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Debating Islam ( 17 March 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Waseem Rizvi’s Challenge an Opportunity for Ulema To Proclaim the Inapplicability of These 26-War-Time Verses of Quran For Muslims Today



By Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor, New Age Islam

18 March 2021

 India’s Muslim community is outraged. A Shia politician Wasim Rizvi has filed a Public interest litigation (PIL) in Supreme Court seeking removal of 26 militant, exclusivist, war-time contextual verses from the Quran. He has claimed that these militant verses were added in Quran during the rule of first three caliphs, implying that these Sunni Caliphs manipulated the Quran and Shias, who follow the fourth rightly guided Caliph Hazrat Ali, are not responsible for it.  For Sunnis these first three caliphs Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omar and Hazrat Osman were “rightly guided’ caliphs, who had the loyalty of and benefited constantly from the valuable advice of Hazrat Ali.

There was no Shia-Sunni rift in the times of these four caliphs, though certainly there was political competition and there may have been some subterranean discord.  This discordance came out in the open during the time of Hazrat Ali and led to war. But, to my knowledge, Shias have never claimed that the first three caliphs added these 26 verses of war to the Holy Quran. Shias too have the same Quran and, to the best of my knowledge, they have never demanded deletion of any verses, as this politician is now doing.

As a response from the entire Muslim community of India, both Shia and Sunni, Rizvi has been ex-communicated; he claims that even his family and friends have deserted him. His obvious attempt to provoke a Shia-Sunni rift in India has already failed. A price has been fixed for his head, exposing the violent mindset of some Muslims. He is being called a dog, and if you can believe it, a yahoodi, a Jew, thus a section of Muslims providing proof, if any was needed, of their anti-Semitism. His motives have been questioned and perhaps rightly so, as he has never been known to be a reformer. He was happy being chairman of the Shia Central Waqf Board in the state of Uttar Pradesh and would perhaps be happy if he were to regain that position or get some similar position. But his hopes of getting rewarded for provoking Muslims may be fading now as he has started talking of eventually committing suicide, a clearly un-Islamic act.

But, while Rizvi may fail in his career move, perhaps inadvertently, he has succeeded in exposing the duplicity and hypocrisy of our ulema, the Islamic scholars who influence many in the Muslim community. The ulema should realise that calling Rizvi a dog or a Yahoodi, does not resolve the issue he has raised. No matter what happens to Rizvi, the issue he has raised is not going to go away. He is not the first to raise this issue either. Islamophobes have been demanding this for ages, and more particularly since Islamist terrorists’ attack on twin towers in New York on September 11, 2001.

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The demand for removing any part of a scripture is absurd. Many scriptures have violent passages, reflecting the culture of the times in which they came. The important question is the relevance and applicability of these verses and the instructions given in Quran to Muslims today.

People belonging to other religions are not asked to edit their scriptures because they do not quote any violent passages to justify their present actions. Muslims do and with great gusto and profound belief in the universality of every word of Quran, which is considered uncreated, that is like God Himself and hence beyond question and debate.

We are living in the 21st century world, not in a 7th century desert village. Are we bound today by the orders given to Muslims of that era 1400 years ago to fight and kill the pagans in a specific context? We obviously cannot judge today the situation in which these orders were given. We live today in an age of global and instant communication. But this is also an age of fake news. So, if today, in the age of instant global communication, we are not certain what is really going on in our world, how can we be certain about what happened 1400 hundred years ago in an Arabian desert village.

There would thus be no point in sitting in judgement over these instructions in Quran to kill the pagans or stay away for Jews and Christians or to not consider any one but Muslims as our friends etc. Let us not forget that in the Prophet’s time, when these instructions were given, Islam was still in its infancy, and was fighting an existential battle to survive in the face of a determined opposition from the powers that be. However, the real question before us Muslims is: are these war-time instructions of seventh century Arabia still applicable to us today.

In their attempt to counter Rizvi ulema have spoken about Quranic verses having a context and the inability of a person to understand these verses without being aware of the context in which they were revealed. Very true, but the implication of this reference to context is that these instructions are no longer valid if that context is no longer present. As the seventh century war context is no longer present today, and is not likely to come in the present times, should we assume that these instructions are no longer applicable to us today. Obviously. Clear as day. But will any individual or group of ulema accept this? No. Not one. Will any aalim (singular of ulema) say that these war-time verses of Quran are no longer applicable to Muslims? No one is willing to do that.

The belief of our ulema is that Quran is uncreated, meaning it is an attribute of God, so there is no question of debating the applicability or non-applicability of its verses. Even the thought of their inapplicability at any time is anathema to them. As in the seventh century, our ulema continue to believe that Islam must dominate the world, the Sharia laws should prevail in all societies, sovereignty of God has to be established all over the world, and it is the duty of all Muslims to help in the process. They may not be actively promoting a Jihad for achieving this goal, but that is without doubt the objective.

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Why else would our ulema be telling our 12-year-old kids in a pluralist, multi-religious society like India, to take care when they go out to kill the pagans. In teaching Islamic good manners and ethics, in a book called Islami Ekhlaq o Aadab, they assume that a Muslim kid would naturally go out to kill the mushriks (polytheists or pagans) and so he has to be cautioned against the perils on the way and the religious significance of what he is doing. This is done in just a paragraph in this book but is explained in detail in Bahar-e-Shariat for those who are doing an Aalimiat course at the age of 17. This is the training all our aalims (ulema) have received. How can we expect them to abandon this training when faced with the challenge to Rizvii?

However, I still believe that Rizvi and his likes not only pose a challenge, but also give our ulema an opportunity. Our ulema now have an opportunity to clarify their stand on the applicability or inapplicability of these verses today. As militants use these verses to justify terrorism and extremist violence, they would also be clarifying their stand on Islamist extremist violence presently going on in different parts of the world. Skirting the issue by quoting peaceful, universalistic verses of Quran and rhetoric of Islam being a religion of peace is not helping.

The issue, however, is not just of these 26 verses. The real issue is that of the understanding of Muslims about the nature of their religion through the last 14 centuries and even today. What understanding of Islamic belief system have Quranic verses created. Also important is Hadith (narrations of purported sayings of the Prophet, peace be upon him) as these Ahadith (plural of Hadith) are supposed to provide the context with which Quran’s verses are understood. Most Ulema consider Hadith as akin to revelation, meaning that there is not much difference in Quran and Hadith.

The relevant question at this point is: do Muslims consider Islam a political, totalitarian ideology that aims at conquering the world or do they consider it as a spiritual path to salvation, one of the many. I am going to give below some quotations from universally revered ulema and exegetes of Quran, past and present, about their understanding of the Islamic mission and the question of offensive Jihad, arising from these 26 verses of Quran and several others as well.  According to the Doctrine of Abrogation most ulema believe that sword verses like those quoted by Rizvi have abrogated many of the peaceful Meccan verses of Quran that teach co-existence. This is what is taught in our madrasas too.

The present-day Ulema have an opportunity to state that they do not agree with the traditional and prevailing understanding of the Islamic mission as explained by the authors I am quoting below and many more who have written throughout the last 1200 years. I will begin with quotations from a couple of modern ulema who present an apologia, so readers can judge if these apologias work in the face of strong views expressed by universally acclaimed jurists and theologians whose books are taught in all our madrasas, regardless of their sectarian identity.

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(These quotations have been taken from several articles published on this website from time to time including my own, but most are from a compilation by Abdur Rahman Hamza in this article.)

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Syed Hamid Mohsin’s book has been published by Salam Centre, Bengaluru with the title, “Islam: facts vs fictions”. In this book the learned author, under the sub-title, “Misquoted Quranic verses” writes:

“Islam has its own fair share of critics as well as enemies. A popular sport for them is to accuse Islam of advocating violence against non-Muslims…. To paint Islam in the darkest colours, their media is ever engaged in distorting the Quranic verses to make them appear preaching violence….In understanding the verses of the Quran, it is essential that each of them is related to its context. The critics of the Quran precisely err on this account and tear them out of context to support their prejudices against Islam…. There has been an attempt in India and other parts of the world to create confusion about a few verses of Quran…. Writers with ill intentions misquote the verses out of context and write the commentary with their own perceptions. Quran should be read in context. If anyone just chooses a verse and ignores the perspective, he will many a time go astray…… Here we are presenting such verses of Quran which are used by some writers whose intention is to create confusion and mislead the people.”

 Thereafter, he quotes some verses to prove his point.  I would like to focus on: 2: 191-193 and 9:5, which is called the verse of sword and which is said to have abrogated all the previous peace verses and cancelled all the peace treaties the prophet had made with the polytheists of Mecca.”

2:191: “Slay them wherever you may come upon them, and expel them from where they had expelled you; for oppression (persecution) is worse than slaughter; but fight them not near the Sacred Mosque, unless they fight you therein; but if they fight you therein, slay them. Such is the reward of unbelievers.”

2:192: “But if they desist, then God is All-forgiving, Compassionate to each.”

 2:193: Fight them until persecution is no more; and religion is for God. But if they desist, then all hostility shall cease, except against those who wilfully do wrong.”

The author, while translating the word, ‘fitna’ in the verse 2:193 as persecution, says: Here, the verse “until persecution is no more and religion is for God (Quran 2:193) has nothing to do with the domination of Islam and the subjugation and suppression of non-believers.

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Abdur Rahman Hamza writes: “Keeping the above claim in mind, it seems worthwhile to discuss these verses in detail and have a look at the authentic tafaaseer written over the last many centuries and see what the reputed Islamic scholars, as well as Sahaba (companions of the Prophet), Taabieen (second generation of Muslims) and Taba Taabieen (third generation of Muslims) have understood by the word ‘fitna’ and also find out whether, as claimed by the author, they too have committed the crime of misleading the people and defaming Islam.

We will do just this a while later.

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Maulana Yaseen Akhtar Misbahi, leading Sunni-Sufi Islamic scholar and renowned Urdu writer gives his reflections on the verses of Jihad in the Quran:

“Although there are certain verses of the Qur’an which mention killing and murder, there is a specific reason and context behind these verses. However, a group of people have taken these verses out of context and have not tried to understand the story behind them and raised objections against these verses and against the Holy Qur’an. It has become the habit of these people to portray Islam as a religion of murder and mayhem and especially in this era of sectarianism all over the world. They are using these verses to turn people against Islam and its teachings. It is the effort of these narrow-minded people to portray Islam as a violent and dangerous religion and Muslims as aggressive mischief-makers.” (Aayat-e-Jihad Ka Qur’ani Mafhoom, Foreword) 

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The Orwellian World of Islamic Scholars: ‘According To Quran, Peace In Non-Islamic Societies Is War And War To Destroy These Societies Is Peace’

Aman aur Fasad fil arz Quran ki istallah main!! Dr. Israr Ahmad posted on 28 Apr 2012

Peace (Aman) and Mischief or Violent Rebellion (Fasad) in Quranic terminology

By Dr Israr Ahmad, Tr. New Age Islam Edit Desk

“What is Mischief or violent Rebellion (fasad) according to the Qur'an? What is Mischief or Violent Rebellion in the land (fasad fil arz)? This would mean that this land belongs to Allah. Allah is the real sovereign. Humans should live here only according to the will of Allah. In fact, this is the truth. This is the real peace. Any rebellion against it is fasad. (In Quranic terminology) Fasad is any kind of rebellion (baghawat) against God’s order.

… “ So, what is the real peace in terms of the Quran? The answer is that the world order should be established according to the will of Allah, at both individual and collective levels. Any attitude against it; no matter how peaceful the society may seem to be, that is the real Fasad.

… “So, understand the reality of mischief (Fasad) and peace (Aman). Now, if there is Fasad anywhere in the world, that is, if the world order is not being maintained as per the will of Allah, it will be declared rebellion against Allah.

… “The next stage of this was what happened later in the Madani period where war and strife broke out. Then the Quran said, “Fight those who fight you” (Surah Baqara- 2:190)

“So, war was waged to eliminate this fasad. There was bloodshed. But this was peace in reality. Some people say, “No, don't fight. Live in peace. Let’s accept falsehood too. Let us believe in some part of their falsehood and get some of our terms accepted by them.  By way of struggles, you are harming yourself. You are sacrificing everything. This way you are creating problems for yourself as well as for others. This is resulting into bloodshed. Leave all such things. Let it be gone. Adopt the path of peace, instead.” Holding such an attitude or this concept (of peace) is actually fasad.

“Sabotaging any struggles (to establish Allah’s order), seeking to eliminate rebellion on behalf of God is an act of rebellion against God Almighty. Instead, a group of obedient and faithful slaves of Allah Almighty must stand up in the form of Jama’at or Jam’iat (an organization) in order to fight against falsehood and corruption. So, if a person creates an obstacle in such struggles (to establish God’s order), whether in the name of reconciliation, Sulh-e-Kul (peace for all), brotherhood, and tolerance or with similar beautiful titles, this will actually be an act of real Fasad.

“Imagine the roles of Hypocrites (Munafiqin in the time of the Prophet pbuh) here. Life and property were dearest to them. They were not ready to join the battlefield. Relationships too were very dear for them. They were not ready to separate from their relatives (for the sake of Islam). And the sword of Truth that came was cutting relationships. A son was separating from his father. A brother was separating from his brother.

“So, when the Hypocrites came in opposition against this struggle, the righteous believers said to them, “when it was said to them, ‘do not make mischief (fasad) on the earth,’ they say: ‘Why, we only want to make Peace!” (2:11-12). Consider what kind of fasad this was. What does the ayat “do not make mischief” mean? This would mean that the hypocrites should stop sabotaging the ongoing reforms because this is an act of Fasad. Instead, they should support this (violent) struggle in just the same way as the righteous believers supported the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

“You too say, “We believe in monotheism (tauheed) and the hereafter (aakhirat).” So why don’t you believe in the Quran which confirms the Torah. Believe in the Quran too and support the mission of reformation. Remember the call of the Prophet when he said, “Who are my supporters for [the cause of] Allah?" The disciples said, "We are supporters for Allah.” (3:52). Therefore, you too should come to support the same mission so that the rebellion against Allah in the land be removed and the sovereignty of Allah be established. Only then there will be real peace.  But the hypocrites and Jews made all efforts to sabotage the mission of the Prophet peace be upon him. This was described as an act of Fasad, as the Quran says, “They say, “We are but reformers.” Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters (mufsidun), but they perceive it not.” (2:11).   

As I have suggested earlier (before this speech), this was the role of Walid bin Mughira in the Makki period. Similarly, the Jews and Hypocrites under their influence played the same role. And here when the Hypocrites and Jews were asked not to spread mischief (Fasad) in the land (2:11), that is, not to oppose the prophet and his companions but support them instead, they used to say emphatically “We are nothing but reformers”. Their reply would mean that they were nothing but reformers, the people of peace and brotherhood, the people who were trying to establish peace and stop bloodshed. Commenting on their reply, the Quran said, “Beware, it is, in fact, they who are the corrupters (mufsidoon)” (2:11)

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Now take into consideration what I have explained in the definition of Fasad and Aman (peace), everything will be clear to you. “Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters (mufsidun), but they perceive it not.” (2:11). They do not know. They are watching it all, but are short-sighted. They fear harm, trouble, quarrel, cutting off relations from one another and therefore they are suggesting peace and tolerance in society. In fact, this is Fasad, because they are against the struggle for eradication of the real Fasad. But they are not aware of it.

https://www.newageislam.com/multimedia/dr-israr-ahmad/the-orwellian-world-of-islamic-scholars-according-to-quran-peace-in-non-islamic-societies-is-war-and-war-to-destroy-these-societies-is-peace/d/118783

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(Maulana Maududi, Haqiqat-e-Jihad, Pg 64, Taj Company Ltd, Lahore, Pakistan 1964)

To promote his politicized interpretation of Islamic doctrines and practices Maulana Maududi even challenged the collective consensus of Muslims on the Islamic prayers, which they offer to seek pleasure of and closeness to God, declaring them “means and tools to prepare for Jihad”. He writes:

“Salaat (Namaz) is a training exercise for Jihad. Zakat (Islamic charity) is a military fund for Jihad. Fasting is aimed to train people like soldiers who have to stay without food at times for long periods during the Jihad. Hajj is a huge conference in nature for plotting larger scale military operations. Thus, Salaah, Fasting, Zakat, and Hajj are actually meant for this very preparation and training” (Fundamental of Islam by Maulana Maududi – Page: 250).

Maulana Maududi advocated establishing an Islamic state where the so-called “Islamic Jihad” should be incumbent upon every Muslim until the authority of God is established on the entire earth, where the rights of non-Muslims would be limited and they would not be permitted to practice the faith, rituals of worship or social customs, where “Islamic Jihad” would not recognize their right to administer state affairs, because, as laid out in the writings of Maulana.

Maulana wrote nearly 120 books in which he extended intellectual and theological support to the radical Islamism and exclusivistic ideology of faith.  In his book Haqiqat-e-Jihad (literally meaning “the truth of Jihad”), he elaborates his point:

“A ‘Muslim Party’ will not be content with the establishment of Islam in just one area alone –both for its own safety and for general reform. It should try and expand in all directions. On one hand it will spread its ideology; on the other it will invite people of all nations to accept its creed, for salvation lies only therein. If this Islamic state has power and resources it will fight and destroy non-Islamic governments and establish Islamic states in their place.

(Maulana Maududi, Haqiqat-e-Jihad, Pg 64, Taj Company Ltd, Lahore, Pakistan 1964)

In another book “al-Jihad fil-Islam” (Jihad in Islam), he explains his radical understanding and militant interpretation of Jihad:

“It must now be obvious that the objective of the Islamic jihad is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system, and establish in its place an Islamic system of state rule. Islam does not intend to confine his rule to a single state or a handful of countries. The aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution. Although in the initial stages, it is incumbent upon members of the party of Islam to carry out a revolution in the state system of the countries to which they belong; their ultimate objective is none other than world revolution”.

(Jihad Fi Sabillilah: Jihad in Islam by Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, Chapter 3, Pg 10)

In his writings, Maulana exhorted Muslims to fight “evil forces” physically and go to the extent of laying down their life, possessions, powers, wealth and health in the fight against “evil forces of the world”. He writes in his book “Jihad in Islam”: “But the most important - indeed the most basic - ideal of the revolutionary doctrines of that “Revolutionary Party” known as Muslims is to expand all the powers of the body and soul, life and possessions, in the fight against the evil forces of the world; not so that, having annihilated them, we should step into their shoes, but so that evil and contumacy may be eradicated and Allah’s Law enforced on earth. This is the significance of jihad fi Sabillilah, Jihad for the cause of Allah.”

He further writes: “the terms “offensive” and “defensive”, which are usually applied to definitions of warfare, are not at all applicable in the case of Islamic Jihad. These terms are relevant only in the context of wars between nations and countries, for technically speaking, the terms “attack” and “defence” can only be used with reference to a country or a nation.” He further elaborates his point: “The division of Islamic Jihad into “offensive” and “defensive” is not permissible. Islamic Jihad is both offensive and defensive at one and the same time. It is offensive because the Muslim party attacks the rule of an opposing ideology, and it is defensive because the Muslim Party is constrained to capture state power in order to protect the principles of Islam in space-time forces.” (Maulana Maududi: Jihad in Islam)

Ibn Kathir writes in Tafseer Ibn Kathir:

 2:191- 193. 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.  But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 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).

Allah said: “but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.”

This Ayah (verse) means, `Fight for the sake of Allah and do not be transgressors,' such as, by committing prohibitions.

 Al-Hasan Al-Basri stated that transgression (indicated by the verse), "includes mutilating the dead, theft (from the captured goods), killing women, children and old people who do not participate in warfare, killing priests and residents of houses of worship, burning down trees and killing animals without real benefit.'' This is also the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz, Muqatil bin Hayyan and others.

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Since Jihad involves killing and shedding the blood of men, Allah indicated that these men are committing disbelief in Allah, associating with Him (in the worship) and hindering from His path, and this is a much greater evil and more disastrous than killing. (And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.) Meaning what you (disbelievers) are committing is much worse than killing.

(And “Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.”) "Shirk (polytheism) is worse than killing.''

Allah then commanded fighting the disbelievers when He said:

(...until there is no more Fitnah) meaning, Shirk. This is the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi`, Muqatil bin Hayyan, As-Suddi and Zayd bin Aslam.

Allah's statement: (...and the religion (all and every kind of worship) is for Allah (Alone).) means, `So that the religion of Allah becomes dominant above all other religions.'

Maulana Maududi writes in his tafseer Tafheemul Quran

(2:191) Fight against them wherever they confront you in combat and drive them out from where they drove you out. Though killing is bad. persecution is worse than killing. Do not fight against them near the Masjid Haram unless they attack you there.

Note 202: Here the word fitnah is used in the sense of 'persecution'. It refers to a situation whereby either a person or a group is subjected to harassment and intimidation for having accepted, as true, a set of ideas contrary to those currently held, and for striving to effect reforms in the existing order of society by preaching what is good and condemning what is wrong. Such a situation must be changed, if need be, by the force of arms.

Bloodshed is bad, but when one group of people imposes its ideology and forcibly prevents others from accepting the truth, then it becomes guilty of an even more serious crime. In such circumstances, it is perfectly legitimate to remove that oppressive group by the force of arms.

(2:193) Go on fighting with them till there is no more a state of tribulation and Allah's way is established instead. *204 Then if they desist from it, there should be no more hostility except against those who had been guilty of cruelty and brutality. *205

Note 204: Here the term fitnah is used in a different sense from the one in which it was used above (see verse 191). It is evident from the context that fitnah refers here to the state of affairs wherein the object of obedience is someone other than God. Hence the purpose of a believer's fighting is that this fitnah should cease and obedience should be consecrated to God alone.

An investigation of the usages of the word deen (which occurs in this verse) reveals that the core of its meaning is obedience. In its technical usage, the word refers to that system of life which arises as a result of a person recognizing someone as his Lord and Sovereign and committing himself to following his commands and ordinances. This explanation of the word deen makes it quite clear that when some human beings establish their godhead and absolute dominance over others, this state of affairs is one of fitnah. Islam seeks to put an end to this and replace it by a state of affairs in which people live in obedience to the laws of God alone.

Note 205: What is meant here by 'desisting' is not the abandonment of unbelief and polytheism on the part of the unbelievers but rather their desistance from active hostility to the religion enjoined by God. The unbeliever, the polytheist, the atheist, has each been, empowered to hold on to his beliefs and to worship who and whatever he wishes. In order to deliver these people from their error, Muslims are required to counsel them and tell them where their good lies. But Muslims ought not to try to achieve this purpose by resorting to force. At the same time, these misguided people have no right to either enforce the false laws of their own contriving instead of the laws of God or to drive the people of God to bondage of others than God. In order to put an end to this fitnah, both persuasion and force be used, whenever and to the extent to which each of the two is needed, and a true believer will not rest until the unbelievers give up this fitnah.

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Mufti Shafi Usmani writes in his Maariful Quran:

Note on 2:191: Since Muslims, during their entire Makkan period, were made to stay away from fighting against the disbelievers and were repeatedly asked to forego and forgive, so much so, that the noble Companions were, before the revelation of this verse, under the impression that killing disbelievers was bad, and prohibited. It was to remove this misconception that it was said: "And Fitnah is more severe than to kill," that is, it is true that to kill someone is a terribly evil act, but more terrible and severe is what the disbelievers of Makkah have done by insisting on their kufr and shirk (infidelity and the associating of others with Allah) and by stopping Muslims from fulfilling their religious obligations, and from performing Hajj and 'Umrah. It is to avoid this greater evil that killing them has been permitted. The word, Fitnah in the verse (not translated for want of a perfect equivalent in English) inescapably means kufr and shirk and to prevent Muslims from fulfilling their religious obligations of 'ibadah. ---- Jassas (Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Ali Al-Razi Al-Jassas (d. 370 AH/980 CE), Imam Abu 'Abdullah Al-Qurtubi (1214 - 1273 CE) and others.

Since the generality of the words 'kill them wherever you find them' might lead to the misconception that killing the disbelievers is allowed even in the precincts of Haram (Kaaba), this generality has been particularized in the next sentence of the verse by saying: And do not fight them near Al-Masjid al-Haram unless they fight you there. That is, 'you should not fight them close to AL-Masjid aL-Haram, which includes all its environs in Makkah, unless they themselves start fighting you there.'

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It also comes out from this verse that the prohibition of initiating Jihad is restricted to Al-Masjid al-Haram and its environs to which the sacred precincts extend in Makkah. At other places, just as the defensive Jihad is necessary, the initiating of Jihad and Qital is also valid.

Tafseer Surah Tauba (Q. 9:1-5) by Prominent Salafi A’lim Maulana Muhammad Junagarhi and Maulana Salahuddin Yusuf

Tafseer-e-Quran Urdu published and distributed by the Saudi government which has been translated by the prominent Salafi A’lim Maulana Muhammad Saheb Junagarhi and explained by Maulana Salahuddin Yusuf says in its footnote on 9:1-5, “Allah said, 9:1 “Freedom from obligations from Allah and His Messenger”, is a declaration of freedom from all obligations from Allah and His Messenger to those of the Mushrikin (polytheists), with whom Muslims made a treaty.

“This Ayah refers to idolaters who had indefinite treaties and those, whose treaties with Muslims ended in less than four months. The terms of these treaties were restricted to four months only. As for those whose term of peace ended at a specific date later (than the four months), then their treaties would end when their terms ended, no matter how long afterwards (probably nine months). So, whoever had a covenant with Allah's Messenger then it would last until its period expired. During this period, the idolaters were permitted to live in Mecca and its surrounding areas so that they can decide, before the expiry of this period, either to accept Islam or leave the Arab peninsula or face death.

“But there was an exception from the four month’s warning for those of the idolaters (they were two tribes) with whom Muslims had made a peace treaty, and they had not subsequently violated the treaty, nor had they supported anyone against the Muslims. So, Muslims were asked to fulfil their treaty obligations with them until the end of their term. This is the type of idolaters whose peace agreement with Muslims was carried out to its end. But after the expiry of this period Muslims were ordered to fight and kill all the idolaters without exception (those who had violated the peace treaty as well as those who had not) unless, and until, they embrace Islam or leave the Arab peninsula.”

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Tafseer Noorul Irfan – The famous Barailvi tafseer (interpretation).  

Note on 2:193 “From this verse we learn that the purpose of Jihad is not the total annihilation of the infidels, but to destroy the power of infidelity so that they do not become an obstacle in the propagation of Islam. The might of infidels should be destroyed so that the institution of worship of one true God can be established without any obstacle.”

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Khazai-nul-Irfan by well-known Barailvi A’lim Maulana Naeemuddin Muradabadi.

Interestingly, another famous Barailvi A’lim Maulana Naeemuddin Muradabadi, in ‘Khazainul Irfan’, his urdu tafseer of Kanzul I’man, has also explained the word ‘fitnah’ in 2:193 as KUFR and SHIRK. He says, while explaining the verse 2:191, (Aur kafiron ko jahan pao maro…………………. And kill them wherever you find them), “Jo jang ke qabil naheen hain unse jang na karo, ya jin se tum ne ahed (agreement) kiya ho unse bghair dawat (inviting to Islam) ke jang na karo kyonki tareeqa-e-shara (Islamic way) yeh hai ki pahle kuffar ko Islam ki dawat dee jaye, agar who inkaar Karen to jizyah talab kiya jaye, ab agar is se bhi inkaar Karen to to unse jang ki jaye. Is mana par is aayat ka hukm baqi hai, mansookh nahin huwa hai. It further says, explaining the word ‘fitnah’ that “fitnah (Fasa’d) se shirk’ (polytheism) murad hai ya musalmanon ko makkah mukarramah mein dakhil hone se rokna”. Moreover, commenting on the next verse 2:193 (phir agar who baaz aa jayen

But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimin) “yani Agar kufr aur shirk se baaz aa jayen (that is, if they desist from kufr (disbelief) and shirk, idol-worship) …

Minhaj-ul-Quran by Dr Tahirul Qadri:

2:193. “Aur unse jang karte raho hatta ki koi fitna baqi na rahe aur deen yani zindagi aur bandgi ka nizam amalan Allah hi ke tabe ho jaye, phir agar who baaz Aa jayen to sewai zaalimon ke kisi par zyadti rawa nahin.”

In his note on the above verse 2:193 Dr Tahirul Qadri says, “Jihad aur inqilabi jadd-o-jahad deeni fareeza hain. Aur fitna-e-batil ke mukammal khatma aur qiyam-e-amn tak inqilabi jang jari rahni chaahiye. Ghalba aur nifaz-e-deen (Islam’s domination and the implementation of the Islamic Sharia- emphasis mine) Jihad aur inqilabi jang ki aakhri manzil hai. Haan agar mukhalif quwwaten fitna parwari se baaz aajayen to unpar sakhti na ki jaye.

Abdur Rahman Hamza comments: “Any person having sufficient knowledge of Islam and jihad can easily understand what Dr Tahirul Qadri actually understands by the word ‘fitna’ in verse 2:193, though he has used carefully selected and sugar-quoted words and phrases to hide the real purpose of offensive Jihad which, according to his own statement is “the ultimate domination of Islam and implementation of its Sharia all over the world.”

 “I am really shocked! I see no difference whatsoever between what these Ulema, both Deobandi and Barelvi are saying and what Maulana Maududi has written. They all agree that the purpose of Jihad is to establish the Islamic domination all over the world after destroying the powers of Kufr and Shirk where ever and whenever Muslims have the power to do it. So, we should not be surprised at what ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabab, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar -e-Taiba and Taliban are doing in their lands under the guidance of their Ulema to carry out this DEENI FAREEZAH (Religious duty).

“Now let us come to the claim of Syed Hamid Mohsin sb regarding the Quranic verse, 9:5 “So when the Sacred Months have passed, then fight the Mushrikin wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform the Salah (prayer), and give the Zakah (Islamic Tax), then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

“Hamid Mohsin Saheb says about this verse, that it cannot be seen as a command for all times. Once again, it is a specific instruction to those who violated the peace treaty. The verse speaks of the sacred months when a truce of sorts was supposed to be in operation. But actually, with the exception of the tribes of the Bani Damrah and the Bani Kananah, (who respected the treaties they made with Muslims) all other tribes in, and around Madinah frequently violated the agreement and continued to kill and persecute the Muslims. Indeed, such violations were a common characteristic of the Arabian tribes. These are the specific people to whom this verse refers, not the polytheists who respected the peace treaties.

Ibn Kathir says, Allah said: 9:1-2 “Freedom from obligations from Allah and His Messenger, (to those of the Mushrikin (idol-worshippers, polytheists), with whom you made a treaty. So travel freely (Mushrikin) for four months (as you will) throughout the land."

 This Ayah refers to idolaters who had indefinite treaties and those, whose treaties with Muslims ended in less than four months. The terms of these treaties were restricted to four months only. As for those whose term of peace ended at a specific date later (than the four months), then their treaties would end when their terms ended, no matter how long afterwards, for Allah said,

9:4. “Except those of the Mushrikin with whom you have a treaty, and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor have supported anyone against you. So fulfil their treaty for them until the end of their term. Surely, Allah loves those who have Taqwa.”

The exceptional pagan tribes who remained true to their word were the Banu Hamza and Banu Kina’na who swore their treaty near the sacred mosque and faithfully observed it. Regarding them Allah said, “So fulfil their treaty for them until the end of their term 9:4. One source says the remaining period was 9 months.

9:5. So when the Sacred Months have passed, then fight the Mushrikin wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform the Salah, and give the Zakah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

“All agree that this condition (submission to Islam as a condition for exoneration or leaving the Arab peninsula or getting ready to die) equally applied to all the polytheists without exception: those who frequently broke the peace treaty as well as those who remained true to their word and faithfully observed it, after the terms of their treaty ended. So, it is quite clear that the fight was not against treacherous enemy but against Kufr and Shirk.

Jawed Ahmad Ghamidi on Jihad

Ghamidi believes that there are certain directives of the Qur'an pertaining to war which were specific only to the Prophet Muhammad and certain specified peoples of his times (particularly the progeny of Abraham: the Ishmaelites, the Israelites, and the Nazarites). Thus, the Prophet and his designated followers waged a war against Divinely specified peoples of their time (the polytheists and the Israelites and Nazarites of Arabia and some other Jews, Christians, et al.) as a form of Divine punishment and asked the polytheists of Arabia for submission to Islam as a condition for exoneration and the others for jizya and submission to the political authority of the Muslims for exemption from death punishment and for military protection as the dhimmis of the Muslims. Therefore, after the Prophet and his companions, there is no concept in Islam obliging Muslims to wage war for propagation or implementation of Islam. The only valid basis for jihad through arms is to end oppression when all other measures have failed.

Ref: Mizan, The Islamic Law of Jihad.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Efforts on the part of the prophets over a period of thousands of years had proved that any struggle which was confined to intellectual or missionary field was not sufficient to extricate man from the grip of this superstition (shirk).

(So) It was God’s decree that he be a da’i (missionary) as well as ma’hi (eradicator). He was entrusted by God with the mission of not only proclaiming to the world that superstitious beliefs were based on falsehood, but also of resorting to military action, if the need arose, to eliminate that system for all time.

 

      This same mission of leading men from darkness to light had been entrusted to all the prophets in turn. The sense, however, in which the Prophet of Islam was distinct from the others was that, in his case, God had decreed - since no Prophet was to come after him - that he should not just communicate the divine message to humanity and leave it at that, but that he should also take practical steps to change the entire existing state of affairs.

      The prerequisites for putting this plan into action were all provided by God. Moreover, God also guaranteed that any shortcoming in worldly resources would be amply compensated for by special help from the angels."

 

"This Point Has Been Made in The Hadith in Different Ways. One Hadith in Particular Is Quite Direct in its wording: “I Am The Eradicator Through Whom God Will Obliterate Unbelief.” Thus, The Prophet Was Not Just a Da’i (Missionary) But Also a Mahi (Eradicator).  He Was The Caller To The Faith, But He Had Also To Compel People To Answer His Call. The Qur’an clearly states that besides human beings, God’s angels would also help him in accomplishing his mission.

 

“This commandment of God was, indeed, realized through the Prophet, so that a whole new era could be ushered in."

 

“But Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, on many occasions, seems contradicting himself. For example, he writes, in his book, “,The True Jihad: The Concept of Peace, Tolerance and Non Violence in Islam “There are certain verses in the Quran which convey injunctions similar to the following: 'Kill them wherever you find them.' (2:191)
Referring to such verses, there are some who attempt to give the impression that Islam is a religion of war and violence. This is totally untrue. Such verses relate in a restricted sense, to those who have unilaterally attacked the Muslims. The above verse does not convey the general command of Islam. (pp. 42-43)” 


“Contrary to the above, the same Maulana Wahiduddin Khan says in his Urdu tafseer, “Tazkeer-Ul- Quran”, while commenting on the same verse, “Momin ko deen ka aamil banne ke sath deen ka mujahid bhi banna hai.Yahan jis jihad ka zikr hai wo jihad wo hai jo rasooluullah ke zamane mein pesh a’ya. Arab ke mushrikeen itma’me hujjat ke bawajud risalat se inkar karke apne liye zindagi ka haq kho chuke the. Neez unhon ne jarihiyyat ka izhar kar ke apne khilaf fauji iqdaam ko durust sabit kar diya tha. Is bina par unke khelaf talwar uthane ka hukm hua…. “Aur unse lado yahan tak ki fitna baqi na rahe aur deen Allah ka ho jaye” ka matlab yeh hai ki sarzameen-e-Arab se shirk ka khatma ho jaye aur deen-e-Tauheed ke sewa koi deen wahan baqi na rahe. Is hukm ke zariae Allah Ta’la ne Arab ko Tauheed ka daimee markaz bana diya.

 

“However, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan also believes that there are certain directives of the Qur'an pertaining to war which were specific only to the Prophet Muhammad and certain specified peoples of his times. After the Prophet and his companions, there is no concept in Islam obliging Muslims to wage war for propagation or implementation of Islam because it is not possible in our time.”

 

Abdul Rahman Hamza concludes: “Clearly, Ulema need to go beyond making pious declarations of Islam having nothing to do with the offensive Jihad going on in several parts of the world today. They must take a stand and clarify why Islamic theologians over the centuries including reputed Indian ulema have interpreted war-time Quranic verses as calling for offensive jihad. These verses are being used both by Jihadis and Islamophobes to justify their respective viewpoints. It is the religious duty of Ulema to come clean and clear the air, both for the sake of Muslim youth who are joining the Islamic State in growing numbers and non-Muslims who have come to fear Islam for obvious reasons.”

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Ref:  Offensive Jihad Requires A Clear And Unambiguous Stand by the Ulema: Why have so many reputed Islamic Scholars supported it?

URL for Urdu article: https://www.newageislam.com/urdu-section/sultan-shahin-founder-editor-new-age-islam/waseem-rizvis-challenge-opportunity-ulema-وسیم-رضوی-کا-چیلنج-علماء-کے-لئے-آج-ایک-موقع-ہے-کہ-وہ-قرآن-کی-چھبیس-جنگی-آیتوں-کے-نافذ-العمل-نہ-ہونے-کا-اعلان-کردیں/d/124599

URL for Malayalam article: https://www.newageislam.com/malayalam-section/sultan-shahin-founder-editor-new-age-islam/waseem-rizvis-challenge-an-opportunity-for-ulema--ഇന്ന്-മുസ്‌ലിംകൾക്കായി-ഖുറാനിലെ-ഈ-26-യുദ്ധകാല-വാക്യങ്ങളുടെ-പ്രയോഗക്ഷമതയില്ലായ്മ-പ്രഖ്യാപിക്കാൻ-ഉലമയ്‌ക്കുള്ള-ഒരു-അവസരംവസീം-റിസ്‌വിയുടെ-വെല്ലുവിളി/d/124597

URL: https://www.newageislam.com/debating-islam/sultan-shahin-founder-editor-new-age-islam/waseem-rizvis-challenge-an-opportunity-for-ulema-to-proclaim-the-inapplicability-of-these-26-war-time-verses-of-quran-for-muslims-today/d/124572

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