Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) came with the mission of Islam for one single purpose, viz. the salvation of mankind. This purpose was the guiding factor the forgiveness which was granted to the Mushrikeen on the day of the Conquest of Makkah.
Inspite of the oppression, persecution and torture which the Mushrikeen of Makkah had perpetrated on the Muslims for 13 years, everything was forgiven and forgotten when Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his noble Sahaabah entered Makkah as victors. There was no vengeance, no molestation and no acrimony. There was no need to establish any truth commission or put anyone on trial for the horrendous atrocities which had been committed against the Muslims in the past.
Islam came for the everlasting salvation of mankind, hence its Message is directed to all human beings. It is this overriding objective of Islam which precluded the commission of acts of revenge when Makkah was conquered.
Thus the Jihad of Islam is to open up the path for the propagation of the Message of Salvation. Its aim is not to destroy humankind. The example of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah is adequate for the true Believers.
While it is of the imperative acts of non-Muslim conquerors to unleash horror and terror, rape and plunder on the vanquished foe, Islam follows an opposite direction. When the enemy is conquered and defeated in the battlefield, there is no wanton pillage and killing.
Muslims who indulge in such misdeeds are not ambassadors of Islam nor do they have an understanding of the goals and purpose of Islam. Islam can be presented to the kuffaar only by the presentation of the example and character of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaabah. This was the original method of Tableegh and Da’wah. Large scale conversion to Islam in the conquered territories was a direct effect of the sterling character of the Sahaabah.
Islam has come for the everlasting salavation of humankind—not merely for worldly success and safety. The true life is the existence in the Hereafter. Without Islam, this goal cannever be attained. Entire mankind is the target of Islam’s mission of Da’wat and Tableegh.
All people are the makhlooq (creation) of Allah Ta’ala, and the message of the Qur’aan has been dispatched to earth for everyone’s benefit. But Islam cannot be presented to all people if they are alienated by atrocities which are unleashed in the name of Islam.
Indiscriminate killing of people in the name of Islam or Jihad is not advocated by the Shariah. Those who indulge in indiscriminate killing of Allah’s makhlooq are bereft of Imaani understanding and the maqsad [purpose] of Rasulullah’s mission.
While indiscriminate killing of people, including women and children, torture, rape, pillage and plunder are the usual acts of horror of the kuffaar, the followers of Islam are not allowed to emulate such tactics.
The torture in the prisons of Iraq, in Guantanamo Bay, in the prisons of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Russia and elsewhere are acts which are exclusive with those who have no true belief in Allah and the Aakhirah. If Muslims succeed in conquering these debaucherers, torturers, sadists and sub-human specimens of mankind, it will not be permissible to recipocrate with brutality as is the practice of the kuffaar.
Islam is an extremely lofty and celestial system of life. It has no room for the ways and tactics of kufr which are all spawned by shaitaan. All systems of Islam are divine. The demarcations of these lofty systems are clearly defined by the Shariah. Muslims are not permitted to transgress the limits of the Shariah regardless of the harm and hurt they had suffered at the hands of the savages and barbarians.
It is the obligation of a conquering Muslim nation to eliminate the barabarism of the barbarians. The aim is not to eliminate the barbarians. The barbarians have to be transformed into human beings so that their everlasting salvation in the Aakhirah is assured. That was what Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had achieved. No nation had ever succeeded in transforming barbarians into human beings. This was the distinction of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Muslim May Not Reciprocate with Barbarity
In the Qur’aan Majeed Allah Ta’ala states:
"Do not let hatred for a community induce you to transgress (the limits) because they (the mushrikeen) had prevented you from Musjidul Haraam."(Surah Maaidah,aayat 2)
The Sahaabah were extremely annoyed and agitated when the Mushrikeen of Makkah had prevented them from performing Umrah in the year 6 A.H. The terms of the peace treaty of Hudaibiyyah were absolutely humiliating for the Muslims.
Besides this episode, there were several other incidents which had augmented the hatred for the Mushrikeen. Some Sahaabah were contemplating revenge. It was on this occasion that the aforementioned Qur’aanic verse was revealed.
In this aayat Allah Ta’ala forbids vengeance. He prohibits Muslims from compensating persecution with persecution, torture with torture, injustice with injustice. The aayat states with great clarity that Muslims should not allow their hatred for any community to cause them to transgress the limits of the Shariah.
Those who had persecuted and tortured Muslims were forgiven and accepted within the fold of Islam. Islam had come for their salvation in the Aakhirah. Their past misdeeds were not set up as a barrier for their entry into the fold of Islam. Islam does not propagate the concept of truth commissions and similar institutions. It acts in the best interests of mankind. There is nothing better for people than their everlasting salvation in the Hereafter.
Islam is a Deen of justice and compassion. Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi (rahmatullah alayh) states in his Maaariful Qur’aan:
"The Qur’aan Kareem teaches fairplay and justice for both friend and foe. All are equal in this respect. Regardless of how brutal your enemy was and how much he had persecuted you, it is your obligation to treat him with justice. Islam is unique in this. This is the speciality of Islam. It safeguards the rights of even enemies. Islam does not compensate injustice with injustice. It responds with justice."