Islam is often projected as a violent religion, either due to bias or misinformation. At times, mainstream media portrays Islam as an ideology of violence. This leads to many people mistakenly assuming the media version of Islam to be the real one. However, do you know that Islam has its own rules of war? Also, do you know that many such Islamic rules of war were given by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself?
When we look at the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we can notice that he repeatedly told the Muslims to be considerate and kind even during battle.
10 Islamic Rules of War Given by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Here is a glimpse of some of the Islamic rules of war based on the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):
- No killing of children and women
- No killing of elderly and sick persons
- Exercising patience even during war
- Not to head into war “hoping” for a conflict
- Leaving the monks and those in places of worship alone
- No destruction of property, cultivated lands and crops, etc.
- No uprooting or burning of green and fruit-bearing trees
- No slaughtering of animals for reasons other than food
- No hurting or burning bees
- No theft or robbery in the guise of war
- Avoiding destruction to an inhabited place!
What does the above list tell us? Well, look at modern-day concepts of war. How many innocent civilians die? Do the armies care about the elderly citizens or the refugees? Had they paid even minor attention to the Islamic rules of war, none of the destruction would happen!
Need more? Here are 10 such Islamic rules of war as laid down by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
1. Exercise patience.
2. Do not kill children, women, elderly and sick persons.
3. Do not kill monks and those in places of worship.
4. Do not destroy villages, towns, cultivated fields and gardens.
5. Do not practice treachery; do not cut down fruitful trees.
6. Do not slaughter animals except for food.
7. Do not destroy an inhabited place.
8. Do not burn bees.
9. Do not steal; do not be a coward.
10. Free the captives; help the hungry and the sick.
In present times, it has become a common practice to destroy as many cities and villages as possible. It is considered fair to indulge in killing of civilians and destruction of property. Case in point? The US atomic bombs on Japan! The American destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan! Burmese atrocities against the Rohingya! The genocides in Africa!
Compare such actions with the Islamic rules of war as laid down by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself. Imagine if the armies of today were to follow them? Millions of lives would be saved. People would not have to flee their homes and seek refuge elsewhere. The concept of “collateral damage” in war would end totally.
Irrespective of what the others say about us, Islam is indeed a religion of peace. Our Prophet went the extra mile to protect the innocents and he did not forget the rights of even trees and animals during war! Such acts speak for themselves and continue to live on as inspiration for generations to come.
Need more? Check out 10 life lessons that we can learn from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).