The Holy Quran, Verse 8:12

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Some non-Muslims either through ignorance or Islam-bashing continue taking the verses of the Holy Quran out of context and its history to justify their false propaganda. In order to gain a proper understanding of many  verses in the Holy Quran, it is important to understand and know the historic context of the revelations. So many revelations in the Holy Quran came down to provide guidance to Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and the fellow Muslims based on what they were confronting at that time. The verse 8:12 is one such verse which is misinterpreted. The verse and its brief explanation follows:

008.012  Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you:
give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers:
smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."


This verse and the verses before and after were revealed about the Battle of Badr, which occurred in Arabia in the early seventh century. A battle in which the pagans of Makkah traveled more than 200 miles to Madinah with an army of about 1000 to destroy Muslims. Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and fellow Muslims had suffered severe persecutions and torture for 13 years in the city of Makkah. And now that they had fled Makkah and found a sanctuary in the city of Madinah, they were once again threatened. Muslim Army was only about 300 strong. God Almighty gave the order to Muslims to fight to defend their lives and faith. The enemy came to them with the intent to kill Muslims. It was a war to defend themselves and their Faith. It was a war imposed upon Muslims.

And when you fight, you strive to kill the enemy during the fight.
However, even during the war, Islam has the highest moral law of war. You don't kill children, women or any one who is not fighting with you. See the page on Human Rights in Islam.

You also don't fight, if the enemy wants a peace treaty:

008.061 But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards
peace, and trust in God: for He is One that hears and knows (all things).

God Almighty also says in Chapter 60:

060.008  God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith
nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God
loves those who are just.

060.009  God only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith,
and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from
turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these
circumstances), that do wrong.
 

For the ignorant, misquotation is a habit they enjoy. Misquoting  the Holy Quran is a sin and a shame for the one who commits such an act, as God says in the Quran:

 Behold! how they invent a lie against Allah! but that by itself is a manifest sin! [The Holy Quran,4:50]

And He says:

Who does more wrong than those who invent a lie against Allah? They will be turned back to the presence of their Lord, and the witnesses will say, "These are the ones who lied against their Lord! Behold! The curse of Allah is on those who do wrong! [The Holy Quran,11:18]

Imagine if the following Biblical paragraph is used in the same way the above verse is used. Muslims know that Jesus, peace be upon him, like all prophets, came with the message of peace to earth. However, a misquotation may change the whole meaning. Read:

"34 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

35 For I have come to turn " 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—“ KJV-Matthew10

What They Say About Islam

The Islam that was revealed to Muhammad (s.a.a.w.), is the continuation and culmination of all the preceding revealed religions and hence it is for all times and all peoples. This status of Islam is sustained by glaring facts. Firstly, there is no other revealed book extant in the same form and content as it was revealed. Secondly, no other revealed religion has any convincing claim to provide guidance in all walks of human life for all times. But Islam addresses humanity at large and offers basic guidance regarding all human problems. Moreover, it has withstood the test of fourteen hundred years and has all the potentialities of establishing an ideal society as it did under the leadership of the last Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.).

It was a miracle that Prophet Muhammad could bring even his toughest enemies to the fold of Islam without adequate material resources. Worshippers of idols, blind followers of the ways of forefathers, promoters of tribal feuds, abusers of human dignity and blood, became the most disciplined nation under the guidance of Islam and its Prophet. Islam opened before them vistas of spiritual heights and human dignity by declaring righteousness as the sole criterion of merit and honor. Islam shaped their social, cultural, moral and commercial life with basic laws and principles which are in conformity with human nature and hence applicable in all times as human nature does not change.

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Three Who Were Tried on Wealth

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said that: He heard the Prophet (PBUH) said: "There were three men among the Banu Israel, one leper, one bald and one blind. Allah wanted to test them. He therefore, sent to them an angel who came to the leper and asked him what he would like best. He replied: "A good colour, a good skin and to be rid of what makes me loathsome to people". He (the angel) rubbed him and his loathsomeness vanished and he was given a good colour and a good skin. He then asked him what type of property he would like best. The leper replied that he would like camels - [or perhaps he said cattle, for Ishaq (one of the subnarrator of the Hadith) was uncertain, either said: 'Camels,' or: 'Cattle']. He was given a pregnant she-camel. The angel invoked for Allah's Blessing on it.

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Jihad Explained

 In the linguistic sense, the Arabic word "jihad" means struggling or striving and applies to any effort exerted by anyone. In this sense, a student struggles and strives to get an education and pass course work; an employee strives to fulfill his/her job and maintain good relations with his/her employer; a politician strives to maintain or increase his popularity with his constituents and so on. The term strive or struggle may be used for/by Muslims as well as non-Muslims; for example, Allah, the One and Only True God says in the Qur'an:

"We have enjoined on people kindness to parents; but if they STRIVE (JAHADAKA) to make you ascribe partners with Me that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not..." (29:8; also see 31:15)

In the above two verses of the Qur'an , it is non-Muslim parents who strive (jahadaka) to convert their Muslim child back to their religion. In the West, "jihad" is generally translated as "holy war," a usage the media has popularized. According to Islamic teachings, it is UNHOLY to instigate or start war; however, some wars are inevitable and justifiable. If we translate the words "holy war" back into Arabic, we find "harbun muqaddasatu," or for "the holy war," "al-harbu al-muqaddasatu." WE CHALLENGE any researcher or scholar to find the meaning of "jihad" as holy war in the Qur'an or authentic Hadith collections or in early Islamic literature. Unfortunately, some Muslim writers and translators of the Qur'an, the Hadith and other Islamic literature translate the term "jihad" as "holy war," due to the influence of centuries-old Western propaganda. This could be a reflection of the Christian use of the term "Holy War" to refer to the Crusades of a thousand years ago. However, the Arabic words for "war" are "harb" or "qital," which are found in the Qur'an and Hadith.

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