Responses to anti-Islamic Polemics

Does the Quran Command The Muslims To Go And Behead Non-Believers?

One often-quoted verse used against Muslims is that of Surah 8, ayat 12. The verse reads as:

Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.”

So Islamophobes claim that this verse proves that Islam promotes terrorism and that the Quran orders Muslims to go and chop people’s heads off along with their fingertips.

However so, had they bothered to do some basic research, they would find out that this verse was referring to a SPECIFIC BATTLE. The verse is talking about a battle that took place, the battle of Badr.

Al-Maududi’s introduction to this Surah writes:


The Surah takes its name AL-ANFAL (The Bounties) from the first verse.

The Period of Revelation

It was revealed in 2 A. H. after the Battle of Badr, the first battle between Islam and kufr. As it contains a detailed and comprehensive review of the Battle, it appears that most probably it was revealed at one and the same time. But it is also possible that some of the verses concerning the problems arising as a result of this Battle might have been revealed later and incorporated at the proper places to make it a continuous whole. At any rate, in the whole Surah there is nothing that might show that it is a collection of a couple of discourses, that have been patched up together.  (

Let see what Ibn Kathir’’s commentary had to say regarding this verse:

Allah commands the Angels to fight and support the Believers

Allah said next,

((Remember) when your Lord revealed to the angels, “Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed.”)

This is a hidden favor that Allah has made known to the believers, so that they thank Him and are grateful to Him for it. Allah, glorified, exalted, blessed and praised be He, has revealed to the angels — whom He sent to support His Prophet, religion and believing group — to make the believers firmer. Allah’s statement,

(I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved.) means, `you — angels — support the believers, strengthen their (battle) front against their enemies, thus, implementing My command to you. I will cast fear, disgrace and humiliation over those who defied My command and denied My Messenger, f

(so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes.) strike them on their foreheads to tear them apart and over the necks to cut them off, and cut off their limbs, hands and feet. It was said that,

(over the necks) refers to striking the forehead, or the neck, according to Ad-Dahhak and `Atiyyah Al-`Awfi. In support of the latter, Allah commanded the believers,

(So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah’s cause) those who disbelieve, smite (their) necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, take them as captives).) [47:4]

Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said, “In the aftermath of Badr, the people used to recognize whomever the angels killed from those whom they killed, by the wounds over their necks, fingers and toes, because those parts had a mark as if they were branded by fire.” Allah said,

(and smite over all their fingers and toes.)

Ibn Jarir commented that this Ayah commands, “O believers! Strike every limb and finger on the hands and feet of your (disbelieving) enemies.” Al-`Awfi reported, that Ibn `Abbas said about the battle of Badr that Abu Jahl said, “Do not kill them (the Muslims), but capture them so that you make known to them what they did, their ridiculing your religion and shunning Al-Lat and Al-`Uzza (two idols).” Allah than sent down to the angels,

(Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes.)

In that battle, Abu Jahl (may Allah curse him) was killed along with sixty-nine men. `Uqbah bin Abu Mua`it was captured and then killed, thus bring the death toll of the pagans to seventy,

So as you can see, these events were taking place during a battle, and the stipulations of these commands were meant for battle. Now during the course of a battle in those days you would aim for the neck to get an immediate blow, and off course you would also aim for their fingers, taking out the fingers of the opposing soldier would neutralize him as he wouldn’t be able to properly carry or use his sword anymore. That’s how battles were fought back then, end of story.

32 replies »

  1. While I accept the above, what I do not understand is were the Titan corporation workers who were beheaded in these video’s, done so in battle as it is suggested that they were “kidnapped” while deficient of a sword (or any weapon to show a stance of battle it might be said)?
    Do Muslims accept that these workers were at war or simply working in a foreign country like many Muslims do in non Muslim countries (and are allowed to without threat for there lives by non Muslims)?
    If Muslims do not believe they were at battle, why were they beheaded and who by?

    • ow please shut up. Many Muslims out there don’t really follow Islam properly, most Muslims do things against Islam so these terrorist groups out there who are killing innocent people are doing things against islam.

      • How do creepy sadistic sexually dysfunctional Islamists have the gall to say non Muslims should be crucified or beheaded because they don’t believe in Islam? I put Anjem Chowdary in this category, but there are many others. I would recommend castration for all Islamist terrorists. They are mentally unstable monsters. The Creator made humans with free will. Who are these vile disgusting demons to take it away from anyone? The Day of Judgment is coming. When Christ the Saviour casts this excrement out, it will be because they hate Him and His kind.

    • The bible tells me that Jesus Christ came not for the believers, but for the unbelievers that they might believe and be saved; but, the Quran says kill the unbelievers because obviousely the quran is a colonisation plan designed to have muslims dominate the world and practice sharia even against the democratic right of the people. The Bible tells me that God has called us into a life of freedom, giving us life and death to choose from but, that we should choose life that we shall live but, the quran says it will inflict terror on people simply because they exercised the discretion of right to believe. Their is only one true God and that is the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. His aim of the creation of man according to Genesis is for man to have dominion over the earth, not through violence, terrorism, force or beheading but, through the gospel of His word. That word is sharper than any two edged sword cutting into the divide of assunder of the bone and the marrow and is the discerner of the intent of the heart of man. God proves His might through His word in me, not the dagger in my hand!

  2. Where they killed by al-qa’ida inspired types. One very sad thing about some modern extremist violent muslim groups is that they have very loose concepts of who are legitimate targets for attacks. Workers, tradesmen, tourists etc should not be attacked in muslim countries period, I do not know any serious muslim scholar who would allow this, even if that persons country may be involved in violence against muslims. The problem is that since many leaders in muslim countries do not rule by Islam, som excuse for doing whatever they want, since state-power is illegitimate (In a muslim country). Extremists are often attached to views of people who have a lot of anger (rightfully in many cases due to foreign invasions and opression) but are not firmly grounded in their knowledge of islamic law and have confused understandings of some issues.

    This is my understanding, and I seek Allahs forgiveness if I have stated something wrong.

    In my view, and believethat the overwhelming majority of muslims would agree with me, those workers, if they where peaceful workers should definetly not have been killed or harmed,, regardless of whether they came from a country that is making war in some muslim country or not.

  3. Some grammatical errrors and spelling misstakes. I apologize, but I think my point is clear anyway.

  4. There is absolutely no excuse for the vile behaviour displayed today in London.
    Shame on all Muslims for allowing this to represent you to the world at large.
    You must demand all of your clerics to command the followers of Islam to cease and desist.
    This is not acceptable in any country on earth. Stop doing this to others.

    • Well wait now BronwynH. Why should shame be on all Muslims? These men acted alone. They have been condemned by the UK Muslim community. Do you think all shame is on the White UK Non Muslims for the racist attacks of the EDL on immigrants? Or how about shame being on all Whites in the UK for the UK’s military involvement in the killing of Muslims in the allied invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan? ( which is what these men claimed was their motive). If you don’t think all whites in the UK or anywhere else should have shame on them for the EDL or the UK’s military actions in the allied invasions, then there should be no shame on all Muslims either.

    • And take your own charge to your own people, Stop doing what you and your people do to others. Stop the invasions, stop the Drone killings of civilians, stop the Jet fighter bombings, stop the war mongering. This is not acceptable in any country on earth, yet western power do it with impunity ,and yet you come to tell Muslims what to stop doing?

  5. “This is not acceptable in any country on earth”. Madam or sir, I fully agree, and I am sure most other Muslims in Europe do as well. Many, many clerics have been condeming these sorts of acts for so long now, repeatedly. What more can we do?. there are almost two billion Muslims on earth. You can not hold us all collectively responsible for the acts of few extremists and lunatics, it is not fair, and I am sure that you realise this as well, but you are very upset which is perfectly understandable.

    Also, you must ask yourself what the motivation behind such acts may be. That is not to say that anything would justify it, not at all, but one must understand the causeor causes.

    It is not: ‘all muslims are evil and believe terrorism and murder is perfectly ok’.

    It has alot to do with U.K foreign policy in countries like Afghanistan. Some Western analysts aknowledge this as well. For example there wasan article on this in the Guardian recently.

    I think Muslims should work with non-muslims against violence and extremism and the west. Organisations like MDI and other can teach and write against it, and individuals can write and preach against it, but that is the most they can do. I assure you that if I saw someone Muslim or Non-Muslim trying to stab anyone on the streets here in Sweden, or anywhere else I would try my best do dissarm that person.

    Sincerely yours

  6. OK!

    How did Abu Bakr, Umar & Khalid apply the teachings of Qur’an?

    They did EXACTLY what was taught in Qur’an & Mohammedans having doing the same ever since!



  7. if you look at it like this only one soldier died and people are so worried, in other hand british and American soldiers have killed thousands of muslims daily in muslim countries and it does not make a difference to them if they went pakistan to do that the whole American army would be beheaded, Woolwich attack was just a warning

  8. This argument in no way refutes the position that Muslims are to kill non-believers. The claim that the ayat in question only refers to a specific battle is not upheld by the writer’s own words.. At best all you can say is that it was revealed during the battle of Badr. Everything else in his argument supports the position of killing people for just not believing. The convenient timing of the revelation is nothing to be surprised about. Further, many more Muslim terrorists take verses like this to mean what they say than do Islamophobes. In fact, when Muslim commentators play the Islamophobe card it’s usually a sign that they want you to look somewhere else (like they do).

    • Because Jesus introduced “Love and Peace” to mankind which they can’t obey; war and deceptions and violence all over the world reigns.

  9. Quran 8:12 which says, “When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

    Obedience to the Quran is the reason given by the Muslims for beheading whether you admit it or not.

    • ISIS is an extremist group with little knowledge of the quran but they are blind followers of a cleric who gives wrong fatwas. They can look at Muhammed S.A.W example on how he punished those jews (Banu Nazir) who helped the Quraysh in the battle of Badr and not the other Jewish tribes (banu Qurayza and one other) because they were not responsible (they were expelled later when the also conspired). the ISIS is also killing Muslims who do not support them while Muahmmed S.A.W entered Makkah with an army of 10,000 muslims but forgave the quraysh who had been the worst enemies of Islam including Abu Sufyan. Muhammed S.A.W had a strong relation with his uncle but his uncle was killed by a slave who took out his liver and gave it to Hinta to chew it but muhammed S.A.W also forgave her and the slave.This shows us that if our Prophet S.A.W could forgive such enemies then ISIS can and are commanded to live in peace with fellow peaceful muslims and non muslims……..Do not let 500,000 people represent 1,000,000,000 people

  10. would just like to add that most people who happen to disagree with an ideology or express a dislike for a particular belief system aren’t bigots or “phobes”. The politically correct atmosphere is stiffling and not the answer to the arising problems… political correct does not replace plain old correct and healthy open honest discussion is not bad. PC will not substitute for true MUTUAL respect either… we would benefit by not throwing these labels around so willy nilly. It is creating a terrible environment that is pretty much becoming the same censorship the PC ppl like to pretend they are against. Peace to all.

  11. I am a Christian lady, and I believe in Jesus Christ, the Savior, who was sent by Father God to be the Sin Bearer or Messiah of all people. He performed many miracles and preached that we should love God and each other. I just don’t understand why Muslims call anyone who isn’t a Muslim but who believes in God by a different name, why are we called ‘infidels’? An infidel is an atheist, or someone who does not believe in God at all. Many millions believe in God, but don’t call their God the same name as Muslims do.

  12. This is a crazy religion. How much this blog is trying to justify what is said in the Quran, be it a battle or not a religious leader should not spread hatred. I follow buddhism and my philosopher preached us the followers to question what he has preached and follow it only if we are convinced enough. I have many Muslim friends who treat each other with respect. However if this is said in the Quran all Islam religious leaders should get together and correct it.

  13. all religion causes death. in this day and age do you really believe when you die you go to some magical place and continue to live? islam was created by an arab for the arabs. do they really believe they are the chosen ones? of course they do, like every other religion that has ever existed. the problem is islam is the most evil religion to exist up to this point, period. until religion is abolished, sickening beheadings and recommended rape of children will continue. religion is sick, but especially islam.

  14. When something takes this much explaining, and includes the necessity of attaching it’s meaning to a specific battle, but does not explain that ………then isn’t the literal interpretation the most operative. Whether a lawyer, administrator, historian, academic, it doesn’t matter. The text is not set in the context or syntax that that is ascribed by the apologist writing this article. The bottom line is that this Qu’ran is advocating for the killing of non-believers in a wholesale sense. If this were not the case, the text would blatantly say that this instruction was only for and within the context of the Battle of Badr. The fact that the Qu’ran does not explicitly state that is indeed the point so many are trying to make. The Qu’ran openly directs all Muslims to kill all non-believers as their duty. At some point, this needs to be addressed on a world wide scale. Otherwise, we face a totalitarian dystopia that will require grave means.

  15. In my thought and knowledge, i heard that our Prophet Muhammed S.A.W.(Peace be upon him) is very honest and kind with the enemy, although he have been hitted by stone in his feet by the enemy and he not let the blood to drip in the earth because he afraid Allah will send punishment for the enemy for injuring his beloved Prophet. From this we can study that Allah don’t like killing human. If really Allah have order to kill the unbelievers then ofcourse our Prophet Muhammed S.A.W. was doing it. Our prophet Muhammed S.A.W. always try his best to give the right way of understanding to the enemy although they betrayed him many. He always kind with the enemy. But when he was facing a war against enemy, he fight only for saving the human, not just only for saving muslim. He save many enemies in war and after seeing his kindness the enemy from his own accepted the way of our Prophet Muhammed S.A.W.. This is what i beleive is a real Islam.
    It is only Allah’s right’s to take judgement on believers and unbelievers. That is why he have created the Hell & Heaven.

    I am sorry if i have any mistake my comment, i apologize for it. I don’t have many knowledge about Islam.

  16. Love is the key period regardless what religión u praise pray for a better tomorow lead our children to the best path stop the hatred leads to distruction love one another always

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