Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
12 June 2017
The terror groups, most predominantly ISIS
are viciously attacking Islam’s peaceful ideology from all possible angles,
thrusting the world into the fire of hatred and prejudice. Completely bereft of
true spirit of Islam, they continue to pen articles after articles in their
mouthpiece “Rumiyah”—the magazine that replaces Dabiq, Dar al-Islam, and other
magazines which were released until mid-2016. In order to justify their terror
attacks, they repeatedly quote the verse 9:14 “Fight them and Allah will punish
them through your hands”. Again in the article titled “The Ruling On the Belligerent Christians” (Rumiyah: 9th issue, page 10),they have referred to the same verse
out of context in order to kill all those who do not belong to their ideology
which is commonly called Wahhabism or Salafism.
Before proceeding further into refuting
ISIS, it must be noted that the US and some of its Arab allies are trying to
eradicate the terrorist outfit ISIS from the face of the earth. Islamic
scholars from around the world have issued a number of Fatwas condemning all of
the ISIS atrocities—mutilation, beheading, merciless killing of innocent
people, etc. However, all such efforts failed to change the attitude of ISIS,
as the terrorists are still striking in different parts of the world—Iraq,
Syria, UK, France, Pakistan, Afghanistan and so on. Mere condemnation of the
terrorist attacks or quoting only peaceful verses and ignoring the war-related
verses will not change the attitude of ISIS militants. The learned scholars
will have to tell them that the war-related verses are contextual and specific
for the time. They do not apply to us any more. They urgently need to refute
the misconceptions that ISIS and its founders have created with reference to
the war-related Quranic verses and Ahadith.
For instance, to justify their terror
attacks, ISIS has quoted the Qur’anic verses 9:14-15 out of context, without
understanding the reasons and circumstances (Asbab al-Nuzul) of these verses.
Such interpretative process, no matter who started it, is injecting evil virus
into nearly all societies across the world. Majority of the great jurists of
Islam have focused on the study of Asbab al-Nuzul (context) while interpreting
the holy Quran. But what the ISIS militants, their founders and partners are
doing is a truly bizarre development in the entire history of Tafsir.
of Misquoting or Cherry-picking the Qur’anic Verses
The significance of the context to
understand the Qur’an and Hadith can and should be seen in the principles of
Islamic jurisprudence and exegesis. In accordance with the methodology
established by the Qur’an and Hadith, it is strictly prohibited to cherry-pick
an extract from the Qur’an without understanding it within its full context.
Allah Almighty says:
“Do you believe in some parts of the Book
and deny some others? So he who does so from amongst you, what can be his
punishment but disgrace (and humiliation) in the worldly life? And (also) on
the Day of Resurrection, (such people) will be returned to the most ruthless
torment. And Allah is not unaware of your deeds” (2:85)
“Then We laid Our curse on them because of
their breach of promise (i.e., they were deprived of Our mercy), and We made
their hearts callous (i.e., they were deprived of guidance and susceptibility.
So,) they change the Words (of Allah’s Book) from their (right) places, and
have forgotten a (major) portion of that (guidance) which they were urged upon.
And you will continue being informed about one or the other of their treachery,
except a few of them (who have embraced faith). So pardon them and forbear.
Indeed, Allah loves the benefactors” (5:13)
“(The torment) that We sent down upon the
dividers,(15:90) Those who divided the Qur’an into pieces (and split it, i.e.,
accepted the favourable Verses but rejected the others)”. (15:91)
The verses mentioned above guide people to
understand the Quranic verses in context. Thus, to understand any Qur’anic
verse or Hadith, everybody should ponder over the relevant context in its
entirety, and not depending on only parts of it. Having gathered all the relevant
scriptural texts, he should distinguish the ‘general’ from the ‘specific’, the
‘conditional’ from the ‘unconditional’ and the ‘unequivocal’ from the
‘allegorical’. Besides, it is essential for him to consider the reasons and
circumstances of revelation (Asbab al-Nuzul) and all the other interpretive
conditions specified by the classical Islamic jurists and scholars.
Widely Approved Reasons and Circumstances
(Asbab al-Nuzul) of the Qur’anic verses 9:14-15
The exact context of the verses 9:14, 15,
which ISIS quoted in its magazine “Rumiyah” in order to incite extremism and
fanaticism among Muslims and non-Muslims, basically starts from the verse 9:12.
Before quoting these verses within full context, we should take into
consideration their reasons and circumstances (Asbab al-Nuzul).
According to the widely renowned and
unanimously accepted books of exegesis—Tafsir al-Qurtubi, Tafseeral-Tabari,
Tafsir al-Baghawi (also known as Ma'alim at-Tanzeel), Tafsir Al-Tahrir Wal
Tanwir’ (also known as Tafsir Ibn 'Ashur), Tafsir ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Kabir
(The Large Commentary, also known as Mafatih al-Ghayb), Tafsir al-Jalalayn—,
these verses (9:12, 13, 14, 15) were revealed after the pagans of Makkah broke
the treaty of peace known as Sulh al-Hudaibiya and restored the state of war.
Taking into consideration Asbab al-Nuzul,
these verses can now be well understood as follows:
“And if after making a promise (for
peaceful bilateral relations), they break their oaths, (and restore the state
of war,) and taunt you with sarcasm in your Din (Religion), then wage
(defensive) war against (those) chieftains of disbelief (to eliminate any
chance of mischief, violence and revolt). Surely, their oaths are not worth any
regard, so that they may desist (from their mischief-mongering). (9:12)
“Will you not fight a people who broke
their oaths (violating the peace treaty and restoring the state of war), and
decided to banish the Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) whilst the
first time it is they who initiated war against you? Do you fear them? But
Allah has more right that you should fear Him, provided you are believers.
“Fight against them (to establish peace).
Allah will torment them at your hands and will humiliate them, and will help
you (in your defensive fight) against them, and will heal the breasts of the
“And He will remove the distress and fury
in their hearts, and will accept repentance of whom He wills. And Allah is
All-Knowing, Most Wise. (9:15)”
It has been clear from the verses above that
fighting was ordered only against those who broke the treaty of peace (Sulh
al-Hudaibiya) and restored the state of war. There was no option left for the
then believers other than defending their lives and rights to freely practice
their religion. The situation in which these verses were revealed is entirely
different from today’s bloody events taking place in Iraq, Syria and Pakistan.
Innocent emissaries, journalists like James Foley and Steven Sotloff, citizens
including Muslims and non-Muslims living in Iraq and Syria or elsewhere being
killed by ISIS or its allies are not in any way like those Arab pagans who had
compelled the then believers to either defend themselves or be killed. So, from
the Islamic perspective, it is categorically injustice and absolutely wrong to
forcefully attach today’s situation to that of the early period of Islam.
Muslims should understand and say unequivocally that ISIS or other terrorists'
ideology of justifying their present day fitna and violence is just not
acceptable to any mainstream Muslim as those wartime verses of the holy Quran
simply cannot be applied in the present 21st century circumstances.
Allah Almighty knows the best!
Columnist with www.NewAgeIslam.com , Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is
an Alim and Fazil(Classical Islamic scholar) with a Sufi background, Islamic
writer and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator.
Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic
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Besides the following are some
of the most famous books of tafsir (in my memory right now) which also focus on
the context of the Quranic verses, as follows;
by Jalaluddin Suyuti and Jalaluddin al-mahalli
al-kabir also known as mafatihul ghaib by Imam Razi
an haqaiqit tanzil w u’yunil aqaweel fi wujuhit tanzil by Zamakhshari (Mu’tazili)
tanzil w asrarut taaweel by Baidhawi
Quran al-Azeem by Ibn Abi Hatim
tanzil by Baghawi
Quran al-azeem by abdur Razzaq sana’ani
qadeer by Shaukhani
tafsir min fathil qadeer by Al-Ashqar
Manthoor by Suyuti
bayan by Sidiiqi al-Qannauji
bayan by Shanqeeti
Ma’ani by al-Aalusi
Tanzil by Nasafi
kareem ar-Rahman by As-saa’di
li ahkamil Quran by Qurtabi
Aayatil Ahkaam by Minaa’ al-qittan
tafasir by Abu Bakr al-jazairi
al-wajeez by Ibn Atiyyah
Tafasir by As-Saabuni
However, as I have said
earlier, if you feel any difficulty, you can quote any verse of the Quran, I
will, insha Allah, do try to remove your confusion.
I am giving you
a list of some great works on the knowledge of context of the Quranic verses,
while hundreds of books of tafsir also discuss the context of the Quran, but
the following are the particularly famous ones on this subject. All the books
are in Arabic, but perhaps some of them have also been translated into English.
nuzulil Quran by Imam Ali bin Ahmad al-wahidi
fi bayanil asbab by Hafiz Muhaddis Ahmad bin Ali bin hajar al-Asqalani
nuqul fi asbabin nuzul by Jalaluddin Syuti
wusul ila marefati asbasbin nuzul by Khalid Abdur Rahman al-a’k
al-musnad min asbabin nuzul by Shaikh Muqbil bin Hadi al-wadeii
fi bayanil asbab by Salim al-hilali and Muhammad Musa Aal Nasr
fi asbabi nuzulil quran by Dr. Khalid Al-muzini
Asbabin nuzul by Ibhrahim Muhammad Ali
min Asbabin nuzul by Dr. Usam bin abdil Muhsin al-Hameedan
fi asbabin nuzul by Hasan Abdul Muni’m Shilbi
These books are in my memory
right now, but you can also find more on this subject.
However, if you feel any
difficulty, you can quote any verse of the Quran, I will, insha Allah, do try
to remove your confusion.
Day before yesterday, I read news
with the headline “Iraqi Forces Capture Mosul Mosque And Declare The End of
Islamic State” posted on Reuters. But what is wrong now?
ISIS is now trying to get a
foothold in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia, as it loses territory in
the Middle East.
Indonesia has the world’s
largest population of Muslims but is officially a secular country where most
Muslims are moderate. But we are increasingly worried about ISIS trying to
brainwash the citizens of Indonesia, as it has distributed hundreds of notebooks,
calling its sympathizers to participate in war. The front covers of the
notebooks have a picture of Abu Bakr al-Baghadi and quotes attributed to him, “Tell
all the apostates in the Muslim countries, theses are their last days, and tell
every infidel, we are not playing anymore”.
Isis has made thousands of
sympathizers in Indonesia, who have carried out mostly low-level attacks in the
country over the past few years, and moderate Muslims are concerned about the
return of hundreds of battle-hardened Indonesians who have gone to Syria to
support the kharijite ISIS.
Before it is too late,
Indonesian government and its moderate Muslims should take all necessary
actions to stop the brainwashing propaganda and the growing possibility of
Indonesia in becoming like Syria and Iraq.
Yes, dear Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi
Alfiya (ألفية ابن مالك) is a rhymed book of Arabic grammar written by Ibn Malik in the
13th century. The long title is al-Khulasa al-alfiyya (the one thousand verses), a versification of
Abd Allah ibn Abd al-Rahman Ibn
ʻAqil, a leading grammarian of
the Arabic language born and died in Cairo (1294-1367) wrote a famous
commentary on the famous 1,000-line poem on the principles of Arabic grammar,
al-Alfiya by Ibn Malik.
Both al-Alfiya by Ibn Malik and
the commentary by Ibn Aqil are regarded as standard texts in the traditional
Islamic curriculum. At least 43 commentaries have been written on this work, which
is so important because scholars had previously searched for dependable
authentication of the grammar and lexicon of Arabic. Ibn Malik intended his
poem as a teaching tool rather than a work of research. However, students were
required to memorize it, which became controversial in modern times. This
edition of the Commentary on the Alfiya by Ibn ʻAqil was published in Beirut by al-Maṭbaʻa al-adabiya in 1885.
ISIS selected educational topics for children, as written in its books and broadcasted by international channels, that focus on Islamic jurisprudence and religion, in addition to norms and manners that, according to ISIS, align with correct Islamic teachings. The main sources used are traditional Islamic books such as al-Khulāsa al-Alfiyya, written by Ibn Malik in the 13th century.