The Sword of Islam
The first few who embraced the "new" religion in
Makkah in the Arabian Peninsula at the hands of the Prophet (
- peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), were his wife Khadījah, his
servant Zaid, and his eleven year old cousin 'Ali. Among the ones who later
joined this faith were the honest merchant, Abu Bakr; the iron man of Arabia,
'Umar the Great; the shy businessman, Uthmān; the Prophet's ()
brave uncle Hamzah; and a slave of a pagan, Bilāl (may Allāh be pleased with
them). They simply couldn't resist the MAGIC SWORD of a humble and lonely
The negligible minority of believers in this new Faith was soon exiled from
Makkah and they arrived in the city called Yathrib which later became known as
MADĪNAH. The Muslim emigrants to Madīnah brought their SWORD with them. The
SWORD continued to work and its magnetic force continued to "pull"
people towards it until the whole of Arabia joined the Faith. Compared to the
population of the rest of the world at that time, the Arabs constituted a tiny
minority. A fraction of this minority decided to take the SWORD beyond the
boundaries of the Arabian desert to the mighty Mediterranean, the coast of
Malabar and the far away East Indies Islands. People after people continued
surrendering to this SWORD and joining the Faith.
So sharp was the edge of the SWORD! It simply conquered the hearts;
bodies yielded automatically. It is the SWORD OF TRUTH, whose mere shine
eliminates falsehood just like light wipes away darkness.
Has The Sword Gone Blunt? No, Far From It!
It continues to pierce the hearts of countless men and women today - in spite
of the relentless efforts by persons with vested interests who like darkness to
prevail, so that they may rob people of their good things. Read below the
impressions of some who were recently conquered by the same SWORD. They are from
different countries, speak different languages, and have different backgrounds.
WEISS (now Mohammed Asad): Austrian statesman, journalist, former
foreign correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung; author of Islām at
Cross Roads and Road to Mecca and translator of the Qur'ān. He embraced
Islām in 1926.
"Islām appears to me like a perfect work of Architecture. All its
parts are harmoniously conceived to complement and support each other.
Nothing is superfluous and nothing lacking, with the result of an absolute
balance and solid composure."
HOLT: British Civil Contractor, traveler in search of the Divine
truth, spent much of his time in research and comparative study of
Judaism, Christianity and Islām. He embraced Islām in 1975.
"The SWORD OF ISLĀM is not the sword of steel. I know this by
experience, because the sword of Islām struck deep into my own heart. It
didn't bring death, but it brought a new life; it brought an awareness and
it brought an awakening as to who am I and what am I and for what am I
KOPANSKI (now Bogdan Ataullah Kopanski): originally Polish, now
American; Ph.D. in history and politics, had a very interesting journey to
Islām and faced severe hardships; was imprisoned twice by the Polish
communist regime (1968, 1981-82). He embraced Islām in 1974.
"When I was 12 years old I rejected illogical and contradictory
faith of the Church. Two years later in 1962 I was fascinated by the
victorious struggle of the Algerian Muslim mujahideen against French
colonialism. It was the first arrow of Islām... The high school and
earliest days of my education in the University, I was a typical example
of the 'rebel generation' of Reds... My way to the Truth of Al-Qur'ān was
slow and unpaved... In 1974, I visited Turkey, I wrote my M.A.
dissertation about Sultan and Caliph Suleiman Kanuni's policy towards the
Polish Kingdom. There I was hit by the most beautiful voice of mankind,
Adhan, the call to prayer. My hair stood up. An unknown, powerful force
led me to an old masjid in Istanbul. There, old, smiling, Turkish bearded
men taught me Wuzu, ablution. I confessed to tears, Shahada, and I prayed
my first Salah Maghrib... I swept out the rubbish ideologies... The first
time in my life, my mind was relaxed and I felt the pleasure of Allah's
love in my heart. I was a Muslim..."
ADIYAR (now Abdullah Adiyar): Indian, noted Tamil writer and
journalist; worked as a news editor in Dr. M. Karunanidhi's daily Murasoli
for 17 years; assisted 3 former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu. Received
Kalaimamani Award (Big Gem of Arts) from Tamil Nadu Government in 1982. He
embraced Islām in 1987.
"In Islām I found suitable replies to nagging queries arising in
my mind with regard to the theory of creation, status of woman, creation
of universe, etc. The life history of the holy Prophet attracted me very
much and made easy for me to compare with other world leaders and their
HOBOHM (now Aman Hobohm): German diplomat, missionary and social
worker. An intellectual who has been serving the German diplomatic
missions in various parts of the world. Cultural Attache in German Embassy
in Riyadh. He embraced Islām in 1941.
"I have lived under different systems of life and have had the
opportunity of studying various ideologies, but have come to the
conclusion that none is as perfect as Islām. None of the systems has got
a complete code of a noble life. Only Islām has it; and that is why good
men embrace it. Islām is not theoretical; it is practical. It means
complete submission to the will of God."
STEVENS (now Yusuf Islām): British; formerly a Christian and a world
famous pop singer. He embraced Islām in 1973.
"It will be wrong to judge Islām in the light of the behavior of
some bad Muslims who are always shown on the media. It is like judging a
car as a bad one if the driver of the car is drunk and he bangs it into
the wall. Islām guides all human beings in daily life - in it's
spiritual, mental and physical dimensions. But we must find the sources of
these instruction, the Qur'an and the example of the Prophet, then we can
see the ideal of Islām."
MARCUS (now Maryam Jamilah): American; formerly a Jewess, essayist and
author of many books. She embraced Islām in 1962.
"The authority of Islāmic Morals and Laws proceeds from Almighty
God. Pleasure and happiness in Islām are but the natural byproducts of
emotional satisfaction in one's duties conscientiously performed for the
pleasure of God to achieve salvation. In Islām duties are always stressed
above rights. Only in Islām was my quest for absolute values satisfied.
Only in Islām did I at last find all that was true, good, beautiful and
which gives meaning and direction to human life and death."
WILFRIED HOFMAN (now Murad Hoffman): Ph.D. in law (Harvard); German social
scientist and diplomat; German Ambassador in Algeria. He embraced Islām
"For some time now, striving for more and more precision and
brevity, I have tried to put on paper in a systematic way, all
philosophical truths, which in my view, can be ascertained beyond
reasonable doubt. In the course of this effort it dawned on me that the
typical attitude of an agnostic is not an intelligent one; that man simply
cannot escape a decision to believe; that the createdness of what exists
around us is obvious; that Islām undoubtedly finds itself in the greatest
harmony with overall reality. Thus I realize, not without shock, that step
by step, in spite of myself and almost unconsciously, in feeling and
thinking I have grown into a Muslim. Only one last step remained to be
taken: to formalize my conversion. As of today I am a Muslim. I have
CLAY (now Muhammad Ali): American; three times World Heavyweight
Champion, formerly a Christian. He embraced Islām in 1965.
"I have had many nice moments in my life. But the feelings I had
while standing on Mount Arafat on the day of Hajj (Muslims' pilgrimage),
was the most unique. I felt exalted by the indescribable spiritual
atmosphere there as over a million and a half pilgrims invoked God to
forgive them of their sins and bestow on them His choicest blessings. It
was an exhilarating experience to see people belonging to different
colors, races and nationalities, kings, heads of states and ordinary men
from very poor countries all clad in two simple white sheets praying to
God without any sense of either pride or inferiority. It was a practical
manifestation of the concept of equality in Islām."
(Speaking to the daily Al-Madīnah, Jeddah,
15 July, 1989)
These were the impressions of a few persons who had themselves been struck by
the SWORD OF TRUTH, that is, the Message of Islām.
AS FOR THE PROPAGANDA,
that it was the sword of steel, that is, force, which was instrumental in the
universal expansion of Islām, we give below quotations from the writing of some
of the prominent non-Muslim scholars and leaders refuting this baseless
K. GANDHI: "...I became more than ever convinced that it was not
the sword that won a place for Islām in those days in the scheme of life.
It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the prophet, the
scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and
followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God
and his own mission. These, and not the sword carried everything before
them and surmounted every trouble." YOUNG INDIA, 1924.
GIBBON: "The greatest success of Mohammed's life was effected by
sheer moral force without the stroke of a sword." HISTORY OF THE
SARACEN EMPIRE, London, 1870.
S. TRITTON: "The picture of the Muslim soldier advancing with a
sword in one hand and the Qur'ān in the other is quite false."
ISLAM, London, 1951, p. 21.
LACY O'LEARY: "History makes it clear however, that the legend of
fanatical Muslims, sweeping through the world and forcing Islām at the
point of sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically
absurd myths that historians have ever repeated." ISLAM AT
CROSSROADS, London, 1923, p. 8.
S. RAMAKRISHNA RAO: "My problem to write this monograph is easier
because we are not generally fed now on that (distorted) kind of history
and much time need not be spent on pointing out our misrepresentations of
Islām. The theory of Islām and sword, for instance, is not heard now in
any quarter worth the name. The principle of Islām, there is no
compulsion in religion, is well known." MOHAMMED THE PROPHET OF
ISLAM, Riyadh, 1989, p. 4.
A. MICHENER: "No other religion in history spread so rapidly as
Islām...The West has widely believed that this surge of religion was made
possible by the sword. But no modern scholar accepts that idea, and the
Qur'ān is explicit in support of the freedom of conscience." ISLĀM
- THE MISUNDERSTOOD RELIGION, READERS' DIGEST (American Edition) May 1955.
E. BROWNE: "Incidentally these well-established facts dispose of
the idea so widely fostered in Christian writings that the Muslims,
wherever they went, forced people to accept Islām at the point of the
sword." THE PROSPECTS OR ISLAM, London, 1944.
IF YOU TOO POSSESS A SOFT TENDER HEART AND AN OPEN MIND, do
write to us for some basic information about the way of life called "Islām".
Do not believe the hearsay: learn from the direct sources. We are ready to help.
RECOMMENDED INTRODUCTORY PUBLICATIONS:
1. THE MEANINGS OF THE GLORIOUS QUR'ĀN by Marmaduke Pickthall.
2. CCM Brochure Series, obtained from the address below.
3. THE QUR'ĀN, AN INTRODUCTION by A. R. Doi, Kazi Publications,
4. THE HADITH, AN INTRODUCTION by A. R. Doi, Kazi Publications,
5. MUHAMMAD, HIS LIFE BASED ON THE EARLIEST SOURCES by Martin Lings,
Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vermont.
8. MUHAMMAD: THE IDEAL PROPHET by Saiyid Sulaiman Nadwi, Islamic Book
Trust, Kuala Lumpur.
9. THE RELIGION OF PEACE by
Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India.
For More Information Please Contact:
Connecticut Council of Masajid
P.O. Box 4456, Hamden, CT 06514