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A friend sent the following mail to me:
“I found the following quotations from the Koran on the net. Were they quoted correctly?
These suras (chapters) from the Koran make it quite clear that the devout Muslim must kill for the faith, just as Muhammad did:
“Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Koran 2:191
“Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.” 3:28
“Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” 3:85
“Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam” 5:33
“Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.” 8:12
“Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.” 8:60
“The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.” 8:65
“When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them.” 9:5.”
I will respond by labelling these misrepresentations from A to H, quoting the full texts from the Glorious Qur’an and commenting on the context on which the verses were revealed.
A.“Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Koran 2:191
The verse above has been deliberately quoted out of context. This is the commonest way those who want to attack Islam distort its message. To have the correct understanding of the partly quoted verse, the objective reader needs to go back a verse and continue two verses after the distorted verse 191. The full verses (190-193) are reproduced below:
190: Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.
191: And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.
192: But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
193: And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah. but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.
An objective analysis will show that these verses are intended to give instructions on the rules of engagement during an outbreak of war. It spells out that only those that fight the Muslims are to be fought. It explains that those who were persecuted for their faith and were killed or maimed have every right to fight back. Every verse had a historical context or an issue it addressed originally. When the same issue or a similar issue occurs, the Muslim is bound to apply the same ruling or similar ruling as the case may be.
Besides, the Bible itself is replete with commandments to attack those who reject faith. An example is below:
Deuteronomy 20:10-17 New International Version (NIV)
10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace.
11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labour and shall work for you.
12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city.
13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it.
14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies.
15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy[a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you.
- “Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.” 3:28
“Let not the believers take the unbelievers for allies or friends instead of believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming.”
As mentioned earlier, there is a historical context for this verse, which has not been mentioned. The reason it is easy to deceive many non-Muslims into thinking that such quotations refer to every non-Muslim is that most assume that the Quran was compiled like the Bible years after the ascension of Prophet Jesus (PBUH). It was not. The verses were revealed over a 23-year period and its commandments were revealed in real time. As issues emanated from the believers, Allah revealed verses to address them. A similar verse to the above is this one in Al Mumtahinah Q60:1-2
1: O ye who believe! Choose not My enemy and your enemy for friends. Do ye give them friendship when they disbelieve in that truth which hath come unto you, driving out the messenger and you because ye believe in Allah, your Lord? If ye have come forth to strive in My way and seeking My good pleasure, (show them not friendship). Do ye show friendship unto them in secret, when I am best Aware of what ye hide and what ye proclaim? And whosoever doeth it among you, be verily hath strayed from the right way.
2: If they have the upper hand of you, they will be your foes, and will stretch out their hands and their tongues toward you with evil (intent), and they long for you to disbelieve.
Verses like these will be found in several chapters of the Quran. They addressed a burning issue of the time – the treachery of the pagans of Makkah to whom some of the earliest Muslims were related and for whom the ties of friendship and kinship became an impediment in carrying out the task of protecting themselves and others from external aggression. Allah was addressing cases of divided loyalty based on sentiments. He was commanding the believers not to take the pagans who were attacking and plotting against them into confidence. This is what common sense dictates. Even in secular laws, hobnobbing with the enemy is treason. It in no way talks about attacking anyone other than those who have attacked the believers or who are planning to attack the believers.
Other verses addressed the forming of alliance with Christians and Jews who were in the new city of Madeenah. These people formed secret alliances with themselves against the Muslims. Allah warned against alliances with these.
One of the easiest ways to show the falsehood the authors employed is to show the other verses so that people will have a holistic understanding of the message. For example, Allah explained to the Muslims what He meant in the other verses like the ones above in the same Q60:7-9 :
7: It may be that Allah will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom ye (now) hold as enemies. For Allah has power (over all things); And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
8: Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loves those who are just.
9: Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.
- “Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” 3:85
This is the most ridiculous accusation. Every religion makes this claim or else, why would we be writing this? The Christians see all Muslims as pagans who will end up in hell unless they accept Prophet Jesus (PBUH) as a god and the Muslims reciprocate the sentiments. John 3:16 is the most commonly quoted verse in the Bible by evangelical Christians trying to win souls while Q3:85 is what we quote. There is nothing to suggest in the verse that if you are not Muslim you ought to be killed at all. To get a full sense of the message, you need to go back a few verses. If you start from verse 83, the intent of the message becomes even clearer. The actual verses are below:
83: Do they now seek a religion other than prescribed by Allah even though all that is in the heavens and the earth is in submission to Him – willing or unwillingly – and to Him all shall return?
84: Say: ‘We believe in Allah and what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and to Issac and Jacob and his descendants, and the teachings which Allah gave to Moses and Jesus and to other Prophets. We make no distinction between any of them and to Him do we submit.
85: And whoever seeks a way other than this way a submission (Islam), will find that it will not be accepted from him and in the Life to come he will be among the losers.
- “Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam” 5:33
The authors of this smear message seem to believe that everyone is either too lazy to do fact checking or too stupid to notice the obvious lies. Again, the verse had been deliberately misquoted and truncated. The full verse and its context reveal the treachery:
Al Maaidah Q5:33-34
33: The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom;
34: Save those who repent before ye overpower them. For know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
These verses, like those I have quoted earlier were revealed in relation to a certain event or series of events. The most popular of these events was the butchering of the camel herders of Madeenah by a group of people who claimed to have accepted Islam during the time of the Prophet (SAW). They had come to pledge allegiance to the Messenger of Allah, and before they could return to their base, they fell ill and the Prophet instructed them to follow the camel herders and take fresh camel milk and camel urine, which were two excellent healing substances. After they became well, they attacked the herders and ran off the camels into the wilderness. They were arrested and Allah revealed how they should be handled in these verses.
In fact, in a Shari’ah country, these verses would be the evidence against Abubakar Shekau and his fellow murdering fraudsters called Boko Haram, that claim to be Muslims. Acts of terrorism, brigandage, armed resistance, armed robbery and so on are the ones to which the verses apply.