Hot Potatoes

Is Islam a religion of peace?

In the wake of yet more terrorism done in the name of Allah and Islam, we continually hear from politicians and many Muslims that this is not true Islam, for Islam is all about peace. On the other hand the radical Muslims who promote violent struggle claim that it is they who represent true Islam, that they are the ones obeying the Koran and following in Muhammed’s footsteps. It is important to understand who is right. What is the real nature of Islam?

It is true that that religious extremists can do terrible things in the name of their religion, and it would be unfair to blame that religion and its founder, if they are acting against its foundational principles. For example, the Spanish Inquisition was done in the name of Christianity, but actually it is in direct contradiction to the teaching of Jesus Christ to use physical threats and terror to convert people. Such activity originated from the sin of man, not the Christian Scriptures. Jesus was a man of peace, who taught us to live and spread His message in peace. Therefore eventually, Christendom has realised this and condemned these violent methods.
Is the present situation with Islam comparable to this? Was Muhammed a man of peace who recorded teaching of peace in the Koran? If so, we can have great hope that the present rise of Islamic extremism is temporary and the moderate Muslims will win the day, as the whole Muslim world comes to see that true Islam is indeed a religion of peace. Or could it be that the extremists correctly find the philosophical justification and encouragement for violence within their scriptures and the life of Muhammed? Is the spreading of Islam by the sword and by terror a perversion of Islam as the politicians claim, or is it in the very nature of this religion?

Now we should certainly support and applaud the moderate Muslims who denounce Islamic violence. But are we applauding them because they are promoting the true version of Islam, or because they are teaching values that are superior to the Islam defined by the Koran? Are they hiding and spinning certain aspects of Islam to make them acceptable to a modern society that has been shaped by Christian values and freedoms? This is an important issue because what the Koran actually teaches is crucial, for in Islamic thinking the Koran cannot be changed or even questioned (which is a great sin) since it is 100% the word of Allah, as dictated to Muhammed.

The Quran (Koran) is the sacred scripture of Islam. It is made up of 114 surahs, or chapters, arranged according to length. The longest surahs are in front, the shorter ones are in back (except the first one). The ideas are all credited to Allah. Muhammed's words were written down by his followers on everything from scraps of parchment to dried camel ribs. After he died, these fragments were collected and compiled into one book. Despite the fact that much of it is scrambled and confused, Muslims claim it is copied from an original now in heaven. As Islam spread across the world, various sayings and teachings were developed. These were finally written down in the Hadith ('tradition'). A saying in the Hadith is called a sunna or custom.
This is thought to describe the way Muhammed thought or acted in a given situation.

Therefore if we are to know the truth about Islam we must go past the spin and determine what the Koran actually teaches and how Muhammed actually lived, for this defines the true Islam.

In understanding what is going on, we have to explain some unpleasant facts:
(1) From its beginnings in the 7th century Islam has spread by violent conquest,
(2) the Church (along with other faiths) have suffered greatly in all Islamic countries and (3) most terrorist activity is now Islamic.

Do these bad fruits result from a bad root? Are they the result of the original nature of Islam, or the result of sinful, misguided men misusing and misapplying Islam. Would Muhammed himself approve or disapprove of Islamic militants?

To understand the issues we also must determine the meaning of terms such as ISLAM, PEACE, JIHAD and INNOCENT for they might something quite different to us than to a Muslim. ISLAM means SUBMISSION. A Muslim believes that everyone should submit absolutely to the will of Allah. Only then can there be PEACE. A Muslim believes that the world of Islam must ultimately rule over those in ignorance and disobedience. The PEACE of the world cannot be secured until the peoples come under the rule and protection of Islam. Until then all Muslims are under a mandate to practice JIHAD (a ‘struggle’ or ‘fight’ to bring this to pass), because they believe that Islam is the correct and perfect religion and that all other religions are inferior.

Thus PEACE to Islam means us coming under the rule of Islam, either by us becoming Muslims or at least by coming under subjection to Islamic Law. Thus it is not what this tolerant secular society means by peace! Islam has a mandate to practice jihad and to bring the non-Muslim world under the rule of Allah and the injunctions of the Koran. The difference between the ‘moderates’ and the ‘extremists’ is how this is to be acheived. The moderates argue that JIHAD denotes a spiritual struggle and effort to obey Allah and persuade others, while the extremists say that JIHAD as taught and practiced by Muhammad also involves using the sword (physical threats, violence and conquest). They believe there is a war going on between the Muslim nation and the rest of the world that has not submitted to Allah, and that the supreme honour (and guarantee of making it to the heavenly paradise) is to die in JIHAD (this is what motivates the suicide bombers). They believe they are following the teaching of the Koran and emulating the example of their prophet, who led his fighting forces into battle to defend Islam and make it dominant and said: “Strike terror (into the hearts of) the enemies of God and your enemies” (Surah 8:6). To decide who is right we must discover what Muhammed meant by JIHAD. Did he call Muslims to fight an aggressive physical jihad against non-believers, or just to wage a spiritual fight? We must ask the non-Muslims of Mohammed’s time if they experienced Islam as a religion of peace.

It is good to hear Muslims using the Koran to condemn the killing of INNOCENT life, but the catch is: ‘who are the INNOCENT?’ For fundamentalists, non-muslims are guilty if they resist or reject Islam.

Ultimately the only way to know whether Islam is at root a religion of peace or violence is to look at what the Koran actually teaches:

*Koran Verses... Is Islam a Religion of Peace? What the Koran says:
Verses from Translation by M. H. Shakir

4:74: “Let those who would exchange the life of this world for the hereafter, fight of the cause of Allah; whoever fights for the cause of Allah, whether he dies or triumphs, on him We shall bestow a rich recompense.”

9:111: “Allah has purchased from the faithful their lives and worldly goods, and in return has promised them the Garden. They will fight for the cause of Allah, they will slay, and be slain.”

9:123: “Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you.”

47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly.”

48:29: “Muhammad is Allah’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.”

66:9: “Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and deal sternly with them. Hell shall be their home, evil their fate.”

5:17: “Unbelievers are those who declare: ‘God is the Messiah, the son of Mary.”

5:51: “Believers, take neither Jews nor the Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another.”

5:59: “Say: ‘People of the Book, is it not that you hate us only because we believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was formerly revealed, and because most of you are evil-doers? ‘Say: ‘Shall I tell you who will receive a worse reward from Allah? Those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He has been angry, transforming them into apes and swine, and those who serve the devil.”

5:72-73: “Unbelievers are those that say: ‘God is the Messiah, the son of Mary. Unbelievers are those that say: ‘God is one of three.”

110:1-6: “Say: ‘Unbelievers, I do not worship what you worship, no do you worship what I worship. I shall never worship what you worship, nor will you ever worship what I worship. You have your own religion and I have mine.”

4:101: “And when you journey in the earth, there is no blame on you if you shorten the prayer, if you fear that those who disbelieve will cause you distress; surely the unbelievers are your open enemy.”

49:15: The true believers are those that have faith in Allah and His apostle, and never doubt and who fight with their wealth and with their persons in the cause of Allah. Such are those whose faith is true

3:118: “O you who believe! Do not take for intimate friends from among others than your own people; they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their breast conceal is greater still; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you, if you will understand..”

60:13: “O you who believe! Do not make friends with a people with whom Allah is wroth (angry) ; indeed they despair of the hereafter as the unbelievers despair of those in tombs.”

Islamic Plan of Salvation
47:4- 6: “So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, he will by no means allow their deeds to perish. He will guide them and improve their condition. And cause them to enter the garden which He has made known to them.”

48:16: “Say to the desert Arabs who stayed behind: ‘You shall be called upon to fight a mighty nation, unless they embrace Islam. If you prove obedient, Allah will reward you well. But if you run away, as you have done before this, He will inflict on you a stern chastisement.’ It shall be no offense for the blind, the lame, and the sick to stay behind. He that obeys Allah and His apostle shall be admitted to gardens watered by running streams; but he that turns and flees shall be sternly (painfully) punished by Him.

8:27 - 28: “Believers, do not betray Allah and the Apostle, nor knowingly betray your trust. Know that your worldly goods and your children are but a temptation, and that Allah’s recompense is great.”

11:15-16:Whoever desires this world’s life and its finery, We will pay them in full their deeds therein and they shall not be made to suffer loss in respect of them. These are they for whom there is nothing but fire in the hereafter, and what they wrought in it shall go for nothing, and vain is what they do.”

18:46: “Wealth and children are an adornment of the life of this world; and the everabiding, the good works, are better with your Lord in reward and better in expectation.”

29:64: “The life of this world is but a sport and a diversion. It is the life to come that is the true life.”

8:41: “And know that whatever thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Apostle and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if you believe in Allah and in that which We revealed to Our servant, on the day of distinction, the day on which the two parties met; and Allah has power over all things.”

59:7: “Whatever Allah has restored to His Apostle from the people of the towns, it is for Allah and for the Apostle, and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, so that it may not be a think taken by turns among the rich of you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is severe in retributing (evil): …”

58:12: “O you who believe! When you consult the Apostle, then offer something in charity before your consultation; that is better for you and purer; but if you do not find, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

Terrorism: 21:11: “How many were the populations we utterly destroyed because of their inequities, setting up their place (with) other peoples.”

2:8-10: “And there are some people who say: We believe in Allah and the last day; and they are not at all believers. They desire to deceive Allah and those who believe, and they deceive only themselves and they do not perceive. There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah added to their disease and they shall have a painful chastisement because they lied.”

58:5: “Surely those who act in opposition to Allah and his Apostle shall be laid down prostrate as those before them were laid down prostrate; and indeed We have revealed clear communication and unbelievers shall have a abasing chastisement (a humiliating penalty).

44:43-48: “Surely the tree of Zaqqum, Is the food of the sinful, Like dregs of oil; it shall boil in (their) bellies, like the boiling of hot water. Seize him, then drag him down into the middle of the hell; Then pour above his head of the torment of the boiling water.”

2:39: “And (as to) those who disbelieve in and reject My communications, they are the inmates of the fire, in it they shall abide.”

2:89-90: “And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and aforetime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah’s curse is on the unbelievers. Evil is that for which they have sold their souls – that they should deny what Allah has revealed, out of envy that Allah should send down of His grace on whomsoever of His servants He pleases; so they have made themselves deserving of wrath upon wrath, and there is a disgraceful punishment for the unbelievers.

5:33 The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle and serve to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement., …”

9:35: “On the day when Heat will be produced out of the wealth in the Fire of Hell, and wit it will be branded their foreheads, their sides and their backs- “This is the treasure that ye buried (hoarded) for yourselves, taste ye then the treasures that ye buried (hoarded) .”

8:50: If you could see when the angels take the souls of the Unbelievers to death. How they smite their faces and backs saying “Taste the penalty of the blazing Fire.”

We should have an accurate historical understanding of the precise nature of the Muslim faith - the Koran scriptures call for the killing of all Jews and Christians. Islam (according to the Koran) commands its followers to slaughter all infidels (non-Muslims).   Should the Koran be banned under the new religious hatred laws since it incites hatred and even violence toward non-Muslims?

Koran Quotes: “When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful” - Sura 9:5 at-Taubah.

“Strike terror (into the hearts of)  the enemies of God and your enemies” -Surah 8:60 al-Anfal.

“Fight (kill) them (non-Muslims), and God will punish,       (torment) them by your hands, cover them with shame” - Surah 9:14 at-Taubah.
 “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them. It is not ye who slew them; it was God” Surah 8:12-17 al-Anfal.

“Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship will become one of their number. Allah does not guide the wrongdoers” - Sura 5:51 al-Ma'idah 5:51

“Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them.
Hell shall be their home: an evil fate" Sura 9:73 at-Taubah 9:73

“Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe neither in Allah nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what Allah and His apostle have forbidden and do not embrace the true faith until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued”- Sura 9:29 at-Taubah.

“Mohammed is Allah's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers,
but merciful to one another” -        Sura 48:29 Al-Fath 48:29

“Let those who would exchange the life of this world for the hereafter, fight for the cause of Allah; whether they die or conquer, we shall richly reward them”-Sura 4:74 an-Nisa' .

“Believers, why is it that when it is said to you 'March in the cause of Allah' you linger slothfully in the land? Are you content with that life in preference to the life to come? Few indeed are the blessings of this life, compared to those of the life to come”    Sura 9:38 at-Taubah.

“Whether unarmed or well equipped, march on and fight for the cause of Allah with your
wealth and your persons” -        Sura 9:41 at-Taubah 9:41

“Ye (Muslims) are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind...” - Surah 3:110 Al-Imran.

“And fight them on, until there is no more tumult (seduction) or oppression, and there
prevail justice, and faith in God (and the religion becomes Islam)” Surah 2:193 al-Baqarah.

“And if you are slain, or die in the way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are
far better than all they could amass.”            - Surah 3:157 Al-Imran.

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, (which is Islam that abolishes all other religions) of the people of the Book, (meaning Jews and Christians) until they pay the Jizya (the tax imposed upon them) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (with humiliation and submission to the government of Islam) (Commentary from the Tafsir Al-Jalalein (at-Taubah 9:29)

Hadith Quotes (Hadith is the second most important writing in Islam, following the Quran).
Narrated Abdullah:  Allah's Messenger said, “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Messenger, cannot be shed except in three cases: in Qisas(equality in punishment) for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (Apostate) and leaves the Muslims” - Bukhari, vol 9*17.

Narrated Ali, “Whenever I tell you a narration from Allah's messenger, by Allah, I would rather fall down from the sky, then ascribe a false statement to him, but if I tell you something between me and you, (not a Hadith), then it was indeed a trick (i.e., I may say things just to cheat my enemy). No doubt I heard Allah's messenger saying, 'During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words, but their faith will not go beyond their throats (they will leave the faith) and will go out from their religion as an arrow goes out of the game. So, wherever you find them, kill them, for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection” - Bukhari vol 9, #64.

“I have been ordered by God to fight with people till they bear testimony to the fact that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammed is his messenger, and that they establish prayer and pay Zakat (money). If they do it, their blood and their property are safe from me” (Bukhari Vol. I, p. 13)

Mohammed said, “I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah.” - Hadith vol. 4:196

Mohammed said, “Know that paradise is under the shades of the swords” - Hadith vol 4:73

Mohammed said, “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him.” Hadith vol. 9:57

Mohammed said: “No Muslim should be killed for killing a Kafir (infidel)” Hadith vol. 9:50

Mohammed said to the Jews: “The earth belongs to Allah and His apostle, and I want to expel you from this land (Arabian Peninsula) so, if anyone owns property, he is permitted to sell it” - Hadith vol.4:392.

Mohammed once was asked: “What is the best deed for the Muslim next to believing in Allah and His Apostle?” His answer was: “To participate in Jihad in Allah's cause” - Al Bukhari vol. 1:25.

Mohammed was quoted as saying: “I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah” - Al Bukhari vol. 4:196.

Mohammed also said, “He who participates in (Holy Battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to paradise (if killed)” Al Bukhari vol.1:35. His last words were: 'Turn the pagans (non-Muslims) out of the Arabian Peninsula.” Hadith vol.5 .716

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