Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Prophet of Terror and Mayhem Pt. 3

Sam Shamoun

We come to the final part of our analysis


Another manner that Muslims try to explain away this hadith is by quoting a differing, varying form of this narration, one that has Muhammad saying that he had been ordered to fight the idolaters: 

It was narrated from Anas bin Malik that: 

The Prophet said: “I have been commanded to fight the idolators until they bear witness to La ilaha illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah) and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. If they bear witness to La ilaha illallah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, and they pray as we pray and face our Qiblah, and eat our slaughtered animals, then their blood and wealth becomes forbidden to us except for a right that is due.” 

Grade: Sahih (Darussalam) 

Reference: Sunan an-Nasa'i 3966 

In-book reference: Book 37, Hadith 1 

English translation: Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 3971 (

It was narrated from Anas bin Malik that:

The Messenger of Allah said: "I have been commanded to fight the idolators until they bear witness to La ilaha illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah) and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. If they bear witness to La ilaha illallah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and they face our Qiblah, eat our slaughtered animals, and pray as we do, then their blood and wealth become forbidden except for a right that is due, and they will have the same rights and obligations as the Muslims." 

Grade: Sahih (Darussalam) 

Reference: Sunan an-Nasa'i 3967 

In-book reference: Book 37, Hadith 2 

English translation: Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 3972 (

Some Muhammadan polemicists take this to mean that Muhammad was only sent to fight all the pagan Arabs until they became Muslims, since the Quran doesn’t categorize Jews and Christians as idolaters. 

The problem with this interpretation is that it ignores the fact that the Arabic word that is often rendered as idolater is mushrik. A mushrik is one who commits the unforgiveable sin of shirk, which is the crime of associating partners with Allah in his exclusive divine attributes, functions and/or worship: 

Lo! Allah forgiveth not that a partner should be ascribed unto Him. He forgiveth (all) save that to whom He will. Whoso ascribeth partners to Allah, he hath indeed invented a tremendous sin. S. 4:48 Pickthall – cf. v. 116; 2:22; 39:65 

As such, an idolater is anyone who claims that there are other divine beings besides Allah, or that Allah has a divine offspring, or believes that Allah exists as a multi-personal Being such as the Christian doctrine of the Holy and Blessed Trinity. 

This is why the Quran groups both Jews and Christians as “idolaters” along with the pagan Arabs, since the Quran accuses them of worshiping other beings as gods and lords besides Allah: 

O YOU who have attained to faith! Those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God (al-mushrikoona) are nothing but impure: and so they shall not approach the Inviolable House of Worship from this year onwards And should you fear poverty, then [know that] in time God will enrich you out of His bounty, if He so wills: for, verily, God is all-knowing, wise! [And] fight against those who - despite having been vouchsafed revelation [aforetime] -do not [truly] believe either in God or the Last Day, and do not consider forbidden that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and do not follow the religion of truth [which God has enjoined upon them] till they [agree to] pay the exemption tax with a willing hand, after having been humbled [in war]. AND THE JEWS say, "Ezra is God's son," while the Christians say, "The Christ is God's son." Such are the sayings which they utter with their mouths, following in spirit assertions made in earlier times by people who denied the truth! [They deserve the imprecation:] "May God destroy them!" How perverted are their minds! They have taken their rabbis and their monks-as well as the Christ, son of Mary-for their lords beside God, although they had been bidden to worship none but the One God, save whom there is no deity: the One who is utterly remote, in His limitless glory, from anything to which they may ascribe a share in His divinity (yushrikoona)! They want to extinguish God's [guiding] light with their utterances: but God will not allow [this to pass], for He has willed to spread His light in all its fullness, however hateful this may be to all who deny the truth. He it is who has sent forth His Apostle with the [task of spreading] guidance and the religion of truth, to the end that He may cause it to prevail over all [false] religion -however hateful this may be to those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God (al-mushrikoona). S. 9:28-33 Muhammad Asad 

The context is crystal clear that Jews and Christians are among the impure mushrikun, or those who associate divinity to others besides Allah, since they believe that Allah has a Son and have supposedly taken their rabbis and monks as lords besides Allah. This explains why Muhammad had both the Jews and Christians expelled from the Hijaz or the Arabian Peninsula: 

It has been narrated by 'Umar b. al-Khattab that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim. (Sahih Muslim, Book 019, Number 4366

Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
Umar expelled the Jews and the Christians from Hijaz. When Allah's Apostle had conquered Khaibar, he wanted to expel the Jews from it as its land became the property of Allah, His Apostle, and the Muslims. Allah's Apostle intended to expel the Jews but they requested him to let them stay there on the condition that they would do the labor and get half of the fruits. Allah’s Apostle told them, "We will let you stay on thus condition, as long as we wish." So, they (i.e. Jews) kept on living there until 'Umar forced them to go towards Taima' and Ariha'. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 39, Number 531

Now compare this with Muhammad’s orders to expel the pagans from the Arabian Peninsula:

Narrated Said bin Jubair:
Ibn 'Abbas said… "The Prophet on his death-bed, gave three orders saying, ‘Expel the pagans from the Arabian Peninsula, respect and give gifts to the foreign delegates as you have seen me dealing with them.’ I forgot the third (order)" (Ya'qub bin Muhammad said, "I asked Al-Mughira bin 'Abdur-Rahman about the Arabian Peninsula and he said, ‘It comprises Mecca, Medina, Al-Yamama and Yemen.’" Ya'qub added, "And Al-Arj, the beginning of Tihama.") (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 288

The fact that the Muslims expelled both the Jews and Christians from the Hijaz confirms that Muhammad viewed them as unclean “idolaters” much like the Arab pagans of Arabia. 

If the above wasn’t clear enough to establish the point that the context of Q. 9:28 includes Jews and Christians as being among those categorized as unclean mushrikeen, then note how certain Muslim scholars of the past interpreted this specific reference: 

Idolators are no longer allowed into Al-Masjid Al-Haram

Allah commands His believing servants, who are pure in religion and person, to expel the idolators who are filthy in the religious sense, from Al-Masjid Al-Haram. After the revelation of this Ayah, idolators were no longer allowed to go near the Masjid. This Ayah was revealed in the ninth year of Hijrah. The Messenger of Allah sent `Ali in the company of Abu Bakr that year to publicize to the idolators that no Mushrik will be allowed to perform Hajj after that year, nor a naked person allowed to perform Tawaf around the House. Allah completed this decree, made it a legislative ruling, as well as, a fact of reality. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah commented on the Ayah… 

<O you who believe! Verily, the Mushrikin are impure. So let them not come near Al-Masjid Al-Haram after this year> "Unless it was a servant or one of the people of Dhimmah." Imam Abu `Amr Al-Awza'i said, "Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz wrote (to his governors) TO PREVENT JEWS AND CHRISTIANS FROM ENTERING THE MASJIDS OF MUSLIMS, AND HE FOLLOWED HIS ORDER WITH ALLAH’S STATEMENT… 

<Verily, the Mushrikin are impure.>" `Ata' said, "All of the Sacred Area [the Haram] is considered a Masjid, for Allah said…

<So let them not come near Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah) after this year.> This Ayah indicates that idolators are impure and that the believers are pure. In the Sahih is the following… 

<<The believer does not become impure.>> Allah said… 

<and if you fear poverty, Allah will enrich you, out of His bounty.> Muhammad bin Ishaq commented, "The people said, ‘Our markets will be closed, our commerce disrupted, and what we earned will vanish.’ So Allah revealed this verse… 

<and if you fear poverty, Allah will enrich you, out of His bounty>, from other resources… 

<if He wills>, until… 

<… and feel themselves subdued.> This Ayah means, ‘this will be your compensation for the closed markets that you feared would result.’ Therefore, Allah compensated them for the losses they incurred because they severed ties with idolators, by the Jizyah they earned from the People of the Book." Similar statements were reported from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak and others. Allah said… 

<Surely, Allah is All-Knowing>, in what benefits you… 

<All-Wise>, in His orders and prohibitions, for He is All-Perfect in His actions and statements, All-Just in His creations and decisions, Blessed and Hallowed be He. This is why Allah compensated Muslims for their losses by the amount of Jizyah that they took from the people of Dhimmah. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 9:28; capital and underline emphasis ours) 

The foregoing proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Muhammad considered Jews and Christians as impure “idolaters,” which is why he barred them from approaching the so-called “holy” places of Islam, such as the pagan shrine of the Kabah in Mecca. 

A Muslim may interject and quote the following verse to establish that the Quran differentiates Jews and Christians from the idolaters: 

Lo! those who disbelieve, among the People of the Scripture AND the idolaters (wa’al-mushrikeena), will abide in fire of hell. They are the worst of created beings. S. 98:6 Pickthall 

In the first place, this verse doesn’t help the Muslim cause since Jews and Christians who reject Muhammad are still placed alongside the idolaters as the worst of all creatures! 

Secondly, there are verses where Jews and Christians are distinguished from the so-called believers: 

Verily! Those who believe AND those who are Jews AND Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. S. 2:62 Hilali-Khan 

Lo! those who believe, AND those who are Jews, AND Sabaeans, AND Christians - Whosoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right - there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. S. 5:69 Pickthall 

This day (all) the good things are allowed to you; and the food of those who have been given the Book is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them; and the chaste from among the believing women AND the chaste from among those who have been given the Book before you (are lawful for you); when you have given them their dowries, taking (them) in marriage, not fornicating nor taking them for paramours in secret; and whoever denies faith, his work indeed is of no account, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers. S. 5:5 Shakir 

Since Q. 9:28 insinuates that only the “believers” (i.e. Muslims) are pure enough to approach the supposed sacred Mosque, 

O believers, the idolaters are indeed unclean; so let them not come near the Holy Mosque after this year of theirs. If you fear poverty, God shall surely enrich you of His bounty, if He will; God is All-knowing; All-wise. Arberry 

And since Jews and Christians are distinguished from the “believers,” this again confirms that the Jews and Christians come under the category of impure “idolaters” who are to be banished from ever entering into Mecca. 

Thus, it is clear from the foregoing that the reason Q. 98:6 lists the idolaters in a separate category from the People of the Book, i.e. Jews and Christians, is not because the Quran denies that the Jews and Christians are among the unclean idolaters. Rather, the text is using the moniker to identify the kind of religion that the pagan Arabs belonged to, e.g., they were neither Jews nor Christians, nor were they among those who had been given a divinely inspired Book. The pagans of Arabia didn’t have a specific label for their beliefs and practices. They were those who ascribed divinity to beings and objects along with Allah, and were therefore idolaters.    


The following comments are taken from, an Islamic site that is under the general supervision of Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid, a renowned Salafi scholar. The site seeks to provide answers from Muslim scholars to commonly asked questions. Unlike the Muhammadan propagandists of the West, these Muslims don’t feel the need to appease westerners or Jews and Christians by interpreting the Quran in a manner which would be agreeable to their sensitivities. The authors are very blunt and to the point in answering the question of whether Jews and Christians are both unbelievers AND pagans/idolaters. 

In response to a question on whether the Quran refers to the Christian belief in the Trinity as kufr (infidelity) and shirk, the writers state that: 

Yes, this belief is mentioned in the Qur’aan, but that is by way of refutation and proving it to be false, and describing the one who believes in it AS A KAAFIR AND MUSHRIK. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning)… [quotes Q. 5:17, 73 and 9:30-31] 

This is something that is well known among the Muslims, and they are UNANIMOUSLY AGREED that the Christians are kaafirs, and even that those who do not regard them as kaafirs ARE ALSO KAAFIRS. Shaykh Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhaab said concerning the things which are unanimously agreed to nullify Islam: 

"Whoever does not regard the mushrikoon as kaafirs, or doubts that they are kaafirs, or thinks their religion is correct, is himself a kaafir."… (Question No. 12713, Is the trinity that the Christians believe in mentioned in Islam?; bold and capital emphasis and comments within brackets ours) 

And this is what the site says in regards to the Quran’s command to fight Jews and Christians in Q. 9:29: 

– He then stated the reason that made it obligatory to fight them, which was their disbelief in Allaah AND THEIR SHIRK – which included their speaking ill of Allaah by attributing a son to Him, when He is the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him. The Jews said that ‘Uzayr is a son of Allaah, and the Christians said that the Messiah was a son of Allaah. ‘Uzayr was a righteous man from among the Children of Israel, who was venerated by the Jews. It was said that the reason why he was venerated was that he had memorized the Tawraat (Torah), so the Jews, or some of them, exaggerated about him and claimed that he was a son of Allaah. So Allaah condemned them for that and told them that by saying this they were doing the same as the mushrikeen who said that the angels were daughters of Allaah. The Christians also spoke ill of Allaah when they said that the Messiah was a son of Allaah; by doing so they resembled the Jews and mushrikeen… (Question No. 9459, The Jews’ idea that ‘Uzayr is "a son of Allaah”; bold and capital emphasis ours) 

And here is their answer to the question of whether Jews and Christians are among the mushrikin


The Jews and Christians are both kaafirs and mushrikeen. They are kaafirs because they deny the truth and reject it. AND THEY ARE MUSHRIKEEN because they worship someone other than Allaah

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning)… [quotes Q. 9:30-31]  

Here they are described AS MUSHRIKEEN. In Soorat al-Bayyinah they are described as kaafirs, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning) … [quotes Q. 98:1]  

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz said, REFUTING those who say that the word mushrikeen cannot be applied to the People of the Book:  

It is most likely that the people of the Book are included among the mushrikeen, men and women alike, when this word is used in general terms, because the kuffaar are undoubtedly mushrikeen. Hence they are forbidden to enter al-Masjid al-Haraam, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning)… [quotes Q. 9:28]  

If the People of the Book did not come under the general heading of mushrikeen, then this verse would not apply to them, and Allaah would not have referred to the beliefs of the Jews and Christians in Soorat Baraa’ah (al-Tawbah) where He says (interpretation of the meaning)… [quotes Q. 9:31]  

So they are ALL DESCRIBED AS MUSHRIKEEN, because the Jews said that ‘Uzayr is the son of God and the Christians said that the Messiah is the son of God; and because they took their priests and rabbis as lords instead of Allaah. All of this is the worst form of shirk. And there are many similar verses. End quote.  

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 4/274  

And Allaah knows best. (Question No. 67626. The difference between the mushrikeen and the kuffaar, and to which category do the Jews and Christians belong?; bold and capital emphasis and comments within brackets ours) 

Let the reader note that the above scholars are basing their views on the plain reading of the Quranic texts. In fact, the above fatwa is from Sheikh Ibn Baaz, who wasn’t just any scholar but the Mufti of Saudi Arabia, and considered by many to be the highest Islamic authority of his time (*). 


Our thorough examination showed that Muhammad was a self-professed terrorist sent to slaughter the unbelievers unless and until they agreed to submit to his whims and desires. (well, “whims and desires” (of any sort or kind) is a bit flippant; diminishing the value of the precise and scholarly language in the rest of the text. Why not: his message and commands?) The evidence we presented and discussed proves that Muhammad wasn’t simply sent to terrify and murder those who declared war against him and his community. Rather, Muhammad was commissioned by his god to terrorize and attack people simply because they were unbelievers who did not worship the Muslim deity or accept him as a prophet. Therefore, whether Muslims like it or not the fact remains that the Islamic sources confirm that Muhammad was the first Muslim terrorist. 

What makes this so tragic is that Muhammad’s life and teachings continue to influence Muslims till now to carry out the same tyranny and destruction that their prophet and his companions committed in the name of their deity. And no thanks to Muhammad’s personal example, the “infidels” continue to experience pain and misery till this very day. 

Further Reading 

Are Jews and Christians Mushriks according to the Quran? 

Fighting All People Until They Do What?

Muhammad and the Meccans: Who Antagonized Whom?

Muhammad the Antagonist Still! 

Is Muhammad really the Prophet of Mercy?

Do the Authentic Teachings of Islam Result in Terrorism? [Part 1], [Part 2]