The following is stated in verse 193 of the chapter of al-Baqara: "Fight with them until religion should be only for Allah." Does religion not belong to Allah anyway? What is meant in the verse?

Details of the Question
The following is stated in verse 193 of the chapter of al-Baqara: "Fight with them until religion should be only for Allah." Does religion not belong to Allah anyway? What is meant in the verse?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

"And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors." (al-Baqara, 2/193)

Fight the polytheists until there is no polytheism and worship is performed only for Allah not for idols and tyrants. If they desist and accept your religion, stop fighting them. For, hostility is valid only against the oppressors who associate partners with Allah.

What is meant by "fitnah" (persecution) in the verse is "associating partners with Allah", and denying. As a matter of fact, Qatada, Mujahid, Suddi, Ibn Zayd and Abdullah b. Abbas explained this word like that.  

What is meant by the word "din" (religion) in the verse is obeying Allah's orders and prohibitions. According to these explanations, the meaning of the first part of the verse is as follows: "O believers! Fight with the unbelievers until the mischief of associating partners with Allah and denying end in the world, and until they worship only Allah and say, La ilaha illalah."

There is also a hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) regarding the issue:

"I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah."(Bukhari, Iman, I7; Muslim, Iman, 36, Hadith No: 22)

The following is stated at the end of the verse: "If they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors." What is meant by this statement is as follows: "If the unbelievers that fight you give up fighting, accept your religion, give up worshipping idols and surrender you by accepting what Allah orders you, give up fighting them. For,hostility is valid only against the oppressors, who associate partners with Allah."

What is meant by hostility against oppressors means to stop and oppose their oppression. It does not mean to wrong the oppressors after punishing them. What is meant by the word "zalimin" (oppressors) are those who resist saying, "La ilaha illalah " according to Rabi' b. Anas and Ikrima. According to Mujahid, they are those who fight Muslims. (see Tabari, the interpretation of verse 193 of al-Baqara)

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