A Muslim view of the Romans

Radiance Weekly announces itself as A credible and moderate voice of Millat. Classics teachers may find it useful to know how the Romans look to some Muslims.

Between the Devil and the Deep Sea

SOROOR AHMED analyses the pre-election scenario, and taking guidance from the Holy Qur�an advises Muslim leaders to keep in mind the long term interest of the community, and not to allow the communal forces gain strength.
“Alif Lam Mim. The Romans have been defeated. In the nearer land, and they, after their defeat will be victorious. Within 10 years – Allah’s is the command in the former case and in the latter – and in that day believers will rejoice, in Allah’s help to victory. He helps to victory whom He will. He is the Mighty, the Merciful. It is a promise of Allah.” 
Like in many places the first six verses of Surah Al-Rum give political training to the followers of Islam. But unfortunately many of us are unable to make out anything from them.
It talks about the battle between the Romans and the Persians, in which the latter triumphed. This victory of the Persians was celebrated by the pagans of Makkah as, in their opinion, the Zoroastrian Persians were ideologically closer to them. By that equation the Muslims were sympathetic towards the Christian Romans, who were at least the followers of Jesus Christ, the last Prophet before Muhammad (peace be to them).
The above verses make two prophecies. They said that in the next few (less than 10) years the Romans “after their defeat will be victorious” and “in that day believers will rejoice.”
The Persians defeated the Romans in 613-15 C.E. The Romans lost Syria, Palestine, Egypt and a large part of modern Turkey. However, as per the Qur’anic prophecy, the equation changed and the Christian Romans took revenge in 624 C.E. And when the news of the victory came, the Muslims were really rejoicing after their own triumph in the Battle of Badr in 2 Hijri (2 A.H.).
It needs to be made very clear that apparently the Romans were no less dangerous to Islam. Their empire was not only confined just north to Arabia; but even across the Red Sea in the west where a Christian ruler was in power. Even in the South, that is Yemen, it was the Christians who were posing problems to the Muslims. Only 50 days before the birth of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless and greet him) a Christian army from South led by General Abraha invaded Makkah with the view to attacking and destroying (God forbid) Ka’aba. However, their army was destroyed by pebbles dropped by a flock of birds (See Surah Al-Feel).
Character-wise too, the Roman Emperor Hercules was a corrupt person. Still the sympathy of the Muslims was tilted towards the Romans because in the larger context their victory was good for the nascent and growing Islamic society. However, when Islam really grew powerful, it had to take on both the Christian Romans and the Zoroastrian Persians as they both started seeing it as a challenge.
Here we have been asked to choose between the two evils. In today’s context we have to choose between the two political parties or alliances. The policy should not always be the same, but you will have to understand as to who is more dangerous for the larger cause of humanity. If between the erstwhile Communist Soviet Union and Capitalist United States Muslims opted for the latter; it was not out of love for it. Mind it the Americans always espoused the cause of the Zionist occupants of Al-Aqsa yet we for a moment were soft towards them.
Similarly, if Muslims voted for the UPA and not NDA, it is simply because of the political strategy. In fact all the right thinking groups or communities throw their weight behind the party which supports their cause.</blockquote

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