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Why War?


The purposes that a Muslim aims at through war are:

  1. Stopping oppression: Allah Almighty says:

« وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلا تَعْتَدُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ (190)» البقرة:190]

Translation of Meaning: “Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.” [Al-Baqarah:190]

When Muslims overpowered the infidels and the polytheists in the Battle of Badr, the polytheists became busy in planning to avenge Muslims and fight them. When the Messenger of Allah () came to know about it, he sought suggestions from the companions and thereafter left for war.

This suggests that for a Muslims the foremost and the first reason for war is stopping oppression and cruelty. If any transgression is committed upon the life, wealth, honour and faith of Muslims it is necessary upon Muslims to stop this oppression. Allah Almighty says:

« فَإِنْ قَاتَلُوكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوهُمْ كَذَلِكَ جَزَاءُ الْكَافِرِينَ (191)» [البقرة:191]

Translation of Meaning: “But if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.” [Al-Baqarah:191]

Allah’s Messenger () said:

«مَنْ قُتِلَ دُونَ مَالِهِ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ، وَمَنْ قُتِلَ دُونَ دِينِهِ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ، وَمَنْ قُتِلَ دُونَ دَمِهِ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ، وَمَنْ قُتِلَ دُونَ أَهْلِهِ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ» [ترمذي]

Translation: “Whoever is killed protecting his wealth, he is a martyr. Whoever is killed protecting his religion, he is a martyr. Whoever is killed protecting himself, he is a martyr. Whoever is killed protecting his family, he is a martyr.”[Tirmizi]

  1. Helping weak Muslims:

It is necessary upon a Muslim, that whenever his co-faith brothers are in any trouble, he must stand to help them wherever they are. Allah Almighty says:

« وَمَا لَكُمْ لا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنْ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَل لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيّاً وَاجْعَل لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ نَصِيراً (75)» [النساء:75]

Translation of Meaning: “How should ye not fight for the cause of Allah and of the feeble among men and of the women and the children who are crying: Our Lord! Bring us forth from out this town of which the people are oppressors! Oh, give us from thy presence some protecting friend! Oh, give us from Thy presence some defender!” [An-Nisa:75]

  1. Ending transgression against the religion and defending religious freedom: When the Jews of Madinah violated agreement with Muslims, persuaded various tribes against Muslims and spread vices, the Prophet () was forced to expel some of the Jews out of Madinah and kill some others so that their violation of the agreement may be avenged. When the enemies of Islam break the promises they made with Muslims and in them start appearing the sings of mistrust, it becomes compulsory upon Muslims to fight them. Allah Almighty says:

« وَإِمَّا تَخَافَنَّ مِنْ قَوْمٍ خِيَانَةً فَانْبِذْ إِلَيْهِمْ عَلَى سَوَاءٍ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يُحِبُّ الْخَائِنِينَ (58)» [الأنفال:58]

Translation of Meaning: “If you (O Muhammad SAW) fear treachery from any people throw back (their covenant) to them (so as to be) on equal terms (that there will be no more covenant between you and them). Certainly Allâh likes not the treacherous”. (Al-Anfal:58)

Not even a single occurrence is found in history when Muslims breached the agreement they made with others.