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I am sure that by now most of you have heard of the shootings on the Navy base in Washington DC yesterday. The shooter, Aaron Alexis, was killed. He had been in the Navy reserves and apparently had a history of misconduct. I, like many of you, was waiting to see if there was any connection to Islam. So far we have not heard of any such connection. We may not. Not every crime of this sort is carried out by Muslims. Isn’t it interesting that when these crimes occur our first thoughts are that it is probably Islam related.
The vast majority of Muslims are not true followers of Islam. Just like with many professing Christians, many Muslims are Muslims in name only. It is estimated that 80% of Muslims are not true followers of the teachings of Islam. We can thank God for this. Those who do really practice the teachings of Islam will be militant because this is the teaching of Islam.
Yesterday I mentioned some things about Syria. We saw that Syria was one of the first Christian nations and some of the earliest translations were Syrian. I asked the question, How did Syria become an Islamic state?
In this article I want to go into a brief history of Islam and see how it was propagated. I don’t want to take you to the very beginning, I want to start with the fist successor to Muhammad. The successors of Muhammad are called Caliphs.
The first Caliph was, Abu Bakr. His reign was just over 2 years long. Muhammad died 8 June 632. It was left to his followers to choose a successor. Bakr was elected and became the first Caliph. He was the most obvious choice because he was Muhammad’s right-hand man. He was not the first to convert to Islam. Muhammad had about 40-50 followers before Bakr.
Bakr was a man of great stature among his people and for him to convert to Islam was a great boost to the cause. He became one of Muhammad’s best friends, if not his best friend. In fact, he became Muhammad’s father-in-law when Muhammad married his 6 year old daughter, Aisha. The marriage was not consummated until she was 9 years old.
Abu Bakr spent the 27 months of his reign fighting what was called the “Ridda wars”, or the “Wars of Apostasy.” When Muhammad died many of the Arabs, who had only joined Islam because of the threat of the sword, began to leave Islam. They thought that their commitment ended with his death. Abu Bakr was not going to allow that to happen.
If you remember, I have quoted to you Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who said, “without the ‘Death for Apostasy’ laws, Islam would have failed with the death of Mohamed, as people would never stay in this religion otherwise.” Apostasy is leaving the faith of Islam. According to Islam, if one leaves Islam they should be killed for it. Those who kill the apostates is not guilty of a crime because the ones they killed deserved to die according to Islamic teachings.
These Ridda wars were waged throughout Arabia and into part of Persia (Iran). During Bakr’s reign Islam did not advance its territory much because they were fighting to stop apostasy. It is estimated that some 50,000 Arabs were killed to keep the rebellion and apostasy in check.
Abu Bakr died of a sickness. There are two different reports of what happened. Some say he got a chill one night and developed a fever which resulted in his death. Others say he was poisoned. What ever the reason for his death, upon his death bed he chose Umar the next Caliph.
Under Umar the Islamic empire grew at an unprecedented rate. As we would expect, he grew the empire through the use of the sword. The first country to fall was Syria. During his reign Levant, Egypt, Cyrene, Tripolitania, Fezzan, Eastern Anatolia (Turkey), almost whole of Sassanid Persian Empire including Armenia, Caucasus (Region between the Black and Caspian Sea) and Makran (Pakistan) were annexed to Islamic Empire. According to one estimate more than 4050 cities were captured during these military conquest. His rule extended from present day Libya in the west to the Indus river (Pakistan, India and China) in the east and the Oxus river (Just south of Russia) in the north.
Prior to his death in 644, Umar had ceased all military expeditions apparently to consolidate his rule in Egypt and the newly conquered Sassanid Empire (Middle Persia). Egypt has become the largest Arab country in all the world. We find the oldest and most revered Islamic university in all of Islam in Cairo.
We see that from the very earliest days of Islam they ruled with the sword. Muhammad did it. His followers did it. His successors, the caliphs, did it. They still do it today.
Here is what is called the Pact of Umar” “…Allah said, (until they pay the Jizyah), if they do not choose to embrace Islam, in defeat and subservience, (and feel themselves subdued.), disgraced, humiliated and belittled.
Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated.
Muslim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said, (Do not initiate the Salam 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, 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.
The scholars of Hadith narrated from `Abdur-Rahman bin Ghanm Al-Ash`ari that he said, “I recorded for `Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, the terms of the treaty of peace he conducted with the Christians of Ash-Sham: `In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. This is a document to the servant of Allah `Umar, the Leader of the faithful, from the Christians of such and such city. When you (Muslims) came to us we requested safety for ourselves, children, property and followers of our religion. We made a condition on ourselves that we will neither erect in our areas a monastery, church, or a sanctuary for a monk, nor restore any place of worship that needs restoration nor use any of them for the purpose of enmity against Muslims. We will not prevent any Muslim from resting in our churches whether they come by day or night, and we will open the doors ﴿of our houses of worship﴾ for the wayfarer and passerby. Those Muslims who come as guests, will enjoy boarding and food for three days. We will not allow a spy against Muslims into our churches and homes or hide deceit ﴿or betrayal﴾ against Muslims. We will not teach our children the Qur’an, publicize practices of Shirk, invite anyone to Shirk or prevent any of our fellows from embracing Islam, if they choose to do so. We will respect Muslims, move from the places we sit in if they choose to sit in them. We will not imitate their clothing, caps, turbans, sandals, hairstyles, speech, nicknames and title names, or ride on saddles, hang swords on the shoulders, collect weapons of any kind or carry these weapons. We will not encrypt our stamps in Arabic, or sell liquor. We will have the front of our hair cut, wear our customary clothes wherever we are, wear belts around our waist, refrain from erecting crosses on the outside of our churches and demonstrating them and our books in public in Muslim fairways and markets. We will not sound the bells in our churches, except discretely, or raise our voices while reciting our holy books inside our churches in the presence of Muslims, nor raise our voices ﴿with prayer﴾ at our funerals, or light torches in funeral processions in the fairways of Muslims, or their markets. We will not bury our dead next to Muslim dead, or buy servants who were captured by Muslims. We will be guides for Muslims and refrain from breaching their privacy in their homes.’ When I gave this document to `Umar, he added to it, `We will not beat any Muslim. These are the conditions that we set against ourselves and followers of our religion in return for safety and protection. If we break any of these promises that we set for your benefit against ourselves, then our Dhimmah (promise of protection) is broken and you are allowed to do with us what you are allowed of people of defiance and rebellion.”
This is the treaty that Umar made with the Christians in Syria. Not everyone is required to become a Muslim, but they must submit to Islam. Islam needs some people to work for them (be their slaves). This precept comes from Surah 9:29.
The ninth chapter in the Qur’an is the last chapter given to Muhammad. The Qur’an is not organized in chronological order. It is organized with the longest chapters first and the shortest last. This chapter contains the last words given by their prophet, Muhammad. It is like the great commission given to Christians in Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Just like the Great Commission of Matthew 28 is the mission statement for the church, this verse, Surah 9:29, is the mission statement for Islam. Here is what it says:
“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Surah 9:29
Note that it does not say fight those who fight you. It says fight those who believe not. They are to fight them until they “pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Some other translations translate subdued as humiliated.
It is the obligation of Muslims to fight unbelievers until they willingly pay the Jizya, a slave tax, and until they are in submission to Islam and humiliated.