Violence...The Verses

Verse (9:5)

The Holy verse says:
" And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." (9:5)

When was the verse revealed?
As we said before to understand a verse from the Holy Quran you have to put it in its right context. This verse is from surah (chapter) ALTAWBA. It is the chapter no 113 meaning the chapter before the last to be revealed to our noble prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. It was revealed in Medinah. It is the only verse in the Holy quran that does not start with the BASMALLA (i.e." In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful") that is to convey God's anger towards the disbelievers.

What is the REAL context of the verse?
Lets read the whole verse from the beginning. The Holy Quran says:
"[This is a declaration of] disassociation, from Allah and His Messenger, to those with whom you had made a treaty among the polytheists.

So travel freely, [O disbelievers], throughout the land [during] four months but know that you cannot cause failure to Allah and that Allah will disgrace the disbelievers.

And [it is] an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah is disassociated from the disbelievers, and [so is] His Messenger. So if you repent, that is best for you; but if you turn away then know that you will not cause failure to Allah. And give tidings to those who disbelieve of a painful punishment.

Excepted are those with whom you made a treaty among the polytheists and then they have not been deficient toward you in anything or supported anyone against you; so complete for them their treaty until their term [has ended]. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him].

And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.

How can there be for the polytheists a treaty in the sight of Allah and with His Messenger, except for those with whom you made a treaty at al-Masjid al-Haram? So as long as they are upright toward you, be upright toward them. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him]. How [can there be a treaty] while, if they gain dominance over you, they do not observe concerning you any pact of kinship or covenant of protection? They satisfy you with their mouths, but their hearts refuse [compliance], and most of them are defiantly disobedient.

They have exchanged the signs of Allah for a small price and averted [people] from His way. Indeed, it was evil that they were doing.

They do not observe toward a believer any pact of kinship or covenant of protection. And it is they who are the transgressors.

But if they repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, then they are your brothers in religion; and We detail the verses for a people who know.

And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease.

Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time? Do you fear them? But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers.

Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people

And remove the fury in the believers' hearts. And Allah turns in forgiveness to whom He wills; and Allah is Knowing and Wise." (9:1-15)

So who is the verse talking about?
This part of the surah (chapter) ALTAWBA is a declaration from God and His noble Prophet of disassociation to the disbelievers, but who exactly do we mean here...all the disbelievers or a certain category of disbelievers?

This above part of the Surah declares disassociation to the disbelievers who prosecuted our noble prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and the Muslims in Mecca. They conspired to kill the prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, drove Muslims out of Mecca, confiscated their homes and belongings for no reason but their being Muslims. Our Noble prophet made a peace treaty with those disbelievers, but they never stopped their aggression, so God ordered our noble prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to tell them that they are given four months in which they can move freely then he should wage war against them.

So are there disbelievers who are excluded from that war declaration?
This declaration of war IS NOT to all disbelievers, it is to those who continued conspiring and prosecuting Muslims and forcefully confiscated their belongings so some disbelievers were excluded from this war declaration. These disbelievers belong to one of these categories which are:
1-Those who made peace treaty with Muslims and did not violate their treaty with the Muslims in any way or support anyone against the Muslims "Excepted are those with whom you made a treaty among the polytheists and then they have not been deficient toward you in anything or supported anyone against you; so complete for them their treaty until their term [has ended]. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him]." (9:4)

2- "And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know." (9:6)

3- " except for those with whom you made a treaty at al-Masjid al-Haram? So as long as they are upright toward you, be upright toward them. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him]."(9:7)

4- "But if they repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, then they are your brothers in religion; and We detail the verses for a people who know." (9:11)

Why wage that war? the verse (9:8) explains why
"How [can there be a treaty] while, if they gain dominance over you, they do not observe concerning you any pact of kinship or covenant of protection? They satisfy you with their mouths, but their hearts refuse [compliance], and most of them are defiantly disobedient." (9:8)

and in the verse (9:10):
"They do not observe toward a believer any pact of kinship or covenant of protection. And it is they who are the transgressors." (9:10)

However even those who did all the above crimes repented then Muslims should not fight them

"But if they repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, then they are your brothers in religion; and We detail the verses for a people who know." (9:11)

But again if they return back to their old ways then they should be fought:
"And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease" (9:12)

and notice here that Muslims should fight the leaders of disbelief may be this would be a warning to the others to cease what they are doing, again God is giving them one last resort. But if they still insist then remember Muslims what crimes they had done against you for no reason except your faith so the next verse says: "Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time? Do you fear them? But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers." (9:13)

And the next verse is an encouragement from God and a promise of victory to the Muslims to urge them to fight back those who continually despite all chances given to them refused to let the Muslims live in peace, "Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people" (9:14) Notice here the used word is "fight the leaders of disbelief" which means both sides are fighting each other in a war not that the disbelievers were treacherously murdered without precaution or by surprise. They were told of their options , they were given four months living peacefully until they decide what to do. What nation tells the other nation four months ahead that they will attack them so they can be fully prepared for the war.

Please read very carefully the verse (9:13) that says:"Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time? Do you fear them? But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers."

Pay attention to the words "they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time?", so we are speaking of disbelievers who attacked Muslims FIRST and continued their aggressive deeds not even a peace treaty stopped them, to make things simpler MUSLIMS WERE THE VICTIMS HERE , so what do you expect Muslims to do, keep accepting those disbelievers' deeds for which Muslims pay their life or stand to face their aggressor.

Is that aggression or is itself defense against those who continually abused, transgressed, stole your property, conspired to kill the prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and finally broke their treaties with the Muslims .