Last month the Muslims of Homs in Syria held a rally calling for a return of the Khilafah to replace the tyranny and oppression of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. This is not the first time Syria (ash-Sham) has been ruled by a tyrannical ruler. When Homs was first opened to Islam during the time of Khaleefah Umar bin al-Khattab, ash-Sham was part of the Byzantine Empire under the leadership of Emperor Heraclius. A few years after Homs was conquered and opened to Islam the Muslims were forced in to a temporary retreat back to Damascus. Faced with being ruled again by the Byzantines a similar call for the Khilafah was heard in Homs but this time from the Christian dhimmi. Although these Christians had only lived under the Khilafah for a short period of time, compared to years living under the oppressive Byzantine Empire, they preferred the Islamic rule.
Abu ‘Ubaydah, Amir of Jihad in Syria ordered his commander Habeeb ibn Maslamah, “Give back to the local people with whom we made a treaty (Christian dhimmi) what we took from them, for we should not take anything from them if we do not protect them.”
And he said to them, “We are bound by the same terms between us and you, and we will not retract anything so long as you do not do so. The only reason why we are returning your wealth to you is that we do not want to take your wealth when we cannot protect your land. We are simply moving to some other land and sending for our brothers to come to us, then we will face our enemy and fight. If Allah causes us to prevail, then we will fulfil our covenant with you, unless you change your minds.”
The next day Abu ‘Ubaydah ordered the Muslim army to march to Damascus, and Habeeb ibn Maslamah called the people from whom he had taken the jizyah and returned their wealth to them. He told them what Abu ‘Ubaydah had said, and the people of Homs started saying, “May Allah bring you back to us, and may Allah curse the Byzantines who used to rule over us. By Allah, they would not have returned anything to us, rather they would have confiscated it and taken whatever they could of our wealth. Your rule and justice are dearer to us than the oppression that we used to suffer.”
[Dr Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab his life and times,’ vol. 2, p. 306]
The reason these dhimmi in Homs preferred Islamic rule is because the foreign policy of the Khilafah is dawah and jihad. The objective of offensive jihad is not to kill, it is to rule, i.e. make Allah’s word the highest in the land. The Muslim army doesn’t fight for materialistic interests or revenge as we witness the western armies doing in Afghanistan. Rather the Muslim army fights seeking the pleasure of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and achieves one of two best things, victory or martyrdom.
قُلْ هَلْ تَرَبَّصُونَ بِنَا إِلَّا إِحْدَى الْحُسْنَيَيْنِ
“Say: ‘What do you await for us except for one of the two best things?” [at-Tawba, 9:52]
Insha’Allah Bashar al-Assad’s tyrannical regime will go the same way as the Byzantine Empire – in to the dustbin of history.