Several people today view Submission (Islam in Arabic) as a hostile and aggressive religion. This stereotype has been sadly reinforced by the acts of terrorists and fanatics, who in no way represent what religion truly stands for. The religion of Islam, described by God in the Quran stands for peace and tolerance. Islam does not condone or encourage terrorism. Islam has not only forbidden terror and violence but also abhors even the slightest imposition of any idea on another human being. Allah says:
وَإِنْ أَحَدٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ اسْتَجَارَكَ فَأَجِرْهُ حَتَّىٰ يَسْمَعَ كَلَامَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ أَبْلِغْهُ مَأْمَنَهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَّا يَعْلَمُونَ
“If anyone of the idolaters seeks your protection, then grant him the protection that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are people who do not know.” (Surat al-Tawbah 9:6)
The best way to understand Islam is through its main source, the Quran; and the model of morality in the Quran is completely different from the image of it formed in the minds of some Westerners or some bigot Muslims. The Quran is based on the concepts of morality, love, compassion, mercy, modesty, self-sacrifice, tolerance and peace, and a Muslim who truly lives according to these moral precepts is highly refined, thoughtful, tolerant, and trustworthy and accommodating. To those around him, he gives love, respect, peace of mind and a sense of joy in life. Allah says:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.” (Al-Baqarah 2:256)
Islam, a religion of mercy, does not permit terrorism.
Allah, the Exalted says in the Quran:
وَإِن جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
“If they incline to peace, then incline to it also and rely upon Allah. Verily, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” (Surat al-Anfāl 8:61)
“Jihad” means struggling or striving. Jihad primarily refers to the inner struggle of being a person of virtue and submission to God in all aspects of life. Jihad is not a holy war as it is popularly propagated in the media. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that the greatest jihad is to struggle with the insidious suggestions of one’s soul. Allah says:
لَا تَقْتُلُوا النِّسَاءَ وَلَا الصِّبْيَانَ وَلَا الشَّيْخَ الْكَبِيرَ وَلَا مَنْ أَلْقَى إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ وَكَفَ يَدَهُ فَإِنْ فَعَلْتُمْ هَذَا فَقَدَ اعْتَدَيْتُمْ
“Do not kill women, or children, or old men, or whoever comes to you with peace and he restrains his hand from fighting, for if you did that you would certainly have transgressed.” (Tafseer At-Tabari 2:190)
Some people who say they are acting in the name of religion may misunderstand their religion or practise it wrongly. For this reason, it is a mistake to form any idea of that religion from the activities of these people. Killing one person (whether Muslim or Non-Muslim) is equivalent to killing the entire humanity. Islam considers all life forms sacred. More so, the sanctity of human life is accorded a special place. The first and the foremost basic right of a human being is the right to live. Allah says:
“…take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He commands you, that ye may learn wisdom.” (Surah Al-Anam 6:151)
The Quran goes to the extent of saying that killing one person is equivalent to killing the entire Humanity and saving one is as though one has saved the entire humanity. A Muslim is responsible for treating all people, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, kindly and justly, protecting the needy and the innocent and “preventing the dissemination of mischief”.
“…if anyone slew a person – unless it is for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” (Surat Al-Maidah 5:32)
The values of the Quran hold a Muslim responsible for treating all people, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, kindly and justly, protecting the needy and the innocent and “preventing the dissemination of mischief”. Mischief comprises all forms of anarchy and terror that remove security, comfort, and peace. As God says in a verse,
“When he leaves you, he goes throughout the land, spreading corruption, destroying crops and animals. God does not like corruption.” (Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:205)
Saving one person’s life (whether Muslim or Non-Muslim) is equivalent to saving the entire humanity. The Quran goes to the extent of saying that killing one person is equivalent to killing the entire Humanity and saving one is as though one has saved the entire humanity.
Does Islam permit the killing of elderly people, women, and children during a war?
No, even during a war situation it is prohibited to kill or even cause any harm to the non-combatants, such as the elderly, women and children. Islam also prohibits cutting down trees and crops and killing of animals in the enemy nation. Allah says:
“And let not the hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is next to piety; and fear Allah, for Allah, is well-acquainted with all that you do.” (Surat Al-Maidah 5:8)
Even in a state of war, Islam enjoins that one deals with the enemy nobly on the battlefield. Islam has drawn a clear line of distinction between the combatants and the non-combatants of the enemy country. As far as the non-combatant population is concerned such as women, children, the old and the infirm, etc., the instructions of the Prophet are as follows: “Do not kill any old person, any child or any woman”, “Do not kill the monks in monasteries” or “Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship.
“And why should ye not fight in the cause of God 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 the one who will protect, and raise for us from the one who will help!” (Surah An-Nisa 4:75)
Even property and animals are safeguarded, Prophet said do not destroy the crops and trees, do not slaughter their animals but for food.” Non-combatants are guaranteed the security of life even if their state is at war with an Islamic state. Allah says:
“Free will is one of God’s precious gifts to humanity, and human beings cannot take away what God gave a man. If someone does not wish to believe, they are to be left alone and not forced in any manner. A submitter’s (Muslim) job is simply to invite people to God’s religion with kind enlightenment.” (Surah An-Nahl, 16:125)
In what circumstances is fighting permitted in Islam?
Islam permits the fighting in self-defence, or retribution against tyranny, exploitation, and oppression. Islam, like many other religions, allows for armed self-defence, or retribution against tyranny, exploitation, and oppression. Allah, the Exalted mentions in the Quran:
“And We made from among them (Children of Israel), leaders, giving guidance under Our Command when they were patient and used to believe with certainty in Our Ayat (proofs, verses, signs, revelations, etc.)” (As-Sajdah: 24).
What does Islam prescribe about brotherhood?
Islam prescribes universal brotherhood. It rejects the thought that human beings have been created in castes or different levels. Allah, the Exalted describes the Islamic concept of universal brotherhood:
“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).” (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:13)
What is the meaning of Jihad?
“Jihad” means struggling or striving and applies to any effort exerted by anyone. In this sense, a student struggles and strives to get an education and pass courses. In work; an employee strives to fulfil his/her job and maintain good relations with his/her employer; a politician strives to maintain or increase his popularity with his constituents and so on.
“O you who believe, do not prohibit good things that are made lawful by GOD, and do not aggress; GOD dislikes the aggressors.” (Surat Al-Maidah, 5:87)
Jihad in Islam is striving in the way of Allah by pen, tongue, hand, media and, if inevitable, with arms. However, jihad in Islam does not include striving for individual or national power, dominance, glory, wealth, prestige or pride. Jihad is not holy war as it is popularly propagated in the media, the Arabic words for “war” are “Harb” or “Qital,” which are found in the Quran and Hadith.
The correct answer is Killing (murder) is regarded as the second major sin Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) listed murder as the second of the major sins, and he even warned that on the Day of Judgment, “The first cases to be adjudicated between people on the Day of Judgment will be those of bloodshed.” (Saheeh Muslim, Hadith No: 1678, and Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Hadith No: 6533)
What did the Prophet term the greatest Jihad?
The greatest jihad is to struggle with the insidious suggestions of one’s soul. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that the greatest jihad is to struggle with the insidious suggestions of one’s soul. Thus jihad primarily refers to the inner struggle of being a person of virtue and submission to God in all aspects of life.
“Ayshah, wife of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, we see jihad as the best of deeds, so shouldn’t we join it?’ He replied, ‘But the best of Jihad is a perfect Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 2784)
On another occasion, a man asked the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
“Should I join the war and do Jihad?’ He asked, ‘Do you have parents?’ The man said, ‘Yes!’ The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘Then strive by serving them!” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 5972)
Yet another man asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him): ‘What kind of jihad is better?’ He replied, ‘A word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler!” (Sunan Al-Nasa’i 4209)
The concept of “offensive jihad” (jihād al-ṭalab) is a legal term in classical Islamic law that has been misunderstood and abused by both Muslim and non-Muslim extremists. In their view, Islam allows no permanent or stable peace with the non-Muslim world. Muslims, they say, must continue to advance their political interests by military means if necessary. Islamic political rule, in their minds, is the purpose of jihad and an end in itself. Allah says:
وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
“Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress. Verily, Allah does not love transgressors.” (Surat al-Baqarah 2:190)
This verse expresses the general purpose of jihad as a response to aggression, to maintain freedom and security to practice Islam, and to protect people’s basic human rights – including the non-Muslim citizens residing in Muslim countries. This is the aim or end of jihad in itself.
فَإِذَا انسَلَخَ الْأَشْهُرُ الْحُرُمُ فَاقْتُلُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ وَخُذُوهُمْ وَاحْصُرُوهُمْ وَاقْعُدُوا لَهُمْ كُلَّ مَرْصَدٍ ۚ فَإِن تَابُوا وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ فَخَلُّوا سَبِيلَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“When the sacred months have passed, then kill the idolaters wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, establish prayer, and give charity, let them go their way. Verily, Allah is forgiving and merciful.” (Surat al-Tawbah 9:5)
In reality, the legal texts that express offensive warfare are describing preemptive military action as a tactic and not as an end in itself. This misconception is dangerous because it is used by anti-Muslim activists to malign Islam in the Western world and justify aggression against Muslim countries, and it is likewise used by Muslim extremists to justify acts of terrorism or belligerence against the West. Agreeing with each other on the meaning of jihad, both of these groups stand in the way of peaceful relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Aggression is Forbidden. Fighting is permitted only in self-defence
The Qur’an refers to Paradise as the “abode of peace”. Thus peace is a goal that Muslims are required to strive for, in their selves, in their families and in their communities. It is ironic, therefore, that Islam is perceived by many as being the motivation behind the wanton killing of innocent people. Allah says:
“You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers.” (Quran 2:191)
Islam is a religion of peace in the complete sense of the word. Every teaching of Islam is based on the principles of peace and avoidance. Throughout history, Muslims should respect others and tried to maintain peace and should follow the straight path. Allah Almighty in the Quran has encouraged the establishment of peace and has told the followers of Islam to be moderate in their behaviour and adopt the qualities of kindness, love, and respect for others. Allah says:
إِذْ جَعَلَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْحَمِيَّةَ حَمِيَّةَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَلْزَمَهُمْ كَلِمَةَ التَّقْوَىٰ وَكَانُوا أَحَقَّ بِهَا وَأَهْلَهَا
“When those who disbelieved had put into their hearts zealotry, the zealotry of the time of ignorance, but Allah sent down His tranquillity upon His Messenger and the believers and imposed upon them the word of righteousness, for they were more deserving and worthy of it.” (Surat Al-Fath 48:26)
In Islam, everyone is held accountable for his acts, not others’. No one bears the consequences of others’ faults, even his close relatives. This is the ultimate form of justice, clarified in the Qur’an:
“Or has he not had news of what is in the books of Moses and Abraham who fulfilled (the commandments): That no laden one shall bear another’s load.” (An-Najm 53:36-38)
The teachings of Islam invite people to live a peaceful life and Islam is an eternal constitution:
- Islam emancipates the mind from superstitions
- Islam Commitment means striving for peace
- Islam has a message for people at all times
- Islam teaches one should not harm others
- Islam teaches that God is the Most Justice
- Islam emphasizes both evidence and faith
- Islam gives a person a clear perspective
- Islam free to no longer slaves to fashion
- Islam itself is an inherently inner peace
- Islam teaches that ultimately be judged
- Islam is a God that promises Paradise
- Islam teaches us about good and bad
- Islam is to develop a peaceful society
- Islam provides equal opportunity
- Islam trend to a believer in God
- Islam Is the future of the world
- Islam bends to mutual caring
- Islam make our life better
- Islam is the true way of life
- Islam encourages God’s mercy
- Muslims also should seek peace
- Islamic rules being a good Muslim
- Islam considers to rights of others
- Never kill the enemy if they seek peace
- Islam prescribes universal brotherhood
- Islam allows a person to truly God’s love
- Islam is a kind of fruit in peace and security
- Islam has the right to life is an absolute value
- Killing (murder) is regarded as the second major sin
- Killing one is equivalent to killing the entire humanity
A Muslim who is greeted with peace by a non-Muslim must respond to his invitation for peace, otherwise, he is sinful. A Muslim is one from whose hand and tongue people are safe. The Islamic position as regards non-Muslims is that they should recognize Allah’s Oneness and Prophet Muhammad as Allah’s Final Prophet. They should accept Islam to live happily and successfully in this world and to be saved in the Hereafter. Allah says:
وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا
“The servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say words of peace.” (Surat al-Furqan 25:63)
Islam is the religion of peace, which means Muslims have been commanded to spread peace on earth. This was the Prophet’s first command to the Muslims when he arrived in Medina. We should, therefore, understand the ideology of peace given in Islam and our actions should base upon this ideology so that peace will overrule in the world. It is due to the lack of understanding that Muslims have forgotten the true preaching of the religion and have succumbed to false interpretations. We should spread peace to portray the real image of the religion Islam. Allah says:
وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا اللَّغْوَ أَعْرَضُوا عَنْهُ وَقَالُوا لَنَا أَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَا نَبْتَغِي الْجَاهِلِينَ
“When they hear ill speech, they turn away from it and say: For us are our deeds and for you are your deeds. Peace be upon you, for we seek not a way of ignorance.” (Surah al-Qasas 28:55)
Islam is the religion of peace. The root of the word Islam refers to “making peace, being in a mutually peaceful environment, greetings, rescue, safety, being secure, finding peace, reaching salvation and well being or being far from danger, attaining goodness, comfort and favour, keeping away from troubles and disasters, submitting the self and obeying, respect, being far from wrong.”A true Muslim should seek to bring others close to him, not drive them away from him.
“This is the recompense of those who fight against God and His Messenger and spread corruption in the land. they shall be put to death, or crucified, or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the next awaits them a mighty chastisement” (Surah Al-Maidah, 5:33)
The moral teaching offered to humanity by Islam is one that will bring peace, happiness, and justice to the world. The barbarism that is happening in the world today under the name of “Islamic Terrorism” is completely removed from the moral teachings of the Qur’an; it is the work of ignorant, bigoted people, criminals who have nothing to do with religion. The solution which will be applied against these individuals and groups who are trying to commit their deeds of savagery under the guise of Islam will be the instruction of people in the true moral teaching of Islam. Allah says:
“The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and thee there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend.” (Fussilat 41:34)
Islam does not permit aggression against innocent people, whether the aggression is against life, property, or honour, and this ruling applies to everyone, regardless of post, status, and prestige. In Islam, as the state’s subject is addressed with Islamic teachings, so is the ruler or caliph; he is not allowed to violate people’s rights, lives, honour, property, etc. Allah says:
“…if any one slew a person – unless it is for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people.” (Surah Al-Maidah 5:32)
A Religion of Peace & Well-Being
The word Islam has the same meaning as ‘peace’ in Arabic. Islam is a religion that came down to offer humanity a life filled with peace and well-being in which Allah’s eternal mercy and compassion are manifested in the world. Allah invites all people to accept the moral teachings of the Qur’an as a model whereby mercy, compassion, tolerance, and peace may be experienced in the world. In Surat Al-Baqarah, this command is given:
“You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace (Islam). Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. He is an outright enemy to you.” (Al-Baqarah 2:208)
How do the values of the Quran hold Muslims responsible for treating all people?
What does Allah mention in the Holy Quran:
- “And hath made them safe from fear.” (Quran, 106:4)
- “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” (Quran 2:256)
- “If they refrain, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.” (Quran, 2:192)
- “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged. And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.” (Quran, 8: 60-61)
- “They never implore beside GOD any other god, nor do they kill anyone – for GOD has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. Nor do they commit adultery. Those who commit these offences will have to pay.” (Quran, 25:68)
- “And why should you not fight for the cause of Allah, and the helpless old men and women….” (Quran, 4:75)
- “So remind, you need only to remind. You cannot compel them to believe.” (Al-Ghashiyah88:22)
- “And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel (evil) with what is best, when lo! he between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend…” (Al-Qur’an 41:34)
Islam does not call for violence; relatively it disliked all forms of violence and terrorism. No matter against Muslims or Non-Muslims, Islam calls for peace, cooperation and maintaining justice for humanity as a whole. Muslims may urge one another to keep the moral precepts taught in the Qur’an, but they never use compulsion. In any case, an individual cannot be induced to the practice of religion by either threatening or offering him a worldly privilege. Allah says:
“You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship GOD freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors.” (Quran, 2:193)
Fighting is allowed in self-defence, while aggression and oppression are strongly condemned throughout the Quran.
So, Jihad is the name of doing one`s best in terms of both fighting and expanding everything one has. As property is among the most important things one has, it is imperative to spend as much as one can, besides going into direct battle with the enemies of Islam. Now, the act of warfare needs to be elaborated, as it is greatly misjudged and linked with wrong motives. Allah says:
“… if they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you, and offer you peace, then GOD gives you no excuse to fight them.” (Surah An-Nisa, 4:90)
Haters of Islam only quote the very first line of the above verses and argue that Muslims are cruel and are meant to kill others wherever they find them, but that is not true. It has been added in the following verse by Allah SWT that if they ask for mercy, then there is no need to fight and kill them. This is the whole concept of Jihad from the above lines of the Quran and it should not be misquoted. Allah says:
“O you who believe, if you strike in the cause of GOD, you shall be sure. Do not say to one who offers you peace, “You are not a believer,” seeking the spoils of this world. For GOD possesses infinite spoils. Remember that you used to be like them, and GOD blessed you. Therefore, you shall be sure (before you strike). GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.” (Surah An-Nisa, 4:94)
Jihad is of two kinds: major (struggling against inner self) and minor (combating enemies of Islam). It consists of all kinds of efforts which are for the sake of resoluteness to one`s religious convictions. It includes responding aggressively to enemies of Islam who try to wipe out Muslims by force, and help the oppressed, but try to have harmony with them if they require it. If the enemy offers peace, it should be accepted even at the risk of possible deception. Allah says:
“You shall not kill any person – for GOD has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder; he will be helped.” (Surah Al-Isra, 17:33)
The killing of innocent civilians by suicide bombers and terrorists is strongly condemned in the Quran.
What does Islam say about the killing of people?
- Life is Sacred: “Taking any life—except in the course of justice is forbidden. Even so, capital punishment is discouraged. Thus, those who commit these horrible acts are not Muslims, rather very evil people who try to justify their hatred and actions using God’s name.” (Quran, 7:28)
- Absolute Freedom to Believe / No compulsion in religion: “Does Islam recommend or justify the killing of disbelievers or those who decide to leave the religion? The answer is an emphatic “No”. God makes it very clear in the Quran, that there is no compulsion in religion.” (Quran, 2:256)
- No Compulsion in Religion: “There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.” (Quran, 2:256)
- Absolute Freedom of Religion: “Proclaim: “This is the truth from your Lord,” then whoever will let him believe, and whoever will let him disbelieve. We have prepared for the transgressors a fire that will surround them. When they scream for help, they will be given a liquid-like concentrated acid that scalds their faces. What a miserable drink! What a miserable destiny!” (Quran, 18:29)
- How to Spread God’s Message: “You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones.” (Quran, 16:125)
“Seek the abode of the hereafter with what Allah has given you, without forgetting your portion of the world. And do good as Allah has been good to you. And do not seek to cause mischief on earth. Allah does not love mischief makers.” (Surah Al-Qasas 28:77)
Allah has commanded humanity to avoid evil; He has forbidden immorality, rebellion, cruelty, aggressiveness, murder, and bloodshed. Those who do not obey this command of Allah are walking in the steps of Satan, as the Qur’an says in the verse above, and have adopted an attitude that Allah has declared unlawful. Of the many verses that bear on this subject, there are only two:
“But as for those who break Allah’s contract after it has been agreed and sever what Allah has commanded to be joined, and cause corruption in the earth, the curse will be upon them. They will have the Evil Abode.” (Surah Ar-Rad 13:25)
As we can see, Allah has forbidden every kind of mischievous act in Islam including terrorism and violence and condemned those who commit such deeds. A Muslim lends beauty to the world and improves it. The religion of Submission to God (Islam) as described in the Quran is a peaceful and tolerant one. The only situations where fighting is allowed are in self-defence. Aggression is always prohibited. Allah says:
“Come let me tell you what your Lord has prohibited for you: You shall not set up idols besides Him. You shall honour your parents. You shall not kill your children from fear of poverty – we provide for you and them. You shall not commit gross sins, obvious or hidden. You shall not kill – GOD has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.” (Surah Al-Anam, 6:151)
Islam, Tolerance, and Freedom of Speech
Islam is a religion, which fosters freedom of life, ideas, and thought. It has forbidden tension and conflict among people, calumny, suspicion and even having negative thoughts about another individual. To force anyone to believe in a religion or to practice it is against the spirit and essence of Islam. Because faith must be accepted with free will and conscience.
“Take to forgiveness and enjoin good and turn aside from the ignorant.” (Surah Al-Araf 7:199)
Islam being a practical religion does cover the legitimacy of fighting as well as when it is unjustified. The believers in the time of Muhammad had to face hostile opposition because of their religious views and were in many cases forced to fight to save their lives.
However, the bulk of the Quran, as the religion of Islam in general, focuses on worshipping God, leading a righteous life and attaining salvation in the Hereafter. We invite you to read the Quran for yourself to verify this.
“Allah does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes. Allah loves just dealers.” (Surah Al-Mumtahanah, 60:8)
The concept of “offensive jihad” as expressed in classical Islamic legal texts has been dangerously misunderstood. The Quran and Sunnah consistently express defence as the overriding aim of warfare. The rules of war were amended near the end of the Quranic revelation to include preemptive strikes as a tactic, but not as an end in itself.
The understanding of offence by the majority of jurists did not include political rule or domination of non-Muslims as a goal by itself. The general purpose of jihad as a defence has never changed since it was first permitted. Allah says:
وَإِن جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
“If the enemy inclines to peace, then incline to it also and rely upon Allah. Verily, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.” (Surat Al-Anfal 8:61)
Ideas of offensive jihad in the hands of untrained and uneducated lay Muslims, as well as anti-Muslim activists, are dangerous because it permits no vision of stable peace between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds. It also conflicts with the essence of Allah as peace (al-Salām) and thus peace on earth as something to strive for. Allah says:
“They commit a gross sin, then say, “We found our parents doing this, and GOD has commanded us to do it.” Say, “GOD never advocates sin. Are you saying about GOD what you do not know?” (Surah Al-Araf, 7:28)
The very integrity of Islamic practice is threatened if worldly political goals supersede the values, virtues, and spiritual teachings of our religion. As Muslims, we should remove this misunderstanding as it is an obstacle to peace, stability, and mutual respect among the people of the world.