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Islam is a peaceful religion

Reader comment on item: How Central Is Muslim Anti-Semitism?
in response to reader comment: the muslim faith is not a peaceful religion

Submitted by Shakeeb (Pakistan), Apr 4, 2008 at 15:03

Islam teaches it's followers to be tolerant and peaceful. you talked about Quran so here i will give you verses from Islam to prove just that...........please take a minute and read it through. If anyone uses the name of Islam and Jihad today to kill innocents then he is the one at wrong even though i believe that much of their actions still can be called a direct counteraction to American and Israeli polocies against Muslims .

Jihad is a tenet of Islam but unfortunately most of the non-Muslims and even some Muslims do not the truth about Jihad. No doubt Jihad is of many kinds e.g. Jihad against ones own evil desires, against corruption and social injustices, against poverty, Jihad with the help of Speech, pen, Sword etc. But the most misunderstood of all the forms of Jihad is the Jihad with sword (i.e. all sorts of weaponry). So in the following lines we try to understand as to what really is the Islamic concept of Jihad and how true is the allegation that Jihad is to force people to yield to the fold of Islam.

WHEN IS JIHAD ALLOWED?

The Quran allowes and asks the Muslims to fight;

Against those who fight you
2:190. Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes in his commentary to this verse;

War is only permissible in self-defence, and under well-defined limits. When
undertaken, it must be pushed with vigour, but not relentlessly, but only to restore peace and freedom for the worship of God. In any case strict limits must not be transgressed: women, children, old and infirm men should not be molested, nor trees and crops cut down, nor peace withheld when the enemy comes to terms.

To put an end to all tyranny & operation
2:193. And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.
When you are wronged
22:39. To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid;-

Against those who violate covenants and taunt the Faith
9:12. But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.

For the help of weak and oppressed people
4:75. And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!"

A VERSE USUALLY MISUNDERSTOOD

1-Quran chapter 9;verse 5

The following verse from Surah Taubah is very often quoted by critics of Islam, to show that Islam promotes violence, bloodshed and brutality:
9:5"Kill the mushriqeen (pagans, polytheists, kuffar) where ever you find them."

Context of verse is during battlefield

Critics of Islam actually quote this verse out of context. In order to understand the context, we need to read from verse 1 of this surah. It says that there was a peace treaty between the Muslims and the Mushriqs (pagans) of Makkah. This treaty was violated by the Mushriqs of Makkah. A period of four months was given to the Mushriqs of Makkah to make amends. Otherwise war would be declared against them. Verse 5 of Surah Taubah says:

"But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is oft-forgiving, Most merciful."
[Al-Qur'an 9:5]

This verse is quoted during a battle..

Example of war between America and Vietnam

We know that America was once at war with Vietnam. Suppose the President of America or the General of the American Army told the American soldiers during the war: "Wherever you find the Vietnamese, kill them". Today if I say that the American President said, "Wherever you find Vietnamese, kill them" without giving the context, It will make him sound like a butcher. But if I quote him in context, that he said it during a war, it will sound very logical, as he was trying to boost the morale of the American soldiers during the war.

Verse 9:5 quoted to boost morale of Muslims during battle
Similarly in Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 5 the Qur'an says, "Kill the Mushriqs where ever you find them", during a battle to boost the morale of the Muslim soldiers. What the Qur'an is telling Muslim soldiers is, don't be afraid during battle; wherever you find the enemies kill them.

ISLAM ASKS MUSLIMS TO TURN TO PEACE

8:61. But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things).

Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes in his commentary to this verse

While we must always be ready for the good fight lest it be forced on us, even in the midst of the fight we must always be ready for peace if there is any inclination towards peace on the other side. There is no merit merely in a fight by itself. It should be a joyful duty not for itself, but to establish the reign of peace and righteousness and Allah's Law.

ISLAM ASKS MUSLIMS TO TREAT THE NON-MUSLIMS JUSTLY

5: 8. O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes in his commentary to this verse.

To do justice and act righteously in a favourable or neutral atmosphere is meritorious enough, but the real test comes when you have to do justice to people who hate you or to whom you have an aversion. But no less is required of you by the higher moral law.

ISLAM & INTERFAITH RELATIONS

It is the most unfortunate thing that Islam is thought to be a religion without the spirit of accommodation but this idea is absolutely wrong & baseless.
Those who accuse Islam of this need to carefully reflect on the following verses of the holy Quran.

1-There is no compulsion in religion

2:256. Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes in his commentary to this verse.

Compulsion is incompatible with religion; because 1) religion depends upon faith and will, and these would be meaningless if induced by force; 2) Truth and Error have been so clearly shown up by the mercy of God that there should be no doubt in the minds of any persons of goodwill as to the fundamentals of faith; 3) God's protection is continuous and His Plan is always to lead us from the depths of darkness into the clearest light.

2-Religious accommodation
109: 6. To you be your Way, and to me mine.

For a surety there is no such parallel in any other religious scripture.
3-Respect of other religions
6:108.Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did.

If all the people of the world follow this instruction much bloodshed can be avoided.

Submitting....

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