Is Islam a religion of war, or peace?
Can it be said that Islam is a religion of war? Do not the wars of Muhammad prove it?

The word Islam is derived from the Arabic root “silm”, which means “peace”, “salvation”, “submission” and “giving”.

All the commandments in Quran and the practices of Prophet Muhammad clearly show that Islam is a religion of peace and justice.

There is no basis on labeling Islam as a religion of sword without knowing the reasons and consequences of the Prophet’s wars.

Muhammad Hamidullah, the author of “Battlefields of the Prophet Muhammad” makes the following remarkable comment about Prophet’s wars:

“When he was breathing his last after 10 years of active governance and diplomacy, he was in charge of a government which has 2 million km squares of land. This land, which is as big as Europe without Russia and involves a greatly diverse community, had been conquered by the cost of 250 fallen men in enemy lines. In this period of 10 years, we can calculate the loss of Muslims as 1 martyr per month. There’s no period in human history which gives this much value and respect to human blood.”

Hamidullah explains the 250 fallen enemies based on the historical evidences as follows:

“According to Ibn Hisham, the Prophet went on 27 campaigns from Madina in which 9 of them actually resulted with battle. We cannot assume that the below list is certain, for some of the campaigns has no record about losses. However, it can give us an idea in bold outline about the battles of that era.”

Campaign Enemy army Enemy loss Muslim army Muslim loss
Badr

950

70

313

14

Uhud

3.000

22

700

70

Mustaliq

(?) 200

10

 (?) 30

1

Trench

12.000

8

3.000

6

Khaybar

20.000

93

1.500

15

Mu’tah

100.000

?

3.000

13

Conquest of Mecca

?

13

10.000

3

Hunayn

?

?

12.000

4

Ta’if

?

?

12.000

12

Total

 

216

 

138

“44 Muslims who are trapped and brutally murdered in Raji’ and Bi’r Ma’una are not involved in the list. Also the Jews, who were taken as captives during the battle with Banu Qurayza and sentenced to death according to Jewish law by judges of their own choice, are not involved in the list.”

Resource: “Hazreti Peygamberin Savaşları” (Battles of Prophet Muhammad), M.Hamidullah, 1991, Istanbul, p.21-22.

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Date: Mar 5, 2013
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