Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 190-200) The Cow

190. And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors.

191. And kill them wherever you overtake them, and expel them from where they had expelled you. Oppression is more serious than murder. But do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque, unless they fight you there. If they fight you, then kill them. Such is the retribution of the disbelievers.

192. But if they cease, then God is Forgiving and Merciful.

193. And fight them until there is no oppression, and worship becomes devoted to God alone. But if they cease, then let there be no hostility except against the oppressors.

194. The sacred month for the sacred month; and sacrilege calls for retaliation. Whoever commits aggression against you, retaliate against him in the same measure as he has committed against you. And be conscious of God, and know that God is with the righteous.

195. And spend in the cause of God, and do not throw yourselves with your own hands into ruin, and be charitable. God loves the charitable.

196. And carry out the Hajj and the Umrah (pilgrimage) for God. But if you are prevented, then whatever is feasible of offerings. And do not shave your heads until the offering has reached its destination. Whoever of you is sick, or has an injury of the head, then redemption of fasting, or charity, or worship. When you are secure: whoever continues the Umrah until the Hajj, then whatever is feasible of offering. But if he lacks the means, then fasting for three days during the Hajj and seven when you have returned, making ten in all. This is for he whose household is not present at the Sacred Mosque. And remain conscious of God, and know that God is stern in retribution.

197. The Hajj is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform the Hajj-there shall be no sexual relations, nor misconduct, nor quarreling during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, God knows it. And take provisions, but the best provision is righteousness. And be mindful of Me, O people of understanding.

198. You commit no error by seeking bounty from your Lord. When you disperse from Arafat, remember God at the Sacred Landmark. And remember Him as He has guided you. Although, before that, you were of those astray.

199. Then disperse from where the people disperse, and ask God for forgiveness. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

200. When you have completed your rites, remember God as you remember your parents, or even more. Among the people is he who says, “Our Lord, give us in this world,” yet he has no share in the Hereafter

My Interpretation:

Carried on from the last post, we see that this was a terrible time of war 600 yrs after Jesus. Polytheists were still murdering innocent people and attacking villages. Muhammad is being prepared by Gabriel to let him know the allowances he is given by God. There is going to be attacks on Muhammad and his peaceful muslims, since the Mecca leaders do not want to loose their wealth and their status-given to them by their “gods”. How easy for a pagan leader to call themselves divine when there are no holy books written by these deities! This is why Muhammad must harden and strengthen himself against the “disbelievers” who are and will continue to try to murder Muhammad’s growing alliance of Muslims.

Many people today take these verses for being violent commands by Muhammad. But what they fail to do is to bring history into context of the meaning. They are not understanding the historical time when monotheism was greatly warred against by the pagans in charge. Monotheism was not as popular, nor as big as polytheist worship in many parts of the world. God is prescribing self defense of the righteous because by sheer logic, if the righteous believers never fought back, today Mecca would be pagan and who knows what darker path it could have lead mankind down. When I hear about the ancient civilizations claiming blood sacrifices suffice their nature gods…I shudder to think what we would experience today, if we never received guidance from above.

As you can see in these verses clearly, Muhammad is given clear orders to only be assertive, not aggressive towards these tribes. Muhammad must never kill out of anger or revenge off their land, but if the enemy comes towards them and fights them at their mosques and sacred spaces, then it is allowed to fight back and kill them back. If they pull back their armies, then Muhammad must pull back his. It is a big responsibility to be a representative of God’s Mercy and Forgiveness, and Muhammad is given the allowance to do so.

As I try to tell people who are afraid of Islam and misunderstand it, terrorism would be a tactic of the enemies of God and the angels-not a honorable way of  war.

Charity is always mentioned and we are reminded to be aware of the needs of others, even during war time. Going to Hajj and doing the pilgrimage is important for muslims of any generation. It brings you closer to understanding Islam and purifies you in a sense. This is why the head is shaved just as the  Buddhist and Christian monks did at one point for spiritual reasons, it purifies you and helps you lose attachments to superficial beauty and earthly matters. 

All muslims are called to do pilgrimage by God, BUT once again God understands your life and knows what you can do and can not do. God understands the intents and desires of a person, even if their bank account does not allow it. So here Archangel Gabriel is saying, muslims should find a way to go, but also to know that it is no sin on them if they can not. They can make up for their absence during it in other ways, such as donations, fasting for 10 days, and charities. Hajj is a time to remember what is important in life in service and worship to God.

The Hajj going by JUST the Quran states that 4 months are sacred and should be observed as so. Four months you may not fight, have sex, and be conscious of what you do. There seems to be a truce called between the polytheists and muslims at this time, and it is called for Muhammad to not fight anyone at this time of spiritual observance. My guess is that it gave each side time to think about the importance of the war and decide whether or not it is worth losing lives over.

Arafat is the mountain that people lived on and could then go down to the Kabbah to observe worship. Today it is where muslims move from to the Kabbah to sit together and pray during the pilgrimage. There is arguments about what four months are sacred. By going strictly with logic, I believe that they are the last 4 months from Ramadan, which changes every year depending on Lunar Calendar. 

The reason I see this is because after such a holy month when the Quran was said to first come down in the Night of Power, it seems that 4 months after that would be needed to observe and allow for this holy time to spread to others and permeate society. To me in this Quran, pilgrimage can be done at any time during these 4 months instead of squeezing millions of muslims into a few days as it is done today. I am not so sure God prescribed a holiday, as much as a time of great reflection to take up 4 months of your year, every year. By sheer logic-this could alter a person immensely, in a good way. It could make people more reflective in nature if they needed to stop their bickering and human endeavors for four months. That is a lot of time, to think about what to do with the other 8 months and to appreciate what has been given to you already.

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