Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Peaceful Coexistence
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According to the Islamic historical narrative, the prophet's career had two distinct phases. In Mecca his preaching was characterized by a strong impulse to pacifism, forbearance and peaceful coexistence with the disbelievers, combined with preaching on the nature of their sin, (principally, shirk), together with warnings of hell fire. It includes such famous verses as "For you is your religion, and for me is my religion." (Qur'an 109:6). This contrasts markedly with the second phase which took place after the forced migration to Medina, where Muhammad became as much of a political-military figure leading a campaign against the Meccans as a religious preacher. As such, the scholars have classified the verses of the Qur'an into "Meccan" and "Medinian" verses, as have modern academic scholars (though with further refinement). At certain times the doctrine of naskh (Abrogation) was employed by medieval Islamic scholars particularly widely to argue that since the more peaceful Meccan verses came to Muhammad first, they are abrogated or cancelled by the later Medinian verses. This was necessary because their interpretation of the later verses was that they sanctioned aggressive, expansionary warfare. A more extreme subset of scholars considered the verse of the sword (Quran 9:5) to have abrogated all peaceful verses. Islamic modernist and some modern academic scholars reject such interpretations, arguing that read carefully, the Medinan fighting verses are defensive or pre-emptive in nature in response to the aggression and treaty breaking of the Quraysh. For more information on these interpretations see Jihad in Islamic Law.
Religious Tolerance and Coexistence with Other Religions
Allah has sent Muhammad only to warn non-Muslims.
Leave non-Muslims to their ignorance.
It is best if you do not retaliate against your persecutors, but rather seek refuge in Allah.
Do not argue with innocent Christians and Jews, but rather emphasize your common monotheism.
Invite non-Believers to Islam by preaching to them.
Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.
Do not readily retaliate when attacked, since Allah will have the evil people destroy themselves.
Seest thou not that We have set the Evil Ones on against the unbelievers, to incite them with fury?
Be patient with the evil words that are said by people.
Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from thy Lord, (their punishment) must necessarily have come; but there is a Term appointed (for respite).
Be patient and let the non-Muslims see that Islam is the true religion.
And if We had inflicted on them a penalty before this, they would have said: "Our Lord! If only Thou hadst sent us a messenger, we should certainly have followed Thy Signs before we were humbled and put to shame."
Turn away from those who reject Islam and say "Peace" to them.
(Allah has knowledge) of the (Prophet's) cry, "O my Lord! Truly these are people who will not believe!"
Non-Muslims shall have their religion and Muslims shall have their religion.
Say : O ye that reject Faith!
I worship not that which ye worship,
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship,
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
As an ideological leader of the Afghan Jihad against the Soviets, 'Abdallah Yusuf 'Azzam (d. 1989) argued the importance of not relinquishing the right to Muslim lands as part of a peace treaty:
Such as:1) It is not permitted to include a condition in the treaty that relinquishes even a hand span of Muslim land to the Kuffar. Because, the land of Islam belongs to no one, therefore none can make negotiations over it. Such a condition nullifies the treaty because the land belongs to Allah and to Islam. It is not permitted for anyone to misuse anything in a domain not his own. Or to barter the Son of Adam that does not belong to him. With reference to the Russians, it is not permitted to negotiate with them until they retreat from every hand span of Afghani territory .With the Jews in Palestine, likewise.
In contrast, the 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty represented official Egyptian recognition of Israel and was endorsed by al-Azhar. Precedent for treaties in which Muslims accept unfavourable terms for the sake of a longer term benefit is often cited in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah between Muhammad's Medinan state and the Quraysh in 628 CE, which affirmed a ten-year peace and granted Muhammad and the believers a pilgrimage to Mecca the following year, in 629 CE.
The Shafi'i jurist al-Nawawi stated in his commentary on Sahih Muslim:
One of the most influential modern jurists, Yusuf al-Qaradawi (d. 2022) stated in his book, fiqh al-Jihad, that the United Nations is a treaty that renders the world an abode of peace, and peace as the basic norm is established. The exception was Israel, which he argued is still part of Dar al-Harb (the abode of war), disagreeing with leading al-Azhar scholars Muhammad Abu Zahrah (d. 1979) and Jad al-Haqq ‘Ali Jad al-Haqq (d. 1996) who justified the 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty. Similarly, the Saudi Salafist Sheikh ‘Abd al- ‘Aziz bin Baz (d. 1999) disagreed to some extent with al-Qaradawi regarding Israel, citing Quran 8:61 and Quran 8:72 quoted above to argue that the Quran approves of treaties when faced with oppression.
Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1328) said regarding peace with disbelievers:
- Jihad (Primary Sources) - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Jihad (Primary Sources)
- Rashad Ali and Hannah Stuart, A Guide to Refuting Jihadism: Critiquing radical Islamist claims to theological authenticity p. 36-37