The Devil is in the Details!


On Page 15 of the Ulama’s letter to Christianity, we find this:

Finally, as Muslims, and in obedience to the Holy Qur’an, we ask Christians to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions … that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God … (Aal ‘Imran, 3:64).
Let this common ground be the basis of all future interfaith dialogue between us, for our common ground is that on which hangs all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:40). God says in the Holy Qur’an:

Say (O Muslims): We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. / And if they believe in the like of that which ye believe, then are they rightly guided. But if they turn away, then are they in schism, and God will suffice thee against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower. (Al-Baqarah, 2:136-137)

They preach to us about Common essentials; and immediately demand that we profane Jesus Christ. Islam denies his deity, crucifixion, death and resurrection. It is Christians who must abandon their faith; Islam does not compromise!

The next to last sentence of the quote from al-Baqarah conceals more than it reveals. “But if they turn away , then are they in schism, and God will suffice thee against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower.”

  1. if they turn away” is a common expression in the Qur’an. How is it used? As a pretext for war.

    Turn now to Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir. Good News for the Believers of Eternal Delight

    (73. O Prophet! Strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be harsh against them, their abode is Hell, — and worst indeed is that destination.) (74. They swear by Allah that they said nothing (bad), but really they said the word of disbelief, and they disbelieved after accepting Islam, and they resolved that (plot) which they were unable to carry out, and they could not find any cause to do so except that Allah and His Messenger had enriched them of His bounty. If then they repent, it will be better for them, but if they turn away; Allah will punish them with a painful torment in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. And there is none for them on earth as a protector or a helper.)

    Threatening the Disbelievers with Torment in This Life and the Hereafter

    (And I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute. As to those who disbelieve, I will punish them with a severe torment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers.)

    This is what Allah did to the Jews who disbelieved in `Isa and the Christians who went to the extreme over him. Allah tormented them in this life; they were killed, captured, and lost their wealth and kingdoms. Their torment in the Hereafter is even worse and more severe, … ) (62. Verily, this is the true narrative, and there is no god except Allah. And indeed, Allah is the Almighty, the All-Wise.) (63. And if they turn away, then surely, Allah is All-Aware of those who do mischief.)

  2. God will suffice thee against them

Turn now to Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir.
Encouraging Believers to fight in Jihad; the Good News that a Few Muslims can overcome a Superior Enemy Force

Allah encourages His Prophet and the believers to fight and struggle against the enemy, and wage war against their forces. Allah affirms that He will suffice, aid, support, and help the believers against their enemies, even if their enemies are numerous and have sufficient supplies, while the believers are few. Allah said,

﴿يَـأَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ حَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَى الْقِتَالِ﴾

(O Prophet! Urge the believers to fight), encouraged and called them to fight. The Messenger of Allah used to encourage the Companions to fight when they faced the enemy. On the day of Badr when the idolators came with their forces and supplies, he said to his Companions,

«قُومُوا إِلَى جَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَوَاتُ وَالْأَرْض»

(Get ready and march forth towards a Paradise as wide as the heavens and earth.)

`Umayr bin Al-Humam said, “As wide as the heavens and earth” The Messenger said,

«نَعَم»

(Yes) `Umayr said, “Excellent! Excellent!” The Messenger asked him,

«مَا يَحْمِلُكَ عَلَى قَوْلِكَ: بَخٍ بَخ»

(What makes you say, `Excellent! Excellent!’) He said, “The hope that I might be one of its dwellers.” The Prophet said,

«فَإِنَّكَ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا»

(You are one of its people.) Umayr went ahead, broke the scabbard of his sword, took some dates and started eating from them. He then threw the dates from his hand, saying, “Verily, if I lived until I finished eating these dates, then it is indeed a long life.” He went ahead, fought and was killed, may Allah be pleased with him.

Allah said next, commanding the believers and conveying good news to them,

﴿إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمْ عِشْرُونَ صَـبِرُونَ يَغْلِبُواْ مِاْئَتَيْنِ وَإِن يَكُنْ مُّنكُمْ مِّاْئَةٌ يَغْلِبُواْ أَلْفًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ﴾

(If there are twenty steadfast persons among you, they will overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons, they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve.)

Allah provides, suffices, and makes a Way out of Every Hardship for Those Who have Taqwa

Far from being an offer of peace, the letter is a demand for surrender. While it is more subtle than Muhammad’s extortion letters, it is no less threatening.

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The Devil is in the Details!


On Page 15 of the Ulama’s letter to Christianity, we find this:

Finally, as Muslims, and in obedience to the Holy Qur’an, we ask Christians to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions … that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God … (Aal ‘Imran, 3:64).
Let this common ground be the basis of all future interfaith dialogue between us, for our common ground is that on which hangs all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:40). God says in the Holy Qur’an:

Say (O Muslims): We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. / And if they believe in the like of that which ye believe, then are they rightly guided. But if they turn away, then are they in schism, and God will suffice thee against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower. (Al-Baqarah, 2:136-137)

They preach to us about Common essentials; and immediately demand that we profane Jesus Christ. Islam denies his deity, crucifixion, death and resurrection. It is Christians who must abandon their faith; Islam does not compromise!

The next to last sentence of the quote from al-Baqarah conceals more than it reveals. “But if they turn away , then are they in schism, and God will suffice thee against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower.”

  1. if they turn away” is a common expression in the Qur’an. How is it used? As a pretext for war.

    Turn now to Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir. Good News for the Believers of Eternal Delight

    (73. O Prophet! Strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be harsh against them, their abode is Hell, — and worst indeed is that destination.) (74. They swear by Allah that they said nothing (bad), but really they said the word of disbelief, and they disbelieved after accepting Islam, and they resolved that (plot) which they were unable to carry out, and they could not find any cause to do so except that Allah and His Messenger had enriched them of His bounty. If then they repent, it will be better for them, but if they turn away; Allah will punish them with a painful torment in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. And there is none for them on earth as a protector or a helper.)

    Threatening the Disbelievers with Torment in This Life and the Hereafter

    (And I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve till the Day of Resurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute. As to those who disbelieve, I will punish them with a severe torment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers.)

    This is what Allah did to the Jews who disbelieved in `Isa and the Christians who went to the extreme over him. Allah tormented them in this life; they were killed, captured, and lost their wealth and kingdoms. Their torment in the Hereafter is even worse and more severe, … ) (62. Verily, this is the true narrative, and there is no god except Allah. And indeed, Allah is the Almighty, the All-Wise.) (63. And if they turn away, then surely, Allah is All-Aware of those who do mischief.)

  2. God will suffice thee against them

Turn now to Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir.
Encouraging Believers to fight in Jihad; the Good News that a Few Muslims can overcome a Superior Enemy Force

Allah encourages His Prophet and the believers to fight and struggle against the enemy, and wage war against their forces. Allah affirms that He will suffice, aid, support, and help the believers against their enemies, even if their enemies are numerous and have sufficient supplies, while the believers are few. Allah said,

﴿يَـأَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ حَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَى الْقِتَالِ﴾

(O Prophet! Urge the believers to fight), encouraged and called them to fight. The Messenger of Allah used to encourage the Companions to fight when they faced the enemy. On the day of Badr when the idolators came with their forces and supplies, he said to his Companions,

«قُومُوا إِلَى جَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَوَاتُ وَالْأَرْض»

(Get ready and march forth towards a Paradise as wide as the heavens and earth.)

`Umayr bin Al-Humam said, “As wide as the heavens and earth” The Messenger said,

«نَعَم»

(Yes) `Umayr said, “Excellent! Excellent!” The Messenger asked him,

«مَا يَحْمِلُكَ عَلَى قَوْلِكَ: بَخٍ بَخ»

(What makes you say, `Excellent! Excellent!’) He said, “The hope that I might be one of its dwellers.” The Prophet said,

«فَإِنَّكَ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا»

(You are one of its people.) Umayr went ahead, broke the scabbard of his sword, took some dates and started eating from them. He then threw the dates from his hand, saying, “Verily, if I lived until I finished eating these dates, then it is indeed a long life.” He went ahead, fought and was killed, may Allah be pleased with him.

Allah said next, commanding the believers and conveying good news to them,

﴿إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمْ عِشْرُونَ صَـبِرُونَ يَغْلِبُواْ مِاْئَتَيْنِ وَإِن يَكُنْ مُّنكُمْ مِّاْئَةٌ يَغْلِبُواْ أَلْفًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ﴾

(If there are twenty steadfast persons among you, they will overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons, they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve.)

Allah provides, suffices, and makes a Way out of Every Hardship for Those Who have Taqwa

Far from being an offer of peace, the letter is a demand for surrender. While it is more subtle than Muhammad’s extortion letters, it is no less threatening.