Critical Analysis: Violence in Islam

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Islam: A Critical Analysis
By: S.T.
Introduction
Ch.1: Burden Of Proof
Ch.2: Judaism and Islam
Ch.3: Imperfect Text
Ch.4: Qur’anic Grammar
Ch.5: What Others Say
Ch.6: Hypocrisy in Islam
Ch.7: Hell
Ch.8: Violence in Islam
Ch.9: Logical Fallacies
Ch.10: Women in Islam
Ch.11: Muhammad’s Wives
Ch.12: Inheritance Laws
Ch.13: Qur’anic Ethics
Ch.14: Existence of Allah
Ch.15: What is Prophecy?
Ch.16: Unclear Qur’an
Ch.17: The Need for Hadith?
Ch.18: Miscellaneous
Ch.19: Numerical Patterns in the Qur’an
Ch.20: Summary
Ch.20: Quotations
Ch.22: Further Reading
[2.216] Fighting is enjoined on you, and it is an object of dislike to you; and it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and Allah knows, while you do not know.[4.56] (As for) those who disbelieve in Our communications, We shall make them enter fire; so oft as their skins are thoroughly burned, We will change them for other skins, that they may taste the chastisement; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.

[4.74] Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world’s life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward.

[4.76] Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Shaitan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Shaitan; surely the strategy of the Shaitan is weak.

[4.89] They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah’s way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.

[4.91] You will find others who desire that they should be safe from you and secure from their own people; as often as they are sent back to the mischief they get thrown into it headlong; therefore if they do not withdraw from you, and (do not) offer you peace and restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them; and against these We have given you a clear authority.

[5.33] The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement,

[5.38] And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.

[5.86] And (as for) those who disbelieve and reject Our communications, these are the companions of the flame.

[8.12] When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

[8.39] And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah; but if they desist, then surely Allah sees what they do.

[9.5] So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

[9.29] 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, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

[9.123] O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).

[47.4] So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish.

Violence in the Hadith[1]

Volume 8, Book 82, Number 794: Sahih BukhariNarrated Anas:

Some people from the tribe of ‘Ukl came to the Prophet and embraced Islam. The climate of Medina did not suit them, so the Prophet ordered them to go to the (herd of milch) camels of charity and to drink, their milk and urine (as a medicine). They did so, and after they had recovered from their ailment (became healthy) they turned renegades (reverted from Islam) and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away. The Prophet sent (some people) in their pursuit and so they were (caught and) brought, and the Prophets ordered that their hands and legs should be cut off and that their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterized, till they die.

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260: Sahih BukhariNarrated Ikrima:

Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn ‘Abbas, who said, “Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, ‘Don’t punish (anybody) with Allah’s Punishment.’ No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, ‘If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.’ ”

Volume 1, Book 11, Number 617: Sahih BukhariNarrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is I was about to order for collecting fire-wood (fuel) and then order Someone to pronounce the Adhan for the prayer and then order someone to lead the prayer then I would go from behind and burn the houses of men who did not present themselves for the (compulsory congregational) prayer. By Him, in Whose Hands my soul is, if anyone of them had known that he would get a bone covered with good meat or two (small) pieces of meat present in between two ribs, he would have turned up for the ‘Isha’ prayer.’

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 42: Sahih BukhariNarrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

Allah’s Apostle said, “There is no Hijra (i.e. migration) (from Mecca to Medina) after the Conquest (of Mecca), but Jihad and good intention remain; and if you are called (by the Muslim ruler) for fighting, go forth immediately.

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 413: Sahih BukhariNarrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:

The Jew brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from amongst them who have committed (adultery) illegal sexual intercourse. He ordered both of them to be stoned (to death), near the place of offering the funeral prayers beside the mosque.

Book 017, Number 4191: Sahih Muslim ‘Ubada b. as-Samit reported: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Receive (teaching) from me, receive (teaching) from me. Allah has ordained a way for those (women). When an unmarried male commits adultery with an unmarried female (they should receive) one hundred lashes and banishment for one year. And in case of married male committing adultery with a married female, they shall receive one hundred lashes and be stoned to death.

Book 38, Number 4359:Sunan Abu-DawudNarrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:

The verse “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite side or exile from the land…most merciful” was revealed about polytheists. If any of them repents before they are arrested, it does not prevent from inflicting on him the prescribed punishment which he deserves.

Book 38, Number 4357: Sunan Abu-DawudNarrated AbuzZinad:

When the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) cut off (the hands and feet of) those who had stolen his camels and he had their eyes put out by fire (heated nails), Allah reprimanded him on that (action), and Allah, the Exalted, revealed: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution or crucifixion.”

Book 38, Number 4396: Sunan Abu DawudNarrated Jabir ibn Abdullah:

A thief was brought to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him). He said: Kill him. The people said: He has committed theft, Apostle of Allah! Then he said: Cut off his hand. So his (right) hand was cut off. He was brought a second time and he said: Kill him. The people said: He has committed theft, Apostle of Allah! Then he said: Cut off his foot. So his (left) foot was cut off. He was brought a third time and he said: Kill him. The people said: He has committed theft, Apostle of Allah! So he said: Cut off his hand. (So his (left) hand was cut off.) He was brought a fourth time and he said: Kill him. The people said: He has committed theft, Apostle of Allah! So he said: Cut off his foot. So his (right) foot was cut off. He was brought a fifth time and he said: Kill him.

So we took him away and killed him. We then dragged him and cast him into a well and threw stones over him.

Book 38, Number 4442: Sunan Abu DawudNarrated Al-Bara’ ibn Azib:

I met my uncle who was carrying a standard. I asked him: Where are you going? He said: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) has sent me to a man who has married his father’s wife. He has ordered me to cut off his head and take his property.

Book 38, Number 4448: Sunan Abu Dawud

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:

If a man who is not married is seized committing sodomy, he will be stoned to death.

Book 11, Number 2142: Sunan Abu Dawud

Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.

Book 38, Number 4466:Sunan Abu DawudNarrated Ali ibn AbuTalib:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and AbuBakr gave forty lashes for drinking wine and Umar made it eighty. And all this is sunnah, the model and standard practice.

Book 38, Number 4341:Sunan Abu-DawudNarrated Mu’adh ibn Jabal:

AbuMusa said: Mu’adh came to me when I was in the Yemen. A man who was Jew embraced Islam and then retreated from Islam. When Mu’adh came, he said: I will not come down from my mount until he is killed. He was then killed. One of them said: He was asked to repent before that.

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 35: Sahih BukhariNarrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah’s cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr). Had I not found it difficult for my followers, then I would not remain behind any sariya[2]going for Jihad and I would have loved to be martyred in Allah’s cause and then made alive, and then martyred and then made alive, and then again martyred in His cause.”

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 49: Sahih BukhariNarrated Samura:

The Prophet said, “Last night two men came to me (in a dream) and made me ascend a tree and then admitted me into a better and superior house, better of which I have never seen. One of them said, ‘This house is the house of martyrs.”

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 53:Sahih BukhariNarrated Anas bin Malik:

The Prophet said, “Nobody who dies and finds good from Allah (in the Hereafter) would wish to come back to this world even if he were given the whole world and whatever is in it, except the martyr who, on seeing the superiority of martyrdom, would like to come back to the world and get killed again (in Allah’s Cause).”

Mishkat al-Masabih, Vol. 1:814. Al-Miqdam b. Madikarib reported God’s messenger as saying, “The martyr receives six good things from God: he is forgiven at the first shedding of his blood, he is shown his abode in paradise, he is preserved from the punishment in the grave, he is kept safe from the greatest terror, he has placed on his head the crown of honour a ruby which is better than the world and what it contains, he is married to seventy-two wives of the maidens with large dark eyes, and is made intercessor for seventy of his relatives.” Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah transmitted it.

Many Hadith discuss animal sacrifice

Volume 7, Book 68, Number 467: Sahih BukhariNarrated Al-Bara’:

I heard the Prophet delivering a sermon, and he said (on the Day of ‘Id-Allah. a), “The first thing we will do on this day of ours is that we will offer the ‘Id prayer, then we will return and slaughter our sacrifices; and whoever does so, then indeed he has followed our tradition, and whoever slaughtered his sacrifice (before the prayer), what he offered was just meat that he presented to his family, and that was not a sacrifice.” Abu Burda got up and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I slaughtered the sacrifice before the prayer and I have got a Jadha’a which is better than an old sheep.” The Prophet said, “Slaughter it to make up for that, but it will not be sufficient for anybody else after you.”

Volume 7, Book 68, Number 472: Sahih BukhariNarrated Anas:

The Prophet offered as sacrifices, two horned rams, black and white in color. He slaughtered them with his own hands and mentioned Allah’s Name over them and said Takbir and put his foot on their sides.

What is an appropriate punishment for murder?? (see the next four Hadith)

Volume 9, Book 83, Number 18: Sahih BukhariNarrated Anas:

A Jew killed a girl so that he may steal her ornaments. He struck her with a stone, and she was brought to the Prophet while she was still alive. The Prophet asked her, “Did such-and-such person strike you?” She gestured with her head, expressing denial. He asked her for the second time, and she again gestured with her head, expressing denial. When he asked her for the third time, she beckoned, “Yes.” So the Prophet killed him (the Jew) with two stones.

Book 38, Number 4348: Sunan Abu-DawudNarrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas:

A blind man had a slave-mother who used to abuse the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and disparage him. He forbade her but she did not stop. He rebuked her but she did not give up her habit. One night she began to slander the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and abuse him. So he took a dagger, placed it on her belly, pressed it, and killed her. A child who came between her legs was smeared with the blood that was there. When the morning came, the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) was informed about it. He assembled the people and said: I adjure by Allah the man who has done this action and I adjure him by my right to him that he should stand up. Jumping over the necks of the people and trembling the man stood up. He sat before the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: Apostle of Allah! I am her master; she used to abuse you and disparage you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not abandon her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was my companion. Last night she began to abuse and disparage you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her.

Thereupon the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Oh be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood.

Book 38, Number 4349: Sunan Abu-DawudNarrated Ali ibn AbuTalib:

A Jewess used to abuse the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and disparage him. A man strangled her till she died. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) declared that no recompense was payable for her blood.

[Ibn Ishaq page 304] Men of B. Makhzum assert that Ibn Masud used to say: He said to me, ‘You have climbed high, you little shepherd.’ Then I cut off his head and brought it to the apostle saying, ‘This is the head of the enemy of God, Abu Jahl.’ He said, ‘By God than Whom there is no other, is it?’ (This used to be his oath). ‘Yes,’ I said, and I threw his head before the apostle and he gave thanks to God(375).

Ibn Ishaq page 304

Miscellaneous quotes from the prophet of doom quoting Islamic sources: [1]

[Tabari VIII:122 Ishaq:515] “The Prophet gave orders concerning Kinanah to Zubayr, saying,’Torture him until you root out and extract what he has. So Zubayr kindled a fire on Kinanah’s chest, twirling it with his firestick until Kinanah was near death. Then the Messenger gave him to Maslamah, who beheaded him.”

Tabari VIII:122 Ishaq:515
[Ishaq:595] [3]The Apostle said, ‘Get him away from me and cut off his tongue.””

Ishaq:595
[Ishaq:312] “Umar said to the Apostle, ‘Let me pull out Suhayl’s two front teeth. That way his tongue will stick out and he will never be able to speak against you again.'”

Ishaq:312
[Ishaq:316] “Following Badr, Muhammad sent a number of raiders with orders to capture some of the Meccans and burn them alive.”

Ishaq:316
[Tabari VII:133 Ishaq:387] “When Muhammad saw Hamzah he said, ‘If Allah gives me victory over the Quraysh at any time, I shall mutilate thirty of their men!’ When the Muslims saw the rage of the Prophet they said, ‘By Allah, if we are victorious over them, we shall mutilate them in a way which no Arab has ever mutilated anybody.”

Tabari VII:133 Ishaq:387
[Tabari VIII:96] “A raiding party led by Zayd set out against Umm in Ramadan. During it, Umm suffered a cruel death. Zyad tied her legs with rope and then tied her between two camels until they split her in two. She was a very old woman. Then they brought Umm’s daughter and Abdallah to the Messenger. Umm’s daughter belonged to Salamah who had captured her. Muhammad asked Salamah for her, and Salamah gave her to him.”

Tabari VIII:96

A basic premise of the Quran is that there are good people (believers) and evil people (unbelievers). Rather than being reformed, the evil people, the unbelievers, are threatened with hell, and must be chastised with physical punishment. So the all-knowing Allah has faith in good people but not evil people. So the Quran when addressing justice needs to ensure that only good people are responsible for implementing the Quran.

[2.191] And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.

[5.38] And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.

Is 2.191 and 5.38 addressed to all Muslims? Muslim leaders? Are these eternal laws? And with all the focus on war and peace, why isn’t there peace in the Islamic world? Why didn’t the plan work?

Some claim that Muslim terrorists and dictators take the peaceful Quran out of context. Well Allah realizes that there is Satan, hypocrites and non-believers, so why didn’t the Quran take into account that people can violently interpret 2.191 and 5.38? Further, it seems impossible to precisely know the exact meaning of each verse.

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up The Ahadith in this manuscript are generally taken from http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/hadith/
  2. Jump up Army unit
  3. Jump up Quotes from Ibn Ishaq are from “The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah” by A. Guillaume, and the number (595) refers to the page number.
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2 Responses to Critical Analysis: Violence in Islam

  1. θ says:

    Islam is benefited indirectly by the Jizya-payers, by the enemy’s spoils of war, and lastly by the bad Moslems. If we can’t reform the Ahl al-Kitabs and heathens, we can’t reform our bad Moslems as well. Hence, Islamic pragmatism is implied here. As long as they benefit Islam, we just let them live free as they are, even with their false choices.

    Both the bad Moslems and the Non-Moslems are alike in spreading the out-of-context teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah, so as long as they benefit Islam, we leave them free as they are.

    Bukhari 5:59:515
    The Prophet said, O so-and-so, Get up and make an announcement that none but a believer will enter Paradise and that Allah may support the religion with an unchaste (evil) wicked man.
    Bukhari 8:77:603
    Allah’s Apostle said, O Bilal, Get up and announce in public: None will enter Paradise but a believer, and Allah may support this religion (Islam) with a wicked man.
    Bukhari 4:52:297
    Then he ordered Bilal to announce amongst the people: None will enter Paradise but a Muslim, and Allah may support this religion (i.e. Islam) even with a disobedient man.

  2. θ says:

    In Secularism there’s a concept of “the expendables”, that is a necessity to have the group that does a “Dirty Work” so that other Secular people may get their “Secular Dream”.
    Life is too short to reform the unreformed ones, hence we control them with “Islamic pragmatism”.

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