Jihad in the Koran
Children and the Koran
Raising a Holy Warrior
The Prophet's example established fifteen as the age a boy could join the fraternity of holy warriors and participate in the organized slaughter of unbelievers and keep the possessions of those he killed.
Narrated Ibn Umar:
That the Prophet inspected him on the day of Uhud while he was fourteen years old, and the Prophet did not allow him to take part in the battle. He was inspected again by the Prophet on the day of Al-Khandaq (i.e. battle of the Trench) while he was fifteen years old, and the Prophet allowed him to take part in the battle.
Narrated Abdur-Rahman bin Auf:
While I was standing in the row on the day (of the battle) of Badr, I looked to my right and my left and saw two young Ansari boys, and I wished I had been stronger than they. One of them called my attention saying, "O Uncle! Do you know Abu Jahl?"
I said, "Yes, What do you want from him, O my nephew?"
He said, "I have been informed that he abuses Allah's Apostle. By Him in Whose Hands my life is, if I should see him, then my body will not leave his body till either of us meet his fate."
I was astonished at that talk. Then the other boy called my attention saying the same as the other had said.
After a while I saw Abu Jahl walking amongst the people. I said (to the boys), "Look! This is the man you asked me about." So, both of them attacked him with their swords and struck him to death and returned to Allah's Apostle to inform him of that.
Allah's Apostle asked, "Which of you has killed him?"
Each of them said, "I Have killed him."
Allah's Apostle asked, "Have you cleaned your swords?"
They said, "No."
He then looked at their swords and said, "No doubt, you both have killed him and the spoils of the deceased will be given to Muadh bin Amr bin Al-Jamuh."
The two boys were Muadh bin 'Afra and Muadh bin Amr bin Al-Jamuh.
The boys in the preceding hadiths, like your modern teenager or young man revelling in committing atrocities on behalf of Islamic State and Allah, were not born the depraved individuals they have become.
A child is not born a holy warrior. The process of creating suicide bombers and willing executioners for the likes of Islamic State, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram, Al-Shabab ... begins with rote-learning by millions of children around the world of the most pitiless, appalling mainstream piece of religious text ever revealed.
One of the most pitiless revelation is also one of the most famous verses of the Koran.
5:38 As for the thieves, whether male or female, cut off their hands in punishment for what they did, as an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty and Wise.
Moderate Islamic scholars and religious leaders spend a lot of time trying to explain away pitiless and cruel verses like the above but, every now and then, the true believers remind them that Allah’s unambiguous instructions are not subject to interpretation – and they are correct. For to do so is to question the wisdom of God, to question God’s very sanity, thereby destroying the foundation of your beliefs.
The latest community of true believers to remind the world of what the Koran is all about was the Taliban who ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001.
With the Koran as their legal justification, Taliban gunmen executed women and girls in soccer stadiums. Anonymous, frightened, fragile human beings dressed in oppressive burqas – invisible in life, invisible in death – brought into the stadium in the back of pick-up trucks, forced to kneel on the ground then shot in the back of the head to the obvious pleasure of the bearded young, middle-aged and old men milling around.
Bearded men displaying the same lack of mercy and compassion that we have come to expect from many of those who utter In the Name of Allah the Compassionate, the Merciful every time Allah’s name is mentioned.
A Very Special School
If the Taliban, whose very name means students, is the product of Islamic schooling, what are such schools teaching children about the meaning of compassion and mercy, not only in Pakistan and the Islamic world but in Western democracies – Canada for instance?
From the web page of an Ottawa Islamic school (2007).
In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful
Ahlul-Bayt Center is calling on every believer, who heard about the school project, to have a stake in the heavenly awards generated by a work meant to educate Muslim kids about their faith and moral values. May Allah include us all in his mercy and redeem our work by his awards. It is every Muslim's duty to support and preserve the Islamic schools in Ottawa and other cities. The bottom line is that a sincere Islamic education counts in raising Muslim kids based on Quranic teachings and Islamic Moral values.
Are the “Quranic” (sic) teachings and Islamic moral values that this type of school, whether it be in Iran, Pakistan or Canada, claims it will instill in the mind of a child the type of values that you share? Do you believe that these types of values are even deserving of being called “moral values”?
If moral values are defined as being generally accepted standards of good conduct, is what was done to women and girls in Afghanistan what you would consider examples of good conduct?
Is what the Koran teaches about mercy and compassion – that some people are not deserving of any for simply not believing in god or the same god you do – morally reprehensible or morally justifiable?
Do you consider it morally acceptable that women and girls can be sexually assaulted as long as it is done in a marriage setting?
Do you consider it morally acceptable that a wife can be beaten by her husband if he fears she is going to sin or has sinned?
Do you consider it morally acceptable that males are taught that females are their inferior and females are instructed to accept this lesser status because the God of the Koran says that is the way it must be?
These are important questions. Your future, the future of your children may depend on your response to the real moral and ethical dilemma raised by what is being taught in madrassas.
What about the Koran’s relentless graphic description of sadistic torture and pain?
As an adult you may be able to dismiss Allah's bragging about torturing and burning men, women and children, in His Hell as metaphorical excesses i.e. sadistic flights of fancy, but what about Muslim children? Children raised in the Islamic faith are encouraged, if not compelled, at the earliest age to memorize the Koran. The prize for the best memorizer being a choice place in heaven.
There is a very common ceremony practiced throughout most of the Muslim world called Khatmi-Qur’an. It is the ceremony to recognize and celebrate a child’s first full reading of the Koranic text in Arabic. Muslim children in traditional Islamic societies or families are expected to have read and more or less understood the Koran, in Arabic, from cover to cover before they reach the age of seven.
What kind of twisted perception of the concept of mercy and compassion will such children be left with after memorizing the following verses about Allah, on Judgment Day, not caring about the people that He condemns to burn in Hell in perpetuity for not believing in Him, “for what you used to do”?
52:13 On the Day they will be driven into the Fire of Hell by force.
52:14 “This is the Fire which you used to deny.
52:15 “Is this magic or do you not see?
52:16 “Burn in it. Bear up or do not bear up; it is the same for you. You are only rewarded for what you used to do.”
What kind of warped understanding of the concept of mercy and compassion will Muslim children be left with after reading about how the Compassionate One takes obvious pleasure in the punishment He inflicts.
11:105 The day (Judgement Day) it comes, no soul shall speak without His Leave. Some of them shall be wretched, some happy.
11:106 As for the wretched, they shall be in the Fire; they shall have therein groaning and moaning;
What happens to the mind, to the personality of a child who commits, must commit to memory, not only the hate filled verses we have discussed so far, but others that are even more impressive in their attention to detail when it comes to the deliberate, cold-blooded application of torture. For instance, replacing burnt skin, as the Compassionate One claims he will do to the unbelievers he has cast into His Hell so that the torment of their skin burning never ends.
4:56 Those who have disbelieved Our Signs, We shall surely cast them into the Fire; every time their skins are burnt, We will replace them by other skins, so that they might taste the punishment. Allah indeed is Mighty and Wise!
In Allah’s Hell, the fantastical vision of pain and torture quickly gives way to the more mundane but just as gruesome, just as painful, torture and never-ending suffering with which any child can relate.
For a non-believing adult the following brutality may seem like the plot of some of the more violent cartoons aimed at kids on a Saturday morning. For believing children the following is real, and not the product of a cartoonist’s imagination. Somewhere in time and space, in the Koranic universe, Allah is actually doing to real people what some children may fantasize about but eventually dismiss, as they grow older, as immoral, sadistic behaviour.
14:16 Behind him is Hell, and he is given stinking water to drink.
14:17 He sips it but can hardly swallow it, and death surrounds him from every side, but he will not die; and beyond this is still a terrible punishment.
18:29 And say: “The Truth is from your Lord. Whoever wishes, let him believe; and whoever wishes, let him disbelieve.” We have prepared for the wrongdoers a Fire whose canopy encompasses them all. If they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like molten brass which scalds the faces. Wretched is that drink and wretched is the resting-place!
22:19 Here are two adversaries who dispute about their Lord. To the unbelievers, garments of fire shall be cut up and over their heads boiling water shall be poured;
22:20 Whereby whatever is in their bellies and in their skin shall be melted.
22:21 And for them are iron rods (to beat their heads with).
22:22 Every time they want, in their gloom, to get out of it (the Fire), they are brought back into it. [And it is said to them]: “Taste the agony of burning.”
Such is the punishment from Allah for not believing in His Book and His Messenger, and don’t bother saying you're sorry, it won’t do you any good.
23:101 And when the Trumpet is blown, they will have no kinship to bind them on that Day and they will not question one another.
23:102 Then, those whose scales are heavy – those are the prosperous.
23:103 But those whose scales are light – those are the ones who have lost their souls. In Hell they will dwell forever.
23:104 The Fire lashes their faces, and therein they shrivel.
23:105 “Were not My Signs (this Qur’an) recited to you, but you used to denounced them as lies?”
23:106 They will say: “Lord, our misery overcame us and we were are an erring people.
23:107 “Lord, bring us out of it (Hell); then, if we revert we are indeed wrongdoers.”
23:108 He (Allah) said: “Rot in it and do not talk to Me.
It’s all about winners and losers, with the losers getting all the pain and the winners all the pleasure.
23:109 “There was a group of My servants who used to say: ‘Lord, we believe, so forgive us and have mercy on us; you are the best of the merciful.’
23:110 “But you took them for a laughingstock, till they made you forget My Name, while you were mocking them.
23:111 “I have rewarded them this day for their forbearance, making them the winners.”
Pleasure or pain, which will it be?
47:15 The likeness of the Garden which the God-fearing have been promised is this: rivers of water not stagnant, rivers of milk whose taste has not changed, rivers of wine delighting its drinkers and rivers of distilled honey. Therein they have every variety of fruit and forgiveness from their Lord too. Are they to be compared with those who dwell in the Fire forever and are given to drink boiling water which will rip up their bowels?
What happens to the mind of a child who commits to memory, not only the Allah's horrific descriptions of what will happen in His Hereafter to those who refuse to submit to the Will of Allah but what He expects the believers to do, in the here-and-now, to those who would abandon Islam.
On at least three occasions, Allah, in the person of Pharaoh, will remind the child labouring to memorize verses of unimaginable cruelty that Allah’s recommended punishment for leaving Islam is having your hands and feet cut off on alternate sides then to be crucified upon the trunks of trees – palm trees if they can be found.
As the child memorizes these techniques for inflicting unbelievable pain and humiliation on those who would dare leave Allah’s perfect religion for one less perfect or for no religion at all, he will be reminded that childhood offers no protection from a vengeful, unforgiving god when it comes to unbelievers and apostates.
The spontaneous, cold-blooded murder of a child by Khidr (revelations 18:74 and 18:80) because Allah fears fears his lack of commitment to Islam will cause his parents distress forever etched in the young impressionable mind; this God does not flinch at killing children who don’t do as they are told.
What happens to the mind of a child who commits these horrifying descriptions of pain and suffering to memory?
What happens to the mind of a child who is required to repeat many of these cruel, pitiless, sadistic verses as part of the five daily mandatory prayers (each prayer must include a minimum of three verses from the Koran not including the seven short verses from the first chapter) to a god who claims to be the personification, the embodiment of compassion and mercy?
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
104:1 Woe unto every backbiter and slanderer,
104:2 Who amasses wealth and counts it diligently.
104:3 He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal.
104:4 Not at all; he shall be cast into the Smasher.
104:5 And if only you knew what is the Smasher.
104:6 It is Allah’s kindled Fire,
104:7 Which attains even the hearts.
104:8 Upon them it is closing in;
104:9 On pillars stretch out.
What do Muslim children dream about after reading about the Smasher and people bound to pillars while the Smasher creeps towards their hearts to burn it?
What do they fantasize about during their waking hours? Do they ever forget the tortured and tormented verses, including those that encourage mutilation of alleged wrongdoers, which they memorized under the benevolent encouragement of their teachers, imams, parents and guardians.
What do these well-intentioned teachers of Islamic “morality” think they are doing?
What do they think they are doing when they tell the children to pay particular attention to verses about Allah's heroes such as the many Prophets who disowned parents, family members and close relatives who refused to submit to His Will?
What do they think they are doing when they invite children to read Allah’s often repeated instructions not to associate with unbelievers and the even more compelling revelations that demand that Christians and Jews who are invited to become Muslim but refuse, and refuse to pay a ransom to save their lives, be murdered in cold-blood?
What do they think they are doing when they invite children to read revelations that damn and curse people who believe in more than one god, Indians for example, and instruct the believers to kill them on the spot if they are invited to become Muslim but refuse; that for polytheists not even a ransom can save their lives?