Below is an email that was sent to me by a non-muslim friend of mine. She wanted some clarification on this matter.
Subject: What’s an Infidel?
I hope you will read this and then pass it on.
WHAT’S AN INFIDEL?
This is a true story and the author, Rick Mathes, is a well-known leader in prison ministry.
The man who walks with God always gets to his destination. If you have a pulse you have a purpose.
The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion per capita in the United States , especially in the minority races!
Last month I attended my annual training session that’s required for maintaining my state prison security clearance.
During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who each explained their beliefs. I was particularly interested in what the Islamic had to say.
The Muslim gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video.
After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.
When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Muslim and asked: ‘Please, correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel, (which is a command to all Muslims) they are assured of a place in heaven.
If that’s the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?’
There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, ‘Non-believers!’
I responded, ‘So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?’
The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.’
He sheepishly replied, ‘Yes.’
I then stated, ‘Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine The Pope commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr.Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!’
The Muslim was speechless!
I continued, ‘I also have a problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me! Let me ask you a question: Would you rather have your Allah, who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and He wants you to be there with me?’
You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame.
Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the ‘Diversification’ training seminar were not happy with my way of dealing with the Islamic Imam, and exposing the truth about the Muslims’ beliefs.
In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. to elect the President!
I think everyone in the U.S. should be required to read this, but with the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely
publicized, unless each of us sends it on! This is your chance to make a difference…
Wa Alaikumus Salaam
First of all, it must be clearly understood that there is no place in the Holy Quran in which Muslims are commanded to kill ‘infidels of the world’ as the person asserted. This is totally false, and a blatant lie and misinterpretation of the teachings of Islam.
It seems that the Muslim to whom the other person was speaking, was not a scholar of Islam nor was he aware of the true teachings of Islam.
There is absolutely no ‘order’, ‘command’ or teaching in the Holy Quran or traditions of the Prophet (S.A) that gives an allowance for a Muslim to kill anyone who is not of his faith. It seems that the writer of the article was ‘putting words in the Muslim’s mouth’, and did not give him a chance to explain anything, or he simply wanted to present the ‘idea of a few radical Muslims’ as a teaching of Islam. One which does not exist in Islam.
Look at the statement of the writer, ‘So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?’
This question of the writer shows that he had already ‘fixed his notion of Islam’ in his mind, and he wanted to get it correct. It does not matter what the answer of the Muslim guy was, since anyone can say anything today (as we see in the media). What really matters is whether or not the ‘notion’ of the writer was in accordance to the teachings of Islam. Anyone who has a bit of true information of Islam will immediately conclude that the writer’s ‘notion of Islam’ was totally unfounded and absurd.
How can this statement be true, when the Prophet (S.A) himself signed a peace treaty with the Christians and Jews to live in harmony in the city of Madina, and he continued to live with them until he died.
How can the writer’s claim be correct, when the Holy Quran has respectfully addressed the Jews and Christians (who are not of the faith of the Muslims) to be ‘people of the Book’. In other words, they have not even been referred to as unbelievers, instead, the Quran acknowledged the fact that they were given true divine scriptures and had true Prophets.
The ‘fabricated understanding’ of the writer also becomes glaring when we look at the fact that the Holy Quran has given the allowance for Muslim men to marry Christian and Jewish women, and to live with them in love and happiness. When this teaching has been given in the Quran, how can one say that Muslims are ordered to kill those who do not belong to their faith?
During the time of the Prophet (S.A), there were many people who interacted with him and loved him for his beautiful traits, and were not Muslims. The Prophet (S.A) maintained a beautiful relation with all of them, and treated them with love and kindness. The books of history are filled with such incidents and narrations.
With respect to who or what is an infidel? This word means ‘one who does not believe in a particular religion’. Based on this meaning, we find that Christians also refer to Muslims as infidels. They even go further to concoct their own misguided understanding of Islam by saying that ‘Allah’ is a moon god, hence, Muslims are worshipping a moon god, and many other similar fabrications of their own minds.
When the word ‘kafir’ (translated as unbeliever/infidel) is used in the Quran, the general understanding is that it refers to those who do not believe in one God, prophets, angels, life after death, resurrection, paradise, hell etc. Basically, it is used for those who do not subscribe to the teachings of a true prophet, and who do not follow any of the divinely revealed religion. This word therefore (in its common understanding) will not refer to Jews, Christians, the followers of David or any other prophet of the past who followed revealed scriptures from God Almighty. Instead, it will refer to those who have gone against the teachings of these holy prophets and revelations. Even in this case, the Quran does not give a command or permission for Muslims to ‘go about’ killing ‘infidels’ as the writer wants us to believe.
In this regard, the Muslims are given a beautiful message in the Holy Quran when it says, ‘Allah does not stop you from dealing justly and kindly with those who did not fight against you on account of religion, nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with fairness’. (60:8)
This verse is very explicit, and it clearly shows that Allah has encouraged, and requested the Muslims to be kind and just to the non-Muslims who do not fight them on account of religion or drive them out from their lands. Based on the above teaching, we find that Muslims have always co-existed peacefully with those who were non-Muslims throughout history until today.
There is absolutely no evidence to show/prove that Muslims of any territory went about killing other people only on account of the fact that they were non Muslims or infidels. History bears ample testimony to the fact that wherever the Muslims went and became the leaders/rulers of other countries, they dealt with the non-Muslims in a just, fair and kind manner. Non-Muslims were allowed to have their own places of worship and were granted the liberty to practice their religion. Even today, Muslims do not behave and do not subscribe to the ‘idea’ which the writer wanted to present to readers in his article.
The writer also tried to insinuate that Muslims must kill other people to enter heaven. This is nothing short of being nonsensical. Muslims do not have such teachings in Islam. He also tried to present an ‘opposing’ teaching by saying that Christian preaches love (‘or my Jesus tells me to love’). Probably, at this moment, the writer forgot the amount of wars the Christians in the past waged against others including Muslims. Even until today, many world leaders who are predominantly Christians and non-Muslims, are heavily involved in fighting the Muslims, or supporting the attacks on Muslims.
History books are filled with narrations that speak of the non-Muslim leaders of the past (predominantly Christians) who ruthlessly persecuted others and fought them for their lands and wealth. With all these evidences before the author, it seems to me that it was a clear intent on his part to swerve the listeners attention away from Islam by using these unfounded statements.
As for the wars that took place in the past in Islamic History, these are to be studied and understood in its relevant context. Sound reports and facts show that the early Muslims along with the Prophet Muhammad (S.A) were persecuted mercilessly at the hands of those who were not of their faith. These sufferings continued for a long period of 13 years in Makka where some Muslims males and females died on account of severe tortures. Others secretly fled the land and sought refuge in Abbysinia, and some who could not travel had to face the brunt of the non Muslims’ anger and rage. Eventually, the Prophet (S.A), along with the Muslims who remained in Makka were commanded by Allah to migrate to Madina where they can live in peace and security, and would be able to escape the daily sufferings from the pagans of Makka. However, even after taking residence in Madina, the Makkans made every effort to destroy the Muslims. In this regard, they started to wage wars against the Muslims. It was at this period for the first time, having went through 13 long years of sufferings and persecution, the Muslims were allowed to retaliate in order to defend their lives, homes and faith. Concerning the permission which Allah gave to them, the Holy Quran stated,…….
39. Permission to fight is given to those (i.e. believers against disbelievers), who are fighting them, (and) because they (believers) have been wronged, and surely, Allah is Able to give them (believers) victory
40. Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said: “Our Lord is Allah.” – For had it not been that Allah checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, wherein the Name of Allah is mentioned much would surely have been pulled down. Verily, Allah will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.
Here, it is very clear that the order of fighting was given in order to defend one’s life, land and faith. It was in this manner throughout the ages, we find that the Muslims were always put in a position where they had no choice except to defend and protect their lives, homes and faith.
In contrast to this, we find that the so-called super powers of the past, waged wars against others in order to invade and rule their lands. Although much oppression, tyranny and injustice were done by these ‘so-called’ super powers, it seems that writers of today have turned a blind eye to the ‘dirty wars’ which were fought by some of these super powers. Even today, wars are being fought, countries are being bombarded and lives are lost for no justifiable reason, yet, writers pay no attention to these occurrences.
The gist of this discussion is that there is absolutely no teaching in Islam which states that a Muslim should go about killing others who do not belong to their faith. This is nothing but sheer falsehood, a fabrication and a concoction on the part of those who do not like Islam.
As for the information given by the writer, there is no way to verify whether it is really the truth or not. Today, every false thing that comes about Islam claims to be the truth. So, we do not know what is really the truth. In the article, the writer wrote what he said and how he understood it. It is essential that the other side of the incident be given so that a third party can judge the situation by hearing two sides of the story. We need to hear from the Muslim person also, so that we can get a clearer picture of what really took place, which questions were asked, and the answers that were given. Only in this way, one will be able to know the truth.
And Allah Knows Best
Mufti Waseem Khan
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.