An American study on the military genius of the Prophet
Years ago, while wandering through one of the largest bookstores, “Barnes & Noble” in the suburbs of the American capital, my eyes fell on the cover of a specialized military historical magazine (Military History Quarterly) bearing the cover of the main title “Muhammad: The Warrior Prophet (Muhammad: The Warrior Prophet).
The title aroused my curiosity, and I addressed the magazine, and I do not hide that it aroused in me a mixture of contradictory feelings between surprise and anger mixed with curiosity. I decided to purchase the specialized periodical, to be read by senior men of the US armed forces who have interests in historical affairs and their implications for contemporary military affairs, and written by elite American military historians.
The Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, succeeded in integrating the Arab fighting formations, which were divided into two categories: the infantry soldiers category, consisting of poor men from the inhabitants of small villages, oases, and gatherings outside the main cities, and the cavalry category, consisting of tribesmen with high fighting skills inherited from their fathers. There were many doubts and great hatred between the two groups, but the Prophet gave the new army a new identity and a strict military system.
The author of the study is the military historian Richard Gabriel, who previously worked in various government agencies and served in the US Central Intelligence Agency. He has 41 books.
The writer believes that without the genius of the Prophet Muhammad – may God bless him and grant him peace – and his outstanding military vision, Islam would not have survived, endured and spread after his death. The study also states that despite the availability of many scientific studies on the life of the Prophet and his achievements, there is no study that considers the Prophet as the first military general in Islam and the first successful rebel (First Insurgent), according to the literal expression of the study. The study finds that without the success of the Prophet Muhammad as a military leader, the Muslims would not have invaded the Byzantine and Persian empires, after his death. The study says that looking at the Prophet Muhammad as a military leader is something new to many. He was a first-class military; In one decade, he led 8 military battles, launched 18 raids, and planned 38 limited military operations.
The study mentions that the Prophet was wounded twice while participating in the battles, and the Prophet Muhammad was not only a seasoned military leader, but the study considers that he was a “military theorist”, a “strategic thinker” and a “revolutionary fighter”. The study describes the Prophet Muhammad as the first to create “insurgency warfare” and guerrilla wars, and “the first to practice and implement these strategies.”
The study says that the Prophet used all available means to achieve his political goals. In this context, he used military and non-military means (such as building alliances, political assassinations, amnesty, religious temptation, and sometimes sacrificing short-term goals in order to achieve long-term goals). , as she put it.
The study praises the “intelligence services” that the Prophet founded and managed, and they outperformed their counterparts in the Persians and the Romans, the two most powerful empires at the time. The study considers that the messenger’s strategies can be described as a combination of the theories of Carl von Clausewitz and Nicolas Machiavelli, where the Messenger – according to the study – always used force in order to achieve political gains. The study attributes the Prophet’s success in bringing about a revolutionary change in the military doctrine to what was known and prevalent in the Arabian Peninsula, for his belief that he was sent from God. She points out that thanks to that, he succeeded in creating the first Arab regular army based on belief in an integrated system of the ideological doctrine “the Islamic religion”. Concepts such as “holy war”, “jihad” and “martyrdom” for the sake of religion were first introduced and used by the Prophet Muhammad before anyone else, and from Muslims the Christian world borrowed the concept of holy war, and in its name the crusades were later launched against Muslims themselves, according to the study.
The study finds that the Prophet Muhammad, unlike the traditional military leaders, did not seek to defeat the armies of his enemies, but rather successfully sought to form a united Arab army under his personal command from all these armies. Although the study claims that the Prophet Muhammad began his military rebellion with a small number of fighters using only the hit and run strategy, these few numbers amounted to nearly 10,000 fighters a decade after the conquest of Mecca, as the study states.
The study concludes that the Prophet realized that the rebellion movement requires strong armed forces for its success, and a people who support its army. He was the first leader in history to adopt a policy doctrine summarizing the “People’s War, People’s Army”, before adopting the same doctrine from the Vietnamese General Von Guan Giap accepted into the Vietnam War. The study finds that the Messenger succeeded in convincing his followers that God demanded all Muslims to dedicate all their resources for the sake of faith, and for the sake of what the Messenger himself required as a messenger from heaven.
The Prophet succeeded in integrating the Arab fighting formations, which were divided into two categories: the category of infantry soldiers consisting of poor men from the inhabitants of small villages, oases and gatherings outside the main cities, and the category of knights consisting of tribesmen who had high fighting skills inherited from their fathers, and there were many doubts and hatred between the two teams. Great, but the Prophet gave the new army a new identity and a strict military system, according to the study.
The study considers that the Arab fighters before Islam were only concerned with their direct and limited interests, as the aim of the fighting was to obtain material spoils, so the Arabs missed the concept of regular armies.
The wars in the Arabian Peninsula were small, limited and frequent, and there was no officer or link to the timing of the battles, or a date for the gathering of fighters, as the fighter would join and might leave the battlefield before it ended if he obtained spoils that would satisfy him. In order to fix these dilemmas, the study considers that the Prophet succeeded in building a military system of command and control for the first time in Arab history.
Finally, the writer points out that the Prophet, in his childhood and youth, inherited military training, which was passed on from parents and families to their children. To overcome what the writer described as a skill shortage, the Prophet succeeded in surrounding himself with a group of seasoned warriors who always listened to their military advice, he said.