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It's much easier to act as if critics of Islam have a problem with Muslims as people than it is to accept the uncomfortable truth that Islam is different


The Quran


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What can we learn about
Islam from this woman?

"Discover the Truth's" Game

"Fight Those of
the Unbelievers Who
 are Near to You…"

From Discover the Truth:

The above verse was revealed in order to fight the enemy, Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe who lived in Medina.
(October 21, 2014)

What the Quran Says

9:123. O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who are the Al-Muttaqun (the pious)

What the Apologists Want You to Believe

This is one of the more inconvenient verses for apologists.  DTT attempts to explain it away as follows:
Commentary on the Quran, Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas mentions (below) that the above verse was revealed in order to fight the enemy, Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe who lived in Medina. They allied with the pagan Arabs of Makkah in order to exterminate the Muslim community. In short, they were the aggressors.

How They Do It: 'Adding' to the Quran

While verse 9:123 might seem straightforward... not so fast, says Discover the Truth.  They have Allah saying something instead like:
Fight evil... let's start with the Banu Qurayza because they're persecuting you.

How They Do It: Citing Contemporary Apologists and Weak Hadith

No hadith or passages from the Sira are provided to support DTT's thesis. 

The chief source used to "prove" that this pertains to the Banu Qurayza is a passage from the Tanwir al-Miqbas Tafisir.  Given that this work is widely regarded as unreliable, since it contains fabricated hadith, DTT's choice of Tafsir is a pretty clear indicator of their desperation.

Ironically, even this Tafsir refers only vaguely to the Qurayza, and included the tribe among several others that had not yet been fought (such as the Khaibar).  DTT appears to be making this up out of whole cloth.

How They Do It: Ignoring Reliable Sources

In contrast to DTT's source, Ibn Kathir's Tafisr is widely respected.  Here is what he has to say about verse 9:123:
Allah commands the believers to fight the disbelievers, the closest in area to the Islamic state, then the farthest . This is why the Messenger of Allah started fight ing the idolators in the Arabian Peninsula. When he finished with them and Allah gave him control over Makkah, Al- Madinah, At -Ta'if , Yemen..., he then started fighting the People of the Scriptures. He began preparations to fight the Romans who were the closest in area to the Arabian Peninsula, and as such, had the most right to be called to Islam, especially since they were from the People of the Scriptures...

"And let them find harshness in you", meaning, let the disbelievers find harshness in you against them in battle. The complete believer is he who is kind to his believing brother, and harsh with his disbelieving enemy (48:29)

This verse also would have been narrated from about the same time as several sahih hadith which endorse holy war:
Allah's Apostle said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform a that, then they save their lives an property from me..." (Sahih Bukhari 1.2.24)

Allah's Apostle was asked, "What is the best deed?" He replied, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, "What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, "To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah's Cause." (Sahih Bukhari 1.2.25)

Why They are Wrong

Discover the Truth really didn't put much effort into this one, other than finding a remarkably obscure quote from a disreputable source that doesn't even fully agree with their own point - much less anything else written about verse 9:123. 

DTT's running theme for the latter part of Sura 9 is the Expedition to Tabuk.  TROP suspects that the reason they didn't go with that here is that the verse says to "fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you" - Tabuk was some distance.  Hence, the fiction about Banu Qurayza, which would have preceded this verse by about seven years.

Of course, none of this changes what the verse says.  Who does it say to fight?  Disbelievers.  Which ones? Those who are close to you.  Why?  Well... because they don't believe.

That is the real theme of Sura 9: spreading Allah's religion by the sword, starting with those closest and working outward as ability allows.

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