The truth about Islam, killing, the Quran, terrorism, and the so-called religion of peace

by Matt Slick

In the aftermath of Islamic terrorist activity in America and abroad, the news media has defended Islam by calling it a religion of peace.  But, there is an unpleasant truth about Islam, the Quran, terrorism, and killing that everyone needs to know. The Quran, which is the source of Islamic theology and a guide to Muslim behavior (along with the Hadith1), definitely advocates killing non-Muslims.  Let's take a look

  • Surah 9:5, "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
  • Surah 9:29, "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

The Quran is not arranged chronologically or topically. Instead, it is arranged from the largest surah first (a surah is a chapter) to the smallest. So, for example, the last surah written is surah 110 and the second to last is Surah 9. In addition, there is a concept in Islam called abrogation. This means that the later surah (chapters), are more authoritative than the ones before it. Surah 9 is the second to last surah written in the Quran. Therefore, it is the final word since the last surah in the Quran, 110, contains nothing that relates to Surah 9. Remember, it is Surah 9 that has the admonition to kill non-Muslims until the population of "unbelievers are subdued under sharia (Islamic Law).

The unpleasant truth is that the Quran teaches the faithful Muslim to be at war with unbelievers until they are all subdued.  This war includes killing in order to bring about Islamic order worldwide. 

If you doubt my analysis, then please consider the following commentaries (tafsir) written by Muslims regarding these two verses mentioned above.  I have underlined the important parts.

Islamic Commentary by Muslims on Surah 9:5

  • Surah 9:5, "Then, when the sacred months have passed” that is, [at] the end of the period of deferment” slay the idolaters wherever you find them, be it during a lawful [period] or a sacred [one], and take them, captive, and confine them, to castles and forts, until they have no choice except [being put to] death or [acceptance of] Islam; and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush, [at every] route that they use (kulla, every, is in the accusative because a [preceding] genitive-taking preposition has been removed). But if they repent, of unbelief, and establish prayer and pay the alms, then leave their way free, and do not interfere with them. God is Forgiving, Merciful, to those who repent."2
  • "(Then, when the sacred months have passed) then after the day of immolation when the month of Muharram passes, (slay the idolaters) whose treaty is for fifty days (wherever ye find them) whether in the Sacred Precinct or outside it, during the sacred months or at any other time, (and take them (captive)) imprison them, (and besiege them) in their homes, (and prepare for them each ambush) on every road they tread for trade. (But if they repent) from idolatry and believe in Allah (and establish worship) and acknowledge the five daily prayers (and pay the poor-due) acknowledge the payment of the poor-due, (then leave their way free) if they wish to go to the House of Allah. (Lo! Allah is Forgiving) He forgives whoever repents, (Merciful) towards whosoever dies in a state of repentance.3

Islamic Commentary on Surah 9:29

  • Surah 9:29, "Fight those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, for, otherwise, they would have believed in the Prophet (s), and who do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, such as wine, nor do they practise the religion of truth, the firm one, the one that abrogated other religions, namely, the religion of Islam” from among of those who (min, from, explains [the previous] alladha, "those who") have been given the Scripture, namely, the Jews and the Christians, until they pay the jizya tribute, the annual tax imposed them, readily (an yadin is a circumstantial qualifier, meaning, compliant, or "by their own hands", not delegating it [to others to pay]), being subdued, [being made] submissive and compliant to the authority of Islam.4
  • Surah 9:29, "(Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture) the Jews and Christians (as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day) nor in the bliss of Paradise, (and forbid not) in the Torah (that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth) do not submit themselves to Allah through confession of Allah's divine Oneness, (until they pay the tribute readily) standing: from hand to hand, (being brought low) abased."5


Surah 9 clearly teaches hostility to all non-Muslims, even to the point of killing them. This truth is not abrogated by a later revelation and is, therefore, the final word of Allah to the faithful Muslim. Should we be concerned? Absolutely! After all, a religion with over a billion adherents that holds the Quran in high regard, a book which teaches killing people, should be taken very seriously.




  • 1. The Hadith is a record of the deeds and the sayings of Muhammad and is used as a guide in Muslim legal issues and cultural practices`
  • 2., Tafsir al-Jalalayn
  • 3., Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas
  • 4., Tafsir al-Jalalayn
  • 5., Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.