Quran Facts | 4:75 – Fight in the Cause of Allah for the Hereafter
15822
page-template-default,page,page-id-15822,page-child,parent-pageid-15919,,qode-theme-ver-10.0,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive
 

4:75 – Fight in the Cause of Allah for the Hereafter

Introduction

It is alleged that several verses of the Holy Quran incite believers to commit violence against non-Muslims by way of aggression. Such verses are misused by extremists to commit acts of violence against non-Muslims. However, a holistic and consolidated study of the verses, the teachings of the Holy Quran and the historical narratives of the aggression of the opponents of Islam, as well as the broader context of the Roman-Persian wars clearly demonstrates that these wartime injunctions were defensive in nature. The conflicts occurred due to oppression of fundamental freedoms including the freedom of conscience and practicing one’s religion of choice. Islamic teachings permits military engagement as a defense and protection of fundamental human freedoms.

Let those then fight in the cause of Allah who would sell the present life for the Hereafter. And whoso fights in the cause of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, We shall soon give him a great reward. (4:75)

 

Allegation

It’s alleged that there are numerous verses in the Holy Quran which urge Muslims to fight and take part in violence against the nonbelievers and that it is incumbent upon true believers to fight and kill the non-believers. It is alleged that this verse forms a basis for extremists who commit suicide attacks.

 

Context

In the early years of Islam, the Muslims faced bitter persecution for practicing their religion and when that failed the forces of oppression took to the battlefield in an attempt to destroy the Islamic movement. The fundamental verses of the Quran (22:40-41) that permit armed engagement clearly call for the protection of religious freedom for all (not just Muslims): Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged…those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ — And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated…

 

By reading the verses around 4:76 we can comprehend that the context of this verse is not about suicide attacks or attacking disbelievers for their faith, rather the verses are drawing a distinction between those Muslims who exhibited a greater spirit of sacrifice and bravery by engaging the enemy in the battlefield versus those who remained off the battlefield. By reading verses 4:73-76 we can open the context of the subject of these verses:

 

“And among you there is he who will tarry behind, and if a misfortune befall you, he says, ‘Surely, Allah has been gracious to me, since I was not present with them. But if there comes to you some good fortune from Allah, he says, as if there were no love between you and him, ‘Would that I had been with them, then should I have indeed achieved a great success! Let those then fight in the cause of Allah who would sell the present life for the Hereafter. And whoso fights in the cause of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, We shall soon give him a great reward. And what is the matter with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah… and of the weak — men, women and children — who say, ‘Our Lord, take us out of this town, whose people are oppressors, and make for us some friend from Thyself, and make for us from Thyself some helper?” (4:73-76)

 

These verses are referring to those Muslims who were not bold enough to go to the battlefield and used to entertain excuses to avoid fighting. Then, verse 4:75 praises martyrdom and the sacrifice of those Muslims who engaged a much larger enemy at the risk of losing their lives as “who would sell the present life for the Hereafter”. Verse 4:76 then clearly enunciates the principle upon which the military engagement is taking place which is to fight the oppression which was causing the weak to leave their homes in search of a better life.

 

Verse 4:75  does not by any stretch of the imagination encouraging Muslims to conduct suicide attacks on disbelievers, rather, it’s giving a spiritual incentive to Muslims that they should fight for “freedom of religion” and for those who were oppressed and driven out of their homes unjustly. We also need to acknowledge that those who would survive the wars, they would also have to go through lots of sacrifices. Their businesses would suffer a great deal, to go to war requires a lot of funds, and if they get injured, it would take a while before they would be able to be sustain themselves and their families. There was no immediate benefit in fighting a war of self-defense. Thus the reward and conviction was moral and spiritual, to obtain the countenance and pleasure of God.

 

Suicide in Islam is haraam which means it is absolutely forbidden. Allah says in the Holy Quran, “…And cast not yourselves into ruin with your own hands, and do good; surely, Allah loves those who do good.”  (2:196)

 

In Hadith, it is clearly forbidden as well. It was narrated from Thaabit ibn al-Dahhaak (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever kills himself with something in this world will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5700; Muslim, 110).

 

Therefore, it is completely false to say that verse 4:75 of the Holy Quran encourages Muslims to be suicide bombers.


Fundamental Teachings of Islam

The following verses of the Holy Quran clearly state that fighting is only permitted as a defensive recourse against oppression and that fundamental freedom of religion and conscience must be maintained at all times.

 

1) Conditions on permission to fight– must be defensive and to protect universal freedom of conscience

Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them. Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’. And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty. (22:40-41)

 

The fundamental verses of the Quran (22:40-41) that permit Muslims to undertake military engagement clearly outline conditions which are defensive and where Muslims were being attacked and persecuted on the basis of their beliefs. Further, the verses clearly state that such undertaking must extend to a universal freedom of conscience where churches, cloisters and synagogues must be protected. This is also further validated by Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (on whom be peace) covenants with the Christians instructing Muslims to never attack Christians on the basis of religion and beliefs.

 

And fight them until there is no persecution and religion is wholly for Allah. But if they desist, then surely Allah is Watchful of what they do. (8:40)

 

Verse 8:40 above further endorses the principle that taking up an armed conflict must only be in context of protecting freedom of religion, and if the enemy desists then one should cease hostilities.

 

Some allegation narratives consider that ‘religion being wholly for Allah’ in this verse means that only Islam is to be enforced as a religion. However this allegation is negated by 22:40-41 above which clarifies that the principle of the Quran is freedom of religion and fighting is not permitted to enforce any one religion.

 

2) Peace and reconciliation with the enemy must be sought at all times

The Quran states that during wartime, seeking peace and reconciliation is a duty. This is emphasized to such a great degree that even if one fears that the enemy is seeking peace out of deception (as a strategy of war) one should still incline to it and put their trust in Allah (see 8:62-63 below).

 

And if they incline towards peace, incline thou also towards it, and put thy trust in Allah. Surely, it is He Who is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. And if they intend to deceive thee, then surely Allah is sufficient for thee. He it is Who has strengthened thee with His help and with the believers. (8:62-63)

 

And if two parties of believers fight against each other, make peace between them; then if after that one of them transgresses against the other, fight the party that transgresses until it returns to the command of Allah. Then if it returns, make peace between them with equity, and act justly. Verily, Allah loves the just. (49:10)

 

And fight them until there is no persecution, and religion is freely professed for Allah. But if they desist, then remember that no hostility is allowed except against the aggressors. (2:194)

 

3) Peace as a fundamental desired state of affairs in Quran

The term ‘Islam’ itself is derived from the root ‘Salema’ which means peace. The traditional greeting used by Muslims translated to ‘peace be with you’. Peace is a prominent theme in the Holy Quran and a fundamental desired state of affairs. Following are a few verses from the Holy Quran that illustrate the fundamental value of peace.

Peace on you-- a word of greeting from the Merciful Lord. (36:59)

And make not Allah a target for your oaths that you may thereby abstain from doing good and acting righteously and making peace between men. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (2:225)

Thereby does Allah guide those who seek His pleasure on the paths of peace, and leads them out of every kind of darkness into light by His will, and guides them to the right path. (5:17)

And Allah calls to the abode of peace, and guides whom He pleases to the straight path. (10:26)

And the servants of the Gracious God are those who walk on the earth in a dignified manner, and when the ignorant address them, they say, ‘Peace!’ (25:64)

He is Allah, and there is no God beside Him, the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace, the Bestower of Security, the Protector, the Mighty, the Subduer, the Exalted. Holy is Allah far above that which they associate with Him. (59:24)

 

4) There can be no compulsion in religion

The Holy Quran declares in 2:257 that there can be no compulsion in religion. The meaning of any given verse of the Holy Quran must comply with this rule. Therefore, any given verse of The Holy Quran addressing armed engagement cannot be taken to mean waging war on disbelievers or infidels on account of their beliefs. This negates the assertion that Quran sanctions violence against disbelievers.