Does Islam promote Violence?

Sami Zaatari

 

Recently 12 American soldiers were shot and killed in an attack at Fort Hood. The shooter who committed this act happens to have an Arab Muslim name, and is most likely a Muslim, so off course all the anti-Islam critics want to start attacking Islam and to put the blame on Islam.

For starters let us not forget that this is the same American military that is occupying and invading not one, but TWO Muslim countries, namely Iraq, and Afghanistan. This is the same military that killed and is still killing thousands upon thousands of Muslims in the Muslim world; hence let us keep things in perspective rather than act like this is one way traffic with Muslims simply doing all the violence, because that is clearly not the case.

It's not the Muslim armies invading western countries, it's not the Muslim's who have army bases scattered across several western countries, it's not the Muslim armies that are arresting westerners in their own homes and countries and then throwing them into prisons where they are tortured, raped, and sometimes killed, hence again, let us keep things in perspective and not act like this is one way traffic!

Christian apologist David Wood has used this event to attack Islam, and demonize Islam, he writes:

Not surprisingly, CAIR and ISNA have both condemned the attacks, claiming that there can be no religious support for such violence. Apparently, either our friends at CAIR and ISNA are practicing Taqiyya, or they have never read . . .

Qur'an 98:6?Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikun will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures.

Qur'an 9:29?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, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Sahih Muslim 30?It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.

Sahih al-Bukhari 2785?Narrated Abu Hurairah: A man came to Allah's Messenger and said, "Guide me to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward)." He replied, "I do not find such a deed."

Sahih al-Bukhari 2796?Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, "A single endeavor (of fighting) in Allah's cause in the afternoon or in the forenoon is better than all the world and whatever is in it."

Sahih al-Bukhari 2797?Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet said, . . . "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is! I would love to be martyred in Allah's Cause and then come back to life and then get martyred, and then come back to life again and then get martyred and then come back to life again and then get martyred."

Sahih al-Bukhari 2810?Narrated Abu Musa: 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 is in Allah's Cause?" The Prophet said, "He who fights that Allah's Word (i.e., Allah's religion of Islamic Monotheism) be superior, is in Allah's Cause."

Sunan An-Nasa'i 3099?It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: "Whoever dies without having fought or having thought of fighting, he dies on one of the branches of hypocrisy."

Sunan Ibn Majah 2763?It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever meets Allah with no mark on him (as a result of fighting) in His cause, he will meet Him with a deficiency."

Ibn Ishaq, p. 130?[Muhammad said]: "Will you listen to me O Quraysh? By him who holds my life in His hand I bring you slaughter."

http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2009/11/fort-hood-massacre.html

RESPONSE

So David brings up a whole list of Islamic texts that supposedly advocate violence or terrorism, yet is that truly the case, do these Islamic texts help Wood's case? Well let us analyze each text he has brought up, one by one, and we shall see if these texts do indeed promote terrorism, extremism, or violence.

The first verse Wood brings up is the following:

Qur'an 98:6?Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikun will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures.

I don't know, maybe it's just me, but where does this verse state that it's ok to go and kill none-Muslims for the sake of being none-Muslims? This verse simply states a fact, that none believers will go to hell, and indeed none believers are the worst of creatures in the sight of God because they reject him; hence God does not view them in a positive light!

This is very strange, Wood is a Christian, and does he not believe that infidels go to hell if they reject Jesus as their lord and saviour? He sure does, because his Bible teaches it as we read:

"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother[b]will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,[c]' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:21-22)

So according to the Bible you can go to hell for simply calling your brother a fool! And in this case when it says brother, it means to your fellow brother in faith, so obviously you can call none believer's fools, but if you do it to your brother, you are in danger of hell fire! Here are other Biblical passages which mention people going to hell:

If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. (Matthew 8:18-19)

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7)

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. (Revelation 20:14)

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars?their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)

Earlier David Wood accused ISNA and CAIR of either practicing Taqqiya or were simply ignorant of what Islam teaches, well I shall repeat that same sentence to Wood, perhaps Wood himself is practicing Pauline Taqqiya or he simply didn't know about the above verses which show that the Bible teaches about the concept of hell, and how sinners and unbelievers will go there for eternity. By Wood's own logic he has just condemned his own Bible, after all, if the Quran promotes violence because it threatens nonbelievers with hell fire, then the same should apply with the Bible, so by Wood's own argument, his New Testament promotes violence and terrorism!

Moving on, Wood then goes on to quote the most commonly quoted verse:

Qur'an 9:29?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, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Ah yes, the lovely 9:29, thankfully we will not have to repeat ourselves as this argument has already been dealt with, please visit the following link:

http://muslim-responses.com/Fighting_those_who_dont_Believe_/Fighting_those_who_dont_Believe_

Now if Wood has a problem with 9:29, and if he believes that 9:29 is violent or promotes violence, then I wonder what he will say about his own Bible when it states the following:

When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations?the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you- and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally.  Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. (Deuteronomy 7:1-2)

Whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:13)

Hopefully David Wood will be consistent and will now throw his Bible away. David then goes on to quote the following hadith:


Sahih Muslim 30?It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.

Thankfully we won't need to repeat ourselves again, as this issue has already been dealt with, please visit the following link:

http://muslim-responses.com/Fight_until_they_convert/Fight_until_you_convert_

Wood then goes on to quote two hadiths that are quite similar in content:

Sahih al-Bukhari 2785?Narrated Abu Hurairah: A man came to Allah's Messenger and said, "Guide me to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward)." He replied, "I do not find such a deed."

Sahih al-Bukhari 2796?Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, "A single endeavor (of fighting) in Allah's cause in the afternoon or in the forenoon is better than all the world and whatever is in it."

Indeed participating in Jihad is excellent, and there is nothing that can match its reward, yet how does that equal= go out and kill innocent people and commit terrorism! Notice David's strange path of logic, Islam says Jihad is excellent, and there is nothing that can match it, therefore Islam promotes terrorism and the murder of innocent people! What?! Now how did you reach that conclusion?

Where in the two above hadiths does it state that Jihad= fighting nonbelievers for the sake of them being nonbelievers, and where does it say you can go commit terrorism and kill innocent people? Sadly for Wood, he will not be able to show such things since there are Islamic texts which state the following, texts that Wood has conveniently left out and forgot to mention:

002.190
YUSUFALI: Fight in the cause of Allah THOSE WHO FIGHT YOU, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.

 

And from the hadiths:

 

Bukhari Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 257.

 

Narrated By 'Abdullah : During some of the Ghazawat of the Prophet a woman was found killed. Allah's Apostle disapproved the killing of women and children.

 

Bukhari Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 258.

 

Narrated By Ibn 'Umar : During some of the Ghazawat of Allah's Apostle a woman was found killed, so Allah's Apostle forbade the killing of women and children.

 

So the hadith's that Wood quoted in no shape or form support his thesis. Wood then goes on to quote the following hadiths:

Sahih al-Bukhari 2797?Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet said, . . . "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is! I would love to be martyred in Allah's Cause and then come back to life and then get martyred, and then come back to life again and then get martyred and then come back to life again and then get martyred."

Sahih al-Bukhari 2810?Narrated Abu Musa: 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 is in Allah's Cause?" The Prophet said, "He who fights that Allah's Word (i.e., Allah's religion of Islamic Monotheism) be superior, is in Allah's Cause."

Sunan An-Nasa'i 3099?It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: "Whoever dies without having fought or having thought of fighting, he dies on one of the branches of hypocrisy."

Sunan Ibn Majah 2763?It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever meets Allah with no mark on him (as a result of fighting) in His cause, he will meet Him with a deficiency."

Again, all of these hadiths follow in the same fashion as the previous two! Indeed, fighting in the cause of God is a tremendous deed, and to be martyred in the cause of God is the icing on the cake. Yet how does that equal= terrorism, killing innocent people, and fighting nonbelievers for the sake of being nonbelievers! Wood is just quoting texts without even bothering to show how they support his thesis!

Furthermore, here is another Quranic verse that describes what it means to fight in the cause of God, yet again Wood has conveniently failed to point this verse out, the verse reads:

004.075
YUSUFALI: And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah 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!"

So fighting in the cause of God is to fight for the weak, the oppressed, the innocent men, women, and children who cry out to be rescued from oppression, and that is fighting in the cause of God! So indeed, who would not want to fight for such a cause?! And David is trying to demonize Islam because it calls on Muslims to fight for the weak and oppressed! Indeed if Islam is a violent backward religion for calling on Muslims to help the weak and oppressed, then so be it!

Now since Wood obviously doesn't believe in this, and is a Christian, then Christianity must be the OPPOSITE, it must mean that Christianity does not call on Christians to fight for the weak and oppressed who cry out for help and rescue, for if it did, then why is Wood condemning such a concept when Islam propagates it?

In fact the Bible calls for the death, destruction, and total annihilation of men women and children! Consult the following link for the proof:

http://muslim-responses.com/Terror_in_the_Bible/Teror_in_the_Bible_

Wood goes on to quote a final text:

Ibn Ishaq, p. 130?[Muhammad said]: "Will you listen to me O Quraysh? By him who holds my life in His hand I bring you slaughter."

What David fails to point out is the context, and indeed I challenge Wood to quote the ENTIRE CONTEXT of this story. If anyone read the context of this story then they would know that there were a group of pagan men, and they were viciously abusing and insulting the prophet Muhammad for no reason, they kept continuing in their insults and abuses, and the prophet Muhammad was doing nothing to warrant it, he remained silent for a while but they did not stop. Eventually the prophet Muhammad broke his silence and rebuked these vile pagans in a very angry manner, and when the prophet Muhammad made this remark he was only referring to those specific evil pagans who were insulting and abusing him, after all, if the prophet Muhammad really wanted to slaughter of all Quraysh then why did he not do so after he conquered them:

The conquest of Mecca: Then the Holy Prophet, turning to the people said: "O Ye, Quraish, what do you think of the treatment that I should accord you?" They said, "Mercy, O Prophet of Allah. We expect nothing but good from you." Thereupon the Holy Prophet declared, "I speak to you in the same words as Joseph spoke to his brothers. This day there is no re-proof against you, go your way for you are free." This announcement was received with great joy and applause. ((http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/companion/21_ali_bin_talib.htm))

So why didn't the prophet slaughter all of the Quraysh? Surely if Wood's interpretation of the text he quoted was correct, then we would readily expect to find the prophet Muhammad destroying these people to the last soul, yet the EXACT opposite happens, so what happened? Does David Wood know what the prophet Muhammad said better than the prophet Muhammad himself?! Furthermore, these very same Pagans themselves wanted to kill the prophet Muhammad, but for a while they could not physically harm him because he was under protection from his family, who were a very strong family, off course Wood leaves all of this important information out, context my friends, never ignore the context.

So those are all the texts that David provided, and as one can see, not a single one of them promote terrorism or violence against innocent people. The texts that DO promote the killing of entire peoples, the texts that do promote terrorism come straight from the Bible, it is there where you find verse after verse that talk about killing women men and children, the question now is, will Wood apply consistency and condemn his own Bible?

And Allah Knows Best!            

www.muslim-responses.com