Muhammad Abu Layla plays us for dummies, or dhimmis. It would be refreshing if he would bother to explain to his fellow Muslims, the jihad terrorists around the world, how they have misunderstood Islam. From the Star Online, with thanks to Nicolei:
KOTA KINABALU: Islam continues to be one of the most misunderstood religions due to its misrepresentation in the Western media, a prominent Islamic scholar said.
Al-Azhar University professor Muhammad Abu Layla said the religion followed by 1.3 billion people had constantly been wrongly portrayed by the western media.
“It is unfortunate when we hear that Islam encourages terrorism,” he said in his talk titled “The Misunderstood Religion” during a special session at the International CEO conference here.
Prof Muhammad said even the term jihad had been misunderstood, as the common perception of it was that of an armed struggle.
“Jihad has never meant to hold the sword. It is instead to initiate efforts to be peaceful, to protect the weak,” he added.
Prof Muhammad said those who propagate violence in the name of Islam were only twisting it to suit their needs.
Let’s see. Jihad was never meant to hold the sword, eh? Yet there are over a hundred verses in the Qur’an that exhort believers to wage jihad against unbelievers. “O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, an evil refuge indeed” (Sura 9:73). “Strive hard” in Arabic is jahidi, a verbal form of the noun jihad. This striving was to be on the battlefield: “When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly” (Qur’an 47:4). This is emphasized repeatedly: “O ye who believe! Fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him” (Qur’an 9:123).
“Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is forgiving, merciful” (Qur’an 9:5). The “poor-due” in this verse is zakat, which is a central obligation for Muslims. Thus the verse is saying that if the “idolaters” become Muslims, leave them alone.
Jews and Christians were to be fought along with “idolaters”: “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, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).
Paradise is guaranteed to those who “slay and are slain” for Allah: “Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth” (Qur’an 9:111).
One may attempt to spiritualize such verses, but there is no doubt from the historical record that Muhammad meant them literally.