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The Syrian Disaster

Updated: Jan 19


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.

It's been about 8 years:

"It's not about the number, it's about the people," UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said, noting that the conflict has now lasted longer than World War II. "We're trying to look for understanding, solidarity and humanity."

[Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2015/07/syria-refugee-crisis-150709120935092.html]

- Women and children make up 3/4 of the refugee population - Over 50% of the Syrian population will be in need of aid - Refugees have little more than the clothes on their backs when arriving at refugee camps -6.8 million internally displaced within Syria -An estimated 9 million total persons have fled their homes. -It is now the worst crisis of our era

[Source: http://www.iamsyria.org/syrian-refugee-crisis.html] https://themuslimtimes.info/?s=syria A Peace Treaty:  After 6 years of having declared and waged war against Muhammad s.a., which was itself followed by about 10 years of persecution in mecca, the idolators of mecca realised that signing a peace treaty was the only realistic way forward. 

"They (i.e. the idolators of mecca) ... sent Sohayl bin Amr Al-Thaqafi to negotiate the terms of peace with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Sohayl (later embraced Islam) was very tough in dealings. He reached the following terms: In the name of Almighty Allah.

These are the conditions of peace between Muhammad, son of Abdullah, and Suhayl Ibn Amr the envoy of Makkah:

1. There will be an armistice between the two parties and no fighting for the next 10 years.

2. Any person or tribe who wishes to join Muhammad and to enter into any agreement with him is free to do so. Likewise any person or tribe who wishes to join the Quraish and to enter into any agreement with them is free to do so.

3. If any Makkan went to Madinah, then Muslims would return him to Makkah, but if any Muslim from Madinah went to Makkah, he would not be returned.

4. If any young man, or one whose father is alive, goes to Muhammad without permission from his father or guardian, will be returned to his father or guardian. But if anyone goes to the Quraish of Makkah, will not be returned.

5. This year the Muslims will go back without entering Makkah. But next year Muhammad and his followers can enter Makkah, spend three days and perform the Umrah.

Apparently, it was an agreement that went against the wishes of the Muslims, but later it turned out to be a great victory for Muslims. The Prophet (peace be upon him) showed extreme patience by accepting all these terms as dictated. This treaty is known as the Treaty of Hudaibiyah. It was one of the most outstanding events and proved to be a turning point in the Islamic history.

Few of those present there could visualize the victory of the treaty based on the Prophet’s farsightedness. The first gain of the Treaty was that hostile Makkan leadership recognized Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) as a leader of the Madinah state. Secondly, the Treaty terminated the hostile behavior of Quraish against Muslims. Now they were allowed to move freely and talk openly about Islam. Thirdly, Muslims were equally allowed to make alliances with other tribes. Fourthly, 10 years armistice with Quraish provided a unique opportunity to preach Islam and to deal with their rivals in other parts of the peninsula. Very soon they conquered the Jewish stronghold of Khyber.

The most irritating conditions of the treaty were the clause Nos. 3 & 5; but the Prophet (peace be upon him) simplified them by saying that if a Muslim flees from us to Makkah we don’t need him and if a Makkan Muslim comes to us in Madinah we shall return him and he will preach Islam there. Regarding performing Umrah this year, Muslims received a written guarantee to perform it next year peacefully. The holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was determined to avoid bloodshed in the holy city and he succeeded fully in establishing it. Commenters have viewed the treaty as a masterpiece of his wisdom and farsightedness. It was really a great triumph of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). After the peaceful armistice at Hudaibiyah, Islam increased in leap and bounds. Muslims had full liberty to preach Islam. Three battles of Quraish against Muslims were lost.

The people realized the eventual triumph of Islam. They entered the fold of Islam in thousands. The following year when the holy Prophet returned to perform Umrah, there were 2,000 pilgrims with him instead of 1400 earlier.

When the Prophet returned from Hudaibiya, he received the Divine revelation that Almighty Allah had put a seal of honor on this treaty and called it "Fatah Al-Mubeen" (Manifest Victory) in the Qur'an. (48:01) He also rewarded His pleasure to those who took oath of allegiance under a tree, which is called Bait Ridwan and termed that Allah’s protection was upon the hand of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

After concluding the treaty, the holy Prophet told the followers to slaughter sacrificial animals at the same place and get their head shaved to come out of ihram. But the people were so dejected that they delayed the compliance. The Prophet (peace be upon him) felt it and entered the tent and told his accompanying wife, Umm Salma, about people’s reluctance.

She politely advised, “The people are in shock to lose their Umrah and entry to the holy city. You do as planned. They will follow you.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) came out, slaughtered his camels and got his head shaved. Subsequently, the people followed him and they all set out towards Madinah. Thus the wisdom of Ummul Momenin, Umm Salma, solved a tedious problem."

[Source: http://www.arabnews.com/hudaibiyah-turning-point-history-islam]  Noteworthy points: 

[1] The parties involved felt it was better to cease fighting.

[2] The Qur'aish had not achieved the aims and objectives of the war they had initiated. 

[3] Muhammad s.a. had desired peace, so whilst war had become a necessity for a few years, he was highly in favour of a peace treaty. 

[4] The Companions r.a. were disappointed and disheartened because the apparent objective of performing the 'Umrah according to the dream was not fulfilled. 

[5] The noble character of the benevolent Muhammad s.a. was further manifested when ALL of his Companions r.a. disobeyed him. He did not display any anger despite there being a religious requirement to obey the Messenger s.a. in what is right and good. 

This noble behaviour is in contrast with autocratic religious organisations that demand obedience from the membership on the basis that they represent divine will and authority on earth, whilst repeatedly violating moral and ethical principles themselves, and even waging war against God's command/s.  Righteous Pacifisim:  In Mecca, Abdur Rahman bin Auf r.a. and a few other Companions r.a. are reported to have requested the Prophet Muhammad s.a. to permit them to fight back against the oppressive Qur'aish. The Prophet s.a. said, 

"I have been commanded to pardon. Fight not therefore" [Sunan un-Nasa'i Kitabul Jihad].  This is in accordance with the pacifist way adopted by the righteous son of Adam a.s., as related in the Qur'an: 

[5:27-8] ‘... Allah accepts only from the righteous. If thou stretch out thy hand against me to kill me, I am not going to stretch out my hand against thee to kill thee. I do fear Allah, the Lord of the universe." 

He was subsequently murdered by his wicked brother. The verse is included in the Qur'an for a very good reason, as it lends support to adopting a pacifist stance as a righteous way in some circumstances, which do arise from time to time, as they arose in the past, have arisen in our time, and will probably arise in the future. 

The Companions r.a. of the Noble Prophet s.a. dutifully obeyed him in Mecca and remained patient and pacifist as he had instructed them, enduring their persecution with patience and steadfastness. This situation lasted for about a decade, and in the midst of this persecution, some Muslims sought refuge in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) where there was known to be a just Christian King (rather than in the Byzantine Empire, about which historical, jewish and christian sources report that they were wrongdoers in some ways). There is also a hadith which advises Muslims to become pacifists like the righteous son of Adam a.s., viz: 


"Abu Musa al-Ashari reported: The Messenger of Allah s.a. said, “Verily, right before the Hour there will be a tribulation like pieces of the dark night in which a man may be a believer in the morning and an unbeliever by evening, or he may be a believer in the evening and an unbeliever by morning. He who sits down during it will be better than he who rises up, and he who walks during it will be better than he who runs. So break your bows, cut your bowstrings, and strike your swords against the rock. If someone comes to kill you, then be like the better of the two sons of Adam." (5:28) [Abu Dawud, 4259] 


There is pacifism, non-retaliation and pardoning in other verses of the Qur'an as well: 

[3:134] " ...Those who control their tempers (when they are roused) and who overlook people's faults. ..."

[42:40,43] "The recompense of an injury is a penalty in proportion thereto; but whoso forgives and effects thereby a reform in the offender, will have his reward with Allah. Surely, He loves not the wrongdoers. ... And the one who is patient and forgives, that surely is a matter of strong determination."'

[41:34] "And good and evil are not alike. Repel evil with that which is best. And lo, he between whom and thyself was enmity will become as though he were a warm friend."

Thus, teachings similar to 'turning the other cheek' are clearly present in the Noble Qur'an and not exclusive to the message of Jesus a.s., as is a teaching of 'love your enemies' in the case of family members who bear and/or show enmity:

[64.15] "O ye who believe! surely among your spouses and your children are some that are really your enemies, so beware of them. And if you overlook and forgive and pardon, then surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful."

Please note that the righteous pacifism, non-retaliation and pardoning referred to in the verses mentioned above isn't merely in the case when one is weak and unable to retaliate, leaving one with no other option but to forgive. The righteous son of Adam a.s. could have defended himself, and the husband might also take action against his family for their enmity, but in the interest of reform and reconciliation, of others and of one's own progress in righteousness, patience and steadfastness are the options of choice.  The Indian Emperor Ashoka: 


"ASHOKA'S RULE


In the beginning, Ashoka ruled the empire like his grandfather did, in an efficient but cruel way. He used military strength in order to expand the empire and created sadistic rules against criminals. A Chinese traveller named Xuanzang (Hsüan-tsang) who visited India for several years during the 7th century CE, reports that even during his time, about 900 years after the time of Ashoka, Hindu tradition still remembered the prison Ashoka had established in the north of the capital as “Ashoka’s hell”. Ashoka ordered that prisoners should be subject to all imagined and unimagined tortures and nobody should ever leave the prison alive.


During the expansion of the Mauryan Empire, Ashoka led a war against a feudal state named Kalinga (present day Orissa) with the goal of annexing its territory, something that his grandfather had already attempted to do. The conflict took place around 261 BCE and it is considered one of the most brutal and bloodiest wars in world history. The people from Kalinga defended themselves stubbornly, keeping their honour but losing the war: Ashoka’s military strength was far beyond Kalinga’s. The disaster in Kalinga was supreme: with around 300,000 casualties, the city devastated and thousands of surviving men, women and children deported.

What is actually supported by historical evidence is that Ashoka issued an edict expressing his regret for the suffering inflicted in Kalinga and assuring that he would renounce war and embrace the propagation of dharma. What Ashoka meant by dharma is not entirely clear: some believe that he was referring to the teachings of the Buddha and, therefore, he was expressing his conversion to Buddhism. But the word dharma, in the context of Ashoka, had also other meanings not necessarily linked to Buddhism. It is true, however, that in subsequent inscriptions Ashoka specifically mentions Buddhist sites and Buddhist texts, but what he meant by the word dharma seems to be more related to morals, social concerns and religious tolerance rather than Buddhism.   (dharma: 'principles of right life')

(Source: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ashoka)


THE EDICTS OF ASHOKA


After the war of Kalinga, Ashoka controlled all the Indian subcontinent except for the extreme southern part and he could have easily controlled that remaining part as well, but he decided not to. Some versions say that Ashoka was sickened by the slaughter of the war and refused to keep on fighting. Whatever his reasons were, Ashoka stopped his expansion policy and India turned into a prosperous and peaceful place for the years to come.

Ashoka began to issue one of the most famous edicts in the history of government and instructed his officials to carve them on rocks and pillars, in line with the local dialects and in a very simple fashion. In the rock edicts, Ashoka talks about religious freedom and religious tolerance, he instructs his officials to help the poor and the elderly, establishes medical facilities for humans and animals, commands obedience to parents, respect for elders, generosity for all priests and ascetic orders no matter their creed, orders fruit and shade trees to be planted and also wells to be dug along the roads so travellers can benefit from them." [Source: https://www.ancient.eu/Ashoka_the_Great/]

NB: There is no verse of the Qur'an instructing obedience to parents, or husbands; and respect for people is not unconditional either. According to some muslims, Buddha a.s. was a Prophet, and may even be the Dhul-Kifl mentioned in the Qur'an. Allah knows best, but even if Ashoka was an atheist, human beings have been endowed with a God-given conscience, and it is beneficial to learn from his repentance and change of attitude and behaviour. If muslims incline towards the righteous pacifism taught in [5:27-8], the wars and conflicts would begin to diminish, along with their horrors such as starvation, disease, orphans and handicap, and non-muslims would become less concerned about disorder caused by muslims, and there would be hope for the safety and security of the rohingya and Uyghur peoples, InshaAllaah. 


The following website has some good advice on attaining peacefulness:


http://cpsglobal.org/


This is an interesting article:


"The United States has spent nearly $6 trillion on wars that directly contributed to the deaths of around 500,000 people since the 9/11 attacks of 2001."


It ought to serve as a reminder: 'Don't provoke, don't get provoked':


https://www.newsweek.com/us-spent-six-trillion-wars-killed-half-million-1215588?fbclid=IwAR3FccYwJjzgMdZe9EeJ8yj2letU46VfCcrAwPjwx_cMIbCRA5amXW0RAoE


Some would say there are a million dead. The strategy is to first provoke muslims, and then point the finger, saying, look, 'violent islam'. The US & the UK lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and then went on to cause violent mass destruction themselves from March 2003 onwards.


(This article is under development)


[19:76] Allah increases in guidance those who follow the guidance. [20:47] Peace be upon those who follow the guidance.

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