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Fighting the Jews and Christians is legislated because They are Idolators and Disbelievers

Allah the Exalted encourages the believers to fight the polytheists, disbelieving Jews and Christians, who uttered this terrible statement and utter lies against Allah, the Exalted. As for the Jews, they claimed that `Uzayr was the son of God, Allah is free of what they attribute to Him. As for the misguidance of Christians over `Isa, it is obvious. This is why Allah declared both groups to be liars,

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ قَوۡلُهُم بِأَفۡوَٲهِهِمۡ‌ۖ

(That is their saying with their mouths), but they have no proof that supports their claim, other than lies and fabrications,

﴿ يُضَـٰهِـُٔونَ

(resembling), imitating,

﴿ قَوۡلَ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ مِن قَبۡلُ‌ۚ

(the saying of those who disbelieved aforetime.) They imitate the previous nations who fell into misguidance just as Jews and Christians did,

﴿ قَـٰتَلَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ‌ۚ

(may Allah fight them), Ibn `Abbas said, "May Allah curse them.''

﴿ أَنَّىٰ يُؤۡفَڪُونَ

(how they are deluded away from the truth!) how they deviate from truth, when it is apparent, exchanging it for misguidance. Allah said next,

﴿ ٱتَّخَذُوٓاْ أَحۡبَارَهُمۡ وَرُهۡبَـٰنَهُمۡ أَرۡبَابً۬ا مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡمَسِيحَ ٱبۡنَ مَرۡيَمَ

(They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah, and the Messiah, son of Maryam) (9:31). Imam Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Jarir At-Tabari recorded a Hadith via several chains of narration, from `Adi bin Hatim, may Allah be pleased with him, who became Christian during the time of Jahiliyyah. When the call of the Messenger of Allah reached his area, `Adi ran away to Ash-Sham, and his sister and several of his people were captured. The Messenger of Allah freed his sister and gave her gifts. So she went to her brother and encouraged him to become Muslim and to go to the Messenger of Allah . `Adi, who was one of the chiefs of his people (the tribe of Tai') and whose father, Hatim At-Ta'i, was known for his generosity, went to Al-Madinah. When the people announced his arrival, `Adi went to the Messenger of Allah wearing a silver cross around his neck. The Messenger of Allah recited this Ayah;

﴿ ٱتَّخَذُوٓاْ أَحۡبَارَهُمۡ وَرُهۡبَـٰنَهُمۡ أَرۡبَابً۬ا مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ

(They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah). `Adi commented, "I said, `They did not worship them.''' The Prophet said,

« بَلَى إِنَّهُمْ حَرَّمُوا عَلَيْهِمُ الْحَلَالَ وَأَحَلُّوا لَهُمُ الْحَرَامَ فَاتَّبَعُوهُمْ فَذَلِكَ عِبَادَتُهُمْ إِيَّاهُم »

(Yes they did. They (rabbis and monks) prohibited the allowed for them (Christians and Jews) and allowed the prohibited, and they obeyed them. This is how they worshipped them.) The Messenger of Allah said to `Adi,

« يَا عَدِيُّ مَا تَقُولُ؟ أَيُفِرُّكَ أَنْ يُقَالَ: اللهُ أَكْبَرَ؟ فَهَلْ تَعْلَمُ شَيْئًا أَكْبَرَ مِنَ اللهِ؟ مَا يُفِرُّكَ؟ أَيُفِرُّكَ أَنْ يُقَالَ: لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ؟ فَهَلْ تَعْلَمُ مَنْ إِلهٌ إِلَّا اللهُ؟ »

(O `Adi what do you say Did you run away (to Ash-Sham) so that 'Allahu Akbar' (Allah is the Great) is not pronounced Do you know of anything greater than Allah What made you run away Did you run away so that `La ilaha illallah' is not pronounced Do you know of any deity worthy of worship except Allah)

The Messenger invited `Adi to embrace Islam, and he embraced Islam and pronounced the Testimony of Truth. The face of the Messenger of Allah beamed with pleasure and he said to `Adi,

« إِنَّ الْيَهُودَ مَغْضُوبٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَالنَّصَارَى ضَالُّون »

(Verily, the Jews have earned the anger (of Allah) and the Christians are misguided.) Hudhayfah bin Al-Yaman, `Abdullah bin `Abbas and several others said about the explanation of,

﴿ ٱتَّخَذُوٓاْ أَحۡبَارَهُمۡ وَرُهۡبَـٰنَهُمۡ أَرۡبَابً۬ا مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ

(They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah...) that the Christians and Jews obeyed their monks and rabbis in whatever they allowed or prohibited for them. This is why Allah said,

﴿ وَمَآ أُمِرُوٓاْ إِلَّا لِيَعۡبُدُوٓاْ إِلَـٰهً۬ا وَٲحِدً۬ا‌ۖ

(while they were commanded to worship none but One God), Who, whatever He renders prohibited is the prohibited, whatever He allowed is the allowed, whatever He legislates, is to be the law followed, and whatever He decides is to be adhered to;

﴿ لَّآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ‌ۚ سُبۡحَـٰنَهُ ۥ عَمَّا يُشۡرِڪُونَ

(None has the right to be worshipped but He. Hallowed be He above what they associate (with Him).) Meaning, exalted, sanctified, hallowed above partners, equals, aids, rivals or children, there is no deity or Lord worthy of worship except Him.

﴿ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يُطۡفِـُٔواْ نُورَ ٱللَّهِ بِأَفۡوَٲهِهِمۡ وَيَأۡبَى ٱللَّهُ إِلَّآ أَن يُتِمَّ نُورَهُ ۥ وَلَوۡ ڪَرِهَ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرُونَ هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَرۡسَلَ رَسُولَهُ ۥ بِٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ ٱلۡحَقِّ لِيُظۡهِرَهُ ۥ عَلَى ٱلدِّينِ كُلِّهِۦ وَلَوۡ كَرِهَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكُونَ

(32. They want to extinguish Allah's Light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the disbelievers hate (it).) (33. It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, to make it superior over all religions even though the idolators hate (it).)

People of the Scriptures try to extinguish the Light of Islam

Allah says, the disbelieving idolators and People of the Scriptures want to,

﴿ أَن يُطۡفِـُٔواْ نُورَ ٱللَّهِ

(extinguish the Light of Allah). They try through argument and lies to extinguish the guidance and religion of truth that the Messenger of Allah was sent with. Their example is the example of he who wants to extinguish the light of the sun or the moon by blowing at them! Indeed, such a person will never accomplish what he sought. Likewise, the light of what the Messenger was sent with will certainly shine and spread. Allah replied to the idolators' desire and hope,

﴿ وَيَأۡبَى ٱللَّهُ إِلَّآ أَن يُتِمَّ نُورَهُ ۥ وَلَوۡ ڪَرِهَ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرُونَ

(But Allah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the disbelievers (Kafirun) hate (it)) (9:32). ﴿Linguistically a Kafir is the person who covers something. For instance, night is called Kafiran (covering) because it covers things (with darkness). The farmer is called Kafiran, because he covers seeds in the ground. Allah said in an Ayah,

﴿ أَعۡجَبَ ٱلۡكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ۥ

(thereof the growth is pleasing to the (Kuffar) tillers) (57:20).

Islam is the Religion That will dominate over all Other Religions

Allah said next,

﴿ هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَرۡسَلَ رَسُولَهُ ۥ بِٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ ٱلۡحَقِّ

(It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth.) `Guidance' refers to the true narrations, beneficial faith and true religion that the Messenger came with. `religion of truth' refers to the righteous, legal deeds that bring about benefit in this life and the Hereafter.

﴿ لِيُظۡهِرَهُ ۥ عَلَى ٱلدِّينِ ڪُلِّهِۦ

(to make it (Islam) superior over all religions) It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِنَّ اللهَ زَوَى لِي الْأَرْضَ مَشَارِقَهَا وَمَغَارِبَهَا، وَسَيَبْلُغُ مُلْكُ أُمَّتِي مَا زُوِيَ لِييِمنْهَا »

(Allah made the eastern and western parts of the earth draw near for me (to see), and the rule of my Ummah will extend as far as I saw.) Imam Ahmad recorded from Tamim Ad-Dari that he said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

« لَيَبْلُغَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرُ مَا بَلَغَ اللَّيْلُ وَالنَّهَارُ، وَلَا يَتْرُكُ اللهُ بَيْتَ مَدَرٍ وَلَا وَبَرٍ إِلَّا أَدْخَلَهُ هَذَا الدِّينَ، يُعِزُّ عَزِيزًا وَيُذِلُّ ذَلِيلًا، عِزًّا يُعِزُّ اللهُ بِهِ الْإِسْلَامَ وَذُلًّا يُذِلُّ اللهُ بِهِ الْكُفْر »

(This matter (Islam) will keep spreading as far as the night and day reach, until Allah will not leave a house made of mud or hair, but will make this religion enter it, while bringing might to a mighty person (a Muslim) and humiliation to a disgraced person (who rejects Islam). Might with which Allah elevates Islam (and its people) and disgrace with which Allah humiliates disbelief (and its people).) Tamim Ad-Dari (who was a Christian before Islam) used to say, "I have come to know the meaning of this Hadith in my own people. Those who became Muslims among them acquired goodness, honor and might. Disgrace, humiliation and Jizyah befell those who remained disbelievers.''

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِنَّ ڪَثِيرً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلۡأَحۡبَارِ وَٱلرُّهۡبَانِ لَيَأۡكُلُونَ أَمۡوَٲلَ ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلۡبَـٰطِلِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ وَٱلَّذِينَ يَكۡنِزُونَ ٱلذَّهَبَ وَٱلۡفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنفِقُونَہَا فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ فَبَشِّرۡهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ۬ يَوۡمَ يُحۡمَىٰ عَلَيۡهَا فِى نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكۡوَىٰ بِہَا جِبَاهُهُمۡ وَجُنُوبُہُمۡ وَظُهُورُهُمۡ‌ۖ هَـٰذَا مَا ڪَنَزۡتُمۡ لِأَنفُسِكُمۡ فَذُوقُواْ مَا كُنتُمۡ تَكۡنِزُونَ

(34. O you who believe! Verily, there are many of the Ahbar (rabbis) and the Ruhban (monks) who devour the wealth of mankind in falsehood, and hinder (them) from the way of Allah. And those who hoard up gold and silver and spend them not in the way of Allah, announce unto them a painful torment.) (35. On the Day when that will be heated in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, (and it will be said unto them:) "This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard.'')

Warning against Corrupt Scholars and Misguided Worshippers

As-Suddi said that the Ahbar are Jewish rabbis, while the Ruhban are Christian monks. This statement is true, for Ahbar are Jewish rabbis, just as Allah said,

﴿ لَوۡلَا يَنۡہَٮٰهُمُ ٱلرَّبَّـٰنِيُّونَ وَٱلۡأَحۡبَارُ عَن قَوۡلِهِمُ ٱلۡإِثۡمَ وَأَكۡلِهِمُ ٱلسُّحۡتَ‌ۚ

(Why do not the Ahbar (rabbis) and the religious learned men forbid them from uttering sinful words and eating unlawful things.) (5:63) The Ruhban are Christian monks or worshippers, while the `Qissisun' are their scholars. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنۡهُمۡ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهۡبَانً۬ا

(This is because among them, there are Qissisin and Ruhban...) (5:82). This Ayah warns against corrupt scholars and misguided worshippers. Sufyan bin `Uyaynah said, "Those among our scholars who become corrupt are similar to the Jews, while those among our worshippers who become misguided are like Christians.'' An authentic Hadith declares,

« لَتَرْكَبُنَّ سُنَنَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ حَذْوَ القُذَّةِ بِالْقُذَّة »

(You will follow the ways of those who were before you, step by step.) They asked, "Jews and Christians'' He said,

« فَمَن ؟ »

(Who else) In another narration, they asked, "Persia and Rome'' He said,

« فَمَنِ النَّاسِ إِلَّا هَؤُلَاءِ؟ »

(And who else if it was not them) These texts warn against imitating them in action and statement, for they, as Allah stated,

﴿ لَيَأۡكُلُونَ أَمۡوَٲلَ ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلۡبَـٰطِلِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ

(devour the wealth of mankind in falsehood, and hinder (them) from the way of Allah.) They sell the religion in return for worldly gains, using their positions and status among people to illegally devour their property. For instance, the Jews were respected by the people of Jahiliyyah and collected gifts, taxes and presents from them. When Allah sent His Messenger , the Jews persisted in their misguidance, disbelief and rebellion, hoping to keep their status and position. However, Allah extinguished all this and took it away from them with the light of Prophethood and instead gave them disgrace and degradation, and they incurred the anger of Allah, the Exalted. Allah said next,

﴿ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ

(and hinder (them) from the way of Allah.) Therefore, they illegally devour people's property and hinder them from following the truth. They also confuse truth with falsehood and pretend before their ignorant followers that they call to righteousness. The true reality is that they call to the Fire and will not find any helpers on the Day of Resurrection.

Torment of Those Who hoard Gold and Silver

Allah said,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ يَكۡنِزُونَ ٱلذَّهَبَ وَٱلۡفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنفِقُونَہَا فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ فَبَشِّرۡهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ۬

(And those who hoard (Kanz) gold and silver and spend them not in the way of Allah, announce unto them a painful torment.) (9:34). This is the third category of leaders, for people rely on their scholars, worshippers and the wealthy among them. When these categories of people become corrupt, the society in general becomes corrupt. Ibn Al-Mubarak once said, "What corrupted the religion, except kings and wicked Ahbar and Ruhban.'' As for Kanz, it refers to the wealth on which Zakah has not been paid, according to Malik, who narrated this from `Abdullah bin Dinar from Ibn `Umar. Al-Bukhari recorded that Az-Zuhri said that Khalid bin Aslam said that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, "This was before Zakah was ordained. When Zakah was ordained, Allah made it a cleanser for wealth.'' `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz and `Irak bin Malik said that this Ayah was abrogated by Allah's statement,

﴿ خُذۡ مِنۡ أَمۡوَٲلِهِمۡ صَدَقَةً۬

(Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth) There are many Hadiths that admonish hoarding gold and silver. We will mention here some of these Hadiths. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded a Hadith from `Ali about Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ يَكۡنِزُونَ ٱلذَّهَبَ وَٱلۡفِضَّةَ

(And those who hoard up gold and silver...) `Ali said that the Prophet said,

« تَبًّا لِلذَّهَبٍ تَبًّا لِلْفِضَّة »

(Woe to gold! Woe to silver.) He repeated this statement thrice, and this Hadith was hard on the Companions of the Messenger of Allah , who said, "What type of wealth should we use'' `Umar said, "I will find out for you,'' and he asked, "O Allah's Messenger! Your statement was hard for your Companions. They asked, `What wealth should we use''' The Prophet answered,

« لِسَانًا ذَاكِرًا وَقَلْبًا شَاكِرًا وَزَوْجَةً تُعِينُ أَحَدَكُمْ عَلَى دِينِه »

(A remembering tongue, an appreciative heart and a wife that helps one of you implement his religion.) Allah's statement,

﴿ يَوۡمَ يُحۡمَىٰ عَلَيۡهَا فِى نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكۡوَىٰ بِہَا جِبَاهُهُمۡ وَجُنُوبُہُمۡ وَظُهُورُهُمۡ‌ۖ هَـٰذَا مَا ڪَنَزۡتُمۡ لِأَنفُسِكُمۡ فَذُوقُواْ مَا كُنتُمۡ تَكۡنِزُونَ

(On the Day when that will be heated in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, (and it will be said unto them) "This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard.'') These words will be said to them as a way of admonishing, criticizing and mocking them. Allah also said;

﴿ ثُمَّ صُبُّواْ فَوۡقَ رَأۡسِهِۦ مِنۡ عَذَابِ ٱلۡحَمِيمِ ذُقۡ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡڪَرِيمُ

(Then pour over his head the torment of boiling water. "Taste you (this)! Verily, you were (pretending to be) the mighty, the generous!'') (44:48-49). There is a saying that goes, "He who covets a thing and prefers it to Allah's obedience, will be punished with it.'' Because hoarding money was better to these people than Allah's pleasure, they were punished with it. For instance, Abu Lahab, may Allah curse him, was especially active in defying the Messenger of Allah , and his wife was helping him in this regard. Therefore, on the Day of Resurrection, she will help in punishing him, for there will be a twisted rope of palm fiber on her neck. She will be gathering wood from the Fire and throwing it on him so that his torment is made harder by the hand of someone whom he used to care for in this life. Likewise, money was precious to those who hoarded it in this life. Therefore, money will produce the worst harm for them in the Hereafter, when it will be heated in the Fire of Jahannam, whose heat is quiet sufficient, and their forehead, sides and back will be branded with it. Imam Abu Ja`far Ibn Jarir recorded that Thawban said that the Messenger of Allah used to declare,

« مَنْ تَركَ بَعْدَهُ كَنْزًا مُثِّلَ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ شُجَاعًا أَقَرَعَ لَهُ زَبِيبَتَانِ يَتْبَعُهُ وَيَقُولُ: وَيْلَكَ مَا أَنْتَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: أَنَا كَنْزُكَ الَّذِي تَرَكْتَهُ بَعْدكَ وَلَا يَزَالُ يَتْبَعُهُ حَتَّى يُلْقِمَهُ يَدَهُ فَيَقْضِمَهَا ثُمَّ يَتْبَعُهَا سَائِرَ جَسَدِه »

(Whoever leaves a treasure behind (on which he did not pay the Zakah), then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will follow him, and he will say, `Woe to you! Who are you' The snake will say, `I am your treasure that you left behind,' and will keep following him until the man gives it his hand; the snake will devour it and then devour his whole body.) Ibn Hibban also collected this Hadith in his Sahih. Part of this Hadith was also collected in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

« مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ لَا يُؤَدِّي زَكَاةَ مَالِهِ إِلَّا جُعِلَ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ صَفَائِحُ مِنْ نَارٍ، فَيُكْوَى بِهَا جَنْبُهُ وَجَبْهَتُهُ وَظَهْرُهُ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ، حَتَّى يُقْضَى بَيْنَ الْعِبَادِ ثُمَّ يُرَى سَبِيلُهُ إِمَّا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَإِمَّا إِلَى النَّار »

(Every man who does not pay the Zakah due on his money, then on the Day of Resurrection, his side, forehead and back will be branded with rods made of fire on a Day the length of which is fifty thousand years, until when the servants will be judged; that man will be shown his destination, either to Paradise or the Fire.) In the Tafsir of this Ayah, Al-Bukhari recorded that Zayd bin Wahb said, "I passed by Abu Dharr in the area of Rabadhah and asked him, `What made you reside in this area' He said, `We were in Ash-Sham when I recited this Ayah,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ يَكۡنِزُونَ ٱلذَّهَبَ وَٱلۡفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنفِقُونَہَا فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ فَبَشِّرۡهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ۬

(And those who hoard up gold and silver and spend them not in the way of Allah, announce unto them a painful torment.) Mu`awiyah said, `This Ayah is not about us, it is only about the People of the Book.' So I (Abu Dharr) said, `Rather, it is about us and them.''

﴿ إِنَّ عِدَّةَ ٱلشُّہُورِ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ٱثۡنَا عَشَرَ شَہۡرً۬ا فِى ڪِتَـٰبِ ٱللَّهِ يَوۡمَ خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ مِنۡہَآ أَرۡبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ۬‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ ٱلدِّينُ ٱلۡقَيِّمُ‌ۚ فَلَا تَظۡلِمُواْ فِيہِنَّ أَنفُسَڪُمۡ‌ۚ وَقَـٰتِلُواْ ٱلۡمُشۡرِڪِينَ كَآفَّةً۬ ڪَمَا يُقَـٰتِلُونَكُمۡ ڪَآفَّةً۬‌ۚ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ

(36. Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight against the Mushrikin idolaters collectively as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allah is with those who have Taqwa.)