Is Islam a religion of peace? (2)

It is clear that different verses of Quran carry contradictory meaning. If you think this looks dodgy you are in good company. Aware of the inconsistency of his teachings Muhammad himself proclaimed:

Quran (13:39) Allah annuls and confirms whatever He will, for with Him is the source of all revelation

and further:

Quran (16:101) When We substitute one revelation for another, and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages), they say, “Thou art but a forger”: but most of them understand not.

So Allah does change his mind because he can – he is da-boss! Muhammad merely passed on what was revealed to him and in many cases the instructions to believers were altered during Muhammad’s life. The later verses abrogate (annul, revoke) any earlier passages with a conflicting meaning. This ingenious concept solves the inconsistencies within Quran – Muslims just need to identify the chronologically latest instructions and follow them.

Applying this method to the verses dealing with how Muslims should treat non-believers produces some interesting results. The peaceful messages in Quran were recorded in the early part of Muhammad’s life. But when he built up a military strength the teachings became progressively more belligerent. The chronologically latest instruction on the issue is:

Quran (9:5) And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush.

According to many scholars this verse abrogates everything else Allah had instructed Muhammad to announce in terms of how to deal with the infidels. So all the tolerant and compassionate messages in Quran quoted in my previous post are null and void or, more precisely – have subsequently been abrogated. The take-home instruction for Muslims is to “kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush”. While not all scholars subscribe to it, the above is a perfectly legitimate interpretation of the message of Quran. Lovely.

Of course, when asked about Islam’s attitude to non-believers, Muslims will quote the abrogated verses. They can do so because of another clever invention of Islam.


Is Islam a religion of peace? (3)


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