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Part Four: What Does Qur’an Command?

August 19, 2016

Note: while some of the war verses can be taken generally, majority of the verses applicable to war activities refer to historical events that occurred during the life of Prophet Muhammad pbuh.

Qur’an Surah (Chapter)  8 verses

To Muslims in reference to the war time:

15-16: Do not turn your back when facing an enemy in war

20-22: Do not say one thing and do another, and do not be of the worst people (who do not want to understand what is said to them)

25: Avoid that which causes confusion/intrigue

27: Do not try to cheat God and His Messenger, and do not damage trust between each other

34: The guardians of the Holy House are to be the ones who fear God

41: 1/5 of booty belongs to God and the Messenger, Messenger’s family, the orphans, the poor and travelers

45: When in a fight with enemy, constantly remember God

46: Submit to God and the Messenger, and do not argue among yourselves so that you keep morale

55-58: When the faithless break a treaty, you break the treaty in turn too.

61: If the enemy seeks peace, you seek peace too.

72-75: Believers should leave place of oppression and help other believers. If believers in another place seek your help, you are obligated to help them unless they live among the people with whom you have a peace treaty (e.g. if the minority Muslim population living with them is oppressed, seeking your help to protect them–you still cannot do anything due to the treaty/you cannot break the treaty, but they are encouraged to migrate to you).

Qur’an surah 9, verses

To Muslims in reference to the war continued:

4: Keep respecting the treaty conditions and the deadline that you have with idolaters if they do not violate it

*Verse 5 is referring to the conditions of the treaty mentioned in verse 4, after which the war activities were said to resume and command is given to fight the enemy fiercely. From the first five verses in this chapter it is evident that the Muslims and the pagan Arabs had a four month peace treaty to observe the four holy months recognized both by the Muslims and the pagan Arabs at the time. The four holy months are: Zul-qada, Zul-hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. As mentioned earlier, Muslims cannot attack pagans or atheists or anyone else for no reason except in self-defense (after being physically attacked first).

6: Should an idolater ask you for protection, provide protection, and then send him away  (obviously this is a person who is not seeking violence, so Muslims cannot be violent to him/her).

13: Fight those who attacked you first

23-24: Believe God to be more dear to you than worldly things/creations.

29: Fight People of the Book (Jews and Christians) and make them pay tax. As previously established Muslims cannot attack a people, whether atheist, pagans or anyone else, UNLESS the other side attacked Muslims first or helped in the attack against Muslims. According to the historical documentations, many Arab Jews and Christians in 7th century Arabia sided with pagan Arabs and were quite hostile against Muhammad pbuh and Muslims. One documented battle where some Jews and Christians fought against Muslims is the Battle of A’hzab after which verse 29 of surah 9 was believed to be revealed. This is not a green light for Muslims to attack Jews and Christians at all times, for no reason, out of blue, anywhere!

36-37: Do not sin in the four holy  months. You may not decide which month is holy or not.

60: Zakat (obligatory charity for Muslims) must be given to the poor, the zekat collectors, for the purposes of preaching the faith, to free from slavery, the ones who have a lot of debt, to the traveler and on the God’s way.

113: Do not pray for God’s forgiveness of idolaters, even if they are your family members.

119: Fear God and be honest.

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