by Phillip Vanwinkle
SEPTEMBER 18, 2015

What Should I Know About Islam? 4

Perhaps you saw a recent poll where Al Jazeera, the major news organization for the Arab and Islamic world, has run a poll and concluded that 80% of Muslims support ISIS. We know that polls are sometimes inaccurate, and in some cases numbers are misrepresented. However, it is also clear that the westernized liberal media has grossly misrepresented what the Quran teaches, and what the Muslim world believes about Jihad.

The Al Jazeera news network recently polled followers by asking readers whether they support Islamic State victories. After more than 40,000 readers responded, the network found that more than 80 percent supported ISIS.

Poll from Al Jazeera

As stated in a previous article, people do not determine what a doctrine teaches. As is the case with Christianity, so is the case with Islam. Polls do not determine doctrine. But why is it that so many Muslims are now showing their support for this militant arm of Islam?

It is because they understand that their resources teach what ISIS is practicing. Notice some of the supporters' words:

Al Jazeera

Original pictures found at:

Again, it is not people who determine doctrine. But it is clear that these Muslims understand what they read in the Quran and Hadith. They understand that Islam is to be spread by the political forceful arm of Jihad.

So, what do the Quran and the Hadith actually teach about Jihad?

What is Jihad?

When this question is asked, you will get a few different answers. Muslims are adamant to tell others that the word simply means ‘struggle.’ They then go on to say that a person can have inward jihad, where they ‘struggle’ against some certain inward sin, or personal problem.

Others, however, are adamant that this word means to fight for the cause of Allah and Muhammad. Even with that, there are different ideas of what ‘to fight’ means. Some say it is a discussing, ‘debate’ type of fighting. Others say that Jihad is a defensive type of warfare. Still others claim that Jihad can be used in offensive warfare.

So what is the answer?

After intensively studying different sources, I began writing a very long and thorough study of Jihad. I was trying to easily communicate the different stages of what the word Jihad represents, and I ended up writing approximately 35 pages, far too long to include in this blog post.

Disclaimer: While I do not wholeheartedly agree with everything on the website, there are some very good articles concerning Islam. The following article may be downloaded from that site:

The Call to Jihad: Three Stages

When we turn to Islam’s theological sources and historical writings (Qur’an, Hadith, Sira, and Tafsir), we find that there are three stages in the call to Jihad, depending on the status of Muslims in a society.

STAGE ONE—When Muslims are completely outnumbered and can’t possibly win a physical confrontation with unbelievers, they are to live in peace with non-Muslims and preach a message of tolerance. We see an example of this stage when Muhammad and his followers were a persecuted minority in Mecca. Since the Muslims were entirely outnumbered, the revelations Muhammad received during this stage (e.g. “You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion”) called for religious tolerance and proclaimed a future punishment (rather than a worldly punishment) for unbelievers.

STAGE TWO—When there are enough Muslims and resources to defend the Islamic community, Muslims are called to engage in defensive Jihad. Thus, when Muhammad had formed alliances with various groups outside Mecca and the Muslim community had become large enough to begin fighting, Muhammad received Qur’an 22:39-40:

Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them; Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: our Lord is Allah. . . .

Although Muslims in the West often pretend that Islam only allows defensive fighting, later revelations show otherwise.

STAGE THREE—When Muslims establish a majority and achieve political power in an area, they are commanded to engage in offensive Jihad. Hence, once Mecca and Arabia were under Muhammad’s control, he received the call the fight all unbelievers. In Surah 9:29, we read:

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Notice that this verse doesn’t order Muslims to fight oppressors, but to fight those who don’t believe in Islam (including the “People of the Book”—Jews and Christians).

Not surprisingly, we find similar commands in Islam’s most trusted collections of ahadith (traditions containing Muhammad’s teachings).

Sahih al-Bukhari 6924—Muhammad said: “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and whoever said La ilaha illallah, Allah will save his property and his life from me.”

Sahih Muslim 30—Muhammad said: “I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.”

Here again, the criterion for fighting people is that the people believe something other than Islam.

It’s clear, then, that when Muslims rose to power, peaceful verses of the Qur’an were abrogated by verses commanding Muslims to fight people based on their beliefs. Islam’s greatest scholars acknowledge this. For instance, Ibn Kathir (Islam’s greatest commentator on the Qur’an) sums up Stage Three as follows: “Therefore all people of the world should be called to Islam. If anyone of them refuses to do so, or refuses to pay the Jizyah, they should be fought till they are killed.”

When Muslims Reach Stage Three

Abrogation also accounts for shifting attitudes regarding Jews and Christians in the Qur’an. While Muslims are to be friendly to Jews and Christians when the former are outnumbered, the Islamic position changes when Muslims reach Stage Three, at which point Christians and Jews are to recognize their inferior status and pay the Jizyah (a payment made to Muslims in exchange for not being killed by them). Consider some of Muhammad’s later teachings about Christians and Jews:

Qur’an 5:51—O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.

Qur’an 9:30—And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!

Qur’an 98:6—Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein. They are the worst of creatures.

Sahih Muslim 4366—Muhammad said: “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.”

Al-Bukhari, Al-Adab al-Mufrad 1103—Muhammad said: “Do not give the People of the Book the greeting first. Force them to the narrowest part of the road.”

Needless to say, these teachings can hardly be considered peaceful or tolerant.

Muslims in the West

Since Muhammad obviously commanded his followers to fight unbelievers (simply for being unbelievers), why do Muslims in the West deny this? Here we must turn to Surah 3:28, which reads:

Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security.

According to this verse (which uses a variation of the word Taqiyya, meaning “concealment”), Muslims are not allowed to be friends with non-Muslims. However, if Muslims feel threatened by a stronger adversary, they are allowed to pretend to be friendly. Ibn Kathir comments: “In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship outwardly but never inwardly.” Abu Darda, one of Muhammad’s companions, put it this way: “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.”


Is Islam a religion of peace? No. Islam is a religion that pretends to be peaceful when Muslims are too weak to win a war. When Islam is dominant, Muslims are commanded to subjugate or kill everyone around them. (Just look at how non-Muslims are treated in Muslim countries; compare this constant abuse and persecution with what is being proclaimed about “peaceful” Islam by Westernized Muslims.) Of course, there are many Muslims who aren’t violent. Many Muslims in the West love peace and tolerance. But they didn’t get these values from Islam. They got them from the West, and now they’re reinterpreting Islam based on their Western values. For dedicated Muslims, however, there are only two possible situations to be in: (1) fighting unbelievers, and (2) pretending to be peaceful while preparing to fight unbelievers. Either way, conquering the world in the name of Allah is always the goal.

Text quoted from the pamphlet "Three Stages of Jihad." Used with permission.

As stated over and over in these blog posts, Islam is not determined by what a certain person does, or by what a group of people may do. It is determined by what their authoritative sources teach. Clearly, they teach these 3 different stages.

Please continue to come back as we study Islam.

Next month we will answer the question: Is the Quran From God?

Tags: Islam