The article, Muhammad: The Warrior Prophet, in the Military History Quarterly magazine by Richard A. Gabriel, author of Muhammad: Islam’s First Great General has elevated the human-status of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to that of a super-human warrior and strategist; and it has not shied-away from calling him the originator of terrorism. There is no denying the fact that “superhuman” he was; but a “strategist and terrorist” he was NOT.
He was a super-human because in spite of all the fierce atrocities leveled against him; and extremely cruel opposition to his inspired Message! He never deviated from his inspired and chosen path of righteousness towards The Creator, El/Elah/God/Yahweh/Allah (SWT) or whatever name comes to mind about This Deity! He never complained to Allah (SWT) for any undignified acts inflicted upon his person; and never sought revenge against his tormentors! He was a Servant of Allah (SWT) and continued in his Mission to convey the Message as revealed to him. For his endurance and patience he was no less than a super-human! There are all types of numerous incidents which truly reflect upon his patience and full-faith in Allah (SWT).
The title of this article, “Muhammad: The Warrior Prophet” is totally misleading and wrongfully concludes that Muhammad was the only warrior prophet. The author needs to be reminded that Al-Islam was the original Message that was revealed to the humanity, by the First Prophet Adam (AS). Thereafter, all the Prophets and The Messengers, estimated to be around 124,000 in numbers, continued in their missions to enlighten their tribes and followers with the principals of Al-Islam. Although the principles of Al-Islam have remained static throughout the existence of the humanity, but different names were assumed because of the local or tribal preferences’. The majority of the humanity is monotheistic by Faith but they are divided by their beliefs. It would be refreshing and exciting to learn, what, in fact, are the principals of Al-Islam:
- There is only ONE CREATOR, EL/ELAH/GOD/YAHWEY/ALLAH (SWT). There is nothing comparable or associatable or partner-able with this Deity;
- That all of Allah’s Prophets and The Messengers were those who fully relied upon Allah and revealed to the people of their times all that was Revealed upon them. No Prophet has ever acted on his own will. All actions of the Prophets were those which were inspired upon them by Allah.
- That from time to time Allah (SWT) has Revealed the Guidance for the Humanity. Followers of such righteous guidance will be the dwellers of the Paradise during their eternal life; whereas those who deny such Guidances are the followers of the Satan/Devil/Evil. They will be forever doomed in the Fire-Wells of Hell. Thus the life on this planet is only temporary; but this life is also the only opportunity to select what would be the permanent place of abode in the eternal life hereafter;
- As the Sole Creator, Allah (SWT) demands complete attention of the humanity in prayers and praises to Him; and accord all the respects to His Creation. Within His Creation are those elements, the use or the consumption of which will meet the essential nutritional demands of the humanity. The excessive and abusive use of these very elements produces undesired addictions which are not only harmful but has led astray huge numbers of humanity.
- As is obvious that the life of this Universe is also limited and must end as and when Allah (SWT) will Decide. That will be the Last Day/Armageddon when all the life and His Creation will be annihilated. Thereafter the process of re-incarnation will start and the humanity will start moving towards The Throne of Allah (SWT). Every individual will be adjudged in accordance with their own deeds. Only the perpetrators of the acts will be held accountable. The prayers offered, the charities given and the acts of the welfare for the benefit of the community, in general, will earn high awards for the status of the residence in the Paradise.
“Whoever chooses to follow the right path, follows it but for his own good; and whoever goes astray, goes astray to his own loss; and no bearer of burden shall be made to bear another’s burden. Moreover We would never punish (any community for the wrong they may do) ere We have Sent a messenger (to them)”
— Quran: 17/15.
It is a mandatory duty of every member of Al-Islam to accept without any reservations or doubts this Faith; without demanding proof thereof; to unreservedly accept and have full-faith and beliefs in ALL THE PROPHETS AND THE MESSENGERS, starting with the First Prophet Adam (AS) to concluding with the Last Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (pbuh). The Holy Quran is the condensed form of the Final and The Full Message for the entire humanity AND it (Holy Quran) contains all the Revelations in their Original form and have never been abrogated or reworded by any human. It is also unreservedly accepted by Al-Islam that All The Holy Books, The Hymns, The Torah, The Bible; The Testaments deserve the same respect as accorded to the Holy Quran.
Therefore, it is wrong to contend, as suggested by Richard A. Gabriel, that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the one and the only Prophet of Allah (SWT) who was a warrior. All the Prophets and The Messengers were warriors in one respect or another. It is true that majority of them did not require taking up arms but they did suffer humiliations and cruel punishments inflicted upon them. Some Prophets were deliberately killed or executed by their people! It should be remembered that of the latter known names of the Prophets; Prophet David (Daud A/S); Prophet Moses (Musa A/S); Prophet Solomon (Suleiman A/S) and Prophet Muhammad (SAW) were forced to take-up arms against their enemies. All of these enemies were in fact the enemies of Allah (SWT) and they were engaged in massive activities of misleading the humanity towards the darkness of ignorance and away from the righteous paths towards Allah (SWT).
It is a verifiable historic fact that Muslims, at the initial time of Prophet Muhammad did not take-up any arms or had any armed conflicts for almost ten-years, in Makah, before the Hijra, (Emigration). A lot of Muslims were killed, maimed or burnt without any retaliation from the surviving Muslims. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had always promoted non-violent approach in his preaching and instructions to his followers; because that was how he was inspired. His first inspired battle was the Battle of Badr. At that time Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was residing in Medina, the city which had adopted him and his followers. The engagement in the Battle of Badr was enforced upon the Muslims by the Non-Believers of Makah. Incidentally majority of those nonbelievers were closely related to the Prophet and the Muslims of Medina.
Historically, the principle role of Prophet Muhammad (pbush), was to pass all the Revelations made to him by Allah (SWT) for the full benefit and knowledge of all the humanity. This Message will remain static and unchanged till the Last Day/Armageddon. There will be no room to change any of these Revelations; but these Revelations must be made available for the benefit of all the humanity. It must be stressed that acceptance of Al-Islam is purely a personal choice of every individual and not even a tiny amount of force can be ever used to enforce this issue. Allegiance towards Al-Islam is only initiated by the Will of Allah (SWT). The duty of every Muslim is to just, plainly, convey the Message without adding or deleting anything.
“Our duty is to convey the Message in clear terms.”
— Quran: 36/17.
The Wisdom displayed by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was in fact the inspirations from Allah (SWT). All the Muslims fully believe that their future and fate is predetermined by Allah (SWT) and will only happen the way Allah (SWT) has written. The only exception being the freedom of choice between good and evil; which is strictly individual; and this is the root cause of the word, “jihad”! It is, in all respects, the inner struggle between lustful body and analytical mind. The armed “jihad” is only the last step of the struggle when all else has failed! It is interesting to know that “armed jihad” has been mentioned less than three times in the entire Holy Quran.
Richard A. Gabriel wrongly accuses Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as the one who condemned the Jewish tribe of Quraiza. The fact of this matter is that the people of Quraiza were united in a joint-defense agreement with the residents of Medina. When the non-believers of Makah launched a war with the intentions to invade and destroy Medina and the Muslims. During the war and the siege of Medina, for more twenty-days, these people of Quraiza abandoned their posts and turned traitors; thus exposing their sectors as vulnerable. However, the tide of this battle had already turned in favor of the defenders of Medina by the natural elements from the unusual weather. A fierce night storm of severe winds and dense rain caused havoc for the invaders; who abandoned their missions and escaped back towards Makah.
The traitors, Quraiza, were offered the option to accept Islam as their faith or leave Medina for ever. This offer was defied by the Quraiza who locked themselves in their fort. The people of Medina, which included Jews, Christians and Muslims laid siege around their forts and restrained all the movements of the Quraiza. Eventually, Quraiza, offered to surrender but only if Sad Ibn Mu’adh, The Prince of the tribe of Aws, was appointed as the sole trial judge for the treason of Quraiza. It was the Prince of Aws, himself a Jew, who ordered that the fighting men of Quraiza be put to death; and the rest of the people be enslaved. What must have influenced the Prince to impose this severe punishment was the fact that due to the treachery of the Quraiza, large numbers of the people of the Aws were lost. Even the Prince himself suffered severe injuries, which after the trial and sentencing, proved too fatal for the Prince. Therefore, it is wrong to blame Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) or the Muslims for these executions!
The so-called Christian Crusades were nothing but butchery of innocents of the Palestine. The Crusaders unleashed such ruthless acts of barbarism and bloodshed, which had never been imagined before that. The barbarisms were not aimed at Islam but the Jews, the Christians, the Pagans and the Muslims were indiscriminately executed.
Richard A. Gabriel, correctly highlights a fact that for a Muslim to die in the War for Allah (SWT) “jihad” is the highest attainable award and honor. Even for the surviving family and the surrounding community. These martyrs are called “Shaheed” (Witness). And as Witness they are ever present and should never be mourned upon; as it would be an insult for them. However, numbers or a volume of the enemies has never been of any concern to a Muslim warrior! In the recent history, a look at the fighters of Muslim Mujahideen in Afghanistan will expose that the will to drive-out the numerically and technologically better-equipped invaders was a highly successful campaign. These campaigns by the Muslims not only drove-out the USSR from Afghanistan; it also strategically helped the United States of America. By their defeat, at the hands of a small number of dedicated Muslim warriors; the Soviet Empire collapsed. And the United States of America emerged as the Sole Super Power in the World.
Finally, it would be unfair, if not mentioned here for the general knowledge, that Al-Islam strictly and irrevocably prohibits self-inflicted suicide and any acts of violence where innocent civilians are victimized. Such acts are un-Al-Islamic and should be condemned without any reservations by every human.
Regarding the authorship of the Holy Quran the following should suffice:
“And if you doubt that which WE have revealed through Our slave (Muhammad), then produce some similar and comparable verses which match these Scriptures and exhibit those gods whom you claim to be your creators.”
— Quran 2/23
All praises are for Allah (SWT).
. "Muhammad: The Warrior Prophet"
by Richard A. Gabriel
Military History Quarterly, July 2007 (Summer 2007)