but if they desist1 then let there be no hostility, save against the wicked. 189.

The warlike spirit is also stirred up by a reference to the wars of the children of Israel and of Saul who in one case is confounded with Gideon, showing that Muhammad's knowledge of Old Testament history was very confused. The Israelites are represented as saying:—

Why should we not fight for the religion of God, seeing We are dispossessed of our habitations, and our children are driven forth.
How oft, by God's will, hath a small host vanquished a large host, and God is with the patiently persevering.
Such are the signs of God. Sura Al-Baqarah (ii) 247, 250, 253.

Thus, just as the small host under Gideon overcame the Midianites, so would the small host of Muslims overcome the Meccans, and such victories were God's signs or witnesses to the truths which His prophets inculcated. In this way and by such teaching Muhammad encouraged his followers.

[Footnote continued from previous page]
'temptation to idolatry,' and this agrees with the interpretation of the commentator Husain who says that
حَتّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ until there be no more civil discord,'means:
قا آن غايت كة فتنة نة باشد يعنى أز شرك أثر نماند
'Until that time when there shall' be no tumult, i.e., no sign of polytheism.' Baidawi also interprets it as 'shirk,' or 'polytheism.'
Other commentators seem to give it a much wider and more extensive scope. Thus, 'until they become Muslims or pay the polltax,' do not put the sword in the sheath. Jihad will go on till the day of Judgement'—
جب تكث مسلمان نهون يا جزية ندين تلوار ميان مين نكرو الجهاد منفى الى يوم القيامة
Khalasatu't-Tafasir, vol. i, p. 132.
1 Baidawi adds
عن الشرك 'from polytheism.'

Thus he justified the command:—

A sanction is given those who, because they have suffered outrages, have taken up arms and verily God is well able to succour them. Sura Al-Hajj (xxii) 40.

An argument is based on the fact that as in other religions men had defended their places of worship, so Muslims should do the same:—

Those who have been driven out from their homes wrongfully, only because they say 'Our Lord is the God.' If God had not repelled some men by others, cloisters and churches and oratories and mosques, wherein the name of God is ever commemorated, would surely have been destroyed. And him who helpeth God will God surely help. Sura Al-Hajj (xxii) 41.1

The Quraish had practically expelled the Muslims from Mecca and this may be said to justify the hostilities, but now the injunction passed beyond

1 This passage is sometimes quoted to show that jihad, or religious war, is purely defensive, but it is really of local application. Muhammad's object was to justify by the example of men of other creeds, his resistance to the Quraish and not to lay down a rule of tolerance for all time. This is the view of the commentators.
مقصود يهى هى كة يهودى كى زمانى مين ان كى مسجدين اور نصارى كى وقت مين ان كى مسجدين اور اب همارى مسجدين مراد هين نة كة سب كى هر وقت مقصود هى
'The meaning is this that it refers to the synagogues in the time of the Jews, to the churches in the time of the Christians and to our mosques now, not that it refers to them all at all times.' (Khalasatu't-Tafasir, vol. iii, p. 249.) The whole passage is said to prove the 'Eternal obligation of jihad.'—هم بر دائمى فرض هى
Again we read, 'After the abrogation of a religion the retention of its places of worship is in vain' (Ibid, p. 218).
بعد منسوخى دين ان كى عبادتكاة كا بتا عبث هى
As Islam is to abrogate all other religions, churches and synagogues should also go. The apparent tolerance of this verse is thus explained away. Although the whole Sura is a late Meccan one, Nöldeke considers that vv. 39-42 are Madina ones delivered just before the battle of Badr.