Is Muhammad Really the Prophet of Mercy?

Examining the Issue of Q. 2:256 in light of the Assertions of a Muslim Dawagandist

Sam Shamoun

In Jalal Abualrub’s latest book defending his prophet he has some rather harsh things to say about the recent Pope’s statements regarding Islam, specifically his comments on Q. 2:256:

He was also sent with the sword: Prophet Muhammad said similar words to those quoted from Jesus,

"I was sent with the sword before the (Last) Hour so that Allah is worshipped, Alone, without partner." (A Sahih Hadeeth; Sahih al-Jami’ [2831])

Western authors, religious and political leaders, media personalities, etc., often use this Prophetic hadeeth to prove what they claim is Islam’s true aim, that is, to force non-Muslims to become Muslim. They also dwell on the fact that some [sic] Muslim Scholars stated that this Quranic Statement has been abrogated…

{There is no compulsion in religion} (2:256).

It seems that we live in an age of Muftis, where anyone and everyone gives religious verdicts on behalf o [sic] Islam, even those with the least knowledge about the religion of Islam. Even Pope Benedict XVI issued his own Fatwa (religious opinion) on Ayah 2:256, by stating, "Emperor [Manuel III] must have known that Surah 2, 256 reads: ‘There is no compulsion in religion.’ According to some experts, this is probably one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat."

Evidence is provided here to refute the Pope’s Fatwa.

First: The second Surah in the Quran, Surat al-Baqarah, was revealed, in its entirety, in Madinah, i.e., after the Prophet’s Hijrah (Migration) to Madinah, i.e., after the Islamic state was established. (Jalal Abualrub, Muhammad: The Prophet of Mercy –50 New & Humane Concepts Brought by Muhammad, edited by Alaa Mencke [Madinah Publishers and Distributors, June 2007; source], pp. 124-125)

He then goes on to mention a report of Abdullah Ibn Abbas which states that this specific text was composed in reference to an Ansari woman who converted to Judaism before becoming a Muslim. According to this narrative, when Muhammad expelled the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir her children were among them and she refused to abandon them. She was then informed that her children could not be compelled to embrace Islam and they were free to either become Muslims or leave with the Jews.

Abualrub further writes that Q. 2:256 was composed in Medina after Muhammad’s battle with the Meccans at Badr and the expulsion of Banu Nadir, claiming that:

There is no scientific evidence to substantiate the opinion that Ayah 2:256 was abrogated, an opinion that is in direct contradiction to the Quran. Imam Ibn Kathir, a major scholar of Tafsir, explained the meaning contained in Ayah 2:256, by stating, "This Ayah means, ‘Do not force anyone to embrace the religion of Islam, because Islam is clear, plain and its evidences and proofs are indisputable. Therefore, it is not necessary that anyone be forced to embrace it. Rather, those whom Allah guides, opens their hearts and enlightens their minds towards Islam, will embrace it with knowledge. Those whom Allah prevents their hearts and seals their hearing and sight from accepting Islam, will not benefit from being forced to embrace it.’"

Those who claim that Ayah 2:256 was abrogated are required to bring a single incident where the Prophet of Allah or his immediate successors allowed or participated in mass forced conversion of any population. The early era of Islam witnessed many nations accepting Islam; they chose Islam and abandoned their own religions. If Islam propagated the idea of forced conversions, if Ayah 2:256 was abrogated as they claim, then why is it that there are no statements from the Prophet or his successors to this effect, no historical accounts that Islam was forced on any group or nation?

Those who support the idea that Ayah 2:256 was abrogated should bring scientific evidence proving their claim. Otherwise, their claim, which is not substantiated by Prophetic example or the example of his companions, and theirs is the example to follow, remains only a claim.

Allah’s Prophet and his immediate successors lived and died in an area that contained large populations of Christians, Jews and Magus (Fire-Worshippers). In some of these areas, especially in the beginning of the Islamic era, non-Muslim communities comprised a majority of the population. Later on they became minorities, not because Islam was forced on them, but because they chose Islam.

If Islam was forced on these populations, then where did the current non-Islamic minorities, which survived this claimed abrogation and –consequently– claimed forced conversion to Islam that has lasted for more than 14 centuries, where did they come from? Catholic Christianity was forced on non-Catholics in Iberia until no minority of any religion remained. Had Islam ordained mass, forced conversions, how is it then that millions of Arab Christians and Jews lived in Arabia and elsewhere within the Islamic State and continue to live there until this very day?

The height of hypocrisy is realized when Western Media and Western religious and political leaders denounce some Muslims who, in contradiction to the commandments of the Prophet of Islam, commit violent acts of aggression against places of worship of non-Muslims in some Muslim countries. They often link these acts to their claim that Islam calls for forced conversion of non-Muslims living in Muslim areas. They grieve for places of worship, churches and synagogues some of which existed before Islam came to those areas that have been attacked by modern-day Muslim fanatics. Almost none of them asks this fundamental question: if Islam advocates forced conversion of non-Muslims, how then did the church and the Christian sect that worshipped in it survive all these centuries? (Pp. 126-127)

We have decided to answer Abualrub’s challenge to provide the evidence which supports that Muhammad and his hordes forced unbelievers to convert to Islam and that the prescription of Q. 2:256 has been abrogated.

In the first place, it is rather intriguing that Abualrub would take offence at the claims of certain non-Muslim critics that Q. 2:256 has been abrogated when he himself admits that this is a view held by some Muslim scholars. Note, once again, what he wrote:

… They also dwell on the fact that some Muslim Scholars stated that this Quranic Statement has been abrogated… (Emphasis ours)  

In light of this candid admission why is Abualrub demanding that the critics of Islam prove their case when he himself has pretty much agreed that some of his own scholars accepted the view that this verse has been canceled? 

What makes this all the more amazing is that he refers to Sunni commentator Ibn Kathir’s statements regarding Q. 2:256 without ever bothering to mention that this same expositor acknowledges that this passage has been annulled:

The reason for the revelation of this verse was that the women of Ansar used to make a vow to convert their sons to Judaism if the latter lived. And when the tribe of Bani an-Nadhir was expelled from Madinah, some children of Ansar were among them, so their parents could not abandon them; hence Allah revealed: <There is no compulsion in religion...> narrated by Ibn Jarir, on the authority of Ibn Abbas, Abu Dawud and an-Nasa’i, on the authority of Bandar, Abu Hatim, and Ibn Hibban from the Hadith of Shu’bah, Mujahid and others. However Muhammad Ibn Ishaq narrated that Ibn Abbas said: it was revealed with regard to a man from the tribe of Bani Salim Ibn Awf called al-Husayni whose two sons converted to Christianity but he was himself a Muslim. He told the Prophet: "Shall I force them to embrace Islam, they insist on Christianity", hence Allah revealed this verse. BUT, THIS VERSE IS ABROGATED BY THE VERSE OF ‘FIGHTING’: <You shall be called to fight against a people given to great warfare, then you shall fight them, or they shall surrender" (Al-Fath: 16). Allah also says: "O Prophet! Strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be harsh against them" (At-Tauba:73), and He says: "O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who are the Pious, (At-Tauba:123).

Therefore, all people of the world should be called to Islam. If anyone of them refuses to do so, or refuses to pay the Jizya (head tax imposed by a Muslim state on all non-Muslims living under the protection of a Muslim government) they should be fought till they are killed. This is the meaning of compulsion. In the Sahih, the Prophet said: "Allah wonders at those people who will enter Paradise in chains", meaning prisoners brought in chains to the Islamic state, then they embrace Islam sincerely and become righteous, and are entered among the people of Paradise. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah Al-Baqarah, ayat 253 to 286 Surah Al-Imran, ayat 1 to 92, Abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rifa‘i [Al-Firdous Ltd, London: 1999: First Edition], Part 3, pp. 37-38; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Secondly, even though there is a difference of opinion Abualrub fails to mention that even those scholars who disagree that Q. 2:256 has been abrogated also believed that this injunction applies only to the Jews and Christians who agree to pay the Jizya. In the case of other groups they had to either convert to Islam or be killed:

Scholars disagree and hold various positions regarding the legal status and meaning of this ayat.

         It is said that it is ABROGATED because the Prophet FORCED the Arabs to adopt the din of Islam and fought them and was only pleased with Islam for them. Sulayman ibn Musa took the view, saying, "It is abrogated by ‘O Prophet! Do jihad against the unbelievers and the hypocrites.’ (9:73)" That is related from Ibn Mas‘ud and many commentators.

         It is not abrogated and was sent down about the people of the Book in particular and means that they are not forced to adopt Islam when they pay jizya. THOSE WHO ARE FORCED ARE THE IDOLATERS. Only Islam is accepted from them, and they are the ones about whom ‘O Prophet! Do Jihad against the unbelievers and the hypocrites.’ (9:73) was revealed. This is the position of ash-Sha‘bi, Qatada, al-Hasan and ad-Dahhak. The evidence for this position is related by Zayd ibn Aslam from his father, "I heard ‘Umar in al-Khattab say to an old Christian woman, ‘Become Muslim, old woman, become Muslim. Allah sent Muhammad with the Truth.’ She replied, ‘I am an old woman and close to death.’ ‘Umar said, ‘O Allah, witness!’ and he recited, ‘There is no compulsion where the din is concerned.’"

         Abu Dawud reported from Ibn ‘Abbas that this was revealed about the Ansar. There was a woman, all of whose children had died. She made a vow that if she had a child who lived she would become a Jew. When the Banu’n-Nadir were exiled, among them were many of the children of the Ansar. They said, "We will not leave our sons!" Then Allah revealed this. One variant has, "We did what we did and we think that their din is better than what we have." When Allah brought Islam, they denied it and this was revealed. Whoever wished remained with them and whoever wished, entered Islam. This is the position of Sa‘id ibn Jubayr, ash-Sha‘bi and Mujahid, but he added that the reason that they were with the Banu’n-Nadir was through suckling. An-Nahhas said, "The position of Ibn ‘Abbas regarding this ayat is the best position since its isnad is sound."

         As-Suddi said that the ayat was revealed about a man of the Ansar called Abu Husayn who had two sons. Some merchants came from Syria to Madina with oil and when they wanted to leave, his sons went to them. They invited the two sons to become Christians and they did so and went back with them to Syria. Their father went to the Messenger of Allah to complain about this and asked the Messenger of Allah to send someone to bring them back. Then, "There is no compulsion where the din is concerned" was revealed. He had not been commanded to fight the People of the Book. He said, "Allah has put them far. They are the first to disbelieve." Abu’l-Husayn felt annoyed that the Prophet did not send someone after them. Then Allah revealed, "No, by your Lord, they are not believers until they make you their judge in the disputes that break out between them" (4:65). Then "No compulsion" WAS ABROGATED and he was commanded to fight the People of the Book in Surat at-Tawba. The sound view for the reason behind the words, "No, by your Lord, they are not believers …" is the hadith of az-Zubayr with his Christian neighbour about water as will be dealt with in Surat at-Tawba, Allah willing.

         It is said that it means "do not call those who have submitted through the sword compelled and forced".

         It is said that it was related about the captives who were People of the Book. They are not compelled when they are adults. If they are Magians, young or old, or idolaters, they are COMPELLED to adopt Islam because their captivity does not help them when they are idolaters. Do you not see that their sacrifices are not eaten nor their women married. That is what Ibn al-Qasim reported from Malik. Ashhab said that children are considered to have the din of those who captured them. If they refuse that, they are compelled to become Muslim. Children have no din and that is why they are COMPELLED to enter Islam so that they do not go to a false din. When other types of unbelievers pay the jizya, they are forced to become Muslim, whether they are Arabs or non-Arabs, Quraysh or otherwise. This will be dealt with in Surat at-Tawba. (Tafsir Al-Qurtubi – Classical Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, translated by Aisha Bewley [Dar Al-Taqwa Ltd., 2003], pp. 659-661)

Here is one of Abualrub’s greatest Islamic exegetes unashamedly admitting that Muslims did indeed force and compel people to become Muslim at the threat of the sword. Al-Qurtubi wasn’t the only one since this is what some of Abualrub’s Salafi scholars and colleagues say:

The scholars explained that these two verses, and other similar verses, have to do with those from whom the jizyah may be taken, such as Jews, Christians and Magians (Zoroastrians). They are not to be forced, rather they are to be given the choice between becoming Muslim or paying the jizyah.

Other scholars said that this applied in the beginning, BUT WAS SUBSEQUENTLY ABROGATED by Allaah’s command to fight and wage jihad. So whoever refuses to enter Islam should be fought WHEN THE MUSLIMS ARE ABLE TO FIGHT, until they either enter Islam or pay the jizyah if they are among the people who may pay jizyah. The kuffaar should be compelled to enter Islam if they are not people from whom the jizyah may be taken, because that will lead to their happiness and salvation in this world and in the Hereafter. Obliging a person to adhere to the truth in which is guidance and happiness is better for him than falsehood. Just as a person may be forced to do the duty that he owes to other people even if that is by means of imprisonment or beating, so forcing the kaafirs to believe in Allaah alone and enter into the religion of Islam is more important and more essential, because this will lead to their happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. This applies unless they are People of the Book, i.e., Jews and Christians, or Magians, because Islam says that these three groups may be given the choice: they may enter Islam or they may pay the jizyah and feel themselves subdued.

Some of the scholars are of the view that others may also be given the choice between Islam and jizyah, but the most correct view is that no others should be given this choice, rather these three groups are the only ones who may be given the choice, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fought the kuffaar in the Arabian Peninsula and he only accepted their becoming Muslim. And Allaah says [quotes Q. 9:5] …

He did not say, "if they pay the jizyah". The Jews, Christians and Magians are to be asked to enter Islam; if they refuse then they should be asked to pay the jizyah. If they refuse to pay the jizyah then the Muslims must fight them IF THEY ARE ABLE TO DO SO. Allaah says [quotes Q. 9:29] …

And it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) accepted the jizyah from the Magians, but it was not proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) accepted the jizyah from anyone except the three groups mentioned above.

The basic principle concerning that is the words of Allaah [quotes Q. 8:39; 9:5] …

This verse is known as Ayat al-Sayf (the verse of the sword).

These and similar verses ABROGATE the verses which say that there is no compulsion to become Muslim.

And Allaah is the Source of strength. (Question No. 34770 –There is no compulsion to accept Islam; source; bold, underline and capital emphasis ours)

As far as the Jews and Christians are concerned note the reason why the Quran says that these two groups must pay the Jizya:

Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden -- such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book -- until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled. S. 9:29 Arberry

… until they pay the tax in acknowledgement of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. Muhammad Ali (Source)

… until they pay the tariff with their own hands with humiliation. Mohammed Aqib Farid Qadri (Source)

… until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. Shakir

… until they pay tribute by right of subjection, and they be reduced low. Sale

The payment of Jizya serves as a clear sign that the Jews and Christians have been humiliated and disgraced, and that they must now live under the worst conditions such as not having the freedom to practice their beliefs. As Ibn Kathir acknowledged:

The Order to fight People of the Scriptures until They give the Jizyah

Allah said …

<Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.>

Therefore, when People of the Scriptures disbelieved in Muhammad, they had no beneficial faith in any Messenger or what the Messengers brought. Rather, they followed their religions because this conformed with their ideas, lusts and the ways of their forefathers, not because they are Allah's Law and religion. Had they been true believers in their religions, that faith would have directed them to believe in Muhammad, because all Prophets gave the good news of Muhammad's advent and commanded them to obey and follow him. Yet when he was sent, they disbelieved in him, even though he is the mightiest of all Messengers. Therefore, they do not follow the religion of earlier Prophets because these religions came from Allah, but because these suit their desires and lusts. Therefore, their claimed faith in an earlier Prophet will not benefit them because they disbelieved in the master, the mightiest, the last and most perfect of all Prophets. Hence Allah's statement …

<Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture,>

This honorable Ayah was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book, after the pagans were defeated, the people entered Allah's religion in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims' control. Allah commanded His Messenger to fight the People of the Scriptures, Jews and Christians, on the ninth year of Hijrah, and he prepared his army to fight the Romans and called the people to Jihad announcing his intent and destination. The Messenger sent his intent to various Arab areas around Al-Madinah to gather forces, and he collected an army of thirty thousand. Some people from Al-Madinah and some hypocrites, in and around it, lagged behind, for that year was a year of drought and intense heat. The Messenger of Allah marched, heading towards Ash-Sham to fight the Romans until he reached Tabuk, where he set camp for about twenty days next to its water resources. He then prayed to Allah for a decision and went back to Al-Madinah because it was a hard year and the people were weak, as we will mention, Allah willing. (Source)

And:

Paying Jizyah is a Sign of Kufr AND DISGRACE

Allah said …

<until they pay the Jizyah>, if they do not choose to embrace Islam …

<with willing submission>, in defeat and subservience …

<and feel themselves subdued.>, DISGRACED, HUMILIATED AND BELITTLED. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, FOR THEY ARE MISERABLE, DISGRACED AND HUMILIATED. Muslim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said …

<<Do not initiate the Salam to the Jews and Christians, and if you meet any of them in a road, FORCE THEM TO ITS NARROWEST ALLEY.>>

This is why the Leader of the faithful `Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, demanded his well-known conditions be met by the Christians, THESE CONDITIONS THAT ENSURED THEIR CONTINUED HUMILIATION, DEGRADATION AND DISGRACE. The scholars of Hadith narrated from `Abdur-Rahman bin Ghanm Al-Ash`ari that he said, "I recorded for `Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, the terms of the treaty of peace he conducted with the Christians of Ash-Sham:

‘In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. This is a document to the servant of Allah `Umar, the Leader of the faithful, from the Christians of such and such city. When you (Muslims) came to us we requested safety for ourselves, children, property and followers of our religion.

We made a condition on ourselves that we will neither erect in our areas a monastery, church, or a sanctuary for a monk, nor restore any place of worship that needs restoration nor use any of them for the purpose of enmity against Muslims.

We will not prevent any Muslim from resting in our churches whether they come by day or night, and we will open the doors [of our houses of worship] for the wayfarer and passerby.

Those Muslims who come as guests, will enjoy boarding and food for three days.

We will not allow a spy against Muslims into our churches and homes or hide deceit [or betrayal] against Muslims.

We will not teach our children the Qur'an, publicize practices of Shirk, invite anyone to Shirk or prevent any of our fellows from embracing Islam, if they choose to do so.

We will respect Muslims, MOVE FROM THE PLACES WE SIT IN IF THEY CHOOSE TO SIT IN THEM.

We will not imitate their clothing, caps, turbans, sandals, hairstyles, speech, nicknames and title names, or ride on saddles, hang swords on the shoulders, collect weapons of any kind or carry these weapons.

We will not encrypt our stamps in Arabic, or sell liquor.

We will have the front of our hair cut, wear our customary clothes wherever we are, wear belts around our waist, refrain from erecting crosses on the outside of our churches and demonstrating them and our books in public in Muslim fairways and markets.

We will not sound the bells in our churches, except discretely, or raise our voices while reciting our holy books inside our churches in the presence of Muslims, nor raise our voices [with prayer] at our funerals, or light torches in funeral processions in the fairways of Muslims, or their markets.

We will not bury our dead next to Muslim dead, or buy servants who were captured by Muslims. We will be guides for Muslims and refrain from breaching their privacy in their homes.’

When I gave this document to `Umar, he added to it, `We will not beat any Muslim. These are the conditions that we set against ourselves and followers of our religion IN RETURN FOR SAFETY AND PROTECTION. If we break any of these promises that we set for your benefit against ourselves, then our Dhimmah (promise of protection) is broken and you are allowed to do with us what you are allowed of people of defiance and rebellion.’" (Source; capital emphasis ours)

As if Islam’s disdain towards Jews and Christians couldn’t be any clearer note what the following narratives state:

512. When a dhimmi writes and gives the greeting, he is answered

1101. Abu 'Uthman an-Nahdi said, "Abu Musa wrote to a Persian grandee and greeted him in his letter. He was asked, 'Do you greet him when he is an unbeliever?' He replied, 'He wrote to me and greeted me, so I have answered him.'"

1102. Abu Basra l-Ghifari reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I will ride to the Jews tomorrow. Do not give them the greeting first. If they greet you, then say, 'and on you.'"

1103. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Do not give the People of the Book the greeting first. FORCE THEM TO THE NARROWEST PART OF THE ROAD."

519. The People of the Book are forced to the narrowest part of the road

1111. See 1103.

521. When someone greets a Christian whom he does not recognise

1115. 'Abdu'r-Rahman said, "Ibn 'Umar passed by a Christian who greeted him and Ibn 'Umar returned the greeting. He was told that the man was a Christian. When he learned that, he went back to him and said, 'Give me back my greeting.'" (Al-Adab al-Mufrad by Al-Bukhari, translated by Aisha Bewley, chapter XDIII. The People of the Book; source; capital and italic emphasis ours)

Abualrub wants non-Muslims to believe that Muhammad is a mercy from God for the entire world. Is this what mercy looks like? Are these commands of how Muslims should treat non-Muslims signs of mercy?

It is apparent that Abualrub has the audacity to think that if he can somehow get his readers to believe his position regarding Q. 2:256 then this will prove that the Jews and Christians who lived under the tyranny of Islam were treated with the utmost kindness and respect. At the very least, Abualrub seems to feel that if he can dupe people into accepting his view he can then claim that the mistreatment of the Jews and Christians wasn’t the result of the teachings of Muhammad; rather, it was the failure of the Muslims to comply with his instructions that led to their abuse.

But, unfortunately for Abualrub, the above comments from Islam’s most respected and authentic sources plainly show that nothing could be further from the truth. When Muslim societies and rulers mistreated and abused the Jews and Christians they were doing nothing more than following the example of Muhammad.

Did Muhammad really Pardon the Meccans?

Abualrub contends that Muhammad, being the prophet of mercy, set the pagans of Mecca free after having taken the city captive:

At-Tulaqaa (the Set-Free): Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy, practiced Islam’s excellent methods with the Tulaqaa; he pardoned them and set them free.

After Muhammad was sent as Allah’s Final and Last Prophet and Messenger, he remained in Makkah for thirteen years calling its people to Islam. During these years, he and most of his companions were severely oppressed [sic] and endured brutal persecution [sic], torture [sic] and outright murder [sic]. The Makkans plotted to kill the Prophet, their own cousin, but Allah warned him of the plot and ordered him to emigrate to Madinah during the night.

After the Prophet emigrated to Madinah, the Makkan Quraish pagans continued their warfare against Muslims for eight more years [sic] and incited other Arab tribes to fight Muslims wherever and whenever they found them [sic]. Ten thousand pagans, supported by a Madinah Jewish tribe that broke its peace agreement with the Prophet [sic], attacked Madinah during the Battle of the Trench, in an attempt to extinguish the light of Islam and exterminate Muslims [sic]. Many of the Prophet’s companions died during these battles.

Eight years after he was forced to emigrate from Makkah, the Prophet of Allah returned triumphantly, leading one of the largest armies Arabia has ever seen until then. Makkah’s pagans anxiously awaited their fate. They had oppressed Islam and Muslims for twenty-one years [sic]. They tried to kill Muhammad because he called them to worship Allah alone without partners [sic], return to the religion of their father, Abraham [sic], and abandon worshipping idols.

Having gained the upper hand and achieved ultimate victory and triumph, he set people of Makkah free, hence their description, ‘At-Tulaqaa’, meaning, ‘The Set Free’. Allah described His Prophet as being a mercy, because Muhammad was indeed the Prophet of Mercy… (Pp. 135-136)

Being quite selective in his reading of history, Abualrub does not inform his readers that Muhammad later changed his mind and threatened to kill the pagans if they did not embrace Islam. Notice, for instance, what the following Surah states concerning Muhammad’s treaty with the pagans who had come under his control:

Freedom from (all) obligations (is declared) from Allah and His Messenger to those of the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), with whom you made a treaty. So travel freely (O Mushrikun - see V.2:105) for four months (as you will) throughout the land, but know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allah, and Allah will disgrace the disbelievers. And a declaration from Allah and His Messenger to mankind on the greatest day (the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah - the 12th month of Islamic calendar) that Allah is free from (all) obligations to the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) and so is His Messenger. So if you (Mushrikun) repent, it is better for you, but if you turn away, then know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allah. And give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful torment to those who disbelieve. Except those of the Mushrikun with whom you have a treaty, and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor have supported anyone against you. So fulfill their treaty to them to the end of their term. Surely Allah loves Al-Mattaqun (the pious - see V.2:2). Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And if anyone of the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur'an), and then escort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are men who know not. How can there be a covenant with Allah and with His Messenger for the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) except those with whom you made a covenant near Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah)? So long, as they are true to you, stand you true to them. Verily, Allah loves Al-Muttaqun (the pious - see V.2:2). How (can there be such a covenant with them) that when you are overpowered by them, they regard not the ties, either of kinship or of covenant with you? With (good words from) their mouths they please you, but their hearts are averse to you, and most of them are Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah). They have purchased with the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah a little gain, and they hindered men from His Way; evil indeed is that which they used to do. With regard to a believer, they respect not the ties, either of kinship or of covenant! It is they who are the transgressors. But if they repent, perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat, then they are your brethren in religion. (In this way) We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) in detail for a people who know. But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and attack your religion with disapproval and criticism then fight (you) the leaders of disbelief (chiefs of Quraish - pagans of Makkah) - for surely their oaths are nothing to them - so that they may stop (evil actions). Will you not fight a people who have violated their oaths (pagans of Makkah) and intended to expel the Messenger, while they did attack you first? Do you fear them? Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are believers. Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people, And remove the anger of their (believers') hearts. Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. Do you think that you shall be left alone while Allah has not yet tested those among you who have striven hard and fought and have not taken Walijah [(Batanah - helpers, advisors and consultants from disbelievers, pagans, etc.) giving openly to them their secrets] besides Allah and His Messenger, and the believers. Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. It is not for the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), to maintain the Mosques of Allah (i.e. to pray and worship Allah therein, to look after their cleanliness and their building, etc.), while they witness against their ownselves of disbelief. The works of such are in vain and in Fire shall they abide. The Mosques of Allah shall be maintained only by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day; perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat and fear none but Allah. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance. Do you consider the providing of drinking water to the pilgrims and the maintenance of Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) as equal to the worth of those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah? They are not equal before Allah. And Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)… O you who believe! Take not for Auliya' (supporters and helpers) your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to Belief. And whoever of you does so, then he is one of the Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.)… O you who believe (in Allah's Oneness and in His Messenger (Muhammad)! Verily, the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, and in the Message of Muhammad) are Najasun (impure). So let them not come near Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) after this year, and if you fear poverty, Allah will enrich you if He will, out of His Bounty. Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. S. 9:1-19, 23, 28 Hilali-Khan

Here, Allah gives Muhammad the right to break any of his pacts and covenants that he had made with the polytheists with the intention of forcing them to convert to Islam:

This is the Ayah of the Sword...

<But if they repent and perform the Salah, and give Zakah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.>

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq used this and other honorable Ayat as proof for fighting those who refrained from paying the Zakah. These Ayat allowed fighting people unless, and until, they embrace Islam and implement its rulings and obligations... In the two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn ‘Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

<I have been commanded to fight the people until they testify there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish the prayer and pay Zakah.>

This honorable Ayah (9:5) was called the Ayah of the Sword, about which Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim said, "It abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolator, EVERY TREATY, AND EVERY TERM." Al-‘Awfi said that Ibn ‘Abbas commented: "No idolator had any more treaty or promise ever since Sura Bara’ah was revealed. The four months, in addition to, all peace treaties conducted before Bara’ah was revealed and announced had ended by the tenth of the month of Rabi’ Al-Akhir." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Surat Al-A’raf to the end of Surah Yunus, abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: May 2000] Volume 4, pp. 375, 377; source; capital emphasis ours)

Another famous Muslim commentator, as-Suyuti, confirms Ibn Kathir’s interpretation:

This [Q. 9:5] is an Ayat of the Sword WHICH ABROGATES PARDON, TRUCE AND OVERLOOKING. (seize them) is used as evidence for the permission to take captives. (and besiege them) is permission for besieging and raiding and attacking by night. Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Abu 'Imran al-Jawfi said that ribat in the way of Allah is found in the words, "lie in wait for them on every road." (if they make tawba and establish the prayer and pay the zakat, let them go on their way) Repentance from shirk is not enough to let them go their way until they establish the prayer and pay the zakat. Ash-Shafi'i took this as a proof FOR KILLING ANYONE WHO ABANDONS THE PRAYER and fighting ANYONE WHO REFUSES TO PAY ZAKAT. Some use it as a proof that they are kafirun… (Aisha Bewley, Tafsir – Surat at-Tawba: Repentance; source; capital emphasis ours)

What many people do not realize is that these verses warning the polytheists of impending massacre were composed sometime after the pagans of Mecca had surrendered to Muhammad:

Discourses and Periods of Revelation

This Surah comprises three discourses:-

The first discourse (vv. 1-37), was revealed in Zil-Qa'adah A. H. 9 or thereabout. As the importance of the subject of the discourse required its declaration on the occasion of Haj the Holy Prophet dispatched Hadrat Ali to follow Hadrat Abu Bakr, who had already left for Makkah as leader of the Pilgrims to the Ka'abah. He instructed Hadrat Ali to deliver the discourse before the representatives of the different clans of Arabia so as to inform them of the new policy towards the mushriks

Historical Background

Now let us consider the historical background of the Surah. The series of events that have been discussed in this Surah took place after the Peace Treaty of Hudaibiyah. By that time, one-third of Arabia had come under the sway of Islam which had established itself as a powerful, well organized and civilized Islamic State. This Treaty afforded further opportunities to Islam to spread its influence in the comparatively peaceful atmosphere created by it. After this Treaty, two events took place, which led to very important results:

Conquest of Arabia

The first was the Conquest of Arabia. The Holy Prophet was able to send missions among different clans for the propagation of Islam. The result was that during the short period of two years, it became such a great power that it made the old order of ignorance' feel helpless before it. So much so that the zealous elements from among the Quraish were so exasperated that they broke the Treaty in order to encounter Islam in a decisive combat. But the Holy Prophet took prompt action after the breach so as not to allow them any opportunity to gather enough force for this. He made a sudden invasion on Makkah in the month of Ramadan in A. H. 8 and conquered it. Though this conquest broke the backbone of the order of ignorance, it made still another attack on Islam in the battle-field of Hunain, which proved to be its death-knell. The clans of Hawazin Thaqif, Naur, Jushm and others gathered their entire forces in the battle field in order to crush the reformative Revolution, but they utterly failed in their evil designs. The defeat of 'ignorance' at Hunain paved the way for making the whole of Arabia the 'Abode of Islam' (Dar-ul-Islam). The result was that hardly a year had passed after the Battle of Hunain, when the major portion of Arabia came within the fold of Islam and only a few upholders of the old order remained scattered over some corners of the country…

Problems of the Period

If we keep in view the preceding background, we can easily find out the problems that were confronting the Community at that time. They were:

1. to make the whole of Arabia a perfect Dar-ul-Islam,

2. to extend the influence of Islam to the adjoining countries,

3. to crush the mischiefs of the hypocrites, and

4. to prepare the Muslims for Jihad against the non- Muslim world.

1. Now that the administration of the whole of Arabia had come in the hands of the Believers, and all the opposing powers had become helpless, it was necessary to make a clear declaration of that policy which was to be adopted to make her a perfect Dar-ul-Islam. Therefore the following measures were adopted:

1. A clear declaration was made that all the treaties with the mushriks were abolished and the Muslims would be released from the treaty obligations with them after a respite of four months.(vv. 1-3). This declaration was necessary for uprooting completely the system of life based on shirk and to make Arabia exclusively the center of Islam so that it should not in any way interfere with the spirit of Islam nor become an internal danger for it.

2. A decree was issued that the guardianship of the Ka`abah, which held central position in all the affairs of Arabia, should be wrested from the mushriks and placed permanently in the hands of the Believers, (vv. 12-18) that all the customs and practices of the shirk of the era of 'ignorance' should be forcibly abolished: that the mushriks should not be allowed even to come near the "House" (v. 28). This was to eradicate every trace of shirk from the "House" that was dedicated exclusively to the worship of Allah.

3. The evil practice of Nasi, by which they used to tamper with the sacred months in the days of 'ignorance', was forbidden as an act of kufr(v. 37). This was also to serve as an example to the Muslims for eradicating every vestige of the customs of ignorance from the life of Arabia (and afterwards from the lives of the Muslims everywhere). (Syed Abu-Ala' Maududi's Chapter Introductions to the Qur'an; source; underline emphasis ours)

And:

… The first part of this honorable Surah was revealed to the Messenger of Allah when he returned from the battle of Tabuk, during the Hajj season, which the Prophet thought about attending. But he remembered that the idolators would still attend that Hajj, as was usual in past years, and that they perform Tawaf around the House while naked. He disliked to associate with them and sent Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, to lead Hajj that year and show the people their rituals, commanding him to inform the idolators that they would not be allowed to participate in Hajj after that season. He commanded him to proclaim...

<Freedom from (all) obligations (is declared) from Allah and His Messenger…>, to the people. When Abu Bakr had left, the Messenger sent `Ali bin Abu Talib to be the one to deliver this news to the idolators on behalf of the Messenger, for he was the Messenger's cousin. We will mention this story later. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 9:1-2; source)

This clearly proves that the pagans posed no serious threat to Muhammad since he had already subjected them to his rule. Yet it wasn’t enough for Muhammad that the disbelievers were under his control, he had to force them to become Muslims. Otherwise he would have them brutally murdered if they refused. 

Now Abualrub contended that these unbelievers were the ones who initiated the hostility towards the Muslims by persecuting and forcing them out of Mecca. The problem with such an assertion is that it goes against the express statements of the Islamic source material which show that it was Muhammad, not the pagans, who antagonized his opponents. They even pleaded with him to stop, but to no avail:

Ibn Humayd – Salamah – Ibn Ishaq: The Messenger of God proclaimed God’s message openly and declared Islam publicly to his tribesmen. When he did so, they did not withdraw from him or reject him in anyway, as far as I had heard, UNTIL he spoke of their gods and denounced them. When he did this, they took exception to it and united in opposition and hostility to him, except for those of them whom God had protected from error by means of Islam. The latter were few in number and practiced their faith in secret. His uncle Abu Talib was friendly to him, however, and protected him and shielded him from them. The Messenger of God continued to do God’s work and to proclaim his message, undeterred by anything. When Quraysh saw that he would not give them any satisfaction, they objected to his departing from their ways and denouncing their gods, and seeing that Abu Talib protected him, shielded him from harm, and would not hand him over to them, a number of the nobles of Quraysh, consisting of such men as ‘Utbah b. Rabi‘ah, Shaybah b. Rabi‘ah, Abu al-Bakhtari b. Hisham, al-Aswad b. al-Muttalib, al-Walid b. al-Mughirah, Abu Jahl b. Hisham, al-‘As b. Wa’il and Nubayh and Munabbih, the sons of al-Hajjaj, went to Abu Talib and said, "Abu Talib, your nephew has reviled our gods, denounced our religion, derided our traditional values and told us that our forefathers were misguided. Either curb his attacks on us or give us a free hand to deal with him, for you are just as opposed to him as we are, and we will deal with him for you." Abu Talib gave them a mild answer and declined courteously, and they left him. The Messenger of God continued as before, proclaiming the faith of God and summoning people to it.

After this, Muhammad was estranged from the Quraysh, and they withdrew from him and harbored a secret hatred for him. They talked about him frequently amongst themselves and urged one another against him. Eventually they went to Abu Talib once again. "Abu Talib," they said, "we hold you in respect among us on account of your age, your nobility and your standing. We asked you to forbid your nephew TO ATTACK US, but you did not do so. By God, we can no longer endure this vilification of our forefathers, this derision of our traditional values and this abuse of our gods. Either you restrain him or we shall fight both of you over this until one side or the other is destroyed," or words to that effect. Then they left. This breach and enmity with his tribe weighed heavily on Abu Talib, but he could not reconcile himself to surrendering the Messenger of God to them or deserting him.

Muhammad b. al-Husayn- Ahmad b. al-Mufaddal- Asbat- al-Suddi: A number of men of the Quraysh gathered together with a number of other shaykhs of the Quraysh, and said to one another, "Let us go to Abu Talib and speak to him about Muhammad, so that he will give us justice against him and order him to desist from reviling our gods and we will leave him to the god whom he worships for we fear that this old man may die and we may do something which the Arabs will reproach us for and say, ‘They let him alone until his uncle died, and then they laid hands on him.’"

They sent one of their number, whose name was al-Muttalib, to Abu Talib to ask permission for them to enter. He said, "Here are the shaykhs and nobles of your tribe asking permission to visit you." He told him to ask them to come in, and when they had done so they said, "Abu Talib, you are our elder and our chief, so give us justice against your nephew and order him to desist from reviling our gods, and we will leave him to his god."

Abu Talib sent for the Messenger of God, and when he came in he said, "Nephew, here are the shaykhs and nobles of your tribe. They have asked for justice against you, that you should desist from reviling their gods and they will leave you to your god." "Uncle," he said, "shall I not summon them to something which is better for them than their gods?" "What do you summon them to?" he asked. He replied, "I summon them to utter a saying through which the Arabs will submit to them and they will rule over the non-Arabs." Abu Jahl said from among the gathering, "What is it, by your father? We would give you it and ten like it." He answered, "That you should say, ‘There is no deity but God.’" They took fright at that and said, "Ask for anything rather than that!" But he said, "If you were to bring me the sun and put it into my hand, I would not ask you for anything other than this."

They rose up to leave in anger and said, "By God, we shall revile you and your god who commands you to do this!" "The chiefs among them hurried about, exhorting; Go and be staunch to your gods! This is a thing designed…" to the words "naught but an invention." (The History of al-Tabari: Muhammad at Mecca, translated and annotated by W. Montgomery Watt and M. V. McDonald [State University of New York Press, Albany 1988], Volume VI, pp. 93-95; bold, and capital emphasis ours)

And:

The Prohibition of Insulting the False gods of the Disbelievers, So that they Do not Insult Allah

Allah prohibits His Messenger and the believers from insulting the false deities of the idolators, although there is a clear benefit in doing so. Insulting their deities will lead to a bigger evil than its benefit, for the idolators might retaliate by insulting the God of the believers, Allah, none has the right to be worshipped but He. `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah [6:108]; "They (disbelievers) said, `O Muhammad! You will stop insulting our gods, or we will insult your Lord.' Thereafter, Allah prohibited the believers from insulting the disbelievers' idols ...

<lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge.>" `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Qatadah said, "Muslims used to insult the idols of the disbelievers and the disbelievers would retaliate by insulting Allah wrongfully without knowledge ..." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 6:108; source)

Moreover, when Muhammad migrated to Medina the Meccans pretty much left him alone… that is until Muhammad decided to ransack their caravans and rob them of their resources:

According to ‘Ali b. Nasr b. ‘Ali and ‘Abd al-Warith b. ‘Abd al-Samad b. ‘Abd al-Warith- ‘Abd al-Samad b. ‘Abd al-Warith- his father- Aban al-‘Attar- Hisham b. ‘Urwah: ‘Urwah wrote to ‘Abd al-Malik b. Marwan as follows:

You have written to me asking about Abu Sufyan and the circumstances of his expedition. Abu Sufyan b. Harb came from Syria at the head of nearly seventy horsemen from all the clans of Quraysh. They had been trading in Syria and they all came together with their money and their merchandise. The Messenger of God and his companions were informed about them. This was after fighting had broken out between them and people had been killed, including Ibn al-Hadrami at Nakhlah, and some of Quraysh had been taken captive, including one of the sons of al-Mughirah and their mawla, Ibn Kaysan. Those responsible [for the fighting] were ‘Abd Allah b. Jash and Waqid, the confederate of the Banu ‘Adi b. Ka‘b, together with other companions of the Messenger of God whom he had sent out with ‘Abd Allah b. Jash. This incident had provoked (a state of) war between the Messenger of God and Quraysh and was the beginning of the fighting in which they inflicted casualties upon one another; it took place before Abu Sufyan and his companions had set out for Syria.

Subsequently Abu Sufyan and the horsemen of Quraysh who were with him returned from Syria, following the coastal road. When the Messenger of God heard about them he called together his companions and told them of the wealth they had with them and the fewness of their numbers. The Muslims set out with no other object than Abu Sufyan and the horsemen with him. They did not think that these were anything but (easy) booty and did not suppose that there would be a great battle when they met them. It is concerning this that God revealed, "And ye longed that other than the armed one might be yours."

When Abu Sufyan heard that the companions of the messenger of God were on their way to intercept him, he sent to Quraysh (saying), "Muhammad and his companions are going to intercept your caravan, so protect your merchandise …" (The History of Al-Tabari: The Foundation of the Community, translated by M. V. McDonald, annotated by W. Montgomery Watt [State University of New York Press, Albany 1987], Volume VII, pp. 28-29; bold emphasis and comments within brackets ours)

Interestingly, the Meccans had a suspicion that Muhammad’s purpose in relocating to Medina was to regroup in order to come back to fight and subjugate them, and they were right:

After his companions had left, the apostle stayed in Mecca waiting for permission to migrate. Except for Abu Bakr and ‘Ali, none of his supporters were left but those under restraint and those who had been forced to apostatize. The former kept asking the apostle for permission to emigrate and he would answer, ‘Don’t be in a hurry; it may be that God will give you a companion.’ Abu Bakr hoped that it would be Muhammad himself.

When the Quraysh saw that the apostle had a party and companions not of their tribe and outside their territory, and that his companions had migrated to join them, and knew that they had settled in a new home and had gained protectors, they feared that the apostle might join them, SINCE THEY KNEW THAT HE HAD DECIDED TO FIGHT THEM. So they assembled in their council chamber, the house of Qusayy b. Kilab where all their important business was conducted, to take counsel what they should do in regard to the apostle, FOR THEY WERE NOW IN FEAR OF HIM. (The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth impression 1995], p. 221; capital emphasis ours)

For more on this topic we suggest this article.

Not only did Muhammad antagonize the pagans he also harassed and threatened the Jews and Christians, especially when he saw that he couldn’t convince them to convert to his religion. Muslim sources admit that in the beginning Muhammad first tried to win the Jews and Christians by following some of their practices. After realizing that they wouldn’t believe in him he turned against them and threatened them.

For instance, the following historian and exegete candidly admits that Muhammad changed the prayer direction from Jerusalem to Mecca due to the Jews making fun of him.

According to Yunus b. ‘Abd al-A‘la – Ibn Wahb – Ibn Zayd: The Prophet turned towards Jerusalem for sixteen months, and then it reached his ears that the Jews were saying, "By God, Muhammad and his companions did not know where their Qiblah was until we directed them." This displeased the Prophet and he raised his face toward Heaven, and God said, "We have seen the turning of your face to Heaven." (The History of Al-Tabari: The Foundation of the Community, translated by M. V. McDonald, annotated by W. Montgomery Watt [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1987], Volume VII, p. 25; bold emphasis ours)

Another source states that Muhammad told the Jews to convert otherwise he would have them expelled from their land:

VI: Expelling the Jews from the Arabian peninsula

'Umar said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "We will let you remain in that as long as Allah lets you remain there."

2996. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "While we were in the mosque, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came out and said, ‘Go to the Jews.’ We went out until we came to the house of al-Midras. He said, ‘Become Muslim AND YOU WILL BE SAFE. Know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Messenger. I want to expel you from this land. Whoever of you has some property should sell it. However, the earth belongs to Allah and His Messenger.’" (Aisha Bewley, Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 63. Chapters on the Jizya and Truces; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Moreover, Muhammad even had the audacity to send threatening letters to certain Christian tribes and rulers such as the Byzantine Emperor:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas:

Heraclius then asked for the letter addressed by Allah's Apostle which was delivered by Dihya to the Governor of Busra, who forwarded it to Heraclius to read. The contents of the letter were as follows: "In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful (This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of Allah and His Apostle to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantine. Peace be upon him, who follows the right path. Furthermore I invite you to Islam, and if you become a Muslim YOU WILL BE SAFE, and Allah will double your reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam you will be committing a sin by misguiding your Arisiyin (peasants). (And I recite to you Allah's Statement:)

'O people of the scripture! Come to a word common to you and us that we worship none but Allah and that we associate nothing in worship with Him, and that none of us shall take others as Lords beside Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims (those who have surrendered to Allah).' (3:64)

Abu Sufyan then added, "When Heraclius had finished his speech and had read the letter, there was a great hue and cry in the Royal Court. So we were turned out of the court. I told my companions that the question of Ibn-Abi-Kabsha) (the Prophet Muhammad) has become so prominent that even the King of Bani Al-Asfar (Byzantine) is afraid of him. Then I started to become sure that he (the Prophet) would be the conqueror in the near future till I embraced Islam (i.e. Allah guided me to it)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 6)

Al-Tabari provides additional details (much of which is simply mythical and clearly embellished):

According to Ibn Humayd – Salamah – Muhammad b. Ishaq – Khalid b. Yasar – a very old Syrian, who said: When Heraclius was about to leave the land of Syria for Constantinople because of the report he received about the Messenger of God, he assembled the Romans and said: "People of the Romans, I shall present certain matters to you. Consider what I have decided." "What are they?" they asked. He said: "You know, by God, that this man is a prophet who has been sent [sic]. We find him in our book [sic]. We know him by the description whereby he has been described to us. Let us follow him, that our life in this world and the next may be secure." They said, "Shall we be under the hands of the Arabs, when we are mankind’s greatest kingdom, most numerous nation, and best land?" He said, "Then let me give him TRIBUTE453 each year, SO THAT I CAN AVERT HIS VEHEMENCE FROM ME AND FIND REST FROM HIS WARFARE BY MEANS OF MONEY THAT I GIVE HIM." They said, "Shall we concede to the Arabs [our own] HUMILIATION AND ABASEMENT BY A TAX THAT THEY TAKE FROM US when we are mankind’s most numerous nation, greatest kingdom, and most impregnable land? By God, we will never do it!" He said, "Then let me make peace with him on condition that I give him the land of Syria and that he leave me with the land of al-Sha’m." … They said to him: "Shall we give him the land of Syria, when you know that it is the navel of al-Sha’m? By God, we will never do it!" They having refused, he said, "By God, you shall see that, if you hold back from him, you will be defeated in your own city." …

453. Arabic jizyah, later the technical term for the poll tax paid by members of protected minorities, here is used in the general sense of tribute… (The History of al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, translated by Michael Fishbein [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1997], Volume VIII, pp. 106-107; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

Pay close attention to the details. Heraclius’ statement to paying tribute or Jizyah in order to avoid any warfare with Muhammad presupposes that Muhammad threatened him and his empire with violence and bloodshed if the Byzantine emperor refused to submit to Islam. Further notice that the people realized that paying such tribute was a sign of their humiliation and abasement, providing clear evidence that it was Muhammad who antagonized and harassed his enemies not the other way around.

Another Christian group that Muhammad threatened and harassed was the Ghassan tribe, one that had ties with the Byzantine Empire:

In this year the Messenger of God sent out messengers. He sent out six persons in the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, three of them setting out together: Hatib b. Abi Balta‘ah of Lakhm, a confederate of the Banu Asad b. ‘Abd al-Uzza, to al-Muqawqis; Shuja‘ b. Wahb of the Banu Asad b. Khuzaymah, a confederate of Harb b. Umayyah and veteran of Badr, to al-Harith b. Abi Shimr al-Ghassani; and Dihyah b. Khalifah al-Kalbi to Caesar…

According to Ibn Ishaq: The Messenger of God sent Shuja‘ b. Wahb, a member of the Banu Asad b. Khuzaymah, to al-Mundhir b. al-Harith b. Abi Shimr al-Ghassani, the ruler of Damascus.

According to Muhammad b. ‘Umar al-Waqidi: He wrote to him via Shuja‘:

Peace be with whoever follows the right guidance and believes in it. I call you to believe in God alone, Who has no partner, AND YOUR KINGDOM SHALL REMAIN YOURS.

Shuja‘ b. Wahb brought the letter to him, and he read it to them. Al-Mundhir said: "Who can wrest my kingdom from me? It is I who will go against him!" The Prophet said, "His kingdom has perished." (Ibid., pp. 98, 107-108; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

And:

423… The mission was to the ruler of the Banu Ghassan, an Arab tribal kingdom with its capital at Busra (Bostra) in Syria. The Ghassanids were Monophysite Christians and ruled as a client state of the Byzantine Empire… (Ibid., p. 98)

In light of this, does anyone really blame the Jews and Christians for wanting to rid themselves of such a tyrant? Moreover, however we may view this today, would anyone be surprised that the Ghassanite ruler killed Muhammad’s messenger for bringing such a letter (assuming, of course, that these Islamic tales are recounting actual historical events)?

Another example of Muhammad’s interest in the north is the expedition that set out for Syria and was defeated by Byzantine troops and their Arab allies at Mu’tah in Jordan during the month of Jumada I, A.H. 8 (August-September 629). Al-Tabari’s account, which relies almost entirely on Ibn Ishaq, says nothing about the causes of the expedition. Al-Waqidi (W, II, 755) indicates that the immediate occasion was the killing by Shurahbil b. ‘Amr al-Ghassani (the Banu Ghassan were allies of the Byzantines) of a messenger whom Muhammad had sent to the ruler of Busra in Syria. Thus, although the motive for this mission remains a mystery, the immediate motive for the expedition was retaliation… (Ibid., p. xviii)

What would Muslims do to a person who would dare bring such a letter that threatened their lives and lands?

For a detailed analysis of the gross errors with this Islamic version of the history of Heraclius’ meeting with Muhammad’s messenger Dihyah b. al-Kalbi and Abu Sufyan we recommend the following articles:

http://answering-islam.org/Muhammad/heraclius.html
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Abualrub/sinful_mo.htm

Abualrub may further assert that the Meccans deserved what they got because they were the ones who actually broke their treaty with Muhammad, specifically the one they made at al-Hudaybiyyah, an assertion which is also contrary to the facts. According to the Islamic sources themselves, one of the stipulations, which Muhammad accepted, demanded that in the case that any Meccan defected to the Muslim camp, be it male or female, he would be forced to return them to the pagans:

"… So the Messenger of God said, ‘Write: This is that whereon Muhammad b. ‘Abdallah has made peace with Suhayl b. ‘Amr. The two have agreed on these terms: that warfare shall be laid aside by the people for ten years, during which the people shall be safe and refrain from [attacking] each other; that, WHOEVER shall come to the Messenger of God from Quraysh WITHOUT THE PERMISSION of his guardian, [Muhammad] shall return him to them; that WHOEVER shall come to Quraysh from those who are with the Messenger of God, they shall not return him to [Muhammad] …’" (The History of Al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, translated by Michael Fishbein [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany, 1997], Volume VIII, p. 86; capital emphasis ours)

A more recent Muslim writer, the late Muhammad Asad, in his notes to Q. 60:10, concurs that women were included within the agreement between Muhammad and the pagans. Asad admitted that the stipulations which Muhammad accepted included the return of any women who left to follow the Muslims:

11 Under the terms of the Truce of Hudaybiyyah, concluded in the year 6 H. between the Prophet and the pagan Quraysh of Mecca, any Meccan minor or other person under guardianship who went over to the Muslims without the permission of his or HER guardian was to be returned to the Quraysh (see introductory note to surah 48). The Quraysh took this stipulation to include ALSO MARRIED WOMEN, whom they considered to be under the "guardianship" of their husbands. Accordingly, when several Meccan women embraced Islam against the will of their husbands and fled to Medina, the Quraysh demanded their forcible return to Mecca. This the Prophet refused on the grounds that married women did not fall within the category of "persons under guardianship". However, since there was always the possibility that some of these women had gone over to the Muslims not for reasons of faith but out of purely worldly considerations, the believers were enjoined to make sure of their sincerity; and so, the Prophet asked each of them: "Swear before God that thou didst not leave because of hatred of thy husband, or out of desire to go to another country, or in the hope of attaining to worldly advantages: swear before God that thou didst not leave for any reason save the love of God and His Apostle" (Tabari). Since God alone knows what is in the heart of a human being, a positive response of the woman concerned was to be regarded as the only humanly attainable - and, therefore, legally sufficient - proof of her sincerity. The fact that God alone is really aware of what is in a human being's heart is incorporated in the shar’i principle that any adult person's declaration of faith, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, makes it mandatory upon the community to accept that person - whether man or woman - as a Muslim on the basis of this declaration alone. (Source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Another recent commentator who admitted that the treaty included women is the late Abdullah Yusuf Ali. Here is what he said concerning this same Quranic text:

Under the treaty of Hudaibiya [see Introduction to S. lxviii, paragraph 4, condition (3)], women under guardianship (INCLUDING MARRIED WOMEN), who fled from the Quraish in Makkah to the Prophet’s protection at Madinah WERE TO BE SENT BACK. But before this Ayat was issued, the Quraysh had already broken the treaty, and some instruction was necessary as to what the Madinah Muslims should do in those circumstances… (Ali, The Holy Qur’an: Translation and Commentary, p. 1534, fn. 5422 on Q. 60:10; bold and capital emphasis ours)

He further writes:

4. A peaceful Treaty was therefore concluded, known as the Treaty of Hudaibiya. It stipulated: (1) that there was to be peace between the parties for ten years; (2) that any tribe or person was free to join either party or make an alliance with it; (3) that if a Quraish person from Mecca, under guardianship, should join the prophet without the guardian’s permission, he (OR SHE) should be sent back to the guardian, but in the contrary case, they should not be sent back; and (4) that the Prophet and his party were not to enter Mecca that year, but that they could enter unarmed the following year. (Ibid., introduction to Sura XLVIII (Fat-h), p. 1389; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Moreover, a commentary attributed to Ibn Abbas states in reference to Q. 60:10:

… This was revealed about Subay'ah Bint al-Harth al-Aslamiyyah who came to the Prophet (pbuh) in the year of al-Hudaybiyyah, to declare her Islam but her husband Musafir came after her to take her back. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give peace, gave him back the dowry which her husband had given her. In that particular year, and before the revelation of this verse, the people of Mecca had signed a treaty with the Prophet (pbuh) which stipulated that WHOEVER from the people of Mecca embraces Islam can join the Muslims, and whoever of the Muslims embraces the religion of the Meccan pagans is returned to the Muslims; and any woman from the people of Mecca who embraces Islam, the Muslims should pay back the dowry given to her to her husband, and any Muslim woman who joins the religion of the Meccan pagans, the people of Mecca should pay back her dowry to her husband. This is why the Prophet (pbuh) paid back to Musafir the dowry which he had given to Subay'ah… (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Another authoritative Islamic reference work says pretty much the same thing:

O you who believe, when believing women come to you, [saying] with their tongues [that they are], emigrating, from the [company of] disbelievers - [this was] following the truce concluded with them [the disbelievers] at al-Hudaybiyya to the effect that if ANY of their number should go to [join] the believers, that person should be sent back - test them, by making them swear that they had only gone forth [from Mecca] because of their [sincere] wish to embrace Islam, and not out of some hatred for their disbelieving husbands, nor because they might be enamoured by some Muslim man: that was how the Prophet (s) used to take from them their oaths… (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

The above citations expressly prove that Muhammad’s contemporaries clearly understood that women were included within the treaty.

The question that Abualrub needs to answer is why would Umm Kulthum’s brothers demand that Muhammad return their sister in accord with the treaty if women were not included? If he is honest his answer will have to be that these brothers knew that Muhammad had to return any of their women who defected since this was also part of their agreement. These Arabs realized that there was nothing stated in the Arabic which excluded women. They clearly understood from the language of the treaty that Muhammad had to return to the pagans any woman who departed to the Muslim camp.

With the foregoing in mind, note what the renowned Sunni exegete Ibn Kathir states concerning Q. 60:10:

After Al-Hudaybiyyah, Emigrant Muslim Women may not be returned to the Disbelievers

In Surat Al-Fath, we related the story of the treaty at Al-Hudaybiyyah that was conducted between the Messenger of Allah and the disbelievers of Quraysh. In that treaty, there were these words, "Everyman (in another narration, EVERY PERSON) who reverts from our side to your side, should be returned to us, even if he is a follower of your religion." This was said by `Urwah, Ad-Dahhak, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd, Az-Zuhri, Muqatil bin Hayyan and As-Suddi.

So according to this narration, this Ayah specifies and explains the Sunnah. And this is the best case of understanding. Yet according to another view of some of the Salaf, it abrogates it.

Allah the Exalted and Most High ordered His faithful servants to test the faith of women who emigrate to them. When they are sure that they are faithful, they should not send them back to the disbelievers, for the disbelievers are not allowed for them and they are not allowed for the disbelievers. In the biography of `Abdullah bin Abi Ahmad bin Jahsh in Al-Musnad Al-Kabir, we also mentioned that `Abdullah bin Abi Ahmad said, "Umm Kulthum bint `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`ayt emigrated and her brothers, `Umarah and Al-Walid, went after her. They came to Allah’s Messenger and talked to him about Umm Kulthum and asked that she be returned to them. ALLAH ABOLISHED THE PART OF THE TREATY BETWEEN THE PROPHET AND THE IDOLATORS ABOUT THE WOMEN PARTICULARLY. So He forbade returning Muslim women to the idolators and revealed the Ayah about testing them" …

<Likewise do not keep disbelieving women,>

Then `Umar bin Al-Khattab divorced two of his wives, who were idolatresses, and one of them got married to Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan, while the other got married to Safwan bin Umayyah.

Ibn Thawr narrated that Ma`mar said that Az-Zuhri said, "This Ayah was revealed to Allah's Messenger while he was in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, after making peace. He agreed that WHOEVER COMES from the Quraysh to his side, WILL BE RETURNED TO MAKKAH. When some women came, this Ayah was revealed. Allah commanded that the dowery that was paid to these women be returned to their husbands. Allah also ordered that if some Muslim women revert to the side of the idolators, the idolators should return their dowery to their Muslim husbands ... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) (Surat Al-Jathiyah to the end of Surat Al-Munafiqun), Volume 9, pp. 599-600, 602; source; capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Kathir wasn’t the only expositor that candidly admitted that Allah abolished that part of the treaty since this is what al-Tabari wrote:

Ibn Ishaq added in his account: Umm Kulthum bt. ‘Uqbah b. Abi Mu‘ayt emigrated to the Messenger of God during that period. Her brothers, ‘Umarah and al-Walid b. ‘Uqbah, went to the Messenger of God to ask him to return her to them ACCORDING TO THE TREATY BETWEEN HIM AND QURAYSH AT AL-HUDAYBIYAH, BUT HE DID NOT DO SO: GOD HAD REJECTED IT. (The History of al-Tabari, Volume VIII, p. 92; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Another commentator states:

(O ye who believe! When believing women come unto you as fugitives, examine them. Allah is Best Aware of their faith…) [60:10]. Ibn ‘Abbas said: "On the year of Hudaybiyyah, the idolaters of Mecca signed a peace treaty with the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. This treaty stipulated that WHOEVER of the people of Mecca runs away to him from them should be returned to them, and whoever of his Companions runs away to the people of Mecca will not be returned. They wrote the treaty and sealed it. Just after signing the treaty, Subay‘ah bint al-Harith al-Aslamiyyah went to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, while he was still at al-Hudaybiyyah. Her husband, who was an unbeliever came and said: ‘O Muhammad, return my wife to me, for you had agreed to return to us WHOEVER runs away to you. The ink of the treaty has not dried yet’. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse". Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Farisi informed us> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Fadl> Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Hafiz> Muhammad ibn Yahya> Hasan ibn al-Rabi‘ ibn al-Khashshab> Ibn Idris> Muhammad ibn Ishaq> al-Zuhri who said: "I entered in on ‘Urwah ibn al-Zubayr while he was writing a letter to Ibn Hunaydah, the aid of al-Walid ibn ‘Abd al-Malik, in reply to his question about the words of Allah, exalted is He, (O ye who believe! When believing women come unto you as fugitives, examine them). He wrote to him: ‘The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, signed a peace treaty with the Quraysh on the day of al-Hudaybiyyah. The treaty stipulated that he should return to them WHOEVER goes to him without the permission of his custodian. When women emigrated [from Mecca to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace,] ALLAH, exalted is He, REFUSED TO TURN THEM BACK TO THE IDOLATERS after it has been ascertained that they had migrated for Islam. This examination consisted of giving back their dowers to the idolaters if they are kept back [with the Muslims], provided that the idolaters give back the dowers of the wives of Muslims who stayed back in Mecca’. He said: ‘That is the judgement of Allah with which He judges between them. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, therefore, kept back women and sent back to the Quraysh the men who had run away from them’ ". (‘Ali ibn Ahmad al-Wahid, Asbab Al-Nuzul; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Hence, contrary to the slander of the Quran and Abualrub, the pagans didn’t violate the agreements of the treaty. All of these Islamic sources unashamedly admit that Muhammad simply decided to abolish the pact he agreed to by refusing to return the women back to their guardians. In other words, it was Muhammad, not the pagans, who broke the covenant. The shocking thing about this is that Muhammad blamed his god for making him break his agreement.

In light of the foregoing, isn’t this simply another example of Muhammad using lies and deceptive schemes in order to gain an advantage over his opponents?

This now leads us to our final section.

Abualrub and Lying

Seeing that Abualrub boasts about all the books he has translated into English, giving the impression that he is a scholar, he surely must have been aware of all the information that we have provided here regarding Q. 2:256 being abrogated according to certain scholars, that Muhammad changed his mind concerning the pagans whom he had subjected, or that he was the one who actually started the hostilities and antagonism towards his opponents. Why, then, would Abualrub fail to mention all of these pertinent details in order to give his readers the complete picture?

The answer is very simple. The Quran permits Muslims to lie in the face of unbelievers in order to conceal Islam’s true agenda.

Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security. Allah biddeth you beware (only) of Himself. Unto Allah is the journeying. S. 3:28 Pickthall

The exegetes explain that this text gives Muslims the license to employ taqiyya (dissimulation, concealment, i.e. concealing or disguising information in the interest of "protecting" oneself) when living in the midst of disbelievers:

The Prohibition of Supporting the Disbelievers

Allah prohibited His believing servants from becoming supporters of the disbelievers, or to take them as comrades with whom they develop friendships, rather than the believers. Allah warned against such behavior when He said…

<And whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way> meaning, whoever commits this act that Allah has prohibited, then Allah will discard him…

Allah said next…

(unless you indeed fear a danger from them) meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers OUTWARDLY, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said, "We smile in the face of some people ALTHOUGH OUR HEARTS CURSE THEM.'' Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, "The TUQYAH is allowed until the Day of Resurrection... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; source; capital emphasis ours)

And: 

Let not the believers take the disbelievers as patrons, rather than, that is, instead of, the believers - for whoever does that, that is, [whoever] takes them as patrons, does not belong to, the religion of, God in anyway - unless you protect yourselves against them, as a safeguard (tuqatan, 'as a safeguard', is the verbal noun from taqiyyatan), that is to say, [unless] you fear something, in which case you may show patronage to them through words, but not in your hearts: this was before the hegemony of Islam and [the dispensation] applies to any individual residing in a land with no say in it. God warns you, He instills fear in you, of His Self, [warning] that He may be wrathful with you if you take them as patrons; and to God is the journey's end, the return, and He will requite you. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Again:

(Let not the believers take) the believers ought not to take [the hypocrites:] 'Abdullah Ibn Ubayy and his companions [and] (disbelievers) the Jews (for their friends) so as to become mighty and honourable (in preference to believers) who are sincere. (Whoso doeth that) seeking might and honour [by taking the hypocrites and disbelievers as friends] (hath no connection with Allah) has no honour, mercy or protection from Allah (unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them) save yourselves from them, (taking (as it were) security) saving yourselves from them by speaking in a friendly way towards them with, while your hearts dislikes this. (Allah bideth you beware (only) of Himself) regarding the shunning of unlawful killing, unlawful sex, unlawful property, consuming intoxicants, false testimony and associating partners with Allah. (Unto Allah is the journeying) the return after death. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs; source; bold emphasis ours)

Finally:

This verse explains all the verses quoted above which forbid taking the kaafirs as friends in general terms. What that refers to is in cases where one has a choice, but in cases of fear and TAQIYAH it is permissible to make friends with them, as much as is essential to protect oneself against their evil. That is subject to the condition that one's faith should not be affected by that friendship and the one who is behaves in that manner out of necessity is not one who behaves in that manner out of choice.

Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-'Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on mixing with the kuffaar and treating them kindly hoping that they will become Muslim. He replied:

Undoubtedly the Muslim is obliged to HATE the enemies of Allaah and to disavow them, because this is the way of the Messengers and their followers...

Based on this, it is not permissible for a Muslim to feel any love in his heart towards the enemies of Allaah who are in fact his enemies too...

But if a Muslim treats them with KINDNESS and gentleness in the hope that they will become Muslim and will believe, there is nothing wrong with that, because it comes under the heading of opening their hearts to Islam. But if he despairs of them becoming Muslim, then he should treat them accordingly. This is something that is discussed in detail by the scholars, especially in the book Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah by Ibn al-Qayyim ... (Question #59879: What is meant by taking the kuffar as friends? Ruling on mixing with the kuffar; source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

This explains why Abualrub did not bother to give his readers the true picture and chose to conveniently omit very important details from his discussion. He is faithfully carrying out the orders of Allah and his messenger which permit Muslims like Abualrub to lie and deceive the unbelievers. Muhammad’s god goes so far as to allow his followers to smile in the disbelievers’ faces as they curse them in their evil and wicked hearts.

Concluding Remarks

In our examination of the Islamic source material we discovered that, contrary to the assertions of Jalal Abualrub, the Muslim authorities expressly and unapologetically stated that Muhammad and his band of thugs did force and compel people into becoming Muslims. We further saw that there are Muslim scholars who do believe that Q. 2:256 has been abrogated by specific passages that command Muslims to fight, kill and/or subjugate non-Muslims until they either convert or pay Jizya (in the case of the Jews and Christians). We also learned that even among those scholars who do not believe that this specific passage has been abrogated they still limited the application of this verse to the Jews and Christians (with some even including Magians), e.g. Jews and Christians cannot be forced to convert to Islam provided that they agree to live in the worst conditions and pay Jizya as a sign of their utter disgrace and humiliation. These same scholars candidly admitted that in the case of the pagans they had the choice of either converting or being murdered, and their women having the misfortune of being raped and pillaged by their Muslim overlords. In the words of the Quran and hadith literature:

Also married women, except those whom you own as slaves. Such is the decree of God. All women other than these are lawful to you, provided you seek them with your wealth in modest conduct, not in fornication. Give them their dowry for the enjoyment you have had of them as a duty; but it shall be no offence for you to make any agreement among yourselves after you have fulfilled your duty. God is all-knowing and wise. S. 4:24 Dawood

Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa'id al Khadri (Allah he pleased with him): O Abu Sa'id, did you hear Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) mentioning al-'azl? He said: Yes, and added: We went out with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi'l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing 'azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah's Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3371)

Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri said: The Apostle of Allah sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Quranic verse: "And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess." That is to say, they are lawful for them when they complete their waiting period. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume II, Book V. Kitab Al-Nikah (Book of Marriage), Chapter 711: To Have Intercourse With Female Captives Of War, Number 2150, p. 577)

All of these facts were either ignored or distorted by Jalal Abualrub in order to give his readers the misleading impression that it is really the "Islamophobes" who are presenting a false picture of Islam and Muhammad, the so-called prophet of mercy. The fact of the matter is that these so-called "neo-cons" (as Jalal likes to call them) and "Islamophobes" are the ones who are presenting the real face of Islam since they are accurately citing the Islamic references by placing them within their own contexts in order to get the full picture, unlike Abualrub who likes to cherry-pick from the Islamic source material.      

With the foregoing in perspective, we must candidly state that if Jalal Abualrub is the best that Islam has to offer (and he gives the impression that this is what he thinks of himself) then Islam is in serious danger. It shows that Islam is morally and intellectually bankrupt and it is only a matter of time before the risen and immortal Lord Jesus utterly vanquishes and eradicates this false and wicked belief system. We see this already happening as thousands of Muslims from all over world are turning to the truth of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, much to the dismay of Muslim dawagandists like Abualrub.

"Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Messiah, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, ‘As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.’ I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him." Psalm 2:1-12

"Jesus said to him, ‘I am THE WAY, and THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me.’" John 14:6

"Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?’" Revelation 6:15-17

"They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful." Revelation 17:14


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