Fatwa ID: 78511
Title: Kill the Jews?
Category: Varieties
Scholar: Dr. Main Khalid Al-Qudah
Date: 2009-04-10
Question:

Assalamu alaikum,

 

I have come across a hadith mentioning how Muslims will kill Jews. What does this mean?

 

“You will fight against the Jews and you will kill them until even a stone will say: ‘Come here, Muslim, there is a Jew [hiding himself behind me]; kill him.’”¯

 

Another one says: “'Abdullah bin 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, reported: ‘Allah's Messenger said: “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, perform the Prayer, and pay Zakah. If they do that, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.”’”

 

Isn't it true that there is no compulsion in religion? If the prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) had to fight until people testified, then isn't that forcing them in a way? The reason I ask is because non-Muslims and Muslims alike throw it in my face and say Islam is a fascist religion that forces people and was spread by the sword.

 

Please explain. Jazak Allah khair.

Answer:

You mentioned two different ahadith, which are talking about two different things:

 

The first hadith discusses one of the signs of the Day of Judgment, and that it will not start until an encounter will take place between Muslims and Jews.

 

As for the second one, the “people” in this hadith means either the apostates who had become Muslim and then retreated to disbelief thereafter, or the polytheists who do not attribute themselves to any divine religion. This second possible meaning has been mentioned in Imam Al-Nasa’i’s narration: “I have been commanded to fight against the polytheists until they…”

 

In Islam, neither of these categories of people is allowed to remain on their religion. The fact that there is no compulsion in religion does not negate the other fact that someone who has embraced Islam cannot change his mind afterward and embrace polytheism.