One the fifty year sword pdf the most frequently quoted Quranic verses is chapter 9 verse 5. This verse is known as “The Verse of the Sword.
Muslim terrorists cite it to justify their violent jihad. As the Islamic source materials are examined it will become evident that verse 9:5 is part of the theology of jihad and is meant to be both offensive and defensive. It is directed against Pagans living both near to and far away from Muhammad. Understanding 9:5 in context requires an examination of the passage in which it is found.
Because of time and space constraints however, I will only review the first 8 or so verses. I have attempted to keep this article focused on 9:5 within the broad theology of jihad. 9:5 is a foundational stone in the building of jihad and general aspects of jihad must be discussed. There is also the related topic of abrogation, but that has been dealt with elsewhere1, 2, 3, 4. Now let us consider the historical background of the Sura. The series of events that have been discussed in this Sura took place after the Peace Treaty of Hudaibiyah. By that time one-third of Arabia had come under the sway of Islam which had established itself as a powerful well organized and civilized Islamic State.
7 English translation of the Quran. 9:2 For four months you shall go unmolested in the land. God and His apostle are under no obligation to the idolaters. 9:4 except to those idolaters who have honoured their treaties with you in every detail and aided none against you. With these keep faith, until their treaties have run their term. 9:5 When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them.
If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. 9:6 If an idolater seeks asylum with you, give him protection so that he may hear the Word of God, and then convey him to safety. For the idolaters are ignorant men. 9:7 God and His apostle repose no trust in idolaters, save those with whom you have made treaties at the Sacred Mosque. So long as they keep faith with you, keep faith with them. 9:8 How can you trust them?