During the time of the prophet Muhammad there was not a single war was fought for the sake of conversion. The revelation that brought by the prophet to us teaches human beings to speak the truth, to do justice, and to establish social equality in place of oppression and inequity. The one who said that Muhammad was of warlike must not well informed about his life history.
We are told of no incidence of an aggressive nature throughout his period. He had received the traditional training of infant of Quraish, of being sent to the desert for the first few years of their lives. He used neither a sword nor a bow in the first battle of his life with Bani Sa’ad bin Bakar, a branch of Banu Huwaizan. He is reported not to have raised his hand against anyone. He was then 20 years old and would play in active part if he had possessed an aggressive nature or warlike attitude.
Yes he marched to the battlefield in several occasion and fought numerous wars, some are victorious while others are not so. But there must be a big difference between the war motivated by worldly evil will of colonization and the war that fought by the prophet. In the light of revelation and under the guidance of God he wages war against oppression and evil, struggling to establish a just social order of truth and social equality.
Islam that brought by the prophet is the religion of peace. A muslim deserved to be called as muslim if he were maintaining a good life and protecting other’s wealth safely in his hand (Amanah). That’s why a muslim must keep the peace linger in the world, for Allah dislike the damage prevailed on earth. But above all, reconciliation is much more favourable.
لا اكراه فى الدي
There should no compulsion in religion. (Al-Baqarah:256)
This Quranic verse explained that Islam opposed the force conversion to any religion. Moreover the Quran stated,
لكم دينكم و لي دين
You have your own religion and I have mine. (Al-Kafirun)
There are people who wanted to harm the peace and like to see the chaos happening on earth for the sake of his group or his personal interest. Sometimes we need force against those people for the peace keeping mission. Thus Islam allowed his people to take arms against the oppressors and agressors. However, it was not to be over the limit.
و قاثلوا فى سبيل الله الـــدين يقاتلونكم ولا تعتدوا ءان الله لا يحب ا لمعتدين (Al-Baqarah 190)
Some readers blamed me of whitewashing the history of advent of Islam in South Asia reagarding my previous posting “The spread of Islam to India” and “Arab conquest of Sindh and Multan“. I was describing the advent of Muslim rule to South Asia in a positive outlook, the way that my Hindu brothers might disagree with. Now I am telling the facts that you would be able to accept. Yes, Muhammad bin Qasim came to Sindh along with his troops killing many local Hindus and Rajputs, who didn’t welcome his presence for some particular reason. But the majority of them did welcome him.
Yes, Mahmud of Ghazni destroyed many cities and temples, defeated Hindu army, and converted temples into mosques. Likewise, Shahabuddin Ghauri raided the Hindu territories, shed their blood and also converted the temples. Timur, too, killed 100.000 Hindus with their swords, Sikandar Lodhi led the destruction of temples, and Aurangzeb, though Hindus were part of the Mughal Empire and gave their service to the Mughal emperor, but he discriminated them and put on them heavy taxes and jizyah. To be noted, the conversion of temples is not absent from Aurangzeb’s reign. Yet, after nearly a thousand years of Muslim rule in South Asia, there are more than 80% Hindu population in the modern India. Muslim rule was so powerful that could be able to convert the whole population of India forcibly, but above all their cruelness as mentioned, they didn’t do so.
Therefore, it was not sword which, convert many non-Muslims to Islam. There is an undeniable fact that the truth, rational and sensibility are the reason of the tremendous propagation of Islam. Followings are some factual reasons why Islam is vastly and rapidly spreading.
-Muslim is the landlord of Arab countries approximately 1400 years. Today, there are 14.000 Christians throughout the Arab countries. If Islam was propagated by sword there must be no Christian Arab left in the country.
-My Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. Majority of its citizen currently are Muslim while our fore forefathers could be Hindu, Budhist, animism or dynamism. Could any body inform us what Arab troops, with their swords, had shed the blood of our ancestors?
-Today, Islam in America and Europe has advanced rapidly which reach 235% while Christian reach 47%. Could anyone tell us whose troops are engaged to convert them?. Reversely, that is the American troops who onslaught them.
I am not saying that i am agree with the brutality of some rulers. In my opinion the rulers of both side were inhuman in their virtues. According to the teaching of Islam, women, children and old man are not allowed to be killed. The place of worship, either mosques or temples should not be attacked and destroyed. There are some restriction of the war that were breached by some Muslim rulers. What I am trying to say is that the spreading of Islam nothing to do with the swords. Religion dealt with intention in heart. We can not convert any body to any religion unless he embraced that religion willingly by his heart. If some one embraced any religion forcibly he will show it outwardly but he still have his own faith inward. To say that a religion will advance because of force conversion is not logic. Therefore, the advance of Islam today must not because of force conversion.
Persians, Arabs, Indonesians,Malaysians, Turkish, Sudanese and so on and so fort, were non-muslim once, but some were the stern enemy of Islam. Now they embraced Islam and allowed non-Muslim to live with them side by side in the same country. Why the same situation could not prevail in India?. Dont the Hindus realize that they are their brothers and once have the same belief?.