Ads by Muslim Ad Network

Do Muslims Want to Kill People of the Book?

05 December, 2016
Q If Christians and Jews are called "People of the book". Then why do Muslims want to kill them?


Salam (Peace) Thomas,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question. With respect to Muslims and their beliefs, your question raises an important issue that many are uninformed about.

Many will quote Quranic verses like the following:

{And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter.} (Al-Baqarah 2:191)

Or this verse:

{seize them and slay them wherever you find them; and [in any case] take no friends or helpers from their ranks.} (An-Nisaa 4:89)

Those who accuse Muslims of being fanatical, blood-thirsty terrorists will often take the most dramatic segments of verses like these out of context, and present them to others as proof of the violent nature of Islam and Muslims.

Ads by Muslim Ad Network

But these verses do not mean that Muslims should kill people or even harm them at their will. When these verses are put into historical and textual context, the reader will find that they are not as dramatic as they may seem when out of context.  

But there are those who; having no knowledge of the Arabic language, Prophet Muhammad’s teachings (peace be upon him), or the basics of Islamic Law; will try to demonize Muslims and drive people away from a true understanding of this universal religion.

Another part of the misunderstanding is that, unlike other religions, Islam offers information and guidance about every aspect of life, pleasant or unpleasant as it may be. And, unfortunately, war is a fact of life.

It has always been and it always will be a fact of life until we can all learn to live together in peace and harmony, regardless of our cultural and religious backgrounds. Islam acknowledges this fact of life and offers concrete, just, and practical solutions to problems of all types, including war.

In Islamic Law, or Shari`ah, there are very few justifications for Muslims to wage war on non-Muslims. If Muslims are free to practice their faith and preach Islam openly and in a manner that respects the rights of others to accept or reject Islam as a way of life, then it is not allowed for Muslims to fight non-Muslims.

If Muslims are not being oppressed with respect to their lives, property, honor, or freedom to practice their faith openly, then Muslims have no right to harm or wage war on non-Muslims.

No legitimate war in the history of Islam was ever waged because of the religious beliefs of the opponents of the Muslims. Muslims do not fight others merely because they are non-Muslims.

They fight to protect their rights as free human beings trying to live their lives in a peaceful way with their families, friends, and neighbors. Muslims are encouraged to maintain excellent relationships with people of all cultural and religious backgrounds, so long as these people do not oppress Muslims and attack them because of their religious beliefs.

However, Muslims reserve the right, as do all people, to defend themselves and even non-Muslims to the fullest extent if necessary if they are being attacked and oppressed.

The Quran says:

{Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.} (Al-Mumtahanah 60:8)

In Islam, war is always the last resort. Every avenue to peace must be pursued to avoid it if at all possible.

I hope this has helped you to see that Muslims have not been commanded to kill anyone unjustly. Jews, Christians, and people of all faiths should feel safe knowing that Muslims who follow Islamic teachings mean them no harm.

Thank you and please keep in touch.


Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Jihad and Justice with Non-Muslims

Muslim Scholars Refute ISIL’s Ideology

Fight Until Everyone Converts?

War in Islam: A Solution to Problems?

Foreign Policy of Islam: Peace or War?

ISIL & Islamic Ethics of War

Are There Violent Teachings in the Quran?