Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Islam's Relations with Scriptural Religions

Sayyid Qutb wrote a tafsir of the Qur'an called In the Shade of the Qur'an. In the past, links to it have proved to be dead ends. Today a link turned up in a large on line library which did not lead to a dead end. It led to download links for 15 volumes of the shade.

Curious to see what Qutb had written about Surah at-Taubah 29, I downloaded volume 8 and searched for the ayeh of interest, which I found on page 83 of the pdf file. The translation given does not match any of the usual translations word for word, perhaps Qutb did his own translation, but it does contain the essential elements and does not appear to distort the meaning of the ayeh.

Qutb styles his tafsir of this part of the repentance chapter as "Relations with Other Religions". On page 85, he gets down to the detail I sought.

The main amendment the new rulings include is the order given to fight those who deviate from the divine faith until they pay the jizyah, or submission tax, after they have been humbled. No peace agreement may be made with them except on this basis of submission evident by the payment of a special tax which gives them the right to live in peace with the Muslims. On the other hand, if they become convinced
of the truth of Islam and accept it, they are considered part of the Muslim community.

I would have chosen scriptural instead of other in the topic title, and I find only one fault in the critical paragraph quoted above. A hudna or temporary cease fire would be possible if the Muslims found themselves unable to conquer their intended beneficiaries.

The wording of the previous sentence will seem unusual until you adjust your thinking to the Islamic point of view. Islam views us as slaves to tyrannical systems which must be destroyed so that we can be liberated. Think of it as a mirror image of Shrub's dream of liberating Afghanistan & Iraq.

Inevitably, coexistence between the divine system and human systems opposed to it is possible only in certain situations and under specific conditions. These ensure that no material impediments are placed in the way of the implementation of the universal Islamic declaration of the liberation of man from submission to any authority other than God. The divine system wants to prevail so that people are liberated from submission to other human beings and can submit to God alone. By contrast, the other systems want to defend their own status by crushing the movement aiming to establish the divine system in human life.

Qutb confirmed the obvious: 9:29 is an imperative for perpetual offensive warfare against people with scriptural religions other than Islam. The relationship between Islam and us is perpetual war.

No comments: