Islam Laid Down Ethics and Rules for Conduct of Warfare:
The great religion as Islam, that provides a complete code of life, also addressed the possibility of war. The code of conduct of warfare which Qur’an provides is more civilized than any in the whole history of humanity, the salient features are:
1) Warfare [Qital] for Allah’s Cause Only: Jihad Qur’an [including the form of warfare] is not for self glory or spoils of war but for the cause of Allah only.(Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 9.625).
2) Non Aggression, Self Defence: Initially the Muslims were not allowed to fight even for self defence, however when oppression exceeded the limits, Allah granted permission to the Muslims to fight for self defense (Qur’an;22:39).
“Fight for the cause of Allah those who fight against you, but do not commit aggression. Allah does not love aggressors. Kill them wherever you may find them, and drive them away from wherever they drove you away; for oppression is even worse than killing. However, do not fight them near the Sacred Mosque unless they fight you first there. Should they fight you, then kill them. Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded. But, if they desist, know that Allah is Much Forgiving, Merciful. Fight them until there is no more oppression and submission is made to Allah. If they desist, let there be no hostility except against the wrongdoers.”(Qur’an;2:190-193).
3) Just War against Oppression: Jihad is meant to serve Allah’s cause ALONE to eliminate oppression and to ensure that people are given an opportunity to freely submit to the will of God.(Qur’an;8:39).
4) Kindness and Equity to Non Aggressors: Allah says: “As for such of the unbelievers who do not fight against you on account of your faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, Allah does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave toward them with full equity. Indeed Allah loves those who act equitably. Allah only forbids you to turn in friendship toward such as fight against you because of your faith, and drive you forth from your homelands, or aid others in driving you forth. Those who turn toward them in friendship are truly wrongdoers.”(Qur’an;60:8-9).
5) Killing a believer, or innocent human not permitted: Qur’an;4:93, 5:32,17:33.
6) Mischief on Land Rejected: Qur’an;28:77,2:11-12, 2:60, 206, 3:63, 7:56).5:33-34.
7) Kindness to Non Combatants:(Qur’an; 60:8.
8) Suicide is not permissible: Qur’an;2:195,,4:29, Sahih Al Bukhari Hadith Numbr:8.126; Sahih Muslim Hadith. Number.486.
9) Resist Persecution: Qur’an;9:41;22:78; 3:29:6.
10) Freedom of Faith: Qur’an;2:256
11) Killing by Burning not Allowed: Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.259, and 4.260).
12) Mutilation of the Dead Bodies is Prohibited : Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prohibited to mutilate the dead bodies. (Sahih Muslim Hadith.804).
13) Treachery: “If you fear treachery from any of your allies, you may fairly retaliate by breaking off the treaty with them (through properly notifying them to that effect), for Allah does not love the treacherous.”(Qur’an;8:58).
14) Peace offer be Accepted: Allah says:” If the enemy is inclined towards peace, do make peace with them, and put your trust in Allah. He is the One Who hears all , knows all.”(Qur’an 8:61).
15) Care of Sick & Hungry Captives: Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet said, “Free the captives, feed the hungry and pay a visit to the sick.(Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.282).
16) Fulfilling Safe Conduct: Al Muwata Hadith, Number.21.12.
17) Grant of Asylum : Allah says: “If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum grant it to him so that he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to where he can be secure: that is because they are men without knowledge.”(Qur’an;9:6).
18) Taking Prisoners of War :Qur’an;47:4, Qur’an;8:70-71.
19) Providing Cloths to Prisoners of War:. Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.252.
20) Prohibitions-of Killing Religious People, Women, Children, Aged, Sick People, Animals and Cutting Trees in Military Expeditions : Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.257,258, . Al Muwata Hadith. Number;21.10.
21) Safety of Mosques, Churches and Synagogues: “Had not Allah repelled some people by the might of others, the monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s praise is daily celebrated, would have been utterly demolished.”(Qur’an;22:40 also;2:114).
22) Mutilation of the dead bodies is prohibited: Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prohibited to mutilate the dead bodies. (Sahih Muslim Hadith.804).
23) Women’s Role : The women are not required to participate in combat, as per Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.128, can provide water and medical aid.(Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.134).
24) Exemption of Non Muslim Subject from Warfare: The non Muslims subjects who pay poll tax (Jazya) are exempted form military service and provided protection by the state.
Guidelines references for the conduct of warfare are summarized here:
1) To rescue the helpless oppressed old men, women, and children; 4:75
2) Obligatory; 2:216
3) Bigger Jihad (Jihad Kabira), through Qur’an (preaching) ;25:52.
4) In Allah’s cause, 4:74, 4:77, 4:84, 9:38-39, 9:41
5) Not for material gain, not to kill those seeking peace 4:94
6) Deliberate killing of believer, punishment is hell forever;4:93
7) Part of faith; 49:15
8) Warfare [Qatelu, wa-Qatalu]; 2:216-217; 4 89-91.
9) In self defense; 2:190; 22:39; 60:8; 4:91
10) Killing only during hostilities in progress, 2:191, 4:89, 4:91, 5:33, 8:39, 8:57, 9:5, 9:12 ; 9:1-6
11) Don’t fight nonbelievers who neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes, treat them justly; 60:8
12) Aggression: Forbidden, 2:190, 4:90, 60:8 , Sin of, 5:2
13) Be brave, 4:104
14) Fighting between two groups of believers, 49:9
15) Do not acquire slaves except through war, 8:67
16) Do not be fainthearted crying for peace; 47:35
17) Exemptions, 9:122, 48:17
18) Asking for it for wrong reasons, 9:43, 9:45, 9:49, 9:86, 9:93
19) For helpless, 4:98, 9:91
20) For ill, offering Salah, 4:102, 9:91
21) If foes cease, then you must cease, 2:193, 4:90, 8:37, 8:61
22) Warfare forbidden during the four sacred months, 9:36 , Unless attacked, 2:194, 2:217
23) Free slaves after fighting ends, 47:4
24) Go forth humbly, 8:47
25) Prepare well, 8:60
26) Repentance of recent belligerents, 5:34, 9:5, 9:11
27) When ordained, 2:190-193, 2:216-217, 4:91, 22:39, 60:8
28) Striving hard against disbelievers, 9:73, 25:52, 66:9
29) Striving hard in Allah’s cause, 2:218, 3:142, 4:95, 5:35, 5:54, 8:72, 8:74-75, 9:16, 9:19-20, 9:24, 9:44, 9:86, 9:88, 22:78, 29:6, 29:69, 49:15, 60:1, 61:11
30) Non-believing parents trying to persuade a believer to polytheism, 29:8, 31:15
31) Don’t create mischief [fasaad] in land; 28:77; 2:11-12; 2:60, 206, 3:63, 7:56
32) Wards off evil from those who are true believers:22:38-40
33) Suicide not Permissible; 2:195 ; 4:29
34) Sins forgiven, those participate in the cause of Allah; 61:12-13; 4:95 3:157
Tolerance & Coexistence
35) No compulsion, coercion in religion; 2:256 , 6:104,107; 88:21-26; 6:66,107; 10:108; 25:43; 39:41; 42:6; 4:80; 42:48; 3:20; 5:99; 16:3524:54; 29:18;42:48; 31:23; 18:29;
36) Some believe, some disbelieve, God will judge; 7:87
37) Sanctity of Human life ; 17:33
38) Killing one innocent human like killing humanity; 5:32
39) Help and rescue the helpless oppressed old men, women, and children; 4:75
40) Warfare in self defense, Allah does not like transgressors.;2:190
41) Don’t fight nonbelievers who neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes, treat them justly; 60:8
42) Friendship with non believers; 60:9
43) No compulsion, coercion in religion; 2:256 , 6:104,107; 88:21-26; 6:66,107; 10:108; 25:43; 39:41; 42:6; 4:80; 42:48; 3:20; 5:99; 16:3524:54; 29:18;42:48; 31:23; 18:29;
44) Preaching Islam with wisdom, fair exhortation, and reason; 16:125
45) Non believers rewarded [in this world]; 13:26; 10:7; 53:29; 3:113-115; 42:20; 28:83,84; 18:46’ 20:131
46) Non believers communities not destroyed for disbelief (only) if they behave righteously towards one an other; 11:117; 3:178
47) Muslims believe in all Previous Scriptures [Torah, Psalms, Gospel] & Prophets, Jews and Christians addressed honorability as “People of the Book”;3:199; 2:136,3:3-4, 57:26, 4:163, 2:79
48) Food [halal, permissible] of Christians and Jews allowed to be consumed; 5:5
49) Marriage with chaste Christians or Jewish women allowed; 5:5
50) Christians are nearest in affection to believers;5:82
51) Leave ignorant 7:199; 39:39-40; 109:4-6
52) Some believe, some disbelieve, Allah will judge; 7:87
53) Insult not whom they worship besides Allah; 6:108
54) Protect places of worship Mosques, Churches, Synagogues;22:40
55) Pardon; 5:13 , Bear with non-believers, 45:14 , Forgive readily, 42:36-37 , 2:109
The great historian De Lacy O’Leary wrote in “Islam At the Cross-roads”: “History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.”
Thomas Arnold, a former Christian missionary in India, who cannot be accused of being pro-Islam, in his famous book ‘The Preaching of Islam’, indicates that there have been certain periods where Muslim rulers have diverted from this tolerance, but it was due to a deviation from Islamic principles, rather than conformance to them. He concludes that the two primary reasons for the spread of Islam all over the world were merchants and the Sufis, two groups of people who went out, worked with humanity and gently invited others to their faith.
An article in Reader’s Digest ‘Almanac’, year book 1986, gave the statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in ‘The Plain Truth’ magazine. At the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity had increased only by 47%. May one ask, “Which war took place in this century which converted millions of people to Islam?”
Today the fastest growing religion in America and in Europe is Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept Islam in such large numbers? This is the spiritual sword of Truth and reason.
The question arises that if such are the principles for conduct of warfare in the cause of Allah alone [Jihad with arms], they why the Muslims conquered all the empires around Arabia and beyond? The answerer may be found in the next pint of rebuttal.