Koran: Peaceful or not?

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posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 01:05 PM
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I do not beleive that all followers of Islam are hateful, evil people. In fact I believe that they want peace as much as anyone and that it is the small majority of extremist that give us that image. Now of course nothing I am saying is anything new so I'll get to that point.

Whenever I see someone make a derrogatory comment about Islam or Muslims I see several people jump in and say that they they must know nothing of the Islamic faith and the Koran. Now I agree that while making general judgemental comments is ignorrant, I must say that in my own search of the Koran's scriptures I have found some pretty awful things. And of course, the Bible is no exception, but I am not getting into that today. I'd like to have someone with thourough knowledge of the Koran give me and others some insight to these passages that speak of such things. I'll post a few of what I've found (and there are alot more where these came from) and wait for some feedback...thanks!

Qur’an 9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

Qur’an 9:38 “Believers, what is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth and fight in Allah’s Cause you cling to the earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? Unless you go forth, He will afflict and punish you with a painful doom, and put others in your place.”

Qur’an 48:16 “Say (Muhammad) to the wandering desert Arabs who lagged behind: ‘You shall be invited to fight against a people given to war with mighty prowess. You shall fight them until they surrender and submit. If you obey, Allah will grant you a reward, but if you turn back, as you did before, He will punish you with a grievous torture.”

Qur’an 8:12 “I shall terrorize the infidels. So wound their bodies and incapacitate them because they oppose Allah and His Apostle.”

Qur’an 33:26 “Allah made the Jews leave their homes by terrorizing them so that you killed some and made many captive. And He made you inherit their lands, their homes, and their wealth. He gave you a country you had not traversed before.”

Qur’an 33:60 “Truly, if the Hypocrites stir up sedition, if the agitators in the City do not desist, We shall urge you to go against them and set you over them. Then they will not be able to stay as your neighbors for any length of time. They shall have a curse on them. Whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain without mercy—a fierce slaughter—murdered, a horrible murdering.”

[edit on 23-6-2004 by mpeake]




posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 01:35 PM
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Again I think that the Qu'ran was written in a specific context.

If the Bible was destined first and foremost to the Jewish people, their context, their traditions, their friends and enemies, could we not say that the Qu'ran's excerpts dealing with smiting the disbelievers really had to do with those citizens of Mecca who thought Mohammed was a fool and cast him out?

I would be very surprised if Mohammed, when dictating the Qu'ran as he allegedly received it from God, thought of the Christians or of conquering Europe for Islam. I think he saw it as a means to liberate and unite the tribes of the Arab peninsula, and the cultural references in the Qu'ran are aimed directly to appeal to those tribes. For example, for desert dwellers it would be normal that Paradise would be a lush garden with fountains of milk and honey...



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 01:45 PM
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I understand that it was written during a specific time and probably for a specific people. But why do those who follow it now act on it as if it were written for them in this time and in these situations?



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 01:51 PM
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Because when Mohammed said it was dictated by God, Muslims took it to be the word of God for all time. Except that... God spoke in terms that applied to that population specifically, and left it to others later to be smart enough to see through the culturally-defined parables and get to the core message. Kind of like the way we don't sell our daughters into slavery like Leviticus authorizes us to do.



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 01:52 PM
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now if you read the koran, you would see and understand for yourself that just like any other Holy book, there are contradictions and different sections preaching different things. With the disturbing quotes, you should have also found other more peaceful quotes that contradict the very things you have quoted. The koran, just like the bible is a tool of propaganda used by religious clerics for various motives....with any holy book, you could pull a passage and relate it to a situation...and all holy books were written by men not God as some people tend to forget.




news.nationalgeographic.com...
"The Koran is very specific with regard to the nature of human struggle, because in order for a human to be at peace with himself, they must control their baser instincts," says Nyang.

The quest to control base instincts such as greed, lust, and cruelty and to seek spiritual purity is known by Muslims as the "great jihad." Featured widely in the Koran, the "great jihad" is a person's most important internal struggle.

Nyang quotes Chapter 3, verse 172, of the Koran: "Of those who answered the call of Allah and the messenger, even after being wounded, those who do right and refrain from wrong have a great reward."

But also in the holy scripture is a reference to "lower jihad," a more earthly and physical—and controversial—struggle. "To those against whom war is made, permission is given [to fight] because they are wronged; and verily, God is most powerful for their aid," quotes Nyang.

This verse speaks of combat or war to be waged against one's oppressors—a struggle sanctioned by God.

But the Koran also states in Chapter 2, Verse 190: "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors."

The essence of the verse, Nyang says, is to fight back "if you are attacked by your persecutors, but don't fight back indiscriminately. Follow the rules of engagement." According to mainstream Muslim clerics, those "rules of engagement"' are explicit: women, children, and innocent civilians are off limits.

Perversion of Text

Muslims believe the prophet Mohammed received these revelations directly from God some 1400 years ago. It was at a time when he and other Muslims were being driven from their homes, persecuted, and killed. But although the Koran advocates self-defense, its most prevalent message is one of peace and brotherly love.

"If people are intent on using religion to motivate terror or violence, they'll find an excuse there no matter what the actual text says," says David Rodier of American University in Washington, D.C., who is an expert on the world's religions. Like the Koran, he says, most holy scriptures are filled with stories of war and warriors, and these images have been used throughout history by some members of every faith to justify bloodshed.

"Religion, after all, speaks to our most basic and ultimate convictions, and if you are wanting to use violence, if you can find a religious justification, then you can find a very powerful motivation," says Rodier.

Christians have killed in the name of God, as have Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and others. But it is Muslims who have most recently been accused of turning "divine commandments" into a divine license to kill.




www.daar-ul-ehsaan.org...
Because the Koran was revealed in the context of an all-out war, several passages deal with the conduct of armed struggle. Warfare was a desperate business on the Arabian Peninsula. A chieftain was not expected to spare survivors after a battle, and some of the Koranic injunctions seem to share this spirit. Muslims are ordered by God to 'slay (enemies] wherever you find them!" (4: 89). Extremists such as Osama bin Laden like to quote such verses but do so selectively. They do not include the exhortations to peace, which in almost every case follow these more ferocious passages: "Thus, if they let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, God does not allow you to harm them' (4: 90).
In the Koran, therefore, the only permissible war is one of self-defense. Muslims may not begin hostilities (2:190). Warfare is always evil, but sometimes you have to fight in order to avoid the kind of persecution that Mecca inflicted on the Muslims (2:191; 2: 217) or to preserve decent values (4: 75; 22: 40). The Koran quotes the Torah, the Jewish scriptures, which permits people to retaliate eye for eye, tooth for tooth, but like the Gospels, the Koran suggests that it is meritorious to forgo revenge in a spirit of charity (5: 45). Hostilities must be brought to an end as quickly as possible and must cease the minute the enemy sues for peace (2: 192-3).
Islam is not addicted to war, and jihad is not one of its 'pillars," or essential practices. The primary meaning of the word jihad is not "holy war' but "struggle." It refers to the difficult effort that is needed to put God's will into practice at every level personal and social as well as political. A very important and much quoted tradition has Muhammad telling his companions as they go home after a battle, "We are returning from the lesser jihad [the battle] to the greater jihad,' the far more urgent and momentous task of extirpating wrongdoing from one's own society and one's own heart.
Islam did not impose itself by the sword. In a statement in which the Arabic is extremely emphatic, the Koran insists, "There must be no coercion in matters of faith!" (2: 256). Constantly Muslims are enjoined to respect Jews and Christians, the "People of the Book" who worship the same God (29:46). In words quoted by Muhammad in one of his last public sermons, God tells all human beings, "O people! We have formed you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another" (49:13)-not to conquer, convert, subjugate, revile or slaughter but to reach out toward others with intelligence and understanding.



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 02:29 PM
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worldwatcher,

That was a very informative post. Thank you!
Now, one of the major themes I get from that post however is, you can basically only fight when your beleifs are encroached upon. What in the Islamic faith describes someones faith or beliefs as being threatoned?



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by mpeake
Qur’an 9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

Qur’an 9:38 “Believers, what is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth and fight in Allah’s Cause you cling to the earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? Unless you go forth, He will afflict and punish you with a painful doom, and put others in your place.”

Qur’an 48:16 “Say (Muhammad) to the wandering desert Arabs who lagged behind: ‘You shall be invited to fight against a people given to war with mighty prowess. You shall fight them until they surrender and submit. If you obey, Allah will grant you a reward, but if you turn back, as you did before, He will punish you with a grievous torture.”

Qur’an 8:12 “I shall terrorize the infidels. So wound their bodies and incapacitate them because they oppose Allah and His Apostle.”

Qur’an 33:26 “Allah made the Jews leave their homes by terrorizing them so that you killed some and made many captive. And He made you inherit their lands, their homes, and their wealth. He gave you a country you had not traversed before.”

Qur’an 33:60 “Truly, if the Hypocrites stir up sedition, if the agitators in the City do not desist, We shall urge you to go against them and set you over them. Then they will not be able to stay as your neighbors for any length of time. They shall have a curse on them. Whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain without mercy—a fierce slaughter—murdered, a horrible murdering.”

Hi there,

The Qur'an does not preach non-violence. Being non-violent is infact encouraging violence by those who can take advantage of your passive attiitude, even if you don't agree I'm sure the country you live in would retaliate if under attack. The Qur'an is peace-wanting and there are verses that give strict rules on conduct during war and peace. If you look at the Qur'an properly the policy with respect to war is far more humane and peace-striving than many governments of today, including the West.

However the verses you picked are all relating to times of war in the days of newly formed Islam. Your translations don't seem very agreeable with the popular ones I know of. I'll try to explain them as I know them but it's best to find out from a proper Islamic website.

9:5 better translated to: "Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. "

This is quite a bit different sounding to what you gave. It was an order to Muhammad (from God) to remain purely defensive for four months before attacking the Pagans that were attacking them for their new religion in the first place (having broke a treaty). After that fight them hard and with every strategy possible (ambush suggesting it is a defensive war). Additionally, allow them to make amends if they want, rather than being punished.

Your next verse (9:38) relates to the same historic war.

Verse 48:16 relates to another period in history. Again the "call to war" is so that the religion can survive much like countries today call on their people to fight. The "wandering desert Arabs" were Muslims making excuses to get out of fighting and Muhammad is told to remind them of Allah's reward or punishment.

8:12 again relates to historical events and with a proper translation doesn't look like an order to Muhammad or Muslims but Allah inspiring His angels with a message.

Your badly translated 33:26 describes the Jews who were living as citizens in the then Islamic city of Medina and had pledged that they would help defend against a certain tribe. Yet they aided the enemy during a time of great crisis for the city. They had to be punished or imprisoned as traitors just as any country nowadays would do.

I believe verse 33:60 relates to the same City and period but different trouble-makers within. The Hypocrites being those who claimed to be Muslim but led their lives quite immorally.



you can basically only fight when your beleifs are encroached upon. What in the Islamic faith describes someones faith or beliefs as being threatoned?

It's not a question about the faith being threatened (whatever that means), but another group attacking. The Islamic state can only fight if it is being physically attacked and after negotiation has failed, you'll note very few countries West or East are this peaceful. Also it can fight if a group of people cry out from within another state that oppresses them and there is no other alternative. Other faiths are accepted within the Islamic state so long as the Laws are not broken due to those practicing their faith.


[edit on 23-6-2004 by mithras]



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 07:14 PM
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Mithras, that was an excellent post.

Context is key. The Qur'an really does not have any of the contradictions that people claim it has. The problem is that these isolated verses floating around in the internet are presented to us in a vacuum, without any of the history behind when it was said , how it was said or to whom it was being said to. CONTEXT is even more important in understanding the Holy Qur'an than the OT or the NT. This is true because unlike the Bible, the Qur'an is not chronologically arranged, thus we must be aware of how those verses were presented.

--River



posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 11:52 PM
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The key to understanding the KORAN, or any other great world religion, is not the books, beliefs, or myths that make up its traditions, but rather the basic motivation of organizing human beings.

The Koran written to motivate, organize, and reform a race of people. It was successful, even greatly successful, for over 1000 years. All revealed religions are revealed to a people for one reason- to civilize and increase their potential as human beings and what they can accomplish.

The pre Islamic arabs were lifted up into a grand civilization by the sword of Islam. Contrary to popular perception, Islam was not a religion of extermination and intolerance. Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived in relative peace and stablity for hundreds of years in the developed regions of the middle east.

When you read the militant words of the Koran keep in mind that they were the rally cry of a forming nation, same as any other. Ours was Manifest Destiny.

Ark





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