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Radical Islamism and Jihad (28 Sep 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Refutation of ISIS That Uses the Verse, ‘Kill the Mushrikin Wherever You Find Them’ To Justify Terrorism in 21st Century: Linguistic Analysis of the Word ‘Mushrikin’ Part-1

By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

28 September 2019

The ISIS militants often quote the Quranic verse (9:5) to justify their acts of violence and terrorism. In the seventh issue of their mouthpiece magazine called ‘Dabiq’, they have quoted this verse to justify their claim that “Islam is the religion of the sword not pacifism” (Dabiq, 7th issue, p.20). An excerpt quoted in their magazine with reference to Tafsir-e-Ibn Kathir is as follows;    

“‘Alī Ibn Abī Tālib (radiyallāhu ‘anh) said, “Allah’s Messenger (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sent with four swords: a sword for the Mushrikin, {And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the Mushrikin wherever you find them} [At-Tawbah: 5], a sword for Ahlul-Kitāb, {Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Book – [fight them] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled} [At-Tawbah: 29], a sword for the munāfiqīn, {O Prophet, fight against the Kuffar and the Munāfiqīn} [At-Tawbah: 73], and a sword for the bughāt (rebellious aggressors), {Then fight against the group that commits baghy (aggression) until it returns to the ordinance of Allah} [Al-Hujurāt: 9]” [Tafsīr

Ibn Kathīr]. (Quoted from ISIS’ magazine ‘Dabiq’, 7th issue, p.20)

The circumstances and causes of revelation (Shane Nuzul or Asbab Al-Nuzul) of the verses quoted in the above mentioned excerpt report that they were revealed in the war-situation. However they are quoted by ISIS and its likes in this age to justify the indiscriminate killing, suicide attacks, destruction of public places and the so-called ‘Istishhadi’ operation. As a result a great disorder and Fasad is taking place around the world and therefore this is the responsibility of all Ulema, scholars to perform their duty to remove the Fasad, if they think so. 

In this article, I would present analysis of the verse (9:5) on the basis of an honest approach, which Allah Almighty alone knows the best. Rather this would work as a refutation of what is understood by ISIS and its likes and even those who are still confused by the variety of available interpretations. This refutation is based on classical Hanafi principles and will be available to you in several parts, as the subject is somewhat lengthy. This series is divided into six parts; with each discussing one point. All the points to be discussed are; 1) Linguistic Analysis of the Word ‘Mushrikin’ in the verse (9:5), 2) Who Are The Mushrikin Mentioned In The Quranic Verse (9:5?), 3) The Verse (9:5) And The Rule that When Nass and Zahir conflict, Nass is preferred, 4) The concept of Abrogation (Naskh) and The Quranic verse (9:5), 5) Refutation based on Muhkamat Verses and 6)  Refutation based on Specification of Generality (‘Aam khussa Anhul Baaz’) and that once a general word is specified by any definite evidence, further specifications can be made even by those Ahadith (which work as a probable evidence).

Linguistic Analysis Of The Word ‘Mushrikin’ In The Verse (9:5)

This first part is aimed at doing linguistic analysis of the word ‘Mushrikin’ mentioned in the verse “kill the Mushrikin wherever you find them” (9:5). The Phrase “kill the Mushrikin” is apparent (Zahir) in its meaning, and the listener or reader understands its apparent meaning without pondering over. Yet there remains possibility of further interpretation or specification in the word ‘Mushrikin’.

The Arabic word “Mushrikin” is in plural form and thus denotes generality (‘Umum). Those who are not well-versed in Arabic, even despite being the Arabs, must know that the general words (‘Aam Kalimat) of the Quran always include possibility of incorporating some individuals, or majority of individuals, or few individuals or sometimes one individual.

Several times, the holy Quran has used the general words (‘Aam Kalimat) in plural form to denote some or many individuals or only one individual. For instance, the Quran says, “And when the angels (Malaikah) said, "O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds.” (3:42). In this verse the Arabic word “Malaikah plural of Malāk—angel” refers only to one angel, and that is Hazrat Jibreel, which is also spelt as Jibra'il, Gibril, Jibril or Gabriel. Allama Aalusi says, “The word Malaikah refers to angel Jibra’il who is the chief of angels” (Tafsir al-Alusi 3:42), Allama Razi says, “the Mufassirin (exegetes of the Quran) say, the word “Malaikah refers only to one angel, that is, Jibril” (Tafsir al-Razi 3:42). 

We also find in the Quran that when it uses the apparently general word and wants to involve all the constituents (Afraad or component parts) of that word, Allah Almighty explains the word in such a way that there remains no possibility of any further interpretation or specification other than what He has said. For instance, Allah has said that all of the angles prostrated before Hazrat Adam (peace be upon him) as in the verse “So the angels (Malaikah) prostrated- all of them (Kulluhum) entirely (ajma’oon)” (15:30). The word ‘Malaikah is a plural word which apparently means “all of the angles”, however there still remains a possibility of being specified (Takhsees) through some exclusion. The Quran closes the door of specification with the word ‘Kulluhum’ (all of them). Then there is again a possibility of Tafriqah, (separation) by way of Taweel (interpretation) between whether the angels prostrated before Adam together or separately. The Quran also closes this possibility of interpretation with the word ‘Ajma’oon’ (all together/ entirely). So in this example, the words “Kulluhum” and “Ajma’oon” are known as ‘Mufassar’ which explains the meaning the words “the angels prostrated [before Adam] in such a way that no further explanations are needed.

Therefore I would say that in the verse “kill the Mushrikin wherever you find them”, we do not find any Mufassar words such as “Kulluhum” (all of them) or “Ajma’oon” (all together), or the words “Mushrikin of all ages or of all kinds including peaceful ones”. This principle implies that there is still possibility of specification or interpretation in this verse (9:5).        

This is enough for us to understand that the Quran has used the plural form or general word to indicate one or more component parts of the word. Aware of this, the jurists of all ages have unanimously agreed in their area of principles of jurisprudence that any word of the Quran whose meaning is apparent (Zahir) still has the possibility of specification or further interpretation. Therefore no one in this world can present this verse (9:5) as a definitive evidence to prove that the word “Mushrikin” mentioned in the Quran refers to all Mushrikin of the world or of all ages. On the contrary, we find here not only the possibility of further interpretation (Taweel) or specification (Takhsees), but also the solid evidences (which we will see in the forthcoming parts) that bring us to accept that the word ‘Mushrikin’ mentioned in the verse 9:5 is specific for those Mushrikin of Makka who were religious persecutors and were in the state of war.


A regular Columnist with NewAgeIslam.com, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar), with a Sufi-Sunni background and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator. He has also done B.A (Hons.) in Arabic, M.A. in Arabic and M.A in English from JMI, New Delhi. He is Interested in Islamic Sciences; Theology, Jurisprudence, Tafsir, Hadith and Islamic mysticism (Tasawwuf).

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    By Anjum - 10/16/2019 1:02:26 AM

  • Thank you Anjum ji, ye Sab aapki zarra nawazi hai warna main Kahan aur  theologians kahan. Apto mujhe sharminda kar rahey hain asam Se.
    By Arshad - 10/15/2019 6:10:35 AM

  • ok arshad ji, 
    your studies of the Quran is stronger than all theologians 

    By Anjum - 10/15/2019 5:02:10 AM

  • Lakum deenukum waliya deen 
    is the best remedy for all religous clashes 

    By Tah - 10/15/2019 3:41:52 AM

  • Unfortunately these ignoramuses have even prepared a list of abrogated verses and have also mentioned which verse of the Quran is replaced by which verse. There is no mention of specific verses abrogated. Earlier they concted hadiths and now they have invented a new concept to distort the message of Quran. Since they can't delete the verses which their ideology does not support they have inted the idea of abrogated verses. Instead of qouting their so called classical scholars, they should at least qoute the hdiths or traditions of Sahaba.
    By Arshad - 10/10/2019 6:21:57 PM

  • Those who have not studied Quran speak of "classical scholars" as if those scholars have got universal knowlege and the scholars of future will have to tow their ideas and explanation only. These people have Frozen in time.
    By Arshad - 10/10/2019 6:15:19 PM

  • My studies of the Quran is weak but it is better than the study of people who say such and such a verse is abrogated by such and such a verse. Who told them this. This is an innovation in Deen. Who are called classical scholars. What authority have they got to invent new beliefs?
    By Arshad - 10/10/2019 6:11:39 PM

  • Arshad sb, either your studies of the Quran is very weak. 
    By Anjum - 10/10/2019 9:49:30 AM

  • No verse which exists in the Quran is abrogated. What had to be abrogated does not exist in the Quran. Quran does not support the idea of abrogated verses. Quran does not say that some verses in the Quran are abrogated so Muslims should not read them. The Quran says "May the hands of Abu Lshab be broken" though he is not alive. Is this surah abrogated,? Quran does not ask Muslims to abrogated verses of their choice. It only says that God abrogates verses when he thinks fit. And it. When he wants to abrogated a verse He causes all people in the world to forget that verse or He removes a verse and brings another verse in it's place. One example is the rajam verse. Earlier the rajam verse existed in the Quran now it does not exist. It was replaced by hundred lashes verse. If both the verses existed in the Quran, we would have a choice as to which one is abrogated. It proves that whatever verse exists in the Quran is not abrogated and what has been abrogated has not been included.

    By Arshad - 10/10/2019 7:59:17 AM

  • This simple thing is that the Verses of peace and forbearance are not abrogated.

    Since the PhD “jihadists” use the term Naskh to confuse today’s Islamic scholars and earn their support, it would be highly recommendable to adopt the same methodology in an appropriate way so that the number of ‘jihadists’ can be decreased ideologically.   

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 10/10/2019 1:21:03 AM

  • Modern scholars should declare all war verses abrogated and all peace verses unabrogated.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 10/9/2019 11:33:39 PM

  • The verses of peace are never abrogated by Quran 9:5 due to Quran 9:13 mentions pagans were the first to fight with them.  The following is the extract:
    At-Tauba (The Repentance) - 9:13
    لاَ تُقَاتِلُونَ قَوْمًا نَّكَثُواْ أَيْمَانَهُمْ وَهَمُّواْ بِإِخْرَاجِ الرَّسُولِ وَهُم بَدَؤُوكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ أَتَخْشَوْنَهُمْ فَاللّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَوْهُ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤُمِنِينَ (9:13)
    Basit -   Hussari -   Minshawi -  f
    Ala tuqatiloona qawman nakathoo aymanahum wahammoo biikhraji alrrasooli wahum badaookum awwala marratin atakhshawnahum faAllahu ahaqqu an takhshawhu in kuntum mumineena
    Topics discussed in this Verse:
    [Fear of Allah] [Fighting (and striving) in the ca'use of Allah] [Noah:rules regarding] [Pagans and polytheists]
    9:13 (Asad) Would you, perchance, fail to fight against people who have broken their solemn pledges, and have done all that they could to drive the Apostle away, [20] and have been first to attack you? Do you hold them in awe? Nay, it is God alone of whom you ought to stand in awe, [21] if you are [truly] believers! -  
    The phrase, all that they could to drive the Apostle away and have been first to attack you, as mentioned in Quran 9:13 implies pagans were the first to attack the Apostle, i.e. Prophet Muhammad. 
    As they were the first to attack him, he should by logic slay these pagans during the sacred months.  Yet Quran 9:5 told them to wait patiently until after the sacred months are over and then begun their battle with them.  Do you see how Muslims at the time should tolerate and hide to prevent the attack of pagans during the sacred months?  Quran 9:5 demands them to tolerate and not to take action upon those pagans who were against them till sacred months are over then to take action against them.
    There is no reason to assume Quran 9:5 to discourage peace between pagans and Muslims, or else there is no reason for Quran 9:6 to mention Muslims should grant protection to pagans if they seek protection with them.  Besides, if Quran 9:5 calls Muslims to seek evil against pagans, there is no reason for Hadith to mention Prophet Muhammad even recruited pagan to assist him.
    Thus, the verses of peace in Quran and hadith are not abrogated by Quran 9:5.  Instead, this verse calls Muslims to honour sacred months to call Muslims to prevent their fighting with pagans during sacred months.  Once sacred months are over, the Apostles called Muslims to defend from pagans for their attacks during the Ridda war.
    By zuma - 10/9/2019 11:32:51 PM

  • The classical scholars are not united in considering that the Verses of peace and forbearance are abrogated by the verse 9:5.
    There is serious theological conflict among them. This conflict appeared dominantly as a result of another conflict related to the meaning and application of the term 'Naskh'. For the same reason, you find in their writings that some say 120 Verses are abrogated, others say only 12 Verses are abrogated, and similarly the number of Verses abrogated differ as per the number of scholars. 
    However all problems related to this subject do not fall within the scope of unresolved matters. This subject can be resolved if we come across the areas of both Usuliyeen and Mufasserin. In both the different areas, I haven seen that the term Naskh is not used to take the same meaning, but rather it was valiantly used. With the different meanings, it produced serious conflict among the scholars. If we discuss how the term Naskh was applied by the early jurists and Mufasserin and to what extent of variance it was used by the later scholars; many things bringing us to resolve the issue will appear.

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 10/9/2019 10:13:23 PM

  • Why do the classical scholars say that the verse 9:5 has abrogated all Verses of Peace?
    This question needs to be solved. 

    By Kaniz Fatma - 10/9/2019 9:49:44 PM

  • God Almighty is the one who declared him the final Prophet (peace be upon him).
    The verse of the Quran reads, “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal (final) of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things. (The Qur'an – Chapter 33 Verse 40)
    The phrase Khatam-un means seal, final, last.
    By GGS - 10/9/2019 12:09:43 AM

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