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Islamic Ideology (21 Aug 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Did War-related Madani Verses Abrogate Makki Verses in the Sense of Not Allowing Peaceful Coexistence between Muslims and Non-Muslims?



By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

21 August 2018

Some people ask: why do you call the militants like ISIS, Taliban and other like-minded groups anti-Islamic, while they base their militancy on what is often considered a popular classical ruling of abrogation which demonstrates that the war-related instructions from God in later Madani verses have replaced and abrogated Makki verses which initially debarred Muslims from fighting?

A plain answer is: the classical ruling of abrogation, after my rigorous study of classical books, does not accept this consideration. There are many differences on this subject; each needs to be explained in its appropriate context. Irrespective of going through all details, I have confined my answer to its necessary points under three questions 1) did the “sword verse” 9:5 really abrogate verses of peace and forbearance? 2) Who are the Mushrikin mentioned in the Verse 9:5? 3)  What are the Makki Verses Which Prevented Muslims from Figitng even in defence? 4) What is actually meant when some scholars say the verse 9:5 abrogated verses of peace and forbearance?

Before discussing these four questions, we should note that the classical Islamic scholars predominantly disagree with one another on the war-related Quranic verses abrogating other verses which do not allow war. It is hard to reach any consensus point. It should also be noted that now among the contemporary classical Islamic scholars there is disagreement about the area of application of Naskh- Abrogation. While highlighting the religious thought of Dr. Maulana Muhammad Fazlur Rahman Ansari, one of the students of Allama Abdul Aleem Siddiqi Merathi, Imran Nazar Hosein, a modern Islam scholar and philosopher, speaks of his teacher’s idea of Naskh- cancellation or abrogation of divine revelation:

“Maulana Fazlur Rahman Ansari rejected anything which compromised the integrity of the Quran, and hence he rejected the application, within the Quran, of any Naskh (i.e., cancellation or abrogation of any Ayah or divinely-revealed verse).

“I was sitting in the classroom attending a class of Tafsir (i.e., explanation of the Quran) when the teacher quoted the Hadith concerning a ‘forgotten’ verse of Rajm (i.e., stoning to death) that used to be in the Qur’an once upon a time. I was quite disturbed to listen to what appeared to me to be total nonsense, and so I went to Maulana at the end of the class to seek a clarification from him on the subject of the integrity of the Quran. “Is it true”, I asked, “that there are verses which used to be in the Quran once upon a time, and are now forgotten?” His response to me was to deny such a possibility, and hence to reject the Hadith about a forgotten verse that used to be in the Quran. He declared such a Hadith to be a fabrication; and in doing so he upheld the integrity of the Quran. His view was that no verse of the Quran was ever cancelled, abrogated or forgotten, and that the verse of the Quran in Sūrah al-Baqarah on the subject of Naskh (i.e., cancelation or abrogation of divine revelation) referred to cancellation of previously revealed laws in previous scriptures, and did not imply that any verse of the Quran was ever abrogated, cancelled or forgotten:

 “Any (Divinely-revealed) verse or message which We cancel, abrogate, or cause to be forgotten, We replace with a better or a similar one. Do you not know that Allah has the power over all things?” (Qur’ān, al-Baqarah, 2:106)

“Here is the Hadith in Sahih Bukhari which recorded what we were asked to believe were the words of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) who is reported to have said that when the Quran was revealed there was a verse in it on Rajm (i.e., stoning to death as punishment for adultery). Since the verse is no longer in the Qur’an, the implication, for those who accept that verses of the Qur’an can be abrogated, would be that Allah Most High either cancelled the verse, or caused it to be forgotten:

 “… and the book (i.e., the Qur’ān) was revealed to him, and amongst that which Allah sent down was a verse on Rajm (i.e., the punishment of stoning to death for adultery), so we recited (the verse), and we understood it, and we applied it …” (Bukhārī, Hadīth Number 6829)

If Allah Most High cancelled the verse, or caused it to be forgotten, then why did ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) attempt to restore it? Did he have the authority to do so? Maulana pointed out, correctly so, that it would have been the function of the divinely-appointed teacher of the Qur’an to declare that a verse of the Qur’an was cancelled, abrogated or forgotten, but Nabi Muhammad (peace be upon him) never did such a thing, and no one has the authority to do such a thing other than the divinely-appointed teacher of the Quran. The truth is that Naskh (i.e., cancellation/abrogation of an Ayah or verse, or causing an Ayah to be forgotten) did not apply internally to verses of the Qur’An, but, rather, externally to certain previous divine revelations. Here are examples of precisely such cancellations:

        Cancellation (for the followers of Nabī Muhammad peace be upon him) of Jerusalem as the Qiblah or direction to be faced in prayer, and replacement with the Ka’aba in Makkah as the new Qiblah;

        Cancellation (for the followers of Nabī Muhammad

peace be upon him) of the previous law of fasting in the Torah which prohibited eating, drinking and sexual relations in the nights of fasting, with a new law which permitted such;

        Cancellation of the law of punishment for adultery in the Torah of Rajm or stoning to death, and replacement of Rajm with a new law of public flogging;

        Cancellation of the freedom for a man to have as many wives as he wished in previous law as practiced by Prophets such as Nabī Dāūd (David) and Nabī Sulaimān (Solomon peace be upon them), and replacement with a new law restricting or limiting the number of wives to four;

        Cancellation of the spiritual retreat (known in the Qur'an as I'tikāf) being performed in lonely places far from the madding crowd, and replacement with a new law which required that I'tikāf must now be performed in the Masjid;

        Cancellation of permission (for those who follow Nabī Muhammad peace be upon him) to consume alcoholic drinks.

“This response to my question set Maulana apart as a unique scholar in a world of Islamic scholarship which almost universally held that some verses of the Quran cancelled other verses, and hence that some verses of the Quran (such as an alleged verse on Rajm) used to be in the Quran once upon a time, but are now forgotten. One had to be a scholar of incredible courage and intellectual integrity to so challenge and defy almost an entire world of Islamic scholarship. Our readers are surely familiar with the pathetic refrain – how can one scholar be correct and all the rest wrong? Here was an example of one scholar who was correct, when most of the rest of his contemporaries in the world of Islamic scholarship were wrong. The problem that we must now address is: why is there no mention of this admirable and entirely correct view on Naskh in the QFSMS which is his magnum opus on the Qur’ān? Why is the QFSMS silent on the subject of Naskh? It will forever remain a matter of profound sadness that Maulana chose not to present in QFSMS, or in any other written record or public lecture, the view of Naskh which he disclosed to me on that fateful day. Is there any explanation for this enigma?

What Allah Causes To Be Forgotten!

“Although Maulana made no mention of it when he answered me on that memorable day, we may add for the benefit of readers, that only ‘part’ of that which was sent down by Allah Most High on Nabī Muhammad (peace be upon him) constituted revelations of the Qur’ān. There was much that was sent down on him which did not form part of the Quran. Muslims are well aware, for example, that there are many Ahadith which contain the direct speech of Allah Most High, and are known as Hadith al-Qudsi, which do not form part of the Quran. It is with reference to such divine inspiration sent to mankind, including Prophets of Allah, and to Nabi Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself, that the Quran has revealed that Allah can cause such a person to forget whatever Allah chooses to have forgotten:

“We shall teach you, and you will not forget [anything of what you are taught], (87:6)

“Save what Allah may will [you to forget] – for, verily, He [alone] knows all that is open to [man’s] perception as well as all that is hidden [from it].” (Qur’ān, al-’Ala, 87:6-7)

“This ‘forgetting’ does not at all apply to the revelation of verses of the Qur’ān. The Qur’ān has, in fact, recorded an event in which Allah did cause the Prophet (peace be upon him) to forget an item of knowledge that was sent down to Him through Angel Gabriel, but which did not form part of the Holy Book. The reader can find it in the commentary to Sūrah al-Kahf, 18:23-4. It is possible that Allah first teaches something to a special servant of his, such as a Prophet, and then causes that knowledge to be forgotten, because, in His wisdom, He wants that knowledge to be subsequently presented in a new form appropriate to a new stage in the historical process. And Allah Knows best!”

(Imran Nazar Hosein, An Introduction to Methodology for Study of the Qur’an, p. 233-239)

Maulana Fazlur Rahman’s view, as quoted above, is apparently different from other modern-day scholars as well as scholars of the past. And even among the scholars of the past there is huge difference in context of treating the ruling of abrogation. Ibn Arabi, Jalaluddin Suyuti, Ibn Kathir, Shah Waliullah, Allama Zarkashi, Allama Makki etc differ from one another on the subject of ruling of abrogation. We will take what is preponderant and accepted view in this regard- the view which is fully in agreement with religious sentiments as well as the present-day relations based on mutual promise of peaceful coexistence. For the very solid reason I have planned to answer the questions mentioned above, covering their necessary points.  

Did The “Sword Verse” 9:5 Really Abrogate Verses Of Peace And Forbearance?

Some scholars say the verse 9:5 abrogated Makki verses of peace and forbearance. Ibn Kathir says, “This Ayah (9:5) is called the Ayah of the sword about which Dhahhak b. Mazahim said: “it abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet- peace be upon him- and any Mushrik, every treaty and every term”. Al-Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas commented on this verse (9:5): “No Mushrik had any more treaty or promise of safety ever since Surah Bara'ah was revealed” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol 2, p 573)

Ibn Kathir also says,

ثم اختلف المفسرون في آية السيف هذه ، فقال الضحاك والسدي : هي منسوخة بقوله تعالى : ( فإما منا بعد وإما فداء ) [ محمد : 4 ] وقال قتادة بالعكس .

“Then the Mufasserin (exegetes) differed from one another on the Ayah of the sword (9:5). Dhahhak and Suddi said, “This Ayah (9:5) has been abrogated by the divine statement “...Then choose (to release them) either (as) a favour (shown to them) or (after receiving) ransom....” (47:4). However Qatadah said the opposite [of what Dhahhak and Suddi said]  

However, in my opinion, the war-related Makki verses did not abrogate the Madani verses, as classical jurists like Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti, Zarkashi etc substantiated the very idea in their respective masterful works on Sciences of Quran. 

In his book “Al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Quran” which is regarded one of the masterful works on Sciences of Quran, Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti explains that contrary to what some jurists believed, this verse 9:5 is not a case of abrogation but rather of context. In certain situations, verses of patience and forgiveness apply, while in others, fighting is necessary. He implies that no verse was totally terminated by another, but rather each has a specific context and applicability.

Imam Suyuti also quotes Allama Makki as saying “a group of jurists believe that the verse “But pardon them and overlook [their misdeeds]. Indeed, Allah loves the doers of good” (5:13) is Muhkam and not abrogated, because in such a divine statement there is a case of context and applicability” (Al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Quran, vol-2, pp.70-71).

The same understanding is reinforced by the prominent jurist and legal theorist Imam Zarkashi in his masterful work on the Sciences of Quran, “Al-Burhan fi Ulum al-Quran”. Referring to a number of Mufassirin, Imam Zarkashi explains one of the meanings of Naskh.  He writes,

الثالث: ما أمر به لسبب ثم يزول السبب، كالأمر حين الضعف والقلة بالصبر بالمغفرة للذين يرجون لقاء الله ونحوه من عدم إيجاب الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر والجهاد ونحوها، ثم نسخه إيجاب ذالك. وهذا ليس بنسخ في الحقيقة، وإنما هو نسء، كما قال تعالى (أو ننسئها) فالمنسأ هو الأمر بالقتال، إلى أن يقوى المسلمون، وفي حال الضعف يكون الحكم وجوب الصبر على الأذى.

وبهذا التحقيق تبين ضعف ما لهج به كثير من المفسرين في الآيات الآمرة بالتخفيف أنها منسوخة بآية السيف، وليست كذالك بل هي من المنسأ، بمعنى أن كل أمر ورد يجب امتثاله في وقت ما لعلة توجب ذالك الحكم، ثم ينتقل بانتقال تلك العلة إلى حكم آخر، وليس بنسخ، إنما النسخ الإزالة حتى لا يجوز امتثاله أبدا. وإلى هذا أشار الشافعي في "الرسالة" إلى النهي عن ادخار لحوم الأضاحي من أجل الرأفة، ثم ورد الإذن فيه فلم يجعله منسوخا، بل من باب زوال الحكم لزوال علته، حتى لو فجأ أهل ناحية جماعة مضرورون تعلق بأهلها النهى.....ويعود هذان الحكمان – أعنى المسالمة عند الضعف والمسايقة عند القوة- بعود سببهما، وليس حكم المسايقة ناسخا لحكم المسالمة، بل كل منهما يجب امتثاله في وقته" (البرهان في علوم القرآن للزركشي ج 2، النوع الرابع والثلاثون، ص 42، مكتبة دار التراث، القاهرة)

  The above mentioned Arabic passage of Imam Zarkashi implies that many commentators (Mufassirin) took wrong understanding that the sword verse abrogated verses of patience and forbearance. The reason is that the “abrogation” entails a complete termination of a legal ruling, never to be implemented again. This, he substantiates, is not the case with such verses. Instead each verse entails a particular ruling specific for a particular context. As circumstances change, different verses are to be applied instead of others. What is truly entailed by abrogation is that no ruling is eternally terminated. To substantiate his argument, Imam Zarkashi also gives an example from Imam Shafi’s “al-Risala” which can be seen in the referenced book. 

The conclusion of the above mentioned two masters of Quranic Sciences is that the verse 9:5 by no means abrogated the verses of peace and forbearance – rather, each verse needs to be implemented in its appropriate situation.

Who Are the Mushrikin Mentioned In the Verse 9:5

Al-Baydawi (d.685H) in his book “Anwar al-Tanzeel wa Asrar al-Taweel (The Lights of Revelation and the Secrets of Interpretation, V. 3, p. 71, 9:5- Arabic version)”, a classical tafsir which is included in Madrasas of Indian subcontinent, writes while interpreting the verse, "فاقتلوا المشركين (أي) الناكثين", which means that the word Mushrikin mentioned in the Ayah 9:5 refers to Nakithin- those who violated peace treaties by violating war against the Muslims.

Al-Alusi (d.1270H) in his “Rooh al-Ma’ani (v. 10, p. 50, - 9:5, Arabic version), another classical book of Tafsir, writes, 

على هذا فالمراد بالمشركين في قوله سبحانه: (فاقتلوا المشركين) الناكثون

Translation: “Therefore the word Mushrikin in the statement of God Almighty “so kill the Mushrikin...” means Nakitheen, i.e. those who violated peace treaties by violating war against the Muslims.

Abu Bakr al-Jassas, a classical scholar, (d.370H) writes,

"صار قوله تعالى: {فَاقْتُلُوا المُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدْتُمُوهُمْ} خاصّاً في مشركي العرب دون غيرهم"

Translation: “The verse (Kill the Mushrikin wherever you find them) was particular to the Mushrikin of Arab and does not apply to anyone else” (Ahkam al-Quran lil Jassas, V. 5, p. 270, Arabic edition- English translation mine)

Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti writes, 

“In his commentary on the above mentioned Quranic Ayah 9:5, Imam Ibn Hatim quotes Hazrat Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him, who was the companion and cousin of the beloved Prophet peace be upon him) as saying: ‘The Mushrikin mentioned in this Ayah refer to those Mushrikin of Quraish with whom the Prophet –peace be upon him- had made treaty [of peace]” (Durr-e-Manthoor, V.3, p.655- Urdu version)

He also reports, “Imam Ibn Munzir, Ibn Abi Hatim and Abu Shaikh (may Allah be pleased with them) have quoted Hazrat Muhammad bin Ibad b. Jafar as saying “These Mushrikin are Banu Khuzaima b. Amir who belong to  Bani Bakr b. Kananah”  (Durr-e-Manthoor, V.3, p.655- Urdu version)

Such commentaries, according to other Islamic scholars, are substantiated by what the Qur’an itself says in the Ayah 13 of same chapter, 

“Will you not fight against those who violated their oaths (of peace-treaties), plotted the expulsion of the messenger, and initiated the fighting against you?” (9:13) And the Ayah 36 of Surah Taubah says, “and fight against the Mushrikin collectively as they fight against you collectively; and know well that Allah is with the pious.” (9:36)

Implication of these two verses (9:13) and (9:36) and comments of classical jurists as mentioned above is that the Mushrikin mentioned in the verse 9:5 are not all Mushrikin but those violated peace-treaties by waging war against the early Muslims.

What Is Actually Meant When Some Scholars Say The Verse 9:5 Abrogated Verses Of Peace And Forbearance?

In my opinion the war-related verses did not permanently terminate the verses of peace and forbearance. Each verse had a particular context and applicability. However is actually meant when some scholars say the verse 9:5 abrogated Madani verses of peace and forbearance? The answer is that they must have meant that the war-related Madani verses actually abrogated the Makki verses which did not allow fighting in self-defence against religious persecutions. In other words, the early Muslims were initially not allowed to fight in defence, but when the Madani verses were revealed, they were allowed to fight in self-defence against religious persecutions. It is in that sense that the war-related Madani verses abrogated Makki verses and the command of debarring Muslims from fighting even in self-defence was replaced with instruction to defend with arms. As from the Islamic perspective, the militants like ISIS and Taliban are not fighting in self-defence, as they are the first to initiate war. Therefore, they can’t be considered Islamic. Other reasons that make them anti-Islamic are that they are killing non-combatant peace-loving citizens including Muslims and non-Muslims, women, children and old, destroying Islamic monuments, cultural heritage, and justifying all these crimes by misusing the sacred book, the Quran of One True God.              

What are the Makki Verses Which Prevented Muslims from Fighting even in defence?

We should keep in mind that before revelation of 2:190 or 22:39, fighting even in self-defence was forbidden in Makkah and initially in Madina too. The Quranic verses which directly or indirectly debarred Muslims, in the initial period, from waging war even in self-defence are 23:96, 5:13, 73:10, 16:82, 88:21-22, 50:45. 

“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)

However, when the verse 2:190 or 22:39 was revealed, fighting in self-defence against religious persecutions 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).

There is disagreement among the scholars as to which one of them first permitted fighting in self-defence. However, the preponderant statement [Qaul-e-Rajih] among scholars is that the verse 2:190 is the first in this regard. For details, the readers can go through my article titled

 “An Enlightening Commentary on the War Related Quranic Verses- Part-1 on 2:190”

It means that before the revelation of 2:190 and 22:39, fighting was not permitted even in self-defence but when these verses (2:190 or 22:39) were revealed, they abrogated other Makki verses which debarred Muslims from waging war even in self-defence. It is that sense which should be taken from the popular statement of Ulema and exegetes (mufassir) which reads “Madani war-related verses abrogated Makki verses which debarred Muslims from waging war (in self-defence)”.

However, it does not mean that the Madani verses have abrogated the concepts of developing peaceful coexistence and providing security to the non-Muslims.

This understanding is based on my rigorous study and is in accord with the exhortations in Quran, Hadith, and views of Ulema and exegetes who too think that fighting is not allowed against non-combatant, peaceful non-Muslims. Therefore, it will be wrong to infer either of the statements that war-related verses abrogated peace-related verses or peace-related verses abrogated war-related verses. Similarly, no need to infer that there is contradiction in the Quran in the context of war and peace. No need to conclude that peace-related verses abrogated war-related verses. This of course is not supported by any effective evidence. (As for universality, applicability or generality of verses, these are subjects different from the issue of abrogation.) No need to deduce that the war-related verses have abrogated peace-related verses. Then what should we infer from the popular studies of the Quran and Hadith which are acceptable to all Muslims? Please tell them that the abrogation in the popular concept “Madani verses abrogated Makki verses” actually means abrogating the command which debarred the early Muslims from waging war inself-defence against religious persecutions. Yes, it is that sense which should be taken out of the popular classical ruling of abrogation which does not support in any way the evil purpose of militants and terrorists.

In our age, every individual or group can claim the right of self-defence. However, self-defence against religious persecutions, which can also be termed as Jihad in Islam, can’t be waged on an individual or group level. Detailed as it is in the books of Islamic Jurisprudence, this sort of in self-defence war can be waged only on the state level and only against religious persecutions for the sake of God and “to fight against those who fight you” without transgressing limits. 

At this point, it is essential to recall what I have learnt from classical studies of Islam that even during the state of defensive war, the following rulings of war mentioned in ahadith were practiced by the early Muslims.

(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).

The above-mentioned instructions are related to the self-defensive wars waged by Muslim states against religious persecutions. As for those living in minority or majority in agreement with the established constitution ensuring peace and security, it is not permissible for them to violate the constitution, otherwise they will be counted among those whose fate was predicted by the sayings of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as quoted below;

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.” (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 promulgated 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 a part of Islam. There is not a single hint of its being abrogated. Thus, according to the great Ulema and Fuqaha of Islam, this law is universal 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.

Similar Hadith has been reported by several well-known Muhaddethin like Bukhari, Nasai, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, as follows;

“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)

 “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)

 “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)

 “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)

 “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)

 “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)

Implication of all that mentioned above is that the war-related verses like 9:5 did not abrogate verses of peace and forbearance. If according to some other mufassirin this is not the case, it should be then established that their view “some war-related Madani verses abrogated Makki verses which debarred Muslims from fighting” does not mean that Madani verses have abrogated all Makki verses which confine them to develop peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims. Instead they mean, in plain words, that the command of self-defence fighting abrogated the command debarring from self-defence fighting against religious persecutions. If it had not been the case, the same classical Islamic scholars would not have quoted such ahadith as mentioned above which ask Muslims to respect the rights of non-combatant peaceful non-Muslims and guarantee the protection of lives of non-Muslims living in minority or majority.

In the last section of this article we have known that some classical jurists view that “some war-related Madani verses abrogated Makki verses which debarred Muslims from fighting”. This view actually implies that the command of self-defence fighting abrogated the command debarring from self-defence fighting against religious persecutions. This is supported by the same classical jurists, when they quote the beloved prophet (peace be upon him) as saying, “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...” as referenced above. But there arises a problem when you separately read two apparently contradicting views 1) “some war-related Madani verses abrogated Makki verses which debarred Muslims from fighting” 2) “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...”. This article of mine, in my opinion, is first of its kind to present reconciliation between these two apparently contradicting views, as I have not yet seen any work of this style. This article will be very effective (Insha-a Allah) to stop the mouth of those who misuse Islam for their nefarious deeds. Restoring this understanding, as discussed throughout this article, is therefore necessary to defeat tricks of terrorist ideologues and save the youth from being brainwashed and developing misconceptions about Islam, majority mainstream Muslims and pious Ulama.

(All the Most High Knows the Best)

Related Articles:

 “An Enlightening Commentary on the War Related Quranic Verses- Part-1 on 2:190”

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.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/ghulam-ghaus-siddiqi,-new-age-islam/did-war-related-madani-verses-abrogate-makki-verses-in-the-sense-of-not-allowing-peaceful-coexistence-between-muslims-and-non-muslims/d/116166

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  • @Ghulam Mohiyuddin, 

    islamobhopia is spirit of Hats off - if it goes off him how will he be alive in this world? 

    By Aayina - 11/9/2018 1:02:05 AM

  • Hats Off's Islamophobia has reached psychotic proportions, perhaps aided and abetted by NAI!

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/28/2018 2:11:17 PM

  •                                                                               On Abrogation
    As I have explained many a time, abrogation refers to replacing a moral principle in a previous scripture, by a better one in a later one. One example is replacing the principle of reciprocity with the principle of Ahsan or returning evil with good and forgiveness. There are many more examples that I can think of such as animal sacrifice which made sense when animal was your only wealth and most of what you owned. In the early period, there must have been a need for a more active communication between man and God and God conveyed His acceptance of the sacrifice by consuming the sacrificed animal with fire from Heaven. If it was not consumed, it meant that God had rejected the sacrifice. The fight between Cain and Abel was over the same issue. The sacrifice of one was accepted and of the other rejected which led to the killing of the righteous brother by the unrighteous one. Over a period, the practice changed to burnt offerings to God. The one who sacrificed, himself burnt the animal and offered it to God. This changes completely for the Ummah of Muhammad (pbuh) and God says that neither the flesh nor the blood of the animal reaches God but only your piety and we are asked to consume the flesh of the animal sacrificed. Also, the practice of sacrifice is restricted to Hajj only and even then, there is an option to fast for ten days instead of sacrificing an animal.

    Consider the following verses:

    (75:16) Move not thy tongue concerning the (Qur´an) to make haste therewith.(17) It is for Us to collect it and to promulgate it: (18) But when We have promulgated it, follow thou its recital (as promulgated): (19) Nay more, it is for Us to explain it (and make it clear):

     The prophet would anxiously recite repeatedly what was revealed to memorise being afraid that he may otherwise forget what was revealed to him. God is assuring him that there is no need to do so and it is Allah’s responsibility to ensure that the Quran is correctly collected and promulgated. And in the following verses, Allah is further putting the Prophet’s mind at rest by saying that even if he forgets a part, it will only be as Allah wills. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the Prophet will be made to forget any part and even if he does, that part can be revealed again. These verses are only to put the Prophet at ease and relieve him of the anxiety about the stupendous task.

     (87:6) By degrees shall We teach thee to declare (the Message), so thou shalt not forget,

    (7) Except as Allah wills: For He knoweth what is manifest and what is hidden.

     Abrogation simply does not refer to any verse of the Quran, and in view of Allah’s assurances in 75:18,19, there can be no doubt about the correctness of any part of the Quran or any question of omission or over inclusion or even any question of dependency on any source outside of the Quran to understand the Book.

     I consider it blasphemous to attribute anything that goes by the name of hadith qudsi or any other hadith to Allah or to the Prophet(pbuh). These are mostly stories concocted by the story tellers and are misleading and can only lead the Muslims astray and the reason for their backwardness and for their lack of understanding of the Quran.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/28/2018 3:56:30 AM

  • "it was almost always islam that annihilated the religions of most of the places they chose to plunder. persia, egypt, afghanistan, pakistan, indonesia, malaysia, turkey."

    What an ignoramus! And why did he leave out India? Indonesia and Malaysia were never invaded by any Muslim ruler. Islam was a minority religion in Egypt, Spain, present day Israel/Palestine, Syria and several other territories, for several centuries. Ironically, it was the crusades and the brutality of the crusaders that made the Jewish and Christian populations in Muslim territories to covert to Islam. The Greek orthodox and the  Roman Catholic churches treated the followers of the  eastern orthodox churches as heretics and persecuted them. Historians acknowledge that the very survival of the eastern orthodox church is because of the protection provided by Muslim rulers.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/28/2018 2:24:28 AM

  • "These rules are in no way unfair for a people who had fought to annihilate the religion of their victors."

    this is the most outrageous statement ever. 

    it was almost always islam that annihilated the religions of most of the places they chose to plunder. persia, egypt, afghanistan, pakistan, indonesia, malaysia, turkey. so why cannot those who are faced with the menace of islamic dawah act similarly to safegaurd their religion - just like the prophet did to safegaurd his invented religion? is there a single jew today in saudi arabia? a single christian? a single polytheist?

    so probably china is following this policy in xinjiang. so why not simply watch instead of constantly whining? so no blame for burma either. so why can't non-muslim nations ban dawah? dawah seeks to undermine the religion of the kuffars. so can the kuffar do whatever it takes to prevent it?

    obfuscation, lying and word jugglery are the essential features of moderate islamists.

    By hats off! - 9/27/2018 6:36:40 PM

  • this essay is very good, logical, and very convincing. it has helped me clear my doubts. 
    thnks a lot

    By Ajit Kumar - 9/27/2018 4:58:03 AM

  • Comment  on verse 9:5

    (9:5) But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Mushrikin wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

     Read in isolation, no one can act based on 9:5 because one must figure out what those forbidden months are during which one cannot act. This forces the reader to read the other verses that explain what those months are.

     (1) A (declaration) of immunity from Allah and His Messenger, to those of the Mushrikin with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances:-

    (2) Go ye, then, for four months, backwards and forwards, (as ye will), throughout the land, but know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah (by your falsehood) but that Allah will cover with shame the kafirin.

    (3) And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage,- that Allah and His Messenger dissolve (treaty) obligations with the Mushrikin. If then, ye repent, it were best for you; but if ye turn away, know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah. And proclaim a grievous penalty to the kafaru.

    (4) (But the treaties are) not dissolved with those Mushrikin with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for Allah loveth the righteous.

     The preceding four verses describe the context for 9:5. The four-month period of amnesty starts from the date of announcement on the day of the Great Pilgrimage of the year of revelation of the verse. with exemptions as in 9:4, 9:6 and 9:7 for their crimes described in verse 9:8 to 9:13.

     Very clearly, 9:5 is one-time judgment on the Mushrikin of Mecca of the prophet’s times with exemptions covered by three verses and for their crimes described in seven verses. These verses cover a very specific set of people of the Prophet’s times for their specific crimes and are inapplicable to any other people.

     It amazes me that no scholar explains these transactional verses in this manner and treats them as laying down a general law! The general law must be derived which is what I have done in my article: The Principles of War from the Quran

    And the relevant portion reproduced below:

    Surah Taubah describes the judgment on the vanquished enemy. The General Principles underlying the judgment on the vanquished religious persecutors are as follows:

    1.       Let those vanquished persecutors who fought but never violated their treaties, the freedom to practice their faith and live peacefully, if they agree to become your willing subjects.

    2.       To those who were treacherous and fought in violation of their treaties, provide protection if they seek protection. Make them hear the word of God and if they still refuse to accept your religion, escort them to a safe place outside your territory.

    3.       Those who were treacherous and fought in violation of their treaty, are allowed 4 months of time in which they are free to migrate to a neighbouring country or accept the victor’s faith. Those who remain defiant at the end of the amnesty period may be killed.

    As may be seen, the rules are extremely generous. If it was a fair war without violation of treaty, the vanquished simply must accept the new political authority and become willing subjects and can live peacefully practicing his faith. The treacherous violators of treaties can also save their lives by accepting exile or the victor’s faith. These rules are in no way unfair for a people who had fought to annihilate the religion of their victors.

    In any other war where religion is not the issue, it is only treachery of the combatants alone that is punishable by death or exile. The remaining people simply must become willing subjects of the victors or may choose to migrate.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/27/2018 2:47:52 AM

  • Continuing from my previous comment, the verses which command the Muslims to fight (2:190 and 22:39,40) say “fight those who fight you”

    There is simply no Meccan verse about fighting and therefore there is no Meccan verse which is preventing the Muslims from fighting or commanding them to fight. 

    There is no Meccan verse which says, “do not fight those who fight you” or “suffer patiently those who fight you” or anything about fighting and therefore there can be no Meccan verse abrogated by 2:190 and 22:39.

    What can be said about the classical scholars who prepare a list of Meccan verses abrogated by 2:190 and 22:39? They have very loose standards of scholarship and are little better than barbarians.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/27/2018 1:36:47 AM

  • “What are the Makki Verses Which Prevented Muslims from Fighting even in defence?”

     There is no makki verse preventing the Muslims from fighting. The correct position is that there is no makki verse commanding the Muslims to fight. The Muslims were simply not in any position to fight in Mecca. They were numerically greatly inferior in Medina also and unwilling to fight but had to be motivated to fight and even tricked into fighting. The battle of Badr was such a battle in which they were tricked into fighting a vastly superior army with promises of help with three thousand angels and showing in their dreams a small enemy force. 

    (8:43) Remember in thy dream Allah showed them to thee as few: if He had shown them to thee as many, ye would surely have been discouraged, and ye would surely have disputed in (your) decision; but Allah saved (you): for He knoweth well the (secrets) of (all) hearts.

     (3:123) Allah had helped you at Badr, when ye were a contemptible little force; then fear Allah; thus May ye show your gratitude.

    (124) Remember thou saidst to the Faithful: "Is it not enough for you that Allah should help you with three thousand angels (Specially) sent down?

    (125) "Yea, - if ye remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels Making a terrific onslaught.

    (126) Allah made it but a message of hope for you, and an assurance to your hearts: (in any case) there is no help except from Allah. The Exalted, the Wise:

    (127) That He might cut off a fringe of the Unbelievers or expose them to infamy, and they should then be turned back, frustrated of their purpose.

    (128) Not for thee, (but for Allah), is the decision: Whether He turn in mercy to them, or punish them; for they are indeed wrong-doers.

      Verse 3:127 and 128 make clear in the early Medinan period immediately after the battle of Badr, that only a small number of the enemy fighting “ṭarafan mina alladhīna kafarū” would be punished or disgraced, and Allah would turn in mercy towards the greater number of them although all of them are wrong-doers or zalimun. Indeed, only a couple of thousands died fighting and the rest accepted Islam.

     Verse 5:13 is a Medinian verse and is about the Jews and not about the Mushrikin. There is no command to fight the Jews. How is this verse then cited as a Meccan verse and among those the classical scholars consider as abrogated?

    The remaining verses cited in the article have nothing to do with fighting and to do with how to deal with others at the individual level while inviting them to Islam. How do the classical scholars consider them as abrogated? For example,

    (50:45) We know best what they say; and thou art not one to overawe them by force. So admonish with the Qur´an such as fear My Warning!

    So, is it OK now to overwhelm them by force if they don’t agree, and force Islam down their throats according to the classical scholars? Should we replace the verse by “ You know what they say; and thou art charged to overawe them by force. So, fight with the sword such as do not fear My Warning?” If not, then in what sense is the verse abrogated?

    Should we replace, “Repel evil with the best deeds; We well know the matters that they fabricate”. (23:96) With “Kill the fabricators of untruth?”. If not, then in what sense is the verse abrogated according to the classical scholars?

    Should we replace, “Then if they turn away, O dear Prophet, upon you is nothing but to clearly convey (the message)”. (16:82) with,  Then if they turn away, kill them, because upon you is nothing but to make them accept (the message) If not, then in what sense is the verse abrogated according to the classical scholars?

    Should we replace, “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) with “Therefore compel, indeed you are a mahi or the one to compel and charged with eradicating kufr/shirk” If not, then in what sense is the verse abrogated according to the classical scholars?

     The classical scholars apparently make those substitutions in their minds because of which extremism thrives and unless we cut off such bigots completely, there is no hope.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/27/2018 12:50:49 AM

  • The article is a laudable attempt to qualify and tone down the exhortation to kill the mushrikins but this totally escapes Hats Off! I am not surprised.  
    As I have said before, I consider this verse to be an example of adventitious over-inclusion during the compilation process. But that is just my opinion.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/26/2018 10:52:42 PM

  • the rant is disgraceful, but the exhortation to kill the mushrikin everywhere is wonderfully graceful. o'reilly is an excellent publisher.

    maybe you need to get your head examined, if you actually have one that is.

    By hats off! - 9/26/2018 5:19:31 PM

  • Hats Off's frenzied rant is very much a part of his relentless hate war against Islam.  His thoughtless trashing of serious attempts to deal with thorny questions is disgraceful.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/25/2018 11:40:55 PM

  • generally it takes a lot more words when you have nothing to say. this article is a good example. typical case of saying nothing in a whole lot of words.

    how clever of this maulana fazlur rehman to teach one thing to his students but leave out that all importanat point from his magnum opus!

    this is what islam means. say one thing, mean something else, and do entirely another and still justify nonsense.

    now the white kuffars have joined in. with their guilt ridden empire building which lead to mass murders and extinction of entire races of humans. this guilt will make them defend everything these soothing "moderate" nonsense and claim that the whole world was a worthless shere of mud and rock until islam came along. this kind of scholarship is very lucrative. saudi arabia subsidizes nut cases like the doctor who said that the Qur'an is a text book of embryology. in the past, corrupt, murderous, crazed mughals used to subsidize this kind of nonsense.

    it is apparent that the Qur'an is a very difficult to understand book, due to which no two islamic scholars seem to agree on anything at all.

    to claim that it is a "clear" book is pathetic nonsense.

    abrogation is a mainstream concept and is taught in most (more that 90%) of islamic institutions including al azhar.

    so simply beating round the bush does not get you anywhere except scoring some political brownie points.

    but to imagine that non-muslims reading this excruciating article will not see through this word jugglery is willful blindness.

    By hats off! - 9/25/2018 6:19:33 PM

  • Mr. John, would you please say good bye to the idea demonstrated in your comment. Your idea is not yours but has been borrowed from the orientalists who studied Islam for a particular purpose.

    Please also see what Solomon A. Nigosian writes, “Most historians agree that modern Western thought is the direct result of the intellectual culture of Spanish Islam.” (Solomon A. Nigosian, “Islam: Its History, Teaching and Practices” p. 25) Some historians, on the other hand, disagree with what most historians agree.

    Everyone takes what suits him. I do not want to present details concerning “who borrowed what and from where”.

    Islam is practicable in every age. Please read my article above and make a valuable comment which can develop good relationship.  

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 9/25/2018 4:04:35 AM

  • The Muslims took their law from the Romans and the Jews.
    Islam is Medieval and is not practicable in the modern society.

    By A. John - 9/24/2018 11:57:23 PM

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