The natural strategy of Islamic revolution: A K M Nazir Ahmed
Revolution means rapid and radical change of a social system.
The Islamic revolution:
Islamic revolution means the implementation of Islamic rules and regulations in all the stages, phases and sections of the social system. The synonyms of the Islamic revolution may be found as establishing Islamic doctrines (Iqamat-e-Din) or Ijharul Haq or the establishment of Khaliph etc. For a Islamic revolution, two basic conditions must be fulfilled. Those are:
a) Creating some competent Islamic personnel
b) Building a base of Islam among the general masses
The person, who is upholding Islamic spirit, Islamic mentality and mould characters as per the Islamic guideline, is being treated as Islamic personality. If an Islamic modules adopted person becomes enriched with the humanitarian quality, then he would be considered as the competent Islamic personality. For launching an Islamic revolution, a great number of competent Islamic personality is required.
If a larger portion of a population became vibrated with the Islamic spirit and can appear upholding the Islamic characteristics and features, then we can say an Islamic base has been created. Until and unless such an Islamic base is ensured, Islamic revolution cannot be taken place naturally. The following verse of Sura Ar Raad of the holy Quran also testifies that,
Verily! Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah). (Sura Ar Raad: Verse 11)
The prophets and the messengers of the Almighty Allah have worked sincerely and efficiently for building Islamic personality along with an Islamic base. In one side, they tried to convey the basic message of Islam to the common people and at the same time, they also tried to make it reach to the leaders and influential sections of the society.
Accepting Islam becomes easier to the majority of the society if the leading sections accept it first. This is why; the prophets of Islam primarily targeted the powerful sections of the society for their preaching activities. Hazrat Ibrahim (A) conveyed the sermons of Islam to the then Kind Namrud. Similarly, Prophet Musa Ibn Imran (A) placed the message of Islam in front of King Pharaoh. In the same way, Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him) presented the Islamic message before the then tribal leaders like Utbah Ibn Rabiyah, Shaibah Ibn Rabiyah and Al Walid Ibn Mugirah.
Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him) did not follow any abnormal strategy to create Islamic personality. Rather, he adopted simple and normal working strategy. Besides, his noble strategy had been guided and instructed by the Almighty Allah. His technique was to inspire the people in the task of molding characters based on the knowledge of Al Quran and also to disseminate the sermons of this holy book. In the 164 verse of Sura Al Quran, Almighty Allah says,
Indeed Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad ) from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Qur'an), and purifying them (from sins by their following him), and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qur'an) and Al-Hikmah [the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet (i.e. his legal ways, statements, acts of worship, etc.)], while before that they had been in manifest error. (Sura Al Imran: Verse 164)
Similarly in verse number 2 of Sura Al Zum’a, Allah says,
يَتْلُوْا عَلَيْهِمْ ايتِه وَيُزَكِّيْهِم
It is He who sent among the unlettered a messenger from themselves; reciting His revelations to them, and purifying them, and teachingthem the Scripture and wisdom; although they were in obvious error before that.
Again, in 151 verse of Sura Al Baqara, Allah says
Just as We sent to you a messenger from among you, who recites Our revelations to you, and purifies you, and teaches you the Book and wisdom, and teaches you what you did not know.
It should be mentioned here that, the companions of the Prophet became preacher of Islam immediately after accepting Islam. They also engaged themselves in distributing the knowledge of holy Quran and also to make Islamic personnel and Islamic character according to the spirit of the Al Quran. Our holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) did not use any weapons for the revolution. In those days, people were used to carry arms for self defense legally.
Like Abu Jahl and his followers, Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) and his companions also carried handmade arms and sword. The statuses of the arms of the both sides were equal. While staying in Makkah for 13 years, Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) and his companions tried sincerely for building Islamic characters and Islamic base among the people but at the same time, they faced brutal and inhuman tortures by the opponents for such activities.
Several companions of the Prophet (peace be upon Him) including Haris Ibn Abi Halah (R), Yasir (R), Sumaiya (R) and Abdullah Ibn Yasir (R) became martyr in the attack of the anti-Islam forces. Many others became injured. Even after having arms, the prophet and his companions did not use those arms as there was an instruction from the Almighty Allah not to use weapons in those occasions. That instruction appeared before them through Ohi Gaire Matlu. In the later period, Almighty Allah mentioned the incident in the 77 number verse of Sura An-Nisa.
Anti Islamic forces continued to attack one after one. Almighty Allah revealed various sura and verse and encouraged the Muslims to hold patience. According to Islam, the word ‘Sabr’ refers restrain own emotion, not to become indulged by anger, control over crisis, giving up hurriedness, holding patience even after getting result in delays, not to get out of control for other’s indecent manners and to stay firm on obligation and duties despite all the obstructions and hurdles. It should be clarified further that, no prophet adopted weapons based strategies for the Islamic revolution. It must be recognized that the prophets and the messengers of the Almighty Allah represents the desire of the Creator.
The Muslims were not allowed to use arms and weapons even after seeking permissions:
In those days, a huge festive fair usually held in a place named ‘Ukaj of Al Arabia’ from 1st to 10th of Arabic month of Jilkad. People from many distant places, came and joined those programs and conducted many activities including some bad deeds. Later, on 21st of Jilkad, they came to another place named ‘Julmajanna’ and stayed over there for 10 days. Then they reached at another place named ‘Julmajaj’ and set their tents. Those people stayed there from 1st to 7th of Julhajj (the following month to Jilkad in the Arabic calendar) month.
They stayed in Mina on 8th of Julhajj. Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) at that time frequently visited these fairs and to convey the teachings and sermons of Islam among the gatherings. He visited the tents, discussed the Islamic morals with the fair participants, recited the verse of holy Quran and called to lead life on the basis of the holy book. After 10th years of becoming the prophet of Islam, inside a hilly area named ‘Akaba’ prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him), discussed Islam with the 6 residents of Yasrib (The city which was renamed as Madina afterwards). Those 6 Yasrb residents accepted Islam immediately.
A year later, Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) talked with another 12 residents of Yasrib in the same place. These 12 people also accepted Islam wholeheartedly and promised to stay on Islamic norms and principles always. This indent has been recognized in the history as a significant event ‘Baiyat-e-Akaba’.
In the following years, another 75 resident of Yasrib met Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) in the same place (Akaba) secretly. They also pledged to be loyal before the Almighty and His messenger. This incident is admitted as the second ‘Baiyat-e-Akaba’. At that time, these residents of Yasrib acknowledged the torture and repression of the anti-Islam forces, what had been experienced by the holy Prophet and His companions. Consequently they invited Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) to migrate into Yasrib (Madinah).
At one stage of discussion, the residents of Yasrib sought the permission to carry attack on some peoples of anti-Islam forces who gathered at Meena. On behalf of them, Abbas Ibn Ubadah Ibn Nadla (R), the vigorous man of the Yasrib community said, if you (Prophet Mohammad) want, we will attack them.’ But Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) replied “We are not instructed to do so. Please go back to your own home.’ (Reference: Sirat-Ibn Hishan, Page: 120)
Usage of weapons approved following the establishment of Islamic state:
13th year after becoming prophet, Mohammad (Peace be upon Him) got the permission from Almighty Allah for migration. His companions left Makkah for Yasrib dividing into some smaller groups. At the last end, Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) started his journey towards Yasrib (Today’s Madinah) along with his trusted friend Abu Bakr SIddique (R).
After the arrival of the Prophet of Islam in Yasrib, the town was renamed as ‘Madinatur Rasul.’ Gradually, Madina got the shape of a distinctive state. Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) became the head of the new state.
At one stage, Almighty Allah allows the holy Prophet and His companions to use weapons. As it is said in the verses number 39-40 of the Sura Al Hajj ..
39. Permission to fight is given to those (i.e. believers against disbelievers), who are fighting them, (and) because they (believers) have been wronged, and surely, Allah is Able to give them (believers) victory
40. Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said: "Our Lord is Allah." - For had it not been that Allah checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, wherein the Name of Allah is mentioned much would surely have been pulled down. Verily, Allah will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.
While in the verse 190 of Sura Al Bakarah, there is another approval of using weapons.
And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors. [This Verse is the first one that was revealed in connection with Jihad, but it was supplemented by another.
So there was a time difference of several months between the Permission and order. According to our assessment, permission had been granted at the Julhajj month of the first year of migration and the order came in the following year in the month of Rajab or Shaban (According to the Arabic calendar).
[Reference: Tafheemul Quran, Syed Abul A’la Maududi, Tafsir of Sura Hajj, note number 78].
The strategy in pre-post establishment of Islamic state:
a) Imam Ibn Taimiyah said, at the preliminary state of Islam, Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) was instructed to preach Islam only, not for any war. At one stage, when He became forced to migrate to Madina and when the enemies of Islam went over there to fight against them, at that time Almighty Allah permits the holy Prophet and His companions to launch war against those anti-Islam forces.
[Reference: As Siyatush Sharyah, Imam Ibn Taimiyah, Page: 203]
b) Imam Ibnul Kaiyum said, “Thus for 13 years, the Prophet carried effort to create fear of Allah among the people’s mind. During this period, He never fought against anyone. Rather, in this time, He had been instructed to hold patience, to be more restraint and to apply more tolerance. Later, He was ordered to migrate and after the migration, He was allowed to conduct armed revolution. Actually the Prophet (peace be upon Him) was asked to launch war against those who intends to fight against the Islamic force but at the same time, the Prophet was ordered not to intervene those people who were fair and remained silent about the sermons of Islam. In the later period, the Muslims were ordered to continue their fight till the doctrines of Almighty Allah is implemented properly.
[Reference: Jadul Ma’ad, Hafiz Ibnul Kaiyum, Second Part, Page: 71]
c) Syed Abul A’ala Maududi said, “Earlier, Muslims were instructed to preach Islam till they were weaken and divided. They were also asked to hold patience in the wake of oppression. But when the Muslims became able to form an independent state in Madinah, they were asked to launch armed revolution against those quarters that creates obstruction in preaching Islam. That was a clear order to use arms against the arms of the anti-Islamic forces.
[Reference: Tafheemul Quran, Syed Abul A’ala Maududi, Tafsir of Sura Bakara, note number 200]
It should be added here further that, after one year of the establishment of Islamic state in Madinah, the anti-Islamic quarter of Makkah imposed an unjust war upon the Muslims. But by the grace of Almighty Allah, the Muslims secured outstanding victory in that war against the anti-Islamic quarters who were 3 times bigger in number than that of the Muslims.
Almighty Allah knew that the anti-Islamic forces would not take this defeat positively and they would not stop hostility against Islam. Rather, they would try to be reinforced to re-launch more and more attack. In this backdrop, Almighty Allah revealed Sura Anfal. In one part of the Sura, Allah instructed the policy makers of Madina to gain necessary defense capacity.
And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war to threaten the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allah does know. And whatever you shall spend in the Cause of Allah shall be repaid unto you, and you shall not be treated unjustly. (Sura Anfal: Verse 60)
Natural Expansion of Islamic movement:
The prophets and messengers of Almighty Allah applied very simple and natural course of actions for the establishment of Islam. Mainly, they carried effort to bring changes into the shape of thoughts. Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) also worked relentlessly for the preaching of Islam. A group of truth seeker and courageous youths of Makkah responded to His call. The Prophet organized this people and trained them up to make them competent Islamic personalities.
The general masses of Makka could not dare to embrace Islam as most of the social leaders took stance against it. So an Islamic base was not formed in Makkah. On the other hand, most of the leaders of the Yasrib community responded to the call of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) and extended their hands of cooperation. Such constructive roles of the Yasrib leaders ease the situation for the general people to accept Islam. Subsequenly huge number of peoples from Yasrib came up towards Islam with great enthusiasm and spirit. As a result, an Islam oriented public base created for building an overall Islamic society, civilization and culture.
The struggle to establish Islamic state and Islamic government led by Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) exceeded one after one stage. Almighty Allah narrates the natural extension and expansion of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) led struggle beautifully in the Verse number 9 of Sura Al Fath in the holy Quran.
The mark of them (i.e. of their Faith) is on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of (their) prostration (during prayers). This is their description in the Taurat (Torah). But their description in the Injeel (Gospel) is like a (sown) seed which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong, it then becomes thick, and it stands straight on its stem, delighting the sewer that He may enrage the disbelievers with them.
In this particular verse, the 4 phases of the expansion of the movement led by Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him). Such as:
A (sown) seed which sends forth its shoot then makes it strong then becomes thick and finally it stands straight on its stem
‘A (sown) seed which sends forth its shoot’ refers the introduction of the struggle for the establishment of the doctrine of Almighty Allah.
‘Makes it strong’ refers to gain the capacity of organizing those people who respond to the sermons of Islam.
‘Then becomes thick’ refers creating influence and strength in the concerned area and to attain the support of the general masses. Securing the public support actually paves the way of building a public base.
And finally ‘it stands straight on its stem’ refers securing the state power. Actually this is the natural way and strategy of the Islamic revolution.
For the believers, Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him) is the best and ideal example to follow. Naturally for learning the process of the Islamic movement, He is the ideal man as well. It must be mentioned that Almighty Allah also recognizes the task of following the ideology of holy Prophet as ‘basic condition’ to attain His ultimate satisfaction.