From Vinod Kumar < >
Let me make a few comments on this Sura.
Mr. H wonders “How do you reconcile the text which says
“go kill all the non-believers” with Sura 109 which I discussed
First part first — how to reconcile this Sura with the reast of the text that says “go kill all the non-believers”. Actually it is not all that difficult. The Prophet’s life had two distinct periods — the initial Meccan period and the later Medina period. During the first period he did not have much of a following and he gained barely 100 – 150 followers. During this period he was relatively mild and even willing to compromise with the Meccans as his so called “Satanic verses” reveal. But then due to opposition from his few followers, he recanted and called them “Satanic verses”. But after migrating to Medina and acquiring political power, he became very aggressive. Even in Mecca, though he was mild, probably due to lack of political power, he never really compromised his ideology. Sura 109 might seem like a compromise but if one looks at it carefully — it is not at all a compromise — rather it is very confrontational. It says “I will never worship what you worship” and then giving up in frustration he says “You will never worship what I worship.” There is no compromise in it. The Sura does not say — what is important is being a good person, who you worship and in what form is rather immaterial. If really there is ONLY ONE GOd how can anyone worship anyone else? This is the point Krihsna makes in Gita. Whoever you worship — you still worship me as I am the only God. The form and shape and name is immaterial.
The Koran has dual nature — a peaceful and rather tolerant Meccan part and an aggressive intolerant Medina part and both having come — at least what the Muslims believe — from God cannot be wrong — thus a Muslim uses whatever suits him at the time. The law of abrogation — the later verses abrogating the earlier ones — is used selectively. The normal logic is if two things are contradictory — one of them must be wrong — but in Islam both are right.
The second part: “yet 90% of Muslims continue
perhaps even without knowing what it says.”
Very true — most of the Muslims are peaceful law abiding citizens. They are after all human beings and want a good life. They don’t all know what the Koran says and even some who know pay scant attention to it unless someone shames them into not being a “good Muslim”.
My thoughts for whatever these are worth.