them.) `Umar bin Al-Khattab stood up and said, `O Allah's Messenger! Cut off their necks,' but the Prophet turned away from him. The Messenger of Allah again asked,

«يَاأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَمْكَنَكُمْ مِنْهُمْ وَإِنَّمَا هُمْ إِخْوَانُكُمْ بِالْأَمْس»

(O people! Allah has made you prevail over them, and only yesterday, they were your brothers.) `Umar again stood up and said, `O Allah's Messenger! Cut off their necks.' The Prophet ignored him and asked the same question again and he repeated the same answer. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq stood up and said, `O Allah's Messenger! I think you should pardon them and set them free in return for ransom.' Thereupon the grief on the face of Allah's Messenger vanished. He pardoned them and accepted ransom for their release. Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, revealed this verse,

﴿لَّوْلاَ كِتَـبٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيمَآ أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴾

(Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe torment would have touched you for what you took).''

`Ali bin Abi Talhah narrated that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah's statement,

﴿لَّوْلاَ كِتَـبٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ سَبَقَ﴾

(Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah...),

"In the Preserved Book, that war spoils and prisoners of war will be made allowed for you,

﴿لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيمَآ أَخَذْتُمْ﴾

(would have touched you for what you took), because of the captives.

﴿عَذَابٌ عظِيمٌ﴾

(a severe torment.) Allah, the Exalted said next,

﴿فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا غَنِمْتُمْ حَلَـلاً طَيِّباً﴾

(So enjoy what you have gotten of booty in war, lawful and good).'' eAl-`Awfi also reported this statement from Ibn `Abbas. A similar statement was collected from Abu Hurayrah, Ibn Mas`ud, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ata', Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah and Al-A`mash. They all stated that,

﴿لَّوْلاَ كِتَـبٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ سَبَقَ﴾

(Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah. .) refers to allowing the spoils of war for this Ummah.

Supporting this view is what the Two Sahihs recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«أُعْطِيتُ خَمْسًا لَمْ يُعْطَهُنَّ أَحَدٌ مِنَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ قَبْلِي: نُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ مَسِيرَةَ شَهْرٍ، وَجُعِلَتْ لِيَ الْأَرْضُ مَسْجِدًا وَطَهُورًا، وَأُحِلَّتْ لِيَ الْغَنَائِمُ وَلَمْ تُحَلَّ لِأَحَدٍ قَبْلِي، وَأُعْطِيتُ الشَّفَاعَةَ، وَكَان النَّبِيُّ يُبْعَثُ إِلَى قَوْمِهِ، وَبُعِثْتُ إِلَى النَّاسِ عَامَّة»

(I have been given five things which were not given to any Prophet before me. (They are:) Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month's journey. The earth has been made a place for praying and a purifyer for me. The booty has been made lawful for me, yet it = was not lawful for anyone else before me. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection). Every Prophet used to be sent to his people only, but I have been sent to all mankind.)

Al-A`mash narrated that Abu Salih said that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«لَمْ تَحِلَّ الْغَنَائِمُ لِسُودِ الرُّؤُوسِ غَيْرَنَا»

(War booty was never allowed for any among mankind except us.) ﴿Abu Hurayrah said;﴾ This is why Allah the Most High said,

﴿فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا غَنِمْتُمْ حَلَـلاً طَيِّباً﴾

(So enjoy what you have gotten of booty in war, lawful and good.)

The Muslims then took the ransom for their captives. In his Sunan, Imam Abu Dawud recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah fixed four hundred (Dirhams) in ransom from the people of Jahiliyyah in the aftermath of Badr. The majority of the scholars say that the matter of prisoners of war is up to the Imam. If he decides, he can have them killed, such as in the case of Bani Qurayzah. If he decides, he can accept a ransom for them, as in the case of the prisoners of Badr, or exchange them for Muslim prisoners. The Messenger exchanged a woman and her daughter who were captured by Salamah bin Al-Akwa`, for exchange of some Muslims who were captured by the idolators, or if he decides he can take the prisoner as a captives.

﴿يَـأَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ قُل لِّمَن فِى أَيْدِيكُم مِّنَ الاٌّسْرَى إِن يَعْلَمِ اللَّهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ خَيْراً يُؤْتِكُمْ خَيْراً مِّمَّآ أُخِذَ مِنكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ - وَإِن يُرِيدُواْ خِيَانَتَكَ فَقَدْ خَانُواْ اللَّهَ مِن قَبْلُ فَأَمْكَنَ مِنْهُمْ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴾

(70. O Prophet! Say to the captives that are in your hands: "If Allah knows any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'') (71. But if they intend to betray you, they indeed betrayed Allah before. So He gave (you) power over them. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.)

 

 
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