Islam and the Laws of War

Guest Post by Ali Mallah:

The Prophet, however urged his followers to treat their captives with clemency. He said to them “You are recommended to treat your captives kindly.” He also urged his Companions on the day of Badr to be kind to their captives. Accordingly the Companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, gave their captive preference over themselves in matters of food.

In the following post, Ali Mallah states the laws of war according to the Quran to remind us that the brutal  treatment of prisoners by  ISIS, the so called ‘Islamic State’ of Iraq and al Shams (Syria) is anything but Islamic.    When I read through the following list it occured to me that the rules are similar to those of International Humanitarian Law, laws developed much later in the west, and supported by treaties like the Hague Conventions, the Geneva Conventions and Protocols and the Nuremburg Judgement.     The Nuremberg Judgement has been designated as a Federal Rules Decision, and incorporated into  the United States Army Field Manual.  These are the foundations of modern internatonal law though they have been largely set aside by the United States in the context of it’s so called “War on Terror”.

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Ali’s Post:

Quran_coverWhat these terrorists have done is beyond any human behavior or conduct. But let’s keep in mind that they did not fall from the Sky, they were groomed, supported and financed by several Western countries ( USA, France, UK,..) and Regional states like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan and of course “Israel” who aims now to have a buffer zone for them in Occupied Golan Heights. Also, Jordan played a major role in providing a passage and training camps for Americans to train these murders.

The conduct of ISIS is not Islamic and not Human. Here what Islam and the Prophet instruct Muslims to do during Warfare; The holy Quran and the traditional sayings and acts of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) strictly impose the following injunctions during the time of peace and the time of war:

  • No one should be burned alive or tortured with fire.
  • Wounded soldiers who are neither unfit to fight, nor actually fighting, should not be attacked.
  • Prisoners of war should not be killed.
  • It is prohibited to kill anyone who is tied up or in captivity.
  • Residential areas should not be pillaged, plundered or destroyed, nor should the Muslims touch the property of anyone except those who are fighting against them.
  • Muslims must not take anything from the general public of the conquered country without paying for it.
  • The corpses of the enemy must not be disgraced or mutilated.
  • Corpses of the enemy should be returned.
  • Treaties must not be broken.

In Islam, taking one’s life is equal to taking the life of the whole of the mankind. Allah says in the holy Quran:

“If any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people…” (Surah Al Ma’idah 5:32)

Prisoners are usually taken when a battle is at its height and there is danger that rage may lead the victorious warriors to harm those who have been defeated in order to take revenge. The Prophet, however urged his followers to treat their captives with clemency. He said to them “You are recommended to treat your captives kindly.” He also urged his Companions on the day of Badr to be kind to their captives. Accordingly the Companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, gave their captive preference over themselves in matters of food. This is the tolerance of Islam and its respect for human dignity….etc

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