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Question : #751 Category: Holy Qur'an
Subject: What does this ayah mean
Question: Salamu alaykum,
While i was reading the english translation of the Holy Quran i stumbled upon this translation

وَدُّوا لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ كَمَا كَفَرُوا فَتَكُونُونَ سَوَاءً فَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ حَتَّىٰ يُهَاجِرُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْهُمْ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا

They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.

Can you please explain to me the meaning of this verse, in particular the word "kill" .

Thank you for your time
Answer: Alakum Salaam.

The meaning:
They disbelieved, and then went further in disbelief, until now they wish you to join them in their disbelief, so that you too might become like them. Then Allah forbids the Muslims to take friends from among them except when they leave their homes and migrate in the way of Allah. If they fail to do so, then your only duty towards them is to seize them and kill them wherever they are found; the believers must refrain from befriending them or seeking their help. The clause, "but if they return back", indicates that the believers must ask them to migrate; if they migrated then they should be taken as friends, otherwise they are to be killed.

The verses are connected with the preceding ones, as these are concerned with the order of fighting against a particular group of polytheists - the double-faced among them. On meditation it is seen that they were revealed about some polytheists who claimed to accept Islam in presence of the believers, and then they returned to their homes and joined the polytheists in disbelief. [When a chance came to fight them], the believers were divided; one group said that they should be fought against, while the other opposed it and interceded for them because they had accepted Islam. But Allah offers them only two alternatives: they should [leave their original place and] emigrate to Medina otherwise they should be struck at. Then He warns the believers against interceding for such people.

Such people will be repeatedly followed by others like them; all of them will be required to offer peace to the Muslims; if they fail to do so, they should be fought. This is the main theme, for which the ground is paved by describing the condition of intercession in one verse, and offering of greetings in another, as it is relevant to offering of peace.

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