Does Islam really allow the killing of innocent unbelievers?
This is one misunderstanding that keeps rising up against Islam. Islam does not in anyway allow for the killing of any innocent soul. I have gathered some of the Noble Verses that I am aware of that deal directly with war and peace to shed some light upon my readers.
Noble Verses that order the killing of the enemies:
Let us look at Noble Verses 9:28-29“O ye believe! Truly the pagans are unclear; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque. And if ye fear povery, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, For Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the last day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, from among the people of the book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
Let us look at Noble Verse 9:5“Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”
As we clearly see in the above Noble Verses, the laws of killing the unbelievers or the pagans were for particular and specific times, and not for all times and all places. Notice the quotes “…after this year…” and “…when the sacred months have passed…”.
It is important to know that when Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him started preaching Islam, he had to deal with 360 Arab pagan tribes at first, and he and his followers had to go through a lot of battles that were imposed upon them by the pagans who were threatened by the new System and Wonderful Religion of Islam.
Noble Verses that deal with peace:
“Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors. (The Noble Quran, 2:190)“
“On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. (The Noble Quran, 5:32)“
“Those who invoke not, with God, any other god, nor slay such life as God has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit fornication; – and any that does this (not only) meets punishment. (But) the Penalty on the Day Of Judgement will be doubled To him, and he will dwell Therein in ignominy. (The Noble Quran, 25:68-69)“
“But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things). (The Noble Quran, 8:61)“
“If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear God, the cherisher of the worlds. (The Noble Quran, 5:28)“
“God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes. God loves just dealers. (The Noble Quran, 60:8)“
“And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for God. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers. (The Noble Quran 2:193)“
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy handhold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. (The Noble Quran, 2:256)“
“Again and again will those who disbelieve, wish that they had bowed (to God’s will) in Islam. Leave them alone, to enjoy (the good things of this life) and to please themselves: let (false) hope amuse them: soon will knowledge (undeceive them). (The Noble Quran, 15:2-3)“
“Say, ‘The truth is from your Lord’: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it):……(The Noble Quran, 18:29)“
“If it had been thy Lord’s will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! wilt thou then COMPEL mankind, against their will, to believe! (The Noble Quran, 10:99)“
“Say: ‘Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger: but if ye turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and ye for that placed on you. If ye obey him, ye shall be on right guidance. The Messenger’s duty is only to preach the clear (Message). (The Noble Quran, 24:54)“
“Say : O ye that reject Faith! I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine. (The Noble Quran, 109:1-6)“
“Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: ‘O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness.‘ (The Noble Quran, 18:86)” In this Noble Verse we see that if the enemy wants to do us harm, then we must punish those who did us harm. Otherwise, we must treat the enemy civilians and the innocents with kindness.
Let us look at Noble Verse 45:14“Tell those who believe, to forgive those who do not look forward to the days of Allah: It is for Him to recompense (for good or ill) each people according to what they have earned.”
Let us look at Noble Verse 5:32 “…if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people…” In this Noble Verse we clearly see that Allah Almighty honors all the innocent souls that He created. Killing any innocent soul is so hated by Allah Almighty that He considers it as a crime against all of Mankind.
Let us look at Noble Verse 25:68 “Those who invoke not, with God, any other god, nor slay such life as God has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit fornication; – and any that does this (not only) meets punishment.” In this Noble Verse we clearly see that Allah Almighty considers the innocent soul “sacred”. He will punish those who kill the innocent souls (by throwing them in hell).
Let us look at Noble Verse 2:182 “But if anyone fears partiality or wrong-doing on the part of the testator, and makes peace between (The parties concerned), there is no wrong in him: For God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Let us look at Noble Verse 2:224 “And make not God’s (name) an excuse in your oaths against doing good, or acting rightly, or making peace between persons; for God is One Who heareth and knoweth all things.”
I’d say, this Noble Verse clearly proves my point: Let us look at Noble Verse 8:61 “But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things).” In this Noble Verse, we clearly see Allah Almighty ordering us, the Muslims, to incline toward peace when the enemy inclines toward peace. This proves that Islam is not a religion for wars, but for peace.
Allah Almighty orders Muslims in the Noble Quran to allow total freedom of choice to people and to never try to force them into Islam; “Let there be no compulsion (forcing others) in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy handhold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. (The Noble Quran, 2:256)“ The Noble Quran prohibits Muslims to force any person into Islam. Muslims must not let people resent Islam and Muslims. They must leave people decide for themselves because the “Truth stands out clear from error…(2:256)“
Compulsion is incompatible with religion: Because (1) religion depends upon faith and will, and these would be meaningless by force; (2) Truth and Error have been so clearly shown up by the mercy of Allah Almighty that there should be no doubt in the minds of any persons of good will as to the fundamentals of faith; (3) Allah Almighty’s protection is continuous, and His Plan is always to lead us from the depths of darkness into the clearest light.
In the above Noble Verses, we clearly see that Allah Almighty orders the Muslims to be forgiving to the enemies and to make peace and peace making their top priority. It is part of the Muslim’s morals to be a peaceful person.
Muslims start their greetings with “As’salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatu Allah Wa Barakatuh”, which means in English “May GOD’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.”
This is indeed the beautiful religion of Islam. Please visit Good manners in Islam to see ample Noble Verses that order the Muslims to repel evil with good.