Letter to Heraclius, Byzantine Emperor (Sura 3:64)
Sura 3:64 - Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran 3:64)
Sahih Muslim, book 17 (Kitab al-Jihad Wa’l-Siyar), chapter 728, #4380
“In the name of Allah, Most Gracious ad Most Merciful. --From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Hiraql, the Emperor of the Romans. Peace be upon him who follows the guidance. After this, I extend to you the invitation to accept Islam. Embrace Islam and you will be safe. Accept Islam. God will give you double the reward. And if you turn away, upon you will be the sin of your subjects. O People of the Book, come to the word that is common between us that we should worship none other than Allah, should not ascribe any partner to Him and some of us should not take their fellows as Lords other than Allah. If they turn away, you should say that we testify to our being Muslims.”
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Hadith 191
Narrated Abdullah bin Abbas:
Allah's Apostle wrote to Caesar and invited him to Islam and sent him his letter with Dihya Al-Kalbi whom Allah's Apostle ordered to hand it over to the Governor of Busra who would forward it to Caesar.
"In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful (This letter is) from Muhammad, the slave of Allah, and His Apostle, to Heraculius, the Ruler of the Byzantine. Peace be upon the followers of guidance. Now then, I invite you to Islam (i.e. surrender to Allah), embrace Islam and you will be safe; embrace Islam and Allah will bestow on you a double reward. But if you reject this invitation of Islam, you shall be responsible for misguiding the peasants (i.e. your nation). O people of the Scriptures! Come to a word common to you and us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate nothing in worship with Him; and that none of us shall take others as Lords besides Allah. Then if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are (they who have surrendered (unto Him)
Bukhari 1:1:6 – Come to a common word … you will be safe … the Byzantines feared Muhammad
‘If you offer peace we will accept it
And make you partners in peace and war [i.e. as fellow Muslims].
If you refuse we will fight you doggedly…
We shall fight as long as we live
Till you turn to Islam, humbly seeking refuge.
We will fight not caring whom we meet …
…we cut off their noses and ears
With our fine polished Indian swords,
Driving them violently before us to the command of God and Islam,
Until religion is established, just and straight …’ (Ibn Ishaq, 587-8)
Durie: This letter is, at its heart, an invitation or call to Christians to agree with Muslims on certain Islamic teachings. The message aslim taslam ‘surrender (or ‘embrace Islam’) and you will be safe’ is an essential component of a declaration of war in Islam.
‘I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people till they say La ilaha illallah [There is no god but Allah], and whoever said La ilaha illallah, he saved his life and property from me …’
Bukhari Volume 1, Book 1, Hadith 24:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
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 and property from me …
Persecution of Christians
Raymond Ibrahim has a regular monthly column at his website detailing persecution of Christians at the hands of normal, regular, every day ordinary Muslims. He is not alone; similar reports come from organizations such as Barnabus Fund, Open Doors International, and Voice of the Martyrs.
Open Doors publishes an annual World Watch List where Christian persecution is highest. Of the top 10 nations, 9 of them are Islamic, with North Korea being the lone exception:
1. North Korea
A few of thousands of examples....
Churches are routinely destroyed, burned, vandalized, in a broad range of Islamic countries and not by ISIS or other so-called “radical” or Islamist groups, but by regular Muslims.
“While apologists for Islam dismiss the words of scholars like Ibn Tamiyya and Ibn Qayyim as pertaining only to one school of Islamic jurisprudence (namely the Hanbali), the fact is that all four schools of Islamic law are agreed that new churches cannot be built and old ones allowed to exist cannot be repaired; there is unanimity on this point. Hostility to churches is not based on a particular ‘Salafi’ point of view – even if Salafis are the most vociferous in expressing it. For example, in an eighteenth-century fatwa, the Maliki jurist Sheikh al-Adawi declares:
The decisions made by our ulema state that they (Christians) will not be permitted to build new churches in Muslim countries, and that, if they build them, it is an obligation to demolish them. As for the reconstruction of those which have been destroyed this is not possible in any manner; it would even be preferable to not allow these buildings to be repaired.
Spread of Islam
First 100 years post-Muhammad, to 732 AD. From Arabia east to the border of India, west across N Africa, into Spain, stopped at Battle of Tours. Many of the nations conquered were Christian, other religions also i.e. Zoroastrian.
In the subsequent years, Islam spread rapidly by conquering many Christian nations, from the Middle East to southeast Asia. The last great expansion was halted only in 1683 (September 11 interestingly enough) at the battle of Vienna.
Muhammad is the example to follow for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day (Sura 33:21)
I have been ordered to fight until …
o Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 2 :: Hadith 24
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
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 except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah."
o Bukhari :: Book 4 :: Volume 52 :: Hadith 196
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah 's Apostle said, " I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' and whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' his life and property will be saved by me except for Islamic law, and his accounts will be with Allah, (either to punish him or to forgive him.)"
o Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 8 :: Hadith 387
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah." Narrated Maimun ibn Siyah that he asked Anas bin Malik, "O Abu Hamza! What makes the life and property of a person sacred?" He replied, "Whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah', faces our Qibla during the prayers, prays like us and eats our slaughtered animal, then he is a Muslim, and has got the same rights and obligations as other Muslims have."
o Bukhari :: Book 9 :: Volume 84 :: Hadith 59
Narrated Abu Huraira:
When the Prophet died and Abu Bakr became his successor and some of the Arabs reverted to disbelief, 'Umar said, "O Abu Bakr! How can you fight these people although Allah's Apostle said, 'I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, 'and whoever said, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah', Allah will save his property and his life from me, unless (he does something for which he receives legal punishment) justly, and his account will be with Allah?' "Abu Bakr said, "By Allah! I will fight whoever differentiates between prayers and Zakat as Zakat is the right to be taken from property (according to Allah's Orders). By Allah! If they refused to pay me even a kid they used to pay to Allah's Apostle, I would fight with them for withholding it." 'Umar said, "By Allah: It was nothing, but I noticed that Allah opened Abu Bakr's chest towards the decision to fight, therefore I realized that his decision was right."
Sura 9:29 (not abrogated)
o 009:029 Khan - Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) 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 Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
o 009:029 Maulana - Fight those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, nor follow the Religion of Truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.
o 009:029 Pickthal - Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.
o 009:029 Rashad - You shall fight back against those who do not believe in GOD, nor in the Last Day, nor do they prohibit what GOD and His messenger have prohibited, nor do they abide by the religion of truth - among those who received the scripture - until they pay the due tax, willingly or unwillingly.
o 009:029 Sarwar - Fight against those People of the Book who have no faith in God or the Day of Judgment, who do not consider unlawful what God and His Messenger have made unlawful, and who do not believe in the true religion, until they humbly pay tax with their own hands.
o 009:029 Shakir - Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.
o 009:029 Sherali - Fight those from among the people of the Book, who believe not in ALLAH, nor in the Last Day, nor hold as unlawful what ALLAH and HIS Messenger have declared to be unlawful, nor follow the true religion, until they pay the tax considering it a favour and acknowledge their subjection.
o 009:029 Yusufali - 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.
Slay and be slain…
o 009:111 Khan - Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah's Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Qur'an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success.
o 009:111 Maulana - Surely Allah has bought from the believers their persons and their property -- theirs (in return) is the Garden. They fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. And who is more faithful to his promise than Allah? Rejoice therefore in your bargain which you have made. And that is the mighty achievement.
o 009:111 Pickthal - Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph.
o 009:111 Rashad - GOD has bought from the believers their lives and their money in exchange for Paradise. Thus, they fight in the cause of GOD, willing to kill and get killed. Such is His truthful pledge in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Quran - and who fulfills His pledge better than GOD? You shall rejoice in making such an exchange. This is the greatest triumph.
o 009:111 Sarwar - God has purchased the souls and property of the believers in exchange for Paradise. They fight for the cause of God to destroy His enemies and to sacrifice themselves. This is a true promise which He has revealed in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Quran. No one is more true to His promise than God. Let this bargain be glad news for them. This is indeed the supreme triumph.
o 009:111 Shakir - Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat and the Injeel and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.
o 009:111 Sherali - Surely, ALLAH has purchased of the believers their persons and their property in return for the heavenly Garden they shall have; they fight in the cause of ALLAH, and they slay and are slain - an unfailing promise that HE has made binding on Himself in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Qur'an. And who is more faithful to his promise than ALLAH? Rejoice, then, in your bargain which you have made with HIM; and that is the mighty triumph.
o 009:111 Yusufali - Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.
Peaceful Mecca vs. Violent Medina
Sura 8:39 – Fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will be for Allah alone.
Sura 9:5 - Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
o Ibn Kathir, writes in his commentary on this verse, "These ayat [verses] allowed fighting the people unless, and until, they embrace Islam and implement its rulings and obligations... This verse abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolator, every treaty, and every term. No idolator had any more security or promise of safety since Surah Bara'ah [chapter 9 of the Qur'an] was revealed." In essence, Sura 9:5 was an open ended right of Muslims to wage war on non-Muslims at any time or place, and without provocation, simply because they do not accept Islam.
Sura 4:95 – “Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward;”
Sura 9:123 – O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you.
Sura 9:20 - Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might and main, in Allah's cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah: they are the people who will achieve (salvation).
Sura 9:16 – “Do you think that you shall be left alone while Allah has not yet tested those among you who have striven hard and fought…”
The purpose Allah revealing this aya was to distinguish “between those who obey him and those who disobey him (Ibn Kathir).
Ibn Ishaq: “God sent Muhammad with this religion and he strove for it until people accepted it voluntarily or by force.”
Nearly 200 times the word ‘jihad’ is mentioned in canonical literature and it always is in the context of armed conflict to spread and propagate Islam.
Footnote by Muhammad Muhsin Khan in his Bukhari collection:
“Al-Jihad (Holy fighting) in Allah’s cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam, and is one of its pillar (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah’s word is made superior and His religion (Islam) is propagated. By abandoning Jihad, (may Allah protect us from that), Islam and the Muslims fall into an inferior position, their honor is lost, their land is stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam, on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfill this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.”
Bukhari 2792: “A single endeavor of fighting in Allah’s cause in the forenoon or in the afternoon is better than the world and whatever is in it”
Bukhari 2810: “A man came to the prophet and asked ‘A man fights for booty, another fights for fame and a third fights for show