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Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam (08 Apr 2015 NewAgeIslam.Com)

The Much discussed and debated Medinian Verses Relating to Fighting

By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

9 April 2015

The Quran is a message for all mankind (12:104, 38:87, 68:52,81:27etc) and not just for the followers of Muhammad (pbuh), from the Lord of all the worlds (1:2, 2:131, 6:45, 7:61, 7:67, 7:104, 10:37, 32:2, 56:80, 69:43) and not simply the Lord of the Muslims alone.

The verse that first gave the Prophet permission to fight was:

(22:39) To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid;-

(40) (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our Lord is Allah". Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will).

 The Verses regarding fighting are of universal relevance

Clearly the permission to fight is of universal relevance and applicable to all those:

Who are expelled from their homes in defiance of right for no other reason except that they say, “our Lord is Allah (by any name)”. The universality of the application of the verse is unmistakable as 22:40 mentions the different places of worship where the name of Allah is abundantly celebrated and that it is Allah’s purpose to protect all such places by means of people who are commanded to fight against all oppression and religious persecution. That Allah can be called by any name is explicitly said in verse 20:8 and 17:110.

Verses 9:111 and 2:246 also make clear that the verses relating to fighting are of universal relevance.

(9:111) Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law (Torah), the Gospel, and the Qur´an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.

(2:246) Hast thou not Turned thy vision to the Chiefs of the Children of Israel after Moses? they said to a prophet (who was) among them: "Appoint for us a king, that we May fight in the cause of Allah." He said: "Is it not possible, if ye 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?" but when they were commanded to fight, they turned back, except a small band among them. But Allah Has full knowledge of those who do wrong.

 What is fighting in the cause of Allah?

All the verses relating to fighting are for fighting in the cause of Allah. What is the meaning of fighting in the cause of Allah? It means to end religious persecution and oppression consisting of turning people out of their homes or places of worship for no other reason except their faith or hindering them from practicing their faith or torturing them for their faith. See verses 22:39, 40, 2:191 to 193, 2:217, 2:246, 4:75, 8:36-39. It also means to fight to defend any oppressed people (4:74 and 4:75)

 Who are the people against whom fighting is ordained?

Fighting is not ordained against the Muslims, Christians, Jews, polytheists, idolaters, atheists or person(s) of any faith, but only against those who oppress other people for their faith no matter what the faith professed by the oppressors may be.

 Are there any verses that are specific only to the times of the Prophet?

Most of the verses are specific to the Prophet’s times and can be related with the people of those times and events but can be taken as of universal application when identical conditions of tumult, oppression and religious persecution or other kind of targeted oppression exist.

However, the verses of Surah Taubah from 9:1 to 9:15 pronounce judgment on the vanquished Meccans after Mecca was conquered by the Muslims and are only a historical record of what that judgment was. These are not verses relating to fighting but of judgment. These could be used as a guide for pronouncing similar judgment after vanquishing the oppressors.

Verses 9:1 and 9:2 declare amnesty of four months to all mushrikin but with a warning that the kafirun(not mushrikin) among them will be covered with shame at the end of the period.

9:3 and 9:4 announces dissolution of all treaties with the mushrikin except with those who never broke their treaty and warns the kafirun (not mushrikin) of a grievous penalty.

Verse 9:5 is a command to kill all mushrikin at the end of the four month period with the exception of:

1.         Those who never broke their treaty or never fought the Muslims (9:4)

2.         Those who accept Islam offer prayers and pay zakat (9:5)

3.         Those who seek asylum (9:6)

If the command was to kill only the kafirin, then the problem would have been how to identify them since there was no longer an enemy standing in battle. The verse identifies the non kafir among the mushrikin through the exceptions listed above. Verse 9:5 read together with 9:4 and 9:6 then becomes a command to kill only the Kafirin among the Mushrikin.

 Who are the Kafirin?

The only deeds for which the Quran treats the Meccanpolytheists (mushrikin) as Kafir are for:

1.         Persecuting the Muslims for no other reason other than for their faith

2.         Fighting the Muslims for their faith and driving them out of their homes. Breaking peace treaties and aiding the enemy.

The Meccan polytheists are uniformly referred to as the Mushrikin except those standing against the Muslims in battle, those that practiced persecution, or those who broke their treaties with the Muslims. These exceptions, who were the enemies of the new faith of Islam, are referred to as the kafaru among the Mushrikin, clearly implying that not all the Mushrikin are Kafirin.

Their “Kufr” is also mentioned in 9:12, 13

(9:12) But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith ( a-immat-al-kufri) : for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.(13) Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you?

 Were not all Mushrikin Kafir since they had not accepted Islam?

Verses that deal with the spiritual dimension of Belief, Faith, Scriptures, and Messengers of God treat those who reject Belief, Faith, the Scriptures and the Messengers of God as Kafir. Mere non-acceptance is not rejection.  Who has rejected and who has not rejected is known only to God. Besides, since there is no compulsion in religion (2:256) and the peaceful Kafirun are allowed to have their own way (109:6), there can be no punishment for those who took no part in the battles or in oppressing others for their faith. In the temporal dimension therefore, a Kafir can be identified by only what he does and not by the religion he professes or rejects.

 What if the Polytheist or Idolaters are persecuted?

The following verses are a command to fight to protect the oppressed. It could be any kind of oppression or injustice against any people. Those who fight to defend the oppressed fight in the cause of Allah and the oppressors if they fight back, fight in the cause of evil.

(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) Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.

 The remaining verses

The remaining verses tell us what kind of help and support that can be expected from God for defending those who are weak and oppressed with the specific example of the battles that the Prophet fought to end religious persecution.

There are verses that teach us that no matter what the strength of the enemy, with God’s help they can be vanquished. God will aid you with the help of angels, strike terror into the hearts of the enemy, peace and calm will descend on you and you will be assisted by the forces of nature. Should you be slain and be a believer in Allah (by any name) as the sole Creator, your sins shall be forgiven and you will enter paradise. These are verses of great spirituality and a source of strength for the righteous and hope for the oppressed and dismay for the evil oppressors.

Unfortunately however, both the Muslims and the non-Muslims treat the Quran as a book meant only for the followers of Muhammad (pbuh) and Allah as the Lord of only the Muslims.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/ijtihad,-rethinking-islam/naseer-ahmed,-new-age-islam/the-much-discussed-and-debated-medinian-verses-relating-to-fighting/d/102351


  • Rational,

    If you have absolutely no data to make your point then your charge is simply a figment of your hostile imagination. There is no historical record of any Church or Synagogue having been pulled down by the Muslims although the Jews are known to keep a methodical record of their history. If you cannot find any instance mentioned in their history then it never happened.

    Abu Sufiyan who lead the Meccans in the battles against the Muslims lead the Meccans in clearing up Kaba. Why would they not remove the idols having accepted Islam? It was the most logical thing to do for them. They could have chosen to carry them away with them since exile was an option to those who had fought against the Muslims and had lost the right to live beyond the four month amnesty period..

    The Meccans had plenty of opportunity to save themselves from the final outcome but were  deaf, dumb and blind to the repeated clear warnings and of the several clear chances given to them . Read the complete account in my article in 4 parts:

    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/7/2015 1:30:15 AM

  • but who sent them to destroy the idols?
    avoiding main question. where were the worship places in the prophet time where the name of God is exalted?
    by ignoring this verses the prophet is responsible for destruction of idols and wiping out the worship places of non-Muslims.
    since there is no mention of worship places in prophetic and khilafat rashida time, there is no question of bringing data.
    it is clear that this happened under the command of the prophet who was everything to Muslims.
    if this simple verses was nat practiced, there is no chance of practicing of 'la ikraha fid deen" and "lakum deenukum valiya deen" after the prophet became stronger.
    from the time of prophet down to this time there is not a single place of worship of non-Muslims.
    following Sunna there is no freedom for non-Muslims.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 7/6/2015 8:49:23 PM

  • Rational,

    When I have to make my point, I always do so with data. Now, if you want to make your point do it with data. Do your own research. 

    The Muslims did not destroy a single idol. It was destroyed by the very people whose deity the idol represented or with their express permission.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/6/2015 9:45:43 AM

  • Naseer saheb
    "If you want to make a point with statistics collect your own data and make it. What disables you from collecting your own data?"
    you had been one who often came with statics. that is why i asked statics from you?
    if data was available, you had been quick to come with data.
    Islamic history is enough to testify that the prophet and his companions didn't follow the Quran?
    this verse is decorative only. lakum denukum waliya deen was only practiced when they were weak.
    indeed some verses are worth following but were they really practiced or not is the question.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 7/6/2015 8:47:37 AM

  • Naseer saheb
    is my comment addressed to common Muslims?

    who commanded hz mohammed to clean the kaaba from idols? who was stopping hz mohammed and his companions to allow synagogues and churches? I am not asking about Aal e Saud?

    Do you want to say even the prophet didn't follow the Quran? or he took extreme measures against other faiths thought Allah didn't want it from him?

    By rational mohammed yunus - 7/6/2015 8:40:40 AM

  • Rational,

    If you want to make a point with statistics collect your own data and make it. What disables you from collecting your own data?

    You have quoted me in which I clearly say that the Muslims have understood Islam in a very narrow sectarian way. How does what I say contradict with your view that the Muslims have not encouraged the building of churches and synagogues?  Why do you show such poor understanding of even what you quote? Have I said that the Muslims are faithfully implementing the letter and spirit of the Quran?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/6/2015 7:08:31 AM

  • "When Allah says He is Rabbul Alimeen, and also says that His name is excessively celebrated in mosques, synagogues and churches, the so called Muslims insist that Allah is only Rabbul Sunni and of their subsect alone! "

    a verse to decorate Islam.
    in fact no
    synagogues and churches were in prophet time and khilafat rashida.
    if you have some example bring it out.
    why there is no space for

    synagogues and churches in mecca and Medina?
    how many

    synagogues and churches are in SA and other arab countries? in past and present? any statics from statics man!

    By rational mohammed yunus - 7/6/2015 2:51:06 AM

  • The article is again what I too believe.
    By sadaf - 7/5/2015 3:09:00 PM

  • See, I damn care what Maulvis say. If they have studied Islam so have I. If they can bring out things from this reference or that reference, so can I. If they can argue their points, so can I. Beside that I have been reading much more of things to be able to relate all that Islamic scriptures say. And Fatwa to kisi ke baap ka bhi hoga, to I damn care. I have my own Fatwas for them. If they can push me by force, I too can wage Jihad on them for my survival and my understanding of my Islamic duty to repel the aggression. Having said this, my considered Fatwa about 'Kafir' and 'Kafirun' terminology that has been used in scripture and in these writings, is that it is about criminals who commit crime against another human primarily and against God by not acknowledging His existence or not being thankful in their heart about the life that they have been given which they love so much that they don't want to die when in their normal happy self. The terminology in future translation of Quran needs to be translated as criminals. And of course worshipping anyone else other than God/Allah is not a crime against human. It can only be against the God/ Allah, God and Allah being the same; in fact there can be 100 names. (You call rose by any name, its fragrance remains the same.) And for the crime against God, God need no wakeel, no darogha to take actions against the culprit. In fact would God be interested in taking action that too we cant be definite. Got does and should enjoy autonomy. As far as crime against humans are concerned, even the most modern and liberal world agrees that criminals need to restained by ways and means. If need be to fight with them, then be it. If need be to harsh with them then be it. If all that much harshness is not needed then too it is Ok. God is also there to see and take action here or in the Hereafter for what that criminal deserves. As for polytheists, the word Mushrikeen is there, it is all in that God's hands to see why some people are not sure about His uniqueness and singularity and what all they deserve for it. It is none of any Muslim's business except to share with them gracefully their belief in a God, all powerful, and eternal. Sarwasarwa; Supreme. Being Non Muslims do not make anyone a kafir and being a Muslim doesn't guarantee that one doesn't commit kufr. Non Muslims if not atheist are Mushrikeen just as many Muslims with weaker faith in Allah are and who believe unduly and excessively in many other things (wealth, arms, medicine, jhaad phook, totka/charm, amulet, stone, graves , trees, dogs, cats, monkey, parrot and hell lot of things) and people (babaji, maulvi sahab, bahubali, king, dictator, prime minister, mamaji, mausaji, chachaji, banker, doctor..and just any tom, dick and harry) to save them or do miracles for them. Being a Mushrik is also no way anybody else's business except those who think God/Allah has mandated them but are like unauthorised ticket checkers and often get beaten up for such self presumptions and deservedly so.
    By sadaf - 7/5/2015 2:48:00 PM

  • I was reading the article by Kashif Choudhary an Ahmadi
    As a Constitutional Kafir I Ask, Does My Religious Freedom Hurt You This Much?
    This syndrome of the Pakistanis shutting out Ahmadiya Muslims from Islam, Quran and using the name of Allah and the Indonesians shutting out the Christians from using Allah as the name of their God is an extreme form of parochialism that seems to affect only the Muslims.

    When Allah says He is Rabbul Alimeen, and also says that His name is excessively celebrated in mosques, synagogues and churches, the so called Muslims insist that Allah is only Rabbul Sunni and of their subsect alone! 

    To expect that they will share the bounties of their Quran, Prophet and Religion with the rest of the world appears to be unrealistic. What they do not realise is that they are shutting themselves out from all the bounties and will be simply caste aside as an unworthy people.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 4/9/2015 9:01:22 AM

  • Dear Shri Satbir Singh Bedi,

    In a true Islamic state, the government and governance should be truly secular. 

    There are only 3 hudood punishments which constitute the criminal law ordained in the Quran (for adultery, theft and murder).

    Muslim personal law is inapplicable to non-Muslims.

    The State is free to to frame other criminal and civil laws.

    The State is expected to be completely neutral to the faith followed by its citizens.

    I have covered this in my article:

    By Naseer Ahmed - 4/9/2015 2:25:59 AM

  • With all due respect to Naseer Ahmed Sahib, what will be the position of those who are atheists/agnostics.  Will they have a right to live in an Islamic State?
    By Satbir Singh Bedi - 4/9/2015 1:08:23 AM

  • Food for thought from Naseer Ahmed sb.

     It would be interesting to know what the other scholars in the forum think.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/9/2015 1:00:59 AM

  • GM Sb,

     The Message of the Quran is unmistakable. The dictionary meaning of the word Kufr is to cover up. Muslims have been covering up the truth all the while thinking that they were doing good. Jingoism and parochialism for some reason are acceptable evils in society and in religion. The Australians have a way of saying 'He is a b*****d alright but he is our kind of  b*****d. In religion the same tolerance is displayed for evil. It starts with "he is a kafir alright but he is our kind of kafir". This goes on until kufr becomes religious dogma.


    In my article The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) in the Qu’ran (Concluding Part) Summary  I have shown that some of the big guns of every sect say that the Prophet was fighting to end not oppression but disbelief. This is not literalism. This is changing the word of God and what a monumental lie! And every non-Muslim is a disbeliever for these people which is another big lie. Is it any wonder that “Jehad” has become such a dirty word?

    Freedom of religion and conscience is and has always been an inalienable right given by God to man. God has not permitted even the Messengers of God to trample on this right let alone ordinary mortals. (10:99) “If it had been thy Lord´s will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! wilt thou then (O Muhammad) compel mankind, against their will, to believe!”

    Only those who oppose God and His messengers are fought against or destroyed by an act of God.

    In every age the Muslims have to fight against Kufr. This is an age in which we have to fight against the Kufr of those who call themselves Muslim. It is for this reason that God says:

    (39:32) Who, then, doth more wrong than one who utters a lie concerning Allah, and rejects the Truth when it comes to him; is there not in Hell an abode for blasphemers?

    (33) And he who brings the Truth and he who confirms (and supports) it - such are the men who do right.

    (34) They shall have all that they wish for, in the presence of their Lord: such is the reward of those who do good:

    (35) So that Allah will turn off from them (even) the worst in their deeds and give them their reward according to the best of what they have done.

    I am only trying to bring out the truth covered under centuries of “Muslim kufr” with Allah’s help. My intent is very simply to mine for truths in the Quran and bring these out with all the evidence.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 4/9/2015 12:28:59 AM

  • Naseer Ahmed sb.'s intent and endeavors are appreciable. It would be good if such a universalist perspective finds wider acceptance.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/8/2015 3:29:46 PM

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