Kind Treatment of Prisoners of War

Date: 25 October posted by adminon

In pre-Islamic times, , there were no recognized rules concerning prisoners of war and they would be tortured and kept as slaves for their whole life. They were treated in a very abominable manner by their captives. The past few decades also have  provided us various worse examples of this. Prophet(peace be upon him) made history by fairly treating prisoners of war, although prisoners of war are considered criminals. Pious Muslim rulers throughout history have set an example for humanity by treating prisoners of war kindly.

 

The Holy Qur’an mentions the feeding of PRISONERS in the following verse:

And they give (their own) food, in deep love of Allah, to the needy, the orphan and PRISONER (out of sacrifice, despite their own desire and need for it), (And say:) ‘We are feeding you only to please Allah. We do not seek any recompense from you nor (wish for) any thanks.►{Surah Al- Insan Chapter 76: Verse 8-9}

 

-Prisoners of the Battle of Badr

The prisoners of the Battle of Badr who had held nothing back in troubling and torturing Muslims, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) distributed them among the Companions and gave instructions that they should be treated with kindness.

 

Abu ‘Aziz bin ‘Umair who was the standard-bearer of the Makkan army relates: I was given to an Ansari (i.e.Madinite) Companion. He was so meticulous in this that he gave me bread to eat while he himself subsisted on dates. If his family managed to lay their hands even on one piece of bread, they would not eat it but hand it over to me. This kindness embarrassed meAbu ‘Aziz bin ‘Umair who was the standard-bearer of the Makkan army relates: I was given to an Ansari (i.e. Madinite) Companion. He was so meticulous in this that he gave me bread to eat while he himself subsisted on dates. If his family managed to lay their hands even on one piece of bread, they would not eat it but hand it over to me. This kindness embarrassed me. ►{Subul Ul Huda War Rashad, Jima’u Abwaabil Maghaazi, Al Babus Sabe’ Fi Bayaani Ghazwati Badril Kubra, Vol. 4, Pg. No. 66}

 

-Unlawfulness of Killing Prisoners of War

Hadrat Ali Ibn Talib(Radiyallahu Anhu) said , ” The injured person or prisoner should not be killed , and the one who flees should not be pursued.”►{Abd al-Razzaq in al-Musannaf , 10:123 #18590}

-Daughter of Hatim Taai

The daughter of Hatim Taai was kept in the room adjacent to the door of the Masjid as prisoners were kept there. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) passed by her. She stood up. She was a very eloquent woman. She said: O Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)! My father has passed away. The one who had to come has vanished. Please treat me with benevolence. Allah has granted you many bounties.

 

The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) replied to her and went away.She says the next  day, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) again passed by her and she again appealed to Him and He gave her the previous reply. The third day, again the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) passed by me. I had despaired. A man gestured to me to stand up and entreat the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).

 

She says: I stood before the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and entreated: O Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)! My father has passed away and the one who had to come has vanished. Please honor me with benevolence! Allah has granted you many bounties.

The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: I am benevolent with you. Don’t be hasty in leaving unless you find reliable people of your community who will escort you to your place. Then you inform me.

I asked about that man who had gestured me to talk to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).

I was told: He is Hadhrat ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (May Allah be well pleased with him).

She says: I got ready (for this).Eventually men from the clan of Balayy or the clan of Quza’a came.  I wanted to go to Syria to my brother.

I went to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and said: Some  people from my community have come. I consider them reliable and they will escort me there.

The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) arranged for my clothing, granted me a mount, gave me the expenses and I reached Syria along with them.►{Al Bidayah Wan Nihayah, Vol. 5, Sanata Tis’in Minal Hijrah, Qissah ‘Adi Ibn Hatim At Taai}

 

Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) not only freed her but arranged for complete protection of the prisoner. With this kindness and benevolence of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) she embraced Islam.

 

Based on Book Relations with Non-Muslims Mufti Ziyaudin Naqshbandi

Please watch this speech on Prisoners of War 

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