Does Islam Say: "Kill The Infidels"?
Someone said, "Your Quran says to kill all the Jews and Christians..", how do we answer harsh question and attacks against Islam?
Before we begin, it is important to begin with the Name of Allah - and ask Him to send peace and blessings upon Muhammad, peace be upon him. And Remember "Allahu 'Alim" - it is only Allah who is the True Knower of all Things.
This is absolutely not true and it is quite easy to prove.
The Quran still exists today just as it did at the time of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. You see, he never did learn how to read or write, so he memorized the entire Quran from the angel Gabriel (Jibril in Arabic) and then he passed on this recitation (Quran) to his companions and they in turn passed it on to the next generation and this practice continues even today, reciting by memory and then passing it on to the next generations. And by the way, it is exactly the same from anywhere it is recited in the world.
We know the Quran orders believers to fight in combat against those who are the oppressors, aggressors and terrorists and those who are assaulting and killing the innocent men, women and children. But it gives out clear orders - NOT TO Fight against those who are not fighting against you...
Now here is an example of how you might answer those folks with the harsh questions:
First say, "Thank you for your interest in Islam and the Muslims"
Continue, "It is our duty and privilege to present the truth and proof about Islam and what it represents. We desire to clear up misconceptions and misunderstandings about Islam to help others see the true message that came with all of the prophets from Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace be upon them all."
Now be sure to mention this important point:
"The message is: La ilaha illa Allah (none has the right to be worshipped except Allah)."
Now say, "And before I begin to answer the question, I would like to ask you a question - 'If you hear something you like in the answer or something that really makes sense to you - then are you prepared to accept the message of worshipping your Lord without any partners?"
"After all, Islam is really all about this one subject anyway."
Then go to the next important area (misconceptions):
"Now let us correct some mistakes in the 'question' itself. There is not such a meaning in the Quran, ordering or even permitting the Muslims to ever attack innocent people whether they are Christians, Jews, or any other faith for that matter.
Combat is only ordered against those who are attacking or killing the innocent Muslims or fighting against the established Muslim state.
Now here is the answer -
The word used most often in Quran, that is so often mistranslated as kill; slay; or slaughter is not jihad, it is Qital and if you look to the Arabic, you will quickly understand this word in today's usage would clearly be combat.
Naturally, just as here in the U.S. we must stand up for righteousness and strive to prevent oppression, aggression and tyranny. This is the proper usage and understanding for this term, as you will discover while passing through the Tafsir and explanations by top scholars today.
Scholars of Quran tell us the verses dealing with this topic are specific and not intended to imply a general meaning for just anyone to decide to go around combating non-Muslims. The early Muslims had been driven out of their homes and turned out into the desert to starve. After finally, relocating in Medina, verses came in Quran instructing them to make hajj (pilgrimage) back to Makkah. Finding their way blocked and after several years of making agreements and treaties that the others continually broke, the Muslims were at last, told they could now fight in combat against the tyrants who had so horribly mistreated and abused them in the past. However, this would only be acceptable to Allah if they remained within very specific limitations. The word "Qital" in Arabic in this instance refers to "combat" rather than what some have used "kill" because the word "kill" is far to general, while the word "combat" appropriately describes what is intended by the usage in this passage. Allah Knows Best.
It should also be noted the usage of the word "Fitnah" in the same verse denotes a horrible condition, not unlike what we find today when there is terrorism and tyranny against the moral and just society at large. It would be easy to properly understand the meaning as, "Engage them in combat, even killing them, until the state of "Fitnah" (terrorism) no longer exists in the society and people are free to worship Allah by their choice."
We can see these verse are not designed to promote terrorism, but rather these are very orders from Above to the Muslims to be the first of those who stand out aggressively against all forms of terrorism and oppression.
Once this is in place, there really isn't a question anymore, due to the necessity as we see today, to prevent and subdue enemies of freedom, liberty and justice. In other words, we could easily say Allah ordered believers in the Quran to wage combat against terrorism - 14 centuries ago. And the "struggle against oppression, terrorism and tyranny" in the Arabic language, it is called, "Jihad."
I tell them, "Islam declared the WAR ON TERRORISM - over 1,400 years ago!"
We pray to Allah to make it easy for all of us to find the correct meanings and teachings of Islam and allow us to share Islam with others, and forgive our mistakes and grant us His Paradise, Ameen.
Sheikh Yusuf Estes