Do the worldly kings and Caesars and States conduct their wars along these lines? The only motive guiding the worldly kings is their own personal and nationalistic gains. The establishment of peace in the country is never their aim nor do they remain dedicated to this goal. Today, some nations call themselves civilized, and lecture the world on civilization. Their state of affairs in this regard must have been witnessed by Toynbee and his contemporaries during the First and Second World Wars. It is impossible for man to otherwise comprehend, and account for the death and destruction wreaked by these wars. Peace loving citizens, hospitals, schools, and even places of worship were made the target of bombs. Bombs were dropped with such hard-heartedness and barbarity that a mere thought of these events makes a dignified human being’s head bow in shame and humiliation. If we overlook all other destruction, and focus merely on the estimates of the loss of human life, we begin to shiver at the cheapness of human life. What a doomsday was caused to descend upon Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan by the American atom bombs! Does anyone have the courage to hear this blood drenched story? The estimates of the loss of life suffered in the Second World War by just the Allies, (Great Britain, America etc.) is put at ten million six hundred and fifty thousand. And the total loss on both sides is put at around twenty million. Russia alone lost over seven and a half million soldiers. Over one million, five hundred and fifty thousand young Japanese were sent to their deaths. And over two million, eight hundred, and fifty thousand valuable German lives were thrown into the oven of war (Enryclopedia Brittanica, Vol, 23, p. 793, 1962 Edition). And on top of all this, incredible unemployment, backbreaking inflation, the spread of shamelessness, and decay of morals were also a consequence of the death and destruction of the Second World War.
Now let us take another look at the actions and achievements of the civilized nations of today. The destruction that was wrought by the Americans in Iraq during the Gulf War of 1991 . Did they take care not to attack the women, the children, the aged, the trees, the religious buildings, the schools, and the hospitals? Even today. They continue to find ways, means and excuses to continue the process of destroying this country. Although the war has come to an end long ago, the final figures of the destruction wreaked in this war are yet to come. How much loss was caused to human life? How much economic loss was inflicted not only on Iraq but on all the states of the region? This record has still be revealed to the world.
On the other hand, the total loss of human life, both Muslims and non-Muslims, during all the wars that took place in Arabia in the life time of the Holy Prophet, was no more than four hundred and forty (Badr-ulKubra, Shauqi, Abu Khalil, Vol. 1, pp. 17-19).
The benefits gained by mankind in comparison to the loss of so few lives are incomparable. The Holy Prophet forbade the execution of wars for the purpose of looting and plunder. He prohibited indiscriminate death, and destruction and useless building and maintaining of armies. He only fought wars for permitted purposes. Even then, he did not permit the destruction and desecration of human dignity.
In the matter of fighting, Allah, the Exalted, directed the Holy Prophet and thereby all the sons of Islam as follows:
“And fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Surely Allah loves not the transgressors.” (Holy Quran 2:191).
Again Allah, the Exalted, commands:
“And fight them until there is no persecution, and religion is professed only for God. But if they desist, then remember that no hostility is allowed except against the wrongdoers.” (Holy Quran 2:194)
In the light of these Quranic injunctions, the conduct of the Holy Prophet, and his guidelines are clear proof of the fact that the objective of his wars was not the establishment and strengthening of sovereignty.
It was not to satisfy his hunger for greater empires. It was to establish freedom of conscience, peace and to eliminate disorder and discord. Under the most severe conditions, it was his instruction that his commanders display generosity and kind treatment. In full compliance with these instructions of the Holy Prophet, Muslim Generals and Commanders established incomparable examples of generosity, and kind treatment during the conduct of their wars. Examples of such behavior cannot be found among the advanced nations of today, who insist on calling themselves civilized, advanced, well-bred, polite, courteous and generous. In the conduct of wars, their behavior is completely devoid of any decency and human sympathy. We are forced to admit that the reign of the Holy Prophet was lit by the light of Prophethood and the sun of Messengership. Every moment of his life, whether it was during the times of peace or war, was a manifestation of the godly attributes and morals. His kingship and government were also colored with the manifestation of God and spirituality. A famous Indian biographer, of the early 20th century, Maulana Shibli Numani, writes:
“Despite the fact that the treasures of Arabia were in his hands, the dwelling of the prophet possessed no soft bed, no fine food, and no regal dress with which to cover the Prophet’s body. Neither did the Prophet’s pockets or sleeves have a single coin. Exactly at the time when someone may consider him a Caesar, or a Chosroe, an orphan of Makkah, wrapped up in a blanket, appeared to be an angel of God.” (Seeratun Nabi, Shibli, Vol. II)
As a matter of fact, the kingship of the Holy Prophet was the Khilafat (Vicegerent) of God. This is why he had to pass through every type of circumstances. He had to display clearly in his practice every type of godly attribute. When his life changed into the life of a sovereign in Madinah, the simplicity of Makkah could still be found in him. He had resignation and contentment to whatever he had been given. Justice and fairness, distaste of arrogance and pride, love of reconciliation and peace, doing good to others, generosity, and other praiseworthy characters are clearly visible in him. Despite being the Greatest statesman, nothing of the character of the worldly kings was to be found in him. All the signs of the elevated position of Prophethood were clearly visible in him with all their splendor and greatness. The famous German Professor and Christian Orientalist, Noldeke, an antagonist of Islam, is compelled to write on the Madinite period of the Holy Prophet’s life:
“Although on the whole, even after he had become ruler of all Arabia he maintained the original poverty and simplicity of his establishment. He never set store by money and estate, eating and drinking and soft clothing. He strictly continued to fast and watch and pray after his first fashion and that too, plainly out of a heartfelt need and without any ostentation…” (Encyclopedia Brlttannica, Vol. 16, p.7561)
Another Orientalist, Mr. Sale writes: “I have carried out a great deal of research and investigation but have discovered no evidence to declare Muhammad’s claim of prophethood false.” (Alfazal, Khataman-Nabiyyeen, Issue 1931)
In the presence of these proofs and testimonies, can it be correct to state that: upon arrival in Madinah, he bid farewell to the elevated status of Prophethood that he put on the garb of kingship, and adopted an attitude of compulsion?