From the original article when it was titled, "Historical Correspondence with Jihadists"
Letter commanding followers to raid caravans
This is the letter that led to the murder of an Arab merchant and the revelation of Quran 2:217.
Go forward to Nakhla, in the name of the Lord, and with His blessing! Yet force not any of thy followers against his inclination! Proceed with those that accompany you willingly. And when thou hast arrived at the valley of Nakhla, there lie in wait for the caravans of the Coreish.
Tariq ibn Ziyad's address to his soldiers, 711 CE
Tariq ibn Ziyad was a Muslim conqueror of the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain).
"Oh my warriors, whither would you flee? Behind you is the sea, before you, the enemy. You have left now only the hope of your courage and your constancy. Remember that in this country you are more unfortunate than the orphan seated at the table of the avaricious master. Your enemy is before you, protected by an innumerable army; he has men in abundance, but you, as your only aid, have your own swords, and, as your only chance for life, such chance as you can snatch from the hands of your enemy. If the absolute want to which you are reduced is prolonged ever so little, if you delay to seize immediate success, your good fortune will vanish, and your enemies, whom your very presence has filled with fear, will take courage. Put far from you the disgrace from which you flee in dreams, and attack this monarch who has left his strongly fortified city to meet you. Here is a splendid opportunity to defeat him, if you will consent to expose yourselves freely to death. Do not believe that I desire to incite you to face dangers which I shall refuse to share with you. In the attack I myself will be in the fore, where the chance of life is always least.
"Remember that if you suffer a few moments in patience, you will afterward enjoy supreme delight. Do not imagine that your fate can be separated from mine, and rest assured that if you fall, I shall perish with you, or avenge you. You have heard that in this country there are a large number of ravishingly beautiful Greek maidens, their graceful forms are draped in sumptuous gowns on which gleam pearls, coral, and purest gold, and they live in the palaces of royal kings. The Commander of True Believers, Alwalid, son of Abdalmelik, has chosen you for this attack from among all his Arab warriors; and he promises that you shall become his comrades and shall hold the rank of kings in this country. Such is his confidence in your intrepidity. The one fruit which he desires to obtain from your bravery is that the word of God shall be exalted in this country, and that the true religion shall be established here. The spoils will belong to yourselves.
"Remember that I place myself in the front of this glorious charge which I exhort you to make. At the moment when the two armies meet hand to hand, you will see me, never doubt it, seeking out this Roderick, tyrant of his people, challenging him to combat, if God is willing. If I perish after this, I will have had at least the satisfaction of delivering you, and you will easily find among you an experienced hero, to whom you can confidently give the task of directing you. But should I fall before I reach to Roderick, redouble your ardor, force yourselves to the attack and achieve the conquest of this country, in depriving him of life. With him dead, his soldiers will no longer defy you."
Governor al-Hajjaj to his general, Muhammad Qasim, in 712, while invading Sindh
I am shocked at the weakness of your policy. People will think that you are trying to bring about peace! You should inspire fear. (...) You must use all your strength, for they will put up a furious resistance for the sake of their wealth and families. Ride against them… With the help of God, we hope to make them all food for our sharp swords, take away their wealth and their families, and obtain large booty. Do not show weakness, and remember that God makes the end of the pious happy.
It appears from your letter that all the rules made by you for the comfort and convenience of your men are strictly in accordance with religious law. But the way of granting pardon prescribed by the law is different from the one adopted by you, for you go on giving partdon to everybody, high or low, without any discretion and without any distinction between a friend of foe. The great God says in the Qur'an (47.4): O true believers, when you encounter the disbelievers, strike off their heads
. The above command of the Great God is a great command and must be respected and followed. You should not be so fond of showing mercy, as to nullify the virtue of the act. Henceforth grant pardon to no one of the enemy and spare none of them, or else all will consider you a weak-minded man.
- ↑ Muir, Sir William. (1878). The life of Mahomet. (p. 217). London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- ↑ Medieval Sourcebook: Al Maggari: Tarik's Address to His Soldiers, 711 CE, from The Breath of Perfumes - Fordham University, accessed October 29, 2011
- ↑ Charles F. Horne, ed., The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East, (New York: Parke, Austin, & Lipscomb, 1917), Vol. VI: Medieval Arabia, pp. 241-242.
Trifkovic, Serge. The Sword of the Prophet: History, Theology, Impact on the World. Regina Orthodox Press, September 11, 2002.