WHAT IS JIHAD?
by Abd al-Masih (edited by Salam Falaki)
The majority of regional conflicts in the last decades took place in Islamic parts of the world. Quite a number of them were declared by Muslims as constituting a Jihad against unbelievers. What is Jihad? How must this religious fighting be understood?
In the following presentation I would like to answer these questions by studying the foundations that Muslim scholars use in constructing their Sharia laws on Jihad. This basis for the martial law of Islam is primarily constituted by 95 legally binding Qur'anic verses and a number of incidents from the life of Muhammad as recounted in the biography of Muhammad by Ibn Hisham. By analyzing these foundations of the Sharia on Jihad we will get an insight into the workings of Jihad in the religion of Islam.
The polytheists in Mecca bitterly resisted Muhammad's confession that Allah is the only God and that there were no other gods besides him. Heated debates led to an ever-growing Meccan boycott against the Muslims living among them. This was followed by slander and persecution of the socially disadvantaged Muslim and the martyrdom of Muslim slaves in Mecca. Muhammad advised 83 of his followers to flee to Ethiopia and to ask the Christians there to grant them refuge. After the death of his wife, Khadija, and the death of his paternal uncle, Abu Talib, the protection Muhammad had enjoyed from his clan in Mecca crumbled, so that he was forced to emigrate to Yathrib (Medina) in AD 622.
Before Muhammad fled Mecca, he concluded three treaties with the Muslims in Medina to secure the protection of his person and of his followers. After he arrived he first established a multi-cultural administration for Medina, but only allowed it to function until he had enough power to impose the political structure of an intolerant religious state on its inhabitants. The growing poverty of the hundred families that had emigrated with him from Mecca to Medina caused growing tensions within his religious community. In order to care for their needs Muhammad ordered his Muslim refugees from Mecca to raid the Meccan caravans of their relatives, which they flatly refused to do (Sura al-Nisa 4:73-80). But he brainwashed them with the help of suras that were "inspired by Allah" and that justified his intentions (Sura al-Baqara 2:216-218). As a result 83 Muslim refugees from Mecca and 231 Medinan Muslims went with him to raid and rob the Meccan caravans that set out in the spring. The Battle at Badr (624 AD) ended with a triumph for the Muslims and brought the turning point in Muhammads Jihad. Many Meccans were captured and kept as hostages. They were redeemed by their townsmen from Mecca for high ransoms.
The changing fortunes in the wars of Muhammad also brought about the expulsion of the Jewish tribes from Medina. After their elimination the refugees from Mecca "inherited" their land, their houses and their Jewish wives and girls as slaves (Suras al-Ma'ida 5:82; al-Ahzab 33: 26-27; al-Hashr 59:1-7 among others). During the War of the Ditch Muhammad succeeded in sowing strife among his enemies, who outnumbered him, using deception and bribes to cause them to mistrust each other. In the treaty of Hudaibiyat he compromised with his heathen enemies by taking up the occult pilgrimage (Hajj) into Islam, so that the Meccan traders would have a steady source of income even after accepting Islam.
Since Muhammad, after concluding this treaty with the Meccans, could no longer raid the caravans from Mecca, he ordered his followers to raid other Bedouin tribes (Sura al-Hujurat 49:14), Jewish settlements outside of Mecca and Medina and Christian communities in northern Yemen, in order to support his religious state financially. After raiding the Jewish Oasis of Khaybar his Jewish concubine tried to poison him, ultimately leading to his death in AD 632.
The religious and economic conflicts of interest in Mecca caused a rebellion of the traders against the young Muslim community living among them and later on to a boycott of the Muslims for many years. Muslims therefore call their emigration from Mecca an expulsion, which, according to the ancient Arabian law of revenge, gives them the right to retaliate (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:45; al-Shura 42:41-42 among others). This is why moderate Muslims understand the raids on Meccan caravans as constituting events in a defensive war.
The social needs of the Muslim refugees from Mecca drove Muhammad to more and more raids for booty. The religious cloaking given to these raids transformed them into planned offensive wars. In this way Islam spread at an explosive rate for many years and for more than one hundred years after Muhammad died. The result was a world power extending from the Indus River to the Atlantic. On this background fundamentalist Muslims understand holy war as obedience to a command from Allah, calling Muslims to attack the unbelievers, because their mere existence is perceived as a temptation for Muslims to fall away from Islam (Sura al-Baqara 2:193; al-Anfal 8:39 among others). Their slogan is: "Allah is with the victorious!" (Sura Al Imran 3:160; al-Ma'ida 5:56 among others).
It is pointless to ask who is at fault in this difference of opinion between liberal and fundamental Muslims, since what is right in each case seems to be decided by those who have the bigger strength. Both the supporters of defensive wars and the ones who call for offensive wars base their position on verses of the Qur'an and Muhammad's life.
The emigration to Medina came after hefty debates and attempts by the residents of Mecca to starve the Muslims out. The Satanic verses in the Qur'an (Sura al-Najm 53:19-22) are Muhammad's original attempt to save himself and his Muslims through a lame compromise. Later on he retracted this satanic inspiration (Sura al-Hajj 22:52-53). After making contact with spirits (jinn) in the desert (Sura al-Ahqaf 46:29-32; al-Jinn 72:1-5) Muhammad and his followers emigrated in several stages. From then on, "Muslim spirits" have fought alongside the human Muslims in Jihad wars. The occult dimension of Islamic wars should not be overlooked (Sura Al Imran 3:61).
Angels are said to have helped the Muslims to victory in the Battle of Badr (Sura al-Tawba 9:40). Muhammad transformed the Muslims' defeat in the Battle of Uhud into the greatest victory of Islam by introducing polygamy with its promising birth surplus (Sura al-Nisa 4:3). Muhammad himself took part in 29 campaigns of war, through which robbery, booty and taking slaves have ever increasingly become the driving force of the unholy war of Muslims. Occasionally Muhammad compromised with his enemies; he would agree to a cease-fire, but only until a final victory could be achieved. After his victories he would reward potential advocates of war among his enemies with generous gifts in order to win them for Islam. Whenever he held dialogues with Christians or Bedouin chiefs, his goal was the voluntary submission of his guests or opponents to Islam (Sura Al Imran 3:33-65, among others). He sent out spies and urged the rulers of the neighboring kingdoms to accept Islam immediately. The caliphs that succeeded him broke the power of the Byzantine and Sassanid empires with offensive battles and eradicated the encircled troops.
Muhammad emphasized repeatedly that war is nothing but deceit! He was a master at deception and adapting to each new situation. When he attacked Bedouin tribes near Medina, they called out, "We believe! We believe in Allah!" But Muhammad answered them, "You have not believed until you have said: We submit (i.e. we become Muslims)!" (Sura al-Hujurat 49,14). Islam means dedication or submission – voluntarily or by force! Whether through dialogue or war, the goal always remains the unrestricted rule of Islam. The Jewish tribe of Quraiza did not want to accept this principle during the Battle of the Ditch. Some of them conspired with the enemy that was besieging them. When the besieging troops withdrew more than 600 Jews of Medina had to dig their own mass grave, into which they fell after they were cut down. Jibril (Gabriel) ordered them to be annihilated.
The expression "holy war," never occurs in the Qur'an! This English translation represents a visionary, idealized conception of the Arabic word jihad. The Arabic language has various words to designate strife, battle or war. Not all of them appear in the Qur'an:
a) Kifah designates the ideal battle or conflict. In the Middle East Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" is still sold today under the title "Kifahi." But this term does not occur anywhere in the Qur'an. Muhammad never accepted any purely spiritual or theological discussions. Rather he used offers and threats with the aim to make his dialogue-partners submit to Islam.
b) Jihad literally means "to exert oneself by striving for Allah with effort and sacrifice." This term became the Islamic technical term for the striving of Muslims against unbelievers. It includes armed conflict. This term occurs in the Qur'an more than 28 times in various forms:
Sura al-Baqara 2:218; Al Imran 3:132; al-Nisa 4:95; al-Maida 5:35,54; al-Anbal 8:72,74,75; al-Tawba 9:16,19,20,24,41, 44,73,81,86,88; al-Nahl 16:110; al-Hajj 22:78; al-Furqan 25:52; al-Ankabut 29:6,69; Muhammad 47:31; al-Hujurat 49:15; al-Mumtahana 60:1; al-Saff 61:11; al-Tahrim 66:9 etc.
c) Qital designates fighting with a weapon in your hand, with the aim of defeating your enemy by force and, if necessary, to kill them in hand-to-hand combat at the risk of being killed. This word occurs, with its variations, more than 33 times in the Qur'an:
Sura al-Baqara 2:190,191,193,216,217,236,244,246; Al Imran 3:13,167, 195,246; al-Nisa 4:74,75,76,84,90; al-Anbal 8:16,29,65; al-Tawba 9:12,13,14,29,36,83,111,123; al-Ahzab 33:20,25; Muhammad 47: 20; al-Fath 48:16; al-Hadid 57:10; al-Saff 61:4 etc.
d) The rare Qur'anic word Hiraba or Harb designates an attack against Allah and Muhammad, or an Islamic declaration of war against people who oppose its laws. Such terms only occur 6 times in the Qur'an. In Sura al-Ma'ida 5:33 it is used together with Muhammad's extreme threat against those who oppose Islam and therefore represents a grave danger for every enemy of Allah and Muhammad.
Sura al-Baqara 2:275; al-Ma'ida 5:33,64; al-Anfal 8:57; al-Tawba 9:107; Muhammad 47:4
e) Many of these terms are used together with the expression Fi Sabil Allah which means "in the way of Allah" or "for the cause of Allah." In a number of cases all the other terms for strife or war are summarized in this expression. All in all this expression occurs more than 45 times in the Qur’an:
Sura al-Baqara 2:154,190,195,218,244,246,261,262,263; Al Imran 3:13,146,157, 167,169; al-Nisa 4:74,75,76,84,89,94,95,100; al-Maida 5:54; al-Anbal 8:60,72; al-Tawba 9:19,24,30,38,41,60,81,91,111,120; al-Nahl 16: 125; al-Hajj 22:58; al-Nur 24:22; Sad 38:26; Muhammad 47:4,38; al-Hujurat 49:15; al-Hadid 57:10; al-Saff 61:11; al-Muzammil 73:20 etc.
Together with qital (fighting with weapons) the phrase "Fi Sabil Allah" occurs 19 times in the Qur'an. Together with jihad (sacrificial striving for Allah) it occurs 9 times in the Qur'an. In addition it is used in connection with contributions (nafaqa) for the cause of Allah 9 times and in connection with the emigration of Muslims from Mecca "for Allah's sake" 5 times.
These findings show us that jihad in the Qur'an is not so much a "holy or spiritual striving" but a "bloody conflict." Many liberal Muslims, clever refugees seeking asylum in Western countries and European humanists do not want to admit this fact. The 95 verses of the Qur'an that are used by Muslim scholars to legitimate the laws of the Sharia on Jihad can however only be understood from this point of view.
The Qur'an mentions several times that the bloody fighting (qital) is predestined for Muslims and by being recorded in the divine book in heaven (Sura al-Baqara 2:216,246; al-Nisa 4:77; al-Anfal 8:55). Thus the wars of Muhammad and his caliphs are not their own decisions but were planned, inspired and carried out by Allah.
In Sura al-Baqara 2:216 we read:
Fighting with weapons (qital) has been prescribed for you even though it is repulsive to you. Maybe you are rejecting something that is good for you and love something that will prove to be bad for you. Allah knows everything – you know nothing!
Allah orders Muslims to do battle both with a weapon in their hands and with a total commitment of time, energy, money and life for the undertaking of Allah. The explicit command to bloody fighting (qital) can be read 12 times in the Qur'an: Sura al-Baqara 2:190,193,244; Al Imran 3:167; al-Nisa 4:76,84; al-Anfal 8:39; al-Tawba 9:12,29,36,123; al-Hujurat 49:9. The call to total commitment (jihad) appears 6 times: al-Maida 5:35; al-Tawba 9:41,73,86; al-Hajj 22:78; al-Furqan 25:52.
In Islam war is compulsory for every healthy Muslim. People who refuse to obey this command can count on being punished in this world and in eternity. According to the Qur'an Islamic fundamentalists are not reckless extremists. Rather liberal, middle-class and humanistic Muslims are called disobedient cowards and agitators, and Allah's wrath rests on them.
At first it was revealed to them (in Mecca): Restrain your hands from combat, pray and pay the religious tax. But when it became prescribed on them to take part in bloody combat, some of them feared men more than Allah and some of them were very much afraid! They said: O Lord! Why have you commanded us to fight with weapons? Grant us a deferment! (Sura al-Nisa 4:77).
But Allah's command remained and since then all Muslims who read the Qur'an are commanded to step out of their satiated middle-class lives.
The believers fight for Allah, the unbelievers fight for their devil (Taaghuut)! So fight against the enemies of Satan! Satan's deception is weak (Sura al-Nisa 4:76).
Muhammad revealed to his followers: Truly, Allah bought the souls of the believers and their property, so that they would gain paradise. That is why they fight for Allah, they kill and are killed because of his promise (Sura al-Tawba 9:111). This means: Muslims are no longer free people. Allah bought them like slaves and sent them into his war. They fight for him in a collective bondage. In Sura al-Hajj 22:78 we read the mystical statement: Make your Jihad (i.e. strive wholeheartedly) "in" Allah and fight "his" battle. He has chosen you! This unique command shows that Allah not only wants to be with his Muslims, but wants them to be bound up in him, and in this way to wage his war. This instruction is one of the most comprehensive legitimations for the battles of Muslims, since Allah calls the attack of Muslims his own battle. It is a privilege for obedient Muslims to fight in and with Allah.
The Qur'an names various categories of adversaries or enemies of Islam. Most prominent among them are those who attack Muslims with words or with weapons.
Fight for Allah against those who fight against you. But do not trespass. Allah does not love the trespassers (Sura al-Baqara 2:190).
If someone attacks you, then retaliate with the same measure with which he attacked you, when he attacked you. Fear Allah! (Sura al-Baqara 2:194c).
Altogether we find 200 references in the Qur'an with Arabic terms for animists, non-Muslims and atheists. These "inhuman beings" are the scum of the earth to Muslims (Sura al-Tawba 8:55-56). They count as impure (Sura al-Tawba 9:28) and as law-breakers, since they don't follow the Sharia of the Qur'an, eat pork and don't pronounce Allah's name when slaughtering animals. They are seen as ignorant, lawless and mediums of sorcerers (Sura al-Baqara 2:102), who deceitfully break their contracts with Muslims (Sura al-Tawba 9:12). But their biggest sin is that they do not recognize Muhammad as a prophet and don't worship Allah in the Muslim way. Everyone who is not a Muslim is mockingly called an unbeliever (kafir) in the colloquial language. They are cursed by Allah, the angels and people (Sura al-Baqara 2:89-90,161; al-Araf 7:38; al-Ahzab 33:64,68).
Allah counts the unbelievers (all non-Muslims) as the worst animals, since they do not believe (like the Muslims). (They are) those with whom you have made a contract and who constantly break it. They do not fear god. (Sura al-Anfal 8:55-56)
The unbelievers are our certain enemies (Sura al-Nisa 4:101).
Muhammad waged war on many fronts. Most of his opponents were animists, infidels and idolaters. He declared a merciless war against them. They had only one choice: Either accept Islam or die! (9,1-5). Later the death sentence was changed into enslavement for many animists who were caught in battle, so that they would not only die once but would have to suffer the hell of slavery every day. Many Christians in North and South America bought slaves from the traders employed by European monarchs and in this way took part in the torture of slaves. Where is the repentance of Christians for their part in the slave trade?
The Islamic confession of faith makes everyone who believes in more than one god a blasphemer, since Islam accepts only Allah as the one God (Sura al-Anam 6:106). Whoever speaks of a "mother of God" or says that God is a Father, Christ is his Son and that we are children of God, is uttering an unforgivable blasphemy. All idolaters and polytheists are cursed! (Sura al-Ankabut 29:25; al-Fath 48:6 etc.).
Every idolater must be eliminated if he does not accept Islam. Since the existence of the polytheists is a temptation to Muslims to fall away from Islam, Muhammad broke his contracts with them in Mecca, gave them four months to think it over and thus made it possible for them to emigrate. He threatened to eradicate them if they did not accept Islam (Sura al-Tawba 9:1-12).
When the waiting time of the holy months is over then kill the polytheists wherever you find them. Take them, surround them and lure them into a trap wherever possible. But if they repent, say the Islamic prayers and pay the religious tax, then let them go. Truly, Allah is the forgiving, the merciful one (Sura al-Tawba 9:5).
This so-called verse of the sword and its echo in Sura al-Baqara 2:191-192 abrogates over 100 verses of the Qur'an that have a different tone, that call for tolerance, equality and freedom of religion. All verses that recommend co-operating with non-Muslims only apply as long as the Muslims are in the minority, as was the case when Muhammad was still in Mecca. But as soon as Islam has the majority, the tolerance is over, because Islam in every case has as its goal the erection of an intolerant religious state. Claiming human rights won't help then, because the law of Islam is considered to be directly revealed by God. No one may ever change his laws.
At the beginning of his career as a prophet Muhammad idealized Jews and Christians and called them "People of the Book." He too wanted to have a revealed book like they had. The prophet of Islam took about 60% of his Qur'an from texts of the Mishna and the Talmud and about 8% from apocryphal Christian stories. But when Jews and Christians did not accept Muhammad as a prophet, he changed his attitude toward them. He called the Jews the most dangerous enemies of the Muslims, while he remained friendly towards the Christians.
You will certainly find that the most dangerous enemies of the believers (Muslims) are the Jews and the polytheists. And you will certainly find that those (enemies) who are the most friendly to you are the Nasara (Christians), for there are pastors and monks among them. And they are not proud (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:82).
Muhammad's hatred of the Jews increased and he cursed them ten times in the Qur'an (Sura al-Baqara 2:88,159; al-Nisa 4:46,47,52; al-Ma'ida 5:13,60,64,78; al-Rad 13:52 etc.) and claimed that Allah has changed some of them into monkeys and pigs as a punishment! (2,65-66; 5,60; 7,163-166).
The Jews were an intellectual, cultural and financial power block in Medina. Some of them mocked Muhammad openly. That is why he drove them out or destroyed them – at Jibril's (Gabriel's) command – one tribe after another.
Christians passed under Muhammad's judgment later as well, after an honorable delegation of 60 people from northern Yemen discussed their faith with him for three days in the mosque in Medina. At that time Muhammad portrayed his Islam as a religion that is similar to the Gospel. The Bishop Abu Harith b. Alqama saw through the syncretism of Muhammad and left Medina without accepting Islam. Muhammad warned him and all Christians with him that Allah would plague the unbelievers.
I will plague all who remain unbelievers with a horrible plague in this world and the next and they will have no one to speak for them (Sura Al Imran 3:56).
Shortly thereafter Muhammad sent his riders into northern Yemen and subjugated the little Christian kingdom. He gave a revelation of Allah as the reason for his attack:
Fight (with weapons) against those who do not believe in Allah and the last day, and who do not forbid what Allah and his messenger (Muhammad) have forbidden, and who do not belong to the right religion (Islam), who belong to those who received the book, until they pay the minority tax with their own hand and (in this way) acknowledge their lowliness.
The Jews say: Ezra is the Son of Allah! The Nazarenes say: Christ is the Son of Allah! But they only say this with their lips. In this way they imitate the talk of those who were unbelievers before them. May Allah strike them dead! How they have become liars! (Sura al-Tawba 9:29-30).
With these two verses from the Sura of Repentance Muhammad flatly rejected all dreamers among the Jews and Christians who dreamt of these religions approaching each other. He accused them of believing in another God than the Muslims! The Jews trusted Yahweh, their loyal God of the covenant, and the Christians trusted the Father of Jesus Christ. But Allah is completely different! He is neither the God of the Jews nor of the Christians.
Muhammad stated shortly and to the point: Jews and Christians do not belong to the right religion. We are worlds apart! That is why Muhammad did not recommend any dialog based on mutual recognition, rather ordered his followers to make the Jews and Christians submit in a bloody battle with weapons until they are broken as second-class citizens of an Islamic state and pay the minority tax. Any other statements about the relationship of the three religions to each other are either self-deceiving or lies! (Sura al-Baqara 2,145; al-Hajj 22,17)
The Christians were accused of believing that Jesus is the Son of God! They tried to evangelize Muhammad! The founder of Islam cursed them in anger and called on Allah to fight against end destroy every Christian who confesses that Christ is the Son of God! (Sura Maryam 19:30). Muhammad's prayers of cursing against the Christian are, in the end, black magic (Sura Al Imran 3:61). With that Muhammad's spirit revealed itself to be an anti-Christian spirit from the father of lies, according to I John 2:22-25; 4:1-5. The goal of his wars is plain. To destroy the rule of the living Christ!
Not only are attackers, unbelievers, polytheists, Jews and Christians the declared enemies of Islam, but also Muslims who harm their own people. They are to be fought until all Muslims are reunited! This is wishful thinking, as history has shown hundreds of times, but this command is part of the Qur'anic martial law and can be called upon at any time to legalize offensive action and attacks on outsiders.
Included with the outsiders are above all the hypocrites, who act as if they were Muslims, who dress and talk like Muslims, but who think and believe differently inside. Muhammad said that they have no sense and cursed them with the same curse that he used for the Christians. "May Allah strike them dead!" (Sura al-Baqara 2,159; al-Tawba 9,30.68; al-Ahzab 33,61; al-Fath 48,6; al-Muhafiqun 63,4). Muhammad exposed them because they did not offer anything for his wars and kept others from fighting (Sura al-Nisa 4:91; al-Tawba 9:73,120-121; al-Munafiqun 63:1-8; al-Tahrim 66:9 etc.).
All cowards (Sura al-Fath 48:16-17) and traitors (Sura al-Anfal 8:71) belong to the category of the enemies of Islam. They must either prove that they are good Muslims by taking part in dangerous battles or be wiped out themselves. Contracts with them are not binding (Sura al-Anfal 8:58).
Islam is harmed especially by overly sensitive dogmatists who quarrel often and endanger the unity of the troops. All Muslims must fight against them if they continue to quarrel after efforts have been made to negotiate with them (Sura al-Baqara 2:161,217; al-Baqara 4:137; al-Tawba 9:66; al-Nahl 16:106; al-Kahf 18:105; al-Zumar 39:65). These troublemakers are a danger to the unity of the Muslims, as we can already read about the founder of their tribe, Ishmael and his descendants. One of the weaknesses of the Muslims is that they always want to be the ones who are in the right.
Muhammad was especially angry with Muslims who fell away and who converted to a different religion. They are cursed three times: By Allah, his angels and all people (Sura al-Baqara 2:161; Al Imran 3:86-87). All their good works will be void (Sura al-Baqara 2:217; al-Kahf 18:105; al-Zumar 39:65). They must be tormented like criminals (Sura al-Tawba 9:66). The wrath of Allah is on every convert. The fact that he has fallen away is eternally unforgivable (Sura al-Nahl 16:106). The Qur'an does not state that converts must be killed, but the Sharia has made this a law with the help of a questionable tradition of Muhammad's.
Muhammad stated several times that tempting someone to fall away from Islam is more serious a crime than murder (Sura al-Baqara 2:191,217 etc.)! Non-Muslims would do everything to change the faith and the culture of the Muslims. That is why no Muslim should befriend a non-Muslim! (Sura al-Nisa 4:89 etc.). Muhammad commanded all Muslims to fight with weapons against missionary world views.
Fight (with weapons) against them until there is no more any temptation (to fall away from Islam) and Allah's religion rules everywhere (Sura al-Baqara 2:193; al-Anfal 8:39).
These temptations include the television programs and the economic colonialism of the West, as well as the propaganda of the socialist countries. But this warning and threat applies especially to Christian missionaries, since mission work is forbidden in most Islamic countries. Islam not only sees itself as a religion, but also as a religious state. Thus evangelism among Muslims counts as an attack on the foundations of the state and as an effort to undermine its existence. Thus Islam radically contradicts the human right to choose one's own religion.
As soon as an enemy of Islam repents by accepting Islam with its six articles of faith he is seen as a brother by Muslims (Sura al-Tawba 9:5,11 etc.). With that he must reject faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; leave the community of his previous world view; enter the house of Islam; say the obligatory prayers regularly and pay the religious tax as a sign of his faith. This conversion does not require a change in character nor a rebirth, but only a submission to the religious law of Islam.
Muhammad was a master at preparing his attacks, as well as in motivating his followers to holy war. He had Allah tell him to stir up all of his Muslims to battle (Sura al-Nisa 4:84; al-Anfal 8:65 etc.).
First he tried to form the hostile tribes into a unit (Sura al-Anfal 8:72), forbade fighting between brothers and required the ones who were quarreling to make up (Sura Al Imran 3:200; al-Nisa 4:59; al-Anfal 8:1,46). He demanded that a delegation of responsible people from every clan come to him to discuss the situation so that he could inform and instruct them about the coming battle (Sura al-Tawba 9:122).
Muhammad had Allah instruct him to look for allies in his own camp among blood relatives and neutral business partners (Sura al-Anfal 8:75). At the same time he began a massive armament program and to assemble a cavalry (Sura al-Anfal 8:60).
He was especially adept at collecting contributions for the cause of war (Sura al-Baqara 2:195,261; al-Nisa 4:48; al-Tawba 9:20; Muhammad 47:38; al-Hadid 57:10) and expected a total commitment of money and life (Sura al-Nisa 4:95; al-Anfal 8:72; al-Tawba 9:41; al-Hujurat 49:15; al-Saff 61:10-11). He forbad spending money unwisely (Sura al-Baqara 2:195) and commanded the people not to swear emotional oaths and say: I will never again offer something for Allah! (Sura al-Baqara 2:224-225) Moreover he assured them: Allah loves the ones who offer for the effort of Islam (Sura al-Baqara 2:195; al-Ankabut 29:69 etc.).
Muhammad expected faith and obedience to Allah from the Muslims, and to himself (Sura 8:1,46; al-Fath 48:17 etc.). He also recommended that they separate themselves from their parents, sons, brothers, wives, slaves, houses and lands if these kept them from fighting for Allah. The party of Allah (Hisbollah) is marked by the fact that it's members are willing to separate themselves from their own families and to fight them if necessary, if they remained unbelieving (Sura al-Tawba 9:24; al-Fath 48:25; al-Mujadala 58:22 etc.).
In Islam it is wrong to love your enemies and to show sympathy for them, because they do not believe in the revealed law that is found in the Qur'an. Whoever cooperates with them causes unrest, misunderstandings and harm for Islam (Sura Al Imran 3:28; al-Nisa 4:89; al-Anfal 8:72-73; al-Mumtahana 60:1 etc.).
O believers! Do not take my and your enemies as friends and show them no sympathy. They do not believe that which has come to you as law. They drove away the messenger and you because you believe in Allah your Lord, because you go out into battle for him and try to please me. But you are secretly fond of them… Whoever of you does this has strayed far from the way (Sura al-Mumtahana 60:1).
Muhammad cursed his enemies, which legitimized their elimination. Allah's wrath rests on him. Allah himself and his angels fought with the Muslims against them. Muhammad used black magic in his unholy war. (2,159.161; 3,61.86.87; 33,61.64.68; 48,6 et al.)
Allah himself strengthened and purified his warriors for battle (Sura al-Anfal 8:11-12). He assured them that they were chosen, so they should pray, pay and fight (Sura al-Hajj 22:77-78). Armed conflict is a test for the unbelievers (Sura Muhammad 47:4). Whoever does not fight courageously in battle will be plagued horribly by Allah (Sura al-Anfal 8:16; al-Tawba 9:38; al-Fath 48:16)!
Muhammad spurred the Believers on in the Bedouin way:
O believers! Why do you let your head hang when you are told: Move on and fight for Allah! Are you more satisfied with this life than with the next life? (Sura al-Tawba 9,38).
Allah has revealed: I am with you! Strengthen the ones who are Believers! (Sura al-Anfal 8,12) Be patient! (Sura Al Imran 3 200; al-Anfal 8:46) Do not detest bloody hand-to-hand combat! (Sura al-Baqara 2,216).
Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is supposed to have said: "A good Muslim is not someone who prays, fasts and pays his religious tax, but only the one who overcomes his own inhibitions and is prepared to kill the enemies of Allah – that is a true Muslim."
Muhammad stirred up his followers in the same way and said: "Everyone who believes fights for Allah with a weapon" (Sura al-Nisa 4,76).
The prayers of Muslim minorities in non-Islamic or liberal Islamic countries are meant to spur the Believers on, to free them or to help them to establish an Islamic state (Sura al-Nisa 4:75). The bloody unrest in Algeria, Kosovo, Chechnya, Kashmir, Mindanao and East Timor are related to this verse. Voluntary fighters from various Islamic countries help the oppressed to be freed from the yoke of the unbelievers.
Be ready at all times to meet the enemy, stand and fight hard and trust Allah (Sura al-Anfal 8:45). Do not run away when the battle starts, otherwise the wrath of Allah will fall on you (Sura al-Anfal 8:15-16). Help Allah, and he will help you (Sura Muhammad 47:7). Whoever fights for Allah's sake – whether he is killed or victorious – his rewards is assured (Sura al-Nisa 4:74).
Muhammad himself put his fighters in advantageous positions, where they could prove their courage in battle (Sura Al Imran 3:121).
Allah has the power to punish all unbelievers severely (Sura al-Nisa 4:83). Maybe he will give the Muslims victory (Sura al-Anfal 8:45; Al Imran 3:200). The victory comes from Allah alone (Sura al-Baqara 2:214; Al Imran 3:126; al-Anfal 8:10; al-Ankabut 29:10; al-Rum 30:5; al-Nasr 110:1).
But Jesus revealed: "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). He commanded his followers: "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who insult and persecute you, so that you will be children of your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 4:44-45). His words wipe out Muhammad's commands to hate!
Muslims are people like we are. Most of them are afraid of war, of dying and of killing. They do not want to hold dangerous battles or attacks. Many of them are peace-loving and prefer prosperity and good citizenship.
Muhammad knew that his followers were afraid. He challenged them to concentrate on Allah alone! Apart from him there is no helper (Sura al-Jinn 72:20). He commanded them: "Think of Allah often" (Sura al-Anfal 8:45). "Trust him only" (Sura al-Anfal 8:61). "Fear Allah!" He is the only one that they should fear (Sura al-Baqara 2:194; Al Imran 3:123-129,200; al-Ma'ida 5:7; al-Anfal 8:1; al-Tawba 9:118-119 etc.). Muhammad did not say: Love Allah, but rather fear him! The oppressive weight of the fear of Allah rests on Islam.
In times of battle, the liturgical worship services are to be shortened. While one group is praying, the other one should be battle-ready and on guard. Then the ones who are worshipping should step back and stand guard while the ones who were guarding pray (Sura al-Nisa 4:101-102).
Muhammad required his followers to concentrate on Allah with their whole being in order to overcome their basic fear. Victory and protection come from the Almighty alone.
Muhammad ordered his warriors to worship Allah intensively, so that they would have a mark on their foreheads from prostrating 34 times a day within their five times of prayer, as a sign of their fear and worship of Allah (Sura al-Fath 48:29). He promised the Islamic fighters that invisible troops (angels or spirits) would fight along with the god-fearing (Sura Al Imran 3:123-129; al-Tawba 9:40). They are to fight "Allah's" battle hidden "in" him. Their killing is an act of worship for Allah, in that Allah attains victory through them (Sura al-Hajj 22:78; al-Ankabut 29:69).
But if circumstances force them to hide their faith or to deny it, then this is no sin as long as they remain true Muslims in their hearts. War in Islam always means deception and betrayal (Sura al-Nahl 16:106).
For Muhammad the battle started already in the watchful attitude of his combat-ready Muslims (Sura al-Nisa 4:71,102). He commanded them to move out in troops and not to throw themselves singly into battle (Sura al-Nisa 4:71; al-Saff 61:4). He tried to create a feeling of belonging among the Muslims so that each one could rely on the other.
But the special command was to lure the enemy into a trap: "When the sacred months are over kill the polytheists wherever you find them, take them, surround them and set every possible trap for them" (Sura al-Tawba 9:5).
We read Allah's clear command to kill the unbelievers, the polytheists and the Muslims who fled, five times in the Qur'an! (Sura al-Baqara 2:191 [twice]; al-Nisa 4:89,91; al-Tawba 9:5).
What was the great sin of Muhammad's enemies that they had to die? They did not believe in Muhammad's prophethood and did not believe what he said about God and man, his books and messengers, his predestination and the resurrection of the dead. They did not take Muhammad seriously as a prophet because he got his information from Jews and Christians and passed it off as a revelation from Allah.
Christ, on his side, summarized human guilt by saying: "The Helper will convict the world of sin, because they do not believe in me!" (John 16:7-9). But Jesus did not command his followers to kill the unbelievers or fanatical legalists, but was willing to die in their place, so that their sin would be atoned for. Jesus did not carry out the just verdict on the rebels but on himself and reconciled all guilty people with the holy God. Whoever does not believe in him after his sacrifice of atonement judges himself.
But Muhammad took revenge for being rejected and fought against pagans, Jews and Christians. He himself carried out Allah's judgment against them. This makes it clear that Allah is not a God of love and reconciliation, but rather expects his Muslims to enforce his law by force. There is no Holy Spirit and no love of God in Islam, only law, submission and judgment! The command to kill found five times in the Qur'an should open the eyes of all idealists, humanists and syncretists in the occident so that they understand who Muhammad and what his Islam is.
Muhammad ordered his fighters to strike the enemies on the neck (Sura al-Anfal 8:12; Muhammad 47:4). That is the Arabic way of saying: Cut off their heads! Commanding someone to cut his enemies' fingernails is similar in meaning; it means to cut off their hands or to limit their activity (Sura al-Anfal 8:12). The command: "Be hard on them!" is repeated several times in the Qur'an (Sura al-Tawba 9:73,123; al-Fath 48:29; al-Tahrim 66:9 etc.). Whoever reads Ibn Hisham's biography of Muhammad, volume II, will read several times the expression that the swords of the Muslims "mowed" among their enemies.
Muhammad did not allow his fighters to take captives to use as slaves, as long as the battle waged. This bad habit of some Muslims caused the enemies to counter-attack when they saw that the Muslims were busy collecting the booty. That is why the enemy troops must be killed immediately in battle and not taken prisoner (Sura al-Anfal 8:67).
Many Muslims loathed this spilling of blood and the killing of the ones close to them, which was forced on them. Muhammad assured them: "You did not kill them, but Allah killed them!" "Not you shot, when you shot, but Allah shot" (Sura al-Anfal 8:17). Killing one's enemies seems to be a form of worship in this verse. This sura to justify the fighters opens the door wide for every kind of terrorism in Islam.
Muhammad commanded them to continue fighting until the enemy is conquered completely (Sura Muhammad 47:4). Collecting booty and taking women and children as slaves is allowed afterwards (Sura Muhammad 47:4). But if a hostage accepts Islam, he should be set free (Sura al-Anfal 8:70).
A basic principle of Muhammad's war appears constantly in the Qur'an: Take revenge on them in the measure in which they have harmed you. Chase them away from places from which they chase you! Kill them as they kill other Muslims (Sura al-Baqara 2:190-191; al-Nahl 16:126 etc.).
But the final goal of Islamic war is not to take revenge for injustice suffered, but to make Islam rule the world. The missionary command which summarizes all other instructions can be found in the Qur'an: "Fight them (with weapons) until there is no more any temptation (to fall away from Islam) and the entire religion (on earth) belongs to Allah" (Sura al-Baqara 2:193; al-Anfal 8:39).
To this Muhammad assured his fighters:
He (Allah) sent his messenger with right guidance and the true religion, in order to give it victory over all other religions, even when this is loathsome to the polytheists (Sura al-Fath 48:28; al-Saff 61:9).
After the battle Allah will give the victorious rulership, wisdom, and everything they need! (2,251)
Muhammad's orders to shed blood have carried with them the deaths of millions of animists, Jews and Christians. If these orders were replaced with an enslavement of the unbelievers they led millions of bound and chained people away into a hellish bondage. In the Sudan alone today, there tens of thousands of enslaved animists and Christians under Muslim masters.
Unfortunately, Moses, David and Solomon also waged bloody wars in the name of God. But Jesus has turned this page. He taught: "You have heard it said: eye for eye, tooth for tooth (Exodus 21:24), but I say to you, do not resist evil, rather: If someone strikes you on your right cheek, then offer him the other one (Matthew 5:38-42). Jesus said to Peter: "Put your sword in its place! For whoever lives by the sword will die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52).
Jesus is and remains the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9,5-6)! His kingdom is not of this world (John 18,36). He did not train his apostles in hand-to-hand combat, nor arm them with murderous weapons (Matthew 10:8-10). Any religious wars incited or lead by heads of churches are sin. Jesus preferred to die on the cross for his opponents, rather then killing them. His followers were whipped and stoned without resisting. But they blessed their enemies!
In Islam it is the opposite: Whoever kills Allah's enemies in a war on his behalf will be rewarded! Whoever falls in an unholy war of the Muslims, hopes to go to paradise.
With Christ it is different: Whoever kills in his name will be punished and go to hell.
Jesus' motive is love in truth and mercy with justice! Christ's religion is from "above"! Muhammad's religion comes from below. If Muhammad had lived before Christ, his behavior would be understandable in part. But he lived 600 years after Christ and with that developed into an antichristian spirit by rejecting Christ's non-violence and by threatening his spiritual realm. Christ's kingdom and Muhammad's kingdom are complete opposites.
One of the driving forces for the Muslim's attacks was collecting booty! Muhammad had to provide for his followers and refugees from Mecca, so he stirred them up to raiding against their will. The booty from these raids financed the consolidation of Islam in Medina and tided over in critical financial crises. Later Muslim caliphs and rulers lived from the gold and tens of thousands of slaves that were brought back from worldwide conquests. Bedouins and Muslims do not like to work hard or get dirty. For this they have serfs and "paid specialists." Muslims believe that they were born to rule!
Islamic scholars of the law have chosen nine verses from the Qur'an to delineate the law regarding taking booty. In addition the Muslims' book contains 30 verses that deal with the treatment of slaves. There are more verses about the keeping and treatment of slaves than there are about booty in the Qur'an. They are the core of the laws on booty.
The critical point in taking booty is how it is distributed! Muhammad commanded the Muslims not to quarrel while distributing the booty. He took the role of the arbitrator. His decisions were indisputable and infallible (Sura al-Anfal 8:10,41; al-Tawba 9:60; al-Hujurat 49:9; al-Hashr 59:6-7; al-Mumtahana 60:11 etc.).
"Allah and Muhammad" received one fifth of the booty that was collected after the victory of the Muslim fighters (Sura al-Anfal 8:1; al-Ma'ida 5:41). But if a fortress or an oasis surrendered without fighting then Muhammad or the general in charge of the troops received everything! All blood relatives, war orphans, poverty-stricken, disabled veterans and travelers were to receive a part of the booty (Sura al-Anfal 8:41; al-Hashr 59:7). The distribution of the booty was the high point of Muhammad's wars. The greed for the conquered goods caused considerable tension sometimes among the Muslims, because some thought that they were receiving less than others, and Muhammad had to en-courage them repeatedly to be obedient to him, to fear Allah and to make up after quarreling (Sura al-Anfal 8:1,69 etc.).
The Qur'an states that booty can best be collected from conquered cities and villages (Sura al-Hashr 59:7). Another good source of income was the buying back of prisoners and hostages with the highest possible ransom (Sura Muhammad 47:4; al-Baqara 2:87). In Islam Allah allows and commands taking hostages (!) and demanding ransom for their release (!). Exchanging prisoners was another way of releasing them. Muhammad said:
Allah has promised you that you will collect much booty. He allowed part of it to reach you quickly and kept people from you (so that they could not stop you). The booty is a sign for the Believers that he, Allah, would lead them in the straight path (!). (There is) another part (of the booty), which you could not collect yet. But Allah has kept it for you. Allah is capable of everything! (Sura al-Fath 48,20-21).
Muhammad's religiously founded teaching on booty drove the Muslims to their first wave of conquest (AD 632-732), which reached the gates of Paris and Geneva in the west and Samarkand and the Indus River in the east. Letting the conquered people work for them and cashing in on their harvests and other earnings had a calming effect on the Muslims who seized control of the land. The practice of taking boys from Christian families in the Balkans for the army of the Janissaries was a legalized form of enslavement by the Turkish sultans, who had 30,000 Christian boys taken annually, had them converted to Islam and trained for the palace guard and as police for the Ottoman Empire.
Muhammad's fighters and donors hoped to receive not only blessings from Allah, but also a concrete payment as earnings for their efforts and sacrifices. Islam is a religion of works righteousness and not a religion of grace. Muslims think that the size of their record of good deeds in heaven is what decides about their future!
Thus Muslim fighters expect to be able to enter paradisiacal gardens with earthly delights. These gardens are mentioned 124 times in the Qur'an, especially in relation to Allah's helpers in his military enterprises (Sura al-Tawba 9:20-21,88-89,111; Muhammad 47:4-6; al-Fath 48:17; al-Saff 61:9-12 etc.).
Muhammad's attacks, with their deprivations, hunger and casualties, are also considered to be a source of good works for Muslims.
Every follower of Muhammad who is killed in a holy war is in reality not dead, but alive with Allah! (Sura al-Baqara 2:154; Al Imran 3:169; al-Nisa 4:74; Muhammad 47:4; al-Fath 48:25 etc.). He has escaped the eternal fires through his heroic death (Sura al-Saff 61:10). For this reason "criminals who have been sentenced to death" are challenged in times of war to take part in suicide missions, because they would receive forgiveness of their sins, justification and entrance into paradise from Allah through their death in battle.
This false hope that taking part in a war for Allah, dying in battle or in a suicide raid would obtain for them forgiveness of even the great sins, is confirmed several times in the Qur'an (Sura Al Imran 3:157-158,169-171,193-195; al-Nisa 4:100; al-Saff 61:9-12 etc.). This is one of the reasons Muslims think that they don't need a savior or a redeemer, because through their total commitment (Jihad), "with money and life", they hope to earn grace and justification. They think that they don't need Jesus since they believe that they can redeem themselves.
Muhammad emphasized several times that the war effort for Allah would bring the Muslims a great reward (Sura al-Nisa 4:74,95-96; al-Fath 48:29 etc.). His propaganda was meant especially to raise financial support and donations for holy war. Muhammad guaranteed that what Allah had borrowed for his war he would repay in full (Sura al-Anfal 8:60; al-Fatir 34:39). The investments that the Almighty receives through Muhammad will multiply in the heavenly bank (Sura al-Baqara 2:245,261-262,265,274,277; al-Tawba 9:120; al-Hadid 57:7 etc.). All Muslims will receive the best one day, but the fighters even more so (Sura al-Nisa 4:95-96)! Donations before the victory will gain a higher position in paradise than donations after the victory (Sura al-Tawba 9:28). Allah wants to make everyone wealthy. The way to achieve this is through voluntary investments for Allah's military goals. He will give everyone who has sacrificed himself, his money and his soul, a great victory (Sura al-Tawba 9:72,89,111; al-Saff 61:12). This religious philosophy can be read in the Sura of Repentance:
Allah bought the Believers' souls and their money (property), so that they might buy paradise. That is why they must fight in Allah's way (armed) and in this way kill or be killed, according to a promise in the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur'an. Who will be more loyal in fulfilling his contract of purchase (covenant) than Allah? So be happy about the sale that you have made. This is the great triumph! (Sura al-Tawba 9,111).
Muhammad had heard from Christians that God redeems sinners from the slave market of sin (I Corinthians 6:20; I Peter 1:18-20 etc.). But he turned the meaning of these words into the exact opposite! He wrote that Muslims have to pay the price themselves and had to buy paradise with the price of their own blood or the blood of their enemies. But the gospel states that only God is able to pay the price of this redemption "through the priceless blood of Christ, an innocent and unspotted lamb." In this way Muhammad replaced Christ's atoning death with the Muslims' shedding of blood in their unholy war! Whoever understands the depths of this blasphemy is shattered and silent before this Islamic error and blasphemy.
The majority of Muslims withdraws itself cleverly from the demands of the Qur'an that all believing Muslims must fight in unholy war with a weapon in their hands. They say: These decrees and laws were right for Muhammad's time! But we live in a different time and live off the efforts of the first generations of Muslims. These Qur'anic commands applied to them and not to us. We belong to a peace-loving modern Islam.
Other Muslims are more sober and chose the word jihad (total effort) as the theme of their faith and life. They say: Today we must fight against poverty, overpopulation, illiteracy, corruption and pollution. So let us sacrifice our time, strength and money in order to improve the living conditions in the countries of Islam! These idealists close their eyes to the reality of the Qur'an, which clearly calls to "qital", to battle with a weapon in your hand. In any case, they channel part of the energies of their religious community into positive tracks.
Most of the governments of the about 50 Islamic countries of the earth are not prepared to leave the escalation of holy war to the religious leaders of Islam. They have divided the Sharia of Umayyad time into secular and religious, official and personal laws. Martial and criminal law are always under the jurisdiction of the secular governments. But the duties of worship and everyday life are under the jurisdiction of the mosque and its leaders. So Islam is divided and has become schizophrenic as a religious state. Thus the fundamentalists fight with all their might against their liberal Islamic governments, so that their ideal law, the Sharia, can be instituted not in part, but completely, and the liberal governments with their modern laws will be toppled from power. But the secular governments on their side, see themselves forced to imprison, to hang, or in some other way, to silence the Qur'anic fanatics. The Islamic Reformation has caused bloody civil wars for 50 years in many Islamic countries, the goal of which is to introduce the entire Sharia with its complete martial and criminal law. The process is still under way.
A compromise between liberal efforts and fundamentalist goals is being made in the world mission of the Muslims. By infiltrating western companies, banks and governments with extra finances from the production of oil, the influence of the Muslims is meant to increase in the East and the West. Arabic language schools, guest workers and students, mosques on all continents and mixed marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims are supposed to increase the presence of Muslims in the "House of War." The Muslims with their growing numbers in Christian countries demand social and political rights, Islam religious instruction in public schools and political recognition in questions of taxation, in order to be anchored not only socially but also legally. The financial, economic, social and educational "holy war" has already started. But it is the Western countries that are consciously or unconsciously supporting them through child support, unemployment and social benefits. At the same time the Muslim leaders are trying to put a stop to the integration of the Muslims through the reformation of their faith.
While it varies from country to country, about 10 to 25% of the population of Muslim countries is fundamentalist. They are generally portrayed as extremists in Western media, but they are actually the only one who want to take the Qur'an literally. But liberal and humanistic Muslims are pronounced guilty by the Qur'an! The fundamentalists are not extremists, rather the Qur'an is the cause of radical Islam. But the syncretists of the West do not want to recognize this fact. But as long as the Qur'an exists in its present form the fundamentalists will be the only loyal Muslims. Ayatollah Khomeini is their shining figurehead.
According to the German secret service, there are about 20,000 Muslim fundamentalists living in Germany and they are all being observed by the secret service. Some of them are being persecuted by their own liberal governments. The potential of an Islamic underground army exists invisibly in Germany and can be stirred up and put into service at any time by agitators like Saddam Hussein or Jamal Abd al-Nassar or Ayatollah Khomeini. The same applies to most other countries on the earth. But as long as the Qur'an calls for the death of the unbelievers, all that is needed is a spark in the gunpowder to start an Islamic world war – on the condition that the gunpowder is not ruined by the materialism of the West!
Christians should recognize and accept the challenge of the hour, the mission field has come to their home country. It has never been as easy to offer the gospel to Muslims without breaking the law. But who is obeying the command of the risen Christ to evangelize all Muslims? Should only a small percentage of Christians, the fundamentalists, practice religious obedience while the majority only thinks of itself in a middle-class, syncretistic or apathetic manner? The existence of Muslims in our area places us into Jesus Christ's presence, who will one day say to us: "What you have done to the least of these, my brothers, you have done to me" (Matthew 25:40).