The West cannot win the war on terror without first understanding the religious imperative driving Jihadists, the Church of Uganda’s director of Muslim Evangelism writes.
Most Muslims around the world have said that terrorism does not exist in Islam and is a misinterpretation of Islam. This sounds true because the Quran makes no mention of terrorism. But it does speak of Jihad. The world can only succeed in this war when it recognizes that it must fight Jihad rather than fight terrorism. Terrorism is a war without a definition in Islam. That is why Jihadists deny they are terrorists but say they are engaged in Jihad for Allah. By defining the war in terms of terrorism, the West has lost the debate. It has given given Muslim leaders the ability to deny a connection between their faith and the fighting, while also allowing room for the growth of Jihad among Muslims who see this an ideological war sanctioned by Allah in the Quran.
Because of the misinterpretation of Jihad to terrorism, Jihadist groups have emerged in any countries, including Uganda. In November 1996 the Jihadist group ADF infiltrated Uganda from the DRC. Reports in August 2013 of a police raid on an ADF camp broadcast on Uganda Television and a 15 August 2015 Red Paper brought to public attention the training by Jihadists of Ugandan Muslim children to become future terrorists. This war cannot be fought by the gun since it’s a war of Faith. The more guns are used, the more devoted Muslims “as the Quran refers to them” will love to die as martyrs for Allah, believing this to be the only way to please Allah in accordance to the Quran.
This war can be fought by the Church since it’s a faith based war as I will demonstrate in this paper.
These are some of the Quranic foundations of Jihad
JIHAD ORDAINED FOR MUSLIMS
Surah 2 Al-Baqarah Aya 216: “Jihad (Holy fighting in Allah’s cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it and it might be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know. So Jihad is ordained for Muslims to bring the whole World under the rule of Allah as we read Surah 8 Al Anfal Aya 39: And fight them until their is o more fitnah (disbelief and Polytheism, i.e worshiping others beside Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshiping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-seeing of what they do. The spiritual motive of Jihad is bring the whole world under the rule of Allah and that’s why most Muslim say the Quran is the World’s future constitution. This word can be seen on one of the buildings in Kampala the capital city of Uganda near the Old Tax Park.
The Islamic writers of the Noble Quran (written in Saudi Arabia) have put a commentary on Jihad interpreting Surah 2 Al Baqarah Aya 216 in reference to the commentary in the footnotes of Surah 2 Al Baqarah Aya 190: “Al-Jihad (Holy fighting) in Allah’s cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of it’s pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established. Allah’s word is made superior. (His word being la ilaha illalah which means none has the right to be worshiped but Allah), and his religion (Islam) is propagated. By abandoning Jihad, (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honor is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim and he who tries to escape from this duty dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.
Personal Benefits of Jihad from Allah
The assurance of Paradise: Surah 9 At Tauba Aya 111: ‘Verily Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their Properties for (the price) that theirs shall be Paradise. They fight in Allah’s cause, so they kill (others and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Quran. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success. This Aya gives the depth of why a Muslim must join Jihad. They are purchased by Allah to kill and be killed in return he will give them paradise. Osama bin laden founded suicide bombing on this Aya as the easy way to kill and be killed. In this Aya Allah implicates the Bible Taurat (Books of the Law) and the Injeel (Gospel) showing that it’s how he takes people to paradise even in the Gospel and to make Muslims think he is the same God of the Bible. Eternal life in the Gospel is given by believing in the Son of God. John 3:16,18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes him may not perish but have eternal life. Verse 18: Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he does not believe in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Honor from Allah and salvation: Surah 9 Al Tawbah Aya 20 Those who believed (in the oneness of Allah- Islamic monotheism) and emigrated and strove hard and fought in Allah’s cause with their wealth and their lives are far higher in degree with Allah and they are the successful.
Forgiveness of sins from Allah. Surah 61 Saf Aya 10-12: “O you who believe! Shall I guide you to the trade that shall save you from a painful torment? That you believe in Allah and his Messenger (Muhammad) and that you strive hard and fight in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives: that will be better for you, if you but know! (If you do so) he will forgive you your sins, and admit you into gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwellings in And (Eden) Paradise; that is indeed the great success.”
Surah 9 At Taubah Aya 29: “Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the last day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and his messenger (Muhammad and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the scriptures (Jews and Christians) until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission and fell themselves subdued.” So it’s a directive in the Quran to fight Christians as the world has witnessed with the ISIS killing of Christians in Iraq, Syria and Egyp. with Al Shabab in Kenya and Boko Haram in Nigeria and ADF in Eastern DRC who attacked Uganda from 1996.
One may ask why the Sunnis and Shias are killing one another? The reason is over the definition of authentic Islam; who is a true Muslim? The Sunni believe in Muhammad’s succession by election and Shias believe in his succession by descent. So they look at one another as non-believers and each sect looks at the other as worthy of death.
In the Hadith Muhammad declared Jihad a mission ordered by Allah
In the Hadith: Sahiih Al-Bukhari Vol 1 Hadith No 42 Narrated Ibn Umar: Allah’s messenger said, I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people till they testify that la ilaha illallah wa anna Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah (none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah). These are the direct declarations that force Muslims into Jihad just as the prophet says. That’s why after the Paris attack that claimed 129 People, the ISIS said those who died were Pagans. So in Islam you don’t believe but you surrender as Muhammad claimed that’s why instead of preaching about Allah, the fight to force People into submitting to Allah.
Most Muslims who hate this are not supposed to ask why because when you begin questioning the Quran you are practicing paganism. In Surah 2 Al-Baqarah Aya 108: Or do you want to ask your Messenger as Musa (Moses) was asked before (i.e. show us openly our Lord)? And he who changes Faith for disbelief, verily, he has gone astray from the right way.
How the Church can defeat Jihad.
Allah in the Quran falsely connects Jihad to the Gospel in Surah 9:111 as we previously read. Islam teaches that even in the Gospels Jihad is how Allah gives Paradise to men after killing and being killed. Most Muslims are convinced by this verse that Jihad is not only mandated in the Quran but even in the Gospel and the Torah (books of the law). It is in response to these claims the Church must preach the forgiveness of our sins and assurance of eternal life that has been worked for us by Jesus as he gave his life for us. Mathew 26:28 This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
So long as the Gospel is quoted in the Quran, it gives us an opportunity to present the Gospel to Muslims. The Quran presents Isa as the son of Mary who was not crucified: Surah 4 Al-Nisa Aya 157. But Isa does not mean Jesus in the Arabic Bible. Jesus is Yasua which is translated from Hebrew Name Yeshua. Christians need to help Muslims know that the one who was crucified is not Isa but Yasua which he did to fulfill his name as brought down by the angel Gabriel: Mattth 1:21 “She will give birth to a Son and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins”. So it’s true Isa was not crucified but Yasua was crucified and Isa in the Quran has nothing to do with the Jesus (Yasua) found in the Bible.
Muslims are devoted to Allah through the religion called Islam. However the God of the Bible does not relate to us through a religion but by covenant. Beginning with Abraham we see God making covenants until the final covenant of Jesus, whose blood paid the penalty of our sins. The difference is that in a religion you work for your salvation and that’s why Muslims are planning all these killing to secure their salvation and forgiveness. But in a covenant, we enter into God’s salvation already purchased for us by his son.
It should be said that the more Christians keep quite with this truth, either because of fear or unconcern, the more Muslims will believe that what they claim is the truth. But when you bring out the reality to them then you break down this passion to kill because the Quran instructs them that if they are to be saved on Judgment day they must believe in the Quran and the Bible. Surah 4 Al-Nisa Aya 157: “O you who believe! Believe in Allah and his Messenger (Muhammad) and the Book (the Quran) which he has sent down to his Messenger, and the Scriptures (Books) which he sent down before (him); and whosoever disbelieves in Allah His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the last day, then indeed he has strayed far away.”
May God bless you as we still fulfill the Great Commission
Musa Baluku Syamutsangira is the Church of Uganda’s provincial coordinator of Muslim evangelism.
(Edited by G Conger)