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Radical Islamism and Jihad ( 22 Sept 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Indian Ulema Have No Time to Lose, Must Call Militant Quranic Verses Inapplicable to Muslims in the 21st Century



By Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam


23 Sep 2008: NewAgeIslam.Com

 The so-called Indian Mujahedeen have used in their notorious e-mails certain Qur'anic verses to justify killing of innocent civilians. These are the same verses that enemies of Islam’s pacific and humane philosophy have been traditionally using for centuries to demonise Islam. Muslims who go berserk and want to simply smite all and sundry in their crazy stupor also routinely use these verses to justify their fanaticism and probably also to brainwash the still-not-so-crazy to their cause.


 New Age Islam urges Indian Ulema to come out with explicit, unequivocal statements that the Qur'anic verses like the following - “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers in fight, smite at their necks"- are now inapplicable to Muslims in the 21st century: they were meant for a specific situation during the Prophet’s life and do not apply today.


 Also, they must clarify that the Muslim perception and belief that they alone are worthy of going to Heaven is total nonsense, according to Muslim precepts. Muslims are no better or worse than any other community. Islam has as much failed to create a New Man or for that matter a New Woman as any other reformist religion or philosophy.


 The best place in the world to experience this is Saudi Arabia – the birthplace of Islam. The country takes its very name from the name of its monarch. What kind of human equality before God is that? Equality of all human beings before God is supposed to be Islam’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition), the reason Islam spread in the world with the speed of wildfire. And Saudi Muslims live under a autocratic monarch who also claims to be the Custodian of Islam’s two holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina. Also, in their racism of the pre-Islamic Jahiliya, they treat foreign Muslim workers in their land, who are sustaining their economy, with contempt, calling them Kharjis (foreigners) and normally even refusing to pray in the same mosque as them.


 An Islam-supremacist view of Muslims around the world and their treatment of all other religions as inferior is causing enormous ill-will towards us. If we were any better than others, we won’t treat others with contempt anyway. This in itself is proof that we are no better. It is a common belief that no matter how good a human being a person professing to any religion other than Islam maybe, he is not good enough in the eyes of God to go to heaven and no matter how roguish a Muslim is he is going to end up eventually in Heaven. This is absurd from an Islamic viewpoint. Allah in Quran recognises all religions and asks Muslims to treat all prophets of God – by one count, 124,000 - as deserving the same veneration as Prophet Mohammad and their followers as Ahl-e-Kitab (People of the Book), worthy of all sorts of social interaction including marital relations with Muslims.


 It is this that leads persons like Maulana Muammad ‘Āshiq Ilāhī Bulandshahrī Muhājir Madanī, an Indian Sunni Islamic scholar of the Deobandi movement, as quoted in a Jihad Watch article to claim:


 “Even though the disbelievers may carry out many good deeds and render great services to mankind, these deeds will not be recognized on the Day of Judgment on account of their disbelief.” By contrast, Allah will improve the condition of the believers (vv. 2, 7, 35).


 Indian Ulema have no time to lose. Our youth are going astray. As a result of the Ulema's indolence and worse, they are acquiring self-destructive ways, and are becoming a menace to society.


 Some people are wondering today and asking questions in television discussions: “How can educated, sophisticated Muslims with a career and a good life to look forward to, join Jihadi organizations and destroy it all?” I am not at all surprised, however. I saw this coming at least a couple of decades ago. Not out of any clairvoyance, though, just a chance encounter with a British teenage Jihadi in the mid-1980s.


 I spent a lot of time in England in 1980s. I was alerted to the coming catastrophe by a chance encounter with a young Jihadi in a progressive Pakistani friend’s house in Nottingham. This Jihadi, a student of Nottingham university and probably in his 20s, was talking to my friend’s teenage children in a room adjoining the one we were sitting in. I overheard some of his talk and went in to share his discourse. He continued when I told him I was also interested in learning what he was talking about. He was an Ahl-e-Hadeesi. The gist of his talk was that only Muslims belonging to his sect were true Muslims and that the rest were Kafiroon (unbelievers) and Mushrikeen (deviants). I asked him what would he do with the rest of Muslims, 99.9 percent of the Muslims in the world who were not Ahl-e-Hadeesi and thus really unbelievers and deviants. He replied with a nonchalance that took my breath away. Without batting an eyelid, he said: “Kill them.”


 My friend was also listening in the other room. His blood-pressure rising, he came and told him to get out of his house and never to show his face again, even though he was a relative. He asked his kids to stay away from him and never to invite him in again. But from all I know I doubt if he was able to save his kids from being radicalized. This was a period when Omar Bakri, of Al-Mohajiroon, later a spokesman of Osama bin Laden, was a rage among Muslim students on university campuses in Britain. He was one of the few people in the world to be able to fill the Wembley Stadium in London with his admirers and followers.


 Not to be left behind Muslim elders too were inviting Jihadis from all over the world. I distinctly remember listening to fiery speeches from crazy Algerian and Egyptian fundamentalists, in a so-called Muslim Parliament meeting. Muslim exclusivism was in full flow. Islam-supremacism had made many Muslims lose their heads altogether. These people simply did not seem interested in living in the here and now. And, of course, there were others interested in helping them reach the Hereafter. But in the process many innocent people, Muslims included, suffer horribly.


 It is no surprise to me, therefore, that this killer virus has infected a section, hopefully a very small section, of Indian Muslim youth too now. But the responsibility for Islamic fundamentalist virus rests a great deal with responsible Muslims and particularly Ulema. They have made a good beginning now by repeatedly denouncing terrorism as un-Islamic. But they will need to go further and declare in unequivocal terms that certain Quranic verses, being contextual in nature as all Qur'anic verses are, have become inapplicable to Muslims in the 21st Century and can no longer be quoted to justify violence against the so-called Kafirs.


 In fact, a close reading of the Holy Quran suggests that there are no people on earth that can truly be called Kafir, except, of course, individuals like the revered scientist Richard Dawkins and our own beloved writer Khushwant Singh, who insist on claiming that they don’t believe in the existence of God. But then Quran asks us to treat Kafirs with great deal of respect and never to hurt their sentiments. Urdu poets have, therefore, rightly used the word Kafir to denote a rather recalcitrant beloved.


 Some of the verses in question are the following. It should not be difficult to see that they were meant for a very different era and very different circumstances that prevail today: 


2:216 Fighting is ordained for you, even though it is hateful to you. But it may happen that you hate a thing that is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing that is bad for you. For, God knows and you know not. [See 2:190-193, 22:39]


2:244 Fight in the Cause of God, and know that God is Hearer, Knower.


8:39 Fight and subdue those who persist in aggression until persecution is no more, and absolute freedom of religion is established.


47: 4: Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost.


8:12 Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."


3:168 Those who sat at home said of their brethren, “If they had listened to us they would not have been slain.” Say (O Messenger), “Then avert death from your own selves if you are truthful.”


3:169 Think not of those, who are slain in the Cause of God, as dead. Nay, they are living! And by their Lord they are well provided for. [2:154, 3:156]


 The Ulema also need to put to rest the Islam-supremacist world view of a lot of Muslims. Anyone who looks at others with contempt, for whatever reason, cannot possibly prove a well-adjusted member of human society. It needs to be debated openly among Muslims if they truly are a chosen people. Muslims need to be told in no uncertain terms that they are not a chosen people. Indeed God threatened to replace them with better people if they did not measure up to His expectations. They didn’t and it would not be too far-fetched to say that probably God has already carried out that thereat. He has replaced Muslim influence in the world with that of people whose societal vision is much closer to the egalitarian, democratic Islamic worldview than that of Muslims who are struggling with monarchy, dictatorship, military rule, corruption and oppression of the weaker elements in their society.


Please also see:

Muslims should abrogate verses of war in Islamic Law






Postscript: Some verses from The Holy Quran used for brainwashing our youth and leading them on to what they are told is the path of Jihad and the way to Heaven are being reproduced below from a compilation made by Dr. Shabbir Ahmed of Florida along with his occasional commentaries (available at While they may have great historical value and help us understanding the roots of our religion and the difficulties the Prophet had to face in carrying out his task and feel grateful for his perseverance and patience, most of them are clearly not applicable to us verbatim  in our present situation and in the present age. Let us pinch ourselves hard and try and remember that we are not living in the seventh century Arabia, but in the 21st century post 9/11 world. There is no way we can go back in time and migrate to Prophet’s Arabia and help fight his battles and earn Allah’s blessings and probably a good accommodation in Heaven. We will have to find other ways of achieving that.

2:216 Fighting is ordained for you, even though it is hateful to you. But it may happen that you hate a thing that is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing that is bad for you. For, God knows and you know not. [See 2:190-193, 22:39]

2:217 They ask you about fighting in any Month of Security. Say, “Fighting in the prescribed Months of Security is a great transgression. (2:194). However, repelling men from the Way of God, and rejecting His Command of peace in those Months and turning people away from the Masjid of Security and the Prescribed Way of Life, and evicting its people from there, are greater offences in the Sight of God. Persecution is a crime far greater than killing.” They will not cease from fighting against you until they make you revert from your Way of Life, if they can. He among you who goes back from his Deen and dies in disbelief these are the ones whose works are rendered vain in this world and the Hereafter. These are the companions of Fire, to abide therein. 

2:244 Fight in the Cause of God, and know that God is Hearer, Knower.

[This is propagated as a verse of universal value, even forgetting the verse which says: Fight only in self-defence and against oppression since God does not love aggressors. 2:190-194] 

8:37 God will distinguish the bad from the good, then pile the bad on top of one another and cast them together in the Hellfire. They are truly the losers. [The clans of rejecters will join hands to fight the believers, but the battleground will become Hell for them]

8:38 (O Prophet) Tell the disbelievers that if they cease hostilities, all their past will be forgiven. But if they return, they will meet the example of the old nations. 

8:39 Fight and subdue those who persist in aggression until persecution is no more, and absolute freedom of religion is established. People must be able to adopt a religion only for God’s Approval, and as free choice (2:193, 12:108). If they cease from aggression, God is the Seer of their actions, and therefore you shall leave them alone. 

2:246 (Sustained commitment to the Divine Order with wealth and person is not an easy undertaking.) After the times of Moses, some leaders of the Israelites promised their Prophet (Samuel), “If you appoint a king for us, we will fight in the Cause of God.” The Prophet said, “Is it your intention to refrain from fighting if it was decreed to you?” They said’ “Why should we not fight in the Cause of God when we have been driven out of our homes with our children?” Yet when fighting was ordained for them, they turned away all but a few. God is Aware of the wrongdoers. 

3:13 (Only recently at Badr) there was a sign for you in the two armies that met in combat. One was fighting in the Cause of God, the other denying Him. With their own eyes the two armies saw each other as twice their number. But God strengthens people with His support according to His Laws. This must be a lesson for people of vision for all times.

3:167 And that He might mark out those afflicted with hypocrisy. They had been told, “Come! Fight in the Cause of God, or at least defend (the city).” They answered, “If we knew that confrontation was forthcoming, we would have indeed joined you.” On that day they were closer to disbelief than belief, uttering with their mouths something that was not in their hearts. But God was best Aware of what they were trying to conceal. 

3:168 Those who sat at home said of their brethren, “If they had listened to us they would not have been slain.” Say (O Messenger), “Then avert death from your own selves if you are truthful.”

3:169 Think not of those, who are slain in the Cause of God, as dead. Nay, they are living! And by their Lord they are well provided for. [2:154, 3:156]

3:170 They are happy in the Bounty that God has given them - and pleased for those left behind, who have not yet joined them - that upon them shall be no fear, nor anything to regret.

3:171 They rejoice because of the favor from God and the Bounty. For, God never fails to reward those who have conviction in His Laws.

3:172 For those who respond to God and the Messenger even after harm has struck them - and continue to work for the betterment of humanity and live upright, is a tremendous reward. [8:24]

3:195 Thus their Lord accepts and answers their prayer, “Indeed, I never let the work of any worker, male or female, go vain. You are members, one of another. Hence, those who emigrate, and are driven from their homelands, and suffer harm in My Cause, and fight, and are slain, I shall certainly blot out their faults, erasing the imprints of their misdeeds on their ‘self’. And certainly, I shall admit them into Gardens with streams flowing beneath - a handsome return from God's Presence. For, with God is the fairest return of actions. [2:186]

2:191 Subdue them regardless of their tribal affiliations, and drive them out of where they drove you out. For persecution, (terror, torture, oppression) is a crime even more grievous than killing. Do not fight against them near the Masjid of Security (a haven of amnesty) unless they attack you therein. But if they attack you there, then you shall fight against them. Such has to be the rebuttal of those who reject (the Standard of Peace). 

2:193 Hence, fight them only until there is no more harassment, and Deen may be adopted for the sake of God alone. And if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against those who replace peace with aggression. 

2:194 You may fight during the Months of Peace and Security if you are attacked, for, a violation of sanctity will activate the Law of Just retribution. So, the one who attacks you should expect retaliation in like manner. Be mindful of God, and know that God is with those who live upright. 

2:195 (Defence of the Divine Order calls for sacrifice of wealth and person.) Hence, keep open your resources in the Cause of God, and let not your own hands throw you into destruction. Be beneficent! Indeed, God loves the doers of good. [You might throw yourselves into destruction by withholding contributions to this noble Cause]

4:74 Let them fight in God’s Cause, all those who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoever fights in God’s Cause, be he slain or be he victorious, We shall soon give him an immense reward. 

4:75 What has happened to you that you do not fight in the Cause of God? Defenceless men, women, and children are being oppressed and crying, "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors, and raise for us protectors and helpers." [God does not fight in person, or send His armies or angels physically. 22:39] 

4:76 Believers fight in the Cause of God, that is, for the removal of tyranny and in self-defence (benign aggression). And the rejecters of the Truth fight in tyranny and for their selfish desire to oppress people (malignant aggression). So fight against those friends of Satan. Surely, Satan's plan is feeble because the selfish desire fails before the Divine Law of Requital. 

4:77 Have you seen those who have been told, “Curb your hands, and establish the Divine System and set up the just Economic Order?” But as soon as the Command came to fight, some of them feared men as they should have feared God, or even more. They say, "Our Lord! Why have You ordained fighting for us? If only You had granted us a little more delay!" Say, “Brief is the enjoyment of this world, whereas the life to come is the best for those who live upright. None of you shall be wronged a hair’s breadth.” 

4:78 Wherever you may be, death will find you, even if you live in fortified castles. When something good happens to them, they say, “It is from God.” And when affliction befalls them they say to each other, “This is from you O fellow-man!” Tell them, “All things happen according to God’s Laws.” What is amiss with these people, they do not understand a thing? 

4:84 (O Messenger) Fight in the Cause of God. You are responsible only for yourself. Inspire the believers (to conquer all fear). God may well curb the might of the unbelievers (who are bent upon destroying the System). For God is the Strongest in Might, and Strongest in the ability to deter. [2:151]

4:91 You will find others who desire peace for their people and make peace with you. But at the slightest opportune moment they come to fight against you. If they neither leave you alone, nor offer peace, nor hold their hands, subdue them regardless of which group they belong to. In their case, God has given you a clear Authority to fight. 

5:33 The just punishment for those who wage war against God and His Messenger and endeavor to commit bloody crimes on earth, is that they be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet severed on alternate sides, or be entirely banished from the land. Such is their disgrace in this world, and an awful suffering awaits them in the Hereafter.

8:43 God made them few in your vision. Had He made them appear more numerous (and you got intimidated by their great numbers), you would have been discouraged. And you would have disputed among yourselves (whether fighting them at Badr was a good idea). But God saved you from faltering. He is fully Aware of what is in the hearts.

8:44 When the two armies faced each other, He made them appear few in your eyes, and made you appear weak in their eyes (3:12). God willed that to be the Day of Distinction. All matters go back to God’s Laws as their source. 

8:45 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Whenever you meet an army, be firm and remember God much, that you may be successful. [8:10]

8:57 When you encounter them in war, deal with them to set an example for those who come after them, that they may remember. 

8:59 Let not the rejecters suppose that they can get away with their violations. They cannot escape the Law of Requital. 

8:60 Make ready for them all the power you can muster, and all the equipment you can mobilize so that you may deter the enemies of God, and your enemies. And others beside them whom you know not, God knows them. Whatever wealth and effort you spend on your defences, will be your spending in the Cause of God, and it will be repaid to you generously. And you shall not be wronged. 

8:65 O Prophet! Inspire the believers (to conquer all fear of death) in times of war. If there be twenty of you who are patient in adversity, they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be one hundred of you, they shall overcome one thousand of those who are bent upon denying the Truth. This is because the rejecters of the Truth are people who cannot understand (the Eternal rewards that motivate the believers).

8:66 For the time being, however, God has lightened your burden, for He knows that you are weak. And so, if there be one hundred of you who are steadfast in adversity, they should be able to overcome two hundred; and if there be one thousand of you, they should be able to overcome two thousand by God’s Leave. For, God is with those who are steadfast in adversity. 

9:12 If they keep breaking their pledges after their treaty, and assail your System, then fight the chiefs of the disbelievers. They have no respect for their binding oaths. This action will help restrain them from aggression. 

9:13 Will you not fight a folk who keep breaking their solemn pledges and did everything to drive out the Messenger, and did attack you first? What! Do you fear them? Nay, it is God alone Whom you should more justly fear, if you are truly believers. 

9:14 Fight them! God will punish them at your hands, and He will humiliate them, and give you victory over them, and He will soothe the bosoms of those who believe. 

9:16 Do you think that you will be left alone without God distinguishing those among you who strive in His Cause, and take none for ally except God, His Messenger, and the believers? And God is Aware of what you do. 

9:29 Fight back against those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, nor do they prohibit what God and His Messenger have prohibited, nor do they acknowledge the True Deen - among those who were given the Scripture, until they pay Jizya in humility. 

9:32 They (Jews and Christians) seek to extinguish God’s Light (the Qur’an) by their utterances. But God will not allow this to pass, for He has willed to spread His Light in all its fullness even though the rejecters may detest it. 

9:33 He it is Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the True Religion (Deen = The System of Life), that He may cause it to prevail over all religions and systems of life, even though the idolaters may detest it. [9:31-33, 13:31, 14:48, 18:48, 41:53, 48:28, 51:20-21, 61:8-9]

[Commentary by Dr. Shabbir Ahmed: “the Qura’nic Deen will prevail over all other systems of life. This refers to religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and all other forms of religion, including the sects that are now present in Islam. But next to religions, the Qur’anic Deen will also prevail over all political systems of the world such as Communism, Secular Democracy, Theocracy, Monarchy and it will rule over all ways of life as Humanism, Socialism and so on. This will happen as humanity willingly realizes the supremacy of The Qur’an”.]   

9:36 God has ordained twelve months in one year. This has been God’s Ordinance since the day He created the heavens and the earth. Four of these Months are Sacred, forbidden for all warfare. This is the Firm Religion, the right way. So, do not wrong yourselves by fighting during the Sacred Months. However, you may fight the idolaters in any or all these months if they fight against you in any or all of them (2:194). And know that God is with those who restrain themselves. 

9:38 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! What is amiss with you that, when called upon, “Go forth in the Cause of God,” you cling heavily to the ground? Do you choose pleasure in the life of this world rather than in the life to come? The enjoyment of this life is but a paltry thing compared to the Hereafter. 

9:39 If you did not go forth in God’s Cause, He (His Law) will afflict you with a painful doom. He will replace you with another nation. You cannot harm Him in the least. All things transpire according to the Laws appointed by God. [Only the competent nations live honorably on earth. 21:105, 24:55] 

9:41 Go forth lightly armed, or heavily armed and strive with your wealth and person in the Cause of God. This is best for you if you but knew.

9:44 Those who have conviction in God and the Last Day, do not ask you for exemption from striving with their wealth and persons. And God is Aware of those who live upright.

9:47 Even if they had gone forth they would have only caused trouble and run to and fro seeking sedition among you. In your ranks are some apt to listen to them and in your ranks are spies of the enemy. God knows the wrongdoers.

9:48 They have sought to create dissension among you before, and raised difficulties for you (O Prophet). They did that till the Truth came and the Decree of God prevailed, though they detested it.

9:49 Of them is he who says, “Grant me leave, and do not draw me into trial.” Have they not fallen into trial already? In fact, Hell is all around the disbelievers.

9:52 Say, "Can you expect for us other than one of two things?" - (Victory or martyrdom). On the other hand, we expect for you that God will send His retribution from Himself, or by our hands. Wait then expectant, and we shall hopefully wait with you.”

9:53 (Some hypocrites want to make financial contributions.) Tell them, "Your contribution is not accepted whether you pay willingly or unwillingly. You are a people who drift away from the System at the first opportune time."

47:4 If you meet the disbelievers in battle, then, strike at their Command centres. Until you have subdued them, then, bind them firmly. And thereafter, must be an act of kindness or ransom when the battle lays down its weapons. And if God willed, He could indeed punish them Himself, but that He may let you test one by means of another (as to which nation remains vigilant.) And, as for those who are slain in the Cause of God, He does not render their actions vain.

[8:37, 38:40. Commentary by Dr. Shabbir Ahmed (available at]: “Free the captives as an act of kindness or ransom, such as in exchange for your men in their captivity. There is no third option. Fadharb ar-riqaab is usually rendered as ‘smite their necks.’ A little contemplation, however, makes it plain that in a battle of swords and arrows no commander would order his soldiers to aim for the necks alone. Therefore, the stated term has been used idiomatically, indicating knocking out the command centres. It is interesting to note that even in today’s encounters with high technology this principle is given a top priority.”



The JihadWatch article referred to above is being reproduced below along with the comments it inspired:




September 21, 2008

Blogging the Qur’an: Suras 47, “Muhammad,” and 48, “Victory”

"Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers in fight, smite at their necks"

The Medinan sura 47 is alternatively known as Al-Qital, “The Fighting” – and indeed, it is much preoccupied with war against unbelievers. It affirms of those who oppose Islam that Allah will “render their deeds vain” (vv. 18-92832). Bulandshahri explains: “Even though the disbelievers may carry out many good deeds and render great services to mankind, these deeds will not be recognized on the Day of Judgment on account of their disbelief.” By contrast, Allah will improve the condition of the believers (vv. 2735).

Teachings such as these lead to the common Islamic idea that Islamic purity will lead to worldly prosperity, and unbelief conversely to ruin in this life. For Allah protects the believers, while the unbelievers have no protector (v. 11). In a hadith in An-Nasai’s collection – one of the six collections Muslims consider most reliable – Muhammad prays, “O Allah, I seek refuge with you from unbelief and poverty.” Someone asked him, “Are they equal?” Muhammad answered, “Yes.” This connection is often clearly refuted by reality, but is tenaciously held nonetheless.

Then come instructions to behead the unbelievers when the believers meet them in battle (v. 4). The literal understanding of this verse is paramount among Islamic commentators. Ibn Kathir says that it means that when Muslims “fight against” unbelievers, they should “cut them down totally with your swords.” The Tafsir al-Jalalayn spells it out further: “in other words, slay them — reference is made to the ‘striking of the necks’ because the predominant cause of being slayed is to be struck in the neck.” Zamakhshari takes “strike at the necks” to mean that Muslims should strike non-Muslims specifically on the neck rather than elsewhere, so as to make sure they are dead and not just wounded.

The twentieth-century Qur’an translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali likewise takes the injunction literally, justifying it by saying, “You cannot wage war with kid gloves.” However, Muhammad Khatib, a modern Sunni commentator, says that this command applies only to Muhammad’s day, although Shi‘ites “think it is a universal precept.” Modern-day Sunni jihad groups such as Zarqawi’s Al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in Iraq a few years ago pointed to this and other Qur’anic verses as justifications for their beheadings.

The same verse goes on to call for the taking of prisoners and allowing for “either generosity or ransom” of prisoners of war. This has been enshrined in Islamic law:‘Umdat al-Salik, a manual of Islamic jurisprudence certified by Al-Azhar University in Cairo (the most respected authority in Sunni Islam) as conforming “to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community,” lays out four options for prisoners, in line with this verse: “When an adult male is taken captive, the caliph considers the interests ... (of Islam and the Muslims) and decides between the prisoner’s death, slavery, release without paying anything, or ransoming himself in exchange for money or for a Muslim captive held by the enemy” (o9.14).

Then comes an oft-repeated refrain: Don’t the unbelievers travel around the earth and see how Allah has destroyed earlier unbelieving peoples (vv. 1013)? Allah will admit the believers to the gardens of Paradise, while the unbelievers will eat as the cattle eat and drink boiling water that will cut their bowels to pieces (vv. 1214-15). Some listen to Muhammad but are insincere (v. 16), and some even ask that a chapter of the Qur’an be sent down for them – but when one is sent down that commands fighting, they draw back (v. 20). Ibn Kathir explains that “Allah mentions that the believers were hoping that Jihad would be legislated. But when Allah ordained it, many of the people turned back” – and he explains why they did so in a way that makes it clear that the jihad in question involves hot war: they drew back, says Ibn Kathir, because of “their fear, terror, and cowardice concerning meeting the enemies.”

Then come more excoriations of unbelievers, with familiar charges reissued: Allah has cursed the unbelievers and made them deaf and blind (v. 23); their hearts are locked so that they cannot understand the Qur’an (v. 24); and they apostatize from Islam because Satan beguiles them (v. 25). This life is mere “play and amusement,” but those who obey Allah will not have to give up their worldly goods (v. 36), but they should not hesitate to spend money in Allah’s cause (v. 38).

Sura 48 is also from Medina. The “victory” from Allah in v. 1 is for some the Muslim conquest of Mecca late in Muhammad’s life; for others it is the Treaty of Hudaybiyya, which Muhammad concluded on disadvantageous terms with the pagan Quraysh tribe of Mecca before he conquered that city. Umar, one of Muhammad’s closest followers, asked him about this three times, got no answer, and then went away in fear that a passage of the Qur’an would be revealed about him! But instead there came this sura, telling Muhammad that Allah would forgive his past and future sins (v. 2) and would admit the believers to Paradise (v. 5), while the hypocrites and polytheists will go to hell (v. 6).

Those who pledge loyalty to Muhammad pledge loyalty to Allah (v. 10). Those who refused to go with Muhammad to meet the Quraysh, fearing that they would be massacred, make excuses, but Allah knows that they hoped Muhammad and the Muslims would not return (vv. 11-12). Allah tells Muhammad to tell them that they will be called upon to fight against a powerful people, unless they submit to Islam; if they fight then, they will be rewarded (v. 16). Islamic scholars differ as to which powerful people is meant – some suggested the Persians and Byzantines. The blind, lame, and ill need not fight in jihad warfare, but those who do will go to Paradise (v. 17). Allah is pleased with the believers who pledged fealty to Muhammad under the tree (v. 18) – Ibn Kathir says there were 1,400 Muslims who did so, under a tree near Hudaybiyya. Allah sent them as-sakinah (v. 18), which is the presence of God in the Old Testament but is understood simply as “tranquility” by Muslim commentators. He also promises the believers much booty (v. 19), which they soon collected in the raid on the Jewish settlement at the oasis of Khaybar.

The unbelievers, if they fight the Muslims, will flee (v. 22). Allah protected the believers from the unbelievers at Hudaybiyya, giving them “tranquility” (vv. 24-26) -- and the truce he concluded with the Meccans at Hudaybiyya will allow Muhammad and the Muslims to visit the Ka’aba (v. 27). Those who follow Muhammad are merciful to believers but harsh to unbelievers (v. 29) – a stark contrast to Jesus’ injunction in the Sermon on the Mount to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Next weekSura 49, “The Chambers”: “The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah.” 
(Here you can find links to all the earlier "Blogging the Qur'an" segments. Here is a good Arabic Qur’an, with English translations available; here are two popular Muslim translations, those of Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, along with a third by M. H. Shakir. Here is another popular translation, that of Muhammad Asad. And here is an omnibus of ten Qur’an translations.)

Posted by Robert at September 21, 2008 7:50 AM

(Note: The Comments section is provided in the interests of free speech only. It is mostly unmoderated, but comments that are off-topic, offensive, slanderous, or otherwise annoying stand a chance of being deleted. The fact that any comment remains on the site IN NO WAY constitutes an endorsement by Jihad Watch or Dhimmi Watch, or by Robert Spencer or any other Jihad Watch or Dhimmi Watch writer, of any view expressed, fact alleged, or link provided in that comment.)

"“O Allah, I seek refuge with you from unbelief and poverty.” ...This connection is often clearly refuted by reality"

The "reality" of abject poverty of East Africa immediately came to mind. May God help those poor, suffering souls.

Posted by: Zorro at September 21, 2008 8:51 AM

"For Allah protects the believers, while the unbelievers have no protector (v. 11)."

Oh, go screw yourself, Islam.

That photo above of poor Nick Berg about to be beheaded while alive makes me so sick and so angry I don't know what to do with the overflow of these emotions.

Posted by: darcy at September 21, 2008 8:53 AM

I will not describe in detail the shock and fury I felt as I scrolled down the page and came to this photo of Nick Berg with his ISLAMIC captors.

Too bad that, along with photos of the twin towers burning, this has disappeared from TV screens across the nation.

Never Forget.

Posted by: Vee at September 21, 2008 9:10 AM

Thank you once again, Mr. Spencer.

Posted by: dentalque at September 21, 2008 9:14 AM

If you read the Qur'an, you will notice that the majority of the book is concerned with Kuffirs and what will happen to them, (it's not good)

Why would you spend a large amount of time detailing how bad the unbelievers are and what sort of punishment awaits them in hell? How is the reading of these tortures a religious act? The aggregate message from the Qur'an to infidels is as frightening as a visit from an angry crime boss looking for protection money.

Posted by: tanstaafl at September 21, 2008 9:45 AM

"I will not describe in detail the shock and fury I felt as I scrolled down the page and came to this photo of Nick Berg with his ISLAMIC captors.

Too bad that, along with photos of the twin towers burning, this has disappeared from TV screens across the nation.

Never Forget.
Posted by: Vee [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 21, 2008 9:10 AM "

Unfortunately, like the 9/11 Truthers, there are many, many, people on the left who never believed that Nick Berg was killed by Muslims.

I posted a link to the video at the message board I frequented. I expected it to be deleted, but it wasn't and the thread went on to get over 100 replies. The typical response from the usual Lefties of the board was this:

1. Nick Berg was dead during the beheading, so that meant the CIA did it and the tape was a hoax. 
2. Anyone who watched the video is sick, and since these Lefties held themselves above those of us who did watch it, they had no problem taking the word of second hand accounts from the most far left wacko websites on the internet. 
3. They refused to believe anyone who refuted those descriptions, refused to watch the video themselves so that they could see the inaccuracies in the accounts they were linking to, and had absolutely no problem calling those of us who DID watch the video liars.

What really amazed me at the time was that these liberal idiots had no idea what they were really arguing for. When the Berg video hit the internet, somebody on the Left decided that if Berg was dead when he was beheaded, then that was proof that the CIA, meaning the Evil Bush Administration, was behind it. That was their argument.

After I read all the replies, and followed the links and read all the articles and blogs about the video, I picked the biggest liberal idiot on the board to reply to and I asked her this question:

"So, by your reasoning, the fact that Nick Berg was dead before he was beheaded, means the CIA must have done it because only a true Muslim would behead a live man?"

None of them had thought it through to that logical conclusion. Of course they all denied that's what they were getting at.

The Nick Berg tape was the first of three beheading videos I've seen. There were two versions of it that I saw and both were very poor quality. I thought I was prepared to watch the other two, but I wasn't. The other two were better quality and were absolutely horrific. I'll never watch another one again.

Posted by: Jaynie59 at September 21, 2008 10:17 AM

This vile sura, among others, is the reason why it is critical that whenever and wherever Muslims attack, we must make sure they suffer a catastrophic and humiliating defeat, and we must rub defeat in their noses loudly and publicly. We must never permit them to enjoy the Koran-promised booty from their Koran-directed pirate behaviour.

Their Koran, the Islamic Manifesto, must be discredited at every turn. Such an aggressive policy of overtly defeating the Koranic doctrines and publicly humiliating the Muslim demagogues who endlessly spout them, is the only way to make the Muslim masses understand that their cult is based on egregious lies.

And that forced epiphany is the only chance the Muslims will ever have to get free of the curse of Mohammed. That forced epiphany is the only way we can help the Ummah to someday re-join humanity as constructive, peaceful citizens. Good works, friendship, and economic assistance on our part will only delay the arrival of that critical knowledge.

Our current foolishness in sustaining our self-declared perpetual enemies is only perpetuating both the suffering of the free world from Islamic piracy and also perpetuating the totalitarian, inhuman subjugation of the Ummah and of captive minorities within Islamic lands.

Quarantine the Islamic world now.

Stop Islamic immigration and visitation to the West now.

Cut all foreign aid, military assistance, and trade to dar al-Islam now.

Start up Radio Free Kafiristan now.

Give the Israelis an ultimatum that if they ever give up another inch of territory, we're going to cut them loose, too.

Make military preparations to obliterate the Iranian reich, and when the proper time comes, pull the trigger. And don't stop until the rubble is piled higher than the Twin Towers.

Make the Ummah live in the empty and impoverished world that is their proper due, the followers of the bloodthirsty Pirate Mohammed, unthinking, fatalistic slaves of Mohammed's vicious and genocidal little sock puppet Allah.

Posted by: Stendec at September 21, 2008 10:27 AM

"Quarantine the Islamic world now." --posted above

I've never seen it expressed in this way, but, I have to say, it sounds promising. As a dread disease would be.

Posted by: darcy at September 21, 2008 10:31 AM

Terrific post, Mr. Spencer. Thanks.

That explains the macabre fascination with beheadings.

Posted by: Spirit of 1776 at September 21, 2008 11:02 AM

"Quarantine the Islamic world now." --posted above

Who will?

Who will be held accountable?

Posted by: Alert at September 21, 2008 11:04 AM

I saw the Nick Berg video. It was sickening and there aren't words to describe how dispicable the action was.

If you can't bear to watch, it will sicken you enough to close your eyes and listen to the frenzied "Allahu Akbar" chant become a post-orgasmic croon in the aftermath of the beheading.

This is the spirituality of Islam. Outnumbering a helpless man, and cutting his head off on video, is what makes Muslims feel righteous, clean, at one with their illah, and holy.

Posted by: Abscedere at September 21, 2008 11:10 AM

Aaah, the literal interpretation of "smite their necks" acted upon by Muslims, taken directly from Allah's supposed divine words, words that Islamic apologists try to obfuscate and label the pious who obey them as misunderstanders of Islam.


Thank you Robert.

Posted by: awake at September 21, 2008 11:18 AM

Jaynie, I made myself watch the Nick Berg video because I feel it's important to witness the horror perpetrated by Islamic thought. There's a huge difference between abstractly thinking about it, and vicerally understanding it. In a way, I was also thinking that one must know what soldiers, those who take on the "dirty work" of protecting us, must face for us. (Both seeing it, and perhaps being a victim of it.) That said, I couldn't watch it again.

Though friends of mine who lived across from Ground Zero bemoaned the "tourists" clogging "their space", I disagreed. I felt that everyone who possibly could should see, with their own eyes, the destruction Islamic beliefs lead to.

Never Forget.

Posted by: Vee at September 21, 2008 11:21 AM

Teachings such as these lead to the common Islamic idea that Islamic purity will lead to worldly prosperity, and unbelief conversely to ruin in this life. For Allah protects the believers, while the unbelievers have no protector (v. 11).

Allah doesn't do didly squat. Muslims suffer in this world more than most, and the closer they follow Mohammet's Allah diktats the more they suffer. It's a lost cause, and a hopeless spiral downwards for Islam. Their only other choice is to war on the rest of us because we are not fallen to Allah's disastrous policies, so they can aspire to get booty from us. We on the other hand have learned to live in this world with intelligent reason and good works, while Muslims do not do productive work nor improve anything, but only dream of their perverted sexual rewards in their Allah's heaven after death. If Allah lets them down in this life, contrary to promise, they should not pin their hopes on the next. Allah's 'protection racquet' is a joke.

What you see from Muslims is what Allah begets, death, killings, torture, kidnappings, women enslavement, cult behaviors, rape, loot, etc. Ah yes, it is all Allah's will, the sick malevolent will of a small evil moon god of 7th century Arabia residing in a black stone. Sick!!

Posted by: Battle_of_Tours at September 21, 2008 12:12 PM

"Unfortunately, like the 9/11 Truthers, there are many, many, people on the left who never believed that Nick Berg was killed by Muslims."

Nick Berg's own father said he did not want to be angry at Zarqawi but rather at Bush. I saw a photo of Nick Berg's father sitting on his suburban lawn wearing fashionable shorts and Birkenstock sandals, weeping like a blubbering baby and hugging a family member. Leftists like Nick Berg's father won't need to be beheaded by the Muslims -- they've already lost their heads.

Posted by: DenverRodeo at September 21, 2008 1:31 PM

Allah has cursed the unbelievers and made them deaf and blind (v. 23); their hearts are locked so that they cannot understand the Qur’an (v. 24); and they apostatize from Islam because Satan beguiles them (v. 25).

But, since Allah has already determined who will believe and who won't, he's made Satan's job easy for him. In other words, Allah is doing Satan's work.

I'm amazed that such a logical house of cards as Islam hasn't fallen apart long ago.

Posted by: Anthony (Los Angeles) at September 21, 2008 2:07 PM

It's interesting that the Quranic sanction for beheading comes from none other than the surah entitled 'Mohammed'. If one is ever arguing with a Mohammedan and he claims that beheadings are un-Islamic, even if you don't remember that it's 47:4, point out that it appears in the surah with Mohammed's own name on it.

Easy to recall.

Posted by: Infidel Pride at September 21, 2008 2:45 PM

There are plenty of beheading videos on Liveleak if you have the stumoch to watch it. No matter how tasteless they are I do believe all the dhimmis of the world needs to seem. Preferably like in Clockwork Orange with no option to close their eyes.

Posted by: Robin_Shadowes at September 21, 2008 4:34 PM

As always, a great read. Most of this I understand, but there's this: "Those who pledge loyalty to Muhammad pledge loyalty to Allah (v. 10)."

Is Muhammed really on the same level as Allah? Meaning, is what he says and does...related as say, Jesus would be related to God in Christianity?

Posted by: JetBoy at September 21, 2008 8:14 PM

In Christianity, Jesus IS God.

Mohamet was just a 100% mortal - mortal - man. Nothing inherently divine about him.

As for: "Those who pledge loyalty to Muhammad pledge loyalty to Allah (v. 10)."

That's just one of Warlord Mohamet's many con's. He was a con man. He also has allah saying in the K that everybody also had to worship "Allah's Apostle," i.e. Mo. How's that for a con?!

And the Brainwashed Billion are still buying the flim-flam today. Pitiful. 

Posted by: darcy at September 21, 2008 9:12 PM



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