When it comes to how Islam was spread universally, we hear from many that Islam was spread by sword and bloodshed. However, studying the conduct and manner of all the prophets, and especially Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), in inviting people to Allah unveils the truth about this issue.
When one decides to start a revolutionary cultural movement, he/she needs to plan for different aspects of this movement. The most important thing is the message he/she wants to convey to the audience. After that, he/she comes to how to spread this message in a way that can be vastly heard, and then it’s time to discover how the message should be said and conveyed to attract the audience. This is the most primary rule in media studies, and prophets in their era were well-aware of these rules and if they needed help regarding techniques and concepts, they received guidelines from Allah to help them spread their message in the most influential way.
The messages that prophets were going to convey to people were revealed to them by God Allah. The question ‘“how to spread this message” is discussed as a method of invitation. And the question ‘how to make the words influential’ is discussed under the title of manners of invitation in this article.
Allah (SWT) highlights the mission of His Prophet (PBUH&HP) as follows:
“O Prophet! Indeed We have sent you as a witness, as a bearer of good news and as a warner. And as a summoner to Allah by His permission, and as a radiant lamp.” (33: 45-46)
In this verse, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) is introduced as a “witness” ; a person who is present in his society and observes the problems and challenges of people on one hand, and as a person who has the best capability to testify the truth about Allah, His creation, and the hereafter on the other.
He has the responsibility to invite people to Allah, inform and remind them of the mercy and blessings of their lord and warn them of what is harmful to them. He, as a “radiant lamp” lightens the path of his people toward prosperity. .
But, has God Allah provided His prophet Prophet ((PBUH&HP) with any methods to help him guide people?
In some verses of the Quran Allah (SWT) provides the Prophet (PBUH&HP) with the following methods:
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good advice and dispute with them in a manner that is best...” (16:125)
Using this verse, the first step in inviting people to God Allah is to use correct wisdom and reasoning, and since the mission of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP) is to awaken thoughts and ideas and to flourish rational treasures, the best way to achieve this goal is to use logic and reasoning.  This method is mostly used for those intellectual people of the society.
The verse introduces “good advice” as a method for communicating with the audience who have softer hearts. “Good advice” is the method in which good deeds are reminded and expressed in such a way that the listener's heart is softened by hearing that expression and, as a result, surrenders. Therefore, for some audience gentle speech is more effective than logical arguments. 
However, for a group of audience who are stubborn and have prejudice on their ideas, the Quran suggests the method of dispute and argument in a way that is best.
The definition of “best despite” can be best understood when recognizing what is a wrong dispute. A wrong dispute or argument as described by Imam Sadiq (AS) is “a disgraceful, immodest argument to deny a right, or to accept a falsehood, as a result of your own intellectual weakness, or to do so as a result of the abuse of a rival's intellectual weakness.” 
Therefore, the best dispute is the one in which both parties listen to each other with the intention of learning from and informing each other, and accepting the truth and justice even if it is against our mindset.
In another verse of the Quran Allah (SWT) Commands His prophet Prophet (PBUH&HP) to:
“Say, ‘This is my way. I summon to Allah with insight—I and he who follows me. Immaculate is Allah, and I am not one of the polytheists.’” (12:108)
In fact, the Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP), by the command of GodAllah, determines his religion and method to invite all people to this path out of awareness and insight. The followers of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) must also invite the people to the divine religion with awareness and insight.
Apart from all the methods that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) knew them well, it was his manner that attracted people to him and his message.
As Allah mentions in the Quran, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was sent to humanity as a mercy and blessing:
“We did not send you but as a mercy to all the nations.” (21:107)
Although the great manner and behavior of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) has been admired in the Quran , the difficulty of his mission in interacting with people has been so great that Allah puts mercy and gentleness in his heart:
“It is by Allah’s mercy that you are gentle to them; and had you been harsh and hardhearted, they would have surely scattered from around you. So excuse them and plead for forgiveness for them, and consult them in the affairs, and once you are resolved, put your trust in Allah. Indeed Allah loves those who trust in Him.” (3:159)
This verse shows that his kind attitude and his sympathy with people has been one of the main tools he used in inviting people to God.Allah.
Other absorbing characteristics of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) are mentioned in another verse of the Quran:
“There has certainly come to you an apostle from among yourselves. Grievous to him is your distress; he has a deep concern for you, and is most kind and merciful to the faithful.” (9:128)
The verse emphasizes on the fact that the prophet Prophet (PBUH&HP) was one of the people, not considering himself higher than them. He was a man who was so compassionate to the people, and his mind was all concerned about their problems and their life in this world and in the hereafter.
Although this verse ends with the phrase that he was kind to faithful people, another verse of the Quran shows that he tried so hard to guide and help the unfaithful. So much that Allah (SWT) told him
“you are liable to imperil your life [out of distress] that they will not have faith.” (26:3)
In sum, the Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP) used all correct logical, psychological, scientific, and behavioral methods to invite people to truth and the soul of his merciful invitation still flows all over the world through the hearts of the truth-seekers.
- Tabatabaei, M.H, Tafseer-e Al-mizan, http://www.aviny.com/quran/almizan/jeld-16/mizan-17.aspx
- Jawadi Amoli, Abdulllah, ‘the Prophet of Islam’s Conduct and manner in inviting to truth’, Pasdare-e Eslam Magazine, No. 296, (2007, July)
- Muhammad-Baqer Majlesi, Bihar al-Anwar , vol.70, p. 402.
- The Quran (68:4), Surah Qalam , verse, 4
In the previous part of this topic, we emphasized that advertising peace and educating peaceful followers are of the main purposes of Islam. Here we review some more Islamic pieces of advice and lessons on having a balanced life and being in peace with other people of either the same religion or other.
Being equable and good-tempered, and avoiding irascibility and harsh words are continuously advised to in the Islamic teachings such that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is invited in the Quran to “argue with them (unbelievers) in a way that is best” (16:125). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Imams (AS), as role models for Muslims, have demonstrated these acts in a way that the Quran says about the Prophet (PBUH): “And indeed, you are of a great moral character” (68:4). That is why the Quran says about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “So by mercy from Allah, you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you” (3:159).
Imam Sadiq (AS) has described being good-tempered as: “using friendly words, nice behavior and receiving your brother happily” . Imam Ali (AS) said that the best and most important deed of a “believer” is behaving nicely with people . Even in the case of facing ignorant people, it is encouraged to treat kindly: “And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace” (25:63).
These examples and many other Islamic pieces of advice demonstrate how much Islam cares about one’s behavior towards others.
This is true that moderation can develop peace. Islam recognizes moderation as the most efficient and pleasant approach in life and interaction with others. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that: “the best of every affair is the middle of it” . The Quran describes Muslims as a moderate community and says that: “we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you” (2:143). This means that the nation and people who are educated based on the Islamic teachings and the Quranic guidelines will avoid extremes; neither they are radical, nor conservative .
However, whenever the truth (Haq) and falsehood (Batil) are clear and apparent, there is no place for moderation. An example is the holy struggle (Jihad); i.e., when land is attacked by others, there should be no moderation and defense becomes obligatory.
Islam has considered the rights for every being, from parts of the body to neighbors, parents, etc. Then, it is not surprising if Islam also considers some rights for non-Muslims over Muslims. Of the rights of non-Muslims are to believe in the promises they have given the Islamic state; not to bother them about what they want or on what they are obliged to; to judge among them just as God has ordered; not to oppress them since Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said that he would be against anyone who oppresses a non-Muslim1 . Imam Ali (AS) was sensitive to any harm or injustice to whether Muslims or non-Muslims. He (AS) said that: “if someone is not of your religion, he is still a human being like you.”, he (AS) was therefore against any harm or damage to non-Muslims .
After the rise of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) adopted the approach of moderation and fairness with the followers of the previous Abrahamic religions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) defended boldly Muslims and himself whenever needed. He (PBUH&HP) opposed any violence to Muslims, but he (PBUH&HP) still cared about the prisoners of the wars. He (PBUH&HP) had ordered to treat them with moderation, mercy, and humanity, to do good to them and to forgive them. Prisoners were usually kept in the mosques or proper and clean homes. The troops of Islam, following the manner of Prophet (PBUH&HP), preferred prisoners to themselves such that they provided prisoners with better foods and clothes. If a prisoner did not want to reveal the secrets of the enemies, he would not be beaten but whoever did so would be released .
Considering the points mentioned above about how Islam educates peaceful followers and how it considers rights for non-Muslims, the role of Islam in promoting peace can be fully grasped. However, this should not be confused that a Muslim must endure every situation or the violation of his\her rights or the rights of the Muslims in general. The key point is that a Muslim chooses the moderation and peace as the first solution to his social affairs as long as it does not require the violation of the rights of one or several people.
1 Here, the term “non-Muslim” refers only to a non-Muslim who is the citizen of an Islamic state or a non-Muslim who lives in a non-Muslim country which is in agreement with Muslims.
- Ibn Babawayh, "Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih," vol. 4, p. 412.
- Ibn Shu'ba al-Harrani, "Tuhaf al-'uqul," p. 200.
- Allama Majlisi, “Bihar al-Anwar,” vol. 74, p. 383.
- Reference to: “How and why did Islam spread very quickly throughout the world? – Part 4: Islam and its moderate views.”
- Imam Zayn al-'Abidin (AS), “Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq).”
- M. al-Kulayni, "Kitab al-Kafi."
- peace in islam
Each fruit of the tree you have planted will be appreciated by a reward from Allah.
Kanz al-Amaal, vol.12, p.341.
What is learned during youth, like an engraving on a stone, will never be forgotten.
Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 1, p. 222.
Heaven lies beneath the feet of mothers.
Mizan al-Hikmah, hadith no. 22691.
Respecting a Muslim elderly is like showing respect to Allah.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, p.165.
The elderly are the sources of mercy and divine blessing.
Nahj al-fasaha, p.222.
The most generous among you is the one who spreads what he has learned among people.
Mizan al-Hikmah, hadith no. 13825.
The faithful are tied in kindness and affection together like members of a body, one’s pain and hardship affect the others.
Bihar al-Anwar, vol.58, p.150
The one who gets married has completed half of his/her religion.
Kanz al-Amaal, hadith no.44403.
Indeed, I have been sent to revive the virtues and good morals.
Bihar al-Anwar, vol.16, p.286.
Playfulness during childhood will elevate one in wisdom in his/her adulthood.
Nahj al-Fasaha, p.564, Hadith no. 1940.
The kindest, most amiable, generous, patient, and just among you is the closest to me in manner.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, p.240-241.
Be childlike with children.
Man la Yahduruhu al-faqih, vol.3, p.483.
Love children and be kind to them and keep your promises to them since they only know you as their providers.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.6, p.49.
Allah’s love and praise be upon the one who helps his/her children by doing good to them, caring for, and educating them.
Mustadrak al-Wasaiil, vol.15, p.169.
There are five activities that I won’t leave off till I’m alive so that they would become part of my tradition. [One of them] is greeting children.
Makarem al-Akhlaq, vol.1, p.251.
Being like your father is one of the best blessings of Allah to you.
Bihar al-Anwar, vol.71, p.84.
The kind look of a child to his/her parents is as praying in Allah’s regard.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, p.46.
The best among you is the one who treats his family best, and I am better than all of you for my family.
Nahj-al fesaha, p.472, Hadith no. 1520.
Whenever Allah desires the best for a family, He raises their awareness about the religion. The younger ones respect the elders, they observe moderation in their expenses, and they would know about their faults to make them right.
Nahj-al Fasaha, p.181, Hadith no. 147
Whoever delights his/her parents, has delighted Allah and the one who displeases them has displeased Allah.
Ali ibn Abd-al-Malik al-Hindi, Kanz al-Ummal, vol.16, p.470.
Whomever I am his/her leader (Mawla), then Ali is his/her leader (Mawla).
Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol.4, p.370.
Women are held dearer in Allah’s regard than men, and Allah will highly reward any man who brings joy to his Mahram women.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.6, p.7.
Martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS) has ignited the hearts of believers with a pain that will never be subsided.
Jami al-Ahadith al-Shia, vol 12., p.556.
When Allah wants to pour His blessings upon you, He endows you with a Good Friend.
Nahj al-Fasaha, p.776.
When Allah chooses to favor someone, He makes him the source of satisfying other people's needs.
Fatima is of my flesh, who is the light of my eyes and the warmth of my heart.
al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Al-Amali, p.486.
If a Muslim plants a tree or any plant and a human, bird, or any other animals use it, Allah counts it as an act of charity.”
Mustadrak al-Wasaiil, vol.13, p.460.
Lying would negatively influence your livelihood.
Nahj al-Fasaha, p.373, Hadith no. 1087.
On the Day of Judgment, those who were most honest in their words, steadfast in their promises and kindest in their manners, will be the closest ones to me.
Al-Shaykh al-Tusi, Al-Amali, p.229.
Praying has seventy parts, the most important and biggest of which is lawful (Halal) earning.
Mustadrak al-Wasaiil, vol.13, p.12.
The most praised deeds in Allah’s regard is performing prayers (Salat) on their due time.
Kanz al-Amal, vol. 7, Hadith 18897.
The most desired companion is like a perfumer; his/her perfume would reach you, even if he/she didn't give you anything.
Kanz al-Amal, vol.9, Hadith 24676.
Eating less results in a healthier body and a more tender heart while overeating makes one sick and hard-hearted.
Mizan al-Hikmah, Hadith 579.
The words of “I love you,” said by a man to his wife, will forever be engraved upon the woman’s heart.
Wassail al-Shia, vol. 14, p.10.
36. Causing Harm
Causing harm to yourself and others is forbidden in Islam.
Usul al-Kafi, vol.5, p.292.
There are two blessings to which no one gives thanks: security and health.
The most grateful person is the one who thanks people most.
Nahj al-Fasaha, Hadith no. 312.