Questions and Answers > Qur'an > Contradictions Qur'an 1-15

Qur’an 8:61 - Is it possible to ask for peace?

There are different answers to the question in the Qur’an:

1. It is possible to ask for peace - Qur’an 8:61
“And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah” (Qur’an 8:61)

It is allowed by the Qur’an to accept a peace agreement from non-Muslims. This verse is a guideline to help in a peace process: “(And if they incline to peace) if the Banu Qurayzah incline to and desire peace, (incline you also to it) and desire it, (and trust in Allah) in relation to their breaking or honouring of treaties.” [1].

2. It is not possible to ask for peace - Qur’an 47:35

“So do not weaken and call for peace while you are superior.” (Qur’an 47:35)
A guideline not to help in a peace process, because of your own superiority: “(So do not falter) do not weaken, O believer, upon fighting the disbelievers (and cry out for peace) and it is said this means: for Islam before fighting (when you (will be) the uppermost) when you are the victorious and the ultimate consequence will be in your favour.” [2]. This verse is in line with Qur’an 2:191 with a command to kill the enemy: "And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you". In Qur´an 2:193 everyone who rejects Islam has to be killed: "Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah".

3. Muslim response

Many Islamic scholars comment that the more peace oriented verses in the Qur´an were in the early revelations of the Qur´an. In later revelations, they were replaced by more self-oriented and violent ones because of the successes of Mohammad´s military campaigns.

4. Conclusion

The Qur’an has a contradiction about peace. One verse says that a Muslim can make peace, while another verse is telling us that he has to reject a request for peace.


Notes:

1. Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs, http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=8&tAyahNo=61&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0
2. Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs, http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=47&tAyahNo=35&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0

Qur'an 19:33: Is Jesus peace?