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Archive for the ‘Killing Verses’ Category

“So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (9:5)

At the infancy of Islam, Muslims encountered physical resistance from Pagans in Saudi Arabia and surrounding areas. The new religion posed a threat to the predictability and established lifestyles and ideologies found in pre-Islamic Arabia, and thus some Pagans found the need to try to wage war against Muslims in order to rid the area of their influence. Al-Tawba deals with the peace treaty signed between Muhammed and the leaders of the Pagan army. It was a period of ceased hostilities between Muslims and Pagans in order for those pagans who wished to abandon fighting Muslims to leave the area and for Pagans who wanted to switch sides in war to do so. Upon understanding the historical reference of this verse, I will now post the verses surrounding it, in order to show the context of it:

“This is a declaration of immunity by Allah and His Messenger towards those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement.” 9:1

“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 those who reject Him.” 9:2

“And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Messenger are free from liability to the idolaters; therefore if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you will not weaken Allah; and announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve..” 9:3

Except those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement, then they have not failed you in anything and have not backed up any one against you, so fulfill their agreement to the end of their term; surely Allah loves those who are careful (of their duty).” 9:4

“But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans 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.” 9:5

If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.” 9:6

“How can there be a league, before Allah and His Messenger, with the Pagans, except those with whom ye made a treaty near the sacred Mosque? As long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them: for Allah doth love the righteous.” 9:7

In a nutshell, Pagans were given four months to decide to abandon the war or to become Muslim. If they decided to merely abandon the war, they signed a contract with Muslims, and from then on, if the Pagans stuck to their word, hostility between those Pagans and Muslims ceased. Now, when the four months were up, the Pagans who did not sign a peace treaty then were attacked by Muslims because they made no effort to sign a peace treaty, and that’s what 9:5 is talking about, since they were at war! However, even after the four months are up, Pagans who did continue the battle Muslims, if they had asked Muslims for shelter from the war, Muslims would grant it to them, and then they’d draw up a peace treaty and they’d be on peaceful terms with Muslims so long as the Pagans stuck to their word.

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Background: An honour killing is when a family member is murdered by one or more fellow family members, when they believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family. The victims are usually female but can also be male.

The Quran has a very high regard for a person’s life and only accepts the taking of a life in very limited circumstances:

It is because of this that We have decreed for the Children of Israel: “Anyone who kills a person who has not committed murder, or who has not committed corruption in the land; then it is as if he has killed all of mankind! And whoever spares a life, then it is as if he has given life to all the people.”… [5:32]

…and do not kill the soul which God has forbidden, except in justice… [6:151]

And whoever kills a believer intentionally, then his reward shall be Hell, eternally abiding therein, and God will be angry with him, and curse him, and for him is prepared a great retribution. [4:93]

It should be noted that nowhere in The Quran is a person allowed to take the law into their own hands and act as judge, jury and executioner. “Justice” here refers to a court of law. Also, the only acts punishable by death in The Quran are for murder and causing corruption in the land (i.e. done on a large scale), as shown above.

Sometimes an honour killing is carried out due to sex out with marriage, but the punishment for this in The Quran is not death [see 24:2].

The recurring theme of equivalence in The Quran must be taken into account when deciding upon the punishment for any crime:

And those who, when gross injustice befalls them, they seek justice. The recompense for a crime shall be its equivalence, but whoever forgives and makes right, then his reward is upon God. He does not like the wrongdoers. [42:39-40]

Thus, the equivalent punishment for having one’s honour or family honour compromised can never be murder.

Source.

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“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, 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.”  (9:111)

This verse again, is applicable to the Muslims during the time of the Prophet, who were too terrified to participate in any battles against non-believers, in context of self-defence, because the nonbelievers out numbered them.  Thus, God is making it clear to these foolish cowards that fighting for freedom of religion is more important than their fear of numbers.

“And there were, among the desert Arabs (also), men who made excuses and came to claim exemption; and those who were false to Allah and His Messenger (merely) sat inactive. Soon will a grievous penalty seize the Unbelievers among them.”  (9:90)

You need to understand that chapter nine is all about the battles between believers and disbelievers.  The following verses demonstrated under what condition Muslims would be required to fight in cause of Allah:

”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? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe!”  (9:13)

Notice the underlined phrase, ” WILL YOU NOT FIGHT” that fits perfectly with the verses that are found all throughout chapter nine, where God constantly asks Muslims, will you not fight in My cause?  

There’s also the misunderstanding of 9:123:

“O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.”Verse 123 is interesting.  Check the verses that immediately follow suit:

“Whenever there cometh down a sura, some of them say: “Which of you has had His faith increased by it?” Yea, those who believe,- their faith is increased and they do rejoice. ” (9:124)
The word “fight” in verse 123 should be interperted to mean ‘resist the nonbelievers skepticism in the signs of God’.  For the verses following it immediately jump to believers’ faith strengthening at the sight of a new revelation, whereas the nonbelievers lose even more faith.  Also, in verse 123, “fight” is followed by “let them find firmness in you.”  This makes perfect sense fitted into context of resisting the notion of nonbelievers, to show them that their voiced opinions about verses not being divine have zero effect on their faith.

“But those in whose hearts is a disease,- it will add doubt to their doubt, and they will die in a state of Unbelief. ” (9:125)

In a nutshell, chapter nine spelled out the circumstances that would lead believers to fight nonbelievers  (self-defence).  It then addressed why believers were outnumbered to nonbelievers, and provided the solution, by including several examples of battles where believers were outnumbered, but won, nonetheless, as motivation.  Finally, chapter nine concludes by instructing believers to hold strength and faith in God’s revelations, regardless of the skepticism nonbelievers voiced.

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“Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things.” (9:39)

This verse is part of chapter nine, which focuses primarily on the battle between Pagans and Muslims.  This battle as described in the Qur’an is one in which Muslims took some time off during war, in order to allow Pagans to step forward for peace.  If Pagans called for peace, Muslims would cease fighting them.  However, if Pagans did not call for peace in the allotted time span, then Muslims would continue to fight them, since HELLO, they’re at war! 

The call to war in chapter nine deals with, what’s that, oh yes, self-defence:

”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? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe!”  (9:13)

So, we go back to God trying to talk sense into pansy Arabs to side with believers.  Their excuse was always, “If we fight, we shall surely die!”  So God’s pretty much telling them:

Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might and main, in Allah’s cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah: they are the people who will achieve (salvation). “  (9:20)

“Assuredly Allah did help you in many battle-fields and on the day of Hunain: Behold! your great numbers elated you, but they availed you naught: the land, for all that it is wide, did constrain you, and ye turned back in retreat.”  (9:25)

O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter.”  (9:38)

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“Let those fight in the cause of Allah Who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah,- whether he is slain or gets victory – Soon shall We give him a reward of great (value). (4:74)

Seems harsh standing on its own. However, read the continuation of this verse, please:

“Why should you not fight in the cause of GOD when weak men, women, and children are imploring: “Our Lord, deliver us from this community whose people are oppressive, and be You our Lord and Master.” (4:75)

This denotes that believers are to fight those who bring about oppression to me for the mere sake of believing in the Qur’an. What kind of oppression? That’s covered in 2:217, where believers are instructed to fight nonbelievers for they have oppressed them:

“Fighting therein is a grave offence; but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members.” Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can.

As you can see here, the magnitude of oppression believers suffered from the nonbelievers was one based on religious dsicrimination.  Nonbelievers would drive believers out of Mosques and fight them for merely being believers! God allows fighting for believers to overthrow such cruel people from applying such disgusting methods onto them.

Additionally, 3:195 covers the oppression believers had to endure from nonbelievers:

“… So those who emigrated or were evicted from their homes or were harmed in My cause or fought or were killed…”

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“ And if ye are slain, or die, in the way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all they could amass. (3:157)  

The verse previous to it says this:

“Lo! those of you who turned back on the day when the two hosts met, Satan alone it was who caused them to backslide, because of some of that which they have earned. Now Allah hath forgiven them. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Clement. (3:155)

This gives us the idea that this verse is in perspective of a war, between believers and nonbelievers.

“There has already been for you a Sign in the two armies that met in combat: One was fighting in the cause of Allah, the other resisting Allah; these saw with their own eyes Twice their number. But Allah doth support with His aid whom He pleaseth. In this is a warning for such as have eyes to see.”(3:13)

That verse shows that the chapter’s main discussion that pertains to fighting is in context of those “believers” who refused to obey the Messenger, who instructed fighting the unbelievers in times of war, following oppression. Thus, you notice that chapter three mainly focuses on God bringing examples of a battle that took place between believers and nonbelievers, where believers were outnumbered by nonbelievers, but still trumped. An example is provided here:

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

“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.” (3:125)

Again, near the end of the chapter, God mentions battle of Badr:

“And what befell you on the day when the two armies met at Ohud was with Allah’s knowledge, and that He might know the believers.(3:166)

This explains that Battle of Badr was one of self-defence:

“And that He might know the hypocrites; and it was said to them: Come, fight in Allah’s way to defend yourselves. They said: If we knew fighting, we would certainly have followed you. They were on that day much nearer to unbelief than to belief. They say with their mouths what is not in their hearts, and Allah best knows what they conceal. (3:167)

This verse is making no reference to Battle of Badr but of battles that believers would be instructed to fight in:

“So their Lord accepted their prayer: That I will not waste the work of a worker among you, whether male or female, the one of you being from the other; they, therefore, who fled and were turned out of their homes and persecuted in My way and who fought and were slain, I will most certainly cover their evil deeds, and I will most certainly make them enter gardens beneath which rivers flow; a reward from Allah, and with Allah is yet better reward. (3:195)

To understand 3:157, you would then need to understand why God continuously goes into listing examples of the Battle of Badr:

“Allah would explain to you and guide you by the examples of those who were before you, and would turn to you in mercy. Allah is Knower, Wise.” (4:26)

God guides Muslims by example of those who were in similar situations to themselves. Therefore, for God to use Battle of Badr to convince Muslims to fight nonbelievers in war, He’d be drawing comparison between two similar conditions. By process of reason, we will understand that Muslims are then not instructed to wage war against nonbelievers for merely being nonbelievers, but because they have been rigorously oppressing believers. Thus God urges Muslims to take a stand against these nonbelievers for they will not cease their offenses until believers stand up for themselves, even if believers are outnumbered by nonbelievers.

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