Monday, November 5, 2012

Quran 47:4 When you meet the infidels,smite their necks ?!

Qur'an 47:4 So, when you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in battle, smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by God to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam .

Once again a poor translation serves the purpose of the Islam-haters very well. Let us examine a more accurate translation before analyzing the verse:
47:4 Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers in battle, smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been God's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of God,- He will never let their deeds be lost.
فَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا فَضَرْ‌بَ الرِّ‌قَابِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَثْخَنتُمُوهُمْ فَشُدُّوا الْوَثَاقَ فَإِمَّا مَنًّا بَعْدُ وَإِمَّا فِدَاءً حَتَّىٰ تَضَعَ الْحَرْ‌بُ أَوْزَارَ‌هَا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ وَلَوْ يَشَاءُ اللَّـهُ لَانتَصَرَ‌ مِنْهُمْ وَلَـٰكِن لِّيَبْلُوَ بَعْضَكُم بِبَعْضٍ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ فَلَن يُضِلَّ أَعْمَالَهُمْ ﴿٤

So we now see some grievous mistakes made in the poor translation quoted. 1. The verse makes NO mention whatsoever of "killing and wounding" 2. "Thus are you commanded by God to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam " is a complete addition to the verse and is not found anywhere in the Qur'an! 3. That verse does not use the word Jihad at all It is very clear that the context of this verse is in battle, and when in battle the defenders of humanity should attack the unjust oppressors until they are subdued. Professor Shahul Hameed comments on verse 47:4 by saying:
The context of this verse was when the Muslims were to fight their enemies for their very existence. After thirteen years of endurance and patience, the prophet and his companions had to leave their home town of Makkah and to emigrate to Madinah. When the people of Madinah had welcomed him there and he was accepted as a leader there, the Makkans became unhappy. They wanted to eliminate Muhammad and his religion; and so they sent their army to root out Islam. And the crucial battle took place in Badr. It was just before this that Muhammad received the revelation from God to fight: {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.} (Al-Baqarah 2:190)
This meant that the Prophet and his companions were not to start the fighting; but to defend themselves against aggressors. That was how fighting was ordained; but we must know that once we fight, we fight to defeat the aggressors, so that we can live without fear of molestation and invasion; so that we can live in peace; so that justice is done. Remember God does not command any one to start fighting; rather He permits people to fight in self defence or for the defence of those who are attacked unjustly. (SOURCE)
The historical context again illustrates a condition of constant struggle and war. In such a condition, God reassures the believers that He is with them, and to therefore have full faith, strength and bravery in battle and not to cower from the enemy. As Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes:
When once the fight (Jihad) is entered upon, carry it out with the utmost vigour… (Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an, Text, Translation and Commentary )
Likewise, Dr. Maher Hathout writes:
Clearly, these verses are applicable in the heat of battle and against an aggressive combating force. (Hathout, Jihad vs. Terrorism; US Multimedia Vera International, 2002, p.49)
Muslims are encouraged to restrain the enemy by capturing them, and to therefore minimize loss of life. Moreover, the verse specifically mentions that Muslims should subdue the enemies "until the war lays down its burdens", i.e. until the enemy stops fighting. Similar to this verse:
8:61 But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God: for He is One that hears and knows (all things).
وَإِن جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿٦١  

So the verse is very specific, in that it is limited to the context of a battle and the Muslims should only fight until the enemy is subdued or inclines towards peace i.e. they should not transgress limits. In the event of a battle, the verse guides Muslims to abstain from transgressing limits and only to fight the enemy until they are subdued or cease fighting. Shaykh Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid comments about the treatment of prisoners:
If the Muslims capture them and take them to a place that has been prepared for them, they should not harm them or torture them with beatings, depriving them of food and water, leaving them out in the sun or the cold, burning them with fire, or putting covers over their mouths, ears and eyes and putting them in cages like animals. Rather they should treat them with kindness and mercy, feed them well and encourage them to enter Islam... ...The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to enjoin the Muslims to treat prisoners well, whereas the Romans and those who came before them the Assyrians and Pharaohs, all used to put out their prisoners’ eyes with hot irons, and flay them alive, feeding their skins to dogs, such that the prisoners preferred death to life. (SOURCE)
Therefore, Islam has laid out clear rules and regulations for Muslims to follow in the event of war, which is only used as a last resort.

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