There is a debate in the world’s perception of Islam. Is it inherently and irreformably violent?
Verses from the Qur’an have been cited to attempt to both prove and disprove that Islam is a peaceful religion. Whether Muslims are called to slay unbelievers or prohibited from Christian and Jewish friendship, misunderstandings and a wrong methodology of the study of the Qur’an has caused great damage to those who are thereby misguided.
Some assert that there are over one hundred verses that encourage violence against innocent nonbelievers. The only way to get to the bottom of this issue is to individually investigate the verses and not rely on the opinion of so-called ‘experts’ like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.
We will begin by looking at the most quoted verse used by those who seek to portray Islam as intolerant and violent:
“… slay the unbelievers wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush…” [9:5]
The question we want to address is whether the context supports the violent proposition that these isolated words seem to advocate. Are they meant to apply to all situations throughout history or does the Qur’an restrict them to a specific historical context? A good place to start is the opening verse of the Surah in question. It reads:
[This is a declaration of] disassociation, from Allah and His Messenger, to those with whom you had made a treaty among the polytheists. [9:1]
The command to fight the unbelievers was limited to those Arabian tribes who had initially made peace treaties with the Muslims and later violated the treaty. Verse 9 speaks of the ‘pagans’ or ‘idolaters’ of the Arabian tribes who broke their oaths.
Permission for Muslims to fight did not extend to all pagan tribes but only those who allied themselves with Islam’s enemies and launched attacks against the Muslim Community [9:3-13].
The Qur’an explains that Muslims are permitted to fight only in specific situations:
Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory. [22:39]
Islam recognises that fighting is only permissible in self-defense when an aggressor first wages war.
Muslim historians teach that early Muslims were persecuted in Mecca, fled to Medina to escape killings and death threats. The Meccans then pursued the Muslims to Medina and allied themselves with opposers of Islam there. An ancient letter from the Meccans to their collaborators in Medina, documents the continuing violent schemes of the enemies of Islam:
“Now that you have admitted that our enemy is in your home, we swear by God and declare that we, the people of Mecca, will join in an attack against Medina unless you, the people of Medina, turn him out of Medina or give him a joint fight. When we attack Medina, we will put the sword to all able-bodied men and enslave all women.” (Abu-Dawud, Kitab al-Kharaj, Life of Muhammad)
Another claim is that Muslims are permitted to fight and force unbelievers to convert to Islam:
And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah . And if they cease – then indeed, Allah is Seeing of what they do. [8:39]
The verse is better translated as “fight until worship of Allah is freely allowed.”
Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors. And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors. [2:190-193]
The final sentence in the verse shows that hostilities are to stop when opposers of Islam stop attacking. No forced conversion is advocated.
These verses reiterates that man is free to believe or disbelieve and to do so as many times as he wills:
And say: “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve.” [18:29]
Indeed, those who have believed then disbelieved, then believed, then disbelieved, and then increased in disbelief – never will Allah forgive them, nor will he guide them to a way. [4:137]
What sense would these verses make if all idolaters were simply to be slaughtered? Since faith is a matter of the heart, no one can be compelled to accept it. This is understood from the verse:
Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided. [16:125]
Let’s move on to another misinterpreted verse of the Qur’an:
O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people. [5:51]
This could lead one to believe that the Qur’an has prohibited Muslim friendship and alliance with all Christians and Jews. However, this verse is in conflict with another verse of the Qur’an which recognises certain Christians who will be closest in love and affection for Muslims:
“…and you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.” [5:82]
And another verse which permits marriage with Christian and Jewish women, as well as permitting Muslims to eat food which has been made halal or permissible for Christians and Jews:
This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture (i.e., Christians and Jews) before you.. [5:5]
The Qur’an has not prohibited Muslims from being friends and allies with all Christians and Jews; rather, it is certain Christians and Jews.
The Qur’an prophecised an alliance that would later emerge in history. That alliance has now appeared in the world in the form of the Judeo-Christian Zionist alliance which brought the State of Israel into existence.
After the Jews had crucified Jesus pbuh, Christians and Jews hated each other. That Christian hatred for Jews continued for more than a thousand years after the revelation of the Qur’an. Please note that Muslims don’t believe Jesus pbuh was crucified, read my post on the Qur’anic explanation of this event. Thus, Christian-Jewish friendship and alliance emerged only after the birth of the Zionist Movement in 1897.
A large number of media personalities, such as Brigitte Gabriel, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, have made a career out of attacking Islam. Spencer, the author of books with titles such as The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion, claims his writings are geared toward “calling attention to the roots and goals of jihad violence”. His main outlet is his blog, Jihad Watch.
This would be funny if it was not so serious. Many Christians are credulously allowing themselves to be deceived by the propaganda against Islam. They peddle egregious falsehoods to Christian audiences under the guise of ‘pastor’, or ‘expert’. Examples of this would be ‘The People vs Muhammad – Psychological Analysis‘ by J.K. Sheindlin or better yet, John MacArthur on ‘Islam and the Antichrist‘ and ‘The Islamic Antichrist‘ by John Preacher.
How could someone claim to have studied Islam for 20 years and deem themselves an ‘expert’, yet everything they say, completely contradicts our very own books?
Their work would not be taken seriously if they applied a similar approach to any other field of study. An ‘expert’ such as Spencer; can find a large audience for his pseudo-scholarship, thereby lending him a sense of legitimacy. Fortunately, refuting him is an easy task.
Therefore, I conclude that the hysterical hype and exaggeration of Islam in the media is absolute nonsense. It has been created in order to utilise the age-old tactic of divide and conquer. It is Zionist propaganda at work to justify the US and Israel’s agenda of occupying the Middle East for the New World order.
In the Qur’an, it says:
O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate... [49:6]
Always check the source of any Islamic website, even if it is very convincing, before you harm someone out of ignorance. This should also apply to everyone in all life situations as well, especially with the very biased reporting coming from the MSM about the conflicts in the Middle East.