Rags to Riches, From Preacher to Despot
are many contradictory verses in the Quran that can be quite confusing.
This ambiguity allows Muslims to have their personalized “divine
guidance” based on their own preferences. Those who like tolerance or
want to present Islam as a tolerant religion can quote parts of the
Quran that advocates tolerance, while the hardliners, the
fundamentalists and even the terrorists can quote those parts of the
Quran that foments hate and killing of the disbelievers. Therefore
ironically everyone can find what he is looking for in that book. And
they call this the "miracle" of Quran!
us compare both sides of Quran:
Surah 73:10 God tells Mohammad to be patient with his opponents, "Be
patient with what they say, and part from them courteously".
While in Surah 2:191 God orders him to kill his opponents, "kill
them wherever you find them, and drive them out from wherever they drove
you out." In Surah 2:256 God
tells Mohammad not to impose Islam by force, "There
is no compulsion in religion",
Then again in verse 193 He tells his messenger to kill whoever rejects
Islam, "Fight them until there is no
persecution and the religion is God's".
In Surah 29:46 God tells Mohammad to speak nicely to people of the Book
(Christians and Jews), "Argue with
people of the book, other than evil doers, only by means of what are
better! and say, we believe in what has been sent down to us and sent
down to you. Our God is the same as your God, and we are surrendered to
Him." But in Surah 9:29 Allah
tells him to fight the people of the Book, "Fight
those who do not believe in God and the last day... and fight People of
the Book, who do not accept the religion of truth (Islam) until they pay
tribute by hand, being inferior".
gives no justification for this discrepancy in the Quran and the change
in Allah's mood from peaceful to militant and conciliatory to
confrontational. Muslim apologists in the West present the kinder verses
of the Quran or what is known as the Early Revelation. While Islamic
scholars, when have only Muslims as their audience, say that those
softer verses of the Quran were abrogated and supplanted by harsher
ones. The reason given is, as Al Maudoody puts it, "Mohammad
became strong enough to move from the stage of weakness to the stage of
13 years Muhammad preached in
but less than 100 people accepted him. Meccans preferred Al Nadir,
another storyteller to him. Muhammad’s irreverence to their gods
angered them. So he escaped and established himself in
. His followers also joined him and he called them immigrants.
At first they were poor and used to work as journeymen in palm
plantations that belonged to the Jews living in
. They used to give some of their food to Muhammad, who often dined on
nothing but few dates. After
one year in exile, Muhammad found the situation unbearable and he
started raiding the merchant caravans that were carrying goods from
. One of these raids that took place at Badr was a big success and the
Prophet made a good fortune thereof. Then he planned other highway
robberies. He distributed the booty, including women, among those who
took part in the battles and kept 20% for himself. He even made money by
taking the passengers of the Caravan and threatened to kill them if
ransom was not paid by their families. He assured his followers that if
they fall in the battles, they will get more rewards in
. Gradually his fortunes changed. He was no more a weak neglected
preacher but the head of a state who commanded absolute power over his
followers. With this change
of fortune Muhammad's message also changed. Here is a comparison between
some early verses he wrote in
while weak and some that he wrote in
after becoming powerful.
Meccan Early Verses
Medinan Later verses
is no compulsion in religion
ye who believe! Murder those of the disbelievers and let them find
harshness in you.
patient with what they say, and part from them courteously
will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye
above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off.
you be your religion, and to me my religion"
desires another religion than Islam, it shall not be accepted of
him; in the next world he shall be among the losers."
be patient with what they say, and celebrate (constantly) the
praises of thy Lord,
them wherever you find them, and drive them out from wherever they
drove you out
good to men...
the idolaters wherever you find them
it had been thy Lord's Will, they would all have believed, all who
are on earth! Wilt thou then compel mankind against their will to
them on until there is no more tumult and religion becomes that of
well know what the infidels say: but you are not to compel them
them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with
shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the breasts of
with people of the book, other than evil doers, only by means of
what are better! and say, we believe in what has been sent down to
us and sent down to you. Our God is the same as your God, and we
are surrendered to Him.
those who do not believe in God and the last day... and fight
People of the Book, who do not accept the religion of truth
(Islam) until they pay tribute by hand, being inferior"
who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish
(scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabeans,- any who believe
in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have
their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall
Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ
the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this)
they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's
curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!
Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; But turn away from
you who believe! Verily, the Mushrikűn (unbeleivers) are Najasun
(impure). So let them not come near Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah)
after this year, …
thou, with a gracious pardoning....
him is Hell; and he shall be made to drink boiling water.
insult not (Revile not) those whom they call upon besides Allah,
lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus we
made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end they
return to their Lord, and we shall then tell them the truth of all
that they did
If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full)
knowledge Hath come to thee, say: "Come! let us gather
together,- our sons and your sons, our women and your women,
ourselves and yourselves: Then let us earnestly pray, and invoke
the curse of Allah on those who lie!"
Lord, these are people who do not believe,’ Bear with them and
wish them ‘peace.’ In the end they shall know their folly.
you meet the unbelievers, strike off their heads; then when you
have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the
We know best what they say; and thou art not one to overawe
them by force.
Prophet! rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are twenty
amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two
hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the
Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to
kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and
rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition.
not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather
than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from
Allah. except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves
from them. But Allah cautions you (to fear) Himself; for the final
goal is to Allah.
those who believe, to forgive those who do not look forward to the
Days of Allah:
them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power,
including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the
enemies, of Allah and your enemies.
dichotomy is explained by some Muslim scholars.
Dr. M. Khan the translator of Sahih Bukhari and the Quran into English
"Allah revealed in Sura Bara'at (Repentance, IX) [the order to
discard (all) 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 Jizia (a tax levied on the Jews and Christians) with willing
submission and feel themselves subdued (as it is revealed in 9:29). So
the 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 ability to fight against them. So
at first "the fighting" was forbidden, then it was permitted,
and after that it was made obligatory "[Introduction
to English translation of Sahih Bukhari, p.xxiv.]
9:5 reads: "Slay the idolaters
wherever you find them"
So according to Dr. M. Khan in Q. 9:5 Allah ordered Mohammad to cancel
all covenants and to fight the pagans, the Jews even the Christians.
This is in contrast to what Muhammad wrote earlier.
wilt find the nearest of them in love to the believers [Muslims} are
those who say 'We are Christians'" (Q. 5:82)
The "Mujahideen who fight against the enemies of Allah in order
that the worship should be all for Allah (alone and not for any other
deity) and that the word is Allah's (ie. none has the right to be
worshipped but Allah and His religion Islam) should be upper most."
So first it was “There is no
compulsion in religion” (Q.
2:265) and then
who believe! shall I direct you to a commerce that which will save you
from a painful torment? That you believe in Allah and His Apostle
(Mohammad), and that you strive hard and fight in the cause of Allah
with your wealth and your lives. That will be better for you, if you
but knew. If you do so He will forgive you your sins, and admit you
into gardens of Eternity - that is the great success" (Q.
Sobhy as-Saleh, a contemporary academic, does not see in Q. 2:256 and Q.
9:73 a case of abrogation but a case of delaying or postponing the
command to fight the infidels. To support his view he quoted Imam Suyuti
the author of Itqan Fi 'Ulum al- Qur'an who wrote:
“The command to fight the infidels was DELAYED UNTIL THE MUSLIMS
BECOME STRONG, but when they were weak they were commanded to endure and
be patient. [ Sobhy as_Saleh, Mabaheth Fi 'Ulum al- Qur'an, Dar al-'Ilm
, 1983, p. 269.]
Dr. Sobhy, in a footnote, commends the opinion of a scholar named
Zarkashi who said:
"Allah the most high and wise revealed to Mohammad in his weak
condition what suited the situation, because of his mercy to him and his
followers. For if He gave them the command to fight while they were weak
it would have been embarrassing and most difficult, but when the most
high made Islam victorious He commanded him with what suited the
situation, that is asking the people of the Book to become Muslims or to
pay the levied tax, and the infidels to become Muslims or face death.
These two options, to fight or to have peace return according to the
strength or the weakness of the Muslims."[ibid p. 270]
And Nahas writes:
"the scholars differed concerning Q. 2:256. (There is no compulsion
if religion) Some said: 'It has been abrogated [cancelled] for the
Prophet compelled the Arabs to embrace Islam and fought them and did not
accept any alternative but their surrender to Islam. The abrogating
verse is Q. 9:73 'O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and
hypocrites, and be thou harsh with them.' Mohammad asked Allah the
permission to fight them and it was granted. Other scholars said Q.
2:256 has not been abrogated, but it had a special application. It was
revealed concerning the people of the Book [the Jews and the
Christians]; they can not be compelled to embrace Islam if they pay the
Jizia (that is head tax on free non-Muslims under Muslim rule). It is
only the idol worshippers who are compelled to embrace Islam and upon
them Q. 9:73 applies. This is the opinion of Ibn 'Abbas which is the
best opinion due to the authenticity of its chain of authority."[
al-Nahas, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, p.80. See also Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi, A-Nnasikh
wal-Mansukh, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, birute, 1986, p.42.]
Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi writes:
"Fight in the way of God with those who fight with you, but aggress
not: God loves not the aggressors (2:190)" On the authority of
Ga'far ar-Razi from Rabi' Ibn 'Ons, from 'Abil-'Aliyah who said: This is
the first verse that was revealed in the Qur'an about fighting in the
Madina. When it was revealed the prophet used to fight those who fight
with him and avoid those who avoid him, until Sura 9 was revealed. And
so is the opinion of 'Abd ar-Rahman Ibn Zayd Ibn 'Aslam who said this
verse was cancelled by 9:5 "Slay the idolaters wherever you find
them"[ bn Hazm al-Andalusi, An-Nasikh wal- Mansukh, Dar al-Kotob
al-'Elmeyah, birute, 1986, P.27]
For more on this subject see http://www.debate.domini.org/newton/tolerance.html,
demanded from his followers to wage war against people of their own kin.
And to justify his killing sprees he said, “oppression is worse than
killing”. The following verse was revealed to incite the immigrants to
kill their fellow Meccans because they oppressed them forcing them to
You may kill those who wage war against
you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is
worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they
attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the
just retribution for those disbelievers.
fact the Qurashis were not sympathetic to Muslims. They mocked and
teased them but never killed anyone for accepting Islam. The reason for
this loss of love was due to the fact that Muhammad was making sacrilege
of their gods and was disrespectful of their beliefs. The reaction of
the Meccans was justifiable and normal.
did Muhammad do to those who mocked HIM? He was not a man who could
tolerate criticisms. Abu
`Afak, a 120 year old man and `Asma'
Bint Marwan a nursing
single mother of 5 were assassinated by Muhammad’s orders for
composing poems that Muhammad found offensive. That is all it took
to lose their lives.
says that oppression is worse than killing. Apart from the fact that
this statement is ridiculous, he himself instructed his followers to be
harsh and oppressive when dealing with the non-believers.
Oh ye who believe! Murder those of the
disbelievers and let them find harshness (qilzat) in you.
as the facts stands the non-believers did not attack the Muslims. It
were Muslims who attacked
, Kheibar, and the Jewish quarters of
. Was it the Persians who raided the Muslims? Was it
that was preventing the Arabs from worshiping Allah? Did
come to fight against the Muslims? If Allah was God, one would expect a
grain of honesty from his messenger and his devotees.
said anyone who does not believe in him must be killed. But he spared
the lives of the Christians and the Jews provided they pay a penalty
tax. In Keibar he exacted 50% of all the crops produced by the Jews from
their own lands that he confiscated to be given to him. Is this not
oppression? Of course when Muhammad died Omar banished all those poor
Jews from Keibar altogether. The Quran is unequivocal when it comes to
oppressing the non-believers.
"Fight those who do not believe in
God and the last day... and fight People of the Book, who do not
accept the religion of truth (Islam) until they pay tribute by hand, being
who claim that Islam is a religion of peace and quote the Quranic verses
where Muhammad keeps reminding that Allah is the Merciful and Forgiving,
when shown these verses of Quran and the bloody legacy of the Prophet's
wars and plunders, change their tactic and boast that “Yes, Islam
countenances the use of violence under certain defined circumstances”,
as a cyber apologist wrote to me.
are those “defined conditions”? Let us make it clear that we are not
talking about using force against common criminals, murderers or
rapists. We are talking about violence against innocent people who do
not accept Muhammad’s claim of prophethood and prefer to worship their
own God, in their own way or worship none if they choose so.
punishment by death has been eliminated in most of the civilized world.
But even those countries that still practice it kill the convicts by
lethal injection or another painless and humane way. They never torture
them or maim them. Yet Muhammad prescribed the worst tortures for those
who do not accept his hodgepodge of religion.
those, who wage war against ALLAH and HIS Messenger and strive to
create disorder in the land, is that they
be slain or crucified or their hands and feet be cut off on
account of their enmity, or they be expelled from the land. That shall
be a disgrace for them in this world, and in the Hereafter they shall
have a great punishment.”
kind of sadistic god is this Allah!?
question that I was never able to get an answer for is: if Allah wants
to kill the unbelievers, why he dose not do it himself?
It should be easy for him to kill them, maim them, burn them, and
strike them with all sorts of disasters and calamities to satisfy his
vengeful nature and bloodthirsty mood. Why instead he asks his messenger
and his zealot devotees to do his dirty work? Is it perhaps that he is
incapable to do it on his own? Or is it that he is no god at all but the
figment of Muhammad’s mind, a convenient scarecrow that would give the
self acclaimed prophet unlimited power to plunder, rape and govern the
lives and minds of those ignorant barbarians who believed in the
concoction of his lies?
claimed that the disbelief in Allah was the greatest crime punishable by
death. Who benefited from this? He was the only contact between Allah
and his foolhardy followers. Disobedience to him meant disobedience to
God. Would really God care if people believed in Him or not? What does
he get out it? Would really God’s self esteem be hurt if these
primates of the Earth did not recognize and praised him? Would he really
be so offended that he would burn people eternally? That is an absurd
preposition. But it gave Muhammad the same power as God to do anything
he wished with no one to question him. He got the cart blanch to kill
anyone, to demand his followers to go and fight even their own allies,
relatives and friends and bring 20% of the booty to him. It gave him
right to sleep with any number of women and choose the youngest and the
prettiest of the captive women. The more he exalted Allah the more his
power grew. Allah was an excuse that empowered a power hungry man to
rise from poverty to absolute dominance and make him even dream of
conquering the great kingdoms of
"Say: If it be that your
fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the
wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline:
or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah,
or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah
brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious. Q.9:
was no teacher of morality. Goodness or virtues had no meaning to him.
His only preoccupation was making people submit their wills to his
Allah, whom no one had access to except him. The more dreadful he
painted his god, the more control he could exert over his followers.
Allah was an alter ego for a control freak narcissist man hungry for
power and adulation. His obsession to subdue people into accepting his
god was such that he promised even the adulterers and thieves a place in
if they accepted him while those who would not accept him would be
burned in Hell even if they led a saintly life.
Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 445
Narrated Abu Dhar:
The Prophet said, "Gabriel said to me, 'Whoever amongst your
followers die without having worshipped others besides Allah, will
(or will not enter the (Hell) Fire)." The Prophet asked.
"Even if he has committed illegal sexual intercourse or
theft?" He replied, "Even then."
is even confirmed in Quran:
forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He
forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with
Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.”
course it goes without saying that those who murder innocent people for
him in the name of Allah would go straight to paradise.
could any fair-minded person accept this nonsense? How is it possible
that people do not stop for a minute to think about the whole thing? Why
we don’t ask ourselves simple questions, like:
God NEEDS to be known?
He is so desperate to be known, why he dose not reveal Himself to
everyone just the way he reveal Himself to his prophet?
he plays hide and seek and then punishes those who fail to find him?
his messenger acted so ruthlessly and lived such immoral life as to
cast doubt on his integrity and truthfulness?
his words in the Quran are so contrary to science, logic and
are simple yet important questions, that every Muslim must ask himself.
We are not sheep. We are humans endowed with a brain and it is up to us
to use it.