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It's much easier to act as if critics of Islam have a problem with Muslims as people than it is to accept the uncomfortable truth that Islam is different


The Quran


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What can we learn about
Islam from this woman?

"Discover the Truth's" Game

"Slay the Idolaters
Wherever Ye Find Them..."

From Discover the Truth:

This passage has always been quoted out of context.
(March 4, 2014)

What the Quran Says

9:5. Then when the Sacred Months have passed, then kill the Mushrikun wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform Salat, and give Zakat, then leave their way free.

What the Apologists Want You to Believe

With regard to verse 9:5, the strategy of most apologists is to argue that it is bound to a past historical period by the textual context based on earlier verses.  While there is some truth to this, Discover the Truth also tries to justify the eviction and slaughter (of those who would not convert to Islam).

According to DTT:

   1) The 'pagan Arabs' broke a treaty (and were the first to do so)
   2) The act was a 'declaration of war' on the Muslims, who were under attack
   3) The response was limited to only those 'pagan Arabs' who were attacking

How They Do It: 'Adding' to the Quran

Once again, Allah's language is highly inconvenient to the modern-day apologist.  When he said Mushrikun in verse 9:5 (meaning those who worship incorrectly), he really meant to say 'those who are attacking you." And when Allah said "slay them wherever you find them", he means "not necessarily wherever you find them but only where they are trying to find you." Likewise, the part about one being safe only if they adopt Islamic practices (salat and zakat) is another way of saying "until you are not being attacked."

How They Do It: Citing Contemporary Apologists and Weak Hadith

A bevy of modern-era apologists are rolled out to assure gullible readers that the verse can't possibly mean what it says.  Generally, their arguments involve pulling verses from other suras and knitting them together. 

Rather than waste time with this, let's just move on to what the Quran, Hadith and Sira have to say.

How They Do It: Ignoring Reliable Sources

Ibn Ishaq said that that the command to fight applied to all polytheists at Mecca, whether they had broken a treaty or not:
"...the polytheists who had broken the special agreement as well as those who had a general agreement after the four months which had been given them as a fixed time" (Ishaq/Hisham 922)
Ibn Kathir agrees:
When it was the day to make the sacrifices, 'Ali b. Abu Talib arose and made the proclamation as ordered by the Messenger of God. He gave them a period of four months from the day of that declaration for them all to return to some place of safety, or to their own lands. Thereafter there was to be no pact or protection for any polytheists, except for any individual who had a personal agreement with the Messenger of God; that would remain in force until its expiration." After that year, no polytheist made the pilgrimage and no one circumambulated the kabaa (Ibn Kathir v.4 p. 49)
This is also in the hadith (Sahih Muslim 7:3125).  Note that the context is pilgrimage (not war) and it is the non-believers who are being threatened and in need of "safety."

Non-believers who would not leave, according to the Hadith, were killed:
"The Prophet recited Suratan-Najm (103) at Mecca and prostrated while reciting it and those who were with him did the same except an old man who took a handful of small stones or earth and lifted it to his forehead and said, 'This is sufficient for me.' Later on, I saw him killed as a non-believer." (Sahih Muslim 19:173) . 

How They Do It: Sleight of Hand

DTT pretends that verse 9:13 ("Will you not fight a people who have violated their oaths and intended to expel the Messenger, while they did attack you first?") refers to a violation by the polytheists that precipitates the "dissolution of obligations" in verse 9:1.  In fact, it pertains to past hostilities between the Quraish and Muslims.

Ibn Kathir says that verse 13 "refers to the battle of Badr when the idolaters marched to protect their caravan." (Tafsir)  It was not a breaking of any agreement subsequent to Muhammad taking control of Mecca.

DTT also says that verse 9:4 ("excepted are those with whom you made a treaty") means that the next verse is "is only aimed at those who broke the treaty, it did not affect those who abided by the treaty."

It does not mean this at all.  Ibn Kathir explains that the exception applies to those pagans who had a special agreement that lasted beyond the four month term.  It has nothing to do with anyone else breaking a treaty:
What is correct is that those with a pact would have it last for its specified duration, even if for more than four months. Those with pacts devoid of a specified duration would have their pacts expire after four months. (Ibn Kathir v.4 p. 50)

Why They are Wrong

According to the historians, Muhammad had a general agreement with the polytheists that he would allow them to continue their religious practices after taking control of Mecca.  Indeed, Sura 2 of the Quran says that keeping people back from the "sacred Mosque" is an abomination.  DTT even claims elsewhere that Muhammad marched on Mecca to "free man to follow his religion without persecution."

Once in power, however, Muhammad had a change of heart and narrated verses that dissolved the agreement after the end of the sacred months (ie. the final pilgrimage).  The only exception would be those who had a special agreement which lasted a few years beyond this.

While a case may be made as to the historic limitation of the order to kill unbelievers, there is no mention in these verses or in the historical record of any violations of the treaty by the non-Muslims in Mecca at that time.  Instead, the reason given is that they are polytheists (9:5 Mushrikun) and "unclean" (9:28).  Likewise, the killing is to end when worship is for Allah's religion.

Muslims were in a position of power at the time, and were not under attack.  Had they been, then there certainly would not have been a waiting period (ie. "after the sacred months have passed") nor is there any mention of self-defense in the Hadith or Sira.  Instead, it is about the worst sort of religious bigotry.  The pagans are circumventing the kabaa (engaging in their rituals).  Unless they stop this and convert to Islam (ie. pay the zakat and perform salat - Islamic prayer - as 9:5 says) they are to be killed. 

The introduction of violence is therefore by Muhammad, who gives non-Muslims four months to vacate Mecca or be slain "wherever they may be found."  Here, then, is the double standard so ingrained in the supremacist ideology of Islam.  When out of power, religious Muslims whine about equal rights.  Once in power, they shut down the rights of others.  Underlying it all is the threat of violence. 

Further Reading

MYTH: Muhammad Made Mecca a More Tolerant City
The Verse of the Sword: Offensive Warfare (Answering Islam)

Discover the Truth Propaganda Index

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