Did Mohammed instruct his followers to spread the faith by the sword?

From time.com
‘Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.’"

The media, as usual, are doing a sucky job of covering the latest “scandal”, and all they are focusing on is how muslims are reacting to this, and whether he should apologize or not.

No article I have seen ever mentions whether Mohammed actually ever instructed his followers to spread the faith by the sword or not.

I Googled this for a while, but all I got were muslim websites trying to prove that Islam was not spread by the sword.

I can’t find a single cite saying whether Mohammed said anything to that effect or not.

Did he or didn’t he?

Whether or not Mohammed commanded it, he sure did it.

Should Bishop Ratzinger/Pope Bennie XVI apologize? heck, no!

For those who do not have the time to open the linked story, it should be noted that, in the context of a speech on dialogue between faiths, the pope was quoting Manuel II Paleologus, Byzantine emperor from 1391 to 1423 and not expounding any belief of his own.

The pope should be a bit more cautios about people in glass house throwing stones. After all, Christianity isn’t the oldest religion around, either, and neither are the basic teachings. And several parts of the NT (if we leave aside AT, because NT is supposed to differentiate the view of a sometimes revengeful, war-making God), there are quotes like “Do not think I came to bring peace, but to bring the sword” and “Who doesn’t hate his parents can not follow me”. As usual, it’s important to look at context of the immediate quote, context of the times, and context of the message of the Bible as whole.

And while the Pope was quoting somebody else, it’s still the wrong signal to send in the current Anti-Muslim charged atmosphere.

I am puzzled by the Muslim reaction to the Pope’s words. he was quoting a 13th century conversation. Do these people 9the Muslim rioters0 have any comprehension of what was said? This is what i don’t understand about Islam-its adherents are constantly moaning about attacks on their religion-yet, when some Mufti or Iman calls Jews “sons of pigs”, then that remark “doesn’t represent the official views of Muslims”-give me a break. if I were benedict, i would NOT apologize, because he said nothing wrong.

As is usual Questions, Replies, and OP’s on religion and/or politics result in quotes out of context, totally misunderstood concepts, and other items of questionable intent, being posted. All believe their position is the correct one, all others are wrong, misguided, or are simply being obstreperous.

Facts, quotes with source(s), and honest reasoning are hard to counter with the exception of those who “Know” thier position is the only one. :rolleyes:

Getting back to the main question in the OP:

Did Mohammed instruct his followers to spread the faith by the sword?

Is there a cite for this?

I don’t have the cite, but it goes something like this.

There are two worlds, Islam and those not of Islam. The two worlds are at war. When confronting a non-believer, a good Muslim must offer the heathen a choice - actually three.

  1. convert to Islam, and everything will be fine. All rights and property are protected the same as any other Muslim.

  2. accept Islamic rule and get some basic civil, religious and property protections as one of the “people of the book,” that is Jews, Christians, and a few others. You will have to pay extra taxes, and there are restrictions on how you worship and some other things, but basically you are left free. This might have been modeled after the Byzantine rules for Jews.

  3. face the sword.

So no matter what, a non-believer would have to submit to Islamic rule in one fashion or another, or the sword. This “invitation” is given all the time, and many people don’t realize it for what it can mean. During the Middle Ages, the Muslim rulers would always invite their Christian opponents to convert to Islam before a battle. The nut currently President of Iran invited Bush to convert to Islam. The next step could be the sword.

We in the west are just really just waking up to the true nature of Islam. It is NOT just a religion like any other. That is our big mistake.

As for cites, beloware some from the Quran.

Now, before you Islamic apologists and “useful idiots” tell me that the OIld Testament relates how the advancing Hebrews under Joshua wiped out the entire population of Jehrico, for example, let me explain that these are NOT obscure references to wars that happened centuries ago that hardly anyone knows or uses to justify anything today.

The following are verses from the Quran that are quoted EVERY DAY as we speak by militant Muslims to justify agressive war to spread Islam.

By the way, a Sûrah is like a Chapter in the Bible and a verse is. . . well, you get it!

There are a number of on-line translations of the Quran in English on the web (I am using a version by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, an Englishman-Muslim. You can check out my references if you wish.

Sûrah IV, verse 76: Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah.
Sûrah IV, verse 74: Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain of be he victorious, on him We (that is Allah speaking, here) shall bestow a vast reward.

(In other words, people who fly airliners into office towers in the fight for Allah will be rewarded in the next life. In fact a few verses later is an infamous verse that was quoted with glee throughout the Muslim world on September 11, 2001:)

Sûrah IV, verse 78: “Whosoever ye may be, death will overtake you, even though ye were in lofty towers.”

Allah will not tolerate slackers and peaceniks:

Sûrah II, verse 216: “Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.”

So shut up and strap on this dynamite, kid. Don’t argue with your religious leaders.

The idea that Christians and Jews are somehow treated as equals because they believe in the same God is completely contradicted by the following verse. Christians and Jews are tolerated, but only if they pay special taxes and are humiliated or “brought low”.

Sûrah IX, verse 29: “Fight against such of those as have been given the Scripture (i.e. Christians and Jews) as believe not in Allah nor the Lat Day. . . . and (who) follow not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam), until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.”

Can you just imagine the outcry if any western country levied a special tax to be paid only by Muslims?

Get yourself a copy of the Quran and read it. It is the most boring, rambling, violent load of browbeating you can imagine. At least the Bible has some entertaining stories in it, even if they are mostly myths or half-remebered history.

I mean, stories like the Judgement of Solomon decreeing that the baby be cut in half or Jesus saying that the man who had never sinned could cast the first stone at the adulteress are at least interesting. The Quran is page after page after page after page of Mohammed ranting on and on, supposedly telling mankind what Allah said to him, and it is one passage after another after another of how Allah is going to fry your ass if you don’t do what Mohammed says.

There are even verses about how you should tie up your camels when forming a caravan. If Islam is meant for the whole human race, how much use is that passage for Islamic Inuit (Eskimos) in the Arctic or Muslims in New York or Paris? Do you honestly believe that an almighty being dictating a book for all humanity would have included such a localized detail? I am surprised Mohammed did not throw in a couple of his favourite recipes too!

Almost as hilarious are the passages in which Allah tells his Prophet that he (and no other Muslim) can have extra wives. Allah even told him it was all right for him in his fifties to marry a little girl of less than 10, and to have sex with her when she was nine. Her name is Alisha. Look her up.

When it came to sex, Allah was very permissive for good old Mohammed.

The best thing going for the Quran is that the majority of Muslims (if you count women, which is do) are illiterate or cannot read Arabic. So they mainly believe what their religious leaders tell them it says.

Another hilarious concept is that you CANNOT really comprehend the Quran in English or any other translation. You need to read it in Arabic, we are told. So now get this. Allah the almighty and all-wise dictates a book meant for all humanity, which, if it were genuine, would be the most important document that ever existed. But it cannot be accessed and understood except in a language that has never been spoken or read by any other than a small minority of the human race. Does that make a lot of sense?

I honestly didn’t think Valteron could be more insulting and condescending than he is toward Christianity. It’s fascinating to find out that Christianity actually managed to catch hold of a shelf in the bottomless well of Valteron’s contempt…there are deeper levels…

You mean like the level of contempt and disregard for religious freedom displayed by believers in the US who insist that public, state-sponsored, taxpayer-supported institutions like the Supreme Court and US dollar bills tell atheists that they are wrong and that God exists?

You mean that kind of contempt?

I’d ask you to remember that you’re responding to an agnostic/atheist. I do not support either IGWT on our money or “under god” in our Pledge (or a Pledge at all). I merely note that you take things to extremes that make Madelyn Murray O’Hair look like Mary Baker Eddy.


Nice reply , thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

Yeah, that kind of contempt. Remind me, what is it that two wrongs don’t make, again?

Valteron, a factual question was asked, you have provided a polemic in response. Take it to GD or the Pit.

[ /Moderating ]

As to the verses quoted from Sura 4, they were issued in a specific situation regarding an attack by the Qusyrah(sp?) against the nascent Muslim community of Medina and are not generally regarded in Muslim circles to be general admonitions for Islamic behavior.

A GQ response would involve showing how those statements were invoked in the early days of the Caliphate to justify/rationalize attacks on Persia, Byzantium, or Egypt. Failing that, we still do not have a factual answer to the question.

( But leave the polemics outside this thread.)

You didn’t address me, but I’d still like to apologize. I thought I was in GD.

Once again I note: no cite from Valteron, because his source material is a hate site.

If my posting is unacceptable for the GQ section, go ahead and cut it or move it to GD. Like I really care!

I am welll aware that every single incriminating verse regarding violence and war in the Quran is “explained” by Islamic apologists pushing Islam as a religion of Peace as having been only relevant to a specific defensive requirement when the infant religion was being attacked.

I am also well aware from many media reports and various information that the Taliban and others regularly quote these verses to justify physical war against the west. If you want specifc cites, guess what? I have not been allowed to sit in at meetings of Osama Bin Laden and his buddies. Go figure!

Since you insist on being really literal, Tomndeb, about the “General Questions” aspect of this Board, I realize what the original question was. It was “Did Mhammed instruct his followers to spread the faith by the Sword”.

So here is the literal answer to the literal question:

Mohammed never instructed his followers to do anything in the Quran. He merely relayed the words of the almighty and eternal Allah. The Quran was written by Allah, not by Mohammed."

Is that sufficiently non-polemic?

In what context was the Pope quoting from that conversation? I have yet to hear anyone explain why or how he brought it up.

Roger Collins, in his his Early Medieval Europe made this abundantly clear. If his characterization of the career and character of Mohammed can be taken at face value, then I can think of no religous leader who was so good at strategy, conquest, and intimidation, or so willing to use those skills to further his faith. In some cases he demurred from imposing the faith on conquered towns or countries, but by and large it seems that conversion by force was the main object.