The hallmark of Mohammed was his love of the disproportionate violent over-reaction as a response to those who did not believe that he was a prophet. Moses, as a true prophet of God, was exactly the opposite in this respect. He never responded with, or called for violence against, those who rebelled against him. For Mohammed it was the only way he could find to validate his claims

King James Bible

Korah’s Rebellion

Numbers 16 v 1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: 2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: 3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?

4 And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face: 5 And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him. 6 This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; 7 And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.

8 And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: 9 Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? 10 And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also? 11 For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the LORD: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?

12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up: 13 Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us? 14 Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up.

15 And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the LORD, Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them. 16 And Moses said unto Korah, Be thou and all thy company before the LORD, thou, and they, and Aaron, to morrow: 17 And take every man his censer, and put incense in them, and bring ye before the LORD every man his censer, two hundred and fifty censers; thou also, and Aaron, each of you his censer. 18 And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron. 19 And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation.

20 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 21 Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. 22 And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?

Moses Separates the People

23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 24 Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.

25 And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins. 27 So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. 28 And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. 29 If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. 30 But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD.

The Earth Swallows Up Korah

31 And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: 32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. 33 They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. 34 And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. 35 And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.

Mohammed did not know the true living God so the only method he had of proving his prophethood was the sword. Moses showed by miraculous judgements and miracles that he was a true prophet sent from God. Jesus showed by miracles that he was a true prophet sent from God. Mohammed tried to prove that he was a true prophet by killing all his enemies and ridding the land of non-believers or subduing them to islamic law.

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The Conflict with the Jews, a post from

An Outline of the Life of Muhammad


1. Muhammad and the Jews of Medina.

A constant thorn in the flesh to Muhammad at Medina were the three Jewish tribes quartered near the city – the Banu Qaynuqa, Banu Nadhir and Banu Quraydhah. On his arrival at Medina he negotiated treaties with these tribes and for a short while sought their allegiance through many overtures.

We have already seen that Muhammad made Jerusalem his qiblah at this time and it is noteworthy that the Jewish fast of Ashura was also observed by the Muslims from the time that they first reached Medina. (To this day the tenth of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic year, is a holy day and one on which many Muslims fast – compare Exodus 12.3 and see t e section on Muslim festivals and celebrations). The Qur’an also acknowledges the Jews as a people on whom God had bestowed peculiar favours in terms reminiscent of Paul’s summary in Romans 9.4-5:

      We did aforetime grant to the Children of Israel the Book, the Power of Command, and Prophethood; We gave them, for sustenance, things good and pure; and We favoured them above the nations.

Surah 45.16

It seems that Muhammad had keenly desired to win their support but was so rudely rejected that they soon became his inveterate enemies. The Jews could hardly be expected to acknowledge an Ishmaelite prophet who proclaimed Jesus as their Messiah! They irked him keenly on two counts – satirical barbs and evidences against his claim to prophethood. The second concerns us more than the first.

      Yet the Jews were a constant cause of trouble and anxiety. They plied him with questions of which the point was often difficult to turn aside. The very people to whose testimony he had so long appealed in the Coran proved now a stubborn and standing witness against him (Muir,

The Life of Mahomet

    , p. 179).

Whereas the Meccans had simply ridiculed his message and generally resorted to sheer abuse of their kinsman, the Jews were able to trace many of these teachings to their own folklore and produce more damaging evidence against him. As Muhammad could not read their scriptures they were able to constantly provoke him with their knowledge and often frustrated him with subtle twists of phrases which he could not immediately detect but which entertained the Jewish bystanders. For example, Exodus 24.7 states that the Jews at Sinai answered Moses “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient”, but in the Qur’an we discover that the Jews, when commanded to hearken to God’s Law on the Mount, allegedly answered “We hear and we disobey” (Surah 2.93). Muhammad later discovered that his informants had subtly misled him on this point and the Qur’an duly censures them for this particular deception:

      Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) place and say: “We hear and we disobey”.

Surah 4.46

It was too late, however, to rectify the unfortunate error that they had succeeded in introducing into the text of the Qur’an. As Muir continues, “Mahomet evidently smarted at this period under the attacks of the Jews” (The Life of Mahomet, p. 179). Other authors comment in a similar vein:

      It was not that the Jews refused to recognise Muhammad as a prophet, nor even that they engaged in political intrigue against him, serious as such attitudes and actions were. Much more serious was the Jewish attack on the ideational basis of Muhammad’s preaching. It had been claimed that the Qur’an was a message from God and thus inerrant; and it had also been claimed that there was a large measure of identity between the Qur’anic message and what was to be found in the previous scriptures. If the Jews, then, maintained that there were errors and false statements in the Qur’an (because it disagreed with their Bible) and that therefore it could not be a message from God, they were threatening to destroy the foundations of Muhammad’s whole religious movement. (Watt,

What is Islam?

      , p. 102).

Yet, doubtless, the Prophet’s ultimate determination to destroy the Jews was due to his secret recognition of their superior knowledge of matters on which he claimed (Margoliouth, Mohammed and the Rise of Islam, p. 233).

The end result was as predictable as it was crucial to the success of Muhammad’s ministry – the neutralisatlon of the Jews as an effective force in Medina. This took place chiefly through the deportation of two of the tribes and the annihilation of the third, but at the same time Muhammad also sought to discredit them in other ways and “the portions of the Coran given forth at this period teem with invectives against the Israelites” (Muir, The Life of Mahomet, p.180). Here are a few examples of this trend in the last Surah making up the revelation:

      The Jews say: “God’s hand is tied up”. Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter . . . Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment. Every time they kindle the fire of war, God cloth extinguish it; But they (ever) strive to do mischief on the earth. And God loveth not those who do mischief.

Surah 5.67

Thou seest many of them turning in friendship to the unbelievers. Evil indeed are (the works) which their souls have sent forward before them (with the result) that God’s wrath is on them and in torment will they abide. Surah 5.83

The contemporary Muslim response to the state of Israel has its roots in passages like these which, allegedly being God’s own judgments, control the attitudes of the Muslims throughout the world to their Jewish co-religionists. It is not surprising, therefore, to find the Jews constantly slandered in the Hadith as well. The traditionists blacken them in many passages. For example, Ibn Ishaq assesses the relationship between them and Muhammad in these words:

      About this time the Jewish rabbis showed hostility to the apostle in envy, hatred and malice, because God had chosen His apostle from the Arabs. (Ibn Ishaq,

Sirat Rasulullah

    , p. 239).

Ibn Sa’d even contains a hadith to the effect that the Jews sought to kill Muhammad in his childhood when they discovered that he might become a prophet. His wet-nurse Halima saved him only by claiming to be his actual mother. (Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol. 1, p. 125). The story is a pure fiction because it speaks of prophetic phenomena which his mother is supposed to have seen at his birth. Such stories are known to be later embellishments. (Muhammad himself always acknowledged that his mother died in idolatry). Nonetheless it is typical of the anti-Jewish element constantly found in early Muslim records. To this day the prejudice is sustained and this comment on a recent biography of Muhammad by a fairly well-known Egyptian author, Abdur-Rahman Ash-Sharqawi, confirms this negative trend which is unfortunately prevalent in most Muslim writings dealing with Muhammad and the Jews:

      The most striking facet of Ash-Sharqawi’s apology is certainly his description of the relationship of Muhammad to the Jews. It is his express purpose to dispel the image of Muhammad as an oppressor of the Jews and in its place to portray Muhammad as one who dealt with the Jews with exemplary patience. In order to reach this goal, he typifies the Jews as rich bankers, capitalists, exploiters, financiers, usurers, speculators and manufacturers of weapons. They supposedly attempt constantly to undermine the new Islamic society by economic means. Even when they are exiled, they brood on revenge. Besides this characterization of them, ash- Sharqawi harps continually on their corrupting influence on morals. Ash-Sharqawi constantly finds enmity, hate, treachery, the breaking of treaties, the lust for power, an’ feelings for revenge in the Jews. Ash-Sharqawi has established his defence of Muhammad by painting the Jews completely black, a presentation for which he does not give any historical evidence, much less “thousands”. (Weasels,

A Modern Arabic Biography of Muhammad

    , p. 23).

Against this unfavourable background let us analyse the development of Muhammad’s historical dealings with the three Jewish tribes of Medina.

2. The Exile of the Banu Qaynuqa and Banu Nadhir.

Shortly after the Battle of Badr relations between Muhammad and the Jews of Medina began to deteriorate and, suspecting treachery from them as a result of alleged breaches of their covenants with him (Surah 8.56-58), he began to move against them. A small altercation in one of the markets of Medina was the spark that set the process in motion. A Jew pinned the skirt of a kneeling Muslim woman to her upper dress so that when she stood up she was publicly embarrassed. Her companion slew the Jew in revenge and was promptly slain himself by the other Jews in the market.

On hearing of it Muhammad sent his uncle Hamsa to the quarter of the Banu Qaynuqa from whom the offending Jew had come. The Jews answered that even though Muhammad had succeeded in routing the Quraysh, he would find them to be far more resolute. The quarter was besieged for fifteen days. Neither of the other two tribes nor their allies under Abdullah ibn Ubayy gave them any assistance or relief. As the siege wore on the tribe surrendered and was exiled from Medina, leaving their fields and many of their other possessions as spoils for the Muslim warriors.

After the Battle of Uhud the Banu Nadhir were the next to go. Claiming that this tribe was plotting his death, Muhammad sent his men against them, this time under Ali’s command. Mindful of the fate of their kinsmen, they immediately prepared to leave but promises of support from Ibn Ubayy and others encouraged them to withstand the siege. Once again no assistance was rendered. After fifteen days Muhammad commanded his companions to cut down the palm trees in their date groves. The Jews cried out to him:

      “Muhammad, you have prohibited wanton destruction and blamed those guilty of it. Why then are you cutting down and burning our palm-trees?” (Ibn Ishaq,

Sirat Rasulullah

    , p. 437).

This charge was well-founded as Moses had, under the direct guidance of the will of God, forbidden such destruction of trees which bore food, even if they belonged to a city which waged war against God’s people:

      “When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an axe against them; for you may eat of them, but you shall not cut them down. Are the trees in the field men that they should be besieged by you?’

Deuteronomy 20.19

Muhammad was once again compelled to resort to a timely revelation to counter the Jews:

      Whether ye cut down (O ye Muslims!) the tender palm-trees, or ye left them standing on their roots, it was by leave of God, and in order that He might cover with shame the rebellious transgressors.

Surah 59.5

Once again, as in the aftermath of the Nakhlah raid, a divine revelation was required to justify a clear breach of Arab custom, let alone a wilful disregard for the Law of God as revealed through the prophet Moses. In his commentary Yusuf Ali has this to say about the verse just quoted:

      The unnecessary cutting down of fruit trees or destruction of crops, or any wanton destruction whatever in war, is forbidden by the law and practice of Islam. But some destruction may be necessary for putting pressure on the enemy, and to that extent it is allowed. But as far as possible, consistently with that objective of military operations, such trees should not be cut down.

Both these principles are in accordance with the Divine Will, and were followed by the Muslims in their expedition. (Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an, p. 1522).

The reasoning is the same as that in Surah 2 regarding the Nakhlah raid. Although the action was forbidden by law, it suddenly became justified because of the animosity of Muhammad’s opponents. It was allowed for “putting pressure” on the stubbornly resistant enemy. This is like saying that when a boxer cannot subdue his opponent, hitting below the belt suddenly becomes admissible to put a bit of “pressure” on him – how different the attitude of Moses who taught that laws were to be observed and ethics sustained no matter what the circumstances. Two wrongs do not make a right.

The tribe, deserted by its allies, finally surrendered and was exiled. Most of its members went north to Khaibar while others joined their kinsmen in Syria. The Qur’an censures those who offered help but withdrew their support:

      Hast thou not observed the Hypocrites say to their misbelieving brethren among the People of the Book? – “If ye are expelled, we too will go out with you, and we will never hearken to anyone in your affair; and if ye are attacked (in fight) we will help you”. But God is witness that they are indeed liars.

Surah 59.11

3. The Destruction of the Banu Quraydhah.

The Banu Quraydhah, quartered in a sector to the east of Medina, were the last to go but in an extreme way. During the siege of Medina by the Quraysh and the Confederates, a pact was made with them by the Banu Quraydhah which seriously exposed the eastern flank of the city. The Jews acted treasonably but, with the fate of the other two tribes fresh in the memory, their gamble was hardly surprising.

Muhammad succeeded in creating distrust between the Quraysh and the Jews and, when the former withdrew, he promptly laid siege to the latter’s quarter. Twenty-five days later the tribe surrendered and sought to be exiled like the other two before them. It was agreed, however, that one of the Aus tribe, traditionally the allies of the Jews, should decide their fate. Sa’d ibn Mu’adh, one of the few Muslims injured during the siege of Medina who was shortly to succumb to his wounds, was appointed their judge. (Some say the Jews themselves requested him). What followed is recorded in a matter of-fact way by an early biographer:

      The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, authorised Sa’d ibn Mu’adh to give a decision about them. He passed an order: He who is subjected to razors (i.e. the male) should be killed, women and children should be enslaved and property should be distributed. Thereupon the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, said: You have decided in confirmation to the judgement of Allah, above the seven heavens. The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, returned on Thursday 7 Dhu al- Hijjah. Then he commanded them to be brought into al-Madinah where ditches were dug in the market. The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, sat with his Companions and they were brought in small groups. Their heads were struck off. They were between six hundred and seven hundred in number. (Ibn Sa’d,

Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir

    , Vol. 2, p. 93).

The ruthless execution of nearly a thousand men has been generally denounced by Western writers while Muslim writers have, as is to be expected, sought to justify the massacre. The following are typical examples of the spirit of Western criticism of the slaughter:

      On this occasion he (Muhammad) again revealed that lack of honesty and moral courage which was an unattractive trait in his character. (Andrae,

Mohammed: The Man and his Faith

      , p. 155).

There followed the massacre of the Banu Quraizah which marks the darkest depth of Muslim policy, a depth which the palliatives suggested by modern Muslim historians quite fail to measure. (Cragg, The Call of the Minaret, p. 87).

But the indiscriminate slaughter of eight hundred men, and the subjugation of the women and children of the whole tribe to slavery, cannot be recognised other than as an act of monstrous cruelty…In short, the butchery of the Coreitza casts an indelible blot upon the life of Mahomet. (Muir,The Life of Mahomet, p. 312).

One shudders at the recital of this horrible transaction. (Stobart, Islam and its Founder, p. 165).

Muslim writers invariably claim that such authors are prejudiced against Islam but the following quote comes from a Western author who wrote a fervent apology on behalf of Muhammad and whose book has been widely acclaimed and reprinted in the Muslim world:

      But, judged by any but an Oriental standard of morality, and by his own conspicuous magnanimity on other occasions, his act, in all its accessories, was one of cold-blooded revenge. (Bosworth Smith,

Mohammed and Mohammedanism

    , p. 138).

In contrast let us examine a few quotes by Muslim writers in support of Muhammad’s action to see the nature of the defence that they raise on his behalf:

      No one can dispute the justice of the sentence on the Quraiza. People may admire the courage of the Quraiza in not accepting Islam and thus saving their lives, but no one can complain of the justice of this sentence. (Sarwar,

Muhammad the Holy Prophet

      , p. 247).

It was the Divine Will that the judgment should be left to Sa’d, and it was the Divine Will that moved Sa’d to pronounce the judgment that he did, which was in accordance with Deuteronomy 20.10-14. It was also the Divine Will that this terrible judgment, which the treachery and rebellion of Banu Quraidhah had earned, should not be pronounced by the Holy Prophet himself, but that he should be bound to carry it through to the full. (Zafrulla Khan, Muhammad: Seal of the Prophets, p. 186).

A recent Muslim writer has questioned whether this whole story is historically genuine. “A detailed scrutiny indicates that the whole story of this massacre is of a very doubtful nature” (Ahmad, Muhammad and the Jews, p. 85). He argues that the narratives contain contradictions about it and that it was right out of character with Muhammad’s general magnanimity towards his defeated foes, if not always individually, at least in the main (as at the conquest of Mecca where almost the whole city was spared). There seems to be some support for the latter contention – more of his enemies were slain on that one day than in all the other battles Muhammad was engaged in during his lifetime. The contradictions between the narratives are, however, typical of those found in almost all the historical records of his life and do not affect the main story.

      About the primary matters, the broad outline of events, there is practically no doubt. The B. Qurayzah were besieged and eventually surrendered; their fate was decided bv Sa’d; nearly all the men were executed; Muhammad did not disapprove. About all that, there is,


      Caetani, no controversy. The Western scholar of



      therefore beware of paying so much attention to the debates to be traced in his sources that he forgets the solid core of undisputed fact. This solid core is probably more extensive than is usually recognized. (Watt, “The Condemnation of the Jews of Banu Qurayzah”

The Muslim World

    , Vol. 42, p. 171.)

Ahmad takes the words of Surah 33.26, “Some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners” as the foundation of his theory that, while some of the more serious offenders may have been proscribed, the bulk of the tribe was probably exiled like the others. At first sight it does seem strange that Muhammad should despatch the whole tribe while he had let the others go free, but there is concrete evidence that he had intended to execute the Banu Qaynuqa in the same way.

According to Ibn Sa’d (Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol. 2, p. 32-33), when the tribe surrendered, Muhammad ordered his companions to tie the men’s hands behind their backs to prepare them for beheading. It was only the remonstrances of Abdullah ibn Ubayy, then still too influential to be refused that made him abandon their execution and order their banishment instead.

What is most significant about Ahmad’s assessment of the historical genuineness of the massacre is that, in querying it, he finds himself free from the need to justify Muhammad and accordingly treats it for what it really was – an unjustifiable atrocity. He says:

      No one could come out of such a holocaust – 600 to 900 killed in cold blood in one day – without damage to his personality. ‘All and Zubayr’s holocaust legacy of massive deadness would not have left them in peace. (Ahmad,

Muhammad and the Jews

    , p. 86).

To behold the slaughter of many men in battle is indeed one thing – to unemotionally witness the execution of a whole tribe is another entirely. Ahmad continues:

      The very idea of such a massacre by persons who neither before nor after the killing showed any sign of a dehumanised personality is inadmissible from a psychological point of view. (Ahmad,

Muhammad and the Jews

    , p. 87).

Ahmad has challenged a story whose historical accuracy has hitherto never been questioned and, while the external evidences may weigh against him, he is to be commended for seeing the tragedy for what it truly was – in his own words, a “massacre” and a “holocaust”.

In their determination to exonerate Muhammad the Muslims have found themselves in an awkward situation. If they admit the story, they find themselves obliged to counter the suggestion that it had the nature of an atrocity. If, however, this is conceded, they strive to challenge the reliability of the narratives! Either way none dares admit that Muhammad was the leading figure, or at least a willing accomplice, in a “holocaust”.

Shortly before the conquest of Mecca Muhammad attacked the remaining Jewish fortress at Khaibar and, while not gaining an outright victory, nevertheless brought it into subjection. Here he was poisoned by a Jewish woman. Although she did not succeed in killing him, Muhammad complained to the day of his death of the effects of her act of revenge. Ibn Sa’d says she was put to death (Vol. 2, p. 249), but this is disputed by Bukhari who states that Muhammad refused to sanction her execution (Vol. 3, p. 475). Which of the two is true, “God only knows”.

By the end of his life Muhammad’s relationship with the Jews had deteriorated to the point of irreconcilable hostility. We have not spoken of his relationships with the Christians, which seem to have been a bit more amicable though much less frequent, but his contacts with their armies during his latter days seems to have hardened his heart against them also. The later passages of the Qur’an breathe out denunciations of both groups in vehement language. This tradition tells its own story:

      It has been narrated by ‘Umar b. al-Khattab that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims. (

Sahih Muslim

    , Vol. 3, p. 965).

This same Umar, on becoming Caliph just two years after Muhammad’s death, proceeded dutifully to put this injunction into effect and by the end of his reign all the Jews in the Hijaz had duly been expelled, never to return.

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Islam Undressed: The Battle of Badr

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam
Islam Undressed
By: Vernon Richards
Introduction: The View from Outside
The Issues at Hand
‘Real Islam’ from the Religious Texts
Islam and Jihad
Muhammad’s Actions, Speaking Louder than Words
The Battle of Badr
Actions of the four “Rightly Guided” Caliphs
Early Islam and the Crusades
Islam, Non-Muslims and Apostates
Islamic Honesty and Honor
The American Muslim
Worldwide Islam Today, by Country
Today’s News from Peaceful Islam
Real Islam; a Case Study
Islamic Psychology 101
Islamic Politics 101
The Infidel POW
Beslan, Russia and Islam
Persia-Egypt and Islam
Islamic Aid (Jizyah)
Spin …The Art of Ignoring the Obvious
The Gathering Storm
Seeds of Armageddon
Roots of Today’s Campaign
Liberty Threatened
Hard Options in Israel
Islamic Contradictions and Hypocrisies
Never-Ending Islamic Conspiracies
The Final Analysis on Real Islam
The Path Ahead
Epilogue: Dark Premonitions
About the Author

(Revised from an original article by Anwar Shaikh a renowned Indian Islamic scholar and historian)

The Battle of Badr is a tiny event by any stretch of the imagination, yet it has significantly influenced the course of human history. A deeper study of the March 624 event reveals that it served as the first successful exhibition of the Islamic doctrine known as Jihad. Emboldened by this small success, Jihad contined to be utilized in perpetual wars against infidels ever since. Thus it served as the practical foundation of the Muhammad’s Arabic Empire, at the same time gaining permanent foothold as a pillar of Islam. Muhammad succeeded in transforming his concept of Allah into a new principal of divinely ordained and never ending Holy War. This author claims that Jihad was ordained primarily for the purpose of establishing his vision of Islamic-Arab Cultural Imperialism. To establish if this is true, we must first look into the geographical and political background of Arabia at that time.

At the time of Muhammad, the economic plight of Arabia created a pastoral society which had developed into two groups: firstly, the majority, known as the Bedouins, who wander in search of pastures, often supplementing a meager livelihood by resorting to brigandage (raiding commercial caravans and other tribes). Though it was sheer looting, brigandage assured them security and survival, and so was not looked down upon as sinful but a source of power, pleasure and prestige. This institution of brigandage known as ghazwa (razzia) had existed long before the advent of Muhammad. The Umayyad poet al-Qutami has alluded to this custom in his two verses: “Our business is to make raids on the enemy, on our neighbor and on our own brother, in case we find none to raid but a brother.”

It appears that even before Muhammad’s time, robbing others was a compulsive trait of the Arab national character, considered more an act of honor and manliness than immorality. Realizing its entrenched cultural significance, the Prophet easily converted that practice into a religious doctrine called ‘Jihad’, renaming it the Holy War against infidels. The Arab Empire he built thereby was in essence exactly like any other empire, except in appearance it was designed to look godly. The doctrine of Jihad, then, is a derivative concept incorporating the Arab custom of ‘razzia’ (raiding for booty), seeking ascendancy of Arabia and annihilation of non-Arabs in the name of Allah, the Most Merciful.

Though we have already studied the nature of Jihad, but it’s necessary to be repetitive for elucidating this bloodthirsty war mechanism. The first principle of Jihad is that a person loses his free will and becomes a slave of Allah

“Verily Allah has purchased the believers their lives and their properties; For theirs (in return) is paradise. They fight in His (Allah’s) cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him.” (9:3).

The first principle of Jihad

Now we know that Islamic Paradise is a place of luxury where toil, sickness, ageing and death are unknown, and where eroticism and gluttony abounds. Moreover, we have learned that Allah’s ‘cause’ is simply killing infidels, Repentance 9:25 is where Muslims get the specific command to wage a war against Christians and Jews “until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled”.

With regard to infidels, the cause of Allah is to convert or simply to kill them. And what is an infidel? He or she is someone who denies Muhammad; it does not matter a jot if he/she is a lover of God! So fond is Allah of murdering the unbelievers to glorify Himself and Muhammad that He permanently divided humanity into two perpetually hostile groups. In a nutshell, it means that Muslims are God’s party because they do not love their closest relations if they happen to be infidels. Owing to their belief, they are destined to be victorious against the unbelievers (who are Satan’s party, see sure 58:20). Justification for Jihad has been constant for 1400 years; …denying Muhammad is sufficient cause for a Muslim state to raid and subjugate non-Muslim territories. The Qur’an is specific in commanding the faithful to wage war against non-Muslims until survivors surrender and pay tribute as a sign of their humiliation. Receiving tribute from unbelievers in the name of Allah is then the true purpose of Islam.

Thus one can clearly see in Jihadic doctrine its Arab roots in the custom of brigandage, newly sanctified in the guise of Muhammad’s new religion. A religion wherein looting, arson, revenge, murder, slavery, and rape against non-Muslims are no longer wicked acts, but instead made acts of great piety deserving the highest reward Allah can bestow. The Prophet made sure that brigandage no longer remained a low and haphazard affair, but a highly respected and disciplined process, now stamped with divine approval. The battle of Badr served as a major inspirational source for this new Spiritual Arab Imperialism, which has been steadily expanding for the last fourteen centuries.

Throughout history other charaismatic men have inspired the admiration of others enough to fight with the sword for gain. Muhammad’s genius lay not only in sanctifying the sword but also finding a beneficial use for it to magnetizing his own person for gathering crowds of followers around himself. An overwhelming majority of those early followers who acknowledged him as their spiritual guide were hungry, haggard and hounded men; they would do anything to improve their economic plight and take revenge from their Meccan oppressors, who had forced them to leave their homes to seek refuge in Medina. This migration from Mecca to Medina had been necessitated by Muhammad’s aggressive preaching of his faith, which annoyed unbelievers to the hilt. Bitterness of the refugees had been further aggravated by the fact that they had to rely on the local Muslim believers of Medina (Ansaars) for their sustenance. Though these refugees appreciated their brotherly hospitality, they resented their dependence, which custom held as a sign of disrespect, derision and degradation. Realizing the despondency of his followers, the Prophet turned it into a rage for vengeance, which then sought to plunder and persuade those who had inflicted torture on them and cast them out. However, these would-be predators did not have to bear the blemish of impiety like other brigands and assassins because they were told that although their acts might look putrid, they had been rendered pure, pious and perfect by the Almighty who now recategorized and renamed such acts Holy War.

This commandment of holy loot invoked at Badr also served as an effective way of helping boost fighters moral sky-high because they believed that they were doing all to please Allah, with the thought of lining their own pockets just a happy coincedence. Normal feelings of guilt toward the various victims were thus overcome by a scantified lust for revenge, combined with zealous religious excitement, with the additional bonus of the opportunity for huge personal gain from relatively little effort. Thus inspired, a soldier of Allah had to be at least twice as brave, boisterous and bullish as an ordinary fighter to prove his sincerity.

The Prophet revealed Allah’s pleasure (The Pilgrimage: sura 22:38): “Assuredly, God will defend those who believe, surely God loves not any traitor. Leave is given to those who fight because they were wronged – surely God is able to help them – who were expelled from their habitations without right…. Assuredly God will help him who helps Him – surely God is All-strong, All-mighty.”

The Pilgrimage: sura 22:38

Note Allah’s promise to help the Muslims to take revenge against those who had wronged them. So now the setteling of personal scores means helping Allah, and vengeance becomes a divinely inspired and pushed aspect of proper Islamic thinking. It smells of divine stratagem which, as we shall see, subsequently lays down the metholology of looting and murdering non-Muslims as a righteous way of fulfilling that divine directive for retrubition and reprisal; the Battle of Badr being the first successful model to this new way of life. Though small in size, it became a major event, exerteing an important influence in determining the course of history. It is therefore, interesting to know the details:

Muhammad’s effort in spreading Islam had not borne much fruit until the summer of 621 A.D. when twelve men from Medina, visiting Mecca to perform the annual Hajj ceremony, embraced the faith that he preached. They undertook to propagate it among the fellow Medinites. Next year, in June, 622, a party of seventy-five pilgrims, including two women, came from Medina; they all had embraced Islam. Driven by the zeal of their new gospel, they invited the Prophet to come and live among them to avoid persecution. Muhammad, who had become safety-conscious, asked them if they would defend him as if he were one of their own. Their answer, though positively enthusiastic, was conditional: “What shall we get in return, if we suffer damage or death in the process?” “Paradise, of course,” answered the Prophet.

These private meetings known as the two Pledges of al-Alaqba, encouraged the Prophet to persuade his Meccan followers to emigrate to Medina in small groups. When about seventy of them had done so, Muhammad himself quietly undertook the highly dangerous journey because his Meccan enemies had taken the oath of killing him before he could escape. Making use of the unfrequented paths, Muhammad reached his destination on September 24, 622. This flight is called HIJRAH and ranks as the traditional starting point of Islamic history, though the Islamic era begins on the first day of the Arabic year in which the HIJRAH or the flight took place i.e. July 16, 622. However, the significance of this date is believed to lie not in the act of emigration but “the belief that this day marks severance of kinship ties and announces unity of all Muslims, no matter where they come from.”

To understand its background, one must realize that Muhammad belonged to the Quresh of Mecca whereas the people of Medina had their blood ties with other tribes. Thus, accepting common denominator of Islam, they all, including Muhammad, lost their tribal distinctions.

This understanding of the act of HIJRAH, though looks golden at first sight, becomes murky when subjected to investigation because when Muhammad grew strong, he declared emphatically that the right to rule belongs to the Quresh i.e. the people of his own tribe! This is the reason that all Arab caliphs both in the east and the west belonged to Muhammad’s clan, i.e. the Quresh.

It took the Meccan emigrants eighteen months to settle in Medina. Muhammad was given a piece of land to build a house for himself. As he gathered power, he became a polygamist after the death of his first wife, Khadija, who also happened to be his employer. Around that house were eventually built several apartments to accommodate his nine wives and concubines. As his followers met in his home to offer prayers, it came to be known as the Mosque of Medina.

Muhammad’s followers, both the emigrants and Medinites, expected rewards for embracing Islam, “the only true and exalted faith of Allah.” The believers quite rightly expected favors from God at the expense of the Kafirs (unbelievers). The All-knowing Allah, responding to the prayers of the devotees revealed through Muhammad, gave them the doctrine of Jihad to meet that expectation …the murdering of non-Muslims for the object of possessing their wealth, property and women. Is was easily accepted not just out of economic necessity for the unaccomplished and unsuccessful followers, but also because there was nothing new in the practice of robbery for Arabs already practiced in plundering commercial caravans. But by reshaping it into a divine pursuit, it inspired even greater lust for plunder with an added pious force that turned the looters into crusaders. They then carried out their atrocities with greatly enhanced enthusiasm compared to typical robbers; in fact, they became ferocious robots who thought of pillage as piety and equated murder with melody.

The Quresh of Mecca were a trading community. In autumn, their commercial caravans proceeded to the Yemen and Abyssinia, and during spring to Syria. Among their merchandize were frankincense, gems, precious metals and leather. The last item was their major export, which had a high demand in Syria and Persia; it commanded high prices. These Meccan entrepreneurs exchanged them for piece-goods, silk and other items of luxury at Gaza and other marts. By the old standards, these caravans were really huge because they might consist of as many as 2,000 camels whose cargo could excel the value of 50,000 dinars or mithkals; the latter was a golden coin having the worth of a Byzantine Aureus, roughly equal to two-thirds of a pound sterling. Fourteen centuries ago, 50,000 dinars represented the same value which millions of dollars do today.

The special trait of these caravans was that they constituted the economic life of the Meccans because they were financed not only by the rich of their community but also the small man, who might have saved a dinar or two and also wanted a little profit. These caravans represented communal investment. Because of their high value, they were often the target of highway robbers. Therefore, they had to be accompanied by an ‘army of defenders’, whose size corresponded with the value of the goods. These commercial caravans had a good deal in common with the seafaring joint stock companies of old England, whose venture capital was contributed by many participants, entitled to profit according to their size of stake.

The successful journey of these caravans was a matter of special delight for the shareholders, securing prosperity and life to families and towns. But whenever one succumbed to the attack of Muhammad’s plundering mafia it created highly heart-rending scenes of women beating their breasts, pulling hair, and singing mournful songs to express their loss, which might also include the death of some defenders. The feared expeditions of caravan pillaging were called razzias by the Muslims.

Enunciation of the doctrine of Jihad struck new terror into the hearts of already concerned Meccan traders, alarmed about their trade with the north because its route passed between Medina and the sea coast putting caravans at risk to the zealous marauders. It is baffling to realize that the same Prophet, who prescribed hand-cutting as punishment for stealing, personally led the Ghazawats (i.e. pillage-expeditions) against several Meccan caravans in 623. Though he failed in his first three attempts, in January, 624, he succeeded in robbing a caravan returning from Yemen as it reached Nakhlah near Mecca.

Failure of the Prophet’s third razzia is actually a part of the famous battle of Badr. Abu Sufyan led a caravan to Syria in October, 623 A.D. (A.H.II). It carried huge loads of the Arab products demanded in the Syrian market. The Prophet asked for volunteers to join this predatory expedition. About 200 men came forward. They had only 30 camels, which they rode in turn. The plan was to attack the caravan at Osheira on its way to Yenbo, but it had passed this point by the time the holy plunderers reached there.

These rich cargoes were very important to the Muslims, who initially had hardly any effective equipment to fight the unbelievers and spread Islam. Islam needed funding, so Muhammad enhanced his influence in the territory of Osheira making the caravan trade more hazardous for the Meccans. His efforts did bear fruit, and a number of tribes living in the area entered into alliance with him and his followers to participate in the plunder and/or protect their own trade. The initial escape of the Badr caravan seemed to have disturbed the apostolic plan, but Muhammad became determined to waylay Abu Sufyan on his return journey. During the espionage activities, the Prophet found his son-in-law, Ali, asleep “on the dusty ground under the shade of a palm grove”. Seeing his face soiled, the Prophet, in a pleasantry said, “Sit up, O, Abu Turab”, and he sprang up immediately, conscious of his neglect. This became his sobriquet during the rest of his life. This is why he is called “Ali, Abu Turab”.

So alarming was the Prophet’s resolve to rob the caravan that his Medinite opponents warned Abu Sufyan’s people at Mecca of the impending danger. Damdam, a swift and efficient courier, was immediately sent to Mecca with the bad news.

As a reconnaissance, Muhammad dispatched two scouts, in early January, to the caravan station at Al-Haura. They were well received by the chief of the Juheina tribe, who took suitable measures to protect their identity. His services were thought so valuable that after the battle of Badr, he was rewarded with the grant of Yenbo.

It was Sunday, the 12th of Ramadan, when realizing the significance of the caravan, the Prophet set out on the predatory exercise without waiting for the return of his two spies, who were to brief him on the situation. It seems that the impatience to possess all that the caravan was carrying, played heavily on the minds of the Muslims. Hearing tales of the expected rich booty, even some non-Muslim citizens of Medina tried to join the expedition. Having noticed a couple of them, the Prophet called them to his camel that he rode and asked them about the nature of their business. They told him that they were heathen but as their city had extended protection to him, he ranked as their kinsman and they wanted to join him for plunder. The Prophet replied that it was meant for the believers only, and the unbelievers were not allowed to participate in such ventures. He emphasized in no uncertain terms: “Believe and fight”. Since this was the only way to share the loot, they confessed that Muhammad was the Prophet of God. It is then that they got the permission to join his party.

His army, after necessary adjustments, contained 315 men; amongst them eighty were Refugees i.e. who had emigrated from Mecca with the Prophet, and of the remainder “about one-fourth belonged to the Aus, and the rest to the Khazraj”. They had two horses and thirty camels which they rode in turns to overcome tediousness of the long hard journey. In terms of size and equipment, it may not be called an army, but in effectiveness, even the mighty hosts may not be compared with it because it had no equal in fervor, ferocity and fortitude. Their newly acquired faith was a novel specimen of moral justice and piety; being based on Jihad, it did not condemn but commended rapine, rape and ruination of unbelievers and held it as the way to secular success in this life and paradisiacal comfort in the next world. The fervor of such a faith, which obliterated all thoughts of loss, defeat and sin, goaded Allah’s warriors with unequal zeal to march, seek and rob the precious cargoes that lawfully belonged to the investors.

For a couple of days the holy warriors took a direct route to Mecca, but reaching As-Safra they moved in the direction of Badr, a resting station on the road to Syria. Through local gossip Muhammad’s spies came to know that Abu Sufyan’s caravan was about to appear there at any time. The report was correct but Abu Sufyan was a shrewd fellow. Realizing the immediate danger, he at once dispatched a courier to Mecca asking for a strong defending force.

The Meccans having suffered losses at Nakhla were not prepared to see the repetition of similar humiliation. Again, it was the caravan of the year because the cargo it carried was worth more than 50,000 golden pieces. Its loss might render the whole community bankrupt. A mixed current of fear and fervor swept the Meccan society and every household contributed a warrior to the defense of the caravan according to the size of its stake. Soon an army of 800 men was raised, accompanied by a band of women, who specialized in singing war songs, which lent a lion’s heart to a bleating lamb. Their battle-melodies accompanied by the sounds of their tabrets and footwork excited the Meccan soldiers to die for the honor of their city and ancestors.

As the army reached Al-Johfa, the envoy of Abu Sufyan appeared. He told Abu Jahl, the head of the army that Abu Sufyan had succeeded escaping Muhammad through stealth and rapid marches, and all was well. They heaved a sigh of relief, but the question arose if they should return without an engagement. A passionate debate took place among the chiefs of the army. One party argued that, since no harm had been done, there was no cause for a deadly contest. Moreover, it was argued that the people on the other side were their close relations: killing them would constantly torture their conscience. It was not only wise but also desirable to return home peacefully.

Abu Jahl, the head of the Makhzum clan, on the other hand, advocated a fight to the bitter end. He advocated that their return would be interpreted as a sign of their cowardice, and it was also politic to nip evil in the bud; otherwise, the specter of Muhammad would grow in potential threat all the time. His persuasion won the argument, and they passed three days making merry by the fountain.

On the other hand, Muhammad had also been advancing toward Badr. When he reached Al-Ruha, he heard that the Quresh, being aware of the danger, were marching on him. This necessitated a council of war. Unlike the Meccans, the Muslims showed contempt for blood ties and expressed a strong desire for an immediate contest.

Here the charisma of Muhammad’s personality and political sagacity deserves mention. He had emigrated to Medina on the promise of his Medinite followers that they would defend him with their blood while he would be amongst them. Addressing the war council, and particularly to the men from Medina, he declared that their pledge neither induced his defense in any aggressive action nor had it any connection with the events that took place away from the city (Medina). Therefore, they were at liberty to leave him if they so wished.

Of course, a political mind would interpret this occasion differently but to the faithful this declaration conveyed a message of the Prophet’s holiness, greatness and moral dignity hitherto unknown in the Medinite annals. How they were moved by this speech is expressed by their spokesman Moadh|Sa’d Bin Moadh. He said, “Prophet of the Lord! march where you desire; encamp where you may choose; make war or conclude peace with whom you will. For I swear by Him (Allah) who has sent you with the truth, that if you were to march till our camels fell down dead, we would go forward with you to the world’s end. Not one of us will be left behind.”

It should also be noted that at the end of the meeting, the Prophet who claimed to be “Mercy of God to All Mankind”, invoked Divine curse on the infidels, and prayed, “O lord, let not Abu Jahl, the Pharaoh of his people, escape. Let not Zama’a escape; rather let the eyes of his father run sore for him weeping and become blind”.

This curse of the Prophet had a psychological purpose. Being fewer in numbers than the infidels, it made his followers believe that they already possessed the power to inflict death on their enemies. To the sincere believers of Muhammad, who had their own unbelieving parents and brethren as a sign of respect to the Apostle, it was unimaginable that his supplication against the unbelievers could go astray. Reinforced by this belief, they became even more determined to deliver them a dose of violence blended with the worst pillage.

Badr was chosen as the place of battle by the Prophet. It vouched for his martial skill as well as seriousness of purpose i.e. he wanted the battle to be decisive; neither party must escape lightly. He knew that the courage of his followers, which emanated from their religious convictions, was far more forceful than the strength that the superiority of numbers bestowed upon his enemy. A decimating blow to the unbelievers would lay the foundation of the Islamic Empire.

Badr is situated close to Medina, ‘the City of the Prophet’. It is a valley which consists of a plain, having steep hills to the north and east; on the southern side is a low rocky range, and the west is closely dotted with sandy hillocks. A small stream also ran through it breaking into springs here and there. The Prophet chose the most useful reservoir for his army and destroyed the rest. This was a wise military maneuver, which assured him mastery of the water sources of the battlefield.

The day before the engagement took place, Muhammad had placed the banner of the refugees (the emigrants) in the hands of Mus’ah; ensign of the Khazrajite was given to al-Hobab and the flag of Aus was handed to Sa’d Bin Moadh.

Here one again sees the tactical wisdom of Muhammad in choosing the fighting spot. As the Quresh army, comprising a thousand men advanced toward Muhammad, the glaring rays of the Arabian sun struck their eyes, making their movements troublesome. Also, the vastly numerical superiority of the enemy was hidden by the fall of the ground behind. Knowing the gravity of the situation, the Prophet again resorted to the device of praying to Allah for harnessing the superstitious energies of his followers’ belief into a combating force. Raising his hands upward, he solicited the Maker,

“O Allah, accomplish for me what Thou hast promised me. O Allah, bring about what Thou has promised to me. O Allah, if this small band of Muslims is destroyed, Thou wilt not be worshipped on this earth”.

(Muslim, Vol. 3, 4360)

Religionists may find it strange that a man is telling his Creator what will happen if He does not listen to him, with the Almighty apparently agreeing to his suggestion for fear of losing worshippers, but his followers were intoxicated by such statements and promises of heavenly virgins and boys. They believed that Allah is directed by Muhammad and, therefore, the battle shall end in a resounding victory for them. Intoxicated and prepared, the band of robbers anxiously savored the opportunity to inflict murder and mayhem on the caravan’s defenders.

It was customary among the Arabs to enter single combats before starting the battle. As Sheiba, his brother Otba and Al-Walid (son of Otba) moved forward to challenge for single duels, three Citizens (not emigrants but natives of Medina) came out from the Muhammadan ranks to encounter them.

Here we notice the tribal tendencies of the Prophet, who did not want the honor of starting the contest go to anyone but his own kith and kin. Calling them back, he turned to the fellow Emigrants and shouted “you sons of Hashim, arise and fight, according to your right.”

However, this pro-Quresh leaning of the Prophet is well balanced by the choice of his combatants. Out came three warriors, known for their valor, courage and fighting skills. They were Ali (the Prophet’s adopted son and son-in-law), Hamza (the Prophet’s uncle) and Obeida. As the infidels saw their heroes become sacrificial lambs at the Muslim altar, their spirits began to sink. Even more daunting was the bravery displayed by the Prophet, who recited verses from the Koran, and brandishing his sword stood by his followers like a lofty granite and assured them that paradise was the reward for martyrdom.

The story of Omeir, a sixteen-year-old Muslim boy, who was allowed to participate in this battle, is worthy of note. He was hungry and eating dates, when he heard the prophet associate paradise with martyrdom. Looking at the dates scornfully, “is it these”, he cries ruefully “that hold me back from paradise? Verily, I shall taste no more of them until I meet my Lord”. Motivated by the force of belief, he rushed upon the enemy and tasted the wine of martyrdom loathed by many and loved by a few. Yet another story worthy of narration is that of Moadh, who slew Abu Jahl, and was attacked by his son Ikrima. In this catastrophic action, Moadh’s arm was nearly severed from his shoulder. Martyrdom was also his goal, which he coveted, and believed that a second rate action was not compatible with the dignity of such a heavenly prize. Since his best performance was being checked by his dangling arm, he put his foot on it, and ripping it off with the courage of a divine knight, he attacked the enemy to achieve his most cherished aim.

Was it the valor of his followers that won the day? Of course, it was a great factor in securing the field, but the inspiration that the Prophet provided was the paramount reason of success. Though he is considered ‘illiterate’ by his followers, he was the master of mob psychology and excelled in operating this mechanism.

The day, i.e. 17 Ramadan, the second year of Hijrah (623 A.D.) when the battle took place, was punctuated with sharp gales. As the first violent blast swept across the valley, the Prophet told his followers that the Angel Gabriel had arrived with one thousand angels to help the Muslim cause. The following two piercing blasts were interpreted by him as the arrival of the angel Michael and the angel Israpheel, each heading a reinforcement of 1,000 angels to fight on the side of the Muslims!

Nobody stopped to think why were they not visible to the crusaders, but to Muhammad only? Again, the angels must be very weak creatures if three thousand of them were required to fight just 1,000 Meccans. The Koran testifies to this event:

“And Allah most surely helped you at Badr, when you were utterly abject. So fear Allah, and happily you will be thankful. When you saidst to the believers: ‘Is it not enough for you that your Lord should reinforce you with three thousand angels sent down upon you, Yea: if you are patient and god fearing, and the foe come against you instantly, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand swooping angels”

The House of Imran: III:120


By this statement Muhammad secured the entire credit for his Prophet-hood, which had been honored by Allah with a reinforcement of 3,000 heavenly fighters, and a promise of 5,000 belligerent angels in any future engagement against the infidels.

One ought to know the attitude of the Prophet toward his chief adversary, Abu Jahl, who was presented to him when he was about to breathe his last. As he lay at his feet, the Prophet looked at him and said,

“it is more acceptable to me than the choicest camel in Arabia”



Now, we come to booty, the goal of the Islamic warfare, which Allah Himself sanctioned to strike terror in the hearts of those who refuse to bow before the Islamic Imperialism and claim their right to human dignity.

By modern standards the booty acquired from the Battle of Badr may look trivial but by then prevailing economic conditions of Arabia, its psychological effects, and the part it played in building the Arab Empire, was simply terrific;

“the loot consisted of 115 camels, 14 horses, a great store of vestments and carpets, articles of leather, with much equipage and armor”

The famous sword of Abu Jahl

. The famous sword of Abu Jahl, known as ‘Dhul-Fikr’ fell to the share of the Prophet.

The Battle of Badr was fought on the doctrine of Jihad, which essentially means building the Arab Empire by denying non-Muslims all rights except the right to serve their Arab masters, which servitude is perpetual humiliation of non-Muslims through a system of subjugation and payment of tribute (i.e. imperialism). When we delve deeper into this doctrine, it transpires that its tentacles equally spread to the non-Arab Muslims, who are converted to Islam with the force of arms; they are, of course, exempted from the payment of Jaziya i.e. poll tax, but are treated as second-class citizens and may be exploited economically as well as psychologically through the hegemony of faith, which favors the Arab Muslims against the non-Arab Muslims. I shall return to this point later.

To further explain the novelty of Jihad as the Doctrine of Struggle against the infidels, the following point should be made: A Muslim nation requires no particular reason to attack a non-Muslim country. It is in itself a heinous crime not to acknowledge Muhammad as the last Prophet of God. According to the Koran all religions are false except Islam. Thus Allah is the enemy of non-Muslims, who are regarded as the worst kind of beasts under the sun. It is a myth that the Jews and Christians being ‘People of the Book’ are exempt from this restriction. Having abrogated all other religions, the Prophet prescribes the course of action against them as Jihad. Muhammad’s solution for the problem of any person or nation denying Islam is a perpetual war against them until the infidels are killed or subdued.

All previously imperial nations, as they became civilized and conscious of human dignity, abandoned imperialism tendencies, eventually realizing that it is morally wrong to maim, mutilate and murder other people for personal or collective gain. In fact, gradually, those same nations increasingly uphold human rights through a code of justice and economic improvement, applying the concept to all people irrespective of race and color. Today, civilized nations live in a world where murder, rape, robbery, denial of justice and usurpation of rights are considered great moral vices, …but that standard of morality is utter nonsense in the world of Islam. Denial of Islam is considered a serious crime justifying stripping of human rights and subjecting the guilty to perpetual abuse until he/she repents and acknowledges the Prophet-hood of Muhammad. Faith in Islam, Muhammad in particular, is considered the only true virtue. This is the reason that a Muslim, no matter how wicked, shall go to paradise, whereas a highly righteous non-Muslim shall be thrown into hell, irrespective of his piety! This sort of discrimination is a basis of Islamic culture, and Jihad a fundamental Islamic doctrine to enforce that discrimination. Jihad teaches murder, rape, and plunder of infidels increases a Muslim’s piety and guarantees paradise. However, its inspiration greatest predatory motive at Badr was to accomplish booty. The Battle of Badr which still serves today as a ruinous guiding precedent for all Muslims. The obvious contradiction between Islamic doctrines and universally accepted principals of human rights, dignity, and equality are not lost on Muslims, they are just simply ignored. To them, Islamic doctrine simply abrogates all contradicting principals and virtues not based on Muhammad’s words and example. Principals of human dignity and rights of infidels are simply dismissed as worthless.

To assess the significance of the Battle of Badr, one must realize that had the Prophet lost it, the doctrine of Islam would have been laid to rest along with the bodies of its crusaders. This little event, in fact, proved to be a vigorous seed, whose branches grew and spread both east and west.

Note: Ali Sina, an Islamic scholar and intellectual, further illuminates the dynamics of this pivotal event in his article ‘The examples of Muhammad‘, some of which is quoted here.

The Battle of Badr marks the begging of Muhammad’s rise to power, wherein the Meccans lost 49-70 men, with about the same number taken hostage. How Muhammad dealt with the injured and the captives in this and other battles set the tone for subsequent Islamic savagery, which has lasted to this day. It’s only by knowing these personal accounts of Muhammad that we can understand terrorist obsessions to cut off the heads of their victims, and why Muslim mobs cry out to cut off the heads of their victims”Allah is great” while in the very act of committing gruesome murder. They do this because of the numerous examples by the Prophet himself.

Among the people who were slain was Aba Hakam (Abu Jahl, as derogatorily he came to be called by Muslims). Aba Hakam was severely wounded but still alive when Abdullah, the servant, of Muhammad, ran up, put his foot on Aba Hakam’s neck, got hold of his beard and started insulting the fatally wounded man whom his own people had named the father of wisdom. Abdullah cut off Aba Hakam’s head and carried it to his master. {{Quote|exclaimed Muhammad joyously|”The head of the enemy of God!” exclaimed Muhammad joyously; —-

God! There is none other God but he!”

responded Abdullah

– “Yea There is no other!” responded Abdullah, as he cast the severed head at the Prophet’s feet.

It is more acceptable to me;” cried Mohammad, hardly able to contain his joy, “than the choicest camel in all Arabia”

Mohammad, hardly able to contain his joy


According to some historians, Muhammad is said to have given orders for Aba Hakam’s body to be mutilated and disfigured. (Waqidi, p. 85) Another man who fell in Badr and whose body was mutilated was Umaiya bin Khalaf. The reference to his mutilation can be found in the Book of Bukhari (Volume 5, Book 58, Number 193). These were men with whom Muhammad had personal enmity. According to one Hadith, Muhammad had vowed to kill Umaiya long time before the battle of Badr. (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, Number 826, and Volume 5, Book 59, Number 286). After three days the bodies of the slain were dragged and dumped in a well. Muhammad stood by the well and looked on triumphantly, as the bodies were brought up and cast in. Abu Bakr stood by, and examining their features, called aloud their names. Unable to contain his joy Muhammad started calling them by name and bragged to the corpses about his victory. The following account can be found in Sahih Muslim Book 040, Number 6869:

Anas b. Malik reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) let the dead bodies of the unbelievers who fought in Badr (lie unburied) for three days. He then came to them and sat by their side and called them and said: O Abu Jahl b. Hisham, O Umayya b. Khalaf, O Utba b. Rab’ila, O Shaiba b. Rabi’a, have you not found what your Lord had promised with you to be correct? As for me, I have found the promises of my Lord to be (perfectly) correct. Umar listened to the words of Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah’s Messenger, how do they listen and respond to you? They are dead and their bodies have decayed. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, what I am saying to them, even you cannot hear more distinctly than they, but they lack the power to reply. Then he commanded that they should be buried in the well of Badr

Sahih Muslim Book 040, Number 6869

. The “promise” that Muhammad was talking about was a curse that the vindictive prophet had laid on these men when he was in Mecca and they had derided him when someone dumped the manure of camel on his back. On that occasion Muhammad said:

“O Allah! Punish Abu Jahl, ‘Utba bin Rabi’a, Shaiba bin Rabi’a, Al-Walid bin ‘Utba, Umaiya bin Khalaf, and ‘Uqba bin Al Mu’it.

Bukhari Volume 1, Book 4, Number 241)

The following story can cast more light on the revengeful and implacable character of Muhammad. Among the captives was Abul Bokhtari. He had shown kindness to Muhammad and was especially instrumental in procuring his and his followers release from the quarters of Abu Talib, in a time that the Quraish had boycotted him and his family and they were living in a state of self-imposed house-arrest, Muhammad, mindful of this favor, proclaimed that he should not be harmed. However, Abul Bokhtari had a companion whom Muhammad did not want to let go. He pleaded for his friend’s life but Muhammad would not budge. So he exclaimed: “The women of Mecca; shall never say that I abandoned my comrade through love of life. Do thy work upon us both.” Thus, feeling released from all moral obligations, Muhammad killed both of them. Here we see a man not only murdering prisoners of war, but also killing someone to whom he owed a personal favor simply because he could not let go of the pleasure of taking revenge on a personal enemy.

On their way back to Medina from the raid at Badr, one of the prisoners put to death was a devoted father named Uqbah bin abi Muait. Before his execution the man pleaded with Mohammed saying, “Who, then, will take care of my little girl?” Mohammed’s ‘merciful’ answer: “Hell-fire.”

So who exactly was this Muhammad, the man hundreds of millions are striving to emulate? As has been shown, the face he showed his enemies was not nearly so beautiful and pleasing as the face shone to believers. Muhammad was a man of war who sent out or went out on at least 74 expeditions and raids in only a ten year period (622-632), and who personally conducted 24 major military campaigns. His carnal lusts for young flesh (wives, sex-slaves, and even children) are legendary, but it was through violence and murder where he gained power and wealth. He was wounded in battle (Battle of the Trench) and undoubtedly personally slew victims. By promising virgins and bounty in this life and the next, he inspired men to his self-serving cause. Through Jihadic war he unified the Arab tribes, further consolidating his power through personally ordered assassinations of individual opponents as well as murder, exile, or enslavement of all defeated peoples.

Tabari (AD 839-923) was an early Muslim historian considered largely reliable by scholars today. Tabari lists Muhammad’s assets at his death (horses, camels, milch sheep, and so on), including his weapons. In fact Tabari records the nicknames Muhammad’s had lovingly given those instruments which were such a large part of his life. Muhammad nicknamed three swords that he took from the Qaynuqa Jewish tribe after banishing them from Medina: “Pluck Out,” “Very Sharp,” and “Death”. Two other swords from elsewhere are named: “Sharp” and “That is wont to sink” (presumably into human flesh). After his Hijrah (Emigration) from Mecca to Medina in 622, he owned a sword called “Having the vertebrae of the back.” which he collected as booty from his victory at the Battle of Badr. Muhammad also named bows: “Most conducive to ease, or wide,” “white,” and “of nab wood”. The name of a coat of mail implies “ampleness” or “redundant portions,” probably because Muhammad was portly (cf. Ibn Ishaq, Life of Muhammad, trans. Guillaume, p. 383). Finally, Muhammad himself had a few nicknames. After Tabari lists several positive ones, he matter-of-factly provides one that is particularly telling: “The obliterator”. (Tabari; Volume 9, pp. 153-55, trans. Ismail K. Poonawala.; University of New York Press)

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Islamic Antisemitism

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam

Upon reading Islamic scriptures, there is little wonder that Mein Kampf is a best-seller in the Muslim World, and is often sold along-side religious literature.[1][2] (more pictures)

This article provides statistics and lists the many anti-Semitic references made in Islamic scripture and by early and modern scholars, and in doing so it also discusses anti-Semitism and its place within orthodox Islamic theology.


Anti-Semitism is deeply rooted within Islamic scripture. According to Islamic theology, the Jews are one of the “People of the Book“, who were given the Taurat which was revealed by Allah to Musa (Moses). Initially Prophet Muhammad’s attitude towards the People of the Book, the Jews and the Christians, was a positive one. However, having encountered rejection from the Jewish scholars after his hijra (migration) to Medina, this positive view slowly began to fade. The Jews were skeptical of the compatibility between the Qur’an and their own scriptures, and while many in Medina converted to Islam, very few were from the large Jewish populations. This period marked the beginning of the long history of ridicule, persecution, and subjugation of Jews by the followers of Islam.


Technically, Arabs, Ethiopians, and Assyrians can be described as Semitic people, however in the context of “Anti-Semitism” it is commonly understood to refer to people who identify as Jewish.

• (n) anti-Semitism, antisemitism (the intense dislike for and prejudice against Jewish people)

Definition – Antisemitism
Princeton University’s WordNet
Function: noun
hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group

Definition – Anti-Semitism
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

A recent scientific study has also proven that Jews, unlike Muslims or Christians, are genetically identifiable as a race, many of whom also share a common language and culture.[3] Therefore the Jewish people are not only a religious group, but also an ethnic minority.



Anti-Semitic incidents around the world have more than doubled in 2009 over the previous year, and most violent attacks in Western Europe comes from people of Arab or Muslim heritage.

Anti-Semitic incidents around the world more than doubled in 2009 over the previous year, posting their worst year since monitoring began two decades ago, according to a new survey.
. . .
In Europe, Britain and France led with the number of incidents, according to the report. There were 374 violent incidents against Jews recorded in Britain in 2009, compared to 112 in 2008, according to the institute. France saw 195 attacks in 2009 compared to 50 the previous year. Britain and France have the highest Jewish populations in Europe, as well as the largest Muslim populations.

Only 78 incidents of anti-Semitic violence were recorded in 1989, the year that the institute began recording such incidents. In 2009, some 41 of the incidents were armed assaults directed at Jews because of their religion; 34 incidents were arson, according to the report.[4]

A major annual study of worldwide anti-Semitic incidents points to a dramatic rise in anti-Semitism in 2009, with particularly steep jumps in Western Europe and Canada.
. . .
The year in the wake of Operation Cast Lead was the worst since monitoring of anti-Semitic manifestations began, in terms of both major anti-Semitic violence and the hostile atmosphere generated worldwide by the mass demonstrations and verbal and visual expressions against Israel and the Jews,” the report said.

The report, considered an important bellwether of anti-Jewish sentiment worldwide, was released ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day in cooperation with the European Jewish Congress (EJC).

Among its most dramatic findings was a 102 percent increase in anti-Jewish violence worldwide, from 559 incidents in 2008 to 1,129 in 2009.

In addition, there were “many more hundreds of threats, insults, graffiti signs and slogans and demonstrations featuring virulently anti-Semitic content… sometimes resulting in violence,” according to the report.

A significant part of this increase took place in the UK, where violence jumped from 112 incidents in 2008 to 374 last year; in France, where the jump was from 50 to 195, and in Canada, where incidents soared from 13 to 138.

The US, which ordinarily enjoys a very low rate of anti-Jewish violence compared to the size of its Jewish community, nonetheless saw a modest rise, from 98 to 116 incidents.

In some countries, these figures are only the latest spike in a continuing trend. The British Jewish community’s monitoring system counted a three-fold increase in anti-Semitic occurrences since 1999, while Canada counted a five-fold increase since 2000.

Most violent attacks in Western Europe came from people of Arab or Muslim heritage, the report found.
. . .

In 2009, however, “white” attacks [in the UK] dropped to 48% and “Asian” or “Arab” attacks jumped to 43%.

During the month of January 2009, in the midst of Operation Cast Lead, “Asian” and “Arab” attackers accounted for fully 54% of incidents, although the Muslim community numbers just 4% of the general population.[5]


In 2009, the number of anti-Semite incidents in Amsterdam doubled compared to the year before. The Jewish community feels under siege
. . .
Experience has taught him that the boys taunting him are almost always of Moroccan descent.

“Their reasoning goes something like this: Israelis are Jews, Palestinians are Arabs, so we Moroccan ‘Arabs’ in the Netherlands are going to take on Dutch Jews,” said Menno ten Brink, a rabbi for the liberal Jewish community in Amsterdam.[6]


The Flemish-language newspaper De Morgen (link only in Flemish) has a major [May 12, 2011] article about a survey of Muslim students in Brussels high schools. The professor who conducted the survey concludes that half “can be described as antisemitic which is a very high rate.’’ Five times higher, in fact, then among Flemish-speaking Belgians, who historically have been relatively anti-Jewish.Incidentally, what was being measured here was not antagonism toward Israel but traditional anti-Jewish stereotypes. No doubt, the former attitude is even stronger.

The anti-Jewish sentiments among Muslims don’t vary depending on education level or living standards. Obviously, they aren’t getting it from Belgian society.

“The antisemitism is theologically inspired,” says the sociologist, Professor Mark Elchardus. “There is a direct link between being Muslim and antisemitic feelings[7]


Among adults 39 percent of Muslim Swedes have a systematically negative view of Jews compared to 5 percent among the rest

Quote from the summary of the study Antisemitiska Attityder och Föreställningar i Sverige by Henrik Bachner and Jonas Ring done by Forum för Levande Historia: The results suggest that antisemitic views and ambivalent attitudes toward Jews are more common among Muslim Swedes than among Christian Swedes and non-religious Swedes. Among adults 39 percent of Muslim Swedes have a systematically negative view of Jews compared to 5 percent among the rest.[8]

October, 2006

Jews leaving Sweden as Hate crimes double

When she first arrived in Sweden after her rescue from a Nazi concentration camp, Judith Popinski was treated with great kindness.She raised a family in the city of Malmo, and for the next six decades lived happily in her adopted homeland – until last year.

In 2009, a chapel serving the city’s 700-strong Jewish community was set ablaze. Jewish cemeteries were repeatedly desecrated, worshippers were abused on their way home from prayer, and “Hitler” was mockingly chanted in the streets by masked men.

“I never thought I would see this hatred again in my lifetime, not in Sweden anyway,” Mrs Popinski told The Sunday Telegraph.

This new hatred comes from Muslim immigrants. The Jewish people are afraid now.”
. . .
The future looks so bleak that by one estimate, around 30 Jewish families have already left for Stockholm, England or Israel, and more are preparing to go.

With its young people planning new lives elsewhere, the remaining Jewish households, many of whom are made up of Holocaust survivors and their descendants, fear they will soon be gone altogether. Mrs Popinski, an 86-year-old widow, said she has even encountered hostility when invited to talk about the Holocaust in schools.

“Muslim schoolchildren often ignore me now when I talk about my experiences in the camps,” she said. “It is because of what their parents tell them about Jews. The hatreds of the Middle East have come to Malmo. Schools in Muslim areas of the city simply won’t invite Holocaust survivors to speak any more.”

Hate crimes, mainly directed against Jews, doubled last year with Malmo’s police recording 79 incidents and admitting that far more probably went unreported. As of yet, no direct attacks on people have been recorded but many Jews believe it is only a matter of time in the current climate.
. . .
After the war, just as liberal Sweden took in Jews who survived the Holocaust as a humanitarian act, it also took in new waves of refugees from tyranny and conflicts in the Middle East. Muslims are now estimated to make up about a fifth of Malmo’s population of nearly 300,000.

“This new hatred from a group 40,000-strong is focused on a small group of Jews,” Mrs Popinski said, speaking in a sitting room filled with paintings and Persian carpets.

“Some Swedish politicians are letting them do it, including the mayor. Of course the Muslims have more votes than the Jews.”[9]

February, 2010
A March 29 story in The Washington Times (“Hate Crimes Force Jews Out of Malmo”) noted that of 115 bias-crimes in Sweden’s third largest city, reported in 2009, 52 were anti-Semitic, this notwithstanding that Malmo’s Jewish population numbers fewer than 700 (half of what it was two decades ago) in a general population of 280,000.Thus, Jews represent less than .0025% of the city, but account for 45% of all hate crimes. Could that have something to do with Malmo’s 60,000 Muslims?

Malmo Rabbi Shneur Kesselman says: “In the past five years I’ve been here, I think you can count on your hand how many (anti-Semitic) incidents there have been from the extreme right. In my personal experience, it’s 99% Muslim.” Jewish resident Marcus Eilenberg, whose survivor grandparents found shelter in Malmo in 1945, says Jews there are confronting “a degree of hate that none of us – except those who survived the Holocaust – had experienced before.”[10]

United Kingdom

About 2 out of 5 British Muslims believe Jews are “a legitimate target”

Nearly two fifths (37 per cent) [of Muslims] believe that the Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate target “as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East”. Moreover, only 52 per cent think that the state of Israel has the right to exist, with 30 per cent disagreeing, a big minority. One in six of all Muslims questioned thinks suicide bombings can sometimes be justified in Israel, though many fewer (7 per cent) say the same about Britain. This is broadly comparable to the number justifying suicide attacks in ICM and YouGov polls of British Muslims after the July 7 attacks.[11]

February, 2006

Antisemitism reaches an all time high in the UK

Attacks on Britain’s Jews have risen to the highest level since records began.A study published today shows the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents has almost tripled in 10 years, with more than half the attacks last year taking place in London. The findings prompted the report’s authors to warn of a “wave of hatred” against Jews. The number of incidents increased to 594 last year, up by 31 per cent on the previous year.

Violent assaults soared to 112, up by more than a third on 2005.[12]

February, 2007

Various Muslim Majority Nations

According to the Pew Global Attitudes Project released on August 14, 2005, high percentages of the populations of six Muslim-majority countries have negative views of Jews. To a questionnaire asking respondents to give their views of members of various religions along a spectrum from “very favorable” to “very unfavorable”, 60% of Turks, 74% of Pakistanis, 76% of Indonesians, 88% of Moroccans, 99% of Lebanese Muslims and 100% of Jordanians checked either “somewhat unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” for Jews.[13]


Pew asked respondents to give their opinions of Christians, Muslims and Jews, and it found anti-Jewish sentiment to be “overwhelming” in the Muslim countries surveyed. It reached 98 percent in Jordan and 97 percent in Egypt.[14]

June, 2006


100 percent of Jordanians view Jews unfavorably

Jordan leads the Islamic world in its antipathy for Jews according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center. The poll, which surveyed 17,000 people in 17 countries, said 100 percent of Jordanians viewed Jews unfavorably. The majority of Jordanians are Palestinians, but the late King Hussein and his son and successor, King Abdullah have been known for their pro-American stances.[15]

September, 2005

Antisemitism in Islamic scripture

The Qur’an

The following is a list of some of the anti-Semitic statements found within the Qur’an.

According to the Qur’an; Jews are only satisfied if you follow Judaism.

Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion. Say: “The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance.” Wert thou to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst thou find neither Protector nor helper against Allah.

Jews must believe in the Qur’an or else Allah will distort their faces and take away their fame so that they become unrecognizable, turning them backwards, or curse them.

O ye People of the Book!* believe in what We have (now) revealed, confirming what was (already) with you, before We change the face and fame of some (of you) beyond all recognition, and turn them hindwards, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers, for the decision of Allah Must be carried out.

According to the Qur’an, the Jews knowing full well that Isa was a Messenger of Allah, attempted to kill him in defiance of their deity.

That they rejected Faith; that they uttered against Mary a grave false charge; That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah“;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:- Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;- And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them;-

Because the Jews are sinful, Allah made more rules for them than for anyone else, and they have hindered many from the way of Allah.

For the iniquity of the Jews We made unlawful for them certain (foods) good and wholesome which had been lawful for them;- in that they hindered many from Allah’s Way;-

Jews will listen to any lie.

O Messenger! let not those grieve thee, who race each other into unbelief: (whether it be) among those who say “We believe” with their lips but whose hearts have no faith; or it be among the Jews,- men who will listen to any lie,- will listen even to others who have never so much as come to thee. They change the words from their (right) times and places: they say, “If ye are given this, take it, but if not, beware!” If any one’s trial is intended by Allah, thou hast no authority in the least for him against Allah. For such – it is not Allah’s will to purify their hearts. For them there is disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter a heavy punishment.

The Jews were stamped with humiliation and wretchedness.

And when ye said: O Moses! We are weary of one kind of food; so call upon thy Lord for us that He bring forth for us of that which the earth groweth – of its herbs and its cucumbers and its corn and its lentils and its onions. He said: Would ye exchange that which is higher for that which is lower? Go down to settled country, thus ye shall get that which ye demand. And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from Allah. That was because they disbelieved in Allah’s revelations and slew the prophets wrongfully. That was for their disobedience and transgression.

Muslims must not take the Jews as friends and protectors or else Allah will not guide them.

O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.

Jews are the most hateful towards Muslims.

Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, “We are Christians”: because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.

The Jews say Ezra is the son of Allah which makes them perverse, and even Allah fights against them.

And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they!

Allah turned some Jews into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath.

And well ye knew those amongst you [Children of Israel] who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: “Be ye apes, despised and rejected.”

Most of the Jews are faithless, perverted transgressors.

Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors.

And Muslims must fight the Jews, until they submit in shame and pay the Jizyah.

Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute [Jizya] readily, being brought low.

Since the Jews have said that Allah’s hand is tied up, their hands will be tied up and they will be cursed. They are obstinant, rebellious, and blasphemous, and Allah has cursed them with enmity and hatred until Judgment day. Allah halts their efforts of warfare, and they are always causing mischief.

The Jews say: “Allah’s hand is tied up.” Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter. Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched: He giveth and spendeth (of His bounty) as He pleaseth. But the revelation that cometh to thee from Allah increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah doth extinguish it; but they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief.

Satan (Iblis) too is cursed by Allah in the same way the Jews are cursed. He also granted respite to Satan until the Day of Judgment. Therefore, in Islamic theology there is no difference between Satan and Jews, because both are accursed.

The Hadith

Muhammad is central to Islam. As the uswa hasana (perfect example), even the most insignificant of actions on his part (recorded in the hadith) have a drastic effect upon the doctrines and laws of Islam, as emulating his Sunnah is seen as the most pious of endeavors.

Muhammad’s dying words included a curse on Jews for building their place of worship at their prophets’ graves.

Narrated ‘Aisha and ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas: When the last moment of the life of Allah’s Apostle came he started putting his ‘Khamisa’ on his face and when he felt hot and short of breath he took it off his face and said, “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their Prophets.” The Prophet was warning (Muslims) of what those had done.

He claimed that during his “Night Journey” to heaven on the mythical flying Buraq, Moses wept because there would be more Muslims in heaven than Jews.

When I went (over the sixth heaven), there I saw Moses. Gabriel said (to me),’ This is Moses; pay him your greeting. So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ When I left him (i.e. Moses) he wept. Someone asked him, ‘What makes you weep?’ Moses said, ‘I weep because after me there has been sent (as Prophet) a young man whose followers will enter Paradise in greater numbers than my followers.’

He claimed that Jews earn Allah’s anger.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Say Amen’ when the Imam says “Ghair-il-maghdubi ‘alaihim wala-ddal-lin; not the path of those who earn Your Anger (such as Jews) nor of those who go astray (such as Christians); all the past sins of the person whose saying (of Amin) coincides with that of the angels, will be forgiven.

He told Muslims not to greet Jews before the Jews greet them, and that they should force Jews to go to the narrowest part of the road.

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Do not greet the Jews and the Christians before they greet you and when you meet any one of them on the roads force him to go to the narrowest part of it.

He claimed the Final Hour will not come until Muslims slaughter Jews, and even the rocks and trees will betray the Jews hiding behind them. This portrayal of the Final Hour means a Muslim, who by faith has to believe in the Hour, has to also believe in this mass slaughter of Jews.

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.

And he claimed Muslims will be spared hell-fire by Allah on the Day of Resurrection by making Jews take their place and be thrown into hell.

Abu Musa’ reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: When it will be the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your rescue from Hell-Fire.

Islamic Scholars and Antisemitism

Early Islamic Scholars

The views expressed in early Islamic writings and authoritative Qur’anic commentaries (tafsir’s) further prove that Muslim anti-Semitism is not some recent development which was passed on through Western imperialism, but something that has always been a part of Islamic thought.

Our people [the Muslims] observing thus the occupations of the Jews and the Christians concluded that the religion of the Jews must compare unfavorably as do their professions, and that their unbelief must be the foulest of all, since they are the filthiest of all nations. Why the Christians, ugly as they are, are physically less repulsive than the Jews may be explained by the fact that the Jews, by not intermarrying, have intensified the offensiveness of their features. Exotic elements have not mingled with them; neither have males of alien races had intercourse with their women, nor have their men cohabited with females of a foreign stock. The Jewish race therefore has been denied high mental qualities, sound physique, and superior lactation. The same results obtain when horses, camels, donkeys, and pigeons are inbred.[16]

al-Jahiz (781 – 869 AD)
In my opinion, [the Christians] are not like the Jews who always scheme in order to murder the emissaries and the prophets, and who oppose God in his positive and negative commandments, and who corrupt His scripture which He revealed in His books.[17]

al-Tabari (838 – 923 AD), Tafsīr on 5:82
“And, that they should not enter the pool while a Muslim is bathing at the public baths. …It is also incumbent upon Muslims that they should not accept from them victuals with which they had come into contact, such as distillates, which cannot be purified. If something can be purified, such as clothes, if they are dry, they can be accepted, they are clean. But if they had come into contact with those clothes in moisture they should be rinsed with water after being obtained. …It would also be better if the ruler of the Muslims would establish that all infidels could not move out of their homes on days when it rains or snows because they would make Muslims impure.”

Muhammad Baqir Majlesi (1616 – 1698 AD), Lightning Bolts Against the Jews

Contemporary Islamic Scholars

History witnessed repeated violations by the Jews of their treaties with the Muslim state in Madinah, as also their scheming against the Muslims. These violations led to the encounters with the Jewish tribes of Qaynuqa, al-Nadir and Qurayzah, and also the Battle of Khaybar. Their efforts to bring together all the forces hostile to Islam in an unholy affiance, with the aim of exterminating Islam altogether, are well known.They have continued to scheme against Islam and the Muslim community ever since. They were instrumental in the chaotic events that led to the assassination of the third rightly-guided Caliph. ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan and to the emergence of division in the Muslim community. They were the main culprits in the conflict that took place between ‘Ali and Mu ‘awiyah. They led the way in the fabrication of false statements attributed to the Prophet, historical reports and baseless interpretations of Qur’anic statements. They also paved the way to the victory of the Tartars and their conquest of Baghdad and the fall of the Islamic Caliphate.

In modern history, the Jews have been behind every calamity that has befallen the Muslim communities everywhere. They give active support to every attempt to crush the modem Islamic revival and extend their protection to every regime that suppresses such a revival.[18]

Sayyid Qutb (D. 1966), In the Shade of the Qur’an, vol. 8: Surah 9
“Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers”[19]

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, January 30, 2009
“Oh Allah, take your enemies, the enemies of Islam. Oh Allah, take the Jews, the treacherous aggressors. Oh Allah, take this profligate, cunning, arrogant band of people. Oh Allah, they have spread much tyranny and corruption in the land. Pour Your wrath upon them, oh our God. Lie in wait for them. Oh Allah, You annihilated the people of Thamoud at the hand of a tyrant, and You annihilated the people of ‘Aad with a fierce, icy gale. Oh Allah, You annihilated the people Thamoud at the hand of a tyrant, You annihilated the people of ‘Aad with a fierce, icy gale, and You destroyed the Pharaoh and his soldiers — oh Allah, take this oppressive, tyrannical band of people. Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one.”[20]

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, January 9, 2009

Other Anti-Semitic Literature

Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf

Mein Kampf, written by Adolf Hitler, is a modern-day best-seller in the Arab and Muslim World including; Egypt, Palestine,[21][22] Turkey,[2][23] and is also selling well in London areas with a large Arab population.[21] It is often sold along-side religious literature and interestingly, Mein Kampf can be translated as “My Jihad” in Arabic. Mein Kampf is also selling as well as Dan Brown’s latest novel in Dhaka, Bangladesh,[1] where sales soar towards Eid, as it is bought by many as gifts.

Protocols of the Elders of Zion

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a 19th century anti-Semitic tract that remains immensely popular among Muslims.[24][23] It is a forgery made in Russia for the Okhrana (secret police), which blames the Jews for the country’s ills. It was first privately printed in 1897 and was made public in 1905. Adolf Hitler later used the Protocols to help justify his attempt to exterminate Jews during World War II.[25] Its popularity has led to it being adapted as a TV mini-series for broadcast in various Muslim countries.[26]

Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks

As with homosexuality, anti-Semitic literature in the Muslim world is not confined to bookstores. The following are extracts taken from 2010-11[27] Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies:

They are the people of the Sabbath, whose young people God turned into apes, and whose old people God turned into swine to punish them. As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews, the keepers of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christian infidels of the communion of Jesus.[28]
Some of the people of the Sabbath were punished by being turned into apes and swine. Some of them were made to worship the devil, and not God, through consecration, sacrifice, prayer, appeals for help, and other types of worship. Some of the Jews worship the devil. Likewise, some members of this nation worship devil, and not God.[28]

Modern-day Islamic Antisemitic Statements

When you look at the many anti-Semitic sermons and articles by Muslims, the inspiration behind them is hard to miss. Without the anti-Semitic sentiments found within Islamic scripture and classical Muslim thinking, these attacks on the Jewish race would lose much of their meaning and impact among the Muslim listeners.

Read history and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil fathers of the Jews of today, who are evil offspring, infidels, distorters of [others’] words, calf-worshippers, prophet-murderers, prophecy-deniers… the scum of the human race whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs…[29]

Leading imam of the Grand mosque in Mecca, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, April 19, 2002
“There are Hadiths regarding our struggle against the Jews. And it is given: ‘The day of resurrection will not arrive until the Moslems make war against the Jews and kill them, and until a Jew hiding behind a rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: ‘Oh Moslem, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!’ This Hadith clarifies to us the characteristics of the campaign between us and the Jews. The tree and the rock do not say ‘Oh, Palestinian,’ ‘Oh Arab,’ or ‘Oh resident of the Middle East.’ Rather they say: ‘Oh, Moslem, Servant of Allah.'”[30]

Palestinian TV, March 30, 2001
“We the Palestinian nation, our fate from Allah is to be the vanguard in the war against the Jews until the resurrection of the dead, as the prophet Mohammed said: ‘The resurrection of the dead will not arrive until you will fight the Jews and kill them…’ We the Palestinians are the vanguard in this undertaking and in this campaign, whether or not we want this…”[30]

Palestinian TV, July 28, 2000
“My dear brothers, so continues the struggle between the Moslems and the Jews from the past, both near and far, in the present and in the future. And in this matter the word of Allah will be fulfilled: ‘There will not be found [anyone] more hostile to the believers than the Jews and the idolaters.”[30]

Palestinian TV, April 13, 2001, quoting the Koran – Sura 5,84
“The battle with the Jews will surely come… the decisive Moslem victory is coming without a doubt, and the prophet spoke about in more than one Hadith. And the day of resurrection will not come without the victory of the believers [the Moslems] over the descendents of the monkeys and pigs [the Jews] and with their annihilation.”[30]

Official P.A. newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 18, 2001
“…The Jews are used to deceit… They fake the facts and changed the laws of Allah… The Torah was brought down with contained guidance toward the path of righteousness and light, just as every book which Allah brought down… [The Jews] switched the law of Allah and by this rebelled on His ruling and religion and way, and therefore they merit to be heretics and to be banished from the Allah’s mercy… They faked the words of Allah and changed their religion and laws and they are the wicked. And whomever does not rule according to what Allah brought down, whomever rebelled against this… is in a rebellion against Allah, and is a descendant of Abelis [ghost], the descendant of the Satans, and worthy of receiving the punishment of the sinners…”[30]

Palestinian TV, February 16, 1999
“Lies and deceit are not foreign to Jews. The best evidence that Jews go back on their word is their denial of the principles on which they signed in the Oslo Accords and the Madrid and Sharon agreements. For this reason, Allah changed their shape and made them into monkeys and pigs.”[31]

Al-Akhbar Egyptian paper, May 5, 2001
“We [Muslims] are actually very strong, 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Nazis killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million [during the Holocaust]. But today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them. They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong so they may enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries. And they, this tiny community, have become a world power.”[32]

Malaysian Prime Minister’s speech to the Tenth Islamic Summit Conference in Putrajaya, October 16, 2003
“…Their Bible [of the Jews] today has no light and no teachings. Their Bible today is just a bunch of notes that were written down by people who lie about God, his prophets and his Bible… Those who do these kinds of things are the descendants of Abelis, meaning the descendants of the satans… They fabricated a Jewish history book full of promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that He will give them the land of Palestine…”[30]

Palestinian TV, November 3, 1998
“We want [Obama] to consider the reasons for the invasion of Afghanistan. Are 19 young men from the Islamic world really capable of destroying America? Can they really cause all that ruin there? Can such a thing happen, Mr. Hussein, President of America?….We call upon him to examine publications issued in America, casting doubt on whether it was the Arabs and Muslims who attacked the two Manhattan buildings. Some of these publications went as far as to state: ‘No Plane Hit the Pentagon….We Want President Hussein To Be Fair And To Study The 9/11 Files….We Consider This To Be A Jewish Conspiracy”[33]

Sheikh Abd Al-Jalil Al-Karouri: Sudanese Friday TV Sermon – June 5, 2009
“Blessed is he who fights jihad in the name of Allah, blessed is he who [goes on] raids in the name of Allah, blessed is he who dons a vest of explosives on himself or on his children and goes in to the depth of the Jews and says: ‘Allahu Akbar, blessed be Allah.’ Like the collapse of the building upon the heads of the Jews in their sinful dance-hall, I ask of Allah that we see the Knesset collapsing on the heads of the Jews.”

Palestinian TV, June 8, 2001
“The Jews are the Jews. There never was among them a supporter of peace. They are all liars… the true criminals, the Jewish terrorists, that slaughtered our children, that turned our wives into widows and our children into orphans, and desecrated our holy places. They are terrorists. Therefore it is necessary to slaughter them and murder them, according to the words of Allah… it is forbidden to have mercy in your hearts for the Jews in any place and in any land. Make war on them anyplace that you find yourself. Any place that you encounter them — kill them. Kill the Jews and those among the Americans that are like them… Have no mercy on the Jews, murder them everywhere…”[30]

Palestinian TV, October 13, 2000
“Arab and Moslem rulers! The weaponry that will not be used against the enemies of Allah will rust and you will use them against one another, as happens periodically. Aim your arrows once and make war, as they war against you. Why this fear of the State [of Israel] that is surrounded by Arabs and Moslems? Why this fear? Because you do not fear Allah — whoever fears Allah, all else will fear him.”[30]

Palestinian TV, March 30, 2001
“The Arab rulers and the Moslems, and our people everywhere. If we don’t support Allah, He will replace us with other men… The courageous over the infidels, make war for Allah and are not afraid… This is the depiction of the army of Allah that will come at Allah’s decree, from here or from there, to liberate these lands from the defilement of the Jews, for Allah was angry with them in his book and called them once ‘monkeys,’ once ‘swine,’ and once ‘donkeys.'”[30]

Palestinian TV, March 30, 2001
“Oh, our Arab brethren… Oh, our Moslem brethren… Don’t leave the Palestinians alone in war against the Jews… Even if it has been decreed upon us to be the vanguard… Jerusalem, Palestine and Al Aksa, the land that Allah blessed and its surrounding areas will remain at the center of the struggle between truth and falsehood, between the Jews and the non-Jews on this sacred land, regardless of how many agreements are signed, regardless of how many treaties and covenants are ratified. For the truth is in the Koran, as verified by the words of the prophet Mohammed, that the decisive battle will be in Jerusalem and its environs: ‘The resurrection of the dead will not occur until you make war on the Jews…'”[30]

Palestinian TV, August 11, 2000
“All the members of this nation must take part in this struggle against the enemies of Allah, so that through us the saying of Allah will be fulfilled: ‘You will not find people more hostile than are the Jews.'”[30]

Palestinian TV, April 13, 2001
“Palestine… causes the Jews to lose sleep, causes the enemies of Allah throughout the land to lose sleep… It is a bleeding wound, and it will continue to bleed forever and ever… Jerusalem is a symbol… to the Moslems and to their war of Jihad forever and ever.”[30]

Palestinian TV, August 11, 2000
“The victory is coming, the victory is coming, the victory is coming! Allah, show us your marvels against the Jews! Show them a black day, like the day of A’ad and Tha’mud (tribes that were defeated and destroyed). Because they boasted to us of their strength! Show us the prince against them, show them a black day! Allah, transform them into the Moslems’ spoils of war! Allah, transform them into our spoils of war!”[30]

Palestinian TV, April 13, 2001
“Japanese newspapers put down my talk to me being anti-Semitic….but they pick up one sentence in which I said the Jews control the world. Well, the reaction of the world shows that they control the world. Israel is a small country. There are not many Jews in the world. But they are so arrogant they defy the whole world…many newspapers are owned by the Jews. They only see that angle and they have a powerful influence over the thinking of many people. Only their side of the picture is given now. The Muslims, we are pictured as terrorists, unreasonable people…”[34]

Malaysian Prime Minister’s interview with The Bangkok Post, October 21, 2003
“The Jews for example are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively.”[35]

Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Muhammad’s book “The Malay Dilemma”


The belief in Allah and the Last Day is one of the pillars of Faith in Islam. The Qur’an tells us Allah has cursed the Jews with enmity and hatred until that Day of Judgment, and the sahih hadith tell us that this day will not come unless the Muslims fight and slaughter the Jews. So, from a scriptural and theological perspective, Muslims has to believe in the total annihilation of Jews. We are further told that Muslims will be saved on the Day of Resurrection by throwing Jews into hell-fire.

It is dictated to Muslims by their holy scripture and other authentic sources to hate the Jews until the end of times then to massacre them with the help of talking stones and trees. Hatred of Jews is a holy ordinance for Muslims. Throughout Islamic history, this has been acknowledged by its scholars.

This page is featured in the core article, Islam and the People of the Book which serves as a starting point for anyone wishing to learn more about this topic Core part.png

See Also

  • Antisemitism – A hub page that leads to other articles related to Antisemitism

External Links



Middle East Media Research Institute


  1. Alastair Lawson – Mein Kampf a hit on Dhaka streets – BBC News, November 27, 2009
  2. Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ sells 50,000 copies in Turkey in three months – Agence France Presse, March 18, 2005
  3. Jews’ Genetics Make Them A ‘Distinct Population’: NYU/Yeshiva Study – The Huffington Post, June 4, 2010
  4. Report: Anti-Semitism up – JTA, April 11, 2010
  5. Haviv Rettig Gur – Anti-Semitic violence doubled in 2009 – The Jerusalem Post, April 12, 2010
  6. Karel Berkhout – Anti-Semitism on the rise in Amsterdam – NRC, 26 January 2010
  7. Barry Rubin – Belgium: Half of All Muslim Immigrant Children Are Antisemitic – Right Side News, May 17, 2011
  8. Poll of Muslim as well as non-Muslim Swedes regarding anti-Semitism – Iceviking, October 28, 2006 (original non-translated study)
  9. Nick Meo – Jews leave Swedish city after sharp rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes – The Telegraph, February 21, 2010
  10. Don Feder – Society For Voluntary Jewish Extinction Fights Islamophobia Society For Voluntary Jewish Extinction Fights Islamophobia – GrassTopsUSA, September 20, 2010
  11. [1] – The Times Online, February 07, 2006
  12. ‘Wave of hatred’ warning as attacks on Jews hits record high – The Daily Mail, February 1, 2007
  13. Islam and antisemitism – Wikipedia, accessed September 17, 2010
  14. MEG BORTIN – Poll Finds Discord Between the Muslim and Western Worlds – The New York Times, June 23, 2006
  15. Poll: Jordan top anti-Jew nation; Russia most pro-Christian – World Tribune, September 19, 2005
  16. Andrew G. Bostom – Understanding the Islam in Islamic Antisemitism – NewEnglishReview, 2 June 2009
  17. Andrew G. Bostom – Why Islam’s Jew-Hating Hadith Matter – FrontPageMagazine, October 03, 2008
  18. Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur’an, vol. 8: Surah 9 (Leicestershire, UK, 2003), pp. 1 15- 16, 120-23.
  19. Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Allah Imposed Hitler On the Jews to Punish Them – ‘Allah Willing, the Next Time Will Be at the Hand of the Believers’ – MEMRI: Special Dispatch, No. 2224, February 3, 2009
  20. Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi Incites against Jews, Arab Regimes, and the U.S., and Calls on Muslims to Boycott Starbucks, Marks and Spencer – MEMRI TV, Video Clip No. 1979, Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar) – January 9, 2009 – 10:44
  21. Sean O’Neill and John Steele – Mein Kampf for sale, in Arabic – The Telegraph, March 19, 2002
  22. Hitler’s Mein Kampf In East Jerusalem And PA Territories – MEMRI: Special Dispatch, No. 48, October 1, 1999
  23. Antisemitism in the Turkish Media – MEMRI – April 28, 2005
  24. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion – MEMRI TV
  25. Robert T. Carroll – Protocols of the Elders of Zion – The Skeptic’s Dictionary
  26. Protocols Recycled – Anti-Defamation League, January 9, 2004
  27. Charles Lewis – Saudis export anti-Christian and anti-Jewish textbooks across the world: report – National Post, September 28, 2011
  28. Saudi Arabia’s Curriculum of Intolerance – Freedom House, May 2006, pp.24-25.
  29. Dr. Leah Kinberg – Jews In The Koran And Early Islamic Traditions – Lecture delivered in May 2003, Monash University, Melbourne
  30. Itamar Marcus – Islam’s War Against the Jews: Quotes from the Palestinian Authority – AISH
  31. Anti-Semitism in the Egyptian Media February 2001 – February 2002 – Anti Defamation League
  32. Malaysian Leader: ‘Jews Rule World by Proxy’ – Fox News, October 16, 2003
  33. Cleric Calls On Fellow muslim Obama To Blame 9/11 On The Jews – Live Leak
  34. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad: On the Jews – Anti Defamation League, October 27, 2003
  35. Jeff Jacoby – Rousing Muslim bigotry – The Boston Globe, October 23, 2003
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Islam and the People of the Book

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam
(Redirected from Jews)

In the Qur’an and Hadith, the term People of the Book (أهل الكتاب‎ ′Ahl al-Kitāb) is used to refer to followers of certain monotheistic faiths which pre-date the advent of Islam. In particular, it refers to the Christian, Jewish, and Sabian faiths.[1] This page contains summaries of articles discussing the relationship between Islam and the People of the Book.

This is a core topic which contains summaries
of WikiIslam articles related to it

Revealed Scriptures

Revelation is the medium by which Allah claims to have communicated his words to his prophets so that they may inform the people of his will, what he wants from them and what they must do for him in order to be saved from eternal damnation.

The Torah/Old Testament

The Qur’an talks of the Taurat/Tawrah ( توراة ) referring to the Torah – the first five books of the Jewish Bible; found in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. Some Muslims and scholars believe it refers to the entire Old Testament, but this view is not widely held.

The Psalms

The Zabur mentioned in the Qur’an refers to the Psalms of the Old Testament. The Qur’an asserts that the Zabur is one of the 3 Previous Revelations of Allah. Although they are only mentioned three times in the Qur’an, Allah tells us that he revealed them to David.

The New Testament/Four Gospels

The Qur’an talks of the Injil (إنجيل) referring to the New Testament of the Bible (usually the four Gospels), which it claims was given to Jesus, rather than being written by his followers.

The Qur’an

The Qur’ān (القرآن) is the central religious text of Islam. Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the book of divine guidance and direction for mankind. The best-known chapter of the Qur’an is al-Fatiha ‘The Opening’. This surah is recited as part of all the mandatory daily prayers and repeated within each prayer. A faithful Muslim who said all their prayers would recite this surah at least seventeen times a day, and over five thousand times a year.

The hadith literature make negative references to the Jews and Christians in connection with this surah. Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan and Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali incorporate this within their translation. Ayah 6-7 thus reads; “Guide us to the Straight Way. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).”

It is remarkable that the daily prayers of every Muslim, part of the core of Islam, include a rejection of Christians and Jews as misguided and objects of Allah’s wrath.

Incompatibility with Previous Revelations

Does Qur’an 2:79 Prove Corruption of the Previous Scriptures?

It is a common belief among Muslims that the Qur’an states that the previous scriptures (the Taurat and Injil) have been physically corrupted by those who were charged with safeguarding it (the Jews and Christians). Thus, the Qur’an is the ‘return’ to the true message of the God of the Bible. When asked to provide evidence that the Qur’an says the previous scriptures have been corrupted, Muslims will proudly present verse 2:79 as evidence.

Shakir: Woe, then, to those who write the book with their hands and then say: This is from Allah, so that they may take for it a small price; therefore woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.

This article will examine What the Qur’an really says about the Taurat and Injil; and examine verse 2:79 in its own context, as well as against the aforementioned verses to see if the belief of physical scriptural corruption is valid.

Contradictions in Qur’anic Christology

There are already many articles on Wiki-Islam about contradictions and errors in the Qur’an concerning logic, history, mathematics, cosmology and many more subjects. In this article, however, we would like to describe a quite different kind of weakness of the Qur’an which we would like to refer to as lack of theological professionalism. Even if we overlook the errors in the Qur’an, it is still surprising that the author of this holy book in some cases looks like somebody who cannot make the right use of quotations from Christian literature for his own argumentation. We want to show this by the example of the Christology in the Qur’an.

In this approach, the Qur’an, the Bible and any other text mentioned are regarded as texts written by human beings, not by God. Also, our intention is not to decide which of the opinions concerning the nature of Jesus are true or untrue. Instead we would like to focus on the quality of the arguments rendered in the Qur’an. From this viewpoint, we would like to elaborate the Christological opinions of the Qur’an compared to the Bible and show how they are expressed.

Parallelism Between the Qur’an and Judeo-Christian Scriptures

The similarities between the Qur’an and previous scriptures has been noted since the advent of Islam. However, the Judeo-Christian tales and their Qur’anic counterparts do not always match. There are three explanations for this:

  1. The original Judeo-Christian scriptures have been corrupted (as Muslims like to claim).
  2. Muhammad imperfectly borrowed from the Judeo-Christian scriptures.
  3. The Qur’an has been corrupted.

It is an epistemological matter as to which of the three is correct. The Qur’an’s assertion that the Judeo-Christian scriptures have been corrupted is mere accusation devoid of evidence. This thirteen-page long in-depth study looks at the following parallelisms between the Qur’an and Judeo-Christian Scriptures:

  • Talking baby Jesus
  • Mary daughter of Amran & sister of Aaron
  • Sanhedrin 37a
  • the raven and the burial of Abel
  • Mary, Jesus and the Trinity
  • Jesus and the clay birds
  • Mary’s upbringing & her relationship with Zachariah
  • Mary, Jesus & the palm tree
  • Satan’s refusal to prostrate to Adam
  • the Queen of Sheba
  • the wealth of Korah
  • and Abraham & the idols.

Biblical and Islamic Figures


According to Islam, Allāh is the Creator of the Universe. Allah does not mean ‘God’ but rather ‘the God’ [2] and is thus one of the remnants of Islam’s polytheistic origins. In the pre-Islamic era, Allah was the supreme creator god of the Arabs, a moon god who lived in a rock located in the Ka’aba. [2] Yet he was still only one god among the many others they believed in.[3] The goddesses; Allāt (the feminine form of “Allah”, meaning ‘the goddess’ ),[4] Manat, and al-Uzza were Allah’s daughters.[2]

Jesus Christ

In Islam, Isa al-Masih (عيسى المسي usually translated as Jesus Christ) is not believed to be the Son of God, but simply a ‘messenger’, inferior in status to Muhammad. While Muslims will claim they “love Jesus”, it is clearly evident that they do not love Yasū‘ (يسوع the actual Arabic term for Jesus, which is used by Arab Christians),[5] but love the Islamic Isa who, when studied, shares little in common with the founder of Christianity.

The Virgin Mary

The Qur’anic verses 21:91 and 66:12 in conjunction with the tafsir’s, tell us the angel Jibreel was sent to breathe Allah’s spirit into Maryam’s (مريم Mary’s) vagina. Qur’an 5:116 tells us the Trinity consists of three separate gods, which are the Father (God), the Mother (Virgin Mary) and the Son (Jesus), and due to this abysmal ignorance of the Trinity doctrine, Muslims consider all Trinitarian Christians to be polytheists. Also according to Muhammad, Mary will be one of his wives in paradise.

Muhammad said, “In heaven, Mary mother of Jesus, will be one of my wives.”

al-Siyuti (6/395)
“The Messenger of God … said, ‘God married me in paradise to Mary the daughter of ‘Imran and to the wife of Pharaoh and the sister of Moses.’” [6]


The Angel Gabriel

According to Islamic scriptures, Jibreel (جبريل Gabriel) is the angel who first appeared to Muhammad in the cave of Hijra and taught Muhammad the Qur’an. The initial experience frightened Muhammad, and originally thinking he was possessed by a demon, the Islamic prophet became suicidal.

Under Islamic Rule


The term Dhimmitude is derived from Dhimmi, which means a non-Muslim living in an Islamic country. Robert Spencer has defined it as “the status that Islamic law, the Sharia, mandates for non-Muslims, primarily Jews and Christians”. According to orthodox Islamic law, those who are qualified for the second-class Dhimmi status within the Muslim society are the free (i.e non-slave) Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, who agree to pay the jizyah. Adherents of other religions, as well as those without religion, are asked to convert to Islam; if they refuse, they are to be forced to convert.

Jizyah Tax

Summon the people to God; those who respond to your call, accept it from them, but those who refuse must pay the poll tax out of humiliation and lowliness. If they refuse this, it is the sword without leniency. Fear God with regard to what you have been entrusted.[7]

Umar ibn al-Khattab during the conquest of al-Basrah (636 CE)

According to the Qur’an and hadith, Jizyah or jizya (جزْي) is the extra tax imposed on non-Muslims (Dhimmis) who live under Muslim rule. It is paid as a sign of submission and gives dhimmis some legal protection in return. Under dhimmitude (the status that Islamic law, the Sharia, mandates for non-Muslims) Dhimmis usually are not allowed to carry arms to protect themselves, serve in the army or government, display symbols of their faith, build or repair places of worship etc. If the conquered do not wish to pay or convert, their fate may very well be slavery (under which, rape is permitted) or (as evidenced in the quotes above) death.

Forced Conversion

This article simply provides information about the Islamic use of forced conversion and forced submission or expulsion as evidenced by Islamic scripture and historical and contemporary writings. For example, According to the respected scholar, Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, jihad should be waged against Jews and Christians because they are guilty of committing shirk (one of the gravest sins in Islam), their beliefs about the Day of Judgement are not Islamic, and they do not follow the laws of Islam revealed to Muhammad.[8]

The Destruction of Non-Muslim Worship Places

Throughout history, Muslims have destroyed worship places (churches, synagogues, temples) of other religions or converted them into mosques. In fact, the Ka’aba (the holiest shrine in Islam) was originally a pagan place of worship, used by the polytheist Arabs before Muhammad subsequently removed and destroyed everything considered idolatrous.

The Pact of Umar

Much has been said of the Pact of Umar,[9] and much of it distinctly positive. Its non-Muslim admirers gleefully compare its contents to the treatment of religious minorities in Medieval Europe, while ignoring its influence and conformity with Islamic scriptural sources which still govern the treatment of minorities in the East today. Some non-Muslim scholars of early Islam doubt the pact’s authenticity, highlighting the fact that the Islamic traditions surrounding the writing of the pact are a few hundred years removed from the actual events described, and that no contemporary sources refers to it at all. Sophronius’ (560 – 638 AD) authentic extant writings also refer to the Muslim conquerors in a very negative way, putting further doubts on the Muslim recollections of events.[10] Nevertheless, this article will accept its authenticity and analyse the rights and limitations placed on the Syrians, to see just how free non-Muslims really were under the Rightly-guided Caliph.

The Genocide of Banu Qurayza

Hijra year 5 (627 AD), Almost nine hundred Jews (including children) of a Medinan tribe named Banu Qurayza were massacred by Muslims in one day. Muhammad was the lead spectator of this atrocious butchery which began early in the day, ending in torchlight. Those who escaped death were taken captive by Muslims and sold in slave markets. This genocide is known in history as the Banu Qurayza incident.


Are Judaism and Christianity as Violent as Islam?

“There is far more violence in the Bible than in the Qur’an; the idea that Islam imposed itself by the sword is a Western fiction, fabricated during the time of the crusades when, in fact, it was Western Christians who were fighting brutal holy wars against Islam.”[11] So announces former nun and self-professed “freelance monotheist,” Karen Armstrong. This quote sums up the single most influential argument currently serving to deflect the accusation that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant: All monotheistic religions, proponents of such an argument say, and not just Islam, have their fair share of violent and intolerant scriptures, as well as bloody histories. Thus, whenever Islam’s sacred scriptures—the Qur’an first, followed by the reports on the words and deeds of Muhammad (the Hadith)— are highlighted as demonstrating the religion’s innate bellicosity, the immediate rejoinder is that other scriptures, specifically those of Judeo-Christianity, are as riddled with violent passages.

But is that really the case? Does Hebrew violence in the ancient era, and Christian violence in the medieval era compare to, explain away or even legitimize the tenacity of Muslim violence in the modern era?

Pedophilia and the Tu Quoque Defense

This article refutes the claim that Joseph, the husband of Mary (the mother of Jesus Christ), was a pedophile, a popular yet erroneous tu quoque argument used to defend Prophet Muhammad’s pedophilic marriage to Aisha.

Upon reading the non-canonical apocrypha, the Christian equivalent of da`if (weak) or maudu (fabricated) hadith, we find it does not say Mary married Joseph when she was aged only 12. It in fact says she was possibly 17 years of age at the time the marriage was eventually consummated, if ever (Mary’s perpetual virginity, the belief that Mary remained a virgin her entire life, is an essential article of faith for the majority of the world’s Christians).

The most decisive argument against the claim that Joseph was a pedophile is the fact that the same non-canonical writings which are used to gather information on Joseph and Mary’s age, also confirm Mary’s status as “ever virgin” (in The History of Joseph the Carpenter, Jesus says on Joseph’s death “my mother, virgin undefiled”).

What Islamic Scripture and Scholars Say about the People of the Book

Islamic scripture and scholars have much to say in regards to Jews and Christians.

And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One Allah. There is no Allah save Him. Be He Glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)!

Antisemitism in Islam

Anti-Semitism is rampant among followers of Islam. This intense hatred of Jews is deeply rooted within Islamic scripture, and upon reading these texts, there is little wonder why Mein Kampf, written by Adolf Hitler, is a best-seller in the Arab and Muslim World including; Egypt, Palestine,[12] “moderate” Turkey,[13][14] and is selling well in London areas with a large Arab population.[12] It is often sold along-side religious literature and strangely enough, Mein Kampf can be translated as “My Jihad” in Arabic. The book is also selling as well as Dan Brown’s latest novel in Dhaka, Bangladesh,[15] where sales soar towards Eid, as it is bought by many as gifts, and other anti-Semitic literature like Protocols of the Elders of Zion,[14] a 19th-century anti-Semitic tract are also hugely popular.

Muhammad’s personal hatred for Jews led him to declare that the Final Hour will not come until Muslims slaughter Jews, and even the rocks and trees will betray the Jews hiding behind them.

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.

Misquoting Jesus and Others in the Qur’an

“O Jesus son of Mary!” said the disciples, or so claims the Qur’an in surah 5:112. On the surface this quote from one of Jesus’ (Isa’s) disciples may seem unextraordinary, but there is a subtle error here that few ever notice. However, once it is noticed, few will ever forget. This article will show beyond a doubt that Muhammad was putting words into other people’s mouths and fabricating quotes so that he could artificially create reinforcement and confirmation of the points he was trying to make, which is that Jesus was not the Son of God and Muhammad is Allah’s prophesied final Messenger. It was by Muhammad’s good fortune that he was such a great military leader, for as a playwright he would have been sorely lacking.

Was Muhammad a Lesser Prophet than Moses or Jesus?

When Royalty assign a task to someone in person, it is often denoted as a great privilege and is considered as an honor to whom it is the Royal addressed. Conversely, when a subject is deemed unfit to associate with in a personal manner, the undesirable task may be assigned to a servant. With this in mind, it is surprising to learn that, according to the Qur’an, Musa and Isa (commonly identified with the Judeo-Christian Moses and Jesus) received revelations directly from Allah while Muhammad did not.

Islamic Hijabs and Nun’s Habits

Apologists often attempt to compare the Islamic observance of hijab with the wearing of the religious habit by Christian nuns. This comparison is fundamentally flawed and is one of many fallacious tu quoque arguments utilized in defense of Islam. In reality, there are numerous differences between the two items of clothing. For example, unlike the compulsory observance of hijab (in some form or another) for practicing Muslim women, practicing Christian women are not required or expected to wear a nun’s habit. Naturally, only nuns are. In fact, it would be considered quite bizarre for a Christian women to wear a nun’s habit is she were not a nun. The burka covers everything including the eyes, leaving women unrecognizable, visually impaired, and closed off to social interaction. The nun’s habit does not cover the face at all, so they cause no such problems. Also, if a nun were to remove her head covering, unlike a Muslim woman, she would not run the risk of being intimidated, ostracized or honor killed by her co-religionists. For example, Aqsa Parvez was a 16-year-old Muslim girl who was honor-killed in Ontario, Canada. Her brother had strangled her to death when she refused to wear a hijab covering.

See Also



Other Core Articles

Core articles contain an overview of other articles related to a specific issue, and serve as a starting point for anyone wishing to learn about Islam:

External Links


  1. “…Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians…” – Qur’an 2:62
  2. “Allah” – Encyclopedia Mythica from Encyclopedia Mythica Online; Accessed June 15, 2007.
  3. “Moon God”– Allah – the Moon God.
  4. Arne A. Ambros, and Stephan Procházka – A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic (p. 306) – Weisbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3895004006
  5. Isa (name) – Etymology
  6. (Ibn Kathir, Qisas al-Anbiya [Cairo: Dar al-Kutub, 1968/1388], p. 381- as cited in Aliah Schleifer’s Mary The Blessed Virgin of Islam [Fons Vitae; ISBN: 1887752021; July 1, 1998], p. 64;
  7. Al-Tabari, The History of al-Tabari (Ta’rikh al rusul wa’l-muluk), vol. 12: The Battle of Qadissiyah and the Conquest of Syria and Palestine, trans. Yohanan Friedman (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992), p. 167.
  8. Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an (Quran 9:29, Footnotes 26 & 27)
  9. Paul Halsall – The Status of Non-Muslims Under Muslim Rule– Medieval Sourcebook, January, 1996
  10. Robert Hoyland, Seeing Islam as Others Saw It (Princeton, 1996) p. 69-71
  11. Andrea Bistrich, “Discovering the common grounds of world religions,” interview with Karen Armstrong, Share International, Sept. 2007, pp. 19-22.
  12. Sean O’Neill and John Steele – Mein Kampf for sale, in Arabic – The Telegraph – 19 March, 2002
  13. Robert Spencer – Mein Kampf becomes bestseller in Turkey -Jihad Watch – 19 March, 2005
  14. Antisemitism in the Turkish Media – MEMRI – April 28, 2005
  15. Alastair Lawson – Mein Kampf a hit on Dhaka streets – BBC News – 27 November, 2009
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Troubler of Israel: Report on Republication by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church…

Mark W. Karlberg

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The republication report opens by stating the mandate given to the committee of five members: “The 81st General Assembly, in response to an overture from the Presbytery of the Northwest, elected a study committee ‘to examine and give its advice as to whether and in what particular senses the concept of the Mosaic Covenant as a republication of the Adamic Covenant is consistent with the doctrinal system taught in the confessional standards of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.’” In view of the mandate the committee chose to focus on the teachings of Meredith G. Kline as the means of examining and advising the church on theological issues dividing its membership asunder. The committee notes: “On the one hand it may seem that the mandate of the committee is merely one of confessional exegesis. It certainly involves this, and your committee has taken pains to work with and comment upon every area of the standards that is relevant to the mandate. On the other hand, the committee has also worked on numerous passages of Scripture, especially since the very confession we were tasked to study states quite clearly that ‘in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal unto them [i.e., the Scriptures]’ (WCF 1.8).”[1]

Though acknowledging that Scripture, not the Westminster Standards, has the last word in theological disputes, in point of fact the report reverses the priority, giving first place to the confessional teaching. The second grievous error in the thinking of the committee is the false supposition that Kline’s formulation of covenant theology has been the impetus and the cause of the long-standing division in the church and seminary (notably, Westminster East and West). Here again, we find an attempt at rewriting the history of the dispute, shifting the center of attention away from the true cause––the teaching of Norman Shepherd, former systematics professor at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.


Background to the Study

The modern-day controversy regarding the interpretation of the Mosaic Covenant (the so-called doctrine of “Republication”) has been simmering for over forty years. More exactly, it began in the late 1960s in the womb of Westminster Seminary and the OPC in the thinking of Shepherd’s predecessor, systematician John Murray. (Shepherd was chosen by Murray to fill his position on the seminary faculty upon retirement. Prior to Murray’s death Shepherd claims to have received Murray’s approval of his new thinking on the doctrine of the covenants and justification––approval was sought on Murray’s death-bed upon a visit to Scotland.)

Traditional, mainstream Reformed theology has taught––from the time of the Protestant Reformation down to the present day––that the Mosaic Covenant is an administration of the single, ongoing “Covenant of Grace” spanning the entire period of redemptive history (from the Fall to the Consummation). Peculiar to the Mosaic economy, however, is the operation of the works-inheritance-principle in a very restricted sphere or manner. A number ofexplanations have been provided within historic Reformed theology concerning this unique covenantal arrangement in the period extending from Moses to Christ, what is the old economy of redemption. Dissatisfied with this element in Reformed doctrine Murray set out to “recast” the doctrine of the covenants, at the very time that Barthianism was on the ascendency in most Reformed circles in Europe and elsewhere. Murray clearly was not a Barthian, but his novel teaching did imbibe some of the new thinking that was quickly gaining ground. And so it was Murray who opened to door at Westminster to the radical deviation in covenant theology struck by Shepherd and his staunchest supporter, Richard Gaffin, Jr., co-author, if not father of the New Theology.

From the broader vantage point of the history of scholastic Reformed orthodoxy, Murray’s view gave expression to the theology of English Puritanism, notably, the view that came to dominate in the time after the framing of the Westminster Standards. From that point onwards, there were two distinct interpretations of the Mosaic Covenant within international Calvinism, one which acknowledged the works-inheritance principle as an administrative principle operative within the Mosaic covenant of grace, the other denying any such covenantal operation (both sides did recognize the principle of natural law binding upon all God’s image-bearers, human and angelic, requiring perfect obedience). The “Puritan” view maintained that the Mosaic Covenant was exclusively a covenant of grace (like the new covenant established by Christ), a covenant lacking the “merit” (or “works”) principle as a component of the administration of God’s covenant with his elect people. Crucial here, additionally, is recognition of the requisite theological distinction between decretive election to salvation (applicable to all those for whom Christ died) and national, theocratic election (the election of ancient Israel under Moses as covenant-mediator).[2]

Shepherd’s dismissal from the faculty of Westminster did not bring closure to the raging dispute. The legacy left by Shepherd, aggressively nurtured by Gaffin who remained on the seminary faculty, became ever more deeply entrenched, despite all efforts to eradicate heterodox teaching from the seminary and the church. In 2004 the 71st General Assembly of the OPC adopted its brief “Statement on Justification,” in an effort to address the unresolved debate concerning the foundational doctrine of justification by faith apart from the good works of the believer (faith alone as the “instrument” of justification). The Statement concluded by announcing the erection of a study committee comprising seven members “to critique the teachings of the New Perspective on Paul, Federal Vision, and other like teachings concerning the doctrine of justification and other related doctrines, as they are related to the Word of God and our subordinate standards, with a view to giving a clear statement to the presbyteries, sessions and seminaries, and report back to the 72nd GA” (emphasis mine). The major study report on justification was presented and received by the 73rd General Assembly in 2006; it was reprinted and posted on the denomination’s website in 2007.[3]

A decade later, the study report entitled “Report of the Committee to Study Republication” was presented and received at the 83rd General Assembly in 2016. Curiously, the OPC did not move in any official capacity to take up this highly divisive topic among its constituency long before now, waiting instead for the passing of Professor Meredith G. Kline, who had challenged the views of Murray and Shepherd on the doctrine of the covenants as early as the 1960s. (Given his importance in the life of the seminary and the denomination, criticism of Murray has been difficult for many to hear, let alone accept.[4]) Kline held tenaciously to the view of classic Reformed theology; regrettably, his position found little sympathy and support among some faculty colleagues in Philadelphia, those who had exercised the greatest influence on the direction of the seminary and the OPC. The decision finally to form a denominational study committee came after several years of debate and petition to General Assembly.[5]

The 83rd General Assembly ended one day earlier than had been scheduled, and the presentation of the committee report was reserved until the final afternoon of the Assembly, one of the last items to be addressed. Doubtless, it was determined to withhold discussion of the study report on so volatile a subject in order not to distract the Assembly from the other business that was scheduled. (The report was not publicly made available until September 2, 2016, when it was posted on the denominational website.) It was reiterated at the 2016 Assembly that, as in all cases, “General Assembly papers are thoughtful and weighty treatises on important matters but do not have the force of constitutional documents, namely, our Confession of Faith and Catechisms and Book of Church Order” (citation taken from the OPC website and reiterated at the opening of the report on republication). How this study will be received across the denomination and within the broader Reformed community remains to be seen.[6]

To be sure, much interest in this church study has been generated over the years. John Edward Knox, a member of the OPC, writes: “The doctrine of republication was the focal point of one of the reports given at this year’s GA, and many people are looking to this report to bring some peace in the Reformed world. Whether or not it will settle things down, history will determine.”[7] Likewise, Matthew W. Kingsbury, pastor of Park Hill OPC in Denver, comments: “The most eagerly anticipated item on the docket of the 83rd General Assembly of the OPC was the report of a special committee to study republication.”[8]


Summary of the Principal Argument(s) in the Report

There are three parts to the study: (1) a summary of the covenant theology as set forth in the Westminster Standards; (2) a consideration of the several views of the doctrine of republication found among Reformed theologians; and (3) the conclusion of the committee (“advice” to the church constituency). The committee is well aware of the voluminous literature on the subject in dispute. It concedes: “No doubt, some of the present disagreements have been occasioned by a resurgence of writings on the doctrine of republication, which have brought a new level of discussion and debate to the church on this matter.” Endnote 7 of the report lists many of the works in purview.  This, however, is the full extent of “interaction” with the relevant literature. Such points to the lack of competency of the committee assigned to write this study report.[9]

The first topic of analysis is the theological term “merit.” The report observes: “The topic of merit has always proven controversial in theological discussions. Indeed, there has been a long and protracted debate about the use of this term in Western theology. The same is true in this recent intramural debate on republication within our own church.” Two points are to be noted here: Firstly, the denominational controversy is erroneously dubbed “intramural;” and secondly, the difference of opinion regarding the propriety of applying the term “merit” to the prelapsarian covenant arrangement (as well as the administrative principle operative within the typological level of the Mosaic economy of redemption) is, in the final analysis, of secondary importance in terms of scholastic Reformed dogmatics. The report explains:


Since the relationship of the covenant of works to the Mosaic covenant is such a significant part of our mandate, this is one issue that we will address in light of the subject of merit. It seems to the committee that Chapter 7 of the WCF permits one to use the language of grace to describe the pre-fall situation; not redemptive grace, but in a more general manner or for other reasons—even as it was commonplace in the seventeenth century to do. Nevertheless, the Westminster Confession does not invoke the category of grace to explain Adam’s pre-fall state, but God’s voluntary condescension (WCF 7.1). This may be a deliberate choice in light of shifting paradigms of the time. However, it is also permissible to use the language of merit in order to describe the possibility of Adam’s obedience in the covenant of works (and perhaps it is even wise this side of Karl Barth, the Federal Vision proponents, and uncritical advocates of the New Perspective on Paul). Seventeenth-century Reformed theologian Johannes Braun did so, as did the Dutch Reformed theologian Salomon Van Til (1643–1713).[10]


The committee understands that “Both parties [those who affirm and those who deny the works-principle in the Mosaic Covenant] can affirm WCF 7.1 wholeheartedly (on the issue of grace or merit before the fall). There is room for further reflection and dialogue on this point over which hearty and brotherly discourse may occur.” This admission calls into question the need to raise the question regarding use of the term “merit” altogether. It does not get to the heart of the controversy. (For years, Gaffin has used this issue to obscure and confound the issues in dispute––a ploy in the hands of the chief miscreant.[11])

This brings us to Part One (“The Westminster Standards and Covenant Theology”). Here the report takes up the important Creator/creature distinction, what is “foundational to all covenant theology.” However, the report questions: “How can there be fellowship or any covenant relationship between man and his Creator except by God’s ‘voluntary condescension’ to him (WCF 7.1)?” The answer given: “He must descend to us; we cannot ascend to him. Thus, it is God who entered into a “covenant of life” with our race, and this through a “special act of providence” (WCF 4.2; LC 17,20; SC 12).” Appealing to the Standards, rather than to Scripture, the report insists that God’s covenant with Adam at the beginning was an addition to the prior state of nature. This nature/covenant dichotomy is unbiblical; it is simply wrong.[12] The report then moves to consider the significant role of typology in the interpretation of the Mosaic economy, that in relation to the new covenant. “An important, but indirect way of addressing the question [of republication] is to consider how our confession views typology, for those who hold to a republication of the covenant of works in some sense tend to see a more expansive than limited understanding of typology in the Mosaic economy.” Though the discussion here is of limited help, in our judgment, at least there is a recognition of its importance.

With a view to the confessional teaching concerning the principle of natural law, as that pertains to the original covenant order and to the Mosaic dispensation, the report notes: “Perhaps a door is cracked open but nothing enters the rest of the confession to support the systematic development of any substantial republication of the covenant of works or a works principle [in the Mosaic economy]. No such principle is ever granted any typological importance in our confessional standards. Nor is the Mosaic economy bracketed off in the confession, or even offered a unique place within the Old Testament—indeed, the whole Old Testament is simply characterized as ‘the time of the law’ (WCF 7.5).” This omission (or rather silence) in the Confession simply underscores the need within the Reformed theological tradition for further elucidation (the seventeenth-century Confession does not have the last word, contrary to the opinion of the committee).

The study returns once again to the issue of “merit” in the description of the covenant-of-works feature operative in both the Adamic and Mosaic administrations. “One important subject raised in some discussions about republication is the relationship between a work and a reward. Is it the case that there is some necessary correspondence between a work and its reward? Or is a connection between the two a matter which God himself can freely determine as he pleases, but once determined, is obliged, in faithfulness to his own word, to maintain? In terms of classical theology and philosophy, is the relationship between works and rewards real or nominal (the latter being a position sometimes called ‘simple justice’, ‘ex pacto merit,’ or ‘covenantal justice’).” Here again the discussion is confusing and unhelpful, serving only to cloud the issues in dispute.[13]

We now come to Part Two (“Views on Republication”), the longest section of the report. Recall that the formulation of Kline has been chosen by the committee to be the focus of ongoing controversy within church and seminary (this was determined by the committee, not the General Assembly mandate). The report identifies four distinct viewpoints (as follows):


View 1: The Mosaic covenant is in substance a covenant of works, promising eternal life and/or salvation upon condition of perfect, personal, and perpetual obedience.

View 2: The Mosaic covenant is in substance a mixed covenant, containing elements of both a covenant of works and a covenant of grace.

View 3: The Mosaic covenant in substance is a subservient covenant, promising temporal life in Canaan upon condition of perfect obedience to the moral, ceremonial, and judicial laws.

View 4: The Mosaic covenant is in substance a covenant of grace, although uniquely administered in a manner appropriate to the situation of God’s people at that time.

It is my contention that Kline’s formulation does embody many elements found within the Reformed theological tradition from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries onward. None of the views in the report is an accurate description of the Kline-Karlberg interpretation, what is demanded in this study, as defined by the committee.[14] The closest is the fourth view in its taxonomy. According to the report, “Positions one and four represent opposite poles of the spectrum: from no grace to pure grace. Positions two and three represent attempts to mitigate this polarity. The mixed covenant view does this by combining works and grace as equally ultimate aspects of the essence of the Mosaic covenant. The subservient covenant does this by temporalizing the works element, restricting the relationship of works to blessings on the earthly realm only, thus mitigating the tension with works and grace at the level of eternal salvation.” In my judgment, the committee’s taxonomy is not a fair representation of the Reformed covenantal tradition. No less confusing is the following summary description of the four views (as follows):

1. The first view states that the substance of the Adamic covenant is republished to Israel pure and simple. God makes a covenant with Israel requiring perfect, personal obedience and promises eternal life upon condition of such obedience.

2. The second view states that the substance of the covenant is in part a republication of the Adamic covenant of works pure and simple.

3. The third views states that the substance of the covenant is a republication of the Adamic covenant of works, although adjusted to temporal blessings in Canaan.

4. The fourth view argues that the substance of the Sinaitic covenant is in substance not a republication of the Adamic covenant of works, but instead an administration of the unfolding covenant of grace. Any republication or restatement of the covenant of works appears solely on the administrative level, and in a way that is consistent with its fundamentally gracious substance.


The complexities involved with the interpretation of the Mosaic Covenant in Reformed theology––and Protestant evangelical theology more widely––have always been recognized. The Kline-Karlberg formulation has been offered to the Reformed academy as providing the most satisfying formulation of Scripture, building squarely upon historic Reformed teaching. The report speaks of “two interpretations of Kline’s view.” The question for the committee is this: What is the proper interpretation of Kline’s covenant theology? Juggling two readings of Kline only adds to the tediousness of this report. Looking more closely at the failure of the committee to read Kline aright we are obliged to give account to some degree of development in Kline’s own thinking (and here is where Kline and I collaborated in reformulating the Reformed doctrine of the covenants in order to bring out the best in our theological tradition). The report correctly notes:


In By Oath Consigned, one of Kline’s early books, he utilizes a distinction between the Mosaic order and the Sinaitic covenant itself. He affirms that the “old Mosaic order” as a whole is an administration of the covenant of grace. Nonetheless, he speaks of the Sinaitic covenant itself as a “specific legal whole,” identifying it as making the inheritance “to be by law, not by promise—not by faith but by works.” In this context he speaks of the “difference” between this Sinaitic covenant and the covenant of grace as “radical.” He also refers to Paul’s “radical assessment of the nature of the Sinaitic Covenant as something opposite to promise and faith.” Kline further states that in this way the “Sinaitic Covenant” can be viewed “as a separate entity with a character of its own.” These statements directly address the nature or substance of the Sinai covenant in itself. Taken together, they suggest that Kline does view the Sinaitic covenant as a separate covenant, distinct in nature from the covenant of grace.

The fact is this: Kline modified his position in the late 1970s. The faculty of Westminster was fully aware of this change. Kline rightly faulted Palmer Robertson for deliberately ignoring Kline’s reformulation in his book of covenant theology.[15] Inexplicably, the report contends:

Kline’s later works maintain similar emphases when describing the nature of the Sinai covenant. In Kingdom Prologue, Kline argues that the “typal kingdom of the old covenant” was a covenant “governed by the works principle.” In this “Israel as the theocratic nation was mankind stationed once again in a paradise-sanctuary, under probation in a covenant of works.” Relative to their probationary experience as a theocratic nation in the land, Israel was under a covenant of works opposite in nature to a covenant of grace. In God, Heaven and Har Magedon (Kline’s last work), this same theme is highlighted. There he argues that in the Mosaic era, God superimposes over the Abrahamic covenant “a works arrangement, the Torah covenant with its ‘do this and live’ principle (cf. Lev. 18:5), the opposite of the grace-faith principle (Gal. 3–4; Rom. 10:5, 6).” Later in the work he explicitly identifies this as the “Sinaitic covenant of works” and the “Torah covenant of works.” Significantly, this works principle did not apply to “individual, eternal salvation” but “was rather the governing principle in the typological sphere.” Nonetheless, these lines of argument focus on the nature of the Sinai covenant itself, which Kline’s later writings consistently identify as being a works covenant in contrast to a covenant of grace.


The Kline-Karlberg position insists that the Mosaic Covenant is an administration of the single, ongoing Covenant of Grace spanning the entire redemptive epoch (from the Fall to the Consummation). At the same time, the Mosaic Covenant is a parenthesis in the history of redemption, in that the principle of works-inheritance (antithetical to faith-inheritance) functions in the typological sphere, and is regulative of temporal life in the land of Canaan.[16]

We now come to that section of the report that attempts to distill Kline’s theology of circumcision and baptism. According to Kline, the initiatory signs of the redemptive covenant, sacramentally speaking, convey blessing to the elect and curse to the non-elect. Consistent with the teaching of historic Reformed theology, Kline maintains that redemptive covenant is broader than election. That is to say, the proper purpose of redemptive covenant is salvation in Christ. But the administration of God’s covenant in the life of the church as the community of faith, across the old and new economies of redemption, is broader than securing the salvation of all those elected in Christ. The historical administration of redemptive covenant includes the non-elect, who for one reason or another are numbered among the people of God (and so this circumstance will persist until the return of Christ and the final separation of the wheat from the tares on the Day of Judgment). None of this teaching in Kline’s work is brought to the reader’s attention in the report. But it is only from this standpoint that one can make sense of what the report explains in Kline’s writings when it states:


Kline believes that apostasy is possible under the covenant of grace. Such a belief coheres with a theology admitting to dual sanctions of blessing or curse appended to the sacraments of circumcision/baptism. Those under the Lordship of God in the covenant of grace face a judgment according to works if they fail to walk by faith in the Messiah, who bears judgment for them. Kline says, “Moreover, the newness of the New Covenant does not consist in a reduction of the Covenant of Redemption to the principle of election and guaranteed blessing. Its law character is seen in this too that it continues to be a covenant with dual sanctions…having, in particular, anathemas to pronounce and excommunications to execute.”

Kline’s theology of the sacraments becomes a critical focusing lens by which we can distinguish and relate corporate and individual apostasy and gain greater clarity on the nature of the Mosaic covenant, Israel’s national obedience, and the typico-symbolic recapitulation of Adam’s sin and exile in Israel’s protracted apostasy.

One of the reasons for the legal function of the Mosaic law––Israel’s “tutor” or “schoolmaster”––is the fact that Israel’s tenure in the promised land of Canaan is contingent upon Israel’s own obedience to covenantal law, not the substitutionary obedience of Christ imputed to all those united to him by grace through faith. If the basis of life in Canaan was soteric grace, then the reward (life and prosperity in Canaan) would be unlosable. The report correctly observes:

What this requires us to appreciate in Kline’s thought is the distinction between the way Christ’s obedience secures the eschatological kingdom in opposition to the way that Israel’s disobedience forfeits the typal kingdom. Kline’s point is that Israel’s situation correlates itself to the fallen Adamic order in the way that disobedience forfeits inheritance—a scenario that stands in the starkest contrast to the way that Christ’s obedience merits the eschatological inheritance. Therefore, while the grace of Christ’s suretyship underwrites and enables Israel’s obedience at the level of the ordo salutis, his obedience does not secure the everlasting maintenance of the typal kingdom at the level of the historia salutis. If his suretyship did secure the typal kingdom perpetually, that order would endure forever. The typal kingdom order did not endure forever, because its permanent maintenance was not rooted in the suretyship of Christ but the obedience of national Israel. This is perhaps the core insight of Kline’s theology of the works principle.


At long last, we come to the committee’s summary and conclusion regarding Kline’s view of republication. The road here has been long and tedious. In summation, the report states:

Kline’s viewpoint is perhaps best described as an administrative re-enactment within national Israel of the outcome of the covenant of works with Adam, adjusted to the realities of sin, grace and redemptive typology, resulting in exile from the inheritance-land of Canaan. While other interpretations of Kline would suggest he endorses substantial republication of the covenant of works with Adam, the line of argument developed in this chapter, particularly the integral role played by Abraham as the redemptive-historical frame of reference for the nature of corporate Israel’s obedience, suggests otherwise.

As for alleged weak­nesses in Kline’s formulation of covenant theology, the committee believes “his use of ‘merit’ language is ‘unfortunate’ in light of the history of the Reformed tradition, although it maintains that the substance of his views are orthodox. Even if Kline’s proposal on this reading is orthodox and coheres with the system of truth outlined in the standards, there are still areas that need further clarification and refinement.”

At the same time, legitimate questions can continue to be raised regarding the usefulness of these qualifications as applied to the term merit. Kline’s qualifications, as understood within this interpretive paradigm, are sufficient to stave off the charge of heterodoxy. Nonetheless, some could think that the qualifications are useful in themselves, but that they lose utility insofar as they apply to a nuanced view of typological merit in distinction from ex pacto merit. Thus, the question remains whether or not it might be desirable to find language other than typological merit to express the same concepts Kline expressed, and this question ought to provide the context for continued intramural discussion within our denomination.[17]


The report tells its readers that Kline’s formulation


cannot easily account for those passages of Scripture that point to a gracious substance in the Sinai covenant itself. One need look no farther than the Decalogue itself, in which the Sinai covenant is epitomized. The preface to the Decalogue reveals that the ethical dynamic of the Sinai covenant is fundamentally gracious. It is founded not first and foremost on what Israel will do for God, but what God has already done for Israel. God also promises “mercy” in offering blessing to those who keep his commandments. This “mercy” is thoroughly redemptive in character, and brings into view Israel’s inherent unworthiness of any promise of reward. The fifth commandment also contains a promise of long life and blessing to those who are obedient to the law with reference to the typal kingdom. The Apostle Paul cites this verse with its annexed promise and applies it to those in the new covenant (of grace). It is difficult to account for these passages if the promised blessings are evidence of a works principle that is in sharp contrast to grace and expressive of a covenant of works arrangement.[18]


In the judgment of the committee “problems become more acute when obedience is said to function as the ‘meritorious ground’ or reward, and in this way the ‘basis’ or ‘cause’ of the reward proffered in the Mosaic covenant. This way of speaking is not consistent with our standards, which refer to the best works of sinful humans (so far as merit is concerned) as deserving only God’s wrath and curse, and being the basis only of his condemnation (outside of Christ).”

Finally, we arrive at the recommendations and advice of the committee in Part Three (the briefest section in the report). The governing principle in God’s covenant with humankind, pre- and post-Fall, is grace, either non-redemptive grace or soteric grace––but grace all the same. The report asserts:


our standards affirm that the merit of Christ, the God-man and mediator, consists in his perfect, personal, proportional, profitable, and free obedience. Christ offers his covenant-obedience and sufferings as the representative head of the elect. He thereby fulfills the requirements and removes the penalty of the original covenant of works. Precisely because fallen man cannot fulfill these conditions, he is unable (properly speaking) to merit a reward from God of any kind.


This is the very argument that Gaffin has been maintaining since the beginning of the theological controversy in the 1970s. And it has been Gaffin’s insistence that Kline’s views not be taught at Westminster (Philadelphia); likewise, Kline’s teaching is not welcome in the OPC. Gaffin’s position has been honored in this Report on Republication. The jury is in––Professor Meredith G. Kline, the troubler of Israel, is out!


Karlberg on Kline: A Closing Evaluation

Historically, the two dominant Reformed views on the Mosaic Covenant––that best represented in the OPC context by the divergent thinking of Murray and Kline––have been around for a very long time. What has ignited the bitter dispute within the Westminster Seminary community and beyond, here at the close of the 20th century, well into the 21st? The clear, indisputable answer is the Shepherd-Gaffin theology. At this historical juncture, if Gaffin’s teaching is in line with traditional Reformed covenant theology (as widely, but erroneously, alleged), why the raging dispute over the law-works principle operative within the Mosaic Covenant? What accounts for this theological crisis in present-day Calvinism?[19]

Pivotal to the long-standing controversy over the doctrine of justification and the covenants is not Kline’s formulation, but rather Murray’s mutation (“recasting”) of traditional covenant theology and, more immediately, Shepherd’s unorthodox deformation of Reformed federalist teaching. The report’s “Glossary” contains the name of only one theologian, Meredith Kline, the troubler of Israel. To place Kline’s work at the centerpiece of its analysis of the long-standing controversy is a wholly misconceived attempt on the part of the committee members to portray Kline as the leading adversary, the central theological figure and cause of dissension. The report is best read as the denominational tribunal on the orthodoxy of Kline’s covenant theology.[20]

The Report is unnecessarily tedious, yielding only more confusion in the mind of the reader. What it does indicate is the frustration and the lack of competence on the part of the committee members assigned the task of writing the report. The report does a thoroughgoing disservice to the Reformed church and academy, resulting in a distortion of Kline’s theology. Barely a word is made denouncing the heterodox views of Shepherd. Lack of interaction with the extensive literature on the subject under review is without justification, but does serve of purpose of the committee which sees the dispute over doctrine as an purely “intramural” affair. There are only three references to Shepherd’s teaching, none of which identify his controversial teaching as heretical; only one indirect reference to Karlberg’s writings on this subject and his critical assessment of Westminster Seminary.[21]

Kline regarded me as his “theological son”––it is reasonable that I should take the time to redress the issues raised in the report about Kline’s covenant theology and, in so doing, clear the air regarding his position and challenge/correct the widespread misreading and distortion of his work. Who is better poised to clarify matters? If advocates of traditional Reformed covenant theology hold true to their convictions, this report will not sit well; it will only generate more dissension and upheaval. Within the OPC the root of the confusion and the deliberate, calculated diversion away from the Shepherd teaching to that of Kline as regards the Reformed doctrine of the Mosaic Covenant is the crucial law-gospel antithesis.[22] The reason for this is the unwillingness to address elements of the Shepherd formulation which continue to impact teaching in the seminaries and churches, largely the result of Gaffin’s dominance. Will Westminster Seminary California follow Estelle and retreat from the doctrine of republication as formulated by Kline (as suggested by this report)? Much remains to be seen.[23]

From its inception, the OPC had the opportunity to realize the best in Reformed theology, ministry and mission. Of course, no denomination is perfect. As it turns out, the OPC is a failed experiment in American Presbyterianism. Pride and failure to hear and act upon valid criticism offered by others sympathetic to the Reformed cause has led to her downfall. What the report on republication proves is that the OPC is incapable of correction and truth-telling. She remains resolute in her refusal to repent of error and deceit. Most notably with respect to the controversy over justification and the covenants, the OPC sees herself as above reproach. Upon the dismissal of Shepherd from Westminster, Robert Strimple decided to turn a blind eye to Gaffin’s formulations, not wanting another agonizing round of controversy and ecclesiastical disruption to impede the work and witness of Westminster. The OPC study report on republication is the product of Westminster Seminary (East and West), as evident in the selection of committee members. With regard to the California faculty, Kline was not persuaded that it was taking a clear, decisive stand against the deviant teaching propounded by Gaffin, who has remained steadfast in his support for Shepherd (the same can be said of John Frame).[24]

It was never Kline’s intent that his work should be the center of controversy. The fact that it came to be so is more a sign of the times, a very sad development for Reformed orthodoxy indeed. Whether we consider Kline’s opposition to Gregory Bahnsen’s theonomy, the Shepherd-Gaffin reformulation of doctrine (specifically, justification by faith alone, election, and the twofold covenants), or John Murray’s recasting of covenant theology, Kline surely is to be recognized and honored for his unwavering stand for the truth of Scripture, for his life-long devotion to the Church of Christ, and for his commitment to orthodox Reformed teaching. The differences between Kline and Murray (notably, interpretation of the Mosaic Covenant) moved to the forefront only as a consequence of the dispute surrounding the teaching of Norman Shepherd.[25] In a word, the “Report of the Committee to Study Republication” is a travesty.[26] One would hope that a newly-appointed committee of the OPC would redress the grievous wrong that has been committed with regard to this committee’s reading of the work of Kline and restate the biblical teaching pertaining to the covenants, giving priory to Scripture rather than the Confession.



ADDENDUM: Bibliographical Note

Much has been written elucidating both the history and the interpretation of Reformed covenant theology. I have devoted a career in this undertaking. The special focus of my four closely-knit books published by Wipf and Stock––compilations of articles and book reviews––details developments at Westminster Seminary (East and West) regarding the doctrines of justification by faith alone (sola fide), election, and the covenants. Since the early twentieth century, the Westminster seminaries have been the conveyers of the theological and confessional tradition, which was given formative expression at the Assembly that convened at Westminster in London, England (1643-49). Each volume builds upon the previous one, providing additional, timely evidence and documentation of changes which have taken place at (New) Westminster, notably, as that pertains to deviant teaching respecting the two formative principles of the Protestant Reformation, the formal (the doctrine and interpretation of Scripture) and the material (the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith).


Covenant Theology in Reformed Perspective: Collected Essays and Book Reviews in Historical, Biblical, and Systematic Theology(2000): Central to my research and publications over the course of four decades, beginning with my graduate studies in New Testament (Th.M.) and in historical/systematic theology (Th.D./Ph.D.), is the subject of Reformed interpretation of the Mosaic Covenant as an administration of the “Covenant of Grace,” extending from the Fall to the Consummation (the second coming of Christ). Related topics include the following: the relation of the two God-ordained institutions, church and state, in the period of common grace (thus in distinction from the circumstance of the ancient Israelite theocracy in the period from Moses to the first coming of Christ); the distinction between the original “Covenant of Works” established with Adam as created in the image of God and the subsequent “Covenant of Grace” (including the intra-trinitarian “Covenant of Redemption”); biblical typology as taught in the Old and New Testaments; and the intimate bond between amillennial covenant theology and biblical eschatology (reflecting the “already/not yet” structure of redemptive history and its application to individual salvation by virtue of union with Christ).


Gospel-Grace: The Modern-Day Controversy (2003): The first sequel to Covenant Theology in Reformed Perspective––what is foundational to all subsequent publications––addresses the rapidly-growing opposition in evangelical-Reformed scholarship to traditional, historic Protestant teaching (a la Lutheran and Reformed orthodoxy) concerning the antithesis between two principles of inheritance, works and (gospel-)grace. The twofold doctrine of the covenants, the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace, a staple in Reformed teaching, is upheld as essential to the system of Reformed orthodoxy, not an aberrant accretion of later “scholasticism.” Criticism of radically new teachings emanating from Westminster Seminary, reflective of changes taking place in evangelical theology more broadly, is carefully assessed in these pages. Pivotal in this analysis and exposé is the teaching of Professors Norman Shepherd and Richard Gaffin. Coordinate with other developments in Westminster’s department of systematic theology is the novel introduction of “multi-perspectivalism” crafted by John Frame and contextualization in the missional theorizing of Harvie Conn.


Federalism and the Westminster Tradition: Reformed Orthodoxy at the Crossroads (2006): The third in the series opens with a “commissioned” article, entitled “The Significance and Basis of the Covenant of Works: Exegetical and theological factors.” It concludes with a discussion of the present-day challenge and confrontation within the church and the academy. The exemplary work of biblical theologians Geerhardus Vos and Meredith G. Kline, on the one hand, has provided needed amplification and clarification pertaining to aspects of Reformed exposition of the covenants of God in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, marking a genuine advance in the history of doctrine. Thus, the picture is not altogether bleak; there are assuredly rays of hope and evidence of unwavering, deep-seated conviction regarding both the veracity and the integrity of the theology of the Westminster divines in some quarters today, all for the benefit of the church for generations to come. Yet, on the other hand, the result of years of deviant theological training at Westminster Seminary (Philadelphia) is evident in the mounting upheaval and polarization within the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, which has had from its inception the closest of ties to Westminster Seminary. The battle for the truth of Scripture begun in the age of the Protestant Reformation is therefore ongoing.


Engaging Westminster Calvinism: The Composition of Redemption’s Song (2013): Unique in the theological literature, this conclusion to my four-volume study of Reformed covenant theology combines my work as a theological writer and teacher and my career in church music. Further analysis of the contentious struggle over the Reformed orthodox doctrine of the covenants and justification by faith alone (the inheritance-principle informing the Covenant of Grace, antithetical to the works-inheritance-principle undergirding the Covenant of Works) serves as prelude to the current crisis within the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, one having ramifications extending well beyond her borders across the evangelical-Reformed world.  These studies of mine, among others, have helped precipitate the action of the 2014 General Assembly of the denomination in erecting a five-member study committee in an attempt to resolve the issues now dividing the churches (chiefly, its pastors and teachers). Grasping aright that which is the heart of the Gospel––justification by faith, apart from the works of the law––is requisite for the church’s singing of the New Song for time and eternity. As it turns out, understanding the role and practice of music in the service of the church depends upon a proper interpretation of the revelation of God as the “theophanic Glory” and the church’s place in the history of redemptive revelation. Here again, the essential and vital distinction between common grace and special grace informs our analysis. (Appended here is my complete bibliography of writings up to the date of the book’s publication.)

[1] Northwest Theological Seminary stoked the controversy, only to close its doors in 2016, having failed to garner financial support. The demise of the seminary is in large part due to its aggressive promotion of the Shepherd-Gaffin theology. [The report as provided on the OPC website provides no pagination, a major oversight.]

[2] The Puritan-Murray view insists that the Mosaic Covenant, like the new covenant, is a covenant of grace (having no works-inheritance principle in its administration). It therefore follows that the principle enunciated in Leviticus 18:5 (“do this and live”) is, in proper covenantal context, at one with the grace-inheritance principle. And looking to the prelapsarian covenant, it is likewise argued that there is no works-inheritance principle, if by that we mean that Adam would earn reward and blessing from God for faithful covenant-keeping (i.e., human “merit”). The ground of inheritance, in this view, is (non-soteric) grace, but grace nevertheless (not “works”). Consistently applied, the result of this thinking dissolves the crucial antithesis between the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace, in terms of the principle of inheritance (reward). Clearly, this is not the intent of the framers of the Westminster Standards, despite confusion in theological formulation.

[3] The “Report on Justification” provides scant attention to Shepherd’s radical (and highly influential) teaching. The report is marred by inadequate discussion of the importance of the doctrine of the Covenant of Works and the law/grace antithesis––the matter of the propriety of the term “grace” applied to the prelasarian covenant pales in comparison. It was reported to me that David VanDrunen and Gaffin, as members of the OPC committee to study justification, were at odds regarding the writing of the report. VanDrunen, who chaired the committee, happily did secure the upper hand. But then again, Gaffin knew that all General Assembly study reports are not binding documents, but rather “food for further thought,” i.e., guides to ongoing study within the denomination. See my critique of this report in Federalism and the Westminster Tradition: Reformed Orthodoxy at the Crossroads (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2006), 48-50.

It bears repeating: Though Gaffin served as one of the members of the study committee on justification, it would be a great mistake if one were to infer from this circumstance that Gaffin himself agreed with those aspects of the discussion that impinged upon the views of Shepherd (which, in all essential features, is the same as that held by Gaffin). Three factors must be taken into account: (1) as noted above, the General Assembly reports “do not have the force of constitutional documents, namely, our Confession of Faith and Catechisms and Book of Church Order,” and therefore are not binding (Gaffin recognizes that the committee report on justification bears the input of the several members, and all do not necessarily agree in toto); (2) despite private conversations individuals have had with Gaffin, any comments he has made distancing himself from Shepherd are to be questioned (Gaffin has never made a public statement denouncing any of Shepherd’s heterodox views–he has never recanted heretical teaching); and (3) Gaffin’s active involvement in supporting Shepherd throughout the seminary controversy, leading up to Shepherd’s dismissal from the faculty, and his own writings bear witness to the fact Gaffin is the co-author, if not father, of Westminster’s deviant teaching on justification and the covenants.

[4] Cornelis P. Venema in “The Mosaic Covenant: A ‘Republication’ of the Covenant of Works? A Review Article: The Law is Not of Faith: Essays on Works and Grace in the Mosaic Covenant” (MAJT 21 [2010] 35-101) complains: “[T. David] Gordon’s attack upon John Murray in his chapter seems to exceed the bounds of propriety for an academic essay in biblical theology. For example, he asserts that Murray not only could not have made any sense of Paul’s argument in Galatians, but also that whatever he would have written would be ‘obfuscatory in the highest degree’ (253). And, as if that were not enough, he adds, ‘I like to think that he [i.e. Murray] was aware that he was entirely flummoxed by Paul’s reasoning, and that he therefore determined not to write anything about the matter until he could make some sense of it.’ In actual fact, Murray does address the matter directly in his commentary on the book of Romans, which includes an appendix on Paul’s appeal to Leviticus 18:5, that we will consider in what follows. Furthermore, Gordon neglects to note that Murray addresses the interpretation of Galatians 3 in his Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955 [44–45]), and that his lectures on Galatians at Westminster Theological Seminary are available to the public (see” (78, note 58). Kline held the conviction that Murray’s misconstrual and recasting of Reformed covenant theology was blatantly wrong and inexcusable on his part as Westminster’s systematician. “He should have known better,” Kline correctly reasoned.

[5] Perhaps the OPC will yet produce a history of the Shepherd controversy––including, notably, Gaffin’s role and ardent defense of Shepherd from the mid-1970s onwards. Such a history must critique Gaffin’s own unorthodox teaching on justification and the covenants which has persisted ever since the days of Shepherd’s dismissal from Westminster Seminary in 1982. Perhaps after Gaffin passes from this earthly scene this will finally come to fruition–but do not count on it!

[6]Apparently, one of the few exceptions in granting others who were not delegates to the 2016 General Assembly early access to the report on republication, Lee Irons (a member of the Presbyterian Church in America) had the opportunity to read in advance the report in the GA minutes. According to Daryl Hart’s summary of the GA (, debate of the report concerned only its dissemination! Discussion “seesawed,” according to one internet posting (from Cedar OPC, Hudsonville, MI). Hart’s account offers an entirely fallacious and evasive reason for the denominational controversy, what he suggests to be a lack of knowledge concerning differing views over the course of the history of Reformed teaching leading up to the views of Murray and Kline (the two theologians specifically named by Hart). Rather, the reason was most immediately and directly the teaching of Shepherd and the controversy that ensued.

[7] John Edward Knox, “Republication: A Pre-OPC GA Defense,” Torrey Gazette, June 14, 2016,

[8]Matthew W. Kingsbury, “Administrative and Substantial,” The Presbyterian Curmudgeon, June 13, 2016, Members of the committee comprised the following: Craig Troxel (chair), Lane Tipton, Bryan Estelle, Chad Van Dixhoorn, and Benjamin Swinburnson. The principle disputants serving on this committee were Estelle (representing the mainstream Reformed view) and Swinburnson (representing the “Puritan” view).

[9] Endnote 7 reads as follows: See, for example, the following: Lee Irons, “Redefining Merit: An Examination of Medieval Presuppositions in Covenant Theology,” in Creator, Redeemer, Consummator: A Festschrift for Meredith G. Kline, ed. Howard Griffith and John R. Muether (Reformed Theological Seminary, 2000), 253–69; Rowland S. Ward, God and Adam: Reformed Theology and The Creation Covenant (Wantrina, Australia: New Melbourne Press, 2003); R. Fowler White and E. Calvin Beisner, “Covenant, Inheritance, and Typology: Understanding the Principles at Work in God’s Covenants,” in By Faith Alone: Answering the Challenges to the Doctrine of Justification, ed. Gary L. W. Johnson and Guy P. Waters (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2006), 147–170; Bryan. D. Estelle, J.V. Fesko, and David VanDrunen, The Law Is Not of Faith: Essays on Works and Grace in the Mosaic Covenant (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2009); James T. Dennison, Scott F. Sanborn, and Benjamin W. Swinburnson, “Merit or ‘Entitlement’ in Reformed Covenant Theology: A Review,” Kerux 24.3 (2009): 3–152; Brenton Clark Ferry, “Works in the Mosaic Covenant: A Reformed Taxonomy”(master of theology thesis, Westminster Theological Seminary, 2009). This thesis contains a bibliography at the end. Michael Brown and Zach Keele, Sacred Bond: Covenant Theology Explored (Grandville, MI: Reformed Fellowship, 2012); Mark Jones, “In What Sense?” review of The Law Is Not of Faith, Ordained Servant 10 (2010): 115–119; Brian Lee, “Reconciling the Two Covenants in the Old Testament,” review of The Law Is Not of Faith, Ordained Servant 10 (2010):120–26; Cornelis Venema, “The Mosaic Covenant: A ‘Republication’ of the Covenant of Works? A Review Article: The Law Is Not of Faith: Essays on Works and Grace in the Mosaic Covenant,” Mid-America Journal of Theology 21 (2010): 35–102; David VanDrunen, “Israel’s Recapitulation of Adam’s Probation Under the Law of Moses,” WTJ 73 (2011): 303–24; Michael Brown, Christ and the Condition: The Covenant Theology of Samuel Petto (1624–1711) (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2012); Brian Lee, “Why I Hold to Republication” Christian Renewal (13 Nov 2013): 41–43; Mark A. Collingridge and Brett A. McNeill, Republication: A Biblical, Confessional and Historical Defense (Paper submitted to PNW Presbytery, available on PDF). This paper also has a 15 page appendix by David Inks, “What John Calvin Really Said,” which is a polemic against Venema’s claims; J.V. Fesko (with response by Cornelis Venema), “The Republication of the Covenant of Works,” Confessional Presbyterian 8 (2012): 197–227; Cornelis Venema (with response by J.V. Fesko), “Sic et Non. Views in Review: II. Westminster Seminary California Distinctives? The Republication of the Covenant of Works,” Confessional Presbyterian 9 (2013): 157–87; Andrew M. Elam, Robert C. Van Kooten, and Randall A. Bergquist, eds., Merit and Moses: A Critique of the Klinean Doctrine of Republication (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2014). This is essentially (with only slight modification) the report that was submitted by the authors to the PNW Presbytery as “A Booklet on Merit in the Doctrine of Republication,” (April 2013). This contains a bibliography at the end; J. V. Fesko, The Theology of the Westminster Standards (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014), especially 138–67; David VanDrunen, Divine Covenants and Moral Order: A Biblical Theology of Natural Law, Emory University Studies in Law and Religion, ed. John Witte, Jr. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014), especially 282–367; Lee Irons, “Review of Merit and Moses” (

[10] The same point can be found in Murray’s formulation of the “Adamic administration” (what in biblical theology is the original covenant of works established by God with Adam at creation).

[11]As argued in my previous book, Gospel- Grace: The Modern-Day Controversy (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2003), the attempt on the part of Shepherd and Gaffin to exploit the speculative, scholastic nature/covenant dichotomy frequently employed in Reformed dogmatics for the purpose of dissolving the law/gospel antithesis is wholly destructive of the orthodox doctrine of justification by faith (alone) and the doctrine of the original Covenant of Works, the covenant established by God with Adam as federal head of humankind. The Report on Justification failed to advance biblical understanding of the controverted issues lying at the heart of the dispute, this serving only to perpetuate former error in the scholastic understanding of the Covenant of Works (wherein it is erroneously held that grace is the basis of the reward for faithful covenant-keeping). Such a view undermines the merit-principle of inheritance, that which stands in contrast to the grace-principle of inheritance in the Covenant of Grace. To dispel misunderstanding and confusion in the minds of so many today, what is clearly demanded is a reformulation of doctrine that faithfully conveys the teaching of Scripture. The term “grace” pertains exclusively to God’s redemptive provision for fallen humanity.

[12] Later the report maintains again: “while our first parents bore this image and were embedded with this law, the distance between God and humanity is so great that God voluntary condescended to us, without which we would have no benefit from him at all. God’s act of ‘voluntary condescension’ was to establish a covenant (WCF 7.1). In other words, the law of God was implanted in us at creation, and yet we cannot flourish without covenant, and so God brought our first parents into a covenantal relationship with himself through a ‘special act of providence’ (SC 12). This means, among other things, that creation does not seem to be synonymous with covenant.” And again, in different terms the report states: “it appears, then, that the implantation of the moral law in the human conscience is coincident with creation, and yet the creation of a covenant falls under the realm of providence. In other words, from the viewpoint of the confession, this law on their hearts was not naked; it was clothed from (almost?) the beginning in a covenantal arrangement. It is for that reason the man and the woman were not alone together in the garden; it is in that way they were enabled to live in relationship with God. Natural law does not seem to be synonymous with the covenant of works.”

[13] Mention of the “ontological” difference between the “one righteous act” of the First and Second Adams is wholly irrelevant. Hence, the report mistakenly concludes: “not only is there a ‘great disproportion’ between the works of the redeemed ‘and the glory to come,’ but also an ‘infinite distance that is between us and God’ (WCF 16.5). Even pre-fall merit is thus excluded, in any proportional sense, because of the ontological difference between the Creator and the creature. Adam had a capacity for perfect, personal, and perpetual obedience, but the value of that obedience was far less than the promised reward. Quite apart from the problem of sin (also discussed in 16.5), it seems, there was no possibility of Adam or his descendants accelerating an eschatological or glorified state by means of any real merit of his own; he could only do so through a covenantal arrangement, where God, in his benevolent freedom, would reward his obedience with a gift beyond that which he had earned.” The members of the Committee simply do not grasp the importance and significance of the law/gospel antithesis, the opposition between reward received as a matter of redemptive grace (i.e., salvation in Christ) and reward based upon covenantal obedience (the eschatological blessing proffered to Adam in the original Covenant of Works for obedience to God the Lord). Crucial here in the discussion, additionally, is the related doctrine of imputation, including the representative headship of the Two Adams, something largely neglected in the report.

[14] Alongside Professor Kline, I had the unique privilege of crystalizing Reformed interpretation of the covenants over the course of seven years of study at Westminster––three for the master of divinity, one for the masters in theology (New Testament studies), and three for the doctorate in theology (Reformation/Post-Reformation studies), leading up to the writing of my dissertation, entitled “The Mosaic Covenant and the Concept of Works in Reformed Hermeneutics: A historical-critical analysis with special attention to early covenant eschatology” (Th.D. dissertation, Westminster Theological Seminary, 1980), available at University Microfilms International (Ann Arbor, MI and London, England: #8024938). Kline was appointed as one of the dissertation readers by virtue of his expertise and interest in ongoing discussions within the faculty that had transpired since the mid-1970s. My master’s thesis is entitled “Law in Pauline Eschatology: The Historical Qualification of Justification by Faith” (Th.M. thesis, Westminster Theological Seminary, 1977). On the cover of Kline’s magnum opus I wrote: “In Kingdom Prologue Meredith G. Kline, foremost OT scholar and theologian at the turn of this century, weaves together in biblical-theological fashion various and complex aspects of Old Testament life and worship, preeminently in terms of the biblical concepts of kingdom and covenant. Building on the tradition of (old) Princeton theologian Geerhardus Vos, the author takes Biblical Theology to new heights in the history of Reformed interpretation of the Old and New Testaments. In the pages of this book, Kline explains to his readers the place and importance of the first book of Moses, the Book of Genesis, in the overall structure and theology of the divine covenants from the creation of the world to its consummation. At the same time Kline’s theological analysis effectively draws out the missionary and apologetic implications of the biblical text, and in so doing clarifies the unique role and mission of the Church in the world. I warmly and enthusiastically commend this work, Kline’s magnum opus, to the serious student of the Bible.”

Compare D. Patrick Ramsey, “In Defense of Moses: A Confessional Critique of Kline and Karlberg,” Westminster Theological Journal 66 (2004) 373-400; and Brenton C. Ferry, “Cross-Examining Moses’ Defense: An Answer To Ramsey’s Critique Of Kline And Karlberg,” Westminster Theological Journal67 (2005) 163-68. Venema remarks: “Karlberg’s interpretation of the history of Reformed covenant theology suffers from an undue attachment to the formulations of Meredith Kline. It is noteworthy that the authors of The Law is Not of Faith do not refer to the fine study of my colleague, J. Mark Beach, Christ and the Covenants: Francis Turretin’s Federal Theology as a Defense of the Doctrine of Grace (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2007)” (42, note 8). See my critique of Beach’s study in my book Engaging Westminster Calvinism: The Composition of Redemption’s Song(Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2013)––Chapter Three: “Recovering the Mosaic Covenant as Law and Gospel.”   Neither Venema nor Beach has yet to respond to my criticism(s) of their formulation.

[15] See O. Palmer Robertson’s Christ of the Covenants (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1980).


[16] The committee concludes its evaluation of Kline’s view in the following words: “The four strands of teaching adduced for this interpretation of Kline indicate to many readers that he teaches a form of substantial republication. Kline himself freely speaks of the complex relation between works and grace within the Mosaic economy. He does not deny that grace is present in the Mosaic period, nor the fact that grace underlies the Sinai covenant of works probation. He also restricts the works principle to the temporal kingdom of Canaan, and rejects the idea that there was a different way of salvation under the Mosaic era. Nonetheless this does not remove the fact that on this interpretation the Sinai covenant itself is substantially and by nature governed by a basic principle that is decidedly not gracious. It distinctively reflects the substantial principles of a covenant-of-works probation in contrast to a covenant of grace. In these paragraphs, then, and in others like them, Kline maintains that the Mosaic economy contains a distinct covenant that is itself a covenant of works in contrast to the covenant of grace. It is for that reason that Kline’s teaching on the Mosaic covenant and the covenant of works can be categorized as a form of substantial republication. . . . The works surveyed in the report below span the range of Kline’s publishing career, from his earlier work in Treaty of the Great King (1963) to his final published book, God, Heaven and Har Magedon (2006). A guide for understanding Kline, borne out by a careful reading of his entire corpus, is that his biblical theology of the covenant of grace does not undergo any substantial alteration. Rather, from his earliest works up until his final work, a basic point of continuity emerges.”

[17] Once again, the report falsely reduces the controversy merely to “intramural” debate, and in its judgment deems the tendency in the interpretations of both Shepherd and Kline as moving towards heterodoxy!

[18] Compare the essay of VanDrunen on natural law in The Law is Not of Faith: Essays on Works and Grace in the Mosaic Covenant (eds., B. D. Estelle, J. V. Fesko, and D. VanDrunen; Phillipsburg: P&R, 2009)283-314. Venema comments: “It is interesting to observe that some of the representations of the Mosaic covenant by authors of The Law is Not of Faith, especially in the chapter of Gordon, resemble more the Lutheran view in this respect than the traditional Reformed view” (in “The Mosaic Covenant: A ‘Republication’ of the Covenant of Works? A Review Article,” 66, note 33). This has been a common note sounded by Shepherd and his followers many times over.

[19] Biblical theology in the tradition of Geerhardus Vos is precursor to the modern-day Reformed doctrine of republication. In the “Introduction” the authors of The Law is Not of Faith reason: “With such rhetoric [urging the “recasting” of covenant theology] Murray released the clutch, and those who had studied under him or were influenced by his writings without appropriate reflection and criticism in these areas set in motion a chain of events that would produce deleterious injuries for confessional Reformed theology and beyond. Norman Shepherd, professor of systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary from 1963 to 1982, is a case in point. In his recent book, he too showed great antipathy to any construal of republication in the Mosaic covenant and a works principle represented in such an important passage as Leviticus 18:5, for example” (17). For more on the Westminster’s mode of operation, see my “Master of Deception and Intrigue: Yet Another Glimpse into the Work and Psyche of Westminster Seminary,” The Trinity Review, Special Issue (May 2014):

Leading up to the 83rd General Assembly I posted the following three updates: (1) “Republication: A Doctrinal Controversy Four Decades in the Making,” posted on The Aquila Report, September 4, 2014

[]; (2) “Addendum to the Republication Controversy,” posted on The Aquila Report, October 4, 2014

[]; and (3) “Current Study on Republication: Where matters presently stand,” posted on Trinity Foundation, November 2015 []. In the last posting I made the statement: “Complicating matters, however, the Standards relate the Mosaic law to the original law of nature (what is yet another reference to the principle of works-inheritance). Reformed theologians uniformly taught that the Mosaic Covenant contained a reiteration of the law of nature (hence the universal, binding character of the Ten Commandments upon all peoples). A consistent, mature formulation of the theology of the covenants would require many decades of debate and discussion – what is still ongoing within the church and the academy.”

The authors of “Merit or ‘Entitlement’ in Reformed Covenant Theology: A Review” (Kerux: The Journal of the Northwest Theological Seminary, 24/3 [December 2009]) note: “Richard B. Gaffin Jr. has also raised some concerns about the ‘republication thesis.’ In a recent review of Michael Horton’s Covenant and Salvation, Gaffin expressed his concern regarding Horton’s view that under the Mosaic economy the judicial role of the law in the life of God’s people functioned, at the typological level, for inheritance by works (as the covenant of works reintroduced) in antithesis to grace (29). Furthermore, Gaffin sees this position as creating ‘an uneasy tension, if not polarization, in the lives of his people between grace/faith and (good) works obedience (ordo salutis), especially under the Mosaic economy’ (30). Gaffin’s comments do not directly address the relationship of Horton’s views to the Westminster Confession and the Reformed tradition in general, but they do express his general concern regarding not only the internal consistency of the position, but also how it may detract from an accurate reading of the Old Testament” (25). They conclude: “To our knowledge, Gaffin has also extensively critiqued constructions of the Mosaic covenant as embodying a meritorious works-principle in both his classroom lectures and various public presentations on the doctrine of the covenant. The classroom lectures can be accessed online at” (25, note 31). The authors are James T. Dennison, Jr., Scott F. Sanborn, and Benjamin W. Swinburnson.

In “Current Study on Republication” I noted: “Kerux, at present an online journalof biblical theology published by Northwest Theological Seminary,had previously published Kline’s excellent and insightful studies in the book of Zachariah (since published as Glory in Our Midst: A Biblical-Theological Reading of Zachariah’s Night Visions (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2001). Now the journal has taken a decidedly anti-Klinian stance, this after mounting criticism of the Shepherd-Gaffin ‘biblical theology’ (which Northwest Seminary heartily commends).”

[20] It is curious to read the committee’s report concerning the origin and development of this long-standing, disruptive controversy. Clearly it serves to reflect all the backroom chatter, church politicking, and strategizing that has been going on since the beginning of the outbreak of the seminary dispute. Gregory Reynolds (Ordained Servant Online, August / September 2012 / Issue: Biblical Theology) remarks: “Meredith G. Kline’s theology is sometimes controversial in our church,” and that “on several areas of concern.” Again, a reversal of the true state of affairs in the OPC. Clair Davis, writing to Tom Juodaitis (Trinity Foundation), laments having lost contact with Karlberg (email of March 26, 2015). Perhaps open dialogue would have saved the committee from blatant misreading of Kline’s writings.

[21] In the paper prepared for the OPC Presbytery of the Northwest, “Republication: A Biblical, Confessional, and Historical Defense,” by Mark A. Collingridge and Brett A. McNeill, we read these comments:


Fathers and brothers, from one perspective, we are happy to write this paper in order to speak about the proper place of the doctrine of republication in historic, confessional Presbyterian and Reformed theology. We stand downstream of a glorious work of our God in the Protestant Reformation wherein the great solas of our faith were set forth as never before. Republication is an aspect of that crystallization intended to guard, uphold, and undergird such important doctrines as the law-fulfilling work of our Lord Jesus Christ in His active and passive obedience, justification by faith alone, and the liberty and freedom we enjoy as the sons of God in the new covenant Christ ratified in His blood. We are thankful for the opportunity to do our best to address questions, concerns, and confusions regarding this historic doctrine.

On the other hand, it grieves us that this paper is written under a cloud of accusations, suspicion, contention, and fear. This is never a helpful context for good, edifying, and helpful theological dialogue among brothers and sisters in Christ. Our hope is that, whether or not one agrees with this Reformed insight, these unfortunate storm clouds will dissipate and allow the light of temperance, trust, understanding, and love to shine brightly as is fitting those united to Jesus Christ and bound in our common calling to serve the church. [iv]

[22] Robertson’s history of the dispute, The Currrent Justification Controversy, was published by Trinity Foundation long after being suppressed by prevailing powers in the PCA and the OPC. Robertson’s account, appearing in 2003, made necessary the OPC “Statement on Justification” (2004) to give the false appearance that the denomination stood squarely within the bounds of Reformed orthodoxy. Just one more attempt at deception on the part of the OPC. Included in Robertson’s account is Gaffin’s role in support of Shepherd. The official Westminster document providing justification for the dismissal of Shepherd from the faculty (establishing the “legal” ground for dismissal of a tenured professor) is entitled “Reason and Specifications Supporting the Action of the Board of Trustees in Removing Professor Shepherd.” The committee charged with the task of writing this paper had requested a paper from me critiquing Shepherd’s theology, which was provided. The “Reason and Specifications” is available in John W. Robbins, A Companion to the Current Justification Controversy (Unicoi, TN: The Trinity Foundation, 2003), and in other places.

[23] W. Robert Godfrey and D. G. Hart explain: “Westminster California was born in the heat of the Shepherd controversy and initially left the Shepherd problem to WTS (especially since Frame tended to defend Shepherd while Strimple and Godfrey had sharply criticized him.) But even with the dismissal of Shepherd in 1981, the issue of the doctrine of justification did not disappear. Some in the Reformed churches continued to defend Shepherd, others embraced the New Perspective on Paul and still others adopted the Federal Vision” (Westminster Seminary California: A New Old School [Escondido: WSC, 2012] 109).

In a letter to Will Barker (then Dean of the faculty at WTS) Kline wrote: “Mark Karlberg’s misgivings concerning the current theological picture at WTS/P are justified” (8/31/94). Kline added: “In my judgment, if the present tendencies are not reversed, perceptive church historians of the future will record that the erosion of Reformational theology (with respect to both the formal and material principles) that began at WTS/P in the seventies of the 20th century continued unchecked into the 21st century.” Over the years, R. C. Sproul (Sr.) has been very supportive and encouraging with regard to my critiques of Westminster and all those espousing the New Theology. (One still hopes that Sproul will yet come to realize the impropriety and inappropriateness of applying the biblical-theological term “grace” to the covenant of works, wherein the works-inheritance principle, antithetical to the faith-grace principle, is operative.)

Strimple encouraged me to pursue my doctoral study at WTS. Shepherd was appointed as my doctoral advisor; followed by W. Robert Godfrey when Shepherd requested to step down from that role (Godfrey is currently President of WSC). My years at WTS provided the impetus for renewed discussions of covenant theology, and led to the invitation to bring Kline back to teach on a part-time basis. Clowney had been abroad on sabbatical and would have opposed my admittance into the doctoral program (at a time when the Shepherd controversy had consumed the administration and faculty); it was at this same time that Kuschke filed charges against Shepherd in the Philadelphia Presbytery of the OPC. At the very beginning Shepherd requested to serve as my doctoral advisor (each had respect and esteem for one another); in the end Clowney reversed his position and achieved winning Shepherd’s dismissal (this after studying my doctoral work, notably as summarized in part–in the 1980 fall issue of WTJ). These were unsettling times for so many.

Lee Irons, in his “Response to Merit and Moses: A Critique of the Klinean Doctrine of Republication”

(, rightly laments: “with the publication of Merit and Moses and the formation of the OPC Republication Study Committee, it seems their charges are beginning to get some traction. They have even managed to get respected Reformed professors, such as Robert Strimple (another former professor of mine at WSC), Cornelis Venema, and Richard Gaffin, to endorse their book attacking Kline and those of us who appreciate Kline’s biblical-theological and covenantal insights. They also were able to get OPC pastor William Shishko to write the Foreword for their book, as well as an endorsement from Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) pastor Mark Jones, author of a recent book on antinomianism. Seeing so many take this book seriously is troubling” (2). Unfortunately, Lee Irons minimizes the error of Shepherd’s staunchest defender, Richard Gaffin. As I have pointed out repeatedly, the current dispute in the OPC and in the seminary relates to the contrary views of Kline and Gaffin. For a perceptive analysis of Iron’s shortcoming in this very regard, see Stephen M. Cunha, “The Critical Ingredient Missing from Richard B. Gaffin Jr.’s Soteriology,” posted on the Trinity Foundation (November 2015):

[24]All of this has been documented in other places. Numerous times in conversation and personal correspondence Kline has asserted Gaffin’s denial of the law/gospel antithesis. After engaging Frame on the California campus, Kline found it necessary “to sound the alarm against the Shepherd-Gaffin theology more loudly and pointedly than ever” in the classroom and beyond (letter of 3/15/98). With reference to Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Kline spoke of “the real nature of that school’s vaunted new theologizing program,” urging Strimple to insure the clear separation of Westminster Seminary California from WTS. All parties closest to the seminary dispute knew that Kline and I shared the same assessment of Gaffin’s role in the formulation and defense of Shepherd’s teaching. There was no doubt or reservation on the part of either one of us. With respect to our mutual devotion to the Reformed faith and its covenantal exposition, Kline regarded me his “son,” his theological heir. To be sure, I have been the leading critic of Frame’s multi-perspectivalism, as well as the leading critic of Gaffin’s ownunorthodox formulations of the issues in dispute (as their responses indicate, both Gaffin and Frame have been very much aware of this circumstance). In some quarters, I also have been falsely labeled “controversial”––a reversal of the true state of affairs! Several efforts and devious tactics have been employed in the attempt to silence me.

Dennison, Sanborn and Swinburnson state: “In fairness to Fesko and Ferry, we are encouraged that they have recognized many of the historical-theological errors in Karlberg’s analysis (78-79)—one that has played a large role in shaping many Klineans’ understanding of the Reformed tradition. Still, they do not seem to be as forthright as they might have been about the source of many of these basic errors, namely, Karlberg’s attempt to vindicate Kline’s construction of the Mosaic covenant. Although (relatively speaking) their analysis is an improvement on Karlberg, they still do not seem to have moved beyond his basic commitment to reading the tradition in light of or in reference to Kline” (39 n. 40).

[25]There were numerous other objections that Kline had raised over the years against some of the faculty members of Westminster, including the Dillard-Longman-Enns school of hermeneutics, the multi-perspectivalism of John Frame and Vern Poythress, and Harvie Conn’s contextualization of theology in various historical/societal/cultural settings.

In one of my internet postings (at Old Life Theological Society and Green Baggins) I had remarked: “Is there a suggestion here that Westminster III (after the dismissal of Enns and Green by the Lillback regime) is back on track, having returned to the glorious days of ‘Machen and the fundamentalists,’ i.e., those bearing the Westminster orthodoxy of the founding faculty? The prominent issues here are twofold: (1) biblical inerrancy; and (2) the doctrine of salvation (specifically, justification by faith alone). Of course, Westminster I came to an inglorious end with the departure of Professor Meredith Kline. Happily, he did leave an indelible imprint upon Westminster in California. This now raises the pressing question whether or not Westminster West remains unambiguously at odds with the new theological direction taken at Westminster East. What direction, you ask? Does Westminster West denounce unequivocally elements of semi-Barthianism that has gained widespread ground within Reformed circles today and within evangelical Protestantism more broadly, notably as regards the teaching on ‘eschatological’ justification and election? The question is whether or not Westminster West will commit unreservedly and uncompromisingly to clear, consistent teaching upholding the fundamentals of Reformed orthodoxy, that borne by Old Westminster. The test case is now front and center in the dispute within the Orthodox Presbyterian Church regarding to the classic Reformed doctrine of ‘republication’ (what is the peculiar role of ‘law’ in the Mosaic Covenant).” For more on this, see my “Current Study on Republication: Where Matters Presently Stand” (

The closing paragraph of “The Committee for the Study of Republication: 2013 Address to the Presbytery of the Northwest” reads: “Because of the limit of authority with which the Confession [WCF] can speak on the subject, members of this Presbytery are called upon to use modesty and humility in dispute and to recognize the present volatile situation as an opportunity for displaying true Christ-like virtues. It should also be remembered that the world is watching, and that anything less than the above attitude will not only lead to further fissures and distraction within the church, but is bound to deliver ammunition to those who are outside, who have long judged the OPC to be sectarian and narrow-minded. Such charges are at times well deserved and at times fueled by sheer ignorance, but we must be intentional about avoiding needless offences. Undue controversy over issues such as republication may not be conductive to or may even hinder our mission to the world” (

Peter A. Lillback in Seeing Christ in All of Scripture: Hermeneutics at Westminster Theological Seminary (Peter A. Lillback, editor; Philadelphia: Westminster Seminary Press, 2016): explains: “Thus, this little work is presented to the public as an introduction to the hermeneutical method that today characterizes the biblical scholarship of the Westminster faculty” (4). He further comments: “The Christ-centered manner in which the Reformed hermeneutical method engaged Scripture developed out of the unifying principle of the covenant” (5). (He disingenuously cites WCF, chapter 7 (two covenant, works and grace.) He then concludes: “These classic Reformed emphases on the covenantal unity of the Bible highlight the necessity of an organic Christ-centered interpretation of Scripture. All of Westminster Theological Seminary’s faculty and board members have committed to this confessional hermeneutic since the seminary’s founding” (6). What a misrepresentation and distortion of the history and doctrinal stance of the seminary!

[26] It is apparent that much of the analysis in this report regurgitates the thinking found in the book Merit and Moses.

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The Holy Spirit does what no creature can do, namely search the deep things of God

Job 11 v 7 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?

8 It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?

9 The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.

1 Cor 2 v 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

This is evidence that the Holy Spirit is the same being as God himself. Only God can search the being of God.

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Islam Undressed: Jihad Passages

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam

The Qur’an on Jihad: Offensive and Defensive Verses[edit]

“The remarkable speed of [Islam’s] religious expansion can be attributed to the fact that it was accomplished primarily through military conquest. Muhammad drew Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula to Islam by his forceful personality, the promise of salvation for those who died fighting for Islam and the lure of fortune for those who succeeded in conquest. The caravan raids of the early years of Islam soon became full-scale wars, and empires and nations bowed to the power of this new religious, military, political, economic, and social phenomenon.”

Encarta Encyclopedia ’99’

Below are some of the many additional Qur’anic verses that reference violence and Jihad. At the end of each passage of selected verses, comments and reference material will be added. Qur’anic passages, unless otherwise noted, are taken from The Noble Qur’an, [15]. Note that for clarification the translators sometimes added words in parenthesis.

PASSAGE ONE: SURA 22:39 – 41 and 2:193

22:39 Permission to fight is given to those (i.e. believers against disbelievers), who are fighting them, (and) because they (believers) have been wronged, and surely, Allah is able to give them (believers) victory.22:40 Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said: “Our Lord is Allah.” – For had it not been that Allah checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, wherein the Name of Allah is mentioned much would surely have been pulled down. Verily, Allah will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allah is All-Strong, All-Powerful.

22:41 Those (Muslim rulers) who, if We give them power in the land, (they) order for Iqamat-as-Salat. [i.e. to perform the five compulsory congregational Salat (prayers) (the males in mosques)], to pay the Zakat and they enjoin Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism and all that Islam has forbidden) [i.e. they make the Qur’an as the law of their country in all the spheres of life]. And with Allah rests the end of (all) matters (of creatures).

2:193. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zâlimûn (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.) [Same verse from Dawood’s Koran [16] 2:193 states: “Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme. But if they desist, fight none except the evil doers.”]

SURA 22:39 – 41 and 2:193

The context and background of the above passages can be found in Ibn Ishaq’s [1]and Tabari’s[2] work. What follows is from the biographical work of Ibn Ishaq’s “Sirat Rasulallah”[3], op cit, pages 212, 213. [NOTE: two passages from the Qur’an are referenced, Sura 22:39-41, and 2:193]

The apostle had not been given permission to fight or allowed to shed blood before the second Aqaba [a place where a pledge was made between Muhammad and his followers from Medina]. He had simply been ordered to call men to God and to endure insult and forgive the ignorant. The Quraysh [a leading group of Meccans] had persecuted his followers, seducing some from their religion and exiling others from their country. They had to choose whether to give up their religion, be maltreated at home, or to flee the country, some to Abyssinia, others to Medina.
When Quraysh became insolent towards God and rejected His gracious purpose, accused His prophet of lying, and ill treated and exiled those who served Him and proclaimed His unity, believed in His prophet and held fast to His religion, He gave permission to His apostle to fight and to protect himself against those who wronged them and treated them badly.
The first verse which was sent down on this subject from what I have heard from Urwa b. Al-Zubayr and other learned persons was: “Permission is given to those who fight because they have been wronged. God is well able to help them, — those who have been driven out of their houses without right only because they said God is our Lord. Had not God used some men to keep back others, cloister and churches and oratories and mosques wherein the name of God is constantly mentioned would have been destroyed. Assuredly God will help those who help Him. God is Almighty. Those who if we make them strong in the land will establish prayer, pay the poor-tax, enjoin kindness, and forbid iniquity. To God belongs the end of matters [a]. The meaning is “I have allowed them to fight only because they have been unjustly treated while their sole offense against men has been that they worship God. When they are in the ascendant they will establish prayer, pay the poor-tax, enjoin kindness, and forbid iniquity, i.e., the prophet and his companions all of them.” Then God sent down to him: “Fight them so that there be no more seduction,” [b] i.e. until no believer is seduced from his religion. “And the religion is God’s,”, i.e. Until God alone is worshipped.”
When God had given permission to fight and this clan of the Ansar had pledged their support to him in Islam and to help him and his followers, and the Muslims who had taken refuge with them, the apostle commanded his companions, the emigrants of his people and those Muslims who were with him in Mecca, to emigrate to Medina and to link up with their brethren the Ansar. “God will make for you brethren and houses in which you may be safe.”…

Ibn Ishaq’s[4] work details the chronological and historical context of the above verses. Generally, Muhammad is now going to fight in self-defense. But, if we look closely, we find that Muslims will be allowed to a) “fight them so that there be no more seduction” – i.e., others trying to dissuade Muslims from Islam, and b) “the religion is God’s, i.e. Until God alone is worshipped.” The seeds for future aggression to further Islam by using violence were now planted.

Tabari[5] also documents this event. (Note: Tabari often used Ibn Ishaq’s work as a basis for parts of his history). Below is an excerpt from Tabari[6], op cit, volume 6, page 137, on the time of the revelation of the above passage.

The seventy representatives chiefs of those who had accepted Islam, came to the Messenger of God from al-Madinah met him during the pilgrimage, and swore an oath of allegiance to him at al-Aqabah. They gave him their pledge in the following words: “We are of you and you are of us; whoever comes to us of your Companions, or you yourself if you come to us, we shall defend you as we would defend ourselves.” After this the Quraysh began to treat them harshly and the Messenger of God commanded his Companions to go to al-Madinah. This was the second trail, during which the Messenger of God told his Companions to emigrate and himself emigrated. It was concerning this that God revealed: “And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for God”. [Note: This verse (8:39) was probably not revealed until after the battle of Badr. The almost identical verse 2:193 seems not to have been revealed until shortly before the conquest of Mecca.]

Tabari, op cit, volume 6, page 137

Tabari adds on page 138:

Those members of the Aws and the Khazraj who took the oath of allegiance at the second al-Aqabah took the pledge of war, when, in contrast to the terms of the first al-Aqabah, God permitted fighting. The first was the pledge of women, as I have mentioned above on the authority of Ubadah al-Samit. The second pledge of al-Aqabah was to wage war against all men [Note: That is, on anyone who attacks Muhammad.], as I have mentioned above on the authority of Urwah al-Zubayr.

Tabari-page 138

Regarding 2:193, the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir[7], op cit, page 117, 118, states:

Then Allah orders Muslims to kill the disbelievers “until there is no more Fitnah.” According to Ibn Abbas and others, “Fitnah” means polytheism, “And religion (worship), is for Allah” meaning Allah’s religion should stand supreme and overshadowing the rest of the religions. In the Sahihayn, it is reported that the Prophet said: “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight the people till they say: “None has the right to be worshipped by Allah, and whoever says it will save his life and property from me except on breaking the law (rights and conditions for which he will be punished justly), and his accounts will be with Allah””.

Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, op cit, page 117, 118

Therefore, PASSAGE ONE provides us with the allowance of fighting and the works of history and Sira provide us with their chronology – early during Muhammad’s time in Medina. These verses are primarily defensive, but there is also a component of aggression in “And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for God.” It appears that Muhammad envisioned that there would come a time when he would no longer be on the defensive, but on the offensive. Thus, his early words depict his later actions.

PASSAGE TWO: SURA 2:216 & 217

2:216 Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know. 2:217 They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months (i.e. 1st, 7th, 11th and 12th months of the Islamic calendar). Say, “Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allah is to prevent mankind from following the Way of Allah, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah), and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And they will never cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion (Islamic Monotheism) if they can. And whosoever of you turns back from his religion and dies as a disbeliever, then his deeds will be lost in this life and in the Hereafter, and they will be the dwellers of the Fire. They will abide therein forever.”

SURA 2:216 & 217

So it appears that those who abandon the faith get not only death in this life, but also the classical Hollywood eternal damnation in a lake of fire and brimstone, … pretty severe stuff. Helmet Gatje[8] in “The Qur’an and its Exegesis”, page 213, [18], presents a quote from Baidawi’s Tafsir on this verse. Baidawi was one of the greatest early commentators on the Qur’an. Gatje’s words are in parenthesis.

“They will question thee concerning the holy month”: It is related that, in the month of Jumada l-Akhira, which was two months before (the battle of) Badr, the Prophet sent out his paternal cousin Abd Allah ibn Jahsh with an expeditionary force, in order to be on the look-out for a caravan of (the tribe of) Quraish in which were Amr ibn Abd Allah al-Hadrami and three (other) men. They killed Amr, took two of his men captive, and drive away the caravan, which contained the goods of trade from at-Taif. This happened at the beginning of (the month of) Rajab, while Abd Allah and his people believed it was (still) the (month of) Jumada l-Akhira. Regarding this, the (people of the tribe of) Quraish said: “Muhammad has (unlawfully) regarded the month in which raids and warlike acts are forbidden, so that the fearful can be safe and men can move freely everywhere for the sake of their livelihood, as permissible (for such forbidden acts). This fell hard upon the members of the expeditionary force, and they said: “We will not submit until compensation comes down for us.” At this, Muhammad gave back the caravan along with the captives. According to Ibn Abbas (however it is related) that the Messenger of God accepted the booty when this verse came down. This is supposed to have been the first booty in Islam. Those who question (Muhammad about the holy month) were the unbelievers, who thereby sought to ascribe to him calumny and profanation (of a holy month). Others say (however) that they were the members of the expeditionary force (who asked Muhammad about the holy month)…. “Say: Fighting in it is a heinous thing”: that is, a heinous sin. For the most part, in opposition to Ata, it is held that this statement is abrogated by the following words of God: “If they do not leave you alone and offer you peace and stop hostilities, then take them wherever you find them and slay them” (Sura 4:91/93). In this case the more specific (that is, the prohibition against fighting during the month of Rajab) would be abrogated by the general (that is, the general command to kill the unbelievers). However, there is a contradiction in this. It lies nearest (the truth) to reject (the interpretation that the present verse declares an absolute prohibition against fighting in the holy month. …

Gatje’s words are in parenthesis

These passages display clearly what Muhammad ordered at the time these verses were revealed. Just after arriving in Medina, Muhammad issued commands and they attacked and stole other people’s possessions. His followers were also later justified when, during that process, they ended up murdering a man.

This action took place during a period of recognized “peace” within the Arab community. They had an understanding, a code of honor if you will, that all would honor the sacred months and not make war upon others. Muhammad’s men broke this code, so to justify this and other deeds, Muhammad received a timely “revelation” justifying the robbery and murder these men committed. Even with these few verses regarding Jihad and violence, duplicity is apparent. It appears that in the earliest stages of the movement that as circumstances changed, Islam changed as needed to fit the new reality.

Also note how this passage contradicts or “abrogates” passage one. 2:216 and 217 allow offensive attacks but 2:190-194 primarily command defensive actions. Here, Muhammad’s actions were a raid upon some traveling merchants who had goods that were not from the city of Mecca.


4:94 O you who believe! When you go (to fight) in the Cause of Allah, verify (the truth), and say not to anyone who greets you (by embracing Islam): “You are not a believer”; seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life. There are much more profits and booties with Allah. Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before till Allah conferred on you His Favors (i.e. guided you to Islam), therefore, be cautious in discrimination. Allah is Ever Well Aware of what you do. 4:95 Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward;

SURA 4:94, 95

These show how important Jihad and fighting are in Islam. Apparently Jihad is highly commendable, and those that fight are rated high in Allah’s eyes, and they will be greatly rewarded. This also shows clearly the aggressive intentions of Jihad. Ali’s Koran starts 4:94 with, “Oh you who believe, when you go abroad in the cause of Allah…” From our chronological tables we see that this chapter was also revealed during the Medinan period. In Rodwell’s Koran, [19], the notes for chapter 4 state: “Most of the events alluded to in this Sura fall between the end of the third and the close of the fifth year after the flight to Medina.”

Also note that there is implicit direction to discriminate, with direction to direct all discrimination toward non-Muslims and not to believers. Now, let’s look at another Muslim scholar’s commentary. From the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir[9], op cit, pages 145 – 150, (not re-quoting the verses)

Quoting Ibn Abbas: “Some Muslims chased a man for his booty, who said to them: “Assalamu Alaykum.” They killed him and seized his booty. Consequently, the above verse was revealed. It is mentioned in a biography that his brother Fazzar emigrated to the Prophet in compliance with his father’s command to call on Fazzar people to embrace Islam. On his way, one of the Prophet’s brigades found him at night. He had already informed them that he was a Muslim, but they rejected his admission, and killed him. His father said: “I went to the Prophet and he gave me one thousand dinars and other compensation, and sent me back.” Then, the above verse was revealed.

Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, op cit, pages 145 – 150, (not re-quoting the verses)

Al-Bukhari narrated, on the authority of Ibn Abbas: “The Prophet said to Al-Miqdad: “When a believer conceals his Faith among a people who are disbelievers and he has disclosed his Islam, then you have killed him, didn’t you, too, conceal your Islam in Makkah before? Narrated by Al-Bukhari in this way (summarized and Mu’allaq).

Iman Ahmed quoted Ibn Abbas as saying: “A man from Banu Saalim who was herding his sheep, passed by a group of the Prophet’s companions, and greeted them. They said: “He only greeted us in order to seek our protection.” They went to him and killed him. Afterwards, they brought his sheep to the Prophet and the above verse was revealed.”

Note from Ibn Kathir’s [10]quote that Muslims were allowed to attack non-Muslims and plunder their possessions. It is also quite clear that the poor shepherd was treated badly by any standard. He greeted them in the usual way, posing no threat as he innocently went about his business, but was murdered because the Muslims thought he was not a ‘true’ Muslim. In other words, it was totally permissible to attack non-Muslims at this time in Islam’s history. They were not reproached for attacking someone of a different faith, instead they were reproached for attacking a person who greeted them as a Muslim would do, but who they thought was not a true Muslim. Had the shepherd not greeted them, Muhammad would have had less difficulty justifying his murder and no reason to instruct his people on the matter, …indeed the incident probably would not have merited mention of any kind. One also wonders why it took a murder of a Muslim for Allah to “reveal” this Muslim-sensitive protective verse to Muhammad? Obviously it would have been better if Allah could have revealed it to Muhammad earlier to prevent a potential brother from being murdered. Let’s now continue with Ibn Kathir’s commentary. Regarding verse 4:95 it says:

“Al-Bukhari quoted Al-Barra as saying: “When the above verse was revealed, the Prophet called Zaid Ibn Thabit and ordered him to write it down. Ibn Umm Maktum came to the Prophet and explained to him his disability. Then, Allah revealed: “Except those who are disabled.”

Note here that once again, it took an unforeseen change in human circumstances and predicaments for Allah to complete a revelation to answer it. Jihad was ordered for Muslims to be sanctified as good followers, but it was pointed out that some Muslims were unable to fight – such as blind men. Consequently, Allah had to modify his prior revelation to Muhammad with another revelation – exempting the disabled from Jihad.

Thus far three Qur’anic passages have been considered. The first was revealed around the time Muhammad fled from Mecca to Medina. The second just a few months after his arrival in Medina. The third from between the 3rd and 5th year of Muhammad’s stay in Medina.

As we continue to review the Qur’an’s verses we will see them widen in scope of aggression and as we review Muhammad’s actions we will see what could only be described as a ‘trail of blood conquest’ extend.

PASSAGE 4: SURA 2:190 – 192

To be fair, the following verse is one often cited to Westerners in relation to Jihad, but it is also the first one that was revealed in connection with Jihad, and unfortunately it was subsequently supplemented (abrogated) by another (V.9:36).

2:190. And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors. [To be rigorous, we repeat verse, this time from Dawood’s Koran, op cit, 2:190 ‘Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not love the aggressors.’]2:191. And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

2:192. But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

SURA 2:190 – 192

Two Muslim writers, Asad[11] and Ali[12], both state that the chronology of this passage occurred around the time following the Treaty of Hudaybiyya. In Ali’s “The Holy Qur’an”, [22][13], page 77, Ali’s commentary states,

This passage is illustrated by the events that happened at Hudaybiyyah in the sixth year of the Hijrah; though it is not clear that it was revealed on that occasion. The Muslims were by this time a strong and influential community. Many of them were exiles from Makkah, where the Pagans had established an intolerant autocracy, persecuting Muslims, preventing them from visiting their homes, and even keeping them out by force from performing the Pilgrimage during the universally recognized period of truce. This was intolerance, oppression, and autocracy to the last degree, and the mere readiness of the Muslims to enforce their rights as Arab citizens resulted without bloodshed in an agreement which the Muslims faithfully observed.

Ali’s “The Holy Qur’an”, [22], page 77

And Asad in “The Message of the Qur’an”,[14] [23], page 41:

The reference to warfare in the vicinity of Mecca is due to the fact that at the time of the revelation of this verse the Holy City was still in the possession of the pagan Quraysh, who were hostile to the Muslims.

If the Muslim’s chronology above is correct, then this passage occurred about 2 years before Muhammad conquered Mecca around the time of the Treaty of Hudaybiyya. This was prior to the conquest of Mecca by the Muslims and it sounds reasonable to me. A year or so after the treaty Muslims were allowed to make the pilgrimage but they did not rule Mecca or the nearby lands. The Muslims were strong now and capable of defending themselves, but they were not the supreme power in the region. So, Muhammad ordered them to defend themselves against Meccan attacks, but not be aggressors because they had a treaty. However, outside of Mecca, Muhammad was free to attack tribes of non-Muslims that were not aligned with the Meccans, and this he did!

Also note that the pact concluded between the Muslims and Meccans was not a “treaty” in the Western sense of the word. Rather it was a truce or cease-fire (i.e., an agreement of cessation of hostilities for a 10 year period). After 10 years, if nothing else had been concluded between the parties, they would be at odds again.

Ibn Sa’d[15], op cit, records in volume 2, page 131:

“…he [Muhammad] recited: We have given thee (O Muhammad) a signal victory [1]. He (Mujammi) said: A person from the Companions of Muhammad said: O Apostle of Allah! Is it a victory? He replied: By Him in Whose hand is my soul, it is surely a victory. He (Mujammi) said: The (the booty of) Khaybar was allotted to the participants of al-Hudaybiyah in eighteen shares. The army consisted of one thousand five hundred persons out of who three hundred were horsemen, and every horseman got two shares.

Ibn Sa’d, op cit, records in volume 2, page 131

Just six weeks after Muhammad concluded the Treaty of Hudaybiyya, he attacked and plundered the large Jewish settlement Khaibar. Let us emphasize two points about the Treaty of Hudaybiyya made with the Meccans (and supported by the Qur’an).

  1. They were to cease hostilities between themselves. i.e. the Meccans and the Muslims. Consequently, Qur’anic verse 2:190 says, “Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not love the aggressors.”
  2. The Muslims were allowed to attack those groups that were not aligned with the Meccans.

Bukhari[16], op cit, 3.891:

No doubt, the war has weakened Quraish and they have suffered great losses, so if they wish, I will conclude a truce with them, during which they should refrain from interfering between me and the people (i.e. the ‘Arab infidels other than Quraish), and if I have victory over those infidels, Quraish will have the option to embrace Islam as the other people do, if they wish; they will at least get strong enough to fight.

Bukhari, op cit, 3.891

So, we see two classes of people here: 1) the Meccans and their allies, and 2) the polytheistic tribes living nearer Muhammad. The treaty allowed Muhammad to attack the non-aligned polytheists, without having to worry about interference from the Meccans. So, aggressive Jihad continued against polytheists near Muhammad’s lands.

[Note the jumbled chronology. From Baidawi’s commentary (tafsir) we see that 2:193 was revealed just after Muhammad arrived in Medina. This is about 8 years before chapter 9 was revealed, and about 6 years before the verses above 2:190 – 192 were revealed. 2:216, 217 and 2:193 occurred 6 years before verses 2:190 – 192, yet 2:193 was placed in the Qur’an to follow 2:190-192.]

As previously quoted, the “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir[17], op cit, on verse 2:191 states:

As Jihad involves death and the killing of men, Allah draws our attention to the fact that the disbelief and polytheism of the disbelievers, and their avoidance of Allah’s path are far worse than killing. Thus Allah says, “And Fitnah is worse than killing.” This is to say that shirk (Polytheism) is more serious and worse than killing.

Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, op cit, on verse 2:191

In sum, verses 2:190 – 192 are defensive with respect only to the Meccans and their allies, and for a specific time (10 years). They are therefore limited in application and duration, and are not comprehensive towards all groups of people. Consequently, they cannot necessarily be applied to today’s Islamic theology or events of our time as evidence that Islam is not aggressive or merely defensive. Additionally, the consensus in Islam is that the verses are so limited and in fact have been abrogated by more recent verses which have no ‘defensive’ constraints.


9:1 Freedom from (all) obligations (is declared) from Allah and His Messenger to those of the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), with whom you made a treaty.9:2 So travel freely (O Mushrikun – see V.2:105) for four months (as you will) throughout the land, but know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allah, and Allah will disgrace the disbelievers.

9:3 And a declaration from Allah and His Messenger to mankind on the greatest day (the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah – the 12th month of Islamic calendar) that Allah is free from (all) obligations to the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) and so is His Messenger. So if you (Mushrikun) repent, it is better for you, but if you turn away, then know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allah. And give tidings of a painful torment to those who disbelieve.

9:4 Except those of the Mushrikun with whom you have a treaty, and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor have supported anyone against you. So fulfill their treaty to them to the end of their term. Surely Allah loves Al- Mattaqun (the pious – see V.2:2).

9:5 Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakat, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

9:6 And if anyone of the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur’an), and then escort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are men who know not.

9:7 How can there be a covenant with Allah and with His Messenger for the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) except those with whom you made a covenant near Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah)? So long, as they are true to you, stand you true to them. Verily, Allah loves Al-Mattaqun (the pious – see V.2:2).

SURA 9:1-7

Ali’s[18] commentary in his Qur’an, op cit, page 435, states that verses 1 – 29 were revealed during the month of Shawwal, A.H. 9, and read by Ali out loud to the various pilgrims in Mecca two months later to give Muhammad’s new policy a wide hearing. Ali then states that the rest of the sura (30 – 129) were revealed months earlier than the first 29 verses, and sums up the lessons of the Prophet’s expedition to attack the Christian town of Tabuk (More on Tabuk later).

Other Islamic writers state that perhaps the first 40 verses of sura 9 were revealed, preceded by verses 41 to the end of the chapter. There are more differing opinions regarding the chronology and sections of passages revealed. However, all scholars extensively reviewed agree that the first 29 verses were some of the last verses spoken by Muhammad.

As previously stated, this passage was one of the very last to be spoken by Muhammad. The background for this verse is found in “The Life of Muhammad”,[19] op cit, page 617-619. It is a very long passage only partially cited.

A discharge came down, [Muhammad received a revelation from God], permitting the breaking of the agreement between the apostle and the polytheists that none should be kept back from the temple when he came to it, and that none need fear during the sacred months. That there was a general agreement between him and the polytheists; meanwhile there were particular agreements between the apostle and the Arab tribes for specified terms. And there came down about it and about the disaffected who held back from him in the raid on Tabuk, [a Christian town Muhammad attacked, and forced them to pay him], and about what they said (revelations) in which God uncovered the secret thoughts of people who were dissembling. We know the names of some of them, of others we do not. He said (This chapter is a commentary on Sura 9) “A discharge from God and His apostle towards those polytheists with whom you made a treaty,” i.e. those polytheists with whom you made a general agreement. “So travel through the land for four months and know that you cannot escape God and that God will put the unbelievers to shame. And a proclamation from God and His apostle to men on the day of the greater pilgrimage that God and His apostle are free from obligation to the polytheists,” i.e., after this pilgrimage. So if you repent it will be better for you; and if you turn back know that you cannot escape God. Inform those who disbelieve, about a painful punishment except those polytheists with whom you have made a treaty,” i.e. the special treaty for a specified term, “Since they have not come short in anything in regard to you and have not helped anyone against you. So fulfill your treaty with them to their allotted time. God loves the pious. And when the sacred months are passed, He means the four which he fixed as their time, “then kill the polytheists wherever you find them, and seize them and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. But if they repent and perform prayer and pay the poor-tax, then let them go their way. God is forgiving, merciful. If one of the polytheists, i.e. one of those whom I have ordered you to kill, asks your protection, give it him so that he may hear the word of God; then convey him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.”Then He said: “How can there be for the polytheists” with whom you had a general agreement that they should not put you in fear and that you would not put them in fear neither in the holy places nor in the holy months “a treaty with God and His apostle except for those with whom you made a treaty at the sacred mosque?” …

Continuing a few paragraphs later on page 619:

Then the apostle gave orders to fight the polytheists who had broken the special agreement as well as those who had a general agreement after the four months which had been given them as a fixed time, save that if any one of them showed hostility he should be killed for it….

Continuing a few paragraphs later on page 620:

Then comes the story of their enemy until he arrives at the mention of Hunayn [a battle site between Muslims and non-Muslims], and what happened there and their turning back from their enemy and how God sent down help after they had abandoned one another.

…Then He mentioned Tabuk and how the Muslims were weighed down by it and exaggerated the difficulty of attacking the Byzantines when the apostle called them to fight them; …

“The Life of Muhammad”, op cit, page 617-619

Prior to this “revelation” of chapter 9, Muhammad had several; “agreements” with various Arab tribes. Some of these agreements were for a specified time. Others were general agreements allowing the pagans to visit the Kaba and perform their religious rituals. Some of these tribes had peaceful and accommodating relationships with him, others disliked him and caused him grief. Allah gave Muhammad a “revelation” allowing him to break all these various agreements, either immediately, or later. Thereafter he would attack them following the four sacred months. With notable exceptions, he would keep those treaties that were for a specified time with tribes that were on friendly terms. However, once those times were complete, the state of aggression would be in place. Once again, Muhammad had gained power, and things changed. Now Muhammad was permitted to lie, i.e., break his agreements, and to make war upon the pagans thereby. Muhammad’s circumstances changed – Allah changed, and Islam’s entire future direction changed thereby.

Note the last quoted paragraph, “…If one of the polytheists” (i.e. one of those whom I have ordered you to kill), is supposed to be God telling the Muslims to go out and kill people. Some of these people had gotten along peacefully with the Muslims. But because they didn’t follow Muhammad they were going to be attacked sooner or later.

Sura 9:5 is the verse in the Qur’an that commands Muslims to attack and kill pagans:

“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. God is forgiving and merciful.”

Sura 9:5

This passage if often quoted by some as proof that Islam is an aggressive religion. Some Muslims have responded that this verse was only directed towards pagan tribes that were at war with the Muslims. However, as the whole of the context is read, both in the Qur’an, and in the Sira, it is evident that defensive warfare is immediately allowed, but that offensive warfare would be taking place following the end of the four sacred months. [NOTE: The four sacred months are not sequential in the Islamic calendar, they are spread throughout the year, thus some writers have suggested that Muhammad gave the pagans about one year until Muhammad’s Islamic aggression was to commence.]

Now to present a series of quotes from the “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir”[20], op cit, volume 4. First in verse 9:5, page 375:

“But if they repent and perform the Salah, and give the Zakah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”

“Tafsir of Ibn Kathir”, op cit, volume 4. First in verse 9:5, page 375

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq used this and other honorable Ayat (verse or passage) as proof for fighting those who refrained from paying the Zakah. These Ayat allowed fighting people unless, and until, they embrace Islam and implement its ruling and obligations.

But then on verse 9:5, page 376:

So when the sacred months have passed… meaning, “Upon the end of the four months during which We prohibited you from fighting the idolaters, and which is the grace period We gave them, then fight and kill the idolaters wherever you may find them…

verse 9:5, page 376

Then in verse 9:5, page 377:

This honorable Ayah was called the Ayah of the Sword, about which Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim said, “It abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolater, every treaty, and every term.” Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas commented: “No idolater had any more treaty or promise of safety ever since Surah Bara’ah was revealed.

verse 9:5, page 377

This passage is one that is primarily offensive. It does allow for defense if pagans attack the Muslims during the time of the treaty or sacred months, beyond that, it calls for offensive aggression against pagans if they attempted to exercise freedom of religion and to remain non-Muslim. This is not a difficult passage to understand. Attack and kill the pagans, if they repent and become Muslims, leave them alone. Clearly, this passage calls for compulsion to Islam, claims otherwise are just plain dishonest.


9:29 Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

SURA 9:29

Again, first we first turn to Ibn Ishaq[21], op cit, page 620, for the historical context of this verse.

Then He said (v. 28): “The polytheists are nothing but unclean, so let them not approach the sacred mosque after this year of theirs, and if you fear poverty” that was because the people said “the markets will be cut off from us, trade will be destroyed, and we shall lose the good things we used to enjoy,” and God said, If you fear poverty God will enrich you from His bounty,” i.e. in some other way, “if He will. He is knowing, wise. Fight those who do not believe in God and the last day and forbid not that which God and His apostle have forbidden and follow not the religion of truth from among those who have been given the scripture until they pay the poll tax out of hand being humbled,” i.e. as a compensation for what you fear to lose by the closing of the markets. God gave them compensation for what He cut off from them in the former polytheism by what He gave them by way of poll tax from the people of the scripture….

Ibn Ishaq, op cit, page 620

Again, quotes from Ibn Kathir[22] on verse 9:29, op cit, pages 404 – 409 The Order was given to fight People of the Scriptures until they give the Jizyah (Jizya) tax.

This honorable Ayah was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book, after the pagans were defeated, the people entered Allah’s religion in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims’ control. Allah commanded His Messenger to fight the People of the Scriptures, Jews and Christians, on the ninth year of Hijrah, and he prepared his army to fight the Romans and called the people to Jihad announcing his intent and destination….Then on Pages 405, 406 …

Paying Jizyah is a Sign of Kufr (Unbeliever) and Disgrace.

Allah said, until they pay the Jizyah, if they do not choose to embrace Islam, with willing submission, in defeat and subservience, and feel themselves subdued, disgraced, humiliated and belittled. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated.

Ibn Kathir on verse 9:29, op cit, pages 404 – 409

To add support and insight from another Tafsir on 9:29. From the Tafsir of Al-Jalalein. i.e., Al-Jalalein Interpretation of the Koran.

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, (which is Islam that abolishes all other religions) of the people of the Book, (meaning the Jews and Christians) until they pay the Jizya (the tax imposed upon them) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. (with humiliation and submission to the government of Islam)” 9:29

Tafsir of Al-Jalalein

A final reference for this verse from the classic manual of Islamic sacred law (the “Reliance of the Traveler”):

The Caliph makes war upon the Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax Jizya…in accordance with the word of Allah Most High:
“Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden – who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book – until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled.” 9:29The Caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim….

from the classic manual of Islamic sacred law (the “Reliance of the Traveler”)

It is evident: the order to fight and kill Christians and Jews seems forever justified by verse 9:29. It is also clear that Muhammad ordered his followers to fight those Christians and Jews to convert them or pay the Jizya, and if they don’t convert or pay, they were to be killed. The options are limited and crystal-clear: convert, …pay in a state of humiliated submission, …or die.

Here again is the historical background for this as found in “The Life of Muhammad”[23], op cit, page 620,

….”until they [the Jews and Christians] pay the poll tax out of hand being humbled”, i.e. as a compensation for what you fear to lose by the closing of the markets. God gave them compensation for what He cut off from them in their former polytheism by what He gave them by way of poll tax from the people of Scripture.”

“The Life of Muhammad”, op cit, page 620

Muhammad consistently taught his followers to oppress or kill non-Muslims. Generally, Jews and Christians were allowed to live as such, provided they paid tribute. In this case the tax was given to the Muslims to make up for revenues they lost from a people who no longer dealt in pagan activities. If the Jews and Christians refused to pay this extortion tax they would have to convert to Islam or be killed.

Also note that the tax levied upon the Christians and Jews was not to support the state in general affairs, it was to compensate the Muslims because they had lost revenue. It appears Muhammad acted not unlike a Mafia crime boss, making others pay for “protection”. Truly the Christians and Jews really did need protection from the followers of Muhammad in their day, and were compelled to pay tribute for their survival.

Read the last paragraph quoted from Ibn Ishaq again and notice Muhammad’s twisted logic: if the Muslims were going to lose revenue, Allah would make it up to them by His bounty: the Muslims were to extort the money from the Jews and Christians! (Ref. to verses 9:28, 29). What does this say for Allah’s bounty? Did God need to take the money from Christians and Jews to give it to the Muslims? If God were really with Muhammad, why couldn’t the Muslims earn it themselves and generate their own livelihood? Was the direction truly from the loving and benevolent God of all men, or was Muhammad simply justifying thievery by applying it to God’s will?

Notice the difference between 9:5 and 9:29? Earlier Non-Jews or Christians (idolaters or pagans) had to convert to Islam or be killed; generally they didn’t have the option of paying the tax available to the more prosperous Jews and Christians. Only Later in Islamic history were some pagans also given the option of paying jizya to survive, but that was not Muhammad’s original order.

PASSAGE 7: SURA 9:30, 31

9:30 And the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouths. They imitate the saying of the disbelievers of old. Allah’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth! 9:31 They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allah), and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)) to worship none but One Ilâh (God – Allah) (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him, (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).”

SURA 9:30, 31′

From the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir[24], op cit, page 408:

Fighting the Jews and Christians is legislated because they are Idolaters and Disbelievers. Allah the Exalted encourages the believers to fight the polytheists, disbelieving Jews and Christians, who uttered this terrible statement and utter lies against Allah, the Exalted. As for the Jews, they claimed that Uzayr was the son of God, Allah is free of what they attribute to Him. As for the misguidance of Christians over Isa (Jesus), it is obvious. That is why Allah declared both groups to be liars.

Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, op cit, page 408

Notice in verse 30 how Muhammad said, “May Allah’s curse be on them” – because Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

These verses continue Muhammad’s tirade against Christians and Jews. Here he provides some of his reasoning for killing Jews and Christians: i.e., they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, or they believe that Ezra is the Son of God, thus making them polytheists. (Note, this is an apparent flaw in the Qur’an as there may have been a minor sect of Jews that greatly esteemed Ezra, or even believed that he was a son of God, but, Judaism has never declared Ezra to be the Son of God).

All this goes hand in hand with some of Muhammad’s last words before he died: “May Allah curse the Christians and the Jews for they build their churches next to the graves of the prophets.”


9:123 O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who are the Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V.2:2).

SURA 9:123

From the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir[25], page 546, 547: The Order for Jihad against the Disbelievers, the Closest, then the Farthest Areas.

Allah commands the believers to fight the disbelievers, the closest in area to the Islamic state, then the farthest. This is why the Messenger of Allah started fighting the idolaters in the Arabian Peninsula. When he finished with them and Allah gave him control over Makkah, Al-Madinah, At-Taif, Yemen, Yamamah, Hajr, Khaybar, Hadramawt, and other Arab provinces, and the various Arab tribes entered Islam in large crowds, he then started fighting the People of the Scriptures. He began preparation to fight the Romans who were the closest in area to the Arabian Peninsula, and As such had the most right to be called to Islam, especially since they were from the People of the Scriptures. The Prophet marched until he reach Tabuk and went back because of the extreme hardship, little rain, and little suppliers. This battle occurred on the ninth year after his Hijrah.

Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, page 546, 547

Kathir’s[26] commentary shows that the early Muslims understood what Muhammad expected of them. They knew that their religion was one of violence, compulsion, and conquest. There was no mystery in the minds of Muhammad’s followers regarding warfare to spread Islam. History shows that they attacked non-Muslims zealously. There in nothing in the Qur’an that ever tells them to stop attacking and subjecting non-Muslims, rather the direction is to continue until all the world is under Islam’s rule.

But now we ask, what about the “NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION VERSE” so often cited today as proof Islam is a tolerant and accommodating religious movement? Lets look at this verse ‘in context’.

PASSAGE 9: 2:256

2:256. There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.


This verse is the most often quoted verse used to portray Islam as a religion of peace. On the surface it sounds good. However, investigation into how the early Muslim scholars viewed it, and the background and comments they ascribe to it cast it in a slightly different light.

From the Sunan of Abu Dawud[27], Book 14, Number 2676: Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:

When the children of a woman (in pre-Islamic days) did not survive, she took a vow on herself that if her child survives, she would convert it a Jew. When Banu an-Nadir were expelled (from Arabia), there were some children of the Ansar (Helpers) among them. They said: We shall not leave our children. So Allah the Exalted revealed; “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error.”

Sunan of Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2676: Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas

From the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir[28], op cite, pages 37, 38

Allah says: “There is no compulsion in religion”, meaning: do not force anyone to embrace Islam because it is clear, and its proofs and evidences are manifest. Whoever Allah guides and opens his heart to Islam has indeed embraced it with clear evidence. Whoever Allah misguides, blinds his heart and has set a seal on his hearing and a covering on his eyes cannot embrace Islam by force.The reason for the revelation of this verse was that the women of Ansar used to make a vow to convert their sons to Judaism if the latter lived. And when the tribe of Bani an-Nadhir was expelled from Madinah, some children of Ansar were among them, so their parents could not abandon them; hence Allah revealed: “There is no compulsion in religion…” narrated by Ibn Jarir, on the authority of Ibn Abbas, Abu Dawud and an-Nasa’I, on the authority of Bandar, Abu Hatim, and Ibn Hiban from the Hadith of Shu’bah, Mujahid and others. However Muhammad Ibn Ishaq narrated that Ibn Abbas said: it was revealed with regard to a man from the tribe of Bani Salim Ibn Awf called al-Husayni whose two sons converted to Christianity but he was himself a Muslim. He told the Prophet: “Shall I force them to embrace Islam, they insist on Christianity”, hence Allah revealed this verse. But, this verse is abrogated by the verse of “Fighting”: “You shall be called to fight against a people given to great warfare, then you shall fight them, or they shall surrender” (sura 48:16). Allah also says: “O Prophet! Strive hard against the disbelieves and the hypocrites, and be harsh against them” (9:73), and He says, “O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who are the Pious, (9:123).

Therefore, all people of the world should be called to Islam. If anyone of them refuses to do so, or refuses to pay the Jizya they should be fought till they are killed. This is the meaning of compulsion. In the Sahih (al-Bukhari), the Prophet said: “Allah wonders at those people who will enter Paradise in chains”, meaning prisoners brought in chains to the Islamic state, then they embrace Islam sincerely and become righteous, and are entered among the people of Paradise.

Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, op cite, pages 37, 38

Ibn Kathir[29] presents two different stories as reasons behind 2:256. The first story has nothing to do with compelling people into Islam. The second story begins to go against compulsion, but, Ibn Kathir then says that this verse was abrogated by the verse of “fighting” i.e. 48:16. I add that the only Sahih Hadith material I’ve been able to find on the matter (Sunan of Abu Dawud) supports the story of the expulsion of the Banu Nadir Jews. Thus, either way, compulsion of people to convert to Islam is allowed.

Ibn Kathir[30] does say at the beginning of this quote: Allah says: “There is no compulsion in religion”, meaning: do not force anyone to embrace Islam because it is clear, and its proofs and evidences are manifest. Whoever Allah guides opens his heart to Islam and has indeed embraced it with clear evidence. Whoever Allah misguides, blinds his heart and has set a seal on his hearing and a covering on his eyes cannot embrace Islam by force. But he goes on to contradict himself later in the next two paragraphs.

Now, for the record …just who exactly was and is compelled to accept Islam? Since Muslim spokesman in the West frequently claim that Islam forbids compulsion of conversion to Islam, it is necessary to provide here historical references that show otherwise. Based upon the material, the story of the expulsion of the Banu Nadir Jews is the cause of the “revelation” of 2:256. Thus, the verse does not have anything to do whatsoever with forcing people to accept Islam. And, as we read elsewhere in the Qur’an, Muhammad taught that his followers were to make war upon people who choose not to convert to Islam.

Here are some historical references behind forced conversion to Islam. Note that they are taken from Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasulallah[31]

1. On pages 668 and 669 Abu Bakr instructs a fellow Muslim in Islam. He states: “You asked me for the best advice that I could give you, and I will tell you. God sent Muhammad with this religion and he strove for it until men accepted it voluntary or by force.”

2. On page 547, Muhammad’s archenemy, Abu Sufyan was given safe passage by Ibn Abbas to meet with Muhammad. During the meeting, the following conversation occurs:

“Woe to you, Abu Sufyan, isn’t it time that you recognize that I [Muhammad] am God’s apostle?” He answered, “As to that I still have some doubt.”

I [Ibn Abbas] said to him, “Submit and testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the apostle of God before you lose your head,” so he did so.

Sufyan did not intend to recognize Muhammad until he was threatened with his life. This is a clear case of compulsion of accepting Islam: convert or die.

3. On pages 614, 615, Muhammad’s attack upon the people of Thaqif (who were hostile to Muhammad) is detailed. In them it states that they submitted to the demands of Muhammad, their reasoning for doing so was this:

“We are in an impasse. You have seen how the affair of this man has progressed. All the Arabs have accepted Islam and you lack the power to fight them, so look to your case.” Thereupon Thaqif took counsel and said one to another, “Don’t you see that your herds are not safe; none of you can go out without being cut off.” So after conferring together they decided to send a man to the apostle as they had sent Urwa [to accept Islam so that they and their possessions would be safe from being plundered and killed by the Muslims].

These people did not become Muslim because they wanted to. They had been invited to Islam and refused. They had even killed the Muslim envoy! However, because they were outgunned and outnumbered, they decided …’if you can’t beat them, join them’. Thus their conversion was a sham, obviously made under compulsion (the very real threat of death).

4. On page 645 the story of Muhammad’s emissary Khalid to the tribe of the Banu al-Harith bin Ka’b in the region of Najran is described. Muhammad…. ordered him [Khalid] to invite them to Islam three days before he attacked them. If they accepted then he was to accept it from them; and if they declined he was to fight them. So Khalid sent out and came to them, and sent out riders in all directions inviting the people to Islam, saying, “If you accept Islam you will be safe,” so the men accepted Islam as they were invited.

People were converting to Islam simply because they were threatened. Notice Khalid’s words – “If you accept Islam you will be safe.” Is this the type of religion people truly desire, one that threatens them with death unless they convert?

Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasulallah, op cit

This small selection of passages related to fighting in the way of Jihad are presented to establish firmly the fact of this virtual ‘pillar’ of authentic Islamic doctrine. The sources cited are the most sacred and significant scripture and writings available. With this small but significant knowledge base, the reader should now be much less susceptible to fall prey to the absurd propaganda spewed by so many claiming that Islam means ‘peace’, and other deceptions.

The Essence of the Qur’an[edit]

I am often met with disbelief when describing the violent content of the Islamic sacred works to others. One needs to read the book himself to understand the pervasiveness of violence and prejudice therein. A good summary has been compiled by one Islamic scholar, who precedes it with:

“The following is the essence of the Qu’ran, the rest are fairy tales:”

Quran Surah 2: The Cow

Don’t bother to warn the disbelievers. Allah has blinded them. Theirs will be an awful doom. 6

Allah has sickened their hearts. A painful doom is theirs because they lie. 10

A fire has been prepared for the disbelievers, whose fuel is men and stones. 24

Disbelievers will be burned with fire. 39, 90

For disbelievers is a painful doom. 104

For unbelievers: ignominy in this world, an awful doom in the next. 114

Allah will leave the disbelievers alone for a while, but then he will compel them to the doom of Fire. 126

The doom of the disbelievers will not be lightened. 162

They will not emerge from the Fire. 167

Those who hide the Scripture will have their bellies eaten with fire. Theirs will be a painful doom. 174

How constant are they in their strife to reach the Fire! 175

Kill disbelievers wherever you find them. If they attack you, then kil them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. 191

War is ordained by Allah. 216

Those who die in their disbelief will burn forever in the Fire. 217

Disbelievers worship false gods. They will burn forever in the Fire. 257

Allah does not guide disbelievers. 264

“Give us victory over the disbelieving folk.” 286
Quran Surah 3: The Family Of ‘Imran

Those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, theirs will be a heavy doom. 4

Those who disbelieve will be fuel for the Fire. 10

Those who disbelieve shall be overcome and gathered unto Hell. 12

Those who disbelieve, promise them a painful doom. 21

Theirs will be a painful doom. 77

All non-Muslims will be rejected by Allah after they die. 85

Disbelievers will have a painful doom. And they will have no helpers. 91

Disbelievers will have their faces blackened on the last day. They will face an awful doom. 105-6

Those who disbelieve will be burnt in the Fire. 116

The Fire is prepared for disbelievers. 131

We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Their habitation is the Fire 151

Theirs will be an awful doom. 176

Disbelievers do not harm Allah, but will have a painful doom. 177

Disbelievers will have a shamful doom. 178

Disbelievers will go to Hell. 196
Quran Surah 4: Women

Those who disobey Allah and his messenger will be burnt with fire and suffer a painful doom. 14

For the disbelievers, We have prepared a painful doom. 18

For disbelievers, We prepare a shameful doom. 37

Hell is sufficient for their burning. 55

Unbelievers will be tormented forever with fire. When their skin is burned off, a fresh skin will be provided. 56

Allah will bestow a vast reward on those who fight in religious wars. 74

Believers fight for Allah; disbelievers fight for the devil. So fight the minions of the devil. 76

Have no unbelieving friends. Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them. 89

If the unbelievers do not offer you peace, kill them wherever you find them. Against such you are given clear warrant. 91 ( Offering peace in Islam means surrendering. All 67 out of 68 wars of Muhammad were offensive. They are called qazwah (raid, ambush, sudden attack). That is how Muhammad waged his wars. He raided, massacred and looted civilians with no warning. The one defensive war, ‘ditch’ was not fought. That is why the Islamic terrorism ‘jihad’ will continue until the West “offers peace”. This was made clear by Bin Laden.)

Those who oppose the messenger and become unbelievers will go to hell. 115

Those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe and disbelieve again will never be forgiven by Allah. 137

For the hypocrites there will be a painful doom. 138

Allah will gather hypocrites and disbelievers into hell. 140

The hypocrites will be in the lowest part of hell and no one will help them there. 145

You must believe everything Allah and his messengers tell you. Those who don’t are disbelievers and will face a painful doom. 150-151

For the disbelievers, Allah has prepared a painful doom. 161

God will guide disbelievers down a road that leads to everlasting hell. 168-169
Quran Surah 5: The Table Spread

Those who deny Islam will be losers in the Hereafter. 5

Disbelievers are the rightful owners of Hell. 10

Those who make war with Allah and his messenger will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. That is how they will be treated in this world, and in the next they will have an awful doom. 33 (Anyone who resist Islam is deemed to be making war with Allah)

Disbelievers will have a painful doom. 36

Disbelievers will want to come out of the Fire, but will not. Their will be a lasting doom. 37

Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, and tooth for tooth. Non-muslims are wrong doers. 45

Christians will be burned in the Fire. 72

Christians are wrong about the Trinity. For that they will have a painful doom. 73

Disbelievers will be owners of hell-fire. 86
Quran Surah 6: The Cattle

Many generations have been destroyed by Allah. 6

Allah will torment those who deny his revelations. 49

Those who disbelieve will be forced to drink boiling water, and will face a painful doom. 70

When nonbelievers die, the angels will deliver to them doom and degradation. 93

Allah chooses to lead some astray, and he lays ignominy on those who disbelieve. 125

Allah will send everyone the Fire, except those he chooses to deliver. 128
Quran Surah 7: The Heights

How many a township have We destroyed! As a raid by night, or while they slept at noon, Our terror came unto them. 4-5

Allah has made devils the protecting friends of disbeliveers. 27

Disbelievers choose devils as protecting friends and believe they are rightly guided. 30

Only believers go to heaven. 32

Disbelievers are the rightful owners of the Fire. 36

Entire nations have entered the Fire. Some get a double torment. 38

Disbelievers will be excluded from heaven. Theirs will be a bed of hell. 40-41

Those in the Fire will cry out to those in heaven, saying: “Pour water on us.” But Allah has forbidden that to disbelievers. 50

Those who deny Muhammad’s revelation are evil. 177
Quran Surah 8: The Spoils of War

Allah will throw fear into the hearts of the disbelievers, and smite their necks and fingers. 12

Disbelievers will be tormented in the Fire. 14

When you fight with disbelievers, do not retreat. Those who do will go to hell. 15-16

Taste of the doom because ye disbelieve. 35

Those who disbelieve will be gathered into hell. 36

The angels smite the face and backs of disbelievers, saying: “Taste the punishment of burning!” 50

The worst beasts in Allah’s sight are the disbelievers. 55

Exhort the believers to fight. They will win easily, because disbelievers are without intelligence. 65

A prophet may not take captives until he has made a slaughter in the land. 67
Surah 9: Repentance

Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve. 3

Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. 5

Don’t let idolaters tend the sanctuaries. Their works are in vain and they will be burned in the Fire. 17

Give tiding of a painful doom to Christians and Jews. 34

If you refuse to fight, Allah will afflict you with a painful doom. 39

Disbelievers go to hell. 49

Those who vex the Prophet, for them there is a painful doom. 60

Those who oppose Allah and His messenger will burn in the fire of hell. 63

Allah promises hypocrites and disbelievers the fire of hell. Allah curses them. They will have a lasting torment. 68

Fight the disbelievers and hypocrites. Be harsh with them. They are all going to hell anyway. 73

Allah will afflict disbelievers with a painful doom in this world and the Hereafter. 74

For disbelievers there will be a painful doom. 90

Don’t pray for idolaters (not even for your family) after it is clear they are people of hell-fire. 113

Fight disbelievers who are near you, and let them see the harshness in you. 123
Quran Surah 10: Jonah

Disbelievers will have a boiling drink and a painful doom. 4

Those who neglect Allah’s revelations will make their home in the Fire. 7-8

Allah has destoyed entire generations. 13

Those who disbelieved will face a dreadful doom. 70

Allah drowned those who disbelieved his revelations. 73

Moses asked Allah to harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they would not believe until they saw the painful doom. 88
Quran Surah 11: Hud

Disbelievers wil1 end up in the Fire. 17

Those who oppose Islam and disbelieve in the Hereafter are guilty of the greatest wrong. 18-19

Those in the Fire will suffer as long as the heavens and earth endure. 106-7

Allah will fill hell with humans and jinn. 119
Quran Surah 13: The Thunder

Disbelievers are the rightful owners of the Fire 5

Allah does not hear the prayer of disbelievers. 14

Those who do not answer Allah’s call will go to hell. 18

Disbelievers will be tormented in this life, and suffer even more pain in the Hereafter. 33-34

The reward for disbelievers is the Fire. 35
Quran Surah 14: Abraham

Woe unto the disbelievers. Theirs will be an awful doom. 2

Allah sends some people astray. 4

Those who are in hell will be forced to drink festering water which they can hardly swallow. They will want to die, but they will not be able to. Theirs is a harsh doom. 16-17

Allah sends wrong-doers astray. He does whatever he likes. 27

Those in hell will be chained together. Their clothing will be made of pitch and fire will cover their faces. 49-50
Quran Surah 15: The Rock

Let the disbelievers enjoy life and let false hope beguile them. They will come to know! 2-3

Iblis will lead humans astray. Only perfect Muslims will be safe from him. The rest will go to hell. 39-43

Allah’s doom is a dolorous doom. 50
Quran Surah 16: The Bee

Allah could have led everyone to the truth, but he chose not to. 9

Those who don’t believe in the Hearafter are proud. 22

Disbelievers are evil and will dwell in hell forever. 27-29

Disbelievers are liars. 39

Allah will add doom to doom for those who disbelieve. 88

Those who oppose Islam will face an awful doom. 94
Quran Surah 17: The Children of Israel

Allah made hell to be a dungeon for disbelievers. 8

Allah has prepared a painful doom for those who disbelieve in the Hereafter. 10

Allah destroyed entire towns. 16

How many generations Allah has destroyed since Noah! 17

Allah intends to burn people in hell. 18

Allah makes it so that unbelievers cannot understand. 45-46

Allah will destroy every town before the Day of Resurrection. 58

Allah will send disbelievers astray. Then he’ll burn them in hell, increasing the flames from time to time. 97-98
Quran Surah 18: The Cave

Allah has prepared a Fire for the disbelievers. When they want a shower, Allah will give them a shower of molten lead to burn their faces. 29

Those who are condemned to the Fire know they will have no way to escape. 53

The worst wrong is to forget Allah’s revelations. Allah covers their hearts and makes them deaf so that they will never believe the truth. 57

There is an appointed time in which the doomed will find no escape. 58

Allah has destroyed many towns. 59

On a certain day, Allah will present hell, in plain view, to the disbelievers. 100

Allah will welcome the disbelievers into hell. 102

Hell is the reward for disbelievers because they made a jest of Allah’s revelations and messengers. 106
Quran Surah 19: Mary

Allah will pluck out from every sect those who should burn in hell. 69-70

Allah will record what disbelievers say and then prolong their torment. 77-79

Allah has sent the devils on the disbelievers to confuse them. 83

Allah has destroyed many generations. 98
Quran Surah 20: Ta Ha

Those who do not believe Allah’s revelations will face doom in the Hereafter. 127

Allah has destroyed many generations. 128
Quran Surah 21: The Prophets

Allah destroyed entire towns, yet the people still disbelieved. 6

The people cried out for mercy, but Allah killed them anyway. 15

Disbelievers will not be able to put out the fire on their faces and backs. They will be stupefied and no one will help them. 39-40

Allah gave judgment and knowledge to Lot . He was a righteous man. (Genesis 19:7-38) 75

Every person alive at the time of the flood was evil. So Allah drowned them all. 77

The disbelievers will stare in terror at what Allah has in store for them. 97-99
Surah 22: The Pilgrimage

The devil will guide some to the punishment of the Flame. 3-4

Those who turn from the way of Allah will face ignominy in this world and burning in the next. 9

Whoever thinks that Allah will not give Muhammad victory should go hang himself. 15

Disbelievers will wear garments of fire, boiling fluid will be poured on their heads, their bellies and skin will be melted, they will be tormented with iron hooks, and when they try to escape they will be driven back with the taunt: Taste the doom of burning. 19-22

Allah will provide the disbelievers with a painful doom. 25

How many towns Allah has destroyed! 45

Those who disregard Allah’s revelations are the owners of the Fire. 51

Those who disbelieve Allah’s revelations will have a shameful doom. 57

Those who disbelieve Allah’s revelations will burn in the Fire. 72
Quran Surah 23: The Believers

Allah told Noah not to bother pleading for the people he was about to drown. 27

Those who don’t believe in the Hereafter will receive extreme punishment from Allah. 74-77

When fire burns their faces, they will be glum. 104

Disbelievers will not be successful. 117
Surah 24: The Light

Scourge adulterers and adulteresses with 100 stripes. Do not show them any pity. Have a party of believers watch the punishment. 2

Only adulterers can marry adulteresses. Believers are not to marry them. 3

Vile women are for vile men, and vile men for vile women. 26

Believing women must lower their gaze and be modest, cover themselves with veils, and not reveal themselves except to their husbands, relatives, children, and slaves. 31

Disbelievers are miscreants. 55

Disbelievers will never escape the Fire that will be their home. 57

It’s okay for believers to own slaves. 58

The only true believers are those who believe in Allah and his messenger. 62
Quran Surah 25: The Criterion

Those who deny the coming of the Hour will be chained together and burned with fire. They will pray for their own destruction. 11-13

Allah will force the evil-doers to taste great torment. 19

It will be a hard day for disbelievers and wrong-doers. They will gnaw on their hands and wish they had chosen Islam. 26-27

Those who deny Muhammad’s revelations will be destroyed. 36

Allah drowned everyone in the flood of Noah, and has prepared a painful doom for evil-doers. 37
Quran Surah 26: The Poets

Allah destroyed the people in Lot ‘s town with a dreadful rain. 172-3

Many will not believe until they see the painful doom. 201

Those who believe in another god are doomed. 213
Quran Surah 27: The Ant

Allah leads those who do not believe in the Hereafter astray by making things work out OK in this life, so that he can torment them forever in the next. They will get the worst punishment and will be the greatest losers. 4-5

“Allah destroyed them and their people, every one.” 51

But he “saved those who believed.” 53

Allah sent a dreadful rain on “those who stayed behind.” 58

Whoever does something wrong will be thrown into the Fire. 90
Quran Surah 28: The Narrative

Allah has completely destroyed many communities. 58

Allah will taunt Christians on the day of their doom, saying: Where are My partners whom ye imagined? 62-64

Allah caused the earth to swallow Korah. 79-81

Never help disbelievers. 86 (Can Muslims in countries ruled in by non-Muslims be loyal to their country?)
Quran Surah 29: The Spider

Those who disbelieve in the revelations of Allah have no hope of mercy. For such there is a painful doom. 23

Only wrong-doers deny the revelations of Allah. 49

Those who disbelieve in the revelations of Allah are the losers. 52

The doom of hell will come upon disbelievers suddenly, when they least expect it. 53-55
Quran Surah 30: The Romans

Allah will tear Christians apart for ascribing partners to him. 13-14

Disbelievers will be brought to doom. 16

It’s OK to own slaves. 28

Allah does not love disbelievers. 45

Allah seals the heart of disbelievers. (And then he burns them in the Fire.) 59
Quran Surah 31: Luqman

Those who mislead others from Allah’s way and mock Islam will have a painful doom. 6-7

Allah will give disbelievers a little comfort for a little while, and then he’ll torment them forever with a heavy doom. 23-24
Quran Surah 32: The Prostration

Allah will fill hell with the jinn and mankind together. 13

Allah: Taste the doom of immortality because of what ye used to do. 14

Those who used to deny the Fire will be tormented in it forever. 20

The worst thing you can do is to deny the revelations of Allah. 22
Quran Surah 33: The Clans

Don’t obey disbelievers. 1 (Can Muslims in countries ruled in by non-Muslims be loyal to their country?)

Allah makes the deeds of unbelievers fruitless. 19

Allah cast panic into the hearts of the disbelievers. He killed some, and enslaved others. 25-26

Allah gave Zeyd’s wife, his own daughter in law to Muhammad in marriage. This was so that all Muslims would know that it’s OK to marry your adopted son’s ex-wife. 37

Ignore disbelievers and their poisonous talk. 48

It’s OK to own slaves. 50

Allah says it is lawful for Muhammad to marry any women he wants. 50-51

It’s OK to own slaves. 55

Those who malign Allah, Muhammad, and Muslims will be cursed by Allah in this life and with doom in the Hereafter. 57

Those who oppose Islam will be slain with a fierce slaughter. 60-61

Allah has cursed the disbelievers, and has prepared for them a flaming fire, wherein they will abide forever. 64-65

The disbelievers will be burned in the Fire with a double torment. 66-68
Quran Surah 34: Saba

Those who challenge the revelations of Muhammad will have a painful doom. 5

Those who disbelieve in the Hereafter will be tormented. 8

But some of the jinn Allah burned with flaming Fire. 12

Those who strive against Allah’s revelations will be brought to the doom. 38

Those who worshipped the jinn will taste the doom of the Fire. 41

Allah hates those who ignore his messengers. 45

Those who are cast into hell be terrified when they see that they have no escape. Then they will believe. But it will be too late. 51-52
Quran Surah 35: The Angels

Those who disbelieve will have an awful doom. 7

Allah sends whoever he wants astray. 8

Allah hates disbelievers. 26

Disbelievers will burn forever in the fire of hell. Allah will keep them alive so that he can torture them forever. When they repent and ask for mercy, he will ignore them. 36-7

He who disbelieves, his disbelief will be on his own head. 39

Allah has blinded the disbelievers so that they cannot see the truth. So it don’t bother warning them.
Quran Surah 36: Ya Sin

They will go to hell anyway. 8-10

Allah has destroyed many entire generations. 31

If Allah feels like it, he will drown everyone. 43

Allah will burn the disbelievers in hell. 63-4
Quran Surah 37: Those Who Set The Ranks

Those who refuse to believe in Muhammad’s revelations will face a painful doom. 31-38

Those in hell must eat from a tree with the heads of devils, and then drink boiling water. After that they return to hell. 62-68

Allah drowned everyone except Noah and his family in the flood. 82

Allah tells Abraham in a dream to sacrifice his son. (But is the son Ishmael or Isaac?) 102

Allah killed everyone in Sodom except for Lot and his family. 136

No one is against Allah, except those who burn in hell. 162-3
Quran Surah 38: Sad

Allah has destroyed many generations. 3

Those who doubt will soon taste Allah’s doom. 8

Those who deny the messengers deserve doom. 14

Those who wander from the way of Allah will have an awful doom. 26

Those who disbelieve will burn in the Fire. 27

The transgressors will roast in the Fire and be forced to drink boiling liquids followed by ice cold drinks. 55-9

Iblis asks Allah to let him hang around and mislead humans. Allah allows him to do so, and Iblis leads all humans to hell except for the single-minded slaves. Allah agrees, and plans to fill hell with Iblis and his followers. 79-85
Quran Surah 39: The Troops

Tell the disbelievers to enjoy themselves now, because later they will be owners of the Fire. 8

The losers will be those who lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. They will be surrounded by fire. 15-16

No one will be able to help those that Allah torments in the Fire. 19

Woe unto those who forget Allah. They are in plain error. 22

Allah sends some people astray. For them there is no guide. 23

The worst thing you can do is tell a lie against Allah. The home of disbelievers is hell. 32

Allah sends some people astray. For them there is no guide. 36

Surrender to Allah before he sends the doom upon you suddenly. 54-55

Those who lie about Allah will be sent to hell and will have their faces blackened. 60

Losers are those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah. 63

Those ascribe a partner to Allah (like the Christians) will be among the losers. 65

Those who disbelieve will be driven into hell. 71-72
Quran Surah 40: The Believer

Allah sent an awful punishment at the time of Noah. 5

Those who disbelieve are the owners of the Fire. 6

Allah greatly abhors those who disbelieve. 10

When the doom comes, the hearts of the doomed will choke in their throats, and no one will help them. 18

Those who ignore Allah’s “clear proofs” will be seized and punished severely. 22

Those that Allah sends astray will have no helper or guide. 33

Allah deceives those who doubt. 34

The prodigals will be owners of the Fire. 43

The doomed will be exposed to the Fire morning and evening. 46

Those in hell will beg to be relieved from the Fire’s torment for just a day. But the prayer of a disbeliever is in vain. 49-50

Those who bicker about Allah’s revelations are filled with pride. 56

Those who scorn Allah will go to hell. 60

Those who deny the revelations of Allah are perverted. 63

Those who deny the Scripture and Allah’s messengers will be dragged through boiling water and thrust into the Fire. 70-72

Allah will taunt the Christians in hell, saying: Where are all my partners that you used to believe in? 73

Thus does Allah send astray the disbelievers (in his guidance). 74

Those who scorn will go to hell. 76

When they see Allah’s doom they will believe in Allah. But their faith will not save them. The disbelievers will be ruined. 84-85
Quran Surah 41: Fusilat

Woe unto the idolaters who disbelieve in the Hereafter. 6

Allah will make life miserable for those who deny his revelations and then he will torment them forever in the Hereafter. And they will not be helped. 15-16

The enemies of Allah will be gathered into the Fire where their skin, ears, and eyes will testify against them. 19-20

Allah will make those who disbelieve taste an awful doom. Their immortal home will be the Fire, since they denied Allah’s revelations. 27-28

Those who disbelieve will taste hard punishment. 50
Quran Surah 42: The Counsel

While some lounge in the Garden, others will roast in the Flame. 7

Those who argue about Allah will have his wrath upon them. Theirs will be an awful doom. 16

Allah sometimes kills people for misbehaving. 34

Allah sends some people astray and then punishes them for it by burning them in the Fire. 44-46

Allah makes some people barren. (Whenever he feels like it.) 50
Quran Surah 43: Ornaments of God

When the Egyptians angered Allah, he drowned them all. 55

Those who argue and do wrong will have a painful doom that will come upon them suddenly. 65-66

The guilty are tormented forever in hell. Allah will not relax their punishment. 74-75
Quran Surah 44: Smoke

Those in torment will claim to believe and ask Allah for relief. But he will refuse since they will return to their disbelief. 11-16

Those in hell must eat from a tree like molten brass that burns their bellies. Then boiling water will be poured on their heads. 43-48
Quran Surah 45: Crouching

Those who hear and reject Allah’s revelations are sinful liars. Give them tidings of a painful doom. 7-8

Those who joke about Allah’s revelations will go to hell. Theirs will be an awful doom. 9-10

Those who disbelieve in Allah’s revelations will have a painful doom of wrath. 11

Allah sends some people astray, making it impossible for them to hear or see. 23

Those who disbelieve are guilty folk. 31
Quran Surah 46: The Wind-Curved Sandals

Disbelievers will be rewarded with the ignominious doom of the Fire. 20

The guilty will face a wind with a painful torment. 25

Allah has destroyed entire towns. 27

Allah will taunt the disbelievers that he torments in the fire, saying: “Taste the doom for that ye disbelieved.” 34
Quran Surah 47: Muhammad

Allah makes the works of disbelievers vain. 1

Those who disbelieve follow falsehood. 3

Smite the necks of the disbelievers whenever you fight against them. Those who die fighting for Allah will be rewarded. 4

Allah will damn the disbelievers and make all their actions fruitless. 8-9

Disbelievers may eat and be happy now, but the Fire will be their final home. 12

Those in the Garden will drink delicious wine, while those in the Fire will drink boiling water that will tear apart their intestines. 15

Allah curses people by making them deaf and blind. 23

Angels will gather them together and smite their faces and backs. 27

Allah will make the actions those who disbelieve fruitless. 32

Those who disbelieve will never be pardoned by Allah. 34-35
Quran Surah 48: Victory

Those who think an evil thought concerning Allah will be cursed and sent to hell by him. 6

Allah has prepared a flame for the disbelievers. 13

If you refuse to fight for Allah, he will punish you with a painful doom. 16-17

But if you’re willing to fight for Allah, he will provide you with lots of booty. 19-20

Allah punished those who disbelieved with a painful punishment. 25

Those with Muhammad are ruthless toward disbelievers and merciful toward themselves. 29
Quran Surah 49: The Private Apartments

Do not lift your voice when in Muhammad’s presence. Those who subdue their voices are righteous and will receive an immense reward from Allah. 1-3
Quran Surah 50: Oaf

Allah has destroyed many entire generations. 36
Quran Surah 51: The Winnowing Winds

Accursed are the conjecturers who ask: When is the Day of Judgment? It is the day they will be tormented by the Fire. 10-14

Woe to the disbelievers. 60
Quran Surah 52: The Mount

Those who deny the existence of hell will be thrust into its Fire. 11-16

Those who disbelieve are trapped. 42
Quran Surah 54: The Moon

Allah sent a storm of stones on Lot’s folk, killing all but Lot ‘s family. 34

The suffering in hell will be more wretched and bitter than anything experienced on earth. 46-48

Allah destroyed many people, but does anyone remember anymore? 51
Quran Surah 55: The Beneficent

The guilty deny hell. But after they die they go circling between it and fierce, boiling water. 43-44
Quran Surah 56: The Event

But those on his left hand will face scorching wind, scalding water, and black smoke. 42-43

Those who deny Allah and the Hereafter will eat from the Zaqqum tree and drink boiling water. 51-54

Allah will welcome the rejecters and erring with boiling water and a roasting in the hell fire. 92-94
Quran Surah 57: Iron

The home of disbelievers is the Fire, a hapless journey’s end. 15

Those who disbelieve and deny Allah’s revelations are the owners of the fire. 19
Quran Surah 58: She That Disputeth

For disbelievers is a painful doom. 4

For disbelievers is a shameful doom. 5

Don’t make friends with Allah’s enemies. For those who do so, Allah has prepared a dreadful doom. 14-15

Those who turn others away from the way of Allah will have a shameful doom. They are rightful owners of the Fire. 16-17

Those who oppose Allah and His Messenger will be among the lowest. 20

On the Last Day good Muslims will not love their non-Muslim friends and family members, not even their fathers, sons, or brothers (or their mothers, daughters, or sisters). 22

Quran Surah 59: Exile

Allah cast fear into the hearts of the disbelieving People of the Scripture. Their home in the Hereafter will be the Fire. 2-3

The disbelieving people of the Scripture are liars. 11

The devil and disbelievers will be in the Fire. 16-17

The owners of the Garden and the owners of the Fire are not equal. 20

Quran Surah 60: She That is to be Examined

Don’t be friends with disbelievers. They are your (and Allah’s) enemy. 1

Don’t be friends with those who have warred against you because of religion. Whoever makes friends with them is a wrong-doer. 9

Don’t be friends with those who disbelieve in the Hereafter. They are Allah’s enemies. 13
Quran Surah 61: The Ranks

Allah loves those who fight for him. 4

Allah leads some people astray. 5

The worst thing you can do is tell a lie about Allah. 7
Quran Surah 62: The Congregation

A hypocritical Jew looks like an ass carrying books. Those who deny the revelations of Allah are ugly. 5
Quran Surah 63: The Hypocrites

Allah seals the hearts of those who believe and then disbelieve so that they can understand nothing. 3

Disbelievers are perverted. They are the enemy, confounded by Allah. 4

Don’t bother to ask Allah to forgive the disbelievers. He will never forgive them. 6
Quran Surah 64: Mutual Disillusion

Those who disbelieve will have a painful doom. 5

Those who disbelieve are the owners of the Fire. 10
Quran Surah 66: Banning

Muhammad’s wives need to be careful. If they criticize their husband, Allah will replace them with better ones. 5

The fuel of the Fire is men and stones. 6

Be stern with disbelievers. They are going to Hell anyway. 9

The wives of Noah and Lot (who were both righteous) betrayed their husbands and are now in the Fire. 10
Quran Surah67: The Sovereignty

Disbelievers will go to hell where they will hear its roaring and boiling. 6-7

Who will protect the disbelievers from a painful doom? (Nobody) 28
Quran Surah 69: The Reality

Those who do not believe in Allah will be chained up and cast into hell-fire where they will eat filth. 30-35
Quran Surah 71: Noah

Those that Allah drowned in Noah’s flood were then tortured forever in the Fire. 25

Noah asked Allah to drown all the disbelievers. 26
Quran Surah 72: The Jinn

The fires of hell will be fueled with the bodies of idolators and unbelievers. They will experience an ever-greater torment. 15-17

Those who disobey Allah and his messenger will dwell forever in the fire of hell. 23
Quran Surah 73: The Enshrouded One

Allah will take care of the deniers. He will tie them up, burn them in a raging fire, and feed them food that chokes them. 11-13
Quran Surah 74: The Cloaked One

The last day will be a day of anguish for disbelievers. 9-10

Those who are stubborn to Allah’s revelations will face a fearful doom. 16-17

The fire of hell shrivels humans and spares nothing. 27-29

Allah has appointed angels to tend the Fire and has prepared stumbling blocks for those who disbelieve. He sends some people (whoever he wants) astray. 31

Allah is the font of fear. 56
Quran Surah 76: “Time” or “Man”

Allah has prepared chains, manacles, and a raging fire for the disbelievers. 4

Don’t obey disbelievers. 24
Quran Surah 77: The Emissaries

Allah destroyed “the former folk.” 16

Woe unto the repudiators on that day! 19, 24, 28, 34, 40, 45, 49
Quran Surah 79: “Those Who Drag Forth”

Those who rebel will go to hell. 37-39
Quran Surah 80: “He Frowned”

Disbelievers are wicked people. On the last day they will be in darkness and have dust on their faces. 40-42
Quran Surah 82: The Cleaving

The wicked will burn in hell forever. 82
Quran Surah 84: The Sundering

Some folks will be thrown into a scorching fire. 11-12

Disbelievers will be given a painful doom. 22-24
Quran Surah 87: The Most High

Those who are flung into the great Fire will neither live nor die. 12-13
Quran Surah 88: The Overwhelming

On that day many will be sad and weary. Scorched by the fire, drinking boiling water, with only bitter thorn-fruit to eat. 2-7

Allah will punish disbelievers with the direst punishment. 23-24
Quran Surah 89: The Dawn

Allah poured on them the disaster of His punishment. 13
Quran Surah 90: The City

Those who disbelieve Allah’s revelations will have the Fire placed over them like an awning. 19-20
Quran Surah 92: The Night

Those who deny Allah’s revelations must endure the flaming fire. 14-16


  1. Jump up Ibn Ishaq, (d.782), “Sirat Rasulallah”, compiled by A. Guillaume as “The Life of Muhammad”, Oxford, London, 1955
  2. Jump up al-Tabari, “Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-muluk”, (The History of al-Tabari), volume 8, State University of New York Press, 1997.
  3. Jump up Ibn Ishaq, (d.782), “Sirat Rasulallah”, compiled by A. Guillaume as “The Life of Muhammad”, Oxford, London, 1955
  4. Jump up Ibn Ishaq, (d.782), “Sirat Rasulallah”, compiled by A. Guillaume as “The Life of Muhammad”, Oxford, London, 1955
  5. Jump up al-Tabari, “Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-muluk”, (The History of al-Tabari), volume 8, State University of New York Press, 1997.
  6. Jump up al-Tabari, “Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-muluk”, (The History of al-Tabari), volume 8, State University of New York Press, 1997.
  7. Jump up Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Al-Firdous, New York, NY, 2000.
  8. Jump up Gatje, Helmut, “The Qur’an and its Exegesis”, Oneworld, Oxford, England, 1997
  9. Jump up Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Al-Firdous, New York, NY, 2000.
  10. Jump up Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Al-Firdous, New York, NY, 2000.
  11. Jump up Asad, Muhammad , “The Message of the Qur’an”, Dar Al-Andaulus, Gibraltar, 1980
  12. Jump up Ali, Yusef, “The Holy Qur’an”, published by Amana, Beltsville, Maryland, USA, 1989 [Internet version available at:
  13. Jump up Ali, Yusef, “The Holy Qur’an”, published by Amana, Beltsville, Maryland, USA, 1989 [Internet version available at:
  14. Jump up Asad, Muhammad , “The Message of the Qur’an”, Dar Al-Andaulus, Gibraltar, 1980
  15. Jump up Ibn Sa’d, (d. 852 A.D.), “Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir”, (Book of the Major Classes), translated by S. Moinul Haq, Pakistan Historical Society
  16. Jump up Bukhari, Muhammad, “Sahih Bukhari”, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan [Internet version available at: ]
  17. Jump up Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Al-Firdous, New York, NY, 2000.
  18. Jump up Ali, Yusef, “The Holy Qur’an”, published by Amana, Beltsville, Maryland, USA, 1989 [Internet version available at:
  19. Jump up Ibn Ishaq, (d.782), “Sirat Rasulallah”, compiled by A. Guillaume as “The Life of Muhammad”, Oxford, London, 1955
  20. Jump up Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Al-Firdous, New York, NY, 2000.
  21. Jump up Ibn Ishaq, (d.782), “Sirat Rasulallah”, compiled by A. Guillaume as “The Life of Muhammad”, Oxford, London, 1955
  22. Jump up Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Al-Firdous, New York, NY, 2000.
  23. Jump up Ibn Ishaq, (d.782), “Sirat Rasulallah”, compiled by A. Guillaume as “The Life of Muhammad”, Oxford, London, 1955
  24. Jump up Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Al-Firdous, New York, NY, 2000.
  25. Jump up Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Al-Firdous, New York, NY, 2000.
  26. Jump up Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Al-Firdous, New York, NY, 2000.
  27. Jump up Abu Dawud, Suliman, “Sunan”, al-Madina, New Delhi, 1985, translated by A. Hasan [Internet version available at: ]
  28. Jump up Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Al-Firdous, New York, NY, 2000.
  29. Jump up Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Al-Firdous, New York, NY, 2000.
  30. Jump up Ibn Kathir, “Tafsir of Ibn Kathir” published by Al-Firdous, New York, NY, 2000.
  31. Jump up Ibn Ishaq, (d.782), “Sirat Rasulallah”, compiled by A. Guillaume as “The Life of Muhammad”, Oxford, London, 1955, op cit.
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Claims Concerning Tabari’s History, from WikiIslam

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam

The History of al-Tabari forms one of Islam‘s major religious sources, containing the most complete recension of Ibn Ishaq’sSirat Rasul Allah. There have been several false yet popular claims made concerning al-Tabari’s History.


Aisha’s Age at Consummation[edit]

A recurring claim is that Tabari states Aisha was at least ten years of age at the consummation of her marriage to ProphetMuhammad. As evidence, a Wikipedia article is often cited. The primary and secondary sources cited by Wikipedia are Tabari, Volume 9, Page 131; Tabari, Volume 7, Page 7 and the work of Karen Armstrong.

However, Volume 7, Page 7 says she was aged nine. Nowhere does it claim she was ten. Volume 9, Page 131 says three times that she was nine. Nowhere does it claim she was ten. Volume 39, Pages 171-173 also confirms the same thing.

The angel brought down my likeness; the Messenger of God married me when I was seven; my marriage wasconsummated when I was nine; he married me when I was a virgin, no other man having shared me with him

I was then brought [in] while the Messenger of God was sitting on a bed in our house. [My mother] made me sit on his lap… Then the men and women got up and left. The Messenger of God consummated his marriage with me in my house when I was nine years old. Neither a camel nor a sheep was slaughtered on behalf of me.

The Messenger of God saw ‘A’ishah twice-[first when] it was said to him that she was his wife (she was six years old at that time), and later [when] he consummated his marriage with her after coming to Medina when she was nine years old.

[The Prophet] married her three years before the Emigration, when she was seven years old, and consummated the marriage when she was nine years old, after he had emigrated to Medina in Shawwil. She was eighteen years old when he died.

The Prophet married Aishah in Shawwal in the tenth year after the [beginning of his] prophethood, three years before Emigration. He consummated the marriage in Shawwal, eight months after Emigration. On the day he consummated the marriage with her she was nine years old.

Authenticity of Material[edit]

There is also the claim that Tabari left it to later scholars to distinguish the authenticity of his work. This is often mentioned as an attempt to sway others into dismissing Tabari’s works in their entirety.

However, contrary to this claim, Tabari provides the chain of narrators for each narration, and often, very explicitly, comments on their authenticity. Take for example, the narrations concerning the Islamic Creation story:

Consequently, because this is so and the report on the authority of the Messenger of God is sound-namely, that he reported that what remained of the time of this world during his life was half a day, or five hundred years

Now then, this being so, there is [also] a sound tradition from the Messenger of God told us by Hannad b. al-Sari, who also said that he read all of the hadith (to Abu Bakr)'” -Abu Bakr b. ‘Ayyash-Abu Sad al-Baggal -‘Ikrimah Ibn ‘Abbas:

Our statement about the duration of the periods (azman) of this world from its very beginning to its very end is the most firmly established of all the statements we have, on account of the testimony to its soundness as explained by us.

The two reports transmitted by us from the Messenger of God have made it clear that the sun and the moon were created after God had created many things of His creation. That is because the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas on the authority of the Messenger of God indicates that God created the sun and the moon on Friday.

These reports, mentioned by us on the authority of the Messenger of God and those who mentioned them on his authority, have made it clear that God created the heavens and the earth before He created time, day and night, and the sun and the moon. God knows best!

As can be seen, this criticism of Tabari’s work has no merit. Readers are provided both the chain of narrators and their grading in some cases by Tabari himself.

See Also[edit]

  • Tabari – A hub page that leads to other articles related to Tabari
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Reza Aslan on Muhammad and the Age of Aisha

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments