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G. Is it fair to paint all Islamic schools of thought as violent?
Islamic apologists often point out that Islam is not a monolith and that there are differences of opinion among the different Islamic schools of thought. That is true, but, while there are differences, there are also common elements. Just as Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Christians differ on many aspects of Christianity, still they accept important common elements. So it is with Islam. One of the common elements to all Islamic schools of thought is jihad, understood as the obligation of the Ummah to conquer and subdue the world in the name of Allah and rule it under Sharia law. The four Sunni Madhhabs (schools of fiqh [Islamic religious jurisprudence]) -- Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali -- all agree that there is a collective obligation on Muslims to make war on the rest of the world. Furthermore, even the schools of thought outside Sunni orthodoxy, including Sufism and the Jafari (Shia) school, agree on the necessity of jihad. When it comes to matters of jihad, the different schools disagree on such questions as whether infidels must first be asked to convert to Islam before hostilities may begin (Osama bin Laden asked America to convert before Al-Qaeda's attacks); how plunder should be distributed among victorious jihadists; whether a long-term Fabian strategy (Wearing your opponent down) against dar al-harb is preferable to an all-out frontal attack; etc.
H. What about the great achievements of Islamic civilisation through history?
Islamic achievements in the fields of art, literature, science, medicine, etc. in no way refute the fact that Islam is intrinsically violent. Roman and Greek civilisations produced many great achievements in these fields as well, but also cultivated powerful traditions of violence. While giving the world the brilliance of Virgil and Horace, Rome was also a home to gladiatorial combat, the slaughter of Christians, and, at times, rampant militarism.
Furthermore, the achievements of Islamic civilisation are pretty modest given its 1300 year history when compared to Western, Hindu, or Confucian civilisations. Many Islamic achievements were in fact the result of non-Muslims living within the Islamic Empire or of recent converts to Islam. One of the greatest Islamic thinkers, Averroes, ran afoul of Islamic orthodoxy through his study of non-Islamic (Greek) philosophy and his preference for Western modes of thought. Once the dhimmi populations of the Empire dwindled toward the middle of the second millennium AD, Islam began its social and cultural "decline."
Original source (original source have been further developed/expanded by author of 2083):
http://jihadwatch.org/islam101/ by Gregory M. Davis
Review 2: Islam – What the West needs to know
Table of Contents
2.There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet
5.War is Deceit
6.More than a Religion
7.The House of War
This film documentary is also available here:
I wish to say finally as I’ve said many times before that this is not a war with Islam. It angers me as it angers the vast majority of Muslims to hear Bin Laden and his associates described as Islamic terrorists. They are terrorists pure and simple. Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion, and the acts of these people are holy contrary to the teachings of the Quran.
We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah.
Our actions were not aimed against Islam. The faith of hundreds of millions of good, peace loving people all around the world including the United States. No religion condones the murder of innocent men, women and children. But our actions were aimed at fanatics and killers who wrapped murder in the cloak of righteousness and in so doing profaned the great religion in whose name they claim to act.
Serge Trifkovic, Foreign Affairs Editor, Chronicles Magazine
The tendency of western political leaders to deny the connection between Orthodox Islamic Mainstream and terrorist violence are replicated in Universities and the media wherever you look both in Western Europe and North America.
The members of the elite class have the tendency to proclaim that Islam is peaceful and tolerant and those Muslims related to violence are a non representative group.
I would really appreciate if people who make such claims could then explain the continuity of violence from the earliest day of Islam, from the earliest days of the prophet Muhammad and his immediate successors throughout the 1300th century of recorded history.
Robert Spencer, Author, Islam Unveiled, Director of Jihadwatch.org
Do Islam and an Islamic civilisation actually sanction the violence that we are seeing being perpetrated in its name around the world?
If we are going to be honest about this we would have to answer an absolute yes. The Islamic sources, the Islamic texts starting with the Quran but not limited to the Quran, Islamic texts including the Hadith, Islamic tradition, Islamic theology, Islamic law, the traditions of the interpretations of the Quran throughout history and Islamic history itself; All bear witness to the fact that Islam has a developed doctrine theology and law that mandates violence against unbelievers.
Bat Ye’or, Author – The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians under Islam
The origins are, of course, in the Muslim desire to impose all over the world; the only religion – the only just religion – which is Islam and the suppression of all other religions in order to establish the rule of Allah throughout the world. This is a religious duty, which binds the whole community, and which the Muslim community is obliged to impose because they are obliged to obey the order of Allah and this is the desire of Allah as expressed in the Quranic revelation.
Abdullah Al-Araby – Director, The Pen vs. The Sword Publications
I believe that those terrorists that want to do harm to others are applying the true Islam who was practiced by Muhammad and his followers in the early stage of Islam.
There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet
In Islamic theology the prophet Muhammad is considered ” al-insan al-kamil” the perfect man. The more a Muslim is like him the better off he is. So the prophet Mohammad is revered today in the Islamic world as the primary model of human behaviour.
As an illustration, the following examples by Muhammad inspire current Palestinian groups to fight Jihad against the Jews in Palestine.
Authoritative Islamic History – The Life of Muhammad/Sirat Rasul Allah – By Muhammad bin Ishaq (d 773 AD). Edited by Abdul Malik bin Hisham (d 840 AD). Translated by Prof Alfred Guillaume (1955).
The life of Muhammad – P 464
They surrendered, and the Apostle confined them in Medina,,, Then the Apostle went out to the market of Medina and dug trenches in it.
Another example which is the most chilling of the influence that Muhammad’s influence has today on the Islamic world was exemplified recently by an Egyptian leader of a radical Muslim party. He recently wrote that he couldn’t believe that the beheadings in Iraq were being protested by Muslims. Weren’t they aware that the prophet Muhammad himself beheaded between 600 and 900 men personally, members of the Jewish Quraiza tribe in Arabia after he had defeated them. Didn’t they realise that if the prophet did it then this was the proper way to behave? So the Mujahideen in Iraq who were beheading people are simply obeying the example of the prophet.
Now we can see then, since the prophet Muhammad himself participated in many battles and raids and did indeed perpetrate these beheadings, he ordered the assassination of several of his political opponents and he behaved in general like a typical 7th century warlord. The problem is that when this is transferred to 21st century behaviour and 21st century contexts of behaviour then what you get are terrorists.
The Quran occupies a place that has no parallel in Western civilisation. The Quran is considered by Muslims and by traditional Islamic theology to be dictated word for word by Allah himself through the Angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad. As a result every word of it is the word of Allah himself. Every word of the Quran except if it is cancelled by another section of the Quran itself is valid for all time and can not be questioned, can not be reformed, can not be changed within an Islamic context. This means that moderate Muslims, peaceful Muslims if they are sincere, have to reject entirely Quranic literalism but to do so put them outside the sphere anything that has been considered orthodox Islam throughout history. To do so is to reject the very basic premise of Islam that this is a book that is dictated by Allah which is a perfect copy of a perfect book, the “Umm Al-Kitāb”, the mother of the book that has existed forever with Allah in heaven.
The Noble Koran
Translated with Parenthetical Notes by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-du-Din Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan.
Sura 98 Verse 6
Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Quran and the prophet Muhammad) from among the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Musrhikun (other disbelievers) will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are he worst of creatures.
So the Quran is simply a set of direct commandments, descriptions, sometimes much distorted descriptions of Judaism and Christianity. Because of the nature of those commandments a second ”body” for Islamic interpretation is the Hadith, the tradition of the prophet Muhammad.
The Hadith is absolutely necessary to make any sense of the Quran because Allah addresses Mohammad in the Quran and they talk about incidents in Muhammad’s life but they don’t fill in the narrative details. You have to go to the Hadith, the traditions of the prophet Muhammad in order to understand what’s being said in the Quran and why. The Hadith are many volumes of the traditions of the prophet, various Muslim scholars beginning in the 8th century which is some considerable time after the life of Mohammad who died in 632. They started to collect these traditions and try to window out the authentic ones from the in-authentic. From an Islamic standpoint, if something Muhammad said or did is recorded in of those books then it has authority second only to the Quran. And in those books there is a great that illuminates what the Quran says and how it is applicable to Muslims in the presence.
Authoritative Traditions of the prophet Muhammad– The Hadith’s of Sahih Al-Bukhari, translated with Parenthetical Notes by Dr Muhammad Muhsin Khan.
Sahih Al- Bukhari
Vol 4, Bk 52, Hadith 53
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).
The Prophet said, ”A single endeavour (of fighting) in Allah’s Cause in the afternoon or in the forenoon is better than all the world and whatever is in it.”
Since there is no sense of natural morality in Islam you have to go in to the Quran or the Hadith to find out what is allowed and what is not allowed
And in those books we have very clear instructions from Muhammad that it is the responsibility ofevery Muslim to meet the unbelievers on the battlefield to invite them either to accept Islam or to accept second class Dhimmi status in the Islamic state. If they refuse both alternatives then they will wage war against them.
Sura 9 Verse 29
Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger.
… and fight against 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 (Tax for Jews/Christians) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.
The Quran is broken down into two sections, one is called Mecca which means what was inspired to Muhammad in Mecca and one is called Medina, what was inspired to Muhammad in Medina.
In Mecca you find many of the peaceful Verses, Mohammad used to live with the Jewish and Christian community in peace and harmony. Those Verses almost invariably date back to beginning of Muhammad’s prophetic career and his native city of Mecca where he was powerless, where he was only beginning to attract followers.
Abdullah Al-Araby – Director, the Pen vs. the Sword Publications
Only relatives and friends accepted the religion at that time. He has many foes so the revelations of that time are very peaceful. This all changes with the establishment of Muhammad’s theocratic state let in the city of Medina. He becomes a warlord and head of a totalitarian state, he becomes very rich and powerful and very intolerant and then many of these early Verses get abrogated.
In Sura 2 Verse 106 Allah says that if I abrogate a Verse I will give you one that is better.
Sura 2 Verse 106
Whatever a Verse (revelation) do we abrogate or cause to be forgotten, we bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?
This is the basis, the foundation of the Quranic doctrine of ” Naskh” which is abrogation. And it is the idea that when there are Verses that are contradictory in the Quran the one that is revealed later chronologically is better as Allah has promised and cancels the earlier one.
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