War and Fantasies
Before the Prophet could attempt to impose Allah’s perfect religion on an imperfect world, he first had to convince his fellows Arabs to submit to the Will of Allah and accept him as Allah’s anointed spokesperson.
Most would not be swayed to abandon the gods and goddesses of their forefathers and a vicious civil war ensued where the Muslims, except for the rare occasion, would give no quarter.
During this civil war, all the rules of chivalry and fair play that had guided the relationships between the tribes and clans of the Peninsula were abandoned by the Muslims. Only one thing mattered for the believers in this fratricidal war: idol worshippers i.e. pagans had to convert or die!
Convert or die! This simple easy to understand demand from Allah, made known to the believers by His Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad, allowed for a cold-blooded methodical approach to eliminating the Arab opposition, and later non-Arab, and getting converts for Islam.
But even this straightforward strategy might not have worked if Allah and His Messenger had not been able to attract the young men who would be doing the killing and the converting to flock to their banner, as they still do today.
Finding a bride in pre-Islamic and post-Islamic Arabia, if you were not wealthy or powerful was problematic. The fact that rich men could purchase as many women and slave-girls as they could afford, and powerful ones keep as many as they could abscond with, meant that young frustrated fighting men were plentiful.
Allah not only promised these desperate-for-intimacy young men that they could take as slaves or spouses the wives and daughters of the men they killed on His behalf, but should they die in the attempt, He would make it to up to them then and there. They would immediately be admitted into Paradise, no questions asked, and be given a harem more impressive than any found on earth replete with virgins and sexually-adept female-facsimiles i.e. houris all committed to satisfying a young warrior’s every sexual fantasies for an eternity.
The surah Repentance is mainly about war, one of the reason for the lack of the ubiquitous formula-invocation “in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful” which you find at the beginning of every surah but two, the first and the ninth.
The ninth surah can serve as an example on how to carry out a successful campaign against the unbelievers; the key being
1) indoctrinating enough young people into a faith where killing and dying on behalf of a god who murders by proxy is considered doing good for which they will be amply rewarded;
2) showing no mercy to anyone no matter their age or gender.
This simple merciless solution to defeating the unbelievers, with terror as a defining component, developed by Allah and His Messenger more than a thousand years ago, and of which the believers are constantly reminded throughout the Koran, is the strategy of Al Qaeda, Islamic State, the Taliban ...
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror ... "
The remaining revealed truths from the surah Repentance about strategies, tactics, appealing to the baser instincts of those a god needs to slaughter those who will not Submit to His Will on a self-proclaimed spokesperson's say-so, including those who are too young to understand what is being asked of them, most the victim of a vaunted tactic of Allah's Apostle.
When fighting for Allah you are never alone
9:16 Did you imagine that Allah would leave you alone before knowing who of you fight [in the Way of Allah] and do not seek supporters besides Allah and His Messenger? Allah is Fully Aware of what you do.
Unbelievers are not welcomed here!
9:17 The unbelievers should not enter Allah’s Mosques bearing witness thereby against themselves that they are unbelievers. The works of those are vain and in the Fire they will abide forever.
9:18 Only he who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, performs the prayers, gives the alms and fears no one but Allah, shall visit Allah’s Mosques. Those shall be reckoned among the rightly guided.
Doing Wrong by Doing Right
9:19 Do you consider those, who give the pilgrims water to drink and maintain the Sacred Mosque, like those who believe in Allah and the Hereafter and fight in Allah’s Way? They are not alike in Allah’s Sight, and Allah will not guide the wrongdoing people.
Winners and Losers
9:20 Those who have believed, emigrated and fought in the Path of Allah with their lives are higher in rank in Allah’s Sight; and those are the winners.
9:21 Their Lord announces to them the good news of a mercy from Him, good pleasure and Gardens wherein they have everlasting bliss;
9:22 Abiding therein forever. With Allah is a great reward.
Stoking the Flames of a Fratricidal War
9:23 O believers, do not take your fathers and brothers as friends, if they prefer disbelief to belief. Those who take them as friends are the wrongdoers.
9:24 Say: “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your spouses, your relatives, the wealth you have gained, a trade you fear might slacken, and dwellings you love are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger or than fighting in His way, then wait until Allah fulfils His Decree. Allah does not guide the sinful people.
9:28 O believers, the polytheists are truly unclean; so let them not come near the Sacred Mosque after this year of theirs; and if you fear poverty, Allah shall enrich you from His Bounty, if He pleases. Allah is Truly All-Knowing, Wise.
The Right Religion, the Right Months and the Right Time to Fight!
9:36 The number of months, with Allah, is twelve months by Allah’s Ordinance from the day He created the heavens and the earth. Four of these are Sacred. This is the right religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them; but fight the polytheists all together just as they fight you all together; and know that Allah is on the side of the righteous.
A Last Reminder as to Who is Deserving of Allah’s Mercy
9:71 As to the believers, males and females, they are friends of one another. They enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, perform the prayers, give the alms and obey Allah and His Messenger. It is those on whom Allah will have mercy. Allah is Mighty, Wise.
A Last Reminder of What is Included with that Mercy
9:72 Allah has promised the believers, males and females, Gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein forever, and fair dwellings in the Gardens of Eden. However, Allah’s Good Pleasure is greater. That is the great triumph.
Killing and Injuring as a Good Deed!
9:120 It is not given to the people of Medina and the desert Arabs around them to stay behind the Messenger of Allah, nor to prefer their own lives to his life for they are afflicted neither by thirst nor fatigue nor hunger in Allah’s Way, nor do they take a step that upsets the unbelievers, nor inflict a blow on the enemy but a good deed is recorded for them on account of it. Allah does not allow the beneficent to lose their reward.
9:121 Nor do they spend anything whether small or large, nor cross a valley but it is recorded for them, so that Allah may reward them for the best of their deeds.
Commissars by Another Name
9:122 The believers should not all go to war. Why doesn’t a company from each group go forth to instruct themselves in religion and admonish their people (those who go to war) when they return, that perchance, they may beware.
9:128 There has come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. It grieves him to see you suffer, he cares much for you, and is kind and merciful towards the believers.
Merciful’s opposite is merciless. The last revelation in this most ominous of surahs, and the end of Jihad in the Koran!
9:129 But if they turn away, say: “Sufficient for me is Allah; there is no God but He; in Him I put my trust. He is the Lord of the Glorious Throne.”