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When Will Muslims Stop Hating Disbelievers?

27 June, 2017
Q Islam hates disbelievers of Muhammad; I'm a disbeliever of Muhammad. I've never pretended otherwise; I never expect to change. I find the Islamic idea that God chose a 7th Century Arab to be the final bearer of his message to be absurd. I've never been deceptive about this. You say that Islam is tolerant and that there is no compulsion in religion. However, when those of us who disbelieve in your religion reveal our disbelief, we become the victims of your anger. We learn that we are cursed. This shouldn't surprise me. The Quran and Hadith are full of verses condemning disbelief, advising fear of disbelievers, fighting disbelievers and on and on. I've been looking for the quintessential verse in the Quran to illustrate this; there are so many to choose from. Search for "disbelieve" and just see how many times that appears. Look at this abject denial of independent thought by a non-believer: “And who is more unjust than one who invents a lie about Allah or says, ‘It has been inspired to me," while nothing has been inspired to him, and one who says, "I will reveal [something] like what Allah revealed.’ And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the overwhelming pangs of death while the angels extend their hands, [saying], ‘Discharge your souls! Today you will be awarded the punishment of [extreme] humiliation for what you used to say against Allah other than the truth and [that] you were, toward His verses, being arrogant.’" [6:93] When will Muslims stop denying the hatred embodied in the Quran?


Salam (Peace) Brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

I am afraid that you keep your mind closed to any idea opposed to yours as you have already taken a negative approach to reason: “I don’t expect to change.”

But as you have raised before us a set of questions, our duty is to respond to them positively, hoping that you too will adopt a similar approach to our response.

First, let us look at Islam’s message:

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Islam teaches that the universe is the creation of an Almighty God, who willed it into existence.

Humans are beings that have the freedom and ability to plan projects, transform matter, build intricate structures and machines as well as create beautiful works of art.

Reason tells us that such beings endowed with intelligence and other creative capabilities must have come out of the infinite intelligence and creative capabilities of a Super Planner or Creator.

You have written: “I find the Islamic idea that God chose a 7th Century Arab to be the final bearer of his message to be absurd.”

I am sorry to say that this is an attitude that betrays your racism that undercuts your pose as a large-hearted person challenging narrow-mindedness.

When God wants to send His guidance to humans who live in a world of space and time, He has to find a person who belongs to some period in human history. That human being must necessarily belong to a particular nationality and race.

In the case of the Last Prophet, God did something revolutionary, if we may say so. He did not choose someone from the dominant class or from the ruling elite. He didn’t choose even from the Children of Israel.

Instead He chose one of the “brethren” of the Children of Israel, i.e one of the Children of Ishmael the son of Abraham. Now kindly see how eminent scholars of the Christian West assessed the performance of this “Arab of the deserts”:

Reverend Bosworth Smith writes in his Muhammad and Muhammadanism (London, 1874):

Head of the State as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without the Pope’s pretensions, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a police force, without a fixed revenue. If ever a man ruled by a right divine, it was Muhammad, for he had all the powers without their supports. He cared not for the dressings of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life.

Michael H. Hart, author of The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History and Alphonse de Lamartine author of Histoire de la Turquie both wrote similar praise for Prophet Muhammad after studying his life, character, and his success in both worldly and spiritual affairs.

The foregoing about sums up an independent, unprejudiced evaluation of “the 7th century Arab” chosen by God to be the final bearer of His message. Perhaps you have been influenced by some of the venomous writings and sermons against Islam.

Coming to the Quran: The Quran talks about believers, disbelievers, and hypocrites. It approves of believers and strongly disapproves of disbelievers and hypocrites. To the believers the Quran gives glad tidings about eternal happiness; to the other two groups it gives warnings about eternal torment.

As humans with the freedom of choice, it is up to us to accept the Quranic message or reject it. Of course we have certainly the freedom to evaluate its claims and make a decision. When you apply your critical intelligence to it you may find its message unacceptable for certain reasons.

My question is: Have you assumed your present position regarding the Quran after an objective study of its message? Or is it simply a gut reaction against it because of the fact that it disapproves of those who reject it?  

I understand that you have not made a study of the Quran; at any rate you haven’t noticed the Quran’s appeal to reason: 

{Verily, in the creation of the heavens and of the earth, and the succession of night and day: and in the ships that speed through the sea with what is useful to man: and in the waters which God sends down from the sky, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless, and causing all manner of living creatures to multiply thereon: and in the change of the winds, and the clouds that run their appointed courses between sky and earth: [in all this] there are messages indeed for people who use their reason.} (Quran 2:164)

Muhammad Asad, a Jewish-born Austro-Hungarian journalist, writer, and Islamic scholar; wrote about the above verse:

This passage is one of the many in which the Quran appeals to “those who use their reason” to observe the daily wonders of nature, including the evidence of man’s own ingenuity (“the ships that speed through the sea”), as so many indications of a conscious, creative Power pervading the universe.

The point is that humans are presented with a moral choice as they are endowed with the faculty of reason and a wide measure of freewill. They might be intoxicated with the idea of themselves as superior creatures. But they should not forget their inherent weaknesses. 

So our appeal to a person like you is, to pause for a while and think, in order to make a wise decision that will not let you down ultimately.

Returning to the particular verse you quoted:

{And who could be more wicked than he who invents a lie about God, or says, “This has been revealed unto me,” the while nothing has been revealed to him? – or he who says, “I, too, can bestow from on high the like of what God has bestowed”? If you could but see [how it will be] when these evildoers find themselves in the agonies of death, and the angels stretch forth their hands [and call]: “Give up your souls! Today you shall be requited with the suffering of humiliation for having attributed to God something that is not true, and for having persistently scorned His messages in your arrogance!”} (Quran 6:93)

The above verse does not refer to the punishment of “disbelievers”. It addresses those who invent a lie about God.

The Quranic word for a disbeliever is “kafir”. This word means to “cover” or “hide”. People may inaccurately use the word to refer to any non-Muslim, but the Quranic meaning of the word is: “a person who covers or hides the truth”. Hence, kafirun are persons who deny the truth after knowing it, or reject it offhand when truth is presented to them.

You have said that the Quran curses the disbelievers. In fact the Quran doesn’t curse the disbelievers, but warns them of the impending penalty awaiting them.

Indeed there is no compulsion in this matter, and we are free to choose belief or disbelief:

{Say, “The truth is from your Lord”: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it)} (Quran 18:29)

But at the same time a warning is given to those who would reject belief about the consequences of their rejection – that by doing so they are opting for Fire. The words used about the disbelievers are certainly harsh. But they are meant to shock them into waking up and realizing the life and death importance of their choice.

Please continue feeding your curiosity. Find more info in the following links:

Does Islam Ordain The Killing of All Disbelievers?

3 Non-Muslims Praised by Prophet Muhammad

Are All non-Muslims Really Disbelievers?