Monday, 27 July 2015
By F. E. Ogbimi on July 24, 2015
The Guardian Newspaper
IN 1949 when Mao Zedung became the leader of the Chinese people, the economy was in chaos. The Russians on whom the Chinese had depended upon for a long time had quarreled with them and stripped Manchuria, the most built-up city of everything. The transport system was in ruins and the currency worthless. The Chinese used the resource they have in abundance – people (Stoke and Stoke, 1975). “Let the people walk on two legs,” said Mao Zedung. “Let the native skills and the local materials supplement modern technology.” Mao meant to mobilise the entire populace and link learning efforts in educational institutions with those in the rest of the economy.
Everyone in Chinese communes worked together. That was how the Chinese having crawled during the period 1000 B C.- 1949 A. D., 2,949 years, accelerated modernisation to become the fastest growing economy in the world.
The founder of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, became Prime Minister at the age of 35 years (Forbes Global, 2001). In an exclusive interview with Michael Boclurkiw of Forbes Global, in which he shared his thoughts and insights on Singapore and the region, he said: In the early days, the National Science and Technology Board (NSTB), the lead agency in Singapore’s New Economic drive, figured that because of the low percentage of research scientists and other knowledge workers in Singapore, it needed to quickly build up a capability for knowledge generation.
Investments were made in the areas of science and technology. In less than 10 years, the number of research scientists and engineers rose from less than 28 per 10,000 workers to about 70, close to the 75 that most developed economies have. Now, there is a strong base of science and technology covering diverse areas. Again, the Singapore’s miraculous change was a matter of learning and acquiring scientific and technological knowledge, skills and capabilities, as well as developing the people in various knowledge areas for an economy.
The Asians intuitively know that learning is the fundamental basis of self-reliance. That explains why they are credited with the adage which says: teach me how to fish so that I can catch fish myself whenever I want to eat fish. History shows that one society learns from another and this is the basis for improving the productivity of the society with the lower productivity.
Federal and state governments in Nigeria have been emphasising capital investments and erecting infrastructure for decades. Nigerian governments have been mismanaging the economy by emphasising the wrong development strategy and accumulating unnecessary debt burdens. The review of the development experiences of Britain, the United States of America, China and Singapore revealed that they learnt laissez-faire for 2000-3000 years, achieved Industrial Revolution (IR) and acquired the capabilities for building relevant infrastructure before focusing on the development of the relevant infrastructure. So, mismanagement does not come from corruption alone, the more serious mismanagement of the economy comes from adopting the wrong development strategy and implementing wrong projects. Indeed, mismanagement of the economy through the adoption of the wrong development strategy and implementing wrong programmes and projects promotes corruption and it has been the bane of Nigeria’s development since independence in 1960.
It is obvious that European, American and some Asian nations are industrialised whereas African nations are pre-industrialised. If Nigerian leaders were wise, they would try to find out how the non-African nations became industrialised. Nigerian leaders are assuming that knowledge about what other nations did in the past is not important. Also, Nigerian leaders think that Nigeria does not need to understand the industrialisation process before embarking on it. They believe that seeking Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in a most ridiculous manner and awarding inflated contracts for erecting structures are the sure way to achieving rapid industrialisation. What do the industrialised nations have in common? They have the competences for manufacturing uncountable products. Africans intelligentsia/intellectuals talk of technology transfer because of shallow reasoning. Who transferred technology to Britain – the first nation to achieve the modern Industrial Revolution (IR)? Britain, like all other industrialised nations, was an agricultural nation for about 2000 years. When Britain became the manufacturer of innumerable scientific and technological products, it must have acquired the capabilities for manufacturing the products!
The child must learn how to read and write, otherwise, it grows up to be an illiterate. No one or nation is born with the skills to produce. All knowledge, skills and competences are acquired through learning. One who wishes to be a good dancer must learn how to dance. A nation which hopes to manufacture many products must develop the people to manufacture them.
In a nation where learning – education and training, is emphasised, there is continuous build-up of knowledge, skills and competences (KSCs). As the learning process continues, a point is reached where each type of KSCs begins to enjoy the supportive impact of all others and all of them form an invisible KSCs-network, a sort of problem-attacking front. The nation at that point achieves Industrial Revolution (IR) – a technological puberty. Productivity improves dramatically, the nation achieves economic diversification – various sectors of the economy begin to perform efficiently and effectively. The economic transformation described as IR, may be likened to that which the spider achieves when it combines many of its silk-threads to make its web. The single silk-thread which the spider spins is a relatively weak structural material which fails readily under any stress regime.
However, the web which is made from the combination of many of the weak silk-threads catches the small creatures on which the spider feeds. In a like manner, no individual solves the problems of a nation, but a combination of many millions of knowledgeable, skilled and competent people transforms an agricultural nation into an industrialised one.
What Nigeria needs to do is to develop the people so that the people can build the necessary infrastructure. President Buhari must not owe to build infrastructure. Nigeria should establish a standing training framework nearly as large as the existing educational system to train graduates of educational institutions, science and engineers in particular to acquire complementary practical skills. The absence of the indispensable training framework has been the biggest obstacle to Nigeria’s rapid development.
• Ogbimi wrote via firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 25 July 2015
Available online at
The Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), the umbrella body embracing all Muslim organizations and institutions domicile in South West Nigeria, is deeply concerned that The Punch newspaper subjected the Executive Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to severe criticism over the Governor's declaration of the Muslim New Year day, Thursday, 1 Muharram 1434/15 November 2012 as public holiday in the state. By making the issue the subject of the Editorial in its issue of 20 November, the newspaper betrayed its deep-rooted traditional bias against anything Muslim. The profundity of the bias seemed to have made the paper forget about the need to research the issue and think it through objectively before writing. That perhaps was also why the Editorial dabbled into extraneous issues that the paper was ill-informed about, such as the Shari'ah adjudication in parts of the country and the role of Islam in the politics of Pakistan. So, contrary to the newspaper's claim, it is not the government of Aregbesola that "has opened itself to criticism"; it is The Punch that has exposed its hatred for Islam.
A little bit of research should have revealed to the newspaper that, long before the British colonialists brought the Gregorian Calendar, the people of the State of Osun had been familiar with the Hijrah system, as Islam had gained firm foot-hold in Yorubaland. The town of Iwo, to this day, is known among the Yoruba as Ile Afaa, 'the abode of Muslim scholars and clerics'. Similarly, like Epe in Lagos State and some other cities in the South West, Ede was recognized as the home of Islamic learning and the Shari'ah. The Punch ought to have known this!
The newspaper should also have learnt that, for Muslims, the Hijrah or emigration of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the early Muslims from Makkah to Madinah, was a turning point marking relief from oppression and religious persecution to freedom of religion and peaceful coexistence among people of different religious persuasions. It provided such freedom not just for the Muslims but also for the Jews and Christians who lived in or visited the new Islamic city-state of Madinah and its environs.
Are the editors of Punch aware of the fact that the Gregorian Calendar was created by Pope Gregory XIII in the 16th Century with a view to celebrating the Easter at the time the Catholic Church "thought the First Council of Nicaea had agreed upon in 325"? Are they also aware of the fact that many Protestant countries of Europe "initially objected to adopting a Catholic invention for fear that the new calendar was part of a plot to return them to the Catholic fold"?. So, Britain and the British Empire did not adopt the Gregorian Calendar until 1752. Moreover, from the 12th century until 1751 the legal year in England began on 25 March, not 1 January.
That was the kind of calendar that the British colonialists imposed upon all Nigerians including Muslims who hitherto had organized their activities on the basis of the Hijrah calendar. It is pertinent to note that the first six months of the Gregorian calendar are named after false gods and goddesses, an idea that is diametrically opposed to the Islamic doctrine of Tawheed, belief in the absolute Oneness of Allah. It is also pertinent to note that despite these contradictions, the Muslims of Nigeria have, in their characteristic tolerance, restrained themselves from raising objection to the imposition of the Gregorian calendar. On the contrary, they have joined other compatriots in adopting January 1 as the beginning of the country's administrative year.
It was our first Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa that first declared the two public holidays to mark the Muslim 'Id festivals respectively. Hitherto, Muslim employees were expected to go to work, and Muslim children to go to school, even on 'Id days. Sometimes, public examinations were deliberately fixed on days of 'Id.
When, in 1972, the Seventh Day Adventists, a Christian denomination, demanded that Saturday be declared a work free-day in the country, the government under Gen. Yakubu Gowon acceded to their demand. The Muslims did not raise any objection to the demand or the government's granting of it. Ever since then, Nigerian Christians have enjoyed 104 days of holiday (Saturday and Sunday) every year while Muslims do not have any corresponding advantage. Certainly, Muslims would wish that Friday be a work-free day so they can take our children to the mosques to worship with us as the Christians do on Saturdays and Sundays. However, in our characteristic tolerance, we have not made such a demand with any degree of insistence.
Any reasonable person would expect that, given the above facts, non-Muslim compatriots would understand and welcome the courageous decision of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to declare the first day of Hijrah year as a public holiday in his state. The Governor himself made it clear that the Muslim faithful use the hijrah calendar for their programmes and therefore, it should be "accorded its due respect like the first day of January". As Femi Abbas stated, and rightly so, in his column on Friday 23 November 2012, an "unjust status quo cannot be maintain indefinitely". Ogbeni Aregbesola has taken the right step in the right direction and he has the support of all lovers of justice in Nigeria, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. If he did not "campaign for office in order to promote religion", as
The Punch suggested, he did campaign to promote justice and fair play. And that exactly is what he has done! Meanwhile, the law is totally on his side, as the Public Holidays Act gives a State Gorvernor the power to "appoint a special day to be kept as a public holiday in the state".
At this juncture we wish to commend the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Osun State Branch under the leadership of Evangelist Abiodun Aladeseye who demonstrated maturity and fair-mindedness when he declared that the Christians in the state had nothing against the declaration of the holiday. He even reportedly sent congratulatory messages to the governor and the Chief Imam of Osogbo, Sheikh Ajisafe on the occasion. Where does that leave The Punch newspaper which cried when they bereaved did not?
Like some careless commentators, the editors of The Punch were under the notion that Nigeria is a secular country. That notion contradicts the collective agreement of the people of Nigeria that we shall live together and operate "under God" as contained in the opening statement of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Constitution deals MAINLY with public, rather than prIvate life. What it says is that the government shall not adopt any religion as state religion. Secularity means non-recognition of religious values in governance and the most important value taught by the religions practised in Nigeria is belief in the existence and supremacy of God. So, no provision of the Constitution supports the notion of secularity. Nigeria is a multi-religious, not secular, country. ...................The Punch complained that the hijrah holiday was one too many. If that is so, would the paper support a reversion to the pre-Gowon declaration when the country operated a six-day week system? After all, that would save 52 working days for our economy.
The Punch complained that the hijrah holiday was one too many. If that is so, would the paper support a reversion to the pre-Gowon declaration when the country operated a six-day week system? After all, that would save 52 working days for our economy.
It should be noted that, while most non-Muslims in this country are in the habit of opposing demand by Muslims for their legitimate rights which do not necessarily affect them adversely, such as access to the Shari'ah adjudication and interest-free banking, Muslims are not known to oppose any legitimate demands of Christians. A classic example is the demand for government support for Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem, even though such pilgrimage is not known to be a Christian doctrine.
What we need in this country is not mere preaching of religious tolerance; it is actually putting it into practice. Obviously, the media has a responsibility to promote this attribute just as religious leaders do. We hope that The Punch as well as other media institutions in the country will heed this advice. As we have demonstrated above, the declaration of the first day of hijrah year as public holiday by Governor Aregbesola is a right step in the right direction towards meeting a legitimate aspiration of Muslims in his state. We are fully in support of his action. Not only do Muslims expect that it will remain a permanent feature in the calendar of the government of the State of Osun, the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) wishes to implore other governments in the South West and elsewhere, as appropriate, to follow suit in the interest of justice and fair play.
HON Justice Bola Babalakin JSC (RTD), CON, LLD
The Current Acting President
Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN)
Professor Dawud O. S. Noibi OBE, FISN, FIAC
Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN)
Published online by The Guardian Newspaper
July 24, 2015
The blessings of the Almighty Allah on the creatures, particularly human beings are unquantifiable. This was further established in Quran 7:54: “Your Guardian-Lord Is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then He established Himself on the Throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil over the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command.
Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds!” Signs of Allah in Solar System The earth rotates on its axis at one thousand miles an hour; if it turned at one hundred miles an hour, our days and nights would be ten times as long as now, and the hot sun would then burn up our vegetation during each long day, while in the long night any surviving sprout would freeze.
Again, the sun, source of our life, has a surface temperature of 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and our earth is, just far enough away so that this ‘eternal fire” warms us just enough and not too much! If the sun gave off only one-half its present radiation, we would freeze, and if it gave half as much more, we would roast.
The slant of the earth, tilted at an angle of 23 degrees, gives us our seasons; if it had not been so tilted, vapours from the ocean would move north and south, piling up for us continents of ice.
If our moon was, say, only 50 thousand miles away instead of its actual distance, our tides would be so enormous that twice a day all continents would be submerged; even the mountains would soon be eroded away.
If the crust of the earth had been only ten feet thicker, there would be no oxygen without which animal life must die. Had the ocean been a few feet deeper, carbon dioxide and oxygen would have been absorbed and no vegetable life could exist.
Or if our atmosphere had been thinner, some of the meteors, now burned in space by the million every day would be striking all parts of the earth, starting fires everywhere.
Because of these, and host of other examples, there is not one chance in millions that life on our planet is an accident. Allah’s signature on mountains Unfortunately, today many of the “smartest” people of this world deny the existence of God.
Suppose one of them walks by a mountain and see that there is a tent on top of the mountain. Immediately he will think that someone went up there and made the tent. He won’t think that the tent formed itself. You and I also won’t think that some sticks came and dug themselves on the ground and then a cloth flew to it to form the tent.
We will all think that someone went up there and made it. That is the mistake. We think that the small and simple tent on the mountain cannot form itself but we think that the huge mountain underneath the tent was formed by itself! This is how narrow our thinking has become.
Signs of Allah in oceans and lands The rains, the seas, rivers, streams, the oceans, drinkable water that flows when you turn on a faucet… People are so used to the existence of water that they probably never think about the fact that a major part of the Earth’s surface -indeed, most of it- is covered with water.
However, what is singularly important here is that, among all known celestial bodies, only the Earth provides drinkable water. Fully four-fifths of the earth’s surface is covered with water.
In addition to large water masses such as oceans, there are various other water sources whose sizes and attributes are different from each other, such as rivers and small lakes.
Some of these waters are too salty to be drinkable, but others are fresh. There is a perfect water balance that has been arranged according to the needs of all living things on the earth. By virtue of water, millions of species of creatures exist on earth, and the balances that are necessary for life are preserved.
For example, clouds and rain are formed by the evaporation of large water masses. Water has a high capacity for drawing and holding heat. For this reason, the large water masses of the oceans and seas maintain the balance of the world’s heat. Therefore, the temperature difference between day and night in regions near the sea is very small.
This makes these regions more livable. The existence of the oceans, a bird’s-eye view of which is seen at the left of this page, is highly significant. Because the oceans reflect the sun’s rays less than land does, they receive more sun energy, yet they disperse this heat in a more balanced way.
Therefore, the oceans cool the equatorial regions and prevent them from becoming excessively hot, and also warm the waters of the polar regions to prevent them from freezing completely. Through the transparency of water, water mosses can photosynthesize under the surface of the ocean.
Water is one of the few substances in nature that expands when frozen. It is because of this that the seas and oceans do not freeze from bottom to top. All of the physical and chemical features of water, of which only a few have been given here, show us that this liquid has been specially created for the needs of human life. It is surely no coincidence that such water is not available on any other planet besides the Earth.
The Earth, which has been specially created for human life, has blossomed with life through water, which has also been specially created. Allah, Who has created countless blessings for His servants and bestowed on them an easy mode of living, has created water with unique artistry and delicacy.
As He maintains in the Qur’an, “It is He Who sends down water from the sky…” (Surat an-Nahl: verse10) The great quantity of water in the seas makes our earth habitable. If the proportion of sea to land on the earth were smaller, then lands would turn into deserts and life would be impossible.
A conscientious person who thinks about these matters is completely convinced that the establishment of such a perfect balance on the earth is surely not a coincidence. Seeing and thinking about all these shows that a Creator Who is exalted and the owner of eternal power created everything for a purpose.
And He has made everything in the heavens and everything on the earth subservient to you. It is all from Him. There are certainly Signs in that for people who reflect. (Surat al-Jathiyya: 13). Never get tired of doing little things to others, because sometimes those little things may mean so much to them.
Sulaimon Salau The Guardian 08029427242
Thursday, 9 July 2015
Ustaz Abubakr Siddeeq Muhammad — May 15, 2015 3:12 am | Leadership Newspaper
- “Terrorise and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.” 8:12
Again, to make proper sense of the verse quoted here, you go back a bit. The way out of the mischief is in not allowing anyone to misdirect your attention to one verse out of its general context. A historical context will be missing if you dwell on just verse 12 and ignore the verses before and after it. This principle will guide anyone, Muslim and non-Muslim, to the truth of the matter. There is no verse in the Qur’an, which orders anybody to behead anyone for their faith. What we have are verses ordering the Muslims to fight when attacked, to be as ferocious as the attackers, and to stop when the hostilities cease and to be patient and Allah-conscious. This is what history bears out from Muslims of that era and subsequent eras.
The Surah in question is Al Anfaal (The Spoils of War). In the opening verses, it is clear that the chapter was addressing certain situations pre and post war. The issues of what to do with the war booty after a war, the issues of desertion on the battlefield among others were those Allah addressed here. Other parts of the chapter dealt with rules of engagement and how to encourage troops during a battle. The custom of cherry-picking verses to suit evil purposes is not new but the evil motive is always defeated in the end. Let us look at the parts of the Surah that were ignored and which would have shed light on the matter:
(9) When ye sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): I will help you with a thousand of the angels, rank on rank.
(10) Allah appointed it only as good tidings, and that your hearts thereby might be at rest. Victory cometh only by the help of Allah. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise.
(11) When He made the slumber fall upon you as a reassurance from him and sent down water from the sky upon you, that thereby He might purify you, and remove from you the fear of Satan, and make strong your hearts and firm (your) feet thereby.
(12) When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying): I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger.
(13) That is because they opposed Allah and His messenger. Whoso opposeth Allah and His messenger, (for him) lo! Allah is severe in punishment.
(14) That (is the award), so taste it, and (know) that for disbelievers is the torment of the Fire.
(15) O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them.
(16) Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless manoeuvring for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.
Without as much as an exegesis, it is clear, what is mentioned here has to do with a battle that was on at the time. In fact, it was the famous Battle of Badr when the pagans of Makkah travelled to the outskirts of Madeenah at a place called Badr. There were a little over 1,000 of them and there were only 313 Muslims. They sought to crush the earliest Muslims who had migrated from Makkah to Madeenah due to religious persecution. It was in the desert and the Muslims were fasting the month of Ramadan. The Messenger of Allah sought Allah’s help and they were victorious. How this can be interpreted to mean that Muslims should be attacking Christians or anyone for that matter is unfathomable.
Furthermore, the verses discuss events leading up to a war. The Muslims were living peacefully in Madeenah. The pagans in Makkah, who did not like the fact of a new religion, which calls to the worship of the One True God, decided to invade Madeenah. The Muslims were few and ill equipped, besides, they were fasting. They prayed for help and Allah helped them and braced them up for the fight with words of encouragement. He told them to fight and be brave, not minding their scant number.
How does that say Muslims should go around murdering anyone who believes in a different scripture? Unless those people want to act like the pagans of Makkah 1400 years ago, these verses will never apply to any non-Muslim. Only at the outbreak of war between Muslims and any aggressor group would these verses apply. They will not apply to people who have neither attacked nor aided an attack on Muslims.
- “Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the non-Muslims.” 8:60
You must have noticed a common trend in the selection of verses by the fear mongers who compiled the list of references. The response here is the same as the one before it:
I have started from verse 55:
(55) Lo! the worst of beasts in Allah’s sight are the ungrateful who will not believe.
(56) Those of them with whom thou madest a treaty, and then at every opportunity they break their treaty, and they keep not duty (to Allah).
(57) If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.
(58) And if thou fearest treachery from any folk, then throw back to them (their treaty) fairly. Lo! Allah loveth not the treacherous.
(59) And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape.
(60) Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not. Allah knoweth them. Whatsoever ye spend in the way of Allah it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged.
(61) And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Lo! He, even He, is the Hearer, the Knower.
(62) And if they would deceive thee, then lo! Allah is Sufficient for thee. He it is Who supporteth thee with His help and with the believers,
Again, as before, this is from Q8 that deals extensively with issues of war and its ethics for the believers. It was in reference to specific events during which rulings were needed and sought. Allah provided the rulings here. Again, it provides no license to murder anyone here, it merely instructs the Muslims of the era what to do in battle when they were under attack and it is useful to the Muslims of all eras who find themselves under a similar threat.
The verses are self-explanatory. The Muslims signed non-aggression and defence treaties with some of the non-Muslim tribes in Madeenah and the outskirts. Some of them broke the terms of the treaty by aiding attacks on the Muslims in some instances and attacking them in other instances. Allah ordered the His Messenger to cancel treaties with such tribes and make an example of them if they meet on the battlefield. It does not require rocket science to realise that the verses are not asking the Muslims to go on a killing spree.
LITERAL /CONTEXTUAL MEANING OF QURAN 3: 149-151
(149. O you who believe! If you obey those who disbelieve, they will send you back on your heels, and you will turn back as losers.) (150. Nay, Allah is your protector, and He is the best of helpers.) (151. We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, because they joined others in worship with Allah, for which He sent no authority; their abode will be the Fire and how evil is the abode of the wrongdoers.)
During the battle of Uhud, muslims were defeated because they disobeyed Prophet Muhammed (SAW). Allah revealed these verses to Prophet (SAW) to warn His believing servants against obeying the disbelievers and hypocrites, because such obedience leads to utter destruction in this life and the hereafter. Allah also commands the believers to obey Him alone, take Him as their protector, seek His aid and trust in Him.
Allah next conveys the good news that He will put fear of the Muslims, and feelings of subordination to the Muslims in the hearts of their disbelieving enemies, because of the Kufr (disbelief) and Shirk (polytheism). And Allah has prepared torment and punishment for them in the hereafter.
FURTHER EXPLANATION FROM SAHIH HADITH
Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara' said, "We met the idolators on that day (Uhud) and the Prophet appointed `Abdullah bin Jubayr as the commander of the archers. He instructed them, `Retain your position, and if you see that we have defeated them, do not abandon your positions. If you see that they defeated us, do not rush to help us.' The disbelievers gave flight when we met them, and we saw their women fleeing up the mountain while lifting up their clothes revealing their anklets and their legs. So, the companions (of `Abdullah bin Jubayr) said, `The booty, the booty!' `Abdullah bin Jubayr said, `Allah's Messenger commanded me not to allow you to abandon your position.' They refused to listen, and when they left their position, Muslims were defeated and seventy of them were killed. Abu Sufyan shouted, `Is Muhammad present among these people' The Prophet said, `Do not answer him.' Then he asked, `Is the son of Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr) present among these people' The Prophet said, `Do not answer him.' He asked again, `Is the son of Al-Khattab (`Umar) present among these people As for these (men), they have been killed, for had they been alive, they would have answered me.' `Umar could not control himself and said (to Abu Sufyan), `You lie, O enemy of Allah! The cause of your misery is still present.' Abu Sufyan said, `O Hubal, be high!' On that the Prophet said (to his Companions), `Answer him back.' They said, `What shall we say' He said, `Say, Allah is Higher and more Sublime.' Abu Sufyan said, `We have the (idol) Al-`Uzza, and you have no `Uzza.' The Prophet said, `Answer him back.' They asked, `What shall we say' He said, `Say, Allah is our protector and you have no protector.' Abu Sufyan said, `Our victory today is vengeance for yours in the battle of Badr, and in war (the victory) is always undecided and is shared in turns by the belligerents. You will find some of your killed men mutilated, but I did not urge my men to do so, yet I do not feel sorry for their deed.''' Only Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith using this chain of narration. cMuhammad bin Ishaq said that, `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr narrated that Az-Zubayr bin Al-`Awwam said, "By Allah! I saw the female servants and female companions of Hind (Abu Sufyan's wife) when they uncovered their legs and gave flight. At that time, there was no big or small effort separating us from capturing them. However, the archers went down the mount when the enemy gave flight from the battlefield, seeking to collect the booty. They uncovered our back lines to the horsemen of the disbelievers, who took the chance and attacked us from behind. Then a person shouted, `Muhammad has been killed.' So we pulled back, and the disbelievers followed us, after we had killed those who carried their flag, and none of them dared to come close the flag, until then.''' Muhammad bin Ishaq said next, "The flag of the disbelievers was left on the ground until `Amrah bint `Alqamah Al-Harithiyyah picked it up and gave it to the Quraysh who held it.''
A lot of non-muslims quote Quran 2:191 (among others) which states that “And slay them wherever ye catch them” to criticize Islam as a religion that supports terrorism and violence. The verse is obviously quoted out of context both literally and historically coupled with the fact that Islam, unlike other world religion, has a fundamental precept of analyzing facts in Quran and Hadiths based on intellectually logical approach. For instance, Quran is the most important sacred book of Islam which was revealed by Allah through Angel Jubril (Gabriel) to the Prophet (SAW) while Hadiths are the narration, sayings and practice of Prophet Muhammed (SAW). This is most important reason why the Sacred Quran cannot be edited, modified, messages therein expunged, re-compiled or otherwise. How muslims explain and analysis Quran is explicity based on how Prophet Muhammed (SAW) unto whom the message was revealed explained and exemplified the messages coupled with “Compendium of Documentry Explanation” popularly called Tafsir which is available to everyone for consultation. One of the most notable Tafsir of Quran is Ibn Kathir (1301-1373) available online [http://www.qtafsir.com].
There is online transliteration of the Sacred Quran based on Arabic corpus developed by Language Research Groups, University of Leeds, UK available at [corpus.quran.com]. Ike and other should consult this for personal study.
LITERAL/CONTEXTUAL MEANING Quran 2:190-193
(190. And fight in the way of Allah THOSE WHO FIGHT YOU, BUT TRANGRESS NOT THE LIMITS. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.) (191. And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out FROM WHERE THEY HAVE TURNED YOU OUT. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), UNLESS THEY (FIRST) FIGHT YOU THERE. BUT IF THEY ATTACK YOU, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. ) (192. But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (193. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and the religion (all and every kind of worship) is for Allah (Alone). BUT IF THEY CEASE, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimin (the polytheists and wrongdoers).)
These verses were revealed at a time when Muslims of Madinah were under constant attack from the pagans in Makkans despite the fact that Muslims were chased out of Makkah to Madinah. An example would be when the Makkans conducted the public crucifixion of the companion of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Khubaib bin Adi. These would be classified as 'terrorist activities' according to the modern usage of the term. So what does this verse say in this context? "Fight in the cause of God those who fight you", "unless they (first) fight you there" - the context of this verse applies to those who initiate the attack against Muslims. And even after they attack, the verse makes it clear: "But if they cease, God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." And it also makes clear the purpose for what Muslims fight: "fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God". It is the duty of Muslims to defend humanity from oppression and persecution and to establish justice. Muslims believe that God has placed us here on earth as his deputy or viceroy, and thus, it is our duty to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, to establish peace and justice in the land.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT/RATIONALE FOR REVELATION
The historical context is something that must always be considered where developing an understanding of Qur'anic verses. Without knowing the circumstances behind the revelation, one cannot apply the verse as accurately.
The Muslims, after having borne untold persecution with almost superhuman fortitude for years and years at the hands of the pagans of Makkah, are now for the first time enjoined to take to reprisals. ‘For a full thirteen years the Muslims were subjected to relentless persecution in Mecca. The Prophet and his followers fled for life to Medina, but the enemy would not leave them alone in their refuge. They came to attack them within a year, and the first three battles were fought in the very locality which will whether the Prophet was an assailant or defendant’ (Headley, The Original Church of Jesus Christ and Islam, p. 155). The Makkans had signed a truce and were the first to break it. The words ‘fight with those who fight you’ clearly show, firstly, that the Muslims were not the aggressors, and secondly, that those of the enemy who were not actual combatants – children, women, monks, hermits, the aged and the infirm, the maimed, and the like – had nothing at all to fear from the Muslim soldiery. It was in light of this express Divine injunction that the great Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, charged his troops into Syria, ‘not to mutilate the dead, nor to slay old men, women, and children, nor to cut down fruit-trees, nor to kill cattle unless they were needed for food; and these humane precepts served like a code of laws of war during the career of Mohammadan conquest.’ (Bosworth Smith, Mohammed and Mohammedanism, p. 185). Has not Islam thus, in prescribing war against those who break God’s law, who challenge His righteous authority, and who fill the world with violence and injustice, made every concession short of the impossible? Has any code of military ethics been so chivalrous, so humane and so tender towards the enemy? ‘The moral tone adopted by the Caliph Abu Bakr, in his instructions to the Syrian army, was’, says a modern Christian historian, ‘so unlike the principles of the Roman government, that it must have commanded profound attention from a subject people. Such a proclamation announced to Jews and Christians’ sentiments of justice and principles of toleration which neither Roman emperors nor orthodox bishops had ever adopted as the rule of their conduct’ (Finlay, Greece Under the Romans, pp. 367-368). (Daryabadi, The Glorious Qur’an, emphasis added)………..to be continued
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT IN JIHAD
Jihad can never be fought for worldly gain, for conquest, or even for revenge. Muslims must only fight to protect the lives, property, and freedoms of people, especially their freedom to worship Allah when that freedom is forcibly attacked. They are never allowed to attack innocent people, even when they are themselves attacked by the countrymen of those innocents. Any people that go against this established principle of Islamic Law and murder civilians are fighting against Islam and everything that it stands for. It is ludicrous for them to call this fighting a jihâd, a word that means striving in the cause of Islam. They are in fact murderers in the light of Islamic Law and should be treated as such.
War is only permissible in self-defence, and under well-defined limits. When undertaken, it must be pushed with vigour, but not relentlessly, but only to restore peace and freedom for the worship of God. In any case strict limits must not be transgressed: women, children, old and infirm men should not be molested, nor trees and crops cut down, nor peace withheld when the enemy comes to terms. (Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an, Text, Translation and Commentary )
He then re-iterates the general principles behind Jihad in his commentary on verse 2:191:
In general, it may be said that Islam is the religion of peace, goodwill, mutual understanding, and good faith. But it will not acquiesce in wrong-doing, and its men will hold their lives cheap in defence of honour, justice, and the religion which they hold sacred. Their ideal is that of heroic virtue combined with unselfish gentleness and tenderness, such as is exemplified in the life of the Apostle. They believe in courage, obedience, discipline, duty, and a constant striving by all the means in their power, physical, moral, intellectual, and spiritual, for the establishment of truth and righteousness. (Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an, Text, Translation and Commentary