Assalamu- Alaikum! [May peace be unto you]
After the introduction, this is my first post in this series. It’s not like I don’t have any other topics to talk about, but hey, let’s first address the elephant in the room because everybody these days do think of Islam whenever they hear the word “terrorism”.
Every single time when someone tries to defend Islam and state that it is a religion of peace, a handful of people come forth and say something along the lines of, “We thought that too. But it is not a religion of peace. It preaches violence and we know this because we have read the Quran completely and so we know what it states…”. Okay, that’s lovely. That’s great that you’ve read the Quran, but here is the thing.
The Quran, the Holy Book which is kind of like an instruction manual for Muslims, is not like a story that can be read from page one to hundred and now you’re aware of the whole story behind it. The Quran has 114 chapters, each of which was revealed in different stages to our prophet known as Prophet Mohammed [Peace Be Upon Him]. Each chapter is of varying length and it has a number of different verses. The chapters were revealed to Muhammed [PBUH] at different stages of his life, during different situations. These chapters were not revealed like a story with a chronological order. They were revealed when an incident occurred and Muhammed [PBUH] needed some guidance or reassurance.
So anyone who has read the Quran knows that there is no specific order regarding each subject matter. For instance, let’s take marriage, there are various rules regarding this spread out across different chapters across the whole Quran. You don’t find all the rules bundled together in one place. One might wonder why, and like I’ve said before, I am no expert when it comes to my religion, but based on my basic knowledge, I would say it’s all spread out because like I’ve mentioned, the chapters were revealed during different occasions, hence the rules are spread out. But this is not what today’s topic is about.
Back to terrorism. So now that I have given you a general idea about the various chapters of the Quran, I hope you at least try to understand the following words. So to anyone saying the Quran talks about violence, these verses that are related to violence were revealed to Muhammed [PBUH] during moments when some form of violence was taking place, during battles and many other scenarios. So if you try to read and interpret something without knowing the context behind it, you are definitely bound to misinterpret it. This is actually one of the reasons, some of the religious scholars actually dissuade people from reading the translation of the Arabic verses. Because it is human nature to misunderstand and misinterpret and especially in case of the Quran, not knowing the context behind which a certain chapter or verse was revealed will only and only confuse you. Which is why it is always recommended to ask a well educated Islamic scholar, with solid credibility if I may say so, for clarification of certain verses.
Now if I know people well enough, I am sure people are fixated on the part where I mentioned battles and didn’t pay attention I said after that. Well let’s get back to it. For all I know, someone is going to be like, “Well, there you go, they used to wage wars even back then”. Yeah, they did, but do you know the reason. Let me give you a small backstory.
Muhammed [PBUH] was born in Mecca. Fast forward to the point where he started preaching Islam and calling people towards monotheism, some believed, some didn’t. But at one point, the disbelievers began to oppress the believers to the extent that few years down the road, the believers were left with no choice but to leave their homes and migrate to the city now known as Madinah in KSA. The believers were not only tortured during their time in Mecca, but they also had to leave behind their homes, everything that belonged to them and had to move to a different city and begin life anew. Fast forward a bit more, I’m skipping a few details here because I’m trying to stay on topic. The disbelievers declared war on the believers and began marching towards them with a huge army. The believers were left with no choice but to pick up weapons and defend themselves, because they had to. In this particular moment, the believers were greatly outnumbered by the disbelievers and yet, this battle was won. It was known as the Battle of Badr.
Now in that moment, to reassure Muhammed [PBUH] and his army, Allah [SWT] (this is what we refer to our God as), revealed a few verses regarding the battle and the consequences and ensuring victory for the believers. Now to someone who is completely clueless about this backstory here and they read the Quran and come across these particular verses referring to the enemy, talking about destruction and violence, obviously they are going to think our Holy Book is preaching violence. But it is not. Then someone else might be like, why are these verses in the Quran then if you don’t want to preach violence?
Because this recollection about the battle is a reminder to us Muslims that during a time when victory seemed improbable considering the fact that the opposing army was three times bigger than us, we still did win and we did so due to our firm belief in our God.
This is merely one example that I could think of in the moment. There are many, many more like this. To someone who doesn’t know the history behind these particular verses mentioned in the Quran, it might seem like Islam is preaching violence, Islam is asking you to destroy anyone who disbelieves. But that is not the case.
The core of our religion is peace. Live in peace. Help others. Do good. Do no harm. Wage war only when you truly have to defend yourself. So these terrorist who call themselves Muslims, and go around on a killer spree for absolutely no reason whatsoever, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t even classify them as Muslims. They are just deranged people, trying to find a reason to be violent and using a religion of peace as a forefront for their distorted actions. There isn’t a single act of terrorism out there which any sane, true Muslim will ever justify.
Simply put, if you’re a true Muslim, there is no chance whatsoever that you will ever justify terrorism. It’s as simple as that. Above and beyond that if anyone supports or justifies these acts of terror, I can assure you that they are clueless about what Islam truly is or what being a Muslim is actually about.
Obviously, I don’t think this truly covered every aspect on the topic of terrorism. We’ll call it part one for now. Every time I come across something that triggers a response within me, I’ll come up with a post.