A young man, originating from an Arab country known for its commitment to Islam, and from a family known for its religiousness, fresh in USA as a student, has raised a few questions, sent to us for reply. The nature of the questions, such as, e.g. “Why did Prophet Muhammad take material from so many sources?” tells us volumes about America’s hatred of Islam and war against Muslims, carefully concealed by its politicians, but occasionally revealed by the intentional slip of the tongue: words such as “Crusade,” or, frank admission of what the hearts conceal, such as words, “treat them like dogs.”
Another question that has been asked by the student is: Why does the Qur’an talk so much about killing and bloodshed?
Our answer is as follows: The Qur’an deals with the subjects of killing and bloodshed in quite some detail. In all, it discusses the issue and delivers the commands, in about 150 verses, which constitutes about 0.02% of the entire Qur’an. Within this 0.02%, it instructed us about:
(1) What should be the basis of wars and battles?
(2) What kind of killing is allowed?
(3) What kind of killing is disallowed?
(4) What are those places on the earth, where killing is not allowed?
(5) Which are the times when killing is not allowed?
(6) What should be done when people are wrongly killed?
(7) What will happen to a man who killed without cause?
(8) Why did people kill each other in the past?
(9) What happens when a man kills another by mistake?
(10) Which was the first murder that took place?
(11) Why were the Prophets of the past killed?
(12) What will happen to the children who were killed by their parents?
(13) What will happen to you if you run away from an on-going battle? etc.
These are the topics that the Qur’an deals with. Can anyone say which of them is unnecessary?
It must also be realized that if the Qur’an talks about killing and bloodshed, it is because humans do lot of killing and bloodshed; especially those who do not believe in it as the Divine Message; so that, human history seems to be little more the history of bloodshed. Let us give a cursory glance to the history of recent times:
1. During the “Inquisition” of the Middle Ages, 55 million Christians were killed in Europe by Christians. It was sanctioned by the Church to purify Christianity.
2. A million Muslims (and quite some Jews) were killed by the Christians when they drove the Muslims out of Spain at the end of the 15th century.
3. There was a religious war in Europe during the 19th century which lasted for 30 years.
4. The Mexican Revolution of the early last century resulted in the death of 250,000 people.
5. During the Belgium-Congo wars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, 10 million people (mostly Congolese) were killed.
6. During WW-I, Europeans killed 15 million of their own people.
7. The Chinese purges, civil and other wars killed 20 million people.
8. The Soviet communist purges cost 15 million lives.
9. During WW-II, mostly fought in Europe, 50 million people were killed – Christians killing Christians, whites killing whites.
10. The two atom bombs (the second was simply to test it) dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (even though the Japanese had surrendered) caused the death of 250,000 people.
11. The USA has been averagely killing one million people of other countries every ten years: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.
12. Having occupied the lands on which the Palestinians had been living for 5000 years, the Jews have been killing at the rate averaging 4-5 Palestinians every day since last 60 years.
The figures above are rough estimates (real could be higher) and the list of mass killings is much longer than what would make a decent man sick in his stomach and turn him into a misanthrope in a couple of minutes.
And the nature of the wars has been far from civilized. To give an example of the ferocity: The joint armies of the West came down 14 times, aiming at the Middle-east, to wage what are known as the Crusades. What they did when Jerusalem fell to them the first time is as follows:
“After a very great and cruel slaughter of Saracens (Muslims), of whom 10,000 fell in the same place, they put to the sword great numbers of gentiles who were running about the quarters of the city, fleeing in all directions on account of their fear of death: they were stabbing women who had fled into palaces and dwellings; seizing infants by the soles of their feet from their mothers’ laps or their cradles and dashing them against the walls and breaking their necks; they were slaughtering some with weapons, or striking them down with stones; they were sparing absolutely no gentile of any place or kind.” (Quoted by Thomas Asbridge in The First Crusade, p. 317, Free Press, Britain, 2004).
Those who shed blood on that occasion were accompanied by scores of Holy men of the Church, goading them on to fight, promising them Paradise if they fell martyrs. The soldiers were the soldiers of God. Imagine what it would have been if pleasing God was not their objective. Yes, you must be thinking of Abu Ghuraib in which men, women, teenage girls, and even boys were the target. And you know what the target was!
But, despite the above, killings and bloodshed are not going to end. Humans are preparing for more killing and bloodshed. If they are not killing Muslims at the moment, it is not because they have suddenly become civilized, but because they are tired and short of money. Wait. Some more killing is coming. At the moment, they are manufacturing reasons, and working on new slogans: those of the past, democracy, human rights, freedom, etc., have lost their luster. Meanwhile, note the following:
1. Averagely, every week the USA develops a new weapon or accessory to kill with.
2. Around 40% of USA economy is engaged in manufacturing weapons to kill.
3. Western nations are the greatest producers of killing weapons.
4. Muslim nations are the least in manufacturing killing weapons.
5. Non-Western nations are in the middle.
6. It is being rumored that those who control the world from behind the scenes with trillions of money they have, (with the help of which candidates win votes in Western democracies), are planning to remove a large number of human population through wars because they think there are not enough natural resources for all.
Thus, the true history of humanity is the history of killings and bloodshed and will remain so. Hadith literature promises that an army comprising of a million soldiers will descend from the West on the Middle East. And the Biblical literature promises that an Armageddon is about to take place, as a result of which all non-Jews (according to Jews) will be wiped out, and the rest enslaved for services to the Jews, or, all non-Christians (according to the Christians) will be wiped out.
Prophet Muhammad also fought. He went into the battlefield on 24 occasions. The total number of people killed from his side as well as from the side of his opponents was about 1250 during a period of about 9 years.
At the cost of 1250 lives, he changed the blood-thirsty warriors, robbers, drunkards, gamblers, nudists, kidnappers and thugs, into exemplary people, the like of whom no civilization of the earlier or later times has produced. (Consult any Western historian). The effect of the civilizing teachings he delivered, can still be felt in the Middle-east, where bloodshed (of all kinds) is the least when compared to the West. (Look into global homicide statistics).
In comparison to the Prophet’s blood-letting (if you wish to call it that), nothing was gained from the killing of 50 million people during the Second World War lasting six years, except for re-drawing of boundary lines, still contested.
Muslim blood-letting in history channels has been a bottle against a drum of the non-Muslim blood-letting. If their blood smeared white shirt appears so disagreeable, it is because the blood-soaked red overcoat of the West shines out so well.
The only cure to the bloodthirstiness of the humans is faith in a God who is the God of all. The Qur’an is the only Revelation that has civilized War. Compare it with the Bible which instructs its adherence to kill indiscriminately:
[Joshua, the successor of Moses, instructed the earliest Jews] “Kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourself.” (Numbers, 31:17, 18).
“But in the cities of these people that the Lord your God gives you for as an inheritance [cities of Palestine] you shall save alive nothing that breathes.” (Deuteronomy, 20:16).
Accordingly, the post-Moses holy warriors burned alive animals of the Palestinians and others.
Do you see now, why the Qur’an dealt with killing and bloodshed in such detail?