Meccan or Medinan? Guest Post by Yama Rasaw
Guest post by Yama Rasaw:
Last week, someone asked me, “Why do some Muslims in Islamic countries resort to violence, atrocities, and kill innocent people while most Muslims in the US are decent and peaceful?” He told me his Muslim neighbor and the Muslim lady who works at the local grocery store are kind and friendly, yet couldn’t understand why groups like ISIS (aka Daesh) behead and kill innocents (even other Muslims) while the majority believe in “one culture” and co-existence.
Since I was born in a Muslim family and studied Quran and hadiths (collection of Mohammad’s sayings and deeds), I have a pretty good explanation: Violence and peace are two sides of Islam. The peaceful side promotes tolerance and respect; the intolerant, bigoted, and hateful side focuses on Jihad, implementation of Sharia law, and forceful conversions even by shedding blood. This dichotomy in the Quran becomes clear when we compare Mohammad’s days in Mecca to later days in Medina.
In the beginning Mohammad had only a handful of followers in the city of Mecca. He was akin to Gandhi and Jesus who wanted to spread religion with kindness. Early Meccan verses in the Quran convey compassion and forgiveness. After Mohammad moved to Medina his followers and power grew, and his message changed 180 degrees to a relentless warrior committed to eradicate all other religions in Arabian Peninsula. In one day he beheaded 800-900 Jewish prisoners of war who had surrendered to him unconditionally. He also ordered assassinations of his critics and poets for writing satirical poems.
This change is evident in a comparison of Meccan with Medinan suras (verses).
“Be patient with what they say, and part from them courteously.” 73:10
“To You Your Religion and To Me Mine” 109:1-6
“But if they turn away, [O Muhammad] – then only upon you is [responsibility for] clear notification.” 16:82
“But if Allah had willed, they would not have associated. And we have not appointed you over them as a guardian, nor are you a manager over them.” 6:07
“So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder.” 88:21
“And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah.” 8:39
“Kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from wherever they drove you out.” 2:191
“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”8:12
“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter in the land…” 8:67
“Argue with people of the book, other than evil doers, only by means of what are better! And say, we believe in what has been sent down to us and sent down to you.” 29:45
“Fight those who do not believe in God and the last day…and fight People of the Book, who do not accept the religion of truth (Islam) until they pay tribute by hand, being inferior.” 9:29
Muslims scholars agree that Medinan verses supersede Meccan. By abrogating peaceful verses Mohammad opened the door for violent Jihad. Muslims as minorities preach early Meccan verses to appeal to non-Muslims. We see this practice by organizations such as CAIR in the West.
When Muslims become a majority they quote Medinan verses and start armed struggle to enforce Islamic Sharia law. See Chechnya, Niger, Kashmir, Mindanao, Afghanistan, Eastern China, Nigeria, Southern Thailand, Northern Mali, Somalia, Tunisia, Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and other places.
This Jihad is occurring in the cafés of Australia and Denmark to Canada’s Parliament to Paris to the Boston Marathon. It will not go away until Muslims from within Islam denounce this form of jihad. I have “moderate Muslim” friends who want stoning in town squares across America, they believe “there’s a wisdom in keeping sex slaves which most people do not understand,” they see nothing wrong with “light wife-beating.” Another Muslim family friend, a doctor, remained silent when I asked him if I should be killed for my apostasy. These Muslims are educated and some of them work for Cisco, Google, and Apple. If “moderate Muslims” believe in stoning, wife-beating, sex slavery, and killing apostates, why should we expect fundamentalists in Islamic countries to behave in a civilized or different manner?
Yama Rasaw is an Afghan-American IT Consultant living in Northern California.