Interaction is Important

Interaction is Important The Sunday Guardian | January 16,  2011 | Page 15

The Quran holds interaction to be of great importance. This principle is laid down in the chapter Al-Fath (Victory): “Truly, we have granted you a clear victory, so that God may forgive you your past and future sins and complete his favour to you and guide you to a straight path, and so that God might bestow on you His mighty help.” (48:1-3)

These verses have a historical background. The Prophet Muhammad started a mission in Arabia. But people did not have religious freedom at the time so they were angered by his initiatives and started a war against him. A war like situation did not favour the Prophet. The condition was particularly acute during the confrontation between the Prophet and the non-Muslim forces at Hudaybiyyah when the Prophet wanted to proceed to Madina to perform religious rites at the Kaaba. The Prophet, wanting to normalise the situation, initiated peace talks between the two parties, which lasted two weeks. These are called the Hudaybiyyah Talks.

The Prophet discovered that the other party was in no way ready to halt its militancy. He offered to accept all its conditions unilaterally, provided it agreed to end the hostilities. This offer was accepted, resulting in a ten year no war pact. When this peace treaty was finalised, God revealed the verses given earlier. On face value, the Hudaybiyyah treaty was like a defeat, for the price paid by the Prophet was his unilateral acceptance of the conditions laid down by the other party. But the Quran declared it is a “clear victory” for the treaty successfully removed the deadlock and opened the door to peaceful interaction between the two parties.