The Legitimacy of Massacres in Islam

Study of Muslim history reveals brutal slaughters to be not only regular, but under certain terms a religious duty

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Many in Israel and the Western world are unable to comprehend how human beings could engage in such heinous acts as those perpetrated by Hamas and residents of Gaza in the massacre of communities, towns and kibbutzim in Israel’s south on 7 October 2023.

To understand, it is essential to explore the religious and legal foundations of Islam. A review of these foundations will reveal that these acts are not only not unusual in Muslim history, but under certain conditions, are a religious obligation, according to the Fiqh, commonly known as the Islamic law, as it has been applied in practice since the inception of Islam to the present day.

The definition of good in Islam – Emulation of the actions of Muhammad

First, it must be understood that in Islam, there is no absolute “good ” derived from universal rules of justice. Good rather is obtained through emulation of the actions of the founder of Islam, Muhammad, as stated in the Qur’an:

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ – You have an excellent example in the Messenger of Allah[i]

The predominant branch of Islam, uniting nearly one and a half billion people worldwide today, is the Sunnah, which means the emulation of the actions of Muhammad. That is why in order to comprehend the events of October 7, 2023, it is crucial to become familiar with the biography of Muhammad, because it serves as the foundation for Islamic law to this day. As Prof. Paul Fenton explains: “Islam stands on three foundations,” which are the three fundamental sources for determining law in Islam: the Quran, the Hadith – narration of the actions and sayings of Muhammad, as reported by his companions and believers[ii] – and the Sirah, a detailed account of Muhammad’s life story. Furthermore, it is crucial to understand how these principles have been implemented over the course the history of Islam up to the present day.

Another significant source is Muslim law and the principles of how law was determined in the history of Islam; for example, the Quran contains both moderate verses calling for tolerance, and militant verses devoid of any tolerance. Orthodox Islam operates according to the principle of naskh – abrogationwhereby one verse may abrogate another and militant verses in the Quran supersede more moderate ones.[iii] Those attempting to establish a new law based on moderate verses are to be punished with death![iv]


The attitude towards Jews in Islam

Let’s start with how Islam views Jews. Islam lives the life of Muhammad as if it were in the present, and this determines the behavior of Muslims. That is why it is important to underscore that for them, the stories of the life of Muhammad are not events relegated to the distant past, but rather a living, relevant benchmark for religious commandments that remain binding even today.

The Jews who lived during Muhammad’s time in the 7th century refused to acknowledge him as a prophet and Muhammad persecuted them. The first massacre carried out by Muhammad targeted the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. The Sirah of Ibn Ishaq, one of the most important books for the establishment of Islamic law that is studied throughout the Muslim world, recounts that the Jews of Qurayza told Muhammad:

“We will never abandon the laws of the Torah and never change it for another.”[v]

Following a “revelation,” Muhammad launched an attack on the Jews of Qurayza, reviling and accusing them of treachery, as depicted by the renowned historian al-Tabari, in his book Tarīkh al-Ṭabarī, a chronicle of human history from Adam up to his time, the days of Harun al-Rashid, the caliph of One Thousand and One Nights:

“The Prophet said to them: Apes and swine! How did you fulfill the will of Allah? They answered: Muhammad! You have never reviled us before. Why do you do so now? The prophet answered: It is Allah who is doing so.[vi]

And the Quran forever confirms Muhammad’s declaration:

“ قُلْ هَلْ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِشَرٍّ مِّن ذٰلِكَ مَثُوبَةً عِندَ ٱللَّهِ مَن لَّعَنَهُ ٱللَّهُ وَغَضِبَ عَلَيْهِ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهُمُ ٱلْقِرَدَةَ وَٱلْخَنَازِيرَ…”

Say, “Shall I inform you of worse than that for retribution from Allah? He whom Allah has cursed, and with whom He became angry; and He turned some of them into apes and swine…[vii]

The use of the epithet “apes and swine” to refer to the Jews is prevalent among contemporary Islamic scholars too. It was used, for example, by one of the greatest Sunni scholars, Sheikh Tantawi,[viii] who was the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University in Cairo and the grand Mufti of Egypt. Thus, this is not a recent fabrication or an imitation of Nazi propaganda but an authentic Muslim sentiment rooted in the actions and words of the perfect man, the founder of Islam.

Muhammad led an attack on the Jews of Qurayza with 3,000 soldiers, and following a 24-day siege, with no food or water, they surrendered. However, according to Tabari’s account, Muhammad subsequently ordered the systematic and horrific killing of all males, including boys, men and the elderly, one after another. Ali, Muhammad’s stepson, married to his daughter and the first Imam of the Shia, was the executioner.

Tabari describes that there was a great deal of work and the sun had already set. Torches were then brought to illuminate the necks of those to be executed, whose hands were bound, so that the executioner could see properly. Throughout the process, Muhammad sat and observed from the other side of the trench. It was a hot day, prompting Muhammad to repeatedly ask for water. The Jews of Qurayza, positioned before the trench, were given the opportunity to declare that the man seated across from them who was drinking water all the while was a prophet – but they refused and sanctified God’s name with their deaths.

“They were 800 men. The Prophet ordered their hands be bound and their property seized […] They remained bound for three days until all their property had been taken to Medina. Then, the Prophet ordered a trench to be dug in the marketplace [in Medina], sat down nearby and called Ali and Zubayr […] and ordered them to wield their swords and behead the Jews one after another and throw them into the trench. He showed mercy to the women and children but had all the boys who showed signs of puberty killed.”[ix]

Islamic scholars and Arab leaders today use this event to justify murder. Particularly noteworthy among them are the Shia scholars, given Ali’s status for them as the first Imam and his role in personally executing the Jews of Qurayza. This is what the Ayatollah responsible for training the officers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards declared:

“Those who are against killing have no place in Islam. Our Prophet killed with his own blessed hand. Our Imam Ali killed more than 700 on a single day.”[x]

Muhammad divided up the Jewish women and children among the Muslims, who were permitted to “marry” these women, exploit them sexually or sell them as slaves. The children became slaves, as documented by Ibn Sa’d, a Muslim scholar from the ninth century who wrote a well-known biography of Muhammad:

“Moreover, Allah confirmed the sentence: Kill the men and enslave the women and children.”[xi]

Muhammad also divided up the property of the captives among the Muslims, keeping a fifth for himself, and chose Rayhanah from among the captives, a woman whose husband and brother he had just murdered:

Then the Messenger of God divided the wealth, wives, and children of the Banu Qurayzah among the Muslims. On that day he made known the shares of horsemen and shares of foot soldiers, and he deducted from these shares the fifth […] The Messenger of God selected for himself from their women Rayhanah […] and she remained his concubine.”[xii]

All of these actions of course received the approval of Allah, as noted in the Quran:

“Some of them you killed, and others you took captive. And bequeathed to you their land, and their homes, and their possessions, and a region you have never set foot in because Allah is all-powerful.”[xiii]

Muhammad then waged a war against Khaybar, a fortified village inhabited by the Jewish tribe of Banu Khaybar. Following a prolonged siege, Muhammad’s army managed to capture the village thanks to unmistakable miracles, as Bukhari put it:

“A Jew would hide behind a rock. The rock opened its mouth and shouted to the Muslims: ‘Servants of Allah, a Jew is hiding behind me. Kill him!”[xiv]

Following the victory, Muhammad engaged in particularly cruel deeds, as documented in Ibn Ishaq’s Sirah, in Tabari and numerous other sources, and in Islam, these are considered virtuous deeds worthy of emulation. While searching for the treasure of the people of Khaybar, Muhammad ordered the torture of Kinana, one of the leaders of the tribe, to force him to disclose the location of the tribe’s treasures. This is how Muslim tradition describes what happened:

The Messenger of God gave orders concerning him to al-Zubayr […] saying, “Torture him until you root out what he has or until he dies. Al-Zubayr kept twirling his firestick in his breast until Kinana almost expired.”[xv]

Kinana did not speak and Muhammad ordered him executed. Among the captive women and children to be divided up as spoils of war was Safiyya, a beautiful young woman, whose mother was a member of the Qurayza tribe. She was also the wife of Kinana. A soldier of Muhammad named Dihyah had found her and dragged her way to ravish her. Muhammad took her from Dihyah because he desired her for himself. Then, without waiting to return to Medina, Muhammad, a bridegroom “now sixty years old”[xvi] and the husband of eight women, “married” her to make her his ninth wife and consummated the marriage with her in a tent erected for this purpose, after having just murdered – and brutally tortured –her husband.[xvii]

Following the period of Muhammad, Islam embraced this pattern and persisted in its violent treatment of the Jews. In Islamic history, brutal massacres of Jews who rebelled, or who were accused of rebelling against the dhimma laws, which mandated their humiliating submission to the authority of the Muslims, were not uncommon.

One example is the notorious massacre of the Jews of Grenada in 1066 because they were accused by a Muslim scholar of violating the laws of dhimma. This is what that scholar determined:

Fighting and killing the Jews is one of the duties imposed by Allah. The sword will cease to be wielded on their necks only on the condition that they pay the jizya [a head tax imposed from the time of Muhammad on Jews living under Islamic rule] and be humiliated. […] I state with certainty that the blood of Jews may be spilled, and even of their children and wives. […] I swear by the one on whom my life depends [Allah] that the elimination of a Jew, even if only one, gives a reward that is greater than waging a war against idolaters. Wherever you find one, seize and kill them! Everywhere loot their property, capture their children and wives…”[xviii]

This is how the historian Eliyahu Ashtor briefly describes the dire results of the unbridled incitement spewed by this Sufi scholar:

The Berbers and Andalusians were armed with hammers and axes. […] After the mob overpowered the defenders, they broke into the homes and began their massacre. […] The mob watched with enjoyment, its triumphant roar mingled with the cries of pleading women and wailing children. Here an old man was stabbed, there a woman was hung from a beam; here a rapist violated a woman while his companion ravished her daughter, and when they were sated, they slaughtered both; the beheaded corpses of infants were everywhere. […] Streams of blood flowed in the narrow streets.[xix]

It is estimated that 3,000-4,000 Jews were slaughtered in this massacre in Granada – in one day![xx] Joseph Hanagid, the leader of the Jews and son of Shmuel Hanagid, was crucified on the city gate.[xxi]

Acts as horrific as those that occurred on October 7 in the Israeli communities near Gaza have historical parallels in brutal pogroms perpetrated against Jews throughout the history of Islam. Numerous instances are documented in Paul Fenton’s important book, Exile in the Maghreb: Jews under Islam, Sources and Documents, 997–1912. Also noteworthy is the Hebron pogrom of 1929, during which Muslims committed atrocities against Jews similar to those perpetrated by Hamas.[xxii]


The division of the world into Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb

Islam divides the globe into two main domains: Dar al-Islam, the abode of Islam, comprising all lands that have ever been conquered by Muslims, and Dar al-Harb, the abode of war, encompassing lands not yet conquered by Muslims.

In the Islamic vision, when the Muslims complete their conquest of the entire world, the long-awaited peace will come and the world will be called Dar al-Salam, the abode of peace. Islam, therefore, is a political religion with no separation between religion and state. The overarching goal of Islam is to implement Islamic rule and Sharia domination worldwide.[xxiii]

Thus, the war of the Muslims against the State of Israel is a war against a triple impurity[xxiv]:

1.If a portion of Dar al-Islam is occupied by non-Muslims, it is the individual duty of every Muslim to liberate it. Since the Land of Israel was conquered in the seventh century by Omar (Umar), every Muslim is religiously obliged to free it. Thus, according to Muslim law, the savage murders committed by Hamas are considered defensive jihad.

2.The Jews, as one of the “Peoples of the Book” (أهل الكتاب), may live, but only as long as they adhere to the humiliating conditions of the dhimma. The Jews of the State of Israel, however, are considered to be rebelling against the laws of the dhimma, because they do not submit to the authority of Islam.

3.It is forbidden for Jews to subordinate Muslims, and in the State of Israel, Muslim Arabs are subordinate to Jews.

In this context, all means are justified in the war against the Jews, as explained by the greatest Muslim religious authority of the twentieth century, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the previous spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who sanctioned suicide attacks against Jews, even by women:

“Therefore, a woman’s participation in “martyrdom operations” [suicide attacks] carried out in Palestine – given the status of this land as occupied territory, in addition to the sacrilegious acts perpetrated by the Jews against the holy places – these acts are one of the most praised acts of worship…”[xxv]

Moreover, Jews are considered the worst enemies of Islam and are deemed murderers of Muhammad, because according to Islamic tradition, a Jewish woman poisoned meat she served to Muhammad, leading to his death from poisoning two years later.[xxvi] After Arafat’s death, the Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Religions alluded to the murder of Muhammad by Jews (with the clear assumption that all Muslim viewers would understand the reference) in order to support the claim that Israel was responsible for Arafat’s death.[xxvii] And just as Muhammad was elevated to the status of shaheed thanks to his poisoning, thus, Yassar Arafat  should also be considered a martyr. It is easy to understand why more than 80% of the inhabitants of the territories are convinced that Arafat was poisoned by the Jews.[xxviii]

According to Islamic tradition as described in the hadith, the last war, which will see the victory of Islam and its control over the whole world, will be waged between the forces of Islam, led by none other than Jesus (considered a Muslim in Islam), and the Jews, led by a monstrous figure with one eye, known as the Dajjal:

“The Prophet described the Dajjal, the one-eyed impostor, who opposes Christ. At His Second Coming, Jesus will kill the followers of the impostor. He will kill the Dajjal at a place known as Lod.”[xxix]

“The Messenger of Allah said: The Day of Judgment will not come until you fight the Jews and a rock behind which a Jew is hiding will say: O Muslim! A Jew is hiding behind me. Come and kill him!”[xxx]

This last part, which has its source as noted in the Hadith, appears in the first Hamas Covenant, and was noted in the Palestinian Authority’s briefing for Imams in preparation for their sermons the Friday following the massacre in the communities near Gaza.[xxxi]

We ought not assume that these are obscure and unknown texts. Every Muslim is familiar with these stories and they are not ashamed of them, quite the contrary. In an interview with the New York Times in 1998, Sheikh Yassin stated:

“The dajjal will come from the east and have 70,000 Iranian Jews as followers. Jesus will return to earth to fight the dajjal. They will have a war in Lydda, what the Jews call Lod. He will defeat the dajjal in Lydda and that will be the end of Israel and the Jewish people.”[xxxii]

This remains the classical view in Islam to this day. It is, therefore, not surprising that the current rector of Al-Azhar University, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, congratulated Hamas on the October 7 massacre.[xxxiii] As far as the leading center of religious learning and the supreme source of religious authority in the Sunni Muslim world is concerned, this is the right path. The International Union of Islamic Scholars (الاتحاد العالمي لعلماء المسلمين), headquartered in Qatar and Ireland, which represents the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, issued a fatwa – a legal ruling – in late October, decreeing it a religious duty for every Muslim to fight alongside Hamas. This obligation applies particularly to Muslims residing within the State of Israel and in Israel’s four neighboring countries.[xxxiv]

Already in the late 1980s, Hamas was pressed to explain the reason for the Zionist return of Jews to the Land of Israel from around the world, and they wrote as follows:

“Allah gathered the Jews in Palestine, not with the intention of giving them a homeland or a territory, but as a graveyard for them, aiming to rid the entire world of the harm caused by the Jews. Just as a pilgrim expiates his sins by sacrificing at the Mina rock[xxxv], the Jews are to be sacrificed at the Al-Aqsa rock.”[xxxvi]


The treatment of captives in Islam

In the matter of the treatment of captives too, the law in Islam was established based on the actions of Muhammad. The first case of taking captives occurred in the Battle of Badr (624) between Muhammad’s followers and the people of Mecca, where captives became a significant part of the spoils of battle.

A disagreement arose among Muslims concerning the fate of the captives. Umar, the future second caliph and Muhammad’s son-in-law, recommended killing them and burying the spoils. Abdullah proposed burning them alive along with the spoils, while Abu Bakr, the future first caliph and Muhammad’s father-in-law, urged showing mercy and seeking ransom for them. Muhammad once again had a revelation from Allah, stating that while the law is with Umar, that is, that they should be killed, Allah now allowed Muslims to engage in what He had prohibited for previous messengers – to take the spoils of war and demand ransom for captives. If not for this decree from Allah, the Prophet and his followers would be severely punished for pursuing this course of action.[xxxvii]

However, the Muslim leader retains the prerogative to kill captives. And indeed, among the captives of the Battle of Badr was a man named Uqba, who had spat on the prophet in the past:

“When the Prophet saw Uqba, the man who had spat in his face and that the Prophet had vowed to kill, he said to Ali: ‘Ali Go! Uphold the vow of the Prophet!’ When Ali unsheathed his sword to kill him, Uqba shouted: ‘Muhammad, if you kill me, who will look after my children?’ The Prophet answered him: ‘You and your children will burn in hellfire.’ And then Ali beheaded him.”[xxxviii]

Later, this principle was coded into law by a renown Islamic scholar of the twelfth century, Ibn Rushd, also known as Averroes, who is considered a moderate:

“Regarding captives, their fate is at the discretion of the leader: He may forgive them, enslave them, kill them or release them in exchange for a ransom or turn them into dhimmis, and in the case of the released captive, to pay the jizya.”[xxxix]

Maneuvering between the two approaches, ransom or killing, remains the practice to this day. This is what happened in the Philippines:

 “In their demand for ransom, the kidnappers made their immediate goal clear: to secure funds for their ongoing armed struggle. The ransom serves multiple purposes, first to compensate the fighters who have joined the cause, as their numbers continue to grow. Additionally, the money enables Abu Sayyaf to acquire weapons and vehicles, and even finance the construction of a powerful transmitter.”[xl]

“Two of the hostages were beheaded, among the six Christians who were abducted on Wednesday by the rebels of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) on the island of Jolo in the southern Philippines. […] One of the heads was found in a plastic bag, near the marketplace in the capital of the island of Jolo, and the second head was found on the night between Wednesday and Thursday, next to the army’s general headquarters. […] The remaining body parts were never found. A note found alongside one of the heads proclaimed that the same fate awaits those who do not believe in Allah.[xli]

A consequence of this ruling is the unpredictability of the captives’ fate. This was the approach taken by Muhammad and it remains a source of emulation for Hamas, Hezbollah and other similar groups in other countries. There is a view in the Islamic tradition that asserts that the reason for the defeat in the Battle of Uhud, a year after the Battle of Badr, was that captives were released in exchange for ransom rather than being killed.[xlii] And Sahih Muslim confirms that the correct view is that of Umar, who preferred to have the captives of Badr killed.

It was narrated that Ibn Umar said: “Umar said: ‘My Lord agreed with me concerning three things: Maqâm IbrâhIm, Hijâb and the prisoners of (the battle of) Badr.’”

It is, therefore, not surprising that Hamas indeed murdered many hostages in cold blood.[xliii]


The West is also in danger

The West should not deceive itself; a similar fate awaits it. This will come at the first stage in all countries that were once part of Dar al-Islam, such as France and Spain.[xliv]

Acts of extreme cruelty, including live amputations of those who refused to accept the religion of Islam, received Muhammad’s blessing. This is how one of Muhammad’s followers described what was done to those who refused recognize Muhammad:

 “I went into a cave there taking my bow and arrows, and while I was there in came a one-eyed man […] driving a sheep […] Then he lay down beside me and lifting up his voice began to sing: I won’t be a Muslim as long as I live, Nor heed to their religion give. I said (to myself), ‘You will soon know!’ and as soon as the badu was asleep and snoring I got up and killed him in a more horrible way than any man has been killed. I put the end of my bow in his sound eye, then I bore down on it until I forced it out at the back of his neck. Then I came out like a beast of prey. Suddenly there appeared two Meccans whom Quraysh had sent to spy on the apostle […] I recognized them and called on them to surrender, and when they refused, I shot one and killed him, and the other surrendered. I bound him and took him to the apostle. Now I had bound my prisoner’s thumbs with my bow-string, and when the Prophet looked at him, he laughed so that one could see his back teeth. He asked my news and when I told him what had happened, he blessed me.[xlv]

The founder of Islam blessed a man who had inflicted extreme cruelty on one whose only sin was his refusal to embrace Islam and its founder.

Muhammad also ordered his followers to carry out similar acts against anyone that opposed Islam in battle. This is what happened to the people of Uraina, who abandoned Islam, murdered a shepherd and stole camels:

The news reached the Prophet early in the morning and he sent men in their pursuit and they were captured and brought at noon. He then ordered to cut off their hands and feet (and it was done), and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron […] and when they asked for water, no water was given to them.”[xlvi]

The Quran itself explicitly justifies such cruelty:

سَأُلْقِى فِى قُلُوبِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ٱلرُّعْبَ فَٱضْرِبُواْ فَوْقَ ٱلأَعْنَاقِ وَٱضْرِبُواْ مِنْهُمْ كُلَّ بَنَانٍ […] ذٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ شَآقُّواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلْعِقَابِ […] فَلَمْ تَقْتُلُوهُمْ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ قَتَلَهُمْ وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ رَمَىٰ

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. So, strike above the necks, and strike off every fingertip of theirs. That is because they opposed Allah and His Messenger. Whoever opposes Allah and His Messenger – Allah is severe in retribution. […] It was not you believers who killed them, but it was Allah who killed them. And it was not you who launched when you launched, but it was Allah who launched.”[xlvii]

Massacres, modeled on the actions of Muhammad, occurred throughout Islamic history, particularly involving the conquest of cities that resisted Islamic armies.

Here are two examples: The first is the conquest of Constantinople in 1453:

“Since the days of the Caliph Omar and the first great conquests for the Faith, Islamic tradition has prescribed the proper treatment to be given to conquered peoples. […] But when a city is taken by storm its inhabitants have no rights. The conquering army is allowed three days of unrestricted pillage; they poured into the city. […] They slew everyone that they met in the streets, men, women and children without discrimination. The blood ran in rivers down the steep streets from the heights of Petra towards the Golden Horn. […] The sailors converged on the greatest church of all Byzantium, the Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom. […] The worshipers were trapped. A few of the ancient and infirm were killed on the spot; but most of them were tied or chained together. […] Many of the lovelier maidens and youths and many of the richer-clad nobles were almost torn to death as their captors quarreled over them. […] Monasteries and convents were entered and their inmates rounded up. Some of the younger nuns preferred martyrdom to dishonor and flung themselves to death down well-shafts. […]Private houses were systematically plundered […] The inhabitants were carried off along with their possessions. Anyone who collapsed from frailty was slaughtered, together with a number of infants who were held to be of no value; but in general lives were now spared. There were still great libraries in the city […] Most of the books were burnt; It was rumored that there were about fifty thousand of them, of which only five hundred were soldiers. The dead, including the civilian victims of the massacre, were said to number four thousand.[xlviii]

The second example is from the wars of Timur Lang, Tamerlane:

“Timur was also the first in the field, while, as champion of the Sunnah, he had potential partisans among the sedentary Muslim communities who were the outposts of Islam on the Steppe’s opposite coasts. […] We think of the monster who razed Isfahanin to the ground in A.D. 1381; built 2,000 prisoners into a living mound and then bricked them over at Sabzawar in 1383; piled 5,000 human heads into minarets at Zirih in the same year; cast his Luri prisoners alive over precipices in 1386; massacred 70,000 people and piled the heads of the slain into minarets at Isfahan in 1387; massacred 100,000 prisoners at Delhi in 1398; buried alive 4,000 Christian soldiers of the garrison of Sivas after their capitulation in 1400; and built twenty towers of skulls in Syria in 1400 and 1401.[xlix]

For Timur, these massacres represented the strict application of religious precepts, as attested by his historian:

“At the point of the revelation of beauty, he strives to honor the commandments of the holy law of Muhammad. […] He neglects no particular in deference to the dignity of the ulema, who are the legatees of the apostolate and the deputies of the court of prophecy.”[l]

Core conclusion

An understanding of Muslim tradition and Islamic law, which are the foundation for the conduct of the enemies of Israel and the West, is imperative for our survival. The brutal savagery seen in the October 7 massacre mirrors narratives from Muhammad’s stories described in the Hadith, and are considered a form of religious transcendence, as articulated in the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood, the mother movement of Hamas:

Islam is our way,

Jihad is our way,

and death for the sake of Allah is our loftiest aspiration.[li]

In order to achieve complete victory over the brutal and savage ideology of Islam, we must acquire a profound knowledge and understanding of its ideology. Western nations must unite and mobilize in an all-out war against it, much like the resolute stand the free world ultimately took against the Nazi ideology.


Dr. Ephraim Herrera is a scholar of Oriental and Islamic studies. Along with Prof. Gideon Kressel, ha is the author of the book ‘Jihad – fundamentals and fundamentalism’

[i] Quran 33:21

[ii] The two most important compilations, Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, are universally acknowledged and accepted across all Sunnah traditions.

[iii] For more details from the sources on the application of this principle to Jihad laws, see: R. Firestone, Jihad, The Origin of Holy War, Oxford University Press, pp. 50-65.

[iv] For an example of the application of this principle in Sudan today and the execution of an elderly sage who tried to base Islam on the moderate verses, see: Gilles Kepel, Jihad, Expansion et Déclin de l’Islamisme, Éditions Gallimard, 2000, p. 280, and p. 605, n.2

[v] Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah, The Life of Muhammad, translated by A. Guillaume, Oxford University Press, Karachi, 1996, p. 462

[vi] Tabari (839-923), La Chronique, vol. 2, Mohammed, Sceau des Prophètes, Actes du Sud, 1983, p. 230

[vii] Quran 5:60

[viii] Quoted in Memri, Special Report No. 11, Based on Koranic Verses, Interpretations, and Traditions, Muslim Clerics State: The Jews Are the Descendants of Apes, Pigs, And Other Animals, November 1, 2002,

[ix] Tabari (839-923), La Chronique, vol. 2, Mohammed, Sceau des Prophètes, Actes du Sud, 1983, pp. 231-232.

[x] Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali, quoted by Amir Taheri, Holy Terror, London, 1987, p. 36

[xi] Ib’n Sa’d, Tabaqat, Biographen Muhammads, seiner Gefähren, ed. Sachau, 1904, quoted by M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, Mahomet, l’homme et son message, Editions Albin-Michel, 1969, p. 144.

[xii] Tabari (839-923), The History of Tabari, Volume VIII, The Victory of Islam, State University of New York Press, 1997, p. 39.

[xiii] Quran 33:26-27.

[xiv] Quoted by M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, Mahomet, l’Homme et son Message, Albin Michel, p. 159.

[xv] Tabari (839-923), The History of Tabari, Volume VIII, The Victory of Islam, State University of New York Press, 1997, pp. 122-123

[xvi] Sir William Muir, The Life of Mohammad, Edinburgh, 1923, p. 378.

[xvii] Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Jahd, Chapter 74.

[xviii] Al-Maghili, Risala fi al-Yahud.

[xix] Ashtor, The Jews of Moslem Spain, vol. 2, The Jewish society of America, Philadelphia, 1979, pp. 188-189.

[xx] Dozy [1932], op. cit., tome 3, p. 73, who quotes several sources; Schirmann [1939], op. cit., p. 57; Maeso, David Gonzalo, Garnâta al-Yahûd, Granada en la Historia del Judaismo Espanol, Edicion Facsimil, Granada, 1990, p. 74; Se-Lavan Yossef, Shmuel Hanaguid, (heb.), Or-Am, 1980, p. 7.

[xxi] Sultan ʿAbdallah de Grenade, Kitâb al­tibyân, cité par Lewis, Bernard, Islam from the Prophet Muḥammad to the Capture of Constantinople, I. Politics and War, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987, p. 134.

[xxii] Eyewitness testimony of the Hebron Pogrom of 1929,

[xxiii] For more on this subject, see Majid Khadduri, War and Peace in the Law of Islam, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1955, who cites many sources.

[xxiv] Mahmoud Abbas said: “The Al-Aqsa [esplanade] is ours […] and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet”(Official PA TV, September 16, 2015).

[xxv] Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Fatwa: Palestinian Women Carrying Out Martyr Operations,, October, 5, 2003.

[xxvi] Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Ma’azi, Chapter 64.

[xxvii] Palestinian Television, 8 November 2013, cited at

[xxviii] Survey of Najah University in Nablus quoted in Proche-Orient Info, 22 novembre 2004.

[xxix] Sahih Muslim, 7034.

[xxx] Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Ma’azi, Chapter 94.

[xxxi] Palestinian Authority Communications Ministry, 20 October 2023.

[xxxii] Cited in the Jerusalem Post, 21 April 2002.


[xxxiv] Published on YouTube by the IUIS. Can be seen at,%20forty-eight-neighbors-arab-muslim-military-gaza.

[xxxv] One of the stages of the Hajj pilgrimage.

[xxxvi] Quoted by Jean-François Legrain, Mobilisation islamiste et soulèvement palestinien, in Gilles Kepel et Richard, Yann, Intellectuels et Militants de l’Islam Contemporain, Editions du Seuil, Paris 1990.

[xxxvii] Quran, Sura 8: 68-71.

[xxxviii] Tabari (839-923), La Chronique, Actes du Sud, 1983, vol. 2, Mohammed, Sceau des Prophètes, p. 167

[xxxix] Ibn Rushd, Bidayat al-Mujtahid wa-Nihayat al-Muqtasid, quoted in Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam, Princeton, 1995, pp. 27-42.

[xl] Solomon Kane, Islam contestataire aux Philippines, Le Monde Diplomatique, July 2000, p. 25.

[xli] Deux otages décapités par des rebelles du groupe Abu Sayyaf, Le Monde, 22 Août 2002.

[xlii] Sahih al-Bukhari, 64, 18 sq. ; al-‘Aïnî, 8, 211 ; Râzî, 1, 173.

[xliii] Sahih Muslim, Virtues of the companions, 6206

[xliv] For example, the speech by Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar, Lebanese Al-Quds TV channel, 28 October 2011.

[xlv] Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah, The Life of Muhammad, translated by A. Guillaume, Oxford University Press, Karachi, 1996, pp. 674-675.

[xlvi] Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Jahd, chapter 152

[xlvii] Quran 8, 12-17

[xlviii] Steven Runciman, The Fall of Constantinople, 1453, Cambridge University Press, 1965, pp. 143 -148

[xlix] Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History, Abridgment of volumes I-VI by D.C. Somervell, Oxford University Press, 1947, p.347

[l] Quran 33:21


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