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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Answering Ima Muslim

Terrorism Fatwa: Feces

That blog post drew a series of comments from Ima Muslim, the most recent of which deserves a post of its own. Due to the target rich environment, I have reproduced the comment in a block quote. I will mark selected important points with superscripts, linking them to my responses in an enumerated list below.

War is waged only to defend the religious community against oppression and persecution, because the Qur'an says that "persecution is worse than slaughter" and "let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression" (Qur'an 2:190-193). Therefore, if non-Muslims are peaceful or indifferent to Islam, there is no justified reason to declare war on them. 1

the Qur'an also says, "Let there be no compulsion in religion" (2:256).

Forcing someone at the point of a sword to choose death or Islam is an idea that is foreign to Islam in spirit and in historical practice. There is absolutely no question of waging a "holy war" to "spread the faith" and compel people to embrace Islam; that would be an unholy war and the people's forced conversions would not be sincere.

Another of the more repeated fallacies by those who hate Islam, and by those who do not understand.Jizyah is a tribute paid by non Muslims under the rule of the Muslim nation; be that direct or indirect rule.

Like any country, the Muslim territories require money for facilities and running of people's affairs. What we know today as taxation. Those who hate Islam though make it sound like it's something out of the ordinary, and that Islam is unjust because it taxes non Muslims! That is like calling every country in the world unjust because people pay taxes for the running of the country!

Non Muslims on the other hand, pay Jizyah according to the following rules:

1. The non Muslims that will pay Jizyah are only those capable of fighting. The Muslim army is made of Muslims. Therefore non Muslims will not be enlisted -unless they want to- in case of war. So the Jizyah here is to equip a replacement for this fighter.

2. Jizyah is not collected from elderly non Muslims, women, children or anyone who is unable to fight.

3. Jizyah is taken only from freemen and not from slaves .

Successive Muslim scholars and Caliphs made sure this was the case during their lives. Imam Al Qortoby says about Jizyah:"Our scholars said: What the Quran stated is that Jizyah is to be taken from fighters... This is a unanimous opinion of all scholars that Jizyah is to be only collected from free, mature men who are capable of fighting, not women, children, slaves, crazy, dumb or the weak old men".2

Albert Einstein wrote: Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance...


  1. That statement is the most malignant maundery possible. There are three Islamic dispensations of warfare: forbearance, defensive and offensive. While Moe and his companions were in Mekkah, few in number and overpowered, he preached tolerance & forbearance. In Medina, as he began to accrue an army, he preached defensive jihad. Later, as his army grew in numbers and skill, he preached offensive warfare. These three dispensations are exemplified by 2:256, 2:190 & 8:39 respectively. Download Moe's biography, turn to page 221 and read the first paragraph very carefully. The assertion that Islam only fights defensively is extremely false and malicious. Al;-Baqarah 190 was cited in Ima's first paragraph. Although that ayeh relates directly to defensive jihad, the translators of the Noble Qur'an included a footnote there which defines jihad.
    Al-Jihad (holy fighting) ln AlIah's Cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah's Word is made superior, (His Word belng La Haha illallah which means none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and His Religion (Islam) is propagated. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honour is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish.[...]
    Would defensive jihad establish Islam and make Islam dominant? What will? Offensive jihad!! That is why Moe revealed al-Anfal 39 & at-Taubah 29.
    8:39. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allâh) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allâh Alone [in the whole of the world ]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allâh), then certainly, Allâh is All-Seer of what they do.

    9:29. Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allâh, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allâh and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islâm) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
    Those fight until loops are confirmed by this hadith and several variants.
    Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 387:
    Narrated Anas bin Malik:
    Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah." Narrated Maimun ibn Siyah that he asked Anas bin Malik, "O Abu Hamza! What makes the life and property of a person sacred?" He replied, "Whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah', faces our Qibla during the prayers, prays like us and eats our slaughtered animal, then he is a Muslim, and has got the same rights and obligations as other Muslims have."
    Those fight until loops are codified into Shari'ah, as proof of which I submit these quotes from Book O, Chapter 9 of Reliance of the Traveller.
    O9.8: The Objectives of Jihad

    The caliph (o25) makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (N: provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya, def: o11.4) -which is the significance of their paying it, not the money itself-while remaining in their ancestral religions) (O: and the war continues) until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax (O: in accordance with the word of Allah Most High,

    "Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden-who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book-until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled" (Koran 9.29),

    the time and place for which is before the final descent of Jesus (upon whom be peace). After his final coming, nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus' descent (upon him and our Prophet be peace), which is the divinely revealed law of Muhammad. The coming of Jesus does not entail a separate divinely revealed law, for he will rule by the law of Muhammad. As for the Prophet's saying (Allah bless him and give him peace),

    "I am the last, there will be no prophet after me,"

    this does not contradict the final coming of Jesus (upon whom be peace), since he will not rule according to the Evangel, but as a follower of our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) ).

    O9.9

    The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim (O: because they are not a people with a Book, nor honored as such, and are not permitted to settle with paying the poll tax (jizya) ) (n: though according to the Hanafi school, peoples of all other religions, even idol worshippers, are permitted to live under the protection of the Islamic state if they either become Muslim or agree to pay the poll tax, the sole exceptions to which are apostates from Islam and idol worshippers who are Arabs, neither of whom has any choice but becoming Muslim (al-Hidaya sharh Bidaya al-mubtadi' (y21), 6.48-49) ).

    Those offensive jihad imperatives are amplified by two relevant rulings. the first is from O9.1, which describes the obligation of Jihad.

    In the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) jihad was a communal obligation after his emigration (hijra) to Medina. As for subsequent times, there are two possible states in respect to non-Muslims.

    The first is when they are in their own countries, in which case jihad (def: o9.8) is a communal obligation, and this is what our author is speaking of when he says, "Jihad is a communal obligation," meaning upon the Muslims each year.

    The Muslims are obligated to attack their peaceful neighbors, on Islam's initiative, annually. Did you miss the last clause in the last sentence of the quote? Is its meaning obscure? This ruling from al-Shafi'i should clear it up for you.
    "The least that the imam must do is that he allow no year to pass without having organised a military expedition by himself, or by his raiding parties, according to the Muslims' interest, so that the jihad will only be stopped in a year for a (reasonable) excuse."
    O25.9 lists eight duties of subordinate rulers. The last item in the list is of interest because it explicitly defines an obligation to attack neighboring kuffar.

    -8- and if the area has a border adjacent to enemy lands, an eighth duty arises, namely to undertake jihad against enemies, dividing the spoils of battle among combatants, and setting aside fifth (def: o10.3) for deserving recipients.


    Allah commanded Muslims to engage in offensive warfare. Moe confirmed that order. It is codified into Islamic law. Islam invaded and conquered nearly half the world. Denial is a token of insanity and/or dishonesty.
  2. The tax on Dhimmis is called Jizya. Muslims attempt to distract us by falsely equating Jizya with ordinary taxation or taxation in lieu of military service. There is one vitally significant fact which they don't want us to perceive: Jizya is only levied on Jews, Christians & Zoroastrians who have been conquered or intimidated. Without conquest or intimidation, there would be no Jizya. Scroll up to the quotes from Reliance and re-read them carefully. Jizya is only imposed upon victims with scriptural religions. The polytheists are converted, killed or enslaved. Abdullah Yusuf Ali's footnote to 9:29 is an excellent example of the diversion tactic.
    v.29 : Jizya: the root meaning is compensation. The derived meaning, which became the technical meaning, was a poll-tax levied from those who did not accept Islam, but were willing to live under the protection of Islam, and were thus tacitly willing to submit to its ideals being enforced in the Muslim State. There was no amount permanently fixed for it. It was in acknowledgment that those whose religion was tolerated would in their turn not interfere with the preaching and progress of Islam. Imam Shafi’i suggests one dinar per year, which would be the Arabian gold dinar of the Muslim States. The tax varied in amount, and there were exemptions for the poor, for females and children (according to Abu Hanifa), for slaves, and for monks and hermits. Being a tax on able- bodied males of military age, it was in a sense a commutation for military service. But see the next note.
    * ’An Yadin (literally, from the hand) has been variously interpreted. The hand being the symbol of power and authority. I accept the interpretation "in token of willing submission." The Jizya was thus partly symbolic and partly a commutation for military service, but as the amount was insignificant and the exemptions numerous, its symbolic character predominated. See the last note.
    Complete clarity requires reference to another hadith which describes the orders Moe gave to his commanders in the field I will provide a link to the hadith and quote only the most relevant part.
    Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4294: [...]If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them. [...]
    Moe hired scribes to whom he dictated extortion letters which he dispatched by private courier. This excerpt from his letter to the rulers of Aqaba says it all. [Emphasis added.]
    I do not intend to wage war against you till you receive my written reason for it. It is better for you, either to accept Islam or agree to pay Jiziya and consent to remain obedient to Allah, His prophet and his messengers. My messengers deserve honour. Treat them with respect. Whatever pleases my messengers, will also please me. These people have been informed of the orders about Jiziya. If you desire that there should be peace and security in the world, obey Allah and His Prophet. Thereafter none in Arabia and Ajam (Iran) shall dare cast an evil eye on you. But the rights of Allah and His Prophet can at no time be waived. If you do not accept these terms and set them aside, I do not need your presents and gifts. In that case, I shall have to wage war (to establish peace and security). Its result would be that the big ones shall be killed in war and the commoners shall be taken prisoners.
While composing my response, I became suspicious; sensing plagiarism, I entered "Forcing someone at the point of a sword to choose death or Islam" into the Google search bar. Google returned 16 matching records. A search for "War is waged only to defend the religious community" turned up 21 matching records. This is one of them.