3 months ago, exactly in 28 June, I've been asked by an American friend to tell how to find references in the Qur'an about offensive and defensive Jihad. So I decided to make a research, a research in the Qur'an. I aimed at collecting all the verses that mentioned Jihad, whether by the meaning of 'fighting' or 'struggling'. I aimed also at finding the verses which invite to peace with non-Muslims and even the verses which only mentioned the word 'peace'. Another goal was finding out how Qur'an focused on mind speech instead of clashing with non-Muslims.
I believed that all these subjects are related very strongly, when Jihad is connected to war in the minds of some non-Muslims, so it's important to show how Islam invited to peace. On the other hand, when war is clashing with others, so it's necessary to clarify how Qur'an invited to mind speech, logical arguing, love, respect and cooperation with non-Muslims.
First of all; it's important to have a look on this website which I created to review the verses.
Second; I'd like to tell some numbers related to the research..
6236 is the number of all the verses in the Qur'an
25 is the number of the verses that mentioned Jihad
29 is the number of the verses that invited to peace with non-Muslims or mentioned the word 'peace'
38 is the number of the verses that invited to tolerance and mind-speech with non-Muslims
A first thing that is noticed in Qur'an is that there is a fundamental rule that must be followed to apply Qur'an, without following this rule acts of the applier of Qur'an are suspected of its legality. This rule is that Islam must be applied as one unit, i.e. no Muslim can choose one verse of the Qur'an to apply without applying all other verses that talked about the same subject. Instead a Muslim must read every religious text related to a subject, after reading all of these texts he must understand them very well, if he couldn't he must ask a Muslim scholar, after all that he is presumed to have the complete image of the Islamic system about that subject, and he must then follow this complete image not only one part of it.
An example for that is the one who read a verse inviting to fight, and then he goes to kill a civilian in his work place(!!!) He completely ignored other verses that show who to fight against whether soldiers or civilians, how to fight, what are the limits of fighting, when to fight, etc. He took only one part of the image. Another example is the one who read these verses; "So woe to the worshippers * Who are neglectful of their prayers,* Those who (want but) to be seen (of men), * But refuse (to supply) (even) neighbourly needs." 107: (4:7) If he stopped on reading the first verse which talks about ".. woe to worshippers .." he would say: 'Then I won't worship', but if he completed the verses he will see the whole image, and will instead better his worshiping.
This rule is taken from more than one verse; one of them is; "... Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? but what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life?- and on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful of what ye do." 2:85 So such a Muslim that kill and destroy civilian targets justifying his acts by some verses of the Qur'an is doing something against Shari'a and Qur'an.
The first verse I met which was talking about fighting was the following; "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors." 2:190 I noticed that there are 2 conditions for fighting in this verse. The first is; ".. those who fight you ..', the second is; ".. but do not transgress limits ..". The second condition has been clarified by prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when he was saying to his followers every time they go in a battle that they shouldn't kill a woman or a child or a monastic or priest, and that they shouldn't cut a palm tree or burn a tree or demolish a house or a temple.
When I continued reading Qur'an and extracted some of the verses I realized that however Islam orders to fight against those who fight Muslims, and to punish severely those who kill innocents and terrify safe people, and to be always prepared by strength, but I understood that all these things come from the fact that Islam isn't just a system for personal life but instead is a system for both the individual and the state. It aims at organizing the daily life of a human, and in the same time to establish the Islamic state. So it's understood that 'self-defense' and 'punishing those who break the state law' and 'being a powerful and respected state' are only the normal rights of every state. These rights are applied and recognized by all members of international society nowadays.
So, when we read verses like; "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, .." or