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"Discover the Truth's" Game

8:39
"Fight Them Until There is No More Fitna and Religion Should Be Only for Allah"


From Discover the Truth:

Critics elude to this passage claiming that the Arabic word ‘fitna’ used here does not really mean ‘persecution’ or ‘oppression’, according to these self-made scholars who have no formal education on Islam, to them the word ‘fitna’ means ‘unbelief’
(September 30, 2014)

What the Quran Says

8:39. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone. But if they cease, then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.


What the Apologists Want You to Believe

This gets back to the familiar argument over what fitna means.  DTT contends that anyone who suggests the word refers to anything other than "persecution" is a liar who doesn't understand Arabic.

How They Do It: Sleight of Hand

DTT says that if you plug "fitna" into an Arabic to English dictionary, it comes back as "persecution."  What they don't mention is that if you plug "persecution" into an English to Arabic dictionary, it comes back as something other than fitna.

Why They are Wrong

Other than DTT's straw man, no one is saying that persecution isn't one flavor of fitna.  In fact, it is used that way in verse 10:83 (although not in other verses pertaining to persecution, such as 3:195).  The real point is that it can mean other things as well, depending on the context.

Here is how the Islamic scholars who created the Noble Quran chose to translate verse 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. (8:39)
Needless-to-say, these modern-day translators know Arabic and the Quran quite well.  Why would they interpret fitna to to mean 'disbelief and polytheism' if it simply meant persecution?

Probably because the previous verse plainly states:
Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief) their past will be forgiven. But if they return, then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded (as a warning) (8:38)
This is why verse 39 includes the part about "until religion is for Allah alone."  It can't be any plainer that this is referring to religious belief.  The polytheists are to be fought until they worship as the Muslims do. 

The historical context also refutes Discover the Truth's preferences.  As explored elsewhere, the Muslims in Medina were not under persecution, as some of them had been at Mecca.  In fact, Muhammad was harassing the Quraish, provoking battles, planning assassinations and aspiring to evict polytheists from their own city (which he eventually did).  He was the cause of the civil strife.

Further Reading

Discover the Truth Propaganda Index

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