Excerpt taken from "Who is this Allah?", pages 23-39

Copyright © 2008 by G.J.O Moshay. Reproduced by permission.



We MUST bear in mind that Islam is spiritual, so a mere academic discussion will lead us nowhere. It is easy for those who only hear about the violence and mysticism in Islam to explain away the religion on exegetical levels. The other easy way out is to find a political explanation.

But violence in Islam is real and is spiritual. This is very serious, yet it is a fact. No matter how trenchant this may be, many honest Muslims are ready to examine the facts and apply reason and not just get flared up emotionally.

Many Muslims are embarrassed about the violence done in the name of their religion and explain that Islam is being misrepresented by these violent people. We honestly wish this were so.

We often hear that Islam is a religion of peace; that only the extremists are violent. But we rarely ask ourselves whether what we say about a religion is according to history or our expectation of the religion, or according to the modern slogans of Islamic leaders and our politicians.


The history of Islam, written by the most respected and earliest Muslim historians does not show the kind of Islam Americans expect. The sacred books of Islam, the Qur’an and the body of tradition called the Hadith, show clearly the real Islam. Any other “Islam” is our own imaginations and expectations.

In this chapter, we will show that the actions of Islamic terrorists are not necessarily because they are evil. Rather, it is because of who they believe to be “God” speaking in the Qur’an. They follow his clear instruction and motivation.

Islam is what the founder of the religion says it is, and not what politicians and American academics think it is. The best example of Islam is not seen in any modern man, but in its founder.

Many of Muslims are nice people who normally would not practice violence. But the more a Muslim studies and understands the Qur’an, and the history of Islam’s founder, the more he realizes that non-Muslims must be forced to accept Islam or be subjugated if they ignore the religion.

In this chapter, we will see the teaching of the Qur’an on “the peace” of Islam; and the founder’s position on terrorism.


Matters on religion are complex. In a speech on the need for the peaceful co-existence of Muslims and Christians, particularly in Nigeria, former military ruler General Ibrahim Babangida of Nigeria wrote:

It may be a theological question whether God reveals himself or he reveals religion through his messenger, his prophet or his son. Irrespective of the position one takes on this issue, one should be reasonable enough to know that God, like the father of any household, can never be satisfied with members of the family who quarrel, fight, undermine and sometimes kill one another in his name.[1]

Many people know what they think God is supposed to be, yet may be serving a wrong “God” with all sincerity. Many find themselves in a system that is difficult to leave. Others do not see the need to leave their religious system because they are ignorant of the deception they have fallen into. But if they will patiently journey through the pages of this book, they may have to rethink what they believe.

General Babangida’s pronouncement was made from an honest mind: “...God can never be satisfied with quarreling, fighting, undermining, killing in his name.” That is true. But which God? The Bible’s God, or Allah? Or are they the same? That is the real “theological question.”

The other “theological question” the General raised is the definition of “the family” and “the household.” Babangida is a Muslim, and he needs to remember that according to Islamic thought, there are two distinct households in the world: the Dar ul-Islam (‘household of Islam’), and Dar ul-Harb (‘household of non-Islam or war’).

Because they are two distinct households, they surely don’t have the same father. And because Christians are non-Muslims, they naturally belong to the latter household, the Dar ul-Harb.

So when Babangida says “the family,” “the household,” is he referring to the different sects in Islam, or to Christians and Muslims? Can he prove that Muslims are in the same family or household with Christians? Do the Qur’an or Hadith say so?

When a Muslim kills a Christian, is he killing “one another” or is he getting rid of a kaferi (infidel)? All these questions must be answered from the Qur’an and the Hadith and not from personal religious opinions.

When a Muslim says, “Islam has a full-fledged philosophy of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence,”[2] he is either deceiving or is not well informed about the history and teaching of his religion. When Christians or Western leaders say this, it is because they have been deceived.

Whatever we say about Islam must be established from the Qur’an and the Hadith. Some of us have studied the Qur’an from cover to cover again and again. We have also read many of the Hadiths. We have not seen this philosophy of tolerance and peace in these books.

The only verse a Muslim can confidently point to as “tolerant verse” in the Qur’an is Sura 2:256 which says in part, “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” But this statement was made at the early stage of Muhammad’s mission, when he was just settling down in Yathrib (Medina). Such an attitude was necessary to get the cooperation of the Jews and Christians who were in the majority in Yathrib.

Muhammad said he believed in all the Jewish prophets, and that he had not brought any new religion but the same things the old prophets of Israel had preached. At that time, he did not have enough people to wage a war. However, when he raised enough military manpower, he launched out against those he suspected did not believe in his religion.

Muslims are commanded by Allah (or whoever is speaking in the Qur’an) to smite the neck of anyone who does not accept the teachings of Islam. According to the verses, they would be helping Allah by so doing:

So when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah’s Cause), those who disbelieve smite at (their) necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until the war lays down its burden. Thus [you are ordered by Allah to continue in carrying out Jihad against the disbelievers till they embrace Islam (i.e. are saved from the punishment in the Hell-fire) or at least come under your protection], but if it had been Allah’s Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you)...[3]

In Sura 9:19 Allah explains that Jihad (with belief in Allah and the Last Day) attracts more rewards than other religious duties in Islam.

It is important to stress that much of our discussion is not from Western historians but from the Qur’an and Islamic traditions called the Hadith and from the present experiences in many parts of the world. Please check these references because most Muslims accuse non-Muslim writers of quoting the Qur’an out of context if they do not like the point being proven.

Even though many killings were done by Muslims when the religion came to Medina, not all Muslims were initially interested in fighting Jews, Christians or their fellow Mecca kinsmen, or looting their caravans to spread a religion.

In Sura 4:74-80, many Arab Muslims protested Muhammad’s call for Jihad (Muslim holy war), saying, “Our Lord! Why has thou ordered us to fight? (v. 77)” But Muhammad convinced them his command was directly from Allah.

Allah says Jihad is not just a religious duty but a profitable business (Sura 61:10-12). The Hadith says Jihad is:

...the best method of earning (blessings) both spiritual and temporal. If victory is won, there is enormous booty of a country, which cannot be equaled to any other source of income. If there is defeat or death, there is everlasting paradise...[4]

It is therefore clear that physical Jihad is NOT extremism or fanaticism but normal in Muhammad’s original Islam.


Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 says everyone:

“shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.”

Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 says the same thing about freedom of religion:

“...this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief...”

Islamic nations signed this Covenant, but many of them do not follow it. Some have a kind of “freedom of religion” in their constitutions, but it is not granted in practice. Their “freedom of religion” means freedom to join and remain a Muslim, but not freedom to leave Islam!

It is a criminal offence in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Mauritania, Qatar, Yemen and a few others for a Muslim to change his religion. To leave Islam is regarded as high treason and punishable by death.

Saudi Arabian citizen, Sidiq Mulallah, was beheaded by the Saudi government in September 1992 for changing his faith from Islam to Christianity.

Ghorban Tori, a convert from Islam to Christianity in Iran was arrested on 22 November 2005 by government security forces for this change of faith. A few hours later, he was found stabbed to death in front of his home.

In December 1990, Rev. Hussein Soodmand was hanged in an official execution by the Iranian authorities. He was buried in a cemetery for outcasts “where dogs go.” His offense: he left Islam for Christianity. Several such killings are going on, many of them secretly organized.

Are these Islamic governments extremists or they are practicing the Islam of Allah in the Qur’an? Let Allah speak:

They wish that you should reject Faith (Islam), as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So take not friends from them, till they emigrate in the Way of Allah (to Muhammad). But if they turn back (from Islam), take (hold) of them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither friends or helpers from them.[5]

According to this Islamic injunction, any Muslim who turns apostate, i.e. abandons Islam for another religion, must be killed; he is seen as a traitor, an enemy of Islam and the Prophet of Islam. Any Muslims, especially his immediate family members, have the power to plant their sword in him.

First, this sentence was used for non-Muslims who were converted to Islam and later turned away from it. Later it became a weapon against those born and raised in the religion.

An American Muslim who is not aware of this aspect of Islam may say, “You are misinterpreting the word of Allah and his messenger.” Let us hear the interpretation of the Prophet of Allah himself. In the Hadith of Al-Bukhari we read:

“The Prophet said: ‘If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.’”[6]

Now, do we need a Chief Imam to tell us the “real” meaning of this instruction?

This same Hadith of Al-Bukhari gives records of the execution of people who left Islam for another religion.[7] Here there are also strict warnings of death to those who might be contemplating leaving Islam.

In Volume 4, #814 of this Hadith, Muhammad says that when a Muslim abandons Islam, becomes a Christian, then dies and is buried, the earth will reject his corpse and keep throwing it out of the grave.

Even though Sura 16:106 says the apostate from Islam should be given over to the wrath of Allah, faithful Muslims are mandated by Allah to execute his wrath on wrongdoers.

An American Christian missionary once asked a Muslim what he would you do if his son became a Christian. “I’d cut his throat,” said the man.[8]

We know such is not the case in many families. But it is always very costly for anyone from a serious Islamic family to be converted, especially to the Christian faith. The more a man is familiar with what Allah says in the Qur’an and what Muhammad says in the Hadith, the more he sees his responsibility to deal with someone who leaves Islam.

From my own experience working among Muslims in many parts of the world, I can say that the greatest hindrance to a Muslim’s decision to follow Christ is FEAR of what other Muslims would do to them. Even when Muslims are convicted of their sins, or convinced of the truth of the Christian faith, they still fear the implications of conversion.

Most former Muslims who are Christians today have stories to tell in this regard.[9] Many of them are disowned. We know of a case of parents poisoning their daughter for denouncing Islam and becoming a Christian. A letter from someone who uses our books for evangelism among Muslims in an Islamic stronghold says:

...A man here got converted... and since he still lived in the family house, his parents (as usual here) parked all his personal belongings and put fire on them while he was away at his job.

What about a father who stripped his three daughters naked because they became Christian? He cast them out of the house and asked people to stone them. To worsen the sight, one of them was in her menstrual period. After, they were locked up in a room for three days without food or water. Then their father had their brother serve them poisoned rice. Because they did not die, their brother also gave his life to Christ.

Today, the three ladies are all married to pastors. The father, too, “soft-pedaled” later but was reluctant to confess the Christian faith openly because of what other Muslims would do to him.

These may be uncommon cases, but we must never imagine that such Muslim fathers were being unnecessarily wicked. They were simply being faithful to their religion.

Much of the incitement to violence and war in the Qur’an is directed against Jews and Christians who rejected the strange god Muhammad was preaching.

It wasn’t long before pagan Arabians submitted to Islam since Allah was one of several gods of the people. But Jews and Christians were recalcitrant, feeling they had a better God. They were reluctant to accept what they perceived as one of the pantheons of Arabia. They probably remembered the Scripture that “For ALL the gods of the people (in whatever guise) are idols...” [10]

In plain terms, Muhammad or Allah (or whoever is speaking in the Qur’an) says:

O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends, they are but friends to one another. And if any amongst you takes them as (friends), then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are unjust.[11]

In other words, any Muslim who becomes a Christian or even befriends a Christian, leaves the leadership and control of Allah. This is not Ghaddafi, Khomeini or Osma bin Laden talking. This is Allah talking through Muhammad.

So all Islamic leaders who come to some British or American church leaders for inter-faith co-operation are either defying the instructions of Allah or they have a hidden agenda. The Islam of the 7th century A.D. is the same today, probably under new guises as the situation demands.

It is the same tactic of “There is no compulsion in religion” that Muhammad first adopted to Christians and Jews that Muslims are using in the Western world today. First, they settle down as strangers. But when they are established, we may begin to see another side. This is their basic strategy:

Migrate to Christian areas because they are tolerant. Pretend to be peaceful, friendly and hospitable.

When you settle in, clamor for religious, political and social rights and privileges that Christians are not allowed in an Islamic country.

Breed fast and acquire much property. As you increase in a particular area, insist that there should be no Christian activities in your community. You may speak or write to discredit their religion, but they must not talk about Islam.

Expand your community; Christian activities should be restricted in all the places you expand to.

The moment you have enough military might against these “disbelievers,” these trinitarian kaferis, eliminate them or suppress them as much as you can, and be in control.

Where immediate invasion is not possible, that has always been the policy. There are so many incitements against Christians and non-Muslims running through the pages of the Qur’an we find it hard to believe that any practicing Muslim or follower of the Qur’an and the Hadith could not hate Christians in some way. It means he has not gotten the spirit of Islam.

If a Muslim expects to get rewards in the Muslim heaven how else should he behave but obey Allah in the Qur’an?

“Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward...
Hast thou not seen those unto whom it was said: Withold your hands, establish worship and pay the poordue (charity), but when fighting was prescribed for them behold! a party of them fear mankind even as their fear of Allah or with greater fear...”[12]

This indicates that submission to Allah is not just in prayers and zakat as some want us to believe, but in obedience to the order to kill in order to spread. Was this not the original Islam?

In the Hadith Mishkat,[13] the mother of Haritha was assured by Muhammad that Haritha had attained the highest garden in Paradise because he died while fighting for Islam. In the same Hadith, Muhammad also said:

He who dies without having fought, or having felt it to be his duty will die guilty of a kind of hypocrisy.
The last hour will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them.

How then can the Allah of Muhammad be the same God of the Jews? Muhammad continued:

Three people are all in Allah’s safekeeping: a man who goes out to fight in Allah’s path, who is in Allah’s safekeeping till Allah takes his soul and brings him to paradise, or sends him home with the reward or booty he has obtained...

Abu Dharr said he asked Muhammad what action was most excellent. He replied, “Faith in Allah and jihad (fighting) in His path.” The Hadith of Kanz Al-Muttaqi contains the following excerpts:

A day and a night of fighting on the frontier is better than a month of fasting and prayer.
Swords are the keys of Paradise.
Paradise is under the shadow of swords.
He who draws his sword in the path of Allah has sworn allegiance to Allah.
The unbeliever and the one who kills him will never meet in Hell.
Allah sent me as a mercy and a portent; He did not send me as a trader or as a cultivator. The worst community on the Day of Resurrection are the traders and the cultivators except those (of them) who are niggardly with their religion.
Go in the name of Allah and in Allah and in the religion of the Prophet of Allah! Do not kill the very old, the infant, the child or the woman. Bring all the booty, holding back no part of it. Maintain order and do good, for Allah loves those who do good.
If you find a tithe collector, kill him.[14]
Expel the Jews and the Christians from the Arabian Peninsula....[15]

Liberal Muslim scholars who are getting embarrassed by the amount of terrorism being perpetrated in the world today by Muslims try to explain Jihad away, saying physical fighting was never part of the “original” Islam, and that this was a misinterpretation of Allah’s injunction by some fanatical Muslims of this generation.

This is the same opinion of many American and European opinion leaders. The facts prove that this “original Islam” is something other than what Muhammad practiced and what is inside the Qur’an and the various Hadiths. Our beliefs about Islam should be based on what is in the Qur’an, the Hadith and the historical antecedents, and not what we think Islam should be.

Many Westerners are bothered about the Islamic terrorism in the world today because they are so engrossed in tolerance that they are ignorant of history. We have been paying dearly for this ignorance. Dr. Jane Smith of Harvard University clearly showed that even the term “Islam” did not originally mean “submission”[16].

In The Spiritual Background of Islam, Middle East scholar Dr. M. Bravmann reveals that the term “Islam” did not originally mean Muhammad’s religion or that of any Jewish patriarchal religion as claimed by Muslims. According to Dr. Bravmann, the word “Islam” was “a secular concept denoting a sublime virtue in the eyes of the primitive Arab; defiance of death, heroism; to die in battle.” The term denoted bravery in battle, not “peace” or “submission.”

Marshal Hodgson reminds us that the English word “assassin” is purely of Arabic origin. It was originally “Hashshashin,” (or assassinus in Latin) meaning “smokers of hashish.” It referred to a certain sect of Muslims in the 11th-13th centuries who took hashish (hemp) to receive enough energy to fight for Allah by killing non-Muslims.[17]

Islam is what it was in history and what it is today; it is not our personal opinions. What many of us today call normal Islam is our own creation and not the Islam of Muhammad.

[1]New Nigerian, Kaduna: October 19, 1988, p. 3.

[2] Babangida, I. B. “Man has Failed Islam and Christianity,” The Guardian, Lagos, August 14, 1992, p. 31.

[3] Sura 47:4 (Hilali and Khan).

[4]Mishkat Masabih Vol. II, p. 253, cited in Gerhard Nehls, A Guide to Muslim Evangelism, Life Challenge, Nairobi, p. 4.

[5] Sura 4:89 (Hilali and Khan).

[6] The Hadith of Al-Bukhari, The Translation of the Meaning of Sahih Al-Bukhari, translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Professor of Arabic language at the Islamic University of Medina, Vol. 5, #261.

[7] See Vol. 5, #630; also Vol. 9, #10-11, 26, 45-50, 341-342.

[8] Sumrall, Lester, Where Was God When Pagan Religions Began?, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1980, p. 138.

[9] Moshay, (ed). How We Found Jesus: 20 Ex-Muslims Testify.

[10] 1 Chronicles 16:26.

[11] Sura 5:51 (Hilali and Khan). v, 54 in Yusuf Ali; Suras 2:120; 9:5, 29, 123.

[12] Sura 4:74, 77 (Pickthall).

[13]Mishkat at Masabih, Sh. M. Ashraf, (1990) pp. 147, 721, 810, 811, 1130.

[14] We believe “tithe collector” means a clergyman, probably the Christian bishops in Nejran, Southern Arabia. Muhammad began to collect more than tithes later.

[15]Hadith of Kanz Al-Muttaqi, Vol. II, pp. 252-286.

[16] Smith, Jane, An Historical and Semitic Study of the Term “Islam” as Seen in a Sequence of Qur’an Commentaries, University of Montana Press, for Harvard University. Dissertations, 1970.

[17] Hodgson, M., The Order of Assassins, Gravenhage: Mouton & Co., 1955.