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 You Quote the Quran Out of Context

Question 70
You quote the verse 2:191 and claim the Quran says “And slay them wherever ye find them”. But if you look at the context and read the preceding and following verses you will find that it says to fight those who fight you and not to initiate aggression.  

 This is what the Quran says:


Yusuf Ali translation


Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors.


And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.


But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.


And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.


The prohibited month for the prohibited month, - and so for all things prohibited, - there is the law of equality. 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.


Reading a passage of the Quran in context does not mean just reading it with the preceding and following verses. You have to also know the sha’ne nozool, i.e. the historic context, why and in what occasion Muhammad said a certain verse. That is why we have tafseer. Tafseer is the interpretation of the Quran. Tafseer means interpreting, clarifying, expounding. It is derived from “fasara”, which means “to explain, to open or to unveil”.  

Many books of tafseer have been written. The reason is that the Quran per se is an obtuse book. The historic context of the verses must be explained so its real meaning becomes clear.  

Ibn Khathir, arguably the most authoritative mofasser (commentator, interpreter) of the Quran wrote: http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=2&tid=5008


Shirk is worse than Killing

Since Jihad involves killing and shedding the blood of men, Allah indicated that these men are committing disbelief in Allah, associating with Him (in the worship) and hindering from His path, and this is a much greater evil and more disastrous than killing. Abu Malik commented about what Allah said:

[وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ]

(And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.) Meaning what you (disbelievers) are committing is much worse than killing.'' Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that what Allah said:

[وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ]

(And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.) "Shirk (polytheism) is worse than killing.''  

Allah said:

[وَلاَ تُقَـتِلُوهُمْ عِندَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ]

(And fight not with them at Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah))

It is reported in the Two Sahihs that the Prophet said:

«إنَّ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ حَرَّمَهُ اللهُ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّموَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ، فَهُوَ حَرَامٌ بِحُرْمَةِ اللهِ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَلَمْ يَحِلَّ لِي إِلَّا سَاعَةً مِنْ نَهَارٍ، وَإِنَّهَا سَاعَتِي هذِهِ حَرامٌ بحُرْمَةِ اللهِ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيامَةِ، لا يُعْضَدُ شَجَرُهُ، وَلَا يُخْتَلىَ خَلَاهُ، فَإِنْ أَحَدٌ تَرَخَّصَ بِقِتَالِ رَسُولِ اللهِصلى الله عليه وسلّم، فَقُولُوا: إنَّ اللهَ أَذِنَ لِرَسُولِهِ وَلَمْ يَأْذَنْ لَكُم»

(Allah has made this city a sanctuary since the day He created the heavens and the earth. So, it is a sanctuary by Allah's decree till the Day of Resurrection. Fighting in it was made legal for me only for an hour in the daytime. So, it (i.e., Makkah) is a sanctuary, by Allah's decree, from now on until the Day of Resurrection. Its trees should not be cut, and its grass should not be uprooted. If anyone mentions the fighting in it that occurred by Allah's Messenger, then say that Allah allowed His Messenger, but did not allow you.)

In this Hadith, Allah's Messenger mentions fighting the people of Makkah when he conquered it by force, leading to some deaths among the polytheists in the area of the Khandamah. This occurred after the Prophet proclaimed:

«مَنْ أَغْلَقَ بَابَهُ فهُوَ آمِنٌ،وَمَنْ دَخَلَ الْمَسْجِدَ فَهُو آمِنٌ، ومَنْ دَخَلَ دَارَ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ فَهُوَ آمِن»

(Whoever closed his door is safe. Whoever entered the (Sacred) Mosque is safe. Whoever entered the house of Abu Sufyan is also safe.)

Allah said:

[حَتَّى يُقَـتِلُوكُمْ فِيهِ فَإِن قَـتَلُوكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوهُمْ كَذَلِكَ جَزَآءُ الْكَـفِرِينَ]

(...unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.)

Allah states: `Do not fight them in the area of the Sacred Mosque unless they start fighting you in it. In this case, you are allowed to fight them and kill them to stop their aggression.' Hence, Allah's Messenger took the pledge from his Companions under the tree (in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah) to fight (the polytheists), after the tribes of Quraysh and their allies, Thaqif and other groups, collaborated against the Muslims (to stop them from entering Makkah to visit the Sacred House). Then, Allah stopped the fighting before it started between them and said:

[وَهُوَ الَّذِى كَفَّ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَنكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ عَنْهُم بِبَطْنِ مَكَّةَ مِن بَعْدِ أَنْ أَظْفَرَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ]

(And He it is Who has withheld their hands from you and your hands from them in the midst of Makkah, after He had made you victors over them.) (48:24) and:

[وَلَوْلاَ رِجَالٌ مُّؤْمِنُونَ وَنِسَآءٌ مُّؤْمِنَـتٌ لَّمْ تَعْلَمُوهُمْ أَن تَطَئُوهُمْ فَتُصِيبَكمْ مِّنْهُمْ مَّعَرَّةٌ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ لِّيُدْخِلَ اللَّهُ فِى رَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَآءُ لَوْ تَزَيَّلُواْ لَعَذَّبْنَا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً]

(Had there not been believing men and believing women whom you did not know, that you may kill them and on whose account a sin would have been committed by you without (your) knowledge, that Allah might bring into His mercy whom He wills ـ if they (the believers and the disbelievers) had been apart, We verily, would have punished those of them who disbelieved with painful torment.) (48:25)

Allah's statement:

[فَإِنِ انتَهَوْاْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ]

(But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) which means, `If they (polytheists) cease fighting you in the Sacred Area, and come to Islam and repent, then Allah will forgive them their sins, even if they had before killed Muslims in Allah's Sacred Area.' Indeed, Allah's forgiveness encompasses every sin, whatever its enormity, when the sinner repents it.  

Allah then commanded fighting the disbelievers when He said:

[حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ]

(...until there is no more Fitnah) meaning, Shirk. This is the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi`, Muqatil bin Hayyan, As-Suddi and Zayd bin Aslam.

Allah's statement:

[وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ للَّهِ]

(...and the religion (all and every kind of worship) is for Allah (Alone).) means, `So that the religion of Allah becomes dominant above all other religions.'  

In addition, it is reported in the Two Sahihs:

«أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أُقَاتِلَ النَّاسَ حَتَّى يَقُولُوا لَا إِلهَ إلَّا اللهُ، فَإِذَا قَالُوهَا عَصَمُوا مِنِّي دِمَاءَهُم وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ إلَّا بِحَقِّهَا وَحِسَابُهُمْ عَلَى الله»

(I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight the people until they proclaim, `None has the right to be worshipped but Allah'. Whoever said it, then he will save his life and property from me, except for cases of the law, and their account will be with Allah.)

Allah's statement:

[فَإِنِ انتَهَواْ فَلاَ عُدْوَنَ إِلاَّ عَلَى الظَّـلِمِينَ]

(But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against the wrongdoers.) indicates that, `If they stop their Shirk and fighting the believers, then cease warfare against them. Whoever fights them afterwards will be committing an injustice. Verily aggression can only be started against the unjust.' This is the meaning of Mujahid's statement that only combatants should be fought. Or, the meaning of the Ayah indicates that, `If they abandon their injustice, which is Shirk in this case, then do not start aggression against them afterwards.' The aggression here means retaliating and fighting them, just as Allah said:

[فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُواْ عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ]

(Then whoever transgresses against you, you transgress likewise against him.) (2:194)

`Ikrimah and Qatadah stated, "The unjust person is he who refuses to proclaim, `There is no God worthy of worship except Allah'.''

Under Allah's statement: 


Ibn Khathir's explanation is clear. According to the Quran, shirk (polytheism) is worse than killing. Since the punishment of murder in Islam is death, the punishment of shirk, which is worse, must also be death.  

In these verses Muhammad is justifying his actions to his followers who were mostly Meccan immigrants why they should attack and kill their own people. Mecca was sacred for Arabs and fighting in it was sacrilege. Muhammad says that although fighting in Mecca is prohibited, Allah gave him a special leave to fight in that city. Of course the proof of that was his own word. He could do anything he wished and break all the norms and bring his Allah to back him up. No one could hear this Allah but him. It is not that people were not suspicious, but he created such an atmosphere of terror among his followers that no one dared to question him. (I urge the readers to study modern cults to understand how the cultist controls the minds of his followers. Here is a good one.) Any of his followers who questioned him knew that he could be put to death. Furthermore he encouraged Muslims to spy on each other and report any whisper of discontent. This tradition continues to this day where every Muslim is entitled to even kill his own brother, father and son if he senses his faith is not strong. 

In his next attack at Mecca he told the Meccans to stay home and close their doors if they want to remain safe. If they come out to fight and defend their city they would be killed. This is no different than a thief holding a gun to your head and telling you: do as I say and you will be safe, but if you resist I will kill you. If you read just the Quran and read “unless they (first) fight you there” you may think the enemies were attacking the Muslims and this verse is about self-defense. Note how Yusuf Ali, the translator of the Quran, cunningly has placed the inexistent (first) in parenthesis to fool the English speaking reader and give the impression that this verse is issued for self defense. That is not the case at all. Muslims were the invaders always as they are today. Muhammad demanded total surrender and if they resisted, he said they should be killed. Then he said, if they stop fighting, cease the aggression because God does not like aggression. What it means is that once they surrender, do not massacre them. This might seem logical but an explanation is needed. A couple of year earlier, the Bani Quraiza surrendered without fighting or killing any Muslim, despite that they were massacred. It was not unusual for Muhammad to kill his prisoners of war after they had surrendered. This happened in Badr, in Kheibar and in Mecca were a few were put to death despite the promise of amnesty. 

But Muhammad was not willing to kill all the Meccans. After all they were his own kit and kin. Not that he cared. Nadir Ibn Harith was his own cousin who he captured in Badr and beheaded. His sin was too big to forgive. He was a story teller of Mecca much more successful than Muhammad, who derided him as well. You can't humiliate a narcissist and not pay for it. He will take his revenge in the first opportunity.  However, for Muhammad, the satisfaction of having his foes humbling themselves before him was much greater than killing them. Also he did not want to alienate his immigrant followers. After all the Meccans were their own relatives, fathers, brothers and childhood friends.

After the city surrendered, he attacked the big tribe of Hawazin of ten thousand people and gave the huge booty that was confiscated form them to the chiefs of Mecca.  This show of largesse, (with stolen wealth) was intended to humble his long standing foes and impress them. You must understand the intricacies of the mind of the narcissist in order to be able to interpret the actions of Muhammad.

Dr. Vaknin: explains that for the narcissist "everything is bigger than life. If he is polite, then he is aggressively so. His promises [are] outlandish, his criticism violent and ominous, his generosity inane."

Here we have Muhammad stealing the belongings of an entire tribe and taking their wives and children as slaves and at the same time giving everything to a few prominent leaders of Mecca. The wealthier they were the more he gave them. Why he would do such thing? Because he was a narcissist and wanted to show off. He had to impress his foes that he is bigger than them, not only he can forgive them but even lavish them with lots of wealth. Thus are the thoughts of the narcissists.   

It is very important to understand the Islamic terminology if you want to understand the Quran or the language of Muslims. I already explained that in How to Speak to a Politically Correct Bigot. By reading Ibn Khathir's commentary we also learned that when Muslims say “injustice” they actually mean "shirk", or disbelief in Allah and his messenger. These days we hear a lot of rationalizations for terrorism. Muslims accuse the non-Muslims of  “injustice”. What they actually mean is "disbelief". The very fact that you are not a Muslim and don't want to be after being called upon, makes you unjust and oppressor. This is called fithah and fitnah is worse than killing.  Whenever you criticize Islam on the Net, ou are committing fitnah. Therefore you are worse than a murderer and your blood is halal.


  Ali Sina





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