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{46:15} And We have enjoined on man doing of good to his parents; with trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth; and the bearing of him and the weaning of him was thirty months; until when he attains his maturity and reaches forty years, he says: My Lord! grant me that I may give thanks for Thy favor which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do good which pleases Thee and do good to me in respect of my offspring; surely I turn to Thee, and surely I am of those who submit.

{31:14} And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents-- his mother bears him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years-- saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming.

{17:23} And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) "Ugh" nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word.
{17:24} And make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord! have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little.

{2:83} …You shall not serve any but Allah and (you shall do) good to (your) parents,….

{4:36} And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him and be good to the parents …..

{6:151} Say: Come I will recite what your Lord has forbidden to you-- (remember) that you do not associate anything with Him and show kindness to your parents, …….

{14:41} O our Lord! grant me protection and my parents and the believers on the day when the reckoning shall come to pass!

{29:8} And We have enjoined on man goodness to his parents,……

{19:13} And tenderness from Us and purity, and he was one who guarded (against evil),
{19:14} And dutiful to his parents, and he was not insolent, disobedient.
{19:15} And peace on him on the day he was born, and on the day he dies, and on the day he is raised to life

Comment: The previous three verses are a reference to prophet Yahya (john) peace be upon him.



Patience and Perseverance:

{70:5} Therefore endure with a goodly patience.

{2:45} And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones,

{14:12} And what reason have we that we should not rely on Allah? And He has indeed guided us in our ways; and certainly we would bear with patience your persecution of us; and on Allah should the reliant rely.

{7:128} Musa said to his people: Ask help from Allah and be patient; surely the land is Allah's; He causes such of His servants to inherit it as He pleases, and the end is for those who guard (against evil).

{2:155} And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient,
{2:156} Who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah's and to Him we shall surely return.
{2:157} Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord, and those are the followers of the right course.

{2:286} Allah does not impose upon any soul a duty but to the extent of its ability;

{67:1} Blessed is He in Whose hand is the kingdom, and He has power over all things,
{67:2} Who created death and life that He may try you-- which of you is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving,




{24:27} O you who believe! Do not enter houses other than your own houses until you have asked permission and saluted their inmates; this is better for you, that you may be mindful.
{24:28} But if you do not find any one therein, then do not enter them until permission is given to you; and if it is said to you: Go back, then go back; this is purer for you; and Allah is Cognizant of what you do.



Purification of the Soul:

{2:151} Even as We have sent among you a Messenger from among you who recites to you Our communications and purifies you and teaches you the Book and the wisdom and teaches you that which you did not know.

{91:7} And the soul and Him Who made it perfect,
{91:8} Then He inspired it to understand what is right and wrong for it;
{91:9} He will indeed be successful who purifies it,
{91:10} And he will indeed fail who corrupts it.

Comment: God has power over all things. He created the rules of the universe. He also has power over the hearts. God is able to control the spiritual well being of a person. The rules of attaining mental and spiritual well being have been taught by the messenger of God, the prophet Muhammad (saws).



Racism, Nationalism, Sexism:

{49:13} O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.

{30:22} And one of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colors; most surely there are signs in this for the learned.

Comment: "that you may know each other". People can only be identified because of their differences.



Rationality / Reasoning:

{3:191} Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee; save us then from the chastisement of the fire:

{39:42} … most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.

{30;21} … most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.

{45:13} … most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.

{13:3} … most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.

{2:219} … Thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, that you may ponder




{6:54} And when those who believe in Our communications come to you, say: Peace be on you, your Lord has ordained mercy on Himself, (so) that if any one of you does evil in ignorance, then turns after that and acts aright, then He is Forgiving, Merciful.

{25:71} And whoever repents and does good, he surely turns to Allah a (goodly) turning.

{42:25} And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants and pardons the evil deeds and He knows what you do;




{2:195} And spend in the way of Allah and cast not yourselves to perdition* with your own hands, and do good (to others); surely Allah loves the doers of good.

Comment: *Do not destroy yourselves.




{49:12} O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin,




{2:42} And do not mix up the truth with the falsehood, nor hide the truth while you know (it).

{16:116} And, for what your tongues describe, do not utter the lie, (saying) This is lawful and this is unlawful, in order to forge a lie against Allah; surely those who forge the lie against Allah shall not prosper.

{103:1} I swear by the time,
{103:2} Most surely man is in loss,
{103:3} Except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience.




{49:10} The believers are but brethren, therefore make peace between your brethren and be careful of (your duty to) Allah that mercy may be had on you.

{3:103} And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited, and remember the favour of Allah on you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts so by His favour you became brethren; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire, then He saved you from it, thus does Allah make clear to you His communications that you may follow the right way.

Comment: The religion of Islam as propagated by Prophet Muhammad (saws) led to the unification of all the warring tribes of Arabia.



Vain Talk:

{25:63} And the servants of the Beneficent Allah are they who walk on the earth in humbleness, and when the ignorant address them, they say: Peace.

{28:55} And when they hear idle talk they turn aside from it and say: We shall have our deeds and you shall have your deeds; peace be on you, we do not desire the ignorant.

{25:72} And they who do not bear witness to what is false, and when they pass by what is vain, they pass by nobly.



War and Peace:

The most misinterpreted verses of the Quran are those revealed within the context of war. Certain groups of people try to distort the image of Islam by wrongfully portraying it as a religion that preaches violence against non-Muslims. They do this by taking the verses out of context to justify their unfounded beliefs. This approach has caused a lot of confusion about the true teachings of the Quran amongst non-Muslims. Tragically a faction from amongst the "Muslims" have also aided in the creation of this false image. A number of "Muslims" have misrepresented the verses of the Quran and the teachings of Islam in general, and have perpetrated heinous crimes that are wholly against the laws of this divine religion. Their beliefs do no originate from the Quran.

We wish to present a very brief exegesis of the verses related to war and peace to show the authentic teachings of the Quran. The verses of the Quran were revealed to prophet Muhammad (saws) over a period of 23 years. These verses were revealed within a particular context and deal with issues that arose in his lifetime. We would have to study the life and teachings of the prophet along with the Quran to achieve a complete understanding of Islam. The verses of war also need to be studied within their proper context.

Prophet Muhammad (saws) was persecuted for his teachings by a group of people who feared that Islam would benefit the oppressed and would unsettle the status quo of the powerful oppressors. They rejected his message and drove him and his followers out of their homes in Makka. Many attempts to end his life were made in the process. The Muslims set up homes in small town called Medina. The oppressive rulers form Makka decided to put an end to Islam and gathered an army to attack Medina. Islam allowed the Muslims to defend themselves in the subsequent defensive wars. History records that all the wars fought by prophet Muhammad (saws) were defensive in nature and all attacks were initiated by the enemies of Islam. The true nature of Islam was displayed when a contingent lead by the prophet (saws) took over a weakened Makka without any blood shed. All the people of that town were spared.

The prophet (saws) taught peace and tolerance to others and strongly encouraged the doing of good to other human beings. History shows that he lead by example.

Before we discuss the verses of the Quran it must be pointed out that the word "Kaffir" (usually translated to unbeliever / disbeliever) literally means those who reject and conceal the truth.

Peace is encouraged by the Quran:

{2:224} And make not Allah because of your swearing (by Him) an obstacle to your doing good and guarding (against evil) and making peace between men, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

{25:63} And the servants of the Beneficent Allah are they who walk on the earth in humbleness, and when the ignorant address them, they say: peace.

{8:61} And if they incline to peace, then incline to it and trust in Allah; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

The Quran teaches us to be peaceful with people unless they are oppressors:

{60:8} Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice.

{60:9} Allah only forbids you respecting those who made war upon you on account of (your) religion, and drove you forth from your homes and backed up (others) in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them, these are the unjust.

The Quran disallows the Muslims to create unnecessary enmity:

{60:7} It may be that Allah will bring about friendship between you and those whom you hold to be your enemies among them; and Allah is Powerful; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

Defensive wars are allowed in Islam to protect the people:

{22:39} Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them;
{22:40} Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is Allah. And had there not been Allah's repelling some people by others, certainly there would have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques in which Allah's name is much remembered; and surely Allah will help him who helps His cause; most surely Allah is Strong, Mighty.

{4:75} And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.

Verses often quoted out of context:

Certain people with prejudiced beliefs often quote verses out of context to portray Islam as a violent religion. Here we shall provide the context of the oft misrepresented verses. It must be noted that when the Quran uses words such as "then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives" it is similar to a British General announcing during the Second World War "kill the Germans when you see them and take them captives if you capture them". These words are the normal way to speak within the context of a battlefront.


Misrepresented verse:

{2:191} And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out,

Full context:

{2:190} And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.
{2:191} And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.
{2:192} But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
{2:193} And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.

Quite clearly the verses above are within the context of a defensive war. Verse 190 states that the fight is against those who started a fight with the Muslims. Verse 191 points out that these people drove the Muslims out of their homes. Verse 193 says that there should be no hostility if the enemy stops the attack and only oppressors deserve a hostile approach.


Misrepresented verse:

{8:65} O Prophet! urge the believers to war; if there are twenty patient ones of you they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a hundred of you they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are a people who do not understand.


{8:61} And if they incline to peace, then incline to it and trust in Allah; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.


Misrepresented verse:

{8:39} And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah; but if they desist, then surely Allah sees what they do.


The verse above states that if the enemies desist then there is no more fighting. This is a clear indication that its context is war and that the fight was defensive in nature because the enemy started the attack/persecution otherwise the words "if they desist" wouldn't be used. Another verse in the Quran with a similar meaning: {2:193} And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.


Misrepresented verse:

{9:5} …. slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush,


A group of idolaters broke a peaceful agreement with the Muslims. Surah Nine (Tawbah) is thought to be a continuation of Surah Eight (Anfal), {8:56} Those with whom you make an agreement, then they break their agreement every time and they do not guard (against punishment).

This group of idolaters had a history of viscously persecuting the Muslims, they attacked the Muslims first. The verse 9:5 only refers to this specific group because the previous verses in the Surah state that a punishment was announced to this certain group and the other idolaters who did not break the treaty were not to be attacked:

{9:3} And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Messenger are free from liability to the idolaters; therefore if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you will not weaken Allah; and announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve.

{9:4} Except those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement, then they have not failed you in anything and have not backed up any one against you, so fulfill their agreement to the end of their term; surely Allah loves those who are careful (of their duty).

And even those who broke the treaty were given a chance to have peace and asylum with Muslims in safety:

{9:6} And if one of the idolaters seek protection from you, grant him protection till he hears the word of Allah, then make him attain his place of safety; this is because they are a people who do not know.

The behaviour of the idolaters who broke the treaty is described in the following verse:

{9:13} What! will you not fight a people who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the Messenger, and they attacked you first; do you fear them? But Allah is most deserving that you should fear Him, if you are believers.

We haven't presented the full context of verse 9:5 and would advise people to read the Surah for themselves.


Misrepresented verse:

{Yusufali 9:29} Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued

That verse talks of the Jizyah tax that had to be paid to the Islamic government. A large rebellious group refused to pay that minimal tax. Everyone has to pay a tax, even Muslims have to pay taxes. A government has a duty to look after the citizens and the citizens must pay the taxes to allow a government to function with a budget. The Jizyah tax is not for Muslims. The Muslims pay other types of taxes that non Muslims don't have to pay. The Jizyah tax is for those non Muslims who are exempt from joining the army of the state. This tax is substitute for their non involvement in the army. Citizens cannot refuse to pay a tax if they are deriving all the benefits from a government including a protecting army. In early Islam non Muslims who served in the army did not have to pay the Jizyah. In any case the Jizyah was less than the amount in taxes that the Muslims paid. The historical context of the verse should not be ignored.


Misrepresented verse:

{4:89} … then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, ….


{4:90} Except those who reach a people between whom and you there is an alliance, or who come to you, their hearts shrinking from fighting you or fighting their own people; and if Allah had pleased, He would have given them power over you, so that they should have certainly fought you; therefore if they withdraw from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not given you a way against them.

The verses of Jihad:

So it is quite clear that the Quran commands peace with all people and all the verses of war are within the context of self defence and fighting oppression. However there are other misunderstood verses in the Quran; these are the verses of jihad against unbelievers:

{66:9} O Prophet! strive hard* against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be hard against them; and their abode is hell; and evil is the resort.
* Jaahidil

{9:73} O Prophet! strive hard* against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.
* Jaahidil

There is a need to know the real meaning of the word "Jihad". Its technical meaning is "to struggle". This is the correct dictionary meaning of the Arabic word regardless of what other people would want us to believe. Therefore the word Jihad can be used in any context that involves a struggle.

An example of the word jihad being used by the prophet Muhammad (saws):

"Oh Ali! The best Jihad is the Jihad of some one who made his night into morning without thinking to oppress a single individual."
-Wasail al-Shi'a, vol. 11, p-123.

This hadith completely demolishes the misconception that jihad means war. Here jihad means a struggle to keep away from oppression to such an extent that a person does not even consider doing it, and this is described as the best jihad.

Other examples of the word jihad in the Quran:

{29:8} And We have enjoined on man goodness to his parents, and if they contend* with you that you should associate (others) with Me, of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them, to Me is your return, so I will inform you of what you did.
* jaahadaaka

{29:69} And (as for) those who strive* hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways; and Allah is most surely with the doers of good.
* jaahadu

There are many more verses which use the word jihad within the context of a religious struggle to do good.

Therefore the verses that talk about jihad against the unbelievers do not necessarily encourage war because as we have seen the Quran discourages war. They refer to any suitable form of struggle against the rejection and concealment of truth.

The following verse tells us to strive against their falsehood using the truthful Quran. (the word "it" refers to the Quran):

{25:52} So do not follow the unbelievers, and strive* against them a mighty striving with it.
* jihaadan

Jihad can also exist in the following form:

{16:125} Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and have disputations with them in the best manner; surely your Lord best knows those who go astray from His path, and He knows best those who follow the right way.




{33:35} Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women and the humble men and the humble women, and the almsgiving men and the almsgiving women, and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember-- Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward.

{16:97} Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life, and We will most certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did.

{3:195} So their Lord accepted their prayer: That I will not waste the work of a worker among you, whether male or female, the one of you being from the other;…………..

{4:1} O people! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men and women; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you.

Comment: This verse tells us that the first man and woman were created from one single being (two parts of one soul). It does not say that the first woman was created from the rib of a man. Any teachings other than this are not Islamic.

{4:19} O you who believe! it is not lawful for you that you should take women as heritage against (their) will, and do not straiten them in order that you may take part of what you have given them, unless they are guilty of manifest indecency, and treat them kindly; then if you hate them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it.

{2:231} And when you divorce women and they reach their prescribed time, then either retain them in good fellowship or set them free with liberality, and do not retain them for injury, so that you exceed the limits, and whoever does this, he indeed is unjust to his own soul; and do not take Allah's communications for a mockery, and remember the favour of Allah upon you, and that which He has revealed to you of the Book and the Wisdom, admonishing you thereby; and be careful (of your duty to) Allah, and know that Allah is the Knower of all things.

Comment: The following verses refer to a tradition that existed in preislamic Arabia. A first born baby girl was thought to bring shame to the family. These girls were buried alive. Islam prohibited this heinous act.

{81:8} And when the female infant buried alive is asked
{81:9} For what sin she was killed,

{16:58} And when a daughter is announced to one of them his face becomes black and he is full of wrath.
{16:59} He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that which is announced to him. Shall he keep it with disgrace or bury it (alive) in the dust? Now surely evil is what they judge.

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