Quran Facts | 4:142 – Allah Will Grant Victory Only To Muslims
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4:142 – Allah Will Grant Victory Only To Muslims

Introduction

It is alleged that some verses of the Holy Quran deny freedom of religion and conscience which can form the basis for extremist ideology that looks to enforce conversion of non-Muslims to become Muslims. However, an academic review of the context of these verses and their understanding in light of the fundamental teaching of Islam that there can be no compulsion in religion (2:257) fully rebuts this allegation.

 

In fact, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace) has been recognized and lauded by academics and historians for his secular credentials and for upholding freedom of religion. Author and historian Michael Hart writes in his book– The 100: A Ranking of The Most Influential Persons of History– “My choice of Muhammad to the lead the list of world’s most influential persons may surprise some and be questioned by others but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.”

Those who wait for news concerning you. If you have a victory from Allah, they say, ‘Were we not with you?’ And if the disbelievers have a share of it, they say to them, ‘Did we not get the better of you, and protect you against the believers?’ Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection; and Allah will not grant the disbelievers a way to prevail against the believers. (4:142)

 

Allegation

The allegation against this verse is that the phrase “and Allah will not grant the disbelievers a way to prevail against the believers” encourages a sense of supremacy to non-Muslims.

 

Context

To understand the context of this verse we need to briefly visit the backdrop and circumstances of its revelations. The Muslims had suffered bitter persecution by oppressive Meccan authorities for preaching Islam and its values of monotheism, social justice and religious freedom. They eventually migrated having been invited to set up a government at Medina. However, they continued to face opposition and war.

At Medina, there were groups referred in the Quran as ‘hypocrites’’ who joined the Islamic movement but kept relations with its enemies. A reading of verses 4:139-142 makes it clear that it is these hypocrites that are being discussed in the said verses. The hypocrites (who claimed to be Muslim) are warned not to keep friendly relations with those disbelievers vested in the destruction of the Islamic movement. If they sit among them while verses of the Quran are being mocked at, then they are in league with the enemy.

The text ‘Allah will not grant the disbelievers a way to prevail against the believers’ refers to those opponents who were actively engaged in infiltrating the Islamic movement through the aid of the hypocrites they kept company with. It means their intentions and actions in this regard will not be successful; God will not permit it.

The Quran permits engagement with the enemy in self defence only. Verses 60:9-10 make this abundantly clear:

Allah forbids you not, respecting those who have not fought against you on account of your religion, and who have not driven you forth from your homes, that you be kind to them and act equitably towards them; surely Allah loves those who are equitable. Allah only forbids you, respecting those who have fought against you on account of your religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and have helped others in driving you out, that you make friends of them, and whosoever makes friends of them — it is these that are the transgressors

 

Further, to prevail does not imply extinguishing other religions which have the fundamental freedom and right to exist and propagate. It means that the correct and rational doctrine of Islam (which embodies and requires belief in all prophets and books of God) will prove its merit.


Fundamental Teachings of Islam

The following verse of the Quran makes it clear that Islam endorses a universal belief in God, His Judgement and do good deeds whether such people be Jews, Sabians, Christians or others.

Surely those who have believed in Muhammad as a Messenger of God, and the Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians—whoso believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds, on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. (5:70)

The first chapter of the Quran known as Surah Fatiha begins with the words, All Praises be to the Lord of All the Worlds. Muslims recite these words several times during the five daily prayers. It does not say the Lord of the Muslims or the Believers but of all that exists including all peoples, races and nations on earth. This also endorses the principle of universality in Islam.

 

The religion of Islam by virtue of its Articles of Faith requires Muslims to believe in all the Books and Prophets of Allah. The Quran states that warners (or prophets) have visited all peoples (13:8). Therefore Muslims are required to believe in the truth of the prophets and Books of God that originated other religions.

 

Excerpt from page 406 “Introduction to the study of the Holy Quran”, by Mirza Bashiruddin Mehmud (1889-1965)— the second Caliph or successor of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (the Messiah and Mahdi foretold by Holy Prophet Muhammad – on whom be peace).

The followers of some religions believe that God stands in a peculiar relationship towards them from which all other human beings are excluded. They believe that though God is the Creator of the whole universe He is in a special sense the God of a particular people, for instance, the Israelites or the Hindus or the Zoroastrians. The Quran rejects this doctrine and teaches that not only is God unique in His being but that He is the source of the whole universe. The word Ahad occurring in the first verse of Sura Ikhlas means unique and also unity, that is to say, the source which is itself outside numbers but from which all numbers proceed. This verse indicates that God is equally the guide of the whole of mankind and entertains no special attachment to any particular people. Those who strive to attain nearness to Him He guides along the paths that lead to Him. Arabs, Jews, Persians, Indians, Chinese, Greeks and Africans are all equal in His sight, for He is the source of the creation of all of them.
(p. 406, Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur’an)
 

Further, below are excerpts from the farewell address of Holy Prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace) that expound on a universal brotherhood and equality among all peoples, Muslim and non-Muslim.

O men, what I say to you, you must hear and remember. All Muslims are as brethren to one another. All of you are equal. All men, whatever nation or tribe they may belong to, and whatever station in life they may hold, are equal.

While he was saying this the Prophet raised his hands and joined the fingers of the one hand with the fingers of the other and then said:

Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, any superiority to claim over another. You are as brothers.

Proceeding, the Prophet said:

Do you know what month this is? What territory we are in? What day of the year it is today?

The Muslims said in reply, they knew it was the sacred month, the sacred land and the day of the Hajj.

 

Then the Prophet said:

Even as this month is sacred, this land inviolate, and this day holy, so has God made the Iives, property and honor of every man sacred. To take any man's life or his property, or attack his honor, is as unjust and wrong as to violate the sacredness of this day, this month, and this territory. What I command you today is not meant only for today. It is meant for all time. You are expected to remember it and to act upon it until you leave this world and go to the next to meet your Maker.