Jon MC

We are often told that Muslims are commanded to be just and honest and it is certainly true that the Koran contains many verses requiring exactly this of Muslims (see for example: K.2:282; 3:18; 4:58; 6:152 to give but a few examples).

This article is only going to consider “Islamic honesty”. “Islamic Justice” is quite separate issue that involves the study of Shariah Law on which “Islamic Justice” is based.

In the matter of honesty, as is so often the case in the Koran, the verses noted above and other similar verses do not tell the whole story and a more detailed study shows that Islamic honesty is at best a variable and at worst a negotiable quantity, depending on what will benefit Islam most.

Consider the uses to which Islam puts both Zakat (the much vaunted “Islamic charity tax”), Khums (the 20% share for Allah/Muhammad of war-booty of all sorts) and Fai (war-spoils abandoned by an enemy, occupied territory etc.).

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As non-Muslims get better acquainted with Islam, so we need a better understanding of some of the core doctrines and dogmas of Islam.

In this essay I intend to present a summary of one very powerful and pervasive doctrine: that of “Abrogation” or “ Al Nasikh Wal Mansoukh”.

Let me start with an acknowledgement to “Julia” who provided the source for a part of what follows.

I would also refer the reader to this excellent article by David Bukay which links abrogation to Jihad in particular.

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The Koran has a lot to say about “hypocrites”. Muhammad and Allah are very troubled by both their existence and their activities. However the Koran is rather less forthcoming about the nature of the hypocrisy itself in many (though not all) cases. Thus, to find out the sort of attitudes and actions that cause the Koran to level the charge of hypocrisy against people we have to turn to other sources. Muslims have faced the similar problems in understanding many of the verses of the Koran. Consequently there are many commentaries (Tafseers) on the Koran which therefore address this and other problems. Muslim Authors (e.g. “H. Yahya”), though drawing on the same sources as I, seem to concentrate on the “characteristics” (all very bad) of the Hypocrites (to help Muslims identify them), rather than on what was the cause or nature of the “hypocrisy” in the first place.

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The Status of Non-Muslims Under Muslim Rule.

From the Tafseer of Ibn-Kathir (1301–1373 circa.) 700 years after Mohammed:

[Sahih] Muslim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said, “Do not initiate the Salaam to the Jews and Christians, and if you meet any of them in a road, force them to its narrowest alley.” This is why the Leader of the faithful `Umar bin Al-Khattab [the second of the “Rightly guided Caliphs” and one of Mohammed's contemporaries], may Allah be pleased with him, demanded his well-known conditions be met by the Christians, these conditions that ensured their continued humiliation, degradation and disgrace.

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Preface: This article, whilst a separate piece in it's own right, forms part of my series on Jihad which comprises the articles: Jihad – the four forms and the West, “Greater Jihad”, “Lesser Jihad” and “Jihad in the Way of Allah”, The Pact of Umar and Allah’s war covenant with the Muslims, pt.1, pt.2 and pt.3.

As such this article demonstrates that the attitudes inherent in, and the aims of, Jihad as set out in the previous articles were put into practice from the earliest post-Muhammad period of Islam, which thus provides historical validation of the previous articles.

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