Ibn Qayyim on Jihad: The Prophet never fought peaceful people

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “The Prophet never forced the religion upon anyone, but rather he only fought those who waged war against him and fought him first. As for those who made peace with him or conducted a truce, then he never fought them and he never compelled them to enter his religion, as his Lord the Almighty had commanded him: There is no compulsion in religion, for right guidance is distinct from error (2:256). The negation in the verse carries the meaning of prohibition, namely, you may not force your religion upon anyone.”

Source: Hidāyat al-Ḥayārá 1/237

And Ibn al-Qayyim said, “Fighting is only necessary to confront war and not to confront unbelief. For this reason, women and children are not killed, neither are the elderly, the blind, or monks who do not participate in fighting. Rather, we only fight those who wage war against us. This was the way of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, with the people of the earth. He would fight those who declared war on him until they accepted his religion, or they proposed a peace treaty, or they came under his control by paying tribute.”

Source: Aḥkām Ahl al-Dhimmah 1/110

قال ابن القيم رحمه الله وَلَمْ يُكْرِهْ أَحَدًا قَطُّ عَلَى الدِّينِ وَإِنَّمَا كَانَ يُقَاتِلُ مَنْ يُحَارِبُهُ وَيُقَاتِلُهُ وَأَمَّا مَنْ سَالَمَهُ وَهَادَنَهُ فَلَمْ يُقَاتِلْهُ وَلَمْ يُكْرِهْهُ عَلَى الدُّخُولِ فِي دِينِهِ امْتِثَالًا لِأَمْرِ رَبِّهِ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى حَيْثُ يَقُولُ لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَدْ تَبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ وَهَذَا نَفْيٌ فِي مَعْنَى النَّهْيِ أَيْ لَا تُكْرِهُوا أَحَدًا عَلَى الدِّينِ

1/237 هداية الحيارى في أجوبة اليهود والنصارى

وقال ابن القيم رحمه الله وَلِأَنَّ الْقَتْلَ إِنَّمَا وَجَبَ فِي مُقَابَلَةِ الْحِرَابِ لَا فِي مُقَابَلَةِ الْكُفْرِ وَلِذَلِكَ لَا يُقْتَلُ النِّسَاءُ وَلَا الصِّبْيَانُ وَلَا الزَّمْنَى وَالْعُمْيَانُ وَلَا الرُّهْبَانُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُقَاتِلُونَ بَلْ نُقَاتِلُ مَنْ حَارَبَنَا وَهَذِهِ كَانَتْ سِيرَةَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ كَانَ يُقَاتِلُ مَنْ حَارَبَهُ إِلَى أَنْ يَدْخُلَ فِي دِينِهِ أَوْ يُهَادِنَهُ أَوْ يَدْخُلَ تَحْتَ قَهْرِهِ بِالْجِزْيَةِ

1/110 كتاب أحكام أهل الذمة