Monday, 6 April 2009

Conversation of some verse in Quran about WAR

John (J) : Dr Danial (DD), I always wonder why prophet Muhammad taught Muslims to become terrorists. He should teach people to be kind and tolerant.

DD : Actually John, your concept about Islam and Muhammad is wrong. Completely wrong. Prophet Muhammad never taught his followers to be terrorists. On the contrary, it was the Muslims who were being terrorised by the non Muslims in the era of prophet Muhammad. For 13 years in Mecca, after being prophet of Islam, Muhammad and the Muslims were harassed and tortured by the Quraisyites. The companions of the prophet, for example, Yasser and Sumayyyah, were killed. The others, for example, Bilal and Ammar, were tortured. And yet the Muslims at that time were asked to be patient and persevere. They were not allowed to fight and raise arms against the non Muslims. Once prophet Muhammad went to Taif to preach about Islam. He got a cold reception from the people there. There cursed him and as if it was not enough, they threw stones and filth towards him. When the Archangel Jibril came to him to get his permission to demolish the people of Taif, prophet Muhammad said, “Leave them alone. Yes, today the people ignored my message. But I pray that their progeny will be a different group of people. I pray that they will accept Islam.” Are these acts and words of terrorism John?

John : But there are verses in the Quran that promote terrorism. These verses instigate the Muslims to kill the non Muslims all over the world. If I am not mistaken, the meaning of one of the verses is, “And kill the non Muslims whereever they are.

DD : Oh, you are quoting the verses from the Quran. If that’s the case, you should allow me to quote a few verses from your Bible and Talmud. In Numbers 31:17-18, it was stated, 'Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves.' And in Luke 19:26-27, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.' How about one more verse from Matthew 10:34-35, 'Do not think that I have come to send peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword. I am sent to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.' To me these verses are very dangerous. They can instigate people especially the christians to do acts of terrorism!

And please allow me also to quote from the holy book of the Jews, that is the Talmud. I suppose you know that the Talmud is Judaism’s holiest book. Its authority takes precedence over the Old Testament in Judaism. It is stated in Sanhedrin 58b, 'If a heathen (i.e. non-Jew) hits a Jew, the gentile must be killed.' And In Sanhedrin 57a, 'When a Jew murders a gentile ('Cuthean'), there will be no death penalty. What a Jew steals from a gentile he may keep.' And John, have you read a book written by A. Hoffman II and Alan R. Critchley titled Judaism’s Strange God?

John : Err, no.

DD : Never mind. A. Hoffman II and Alan R. Critchley recently did a thorough research on the contents of the Talmud and what they found surprised them. In their book, Judaism’s Strange God, they said, ‘On the surface, it seems that genocide is advocated by the Talmud. In the Minor Tractates, Soferim 15, Rule 10, there is a saying by Rabbi Simon ben Yohai, "Tob shebe goyyim harog," which means, "even the best of the gentiles (i.e. non-Jews) should all be killed." This passage is taken from the original Hebrew of the Babylonian Talmud as quoted by the 1907 Jewish Encyclopaedia. Israelis annually take part in a national pilgrimage to the grave of Simon ben Yohai, to honour this rabbi who advocated the extermination of non-Jews.’ John, you will agree with me that these verses look very, very violent indeed….

John : But Dr. Danial, I think these verses, especially from the Bible, are taken out of context. If you read just the text it may look very violent. But if we read the text in relation with its context, it may be different..

DD : Oh, now you are being very sensible, John. You want the Muslims to read the Bible and interprete it within its context. Good, and I fully agree with you. But, can’t you do the same thing to the Quran? Can’t you interprete verses of the Quran within its context? As it is now you are not doing that. You are interpreting the Quran according to your own whims and fancies and that hurts me and the Muslims. By the way, the so called violent verses of the Quran that you mentioned earlier were revealed to prophet Muhammad specifically during the time of war. And war in Islam is an exception and not the norm. The Muslims went to war to defend their honour and country. Look at what Allah said in chapter The Cow 2:190, which means, “Fight against those who fight against you in the way of Allah, but do not transgress, for Allah does not love transgressors.”

It should be emphasized that so many revelations in the Holy Quran came down to provide guidance to Prophet Muhammad and the Muslims based on what they were confronting at that time. Therefore, it is important to understand and know the historic context of the revelations for a proper understanding of these verses. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was the peace maker of his time. He endured torture, hunger and the killing of his loved ones by his enemies, but he remained a merciful person. In his most startling conquest of Mecca, only four people died. And do you know what prophet Muhammad did to the prisoners of war after the conquest of Mecca? He asked the haughty chiefs of the Quraisyites, “What do you expect at my hands?” They answered, “Mercy O generous brother.” And the prophet said, “Be it so, you are free.” They are free, John. No vengeance being inflicted upon them. No Guantanamo-like prison for them (smile). This is the teaching of Muhammad. And you are telling me that Muhammad taught Muslims to become terrorists?

John : Yeah, I need to learn more about Muhammad….

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