Saturday, September 21, 2013

Islam and Unbelievers


Melvyn Cyrus said...

Good job David! I especially liked your conclusion of the debate. You showed clearly that Shadid gave his own version of Islam by cherry-picking scholars, ahadith, and even verses of the Qur'an that he likes. He quoted mostly from second-class scholars, while ignoring the most prominent tafsir.

I have one question though. The verse 60.8 "Allah forbiddeth you not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drove you not out from your homes, that ye should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo! Allah loveth the just dealers." seems to confirm Shadid's point, and yet it is a from a Medinan surah, and not from the earliest Meccan surahs when Muhammad was a persecuted prophet in Mecca. How do we reply to that?

Melvyn Cyrus said...

BTW, as you did David, the best way to refute the claim that war in Islam is all about self-defense is to point out to the early Islamic conquests, a great bunch of them being led by the very companions of Muhammad. The fact that Islam spread from the Maghreb to India by force is the best proof of what u call the third stage of Jihad: when you have the upper hand, then conquer!
Muslim apologists always point out to enemies of Muhammad (as Shadid did for the pagans of Arabia) to try to justify the violent verses through the self-defense argument, so we would like to know when did the Persians, the Indians, the North Africans... attack the Muslims leaving "peacefully" in the Arabian peninsula in order to deserve to be invaded, subdued, and sometimes even reduced to slavery!

David Wood said...


Some people divide revelations between Meccan and Medinan. But this is overly simplistic when it comes to Jihad. The division should be:

(1) Pre-Jihad Stage (or Stealth Jihad Stage). When Muhammad was in Mecca, Muslims were commanded not to fight, even in self-defense.

(2) Defensive Jihad Stage. For several years in Medina, Muslims were not the most powerful force in Arabia, and they had established a number of treaties with non-Muslims. Muslims were commanded to fight in self-defense, but not to attack unbelievers. Surah 60 was revealed during this time.

(3) Offensive Jihad Stage. When Muslims became the most powerful force in Arabia, Allah commanded them to violently subjugate non-Muslims.

So the point is that the ultimate goal is to violently subjugate unbelievers. Islam is therefore a threat to unbelievers. Shadid can't avoid the threat by appealing to a revelation that only applies when Muslims are in the minority.

Quran Learning said...

If we hear the Tilawah of Holy Quran or we learn it from live Quran online then we may find that there is huge difference between an unbeliever and a hypocrite. An unbeliever is a person who does not believe in Islam but a hypocrite is a person who believes in Islam but he or she keeps on back stabbing to the religion.

Melvyn Cyrus said...


thanks for the precision. Another point that I do not understand is that S. 8 was apparently revealed before S. 60, and therefore before the "peaceful verse" S. 60.8, yet it contains very clear incitations to violence, e.g. 8:12 or 8:39. S. 8 is from the beginning of the Medinan period, yet to me it sounds much more like a third-stage S. (offensive Jihad), rather than a second-stage one (defensive Jihad).