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As far as I know the Prophet of Islam (pbuh) mostly fought defensive wars while after death of Prophet, Muslim caliphs began a journey to conquer land after land and to bring territories under their control. How this can be justified? Is it allowed for a ruler to attack a neighboring land on the pretext of spreading Islam? I see because of such military engagements (e.g. Muhammad bin Qasim and Ghauri in India) many non-Muslims believe that Islam was spread by sword. It is also interesting to note that Ali who was at forefront during all wars of Prophet never participated in any such wars during reign of first three caliphs nor did he himself initiate any such new battle. Also to be noted that his progeny kept themselves away from leading such exercises. For some of those drills there may be local reasons or context but to say that in all the cases Muslims were provoked to attack neighboring land cannot be accepted while we also know that many of such warriors who conquered non-Muslim lands also fought with Muslim rules to bring them under their subjugation and they did not hesitate to spill blood of fellow Muslims in such cases. One example is Salahudin Ayyubi who ended Fatimide dynasty in Egypt. How can one support military expansion of such people on non-Muslim lands?

Both Shia and Sunni point of views are welcome.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jamila, Sassir, goldPseudo Oct 21 '18 at 19:35

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Not all wars of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were defensive and some of the wars which have been started by Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) were already planed by our Messenger (peace be upon him) so he already has chosen a general etc.. So you should please correct your information! – Medi1Saif Mar 7 '16 at 8:00
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    @Medi1Saif Can you please let us know which war of the prophet was not defensive? Thanks. – Noor Mar 7 '16 at 15:58
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    @Noor hm ... let's take all the saraya before Badr. Muslims attacked caravans is this defensive? Was Khaybar a defensive battle? Well yes you could try to explain it from a religious POV, but from a neutral view they were not defensive but maybe for "self-preservation" of the -at the time- small Muslim Ummah, so they were necessary to show power and frighten possible enemies, but not defensive! – Medi1Saif Mar 8 '16 at 7:23
  • I think answer lies in surah al-tauba! read it once completely with full understanding. I am sure you will get the answer. – Zia Ul Rehman Mughal Apr 16 '16 at 6:24
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