Da’wa

Baron Bodissey – Hat tip T. Hansen

-The Arabic word da’wa is variously translated as “call”, “summons”, or “invitation”. In most modern contexts it refers to Islamic outreach or proselytizing, what a Christian might call “mission work”.

But it has another meaning, one which most Muslims would rather not discuss. Da’wa also describes the call to an infidel enemy to surrender, to submit to Allah.

On July 14, 1683, Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa sent a call for surrender to the Vienna garrison and the city authorities. According to John Stoye, in The Siege of Vienna, pp 95-96:

Kara Mustafa sent a summons to surrender, framed in accordance with the customary Ottoman demand on such an occasion. A Turkish officer rode up to the counterscarp with a document, handed it to a Croat soldier, and awaited a reply. “Accept Islam, and live in peace under the Sultan! Or deliver up the fortress, and live in peace under the Sultan as Christians; and if any man prefer, let him depart peaceably, taking his goods with him! But if you resist, then death or spoliation or slavery shall be the fate of you all!” Such, embroidered in rhetorical language, was the message. But [commander Ernest Rüdiger von] Starhemberg curtly dismissed the messenger and continued to wall up the gates. Kara Mustafa, says the Master of Ceremonies, bade the guns speak.

[Stoye’s reference note for this passage indicates that his account is based on G. Jakob, “Türkische Urkunden”, from Der Islam, vii. (1917), pp. 269-87. For those who can read German, the full text is probably available there.]

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