Does the following verse forbid peace?: "Do not cry for peace when you are uppermost."
Submitted by on Mon, 27/10/2014 - 11:09
Dear Brother / Sister,
That verse is directly related to war: “Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace. When ye should be Uppermost: for Allah is with you and will never put you in loss for your (good) deeds.” (Muhammad, 47/35)
As it is known, all of the wars in the Era of Bliss were started by non-Muslims. Some Muslims regarded themselves as weak since they were few in number; they sometimes acted reluctantly when there was a state of war and felt disdained; therefore, they desired peace. The verse above includes advice to encourage them to strengthen their hearts, not to show any signs of weakness and not to surrender to the enemy.
There is no decree asking Muslims to prefer war when the enemy wants peace. As a matter of fact, along with the encouragement not to fear war and to make the necessary preparations, Allah orders Muslim clearly to say "yes" to the enemy that wants peace:
“Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies and others besides whom ye may not know but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly. But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is the one that heareth and knoweth (all things).” (al-Anfal, 60-61)
There are some interpretations stating that one of those verses abrogated the other, but we do not think that it is an appropriate approach. (cf Tabari, Razi, Samarqandi, Kurtubi, the interpretation of the relevant verse)
- According to some scholars, the chapter of Muhammad was sent down before the Battle of Uhud. Accordingly, in the relevant verse, the hypocrites (munafiqs) among Muslims and some weak Muslims are advised to raise their morale spiritually if a war breaks out and not to act lazily. (see Ibn Ashur, the interpretation of the relevant verse)
- We can also say that the morale of the Muslims are boosted through this verse for the Battle of Uhud, a critical battle which will take place about a year later.
As a matter of fact, the points indicated in the verse took place and the hypocrites, whose number was more than three hundred, abandoned Muslims on the way, leaving them weak. The archers deployed on the hill left their place thinking that the enemy was defeated and that it was time to collect the booty; thus, they caused the course of the battle to change against the Muslims. Only a few Companions remained around the Prophet; all of the others scattered.
The phrase “be not weary and faint-hearted” in the verse seems to indicate this situation. From this point of view, it can be said that the verse has a prophetic aspect.
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