What is Misunderstood about War in Islam
A Muslim has a responsibility to believe in every verse of the Qur’an, without exception
The reason for this heading appearing here is to show the false nature of claims made by fanatics who seek to add superstition to Islam and some opponents of Islam, who in turn misuse the unpleasant ideas of those fanatics that some verses of the Qur’an are no longer valid. They cite this verse as supposed evidence for their claims:
Whenever We abrogate an ayat or cause it to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or equal to it. Do you not know that God has power over all things? (Qur'an, 2:106)
The peddlers of superstition who twist their tongues against the Qur’an have misinterpreted this verse as evidence to allow them to impose their own superstition as the faith instead of the Qur’an. They have unwisely imagined that by misinterpreting this verse, they can invalidate some verses and even replace them with superstition of their own invention. Some opponents of Islam, on the other hand, maintain that there are verses about the use of intoxicants or war that no longer apply and seek to divide Muslims into those who abide by that and those who do not.
The true interpretation of this verse that the people in question seek to cite as evidence for their own utterly perverse way of thinking is as follows; the Arabic word “ayat” in the term “Whenever We abrogate an ayat” is singular. The word ayat also means sign or miracle, as well as verse, but the word “ayat” used to refer to the verses of the Qur’an never appears in singular form. When it appears in the singular, the word “ayat” always means evidence or sign, and that is how it is translated in all other verses.
The meaning here is therefore not “verses of the Qur’an” but “signs, rules and Sharia” that went before it. According to this verse, therefore, if some practices and commandments applied by previous communities to whom Divine books were sent down, that is, Jews and Christians, were forgotten in time, these have either been recalled or else abrogated by the Qur’an. A similar or better version has thus been brought forth with the Qur’an.
We also need to concentrate on the words “cause it to be forgotten” in the verse. In order for one commandment to abrogate another, the earlier one has to have been “forgotten.” Since the Qur’an has remained unchanged for 1,400 years there can be no question of one verse replacing another. The commandments that fanatics allege have been abrogated have not been forgotten; they are still in the Qur’an. This clearly shows that the abrogation being referred to here is not of one verse by another, but of commandments belonging to earlier communities that have since been forgotten. Commands that have been sent down to earlier societies but “forgotten” have been restored with the Qur’an, with more auspicious or similar versions being sent down to those communities.
The Qur’an is a “preserved” Book
As our Lord explicitly states in a verse, the Qur’an is a “preserved” Book.
It is We Who have sent down the Reminder [the Qur’an] and We Who will preserve it. (Qur'an, 15: 9)
It is impossible for some verses in a book which is “preserved” and whose commandments apply to all Muslims to be regarded as valid, while others are not. The integrity of the Qur’an, its mathematical and scientific miracles, the fact that it is a guide and the verses regarding how it has been preserved all rebut these claims made by fanatics and some opponents of Islam.
Those who reject the Remembrance [the Qur’an] when it comes to them –truly it is a Mighty Book; falsehood cannot reach it from before it or behind it – it is a revelation from One Who is All-Wise, Praiseworthy. (Qur'an, 41:41-42)
Its collection and recitation are Our affair. So when We recite it, follow its recitation. Then its explanation is Our concern. (Qur'an, 75:17-19)
As these verses explicitly state, the Qur’an is a peerless book, and falsehood cannot catch up with it from before or behind. This book is under the protection of our Lord. It is therefore a blatant slander to suggest that some commandments have replaced those in the Qur’an.
We need to state here that the supposed scholars who slander Islam and the Qur’an in this way are in intense disagreement among themselves as to the number of verses that are supposedly abrogated. Each one in his own way replaces a verse he regards as abrogated with another commandment, and these rules therefore lead to new and different faiths; some supposed scholars have even gone so far as to maintain that hadiths can replace verses. These people completely ignore God’s verse that reads “We have not omitted anything from the Book” (Qur'an, 6:38). They reject verses of the Qur’an and replace them with hadiths, some of which are total fabrications. This logical collapse perpetrated in the name of Islam also represents the basis for the actions of radicals. We shall be looking at this in due course.
Just like the peddlers of superstition, opponents of Islam have also tried to apply this false interpretation over the verses to a large number of commandments about Islam. Let us now look at where these people have gone wrong.