Religion

Does the holy Quran encourage killing in the name of religion?

It’s a bloodcurdling thought, I know, but should I ignore it just because my fellow Muslim brothers will likely find the idea blasphemous? I need to share and unburden myself.

I am a spiritual Muslim girl and I hold the holy Quran in high esteem. Time and again, the holy words have acted as balm in turbulent times, guiding me and showing me the way. The Almighty Allah has always kept me within his sight, throughout the day and night.

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We are a devout Muslim family and we follow the principles of Islam to the best of our ability. Recently, I came across certain aspects of the holy book, The Quran, which shook my foundation. I have agonised for days, questioning my Allah and asking Him to reveal himself and explain to His child the hidden meanings of some of His words. To me, they sound ominous.

Quran (2:216) – “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”

This verse clearly states that violence is not always a bad thing. It also clarifies that fighting need not always be in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time. From the Hadith (words and sayings of Prophet Muhammad), we know that this verse was narrated at a time when Prophet Muhammad was looking to stimulate his followers into marauding merchant caravans for food and other utilities.

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Quran (3:56) – “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

Quran (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”

This is considered to be the theological basis for today’s suicide bombers!

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This Tuesday, one of the four Indians detained in ISIS-controlled territory in Libya, revealed that the last statement made by ISIS before releasing him was to ‘follow Islam.’ He said the terrorist whispered it chillingly! This subject is far from easy. It’s difficult to comprehend the issues of the “use of violence” and of “co-existence with other religions” in Islam.

After the terrible event of September 11, many Muslims swore that Islam did not teach violence, and that those responsible are not true Muslims! Others begged to differ, saying violence is a part of Islam and must be used when need be.

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There are verses which say clearly enough that the Qur’an teaches a peaceful response to hatred for Islam. On the other hand, there are other verses which propagate unrestricted violence: “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular Prayers and practise regular Charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” – (9:5).

Which verse should Muslims follow? Islam, in its holy book, allows war both in self-defense and against those who the Muslims did not have a treaty with.

Muhammad’s beloved wife, Aisha, said: “His character was the Qur’an” (narrated Muslim). We have read multiple cases of assassination in which Prophet Muhammad has been directly involved. In most of such cases, the victim had merely spoken against Muhammad.

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Mohammad once killed a man named al-Harith b Suwayd. When Abu Afak wrote a poem, objecting to the murder, Muhammad said, “Who will deal with this rascal for me?” One of Muhammad’s followers strode up to him and killed him. (Ibn Hisham – Dar el jeel Beirut – 1411 –Vol. 6 – Umayr’s expedition to kill Abu Falak).

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Are terrorists right, then? No. Killing innocents was never their mandate. The holy book did not authorise the terrorists to take lives randomly. But then, killing for any reason is wrong. How can taking life be God’s idea?

How do we Muslims make peace with such disturbing revelations? How do we believe that Islam is a peace-loving religion?

I want to believe, but unless someone offers me a credible explanation and understanding of the Islamic messages, I’m afraid I cannot remove the creeping doubts.

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