Is the Quran really based on a divine revelation?

The Details of the Question

The Quran encourages fighting for Allah (Jihad) and revenge upon the enemy. Although tolerance is ordered in an ayah which says “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.” (Al-Baqarah/2:256), after that in many ayahs, it orders Muslims to fight for their religion:

  • “O Prophet, urge the believers to battle…” (Al-Anfal/ 8:65)
  • “Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you…” (Al-Baqarah/2:216)
  • “…So if they do not withdraw from you or offer you peace or restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you overtake them…” (An-Nisa/4:91)
  • “…And do not weaken in pursuit of the enemy.” (An-Nisa/4:104)
  • “And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah…” (Al-Anfal/8:39)
  • “And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way…” (At-Tawbah/9:5)
  • “Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time?...” (At-Tawbah/9:13)
  • “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.” (At-Tawbah/9:29)
  • “O Prophet, strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh upon them. And their refuge is Hell, and wretched is the destination.” (At-Tahrim/66:9)
  • “O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers and let them find in you harshness. And know that Allah is with the righteous.” (At-Tawbah/9:111 123)
  • “…"You will be called to [face] a people of great military might; you may fight them, or they will submit. So if you obey, Allah will give you a good reward…” (Al-Fath/48:16)
  • As a result, we can summarize this issue as follows:
  • According to the Bible, until Jesus Christ comes again, the people of God living in all countries will surrender to the existing governments without complaining and struggling.
  • According to the Qur'an, Muslims, the people of God, will not surrender to the rulers who deny Muhammad; on the contrary, they will fight against them with might and main.
  • The war that should happen under normal circumstances is not an invasion but telling the truth frankly and inviting people to this call and praying for them.
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

All the verses about the war included in the question were sent down in an environment in which the war continued between Muslims, polytheists and deniers.

All these wars were started by the infidels. The fact that the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq took place on the territory of Madinah is a clear indication of this.

The other wars also began after deciphering the plans that the enemy had secretly set up to attack Muslims. The wars of Khaybar, Tabuk, Banu Qurayza, Banu Mustaliq and Mu’tah all started like that. (See: Muhammad Gazali, Fiqh as-Sirah, Damascus, 1427, 1/367)

The statement "According to the Qur'an, the Muslims, the people of God, will not surrender to the rulers who deny Muhammad; on the contrary, they will fight against them with might and main" included in the question is purely a slander. There is no such a statement in the Quran.

On the contrary, in sound hadiths, people are recommended to be patient if the heads of state are cruel because the internal wars between Muslims will do more harm than good. For this reason, it is clearly emphasized in many sound hadiths, that the Muslim people should not to rebel against the administration, even if they are indifferent and cruel according to the religion, unless they are easily dismissed from office. They are called “hadiths of unrest (mischief) / hadiths mentioning unrest (mischief)”.

  • The scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah agree unanimously that the heads of the state must be selected from the ones who are just, who are well-informed of administrative, political and military affairs, and who are powerful and shrewd. According to the view of all scholars, it is wajib (necessary) to obey the heads of the state who are elected by being selected in that way.

Likewise, the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah regard it necessary to obey the heads of state who have come to power by force and pressure as well, regardless of whether they are worthy of being obeyed or not because rebellion against the state authority causes great mischief and evil.

It is known that it is extremely difficult to close the door of disintegration, turmoil and anarchy caused by rebellion. Sometimes this turmoil can even cost the lives of nations and states.

Our Prophet (pbuh) gave great importance to the peace and tranquility, unity and solidarity of the believers, and he advised believers not to rebel against the oppression and persecution that may come from the heads of the state but to show patience in order not to spoil the public order.

The following hadith narrated from Hazrat Abu Hudhaifa (RA) sheds light on this issue:

“…The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘There will be leaders who will not be led by my guidance and who will not adopt my ways.

I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! What should I do if I (happen) to live in that time?’

He replied: ‘You will listen to the Amir (Ruler) and carry out his orders; even if your back is flogged and your wealth is snatched, you should listen and obey.’” (see Taj, III/44-45)

In summary, all mujtahids, mujaddids and other Islamic scholars in the community of Ahl al-Sunnah have considered not obeying and rebellion completely different issues. They did not obey anyone in situations against Allah's commands. This attitude is necessary due to the following prophetic order: “A servant is not obeyed when his commands are against Allah.”

Nevertheless, they never attempted or encouraged rebellion. On the contrary, they did not withhold their precious efforts and benevolence to prevent believers from rebellion and they served as good models for all Muslims in this respect too.

There are many statements of Badiuzzaman, Said Nursi, the mujaddid of the century, on the issue. His following statements, quoted below, testify that the last statements in the question are slander.

Yes, for example: I did not even curse on a prosecutor upon a wrong decision against us even though I proved his eighty-one errors in the court because the main point in this era is the spiritual jihad: to hinder the spiritual destruction and to help the public order with that.”

Yes, our method contains force but this force is only for the conservation of the public order. Based on the principle of وَ لاَ تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ اُخْرَى (And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another) (As-Saf/17:15), ‘No sibling, dynasty or family of a murderer can be held responsible because of him.’”

“This is why I have tried to maintain the order throughout my life with all my strength. This force cannot be used against public but only against foreign intervention.”

“With the principle of the ayah cited above, our duty is to help public order with all our strength. Therefore, the number of the internal combats violating the public order happened to be one in a thousand in the world of Islam. And that one originated from difference of ijtihad."

“And the biggest requirement of the spiritual jihad is not to interfere in the divine mission; our mission is to serve; the result belongs to Allah Almighty. We are obliged to fulfill our duty.” (Emirdağ Lahikası-II, p. 241)

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