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Misunderstanding Sura 2:190

Reader comment on item: [Fixing] Islam's Image Problem
in response to reader comment: to the people who think islam supports violence

Submitted by Darrell Pack (United States), Mar 7, 2006 at 11:21

You assert that -

"Fight for Allah's sake those who fight you,
but do not be aggressors.
Allah does not like aggressors.(2:190)"

This ayat clearly forbids killing of innocent civilians.We are allowed to fight,but only to defend ourselves.It is my request that you should read the Quran first before judging Islam.I advice you to learn about Islam from muslims,not from views and articles.

You are entirely mistaken about what the passage means. It does not forbid offensive attacks. Read ayat 190 - 194. The words la ta'ad mean do not transgress (i.e. limits) when used without a preposition such as 'ala (see Shakir's translation). The specific question being addressed in the passage was what msulims were to do when fighting the Quraish pagans who were using the sacred mosque. The answer was "Do not fight against them in the Sacred Mosque until they fight against you [from] within it." (193) This was in a larger treatment of times and seasons and locations and their bearing on how to fight the pagans. The classic exegetes say that the gist of the matter for later generations of Muslims was that they were not to kill the aged, women, children, or the lame.

Offensive attacks are not forbidden. The passage specifies "Kill them whereever you find them." Which commentators like At-Tabaari says means "Kill the infidels in any place you can kill them." - darrell
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