Religious Toleration or Militant Jihad:
What were Muhammad's last instructions to his followers?
A Muslim claims: Non-Muslims need a deep understanding of the
Qur'an to appreciate that Islam is a religion of peace.
Response: I don't think that a deeper understanding
helps a Muslim's case. Because the deeper understanding
creates deeper problems. For example, the expression,
"There is no compulsion in religion," was said by the early
Muhammad in the following Meccan ayah (verse). Historically,
Muhammad's Meccan suras occurred before the Hijrah to Medinah.
Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out
clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah
hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks.
And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. Al-Baqara 2:256
Whereas, the ayah to kill or to conquer and subdue Christians
and Jews was said by the late Muhammad in the following
Medinan ayah. The Medinan suras were written after the Hijrah.
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor
hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His
Messenger, 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. Al-Tawba 9:29
During the life of Muhammad, he changed from initial
toleration, next to defensive protection, and finally to
offensive conquest. Thus, the historical development of Muhammad
has to be considered to make the Qur'an intelligible. The
Toleration ayah is contradictory to the Jihad ayah. For da'wah
purposes, Western Muslim missionaries use the Toleration ayah
upon unsuspecting Westerners, because it gives a kinder and
gentler face to Muhammad's religion. But, Qur'anic scholars
know that Muhammad's last words were words of Jihad with its
military conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims. So, the Jihad
ayah abrogates the Toleration ayah.
Thus, we are forced logically and historically to conclude
that a deeper understanding of the Qur'an does not support the
idea that Islam is a religion of peace.
Last edited 03/09/2002
Top of Page.