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Radical Islamism and Jihad ( 11 Oct 2019, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Refutation of ISIS: Who Are The Mushrikin Mentioned In The Quranic Verse 9:5? - Part 2

Investigating whether or not Today’s ‘Mushrikin’ can be included among those mentioned in the Quranic verse 9:5

Main Points discussed in Part 2

·         Three important aspects (Creeds, Actions and violation of peace treaty) make the Mushrikin of Makkah different from today’s Mushrikin

·         The characteristic creeds of the Mushrikin of Makkah are different from the Mushrikin living in the 21st century

·         The Mushrikin had persecuted the Prophet and his followers for as long as 14 or 15 years in the city of Makkah

·         Initially the Muslims were not given permission to fight back even in defence. Later on, they were allowed to fight back

·         The Mushrikin of Makkah were fought as violators of peace-treaty not because they had committed Shirk

·         If the act of Shirk 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.

By Ghulam Ghaus, New Age Islam

12 October 2019

The first part of the refutation revolved around the linguistic analysis of the word ‘Mushrikin’ mentioned in the verse 9:5 which is often quoted by ISIS to justify the acts of violence and terrorism in the 21st century. It envisaged that there exists the possibility of further interpretation or specification in the word ‘Mushrikin’, even though it is apparent (zahir) and in plural form.

The second part now aims at investigating whether or not we can include today’s ‘Mushrikin’ into those mentioned in the Quranic verse 9:5. The methodology adopted during this investigation to reach any conclusion has been employed to discuss three important aspects of the Mushrikin of Makkah who have been referred to in this verse. The first two aspects are the creeds (Aqaid) and actions (Aamaal) of the Mushrikin living in Makkah, while the third one will lead us to know whether they were allowed to be killed in the state of ongoing war on account of their being ‘Mushrikin’ or ‘violators of the peace-treaty’ or ‘religious persecutors’. It is extremely important to take into account all these three aspects properly so as to establish any solid argument against ISIS.              

The Creeds (Aqaid) of the Mushrikin of Makkah mentioned in The Quranic Verse 9:5

The characteristic creeds of the Mushrikin of Makkah are different from the Mushrikin living in the 21st century. This can be seen in details here,-new-age-islam/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?/d/119724

 Briefly speaking of their creeds, the Mushrikin of Makkah made the creed of Tashbih (anthropomorphism) and did Tahrif (change). They would say that angels were God’s daughters and claimed the presence of human attributes in God. When they could not comprehend the true attributes of God such as Knowledge (‘ilm) and power of hearing and seeing, they started judging these attributes in the context of their own knowledge and capability of hearing and seeing. This is how they went astray, taking God as corporal and boundable. The story of change (Tahrif), in the words of Shah Waliullah, is that “the children of Prophet of Ismail followed their grandfather Abrahim’s Sharia or Religion of Abraham (Millat-e-Ibrahimi) till ‘Amr bin Lauhaay appeared. He carved idols and made their worship compulsory for them. He also instituted superstitions, such as ‘Bahira’, Sai’ba’, ‘Wasila’ and ‘Ham’, ‘Al-Iqtisam lil Azlam’ and many others! This change took place three hundred years before the birth of the Holy Prophet. In addition to these evil practices, they adhered to the traditions of their forefathers and considered it as a decisive argument in their favour. The Prophets who had gone before had spoken about the Resurrection and the Gathering, but they had given no details, nor stated it as distinctly with all particulars as given in the Quran (though rather very summarily). Since the Arab Mushrikin were not given detailed account of life after death, they considered the happening of Resurrection as impossible and far remote. Even though these Mushrikin acknowledged the prophethood of Prophets Abraham, Ismail and also that of Prophet Moses, they felt confused about the existence of human qualities in these prophets, which constitute a veil on their perfect beauty and thus entertained doubts about them.... They considered prophets in human forms something very remote and unbelievable” (Shah Waliullah, Al-Fauz al-Kabir, trans. by G. N. Jalbani)

Among other differentiating things between the Mushrikin of Makkah and the Mushrikin living in the present century are that the “Polytheists (of Arab) described themselves as “Ahnaf” (seekers of truth), claiming to follow the religion of Abraham (Millat-e-Ibrahim). In fact Hanafi (not to be confused with the Hanafi who follows Imam Abu Hanifa) is one who follows the creed of Abraham and observes the rituals prescribed by him. These rituals include pilgrimage to Ka’aba, keeping one’s face towards it while saying prayers, bath after ceremonious uncleanliness, circumcision etc”.....The Mushrikin of Arab abandoned creeds of Abraham and “indulged in evil practices such as unlawful murder, theft, adultery, usury and usurpation.” In matters of the creeds of Abraham (peace be upon him), these Mushrikin “had in general created doubts, describing them improbable and showing no interest in comprehending them. Polytheism, belief in anthropomorphism, modification of Abraham’s scroll, denial of the Hereafter, and terming the Holy Prophet’s mission unbelievable constituted main features of their deviation from the true Religion of Abraham. In addition, they performed shameful deeds, indulged in injustice, wrong doing and corrupt practices and wiped out every semblance of God’s worship” (Shah Waliullah, Al-Fauz al-Kabir, trans. by G. N. Jalbani, p.3-4)

According to the several verses of the Quran, the act of Shirk is unforgivable sin and the perpetrators of this sin will face the torment of God Almighty on the Day of Judgment. However the Quranic verses do not stop the believers from living in peace and harmony   in this 21st century where the human beings have promised to live under the law of peaceful coexistence. As for the verse 9:5, though it mentions the word ‘Mushrikin’, it does not imply that they were fought on the basis of their Shirk or creeds. Instead they were fought because they were the religious persecutors. In other words they were fought on account of their violent actions.

The Actions (Aamaal) Of the Mushrikin Mentioned In the Quranic Verse 9:5

As for the actions (Aamaal) of the Mushrikin mentioned in the Quran, the Mushrikin had persecuted the Prophet and his followers for as long as 14 or 15 years in the city of Makkah. They inflicted all sorts of indignities upon those who embraced Islam chosen for them by Allah Almighty. They raised baseless objections to the verses revealed by Allah, derided the injunctions of Shariat and committed heartless oppression for thirteen years until the Muslims were allowed to exact a measure of retaliation.

During the thirteenth year after the declaration of his Prophet-hood, Allah commanded the prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions to migrate. They carried out Allah’s command worshipfully and migrated to Madina –nearly 300 miles away from Makkah. Still the animosity of the inveterate Mushrikin had not subsided. They inflicted fresh injuries on the Muslims; robbed them of the peace of mind and heart. A band of Arab Mushrikin would raid the pastures of the Muslims and take away their cattle. If they encounter a lonely Muslim, they would not hesitate in killing him mercilessly.

For as long as 14 or 15 years, the Muslims suffered insults, outrages and injuries at the hands of these Mushrik persecutors. The Muslims bore all these indignities with the utmost humility and patience. When the aggression and ruthlessness of the Arab Mushrikin grew more hotly than ever, Allah granted permission to the believers to take up arms in their own defence and make the violence-loving Mushrikun believe that the torch of Islam – that lights up darkness – would never be allowed to be blown out. Likewise the flag held aloft for the dissemination of the truth will never be let down, however hot they might grow. This torch will remain lit until the doomsday. And the flag of the truth will continue to flutter so long as the world exits. (Zia-ul-Quran, Vol: 3; p.218-/ The Enlightening Commentary on the War Related Quranic Verses- Part 2)

Initially the Muslims were not given permission to fight back even in defence. Later on they were allowed to fight back and there was a situation that the verse “kill the Mushrikin wherever you find them [in the state of war]” was revealed.

The ‘Mushrikin’ Were Fought As Violators of Peace-Treaty Not Because They Had Committed Shirk

From the cause of the revelation, it is well-known that they were permitted to fight back against the Mushrikin of Makka who were the religious persecutors and had violated the peace-treaty after signing it. It would not be appropriate to deduce from the verse 9:5 that they were fought because of their committing Shirk. This is also supported by the following interpretations made by the classical scholars.

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 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 peace treaties by waging war against the Muslims.

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- English translation mine)

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 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)

 And the Ayah 36 of Surah Taubah says,

“and fight against the Mushrikin collectively as they fight against you collectively; and know well that Allah is with the pious.” (9:36)

Implication of these two verses (9:13) and (9:36) and comments of classical jurists as mentioned above is that the Mushrikin mentioned in the 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.

We need to consider two things here; firstly if the act of Shirk (polytheism) had been the cause of 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 (to be referenced in the forthcoming parts) which do not grant permission to kill the women, children, disabled or old from among the Mushrikin.

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).

First Part of the Article:  Refutation of Jihadi Ideology 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


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