1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

bayezid: Read Quran and hadith before setting out Islamic laws of war Part I

Reader comment on item: Still Asleep After Mumbai
in response to reader comment: islamic code of war never inhuman.

Submitted by PLATO (India), Jan 6, 2009 at 21:26

bayezid you write:

>>before i set to answer the questions and criticisms about islamic laws of warfare , id like to present to you those things that constitute s islamic code of war .<<

For Muslims the touchstone for everything, war, peace, slaves, women, marriage is the Koran and after that the Hadith and Sira. I will examine your statement in the light of what they say.

the prophet muhammad peace be upon him taught :

>>do not commit treachery ( meaning do not go against a treaty and do not make excuses to start fights)<<

Read: 008.058 YUSUFALI: If thou fearest treachery from any group, throw back (their covenant) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms: for Allah loveth not the treacherous.

This verse states clearly that if you FEAR TREACHERY you can flout your covenants. This can be an easy excuse for war. Bush went to war fearing treachery on the part of Saddam. Was he justified??

Read Koran 9:1-7. This is a declaration that Muhammad does not care for the treaties he has signed. After declaring in 9:1 his freedom from obligation he contradicts himself in 9:4 by saying ‘Except those of the idolators with whom ye have a treaty….' How is this possible? You declare you do not care for treaties signed with polytheists and in the next breath say you exclude those with whom you have a treaty (even if it qualifies it by saying he means those who have not infringed on Muslim rights or supported their enemies).

9:3 makes clear his intention not to honour treaties. 9:5 gives orders to slaughter unbelievers everywhere after the sacred months are past. Since warfare is prohibited during the sacred months, the pagans, even the ones without treaty protection, would not attack. This would mean that the prophet feels free to attack the pagans, even the ones with a treaty, when the sacred months are past. 9:7 is another verse that makes no sense: ‘How can there be a treaty with Allah and His messenger for the idolators save those….' The treaties he made was mostly with idolaters. 9:7 is abrogating such treaties except in some special cases.

>>do not break treaty once made with enemy (even if it means the enemy is attacking muslim minority in enemy territory)<<

9:8 voids your claim that you cannot break a treaty even if the enemy attacks muslims in their territory: YUSUFALI: How (can there be such a league), seeing that if they get an advantage over you, they respect not in you the ties either of kinship or of covenant? With (fair words from) their mouths they entice you, but their hearts are averse from you; and most of them are rebellious and wicked.

>>prisoners of war are not to be harmed in any way. captives are to be treated well and provided with all that they need. tortue is forbidden<<

Women and children captured during war are considered as booty and is lawful according to the Koran and Muslims are told to enjoy what they took: 008.069
YUSUFALI: But (now) enjoy what ye took in war, lawful and good: but fear Allah: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

This is torture of women who did not want to have sex with them. Do the Muslims who have sex with their captives believe they are providing what those hapless women needed??

They had Allah's permission to take captive women to bed: 004.024 YUSUFALI: Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess:

If you your Sira, you would also have read of the prophet ordering the torture of Kinana bin Rabi to gain the treasure of the Banu Nadir.

>>do not kill or harm non combatants. do not under any circumstances harm women, children and senior citizens.<<

We read of Muslim terrorists killing non-combatant women and children all the time. Palestinian bombing of school buses. Indiscriminate killing during the Mumbai masscres. Muhammd did not prohibit such killing during night raids:

Muslim: Book 019, Number 4321:

It is reported on the authority of Sa'b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: They are from them.

Book 019, Number 4322:

It is narrated by Sa'b b. Jaththama that he said (to the Holy Prophet): Messenger of Allah, we kill the children of the polytheists during the night raids. He said: They are from them.

Book 019, Number 4323:

Sa'b b. Jaththama has narrated that the Prophet (may peace be upon him) asked: What about the children of polytheists killed by the cavalry during the night raid? He said: They are from them.

do not harm the cattle and livestock with malicious intent.

>>do not cut down trees or plants in enemy territory with malicious intent<<


Book 019, Number 4324:

It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) ordered the date-palms of Banu Nadir to be burnt and cut. These palms were at Buwaira. Qutaibah and Ibn Rumh in their versions of the tradition have added: So Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, revealed the verse:" Whatever trees you have cut down or left standing on their trunks, it was with the permission of Allah so that He may disgrace the evil-doers" (lix. 5).

The prophet himself ordered the cutting down of date-palms a big no-no among the desert Arabs. The Prophet, as usual, conveniently has Allah sending him permission to do so in a verse.

>>do not harm the monks in monasteries and other religious minorities. do not attack temples of other religions at all<<

This has been observed more in the breach than its acceptance. Thousands of Buddhist monks were massacred in India. Thousands of temples were razed to the ground. I have already quoted what Muslim historians have written about the Muslim invasion of India (http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/146392). That was only a sample, if you insist I can quoted many more incidents of massacres and temple destruction.

>>fire is not to be used to punish the enemy . th use of fire is unacceptable in its implementaion as a weapon>>

This is a ridiculous stipulation. You are fighting an enemy, you use whatever weapons come to hand. If Muslims are storming a fort, should the defenders not pour burning oil down on them if that is the last weapon remaining with them. Also your prophet used fire to torture Kinana bin Rabi to get the treasure of the Banu nadir.

>>the above are laws of war of islam stated by me from memory. so as you can see laws of war constitute the conduct of muslims in war.<<

All I can say is your memory seems to have played tricks on you. The Koran and other Muslim scriptures give a very different picture to the you have painted of the Islamic laws of war.

it seems you have disregarded the things i have mentioned above and for some mysterious reason labelled islamic war code as inhuman. you used the case of booty which hardly makes up a law of war.

>>booty is natural in war and needs no law to be established.<<

There is nothing natural about booty in war. It was made ‘natural' by Muhammad, via Allah. Because if it was natural Muhammad would not have stated: Jabir b. 'Abdullah al-Ansari reported: The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said: I have been conferred upon five (things) which were not granted to anyone before me (and these are): Every apostle was sent particularly to his own people, whereas I have been sent to all the red and the black the spoils of war have been made lawful for me, and these were never made lawful to anyone before me, and the earth has been made sacred and pure and mosque for me, so whenever the time of prayer comes for any one of you he should pray whenever he is, and I have been supported by awe (by which the enemy is overwhelmed) from the distance (which one takes) one month to cover and I have been granted intercession. Sahih Muslim 4:1058

>> if war is declared on the enemy, it is taken for granted that both parties have aken up the last resort, and anyone victorious will claim what the defeated party has. this is never unnatural or anomalous a behaviour in any way. thats why it is called war.<<

Remember when India went to war with Pakistan to get rid of your masters from East Bengal? What booty did they take victorious Indian army take? Were the Paksitani soldiers made into slaves or ransomed. The defeated party's collaborators and their wives and children were there in East Pakistan.Were they and children made into sex slaves? India even gave back to Pakistan the territory it had conquered in West Pakistan.

We in India would have considered taking booty anomalous behaviour unworthy of a civilized nation. Bush went to war with Iraq. Did he take women and children as booty? But I suppose this applies only when Muslims are the victorious party.

>>"And indeed whosoever takes revenge ……..l in the earth without justification" [al-Shooraa 42:41-42]

"So enjoy what you have gotten of booty in war, lawful and good' [al-Anfaal 8:69].

there are two kinds of booty. ……

1. A share for Allaah and His Messenger, which is to be used to serve the common interest of the Muslims, not for any specific person(s). Allaah has ……

2. A share for the relatives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) from Bani Haashim and Bani al-Muttalib. They are all equally entitled to it, rich and poor, male and female.

3. Orphans – those who have lost their fathers whilst they are still young i.e., before the age of puberty.

4. The poor and needy.

5. The wayfarer, …..<<

This long winded explanation of how booty is to be distributed has one or two interesting points that stand out:

Points No.1 & 2 Neither the prophet nor his relatives are alive. There are some purported people, the so-called Syyeds, who are supposed descendants of the prophet. Also there is the Bani Hashim (the Royal family of Jordan and others lurking in the background) an Bani al-Muttalib (where are they now?). Are Muslims to distribute the booty Allah has allowed them to take if they make a claim?

Point 3: Enemy combatants too would have died. Are their children entitled to part of the booty taken from their fathers? But I forget, they are themselves part of the booty. This would mean only Muslim children are entitled.

Point 4: The poor and needy. You loot the enemy, they become the poor and needy. Arey they entitled. Again I forget, the men are captured and become property of the Muslims. They are then distributed to the needy Muslims who need slaves.

Point 5: The wayfarer? What if he is a pagan or a person of the Book? Are they entitled?

>>islam did not invent slavery. it was always there in all parts of the world. including india.<<

Whoever alleged that? What you cannot deny that all other religions see this as an inhuman practice and banned the practice as soon as they realized their error whatever their scriptures told them. Muslims still are apologetic about its acceptance in the Kuran. You squirm and wriggle when the subject is brought up. Your explanation for slavery in Islam you have given below is a shameful demonstration of how Muslims defend this acceptance of slavery by all kinds of dishonest maneuverings.

>> with islam, the slaves were obligated to be freed to be treated well.<<

Really?? Show me one Koranic verse that makes freeing slaves obligatory. It tells you that freeing a slave a kind of atonement and you can gain points with Allah.

A slave is an asset. A healthy and well-looked after slave will fetch a good price in the slave market. Our cattle are also looked after well.

>>and islam made it compulsory to free the slave and once freed, this slave will no longer be slve but will have an equal status.<<

Quote the verse which make freeing of slaves compulsory. Your unsubstantiated statement is not sufficient. This also raises the question of why Allah did not ban outright the buying or taking of slaves instead of making some people slaves and then the owners being forced to free them. Weird!

>>and if slaves are taken from the enemy party, it is obligatory upon muslim to treat the slave well. and in due time, to free the slave. there can be no maltreatment of the slave.

Again give us the verses that prove what you say. Especially where does the Koran tell you to free slaves, unless it be as compensation for some crime or sin or to gain points with Allah.

>>after victory , the defeated partys women could be taken by muslims as captives. and each mujahideen can have relations with his own captive, and not another's captive.<<

Thank you for your honesty, bayezid. Such a great and merciful character is Allah. You can have sex with the slave girl assigned to you. What if the girl does not want to. What if she has a husband alive? This means that the slave is just like any other property you own. You can use it, like your house, but the other mujahideen cannot.

What would Muslims have said if the Indian army had taken Pakistan women and used them for sex. What would you have said if Bush's army had taken Iraqi and Afghan women and kept them for sex??

>>just like one can have relations with ones own wife, and not anothers.<<

Sure. Just as you can use your house and not another's. This one sentence tells us what value you place on womankind.

>> as stated above, the mujahid is required to treat his captive well and in due time release her.<<

You mean after having had his fill of the slave-girl the Mujahideen can dump you're your Allah is certainly most merciful.

>> he could not orce himself on captive. <<

This is one hadith that allows Muslims to have sex with captured women: Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 459:

Narrated Ibn Muhairiz:

I entered the Mosque and saw Abu Said Al-Khudri and sat beside him and asked him about Al-Azl (i.e. coitus interruptus). Abu Said said, "We went out with Allah's Apostle for the Ghazwa of Banu Al-Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus. So when we intended to do coitus interrupt us, we said, 'How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allah's Apostle who is present among us?" We asked (him) about it and he said, 'It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul (till the Day of Resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will exist."

The prophet is telling his warriors go ahead and rape them, if they have children it is by the will of Allah

>>such are the obligations upon him. this gurantees a place for the captive woman in question. she does not fall prey to the lsuts and whims of other men, because her place is secured by the one who captured her.<<

Lovely. Lovely. No problem if she falls prey to the particular Mujahideen whose property she till she is released. And what place is this that has been secured for her? His bedroom mate or his kitchen slave?

>> she has shelter and is in her captors protection.<<

Have you noticed you have now shot yourself in the foot by saying this. Remember what you said about the Mujahideen having to release her. What happens to her when she is released? Will she not be prey to the lusts of some wandering Muslim? Probably she has been used by our dear Mujahideen to his hearts content and her youthful charms are no more. So now she can beg or steal to make a living. Charming indeed are the ways of your Allah.




Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to bayezid: Read Quran and hadith before setting out Islamic laws of war Part I by PLATO

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)