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Revisiting the Jihad of the Companions after the Demise of Prophet Muhammad (sws)
Dr Farhad Shafti

Revisiting the Jihad of the Companions after the Demise of Prophet Muhammad (sws)



According to Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī, the guidance of the Almighty in the era of messengers works on the basis of the concept of itmām al-hujjah. Itmām al-hujjah means communication of the truth to the extent that that no excuses remain for the addressees. When itmām al-hujjah is done on a group of people, they can no longer claim that they genuinely did not become convinced by the message of truth. After itmām al-hujjah the only reason that a person may reject the truth will be his own arrogance. Itmām al-hujjah is the basis of worldly reward and worldly punishment of the believers and rejecters who have been the direct addressees of a messenger of God. For these groups the worldly reward or punishment continues into the Hereafter. According to Ghāmidī, the offensives launched by the companions on the neighbouring countries after the demise of the Prophet (sws) was on the basis of itmām al-hujjah. These were the same countries whose rulers were sent warning letters by Prophet Muhammad (sws).1 The mechanism of how itmām al-hujjah applies to these countries, as understood by Ghāmidī, is a complex one. This article is the outcome of series of detailed discussions with Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī and aims to reflect his views on this important subject.2 The article ends with my reflections on the subject.

The article has been written for a reader who is already familiar with the concept of itmām al-hujjah and its consequences as explained by Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī. A brief reminder is given at the start of this article. 3 For the sake of brevity throughout the rest of this article I will use Ghāmidī to refer to Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī.


Itmām al-Hujjah and Daynūnah

وَ لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولٌ فَإِذا جاءَ رَسُولُهُمْ قُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْقِسْطِ وَ هُمْ لا يُظْلَمُون (١٠: ٤٧)

And for each community, there is a messenger. Then when their messenger comes, judgement will take place among them with justice and they are not wronged. (10:47)

The above verse is about one of the most important Sunan (ways) of the Almighty which in the words of Imām Hamīd al-Din Farāhī can be referred to as daynūnah. Daynūnah (from dayn in Arabic, meaning retribution) in its general meaning refers to the system of rewards and punishments of the Almighty that is fully manifested on the day of judgement. Daynūnah in its specific meaning, as Ghāmidī puts it, refers to the miniature day of judgement that takes place in this world for the direct addressees of a messenger of God. It may thus be noted that the  daynūnah is the consequence of itmām al-hujjah.

In the words of Ghāmidī:


By this phase (i.e. itmām al-hujjah), the truth has become so evident to the addressees that they do not have any excuse except stubbornness to deny it. In religious parlance, this is called itmām al-hujjah. Obviously, in it besides the style adopted and the arguments presented, the very person of the rasūl plays a role in achieving this end. The stage is reached that the matter becomes as evident as the sun shining in the open sky. Consequently, at this instance, a rasūl to a great extent communicates the fate of the addressees to them, and his preaching takes the trenchant form of a final warning.”4


Once the itmām al-hujjah takes place, daynūnah of the addressees of the messenger starts. From the time of Prophet Abraham (sws) onwards, this daynūnah has had two dimensions:


-          Internal: This refers to the reward that the believers and the followers of the messenger receive in this world. This reward is mainly in the form of political strength and domination over other politically associated nations. This reward continues as long as they obey the religion of the Almighty. If they break the covenant that they made with their Lord then their reward will cease and will be replaced with humiliation, hardship and subservience to other nations.

-          External: This refers to the punishment of the rejecters during the era of the messenger. Those rejecters that are polytheists are executed or perish at the hands of the followers of the messenger or by natural calamities. Those rejecters that are originally monotheist become subservient to the believers. Obviously the internal dimension of daynūnah relates and contributes to the external dimension. This external dimension of daynūnah also applied to the nations before prophet Abraham (sws).


Ghāmidī has described five phases for the process of itmām al-hujjah and daynūnah in his book Mīzān..5 However in order to better understand the relationship between daynūnah and itmām al-hujjah, in this particular discussion, Ghāmidī breaks up the process of itmām al-hujjah and daynūnah into three phases as follows:


Phase one: General Da‘wah (preaching)

In this phase, the messenger starts giving da‘wah (preaching) and indhār (warning) to mainly the leaders but also to the people of the nation that he is addressing. The indhār is to let the addressees know the consequences if they arrogantly reject the messenger and his message. One of the instrumental tools for warning the nations at this phase is to remind them of the destiny of those nations before them who had been warned by their messengers and had been punished and who perished as a result of their arrogant rejection of the truth.


Phase two: Implementation of Daynūnah for the Leaders

Following da‘wah and indhār, once the phase of itmām al-hujjah is concluded for the leaders of the nation, the punishment of these leaders starts. This is more specifically true when the divine punishment was carried out by a messenger and his immediate followers. In other cases, as described in the Qur’ān, phase two and phase three were practically merged together as one phase and the divine punishment appeared in the form of a natural calamity.


Phase three: Ultimatum to the Common Masses

This phase according to Ghāmidī is the natural consequence of the previous two phases and happens inevitably after them. The punishment of the leaders of the nation contributes towards itmām al-hujjah for the common masses and therefore an ultimatum is given to them that unless they let go of their arrogance and submit to the truth, they too will face the same or a similar punishment as their leaders. Phase three ends with implementation of the ultimatum.

It is important to note that like a chain reaction, phase three is simply the consequence of phases one and two. In other words, just as the destiny of the nations who were punished in the past serves as a concrete evidence of the truth for the leaders of the addressed nation, the punishment of these leaders (along with the punishment of the past nations) serves as a strong evidence of the truth for the common masses of the addressed nation.

To be more specific about the era of the prophet (sws), the application of the above three phases to his time is as follows:

Phase one: The Prophet (sws) started indhār-i ‘ām (general warning and preaching) after a short period of private preaching to his friends and trusted ones. Sūrah Muddaththir can be seen as the beginning of this general warning and preaching for the Quraysh. While this warning was towards all the Quraysh (and in fact all who could hear and understand it at the time) it was specifically focusing on the leaders of the Quraysh. Many of the chapters of the 29th and 30th sections (juzw) of the Qur’ān (that is the seventh group of chapters of the Qur’an in the thematic sense6) are specifically warning the leaders of the Quraysh. One of the means of warning was to remind the Quraysh about the destiny of the nations before them who like them, were among the direct addressees of messengers and met their punishment or were rewarded in this world. The stories of these nations were considered as historical facts by the Quraysh or the people of the book in the Arabian Peninsula. In particular the Quraysh had a clear historical memory of what happened to the people of Thamūd and ‘Ād.

Phase two: The punishment of the leaders of the Quraysh started by their defeat in the battle of Badr and their subsequent defeats and retreats after that. During these battles a number of chief heads of Quraysh where either killed or humiliated.

Phase three: The defeat and humiliation of the leaders of the Quraysh naturally and automatically served as further proof for the truth of the Prophet’s (sws) message and therefore further contributed in warning the common masses of the Quraysh. This warning reached its culmination at the time of the invasion of Makkah, as described in Sūrah Tawbah. The defeat and humiliation of the Quraysh itself served as a proof of the truth for the rest of the Arabs in the peninsula.


Elaboration of the Mechanism of Itmām al-Hujjah

Before proceeding to the itmām al-hujjah after the demise of the Prophet (sws), it is helpful to describe and illustrate some of the details of the above process as explained by Ghamidi:

Itmām al-hujjah works in a chain reaction. In this chain reaction, God provides the required means. One of the main means is the reward and the punishment of a previous group/nation to whom a messenger was sent. Witnessing or hearing the news of the past punishments or rewards serves as a means for the next group/nation. A messenger of God (and if applies, his followers) will use this means for itmām al-hujjah. However, as for the followers, all they can do and all that they are responsible for is putting their efforts to strive for itmām al-hujjah. In the words of Ghāmidī, this endeavour and effort can be translated as ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah in Arabic (literally meaning to strive for itmām al-hujjah). Ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah by the believers may or may not result in the actual itmām al-hujjah and in the absence of any divine indications there will be no way to establish whether the actual itmām al-hujjah took place. However a messenger of God completes the actual itmām al-hujjah with the direct support of the Almighty. Once itmām al-hujjah happens for the new group/nation and the reward and punishment takes place for them, again this reward and punishment is used as means for ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah by the believers for the next group/nation, and as means for actual itmām al-hujjah where a messenger is also sent to that group/nation. This mechanism of the chain of itmām al-hujjah can be illustrated as follows:



Chart1.jpg (613×455)

Figure 1: Chain of itmām al-hujjah as described by Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī

Note:IH: itmām al-hujjah; IIH: ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah



As described earlier, in the above chain of events, where applicable, the itmām al-hujjah and punishment of thse leaders of a nation precedes the itmām al-hujjah and punishment of the nation. One of the other important points that needs to be emphasized in the above figure is the division of responsibilities between a messenger, his companions (from among the chosen nation) and the rest of the chosen nation (ie. from the generation of the companions). This is further clarified by the following table:  






Companions from among the chosen nation

Chosen Nation (other than the companions)

Ihtimām bi  itmām al-hujjah

Not Applicable



itmām al-hujjah




Implementing the Punishment

where applies

where applies








Table 1: The dividing of responsibilities of events in the process of itmām al-hujjah, as explained by Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī

As it is clear from the above table, it is only the companions (immediate followers) of a messenger that may be allowed to implement the punishment after the messenger has done itmām al-hujjah. The next generations of the believers do not have that permission and responsibility. The expression “where applies” in Table 1 refers to the information given in the Qur’ān about the ways of punishing the previous nations. Ghāmidī explains in Mīzān:7

At times, this punishment is through earthquakes, cyclones and other calamities and disasters, while, at others, it emanates from the swords of the believers.

According to Ghāmidī, the position of a nation being appointed as witness (shahādah) to the truth, as mentioned in the Qur’ān (2:143; 22:78), is in fact the authority of that nation to do ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah.


Application of the above after the Demise of the Prophet (sws)

Ghāmidī explains that exactly the same process was adopted for the countries that were invaded by the companions after the demise of the Prophet (sws). These were the same nations to which the Prophet (sws) sent letters of warning. The companions, through their ijtihād (deduction), considered it their responsibility to do their duty with this regard just as they fulfilled their duty with regard to the direct addressees of the warnings of the Qur’an (i.e. Quraysh and the People of the Book in the Arabian Peninsula).8 This similar process of itmām al-hujjah after the demise of the Prophet (sws) is explained in the following section. To illustrate this better, Persia is referred to as an example where the following had a full application according to Ghamidi:

Phase One: The victories of Muslims, along with the general knowledge of reward and punishment of nations which existed before, provided the means for itmām al-hujjah by the Prophet (sws). The Prophet (sws) initiated itmām al-hujjah by sending letters to Khusrū Parvayz the then king of Persia. The letters warned the king to accept the message of Islam and informed him that his country will fall apart if he (the ruling body) does not accept the message of truth. Although the letters were literally addressing the king of Persia, they were in fact addressing the ruling body of Persia. As the king of a powerful country at the time, Khusrū Parvayz and his ruling body were aware of the developments in Arabia. They were later aware of the fact that the leaders of Quraysh were defeated and that the whole Arabia was dominated by Muslims. They were also aware of some of the stories of the nations before them who were punished due to rejecting the messengers of God. All this provided them with a clear opportunity to realize and appreciate the message of truth and as a consequence they were subjected to itmām al-hujjah. As history reveals, the warning was not taken seriously by Khusru Parviz or the later kings of Persia and their ruling bodies.

Phase two: The companions were aware of the history of some of the nations who witnessed itmām al-hujjah before them. They had obviously heard the directives and warnings in the Qur’ān related to the concept. They themselves were the direct addressees of some of these directives and they knew and had practically witnessed their own role in this regard. They were therefore fully aware of the concept of itmām al-hujjah and its implications. They then witnessed the sending of letters by the Prophet (sws) and noticed the contents of the letters where (in case of Persia) the falling apart of the country was predicted. They therefore concluded through their ijtihād that the law of itmām al-hujjah is also applying to and is in fact in process for these nations, including Persia. They also had the means of ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah provided to them. Accordingly they first carried out their responsibility of punishing the ruling body of Persians. The Persian nation witnessed how against all odds, a powerful empire fell down apparently at the hands of much less powerful and less skilful army of Arab Muslims. What once was seen as one of the two super powers of the time was defeated by a nation that was not even considered as a serious rival in the region.

Phase three: The defeat of the then king of Persia and his ruling body provided further means for ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah for the Persian nation. Ghāmidī asserts that the Persian nation overall were aware of the letters of the Prophet (sws) to their leadership and were also aware of the Prophet’s (sws) prediction of Persia falling apart if they did not submit to the truth. In this way, the letters of the Prophet (sws) initiated a process that eventually reached itmām al-hujjah for the Persian nation as well. As explained earlier, according to Ghāmidī this third phase takes place naturally after the first two phases. It is therefore correct to say that the itmām al-hujjah for the entire Persia was the work of no one but the Prophet (sws) himself (supported and blessed by the Almighty of course).

In the above mechanism of itmām al-hujjah for Persians, the letters of the Prophet (sws) should be seen as an instrumental tool that served as a leading sign. While the ruling body of Persians and through them the Persian nation were warned by these letters, the companions considered them as indirect instructions to implement the punishment on Persia if they do not submit after itmām al-hujjah. Not only this, the companions also considered the contents of the letters to be a clear indication and a divine information that the process of itmām al-hujjah is taking place and will be competed for the Persian ruling body and the Persian nation. As explained above, this understanding was backed by their full awareness of the law of itmām al-hujjah for which they themselves played a key role in the Arabian Peninsula. As stated before, the letters contained predictions of Persia falling apart if they did not submit to the message of truth. The ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah by the Muslim army in Persia should be seen as the offshoot of the process of itmām al-hujjah that was started by the Prophet (sws). Accordingly the Muslim army subjected the Persian nation (on a gradual scheme) to the law of punishment of people of the book after itmām al-hujjah, that is, becoming subservient to the chosen nation by paying jizyah.

The above is illustrated in the following figure. Figure 2 is in fact application and elaboration of figure 1 for Persia after the demise of the Prophet (sws):



Chart2.jpg (636×560)

Figure 2: Application of the chain of Itmām al-Hujjah on Persia after the demise of the prophet (sws), as described by Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī

Note:IH: itmām al-hujjah; IIH: ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah


Ghāmidī explains that while the source of events related to itmām al-hujjah for the Arab nation is the Qur’ān, the source of the events related to itmām al-hujjah for Persians is history. He explains that the history of invasions of Muslims after the demise of the Prophet (sws) has never been looked at from the itmām al-hujjah and daynūnah point of view. Ghāmidī is of the view that if the history of these invasions were looked at from this standing point then many supporting evidences for the above explanation could have been derived. He has noted these supporting evidences himself and is keen for his students and other scholars to study and document them through research.


Summary of the main points

A few important points that can be derived from the above explanation are singled out and emphasized here. I intend to avoid the risk that the reader may not notice these very crucial points in the above rather long writing:


1.      The attack of the companions to Persia and other countries were motivated by their ijtihād after observing the letters of the Prophet (sws) to those countries. The companions on their own ijtihād concluded that they were responsible to implement the due punishment, after itmām al-hujjah on these countries had been done by the Prophet’s (sws) initiative.

2.      It was not the companions or the Muslim army that completed itmām al-hujjah for the Persian rulers. It was in fact the Prophet (sws) that did it.

3.      Ghāmidī is not claiming that the letters of the Prophet (sws) were enough to do itmām al-hujjah for the Persian rulers. The letters were in fact part of a system of means that are always available for messengers when they do itmām al-hujjah. This system included the news of the past punished and rewarded nations as well as those in the Arabian Peninsula at the time of the Prophet (sws).

4.      Following from the above point, in the words of Ghāmidī, there is no difference between the Prophet’s letters to the heads of the countries and his talks with the heads of Quraysh. Both these were supported by the evidences of punishment after itmām al-hujjah and it was together with these evidences that these letters or those talks contributed in itmām al-hujjah for the heads of the countries and the heads of Quraysh.

5.      Similarly it was not the companions or the Muslim army who completed itmām al-hujjah on Persia or the other countries. Itmām al-hujjah for these countries was a natural and “automatic” consequence of observing the destiny of their ruling bodies.

6.      The companions and the chosen nation of God were not responsible for itmām al-hujjah, they were not necessarily capable of itmām al-hujjah and did not even know on their own, whether itmām al-hujjah was done for a group or a nation. As the intermediate nation who had been given the position of shahādah (being witness of the truth for others) they were and they are only responsible to do ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah. From among the chosen nation, only the companions had the extra responsibility of implementing God’s punishment on nations for whom itmām al-hujjah had been done. 

7.      The companions knew that itmām al-hujjah was taking place for the Persian rulers and Persian people because the letters of the Prophet (sws) had promised punishment of Persia in case they did not accept the Prophet’s (sws) invitation to the message of Islam. Since the Persian rulers rejected the message of Islam the companions concluded that the perdition of the Prophet (sws) would then materialize, which indicated to them that itmām al-hujjah was done for the rulers and was naturally going to be applied to the Persian people as well.

8.      Ghāmidī believes that history shows that the punishment that was carried out by the companions in Persia (and other places) was implemented based on the principles of itmām al-hujjah and daynūnah. However, since the companions were not directly guided by the Almighty or His Messenger (sws) in this endeavour, Ghāmidī does not rule out the possibility that there could be mistakes and errors happening occasionally as well.

9.      Although Ghāmidī derives the principles of itmām al-hujjah and daynūnah and their implementation in the Arabian Peninsula from the Qur’ān, he does not claim that the details of application of these principles in Persia and other countries are also mentioned in the Qur’ān. He appreciates that the only source of reading about the application of these principles in these countries is history.


Author’s Reflections and Thoughts

I would like to end this article with some final personal reflections on the subject. My main problem with the idea of applying the principle of itmām al-hujjah on Persia and other countries was that at times I felt that in our keenness to uphold the principles of itmām al-hujjah, we sometimes seemed to unconsciously try to rewrite the history of these invasions in order to make them fit with these principles. I could not help but notice some not very impressive stories about some of the things that happened during these invasions. Although I had not studied the reliability of these reports, I found it not very academic and not quite objective to dismiss these reports only because they were not in line with the principles of itmām al-hujjah. All this however was based on indirect narratives of Javed Ahmad Ghāmidī’s thought that I was exposed to and not based on direct discussion with him.

Throughout the long sessions of discussing this subject with Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī I pleasantly found my mind at peace. The assertion of Ghāmidī that the companions acted on their own ijtihād solved conflicting points in my mind. This simply means that from an academic point of view, we should not worry about reports of unjustified acts at the time of invasion of these countries. If we do find reliable reports of some acts that were not in line with the principles of itmām al-hujjah, then this does not question those principles. These reports of unjustified acts and practices, if proved reliable, are simply showing the fact that the army of Muslims, in the absence of direct leadership of the Prophet (sws), was not benefitting from a direct divine supervision and was therefore prone to errors, mistakes and mishandling of affairs. In fact even when the prophet (sws) was supervising the battles at his time, some mistakes of the Muslim army that were out of his control and observation would take place. It is only natural that in his absence more mistakes and unacceptable deeds may take place during the extra ordinary war situation.

This notion of the invasions being on the basis of ijtihād, answers many questions, at least in my mind. Questions like how the companions knew how far to go and how they decided when punishment was applicable to a particular city or group of people, are all easily answerable by the concept of ijtihād, which denotes that the companions (and under their leadership, the Muslim army) did what to the best of their understanding was correct.

However, in my view, there are still a couple of inquiries that need further discussion and elaboration. One relates to the Qur’ān and the other one is about the practicality of itmām al-hujjah for some of these neighbouring countries. I am not raising these points as criticisms. I refer to these points as questions that demand further research and clarification:

The silence of the Qur’ān about the destiny of the neighbouring countries in my understanding is a challenging point. In the Qur’ān, we do not see any directives or any news about these countries (in the era after the Prophet (sws)). The directives of the Qur’ān to the Prophet (sws) and its warnings all appear to be limited to the Arabian Peninsula. On the other hand, I can also understand and consider the potential argument that the Qur’ān does not need to include directives about the application of the rule of itmām al-hujjah on other nations, which is supposed to take place after the demise of the Prophet (sws). It is worth listing all the verses that directly relate to itmām al-hujjah and to study which ones are specific to the Arabian Peninsula and which ones can bee generalized to other nations.

The second point is on the practical possibility of completing itmām al-hujjah for the neighbouring countries. This is a point that needs detailed historical research. The students of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi (including myself) need to arrange for research projects to carefully review the history of the companions and the neighbouring countries after the demise of the Prophet (sws). The aim of such research will be to establish a number of facts or nearly certain facts about the controversial era of history pertaining to the attacks of the Muslim army to these countries. A number of questions may be answered through these research projects, including, how did the companions begin to decide about attacking those countries; what does history say about their motives and purpose for these attacks; how consistent was the attitude of the army of Muslims towards the people who they attacked; to what extent were the heads of the states of these countries as well as the general public aware of the developments in the Arabian Peninsula given that some of these nations were not associated with Abrahamic religions to what extent were they aware of the concept of daynūnah; people in most of these countries could not understand Arabic, how was this obstacle overcome; what was the speed of spreading of news in the era where no modern media and technology were in place; to what extent were the general public in these countries aware of the letters of the Prophet (sws) to their leaders, their contents and the response of their leaders to these letters; what versions of the narrated contents of the Prophet’s (sws) letters are reliable and what do they say; are there any evidences that the perception of the Persians (for example) about the invasion of their country by Muslims was any different from their perception of the past invasions by other armies (like the Alexander’s army); when and how jizyah was applied to the residents of some of the invaded countries and to what extent were they encouraged to become Muslims rather than being punished by paying jizyah; how and through what processes the residents of these countries gradually became Muslims. 

Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī believes that when the history of these events is read from the standing point of itmām al-hujjah and daynūnah then things start to make better sense and more evidences will emerge in support of these principles. It is interesting to see what parts of the history of that era may match these principles and what parts may not match them.

However, since the understanding is that these invasions were on the basis of ijtihād of the companions, no historical report will be able to question the very principles of itmām al-hujjah and daynūnah. These principles and their applications up to the demise of the Prophet (sws), as skillfully and comprehensively explained by Ghāmidī, are clearly mentioned in the Qur’ān. In fact “clearly mentioned” is an understatement. The whole theme of the Qur’an and the whole thematic evolution of the Qur’ān are on the basis of these principles. Whether the companions, in the absence of the Prophet (sws), intended and managed to successfully adopt and apply all these principles in detail is only a historical inquiry that does not change our understanding of the principles themselves.

I personally believe that in this context it is also important to consider another aspect of the concept of daynūnah, that is the reward of the believers. I think (and I believe that this is what Ghamidi also agrees with) that the invasion of the other countries was not just about punishing those countries, but was also about rewarding the believers and the new believers that would emerge from those countries. In my personal opinion, even without itmām al-hujjah and daynūnah taking place, still those countries were supposed to become part of the Islamic territory at the time to fulfill the promise of rewarding the believers. In fact from purely political point of view this promise needed to be fulfilled anyway. History shows that when a nation starts to prosper in an extra ordinary way it needs more political dominance in the world. In our time, this political dominance can easily take place by the use of media and online technology as well as modern cultural symbols and tools. However, in the past much of this political dominance could only take place by physical, geographical dominance, i.e. invasion. In my understanding, the promise of reward for the believers matched very well with the political requirements of a fast growing nation of Islam at the time.

At the end, I would like to add that another thing I learned through my interviews with Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī was that it was possible to be a very knowledgeable and formidable scholar and at the same time to remain open minded, research oriented and humble in discussing Islamic issues. His eyes were even shinier when I was bluntly and insistently questioning his whole reasoning. For me, this point was even more educational than the whole discussion on itmām al-hujjah and daynūnah:


نه هر که چهره برافروخت دلبری داند         نه هر که آینه سازد سکندری داند

غلام همت آن رند عافیت سوزم                  که در گدا صفتی کیمیاگری داند

هزار نکته باریک تر ز مو اینجاست            نه هر که سر بتراشد قلندری داند



Itmām al-hujjah: Refers to communication of the truth to the extent that no excuse remains of the addressees.

Ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah: Refers to the efforts to strive for itmām al-hujjah.

Daynūnah: God’s reward and punishment that applies to the direct addressees of His messengers.

Means of ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah and itmām al-hujjah: This refers to exposing the rewards and punishments of previous group/nations for a present group/nation.

Chain reaction of itmām al-hujjah: Refers to the fact that itmām al-hujjah for a group/nation and its consequent rewards and punishments serve as means to do itmām al-hujjah for another group/nation.

Shahādah (position of the messengers): Refers to their responsibility of doing itmām al-hujjah and consequently judging among their addressees.

Shahādah (position of the chosen nations): Refers to their responsibility of doing ihtimām bi itmām al-hujjah.




1. The countries are: Abyssinia, Egypt, Persia, Rome, Bahrain, Yamamah, Damascus and Amman.

2. I would like to express my gratitude to Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī for his time and patience, also to Dr. Shehzad Saleem who facilitated this interview by acting as the interpreter and also contributing to the discussion.

3. For more details, refer to: Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī, Mīzān (Islam: A Comprehensive Introduction), trans. by Dr Shehzad Saleem, 1st ed. (Lahore: Al-Mawrid, 2010), 119-122; Ibid., 500-516; Dr Shehzad Saleem, Playing God: Misreading a Divine Practice, 1st ed. Lahore: Al-Mawrid, 2010.

4. Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī, Mīzān (Islam: A Comprehensive Introduction), trans. by Dr Shehzad Saleem, 505.

5. Ibid., 500-539.

6. Ibid., 57; Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān. 2nd ed., vol. 4 (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1985), 377-378.

7. Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidī, Mīzān (Islam: A Comprehensive Introduction), trans. by Dr Shehzad Saleem, 541.

8. In a letter attributed to Ali (ra) addressing Umar (ra) about attacking Persia it is written:

اِنَّ هذَا الاْمْرَ لَمْ يَكُنْ نَصْرُهُ وَلاَ خِذْلاَنُهُ بِكَثْرَة وَلاَ بِقِلَّة، وَهُوَ دِينُ اللهِ الَّذِي أَظْهَرَهُ، وَجُنْدُهُ الَّذِي أَعَدَّهُ وَأَمَدَّهُ، حَتَّى بَلَغَ مَا بَلَغَ، وَطَلَعَ حَيْثُ طَلَعَ، وَنَحْنُ عَلَى مَوْعُود مِنَ اللهِ، وَاللهُ مُنْجِزٌ وَعْدَهُ، وَنَاصِرٌ جُنْدَهُ.

In this matter, victory or defeat is not dependent on the diminutive or greatness of forces. It is God's religion which He has raised, and His army which He has mobilised and supported, till it has reached the point where it stands now, and has arrived at its present positions. We hold a promise from God, and He will fulfil His promise and help His army. (Sharīf Razī, Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 146, vol. 2 (Qum: Dal al-Dhakhā’ir, 1412 AH), 29.

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