[quote author=“lorenzium”]What I hate is the fact that they take our free societies for absolute granted. What respect would we be granted in an Islamic society? The right to anything? For choosing not to believe in any religion, we would simply be killed. Only Christians and Jews would be saved but they would have to live in humiliation, as the Qur’an orders (9:29).
[Qur’an 9:29] Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 9:29]
Aqa Mahdi Puya says:
According to this verse a disbeliever, or a polytheist, or an infidel (kafir) is he who (i) does not believe in Allah, nor in His oneness and unity, but associates other created beings as partners or co-equals with Him (ii) does not believe in the day of judgement (iii) does not follow what Allah and His Prophet have enjoined (iv) does not accept and submit to the true religion.
As the above noted negations are correlative and interrelated, one is the necessary consequence of the other. Apart from the corrupted and distorted beliefs of the people of the book (described in the succeeding verses) their denial and rejection of the true religion of Allah, Islam, is sufficient to put them in the category of disbelievers. The Jews and the Christians are the people of the book, and according to the jurists of the school of Ahl ul Bayt Zoroastrians are also included in the people of the book, because in verse 17 of al Hajj they have been grouped with the Jews and the Christians, and the Holy Prophet and Imam Ali also treated them in the same manner as the Jews and the Christians were treated.
Allah enjoins upon the believers to fight against the disbelievers and the people of the book until they are subdued and agree to pay jizyah (the root meaning is compensation) with willing submission to live under the protection of Islam, enjoying personal liberty of conscience, free to profess and practice their own faith, not interfering with the preaching and progress of Islam. They were exempted from military service, therefore in effect jizyah was a nominal compensation paid by them in return for the protection of their property and lives for which the Islamic government was responsible .
It was a necessary step that had to be taken in view of the treacherous attitude of the Jews and the pagans who had been harassing and creating chaos all the time during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. When defeated they readily made pacts to avoid the consequences of the defeat, but always jumped at every opportunity to kill the Holy Prophet and the believers and destroy the progress of Islam by breaking promises and covenants and hatching secret schemes.
What I also can’t stand is the absolute ignorance of the Muslim masses towards their own religion. They were mostly furious about the turban/bomb picture because of the link between Muhammad and terrorism. But the fact is, the Qur’an supports terrorism [“Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies…” 8:60]
[QUR’AN 8:60] Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not. Allah knoweth them. Whatsoever ye spend in the way of Allah it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 8:60]
Every infidel community was a prospective enemy of Islam.
Quwwat literally means “force or strength”. It implies: Be always on the alert, fully prepared for defence and offence, and keep yourselves well armed and quipped with the best weapons, fully trained in the art of war, so that the enemy may not think that you are weak and surprise you with a sudden attack as was done by the Makkans at Badr.
The preparation is to maintain peace by preventing the enemy to commit aggression against you. If you are fully ready to counter their attack they will think twice before launching an offensive adventure.
If the enemy offers peace, rely on Allah and accept it. . …….
Refer to the commentary of al Baqarah: 190 to 193 and 217. ……
[QUR’AN 2:190] Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:190]
The message of Islam is universal. From early times the Muslims were only permitted to fight in self defence. When there is no option, and in the face of persecution, however, the Muslims must fight. The strength of Islam lies in its certainty of ultimate victory over aggression, transgression, and ascribing falsehood to Allah and His last prophet. Fitna can mean oppression, persecution, seduction - all implying the “discord” that attachment with ghayrallah (other-than-Allah) brings about. It is used as in verse 217 of this surah - war is detestable but fitna is worse than slaughter. Islam promotes peace, order and harmony in the human society and keeps man on the right path. When the enemies of Islam found that the light of this message was sweeping darkness from every corner, the disbelievers vowed to annihilate it. It was only then that, no recourse being left for the believers, they had to resolutely take up the sword in defence. Verses 39 and 40 of al Hajj also give permission to fight when any people is wronged, oppressed and persecuted.
If Numbers 25: 1 to 3 and 31: 7 to 18 in the Old Testament are read carefully one comes to the conclusion that when the Israelites, in Shitim, began to worship the gods of Moab the Lord God asked Moses to “take all the leaders of the people and hurl them down to their death before the Lord.”
And they made war on Midians as the Lord has commanded Moses, and slew all the men. The Israelites took captive the Madianite women and children, and carried off all their cattle, their flocks and their property. They burnt all their cities. Moses asked them to kill every male child and every women who has had intercourse with a man.
So in the way of Allah, the prophets were commanded to put an end to the activities of the disbelievers who wanted to destroy the true devotees of Allah in order to stop the advancement and progress of the religion of Allah. The Quran commands the Muslims not to exceed the limits but to fight evil until its power base is dislodged, and if the kafirs desist then to show mercy. Compared to what the other prophets did, as commanded by Allah, to destroy the unbelievers, the role assigned to the Holy Prophet as the “mercy unto the worlds” was the most benign of all the campaigns undertaken by His messengers to liberate mankind from the clutches of the enemies of Allah. He fought and killed the enemy whenever war was imposed on him.
Nobody who has any idea of the miserable conditions of the early Muslims, would for a moment imagine that this handful of people could have wantonly set themselves to provoke the active hostility of the whole world about them. They would quietly have borne any provocation rather than take the risk of fighting numberless hordes. If they did engage themselves in this way, one would presume that circumstances had forced them to it; unless their very existence was in peril, they could not possibly have thought to plunge themselves into a mortal struggle. This is so clear a priori that even if the initiative did appear to be taken by Muslims, no sane minded person would for a moment suppose that they were really offensive wars - they must have been offensive with a defensive import. The circumstances had forced them to take action, and if the Holy Prophet had not been quick to it and had waited for a formal assault from the other side, he would only have given the enemy time to collect their forces; and who can doubt that in that case, the world would soon have heard the last of this little band of Muslims.
Yet such is the perversity of prejudice that no such considerations, obvious as they are, are allowed to have any weight with writers like Muir, Sale, Neoldeke and others. All they can see is that in the battle of Badr and its prelude, the raid of Abdullah bin Jahsh, it was the Muslims that began the quarrel with the infidels. What the infidels had been doing all the time before is, as a matter of principle, ignored and forgotten.
How deep-rooted was the acrimony which drove the infidels on against the new converts, may be easily judged from their pursuing them down even to Abyssinia, to where the Muslims had fled to avoid the horrible tortures they were suffering at their hands. The infidels would not let them live in peace even in other lands. Could it be imagined that they could all complacently see them flourish and develop their mission from a centre only 70 miles away from themselves? What are the facts? Soon after the emigration of the Holy Prophet, they wrote to the chief of Madina, Abdullah ibna Obay, as follows:
You have given protection to our man. We have sworn by God that you either kill him or expel him, otherwise we will come upon you with all of us. and kill your fighting men and take hold of your women as lawful for us”
Obay bin Kab says, “When the Holy Prophet and his people came to Madina and the Ansars took them under their protection, all the Arabs were united to make an assault upon them. They never lay down to sleep except with their weapons with them.”
This is not the place to give an account of the various wars and battles that were fought. They will be described under the various verses relating to them.
This is merely an introduction that may help us to understand the true state of things at the time. All this is quietly passed over by European critics of Islam.
Finally it should be noted that as without jihad correspondence of the Holy Prophet to the career of prophet Musa would fail to be perfect, Islam would also fail to be a complete and perfect religion for the world. Fighting has well been said to be the direct necessity of human nature, a religion that did not provide for it, did not regulate its principles and define its rightful limits, would not be a perfect religion, much less a final religion for the world.
Aqa Mahdi Puya says:
In spite of all that has been said that Islam prefers peaceful methods of preaching the truth, and that it never took any initiative in waging wars against its opponents, the fact is that Islam recognises the right of taking the initiative in using force against those who persist in ungodly activities causing human degradation or social and moral deterioration. But this measure can only be adopted by the prophet of Allah or his vicegerents, authorised by Him, and none else. As Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir says: “A war may be termed as holy or godly (jihad) if the object is to make people give up submission to the ghayrallah and to submit only to Allah’s authority and the divine will. But if the purpose is to make them give up submission to one creature in order to submit to any other, it is the usual war waged for selfish and worldly gain. Hence it is unholy and thus condemned by Islam.” Taking this definition in view, it is obvious that no war is holy unless it is sanctioned and allowed by the person who is perfectly pure from every kind of ungodliness and is constantly in communion with the universal will of the absolute.
However, Islam enjoins on Muslims to be always ready, well prepared and well equipped to meet all exigencies, or an eventuality which may unexpectedly develop against them, then they should gather as much strength as they can, so that their opponents, the opponents of the divine cause, may refrain from any unprovoked aggression. (Anfal: 60).
[Qur’an 2:191] And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:191]
The order is to kill the enemy (against whom fighting has been enjoined) wherever they are found, whilst the war goes on. It does not refer to unbelievers in general.
“And drive them out from where they drove you out” refers to Makka, wherein the holy Kabah, the centre of Islam, is located, because it belonged to the Muslims but was usurped by the infidels unlawfully.
Aqa Mahdi Puya says:
Fitna means subversive activities to destroy peace and rule of law. With reference to other verses like this verse (Nisa: 135; Ma-idah: 2 and 8) it must be said that Islam advocates universal peace and harmony in the human society and teaches us to tolerate and accommodate other creeds so far as their followers do not hatch plots and generate ill-will to destroy the Muslims and ascribe falsehood to Allah and His religion. In verses 1, 8 and 9 of al Mumtahanah, the believers are advised to show kindness and do justice to the unbelievers who are not hostile to them, but at all events, friendship with the enemies of Allah has been discouraged. Islam avoids killing and destruction, but when public peace and safety is at stake, prompt and severe action is taken to bring order and eliminate lawlessness. Islam has no room for wilful aggressors and cunning mischief-makers. The sanctity of the holy Kabah and the sacred months is very important, but when attacked all considerations should be kept in abeyance till the aggressors are destroyed completely. Keeping this principle in view, the Holy Prophet fought against the infidels of Makka and their (Jewish) associates, in self defence, because they wanted to exterminate the religion of Allah and its followers. When the Syrian vassals of the Roman empire advised Hercules to help and support the Makkan pagans and liquidate the Muslims, the Holy Prophet had to go to war against the Christians. No peaceful person, tribe or community was ever attacked by him. He did not allow his followers, either in his lifetime or after, to needlessly attack any people. There are many traditions and verses of the Quran which enjoin peaceful preaching of the truth through argument and reason, with wisdom and kind exhortation in the best way possible. (Nahl: 125). The sword which was used to defend the cause of Islam right from the beginning was the dhulfiqar, and the man who devoted his life to the cause of Islam was Ali. A divine voice informed the Holy Prophet in the midst of the battle of Uhad.
LA FATA ILLA ALI, LA SAYF ILLA DHULFIQAR
(There is no hero save Ali, there is no sword save dhulfiqar)
Ali, the champion of Islam, and his God-sent sword fought against the pagans of Makka and their allies and the Jews and the Christians in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. After him, he never took part in the hostile campaigns directed against the non-Muslims of the world by the companions of the Holy Prophet. It is because of the policies carried out by those companions, that men like Gibbon declared that Islam was preached by the sword, as he (wrongly) concluded that what the followers did, must have been the policy of the preacher. He failed to identify the true followers of the prophet of Islam, Ali and his sons, who, after the Holy Prophet, took the sword in their hands, not to enslave the non-Muslims and appropriate their wealth, but to save Islam from the evil of hypocrisy which had emerged in full force to mutilate the beautiful face of Islam. “I shall not cease to fight against the hypocrites until the last of them is driven out from the fold of the true believers,” said Imam Ali ibna abi Talib. In Kerbala Imam Husayn bin Ali used the dhulfiqar for the last time to distinguish between right and wrong or truth and falsehood. When this purpose was served the God-sent sword was sheathed for ever till the return of the last living Imam. The event of Kerbala clearly separated and identified the two camps the camp of Allah and the camp of Shaytan. The Imams in the progeny of Imam Husayn, through piety, reason and wisdom, preached the true religion of Allah. The hypocrisy of the usurpers, through ruthless intimidation and shameless treason, opposed them to crush and destroy the Islam original kept alive by the Ahl ul Bayt. Yet the Islam original flourished. The severest despots could not obliterate it.
[QUR’AN 2:192] But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:192]
Showing mercy when one has the upper hand is enjoined in this verse. On all occasions, the lover of Allah attempts to draw near Him by taking on the appropriate attribute of Allah. Mercy and forgiveness for the enemies if they desist from fighting has been recommended. No other creed or religion has this provision.
[QUR’AN 2:193] And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 2:193]
Fighting evil should continue until its power base is dislodged, after which it should be stopped. Fitna has been explained in verse 191 of this surah.
“Din should be only for Allah” makes it clear that the purpose of fighting in the way of Allah is to remove persecution, corruption and mischief which suppress liberty and do not allow people to choose between truth and falsehood so that they may willingly believe in Allah and follow His commandments. The root of evil is in polytheism. It should be uprooted. When our living Imam returns, he will put an end to polytheism and make available true freedom for mankind. In verse 40 of al Hajj it is said that Allah repels some men by means of others to keep safe synagogues, churches and cloisters so that every man may have the freedom to remember God according to his own belief, because there is no compulsion in religion (Baqarah: 256). Only Islam, and no other religion, gives freedom to one and all to worship one true God - Allah.
“And if they desist” means when the polytheists renounce false gods and idol-worshipping and come into the fold of the true faith, Islam, and believe in the one and only true God.