The Misconception Concerning the Invalidity of the Treaty of Whoever is Forced to Sign a Treaty

The misconception is the following statement which some people make: “We have been forced into signing peace treaties, and any treaty which someone has been forced into is invalid.”

The response to this misconception is as follows: both of these preambles are false.

Concerning the first, which is that we have been forced into signing peace treaties, this is not true because it was the disbelievers who initiated the request for the peace treaties with the Islamic countries, and they did so with our approval. Thus, it was the current situation of the Islamic countries, not the disbelievers, which led us to sign such treaties.

The second preamble, which is that peace treaties that have been forced upon someone are invalid, is false for three different reasons:

1. To my knowledge, none of the Islamic scholars hold this opinion.

2. Muslim countries usually never sign truces except when they are in periods of weakness. The scholars agree that truces are not even valid except during such times, unless there is some advantage to be gained by signing them. In fact, Islamic scripture goes even further to affirm the permissibility of giving the disbelievers money in order to keep them from harming us if we are powerless. The proof of this lies in the story of the Battle of Al-Ahzaab, when the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) wanted to give the tribe of Ghatfaan and its allies half of the harvest of Madinah in exchange for their retreat from the battle. And the overwhelming majority of scholars have written explicitly and extensively on this point.

3. It is inconceivable that the Muslims would to be forced into signing a truce unless we were in a position of extreme weakness. And if it is prohibited for Muslims to kill people with whom we have a truce during times of our strength and might, this prohibition should be even more emphasized during times of our weakness because this could lead to our annihilation.