Islam: When a stone rats on a Jew.

I can and will provide you with some of the most troubling quotes from the Quran and Hadith (supporting literature), but that alone will not win your argument about Islam being a peaceful religion. Doing that requires an understanding of the Islamic concept of ‘Abrogation’ (Arabic: Naskh).

There are over a hundred Quranic passages that can be interpreted as calling for tolerance among religions. However, abrogation, as noted in the Quran, states that when contradictions occur, revelations that came later in Mohammed’s life supersede earlier ones. The most aggressive injunctions occur in Sura 9, the last chapter to address Jihad, and therefore represent the “final word” on the subject. It is important to note that chapter and verse numbers (e.g. 2:135 or 8:5) have no relevance in terms of “first” or “last” on a timeline since the Quran was compiled in a more arbitrary manner: starting with the longest chapter and ending with the shortest. Therefore, quotes from chapter 8 may historically precede those in chapter 2. When Islamists refer to “abrogation” they do not think that one passage nullifies another, but rather that Quranic rulings were revealed “progressively” to meet changing circumstances. This gambit allows the continued assertion that the Quran is perfect and eternal …but it adds up to “nullify”. While abrogation covers many aspects of Muslim life, I’m focusing only on the term as it applies to war (Jihad).

To determine the validity of any verse Muslim scholars have constructed a timeline according to the sequence of Mohammad’s life for which the science of Asbab an-Nuzul was created. There is universal agreement (as far as I can tell) about what pronouncement preceded another. In fact Islamic jurists through the ages have striven to establish a clarity and consistency of message. Sharia (Islamic Law) is likely one of the most cohesive bodies of law in existence; the greater part of that effort was accomplished by the end of tenth century. Yes, there might exist a few issues still under debate among the various Islamic Schools of Law, but about the vast majority of rules including the obligation to perform Jihad, status of the Kafir (unbeliever), and the call to war against him there is only consensus.

These scholars have divided up the life of the Prophet into two periods and associated passages with each. The Meccan period encompasses the first twelve years of the Islam when it had few followers and was one of many religions. The most aggressive war-like pronouncements belong to the Medinan period when Mohammed embarked on savage military campaigns. Earlier peaceful passages are associated with Mohammad’s time in Mecca when Islam’s existence required a more conciliatory approach. These earlier passages are abrogated by the latter when Mohammed no longer had to play the diplomat. Thus they have no function in Islamic teaching except to confound Westerners and win hapless converts.

It is useful to include a quote from the Ayatollah Khomeini:
“But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world… Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all!”
-as quoted by Amir Taheri

But to the Quran…
Abrogation is laid out here:
Q 2:106
“None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?”
(So nothing in the Quran is “wrong”, rather it is “improved”)

also Q 16:101
“And when We put a revelation in place of (another) revelation, – and Allah knoweth best what He revealeth – they say: Lo! thou art but inventing. Most of them know not.”
(here the Quran acknowledges that it’s going to get some heat for changing things in a “flawless” document).

Quran Chapter 9 verse 5 (Commonly called the “Verse of the Sword”)
“And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and pay the jizya, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
(Jizya is the payment collected from a conqured people who have yielded but not converted)

Q 9:123
“O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).”

Q 8:12-13
“When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. That is because they opposed Allah and His messenger. Whoso opposeth Allah and His messenger, (for him) lo! Allah is severe in punishment.”

Q 9:111
“Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.”
(This is the bargain between a Muslim and Allah. In exchange for all that he has and his commitment to kill and be killed, Allah offers Paradise. To inspire credibility Mohammed cites the Torah and the New Testament claiming that they offered the same deal …though such an interpretation of those documents is perverse).

Q 47:4
“So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah – never will He waste their deeds.”

Q 2:216
“Warfare (Jihad) is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.”

Q 3:151
“We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”
(Associating others with Allah refers to Christians who raise Jesus to the level of Allah as well as polytheists).

Q 33:26
“And He brought those of the People of the Book [Jewish people of Banu Qurayza] who supported them from their fortresses and cast terror into their hearts, some of them you slew (beheaded) and some you took prisoners (captive)”

And then there are the Hadith which recount events in the life of Mohammad. They carry authority nearly equal to the Quran.
Bukhari (144:704)
“in the war of Khayber after the inhabitants of Banu Nadir were surrendered, Allah’s apostle killed all the able/adult men, and he (prophet) took all women and children as captives (Ghani mateer maal).. Among the captives Safiyya Bint Huyy Akhtab was taken by Allah’s Apostle as booty whom He married after freeing her and her freedom was her Mahr.”
(Mohammed tortured and killed a Jew and his cousin. He then took the man’s wife, reputedly for his wife, that very night)

Bukhari (11:626)
[Muhammad said:] “I decided to order a man to lead the prayer and then take a flame to burn all those, who had not left their houses for the prayer, burning them alive inside their homes.”

Bukhari (46:717)
“The Prophet had suddenly attacked Bani Mustaliq without warning while they were heedless and their cattle were being watered at the places of water. Their fighting men were killed and their women and children were taken as captives”
Muslim (5.1767.189) quoting Muhammah on his death bed:
“I will expel the Jews and Christians form the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims”

And the ever popular…
Bukhari (4,52:177)
“Allah’s Apostle said, ‘The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”

The following Quranic passages are considered abrogated by Q 9:5
Q 2:109
“Many of the People of the Scripture wish they could turn you back to disbelief after you have believed, out of envy from themselves [even] after the truth has become clear to them. So pardon and overlook until Allah delivers His command. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.”
(note how even in a conciliatory tone Mohammed is bristling for a fight …”out of envy”)

Q 4:90
“So if they remove themselves from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not made for you a cause [for fighting] against them.”

Q 5:13
“So for their breaking of the covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort words from their [proper] usages and have forgotten a portion of that of which they were reminded. And you will still observe deceit among them, except a few of them. But pardon them and overlook [their misdeeds]. Indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.”
(Brother, is this guy looking for a fight or what?)

Q 6:159
“As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou hast no part in them in the least: their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.”

Q 8:61
“And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.”

Q 10:41
“And in case they cry lies to you, then say, “To me is my doing, and to you is your doing. You are quit of what I do, and I am quit of whatever you do.”

Q 86:17
“So give a respite to the disbelievers. Deal you gently with them for a while.”

Now this verse is interesting from a different point of view. It comes up frequently to show the ‘humanity’ of Islam:
Q 5:32
“… whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.” Recently in the Wall Street Journal, the Grand Mufti of Egypt cited this passage and made much of it to support his Religion of Peace message. But this quote when taken in context has a very different message. In truth it lays out a threat of torture and murder. This benign quote is in fact drawn from the Torah and is mentioned for no reason but to introduce the Muslim caveat. And that caveat is that murder is justified for troublemakers (those who challenge Islam).” And it is followed directly by this less than friendly verse:
Q 5:33
“The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.”

The following pretty well sums up Mohammed’s evolving attitude towards war and the verses that reflect those changes. They include the period of “restraint” to “defensive war” to “aggressive war” with appropriate dates abrogating the others:

“During the lifetime of Muhammad, the Islamic community passed through three stages. In the beginning from 610 until 622, God commanded restraint. As the Muslims relocated to Medina (623-26), God permitted Muslims only to fight in a defensive war. However, in the last six years of Muhammad’s life (626-32), God permitted Muslims to fight an aggressive war first against polytheists, and later against monotheists like the Jews of Khaybar. Once Muhammad was given permission to kill in the name of God, he instigated battle.”
“Chapter 9 of the Qur’an (quoted above), in English called “Ultimatum,” is the most important concerning the issues of abrogation and jihad against unbelievers. It is the only chapter that does not begin “in the name of God, most benevolent, ever-merciful.”
-David Bukay “Peace or Jihad? Abrogation in Islam” (
“Muhammad Sa‘id Ramadan al-Buti, a contemporary Al-Azhar University scholar, wrote that “the verse (9:5) does not leave any room in the mind to conjecture about what is called defensive war. This verse asserts that holy war, which is demanded in Islamic law, is not a defensive war because it could legitimately be an offensive war. That is the apex and most honorable of all holy wars. Its goal is the exaltation of the word of God, the construction of Islamic society, and the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth regardless of the means. It is legal to carry on an offensive holy war.”
-“Peace or Jihad? Abrogation in Islam”


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