By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
14 July 2016
There isn’t a subject on which the Ahadith do not mislead vis-à-vis the clear message of the Quran whether it is war, divorce, female witnessing, inheritance, or even the hajj. In this article, we discuss one Hadith which is causing the greatest damage and is truly satanic in its scope. Consider the following Hadith:
The Tafseer of Ibn Kathir on verses 2:191 to 193 and 8:36 to 8:38 quotes a Hadith collected in the two Sahihs in which the Prophet (pbuh) is alleged to have said:
«أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أُقَاتِلَ النَّاسَ، حَتَّى يَقُولُوا: لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، فَإِذَا قَالُوهَا عَصَمُوا مِنِّي دِمَاءَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ، إِلَّا بِحَقِّهَا، وَحِسَابُهُمْ عَلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَل»
(I was commanded to fight against the people until they proclaim, `There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.' If and when they say it, they will preserve their blood and wealth from me, except for its right (Islamic penal code), and their reckoning is with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honoured.)"
The abovementioned Hadith has not only distorted the message of the Quran, but made Muslims believe in a false history of early Islam for which there is no evidence. It is believed perhaps by all scholars, that the Christians and the Jews under the political authority of the Prophet (pbuh) were given the option to pay Jizya or face war, but the polytheists had no choice but to accept Islam or be killed. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Consider verse 9:29 translated by Yusuf Ali:
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission.
Who are the people who do not believe in Allah and the last day? Are they the Jews and Christians? Certainly not! The only people the Quran accuses of not believing in Allah and the last day are the “Mushrikin” or the polytheists. There are numerous verses that speak of the Jews and the Christians but not even one verse accuses them of not believing in Allah or the last day. There are also numerous verses that speak of the “Mushrikin” which accuse them of not believing in the last day and associating partners with Allah or disbelieving both in Allah and the Last Day (44:35, 50:3, 56:47). How do the scholars then connect this part of the verse with the Jews and Christians and not with the “Mushrikin” or the polytheists? They are misled by the quoted Hadith according to which, the Mushrikin forfeited their right to life if they did not accept Islam and therefore there was no question of their being given the choice of paying Jiziya and continue to live as polytheists. A truly satanic Hadith is made to prevail on a very clear message of the Quran!
The Jews and the Christians are accused of not holding that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and his messenger (4:161, 5:42, 5:62,63) and not acknowledging the religion of Truth. The subject of the latter part of the verse is therefore the Jews and the Christians. The verse therefore covers the Polytheists, the Jews and the Christiana and all of them are given a choice to willingly pay Jiziya or face war.
Yusuf Ali appears to show a correct understanding by saying “(even if they are) of the People of the Book” implying thereby, that the subject of the verse is primarily the polytheists and such of the people of the Book who do not hold forbidden that “which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth”
Let us now see the contortions that Muhammad Asad goes through to make the meaning fit the Hadith cited:
9:29 [And] fight against those who - despite having been vouchsafed revelation [aforetime]- do not [truly] believe either in God or the Last Day, and do not consider forbidden that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and do not follow the religion of truth [which God has enjoined upon them] till they [agree to] pay the exemption tax with a willing hand, after having been humbled [in war].
Notice how he struggles with the first part of the verse:
“[And] fight against those who - despite having been vouchsafed revelation [aforetime]- do not [truly] believe either in God or the Last Day.”
If the Christians and the Jews who believe in God and the last day are to be accused of not believing, then the only way to do so was to say that they do not “truly” believe. He puts “truly” in parenthesis because it is not there in the Quran. So were they hypocrites? And if so, why does the Quran not make it clear that although the Jews and the Christians claim to believe, they do not truly believe? The Quran is quite unmistakably talking about people who are by their own account disbelievers in Allah and the Last Day and not those who claim to believe but actually do not. The simple truth is that this part of the verse does not refer to the Christians and the Jews but to the Polytheists.
Asad continues to struggle trying to reconcile the first part of the verse with the second part and says: “Since, earlier in this sentence, the people alluded to are accused of so grave a sin as wilfully refusing to believe in God and the Last Day, it is inconceivable that they should subsequently be blamed for comparatively minor offences against their religious law”
Why is he blind and deaf to the simple truth that the first part refers to the Polytheists and the second part to the Jews and the Christians? The cited Hadith is to blame.
This is how he tries to reconcile the two parts “: consequently, the stress on their "not forbidding that which God and His apostle have forbidden" must refer to something which is as grave, or almost as grave, as disbelief in God. In the context of an ordinance enjoining war against them, this "something" can mean only one thing - namely, unprovoked aggression: for it is this that has been forbidden by God through all the apostles who were entrusted with conveying His message to man. Thus, the above verse must be understood as a call to the believers to fight against such - and only such - of the nominal followers of earlier revelation as deny their own professed beliefs by committing aggression against the followers of the Qur'an (cf. Manar X, 338).”
In effect, what Muhammad Asad is trying to say, is that the Quran is asking the Muslims to fight against the Jews and Christians, only if they fight against them, and then after defeating them, impose Jizya on them! If that is what the Quran wanted to say, isn’t there a simpler and clearer way? Those who interpret the Quran in the light of the highly unreliable Ahadith, make it appear as a Book of crooked deviousness (God forbid) which none can understand without the help of these scholars.
The subject of Jiziya is covered in detail in my article:
The other verses that are misinterpreted on account of the cited hadith are verses 8:36 to 8:38 to imply falsely, that the Prophet’s battles were to end not only religious persecution and aggression by the polytheists but to end “shirk” itself. This is covered in my article:
These are similar to verses 2:191 to 2:193 which are also misinterpreted to mean that fighting is ordained not only to end the “Fitna” of religious persecution and establish the “Deen of Allah”, but to end polytheism. The “Deen of Allah” clearly stands for “no compulsion in religion” and to allow the wilful but peaceful rejecters of the faith “to follow their own way”.
Let us now examine the end game after the Prophet conquered Mecca and within the next year and a half defeated all other tribes who had fought against the Muslims earlier and brought the entire Arabian Peninsula under his political authority. This is covered in Surah Taubah.
The Final Judgment
This was the time for Allah to pronounce His judgment that was repeatedly warned in the Meccan Surahs. Allah had spared the Meccans destruction by an act of God when Muhammad (pbuh) was driven out of Mecca. A few of the remaining chiefs of Unfaith were executed after the conquest of Mecca.
Surah Taubah the second last Surah in chronological order was revealed roughly 18 months after the conquest of Mecca by which time all remaining pockets of resistance were overcome. The war was mostly with the Meccans and their allies who were all Mushrikin. Notice when Mushrik is used and when kafir is used in these verses.
Verses 9:1 and 9:2 declare amnesty of four months to all Mushrikin but with a warning that the Kafirun among them will be covered with shame at the end of the period.
9:3 and 9:4 announces dissolution of all treaties with the Mushrikin except with those who never broke their treaty and warns the Kafirun (not Mushrikin) of a grievous penalty.
Verse 9:5 is a command to kill all Mushrikin at the end of the four month period with the exception of:
1. Those who never broke their treaty or never fought the Muslims (9:4)
2. Those who accept Islam offer prayers and pay Zakat (9:5)
3. Those who seek asylum (9:6)
If the command was to kill only the kafir, then the problem would have been how to identify them since there was no longer an enemy standing in battle. The verse identifies the non kafir among the Mushrikin through the exceptions listed above. The rest of the verses are by way of justification and evidence of the Kufr practiced by those who are to be killed which covers all the Mushrikin except those who never broke their treaty with the Muslims or never fought against them or those who seek asylum. Asylum seekers are not defiant and therefore not kafir.
The following verses are further proof that the cause for fighting is not for the Kufr of faith or belief which is known only to Allah, but for the kufr of violating oaths and covenants, for having plotted to expel the Messenger, and for being the first to assault the Muslims. There is no command to kill for simple unbelief.
(9:12) But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith ( a-Immat-al-Kufri) : for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.(13) Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you?
Those “Kafaru” who had actively opposed Islam, fought wars, broke their treaties and remained defiant even after the four month amnesty period were to be put to the sword. How many people fell in this category? I have not been able to find any account of those killed after the amnesty period and it would appear that all of them had either accepted Islam, or sought refuge or migrated to a neighbouring country.
What of those who never broke their treaties but whose treaties had also expired and those who sought asylum but not accepted Islam? As per 9:29, they could continue to follow their own religion but pay Jizia. It would appear that none fell in this category either which should not be surprising at all. Once the remaining Chiefs of Unfaith had either accepted Islam or migrated, the rest of the people had no impediment in accepting Islam and entered the religion in large numbers as evidenced by the last Surah in chronological order viz, Surah An-Nasr / Divine Support
(110:1) When comes the Help of Allah, and Victory,
(2) And thou dost see the people enter Allah´s Religion in crowds,
(3) Celebrate the praises of thy Lord, and pray for His Forgiveness: For He is Oft-Returning (in Grace and Mercy).
Not a single person was killed for simple unbelief and the principle of “Let there be no compulsion in religion” and “To (peaceful rejecter of faith ) be his way and to me mine” was never violated either by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) or by any of the previous prophets and these are the eternal principles of the Deen of Allah.
Scholars including the most moderate Javed Ghamidi are thrown totally off the track on account of the cited Hadith. Javed Ghamidi maintains that at the end of the Prophetic mission, all those who do not accept belief are either destroyed by an act of God or put to the sword by the Prophet and his armies since the Kufr of disbelief is established against them. There is no verse in the Quran which justifies killing for the Kufr of simple disbelief. From the example of the previous prophets’ missions, it is not difficult to see that he is mistaken. Moses preached in Egypt for several years assisted by nine signs of Allah and yet very few believed. The Kafaru killed by drowning were only the Pharaoh and those who followed him with intent to kill Moses and the Children of Israel. These alone were the Kafaru (enemies of Allah and his Prophet) among the non-believers and they alone were killed by Allah by drowning them in the sea. Before Moses, Prophet Yusuf preached in Egypt and yet there were no believers among the Egyptians when Moses began to preach. It would appear that not many accepted belief at the end of Prophet Yusuf’s mission and yet none were killed either by the sword or by an act of God.
All the rejecters of faith appear to have been peaceful rejecters and therefore none were destroyed. In the case of Prophet Yunus, all the people (some hundred thousand) accepted belief and none were killed/destroyed. The Hadith has misled all the scholars and the Ulema and must be categorized among the satanic Ahadith and rejected. This misinterpretation is at the root of the religious oppression that the Muslims are today practicing on their minorities. The so called Muslims who do this are the Kafirs of today by the Quran’s definition of kafir which means the oppressors and especially the religious persecutors. There is no compulsion in religion and there never was by any of the Prophets of Allah and their true followers. Those who fight peaceful non-Muslims to destroy “shirk” are the followers of Satan.
Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He is a frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com
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