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Offline Mubashir

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Just read the following from someone who calls himself Quran-aloner. Please comment and point out where he may have gone wrong. Thanks.
Umar Farooq
May 15 at 5:15am ·

Proof from the Qur'an of offensive jihad and qital:

Let me begin by saying that if it werent for offensive qital, Islam would not have spread from Makkah to France.

Concerning offensive qital, this is the MAIN topic that distinguishes the believers from the kufar Hypocrites. But the Qur'an is very clear about this. As we know, the kufar are those who conceal what is in the Qur'an. In this case, they will only quote you the verses of defensive qital, such as:

Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you and do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors (Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayat 190).
When the kafirs use this verse to say, "There is only defensive qital in Islam," they have rejected the verses of offensive qital, which makes them kafirs. Allah azzawajal says:

So do you believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part? Then what is the recompense for those who do that among you except disgrace in worldly life; and on the Day of Resurrection they will be sent back to the severest of punishment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do (Surah al-Baqarah: Ayat 85).

From the Qur'an we know that prophet Solomon (pbuh) attacked the powerful empire Sheba simply because it's people were not Muslimeen and were "worshipping the Sun." When Solomon (pbuh) sent a letter to the Queen in order to accept Islamic rule, she refused and instead wanted to send him gifts. Solomon however refused, and prepared to attack the empire with human beings, animals and jinns. However, the Queen decided to submit before this could ever happen and she not only submitted to Islamic rule but she even accepted Islam. What are you Hypocrites going to say now? Do you understand Islam better than the prophets of Allah?! Then for you is the punishment of blasphemy:

and if they (the disbelievers) defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease (Surah 9: 12).

They (the Hypocrites) wish you would disbelieve (in the Qur'an) as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah. But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper (Surah 4: 89).

Another example from the Qur'an is dhul-Qurnayn. He was a powerful leader like Solomon who ruled an Islamic empire and conquered much of the Earth. What are you Hypocrites going to say now?

From the Qur'an we also know that Muhammad (pbuh) and those who came after him conquered land from the kufar. For example, Allah says:
See they (the disbelievers) not that We gradually reduce the land from its outlying borders? Where Allah commands, there is none to put back His Command, and He is swift in calling to account. And those before them had plotted, but to Allah belongs the plan entirely (Surah ar-Rad: Ayat 41-41).
And He made you heirs of their lands, their houses, and their goods, and of a land which ye had not frequented before: and Allah has Power over all things (Surah al-Ahzab: Ayat 27).

And verily we have written in the Scripture, after the Reminder: "My righteous slaves will inherit the Earth." (Surah 21: Verse 105).
The Prophets and chosen leaders of Allah followed Islam, and the Sunnah of Allah does not change. Allah says:
You will never find in the Sunnah of Allah any change, and you will never find in the Sunnah of Allah any alteration (Qur'an, 35: 43).
This is why Allah revealed:

Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of Truth from those who were given the Scripture - until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled (Surah 9: Verse 29).

Conclusion:
Whoever says, "offensive qital is not part of Islam," has insulted the prophets of Allah and left the fold of Islam and became a kafir for rejecting the Qur'an. They have blasphemed.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Dear brother Mubashir,

As-salamu alaykum

To address the contents of the writer, I have split my response dealing with two main categories:


1. POST QURANIC - Direct instructions given to believers after the Quran was revealed.
2. PRE-QURANIC - Inferences that can be drawn from narratives concerning personalities and incidents prior to the Quran's revelation


Firstly, there is no doubt in my mind that category (1) is of primary importance and should remain the bedrock of any interpretation that may be inferred from category (2). Ultimately, it is the clear instructions from the Quran that are applicable to believers.


1. POST QURANIC - Direct instructions given to believers after the Quran was revealed.

There are numerous verses that make it absolutely clear that fighting is primarily in defence, that believers should incline to peace and in one circumstance of note during the life of the prophet of God, treaty-breakers were provided an ultimatum (9:1). This was because of their wanton transgressions (9:10). The upholding of covenants / treaties was considered so important, that it even took priority over any religious or personal affiliations (8:72)

"Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits / begin hostilities; for God loves not transgressors…"  [2:190]

“…But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression" [2:192-193]

Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely God is well able to assist them; Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is God….” [22:39-40]

God 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 God loves the doers of justice” [60:8]

"And if they incline to peace, then you also incline to it and trust in God; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing" [8:61]

In my humble view, there is no 'cherry-picking' when it comes to these verses. The verses are unequivocal in that they part clear instructions to believers post revelation.


2. PRE-QURANIC - Inferences that can be drawn from narratives concerning personalities and incidents prior to the Quran's revelation

God has indeed brought destruction on a people after the errors of their ways have been made manifest to them and they have rejected the truth continuing in their wanton ways of transgression. This has always been His way, His sunnah (Sunnata-llahi) [1]. I have also discussed this further in a dedicated article entitled 'Itmam ul-hujjah'. Please also kindly see [2] below.

However, it is also noteworthy that His way has only included His wrath whence the population also practice inequity and are wrongdoers.

“Nor was thy Lord the one to destroy a population until He had sent to its centre a messenger, rehearsing to them Our Signs; nor are We going to destroy a population except when its members practise iniquity (wrongdoers) [28:59]

There is arguably no supreme human agent of God to manifest this truth than an appointed prophet / messenger of God. Solomon was such a prophet (6:84; 6:89) and he arguably manifested the truth of God in a respectful, noble manner (27:29-30) making the message plain. This included a letter (27:28-31 - where we are not provided the full extent of the arguments or contents), and a physical manifestation of Sheba / Saba's throne (27:41-42). It is not clear what inequities, injustices or transgressions their society were steeped in. However, the report back from the Hoopoe bird does appear to suggest that it was not only a celestial object that had become the focus of their worship, but other deeds were being conducted that were inspired by Satan that kept them transgressing.

'wazayyana lahumu l-shaytanu a'malahum fasaddahum ani l-sabeel' [27:24]
(And Satan has made fair seeming to them their deeds and has averted them from the way)

The writer cites verse 9:12 "and if they (the disbelievers) defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease (Surah 9: 12).". It has already been mentioned that there was an incident in the prophet's life (who have the ability to manifest truth clearly) where treaty breakers wreaked havoc with their transgressions. There is nothing fantastic or peculiar about this or the response meted out.

The writer then cites verse 4:89, but again seemingly fails to note the very next verse (4:90) which provides the context that this does not include those that have not broken any treaty / covenant and do not wish to wage offensive war. It is made clear that here too, the directive is to incline to peace.

The writer then mentions Dhul-Qurnayn. It is not confirmed in the Quran whether he was a Prophet / messenger of God, but he was certainly given authority by God (18:84-86). However here again, the focus was not just correct belief, but also correct conduct which implies curtailing injustice, transgressions or wanton behaviour (18:88).  Dhul-Qurnayn also assisted in defending a folk that were being dealt unjustly by Gog and Magog which underscores the fundamental approach of self-defence with a view to curtail / eliminate aggression.

The writer then cites other verses, which again do not unequivocally support his notion of 'offensive qital'.


In summary therefore:

  • Post Quranic directives for believers state that war is permitted in self-defence, where treaties are broken and transgressed. However, the focus remains to incline to peace.
  • Prophet / messengers have always had the authority to manifest the truth and communities were taken to task when they rejected the message and continued in their transgressions. This has always been the way of God to destroy such wanton nations after the truth was made absolutely clear to them and despite which, they rejected it and continued in their transgressions.
  • Post Quranic revelation, there is no longer any prophet in our midst (nor will be) that can manifest that level of proof and hence, the guidance expressly given to believers will remain of primary importance in how believers conduct themselves.


I hope this helps, God willing
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] UNDERSTANDING THE TERM 'SUNNA' FROM A QURAN'S PERSPECTIVE
http://quransmessage.com/articles/understanding%20the%20sunna%20from%20a%20quran's%20perspective%20FM3.htm
[2] ITMAM AL-HUJJAH - COMPLETION OF PROOF
http://quransmessage.com/articles/itmam%20FM3.htm
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Mubashir

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Salam Br Joseph

Thanks for taking the time and posting an excellent response. I also found your following article very informative:

A MESSAGE OF PEACE OR TO LIVE BY THE SWORD?


http://www.quransmessage.com/articles/a%20message%20of%20peace%20or%20to%20live%20by%20the%20sword%20FM3.htm

Offline niaz

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Salaamun 'alaikum,

Thanks Joseph for the well written post. I agree with almost all of it (except that I also believe that God continues to manifest His proofs).

I wanted to look at another aspect of this issue. In that post, I saw the permeation of many of the preconceptions, prejudices and biases inherited from medieval scholarship. Understanding the Quran requires us to shed these preconceptions, and approach the Quran with fresh eyes. To avoid projecting these biases onto the Quran, instead of understanding what God’s message is from the Quran.

For example, the notion of “Islam” being inherently a legacy of Muhammad. So when medieval conquerors that emerged from the community of Muhammad after his death, attacked and invaded distant lands without provocation, they are seen as vanguards of “Islam”. But the hapless subjects of those lands who became subjugated by these invaders are seen as “Kuffar”. Because they emerged from faith traditions associated with prophets other than Muhammad (like Moses or Jesus). Although technically, the sects they belonged to are also “Islamic” in the same sense, i.e., their founding prophets were equally muslim.  We like to delay the advent of the distortion of the religion after the death of Muhammad by “centuries”, and do not question the events in the immediate aftermath, and the actions attributed to his direct companions [including the so-called "rightly guided" caliphs], seeking a period of the “golden age” before things went awry.

So before starting off with a premise like “if it werent for offensive qital, Islam would not have spread from Makkah to France”, an unbiased evaluation of what the term islam means in God’s message is in order. And how much these invaders represented “Islam” vs. the victims of these invasions. 2:62 or 2:112 would be a good place to start.

Similarly, I see subscription to the Classical Jihad Doctrine invented by medieval “Islamic” jurists to justify the expansionist activities of their “Muslim” rulers. The writer appears to be reading the Quran through the prism of this doctrine, when accusing Muhammad of indulging in the same doctrine, or similarly accusing Solomon of having attacked Sheba for “worshipping the sun”. And echoes of the validity of “Islamic Rule”, “jizyah” as a tax levied upon the “non-muslim” subjects under “Islamic rule”, punishment for “blasphemy” [which was invented to achieve the “preservation of faith” objective of the Sharia], etc. are borne out abundantly throughout the post - all doctrines that are inventions of the medieval jurists.

The writer acknowledged that God decreed “defensive qital” in the Quran, but then goes on to claim that God also decreed “offensive qital” elsewhere. It is illogical that God should prescribe mutually contradictory doctrines. Classical jurists piggy-backed on the “theory of abrogation” that they invented, to negate the clearly laid out principles of fighting prescribed in the Quran [summarized v. well above by Joseph]. The post did not clarify why the alleged “offensive qital” should replace “defensive qital”. But the projection of “offensive” warfare into verses which did not prescribe it, was also the work of classical jurists.

I found it interesting that these preconceptions and prejudices were repeated exactly as we inherited them; the only thing that changed is the claim of being “Quran alone”.

Peace.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Dear brother Niaz,

As-salamu alaykum

Thank you for a very well written and argued post, the contents of which I fundamentally concur with.

Regards,
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell