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Islamic Ideology (21 Aug 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Did War-related Madani Verses Abrogate Makki Verses in the Sense of Not Allowing Peaceful Coexistence between Muslims and Non-Muslims?



By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

21 August 2018

Some people ask: why do you call the militants like ISIS, Taliban and other like-minded groups anti-Islamic, while they base their militancy on what is often considered a popular classical ruling of abrogation which demonstrates that the war-related instructions from God in later Madani verses have replaced and abrogated Makki verses which initially debarred Muslims from fighting?

A plain answer is: the classical ruling of abrogation, after my rigorous study of classical books, does not accept this consideration. There are many differences on this subject; each needs to be explained in its appropriate context. Irrespective of going through all details, I have confined my answer to its necessary points under three questions 1) did the “sword verse” 9:5 really abrogate verses of peace and forbearance? 2) Who are the Mushrikin mentioned in the Verse 9:5? 3)  What are the Makki Verses Which Prevented Muslims from Figitng even in defence? 4) What is actually meant when some scholars say the verse 9:5 abrogated verses of peace and forbearance?

Before discussing these four questions, we should note that the classical Islamic scholars predominantly disagree with one another on the war-related Quranic verses abrogating other verses which do not allow war. It is hard to reach any consensus point. It should also be noted that now among the contemporary classical Islamic scholars there is disagreement about the area of application of Naskh- Abrogation. While highlighting the religious thought of Dr. Maulana Muhammad Fazlur Rahman Ansari, one of the students of Allama Abdul Aleem Siddiqi Merathi, Imran Nazar Hosein, a modern Islam scholar and philosopher, speaks of his teacher’s idea of Naskh- cancellation or abrogation of divine revelation:

“Maulana Fazlur Rahman Ansari rejected anything which compromised the integrity of the Quran, and hence he rejected the application, within the Quran, of any Naskh (i.e., cancellation or abrogation of any Ayah or divinely-revealed verse).

“I was sitting in the classroom attending a class of Tafsir (i.e., explanation of the Quran) when the teacher quoted the Hadith concerning a ‘forgotten’ verse of Rajm (i.e., stoning to death) that used to be in the Qur’an once upon a time. I was quite disturbed to listen to what appeared to me to be total nonsense, and so I went to Maulana at the end of the class to seek a clarification from him on the subject of the integrity of the Quran. “Is it true”, I asked, “that there are verses which used to be in the Quran once upon a time, and are now forgotten?” His response to me was to deny such a possibility, and hence to reject the Hadith about a forgotten verse that used to be in the Quran. He declared such a Hadith to be a fabrication; and in doing so he upheld the integrity of the Quran. His view was that no verse of the Quran was ever cancelled, abrogated or forgotten, and that the verse of the Quran in Sūrah al-Baqarah on the subject of Naskh (i.e., cancelation or abrogation of divine revelation) referred to cancellation of previously revealed laws in previous scriptures, and did not imply that any verse of the Quran was ever abrogated, cancelled or forgotten:

 “Any (Divinely-revealed) verse or message which We cancel, abrogate, or cause to be forgotten, We replace with a better or a similar one. Do you not know that Allah has the power over all things?” (Qur’ān, al-Baqarah, 2:106)

“Here is the Hadith in Sahih Bukhari which recorded what we were asked to believe were the words of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) who is reported to have said that when the Quran was revealed there was a verse in it on Rajm (i.e., stoning to death as punishment for adultery). Since the verse is no longer in the Qur’an, the implication, for those who accept that verses of the Qur’an can be abrogated, would be that Allah Most High either cancelled the verse, or caused it to be forgotten:

 “… and the book (i.e., the Qur’ān) was revealed to him, and amongst that which Allah sent down was a verse on Rajm (i.e., the punishment of stoning to death for adultery), so we recited (the verse), and we understood it, and we applied it …” (Bukhārī, Hadīth Number 6829)

If Allah Most High cancelled the verse, or caused it to be forgotten, then why did ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) attempt to restore it? Did he have the authority to do so? Maulana pointed out, correctly so, that it would have been the function of the divinely-appointed teacher of the Qur’an to declare that a verse of the Qur’an was cancelled, abrogated or forgotten, but Nabi Muhammad (peace be upon him) never did such a thing, and no one has the authority to do such a thing other than the divinely-appointed teacher of the Quran. The truth is that Naskh (i.e., cancellation/abrogation of an Ayah or verse, or causing an Ayah to be forgotten) did not apply internally to verses of the Qur’An, but, rather, externally to certain previous divine revelations. Here are examples of precisely such cancellations:

        Cancellation (for the followers of Nabī Muhammad peace be upon him) of Jerusalem as the Qiblah or direction to be faced in prayer, and replacement with the Ka’aba in Makkah as the new Qiblah;

        Cancellation (for the followers of Nabī Muhammad

peace be upon him) of the previous law of fasting in the Torah which prohibited eating, drinking and sexual relations in the nights of fasting, with a new law which permitted such;

        Cancellation of the law of punishment for adultery in the Torah of Rajm or stoning to death, and replacement of Rajm with a new law of public flogging;

        Cancellation of the freedom for a man to have as many wives as he wished in previous law as practiced by Prophets such as Nabī Dāūd (David) and Nabī Sulaimān (Solomon peace be upon them), and replacement with a new law restricting or limiting the number of wives to four;

        Cancellation of the spiritual retreat (known in the Qur'an as I'tikāf) being performed in lonely places far from the madding crowd, and replacement with a new law which required that I'tikāf must now be performed in the Masjid;

        Cancellation of permission (for those who follow Nabī Muhammad peace be upon him) to consume alcoholic drinks.

“This response to my question set Maulana apart as a unique scholar in a world of Islamic scholarship which almost universally held that some verses of the Quran cancelled other verses, and hence that some verses of the Quran (such as an alleged verse on Rajm) used to be in the Quran once upon a time, but are now forgotten. One had to be a scholar of incredible courage and intellectual integrity to so challenge and defy almost an entire world of Islamic scholarship. Our readers are surely familiar with the pathetic refrain – how can one scholar be correct and all the rest wrong? Here was an example of one scholar who was correct, when most of the rest of his contemporaries in the world of Islamic scholarship were wrong. The problem that we must now address is: why is there no mention of this admirable and entirely correct view on Naskh in the QFSMS which is his magnum opus on the Qur’ān? Why is the QFSMS silent on the subject of Naskh? It will forever remain a matter of profound sadness that Maulana chose not to present in QFSMS, or in any other written record or public lecture, the view of Naskh which he disclosed to me on that fateful day. Is there any explanation for this enigma?

What Allah Causes To Be Forgotten!

“Although Maulana made no mention of it when he answered me on that memorable day, we may add for the benefit of readers, that only ‘part’ of that which was sent down by Allah Most High on Nabī Muhammad (peace be upon him) constituted revelations of the Qur’ān. There was much that was sent down on him which did not form part of the Quran. Muslims are well aware, for example, that there are many Ahadith which contain the direct speech of Allah Most High, and are known as Hadith al-Qudsi, which do not form part of the Quran. It is with reference to such divine inspiration sent to mankind, including Prophets of Allah, and to Nabi Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself, that the Quran has revealed that Allah can cause such a person to forget whatever Allah chooses to have forgotten:

“We shall teach you, and you will not forget [anything of what you are taught], (87:6)

“Save what Allah may will [you to forget] – for, verily, He [alone] knows all that is open to [man’s] perception as well as all that is hidden [from it].” (Qur’ān, al-’Ala, 87:6-7)

“This ‘forgetting’ does not at all apply to the revelation of verses of the Qur’ān. The Qur’ān has, in fact, recorded an event in which Allah did cause the Prophet (peace be upon him) to forget an item of knowledge that was sent down to Him through Angel Gabriel, but which did not form part of the Holy Book. The reader can find it in the commentary to Sūrah al-Kahf, 18:23-4. It is possible that Allah first teaches something to a special servant of his, such as a Prophet, and then causes that knowledge to be forgotten, because, in His wisdom, He wants that knowledge to be subsequently presented in a new form appropriate to a new stage in the historical process. And Allah Knows best!”

(Imran Nazar Hosein, An Introduction to Methodology for Study of the Qur’an, p. 233-239)

Maulana Fazlur Rahman’s view, as quoted above, is apparently different from other modern-day scholars as well as scholars of the past. And even among the scholars of the past there is huge difference in context of treating the ruling of abrogation. Ibn Arabi, Jalaluddin Suyuti, Ibn Kathir, Shah Waliullah, Allama Zarkashi, Allama Makki etc differ from one another on the subject of ruling of abrogation. We will take what is preponderant and accepted view in this regard- the view which is fully in agreement with religious sentiments as well as the present-day relations based on mutual promise of peaceful coexistence. For the very solid reason I have planned to answer the questions mentioned above, covering their necessary points.  

Did The “Sword Verse” 9:5 Really Abrogate Verses Of Peace And Forbearance?

Some scholars say the verse 9:5 abrogated Makki verses of peace and forbearance. Ibn Kathir says, “This Ayah (9:5) is called the Ayah of the sword about which Dhahhak b. Mazahim said: “it abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet- peace be upon him- and any Mushrik, every treaty and every term”. Al-Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas commented on this verse (9:5): “No Mushrik had any more treaty or promise of safety ever since Surah Bara'ah was revealed” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol 2, p 573)

Ibn Kathir also says,

ثم اختلف المفسرون في آية السيف هذه ، فقال الضحاك والسدي : هي منسوخة بقوله تعالى : ( فإما منا بعد وإما فداء ) [ محمد : 4 ] وقال قتادة بالعكس .

“Then the Mufasserin (exegetes) differed from one another on the Ayah of the sword (9:5). Dhahhak and Suddi said, “This Ayah (9:5) has been abrogated by the divine statement “...Then choose (to release them) either (as) a favour (shown to them) or (after receiving) ransom....” (47:4). However Qatadah said the opposite [of what Dhahhak and Suddi said]  

However, in my opinion, the war-related Makki verses did not abrogate the Madani verses, as classical jurists like Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti, Zarkashi etc substantiated the very idea in their respective masterful works on Sciences of Quran. 

In his book “Al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Quran” which is regarded one of the masterful works on Sciences of Quran, Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti explains that contrary to what some jurists believed, this verse 9:5 is not a case of abrogation but rather of context. In certain situations, verses of patience and forgiveness apply, while in others, fighting is necessary. He implies that no verse was totally terminated by another, but rather each has a specific context and applicability.

Imam Suyuti also quotes Allama Makki as saying “a group of jurists believe that the verse “But pardon them and overlook [their misdeeds]. Indeed, Allah loves the doers of good” (5:13) is Muhkam and not abrogated, because in such a divine statement there is a case of context and applicability” (Al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Quran, vol-2, pp.70-71).

The same understanding is reinforced by the prominent jurist and legal theorist Imam Zarkashi in his masterful work on the Sciences of Quran, “Al-Burhan fi Ulum al-Quran”. Referring to a number of Mufassirin, Imam Zarkashi explains one of the meanings of Naskh.  He writes,

الثالث: ما أمر به لسبب ثم يزول السبب، كالأمر حين الضعف والقلة بالصبر بالمغفرة للذين يرجون لقاء الله ونحوه من عدم إيجاب الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر والجهاد ونحوها، ثم نسخه إيجاب ذالك. وهذا ليس بنسخ في الحقيقة، وإنما هو نسء، كما قال تعالى (أو ننسئها) فالمنسأ هو الأمر بالقتال، إلى أن يقوى المسلمون، وفي حال الضعف يكون الحكم وجوب الصبر على الأذى.

وبهذا التحقيق تبين ضعف ما لهج به كثير من المفسرين في الآيات الآمرة بالتخفيف أنها منسوخة بآية السيف، وليست كذالك بل هي من المنسأ، بمعنى أن كل أمر ورد يجب امتثاله في وقت ما لعلة توجب ذالك الحكم، ثم ينتقل بانتقال تلك العلة إلى حكم آخر، وليس بنسخ، إنما النسخ الإزالة حتى لا يجوز امتثاله أبدا. وإلى هذا أشار الشافعي في "الرسالة" إلى النهي عن ادخار لحوم الأضاحي من أجل الرأفة، ثم ورد الإذن فيه فلم يجعله منسوخا، بل من باب زوال الحكم لزوال علته، حتى لو فجأ أهل ناحية جماعة مضرورون تعلق بأهلها النهى.....ويعود هذان الحكمان – أعنى المسالمة عند الضعف والمسايقة عند القوة- بعود سببهما، وليس حكم المسايقة ناسخا لحكم المسالمة، بل كل منهما يجب امتثاله في وقته" (البرهان في علوم القرآن للزركشي ج 2، النوع الرابع والثلاثون، ص 42، مكتبة دار التراث، القاهرة)

  The above mentioned Arabic passage of Imam Zarkashi implies that many commentators (Mufassirin) took wrong understanding that the sword verse abrogated verses of patience and forbearance. The reason is that the “abrogation” entails a complete termination of a legal ruling, never to be implemented again. This, he substantiates, is not the case with such verses. Instead each verse entails a particular ruling specific for a particular context. As circumstances change, different verses are to be applied instead of others. What is truly entailed by abrogation is that no ruling is eternally terminated. To substantiate his argument, Imam Zarkashi also gives an example from Imam Shafi’s “al-Risala” which can be seen in the referenced book. 

The conclusion of the above mentioned two masters of Quranic Sciences is that the verse 9:5 by no means abrogated the verses of peace and forbearance – rather, each verse needs to be implemented in its appropriate situation.

Who Are the Mushrikin Mentioned In the Verse 9:5

Al-Baydawi (d.685H) in his book “Anwar al-Tanzeel wa Asrar al-Taweel (The Lights of Revelation and the Secrets of Interpretation, V. 3, p. 71, 9:5- Arabic version)”, a classical tafsir which is included in Madrasas of Indian subcontinent, writes while interpreting the verse, "فاقتلوا المشركين (أي) الناكثين", which means that the word Mushrikin mentioned in the Ayah 9:5 refers to Nakithin- those who violated peace treaties by violating war against the Muslims.

Al-Alusi (d.1270H) in his “Rooh al-Ma’ani (v. 10, p. 50, - 9:5, Arabic version), another classical book of Tafsir, writes, 

على هذا فالمراد بالمشركين في قوله سبحانه: (فاقتلوا المشركين) الناكثون

Translation: “Therefore the word Mushrikin in the statement of God Almighty “so kill the Mushrikin...” means Nakitheen, i.e. those who violated peace treaties by violating war against the Muslims.

Abu Bakr al-Jassas, a classical scholar, (d.370H) writes,

"صار قوله تعالى: {فَاقْتُلُوا المُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدْتُمُوهُمْ} خاصّاً في مشركي العرب دون غيرهم"

Translation: “The verse (Kill the Mushrikin wherever you find them) was particular to the Mushrikin of Arab and does not apply to anyone else” (Ahkam al-Quran lil Jassas, V. 5, p. 270, Arabic edition- English translation mine)

Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti writes, 

“In his commentary on the above mentioned Quranic Ayah 9:5, Imam Ibn Hatim quotes Hazrat Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him, who was the companion and cousin of the beloved Prophet peace be upon him) as saying: ‘The Mushrikin mentioned in this Ayah refer to those Mushrikin of Quraish with whom the Prophet –peace be upon him- had made treaty [of peace]” (Durr-e-Manthoor, V.3, p.655- Urdu version)

He also reports, “Imam Ibn Munzir, Ibn Abi Hatim and Abu Shaikh (may Allah be pleased with them) have quoted Hazrat Muhammad bin Ibad b. Jafar as saying “These Mushrikin are Banu Khuzaima b. Amir who belong to  Bani Bakr b. Kananah”  (Durr-e-Manthoor, V.3, p.655- Urdu version)

Such commentaries, according to other Islamic scholars, are substantiated by what the Qur’an itself says in the Ayah 13 of same chapter, 

“Will you not fight against those who violated their oaths (of peace-treaties), plotted the expulsion of the messenger, and initiated the fighting against you?” (9:13) And the Ayah 36 of Surah Taubah says, “and fight against the Mushrikin collectively as they fight against you collectively; and know well that Allah is with the pious.” (9:36)

Implication of these two verses (9:13) and (9:36) and comments of classical jurists as mentioned above is that the Mushrikin mentioned in the verse 9:5 are not all Mushrikin but those violated peace-treaties by waging war against the early Muslims.

What Is Actually Meant When Some Scholars Say The Verse 9:5 Abrogated Verses Of Peace And Forbearance?

In my opinion the war-related verses did not permanently terminate the verses of peace and forbearance. Each verse had a particular context and applicability. However is actually meant when some scholars say the verse 9:5 abrogated Madani verses of peace and forbearance? The answer is that they must have meant that the war-related Madani verses actually abrogated the Makki verses which did not allow fighting in self-defence against religious persecutions. In other words, the early Muslims were initially not allowed to fight in defence, but when the Madani verses were revealed, they were allowed to fight in self-defence against religious persecutions. It is in that sense that the war-related Madani verses abrogated Makki verses and the command of debarring Muslims from fighting even in self-defence was replaced with instruction to defend with arms. As from the Islamic perspective, the militants like ISIS and Taliban are not fighting in self-defence, as they are the first to initiate war. Therefore, they can’t be considered Islamic. Other reasons that make them anti-Islamic are that they are killing non-combatant peace-loving citizens including Muslims and non-Muslims, women, children and old, destroying Islamic monuments, cultural heritage, and justifying all these crimes by misusing the sacred book, the Quran of One True God.              

What are the Makki Verses Which Prevented Muslims from Fighting even in defence?

We should keep in mind that before revelation of 2:190 or 22:39, fighting even in self-defence was forbidden in Makkah and initially in Madina too. The Quranic verses which directly or indirectly debarred Muslims, in the initial period, from waging war even in self-defence are 23:96, 5:13, 73:10, 16:82, 88:21-22, 50:45. 

“Repel evil with the best deeds; We well know the matters that they fabricate”. (23:96)

“So, forgive them and excuse them; indeed, Allah loves the virtuous”. (5:13)

“And be patient over what they say and avoid them with gracious avoidance”. (73:10)

“Then if they turn away, O dear Prophet, (Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him) upon you is nothing but to clearly convey (the message)”. (16:82)

“Therefore advise; indeed, you are a proclaimer of advice. (The Holy Prophet is a Remembrance from Allah.) You are not at all a guardian over them”. (88:21-22)

“And you are not one to use force over them” (50:45)

However, when the verse 2:190 or 22:39 was revealed, fighting in self-defence against religious persecutions was allowed against those who initiated fighting; “And fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Truly Allah loves not the transgressors.” (2:190).

There is disagreement among the scholars as to which one of them first permitted fighting in self-defence. However, the preponderant statement [Qaul-e-Rajih] among scholars is that the verse 2:190 is the first in this regard. For details, the readers can go through my article titled

 “An Enlightening Commentary on the War Related Quranic Verses- Part-1 on 2:190”

It means that before the revelation of 2:190 and 22:39, fighting was not permitted even in self-defence but when these verses (2:190 or 22:39) were revealed, they abrogated other Makki verses which debarred Muslims from waging war even in self-defence. It is that sense which should be taken from the popular statement of Ulema and exegetes (mufassir) which reads “Madani war-related verses abrogated Makki verses which debarred Muslims from waging war (in self-defence)”.

However, it does not mean that the Madani verses have abrogated the concepts of developing peaceful coexistence and providing security to the non-Muslims.

This understanding is based on my rigorous study and is in accord with the exhortations in Quran, Hadith, and views of Ulema and exegetes who too think that fighting is not allowed against non-combatant, peaceful non-Muslims. Therefore, it will be wrong to infer either of the statements that war-related verses abrogated peace-related verses or peace-related verses abrogated war-related verses. Similarly, no need to infer that there is contradiction in the Quran in the context of war and peace. No need to conclude that peace-related verses abrogated war-related verses. This of course is not supported by any effective evidence. (As for universality, applicability or generality of verses, these are subjects different from the issue of abrogation.) No need to deduce that the war-related verses have abrogated peace-related verses. Then what should we infer from the popular studies of the Quran and Hadith which are acceptable to all Muslims? Please tell them that the abrogation in the popular concept “Madani verses abrogated Makki verses” actually means abrogating the command which debarred the early Muslims from waging war inself-defence against religious persecutions. Yes, it is that sense which should be taken out of the popular classical ruling of abrogation which does not support in any way the evil purpose of militants and terrorists.

In our age, every individual or group can claim the right of self-defence. However, self-defence against religious persecutions, which can also be termed as Jihad in Islam, can’t be waged on an individual or group level. Detailed as it is in the books of Islamic Jurisprudence, this sort of in self-defence war can be waged only on the state level and only against religious persecutions for the sake of God and “to fight against those who fight you” without transgressing limits. 

At this point, it is essential to recall what I have learnt from classical studies of Islam that even during the state of defensive war, the following rulings of war mentioned in ahadith were practiced by the early Muslims.

(1)      “Do not kill any child, any woman, or any elder or sick person.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

(2)      “Do not practice treachery or mutilation. (Muwatta Malik)

(3)   “Do not destroy the villages and towns, do not spoil the cultivated fields and gardens, and do not slaughter the cattle.” (Sahih Bukhari; Sunan Abu Dawud)

(4)      “Do not kill the monks in monasteries, and do not kill those sitting in places of worship. (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal)

(5)      “Do not uproot or burn palms or cut down fruitful trees. (Al-Muwatta)

(6)      “Do not wish for an encounter with the enemy; pray to Allah to grant you security; but when you [are forced to] encounter them, exercise patience.” (Sahih Muslim)

(7)      “No one may punish with fire except the Lord of Fire.” (Sunan Abu Dawud).

The above-mentioned instructions are related to the self-defensive wars waged by Muslim states against religious persecutions. As for those living in minority or majority in agreement with the established constitution ensuring peace and security, it is not permissible for them to violate the constitution, otherwise they will be counted among those whose fate was predicted by the sayings of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as quoted below;

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

أَلاَ مَنْ ظَلَمَ مُعَاهِدًا أَوِ انْتَقَصَهُ أَوْ كَلَّفَهُ فَوْقَ طَاقَتِهِ أَوْ أَخَذَ مِنْهُ شَيْئًا بِغَيْرِ طِيبِ نَفْسٍ فَأَنَا حَجِيجُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ‏"

Translation: “Beware, if anyone persecutes any peaceful non-Muslim citizen [Mu’ahid], or diminishes his right, or forces him to work beyond his capacity, or takes from him anything without his consent, I shall plead for him on the Day of Judgment.” (Please see Sunan Abi Dawud – Book 20, Hadith 125- Arabic reference).

The purport of this Hadith is that if any Muslim persecutes any peaceful non-Muslim citizen, or diminishes his right and so on, as mentioned above in the Hadith, the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) will plead for that peaceful non-Muslim on the Day of Judgment. 

This Hadith is not simply a warning but a law promulgated in the blessed era of the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) even after the conquest of Makka [Fath-e-Makka]. This law is still a part of Islam. There is not a single hint of its being abrogated. Thus, according to the great Ulema and Fuqaha of Islam, this law is universal and all-time valid in its essence and application. Therefore, none of the followers of Ahadith or the followers of the interpretation of great Ulema and Fuqaha should hesitate to accept the message inherent in this Hadith.

Similar Hadith has been reported by several well-known Muhaddethin like Bukhari, Nasai, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, as follows;

“Whoever kills a peaceful non-Muslim living in minority [Mu'ahid] shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise, though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of travelling). (Sahih Bukhari, Book 87, Hadith 52)

 “Whoever kills a peaceful non-Muslim living in minority or under Muslim-governed country [Mu'ahad] with no justification, Allah will forbid Paradise to him.” (Sunan Nasai, Book 45, Chapter “Seriousness of killing the Mua’hid”, Hadith 42)

 “If anyone unjustly kills a peaceful non-Muslim living in minority or Muslim protection [Mu’ahid], Allah will forbid him [the killer] to enter Paradise” (Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 15, Hadith 284)

 “Indeed, whoever kills a peaceful non-Muslim living in minority or under the Muslim protection [Mu'ahid] that has a covenant from Allah and a covenant from His Messenger (peace be upon him), then he has violated the covenant with Allah and the covenant of His Messenger, so he shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise; even though its fragrance can be sensed from the distance of seventy autumns.” (Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, Book 16, Hadith 19)

 “Whoever kills a peaceful non-Muslim living under the protection of Muslim-run country [Mu’ahid], will not smell the fragrance of Paradise, even though its fragrance may be detected from a distance of forty years” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 21, Hadith 2789-Arabic reference)

 “Whoever kills a peaceful non-Muslim (living in Muslim-run country) who has the covenant with Allah and the covenant with his Messenger, will not smell the fragrance of Paradise, even though its fragrance may be detected from a distance of seventy years” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 21, Hadith 2788-Arabic reference)

Implication of all that mentioned above is that the war-related verses like 9:5 did not abrogate verses of peace and forbearance. If according to some other mufassirin this is not the case, it should be then established that their view “some war-related Madani verses abrogated Makki verses which debarred Muslims from fighting” does not mean that Madani verses have abrogated all Makki verses which confine them to develop peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims. Instead they mean, in plain words, that the command of self-defence fighting abrogated the command debarring from self-defence fighting against religious persecutions. If it had not been the case, the same classical Islamic scholars would not have quoted such ahadith as mentioned above which ask Muslims to respect the rights of non-combatant peaceful non-Muslims and guarantee the protection of lives of non-Muslims living in minority or majority.

In the last section of this article we have known that some classical jurists view that “some war-related Madani verses abrogated Makki verses which debarred Muslims from fighting”. This view actually implies that the command of self-defence fighting abrogated the command debarring from self-defence fighting against religious persecutions. This is supported by the same classical jurists, when they quote the beloved prophet (peace be upon him) as saying, “Whoever kills a peaceful non-Muslim (living in Muslim-run country) who has the covenant with Allah and the covenant with his Messenger, will not smell the fragrance of Paradise...” as referenced above. But there arises a problem when you separately read two apparently contradicting views 1) “some war-related Madani verses abrogated Makki verses which debarred Muslims from fighting” 2) “Whoever kills a peaceful non-Muslim (living in Muslim-run country) who has the covenant with Allah and the covenant with his Messenger, will not smell the fragrance of Paradise...”. This article of mine, in my opinion, is first of its kind to present reconciliation between these two apparently contradicting views, as I have not yet seen any work of this style. This article will be very effective (Insha-a Allah) to stop the mouth of those who misuse Islam for their nefarious deeds. Restoring this understanding, as discussed throughout this article, is therefore necessary to defeat tricks of terrorist ideologues and save the youth from being brainwashed and developing misconceptions about Islam, majority mainstream Muslims and pious Ulama.

(All the Most High Knows the Best)

Related Articles:

 “An Enlightening Commentary on the War Related Quranic Verses- Part-1 on 2:190”

Rights of Non-Muslims Living In Minority – Part 1 – Freedom of Religion

Rights of Non-Muslims Living In Minority – Part 2 – Protection of Their Lives

A regular Columnist with NewAgeIslam.com, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar) with a Sufi background and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/ghulam-ghaus-siddiqi,-new-age-islam/did-war-related-madani-verses-abrogate-makki-verses-in-the-sense-of-not-allowing-peaceful-coexistence-between-muslims-and-non-muslims/d/116166

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  • Mr. John, would you please say good bye to the idea demonstrated in your comment. Your idea is not yours but has been borrowed from the orientalists who studied Islam for a particular purpose.

    Please also see what Solomon A. Nigosian writes, “Most historians agree that modern Western thought is the direct result of the intellectual culture of Spanish Islam.” (Solomon A. Nigosian, “Islam: Its History, Teaching and Practices” p. 25) Some historians, on the other hand, disagree with what most historians agree.

    Everyone takes what suits him. I do not want to present details concerning “who borrowed what and from where”.

    Islam is practicable in every age. Please read my article above and make a valuable comment which can develop good relationship.  

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 9/25/2018 4:04:35 AM

  • The Muslims took their law from the Romans and the Jews.
    Islam is Medieval and is not practicable in the modern society.

    By A. John - 9/24/2018 11:57:23 PM

  • Hidayat, the Arabic word, literally means guidance, instruction, righteousness or the true path.

    The word hidayat is comprehensively used among the scholars. In Islamic books, it is generally divided into meanings 1) Isaal ilal Matloob and 2) Ira’at al-Tariq. The scholars of Islam unanimously agree that when hidayat is referred to God Almighty, hidayat means Isaal Ilal Matloob and when Hidayat is referred to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Quran it means Ira’at al-Tariq. In other words, when God Almighty gives hidayat, it is Isaal ilal Matloob from where it is impossible for one to go astray and when the beloved Prophet or the Quran gives hidayat it is Ira’at al-Tariq from where it is possible for one to go astray.

    Generally it is said that if hidayat in Arabic is used as ‘Muta’addi bado Mafo’ol’ and the second Mafo’ol is used without preposition ‘ila’ or ‘laam’ it is referred to the meaning ‘Isaal ilal Matloob’. But when its second mafool is used with ‘Ila’ or ‘laam’, it is referred to the second meaning i.e. ‘Ira’at al-Tariq.

    There is some technical debate over its area of application. The author of Kashshaf [Mutazilite tafsir book] has discussed it and Allama Taftazani [a classical Sunni scholar] has written a footnote on it. Technically checking the details of Allama Taftazani, there are some defects in his explanation of hidayat and it is for this reason that Qazi Baidawi [another classical Sunni scholar] has detailed in his tafsir that hidayat comprises of both 1) Isaal ilal Matloob and 2) Ira’at al-Tariq. The author of Noorul Anwar in his commentary on the book Al-Manar has covered this topic in short but comprehensive way. Besides the author of famous logical book ‘Sharh Tahzeeb’ has also discussed it in some details.

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 9/23/2018 11:50:18 PM

  • What is hidayat? When God gives hidayat, is it the same hidayat that is given by his prophets or something else, as somewhere i have read it is differently used. Can anyone tell me?
    By Kaniz Fatma - 9/22/2018 2:38:08 AM

  • Please take the following also as a classical evidence,

    Ibn Faruk sests forth an Asharite view

    لله ..فوق خلقه وأن ذالك راجع إلى فوقية المنزلة والرتبة وفوقية القدرة العظمة . وأما الفوقية بالمسافة والمكان فمحال في وصفه. (مشكل، 453و 15-17)  

    God Almighty is above His creation in the sense that he is above [it] in rank, degree, power and majesty. As for his being above [it] in the spatial sense—it is impossible to describe Him thus. (Mushkil 453, 15-17)

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی - 9/5/2018 4:13:27 AM

  • @Kaniz Fatma sahiba, (comment 3)

    Mutashabihat verses including the verse of ‘istiwa’ are interpreted in accordance with muhkamat verses whose meaning is firm and clearly established. The consensus, Shehikh Ramadan al-Buti says, “in place regarding these texts is the refraining from applying to them any meaning which establishes sameness or likeness between Allah and His creatures, and the refraining from divesting their established lexical tenor. The obligatory way to proceed is either to explain these words according to their external meanings which conform with divine Transcendence above any like or partner, and this includes not explaining them as bodily appendages and other corporeal imagery.”  

    Many classical scholars preferred taweel (metaphorical interpretation) to avoid anthropomorhismic implications. For example, Imam Al-Ghazali argues, that the literal meaning of the term ‘al-istawa’ leads to corporealism which is denied by all the parties concerned; therefore it is not appropriate to be ascribed to God Almighty who is neither a body nor contingent.

    To save the people from confusion or anthropomorhism, and in reply to your question, some metaphorical meanings [taweel] are presented as logical interpretation, with reference to the book “al-qawari al-qahhar fi mujassamatil fujjar”

    1.    The term ‘istiwa’ is interpreted as connoting might or power (qahr) and dominance (ghalba). This is created and proved by the language of Arab. Since Arsh is above and highest of all creations, therefore, this was simply mentioned to mean that Allah is Mighty [qaahir] and Predominant [ghaalib] over all creations.

    2.    ‘Istiwa’ means elevation [‘uluw] which is an attribute of Allah, in the sense of rank and being the King, and not in the sense of elevation in any particular place [makaan].

    Imam Baihqi has mentioned these two meanings in his book ‘Kitab al-Asma wa al-Sifat’.

    3.    ‘Istiwa’ means intention (qasd or irada), as “thumma istiwa ala al-arsh” means “He formed an intention (qasd) towards Arsh, i.e. intention to create ‘arsh [throne]. This tawil [metaphorical interpretation] was made by a Sunni Imam Abul Hasan Ash’ari. Ismail Zarir said, “This [‘Asha’ri] view is correct”, as Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti quoted it in his book ‘al-itqan]’.

    4.    ‘Istiwa’ means completion of work i.e. He Almighty completed series of creation on Arsh (throne). There is nothing outside Arsh; whatever has been created and whatever will be created in the world and Hereafter is not outside the boundry of Arsh as it encompasses all creations. The better exegetical interpreation [tafsir] of the Quran is what is done by the Quran itself. Istiwa in the meaning of ‘completion’ is mentioned in the Quran. Allah Almighty says,

    “And when he reached his maturity and complete strength [istawa]......” (28:14)  

    Allah Almighty also says,

    “...Their trait is mentioned in the Injeel; like a cultivation that sprouted its shoot, then strengthened it, then thickened and then stood firm [fa-i-stawa] upon its stem...” (48:29). In this verse ‘istiwa’ refers to the state of completion [halat-e-kamal]. This tawil [metaphorical interpretation] was quoted by Ibn Hajar Asqalani from Abul Hasan Ali b. Khalf Ibn Battal. This is the speech of Imam Abu Tahir Qazwini as mentioned in Siraj al-Uqul and quoted in the book ‘Al-Yawaqeet’ authored by Abdul Wahhab Sha’rani.

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی - 9/5/2018 3:54:14 AM

  • You have mentioned some good points in your comments.But the terms “istiwa alal arsh” are used for different meanings. It would be better if you could explain all the meanings of “istiwa alal arsh” with authentic evidence. In addition to that, please tell me which meaning is accepted in classical Islamic study  

    By Kaniz Fatma - 9/3/2018 10:04:58 AM

  • Comment- 2  

    “It is He Who has sent down to you (O beloved Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him) this Book (the Qur’an) containing the verses which are muhkamat (verses that have a clear meaning)– they are the core of the Book – and other verses the meanings of which are indistinct; those in whose hearts is deviation pursue the verses having indistinct meanings, in order to cause turmoil and seeking its (wrongful) interpretation; and only Allah knows its proper interpretation; and those having sound knowledge say, “We believe in it, all of it is from our Lord”; and none accept guidance except the men of understanding. (3:7)

    The author of Muwadhih al-Quran writes in the commentary of this verse, “Allah Almighty says He has revealed some verses whose meaning is not clear. So those who are astray interpret them by their mind and those who have sound knowledge interpret them by way of those verses which are the core of the Book [i.e. muhkamat verses]. They try to understand them in line with the muhkamat verses. However if they are unable to do so, they leave this matter up to Allah, thinking that Allah alone knows best and that it is enough for us only to believe in that case. (Muwaddih al-Quran by Shah Abdul Qadir, p.62)

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی - 9/3/2018 3:03:46 AM

  • @KF Tanzeehi Aqaid that I wrote in my previous comment with reference to the book “Qawariul Qahhar...” are countless in the same book. These fifteen [creeds] mentioned in the previous comments were quoted as per needs. In addition to them, all other issues [related to creeds] originate from the first three creeds [out of 15 creeds] and the origin of all origins is the first creed which is implication and summary of all Tanzihi creeds. Their evidence is those Quranic Ayaat which described glorification [tasbeeh] and sanctification [taqdees] of Allah Almighty, His eternity, perfection, purity, independency and that He is unmatched. The aayaat-e-tasbeeh [i.e. Quranic verses which refer to glorification of Allah] themselves are multiple in number. Allah the Most High says, “It is Allah, except Whom there is no God; the King, the Pure, the Giver of Peace, the Bestower of Safety, the Protector, the Most Honourable, the Compeller, the Proud; Purity is to Allah from all what they ascribe as partners (to Him)!” (Quran 59:23). Allah Almighty says, “Allah is Independent (Unwanting) of the entire creation!” (Quran 3:97). Allah Almighty says, “To Allah only belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and in the earth; indeed Allah only is the Absolute, the Most Praiseworthy.” (Quran 31-26) Allah Almighty says, “The Maker of the heavens and the earth; He has created pairs for you from yourselves and pairs from the animals; He spreads your generation; nothing is like Him; and He only is the All Hearing, the All Seeing.” (Quran 42:11)  Allah Almighty says, “Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them – therefore worship Him and be firm in His worship; do you know any other of the same name as His?” (Quran 19:65) Allah Almighty says, ““And there is none equal to Him.” (Quran 112:4)

    There are hundreds of aayat relating to these issues. These aayaat are muhkammat. They are Umm al-Kitab [i.e. the core of the Book. There is neither hiddenness [khafa’] nor ambiguousness [ijmal], nor difficulty or abstruseness [ishkaal] in their meaning. Whatever meanings come from their clear [sareeh] words; it is categorically essential to believe them, without making any sort of changing, specification and taaweel [in these clear meanings]. 

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی - 8/29/2018 5:16:11 AM

  • The evidence from the Quran that “the tashabaha” cannot be taken literally are several verses. Consider the following verse:

    (2:74) Thenceforth were your hearts hardened: They became like a rock and even worse in hardness. For among rocks there are some from which rivers gush forth; others there are which when split asunder send forth water; and others which sink for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.

    The heart muscle always remains soft and in no case becomes as hard as a rock. It can be easily cut with a surgeon’s knife.

     There are more such verses such as Ayat -al Nur 24:35 from which it is clear that the verse cannot be taken literally.

     The Quran says in Surah Ikhlas that “There is none like unto Him”. If there is none like unto Him, then all description of Him can be only using “tashabaha” or similitudes and we should avoid taking it literally.

     So, the books that try to describe Him are also conjecture. We can get some idea of how Allah can see everything, record everything, be everywhere, and be in a position to intervene instantaneously, from the possibilities of modern technology covering surveillance, monitoring and response systems.

     Allah has created a Universe that He can control and necessary mechanisms/agents for it such as angels. An angel may not also be what we imagine from the description in the Quran. The Quran uses terms that we can understand. Angels may not necessarily have wings, but they can move on the land and through space.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/29/2018 12:33:37 AM

  • @Siddiqi Sahib,
    It would be very helpful if you could provide evidence from the Quran for what you wrote in your comment. 

    By Kaniz Fatma - 8/28/2018 10:10:12 PM

  • @Kaniz Fatma,

    Truly Islam does not accept the faith of anthromophormism. However some sects rely on literal interpretation of Mutashabihat verses and ahadith to claim their anthromophormist faith.

    The following statements are a summary of the book “Al-Qawahirul Al-Qahhar fi mujassmatil fujjar”. In this book Alahazrat the author of the book has discussed, in exemplary scholastic details, fifteen creeds of Ahlus Sunnah. The book was written by Alahazrat originally into Urdu and then translated into Arabic by his great grandson Allama Akhtar Raza khan Azhari.

    Arabic Text:

    1.    الله تعالى منزه من كل عيب ونقصان

    2.    كل يحتاج إليه ولا يحتاج سبحانه وتعالى إلى شيء أصلا في شيء بأي حهة

    3.    منزه عن مشابهة الخلق

    4.    لا يتطرق إليه التغير هو الآن كما كان في الأزل ولا يزال كما كان إلى الأبد، ولا يجوز أبدا أن يكون أولا في طور ثم يتطور إلى حالة أخرى

    5.    ليس بجسم ولا علاقة لشيء جسماني بذاته تعالى

    6.    لا يعرض له المقدار حتى يقال "إنه بقدر كذا كذا" لا طويل ولا عريض ، ولا ذو جرم ولا سخين، ولا رقيق ولا كثير ولا قليل وفي العد والوزن لا كبير ولا صغير ولا ثقيل ولا خفيف

    7.    هو منزه عن الشكل لا منبسط ولا منقبض ولا مدور ولا طويل ولا مثلث ولا مربع ولا مستقيم ولا منحرف، وليس ب صورة غير ما ذكر

    8.    منزه عن حد وطرف ونهاية وليس بغير المحدود على معنى أن يكون منبسطا لا إلى غاية، بل المراد أنه منزه عن المقدار وغيره من جميع الأعراض، المهم أن قولنا "ليس بمحدود" لنفي الحد وليس لإثبات المقدار إلى نهاية

    9.    لم يتكون من شيء

    10.                       لا يمكن فرض الأجزاء أوا لحصص في ذاته تعالى

    11.                       منزه عن الجهة والطرف كما لا يجوز أن نقول: هو عن اليمين أو الشمال أو تحت، كذالك لا يقال: هو "قدام أو وراء أو فوق" على معنى الجهة

    12.                       لا يجوز أن يتصل بمخلوق ويكون متعلقا به

    13.                       ولا يفارق مخلوقا بحيث يكون بينه تعالى وبين المخلوق مسافة فاصلة

    14.                       لا يفتقر للمكان ولا للمحلل

    15.                       منزه عن القيام والقعود والنزول والصعود والحركة والسكون وغيرها من سائر عوارض الجسم والجسمانيات    

    English Translation:

    1. Allah Almighty is free from every defect or shortcoming.

    2. Everybody and everything needs Him; and He does not need anything or anybody.

    3. He is free from bearing any similarity to creations.

    4. He does not change. Just as He was possessed of His attributes in pre-eternity (Azal), so He shall remain with the same attributes forever. It is absolutely impossible [muhal] that He was something before, and then turned to become something else.

    5. He is not a body. He is free from everything that is suggestive of bodies.

    6. “He is transcendent from magnitude; one cannot say this much, this big and so forth. [He is not] tall, wide, thick, thin, little or more, countable or weighable, big or small, heavy or light.

    7. He transcends having a shape – [He is] neither wide or narrow, nor spherical or long, nor triangular or conical, nor straight or oblique nor any other shape.

    8. He transcends having extents or limits; He is not ‘unlimited’ in the sense of being [physically] spread out without a limit; that is, He transcends having any concept of magnitude. In other words, when we say He is transcendent from limits, we mean negation of imposing any limits; not the attestation of unlimited magnitude.

    9. He is not made from anything.

    10. Parts and sections cannot be conceived or considered in Him, even hypothetically.

    11. He is transcendent from directions or edges or [being on a] side. One cannot say that He is on the right or left; or front and back; similarly, [in this sense of direction] He is not above.

    12. He is not attached with anything in the creation such that He is in contact [with something].

    13. He is not detached from the creation – to mean that there is a [physical] distance between Him and His creation.

    14. He is transcendent from place and location.

    15. He transcends all conditions and necessities for bodies like standing, sitting, descending, ascending, walking, stopping etc.

    (Al-Qawahirul Al-Qahhar fi mujassmatil fujjar)

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 8/28/2018 5:48:48 AM

  • The article is very scholastic.

    But what about those who prove the faith of anthropomorphism on the basis of literal interpretations of some mutashabihat verses and ahadith? As far as I know Islam does not accept the faith of anthropomorphism.

    By Kaniz Fatma - 8/27/2018 11:20:07 PM

  • How bullshit is that God favours Muslims.
    For non-Muslim readers do not get deluded by this article writers here are questions that this scholars on new age Islam will answer.
    Non-Muslims should question this litmus test of this Arabic pious Allah:
    Question 1:
    Why God is ready to punish violent or mischief((I have never understood what is mischief)) non-Muslim living in minority  by the hand of Islamic ruler or Islamic law!!!
    Why God will punish Muslim who is harassing minority peace living non-Muslims in paradise.
    A person with cheating intensions can have different laws for same actions and situations to support different communities to suit their agenda.
    This are very simple questions and answer but you will even someone attempt on this website they will give long complicated argument or answer.
    Real God cannot cheat to his subjects but Allah of Arab is different, he created three different and distinct creed that has killed lots of humans for unseen God.
    I am delighted that Allah of Arab had not born like Hindu god, imaganie what would have happen.

    By Aayina - 8/25/2018 5:23:14 PM

  • Stop deluding other relgion followers and yourself Ghulam siddique, Muslim and Islam is complete pakage against every relgion and abusing their own ancestorical routes once they convert, the article from your community man  Khled Ahmed is enough to tell, link is below, your typical skull cape photo is enough to tell, I am not against any clothing but I am against  of political message sent to every other community, and I am even more against when it is manufactured identity. A Indian Muslim of two centuries ago was not more alienated like current one with Indian routres.

    I do consider that current Hindu clothing is nothing but adoption of western culture(((A Christian culture hiding under the pseudo name)))imperialism, who make fun of their ancestory like Muslims they only diffrence is that Muslim are busy in adopting Arabic imperialism and Hindus are western, this non-Muslims countries where Islam was not their has became a party plot where Abrhahmic faiths came and play their political and absoulatley demanding and surrendering game.

    Surrender not to God, Avtars and messenger's moral message but imperialism of this Abhrahmic faiths.

    Indian's as human breed will bleed in coming days if locals won't disowned this, Indian breed as peace living breed will became history like it had became in Pakistan.


    By Aayina - 8/25/2018 2:22:23 PM

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