Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP)'s Approach Toward Peace and Concordance: Part 2

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP) has been sent as a perfect role model for human beings, both in deeds and behavior. This is emphasized in the Quran (33:21) and the sayings of Infallible Imams (AS): “Certainly, in the Prophet of Allah (PBUH and HP) was sufficient example for you and a proof concerning the vices of the world, its defects, the multitude of its disgraces and its evils” [1]. Being mercy to all humans, Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH & HP) compassion included not only Muslims but every human being. This fact is evident in his manner towards opposers and how he dealt with the followers of other religions that we reviewed some of them in the first part of the topic and the rest will be introduced here.

Preaching the World Powers of that Era

As mentioned in the Quran, Islam is a religion for the people all around the world: “We did not send you except as a bearer of good news and warner to all mankind” (34:28). Hence, it was a duty over the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP) to promote Islam in other parts of the world, too. As soon as his message had been spread in the region of Hejaz, and the Islamic government had been established after the settlement of conflicts among parties in dispute, Prophet (PBUH & HP) received the divine order to universalize his mission (9:33-48:28). Accordingly, he sent several messages to the governors of various countries. In these messages, he neither threatened to war nor obliged them to obey him. Instead, he used kind words to invite them to monotheism (Tawhid). About 185 messages are reported that had been sent to the leaders of countries, heads of tribes, and emperors, which all shared a peaceful approach [2]. 

 

prophet muhammad

All the messages he sent to Al-Muqawqis, the ruler of Egypt, Heraclius, the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, and Al-Najashi, the king of the Kingdom of Aksum, started with salutations and greetings. Then, they were asked to let their people hear the divine message that Prophet (PBUH & HP) had and decide freely whether they want to follow it or not. The reason behind sending letters to the heads of countries and tribes was that, if the leader of a group were convinced to change his\her mind and accepted Islam, then he\she would let his\her people hear the message of Islam and invite them more easily to Islam; like what happened with Al-Najashi. Hearing the Surat Maryam and realizing the truth, he let those Muslims who had moved from Mecca to Aksum to save their lives and settle down safely in his realm. This permission caused Islam to be spread readily in that land, and many people accepted Islam willingly.  

 
This matches the principles of “peaceful coexistence” and “religious coexistence” that are encouraged in Islam [3]: “Say, ‘O People of the Book! Come to a common word between us and you: that we will worship no one but Allah, that we will not ascribe any partner to Him, and that some of us will not take some others as lords besides Allah.” (3:64).


Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP)'s  Attitude towards Non-Muslims


Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP) always encouraged Muslims to justice, fairness, respecting the rights, and avoiding harassment in dealing with the followers of other religions [2]. He said: “Whoever oppresses who is in agreement with Muslims and imposes a burden on him more than his tolerance, I will be against him on the judgment day.” [4] and “whoever offends who is under the protection of Islam, has offended me.” [4]. Those who were under the protection of Islam were the Jews and Christians who participated in providing the expenses of the Islamic government in return for being protected by paying money called “Jizya.” This shouldn’t be confused with paying for the right of life, but it means that the Jews and Christians were considered as common citizens who lived in a friendly ambiance with Muslims in the society, and no one was permitted to hurt them.

 

prophet muhammad

Moreover, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP) cared about the living conditions of non-Muslims such that he ordered Muslims to give charity to the People of the Book (Jews, Christians, Sabians, and Zoroastrians) who were in need [5]. This was an act of humanity, and not a religious obligation, that originated from Prophet’s (PBUH & HP) exemplary character.


He respected non-Muslims such that once he was among his companions that people brought the corpse of a Jew. Prophet (PBUH & HP) stood up as a sign of respect. The companions told that the dead one was a Jew. He answered that one should stand up to respect the dead body, whether it belongs to a Muslim or a non-Muslim [6].

From what has been discussed above, one can see that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP) has truly represented the peaceful essence of Islam through his words and acts. And actually, many of his enemies and non-Muslims embraced Islam due to his lovely noble character.

 

References:

[1]. “Nahjul Balaqa,” Sermon 160.
[2]. A. Ahmadi Miyanji, “Makatib al-Rasul,” p. 261-263.
[3]. M. A. Amini, “The principle of peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims in Islam,” Ma’rifat Journal, no. 165, p. 35-52.
[4]. S. Balaqi, “Justice and judgment in Islam,” p. 57.
[5]. A. A. F. Thibarah, "Ruhuddin al-Islami," p. 276.
[6]. Jafar Sobhani, “Introduction to principles of Islam,” p. 528-529,