Kill non-believers indiscriminately
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Brother Burhan: I congratulate you for taking such a heavy task, of conveying concept of Islam in the light of Quraan, on your shoulder and performing it so diligently that sometimes I feel I am beginning to envy you. May Allah (SWT) bless you in abundance (here and in hereafter) according to the best of the deeds that you have done, and guide all of us in the direction which leads directly to Him so that we can please Him. Ameen.
Brother I have many questions, but to begin with, I will start with the following:
Q2, I need the
reference to a particular verse of the Holy Quraan which commands the Momineen
to exterminate the non believers wherever they are found. Please explain in
detail under what circumstances this particular verse was revealed and under what
prevailing conditions it can be applied again. Presently many of the
non-believers, especially the clergy, are referring this verse totally out of
context and misleading the innocent people against Muslims and the religion of Islam. It is our responsibility, as Muslims,
to be prepared to counteract any such incident created by the non-believers in
a very positive way as prescribed in the Holy Quraan.
Thank You very much.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Kill non-believers indiscriminately
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Beloved brother in Islam, we cannot agree with you more regarding the interpretation of the specific Aayah of Surah Taubah which you are referring to. Some ignorant people quote this Aayah absolutely out of context, and incorrectly apply it to justify and suit their false beliefs and actions!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 5: But when the forbidden months are past then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them and seize them beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.
If one reads the above Aayah with the context of the Quran and the Surah, he will immediately realize that this was a command specific to the time of its Revelation!
The first discourse of Surah Taubah (verses 1-37) were revealed in the month of Zil-Qaadah in the 9th year after Hijrah. As the importance of the subject of the discourse required its declaration on the occasion of the Hajj, the Prophet (saws) dispatched Hadrat Ali (r.a.) to follow Hadrat Abu Baqr (r.a.), who had already left for Makkah to perform the Hajj, as the leader of the muslim pilgrims to the Kaabah. The Prophet (saws) instructed Hadrat Ali (r.a.) to deliver this discourse verbatim as received from Allah Subhanah before the representatives of the different clans of Arabia, so as to inform them of the new policy towards the polytheists. Almost the whole of the Arabian Peninsula had come under the Islamic government, save a few scattered clans and tribes of polytheists. The Declaration of the abrogation of the treaties with the polytheists was made, and they were given four months to leave the Arabian Peninsula.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verses 1-6:
1 A (declaration) of immunity from Allah and His Messenger to those of the pagans with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances.
2 Go ye then for four months backwards and forwards (as ye will) throughout the land but know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah (by your falsehood) but that Allah will cover with shame those who reject him.
3 And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage that Allah and His Apostle dissolve (treaty) obligations with the pagans. If then ye repent it were best for you; but if ye turn away know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah. And proclaim a grievous penalty to those who reject faith.
4 (But the treaties are) not dissolved with those pagans with whom Ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught nor aided anyone against you. So fulfill your engagements with them to the end of their term: for Allah loveth the righteous.
5 But when the forbidden months are past then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them and seize them beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.
6 If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum grant it to him so that he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to where he can be secure: that is because they are men without knowledge.
In Islam, it is considered treachery to wage war against any people with whom they have formed a treaty, without openly terminating the treaty. That is why the proclamation of the abrogation of the treaties was necessitated against those clans and tribes who were always hatching plots against the newly established Islamic State of Medina, in spite of the treaty of peace they had made with them. These treacherous polytheist clans would break the treaties and turn hostile on the first given opportunity.
This Declaration from Allah Subhanah practically reduced these treacherous amongst the polytheists of Arabia to the position of outlaws, as the major part of the Arabian Peninsula had already come under the sway of Islam. This declaration smashed all their evil designs of creating trouble in the Islamic State by inciting a civil war at the first available opportunity, especially since the two superpowers of the then known world, the Christian Romans and the pagan Fire-Worshipping Iranians did not like the growth of the Islamic Empire. With this Declaration, Allah Subhanah turned the tables on them before the opportune moment for which they were waiting. Now the only alternative left for these polytheists was to accept Islam which had become the State religion of Arabia, or to fight this new and rapidly growing superpower of Islam, or to leave the Arabian peninsula.
The wisdom of this Grand Plan of Allah Subhanah became apparent when the mischief of apostasy broke out in different parts of Arabia a year and a half after this Declaration, at the death of Prophet Mohamed (saws). The disturbance was so sudden and violent, that it shook to its foundations the newly created Islamic State, and would have done a far greater harm if the organized power of the polytheists had not been broken beforehand by this Abrogation. It may be asserted that but for this timely action, the mischief of apostasy that rose at the very death of the Messenger of Allah (saws), would have done ten-fold harm by rebellion and civil war, and might have changed the whole history of Islam!
This abrogation of the treaties was a severe need of that time, for the long-term establishment of the Islamic State. The polytheists were given a grace period of four months to decide their options:
- Accept Islam and become a full member of the Islamic State.
- Leave the Arabian Peninsula and settle somewhere else.
- Fight with the believers.
In a state of war, it is absolutely acceptable for the leader of the army to give the command to his soldiers to kill all their enemies! When America declared war against Vietnam or Afghanistan, the Commander-in-Chief of the American forces would obviously give orders to his soldiers to fight and kill every Vietnamese or Taliban soldiers who opposed them! But that order to kill the opponents is valid only until war is established, and not for ever! When peace is made between the two sides, or the losing side surrenders and accepts the demands of the winning forces, the order of the Commander-in-Chief to kill the opponent is no longer valid!
Just imagine the Justice of Allah Subhanah towards the polytheists in the following verse which are part of the same discourse:
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 6:6 If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum grant it to him so that he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to where he can be secure: that is because they are men without knowledge.
Allah declares that if any amongst the pagans asks the believers for asylum, the believers should grant it to him, and invite him to Islam. If the pagan still refuses to believe after hearing the Message, it is the responsibility of the believers to escort the pagan to a place outside Arabia, where his life will be secure!
Is there any Commander in Chief of a warring army in the world, which can possibly give such an order to his soldiers: that if a warring opponent asks for asylum, give it to him, and then escort him to a place where he will be able to live his life according to his own free will and choice! The only Mission of the believers when fighting a war with the enemies, is to make the Word of Allah available to all who want to listen to good caution.
That commandment of killing the polytheists of Arabia, was for a particular period, for a particular time, for a particular area, for a specific reason! To quote the specific Command of Allah Subhanah in verse 5 of Surah Taubah to justify the killing of all dis-believers and polytheists everywhere and for ever is absolutely against the Guidance and Teachings of Islam! The muslim armies ruled almost half of the known world for a thousand years after the Revelation of the Quran, but never did they kill the disbelievers who lived in their lands! They were allowed to follow whatever religion they wished to follow as subjects of the Islamic State, for it is against the principles of Islam to force anyone to convert to Islam! If they accepted Islam with their own free will, they were wholeheartedly welcomed as their brothers-in-faith; and if they wished to stay on their pagan religions, they were allowed to do so!
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,