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Why did Prophet

Muhammad
Fight?

By: Thomas Carlyle


Thomas Carlyle, a devout Christian, answers this
question in a way that refutes the allegation that Islam
spread by sword.

“In 622 AD, the intention of this Prophet was to spread


his religion (Islam) through wisdom and fair admonition.
He did his best to achieve this but the wrongdoers and
disbelievers did not only reject his mission and call for
the right path, but only tried to silence him by all means:
threat, menace, and oppression lest his mission should
spread. All this justified his defending himself and his
mission in the face of Quraish.

“I believe that right spreads in any way as per


circumstances: hasn’t Christianity resorted to sword
sometimes”? Charlemagne did enough with Saxons. I do
not care if right spreads by sword, tongue, or any other
means. Let facts spread their power through oratory,
press, or through fire; let facts struggle with all its might
for it will never be beaten except for those facts that
deserve to perish.

“Let us put the question in other words: Mohammad


fought his enemies and resisted those who fought him,
but why did Moslems fight outside their homelands?
They fought against the Persians and Romans in big
battles. Now, does not this prove that Islam is inclined to
violence and spreads by sword?

“The person who asks this question does not know that
the mission of Islam is a global mission from its first day.
It is not like the missions of the previous prophets and
messengers such as Jesus Christ – peace be upon him-
who tells his Disciples: ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep
of Israel." (John 15:24) And again he stresses this point:
“"Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the
Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.” (John
10:5) And in the Bible of Mark the idea is reiterated:
“Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He
entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet
he could not keep his presence secret. In fact, as soon as
she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was
possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. The
woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She
begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
"First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for
it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to
their dogs."

“As for Islam, its mission is universal. Allah – SWT –


says in the Holy Qur’an: “And in no way have We sent
you except as a constant bearer of good tidings and a
constant warner to the whole of mankind.” (Sheba 28) and
“And in no way have We sent you except as a mercy to the
worlds.” (The Prophets 107)

“So the proposition that Persians and Romans are not


included in the Islamic mission contradicts the Divine
wisdom in sending his Prophet and does not match the
broad meaning of Allah’s mercy that embraces all
creatures.

“Another question rises here: wasn’t it more suitable to


present this mission through understanding instead of
fighting?

“This really happened. The Prophet – peace be upon


him- send his emissaries who had the highest levels of
understanding, maturity, and commitment to
truthfulness in conveying his messages. Among these
were Abdullah bin Hudhafa As-Sahmi who was sent to
Khosrau, the King of the Persians. The Prophet wrote
him: "(This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of Allah
and His Prophet to Khosrau the ruler of Persia. Peace be
upon him, who follows the right path and witnesses that
there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Prophet
of Allah. Furthermore I invite you to the call of Allah –
the Great and Almighty- for I am the Prophet of Allah to
all mankind to warn whomever is living and that the
Saying may come true against the disbelievers. If you
become a Muslim you will be safe and if you reject this
invitation of Islam you will be committing a sin by
misguiding your Persians.’

Upon reading the letter Khosrau went mad and tore the
letter into pieces. He wrote to the ruler of Yemen: “I
heard that a man from Quraish appeared in Mecca and
claimed to be a prophet. Go to him and ask him to
repent. Otherwise, kill him and send me his head.” He
ended his letter: “Dare he to write me in this way while
he is my slave?”

Consequently, the ruler of Yemen, sent two knights along


with the letter of Khosrau and told him: “Khosrau
ordered King Bazan to send someone to bring you. If you
refuse, you and your people will die and your land will be
destroyed.”

“So, who declared war? Khosrau did.

“As for Caesar the Prophet – peace be upon him- sent


Dihya Al Kalbi. Caesar was wiser than Khosrau because
he was familiar with the Scriptural knowledge (Torah
and Gospel) that mentioned the approach of the
appearance of Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him.

History tells us that upon receiving the Prophet’s letter


Caesar searched about some Meccans to inquire about
the sender of the letter. He found Abu Sufyan- the biggest
enemy of the Prophet at the time – along with a group of
merchants with him.

He called for his translator who, translating Caesar’s


question said to them, "Who amongst you is closely related
to that man who claims to be a Prophet?" Abu Sufyan
replied, "I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the
group)."

Caesar said, "Bring him (Abu Sufyan) close to me and


make his companions stand behind him." Abu Sufyan
added, Caesar told his translator to tell my companions
that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding
that man (The Prophet) and that if I told a lie they (my
companions) should contradict me." Abu Sufyan added,
"By Allah! Had I not been afraid of my companions
labeling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth
about the Prophet.

Once Abu Sufyan answered all Caesar’s questions about


Muhammad, Caesar said: “I asked you about his family
and your reply was that he belonged to a very noble
family. In fact all the Apostles come from noble families
amongst their respective peoples. I questioned you whether
anybody else amongst you claimed such a thing, your reply
was in the negative. If the answer had been in the
affirmative, I would have thought that this man was
following the previous man's statement. Then I asked you
whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply
was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I
would have thought that this man wanted to take back his
ancestral kingdom.

I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies


before he said what he said, and your reply was in the
negative. So I wondered how a person who does not tell a
lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allah. I then
asked you whether the rich people followed him or the
poor. You replied that it was the poor who followed him.
And in fact all the Prophets have been followed by this
very class of people.

Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or


decreasing. You replied that they were increasing, and in
fact this is the way of true faith, till it is complete in all
respects. I further asked you whether there was anybody,
who, after embracing his religion, became displeased and
discarded his religion. Your reply was in the negative, and
in fact this is (the sign of) true faith, when its delight enters
the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked you
whether he had ever betrayed.

You replied in the negative and likewise the Apostles never


betray. Then I asked you what he ordered you to do. You
replied that he ordered you to worship Allah and Allah
alone and not to worship any thing along with Him and
forbade you to worship idols and ordered you to pray, to
speak the truth and to be chaste. If what you have said is
true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath my
feet and I knew it (from the scriptures) that he was going
to appear but I did not know that he would be from you,
and if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately
to meet him and if I were with him, I would certainly wash
his feet.' Caesar then asked for the letter addressed by
Allah's Prophet, which was delivered by Dihya to the
Governor of Busra, who forwarded it to Caesar to read.
The contents of the letter were as follows: "In the name of
Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful (This letter is) from
Muhammad the slave of Allah and His Prophet to Caesar
the ruler of Byzantine. Peace be upon him, who follows the
right path. Furthermore I invite you to Islam, and if you
become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double
your reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam you
will be committing a sin by misguiding your Arisiyin
(peasants). (And I recite to you Allah's Statement :('O
people of the scripture! Come to a word common to you and
us that we worship none but Allah and that we associate
nothing in worship with Him, and that none of us shall take
others as Lords beside Allah. Then, if they turn away, say:
Bear witness that we are Muslims (those who have
surrendered to Allah).' (The Family of Imran 64).