I have been sticking to literary articles for a long time, but it’s time to break this rule – maybe every now and then. The following article is a “refurbished” copy of a post I added once in an English forum. It was an attempt to convey the Islamic thought of modern scholars to the Western countries. I am sure you’ll enjoy reading it – it is different!
Yes, it is true. If you read the Qur’an, you may reach a level where you say: What the heck is this book talking about?! Look! I see many contradictions. How could a man love his enemy and fight him at the same time?That’s what a non-Muslim or a non-Arab, who is not very well acquainted with the Quran and its interpretation, would say when reading the Quran. I am afraid you have to bare in mind few things just before throwing accusations here and there. I am afraid you don’t READ much. The Qur’an was not revealed to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) all together. Logically, such a large amount of information can’t be revealed to a person at once.
However, the Qur’an was revealed “bits by bits” – chronologically, according to the events which Muslims were facing at that time. So, when a certain serious problem rises, a verse may be revealed to clarify what to do. On the other hand, not all verses are meant to solve problems; some of them are revealed to comment on a certain action that Muslims made, such as when they are solving a problem, or dealing with each other, etc …
For instance, when the persecution against Muslims reached the maximum in Mecca, the prophet consented to some of them to seek refuge in Ethiopia, as he knew that their is a just king there who never persecutes anyone for no reason. By the way that king was a Christian! Well, consequently, the verses talking about Christianity, Jesus (PBUH) and his mother Mary were revealed. Hence, in order for the refugees to defend themselves against the persecutors in Mecca, they will definitely have to explain to the King their reason for being persecuted, and the King will ask – (Let’s confirm that he was a learned King and knew well how to speak the Old English of that time) – “Hello foreign people, Sil vous plais speaketh to me about this religion which madeth ye driven out of your land?” Then he will reply to their answer: “Mmm… Islam .. I see .. Well tell me about this religion, but why on earth their should be one after Christianity? Wasn’t the crucifixion of Christ enough to purify all our sins?!”
Note that when Muslims were on their way to Ethiopia, some of the infidels in Mecca sent to the King fabricated news about Islam (I am sure they were not much different from those we see on some Western televisions!)
In the mean time, as I was writing the previous paragraph, the Muslims were thinking about the answer for the king’s question. They chose a spokesman who simply told the king that Islam never disdains Christianity or Jesus. Isn’t that much simple? Yes and they recited on him verses from Chapter Mary and all was ok. Now suppose that the verses telling about Christianity were not revealed in that year, what were those refugees going to tell the King? huh? tell me! Then would the king have helped them?
The Muslims succeeded in proving that Islam has no “personal” problem with Jesus and his mother Mary. In addition, they made it clear for him that God is the ONLY deity they worship. What do think will happen? The king helped them and was their protector. Hooray then! The Christian king was really just!!
Now to answer your question about the contradictions, the verses which called for fighting our enemies came in a time where all Muslims were driven out of Mecca. Although there was no reason for the infidels to fight them anymore, they continued to place barriers in front of them till they came up with a NAZI idea: Uprooting the Muslims! Aha, now the matter is about existence. Muslims HAD to fight or defend themselves.
The verses that call for loving an enemy came to prove the importance of differentiating between an enemy who fights and an enemy who just hates you and wishes you the worse – just in his heart. The Quran describes those latter as people whom we have enmity with them (mainly lesser than enemies). In this case, we are commanded to show benevolence to them whatsoever they believe or their religion is. As to non-Muslims who neither hate nor love us, nothing is going to happen to them.
فإذا الذي بينك وبينه عداوة كأنه وليّ حميم
Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: then will he whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!