An explanation of Chapter 2 verse 193 in Quran

Read the verse here. You can read different translations and translations in different languages.

Read the word by word translation here.

So basically the verse says
Fight the disbelievers untill there is no more Fitna and Islam established as only religion. But if the disbelievers cease fighting, let there be no hostility towards them, except against the Zalimun.


The verse after reading the translation looks bad enough. But this verse gets even worse when we translate the word "Fitna" and the word "Zalimun"

What does Fitna mean? It can have different meanings.

Read the Wikipedia article about Fitna

Read the definition from authentic islamic website Islamqa.com

Fitna basically means chaos due to disagreement in opinion. The verse could mean that fight them until there is no disagreement against islam.

In this specific verse, fitna is used to mean disbelief in allah, rejecting allah or accepting other gods besides allah. That's what Ibn Kathir said in his Tafsir.

So this verse means allah says, fight the disbelievers until there is no more disbelief in allah.

What does Zalimun mean? Zalimun is plural. Single is Zalim. Who are the zalimun or who is a Zalim?

  1. Every idolater is a Zalim (2:92, 7:148, 10:106)
  2. Every disbeliever is a Zalim (2:254)
  3. Whoever calls himself a god is a Zalim (21:29)
  4. Whoever denies any of the verses of Quran is a Zalim (29:49)
  5. Whoever invents a lie against allah is a Zalim (3:94, 6:21)
  6. Whoever makes false claims is a Zalim (11:31)
  7. Is your friend hostile to islam? Then you are also a Zalim (9:23, 60:9)
  8. Whoever follows desires rather than Quran and Sunnah is also a Zalim (2:145)
  9. Whoever punishes an innocent is a Zalim (12:79)
  10. Whoever violates the laws of allah is a Zalim (2:229)
  11. And lastly, whoever does not judge by the Quran and sunnah is a Zalim (5:45)


So the last part of the verse: no hostility except against the Zalimun means, except against them who are idol worshippers, pagans, atheists, non-muslims. I mean everyone other than muslims can be a Zalim. Even some muslims can be Zalimun according to Quran.

Interesting to see that in this verse, today's muslims translate Fitna as persecution and Zalimina as oppressors. In this way they make it look like muslims are the victims. But there attempt shows intellectual dishonesty. To know the accurate meaning we must follow what the early scholars honestly said about these verses.
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4 Responses to this post

    Anonymous said...

    Interesting, especially how the modern Muslims have redefined these words. From the examples you give of zalim, it sounds to me like it is someone who openly questions Islamic beliefs or breaks Islamic laws. So it seems to me that there are 2 conditions to cease hostility. The disbelievers must both no longer fight the Muslims and 2, they must not openly question Islam or break its rules.

    Anonymous said...

    Many words - including Zalim - do not have absolute meaning. The exact meaning can be extracted based on the context. If you read a couple of verses before this verse, it becomes clear what zalim means here (those fighting(2:190) with muslims, expelling them from their home (2:191) only because they wanted to practice their religion). Besides, the text does not say every zalim must be fought. It says, if they are not zalim, they should not be fought. If you know logic, you'll know your argument is a common pitfall. ~a->~b does not imply a->b.

    Syed F. Hassan said...

    But they will never long for it because of what their hands have sent before them (i.e. what they have done). And Allah is All-Aware of the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).

    (Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #95)

    Anonymous said...

    two thumbs up

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