“They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone.” Revelation 9:4-5
Now the Mohammedans, when they went to overtake a new province, always offered friendship first, that is, if the king and people converted to Islam, then they were friends. But if they would not convert, then they were allowed to keep their religion, with restrictions (no new churches could be built, witnessing was forbidden, holy day observances were restricted, etc.) but were required to pay a tribute to the Caliph.
But if they would not pay tribute, then the Mohammedans would wage war on the province, and when it had been conquered, the vanquished would receive whatever terms seemed good to the conquerors. But when war was waged, the Mohammedans were forbidden to kill women and children, or those living simple lives of piety in the monasteries. This governing principle of proselytizing was summed up by the phrase, “Islam, tribute, or the sword.”
Since the Mohammedans did not resort to the sword first (and when they did, it was with restrictions) they fulfill the injunction not to kill. But since the conquered were required to live under Islamic rule with many restrictions, and live as second class citizens, and pay tribute, the injunction to torment was fulfilled. Thus the army of locusts were allowed to torment, but not to kill.
To be continued …
Update: continued in Revelation 9: the fifth trumpet of torment, but not death, part two