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The Sword of Mohammed

The first reference to taking up the sword in the Koran is found in chapter 2:190-194: "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. And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers. But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors. The Sacred month for the sacred month and all sacred things are (under the law of) retaliation; whoever then acts aggressively against you, inflict injury on him according to the injury he has inflicted on you and be careful (of your duty) to Allah and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil)."

In the West most Muslims promote that the Koran merely justifies defensive wars, but the Koran's words go beyond what most would understand as mere defense. Holy war must rage until there is no more persecution and Islam is established throughout the world. Objectives are not limited, but complete submission to Allah is required for all unbelievers. American professors of Islam want to emphasize that Islam means peace, but the true Muslim understands that peace is when all men are in submission to Allah and there is no more opposition to the message of Islam. Islam means submission.

Muslims in America like to stress that Jihad does not mean holy war, but an inner struggle. However, Dr. Mohammed Taqu-ud-Din Al-Hilali, formerly professor of Islamic Faith and teachings at Islamic University, and Dr. Mohammed Muhsin Khan, formerly director of the University Hospital Islamic University, at Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, in their translation of the Koran footnote verse 2:190 with the following revealing comment: "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 pillars (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 is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honor is lost, their lands are 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."

Mohammed said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people till they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah, and perform As-Salat and give Zakat, so if they perform all that, then they save their lives, and properties from me except for Islamic laws, and their reckoning (accounts) will be with (done by) Allah." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.1, Hadith No.24)

The chapter of the Koran which is entitled Mohammed or (The Fighting) affirms that Jihad is a perpetual commandment until all of Allah's enemies (unbelievers) are subdued: "So when you meet (in fight--Jihad in Allah's Cause) those who disbelieve, smite (their) necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives). Thereafter either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until the war lays down its burden. Thus [you are ordered by Allah to continue in carrying out Jihad against the disbelievers till they embrace Islam and are saved from the punishment in the Hellfire or at least come under your protection]." (Koran 47:4)

The Muslim is directed to be a brutal and ruthless fighter: "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement." (Koran 5:33).

It is not expedient for Muslims to present Jihad as a pillar of Islam to Western nations, where they are a minority and lack political power; but Mohammed was quoted by the historian, Edward Gibbon, as declaring, "The sword is the key to Heaven and of Hell: a drop of blood shed in the cause of God, a night spent in arms, is of more avail than two months of fasting or prayer" (from Gibbon's, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.)

No prominent religious leader in history has been more direct and aggressive in promoting his faith with the sword than Mohammed, who declared, "Different prophets have been sent by God to illustrate his different attributes: Moses his clemency and providence; Solomon his wisdom, majesty, and glory; Jesus Christ his righteousness, omniscience, and power - his righteousness by purity of conduct; his omniscience by the knowledge he displayed of the secrets of all hearts; his power by the miracles he wrought. None of these attributes, however, have been sufficient to enforce conviction, and even the miracles of Moses and Jesus have been treated with unbelief. I therefore, the last of the prophets, am sent with the sword! Let those who promulgate my faith enter into no argument nor discussion, but slay all who refuse obedience to the law. Whoever fights for the true faith, whether he fall or conquer, will assuredly receive a glorious reward." (Washington Irving, Mahomet and His Successors).

Jesus is described in the Bible as "the Prince of Peace". He taught, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God" (Mat 5:9). Allah's blessing is on the war-makers, especially those martyred in jihad. The Koran states in chapter 4:74-77: "Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world's life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward. And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper. Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith, Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan. Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who were told to hold back their hands (from fight) but establish regular prayers and spend in regular charity? When (at length) the order for fighting was issued to them, behold! a section of them feared men as - or even more than - they should have feared Allah: They said: "Our Lord! Why hast Thou ordered us to fight? Wouldst Thou not Grant us respite to our (natural) term, near (enough)." Say: "Short is the enjoyment of this world: the Hereafter is the best for those who do right: Never will ye be dealt with unjustly in the very least!"

Mohammed from 622 to 632 AD fought 81 campaigns. He started with raids on camel caravan traders moving through routes in the neighborhood of Medina. With the booty he was able to accumulate from these raids, and his attacks on other towns, he was able to raise an army which grew larger and larger with his successes, until he finally marched on Mecca in 630 with an army of 10,000. Mecca surrendered to this overwhelming show of force. By his death in 632 AD, all of Arabia had fallen under his power and was in subjection to Islam.

Christianity is not pacifist in the sense that it forbids the use of force in personal or national defense. Jesus allowed his disciples to be armed for self-defense, but not for the purpose of establishing or propagating the Gospel. In Romans 13, Paul teaches that God has put the sword in the hands of civil authority for the purpose of upholding the law by punishing evildoers. But Paul made clear that the disciple's warfare is spiritual not carnal. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds" (2 Cor 10:4)

Jesus' admonition to turn the other cheek does not mean that one cannot defend himself, but that he should not seek vengeance nor respond violently to personal insults. President Bush has been careful not to use the language of vengeance, but of justice in regard to America's war on terrorism. He said, "We will bring the evildoers to justice or else we will take justice to them." It would be vengeance to target innocent family members of the terrorists, as they targeted civilians in their attack of the World Trade Center.

If America is going to be successful in its War on Terrorism, more than military victories on the battlefield are necessary. The real war is in the realm of ideas. Who has the truth? Islam or Christianity? Mohammad or Jesus? Christians must be jealous in taking up the sword of truth and engage in the war for men's minds.

Muslims in American are more aware of the Bible and the state of Christianity than Christians are aware of the Koran and the state of Islam. One must know his enemy. Christians in their zeal to live at peace with all men, must understand that this is not always possible (Rom 12:18). Although Muslims are clearly enemies of Christians, since they deny the death of Christ and that Jesus is the Son of God, we must show our love to them by exposing their error and declaring to them the true God.

We must also demonstrate love to non-Muslims by warning them of the false doctrines and dangers of Islam and pointing them to the claims of the Gospel. Who best represents the spirit of Islam? Do Muslim moderates who claim that extremists have "distorted and hijacked" Islam, or do the Muslim hordes in the streets rejoicing over the fall of the Twin Towers and shouting hate slogans against America?

Who best represents the example of Mohammed? Does Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the Taliban, or does the President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of Turkey (who has committed ground troops against the terrorists in Afghanistan)? Unless one is going to claim that the call to jihad in the Koran was only relevant to Allah's enemies of Mohammed's time, one need not read far into the Koran, or consider the life and teachings of Mohammad, to see that Mr. bin Laden is very much a Mohammed like figure. Muslim moderates are either hypocrites who refuse to apply the Koran to current times, naively ignorant of the true nature of Islam, or clever deceivers who will, at an opportune moment, turn against America.

The Koran recites, "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people" (5:51).

It would seem that this verse would apply to those who are joining with America in the coalition against terrorism. Are these Muslims to be trusted? Do they not take the Koran seriously, or when it is convenient, will they turn on us? What will happen when America goes after other Muslim governments who are harboring terrorists? Will our present allies still be on our side?

Osama bin Laden, in a handwritten letter reported in USA today on November 11, 2001, wrote, "Muslims in Afghanistan are being subjected to killing, and the Pakistani government is standing beneath the Christian banner. The world is split in two. Part of it is under the head of infidels, (President) Bush, and the other half under the banner of Islam".

The Koran teaches that Islam will ultimately prevail, and Mr. bin Laden believes in the Koran. Was the terrorists' attack merely an attack on America? Or was it more than that, an attack on Christianity, because America, despite all of her sins is still the bastion of Christianity in the world?

The Bush administration has gone out of its way to explain that we are not engaged in a religious war. The war according to American officials is not against Islam, but against terrorists and those who harbor terrorists. President Bush is understandably concerned about stirring up an uprising in the whole Muslim world.

But this is precisely what Mr. bin Laden and his fellow terrorists want. Christians prefer peace over war, because we understand that the gospel is most effectively published in the world when there is peace among the nations. However, we should not promote peace at the expense of Truth and Freedom.

Thankfully, America has apparently achieved an early victory over the Taliban in the War on Terrorism, but military successes alone will ultimately be in vain. Christians must put on the whole armor of God and raise the sword of the Spirit and slay the lie of Islam, which is the motivating force behind the terrorists actions. As much as Americans do not want to admit it, this is a religious war.




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