Islamic Blueprint – Friend or Foe?

One of the key misconceptions today in the West, is that there is a peaceful place in Islam for non-believers. What is actually expected of Muslims from their texts is completely the opposite.

Let us examine the Islamic rules regarding Muslims taking non-Muslim friends.

The first time this was mentioned in the Qur’an was during/after a battle which Muslims regard as very important for Islam; in fact, they are very proud of it to this day. 

It was the first battle of Islam: 

The battle of Badr, which was fought during Ramadan. The story of the lead-up to this battle is very important in itself.

Eighteen months after Muhammad and companions migrated from Mecca to Medina, Muhammad ordered several raids on caravans of goods of the Quraysh.

Muhammad received news a caravan of goods of the Quraysh (the Meccan polytheists) was on its way back from Syria, following a trade expedition. Muhammad wanted to seize this opportunity to steal the goods, this was to be the seventh raid and the first successful one.

Muhammad sent Muslim companions to spy on the Quraysh. The Muslims shaved their heads in preparation: The Quraysh would not see them as a threat, it would seem as though they were going to the Ka’ba for pilgrimage.

As planned, the Quraysh did not see the Muslims as a threat, the Muslims attacked the Quraysh with the intention of killing as many of the tribe as they could. They took as much loot as they were able to; the ambush resulted in one death of the Quraysh tribe.

That was the last night of the month Rajab, which was the last of four sacred months of pagan arabs, there was to be no fighting within the four sacred months.

The Muslims collected up the loot, captured two prisoners and fled back to Medina, returning to Muhammad.

Due to a suggestion (to give Muhammad 1/5 of loot) by a Muslim family member, they divided the 4/5 of the booty and delivered the remainder of the booty to Muhammad. 

This was before the revelation 1/5th of booty goes to Allah and his messenger, Muhammad. This is the later revelation:

“And know that anything you obtain of war booty – then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and the orphans, the needy, and the [stranded] traveler, if you have believed in Allah and in that which We sent down to Our Servant on the day of criterion – the day when the two armies met. And Allah, over all things, is competent.” (8.41)

Muhammad was annoyed action had been taken without his permission, and would not accept the booty, the agreement had been broken, to prohibit fighting within the sacred months. 

“I have not commanded you to conduct warfare during the Sacred months.” (Ibn Kathir) 

This soon changed when shortly afterwards Muhammad said he received a revelation from Jibril (Angel Gabriel) condoning the fighting in the sacred months. 

The revelation:

“[Fighting in] the sacred month is for [aggression committed in] the sacred month, and for [all] violations is legal retribution. So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.” (2.194)

Muhammad eventually accepted the booty. 

This incident led to further deterioration between Muhammad and the Meccan tribes: A truce broken during the sacred months which held strong and respected tradition within the pre-Islamic Arabian customs.

Due to the onslaught of violence from Muhammad and companions in other raids, plus this killing, this then led to the Battle of Badr.

Before Islam, people in Mecca peacefully worshipped separate idols at the Ka’ba and even though there were many different beliefs, there was no real division.

After Islam emerged; this all changed.

People converted to Islam, which caused divisions between families and friends.

Due to the events during the battle of Badr, these divisions became ever more apparent.

On the lead up to the battle, Muhammad ordered Muslims to cut off the only water supply available to the Meccans. One Meccan approached the watering well and was met by Hamza, the strongest, most powerful Muslim. Hamza lopped off the Meccan’s leg with his sword and tossed his body into the well.

Muhammad’s companions made a sun shelter which he could rest in during the battle, It was reported Muhammad received revelations whilst in the sun shelter. 

At random intervals, Muhammad emerged to inform his soldiers (who were fighting) of the revelations, thus encouraging them to fight on.

The martyrdom, with direct ascension to paradise revelation, came around this time. 

This was revealed when Muslims were retreating, not wanting to die. Muhammad informed, he had received a revelation whilst in a light sleep, all men who die fighting for Allah, will go to paradise. 

Many people were killed during the battle, blood relations and friendships did not matter and if the person had not converted to Islam, they were to be killed:

  • Ubaydah came up against his father, who was a non-believer, he killed his own father.
  • Mus`ab bin `Umayr killed his own brother, because he was a non-believer. 
  • Abu Bakr (Muhammad’s closest companion, Aisha’s father and the first Caliph of Islam) looked for his one son during the battle. His intention was to kill him as he was a non-believer, but he couldn’t find him.
  • Umar killed a non-Muslim relative and another Muslim, Hamzah, did so too. 
  • Umayr’s brother (not to be confused with Umar) became a captive, his own brother instructed he be tied up tight, as their mother was rich and they could get a good ransom for him. 

The full explanation for this is in the Ibn Kathir Tafsir. 

Muhammad received a revelation following this, confirming the enemy would be held captive for ransom:

“So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah – never will He waste their deeds.” (47.4)

That is present to this day. The Islamic State holds captives for ransom. 

A percentage of their income comes from captives of war, averaging about $5000 plus, per captive. If the ransom is not paid, eventually they release a video where we see a “spy” beheaded.

There were other relatives (including cousins) and many other people who were friends of the Muslims before Islam, who were captured and made slaves. Some were killed.

The Muslims presented to Muhammad the heads of the men killed in battle; Muhammad responded to this by praising Allah. 

This was a time of celebration for Muslims and it remains so for Islam to this day. 

Muslims won the battle, even though they were outnumbered. Muslims were about 300 men and the Quraysh were about 1000 men. 

Muslims believe that the angels were helping them that day in actual battle. That is why, when you see the Islamic state perpetrate a Jihad attack, they are calm and have no fear, because they believe the angels are fighting with them and they believe they will go to paradise anyway.

It was during the battle of Badr that the verses which are often overlooked as “meaningless and not relevant to this day as they are out of context”,  were revealed.

“You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred.” (58.22)

“Let not the believers take the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself.” (3.28)

“Say, [O Muhammad], “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.” (9.24)

These verses were revealed regarding all of the above incidents, parts of them were attributed to each incident. Muslims were asking Muhammad’s opinion about what they had just done, or were about to do, Muhammad retreated to the shelter, after a short while, emerged proclaiming the above verses were sent down via Angel Gabriel. 

Later on in the revelations, the verses regarding friends are stated in a different way and expanded on to include Jews and Christians. 

Similar verses are said repeatedly throughout the Qur’an, they were never abrogated in favour of non-Muslims. In fact, Qur’an 9.29 says all you need to know about the attitude to non-believers and it was one of the final revelations in regards to the treatment of Jews and Christians. 

The Qur’an and Islamic law, both repeatedly refers to non Muslims as corrupt, immoral, evil and untrustworthy.

“O you who have believed, do not take as intimates those other than yourselves, for they will not spare you [any] ruin. They wish you would have hardship. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater. We have certainly made clear to you the signs, if you will use reason.” (3.118)

The above reasons for the revelations should strike a chord in every non-Muslim, Those are the verses regarding Muslims killing their own family and friends for the sake of Allah, so then what chance has any non-Muslim got? 

The verses were left as a guide for all mankind for all time, it is apostasy for a Muslim to reject them as an order until the day of judgement. 

Your nice Muslim neighbour or colleague knows the relevance of those verses. They also know the importance of carrying out the orders of Allah and His messenger if the call for Jihad comes, which is personally and communally obligatory for every Muslim.

These are the rules a Muslim believes will gain them access to paradise, Paradise is the most important thing to Islamic people, more important than this life, it is a major sin in Islam to value this life more than the hereafter.

“O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.” (4.59)