22
Feb
08

Islam: Religion of Peace

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By Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour

Two different visions of Islam:

There are two different visions of Islam. The first is seeing Islam through its divine source, namely the Quran. The method of this vision is to understand Islam through its own terminology and language. The Arabic language, as any other language, is a living being whose terminology and words’ meaning change depending on the time and place, and also, on the sects, the school of thought and societies in general. Therefore, he who wants to approach Islam through its divine source (the Quran) needs to understand the Quranic language and then to proceed without any preconceived ideas to trace the subject under research. It is essential to go through all the verses connected to the subject being researched to reach the final conclusion. Quranic verses are of two kinds: 1.) Mohkamat, the verses that have specific meanings and lay down the general rule, and 2.) Motashabehat, the verses that have details of the same subject mentioned in the first. It is easy to collect all the verses of Motashabehat and understand them by its Mohkamat verse of the same subject. After such scrutiny, one reaches the complete and correct view of Islam without any preconceived ideas. This is the Quranic vision of Islam.

The second vision is seeing Islam throughout Muslim tradition. It is a human source as it has many resources, includes the sayings ascribed to the prophet Mohammed some centuries after his death, the tales invented to comment on the Quranic stories according to their point of views, and the saying of the renown Muslim Scholars or” ‘the Imams of the Muslim Jurisprudence and the other scholars or Al foqahaa’. By these human resources, they look at the Quranic verses and understand them accordingly.

It’s clearly natural to find in these human sources contradicting opinions. Each opinion searches for supporting verses in the Quran often results in the verses being taken out of their context and having their meaning twisted according to the terminology of its tradition

The difference between the two visions:

Since the researcher here is led astray, it’s no wonder that his or her understanding of Islam contradicts its’ reality and its real vision. It is implicitly out of this second vision of Islam that come the judicial sentences fatwa which puts Islam in a position that allows it to be accused of terrorism, violence, anomalies and fanaticism.

In fact, Muslim during the middle ages like many others living with the mentality of that time , namely with fundamentalism, fanaticism , holy wars and religious trials, and persecutions twisted the meanings of the Quranic verses according to their culture and mentality, along with the invention of the prophetic sayings that served their purpose. Those sayings [Hadeeth] were made holy as they were really said by the prophet Mohammed. This is the belief of the Sunni Muslims. The Shiite Muslims followed another sayings attributed to the prophet Mohammed and his relatives, or [A’al Al Bait]. The Sufi Muslims also followed the sayings of their holy saints.

Thus from this second human traditional vision of Muslims, we find diversity of sources and sects, and he who chooses this traditional vision of Muslims in order to understand Islam will find nothing but mixture of Middle-ages cultures; some of them full of superstitions [Sufi tradition] or violence[Sunni tradition] and a mixture of the two [The Shiite tradition]. , If, however, the researcher goes directly to read the Quran according to its language and understand the Quran using the Quran without any preceding ideas, he/she will be astonished to find that Islam is the religion of peace, forgiveness and all the high values.

I choose to understand Islam through the Quran as it is the only confirmed source of Islam, using a scientific method which adheres to Quranic terminology to understand the Quran by the Quran. By means of this method, I have previously researched and wrote about Islam and its comparisons to the Muslim Sufi and Sunni traditions, and their history in the middle age, and their contemporary Islamic movement which purported to bring the Muslims back to the mentality of the middle ages. Now, let‘s try to understand Islam and its relationship with peace.

What about the relationship between Islam and peace?

Peace is the origin of the understanding of Islam as a religion as well as in the Arabic language. It is the base of the relationship between Muslims and others. Peace is also the back-bone of the Jihad laws in the Quran.

We start with the understanding of the word [Iman] or “Belief”:

According to the Quranic terminology and its particular language, the word “believing” [Aaman], has two meanings in Quranic along with the Arabic language; you can {believe in} (Aamana be…) or you believe or trust others (Aamana le –).

The first definition is related to faith as in the verse “the messenger believed in what was descended to him from His Lord and the believers. All believe in God, His angles, His books. His Messengers.” (2: 285) Thus to ‘believe in’ means to have a deeply rooted faith in your heart concerning the relationship between man and God.

People have had diversified faiths, even within the same religion or even within the same sect or school of thinking. The Quran confirms that people will be judged for the diversity of their faiths by God alone and only on Judgment day (as found in verses ( 2: 113 , 3: 55 , 10 : 93 , 16 : 124 , 5 : 48 , 39 : 3 , 7: 46 ).

The second meaning is the relationship between people, namely believing or trusting others, and implies that when someone is safe and secure people trust him. He is also called a ‘believer’ because he is trusted by the people, [Aamana laho al naas; Ma’amoun al janeb]. This meaning is repeated in the Quran especially in the Quranic stories concerning the Prophets. For example, in the story of Noah, the arrogant ones told him “Shall we trust you [An’omeno Laka] while it is the meanest that follow you?” (26:111). Meaning how can we trust you and feel secure with you seeing that you are followed by the lowest of the people! This meaning of ‘believing’ that is trusting someone is repeated in the story of Abraham (26 : 29 ), the story of Joseph (12 :17 ) the story of Moses (44 :21) and (23 : 47 ) , and also in the Quranic Narratives of the life of the prophet Mohammed in Medina ( 3 : 37 ) and (2 : 57 ).This meaning of believing is found in other subject as well.

When somebody behaves in a trust worthy manner, he becomes safe and secure as seen from his outward behavior. According to the Quranic terminology, this person is called ‘a believer’ regardless of his religion or Faith. For that matter, he/she can be a Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian, Jew or an atheist. It is a private matter between the individual and God, that no creature has the authority to judge. It is reserved for God alone on Judgment Day.

The two meanings of the term ‘belief’ are simultaneously expressed in God’s verses concerning the prophet Mohammed that says “He believes in God, has faith in the believers [Y’omono bellah wa y’omeno Lel m’omeneen]” (9:61). In the Arabic language and in this Quranic verse, the word Y’omeno means the two meanings: believe in and trust. Thus, this verse shows that to believe in God is to worship Him alone, and to believe in others is to trust them. To believe in God is to acknowledge that He is the one and only. The evaluation of this faith, which many people dispute, is to take place in Judgment Day. Therefore, what concerns and should only concern humans among themselves is to live in trust, safety, security and peace.

Therefore faith in Islam is equivalent to peace among people, and at the same time, being a believer means being a man of God and a man of peace and trust. This is the understanding of faith in the religion of Islam.

What about the word [Islam] itself in Arabic Language and in the religion of Islam?

The understanding of Islam in the Quran, as was the case with the word ‘believe’, has an outward meaning concerning the dealing with people and inward meaning concerning the relationship with God .

The inward meaning of Islam is to succumb and submit to God alone, pledging allegiance and obedience to Him and Him alone (6:161-163).

This meaning of Islam is the same message that came with all the prophets in all divine messages and in all ancient languages until it finally appeared in Arabic in the final divine revelation of the Quran. God doesn’t accept any other religion different from the submission to Him alone as the only God. This is the meaning of the verse “The religion before God is islam …” (3:19). Note that the word Islam is not capitalized on purpose to show that the Quran is describing an attitude or a mode of being and not a specific religion. The verse continues (“Whoever desires a religion other than islam, never will it be accepted of him and in the hereafter he will be in the rank of those who had lost”) (3:85). Here, it describes about his future on the Day of Judgment where only God will judge all of mankind.

Islam means submitting to God alone in any language, time or place and in all divine messages. Alas unfortunately, in our culture, Islam was transformed into an Arabic description of a definite group in a specific epoch.

God is uninterested in the titles and divisions that people choose for them such as Muslims, Jews, Christians and Sabiens.

For this reason, God confirms in two verses that those who believe in God alone as the only God, believe in the Day of Judgment as the divine day of absolute justice and maintain peace and perform righteous deeds as a proof of their belief in the last day, they are the allies of God whether they are the followers of the Quran or the Old and New Testament (2:62, 5:69). These two verses confirm the other two verses: “The religion before God is Islam” and “Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, never will be accepted of him” (3:19 &85).

These verses imply that he who believes in God, the last day and performs righteous deeds in this world will be considered a Muslim in the sight of God on the Last Day regardless of the title he/she had in this world. It is up to God alone- not to us – on the Day of Judgment – not now- to judge the faith. Any one that claims this right to him/her is claiming divinity upon himself.

The real meaning of the inward face of Islam is submitting to God only and succumbing to Him alone with the language of hearts. It is the universal language that leaves no room for discord among people or believers, and based on this language all people will be judged on the last day. This is the inward meaning of Islam in dealing with the Almighty God, the Creator, or the inner meaning of the faith that lies inside the heart which will be judged by God alone on the Last Day.

God alone is the One who can monitor the real feelings of the human heart in this life, and the only one who- on Judgment Day- will tell us of our religious disputes. It’s up to every human to choose monotheism, paganism or atheism; it’s his freedom of belief and he will be responsible before God alone on the last Day. This describes Islam in dealing with God, or the inner meaning of Islam.

In Islam, outwardly dealing with people is directly related to the safety and security expressed and practiced among people, no matter how different their inner believes are. God says: “O you who believe enter peace wholeheartedly” (2:208). Thus God ordered the believers to enter peace reign (I don’t understand what you mean by “reign”). We remember here that the salutation of Islam is peace “Alsalamu alikum” or “Peace be upon you” and that peace is one of God’s wholly names, Al salam. All of this expresses the confirmation of peace in Islam and it confirms the fact that belief also means safety and security.

Peace and security in Paradise will be for the peaceful believers:

The person who expresses and demonstrates his belief in goodness in his dealings with people and gains their trust , and at the same time, has true belief in God alone, deserves security, and will be secured and protected by the Almighty God on the Last Day. He will be rewarded in the hereafter for being trusted by people and for having a sincere belief in God alone in this life. This is the meaning of belief in Islam and its reward is in the Last Day.

The same is true with he who practices ‘Islam’ in his dealings with others, is peaceful, and practices ‘Islam’ in his relationship with God by submitting his heart and his behaviors to Him. This person is also entitled to ‘peace’ in the hereafter.

On this subject God says :” It’s those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong, for them there is a security, and they are truly guided” (6:82). This means that those who believe in God and at the same time have gained the trust of others, will enjoy safety and security as a reward on the last day. Their reward is nothing but the outcome of their deeds, and God describes their place to be in paradise in the hereafter . Their greeting upon entering paradise will be “Enter ye here in peace and security”(15:46)and about paradise, God says that “for them will be a home of peace in the presence of their Lord” (6:127).

Thus, peace and security in dealing with others plus submission to believe in One God along with obedience to Him alone leads to peace and security in paradise. Such is the Islamic formula as presented by the verses of the Quran. On the other hand, transgression and injustice inflicted on others and on God leads only to Hell.

Muslims and peace in history

Now that we have clarified the relationship between the notion of peace, the understanding of “Islam,” and its belief and faith according to the Quranic and Arabic languages, let’s turn to the relation between “peace” and the real Islamic legislation or ‘Shareah’ according to the Quran alone. Let’s examine the rules of ‘peace’ between Muslims and non Muslims.

First however, let’s suppose that early Muslims in the time of the prophet Mohammed were against peaceful Islam. Does this, however, make it right to ignore the peaceful nature of Islam because of its Muslim human behaviors? Religion is just rules and commandments and should be applied by its believers. If those believers ignore the fundamental teachings of the religion, it is their responsibility, and they are the ones to blame, not their religion. Religion should only be held accountable for the teachings according to its Holy message, and not due to its follower’s human deeds.

It’s not only an Islamic problem, but it’s also the problem of Christianity and Judaism. We need only to remember what the religious Jews and the Christians did in the Middle Ages and modern history, for example. Therefore, it’s imperative to make distinctions between the religion itself and its human believers whose deeds are mixtures of good and bad. However, we will discover that with Islam and its early Muslim followers, something different needs to be explained.

Recording Islamic History two centuries after Mohammed widened the gap between the Quran and Muslim Tradition:

The recording of Muslim history was started and established in the Muslim empirical periods that followed the footsteps of the Persian and the Roman empires. Thus the writing of their history was shaped by the concepts of power and influenced by the Middle Aged culture of fanaticism. For that reason, the gap between the Quran and the Muslim tradition was widened in terms of legislation and even in beliefs and faith.

As far as our subject is concerned, we find a clear gap between what the Quran says about the early Muslims during the period of the prophet Mohammed and what was said in the recorded history of the Prophet and also, in the‘ Alsirah Alnabaweiya,’ the history of early Muslims and their battles.

The history of the prophet Mohammed was recorded two and more centuries after his death during the Abbasid Empire. The ‘sira’ written by Ibn Isaac, Ibn Hisham, Ibn Shad, Altabary, and others mainly concentrated on the Muslim violence in the battles during the ruling of the prophet Mohammed.

Those old historians rooted the concept that Islam was spread by the sword. They gave to the history of the prophet Mohammed the violent history of the Muslim rulers who succeeded him and gave Mohamed the image of a great conqueror who invaded the other nations establishing the great empire. In the third empire, the historians wrote the Muslim history of their time beginning with the history of the prophet Mohammed tens of decades after his death according to their culture, and created a gap between what was actually recorded in the Quran and their accounts . Those historians were also religious scholars invited to respond in their time by religiously legitimizing the expansion of the Muslim Empire.

Yet, what is found in the Quran is something entirely different from what is recorded in history. The starting point goes back to the Quranic term ‘those who believed’ and its original meaning being ‘those who choose safety and security in their dealing with others even if they were persecuted and harassed by them. They are believers even if their faith does not respond to the Islamic monotheism.’ We understand better the intended meaning of ‘those who believed’ from the verse that says (“Oh you who believed! Believe in God and His messenger, and the scripture which He sent before. Any who denies God, His Angles, His Books, his messengers, and the Day of Judgment, has strayed far away’. (4:136). Thus, God calls upon the believers, i.e., the peaceful ones to have a belief and faith in God, his prophets and his holy books. In other words, he calls upon those who chose peace to add to it the inner belief in God, His prophets, and His books.

The expression ‘Oh you who believed’ does not implies any particular religious group. It addresses those who choose peace as a way of life and calls them to accept religion because He said, ‘Oh you who believed!’ In other words, the belief in security and peace needs to be complemented by true sincere belief in one God, His books and His prophets, so that one is able to reach the blessings of paradise, namely peace and security, in the hereafter,.

The early Muslims were really peaceful.

The peaceful believers who joined the prophet Mohammed in Mecca insisted on peace and on tolerating persecutions.

While they were in Mecca suffering, the Holy Quran revealed the aspects of their coming Muslim state which includes belief in One God, trust in Him, obeying Him, keeping prayers to Him and giving alms and conducting the direct democracy among them. God said explaining the other aspects: “And those who are oppressed can take revenge, the recompense for an evil is an evil; but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with God. Verily, He likes not the oppressors. And indeed whosoever takes revenge after he has suffered wrong, for such there is no blame against them. The blame is only against those who oppress people and resort to wrong in the earth unjustly; for such there will be a painful torment. And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgiveness that would truly be from the best commandments.” (42:36 to 43).

This verse was revealed to prepare them to be ready for the future when they would have to defend themselves and retaliate, or to forgive and reconcile according to the future’s circumstances.

Because of severe persecutions, early Muslims had to immigrate twice to Abyssinia [Ethiopia], and then immigrated to Yathreb or Al Madina, their final immigration where they established their own state led by the prophet Mohammed and the revelations of the Quran.

Old historians ignored the peaceful nature of the early Muslims.

After they migrated to Medina, they were continuously attacked by the Quraysh to force them to go back to their previous idolatrous religion. It is an unknown historic fact mentioned in the Quran only and ignored by old Muslim historians and scholars. No Muslim scholar in our time knows that the mighty tribe of the Quraysh used to attack Al Madina and fight the peaceful Muslims living inside who did not defend themselves because they did not have permission from God.

If it were not for the Quranic verses descended which allowed them to practice self-defense, they would have been destroyed. Yet, the old Muslim scholars and historians during the middle ages did not allow these verses to be taken rationally, because rationalizing about these verses would bring out meanings that they preferred to be silent about.

The verse says, “Permission to fight is given to those are fought against because they have been wronged and verily God is most powerful for their aid” (22:39). This verse gives permission for self-defense in case of persecution and injustice regardless of what the religion is. God encourages self-defense and brings victory to the victims who do so.

The old Muslim scholars were oblivious to the generalization of this verse because it gave the right to any one to fight for his/her freedom of religion. Since this meaning is not exactly what the Middle Ages were about, it was better to disregard it. They also neglected a major factor of the verse. Since the followers of the prophet Mohammed were facing a dangerous enemy, if they had not been allowed to defend themselves, they would have easily been completely massacred.

The Quran demonstrates here a historical reality disregarded by the historians of the Abbasid Empire. The fact is that unbelievers of the Quraysh repeatedly raided Al Madina, often killing the habitants, but the peaceful Muslims would not take action because they were not yet allowed to do so. It was not until they received the permission to fight that they began to defend themselves.

The following verse is another case where the old Muslim scholars chose not to rationalize. The next verse talks about those peaceful early Muslims and states, “Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said ‘God is only Our Lord’. For had it not been that God checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, in which the name of God is commemorated in a abundant measure would surely have been pulled down.” (22:40).

We understand from this verse that not only did the victims face a threat of genocide, but the reason for their expulsion from their homes was the commemoration of God’s name as their only God and Lord.

In Islam: One should fight to defend the churches, monasteries, synagogues and mosques.

Due to the religious fanaticism during the Abbasid Empire, the religious scholars chose to overlook the main point of this verse, namely that all followers of the Divine messages pray to the same God, and thus, all the houses of prayers are equal in God’s eye. If the believers had not defended themselves altogether, their houses of prayers would not have stood up. The verse clearly mentions without differentiation the places of worship of the Christians , Jews, Muslims and others, all united by the act of ‘constantly commemorating God’s name’. What is of extreme importance here is that the Quran assures the need to protect and to respect all these houses of prayers regardless of the disputes among all of their followers, because in spite of disputes, these houses of prayers are shelters of peace and security, or it should be so.

It is very important also to note that the mosques – of the Muslims – are mentioned last. Had the Quran been biased for Islam only, the verse would have said ‘In which God’s name alone is constantly recited …’ but since there are non- Muslims who have attached other saints and names beside God, these are also taken into account even though they clash with the Islamic monotheist faith of ‘there are no Lord but God’ La illah illa ALLAH. Therefore the aim of this verse is to put all houses of prayer belonging to all faiths under protection from any violation, making it religiously accepted for any of these groups to defend themselves and their places of worship even if blood has to be shed.

It is clear here that the only reason for the fight is to protect the freedom of belief which God grants to all mankind, no matter what the religion is, as long it is a peaceful one void of any violence or transgression. Every person who builds a house of prayer has his own view and perspectives about God and worships Him accordingly. By all means, these houses and the people praying in them must enjoy safety and peace regardless of the differences among them. God is the only one who will judge them on the Day of Judgment. This Islamic truth was clearly disregarded by the old scholars.

Encouraging the peaceful Muslims to defend themselves.

In the same sura, God said to them and to all mankind , “Those who immigrate in the cause of God and after that were killed or died; surely, God will provide for them a good provision. And verily, it’s God who indeed is the best who makes the provision. Truly, He will make them enter an entrance with which they shall will be pleased, and verily, God indeed is all- Knowing, Most Forbearing. That’s so. And whoever has retaliated with the like of that which he was made to suffer, and then has again been wronged, God will surely help him. Verily, God indeed is Oft- Pardoning, Oft- Forgiving.” (22: 58 to 60). The early Muslims were in need of such encouragement to overcome their passiveness.

Be ready to defend yourself to achieve peace.

When the permission to fight was granted for the early Muslims, it was expected that they would rejoice with the idea of retaliation, but the opposite occurred. They had grown accustomed to passiveness and toleration of pain, and hated the new legislation concerning Jihad. Note that Jihad here implies holy war in terms of self defense. They were oblivious to the fact that they needed to fight to defend themselves and to achieve peace. They didn’t realize that their enemy would seize to attack them once they showed some resistance.

The only way to defend oneself from his/her enemy is to be ready to defend themselves from attacks. It is the Quranic policy of “deterrence”. God said to the early Muslims and to every peaceful state, “And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war to terrify the enemy of God and your enemy…”, “And if they incline to peace you must incline to it. And put your trust in God, Verily, He is the All – Hearer, the All-Knower”, “And if they intend to deceive you, then, Verily, God is All- Sufficient for you .”(8: 60 to 62), In this way, one can stop any potential attack against themselves and save not only their people, but also their enemy’s. These verses emphasize that the Quranic policy of ‘deterrence’ means to serve peace, not to encourage violence, especially when read in the context of all the rules of war specified in the Quran. In the Quran, the purpose of war is only to defend, not to attack.

Beside the basic reason of self defense, God revealed in the Holy Quran other rules of self defense and condemned transgressions against peaceful people, even if they are ardent enemies.

The early Muslims hated to defend themselves.

In spite of all these rules and their critical situations, the early Muslims in the time of the prophet Mohammed hated the permission to fight. Because of this reason, God addressed them in the Quran saying, “Fighting is prescribed upon you, and you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But God knows while you know not” (2:216). Here, God tells them that even though they hate the idea of fighting, it is good for them because they need to defend themselves. Even though they liked to be silent and passive towards raging war, God knows that it is dangerous for them.

The problem the early Muslims faced was that they had gotten accustomed to patience and peace, but conditions had reached a degree that threatened not only their religion, but their existence as well.. The Quranic clarification was not enough to change their attitude and to push them to prepare for defense. A group among them rejected the legislation for fighting and even raised their voices asking God to postpone His command. So God answered, “Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands from fight but established regular prayers and spend in regular charity? When at length the order for fighting was ordained to them, be hold! A section of them feared men as-or even more than-they should have feared God; they said ‘our lord! Why have you ordained for us to fight? Would that you had granted us respite for a short period?” (4:77). In Mecca they were ordered to refrain from self-defense and to consecrate their time and effort in praying and spending in charity. The fact that a group rejected the order to fight and asked for it to be postponed showed the extent to which they were devoted to peace and hateful towards bloodshed.

Early peaceful Muslims in battles.

The battles during the period of the prophet Mohammed were the biggest proof for tendency of the early Muslims towards peace and their hatred for fighting, even in self-defense when it was forced upon them. We shall demonstrate from the Quran their peaceful attitude during three main battles: Badr, Alahzab, and Al osra.

The battle of Badr:

This was the first and the most famous of the battles. In order to understand the real causes of this battle, we must first understand the terms (Eelaaf) or trade agreement of the Quraysh, which is mentioned in the sura of Quraysh (106:1-4). In its four verses, God said that because of His sacred Mosque located in Mecca, the Quryash tribe had its Eelaaf or trade agreement. They used to send their trade caravans between Syria and Yemen in peace during the winter and summer, and lived without hunger or fear, while the other tribes suffered hunger and continuous wars. The same meaning was repeated in other verses😦 29:67) (28:57)

Quraysh traded with Syria and Yemen, exchanging goods once in the summer and once in the winter. They had obtained covenant of security outside Mecca, safeguarding the caravan during their journeys between Mecca and Yemen, and between Mecca and Syria. Inside Mecca, there was another type of covenant among the inhabitants. The Quraysh tribe had to participate in financing both of the winter and the summer caravans. The budget needed was divided into shares which the Quraysh people invested in. At the end of the year, they calculated the profits of the shares and each one took his earnings. When the Muslims were forced to leave Mecca and go to Madina they lost their investments and the ‘unbelievers’ confiscated all of their homes and belongings. The Muslims did not dare ask for their money from their enemy who chased and attacked them for their beliefs.

Upon receiving the right to fight, the Muslims claimed their due share of the profits back from the Quraysh. It was for this reason that they raided the caravans which traded with their money. They hoped to get their money or the caravan without having to fight. However, on their way to meet the caravan, the Muslims were promised that they would either take over the caravan or that they would win over their enemy. They went for the caravans, but soon enough, an army from the Quraysh came to save the caravans and kill the Muslims who happened to be few in number.

It was clear that since there were no caravans, they would surely win the battle as was promised by God. Nevertheless, some of the Muslims were frightened to face the enemy in battle. The Quran described this situation as follows, “As Your Lord caused you to go out from your home with the truth, and verily a party among the believers disliked it. Disputing with you concerning the truth, after it was made manifest, as if they were being driven to death while they were looking. Actually at it” (8:5-6). It’s clear that the Muslims hated fighting, that they were honest about their position even though God promised to support them, and when they were ordered to engage in war, it was as if they could actually see death coming to seize them.

We need to mention here that what the Quran says concerning the battle of Badr contradicts the stories written about the Prophet during the Muslim Empire. In these stories, the old historians confirmed that all of the Muslims of Badr were anxious to fight and none of them were doubtful about it. If it was not for the Quran, we would not have known the reality of the situation.

The real situation confirms that the early Muslims were not blood thirsty fanatics willing to die for the cause of “Holy War.” They were peaceful people who wanted to worship God and glorify Him in peace. But the stories have been twisted around in order to depict the early Muslims ‘incorrectly’, to justify using violence under the name of God. The contemporary Islamic culture has until now ignored these verses for the same cause, so most of the Islamic reality is missing and continues to be so.

The battle of Alahzab, [The Allies]

The Unbelievers (which we now in the Quranic term means those who attack peaceful people) surrounded Al Madina to destroy it and to exterminate all the Muslims who were strongly overtaken by fear and terror. It’s enough to see what the Quran has said about their state of mind, “When they came from above you and from below you, and when your eyes grew deviating, and the hearts reached to the throats, and you were harboring doubts about God. There, the believers were tried and shaken with a mighty shaking.”(33:10-11). We also understand from these verses that the term of ‘believers’ has nothing to do with the faith, because they harbor doubt about God in this critical time. The only meaning here is the peaceful people who hate violence even if it is to defend their lives. The fear was so great that some of them ran away and called others to give up. On the other hand , others maintained great courage. (33:12-23).

The battle of Alosra:

This was the last of the battles. The Muslims were still not eager to defend themselves against the aggressive tribes in the north of Al Madina. Here, the Quran became more reprimanding in certain verses ( 9:13-16) and also, when God said “Oh you who believed: Why is it when you are told to mobilize in the cause of God, you become heavily attached to the ground?”(9:38). Therefore the lack of motivation that they felt in the beginning remained with them until the end of the Prophet’s life.

The Quraysh tribe converted to Islam:

The nature of the daily lives of Arabian tribes of the time can help us understand why the Quraysh tribe converted to Islam to keep their interests. Violence is the key word that describes the life of the Arabs. In the Sacred Mosque in Mecca, every Arab tribe had its idol under the custody of the Quraysh. The Quraysh controlled Mecca, the sacred Mosque, and the pilgrimage. They lived in peace and prosperity while the other tribes lived in continuous blood shed for any and no reason. This made the Quraysh the most powerful tribe. The new religion of Islam threatened the religious trades of the Quraysh and its political and social situation. To keep its power, the elders of the Quraysh persecuted the followers of the new religion who were peaceful, helpless people from their and others’ tribes. It was daunting for the helpless believers to face the mighty powerful tribe of the Quraysh. Thus, the only way to save the new converts of the faith from potential genocide was to encourage self defense.

Many people from numerous tribes converted to Islam, and helped others realize the nonsense of worshipping sacred tombs and statues, and from submitting to the Quraysh because of their false idols. Some of them wanted to get rid of the Quraysh, reducing its power and its hegemony, and to help the new Islamic state. This threatened the Quraysh’s trade routs. The elders of the Quraysh reconsidered their situation. To keep their political and economical interests, they converted to Islam to use it for their continuous hegemony, especially since the active people inside the Islamic state were from the Quraysh tribe, including the Prophet Mohammed.

The elders of Quraysh quickly and easily surrendered and converted to Islam before the Prophet’s death. After about twenty years, they became the new leaders of the Islamic state and led new kinds of war and a new way of life. They established powerful Muslim empires which ignored the fundamental rules of Islam and its peaceful nature. The empire lasted six centuries under the rule of the children of Qurayshy elders.

The disappearance of peaceful Islam after Mohammed’s death.

After the Prophet Mohammed’s death, the other Muslims from the different tribes who converted to Islam found themselves once again under the hegemony of the Quraysh. They revolted under individuals from inside their tribes who claimed prophecy. This was the war of apostasy which was the perfect chance for the elders of the Quraysh to maintain the leadership of the Islamic state after the death of Mohammed. The Quraysh tribe, consisting of the new Muslim converts along with the early Muslims, – led war against the other tribes who revolted against Islam and the Quraysh. By defeating them, the Quraysh became the real leader of all the Arabic tribes.

To avoid other tribal revolts, the Quraysh led all the Arabic tribes to fight two super empires: the Romans and the Persians. By defeating them both at the same time, the Quraysh established the powerful mighty Muslim Empires which influenced world history in the Middle Ages and ruled most of the world in that time according to the culture of the Middle Ages, and not according to the real values of Islam. So, the Islamic values were ignored, including the fundamental concept of peace.

During the time of the Muslim Empires, the true Islamic rules of Jihad were changed to attacking other peoples just to establish wealth, power and empire, while using the name of Islam. Here, we have to explain the real meaning of jihad in Islam.

Legislation of jihad in the Islam: –

According to the Quranic terminology, jihad is the striving of the soul, money, and energy to please God by all means. It includes giving money to the poor regardless of their religion and faith, peaceful discussion with unbelievers, and to fight them only to defend oneself. (29: 8) (8: 72)(25: 52).The Quran sets the legislation for jihad, its commandments, its principles and its final aims.

Generally, Quranic legislation is based on commandments which serve principles, and those principles in turn serve the basic Islamic aims and values. Regarding jihad, the commandment: “fight” is based on principles of self-defense in response to violent attack, or in the Quranic term, “fighting in the cause of God.” This principle serves the final aim/value of fighting which is to assure religious freedom and prevent religious persecution. The greater value of jihad in Islam is to allow every person to follow the religion of his or her choice without any persecution. The Muslim state has to fight to prevent persecution and to defend itself and its freedom of belief and speech for the value of jihad. In this way, every one has the freedom of choice in the realm of religion and he or she will be responsible before God only on the Last Day based to his or her freedom of choice. In this life, one is responsible only before society if he or she violates the rights of other people. Examples that demonstrate the correct rules of jihad include when God said, “And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly God loves not transgressors” (2: 190). Here the commandment is to fight and the principle is “in the cause of God those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly God loves not transgressors.” To fight for the cause of God means to fight according to His legislation which forbids transgression. God repeated and confirmed the same meaning, “…Then whoever attacks you, you may attack them to inflict an equivalent retribution.” (2: 193). The ultimate goal of this legislation in His saying is , “and fight them until there is no more oppression.”(2: 193). Therefore, the prevention of oppression is the essential aim for the legislation of fighting. Oppression in the Arabic and Quranic language means ‘fitnah,’ which is used in the Quranic terminology to refer to religious persecution committed by the unbelievers in Mecca against the early Muslims. That persecution included the continuous fight against the peaceful early Muslims even after their escape to Al Madina. God says, “And oppression is worse than slaughter. And they will not cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can” (2: 217).

By allowing religious freedom and preventing oppression in religion, every one deals with God alone, obeying or disobeying him, and every one will be responsible for his or her deeds only before God on the Day of Judgment. None has the right to take upon oneself God’s sovereignty or judge other people’s faith or to persecute those who hold different religious opinions. This makes the realm of religion belong to God alone without any kind of human religious authority. This is precisely what the Quranic verse calls for when it says, “And fight them until there is no more oppression and all the religion will belong to God alone.” (8: 39). God may forgive them if they refrain and stop transgression and persecution, and the Muslims have no right to attack them; otherwise they become transgressors themselves as God says, “And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, and transgress not the limits. Truly, God loves not the transgressors… But if they cease, then God is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them until there is no more oppression and the religion will belong to God. But if they cease, let be no more transgression except against the transgressors only.” (2:190 to 193) This is confirmed in other verses ( 8: 38 to 40).

This legislation concerning fighting agrees with what is understood from the term ‘Islam’ which means submission and peace, and protects peace from any animosity or transgression.

Peace and freedom

Jihad assures religious freedom. It’s enough here to remember that the Quranic principle states, “There shall be no compulsion in religion; the truth is now distinguishable from falsehood.” (2: 256). Moreover, God said to the Prophet Mohammed, blaming him, “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together. So, will you then compel mankind until they become believers?”(10:99). This confirms the Quranic fact that religion belongs to God alone without any human religious authority, and that the Prophet Mohammed does not have religious authority over mankind, as it’s the will of God alone that let people exercise their freedom of choice and be responsible for their beliefs before Him alone on the Last Day. Freedom in religion is the key of democracy, as is the freedom of thought and speech.

Rules of alliance

For the first time in the Arabic Peninsula, some Arabs established a real state according to our modern definition of state. It was the first –and may be the last- Islamic state in the time of the Prophet Mohammed. The new Islamic state had its border, people, and government. It had also allies and enemies.

Any believer in the Arabic desert who wanted to be a member of this state had to immigrate to it and live inside its border. All the believers inside this state were allies to each other against the enemies who attacked the peaceful state. The Quran stated to them that the believers outside the state should immigrate to be a part of the state. If believers outside the Islamic state asked for protection , the state was obligated to defend them unless there a treaty between the Islamic state and those who attacked these outsider believers existed. So, all believers were to be allies to each other inside their state to stand firm against the unbelievers who were united against the Islamic state. (8: 72 -73)

Inside the state, there were different groups of oppositions who were against the state and its religion. The Quran called them the hypocrites. They enjoyed the freedom of speech and belief, and also the freedom of conspiracy against the state. The Holy Quran used to expose theirs plots and their inner thoughts, but at the same time, order the believers to avoid them, turn aside from them as long they did not fight the state. Details can be found in the following suras😦 2 :8 to 14 &204 to206 ) (3 : 118 to119 & 155 to 158 &167 to168 ) ( 3: 60 to 69 & 81 to 83 & 105 to 115 & 138 to146 ) ( 5 :52 ) ( 8: 49 ) ( 9 : 42 to 68 & 73 to 87 & 93 to 98 & 101 & 107 to 110 & 124 to 127 ) ( 24 : 11 to 26 & 46 to 54 ) ( 33 : 1 & 12 to 20 & 24 & 48 & 57 to 61 & 73 ) ( 37 :16 & 20 to 30 ) ( 48 : 6 & 11 to 16 ) (58 : 7 to 22) ( 59 : 11 to 16) ( 63 : 1 to 8) ( 66:9 )

Although, the hypocrites inside Al Madina were under control, there was another kind of hypocrites who lived in the desert and used to come to the Islamic state claiming belief in Islam, with an inner goal of deceiving Muslims. Some of them offered to become allies to the state while in reality, they were enemies to the Islamic state. These hypocrites were a real danger to the Islamic state, so the Quran ordered Muslims not to ally with them until they immigrated to the state. If they refused to immigrate, then they were to be treated as enemies in the battle field. However, if they did not immigrate but did not attack the state, the Muslims were not allowed to fight them. (4: 88 to 91). God described most of those Arabic Bedouins as the “worst in disbelief and hypocrisy and more likely to be in ignorance of the God’s Legislation.” (9: 97).

Most of them controlled the routs north and south of the new Islamic state, and had a good relationship with the Arab Christian and Jewish tribes in the Arabic Peninsula. The Christian and Jewish tribes united together against the new Islamic state. Some people inside the Islamic state – including the hypocrites – had a good relationship with those allies in spite of their enmity. So, God ordered the Muslims not to take the hypocrites as allies as long as they fought the Islamic state. , If they did not fight the Muslims, the hypocrites were to be allies and a part of the Muslim state.( 5 : 51 to 58 ).

The Islamic state had to defend itself against the attacks of Christian and Jewish tribes. God ordered the Islamic state to fight them as they violated God’s commandment until they paid expiation as a punishment for their aggression. (8:29). It means not to occupy their land, nor to force them to convert to Islam, but only to pay back for their aggression as our modern international legislation deals with any country attacks other country and is finally defeated. These rules of alliance protected the new peaceful Islamic state against all of its enemies who surrounded it.

Generally, God makes clear rules in dealing with the non- Muslims who are out of the Islamic state:

[1] Muslims should deal kindly and justly with those who do not fight them, nor drive them out of their homes.

[2] Muslims are not allowed to be allies to those who attack and fight them because of their religion, those who expelled them from their home, or helped the unbelievers in driving the Muslims out of their homes. (60:8 & 9).

Rules in battle field:

Not only does the Quran establish a clear relationship between the terms ‘Islam’ and ‘peace’ and the legislation of war , but the Quran also presents other legislations in order to confirm the main value of peace and to leave no ground for ambiguity or intended misuse.

1- A clear-cut example is presented in sura 4 which talks about the prohibition of killing a peaceful and safe believer. The verse states, “It’s not for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake.” (4: 92) This means that it is unjustifiable, that a true believer would intentionally kill another. The verse goes further in talking about the compensation due in such a case and the rules related to it. Then, verse 4: 93 talks about the Divine punishment awaiting the killer of a peaceful person or a believer, for that matter doesn’t make a difference. The verse says, “And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein forever, and the wrath and the curse of God are upon him and a dreadful punishment is prepared for him.” (4:93) Thus, whoever kills a peaceful believer faces eternity in Hell, wrath, curse, and great suffering. These are stated in the Quran as separate punishments each. Yet, it seems that the person who commits such a dreadful crime deserves all of these punishments added together.

Sura 4 continues as verse 94 declares the right of life to any peaceful person regardless of his or her inner belief, it says, “Oh you who believed! When you go to fight in the cause of God, investigate carefully and say not to anyone who greets you ‘You are not a believer’.” Thus in times of war, the believers must carefully investigate to make sure that they aren’t committing the crime of killing a peaceful man, who by misfortune happens to be in the battle field. God gives everyone on the other side (the enemy) a constant right to be saved simply by pronouncing the words, “peace be upon you,” or the Islamic greeting. If the enemy says so, it then becomes unlawful to kill him or her. He/she even becomes a peaceful believer regardless of his/her inner belief and his /her strange presence in the battle field. If he/she is killed, the killer will deserve the punishments mentioned in the verse 93. Therefore, any peaceful person is a Muslim and a believer even during war time and in the battlefield. If he/she is killed, then the killer deserves the abode in Hell, the great suffering, and God’s curse and wrath.

2- It was a common practice of that time to kill the captives, enslave them, or free them for money or ransom. God blamed the Prophet Mohammed when he set free all the captives of Badr Battle for money, as the main mission of the Prophet was not to seek the vanity of this life, but be a good example to people. God ordered the prophet Mohammed to tell them that He would forgive them if they had any good in their heart, “O Prophet say to the captives that are in your hands, ‘If God knows any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you and He will forgive you, and God is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.’” (8: 70)God ordered the prophet Mohammed and the Muslims only two choices in dealing with the captives: to either set them free or exchange them as prisoners of war. (37:4). Under all circumstances, the prisoner of war after release becomes Ibn Al Sabeel, or a guest as long he is in the Muslim State, and should be given charity and alms and shelter until a safe return home.(76:8) (2: 177 &215) ( 4: 36)( 8: 41)( 9: 60)( 17: 26)( 24: 22) (30: 38)( 59: 7).

These Quranic laws about the captives were ignored by Muslims during their history, and captives were killed as it was a bad habit in the Middle Ages.. This used to happen during the battles between the Muslim Empire, the Roman Empire, and other nations, along with domestic wars inside the Muslims civil wars. Moreover, killing the captives or enslaving them was accompanied by enslaving women and children. It was the culture of the dark Middle Ages which made Muslim traditions and history full of these aspects that manifested defiance to the real Islamic values.

3- In the case of a warrior fighting against the Muslims who decided to cease attack, he/she only has to seek an asylum. When he/she does so, his/her life is safe and secured. He/she should be allowed to listen to the Quran, and to choose to believe in it or not, and also, to have no excuses before God in Judgment Day. The Muslims are ordered to escort him/her to a safe place, or a home, in security and peace. That is precisely what the Quranic verse says, “If one amongst the unbelievers seeks protection from you, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of God, and then escort him to where he can be secured, that is because they are without knowledge.” ( 9 : 6)

The truth is that most Muslims are also without knowledge. The proof is that Islam is a religion of peace. Peace is in its origin and in its legislation, but because of the behavior of the Muslims of the past and the fanatic Muslims of our time, Islam has become accused of fanaticism, fascism and terrorism. This leads us to identify the meanings of “infidel” and “unbeliever.” Is he/she anyone who is non – Muslim as most of Muslims believe?

Two meanings for the infidel and unbeliever

Islam means to submit oneself to One God – in dealing with Him- and to be peaceful in dealing with people. God alone is the only one who has the power to judge our belief. The society in this world has the right to judge the individuals regarding the relationship among them. So, any peaceful one is Muslim regardless of his belief, and any honest, safe, and faithful person is a believer regardless of his/her inner faith. On the other hand, anyone who transgresses the limits, wrongs others, or attacks and terrifies them, is an unbeliever or an infidel regardless of any religion or title he claims.

The Quranic language has many descriptions for infidels and disbelievers to characterize them regardless of time or any religion they claim. It’s up to the One God alone to judge their inner belief, but it’s up to us as human beings to recognize them according to their transgression.

‘Al Zolm’

‘Al Zolm’ is the first description of an infidel or a disbeliever. It’s an Arabic term which means to do wrong, to commit outrage, to tyrannize, to be unfair, unjust, to oppress, or to attack innocent people. This term is repeated in the Quran about 300 times as it is the main aspect of the disbelief and infidelity. For example, see: (2:254) (31:13) and: (2: 165) (4: 75 & 168) (6: 45) (10:13 &52) (11: 37& 67& &94& 102 & 116) (14: 44 & 45) (21:13) (29: 49)

The unbeliever chooses to wrong the One and Only God by adding partners to Him, but God is the only one who will judge him/her concerning the realm of faith and religion. If this unbeliever lives peacefully, he is a believer according to our limits in this life as we are concerned about living in peace, safety, and justice in terms of dealing with each other.

Every one believes that their faith is the real truth, so it’s against pure justice to judge each other in faith and belief. It’s a pure justice to leave this to God Himself to judge us as we all have different faiths concerning Him. So He is the only one who will tell us the real truth on the Day of Truth; see: (2:113) (3:55) (10:93) (16:124) (5:48) (39:3, 7, 46). Our concern should only be to live peacefully and justly and not to allow anyone to violate this peace in the name of God while he/she is wronging God and disobeying His commandments. It’s the most outrageous deed to disobey God and proclaim himself a person of God by killing people in His name.

This is an example of the Quranic Islamic culture contradicted by the early Middle Ages. A much greater contradiction was the culture of the Arabic Peninsula, where the Arab tribes used to live in continuous bloodshed, glorifying raiding each other as a sign of honor and courage. Those Arab tribal incursions meant killing men of other tribes and enslaving their women and children, thus and giving the other tribe the right to retaliate. This bloody culture was faced by Islam and its peaceful nature. The new Quranic language made transgression wrong, and attack and assaults the characteristics of disbelief in the One God.

The Quran discusses Al Zolm about two hundred times, making it a sign of infidelity and disbelief. In the Quranic context, another Arabic Quranic word ‘transgression’ is given the same meaning, and used in the same context regarding the unbelievers and infidels. Twice in the Quran, God says, “ … and transgress not. Verily God loves not the transgressors.” This is mentioned in sura (2: 190) to refer to the rules of fighting, and in sura (5: 87) to confirm the absolute right of God alone in revealing Divine legislation. This was a serious warning to the believers not to prohibit the good things that God has permitted.

God mentioned two kinds of aggressions, one of them being made by infidels against peaceful people. regarding them, God says, “It’s they who are the transgressors.” (9:10) [Read also: (50: 25) (68: 12) (83: 12).] The other kind of aggression is made against God, His revelation and His legislation. [See: (4:154) (7:163) (2:229) (4: 14) (65:1) (5: 94& 87) (23: 7)]. It’s up to God alone to judge those who violate His image, His revelation and legislation. But it’s the responsibility of society to stand firm against those who violate human rights, especially the right of life.

To face this Zolm (transgression) and oppression, God ordered Muslims to be patient. Patience or al sabr is a Quranic term mentioned in the Holy book about one hundred times and is a great Islamic value meaning forgiveness, tolerance, forbearance, perseverance and endurance. Muslims have to uphold al sabr all throughout their lives, seeking to please the Almighty Lord in every stance of life. One has to be sabr in forgiving those who insult him/her, and to be sabr if he/she has to fight to defend his/her life or freedom of belief. It’s a positive Islamic value meant to protect peace and to confirm tolerance and forgiveness. It is the middle ground between being totally passive as was the case of the peaceful, early Muslims, and the others who were active in aggression and transgression.

The terrorist is the worst criminal.

Some unbelievers possess the two kinds of transgression, one of them being killing innocent people in the name of God. The Muslim terrorists of our time are clear example of this case. It’s imperative to face them from inside Islam to prove the contradiction between their behavior and the true teachings of Islam and its jurisprudence. The simple criminal kill’s one person or few people without any religious justification, but the other criminal kills thousands of innocent people believing it’s his/her religious duty to kill those who have different religious beliefs. In this case, the terrorist does not kill the person, but also the real values of the Divine religion. In these circumstances, the killer is not the only criminal; the scholars and religious authorities who preach such bloody culture as religious teachings that should be obeyed are criminals as well.

The basic rules of terrorist religious culture:

1- The Historic roots.

Terrorists and their religious leaders and scholars claim the rank of the Almighty God; they monopolize the Divine right of God to judge and punish humans. They set up the Day of Judgment in this world before the Day of Resurrection and judge other people, accusing them to be enemies of God and believe they should be killed as a jihad or crusader. This was acceptable during the Middle Ages in Muslim and Christian sides, but it is an outrageous violation of human rights and the core of the Divine Religion of God.

The most important question to ponder is, if Islam is the religion of peace, why do we find the Muslim culture to be of violence and terrorism? The key word is the Quraysh, the mighty Arab tribe during the time of the Prophet Mohammed, who persecuted him and his peaceful followers in order to protect their political and economical interest in the Arab Peninsula. They finally converted to Islam to keep their political and economical interest and developed it in the name of the new religion, using its followers.

The Quraysh were the master of the known world trade of their time. They carried Indian goods from Yemen to Syria and the Roman Empire. The Quraysh has its allies among the Arab tribes which belonged to Yemen and in Syria as well. Those Yemeni tribes controlled the routs inside Syria and Yemen while the other tribes of Najd- which belonged to the same lineage of the Quraysh- controlled the other routs between Mecca and Yemen. The Quraysh controlled the Christian Yemen tribes by mutual economical interests and controlled the other wild tribes of Najd by keeping their idols in the sacred Mosque in Mecca. They also controlled the Arab religious pilgrimage. The Quraysh had inherited the pilgrimage from the religion of the prophet Abraham, the father of the Quraysh and all the northern Arabic tribes.

The true religion of Abraham was changed by the Quraysh according to their own interests. The Holy sacred Mosque in Mecca was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael. When the Arabs converted to worshipping idols, the Quraysh put their idols in the sacred Mosque to control the idol worshippers. Mohammed was sent to revive the religion of Abraham and to separate it from business. Thus, Islam became a danger to the Quraysh and their religious trade. In its war against the prophet Mohammed and his peaceful followers, the Quraysh used their allies from the northern Arab tribes of Najd and the Christian Yemeni tribes. These wars brought about a lot of debate regarding the Quran and its intellectual debate concerning the true meaning of the idols and the sacred tombs. For that and other reasons, Islam had new followers who made the Quraysh change their mind and decide to convert to Islam to keep and develop its political and economical benefits.

God confirms in the Quran that the Quraysh and all the Arabs in that time used to worship the only God, but at the same time, idolized saints in tombs and images of sacred stones just to bring them near to God (39:3) (7:194 &195) (16: 20& 21) (23: 84& 92). The Quraysh used to create and set up these stones in the Sacred Mosque, realizing the nonsense of worshipping human made idols. However, they prevented these Arabs from believing in the guidance of Islam and continued to disbelieve in the Quran for their economic benefits (28: 57)(56: 81& 82). It was therefore, easy for the Quraysh to convert to Islam after about twenty years of ardent enmity.

Soon after Mohammed’s death, the elders of the Quraysh who were ardent enemies of Islam restored their influence in the Islamic state in the name of Islam. They suppressed the Arac movements of apostasy and reached a compromise with them to mobilize towards the rich lands around the Arab Peninsula to invade them in the name of Islam and jihad. It was a practical change in the Islamic Jurisprudence, “to fight in the cause of wealth and the vanity of this life” instead of “fight in the cause of God

However, the Arab tribes had a religious justification from the Quraysh to invade and occupy the lands of others and to enslave them and steal their wealth in the name of Islam. To give these wars an Islamic face, the Arab leaders invaded others’ lands after offering three options before attack: to be Muslim like them, to pay tribute, or war. The real option was the only one of war. In this way, the Quraysh established their mighty Arab Empire under the name of Islam and against its real values and jurisprudence.

As it was war in the cause of wealth; not in the cause of God. Wealth was the real reason of political disputes between the Quraysh and the wild tribes of the north, who revolted before in the apostasy wars then returned to Islam and were active in invading the two super powers and occupying Syria, Iraq, Iran and Egypt. These political disputes became the cause of great civil wars among Arab Muslim tribes, dividing the Quryash and the Arabs into many political parties, giving leadership to the Omawy family to establish their dynasty, even though they were the former ardent enemies of the prophet Mohammed and early Muslims. All of this happened five decades after the Prophet Mohammed’s death.

The Omway Empire fought Arab Muslims inside the Empire while it continued to invade India central Asia in east, North Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, and Spain in west. After about seventy years of civil wars and outer wars against Minor Asia, Africa, Europe and Central Asia, the Mighty Omawy Empire collapsed under great pressure from another Quraysh movement led secretly by the grand children of Al Abbas, the old uncle of the prophet Mohammed. The Abbasy Empire lasted in power for five centuries, fighting outside its borders and inside it as usual until the Moguls destroyed it.

2- Muslim Tradition Is The Source of Fanatic Discourse.

During the long years of wars, inside and outside the Arab Empire, Muslims in the Omawy and Abbasy dynasties had many different cultures and political parties which produced many new religious sects and cults. Each one of them tried to establish its arguments by choosing certain verses from the Holy Quran, and twisting their meanings to serve its purpose. It was during this time that they invented the concept of the hadeeth, or sayings attributed to the Prophet Mohammed, some centuries after his death to confirm his alleged thoughts.

Muslims in our time inherit all these traditions and most consider the human tradition to be a part of Islam, in spite of the total contradiction between the Quran and most of this tradition. It was produced in response to the culture of the Middle Ages, not to Islam.

This Sunni tradition is kept and defended by Al Azhar in Egypt, the Saudi State, and its Wahabi agencies. Any Muslim scholar who dares to discuss this tradition is destined to persecution and accused to be the enemy of Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. Muslim communities in the U.S and in the West are followers of these seminaries in Middle East. Reform in Muslim communities needs to start with reforming the roots in Egypt and the Saudi States.

The leaders of the fanatic Muslims in the West and in the Middle East use the same fanatic discourse and tactic. In talking with the West, they preach Islam as religion of peace using some verses from the Quran, but inside their mosques and centers, they accuse the West to be the ardent enemy of Islam. They accuse all Christians and Jews and all those who are not Muslims to be infidels. Even those who usually curse Usama Ben Laden, could not criticize his religious discourse which he usually releases in his tapes because it’s also their own discourse. The only difference is in their tactic. Usama Bin Laden is frank and direct, while the others are hypocrites and conceal what Usama releases.

All those Muslim terrorists, including Osama, –believe in this tradition as the basic part of Islam revealed to the Prophet Mohammed directly from God. This is what they were taught in schools and mosques. For most ordinary religious Muslims, these terrorist are faithful Muslims while the well known Sheikhs and Imams are just hypocrites who serve corrupted rulers. It is actually that the corrupt rulers are servants of America, and for them, America and the West are the enemy of Islam.

Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour,Former Assistant Professor at Al Azhar University, Egypt.

Political asylee in the U.S.

Visiting Fellow at the Human Rights Program,

Harvard Law School.


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