The Janus* face of Islam
By Abul Kasem
Islamists living in the infidel West are greatly alarmed and deeply perplexed after the September terrorist attack in America. After 9-11, many of them are doing overtime to search the ‘goodies’ from the Quran and are desperate to prove that Islam is a religion of unbound mercy to their host countries. They repeatedly quote a handful of these ‘goldies’ from the ‘Meccan Verses’ of the Quran, which are milder in tone than the ones descended on Medina. They carefully hide the unconscionable, intolerable, barbaric verses that litter the almost entire Quran by saying that ‘those verses are out of context’ and are not applicable to the infidels who have given them a chance for a better life and have accepted them as their own countrymen. Nothing can be worse than this hide and seek game of the Islamists living in the West. It is in the interest of all the non-Muslims (as well as the innocent Muslims who have very little knowledge about ‘real Islam’) that the truth must be told.
The message is very clear. Those Islamists living in the West quote those ‘goodies’ from the Quran are actually showing the dead ‘Meccan Islam‘ to the vast majority of the ignorant non-Muslims (as well as half-informed Muslims) to camouflage the most up to date version of Islam; i.e. the living and breathing ‘Medina Islam‘. The strategies of these Islamists are also very clear:
When in the West or in the land of the infidels or when weak, then practice ‘Meccan Islam’.
When in Islamic paradises or when the number of Muslims becomes sizable in an infidels land, then practice ‘Medina Islam’ or the ‘real Islam’.
The sooner the humanity discovers this double face of Islam (a la Roman god Janus) the quicker will it be saved from the further catastrophe of the like of 9-11.
So, how do we know about the ‘living and breathing Medina Islam‘? Here is the answer.
In order to understand the ‘real Islam’ we must look at Quran in chronological order and not the way it is published. The chronological order shows which verses are canceled and which verses are replaced. It is meaningless to study and to explain Qur�an without the knowledge of its currency. Many verses in the Quran have been replaced by other verses.
The Quran itself talks about this in the following verses:
God does not abrogate any verse but substitutes something similar or better…2:106
God removes (abrogates?) what He wills…13:39
God substitutes one revelation with another; God has the mother of the Book…16:101
These verses have created a lot of confusions among many. However, one thing is certain. It is this. God does change His mind and that that change can be very dramatic. In many cases, the matter of abrogation may involve life and death situation. So, it is extremely important (especially for the ignorant non-Muslims) to know which verses are applicable to them and which verses are not. The most important among these verses are the ones containing the provisions of fighting the infidels. There was a time when fighting was prohibited and there was (rather is) a time when fighting became compulsory.
Those verses revealed in Mecca are considered to be the benign and non-violent type. There are 87 Meccan verse and 27 Medina verses (this may vary slightly but we shall work with these numbers). Thus, there are total 114 suras (or chapters) in Quran.
Medina verses contain the provisions of fighting because it was in Medina that Mohammad received the green light (read signal) from God to fight the infidels. So, as a guide we can conclude that the verses with a chronology order of 87 or more are the replacement for the Meccan verses regarding the treatment of the unbelievers.
In this short discourse, I shall try to elucidate how we can eliminate the confusion regarding the ‘goodies’ from the Islamists and the ‘bashings’ from the secularists/freethinkers/infidels.
Please note that the chronology order of the verses are indicated in bold ( ).
We can divide the propagation of Islam by Mohammad in four distinct phases. These phases are:
1. Peaceful persuasion
2. Fighting for defense
3. Limited attack
4. Open aggression
Phase 1: Peaceful persuasion stage.
A policy of peaceful co-existence with the pagans of Mecca.
Give and take strategy with the pagans and the hypocrites.
Jews and Christians (people of the Book) were considered as friends.
Mohammad was almost like the Buddha preaching love, forgiveness, non-violence, and peace.
Only the pagans of Mecca were considered as enemies (i.e. enemy list contains only one group).
(Note: To save time and space I have given the main messages of the verses omitting the complete verses. Click HERE if you want to read the complete verses)
1. Be patient and bear with those who deny the truth; God will deal with them…73:10, 11 (3)
2. ‘To you is your religion, to me is mine’…109:1- 6 (8)
3. Be patient with the evil doers…38:15-17 (38)
4. Show patience to the pagans…20:130 (42)
5. Don’t be in a haste to fight…19:83, 84 (44)
6. Be patient with the unbelievers (pagans); God’s way will prevail…20:134, 135 (45)
7. Mohammad is not sent to dispose of people’s affairs…17:54 (50)
8. God guides those whom He pleases; rewards will be in paradise…10:25, 26 (51)
9. God will call into account the pagans who slander the Qur�an…15:91-93(54)
10. It is not God’s job to see if people believe the truth or not…6:104 (55)
11. Turn away from those rejecting faith and proclaim peace on them…43:88, 89 (69)
12. Invite the unbelievers (pagans) with beautiful preaching and gracious arguments; be patient and do not retaliate…16:125, 126 (70)
13. Leave the unbelievers (pagans) alone…23:54 (74)
14. Repeal evil with good deeds…23:96 (74)
15. Leave the unbelievers alone and wait in patience for God to punish them…52:45, 47, 48 (76)
16. Mohammad is only a warner and not an enforcer…67:26 (77)
Phase 2: Fighting for defense stage
Mohammed along with his handful followers migrated to Medina (622 AD). Some tribes of Medina accepted him as their leader.
Mohammed and his gang started raids on passing caravans of the Meccans to acquire the wherewithal for survival.
Mohammad won the battle of Badr (same year of migration i.e.622 AD) which bolstered his morale for further raids on Meccan caravans.
After several years of stay in Medina, God gave Mohammad permission to launch defensive war.
Enemies were the pagans of Mecca and the hypocrites (note: the enemy list includes two groups now).
1. Permission to fight for self defense is granted…22:39-41 (105)
2. Rewards for Jihad is announced…22:58 (105)
Phase 3: More defensively aggressive stage
Mohammad expected the Jews of Medina to accept him as their new Moses.
The Jews rejected Mohammad as their new apostle.
Mohammad included the Jews as his enemy and started to raid their sanctuaries.
Enemies of Mohammad now were pagans, hypocrites, and the Jews (note: the enemy list now contains three).
Mohammad was a little bit forgiving to the defeated Jews. He gave them a chance to live in their lands provided they paid him fifty percent of their agricultural produce of land.
This way Mohammad acquired the means of a guaranteed livelihood for his horde of soldiers.
The battle of Uhud (623 AD) was fought. Muslims suffered a severe beating in the battle.
The battle of trench (625 AD) took place with huge loss of lives. Mohammad managed to win this battle.
Treaty of Hudaibiya (626 AD) was signed with the pagans of Mecca ensuring ten years of peace. Mohammad was allowed to visit Kaba along with his followers during the pilgrimage season.
Battle of Khaibar (627 AD) took place. The Jews lost the battle and surrendered unconditionally. Mohmmad ordered the beheading of around 700 adult male surrendered Jews and took 17 years old Jewess Safiya as a war booty and made her his wife.
1. Forgive and overlook the unbelieving Jews; God will take care of them…2:109 (87)
2. Fight defensively the Meccan pagans but if they cease hostility then stop fighting except for the oppressors…2:190-194 (87)
3. Fighting against the Meccan pagans is prescribed after the passing of the month of pilgrimage (Zulhaj)…2:216, 217 (87)
4. ‘No compulsion in religion'; do not force the defeated enemy to embrace Islam; but they will be thrown in hell…2:256, 257 (87)
5. Spoils of war belongs to God and Mohammad…8:1 (88)
6. Strike terror in the hearts of the unbelievers; cut the necks and finger tips of those who oppose God and Mohammad…8:12, 13 (88)
7. When you meet, the unbelievers in hostility attack them and never turn back from them. If you retreat except for a strategic reason then God will punish you and will send you to hell…8:15-16 (88)
8. Keep on fighting until the persecution stops and Islam is established; one-fifth of booty belongs to God and Mohammad…8:39-41 (88)
9. Obey Mohammad, be united and persevere in fighting…8:45, 46 (88)
10. If you defeat the enemy then teach them with treachery and terror; if they ask for peace then give them peace…8:57-61 (88)
11. Rouse the believers to fight with perseverance, God will help by increasing your strength…8:65 (88)
12. Continue killing and do not take prisoners until the land is subdued then enjoy the war booty…8:67-69 (88)
13. Martyr’s sins are blotted out and they go to paradise…3:157, 169-171, 195 (89)
14. Can take women captives as concubines in addition to wives…33:50 (90)
15. There is a great reward for fighting against the friends of Satan…4:74-78 (92)
16. Fight and rouse other believers to fight; God will restrain the fury of the unbelievers…4:84 (92)
17. Kill the hypocrites if they turn renegades…4:89 (92)
18. Higher grade for fighting for God…4:95, 96 (92)
19. Guaranteed reward for fighting in the cause of God…4:100 (92)
20. Whether a fighter kills or is killed, he is admitted in paradise to reside there permanently…22:58, 59 (103)
21. Struggle for God’s cause…22:78 (103)
22. Can’t lag behind in fighting for God…48:15-16 (111)
23. Muslims are compassionate with each other but are strong to fight against the unbelievers…48:29 (111)
Phase 4: Offensive war or open declaration of attack to spread Islam
This phase is the stage of open offensive war against all the unbelievers. This phase started in 630 AD after Mohammad re-entered Mecca and captured Kaba from the pagans. This is the phase, which is currently valid for all Muslims.
Permission was granted by God to declare offensive war against all non-Muslims.
Kill the pagans and humble the Jews and the Christians through Jizya tax.
Tabuk expedition (late 630 AD) is the first war against the Christians.
The world is divided into two houses, viz. House of Islam (Darul Islam) and the House of war (Darul Harb).
All Muslims must fight to convert the Darul Harb into Darul Islam.
This is the final teaching of Qur�an and so it is valid today and for future (that is, for eternity).
Christians are included in the list of enemies (that is, the list now grows to four).
Verse 9:5 (also called the verse of the sword) replaces all verses showing mercy, love, tolerance and forgiveness to all non-Muslims.
1. Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable…3:85 (89)
2. Kill (execute by beheading)/crucify/torture who opposes Mohammad…5:33 (112)
3. Do not make friendship with the Jews and the Christians…5:51 (112)
4. After giving four months notice break all treaties with the pagans that they did not keep; those treaties with the pagans that they kept are to be honored to their full term; in future make no more peace treaties with the pagans and kill all pagans who do not accept Islam…9:1-6 (113)
5. Pagans who accept Islam are brothers of Muslims; those who break the agreement fight them…9:11, 12, 14, 15 (113)
6. Do not make friend or seek protection from the unbelievers (includes pagans, hypocrites, Jews and the Christians)…9:16 (113)
7. Unbelievers should not visit mosques or maintain the mosques of God; they will go to hell…9:17 (113)
8. Those who do Jihad are the highest in rank; they will dwell in paradise…9:19-22 (113)
9. The unbelievers are unclean, forbid them to enter Kaba…9:28 (113)
10. Fight against the Jews and the Christians until they are subdued and pay the Jizya tax with submission; God’s curse is on them…9:29-31 (113)
11. If you do not fight in the cause of God with whatever you have got then God will punish you with a serious punishment…9:38, 39, 41 (113)
12. If you fight for God then expect either martyrdom or paradise. The unbelievers can expect only punishment from God…9:52 (113)
13. Those who are able to fight for God but do not do so are rejected by God…9:90-96 (113)
14. Whether you slay or slain in Jihad, God has promised paradise for giving all in the cause of God…9:111 (113)
15. Fight the unbelievers surrounding you…9:122 (113)
So, what do we learn from the above list of Quranic verses? Are you confused? Of course you are. When the Islamists in the west are drumming, “Islam is peace. Islam is tolerance. Islam is merciful” who will not be confused by such contradictory statements! Let me tell you something. Actually there is no confusion whatsoever if we follow the simple rule on abrogation.
This simple doctrine of abrogation says that when there are confusions (i.e. contradictory statements in Quran), the later verses abrogate the former contradictory verses. The result is that only the latest category of verses remains valid without any doubt. That is why it is so important to know the chronological order of verses in Quran.
Let us hear from a modern translator (Yusuf Ali is too old) of the Quran and Hadith.
“So at first ‘the fighting’ was forbidden, then it was permitted and after that it was made obligatory against those who start ‘the fighting’ against you (Muslims) and against all those who worship others along with Allah”.
(Ref. Introduction section of the English translation of Sahih Bukhari by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Medina Islamic University).
In the same section Dr M. Muhsin Khan writes further
, “Then Allah revealed in Sura Baraat (9) the order to discard (all) the obligations (covenants, etc.) and commanded the Muslims to fight against all the pagans as well as against the people of the scriptures (Jews and Christians) if they do not embrace Islam, till they pay the Jizya (a tax levied on the Jews and Christians who do not embrace Islam and are under the protection of an Islamic government) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (9:29). So they (Muslims) were not permitted to abandon ‘the fighting’ against them (Pagans, Jews and Christians) and to reconcile with them and to suspend hostilities against them for an unlimited period while they are strong and have the possibility of fighting against them.”
Jalaluddin Suyuti wrote Itqan fi ‘ulum-il-Quran in 1497 AD. This book is the Tafsir (explanation) of Quran and is highly regarded. It is a compulsory reading for any one who wants to study Quran for its ‘real meanings’. His another famous book is Istenbat al-Tanzeel. In this book
Suyuti wrote,”everything in the Quran about forgiveness is abrogated by verse 9:5“.
Please read that above quote again if you are really serious about Islam. Remember that this verse has a chronology order of 113 (Remember? There are 114 suras in Quran).
Islamic apologists often quote the following verses to portray the mercy and forgiveness in Islam.
To you is your religion and to me is mine…109:6
No compulsion in religion…2:256
Turn away from those who join false gods with Allah…15:94
Unfortunately, all those ‘goodies’ of Quran are canceled if we follow the Tafsir (explanation) of Suyuti and the doctrine of abrogation) regarding the verse of the sword (9:5).
Islamists love Ms. Karen Armstrong for her siding with them. Ms. Karen Armstrong writes to fool the non-Muslims in believing what George Bush is drumming, ‘Islam is a peaceful religion’. Any one who has a workable knowledge on Islamic matters knows for sure that her writings are very misleading and does not tell the truth at all. When Ms. Karen Armstrong writes by quoting verse 2:190
“the only permissible war (in the Quran is one of self defense. Muslims must not begin hostilities”, (Time magazine October 1, 2001)
she is clearly being dishonest in telling the truth about the phase four of Islamic war which calls all Muslims to declare a total war on the house of Harb (i.e. the infidels abodes). Phase four of Jihad is valid until all the people of the world are converted to Islam. Thus, today’s Muslims are in perpetual war with the infidels whether they (the Muslims) are in an Islamic paradise like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh (recently included, previously not), Iran …or in infidel lands like USA, UK, Canada, France…etc.
Here is another quote from Alsaylu Jarar (4:518-519) by Al-Shawkani. Shawkani is a famous writer on Islamic matters. His writings are authoritative and are used by the Jihadis to justify their merciless actions.
“Islam is unanimous about fighting the unbelievers and forcing them to Islam or submitting and paying Jizya tax (protection money for the Jews and the Christians only) or being killed. The verse about forgiving them are abrogated unanimously by the obligation of fighting in any case”.
Can Ms. Karen Armstrong and other Islamists living in the comfort of non-Muslim freethinking society refute the above assertion by an eminent Alim (Islamic scholar)?
Please note that verse 9:5 is a very important verse of Quran. This verse marks the transition from the phase of showing mercy (phase 1) and forgiveness to the unbelievers to the phase of open aggression on them (phase 4). As told before, this verse is known as the verse of the sword. This verse cancels all the verses containing mercy, tolerance, and forgiveness to the non-Muslims (as many as 111 to 124 verses; you got to scan the entire Quran; anything forgiving, merciful, friendship is out).
Also, note carefully how the chronology order increases as Mohammad turns from a non-violent (like Buddha) person to a fascist nazi like Hitler/Mussolini/Osama/Ayatollah. In fact, we can safely conclude that Mohammad was a saint before the chronology order of the Qur�an was below 87 but he became a fascist dictator after this.
Again note that the chronology order in the final phase of open aggression against all non-Muslims of the world (phase 4) is almost the end (113) chapter (sura) of Quran (Remember? There are 114 suras in Quran).
Is lying allowed in Islam? I must be a nut to ask such a question! Of course, not, you say. Lying is a great sin in Islam; at least the Islamists will let us believe this. This is a complete delusion. Muslims are allowed to tell lies in order to make the religion of Islam rule the world. Would you not believe me? See for yourself what Imam Ghazali (another supreme Islamic scholar) says:
“Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praise worthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible “ (Ref: Ahmad Ibn Naqib al-Misri, The Reliance of the Traveller, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller , Amana publications, 1997, section r8.2, page 745).
And what could be the noblest goal of a Muslim than to make Islam rule world? This is the secret why the Islamists constantly lie about their religion when they are in West. Because, if they tell the truth, no one will be attracted to Islam.
Islamists often attack the secularists and freethinkers whenever they (secularists/freethinkers) quote the offensive verses of the Qur�an by ‘out of context’ arguments.
What could be more clear and forceful evidences / proofs than what has been told above that ‘out of context’ argument by the Islamic apologists is a total hoax?
*A double-faced head represented Janus, a Roman god.
Kasem writes from Sydney, Australia. Comments could be made by writing to [email protected]
Note: The author relied on the English Translation of Quran by A. Yusufali and the English Translation of Sahih Bukhari by Dr. M. Muhsin Khan. All references given are believed to be correct. However, the author is not responsible for any misconception that a reader may have due to his consultation of other sources.