Reconciliation and pacifism
Reconciliation is the most magnificent mechanism set by Allah Almighty to put an end to the conflicts and struggles: between Muslims and non-Muslims as well as among the Muslims themselves. If it weren't for reconciliation, both parties would have fought incessantly till one, or both, of them come to an end. This process is heedless of all the good or evil. Through it, battling becomes an end in itself. It is a war for war's sake condition.
Without the Treaty of Hudaibiyya, the blood of the Muslims who pledged to die would have been shed. Were it not for this treaty, rivers would have been made of the blood of the disbelievers who refused to let the Prophet (PBUH) and his Companions enter Mecca by force. The Prophet (PBUH) desired reconciliation, for he (PBUH) saw it served best the interests of Islam. Thus, he (PBUH) surmounted all the hindrances and barriers that almost ruined the chance of reconciliation. ـThe Prophet (PBUH) agreed to all the unfair conditions of Quraish: one article after another. He did this out of profound insight and integrated realistic vision.
The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, got exasperated with this treaty and saw it as unfair to them. Nonetheless, the Prophet (PBUH) accepted the treaty and acted upon it.
Despite all the injustice and unfairness of this treaty for Muslims, Allah described it as "Verily we have granted thee a manifest Victory" (Al Fath: 1). When this holy verse was sent down while the Muslims were heading for Medina, 'Umar asked the Prophet (PBUH), "Is it a triumph?". The Prophet (PBUH) answered, "Yes!"
It was truly an unprecedented victory. In the brief period of truce, the Islamic movement and the Muslims could go great lengths in the Call to Allah. They would never have accomplished this had they persisted in fighting for years and years.
The Islamic Call ceased to be of regional limits. In the past, it sufficed to call the people of Meca, Medina and the neighboring areas. After the treaty, the Prophet (PBUH)sent dispatches to several kings and princes. He (PBUH) wanted to make them know, love and embrace Islam.
He (PBUH) attempted to make them desire what Allah has for them. Had this been the only benefit of the treaty, it would have been more than enough. However, the Prophet invested the truce period, though short, to the full. He (PBUH) brought the Jewish existence in Medina to an end and vanquished them in their last bastions, Khaibar, after betraying him.
ـ How beautiful and lovely fruits are after ripening! On the day of the Hudaibiyya Treaty, the Prophet was accompanied by 1500 Muslims. Only two years later on the day of conquest of Mecca, he (PBUH) was accompanied by 10000 soldiers: most of them were the yield of two years of peaceful Call and quiet work.
Being the supreme commander and the Prophet on whom the Revelation descends, the Prophet (PBUH) make the choice of reconciliation and adhered to it in many other incidents. The choice of reconciliation was never absented from the Prophet's calculations. The Prophet (PBUH) reconciled with his mortal foes, Quraish. He also had a pact with the Jews, with all their betrayal and treachery. He (PBUH) almost reconciled with Ghatafan on giving them the third of the Medina's fruits on the battle of the factions just to protect the Muslim army.
Thus, reconciliation is all good so far as it is for the best of Islam and Muslims. Reconciliation also can be brought about between two Muslims, or between Muslims and non-Muslims. Sometimes, reconciliation is an obligation and a necessity.
The juristic control of reconciliation is safeguarding the interests of Islam and the Muslims. As long as reconciliation safeguards these interests or fences off mischief, it is obligatory.
The author of "The Guidance" says, "If the Imam decides to reconcile with the warring enemy or a group of it and this proves to be for the best of Muslims, it is permissible. This is because Allah Almighty says, "But if the enemy inclines towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah." (Al Anfal: 61). The author fares, "if the enemy strikes a siege around the Muslims and asks them to buy peace and safety for an amount of money, and Muslims fear their perdition; they are allowed to pay the enemy the amount of money. For fending off perdition by any possible means is an obligatory act".
Scholars made it permissible to reconcile with apostates, as reported by the author of "The Guidance". In his commentary on the Hudaibiyya treaty, Al Nawawy said, "It shows that the Imam is entitled to agree on reconciliation if he sees it the best for Muslims. If this fact is not obvious for some people in the beginning and this may lead to evil, even on a small scale; he is permitted to agree on what is greater than this (reconciliation) if it is not to be done but this way".The path of reconciliation and peace is one of the loftiest and greatest ways that can be taken by the Islamic movement in its pursue of spreading its Call and upholding the word of its Lord, Allah.
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