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Was Islam really spread by peaceful preaching?

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: God has power over his creation

Submitted by Lactantius Jr (United Kingdom), Jun 23, 2012 at 15:23

To I Love Peace

I greet you in the precious Name of the Lord Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace, the author and distributor of peace, and I wish for you His peace, that peace which passes human understanding, that peace which the world cannot give.

Your comment that "Secondly islam was not spread by terror. It was spread by peace and preaching," denies reality. Violence was foundational to Islam and remains deeply embedded in it.

Islam was indeed "spread by the sword," and I use the word "sword" to denote weapons of any kind, and for physical force or violence of any kind.

In his hometown of Mecca when Muhammad and his Muslims were small in number, he was persecuted for preaching his conception of monotheism to the polytheistic Meccans, and the persecution got so bad he left Mecca and headed North to Medina, where his followers increased in number to the size of an army, and during the time he lived in Medina, he sent out or went on 74 raids, conflicts or battles, and you may not know that Muhammad gave nicknames to his swords, so please read on.

Everything we believe is expressed in the words we use, and so, I start by defining my understanding of "terrorism," using Merriam Webster Online dictionary http://www.merriam-webster.com/

terrorism "the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion"

and continue by asking was Muhammad "the archetypal Islamic terrorist?" Seeking to answer that question, I have consulted the only available sources which can provide an answer, the most authoritative Islamic documents themselves. The Qur'an, the Sahi Hadith of Bukhari http://tinyurl.com/7mkgz65 and Sahi Muslim http://tinyurl.com/7p83676 the Sirat literature, especially the Sirat Rasulullah of Ibn Ishaq (Muhammad Ibn Ishaq Ibn Yasar Ibn Khiyar, born 704AD, died 767 AD), the earliest, most comprehensive and most important biography of Muhammad, which provides one of the most important sources of information about Muhammad's life, and the Tar'ikh ('history') of al-Tabari (Muhammad Ibni Jarir Abu Jafar Al-Tabari 838-923 AD), "who is today recognized as the father of Islamic History, and one of the greatest historians that the world has produced." http://tinyurl.com/6qm5eot

The Islam of Muhammad is the one printed in the Qur'an and Hadith. There is no independent record of Muhammad in history from which a variant view may be drawn. The Qur'an, the Hadith and the other definitive Islamic records referred to, are the sole repository of information on Muhammad, his times, his means, and his mission. The Islam of Muhammad must be as these sources present it.

Do these Islamic authorities (the Islamic "title-deeds"), clearly describe Muhammad as the archetypal Islamic terrorist?

I searched the online Qur'an browser at http://www.quranbrowser.com/ for "terror" and the search returned 6 relevant ayat, which are reproduced below.

The Qur'an describes how Muhammad utilized the systematic use of violence and terror, to achieve his/Allah's objectives, as the following Qur'anic references demonstrate:-

"Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrong-doers! Surah 3:151 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

"Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."

Surah 8:12 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

"Against 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, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly."

Surah 8:60 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

"And those of the People of the Book who aided them - Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts. (So that) some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners."

Surah 33:26 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

"It is He Who got out the Unbelievers among the People of the Book from their homes at the first gathering (of the forces). Little did ye think that they would get out: And they thought that their fortresses would defend them from Allah! But the (Wrath of) Allah came to them from quarters from which they little expected (it), and cast terror into their hearts, so that they destroyed their dwellings by their own hands and the hands of the Believers, take warning, then, O ye with eyes (to see)!"

Surah 59:2 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

"Of a truth ye are stronger (than they) because of the terror in their hearts, (sent) by Allah. This is because they are men devoid of understanding."

Surah 59:13 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

In those ayat, the pronouns he and we have a common antecedent: Allah, who will and did cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve and who commanded Muhammad to strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes. The end result was that groups of disbelievers were killed or captivated and dispossessed. Are those ayat metaphorical & allegorical or are they clear commandments? Are they limited to the 7th. century Hijaz, or are they generally applicable ? What does the Qur'an say?

"And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do."

Surah 8:39 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

"He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding."

Surah 3:7 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

Clearly, in both cases, there is no chronological nor geographic limit.

The Qur'an has this to say of Muhammad,

"Ye have indeed in the Apostle of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah"

Surah 33:21 (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

And of himself, Muhammad spoke the following words during his last sermon on 7th.March 632AD in Mecca,

"I am leaving you with the Book of Allah (the QUR'AN), and my SUNNAH (the life style and the behavioural mode of the Prophet), if you follow them you will never go astray."

even saying of himself,

"whoever obeys me will enter Paradise"

Bukhari V9B92N384

Full understanding of the Qur'an cannot be achieved without referring to the Sunnah of Muhammad, with only Muhammad being qualified to interpret his recitations. The Hadith contain some relevant references to terror. Turning to the Sahi Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim, we read,

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand." Abu Huraira added: Allah's Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them).

Sahi Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220:

"Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I have been given superiority over the other prophets in six respects: I have been given words which are concise but comprehensive in meaning; I have been helped by terror (in the hearts of enemies): spoils have been made lawful to me: the earth has been made for me clean and a place of worship; I have been sent to all mankind and the line of prophets is closed with me."

Sahih Muslim Book 004, Number 1062:

"Muhammad said 'I have been commanded to fight until they testify there is no god but Allah and I am his messenger.'"

Sahi Muslim C9B1N33

"He who believes in Allah and His Messenger has protected his life and possessions from us. As for those who disbelieve, we will fight them forever in the Cause of Allah. Killing them is a small matter to us."

Tabari IX:69

"Muhammad said 'Know that Paradise is under shade of swords.'" Sahi Bukhari V4B5N73 and in the context of the list of Muhammad's assets at the end of his life, al-Tabari records the nicknames of Muhammad weapons, detailing that he had nicknamed three swords that he took from the Jewish tribe Qaynuqa, after banishing them from Medina in April 624AD: "Pluck Out," "Very Sharp," and "Death." Two other swords from elsewhere are named: "Sharp" and "That is wont to sink" (presumably into human flesh). After his Hijrah or Emigration from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD, he owned two swords called "Sharp" and "Having the vertebrae of the back." This last sword he collected as booty, after his victory at the Battle of Badr in March 624 AD.

Finally, even Muhammad himself has a nickname. After Tabari lists the positive ones, he matter-of-factly provides one that is not so positive: "The obliterator."

"The messenger of Allah named himself to us in various ways. He said, 'I am Muhammad the one who is praised, Ahmad, the most praiseworthy, al-Aqib, the last in succession, and al-Mahi, the obliterator'".

Tabari IX:156

Here are some more quotations referring to Muhammad and his terrorism, taken from Tabari, "one of the greatest historians the world has produced." http://tinyurl.com/8ynm47t

"We have been dealt a situation from which there is no escape. You have seen what Muhammad has done. Arabs have submitted to him and we do not have the strength to fight. You know that no herd is safe from him. And no one even dares go outside for fear of being terrorized."

Tabari IX:42

"After the Messenger had finished with the Khaybar Jews, Allah cast terror into the hearts of the Jews in Fadak when they received news of what Allah had brought upon Khaybar. Fadak became the exclusive property of Allah's Messenger."

Tabari VIII:129

"It is related that Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, I have been given five things which no one before me was given: I have been helped to victory by terror flooding (my enemies') hearts up to a month's journey away; for me, the whole earth has been made a mosque and made pure (for purification by tayammum) - wherever a man of my community finds himself when the time of prayer comes, he can pray; taking booty has been made lawful for me when it was not lawful for anyone before me; I have been given the right of intercession; and whereas every other Prophet was sent only to his people, I have been sent to all mankind."

Bukhari chapter 7 'Book of Tayammum' #328

Clearly, Muhammad was boasting about his practice of terrorism: "I have been made victorious with terror", "I have been helped by terror", "I have been helped to victory by terror flooding (my enemies') hearts up to a month's journey away". Clearly, there was no geographic limit on his scope: "I have been sent to all mankind". This leaves the question of duration: How long will Islamic Jihad and its attendant terrorism last?

Narrated Anas ibn Malik:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Three things are the roots of faith: to refrain from (killing) a person who utters, "There is no god but Allah" and not to declare him unbeliever whatever sin he commits, and not to excommunicate him from Islam for his any action; and jihad will be performed continuously since the day Allah sent me as a prophet until the day the last member of my community will fight with theDajjal (Antichrist) . The tyranny of any tyrant and the justice of any just (ruler) will not invalidate it. One must have faith in Divine decree.

Abu Dawud Book 14, Number 2526 http://tinyurl.com/7xqfv5a

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him."

Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177:

Jihad runs from 610 to Judgement Day, and killing the last Jew is a prerequisite for Judgement Day! Allah commanded Muslims to fight disbelievers until only
Allah is worshiped and there is no more resistance or they are subdued, submit and pay extortion. Conquered Jewish & Christian settlements were used to exemplify the use of terrorism. Muhammad boasted about the success of his terrorism.

How are these principles applied?

Offensive Jihad (where the enemy is attacked in his own territory). Where the Kuffar are not gathering to fight the Muslims. The fighting becomes Fard Kifaya with the minimum requirement of appointing believers to guard borders, and the sending of an army at least once a year to terrorise the enemies of Allah. It is a duty of the Imam to assemble and send out an army unit into the land of war once or twice every year. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the Muslim population to assist him, and if he does not send an army he is in sin.- And the Ulama have mentioned that this type of jihad is for maintaining the payment of Jizya. The scholars of the principles of religion have also said: " Jihad is Daw'ah with a force, and is obligatory to perform with all available capabilities, until there remains only Muslims or people who submit to Islam.

Sheikh Abdullah Azzam "Defence of Muslim Lands"

'Against 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.'

(Surat-al-Anfaal (8), ayah 60)

The young came to prepare themselves for Jihad [holy war ] , commanded by the majestic Allah's order in the holy Koran . [Koranic verse:]"Against 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, and others besides whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know."

Muslims are currently engaged in terrorism all around the world, believing it to be a tactic divinely sanctified for use in a Jihad commanded by Allah & exemplified by Muhammad, not because of social or economic conditions!! Islamic scripture is the root of Islamic terrorism.

At the time of 9/11, the then US Attorney General John Ashworth showed he understood Islam much better than his President, by saying, "A fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam is that The God of the Bible sent His Son to die for us, whilst the Qur'anic Allah requires Muslims sons to die for him."

That's a massive difference "I Love Peace," and Surahs 61:10-12, 4:74, and 9:111, guarantee Islamic shahids ("martyrs") paradise in an economic bargain. Indeed, these three references explicitly use words that connote buying and selling and signing a contract of sale, and the currency behind the deals is death by "martyrdom." A Muslim sells his life through "martyrdom" in Jihad in a bargain with Allah. In return, the Muslim gets the guaranteed reward of Islamic paradise. For Allah's part, he uses the surrender to spread Islam around the world.

Beliefs affect behaviour don't they "I Love Peace?" and I would love to know your definition of "peace" when your prophet modeled violence and murder to extend the sphere and influence of Islam, and if you are seeking to live a much better life than your prophet, you are doing so in disobedience to his teaching and to the example of his life, and you know the punishment for adult male apostates don't you?

With kind regards and very best wishes

Lactantius Jr


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