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Lukman Jaji posted the following on Facebook:

Some people say they are going about killing innocent people for ISLAM…I honestly do not know which Qur’an these people read….definitely not the one I read daily. I do not know which Prophet Muhammad they preach about, definitely not the Amir-ul-mumineen that is love personified. I am saddened…. I’m saddened that the voices of the extremists most times drowns ours and it seems the situation isn’t getting better. Whenever these senseless attacks happen, its peaceful majority that suffers…From insults to name calling, the backlash is endless. We have condemned, we have attended rallies, we have preached in mosques against ISIS and other groups that these killings are not in our name and our beautiful ISLAM does not state anywhere that we should stand for what ISIS stands for…. To my non muslim friends, if you have any questions please ask below. I will be more than happy to provide answers to the best of my knowledge. Peace.!!


THE COMMENTARY:

a. Ugochukwu Yovo asked questions:

It griefs me whenever Islam is associated with terrorism because I know I have friends who are Muslims and disdains such barbaric acts of terrorism. But I keep asking where did the ideology of “Islamic” terrorism originate from? What are or are there interpretive standards applied for the interpretation of the Qur’an that cuts across every sect of Islam? Are there truly verses in the Qur’an that supports  such act that these terrorists hold on as the basis for their actions? What are the definitive semantics of Peace that Islam preaches and teaches? Also, in what light are the virtues of love and forgiveness highly regarded in the narratives of the Qur’an? I put these questions both as rhetorical and non rhetorical. I pray that Allah would guide your heart and mind with and in His wisdom in order for you to come up with a constructive and bias free answers. God bless you my friend.
b. ..and Lukman Jaji replied excellently thus:

Ugochukwu Yovo grab your popcorn and coke… 🙂
In the name of Allah, the beneficient, the merciful.
Where did the ideology of terrorism come from

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First of all, there is nothing like Islamic Terrorism as those who terrorize others do so for their own sake. Yes some of them say they are muslims but between you and I, if you dig shallow and deep into what makes anyone a muslim, making life and causing havoc or pain t others is not part of it.
Secondly, Islam amd Muslims are not the same. Islam is undiluted, un-adulterated way of life for the Muslim. The muslim however is one who adheres and follows to the best of his or her ability the path of Islam. Islam is a PERFECT way of life. The muslim is not.
Having this in mind, there is absolytely nothing like Islamic terrorism. There is terrorism, regardless of who commits it. The ideology of terrorism or terrorists isnt clear to me as well. Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Al-Shabab, Taliban and all of the other groups have underlying political goals which they have used Islam (unfoortunately) as the veichle.
And Allah knows best.
What are/Ar there interpretive standards of the Quran

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Well this question is suted more for the Islamic theologists. But interpretation is what gives rise to sects, not just in Islam but in other monotheistic faiths. There are agreements and disagreements over what a verse means or doesnt mean. The good thing however, practically all Quran’ic verses have a historical context. This will lead me into discussions on how the Qur’an came into being but not today 🙂 More than 90 percent of the Quranic texts cut accross all sects. We have no disagreements over who Allah is, his prophets, worship and other aspect of our lives. The Sunni and Shia differences has absolytely nothing to do with the Qur’an. It was strictly political (you can read that up) due to tussle for who would be the next Caliph. There were no Sunnis or Shias in the time of Muhammad (Peace be upon him. There were just muslims. So its necessary we dissociate political issues and power tussles amongs arabian clans or tribes from Islam. In short, it is important we dissociate Arabian cultures and practices from that of Islam.
And Allah knows best.
Are there truly verses in the Qur’an that supports such act that these terrorists hold on as the basis for their actions?

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YES absoultely and any Muslim that tells you otherwise is probably not truthful. However, these verse (singular, as its only one) are as distorted and completely taking out of context, probably to achive their aim. Let me quote you the verse.
“Slay the mushriqeen (pagans, polytheists, kuffar) where ever you find them.” [Al-Qur’an 9:5]
Let me explain this verse. To understand the context of this verse, it is important to read it from verse 1. Those who quote this particular verse jump to vere 7 which excludes six. Verse 6 of the same chapter says and I quote:
“If one amongst the pagans ask you for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah(God); and then escort him to where he can be secure that is because they are men without knowledge.” [Al-Qur’an 9:6]
Let me give you the historical context:
This verse were revealed specifically at a time of prosecution of muslims and not intended to be applied generally or for anyone to go on a combat or killing spree of non muslims. The early muslims were driven out of their homes in Mecca into the desert to starve because they felt Prophet Muhammad was turning away the people of Mecca from their 360 gods. Later in time, the muslims relocated to another place called Medinah where they lived. After many years, a verse came from Allah, an instruction for the Muslims to return to Mecca (this is known as Hijra, and thats when we started counting the muslim calendar). Alas, they could not enter as they found their way blocked and the Meccans were ready to continue their mistreatment of the Muslims. Should I also mention that during those years of the Muslims living in Medina, several treaties were signed between the pagans and the muslims which the pagans continually broke. So because of this refusal of entry into their land, another verse was revealed permitting the Muslims to engage the pagans in combat. Note also that the Muslims were given the following rules of combat: that they should not cut down trees, that they should not destroy synagogues, that they should not attack women…their sole aim was to confront the tyrants who have denied them of their rights as humans and have constantly persucuted them.
The verse was revealed to the muslims during a hostile situation.
The madness however is for any muslim to use this as a basis to attack innocent people or to assume this verse says we should attack those who do not share the same faith with us.

May Allah guide us all.

And Allah knows best.

c. MY RESPONSE:

​Impressive response Lukman Jaji. 👏 👏 ..! Definitely, your response came from an open progressive mind.
In place of expressing my views, I chose to highlight the following key excerpts from your response that we must all reflect on as they are critical to progress on this dialogue:
1. “..The ideology of terrorism or terrorists isnt clear to me as well [I think this is very clear as stated in your next sentence]. Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Al-Shabab, Taliban and all of the other groups have underlying political goals which they have used Islam (unfoortunately) as the veichle…” [Quest for political power and control is what the ideological leanings and warfare are all about and we shouldn’t be afraid to say so. Religion is just an effective tool as it has always been from all ages. In my view, there is nothing “ultra-christian” about western governance. Neither is there anything “truly Islamic” about the ways Arab government rule their people. My views though..]
2. “..interpretation is what gives rise to sects, not just in Islam but in other monotheistic faiths. There are agreements and disagreements over what a verse means or doesnt mean…” [Absolutely, ..and this where many Muslims miss it when they deny that verses of the Quran could not have been the basis for radicalization and terrorist action. It’s a like Christians saying it is unscriptural when some Christian sects chose to believe and implement verses in the Bible that contextually demand that we shouldn’t suffer a witch to live. Interpreting that out of context is one thing but, fact is, the Holy Bible says so. Yes, that manner of approach have been over ridden by the clear commandment of Jesus Christ, just two: Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself. If you obey these two commandments, you would not be violent against a supposed witch…]
3. “..The Sunni and Shia differences has absolytely nothing to do with the Qur’an. It was strictly political (you can read that up) due to tussle for who would be the next Caliph. There were no Sunnis or Shias in the time of Muhammad (Peace be upon him. There were just muslims…”
4. “..So its necessary we dissociate political issues and power tussles amongs arabian clans or tribes from Islam..”  “.., it is important we dissociate Arabian cultures and practices from that of Islam…” [..this statement of yours is very important in the Nigerian context where the Northern Nigerian “violence-prone” culture is seemingly inseparable from the predominantly Islamic religion practiced there. Thereby making solutions difficult amidst irreconcilable differences. Until we separate the two, religion from tribalism, solution is far away. Same is the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, it is all about power tussle and politics until we bring in religion. In my view, if religion is not removed from that crisis, there shall be no lasting solution ever..]
5. “..YES absoultely [there are Quranic verses that SEEM TO support some of what the terrorist do] and any Muslim that tells you otherwise is probably not truthful. However, these verse (singular, as its only one) are as distorted and completely taking out of context, probably to achive their aim [I am not sure it is just one verse, there are many more i have seen but, that is not the problem, biased teachings and interpretation is]. Let me quote you the verse..”
“Slay the mushriqeen (pagans, polytheists, kuffar) where ever you find them.” [Al-Qur’an 9:5]
6. “..The madness however is for any muslim to use this as a basis to attack innocent people or to assume this verse says we should attack those who do not share the same faith with us…”
NB: words enclosed in “[..]” above are my own words.
Once again, well said Lukman.., I hope meaningful dialogue prevails in favour of peacebuilding across the globe.

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