Is the most effective method to spread and settle Islam war or tabligh (conveyance)?
It is necessary to answer the questions "Who is the Prophet?" , "What is his duty?" in order to be able to evaluate the concept of jihad correctly. While making all people proceed toward the realm of the hereafter, God Almighty sent prophets to guide people in their journey that will take them to Paradise or Hell. The primary duty of these messengers of God is to make people know Allah, to teach them worship, halal and haram, and to teach them how to thank Him for His endless bounties.
Hz. Muhammad (pbuh), who is the Prophet of the end of time, fulfilled this duty perfectly; he informed people about Allah in Makkah, taught them His commands and prohibitions and told them that to worship idols meant associating partners with Allah. He showed patience to all kinds of oppression and cruelty of the people who opposed his message for thirteen years and then migrated to Madinah acting upon the order and permission of Allah; he continued his duty there. The polytheists who wanted to prevent him from fulfilling this lofty duty continued to disturb him in Madinah too but they could not prevent Islam from being adopted by the people there.
An important property of the Prophet (pbuh) of the end of time mentioned in all heavenly books is that he is “sahib-us sayf” (owner of the sword); that is, along with spiritual guidance, he is allowed to fight (when he is prevented from conveying his message). Some of the prophets in the past, for instance Hz. Dawud (David) and Hz. Suleiman (Solomon), supported their spiritual jihad with their swords when it was necessary.
When history is examined objectively, it will be seen that the main factor that made Islam influence hearts and spirits was not war but conveying the message, that is, to tell people about the realities of Islam and show them the beauties of Islam. Historians agree that two groups of people had the greatest share in the spread of Islam. The first one is the scholars and teachers who dedicated their lives to teaching Islam and who migrated to very distant countries to do it. The second one is the merchants who went to some countries in order to do business and displayed the beauties of Islam to the people living there.
The following verses show clearly that Islam spread through conveying the message and invitation not through sword:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from Error.”(al-Baqara Sûresi, 256)
“Therefore do thou give admonition for thou art one to admonish. Thou art not one to manage (men's) affairs.” (al-Ghashiya, 21-22)
There is a lot of evidence showing that Islam spread through conveying its message. We will mention some of them: When the Prophet (pbuh) started to convey the message of Islam in Makkah, he had no material means or power. Although all of the polytheists there were hostile against him, he conquered the hearts of people through conveying the message and persuasion. Many people, from Hz. Abubakr to Hz. Umar, became Muslims like that and declared to everybody that Islam was an invincible power. If the Companions had wanted, they could have killed all of the polytheists of Quraysh, foremost Abu Jahl, overnight. However, they did not do so. They continued to convey the message of Islam by enduring all kinds of troubles and hardships; they did not resort to terror and anarchy.
The Muslims who had migrated to Madinah before the Prophet did converted several people to Islam there by conveying the message of Islam and inviting them to Islam. Thus, the foundations of Islam were established through conveying the message in both Makkah and Madinah.
In the following years, Islam settled firmly in Madinah. Makkan polytheists accepted Muslims as a power and signed a treaty with them at Hudaybiya. The duration of the treaty was ten years but it lasted for two years and was violated by Makkan polytheists. However, the number of the people that adopted Islam during these two years was more than number of the people that adopted Islam during the twenty year-period since the emergence of Islam.
In the following centuries, Moguls ended the Abbasid caliphate; they burned and disturbed Islamic resources. However, after a while, they started to convert to Islam of their own accord. It is a historical fact that the sword had no role in the conversion of Moguls to Islam.
The spread of Islam in Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa took place through conveying the message not through the sword.
After this short look at history, let us have a look at today: Muslims lost their material power in the last century but Islam continued its spread and development spiritually. Most of the people who have converted to Islam in European countries foremost in Germany and England, and in America are scientists; most of them adopted Islam only by examining it, without even being conveyed the message of Islam.
- Is the most effective method to spread and settle Islam war or tabligh (conveyance)?
- As’ad bin Zurara (r.a.)
- Abdullah bin Amr (r.a.)
- What kind of method did the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) follow in the way he invited peoples into Islam?
- The Prophet Calls the Tribes to Islam
- Ashab as-Suffa
- A Summary of the Period of Makkah
- Will you give information about Musab Bin Umayr?
- Kab bin Ashraf, the Poet, is Killed
- Could you please give information about wahhabism?