Previously it was mentioned we would review the actions of some of Muhammad’s closest companions, particularly the four known as the "rightly guided" caliphs. Following Muhammad’s death these men reigned over the Islamic empire, each one after the death of the previous one. These men are: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali (Muhammad’s son-in-law). Below is a brief timeline of some of their actions and conquests. We can not detail all their military actions here, as they are much too numerous. They ruled during a period of great Islamic expansion over other peoples and lands, and their writings describing the conflicts and glorious conquest are the quite prolific. This information is drawn from various volumes of the History of Tabari, op cit, the "History of Islam",by Robert Payne  and "Jihad" by Paul Fregosi  , . These books will provide a more complete account of the Caliphs Islamic crusades. Of important significance it should be noted that all these conquests were not defensive in nature, but offensive. These men were conquering the world for Islam – exactly as Muhammad instructed. We should also add that during Ali’s reign Islamic conquest paused slightly. The Islamic empire experienced its first civil wars during Ali’s reign. All this occurred within a generation of Muhammad’s death.
Note that these men are correctly called ‘rightly guided’, as opposed to ‘wrongly guided’. This is because of the universal recognition that they always acted in full compliance of true Islam as guided by Muhammad’s final clear teachings and example. A review of history reveals conclusively that they followed their prophets’ instructions to the letter in advancing Islam through military conquest …through Jihad.
ABU BAKR’S REIGN
A.H. 11 (632, 633 AD) Abu Bakr makes war upon the people of Yamana who wish to leave Islam.
A.H. 12 Muslim armies attack the Christians in Palestine.
A.H. 13 Conquest of Damascus, Syria.
A.H. 14 & 15 Syria and Palestine conquered.
A.H. 15 – 21 Iraq, Southern Persia, and Egypt conquered.
A.H. 24 Conquest in Northern Persia and Armenia.
A.H. 28 Attack on Cyprus.
During Ali’s reign there were two civil wars. The first Islamic civil war occurred between Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law, and Aisha, Abu Bakr’s daughter (a child Muhammad consummated a marriage with when she was 9 years old). 13,000 Muslims died killing each other as Ali defeated Aisha. Not long thereafter Ali fought Muwawiyya, Abu Sufyan’s son. Muwawiyya was appointed governor of Damascus / Syria, and moved against Ali to take power. In the end, Ali won out as the two sides negotiated a peace of some sorts. Not long afterwards, Ali was murdered by Muslims, as was Uthman prior to him, and also Umar who was killed by a slave. In any case, after the ‘rightly guided Caliphs had all met untimely violent deaths through murder and assassination, Muwawiyya then assumed power as Caliph.
As you can tell from that brief chronological summary, the Caliphs made war as aggressively as any conquering nation or people in human history. They went on conquest after conquest. The message the rightly guided leaders imposed with the sword at their hands was the same as Muhammad’s: convert, pay extortion taxes, or die. Islam, real Islam, their Islam, was a religion of war, oppression, and conquest.
Below are Hadith dealing with the conquests and subjections of the Caliphs.
'Umar sent the Muslims to the great countries to fight the pagans. When Al-Hurmuzan embraced Islam, 'Umar said to him. "I would like to consult you regarding these countries which I intend to invade." Al-Hurmuzan said, "Yes, the example of these countries and their inhabitants who are the enemies of the Muslims, is like a bird with a head, two wings and two legs; If one of its wings got broken, it would get up over its two legs, with one wing and the head; and if the other wing got broken, it would get up with two legs and a head, but if its head got destroyed, then the two legs, two wings and the head would become useless. The head stands for Khosrau, and one wing stands for Caesar and the other wing stands for Faris. So, order the Muslims to go towards Khosrau." So, 'Umar sent us (to Khosrau) appointing An-Numan bin Muqrin as our commander. When we reached the land of the enemy, the representative of Khosrau came out with forty-thousand warriors, and an interpreter got up saying, "Let one of you talk to me!" Al-Mughira replied, "Ask whatever you wish." The other asked, "Who are you?" Al-Mughira replied, "We are some people from the Arabs; we led a hard, miserable, disastrous life: we used to suck the hides and the date stones from hunger; we used to wear clothes made up of fur of camels and hair of goats, and to worship trees and stones. While we were in this state, the Lord of the Heavens and the Earths, Elevated is His Remembrance and Majestic is His Highness, sent to us from among ourselves a Prophet whose father and mother are known to us. Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, has ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah Alone or give Jizya (i.e. tribute); and our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says:-- "Whoever amongst us is killed (i.e. martyred), shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever amongst us remain alive, shall become your master." (Al-Mughira, then blamed An-Numan for delaying the attack and) An-Nu' man said to Al-Mughira, "If you had participated in a similar battle, in the company of Allah's Apostle he would not have blamed you for waiting, nor would he have disgraced you. But I accompanied Allah's Apostle in many battles and it was his custom that if he did not fight early by daytime, he would wait till the wind had started blowing and the time for the prayer was due (i.e. after midday)."
Bukhari 4.386: Narrated Jubair bin Haiya
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) breathed his last and Abu Bakr was appointed as his successor (Caliph), those amongst the Arabs who wanted to become apostates became apostates. 'Umar b. Khattab said to Abu Bakr: Why would you fight against the people, when the Messenger of Allah declared: I have been directed to fight against people so long as they do not say: There is no god but Allah, and he who professed it was granted full protection of his property and life on my behalf except for a right? His (other) affairs rest with Allah. Upon this Abu Bakr said: By Allah, I would definitely fight against him who severed prayer from Zakat, for it is the obligation upon the rich. By Allah, I would fight against them even to secure the cord (used for hobbling the feet of a camel) which they used to give to the Messenger of Allah (as zakat) but now they have withheld it. Umar b. Khattab remarked: By Allah, I found nothing but the fact that Allah had opened the heart of Abu Bakr for (perceiving the justification of) fighting (against those who refused to pay Zakat) and I fully recognized that the (stand of Abu Bakr) was right.
Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0029
A Banquet of Hadith (which deals with Jihad and aggressive Islamic violence). We’ve examined many verses from the Qur’an, and associated context from Sira and Hadith, along with commentary from Islamic scholars regarding violence and Jihad. We also put together a list of violent incidents that demonstrate various facets of Islamic Jihad. Below is a selection of Hadiths regarding violence and Jihad to widen the reader’s understanding of Islamic Jihad and violence. In some cases the Hadith is not quoted in full because of the length. Most of these Hadith are available on the Internet and can be downloaded for further review. [NOTE. Most of these Hadith come from the collections of Bukhari and Muslim. These two collections are regarded as absolutely reliable and truthful to the Sunni branch of Islam (85% of the Islamic world is Sunni). The collection of Abu Dawud is also held is high esteem, but not as highly as the other two].
Sufyan b. Abd Zuhair reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Syria will be conquered and some people will go out of Medina along with their families driving their camels. and Medina is better for them if they were to know it. Then Yemen will be conquered and some people will go out of Medina along with their families driving their camels, and Medina is better for them if they were to know it. Then Iraq will be conquered and some people will go out of it along with their families driving their camels, and Medina is better for them if they were to know it.
Sahih Muslim, Book 7, Number 3200
That 'Umair bin Al-Aswad Al-Anasi told him that he went to 'Ubada bin As-Samit while he was staying in his house at the sea-shore of Hims with (his wife) Um Haram. 'Umair said. Um Haram informed us that she heard the Prophet saying, "Paradise is granted to the first batch of my followers who will undertake a naval expedition." Um Haram added, I said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Will I be amongst them?' He replied, 'You are amongst them.' The Prophet then said, 'The first army amongst' my followers who will invade Caesar's City will be forgiven their sins.' I asked, 'Will I be one of them, O Allah's Apostle?' He replied in the negative."
Sahih Bukhari, 4.175: Narrated Khalid bin Madan
"It has been reported from Sulaiman b. Buraid through his father that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him to fear Allah and to be good to the Muslims who were with him. He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. Then invite them to migrate from their lands to the land of Muhairs and inform them that, if they do so, they shall have all the privileges and obligations of the Muhajirs. If they refuse to migrate, tell them that they will have the status of Bedouin Muslims and will be subjected to the Commands of Allah like other Muslims, but they will not get any share from the spoils of war or Fai' except when they actually fight with the Muslims (against the disbelievers). If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them…."
Sahih Muslim, Book 019, Number 4294
The following deals with the permissibility of killing women and children in the night raids (provided it is not deliberate):
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.
Sahih Muslim, Book 019, Number 4321
The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)." I also heard the Prophet saying, "The institution of Hima is invalid except for Allah and His Apostle."
Bukhari 4.256: Narrated As-Sab bin Jaththama
It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Sa'id Khudri that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said (to him): Abu Sa'id, whoever cheerfully accepts Allah as his Lord, Islam as his religion and Muhammad as his Apostle is necessarily entitled to enter Paradise. He (Abu Sa'id) wondered at it and said: Messenger of Allah, repeat it for me. He (the Messenger of Allah) did that and said: There is another act which elevates the position of a man in Paradise to a grade one hundred (higher), and the elevation between one grade and the other is equal to the height of the heaven from the earth. He (Abu Sa'id) said: What is that act? He replied: Jihad in the way of Allah! Jihad in the way of Allah!
Sahih Muslim, Book 020, Number 4645
It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Qatada that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stood up among them (his Companions) to deliver his sermon in which he told them that Jihad in the way of Allah and belief in Allah (with all His Attributes) are the most meritorious of acts. A man stood up and said: Messenger of Allah, do you think that if I am killed in the way of Allah, my sins will be blotted out from me? The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: Yes, in case you are killed in the way of Allah and you were patient and sincere and you always fought facing the enemy, never turning your back upon him.
Sahih Muslim, Book 020, Number 4646
The tradition has been narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah b. Qais. He heard it from his father who, while facing the enemy, reported that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: Surely, the gates of Paradise are under the shadows of the swords. A man in a shabby condition got up and said; Abu Musa, did you hear the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) say this? He said: Yes. (The narrator said): He returned to his friends and said: I greet you (a farewell greeting). Then he broke the sheath of his sword, threw it away, advanced with his (naked) sword towards the enemy and fought (them) with it until he was slain.
Sahih Muslim, Book 020, Number 4681
(the freed slave of 'Umar bin 'Ubaidullah) I was Umar's clerk. Once Abdullah bin Abi Aufa wrote a letter to 'Umar when he proceeded to Al-Haruriya. I read in it that Allah's Apostle in one of his military expeditions against the enemy, waited till the sun declined and then he got up amongst the people saying O people! Do not wish to meet the enemy, and ask Allah for safety, but when you face the enemy, be patient, and remember that Paradise is under the shades of swords.", " Then he said, "O Allah, the Revealer of the Holy Book, and the Mover of the clouds and the Defeater of the clans, defeat them, and grant us victory over them."
Bukhari, 4.266A: Narrated Salim Abu An-Nadr
It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said on the day of the Conquest of Mecca: There is no Hijra now, but (only) Jihad (fighting for the cause of Islam) and sincerity of purpose (have great reward) ; when you are asked to set out (on an expedition undertaken for Islam) you should (readily) do so.
Sahih Muslim, Book 020, Number 4597
On the day of the Conquest (of Mecca) the Prophet said, "There is no emigration after the Conquest but Jihad and intentions. When you are called (by the Muslim ruler) for fighting, go forth immediately." (See Hadith No. 42)
Bukhari 4. 79: Narrated Ibn 'Abbas
It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace upon him) said: Allah has undertaken to look after the affairs of one who goes out to fight in His way believing in Him and affirming the truth of His Apostles. He is committed to His care that He will either admit him to Paradise or bring him back to his home from where he set out with a reward or (his share of) booty. …By, the Being in Whose Hand is Muhammad's life, if it were not to be too hard upon the Muslims. I would not lag behind any expedition which is going to fight in the cause of Allah. But I do not have abundant means to provide them (the Mujahids) with riding beasts, nor have they (i. e. all of them) abundant means (to provide themselves with all the means of Jihad) so that they could he left behind. By the Being in Whose Hand is Muhammad, I love to fight in the way of Allah and be killed, to fight and again be killed and to fight again and be killed.
Sahih Muslim, Book 020, Number 4626
It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Sa'id Khudri that a man came to the Holy Prophet (may peace he upon him) and said: Who is the best of men? He replied: A man who fights in the way of Allah spending his wealth and staking his life. The man then asked: Who is next to him (in excellence)? He said: Next to him is a believer who lives in a mountain gorge worshipping hid Lord and sparing men from his mischief.
Sahih Muslim, Book 020, Number 4652
Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him."
Bukhari 4.177: Narrated Abu Huraira
The Prophet said, "The Hour will not be established till you fight with people wearing shoes made of hair. And the Hour will not be established till you fight with people whose faces look like shields coated with leather. " (Abu Huraira added, "They will be small-eyed, flat nosed, and their faces will look like shields coated with leather.")
Bukhari 4.180: Narrated Abu Huraira
(The text note says these people are the Turks).
A Bedouin asked the Prophet, "A man may fight for the sake of booty, and another may fight so that he may be mentioned by the people, and a third may fight to show his position (i.e. bravery); which of these regarded as fighting in Allah's Cause?" The Prophet said, "He who fights so that Allah's Word (i.e. Islam) should be superior, fights for Allah's Cause."
Bukhari 4.355: Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ashari
I asked Allah's Apostle, "O Allah's Apostle! What is the best deed?" He replied, "To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times." I asked, "What is next in goodness?" He replied, "To be good and dutiful to your parents." I further asked, what is next in goodness?" He replied, "To participate in Jihad in Allah's Cause." I did not ask Allah's Apostle anymore and if I had asked him more, he would have told me more.
Bukhari 4. 41: Narrated Abdullah bin Masud
The Prophet said, "A time will come when the people will wage holy war, and it will be asked, 'Is there any amongst you who has enjoyed the company of Allah's Apostle?' They will say: 'Yes.' And then victory will be bestowed upon them. They will wage holy war again, and it will be asked: 'Is there any among you who has enjoyed the company of the companions of Allah's Apostle ?' They will say: 'Yes.' And then victory will be bestowed on them."
Bukhari 4.792: Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri
Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah." Narrated Maimun ibn Siyah that he asked Anas bin Malik, "O Abu Hamza! What makes the life and property of a person sacred?" He replied, "Whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah', faces our Qibla during the prayers, prays like us and eats our slaughtered animal, then he is a Muslim, and has got the same rights and obligations as other Muslims have."
Bukhari 1.387: Narrated Anas bin Malik
The Prophet said: I am commanded to fight with men till they testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His servant and His Apostle, face our qiblah (direction of prayer), eat what we slaughter, and pray like us. When they do that, their life and property are unlawful for us except what is due to them. They will have the same rights as the Muslims have, and have the same responsibilities as the Muslims have.
Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2635: Narrated Anas ibn Malik
Allah's Apostle sent us towards Al-Huruqa, and in the morning we attacked them and defeated them.
Bukhari 5.568: Narrated Usama bin Zaid
In the Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance there was a house called Dhu-l-Khalasa or Al-Ka'ba Al-Yamaniya or Al-Ka'ba Ash-Shamiya. The Prophet said to me, "Won't you relieve me from Dhu-l-Khalasa?" So I set out with one-hundred-and-fifty riders, and we dismantled it and killed whoever was present there. Then I came to the Prophet and informed him, and he invoked good upon us and Al-Ahmas (tribe).
Bukhari 5.641: Narrated Jarir
Thursday! And how great that Thursday was! The ailment of Allah's Apostle became worse (on Thursday) and he said, fetch me something so that I may write to you something after which you will never go astray." … Then he ordered them to do three things. He said, "Turn the pagans out of the 'Arabian Peninsula; respect and give gifts to the foreign delegations as you have seen me dealing with them".
Bukhari 5.716: Narrated Ibn Abbas
The Prophet said: A section of my community will continue to fight for the right and overcome their opponents till the last of them fights with the Antichrist.
Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2478: Narrated Imran ibn Husayn
Abu Malik heard the Apostle of Allah say: He who goes forth in Allah's path and dies or is killed is a martyr, or has his neck broken through being thrown by his horse or by his camel, or is stung by a poisonous creature, or dies on his bed by any kind of death Allah wishes is a martyr and will go to Paradise.
Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2493: Narrated Abu Malik al-Ash'ari
He who dies without having fought or having felt fighting (against the infidels) to be his duty will die guilty of a kind of hypocrisy".
Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2496: Abu Hurairah reported the Prophet saying
Abu Imran said: We went out on an expedition from Medina with the intention of (attacking) Constantinople. AbdurRahman ibn Khalid ibn al-Walid was the leader of the company. The Romans were just keeping their backs to the walls of the city. A man (suddenly) attacked the enemy.…
Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2506: Narrated Abu Ayyub
When the Prophet intended to go on an expedition, he always pretended to be going somewhere else, and he would say: War is deception.
Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2631: Narrated Ka'b ibn Malik
The Apostle of Allah appointed Abu Bakr our commander and we fought with some people who were polytheists, and we attacked them at night, killing them. Our war-cry that night was "put to death; put to death." Salamah said: I killed that night with my hand polytheists belonging to seven houses.
Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2632: Narrated Salamah ibn al-Akwa'
The Prophet said: Kill the old men who are polytheists, but spare their children.
Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2664: Narrated Samurah ibn Jundub
No woman of Banu Qurayzah was killed except one. She was with me, talking and laughing on her back and belly (extremely), while the Apostle of Allah was killing her people with the swords. Suddenly a man called her name: Where is so-and-so? She said: I asked: What is the matter with you? She said: I did a new act. The man took her and beheaded her. I will not forget that she was laughing extremely although she knew that she would be killed.
Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2665: Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin
- ↑ Payne, Robert, "The History of Islam", Dorset Press, New York, 1990
- ↑ Fregosi, Paul, "Jihad", Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 1998