A third principle that Islam teaches is that so long as the nations of the earth are not ready to federate in a World State, a system of international security should be established along certain practical lines. The Holy Quran says:
“And if two parties of believers fight against each other, make peace between them; then if after that one of them transgresses against the other, fight the party that transgresses until it returns to the command of Allah. Then if it returns, make peace between them with equity, and act justly. Verily, Allah loves the just.”(49:10).
That is to say, if two or more States should go to war with each other, it is the duty of the rest to try to bring about a settlement between them, but if this effort should fail and one of them should commit aggression against other or others, then all the rest should combine to resist the aggressor. When the aggressor has been defeated, the original dispute should be settled by the other States on an equitable basis. There should be no attempt to impose penalties upon the aggressor as a punishment for starting hostilities, nor should there be any attempt on the part of the intervening States to seek benefits for themselves. The settlement should be confined to the original dispute.
This verse is really in the nature of a prophecy. At the time when this verse was revealed, there were no Muslim parties which were likely to go to war with each other. The verse only makes provision for the future. The words fighting and transgressing indicate clearly that the principles laid down in this verse have reference to States. The principles which it lays down are as follows:
If two or more States should fall out among each other, the other states should intervene and try to compel the States between whom a dispute has arisen to submit their dispute to arbitration.
If any of them should embark upon aggression, all the others should combine to resist the aggressor.
When the aggressor is defeated, all the States should settle the terms of peace, and in this settlement there should be no element of revenge or punishment.
The matter in dispute is to be settled equitably. It may be that the aggressor State was actually in the right. The mere fact of aggression should not operate to deprive it of its right.
The word ‘equitably’ indicates that the intervening States should not seek any benefit for themselves at the expense of the victor or the vanquished.
This system of international security was laid down at a time when nobody had even started thinking about these matters. The significance of this verse was revealed to me, and nobody will deny that the true exposition of a text prescribing the limits of a system so vital to the security and prosperity of mankind is the function only of prophets and their spiritual successors. These principles affect the security of the whole of mankind and will continue to be utilized through centuries till the different nations of the earth are able to participate in the setting up of an International World Federation. I explained these principles in my book, Ahmadiyyat or the True Islam, published in 1924, and sounded a note of warning that unless the League of Nations was organised along the lines here indicated, it would fail in its main purpose, and unfortunately that has proved to be the case.
When I went to England in 1924 to participate in a Conference of Religions, the League of Nations had only recently been organised. Russia and Germany were then anxious to become members of the League. I pointed out the defects from which the League suffered in the light of the very principles to which I have just made reference. I made it quite clear that unless these five principles were kept in view the League was bound to fail. I then stated:
“If these defects are removed, a League of Nations could be constituted in accordance with the principles laid down in the Holy Quran. It is only such a League which can do any good, not a League which for its very existence is dependent upon the courtesy of different nations.”(Op. cit. p. 337)
Again, I said:
“So long as people do not realise in accordance with the Islamic teachings that all mankind are one people, and that all nations are subject to the law of rise and fall, and that no nation has continued always in one condition, it will be impossible to establish peace. We must remember that the volcanic forces which raise and bring down nations have not ceased to operate. Nature continues to be active as it has been through the centuries. A nation that treats another nation with contempt initiates an unending circle of tyranny and oppression”.(Op. cit p. 360)
People at that time seemed very pleased and proud about the League of Nations. I insisted that peace could not be secured unless all States were under an obligation to go to war with an aggressor, but this was not an acceptable proposition at the time. It was pointed out that any obligatory undertaking of this kind would lay the foundations of war rather than of peace. Not only this principle, but all the other Islamic principles that I have today expounded have been opposed during this period by all the new movements that have been started as bases of a New World Order. But after the unfortunate experience of the last twenty years, nations are beginning to turn in the direction indicated by Islam. Many people are beginning to advocate that under the security system to be established after the war there should be a compulsory obligation to oppose an aggressor by force. Even now I declare that if this security system is not based on Islamic principles it will end in failure.