A Critical Exposition of the Popular 'Jihád'/Chapter 6/36

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[Sidenote: 36. The alleged verses of intolerance explained.]

The verses of the Koran referred to above are as follows:

186. "And fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you: but commit not the injustice of attacking them first: verily God loveth not the unjust."

187. "And kill them wherever ye shall find them, and eject them from whatever place they have ejected you; for (fitnah) persecution or civil discord is worse than slaughter but attack them not at the sacred Mosque, until they attack you therein, but if they attack you, then slay them—Such is the recompense of the infidel!"

188. "But if they desist, then verily God is Gracious, Merciful."

189. "And do battle against them until there be no more (fitnah) persecution or civil discord and the only worship be that of God: but if they desist, then let there be no hostility, save against wrong-doers."—Sura, ii.

These verses generally, and the last one especially, show that the warfare was prescribed on the ground of self-preservation, and to secure peace, safety and religious liberty, to prevent (fitnah) persecution.

By preventing or removing the persecution (fitnah), the religion of the Moslems was to be free and pure from intolerance and compulsion to revert to idolatry, or in other words, to be the only or wholly of God. That is, when you are free and unpersecuted in your religion, and not forced to worship idols and renounce Islam, then your religion will be pure and free. You shall have no fear of being forced to join other gods with God.

The same verse is repeated in Chapter VIII.

39. "Say to the unbelievers: If they desist,[1] what is now past shall be forgiven them, but if they return to it,[2] they have already before them the doom of the former."[3]

40. "Fight then against them till fitnah (civil strife or persecution) be at an end, and the religion be all of it God's, and if they desist, verily God beholdeth what they do."

This shows that the fighting prescribed here against the Koreish was only in the case of their not desisting, and it was only to prevent and suppress their fitnah, and when their intolerance and persecution was suppressed, or was no more, then the Moslem religion was to become all of it God's. They were not forced to join any god with the true God.


  1. From attacking and persecuting you and preventing you from entering your homes and visiting the sacred mosque.
  2. That is, if again attack you and commit aggressions.
  3. Meaning those who were defeated at Badr.