Does the verse 'Allah does not love transgressors' describe radicalism?

The Details of the Question

- Does Allah mean the Kharijite mentality both in the past and today with the verse Allah does not love transgressors?

- Although it is said that Kharijites do not exist in Islam, I think there is quite a lot of extremists in Islam. I myself know 2-3 radicals in my near environment; do we or they understand Islam wrong? 

- Is our or their lifestyle correct?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Islam rejects all kinds of extremism; it orders moderation. Therefore, every believer who performs prayers read the following verses at least forty times a day:

“(O Lord!) Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek. Show us the straight way; the way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.” (al-Fatiha, 1/5-7)

This straight way and the followers of that way are Ahl as-Sunnah. Although some Muslims say they are on this way, they do not act accordingly; this is the mistake of the person on the way, not the way. 

Kharijism is a mentality that calls Hz. Ali an unbeliever. From this point of view, a Muslim cannot have such a mentality.   

The meaning of the verse mentioned in the question is 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)

According to the explanation of Zamakhshari, the phrase "to fight in the cause of Allah" means "to make jihad in order to elevate Allah's name and strengthen his religion". (see the interpretation of the relevant verse)

Before the Migration, the Muslims were definitely forbidden to fight polytheists; they were ordered to follow peaceful methods in the relationships with the polytheists.

When the Muslims established their own state and attained political independence after the Migration, they were allowed to fight as long as they acted in accordance with the conditions and ruled determined in time; and they were and ordered to fight when necessary. It is understood that this permission was given by verse 39 of the chapter of al-Hajj; however, it is possible to consider the verse above within this framework too. It is seen in the verse that fighting with the purpose of defense is ordered; and according to Ibn Atiyya, this is the first verse that orders war. (Ibn Atiyya, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

According to the view of the majority of tafsir scholars, the part of this verse stating "do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors" prohibits both unjust attacks and transgressing in a war that has started, both shedding blood unnecessarily and harming the environment. 

As a matter of fact, Zamakhshari states that this verse prohibits starting a war, killing women, old people, children and similar ones in a war that has started, attacking a community with whom a treaty has been signed and raiding.

In some narrations reported by Tabari, clergymen and those who cease fire unilaterally and offer peace are also regarded among those who are forbidden to be killed. (see Tabari, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

In fact, it is understood from the phrase "fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you" in the verse that only those who take part in the war actually and those who continue fighting can be killed.

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