A Defending Crusader…

The best defense is to be good and offensive…or something like that.

Blogging the Qur’an

Posted by Godefroi on July 16, 2007

I’ve been meaning to link to this for weeks.

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch is going through the entire Qur’an, with commentary appropriate for our times, at Hot Air…this week is Sura 2, “The Cow,” verses 222-286.

Immediately following is the famous statement that “there is no compulsion in religion” (v. 256). Islamic spokesmen in the West frequently quote it to disprove the contention that Islam spread by the sword, or even to claim that Islam is a religion of peace. According to an early Muslim, Mujahid ibn Jabr, this verse was abrogated by Qur’an 9:29, in which the Muslims are commanded to fight against the People of the Book. Others, however, according to the Islamic historian Tabari, say that 2:256 was never abrogated, but was revealed precisely in reference to the People of the Book. They are not to be forced to accept Islam, but may practice their religions as long as they pay the jizya (poll-tax) and “feel themselves subdued” (9:29).

Many see v. 256 as contradicting the Islamic imperative to wage jihad against unbelievers, but actually there is no contradiction because the aim of jihad is not the forced conversion of non-Muslims, but their subjugation within the Islamic social order. Says Asad: “All Islamic jurists (fuqahd’), without any exception, hold that forcible conversion is under all circumstances null and void, and that any attempt at coercing a non-believer to accept the faith of Islam is a grievous sin: a verdict which disposes of the widespread fallacy that Islam places before the unbelievers the alternative of ‘conversion or the sword.’” Quite so: the choice, as laid out by Muhammad himself, is conversion, subjugation as dhimmis, or the sword. Qutb accordingly denies that v. 256 contradicts the imperative to fight until “religion is for Allah” (v. 193), saying that “Islam has not used force to impose its beliefs.” Rather, jihad’s “main objective has been the establishment of a stable society in which all citizens, including followers of other religious creeds, may live in peace and security” – although not with equality of rights before the law, as 9:29 emphasizes. For Qutb, that “stable society” is the “Islamic social order,” the establishment of which is a chief objective of jihad.

Previous entries here:

Introduction by Bryan Preston

Introduction by Robert Spencer

Sura 1, “The Opening”

Sura 2, “The Cow,” verses 1-39

Sura 2, “The Cow,” verses 40-75

Sura 2, “The Cow,” verses 75-140

Sura 2, “The Cow,” verses 141-210

Sura 2, “The Cow,” verses 211-221

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