A Prophetic stance against violence: An analysis of the peaceful attitude of prophet Muhammad during the Medinan period

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Abstract

Prophet Muhammad is a role model for millions of Muslims today. This makes sīrah, the life of the Prophet, a critical source to understand and contextualise. Muslims interpret the events of his life so that they can replicate them in every aspect of their lives. However, extremely polar interpretations of sīrah exist, leading to terrorists on the one side and peace-loving Muslims on the other side, with both using Prophet Muhammad as a reference. The major events most often referred to in sīrah are incidents that unfolded after migration to Medina, particularly the battles and conflicts with other communities. When classical and contemporary sīrah sources are studied, the prominence of the battles is easily seen. However, events besides the battles are just as critical, yet these events are often omitted or downplayed—events that could have easily led to a violent outcome, based on the societal norms at the time, but did not. The Meccan and Medinan periods of Prophet Muhammad’s life are significantly different, with the main difference being the power balance. In Mecca, Muslims had little power, which meant great hardships and mistreatment; meanwhile, in Medina, Muslims were in a position of power. While Prophet Muhammad has been criticised for taking advantage of this power and being violent, this article argues otherwise. Through the examples provided, it becomes evident that Prophet Muhammad preferred peace first and foremost at all times.
Original languageEnglish
Article number587
JournalReligions
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05 Nov 2020

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