Verses of Quran on Jihad

Why are there verses in the Qur’an that encourage Muslims to kill non-believers wherever they find them?

The Importance of Context

The word ‘context’ has two dictionary meanings:

1. The parts of a written or spoken statement that precede or follow a specific word or passage, usually influencing its meaning or effect. 2. The set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.

Any discussion on Qur’anic verses that refer to violence would be meaningless, without a study of the surrounding context. Before we study the verses in question, therefore, let us examine this issue in a wider perspective:

The Sanctity of Life

The Glorious Qur’an says:

“…take not life, which God hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.” [Al-Qur’an 6:151]

Islam considers all life forms as sacred. However, the sanctity of human life is accorded a special place. The first and the foremost basic right of a human being is the right to live. The Glorious Qur’an says:

“…if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” [Al-Qur’an 5:32]

The value of human life is so great, that the Qur’an equates the taking of even one human life unjustly with the killing of all humanity.

The Verses of War

The words that often cause consternation among those unfamiliar with Islam, are: “…and slay them wherever ye catch them…”

The truth is that this is only part of verse 191 of Chapter 2 of the Qur’an. Let us read the verses 190 to 191 in order to get a complete picture:

“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.” [Al-Qur’an 2:190-191]

It is a well-known fact of Islamic history, that fighting against aggressors was prohibited during the first thirteen years of the Prophet’s mission. After Muslims migrated to Medina, the verses above were revealed to enable the community to fight in self-defense. The verses that follow clearly indicate Islam’s prohibition on aggression and inclination towards peace:

“But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.” [Al-Qur’an 2:192-193]

The verses above specifically refer to fighting against oppression and in defense of religious freedom as the Glorious Qur’an says:

“Let there be no compulsion in religion” [Al-Qur’an 2:256]

Fair-Dealing Towards All

When read in context, the above verses do not even remotely suggest an exhortation for Muslims to be vicious or hateful towards people of other faiths. Far from this, the Qur’an actually requires that Muslims conduct themselves with fairness and dignity in all matters, and especially in regard to interfaith relations, as indicated by the following verse:

“Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.” [Al-Qur’an 60:8]


  1. Steve Davies says:

    This all sounds good.

  2. Freedom of religion is an essential component of liberty. In real terms, it is almost non-existent in Muslim countries. Religion, however, is inherently divisive , & is used far too often to acquire power & prosperity. Religion can tend to exploit the most prevalent fear/concern of human beings since time began. That is , what happens to us; if anything, after we die. Muslims worst enemies are 'other' Muslim denominations, who continue killing each other daily, usually when they are in mosques, & the tyranny of absolute monarchs & brutal dictators.


  4. Everything on earth is already the kingdom of Allah .. what Allah wants is to enforce his law all over the world … Allah gave us this life so why not sacrifice our lives in his way and he promised us a much better return in hereafter, Jannah(paradise) !

  5. Muhammad Ammar Younus
    nice saying..!!!
    our life is for ALLAH and only ALLAH..!!!

  6. Muhammad Ammar Younus crazy nonsense

  7. Lifeguard Steve says:

    Muhammad Ammar Younus You are a fool to believe in Satan order. why would God that has power ever instruct human to fight for his curse ?… Hho is responsible for Tsunami, Earthquake, Heat wave, Thunder and Flooding if so ?…. If the allah was a true God that created mankind, why not him flood away the disbeliever's himself than for him to instruct Muslims to fight for him ?.. You are sick with quran syndrome. find a red cross doctor to immunize you.

  8. Lifeguard Steve says:

    Hammad Mallick For you, you sickness is hallucinating… There's no Allah, and if any exist, consider it a falsehood and an Antichrist who lead ignorant Muslims to hell…

  9. Khaqan Ahmed says:

    Danish Fayaz

  10. Joseph Weber says:

    Apparently, well in the way I see it, pretty much all Muslims, of whom Obama is one, are currently, and have been for some time, disembowling the very essence of their belief system. Respect others of different faiths. Just as Christians have turned their backs on Christ, Muslims have turned their backs on Allah! Both sides are betrayers.

  11. I suggest you read “Let there be no compulsion in religion” in context too. It's obvious that it doesn't mean what you seem to imply it means if you read the context.

  12. Kokopella Karebear says:

    "man" gave you all these laws (religious or otherwise)……….."man" interprets these laws to you and " man" perverts these same laws for their own gains

  13. Kokopella Karebear says:

    And when everyone starts thinking the same way as you "EARTH community " and not what differences are in Countries, states, territories ,tribes, sects ,and on and on and on,, we might get somewhere for the sake of the planet given us.

  14. Muhammad Ammar Younus yes you are rite he is our creater even he can do injustice with us n no one can ask him why you did that……………..

  15. Omair Hameed says:

    Muhammad Ammar Younus My dear brother,
    if God wills he just has to say it to happen and it will. There is no need of us to enforce anything on anyone.
    And please read the verses and understand it, before posting misguiding comments. He is All powerful, All Merciful.

    I suggest you read the verses of Quran from authentic translator or institute.

  16. You preach peace, but it is far from you

  17. Blckbull UN says:

    this is what you think but the reality is different

  18. Blckbull UN says:

    Steen Kærsgaard it seems u r nonsence

  19. Abu Sulayman says:

    Where is your authority regarding this interpretation of the verse?

  20. Abu Sulayman exactly my dear. so only person with your religious authority can interpret and do whatever atrocity he can on the non believer. a holy book must have universally acceptable meaning and not a subject of interpretation by any two legged mortal

  21. Muhammad Ammar Younus so you come back to square. ie entire world is allah's kingdom and it is the duty of believers to make sure to eliminate non believers. in intuth t is your duty to eliminate me. that is what a musli must nurture , no matter hw he pretends.

  22. this is what you think but the reality is different

  23. President Obama is not Muslim…

  24. Nate Jeisman says:

    Soundara Rajan please tell me of the interpretation of the bible then? how is it – if it is universally interpreted that there are so many sects of the same religion?

  25. Anyone else hate how websites take everything out of context and someone who wants to learn about idlam goes there and dowsnt bother to read context

  26. Rachael Livengood says:

    No, Simon is right. I'm tired of watching Islamic murderers kill innocent children. Pigs and cowards all of them. And what gets me the most, the rest of you cowards are silent, and don't stand up to denounce it. Silence is consent.

  27. Rachael Livengood says:

    Muhammad Ammar Younus You don't get to force your beliefs on others. End of story.

  28. La Keesha Vega says:

    Rachael Livengood what about the Christian murderers? Are you sick of them too? Do you stand up and denounce our government when they commit vile acts of wanton destruction base upon lies? Do you stand up and denounce our crippled justice system and or antiquated mental health system which is not helping the sick and ill who commit heinous mass murders RIGHT here? Most of whom are Christian and many of them with victims who are children? if you're going to denounce it denounce it ALL and don't lump all who follow a faith into that massive pile it's hypocritical and racist. Not all followers of Islam are murderers just like not all white people are racists not all black people are criminals not all Christians are good people not all school shooters are white teenage boys and not all Americans are responsible for the decimation of indigenous religions and cultures.

  29. Ammar Canani says:

    Rachael Livengood Ayatollah sistani has made jihad against ISIS … people do stand up.

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