Understanding Jihād

Second: Why was Jihād prescribed and legitimized in Islam?

The legitimacy of Jihād in Islam is concentrated on the following reasons:

The first reason: Self-defense, defense of religion, homeland, wealth and dignity from aggression. The recognition of the right of every nation to exist and their existence requires recognition of their right to self-defense against any aggression. Therefore, self-defense is a natural right of every person and every nation.

The Almighty says: “Permission is given to those who are fought against, and Allāh is Able to give them victory. Those who were unjustly evicted from their homes, merely for saying, “Our Lord is Allah” Were it not that Allāh repels people by means of others: monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques – where the name of Allāh is mentioned much – would have been demolished. Allāh supports whoever supports Him. Allāh is Strong and Mighty.”

What is written in the Biography of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him, is that the Prophet and his companions did not start the assault or aggression, but the polytheists were the initiators of aggression and fighting, and they practiced aggressively sedition on those who choose Islam as their religion. This verse explains this clearly. Allāh said: “And fight in the cause of Allāh those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; Allāh does not love the aggressors” [2/190]

The second reason: is to eradicate the “Fitnah” oppression/ sedition of polytheism in order to guarantee the freedom of choice and freedom of belief of people, then the spread of the Islamic call. Because, the nature of Islam requires the necessity of communicating the Islamic message to all people in the world, loving the good for humanity and mercy for them.

Allāh says: “And fight them until there is no sedition/oppression, and religion/worship becomes devoted to Allāh alone. But if they cease, then let there be no hostility except against the oppressors”. [2/193]. And Allāh said: “Sedition/oppression is more serious than killing/murder” [2/191]. The majority of commentators and interpreters say that what is meant by “Fitnah” sedition is shirk “polytheism” to worship other god with Allah, because it represents the nodal system, which is an obstacle to the Islamic call on the one hand, and an obstacle to the freedom of people to choose this religion on the other hand. This is what we may call as “religious terrorism” and there are “Ulama” scholars who call it the “Sweeping Shirk”

The legitimacy of fighting in Islam is one of the necessities of removing the sweeping polytheism, which prevents the freedom of choice among people; therefore, it does not differ with the requirements of human nature.

The polytheists stood against the Islamic call, repelled it and tortured those who embraced this religion. Therefore, the presence of shirk was a major source of the legitimacy of Jihād to break its power so that people would be free to choose or reject this religion.

The third reason: Support to the oppressed and persecuted Muslims:

One of the reasons for the legitimacy of Jihād for the sake of Allāh is to save the oppressed and persecuted Muslims wherever they are, from oppression and persecution. This is what is required by the rights of Muslim brotherhood and the spirit of cooperation on righteousness and piety. Allāh says: “And why would you not fight in the cause of Allah, and the helpless men, and women, and children, cry out, “Our Lord, deliver us from this town whose people are oppressive, and appoint for us from Your Presence a Protector, and appoint for us from Your Presence a Victor” [4/74] And He says: “But if they ask you for help in religion, you must come to their aid, except against a people with whom you have a treaty. Allāh is Seeing of what you do” [8/92].

It is worth to mention here that the support of oppressed Muslims requires the following conditions:

  1. Muslims should be prepared to support their oppressed brethren and to discipline the oppressive forces. If Muslims are as weak as they are today, their support for them is reckless, but they must give them as much help and assistance as possible in a way does not cause them embarrassment and damage.
  2. Muslims should not violate the terms of a treaty between them and the forces of tyranny, because the Almighty says: “…except against a people with whom you have a treaty. Allāh is Seeing of what you do”. [8/92].
  3. That the Muslims are persecuted for their religion and their legitimate rights, and they are not aggressors on the other side, because Allāh has restricted the support by saying (in religion). This means that if they are persecuted in non-religion cause but in other matters, their support is not obligatory for their Muslim brothers, but they are in the choice between their support and lack thereof.

These are the reasons for the legitimacy of Jihād in Islam, and as you see it does not deviate from the exercise of the right of any state recognized in the international law, from here you know that Jihād in Islam is based on justice and humanitarian principles that Muslims resort to it when they have been forced to it as the last option, of the three reasons mentioned above in some detail.

Third: The Conditions of performing Jihād for the sake of Allah:

To carry out the Islamic Jihād which realizes one of the two preferable goals (victory or martyrdom), conditions for it must be available, after a person who carries out the Jihād is a costly Muslim, which are as follows:

  1. Good and pure intention, that is to say that Jihād is motivated by faith in Allah, because one of the motives and reasons for fighting has been found, not motivated by hatred, revenge or personal reaction. The Prophet PBUH said: “Verily, deeds are only with the intentions behind them. Verily, every person will have only what he intended…” [Al-Bukhari]. The Messenger of Allāh PBUH was asked about a man who fights for his rage, and who fights hypocrisy. He said: “Who fought so that the word of Allāh should the supreme is in the way of Allah” [Minhājul-Musim 304].
  2. The Jihād should be behind the one imam “Leader”, and under his banner and permission, it is not permissible for Muslims to fight while they are dispersed, and disunited under one command, the Almighty said: “O you who believe! Obey Allāh and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you” [4/92]. And He said: “And obey Allāh and His Messenger, and do not dispute, lest you falter and lose your courage.” And the Prophet said: “Whoever went out of obedience and differed the group then he died, he died of ignorance” [Muslim 6/21].
  3. Preparing adequate equipment, and providing the necessary capabilities of the weapon, equipment and men trained and able to fight, with the utmost effort and capacity in that case. Allāh says: “And prepare against them all the power you can muster, and all the cavalry you can mobilize, to terrify thereby Allah’s enemies and your enemies, and others besides them whom you do not know, but Allāh knows them. Whatever you spend in Allah’s way will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged” [8/60]. The preparation of force is not intended to use to crush the enemy, but to terrify and introduce the prestige of the Islamic state In Islam, Islam does not want to fight except when necessary.
  4. To present Islamic call to non-Muslims before any military engagement; because the Almighty does not torture people before sending them a messenger to invite them to his religion; so that they do not have the suspicion of an excuse to make them say as Allāh mentioned: “Our Lord, if only You had sent us a messenger, we would have followed Your revelations before we were humiliated and disgraced.” 20/134. The fighting was not prescribed for itself, but for the call to Allah, the Almighty said: “And we were not ever punishing until we have sent a messenger.” [17/15]. Narrated by Sahl ben Saad that the prophet PBUH said to Ali on the day of Khyber: “Take it easy until you get down in their yard, then invite them to Islam and tell them what they have to do. If one be guided by Allāh by your hand, is better for you than to have a red elephants” [Fath al-Barie 6/178].
  5. There is a reason accrued from among the three reasons of Jihād for the legitimacy of the fighting, which has already been discussed in details.
  6. The Mujahideen have raised an Islamic education, committed to the self-struggle and the principles and ethics of Islam, characterized by the qualities of the Mujahideen, as the Almighty stated in his holy book, He says: “Whoever strives, he strives only for himself. Allāh is Independent of the beings.” [29/6]. And He said: “The believers are those who believe in Allāh and His Messenger, and then have not doubted, and strive for God’s cause with their wealth and their persons. These are the sincere.” 49/15. The Prophet PBUH said: “Al-Mujahid (doer of Jihad) is who strove (disciplined) his self in obedience of Allah” [Ahmad].

These are the conditions that must be available before fighting. If these conditions are not met, Jihād is not lawful, but forbidden, and fighting is considered as reckless when the condition of force is lost, and as aggression when the fourth and fifth conditions are lost. If one condition is lost, the thing on which the condition was set is no longer exists. “If you pluck the condition, no parole” Now, we are aware of the fairness of Islam. We also realize that there is no compulsion in religion. We also realize that Islam is far away from what is now called terrorism and its people.

Why did the terrorist ideology come from Muslims who are claiming that their terrorist activities are justified by the Qur-an and Hadith of the Prophet PBUH? Some of their evidences are as follows:

  1. It was narrated that Ibn ‘Omar (may Allāh be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “I have been commanded to fight against the people till they testify that there is no god but Allāh and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, and they establish prayer and pay “Zakat” alms. If they do that, they have protected their blood and property except by the rights of Islam, and their accountability is left to Allah” [Bukhari and Muslim]
  2. Allah said in the Qur-an: “When the sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and pay the alms, then let them go their way. Allāh is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (9/5)

The answer for their allegation is as follows:

  1. It is not true that the mentioned Hadith of the Prophet is for their side, because they interpreted the word (people) in its literary meaning (all Non-Muslim people), and that is the big error of them, which if it is true, then the Islam is obviously terrorist religion. The correct meaning of the word “people” is as Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, the authorized person to explain the all Hadiths through Imam al-Bukhari, interpreted the word “people” saying that it means: “Mushrikil-Arab” Arab polytheists who were not part of people of the book, because Imam Nassai, also Hadith Interpeter, narrated the same Hadith as “… that I fight mushrikin…” not “people”. It means specific people, not the Non-Muslim people.
  2. The word ‘people’ in the Qur’an is not always used in its general meaning, like the verse says: “Proclaim to the people the Hajj (pilgrimage), they will come to you…” [22/27] Not all people are obliged to do Hajj. And He said: “He (Jesus) will speak to the people in the cradle” [3/47] Not all people but those who were around him.
  3. The mentioned Hadith is explanation of the Prophet to the mentioned verse of the Qur-an [9/5]. Why? Because it is very clear that the three exemptions in the verse are the same exemptions in the Hadith. The question is who are the polytheists in the verse? The Qur-an answers this, Allah says in the beginning of the surah at-Tawbah: “A declaration of immunity (being free from any responsibility) from Allah and His Messenger to those with whom you had made a treaty from among the polytheists”. It means not all polytheists, but some of them, they are those with whom the Prophet made a treaty of Hudaybia 6thH, then they violated it. Because Bani Bakr of Quraish killed many people from Bani Khuzāԑah who were part of the Muslims side.

Why did the Almighty Allah order the Prophet and his companions to kill those polytheists after the sacred month wherever they find them?

Because of the following reasons as the same Surah in the Qur-an stated:

  1. They did not respect the kinship with the Prophet and his companions.
  2. They did not respect the treaty with the Prophet and his companions.
  3. Theyviolated their oaths and their treaty.
  4. They planned and tried to kill and exile the Prophet.
  5. They initiated and did continuously all kinds of hostilities against the Prophet and his companions, so they were the aggressors and transgressors.

Now, we understand the true Jihād in Islam, and we realize the fairness and justice of Islam. We realize also that Islam is far away from what is now called terrorism and its people. Islam is religion of justice and peace.

Alim Mohammad Taib Pangca