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The nature of islam: peaceful or warlike

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    THE NATURE OF ISLAM:  PEACEFUL OR WARLIKE?

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                Is the Quran, the holy book of Islam, a text promoting a violent and warlike nature or is it a text advocating a peaceful life?

                This question has a special relevance in the present context because Osama bin Laden, doubtlessly the world’s most widely known terrorist, claims that the Quran justifies his actions.1  While bin Laden clearly does not represent all Muslims, and may indeed represent very few, one aspect of Islam gives bin Laden an appearance of authority:  Islam is a religion without a formal hierarchy.  As was pointed out in a recent Boston Globe column:

    [U]nlike Christianity, Islam has never had anything like a “Muslim pope” or a “Muslim Vatican.”  Religious authority in Islam is not centralized within a single individual or institution; rather, it is scattered among a host of exceedingly powerful clerical institutions and schools of law.

    This authority, it must be understood, is self-conferred, not divinely ordained.  Like a Jewish rabbi, a Muslim cleric is a scholar, not a priest.  His judgment on a particular issue is respected and followed not because it carries the authority of God, but because the cleric’s scholarship is supposed to grant him deeper insight into what God desires of humanity.2

    Osama bin Laden has conferred on himself the claim that he is the authoritative voice of Islam, and Islam, unfortunately, has no official or effective way to refute his claim.3

                But does an examination of the Quran bear out bin Laden’s claims, or does it show Islam to be a religion of peace?  This question requires an examination of the Quran.  The Quran consists of 114 surahs, and amounts to approximately 78,000 words.  The surahs are arranged by

    length, the longest appearing first, so that there is little thematic organization to the work.4

                The precise meaning of a given verse or surah in the Quran is often unclear.  The book was first written some 1400 years ago, so that many references are lost or distorted in time.  Further, the Quran was compile some thirty years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, reportedly he told his disciples as the revealed word of God.5  It was largely a product of a culture of semi-nomadic tribesmen, proud clansmen who spent much of their time in tribal warfare.6  It is only by extrapolation and interpretation that many verses have significance in the modern context.  Further, in the current, emotionally loaded setting, “objectivity” has been lost.  Islamic sources are often extremely defensive, given the long history of western crusading and colonialism.7  They emphasize the pacivity of the Quran to the point of ignoring many historical facts, while anti-Islamic sources do their best to portray the Quran as a detailed manual for fanatical suicide bombers.  For example, Hal Lindsey, a prominent Christian apocalypse publicist8 contends that the Quran contains 109 verses advocating war.  In a recent column, he cites five verses as particularly militant.9

    Strike off their [infidel’s] heads. Strike off their finger-tips! … because they defied God and his Apostle.10

    Make war on them [infidels] until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme.11

                Seize them and put them to death wherever you find them.12

                Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you.13

    When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them; besiege them; and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way.14 (Surah 9:5)

    Lindsey’s claim that these verses clearly show the warlike qualities of Islam is questionable.  The first, 8:12-13, is taken from the description of a battle in which Muhammad and his band of some 300 followers were set upon by a larger force of Arabs opponents.15

      Verse 12 begins, “When thy Lord inspired the angles, (saying:) I am with you.”  It is at best questionable whether this description of a seventh century battle in which the very survival of Islam was at stake amounts to a general warrant for violence.   Lindsey’s translation of 2:193 is curious, and incomplete.  The verse in full, in Pickthall’s translation reads: “And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.  But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers.”16  Pickthall also explains that verse 89 of surah 4 deals with the treatment of a group of apostate Arabs, who had adopted Islam but then reverted to idol worship.  “So choose not friends from them till then forsake their homes in the way of Allah: If then turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, . . .”17  Again, it is hard to read this as a general warrant for warfare.

                Surah 9, which is frequently quoted by anti-Islamic sources, does contain some of the most explosive language in the Quran, and Lindsey’s translations are reasonably accurate.  Historically, early Moslems did believe that they were enjoined to make war on non-believers.18

                Another staunch opponent of Islam, Syed Kamran Mirza, is a former Muslim, now a publicist against Islam (and religion generally).  In postings at FaithFreedom.org, Mirza contends that Islam is a fundamentally violent faith and that adherence to the Quran leads people to support terrorism.  Mirza cites many Quranic passages in support of his claims.19 (Mirza) Mostly he proves the adage that the most strident militant is a convert.20

    Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs; they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain.  It is a promise that is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Quran.21

    Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other.  Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victory, We shall bestow a vast reward.22

    Those of the believers who sit still, other than those who have a (disabling) hurt, are not on an equality with those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives.  Allah hath conferred on those who strive with their wealth and lives a rank above the sedentary. Unto each Allah hath promised good: but He hath bestowed on those who strive a great reward above the sedentary.23

    Think not of those who are slain in the way of Allah as dead.  Nay, they are living.  With their Lord they have provision.24

    And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion os all for Allah.25

    And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah), it will not be accepted of him and he will be a loser in the Hereafter.26

    Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His Messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, paying tribute readily, being brought low.27

    If you do not go forth, He will afflict you with painful doom, and will chose instead of you a flock other than you.28

    O Prophet!  Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites.  Be harsh with them.  Their ultimate abode is Hell, a hapless journey’s end.29

    These verses hardly state an unequivocal support of warlike ideals.  Many are comparable to biblical admonitions calling on the believers to stand forth against their opponents.

                If the opponents have tried to emphasize Islam’s warlike tendencies, Islamic apologists have been a t least as flagrant in claiming that Islam has constantly and invariably been a religion of peace.   A recently Islamic column responding to claims that the religion fosters violence said that Islam  does not allow or sanctify killing any innocent person regardless, even a nonbeliever.  The Qur’an makes all human life sacrosanct.30  However, the verses cited from the Quran were more equivocal than might be hoped for.  “Do not take life, which Allah has made sacred, except through justice and the law.  He orders this so that you may acquire wisdom”31

     and, “Do not take life, which Allah has made sacred, except for a just cause.  If anyone is killed unjustly, We allow his heir (to seek justice) but do not allow him to exceed bounds when it comes to taking life, for he is helped (by the law).”32  This appears to condone an “eye-for-an-eye” reaction.  Unfortunately, in the modern context, almost anyone can claim that people have been killed unjustly, justifying revenge killings in retaliation.

                Islamic supporters also contend that their critics take isolated phrases out of context.33  In this regard, they cite the isolated use of Surah 2:191, “Kill them wherever you catch them.” and Surah 4:89, “But if they turn away, seize them and kill them wherever you find them. (In any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”  The full historical and textual context of these verses puts them in a significantly different light.  The first is taken from an admonition to the faithful to fight enemies of the faith, which include many cautions against excessive force.

    Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits, for Allah does not love transgressors.  Kill them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out, for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter.  But do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there.  If they fight you, kill them.  Such is the reward of those who reject faith.   But if they cease, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.  Fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression and justice and faith in Allah prevail.   If they cease, engage in hostility only against those who practice oppression.  There is the law of equality of for the prohibited months, and so for all things prohibited.  If any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress likewise against him.  But be conscious of Allah and know that He is with those who restrain themselves.34                          (Surah 2:190-194)

    The selection from Surah 4 also has less force when read in context, although it strains the text to say, as one Islamist did, “Nowhere do these verses give general permission to kill any one.”35

                Supporters of Islam also point out that the early Surahs were revealed to Prophet Muhammad when he was leading a force of a few hundred men and was facing attacks on Muslims in Mecca and Medina.  An Islamic supporter equated the situation to being “subject to constant terrorist attacks.”36  In such situations, self-defense is allowed.  The modern Islamist, however, contends that these verses do not allow Muslims to use terrorism.  Instead, they see these verses as warnings against terrorism, noting also their clear calls for restraint and care.37

                One of the most emphatic of these warnings is Surah 7:28:  “They commit a gross sin, then say, “We found our parents doing this, and God has commanded us to do it.” Say, “God never advocates sin. Are you saying about God what you do not know?”38

                Much like medieval Christianity, Islam developed guidelines for when a war is just, as well as rules for how war should be carried out.  Under Islam, a state may go to war in the defense of Islam, but not to spread it.  However, this explanation includes a slippery caveat:  “Islam also allows war . . . . if another state is oppressing its own Muslims.”39

     Again, in the modern context, this gives a dangerous liberty to militants, who can always claim that there is oppression.

                Islamic apologist are particularly sensitive about claims that Muslims used war to impose their faith on other peoples.  They insist that war can be used only as a mean to ward off aggression, so that the claims that they engaged in wars of conquest are false.40  However noble these sentiments may be, they seem to strain the very verses on which they rely.

    To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged; and verily God is most powerful for their aid.41

                The Quran also calls for war only to be launched for “noble motives,.” with no thought of earthly rewards.42  Of course, it is hard to find a war in recorded history in which the combatants claimed anything less than the highest motives.43

                Under Islamic guidance, war should be carried on in a disciplined way, in keeping with principles of Islamic justice.  Specific rules admonish Muslims to avoid injuring non-combatants, to use as little force as is necessary, to act without anger and to treat prisoner of war humanely.44

                In war as in times of peace, the civil requirements of Islam remain constant.  Islamic law maintains that act prohibited during peacetime are also prohibited during war.45   However, in explaining, this, the Islamists implicitly acknowledge that theory and practice are not always the same, saying, “War is no excuse to be lenient with misbehaving troops.”46  The admonition is well-founded.  The second caliph, soon after Muhammad’s death, recalled Islam’s first great general, Khalid ibn al-Walid, because of his ruthlessness in dealing with enemies of the faith.47

                Comparing Islamic practice to international law, on Islamist noted that established rules require nations to use peaceful means to settle disputes, resorting to war only as a last resort.  He continued, contending that this is key goal for which Islam has been working from its foundation.  It contends that relations between Muslim nations and others are based on “peace and confidence.”  They assert that Islam does not condone killing people “merely because they embrace a different faith”48 citing Surah 60:8 as calling for kindness and equity toward such people.49

                However, there runs through almost every passage cited in this regard a series of conditions.   Consider Surah 4:90: “Therefore, if they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you, and offer you peace, then God gives you no excuse to fight them.”  Or Surah 8:61: “If they resort to peace, so shall you, and put your trust in God.”   But what if a Muslim feels that non-Muslims have not left him alone?

                Obviously there have been conflicts of Muslims against one another, for example, the Iran-Iraq War, and the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.  The current situation in Iraq involves sectarian violence to a level of near-chaos, as Sunni and Shiite Muslims battle with one another in conflicts that have plunged that nation into civil war.  While anti-Islamic sources refuse to acknowledge anything positive about Islam, those sources which have become apologists for Islam do the religion a comparable disservice.  By refusing to acknowledge the obvious about Islam, they forfeit credibility, so that many skeptical observers question everything that they have to say.

                While Islam is currently treated very poorly by irresponsible critics, readers must wonder at the credulity of an Islamic supporter who recently tried to rewrite a great deal of history.

    Islamic war was one of liberation and not of compulsion.  Mohammad and his Companions never fought to force people to accept Islam.  On the contrary, war was launched to save Muslims living in countries ruled by Non-Muslims, so as to grant them freedom to practice the religion they’ve chosen.50

    The historical record stands against any such claim.  Muslims conquered north Africa and the Iberian peninsula.  Will Durant, one of the most decent of historians entitles his chapter on this advance “The Sword of Islam.”51  The Moslem armies were finally turned back by the French under Charles Martel at the battle of Tours.52  Any notion that this was a war to liberate French Muslims seems silly.

                Nevertheless, Christians in Europe did a great deal to foster intolerance between Muslims and Christians.  In Muslim controlled lands, adherents of others faiths were required to pay tribute, but were allowed to practice their own religions to a remarkable degree.53  To justify the Crusade, Christians demonized Islam, a faith which had allowed remarkable religious co-existence.  Europe’s “holy wars” with Islam were based more on propaganda and exaggeration of any threat Islam posed, rather than on any accurate reporting of Islamic practices.54

                Despite the efforts of various Muslims to portray their religion as completely peaceful, the fact remains that Islam has produced suicide bombers, people who willingly blow themselves up in public places in order to inflict the largest number of casualties possible on non-Muslims.   These suicide bombers believe that various verses of the Quran amount to invitations from Allah for ardent believers to carry out such acts as a means of advancing the cause of Allah.   Typically, they cite such verses at Surah 9:111, 3:169, 4:74, and  4:95 as ordering the devout Muslims to kill non-believers, and himself in the process.   Critics insist that the Quran is used to teach Muslims to sacrifice their own lives in suicide bombings, killing enemies of Allah in the process.  Surah 9:11155 is particularly cited as a call to terrorist actions.  While the language of Surah 9:111 appears less than absolute, critics of Islam insist it is without any ambiguity an endorsement of suicide bombings as an act of devotion prescribed for Muslims.  They emphasize the idea that Allah has purchased the life and the property of believers, providing them in exchange lucrative heavenly pleasures, to be paid out to those who will die for the cause of Allah.  Critics insist that this verse alone serve as justification enough, motivating Muslims to launch on their path of suicide bombings.56  Summarizing his denunciation of Islam, Mirza writes: “For good reason we can sum up that the Islamic God (Allah) is the most dangerous deity having unlimited vengeful, cruel, intolerant, intimidating and war-loving blood thirsty divine entity.”57

                Mirza insists that the Quran is filled with verses ordering ardent Muslims to kill all non-believers until only Muslims remain.  He describes the Quran is filled with “heinous, inhuman, and utterly dreadful cruel verses.,”58 insisting that the book contains hundred of verse which are “cruel hateful and utterly inhuman.”59  Mirza notes that the Quran was used to incite early Muslim Jihadists of the seventh century who killed thousands of non-Muslims.  Even the expeditions led by the Prophet Muhammad himself while he was in Medina resulted in killing infidels by early Muslims, and the same Quranic verses are still being used to incite fanatical Muslims to carry out modern day attacks.60

                As almost every religion does, Islam forbids suicide.  Critics of the faith point out that this prohibition deals only with suicide in response to depression or pain which sometimes drives humans to prefer death to life.  The critics insist that this sort of suicide is entirely different from the violent acts called for in verses such as Surah 9:111, which calls for death in the service of a divine cause of killing non-believers.  Mirza sums up his view, stating that the Quran is the “supreme manual of intimidation, vengeance, terror, violence, and war against non-Muslims.”61

                Osama Bin Laden has frequently claimed that the Quran justifies and compels his actions.  In his declaration of war against Americans, a 1998 fatwa, bin Laden repeatedly used verses from the Quran to urge other Muslims to kill Americans, primarily through suicide bombings.  Muhammad Ata and many of the other 9/11 terrorists left notes citing Quranic verses as justifying their actions.62

                Similarly, Israel has managed to capture several would-be suicide bombers, when their explosive charges failed to detonate.  In later interviews, a common claim emerged, that they wanted to die to kill infidels according to the Quranic instructions.63

                On July 6, 2005, an unprecedented gathering of Muslim scholars and clerics issued a fatwa, or legal ruling, denouncing all acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam.  In doing this, the clerics tried to assert some measure of influence and authority over the world’s Muslims.  Their efforts reflected that fact that there is now a battle going on to define the faith and practice of Islam.  Their gathering was unprecedented, bringing together representatives of every major sect and school of Islamic law to gather as a single body and address an issue of mutual and very grave concern.   Beyond condemning terrorism in the name of Islam, the document included a comprehensive legal ruling stating to Muslims that only those who have dedicated long years of study to the traditional Islamic sciences could issue a fatwa.  This amounted to a statement by the Islamic clerics of their exclusive authority on matters of faith, attempting to strip Islamic militants like Osama bin Laden of their self-proclaimed authority to speak for Muslims.64

                In the last several decades, literary among Muslims has increased dramatically.  This has brought about a major shift in Islam, because it gives both Muslim men and Muslim women unprecedented access to ideas and information about their religion.  It has brought with it a decline in the authority of traditional clerics, who until recently were the only Muslims who could read the Koran.  Now, many Muslims do not go to a mosque to hear passages from the Quran; they read it themselves.  They even defy a traditional rules of Islam by having Qurans in translation rather than in traditional Arabic..65

                As more Muslims study the Quran, they have found many of the received traditions offensive and antiquated, and they have often rejected these traditions.  This has meant a profound reshaping of the religion, exacerbating divisions already troubling Islam.66

                In a situation analogous to the Christian Reformation, the current Islamic reformation has brought out various competing interpretations of the Quran.   Osama bin Laden has assumed a role comparable to figures such as Martin Luther.  Bin Laden’s foremost concern is the purifying of the Islamic religion.  His Al-Qaeda is a puritanical sect whose members believe they are the only true Muslims, while all others are hypocrites and impostors who must be convinced of their folly or abandoned to their apostasy.67

                Bin Laden will use any means to purge his religion of what he deems to be adulterations at the hands of the traditional clerics.  He justifies his use of terror along lines similar to those offered Luther.  Luther defended the slaughter of his opponents by claiming that in a war for the soul of Christianity, “it is Christian and an act of love to strangle the enemies confidently, to rob, to burn, and do all that is harmful until they are overcome.”68

                Perhaps the most reasonable judgment that can be offered on the Quran is this: like almost any religious book, it contains material that can be read a variety of different ways.  Those who seek to justify acts of terrorism and warfare will find their justification in its pages.  Those who seek to propagate and practice Islam as a religion of peace will find support and consolation there.  The present crisis, in which Islam is unable to disown the likes of terrorists whose actions clearly endanger the faith may compel Islam to formalize a hierarchy to define more clearly who has the right to speak for this faith.

    SOURCES USED:

    Aslen, Reza.  “The War For Islam.”  The Boston Globe.  Sep. 10, 2006, accessed Jan.  1, 2007.  Available at <http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2006/09/10/ the_war_for_islam/>.   Internet.

    Boyer, Paul.  “Apocalypse: America’s Doom Industry.”  Frontline.  2007, accessed Jan. 1, 2007.  Available at <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/explanation/ doomindustry.html> Internet.

    Carroll, James.  “The War Against Islam.”  The Boston Globe.  June 7, 2005, accessed Jan. 1, 2007.  Available at <http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/ articles/2005/06/07/the_war_against_islam/> Internet.

    Durant, Will.  The Age of Faith.  New York, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1950.

    Dylan, Bob.  “With God on Our Side.”  The Times They Are A’Changin’.   1963, accessed Jan. 2, 2007.  Available at <http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/withgod.html>.   Internet.

    “Evaluation of Human Rights in Islam.”  Submission.  Undated, accessed Jan. 1. 2007.  Available at <http://www.submission.org/rights.html>.  Internet.

    Glubb, John.  The Life and Times of Muhammad.  Lanham, Maryland:  Madison Books, 1998.

    Hoffer, Eric.  The True Believer.  New York, New York:  Perennial Library, 1951.

    “How Does Islam Guarantee Human Rights?”  Discover Islam.  Undated, accessed Dec. 31, 2006.  Available at <http://www.discoverislam.com/poster.asp?poster=DIP2004_26&page=1>.  Internet.

    “Is Islam Respectful of Other Religions?”  Discover Islam.  Undated, accessed Jan. 1. 2007.  Available at <http://www.discoverislam.com/poster.asp?poster=DIP2004_19&page=1> Internet.

    “Jihad in Islam (Submission).”  Submission.  Undated, accessed Dec. 31, 2006.  Available at <http://www.submission.org/muhammed/jihad.html>.  Internet.

    Lindsey, Hal.  “Quran’s ‘War Verses’ at Work.”  WorldNetDaily.  Jan. 13, 2006, accessed Dec 31, 2006.  Available at <http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48330>.  Internet.

    Mirza, Syed Kamran.  “Quran is the Primary Manual of Islamic Suicide Terrorism.”  FaithFreedom.org.  Apr. 28, 2006, accessed Dec. 31, 2006.  Available at <http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/skm60428.htm>.  Internet.

    Pickthall, Muhammad.  The Glorious Quran.  Des Plaines, Illinois: Library of Islam, 1994.

    “Quran Teaches.”  FaithFreedom.org. Undated, accessed Jan. 1, 2007.  Available at <http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/quran_teaches.htm>  Internet.

    Siddiqi, Muzammil.  “Does the Quran Promote Violence.”  The Wisdom Fund.  Islamic Horizons, Nov/Dec. 2001, accessed Dec. 31, 2006.  Available at <http://www.twf.org/Library/Violence.html>.  Internet.

    Stewart, Desmond.  Early Islam.  New York, New York: Time-Life Books, 1967.

    Tabbarah, Afif, and Shawki Abu Khalil.  “The War System in Islam (Submission)” Submission.  Undated, accessed Dec. 31, 2006.  Available at <http://www.submission.org/war.html>.  Internet.

    “Terrorism and Islam.  Submission.  Undated, accessed Jan. 1, 2007.  Available at <http://www.submission.org/terrorism.html>. Internet.

    “War Ethics in Islam.”  Al-Jazeera.  June 29, 2004, accessed Jan. 2, 2007.  Available at <http://www.islamonline.com/cgi-bin/news_service/spot_full_story.asp?service_id=786> Internet.

    “What Does Islam Say About War?”  Discover Islam.  Undated, accessed Jan. 2, 2007.  Available at <http://www.discoverislam.com/poster.asp?poster=DIP2004_25&page=1>.  Internet.

    1Reza Aslen, “The War For Islam.”  The Boston Globe.  Sep. 10, 2006, accessed Jan.  1, 2007.  Available at <http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2006/09/10/ the_war_for_islam/>.   Internet.
    2Ibid.
    3Ibid.
    4Desmond Stewart, Early Islam (New York, New York: Time-Life Books, 1967), 33-36.
    5Ibid, 33-35; Will Durant, The Age of Faith (New York, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1950), 175-86.
    6Durant, 158; John Glubb, The Life and Times of Muhammad (Lanham, Maryland:  Madison Books, 1998), 25.
    7James Carroll, “The War Against Islam.”  The Boston Globe.  June 7, 2005, accessed Jan. 1, 2007.  Available at <http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/ articles/2005/06/07/the_war_against_islam/> Internet.
    8Paul Boyer, “Apocalypse: America’s Doom Industry.”  Frontline.  2007, accessed Jan. 1, 2007.  Available at <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/explanation/ doomindustry.html> Internet.
    9Hal Lindsey, “Quran’s ‘War Verses’ at Work.”  WorldNetDaily.  Jan. 13, 2006, accessed Dec 31, 2006.  Available at <http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48330>.  Internet.
    10Quran, surah 8:12-13, quoted in Lindsey.
    11Quran, surah 2:193, quoted in Lindsey.
    12Quran, surah 4:89, quoted in Lindsey.
    13Quran, surah 9:123, quoted in Lindsey.
    14Quran, surah 9:5, quoted in Lindsey
    15Muhammad Pickthall, The Glorious Quran (Des Plaines, Illinois: Library of Islam, 1994), commentary to surah 8.
    16Ibid., surah 2:193.
    17Ibid, surah 4:89.
    18Stewart, 141.
    19Syed Kamran Mirza, “Quran is the Primary Manual of Islamic Suicide Terrorism.”  FaithFreedom.org.  Apr. 28, 2006, accessed Dec. 31, 2006.  Available at <http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/skm60428.htm>.  Internet.
    20Eric Hoffer, The True Believer (New York, New York:  Perennial Library, 1951).
    21Quran, surah 9:111, quoted in Mizra.
    22Quran, surah 4:74, quoted in Mizra.
    23Quran, surah 4:95, quoted in Mizra.
    24Quran, surah 3:85, quoted in Mizra.
    25Quran, surah 8:39, quoted in Mizra.
    26Quran, surah 3:85, quoted in Mizra.
    27Quran, surah 9:29, quoted in Mizra.
    28Quran, surah 9:39, quoted in Mizra.
    29Quran, surah 9:73, quoted in Mizra.
    30Muzammil Siidiqi,  “Does the Quran Promote Violence.”  The Wisdom Fund.  Islamic Horizons, Nov/Dec. 2001, accessed Dec. 31, 2006.  Available at <http://www.twf.org/Library/Violence.html>.  Internet.
    31Quran, surah 6:151, quoted in Siidiqi.
    32Quran, surah 17:33, quoted in Siidiqi.
    33Siidiqi; “Quran Teaches,” FaithFreedom.org. Undated, accessed Jan. 1, 2007.  Available at <http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/quran_teaches.htm>  Internet.
    34Quran, surah 2:190-94.
    35Siidiqi.
    36Ibid.
    37“Terrorism and Islam.  Submission.  Undated, accessed Jan. 1, 2007.  Available at <http://www.submission.org/terrorism.html>. Internet.
    38Ibid.; “What Does Islam Say About War?”  Discover Islam.  Undated, accessed Jan. 2, 2007.  Available at <http://www.discoverislam.com/poster.asp?poster=DIP2004_25&page=1>.  Internet.
    39“War Ethics in Islam.”  Al-Jazeera.  June 29, 2004, accessed Jan. 2, 2007.  Available at <http://www.islamonline.com/cgi-bin/news_service/spot_full_story.asp?service_id=786> Internet.
    40Ibid.: “Jihad in Islam (Submission).”  Submission.  Undated, accessed Dec. 31, 2006.  Available at <http://www.submission.org/muhammed/jihad.html>.  Internet: “Is Islam Respectful of Other Religions?”  Discover Islam.  Undated, accessed Jan. 1. 2007.  Available at <http://www.discoverislam.com/poster.asp?poster=DIP2004_19&page=1> Internet.
    41Quran, surah 22:39.
    42Quran, surah 4:74.
    43Dylan, Bob.  “With God on Our Side.”  The Times They Are A’Changin’.   1963, accessed Jan. 2, 2007.  Available at <http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/withgod.html>.   Internet.
    44“War Ethics in Islam.”
    45Ibid.
    46Ibid.
    47Durant, 187-89.
    48“War Ethics in Islam.”
    49“Evaluation of Human Rights in Islam.”  Submission.  Undated, accessed Jan. 1. 2007.  Available at <http://www.submission.org/rights.html>.  Internet; “How Does Islam Guarantee Human Rights?”  Discover Islam.  Undated, accessed Dec. 31, 2006.  Available at <http://www.discoverislam.com/poster.asp?poster=DIP2004_26&page=1>.  Internet.
    50“War Ethics in Islam.”
    51Durant, 187-205.
    52Carroll.
    53Durant, 188-92.
    54Carroll.
    55Quran, surah 9:111: “Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs; they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain.  It is a promise that is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Quran.”
    56Mizra; “Quran Teaches.”
    57Mizra.
    58Ibid.
    59Ibid.
    60Ibid.
    61Ibid.
    62Ibid; Alsen.
    63Mizra; Lindsey.
    64Aslen.
    65Ibid.
    66Ibid.
    67Ibid.
    68Ibid.

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    The nature of islam: peaceful or warlike. (2016, Aug 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-nature-of-islam-peaceful-or-warlike/

    Frequently Asked Questions

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    What is the nature of Islam?
    The basic concept of nature in Islam lies in the word āyah (for singular, or āyāt for plural), which means symbol or sign of God, or more precisely the symbol or sign of the existence of God as the Lord of the Cosmos, and reflect His Oneness and His Perfection.
    What is the nature of the Islam God?
    Muslims refer to their God as Allah, a genderless title which has no plural form. Tawhid is the belief in the oneness and unity of Allah as expressed in the first of the five Pillars of Islam, the Shahadah. The Shahadah is a statement of faith which says, “There is no other God but Allah”.
    What Islam says about peace?
    The teachings of Islam invite people to live a peaceful life based on theism, justice and purity. Therefore, peace in Islam is an eternal constitution. Even the nature of war in Islam is a defensive one, not an offensive one, because the principle of Islam is peace and coexistence, not conflict, violence and war.
    Why is peace important in Islam?
    Peacemaking is the process Muslims follow to show their understanding of peace. They believe that Justice, Forgiveness and reconciliation are crucial in peacemaking. apply this to helping others and charity work. It inspires Muslims to help others and strengthen the Ummah.

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