Answering Jihad by Nabeel Qureshi is an excellent resource to get clarity on all of the terms floating around about Islam, Muslims, and the use of jihad. You can read my full book review by clicking here.
Below are the first set of quotes from this book that I’d like to share with you. Unless otherwise noted, all the quotes are from Nabeel Qureshi.
“There is a great deal of violence in Islam, even in the very foundations of the faith, and it is not all defensive. Quite to the contrary, if the traditions about the prophet of Islam are in any way reliable, then Islam glorifies violent jihad arguably more than any other action a Muslim can take.”
“As Islam is practiced in a way that calls Muslims to return to its foundations, violence will follow.”
“Islam is not Muslims, and Muslims are not Islam. Though Muslims are adherents of Islam, and Islam is the worldview of Muslims, the two are not the same, as many uncritically believe. … Islam is not Muslims, and one can criticize Islam while affirming and loving Muslims.”
“Islam was first called ‘the religion of peace’ as late as 1930, and the title of a book published In India. … The phrase was slow to take off, but by the 1970s it was appearing more and more frequently in the writings of Muslims for western audiences.” —Mark Durie, a research scholar of linguistics and Islam at Melbourne School of Theology, in an article for the Independent Journal
“The Quran never says, ‘Islam is the religion of peace,’ nor do the traditions of Muhammad.”
“To contend that the word Islam signifies peace in the absence of violence is incorrect. Islam signifies a peace after violence, or under the threat of it. According to Islamic tradition, that is how Muhammad himself used the word. His warning to neighboring tribes is famous: Aslim taslam, ‘If you surrender, you will have peace.’ It was a play on words, as aslim also connotes becoming Muslim: ‘If you convert, you will have safety through surrender.’”
“The vast majority of Muslims inherit their understanding of Islam and have not investigated the foundations of Islam for themselves. If they were raised in the West and taught that Islam is the religion of peace, as I was, then their first foray into the foundations might be somewhat of a shock, and they will probably soon find themselves either in a defensive position or grappling with significant cognitive dissonance.”
“Since there are thousands of verses in the Quran and hundreds of thousands of hadith, it is expected that only trained Muslim jurists can engage in determining what sharia teachers. The jurist must give primacy to the Quran, then consider the actions (sunnah) and sayings (hadith) of Muhammad, followed by reviewing the consensus of Islamic scholars, or ijma, before using his own reasoning (qiyas). By following these four steps, a Muslim jurist can make a decision, or fatwa, about what sharia teaches on a given matter. The ultimate goal is to apply the teachings of sharia to Muslim life, and that is called fiqh.”
“As is probably clear by now, at no point was the average Muslim expected to read the Quran to decide upon correct Islamic practices by himself or herself. Not only is Islam not a faith that upholds the sufficiency of scripture alone, the complexity of its foundations virtually necessitates a reliance on jurists and scholars for proper practice.”
“Islam was not in fact ‘spread by the sword’—conversion was not forced on the occupants of conquered territories—but the conquests created the necessary preconditions for the spread of Islam. With only a few exceptions… Islam has become the majority faith only in territories that were conquered by force. Thus, the conquests and the doctrine that motivated these conquests—jihad—were crucial to the development of Islam.” —David Cook
“I ask your pardon, but I really do feel that the Christian teaching of loving one’s enemies, even in the face of death, might perhaps be the most powerful answer to jihad at our disposal today. Not only does it allow us to counter jihad, it also enables us to treat Muslims with the utmost dignity: as image bearers of God.”
Stay tuned for more quotes from Answering Jihad…