Rules and Rewards

War, the Life-Giver

Jihad in the KoranThe implication of the revelation about war as a life-giver, Revelation 8:24, is that life really begins in the Hereafter, i.e., once you are dead. This was revealed a short time after the battle of Badr, the first military-style confrontation between the Meccans and the believers which would mark the beginning of the first Arab civil war. The war would end with Muhammad in almost absolute control of the entire Peninsula.

8:24 O believers, respond to Allah and to the Messenger if he calls you to that which will give you life; and know that Allah stands between a man and his heart, and that unto Him you shall be gathered.

8:25 And fear a calamity which will not only afflict the wrongdoers among you; and know that Allah is Severe in retribution.

8:26 And remember when you were few and were deemed weak in the land, fearing that the people will snatch you away; but He gave you a shelter(the reference is to the oasis city of Medina where Muhammad and his followers took refuge after being driven out of Mecca), strengthened you with His support and provided you with the good things(the plunder from the raids on the Meccan caravans), that perchance you may give thanks.

Life in the Hereafter is even better than life in the here-and-now complete with wealth and children.

8:27 O you who believe, do not betray Allah and the Messenger, nor betray your trusts knowingly.

8:28 And know that your wealth and your children are a temptation, and with Allah is a great reward.

God promises those who fear that what He and His Messenger are asking them to do is wrong, that, not only will He provide them with the means to know the difference between right and wrong, but also absolve them of any sins and forgive them should they die fighting on His and His Messenger’s behalf.

8:29 O you who believe, if you fear Allah, He will provide you with a criteria [to distinguish right from wrong], and absolve you from your sins and forgive you. Allah’s Bounty is great.

Sedition, A New Definition

It was at the battle of Badr or shortly thereafter that God added to the definition of sedition, to include the crime of taking a religion other than Islam.

8:38 Say to those who disbelieve (including Abu Sufyan, the Meccan leader, and his companions): “If they desist, He will forgive them what is already done; but if they go back, then [they should remember] what befell those before them.”

8:39 And fight them, so that sedition might end and the only religion will be that of Allah. Then, if they desist, Allah is fully aware of what they do.

8:40 But if they turn away, then know that Allah is your Protector; and what an Excellent Protector and Supporter He is!