I would like to ask, is Islam really a religion of peace?

My question arises because, why in some of your Quranic verses does Allah encourage you to kill specially those who do not believe in Islam?

Quran (2:191-193)

And Fight for the cause of Allah? Quran (2:244)

And your God will kill those who do not accept this religion. Quran (3:56)

I am a Catholic so to speak, and I made this question as a part of my research paper. Since I do not know any Muslim, I thought of asking it here. I ask for your wisdom, that is all.


3 Answers 3


Dear brother in humanity,

Did you even take the time to read the previous verse or the complete verse at least?

Never mind, the Quran does not encourage Muslims to fight non-belivers, however Islam is not a pacifist religion and states that there are times where it is neccasary to defend ones self, community and family.

If you read the verse previous to verse 2:191, you will relise that the verse does not say fight the disbelivers as a whole, it clearly states that fight those who fought you:

Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors (2:190)

Yet again in verse 2:191, it mentions to fight those who drove you out of your homes not for the fact they are disbelivers:

And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

Unfortunately these and similar verse get used by both Islamophobs and Terrorists alike, they both take a few words out of the verse, wrap it around their own context and ignore the interpretations to backup whatever agenda they have.

We are not to treat those who have different beliefs to ours differently or un-equality:

“Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity” [60:8]

A myth related to these versus also abused by Islamaphobes and Terrorists, is that we are out to convert every one, however a simple read through the Quran will proof otherwise, we are not to judge people over these matters, as it is only God who knows whats in the hearts:

And say, "The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever wills - let him disbelieve." Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.

There are many, many other versus, that revolve around this.

You cannot read a few versus of the Quran and assume you have a complete understanding of the religion, I would suggest reading the Quran, its interpretations and the sayings of the prophet, this will help in understanding the religion and provide you with more solid data for your research.

In regards to 3:56, God has informed us of the paths in life that we can take, we are either to submit and follow his orders or act otherwise as we have free will, we know what path leads to Hell and which leads to paradise, we are free to take either, who are we to argue with God, taking the righteous path is not one that is full of hardships rather it is easy.

Our religion is not a complex one and is simple to understand as most answers are answered by reading, those who misguided themselves are at fault for not seeking the knowledge that we are encouraged to seek, this why you see that claims put forward by terrorists are always refuted by scholars!

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Knowledge is gained by striving for it.”

Ibn ‘Abbaas said: ‘Be faithful slaves to your Lord, patient and learned.’ And it is said that the good instructor is the one who starts teaching people simple matters of knowledge before more difficult ones.”

It was narrated that Qays ibn Katheer said: “A man came from Madeenah to Abu’l-Darda’ in Damascus and he said, ‘What brought you here, my brother?’ He said, ‘A hadeeth which I have heard that you narrate from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).’ He said, ‘Have you come for any other reason?’ He said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Have you come for trade?’ He said, ‘No. I have only come to seek this hadeeth.’ He said, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, “Whoever follows a path to seek knowledge, Allaah will make easy for him the path to Paradise. The angels beat their wings in approval of the seeker of knowledge, and those who are in the heavens and on earth pray for forgiveness for the scholar, even the fish in the water. The superiority of the scholar over the worshipper is like the superiority of the moon over all other heavenly bodies. The scholars are the heirs of the Prophets, for the Prophets did not leave behind dinars or dirhams, rather they left behind knowledge, so whoever gains knowledge has gained great good fortune.’” (narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2606; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani).

To seek knowledge always refer to the source, don't refer to bigot sites that are established to nourish bigotry hatred and made up opinions and claims!

May God the one an only the just and merciful guide all to the righteous path!

God knows best!

  • 2
    For those who spot any mistakes, please feel free to correct me :)
    – Aboudi
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 12:24
  • That's the thing, i dont know anything about your religion, and i'm mortified by the scriptures i have read, but indeed, i should not have judge a forefront script. Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 0:06
  • @joshuamagsino, I'm glad my answer helped :)
    – Aboudi
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 10:43
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    This answer reads as if the presented opinions were a matter of consensus; there are however quite weighty legal opinions that disagree strongly with this and command periodical aggressive warfare.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 20:23
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    @G.Bach can you reference a few examples for me to look into please?
    – Aboudi
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 20:29

Islam is not a religion of peace in at least the sense that there are major voices in the schools of law that say Islam commands aggressive war against the Non-Muslims on a regular basis. Some of the verses you quote are employed in the derivations of these legal opinions.

I will talk about jihad in its martial sense; as with most issues, there is disagreement among the scholars about military jihad. However, saying "all the scholars who give rulings that support violence in any way are wrong" as is sometimes implied in discussions on the issue is not Islamically correct: scholars may disagree with each other, but in as far as they perform ijtihad in a methodologically acceptable way, they all represent valid Islamic positions. There has been a wide spread ranging from "jihad is only allowed when Muslims are being attacked" to "aggressive jihad is fard kifayah (communal obligation) once a year, even if the kuffar show no signs of aggression". I'll be giving evidence for the latter opinion carrying some weight, as that already shows that there are influential, Islamically valid positions that argue in favor of aggressive warfare.

Reliance of the traveler (see the answer here regarding its authority), one of the most influential shafi'i manuals of fiqh, deals with jihad in section o9; section o9.1 outlines that it is a communal obligation in general, and sections o9.2 and o9.3 say it is a personal obligation for everyone present in battle lines or present in defense of territory controlled by Muslims. Explaining what exactly the communal obligation mentioned in o9.1 consists of, sections o9.8 and o9.9 describe the conduct of the caliph with regard to jihad (text in [ ] is mine):

o9.8 The caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (N: provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the Non-Muslim poll tax (jizya) - which is the significance of their paying it, not the money itself - while remaining in their ancestral religions) (O: and the war continues) until they become Muslims or else pay the Non-Muslim poll tax (O: in accordance with the word of Allah Most High:

"Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden - who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book - until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled" [this is 9:29; the rest of the section deals with Isa's return and I omit it here]

and section o9.9:

o9.9 The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim (O: because they are not a people with a Book, nor honored as such, and are not permitted to settle with paying the poll tax (jizya)) (n: though according to the Hanafi school, peoples of all other religions, even idol worshipers, re permitted to live under the protection of the Islamic state if they either become Muslim or agree to pay the poll tax, the sole exceptions to which are apostates from Islam and idol worshipers who are Arabs, neither of whom has any choice but becoming Muslim (al-Hidaya sharh Bidaya al-mubtadi (y21), 6.48-49)).

O and N are commentators, with N being the translator of the work, Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller.

The hanafi manual of fiqh "mukhtasar" of al-Quduri, a widely influential foundational manual for the hanafi school, talks about jihad in chapter 59 - campaigns (siyar). The sections of the book in the linked English translation are not subdivided, and I have the kindle edition so I can't refer to page numbers; the quotes are verbatim though with the caveat that the transliterations of Arabic may not be searchable in kindle, so omit them if you'd like to check the quotes. The translation of the Arabic original in the linked edition already has additions in [ ] in it and I leave them as they are; I did not add anything to the quotes.

Jihād is a collective obligation; when a group of the people establish it, [the obligation] lapses from the rest, but if none of them establish it, [then] all of the people are guilty of wrongdoing by its omission.

Fighting unbelievers is obligatory, even it they do not initiate it against us.

When Muslims enter territory at war [with the Muslims] (dār al-ḥarb) and they lay siege to a city or to a fort, they invite [the inhabitants] to Islam. If [the inhabitants] accept them, [then] [the Muslims] desist from fighting them, but if they decline, [the Muslims] call them to pay jizyah.

The next quote talks about Non-Muslims who refuse both paying jizyah and entering Islam; it contains three footnotes that I give after:

If they refuse, 1371 [the Muslims] should seek the aid of Allah, exalted is He, against them and wage war on them. They should fire catapults 1372 at them and burn [their buildings and strategic positions]. They should unleash water against them 1373 and cut down their trees and destroy their crops.

1371: To accept the invitation of Islam, or to pay jizyah and come to a truce on other terms.

1372: Firing with catapults and shooting arrows at the enemy is today replaced with modern means of onslaught, which includes firing shells, laser-guided missiles, electronic means of attack and even computer hacking – such as computer viruses, worms, trojans, etc., media warfare, and financial un-plugging, etc.

1373: Flood their forts if possible.

There are also rulings that talk about Muslim collateral damage being acceptable:

There is no objection in shooting them [with arrows], even though there may be Muslim prisoners or traders amongst them.

If they shield themselves with children of the Muslims, or with prisoners, [the Muslims] should not cease shooting at them [with arrows]. With the shooting [of arrows, etc.] they target non-Muslims, but not the Muslims.

So in short: there are authoritative positions in hanafi fiqh that consider aggressive jihad obligatory on the ummah, whether the Non-Muslims are aggressive or not.

Finally for something straightforwardly available, islamQA says concerning the purpose of jihad

  1. The main goal of jihad is to make the people worship Allaah alone and to bring them forth from servitude to people to servitude to the Lord of people.

then after that

  1. [...] The scholars are unanimously agreed that repelling the aggression of those who attack the Muslims is fard ‘ayn (an individual obligation) upon those who are able to do that.

Note two points here: first, spreading Islam by jihad is declared as the main purpose of it; second, it is contrasted against defensive jihad, meaning that the first point is not fully covered by the second one, which implies that not all jihad is defensive.

For some historical perspective; Muhammad himself conducted more than 60 military campaigns over the last decade of his life, and by the end of his life ruled most of Arabia. Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman each waged wars of conquest and expanded the caliphate to incorporate Egypt and Persia, and while Ali did not conduct any conquest campaigns during his 2 year rule that was marked by internal struggle, he is not recorded as having objected in principle to the conquests of the other three Rashidun caliphs. After the Rashidun, the Umayyads conquered North Africa and territory reaching to the borders of China. An overview can be found on wikipedia. Within 150 years, Muslims conquered territory so vast that by the end of that period the caliphate was one of the largest empires in human history. I haven't seen scholarly opinions that would condemn a significant portion of Islamic expansion as haram; opinions that consider this history of warfare to be mostly a welcome implementation of jihad on the other hand are easy to find.

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    Could the downvoter let me know what's wrong with this answer?
    – G. Bach
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 19:45
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    I didn't downvote, but this answer could probably be made less biased if you include the rulings on peace treaties, and Dar-ul-Aman etc.
    – UmH
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 19:57
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    @Uma The necessity of keeping a peace treaty implies that without one, aggressive war is acceptable, which would emphasize what I've already written. Could you maybe point out how this post is biased?
    – G. Bach
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 20:13
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    None of your points really stand for the clause that you have put forward in your answer. Islam is not a religion of peace in at least the sense.... All that you have rather promote that Islam is a religion of peace and is very much practical in terms of laws. For example you started with The Great Imam... Imam SHAFI r. but it was necessary for you to give examples form the history of Muslim conquest that they have waged unruly wars and have committed war crimes there. Forcing people by sword to convert is also a war crime. Without these you answer doesn't support your claim.
    – Ahmed
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 1:49
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    @AhmadAfifKhan I don't see how commanding periodical aggressive war against disbelievers who show no sign of aggression can be considered peaceful.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 6:03

I'm not gonna give you a detail answer, but one example would be enough for you that suppose the country you live in is peaceful. But why are there soldier guarding on border, why do you have self protection? Why are there guns in your country if guns doesnt represent peace buy violence.

There are many places other in Quran where it says if the non muslim doesn't harm you don't force them to become muslims and don't harm them but live in harmony with the.

One should not judge a true religion by a single verse but look at its background too.

Thankyou! Stay happy and blessed!


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