Killing the “Other” to Please the “LORD”!

Question and answer details
The concept of a heavenly reward for doing God's work on earth is a belief shared by Christians and Muslims. Also to fight “the good fight” and so forth is a common phrase. I, personally, never liked the song ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ myself, but many do sing it occasionally. Now, this doesn't mean to kill those who are not Christians just to do good deeds. At least, I would hope not! The problem of course is when fanatics of any kind convince their followers that they are the only one's that are on God's side and to kill the others in his name. What do you say about that?
Heba Raouf Ezzat

Salam (Peace) Dear Arnold,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

I, of course, agree with you, that being a believer does not entitle you to kill those who do not share the same belief.

I also share with you the frustration of how some fanatics miss the essential teachings of their religion and then without any reasonable religious justification say: ‘Let's kill the “other” to please the “LORD”!’

Surely any reasonable person should respect that it is God's divine wisdom, that we differ. In the Quran Allah revealed:

{The Hour will certainly come: Therein is no doubt: Yet most men believe not.}

Surah 40 Verse 59

So we shouldn't expect everyone to believe. He also revealed:

{To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what God hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If God had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute;}

Surah 5 Verse 48

So, the wisdom of diversity of religions is made remarkably clear. It is not considered a negative situation that people should despair about and feel in need of changing. It is all part of God's plan.

Clashes between religions usually come from the sphere of politics. Founded in the quest for power, they are typically based on securing the interests of elites.

Yet the Quran, as the last divine message, sets out rules for struggle against aggression, describing specific political or military situations and setting some specific rules for them.

If a Muslim kills innocent people, then he should face capital punishment, full-stop! We cannot help that such people will always exist, but we have to deal with them according to the law which sets out the basic morals that have been transgressed. In such cases justice is what is needed, not uncontrolled brutal revenge which only fuels more violence!

Human blood and souls are sacred in Islam. I am afraid that if justice and impartiality, does not take place in dealing with enemies, we would have betrayed the mission we as believers from different traditions and backgrounds claim to uphold.

I hope this helps.

Mr. Lamaan Ball adds:

According to legend, a visitor to the White House during the Civil War said to Lincoln, "God is on our side." Lincoln was said to have replied:

"We trust, sir, that God is on our side. It is more important to know that we are on God's side."

Claims which people make that "God is on our side" subject God's will to the will of 'their side'. This is saying that God is a servant to their cause! In Islam we know that, on the contrary we are servants to God.

We should be submitting to His will as this is the very meaning of the word "Islam". In such a condition we can never take the arrogant step of asserting that God is on our side:

A Muslim should never even assert that he can or will do any act without saying afterwards inshaAllah meaning "God willing". In this way a Muslim recognizes his limitations and that God may want something else than what he wants.

I hope this helps address your concern.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Useful Links:

Did Islam Grow By Killing Non-Believers?

Killing the “Other”…

Killing non-Muslims

Islam and Killing of Infidels