The Quran's Last Word on Non-Muslims


As you probably know, some verses of the Quran have been abrogated. The abrogation principle basically says that when something from a later chapter (known as a sura) conflicts with something from an earlier chapter, the later one is the better one.

Have you ever wondered which is the last chapter? And what does it say? Since abrogation uses chronological order, the last chapter would probably not contain any abrogated verses (unless an earlier verse within the last chapter conflicted with a later one in the same chapter). Otherwise, if the chapter contained any information about non-Muslims, it would be the "last word" on the subject.

If you look at the Chronological Order of the Qur'an, you can see the last chapter is called Nasr. Every chapter has a name. In the traditional order, Nasr is the 110th chapter. But it was really the 114th; the last one "revealed" to Mohammad. He died 80 days later.

But the last chapter doesn't say much. It's just three verses basically saying "When Allah has achieved victory and conquered lots of people and when they are becoming Muslims in great numbers, praise Allah and ask for forgiveness." That's about it.

But if you look up the second to last chapter, called Taubah (which means "Ultimatum"), you will find it says a great deal about non-Muslims. In the traditional chapter order, this is chapter 9. Here are a few choice verses:

9:5 Slay the idolaters wherever you find them.

9:6 Those who submit and convert to Islam will be treated well. (Those who don't submit will be killed. See previous verse.)

9:7-9 Don't make treaties with non-Muslims. They are all evildoers and should not be trusted.

9:11 Treat converts to Islam well, but kill those who refuse to convert (see 9:5).

9:12-14 Fight the disbelievers! Allah is on your side; he will give you victory.

9:23 Don't make friends with your disbelieving family members. Those who do so are wrong-doers.

9:29 Fight against Christians and Jews "until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low."

9:33 The "Religion of Truth" (Islam) must prevail, by force if necessary, over all other religions.

9:41 Fight for Allah with your wealth and whatever weapons are available to you.

9:42 Those who refuse to fight for Allah (claiming they are unable) are liars who have destroyed their souls.

9:73 Fight the disbelievers and hypocrites. Be harsh with them. They are all going to hell anyway.

9:81-83 Those who refuse to give their wealth and lives to Allah will face the fire of hell.

9:85 Those who refuse to fight for Allah will be treated (along with their children) as unbelievers.

9:111 Believers must fight for Allah. They must kill and be killed. Allah will reward them for it.

9:123 Fight disbelievers who are near you, and let them see the harshness in you.

This is Allah's "last word" on tolerance and peace toward non-Muslims. If nothing else up to this point had abrogated the tolerant verses, the above verses completely wipe out every last positive verse in the Quran for non-Muslims.

The translations above are based on the Skeptics Annotated Quran. You can check the verses above (by using the verse number) to double-check their meaning in any Quran. You will find these are accurate summaries of the verses. Lots of web sites have the entire Quran available to read online. Here are a few. Just look up Sura 9 and scroll down to the verse number you're looking for.

In an article entitled, Peace or Jihad? Abrogation in Islam, David Bukay writes:

Chapter 9 of the Quran, in English called "Ultimatum," is the most important concerning the issues of abrogation and jihad against unbelievers. It is the only chapter that does not begin "in the name of God, most benevolent, ever-merciful." Commentators agree that Muhammad received this revelation in 631, the year before his death, when he had returned to Mecca and was at his strongest. Muhammad bin Ismail al-Bukhari, compiler of one of the most authoritative collections of the hadith, said that "Ultimatum" was the last chapter revealed to Muhammad although others suggest it might have been penultimate. Regardless, coming at or near the very end of Muhammad's life, "Ultimatum" trumps earlier revelations.

Because this chapter contains violent passages, it abrogates previous peaceful content. Muhsin Khan, the translator of Sahih al-Bukhari, says God revealed "Ultimatum" in order to discard restraint and to command Muslims to fight against all the pagans as well as against the People of the Book if they do not embrace Islam or until they pay religious taxes. So, at first aggressive fighting was forbidden; it later became permissible (2:190) and subsequently obligatory (9:5). This "verse of the sword" abrogated, canceled, and replaced 124 verses that called for tolerance, compassion, and peace.

The Egyptian theologian Abu Suyuti said that everything in the Quran about forgiveness and peace is abrogated by verse 9:5, which orders Muslims to fight the unbelievers and to establish God's kingdom on earth.

Abrogation had a significant impact on the Quran, and is one of the primary reasons the traditional order of the Quran (with chapters arranged from the longest to the shortest chapter) so effectively prevents anyone who doesn't know about abrogation from understanding what it really says. Only 43 chapters are not affected by abrogation. This means most of the chapters of the Quran cannot be taken at face value.

But with the tools like the Chronological Order and CSPI's lineup of educational materials and knowledge about abrogation, the Quran can be understood by everybody.

As soon as you read the Quran, you realize immediately that other non-Muslims need to be alerted to this political agenda because non-Muslims are the target for the political program at the core of Islamic doctrine. You will (and should) start encouraging others to read the Quran. You will realize that non-Muslims' awareness of this political and totalitarian manifesto will be the key to preserving our future freedom.


Traeh 12:38 AM  

Bill Warner adds a good wrinkle to discussions about abrogation in the Qur'an. He points out that for many Muslims, abrogation is not absolutely valid or real, because if Allah says something, then it's always true, and if Allah thinks both sides of a contradiction are true, then so be it. Warner says Muslims adhere to the dualistic logic enshrined in the Qur'an. And since both sides of Qur'anic contradictions are accepted by many Muslims as true (for example, the tyrannical jihadist side and the tolerant peaceful side), Warner's path toward clarification of overall Qur'anic intent is to do a simple statistical study of the Qur'an: what percentage of the Qur'an is violent, and what percentage tolerant; and other percentages. In that way one can start to pin down a seemingly contradictory message. For example, we can find out that 95% of "jihad" in the Qur'an is military, and only 5% is peaceful. That is much more useful than hearing from one group that jihad means inner struggle, and from another group that jihad is war, so that one doesn't know what to think.

Of course, the other way to deal with the contradictions is to see which side of the contradiction came later. As you point out, the later Qur'anic revelations, unfortunately, are the violent, totalitarian ones. And so various Muslim scholars have said that all the peaceful verses were abrogated by the verse of the sword, in Chapter 9 of the Qur'an.

Yet Warner doesn't rely very much on abrogation, and says that the Islamic mind, because of the Qur'an, simply is dualistic and comfortable with self-contradiction. Too often one finds a Muslim spokesperson gliding over self-contradictions back and forth, with the greatest of ease. Thus we see Muslims at one moment attributing 9/11 to a Jewish conspiracy, and in the very next praising bin Laden as a hero.

All of this seems to fit well with Islamic theology. The Islamic God's sovereignty is conceived as so absolute and total that it would be a humiliation and an indignity if he obeyed anything other than himself. Thus a Muslim cleric would be unlikely to agree that God obeys any supposed scientific or logical laws, such as the law of non-contradiction. Allah obeys only himself.

And that is apparently why there are Islamic traditions in which one can read of Muslims expressing contempt for the Jews because in the Muslim view the Jews demean God by talking as if He were "fettered," i.e., bound by various laws, moral laws, laws of truth and logic. The Islamic God, by contrast, is conceived as absolutely unfettered, as ruling from his own arbitrary will, and is pictured after the image of the most despotic ancient Near Eastern tyrants.

The dualistic logic of the Qur'an and Islam serves to camouflage, cloud, and hide Muslim goals and intentions, no doubt even from Muslims themselves.

Citizen Warrior 1:06 AM  

Yes, both the abrogated and the abrogating verses remain true. All the Quranic passages say is that when the two passages are in conflict the later one is better.

On the topic of what to do about non-Muslims, however, the permanent and ongoing nature of the "slay them wherever you find them" verses means that these are permanently in conflict with any live-and-let-live passages.

The earlier passages are still true, but simply never need to be applied. They can be quoted like crazy, however, and that itself has been an effective strategy for orthodox Muslims who wish to prevent non-Muslims from discovering Islam's prime directive.

Anonymous 5:11 PM  

In Sura9,ayah29,why is the Arabic
word"qatiloo"which means kill,slay,
murder,and assassinate erroneously
translated fight in all English
translations of the Qur'an?

Abu Jamal

Anonymous 7:35 PM  

Abrogation suggests that the creator of this virus believed nothing he claimed true. It seems perfectly clear to me that a social virus was created and unleashed for the purpose of personal promotion and gain. Very irresponsible.

Anonymous 2:10 AM  

from what the Quran says then, we are not fighting for our future freedom, but for our LIVES.

Anonymous 3:00 PM  

It seems a new sensible modern chapter needs to be written and added.
Just so it is very clear, let this new chapter start with explaining the "Law of Abrogation"
Further let it also clear up any contradiction, or that which leads to interpretation, such that only peaceful strategies are adopted.

Unknown 9:30 AM  

I changed it round: kuffar to Muslim and vica versa.

Anonymous 4:30 PM  

WHICH VERSE SAYS "that when something from a later chapter (known as a sura) conflicts with something from an earlier chapter" ???

I've searched Google for the Quran verse in question using your keywords you posted but NOTHING came up.

Why didn't you quote the verse and page number in question. Instead you keep repeating your claim that "when the two passages are in conflict the later one is better."

I also noticed your verses from chapter 9 are incomplete. It appears you left out all the closing statements that say "but do not transgress" and "if they cease then stop fighting" and "if they repent let them go" etc etc

So by your logic does that mean the first section of the verses you listed in chapter 9 are all abrogated by all the closing statements of those verses in chapter 9 which end on a tolerant, compassionate note? Or is that just something that doesn't suit your propaganda and hate campaign? That would explain why you cherry picked and sliced out sections from the verses in chapter 9 which establish context of rules of engagement during the Battles discussed in those chapters and specifically mention broken treaties and dealing with aggressors. The deceptive and malicious nature of ill natured creatures make me sick.

Citizen Warrior 2:27 AM  

In the article above, the first use of the word "abrogate" is linked. If you follow that link, you will find the Quranic passages you seek:

Anonymous 9:06 AM  

I agree. One should take into account the entire chapter instead of cherry picking certain verses to suit their own beliefs or political agenda. Anyone who does that is no better than radical Muslims in ISIS or al-Qaeda.

Calvin Howell Heinen 6:41 AM  

You say not to cherry pick so the entire meaning of the text will show the real meaning of what is being said. OK. Effective immediately: Contact al Baghdadi and tell him to STOP the cherry picking because not only is this imbecile cherry picking, he is acting it out.
They are now saying the koran also says its ok to rape little and young girls.

And don't think or say for a minute millions of muslims are not standing right behind him.

Unknown 1:15 PM  

Sounds like a religion for schizophrenia and bipolar individuals. A train can't roll in two directions at the same time. My mind has problems with that too.

Anonymous 12:33 AM  

Is that supposed to make me feel better? I just have to repent. Well that's great....
I repent everything. Now. All of it. Phew.

Anonymous 8:08 AM  

Let them go if they repent seriously?
Forget what's has been written and said in Qur'an. In common sense, each individual has a right to practice what ever belief and follow a life path that he or she chooses to follow.
My question is who gave Islam to force that primitive ideology on others. If I am in a wrong, then let me be judged accordingly by my creator; not by the fanatics, who came to exist 300 years after my established region and trying to doctrine a less or not well thought out religion
Islam shouldn't be called a peaceful religion while it promotes and dictates violence period. It goes against not only Christianity but, almost all other religions.
Our bible promotes peace, tranquillity goes even further stating that love your enemies. For you yet to be judged, you shouldn't judge others.

Anonymous 7:55 PM  

That is an excellent idea and one I've thought of as well.
If you are convicted of "hate speech" then all kurans must be confiscated & destroyed!

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