Did the prophet Muhammad kill anyone during his lifetime?  How does the Qur’an promote killing?


Whether or not Muhammed actually killed anyone himself is not known, at least as far as I know.  However, he did order many killings, he led many raids on caravans, he led his followers into multiple battles and was, in effect, a general.  He was a man of war with much blood on his hands.  Probably most infamously, he ordered the execution of more than six hundred Jewish men in Medina for not supporting his leadership in the city.

There are several verses in the Qur’an which glorify or teach the application of violence and of killing people.  There are entire books in the Hadith (the second level of inspired scripture in Islam) which give advice on how to successfully wage warfare for Allah.

Sura 2:190 authorizes Muslims to kill for Allah and Sura 9:5 commands it.   It says, “And when the sacred months have passed,then kill the polytheists wherever you find and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush.

Here is a summary of the subject.

  1. Muhammed fought in or oversaw many battles, many of which were offensive ones.
  2. Muhammed ordered the execution and maiming of many people, including massacres.
  3. The Qur’an teaches Jihad as a means to spread the faith and there is no possible question that this Jihad is principally warfare.  Much of the Qur’an is advice for battle and conquest.
  4. The Hadith agrees with this and even expands on it.
  5. Muhammad’s vision was put into practice and by AD 700 his followers created one of the largest empires in history.
  6. Muhammed promised immediate access to heaven to those who died in war for Allah.
  7. Based on the doctrine of abrogation, what is acknowledged as the last or nearly the last of the suras is Sura 9—the most violent of all the Suras.  In this one, Muslims are told to no longer compromise with Jews or Christians, but to attack and defeat them.

John Oakes

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