“When you go to attack a city, first give its people a chance to surrender, if they open the gates and surrender, they are all to become your slaves and do forced labour for you. But if the people of the city will not surrender…kill every man in it, you may however take for yourselves the women, the children, livestock and everything else in the city…but when you capture cities in the land that your Lord your God is giving you, kill everyone, completely destroy all the people…” (Deuteronomy 20:10-19)
“They attacked Midian as the lord has commanded Moses and killed all the men, including the five kings of Midian…The people of Israel captured the Midianite women and children, took their cattle and their flocks, plundered all their wealth and burnt all the cities and camps. They took all the loot that they had cptured including the prisoners and animals and brought them to Moses and…Moses was angry with the officers… He asked them, “why have you kept all the women alive…so now kill every boy and kill every woman who has had sexual intercourse, but keep alive for yourselves all the girls and women who are virgins” (Numbers 31:7-18)
“Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly Allah likes not the transgressors. And kill them wherever you find them and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And fitnah (polytheism) is worse than killing. And fight not with them at al-Masjidul haram, unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them…But if they cease, Allah is oft forgiving, Most Merciful And fight them until there is no more fitnah and worship is for Allah. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against az-Zalimun” Qur’an 2:190-193
Qur’an 9:36 “…and fight against the Mushrikun (Polytheist) collectively as they fight against collectively…”
I do not feel good placing these verses side by side, but what can one do when the Muslims have become objects of criticism especially as regards violence. This has reached levels that some Muslims feel defeated when the non-Muslim who knows nothing about tafseer or its methodology quotes the above Qur’an verses.
In case a non-Muslim may want to claim that the above quotes are from the bye gone old testament era, then check Luke22:36 “Jesus said…whoever has no sword must sell his coat and buy one” in case you feel it was a figurative expression, Luke22:38 the disciples said “look, here are two swords, lord!” “that is enough he replied” in case you want to feel the swords were meant to fetch some fresh vegetables to prepare salad for the last supper, Luke22:49 “When the disciples who were with Jesus saw what was going to happen, they asked “shall we use our swords, lord? And one of them struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear”
The point is simple; Allah has not permitted most of his believing slaves to rely on Him to the extent of not defending themselves when they are attacked. The baseless accusations that we (Muslims) are violent and love to shed blood will continue as propaganda is part of war strategy. The target is to make the Muslims apologetic to the extent of denying aspects of their religion or condemning those who practice the aspects.
It is reported that in all the battles organized by the Messenger, only 1018 persons died including non-Muslims. There is no doubt that many other lives were saved. The cost of the first and Second World War in terms of human life is approximated at 6.4 million and between 35-60 million lives respectively. These lives were wasted for a cause none can claim brought good to humanity. One may argue that there is no basis to compare due to the significant difference in military technology, agreed. But in the just quoted story on Moses, 32,000 virgins were “saved” (Numbers 31:35) you can then imagine how many men, boys and women were put to the sword. What about the massacres in the days of the crusades or the inquisition courts set up by the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages for the trial and punishment of heretics which was reported to have taken a toll of over 11 million lives.
The more recent wars where we have witnessed one country crossing the pacific to occupy another sovereign nation leading to devastation of their infrastructure, economy and loss of innocent lives. When they try to put up a resistance, they are quickly labelled terrorists. The world is bent on making us feel that we are the real bad guess, pathological murderers, killing anything that comes our way for no just cause. The spirit of tolerance and mercy in Islam can be seen in times we were uppermost in political power and not when we are oppressed and dominated. The least we can do is to attempt to educate the ignorant among them who are willing to learn. We should not feel sorry for ourselves or fall prey to watering down our religion or insulting those defending their religion and honour.
Sanni Jibiril is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering
of the University of Benin, Benin City
The days where we will seatback and allow ignorant buffoons defame our religion (Islam) and call us (Muslims) names is past gone. We will henceforth reply appropriately and intellectually and let’s see who will remain standing. I thank the brother for this beautifully concise and well articulated write up. Jazakumullah khayran
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