Revenge And Forgiveness In Islam Thesis

Length: 8 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Thesis Paper: #42030783 Related Topics: Forgiveness, Koran, Islam, Oral History
Excerpt from Thesis :

. that the manslayer who killed any person by accident may flee into.' Willful murderers were not entitled to such refuge from the 'blood avenger,' but accidental killers were entitled to protection until passions cooled. The Bible recognized that the passion for revenge may be just as great against the accidental killer as against the premeditated murderer (124)."

Dershowitz is succinct and exact in his analysis, and even the most frequently quoted verse of the Bible, at least as regards revenge, "An eye for an eye," is often taken out of context. For instance, Nasr (2004) refers to the saying in his book, The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity, says: "The Quran does mention the Biblical 'eye for an eye,' but recommends forgoing revenge and practicing charity (cited above)." It would seem here that Nasr is saying that the Bible recommends an eye for eye kind of treatment of one and another between Christians; and that is taking the saying out of context. How the phrase is actually read in the Bible is this way:

"You have that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matthew 5:38)."

So we see that what has often been used as a justification for revenge when people quote the Bible, they are lacking the understanding of the verse and the context in that the phrase was used in. We also find that neither the Quran nor the Bible is advocating revenge, but are telling their faithful that revenge is the province of the Lord, and that to exercise forgiveness (turning the other cheek), is in the spirit of the Lord, and for this, the enemy for whom you turn the other cheek to, will have hot coals on his head -- or will be punished for his hatefulness.

Forgiveness in the Quran and in the Bible

Both the Bible and the Quran advocate forgiveness. In Luke 6:35-38, 42, Luke speaks of forgiveness.

"But love your enemies, and do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be the sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your father is merciful."

This is not the same concept of forgiveness that we find in the Quran. While the Quran advocates forgiveness, it does not say that the Lord is kind or grateful to the wicked, because it suggests that salvation is...


The Quran says this is a myth:

"Whether you ask forgiveness for them, or do not ask forgiveness for them -- even if you ask forgiveness for them seventy times -- God will not forgive them. This is because they disbelieve in God and His messenger. God does not guide the wicked people [9:80] (Khalifa 157)."

So while we find very similar treatments of revenge in the Bible and in the Quran, we do not find the same treatment or philosophy of rendering forgiveness. For Islamic forgiveness to be extended, it must clearly be a Muslim whom embraces Islamic law.


The literature and the readings from the Quran and from the Bible help put into perspective the mindset of Islamic fundamentalists, and the response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. We just read above, the Quran makes clear that there is no forgiveness for nonbelievers. The Bible suggests otherwise, that sinners are forgiven, and that God even has a special love for those people who are unkind and behave badly. In other words, it suggests that salvation is for everyone.

In the same way that the Bible cites forgiveness and conveys the idea that salvation is for everyone; the Quran makes very clear that salvation is only for those people who embrace Islam, and that for the nonbelievers, the infidels, there is no salvation. We actually see many other parallels and similarities between the Bible and the Quran, but not on the subject of forgiveness. For the Islamic fundamentalists of 2001, and because Islam is a backward looking faith; Americans and other western countries are the infidels, the nonbelievers, and for that we cannot be forgiven, and we must be eliminated, because we pose a threat to Islam and to Muslims.

Both books seem to have a shared notion when it comes to revenge; revenge is the realm of the Lord, and it should be left to Him. For those people who would say that the Bible is all about revenge; they are mistaken, and it is too easy to take catchy phrases out of context and to use them in negative ways and create false impressions of Christians and about the ways in which the Bible treats about revenge: turn the other cheek.

In order for there to be peace in the Middle East, it will require that fundamentalists evolve, and that their spiritual guides, the clerics, embrace the more generous concepts of the Quran. War cannot, and should not go on forever, and there must be a common ground and a center point where the Christian and Muslim meet in peace to talk about the forgiveness and bringing about an end to revenge.

Bergen, Peter, 2006. The Osama Bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of Al Qaeda's

Leader, Simon and Schuster, New York, New York. Print.

Dershowitz, Alan, 2004. Rights From Wrong: A Secular of the Origins of Rights, Basic

Books, New York, New York. Print.

McCullough, Michael, 2008. Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of Forgiveness Instinct,

John Wiley and Sons, New…

Sources Used in Documents:

Version, Islamic Productions. Print.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein, 2004. The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity, Harper

Collins Publishers, New York, New York. Print.

Cite this Document:

"Revenge And Forgiveness In Islam" (2009, December 07) Retrieved July 3, 2022, from

"Revenge And Forgiveness In Islam" 07 December 2009. Web.3 July. 2022. <>

"Revenge And Forgiveness In Islam", 07 December 2009, Accessed.3 July. 2022,

Related Documents
Effect of Forgiveness on Health
Words: 28998 Length: 105 Pages Topic: Disease Paper #: 36968622

Forgiveness on human health. In its simplest form, the purpose of the study is to evaluate human psychological stress that might constitute a risk factor for heart disease. Further, the study will also evaluate the impact of forgiveness on heart disease. However, such a simple dissertation clearly demands further definition. What, exactly, do we signify when we speak of heart disease? What is properly considered as forgiveness? What impact does

Use of the Death Penalty in Islam
Words: 1775 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Criminal Justice Paper #: 4933344

Islam Religion and Death Penalty: Islam is a term that comes from an Arabic root word that means peace and submission that have always been used as the universal Muslim greeting. Based on the origin of this word, the Islamic religion teaches that peace can only be found through submission to Allah (Almighty God) in soul, heart, and deed. As a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion, Islam is articulated by the Qur'an,

Mythology Is Defined As the
Words: 1379 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 38656537

..." The hymn also follows the general creation myth of Genesis, a staple in the Judeo mythology. Like the Genesis story, in the Hymn of Aton, the myth states that God is the one who gave speech, races, land and people. In essence, according to the hymn, the sun is the giver of all life, which makes sense as it is the sun's light that gives the means to sustaining

Religion and Politics
Words: 3527 Length: 11 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 61687506

Religion and Politics All religions aim to provide a code of life for mankind. Apart from other tenets, this code establishes laws that govern all areas of man's life. Thus the laws established by the religion Islam are termed as Shariah. The term Shariah means all of the Islamic Laws and is derived from four basic sources. These sources are The Holy Quran, Sunnah, Ij'ma (consensus) of the Companions (Sahabah) and

Jesus and Mohammad Jesus and
Words: 1021 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 87826603

IMPACT OF THE DEATH OF JESUS AND MOHAMMED a. Mohammed Mohammed died around the age of 65 and a power struggle set in relating to who his successor would be which resulted in the development of several sects of Islam with the two primary sects being the Sunni Muslims and the Shi-ite Muslims. b. Jesus When Jesus was crucified and died on the cross his body was prepared for burial and placed

Death Penalty Do They Deserve to Die
Words: 2188 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Criminal Justice Paper #: 55383979

Death Penalty In the city of New Orleans, murder is an epidemic; one cannot watch a local news program or read a newspaper without hearing of another murder. The deaths and their attendant toll on families and loved ones are devastating, but the impact is not limited to the victims. Instead, this epidemic of murder impacts the entire community; the murders demonstrate a lack of respect for the value of