Monday, February 6, 2023

Debunking Islamophobic and Jihadi Myths about 26 Wartime Verses: Part 6 on Verse 5:14

By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam 06 February 2023 Removing Misconceptions about 26 Wartime Verses of the Quran  This verse 5:14 refers to the conflicts and divides within Christianity.  There were originally three Christian sects, Fisturyah, Yaqubiyah, and Malkaiyah.  Nowhere in verse 5:14 does it state that Muslims must despise Christians or followers of the Book. --- This part will attempt to debunk Islamophobic myths about the Quranic verse 5:14. Allah Azzawajal says in this verse: “And from those who say, "We are Christians" We took their covenant, but they forgot a portion of that of which they were reminded. So We caused among them animosity and hatred until the Day of Resurrection. And Allah is going to inform them about what they used to do.” (5:14) Some people seem to think that the aforementioned verse, which they don't understand the context of, promotes hatred of all Christians and leads to radicalism. However, when we examine this verse, we see exactly the contrary of what they assert. In fact, this verse refers to the conflicts and divides within Christianity. This happened because they failed to maintain unity by forgetting a lot of the knowledge they had been instructed to remember. This verse does not ask Muslims to hate Christians. Instead, in one place, the Quran says, “...and nearest among them in love to the believers with you find those who say, “We are Christians” because among these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world and they are not arrogant” (5:82) Verse 5:14 discusses conflict and division among Christians. To provide its explanation, I must cite some well-known Quranic commentators in order to help the readers grasp the verse and then draw important conclusions from them. The author of Tafsir al-Jalaalain writes under the commentary of this verse: “And We made a covenant with those who claim to be Christians (this is semantically related to [what follows]), just as We did with the Jews and the Children of Israel. However, they have forgotten some of the things that were brought to their attention in the Gospel in relation to faith and other issues, and they [also] broke the covenant. Therefore, because of their divisions and divergent ideologies—each sect accusing the other of unbelief—, We have incited, We have produced, animosity and hatred among them until the Day of Resurrection. God will undoubtedly inform them of what they did in the afterlife and punish them for it.” The author of Tafsir Maariful Quran writes under the commentary of verse 5:14: Verse, 5:13, dealt with the breach of trust by Jews and their penalty for it. Verse 5:14 refers to Christians. In this verse, the punishment described for Christians is mutual dissension. Since they betrayed their trust, this will endure until the Last Day. Looking at the contemporary scene, one may have doubts about Christians who seem to be united. The answer is that the present statement covers genuine Christians, observing and abiding. As for those who have moved away from their own religion turning into non-conformist, secular, or atheistic individuals or groups, they are, for all practical purposes, out of the list of Christians - even though, they may count them as Christians among the nationalities of a country. If among such people, that religious dissension and mutual hostility does not exist, it would not be contrary to this verse - because the conflict was based on religion, once the religion is not there, conflict too would not be there. As said earlier, this verse describes people who profess and practice the religion of Christianity - and their division is well-known. There were originally three Christian sects, according to a brief quotation from Taysir in the marginal notes of commentator al-Baydawi, which is provided below: 1. Fisturyah (Nestorians) who took Sayyidna ` Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him) as the son of God. 2. Yaqubiyah (Jacobites) who believed in Sayyidna ` Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him) himself as one with God. 3. Malkaiyah (Malkites) who believed in Sayyidna ` Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him) as one of the Trinity. And it goes without saying that in the presence of such major divisions in matters of belief, mutual malice is inevitable. (End of quote) Nearly all of Tafsir's best-selling books provide the same information. That is, Allah Almighty describes the bad activities and actions of the Christians, as well as their repulsive traits, in this verse after explaining the Jews' violation of the covenant and unpleasant characteristics. The Jews made a vow to Allah Almighty that they would obey His commands and have faith in Allah, His Prophets, and Messengers. But they broke their promise. In addition to killing countless prophets who followed Moses [peace be upon them], they also rejected them. The Torah described the virtues and characteristics of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), but they misinterpreted what the Torah said. According to the Torah, Jews were commanded to believe in the last prophet when he was sent, but they rejected him. In addition to their denial, they spread a web of secret intrigues against the Holy Prophet. Mufti Badruddoja Razvi writes, “In verse 5:14, Allah Almighty says that the Christians, like Jews, entered into a covenant with Allah that they would believe in Allah and His Messenger and would not avoid doing good deeds. One of the interpretative statements is that Allah Almighty promised them in the Gospel that they would believe in the last Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]. But, like the Jews, they disregarded this covenant and pursued their own desires. This resulted in “enmity and hatred among them”, which alludes to factionalism or sectarianism within the Christian community or to hatred between the Jews and Christians. That is, Allah created enmity within the Christian community till the Day of Resurrection or hatred between the Jews and the Christians. This resulted in “animosity and hatred among them,” a reference to sectarianism or factionalism within the Christian community, or to hatred between Jews and Christians. That is, Allah created animosity inside the Christian community, or hatred between Jews and Christians, until the Day of Resurrection. And at the end of the verse, Allah Almighty made a strong promise to them and said, “And Allah will soon inform them of what they were doing”. That is, ‘we will punish them severely for violating this covenant and for forgetting the advice.’ And Allah has pointed out at the beginning of the verse [And from those who say, "We are Christians"] that they will happily call themselves Christians (Ansarullah) which has nothing to do with reality. Because if these people had been truthful in their claim, they would have remained steadfast in obedience to Allah Almighty and obedience to His commands and would not forget the covenant made with Him, but they disregarded this pact.” [See, The Verses of Jihad in Quran Meaning, Reason of Revelation, Context, and Background – Concluding Part 16, published on] The conclusion is that nowhere in verse 5:14 does it state that Muslims must despise Christians or followers of the Book. -------- Kaniz Fatma is a classic Islamic scholar and a regular columnist for New Age Islam. ------------- URL of Part 5: URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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