The 'Fitna' of Dutch MP Geert WildersWritten by محبوب حسين الأزهرى
ON 27 MARCH 2008, Geert Wilders, who is a member of the Dutch Parliament, released a film on the internet in which the Qur’an has been referred to as ‘fitna’ (mischief). The population of Muslims in the world today exceeds one billion. Hence, an attempt has been made in this film to distress and cause heartbreak to every fifth individual in the world and, thus, violate their basic human right. We denounce and condemn this film. Moreover, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights Council) and Muslim States have all condemned this film.
Although, the European Union joined in the condemnation of this film, yet, it stood firm in its defence of freedom of press and freedom of expression. In the twenty-first century, it is astonishing to note this double standard that one thing can be worthy of condemnation, yet, at the same time be defended under freedom of press. A wrong is a wrong in all circumstances and, by escaping from the self-delusion of considering it a right, there is an urgent need for legislation in order to redress this imbalance.
The West should set down some restrictions and boundaries for freedom of expression, since, the freedom of an expression that may cause harm to any innocent soul cannot be tolerated. However, in this case, many lives and possessions have been devastated. Therefore, this issue is worthy of urgent attention so that a handful of extremists, under the pretence of this right of freedom of speech, do not destroy the peace and harmony of the whole society. We understand that the support of this Dutch Member of Parliament is equal to nothing; however, this act of his has created an atmosphere of uneasiness and anxiety in the whole world. Therefore, there is a dire need of laws and regulations in order to discourage and dispirit the likes of such people.
The Dutch Member of Parliament should himself reconsider and again evaluate this conduct and action of his, since, various television networks of the world and websites have not accepted this film and the Prime Minister of his own country has also rejected and condemned this film.
Five Verses of the Glorious Qur’an
The Dutch Member of Parliament has attempted to create confusion by choosing five verses from the glorious Qur’an. Making these verses his foundation and premise; he has attempted to present the glorious Qur’an as being related to terrorism as well as being equated with ‘fitna’.
Out of these verses, four have been mentioned out of context, whereas, the fifth verse expresses a reality concerning the fire of Hell. Though, an objection against it is incorrect due to the fact that the belief of the Christians is the same as that of Muslims, and this I will ascertain through the Bible.
I wish to make the youth, in particular, aware of these realities so that whenever they are questioned about these verses by any non-Muslim, they should be well equipped with the answer and correct explanation.
A Verse Taken Out of Context
I will present an example of how something can be totally altered and spoilt if taken out of context. Verse 43 of Surat al-Nisa’ (Chapter 4) translates as follows, “O you who believe! Do not approach the prayer, when you are in a drunken state.”
If any individual, who does not offer the prayer, takes the first part of this verse out of its context and says that the reason why he does not offer the prayer is because the glorious Qur’an has commanded, “Do not approach the prayer.” Is the claim of this individual worthy of being considered in any circumstance? No and clearly not. This would be a great injustice directed towards the glorious Qur’an.
A British Prime Minister
In order to further clarify this reality, I will present an excerpt from a speech of a renowned and well-known Prime Minister of Great Britain, which he delivered in the House of Commons. He said:
“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory – victory at all costs, victory, however long and hard the road may be.”
By glancing at this excerpt, it would seem to appear, on the outset, that this Prime Minister is very cruel, barbaric and a terrorist. However, this is not the reality. In fact, when this is observed in its true and actual context, it becomes clear that this was in complete accordance to the needs and demands of that particular time.
This is the speech of Winston Churchill that he delivered on 13 May 1940 in his capacity as the leader of the government. At that time, he was declaring war against Germany. This was the duty of Winston Churchill that he fulfilled in order to protect his country and people.
Just as this was an annunciation of a state of war sixty eight years ago and was duly correct. Similarly, these verses are related to a state of war fourteen hundred and twenty two years ago, at a time when the conquest of Makkah had not yet occurred. It is in this setting and in this context that these verses need to be observed.
Although I differ with some of the words used in the English translation of these verses in the film, I will present them here just as they have appeared in the film.
Wilders: “Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks and when ye have caused a bloodbath among them bind a bond firmly on them.” [QURAN Surah 47, verse 4]
The verse used here is Verse 4 of Surat Muhammad (Chapter 47) of the glorious Qur’an, in which it states:
“Then when you meet the non-Muslims (in the battlefield) smite their necks, until you have killed them thoroughly, then tie the bonds (of the remaining prisoners) firmly. Thereafter, as a favour set them free or release them through ransom, until the (people fighting the) war lay down their arms.”
The defalcation committed here is that the translation of half of the verse – which has the answer in it – has not at all been mentioned. The answer is clearly that this verse is related to battle. In no way does this mean that during the state of peace and treaty, if you meet someone on the way or in the street, that you should kill that person. No and never. Meeting someone in the street means something else and meeting someone face-to-face in the battlefield means something totally different.
Furthermore, other than those that have been killed, the fighters from the enemy ranks that are captured should be taken as prisoners of war and their bonds tied firmly. This is to prevent them from escaping and creating further setbacks in this difficult situation of war.
In Madinah, a series of wars and battles with the opposing non-Muslims occurred for nine whole years. In this regard, the Muslim army is being ordered that when the non-Muslim soldiers leap on to the battlefield ready to fight and wage war against you, then do not become cowardice, rather, give all that you have, and when any soldier comes before you to fight, smite his neck so that no enemy in the future can dare to come and destroy you.
If it were incumbent to smite at the necks of all non-Muslims, then there would not have been any command to release them by means of a favour or through ransom and their necks would have also been smitten. However, Islam does not permit the killing of prisoners. On the day of the conquest of Makkah, the blessed Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) forgave his most contemptible enemies despite their disbelief in Islam. If the objective is that all non-Muslims be killed in any circumstances, then on that day no non-Muslim would have been spared; all would have been killed. Furthermore, during the last years of the blessed Prophet’s life, various and numerous delegations from the non-Muslims used to arrive. If it were mandatory to kill them, then no delegation would have returned back home alive. Moreover, even at the time of the death of the blessed Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), the Jews and the Christians were still present in the Arab land.
To kill the enemy during the state of war and to take the soldiers captured alive as prisoners is a custom that is in practice since ancient times till today. In this regard, observe the following reference from the Bible, Deuteronomy, Chapter 20, Verses 10-18:
“As you approach a city to fight against it, first offer it a truce. If it accepts the truce and opens its gates to you, then all its people shall become your servants. But if it refuses and won’t make peace with you, you must besiege it. When the Lord your God has given it to you, kill every male in the city; but you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, cattle, and booty. These instructions apply only to distant cities, not to those in the Promised Land itself. For in the cities within the boundaries of the Promised Land you are to save no one; destroy every living thing. Utterly destroy the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. This is the commandment of the Lord your God. The purpose of this command is to prevent the people of the land from luring you into idol worship and into participation in their loathsome customs, thus sinning deeply against the Lord your God.”
Wilders: “They but wish that ye should reject faith as they do, and thus be on the same footing as they, so take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah. But if they turn renegades, seize them and kill them wherever ye find them and take no friends or helpers from their ranks.” [QURAN Surah 4, verse 89]
The verse used here is Verse 89 of Surat al-Nisa’ (Chapter 4) of the glorious Qur’an, in which it states:
“They (the hypocrites) desire that you disbelieve in Islam, just as they are disbelievers in Islam, so that you will all be the same. So, do not make friends from amongst them, until they migrate in the way of Allah. Then, if they turn away (from migration), seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and do not take any of them as a friend or helper.”
At that time, there were series of battles occurring between the Muslims and the people of Makkah. Both were busy in preparation for the battles. The non-Muslims about whom it is being decreed that they be killed and not taken as friends, in this particular verse, refer to the hypocrites. This is something that has been explained in the verse prior to this particular verse. It is quite obvious that the hypocrites are worse than the mere enemy.
In this specific verse that has been quoted in the film it is being explained that if their espionage is firmly established, then wherever they are found, they be killed. Moreover, in the verse after this particular verse, it is clearly stated that if they end the battle, then do not kill them, rather establish a truce and peace.
The Dutch Member of Parliament has cheated and has not indicated nor mentioned the context and background to the verse in question. When all three verses are considered and read together, the meaning becomes absolutely clear. It is understood that they are hypocrites and by accepting Islam on the outset, they have come to Madinah to find out and become aware of your secrets and now they are returning to Makkah. If they do not migrate back and do not return to Madinah, then they are truly spies of the enemy and where you find them, kill them. However, if they end their spying and the war, then do not kill them.
Even today, no country of the world takes a spy as a friend; rather, the spy is punished severely. Though, in many countries the penalty for a war spy is death.
Wilders: “Fight them until there is no dissension and the religion is entirely Allah’s.” [QURAN Surah 8, verse 39]
The verse used here is Verse 39 of Surat al-Anfal (Chapter 8) of the glorious Qur’an, in which it states:
“And (O Muslims!) Keep fighting them until there is no more mischief and the entire religion be for Allah.”
Here, again, he has ignored the verse before this particular verse, in which the causes have been mentioned, due to which fighting is being pursued.
In the previous verse, the blessed Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said to the non-Muslims that if they put an end to their enmity and animosity towards Islam as well as the cruelty and disruption of the age of ignorance and they refrain from tormenting and harassing the Muslims, then the Muslims will forgive their previous transgressions and high-handedness and will not pursue any action out of revenge.
However, if they remain persistent in their ignorance and enmity, then the Muslims will remain in the state of fighting against them, until their transgression comes to an end and the religion of Allah (Most High) is properly established whereby everyone can enjoy religious freedom and no individual can interfere in the religious affairs of others.
It is one thing to be a non-Muslim and another thing to be a non-Muslim fighting with the Muslims. Both of these are profoundly different. There is no permission to fight a non-Muslim. However, the command is there to fight against those who fight and wage war against you.
Islam declares the unlawful killing of one soul to be equal to the killing of all humanity and mischief-making is a greater sin than murder. This means that mischief-making is a greater sin than the murder of all humanity. Thus, in this verse Islam is announcing the end of not the non-Muslims, but the end of mischief-making. Therefore, it is not the Qur’an that is encouraging mischief, rather, by cheating with these verses; it is the Dutch Member of Parliament who has created mischief in the entire world.
In order to end this mischief, Prophet Jesus (upon him be peace) also raised the sword, so that a front could be established against the mischief-makers. It is stated in the Bible, Matthew, Chapter 10, Verses 34-36:
“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, rather, a sword. I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s worst enemies will be right in his own home!”
Wilders: “Prepare for them whatever force and cavalry ye are able of gathering to strike terror, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies, of Allah and your enemies.” [QURAN Surah 8, verse 60]
The verse used here is Verse 60 of Surat al-Anfal (Chapter 8) of the glorious Qur’an, in which it states:
“And make ready whatever force and tied horses you can gather, so that you can keep the enemies of Allah and your enemies awed.”
Prior to the Battle of Badr, the Muslims had not prepared any weaponry for war or any cavalry. Suddenly the battle was set over them and they fought without any preparation. For this reason, Allah (Most High) ordered the Muslims in this verse to bring together all their capabilities and resources so that they are in a position whereby they are able to face the enemy and keep the enemy awed. Their weaponry needs be the most advanced and of best quality and their armies need to be well trained so that they can inspire the enemies with awe and they do not attempt to attack the Muslims.
Can you mention any such nation that does not prepare its armed forces, missiles and weaponry in order to show its power and strength and to keep the enemy awed? In reality, a large portion of the budget of every country is spent upon its armed forces and weaponry.
He has once again deliberately misconstrued this verse and taken it out of context, since the verse after this particular verse clearly demonstrates that this verse is related to battle and war. The following verse translates as, “And if the non-Muslims incline towards peace, then you also incline towards peace and trust in Allah.”
This highlights that the preference of Islam is not war, rather, it is peace. In other words, if the enemy moves towards peace, then the Muslims are to move towards peace also.
Wilders: “Those who have disbelieved our signs, we shall roast them in fire whenever their skins are cooked to a turn, we shall substitute new skins for them that they may feel the punishment: verily Allah is sublime and wise.” [QURAN Surah 4, verse 56]
The verse used here is Verse 56 of Surat al-Nisa’ (Chapter 4) of the glorious Qur’an, in which it states:
“Verily, those who deny Our Verses, we shall cast them in the fire (of Hell). Whenever their skins are burnt up, We shall put in their place other skins, so that they keep tasting the punishment. Verily, Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.”
This verse is related to the fire of Hell in the afterlife. Those who reject the commandments of Allah (Most High), they shall burn in the fire of Hell on the Day of Judgement. However, those who will follow and fulfil the commandments of Allah (Most High), whether they are Muslim or Christian, Jew or Sabaean, they shall have no fear of the fire of Hell on the Day of Judgement, rather, for them there shall be the reward of Paradise. Just as Allah (Most High) stated, “Verily, those who have believed and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabaeans, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and acts righteously, for them there is their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will not be sorrowful.”
It is our belief that the Jews who rightfully followed Prophet Moses (upon him be peace) will enter Paradise, however, when Allah (Most High) sent Prophet Jesus (upon him be peace), those who did not believe in him will not enter Paradise. Similarly, it is our belief also that the Christian who rightfully followed Prophet Jesus (upon him be peace) will enter Paradise, however, when Allah (Most High) sent Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace), those who did not believe in him will not enter Paradise.
This is not merely our belief; it is also the claim of the Christians. Is there any Christian who holds the belief that a Muslim will enter Paradise? In fact, it is their claim that all non-Christians, whether Muslim or Jew, atheist or idolater, all will enter the fire of Hell. Therefore, if the filmmaker is a Christian, then he needs to read his own scripture and he will find the answer. However, if he has no faith in the afterlife, then he needs not shout and clamour because in his mind there will be no afterlife nor will he burn in the fire of Hell.
Show any such person in the world who believes that the religion of another is true and correct and is the means of success and salvation?
It is most incumbent to respect the religion and the faith of others. The Qur’an has prohibited us from disrespecting other religions and faiths. However, it is the belief of the follower of every religion that his religion is correct and guarantees success. If a person considers another person’s religion as being correct, then he needs to leave his own religion. He is deceiving himself.
The Bible states that whoever does not follow the Gospel of Prophet Jesus (upon him be peace), he will burn in the everlasting fire of Hell. It is stated in 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 1, Verses 8-9:
“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction.”
This is quoted from The Holy Bible (Gideons), whereas, the words of The Living Bible (British Edition, 1975) are, “They will be punished in everlasting hell.”
In the end of this film, the Dutch Member of Parliament writes:
Wilders: “In 1945, Nazism was defeated in Europe. In 1989, Communism was defeated in Europe. Now the Islamic ideology has to be defeated.”
I invite the Dutch Member of Parliament to study the history of Islam. Over the past fourteen hundred years, great and mighty powers have attempted to eradicate Islam; however, they have been unable to eradicate Islam.
The general public of the Netherlands is not with you, nor the army. The Prime Minister of your own country is not with you. What damage and defacement can you inflict upon Islam?
I accept that today the Muslims can be defeated, since they have delinquently been negligent in the fields of science and technology. However, no might or power of the world has been able to eradicate Islam in the past, nor will it ever be able to do so in the future.
Within Islam God has placed such resilience;
The more it is forced down, the more it gains in prominence.
Even if you expel all Muslims from Europe, what shall you do about those original Europeans who have become Muslims and are continuing to do so? After September 11, there has been an increase in the number of Americans accepting Islam. In this manner, I am certain that when the Dutch people will read the glorious Qur’an in order to verify your film, then by witnessing your dishonesty and the truthfulness of the Qur’an, some will be driven to accept Islam.
I wish to inform the Dutch Member of Parliament that due to the truthfulness and veracity of Islam, it is the fastest growing religion in the world. Up until the previous year, the largest population in the religious world was that of the Catholic Christians. However, today in 2008, the population of Muslims has exceeded them. This is not only due to the rate of births amongst Muslims being greater; rather, it is also due to the fact that the number of people accepting Islam is on the increase.
“Islam has overtaken Roman Catholicism as the biggest single religious denomination in the world, according to new figures. In its newly-released 2008 yearbook of statistics, the Vatican claims Muslims now make up 19.2 per cent of the world’s population with Catholics at 17.4 per cent. In the Vatican newspaper, ‘For the first time in history we are no longer at the top: the Muslims have overtaken us’.”
Allama Hafiz Mahboob Hussain al-Azhari BA (Hons), BSc (Hons), MA (RES) Secretary of WAAG (World Association of Al-Azhar Graduates) UK, a mureed of Hazrat Zia-Ul-Ummat Shaykh Pir Justice Pir Karam Shah Al-Azhari and a student of Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada. As such, Mahboob Hussain is the founder and resident scholar of PirKaramShah.com. He was born in Pakistan in 1976 Mahboob Hussain arrived in the UK in 1978 where he settled in Dewsbury. In 1980 he began his primary Islamic studies under Abul In’am Muhammad Abdul Bari Chishti and followed that by memorisation of the Qur'ân. After completing his GCSE’s in 1993 he rejoined his teacher in Jamia al-Karam, which at that time was at the former site in Milton Keynes, where under his tutelage and the auspicious guidance of Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada, he began his studies in Arabic and Islamic studies and A Levels. Here he was fortunate to meet with his Shaykh, the Ummah’s Luminary, Justice Shaykh Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azhari (ra) and pledged his allegiance to him.
After completing his A Levels and studies in Jamia al-Karam in 1997, he was fortunate to pursue his studies in Jamia al-Azhar, Cairo where he gained a BA honours from the Department of Theology, specialising in the science of Prophetic Traditions. After completing his studies in 2000, he returned to the UK and spent a year teaching Arabic and Islamic studies in his local town Dewsbury. In 2001 he began BSc in Computing and Information Studies in the University of Bradford, which he completed in 2005 and immediately rejoined Shaykh M I H Pirzada at Jamia al-Karam as a teacher. Mahboob Hussain has achieved his MA thesis by research at the University of Leeds titled ‘Jewish Anecdotes in Qur'ânic Exegesis’ and is currently looking forward to his upcoming PhD InshAllah. He is also involved in alot of other literary work, such as English translation of selected surahs of Tafsir Zia-Ul-Quran, soon to be exclusively released on pirkaramshah.com.