Channel: Omar Suleiman
Series: Omar Suleiman – Out Of Context
Rules of Engagement In Islam – Omar Suleiman
In Part 3 of the interview with Dallas-based Pastor Mike Baughman, Imam Omar Suleiman debunks erroneous interpretations of what has become popularly known as âthe verse of the swordâ from chapter nine of the Quran, Surat At-Tawba.
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It strikes me the number of times that when you've talked about how these verses or instances in history have been taken out of context,
that it seems to be that it's the islamophobes. And it's also the Muslim extremists. They both claim the same rhetoric that hold to the same text that that seemed to reinforce the same narrative. Right. And it's an interesting reality. Absolutely face. Absolutely. You know, just to be comprehensive about this. There's another verse from the Quran that that's referred to as the verse of the sword. Right, and so, so it says, Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, take them captive, and besieged them and prepare ambushes. But if they repent and establish worship and give charity, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is
Forgiving and Merciful, right?
So that's actually the first part of that verse is usually quoted, kill them, wherever you find them, slay them wherever you find them, right? And we hear that all the time. This verse is what's known as the verse of the sword, right, which is called the verse of the sword. It was actually it's in this ninth chapter of the Quran, which is called sort of the Toba chapter of repentance, which is about the the tribes, the bedwin tribes that had gone back on their peace treaties on their peace agreements with, with the Muslims with the Prophet Mohammed and with the Muslim so it is very much so limited to that group of people and the greatest, the greatest way to prove that that was not the
general rule of Islam is because the conquest of Mecca. So I said that there are different stages in the Prophet Muhammad's life, right. And, as he from from 40 to 63, particularly the last decade of his life from the age of 53 to 63, his authority only grew, his power grew. And what we find is that when he when he came back to Mecca, he conquered Mecca after he had been persecuted and run out.
You know, he put his he put his nose to the back of his of his camel as he wrote in and he said that everyone is free. No one, you know, no one should be afraid. Whoever enters the house of Abu soufiane, who is the leader of the tribe in Mecca, the leader of Croatian Mecca, he's safe, whoever locks his doors safe, whoever puts away his arms is safe, that there is no need for for fighting here. And he actually, he heard one of his companions saying, today is the day of revenge. And he said, No, today is the day of mercy. And he showed mercy to everyone granted an amnesty to everyone in Mecca. So he's ordered he's obliged as a prophet of God to, to follow the commandments of the
poor. And so this was to be clear, they were not Muslims. And no, they were not Muslim. So he, he let them He granted them amnesty, he didn't go after them. He didn't kill them. So his actions contradicted which shows that that was a very specific context. And it was dealing with, again, a few specific tribes. And so what to make of the, you know, Muhammad saying, I have been commanded to fight the people until they say there is no God but Allah. Right. So if the people in Mecca, you know, did they say that in order to get that kind of repentance, okay, or that's another? I can tell. So first, I could tell you a little thing about Miss translations, okay. Sometimes that that
narration is put up on islamophobe websites, and even again, extremist websites, they kind of use the same translations sometimes. So yeah, that I've been commanded to kill the people, until they say like, a lot until they say there's no God, but Allah, the word in Arabic is cotton, which means fight.
octal would mean kill. So they'd Miss translated intentionally into kill. So I've been commanded to kill the people. So first of all, the word fight, I've been commanded to fight the people until they say, light, Allah, the earliest scholars of Islam, because if we want to be true to the text, you have to look at what the earliest scholars of Islam said. They stated that this was a restricted context that this was what's called in Islamic Studies costs not harm, which means it's specific. It's not general, it's a very specific injunction. The proof of that is that even the most hardcore interpretations of Islam would acknowledge that, that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, made
ways for people to not have to convert to Islam, whenever they got into a battle, even the captives were not forced to convert to Islam. So how could he be saying that the end goal of every battle is to convert them to Islam. So this is specifically referring to a very particular group of people in the Arabian Peninsula. And it's implied even in the meaning in his saying there are different wordings and narrations and so on so forth. That conversion to Islam is not actually the only option for a person even in indirect battle direct confrontation. So even if
Mecca when he came back to Mecca, converting to Islam was not a requirement to protect yourself. Yeah, there are multiple rules that he that he that he introduced into into war, the ethics and the rules of engagement. So, for example, you're not allowed to kill women, you're not allowed to kill children, you're not allowed to kill the elderly, you're not allowed to kill the disabled, you're not allowed to kill, to kill monks or worshipers that have nothing to do with war. You're not allowed to cut down trees, you're not allowed to break religious symbols, you're not allowed to use chemical warfare. Some of you know, he's actually probably the first person in history, to speak out
against biological warfare. He says, You're not allowed to poison water wells, you're not allowed to use poison arrows. You're not allowed to destroy places of worship. If you come across the people and they surrender, you're not allowed to mutilate the dead bodies of your enemies and so on, so forth. So there are these long lists of rules of engagement. And historically, from the time of Mohammed onwards, non Muslims were able to practice their religion freely within their churches within their synagogues whenever it was under Muslim rule. And if that was not afforded to them, then the Muslims would actually the Muslims, the governor, or the general would be punished by his
So So it sounds like the notion that like Islam should be spread by any means necessary, is not consistent with your understanding of Islam. No, it's not. Yeah, it's not consistent with Islam. Okay, so it's, it's actually not Islam at all. And there are a few few things. You know, it's interesting, the very first verse that was revealed about fighting in the Quran was quotevalet communicatie. Tyler who Quran accom which means you have been commanded to fight and you hate to fight. And that was when they were when they were attacked in Medina. So the first major battle in Islam was fought when the Mexicans actually came to Medina, to pursue the the Muslims that fled, and
it's been prescribed for you, though you hate it that you hate to fight.
And so there's a very clear notion here in the Koran and in the words of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him that fighting is not something that's to be looked forward to, it's not praiseworthy, that avert war by by all means, try not to fight, you know, by all means try to avoid battle and so on so forth. And that's very consistent in Mecca and Medina.
And if you look at the way that an insurgency works, right, violence resorting to violence works, usually people would resort to violence when they're frustrated minority. That's usually what we see there. Right. As a minority in Mecca. He was told many times by his followers, can we can we fight back and he said no. And in fact, even the people from Medina that came to Mecca and accepted Him and they planned his departure to Medina. It was during the season of pilgrimage, so the Mexicans weren't armed. So you had 500 people from Medina, they told Muhammad peace be upon and they said, if you want, and this is known as they are to lock up the pledge at October, they said, If you want, we
can go out and attack them at night. And they're completely unsuspecting. And he actually responded, he says, not only to not be that we were not commanded to behave in such a way, rather, I was commanded to show mercy. So whether he was a minority, a persecuted minority, or a an ultimate authority, he did not act violently towards the people. Nor was this concept of spreading Islam throughout the world, in a violent fashion introduced that's not that's, that's not from him. That's actually later, you know, deviations and obviously, the way that empires work, different rulers take on different,
different characters. The southern century is the Roman and Persian war, you know, the Roman Empire versus the Persian Empire, and everyone's caught in between, right so it is a time of great expansion of every Empire. But that's certainly not his preaching.