The other question worthy of notice is: Do we find an example that the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions ever sent any missionary groups in other countries before Jehad and waited for their reaction to allow or disallow the missionary work? Did they go for Jehad only when they were refused to carry out the missionary work for Islam? Was any mission sent toRome before attacking them? Was any attempt made to avoid Jehad againstIran and did they contend on seeking a permission for preaching Islam for that purpose? Obviously it was not so. Thus there can be no other conclusion that only a permit for missionary activities was not the aim. If that would have been the only aim many of the bloody combats could be stopped only on one condition that no obstacle would be placed in the way of the mission of Islam. But at least in my humble knowledge there has not been a single incident in the entire history of Islam where Muslims had shown their willingness to stop Jehad just for one condition that they will be allowed to preach Islam freely. On the contrary the aim of Muslims as declared by them in the battle of Qadsia was, “To take out people from the rule of people and put them under the rule of Allah”. Similarly, the Our’an said:
And (you O Believers) fight them until persecution is no more and the Din is all for Allah.
In the exegesis of this verse my reverend father Mufti Muhammad Shafi has written:
The meaning of religion is “Authority and domination”. Thus the meaning of this verse would be that Muslims should continue until the Muslims are safeguarded against their contumacy, and the religion of Islam becomes a dominating power so that it offers protection to Muslims from the atrocities and mischiefs of others.
He further said:
The nutshell of this explanation is that Jehad against the enemies of Islam is obligatory on Muslims until the danger of their mischief or evil-doings is over, and the domination of Islam is established over all other religions. Since this will occur only near the end of the world, the command of Jehad remains till the last day. (Ma’arif-ul-Qur’an vol 4, p. 233)
In short, my humble self is of the view that the purpose of Jehad is not just to get the right of missionary activities in any country, but it aims at breaking the grandeur of unbelievers and establish that of Muslims. As a result no one will dare to show any evil designs against Muslims on one side and on the other side, people subdued from the grandeur of Islam will have an open mind to think over the blessings of Islam. Factually, this aims at safeguarding Islam. It is for this reason that the scholars who have called Jehad “A Protection” must be looked in the above context. But the basic element of this “protection” is to break the grandeur of unbelievers and establish the authority of Islam. Hence this basic element cannot be excluded from it. I think that all Ulema (Religious scholars) have established the same concept about the purpose of Jehad. Moulana Idrees Kandhalvi stated:
By commanding Jehad Allah does not mean that all the unbelievers be killed outright, but the aim is that the religion of Allah should dominate the world, and Muslims live with honour and dignity, and obey and worship Allah in peace and tranquillity and there be no danger from unbelievers to interfere in the religion of Islam. Islam is not in enmity with the personal existence of its enemies. It resists such a grandeur and power that may become a threat for Islam and Muslims. (Seerat-ul-Mustafa vol: 2, p. 388)
At another place he writes:
The implication of this verse is an obligation imposed on Muslims to fight against the unbelievers till the disorder and mischief cease to exist and the religion of Allah become supreme. By ‘mischief in this verse is meant the mischief anticipated from the grandeur and power of disbelief. And “The religion is all for Allah” means the exhibition and domination of religion, while in another verse it is stated,
[Arabic verse in the original inserted here.]
that is, the religion of Islam should gain so much domination and power that it may not be subdued by the power of infidelity and the religion of Islam becomes fully secure from the mischief and danger of disbelief (Ibid vol. 2, p.386)
If the need for Jehad was abandoned just on getting the permission of Tableegh (Missionary activities), then we see that Muslims already have this permission in most of the non -Muslim countries of the world (It is a pity that this permission is not given in some Muslim countries) which implies that Muslims should never have to lift the sword. As a result disbelievers may establish and hoist flags of grandeur all over the world and their awfulness and supremacy on the people would stay dominating. The policies will be theirs, the commandments will be theirs, ideologies will be theirs, views will be theirs and the strategies will be theirs, yet the Muslims would have to be conten[t]ed with the permission for their missionaries to enter those countries. The question arises how many people would be prepared to listen to the Muslims or give a serious thought to their speeches and writings in an atmosphere where disbelief had established its grandeur and awe throughout. How can the efforts of Muslim missionaries be effective in an atmosphere where anti-Islamic doctrines being spread on the strength of political power with full vigour, and their propagation carried out with means not possessed by Muslims?