Qur’an & Hadith Against Extremism

compiled by Sheila Musaji

Posted Apr 4, 2007      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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Qur’an & Hadith Against Extremism

compiled by Sheila Musaji

updated 7/9/2007


The following verses from the Qur’an may help clear up some of the misconceptions about the Islamic view of extremism, terrorism, war, jihad, and justice.  For responses to particular claims that have been made about particular verses of the Qur’an see Resources for Responses to Islamophobia and Allegations Against Islam and Muslims

Confound not truth with falsehood, nor knowingly conceal the truth.  Qur’an 2:42

“Those who believe (in the Quran), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians…and (all) who believe in God and the last day and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”  The Holy Quran, 2:62

And they say: None entereth paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian. These are their own desires. Say: Bring your proof (of what ye state) if ye are truthful. 
Nay, but whosoever surrendereth his purpose to Allah while doing good, his reward is with his Lord; and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.  And the Jews say the Christians follow nothing (true), and the Christians say the Jews follow nothing (true); yet both are readers of the Scripture. Even thus speak those who know not. Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein they differ.  Qur’an 2:111-113

“We made you to be a community of the middle way, so that (with the example of your lives) you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind.” (Qur’an, 2:143) 

To each [religious community] we have given a direction which it follows, so compete [all together] in [the performance of] good deeds. Whosesoever you may be, God shall certainly gather you all [for Divine Judgment]. God certainly has power over all things. (2:148)

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the God-fearing. 2:177

True piety (or righteousness) does not consist in turning your faces towards the cast or west but truly pious is he who believes in God and the last day and the angels and revelation, and the prophets; and spends his substance upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and the beggar, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage; and is constant in prayer, and renders the purifying dues; and truly pious are they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are patient in misfortune and hardship and in time of peril, it is they that have proved themselves true, and it is they, they who are conscious of God.  Qur’an 2:177

Fight in the path of God those who fight you, but do not aggress. Surely God does not love the aggressors. And fight them where you come upon them, and send them out from where they have sent you out, for persecution is a worse thing than fighting. And do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca) unless they fight you there, but if they fight you, then fight them back. That is the reward of the rejectors. Then if they cease, so God is All-Forgiving, Gentle. And fight them until there is no more persecution and the religion is for God. But if they cease, so let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers. - Qur’an 2:190-193

They will ask you what they should give away. Say: “Whatever is surplus to your needs.” (Qur’an, 2:219)

Let there be no compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam). The right direction is distinctly clear from error. (2:256)

O you who believe! Do not nullify your charity by demands for gratitude or insulting words, like him who spends his wealth, showing off to people and not believing in God and the Last Day… (Qur’an, 2:264)

Say: We believe in God, and in what has been revealed to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes, and in [the books] given to Moses, Jesus and the prophets from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to God de we submit in Islam. (3:84)

You will not attain true goodness until you give of what you love. Whatever you give away, God knows it. (Qur’an, 3:92)

“Let there arise from among you a band of people who invite to righteousness, and enjoin good and forbid evil.” (Qur’an, 3:104)

Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and in the race for a garden wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the righteous- (the righteous are) those who spend whether in prosperity or adversity, who restrain anger and who pardon all people. For God loves those who do good. (3:133 –134)

O you who believe! Do not eat up your wealth in vanities among yourselves. But let there be among yourselves trade conducted in mutual good will. Nor kill or destroy yourselves, for God has been most merciful to you. If any do that in rancor and injustice, soon shall we cast them into the fire, and that is easy for God. If you but avoid the most heinous of the things which are forbidden to do, we shall expel out of you all the evil in you and admit you to a gate of great honor. (4:29-31)

“O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” [Quran, 4:35]

“We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye, Nose for nose, ear of ear, Tooth for tooth, and wounds Equal for equal.” But if any one remits the retaliation By way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself.”  Qur’an 4:45

And what is with you that you do not fight in the path of God and (in the path) of the oppressed of men and women and children, those who say “Our Sustainer, take us out from this city, its people are wrongdoers, and decree for us a protector, and decree for us a helper”. Qur’an 4:75

Do not fight those who join a folk with whom you have a treaty, or they come to you with their breasts constricted against fighting you or fighting their own folk. And if only God had willed, He could have given them an authority over you so they would have fought you. So if they stand aloof and do not fight you, and they speak a word of peace, then God has not given you a way against them. - Qur’an 4:90

O you, those who have faith, when you go out to fight in the path of God, make things clear and do not say to someone who gives you peace, “You are not a believer,” - you coveting the pleasures of the life of the world, and with God is abundant reward. You were the same as that before, then God was gracious to you. So make it clear. Surely God is aware of what you do. - Qur’an 4:94

Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to God, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in faith? For God did take Abraham as a friend. And to God belong all things in the heavens and the earth. And it is he that encompasses all things. (4:122-126)

O You who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor, for God can best protect both. Follow not the cravings of your hearts, lest you swerve, and if you distort justice or decline to do justice, verily God is well acquainted with all that you do. (4:135)

“O ye who believe!  Remain steadfast for Allah, bearing witness to justice.  Do not allow your hatred for others make you swerve to wrongdoing and turn you away from justice.  Be just; that is closer to true piety.”  (5:8)

Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. (5:32)

Unto every one of you have We appointed a different law and way of life. And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but He willed it otherwise in order to test you by means of what He has revealed to you. Compete then with one another in doing good works! Unto God you all must return and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were wont to differ.  Qur’an 5:44-48

“Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabeaans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness—their wage waits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.”  Qur’an 5:69

” . . . and you will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: ‘We are Christians.’ That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.”  Qur’an 5:82

“Say, come, I will recite what God has made a sacred duty for you: Ascribe nothing as equal with God; Be good to your parents; You shall not kill your children on a plea of want; we provide sustenance for you and for them; You shall not approach lewd behavior whether open or in secret, You shall not take life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus does God command you, that you may learn wisdom.  And you shall not approach the property of the orphan, except to improve it, until he attains the age of maturity.  Give full measure and weight, in justice; no burden should be placed on any soul but that which it can bear.  And if you give your word, do it justice, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill your obligations before God. Thus does God command you, that you may remember.  Verily, this is my straight path: follow it, and do not follow other paths which will separate you from God’s path. Thus does God command you, that you may be righteous.”  Qur’an 6:151-153

And if they incline to peace, so you must incline to it. And trust in God, for He hears and knows all. - Qur’an 8:61

Surely those who have faith and who emigrated and strove with their wealth and their souls in the path of God, and those who sheltered them and helped, such, they are protecting friends of one another. And those who have faith but they did not emigrate, you do not have any duty of protection over them until they emigrate. But if they seek your help in the religion, then it is on you to help them except against a people with whom you have a treaty. And God sees all that you work. - Qur’an 8:72

To those who persevere in doing good is a reward more than in measure. No darkness nor shame shall cover their faces. They are companions of the garden where they will live forever. But those who have earned evil will have a reward like evil. Humiliation will cover their faces. They will have no defender from God. (10:26-27)

Invite all to the way of your God with wisdom and beautiful preaching. And argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious. For your God knows best who have strayed from his path and who receive guidance. And if you do respond to an attack, respond no worse than they did. But if you show patience, that is indeed the best course. Be patient- for your patience is from God . . . Indeed, God is with those who restrain themselves and those who do good. (16:125-128)

“Nor take life, which Allah has made sacred, except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, We have given his heir authority (to demand Qisas [retribution] or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the law)” (17: 33). 

Permission (to fight) is given to those who are being attacked, because they have been wronged. And surely God measures out help for them.  (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, “our Lord is Allah.. Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will).  - Qur’an 22:39-40

“… They should rather pardon and overlook. Would you not love Allah to forgive you? Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 24:22)

The worshippers of the All-Merciful are they who tread gently upon the earth, and when the ignorant address them, they reply, “Peace!“  Qur’an 25:63

[Believers are] those who do not bear false witness and who, when they pass by worthless talk, pass by with dignity. (Qur’an, 25:72)

And when they hear vain talk, they turn away from it and say: “To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we do not seek out the ignorant.”  Qur’an 28:55

Give relatives their due, and the poor and travellers. That is best for those who seek the pleasure of God. They are the ones who are successful. (Qur’an, 30:38)

Goodness and evil are not equal.  Repel evil with what is better.  Then that person with whom there was hatred, may become your intimate friend!  And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but people of the greatest good fortune. Qur’an 41:34-35

The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree), but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from God, for God does not love those who do wrong. But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong done to them, against such there is no cause of blame. The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrongdoing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice, for such there will be a penalty grievous. (42:40-43)

Oh mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (Not that you may despise each other).  Qur’an 49:13

We sent Our Messengers with clear signs and sent down with them the Book and the measure in order to establish justice among the people (Qur’an 57:25)

God does not forbid that you do good and make justice for those who do not fight you in the religion or drive you out from your homes. Indeed, God loves those who do justice. God only forbids your friendship with those who fight you in the religion and drive you out from your homes and back those who drive you out. And who befriends them, such are wrongdoers. - Qur’an 60:8-9

…. But if you pardon and exonerate and forgive, Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Qur’an, 64: 14)


“On the authority of son of Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both), from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), among the sayings he related from his Lord (glorified and exalted be He) is that He said: Allah has written down the good deeds and the bad ones. Then He explained it [by saying that] he who has intended a good deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds to seven hundred times, or many times over. But if he has intended a bad deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed.” It was related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.  Hadith Qudsi

“On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: Allah (mighty and sublime be He) will say on the Day of Resurrection:  O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink whin You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me.” It was related by Muslim.  Hadith Qudsi

“On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said that Allah the Almighty said:  There are three (1) whose adversary I shall be on the Day of Resurrection: a man who has given his word by Me and has broken it; a man who has sold a free man (2) and has consumed the price; and a man who has hired a workman, has exacted his due in full from him and has not given him his wage.” (1) i.e. types of men.  (2) i.e. a man who has made a slave of another and has sold him.  It was related by al-Bukhari (also by Ibn Majah and Ahmad ibn Hanbal).  Hadith Qudsi

On the authority of Jundub ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:  There was amongst those before you a man who had a wound. He was in [such] anguish that he took a knife and made with it a cut in his hand, and the blood did not cease to flow till he died. Allah the Almighty said: My servant has himself forestalled Me; I have forbidden him Paradise.  It was related by al-Bukhari.  Hadith Qudsi

Indeed, whoever (intentionally) kills himself, then certainly he will be punished in the Fire of Hell, wherein he shall dwell forever)), [Bukhaaree (5778) and Muslim (109 and 110)].

“Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.” (Al- Tirmidhi)

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah that a woman was found killed in one of the battles fought by the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). He disapproved of the killing of women and children.  (Book 019, Number 4319 Sahih Muslim)

It is narrated by Ibn ‘Umar that a woman was found killed in one of these battles; so the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) forbade the killing of women and children. (Book 019, Number 4320)

“What is it that you consider as martyrdom?” they answered, “To be killed in a holy war”, the prophet then said : “there are seven possibilities to achieve martyrdom aside from dying in a holy war, these include, those who die as a result of poisoning, those that drown in water, those that fall ill with a virus, those that have leprosy, those that are burnt in a fire, those that are buried by scaffolding and those that die in childbirth” (hadith narrated by Abu Dawud, an-Nasai, Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban, see al-Mundziri, at-Targhib wa at-Tarhib min al-Hadits asy-Syarif, II/335).

A quote not readily seen in the American media is of the Prophet Muhammad telling his companions as they go home after a battle, “We are returning from the lesser jihad [the battle] to the greater jihad,” the far more vital and crucial task of extinguishing transgression from one’s own society and one’s own heart. (Riyadh-us-Saliheen)

One whose intention is not pure will deserve Hell. Purity of intention is essential in all deeds.  Narrated Abu Huraira (r.a.): I heard Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.s.) saying: The first of the people whose case will be decided on the Day of Judgment will be a man who died as a martyr. He will be brought forth. Allah will make him know about His blessings (Which He had bestowed on him in the world). The man will acknowledge them. Then Allah will ask him: What did you do with them? He will say: I fought in Your way until I died as a martyr. Allah will remark: You are lying. You fought so that you may be called a brave warrior. Then orders will be passed against him. So he will be dragged along on his face and cast into Hell… (This Hadith is sound and reported by Muslim and Nasa’i)

Sound Hadith on Nonviolence, Peace, and Justice, Compiled by Dr. M. Hafiz Syed, Edited by Kabir Helminski http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/a_collection_of_sound_hadith_on_nonviolence_peace_and_justice/