Al-Ṣulḥ Verse | 8:61

1. Al-Ṣulḥ Verse

Quran 8:61 also known as Al-Ṣulḥ Verse, or the Verse of Peace (Arabic: آیة الصلح), is the verse of the Quran 8:61,

in which the Prophet (s) is commanded to accept requests for peace and compromise from those who have broken their pledges and fought with Muslims

- in his capacity as the leader of the Islamic community, and not to waver out of the fear from its consequences and to trust in God.

The verse is taken as evidence for the peaceful nature of Islam.

وَإِن جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

If the enemy is inclined towards peace, do make peace with them, and put your trust in Allah. He is the One Who hears all, knows all.

— the Quran 8:61

2. Introduction

The Quran 8:61 is known as "al-Ṣulḥ Verse" or the "Verse of Peace".

Since the verse occurs after verses of jihad and in connection with some other verses such as verses of the Quran 2:190-193 and the verse of the Quran 4:90,

it is taken to show that Islam does not seek wars and it seeks the peace as much as possible, because it is obligatory for Muslims to accept peace proposals from adversaries.

3. Contents of the Verse

In this verse, God tells the Prophet (s) that if groups of unbelievers or others such as Banu Qurayza and Banu Nadir, who have broken their peace deals and fought with Muslims, tended to make peace and compromise with Muslims, then the Prophet (s) must make peace with them in his capacity as the leader of the Islamic community.

The preceding verse emphasizes on the preparation of Muslims for defence and their military reinforcement, and this verse insists upon the acceptance of peace proposals on part of adversaries.

In this verse, God commands the Prophet (s) not to waver about the acceptance of peace proposals if conditions are logical and fair,

and to trust God and not fear because of the lack of preparation for facing up to unexpected events. For the Knowing and Hearing God will help and suffice him.

The word, "Silm", in the verse is taken to involve a range of meanings, from ceasefire to the payment of Jizya and conversion to Islam.

In his al-Kashif, Muhammad Jawād Mughnīyya suggests that it is obligatory to make peace with anyone who asks for peace except if it is a deception or preparation for an attack or assassination:

He extends the peace in the verse to peace with everyone, be it at the time of war or not.

4. Permissibility of Peace

In sections of peace in sources of jurisprudence, Muslim jurists appeal to this verse, as well as the Prophet's (s) practice in the Hudaybīyya Peace Treaty,

to argue for the permissibility and legitimacy of peace and ceasefire with people who are fighting Muslims in accordance with the judgment of the ruler of the Islamic community.

Jurists believe that, after the peace treaty, Muslims should peacefully coexist with them and respect their rights and dignity, and they can have political and economic relationships with them.

5. Abrogation of the Verse

Some exegetes of the Quran have appealed to hadiths from ibn Abbas, ibn Mundhir, and ibn Mardawayh to show that the Verse of Peace was abrogated by other verses such as verses of the Quran 9:5 and 9:29 and the verse of the Quran 47:35.

Allāma Tabataba'i argues that the Verse of Peace itself hints at the temporality of its ruling, that is, the verse legislates the ruling for a certain period of time and is not intended to legislate an eternal ruling.

However, in his Majma al-bayān, al-Tabrisī believes

that the Verse of Peace was revealed about the People of the Book, while verses in the Quran 9 were revealed about idol-worshipers.

Thus, the Verse of Peace was not abrogated.

Moreover, after the revelation of the verses of the Quran 9 in 9/630, the Prophet (s) made a peace treaty with Christians in Najrān.