Does Jihad mean “either Islam or death”?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The phrase “either Islam or death”, which was virtually made a slogan by the opposers of Islam, did not take place in practice in any period of history; it is not possible to take place in the future either.  For, the universal discipline introduced by Islam imposes rules that are opposite to it. Accordingly, the opposers of Islam are offered to become Muslims first; if they do not accept, they are offered to live under the rule and protection of Muslims by giving jizyah; if they do not accept it either, they are informed that there will be a war. During the war, children, the elderly, women and clergymen are not killed; the prisoners are treated humanely; and when peace is demanded at any stage of the war, the ways of making peace are tried. All these are the decrees of Islam.

Turan Dursun used the phrase "either Islam or death" in the book wrote malevolently; he did not take the context into consideration in the verses he showed as reference; he generally used some parts of the verses by disrupting the integrity and skewed the meaning in order to confuse people. For example, he wrote that the following was stated in verse 191 of the chapter of al-Baqara: "Slay them wherever ye catch them." However, if we read the verse together with the previous verse and the remaining part of verse 191, the meaning will be as follows:  

"Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors." (al-Baqara, 2/190)

"And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter..." ((al-Baqara, 2/191).

Besides, the verses above were sent down related to the Makkan polytheists, who oppressed and tortured Muslim for thirteen years.

(see Gerçeğe Doğru Vol. III, Zafer Yayınları)

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