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truth. The same questions of points 3 and 4 above can be asked again, just to find out how much loot the Muslim adventurers took or sent back to Arabia, and how many of their men returned home with spoils. This is not to mention the flourishing, the renaissance and prosperity of the “ looted” territories under these very “ looters” . It is not even to mention the harsh persecutions and heavy losses of lives and properties inflicted on Muslims, or the provocation and threats hurled at them. It is simply an appeal to those of such an opinion to make more careful studies of the case and present more responsible conclusions. However, they have to remember that whatever loot collected by the Muslims was very little compared to what they had lost by confiscation, usurpation, persecution and other provocative action inflicted on them from the hostile camps Whether or not the critics of these various grades accept the point of view of this survey, the fact remains that Islam is the religion of peace in the fullest sense of the term; that unjust war was never among its teachings; that aggression was never in its tenets or tolerated by it; that force was never employed to impose it on anyone; that the expansion of Islam was never due to compulsion or oppression; that misappropriation was never forgivable by God or acceptable to Islam; and that whoever distorts or misrepresents the Islamic teachings will do more harm to his own self and his associates than to Islam. Because it is the religion of God and the straight path to Him, it survived under the most difficult conditions, and it will survive to be the safe bridge to happy eternity. Should these critics have any doubt about this fact, they would be wise to study Islam, re-read the Qur’ an, and refresh their memory of history The fact that economic prosperity and cultural renaissance followed the spread of Islam into the “ conquered” regions does not necessarily mean that the Muslims were after economic gains and military spoils. Even if such alleged gain and spoils became incentives in later periods of Islamic history, it still does not follow that Islam prefers war to peace and the Muslims relish war spoils. There are better explanations. One of these should be very clear to those who are familiar with the classical discussion of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism where Protestantism, along with other factors, led to the rise of modern capitalism. No serious mind would contend that the Protestants developed their ethic to become economically prosperous or that modern capitalism still depends on the Protestant Ethic 6. Finally, the word “ Jihad” when associated with the word “ Terrorism” become an abused term; the common meaning of Jihad is the action of a Muslim to defend his Muslim country when attacked, but it will never be a Jihad if you break the Muslims rules of engagement. It is a fact that Islam is both a faith and a set of rules of conduct, even in times of war Muslims are not allowed to kill anybody except the one who is engaged in face to face confrontation with them. The Muslims rules of engagement insist that children, women, the infirm, the aged, the men of religion and all those who are not engaged directly in battle should not be harmed. Moreover, Muslims in times of war are not allowed to destroy buildings housing innocent people or to destroy lands or to cut trees or to poison wells or to endanger the environment. Also Islam forbids haphazard killing where innocent people are killed along with wrongdoers At the same time the wide meaning of the word Jihad is ‘striving to do good’ . So if you educate your family correctly your action is a Jihad, if you do your job properly your action is a Jihad, if you control your anger continuously your action is a Jihad, and the greatest Jihad is to restrain your soul from impure evil lower desires and lusts It should be stated that Islam, the religion of tolerance and forgiveness, holds the human soul in high esteem, and considers the killing of innocent human beings a grave sin and a terrible crime; This is backed by the Qur’ anic verse which reads: ” … that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people, and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people… ” (Qur’ an 5: 32) The Prophet is reported to have stated that: ‘ a woman would go to Hell because she

Islam in Focus  
Islam in Focus  

By HAMMUDAH ABDALATI Table of Contents Chapter - II

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