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Fatwas: Part Five issued by: Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour, translated by: Ahmed Fathy
Repeating the same mistakes
Religious freedom between Islam and fanatic Muslims
Legislation of jihad in the Islam is to confirm religious freedom

Religious freedom between Islam and fanatic Muslims

   Part One: Freedom of Religion in Islam

 

Chapter 7: Legislation of jihad in the Islam is to confirm religious freedom:

 

1- Understanding laws of Jihad in Islam

 

According to Quranic terminology, jihad is the striving of the soul, money, and energy to please God by all means. It includes giving money to the poor regardless of their religion and faith, peaceful disc evers, and to fight them only to defend not to attack. (29:8, 8:72, 25:52).  The Quran sets the legislation for jihad, its commandments, its principles and its final aims.

Generally, Quranic legislation is based on commandments or orders which serve principles or rules, and those principles or rules in turn serve the basic Islamic aims and values.

Regarding jihad, the order: “fight” is based on rules of self-defense in response to violent attack, or in the Quranic term, “fighting in the cause of God.” This principle serves the final aim/value of fighting which is to assure religious freedom and prevent religious persecution.

The greater value of jihad in Islam is to allow every person to follow the religion of his or her choice without any persecution. The Muslim state has to fight to prevent persecution and to defend itself and its freedom of belief and speech for the value of jihad.  In this way, every one has the freedom of choice in the realm of religion and he or she will be responsible before God only on the Last Day based to his/her freedom of choice. In this life, one is responsible only before society if he or she violates the rights of other people. 

For example, God said, “And fight in the cause of God those who are fighting you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, God loves not transgressors.” (2:190). Here the commandment is to fight and the principle is “in the cause of God those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, God loves not transgressors.” To fight for the cause of God means to fight according to His legislation which forbids transgression. God repeated and confirmed the same meaning, “...Then whoever attacks you, you may attack them to inflict an equivalent retribution.” (2:193).

The ultimate goal of this legislation in His saying is, “and fights them until there is no more oppression.”(2: 193). Therefore, the prevention of oppression is the essential aim for the legislation of fighting. Oppression in the Arabic and Quranic language means ‘fitnah,’ which is used in the Quranic terminology to refer to religious persecution committed by the criminal unbelievers in Mecca against the early Muslims. That persecution included the continuous fight against the peaceful early Muslims even after their escape from Mecca to Al Madina. God says, “And oppression is worse than slaughter. And they will not cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can” (2: 217).

By allowing religious freedom and preventing oppression in religion, every one deals with God alone, obeying or disobeying him, and every one will be responsible for his or her deeds only before God on the Day of Judgment.  None has the right to take upon oneself God’s sovereignty or judge other people’s faith or to persecute those who hold different religious opinions. This makes the realm of religion belong to God alone without any kind of human religious authority. This is precisely what the Quranic verse calls for when it says, “And fight them until there is no more oppression and all the religion will belong to God alone.” (8:39). God may forgive them if they refrain and stop transgression and persecution, and the Muslims have no right to attack them; otherwise they become transgressors themselves as God says, “And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, and transgress not the limits. Truly, God loves not the transgressors... But if they cease, then God is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them until there is no more oppression and the religion will belong to God. But if they cease, let be no more transgression except against the transgressors only.” (2:190-193). This is confirmed in other verses (8:38-40). This legislation concerning fighting agrees with what is understood from the term ‘Islam’ which means submission and peace, and protects peace from any animosity or transgression.

 

2- Jihad and freedom of religion

 

Jihad assures religious freedom. It’s enough here to remember that the Quranic principle states, “There shall be no compulsion in religion.” (2:256). Moreover, God said to Prophet Mohammed, blaming him, “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together. So, will you then compel people until they become believers? ” (10:99). This confirms the Quranic fact that religion belongs to God alone without any human religious authority, and that  Prophet Mohammed does not have religious authority over people , as it’s the will of God alone that let people exercise their freedom of choice and be responsible for their beliefs before Him alone on the Last Day.

Freedom in religion is the key of democracy, as is the freedom of thought and speech.

 

3- Rules of alliance in time of war

 

For the first time in the Arab Peninsula, some Arabs established a real state according to our modern definition of state.  It was the first –and may be the last- Islamic state in the time of Prophet Mohammed. The new Islamic state had its border, army, people, and government. It also had allies and enemies.

Any believer from the Arab desert who wanted to be a member of this state had to immigrate to it and live inside its borders.  All the believers inside this state were allies to each other against their enemies who attacked the peaceful state. The Quran stated to them that the believers outside the state should immigrate to be a part of the state. If believers outside the Islamic state asked for protection, the state was obligated to defend them unless a treaty between the Islamic state and those who attacked these outsider believers existed.  So, all believers were to be allies to each other inside their state to stand firm against the transgressor unbelievers who were united against the Islamic state. (8:72 -73) .

Inside that Islamic state, there were different groups of oppositions who were against the state and its religion. The Quran called them the hypocrites.  They enjoyed freedom of speech and belief, and also the freedom of conspiracy against the state. The Holy Quran used to expose theirs plots and their inner thoughts, but at the same time, order the believers to avoid them, turn aside from them as long they did not fight the state.  Details can be found in the following :( 2:8-14, 204-206 ), (3:118-119, 155-158, 167-168), (3:60-69, 81-83, 105-115, 138-146), (5:52), (8:49), (9:42-68, 73-87, 93-98, 101, 107-110, 124-127), (24:11-26, 46-54), (33:1, 12-20, 24, 48, 57-61, 73), (37:16, 20-30), (48:6, 11-16), (58:7-22), (59:11-16), (63:1-8), and (66:9).

Although, the hypocrites inside Al Madina were under control, there was another kind of hypocrites who lived in the desert and used to come to the Islamic state claiming belief in Islam, with an inner goal of deceiving Muslims and to spy on them. Some of them offered to become allies to the state while in reality; they were enemies to the Islamic state. These hypocrites were a real danger to the Islamic state, so the Quran ordered Muslims not to ally with them until they immigrated to the state.  If they refused to immigrate, then they were to be treated as enemies in the battle field.  However, if they did not immigrate but did not attack the state, the Muslims were not allowed to fight them (4:88-91). God described most of those Arab Bedouins as the “worst in disbelief and hypocrisy and more likely to be in ignorance of the God’s Legislation.” (9: 97).

Most of them had a good relationship with the Arab Christians and Jewish tribes in the Arabian Peninsula. Some Arab Christians and Jewish tribes united together against the new Islamic state. Some people inside the Islamic state – including the hypocrites – had a good relationship with those allies in spite of their enmity. So, God ordered the Muslims not to take the hypocrites as allies as long as they fought the Islamic state.  If they did not fight the Muslims, the hypocrites were to be allies and a part of the Muslim state (5: 51-58).

The Islamic state had to defend itself against the attacks of Christian Arabs allied with Jewish tribes.  God ordered the Islamic state to fight them as they violated God’s commandment until they paid expiation as a punishment for their aggression (8:29).  It means not to occupy their land, nor to force them to convert to Islam, but only to pay back for their aggression as our modern international legislation deals with any country attacking other country and is finally defeated.  These rules of alliance protected the new peaceful Islamic state against all of its enemies who surrounded it.

Generally, God makes clear rules in dealing with the non- Muslims who are outside the Islamic state:

[1] Islamic state should deal kindly and justly with those who do not fight them, nor drive them out of their homes.

[2] Muslims are not allowed to be allies to those who attack and fight them because of their religion, those who expelled them from their home, or helped the transgressor unbelievers in driving the Muslims out of their homes.

God says:”Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice. Allah only forbids you regarding those who made war upon you on account of (your) religion, and drove you forth from your homes and backed up (others) in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them, these are the unjust.”.(60:8, 9).

(3) If Muslims are persecuted inside a country that attacks Islamic state and this transgressor country is terrorizing the helpless Muslims, then those Muslims have the right to use (Al TAqyyyah) to save their lives, means to appease those transgressors. God says: “Let not the believers take the transgress unbelievers allies against believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, unless you fear them.”( 3: 28 )

4 - Rules in battle field:

 

Not only does the Quran establish a clear relationship between the terms ‘Islam’ and ‘peace’ and the legislation of war , but the Quran also presents other legislations in order to confirm the main value of peace and to leave no ground for ambiguity or intended misuse.

1- A clear-cut example is presented in chapter 4 which talks about the prohibition of killing a peaceful, safe and secure believer.  The verse states, “It’s not for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake.” (4:92), this means that it is impossible or unjustifiable, that a true believer would intentionally kill another. The verse goes further in talking about the compensation due such a case and the rules related to it. Then, verse 4:93 talks about the Divine punishment awaiting the killer of a peaceful person or a believer, for, that matter doesn’t make a difference. The verse says, “And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein forever, and the wrath and the curse of God are upon him and a dreadful punishment is prepared for him.” (4:93). Thus, whoever kills a peaceful believer faces eternity in Hell, wrath, curse, and great suffering. These are stated in the Quran as separate punishments each. Yet, it seems that the person who commits such a dreadful crime deserves all of these punishments added together.

Chapter 4 continues as verse 94 declares the right of life to any peaceful person regardless of his or her inner belief, it says, “Oh you who believed! When you go to fight in the cause of God, investigate carefully and say not to anyone who say peace to you ‘You are not a believer’.” Thus in times of war, the believers must carefully investigate to make sure that they aren’t committing the crime of killing a peaceful man, who by misfortune happens to be in the battle field. God gives everyone on the other side (the enemy) a constant right to be saved simply by pronouncing the words, “peace”, or the Islamic greeting: “Peace be upon you”. If the enemy says so, it then becomes unlawful to kill him or her. He/she even becomes a peaceful believer regardless of his/her inner belief and his /her strange presence in the battle field. If he/she is killed, the killer will deserve the punishments mentioned in the verse 93. Therefore, any peaceful person is a Muslim and a believer even during war time and in the battlefield. If he/she is killed, then the killer deserves the abode in Hell, the great suffering, and God’s curse and wrath.

2- It was a common practice of that time to kill the captives, enslave them, or free them for money or ransom. God blamed Prophet Mohammed when he set free all the captives of Badr Battle for money, as the main mission of the Prophet was not to seek the vanity of this life, but to be a good example to people. God ordered Prophet Mohammed to tell them that He would forgive them if they had any good in their heart, “O Prophet say to the captives that are in your hands, ‘If God knows any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you and He will forgive you, and God is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.’” (8:70). God ordered Prophet Mohammed and the Muslims only two choices in dealing with the captives: to either set them free or exchange them as prisoners of war. (37:4). Under all circumstances, the prisoner of war after release becomes Ibn Al Sabeel, or  a guest as long he is in the Muslim State, and should be given charity and alms and shelter until a safe return home. (76:8), (2:177, 215), (4:36), (8:41), (9:60), (17:26), (24:22), (30:38), (59:7).

These Quranic laws about the captives were ignored by Muslims during their history, and captives were killed as it was a bad habit in the Middle Ages. This used to happen during the battles between the Muslim Empire, the Roman Empire, and other nations, along with domestic wars during Muslims civil wars.  Moreover, killing the captives or enslaving them was accompanied by enslaving women and children. It was the culture of the dark Middle Ages which made Muslim traditions and history full of these aspects that manifested defiance to the real Islamic values.

3- In the case of a warrior fighting against the Muslims who decided to cease attack, he/she only has to seek an asylum. When he/she does so, his/her life is safe and secured. He/she should be allowed to listen to the Quran, to have no excuses before God on Judgment Day. The Muslims are ordered to escort him/her to a safe place, or a home, in security and peace. That is precisely what the Quranic verse says, “If one amongst the transgressor unbelievers seeks protection from you, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of God, and then escort him to where he can be secured, that is because they are without knowledge.” (9:6). So, it is to make him know the peaceful message of the Quran, not to force him to be Muslim , then to escort him safely to his home, leaving him responsible for his choice before God in the Day of Judgment after knowing the Quran.

5 -The first order of Jihad as fighting gives another aim : is to defend churches, monasteries, synagogues and mosques.

 

 The early Muslims in Mecca who were around the Prophet Mohamed suffered continuous persecution. It was so intense that God allows the believer to appease the transgressors even by uttering disbelief in God, :( 16 / 106).

When persecution became so intense the believers had to immigrate to enjoy religious freedom. (16 / 41-42) (4 / 97 - ) (29 / 56 – 57).

After they migrated to Al Medina, they were continuously attacked by Quraysh who wanted to force them to go back to their previous idolatrous religion.  It is an unknown historic fact mentioned in the Quran only and ignored by old Muslim historians and scholars.  No Muslim scholar in our time knows that the mighty tribe of Quraysh used to attack Al Madina and fight the peaceful Muslims living inside who did not defend themselves because they did not have permission from God.

If it were not for the Quranic verses sent down which allowed them to practice self-defense, the early Muslims would have being destroyed and eradicated. Yet, the old Muslim scholars and historians during the Middle Ages did not consider these verses rationally, because rationalizing these verses would bring out a meaning that they preferred to be kept silent about.

The verse says, “Permission to fight is given to those were fought against because they have been wronged and verily God is most powerful in their aid.” (22:39), this verse gives permission for self-defense in case of persecution and injustice regardless of what the religion is. God encourages self-defense and brings victory to the victims who do so. The old Muslim scholars were oblivious to the generalization of this verse because it gave anyone the right to fight for his/her freedom of religion. Since this meaning is not exactly what the Middle Ages were about, it was better to disregard it.

The same scholars and historians also neglected a major factor of the verse. Since the followers of Prophet Mohammed were facing a dangerous enemy, if they had not been allowed to defend themselves, they would have easily been completely massacred.

The Quran demonstrates here a historical reality disregarded by the historians of the Abbasid Empire. The fact is that transgressors of Quraysh disbelievers repeatedly raided Al Madina, often killing the habitants, but the peaceful Muslims would not take action because they were not yet allowed to do so. It was not until they received the permission to fight that they began to defend themselves.

The following verse is another case where the old Muslim scholars chose not to rationalize.  The next verse talks about those peaceful early Muslims: “Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said ‘God is only Our Lord’. For had it not been that God checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, in which the name of God is commemorated in a abundant measure would surely have been pulled down.” (22:40).

We understand from this verse that not only did the victims face a threat of genocide, but the reason for their expulsion from their homes was the commemoration of God’s name as their only God and Lord.

In Islam: Fight to defend the churches, monasteries, synagogues and mosques.

Due to the religious fanaticism during the Abbasid Empire, the religious scholars chose to overlook the main point of this verse (22:40), namely that all followers of the Divine messages pray to the same God, and thus, all the houses of prayers are all equal in God’s eye. If the believers had not defended themselves altogether, their houses of prayers would not have remained standing. The verse clearly mentions, without differentiation, the places of worship of the Christians , Jews, Muslims and others, all united by the act of ‘constantly commemorating God’s name’. What is of extreme importance here is that the Quran assures the need to protect and respect all these houses of prayers regardless of the disputes among all of their followers, because in spite of disputes, these houses of prayers are shelters of peace and security, or it should be so.

It is very important also to note that the mosques – of the Muslims - are mentioned last.  Had the Quran been biased for Islam only, the verse would have said ‘In which God’s name alone is constantly recited,’ but since there are non- Muslims who have attached other saints and names beside God, they are also taken into account even though they clash with the Islamic monotheist faith of ‘there are no Lord but God’ La illah illa ALLAH.  Therefore the aim of this verse is to put all houses of prayer belonging to all faiths under protection from any violation, making it religiously accepted for any of these groups to defend themselves and their places of worship even if blood has to be shed.

It is clear here that the only reason for fighting is to protect the freedom of belief which God grants to all mankind, no matter what the religion is, as long it is a peaceful one void of any violence or transgression. Every person who builds a house of prayer has his/her own view and perspectives about God and worships Him accordingly. By all means, these houses and the people praying in them must enjoy safety and peace regardless of the differences among them. God is the only one who will judge them on the Day of Judgment.

God said to his final Prophet ( Mohamed) in dealing with the people of scripture ( Christian and Jews ): “  And We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, verifying what is before it of the Book and a guardian over it, therefore judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires (to turn away) from the truth that has come to you; for every one of you did We appoint a law and a way, and if Allah had pleased He would have made you (all) a single people, but that He might try you in what He gave you, therefore compete with one another to hasten to virtuous deeds; to Allah is your return, of all (of you), so He will let you know that in which you differed;” It is an order to compete in doing the good deeds, leaving their religious disputes to the One God on the Day of Judgment to judge among them telling the truth. But in this life, the houses of worship must be protected, all of them.

6 – Conclusion

 

According to the Holy Quran, there are only two religions; one comes from God, the creator, and the other comes from Satan. The real religion of God had come by divine revelations through the prophets and the messengers of God. The final message is the Holy Quran, and the final prophet is Mohamed. After the Quran and after Prophet Mohamed there is no divine revelation from God to any human.

Humans by the revelation of Satan usually twist and distort the real religion of God, establishing on its ruins different kinds of human made religions to serve their hunger for power and the vanity of this live.

This happened before and after Quran. Although God confirms the completion of the religion of Islam by the completion of the Quran, yet Muslims have different man made religions through the satanic revelation, under false saying were ascribed to Prophet Mohamed and God. Ironically, God – in advance - has exposed it in the Quran.( For examples :( 6/ 112: 114 ‘ 121) (5 : 90 ) ( 26 /  210 :212, 221: 223 )( 10/ 15 : 17) ( 36 / 60 : 62 ).

There are many differences between the real religion of God and the satanic man made religions.

In faith, in the real religion of God, there is no son, no idol, no partner with God, the creator. In behavior there is no transgressor, no persecution, no unjust, no dictatorship.

As far as our subject is concerned, there is no persecution in religion; it is unlimited freedom in the field of religion. The only excuse for fighting in Islam is to defend freedom of religion and to defend your life against transgressors. God says: (Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world's life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward)( 4 / 74 ).

Here the fight is not for the vanity of this life, but sacrifice this life for God and the hereafter. Fighting in the cause of God means to defend and to save those who are persecuting by the transgressors. The next verse says, addressing the real Muslims :( And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are persecuted, Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!"( 4 / 75 )
Those are the transgressing disbelievers who follow the revelation of the Satan like this false (Hadith) that says (I am commanded to fight all the people until they say there is no god but one God and I am the messenger of God).

Now, there are two kinds of fight, one for the cause of God to defend the religious freedom while the other is fighting for the cause of Satan, to impose religion and to persecute people and to enslave them. This is mentioned in the next verse: (Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Satan . Fight therefore against the allies of the Satan ; surely the strategy of the Satan is weak.) ( 4/ 76).

Looking at the so - called Muslim World, you will find persecution in religion, theocratic and autocratic dictator regimes that enslave and torture their peoples and steal their money while they are upholding the satanic revelation of Sunni and Shiites.

In the US and the West, you will find religious freedom, democracy and justice.  This is under the title of secularism and civil society.

Which side is nearer to the real religion of God?


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