Winning Hearts or Winning Wars

The forces of Taaghoot{footnote}Please refer to an earlier bulletin on that topic. Briefly, anyone who like to run the affairs of the world according to his ways and opinions rather that Allaah’s commands

{/footnote} and forces of Dajjaal{footnote}Please refer to a recent bulletin for the identity of Dajjaal.{/footnote} always impose their wishes on people through fear, terror and persecution. They use their power to crush people who promote different values, lifestyle or ideology or those who disagree, resist or oppose their hegemony. Although their pretense is usually attractive and appealing, their modes operandi is ‘might is right’. Prophets and Messengers of God, on the other hand, establish the rule of Allaah by winning the hearts and minds of people. Instead of complying out of fear, people comply, obey, submit and respect because of love, loyalty and sincerity.

Our Prophet Muhammad life was full of incidents where demonstrated his dedication to and expertise in winning the hearts of the people. Often, his bitter enemies became his ardent followers because of his superb qualities of forgiving unconditionally when having power over them, giving magnanimously when requested, and being genuinely concerned about the well-being of everyone who came in contact.

His Conquering of Makkaah on 20th Ramadhaan provides a good example of his strategies to reduce the loss of human life and his emphasis on winning the hearts. By the 6th year of Hijrah, Makkan’s had tried every means at their disposal to destroy the Islamic state of Madeenah including the attack with the biggest coalition army in the history of Arabia at that time, but had failed miserably in their goals. Knowing that their campaign to root out Islamic movement had lost steam, the Prophet amazed everyone by going for pilgrimage (‘Umrah) with about 1400 of his devoted, unarmed followers. That was a peaceful challenge to the authority of the militaristic Makkans over the holy sanctuary. That forced Makkans to recognize Islamic state as a legitimate entity and to sign a peace treaty with it. The atmosphere of peace afforded the Prophet to consolidate his power, propagate Islam and tremendously increase his influence and power. By the year 8th, Islamic state had become a powerful force to be reckoned with. That year Makkans terrorized a tribe that had a defense treaty with Islamic state by waging a war and conducting a massacre, even within the Holy Sanctuary. When asked for reparation of damages, they rescinded the peace treaty with Islamic state altogether in arrogance, making it incumbent on Muslims to take a military action.

The prophet could have taken a huge army and crushed Makkan with power. But his goal was to save the lives of the people in this world and save their souls in the Hereafter. Hence he devised a strategy to remove the terrorist Makkan regime from power without bloodshed. He prepared for a surprise attack which was kept secret so that Makkan leadership did not have a chance to incite people to fight. That would have caused unnecessary bloodshed and prolonged the war which Makkans could not have ever won regardless of the preparation they would have made. When the army reached at the outskirts of Makkah and was setting up their camps, he asked the units to spread out their camps to demonstrate their power in numbers and asked everyone to lit his personal fire in the evening. That is what drew Makkan’s attention. The scene was dazzling and effectively demonstrated the huge size of the Muslims army. In addition, He asked Makkan leaders to tour the encampment to see with their eyes the strength of the army as well as their devotion, commitment and dedication to the cause fo Islam. This was all done to convince the Makkans to surrender without fighting. This psychological demonstration of power and persuasion for avoiding fighting worked. The leadership decided not to fight. To provide further incentive for surrender and give more excuses to Makkans to give up any urge to resist, he announced that anyone who lay done arms, stays inside his home, or inside Holy Ka‘bah or inside Aboo Sufyaan; house will not be touched or apprehended. In this way, arch enemies who had been waging wars against the Muslims were made to surrender without blood shed or loss of human life.

The prophet entered the city from which he was expelled less than a decade ago as the conqueror. People were expecting, as normally conquering people used to do, that the prophet would enter with pride, pomp and show. People were pleasantly amazed with his show of extreme humility, gentleness and restraint. Then, he really won their hearts, souls and their loyalty when even his worst enemies who had been terrorizing Muslims for decades and who were expecting death and harsh punishments were forgiven.

Indeed every action of life is a practical demonstration of the excellence behaviour Muslims should adopt in their lives. He clearly showed how a Muslims conqueror is different from a Taaghoot or a Dajjaal.

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