Explaining Islam and Radical Islam

Islam has its beginnings in Arabia founded by a man named Muhammad c. AD 610. Muhammad was born in AD 570 and lived until AD 632. Raised in a predominantly pagan polytheistic society in Mecca famously known as the home to the black cube the Ka’aba which housed 360 pagan idols, Muhammad is known to be the true prophet of the deity called Allah. Of course, once his proclamation was made of being Allah’s chosen prophet he later entered the Ka’aba in order to cleanse it of all its idols allowing only the worship of Allah. He claimed that he was initially visited by two men who cut open his belly in hopes to find something in particular, yet his foster mother, upon inspecting him, found no trace of incision or harm done to his body. She thought he was became demon possessed. It was some time after that he claimed that these two men were actually angels who came to purify his heart. It was in AD 610 he claimed to have been visited by the angel Gabriel in which he was given the divine text known as the Qur’an through a series of compulsory dictations. Muhammad had his followers memorize and write down these revelations on anything such as stones, sticks, or bark. Years after Muhammad’s death Caliph Uthman ordered all the fragments to be compiled into one book. This book—the Qur’an—is the highest regarded book in Islam. Accompanying the Qur’an are the Hadith which records the acts of Muhammad, the history of Islam, and all aspects of life that govern the faithful Muslim religiously and judicially. The Qur’an coupled with the Hadith is where the Muslim gets his religious and civil authority. It will help a person understand how a moderate, more peaceful form of Islam can change into a ferocious more radical form of Islam. Personally, I believe radical Islam is true Islam while moderate Islam is a facade meant to deceive until Islam can show its true face.

Let’s start with the basic foundation of Islam that consists of the Five Pillars, which are 1. The confession of the Shahadah which says, “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” This is the muslim convert’s declaration of faith in the “one true religion.” 2. Five daily prayers facing toward Mecca. 3. Fasting during Ramadan. 4. Almsgiving, known as Zakat. 5. Pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) to visit the Ka’aba. All faithful Muslims keep these five pillars in order to merit good works before Allah. If one were to look at Islam based just on these five pillars it would seem that Islam is a good religion, peaceful, one that gives back to the world and seeks to point people to the true religion of God. However, superficially looking at Islam and comparing the Muslim conquests in the past and in the present day may leave a person puzzled and easily find themselves actually defending the Muslim faith claiming it is a peaceful religion; saying it is only being hijacked and misinterpreted by radicals. In order to understand the puzzling nature of what the claims of Islam are verses its actions one would have to look deeper into Islamic doctrine and the life of Muhammad and his successors. While the beginnings of Islam were relatively peaceful or non-confrontational (by beginnings I mean the years within the lifetime of Muhammad), observing the religion through history and dissecting its doctrines can help reconcile the paradox of the seemingly peaceful side with the radical side. This is where looking into he Qur’an and the Hadith comes in handy.

Since the Qur’an was compiled from shortest chapter to longest chapter rather than in chronological order or systematically by theme, the Hadith shed some light as to when the verses were revealed, whether early, middle, or later in Muhammad’s life or during a time when he was in the minority. Gregory Davis helps by explaining that “In order to find out what the Quran says on a given topic, it is necessary to examine the other Islamic sources that give clues as to when in Muhammad’s lifetime the revelations occurred. Upon such examination, one discovers that the Meccan suras, revealed at a time when the Muslims were vulnerable, are generally benign; the later Medinan suras, revealed after Muhammad had made himself the head of an army, are bellicose.” So then, it was in the times when Muhammad and his followers were at a disadvantage or more vulnerable compared to the city or tribe he wished to overthrow. It was then he used “revelations” from Allah in Mecca such as 50:45 and Sura 109. 50:45: We know of best what they say; and you (O Muhammad) are not a tyrant over them (to force them to Belief). But warn by the Qur’an, him who fears My Threat.” Furthermore in “109:1. ‘Say (O Muhammad to these Mushrikun and Kafirun): “O Al-Kafirun (disbelievers in Allah, in His Oneness, in His Angels, in His Books, in His Messengers, in the Day of Resurrection, and in Al-Qadar {divine foreordainment and sustaining of all things}, etc.)! 109:2. “I worship not that which you worship, 109:3. “Nor will you worship that which I worship. 109:4. “And I shall not worship that which you are worshipping.109:5. “Nor will you worship that which I worship 109:6. “To you be your religion, and to me my religion (Islamic Monotheism).” These verses plainly state that it was not imperative for others to have to comply with Muhammad’s demands to follow him by Allah’s will, but they were free to worship whatever god they chose. However, he warned them that his religion was the true religion and that one day Allah will one day judge and condemn them. Another example for tolerance which Muhammadism offeres is 2:256: “There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in [idolatry] and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.”  These are some verses that many Muslims will quote to unbelievers to prove Islam is peaceful and tolerant. In doing so, a Muslim employs religious deception known as Taqiyya with the aim to deceive with a facade of peace.

While such less aggressive verses as these mentioned above painted a more tolerable and peaceful religion, there are other verses that much more aggressive and intolerant, even radical. These verses foster what is called Jihad, or holy war.  Take for example 9:5: “Then when the Sacred Months have passed, then kill the [unbelievers] wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform [the Islamic ritual prayers], and give Zakat, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Furthermore in 8:39: “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do. 8:67. It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land. You desire the good of this world (i.e. the money of ransom for freeing the captives), but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. 9:29. Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. 9:33. It is He {Allah} Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) hate (it).” These verses are in stark contrast to the earlier revelations given to Muhammad. It is clear that once Muhammad gained more military power he then received new “revelations” from Allah that all unbelievers should be killed or at least heavily oppressed as second class citizens.

In the Hadith and numerous Islamic history books, Muhammad’s barbaric acts are recorded and even held in high esteem and modeled by faithful Muslims around the world. They emulate him in every way possible. In his book History of the Nations and the Kings, Al-Tabari writes: “Muhammad ordered Zayd Ibn Haritha to kill Fatima who was well known by Um Kirfa. He tortured her to death. He tied her two legs with two ropes [each leg with a rope], then tied the ropes to two camels [each rope to a camel], and drove them away in opposite direction, until they tore her up into two parts. Then Muhammad took her daughter as his sex slave.” The battle at Badr was a time when Muhammad was able to consolidate his power by winning over a 10,000 man army with his 3,000 man army. Muhammad’s and his successors’ conquests rapidly spread from Medina to Mecca to “Palestine” to Iran, Iraq, and North Africa. This Jihad was carried on into eastern Europe under the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks. What began as an obscure religion grew rapidly into a terrifying empire. Beheadings, gouging out eye balls, dragging behind horses, killing surrendered captives and burning with fire were also among such atrocious acts as splitting someone in two. There are countless horror stories recorded in the Hadith and other Islamic scholarly works, but these few examples will be sufficient for the scope of this paper.

How then, is a person supposed to reconcile such peaceful and tolerant verses and such violent and intolerable verses found in the same book? The answer is simple: the law or principle of abrogation. In Islam, there is a law of abrogation that allows a new command to make null and void a previous command given by Allah so that the new command can be obeyed. The Qur’an 2:106 states “Whatever a Verse do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?” This is why one will see the earlier suras promote tolerance but the later ones command intolerance. An unnerving thing about the law of abrogation, as Dr. Martin points out in The Kingdom of the Cults, is that it shows that the Qur’an and even Allah cannot be trusted. Abrogating commands declares that Allah can change; he is unpredictable. This stands in opposition to the fundamental tenet of Christian Ethics which flow from the immutable nature of God; that is, something is right because it flows from God’s character. The Christian has full assurance that God cannot change and therefore His commands will not change. There is full confidence in the God of the Bible, for He is knowable and immutable.

In conclusion, violent edicts, permitted religious deception known as Taqiyya, and abrogation make for an unpredictably volatile religion. The Qur’an, the Hadith, Islamic and non-Islamic history books provide detailed accounts of these very facts. These facts are not designated to the pages of history books only, but the world has witnessed in recent times the beast of Islam rise and emulate their dear forerunner Muhammad and his successors. The Muslim Brotherhood, PLO, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and others have all demonstrated to the world what it looks like for Muslims to go back to their Islamic roots. The moderate form of Islam flourishes in Western countries. Certainly, there are secular and peace loving Muslims who don’t really follow Islamic teachings, or they at least follow them loosely, but here in the West we see more of a political jihad in which intentional Muslims are trying to turn the tide in their favor. Peaceful chapters and verses of the Qur’an are employed to maintain a peaceful facade while playing the victim of political incorrectness. All the while groups like ISIS who are in full control of their territory employ sharia law and carry out the same atrocious acts as their founder Mohammad. One can conclude then that Radical Islam is true Islam and in no way can it be compared to the glorious truth we Christians have contained in the Bible and in our Savior Jesus Christ. The truth is what will defeat the lie of Muhammad. Let us proclaim the truth and pour out our lives in fervent love.

Resources

Davis, Gregory M. Islam 101. Retrieved from http://www.jihadwatch.org/islam-101

El Shafi, Joseph Abd. Behind the Veil: Unmasking Muhammad’s Life Volume II

House, Wayne H. (2006). Charts of World Religions.

Martin, Walter Dr. (2003). The Kingdom of the Cults.

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