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Refuting Islamophobic Claim That Jihadists Represent Islam- Part 6 On the Killing of Mushrikin and Kuffar


New Age Islam Special Correspondent

6 February 2021



The Jihadist narrative of ‘Killing Mushrikin and Kuffar’ is based on the misunderstanding of the Quran and Ahadith. The ruling of killing Mushrikin is mentioned in the Quran, but the revelation of this ruling was specifically meant for the Mushrikin of Makka only in the state of war, which was not to be implemented in the state of peace. However, the Jihadists seek to achieve their nefarious ambitions of taking over the state power, they are bound to make force-fitted arguments in a bid to succeed in their pursuits. Muslim civilians including Sufi-Sunnis and Shias are not willing to capitulate to the Wahhabi-Jihadist creeds. Thus it becomes their duty to label these Muslims as Mushrikin and Kuffar so as to justify their killing, regardless of the fact that even the real Mushrikin in the Prophetic era were not fought on the basis of their acts of shirk and kufr, but rather on the cause of their repeated oppressive and persecuting behaviour.

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Also Read:    Refuting Islamophobic Claims That Jihadists Represent Traditional and Mainstream Interpretations of Islam: Part 1- On the Hakimiyyah

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In this part of the Refutation of Jihadists and Islamophobes, the common people who have fallen prey to the Jihadist misunderstanding of the Quran, Ahadith, or Islam, can learn a good understanding of this subject to remove their own doubts and help remove others’. Since the classical methodology largely impresses the mainstream Muslims and convince them, we will utilize the classical jurisprudential principles in this refutation of Jihadists so as to share with them that the Jihadists are on the fault line even according to the classical and traditional principles of jurisprudence through which the Quran and Ahadith are properly understood in letter and spirit. This will indeed shut up the Islamophobic-mouth which in the media limelight appears to claim that the Jihadists are based on the Quran, Ahadith, and Islam.

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Also ReadRefuting Islamophobic Claim That Jihadists Represent Traditional and Mainstream Interpretations of Islam: Part 2 on Imperativeness of Reclaiming ‘Muslim Land’

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The Jihadists such as ISIS militants repeatedly quote the Quranic verse (9:5) to justify the killing of Mushrikin and Kuffar. In the seventh issue of their mouthpiece magazine called ‘Dabiq’, they have quoted this verse to argue that “Islam is the religion of the sword not pacifism” (Dabiq, 7th issue, p.20). The following is an excerpt quoted in their magazine with reference to Tafsir-e-Ibn Kathir;  

“‘Alī Ibn Abī Tālib (radiyallāhu ‘anh) said, “Allah’s Messenger (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sent with four swords: a sword for the Mushrikin, {And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the Mushrikin wherever you find them} [At-Tawbah: 5], a sword for Ahlul-Kitāb, {Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Book – [fight them] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled} [At-Tawbah: 29], a sword for the munāfiqīn, {O Prophet, fight against the Kuffar and the Munāfiqīn} [At-Tawbah: 73], and a sword for the bughāt (rebellious aggressors), {Then fight against the group that commits baghy (aggression) until it returns to the ordinance of Allah} [Al-Hujurāt: 9]” [Tafsir Ibn Kathīr]. (Quoted from ISIS’ magazine ‘Dabiq’, 7th issue, p.20)

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Also Read:   Refuting Islamophobic Claims That Jihadists Represent Traditional and Mainstream Interpretations of Islam: Part 3 on the Jihadist Narrative Inciting Treachery towards One’s Country

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Anyone who ignores the context of the verses quoted in the above excerpt and simply reads them literally may misunderstand them. However, if he ponders over the circumstances and causes of revelation (Shane Nuzul or Asbab Al-Nuzul) of these verses, he will surely understand that these verses were revealed in the context of war and their ruling was to be implemented only in the state of war, and not in the state of peace as today.

With the use of jurisprudential principles, we will refute the Jihadist understanding of the Quranic verse 9:5, as was done earlier by Mr. Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, a regular columnist of New Age Islam. This refutation can be described as a short summary of Mr. Siddiqi’s refutation.

Linguistically analysing, the Arabic word “Mushrikin” is in the plural form and thus denotes generality (‘Umum). Mr. Ghaus says, “Those who are not well-versed in Arabic, even despite being the Arabs, must know that the general words (‘Aam Kalimat) of the Quran always include the possibility of incorporating some individuals, or a majority of individuals, or few individuals or sometimes one individual. The jurists of all ages have unanimously agreed in their respective principles of jurisprudence that any word of the Quran whose meaning is apparent (Zahir) still has the possibility of specification or further interpretation. Therefore no one in this world can present this verse (9:5) as a piece of definitive evidence to prove that the word “Mushrikin” mentioned in the Quran refers to all Mushrikin of the world or of all ages.”

Refutation of ISIS That Uses the Verse, ‘Kill the Mushrikin Wherever You Find Them’ To Justify Terrorism in 21st Century: Linguistic Analysis of the Word ‘Mushrikin’ Part-1

The characteristic creeds of the Mushrikin of Makkah are different from the Mushrikin living in the 21st century. This can be seen in the article referenced below;

What Are the Major Characteristics of the Mushrikun Mentioned in The Quran and How Do They Differ From The Mushrikun Living In The 21st Century?

Another point to remember while reading the Quranic verse 9:5 is that the ‘Mushrikin’ were fought as violators of peace-treaty not because they had committed shirk (an act of associating partners with Allah). The Mushrikin mentioned in this verse were the religious persecutors and had violated the peace-treaty after signing it. For as long as 14 or 15 years, the early Muslims suffered insults, outrages, and injuries at the hands of these religious persecutors. Initially, despite suffering the religious persecutions, the Muslims were not permitted to fight back in defense but after about 15 years, they were permitted to fight back in defense and it was the state of war that the verse “kill the Mushrikin .....” was revealed.  Hence it can’t be argued from verse 9:5 that they were fought because of their Shirk. This is also supported by the following interpretations made by the classical scholars, as quoted by Mr. Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi in his article.

“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 the 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 the peace treaties by waging war against the Muslims.

Allama 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 initiating 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)

“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 the 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)

“Implication of these two verses (9:13) and (9:36) and comments of classical jurists as mentioned above is that the Mushrikin mentioned in verse 9:5 were not all the Mushrikin but those who were the religious persecutors and had violated peace-treaties by waging war against the early Muslims. Hence it is not appropriate to deduce that the Mushrikin were fought because of their Shirk.

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Also Read:  Refuting Islamophobic Claim That Jihadists Represent Traditional and Mainstream Interpretations of Islam - Part 4 on the Jihadist Narrative Justifying Suicide Bombings or Martyrdom Operations

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“We need to consider two things here; firstly if the act of Shirk (polytheism) had been the cause of the fighting, the peace-treaty would not have been signed between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Mushrikin of Makkah. Secondly, if those Mushrikin had not been the religious persecutors or the violators of the peace-treaty, the fighting would not have occurred. This can also be understood from the Ahadith, which do not grant permission to kill the women, children, disabled or old from among the Mushrikin.” Read the full article here;  Refutation of ISIS: Who Are The Mushrikin Mentioned In The Quranic Verse 9:5? - Part 2

In another part, Mr. Siddiqi says,

“The jurisprudential principle ‘Dalalat Siyaaq al-Kalam’ refers to the situation where the literal meaning of any word is dropped due to the context and structure (Siyaaq) of the speech (Kalam). There are some clues, in such a situation, which indicate that the literal meaning of the word is not meant.

“The literal meaning of the word “Mushrikin” means those who commit the acts of Shirk, that is, those who worship other than Allah Almighty and attribute an equal partner to Allah in His Essence (Zaat) and Attributes (Sifat).

“The literal meaning of the word ‘Mushrikin’ mentioned in verse 9:5 demands that all those who commit shirk should be killed. But the context and structure of the full relevant text of the verse 9:5 demands that only those who are religious persecutors, violators of peace-treaty, and have restored the war should be killed. So based on the principle of ‘Dalalat Siyaaq al-Kalam’, the literal meaning of the word ‘Mushrikin’ would be dropped here.”  Read the full article here: Refutation of ISIS In The Context and Structure of the Quranic Verse ‘Kill the Mushrikin wherever you Find them’ (9:5)- Part 4

The Quranic verse 9:5, according to ISIS and other Jihadist ideologues, has permanently abrogated the Quranic verses of peace, forbearance, and all treaties of peace. It is for this reason that they believe all Mushrikin including “the Yazidis” and the “Sufi-oriented Muslims” must be killed, otherwise, they think, it will make them accountable to God on the Day of Judgment. 

The two masters of Quranic Sciences, Imam Zarkashi and Imam Suyuti have explained 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 context. The ruling of verse 9:5 is a case of context and specification and not of ‘abrogation’ as defined by later jurists. This view is also supported by Imam Baydawi, Allama Alusi, Imam Abu Bakr Jassas and many others. Please see the detail here,  Refutation of ISIS That Justifies Terrorism in 21st Century: Did the ‘Sword Verse’ 9:5 Really Abrogate Verses of Peace and Forbearance? Part -5

From the above discussion, it becomes clear that the Quranic verse 9:5 was applicable at the time of its revelation only in the state of war, and hence it should not be misused or misapplied by the present-day Jihadists to achieve their nefarious objectives. They should remember that the democratic countries ensure peace and security and the citizens have vowed to live peacefully under their constitution by respecting law and order. The basic rights, such as the right to security, equal protection, religion, freedom of practicing religious rituals and social transactions (mu’amalaat) etc, are guaranteed for all the citizens including Muslims and non-Muslims. This should be enough for any Muslim to spend his life in the worship of Allah which is one of the objectives of the divine creation plan as beautifully mentioned in the verse, “And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me” (51:56).   

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Also Read:     Refuting Islamophobic Claims That Jihadists Represent Traditional and Mainstream Interpretations of Islam: Part 5- On The Concept of Darul Islam and Darul Harb

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URL:    https://www.newageislam.com/muslims-and-islamophobia/new-age-islam-correspondent/refuting-islamophobic-claim-that-jihadists-represent-islam-part-6-on-the-killing-of-mushrikin-and-kuffar/d/124241


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