Violent Verses in the Holy Quran?

“All Muslims are not Terrorists, but All Terrorists are Muslims.”

I was recently challenged by this remark. I actually respect those who can approach me with their doubts about my religion and I do my best to clear the misconceptions. This one was pretty easy because any rational mind would know how the media blows things out of proportion. That is the only reason why ‘self-proclaimed Muslims who are actually terrorists’ have managed to bring a disgrace to my religion. Since I am pretty lame with names, dates and historical facts, I looked it up. I was not surprised to find the same thoughts reflected by thousands of others.

I particularly liked this post because it dealt with some other myths about Muslims too – http://kafila.org/2014/04/12/some-myths-about-muslims/

Here is one more of such factual sheet – http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/claim_that_all_terrorists_are_muslims_ignores_history/0012587

While I was discussing these topics, I noticed a common misconception amongst my well-read friends. And since they were so well informed about other matters, I was deeply disturbed by the fact that they could believe that my Holy book would support the killing of non-believers.  I protested and argued that no religion would ever ask anyone to take an innocent life. And I had read the English translation of the Holy Quran. I didn’t remember any violent verse at all. But I could vaguely recall verses saying that we didn’t have the right to take a life because we couldn’t give one. It was also mentioned somewhere that killing an innocent person equals to killing the whole mankind. I could remember these verses because when I had read them, I was filled with immense pride. Such verses from the Holy Quran are amongst the guiding principles of my life. So how could the same scripture preach a totally opposite and extremely unjust notion? Deeply disturbed by all this I looked it up online. And to my dismay I found the verses! Although there were a lot of articles related to the Violent Verses in Islam, I think the following one had the greatest effect on me.

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/023-violence.htm

I was shocked. I was shaken to my very core. I was holding the Quran in my hands and just staring at the open page. It contained exactly what my friends had been proclaiming. Exactly what I had been so adamantly refusing to accept. How could I believe in a scripture that was asking all this out of me, as a test for being a true Muslim? Was I wrong my whole life? Or was I wrong just then? Could some lines from the Holy Book shake my belief in my God? No? Did that mean I didn’t believe in anything except my own perceptions of Allah? Was I following a religion or merely tailoring it according to my own personal beliefs? Did that make me an Atheist or simply a Humanist?

After few hours of self-doubt, I began my search again. It simply wasn’t possible that my religion taught us this violence. I had to find out those verses of peace. Somehow I imagined getting some relief for the time being at least. And I did find them.

http://www.emuslim.com/islamagainstVoilence.asp
“If anyone slew an innocent person it would be as if he slew the whole mankind and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole mankind”
[Al-Qur’an 5:32]

And many more…

So it meant that Quran taught peace as well as violence. And I chose to see peace in my religion while many got misguided and they stepped on the other side. Did that make me a more sensible person or portray them as more faithful followers? The other side… Why did Quran have that other side in the first place? I was back to my disoriented state. I wanted some relief. And there was only one way in which I felt peaceful before. My God. My prayers. I offered Namaaz and have to admit that while reciting my Surahs during Namaaz, my mind did wonder what was the actual meaning of the Arabic verses that I was mindlessly uttering out of lifelong habit. My mother had made me memorize these Surahs when I was a child and since then, without giving it any thought, I had been reciting them every day. And now I was questioning even that. I bowed down before Allah and asked for guidance. I needed an answer. I wasn’t ready to accept all this blindly when I knew it wasn’t right. Killing can never be justified.

And then I came across this article:

http://www.alsiraj.net/English/misc/nonmuslims/html/page22.html

In context! Everything should be judged in context. And I had been jumping to conclusions because I had read a few verses here and there. Isn’t that what the media did? Taking comments our of context and blowing them out of proportion. Wasn’t that the reason behind the false belief that ‘All Terrorists are Muslims’? While I condemned them for not getting to the base of these accusations, didn’t I do the same? I thought that killing can’t be justified. But what about self-defense? How to deal with homicides? What should one do during wars? Was killing justified in some cases? Was Quran talking about such cases?

Surah2:191-193 – The verse clearly states to fight those who fight you, yet do not transgress limits. In no sense, therefore, does it promote killing of innocent but allows self-defense. It further goes on to state “And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice” and “if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression”. Hence, once again when the whole context is examined the verses do not promote killing of innocent in any way.”

I was suddenly awed by the power of the mind. It can shake our souls if it’s doubtful. And same goes for the power of the pen. Words. Few words can be so impactful. If I could be shaken from my happy-go-lucky state into such deep rootlessness withing few hours (Or was it the initial minutes?), then I do wonder how astray those radical minds could get. Quran has been written in an ancient language and it can be misinterpreted easily. I chose to see and remember the positive aspects of my interpretation. I can’t declare that mine are the best ones, but I just pray that people let their inner sense of justice guide them whenever they set out to act on their interpretation. Meanwhile, I am still on the quest of removing doubts about my religion to the best of my ability.

 

Originally Published @ hfalki2.wordpress.com on 6/3/2014

Image copyright with the Artist

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17 thoughts on “Violent Verses in the Holy Quran?

  1. An interesting read indeed. All the people who claim such things about it should go back and
    view their own scriptures (or even constitution of India for self proclaimed nationalists).
    If you quote anything out of context you are bound to misinterpret them.

  2. Their is no denying fact regarding it. Infact almost everyone knows and believes in it in general. However these are the things heavily used by the brain washers/ extremist groups (both muslim and non-muslim) to incite people against each other. Unfortunately because of the respect/fan following of the entity, people blindly believe in them without cross referencing it with other interpretations. This is the sole thing that leads them to be driven by the criminals to do acts of terrorism and extremism.

    1. I really hope people realize that God would never want them to take innocent lives. May God give us better understanding of our faith and make us better human beings.

    1. Thank you Surbhi. I read your article on Newsaurchai. It feels great to know that people like you are aware of the spreading misconception about Islam or any other religion for that matter. I look forward to reading more of your work.

  3. I was just looking at your Violent Verses in the Holy Quran blog post and still fail to understand why there are such verses at all. Nothing can justify asking the followers to kill the non-believers.

    1. True. Nothing can justify killing anyone. But what about self defense? What if someone is coming with a knife at your baby? What will you do in that spur of the moment? What will happen when the killer has grabbed you by the throat and is choking you to death and you know that your helpless kid witnessing the scene will be the killer’s next target? I know it is a horrifying thought, but if you simply have no other choice will you still think it is not justified?

      I am not saying that killing someone is fine. Ofcourse it is a grave sin and I simply don’t know how someone can live with a burden like that on one’s soul. But sometimes when you see the act in context there are several elements affecting the action. Which context is Allah talking about in Quran in those violent verses? As far as I clarified, those verses are in a Surah related to war. And in wars it is naive to declare that there is no need for a commander to order killing of the opposite party. I condemn wars, but then I am called an idealist fool. If fanatic minds start misconstruing that command 1000s of years later and take those verses out of context and quote them to justify taking innocent lives, does that mean that the commander is at fault? Think about it dear.

      I am not an expert on this topic, but this is the logic that I found out about the presence of such verses in my Holy book. I am open to discussion, will answer to the best of my ability.

  4. I loved this post! Someone said your blogs fairly often and you’re always developing
    great stuff. I shared this on my facebook and my follwers loved it!
    Keep up you’ll be able to work.

    1. Thank you Jurgen. Your words just made my day better. I’m glad you liked the post and got to take something away from it.

  5. The real problem is that the Islamic civilisation is out of touch with the rest of the world.In the middle ages Islamic civilization was in advance of most of the world and indeed controlled much of the other civilizations and religions.But somewhere it had become so rigid and fanatic that it began to lose its mojo. Do you know that Suleiman the magnificent used Jewish & Christians workers courtesans and soldiers ?Akbar’s generals were hindu.Saladdin way way,way in advance of the christian civilisations.How did this decline come to pass.Same Quran ??? So the problem lies elsewhere in rigid practices and inability to adjust to the modern world.This leads to unemployment and seclusion in other non-muslim countries.That leads to violence and further problems which have become actute now

    The rest of the world would not change.Islam has to readapt else they would fall by the wayside.No amount of “hiding in the sand would help”.With due respect not using “namaste”etc does not help and singles the person out.It is irrelevant

    The educated people within the community have to speak up.Many already have like Javed Akthar but they get pillories by the religious fraternity who are the real problem

    1. I agree that religion has to evolve with time otherwise it will either become extinct or cause disruption. And this is true for all rigid religious practices, whether in Islam, Hinduism, Christianity or any other religion.

      But I believe that the problem doesn’t lie in the Holy texts. Rather it lies in our interpretation of these scriptures. Whether it is the Quran, Bible, Geeta and any other Holy texts, I believe the basic message in them is still valid because they preach human values. The part where history is discussed should be used to learn the lessons and not in a literal sense. We should practice their messages of love, compassion, generosity and brotherhood instead.

      And yes education paves the way of knowledge to sweep in our minds and enlighten us in ways beyond our imagination. And it is very important for such enlightened people to speak up and lead by example. I applaud the courage of such people and I hope to become one someday.

  6. Definitely don’t agree with this. Why does your religion have such verses to misguide people? Why would any God want violence in their so called Holy scriptures? As an atheist, I think people are pretending not to call out the absurdity of these fables associated with their religions.

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