By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
24 February 2018
The situation of 21st century is remarkably different from that of the early period of Islam. Over the course of time, human minds have witnessed various examples of flexibility in Islamic rulings. We can read out numerous examples of Islamic rulings which were initially applicable but cannot be applied now to this present century. Each Islamic ruling comes into effect for fulfilling certain objectives. After the objectives are achieved, the rulings become invalid or are postponed. Even the common readers have now started knowing that some Islamic rulings or legal values [Ahkamat] are conditional, contextual, specific and exceptional. They have also known that some Islamic rulings are universal, general and absolute and can never be changed. The detailed knowledge, in this regard, can be gained from books related to Sciences of Islamic Laws, Tafsir and Hadith.
But sadly enough, we see some people, especially the terrorist masterminds who, despite having awareness, do not adopt the entirety of what is known as the best methodological approach required for interpreting the Quran and Sunnah. Thus they fail to take out the best meaning. Since they are committing such a failure in context of war-related verses and Ahadith, it has become more a matter of worry for us, because this is increasing problems in two ways. First problem is that this is resulting into brainwashing the naive Muslim youngsters with the idea that it is incumbent upon them to wage war against their ‘enemies’. Second problem is that this is encouraging non-Muslims to believe that whatever the modern terrorists are doing is thoroughly approved by the Quran and Sunnah. To a great extent, these two problems together are creating the third problem, that is, even some of the moderate people from among the Muslims and non-Muslims can be seen waging the war of words and blaming one another for terrorist activities. Affected by these three faces of the problem, our common readers who honestly and objectively want to read Islam but are incapable of distinguishing between what Islam teaches and what it prohibits concerning the war-related verses. Feeling the very problems in mind, a friend of mine has urged me to write an enlightening commentary on the war-related verses of the Quran, and how they should be best interpreted to curb modern terrorism and how they can work to reform the already brainwashed people.
The purpose of my writing this series of articles is mainly built on reforming the two terror-influenced groups; one that seeks to join the terrorist queues and damage the global peace, and other that is blaming Islam for the terrorist attacks.
Prior to initiating this commentary of war-related verses, I had to go through all the required academic methodologies and investigations. I adopted the classical methodologies of Sciences of Tafsir (Ilm al-Tafsir), Hadith (Ilm al-Hadith) and of Islamic Laws (Usul al-Fiqh) which are necessary for getting all-round understanding of any Islamic ruling derived from the Quran and Sunnah. But in this commentary, I have avoided presenting the detailed scholastic discussion, necessarily taking into account the minds of the common readers.
Let us begin this first part with what is known as the first war-related Quranic verse 2:190 which reads, “And fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Truly Allah loves not the transgressors.” (2:190).
This verse (2:190) is considered by some to be the first in the chronological order of revelation to permit fighting. Ibn Jarir Tabari narrates with his full chain of narration on the authority of ar-Rabi’ that this was the first verse revealed to permit fighting. Others differ from this view and regard 22:39 as the first verse for this matter. It is reported that Abu Bakr as-Siddiq said that the first verse revealed about fighting was the verse in Surah Haj (22:39), which is translated as, “Permission is granted to those against whom the disbelievers wage war, as they are being wronged; and indeed Allah is Able to assist them” (22:39). Allama Qurtabi wrote in his book of Tafsir that this verse (22:39) is more frequently cited as being the first. However the preponderant statement [Qaul-e-Rajih] among scholars is that the verse 2:190 is the first in this regard. To make agreement between two conflicting statements, some possible reasons are presented. One reason is that the verse 2:190 was first revealed in reality while the verse 22:39 was first-additionally revealed. Other reason is that, the narrators of the cause of revelation [Shan e Nuzul] of the verse 22:39 might not have been present near the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) during revelation of the first war-related verse 2:190, and accordingly they narrated what they respectively witnessed at first.
However there is no disagreement that, before the revelation of 2:190 or 22:39, fighting was forbidden in Makkah and initially in Madina. As per “Tibyan al-Quran” authored by Allama Ghulam Rasool Saeedi, the Quranic verses which initially debarred Muslims from fighting in defence are as follows;
“Repel evil with the best deeds; We well know the matters that they fabricate”. (23:96)
“So forgive them and excuse them; indeed Allah loves the virtuous”. (5:13)
“And be patient over what they say and avoid them with gracious avoidance”. (73:10)
“Then if they turn away, O dear Prophet, (Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him) upon you is nothing but to clearly convey (the message)”. (16:82)
“Therefore advise; indeed you are a proclaimer of advice. (The Holy Prophet is a Remembrance from Allah.) You are not at all a guardian over them”. (88:21-22)
“And you are not one to use force over them” (50:45)
But with the revelation of 2:190, fighting was allowed against those who initiated fighting; “And fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Truly Allah loves not the transgressors.” (2:190).
This first command for fighting was revealed in connection with the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. It is reported that in 6 A.H/628, the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) went out with his companions from Madinah to Makkah for performing ‘Umrah. When they camped at Hudaybiyyah near Makkah, the Makkans came and prevented them from continuing on into Makkah. So the Muslims remained there for a month. Then they made a treaty stipulating that they would turn back the following year for three days and perform the ‘Umrah and that there would be no fighting among them. Having concluded the Treaty, they came back to Madinah. Then, as the time for that approached, Muslims feared treachery of the Makkan pagans and being called upon to fight in the sacred precinct [Haram] during the sacred months. This verse 2:190 was then revealed to set the rules of war, meaning that Muslims are allowed to fight if the Arab pagans initiate fighting with them. We already know that in the initial days, Muslims were brutally tortured, murdered and driven out of their homes, but despite that, as the above Quranic verses testify to this fact, they were commanded to have patience and pardon their enemies, but now since they have made a treaty and are feeling treachery of the Makkans, Muslims are therefore allowed to fight them in their defence.
There are two statements about this verse 2:190; one group of scholars say that this verse has been abrogated by 9:5, while Ibn Zyad and ar-Rabi say this was abrogated by 9:36, but another group including Umar ibn ‘Abdul Aziz and Mujahid said that this verse is Muhkam whose judgment remains all-time operative and means: “fight those who fight you and do not transgress by killing women, children, monks etc”.
It is reported in Tafsir Qurtubi that, as per an-Nahhas, the position of this verse being Muhkam is sound both in terms of Sunnah and logic. As for the Sunnah, Ibn ‘Umar reports a Hadith that, during one of his expeditions, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saw a woman who had been killed, he abhorred that and forbade the killing of women and children. As for logic, this applies to children and those like them, like monks, the chronically ill, old men and peasants who should not be killed. (Qurtubi)
Ibn Abbas said “….do not transgress” (2:190) means “Do not kill women, children, old men, or those who offer peace and restrain their hand. If you do that, you will have transgressed against them” (Tafsir Tabari).
In one of his letters, the Umayyad Caliph ‘Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz commented on the verse 2:190 and wrote that it means “do not fight those who do not fight you” (Tabari).
It is reported that Hadrat Ali (may be Allah pleased with him) said, “Do not initiate the war as long as they do not fight you, because you are the followers of Truth.” (Nahjul Balagh p.453)
Explaining the verse 2:190, a famous Indian Sufi theologian Madani Miyan says in his book of Tafsir, that during wartimes you need to implement justice. Do not kill the peaceful citizens, do not destruct the populated areas, hospitals, places of worship and do not mutilate. (Tafsir-e-Ashrafi)
The scholars who consider this verse 2:190 Muhkam set the rules of war with support of the following instructions given by the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) to his soldiers in the state of war;
(1) “Do not kill any child, any woman, or any elder or sick person.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)
(2) “Do not practice treachery or mutilation. (Muwatta Malik)
(3) “Do not destroy the villages and towns, do not spoil the cultivated fields and gardens, and do not slaughter the cattle.” (Sahih Bukhari; Sunan Abu Dawud)
(4) “Do not kill the monks in monasteries, and do not kill those sitting in places of worship. (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal)
(5) “Do not uproot or burn palms or cut down fruitful trees. (Al-Muwatta)
(6) “Do not wish for an encounter with the enemy; pray to Allah to grant you security; but when you [are forced to] encounter them, exercise patience.” (Sahih Muslim)
(7) “No one may punish with fire except the Lord of Fire.” (Sunan Abu Dawud).
A Brief Summary for Reforming the Brainwashed Youth
The points derived from the verse 2:190 can be shortly summarised that this verse was the first revealed to permit fighting. As a Muhkam verse, this sets the guidelines for defence and prohibits every sort of transgression. In this 21st century, the people have made certain laws for promoting peaceful coexistence and maintaining peace-treaties, therefore, the war should not be initiated against any peace-seekers. The modern terrorists are transgressing the limits set by Allah Almighty and detailed by the beloved prophet (peace be upon him) as mentioned above in the verse 2:190 and a number of Ahadith. In the Shariat terminology, they are transgressing the limits of Allah, by initiating the war against the peaceful citizens, killing children, women, chronically ill, old men, bombing the populated areas and punishing the innocent civilians with fire. These are the crimes they are committing by making the strictly forbidden acts lawful, and thus they are inventing falsehood about Allah. Do they forget at such a time the Quranic warnings, such as “And do not say about what your tongues assert of untruth, ‘This is lawful and this is unlawful’, to invent falsehood about Allah. Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed” (16:116)?! While committing terrorism, do they ignore this Quranic verse which commands Muslims to fulfil the promise as, “And fulfil every covenant, Verily the covenant will be questioned about” (17:34)?! While committing indiscriminate killing, do these brainwashed youth forget this Quranic verse which reads, “But if they intend to peace, you also incline to it...” (8:61)?! While brainwashing their members and the youth, why and why do the terrorist masterminds intentionally ignore the Quranic command which says, “And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except by right. And whoever is killed unjustly - We have given his heir authority, but let him not exceed limits in [the matter of] taking life. Indeed, he has been supported [by the law]” (17:33)?! From the above mentioned Quranic verses and Ahadith, it is known to us that killing peaceful citizens including women, children, old men, monks, destructing places of worship etc are forbidden, then why do the terrorists commit such explicit crimes?! While committing terrorism, why do they make their own decisions in preference to Allah’s decision, while the Quran says, “The decision is only for Allah. He relates the truth, and He is the best of deciders.” (6:57)?! The answers to all such questions are comprehensible in our minds that the terrorists have been brainwashed by their master-ideologues and thereby they are perpetrating those acts which are strictly forbidden in the Quran and Sunnah. But after knowing the facts, if they seek repentance [Tauba] with sincere heart and stop committing such forbidden acts, they may be forgiven, as indeed Allah is the most forgiving and merciful.
Rights of Non-Muslims Living In Minority – Part 1 – Freedom of Religion
Rights of Non-Muslims Living In Minority – Part 2 – Protection of Their Lives
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
In your last comment, you mention my name along with other leading contributors on the website who, in your view, have remained "shun on hardcore questions."
On my part I have address a wide array of 'hardcore questions' as listed below:
1. The Hindus are not ‘the mushrikin’ mentioned in the Qur’an
2. The Classical Islamic Law (Islamic Sharia Law) is NOT a Word of God!
3. Notions of male superiority, domination and beating of wife stand un-Islamic today
4. Muslims have NO Qur’anic basis for Religious Supremacism
5. Blasphemy Law has NO Qur’anic Basis
6. Flogging of women for sex outside marriage stands brutal and Un-Islamic today.
7. The spiritual Genocide of a Godly people – the case of Ahmadis in Pakistan
8. Limiting maintenance of divorced women for the iddat period is brazenly un-Islamic
9. The Zakat today grossly underplays the Qur’anic emphasis on zakah and wealth sharing
10. Any punishment for apostasy – let alone capital punishment is anti-Islamic
11. An Open Reminder to the Ulamas: Rejecting universal knowledge as un-Islamic is brazenly un-Islamic and kufr (denial of truth)
12. Any fatwa imposing full/face veil (burqa/niqab), headscarf on Muslim women as a religious requirement is anti-Qur’anic.
13. RESTRUCTURING MADRASA EDUCATION:The Opponents of the Right to Universal Education (RTE) to the Muslims are the enemies of Indian Muslims.
14. The Qur’an prescribes Monogamy is the social norm for humanity
15. Intellectual ambivalence of educated Indian Muslims: the RTE versus the Ridiculous Fatwas
16. The Qur’anic message admits of flexibility in the shares of the siblings / heirs
17. The Qur’anic Sharia (laws) on divorce. Triple divorce, temporary marriage, halala stand forbidden (haram).
18. The Qur’anic Perspective on Jihad and Greater jihad: SOS to Global Muslim Community
19. Gender Equality in Islam
20. The Qur’an espouses harmonious interfaith relations with the Christians and the Jews and all other faith communities.
21. Literalist comprehension of, and exclusivist dedication to the Pillars of Faith purports to reduce Islam to a Cult of Five Pillars.
22. The Zakat – a Pillar of Faith, as actualized today is a grand mockery, if not fraudulent realization of Qur’anic message on wealth distribution and social justice.
23. The Qur’an’s broader notion of taqwa – an irrefutable testimony to its universalism
24. The broader notion of din al-Islam is inclusive of all monotheistic faiths.
25. The twin growing menace: Petrifaction and Radicalization in Islam and Islamophobia – Are they interconnected? How best they can be diffused? An SOS to the Muslim Intelligentsia, Leadership and Ulama!
26. Universal Dimensions of the Qur'an and Historic Specificity of Islam's Theological Sciences.
27. The grievous impacts of Hadith sciences in the later centuries of Islam – a soul searching exercise and a final call to the Muslim ulama and intellectual elite.
28. The Noble persona of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as mirrored in the Qur’an
29. Is Islam incompatible with democracy?,
30. India’s Child Marriage Act 2006 prescribing 18 as women’s legal age for marriage is consistent with the Qur’an, the personal Sunna of the Prophet and does not infringe the fundamental religious rights of the Muslims in any way.
31. Call for international Fatwas to declare the terrorists who advocate wanton killing of innocent people in the name of Islam as ‘Terrorist Apostates’, like the Kharijites of early Islam.
32. Are all the mushrikin for all times “spiritually unclean” (najas) (literal reading of the verse 9:28 of the Qur’an) ?
33. Role of dawah in Islam: Islamic dawah at this moment must focus inwards and not outwards.
34. The Radical Intelligentsia of Islam and Its Orthodox Ulema Are the ‘Hypocrites’ and ‘Nomadic Arabs Intense In Kufr’ Of This Era: They Are Its Twin Internal Enemies, and Must Be Resisted
35. Abolition of slavery, including sex slavery in Islam (the Qur’an)
36. What is popularly known as the Sharia Law of Islam is actually the cumulative rulings of Muslim jurists with a tag of Islam, and not any immutable word of God or the laws of the Qur’an.
37. Open warning of dire perdition to the Neo Khwarijite (hatred inspiring and terror mongering) Ulama of Pakistan – the ideologues of TTP, Jaishe Muhammad and their likes.
38. The medieval era rooted Qur’an conflicting MPL (Sharia Law) must be reformed to avoid injustices to Muslim women – an SOS to the Indian Ulama fraternity.
39. Is the mind of Muslim anchored in the 2nd and 3rd centuries of Islam?
40. Hadith is not a divine scripture of Islam – a la Qur’an.
41. Declare The ISIS As The Kharijites (Those Who Seceded From Islam) As This Article Demonstrates And Declares: Global SOS To The Ulama, Muftis, Intellectuals And Scholars Of Islam
42. Interpreting Islam’s Pillars of faith as symbols of militant jihad is heresy - an intense “kufr” and its willful Muslim followers stand as kafirin – let there be no doubt it.
43. Muslim women in the non-Muslim / Western world may relax on the symbolic veiling (head-ear-chin cover) and create a socially interactive performance oriented identity as commanded by the Qur’an.
44. Clearing Some Gross Misconceptions about Islam and Its Prophet
45. The Heinous Crimes That ISIS Is Perpetrating Totally Opposed To Islam And Those Killed Fighting For ISIS May Earn Divine Wrath Instead Of Paradise And ‘Hurs’ – An SOS
46. The ISIS and its likes – the Muslim Violent Extremists of this era must be outlawed on historical precedent to save the Middle East from a tsunami of bloodshed and the world from a clash of civilizations.
47. Countering Violent Extremism – Muslim Community leaders must warn youngsters against the dangers of Radicalization
48. Countering Violent Extremism – Muslim Ulama and Custodians of Faith must avert a potential holocaust
49. Countering Violent Extremism by a Counter Terror Narrative Drawn On the Qur’an
50. Indian Muslim Ulema Who Insist On Retaining the Anti-Qur’anic Triple Talaq (Instant Divorce) In Muslim Personal Law Are Sinners, Haters of Their Women-Folk and Criminals and Must Be Resisted
51. Muslims must take a hard look at the popular Islamic theology of the era focus on the essentials of their din to survive in this progressive, pluralistic, humanistic and politically volatile era and avoid suicidal collapse
52. Human beings are equal, have the same Rights, the human race is one, and we are all brothers – global call for improving inter-faith relations and combatting religious supremacism and bigotry.
53. The Ambivalent Notion of Consensus of the Scholars (ijma) in Islam.
54. The shamelessness of Ulama in bearing with the penultimate blasphemy by ISIS brutes without a thunderous global protest is despicable.
55. SLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE AND PLURALISM
56. Radicalism under the banner of Islam is mutation of Islam into a Cult of Satan – so Muslims must create an anti-Radicalization narrative to defeat and disown it. Part-1
57. Sindh Criminal Law against forced conversion and marriage of Hindu (Minority) girls is consistent with the Qur’anic message
58. Religious authorities of Islam must delimitate peaceful Islam from terrorism committed in the name of Islam – German Chancellor, Angela Merkel
59. Malala’s Calling The Muslim Terrorist ‘You Are Not A Muslim Anymore’ Is Reminiscent Of The Tale Of The Naked King, And A Shaming Challenge To The Violent Extremists Of Islam And Their Tacit Allies
60. AIMPLB Advocates of instant Triple tallaq are Gender Terrorists and Traitors of Islam and may be sued for human rights violation under cover of religion.
61. A Critique of Bin Laden’s Letter to America
62. AN EPILOGUE TO THE RECENT ANTI-SHARIA LAW RALLIES ACROSS AMERICAN CITIES: The Dichotomy between Sharia Law of Islam (Islamic Law) and the Sharia of Islam
63. Quoting Qur’an’s Fighting Verses In Isolation To Promote Violence Or Defame Islam Amounts To Treacherous Misrepresentation Of Its Message Of Peace And Reconciliation
64. Division of Knowledge between Religious and Secular in the Madrasas Must Be Abolished to Stem the Tide of Islam’s Continued Decline
65. A COMPREHENSIVE AND CONCLUSIVE REFUTATION OF “AZAN: A CALL TO JIHAD - ON THE ROAD TO KHILAFAH” DATED MARCH 2013
66. Refutation of Parts 1-8 of Sheikh Yousuf Al-Abeeri's fatwa – 8 separate
I will appreciate if you do suggest to me some additional topics covering 'hardcore issues' that I may try to pen - provided they are not purely academic, and are on a positive theme aimed at bringing reform, peace, reconciliation and harmony, removing misconceptions, misinterpretation of the Qur’anic message, allaying hatred, diffusing radicalization and extremism, empowering women and so forth
It is time
to feel pride of Indian because we have better Islamic understanding scholars
in india more than any other parts of the globe. Bubt I fear that bad eye fells on our country
"To wrap up this essay and put a
seal of peace and pluralism on the Prophet’s mission we quote below the
following verses that make it amply clear that the eventual goal was peace,
moral uprightness (taqwa) and justice and not war, injustice and ‘Sword’:
believe, be upright before God as witnesses to justice), and let not the hatred
of any people prompt you to detract from justice. Deal justly: this is nearest
to heedfulness (taqwa); and heed God. Surely God is Informed of what you do”
“... And let
not the hatred of a people who (once) obstructed you from (entering the) Sacred
House, lead you to be hostile. Therefore, help each other to virtue and
uprightness (taqwa), and do not collaborate with each other in sin and enmity.
Heed God, and (remember,) God is severe in punishment” (5:2).
“It may be
that God will bring about love between you and those of them you (now) regard
as your enemies. (Remember,) God is Able (to do anything) and God is Most
Forgiving and Merciful (60:7). God does not forbid you to be virtuous and just
to those who did not fight you over religion, nor drove you from your
homelands. Indeed, God loves the just (60:8). God only forbids you to befriend
those who fought against you over religion, and expelled you from your
homelands, and backed (others) in your expulsion; and whoever befriends them –
it is they who are unjust” (60:9).
The Qur’anic verses relating to
all the major expeditions as captured in this work from Qur’anic allusions were
specific to given contexts, and since the contexts cannot be recreated as much
as the Prophet and his companions cannot be brought back to life, they are not
of any direct relevance this day – and this must be true for all so-called
‘fighting verses’ of the Qur’an. Their presence in the Qur’an is essential to
establish Islam as a religion of peace as this discourse aims at."
Re: ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE AND
Aayina, you ask a good
and a very valid question. It is not the Quran which has failed but Islamic
theology which has failed to derive the clear principles to guide the Muslims
in every facet of their life. While Islamic theology has reduced the religion
to a set of five pillars and six articles of faith, it has failed to derive the
clear principles of war. Islamic theology has also failed miserably in deriving
the principles for inter-faith relationship with the result that the Muslims
generally have a hostile attitude to the "other" who is considered
incorrectly as "kafir" as per their bigoted theology.
These topics are covered
in my articles:
The Principles of War from the Quran
Islam's Relationship With The Rest Of The Word - The
Current Problem Of Extremism In A False Ideology And The Antidote From An
Authentic Understanding Of The Truly Humanistic Message Of The Quran
The common Muslims hide their bigotry with hypocrisy. This should
be evident from the hostility with which my articles are received on this forum.
My contention that the Pakistani army, which clearly practiced
oppression on the people of Bangladesh killing their men and raping their women
were the Kafirin, and the Indian army which defeated the army of such oppressors
were the Mominin, has been commented upon with such hostility by Muhammad Yunus
and dutifully conveyed by the editor Sultan Shahin. To them, it is unimaginable
that the Indian army consisting mostly of non-Muslims could be considered the
Mominin no matter how noble their mission, and the Pakistani army consisting
mostly of the Muslims considered as kafirin no matter how evil they were in
their persecution of the people of Bangladesh!
The Quran is however very clear on the subject:
(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!"
The condition of the people of Bangladesh was precisely as
described in the verse above, and the Indian army’s cause for fighting to
liberate the oppressed people from their oppressors was the cause of Allah. It
was therefore an act of the Momin against the Kafir.
The result which was the ignoble defeat and surrender of a
hundred thousand strong army of Pakistan fulfilled the following promise of
(4:141) ….And never will Allah grant to the Kafirin a way (to
triumph) over the Mominin.
Yunus sb who writes an article “The
Hindus are not the Mushrikin in the Quran” and also on pluralism, has
difficulty accepting that a non-Muslim can be a Momin and a Muslim a
Kafir! For the record, the Mushrikin in the Quran are also not all considered
as kafir but only the persecutors but Yunus sb till recently, had difficulty
With such ambivalence, all talk of pluralism and
universalism of the religion of Islam on this forum, has mostly been mere hypocrisy
hiding their deep-seated bigotry.