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What is the Muslim Attitude Towards War?

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Introduction

a.) What is the Muslim Attitude Towards War? An important factor in establishing the attitude of Muslims towards war is the very meaning of Islam, it means peace, and this automatically points one in the direction of assuming that Muslims would be against war, however Islam is a very practical religion and a lot of people would say that is some cases it would be impossible never to go to war, Islam does have a strong emphasis on peace and peace-making but do believe in going to war in certain circumstances. Muhammad himself said: 'My servants I have forbidden wrong and oppressions to myself, and I have made it forbidden against you; therefore do not wrong or oppression others.' In Islam a 'Hurb-al-Muqadis' is a Holy War, a holy war is a war that's purpose is to rid the area of oppression so that Muslims are free to worship and carry out the will of Allah. The following conditions apply to the Hurb-al-Muqadis: * It must be in self defence and not initiated. * Its intention must be freedom. * No vengeance must be used. * Once peace is offered all fighting must stop. * Once war has ended the problems and differences must be sorted out. * All other ways of trying to settle the dispute must have been tried and failed. * Every effort must be made to protect innocent civilian life, this includes all plants and animals - no trees are allowed to be cut down and all the supplies needed must be bought or grown, they are not allowed to steal from local civilians. ...read more.

Middle

3. War is declared in attack, rather than in defence. 4. War is declared to win new land or power. 5. War is declared to try to convert others to Islam. 6. Peaceful ways of solving the conflict have not been tried. 7. Innocent civilians are exposed to physical danger. 8. Trees, crops and animals have not been protected. With this point being contradicted in just war documents and Islamic holy war rules it could be said that it is impossible for a Muslim war to be a just war. Another point that is not exactly contradicted, but is not backed up is point four 'There must be a reasonable chance of success.' Although nothing is said to go against this if we look to the example of Muhammad, we see that he took part in a war where people would say that he did not have a reasonable chance of success: the Battle of Badr. This war was carried out to free people from the oppression of those in charge of Makkah at the time and Muhammad was out numbered seven to three; he led a force of three hundred whereas the leaders of Makkah led an army of 1,000 men. However, others might say that because Muhammad was freeing his people from oppression Allah would have been on their side and so they would have a reasonable chance of winning, Muhammad did believe this and prayed for Allah's help, the Qur'an tells us that one thousand Angels were sent to help Muhammad in answer to his prayers. ...read more.

Conclusion

active and not passive. Many people would consider conscientious objection, or pacifism to be cowardly; they may have different reasons for this, some may simply not understand that conscientious objection is active, and so that cannot simply do nothing. Another reason may be that they assume that to not fight in circumstances where conscientious objectors refuse to, is cowardly, for example, in a war a conscientious objector would refuse to fight, and many people would argue with his or her decision, because they feel it is cowardly or even disloyal not to fight for your own country. On the other hand many people would consider that to contain your anger and not fight back when, for example, somebody hits you is less cowardly, or braver than to simply hit back. It is also important to consider the fact that conscientious objects are active, and so they do not simply do nothing, but get involved, for instance, with peaceful protests. People could argue that this achieves more success, and is more respected than simply destroying the aim of the protest or creating violence, other people may disagree stating that if violence is used there will be more media coverage, which would mean that there would be greater awareness of the cause, however this does not directly mean that there would be more support because people are often against violence and so would scorn the violent protestors, and not support their cause, it is therefore questionable as to the point of the violence in the first place, if it achieves nothing then why was it implemented? Lewin Coleman-Green Religious Studies Islam - War Coursework 1of4 ...read more.

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