Were the Islamic Conquests a form of colonization?

31 Aug

1. Islamic conquests were by no means a form of colonization. Colonization is based on plundering the wealth and the agricultural and industrial resources of the occupied country. It also neglects developing its economy, its culture, and its civilization. History bears witness that Muslim conquerors were never unjust, and their rule was based on equity and tolerance. Andalusia, which is a European country, flourished during the Muslim reign and prospered in all walks of life, and was superior to other European countries in every aspect as a result of the cultural and scientific progress introduced by the Arabs. The same applies to every country during the Arab rule. The relics of architecture and other manifestaions of the Islamic civilization can still be seen.
2. The tribute imposed on the inhabitants of the occupied lands were taxes which they paid to be protected by the Islamic State against their enemies. Any person who enlisted in the ranks of the army was immediately exempted from this financial obligation. Sir Thomas Arnold stated that the Christian tribe of Al-Jarajima that dwelt near to Antionch and was at peace with the Muslims, vowed to be their allies during peace and that in the event of war, they would fight side by side with them provided that they be exempted from paying the tribute(Arnold. Thomas W., The Preaching of Islam. Translated by Hassan Ibrahim et al., Egyptian Renaissance Bookshop. Cairo. pp. 79 and 80.). Fighting in the cause of God in order to acquire the spoils of war is prohibited in Islam and is considered a crime. The Prophet was once asked about his opinion of a person who fights in the cause of God in order to acquire the spoils of war. He answered; "He is denied the divine reward". He repeated this statement twice, thus uttering it three times in order to emphasize it.
3. The allegation that Muslim Conquests were an economically motivated form of colonization is an attempt to conceal the West’s colonization of Islamic countries in the modern time. There is a great difference between the latter and the former, and the following example, among many others, should clarify this point. A peace treaty was signed between Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed and the inhabitants of the towns near to Al-Hira, which stated: "If we Muslims protect you from your enemies you will pay the tribute, otherwise you are exempted from it". When the Muslims were unable to protect these occupied Syrian towns during the rule of ‘Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, the caliph, after the Emperor Hercules had prepared a great army to attack the Muslims, Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed wrote to the inhabitants of the Syrian cities stating: "Since the Emperor Hercules has prepared a great army to attack us, we must face him and will not be able to defend you, so we return your money to you. Should God grant us victory, the terms of the treaty will remain"( Arnold, Sir Thomas, The Preaching of Islam).

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