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Islam -the true religion- has preceded modern civilization in legislating laws that prevent waging war as much

as that can be possible, it also has set rules that govern war, and alleviate its scourges in case there was no way but to carry the weapon (in defense of Muslims, or to put an end to oppression against nations). Islam has obliged the Muslim soldier to abide by sublime duties and ethics while in battle; such ethics mould his behavior and conduct towards other, whether this other be the enemy’s soldiers, the conquered ones, or the promisors. We should point out that peace forms the main basis from which all the worldly relations come forth in Islam, but it is peace that stems from power and protects the rights. As for war it constitutes the exception to this rule, for Islam rather considers waging war a crime if it was not for a just cause, or for a legitimate purpose as defending religion and spreading it. Definition of the captive By tracing the usage of religious scholars to the word captive (Aseer), it becomes clear that it is called on those who fell in captivity from the enemy’s soldiers or who ever of their sort, during battle or at the end of war. A captive can be arrested also without war, as long as there is enmity and war is a possibility. In addition to this a man can be arrested by Muslims, if he enters the Muslim’s country with ill-intentions. Legitimacy of captivity in Islam Islam has sanctioned captivity (as it is the case in all human laws and conventions), and there are verses in Qu’ran, which indicates its lawfulness, of which we can mention: “So, when you meet (in fight Jihâd in Allâh's Cause), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives).”[ Muhammad or Al-Qitâl:47:4] Allah in His noble Qur’an has guided us that killing the captive is not the only alternative, but it can be avoided by other means: · First: showing kindness to them, and inviting them to embrace Islam, as Allah Glory be to Him says (what means): “O Prophet! Say to the captives that are in your hands: "If Allâh 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 Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."[ Al-Anfâl:8:70] What is taken from the captive is his freedom and deprivation from going home. He can not attain forgiveness from Allah unless he embraces Islam, amends his creed, and stands firm on the straight way of Allah. · Second: Releasing them for no return, provided that they constitute no future threat to Muslims, and only the Muslim leader has the authority to decide upon such a matter. · Third: Taking ransom from them or their countries. The worth of this ransom is assessed according to the Muslim leader’s vision. Provided that there is no sign of prejudice or overburdening the captive with a ransom he can not afford. The last two alternatives are mentioned in the following verse: “Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islâm)”[ Muhammad or Al-Qitâl:47:4] Treatment of the captives in Islam Four centuries ago, Islam had set guiding precepts that govern the treatment of captives, and that was long before we know about international treaties and worldwide agreements in Geneva and other countries. Such rules should make the whole world regard with

reverence and contemplation the noble and humane teachings of Islam. Such teachings that are crystallized in the statement of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) “Be kind to them” that he declared after the battle of Badr, and after he distributed the captives on his companions to guard them during the return journey to Medina. That statement sums up in it, the overall rule of the way captives should be treated. As it became an obligation on each Muslim to put ahead kindness in all aspects regarding the treatment of captives, whether be it a material or spiritual one. And now let us shed light on each aspect of this kindness. Feeding the captive Food constitutes one of the basic essentials of life. Although the first Muslims were in straitened circumstances, this did not hinder them from favoring their captives with what they themselves did not have, and this is depicted in the following noble verses (what means): “Verily, the Abrâr (pious, who fear Allâh and avoid evil), shall drink a cup (of wine) mixed with water from a spring in Paradise called Kâfûr.” “They (are those who) fulfill (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil will be widespreading” “And they give food, inspite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to Miskin[] (poor), the orphan, and the captive,” “(Saying): "We feed you seeking Allâh's Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you.”[ Al-Insân or Ad-Dahr:76:5-9] Allah has made this altruism an attribute of the pious, who will be rewarded by drinking from a spring in paradise called Kâfûr. Such pious believers offer the captives food while they are in need of it, by doing so they seek nothing but the countenance of Allah, and to appeal to Allah to rescue them from a day whose evil will be wide-spreading. Thus Islam has bestowed upon the act of providing food for the captive a kind of sacredness, rendering it a means of worship, and a way of obeying Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), thereof getting closer to Allah and seeking his reward and averting his punishment. Dressing the captive Dressing in general is an obligatory matter to cover ones private parts, in order to prevent the spreading of debauchery in society. And the Islamic legislation has made it due to secure clothing to the captive to cover his private parts. The following Hadith depicts a certain incident that occurred during the battle of Badr, which shows the transcendence of Islam in treating captives. Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: “When it was the day (of the battle) of Badr, prisoners of war were brought including AlAbbas who was undressed. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) looked for a shirt for him. It was found that the shirt of 'Abdullah bin Ubai would do, so the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) let him wear it. That was the reason why the Prophet took off and gave his own shirt to 'Abdullah.” [Buhkari:Book:Fighting for the cause of Allah (Jihaad) The shelter of the captive Like food, shelter is one of the essentials of life, and Islam has guaranteed to the captive regarding the shelter, what it has guaranteed for all human beings. Thus in addition to securing food, and dress to captives, Islam has guaranteed a healthy abode that should preserves the humanity of the captive. Such abode used to be either in the houses of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) or in the Masjid.

The following hadith depicts the degree of mercy and respect to others, which the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) instills in Muslims. Narrated by Al-Hassan: The captive used to be brought before The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), then he hands him over to some of the Muslims, saying: “be kind to him”. Thus he stays at his house two to three days, during which he favors him than himself. Prohibiting torturing and forcing the captive on anything Torturing anyone or compelling him is something totally prohibited in the legislation of Islam, as man has a preserved sanctity, which Islam has secured even to the captives of the enemies, and that in a way that safeguards him from any harm. For how could Islam urges the believers to provide food, drink, and shelter to the captive all for the sake of the countenance of Allah, and then sanctions inflicting colors of torture and humiliation against the captive! Such restriction also comprises not harming the wounded among them, rather if the wounded has no power to resist, it is forbidden to kill him, but the believers are ordered in such a case to heal his wounds, and keep him till he is cured, then he should be ransomed or set free. The Islamic sublimity is further highlighted in the legislation that forbids compelling the captive on anything in order to acquire information from him involving the enemy. Talking to the captive and responding to his needs One of the signs of Islam noble treatment is the right of the captive to be talked to, and have his inquiries answered as long as it is within the limits of the country’s policies, also his needs should be met, as long as they do not disagree with the Islamic legislations. for neglecting and disregarding him is a sort of contempt and insult to the dignity, which is something totally forbidden in Islam. For Islam did not overlook the importance of such communication on the spirit of the captive, and its impact on him, for it could lead him to the way of Islam in the end. The following hadith shows how the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to converse with the captives, and answer them modestly when they call him. “Imran b. Husain reported that the tribe of Thaqif was the ally of Banu 'Uqail. Thaqif took two persons from amongst the Companions of the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as prisoners. The Companions of the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) took one person at Banu Uqail as prisoner, and captured al-'Adbi (the she-camel of the Holy Prophet) along with him. Allah's Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) came to him and he was tied with ropes. He said: Muhammad. He came near him and said: What is the matter with you? Thereupon he (the prisoner) said: Why have you taken me as prisoner and why have you caught hold of one proceeding the pilgrims (the she-camel as she carried the Holy Prophet on her back and walked ahead of the multitude) ? He (the Holy Prophet) said: (Yours is a great fault). I (my men) have caught hold of you for the crime of your allies, Banu Thaqif. He (the Prophet) then turned away. He again called him and said: Muhammad, Muhammad, and since the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was very compassionate, and tenderhearted, he returned to him, and said: What is the matter with you? He said: I am a Muslim, whereupon he (the Prophet) said: Had you said this when you had been the master of yourself, you would have gained every success. He then turned away. He (the prisoner) called him again saying: Muhammad, Muhammad. He came to him and said: What is the matter with you? He said: I am hungry, feed me, and I am thirsty, so provide me with drink. The Prophet said: That is (to satisfy) your want. He was then ransomed for two persons (who had been taken prisoner by Thaqif).”[Muslim:Book of Vows] Another Hadith reveals what impact conversing and could treatment could have on the soul of captive, which can lead him to reverting to Islam. “It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira who said: The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) sent some horsemen to Najd. They captured a

man. He was from the tribe of Banu Hanifa and was called Thumama b. Uthal. He was the chief of the people of Yamama. People bound him with one of the pillars of the mosque. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) came out to (see) him. He said: O Thumama, what do you think? He replied: Muhammad, I have good opinion of you. If you kill me, you will kill a person who has spilt blood. If you do me a favour, you will do a favour to a grateful person. If you want wealth, ask and you will get what you will demand. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) left him (in this condition) for two days, (and came to him again) and said: What do you think, O Thumama? He replied: What I have already told you. If you do a favour, you will do a favour to a grateful person. If you kill me, you will kill a person who has spilt blood. If you want wealth, ask and you will get what you will demand. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) left him until the next day when he (came to him again) and said: What do you think, O Thumama? He replied: What I have already told you. If you do me a favour, you will do a favour to a grateful person. If you kill me, you will kill a person who has spilt blood. If you want wealth ask and you will get what you will demand. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: Set Thumama free. He went to a palm-grove near the masjid and took a bath. Then he entered the masjid and said: I bear testimony (to the truth) that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His bondman and His messenger. O Muhammad, by Allah, there was no face on the earth more hateful to me than your face, but (now) your face has become to me the dearest of all faces. By Allah, there was no religion more hateful to me than your religion, but (now) your religion has become the dearest of all religions to me. By Allah, there was no city more hateful to me than your city, but (now) your city has become the dearest of all cities to me. Your horsemen captured me when I intended going for Umra. Now what is your opinion (in the matter)? The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) announced good tidings to him and told him to go on 'Umra. When he reached Mecca, somebody said to him: Have you changed your religion? He said: No! I have rather embraced Islam with the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). By Allah, you will not get a single grain of wheat from Yamama until it is permitted by the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)”.[Muslim: book of Jihad and expedition] And we should pinpoint here that tying up the captive to the pillar of the masjid is only as means of security and to prevent him from fleeing. Restoring the captive home Islam entitles full protection to the hostage from the moment he falls in the hands of the Muslims, till he is restored back safely to his family. Imam At-Tabarani relates in his history the falling of the daughter of Hatem Al-Ta’i in captivity among those who fell from the tribe of Al-Ta’i. There upon she was confined to a yard next to the door of the masjid, where all captive women used to be placed. It happened then that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was passing by, upon which she went to him. She was a woman known of her eloquence, so she said: “o! Messenger of Allah, the father has perished, and the companion is absent, bestow kindness on me, may Allah bestow His Kindness on you”, he said: “who is your companion.”, she said: “ ‘Adi bin Hatem”, he said: “the runaway from Allah and His Messenger”, then he said: “you are free, but do not hasten setting off, till you find someone from your tribe, whom you have confidence in to escort you home”. she said: then the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has clothed me, and provided me with a mount and money. Afterwards, she set off with them, till she reached Al-Sham, where her brother was, where upon he asked her: “what do you think of that man”, she said: “I think, by Allah, that you should join up with him quickly, for if the man is a prophet, then the first to be with him has the precedence.” Thus the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has set the example and rules to all the believers to follow, whereby each Muslim is responsible of providing the freed captive enough money, food, and clothing, in addition to securing his return journey and entrusting him to a reliable escort, who should accompany him till he reaches safely home. Stances of Prophet Muhammad that attest to his tolerance · In the battle of Badr the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)

had set free all the captives who were poor, and could not afford to pay their ransom. · In the Battle of Hunain the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) had set free six thousand captive from the tribe of Hawazin, why is that? Because the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is sent as guidance to Alameen (human beings and Jinns), and Islam was never and will never be a religion of revenge, or venom, or a religion that calls for the torture of any, even if it is the enemy. · In the battle of Bani Al-Mustaliq, the companions of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) had set free all the captives as tribute to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), at a time where killing and enslaving captives were acceptable and sanctioned norms. All this is not eccentric to the nature of Islam, such nature of peace that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) accentuated it more when he presented to Abu Sofian provision, although he was still living in Mecca, and was still one of those who combated against him, moreover when the drought had tightened its grip on the people of Mecca, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) sent to them five hundred dinar to be distributed on them, and that despite their antagonism to him. On such path of leniency and mercy followed all the Islamic leaders, and we should not forget to recall to our minds what the Muslim leader Salah El-Din Al A’youby did when he released thousands of crusaders after the triumph of his troops. After this presentation of how Islam treats captives, I leave the dear reader to contemplate on the bloody page of the American reality, and to compare what he read to the atrocities committed by the hands of the advocators of American freedom, and what is taking place now in Afghanistan and Iraq, then turn his eyes to see the unbearable suffering that the Muslim captives undergo in Guantinamo and the Zionist prisons, where many Muslims suffer colors of torments and adversities. For Allah The Great has spoken the truth: “For if they come to know of you, they will stone you (to death or abuse and harm you) or turn you back to their religion, and in that case you will never be successful”[ AlKahf:18:20]