By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
09 January 2018
The first part of this series concisely and objectively reported on religious freedom granted by Islam to non-Muslims. This second part deals with the exploration of the right to life of peaceful non-Muslims living in minority or under any Muslim-governed country. Islam commands the Muslims to protect the life of these peaceful non-Muslims and has made it impermissible to kill any one of them unless he is sentenced for murder or a capital crime. This is mainly because Allah the Most High has said,
Allah Almighty says:
“And do not kill the soul whose (killing) Allah has forbidden, except when it is rightfully due (according to law in self-defence against disruption and whilst combating terrorism). It is these (injunctions) He has enjoined upon you so that you may apply reason”. (6:151)
In another oft-quoted Quranic verse Allah Almighty says,
“Whoever kills a human being except in lieu of killing or causing turmoil in the earth, so it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoever saves the life of one person, is as if he had saved the life of all mankind; and undoubtedly Our Noble Messengers came to them with clear proofs – then after this indeed many of them are oppressors in the earth”. (5:32)
This verse witnesses that killing a person unjustly is tantamount to kill all mankind and saving a person is like saving all mankind. The message of this verse is applicable to both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Now the question arises as to why there are so many verses of the Quran and Ahadith which talk about fighting Kuffar, Mushrikin, Mufsidin, such as in the verses and Ahadith referenced below;
The war-related Quranic verses:
(2:244) (2:216) (3:56) (3:151) (4:74) (4:76) (4:89) (4:95) (4:104) (5:33) (8:12) (8:15) (8:39) (8:57) (8:67) (8:59-60) (8:65) (9:5) (9:14) (9:20) (9:29) (9:30) (9:38-39) (9:41) (9:73) (9:73) (9:88) (9:111) (9:123) (17:16) (18:65-81) (21:44) (25:52) (33:60-62) (47:3-4) (47:35) (48:17) (48:29) (61:4) (61:10-12)(66:9)
The war-related Ahadith:
Sahih Bukhari (Book 52, Hadith 177) Sahih Bukhari (Book 52, Hadith 256) Sahih Bukhari (Book 52, Hadith 65) Sahih Bukhari (Book 3, Hadith 125) Sahih Bukhari (Book 52, Hadith 220) Sahih Bukhari (Book 52, Hadith 44) Abu Dawud (Book 14, Hadith 2526) Abu Dawud (Book 14, Hadith 2527) Sahih Muslim (Book 1, Hadith 33) Sahih Bukhari (Book 8, Hadith 387) Sahih Muslim (Book 1, Hadith 30) Sahih Bukhari (Book 52, Hadith 73) Sahih Bukhari (Book 11, Hadith 626) Sahih Muslim (Book 1, Hadith 149) Sahih Muslim (Book 20, Hadith 4645) Sahih Muslim (Book 20, Hadith 4696) Sahih Muslim (Book 19, Hadith 4321-4323) Sahih Muslim (Book 19, Hadith 4294) Sahih Muslim (Book 31, Hadith 5917) Sahih Muslim (Book 31, Hadith 5918) Sahih Bukhari (Book 2, Hadith 35) Sunan an-Nasa'i (Book 25, Hadith 13) Sunan Ibn Majah (Book 24, Hadith 2794)
Having read the above referenced Quranic verses and Ahadith, a number of people describe Islam as a hostile and aggressive religion. This stereotype has been extensively reinforced by the acts of terrorists and fanatics. Hence the world opinion including mostly of non-Muslims as well as of the terrorists tends towards viewing Islam as a violent and extremist religion. Very few of the non-Muslims see it as a religion that forbids any kind of aggression and permits fighting only in self-defence. Hence it is necessary to convince all of them about the truth that Islam does not stand for what they think it does.
But in fact the above referenced Quranic verses and Ahadith deal with the war-related rulings and situations related to self-defence. However this self-defence cannot be claimed at individual level or by a group of individuals. The idea of self-defence is applicable to the situation, when it turns to be too destructive to be controlled and when there is no option left except for fighting in defence. As obviously the fight for defence is the right of every country, so it is not wrong to say that the Muslim governments are allowed to defend their land, property, life etc. But it is completely wrong to derive the meaning from these verses and Ahadith in justification for fighting against those non-Muslims who have agreed to live peacefully in minority or majority.
Now another question arises as to what about those scholars who support the view that some of these war-related verses have abrogated the peace-related verses and war should be waged against Kuffar for all time to come.
This is an important question and needs to be answered. In this brief article, it is difficult to cover all the quotes and arguments and present their analytical view. But briefly in reply to this question, my argument is that we should not forget that such scholars, at the same time, also support the opinion that those Kuffar or non-Muslims who have agreed to live peacefully in minority or under Muslim-governed country [i.e. Mu’ahid] should not be killed unjustly.
Apparent as it is from the above that some readers may sense a contradiction in these two points; 1) that war-related verses have abrogated the peace-related verses and thus war should be waged against Kuffar for all time to come and 2) that those Kuffar or non-Muslims who have agreed to live peacefully in minority or under any Muslim-governed country [i.e. Mu’ahid] should not be killed unjustly. At the one hand they opine that the war should be waged against Kuffar, while at the same time they say the war should not be waged against the Kuffar. What are those types of Kuffar against whom the war should be waged? And what are those types of Kuffar against whom the war should not be waged?
Based on my understanding of a major part of their texts, I have reached a conclusion that those scholars, who have described some of these war-related verses as ones abrogating some peaceful verses of the Quran, must have done so for fighting against the religious persecutors from among the Kuffar. This understanding can be deduced from their quoting the situation of Makkah that then Muslims were not allowed to fight back in their self-defence even in the state of war against religious persecutors from among the Kuffar. But when the Muslims increased in number they were given permission to fight back in self-defence against those religious persecutors from among the Kuffar and Mushrikin.
These scholars adopted the idea “the war-related verses have abrogated the verses related to peace, patience and tolerance”, because they must have thought that in the state of self-defence or live-or-die, the idea of peace and patience will not save their life. They must have thought that the idea of peace and tolerance will work only with those Kuffar and non-Muslims who are peaceful. These scholars must have taken into their mind the situation of Makkah, as they narrate in their books, that Muslims had been thrown out of their homes, persecuted and killed but their patience could not save them from being killed and persecuted. And if the Muslims had not been given permission to fight back in self-defence, they would have not have existed today in this world. So these scholars must have presented the war-related verses as all-time applicable only for fighting against the religious persecutors from among the Kuffar and not for all the Kuffar who are living in the state of peace along with Muslims.
The reason is that I and we can easily trace with the god-gifted intelligence in the texts of these scholars that the peaceful non-Muslims or peaceful Kuffar [Mu’ahid] who have agreed to live peacefully with Muslims are excluded from their general statement of “war-related verses abrogating peace-related verses”. To sum up my understanding of their texts, it can be appropriately summarized that such scholars must have regarded the war-related verses as all-time applicable only for fighting against the religious persecutors from among the Kuffar and not against those Kuffar who are living peacefully. This can be deduced from the following materials as well.
Now the question is; why is it that the peaceful Kuffar or non-Muslims are excluded from the texts that support the statement that “some war-related verses have abrogated the peace-related verses”? What is the proof? The Muslim scholars and Fuqaha [experts in Islamic rulings to a much higher degree] present in their proof the verses [6:51], [5:32], [2:252] and the following Ahadith which are the central points of this article—that peaceful non-Muslims living in minority or majority or under Muslim-governed country should be protected from all injuries, sufferings and persecutions.
Killing or Persecuting Peaceful Non-Muslims or Peaceful Kuffar Is Forbidden – Evidences from Authentic Ahadith
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,
أَلاَ مَنْ ظَلَمَ مُعَاهِدًا أَوِ انْتَقَصَهُ أَوْ كَلَّفَهُ فَوْقَ طَاقَتِهِ أَوْ أَخَذَ مِنْهُ شَيْئًا بِغَيْرِ طِيبِ نَفْسٍ فَأَنَا حَجِيجُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ "
Translation: “Beware, if anyone persecutes any peaceful non-Muslim citizen [Mu’ahid], or diminishes his right, or forces him to work beyond his capacity, or takes from him anything without his consent, I shall plead for him on the Day of Judgment.”
The Chain Of Narration Of This Hadith:
Imam Abu Dawud has narrated this Hadith from Sulayman b. Dawud al-Mahri, from Ibn Wahb, from Abu Sakhr al-Madini, from Safwan b. Sulaim, from a number of Companions’ sons, from a number of Companions [Sahaba] of the Messenger of Allah- Peace be upon him. (Please see Sunan Abi Dawud – Book 20, Hadith 125- Arabic reference).
The purport of this Hadith is that if any Muslim persecutes any peaceful non-Muslim citizen, or diminishes his right and so on, as mentioned above in the Hadith, the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) will plead for that peaceful non-Muslim on the Day of Judgment.
This Hadith is not simply a warning but a law executed in the blessed era of the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) even after the conquest of Makka [Fath-e-Makka]. This law is still the part of Islam. There is not a single statement of its being abrogated. Thus according to the great Ulema and Fuqaha of Islam, this law is universally and all-time valid in its essence and application. Therefore none of the followers of Ahadith or the followers of the interpretation of great Ulema and Fuqaha should hesitate to accept the message inherent in this Hadith.
Imam Bukhari narrates a Hadith from the chain of Qays b. Hafs, from Abdul Wahid, from Hasan, from Mujahid, on the authority of Abdullah bin Amr that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Whoever kills a peaceful non-Muslim living in minority [Mu'ahid] shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise, though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of travelling). (Sahih Bukhari, Book 87, Hadith 52)
Imam Nasa’i, in his Sunan, has made a chapter on the forbiddance of killing a non-Muslim living under Muslim protection. In this chapter he has mentioned four Ahadith with slight difference of words—each forbidding the killing of a non-Muslim living in minority under Muslim protection. One of them that I think needs to be quoted here on behalf of all the four Ahadith that unanimously testify to the forbiddance of killing the peaceful non-Muslim is as follows;
Imam Nasa’i narrates from the chain of Ismaeel b. Masuood, from Khalid, from Uyaynah, from his father, on the authority of Abu Bakrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
“Whoever kills a peaceful non-Muslim living in minority or under Muslim-governed country [Mu'ahad] with no justification, Allah will forbid Paradise to him.” (Sunan Nasai, Book 45, Chapter “Seriousness of killing the Mua’hid”, Hadith 42)
Imam Abu Dawud has included, in his book of Sunan, a chapter on “Fulfilling the agreement of a peaceful non-Muslim who has a covenant, and the sanctity of his protection”. In his Arabic book of Hadith he has expressed it with the words “Bab Fil Wafaai Lil Mu’ahid Wa Hurmati Dhimmatehi”.
Imam Abu Dawud narrates the Hadith from Uthman b. Abi Shaiba, from Wakee’, from ‘Uyaynah b. Abd al-Rahman, from his father, on the authority of Abu Bakarah that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
“If anyone unjustly kills a peaceful non-Muslim living in minority or Muslim protection [Mu’ahid], Allah will forbid him [the killer] to enter Paradise” (Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 15, Hadith 284)
Imam Tirmidhi, in his book of Hadith, has also made a chapter on “What is related about the one who kills a peaceful non-Muslim living in minority or under the Muslim protection”. He has included one Hadith in this chapter, narrating from the chain of Muhammad b. Bashshar, from Ma’di b. Sulayman al-Basri, from ‘Ajlan, from his father, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Indeed, whoever kills a peaceful non-Muslim living in minority or under the Muslim protection [Mu'ahid] that has a covenant from Allah and a covenant from His Messenger (peace be upon him), then he has violated the covenant with Allah and the covenant of His Messenger, so he shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise; even though its fragrance can be sensed from the distance of seventy autumns.” (Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, Book 16, Hadith 19)
Imam Ibn Majah, in his Sunan, narrates two Ahadith on the forbiddance of killing a peaceful non-Muslim living in minority or Muslim-run country — one Hadith from the chain of Abu Kuraib, from Abu Mu’awiyyah, from Hasan b. ‘Amr, from Mujahid, from Abdullah b. ‘Amr that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
“Whoever kills a peaceful non-Muslim living under the protection of Muslim-run country [Mu’ahid], will not smell the fragrance of Paradise, even though its fragrance may be detected from a distance of forty years” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 21, Hadith 2789-Arabic reference)
The second Hadith that Imam Ibn Majah narrates on this subject is from the chain of Muhammad b. Bashshar, from Ma’adi b. Sulayman, from Ibn ‘Ajlan, from his father, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Whoever kills a peaceful non-Muslim (living in Muslim-run country) who has the covenant with Allah and the covenant with his Messenger, will not smell the fragrance of Paradise, even though its fragrance may be detected from a distance of seventy years” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 21, Hadith 2788-Arabic reference)
The point to be noted here is that when a non-Muslim promises to peacefully live in any Muslim-governed country or in minority, he agrees to “the covenant from Allah and the covenant from His Messenger (peace be upon him). The terms “ذمة الله وذمة رسوله” mentioned in this Hadith have been translated differently in the English translations of the books of Ahadith. Some translate them as “covenant with Allah and covenant with His Messenger” while others as “Protection of Allah and protection of His Messenger”. But both the translations must have reflected the idea unanimously understood among the great jurists [Fuqaha] that Allah the Most High and His Messenger have forbidden the killing of the non-Muslim [Mu’ahid] who has agreed to peacefully live in minority or Muslim-governed country. So if anyone from among the Muslim members kills that non-Muslim, he will be termed as one violating the covenant from Allah and His Messenger and consequently he shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise. To further explain, that killer shall be punished in the Hereafter, if not by the Muslim-governed country.
This can be reinterpreted afresh that today’s non-Muslims living in minority or any Muslim countries, such as, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, and so on—should not be killed or tortured by any groups or individuals like those of ISIS, Taliban etc. The claims of such groups in terms of giving religious justification for killing the non-Muslims living in minority or any Muslim-governed countries are for nothing, but in fact to enforce false accusations on the Islamic Shariat which has nothing to do with such claims. For this and other reasons as mentioned above, the brainwashed youth or followers should think thousand times, before joining the cults of ISIS, Taliban and their likes, that by doing so and so they are going to enforce false accusations [Iftira’] on the Islamic Shariat and shall indeed taste the divine punishment in the Hereafter.
(All the Most High Knows the Best)
Rights of Non-Muslims Living In Minority – Part 1 – Freedom of Religion
A regular Columnist with NewAgeIslam.com, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar) with a Sufi background and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism
Dear shahzad, you can also look at the following characterization to understand the areas covered in the classical study of the Usul al-Fiqh (Science of Islamic Laws).
Usul al-Fiqh (Science of Islamic Laws) has four main sections of study and their sub-sections:
1. Al-hukm (Rulings/Legal Values)>>>>>>>(1) Al-hukm at-taklifi (Primary law) (2) Al-hukm al-wadi’I (Declaratory law)
2. Rules of interpretation (Istinbaat)>>>>> Al-dalalaat (implications) commands and prohibitions: General and Specific, absolute and qualified
3. Al-Mujtahid and Ijtihad>>>>>> Proof of ijtihad, conditions, procedure, classification
4. Adillah Naqliyyah (Transmitted evidences) and adillah naqliyyah (rational evidences)>>>>>>>> (1) Naqliyyah (transmitted): Quran, Sunnah, Revealed Laws, Preceding Sharia, Ijma and Fatwa of companions (2) Aqliyyah (rational): Qiyas, Istihsaan (equity), consideration of public interest, customs, presumption of continuity
You can also study the components of Islamic Law; (1) The lawgiver (hakim), (2) the law (hukm) derived either of wahi jali or wahi khafi, (3) the objectives of law (mahkum bihi) and (4) the subjects of law (mahkum alaihi) that is those to whom the law applies or persons.
If you study all the areas of Science of Islamic laws and the components of Islamic law, you shall have a better understanding, facing any Islamic issue revolving around the relative subjects.
There was nothing
like confusing statement in MY previous comment. What I wrote therein is
unanimously accepted view among Islamic scholars.
I said, the ‘Hukm’
(Islamic rule/legal value/ruling) is not the revealed Arabic word of Allah Almighty but is that legal value
which is established and deduced from the revealed words of Allah Almighty.
A famous Islamic
scholar writes in his book “Al-ihkam fi usul al-ahkam”,
ان الحكم المصطلح ما ثبت بالخطاب
terminology, Hukm [Islamic ruling/law/rule] is not the revealed words [of
Allah] but it is proved and deduced from the revealed speech [of Allah].
I got confused when you
said, “It should also be noted here that ‘Hukm’ (Islamic rule) is not the
Arabic word of Allah Almighty but is that legal value which is established and
deduced from the revealed words of Allah Almighty”.
Please give evidence for
what you say
modern Western terminology, what is known as ‘Law’ is recognized as ‘Ruling’
(Hukm) in Islamic terminology.
terminology what is known as “Legal Science” is recognized as Ilm al-Ahkam or ‘Al-Fiqh’
(Science of Islamic Laws) in Islamic terminology.
incorrect to translate ‘Law’ as ‘Fiqh’. Al-Fiqh is not Law. But rather it is “Science
of Islamic Laws”.
terminology what is known as Jurisprudence is recognized as Usul al-Fiqh
(Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence) in Islamic terminology.
have wrongly used Islamic Sharia and Islamic law to mean the same thing. The fact
is that Shariat is a whole and Islamic Law is a part of it.
study the definition of ‘Law’ in the writings of the western scholars, you will
find a huge difference among them. Each of them has differently defined ‘Law’.
read the definitions of ‘Law’ made by St. Thomas, Richard Hooker, Immanuel
Kant, Savigny, Friedrich Engels, Black Stone, John Austin, Holland, Sir Fedrick
Polloc, Sidney Hartland, Professor G. C. Lee and Salmond etc, you will find
difference. Robson W.A has rightly said, “It is difficult to define law in a
satisfactory manner, it is still harder to find the beginnings of it. The origins
of law are shrouded in obscurity and are, perhaps, impossible to discover”. The
western scholars made their efforts in defining ‘Law’ after playing ‘trial-and-error’
In his book “The Reconstruction of Legal Thought in Islam, page 17”, Dr. Riyaz ul Hasan Gilani says “It is possible
for God Almighty alone to know with precision what rules of conduct are most
expedient for the human beings in this world. He therefore blessed the human
beings with the divine Revelation and gave them the body of rules of conduct
which are most suitable for the maximum number in this world. The conformity to
those rules causes good effect (the Heaven) in the Hereafter, while the
non-conformity leads to bad results (the Hell)”. (End of quote)
one Quranic verse which is translated into English as, “So do they wish a
judgement of ignorance? And whose judgement is better than that of Allah, for
the people who are certain? (5:50)
says, “Law is neither contrived nor decreed by man; it is an eternal principle
which rules the whole universe, commanding what is right and prohibiting what
is wrong. Hence law is no mere artefact but is the divine reason bestowed by
the gods on the human race”.
western scholars says, “In Islam, the most conspicuous fact about Muhammad
(peace be upon him) is that he was not merely a divine prophet but also a
temporal ruler who governed, judged, punished and legislated. After the great
flight in A.D. 622 to Madina, when Muhammad (peace be upon him) acquired
political power he was sovereign as well as Divine prophet, but only sovereign
because of his prophetic office. The mosque was his council-chamber and hall of
audience; the Friday sermon his opportunity for declarations of policy and when
he uttered his most far-reaching injunctions he spoke as the very mouthpiece of
the Islamic terminology of ‘Hukm’ (Islamic Ruling or Law), the Islamic scholars
belonging to various schools of thought, unanimously agree upon its definition.
As per the Science of Islamic Laws (al-fiqh al-Islami), the definition of ‘hukm’
(translated in English ‘Ruling’ or ‘Law’) is universal and unchangeable. What is
Islamic Hukm (Law/Ruling) is one upon which all the scholars unanimously agree.
What is Ruling and what is not Ruling is another subject and hence should not
be confused with the unanimous definition of ‘Hukm’ (Ruling/Law).
Islamic Ruling or Islamic Law is defined as;
الله المتعلق بأفعال المكلفين بالاقتضاء او التخيير او الوضع
Law (hukm) is that which is established by a communication (khitab) from Allah
Almighty with reference to men’s acts, expressive either of demand or indifference
on His part, or being merely declaratory”.
also be noted here that ‘Hukm’ (Islamic rule) is not the Arabic word of Allah
Almighty but is that legal value which is established and deduced from the
revealed words of Allah Almighty. The main source of Islamic
hukm/Law/ruling/rule is the holy Quran and next to it is Sunnah and then Ijma
qati’, as these sources are ways of knowing the will of Allah Almighty on many
The article takes the bigoted view of the theologians and is therefore hopelessly confused and full of contradictions. For example, if only defensive war is permitted, why do you need a treaty with your minorities to live in peace with them? You need all the people to abide by the constitution and live together as a single nation or as Ummat-e-Wahida.
First, war is not only permitted but ordained against the oppressors. It must be preceded by negotiations and all acts of diplomacy to resolve issues failing which war may be resorted to, if that is the only way left to end oppression and injustice. Is such war offensive or defensive? It does not matter what it is. That is not important. What is important is that oppression must be ended.
Why was permission to fight not given while the Prophet was in Mecca? This has nothing to do with numbers. The Quran does not promote civil war or a situation where the leader is unable to protect his people. Only a ruler with territory under his control can protect the territory and the people residing in his territory. He can also fight only with the help of people under his control or with allies who are also such rulers with a territory under their control. The verses regarding fighting were inapplicable to the Muslims who continued to reside in Mecca after the Prophet’s migration and applied only to those under his political authority. War is permitted but not acts against one’s own government. The Prophet owed no responsibility of protection to the Muslims who continued to live in Mecca and these Muslims were expected to migrate to Medina and join the Prophet, but not expected to remain in Mecca and indulge in acts of aggression.
There is an unqualified command of Allah “Let there be no compulsion in religion”. A Muslim government must therefore remain secular in all matters of governance. The Muslims and the non-Muslims do not form separate nations, but are a single nation, or Ummat-e-Wahida. Treaties are with equals. The Minorities with their weak numbers, are not equals to be considered as a separate nation, but must be protected and treated as equals and as part of a single nation. If there is any discrimination at all, it must be positive discrimination to ensure that they are never treated unjustly. For example, reservations for the minorities is a safeguard against hidden discrimination against them.
There is no command to fight the non-Muslims nor is the Quran vague or ambiguous about the justification for waging war. There is only one cause for which fighting is permitted/ordained and that is to end oppression of any kind, against any oppressor, to protect any oppressed. The faith professed by the oppressor/oppressed is immaterial.
وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ الطَّاغُوتِ فَقَاتِلُوا أَوْلِيَاءَ الشَّيْطَانِ ۖ إِنَّ كَيْدَ الشَّيْطَانِ كَانَ ضَعِيفًا
(4:75) And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!"
(76) The Amanu fight in the cause of Allah, and the kafaru Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.
The only cause of Allah for which fighting is permitted, is to end oppression and anybody who is fighting for such a cause, is “Amanu” irrespective of the faith they profess, and the oppressor is “kafaru” irrespective of the faith they profess. The bigots, by reserving kafaru for non-Muslims and Amanu for the Muslims, distort the clear message of the Quran. The Quran does use kafaru/kafirin for the believers as well, and Amanu are not Muslims alone, but all those who satisfy the following criteria:
بَلَىٰ مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ فَلَهُ أَجْرُهُ عِندَ رَبِّهِ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
(2:112) Nay,-whoever submits His whole self to Allah and is a doer of good,- He will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
In the context of war, they who fight for a just cause are fighting in the cause of Allah, and are therefore the Muminun, and the oppressors are the Kafirun.
The Ayats of Allah outside of the Quran
The Ayats or the Signs of Allah are not only in the Books of Scriptures but also in the natural phenomena that the Quran constantly points out to. It is also in the happenings around us or in the events that take place around us. For example:
(2:246) Hast thou not Turned thy vision to the Chiefs of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Moses? they said to a prophet (That was) among them: "Appoint for us a king, that we May fight in the cause of Allah." He said: "Is it not possible, if you were commanded to fight, that that ye will not fight?" They said: "How could we refuse to fight in the cause of Allah, seeing that we were turned out of our homes and our families?"
(2:251) By Allah´s will they routed them; and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him power and wisdom and taught him whatever (else) He willed. And did not Allah Check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief: But Allah is full of bounty to all the worlds.
(252) These are the Signs of Allah: we rehearse them to thee in truth: verily Thou art one of the messengers.
The Ayat of Allah here is the defeat of a powerful enemy who were the oppressors and the fact that Allah checks one set of people by means of another. The faith professed by the people used by Allah to check the oppressor and the faith professed by the oppressor are immaterial in these Ayats. Now let us look at another powerful Ayat and the very important lesson it teaches us.
The Indian army fought against Pakistan’s army in 1971 and defeated them liberating Bangladesh. Without doubt, the Pakistan Army was the oppressor which practiced great oppression on the people of Bangladesh and the Indian army was used by Allah to check them.
وَلَن يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلًا
(4:141) ….And never will Allah grant to the Kafirin a way (to triumph) over the Mominin.
We have an Ayat of Allah in the defeat of the Pakistani army who were oppressors by the Indian Army which went to help the oppressed and an Ayat of the Quran which says the Mominin will always triumph over the Kafirin. In this situation, the Indian army which went to help an oppressed people and fight an oppressor are the Mominin and the oppressing Pakistani army the Kafirin. If there is difficulty in accepting that the Indian Army were the momineen because their objective may not have been very pure, then the Pakistan army may be considered as the worst in kufr because of which they suffered the humiliating defeat. Allah also says in Al-Hajj 22:40 that He checks one set of people with another.
The Kafirin suffered a humiliating defeat.
This event clearly demonstrates the meaning of Momin and Kafir in a situation where the battle is between those who uphold what is right and the oppressors. The event is an Ayat of Allah outside of the Quran which must be reconciled with Ayat 4:141 from the Quran, to take the correct meaning that an oppressor is a kafir no matter what faith he professes and those who fight to end oppression, fight in the cause of Allah and are the Momineen in the limited context of the battle.
The Much discussed and debated Medinian Verses Relating to Fighting
The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (Pbuh) In the Qu’ran (Part 4): The Medinian Period
The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) in the Qu’ran (Concluding Part) Summary
The bigoted theologians make a big deal out of making a distinction between those who recite the kalima and those who don’t. The Message of the Quran is far more nuanced and is from the Lord of all of us. The God of Islam is not the parochial god of the theologians.