In this part, the views (opinions) of some famous Islamic scholars on Jihad are presented and some of them are classical scholars and some are modern. Personally I do not agree with this distinction between classical and modern because this premise is partially based on assumption of some Islamic reformers (they call themselves) that Koran can be re-interpreted to suit the needs of present day situations. So, at the best Koran can re-interpreted but its content can not be changed. Actually it is not even clear how it can be re-interpreted when Koran is crystal clear in its message i.e. take the verse 8:39 and one has to wonder how this merciful verse can be re-interpreted. That’s precisely I reject this notion of classical and modern scholars,apart from the fact that they belong to different times. After all Koran has not changed, Muslims claim this, and re-interpreting Koran is oxymoron and it is worth recalling that majority of Muslims feel there is nothing wrong with Koran and its message.
Anyway Muslims are not the one to follow their own words and it has become a common practice for some Muslims to say one thing to Media and infidels and say a completely different thing to Muslims and you will understand this shortly. Here, personal biography of scholars is not presented and only their views on Jihad are quoted.
Ibn Rushd (12th century scholar, also known as Averroes), in his Muqaddimāt, divides Jihad into four kinds: "Jihad by the heart; Jihad by the tongue; Jihad by the hand and Jihad by the sword." He defines "Jihad by the tongue" as "to commend good conduct and forbid the wrong, like the type of Jihad Allah ordered us to fulfill against the hypocrites in His Words, “O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites” (Koran 9:73). So Prophet Muhammad strove against the unbelievers by sword and against the hypocrites by tongue.
Ibn Kathir (14th century, A Syrian scholar) in his famous tafsir says “Since Jihad involves killing and shedding the blood of men, Allah indicated that (in Koran) these men are committing disbelief in Allah, associating with Him (in the worship) and hindering from His path, and this is a much greater evil and more disastrous than killing”.
Ibn Khaldun (14th century, highly respected scholar) says “In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the (Muslim) mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force. Therefore, caliphate and royal authority are united (in Islam), so that the person in charge can devote the available strength to both of them (religion and politics) at the same time.
The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty to them, save only for purposes of defense...
...All of them are unbelief. This is clearly stated in the noble Qur'an. (To) discuss or argue those things with them is not up to us. It is (for them to choose between) conversion to Islam, payment of the poll tax, or death.”
Sheikh Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah (Syrian, 13th and 14th century Scholar in his book ‘The Religious and Moral Doctrine of Jihad’) writes "Since lawful warfare is essentially Jihad and since its aim is that religion is entirely for Allah and the word of Allah is uppermost, therefore, according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought." (page 28)
"As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped and their likes, they shall not be killed, unless they actually fight with words [e.g. by propaganda] and acts [e.g. by spying or otherwise assisting in the warefare]. Some [jurists] are of the opinion that all of them may be killed, on the mere ground that they are unbelievers, but they make an exception for woman and children sind they constitute property for Muslims." (Page 28)
"The Shari'ah enjoins fighting the unbelievers, but not the killing of those who have been captured. If a male unbeliever is taken captive during warfare or otherwise, e.g. as a result of a shipwreck, or because he lost his way, or as a result of a ruse, then the head of state (imam) may do whatever he deems appropriate: killing him, enslaving him, releasing him or setting him free for a ransom consisting in either property or people." (Page 29)
"The most serious type of obligatory Jihad is the one against the unbelievers and against those who refuse to abide by certain prescriptions of the Shari'ah, like those who refuse to pay zakaah, the Kharijites and the like." (Page 33)
Abul Ala Maududi (Modern scholar, founder of Jamat-e-Islami), in his book ‘Jihad in Islam’, writes “ “In reality Islam is a revolutionary ideology and programme which seeks to alter the social order of the whole world and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets and ideals. 'Muslim' is the title of that International Revolutionary Party organized by Islam to carry into effect its revolutionary programme. And 'Jihad' refers to that revolutionary struggle and utmost exertion which the Islamic Party brings into play to acheive this objective." (Page 8)
"Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a State on the basis of its own ideology and programme, regardless of which Nation assumes the role of the standard bearer of Islam or the rule of which nation is undermined in the process of the establishment of an ideological Islamic State." (Page 9)
"It must be evident to you from this discussion that the objective of Islamic 'Jihad' is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of State rule. Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single State or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution." Jihad in Islam" (Page 24)
"Islamic 'Jihad' does not seek to interfere with the faith, ideology, rituals of worship or social customs of the people. It allows them perfect freedom of religious belief and permits them to act according to their creed. However, Islamic 'Jihad' does not recognize their right to administer State affairs according to a system which, in the view of Islam, is evil. Furthermore, Islamic 'Jihad' also refuses to admit their right to continue with such practices under an Islamic government which fatally affect the publich interest from the viewpoint of Islam." (Page 28)
Muhammad Sa‘id Ramadan al-Buti (a contemporary Al-Azhar University scholar) wrote in his book ‘Jurisprudence in Muhammad's Biography’ "the verse (9:5) does not leave any room in the mind to conjecture about what is called defensive war. This verse asserts that holy war, which is demanded in Islamic law, is not a defensive war because it could legitimately be an offensive war. That is the apex and most honorable of all holy wars. Its goal is the exaltation of the word of God, the construction of Islamic society, and the establishment of God's kingdom on earth regardless of the means. It is legal to carry on an offensive holy war."
Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad Humaid (1922-81, Former chief justice of Saudi Arabia, Former Imam of Grand Mosque of Mecca, in his book ‘Jihad in the Quran & Sunnah’) wrote “The fighting,' even though by its nature is disliked by the human soul because of the liability of being killed, or being taken as a captive, or being injured, with the wasting of wealth, the damaging of the industries, the destruction to the country, the spreading of fear and awe in the souls and the possibility of being exiled from one's homeland, Allah had made ready an immensely good reward that cannot be imagined by a human soul." (Page 11)
"The verses of the Quran and the Sunnah (the Prophet's legal ways, orders etc.) have exhorted greatly for Jihad and have made quite clear its rewards, and praised greatly those who perform Jihad (the holy fighting in Allah's Cause) and explained to them various kinds of honor which they will receive from their Lord. This is because they -- Mujahideen are Allah's tropps. Allah will establish His religion (Islam) with them." (Page 11)
"And it is they, (Mujahideen) who fight against the enemies of Allah in order that the worship be all for Allah (alone and not for any other deity) and that of the Word of Allah (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and his religion, Islam) should be superior." (Page 12)
"And you will not find any organization past or present, religious or non-relgious as regards ordering the whole nation to march forth and mobilize all of them into active military service as a single row for Jihad in Allah's Cause so as to make superior the Word of Allah (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), as you will find in the Islamic Religion and its teachings." (Page 29)
"So they fought in the Cause of Allah for Islamic Faith (worshipping none but Allah Alone) and sincerely (for Allah's sake) and to make victorious Allah's Religion till it becomes superior over all religions, and mankind is brought out: 1)from the darkness into the light, 2) from the worshipping of the slaves (created false gods) to the worshipping of Allah alone (the one true God), 3) from the distress of the world to its wideness (ease) and 4) from the injustices of the religions to the justice of Islam." (Page 38)
"And they are the troops of Allah, and that they are fighting in Allah's Cause, and surely Allah will help and support them and will defeat their enemies, as their enemies fight for the cause of Satan." (Page 39)
(Al Muhajiroun, Bakir school of Thought , 6-21-2004) "Whoever says that Islam is free from terrorism or wants to differentiate between Islam and terrorism is committing Al Juhoud and that is Kufr Akbar – and will take them out of the fold of Islam. The one who says ‘we should fight against terrorism’, he is fighting against Islam. We know very well that USA meant no one else by the term ‘terrorists’ but Islam and Muslims and the one who wants to avoid terrorism is avoiding Islam."
"Islam does not recognize any difference between the kuffar, they are either zhimmi (under the Islamic state) or mu’ahhed (has covenant with a Muslim), or he is harbi and has no sanctity for his life or wealth.
There is no such thing as an ‘innocent’ kafir, innocence is only applicable for the Muslims; do not say ‘innocent’ for the kafir, the most you can say for them is that they are ‘victims’. The Muslim however, is innocent even if he engages to fight and conquer the kafir, because he is fulfilling the Shari’ah."
Note: This organization was banned by UK Govt. this year. It was founded by Shiekh Omar Bakri, a staunch supporter of Osama Bin Laden.
Syed Qutb (An Islamic thinker from Egypt and in his book ‘Milestones’) writes “These are the logical positions consonant with the character and purposes of this religion, and not what is understood by the people who are defeated by present conditions and by the attacks of the treacherous orientalists.
God held back Muslims from fighting in Mecca and in the early period of their migration to Medina, and told them, “Restrain your hands, and establish regular prayers, and pay Zakat.” Next, they were permitted to fight: “Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they are oppressed, and God is able to help them. These are the people who were expelled from their homes without cause. The next stage came when the Muslims were commanded to fight those who fight them: “Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you.” And finally, war was declared against all the polytheists: “And fight against all the polytheists, as they all fight against you;” “Fight against those among the People of the Book who do not believe in God and the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, and who do not consider the true religion as their religion, until they are subdued and pay Jizya.” Thus, according to the explanation by Imam Ibn Qayyim, the Muslims were first restrained from fighting; then they were permitted to fight; then they were commanded to fight against the aggressors; and finally they were commanded to fight against all the polytheists.
With these verses from the Qur’an and with many Traditions of the Prophet—peace be on him—in praise of Jihaad, and with the entire history of Islam, which is full of Jihaad, the heart of every Muslim rejects that explanation of Jihaad invented by those people whose minds have accepted defeat under unfavorable conditions and under the attacks on Islamic Jihaad by the shrewd orientalists.
What kind of a man is it who, after listening to the commandment of God and the Traditions of the Prophet—peace be on him—and after reading about the events which occurred during the Islamic Jihaad, still thinks that it is a temporary injunction related to transient conditions and that it is concerned only with the defense of the borders?”
In the same chapter he further writes " The reasons for Jihaad which have been described in the verses (3:74-76, 8:38-40, 9:29-32) are these: to establish God's authority in the earth; to arrange human affairs according to 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 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 Jihaad. 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."
Syed Qutb explains Islamic Justice in the above paragraph very nicely: Read the sentence in italics i.e. there is no compulsion in religion (Verse 2:256) in Islamic law i.e. Sharia Law. But with imposition of Jizya tax and other humiliating conditions on Non Muslims, which are existing in Sharia, is there any way for Non Muslims in the long term than to convert to Islam? But then, that is Islamic logic. It is Islamic justice.
People might find this illogical or difficult to understand this kind of so called justice because they are accustomed to thinking in the box. One might even find this concept of Jihad very crude and making no sense at all. Again it is because of our trained brain to accept unitary logic and the axiom of respecting all religions equally. But to understand this kind of Islamic logic and Jihad comprehensively one needs to dwell a little bit in to Islamic theology, which is not difficult at all, in fact it is very easy. Islam constructs this philosophy very logically. Yes, Islam is very logical in its cruelty, just like Nazis and Communists.
Note: Syed Qutb was an Egyptian and a member of Muslim Brotherhood. He was arrested and charged with attempts to kill President Nasser and overthrow his Government; subsequently executed in the year 1966.
P.S. In fact one can keep on quoting this kind of statements and views, but it makes no sense as they are all proverbially same. In the next part of the series, never the less some links will be provided for valuable and further readings esp. it is recommended that one should read 'five tracts of Al-Banna', Hassan Al-Banna was the founder of Muslim Brotherhood.