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Opinion : Man, Wars and Islam

Posted by yourpakistan on April 14, 2013

Jihad in Islam

PKKH Exclusive|By Shakeel Maqbool

“zan zar aur zameen (women, wealth and land) are the roots of all the conflicts on earth”, said the venerable old man who was giving a speech to an attentive audience. It has been years since I heard him say that, but his words are making a lot more sense now that I am writing a piece on wars.

Mahabharat is perhaps the earliest elaborate account of a war and it was a war fought to reclaim a lost kingdom, i.e., the land and wealth from the Troika that the old man referred to. Ramayana is again an account of war of the earliest times fought for liberating Sita from Ravana. Here too you see a woman, and the old man’s words seem vindicated. The Greek poet Homer has two great poems to his credit, one of which is the Iliad; the story of the Trojan War fought at the gates of the city of Troy. It was again a war into which the belligerents had plunged themselves ostensibly over the wife of the Spartan King. Pundits can point out other reasons for the war but they will still be a subset of the old man’s Troika. The other two roots, i.e., wealth and land, are too obvious to merit elaborate examples. In fact in modern times, they remain the main reasons underlying all contemporary war. Having read that, you may feel that the old man missed out on some other possible reasons, well! maybe, but his are the main reasons, without a shade of doubt .

Khalid Bin Waleed RadhiAllahu anhu has been one of the greatest generals of all time. He led the ragtag Muslim armies against the mighty Roman and Persian empires simultaneously in the 7th century. At the time, these empires were the mightiest in the world. The Muslim armies were no match for them in terms of numbers or tools of war. What they were bestowed with, though, was an unflinching conviction in them of being on the righteous side. They were soldiers who saw victory in both, falling and fighting on the battlefield as well as in the vanquishing of the adversary’s military. Theirs was a war that did not fit into the causes enunciated by the wise old man, mentioned in the start of the article.

To this day, the simultaneous defeat of the two superpowers of the world at that time by a few zealous Muslim regiments remains an unparalleled feat in the annals of history. An incident in the campaign against the Persian armies is particularly instructive. When a Persian intermediary came for a round of talks to the camp of the Muslim army, he studied the mindset of the leaders and soldiers attentively. To his profound astonishment, he found that they desired neither ‘zan’ nor ‘zameen’ nor ‘zar’. Their lifestyle was unbelievably simple. Nights were spent standing in prayers and days fighting on the horseback. Their leaders were no different from the common soldiers. Everyone was being treated equal in word and in deed. They desired neither opulence nor the lands or wealth of the Persians. Their conditions in the talks were simple and straightforward. You people either accept the truth of Islam and relish your lives in its glory, that is, become Muslims wherein even your slaves will suddenly become equivalent to the generals of the Muslim army; or you accept to come under the suzerainty of the Islamic Caliphate, in which case you will retain your religion and its practices under the shade of Islamic Justice. That is to say that the system of governance will be Islamic while you will continue to practice your religion. The last option was of course the battlefield.

He asked the Muslim negotiator, “Why have you come here? I see you neither desire land nor wealth, then why do you fight us?” After all, that has been the common trend in the human history. People fight for riches, for wealth, and at times for women. The answer was terse but historical. “We have come here to liberate people from the slavery of people and give them into the slavery of their Creator. We have come here to liberate people from the tyranny of religions and to give them into the justice of Islam.” Such was the beauty of that war and of its fighters! The Muslims had seen the bounties and the justice of Islam and felt their duty towards the teeming millions living in darkness of belief and oppression of kingship in their neighborhood. Those wars were a far cry from the wars that have plagued human kind throughout the history. Wars fought for the Troika of wealth, land and women, which continue to be waged to this day in many parts of the world. Let me end with a quote from Iqbal ar

nikal k sehra se jis ne Rooma ki saltanat ko palat diya tha
suna hay yeh qudsiyon se mayn ne wo sher phir hoshiyaar ho ga

Shakel Shaheen is Computer Engineer from Kashmir who loves writing on issues confronting Kashmir and Ummah at large. He blog at


One Response to “Opinion : Man, Wars and Islam”

  1. […] « Opinion : Man, Wars and Islam […]

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