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Preparation for War

Preparation for war in light of the Islamic principles:

The Messenger of Allah () sent Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib in the Battle of Uhud to Quraish so that he can keep a watch over their movements and war preparations. Since the very beginning he kept a vigil on their activities and gave the Messenger of Allah () the updates. The people of Madinah were all ready for war; they did not separate their weapons even during prayers; various patrolling detachments marched along the routes which the infidels could possibly use to attack Muslims. The Messenger of Allah () convened a meeting so that they could exchange ideas about the war.

This clearly tells that Muslims must always be ready to fight in the way of Allah. In the light of Islamic principles, the preparation for war can be classified into the following stages:


Preparation of Muslim army: A Muslim army is which that is always ready for war.  Therefore, it is necessary to raise such an army and train it. The qualities of a Muslim army are as follow:

  1. 1. Firm belief in the Entity of Allah because faith in Allah is the most powerful and decisive weapon in the wars. Therefore, the holy Qur’an has laid much emphasis over instilling the faith:

« إِنَّا لَنَنصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ يَقُومُ الأَشْهَادُ (51)» [غافر:51]

Translation of Meaning: “Lo! We verily do help Our messengers, and those who believe, in the life of the world and on the day when the witnesses arise.” [Ghafir:51]

A Muslim solider always keeps its eyes fixed on the result of the battle ground: he may either become victorious or martyred.

  1. A Muslim solider must be prepared in a way that he does not believe in the number to be the deciding factor in the result of the war. It does not bother him whether their number is more or less. In the Battle of Badr Muslims were few in number while the infidels were many more. Even then if Muslims succeeded it was due to their power of firm faith and trust in Allah’s assistance.

Allah Almighty says:

« كَمْ مِنْ فِئَةٍ قَلِيلَةٍ غَلَبَتْ فِئَةً كَثِيرَةً بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ (249)» [البقرة:249]

Translation of Meaning: “How many a little company hath overcome a mighty host by Allah’s leave! Allah is with the steadfast.” [Al-Baqarah :249]

  1. Muslim army should be trained to follow the emir without any question: When the Messenger of Allah () sought suggestions from his companions on the occasion of Badr, Miqdad bin al-Aswad (Radhi Allahu Anhu) stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allah, command us as per the Will of Allah. By Allah in Whose control is my life, If you order us to goad our horses to the most distant place like Bark al-Ghimad (a place at a long distance from Arabia peninsula), we would do so.” Then Sa’d bin Mu’az stood up and said: “Decide according to the order of Allah. We are with you. By Allah who sent you as Messenger, if you order us to plunge our horses into the sea, we would do so.

Undoubtedly, the obedience of a Muslim leader is obedience of Allah and His Messenger (). Allah’s Messenger () said:

«مَنْ أَطَاعَنِي فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ، وَمَنْ عَصَانِي فَقَدْ عَصَى اللَّهَ، وَمَنْ أَطَاعَ أَمِيرِي فَقَدْ أَطَاعَنِي، وَمَنْ عَصَى أَمِيرِي فَقَدْ عَصَانِي ‏»‏ [بخاري]

Translation: “Whoever obeys me, obeys Allah, and whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah, and whoever obeys the ruler I appoint, obeys me, and whoever disobeys him, disobeys me.” [Bukhari]

It is obligatory upon a Muslim soldier to obey his emir who leads them to victory and assistance. This obedience is only in the works of goodness. If the emir commands to disobey, he must not be obeyed, because Allah’s Messenger () said:

«إِنَّمَا الطَّاعَةُ فِي الْمَعْرُوفِ» [بخاري]

Translation: “Obedience is required only in what is good.” [Bukhari]

  1. The soldier should be made brave and powerful: Allah’s Messenger () would fight enemies as an individual. He had 9 swords to fight with the enemies and 7 iron rings to protect himself from the enemies. In the Battle of Uhud, when the Muslim army got dispersed, He (ﷺ) remained in the battleground as a rare example of bravery and gave the polytheists a tough fight. Similarly, in the battle of Hunain, when the major part of Muslim army fled away, he () remained firm in the battlefield and called for Muslims:

« أَنَا النَّبِيُّ لاَ كَذِبْ أَنَا ابْنُ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبْ» [بخاري و مسلم]

Translation: “I am the Prophet  undoubtedly; I am the son of Abdul Muttalib.”

Listening to him Muslims rearranged their lines and ultimately got success. Patience, bravery and firmness in the battlefield are main characteristics of Muslim army. Allah says:

« يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا لَقِيتُمْ فِئَةً فَاثْبُتُوا وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيراً لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ (45) » [الأنفال:45]

Translation of Meaning: “O ye who believe! When ye meet an army, hold firm and think of Allah much, that ye may be successful.” [Al-Anfal:45]

  1. The soldier should be trained to adopt cautionary measures because the Messenger of Allah () was very cautious, alert and active. And Allah Almighty says:

« يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا خُذُوا حِذْرَكُمْ فَانفِرُوا ثُبَاتٍ أَوْ انفِرُوا جَمِيعاً (71) » [النساء:71]

Translation of Meaning: “O ye who believe! Take your precautions, then advance the proven ones, or advance all together.” [An-Nisa:71]

A Muslim solider is always alert, active, and cautious and always has a vigil on the activities of the enemies. He does not fall prey to the deceitful tricks of enemies; he treasures war secrets; never pays attention to the rumour that weaken Muslims’ spiritual power and create fissures in the lines of Muslims.

  1. A solider should be humble and away from ego and pride: When Allah bestowed upon Muslims the conquest of Makkah and the Messenger of Allah () and his companions entered Makkah as conqueror, the Prophet () was lowering his head out of humbleness. This is a high example of humility. In this way Allah’s Messenger () told us that at the time of victory and triumph we must be humble and give its credit to Allah Alone.

Therefore, a Muslim solider must be humble; always away from ego and pride. He must have the realization that victory and triumph is only in the hand of Allah. He must be thankful to Him after getting this bounty. A Muslim solider is not proud of his power and strength nor does he wish to clash with the enemy. Instead, he asks peace from Allah. Yes, when the war is unavoidable, he is firm in the battlefield. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

«أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ لاَ تَمَنَّوْا لِقَاءَ الْعَدُوِّ، وَسْئَلُوا اللَّهَ الْعَافِيَةَ، فَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُوهُمْ فَاصْبِرُوا، وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ تَحْتَ ظِلاَلِ السُّيُوفِ»  [بخاري و مسلم]

Translation: “O people! Do not wish to meet the enemy, and ask Allah (Ta’ala) for safety, but when you face the enemy, be patient, and remember that Paradise is under the shades of swords.”[Bukhari & Muslim]

  1. Helping a Muslim solider with all that relates to war: The Messenger of Allah () would keep his soldiers equipped with weapons and he would watch over them. On the occasion of Ghazwa Hunain, when enough weapons were not available, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) lent some weapons from Safwan bin Umaiyah so that the strength of Islamic army could be increased, on the condition that he would return them back to him after the battle. He () examined the rows of soldiers. If there was any child or a weak adult that they cannot wield weapons, he would not allow him to go fighting. So, the Muslim army should be equipped with the latest available weapons. Allah says:

« وَأَعِدُّوا لَهُمْ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ مِنْ قُوَّةٍ وَمِنْ رِبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدُوَّ اللَّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ وَآخَرِينَ مِنْ دُونِهِمْ لا تَعْلَمُونَهُمْ اللَّهُ يَعْلَمُهُمْ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِنْ شَيْءٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ لا تُظْلَمُونَ (60) » [الأنفال:60]

Translation of Meaning: “Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not. Allah knoweth them. Whatsoever ye spend in the way of Allah it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged.” [Al-Anfal:60]