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"...Then Fight the Leaders of Disbelief..." (Quran 9:12)

"...Then Fight the Leaders of Disbelief..." (Quran 9:12)

 

Published in February 7, 2018

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

Introduction:

1-  We have received via email this very important question; we guess that it might be from a security apparatus of an unidentified country. The male sender of the email message asks about this Quranic phrase: "...then fight the leaders of disbelief..." (9:12) and if this Quranic command applies now, in our modern era, to the Sunnite imams/leaders of disbelief and polytheism. The sender of the question asks whether Muslims should fight Sunnite clergymen as per 9:12 or not.

2- If the sender of this question is affiliated to any security apparatus of any country, we say the following to him: our Quranist stance is known and unchangeable within hundreds of articles and books of ours, and it is summarized within our Constitution of Quranists, which is found in English on the following link: (http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=15303). This Quranist stance of ours is as follows: all Quranists are peaceful persons who consider all peaceful human beings worldwide (of all religious affiliations and denominations and also the atheists) as their brethren as long as they never fight, kill, and persecute Quranists because of religion. We hate the violence/aggression of any aggressors/attackers but we do not hate the persons themselves. Proof: if they stop their aggression/attack, they are our brethren in the religion of peace; i.e., within the adherence to overt peaceful behavior, regardless of their belief systems or religious denominations.

3- If the sender of this question is an ordinary person who desires to know about Islam (i.e., Quranism), we assume that he did not read enough within our archive of writings; it is obvious that he – like so many others – misunderstands the context of the verses of the Quranic Chapter Nine within which the verse 9:12 is located. It is very wrong to suppose that the verse 9:12 indicates to fight Sunnite imams/leaders/clergymen like, for instance, Al-Qaradawy. We categorically refuse such false interpretation of the verse 9:12.

4- This is why we repeat this explanation here in this article, hopefully for the very last time.

 

Firstly: an overview of the temporary legislations within the first verses of the Quranic Chapter Nine:

1- From the very beginning of the Quranic Chapter Nine, we infer that these are temporary legislations that comment on certain events that occurred shortly before Muhammad's death; God has said the following to Muhammad: "A declaration of immunity from God and His Messenger to the polytheists with whom you had made a treaty." (9:1). This shows that the temporary legislations in the verses after this one aim at facing those polytheistic aggressors who violated and breached the treaty made with Muhammad. By the word "temporary", we mean that the parties involved are no longer there: Muhammad died and so are those polytheistic aggressors.     

2- God has given the polytheistic aggressors the chance to repent during the four sacred months of pilgrimage: "So travel the land for four months, and know that you cannot escape God, and that God will disgrace the disbelievers. And a proclamation from God and His Messenger to the people on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage, that God has disowned the polytheists, and so did His messenger. If you repent, it will be better for you. But if you turn away, know that you cannot escape God. And announce to those who disbelieve a painful torment." (9:2-3).

3- The above does not apply to peaceful polytheists who did not violate the treaty and never supported the aggressors against believers: "Except for those among the polytheists with whom you had made a treaty, and did not violate any of its terms, nor aided anyone against you. So fulfill the treaty with them to the end of its term. God loves the pious ones." (9:4).

4- If they never stop their aggression and repent before the four-month pilgrimage season (during which fighting is prohibited), Muhammad and the believers must engage into self-defense fighting against them. If they repent, then, and stopped their aggression by adhering to peace – overtly shown by performing prayers and paying zakat to the poor, the fighting must stop and captives must be released: "When the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and pay the alms, then let them go their way. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful." (9:5).

5- Within the battlefield, those attackers who surrender and give up fighting and arms must be protected and brought to safety after hearing the Quran: "And if anyone of the polytheists asks you for protection, give him protection so that he may hear the Word of God; then escort him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know." (9:6).

6- We find a reassertion here to keep the peace pledge/treaty with those peaceful polytheists who never breached it: "How can there be a treaty with the polytheists on the part of God and His messenger, except for those with whom you made a treaty at the Sacred Mosque? As long as they are upright with you, be upright with them. God loves the pious ones." (9:7).

7-  Those aggressors/attackers who violated the peace treaty are described here as hypocrites who reneged on their words and traded with God's verses for the sake of worldly, transient gains: "How? Whenever they overcome you, they respect neither kinship nor treaty with you. They satisfy you with lip service, but their hearts refuse, and most of them are immoral. They traded away God's Verses for a cheap price, so they barred others from His path. How evil is what they did. Towards a believer they respect neither kinship nor treaty. These are the transgressors." (9:8-10).

8- Yet, if they would repent by overtly adhering to peaceful behavior, stopping their aggression, and keeping the peace treaty, they will be brethren in the religion of peace, if not in terms of faith/belief; thus, believers are to hate the crime/sin of aggression and not the aggressors who may repent, make amends, and restore peace to become the brethren of the peaceful ones: "But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and give alms, then they are your brethren in religion. We detail the Verses for a people who know." (9:11).

9- Those who insist on violating the religion of peace by going on with aggression and attacks must be fought (within deterrence and self-defense endeavors), as they violated the peace treaty, and fighting them will stop once their aggression would come to an end and peace would be restored: "But if they violate their oaths after their pledge, and attack your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief - they have no faith-so that they may desist." (9:12). The term (disbelief) here in 9:12 refers to violent, aggressive behavior, and not to any faiths/denominations that reject the Quranic message.

10- The early peaceful believers at the time desired to maintain peace and feared and hated to engage into self-defense military jihad, though it was of vital importance so as to avoid being annihilated; God has urged them here to defend themselves against those attackers who violated the peace treaty: "Will you not fight a people who violated their oaths, and planned to exile the Messenger, and initiated hostilities against you? Do you fear them? It is God you should fear, if you are believers." (9:13).

11- This context goes on within the same topic until we read the following verse: "O you who believe! The polytheists are abominations, so let them not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year of theirs. And if you fear poverty, God will enrich you from His grace, if He wills. God is Aware and Wise." (9:28). This means that aggressive polytheists are not to enter into the Sacred Kaaba Mosque in Mecca, as it is made by God as a haven and a sanctuary for peace and security for all those who enter it to worship God.

 

Secondly: the applicability of these temporary legislations within later eras:

1- The temporary legislations mentioned in the verses we have quoted above may be applied and activated – after the death of Muhammad and those polytheistic aggressors – only if the same conditions are repeated when aggression is committed against peaceful, innocent ones in our era or within any later eras. The reason: the Quranic context here does not specify or name the aggressors as Meccans or Arabs etc., as they are referred to, in general, as violators of peace treaties/pledges and as polytheists in term of aggressive, violent behavior committed against the innocent, peaceful ones.   

2- It is clear that this temporary legislations do NOT apply to peaceful Sunnite imams, sheikhs, and preachers of today; they have the right to preach, propagate, and proselytize their religion, like Quranists and others of any denominations (this applies also to, e.g., Shiites, Sufis, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Buddhists, and atheists) as part of the absolute religious freedom inherent in the Quran that includes the freedom to proselytize, to practice or reject any acts of worship, to build any type of the houses of worship, and to (dis)obey and (dis)believe in the Quran and in anything else. The right and freedom to preach, propagate, and proselytize one's religion includes normally that one rejects, criticizes, and undermines other religions – and this is OK. On the Last Day, God will settle the religious disputes and differences of all people. This absolute religious freedom excludes any form of coercion or compulsion in religion and negates any penalties for ''heretics'' because of alleged disbelief or ''apostasy''; one must never interfere in anyone else's life by claiming to change 'vice' or 'sin' by force.     

 

Thirdly: the verses of the Quranic Chapter Nine expose the ignorance of the imams/sheikhs of the earthly religions of the Muhammadans and their enmity/animosity towards Islam (i.e., the Quran itself):

1- Ibn Ishaq is the first man to author the very first fabricated, fake  biography of Muhammad, and this was done in the 2nd century A.H. during the Abbasid Era. Of course, Ibn Ishaq has invented in his book many false narratives and fictional stories about Muhammad, and he intentionally portrayed a falsified image of Muhammad that contradicts his real and only true portrayal in the Quran. Besides, Ibn Ishaq has deliberately disregarded certain historical facts and details within Muhammad's Quranic story, especially those mentioned in the verses we have quoted above from the Quranic Chapter Nine that indicate that after making a peace treaty and Muhammad and the believers were allowed to enter into Mecca once more, polytheists attacked the peaceful believers and were about to drive them, along with Muhammad, out of Mecca for a second time. Those aggressive Meccans made use and took advantage of the fact that these peaceful believers hated to engage into self-defense endeavors and that some of these believers kept their alliances with the Qorayish polytheists to serve certain economic interests.    

2- Within the larger context of the Quranic Chapter Nine, we infer that those imams/leaders of disbelief (i.e., aggression) stopped their aggression and attacks and became brethren in the religious of peace temporarily as they waited eagerly for the death of Muhammad and the end of the revelation/descent of the Quranic verses. Proof: once Muhammad died, the Qorayish leaders dominated over all Arabia and convinced Arabs to commit the grave sins/crimes of Arab conquests that contradict Islam and its peaceful nature and its Quranic higher values (e.g., peace, justice, charity, absolute religious  freedom, and the Shura consultation of direct democracy). As a direct result of the crimes of the Arab conquests, the faulty notion spread that Islam is deemed as a religion of the sword; hence, the four pre-Umayyad caliphs spread the disbelief in, and the rejection of, real Islam (i.e., the Quran) in contrast to Muhammad who applied its teachings within the Yathreb city-state.   

3- Among the disastrous outcomes of such crimes of the Arab conquests – in relation to our topic here in this article – is the violation of peace during the sacred four months of pilgrimage; i.e., the Arab conquests began by those Arab criminals during the sacred lunar month of Muharram. Other violations of the peace during the pilgrimage season of the four sacred months occurred many times later on; e.g., during the Arab civil wars. As a result, when the Abbasid Era of writing down books commenced, Arab authors have distorted the notion of the four sacred months by; e.g., making the lunar month of Rajab as one of them (as per Ibn Ishaq and his fabricated last sermon delivered purportedly by Muhammad during pilgrimage, shortly before his death) and by making the pilgrimage season confined only to the first ten days of the lunar month of Zu Al-Hijja, which previously marked the beginning of the lunar calendar year, unlike the authors of periodicals and history books who made Muharram as the first lunar month of the lunar calendar year. This contradicts the fact that the four lunar sacred months of pilgrimage are following one another (Zu Al-Hijja, Muharram , Safar, and Rabei Awwal), as we infer from the verses we have quoted from the Quranic Chapter Nine about the chance to repent during these four months of pilgrimage, and also as we infer from this verse: "The Hajj is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform the Hajj - there shall be no sexual relations, nor misconduct, nor quarrelling during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, God knows it. And take provisions, but the best provision is righteousness. And be mindful of Me, O people of understanding." (2:197). As always, God says nothing but the Absolute Truth.


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