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Refuting the Claim of ISIS ‘Islam Was Never for A day the Religion of Peace’

By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

05 September 2019

“Islam was never for a day the religion of peace, Islam is the religion of war”, the self-proclaimed caliph of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi asserts in an audio address entitled “March Forth whether light or heavy”. ( In its mouthpiece magazine ‘Dabiq’, ISIS publishes an article entitled “Islam is the Religion Of the Sword, not Pacifism”, without mentioning the author’s name. Before refuting this statement of ISIS, it is important to note at the following excerpt from the article;

“There is a slogan repeated continuously by apologetic “du’āt” when flirting with the West and that is their statement: “Islam is the religion of peace,” and they mean pacifism by the word peace. They have repeated this slogan so much to the extent that some of them alleged that Islam calls to permanent peace with Kufr and the kāfirīn. How far is their claim from the truth, for Allah has revealed Islam to be the religion of the sword, and the evidence for this is so profuse that only a zindīq (heretic) would argue otherwise.” (Dabiq, 7th issue, pg. 20-24)

The claim of ISIS “Islam was never for a day the religion of peace, Islam is the religion of war” is completely baseless. This claim denies the truth established in the Quran and Sunnah that Islam is intrinsically a religion of peace and that the preachers (du’at) of peace are neither apologetic nor heretic because they serve Islam by spreading its teachings of peace. There is no denying the fact that Islam grants permission for waging war but for the objectives of curbing religious persecutions, preventing terrorism, violence and restoring peace and tranquillity in its state.

The following are evidences taken from the Quran and Sunnah which refute the statement of ISIS.

Allah Almighty says, “But do not strive for Fasad (evil and terror) in the land. Surely, Allah does not like (Mufsidin) those who violate peace.”  (28:77)

The phrase “Allah does not like those who violate peace” implies that He Almighty likes those who establish peace. This Quranic verse categorically refutes the claim of ISIS that “Islam was never for a day the religion of peace”  

The Arabic word ‘Fasad’ in the Quranic verses connotatively renders ‘anarchy’, ‘terror’, ‘violence’, ‘corruption’, ‘mischief’ etc and according to the Quran, the perpetrators of Fasad or terror will incur divine wrath (see these Quran verses, 2:204-205, 28:77) and will be barred from Paradise (13:25, 28:77 & 83).

Peace and safety is a great bounty of Allah for the entire humankind. Allah Almighty says in the Quran, “Let them worship the Lord of this House, Who has fed them, [saving them] from hunger and made them safe, [saving them] from fear.” (106:4-5)

But the ISIS claims “Islam was never for a day the religion of peace...”!!!

Opening the ways of peace for the entire humankind is the main objective of revealing the Quran and sending down the Prophet (peace be upon him). This is explicitly clear from the words of Allah Almighty,

“There has indeed come to you a light from Allah (i.e., Muhammad peace be upon him) and an Enlightening Book (i.e., the Holy Qur’an). By this Allah guides those who seek His pleasure to the paths to peace (and security) and takes them out of darkness by His command and leads them to the light (of faith and guidance) and directs them towards the straight path.” (5:15-16)

But the ISIS claims “Islam was never for a day the religion of peace..”!!!

There were certain occasions for which some verses of the Quran were revealed to permit war. But they were revealed for the Muslims so as to defend their religion and lives. The basis of war was not denial of the faith but the cause of religious persecutions. This can be understood from the following verse;

Allah Almighty says, “Allah does not forbid you to be good to them and treat them with equity and justice who did not fight against you on (the question of) Din (Religion), nor did they drive you out of your homes (i.e., homeland). Surely, Allah likes those who conduct themselves with equity and justice.” (60:8)

There is consensus of the majority of the scholars that this verse 60:8 is Muhkam and not abrogated (Mansukh). The apparent meaning of this verse is that the Muslims can be good to non-Muslims including Mushrikin and Kafirin who do not fight Muslims in matters of religion and live in peace and justice. Thus this implies that the nature of Islam is peace.

Allah Almighty says,

“But (do not fight) those who have allied with a people that between you and them there is a (peace) treaty, or who (losing heart) come to you in such a state that their breasts are afflicted (with this obsession) whether they should fight you or their own people. If Allah had so willed, He (strengthening their hearts) would have given them supremacy over you. Then they would certainly have fought you. So if they keep away from you and do not fight you and send you (a message) for peace, then (in the interest of peace) Allah has left no way open for you (to launch any aggression) against them.” (4:90)

ISIS must ponder over these Quranic messages. Allah Almighty Who chose Islam as His Religion (Din) (3:19) and filled it with the teachings of peace, prefers peace to war to such an extent that He orders the Muslim community through the prophet (peace be upon him) to accept the hands stretched out for peace even if the opponents have evil intentions.

From the first chapter of the Quran till the end, there are several verses which encourage establishment of peace but it is ISIS which says, “Islam was never for a day the religion of peace...”!!!

The following are some Ahadith which also encourage peace, safety, and refute the claim of ISIS.

It is reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever has three qualities together will have gathered the faith: equity with yourself, offering peace to the world, and spending from small amounts”. (Sahih Bukhari)

According to this hadith, offering peace to the world is a source of strengthening the faith. Then, how could Islam never be the religion of peace for a single day?!!

The Prophet also said, “Establish reconciliation between people. Verily, corrupted relations between people are the razor.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Worship the Most Merciful and spread peace.” (Ibn Majah). Then, how could Islam never the religion of peace for a day?!!

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “O Uqbah, reconcile whoever cuts you off, give to whoever deprives you, and turn away from whoever wrongs you.” Then, how could Islam never be for a day the religion of calling the believers to establish good relationship which comes through peace?!!

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm in Islam in Islam”. (Ibn Majah, Dar Qutni, Muwatta, Mustadrak, according to Imam Hakim and Imam Dhahbi, this hadith is Sahih on the conditions of Imam Muslim).

 In his address the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to all the people including Muslims and non-Muslims,

“O sons of Adam and the men and women of the world all over! Your blood, your properties and your prestige are declared forbidden for ever –they are as sacred to your as are this day and this month in this Baitul Haram.”

In this address the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared the sacredness of human life. Stanley Lane Pole expresses forgiveness and magnanimity of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in these words, “Facts are harsh things and it is fact that the day of Muhammad’s greatest triumph over his enemies was also the day of his grandest victory over himself. He freely forgave the Quraish all the years of sorrow and cruel scorn they had inflicted on him: he gave amnesty to the whole population of Makka.” (The Prophet and Islam)

All the evidences mentioned above refute the claims of ISIS and rather establish that Islam is a religion of peace. Therefore the preachers (du’at) of peace are working for good cause of Islam and Muslims. And If Islam grants permission for waging war, it is only for the objectives of preventing religious persecutions, restraining terrorism, violence and restoring peace and security.

A regular Columnist with, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar), with a Sufi-Sunni background and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator. He has also done B.A (Hons.) in Arabic, M.A. in Arabic and M.A in English from JMI, New Delhi. He is Interested in Islamic Sciences; Theology, Jurisprudence, Tafsir, Hadith and Islamic mysticism (Tasawwuf).


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