“Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief and shed blood?”

That was the question asked by the Angels when Allah told them of His plan to create man.

Today as we look about us at all the misery and bloodshed in this world it may be tempting to agree with their questioning. Indeed, many in this world even question the existence of God because of the pain and suffering, the rivers of blood, the deaths and displacement of humanity today.

The Earth itself is groaning as the deeds of men continue to destroy. Yet, in the midst of all of this the answer comes to us, as given by God to the Angels:

“I know that which ye know not!” [1]

Men and War
So many reasons have been given to uphold wars of aggression – always accompanied by propaganda, and hidden objectives. Obviously for every war of aggression there has to be an opposing or defending force, otherwise humanity would be enslaved.

The saddest thing about wars of aggression is as earlier written: “Truth has to be distorted in order to make it acceptable to kill those who might otherwise be looked upon as human, if not brothers.”

As for young people, they are mere pawns in the game “who respond with their hearts and lives, knowing precious little of truth, or the very real politics…” [2]

However, there are no real victors in war. The innocent who are part of the collateral damage; the surviving soldiers on both sides; the loved ones left behind. All suffer whether physically or emotionally. Sometimes in the intensity of war we forget to look into their faces.

In 1988 a man and his wife came into my husband’s restaurant when I happened to be there. There was some soft Arabic music playing and they seemed to be enjoying the meal when the man beckoned to me and apologised profusely and tearfully for his actions as an Israeli soldier stationed in Lebanon.

All I could feel was pain – pain for this broken puppet of war sitting in front of me, and pain for those who had suffered at his hands. My heart reached out to them both as they hugged me before leaving.

As for the Manipulators and Instigators of war: they may seem to grow fat and to flourish, but their time is coming.

The Case for War
We are reminded that Allah created this world for “Just ends” so that aggression; seizure of land and possessions in defiance of right; oppression, and indeed to protect worship, all make the case for war of defence.

“If Allah had not checked one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure.” [3]

Please note that all monotheistic faiths are mentioned here… therefore those who attack any places of worship are not of the people of God even if professing to be so.

Also of note that Allah uses many people to fight against evil, it is not the sole prerogative of Muslims.

Recognition of War Dead
On ANZAC Day, the questions are always asked: “Should we celebrate ANZAC Day? Will that mean we are upholding War? Should Muslims recognize this day?”

As an Australian-born Muslim my answers are simply this: This is not a day to uphold war, it is a day to remember the lives of those ordinary men and women of extraordinary courage who left behind their homes and loved ones to stand against what were perceived to be the enemies of peace and homeland. They did not know whether they would ever return. Many did not. The tears of their departures continue on today in this era of conflict.

I do not profess to speak for the majority of Muslims it is true, although I’m glad to say that our Islamic schools recognize and respect this day. As for me, I shall remember the dead, and respect the suffering of those whom they left behind.

I shall pray for all people now in war zones.

I shall pray for the living on this coming Anzac Day that the circle of war and killing may be stopped and that Authors of such conflicts may be thwarted.

Somehow, I believe that mankind’s final and most critical testing comes with war.

It is said that there are no atheists in the fox holes [trenches]. Perhaps that is true regardless of the changing ways of war. But again, it is Allah alone Who understands all things and we are reminded, “I know that which ye know not!”

References
[1] Qur’an 2: 30. ( NB Complete text 2:30-34 worthy of in-depth study)
[2] In Quest of Truth from Deception to Deliverance, Shifa L Mustapha, p.9
[3] Qur’an 22.40