The Disturbing View of Hatred and Forgiveness in the Qur’an

ziggurat in Ur; the location of the Tower of Babel

ziggurat in Ur; the location of the Tower of Babel

Genesis 11:26 When Terah had lived seventy years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. 31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sar′ai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chal′deans to go into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran, they settled there.

Genesis 12

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.”

Terah began to take the family to Canaan but stopped and never made it. Then God called Abraham to go the rest of the way and he obeyed God. God promised to bless Abraham and to make him a blessing and all the families of the earth would bless themselves.  Robert Spencer, in his book Not Peace But a Sword points out that when Abraham is put forth as a model of behavior for Muslims it is disturbing.

When Abraham is leaving Haran for Canaan the Qur’an says,
We are quit of you and that you serve, apart from God. We disbelieve in you, and between us and you enmity has shown itself, and hatred forever, until you believe in God alone. (60:4)
Here, Abraham is honored for the fervor of his faith in the one true God for declaring ENMITY AND HATRED FOREVER toward those who do not believe as he does.
This is a root of bitterness that bears the fruit of murder. This is fundamentally opposed to the Christian doctrine of loving others, evangelizing them but if they do not convert, love them anyway. They are Children of God and loved by God just as much as I am. This is opposed to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It is opposed to what Jesus said:
  1. Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

  2. Luke 6:27“But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

An interior struggle we all must wage is against giving in to this very human and Muslim tenent of hating those who hate us. It is easy to hate those who hate, persecute or oppose our points of view. It is difficult and virtuous to love our enemy; to love those who hate us, to love those who persecute us; to love those who disagree with us. But this is not true of Islam.

In the same passage the reader of the Qur’an is cautioned against emulating Abraham when he forgave his pagan father.

Except that Abraham said unto his father, ‘Certainly I shall ask pardon for thee, but i have no power to do aught for thee against God.’ (60:4)

Abraham’s hatred and enmity towards pagans is to be emulated but not praying for forgiveness and  pardon for pagans, even when it is your own father. No doubt there is disagreement on the interpretation of this passage among Muslims. But Spencer quotes the Tafsir al-Jalalayn a venerable and respected commentary on the passage:

This is “an exception where the excellent example (of Abraham) is concerned, meaning that you should not imitate him by asking for forgiveness for unbelievers.”

Here is the root problem. Christians and Jews are to love our enemies but Muslims are to hate their enemies. In addition to this forgiveness of those who do not believe as you do is discouraged. No wonder parents kill their children who convert to Christianity or fathers kill their daughters (honor killing) if they dishonor their fathers. Now I understand the mindset even though it is very scary.
So, voluntary and peaceful reconciliation will not be possible . Only evangelization and conversion could possibly dig up this root of bitterness firmly implanted in the radicalized Muslim mind. The only real protection we have in the meantime is the use of force and hope they leave us alone if we leave them alone.

3 Responses

  1. One author of a christian book says that the religion created by Mohammed 700 years after Christ is a protest of Christianity during his time which is opposed to the teaching of the god of Abraham and Israel wherein the altar of the Christians were full of idols of Mary and the Apostles. Out of hatred to the apostate church Mohammed propagated a religion of belief of one God only. What is very disturbing is why after the conquer of Turkey by the Muslim, this country has never came back to their original Christian religion. Turkey is the site of the 7 churches mentioned in Revelation and Paul stayed there in his 3 missionary journeys for quite long and wrote the letter to the Galatians. How do you react to that?

    • Paul,
      It is a just matter of time. In A.D. 711 the muslims invaded and conquered Spain. It took over 800 years to expell the muslim rulers from the Iberian Peninsula (Europe). In A.D. 1453 Constantinople fell. Having defied repeated Muslim attacks for 780 years, — the long-coveted capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and eastern centre of Christianity (Byzantium) — finally fell into the Muslim hands.

      • hi hoc_est, thanks but what do you mean by it is a matter of time?What I mean is from AD 30 to AD 711 Turkey is a Christian nation. Based on Israels history, they were invaded by around six great empires but still they remain believers of Jehovah or the God of Abraham.until Christ was born. It would be unusual to see that the Christian’s faith was conquered by physical war which supposedly cannot be conquered even by spiritual warfare,if it is the true church of God. Right now there is freedom of religion in Turkey, however Christians belief has become a minority. What happened to the seed sown by Paul?

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