The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement Blog

Miracles, Myths, Mistakes and MattersSee Title Page and List of Contents

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

January 2nd, 2013

Issue 82

Issue 82 [@1:26:12]: Video clip with inserted sub-title “Excerpts from Jihadist recruitment videos”. With mostly Arabic voice(s) in the background and/or audio overlay, a person loading the back of a blue colored SUV. Three artillery shells are shown under the back seat. Thereafter a masked driver apparently sitting in the same SUV rants with a jingoistic tone. Then the scene changes to open fields with a road. From a distance couple of army vehicles approaching towards the camera and a civilian brown colored car facing away from the camera parked on the same road. Background chanting of Allah-o-Akbar, the civilian and military vehicles cross and then there is a detonation against the second army vehicle.

Comment: The only thing that comes to the fore in this video (without understanding the audio in Arabic) is that different video clips are put together. The SUV that is loaded is totally different from the car that exploded. Besides, the SUV is loaded with plain looking artillery shells. In this day and age of war movies and video games, it is surprising that how can artillery shells explode by themselves without any mechanism attached to them. None of the parties in the video are identified, it could be anyone from anywhere. There is no clue about location of this video clips.

Issue 82a [@1:27:10]: Robert Spencer – “It’s unfortunate that there is no negotiating with Jihadists. There is no striking a deal with them…”

Rebuttal 82a: The specific Jihadists that Spencer is referring to are product of ‘West’ itself. Maybe Spencer can answer the ubiquitous question that is on everyone’s mind as to who encouraged, abetted and funded the global ‘Jihad’ that was initially directed against Soviets? To refresh Spencer’s memory he better take a look at the faces in this YouTube video where one finds the all too familiar face of Ronald Reagan, who represented not only the West in general but the American right in particular.

It all started in Afghanistan and Reagan is on the record – “These gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.” — Ronald Regan while introducing the Mujahideen leaders to media on the White house lawns (1985).

Reagan even dedicated Space Shuttle Columbia launch to Afghan freedom fighters – YouTube video.

President Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski during a visit to the Afghanistan border from Pakistan addressed the Afghans: “We know of their deep belief in God that they are confident that their struggle will succeed. That land over there is yours and you’ll go back to it someday, because your fight will prevail, and you’ll have your homes, your mosques, back again, because your cause is right and God is on your side.” YouTube video.

It is essentially admitted by current American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton that America is responsible for this Jihadi mess – YouTube video.

Now some of those Jihadi elements have gone awry like a rudderless torpedo and the Spencers are crying foul. You reap, what you sow. Like heat seeking missiles, this Jihadi ideology was nurtured by Spencer’s West to be ‘infidel seeking’ for homing-in to their target. Before it was the Soviets, which once eliminated only refined the “Jihadi spirit” of the same Western trained, who have now the next ‘infidel’, the West itself as its next ‘holy mission’. Neither Jihadists, nor their Jihad have anything to do with Quran or Sunnah, nor equating of Jihadists with Islam by Spencer. These Jihadists were a purely Western necessity for its cold war and like a science fiction, the ‘computers’ of the Jihadists have broken away from their central command and are out there to get their Masters and everyone else. Spencer might call it error, but history calls it comedy of errors.

Issue 82b: “…Islamic law is very clear on that and here once again is an example; we need to take Islam seriously. Islamic law does not allow for treaties. It does not allow for negotiated settlements between Muslim states and non-Muslim states. All it allows for is a temporary period of up to 10 years of hudna or what is commonly translated as truce. To allow the Islamic forces to gather their strength. But that’s not the same as peace as we know it. That’s not the same as the absence of the state of war, that’s only a temporary lull. In a war that the Jihadists consider has gone on for 14 centuries and are willing to fight for 14 more.”

Rebuttal 82b: The above statement by Spencer, for lack of a better word, is an utter nonsense. Assuredly, Islam is the only religion and the constitution in the world that mandates as part of its doctrine for Muslims to make peace treaty with its opponents on every available chance. This is directly opposite of the totally fabricated and bogus statement by Spencer. The concept of Hudna was addressed in Issue 81c before.

Maulana Muhammad Ali in his landmark book “Religion of Islam” in Part 3, Chapter 5 – Jihad, under section Peace Recommended, writes:

Notwithstanding what has been said above, the Muslims were told to accept peace in the middle of war if the enemy wanted peace: “And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it and trust in Allah; surely He is the Hearer, the Knower. And if they intend to deceive thee — then surely Allah is sufficient for thee”(8:61, 62). It should be noted that peace is here recommended even though the enemy’s sincerity may be doubtful. And there were reasons to doubt the good intentions of the enemy, for the Arab tribes did not attach much value to their treaty agreements: “Those with whom thou makest an agreement, then they break their agreement every time and they keep not their duty” (8:56). None could carry those precepts into practice better than the Holy Prophet, and he was so prone to make peace whenever the enemy showed the least desire towards it, that on the occasion of the Hudaibiyah truce he did not hesitate to accept the position of the defeated party, though he had never been defeated on the field of battle, and his Companions had sworn to lay down their lives one and all if the worst had come to the worst. Yet he made peace and accepted terms which his own followers looked upon as humiliating for Islam. He accepted the condition that he would go back without performing a pilgrimage and also that if a resident of Makkah embraced Islam and came to him for protection, he would not give him protection. Thus the injunction contained in the Holy Quran to make peace with the idolators if they desired peace, combined with the practice of the Holy Prophet in concluding peace on any terms, is a clear proof that the theory of preaching Islam by the sword is a pure myth so far as the Holy Qur’an is concerned.

To sum up, neither in the earlier revelations nor in the later is there the slightest indication of any injunction to propagate Islam by the sword. On the other hand, war was clearly allowed as a defensive measure up to the last. It was to be continued only so long as religious persecution lasted, and when that ceased, war was to cease ipso facto. And there was the additional condition that if a tribe, against whom the Muslims were fighting because of its aggressive and repeated violation of treaties, embraced Islam, it then and there became a part of the Muslim body politic, and its subjugation by arms was therefore foregone, and war with it came to an end. Such remained the practice of the Holy Prophet during his lifetime. And there is not a single instance in history in which he offered the alternative of the sword or Islam to any tribe or individual, nor did he ever lead an aggressive attack. The last of his expeditions was that of Tabuk, in which he led an army of thirty thousand against the Roman Empire, but when he found, on reaching the frontier, after a very long and tedious journey, that the Romans did not contemplate an offensive he returned without attacking them. His action on this occasion also throws light on the fact that the permission to fight against the Christians contained in (9:29) was also subject to the condition laid down in (2:190) that the Muslims not be aggressive in war. The opinion now held among the more enlightened European critics of Islam is, that though the Holy Prophet did not make use of force in the propagation of Islam, and that though he did not lead an aggressive attack against an enemy, in the whole of his life, yet this position was adopted by his immediate successors, and was therefore a natural development of his teaching.

The opinion is also due to a misconception of the historical facts which led to the wars of the early Caliphate with the Persian and Roman empires. After the death of the Holy Prophet, when Arabia rose in insurrection and Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, as engaged in suppressing the revolt, both Persia and Rome openly helped the insurgents with men and money. It is difficult to go into details of history in a book which does not deal with the historical aspect of the question {fn: dealt with this subject fully in my book The Early Caliphate}, but it would not be inappropriate to quote a modern writer who is in no way friendly to Islam:

Chaldaea and southern Syria belong properly to Arabia. The tribes inhabiting this region, partly heathen but chiefly (at least in name) Christian, formed an integral part of the Arab race and as such fell within the immediate scope of the new Dispensation. When, however, these came into collision with the Muslim columns on the frontier, they were supported by their respective sovereigns {fn: italics inserted}. — the western by the Kaiser, and the eastern by the Chosroes. Thus the struggle widened {fn: Sir W. Muir, The Caliphate, p. 46}.”

There is actual historical evidence that Persia landed her forces in Bahrain to help the insurgents of that Arabian province, and a Christian woman, Sajah, marched at the head of Christian tribes, from her home on the frontier of Persia, against Madinah, the capital of Islam, and traversed the country right up to the central part. Persia and Rome were thus the aggressors, and the Muslims in sheer self-defense, came into conflict with those mighty empires. The idea of spreading Islam by the sword was as far away from their minds as it was from that of the great Master whom they followed. Thus even Muir admits that, as late as the conquest of Mesopotamia by ‘Umar, the Muslims were strangers to the idea of making converts to Islam by means of the sword: “The thought of a world-wide mission was yet in embryo; obligation to enforce Islam by a universal Crusade had not yet dawned upon the Muslim mind {fn: Sir W. Muir, The Caliphate, p. 120}.” This remark relates to the year 16 of Hijrah, when more than half the battles of the early Caliphate had already been fought. According to Muir, even the conquest of the whole of Persia was a measure of self-defense, and not of aggression, on the part of the Muslims: “The truth began to dawn on ‘Omar that necessity was laid upon him to withdraw the ban against advance. In self-defense, nothing was left but to crush the Chosroes and take entire possession of his realm.”{fn: Op. cit., p. 172}

And if the wars with the Persian and Roman empires were begun and carried on for five years without any idea of the propagation of Islam by arms, surely there was no occasion for the idea to creep in at a subsequent stage.

The above argument is continued on p I-46, Introduction section of English Translation of the Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Ed. Zahid Aziz.

If the enemy offered peace, peace was to be accepted, though the enemy’s intention might be only to deceive the Muslims:

“And if they incline to peace, you (must) incline to it also, and trust in Allah. Surely He is the Hearer, the Knower. And if they intend to deceive you, then surely Allah is sufficient for you.” — 8:61–62

The Holy Prophet made treaties of peace with his enemies; one such treaty brought about the famous truce of Hudaibiyah, the terms of which were not only disadvantageous, but also humiliating to the Muslims. According to the terms of this treaty “if an unbeliever, being converted to Islam, went over to the Muslims, he was to be returned, but if a Muslim went over to the unbelievers, he was not to be given back to the Muslims”. This clause of the treaty cuts at the root of all allegations of the use of force by the Holy Prophet.

It is a mistake to suppose that the condition to fight “against those who fight against you” (2:190) was abrogated at any time. It remained in force to the end. There is not a single direction in the latest revelation on this subject, in ch. 9, The Immunity, that goes against this condition. The opening verse of that chapter speaks expressly of “idolaters with whom you made an agreement”, and then, v. 4, excepts from its purview “those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement, then they have not failed you in anything and have not backed up anyone against you”, thus showing clearly that the “immunity” related only to such idolatrous tribes as had first made agreements with the Muslims and then, violating them, killed and persecuted the Muslims wherever they found them, as v. 10 says expressly: “They respect neither ties of relationship nor covenant in the case of a believer”. Further on in ch. 9, the condition of the enemy attacking the Muslims first is plainly repeated: “Will you not fight a people who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the Messenger, and they attacked you first?” (9:13).

The waging of war on unbelievers to compel them to accept Islam is a myth pure and simple, a thing unknown to the Holy Quran. It was the enemy that waged war on the Muslims to turn them away from their religion, as the Holy Book so clearly asserts: “And they will not cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion, if they can” (2:217).

Quran has utter abomination towards breakers of treaties, irrespective of their faith:

8:55. Surely, the worst of beasts in the sight of Allâh are those who denied to believe (in the truth in the first instance) so they would not believe;

8:56. (Particularly) those with whom you entered into a pact, but every time they break their pact and they do not guard (against breach of trusts).

8:57. Therefore if you find these (breakers of trust) in battle array, then (by inflicting an exemplary punishment upon them) disperse those behind them so that they may be admonished.

The only basis of annulling a peace treaty is treachery by the enemy. Such an annulment has to be made publicly:

8:58. And if you fear (and have reasons to fear) treachery from a people, then annul (their pact) on terms of equality. Indeed, Allâh loves not the treacherous.

A Muslim cannot even help a fellow Muslim if there is an intervening treaty with non-Muslims:

8:72. Surely, those who have believed and have emigrated and strove hard with their possessions and their persons in the cause of Allâh (- the Muhâjirs), and who have given (them) refuge and helped (- the Ansâr), are friends one to another. But you are not responsible for the protection of those who have believed but have not emigrated until they do emigrate. However if they seek your help in (the matter of) faith, then it is binding upon you to help them except against a people between whom and yourselves is a treaty. Indeed, Allâh knows well all that you do.

Quran allows war only with peace treaty breakers:

9:1. (This is) a declaration of complete absolution on the part of Allâh and His Messenger (from all obligations) to those of the polytheists with whom you had entered into a treaty (but they broke it repeatedly).

9:2. So you may go about (freely O you breakers of the treaties!) in the land for four months (since the date of this declaration), and know that you cannot frustrate (the will of) Allâh, and (know) that Allâh will humiliate the disbelievers.

9:3. And this is a proclamation from Allâh and His Messenger to the people on the occasion of the Greater Pilgrimage (on the day of Sacrifice) that Allâh and His Messenger owe no obligation to these polytheists. If you (O polytheists!) turn to Him in repentance it is better for you. But if you turn away then know that you cannot frustrate (the will of) Allâh. And proclaim (O Prophet!) the news of a grievous punishment to these disbelievers;

Quran forbids war with peace treaty keepers:

9:4. Excepting those of the polytheists with whom you have entered into a treaty (and) who subsequently did not fail you in any manner, nor did they back up anyone against you. So abide by the treaty you had entered with them to the end of the term you have fixed with them. Allâh, surely loves those who keep their duty.

9:5. But when the prohibited (four) months (when no attack on the breakers of the treaties was permissible) have expired, slay such polytheists (who broke their treaties) wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every place from which it is possible to perceive the enemy and watch their movements. But if they turn in repentance and keep up Prayer and go on presenting the Zakât, leave their path free. Indeed, Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

Even in a state of war, safety has to be assured to enemy who seeks protection:

9:6. And if any of the polytheists seeks your protection, grant him protection so that he may hear the word of Allâh, then conduct him to a place where he feels himself safe and secure. That (treatment) is (to be meted out to them) because they are a people who have no knowledge (of Islam).

Quran cautions Muslims to keep the terms of treaty and monitor the intentions of the enemy:

9:7. There can be no treaty (on the part) of these Polytheists (after their repeated violations of the same) in the sight of Allâh and His Messenger. This, however, does not apply to those with whom you entered into a treaty near the Holy Mosque (at Makkah). So long as they keep true to (the treaty for) you, you should also keep true (in maintaining the treaty) for them. Allâh, surely, loves those who become secure (against the breach of trusts).

9:8. How (can there be a treaty with deliberate violators of agreements) while, if they get the better of you they would respect no bond, nor words of honour in dealing with you. They would try to please you with (mere words of) their mouths whereas their hearts dissent (from what they say), and most of them are perfidious.

4:88. How is it then with you, that you are divided into two parties regarding the hypocrites, while Allâh has overthrown them for (the sins) which they committed knowingly? Do you desire to guide him whom Allâh has forsaken? And he whom Allâh forsakes you shall not find for him a way (of his deliverance).

4:89. They would like you to reject the faith as they have done themselves, that you may be all alike; therefore, make no friends with them until they emigrate in the cause of Allâh. But if they turn back (to hostility), then capture them and kill them wherever you find them, and do not take anyone of them as a friend or as a helper.

4:90. Different, however, is the case of those who join a people with whom you have a pact, or of those who come over to you whilst their hearts are constricted from fighting against you or fighting against their (own) people. If Allâh had so willed He would have given them power over you, then they certainly would have fought against you. Hence if they leave you alone and do not fight against you but make you an offer of peace then Allâh allows you no way (of fighting) against them.

4:91. You will find others (among these hypocrites) who desire to be secure from you as well as safe from their own people. But whenever they are made to have a recourse to hostility (towards the Muslims) they fall headlong into it (as if under compulsion). Therefore if they do not leave you alone, nor make an offer of peace to you nor withhold their hands (from being hostile), then capture them and kill them wherever you find them. And it is these against whom We have given you absolute authority.

There is another practical reason for Islam to be peaceful. If nothing else, it is the peace under which it thrives and spreads:

48:1. (Prophet! the treaty of Hudaibiyah is a great victory in that) We opened for you the way to (another) clear victory (which led to the preaching and expansion of Islam).

Issue 82c [@ 1:28:05]: Slide projected with a voice:

The Noble Quran, 47:4. So, when you meet (in fight, Jihad in Allah’s Cause) those who disbelieve, smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly on them (i.e. take them as captives)… Thus (you are ordered by Allah to continue in carrying out Jihad against the disbelievers till they embrace Islam [i.e. are saved from the punishment in the Hell-fire] or at least come under your protection), but if it had been Allah’s Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (he lets you fight), In order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost.

Rebuttal 82c: Once again an out of context quote of a verse by Spencer, something that he is known for. The bold font above identifies an overstatement by the translators. In order to bring into full context the meaning of the said verse we only have to read the first verse of the same chapter, as identified below by bold font and then read it in conjunction with the bold font in v. 4:

47:1. Those [who had persecuted and displaced Muslims out of Makkah and then were on the verge of annihilating them in Medina,] who disbelieve and bar people from the path of Allâh, He renders their works go in vain,

47:2. But as for those who bear faith and do deeds of righteousness and believe in that which is revealed to Muhammad, for it is the very Truth revealed by their Lord, He has purged them of their sins and has improved their (spiritual and temporal) condition.

47:3. That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood while those who believe follow the Truth (revealed) from their Lord. That is how Allâh explains their condition to mankind (to make them understand).

47:4. So (believers! now that you know the will of your Lord), when you meet in (regular) battle those who disbelieve [and bar people from the path of Allâh (v 47:1.)] strike off their heads. After you have bound them fast in fetters (as prisoners of war), then, afterwards, (release them, a must), either by way of grace or by (accepting) ransom. (That is the law,) until war lays down its weapons (and it is over). Such is (the ordinance of Allâh). Indeed if Allâh pleased He could have punished them (in other ways). But (the ways of warfare have been resorted to) so that He may reveal your worth at the hands of one another. As of those who are slain in the cause of Allâh He will never let their works go in vain.

The above verses are in congruity with other verses elsewhere in Quran outlined below which only highlight the defensive nature of wars that Muslims might have to undertake as a last resort:

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 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 Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

2:193. And fight them until persecution is no more and religion is (freely professed) for Allâh. 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 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.

Sorry Spencer, there is no passive turning of the other cheek to an aggression, neither Jesus turned it himself nor Muhammad and none of their followers either – John 18 (NIV):

22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.

23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”

Note: [text enclosed in square brackets above is not part of the original quoted sources. Some of the comments are excerpted quotes from the footnotes of “English Translation of the Holy Quran with Explanatory Notes” – Muhammad Ali, ed. Zahid Aziz]

President Ronald Reagan meeting Afghan Mujahideen in White House – YouTube
President Ronald Reagan dedicating Space Shuttle launch to Freedom Fighter in Afghanistan – YouTube
President Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski addressing Afghan and invoking God – YouTube
United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton admitting U.S. helped create Al-Qaida – YouTube
John 18 (NIV) – Bible Gateway
Religion of Islam – Maulana Muhammad Ali
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Zahid Aziz
Holy Quran – Nooruddin [all italicized verses above]

One Response to “Issue 82”

  1. January 6th, 2013 at 7:55 am
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    Ikram, please put this post under relevant Issue in your rebuttal series. Thanks.

    Following articles provides evidence from Old Testament and proves the way Women are treated in Taliban Afghanistan is exactly the way Hebrew Scriptures teaches.

    The status of women in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)
    Passages treating women as inferior to men