Robert Spencer: 'The History of Jihad—from Muhammad to ISIS'

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Submitted by administrator on Tue, 2019-05-07 22:58

[T]here is no period since the beginning of Islam that was characterized by large-scale peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims. There was no time when mainstream and dominant Islamic authorities taught the equality of non-Muslims with Muslims, or the obsolescence of jihad warfare. There was no Era of Good Feeling, no Golden Age of Tolerance, no Paradise of Proto-Multiculturalism. There has always been, with virtually no interruption, jihad. Nor is jihad in Islamic theology primarily, or even prominently, anything but warfare against unbelievers. The Qur’an contains numerous exhortations to fight against the infidels, as do all the hadith collections of Muhammad’s words and deeds. It directs Muslims to “fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and his messenger have forbidden, nor practice 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” (9: 29). Nor does Muhammad mention any other pretext for an attack when he expands upon this passage with more detailed instructions on fighting against unbelievers:


Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war; do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them…. If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.

Spencer, Robert. The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS (Kindle Locations 104-119). Bombardier Books. Kindle Edition.

From Chapter One:

The Quraysh came out to meet Muhammad’s three hundred men at the village of Badr with a force of nearly a thousand. 12 Muhammad, panicking, warned Allah of the consequences of a Muslim defeat: “O God, if this band perish today Thou wilt be worshipped no more.” But soon after that he expressed confidence in spiritual help that would guarantee the Muslims victory, telling his lieutenant Abu Bakr: “Be of good cheer, O Abu Bakr. God’s help is come to you. Here is Gabriel holding the rein of a horse and leading it. The dust is upon his front teeth.” 13 Muhammad then gave his men a promise that would make them, and Muslim warriors after them throughout the ages, fight all the harder: “By God in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, no man will be slain this day fighting against them with steadfast courage advancing not retreating but God will cause him to enter Paradise.” 14 His men believed him. One exclaimed: “Fine, Fine! Is there nothing between me and my entering Paradise save to be killed by these men?” He flung away some dates that he had been eating, rushed into the thick of the battle, and fought until he was killed. Another asked Muhammad: “O apostle of God, what makes the Lord laugh with joy at His servant?” Muhammad answered: “When he plunges into the midst of the enemy without mail.” The man did so and fought until he was killed. 15 Muhammad, far back in the ranks, picked up a few pebbles and threw them toward the Quraysh, saying, “Foul be those faces!” Then he ordered the Muslims to charge. Despite their superior numbers, the Quraysh were routed.

Spencer, Robert. The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS (Kindle Locations 250-255). Bombardier Books. Kindle Edition.