“When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them” 9:5

Non-believers believe the Qur’an is full of evil and oppression and promotes terrorism. This is because they do not understand the Qur’an’s context as they read like they do with the bible. I recently received a question in my WhatsApp inbox “My Muslim brother, you claim Islam is a religion of peace, how do you answer this?” He sent me a list of Qur’anic verses which he and others believe the Qur’an is evil.

This article is my answer to the Christian friend and I hope it shall be helpful to Muslim brothers and sister who encounter the same questions.

Qur’an 9:5 “When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them”

Please read from surah 9:1-6

1 “Freedom from (all) obligations (is declared) from Allah and His Messenger (SAW) to those of the, idolaters with whom you made a treaty”.

2 “So travel freely (O disbelievers) for four months (as you will) throughout the land, but know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allah, and Allah will disgrace the disbelievers.”

3 “And [it is] an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah is disassociated from the disbelievers, and [so is] His Messenger. So if you repent, that is best for you; but if you turn away – then know that you will not cause failure to Allah. And give tidings to those who disbelieve of a painful punishment”.

4 “Except those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement, then they have not failed you in anything and have not backed up any one against you, so fulfill their agreement to the end of their term; surely Allah loves those who are careful (of their duty).”

5 “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Idolaters wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful”.

6 “And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.” That is Qur’an Surat At-Tawbah (9):1-6

These verses were revealed during a war between the Meccans and the Muslims. They formed a treaty for the course of four months (the holy months) during which they agreed to postpone their war. The Meccans thought this advantageous because a continuing war during this time would have meant fewer pilgrims would come. It was advantageous for the Muslims because it meant they could have a reprieve and also make use of the sacred months. It was understood by all that when the treaties agreed period of 4 months was done and the sacred months had passed that they would resume fighting one another. It wasn’t as if this was a deceit and the Muslims were pretending to be peaceful and then plan their attack on the unsuspecting innocent pagans. It was the middle of a war between the two. The pagans had every intention of continuing to fight the Muslims after the four months as well. All of this is still within the context of having to fight to protect oneself and one’s community. It was not advocating killing all pagans it was limited to the war the early Muslims were fighting against the Meccans.

It also says that if they keep their agreements for peace, if they repent, if they do not fight you, if they start to believe in Allah and or are good and charitable people that you don’t fight them. It also says if they come to you seeking protection then you have to give them protection and bring them somewhere they will be safe. This is all limited to the context of the early battle with the Meccans and it is still limited to who you can fight and when you cannot.