By : Faqihuddin Abdul Kodir

The greediness of strong states and global multinational company to the economic resources of the developing countries not only threaten initiatives of  the peace world, but also had created a ‘modern war’ which is unsymmetrical  anymore. Not only the civil people who become victims of the modern war which is kindled by a certain state to other state, but the population of people in another part of the world are also involved as rooters from a certain state or group and become perpetrator by killing their own people that are accused as lackeys of the enemy that threathens. 

In the such global psychological situation, the development of peace principles (peacebuilding) in Islam as the antithesis of the violence practices which is promoted by some little number of muslim, is facing the handicaps and challenge from both internal and external factor at once. The hardest handicap is traditional burden, as other religious traditions, which is full with violence and war history. While the real challenge is globalization that beared global fundamentalism as the impact of global injustices which often address to muslim community. 

The handicap and challenge become more serious because had replaced the war from its conventional battlefield to other spaces which is more complex and unthinkable. Even in the purified worship place, as happened in the suicide bombing case in Mosque Adz Dzikra,  Cirebon as mentioned in the arguments that are raised by Al-Busra Islamic forum, it can become an effective battlefield to paralyze the enemy from within. In a more specific way, the forum referred to the hadiths on Jihad to legitimize the such violence actions. 

This article, on the contrary will explore the reading and meaning of the hadiths to a peace life initiative, both for muslim society (ummah) and for the more general people . If a war and violence are perceived as masculine, so the peace initiative will be seen as closer to women and the feminine character of every human. This initiative, although had been expected by everybody, is still perceived as an uninteresting thing for the people who still live in a masculine dominated world. But if we really hope to the peace of life, we have to start with developing peace perspective in our reading of Islamic traditions, which saved so many basic teaching on peace and compassion. 

Reject to Violence and Killing

One of hadith text which was referred by Al Busyro Forum to justify the suicide bombing violence in Cirebon mosque, is the story of a letter Hathib Ibn Baltha’ah ra. who was sent by Prophet Muhammad PBUH to Mecca and then in the way of his journey he was deprived by Ali ibn Abi Thalib ra. and then brought I front of the Prophet PBUH. Hathib was one of Prophe’s companion who joined the Badar war and lived with the Prophet and other muslim people in Madinah. But in another specific war, precisely he sent a letter to the Quraish people in Mecca and explained the detail information about muslim troops and their preparation in Madinah. When the letter was taken from a courier he sent, he was interrogated in front of the Prophet.   

According to Hathib, the letter he sent as an offer with an expectation that the Quraish will take care of his family who lived in Mecca. Umar bin Khattab ra. requested and showed his readiness to do execution for the death penalty of Hathib because of his carelessness. “Let me slit the neck of this hypocrite man.” But Prophet Muhammad rejected to Umar’s requests. Even though he said , “ He joined us in the Badar war. Do you know that Allah elevate the dignity of the people who joined in the Badar war”, then Allah said : “Do everything as you wish. I forgive you.” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Jihad (56), article (141), no. Hadits: 3007). 

The word of God in this hadith text is often used as argument to justify all actions of people who are perceived as doing Jihad in the way of Allah, including by killing the person who is accused as infidel or hypocrite in the mosque. Then perpetrator is not only worthy to be forgiven,  but also worthy to enter the God’s heaven. This kind of reading neglected the peaceful way that had been taken by the Prophet in the hadith mentioned above. In this narration, different with other companions, especially Umar, the Prophet himself  did not choose the violence way by executing the death penalty to person who had threatened the community sovereignty because of his sending news to the enemy parties. 

The Prophet precisely looked for another reason in order Hathib which was sentenced guilty not to be executed in a death penalty which at that time and also nowadays still can be seen as a proper thing.”Don’t do that, Hathib had joined us the Badar war, didn’t he? Probably Allah had forgiven him”, here was the Prophet’s firmness in deciding the anti violence choice and  finding an appropriate reason. Why the people who admit themselves as the Prophet’s followers nowadays, precisely easy to decide the death penalty, to legalize the blood, and to do suicide bombing for the reason which may be milder which was done by Hathib?” 

Usamah Ibn Zayd ra. once had been snapped by the Prophet because he killed an enemy who had declared “La ilaha illallah” in one specific war. “He said that not come from the bottom of his heart. He must be afraid and wanted to avoid from my sword”, said Usamah. “Have you split his lever, so you are brave enough to say this?”, the Prophet said. Even in the war situation, The Prophet requested to his companions not to be so easy accusing other people, further more doing violence based on that accuse” (Sahih Muslim, kitab al-Iman (2), article (43), no. Hadits: 287).

Imam Suyuthi in Kitab Jami’ al-Ahadith mentioned that Usama’s hadith above, beside narrated by Muslim, was also narrated by the other hadith ulama such as Bukhari,  Ahmad, Nasa’i. Abu Dawud, and Ibn Hibban. The text explained the Prophet’s effort to look for specific reason in order somebody will not be easily killed even including in the situation of war. Somebody whose mouth say “There is no God but Allah” is illegal to be killed. How about the situation nowadays where so many people who declare themselves as pure muslims, but very easy to justify the bloods of muslims who had many things more that “laa ilaha illallah” declaration? 

In all notes of Sirah Nabawiyah book, Abdullah bin Ubay bin Salul is the kingpin of the hypocrite  people in Madinah. Many times he made trouble, assault, backbite the wives of the Prophet, and noisy in the Uhud war so that cause fatal defeat. One day he said in front of the Anshar people : “You accept and protect the Quraish people, it means as mentioned in an Arabic saying : You feed the dog which will eat you”. The remarks heard by the Muhajirin and then they reported to Prophet Muhammad PBUH. 

Some companions, again Umar here requested permission from the Prophet to kill the kingpin. Again, the Prophet spoke the beautiful words and it was rarely followed, “ Ye Umar,  I don’t want to be heard that Muhammad hearted to kill his own companion.” (Sirah Ibn Hisyam, juz 2, page 291). Abdullah Ibn Ubay with all of his sins and the ‘hypocrite’ title in the eyes of some Prophet’s companions, but the Prophet still assumed his as his friend as a reason for not being easy to kill somebody else. 

When Abdullah Ibn  Ubay’s son felt uncomfortable with accusation and aspersion from the Prophet’s companion to his father, he came into the Prophet PBUH,” Ye, Messenger of Allah. Everybody had heard about my father’s action. I don’t want that any mukmin (believer of Allah) kill him then I hate him because of him killing my father, and then probably I kill him (the believer of Allah) back. So, order me to kill my father myself, “ said the son of Abdullah Ibn Ubay. Firmly the Prophet said , “No, we can treat him well as long as he is still alive and staying with us.” (Ar-Raudh al-Unuf, juz 4, page 17).

Becoming a muslim for some people, precisely more gallant if somebody dare to request for a fatwa of killing as did by Umar Ibn Khattab, to execute death penalty as Usamah Ibn Zayd, and willingness to kill his own father by himself to somebody who is perceived as hypocrite as did by the son of Abdullah Ibn Ubay. They forgot at all to the main role model,  Prophet Muhammad saw. who precisely rejected and found many reason in order to avoid violence and assassination. 

Reading Hadith with a Peace Perspective 

The hadith texts are notes of narrative fragments of specific momentum in the the life of the Prophet. The narration at the beginning was narrated as a knowledge transmission from one generation to the next generation, and then being collected and recorded in a book. The narration, collection, and recording process of the hadith texts were ijtihad of ulama which reflect specific perspective. The perspective then will bear choices on article, chapter, and topic of the hadith that had been collected. In the discipline of hadith studies, it was known that the ‘Bukhari perspective’ through the naming of chapter and article in his Hadith Shahih collection. 

Of course there are some hadiths on punishment with violence, conflict resolution with war, and suggestion and motivation to fight in a war. But, there are many other texts also on forgiveness, termination and prohibition of war,  peace building, prohibition of violence, well treatment to the enemies, and suggestions and motivations to do social work which will be able to turn somebody from war and violence choice. But, because of the existing socio-intellectual context, every generation will have their own perspective, even every school of thought, flow, and further more every ulama in reading the such hadith texts. 

The term of Jihad for example, through the simple search on the Hadith dictionary such as al-Mu’jam al-Kabir authored by ath-Thabrâni () and Jâmi’ al-Ahâdits by as-Suyuthi (), referred to the concept of physical war, pilgrimage and umrah , working to look for the halal fortune, maintain family autonomy, scientific research, and even the domestic works. But the specific context had brought many people only know and understand that “Jihad” is merely concept of physical war in Islam. 

If the story of Hathib Ibn Abi Balthaah ra. as mentioned above was understood as a total forgiveness to the sin of somebody who did jihad by doing fight in a war, how about the hadith text which precisely cancelled somebody’s reward of jihad only because he/she limit somebody’s road or hurt somebody’s feeling?  Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and Ath-Thabrani narrated that in a specific war said, “Whoever narrow the road by his building house, or seal the street, or hurt a mukmin’s heart, then his reward will be cancelled. “(Jâmi’ al-Ahâdîts, no. Hadits: 2280).

Quoting to Mohammed Abu Nimer’s analysis in the study of Islam and Peace, there are three perspectives in reading the Hadith texts and the Holy Quran for these issues. First, the Jihad of fight and war perspective, where the texts of war become a basic reference in interpreting the Peace texts. In this kind of reading, the teaching and suggestion on peace in Islam was interpreted situationally and used as a socio-political strategy in preparing internal power, which in one day all energy will be used to cripple all of the enemy’s power. Second, the peace-war perspective, in which peace texts or war texts will be read in its own context.In this kind of reading, as followed by most modern muslim thinkers, peace is a principle and war is just a tool/strategy to achieve and ensure that peace will happened on the earth. 

The war will be seen as an effective way nowadays and in the future, but it must be utilized for defense and peace-building. Because of that, a war should be ended as soon as possible after the peace agreement committed. The third perspective, is a peace perspective which is almost similar with the second perspective, but it more localize the effectiveness of war only in a pre-modern era, so that the peace perspective will become a main reference on the introduction of Islamic teaching in the future. (Abu-Nimer, 2008, A Framework for Nonviolence and Peace-building in Islam, Singapore: MUIS).

The peace perspective, both the second one and the third one, which are necessary in our life nowadays, will lead us to find the principles and spirit of life in peace from the same hadith which  had been recorded by the ulamas. We have a complete choice to read them with the violence perspective or peace spirit. If we believe that the essence of Islam is peace, as ethimologically are peace and welfare, so our duty in the future precisely are reading the hadith to create and to develop peace life, whether among muslim people and among the human being.

There are some facts from the hadith texts which support thus perspective. When he was 35 years old, Prophet Muhammad had initiated the peace mediation to end the conflict among the Quraish nomadic tribe after the flood disaster which destroyed the Ka’bah. During the 13 years of his life in Mecca,  the Prophet’s teaching affirmed the necessary of patience, peace way, and leaving the violence way no matter how small it is and in whatever condition. Conflict among the companions in Madinah, conflict in the Prophet’s family itself, never ended by using violence way at all. The Prophet’s teaching about forgiveness, patience, equality of human being, justice, social goodness, and prohibition to violate and wound other people, can be found in so many hadiths which are recorded in the reference books. 

The peace perspective will enable women’s initiative during the Prophet era will be appreciated as the appreciation which had been given so far to the Prophet’s male companions. Their demands on a more better family life without violence, a more appropriate education, even the demand to attention from  the Divine on women’s role, should be appreciated as a source of model where women in the next generation can take the lesson learned to struggle for their rights as similar as other parties. 

The Jihad in the household work which is associated with women in a hadith text, actually should not be understood as domestification of women. But more as Prophet’s appreciation to the domestic works, which became the domain of women at that time and also to attract male interest on this. First, because women during the Prophet era were also active in economy, social, politics and even war. Second, the Prophet himself as mentioned in Aisha’s hadith that narrated by Bukhari, usually also do the domestic works. 

Of course, from the existing hadith text, we can’t say that Islam had explicitly develop anti violence ideology. The ulamas also had not been significantly develop peace perspective for the humanity, especially on the third perspective among the believers of different religions. But the principles of peace teaching  can be from the hadith texts, therefore to develop a peace perspective is possible. Furthermore, the development of the perspective is necessary in our multicultural contexts nowadays, where many muslims also live as minority groups, and especially to appreciate women participation. The first perspective which marginalize the peace initiative, will exaggerate masculine roles and it will automatically discriminate women’s social role which most of it located in the social and domestic domain, with its feminine style. 

The hadith texts, as similar as the Quranic texts and other sacred texts of another religions, can be read through violence perspective or on the contrary to develop the peaceful life. If we believe that religion as a social power for the human being to develop the better future life, so it’s our duty together to ensure our reading on the religious sources to grow the peace initiative, cooperation, and human solidarity. Therefore, we have to learn from the women in the Prophet’s era and the next generation of muslim women, and also from our generation nowadays. Wallahu a’lam. Allah knows best! {}


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