Islam does not kill; it revives

Tafsir scholars have not been able to reach a consensus about drawing a conclusion by analyzing the verses about war and peace as a whole. According to those who understand the purpose of the war as no polytheists being left in the world or the believers dominating the world, the decree of the verses that order peace were abrogated by the following verses that were sent down afterwards:

The verse ordering to slay the pagans wherever they are found (at-Tawba, 9/5), the verse ordering  Muslims to fight the People of the Book until they pay jizyah with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (at-Tawba, 9/29), and the verse

"Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace when you should be uppermost." (Muhammad, 47/35)

The second view stated against this understanding by Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabi  (II, 875 ff) and Jassas (III, 68) is as follows:

The pagans to be slain wherever they are found are the polytheists that lived in the Arabian Peninsula and that were determined to eliminate Muslims.The permanent decrees of the verses have nothing to do with them. War and peace are based on the power and interests of the Muslims and the purposes of the religion; accordingly, it is permissible to fight, to make peace by offering peace or accepting the offer of the other party, and to take or give something in return for peace. The verses did not abrogate each other; they showed how to act depending on situations.

As a matter of fact, the Prophet made a peace treaty with some Jewish and polytheistic groups acting accordingly when he came to Madinah; similarly, he signed the Peace Treaty of Hudaybiyyah with Makkan polytheists but the other party violated the treaty by declaring war against the tribe of Khuzaa, who had made a common defense agreement with Muslims. He also signed a peace treaty with the Christians of Najran. When the Muslims got stronger, they offered the People of the Book to become Muslims or to pay jizyah and the polytheists of the Peninsula "to become Muslims, to leave the region or to die". Applying the decree "war and peace need to be carried on based on the principles of power, benefits and legitimate purposes, and the People of the book and polytheists need not to be treated differently" continued during the period of the first caliphs too.

War is almost as old as humanity.It is not possible to protect the rights of innocent, sinless people by abolishing capital punishment; similarly, it is not possible to secure peace and justice in international relations and to prevent oppression and evil by abolishing and eliminating war. What needs to be done is to determine the legal and ethical purposes of war and not to make it deviate from this purpose. When the verses about war are studied, it will be seen that Islam allows war only to eliminate oppression and pressure because of religion and unjust attacks.

The two verses mentioned in the introduction (an-Nisa, 4/75-76) show two important purposes of war:

a) consent of Allah,
b) preventing oppression and securing justice.

"Consent of Allah" benefits His slaves. Since Allah does not need anything, to fight for His consent means to fight for one's own benefit and to secure the freedom of religion and conscience. Since Allah is absolutely just and does not give consent to the slightest oppression, "to fight for the consent/sake of Allah" means to fight for justice, law and truth. Those who do not believe in Allah and the true religion also have a god, a material, spiritual leader that they obey, including their soul; according to the Quran, these leaders are taghuts (transgressors) and devils; the purposes of war of those who follow them are not to secure law and justice but to satisfy their egos, oppression, pressure and exploitation.

Verses 39 and 40 of the chapter of al-Hajj show very clearly the attitude of Islam toward different religions and faiths. The temples that Allah and His mujahid slaves that obey Him protect are not only mosques but also other places of worshipping belonging to other religions. According to Islam and in reality, Allah is one/unique; so, those who mention Allah's name but who mean another being or who mention His name with qualities that do not fit Him also mention Allah intentionally or unintentionally, rightly or wrongly. To punish or to suppress some people in the world because they believe in a different religion or because their faith is contrary to a certain religion is something that Islam regards as casus belli, let alone regarding it permissible.

Armed struggle and violence becomes oppression and terror when it oversteps boundaries that are regarded as legitimate by religion, law and ethics in terms of its purpose or form; it is impossible for Islam to approve it or to regard it permissible.

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