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See: Project Rebuttal: What the West needs to know about Islam

Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

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List of all Issues | Summary 1 | Summary 2 | Summary 3‎ — completed, 28th June 2013

December 6th, 2011

Issue 32

Issue 32 [@ 28:35]: Walid Shoebat continues – “In Islamist thinking, the assurance of your salvation is dying as a martyr. In accordance to the verse in the Quran – Do not think that the ones who died in the cause of Allah, in Jihad, are dead but are living – So, this assures salvation.”

Rebuttal 32: Once again, Mr. Shoebat contextomizes Quran. He quoted verse 2:154 totally out of context and slipped in the word “Jihad” in its translation. This is sheer dishonesty. Even so, Jihad is a non-violent word whose meaning and implications were fully explained in Issue 27 before. He misconstrues the implications of the verse and tries to implant in the reader the notion that the verse has to do with fighting. Summarily, the main guideline for Jihad is given in the verse:

25:52. So do not obey the disbelievers, and strive against them a mighty striving with it [i.e. with Quran].

[Footnote – Muhammad Ali, ed. Zahid Aziz] This verse affords a clear proof of the significance of the word jihad, as used in the Quran. Every exertion to spread the Truth is, according to this verse, a jihad; in fact, it is called the jihad kabir (“mighty striving”) or the great jihad. Fighting in defence of religion received the name of jihad, because under the circumstances it became necessary for the Truth to live and prosper; if fighting had not been permitted, Truth would surely have been uprooted. The commentators all accept this significance of the word here. It should be noted that the greatest jihad which a Muslim can carry on is one by means of the Quran, to which the personal pronoun it at the end of the verse unquestionably refers, because such jihad must be carried on by every Muslim under all circumstances. [Muhammad Ali, ed. Zahid Aziz]

The said verse 2:154, referred to by Shoebat, in its full context is quoted below from the translation and commentary by Muhammad Ali, edited by Zahid Aziz:

2:153. O you who believe, seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient

[writer’s comment] patience and prayer are the main stay of toolkit of one working in cause of Allah, which could be while doing research in sciences, development of technology, advocating for justice, fighting the poverty, facing the persecution, standing up to tyranny, defending oneself in occupation, struggling against apartheid, striving for peace and all the virtuous endeavors for which Nobel Prizes are given out.

2:154. And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Rather, (they are) alive, but you do not perceive.

[Footnote] The sacrifice of life which must be undertaken in the cause of Truth is hinted at in this passage. The words rendered literally as in Allah’s way or in the cause of Allah, frequently occurring in the Holy Quran, signify the cause of Truth. A Christian translator’s comment that the words in the way of Allah mean “war undertaken against unbelievers for the propagation of Islam” is baseless. Carrying the message of Islam to non-Muslims is indeed the duty of a Muslim, and anyone engaged in this work is undoubtedly working in the way of Allah, but that a Muslim was required to carry the message of God at the point of the sword is no more than a myth.

2:155. And We shall certainly try you with something of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits. And give good news to the patient,

[Footnote] The Muslims had already made great sacrifices in the cause of Allah. They had left their homes, their near and dear ones and everything they had, behind them at Makkah, and had come to Madinah empty-handed, but they were now told that they would have to make more sacrifices yet. They would have to face fear and hunger and all kinds of losses, even death itself. If they bore all these sufferings with steadfastness, they would have a great future, of which the good news is given to them beforehand. Those who have sacrificed their lives in the cause of Truth gain the life eternal, while the dead are really those who are dead in ignorance.

2:156. who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah’s, and to Him we shall return.b

[Footnote] This is the true expression of a Muslim’s resignation under trials: We are Allah’s and to Him we shall return. He resigns himself to the will of God so thoroughly that no trial or misfortune can disturb the course of his life, which has a much higher goal before it than mere comfort.

2:157. Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord; and those are the followers of the right course.

With the full context of dying in Allah’s way clarified above one has to accept that for a person on a virtuous path, treading in Allah’s way never ends. For a human rights activist, social rights are a lifelong pursuit. For a scientist his research does not end by the mere fact that he won a Nobel Prize. Whether such a person might die during the effort or after the effort, his life has been in Allah’s way. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. was killed before he achieved racial equality for the people of color. Abraham Lincoln was murdered after he was able to abolish slavery. Albert Einstein finally brought out the Theory of Relativity. These are examples of Allah’s way. These are pristine examples of Jihad. History is witness that Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord; and those are the followers of the right course. In United States, Abraham Lincoln and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., both were martyred, and as a tribute to their efforts and achievements, their birthdays are celebrated as holidays. Einstein’s Jihad in Physics was not only rewarded by a Nobel Prize, but his name is taught to the children of the world at the elementary level throughout the world. Shoebat or for that matter even an atheist, for whom one’s existence begins and end with this earthly life, will bear witness to the truth of the said verse in regards to Lincoln and King – And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Rather, (they are) alive, but you do not perceive. Mr. Shoebat, please take note, God stands behind his words in Quran which apply equally to a Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

Shoebat tries to confuse the immorality of Crusades with the morality of Jihad. Reader is left wondering as to who gave him the Certificate to speak for “Islamist thinking” that he considers himself an expert on? Only an ignorant can lead an ignorant. The cheerleaders of the documentary in reference have to self-reflect about the “experts” that they adore rather than should abhor for their ignorance and conceited motives. He essentially is giving out a fatwa when he states “the assurance of your salvation is dying as a martyr.” Attacking first without a preexisting state of war and then killing and getting killed in the name of a religion is a Christian concept and finds no support in Quran. In Islam such an act is called aggression, pure and simple. Crusades and global colonizations were undertaken because of this Christian doctrine of unprovoked aggression. No wonder, it is not too surprising to find that Queen of England is still the head of the Anglican Church. Exploitations of Americas were undertaken by Queen Isabella of Spain, the same infamous queen who was the sponsor of Spanish Inquisition.

Just like Mr. Al-Araby in Issue 31, Shoebat too made the same mistake when he claims about Islam “So, this assures salvation.” Their mistake is that of bringing up the topic of Salvation. Christianity unravels on this single word alone, the infamous myth – Salvation by inaction through “Atonement,” a concept repugnant to reason, that is fully refuted in Issue 31 before. At least in Quran, one cannot salivate for Salvation by dying in aggressive acts. In Quran, there are no aggressive Crusades in the name of anything, be it a religion. In Islam, Salvation hinges upon secular principles of active deeds of righteousness and doer of good to others:

4:122. And those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We will certainly admit them into Gardens served with running streams, there they shall abide for ever. Allâh’s promise is unfailing. And who is more truthful than Allâh in word.

4:123. (O people!) it (- the salvation) shall not be according to your vain desires, nor according to the vain desires of the people of the Scripture. He who does evil shall be recompensed accordingly, and he shall find for himself no patron nor a helper besides Allâh.

4:124. But whosoever does deeds of righteousness be it male or female, provided he (or she) is a believer [- i.e. a monotheist in thoughts and actions and follower of Divine Laws], it is these, then who shall enter Paradise and shall not be treated unjustly even (so much as) the groove in a date-stone.

4:125. And who is better in faith than one who submits his whole attention to Allâh and he is a doer of good to others and follows the religion of Abraham, the upright? And Allâh had taken Abraham for a special friend.

4:126. And to Allâh belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And Allâh encompasses each and everything. [Nooruddin]

Note: [comments in square brackets above are not part of the original translations]


The Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz
The Holy Quran – Noourddin

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