Table of Contents

Abbreviations Used in the Essay
Foreword: Dr. John O Voll
Editor's Note: Sabreen Akhter
Objectives of the Review
Attitudes towards Prophet Muhammad
I. The Seeker of Truth
II. The Recipient of the Mantle of Prophethood/ The Warner and the Exhorter
III. The Stoic Optimist
IV. The Pluralistic Leader
V. The Courageous Yet Reluctant Warrior
VI. The Statesman par excellence and the Teacher
VII. The Compassionate Ruler and Spiritual Leader
Does this essay cover any new ground?
The Sources for This Essay

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Chapter V: A Clear Change in Direction and the Battles for Survival

The Courageous Yet Reluctant Warrior

The next phase in the prophet Muhammad's (S) mission started out with a change in the Qiblah (direction for prayer) with a concomitant change in the nature of his struggle. His small community spent the next few years defending itself militarily in several battles that were imposed upon it by the Quraysh. The three major battles: Badr, Uhud, and Ahzab (Khandaq), which were very critical in the very survival of the life of the Muslim community, were fought in the next four years.

Change In the Direction Of Prayer (Qiblah)

While in Makkah, the Prophet would frequently pray standing at the same place where Ibrahim had prayed. This allowed the Muslims to pray simultaneously in the direction of the Ka'bah and Jerusalem. The Makkan Arabs, on the other hand prayed only in the direction of the Ka'bah and the "people of the book" in the direction exclusively of Jerusalem. After he arrived at Madinah, Muhammad (S) initially prayed in the direction of Jerusalem. However, in the second year after the migration (Hijrah) he received a revelation, in the middle of a prayer, to change his direction toward the Ka'bah.

"And from wheresoever thou issueth forth, turn thy faces (for prayer) towards the holy mosque al- Masjid al-Haram And wherever ye are, then turn your faces towards it, So that men might have no grounds to dispute with you except those of them who are deviators." (Qur'an 2: 150)

The somewhat cryptic explanation given in these Verses for the change in direction of prayer (Qiblah) appears to indicate that the reason for the switch was to clear up any misunderstanding people might have had about the separate identity of this emerging religion, whose name Islam had not been revealed yet. In another verse, the Qur'an appears to downplay the importance of the change in Qiblah in this fashion.
"Now the erratic among the people will say: 'What hath turned them (the Muslims) away from the Qiblah to which they used to turn hitherto!' Say, 'The East and the West are Allah's, He guideth whom He will to the straight path." (Qur'an 2: 142)

Nevertheless one practical result of the change in Qiblah must have been that some of the Jews, who, it is reported, hypocritically prayed with the Muslims when the direction was Jerusalem, would now find it very difficult to do so. Muhammad (S) was clearly distancing himself both from the Jews and the non-Muslim Arabs.
The new assertiveness of the Muslim community symbolized by the change in the direction of the prayer was also seen in their beginning to defend themselves rather than remain passive recipients of abuse. As mentioned earlier this necessity to defend themselves essential for the survival of the community. The increasing influence of Muslims in Madinah and their increasing self-confidence further reinforced Qurayshi militants urgent desire to destroy the Muslims.
Quraysh would not leave the Muslims alone in Madinah. Abdullah bin Ubayy, a prominent leader and potential rival of Muhammad (S) in Madinah, received from the Quraysh a letter which warned him to, "... kill Muhammad, or expel him from Madinah, or else risk destruction..." This threat was perceived to be so real that the Muslims would stay awake all night in turns to watch for any surprise attack. It was also decided to set up a mobile defense force for constant surveillance and interdiction of any attacking forces.
The Muslims sent out expeditions to form pacts with the neighboring tribes who were prevented from visiting with Muhammad (S). Expeditions were also sent out to disrupt Qurayshi trade caravans, but there was to be no bloodshed. During one of these trips, when a Muslim killed one of the Qurayshi caravan members, he was severely reprimanded. The prominent Muslim historian at-Tabari records Muhammad (S) as saying, "You did something (looting the caravan) which you did not have permission to do. You fought in the sacred month, when you had orders not to do so." The Muslim responsible for the transgression was asked to pay "just recompense" to the family of the man killed. This incident, according to at- Tabari, was the event that galvanized the Quraysh to attack the Muslims, resulting in the battle at Badr.

The Battle of Badr

The battle of Badr may have been no more than a skirmish by the standards of war such as humankind has engaged in. However in its symbolism and potential significance for the survival of Islam, it is clearly one of the most important in Muslim history. This battle, the first ever fought by Muslims, took place two years after the Migration to Madinah, (which was the fifteenth year of Muhammad's (S) twenty-three year mission), at Badr, an oasis located approximately eighty miles southwest of Madinah.
Muslims in Madinah received intelligence reports that the Quraysh were preparing to launch a major assault on them with the intent of wiping them out permanently. Another scout reported that a trade caravan led by a Qurayshi opponent of the Muslims was in the vicinity. It was unclear whether the Muslims would meet this caravan or the Qurayshi army if they ventured out. Muhammad (S) gathered his followers together and asked them if they were willing to fight with him. Miqdad b. 'Amr, one of his companions gave a memorable reply, "We are not like Musa's (as) (Moses) people to say, why don't you and your Allah fight. We will be to your right and to your left, behind you and in front of you." There were a total of 313 (sixty Muhajirs, and the rest Ansars) men with the Muslim army.
The Quraysh had been preparing for a confrontation with Muslims for a long time. They felt that this was the opportune time to destroy the Muslims, and they set out to do so with a well equipped force of a thousand men, hundreds of them on horses. The two forces camped out at Badr. When they met the battle surprisingly resulted in an overwhelming victory for the much smaller and poorly equipped Muslim force over the Quraysh. In retrospect, it is easy to see why Muslims won so decisively. The Muslims were clearly highly motivated and well disciplined. The Quraysh, in contrast, were divided amongst themselves and their motivation was entirely negative, that is, for revenge. Even the weather seemed to favor the Muslims. The rains that fell the previous day had turned their side of the battlefield into a muddy ground with a poor foothold. The assault on the Quraysh was so fierce that they imagined many more Muslims than were actually engaged in battle. Verses from Surat Anfal provide remarkable insight into the battle of Badr.
"Remember how thy Lord caused thee (at Badr) to go forth from thy home in the cause of truth, And how some of the believers were quite averse to go forth (with thee). (On that occasion) they disputed with thee over the rightness, (of the steps to be taken) which had been made so clear to them; They thought they were being led forth to death with eyes wide open. And (O ye believers! remember) when Allah promised you that one of the two (enemy) parties should fall into your hands (trade caravan or the Qurayshi forces), While you desired that they who had no arms should fall into your hands, On the other hand Allah proposed to prove the truth of His words by rooting out the unbelievers, (who were fully armed). "That He might prove that truth always prevails and falsehood comes to naught, However much the evil- minded may dislike it." (Qur'an 8: 5- 7)

The Qur'an alludes to the Muslim motivation during the battle.
"On that occasion (O Prophet!) thy Lord inspired the angels with the assurance, 'I will be with you, therefore, steady the hearts of the faithful, I will cast dread into the hearts of the unbelievers."(Qur'an: 8- 12)
"On that day when you were camped on the near side of the valley and the enemy on the further side, and the caravan was further down your encampment. Had you ever agreed (among yourselves) to decide upon an engagement with the enemy, you would have failed to proceed with your decision (for fear of not being a stronger force). But Allah led you into action notwithstanding that He might accomplish the thing decreed by Him to be done. (Such was the decree of Allah that it had become so manifest to everyone at the moment). That they who were perishing realized that Allah was not on their side. And they who were winning that Allah was on their side. Verily Allah is Hearing, Knowing!" (Qur'an 8:42)
And finally
"(O believers) you have no other alternative except to fight them till persecution ceases, And the true way of life is pursued in absolute devotion to Allah. But if they give up (fighting), Allah will take note of what they do thereafter, But if they do not respond (to this call for peace, then do not lose heart), rest assured that Allah will protect you. Excellent protector indeed is He and excellent Helper."(Qur'an 8:39)

Although in retrospect the victory at Badr appears predestined, when the battle occurred, it was uncertain whether any Muslims would survive. Nothing in the life of the nascent community had been so perilous nor carried the potential of such complete defeat.

Humane treatment of prisoners of war (POWs)

The battle of Badr saw the first capture of POWs by Muslims. The directive from the Prophet was to treat them as if they were family members. The result was that the captives were often fed better than the captors themselves. Some of the captives were so surprised and impressed by the behavior of their captors that they accepted Islam. As there was no Qur'anic directive on how to deal with them, various options were discussed. The Prophet favored those who advised freedom after restitution. Those who could not pay monetary restitution were asked to teach ten individuals to read and write. According to Cherif Bassiouni of DePaul University (Chicago, IL), this is the first time in recorded history that POWs were treated humanely as a policy.
During the second year of Hijrah, Sawm (Fasting) in the month of Ramadan was made compulsory and the first congregational prayer of 'Id al- Fitr, feast of breaking the Fast, was held in this year.

The Battle of Uhud

The time that elapsed between the battle of Badr and the next phase, which began with the peace treaty at Hudaybiyah, was perhaps the most physically dangerous phase of the Prophet's mission. The humiliating defeat at Badr could not go unanswered by the Quraysh. They returned the following year (the third year of Migration or the sixteenth year of the mission) better prepared and motivated by a desire to avenge their defeat at Badr. Just as he had at Badr, Muhammad (S) consulted with his companions about the best strategy to follow. As suggested in the Qur'an, he was setting an example of conducting community affairs by mutual consultation (Shura). It is worth noting that the Qur'an includes mutual consultation in its definition of righteousness.
" Those who hearken to their Rabb (Sustainer) And establish prayers And conduct their affairs by mutual consultation (Shura`) And spend on others (needy) out of what was bestowed on them for sustenance" (Qur'an 42:38)

He accepted the majority preference to go out of Madinah and meet the Qurayshi armies at the outskirts at a place called Uhud, rather remaining inside the fortifications to fight. The battle turned into an almost complete and disastrous rout. Approximately seventy of the 700 Muslims were killed and Muhammad (S), who was then 56 years old, suffered a blow to his face which knocked out some of his teeth. In stark contrast to the Muslims' humane behavior towards the defeated Quraysh in Badr, the Quraysh tortured Muslims who were captured following this war. The bodies of some of the dead were mutilated. The most gruesome of these mutilations was that of Hamzah's (the Prophet's uncle and staunch supporter) body by a woman named Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, a Makkan aristocrat.
The Qur'an speaks about Uhud in the following Verses:
"Allah indeed did keep His promise to you so long as you were engaged in (war) accordance with His directions. And had not flinched and begun to dispute among yourselves about the order (that a party should stick to a particular post till the end). And disregarded instructions the moment when (the prospect of victory was in sight and) you saw the (booty) for which you had a liking.

(The main reason for the loss was that a group of Muslims who were designated to guard the rear left their position, to join others in collecting war booty. This act of greed allowed the enemy to regroup and attack from the rear.)
For among you were some who desired this world and some who desired the next. Then in order to make trial of you; He diverted your attention from them (your foes). Yet, He hath forgiven you, for Allah is indulgent to the believers. Remember the occasion when the Prophet was from the rear calling you and you were rushing up the heights (of the mountain) taking no heed of anyone!

(As his companions fled up the mountain Muhammad (S) stood his ground rallied his forces.)
Then you had to go through trial after trial that you might not hereafter rue the loss of anything or bemoan over anything that might befall you. Allah is aware of what you do. Then after the tribulation, (Allah) caused calmness to descend upon you, and the sense of security seized a section of you, while another section obsessed in sheer ignorance, indulged in untenable suspicions against Allah. They now say, 'Did we have any voice in this affair?' Say, 'Verily, every affair rests with Allah.' In fact, they declare not to thee what they have hidden in their hearts. They only say, 'Had we any voice in this affair, none of us would have been slain here.' Say, 'Even were you in your homes, those who were destined to be slain would surely have gone forth to the places where they had to die. And (all of this has happened) that Allah might make manifest what was in your breasts and purify your hearts.' And Allah knoweth what your hearts harbor." (Qur'an 3: 152-154)

The various tribes around Madinah, who had been awed by the Muslim victory at Badr, became difficult and challenged the Muslims after the near defeat at Uhud. A few Muslims were killed in several minor skirmishes. During one of the skirmishes a companion of the Prophet, Khubayb b.'Adi, was kidnapped and later executed by the Quraysh as an act of revenge. His last request was to be allowed pray before he was killed. After finishing a rather short prayer, he rose and said, "I wanted to pray longer, but (I was afraid) you may have misconstrued that I was afraid of dying!" An incredible act of courage in the face of death!

The Battle of Khandaq (The Trench)

The third major confrontation between Muslims and the Quraysh occurred in the fifth year after the Migration. This was the last and the best organized attempt by the Quraysh to annihilate the Muslims. The Quraysh accumulated a major force of ten thousand. Muhammad (S) consulted with his close companions and took the advice of Salman al-Farisi (the Persian) to remain in Madinah and defend themselves by digging a trench along the side of the city which was most vulnerable to attack. Salman was familiar with the trench as a defensive strategy. Trenches were widely used in Persia, where he was born, but were a novel idea in Arabia. Again, Muhammad (S) was demonstrating the practice of mutual consultation, wa amruhum shura Baynahum, (and who conduct their affairs by mutual cosultation) and innovation. The Jewish tribe of the Banu Qurayzah posed an additional potential risk to the Muslims in Madinah. The fortress in which the Qurayzah lived was behind Muslim lines. If the Banu Qurayzah reneged on their covenant with the Muslims to fight in concert against invading forces, and instead joined hands with the enemy, the Muslims would be caught between two hostile groups, greatly increasing risk of defeat. Once the Qurayshi armies arrived at the gates of Madinah, the Qurayzah did exactly that. They reneged on their covenant with the Muslims to defend jointly against invading enemies. The Muslims had a formidable force of Quraysh and their allies in front of them and the treacherous Banu Qurayzah behind them. The Qur'an records this event in the following words:
"O ye who believe! Remember the favors of Allah had shown to you when the armies (of the enemy) came against you, and we sent a blast against them,

(This appears to be a reference to a cold front which came through one night and devastated the morale of the Qurayshi forces which were not prepared for it)
and also hosts which ye could not see. And Allah is watchful of your doings".
That was the occasion when the enemy forces had assailed you from every side, and that your eyes became distracted and your hearts seemed to come up to your throats, and you fell into diverse misgivings about Allah:
And at this moment a party of them (Munafiqs or hypocrites) said, 'O people of Yathrib (Madinah)! You have no place of safety here, so turn back. Another party of them sought the Prophet's permission (to return) pleading, "Our houses are left defenseless." They were not defenseless, they only desired to flee.
Say to them (O Prophet!) "Flight shall not profit you, if ye try to flee away from your death or slaughter, you can only enjoy (security) but for a fleeting moment!" (Qur'an 33:9-10,13 and 16)
The Khandaq episode turned into a victory for the Muslims without a battle actually being fought. The enemy forces were completely frustrated by the trench. They had never seen such a tactic used in a battle before and they were unable to cross it. They laid siege to the city for approximately a month, and after multiple attempts at crossing the trench, hey and their allies ran out of patience and provisions, gave up and went home. The last straw was the cold wind in which they could keep no fires lit.

The Three Jewish Tribes of Madinah (Jealousy, Treachery, Tragedy)

The fate of the three Jewish tribes of Madinah is closely linked with the three major battles, which decided the fate of the Muslim community. The tragedy can be seen in what could have been rather than what actually transpired.
Muhammad (S) had clear expectations for the Jews and Christians of Arabia from the very beginning. He knew that the "people of the book", as the Qur'an calls them, were familiar with the concepts of monotheism and righteousness, that they had clear Messianic expectations. He expected them to recognize him as a Messenger of Allah. The clarity, sanity, and truthfulness of the Qur'anic message, he thought, would turn them toward Islam. Some "people of the book" did accept the message.
And when they (the Christians) hear what hath been sent down to the Apostle, thou wilt see their eyes overflow with tears because of the truth which they recognize. They say, "Our Lord! We believe. Write us down therefore with those who bear witness." (Qur'an 5: 83)

However most not only rejected the Qur'an's message but also showed hostility. This was especially true of the Jews of Madinah. They felt that any new Prophet should come from amongst them, the "chosen people". Muhammad's (S) leadership threatened their political power in Madinah, and so they regarded him as an enemy.
As mentioned earlier, one of Muhammad's (S) first acts on arrival at Madinah was to gather all the major tribes together, including the Jewish tribes to sign a Covenant. One of its major articles was the agreement to defend jointly against a common enemy. The tribe of Banu Qaynuqa' was the first to violate the treaty with the Muslims. The reason for this appears unclear, but it seems that the victory at Badr increased Muslim prestige, which they viewed as a direct threat to Jewish influence and prestige in Madinah. For the Qaynuqa ', who had the reputation of being the most fearless and proud tribe in the area, the increase in Muslim prestige resulted in a clear diminution of their standing in the community. In a society that functioned on social pride this was a serious matter and they became increasingly disagreeable and hostile towards the Muslims. In this tense atmosphere, there were many incidents of provocation. A Muslim woman was molested, for example, and in the ensuing fight a Jew and a Muslim were killed. As several articles of the Covenant had been breached repeatedly by the tribe of Banu Qaynuqa' the Muslims decided to besiege their fortress. After about two weeks of siege, the Qaynuqa' capitulated and were exiled.
Petty jealousy and hostility also motivated the clash with the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir. After the battle of Uhud the Muslim position appeared much weaker. The Jewish tribes had excused themselves from the battle of Uhud, on the grounds of Sabbath, and had once again violated the Covenant. The Quraysh who expected the Banu Qurayzah to come to their help, may have instigated this. Abdullah bin Ubayy, a local chieftain with ambitions of being the leader of Madinah, had clandestinely promised to help them causing them to be even more arrogant and intransigent in their behavior. Following the battle, they even attempted to assassinate Muhammad (S). They were also besieged in their fortress and soon capitulated.
"He it is who caused the unbelievers among the People of the Book to quit their homes, to join those who had gone into exile earlier. Ye (believers) never thought they would quit their homes, And even they (the People of the Book) on their part thought that their fortresses would protect them against Allah. But Allah's force (the believers) came upon them from whence they scarcely expected it." (Qur'an 59: 2)
The Banu Nadir was permitted to take as many of their belongings as they could on their beasts of burden. Some of them ripped out the doors and windows of their homes and loaded them onto their camels. Many of them destroyed what was left of their homes so that it might not be usable to the Muslims. The Qur'an draws attention to this irony:
"And caused such upheaval in their hearts that they let their houses be demolished by their own hands." (Qur'an 59: 2)

Referring to the hypocrites who had promised to help the Banu Nadir but did not, the Qur'an elaborates as follows:
If they are expelled, they (the hypocrites among them) will not go forth with them, And if they are attacked, they (the hypocrites) will not help them; And even if these (make a show) of helping them, they will do so only to turn their backs so they will in fact receive no help at all
They (the People of the Book) will not fight you in a body except from fortified towns or from behind walls. They are themselves opposed to each other, and thou (O Prophet) thinkest they are united (among themselves). But at heart, they are not united. This is because they are not a sensible people.
They are just like those who had preceded them and tasted the results of their doings; So there awaiteth therein a grievous chastisement. (Qur'an 59:12, 14 and 15)

The most tragic encounter with the Jews in Madinah was with the third and the last remaining Jewish tribe, the Banu Qurayzah. The expulsion of the Banu Nadir initially had a sobering effect and the Qurayzah revalidated the covenant with the Muslims. However, soon they were conspiring with both the pagans of Makkah and the Jewish tribes that had been expelled. When the Qurayshi armies attacked in what was later called the "battle of the trench" (Khandaq), the Qurayzah connived with them. If the invading army had been successful in breaching the trench, the Qurayzah would have attacked the Muslims from behind, resulting in total annihilation of the Muslim community. This was clearly a serious act of treason.
The Muslims had been extremely patient with the Jews. Their retaliation was proportionate, limited and just. With each breach of the treaty the penalty was increased. Even though the other two tribes had been expelled, the Banu Qurayzah had been given the benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless they reneged on the treaty, again with potentially extremely dangerous consequences to the Muslims. After the battle of the trench was won, the fortress in which the Banu Qurayzah lived was besieged and they surrendered after a short while. As was Muhammad's (S) custom, they were judged by the rules of their own scripture, the Tawrah (Torah) and traditions (Talmud), and were asked to select an individual (Sa'd bin Mu'adh), from their allies, the tribe of Aws, who they could trust as their judge.
"And He brought down out of their fortresses such of the People of the Book (the Jews) as had aided (the confederates) and cast despair into their hearts. Of these, ye slew some and some ye made captives. And as heritage He gave you their land and their dwellings and their wealth, And further a territory on which you had never set foot. And Allah hath power over all things!" (Qur'an 33: 26 -27.)

Qur'an's emphasis On The Nuclear Family

The fifth year of Hijrah also saw Muhammad's (S) marriage to Zaynab. She had been married to Zayd ibn Harith, who had been Muhammad's (S) slave. After freeing him, Muhammad (S) fostered him in his household. Muhammad's (S) marriage to Zaynab, after her divorce from Zayd appears to have caused some controversy. The Qur'an alludes to this controversy in the following words.
And call to mind the occasion when thou said to him (Zayd) on whom Allah had conferred a favor (made him a believer) and on whom thou also had conferred a favor (by adopting him), "Keep thy wife to thyself and fear Allah",

(However Zayd decided to divorce Zaynab (ra) and Muhammad (S) thinks of marrying her but hesitates for fear of being misunderstood)
Allah intended to bring to light that thou hesitated to avoid criticism from men (around you).

('A'ishah is reported to have said, "Had the Messenger of Allah been inclined to suppress any of what was revealed to him, he would surely have suppressed this verse.")
Better it would have been for thee to fear (the disapprobation of) Allah. And (thou knowest that) when Zayd had settled to divorce, We gave her to thee in marriage that it might not be regarded as sin in the eyes of the faithful, should they marry the wives of their fostered sons when they have been freed from all obligation. And the behest of Allah has to be carried on unhesitatingly." "No blame attacheth the Prophet in any matter concerning which Allah hath given him permission. Such way the is way of Allah with the Prophets gone before: The behest of Allah is thorough in taking account." (Qur'an 33: 37, 38.)

Zaynab's marriage to Zayd appears to have occurred under some duress; or more accurately, moral pressure. Muhammad (S) was keen on making the point that former slaves had the same status as anyone else in the society; Zaynab (ra) belonged to his tribe, and Zayd was a freed slave.
Muhammad's (S) subsequent marriage to Zaynab seemed designed to strike down the practice of treating adopted children as biological progeny. The Qur'an links the practice of artificially designating individuals as blood relatives with another societal aberration of punishing wives by calling them mothers (The practice was called Zihar, which literally means, back or turning your back on some one or neglecting or abandoning). This unjust and callous practice of disowning one's wife by likening her to one's mother, thus perverting a natural relationship, was banned.
"Allah hath not provided anyone with two hearts within him. Neither hath He let you disown your wives by simply addressing them as your mothers, Nor hath He let your adopted sons be addressed as your own sons. Such forms of address proceed from your mouths; But Allah speaks the truth and points out the true relationship between one and (his) mother." "Name them (adopted sons) after their father; before Allah, this will be more proper. But if ye know not who their fathers are, then let them be addressed as your brethren in faith and your friends. And no blame however, is attached to you for using such forms of address unless you have made them with the intent of your heart. And remember, Allah is indulgent in such matters, the Merciful." (Qur'an 33: 4- 5)

And again,
"Muhammad is not the (literal) father of any of you, But he is the Apostle of Allah and the seal of the Prophets (closing the time of Prophethood): And Allah knoweth all things." (Qur'an 33: 40)

The aim of both of these injunctions was to stress and formalize a nuclear family; man, wife and children as a unit. The integrity of the natural family was protected against the introduction of all fictitious relationships, including relationships that the Arabs created even among adults.

Muhammad (S) as a Military Leader

The Prophet and his followers were faced with very aggressive proponents of disbelief. The Muslims with the Prophet never intiated or instigated any wars. Muhammad (S) and the Muslims engaged in these battles with great discipline, avoiding injury to the innocent and using only the minimum force needed. Striking a blow in anger, even in battle, was prohibited.
Muhammad (S) was physically present on the battlefield in all of these wars risking his life and limb. His presence at the battlefield was essential in keeping the morale of his people high. The near defeats at Uhud and Hunayn would have turned into complete disasters except for his presence. He inspired Muslims to remain steadfast and patient during that long siege of the battle of the Trench.
He used innovative strategies in the battles, which included, as mentioned earlier, the use of the trench as a defense. During the digging of the trench he was an active participant. He consulted frequently (Shura) and followed the majority opinion (Ijma'), even when it sometimes went against his own judgment.
In addition to setting new standards for the humane treatment of POWs, the Prophet also implemented Qur'anic rules for the conduct of war, minimizing collateral damage, including damage to trees! Women, children and non-combatants were not to be harmed. When the enemy stopped fighting, he was to be given immediate sanctuary.
Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors.(Qur'an 2:190)
If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that heareth and knoweth all things. (Qur'an 8:61)

Thus the doctrines of protecting civilians, limiting collateral damage, granting amnesty to the enemy when he stopped fighting, humane treatment of POWs and just and fair restitution were established. Only in the 20th century would other nations consider agreeing to such principles in the Geneva convention.