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Monday, July 16, 2007

 
Blogging the Quran: Sura 2, "The Cow," verses 222-286

Robert Spencer has the installment here. The longest book of the Koran is wrapped up here. Of particular interest if the "no compulsion in Islam" verse (Sura 2:256). Spencer elaborates:

Islamic spokesmen in the West frequently quote it to disprove the contention that Islam spread by the sword, or even to claim that Islam is a religion of peace. According to an early Muslim, Mujahid ibn Jabr, this verse was abrogated by Qur'an 9:29, in which the Muslims are commanded to fight against the People of the Book. Others, however, according to the Islamic historian Tabari, say that 2:256 was never abrogated, but was revealed precisely in reference to the People of the Book. They are not to be forced to accept Islam, but may practice their religions as long as they pay the jizya (poll-tax) and "feel themselves subdued" (9:29).

So, according to these "others," us infidels are not bound to religious compulsion, but we are bound to political compulsion. Allah orders Muslims to make war against the infidels, and while some dispute whether the surviving infidels be forced to convert to Islam, there is no doubt that non-Muslims must submit to Islamic political rule. And that's the nicer translation.

Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

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