Explanation of Quran 47:4- what are wars in Islamic perspective

On Isis | Isil adventure?

I think geopolitical strategists and international players who are involved in creating conflicts in middle east can best answer that question. Muslims have been very kind to Jews and Christians since ages. If you haven’t forgotten Saladin’s gesture of forgiveness towards Crusades; you wouldn’t have misunderstood Muslim intent for peace. Jews have traditionally loved Muslim neighbourhoods as they flourished with them: one good example is inquisition of Spain.

Isis, to the best of my knowledge is just brutally unforgiving. They were the same folks who say few years ago lived in peace with the resident Christian communities. But, now as can be seen they are best described as exploiters and extremists. I see them as avenging for the bombings of their lands, infrastructures and mosques by forces whom they see as Christian and Christian-allied west.

For, point of clarification: Isis not only does persecute Christians but also Muslims to the point of death. Those who dissent from their ideology stand terminated. For a fact, innocent Muslims have lost much in this conflict than any other denominated people. I do not understand why? Christ inspired Americans such as ex-President Mr. Bush are prone to imitating Crusader’s paths. As the world now has learnt that Iraq was a big lie and Mr. Bush made it happen on orders from God, “in his own words”.

Quran 47:4 a guide to ethical Warfare-

Contrary to the claims of Islamophobes. Islam is a Peaceful religion for many sensible non-Muslims. Islamophobes, raise the curtains on misinterpretation of Islam by pointing to pseudo Scholars and Jehadis. By circulating footage of beheadings by extremist of other Muslims due to vested vengeance contrary to scriptural evidence. In editorials of main stream and social media they build fear against the religion of Islam. A mind which is afraid to investigate, fails to see the truth. Jihad in Islam stands for struggle to achieve Peace. And Quran verse 47:4 is an example of what ethical warfare is meant to be.

Context of Quran 47:4- Is in the wake of an offensive by non-Muslims

Quran 47:4 -Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah’s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost-.

What is the Best way for a soldier to Kill?

Islam abhors civilian plunder, pillage, torture, rape or dishonour, disfiguring, and forsaking wounded or letting the enemy starve to death. If you familiarise with the legions of contemporary warfare you’ll be surprised to learn what vengeance armies unleash on enemy lines. In non-compliance with the ethics of humane-warfare . Among the several options that an army has to uproot the enemies. Verse 47:4 commands the Believers in Allah, the Sublime to “Smite at their (enemy) necks” implying a swift death unlike all other brutal ways. Striking at the enemy necks elucidates the requirement to give them a clean and complete death.

God does not wish for a war to prolong

The verse says fight till you have -thoroughly subdued them-. Islam forbids infuriating bitterness & prolonging the duration of war. Hence the believers are commanded not to withdraw from the battle arena except if it be for a strategy. God recommends to fight until the battle has produced a definite outcome. Hence the commandment to thoroughly subdue the enemy and to bind a bond firmly (on them)- such that there be no more tumult and oppression in a region.

Quran 47:4 instructs generous treatment of prisoners of war

Once the enemy has been subdued, the verse then moves on to explain the treatment of prisoners of war. It says, thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom-. I suppose, the sane persons would have no hesitation to appreciate such Quranic instructions of providing mercy (read the post here). The wars in Islam are thus fought to reinstate Peace & Justice. And recommends honourable ways to warfare. Which is the need of the hour in the many war torn regions of the earth.  Generous treatment is a far fetched idea for the modern armies which prefer torture and interrogation upon the prisoners in the hope of gaining enemy information. It is a rare story to hear these days of a prisoner returning home and praising the captors, but this is exactly how prisoners were treated during the Prophet’s battles in the history of Islam.

Quran 47:4 instructs release of prisoners of war

The verse instructs the believers to release the POW’s making it necessary to free them as the war ends. This is an unheard concept for modern armies to free the POW’s. Mostly, the prisoners simply die in prisons or are tortured to death. Allah, the Sublime commands the believers in verse 47:4 to release them setting a good example or to terminate them if deemed most fitting. The release can be as simple as an unconditional release or a release after taking ransom. You will be surprised to know post battle of Badar- Prophet Muhammad, blessings of Allah on him: accepted efforts from POW’s to teach poor Muslims who didn’t know to read or write as ransom.

Quran 47:4 a true ending to a war

For the part of the verse -until the war lays down its burdens-. I would like to ask? What is to determine a contextual limit for a conflict? What can define the moment to impose a clear ceasefire bringing the war to a dead end? When warfare is fought across the clear horizons without engaging civilians- only to exhibit bravery as a symbol to defend noble values such warfare won’t lay its load over the civilian population caught in that region. Clear encounters mostly show end for destructive engagements. In modern times, merely due to the availability of modern techniques of mass destruction, nations mercilessly unleash their destructive power over the civilian populace. Conveniently, ignoring ethical adherence that recommends facing the enemy lines directly in a battle field.

Destructive bombing campaigns and sporadic targeting has taken its brute toll over civilians by an unprecedented scale. Not necessitating bravery through footing soldiers in zones of conflicts: has dimmed human-conscience of right and wrong in war-zones. In such a hesitant and uncommitted warfare there isn’t any hope for burdens of war to release. But, perhaps there is a clear possibility of escalating damages by taxing the resources of the infiltrated nation. Such wars in my opinion leads to trades in arms sales, resource control & occupation. Vices and corruption unfortunately takes root over instituting justice, freedom, liberty and much needed peace. If the contending powers of the modern world had fought clearer-wars observing humane warfare; then this article would not be written.

See UK-Government corruption-

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  • Ron

    I have always been curious why we see hundreds of thousands of military age Muslim men flee their homelands instead of fighting the Jihadis (like ISIS) to take back their True Religion and instill the true path of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH). Islam is now cast as a religion that burns captives alive, beheads prisoners and “unbelievers”, and enslaves captive women. Why can’t those who believe in the True Faith unite to defeat those who portray a false image of Islam???

    • Perhaps, I can tell you these bad guys in Muslim community (ISIS) are making a tit for tat with Western supremacy towards plunder and cage (like how it is in Guantanamo bay and the sporadic bombing campaigns where civilians are killed). I agree with you good Muslims must follow Prophet Muhammad’s teachings to fight evil despite the complexity that Zionist’s intent is sharp to destabilise the area by aiding (outfits like ISIS). It is even more complex that USA and Europe without legitimacy bomb nations indiscriminately in the middle east aiding this Zionist’s agenda.