A study by Rev. Richard P. Bailey

[Note: This is a 26 page study. Please don't begin unless you intend to carefully and fully read all these verses from the Quran and the traditions on the subject of Jihad. It is my intent simply to make it possible for you to make your own judgment as to the teaching of Islam about Jihad.]


[When we consider the number of verses in the Quran which deal with the subject of Jihad or struggle in the cause of God, it becomes obvious that Jihad is one of the major themes of the Quran.

The 114 suras (chapters or parts) of the Quran are not listed in the chronological order in which Mohammad recited them, but seem to be listed in the order of length - from the longest to the shortest. Rather than list verses in the order they are placed in the Quran, I have listed them in the chronological order in which they came (according to the listing by Nöldeke). This will help to bring out the obvious progression of thought regarding Jihad.

The Ka’aba, a rectangular building in the city of Mecca, contained many idols and was the center of worship for the pagan Arabs at the time of Muhammad. Arabs from all over Arabia came to Mecca for an annual pilgrimage to worship those idols.

Mohammad began preaching Islam in 610 A.D. when he was still living in Mecca. His fellow Quraish tribesmen became increasingly angry because of his condemnation of their idolatry. 90 of the 114 suras originated during the 13 years he continued living in Mecca. These suras contained no instructions about fighting, in spite of the severe persecution, beatings, expulsion from their homes and death threats to which his small band of followers were subjected.

The last 24 suras are from the time after 622 when Mohammad and his followers migrated to Medina to escape from the persecution in Mecca. There Mohammad was made the political leader of the city and his followers increased significantly. The teaching about Jihad or fighting "in the way of Allah" began to develop in these Medinan suras. As you will see, I have displayed the development of the Quran's teaching about Jihad in four stages. No doubt there are other ways of looking at this subject, but I have found this most helpful.]



STAGE ONE: (IN MECCA) - NO RETALIATION: [While still in Mecca, Mohammad and his followers did not retaliate or fight. The suras originating during that time contained teaching typified by the following verses:]

Sura 73:10,11 (be patient and bear with those who deny the truth)

"And have patience with what they say, and leave them with noble (dignity). And leave me (alone to deal with) those in possession of the good things of life, who (yet) deny the truth, [YA: "Men who enjoy the good things of life have special cause for gratitude to God, Who bestowed them. When they are in the ranks of God's enemies, none but God can adequately deal with them.."] and bear with them for a little while."

Sura 52:45,47,48 (leave them alone and wait in patience for the Lord to punish them)

"So leave them alone until they encounter that day of theirs, wherein they shall (perforce) swoon (with terror) ... And verily, for those who do wrong, there is another punishment besides this...Now await in patience the command of thy Lord, for verily thou art in Our eyes." [YA: "The man of God must strive his utmost to proclaim the message of God. As for results, it is not for him to command them. He must wait patiently in the knowledge that he is not forgotten by God, but is constantly under God's eyes - under His living care and protection..."]

Sura 109:1,2,6 (Tell unbelievers, "You have your religion and I have mine.")

"Say, O ye that reject faith! I worship not that which ye worship... To you be your way, and to me mine."

Sura 76:8,9 (be kind even to those taken prisoner)

"And they feed, for the love of God, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive, (saying) ‘We feed you for the sake of God alone. No reward do we desire from you, nor thanks.’" [YA: "...it refers to the old state of things when captives of war had to earn their own food, or their own redemption; even ordinary prisoners in join for criminal offences often starved unless food was provided for them by private friends or from their own earnings."]

Sura 20:129,130 (also 38:15-17) (be patient with evil things said by evil people)

"Had it not been for a word that went forth before from thy Lord, (their punishment) must necessarily have come, but there is a term appointed (for respite). Therefore be patient with what they say..." [YA: "All good men must be patient with what seems to them evil around them."]

Sura 20:134,135 (be patient and let the unbelievers see who is right)

"And if We had inflicted on them a penalty before this, they would have said, ‘Our Lord! If only Thou hadst sent us an apostle, we should certainly have followed thy signs before we were humbled and put to shame.’ Say: ‘Each one (of us) is waiting. Wait ye, therefore, and soon shall ye know who it is that is on the straight and even way, and who it is that has received guidance.’" [YA: "The man of God can only say: ‘Let us wait the issue. My faith tells me that God's truth must prevail.’"]

Sura 16:93 (God leaves alone those whom He allows to stray from the truth)

"If God so willed, He could make you all one people, but He leaves straying whom He pleases, and He guides whom He pleases, but ye shall certainly be called to account for all your actions." [YA: "God's will and plan, in allowing limited free-will to man, is, not to force man's will, but to give all guidance, and leave alone those who reject that guidance, in case they should repent and come back into grace. But in all cases, in so far as we are given the choice, we shall be called to account for all our actions..."]

Sura 19:83,84 (Don't be in a hurry to fight. God will allow evil people to destroy themselves.)

"Seest thou not that we have set the evil ones on against the unbelievers to incite them with fury? So make no haste against them, for we but count out to them a (limited) number (of days)." [YA: "Under the laws instituted by God, when evil reaches a certain stage of rebellion and defiance, it is left to gather momentum and to rush with fury to its own destruction. It is given a certain amount of respite, as a last chance, but failing repentance, its days are numbered. The godly therefore should not worry themselves over the apparent worldly success of evil, but should get on with their own duties in a spirit of trust in God."]

Sura 43:88,89 (just turn away from those who reject the truth, and say "Peace" to them)

"(God has knowledge) of the (Prophet's) cry, ‘O my Lord! Truly these are a people who will not believe!’ But turn away from them, and say, ‘Peace!’ But soon shall they know!" [YA: "The Prophet...is here told to leave them alone for a time, for the truth must soon prevail."]

Sura 67:26 (Mohammad is only a warner; not an enforcer)

"Say ‘...I am (sent) only to warn plainly in public.’" [YA: "The Prophet's duty is to proclaim that fact openly and clearly. It is not for him to punish or to hasten the punishment of evil."] Sura 22:49 "Say, ‘O men! I am (sent) to you only to give a clear warning.’"

Sura 23:54 (Leave them in their ignorance)

"But leave them in their confused ignorance for a time."

Sura 23:96 (It is best not to retaliate evil for evil)

"Repel evil with that which is best." [YA: "It is not for you to punish. Your best course is not to do evil in your turn, but to do what will best repel the evil. Two evils do not make a good."] "We are well acquainted with the things they say. And say, ‘O my Lord! I seek refuge with thee from the suggestions of the evil ones. And I seek refuge with thee of my Lord, lest they should come near me.’"

Sura 25:52 (struggle with all your might against unbelievers with God's word - the "Greater Jihad")

"Therefore listen not to the unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness, with the (Quran)." [YA: "... the man of God pays no heed to carping critics who reject faith. He wages the biggest jihad of all, with the weapon of God's revelation."] [The Arabic is "Jihad-e-Kabir" (greater Jihad). Muslims therefore believe that physical war is "Jihad-e-Saghir" (lesser Jihad), although that term is not specifically mentioned in the Quran (see 4:74-76).]

Sura 17:54 (Mohammad was not sent to dispose of men's affairs.)

"...We have not sent thee to be a disposer of their affairs for them." [YA:"Even men of God are not sent to arrange or dispose of men's affairs, but only to teach God's message."]

Sura 16:125,126 (invite to the way of God only with gracious preaching and arguments)

"Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious... And if ye do catch them out, catch them out no worse than they catch you out. But if ye show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient." [YA: "In the context this passage refers to controversies and discussions, but the words are wide enough to cover all human struggles, disputes, and fights. In strictest equity you are not entitled to give a worse blow than is given to you. But those who have reached a higher spiritual standard do not even do that. They restrain themselves, and are patient. Lest you should think that such patience only gives an advantage to the adversary, you are told that the contrary is the case. The advantage is with the patient, the self-possessed, those who do not lose their temper or forget their own principles of conduct."]

Sura 29:46 (don't argue with Jews and Christians, but do something better, i.e., emphasize our oneness)

"And dispute ye not with the People of the Book [a term used for Jews and Christians], except with means better (than mere disputation) ... But say, 'We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you. Our God and your God is One, and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).'" [YA: "In order to achieve our purpose as true standard bearers for God, we shall have to find the common grounds of belief, as stated in the latter part of this verse ..."]

Sura 29:69 (God will guide those who struggle in His way.)

"And those who strive in our (cause), we will certainly guide them to our paths: For verily God is with those who do right." [YA: "All that man can do is to strive in God's cause. As soon as he strives with might and main, with constancy and determination, the light and mercy of God come to meet him... The way of God (sirat-ul-mustaqim) is a straight way. But men have strayed from it in all directions. And there are numerous paths by which they can get back to the right way... All these paths become open to them if once they give their hearts in keeping to God and work in right endeavour (Jihad) with all their mind and soul and resources. Thus will they get out of the spider's web of this frail world and attain to eternal bliss in the fulfillment of their true destiny."]

Sura 10:25,26 (God's call to the house of peace with reward in paradise]

"But God doth call to the home of peace. [YA: "Salam, peace is from the same root as Islam, the religion of unity and harmony."] He doth guide whom He pleaseth to a way that is straight. To those who do right is a goodly (reward) - yea, more (than in measure)! [YA: "The reward of the righteous will be far more than in proportion to their merits. For they will have the supreme bliss of being near to God, and (in Sufi language) ‘seeing His face’"] No darkness nor shame shall cover their faces! They are companions of the garden. They will abide therein (for aye)!"

Sura 6:104 (It's not our job to watch and be sure people believe the truth)

"Now have come to you, from your Lord, proofs (to open your eyes). If any will see, it will be for (the good of) his own soul. If any will be blind, it will be to his own (harm). I am not (here) to watch over your doings."


[Pakistani Brigadier S. K. Malik in his book, "The Quranic Concept of War" says, "... the tiny Muslim community in Mecca was the object of the Koraish tyranny and oppression since the proclamation of Islam. They were continuously subjected to the most inhuman torture, repression and persecution. They were ridiculed, browbeaten and assaulted...The enemy repression reached its zenith when the Koraish denied the Muslims access to the Sacred Mosque (the Ka’aba) to fulfill their religious obligations. This sacrilegious act amounted to an open declaration of war upon Islam. It eventually compelled the Muslims to migrate to Medina twelve years later, in 622 AD..." (p. 11) [It is a mystery to me why the Muslims wanted to worship in that Ka’aba, while it was still full of idols!] ]

[Being small in number the followers of Muhammad would have been wiped out if they had tried to retaliate. Also they were being protected by Mohammad's uncle until his death. Finally when Muhammad received an invitation to come to Medina, they fled from Mecca. In Medina he was given the position of leader of the city and many more Arabs accepted him as a prophet. (See Yusuf Ali's note in Sura 4:74-78a below.)]


STAGE TWO: (FIRST INSTRUCTION IN MEDINA) - DEFENSIVE FIGHTING PERMITTED: [Several months after arrival in Medina the Muslims began looting the Meccan caravans passing through the area. (It is very hard to understand how someone claiming to be a prophet could adopt the carnal, pagan Arab practice of robbing the caravans of other tribes, call it "striving in the way of God" and then say that one fifth of the loot belongs to God!) That practice eventually resulted in their being attacked by the Quraish from Mecca in several battles, beginning with the battle of Badr in 624. At that time permission was given to defend themselves by fighting and killing. The only enemies in the picture were the "unbelievers" of the Quraish tribe in Mecca, who were idol worshipers.]

Sura 22:39-41 (permission is given to go to war to defend themselves)

"To those against whom war is made, [YA: "Several translators have failed to notice that yuqataluna is in the passive voice, ‘against whom war is made,’ not ‘who take arms against the unbelievers’ as Sale translates it."] permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged, and verily, God is most powerful for their aid. (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right, (for no cause) except that they say, ‘Our Lord is God.’ [YA: "This was the first occasion on which fighting - in self defence - was permitted. This passage therefore undoubtedly dates from Medina."] Did not God check one set of people by means of another, [YA: "To allow a righteous people to fight against a ferocious and mischief-loving people was fully justified. But the justification was far greater here, when the little Muslim community was not only fighting for its own existence against the Meccan Quraish, but for the very existence of the faith in the One True God. They had as much right to be in Mecca and worship in the Ka’ba as the other Quraish, yet they were exiled for their faith. It affected not the faith of one peculiar people. The principle involved was that of all worship, Jewish or Christian as well as Muslim, and of all foundations built for pious uses."] there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure. God will certainly aid those who aid His (cause), for verily God is full of strength, exalted in might, (able to enforce His will). (They are) those who, if we establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong. [A basic teaching, usually involving force if necessary, to keep other Muslims following Islam.] With God rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs."

Sura 22:58 (rewards for those who die in jihad)

"Those who leave their homes in the cause of God, and are then slain or die, on them will God bestow verily a goodly provision. [YA: "all the provision necessary to equip the person for a full and happy future life, and also, I think, a provision for his dependants and near and dear ones in this life."] Truly God is He who bestows the best provision."


[Again, quoting from Brigadier S. K. Malik in his book, "The Quranic Concept of War" we are told of three stages of teaching about war in the Quran: "The Muslim migration to Medina brought in its wake events and decisions of far-reaching significance and consequence for them. While in Mecca, they had neither been proclaimed an Ummah [a people or community] nor were they granted the permission to take up arms against their oppressors. In Medina, a divine revelation proclaimed them an ‘Ummah’ and granted them the permission to take up arms against their oppressors. The permission was soon afterwards converted into a divine command making war a religious obligation for the faithful." (p. 11)]


STAGE THREE: (REVISED INSTRUCTION IN MEDINA) - DEFENSIVE FIGHTING COMMANDED: [A few months after granting permission to fight in self-defense, the command was given making war (in self defense) a religious obligation. At first, the only enemies in the picture were the "unbelievers" of the Quraish tribe in Mecca, who were idol worshipers. They were the ones who had in a sense declared war on the Muslims. Starting with the battle of Uhud (see sura 3 references below) the hypocrites (Arabs who claimed to be Muslims, but really did not believe) began to show themselves as enemies, and later the Jews were considered enemies. In the beginning of this stage the Jews were not considered enemies because Muhammad was still expecting them to accept him as a prophet like Moses.]

Sura 2:109 (forgive and overlook unbelieving Jews and let God take care of them)

"Quite a number of the people of the Book [Jews] wish they could turn you back to infidelity after ye have believed, from selfish envy, after the truth hath become manifest unto them. But forgive and overlook, till God accomplish His purpose." [YA: "‘Afa’ (here translated ‘forgive’) means to forget, to obliterate from one's mind. ‘Safaha’ (here translated ‘overlook’) means to turn away from, to ignore, to treat a matter as if it did not affect one."] [For the time being, Muhammad forgave the Jews for their unbelief. Later, when they clearly rejected his claim of prophet-hood, they were no longer "overlooked"!]

Sura 2:190-194 (Fight defensively against an attack from fellow Arab Meccan opponents until persecution is stopped and Islam is established)

"Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, [YA: "War is only permissible in self-defense, and under well-defined limits."] but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors. [YA: "strict limits must not be transgressed: women, children, old and infirm men should not be molested, nor trees and crops cut down, nor peace withheld when the enemy comes to terms"] And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; [The people of Mecca had persecuted Mohammad and his followers to the point that they were forced to leave Mecca and move to Medina] for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; But fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, [in Mecca] [YA: "This passage is illustrated by the events that happened at Hudaibiya in the sixth year of the Hijra (flight from Mecca to Medina) ... Many of them (Muslims) were exiles from Mecca, where the pagans had established an intolerant autocracy, persecuting Muslims, preventing them from visiting their homes and even keeping them out by force from performing the pilgrimage ... In general, it may be said that Islam is the religion of peace, goodwill, mutual understanding and good faith, but it will not acquiesce in wrong-doing, and its men will hold their lives cheap in defence of honour, justice and the religion which they hold sacred."] unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. [YA: If they want forcibly to prevent you from exercising your sacred rites, they have declared war on your religion, and it would be cowardice to ignore the challenge or to fail in rooting out the tyranny."] 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; [YA: "When undertaken, it must be pushed with vigour, but not relentlessly, but only to restore peace and freedom for the worship of God .... justice and faith - The Arabic word is Din, which is comprehensive. It implies the ideas of indebtedness, duty, obedience, judgment, justice, faith, religion, customary rites, etc. The clause means: ‘until there is Din for God.’"] but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression [YA: "If the opposite party cease to persecute you, your hostility ends with them as a party, but it does not mean that you become friends to oppression. Your fight is against wrong; there should be no rancour against men."] ... If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him. But fear God, and know that God is with those who restrain themselves ." [YA: "At the same time the Muslims are commanded to exercise self-restraint as much as possible. Force is a dangerous weapon. It may have to be used for self-defence or self-preservation but we must always remember that self-restraint is pleasing in the eyes of God. Even when we are fighting, it should be for a principle, not out of passion."]

Sura 2:216,217 (fighting against Meccan Arabs is now commanded, but during Zul-Hajj it's an offense)

"Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. [YA: "To fight in the cause of Truth is one of the highest forms of charity. What can you offer that is more precious than your own life? But here again the limitations come in. If you are a mere brawler, or a selfish aggressive person, or a vainglorious bully, you deserve the highest censure. If you offer your life to the righteous Imam, who is only guided by God , you are an unselfish hero. God knows the value of things better than you do."] But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not. They ask thee concerning fighting in the prohibited month. [YA: "The month of pilgrimage (Zul-Hajj)"] Say: ‘Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of God to prevent access to the path of God, to deny Him, to present access to the sacred mosque [in Mecca], and drive out its members.’ [YA: "The intolerance and persecution of the Pagan clique at Mecca caused untold hardships to the holy Messenger of Islam and his early disciples. They bore all with meekness and long-suffering patience until the holy one permitted them to take up arms in self-defence. Then they were twitted with breach of the custom about Prohibited Months, though they were driven to fight during that period against their own feeling in self defence. But their enemies not only forced them to engage in actual warfare, but interfered with their conscience, persecuted them and their families, openly insulted and denied God, kept out the Muslim Arabs from the Sacred Mosque, and exiled them. Such violence and intolerance are deservedly called worse than slaughter."] Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the hereafter. They will be companions of the fire and will abide therein. Those who believed and those who suffered exile and fought (and strove and struggled) in the path of God, they have the hope of the mercy of God, and God is oft-forgiving, most merciful."

Sura 2:256,257 (Don't force those defeated to become Muslims, but if they reject Islam they will suffer in hell.) "Let there be no compulsion in religion [YA: "Compulsion is incompatible with religion because religion depends upon faith and will, and these would be meaningless if induced by force."] ... Of those who reject faith the patrons are the Evil Ones. From light they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of fire, to dwell therein (for ever)."

Sura 8:1 (spoils of war in fighting against Arab Meccan belongs to God)

"They ask thee [YA: "The occasion was the question of the division of the booty after the battle of Badr."] concerning (things taken as) spoils of war. Say: ‘(Such) spoils are at the disposal of God and the Apostle; [YA: "Booty taken in a lawful and just war does not belong to any individual. If he fought for such accessory rewards, he fought from wrong motives. It belongs to the cause, in this case the cause of God, as administered by His Apostle."] so fear God, and keep straight the relations between yourselves. Obey God and His Apostle, if ye do believe.’"

Sura 8:12,13,15-18 (cut the necks and fingers of those who opposed God and Mohammad and never turn your backs)

"Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): ‘I am with you: give firmness to the believers. I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. Smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them. [YA: "The vulnerable parts of an armed man are above the neck. A blow on the neck, face, or head, finishes him off. If he has armor it is difficult to get at his heart. But if his hands are put out of action, he is unable to wield his sword or lance or other weapon, and easily becomes a prisoner."] This because they contended against God and His Apostle. If any contend against God and his Apostle, God is strict in punishment ... O ye who believe! When ye meet the unbelievers in hostile array, [YA: "Zahfan in the text implies a slow and well-planned proceeding towards a hostile army. When once in combat, carry it through. There is no room for second thoughts. Death or victory should be the motto of every soldier. It may be death for himself individually, but if he has faith, there is triumph in either case for his cause."] never turn your backs to them. If any do turn his back to them on such a day - unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own) - he draws on himself the wrath of God, and his abode is hell, - an evil refuge (indeed)! It is not ye who slew them; it was God. When thou threwest (a handful of dust), [YA: "When the battle (of Badr) began, the Holy Apostle prayed, and threw a handful of dust or sand at the enemy, symbolical of their rushing blindly to their fate. This had a great psychological effect. Every act in the battle is ascribed to God, as it was in his cause, and it was not undertaken except by His command."] it was not thy act, but God's in order that He might test the believers by a gracious trial [YA: "Numerically the odds against the Muslims were three to one. In other ways they were at a disadvantage: of arms and equipment they had but little, while the enemy were well-found; they were inexperienced while the Quraish had brought their foremost warriors. In all this there was a test, but the test was accompanied by gracious favours of countless value ... Thus the trial or test became itself a blessing."] from Himself; for God is He who heareth and knoweth (all things). That, and also because God is He who makes feeble the plans and stratagems of the unbelievers."

Sura 8:38-42 (Keep fighting them until they stop persecuting believers and until Islam is established. If they stop fighting then stop. Now, a fifth of all the booty belongs to God and His leader.)

"Say to the unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from unbelief), their past would be forgiven them, but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them)." And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God altogether and everywhere. But if they cease, verily God doth see all that they do. [YA: "If they cease from fighting and from the persecution of truth, God judges them by their actions and their motives, and would not wish that they should be harassed with further hostility."] If they refuse, be sure that God is your protector - the best to protect and the best to help. And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to God, - and to the Apostle, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer, [YA: "The rule is that a fifth share is set apart for the Imam (the commander) and the rest is divided among the forces. The fifth share reserved is expressed to be for God and the Apostle and for charitable purposes for those to whom charity is due ... The Imam has discretion as to the mode of division. In the Apostle's life time a certain portion was assigned to the Apostle and his near relatives."] - If you do believe in God and in the revelation we sent down to our servant on the day of testing, [YA: "Testing: Furqan: Criterion between right and wrong, decision between the forces of faith and unbelief. The battle of Badr is called by this name."] - the day of the meeting of the two forces. For God hath power over all things. Remember ye were on the hither side of the valley, and they on the farther side, and the caravan on lower ground than ye. [YA: "The little Islamic force from Medina went out to meet the big Meccan army, and they met on the two sides of a valley at Badr, while the Quraish caravan was on lower ground towards the sea, about 3 miles from Badr."] Even if ye had made a mutual appointment to meet, ye would certainly have failed in the appointment, but (thus ye met), that God might accomplish a matter already enacted, [YA: "They were all at cross purposes. The caravan was making for Mecca, but scarcely thought it could get there. The Quraish force was trying to save the caravan and then annihilate the Muslims. The Muslims had decided to let the caravan alone but attack the Quraish army from Mecca, which they thought was going to be small, but which turned out to be big - more than three times their number. Yet the two forces met, precisely at the spot and at the time when a decisive battle should take place and the Muslims dispose of the pretensions of the Meccan. If they had carefully planned a mutual appointment, they could not have carried it out more precisely."] that those who died might die after a clear sign (had been given), and those who lived might live after a clear sign (had been given). And verily God is He who heareth and knoweth (all things)."

Sura 8:45,46 (Call on God, obey the Apostle, be united, persevere)

"O ye who believe! When ye meet a force, be firm, and call God in remembrance much (and often) that ye may prosper. And obey God and His Apostle, and fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart. And be patient and persevering, for God is with those who patiently persevere."

Sura 8:57-61 (If you defeat them, treat the treacherous with treachery and terrorize. God will repay what you spend. If they ask for peace give them peace.)

"If ye gain the mastery over them in war, disperse, with them, those who follow them, that they may remember. If thou fearest treachery from any group, throw back (their covenant) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms. For God loveth not the treacherous. Let not the unbelievers think that they can get the better (of the godly). They will never frustrate (them). Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, [YA: "The immediate occasion of this injunction was the weakness of cavalry and appointments of war in the early fights of Islam. But the general meaning follows. In every fight, physical, moral, or spiritual, arm yourself with the best weapons and the best arms against your enemy, so as to instill wholesome respect into him for you and the cause you stand for."] to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of God and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom God doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of God shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly. But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God."

Sura 8:65 (Fight with perseverance because you will win.)

"O Apostle! Rouse the believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred. If a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the unbelievers, for these are a people without understanding."

Sura 8:67-69 (Keep killing and don't take prisoners until the land is subdued. You shouldn't fight to get material goods, but God forgives your mistake this time.)

"It is not fitting for an Apostle that he should have prisoners of war until he had thoroughly subdued the land. [notice the ultimate objective!] [YA: "An ordinary war may be for territory or trade, revenge or military glory - all temporal goods of this world. Such a war is condemned. But a jihad is fought under strict conditions under a righteous Imam, purely for the defence of faith and God's law. All baser motives, therefore are strictly excluded. The greed of gain in the shape of ransom from captives has no place in such warfare. At the same time, if there has been heavy loss of life already, captives may be taken, and it would be for the Imam to exercise his discretion as to the time when it was safe to release them and whether the release should be free or on parole or on a fine by way of punishment. Destruction and slaughter, however, repugnant to a gentle soul like that of Muhammad, were inevitable where evil tried to suppress the good ... Seventy captives were taken at Badr, and it was decided to take ransom for them. While the general principle of fighting for the purpose of taking captives in order to get their ransom is condemned, the particular action in this case was approved."] Ye look for the temporal goods of this world, but God looketh to the hereafter. And God is exalted in might, wise. Had it not been for a previous ordainment from God, a severe penalty would have reached you for the (ransom) that ye took. But (now) enjoy what ye took in war, lawful and good. But fear God, for God is oft-forgiving, most merciful." [YA: "Though any motive of worldly gain, which may have been in the minds of some among the victorious Muslim army, is condemned as worthy of a severe penalty, what actually happened is ascribed to the plan of God, which was pre-ordained. Among the prisoners taken were ... who afterwards became Muslims ... In the case of all prisoners, if there was any good in their hearts, their very fight against Islam and their capture led to their being blessed with Islam. Thus does God's plan work in a marvelous way, and evolve good out of seeming evil."]

Sura 8:70,71 (tell captives they can be blessed with Islam if they want to believe, otherwise power over them has been given by God)

"O Apostle! Say to those who are captives in your hands, ‘If God findeth any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you, for God is oft-forgiving, most merciful.’ [YA: "In spite of their previous hostility, God will forgive them in His mercy if there was any good in their hearts, and confer upon them a far higher gift than anything they have ever lost. This gift in its highest would be the blessing of Islam..."] But if they have treacherous designs against thee, (O Apostle!), they have already been in treason against God, and so hath He given (thee) power over them." [YA: "If the kindness shown to them is abused by the prisoners of war when they are released, it is not a matter for discouragement to those who showed the kindness...The believers have done their duty in showing such clemency as they could in the circumstances of war. For them ‘God sufficeth.’"]

Sura 8:72a (fighters and helpers are brothers in the struggle for the cause)

"Those who believed, and adopted exile, [left Mecca and went to Medina] and fought for the faith with their property and their persons in the cause of God, as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid, - these are (all) friends and protectors, one of another." [YA: "The reference is to ... the people who forsook their homes and adopted voluntary exile from Mecca in company with their beloved leader, and their good friends in Medina, who gave them asylum and every kind of assistance, moral and material. Under the magnetic personality of the Holy Apostle these two groups became like blood brothers, and they were so treated in matters of inheritance during the period when they were cut off from their kith and kin."]

Sura 47:4-6,15 (Cut their necks, subdue them, then be generous. Martyrs will receive paradise where there are rivers of water, milk, wine and honey plus fruits)

"Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers (in fight), smite them at their necks. [YA: "When once the fight (Jihad) is entered upon, carry it out with the utmost vigour, and strike home your blows at the most vital points , both literally and figuratively. You cannot wage war with kid gloves."] At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them). [YA: "In the first onset there must necessarily be great loss of life, but when the enemy is fairly beaten, which means in a Jihad, that he is not likely to seek again the persecution of Truth, firm arrangements should be made to bring him under control ... Others have construed the words to mean, ‘After the enemy's number are fairly thinned down, prisoners may be taken.’"] Thereafter (is the time for) either generosity [YA: "i.e. the release of prisoners without ransom."] or ransom until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded), but if it had been God's will, he could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself). But (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain [YA: "There are two alternative readings, (1) qatalu, ‘those who fight’, and (2) qutilu, ‘those who are slain.’"] in the way of God, He will never let their deeds be lost. Soon will He guide them and improve their condition, and admit them to the Garden [paradise] [YA: "the state of bliss which is declared in revelation to be destined for those who serve God"] which He has announced for them ... (Here is) a parable of the garden which the righteous are promised. In it are rivers of water incorruptible, rivers of milk of which the taste never changes, rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink, and rivers of honey pure and clear. In it there are for them all kinds of fruits, and grace from their Lord."

Sura 3:152 (The battle of Uhud in 625 AD was the second of the three battles against the Quraish. God gave permission to annihilate the enemy, but the believers failed God's test because of coveting the things of this world. Still God forgave them.)

"God did indeed fulfil His promise to you when ye with His permission were about to annihilate your enemy, until ye flinched and fell to disputing about the order and disobeyed it after He brought you in sight (of the booty) which ye covet. Among you are some that hanker after this world and some that desire the hereafter. Then did He divert you from your foes in order to test you. But He forgave you, for God is full of grace to those who believe." [YA: "Uhud was in the beginning a victory for the Muslims. Many of the enemy were slain, and they were retiring when a part of the Muslims, against orders, ran in pursuit, attracted by the prospects of booty. The disobedience seemed at first pleasant. They were chasing the enemy, and there was the prospect of booty. But when the gap was noticed by the enemy, they turned the flank round the hill and nearly overwhelmed the Muslims. Had it not been for God's grace and the firmness of their Leader and his immediate companions, they would have been finished."]

Sura 3:157,165-167,169-171,195b (Martyrs have their sins blotted out and go to paradise, plus bring glory and peace to their loved ones left behind. Believers suffer defeat in battle when they disobey and don't fully strive.)

"And if ye are slain, or die, in the way of God, [This phase usually refers to Jihad] forgiveness and mercy from God are far better than all they [unbelievers] could amass ... What! When a single disaster smites you, although ye smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, do you say, ‘Whence is this?’ Say (to them), ‘It is from yourselves. For God hath power over all things.’ What ye suffered on the day the two armies met was with the leave of God, in order that He might test the believers. [YA: "If (the battle of) Uhud was a reverse to the Muslims, they had inflicted a reverse twice as great on the Meccan at Badr. This reverse was not without God's permission, for He wanted to test and purify the faith of those who followed Islam, and to show them that they must strive and do all in their power to deserve God's help. If they disobeyed orders and neglected discipline, they must attribute the disaster to themselves and not to God."] And the hypocrites also. These were told, ‘Come fight in the way of God, or (at least) drive (the foe from your city).’ They said, ‘Had we known how to fight, we should certainly have followed you.’ [YA: "... they gave counsels of caution ... nothing but cowardice ... what they wished was not the good of the community ... When others were for self-sacrifice, they were for ease and fair words. Pretending to be Muslims, ... they pretended to know nothing of fighting and left their devout brethren to defend their faith and ideals."] ... Think not of those who are slain in God's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord. [Others translate this, "by their Lord" or "from their Lord." Clearly, as is evident from YA's following note, Muslims do not think of Paradise as including intimate fellowship with God in His presence, but rather a place of blessings from the presence of the Lord.] [YA: "... through the gateway of death, they enter the true real life, as opposed to its shadow here. Our carnal life is sustained with carnal food, and its joys and pleasures at their best are those which are projected on the screen of this material world. Their real life is sustained from the ineffable presence and nearness of God."] They rejoice in the bounty provided by God and with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve. [YA: "The martyrs not only rejoice at the bliss they have themselves attained. The dear ones left behind are in their thoughts. It is part of their glory that they have saved their dear ones from fear, sorrow, humiliation, and grief, in this life, even before they come to share in the glories of the hereafter."] They glory in the grace and the bounty from God, and in the fact that God suffereth not the reward of the faithful to be lost (in the least) ... Those who have left their homes, or been driven out therefrom, or suffered harm in my cause, of fought or been slain, verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into gardens with rivers flowing beneath - a reward from the presence of God, and from His presence is the best of rewards."

Sura 61:4,11-13 (God loves those who fight in His cause without wavering. He will give speedy victory, forgiveness of sins and admission to paradise to those who fight with all they have.)

"Truly God loves those who fight in His cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure ... that ye believe in God and His Apostle, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the cause of God, with your property and your persons. That will be best for you, if ye but knew! He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in gardens of eternity. That is indeed the supreme achievement. And another (favour will He bestow), which ye do love - help from God and a speedy victory. So give the glad tidings to the believers." [YA: "The supreme achievement has already been mentioned, viz: the gardens of eternity in the presence of God. But lest that seem too remote or abstract for the understanding of men not spiritually advanced, another type or symbol or metaphor is mentioned which the men who first heard this message could at once understand and appreciate - ‘which ye do love’; viz,: help and victory. For all striving in a righteous cause we get God's help and however much the odds against us may be, we are sure of victory with God's help."] [It should be noted that further description of the delights of Paradise had been given earlier in several of the early Meccan suras. An example is Sura 55:52-58: "In them (each) will be fruits of every kind, two and two... They will recline on carpets, whose inner linings will be of rich brocade. The fruit of the gardens will be near (and easy to reach)... In them will be (maidens), chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched ... like unto rubies and coral." YA in his notes tells us that all of the description of Paradise is symbolic and that, "Carnal sex has of course no place in Heaven..."]

Sura 4:74-78a (rewards for fighters against Satan, but not for the cowardly)

"Let those fight in the cause of God [Jihad] who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. [YA: "It is not every one - least of all, poltroons and faint-hearted persons - who is fit to fight in the cause of God. To do so is a privilege, and those who understand the privilege are prepared to sacrifice all their interest in this life, and this life itself..."] To him who fighteth in the cause of God - whether he is slain or gets victory [YA: "Note that the only alternatives here are death or victory! The true fighter knows no defeat."] - soon shall We give him a reward of great (value). And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? 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!’ [YA: "In the great persecution, before Mecca was won again, what sorrows, threats, tortures and oppressions were suffered by those whose faith was unshaken? Muhammad's life and that of his adherents was threatened. They were mocked, assaulted, insulted and beaten. Those within the power of the enemy were put into chains and cast into prison. Others were boycotted and shut out of trade, business and social intercourse. They could not even buy the food that wanted, or perform their religious duties. The persecution was redoubled for the believing slaves, women and children (left behind) after the Hijrat (flight to Medina). Their cry for a protector and helper from God was answered when Muhammad the Chosen One brought freedom and peace to Mecca again."] Those who believe fight in the cause of God, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil. So fight ye against the friends of Satan. Feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan. Hast thou not turned thy vision to those who were told to hold back their hands (from fight) but establish regular prayers and spend in regular charity? When (at length) the order for fighting was issued to them, behold, a section of them feared men as - or even more than - they should have feared God. They said, ‘Our Lord! Why hast Thou ordered us to fight? Wouldst Thou not grant us respite to our (natural) term, near (enough)?’ Say, ‘Short is the enjoyment of this world. The hereafter is the best for those who do right. Never will ye be dealt with unjustly in the very least!’ Wherever ye are, death will find you out. Even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!" [This passage clearly states that at first in Mecca they were told to hold back and not fight, and later they were ordered to fight.]

Sura 4:84,88,89 (Fight, and rouse other believers to fight. Don't join the hypocrites, but instead seize and slay them if they flee or betray you.)

"Then fight in God's cause - Thou art held responsible only for thyself - and rouse the believers. It may be that God will restrain the fury of the unbelievers, for God is the strongest in might and punishment ... Why should ye be divided into two parties about the hypocrites? God hath upset them for their (evil) deeds ... But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of God (from what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them..." [YA: "When the desertion of the hypocrites at Uhud nearly caused a disaster to the Muslim cause there was great feeling among the Muslims of Medina against them. One party wanted to put them to the sword. Another to leave them alone. The actual policy pursued avoided both extremes ... they were given a chance of making good. If they made a sacrifice for the cause (‘flee from what is forbidden’), their conduct purged their previous cowardice, and their sincerity entitled them to be taken back. If they deserted the Muslim community again, they were treated as enemies."]

Sura 4:90,91 (two classes of deserters may be given leniency)

"Except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. [YA: "The exception refers to "seize them and slay them", the death penalty for repeated desertion. Even after such desertion, exemption is granted in two cases. One is where the deserter took asylum with a tribe with whom there was a treaty of peace and amity ... The second case for exemption is where the man from his own heart desires never to take up arms against Islam, though he does not wish to join the forces of Islam, to fight against a hostile tribe (perhaps his own) fighting against Islam."] If God had pleased, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (guarantees of) peace, then God hath opened no way for you (to war against them). Others you will find that wish to gain your confidence as well as that of their people. Every time they are sent back to temptation, they succumb thereto. [YA: "As opposed to the two classes of deserters to whom clemency may be shown, there is a class which is treacherous and dangerous and cannot be left alone. They try to win your confidence, and are all the time in the confidence of the enemy. Every time they get a chance, they succumb to the temptation of double-dealing."] If they withdraw not from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace besides restraining their hands, seize them and slay them wherever ye get them. In their case We have provided you with a clear argument against them."

Sura 4:95,96 (God gives a higher grade and reward to those who strive and fight in God's cause.)

"Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of God with their goods and their persons. God hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in faith) hath God promised good, but those who strive and fight hath he distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward - ranks specially bestowed by Him and forgiveness and mercy. For God is oft forgiving, most merciful." [YA: "The special reward of such self-sacrifice is high spiritual rank, and special forgiveness and mercy, as proceeding from the direct approbation and love of God."]

Sura 4:100 (sure reward for those who die in the cause of God)

"He who forsakes his home in the cause of God, finds in the earth many a refuge, wide and spacious. Should he die as a refugee from home for God and his Apostle, his reward becomes due and sure with God, and God is oft-forgiving, most merciful."

Sura 33:25-27 (God enabled the Muslims to defeat both the idolaters and the Jews supporting them in their third and final attack against Medina, called the battle of the Trench, in 627 AD.)

"And God turned back the unbelievers for (all) their fury. No advantage did they gain, and enough is God for the believers in their fight. And God is full of strength, able to enforce His will. And those of the People of the Book [Jews] who aided them - God did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts (so that) some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners. And He made you heirs of their lands, their houses, and their goods. And of a land which ye had not frequented (before). And God has power over all things." [YA: "In spite of all the mighty preparations and the great forces which the Meccan, in concert with the central Arabian Bedouins, the discontented Jews, and the treacherous hypocrites, brought to the siege of Medina, all their plans were frustrated. Their fury availed them nothing. They departed in hot haste. This was their last and dying effort. The initiative thereafter lay with the forces of Islam."]

Sura 33:50 (you may take women whom you capture to be your concubines in addition to your wives)

"O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers, and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom God has assigned to thee ... For the believers (at large), We know that We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess ..."

Sura 22:58,59 (good provision of admission to a pleasing place for those who die in the cause of God)

"Those who leave their homes in the cause of God, and are then slain or die, on them will God bestow verily a goodly provision. [YA: "all the provision necessary to equip the person for a full and happy future life, and also, I think, a provision for his dependants and near and dear ones in this life."] Truly God is He who bestows the best provision. Verily He will admit them to a place with which they shall be well pleased, for God is all-knowing, most forbearing."

Sura 22:78 (struggle for God's cause in sincerity and under discipline)

"And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive (with sincerity and under discipline)."

Sura 48:15-17 (Those who lag behind will face God's punishment. The lame, blind and sick are excused. Those who fight will be rewarded with paradise.)

"Those who lagged behind (will say), when ye (are free to) march and take booty (in war), ‘Permit us to follow you.’ They wish to change God's decree. [YA: "Now comes out another motive behind the minds of the laggards. The journey for pilgrimage (to Mecca) had no promise of war booty ... Jihad is not for personal gain or booty ... On the contrary Jihad is hard striving, in war and peace, in the cause of God."] Say, ‘Not thus will ye follow us. God has already declared (this) beforehand.’ Then they will say, ‘But ye are jealous of us.’ Nay, but little do they understand (such things). Say to the desert Arabs who lagged behind, [those who were not from Mecca, but joined Mohammad later at Medina] [YA: "The desert Arabs loved fighting and plunder, and understood such motives for war. The higher motives seemed to be beyond them. Like ignorant men they attributed petty motives or motives of jealousy if they were kept out of the vulgar circle of fighting for plunder."] ‘Ye shall be summoned (to fight) against a people given to vehement war. [YA: "...(as happened later in the Persian and Byzantine wars) there was real fighting with formidable and well-organized armies."] Then shall ye fight, or [unless] they shall submit. Then if ye show obedience, God will grant you a goodly reward, but if ye turn back as ye did before, He will punish you with a grievous penalty.’ No blame is there on the blind, nor is there blame on the lame, nor on one ill (if he joins not the war). But he that obeys God and His Apostle, (God) will admit him to gardens beneath which rivers flow, and he who turns back, (God) will punish him with a grievous penalty." [YA: "There may be neither fighting nor booty. But all who obey the righteous imam's call to Jihad with perfect discipline will get the spiritual rewards of the hereafter."]

Sura 48:22-24 (In 628 AD the Muslims attempted to enter Mecca to perform the pilgrimage. They were stopped on the edge of the city by Meccan forces. No fighting took place, but the two parties came to an agreement called the Treaty of Al-Hudaybiyah, in which the Muslims would be permitted to perform the pilgrimage a year later in return for a 10 year truce.)

"If the unbelievers should fight you, they would certainly turn their backs. Then would they find neither protector nor helper. (Such has been) the practice (approved) of God already in the past. [In comparing this passage with Sura 33:61,62, it is the opinion of YA that this refers to the instructions given to Israel in Deuteronomy regarding the destruction or displacement of the nations living in the promised land.] No change wilt thou find in the practice (approved) of God. And it is He Who has restrained their hands from you and your hands from them in the midst of Mecca, after that He gave you the victory over them."

Sura 48:29a (Muslims fight against unbelievers, but are loving among themselves)

"Muhammad is the Apostle of God, and those who are with him are strong against unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other." [YA: "The devotees of God wage unceasing war against evil, for themselves, and for others, but to their own brethren in faith - especially the weaker ones - they are mild and compassionate."]

Sura 66:9 (fight against unbelievers and hypocrites)

"O Prophet! Strive hard [jihad] [YA: "See 9:73, where the same words introduce the argument against the hypocrites."] against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is hell - an evil refuge (indeed)."

Sura 49:15 (True believers spend all in God's cause.)

"Only those are believers who have believed in God and His Apostle [Mohammad], and have never since doubted, but have striven [jihad] with their belongings and their persons in the cause of God."


STAGE FOUR: (AFTER CONQUERING MECCA) - OFFENSIVE WAR COMMANDED TO KILL THE PAGANS AND HUMBLE THE CHRISTIANS AND JEWS: [The Muslims continued to gain strength until the Meccans surrendered (in 630 AD). Most of the pagans of the city then became Muslims, so Mohammad and his followers were able to take over the city and cleanse the Ka’aba of some 360 idols resident there. At this point a new order was given to fit the new situation. By this time it was evident that the Jews would not accept Muhammad's claim to be a prophet, so the list of enemies now included all unbelievers - Jews and Christians as well as the pagans. Now it is no longer just defensive fighting, but aggressive Jihad against all unbelievers is commanded. Since this is the final teaching of the Quran regarding Jihad, it is what is still in force today.]

Sura 9:1-6 (Dissolve all treaties with those pagans who haven't kept them, giving them four months notice. But keep your treaties with other idol worshipers till the end of the time agreed upon. In the future, make no more treaties with pagans, but kill those who do not receive Islam.)

"A (declaration) of immunity from God and His Apostle, to those of the pagans [The Meccan idolaters were the primary ones here in view.] with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances. Go ye, then, for four months backwards and forwards (as ye will) throughout the land, [YA: "The pagans and enemies of Islam frequently made treaties of mutual alliance with the Muslims. The Muslims scrupulously observed their part, but the pagans violated their part again and again when it suited them. After some years' experience it became imperative to denounce such treaties altogether. This was done in due form, with four months' notice, and a chance given to those who faithfully observed their pledges, to continue their alliance."] but know ye that ye cannot frustrate God (by your falsehood), but that God will cover with shame those who reject Him. And an announcement from God and His Apostle, to the people (assembled) on the day of the great pilgrimage - that God and His Apostle dissolve (treaty) obligations with the pagans. If, then ye repent, it were best for you. But if ye turn away, know ye that ye cannot frustrate God. And proclaim a grievous penalty to those who reject faith. [It would seem that the ultimate sin is not believing in Islam, not just failing to keep their treaty agreement.] (But the treaties are) not dissolved with those pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term, for God loveth the righteous. But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war). But if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them. [YA: "When war becomes inevitable, it must be prosecuted with vigour ... The fighting may take the form of slaughter, or capture, or siege, or ambush and other stratagems. But even then there is room for repentance and amendment on the part of the guilty party, and if that takes place, our duty is forgiveness and the establishment of peace. "] For God is oft-forgiving, most merciful. If one among the pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the Word of God; and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge."

Sura 9:11,12,14,15 (Pagans who accept Islam become brother Muslims. Fight those who break their agreements. God will punish them by your hands.)

"But (even so), if they repent, establish regular prayer, and practice regular charity, they are your brethren in faith ... But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your faith, fight ye the chiefs of unfaith, for their oaths are nothing to them ... Fight them and God will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the breasts of believers, and still the indignation of their hearts. For God will turn (in mercy) to whom He will ..."

Sura 9:16 (God knows those who strive with all they have, and don't make friends with or seek protection from non-Muslims)

"Or think ye that ye shall be abandoned, as though God did not know those among you who strive with might and main, and take none for friends and protectors except God, His Apostle, and the (community of) believers? But God is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do." [Notice that now Muslims are commanded to refrain from friendship with all non Muslims. This is because they are in a state of war with them. For this reason the Muslim world is sometimes referred to as, "the house of Islam" while the rest of the world is called "the house of war."]

Sura 9:19-22 (Jihad is greater than other service, and of the highest rank in the sight of God)

"Do ye make the giving of drink to pilgrims, or the maintenance of the Sacred Mosque, equal to (the pious service of) those who believe in God and the last day, and strive [jihad] with might and main in the cause of God? They are not comparable in the sight of God, and God guides not those who do wrong. Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might and main in God's cause with their goods and their persons [YA: "Here is a good description of jihad. It may require fighting in God's cause, as a form of self-sacrifice. But its essence consists in (1) a true and sincere faith, which so fixes its gaze on God that all selfish or worldly motives seem paltry and fade away, and (2) an earnest and ceaseless activity, involving the sacrifice (if need be) of life, person, or property, in the service of God. Mere brutal fighting is opposed to the whole spirit of jihad, which the sincere scholar's pen or preacher's voice or wealthy man's contributions may be the most valuable forms of jihad."] have the highest rank in the sight of God. They are the people who will achieve (salvation). Their Lord doth give them glad tidings of a mercy from Himself, of His good pleasure, and of gardens for them, wherein are delights that endure. They will dwell therein for ever. Verily in God's presence is a reward, the greatest (of all)."

Sura 9:25,26 (fighting in the battle of Hunain Jan. 31, 630)

"Assuredly God did help you in many battlefields and on the day of Hunain. [YA: "Hunain on the road to Taif, about 14 miles to the east of Mecca ... Immediately after the conquest of Mecca (A.H. 8), the pagan idolaters, who were surprised and chagrined at the wonderful reception which Islam was receiving, organized a great gathering near Taif to concert plans for attacking the Apostle.] Behold! Your great numbers elated you, but they availed you naught. That land, for all that it is wide, did constrain you, and ye turned back in defeat. [YA: "There was a wave of confident enthusiasm among the Muslims at Mecca, in which the new Muslims joined. The enemy forces numbered about 4,000, but the Muslim force reached a total of ten or twelve thousand, as everyone wished to join. The enemy had the advantage in knowing the ground thoroughly. They laid an ambush in which the advance guard of the Muslim forces was caught. The country is hilly, in which the enemy concealed himself. As soon as the Muslim vanguard entered the Hunain valley, the enemy fell upon them with fury and caused havoc with their arrows from their places of concealment. In such ground the numbers of the Muslims were themselves a disadvantage. Many were slain, and many turned back in confusion and retreat."] But God did pour His calm on the Apostle and on the believers, and sent down forces which ye saw not. [YA: "But the Apostle, as ever, was calm in his wisdom and faith. He rallied his forces and inflicted the most crushing defeat on the enemy."] He punished the unbelievers; thus doth He reward those without faith."

Sura 9:28 (Forbid the pagans to enter the Ka’aba)

"O ye who believe! Truly the pagans are unclean, [YA: "Unclean: both literally and metaphorically. Because Muslims are enjoined to be strict in ablutions and physical cleanliness, as well as in purity of mind and heart, so that their word can be relied upon."] so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque." [YA: "now that you have complete control of Mecca and are charged with the purity of worship there, shut out all impurity from this year."] [When the pagans were in control and the small number of Muslims were not permitted to enter the Ka’aba, their persecution was called a "sacrilegious act" and "an open declaration of war." Brigadier S. K. Malik says, "The enemy repression reached its zenith when the Koraish denied the Muslims access to the Sacred Mosque to fulfill their religious obligations." Now that the tables are reversed, the denial of the pagans' right to fulfill their religious obligations is not called "repression" but is excused on the grounds that they must "shut out all impurity" because the pagans "are unclean."]

Sura 9:29-31 (fight against Jews and Christians until they are subdued, because God's curse is on them)

"Fight those who believe not in God nor the last day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, (even if they are) of the people of the Book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. [YA: "Jizya = the root meaning is compensation. The derived meaning, which became the technical meaning, was a poll tax levied from those who did not accept Islam, but were willing to live under the protection of Islam, and were thus tacitly willing to submit to its ideals being enforced in the Muslim State, saving only their personal liberty of conscience as regarded themselves ... It was an acknowledgment that those whose religion was tolerated would in their turn not interfere with the preaching and progress of Islam ... there were exemptions for the poor, for females and children, for slaves and for monks and hermits. Being a tax on able-bodied males of military age, it was in a sense a commutation for military service."] The Jews call Uzair [Ezra] a son of God, [YA: "I have quoted passages from the Old Testament, showing how freely the expression "sons of God" was used by the Jews. A sect of them called Uzair (Ezra) a son of God, according to Baidhawi."] and the Christians call Christ the Son of God ... God's curse be on them; how they are deluded away from the truth! They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of God, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary. Yet they are commanded to worship but One God ..." [YA: "The deification of the son of Mary is put here in a special clause by itself, as it held (and still holds) in its thrall a large portion of civilized humanity."]

Sura 9:38,39,41 (Don't avoid fighting, but fight with whatever you have. Otherwise God will punish you with serious punishment.)

"O ye who believe! What is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of God, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place ... Go ye forth, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, [YA: "All were invited, and they were to bring such resources as they had - light armed or heavy armed, on foot or mounted, experienced men for posts of danger, raw men for duties for which they were fit. All would and should help. Even those who were too old or feeble to go could contribute such money or resources as they had."] and strive [jihad] and struggle with your goods and your persons, in the cause of God. That is best for you, if ye (but) knew."

Sura 9:52,73 (Muslims can expect either martyrdom/paradise or victory in battle. Unbelievers can expect only punishment from God. Fight hard against unbelievers, whose abode is hell.)

"Say, ‘Can you expect for us (any fate) other than one of two glorious things - (martyrdom or victory)? But we can expect for you either that God will send His punishment from Himself, or by our hands. So wait (expectant). We too will wait with you.’ ... O Prophet! Strive [jihad] hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is hell - an evil refuge indeed."

Sura 9:81-96 (Those who are able but don't want to fight are rejected of God. Those unable are forgiven.)

"Those who were left behind (in the Tabuk expedition) rejoiced in their inaction behind the back of the apostle of God. They hated to strive and fight with their goods and their persons, in the cause of God. They said, ‘Go not forth in the heat.’ [YA: "The Tabuk expedition had to be undertaken hurriedly in the heat of summer, because of a threat or fear of Byzantine invasion."] [This war took place late in 630AD and is the first war against Christians.] ...If, then, God bring thee back to any of them, and they ask thy permission to come out (with thee), say, ‘Never shall ye come out with me, nor fight an enemy with me. For ye preferred to sit inactive on the first occasion. Then sit ye (now) with those who lag behind.’ Nor do thou ever pray for any of them that dies, nor stand at his grave. For they rejected God and his apostle, and died in a state of perverse rebellion. Nor let their wealth nor their sons dazzle thee. God's plan is to punish them with these things in this world, and that their souls may perish in their (very) denial of God. When a sura comes down, enjoining them to believe in God and to strive and fight along with his apostle, those with wealth and influence among them ask thee for exemption, and say, ‘Leave us (behind). We would be with those who sit (at home).’ They prefer to be with (the women), who remain behind (at home). [YA: "There is a stinging taunt in this, a suggestion that such men were cowards"] Their hearts are sealed and so they understand not. But the apostle, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons. For them are (all) good things, and it is they who prosper. God hath prepared for them gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein ... There is no blame on those who are infirm, or ill, or who find no resources to spend (on the cause), if they are sincere (in duty) to God and his apostle ... Nor (is there blame) on those who came to thee to be provided with mounts, and when thou saidst, ‘I can find no mounts for you’ they turned back. Their eyes streaming with tears of grief that they had no resources wherewith to provide the expenses..."

Sura 9:111 (God gives Paradise to those who give all they have to God and slay and/or are slain in Jihad.)

"God hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods. For theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise). They fight in His cause, and slay and are slain." [YA: "We offer our whole selves and our possessions to God, and God give us salvation, i.e., eternal freedom from the bondage of this world. This is the true doctrine of redemption ... Any other view of redemption is rejected by Islam, especially that of corrupted Christianity, which thinks that some other person suffered for our sins and we are redeemed by his blood. It is our self-surrender that counts, not other people's merits. Our complete self-surrender may include fighting for the cause, both spiritual and physical."]

Sura 9:122 (not everyone should go to fight, and those who stay are equal with those who go)

"Nor should the believers all go forth together. If a contingent from every expedition remained behind, they could devote themselves to studies in religion, and admonish the people when they return to them..." [YA: "Even among those who are able to go forth, a party should remain behind - one in each township or circle - for purposes of study, so that when the fighters return home, their minds may be attuned again to the more normal interests of religious life, under properly instructed teachers. The students and teachers are soldiers of the Jihad in their spirit of obedience and discipline."]

Sura 9:123 (fight the unbelievers surrounding you)

"O ye who believe! Fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you, and know that God is with those who fear Him." [YA: "When conflict becomes inevitable, the first thing is to clear out surroundings of all evil, for it is only evil that we can rightly fight."]

Sura 5:36-38 (death or torture to those who oppose the Apostle)

"The punishment of those who wage war against God and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land. [YA: "For the double crime of treason against the state, combined with treason against God, as shown by overt crimes, four alternative punishments are mentioned, any one of which is to be applied according to the circumstances, viz., execution (cutting off the head), crucifixion, maiming, or exile. These were features of the criminal law then and for centuries afterwards, except that tortures such as "hanging, drawing and quartering" in English Law, and piercing of eyes and leaving the unfortunate victim exposed to a tropical sun, which was practised in Arabia, and all such tortures were abolished. In any case sincere repentance before it was too late was recognised as a ground for mercy."] [see Hadith 4:261 below] That is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the hereafter, except for those who repent before they fall into your power. In that case, know that God is oft-forgiving, most merciful. O ye who believe! Do your duty to God. Seek the means of approach unto Him, and strive with might and main in His cause, that ye may prosper."

Sura 5:54 (Don't befriend Jews or Christians because they are unjust and unreliable)

"O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily God guideth not a people unjust." [YA: "They are more likely to combine against you than to help you. And this happened more than once in the lifetime of the Apostle, and in after-ages again and again. He who associates with them and shares their counsels must be counted as of them."] [In the early days in Mecca the enemies were the pagan Quraish while Jews and Christians were respected. In Medina, after the Jews rejected Mohammad's claim of prophet-hood, the enemies of Islam grew to include the Jews and Christians.]


THE LAW OF ABROGATION: [According to the Quran itself (Sura 2:106, 13:39 and 16:103) God sometimes substitutes a "better" verse or passage for one previously given, thus superceding the first one. Sura 2:106: "None of our revelations (verses) do we abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but we substitute something better or similar. Knowest thou not that God hath power over all things?"; Sura 13:39: "God doth blot out or confirm what he pleaseth. With Him is the Mother of the Book."; Sura 16:101: "When we substitute one revelation for another, - and God knows best what He reveals (in stages), - they say, ‘Thou are but a forger’ but most of them understand not." Although all Muslim scholars believe that God replaced some earlier verses by substituting later verses, there is a great difference of opinion among them as to which verses supercede which verses. Nevertheless, most are agreed that Sura 9:5, (called "the verse of the sword") supercedes most of the previous verses regarding jihad. Some believe it supercedes as many as 111 previous verses. In spite of this general agreement, many today quote the previous replaced verses in order to validate their perception of Islam being a peaceful religion. Thus modern, liberal Muslim leaders, especially here in the west, are teaching what could be called "the Islam of Mecca" with its emphasis on non violence and tolerance. At the same time, "the Islam of Medina," with its more aggressive, totalitarian nature is what is being practiced and taught by orthodox, fundamentalist Muslims in most parts of the Muslim world.]


OTHER QUOTES ABOUT THE PROGRESSION OF TEACHING: [On page 538 of Brill's Encyclopaedia of Islam the author describes the four stages. "The djihad is a duty. This precept is laid down in all the sources. It is true that there are to be found in the Kur’an divergent, and even contradictory, texts. These are classified by the doctrine, apart from certain variations of detail, into four successive categories: those which enjoin pardon for offences and encourage the invitation to Islam by peaceful persuasion; those which enjoin fighting to ward off aggression; those which enjoin the initiative in attack provided it is not within the four sacred months; and those which enjoin the initiative in attack absolutely, at all times and in all places. In sum, these differences correspond to the stages in the development of Muhammad's thought and to the modifications of policy resulting from particular circumstances; the Meccan period during which Muhammad, in general, confines himself to moral and religious teaching, and the Medina period when, having become the leader of a politico-religious community, he is able to undertake, spontaneously, the struggle against those who do not wish to join this community or submit to his authority. The doctrine holds that the later texts abrogate the former contradictory texts ... to such effect that only those of the last category remain indubitably valid."]

[On page xxiv of his introduction to Bukhari's Hadith (see below), Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, the translator (into English) writes, "So at first ‘the fighting’ was forbidden, then it was permitted and after that it was made obligatory - (1) against those who start ‘the fighting’ against you (Muslims) ... (2) and against all those who worship others along with Allah ..."]





[200 to 300 years after the death of Muhammad, several men devoted their lives to collecting verifiable ("sahih") traditions ("hadith") concerning the teachings and actions of Muhammad as witnessed by his followers and passed on through other reliable believers. Among the six most respected hadith collections, Muhammad bin Ismail bin Al-Mughirah Al-Bukhari's nine volume collection is the most respected of all. Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, who translated Imam Bukhari's work into English, wrote, "It has been unanimously agreed that Imam Bukhari's work is the most authentic of all the other works in Hadith literature put together. The authenticity of Al-Bukhari's work is such that the religious learned scholars of Islam said concerning him: ‘The most authentic book after the Book of Allah (i.e. Al-Qur'an) is Sahih-Al-Bukhari.’" In his careful investigation Imam Bukhari accepted as authentic only 7275 out of the 300,000 hadith which he heard. Among these traditions, are many regarding Muhammad's teaching and practices concerning Jihad. (Volume four alone contains 283 of them.) I have selected the following 50 traditions from Imam Bukhari's collection which I feel capture the essence of Jihad in Islam:]



From Volume 1:

1:35 Muhammad said, "The person who participates in (holy battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr). Had I not found it difficult for my followers, then I would not remain behind any sariya [army unit] going for Jihad and I would have loved to be martyred in Allah's cause and then made alive, and then martyred and then made alive and then again martyred in His cause."

From Volume 4:

4:41 Abdullah bin Masud said, "I asked Allah's Apostle, ‘O Allah's Apostle! What is the best deed?’ He replied, ‘To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.’ I asked, ‘What is next in goodness?’ He replied, ‘To be good and dutiful to your parents.’ I further asked, ‘What is next in goodness?’ He replied, ‘To participate in Jihad in Allah's cause.’"

4:42 (& 4:311) Muhammad said, "There is no Hijra (i.e. migration from Mecca to Medina) after the conquest (of Mecca), but Jihad and good intention [to fight in Jihad] remain; and if you are called (by the Muslim ruler) for fighting, go forth immediately." [In other words, Muslims can not now join Muhammad in 610 A.D. in sacrificing and leaving their homes in Mecca in order to migrate to Medina, but they can show their dedication to God by sacrificing all they have in Jihad, or at least intend to if given the opportunity.]

4:44 A man came to Muhammad and said, "Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward)." He replied, "I do not find such a deed." Then he added, "Can you, while the Muslim fighter is in the battle-field, enter your mosque to perform prayers without cease and fast and never break your fast?" The man said, "But who can do that?" [Bukhari: "Of course, nobody can pray and fast incessantly, and since the Muslim fighter is rewarded as if he was doing such good impossible deeds, no possible deed equals Jihad in reward."]

4:45 Someone asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is the best among the people?" Allah's Apostle replied, "A believer who strives his utmost in Allah's cause with his life and property." They asked, "Who is next?" He replied, "A believer who stays in one of the mountain paths worshiping Allah and leaving the people secure from his mischief." [In other words, fighting in Jihad is better than being a devout monk.]

4:46 Muhammad said, "... Allah guarantees the He will admit the Mujahid [one who fights in Jihad] in His cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty." [Imagine how Muslims must try to interpret Allah's guarantee when they are defeated in Jihad, and neither die as martyrs nor are rewarded as victors.]

4:49 Muhammad said, "Last night two men came to me (in a dream) and made me ascend a tree and then admitted me into a better and superior house, better of which I have never seen. One of them said, ‘This house is the house of martyrs.’"

4:50 Muhammad said, "A single endeavour (of fighting) in Allah's cause in the forenoon or in the afternoon is better than the world and whatever is in it."

4:53 Muhammad said, "Nobody who dies and finds good from Allah (in the hereafter) would wish to come back to this world even if he were given the whole world and whatever is in it, except the martyr who, on seeing the superiority of martyrdom, would like to come back to the world and get killed again (in Allah's cause)."

4:72 Mohammad said, "Nobody who enters Paradise likes to go back to the world even if he got everything on the earth, except a Mujahid [one who fights in Jihad] who wishes to return to the world so that he may be martyred ten times because of the dignity he receives (from Allah)."

4:216 Muhammad said, "Were it not for the fear that it would be difficult for my followers, I would not have remained behind any Sariya (army unit) but I don't have riding camels and have no other means of conveyance to carry them on, and it is hard for me that my companions should remain behind me. No doubt I wish I could fight in Allah's cause and be martyred and come to life again to be martyred and come to life once more."

4:65 A man came to the Prophet and asked, "A man fights for war booty; another fights for fame and a third fights for showing off. Which of them fights in Allah's cause?" The prophet said, "He who fights that Allah's Word (i.e. Islam) should be superior, fights in Allah's cause."

4:66 Muhammad said, "Anyone whose both feet get covered with dust in Allah's cause will not be touched by the (hell) fire."

4:72b Al-Mughira bin Shu’ba said, "Our Prophet told us about the message of our Lord that "... whoever amongst us is killed will go to Paradise." Umar asked the Prophet, "Is it not true that our men who are killed will go to Paradise and their's (i.e. those of the pagan's) will go to the (hell) fire?" The Prophet said, "Yes."

4:73 Muhammad said, "Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords."

4:210 Once Allah's Apostle (during a holy battle), waited till the sun had declined and then he got up among the people and said, "O people! Do not wish to face the enemy (in a battle) and ask Allah to save you (from calamities) but if you should face the enemy, then be patient and let it be known to you that Paradise is under the shades of swords." He then said, "O Allah! The Revealer of the (holy) Book, the Mover of the clouds, and Defeater of Al-Ahzab (i.e. the clans of infidels), defeat the infidels and bestow victory upon us."

4:80 Muhammad said, "Allah welcomes two men with a smile. One of whom kills the other and both of them enter Paradise. One fights in Allah's cause and gets killed. Later on Allah forgives the killer (i.e. he embraces Islam) who also get martyred (in Allah's cause)."

4:96 Muhammad said, "He who prepares a ghazi [a warrior returning from participating in Jihad] going in Allah's cause is (given a reward equal to that of) a ghazi; and he who looks after properly the dependents of a ghazi going in Allah's cause is (given a reward equal to that of) a ghazi."

4:127 Aisha (one of Muhammad's wives) said, "I requested the Prophet to permit me to participate in Jihad, but he said, ‘Your Jihad is the performance of Hajj [the annual pilgrimage to Mecca].’"

4:131 Anas said, "On the day (of the battle) of Uhud when (some) people retreated and left the Prophet I saw Aisha bint Abi Bakr and um Sulaim [two women], with their robes tucked up so that the bangles around their ankles were visible hurrying with their water skins. Then they would pour the water in the mouths of the people, and return to fill the water skins again and came back again to pour water in the mouths of the people."

4:137 Muhammad said, "... Paradise is for him who holds the reins of his horse to strive in Allah's cause, with his hair unkempt and feet covered with dust. If he is appointed in the vanguard, he is perfectly satisfied with his post of guarding, and if he is appointed in the rearguard, he accepts his post with satisfaction ..."

4:146 Muhammad said, "A time will come when groups of people will go for Jihad and it will be asked, ‘Is there anyone amongst you who has enjoyed the company of the Prophet?’ The answer will be ‘Yes.’ Then they will be given victory (by Allah). Then a time will come when it will be asked, ‘Is there anyone amongst you who has enjoyed the company of the companions of the Prophet?’ It will be said, ‘Yes,’ and they will be given the victory (by Allah). Then a time will come when it will be said, ‘Is there anyone amongst you who has enjoyed the company of the companions of the companions of the Prophet?’ It will be said, ‘Yes,’ and they will be given victory (by Allah)."

4:147 Sahl bin Sa’d As-Sa’idi said, "Allah's Apostle and the pagans faced each other and started fighting. When Allah's Apostle returned to his camp and when the pagans returned to their camp, somebody talked about a man amongst the companions of Allah's Apostle who would follow and kill with his sword any pagan going alone. He said, ‘Nobody did his job (i.e. fighting) so properly today as that man.’ Allah's Apostle said, ‘Indeed, he is amongst the people of the (hell) fire.’ A man amongst the people said, ‘I shall accompany him (to watch what he does).’ Thus he accompanied him, and wherever he stood, he would stand with him, and wherever he ran, he would run with him. Then the (brave) man got wounded seriously and he decided to bring about his death quickly. He planted the blade of the sword in the ground directing its sharp end towards his chest between his two breasts. Then he leaned on the sword and killed himself. The other man came to Allah's Apostle and said, ‘I testify that you are Allah's Apostle.’ The Prophet asked, ‘What has happened?’ He replied, ‘(It is about) the man whom you had described as one of the people of the (hell) fire. The people were greatly surprised at what you said, and I said, "I will find out his reality for you." So, I came out seeking him. He got severely wounded, and hastened to die by planting the blade of his sword in the ground directing its sharp end towards his chest between his two breasts. Then he leaned on his sword and killed himself.’ Then Allah's Apostle said, ‘A man may seem to the people as if he were practicing the deeds of the people of Paradise while in fact he is from the people of the (hell) fire, another may seem to the people as if he were practicing the deeds of the people of hell (fire), while in fact he is from the people of Paradise.’" [This would seem to clearly condemn suicide, but it is not really the same as the suicide bombers who kill many enemies and die in the process. They are not condemned by the more radical Muslims, who would consider them true Martyrs going to Paradise.]

4:162b Muhammad said, "My livelihood is under the shade of my spear, and he who disobeys my orders will be humiliated by paying Jizya." ["Jizya" is the poll tax paid by subjugated peoples in return for the protection of the Islamic government.]

4:175 Umair said, "Um Haram informed us that she heard the Prophet saying, ‘Paradise is granted to the first batch of my followers who will undertake a naval expedition.’ Um Haram added, ‘I said, O Allah's Apostle! Will I be amongst them?’ He replied, ‘You are amongst them.’ The Prophet then said, ‘The first army amongst my followers who will invade Caesar's city will be forgiven their sins.’ I asked, ‘Will I be one of them, O Allah's Apostle?’ He replied in the negative." [Notice it is an invasion, not a defensive war.]

4:179 Muhammad said, "The hour will not be established until you fight with the Turks; people with small eyes, red faces, and flat noses. Their faces will look like shields coated with leather. The hour will not be established till you fight with people whose shoes are made of hair." [No wonder the Arabs and Turks don't seem to like each other!]

4:182 Ali said, "When it was the day of the battle of Al-Ahzab (i.e. the clans), Allah's Apostle said, ‘O Allah! Fill their (i.e. the infidels') houses and graves with fire as they busied us so much that we did not perform the prayer (i.e. ‘Asr) till the sun had set.’" [‘Asr is the 3rd prayer, which is to be done in middle of the afternoon. The 4th prayer is to be done just before sunset.]

4:186 Aisha said, "Once the Jews came to the Prophet and said, ‘Death be upon you.’ So I cursed them. The Prophet said, ‘What is the matter?’ I said, ‘Have you not heard what they said?’ The Prophet said, ‘Have you not heard what I replied (to them)? (I said), ("The same is upon you.")’" [Bukhari: "There is great similarity between the pronunciations of the Arabic words meaning ‘peace’ and ‘death.’ The first is ‘as-salamu’ and the second is ‘as-samu.’ The Jews instead of saying ‘As-salamu Alai-kum’ (‘peace be on you.’) said, ‘As-samu Alai-kum,’ intending to invoke evil upon the Prophet rather than to greet him. But the Prophet noticed what they had said and invoked evil upon them in his turn. They were the losers, for Allah would accept the Prophet's invocation and reject theirs."] [Quite a contrast with Jesus, who taught "Bless them who curse you." (Luke 6:28)!]

4:192 On the day of the battle of Khaibar, Sahl bin Sa’d heard Muhammad say, "I will give the flag to a person at whose hands Allah will grant victory." So, the companions of the Prophet got up, wishing eagerly to see to whom the flag will be given, and everyone of them wished to be given the flag. But the Prophet asked for Ali. Someone informed him that he was suffering from eye-trouble. So, he ordered them to bring Ali in front of him. Then the Prophet spat in his eyes and his eyes were cured immediately as if he had never any eye-trouble. Ali said, "We will fight with them (i.e. infidels) till they become like us (i.e. Muslims)." The Prophet said, "Be patient, till you face them and invite them to Islam and inform them of what Allah has enjoined upon them. By Allah! If a single person embraces Islam at your hands (i.e. through you), that will be better for you than the red camels."

4:193 Anas said, "Whenever Allah's Apostle attacked some people, he would never attack them till it was dawn. If he heard the adhan (i.e. call for prayer) he would delay the fight, and if he did not hear the adhan, he would attack them immediately after dawn." [Bukhari: "The Prophet would wait till dawn to see whether the people he was attacking had been converted to Islam or not, and the sign of their embracing Islam will be the pronunciation of the adhan. He would not attack them if he heard the adhan.] [The message seems clear - convert or be attacked!]

4:195 Anas said, "The Prophet set out for Khaibar [a Jewish village attacked and subjugated in 628] and reached it at night. He used not to attack if he reached the people at night, till the day broke. So, when the day dawned, the Jews came out with their bags and spades. [see Deuteronomy 23:12,13] When they saw the Prophet they said, ‘Muhammad and his army!’ The Prophet said, ‘Allahu-Akbar! (Allah is Greater) and Khaibar is ruined, for whenever we approach a nation (i.e. enemy to fight) then it will be a miserable morning for those who have been warned.’"

4:196 Mohammad said, "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, ‘None has the right to be worshiped but Allah,’ and whoever says, ‘None has the right to be worshiped by Allah,’ his life and property will be saved by me except for Islamic law, and his accounts will be with Allah (either to punish him or to forgive him.)" [Clear enough! He was "ordered" to fight with the people until they become Muslims!]

4:198 Ka’b bin Malik said, "Whenever Allah's Apostle intended to carry out a Ghazwa, [a Jihad excursion with Mohammad leading.] he would use an equivocation to conceal his real destination till it was the Ghazwa of Tabuk [a valley in Arabia where the Muslims confronted Christians in 630] which Allah's Apostle carried out in very hot weather. As he was going to face a very long journey through a wasteland and was to meet and attack a large number of enemies. So, he made the situation clear to the Muslims so that they might prepare themselves accordingly and get ready to conquer their enemy."

4:220 Muhammad said, "... I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy) ..."

4:248 Abdullah bin Amr said, "A man came to the Prophet asking his permission to take part in Jihad. The Prophet asked him, ‘Are your parents alive?’ He replied in the affirmative. The Prophet said to him, ‘Then exert yourself in their service.’" [Bukhari: "The participation in Jihad (i.e. holy battles) with one's parents' permission."]

4:256 As-Sa’b bin Jaththama said, "The Prophet ... was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, ‘They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans).’"

4:258 Ibn Umar said, "During some of the Ghazawat [Jihad wars] of Allah's Apostle a woman was found killed, so Allah's Apostle forbade the killing of women and children."

4:259 Abu Huraira said, "Allah's Apostle sent us in a mission (i.e. an army-unit) and said, ‘If you find so-and-so and so-and-so, burn both of them with fire.’ When we intended to depart, Allah's Apostle said, ‘I have ordered you to burn so-and-so and so-and-so, and it is none but Allah Who punishes with fire, so, if you find them, kill them.’" [Maybe not with fire, but Muhammad's order to kill these two enemies in some other way is clearly an act of aggression.]

4:260 Ikrima said, "Ali burnt some people [apparently Muslims who had left Islam] and this news reached Ibn Abbas, who said, ‘Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, "Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's punishment." No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, "If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him."’" [The Islamic law of apostasy mandates death to anyone who leaves Islam.]

4:261 Anas bin Malik said, "A group of eight men from the tribe of Ukil came to the Prophet [i.e. they became Muslims and began to live in Medina with the Muslims] and then they found the climate of Medina unsuitable for them. So, they said, ‘O Allah's Apostle! Provide us with some milk.’ Allah's apostle said, ‘I recommend that you should join the herd of camels.’ So they went and drank the urine and the milk of the camels (as a medicine) till they became healthy and fat. Then they killed the shepherd and drove away the camels, and they became unbelievers after they were Muslims. When the Prophet was informed by a shouter for help, he sent some men in their pursuit, and before the sun rose high, they were brought and he had their hands and feet cut off. Then he ordered for nails which were heated and passed over their eyes, and they were left in the Harra (i.e. rocky land in Medina). They asked for water, and nobody provided them with water till they died." [This obvious torture does not compare favorably with Yusuf Ali's note in Sura 5:36-38.]

4:264 Al-Bara bin Azib said, "Allah's Apostle sent a group of Ansari men to kill Abu-Rafi'. One of them set out and entered their (i.e. the enemies') fort. That man said, ‘I hid myself ... and came upon Abu Rafi' and said, "O Abu Rafi'." When he replied me, I proceeded towards the voice and hit him. He shouted and I came out to come back, pretending to be a helper. I said, "O Abu Rafi'," changing the tone of my voice ... I asked him, "What happened to you?" He said, "I don't know who came to me and hit me." Then I drove my sword into his belly and pushed it forcibly till it touched the bone. Then I came out, filled with puzzlement and went towards a ladder of theirs in order to get down but I fell down and sprained my foot. I came to my companions and said, "I will not leave till I hear the wailing of the women." So, I did not leave till I heard the women bewailing Abu Rafi', the mercant of Hijaz. Then I got up, feeling no ailment, (and we proceeded) till we came upon the Prophet and informed him.’" [This treacherous murder followed by pleasure in the women's wailing seems to be rewarded both by Allah's miraculous healing and by Muhammad's approval.]

4:267,269 Muhammad said, "War is deceit."

4:270 Jabir bin Abdullah said, "The Prophet said, ‘Who is ready to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has really hurt Allah and His Apostle?’ Muhammad bin Maslama said, ‘O Allah's Apostle! Do you like me to kill him?’ He replied in the affirmative. So, Muhammad bin Maslama went to him (i.e. Ka’b) and said, ‘This person (i.e. the Prophet) has put us to task and asked us for charity.’ Ka’b replied, ‘By Allah, you will get tired of him.’ Muhammad said to him, ‘We have followed him, so we dislike to leave him till we see the end of his affair.’ Muhammad bin Maslama went on talking to him in this way till he got the chance to kill him." [This certainly clarifies the meaning of "War is deceit."]

4:280b Anas bin Malik said, "Allah's Apostle entered (Mecca) in the year of the conquest (of Mecca) wearing a helmet over his head. After he took it off, a man came and said, ‘Ibn Khatal [a pagan opponent] is clinging to the curtains of the Ka’ba.’ The Prophet said, ‘Kill him.’"

4:286 Salarma bin Al-Akwa said, "An infidel spy came to the Prophet while he was on a journey. The spy sat with the companions of the Prophet and started talking and then went away. The Prophet said, (to his companions), ‘Chase and kill him.’ So, I killed him."

4:288 Ibn Abbas said, "... The Prophet on his death-bed, gave three orders saying, ‘Expel the pagans from the Arabian Peninsula, ...’" [The Muslims not only expelled the pagan Arabs from the land they had possessed for centuries, but until today they will not allow non-Muslims to be citizens of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, they should have no trouble understanding why the Jews have attempted to push the non Jewish Palestinians out of Palestine.]

4:317 Abdullah said, "when the Prophet returned (from Jihad), he would say Takbir [i.e. "Allah-o Akbar" (Allah is greater)] thrice and add, ‘We are returning, if Allah wishes, with repentance and worshiping and praising (our Lord) and prostrating ourselves before our Lord. Allah fulfilled His promise and helped His slave, and He alone defeated the (infidel) clans.’"

From Volume 9:

9:50 (& 4:283) Ali said, "... no Muslim should be killed ... for killing a kafir (disbeliever)." [In other words, killing a non Muslim is not murder, it is holy war.]

9:57 Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn Abbas who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.’"


[On page xxiv of his introduction to Bukhari's Hadith, Dr. M. Khan, the translator (into English) writes, "Then Allah revealed in Sura Bara’at (9) the order to discard (all) the obligations (covenants, etc.) and commanded the Muslims to fight against all the pagans as well as against the people of the scriptures (Jews and Christians) if they do not embrace Islam, till they pay the Jizya (a tax levied on the Jews and Christians who do not embrace Islam and are under the protection of an Islamic government) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (9:29). So they (Muslims) were not permitted to abandon ‘the fighting’ against them (Pagans, Jews and Christians) and to reconcile with them and to suspend hostilities against them for an unlimited period while they are strong and have the possibility of fighting against them."]

Articles by Rev. Richard P. Bailey
Themes of the Qur'an
Islam & Terrorism
Answering Islam Home Page