Saturday, 9 July 2016

War and Peace/ general and specific

As a book, the Qur'an stands out by the shear amount of self-referential passages that are contained within it. This is one of its modern miracles.

For the Qu'an does talk both about war and peace. And some may argue more of war than peace.

But then every rationalist when he approaches a document should always approach it at face value.
And Qur'an says of itself:
S4, v82: "Do they not then consider the Quran carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradictions."

Therefore the need for interpretation can be deduced. But once again, to leave you in no doubt about it's logical source of clarity, the Qur'an makes explicit what is already implied.

S39, v18:
"Those who listen to the Word (the Qur'an), and follow the best (meaning) in it: those are the ones whom Allah has guided, and those are the ones endued with understanding."

So if we take the Qur'an at face value, which we should do if we claim unbiased rationality, would mean that the Qur'an cannot be an advocate of both war and peace.

And then as the exegetes (interpreters) from before said in relation to interpretation that significant question to ask of revelation is it's occasion, whether it is of the Meccan or Medinan period, and also whether it is specific or general in its application.

The one verse that comes to mind that relates to version of Islam that advocates peace is

"Thus, have We made of you a Nation justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves;"

This verse does not advocate war, but advocates tolerance between Nations and the ways of Nations.

How can this verse not be taken except in a general and universal manner.

I knew of this verse before I looked for it to both verify and then copy and paste it here.

On finding it I was awed by it's position in the Qur'an, for it is found in S Baqara. This chapter is the largest in the Qur'an and is also the first. The virtues of reciting in your home are well documented.

Essentially S. Baqara lays the foundations of an Islamic society and a Nation.

So that the verses of war contained in it are in response to specific situations and the default position is peace and security.

Shafees


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