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REUVEN FIRESTONE, Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). Pp. 206. $25.00 cloth.

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2002

Extract

The Qurءan contains numerous verses dealing with the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims. Some exhort the Muslims to summon the non-Muslims to Islam through peaceful discussions (e.g., Q16:125), whereas others instruct them to fight the unbelievers unconditionally (e.g., Q2:216, Q9:5). In the chapters on jihad, Muslim jurists resolved these contradictions by claiming that these verses were the expression of successive stages in the policy of the early Muslim community with regard to the non-Muslims. According to this theory, the verses instructing the Muslims to summon the unbelievers to Islam by peaceful means are the oldest. Those permitting the Muslims to fight the unbelievers because they have been wronged and expelled from their homes (Q22:39–40), revealed immediately after the Hijra, mark a turning point, after which defensive warfare was allowed. The final stage, according to traditional Muslim exegesis, began at a later but unspecified date and was inaugurated by verses unconditionally ordering the believers to wage war on the non-Muslims (e.g., Q2:216, Q9:5). These last verses, often called “Sword Verses,” were regarded as having abrogated all previous revelations on the subject of the relations with the unbelievers.

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© 2002 Cambridge University Press

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REUVEN FIRESTONE, Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). Pp. 206. $25.00 cloth.
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REUVEN FIRESTONE, Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). Pp. 206. $25.00 cloth.
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REUVEN FIRESTONE, Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). Pp. 206. $25.00 cloth.
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