Islam does not forbid its followers from making peace
Fatwa No: 272236

Question

Salam, I want to ask a question that has really confused me. Christian missionaries quote some verses of the Holy Quran and say that these verses promote terrorism and stop Muslims from asking for peace. They quote one verse of the Quran and say that this verse prohibits Muslims from asking for peace from non-Muslims. This is the verse they quote:- "So do not weaken and call for peace while you are superior; and Allah is with you and will never deprive you of [the reward of] your deeds." (Quran 47:35) I checked the commentary, but I was not convinced. Can you explain that? Thanks.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

We have elaborated on the refutation of the claims that Islam promotes terrorism in Fatwa 173405.

The verse mentioned in the question does not forbid Muslims from making peace with their enemies in a general sense without restrictions; rather, the interest of the Muslims is the criterion to be considered. They are enjoined not to take an action that implies weakness and humiliation and make their enemies feel that they are superior to Muslims. The interpreters of the Quran commented on this verse as follows: "The call to peace which is forbidden is to request of the enemy to make peace in instances when the Muslims are powerful and the enemies fearful of them; thus it (the peace which is forbidden) is a peace conditioned with the Muslims calling for it and with (them)...being in a condition of power. Qataadah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "It means that Muslims should not be the first party to implore the other party (for peace while they are victorious and the ultimate consequence will be in their favor). This does not contradict the peace that Allaah permits in the verse (which means): {And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] ...} [Quran 8:61]"

Hence, what is meant is that Islam does not accept humiliation and submissiveness for its followers, and does not allow the criminals to dare to transgress against the Muslims. Islam does not raise such a slogan as "If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to them the left cheek; if someone steals your shirt, give him your coat as well." How could this be acceptable? How can one accept the loss of his rights or tolerate transgression against himself and encourage the transgressors to transgress even more?

If those missionaries seek to find faults in Islam, they will be utterly disappointed. Instead of all this, it would more appropriate for them to consider the vanities of their own religion and the contradictions of their Gospels, and to acknowledge that they follow a false, distorted religion and turn to Islam, which is the right religion, if only they knew it. To learn about the vanities of Christianity and the contradictions in the Gospels, please refer to Fataawa 8210, 10326 and 90449. To learn about the proofs that Islam is the right religion, please refer to Fataawa 81979, 88906 and 88051.

Let us remind those Christians who accuse Islam of terrorism of what is in their holy book of incidents related to how the Israelites killed thousands of their enemies:

Samuel 18:102 says about Prophet Daawood (David)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention: "When David was told of this, he gathered all Israel, crossed the Jordan and went to Helam. The Arameans formed their battle lines to meet David and fought against him. But they fled before Israel, and David killed seven hundred of their charioteers and forty thousand of their foot soldiers."

Deuteronomy 20:10-18 reads: "When you approach a city to fight against it, you must make an offer of peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor and shall serve you (i.e. become your slaves). However, if they refuse to make peace with you and instead choose war, then besiege it. When the Lord your God hands it over to you, you must strike down all its males with the sword. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby. However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. You must completely destroy them - the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, just as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God…. Destroy their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places."

These are just some of examples in their Bible promoting violence; so their objections regarding the Islamic Sharee‘ah enjoining Muslims to fight the disbelieving combatants who fight against them, break their covenants, and stand in the way of delivering the message of Islam to people are rather meaningless. Needless to say, the Islamic Sharee‘ah forbids Muslims from killing women, children, and monks, and whoever is not capable of fighting, or whoever has no hand in the war. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 163533.

Allaah Knows best.

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