The Sword verse, found in the fifth verse of the ninth chapter of the Qur’ān (Q 9.5), is arguably the most powerful verse in Islam’s holiest book. According to Muslim scholars, the Sword verse abrogates or nullifies over a hundred pacifist verses that call for peaceful coexistence and religious tolerance with non-Muslims. This aptly named verse (“…slay the idolaters wherever you find them…” ) allegedly was revealed to Muģammad after the earlier pacifist verses, which means its command takes precedence.
- What is the history and application of the Sword verse since its revelation?
- How does the Sword verse impact the politics, culture, and traditions of Islam?
- How do Muslim moderates view jihad?
- When Islamic terrorist groups, such as Islamic State, apply the Sword verse, are they radical or righteous Islamists?
- Is Islam really a religion of peace?
This book is an extensive examination of the Sword verse, providing the historical context that preceded its introduction and analyzing the Qur’ānic challenges to its supremacy. It also presents the interpretations of this controversial verse by notable Muslim scholars, past and present, and how these explanations influence its application in today’s world.
Noteworthy resources in this study include a detailed table of 129 verses abrogated by the Sword verse, with commentary and references, paired with its own index to help readers locate particular abrogated verses by specific topic and issue.