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Islam in its form or present structure and practice by Muslims worldwide, is that religion which depends or stands on all submission to the will of God or Allah. Islam is a theocentric religion that is knitted together whether socially, politically, economically, environmentally, religiously that involves all aspects of transactions between Muslims to Muslims, and between non-muslims as stipulated in both the Quran and the Hadiths. Any Muslim who knows exactly what Islam is all about, will know his/her limit in the context of the Quran and where there are no limits for a Muslim to operate within the context of the Quran and Hadiths. There are things that God revealed to the Prophet of Islam, Mohammed Ibn Abdallah (PBUH) that gives every Muslim a clear picture of what Islam exactly is. And for a Muslim to live a practical life or an exemplary life of a Prophet and a Muslim, the Hadiths or sayings of the Prophet of Islam are there for a Muslim.
The Abrogated or the Abrogative Verses of the Quran There is a subject in the Quran that some Muslims understand while others misunderstand. That subject has created controversies and divisions among Muslims, and immediately after the death of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)
and after the compilation of the Quran and the Hadiths. And that subject is the issue of the abrogated and the abrogative verses in the Holy Quran whereby some verses are abrogated by some other verses in the Quran. The Quran itself and the Hadiths testify to this truth where other Islamic scholars vary from numerous verses that are abrogated. Some have more verses abrogated. Some others disagree on the same verses not abrogated.
Is Jihad Abrogated or not in Islam? Here in this write-up, we are not going to discuss the subject of abrogation in its entirety but we will narrow the discussion and base it on the subject of Jihad, whether it is true that Jihad is abrogated in the Quran or not; and which of the Jihads is abrogated in the Quran. Is it the Jihad by words, or is it the Jihad with wealth? Is it the Jihad of the heart, or is it the weaponry Jihad? We will let the Quran and the Hadiths speak for themselves. And we will allow Muslims and Muslim scholars to tell us which Jihad is sanctioned by God and which one is not sanctioned by Allah through abrogation Should we say what Muslim fundamentalists, extremists, radicals or jihadists are fighting today in the name of Jihad is contextual to Quranic and Islamic teaching on Jihad? To those Muslims who are saying that Jihad has been abolished in Islam, what are their grounds for saying that? Do they have the Quranic or Hadith backups for their claims or
not? And to those who claim that Jihad in Islam is still viable or acceptable today, meaning it has never been abrogated by any verse within the Quran, do they have their Quranic and Hadith backups? And to Christians or non-muslims who vehemently reject the issue of Jihad from the Islamic perspective, especially the Jihad of arms struggles, is it a misconception of the Islamic subject on Jihad or is it the lack of the knowledge of the Quran and Hadith’s teaching about the subject, or are they only coming from the Christian perspective of the New Testament? By ignoring the Old Testament aspect of the Holy War which are almost alike with that of the Muslim Jihad of Holy war in the Quran and the Hadith.
The World View Misconception of Jihad The subject of Jihad in both the Quran and the Hadiths is not a subject of confusion or controversies but an issue of understanding the subject in its context. The interpretation of the subject in its context and the application of the subject in its context by individual Muslims or the entire Muslim community at large. The issue here is this, whether Muslims, Christians or other non-muslims understand or misunderstand the subject of Islamic Jihad in these four perspectives of Jihad or not, the Quran and the Hadiths are all clear about the subject. But whether Muslims or nonmuslims, the issue of Jihad should not be narrowed to some
aspects and leaving the other aspects out. Because we have discovered that when the issue of Jihad is mentioned whether to Muslims or some ignorant Muslims, Christians and other non-muslims, most of them narrow the issue of Jihad to the aspect of struggle by arms and ignoring the other three aspects. This approach is not only wrong, but it will make people more ignorant about what exactly is Jihad in Islam, in which the Muslims will end up fighting the wrong Jihad for the right Jihad, and the non-muslims will end up condemning the right Jihad for the wrong Jihad. For one to be fair to those Muslims, one must know the context or what they believe concerning the abrogated verses that have to do with Jihad, whether they were abrogated or not, by knowing and understanding the subject of abrogation within the Quranic context before one can support or oppose those who are against Jihad as Muslims. And for those who are for or in support of fighting Jihad through arm struggle as Muslims, one needs to know their supportive or the opposite context from the Quran and the Hadiths, otherwise, you would not be doing justice to both. And to those who are not Muslims, whether a Christian or a non-christian, I strongly advice that you should first know what the Quran and the Hadiths are saying, and what Islamic Teachers and Scholars are saying concerning this subject, before you can have every ground to criticize the position of Muslim non-Jihadists and Muslim Jihadists.
Because of these two groups within Islam, that is, the ones that are opposing Jihad and the ones that are supporting Jihad in Islam, there is a wide gap between the two that is not easy to breach. Therefore, let non-muslims not conclude that every Muslim is a Jihadist, and neither should they condemn an Islamic Jihadist even if he is wrong. But let there be mutual understanding and we will live in peace and understanding, by practicing our faiths successfully and victoriously.
CHAPTER ONE WHAT IS JIHAD IN ISLAM?
The word Jihad is an Arabic word meaning struggle of effort; an effort to strive in a way or path of Allah or God as we can read thus:“And strive for Allah with the endeavour which is right…” (Suratul Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage 22:78) In this context, it is an individual or a collective effort by Muslims to struggle in the path of Allah in the right way that Allah has ordained and also to purify themselves in order to live for Him in total surrender. Jihad can be a striving effort in order to expand Islam. In this context we can understand that this meaning or definition of Jihad in Islam does not involve arms struggles or killings as many might have concluded, whether Muslims or non-muslims. In almost every religion, we can trace this kind of striving effort for the sake of a religion, or to live for God through purity of living or by safeguarding such religions and to struggle in the way of the Lord for the general good of the people or the society, this is the essence of every true religion. But from all indication, the origin of Jihad in Islam is for peace. The word Jihad is used as a means of struggle or effort of striving for good and not for evil, for peace and not for war. To strive or struggle in a way to transform the society
from its ills and to spread Islam by calling infidels to the Islamic faith, for them to embrace Islam as Allah’s religion and surrendering to Allah and Allah alone. By surrendering to Allah alone is to acknowledge the oneness and the unity of Allah without attributing any partner to Him. The advent of Islam is to strive or struggle in the way or path of Allah in order to transform our cultures, economy, social lives, political lives, religious lives and everything that is working contrary to the will of Allah and His laws. When Mohammed brought the message of Islam, even the name Islam means peace, that is, Salam. And if Islam means peace and the message of Islam is about peace, then from the inception of Islam we must acknowledge that the word Jihad basically means to struggle or to strive for peace through Islam as Allah’s religion.
What are the Types or Kinds of Jihad? There are basically four kinds of Jihad in Islam and they are categorized as follows:a. The Jihad of the heart b. The Jihad of the tongue/word c. The Jihad with one’s wealth d. The Jihad with arms or the weaponry Jihad
The above kinds of Jihad are all embedded in the Quranic teaching. They are clearly and categorically stated and are also distinguished from one another. This distinction that is made among the four kinds of Jihad is not a world apart among them but a distinction for proper understanding, because from the first to the last stages of Jihad, it is a sequential way of approach in Jihad in order to transform or revolutionize the society. These stages of Jihad are either an arrangement or progression that from one stage to another, as a follow-up process to succeed in striving for Allah’s cause victoriously for the sake of Allah’s religion known as Islam. And these types of Jihad are used by Muslims in exerting their best effort in achieving something or anything in the cause of Islam for the sake of Islam. The first three are the basis that were used by Mohammed the Prophet of Allah and the early Muslim converts in Mecca in winning people to Islam and also in spreading Islam itself. Since Jihad is an exertion of one’s best effort, it can be for a struggle or a resistance for and against a thing. If you combine the meaning of Islam and the word Jihad in Islam, you will discover clearly what Islam is all about. As we had earlier mentioned, Islam is Peace – Salam, and Jihad is a struggle in the cause of Allah, which means that it is a peaceful struggle under the umbrella of Allah’s religion –
Islam, for the establishment of peace through the religious means called Islam. These aspects of Jihad in Islam are very clear and no Muslim can dispute this truth. That means, all Muslims agree on these kinds of Jihads which are possibly the foundation for the spread of Islam.
Categories of Jihad We also need to know that there are two major categories of Jihad – the lesser Jihad and the greater Jihad. The lesser Jihad is the Jihad of arms or weapons, while the greater Jihad is that of the heart including the other two mentioned above. But the unfortunate thing is that both Muslims and other non-muslims believe that the Jihad of arm struggles is the only Jihad there is, and not the other three mentioned above.
The Greater Jihad The Jihad of arms struggle is different from the first three kinds know as the greater Jihad. But some Muslims and non-muslims do ignore this major aspect of the Jihad , dwelling only in the minor or lesser Jihad, which is in Arabic is known as “Qital” or “Qatilu”, which in English mean fight or fighting, respectively. This is totally different from the first
three kinds of Jihad or almost the opposite direction from the first three. This misunderstanding of what lesser or greater Jihad in Islam is all about gives room for both ignorant Muslims and non-muslims to misinterpret Islam by giving a wrong image of Islam to non-muslims worldwide. Although both the lesser and the greater Jihads are Islamic, they also have stages and different approaches in which they are executed according to the teachings of the Quran and the Hadiths.
The Lesser Jihad In fact, the lesser Jihad known as Qital, is the last aspect or approach in struggling for the cause of Allah and not the first kind of approach to Jihad. In approaching or applying the issue of lesser Jihad, the Islamic community (Al’ummah) or the Islamic scholars are divided. They are divided into the following aspects – some believe that the lesser Jihad is abrogated based on Suratul Baqarah – The Cow 2:256 which says “no compulsion in religion”, which means that the lesser Jihad that promotes fighting (Qital) is no more in effect, but the major Jihad which comprises the three main kinds of Jihad are still in effect and can be practiced in every aspect. But to the other extreme scholars or Muslim community (Al’ummah) believe that the Qital (Jihad) is not abrogated but is in full effect and is therefore applicable till date. Although
the author is neither a Muslim nor an Islamic scholar and is not willing to dabble into scholarly issues or controversial subjects by making any judgement or reaching a conclusion about any Islamic issue, rather, they are left in the hands of Muslims for fair judgement. In the other vein, I want to talk as person who is interested in knowing Islam exactly the way it is lest I make a wrong judgement against Islam and Muslims. So, as a researcher, the author is still searching to know more about Islam but with the little knowledge that I have acquired about Islam, the author wants to present his shallow understanding of what Islam is to Muslims that are ignorant of what Jihad is all about, to my fellow Christians and also to non-christians alike. We are writing here to explain what exactly Jihad is according to Islamic teaching so that mere critics and also constructive critics, be they Muslims or non-muslims, may understand what Islamic Jihad means and what it is all about. Those who are taking sides with the lesser Jihad of fighting non-muslims who are enemies of first, Allah, secondly the Prophet of Islam - Muhammad, and thirdly enemies of the Muslim community and Islam, they must know the implications of the side they are taking. If you conclude as a Muslim that the lesser Jihad is still applicable today against non-muslims, then what about those verses that abrogated the Jihad (fighting) verses. Because there are
Islamic scholars and Muslims who believe that fighting war by killing is not the character of the Prophet of Islam and itself. These Islamic scholar and Muslims have their Quranic backup that such Jihad is abrogated by many verses in the Quran and they stand on this and practice their Islamic faith according to their belief. Whether they are right or wrong, the truth is this, that by definition and meaning of Islam, it is peace and a religion of peace. And above all, there is no true religion that promotes war or killings of innocent souls since religion is for salvation and not for condemnation or judgement. But to those who took the other extreme, by believing that lesser Jihad which is known as Qital (fighting) is still part of Islamic faith or practice in spreading and affirming the truth of Islam as Allah’s ordained religion to all mankind that are opposing it, also have their Quranic verses to prove their case right.
The Holy Quran as the Yardstick for True Jihad These two views among the extreme right and left, supporters and non-supporters of lesser Jihad of fighting is something that one cannot really stand to judge, but the Quran and Hadith are the only source that everyone can
study with an open heart through God’s guidance that one can make a fair judgement to both parties. To those who believe that Jihad is ordained for Muslims and they are really to go to any level to actualize or apply this command of Allah, always invoke this surat:“(holy fighting in Allah’s cause) is ordained for you (Muslims though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know” (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:216, The Noble Quran - Darussalam). This verse and many other verses in the Quran alike confirm the position of the extremists to carry on this command with no grounds to consider the issue of the abrogated verses against the above and many other verses. We cannot question this position of the extremists because of the Quranic verses that back-up their position. While to those Muslims and critics of Islam that Islam is the religion of blood shedding, there are Muslims or nonmuslims who believe that everyone has a choice to choose any kind of religion and practice it according to his/her belief as a right of choice by not being compelled in any aspect and by anybody. These Muslims also invoke this verse as revealed in the Quran:-
“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is AllHearer, All-knower”(Suratul Al-Baqarah 2:256 – Noble Quran Darussalam) Therefore, if supporters of the existing and effective of applicable verses that have to do with Jihad fighting against non-muslims stick to those verses, while those who are against the Jihad verses by invoking the verse that says no compulsion in religion, then we can say that one may be right and the other may be wrong, or both are right or both are wrong but the Quran and the Hadiths remain the only yard stick for the right judgement concerning these two and the subject. To the supporters of Arm Jihad in Islam, that is, fighting with arms, what are their grounds to take up arms for the sake of Islam. And if their grounds are founded on the basis of Quranic teachings, then how can other Muslims, Christians, Jews, Pagans and Atheists be against their position? The reason why we are saying it is wrong by condemning such position is possibly directly or indirectly attacking their faith, the Quranic teaching and the Hadiths. If the issue of arm Jihad is clearly stated by both the Quran and
Hadith through Allah’s revelation to Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam, then those who are opposing it are infringing on the right of those who believe in arm Jihad as Muslims. Since arm Jihad is a command to them to defend Islam, Muslims and to spread Islam, then we must be careful in approaching this issue lest we cause a problem that will affect many. If we must approach them on this issue, we must have strong and genuine proofs against their position from the same Quranic and Hadith perspectives together with love, good intention in all truth with respect to their position and mutual understanding as we sit on the table of dialogue to iron out things together. But the problem with this position is – do they really understand the message of Islam that came from Allah through Prophet Mohammed who preached Islam as a religion of peace and not of war and fighting? Secondly, those who are in this position, have they taken their time to study the subject of abrogation within the context of the Quran and the Hadith? Thirdly, have they taken their time to study the context why Allah through Mohammed permitted arm or weaponry struggle? Has arm or weaponry struggle really honoured Islam or dishonoured Islam? What picture are non-muslims looking at those who believe in arm struggle in protecting and spreading Islam? Does arm struggle really help in
converting genuine Muslims, and does it encourage nonmuslims to embrace Islam. We wish we have Muslims or Islamic scholars who can shed light on these questions that the author of this book is trying to bridge the misunderstanding of Christians and nonmuslims worldwide against the teaching of Islam. The misunderstanding of Islamic Jihad, whether lesser or greater Jihad as peaceful Jihad by Muslims, whether directly or indirectly to non-muslims has really affected the nonmuslims’ understanding of the teaching of Islam, because if there is variation or interpretation differences, and the different beliefs among Muslims with regards to whether the weaponry Jihad has been abrogated or not, are the major problems to the misunderstanding of what the Jihad are all about. I want my Muslim brothers to take note that primarily, it is their duty to teach or make known what these two Jihads mean, most especially the weaponry Jihad called the lesser Jihad to non-muslims for mutual understanding to deal with the issue of lack of trust and for mutual understanding among all faiths. This misunderstanding of the lesser Jihad, that is, weaponry Jihad and other Islamic teachings has not only discouraged people from embracing Islam but has made people to give Islam different name sand and to also see Islam with a different eye. This has made non-muslims to
disbelieve their claims or teachings that Islam is a religion of peace. So, for this reason my Muslim brothers should tighten their belts and make Islam in its context known to nonmuslims, whether they will accept it the way it is or reject it. All that the author is saying to all Muslims is that let the truth be told, then God will do the remaining work. Weaponry Jihad Let us see it this way, whether it is true or not, there is a major aspect that Muslims or Islamic Jihad are being misunderstood and that aspect is the weaponry Jihad. This is because non-muslims possibly only focus on that dimension of Jihad. And even if a Muslim tries to explain other aspects of Jihad which have nothing to do with weapons, the listener turns a deaf ear to that. The reason for this negative reaction is possibly as a result of wrong impression given to non-muslims and possibly because of what is happening in the Muslim world and other terrorist activities in the West that are labelled against Muslims and other Muslim terrorist groups. If these things are true, then this has created a distorted kind of Islam in the heart of Christians, Jews, Western world and other non-muslims; and in fact, even among liberal Muslims. Therefore, may I ask my Muslim brothers, who then will save the image of Islam among these people if not the same Muslims? And to be sincere, if there are other forms of jihad in Islam, which are possibly found in other religions, while
the weaponry Jihad is rejected, then nobody can clear the weaponry Jihad to a non-muslim except a Muslim himself. The erroneous distortion of Islamic Jihad and fighting in Islam has reached a certain level that it will take a longer time for Muslims to convince non-muslims worldwide. But if Muslims will be humble to do that, we are boldly saying that that will be the greatest Jihad that both the lesser and the greater Jihad cannot do. The author of this book is attempting to trace the root of this erroneous distortion of Jihad and fighting as one. And the root of this distortion of both did not start from outside the Muslim community but from within, and its spread outside the Muslim community has given Islam and Muslims different and wrong images before non-muslims. Some of the Muslims are to blame for this, and those who misunderstood what Islamic Jihad is all about are also to blame because they do not want to know what Islam is all about and their conclusion of what Islam is has made their hearts hardened to seek knowledge about Islam Therefore, the author is suggesting that all true lovers of Islam worldwide should team up and work together towards bringing out the true teaching which has to do with the lesser Jihad called the weaponry Jihad by doing everything to make peace with non-muslims. And those enemies of Islam will not only come to the true knowledge of Islam but the dent image of Islam will be cleared.
The Aim of Weaponry Jihad Although the lesser Jihad which many non-muslims and some Muslims are uncomfortable with, does not really change what really change what Islam is because the proponent of lesser jihad called the weaponry jihad considers this kind of Jihad:1. It is for self defence 2. It is to fight against the ills of the society Therefore these reasons are genuine but how many among Muslims and non-muslims will understand the motives behind it if it is not properly explained to them from the Islamic perspective and context? Truly the misuse or application of this kind of weaponry Jihad by some Muslims or terrorists has compounded the problem of misunderstanding Islam even the more. We are deeply convinced that both the proponents of weaponry Jihad and non-proponents of weaponry Jihad all have their stands and backups. But our primary concern is the image of Islam and its interest and not really theirs per se. But let all Muslims, whether opponents or proponents go back to their house and put it in order by allowing the real image of Islam to appear and shine to the whole world so that everybody can freely and independently make a choice whether to embrace of reject Islam.
Proponents and Opponents of Weaponry Jihad To the opponents of weaponry Jihad among nonmuslims and Muslims, are you sure that your position is Islamic? Are you sure that weaponry Jihad has been abrogated? Or are you having a misunderstanding of the teachings of the Quran and the Hadiths concerning weaponry Jihad? Have you really studied the Quran, hadith and the subject of abrogation with regards to the weaponry Jihad? The main question is this – why are the proponents and the opponents of weaponry Jihad all claiming to be genuine Muslimswhile their beliefs in the Quranic and the Hadiths teachings are working in opposite directions to each other. They both claim that their positions are rooted in the Quran and Hadiths while in practice they are in variation. We are not in any position to judge the proponents or the opponents of weaponry Jihad because that is exactly what they believe as Muslims and we cannot in any way contest or contradict their positions. But they need to properly explain their positions to those who are nonmuslims. And we are still going back to the opponents of the weaponry Jihad whether they are quite aware that there are rules and grounds for the legitimacy of weaponry Jihad in both the Quran and Hadiths as prescribed by Allah in the Quran and the Hadiths through the prophet. Because there are reasons, rules, stages and a kind of leadership in carrying this command of weaponry Jihad. And
this is led by an Islamic spiritual leader who is pure, and the Muslims that are part of this weaponry Jihad must be pure themselves in order to carry this purpose successfully and victoriously. And if the opponents of weaponry Jihad are right, then we can possibly say that the proponents of the weaponry Jihad are the ones that are possibly wrong. Then, between the proponents and the opponents of weaponry Jihad, who is right or wrong? Because no one will really understand the basic stand to take concerning this issue. To the author’s understanding of both greater and lesser Jihad, they are all Quranic and Hadith positions but the lesser Jihad is known as lesser Jihad because it is less applicable, only in rare cases and only when Muslims have no other choice than to invoke and apply it, in every situation that fits its application. This is because Allah told the entire Muslims through Prophet Mohammed in the Quran that until the enemy of Muslims or Islam starts the fight or provokes them to fight, lesser Jihad should never be invoked. But the greater Jihads are possibly invoked and applied on daily basis if possible. In this case, total denial that weaponry Jihad is not applicable today or that it has been abrogated will be a violation of some Quranic and Hadith teachings in setting an Islamic society and possibly there will be no proper application of Shariah Law because there are certain provocations that come from non-muslims against Muslims and Islam. And the application of weaponry Jihad as
a final stage of all other Jihads will bring orderliness and sanctity in the society. There are these proponents of weaponry Jihad that have labelled it as Holy war but other Islamic scholars disagreed with their position because they believe that the first three kinds of Jihad, if properly applied or practiced by Muslims, the lesser Jihad will be inapplicable or unnecessary and it is therefore called a lesser Jihad because of its less application. Those scholars that maintain non-violence as the beast way to struggle for the sake of Islam and against the enemies of Islam through the electronic media, and possibly writing books and presenting papers in defence of Islam as they also engage in debates or missionary dialogue and Dawah.
Jihad and the Western World Other means of fighting Jihad without the use of weapons is clearly seen in the lives of some Islamic scholars or spiritual leaders who use every legitimate way of protest to get what they want. Somewhere in the Quran it is made known that whoever kills a soul, it’s as if he kills the entire human race. So if the enemies or those who misunderstand Islam conclusively label Islam as a religion of blood shedding, then they are wrong.
There is a kind of war that the West believes is a just war called “Bellum Istum”. Wikipedia free encyclopedia defines it as “a doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin, studied by moral theologians, ethicists and international policy makers, which holds that a violent conflict ought to meet philosophical, religious or political criteria.” With this definition of Just War from the Western perspective which is said must meet some religious criteria, we can also see it that Muslims who are proponents of weaponry Jihad have their reasons for sanctioning and justifying weaponry Jihad based on religious criteria. So if the West are agitating against weaponry Jihad but they use just war which has met philosophical, religious or political criteria, by engaging in war in war against any nation whether for religious or selfish interest, then the Muslims too are using the same criteria in fighting Jihad and terrorism, then let the West and the entire Islamic world sit on dialogue table and sort out this problem for a peaceful coexistence by dropping their selfish of personal interests and stop killing the innocent ones. In agreement with what we’ve just started above, a book “Pearls of Wisdom” quotes Samuel P. Huntington as saying:“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its
superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-westerners never do”. So with this Quotation from “Pearls of Wisdom”, we can understand that the Western world has forgotten its organized violence against other nations because of its false superiority. Today, the western world is busy fighting what it did to other nations in the past, and these nations who were their victims, whether through war, colonialism or imperialism, have never forgotten what was done to them. And since the western world did not use values or religion as criteria for its wars but rather superiority complex, and is also today using “Just war” religiously as a criterion, then possibly Muslims have more reasons based on Quranic and Hadith teachings than them religiously, philosophically, theologically and ethically.
The Western World is Misconceived to Be Christendom The Arab or Islamic world identifies the Western world as Christian world which is wrong. The Arab or Islamic world sees it as Christianity against Islam. There are Christians in the Western world, even genuine Christians and most of them refuse to go to war because of their Christian faith. But to westerners who want to protect their nation by all means and who hour their culture and nation more than the God of Christianity, are ready to do anything and everything through
“organized violence” to protect their nature and culture. Therefore nation and culture is not Christianity. If this was what happened, then we need to know that whatsoever reason the west is giving today in order to justify the issue of war before the Islamic world will be unjustifiable in the mind of a Muslims or the Arab world. Therefore, the entire Muslim world must distinguish between Christian civilization and Western civilization because there is a demarcation between these two, although there are some influences from both civilizations whether for or against each other.
The Chaotic Clash between Muslims and Christian To the issue of western civilization and eastern civilization, these are two kinds of civilization that can rarely be breached because there is a clash between the western and the eastern civilizations. This clash is the root cause of the problem between the two civilizations and the two groups of people that are behind these civilizations. So with this, we must boldly say that this clash of the two civilizations has nothing to do with Christianity, and Christianity too has nothing to do with it. But there are misconceptions and misunderstandings because the eastern world sees western civilization as Christian civilization, which is not so. And the misconception of these two cultures by
Muslims or the Arab world has caused a lot of conflicts between Muslims and Christians more than that which is between Muslims and the west. This is just one of the many reasons why Christians feel that Muslims hate them by applying Jihad wrongly on them or that Muslims have made them the scapegoat of the West. Until these sit on a dialogue table to sort out their differences, this problem will not only remain but will be on the increase, and before they realize it, the world would have tuned into a chaotic place. Both Islamic and Christian teachings show that these are both religions of peace and salvation to all mankind. But contrary to these teachings, the lives that have been salvaged by the followers of these two religions can never be underestimated. And if Islam and Christianity are truly the religions of peace, then who are those fighting? And who are those killing who? To be precise, Muslims and Christians, or so-called Muslims and Christians have so much dented or battered these two religions beyond comprehension through the use of aggressive or organized violence. These two adherents have depicted both religions negatively to the world without trying to know who is an inbetween enemy; rather they are in a face-off against one another for dominance which is not supposed to be so. The fact that these are true religions, which were revealed or originated from one source claiming to be
Abraham’s descendants and as followers of Abraham’s faith, are enough reasons to make their followers to live in peace and harmony in order to practice their faith in peace, unity and love.
Jihad in Islam Going back to the issue of Jihad in Islam, what baffles every non-muslim is that non-muslims worldwide do not know anything about Jihad in Islam or possibly muslims themselves might have not explained the true context of Jihad to them, that is why they are sceptical about Islam. The different interpretations and applications of the two main categories of Jihad namely - the greater and the lesser jihads, as seen by Christians, the West and other non-muslims are two worlds apart because they have concluded that everything called “jihad” refers to weaponry violence. But we must see it this way - that the first three kinds of Jihads: a. Jihad of words or mouth b. Jihad of the heart c. Jihad with one’s wealth, All these have nothing to do with the lesser jihad known as the weaponry jihad which is the last resort that a Muslim can apply against anybody, and there are protocols to be followed before it can be applicable. This kind of jihad called
the lesser jihad must be handled or applied contextually where necessary. But the unfortunate thing is that some Muslims apply it wrongly, possibly on the wrong person/people, at the wrong time, wrong situation and the wrong context which has discouraged people from understanding Islam talk more of embracing Islam. This mistake by some Muslims has cost Islam a lot and has brought bad names and wrong images on the religion of Allah which has almost a billion or over a billion followers worldwide. Despite the divided opinion among Muslims and non-muslims, some of us non-muslims understand what some Islamic teachings are, based on weaponry jihad, whether it is applicable today or not. But whatsoever may be the case, and whatsoever may be the approach or the approach of the proponents of weaponry jihad are using as their position, it is their duty to shed light to opponents of weaponry jihad among Muslims and to non-muslims for mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence among all religions. To those who are judging the proponents of weaponry jihad, that is not the way out. Rather let both parties sit on a dialogue table and discuss the issue in a matured way for a better understanding that will lead to peaceful coexistence.
The Wrong Assertion in Western vs. Christian Civilization There are certain complications that have forced some Muslims to have no choice than to apply the weaponry or lesser jihad wrongly and out of context, possibly due to heart breaking issues or sheer ignorance on how to apply it. There is a gross mistake that Muslims make, whether consciously or subconsciously, whether directly or indirectly against Christians because of the clash of civilization between the eastern and the western culture. Most Islamic world and the Arab world believe that Christian civilization is the same thing with western civilization which is totally wrong and untrue. The two civilizations are completely and totally a world apart because the western civilization is a worldly or secular civilization while the Christian civilization is a sacred and spiritual kind of civilization. These two civilizations are opposites. Again, the unfortunate thing about our brothers, the Muslims, is that they have completely misunderstood these differences and whenever there is any struggle against the ills of the western civilization that is against the Arab and Islamic civilization, they always tag it as Christian civilization by wrongly fighting Christianity, Christians and Christian civilization instead of the west and western civilization. Before a long time ago, the same westerners were called Christians, and today, there are some of them that are Christians. Such people are also having problems with
westerners or modernization that the west is practising and propagating. This western civilization and modernization that is contrary to Christian civilization or modernization is what genuine Christians in the west and worldwide are also fighting against. But that is what most Muslims do not know and neither do they understand. For peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding between Muslims and Christians, both sides need to know and understand the differences between these civilizations and modernizations before Muslims can know where and on whom to apply the weaponry jihad against, or else they will end up doing the right thing to the wrong person and at last be punished by Allah for making the innocent ones suffer and leaving the guilty unpunished.
CHAPTER TWO THE EXACT POSITION ON WEAPONRY JIHAD
The past and the modern Islamic scholars all agree on the subject of the weaponry jihad otherwise known as the lesser Jihad. These struggles for the cause of Allah with weapons is one aspect of struggling for the cause of Allah with weapons as the compliment to the other three categories of jihad that are commended and commanded by Allah in the Quran and also by the Prophet of Allah through the Hadiths. In this chapter we are not going to deal with the other aspects of jihad but rather, we are going to deal with the struggle for the cause of Allah called Qital (fighting) with weapons against the enemies of Allah, His Prophet, Islam and the Muslim community (Al-ummah). This kind of struggle with weapons that the Quran commanded Muslims to do for the cause of Allah is Islamic and is a duty of every Muslim to participate in it appropriately. We can read this from the Noble Quran:“Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know (Suratul Baquarah – The Cow 2:216. The Noble Quran).”
Since Allah knows and has ordained both struggles and fighting for the cause of Allah which is not the Muslims’ choice but Allah’s choice for them, then any choice besides this choice is against Allah’s choice and it is unIslamic. The Quran is very clear on this issue and it will be very wrong for any Muslim in any way to dispute or even counter this truth, such action is against Allah and the Glorious Quran. The commentators in the Noble Quran have this to say:“Al-Jihad (holy fighting) in Allah’s cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah’s word is made superior, (His word being Lailahaillallah which means none has the right to be worshiped but Allah), and His religion (Islam) is propagated. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honour is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty, or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfil this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite” (The Noble Quran, p. 144). The verse is not speaking about what Muslims like or want for themselves so that they can make a choice. No! But it is what Allah likes for them that is good for them and it is a
command for them. So, by implication no Muslim has a right to change this position through misinterpretation but to make it known and understandable to Muslims and nonMuslims based on its context.
Qital: Struggle for the Cause of Allah Every Muslim needs to know what exactly is the context of fighting for the cause of Allah by distinguishing it from struggling for the cause of Allah, which are two different things but work together. Because many Muslims cannot make a demarcation between the greater and the lesser jihad, they merge the two together as one but the truth is that they are two things working together and without the two kinds of Jihad, Islam is incomplete. In his Tafsir, Ibn Kathir vol1 agreed thus:“In this Ayah, Allah made it obligatory for the Muslims to fight in Jihad against the evil of the enemy who transgress against Islam. Az-Zuhri said, ‘Jihad is required from every person, whether he actually joins the fighting or remains behind. Whoever remains behind is required to give support, if support is warranted, to provide aid, if aid is needed; and to march forth, if he is commanded to do so. If he is not needed, then he remains behind’.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir p. 596).
The reason for the complication that some Muslims cannot distinguish between fighting and struggling for the cause of Allah as two things in Islam that make Islam complete is because some Muslims are ignorant of Islam, while some have been influenced by modernization or liberalization, and some others are just simply exhibiting cowardice. Those Muslims who are against this teaching of fighting for the cause of Allah with weapons are rather trying to falsify the Quran by also attempting to distort Islam by making Islam a different kind of Islam. Every opponent of the lesser Jihad, that is, fighting for the cause of Allah with weapons is an attempt not to face reality. This is because they don’t really know the context of, and how to apply weaponry Jihad at the right time or in the right situation, to the right person and at the right place. In his book “The Call to Jihad”, the author explained the reason why some Muslims are not ready to face the reality of Jihad. That is why they try to dismiss it because of these implications as he interprets Suratul Baqarah 2:216 thus: “So ‘The fighting’ even though by its nature is disliked by the human soul because of the liability, of being killed, or taken as captive or being injured, with the wasting of the wealth, the damaging of the industry, the destruction of the country, the spreading of fear and awe in the souls and the
(possibility) of being exiled from one’s homeland. Allah (the elevated) has made ready an immensely good reward that cannot be imagined by a human soul”. “Ikrama (a religious scholar) said: at first Muslims disliked it (Jihad), but later they loved it and said: ‘We listen and obey.’ And that is because the submission to the order includes hardship, but if the reward is made known it becomes easy for oneself in comparison with the estimation of (its) hardship.” (The call to Jihad – Shaykh Abdullah Bn Hamid p. 10) A good knowledge of Islam on how to apply weaponry Jihad contextually will not be a problem; the reality from which some Muslims are dodging to face before other Muslims and non-muslims. By doing so, they have dented the true image of Islam. It is expected that every Muslim should know this basic teaching as a duty that must be carried out by every Muslim at the right time, place, to the right person and situation in accordance with the teachings of the Quran and the Hadiths. This is what a twentieth century Islamic or Muslim revivalist, Sayyid Qutb, has to say:“To take up arms in support of a cause blessed by God is a demanding duty, but is nevertheless necessary because it serves the good of Muslim
individuals and communities as well as that of mankind as a whole. It also underpins what is good and right.”(In the Shade of the Quran vol1, p. 324) Although the liberal scholars claim that the weaponry struggle for the cause of Allah is abrogated by another surat in the Quran as we can read thus:“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trust worthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is AllHearer, All-Knower.” (Suratul Baqarah – The Cow 2:256. The Noble Quran) With this verse which many scholars use to establish their claims, we have a problem and the problem is this Does this verse alone abrogate all other Jihad verses, both the verses revealed before it and after it, which call all Muslims to both Jihads, the greater and the lesser Jihads? But since we are talking specifically about the lesser Jihad of weapons, then we must focus on the weaponry Jihad by taking a good look at what the Quran and the Hadiths are saying, and also what Muslim scholars are saying concerning weaponry Jihad. We also need to know what historic Islam has proven concerning the existence of weaponry Jihad and what students of comparative studies have proven in order to buttress our point.
The Contextualization of the weaponry Jihad in Islam The fall away from Islam by Muslims are seen by most Muslim or Islamic scholars as (possibly) due to modernization, liberalization, ignorance, or nationality. The Islamic or Muslim scholars see recent happenings as a fall away from the true Islam which necessitates the employment of the Jihad called ‘weaponry Jihad’ for the restoration of true Islam in the modern world. As we can read MM Salih in his preface to the book ‘The Call to Jihad’ by Shaykh Abdullah Bn Muhammad Bn-Hamid as he lamented thus:“Nationalism and several other ‘isms’ have led us out of Islam while we are still assuming that we are Muslims. What an hypocrite of a man, who claims to be a Muslim and then fails to think or scheme in line with the Islamic injunctions? What an hypocrite of a man who claims to be a Muslim and yet fails to live up to his expectation? What an hypocrite of a man who regards the Jihad as an antiquated duty in Islam?” (p. 3) What MM Salih lamented here against false Islam for the true Islam is true. Because weaponry Jihad is made obligatory to every Muslim based on the teachings of the Quran and the Hadiths. And if there are any grounds that Muslims can prove that Jihad is abrogated or is an antiquated duty in Islam, then let them prove it or they face the truth as we can read thus
from the commentary on Suratul Baqarah – The Cow 2:216 or Tafsir Ibn Kathir:“Fighting is difficult and heavy on your hearts. Indeed fighting is as the Ayah describes it, as it includes being killed, wounded, striving against the enemies and enduring the hardship of travel. Fighting is followed by victory, dominance over the enemy, taking over their lands, money and offspring. This Ayah is general in meaning. Hence, one might covet something, yet in reality it is not good or beneficial for him, such as refraining from joining the Jihad, for it might lead to the enemy taking over the land and the government. He (Allah) has better knowledge than you of how things will turn out to be in the end, and of what benefits you in this earthly life and the hereafter. Hence, obey him and adhere to his commands, so that you may acquire the true guidance” (ABRIDGED vol1, p. 597) This is exactly what Allah demands from every Muslim by not entertaining the fear of being killed, wounded or the hardship involved in it etc. But Muslim must realize these benefits that are inclusive in weaponry Jihad or fighting for the cause of Allah. This is because such fighting will bring in victory, dominance over the enemy, taking over their lands,
money and off-spring. Above all, fighting for the cause of Allah will bring in benefits in the earthly lives of all Muslims and the life hereafter. No wonder some Islamic denominations and sects believe in Jihad – fighting for the cause of Allah with weapons; some say it’s the seventh pillar of Iman while others say it’s the sixth pillar of Islam. And if weaponry Jihad is assumed by other Muslims as a pillar of Islam or Iman, then in reality, Islam cannot stand without Jihad. Since Jihad is its pillar, then both Muslims and non-muslims must agree that without Jihad, Islam cannot stand. In conformity with this truth, a reliable Hadith by Sahih-Al-Bukhari states the superiority of Jihad - fighting for the cause of Allah as we can read thus:“Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for the price that theirs shall be the paradise. They fight in Allah’s cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Taurat (Torah) and the injeel (Gospel) and the Quran. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded … (up to) … And give glad tidings to the believers” (v.9:111, 112)  Narrated “Abdallah bin Masud I asked Allah’s Messenger … Allah’s Messenger! What is the best deed? He replied, ‘To offer the Salat (prayers) at their early stated fixed times’ I asked, ‘What is next
in goodness?’, He replied, ‘To participate in Jihad in Allah’s cause ’.  Narrated Abu Hurairah. A man came to Allah’s messenger and said, ‘guide me to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).’ Then he added, ‘Can you, while the Muslim Fighter has gone for jihad and enter your mosque to perform Salat (prayer) without cease and observe Saun (fast) and never break your Saun?’The man said, ‘But who can do that?’ (Abu Hurairah” pp. 44, 45 – vol4 Ahadith)
The virtue of Jihad or fighting in the cause of Allah is extremely important to every Muslim who carries such activity for the sake of Allah according to the Hadith by Jami At-Tirmidhi as we can read thus:“Abu Hurairah narrated: “It was said, ‘O messenger of Allah, what equals Jihad?’ He said: ‘Verily, you (people) are not capable of it’. Then he said the third time: The example of the Mujahid in the Path of Allah is like the one who fasts and stands (in prayer) and does not slacken from salat, nor fasting, until the Mujahid in the cause of Allah return”. (sahih) There are narrations on this topic from Ash-shifa, Abdullah bin Hubshi Abu Musa, Abu Saeed, Umm Malik Al-Bahziyyah, and Anas.
The Hadith is a Hasan Sahih. And it has been reported through more than route from Abu Hurairah from the Prophet. Comments: Jihad (fighting in the cause of Allah) is an extremely important activity. Recompense and reward for the Mujahid (he who undertakes Jihad in the cause of Allah) is continuous, spanning his entire mission in the sense that, be it his awakening of sleep or any other activity, it shall bring him continued reward. His reward, thus, keeps accumulating regardless of his activities during his dispatchment” (vol. 3 pp. 379, 380). With this auspicious reward continuously in the life of every Muslim who participates in fighting Jihad as Mujahidin is something that no true Muslim will ever resist because it is not only beneficial, but an obligatory duty upon every Muslim. But with these benefits that a participant in fighting Jihad in the cause of Allah will benefit and as a duty to every Muslim, this is not achieved without following the various levels and categories of it, as we can read thus:“it was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “When the Prophet was expelled from Makkah, Abu Bakr said to him: they have driven out of their Prophet, verily to Allah we belong and to Him we return. They are surely doomed’. Then it was revealed: ‘Permission
to fight (against disbelievers) is given to those (believers) who are fought against, because they have wronged; and surely, Allah is able to give them (believers) victory’. Then I knew that there would be fighting”. (Sahih) Comments: Jihad or striving in the cause of Allah as an obligation from among the obligations of Islam. But there are various levels and categories of it. The author has made an effort to mention many of them” (Sunan An-Nasa’i – Vol.4, pp. 15, 16) If the process of fighting weaponry Jihad from its levels and categories are met according to the law of fighting Jihad in the cause of Allah, then every Muslim is encouraged to “fight and be killed, then fight and be killed”. As we read thus:“It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the messenger of Allah said: Allah has prepared (reward) for those who go out (to fight) in His cause: And do not go out except (to fight) for Jihad in my cause, out of faith in Me and belief in my Messengers, but he has a guarantee from me that I will admit him to paradise, or I will return him to his dwelling from which he set out, with the reward that he attained, or the spoils that he acquired’. Then he said: ‘By the one in whose hand is my soul, were it not that it would be too difficult for the
Muslims, I would never have stayed behind from any expedition that went out in the cause of Allah. But I could not find the resources to give them mounts and they could not find the resources to follow me, nor would they be pleased to stay behind if I went. By the one in whose is Prophet Muhammad, I wish I could fight in the cause of Allah and be killed, then fight and be killed, then fight and be killed.” (Sahih). Comments: a. Sometimes Jihad becomes a communal obligation, in the case where it is fulfilled by some, those who abstain from it are not sinners. b. A chief of a group or leader of a nation must respect the feelings of his followers provided there is no violation of the rulings of Shariah. c. Swearing by Allah when emphasising a matter is allowed. d. Mentioning any of Allah’s attributes while swearing instead of His name is also allowed. e. Wishing an impossible matter, if it is related to a good deed, is permissible. f. The rank of martyrdom is so high and significant that the Prophet, used to wish this rank, though he was greater than the matyrs.” (Sunan Ibn Majah – vol. 4 pp. 41,42).
The Benefits of Weaponry Jihad in Islam Concerning meeting the conditions of fighting Jihad, if established according to its stipulation from the Quranic and hadith perspective, then the benefits are too numerous for Muslims to resist engaging in weaponry Jihad. If fighting Jihad will bring atonement or expiation for sin in the life of any Muslim who participates in weaponry Jihad, then Jihad is the heart or an integral part of Islam that every Muslim whether invited or encouraged to engage in Jihad must voluntarily engage in it for their sin to be atoned. So, for any Muslim to pretend or liberally or hypocritically begin to misinterpret the Quran or the Hadith that Jihad or fighting Holy war with weaposn is unislamic, then he is only fooling himself and is challenging the authority of Allah. And we’ve heard some Muslims ignorantly, hypocritically or cowardly begin to explain out Jihad (weaponry war) from the Quran and Hadith that it has been abrogated by Saratul Baqarah 256. Those who misunderstand what Jihad is in Islam are indirectly trying to remove an integral part of the teaching of Allah in the Quran and part of the Prophet’s teaching in the Hadith. The teachings of both the Quran and the Hadith are very clear on the four categories of Jihad and when it comes to the issue of weaponry Jihad, the Quran and Hadith made it very clear on the levels or stages that weaponry Jihad can be
conducted or applied. With that, the issue of abrogation of Jihad in Islam is foreign to both the Quran and the Hadith. In order to engage in weaponry Jihad in the cause of Allah, by any Muslim, it must not only follow the stages or level, but it involves the rules or regulations or the laws on how a Muslim can engage in or apply weaponry Jihad in its context at the right time in the right place, in the right situation and to the right people. But for any Muslim that is shying away from weaponry Jihad which is approved and commanded by Allah upon every Muslim, it’s as if they are turning against the easiest way for their sins to be expiated as we can read thus: “It was narrated from Abu Qatadah that the Messenger of Allah stood up before them and said to them: Jihad in the cause of Allah and faith in Allah are the best of deeds.” A man stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allah, do you think that if I am killed in the cause of Allah, my sins will be expiated?” The Messenger of Allah said: “Yes, if you are killed in the cause of Allah and you are patient and seek reward, facing (the enemy) and not turning away. Then the Messenger of Allah said: “What did you say?” He said: “Do you think that if I am killed in the cause of Allah, my sins will be expiated?” The Messenger of Allah said: “Yes, if you are killed in the cause of Allah and you are patient
and seek reward, facing (the enemy) and not turning away, except debt, for Jibril, told me that.”  It was narrated from Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-As, that the Messenger of Allah said: “The Matyr will be forgiven for everything, except debt.”  It was narrated from Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-As that the Prophet said: “Being killed in the cause of Allah expiates everything except debt.” (Sahih Muslim vol.5 pp. 219, 220)
Jihad is so important and necessary in Islam that through Jihad, if a Muslim fights and kills an unbeliever, he will share no portion with an unbeliever in hell fire as we can read thus:“Abu Hurairah said: The Messenger of Allah said: “A disbeliever and the one who killed him will never be together in hell fire.” (Sunan Abu Dawud – pgs 200 – 201; vol.3) Therefore, everybody must understand that Jihad, a weaponry fight by Muslims against unbelievers, warrants the distinction and destiny between a Muslim and a disbeliever, in short, Jihad makes a demarcation between a Muslim and an unbeliever. So, failure by Muslims to engage in weaponry Jihad is a clear sign of hypocrisy as we can site thus from another Hadith:-
“It was reported from Abu Hurairah, from the Prophet, who said: “Anyone who dies without engaging in battle, and it did not occur to him to engage in battle, he died upon a branch of hypocrisy.” (Sahih) (Sunan Abu Dawud pp. 205 – 207; vol.3) Any failure from a Muslim who did not engage in Jihad by dying without involving in it, he died upon as a branch of hypocrisy. It then means that it will be a great loss to those liberal or hypocritical Muslims who disown Jihad for their own selfish interests. And another Hadith made it clear that any Muslim who failed in going to battle, nor equip a fighter, nor look after the family of fighters, Allah will suddenly strike such a Muslim with calamity as it is written thus:“It was written from Abu Ummah, from the Prophet, who said: “anyone who does not go to battle, nor equip a fighter, nor look after the family of a fighter while he is away, Allah will strike him with a sudden calamity.” In his narration, (one of the narrators) Yazid bin ‘Abd Rabbih said: “… Before the Day of Resurrection.” (Hassan) (Sunan Abu Dawud, p. 206; vol.3) If Allah will strike a person who failed to engage in Jihad in his lifetime or failed to equip a fighter and also failed to support the family of the fighter while he is away, what then will be the state or condition of an idolater in the hands of
Allah? If that is a Muslim suffering, how much more terrible will be the suffering of an idolater? Allah is calling the Muslims through the Prophet to perform Jihad, with every kind of Jihad against idolaters as we can read thus:  “It was reported from Anas, that the Prophet said: “perform Jihad against the idolaters, with your wealth, yourselves, and your tongues.” (Hasan) (Sunan Abu Dawud, p. 206; vol.3)
CHAPTER THREE THE CONTEXT OF JIHAD IN ISLAM
Anybody that has honestly and sincerely studied the subject of Jihad in both the Quran and Hadith critically may possibly arrive at the conclusion that most Muslims today have misunderstood the subject by misinterpretation and with wrong application contextually. And by so doing they have distorted the subject of Jihad in Islam and that has distorted the true meaning of Jihad in Islam. And as a result of that, they’ve dented the face of Islam by making it a terrifying and monstrous religion which is not. Any sincere and honest research researcher on the subject of Jihad in Islam and its application can conclusively arrive at this point; that Jihad in Islam has never been abrogation by just mere invocation of Suratul Baqarah – The Cow – 2:256 which states thus:“Let there be no compulsion in religion” (The meaning of the Holy Quran by AYA, p. 93) This verse has to do with the issue of religion but not Jihad in religion. And to be candid, any attempt to remove Jihad from Islam from its inception or advent, is like removing Islam itself because without Jihad, it’s as if there is no Islam at all. Because Islam is rooted and can only stand on the basis of four categories of Jihad - Jihad by heart; Jihad by word; Jihad with wealth and Jihad of weapons.
The thing that every student of Islamic studies, every Muslim and non-muslim researcher, including lovers and critics of Islam must recognize and acknowledge the truth, that Jihad is Quranic, Hadith and totally Islamic but it must remain viable contextually and basically on how it is applied in accordance with both the Quran and the Hadith teaching as it was revealed to the Prophet of Allah Mohammed Ibn Abdallah and for the Muslim Ummah. If the issue of Jihad is properly handled as stated from the above paragraph, the critics of the doctrine of Jihad in Islam will not only be disarmed but will be proven wrong in their criticism of the subject matter, like lack of understanding of it, misinterpretation of it, misconception of it, no proper contextualization and wrong application of it is what has not only affected the subject, but Islam and its practice by Muslims.
The Hypothetical Reasons for the Wrong Contextualization and Misunderstanding of Jihad. This problem on the subject of Jihad in Islam came up possibly after the death of Prophet Mohammed where division erupted on the issue of the Caliphate which led to the major division between the Ahl-Sunnah-Sunni and Ahl Sunnah-Shiite Muslims.
The second reason for this is like the problem of denominationalism and sectarianism in Islam. The third reason for this is the problem between traditional/liberal Muslim approach to the subject of Jihad which is not in agreement with the approach and application (whether contextually or uncontextually) of Muslim extremists or fundamentalists or radicalists. The fourth possible reason for this problem may be as a result of political Islam and the fifth reason may be as a result of modernisation or civilizations (Western influence). Possibly, a sixth reason could be due to a kind of deviation from the true teaching of Islam on the subject matter. The problems and many more cannot be traced outside the Muslim community – Al-ummah. This confusion is within Muslims themselves and not Islam itself.
The Sectarian and Denominational Views of Jihad in Islam Whether a Muslim belongs to the denomination of AlhSunna-Sunni or of the denomination Ahl-Sunna-Shiite, and whether one is a Muslim or a non-muslim, all people recognize the two major denominations in Islam as Muslims who possibly uphold the Quran and the Hadith. Because, none of the members of these two major denominations in
Islam can falsify the subject of Jihad as unQuranic and unIslamic. Though these two denominations have their manner of approach to this subject of Jihad they also have their understanding of it, their interpretation of it, how they contextualize it and their ways of applying it. The two main Islamic denominations are having the fundamental and traditional way of application, which some are having the radical and extreme application of the subject matter in their daily practice of Islam. Out of these two divisions, some believe that Jihad has never in anyway been abrogated but how, why, when, whose and who should apply Jihad? While other schools of thoughts within these divisions say that Jihad is applicable anywhere at any time and by anybody, even without the al-ummah Muslim and the leadership of Imam. The later of these denominations #is saying if there must be Jihad, it must be led by a Khaliph or al-Imam or a pure and uncorrupted Muslim leader who has fulfilled and possessed the quality of a true Muslim, accepted by the Muslim community and a pure Muslim community, the warriors or mujahideen that are qualified to go for Jihad applicably. If anything that falls short of these qualities of such leadership and warriors among Muslims then, there is no Jihad by any Muslim or else, they will violate the law of Allah in regard to Jihad and surely they will be defeated by
their enemies and will bring shame to Allah, Islam and the Muslim community because Allah is not with them but against them. While the former possibly believe almost the same but went ahead to interpret Jihad not only as a duty on the community of Muslims but it can also be individualistic whereby one can take up arms to defend Islam, the religion of the Prophet of Allah-Mohammed. This divergence may not be conclusively considered as misconception, misinterpretation or miscontextualisation and misapplication but it depends on where the denominations are coming from in which the author of this book is not in the position to judge. But all these confusions are subject to scholarly or theological censor or scrutiny. It is also subject to the Quran and Hadith to interpret themselves where there will be no denominational or sectarian biasness; and outside the Muslim community, there will be no better interpreter than the Muslim community who are blessed with well learned Islamic scholars, theologians and wonderful interpreters of the Quran and Hadith. What we are most concerned about here is that, all the Islamic divisions or denominations and sects should honour and uphold the Quran and the Hadiths in sincerity, honesty, faithfulness as trustworthy custodians of the sacred book of Allah and tell themselves the truth and follow the contextual teaching on the subject of Jihad in Islam whether weaponry
or non-weaponry Jihad; then by so doing, those who are not Muslims can understand the subject and see the light of true Islam that Muslims are practicing worldwide. This will curtail wrong and false conceptions and misinterpretations of Jihad in Islam by some Muslims and non-muslims.
The Actual Context of Jihad in Islam Turning to the context of Jihad in Islam, it must be noted that Jihad verses were revealed by Allah to Prophet Mohammed Ibn-Abdallah. It is clearly seen as it is written on the pages of the Quran and the pages of the Hadith and it was not forged by the Prophet lest it will be faked by somebody. So if the subject of Jihad in Islam was revealed originally to the Prophet of Islam, which is possibly considered by some Islamic sect or denominations as possibly one of the pillars of Islam or be incorporated into the pillar of Islam as the sixth pillar or pillar of Iman – faith, then the author does not think it is wrong because of its position in Islam and the context in Islam. This is so because Jihad is not only weaponry, but also has to do with fighting for Islam with your wealth and with your mouth. Possibly because of the insincerity of some Muslims, they try to avoid discussing the subject of weaponry
Jihad, which is lastly applicable when other forms of Jihad from the time past till today and up to the appearance of the Al-mahdi weaponry Jihad is still viable and applicable but only when situations or circumstances warrant, so that there will not be misapplication of weaponry Jihad by any or all Muslims against the wrong situation or circumstances or people. In fact, there are benefits of all kinds of Jihad, whether the non-weaponry or the weaponry - which expiates one’s sins and grants him entry into paradise, the primary reason for which any religion is revealed. So with this, the context of Jihad in whatsoever form, is Quranic and unabrogated. So let the truth be told and let us face it the way it is or else Muslims will face God’s wrath on the day of Judgement. We cannot end this chapter without mentioning another group of people among Muslims who also believe that jihad was only viable during the time of the Prophet Mohammed to help him defeat the enemies of Islam, Muslims and justice successfully and to establish Islam. And after the establishment of Islam, weaponry Jihad is no more viable and they went on to claim that all other weaponry Jihad verses are abrogated. But this is just a weak school of thought that has no Quanic or Hadith back-up for their claims. In a book titled “The Book of Jihad” by Abi Zakaryya Dimashqi Al Dumyati “Ibn-Nuhaas” (D.814 Hijri), he defined Jihad in a Linguistic meaning thus:55
“(a) Lisan Alarab: Fighting the enemy. It involves using all effort in words and deeds (b) Mujam Matn al Lughah: Jihad is commonly used to refer to waging war for the sake of Al-haqq (the truth)” (p. 8). These two definitions of Jihad are summarily called the greater and the lesser Jihads, or the major and the minor Jihads. The writer of the same book went on to clarify this issue in an Islamic terminology, that it means thus:“Calling towards the true religion and fighting with one’s soul and wealth against those who reject it. (Al Inayah Sharh al Hidayah (Hanafi) Jihad is Fighting. (Al Sheerazi in al Muhadhab (Shafi’i). Jihad is a Muslim waging war against a non-muslim who has no peace agreement with Muslims and the fighting is for the sake of the word of Allah to prevail. Jihad is also fighting the non-muslim who attacks Muslim territory and it is also the Muslims attacking the non-muslim in their land. (Mawahib al Jaleel fi Sharh Mukhtasar Khalil (Maliki). Jihad is a cure for the individual by delivering him from the sickness of disbelief to the wellbeing of Islam. Disbelieving in Allah is the greatest disease of all and the most destructive on all humanity, while
Islam is the complete cure. Jihad cures the society by eliminating the source of corruption and oppression. Leaving the disbeliever unharmed increases the disease and strengthens it and allows the cancer to spread. Therefore Islam cannot flourish and Muslims cannot live in peace unless the disease is cured. If it is possible to cure the disease by using a medicine then be it. Otherwise the infected portion must be amputated even though the amputation could cause pain and suffering for the body. But then no one could claim that the amputation is cruel or inhumane. It was necessary for the survival of the body. That is precisely the role of Jihad in Islam. First the message should be conveyed through peaceful means. If the peaceful course is exhausted and it did not bear its fruits, the bearers of the truth would need to draw their swords and fight in order for the word of Allah to prevail” (pp. 8-9). The same author clearly states the ruling of Jihad as follows:“There are two types of fardh (duty) in Islam: Fardh Ayn and fardh Kifayah. Fardh Ayn (individual duty): This is a mandatory duty that must be performed by everyone.
Examples of this kind of duty are the five daily prayers and fasting. Fardh Kifayah (collective duty): this is a mandatory duty that must be done. If some Muslims fulfil it then the rest are relieved of the duty. Examples of this type of duty is enjoining good and forbidding evil. This is a duty that must be done in the Ummah. If some Muslims fulfil that duty then the rest are relieved of the duty but if they don’t, then the whole Muslim Ummah is sinful until the duty is fulfilled. Another example would be the Adhan. Accordin to some schools of thought, the adhan is fardh kifayah. If adhan is not performed in a Muslim community, then they are all held accountable for that until one of them performs it. Jihad is a collective duty (fardh kifayah). (A command which is imperative upon all to perform it, but if some do perform it, it will be sufficient). That is the opinion of majority of scholars. In al Hidayah (Hanafi) it states that: Fighting the nonbelievers is mandatory even if they do not initiate war and that is according to the general texts of Islam. Al Mugni: Jihad becomes an individual duty in three cases:
1) When the armies meet, it is mandatory to fight and not flee. 2) If the non-believers descend on Muslim territory. 3) If the Imam calls for war, it is mandatory on every able Muslim to respond. Ibn Hazm: Jihad is mandatory on Muslims. If some do fulfil the duty by protecting our boarders, and fighting the enemies in their own land and conquering it, then the other Muslims are relieved of the duty, otherwise it is a duty on each one of them according to the verse: Go forth, whether light or heavy, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah. That is better for you, if you only knew.” (pp. 9-10) The author of “The Book of Jihad” has given us the exact picture of the context of Jihad in Islam in a summary manner from the above citation. And if this is the true context of what the Quran and Hadith are saying concerning Jihad in Islam as mandatory upon every Muslim, whether individually or collectively, then no Muslim should barter the religion of Allah by becoming hypocrites. Rather, uphold and honour the religion of Allah which is Islam that is enshrined in both the Quran and the Hadith. But Jihad must be conducted according to the rules and be led by an Imam.
Minor and Major Jihad: Fabricated, or, Not in Islam? The same author in the very same book cited earlier, went on in his classification of Jihad as the minor and the major saying:“The hadith of ‘We returned to the minor Jihad to the major Jihad’ is fabricated. It hasn’t been narrated by any of the scholars of hadith. Ibn Taymiyah states: The hadith of ‘We returned to from the minor Jihad to the major Jihad’ is fabricated and is not narrated by any of the scholars who have knowledge of the words of Rasulullah, his actions and his Jihad against the nonbelievers. In fact Jihad against kufar is among the greatest of deeds. Indeed it is the greatest voluntary deed a human could do” (p. 10) The issue of fabrication of this Hadith, the author of this book is not in the position to judge or make any comments whether positively or negatively but let the two main denominations in Islam, whether the Ahl-Sunna-Sunni, Ahl Sunna-Shi’ite sought out their differences on the issue of fabrication of Hadith, most especially on this issue of minor and major Jihad. All that the author knows is that both minor and major Jihads are viable in Islam in accordance to the teaching of the Quran and the Hadith.
And when we talk about the great Islamic scholar of all time, Ibn Taymiya, you can rarely find great scholars that are equal of him and when such scholars commend, we know they are great thinkers, so people rarely dispute with their positions or conclusions but the supremacy of the Quran over their thoughts or conclusion is supreme. Going to chapter one of the same Book of Jihad on the topic of the chapter “On the command of Jihad against the nonbelievers and its mandate, and the stern warning against those who don’t practice Jihad”, the author cited Suratul Baqarah – The Cow 2:216; 244;251 and Suratul Tawba – The Repentance 9:5 by citing Imam Al Haleemi in SUab al Iman who summarily commented on these verses thus:“Allah clarified that if it weren’t for Allah checking the nonbelievers through the believers and giving the believers authority to protect Islam and break the armies of disbelief, disbelief would have reigned on earth and the true religion would have been eliminated. This proves that the reason for the survival of religion (i.e Islam) is Jihad and whatever is in this status deserves to be a pillar of Iman.” (p.13) In addition to the above citation, many scholars agreed that the order given to fight unbelievers until they believe in worship of Allah as one by accepting Mohammed as the
messenger of Allah, there are many interpreters of this Hadith as a strong Hadith as we can read thus:“Among a few interpretations Ibn Hajjar mentions the strongest is that people are fought to establish the dominance of Allah’s law. This objective can be met through many means. It could be met by fighting them. It can also be met by them accepting the law of Allah and paying the Jizyah. It can also be met by sort of peace accord between Muslims and others, in which the nonmuslims will not oppose the word of Allah in any way”. (p. 14) All these can never be achieved by the Muslim community except if the Muslims follow all the stages of Islamic Jihad in its context. Unless they do so, they cannot achieve the above expectations for the establishment of the dominance of Allah’s law over all. If Jihad, that is fighting with weapons is contextually applied through the Quranic and Hadith context, that which is truly Islamic, then the reality of the aim and objective of Jihad will be attained. And the state of Islam will also be a reality. But the failure of practically applying the stages of Jihad has made many Muslims to consider Jihad as a non-contextual and non-contemporary issue. One of the modern and well respected Islamic scholars – Sayyid Qutb in his book ‘The Milestone’ made it very clear in trying to solve this problem, by stating thus:-
“The second aspect of this religion is that it is a practical movement which progresses stage by stage, and at every stage it provides resources according to the practical needs of the situation and prepares the ground for the next one. It does not face practical problems with abstract theories nor does it confront various stages with unchangeable means. Those who talk about Jihad in Islam and quote Quranic verses do not take into account this aspect, nor do they understand the nature of the various stages through which this movement develops, or the relationship of the verses revealed at various occasions with each stage. Thus, when they speak about Jihad, they speak clumsily and mix up the various stages, distorting the whole concept of Jihad and deriving from the Quranic verses final principles and generalities for which there is no justification. This is because they regard every verse of the Quran as if it were the final principle of this religion. This group of thinkers, which is the product of the sorry state of the present Muslim generation, has nothing but the label of Islam and has laid down its spiritual and rational arms in defeat. They say, ‘Islam has prescribed only defensive war’! and think that they done some good for their religion by depriving it of its method which is to abolish all injustice from the
earth to bring people to the worship of God alone, and to bring them out of servitude to servants into the service of the Lord of servants. Islam does not force people to accept its belief, but it wants to provide a free environment in which they will have a choice of beliefs. What it wants is to abolish those oppressive political systems under which people are prevented from expressing their freedom to choose whatever belief they want, and after that it gives them complete freedom to decide whether they accept Islam or not.” (p. 99 - 100) Qutb has drawn the attention of Muslims against some of their clumsy speech and their mixing up of the various stages by distorting the whole concept of jihad which is a sign that those thinkers and apologetics are defeatists. And Qutb went on to say thus:“When writers with defeatist and apologetic mentalities write about ‘Jihad in Islam’, and try to remove this ‘blot’ from Islam, they mix up two things: first, that this religion forbids the imposition of its belief by force, as it is clear from the verse: ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ (2:256), while on the other hand it says it tries to annihilate all those political and material powers which stand between people and Islam, which force one people to bow before another people and prevent them from
accepting the sovereignty of God. These two principles have no relation with each other nor is there room to mix them. In spite of this, these defeatists-type people try to mix the two aspects and want to confine Jihad to what today is called ‘defensive war’. The Islamic Jihad has no relationship to modern warfare, either in its causes or in the way in which it is conducted. The causes of Islamic Jihad should be sought in the very nature of Islam and its role in the world, and its high principles, which have been given to it by God for the implementation of which God appointed the Prophet - Peace be upon him – as His Messenger and declared him to be the last of all Prophets and Messengers.” (The Milestone, pp. 102 - 103) Here we can understand clearly that Sayyid Qutb understands exactly what the concept of Jihad in Islam is all about by trying to refer every Muslim to seek out what Islamic Jihad is from the very nature of Islam and its role in the world and for the proper implementation of Jihad of which God appointed the Prophet for. He also went ahead by trying to distinguish the established rule of Allah on earth from that of the God of the Bible by the priest and the Church through theocracy, and that this rule of Allah means that the laws of Allah be enforced and all decisions of affairs must be in accordance to the law of Allah as we can read thus:65
“The way to establish God’s rule on earth is not that some consecrated people – the priests be given the authority to rule, as was the case for the rule of the Church, nor that some spokes men of God become rulers, as is the case in ‘theocracy’. To establish God’s rule means that his laws be enforced and that the final decision in all affairs be according to these laws.” (The Milestone by Sayyid Qutb, p. 104). This is suggesting that the establishment of God’s rule can be possible through preaching and any other peaceful means, but in reality, it is also suggesting that the easiest and possible way to free people from slavery is by means of fighting Jihad, not only to spread Islam but also to establish the Muslim community where the law or constitution of Allah – The Sharia will reign supreme above all other laws where both the led and the leaders are ruled by the established law of Allah. To be precise, the supremacy of Islamic Jihad and its viability in Islam is a clear picture of its Quranic and Hadith context which complements the faith or Iman in Islam. Therefore any Muslim that attempts to do away with Islamic Jihad of any of the categories, whether the lesser or the greater Jihad, is like taking away almost the half of Islam or its strength.
Islamic Jihad as a Way for Freedom Sayyid Qutb went on to tell us the intention of Islam not to force its beliefs on people who are not Muslims but that Islam is a freedom for man from servitude that other men might have yoked them with, and that Islam is against the rule of man over man. It is rather the rule of God over man through God’s law (Sharia). And Qutb went on to say that Islam is out to release people from political pressure or bondage, or any other system that is holding human beings ransom for a spiritual message that liberates humanity, and that if this is so, all human beings will serve the true God. This is what Qutb is saying:“It is not the intention of Islam to force its beliefs on people, but Islam is not merely ‘belief’. As we have pointed out, Islam is a declaration of the freedom of man from servitude to other men. Thus it strives from the beginning to abolish all those systems and governments which are based on the rule of man over men and the servitude of one human being to another. When Islam releases people from this political pressure and presents to them its spiritual message, appealing to their reason, it gives them complete freedom to accept or not to accept its beliefs. However, this freedom does not mean they can make their desires their gods, or they can choose to remain in the servitude of other human
beings, making some men Lord over others.” (Milestone by Sayyid Qutb, p. 109 - 110) If this is what the picture of what Islam is to both Muslims and non-muslims, which is a choice to freedom in which Islam has this offer, then it is left for the choice of the one who listens to the message and is willing to accept the message of Islam which is a decisive declaration of man’s freedom and this has to do with the employment of Jihad if necessary, to actualize this objective as we can read thus: “Since the objective of the message of Islam is a decisive declaration of man’s freedom, not merely on the philosophical plane but also in the actual conditions of life, it must employ Jihad. It is immaterial whether the homeland of Islam – in the time of Islamic sense, Dar ul-Islam – is in a condition of peace or whether it is threatened by its neighbours. When Islam strives for peace, its objective is not that superficial peace which requires that only that part of the earth where the followers of Islam are residing, remain secure. The peace which Islam desires is that the religion (i.e the law of the society) be purified for God, that the obedience of all people be for God alone, and that some people should not be lords over others. After the period of the Prophet – peace be upon him – only the final stages of the movement of Jihad are
to be followed; the initial or middle stages are not applicable”. (Milestone by Sayyid Qutb, pp. 133 144). In making this universal peace a reality, like Qutb said Jihad should be employed if necessary and where necessary. Islamic Jihad is clearly stated for this reality. There are verses that are clear on the issue of Islamic Jihad for the abolishment of satanic forces and its system, lordship of men over others and the arbitrary laws of men that are against God’s law. Qutb cited verses from the Quran to buttress his point. For example, Suratul Nisa’I – The women 4:74 – 76; Suratul Anfal – The spoils of war 8:38 – 40 and Suratul At-taubah – The repentance 9:29 – 32. He leans on these verses to establish his case as thus:“The reason for Jihad which has been described in the above verses are these: to establish God’s authority on the earth; to arrange human affairs according o the true guidance provided by God; to abolish all the satanic forces and satanic systems of life; to end the Lordship of one man over the others. Since all men are creatures of God and no one has the authority to make them his servants or to make arbitrary laws for them. These reasons are sufficient for proclaiming Jihad. However, one should always keep in mind that there is no
compulsion in religion; that is, once the people are free from the lordship of men, the law governing civil affairs will be purely that of God, while no one will be forced to change his beliefs and accept Islam. The Jihad of Islam is to secure complete freedom for every man throughout the world by releasing him from servitude to other human beings so that he may serve his God, who is one and who has no associates. This is in itself a sufficient reason for Jihad. These were the only reasons in the hearts of Muslim warriors”. (The Milestone by Sayyid Qutb, pp. 127- 128) If Islamic Jihad is fundamentally for securing complete freedom for every man throughout the world by releasing human beings from servitude to human beings so that he may serve God and God alone, then it must be understood that the significance and necessity does not limit Islamic Jihad for securing freedom alone as this author puts it thus:“Also, think deeply how Jihad is connected with prayers and fasting. It is made obvious that Jihad is similar to both of them, and all the three, (Jihad, prayers and fasting) are ordained (by Allah) for the believers. And Jihad is a very wide gate and there is no deed whose reward of blessings is as great as that of it,
and for this reason, it is the best thing that one can volunteer for. All the Muslim religious scholars unanimously agree that Jihad is superior to Hajj and Umra (Pilgrimage) and also superior to nonobligatory prayers and fasting as mentioned in the Book (Quran) and Sunna (Prophet’s traditions). It is obvious that the benefits of Jihad for us are in general (from all sides), it (Jihad) includes kinds of worship both hidden and open, it also includes (a great) love for Allah (the Elevated) and it shows one’s sincerity to Him and it also shows one’s trust in Him, and it indicates the handing over of one’s soul and property to Him – it (Jihad) shows one’s patience, one’s devotion to Islam, one’s remembrance to Allah (the Elevated) and there are other kinds of good deeds which are present in Jihad and are not present in any other act of worship.” (The Call to Jihad by Shaykh Abdullah Bn Muhammad Bn Hamid, p. 27). The superiority of Jihad as one of the stages of establishing the pure Muslim community or society (Al’Ummah) as seen from the above citation creates the environment for the rule of Allah through the Islamic constitution called Sharia law which is the law of Allah for Muslims and to be applied universally for a proper relationship with God.
To make this clear, Qutb believed that Islam came with total guidance and a decisive teaching to elevate man by releasing him from bondage, by creating a conducive environment for Muslims, by forming a Muslim community where Sharia is established which distinguishes an Islamic community from a non-Isamic community as we can read thus:“Islam came with this total guidance and decisive teaching. It came to elevate man above, and release him from the bonds of the earth. A Muslim has no country except that part of the earth where the Sharia of God is established and human relationships are based on the foundation of relationship with God, a Muslim has no nationality except his belief, which makes him a member of the Muslim community in Dar-ul-Islam; a Muslim has no relatives except those who share in the belief in God, and thus a bond is established between him and other believers through their relationship with God. A Muslim has no relationship with his mother, father, brother wife and other family members except through their relationship with the creator, and then they are also joined through blood. Similarly, the callers to Islam should not have any superficial doubts in their hearts concerning the
nature of Jahiliyyah and the nature of Islam, and the nature of Islam, and the characteristics of Darul-Harb and of Dar-ul-Islam, for through these doubts many are led to confusion. Indeed there is no Islam in a land where Islam is not dominant and where its Sharia is not established; and that place is not Dar-ul-Islam where Islam’s way of life and its laws are not practiced. There is nothing beyond faith except unbelief, nothing beyond Islam except Jahiliyyah, nothing beyond the truth except falsehood.” (The Milestone by Sayyid Qutb, pp.127, 239). If one will carefully study all the citations in this chapter, they will understand that there is an attempt here to give a clear picture of the context of Jihad and the reason why Jihad may be or must be employed contextually in order to bring the reality of an ideal Muslim Society or community where Sharia law is fully in practice or application as the law of Allah for Muslims. Sayid Qutb concludes thus: “Indeed there is no Islam in a land where Islam is not dominant and where its Sharia is not established; and that place is not Dar-ul-Islam where Islam’s way of life and its laws are not practiced”. In fact, Qutb refused to agree with those defeatists who try to misinterpret war in Islam. But he went ahead to say
that such concept of defensive war by some Muslims is a usual attitude of Muslim defeatists who are under the pressure of the orientalists. And Sayyid Qutb insisted by saying thus:“If we insist on calling Islamic Jihaad a defensive movement, then we must change the meaning of the word ‘defence’ of man against all those elements which limits his freedom… As to persons who attempt to defend the concept of Islamic Jihaad by interpreting it in the narrow sense of the current concept of defensive war, and who do research to prove that the battles fought in Isamic Jihaad were all for the defence of the homeland of Islam – some of them considering then homeland of Islam to be just the Arabian – Peninsula against the aggression of neighbouring powers, they lack understanding of the nature of Islam and its primary aim. Such an attempt is nothing but the product of a mind defeated by the present difficult conditions and by the attacks of the treacherous orientalists on the Islamic Jihad… …How could the message of Islam have spread when it faced such material obstacles as the political system of the state, the socio-economic system based on races and classes and behind all these, the military power of the
government?...”(The Milestone – Sayyid Qutb, pp. 111 – 112). Here Sayyid Qutb is reaffirming that Islamic Jihad is contextual as a complement of Islam and there is no better interpretation than to oblige to what exactly Islam has revealed through Allah to the Prophets of Islam and to Muslims in both the Quran and the Hadiths. Any interpretation of Islamic Jihad outside this is an attempt to change the revealed purpose and meaning of Islamic Jihad as revealed in the Quran and the Hadiths for Muslims. And this is a sign of deviation from the original teaching of Islam which is unIslamic, because Islam succeeded by facing such material obstacles e.g. political system, socio-economic system, etc, for the viability of Islam. The aim of Islam is very clear and if Islam is not spread through Islamic Jihad that is understandable. But after the success of Islamic Jihad on non-muslims where their freedom is secured by Islam how viable are they in an Islamic state since they are not Muslims. It is made known to everyone that Islam must be a dominant religion and Sharia Law must be the law governing the affairs of men against man-made laws . Then what kind of law will the non-muslims follow? If it is Sharia, then are they Muslims that they will obey slamic law? (Surat 5:43, 44, 46, 47) If Islamic Jihad will secure the freedom for both Muslims and non-Muslims which will fit in and give more advantage
for only Islam to thrive and Muslims too. Then where is the proper place for non-muslims and does this freedom open a door to promote other religions to thrive where Islam is dominant? Or should we say that the non-muslims are to be subjugated under Islamic rules as unequal to their Muslim brothers? Is Islamic Jihad aiming at securing freedom for all contextually without extending it to non-muslims to accept Islam but only for them to make a choice whether to accept Islam or not. Is their choice advantageous to Islam, Muslims and the rule of Allah through the Islamic law – Sharia?
The Purpose of Islamic Weaponry Jihad Shaykh Abdullah Bn Muhammad Bn Hamid also agreed with Sayyid Qutb that anything that lead Muslims out of the teaching of Islam will also lead them to give up Islamic Jihad as we can read thus:“One of the Orientalists said: ‘when the Muslims turned away from their religious teachings and became ignorant of its wisdom and its laws and deviated towards the contradictory (man-made) laws taken from the opinions of men, there spread in them, immorality of character, falsehood, hypocrisy, ill-will and hatefulness became increased in them. So their unity disintegrated and they became ignorant of their present and future state and became unaware of what will harm them or
will benefit them. They have become contented with the life in which they eat, drink, sleep and compete not with others, in superiority. All this is a visible fact, which every true believer feels, and which every enthusiastic person (about his religion) palpates in every community (nation) that gives up Al-Jihad and dips itself: (1) in a luxurious life, (2) in the worshipping of wealth and (3) in the love of this world’.” (The call to Jihad – Shaykh Abdullar Bn Muhammad Bn Hamid, p.43) But the same author is saying that let all Muslims heed to what the Quran teaches and the traditions of Allah’s Apostle Muhammad. Bn Hamid quoted Surat Anfal – The Spoils of War 9:38 and buttress his point by supporting Qutb’s position from the Quranic stand point thus: “Similarly Allah (the Elevated) disapproved of those who abandoned Juhad (i.e, they did not go for Jihad) and attributed to them hypocrisy and disease in their hearts, and threatened (all) those who remain behind from Jihad and sit (at home) with horrible punishment. He (Allah the Elevated) accused them with the most ugly descriptions, rebuked them for their cowardice and spoke against them (about their weakness and their remaining behind) as He said: The verses of Quran and traditions of Allah’s Apostle Muhammad
(S.A.W.) are both flooded with these high meanings, calling with eloquent phrases in a crystal clear way. The Muslims were ordered to take all precautions against the enemies of Allah (The Elevated) and to get ready against them with all they can of power – because that is the first step for Jihad (fighting) and the supreme way for the defence. To get ready (for Jihad) includes various kinds of preparations and weapons (Tanks, missiles, artillery, aeroplanes (air force), naval ships (navy) etc and the training of the soldiers in these weapons) are all included under (the meaning) of the word ‘force’ (i.e, land-force, navy and air-force). And to look after the mobile forces” (The Call to Jihad – Shaykh Abdullah Bn Muhammad Bn Hamid, pp. 19 20)
The Non-muslim Misconception and Misunderstanding of Weaponry Jihad From all indication, the West, Chiristians and nonMuslims always understand and interpret Islamic Jihad as a means of spreading Islam, acquire spoils and to dominate non-muslims in their lands. But always, Muslim scholars or theologians insist that the reverse is always the case. They explain that Islamic Jihad is to liberate human beings from servitude of men over men through political system, socio78
economic, racial discrimination and all human or satanic systems of government with those laws that are against Allah’s law – the shariah where Allah rules and not human. No matter the difference between the main Islamic denominations, there is always one thing that is sure. And what we need to know is that all denominations in Islam agree that Islamic weaponry Jihad is viable but the due process for its application must be followed to make it Islamic Jihad. In the course of history, Islamic weaponry Jihad has extended the dominance of Islam territorially but not the conversion theory as non-muslims believe or understand. The non-muslims believe that Islamic weaponry Jihad is meant to force non-muslims to convert to Islam. From all indications, almost all Islamic scholars and Muslims disagree with this theory. Muslims believe that Islam must rule because the universe is Islam and it belongs to Allah. And in the rule of Allah, Sharia law must be the law that will govern all the affairs of every society and Allah must rule. Muslims try to explain that if Islamic weaponry Jihad is out for forced conversion into Islam, then what the Quran is saying in Chapter 9:29 is not true. Because in this verse and many verses of the Quran Islam accommodates every other religion like Christianity and Judaism but on certain conditions such as the paying of Al-Jaziyah, believing in one God, believing in the last day, etc.
Many Islamic scholars argue that if Islam and its weaponry Jihad is out to do away with all other religions, then this verse and other verses refute the claims of the westerners, Jews, Christians and polytheists. In confirming this, Ahmed M. Aldawoody states thus: “The remark about the spread of Islam by force triggered a massive reaction throughout the Muslim world. This remark indicates that this mediaeval portrayal of Islam is still accepted at the highest levels of Western Christian circles. Furthermore, it shows that this perception of the history and religion of Islam influences the current relationship between Islam and the West. But more significantly here, Muslim reaction to this remark indicates that Muslims reject the claim accepts spreading religion by force and even feel offended and that their history is being distorted by the claim that Islam was spread by force”. (War in Islamic Law, Justifications and Regulations, p. 159) This wrong perception of the history and religion of Islam by the West and other non-muslims have influenced the current battered relationship between Islam and the West as Aldawoody rightly puts it. And we can understand that almost all Muslims, not only Islamic scholars, theologians and Jurists, but almost all Muslims are clamouring worldwide that the Westerners,
Jews, Christians and polytheists should set aside their colossal education from the secular or worldly perspective and stoop low by delving into the sacred and spiritual education in order to learn what exactly Islam is all about. That if they dare do that in sincerity and honesty, they will know and understand, and will surely discover a different picture of what Islamic Jihad is all about contextually as we read thus: “The condition ‘in the cause of Allah’ has been attached to Jihad for the same reason. It strictly implies that when a person or a group arises to carry out a revolution in the system of life and to establish a new system in conformity with the ideology of Islam, he or they should keep no selfish motives in mind while offering sacrifices and executing acts of devotion for the cause (of Allah). The aim should not be to knock out an emperor and occupy the empty throne, i.e, to become a Caeser replacing another Caeser. The objectives of the struggle should be completely free from the taint of selfish motives such as gaining wealth or goods, fame and applause, or personal glory and elevation. All sacrifices and executions should be directed toward achieving the one and only end, i.e, the establishment of a just and equitable social order among human beings; and the only reward in view should be to gain the favour of Allah. The Qur’an
quotes this in very clear words: ‘Those who believe fight in the Way of Allah and the unbelievers fight in the way of Taghut (the Devil)’. (4:76). (MUHAMMAD Encyclopedia of Seerah vol. III, p. 119).” With the above citation, we can clearly see the exact picture of what Islamic Jihad is all about.
The Need for Weaponry Jihad The claims of all Muslims concerning Islamic weaponry Jihad is to purge the society from infidelity by establishing a just society where all people are going to be treated equally and all Muslims have arrived at this conclusion as the true context of Islamic weaponry Jihad. Aldawoody came up with this conclusion in his thesis by stating that:“In conclusion, this study of all the various forms of the use of force in both international and domestic armed conflict establishes that the Islamic law of war prohibited the resort to violence except in defence against aggression and to defend religious freedom of Muslims, and, in domestic armed conflicts, to achieve the rules of the shariah. The restriction placed on the conduct of war indicates the sanctity of protecting the lives of enemy non82
combatants, their property and the environment. These restrictions on the resort to, and conduct in, war aimed at, and in fact should achieve, the saving and protection of human lives and religious freedom and the prevention, or in case of a justified war alleviation, of the scourge of war.” (War in Islamic Law, Justifications and Regulations by Ahmed M. Aldawoody, p. 377). Therefore, according to the ethics of Islamic weaponry Jihad, the Muslim’s cause of war is not only Just, noble and righteous but its for humanitarian purpose and that is the exact context of Islamic Jihad as we cite Brigadier S.K. Malik thus:“In Islam, a war is fought for the cause of Allah. A Muslim’s cause of war is just, noble, righteous and humanitarian. A victory in Islam is a victoryfor the cause of Islam. So noble and humanitarian a cause cannot be allowed to be attained through inhuman and undignified ways. Humanitarianism thus lies at the very heart of the Islamic approach to war.” (The Quranic Concept of War, p. 50). When Brigadier S.K. Malik rightly and contextually made his point that Islamic weaponry Jihad or war for the cause of Allah is centralized on humanitarian basis and every victory on this ground is for the cause of Islam, then let ignorant
Muslims and all non-muslims understand the perspective that Muslims employ weaponry Jihad. Talking about humanitarianism that lies at the very heart of the Islamic approach to war, Marcel A. Boisard, a specialist in Islam and Muslim relations, took his time to write a book titled “Humanism in Islam” by dedicating a chapter on the issue of violence and the cause of violence in Islam which is misunderstood by non-muslims. Marcel A. Boisard made very clear the basic position of Islam and what Islamic Jihad is all about which is contrary to the Christian kind of passive charity on the issue of violence or war as we can read thus:“… The passive charity which Christian doctrine recommends to one who has been slapped on the cheek shocks Muslim reasoning, which considers it unrealistic and illogical because it is unnatural. The enemy is essentially he who practices evil and enforces injustice. He is, for the same reason, the enemy of God and His law. He cannot reasonably expect true ‘love’ from the believer. The latter is more over not permitted to ‘love’ an enemy who hates God”. (p. 178). What Boisard has rightly said is the mind of every Muslim who understands the teaching of Islam very well, what enmity is all about and what Justice and injustice is all about from the Islamic context. These different kinds of
understanding on the law of retaliation or Justice are quite different from what is on the mind of a Westerner and a Christian when compared with the Jewish or Muslim understanding of the law of retaliation. This is because these are different groups with different kinds of approach to the law of retaliation because of their religious beliefs. Islam, being the religion of Muslims applies war or weaponry Jihad only where necessary for humanitarian reasons. The failure of western Christians and non-muslims cannot change the beliefs. And no matter the misunderstanding and misconception of Islamic weaponry Jihad, those who are Muslims , who understand the aims, objectives and goals for the application of weaponry Jihad, understand it better, appreciate it at most and remain steadfast to their beliefs and conviction. Therefore, the misunderstanding or misconception is a sign that one can criticize it and refuse to accept it, but that is a doctrinal teaching in Islam and it is a belief and a practice that is obligatory to every Muslim where necessary for the good of both Muslims and non-Muslims as Islam teaches as we can read thus:“Thus, it is beyond doubt that in Islam, there exists a doctrinal element which is eminently combative and a historical tradition of war. However, violence, taken in its broader meaning, is a legitimate function of Justice. Be it a question of exterior and
social order or internal and spiritual order, war should always make an equal attempt at establishing harmony and stability... This is the same as saying that its normal resolution – which is definitely its only justification – is peace.” Thus, we find a definition of the Jihad in the sense implied in the Muslim tradition. Islam not only preached tolerance but gave it the force of law. Proselytism, no matter how zealous and sincere it may be, could not effectively be implemented by force since it would contradict divine plans, being an expression of human arrogance… Being fundamentally realistic, the Quranic revelation admits violence and legalizes war. However, battle is permitted only to check injustice. The permission to engage in armed combat has explicit motives and is immediately limited. War must necessarily be declared as a form of self protection or legitimate defence, hostilities must be waged with decency and according to divine ways. Aggression and the initiation of combat without any valid reasons are forbidden: ‘Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits, for God loves not transgressors. Violence is answered by violence, injustice by force. Other than the defence of the community, injustice and persecution are also valid reasons for authorizing war’.” (pp. 179 - 180).
On every ground, we can admit or submit to this truth, that man or woman are full of conflict within themselves and this conflict is extensional both internally and externally, spiritually and physically. And it is only religion that can suggest or bring in the solution to all forms of conflicts whether human or societal, whether domestically or internationally. The Christian approach in conflict in order to bring harmony and stability in the society for peace to reign in the society is fought through love and prayer to God without the application of force, violence or weapon in any form. Even though the Western world borrowed this kind of background or upbringing of a Christian, they (of the western world) to practice genuine Christianity. They only hide under this Christian belief or principle of peaceful living to introduce their Western selfish teaching of “Just War” which has no place in theoretical and practical Christianity. To Islam and Muslims, including their half brothers the Jews – Judaizers, it is understandable and undisputable that Judaism and Islam do not just believe in fighting but it is a path of their practical faith to harmonize and stabilize the societyfor peace to reign as revealed by their God in both Judaism and Islam. It is this background from the Islamic perspective that justice sometimes is established when weaponry Jihad is applied for Muslims, Jews, Christians and other non-muslims.
And it is for the sake of this humanitarian intervention that Islamic Jihad is employed:“Islam stands to defend not only the Muslims but also persecuted Jews and Christians. This kind of armed intervention characteristically corresponds to what nineteeth-century European International law meant by humanitarian intervention. This is a literal case of the assertion of basic human rights: security, guarantee of man’s person and property, respect for freedom of thought. Islam’s military power was the background and guarantee of this assertion. Legitimate causes of war are the defence of the community and perfection of the oppressed on a general level. The doctrine more precisely defined the various motives which entrusted believers with the authority to take up arms: to safeguard the Muslim faith, to defend, maintain and consolidate the Islamic community; to counter plots which seek to turn the believers away from their religion; to guard what is recognised by divine and human laws; to protect one’s own person; to right an injustice committed towards one’s brothers in religion as well as to monotheists who have paid their capitation taxes. However, man’s natural tendencies towards violence, his greed for domination, desire for revenge, material motivation or tendencies of pillage are all considered as
malevolent and iniquities causes. In short, aggression is forbidded.” (Humanism in Islam by Marcel A. Boisard, p. 181) The primitive character and nature of Islamic war whether defensive or offensive against intruders or enemies of Islam and Muslims are all for pacifism and humanitarianism. It is the Prophet’s tradition to wage war which is for the primary judicial importance of it, etc. Boisard reiterates thus:“For Muslim literature, the battles fought by the prophet illustrate the particular nature of Islamic war: it is just in its causes, defensive in its initiative, decent in its proceedings, pacific in its end, and humanitarian in its treatment of the conquered enemy. The manner in which Muhammad waged battles is of primary judicial importance and still theoretically valid in our time. Recourse to violence is dependent on and made legitimate by the adversary’s attitude the immense magnanimity shown by the Prophet ought to prove that even the battles which he initiated were of a preventive character. The prophetic traditions show this clearly.” (Humanitarianism In Islam by Marcel A. Boisard, pp. 182 - 183)
And if there is any reason for the proselytizing aspect of the religion from Islamic Jihad appears in applying Islamic weaponry Jihad as we can read thus:“The Islamic community had to immediately assert itself as the protector of the Muslims. The assertion of its power and of its protective role assumed a growing importance with the adherence or support of an increasing number of individuals. By extension, attacks on the community were not only intended as persecution of isolated believers but also as a prohibition for individuals to embrace Islam if they so wished. It is in this context that the proselytizing aspect of the religion appears, and it is here that the verse forbidding religious compulsion assumes its fullest meaning. It is indeed important for one who preaches a sublime cause aiming at defending faith and individual freedom, that mankind be aware of this cause, that each man should have the right to freely choose from among the different doctrines the one which most suits him and is in greatest accord with reason.” (p. 184) Choice of faith or religion is embedded in the human nature of man as a gift of choice from God, but the right use of it is what is required by God. Since the majority of Muslims agree that Islam was but is not spread by sword or weaponry Jihad, but that rather, the application of weaponry Jihad is to
liberate people to correct the ills of the society, by bringing harmony and stability, by correcting injustices and for humanitarian reason, this is clear and understandable. But historically, Muslim warriors or Mujahideen also made their mistakes by being motivated or were motivated by the spirit of aggression or greed, but the blames of their incorrect motives should not be labelled against the religion of Islam but the Muslims themselves. Boisard has this conclusion to make:“At the conclusion of this discussion dealing with the concept of war in Islam, a final remark is necessary. It would be historically incorrect to claim that none of the wars undertaken by the Muslims were motivated by a spirit of aggression or greed, but this aggressiveness could not be blamed on the religion, regardless of the violence of certain Quranic verses calling for war against the invaders. Legitimate defence was of course not the only reason for the wars which the Muslims began. The desire to dominate, the spirit of aggression, and the attraction of booty were certainly not always absent. The historical explanation of these conflicts is more a matter of political science of sociology than that of law. An objective analysis of the doctrine clearly shows that force was not a primordial element of Islamic expansion. The Western bias which attributes the rapid expansion
of Islam to the sword ‘should be rejected or reduced to a role of at most a secondary importance which aided and made possible the success of many other factors of a spiritual nature. Without these, the brutal force of the holy wars would have been fruitless.’ The very fact that the subjugated peoples subsequently rejected Arab rule but retained the Muslim faith constitutes a formal proof. Islam has developed an original conception of the world, society and the individual. The aim of war is strictly defined and determines both the manner of waging battle as well as the appropriate manner of dealing with the enemy.” (Humanism in Islam, pp. 187 188). Contextually, the Quran and Hadiths are refuting every misconception of the goals of Islamic weaponry Jihad that some unlearned Muslims and non-muslims are assailing Islam and Muslims with regards to weaponry Jihad. In one way or the other, Islamic scholars or Muslims have tried in the past and the present by proving that Islamic weaponry Jihad is for the good of Muslims and non-muslims as the true context of applying weaponry Jihad as one of the Muslim philosophers try to clarify this context of Islamic Jihad. Zakaria Bashier has this to say:“It is clear that it is almost a necessary condition and consequence of the Muslims being established
in the land, that they fight to uphold good and to establish Islamic precepts, norms and ideas in the actual reality of their social order. Thus, seen in its historical and sociological context, waging war by the Prophet of Islam was quite a natural development from the Makkan phase. The old Christian polemic that Islam is a war-like religion is misconceived. Islam does not condole war as such, nor condole arbitrary resort to it. If anything, warring for its own sake is abhorred in the Quran. But religious persecution, injustice and oppression are regarded as more abhorrent. If war becomes a necessary means of repelling aggression and removing evil and oppression, then the Muslims should not shy away from it. The military campaigns that the Prophet (peace be upon him) and him Muslim followers waged war against the Qurayish, during the first eight years of the Hijrah era, and which culminated in the conquest of Makkah, were essentially wars of liberation with the strategic aim of containing, and then putting an end to the abuses of authority and power of the oppressive and tyrannical Quraysh.” (War and Peace in the Life of the Prophet Muhammad. Zakaria Bashier, pp. 4)
Still in the context and true spirit of Islamic weaponry Jihad, it was not revealed for Muslims to practice it on the basis of material inducements of booty that non-muslims will accuse them of as professor Qamaruddin Khan explains thus:“It is now a completely exploded theory that ‘material inducements of booty and landed property as a result of the holy war (Jihad) on behalf of Allah succeeded in winning the allegiance to Islam of independent, proved, born warriors.’ The real secret of the rapid expansion of the Islamic power in Asia, Africa and Europe and its eager acceptance by large number of pagans, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians lies in the fact that Islam alone inherently possessed those virtues and qualities, which fulfil the spiritual and material aspirations of man. It proposed a comprehensive law for the guidance of man; this law actually and dominantly controlled and guided civilized life on this earth for more than one thousand years, and still provides guidance for more than six hundred million people in the world.” (The Political Thought of IBN TAYMIYAH, pp. 100 - 101). The context of Islamic weaponry Jihad that gave Islam and Muslims the successes that they attained is not for booty as the enemies and non-muslims misconceive, but rather, as
professor Qamaruddin Khan clarifies. He stated above that the reason for non-muslims accepting Islam eagerly is as a result of what Islam possesses as “virtues and qualities, which fulfil the spiritual and material aspirations of man. It possesses the ‘law of guidance of man, its controlled guided civilized life on this earth”. These are what the goal or aims of Islamic weaponry Jihad and non-weaponry are meant for. The eager acceptance of Islam can offer and not the context of weaponry Jihad as Professor Qamaruddin Khan has stressed. Although the author is not denying the existence of weaponry Jihad and its application whether in the past or in the present, but is rather only attempting to present the political philosophy of Ibn Taymiyah who was one of the greatest thinkers of all times. Maududi gives the ultimate objective of Jihad in Islam that it is for the abolishment of the lordship of man over man by bringing all men under the rule of one God. He stressed that:“The ultimate objective of Islam is to abolish the lordship of man and bring him under the rule of the one God. To stake everything you have – including your lives – to achieve this purpose is called Jihad. The prayer, fasting, almsgiving and pilgrimage, all prepare you for Jihad. But as you have long since forgotten this objective as well as the mission
entrusted to you, ands because all acts of worship have been reduced to their spiritual contents, this brief statement may be difficult to understand.” (Let us be Muslims, pp. 285) No matter how long they forget about the ultimate objective of Islamic Jihad and the mission entrusted to them, this objective cannot be ignored by Muslims. And if it is ignored by them, the Quran and the Hadith (Sunnah or Prophet tradition) is there as a witness against them. Brigadier S.K. Malik clarifies this Islamic injunction of war as “facets and debths to the concept of a total war”. He contextually presented it thus:“The dimensions given to war by the Holy Quran takes into account the divine purpose behind the creation of man and guide him to his Ultimate Destiny. In determining them, the book has penetrated deep down to identify and unfold the ‘real’ issue involved in the planning and conduct of wars. The fountain – head of these dimensions lies in the fact that the cause of war is the cause of Allah. To proceed from the base, the book commands the Muslims to wage their war with the spirit of a religious duty and obligation. ‘fighting is prescribed for you’, declares the Book, ‘and ye dislike it but it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you and that ye love a thing which
is bad for you and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not’. This Quranic injunction adds a new facet and depths to the concept of a total war. It makes a Muslim citizen answerable both to the state and to Allah in the in the fulfilment of this divine obligation. When prescribed, it also looks upon war as something virtuous for the faithful and beneficial for the rest of humanity. The biggest virtue of this war lies in its cause and object. A war fought to end repression and create conditions of Justice and peace cannot but be noble and virtuous”. (The Quranic Concept of War, pp. 37 - 38) This clarity of the objective or aim of Islamic war is very clear from what Brigadier S.K. Malik asserts. From all indication, most learned Muslims in Islamic knowledge have the right perspective of what Islamic war is all about and they take their time to explain exactly what Islamic weaponry Jihad is all about. Since Islamic weaponry Jihad is part of Islamic teaching and a belief in Islam, then the misunderstanding of nonmuslims and Muslims is not a sufficient reason to change or distort this teaching for the benefit of all. It is imperative to say in whatsoever situation or condition one misunderstands Islamic weaponry Jihad, it cannot make it unIslamic. Because Allah revealed it and it is a
practice in Islam contextually and no man in any way can question Him for that. Misunderstanding or misconception of what Islamic weaponry Jihad is, makes no difference as long as Allah has revealed the weaponry Jihad verses. Allah revealed these verses out of his bountiful wisdom and for peace, harmony, stability, Justice and humanitarian purpose to all mankind whether Muslims or non-muslims for their benefits. And if there are critics of Islamic weaponry Jihad within and without the Muslim community, let them bring up their case. But the clarity of the Quranic and Hadiths teachings cannot be overruled by any form of criticism because all Muslims know this truth and it is Islamic. But the right application of the weaponry Jihad always and will be the aim of Jihad. Take a look at the practical reality of Sharia Law in Saudi Arabia and Islamic Republic of Iran. They believe and are making appropriate application of it and it is a result giving practice. This state of peace, harmony, stability and humanitarian benefits in these two Islamic states of the world could not be possible without fighting the injustice in the society to achieve their extensional stability. The rate of crime or lawlessness in these countries is far less than it is many other countries in the world. But with the recent Arab uprising and the commitment of the fundamentalists or radicalists in their quest for global Islamization through Jihad for Islam to dominate, has been a
cause for concern because even those exemplary Islamic states are being threatened by the radicalists or fundamentalists because of denominational or interpretational differences. Despite these differences, the Glorious Quran and the Hadiths still remain the same and their teachings on weaponry Jihad remain binding for proper application as the Quran commanded and is demanded by the Islamic scholars, theologians and Jurists. We therefore need to know that our opposition to the teachings of Islamic weaponry Jihad whether you are a liberal Muslim or a Jew, a Christian, a polytheist, an atheist, etc; all that you need to do is to take your time and study the context of the subject in the Quran, Hadith, Book of Seerah and the Islamic scholars or theologians and Jurists. If you are not bias, we are convinced that you will know and understand it and possibly your criticism of the subject will come to an end. If you are a learned Muslim, will you really criticize the subject of Islamic weaponry Jihad? Can anyone ever criticize it merely? How can you merely criticize your Holy Scripture? If you question your Holy Scripture, you are equally criticizing or questioning God Himself. Since Islamic weaponry Jihad is a teaching that Allah in His sovereignty chose to reveal and commands every qualified Muslim to fulfil this obligatory command with clear objective, then no one has the right to change it. But the
requirement of how to carry it out is what really matters if necessary anywhere as it is stipulated in both the Quran and the Hadiths. It is only a Muslim that understands and appreciates what Islamic weaponry Jihad means, no addition, no subtraction.
CHAPTER FOUR MUSLIMS’ VIEW OF JIHAD
Muslims who believe in the teachings of Islam that are contained in the Quran and the Hadiths as their faith, sometimes misunderstand some of the teachings of Islam by also misinterpreting them. An average Muslim, or majority of them, generalize the four divisions of Jihad as one by narrowing them to weaponry Jihad only. This misconception of what Islamic Jihad is, by some Muslims, might in the past have exhibited the contrary of the teaching of Islam. That is why most non-muslims including the western world, Jews, Christians and polytheists are involved in total misconception of Islam and Islamic Jihad.
The Corrective View of Jihad by Islamic Scholars How mistakenly some few Muslims who are not learned in the Islamic teachings begin to propagate the wrong teaching about Islamic Jihad out of context out of context. We all know that Islam has divided Jihad into four, and finally narrowed it to only two kinds which are – the lesser and the greater Jihads. Almost all Islamic scholars, jurists and theologians agree that weaponry Jihad is the lesser Jihad against the claims of some extremists who are having contrary views. But we cited somewhere in the previous chapter that Ibn Taymiyah gave a contrary view concerning
lesser and greater Jihad with a reverse version by saying that the lesser Jihad is the greater, while the greater Jihad is the lesser by tagging it as a fabrication. Which means that the issue weaponry Jihad not being the major or greater Jihad, is only a fabrication. We also cannot deny the truth concerning the viability of weaponry Jihad in Islam but the context, its usage and its proper application makes it right and contextually Islamic. Weaponry Jihad can only be Islamic and acceptable through meeting all required processes applicably. Weaponry Jihad is qualified as contextual and Islamic if these requirements and processes are met by the Muslim community that is ready to go on weaponry Jihad, and if the call to Jihad is made by the Imam. All Muslims need to have a proper view of what Jihad is like these scholars who are having a clearer and a proper view, with understanding of what the Quran and the Hadiths are teaching about weaponry Jihad like the likes of Ibn Taymiyyah, Mohammed Ibn Abdul-Wahab, Maududi, Imam Hassan Al-Bana, Sayyid Qutb etc. These scholars appear in the scene of Islamic frontiers by making impact in the lives of Muslims whether in the past or present because of their researches or studies of the Quran and the Hadith critically which gave them the deeper understanding of Allah’s revelation and the Prophet’s tradition that they were all known as reformers and
revivalists. These people as reformers and revivalists did reform the declined structure of back to its original state by also reviving the sleeping or impractical Muslims to wake up from their slumber and live according to the exact or actual Islamic teaching. These people laboured in the cause of Allah by seeking the pleasure of Allah and not for their own worldly benefits or gain, but for the good and benefit of all Muslims. But today, these people are called with so-called names by some Muslims who are opposing the well done job of these people in favour of Islam. If all Muslims will have and uphold the proper teachings of Islam, they will surely have the proper view and the true concept of weaponry Jihad in Islam. This means that the Muslims will not selfishly and improperly make a wrong application of Islamic Jihad that has dented the image of Islam. What we are saying here is that every Muslim must make it a point of duty not only to k now, but understand what Islam is, that is the only ground for every Muslim to have the proper view and the right application of what Islamic Jihad is all about. If all Muslims know and understand Islam very well, they will as well make a proper application of Islamic Jihad because of their right view of its context in Islam. If Muslims are found in this position, then they will be the true representation of Islam anywhere and at anytime.
An Islamic scholar, Abu Musa Ash’ari reporting the Prophet on the issue of Misunderstanding and misapplication or a total misconception of what weaponry Jihad is all about, reported thus:“The Prophet was asked: ‘Which of these three persons carries on Jihad for the sake of Allah: one who fights to show cavalry, one who fights for the sake of self-respect and honour, or one who fights for show?’ He replied: ‘One who fights to uphold the Message of Allah is the person who carries on Jihad in the cause of Allah .’(Bukhari and Muslim)”. (Muhammad Encyclopedia of Seerah vol 7 by Afzalur Rahman, pp. 118 - 119). With the above citation, we can see how young vibrant youths or some radical extremists among Muslims mistakenly or wrongly misapply Jihad against the teaching of Islam with this kind of wrong view that was that was corrected by the Prophet of Islam. Some Islamic scholars and learned Muslims in diverse ways have tried to correct this wrong view of Islamic Jihad and its application and unlearned Muslims in which some have taken correction while some have rejected correction which has led them to create a monstrous image of Islam to some Muslims and non-muslims worldwide. For this reason, the author of this book stands the chance to rebuke these few Muslims that are distorting the true image of Islam out of their selfish interests to desist
from that and return back to the true Islam, so that nonmuslims will also have a proper view of what Islam is all about. There are great scholars mentioned in this chapter that we understand them as reformers or revivalist. The Muslims should follow their footprints because of their better understanding of Islam and teach the correct teaching of Islam to Muslims, citing again from Muhammad Encyclopedia of Seerah, vol 7, it reads thus:‘‘The conception of Jihad in Islam is beautifully described by Abu’l-A’la Maududi in these words: ‘The Jihad of Islam is not merely a struggle; it is a struggle for the cause of Allah. ‘For the cause of Allah’ is an essential condition for Jihad in Islam. Its literal meaning is ‘In the way of Allah’, but this expression bears a wider meaning. All such work as is undertaken for the collective wellbeing of mankind and in which the functionary has no vested interest in the present world, his sole interest being to win the favour of Allah, is regarded in Islam as an ‘act in the way of Allah’. To take an instance, if you give away something in charity in anticipation of receiving some material or moral dividend in this world, it will not be regarded as an act in the way of Allah. But if it is your desire to win the pleasure of Allah by affording assistance to a poor man, this
charitable act will be deemed to have been done ‘in the charitable way of Allah’. Hence the phrase ‘In the way of Allah’ is reserved for such deeds as are only undertaken with perfect sincerity, without any thought of gaining a selfish end, and executed on the understanding that to afford benefit to their human beings is a means of winning the pleasure of Allah and that the sole purpose of human life is to win the favour of the creator of the universe.’’(p. 119) Since this right concept of Jihad inn Islam is beautifully described by Abu’l-A’la Maududi as a struggle for the cause of Allah that is undertaken for the collective wellbeing of mankind and for the sole interest to win the favour of Allah then, any different approach and application of Islamic Jihad that contradicts this, is unIslamic. Therefore, the author of this book is calling on all true Muslims to stand up and struggle in the cause of Allah against those ignorant Muslims to come back to the true Islam for the right view of what Islam is and the right application of Islamic Jihad. If this will be done, the hypocritical will stop creating a wrong image of Islam to nonmuslims and the real Islam will not only be known, but will be practiced for Muslims.
Another Islamic scholar gave a clear picture of why Islamic Jihad is prescribed for Muslims and non-muslims as thus:“The battle between truth and falsehood has been going on since Allah created man, so truth must have force to protect it, Allah has prescribed to protect and support the truth which he has revealed to mankind. There are many texts in the book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger which encourage Jihad and explain how the mujahideen are superior to those who stay home and do not fight, and the great reward that Allah has prepared for the mujahideen Allah say: ‘March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor), and strive hard with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah’.” (Quran 9:41). (The Ideal Muslim Society by Dr. Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi, p. 396) Sayyid Qutb understands this comment and the Quranic versesvery well and he presented a proper view of Islamic Jihad in regards to this Quraic verse for every Muslim to follow the right processes of applying Islamic Jihad at the right time to the right situation as we can read thus:“they are then called upon to mobilize their forces and not to allow any impediment to stand in their
way. If they wish to attain what is best for them in this life as well as in the life to come, then they should not allow any factor to interfere with their response to such a call: They must march whatever the circumstances, and must strive hard, and be ready to sacrifice their wealth and their lives, seeking no excuses and allowing no impediments to stand in their way.”(In the shade of the Quran, vol 8, p. 164). With this citation, it is not a warrant for any Muslim to unlawfully engage himself in weaponry Jihad; though weaponry Jihad is obligatory or compulsory on all Muslims, as Suratul At-Tauba – The Repentance 9:41 says, but this is not a warrant for any Muslim to abandon the procedure stipulated in the Quran and the Hadiths. This is the proper view of what weaponry Jihad is all about:“(27) CHAPTER.the obligation of going out for Jihad when there is a general call to arms, and what sort of Jihad and intentions are compulsory. And the statement of Allah ‘March forth whether you are light (being young, healthy and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor), and strive hard with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah. This is better for you, if you but knew. Had it been a near gain (booty in front of them) and an easy journey, they would have followed you, but the distance
(Tabuk expedition) was long for them, and they would swear by Allah (saying), ‘If we only could, we would certainly have come forth with you.’ They destroy their ownselves, and Allah knows that they are liars,’(V 9:41, 42) And His Statement: ‘O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to march forth in the cause of Allah, (i.e Jihad), you cling heavily to the earth? Are you pleased to with the life of this world rather the Hereafter? (up to) Able to do all things’ (V. 9:38 - 39) Narrated Ibn Abbas: On the day of the contest (of Makkah) the Prophet said, ‘There is no emigration after the contest (of Makkah), but Jihad and intentions. When you are called (by the Muslim ruler) for Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s cause) go forth immediately.’(Sahih Al-Bukhari, 4/2825 (O.P.7a)) i.e, to participate in Jihad When when there is a call for it, otherwise you must have intention to participate in Jihad and this intention has the same reward as that of the Jihad itself. Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: Allah’s Messenger said, ‘There is no Hijra (i.e, emigration)(from Makkah to AlMadina) after the Conquest (of Makkah), but Jihad and good intention remain; and if you are called (by the Muslim ruler) for Jihad, go forth immediately.’
(Sahih Al-Bukhari, 4/2783 (O.P.42)). After the conquest of Makkah there was no need for Muslims to emigrate from Makkah to Al-Madina. The Prophet tells his companions that one can attain rewards through Jihad against kurf, i.e., to fight for Allah’s cause when there is a call for it, otherwise one should have the intention to participate in Jihad and this intention has the same reward as of Jihad itself. (l)(V.9:44). (26) CHAPTER. Al-Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s cause) is a part of faith. Narrated Abu Hurairah. The Prophet said, ‘Allah assigns for a person who participates in (holy battles) in Allah’s cause and nothing causes him to do so except belief in Allah and in His Messengers, that he will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr)’. The Prophet added: ‘Had I not found it difficult for my followers, then I would not remain behind any Sariya (an army unit) going for Jihad and I would have loved to be martyred in Allah’s cause and then made alive, and then martyred and then made alive, and then again martyred in His cause.’ (Sahih Al-Bukhari, 1/36(O.P. 35)). (Ch. 26). Al-Jihad (Holy fighting) in Allah’s cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of
its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah’s Word is made superior. (His Word - La ilaaha illallah – none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and His Religion Islam is propagated. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and the Muislims fall into an inferior position; the honor is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanishes. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfil this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.” (Interpretation of the meaning of the Noble Quran Part 2 by Dr. Muhammad Mushin Khan, Dr. Muhammad taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, pp. 381 - 383) Yes! This call to weaponry Jihad is obligatory or compulsory to all Muslims, but it must be understood from the context above and if it is understood from this perspective, then that will be a proper and right view of what Islamic Jihad is all about. This right and proper view of Islamic Jihad by every Muslim will yield a positive result in practicing and right application of Islamic Jihad by all Muslims anywhere, everywhere and every time. But any failure to maintain the above context of call to weaponry Jihad will not only lead to
the misunderstanding of Islamic Jihad, but Islam too and those Muslims who wrongly apply it, will end up offending Allah, distorting the teaching of Islam and also offending the Muslim community, and non-muslims, thereby creating chaos within the Islamic world and non-Islamic world. Most importantly is the statement made in the above quotation thus:“Al-Jihad (Holy fighting) in Allah’s cause (with full force of members and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of the pillars (on which it stands).by Jihjad Islam is established, Allah’s Word is made superior…. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us form that) Islam is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honor is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanishes. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfil this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.” This is not just an Islamic view of Jihad but an Islamic context of what real weaponry Jihad is all about. Yes, all Jihad in Allah’s cause is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars “by Jihad Islam is established, Allah’s Word is made superior.” But this does not warrant any Muslim to break the rules and regulations that are stipulated in both
the Quran and the Hadiths concerning the stages and procedures of fighting weaponry Jihad. And it is only the proper and right view of weaponry Jihad that creates the right environment for Islamic Jihad to be practiced and applied. Without all these processes, there is no environment and no person is permitted to call for or engage in any weaponry Jihad. Actually, the early Muslims, view of Islamic weaponry Jihad is seen in seen in Surat Al-Baqarah – The Cow 2:216. This verse has given us the clearest picture of Muslims’ hatred towards weaponry Jihad, but this is ironical because the thing they hate is what is good for them. Their wrong view of Jihad (fighting for the cause of Allah) from the Islamic context is good for every Muslim. Muslims’ hatred for it does not make it bad for them but was ordained for their good if they practiced or applied it rightly. There is a commentary by Hafiz Salahudin Yusuf to give Muslims a right view of Islamic weaponry Jihad as we can read thus:“Jihad is just an example. The real purpose is to convey to the believers that they should obey and act by all the divine commands, no matter if doing so is difficult or unpleasant, because Allah alone knows the wisdom hidden in it. For example, Jihad which appears unpleasant leads ultimately to conquest and dominion, honour and wealth. On the
other hand, things that you like (sitting comfortably at home instead of going out for Jihad) may be quite fraught with dangers like dishonors, slavery and humiliation at the hands of the enemies.” (Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan vol.1 by Dr. Muhammad Taqind-Din Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, p. 191). And to these literal Muslims or defeatists as they were called by Sayyid Qutb who do not know or understand what exactly is Islamic weaponry Jihad is all about and ends up by having a wrong belief of weaponry Jihad by thinking that Jihad is for conversion. That is why Surat Baqarah 2:256 was revealed. They always think the opposite, but below reads the correct view and rule generally:“Some Helpers (ansar) had converted to Judaism or Christianity before they converted to Islam. Following their fathers, their sons and daughters also become Jews or Christians like them. Now when these Helpers embraced Islam, they forced their sons and daughters to embrace Islam, the new faith, the faith of Islam. There upon, this verse was revealed, forbidding Muslims to force nonmuslims to convert to Islam. Hence, in view of its Historical background, some commentators of the Quran take this verse to be applicable specifically to the people of the Book. That is to say, the Christians and Jews
living in a Muslim State shall not be forced to accept Islam as long as they pay Jizyah (the protection tax). But the correct view is that this rule is general in its scope of application. Nobody will be forced to convert to Islam because Allah has made quite distinct the right path from the wrong one. Yes, of course, in order to eradicate disbelief and paganism and weaken their force, Jihad has been prescribed for the believers. But this is not the same as forced conversion. The purpose of Jihad is to make the Word of Allah uppermost, to suppress those hostile forces which impede the progress of the faith, obstruct those who want to practice their faith and block the missionary work. They will always be people who will try to crush Islam or impede its progress. That why Jihad has been prescribed. The need for Jihad will remain till the day of Judgement.” (Tafsir Ahsanl-Din A-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, pp. 236 - 237). The above commentary has said it all but what must be note is: “the need for Jihad will remain till the day of Judgement.” Jihad in Islam is a prescription and not a description. This is the proper and the right view of Islamic Jihad for every Muslim who believed in the Message of Islam. The purpose of Jihad or weaponry Jihad is to give freedom to the suppressed or helpless people from the
tyrannical aggression against Muslims or to bring Justice to those who are suffering from injustice of the believers. Surat An-Nisa – The Women says:“And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women and children whose cry is: ‘Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors, and raise for us from you one who will protect, and raise for us from you one who will help’. ” (4:75 Tafsir Ansanul-Bayan). And this is the commentary of the commentator as we can read thus:“The historical background of the verse suggests that ‘this town whose people are oppressors’ refers to Makkah, for they left behind them old men, women and children who could not emigrate along with them. Persecuted and tortured by the pagans, they used to pray to Allah to rescue them from callous pagans. Thereupon, Allah called on the Muslims to fight and rescue the poor and the weak left behind in Makkah from the cruel pagans. On the basis of this verse, scholars have ruled that it is the duty to fight and deliver the oppressed Muslims from the clutches of the unbelievers. This fighting can only be effective when it is done in an
organized way under the leadership of an Imam.” (Tafsir Ansanul-Bayan, pp. 482 - 483) Non-muslims do not have this kind of view concerning Islamic weaponry Jihad. The commentator made it clear from above that “This fighting can only be effective when it is done in an organised way under the leadership of an Imam.” This is wonderfully contextual and Islamic, unlike the way Christians, Jews and non-muslims view or understand weaponry Jihad in Islam. Possibly their misconception of Islamic Jihad is rooted in their failure or refusal to do so, or because of the language in which the Quran was originally written. Or the Muslims themselves contributed to lack of interest by the above mentioned persons of different faiths to know their religion by not allowing them to have access to the Glorious Quran. The Muslims also contributed to the reason why other people are not interested in knowing and understanding Islam and Muslims because of their life styles or attitude towards non-muslims. With these problems and many others created, the grounds for this wide gap between the nonmuslims and Muslims. Going back to the comment made above, we can understand that if Muslims are to follow all the Islamic rules and the right process to conduct Islamic weaponry Jihad and the status of those who are to participate, as well as the leadership for the application of Jihad, it may end up that there will not be weaponry Jihad. To be specific, where are
the upright leaders or Imams, and where are the righteous men to participate in the Islamic Jihad? Can corrupt people do that? Can the people who have been corrupted by the worldly system be part of this solution? Can unclean leaders or Imams be part of such Jihad? Will these kinds of people going for Islamic Jihad not bring shame to Islam? Will Allah approve it by going with them? Absolutely not!
The Exact Islamic View of Weaponry Jihad for a Non-Muslim Let us take a look backward to see whether Jews, Christians and polytheists can understand from the Islamic point of view. To be frank, Jews will somehow understand what weaponry Jihad is because there are recorded histories of Jihad in their scripture. And to the polytheists, they know about weaponry war and Surat Nisa – The Women 4:75 is an evidence of their position concerning what Jihad is all about. But their wrong understanding or misconception of it does not rule out the fact that they do not know because they also fight for whatsoever reason. But when you talk about Christians, they know it but not in practice, because they were commanded not to fight; not for any reason. Spiritual warfare is prescribed for them in Ehisians 6:10 – 18 and not weaponry warfare is found in Judaism and Islam.
Therefore it will be very difficult for a Christian to understand the meaning and the content of Islamic weaponry Jihad. This is so because a Christian was trained to in the opposite direction of what a Muslim upholds as weaponry Jihad. Every true Christian sees it as contrary to their faith, so it will be very difficult for a Christian to understand a Muslim on the subject of Jihad especially the weaponry Jihad. But if it is properly explained to them, then will understand; possibly like the way the author of this book understands Muslims and Islamic weaponry Jihad. Almost all non-muslims believe that the intentions of Islamic weaponry Jihad is only to take up the land of their enemies, to acquire booties, to dominate and subjugate their enemies. But it must be made Known to non-muslims the real intentions of Islamic Jihad to help them understand what Islamic Jihad is all about. There are right or good intentions for Islamic weaponry Jihad as presented by Abi Zakariya Al Damishqi Al Dumyati Ibn-Nuhaas says:“Having a pure intention in Jihad is important since Allah does not accept the Jihad of Mujahid unless he is fighting with the right intention. There are different intentions of the Mujahideen: 1. The pleasure of Allah: there are Mujahideen who intend with their Jihad the pleasure of Allah. They do Jihad because they believe Allah deserves to be served
through this ritual. They do it for no other reason than gaining the approval of Allah. The ones with such an intention are few. 2. Love for Islam: Some mujahideen participate in Jihad because of their love and vigilante care for Islam. They want Islam to be victorious and they want disbelievers to be defeated. There are no doubts in the validity of these two intentions. An evidence that a Mujahid is basing their faith on one of the two intentions is that they would not care in having others know about their Jihad and they will not brag about it. As long as Allah knows about their Jihad that’s sufficient for them. 3. Seeking Paradise: Some Mujahideen do Johad for the sake of entering and being saved from Hellfire. This is the intention of most of the Mujahideen. They want paradise and they fear Hellfire. Now some say that this intention is not sufficient to reach the status of martyrdom. But the correct opinion is that this is sufficient in reaching the status of martyrdom and there is an abundance of evidence from Quran, Sunnah and the action of the Sahabah to support that. 4. Self-defence: some people only fight when fought. They have no intention but defending themselves. The person with such an intention is close to the above
three mentioned intentions but is nevertheless lower than them in status. Al Nawawi states there are three categories of martyrs - A shaheed in this world and the Hereafter: this is the one who was killed in the path of Allah. - A saheed in the Hereafter alone but not this world: This applies to the one who drowns or the one who dies in a plague. - A seheed in this world only but not in the Hereafter: This applies to the one who is killed in battle but didn’t have the right intentions or stole from booties. 5. Both Jihad and Booties: there are some who go out with the intention of fighting for the sake of Allah but they also have the intention of winning booties. The scholars differed in this situation. Some consider this to be an invalid intention and there is no reward for such a Jihad, in fact there is punishment because such a person was fighting for this world. But other scholars consider this intention to be accepted and this is the opinion of the majority of scholars. This is the correct opinion because it fits the actions of Sahabah. Al Qurtubi states that: The messenger of Allah went to intercept the caravan of Quraish led by Abu Safyan. This is evidence that fighting for booty is fine because it is a halal source of income. This refutes the opinion adopted by Imam
Malik that this is a fight for this world. There are hadiths that state that whoever fights for the word of Allah to prevail is in the path of Allah and not one who fights for booty. But the remaining of this hadiths is that if someone has the intention of fighting only for the booty, that is an invalid intention in Jihad.” (The Book of Jihad, p.p.99 – 100, 102) These intentions in fighting Jihad are clear and also the Islamic right view of weaponry Jihad that all Islamic scholars agreed on. If these intentions are all on the ground, every capable Muslim can fight weaponry Jihad because the intentions have met Allah’s requirements for Jihad. But this can never be possible until this solid condition is satisfied as the final step to weaponry Jihad as we can read thus:“The act of Jihad must be under the leadership of a Muslim Imam without whom people are not permitted to fight. So any Muslim group must not live without an Imam whatever their number is. Allah, the Exalted, said: ‘O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged among you…’ 4/59. So, any group of Muslims wishing to be free from the authority of the unbelievers must struggle against the enemies under an elected Imam who should be pious and having knowledge and strong. Identity, then they adopt the demanded military
steps then strive hard till Allah – The Glorified – would bestow them victory.” (Minhaj Al-Muslim – Path of Islam, Muhammad Fadel Rashid, p. 562) Many Islamists, extremists or radicalists might have emotionally, ignorantly or mistakenly violated this most important condition which is to be fulfilled before engaging in Islamic weaponry Jihad which has given Islam a wrong or different image to non-muslims; which is an issue that must be lamented on by all Muslims and non-muslims who love or understand Islam. Ahmed M. Aldawoody gives a clear view of the Quranic texts on war as he puts it thus:“The three words (with their derivatives) used in the Quran context of war are: qital (fighting, murder, killng, infanticide), Jihad (struggle, striving, war) and harb (war). Sixty-nine derivatives of qital occur altogether, one hundred and seventy times in the Quran, ninety-five times in Medinan texts addressing the context of the relationship between Muslims and non-muslims, and seventy five times in the context of accounts about nations prior to Islam, or retaliation for murder, or the pre-Islamic custom of female infanticide. Seventeen derivatives of Jihad occur altogether forty-nine times in eleven Meccan texts and thirty Medinan ones, with the following five meanings:
striving because of religious belief (21), war (12), non-muslim parents exerting pressure i.e, Jihad, to make their children abandon Islam (2), solemn oaths (5) and physical strength (1). Three derivations of the word harb occur altogether six times, all in Medinan texts, with the following four meanings: War with non-muslims (3), banditry as war against society (1) figurative punishment by God in the Hereafter or by the Prophet in this world for dealing by usury (1) and war in pre-Islamic context (1). … There are also three occurrences of the word sabili (My way, i.e, God’s way), eleven occurrences of the word sabilh (His way, i.e, God’s way) and one occurrence of the word subulina (Our ways, i.e, God’s ways). They occur in eleven Meccan and fifteen Medinan chapters in the following five senses in the Quran: debarring people from God’s religion or violating God’s religion or referring to God’s religion in general (35) , warring or fighting in God’s cause (20), fleeing persecution for following God’s religion (17), giving money for God’s cause, either for preparing the army or as charity to the poor (10) and preaching the religion of God (1). Some of these senses, such as fighting in God’s cause and debarring people from following God’s
religion, address pre-Islamic context” (War in Islamic Law Justifications and Reglations, pp. 97 98). With these Quranic texts on war in which all Islamic Scholars of all four school of thoughts agree on, we can now also see what exactly Jihad is all about from the Islamic context. Ahmed M. Aldawoody has this to say: “The word Jihad which is the term generally used for ‘war’ in Islamic legal texts, is derived from the verb jahaad (present, yujahad) meaning to exert great effort or strive to achieve a landable goal, either by doing something good or by abstaining from doing something bad. Jihad is thus a broad concept that refers to acts related to both oneself and others. Advising rulers to stop their tyranny in the hioghest degree of Jihad. The Prophet Muhammad said: ‘The best (type of) Jihad is a word of truth to a tyrant leader. According to another hadith, supporting one’s parents is also an example of Jihad’.” (War in Islamic law Justifications and Regulations, pp. 130 - 131). The same author cited Justice Jamal Al-Din Mahmud, who said thus: “proudly points out that Islam is the only religion that calls Just war ‘jihad’, i.e, striving to establish a just cause”. He went further to state the view of four Islamic school of thoughts thus:125
“Jurists of the four schools of Islamic law expressed their definition of Jihad in the context of the Islamic law of war in different words. According to the Hanafi jurists, jihad means exerting one’s utmost effort in fighting in the path of God either by taking part in battle or by supporting the army financially or by the tongue. For the Malikis, jihad means exerting one’s utmost effort in fighting against a non-muslim enemy with whom Muslims have no peace agreement in order to raise the word of God, i.e to convey or spread the message of Islam. The Shafi’is define Jihad as fighting in the path of God, while the Hanbalis simply define it as fighting against unbelievers. In fact, the terms used in the definitions above such as ‘fighting against unbelievers’, ‘in the path of God’ or ‘to raise the word of God’, have all contributed to the misrepresentation of Jihad by some as holy war against non-muslims. But the jurists agree that there are two kinds of jihad: jihad al-daf (defensive war) which is a fard’ayn (personal duty of every capable person) and jihad al-talab (offensive or pre-emptive war initiated by Muslims in non-muslim territories) which is a fard kifayan (collective duty on the Muslims which may be fulfilled if sufficient members perform it). Jihad becomes a fard’ayn when the enemy invades
Muslim territory, while it is a fard lifayah if it occurs outside Muslim territory. The decision to initiate war must be taken by the legitimate authority.” (War in Islamic Law Justifications and Regulations, Ahmed M. Aldawoody, pp. 131 - 132). If everything is in place, then “the decision to initiate war must be taken by the legitimate authority”. Although after all this, based on the grounds that legitimize Jihad from the Islamic context from the Islamic context, Ibn Taymiyyah has a contending issue with those who conclude that: “Jihad against desires and sharitan as Jihad Akbar and Jihad against unbelievers as Jihad Asghar.” In fact, Ibn Taymiyyah has the opposite view as he states: “There is a hadiths related by a group of people `which states that the Prophet said after the battle of Tabuk: ‘We have returned from Jihad Asghar to Jihad Akbar. This hadiths has no source, no body whomsoever in the field of Islamic knowledge has narrated it. Jihad against the disbelievers is the most noble of actions and moreover it is the most important action for the sake of mankind. ’…. On the basis of the above statements, we can conclude, by saying, that the evidence used as proof or the basis for establishing that Jihad against disbelievers on the battlefield is Jihad Asghar and Jihad against the desires and Shaitan is Jihad Atbar,
are weak if not false Hadiths. Besides that the stated Daliil (evidence) are in position to Sahih Hadith, such as the ones below: Hadiths narrated by Imam Muslim from Abu Hurairah (r.a.a), who said: The Prophet was asked: ‘O Rasulullaah! What deed could be an equivalent of Jihad fi Sabbililaah?’ He answered: ‘You do not have the strength to do that deed’. The narrator said: They repeated the questions twice or thrice. Every time he answered: ‘You do not have the strength to do it.’ When the question was asked for the third time, he said: ‘one who goes out for Jihad is like a person who keeps fasts, stands in prayer (constantly), (obeying) Allah’s (behests contained in) the Aayah (of the Qu’ran), and does not exhibit any lassitude ion fasting and praying until the Mujahid returns from Jihad Sabilillaah.’ There is also a hadith narrated by Bukhari from Abu Hurairah (r.a.a.), who said: A man came to Allah’s messenger and said, ‘Guide me to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward)!’ He replied, ‘I do not find such a deed.’ Then he added, ‘Can you, while the Mujahid has gone for Jihad, enter your mosque to perform salat without breaking it?’ The man said, ‘But who can do that?’
Hadith narrated by Al-Hakim with with a sahih sanad from Muaz bin Anas (r.a.a.) who said: A woman once came to the Prophet and asked: ‘O Rasulullah! My husband has departed for wasr and usually if he prays, I follow him in His salat and I follow him in all his acts of worhip. Because of that inform me of act which can equal his until he returns.’ He said to her, ‘Are you able to stand without sitting, performing Saum without breaking it and Dhikr until your husband returns?’ She replied, ‘I am not strong enough, O Rasulullah.’ So he said to her: ‘By Allah inwhose hand I am, even if you were strong enough, it would surely not attain one tenth of your husband’s deeds.’” (The book of Jihad, Abi Zakaryya Al Dimashqi Al Dumyati ‘Ibn Nuhaas’, pp. 175 - 176). These three reliable or authentic Hadiths are convincingly true based on Ibn taymiyyah’s antagonistic position that the greater Jihad and the lesser Jihad are the reverse of the popular opinion. This is so because of the earthly and the Hereafter benefits for the faithful participants, based on these Quranic and Hadiths verses. But whatsoever position the Islamic scholars are contending on, whether the Hadiths are weak or fabricated, that in what the author is concerned about but to bring the exact Islamic or Muslims position or view of Islamic weaponry
Jihad. This is done to bring to light what exactly Jihad is for non-muslims to understand that it is there, but the contrary to non-muslims’ view of Islamic weaponry Jihad. Non- muslims need to know and understand what Islam means by Islamic weaponry Jihad lest they misunderstand both Muslims and Islam. And because of non-muslims’ lack of knowledge of Islam, they have misunderstood and misinterpreted both Islam and Islamic Jihad. They have never been Islamic friendly in recent times because of Muslims’ misinterpretation of Islam to non-muslims in almost every aspect. If my Muslim friends are not ready to educate my people on what Islam and Islamic Jihad is all about, I should, because of my love for Muslims and honour for their religion. If my people attain the knowledge and understanding of Islam and Muslims, they are going to be better friends and will coexist in peace and progress in every aspect of our lives. The author agrees with Sayyid Qutb’s position where he says:“To be remembered by God, Muslims have to be remembered that Islam is more than a religion concerned only with the spiritual or personal aspects of life. It is a complete way of life with teachings, laws and practices for the organization and development and practices for the organization and development of all human affairs. History tells
us that whenever Muslims showed awareness of God and dedication to His cause, they progressed and achieved prominence, and their standing in the world rose high above all others, but when they neglected Islam and forgot God, they declined and were crushed and left behind” (In the Shade of the Quran, Revised edition, vol. 1, pp. 188). If all or most Muslims are living the true Islamic teaching or practical Islamic knowledge of God, Islam would not decline and Muslims would not be degraded in any aspect. In order to make clear the Muslims view of Islamic weaponry Jihad which is contrary to western, Jewish, Christian and n0nmuslims’ view and understanding of Islamic Jihad, we need to bring in the many goals for Muslims to perform Jihad in the way of Allah. Based on Islamic teachings on the subject of weaponry Jihad, all Muslims agree to the teachings on the lesser and greater Jihad.
Understanding the Goals of Weaponry Jihad But the area of scholars’ disagreement to some extent is when the issue of lesser Jihad, which is the weaponry Jihad is being mentioned. When it comes to the point of interpretation, they sometimes end up misinterpreting and having wrong application of weaponry Jihad. In all these, we must note that no matter their variations in interpretation or application of weaponry Jihad, it does not change the context
of Islamic weaponry Jihad and the goals or aims that it wants to achieve. The main aim and objective for Islamic weaponry Jihad is to attain goals in all human life, the spiritual and the physical aspects. The goals and benefits are clearly stated in a three volumes book titled “The Noble Life of the Prophet (PBUH)”. In the second volume of this book, the author stated eight goals and benefits of performing Islamic weaponry Jihad for the cause of Allah. And if anyone would critically take a look at all the eight points, then they will understand that it is a legitimate and a compulsory duty on every Muslim to do in defence of Allah’s religion for the triumph of Islam and the establishment of Allah’s rule on earth for Justice to humanity of all class. Dr. Ali Muhammad As-Sallabbee said Islam legitimized weaponry Jihad for “protecting the freedom to Believe in Islam” by quoting (Anfal 8:39 - 40) which reads:“And fight them until there is no more fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e worshipping others beside Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah alone (in the whole of the world). But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-seer of what to do. And if they turn away, then know that Allah is your Maula (Patron, Lord, Protector and Supporter, etc.), (what)
an excellent Maula, and (what) an excellent Helper!” (Quran 8:39 - 40). Sayyid Qutb wrote in Fee Dhilaal-al-Quran that:“There is another duty that is required of Muslims: It is to destroy any power or enemy that stands in the way of the Da’wah (the propagation of Islam), that takes away from people the freedom to spread Islam, that threatens people’s freedom to embrace the Islamic creed, and that puts people to trial in that way. Muslims must continue to fight until no worldly power puts Muslims to the test in their faith. This in no way means that people should be forced to have faith; rather it means Allah’s religion reigns supreme on earth, so that if a person wants to enter into the fold of Islam, he should have no fear doing so, and he should not fear that any power on earth will prevent him from embracing Allah’s religion or from spreading it. With the limits of these general principles, jihad was legislated in Islam. Therefore, Jihad is a struggle for beliefs, a fight to stop those who want to be siege Islam.” (The Noble Life of the Prophet (PBUH) vol.2, pp.860 - 861). This is clearly the Islamic view of what weaponry Jihad was instituted or ordained for and if it is applied in accordance to
Quranic or Islamic teaching, then its goals will be achieved. Sayyid Qutb explains it as: “There is another duty that is required of Muslims: It is to destroy any power or enemy that stands in the way of the Da’wah (the propagation of Islam),… Muslims must continue to fight until no worldly power puts Muslims to test in their faith.” With this, Christians will rarely understand the Islamic view or position with regards to how Islam suggested on how to handle an enemy, and most especially when it comes to the issue of religion. The entire Christians are having the contrary view as stated in their Holy Bible in Matthew 5:43 – 48; Romans 12:18; Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 10:14, etc. what we are saying here is that this contrary position helps only true Christians who believe that problems can be solved by all peaceful means. They all believe that the religion of God will reign supreme only through the power of the Holy Spirit as they embark on Evangelism and Mission work. But the Christians and non-muslims lack of understanding of what Islamic weaponry Jihad is the proper understanding of the subject warrants them to be in the best position to explain it to the Christians. The second goal and benefit of performing Islamic weaponry Jihad is
“Protecting places of worship and religious symbols” (Quran 22:38 - 41). Commenting on Allah’s saying, “for had it not been that Allah checks one set of people by means of another, Monasteries, Churches, Synagogues and Mosques, wherein the Names of Allah is mentioned, much would surely have been pulled down.” An Nasafee (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “This means: Had not Allah made Muslims victorious over the disbelievers through a struggle on their part, the polytheists would have subjugated the adherents of different religions and destroyed their houses of worship. The Monasteries and Churches of Christians would not have been spared; synagogues would have been levelled to the ground; and Masjid would also have been destroyed. Or the polytheists would have come out victorious over the Muslims and over those who were under their protections – the Jews. And they would have destroyed the houses of worship of both Islam and Judaism” (The Noble Life of the Prophet, pp. 861 - 862) By implication, the commentator from the above Quotation is saying if not because of Allah’s protection over all religious worship places including that of the Muslims, the polytheists or enemies, the above mentioned faiths would
have been destroyed. And that in turn, the victories of Muslims over the polytheists too warranted the safety of Jews and their worship places. So with this, we can understand that as a result of goals of Islam through Islamic weaponry Jihad, Muslims fought the polytheists victoriously and secured the protection of Jews and their worship places and also delivered them from the hands of their enemies and this includes Christians, their Churches and marks and their Monasteries. Dr. Ali Muhammad As Sallaabee has this point to make as the third goal for Islamic weaponry Jihad:“Overcoming corruption and injustice on Earth” (Quran 2:250 - 252). In his Tafseer (explanation) of Allah’s saying: Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said, ‘Had not Allah checked one set of people by means of another, as He had defemded the children of Israel with the fightiong of Taloof and the bravery of Dawood, they (the people of a given time or given nation) would have been destroyed (by the mischief – spreading party or nation).’ The author of AlKashshaaf said the above mentioned verse means: ‘were it not that Allah checks one set of people by means of another, the evil doers would always come out victorious, the earth would become corrupt, and its growth and prosperity would come
to a grinding halt’. And SHaik Abdur-Rahmaan AsSa’adee said in his Tafseer, ‘indeed, this verse contains many lessons for the Islamic nation; among them are the merits, benefits and fruits of Jihaad in the way of Allah; the lesson that Jihad is the only means to preserve one’s religion, one’s country, one’s body and one’s wealth; the moral that, even if life becomes difficult for the Mujaahid (one who fights in the way of Allah), his end destination is good and blessed; and the lesson that those who abstain from Jihad, even if they find short term comfort now, will later pay the price with an interminable period of fatique’.”(The Noble Life of the Prophet, pp. 863 - 864). The weaponry Jihad that Daawood (David) engaged against Taaloot (Goliath) which was sanctioned by God in the Old Testament is that the same Islamic weaponry Jihad that was and is sanctioned by Allah in the Quran which contains many lessons for the Islamic nation (Al-Ummah). These lessons according to Shaik Abdur-Rahmaan As-Sa’adee include the merits; benefits and fruit of weaponry Jihad only in the way of Allah. And the other lesson is that Jihad is the only means to preserve one’s religion, country, body, wealth and the end destiny of Mujahid is the good and blessed destiny.
We mentioned earlier that Jews or Judaizers can easily or possibly understand what Islamic weaponry Jihad is all about because it is written in their Scriptures which they all know. Unlike their Christian counterparts who see that as strange. In fact a Jew or a Judaizer may intentionally or unintentionally choose not to understand Islamic weaponry Jihad in the way of Allah which is also enshrined in His Holy Book (Old Testament) but possibly a Christian or Christians may be understood and be exonerated based on the New Testament teaching (Injeel) that the Jews and Judaizers vehemently rejected. Let us again take a look at the fourth point that Islamic weaponry Jihad is performed for:“Testing, Training and Improving the Spiritual mettle of believers” (Quran 47:4 - 6). With regards to Allah’s saying, ‘But (lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others’ Ibn Katheer commented in his Tafseer: ‘This means: Allah has legislated Jihad and fighting your enemies in order to test you and to test your mettle’. Similarly in Soorah Aal Imraan, Allah mentioned the wisdom behind the legislation of Jihad, saying: ‘Do you think that you will enter paradise before Allah tests those of you who fought (in His cause) and (also) tests those who are As-Saabireen (the patient ones etc)?’ (Quran 3:142).
A test through it may be, fighting in the way of Allah is blessing for believers; it is in their own best interests. Allah said: ‘Jihad (Holy fighting in Allah’s cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know’.(Quran 2:216). Through Jihad, Allah tests believers and train them. In regard to Jihad being a test, believers asked to sacrifice that which is dearest to all people – their very lives and souls. As for the training the believers undergo through Jihaad, they are constantly required to remove all worldly desires and ambitions from their souls, for their sole concern is to raise the word of Allah above all else. With this single – minded attitude, the Mujaahid purifies his soul from all forms of impurities and deficiencies – such as extravagant lust, jealousy, pride, etc. with each battle and with each foray, the Mujaahid becomes nobler in character’.” (The Noble Life of the Prophet, pp. 864 - 866) Weaponry Jihad was and is legislated for all Muslims to fight their enemies in order to test them and their mettle. This test may be unappealing, but fighting in the way of Allah is a blessing for believers and it is in their best interest. This is so
because it is a way of test and training of Muslim faithful and if they do away with worldliness, selfishness but do everything to raise the Word of Allah above everything, then the warriors or Mujaahids will purify themselves from all forms of impurities and deficiencies. With all these, the Mujaahids will be noblers in Character and this is the end journey that is required of all faithful. These benefits and merits are only stocked for Muslim Mujaahids that unselfishly fight in the way of Allah according to the law of Islamic weaponry Jihad. If engaging in weaponry Jihad purifies Muslim Mujaahids from all impurities and deficiencies, then it is beneficial to all Muslims. And the legislation of Jihad and fighting in the cause of Allah, by Allah is better understood by Muslims more than any other person. This is so because it was ordained by Allah for the benefit of Muslims who are obedient to Allah, His Word and religion. The failure of Jews, Christians and nonmuslims to misunderstand cannot change this legislation of Jihad and fighting in the way of Allah for the benefit of all Muslims who obey by participating in it. Their (Muslims) participation depends on the understanding of the context and the rules, regulations and how to apply it appropriately according to the Quranic and the Hadiths teachings. In addition to point four, Islamic weaponry Jihad waged for the following purpose:-
“Threatening the polytheists and foiling their evil plots”, Allah said: ‘And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery, etc.) to threaten the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allah does know. And whatsoever you shall spend in the cause of Allah shall be repaid unto you, and you shall not be treated unjustly’ (Quran 8:60). He also said: ‘Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breast of a believing people, and remove the anger of their (believers) hearts. Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills. All-knowing, All-wise’. (Quran 9:14,15) And He also said: ‘You killed them not, but Allah killed them. And you (Muhammad) threw not when you did throw but Allah threw, that He might test the believers by a fair trial from Him. Verily Allah is All-Hearer, Allknower. This (is in fact) and surely, Allah weakens the deceitful plots of the disbelievers’. (Quran 8:17, 18).”
We suppose that this issue of threatening or terrorizing the polytheists and foiling their evil plots is not only misunderstood by non-muslims alone but also by some Muslim extremists or radicalists who interpret this as if Allah and the Quran permit Muslims to participate in terrorism. But the author understands this command to fight or wage against the enemies of Allah His prophet Muhammad, Muslims and His religion Islam as a stratagem or strategy to weaken or inflict fear in the hearts of enemies or noonmuslims against their evil plots. The legislation of Jihad and fighting weaponry Jihad as point six is to pass a message to hypocrites as we can read thus: “‘Exposing Hypocrites’ Allah said: ‘Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good. Nor will Allah disclose to you the secrets of the Ghaib (unseen), but Allah chooses of His messengers whom he pleases. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And if you believe and fear Allah, then for you there is a great reward’. (Quran 3:179) Commenting on this verse, Ibn Katheer said , ‘There must be some ordeal through Allah brings out (the goodness of ) his obedient slave and exposes his enemy’ and through which the patient believer is
distinguished from the evil doing hypocrite. This refers to the day of Uhud, during which Allah tested the believers. Their faith, patience, forbearance, steadfastness, and obedience to Allah and his Messenger – these qualities became manifest in them on that Day. Meanwhile, the veil covering the reality of the hypocrites was lifted, so that, their position, their escaping from Jihaad, and their disloyalty to Allah and His messenger all became manifest’.” (The Noble Life of the Prophet, pp 867 868). The exposure of the hypocrites on the day of the battle of Uhud has to do with the hypocrites that are hidden in the community of Muslims as they try to escape from fighting Jihad which is a sign of their disloyalty to Allah and His Messenger, Muhammad. It is very important for us to consider the seventh goal of performing weaponry Jihad in Islam legislated by Allah for:“‘Establishing Allah’s rule on Earth’ To be sure, one of the goals of Jihaad is to establish Allah’s rule on earth. Allah said: ‘Surely, We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (this Quran) in truth that you might judge between men by that which Allah has shown you (i.e, has taught you through Divine inspiration), so be not a pleader for the
treacherous’. (Quran 4:105)” (The Noble Life of the Prophet, pp. 868). The ultimate goal of Islamic weaponry Jihad and the revelation of Islam to mankind is to purify the society from all ills and to establish Allah’s rule on earth is the breeding ground for Islam to thrive in its essence, glories, Shariah the Law of Allah is established and Islam dominates. This what all Muslims are called to actualize on earth through Islamic weaponry Jihad as legislated by Allah to all Muslims. In conclusion, Dr. Ali Muhammad As-Sallaabee assured us in his understanding the goals of performing Islamic weaponry Jihad thus:“Defending against enemy aggression” In Islam, one of the goals of Jihaad is to defend against enemy aggression or attack, which can take on various forms, among which are the following: (a) For disbelievers to attack and persecute within their own lands, Muslims who live among them. This is especially difficult for Muslims if they are not able to move to another country in which they can safely and safely and freely practice their religion. When such an instance of oppression occurs, it is incumbent upon the Islamic country of that era to gather an army to attack the polytheists that are persecuting their Muslim brothers’ (Quran 4:74, 75). Commenting on this verse, Imam Al-Qur-tubee (May Allah have mercy
on him) said, ‘This is an exhortation to perform Jihaad, which involves saving weak (Muslims) from the hands of disbelievers and polytheists, those who inflict upon them harsh torture and punishment in order to tempt them away from Islam. Allah made Jihad obligatory to raise His Word (above all else), to grant victory to His religion (and its adherents), and to save those among his believing slaves who are weak (and unable to defend themselves), either with arms or with wealth’.” (The Noble Life of the Prophet, pp. 868 - 869). (b) “For disbelievers to leave their homeland and attack Muslims in their lands”. (Quran 2:190 - 192) Islamic Jurists agree that if disbelievers attack the lands of Muslims, Muslims must perform Jihad and defend their lands for whenever disbelievers win battles and become occupiers, they inflict great punishment upon the occupied Muslims and change the laws of the land from Islamic laws to whatever man-made laws it is that they follow. Ibn Quadaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said, Jihaad is obligatory in three situations, the second of which occurs when disbelievers attack a given country. The citizens of that country must fight them and drive them out of their lands’. Some scholars from the Hanafee Madhhab have said, ‘If it is feared that any given place will be attacked by the enemy, the Imam (i.e, the leader of the Muslims)
or the inhabitants of that place must protect it. If they are not able to withstand the enemy, it becomes incumbent upon those that are closest to them (such as those who live in a neighbouring land) to help them until there are sufficient numbers (or sufficient weaponry) to resist the enemy’.” (The Noble Life of the Prophet, pp. 869 – 870). For disbelievers to occupy the land of Muslims through conquering the Muslims, will create an environment where the unbelievers will punish the Muslims strenuously and the most important thing to note is that the law of Allah (Shariah) will be changed for man-made laws, which is unacceptable in the Islamic context. (c) “For the enemy to oppress its own disbelieving citizens”. ‘Verily, Allah has forbidden His slaves from wrong doing and oppression; all people have the right to Justice. If Muslims do not help the oppressed and weak, though they are able to do so, they are committing a sin, since they have been commanded to perform Jihad in order to uphold the truth, vanquish falsehood, spread Justice, and bring an end to oppression. Only if they do those things can they achieve success. When Allah praised Muslims for being the best of Nations, He explained that they deserve that praise because they enjoin good and forbid evil. Allah said:
‘Like the behaviour of the people of Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and those before them; they denied our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc). So Allah seized (destroyed) them for their sins. And Allah is severe in punishment’. (Quran 3:11). And He also said: ‘O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah and be Just witnesses and let not the enemy and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Well-Aquainted with what you do.’ (Quran 5:8) And it is a part of justice to save a disbeliever from injustice and oppression. A Muslim hates a disbeliever for his disbelief, but at the same time he is commanded to act justly with him. As-Sarakhsee (may Allah have mercy on him) said, ‘If one of the (disbelieving) kings of war demands exemption and requests that he be left to rule his kingdom as he wishes – and as he wishes involves killing, plundering, or any other form of oppression that is not acceptable in a Muslim country – then his demands must not be met, for acknowledging the right to oppression when he has the ability to resist it, is Haraam (forbidden)’.” (The Noble Life of the Prophet, pp. 871 - 872). The goals of performing Islamic weaponry Jihad is “in order to uphold the truth, vanquish falsehood, spread justice, and bring an end to oppression. To spread justice is a part of
enjoining good and forbidding evil.” Then this is justice by extension to both Muslims and non-Muslims but why is it that our Brothers, the Muslims are not ready to open up and tell or teach their Brothers – the Christians the truth about Islamic weaponry Jihad in order to disabuse the wrong notion in the minds or hearts of Christians, Jews and other nonmuslims. The Quran made it known that no matter the enmity between Muslims against the disbelief of non-muslims, it is the duty of Muslims to extend Justice to disbelievers in any situation that Justice is not given to the disbelievers. We are hoping that those privileged Islamic states like Iran, Saudi Arabia will extend this Justice to non-muslims in their country. Finally what Dr. Ali Muhammad As-Sallaabee gave as the conclusive goal for performing Islamic weaponry Jihad is: “For disbelievers to prevent Muslims from spreading the message of Islam to all mankind. Allah said: ‘Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma’roof (i.e Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful’.(Quran 3:104).
‘The enemies of Allah of every era try their utmost to prevent Muslims from conveying the message of Islam to non-muslims. Allah commanded Muslims to fight such people.’ (Quran 47:1-4). ‘From what I have mentioned (verses above) hitherto, it becomes clear that there are many noble goals and benefits of Jihad, benefits that extend even to non-muslims. Jihaad was perhaps one of the most important results of the Prophet’s migration and one of the most important of pillars upon which the Prophet established an Islamic country’.” (The Noble Life of the Prophet, pp. 873 874). If weaponry Jihad is “most important of pillars upon which the Prophet established an Islamic country”, which is a practical truth, then the author of this book is begging the faithful Muslim world to humbly explain this truth to their Brothers the Christians and that is Justice.
…….. that Allah demands and commands of all Muslims to share the message of Islam to all mankind. It is only by this understanding that non-muslims can make their choice of
accepting Islam or not. Since the message of Islam was not sent to Arabs and Muslims only but to non-muslims as well. Now we have clearly seen the context and Muslims view and their understanding of Islamic weaponry Jihad as revealed in the Glorious Quran and according to Sunnah or Hadiths of the Prophet Mohammed. We therefore need to really understand this Muslims view of what they believe in as their faith is enshrined in. We are imploring Muslims to allow all non-muslims to have access to the Quran , Hadiths and other Islamic books and literatures for the true knowledge of Islam. This will help to bridge the wide gap that is between Muslims, Christians, Jews and other non-muslims. This will help in bringing mutual understanding with one another and religious understanding by bringing peaceful co-existence among us. In the next chapter, we will try as much as possible to bring in the Christian view of how they understand Islamic Jihad and weaponry Jihad.
CHAPTER FIVE CHRISTIANS’ VIEW OF JIHAD
Whenever Islamic Jihad is mentioned, be it the lesser or the greater Jihad, almost every Christian is not comfortable. The Christians have so many reasons for their discomfort. They always visit the history of Jihad, weaponry wars in the past by Muslims and present happenings in many countries of the world where Islamic radicalists or extremists are clamouring for weaponry Jihad against non-muslims. The radical or extreme position of both young and older Muslims against non-muslims is a thing of concern in the life of a non-muslim. Although the position of radicals or extreme Muslims cannot change the right or proper view of what Islamic weaponry Jihad is all about, its procedures and proper application based on the Quranic and the Hadith teachings. Their inappropriate application of Islamic weaponry Jihad cannot alter the real context according to Islamic teachings on the subject of Islamic weaponry Jihad. In fact their misapplication of Islamic weaponry Jihad had created an unbridged gap in the minds of Christians and non-muslims in understanding what Islamic Jihad is all about. This identified problem of discomfort by Christians against Islamic weaponry Jihad is something that other liberal Islamic scholars and Muslims too are uncomfortable with their
neighbours, the Muslims, in which the Holy Bible commands them to love their neighbours.
The Islamic and the Christian Views of Retaliation Every true Christian and Knowledgeable or learned Christian is loaded with the Christian teaching of pacifism. All true Christians world-wide do not believe in any form of fighting or warfare on whatsoever ground that one will try to convince them. Jesus took His time and presented this teaching as we can read thus:“You have heard that it was said, Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you, and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:38 – 42 NIV). Christ made it very clear in this passage that it is not permissible for Christians to retaliate against those who wrong them because in the scriptures, the Lord said “vengeance is mine”. This is almost the same thing in Islam but with a slight difference. Because in Islam, if you are to retaliate, you are to retaliate exactly the way the harm was
done against you. But if one cannot retaliate equally to the harm, then he should let go and forgive. But the sharp contradiction between the Islamic and Christian teachings on retaliation is that Christians are commanded not to attempt retaliation while in Islam one can retaliate on equal basis. These are two different people with different backgrounds based on their religious beliefs. They will surely operate or practice their faith at variance since Christianity is a religion of pacifism and Islam also claims to be so too. But their approach to the issue of peace is also at variance. If we take a close look at both Christianity and Islam on the basis of war or engaging in weaponry warfare, it is very clear that the two cannot meet. They are both walking on parallel level. Christianity says do not resist an enemy who attacks you but make peace with all men, even at all cost, as the Bible clearly states thus:“Make every effort to live at peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14 NIV). And the Bible went on to say that in doing so, we will leave vengeance in the hands of God, because only God is the true Judge that can judge everybody with perfect justice as we can read thus:-
“If it is possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give placed unto wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord”(Romans 12:18 – 19, King James Version). Yes! This is the Christian position in regards to the issue of vengeance in which God is against it, but in Islam, it is nearer but slightly different because it acknowledges the sovereignty of God and His omnipotence in vengeance but in Islamic Shariah, there are laws that warrant or permit retaliation as an indication of Justice because that is why God revealed the Law. To dwell fully on the issue of warfare, not just on the subject of retaliation, Islam employs Jihad in four major aspects and they are as follows:1. Jihad of words 2. Jihad of the heart 3. Jihad with wealth 4. Jihad (weaponry) Christians believe in the first three and are practitioners of the three, but are totally against the fourth kind of Jihad that involves weapons on whatsoever grounds. Christianity is totally against blood-shed because if all people will embrace the Christian teaching, which agrees that even though there may be conflict, the conflicts can be resolved through peaceful means without engaging in warfare that will lead to bloodshed. This is the real and practical
Christianity and this is what every true Christian believe ion because all Christians are given the Ministry of reconciliation and they believe in the possibility of total reconciliation as we can read thus:“So from now on, we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the Ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:16 – 20, NIV) The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of reconciliation which is exactly what Christ teaches every Christian in regards to how they should lovingly handle their enemies as we can read thus:“You have heard that it was said, love your neighbour and hate your enemy: But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrigheous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43 – 48, NIV). In fact, the greatest fear of every true Christian is shedding of blood or murder. In the same spirit of reconciliation or peace, all true Christians are commanded not to give any offering or gift at the altar without making peace or reconciling with everyone. With this pacific and reconciliation position of Christianity, the issue of retaliation or fighting is totally absent in Christianity as it is written in Matthew 5:21 – 26:“You heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement. Again, anyone who says to his brother, Raca, is answerable to the Sanhendrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has
something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” (NIV) This is what is loaded in the mind of every true Christian and therefore, the issue of arm struggle is foreign and totally unacceptable to Christians. This Christian approach to weaponry warfare is quite different from what the Muslims understand and believe. The failure of Christians and Muslims to sit on the same table on the issue of warfare on whatsoever ground, is what distinguishes or differentiates them by teaching or theology. Marcel A. Boistard said in his book that the issue of peace in Christianity and Islam are two different approaches since the Christians approach is unnatural to the Muslims because an enemy remains an enemy and should not expect any love as we can read thus:“The passive clarity which Christian doctrine recommends to one who has been slapped on the cheek shocks Muslim reasoning, which considers it unrealistic and illegal because it is unnatural. The
enemy is essentially he who practices evil and enforces injustice. He is, for the same reason, the enemy of God and His law. He cannot reasonably expect true ‘love’ from the believer. The latter is moreover not permitted to ‘love’ an enemy who hates God.” (Humanism in Islam, p.178) The two faiths are all peaceful and peace loving faiths but with unique and different approaches to peace and peaceful co-existence. In Islam, there are varieties or processes of reconciliation too and the Quran teaches against aggression or violence. No Muslim is permitted to employ weaponry Jihad without due processes all being met and possibly a call for the Jihad by the leadership of an Imam. Any attempt by an individual Muslim or more Muslims to engage in weaponry Jihad without the above requirement is an act of aggression or violence against the innocent and that is not Islamic weaponry Jihad. But the unfortunate thing today is that some Muslims ignorantly or out of impatience violate these set of laws of weaponry Jihad by doing the contrary which is totally unIslamic. Also contrary to the mind of a Christian, war or violence has not in any way ever solved any problem anywhere. If Islam believes and teaches that a proper and right application of weaponry Jihad can stabilize, harmonize, unite and free
the society from disunity and injustices. Christianity is not seeing it that way rather, they see it differently. Because Christianity sees freedom as God’s gift to all mankind through the knowledge of truth and that is faith in Christ Jesus who is the prince of peace as the Bible states in the following Bible passages – John 8:31 – 32 (NIV):“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are truly my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’.” John 14:6 (NIV):“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’.” Isaiah 9:6 – 7 (NIV):“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.” The Holy Bible gives these assurances that any kind of peace that the world can offer according to worldly wisdom or power is not peace at all. But only God through Christ Jesus can bring peace to not only people of different tribes, nations, race, etc. but also the world at large. Let us read thus:159
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27, NIV) And John 16:33(NIV) says:“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” It is only He that conquered the world that can offer peace because in the world there are trials, temptations, evil, sin, etc. as 1John 2:15 – 16 says:“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world.” (NIV) And the Apostle Paul gives this opposite direction of what the kingdom of God is all about that peace can never be elusive as we can read thus:“Let not then your good be evil spoken of: for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” (Romans 14:16 – 19, KJV) And all Christians believe that the kingdom of God is here in a temporal manner. With this in the in the mind of every Christian, they believe that the great commission (Matthew 28:18 - 20) must be carried out in order to meet standard for universal peace when all men and women accept by believing the Good news of Salvation. Islam as a missionary religion also do same through Dawah (invitation or calling) to embrace Islam. It is only when this call to Islam fails, that it is permissible.
The Adversity in Islamic and Christian Faiths on War, Peace and Reconciliation. The diversification between Islam and Christianity in regard to the issue war and peace is a thing of concern that need a careful, faithful studies and understanding so that certain clashes between the two faiths and adherents will be controllable and minimal for not just tolerance, but peaceful co-existence and harmonious living. In fact, there is a clear need for both adherents of these two faiths to work harder towards mutual und3erstanding and love for one another as
their brother/sister’s keeper. Since all faiths are peace loving, their deviation in the approach to the issue of peace is the foundation and their proclamation to their adherents. But this issue of peaceful co-existence must go beyond theoretical but practical aspect of it in our diversity for better understanding of one another. Christianity in its essence was and is founded on the foundation of peace and is expected to end in total peace. Christians are all expected to be peace Ambassadors whether in private or public and this peace is for all without considering one’s tribe, ethnic group, race or nationality. Christians are having an opposite view of what weaponry Jihad is all about. Like we’ve earlier mentioned, whenever Jihad of any form is mentioned, Christians are usually not really concerned about its kind. Their concern is that, it is weaponry Jihad and none other. It is not only because they don’t know Islam, but also because the way some Muslims might have wrongly presented Islam and Islamic Jihad. Christians believe in Christ’s peace and they believe in their call to peace as we can read thus:“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colosians 3:1, NIV)
To a Christian, it is expected that the peace to Christ Jesus should rule the heart of every Christian because they are all members of Christ’s body where there is sufficient peace for them. This means that the ultimate call of God upon their lives is a call to peace, meaning they have peace. This is to say that they do not believe that Islamic weaponry Jihad can offer them a better peace than the one they are already enjoying in Christ Jesus as members of His body. They believe that they did not attain the peace they are enjoying through any form of war, but through faith in Christ as the Prince of peace. Isaiah the Prophet has this to say in conformity with the Christian belief as we can read thus:“For to us a child is born, to us a child is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called wonderful counsellor, mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6 – 7, NIV) The child that will be born according to Isaiah’s prophecy is having a system of government and in His governance, they will call Him Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty
God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace. Also there will be increase of his government and peace without end for all who believe. This kingdom of Jesus Christ when established, will be upheld with pure or true justice and righteousness for all from that time on and forever. And this will be totally possible through the zeal of the Lord Almighty that will surely accomplish this rule of truth, righteousness, Justice and peace for all. With this conviction in the heart of every true Christian, they will vehemently oppose the issue of Islamic weaponry Jihad no matter how a Muslim tries to explain to a Christian and above all, the Holy Bible went on to command every true Christian that by all means, let them live at peace with everyone. And this is what the Holy Bible is saying:“Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.” (1 Thessalonians 5:13, NIV) There are numerous passages in the Holy Bible that did not only discourage all Christians to eschew war or fighting to kill a person but commands against and condemns every form of killing for what so ever reason. Christianity encourages all Christians to be disciplined in every area of their lives, though it may be difficult or painful,
but it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for every trainee in every area as we can read thus:“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11, NIV) This has been the Christian training and discipline that no matter how one will convince them to engage in fighting or killing for any reason, it is totally resisted by true Christians. And for such a person to be loaded and convinced not to fight anybody for somebody or any reason, they will never in any way support someone to kill or fight for any reason. With this in the heart of every true Christian, then be rest assured that such person cannot understand what Islamic weaponry Jihad is all about for the sake of harmony, peace, freedom, stability and unity. And the reader must remember that all true Christians believe that freedom comes only through true teachings, knowledge and faith in Christ Jesus that one can really be set free from manmade laws and rule or lordship over men as the Bible says thus:“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. They answered him, ‘We are Abraham’s and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?’” (John 8:32 – 33, NIV)
If this knowledge is established, men and women will be aware of the right thing to do at the right time, to the right person and at the right place for Justice, harmony, stability and mutual understanding for peaceful coexistence. All true Christians are not only resistant to every form of war, fighting or killing, but they are immune from their mother’s womb against fighting and killing for whatever reason, whether the so called “Just War” of the Western world or the Islamic weaponry Jihad. This is so because the Holy Bible has this to say in regard to Christian stance or position thus:_ “For whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and their ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:10 – 12, NIV). All true Christians believe and consider every form of killing as evil and that is why they cannot really understand Islamic weaponry Jihad, no matter how it is explained to them, they can only understand by God’s grace. All Christians are encouraged and commanded to pursue peace at all cost. So it will be very difficult for a Christian to use any reason for lawlessness in the society and harm or kill anyone.
The most difficult thing for a Christian to do is to believe that killing is not evil. In fact, all true Christians believe that the best way of obtaining peace, unity, stability, harmony and freedom is to know, believe and accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and personal Saviour where by the would be Lord and Master over one’s life. With this on the group, Christ will then be the true prince of peace and His government in one’s life will be of peace, unity, stability, harmony and total freedom from all economical, environmental, social, spiritual, physical struggles, etc. With this deeply sunk in the heart of every true Christian, it will rather be a complicated issue for a Muslim to convince a Christian to understand that Islamic weaponry Jihad will ever do any good for them. In fact every Christian is contented with the with the peace Christianity has to offer him or her any approach towards peace that is outside the Holy Bible or according to Christ’s teaching or Christianity, all true Christians will do everything to resist it in a pacifying manner. So let all Muslims understand that this is the true position of every true Christian and they are not ready to fight by any means but prefer dying without any resistance from their assailants. All Muslims need to know this truth that this is partly one of the reasons why westerners hid behind it to see
Islamic weaponry Jihad as a war to advance Islam. Some of them write in the position of Christians but they are not while others are truly Christians but do not really know what Islam and Islamic weaponry Jihad is, contextually, and they conclude against Islam and Islamic weaponry Jihad contrary to which is a provocation to all Muslims. But the question to all Muslims is this : Does the Western world truly represent Christians and Christianity based on the Quranic teachings concerning Christians and Christianity? Does western crusaders, colonialism, imperialism, just war, etc represent Christianity and Christian teachings and attititude towards friends and enemies? Is it not the same Quran that assures Muslims that that Christians truly love Muslims (Surat 5:82)? So why do Muslims attribute the atrocities that the western world did and are still doing against the Arabs or the Muslim world to all Christians, why? My Muslim brothers, the truth is what this chapter has presented to you; true Christians do not fight. Therefore the western world who are Humanists, are not necessarily Christians and are not a representation of Christians and Christianity. But it is left for faithful and trust worthy Muslims to make the right choice in believing what the Quran says about Christians and Muslims loving and caring relationship or follow what is contrary to the teaching of their Holy book. Here is the opinion and understanding of a Muslim writer:168
“Islam lost no opportunity of reproving both the Christians and the Jews whenever they only presented to belong to their religion or failed to practice it in earnest. In the Quran, God has said: Say: ‘O people of the Book! Ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.’ (Quran 5:68). Merely to belong to a religion is certainly insufficient. If the people of the Book had taken their scripture in earnest, they would have respected the Quran and the Prophet of God no less than the Muslims did. But they were far from giving their scripture practical devotion, so the writings that God sent later could not expect to fare better with them.” (From Here we Know, Muhammad Al-Ghazali, p.31). Possibly, Muhammad Al-Ghazili is almost nearer to the truth but that is not the whole truth. Because through all ages, there have been remnants of true Christians who are still practicing the true Christianity that the Quran has mentioned as we can see from the above Quranic verse. Since there is nowhere in the Quran or Hadiths that ever deny the existence of true Christians scripture and true Christianity, then the failure of some so-called Christians to practice their faith does not change the truth of its existence does not also mean that there are no true Christians and Christianity.
Sayyid Qutb, a respected Islamic scholar and revivalist in his commentary, “In the Shade of the Quran, vol. IV” has this to say concerning the same Quranic verse:“At that time, when the prophet was ordered to have such a confrontation with them, they used to recite their Holy Books and they claimed to be Jews or Christians and that they were believers. The orders given to the Prophet recognise nothing of these claims. Faith is not a word or a verbal statement or books that are recited or chanted, nor is it a quality that is passed on from parents to children. Faith is a way of life including personal beliefs, formal worship and another important type of worship which is fulfilled through conducting all aspects of human life in accordance with faith. Since the people of the scripture did not establish their faith on such firm foundations, God’s messenger was ordered to confront them with the fact that they had nothing to stand on.” (p.191) It is true that the evidence of a true religion with true adherents is for them to follow and obey the teachings of their Holy Scriptures. In “Tafsir Al-Jalaiayn vol I”, it is commented so concerning Quran 5:68:“Jews and Christians, (you have nothing) meaning, as recards evidence and authentically sound religion (till you act accordingly to the Taurat
(Torah) the Injeel (Gospel)) i.e. until you have believed in and act in accordance with what is stated in all the Books which Allah revealed to his Prophets that you have.” (p. 379)
The Ideal Christian Society In fact what really makes Christianity evidential and an authentic and sound religion is because God revealed it to his prophets. And if Christians will truly practice what is in the Holy Bible, then the light of Christianity will absolutely not only shine everywhere, but will be seen by all. In reality if Christians will practice true Christianity, that will confirm its genuinity. The great commentator of all time, Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir Abridged volume 3 commented on the same Quran 5:68 so:“… meaning no true religion until you adhere to and implement the Taurah and the Injil. That is until you believe in all the Books that you have that Allah revealed to the Prophets.” (p. 231) This (Surat Maidah – The Table Spread 5:68) is exactly what all Christians adhere to which is also in agreement with all other Islamic great commentators. Although in the Torah, there are laws which state that “… an eye for an eye and a
tooth for a tooth…” but the law was fulfilled through the death of Christ on the cross. Therefore, no more shedding of blood for any reason to save the people or society from all its ills, but by practicing Christianity in totality so that all who believe will be set free in every aspect of human endeavour. The revolution, revival, evolution to true Christian society will bring about peace, unity, stability, harmony and freedom to all mankind from the rule from the rule of men to the rule of God through the Holy Spirit of God, where love for neighbours , love for enemies and prayers for those who persecute Christians will come to play. This will lead to economical, social, political, environmental, etc, progress and peace for all without raising a sword against anybody. This is the real and true Christianity which if practiced by Christians, their Christian virtues will lead many to believe and convert to Christ Jesus. Prophet Isaiah continued to describe the rule of Christ for the judgment and justice of all and against the wicked:“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him – the spirit of wisdom and of understanding the spirit of counsel and of power, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with
righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash round his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:1 – 9, NIV) This kind of rule and kingdom of Christ is the rule of God based on Christian understanding of peace, harmony, stability, justice, etc. It is the rule of peace and peace is the banner of such rule that is of the righteous which is exactly the rule of Allah that Islam is clamouring for every day on the earth.
But what differentiates the kingdom of Christ and that of Allah in Islam is that Muslims are to fight and conquer nonmuslims by bringing them under subjugation where Jews and Christians who reject Islam must pay Al-Jizya protection tax imposed on non-muslims that are living under the rule of Islam. While in the kingdom of Christ or rule of God through Christ, it is God that protects all without any payment. In short, because of how Prophet Isaiah gave Christians the graphic picture of the kingdom of Christ, there is no Christian that will ever desire any kind of kingdom and rule than that of Christ and that is why no Christian will believe in Sharia law that establishes the rule of Allah. They have this problem with the process of establishing the rule of Allah where they are subjugated and are forced to pay Al-Jizya. In their view, their human rights to practice their religion is suppressed, the right to Assembly, freedom of speech, etc. are restricted. A Christian writer summed up their problem with the Islamic rule and the processes of establishing it that:“Christ never commanded his follower to fight in religious wars, rather, he forbade them any demonstration of violence. Muhammad, on the contrary, repeatedly fought in person alongside his fighters until they conquered Mecca and the whole of the American Peninsula. The spread of Islam is based on the sword! The Holy war in Islam is
considered a direct command of Allah and is not merely an interpretation or misinterpretation of his will by the believers. Therefore, the potentiality of holy war in Islam still exists. These should not be under or over-estimated.(Sura 2:245) Anyone who wants to understand Islam must change his way of thinking. Islam is not only a religion of the mind, soul and heart of a man, but it presents an all-encompassing culture. It enshrines the theocentric society where all facts of life-child rearing, family life, economics and politics are focused on Allah. There is no seperation between throne and altar, between politics and religion. In fact, mosques are even the starting point for demonstrations and political upheaval. Friday sermons are not confined to the fostering of faith and spiritual life, but often voice strong appeals to stir up the people for political conflicts in the name of Allah.” (Who is Allah in Islam? By Abd Al-Masih, pp. 31 - 32). The description given above by Abd-Al-Masih is more of world stage of Islamic rule by Khalifa or Imam and Laws of Allah or Sharia law which supersedes man-made laws. In this, Islam is the dominant religion, Sharia law is the law of Allah and the rule of Allah through his vicegerent here on earth. While every true Christian considers this as still human rule
and no matter what, there will be no true justice, freedom, stability and harmony. This is because:“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NIV) As long as all men and women have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, then no man or woman is good enough to rule perfectly. The same Bible made it very clear that no one is righteous, not even one as we can read so:“As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no-one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10 – 12, NIV) To be frank, this is the exact state of every man or woman because no-one is righteous and all have turned away from the way of righteousness and goodness of God. How then can such persons ever lead in righteousness in this chaotic world of evil, corruption, in fact where satan is the ruler of the system? The Holy Bible further affirms the fallen nature of man that from his childhood, the inclination of his heart is evil as we can read so:“Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.
And never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done.” (Genesis 8:21, NIV) If this is the condition of every human being, can they rule uprightly? People may attempt by God’s grace or direction to lead uprightly but as long as in this world, lust of the flesh and lust of the world and its systems, then righteous rule by any man is impossible until the system is changed and satan is conquered by Christ Jesus. David was a king in Israel and was considered a righteous king, but could not rule perfectly because of this reason:“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”(Psalm 51:5, NIV) If king David (Dawood) was considered by Israel as a just and righteous king, both by the Jews and Muslims as found in the Old Testament, the Quran and Hadith and the same David could confess that he was conceived in sin from his mother’s womb, then we can conclude that men can only attempt to rule uprightly or justly but not all. Prophet Jeremiah also supported what King David said in regard to the state of every man or woman whether a leader or the led, they are not different, in which he says:“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure, who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man
according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10, NIV) Who then can establish the righteous and just rule on earth with this kind of unclean heart? Except Christ Jesus in which both the Holy Bible and the Glorious Quran testify that he was and is the sinless and faultless or blameless man that ever lived which is the reason why Prophet Isaiah in Chapter 11:1-9 considered Jesus Christ as the only one that can bring in the true rule of God on earth that all Muslims are clamouring for. This is the understanding of every Christian concerning the true rule of God on the earth and the right person is Christ Jesus Himself. Therefore, coming to the issue of how Christians view Islamic weaponry Jihad with all its aims, objectives and goals, and the processes for this rule of Allah to be established, it is foreign to all Christians and uncalled for. Since God knows best, omnipresent and powerful enough to establish His kingdom, then He needs no weak human being to help Him (God) establish His kingdom. All Christians believe that all human rules in whatsoever form historically had and will never meet God’s standard of righteous rule, that is why the rule of Christ is required to bring true peace, unity of all human race, mutual understanding, love , stability, harmony, progress economically, socially, environmentally, spiritually, etc. This is
what every Christian believes in and stands for. Not that Christians dislike Shariah Law or hate anything that Islam has introduced in order to bring peace, stability, harmony, justice and freedom for all. But they believe that Christ and Christ alone can establish such kingdom with a righteous rule. Christianity as a pacifism faith has a bad history attached to it by those who do not know what Christianity is all about and the exact teaching of Christ Jesus. The western world with a western mind in the name of Christians as crusaders distorted Biblical and Christian teachings for their selfish interest. They did not only suffer shame themselves but also brought shame to Christians and Christianity by the launch of crusades against Muslim imperialism in the promise land. In their misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Christian teachings and faith, they made a wrong decision by imitating Islamic weaponry Jihad as a Christian scholar Rev. James Mark, PHD makes this comparison:“The crusades of the 10th to the 13th centuries in the West were very much a copy of the Islamic Holy Jihad. They both had religious motivations. They both aimed at military conquest in the cause of God. And they both granted participants some kind of special forgiveness of sins.” (Islam Rising, p. 143) It may look like the west and most especially the Roman Catholic Church who sanctioned war against Muslims by their spiritual leader/political leader Pope Urban the Second in
1095 with a call for Christians to liberate Jerusalem and the Holy places from the Islamic infidels, but the truth concerning the imitation of war against enemies started from the writing of Saint Augustine of Hippo around earliest fifth century of christen era. He was possibly a Catholic and a renowned scholar who also in his writing shaped the Catholic theology or doctrines and he was the first person that introduced the theory of “just war” into the Roman Catholic church and Pope Urban II adopted from his teaching which he introduced the same toaw the crusaders. To be sincere to every reader of this piece of writing, we all need to know that the true Christianity from its early stages was totally pacifist in nature. It was because of the peaceful nature of Christianity, Jews through Judaism persecuted Christians and almost all Christians of that era were dispersed all over the world and that led to the spread of Christianity faster than any other religion through missionary work. There was no record in history where Christians were persecuted and they ever retaliated. But the unfortunate thing is that history has this to tell us about the early state of Christians before the advent of Roman Catholicism:“The early Christian church up to the time of Constantine in the early 4th century, was generally pacifist in nature. However, after Constantine
became emperor and accepted Christianity, pure pacifism started to have less sway as a Christian doctrine. After all, as the saying goes, they had an empire to run! And after the Roman Catholicism fell, ‘Christendom’, now headed by the pope, with, with the support of Frankish, German and English sovereigns also had an interest in maintaining its boarders against intruders.” (The Crusades: A brief History (1095 - 1291), Robert Jones, p. 11) This was the exact Christianity that the Glorious Quran approved and mentioned in the Quran as we can read so:-
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