Question: Does Islam teach hatred of non-believers?
Summary Answer: There is no place in the Quran where Muhammad commands Muslims to love people of other religions. By contrast there are at least three dozen verses that tell Muslims to fight against non-Muslims and about 500 that speak of their place in Hell. They are from each period in Muhammad’s life, scattered across 87 of the Quran’s 114 chapters. To put this in perspective, nearly one out of twelve verses in the Quran says that Allah hates non-Muslims to the extent that he will torment them for eternity in horrible ways. The Suras that make reference to this comprise about 95% of the Quran’s total volume. If Allah creates infidels merely to fuel the fires of Hell, then there is little reason for Muslims to believe that such lives are of any worth in this world either.
The Quran: As mentioned, there are nearly 500 verses from 87 Suras that speak of Hell. This is just a sample: Quran (40:71-72)- When the fetters and the chains shall be on their necks; they shall be dragged Into boiling water, then in the fire shall they be burned Quran (22:19-21)- But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads; Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron Quran (4:56)- Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment Lo! Allah is ever Mighty, Wise Quran (56:92-94)- But if he is of the rejecters, the erring, then the welcome will be boiling water and roasting at hell-fire As to what regard Muslims are to show for those who don’t believe, the Quran says to be ruthless toward them, since they are going to Hell anyway: Quran (9:73)- O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination Quran (66:9)- O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey’s end. Quran (8:55)- Surely the vilest of animalsin Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve Quran (9:30)- And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah… Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverseare they! Quran (4:52)- Those (Christians)are they whom Allah hath cursed… Quran (4:47) – O you (Jews)who have been given the Book! believe that which We have revealed, verifying what you have, before We alter faces then turn them on their backs, or curse them as We cursed the violaters of the Sabbath, and the command of Allah shall be executed. Quran (5:59-60)- This verse begets the infamous belief on the part of some Muslims that Jews are descended from swine and apes, since it says that wicked Jews (at least) were transformed by Allah in the past. (See also 2:64) The Quran also contains dozens of verses that specifically describe Jewsin the ugliest, most hateful terms. These parts of the Quran are indistinguishable from hate literature.
From the Hadith: There are hundreds of verses from the traditions that speak of violence and hatred against non-Muslims, particularly Allah’s intense dislike, manifested by his plans to physically torture them for eternity. Bukhari (54:487)- Someone asked, “O Allah’s Apostle This (ordinary) fire would have been sufficient (to torture the unbelievers),” Allah’s Apostle said, “The (Hell) Fire has 69 parts more than the ordinary (worldly) fire, each part is as hot as this (worldly) fire.” In other words, ordinary fire isn’t hot enough to torture non-Muslims. Therefore the fire in Hell is 69 times hotter. Bukhari (2:28)- Women comprise the majority of Hell’s occupants. (A weak Hadith, Kanz al-`ummal, 22:10, even suggests that 99% of women go to Hell). Muslim (40:6831)- Non-Muslims in Hell will be given thick skin so as to prolong their agony (before they are given fresh skin for a new round of torture – Quran verse 4:56).
Bukhari (59:727)- Allah’s Apostle [said]… “Allah’s curse be on the Jews and the Christians” This was spoken on Muhammad’s death bed, and was one of the last things that he ever said.
Ishaq 240- “The Jews are a nation of liars…. The Jews are a treacherous, lying, and evil people”
It is difficult to find justice in the character of the god of Islam. Not only does Allah appear to punish people disproportionately for mere unbelief, but he explicitly creates them to be nothing more than “fuel for the fire”of hell Quran (72:15) and he actually “causes the unjust to go astray” Quran (14:27) (see also verses 74:31and 18:17) even though he has the ability to lead everyone down the right path Quran (16:9). A person’s good deeds are for naught Quran (18:104-106). Allah even sends the wives of “evil-doers” to Hell without apparent regard for their own guilt Quran (37:22).
The actions of Muslims often reflect this hatred for non-believers. Those who kill believe they have a religious mandate to do so. Others celebrate terror attacks, including the mass murder of 9/11, which was cheered by Muslims from Gaza to Europe and (reportedly) even in the halls of the U.S. State Department.
With hatred also confirmed by close to 500 verses that speak of Allah’s wrath on unbelievers, the effort to mine those rare diamonds that do speak of love and tolerance must be a true study in cherry picking. Such presentations are usually introduced with wild rhapsody (ie. “the following verses will shatter completely all the lies about Islam advocating or promoting hate. It shows total respect to people from different religions and backgrounds…”).
Yet, these apologists commonly ignore other, far more prevalent verses that do preach hatred, death, and doom. They also ignore the history of Islam and its relegation of nonbelievers to third-class status, with taxes and discrimination rooted in the Quran and traditions of Muhammad.
More importantly, they neglect to mention that these verses come from an earlier time period and are abrogated by later ones.
Take the most popular example, Quran (2:62)- “Those who believe (in the Quran), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” Well, if this isn’t universal tolerance for other faiths, then what is?
But unfortunately this is also from the earliest Medinan Sura (the same one that famously speaks of “no compulsion in religion”). It was “revealed” just after Muhammad and his 100 followers were expelled from Mecca and desperately needed to make alliances with the people around them in their new home town of Medina. Most of their neighbors were not Muslims, and if Muhammad and his tiny group were to have informed the people around them of their religious inferiority and ultimate doom, then they would not have had the opportunity to gain power. By contrast, the 9th and 5th Suras are among the most intolerantof the Quran, and they are also considered the final revelations.
The same seems to hold true for Sura 3, which is an exercise in ambivalence. Verse 151 condemns Christians to Hell for believing in the Trinity, while verses 113-116 say that there are among the People of the Book who believe in Allah and the Last Day and are in “the ranks of the righteous.” In order to stay on the safe side, however, Muhammad warns in verse 118 against taking “for intimate friends from among others than your own people.” It also helps to remember that this Sura was an early Median verse, like Sura 2, but it follows the Battle of Badr, and occurs at a time when Muslims were gaining strength in the community and could afford to be a bit more arrogant.
Taken as a whole, no other religion on earth has the mandate that Islam does to dominate those outside the faith politically and culturally. Non-Muslims are to be subjugated and forced to pay money to Muslims, according to the Quran’s 9th sura and various Hadith. Islamic law (Sharia) not only governs the affairs of Muslims, but non-Muslims as well. It proscribes a body of rules that systematically discriminate against those of other faiths, denying them legal rights, restricting their religious practices, and even determining where they are allowed to build houses.
One of the more common tricks that today’s Muslims disingenuously play on the truly naive is to pretend that that Muhammad commanded his followers to love and not to hate. This is a partial truth. There are Hadith that tell Muslims not to hate and not to do harm in word or deed (Muslim (1:65)) but the context and exact wording makes it very clear that this applies within the Muslim community to a believer’s relations with fellow Muslims. These are not commands that govern a Muslim’s obligation to the general community. As the
Another game that Muslim scholars play to compensate for the absence of verses commanding universal love is to appeal to verses of the Bible that provide this instruction. Such scholars assert that since Islam is based on the two earlier religions of Judaism and Christianity, it therefore inherits the concepts of peace, love and tolerance that are missing from the Quran.
But, of course, Muslims are not taught to believe the Old and New Testaments outright. There is no rote memorization of such scripture as there is for the Quran. There are also abundant historical and theological contradictions between the Quran and the Bible, from the Trinity to Redemption. For example, the Quran says that the crucifixion never happened (something that hardly anyone else denies). Of course, it also claims that the mother of Jesus was the sister of Moses as well, since the characters share the same name, even though they are separated by at least 13 centuries. (Needless to say, the Quran really isn’t the best source for Judeo-Christian theology).
In short, it is highly disingenuous for Muslims to fill in the missing pieces of their faith by picking and choosing what they will from other religions to conveniently fit the fashion of the times. (This is particularly tasteless given the persecution that Muslim rulers have meted out historically on non-Muslim populations). Even though the practice of manufacturing Islam began with Muhammad, there are reasons why this military leader chose to say so very little about universal love and brotherhood, yet so very much about killing and eternal doom.