Teachings of Islam

ISIS is going astray, contrary to Islam

ISIS is going astray, contrary to Islam


I examined a meme that attempted to show the Qur’an contains hate-speech towards nonbelievers. The Qur’an is not even close to hate-speech to non-Muslims. This one takes a few passages from the Qur’an and titles itself “ISIS & Radical Islam’s Daily Devotional.” The issue here is not only whether the group that calls itself the “Islamic State” correctly interprets and implements Qur’anic teachings, but whether these verses, prima facie, mean what this meme-maker thinks they do. I will not be addressing every verse here, but some of them. (Extract from Ro Waseem’s text duly amended)

  • Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them.

Full rendering of the Verses of the Noble Quran


Original Verse # 2:191

Waq-tuluuhum  hay-su  saqif-tumuuhum  wa  ‘akhrijuu-hum-min  hay-su  ‘akhrajuukum  wal-fitnatu  ‘ashaddu  minal-qatl. Wa  laa  tuqaatiluuhum  ‘indal-Masjidil  Haraami  hattaa  yu-qaatiluukum  fiih.  Fa-‘in  qaataluukum  faqtuluuhum.  Kazaalika  jazaaa-‘ul-Kaafiriin.  


Correct Translationof the verse # 2:191


“And slay them wherever you find them and drive them out of the places whence they have expelled you, for persecution is worse than killing. And do not fight with them at al-Masjid al-Haram (Inviolable Place of Worship) until they first attack you there. But if they attack you (there), then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.”

by Ro Waseem  vide:  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/quranalyzeit/2015/06/09/isis-and-radical-islam-an-atheist-examines-a-stupid-meme-kile-jones/

First, a few things to notice: “Expel them from wherever they have expelled you” [italics mine].  “Do not fight them at al-Masjid al-Haram (the “Grand Mosque” in Mecca) until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them” [italics mine]. Does anyone else notice how this verse is not asking Muslims to preemptively kill? Doesn’t this sound more like self-defense?

This falls in line with what 22:40-41 says,

“Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged… Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is God’ — And if God did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down temples and churches and synagogues and mosques.”

Wait–Temples, churches, and synagogues? It’s almost as if the Qur’an is for defending other religions in times of war.

For instance, notice who is killing and attacking first in 3:21,

“Those who disbelieve in the signs of Allah and kill the prophets without right and kill those who order justice from among the people – give them tidings of a painful punishment.”

Also, at the end of 2:193 it says,

“But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.”

Except against oppressors. You heard it.

2)     “Muslims must not take infidels as friends.”

Original Verse # 3:28

Laa  yattakhizil-Mu’-mi-nuunal-Kaafiriina  ‘awliyaaa-‘a  min-duunil-Mu’-miniin.  Wa  many-yaf-‘al  zaalika  fa-laysa  minAllaahi  fii  shay-‘in  ‘illaaa  ‘an-tattaquu  minhum  tuqaah.  Wa  yuhazziru-kumUllaahu  Nafsah.  Wa  ‘ilAllaahil-masiir.   


Correct Translationof the verse # 3:28


“Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. And whoso [of you] does that has no connection with Allah, unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security. And Allah biddith you beware (only) of Himself, and unto Allah is the (journey) [final] destination.”

by Ro Waseem

Does anyone else notice the “rather than believers” part? Or how about the “except when taking precaution against them in prudence”? I wonder what other Qur’anic passages say about this:

60:8: “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” What if I told Muslims might even have been granted permission to eat with and possibly marry Christians and Jews (“People of the Book”)? Check out 5:5: “This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers.”

Let’s put it this way, if this meme is correct on face value, all the Muslims I know would not be following the Quran.

Also Read: 6 convincing reasons debunking the myth of islam promoting hatred of jews and christians

3)    “Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.”

Original Verse # 3:85

Wa  many-yabtagi  gayral-‘Islaami  Diinan-  falany-yuqbala  minh.  Wa  huwa  fil-‘Aakhirati  minal-khaasiriin.


Correct Translationof the verse # 3:85


“And whoso seeketh other than Islam (the Surrender to Allah) as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.”

by Ro Waseem

Using this verse as a way to support the conclusion that ISIS interprets the Qur’an correctly seems quite mistaken. This says nothing about military action or violence. It is theologically, not militarily, focused. If you don’t believe me, read the few verses following 85 and tell me it’s not theological.

4)     “Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam.”

 Original Verse # 5:33

‘Innamaa  jazaaa-‘ullaziina  yuhaa-ribuu-nAllaaha  wa  RasuulaHuu  wa  yas-‘awna  fil-‘arzi  fasaadan  ‘any-yuqattaluuu  ‘aw  yusallabuu  ‘aw tuqatta-’a  ‘aydii-him  wa  ‘arjuluhum-min  khilaafin  ‘aw yunfaw  minal-‘arz.  Zaalika  lahum  khiz-yun-  fid-dunyaa  wa lahum  fil- ‘Aakhirati  ‘azaabun  ‘aziim.   


Correct Translationof the verse # 5:33


 “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment (an awful doom).”

by Ro Waseem

Notice the initial instigator of violence: “Those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger.” Now, I’m no fan of crucifying or lobbing of the hands and feet of enemy offenders, but this is certainly not something particular to Muslims during that time. See what happened to Sumayyah bint Khayyat, Bilal the Abyssinian, or what the Quraysh leadership did to other early Muslims. But this is no tit-for-tat argument. It’s merely pointing to historical context.

Most importantly, I want you to read verse 32: “Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors” [italics mine].

So does this verse advocate crucifying and maiming infidels at all times and in all places? No. Does it say to early Muslims, during a war in which they are on the defensive, that they could corporeally punish their oppressors? Possibly. Either way, this is not the same thing this meme attempts to express.

5)     “Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.”

Original Verse # 8:60

Wa  ‘a-‘idduu  lahum-mastata’-tum-min-  quwwatinw-wa  mir-ribaatil-khayli  turhabuuna  bihii  ‘aduw-wAllaahi  wa  ‘aduw-wa-kum  wa  ‘aakhariina  min-  duunihim.  Laa  ta’-lamuunahum.  Allaahu  ya’-lamuhum.  Wa  maa  tunfiquu  min-  shay-‘in  fii  Sabii-LIllaahi  yu-waffa  ‘ilaykum  wa  ‘antum  laa  tuzlamuun.  


Correct Translationof the verse # 8:60


“And make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. And whatsoever you spend in the cause of Allah, it will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.”

by Ro Waseem

If only people would read the following verse, which says, “And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah.” Preparing for oppression to spark fear in oppressors is not the same as a preemptive strike. This is most certainly not what ISIS is doing.

6)     “Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood.”

Original Verse # 9:123

Yaaa-‘ayyu-hallaziina  ‘aamanuu  qaati-lullaziina  ya-luunakum-minal-kuffaari  wal-yajiduu  fii-kum  gilzah.  Wa’-lamuuu  ‘annAllaaha  ma-‘al-Muttaqiin.


Correct Translationof the verse # 9:123


“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 (those who keep their duty unto Him) the righteous.”

Not only is this Surah dealing with treaties and rules of war (see preceding verse), it’s also about the suffering of early Muslims. Verse 128 says, “There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you.” Muslims were suffering, on the defensive, and having to prepare for attacks. They were not doing what ISIS is doing now. (Also read Qasim Rashid’s amazing piece on Muhammed’s rules of war and Jeremiah Bowden’s excellent piece on war and jihad.)

by Ro Waseem

Now, I’m no scholar of Islamic military jurisprudence (“Fiqh”), but it doesn’t take one to see how misleading this meme is.

Ref:  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/quranalyzeit/2015/06/09/isis-and-radical-islam-an-atheist-examines-a-stupid-meme-kile-jones/