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To Asharaf: The odour from Surah 9 is stronger than the perfume from Surah 60. (Repeat) I

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in response to reader comment: Let us not use context at all then

Submitted by Plato (India), Sep 12, 2007 at 23:18

Asharaf, the first part of my reply seems to have been swallowed up somewhere. I am reposting it here.

>>What kind of statements do you expect to be revealed when Muslims are undertaking a defensive war against those presecute them?<<

Muslims undertaking defensive wars?? Now where have I heard that one before? Look up the meaning of the word gazhwas in Arabic. You will need to be another Yusuf Ali to make it sound a defensive action in English. The prophet denigrating the Meccans' religion for more than a decade without their being able to do anything about it because of the power of the prophet's family is not persecution?? Tell the prophet's followers today in Mecca that they are worshipping an idol and you will come to know what persecution really is.

The moment the prophet gathered a group willing to fight for him he received Allah's permission to fight. And nowhere did Allah say he could fight only if attacked. The first blood drawn after the Prophet escaped to Medina was by the Muslims at Nahla. The Prophet had sent a party to this place and a man was killed in a surprise attack on a caravan proceeding to Mecca. Booty was captured including a prisoner.

This was a shocking incident in Arabia as it was done during the holy months. But conveniently Allah revealed some verses allowing such attacks after which the prophet took his share of 20% of the booty that was on offer. This 20% was later sanctified by Allah as the proper amount due to Him and the Prophet of all booty captured. Except in cases where the very threat if the Prophet induced people to surrender without a fight. Then Allah and his prophet took 100%f of the loot.

When the prophet and his followers went to loot a caravan proceeding to Mecca (how many kilometers away is Badr from Madina??), was it because the Muslims were trying to save themselves from a future threat if the wealth contained in the caravan reached the Quraish? So the Muslims take defensive action by trying to loot it!

His attack on the Banu Nadir, torturing and killing Al Raabi for knowledge of treasure and taking his widow as another Mother of Believers, was also defensive, for there was every possibility that they could prove a threat in the future and it saved a future Mother of Believers from being the wife of a Jew.

So were the expulsion of the Banu Mustaliq and the massacre of the Banu Quraiza. The record of the Prophet's ‘defensive' wars and raids numbers nearly 70.

W need to have a new definition of the word ‘defence' in the English language.

>>Do you like to hear

"Kiss the unbelivers in their heads and toes and embrace them tightly with overwhelming love"?<<

Yes, Asharaf, that is exactly what Muslims are advised NOT TO DO when they go on ‘defensive' wars of aggression. They must in fact make a massacre and not even take prisoners of war as Allah will be angry. Allah was angry at the prophet for taking prisoners at Badr because Allah thought, (and rightly so as He must have heard what Abu Bakr advised him), the Prophet did it for the money he could get by ransoming his prisoners.

8:67 PICKTHAL: It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise.

Look at Allah wanting the pleasures of the Hereafter for the Muslims by asking them to slaughter their opponents. Allah also presumably wants the pagans to get to the Hereafter quickly to fuel his fire.

>>or "Strike their neck and kill them as they kill you"<<

Tell us Ashraf, how many necks did the pagans strike to kill Muslims even while the prophet was in Mecca abusing their holy symbols. The pagans, true to their nature of respecting other beliefs let him preach and abuse their religion for more than 10 years. They did not strike any Muslim necks. Ishaq an admiring biographer of the prophet says in his book , Sirat Rasul allah, Guillaume translation page 118, "When the apostle openly displayed Islam as god ordered him his people did not withdraw or turn against him so far as I have heard, until he spoke disparagingly of their gods…." Even after they turned against him they could do little as he was protected by his unbelieving family.

The first blood shed for Islam was also in Mecca. Ishaq Pg 118, "They blamed them for what they were doing (praying secretly) until they came to blows, and it was on that occasion that Sa'd smote a polytheist with the jawbone of a camel and wounded him. This was the first blood to be shed in Islam."

But the moment the prophet gathered some sword arms in Medina he went about striking unbelievers necks with gay abandon and Allah has the chutzpah to tell the Muslims to ‘strike their necks as they kill you'.

Who does the striking and who gets the blame? Isn't Allah wonderful allowing Muslims to strike off the heads of unbelievers and then dumping the responsibility on them? Muslim atrocities are always ‘defensive' in nature!

>>If each statement of Quran is to be taken in isolation without recourse to the context, then the following statement should be taken as a global advice so that Muslims would strike the necks of every unbeliver they encouter.If that being the case, the only people who were muslims at that time should have survived, rest of them could havd their necks striken.<<

It is global advice. However, as so often happens with Allah, He managed to confuse the Muslims with some of His other verses. For instance where He tells them to subdue the people of the book and if they pay the humiliation tax jiziya to let them be. Have you thought about what happens if they refuse or can't pay up? His later caliphs also thought since other religions also have books they could be made to pay the jiziya and allowed to live. This also had the nice consequence of filling the caliphs coffers.

But you can see the effect of the killing verses in the green smudges on the globe being very dark close to Mecca and Medina (where you will not find a solitary unbeliever) and diluted to paler greens as it spreads away from Arabia. Even Allah's soldiers would have found it difficult to explore every nook and cranny of the lands they conquered in search of people to convert. So only people who were Muslims survived in regions close to the centre of Islam.

>>By your own logic if one were to totally exclude the recourse to context then what is the problem in taking the following verse as a context independent "General Advice".

"(Muslims!) God does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you in religion or driven you from your homes, or from being just towards them. God loves those who are just. God merely forbids you from taking as friends those who have fought you in religion and driven you from your homes and who supported your expulsion. Any who take them as friends are wrongdoers<<

This verse is clearly referring to the Muslims having to quit Mecca for abusing their religion. So, absolutely, that is what Muslims should be doing, take it as context independent General Advice. The question is why are they not taking this verse (60:80) seriously. Perhaps there is a clue in Maududi.

"The mention of these two things absolutely determines that this Surah came down during the interval between the Truce of Hudaibiyah and the Conquest of Makkah." (6-8 AH) (Surah 60)

"The first discourse (vv. 1-37), was revealed in Zil-Qa'adah A. H. 9 or thereabout…" (Surah 9)

You have Surah 9 which Maududi dates about 9 AH. If you are an Islamic scholar you will know that Surah 9 is later than Surah 60 and using Allah's escape clause to skirt contradictions, 2:106, you will naturally assume that you have the Allah-given right to abrogate treaties, kill polytheists and generally create mayhem in the world. When Surah 9 comes up against Surah 60, 9 will always trump 60 as it is a later revelation. Both have contexts and reading them in context nullifies both.

Of course the best thing to do is not to read the Koran in context. With the verses thoroughly jumbled up by its compilers moderate Muslims can easily take verses that are seen to be tolerant and say they override the verses calling for death and destruction.

>>As you are aware, Quran was not dropped as a single book from heaven , it was revealed over a period of 23 yrs, now are you expecting Muslims to understand each verse without knowing the context in which it is revealed.Using the historical context in understanding the message of Quran is a norm and not an strategy devised to reply to bashers of islam.<<

Yes the tablet preserved in heaven was revealed in bits and pieces over two decades. The Koran says in several places that it is a book easy to understand. Puzzling over the contexts that the various commentators have left over the centuries does not make it easy to understand. It is not MY expectation that Muslims understand the Koran without context. It is the Koran's expectation. 5:15, 54:22, 54:32, 54:40, 6:114, 5:16, 10:15, 2:2. You are contradicting the Koran and saying that one cannot understand it without knowing the details of the contexts in which its verses were revealed.

Another problem arises as the Koran already existed in heaven even before any of the incidents mentioned in it happened. It means that Allah wanted those things to happen and which means everything in it is meant to be eternal and not contextual.

>>We cant hypocritically use context when it suits and abhor them when it is not.<<

Not being a hypocrite you want to read your scripture in context. Then what remains of it that you can follow? Take a count of the verses that have context and you will have blown away a good portion of the Koran. Almost in all verses where it says ‘they' or ‘them' means it is in some context to do with polytheists, hypocrites or Jews and Christians.

If you want context then the Koran becomes mostly a book of history telling us about the personal life of the prophet, including his relationship with his wives and followers, his wars and his exhortations. There is very little guidance in it for the present. Except for how many wives are allowed, how to treat women, what to eat, messed up stories from the Bible and torah, how to divide up property and play havoc with mathematics. If you take the verses out of context then you have a book calling for the killing and maiming of unbelievers merely because they refuse to believe the prophet.

Talk about being between a rock and a hard place!


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