Examining the “Ten Truths about Jihad”

Qurans – (Reuters)

The Muslim Reform Movement’s attempts to represent a merciful, inclusive Islam are best called Fantasy Islam. Learn what the Koran says here.

By Dr. Stephen M. Kirby – Arutz Sheva

The Muslim Reform Movement (MRM) was founded in early December 2015 in Washington DC by a small group of aspiring Muslim “reformers.”  They stated they were “Muslims who live in the 21st century” who were “in a battle for the soul of Islam.”  They proclaimed that they stood for “a respectful, merciful and inclusive interpretation of Islam.”

According to the MRM’s website, the MRM is now a “Global Coalition of Muslim Reformers.” But from its beginning days, many of these MRM “reformers” had already started creating their own personal versions of Islam, what I call “Fantasy Islam.”[1]  Shortly after the MRM’s founding I wrote about that in an article titled “The Muslim Reform Movement Plays Fantasy Islam.”[2]

The MRM’s playing of Fantasy Islam has continued, and on August 2nd the MRM posted on its Facebook page an article titled “Ten Truths about Jihad.”  It was written by Imam Dr. Usama Hasan, a co-founder of MRM currently residing in London.  The article is very appealing, but only because Hasan has thrown much of accepted Islamic Doctrine out the window.  Let’s take a brief look at each of Hasan’s ten “truths.”

Jihad is a lifelong, non-violent struggle for goodness, justice and truth against evil, injustice and falsehood

Hasan wrote;

“The essential Qur’anic teaching about Jihad is that it is a non-violent struggle for goodness of all kinds, and against evil of all types.”

He then referred to two Meccan verses of the Koran to support this statement: 22:78 and 25:52.[3]

But by relying on Meccan verses to support his claim that jihad is to be understood as a non-violent struggle, Hasan is ignoring a doctrine that is fundamental to the understanding of Islam: the Doctrine of Abrogation.  As the 13th Century Muslim scholar al-Qurtubi wrote: “This subject is very important and scholars must be aware of it.  Only ignorant fools deny it because of the effect of events on rulings and recognition of the halal [permissible] and haram [forbidden].”[4]

In order to understand the Doctrine of Abrogation we must first get a basic understanding of the Koran.  The Koran is the sacred book of Islam.  The verses of the Koran were delivered to Muhammad through the angel Jibril (Gabriel) in a series of “revelations.”  Muhammad started receiving these “revelations” in Mecca in 610; they continued through his emigration to Medina in 622, and ended only with his death in Medina in 632.

Translations of the Koran usually indicate whether a chapter was “revealed” in Mecca or in Medina.  However, this does not automatically mean that the verse was “revealed” when Muhammad was physically in Mecca or physically in Medina.  It is rather a common shorthand approach that refers to the Meccan time period (610-622) and the Medinan time period (622-632), because Muhammad received “revelations” even when he was not physically in either one of those two cities.

There is an important significance to when a verse or chapter was “revealed.”  While in Mecca, the religion of Islam was just starting and it was generally not well received.  Perhaps as a result of this, the verses of the Koran “revealed” during the Meccan period were generally more peaceful and accommodating toward non-Muslims than the verses “revealed” later in the Medinan period.  The verses from the Medinan period had a general tendency to be more belligerent and intolerant, and more inclined to make sharp differentiations between Muslims (believers) and non-Muslims (disbelievers).

This can lead to an irreconcilable contradiction between the message of a Meccan verse and that of a Medinan verse addressing the same topic.  But how can there be such a contradiction if the Koran is the timeless, perfect, and unchangeable word of Allah?

This was covered in a Medinan verse in the Koran that introduced the concept of “abrogation” – Chapter 2, Verse 106: Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it.  Know you not that Allah is Able to do all things?[5]

So if there was an irreconcilable contradiction between the messages of two “revelations” in the Koran, then the most recent “revelation” abrogated (superseded) the earlier one and was now the one to be followed.  Consequently, a “revelation” made in the Medinan period would supersede a similar, earlier “revelation” made in the Meccan period.  Both verses remain in the Koran because they are considered the words of Allah, but it is the most recent “revelation” that now carries the doctrinal authority.

So Hasan relied on two Meccan verses to support his claim that jihad is a non-violent struggle for goodness.  But while the Muslims were in Mecca Allah had not yet given them permission to fight the non-Muslims.  And these two Meccan verses were then clearly abrogated in May 623[6] by this Medinan verse, which was a general command for violent jihad:

Chapter 2, Verse 216 Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you.  Allah knows but you do not know.

What do authoritative Koran commentaries (tafsirs) say about this verse?

The Tafsir as-Sa’di explained: “This noble verse made fighting in the cause of Allah mandatory upon the faithful.  Previously, they were ordered to refrain from fighting because they were weak and could not bear the burden.  When the Prophet migrated to Madinah, the Muslims grew in number and became stronger, so Allah gave them the commandment to fight.”[7]

And according to the Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, this verse made it obligatory for the Muslims to fight non-Muslims:

“This means that fighting is obligatory and refers to the obligation of jihad…The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was not given permission to fight while he was in Makka.  When he emigrated, he was given permission to fight those idolaters who fought him and then he was given permission to fight idolaters in general.”[8]

So the “peaceful” verses Hasan relied on for this first “truth” were actually abrogated shortly after the Muslims emigrated to Medina.

During his 13 years’ mission in Mecca, the Prophet and his followers were subjected to persecution, but were ordered to remain patient and nonviolent.

In support of this statement, Hasan referred to a portion of the following Koran verse:

4:77: “Withhold your hands (from violence in self-defence): establish prayer and give in charity”

Hasan’s statement about the Muslims’ situation in Mecca during this time is essentially correct.  But he chose an unusual Koran verse to explain the patience and non-violence of the early Muslims in Mecca.  Here is the first part of 4:77:

Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands (from fighting) and perform As-Salat (the prayers), and give Zakat (obligatory charity), but when the fighting was ordained for them, behold! a section of them fear men as they fear Allah or even more.

Here is how the Muslim scholar ibn Kathir explained 4:77 in a section of his Koran commentary titled The Wish that the Order for Jihad be Delayed:

“In the beginning of Islam, Muslims in Mecca were commanded to perform the prayer and pay some charity…They were also commanded to be forgiving and forbearing with the idolators…However, they were eager and anticipating the time when they would be allowed to fight, so that they could punish their enemies.  The situation at that time did not permit armed conflict for many reasons.  For instance, Muslims were few at the time, compared to their numerous enemies.  The Muslims’ city was a sacred one and the most honored area on the earth, and this is why the command to fight was not revealed in Makkah.  Later on when the Muslims controlled a town of their own, Al-Madinah, and had strength, power and support, Jihad was then legislated.”[9]

The early Muslims in Mecca were ordered to remain patient and non-violent for practical reasons, but the Muslims were actually eager for the time when they would be allowed to fight the non-Muslims.  This was also reported in other Koran commentaries.[10]

During the Prophet’s 10-year mission in Medina, military jihad in self-defence was eventually permitted.

Hasan referred to the following Koran verses to support this claim:

“‘Permission has been given to those who were fought (to fight back), because they have been oppressed … those who were unjustly expelled from their homes, only for saying: ‘Our Lord is God’.’ (Pilgrimage 22:39-40)

‘Fight, in the way of God, those who fight you, and transgress not: truly, God does not love transgressors.’ (The Heifer 2:190)”

The Muslims emigrated to Medina in the Fall of 622, and they were initially commanded to fight only in self-defense, as found in 22:39-40.  But that restriction did not last long.  As I pointed out in addressing the first “truth,” in May 623, 2:216 of the Koran was “revealed.”  This verse commanded Muslims to fight non-Muslims everywhere simply because they were not Muslims.

With regard to 2:190, that verse was revealed around March 629.[11]  But it was shortly afterwards abrogated by 2:191:[12]

And kill them wherever you find them…

The Tafsir as-Sa’di pointed out that 2:191 was

a particular commandment that decrees the fighting and killing of disbelievers, and means to fight against them defensively and offensively, through the ages, whenever and wherever they are found.[13]

And other Muslim scholars believed that 2:190 had been abrogated by another verse also revealed shortly afterward, 2:193: [14]

And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of ) worship is for Allah (Alone).  But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists and wrongdoers)…

The Muslim scholar al-Qurtubi explained this verse:

It is an unqualified command to fight without any precondition of hostilities being initiated by the unbelievers.[15]

So Hasan is basically correct, jihad in self-defense was eventually permitted, but that restriction did not last long.  The Muslim scholar at-Tamimi described it well:

“He [Muhammad] continued for more than ten years warning them by preaching, without fighting and without imposing the Jizyah and Allah commanded him to be forbearing and to patiently persevere.  Then He [Allah] allowed him to migrate (Hijrah) to Al-Madinah and He permitted him to fight.  Then He commanded him to fight those who fought against him.  Then He commanded him to fight the polytheists until all and every kind of worship is for Allah (Alone).”[16]

Military jihad may only be declared by a legitimate authority

Hasan claimed that “only a legitimate authority can declare a state of war or military jihad.”  According to Hassan, this meant that “only legitimate states” have that authority, and “non-state actors such as terrorist groups” have no such “Islamic authority.”  He referred to Koran verses 4:84 and 8:61 as examples of how only Muhammad was given that authority during his lifetime.

But what about after Muhammad?  Are “legitimate states” the only ones with that authority?  It’s not as cut-and-dried as Hasan presented.

Reliance of the Traveller is a well-known manual of Sharia Law.  Here is a statement from that manual, with the interesting commentary of 20thCentury Sheikh ‘Abed al-Wakil Durubi:

It is offensive to conduct a military expedition against hostile non-Muslims without the caliph’s permission ([Durubi added]; though if there is no caliph, no permission is required).[17]

A Hanbali manual of Sharia Law also noted that permission from a legal authority was not always need to engage in jihad:

Waging the holy war is not permissible without the consent of the commander [amir], except by those who are threatened by an enemy…or who are presented with an opportunity they are afraid of missing [my emphasis].[18]

Hasan also referred to two Koran verses (4:84 and 8:61) to show that during Muhammad’s time only he was authorized to declare a state of war.  But as we saw in the previous section, and shall see in the next section, there were subsequent Koran verses that made it incumbent on Muslims to engage all non-Muslims in offensive jihad.

Even the most apparently belligerent verses about jihad are in self-defense

Hasan’s approach in explaining this “truth” is a combination of omission and misunderstanding of a Koran verse.

Chapter Nine of the Koran is considered to be the last entire chapter “revealed” to Muhammad.  In this section about “defensive” jihad, Hasan mentioned some verses from Chapter 9, but he left out the following verses:

Chapter 9, Verse 5:

Then when the Sacred Months have passed, then kill the Mushrikun wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in every ambush…

This verse ended by saying that the only way the Mushrikun (non-Muslims) could save themselves was by converting to Islam.

The Muslim scholar Yasir Qadhi made a sobering comment about this verse:

This was one of the last verses to be revealed, and perhaps the last verse that dealt with the treatment of the disbelievers.[19]

Ibn Kathir pointed out that with this verse, the non-Muslims would “have no choice, but to die or embrace Islam.”[20]  Ibn Kathir also noted that the command kill the Mushrikun wherever you find them was a “general statement” and meant Muslims in general could slay them “anywhere on earth you meet them.”[21]

Chapter 9, Verse 123: O you who believe!  Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you; and know that Allah is with those who are Al-Muttaqun (the pious [believers of Islamic Monotheism]).

In a section titled The Order for Jihad against the Disbelievers, the Closest, then the Farthest Areas, Ibn Kathir explained that

Allah commands the believers to fight the disbelievers, the closest in area to the Islamic state, then the farthest.  This is why the Messenger of Allah started fighting the idolators in the Arabian Peninsula.  When he finished with them…and the various Arab tribes entered Islam in large crowds, he then started fighting the People of the Scriptures.[22]

Ibn Kathir noted that this command for offensive jihad was not restricted just to the time of Muhammad:

[Muhammad was] succeeded by Abu Bakr…Abu Bakr prepared his Muslim army to fight the Romans, the worshippers of the crosses, and the Persians, the worshippers of Fires.  He subdued Kisra (Khosrau) and Qaisar (Caisar) and their followers against their will…

Omar Ibn Al-Khattab…succeeded Abu Bakr, and subdued the disbelievers and pagans.  He seized their kingdoms in the east and the west…[His successor was ‘Uthman, and under ‘Uthman] Islam was spread widely, and the Word of Allah was made supreme, and every time the Muslims defeated a nation, they would move on to conquer another, in response to Allah’s Call: (O you who believe!  Fight those among the disbelievers who are close to you.) (And let them find harshness in you.)[23]

The 20th Century Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan noted that this was still the rule for Muslims:

The verse sets an important rule for strategy for jihad: Muslims should fight those disbelievers first who are close, followed by those who are further, then the next, and so on, in the same order.[24]

Not only did Hasan omit these two verses that command offensive jihad for the Muslims of today, he also completely distorted the time frame and the nature of the revelation for the following Koran verse, the verse commanding Muslims to specifically fight against Jews and Christians simply because they are Jews and Christians:

Chapter 9, Verse 29: Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Hasan said that 9:29 was “revealed” around the time of the Tabuk expedition (October 630) when the Byzantines “threatened the northern regions of Islamic Arabia.”

In reality, this verse was “revealed” around March 631 after 9:28 had been “revealed” banning non-Muslims from Mecca after the year 631.  After 9:28 had been “revealed” there was concern among the Meccans that they would lose money if the non-Muslims were prohibited from coming to Mecca.  So 9:29 was “revealed” as a monetary compensation for the anticipated loss in voluntary trade:…when Allah commanded that the polytheists be prevented from coming near Masjid Al-Haram whether during the Hajj or any other time, the Quraish said: “It will certainly infringe on our commerce and markets during Hajj, and it will deprive us from our gains,” but Allah compensated them for that with the command to wage war on the People of the Book until they become Muslims or they pay the Jizyah with willful submission, and feel themselves subdued.[25]

So with 9:5, 9:29 and 9:123 we have Koran verses undermining Hasan’s claim that belligerent Koran verses about jihad pertained only to self-defense; and these belligerent verses are among the final, timeless commands from Allah to all Muslims.

Military jihad was also legislated to protect and promote religious freedom

To support this “truth” about protecting and promoting religious freedom, Hasan relied on a Meccan verse (109:6) and two very early Medinan verses (22:39-40).  As I mentioned when examining the first “truth,” Hasan ignored the fundamental Doctrine of Abrogation, and he does so again here.  This enables him to omit such later Medinan verses as:

In the year 624 we have 8:39: And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e., worshipping others besides Allah), and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone (in the whole of the world). But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.

Our authoritative Koran commentaries explained that this verse meant the Muslims were to fight non-Muslims until only Islam prevailed.[26]

In the year 629 we have 2:193: And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone).  But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists and wrongdoers).

As before, our authoritative Koran commentaries explain that this verse commanded the Muslims to fight non-Muslims until only Islam prevailed.[27]

In the time period 630-631 we have 9:33 which said that Allah had sent Muhammad to make Islam “superior over all religions.”

In the year 631we have Koran verses such as 9:5 that orders Muslims to actively seek out and kill the Mushrikun, who in essence are any non-Muslims.  This verse stated that only by converting to Islam would the Mushrikun be saved.  As Ibn Kathir put it with regard to this verse,

This way, they will have no choice, but to die or embrace Islam.[28]

Also in 631 we have 9:29 which states that if you are a Mushrikun who is a Christian or a Jew, the only way to coexist with the Muslims without fighting them to the death or converting to Islam is to pay the jizyah, “with willing submission” and feeling “subdued.”

What did Muhammad have to say about the idea of promoting religious freedom?  He said Allah had commanded him to fight until everyone became a Muslim:

It has been narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah b. Umar that the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, they establish the prayer, and pay the Zakat.  If they do it, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.[29]

And before Muhammad sent Muslim forces against non-Muslims, he would issue this order:…Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah.  Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah.  Make a holy war…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action…Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them…If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya.  If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands.  If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them…[30]

And on his death bed Muhammad had some interesting things to say regarding Jews and Christians:

It has been narrated by ‘Umar b. Al-Khattab that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) saying: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.[31]

And one need only look at the history of the Muslim conquest of the Arabian Peninsula to see that forced conversions to Islam, or payment of the jizyah, was the rule in dealing with non-Muslims. [32]

So only by ignoring the Doctrine of Abrogation, along with the teachings and history of Muhammad, can Hasan claim that jihad was legislated to protect and promote religious freedom.

Military jihad was always conditioned by strong ethical restrictions

Hasan pointed out that there were numerous hadiths (teachings of Muhammad) about avoiding the killing of “women, children, old people, peasants, monks and others in war.”

There are a number of hadiths about Muhammad prohibiting the killing of women and children in war.  I looked into this matter and I found that the vast majority of military actions during the life of Muhammad showed no record of Muhammad having prohibited the killing of women and children.  The few times that he did issue such prohibitions in military actions were interspersed with the targeting of individual women for killing, and with military actions in which women and/or children were among the targets of attack.

The historical record shows that instead of it being a general, all-encompassing command issued by Muhammad to every Muslim military leader, and a part of Islamic doctrine, the prohibition against the killing of women and children was a specific, situational prohibition based on Muhammad’s judgments and the demands of battle at the time.[33]

In terms of “old people,” Muhammad had actually ordered the killing of elderly non-Muslims:

It was reported from Al-Hasan, from Samurah bin Jundab who said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Kill the old polytheist men, but spare their children.’”[34]

And in terms of both young and old, Muhammad supervised the beheading of 600-900 captured Jewish males.  He ordered that all of the males who had reached puberty were to be killed; whether or not they were combatants was irrelevant

Nevertheless, Hasan maintained that “Islam has a long tradition of warfare ethics.”

To reiterate, jihad is a struggle for good against evil

Once again Hasan relied on a Meccan verse[35] to support this claim.  The verse was 22:78, and this is how Hasan started that verse out:

Struggle in God, as the struggle (jihad) deserves…

This is how 22:78 actually starts out:

And strive hard in Allah’s Cause as you ought to strive…

Hasan’s prophet Muhammad explained what striving in “Allah’s Cause” meant: Narrated Abu Musa: A man came to the Prophet and asked, “O Allah’s Messenger!  What kind of fighting is in Allah’s Cause?  (I ask this), for some of us fight because of being enraged and angry and some for the sake of their pride and haughtiness.”  The Prophet raised his head (as the questioner was standing) and said, “He who fights that Allah’s Word (i.e. Allah’s Religion of Islamic Monotheism) should be superior, fights in Allah’s Cause.”[36]

This idea was expanded on in 9:111, a Medinan verse:

Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be Paradise.  They fight in Allah’s Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed…

Hasan said that jihad was a struggle for good against evil.  So according to Muhammad and the Koran, the “good” is making Islam superior over all other religions (which are the “evil”), and Muslims will be rewarded with Paradise if they kill and die in that effort.

The outer jihad is always underpinned by inner jihad

For this Hasan largely relied on the following quote: “We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad,” i.e. from the lesser, military jihad to the greater jihad of lifelong struggle against evil.

He ascribed this statement to a Muslim scholar, but then added that this “teaching was also attributed to the Prophet himself…”

However, over the centuries Muslim scholars have debunked the idea that Muhammad said anything about a lesser jihad/greater jihad.  For example, the Muslim scholar Ibn Taymiyah (1263–1328 AD) stated: The hadith of “We returned from the minor Jihad to the major Jihad” is fabricated and is not narrated by any of the scholars who have knowledge of the words of Rasulullah [Muhammad], his actions and his Jihad against the nonbelievers.[37]

A 2002 book on Islamic sacred law had this to say about it:

This phrase has become widespread, mentioned both in gatherings and in print, yet despite its popularity in terms of how often it is quoted, it cannot correctly be attributed to the Prophet.[38]

In my book Islam According to Muhammad, Not Your Neighbor, I go into more detail to show that this saying cannot be accurately attributed to Muhammad.[39]  But here is what Muhammad did say, in a chapter titled “What to say on returning from Jihad”:Narrated ‘Abdullah: When the Prophet returned (from Jihad), he would say Takbir [Allahu Akbar] thrice and add, “We are returning, if Allah wills, with repentance and worshipping and praising (our Lord) and prostrating ourselves before our Lord.  Allah fulfilled His Promise, granted victory to His slave, and He Alone defeated the Ahzab (Confederates).”[40]

  Jihad today

Hasan concluded his article by saying,

…Armed or military jihad is the strict preserve of legitimate authority such as modern nation-states…

As I pointed out in the fourth “truth,” a “legitimate authority” is not necessarily required in order for one to engage in jihad.

Hasan also stated:

As shown above, Islamic teachings about jihad are essentially spiritual and non-violent.

Muhammad provided the best response to this claim: Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet said, “Allah assigns for a person who participates in (holy battles) in Allah’s Cause and nothing causes him to do so except belief in Allah and in His Messengers, that he will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr).”  The Prophet added: “Had I not found it difficult for my followers, then I would not remain behind any Sariya (an army-unit) going for Jihad and I would have loved to be martyred in Allah’s Cause and then made alive, and then martyred and then made alive, and then again martyred in His Cause.”[41]

And what did Muhammad say was the best jihad in general? It was narrated that ‘Amr bin ‘Abasah said: “I came to the Prophet and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, which Jihad is best’?  He said: ‘(That of a man) whose blood is shed and his horse is wounded.’”[42]

And we should remember, 33:21 of the Koran states that Muhammad is the perfect man, and the person Muslims should emulate if they hope to meet Allah in Paradise.

Conclusion

;As I had pointed out in an earlier article,[43] since its founding the MRM has had problems getting support from the larger Muslim community.  Continuing to create “diverse” versions of Islam that sound appealing to non-Muslims, but largely ignore or even go against Islamic Doctrine that has been established for over a millennium, will certainly not help the MRM in garnering that support.

Sources:

[1]               Fantasy Islam: A game in which an audience of non-Muslims wish with all their hearts that Islam was a “Religion of Peace,” and a Muslim strives to fulfill that wish by presenting a personal version of Islam that has little foundation in Islamic Doctrine. – Stephen M. Kirby

[2]               Stephen M. Kirby, “The Muslim Reform Movement plays Fantasy Islam,” FrontPage Mag, December 10, 2015; accessible at http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/261067/muslim-reform-movement-plays-fantasy-islam-dr-stephen-m-kirby.

[3]               Chapter 22 of the Koran includes some verses revealed in Mecca and others revealed in Medina.  For the determination that 22:78 is a Meccan verse I am using Pickthall’s comments in The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, trans. Marmaduke Pickthall (1930; rpt. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992), p. 338.

[4]               Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Ansari al-Qurtubi, Tafsir Al-Qurtubi: Classical Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, Vol. 1, trans. Aisha Bewley (London: Dar Al Taqwa Ltd., 2003), p. 321.

[5]               The Koran verses I quote come from Interpretation of the Meanings of The Noble Qur’an, trans. Muhammad Muhsin Khan and Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 200

[6]               For how this date was determined, see Stephen M. Kirby, Islam’s Militant Prophet: Muhammad and Forced Conversions to Islam, n. 63, p. 32.

[7]               ‘Abd ar-Rahman b. Nasir as-Sa’di, Tafsir As-Sa’di, trans. S. Abd al-Hamid (Floral Park, New York: The Islamic Literary Foundation: 2012), Vol. 1, pp. 152-153.

[8]           Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, p. 544.

[9]               Abu al-Fida’ ‘Imad Ad-Din Isma’il bin ‘Umar bin Kathir al-Qurashi Al-Busrawi, Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), abr. Shaykh Safiur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, trans. Jalal Abualrub, et al. (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2000), Vol. 2, pp. 517-518.

[10]             Tafsir as-Sa’di, Vol. 1, pp. 389-390; Salahuddin Yusuf, Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan, trans. Mohammad Kamal Myshkat (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2010), Vol. 1, pp. 484-485; and Jalalu’d-Din al-Mahalli and Jalalu’d-Din as-Suyuti, Tafsir Al-Jalalayn, trans. Aisha Bewley (London: Dar Al Taqwa Ltd., 2007), p. 202.

[11]             Abu’l-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Wahidi, Al-Wahidi’s Asbab al-Nuzul, trans. Mokrane Guezzou (Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2008), p. 23; Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, p. 490; and Tafsir Al-Jalalayn, p. 69.

[12]             Tafsir Al-Jalalayn, p. 69.

[13]             Tafsir as-Sa’di, Vol. 1, p. 133.

[14]             Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, p. 496.

[15]             Ibid.

[16]             Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab at-Tamimi, Abridged Biography of Prophet Muhammad, ed. ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Nasir Al-Barrak, ‘Abdul ‘Azeez bin ‘Abdullah Ar-Rajihi, and Muhammad Al-‘Ali Al-Barrak (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2003), p. 113.

[17]             Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller (Umdat al-Salik), A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller (Revised Edition 1994; rpt. Beltsville, Maryland: Amana Publications, 2008), o9.6.

[18]             Imam Muwaffaq ad-Din Abdu’llah ibn Ahmad ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi, The Mainstay Concerning Jurisprudence (Al-Umda fi ‘l-Fiqh), trans. Muhtar Holland (Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Al-Baz Publishing, Inc., 2009), p. 31

[19]             Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’aan (Birmingham, UK: Al-Hidaayah Publishing, 1999), p. 252.

[20]             Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 4, p. 376.

[21]             Abu al-Fida’ ‘Imad Ad-Din Isma’il bin ‘Umar bin Kathir al-Qurashi Al-Busrawi, Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), abr. Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rafa’i, trans. Chafik Abdelghani ibn Rahal (London: Al-Firdous Ltd., 1998), Part 10, p. 90.

[22]             Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 4, p. 546.

[23]             Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Part 11, pp. 78-

[24]             Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan, Vol. 2, p. 425.

[25]             ‘Imaduddeen Isma’eel ibn Katheer al-Qurashi, Winning the Hearts and Souls: Expeditions and Delegations in the Lifetime of Prophet Muhammad, trans. Research Department of Darussalam (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2010), p. 116.  The same explanation for the “revelation” of 9:29 was given in Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 4, pp. 403-404; and Muhammad ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad (Sirat Rasul Allah), trans. Alfred Guillaume (Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 620.

[26]             Tafsir Al-Jalalayn, p. 385, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 4, p. 315, Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan, Vol. 2, p. 293, and Tafsir as-Sa’di, Vol. 2, p. 105.

[27]             Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1, p. 531, Tafsir Al-Jalalayn, p. 69, Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, p. 4

[28]             Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 4, p. 376.

[29]             Abu’l Hussain ‘Asakir-ud-Din Muslim bin Hajjaj al-Qushayri al-Naisaburi, Sahih Muslim, trans. ‘Abdul Hamid Siddiqi (New Delhi, India: Adam Publishers and Distributors, 2008), Vol. 1, No. 22, pp. 21-22.

[30]             Sahih Muslim, Vol. 5, No. 1731R1, p. 163.

[31]             Sahih Muslim, Vol. 5, No. 1767, p. 189.

[32]             Islam’s Militant Prophet: Muhammad and Forced Conversions to Islam

[33]             Stephen M. Kirby, Islam According to Muhammad, Not Your Neighbor, pp. 23-58.

[34]             Abu Dawud Sulaiman bin al-Ash’ath bin Ishaq, Sunan Abu Dawud, trans. Yaser Qadhi (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2008), Vol. 3, No. 2670, p. 296.

[35]             The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, p. 338.

[36]             Muhammad bin Ismail bin Al-Mughirah al-Bukhari, Sahih Al-Bukhari, trans. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 1997), Vol. 1, Book 3, No. 123, p. 128.

[37]             Abi Zakaryya al-Dimashqi al-Dumyati “ibn-Nuhaas,” The Book of Jihad (Abridged), trans. Noor Yamani, revised by Abu Rauda, (no publisher information, 2005), p. 10

[38]             Fatawa Islamiyah, Islamic Verdicts, Vol. 7, collected by Muhammad bin ‘Abdul-‘Aziz al-Musnad, (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2002), pp. 202-203

[39]             Islam According to Muhammad, Not Your Neighbor, pp. 115-123.

[40]             Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 56, No. 3084, p. 196.

[41]             Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 2, No. 36, pp. 72-73.

[42]             Muhammad bin Yazeed ibn Majah al-Qazwini, Sunan Ibn Majah, trans. Nasiruddin al-Khattab (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2007), Vol. 4, No. 2794, p. 65.

[43]             Stephen M. Kirby, “Muslim Reform Group Reached Out to 3,000 US Mosques, Got Only 40 Responses,” Jihad Watch, February 24, 2017; accessible at https://www.jihadwatch.org/2017/02/muslim-reform-group-reached-out-to-3000-us-mosques-got-only-40-responses.

Dr. Stephen M. Kirby

Dr. Stephen M. Kirby
The writer is the author of three books, and numerous articles and pamphlets about Islam. His most recent book is “Islam According to Muhammad, Not Your Neighbor.”

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