Love, Not Hate Is The Answer!
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
Muslim Response to Atrocities against Them:
Love, Not Hate!
Considering all that is being done to Muslims by their enemies right now, and considering all that has been done to them historically, nothing could be more “natural” than for the Muslim bosom to burn with hate.
If Muslim hate and fury had reached the limit, and touched the sky, no one with a rational mind, or with even a modicum of justice and decency in their heart, can blame the Muslims for it.
For, no one had stronger and more justifiable grounds to be angry and resentful than Muslims.
And yet, and in spite of all this, the proper Muslim answer to all their problems and issues is love, not hate. That means Muslim response to all that is being done, or has ever been done, to them can only be Love, not Hate, universal compassion and not blind fury.
That Is Because God Is Love
It is not because Muslims are, or should be, nice – loving – people, and it is “good” for them to be so.
Nor is it because “Love Is the Best Policy” – to coin a parallel to the old saying: “Honesty Is the Best Policy.”
Nor is it because Love is what will give Muslims their ultimate victory – whatever that kind of nonsense may mean.
It is so purely and simply because God is Love. And Muslims are people who have chosen to align themselves with God. The God of Love!
Slaves of God of Mercy – and Love
Muslims are a strange bunch. They are people who have chosen to be slaves – and not free men and women.
And the slavery Muslims have chosen for themselves is one of God Almighty, and not of money, power, ambition, greed, lust, alcohol, sex and drugs, like a good bit of the rest of the world.
While so much of the rest of the world wallows in open slavery to these Ilahs – gods – Muslims have chosen to be slaves of God Almighty, the God of Love, Compassion and Mercy.
Thus, the Muslims have their eyes on the Next World and not merely on This World.
A Leader that Is Love
Not only that. Muslims are also people with an equally binding second commitment. And that commitment is to the Messenger of God, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, who is also Love.
So, with regard to the entire creation, if God Almighty is Love, so is God Almighty’s Messenger, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Just like God, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is also Love, Mercy, Compassion, Benevolence and Beneficence.
He is all that personified. That is why the Qur’an calls him Rahmah!
How beautifully and simply a poet states this concept:
Who Nabiyon Main Rahmat Laqab Paanay Waalaa.
That means if God Almighty is Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem for all his creation, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is Rahmah: God’s Love and Mercy Personified for all of God’s Creation.
Muslims Must Obey God’s Messenger,
Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam
And Muslims must choose to obey Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. There is no choice for them but to do that.
And they must do that – obey the Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, I mean – not only in some of the more routine matters of life like whether or not to eat with their right hand, or how high they should wear their trousers, but also in some of the bigger and broader issues of life such as family, society, politics, economics, administration, law, government, trade, commerce, diplomacy, military affairs and such.
A Messenger Called Mercy!
And in each and every one of these contexts, the Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was nothing but Love.
And nothing but mercy, just as God sent him, and just as the Qur’an said he was:
Wa Maa Arsalnaaka Illa Rahmatan Lil-Aalameen!
So much so that when people urged him to curse some of his most lethal enemies, he chose to bless them!
“God Almighty, Guide them – and bring them to me!”
“Allahumahdi Dawusan – Wa’ti Bihim!”
Mercy and Clemency to an Entire Nation Sentenced to Death
And when angels of God, bearing the power of death, came to him seeking permission to destroy an entire nation of his enemies, he told them to give his enemies another chance.
“Let them go,” he said, even as blood oozed freely from the wounds inflicted on him by the same enemies who, earlier in the day, had let loose street urchins to pelt him with stones and rocks.
“Maybe,” he said, “their offspring will be more open to God’s message.”
War Is Not Forbidden in Islam
All this does not mean war is forbidden in Islam. Nor does it mean that Muslims will not or should not fight, when and as they have to.
But every war Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, fought, was what today would be called a Defensive War. They were wars imposed upon him by his enemies.
Every one of these wars was, in the language of Christian and other theologians, a Just War – a war that had to be fought because that was the right thing to do.
And these wars were fought mostly against enemies who had ruthlessly persecuted him and his followers for 13 long years in Makkah – and then for 10 more interminable years in Madinah.
Not Merely a Just War, But a War Mandated by God
And those wars were fought because they had to be fought. And they were fought the way all wars ought to be fought.
And they were fought not so much because Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, wanted to fight them, but because God Almighty himself had mandated them.
Read the Qur’an and see how clear and emphatic the Qur’an is on this subject.
Each war was a model of how to fight, and of when and where to fight, and of when not to fight.
And these wars of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, showed the world how to treat the enemy both on and off the battlefield.
Wars To Teach War to the World
War and violence being endemic to human nature, through these wars that Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, engaged in, God Almighty wanted to show the world how the inevitable must be handled.
How a war that cannot be avoided should actually be fought.
Humanity – including practically all of the so-called Civilized World – took all of the past 1400 years to catch up with even the most elementary of these Rules of Engagement that Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, initiated and introduced in this world.
And still the so-called Civilized World of today is light years away from coming anywhere close to the truly civilized and humane standards and requirements that Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, set and demonstrated in his wars.
War Is Worship!
Not only that. Islam showed that a Just War, fought for the most noble and unselfish of reasons, using the most honorable and civilized of methods and rules, was actually the highest form of worship.
That is because in such a war human beings put their lives on the line for the most noble and unselfish of reasons: to free and serve humanity and to build a better world for all – and not just for their own king, queen, nation, tribe, race, religion or society.
That is what makes war in Islam an Ibaadat – and in fact one of the highest forms of it.
Worship Means Rules and Protocols
And like all other Ibadaat, or worship modes, whether it is Salah or Zakah or Siyam, war and fighting too must be carried out strictly following the parameters set by Islam and modeled by Allah’s Rasul Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, in his life.
That means, in Islam, there are some very strict rules and protocols for fighting a war as there are for making ablution, doing your daily prayers or performing Hajj.
Wars that End in Love
But how can the end of wars be Love? But that is precisely what Islam demonstrated.
As a result, when after nearly 22 years of trials and tribulations, Allah threw open the gates of the Enemy City Makkah, and some of his worst enemies of nearly two decades, with the blood of some of his closest relatives, friends and associates on their hands, stood before him in chains and in humiliation, he told them:
“Go, you are free.
Today, no one will say anything to you.”
Laa Tathreeba Alaikumul Yawum.
Idh-haboo, Antum At-Tulaqaa’!
Enemy Leader’s House a Sanctuary for Enemies
Not only that, he also declared the house of the leader of his enemies Abu Sufyan a sanctuary for his enemies.
“Whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan shall be safe!”
Reason Is God and His Messenger
So, the reason why Muslims must respond to atrocities against them with Love, and not with Hate, is God and God’s Messenger Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
And it is not expediency or political calculation.
So Muslims, embrace, once again the model of Love that Islam came to give this world!
And watch the wonders of Allah unfold all around you in a torrential downpour of Allah’s love and mercy.
An Echo a Thousand Years Later
And now, Muslims, hear a distant echo, hundreds of years later, 1000 years to the coming of Islam to be exact. And that echo coming from the most improbable land of England.
Hear that echo sing the same message of human equality and dignity which Islam came in this world to bestow upon a benighted, hopelessly divided and perpetually warring humanity, and in defense of which all wars in Islam, under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, were fought.
Here is that 17th Century echo, in a few simple lines, of the message of universal justice, freedom and human equality that Islam gave the world in the 7th Century:
Any man's death diminishes me.
Because I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, never send to know,
For whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee!
However, it took England, and Europe, another three hundred years to learn that it was not “Mankind,” but Humanity.
And that it was Annaas: a most revolutionary Gender-Inclusive concept and expression that the Qur’an uses more than 200 times and that did not rub off on Europe till almost the latter half of the 20th Century.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
Of course, England and Europe never gave any credit to Islam or to Muslims for all the things they learned from Islam and Muslims.
Instead, they set about attacking, maligning and disparaging Islam and Muslims in the most systematic and consistent manner – leading, in so many ways, to a great deal of the mess and mayhem that we see in the world today.
And that crystallizes the difference between Islam and Muslims on the one hand, and Europe and non-Islam on the other hand.
Another Very Important Reason
There is another very important reason why the best weapon in Muslim arsenal is, and must always be, Love and not Hate.
But this is a reason that much of the Non-Muslim world does not know anything about.
And, sadly, today, most Muslims themselves may be quite oblivious of, and indifferent to, this reason.
So, when non-Muslims fight the Muslims – how easy it is to simplify and oversimplify these things to the point of distorting the meaning and causing confusion – their overwhelming motivation is a preoccupation with this Duniya: This World and its Perks, right here and now.
Muslim Motivations for War
On the other hand, when Muslims fight, their motivation is – or at least it should be – the Aakhirah: The Next World.
And not just their own Aakhirah, but also the Aakhirah (wellbeing in the Next World) of their enemies!
The world never saw or heard of a model, and a rationale and backdrop for war, like this – before, after or outside Islam.
Muslim and Non-Muslim:
Two Very Different Motivations
That means, Non-Muslims fight to take the Duniya away from the Muslims, whereas Muslims fight, or at least they must or ought to do so, to give their Aakhirah back to their Non-Muslim enemies and adversaries.
And to make the world safe and conducive for all kinds of others in this world to aspire and work for, and to claim, that Prize of Aakhirah, for themselves, without interference or bullying from others.
Thus, one side, the Non-Muslim side, fights to take, whereas the other side, the Muslim side, fights to give.
Different Standards for Judging Victory
As a result, the Non-Muslims will judge their victory based on how many Muslims they killed or imprisoned or tortured and mutilated; how much Muslim territory they conquered; and how much Muslim wealth they plundered.
Muslims, on the other hand, will, and must, judge their triumph based on how many hearts and minds they conquered for Allah; how many of Allah’s lost or prodigal “children,” as it were, they succeeded in returning to their “Father,” as the Christians would say; and how free and safe from mischief and mayhem they rendered how much of God’s earth, that he made for all human beings: Muslim and Non-Muslim alike.
That is why, even in the thick of battle, Muslim bosom must overflow with Love and cannot and must not be consumed and boiling with Hate.
Reason Why Ali Refused to Kill His Enemy
Ask Ali, the beloved Companion of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, why he pulled away his sword from, and did not kill, the enemy whom he had overcome in battle, when that enemy as a last act of desperation and hate had spat in Ali’s face!
Learn that story and analyze it and ponder over it, and you will see the whole thing as plain as daylight.
And it will become clear to you how different the two worlds are: the worlds of two different motivations for Muslims and Non-Muslims to fight.
Pardon for Killers of Prophet’s Uncle
And that is why Wahshiy, the man who treacherously shot his poisoned arrow into Hamza, Allah’s Lion and the beloved uncle of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, could, on a later date, find forgiveness from that earthly personification of love, mercy and forgiveness, Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
As could the woman, Hind, at whose behest Wahshiy had killed Hamza, and who had then mutilated Hamza’s body and ripped up his liver and chewed it in public like a wild beast.
Fight for People’s Souls
That was made possible because the fight was not over worldly wealth and real estate, but over people’s souls and their final and eternal wellbeing in the Next Life – Aakhirah.
That is the Model Muslims have to guide their steps and their decision making now – and forever – whether they are waging peace or making war.
And that is also why, beyond their all-too-natural-and-understandable earthly passions and limitations, a more considered and a carefully cultivated Muslim response to the atrocities Non-Muslims commit against them, whether it is in peace or in war, must and can only be Love and never Hate.