What does Islam teach regarding human relations? Islam is an Arabic word that means to surrender to the will of God in order to attain peace. That is to reject selfish ego and desire and have selfless compassion for the world around you.

“Dear Mankind, I have created you all from male and female and made you into different tribes and nations so that you may come to know one another. Indeed the best among you in the sight of God are the most virtuous. Indeed God is all-knowing and fully aware of that.” (Quran 49:13)

“I have merely sent you as an act of compassion to everyone and everything.” (Quran 21:107)

The Prophet said “You are not a believer until you have compassion.” His apostles responded, “But we do!” The Prophet then said, “True compassion isn’t just toward your family and friends, rather true compassion is to all mankind.” (Al-Targheeb 210)

There are hundreds of verses emphasizing this beautiful fundamental teaching.

Then the skeptic asks, but what about all the verses of war and bloodshed? There are exactly 70 verses among the 6,236 verses of the Holy Quran that deal with responding to oppression and aggression (just over 1 percent). They were revealed to a people who were humiliated, tortured and even murdered simply for saying God is One.

After the Muslim community of Makkah was forced to migrate to Madinah, God revealed some verses in response to the threat of the Makkan idol-worshippers as well as later dealing with the perpetual war the imperial world of that day knew. Two of these verses might seem general, but in fact contextualizing them within the scripture as well as the life of the prophet and world history, we see they are all defensive and an exception to the norm of good Muslim/non-Muslim relations.

The confusion is regarding the 9th chapter of the Quran which is the only chapter out of 114 that doesn’t begin with “In the Name of God the Compassionate the Merciful.” This is the last chapter to be revealed to the prophet after the majority of Arabia had embraced Islam and the polytheists of Makkah had violated treaties and attacked the Muslims time and time again for two decades.

Basically, God banished the idol-worshippers and gave them four months to look into either studying Islam for potential conversion, leaving, or a final battle, which they could not win now that Islam is dominate in the region.

Verse 7:60 says Muslims should amass a military force to scare the enemy. Isn’t this modern American policy? The very next verse clarifies that war is defensive “If they incline to peace then you must too!”(7:61)

Another verse falsely quoted out of context is “…kill the disbelievers wherever you find them…” The actual verse states “Fight — for God’s sake — only those who fight you and do not be the aggressors. Indeed God does not like the aggressors. Kill them wherever you find them and drive them out of where they drove you out…” (2:190-191) Again, the very next verse says, “If they cease to fight, then indeed God is forgiving and merciful (as you should be).” (2:192)

The following verse exemplifies this fact, “There must be no hostility except against the persecutors” (2:193)

Similarly, Islam is completely against suicide bombings. The Quran states “Do NOT kill yourselves” (4:29) and “Do NOT Murder” (17:33). Prophet Muhammad said “Any Muslim who kills a non-Muslim with whom we have a peace treaty will NOT even get close to entering Heaven!” (Bukhari 3166)