“Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords”.. is Islam a peaceful religion?!

Misquoted narration

Bukhari: Allah’s Apostle said, “Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords.” (Volume 4, Book 52, Number 73)

This narration is quoted by some in order to depict Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as someone who glorified violence and killing. However, if the full saying is quoted in context, that image is immediately banished. The full saying is found in another narration:

…Allah’s Apostle in one of his military expeditions against the enemy, waited till the sun declined and then he got up amongst the people saying, “O people! Do not wish to meet the enemy, and ask Allah for safety, but when you face the enemy, be patient, and remember that Paradise is under the shades of swords.” Then he said, “O Allah, the Revealer of the Holy Book, and the Mover of the clouds and the Defeater of the clans, defeat them, and grant us victory over them.”(Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 266l)

This narration makes it abundantly clear that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught his followers to hate violence and never desire conflict with the enemy. However, in the event of a battle, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged his companions to be patient and informed them of the reward promised by God to those who die fighting oppression and injustice. This saying should be presented in its full context so that the reader may see that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a man who desired peace and patiently endured the struggles thrust upon him by his enemies.

Indeed Islam is a peaceful religion ..

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