“Salvation” and Koranic Crucifixion of “Corrupters”

Rick Moran blogged earlier about a report by Raymond Ibrahim regarding the possible crucifixion of opponents of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) President Mohammed Morsi. According to Ibrahim’s translation of the primary Arabic sources, critics of Morsi were beset by MB-supporting attackers,

…with sticks, knives, and Molotov cocktails, crucifying some of them on trees, leading to the deaths of two and the wounding of dozens

Moreover, a religious imprimatur for the attacks—a fatwa (Islamic religious ruling)—was ostensibly issued by Al-Azhar cleric Sheikh Hashem Islam, sanctioning this murderous  violence.

As with virtually all that has transpired since the advent of Springtime for Sharia in Araby, particularly Egypt, this ugly, brutal episode is bitterly ironic.

Following the murderous acts of jihad terrorism committed on September 11, 2001, Ibn Warraq highlighted the tragic irony of many apologists quoting selectively from Koran 5:32, “whoso slays a soul …shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoso gives life to a soul, shall be as if he has given life to mankind altogether,” attempting to demonstrate that the Koran disapproved of violence and killing. Here is the entire verse (5:32), quoted in full context, with the intimately related verse, Koran 5:33—which sanctions crucifixion of so-called “corrupters,” the archetypal “corrupters” of Islam being Jews:

(5:32) Therefore We prescribed for the Children of Israel that whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoso gives life to a soul, shall be as if he has given life to mankind altogether. Our Messengers have already come to them with the clear signs; then many of them thereafter commit excesses in the earth. (5:33) This is the recompense of those who fight against God and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement

[For direct comparison see, Mishna, Sanhedrin, IV, 5, “Thus was created a single man, to teach us that every person who loses a single soul, it shall be written about him as if he has lost the entire world, and every person who sustains a single soul, it shall be written, about him as if he has sustained the entire world”]

As Warraq noted, with regard to Koran 5:32/33, (Ibn Warraq. Leaving Islam. Apostates Speak Out. Amherst, New York, 2003, p. 401.)

The supposedly noble sentiments are in fact a warning to Jews. “Behave, or else” is the message. Far from abjuring violence, these verses aggressively point out that anyone opposing the Prophet will be killed, crucified, mutilated, and banished

The classical Koranic commentary of Ibn Kathir, and the 20th century commentary of Mawdudi confirm and validate the anti-Jewish attitudes expressed in Koran 5:32/33. From Ibn Kathir (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Vol. 3, 2000, p.160), entitled, “Warning Those Who Commit Mischief ”:

This Ayah chastises and criticizes those who commit the prohibitions, after knowing that they are prohibited from indulging in them. [Like] [T]he Jews of Al-Madinah, such as Banu Qurayza, An-Nadir, and Qaynuqa..[Jewish tribes ultimately attacked, expropriated, expelled, and even massacred by Muhammad]

Mawdudi (from Towards Understanding the Qur’an. Vol. 2, pp. 155-56) includes a contextual reference to Koran 5:30/31 as well:

God honored some of the illiterate people of Arabia and disregarded the ancient People of the Book because the former were pious while the latter were not. But rather than reflect upon the causes of their rejection by God, and do something to overcome the failings which led to that rejection, the Israelites were seized by the same fit of arrogance and folly which had once seized the criminal son of Adam [verses 5:30/31], and resolved to kill those whose good deeds had been accepted by God. It was obvious that such acts would contribute nothing towards their acceptance by God. They would rather earn them an even greater degree of God’s disapproval. Since the same qualities which had been displayed by the wrongdoing son of Adam were manifest in the Children of Israel, God strongly urged them not to kill human beings and couched his command in forceful terms.

The “land” (in verse 5:33) signifies either the country or territory wherein the responsibility of establishing law and order has been undertaken by an Islamic state. The expression “to wage war [fight] against Allah and His Messenger” denotes war against the righteous order established by the Islamic state.

Broadening the circle of animus beyond Islam’s inveterate hatred of Jews, “corrupters” include anyone opposing the Islamic Sharia State. Tafsir al-Jalalayn, the most authoritative single volume Koranic commentary in Egypt (and beyond; a joint project of al-Mahalli [d. 1459], and the great Egyptian polymath, Suyuti [d. 1505]), provides this additional gloss on Koran 5:33:

The reprisal against those who wage war on Allah and His Messenger by fighting the Muslims and go about the earth corrupting it by committing highway robbery is that they should be killed or crucified, or have their opposite hands and feet cut off—right hand and left food—or be banished from the land. The conjunction “or,” which separates the different punishments, indicates that they should be applied in order of severity according to the particular circumstances of the crime. Killing is for someone who only kills. Crucifixion is for someone who kills and steals. Amputation is for someone who steals but does not kill…[A]nd in the Next World they will have a terrible punishment in the Fire

As President Morsi himself promised during the election campaign in mid-May, 2012:

The shari’a, then the shari’a, and finally, the shari’a. This nation will enjoy blessing and revival only through the Islamic shari’a. I take an oath before Allah and before you all that regardless of the actual text [of the constitution]… Allah willing, the text will truly reflect [the shari’a], as will be agreed upon by the Egyptian people, by the Islamic scholars, and by legal and constitutional experts…Rejoice and rest assured that this people will not accept a text that does not reflect the true meaning of the Islamic shari’a as a text to be implemented and as a platform. The people will not agree to anything else

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