The Prophet never resorted to fighting in self-defence unless it was the last resort. He set limitations to warfare by placing many rules around it. For example, he forbade the killing of non-combatants saying: “Go in God’s name, trusting in God, and adhering to the religion of God’s Apostle. Do not kill a decrepit old man, or a young infant, or a child, or a woman; do not be dishonest about booty, but collect your spoils, do right and act well, for God loves those who do well.”I

This limitation in self-defence also extended to other religious communities as the Prophet forbade the killing of monks and priests and destroying places of worship.² He also forbade the destruction of the environment by forbidding the uprooting of forests and trees or burning crops or fields. ³ Likewise, he also prohibited the killing of merchants and traders as it would affect the supply of food to the common people and cause undue difficulty and hardship.

I Set forth by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubrā, 9:90 $17934. al-Hindī in Kanz al-Ummal, 4:205 S11425.

2 Set forth by Ibn Abi Shayba in al-Mușannaf, 6:484 $33132. •Abū Ya’la in al-Musnad, 5:59 $2650.

3 Set forth by al-Bayhaqī in al-Sunan al-Kubrā, 9:90 $17934. al-Hindi in Kanz al-Ummal, 4:205 S11425.

4 Set forth by Ibn Abi Shayba in al-Muşannaf, 6:484 $33130. alBayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubrā, 9:91 $17939.


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