The Prophet (Peace be Upon Him)'s Merciful Reforms in the Conduct of War: The Prohibited Acts
INSIGHTS: 'Mercy for the World', Vol. 2, Nos. 2-3, Winter 2009-Spring 2010, pp. 221-260,
40 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2011 Last revised: 12 Mar 2012
Date Written: April 17, 2011
This work argues that Islam introduced far reaching reforms to warfare. Burning and drowning the enemy to death was prohibited. Destroying buildings, cutting down trees, committing perfidy, breaching the trust of the enemy, the killing of women, children, servants, old, infirm, sick, wounded, priests, peasants, prisoners of war and envoys was strictly prohibited. Islam prohibited the destruction of harvest, livestock and forests. Looting, plundering and corruption from the war booty and indiscipline were prohibited. Mutilation of bodies was strictly condemned. Genocide and war crimes are strictly prohibited in Islamic law.
Keywords: conduct of war in Islam, prohibited acts, perfidy, ruse, non-combatants, prisoners of war, genocide, war crimes, Islamic conduct of war
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