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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

Read: Background to the Project

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

December 21st, 2011

Issue 35

Issue 35 [@ 30:13]: Robert Spencer – “The Quran contains no guarantee of paradise except for those who slay or slain in the cause of Allah.”
@ 30:32 – Slide projected with voice – The Noble Koran – 9:111 Verily, Allah has purchased of the the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah’s Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success.
@ 30:42 – Rober Spencer – “In other words the guarantee of Paradise is for the people who are killed while they are killing to establish the hegemony of Allah or Islamic Law in the world.”
Rebuttal 35: STOP THE PRESSES! Spencer and others almost always quote verses out of context, but in current issue he is intellectually dishonest. He not only uses the verse 9:111 out of context, but has actually put the verse on chopping block and removed the references to Torah and Gospel from within the verse, which are highlighted in bold below. He is quite “savvy” and obsequious, because if he quoted the whole verse, he would then be forced to smear Torah and Bible too in the same breath by the very distortions that he uses against Quran. To set the record straight, the same verse 9:111 and its context in subsequent verse in excerpted from the translation and commentary by Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz:

9:111. Surely Allah has bought from the believers their persons and their property — theirs (in return) is the Garden. They fight in Allah’s way, so they kill and are killed. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Quran.

[Footnote] The promise binding on Allah is that Allah will grant the believers His blessings, if they exert themselves with their persons and their property in His way. The Gospels give the same promise: “If you want to be perfect”, said Jesus to a wealthy man, “go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew, 19:21). To Peter he said: “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” (Matthew, 19:29). Moses’ teaching contains similar promises. For instance, the promise of “a land flowing with milk and honey” is made conditional on “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy, 6:3–5), which is the same as exerting oneself to the utmost in the way of God with one’s person and property.

It should be borne in mind that the words, they fight in Allah’s way, so they kill and are killed, are not a part of the promise, but are expressive of the condition of the Companions, and show that they were true to their promise.

The promise to spend one’s person and property may be carried out in various ways under different circumstances, and the Companions of the Holy Prophet were as true to this promise during the thirteen years at Makkah as during the ten years at Madinah.
[Comment by the writer: They fight – i.e. strive – in Allah’s way, – for human rights, justice, equality, freedom of expression and faith etc. – so they kill – in defensive battles for survival – and are killed – either in the same defensive battles or they are persecuted for their faith. There is no net loss for such persons who strive in Allah’s way – the path of Truth, with their persons and their property. Only a believer will accept such a bargain because such a believer believes in the fundamental concept of God and all the moral and spiritual laws and their assurances that emanate from it. The belief then becomes the guarantor of freedom of thought and action for the believer to undertake all hardships of their persons and their property in Allah’s way.

Reader, please note that no believer can undertake aggressive actions in Allah’s way, because any aggression is against the fundamental teachings of Quran e.g.
2:190. And fight in the cause of Allâh those who fight and persecute you, but commit no aggression. Surely, Allâh does not love the aggressors.
2:191. And slay them (the aggressors against whom fighting is made incumbent) when and where you get the better of them, in [a] disciplinary way, and turn them out whence they have turned you out. (Killing is bad but) lawlessness is even worse than carnage. But do not fight them in the precincts of Masjid al-Harâm (the Holy Mosque at Makkah) unless they fight you therein. Should they attack you (there,) then slay them. This indeed is the recompense of such disbelievers.
2:192. But if they desist (from aggression,) then, behold, Allâh is indeed [the] Great Protector, Ever Merciful.
2:193. And fight them until persecution is no more and religion is (freely professed) for Allâh [note – in Qur’ân Allah uses his unique name as God for all peoples]. But if they desist (from hostilities) then (remember) there is no punishment except against the unjust (who still persist in persecution).
2:194. (The violation of) a sacred month [according to Arab tradition] may be retaliated in the sacred month and for (the violation of) all sacred things the law of retaliation is prescribed. Then he who transgresses against you, punish him for his transgression to the extent he has transgressed against you, and take Allâh as a shield, and know that Allâh is with those who guard against evil
-verses 2:190-194 excerpted from translation by Nooruddin]

And who is more faithful to his promise than Allah? Rejoice therefore in your bargain which you have made. And that is the mighty achievement.
9:112. They [– the believers referred to in verse 9:111 above]
who turn (to Allah),
who serve (Him),
who praise (Him),
who fast,
who bow down,
who prostrate themselves,
who enjoin what is good and
forbid what is evil, and
who keep the limits of Allah
and give good news to the believers.

Verse 9:112 brings to light the attributes and moral stages of the believers mentioned in the previous verse 9:111. Both of these verses are tightly coupled. It is only the people with such moral and spiritual attributes who can fearlessly but without hate or vengence, with patience and forbearance, confront and overcome opposition of ideas, aggression and persecution, not only against themselves but for the rest of the humanity as well. It were such handfuls about 1500 years ago, who set the world on the course of human rights and dignity that the West enjoys in their constitutions today. It is these who followed the original teachings of Torah and Gospel before Muhammad and of Quran after Muhammad. In summary all such followers are commonly known as Muslims. It is this Islam – What the West needs to know and not the Islam of make believe, that the “experts” in the documentary want to portray to the West.
The message of verse 9:111 is closely paralleled by the following verses:

61:10. O you who believe, shall I lead you to a bargain which will deliver you from a painful punishment?
61:11. You should believe in Allah and His Messenger, and strive hard in Allah’s way with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if only you knew!
61:12. He will forgive you your sins and make you enter Gardens in which rivers flow, and goodly dwellings in Gardens of perpetuity — that is the mighty achievement —
61:13. and yet another (blessing) that you love: help from Allah and a victory near at hand; and give good news to the believers.[Muhammad Ali, Ed. Dr. Zahid Aziz]

A keen reader of Quran will see similarities between Muhammad and Jesus. They are similar as both were Prophets with their respective Books and with a common Message from the same Source descending on the same humanity who offered similar response to the Message, some accepting and others rejecting it. Acceptors ultimately triumphing over the rejecting ones, based upon strength of ideas and the content of the Message:

61:14. O you who believe, be helpers (in the cause) of Allah, as Jesus, son of Mary, said to the disciples: Who are my helpers in the cause of Allah? The disciples said: We are helpers (in the
cause) of Allah. So a party of the Children of Israel believed and another party disbelieved; then We aided those who believed against their enemy, and they became predominant.[Muhammad Ali, Ed. Dr. Zahid Aziz]

Hadith as quoted in Rebuttal 34 alone can refute the distorted narration and interpretation of the verse 9:111 by Spencer as he maliciously tries to imprint on the audience the need to be killed in order to attain salvation:

“The first of men (whose case) will be decided on the Day of Judgment will be a man who died as a martyr. He shall be brought (before the Judgment Seat). Allah will make him recount His blessings and he will recount them. Then will Allah say: What did you do? He will say: I fought for You until I died as a martyr. Allah will say: You have told a lie. You fought that you might be called a brave warrior. And you were called so. (Then) orders will be passed against him and he will be dragged with his face downward and cast into hell.” (Sahih Muslim, book: ‘Government’; in A.H. Siddiqui translation book 20, ch. 43, number 4688.) [Islam, Peace and Tolerance, p 51]

In light of the verse 9:111 and above Hadith, it becomes quite clear as to proclaim anyone as martyr, such a striving person must also had fulfilled the requirements of verse 9:112 as well, i.e.

9:112. They [– the believers to referred in verse 9:111 above] who turn (to Allah), who serve (Him), who praise (Him), who fast, who bow down, who prostrate themselves, who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and who keep the limits of Allah — and give good news to the believers.

Outwardly, we can be a witness to who praise (Him), who fast, who bow down, who prostrate themselves, who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. Inwardly, how much that person turned (to Allah), served (Him), kept the limits of Allah is known only to Allah. One of the requirements of limits of Allah is non-aggression. The ultimate judge of martyrdom is Allah alone. We as surviving humans can only wish and pray for the status of martyrdom for the soul that was striving.
Lets revisit the pearls of wisdom as expressed by Spencer. He states – “In other words the guarantee of Paradise is for the people who are killed while they are killing to establish the hegemony of Allah or Islamic Law in the world.”
Using Spencer’s logic, if getting killed is so fundamental to be guaranteed Paradise then there will be no Muslim left on the face of the earth. They all would have sought to be gotten killed more than fifteen hundred years ago. Further more, in the light of same logic the remaining Muslims in the world are “fake” Muslims who have not gotten themselves killed as yet. Why is then Spencer worried at the hands of “fake” Muslims? Is he so sympathetic to Muslim cause that he want to make the Muslims of the world realize their “falsehood” and convert them to “real” Muslims so that they all annihilate themselves in order to be guaranteed Paradise. To extend it further, the way Spencer interprets Islam and Quran is that every alive Muslim is hell bound by his own hands because he has not gotten himself killed yet. In his logic, if by some collective effort Muslims are able to “establish the hegemony of Allah or Islamic Law in the world” then there is no incentive left to achieve Paradise because then there is no one left to to fight and Muslims will be disappointed for being unable to get “killed while they are killing.” Spencer is plain ridiculous. He defies logic. He is nonsensical.
If Spencer is correct in his interpreting the verse 9:111, then his proclamation of “hegemony of Allah” is no different than “hegemony of Lord Jesus.” Hegemony of God is essentially a Christian doctrine as outlined by following passages from Bible:

Firstly, Christianity is directed to expand and dominate – Matthew 28:

18. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Secondly, suppression of any differing opinion or faith is mandated – 2 Corinthians 10:

5. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6. And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Thirdly, the annihilation of non-believers is a duty – 2 Thessalonians 1:

7. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

World history is a testament to Christians carrying forth the above mandate of “Hegemony of Lord Jesus” all over the world. All nations of the world accepted this hegemony except the Muslims. Despite being overwhelmed by Christian temporal power, Muslims never flinched to Christian moral onslaught. For that the credit goes to their Quran which stood as the bulwark to the Christian missionary tide. Not only that, the tide is reversing back to Christian lands and minds, but now the tide is that of Quran.
Spencer so casually tries to smear Islam with words such as “hegemony of Allah,” but rest assured that Quran is not dogmatic like Bible. Instead of Allah’s hegemony, Quran assures the survival of Christian faith:

Firstly, Christianity will survive till the last day, though with a caveat of their mutual hatred:

5:14. And with those who say, We are Christians, We made a covenant,b but they neglected a portion of what they were reminded of, so We stirred up enmity and hatred among them to the day of Resurrection.

[Footnote] The prophecy that there shall always be hatred and enmity between the various Christian peoples has proved true in all ages, and never more clearly than in modern times with the World Wars in Europe.

And Allah will soon inform them of what they did. [Muhammad Ali – Ed. Zahid Aziz]

Secondly, Christians will always dominate Jews:

3:55. When Allah said: O Jesus, I will cause you to die and exalt you in My presence and clear you of those who disbelieve and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve to the day of Resurrection.

[Footnote] This is the fourth promise made to Jesus in this verse, that those who follow Jesus shall be made dominant over his rejectors till the day of Judgment. Its truth is witnessed to this day in the dominance of the Christians over the Jews. [Note: Muslims believe in Jesus as a Prophet] [Muhammad Ali – Ed. Zahid Aziz]

The above verses are yet another proof that as a matter of doctrine Islam can co-exist with other religions. Unlike as a matter of failure of Christianity which now has no choice but to accept other religions on the face of the earth besides itself.
Spencer’s also declared – “The Quran contains no guarantee of paradise except for those who slay or slain in the cause of Allah.” This is a plain wrong statement. Many counter arguments can be unloaded from Quran, but suffice for him and his co-experts are the following verses re-posted from Rebuttal 31c. These versesshould be an eye opener alike to both the preacher and the preached of the documentary. Spencer comes across immature, infantile and selfish in light of these verses whereas Quran stands out as fair, mature and word of God:

2:62. Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good, they have their reward with their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.[Muhammad Ali – Ed. Zahid Aziz]
5:69. Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians — whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good — they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve. [Muhammad Ali – Ed. Zahid Aziz]
3:113. They (– the people of the Scripture) are not all alike. Among these people of the Scripture there are some upright people. They rehearse the Message of Allâh in the hours of the night and they prostrate themselves (in His worship).
3:114. They believe in Allâh and the Last Day and enjoin good and forbid evil, and they vie one with another in (doing) good deeds. And it is these who are of the truly righteous. [Nooruddin]

Once again as in other issues before, the “experts” of this documentary bring up issues that might not be of their liking. Spencer inadvertently while distorting Quran, falls on his own axe by bringing up the fundamental concept of Salvation, which was fully addressed in Rebuttal 31 before, which the reader is referred to.
Note: [comments in square brackets above are not part of the original sources]. Verse 9:112 is stylistically re-formatted into a list of attributes solely for educational purposes.
Islam, Peace and Tolerance – Dr. Zahid Aziz
New King James Version –
The Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz
The Holy Quran – Noourddin

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