Jihad in the Koran

Conscientious Objectors

Some of the early believers, “those in whose heart” Allah said “is a sickness” did not care for  fighting surahs that demanded that they go to war and kill to advance His Kingdom on earth.

47:20 The believers say: “If only a surah is sent down”, but when a sound surah is sent down and fighting is mentioned therein, you will see those in whose heart is a sickness look at you like one who has fainted in the throes of death. Far better for them,

47:21 Would have been obedience and a fair word! So when the matter is resolved, it would have been better for them to be true to Allah.

Others were worried that if they gave the Prophet too much power, he would do what Allah accuses the unbelievers of doing all the time; that is, “spread corruption in the land”.

47:22 Would you, perhaps, if you were to rule, spread corruption in the land and sever the bonds of your kin?

47:23 Such are those whom Allah has cursed, and has made them deaf and blotted out their eyesight.

47:24 Will they not ponder the Qur’an, or are there locks upon their hearts?

In so many verses, Allah reveals that it is He who causes unbelief. In the case of those I call conscientious objectors, it is Satan who causes former believers to abandon the faith – as far as Allah is concerned – after the fighting surahs have been revealed and they chose to ignore them.

47:25 Surely, those who have turned upon their heels after the Guidance was manifested to them, it was Satan who insinuated to them and delude them.

47:26 That is because they said to those who disliked what Allah has sent down: “We shall obey you in part of the matter”, but Allah knows their secretiveness.

These conscientious objectors will be snatched by angels on Judgement Day and flown directly to Hell, and beaten on the buttocks during transit before being dropped into the Fire, revelations 47:27-28 (see chapter Judgement Day).

Allah will disclose the name of these conscientious objectors, but who they are will obviously be revealed on the eve of any battle, or earlier, probably by the objections to going to war that they will raise (“their distorted speech”, revelation 47:30).

47:29 Or do those in whose hearts is a sickness think that Allah will not bring their rancours (sic) to light.

47:30 Had We wished, We would have shown them to you (Muhammad), so that you might know them by their mark. And you shall surely know them by their distorted speech. Allah knows your works.

47:31 And We shall test you so as to know who are the fighters among you and who are the steadfast, and we shall test your news (ascertain about you, Moududi).

These conscientious objectors, like conscientious objectors in any war, will have an influence, but they will not have any impact on Allah’s War against the unbelievers.

47:32 Indeed, those who have disbelieved and barred (men) from Allah’s Path and were at odds with the Messenger, after the Guidance became manifest to them, will not cause Allah any harm, and He will foil their works.

Allah will not forgive the conscientious objectors should they die before returning to the faith. This was war and the Prophet needed all the soldiers he could get. This may explain Allah making an exception for the conscientious objectors who were, for all intents and purposes, heretics or apostates. Apostates ordinarily cannot return to the faith and must be put to death on the spot.

47:33 O believers, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not render your actions vain.

47:34 Indeed, those who have disbelieved and barred from Allah’s Path, then died as unbelievers, Allah will not forgive them.

Then there are those who do not spend enough in support of the war effort, but I digress.

47:37 Were He to ask you for them and press you, you will surely be niggardly, and he will bring your rancours (sic) to light.

47:38 There you are; you are called upon to spend freely in Allah’s Cause, but some of you are niggardly. Yet he who is niggardly is only niggardly unto himself. Allah is the All-Sufficient and you are the destitute. If you turn back, He will replace you by a people other than you, and they will not be like you at all.


3:180 And let not those who are niggardly in spending what God has given them of His Bounty suppose that it is good for them. No, it is evil; they shall carry what they stinted around their necks on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth. Allah is Aware of what you do!

4:39 And what would it cost them were they to believe in Allah and the Last Day and spend part of what Allah has provided for them? Allah knows them very well!

17:100 Say: “Even if you possess the treasures of My Lord’s Mercy, you would still withhold them for fear of spending.” Man has ever been niggardly.