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Whither Jihād?
Jhangeer Hanif

Question: I do not agree with you when you say in your answer that a state is essential to carry out Jihād. First, a Hadīth of the Prophet Muhammad (sws) whose meanings are something like: ‘Jihād will continue till the Day of Judgment and no just or unjust ruler will be able to stop it’.

Now, tell me in the light of this Hadīth that if in the present world there is no Islamic country or ruler who orders Jihād then will it stop? If yes, then this is against the Hadīth. I think you will understand what I want to say. Second, you say that for Jihād, we have to get approval from Parliament. With extreme apology, our parliament is a group of people, who have no Islamic sense, who are only involved in their own worldly enjoyments; they can never feel the pain of people. Now again with due apologies, if any non-Muslim insults your sister, what would you do? Will you approach your rulers to obtain permission to save your sister from the followers of Satan? If not, then why do you say that we must take permission from our rulers for Jihād in order to help women of Kashmir, Palestine, Chechnya, Bosnia, and other countries. I think you are not considering them your sisters.

Answer: I can feel your emotions in the email you sent me. It is for this reason I said that the nature of the question is very delicate and therefore must be understood in its proper perspective with a cool mind. You have actually mixed up the things and this has given rise to confusion in your mind. Now, I’ll try to clarify them.

First of all, I would like to place before you again that undertaking Jihad is not prohibited at all. It is just that there are certain conditions that must be complied with before we become authorized to uplift arms. These conditions are of paramount importance. If we were allowed to wage war in our individual capacities, Jihād would, indeed, turn out to be mere nuisance. Islam wants that a battle must be fought, under the authority of one Islamic state. It needs to be appreciated that if Jihād is undertaken by many independent leaders or groups of a country, none will definitely enjoy the confidence of all the participants. So who will be followed; and under whose supervision all affairs will be settled during/after war? Of course, in this situation, disorder and anarchy will  inevitably ensue. Precisely for this reason, Islam has made it imperative to wage war only under the authority of an Islamic state.

You quoted a Hadīth in your reply but did not give any reference thereto. I, however, have found a similar one that has been reported in Abū Dā’ūd:

Ever since my deputation, Jihād will continue till last group of my Ummah will fight the Dajjāl; and it will not be stopped by the atrocities of a tyrant or the justice of a just. (Abū Dā’ūd, No: 2170)

I am afraid if it were interpreted in the way you have done, it would entail that, even if there is no persecution in this world, we will still have to wage war against ‘someone’. Thus, in order to fulfill the commandment, we will first have to compel people to spread disorder and anarchy in land so that we could be able to uplift arms against them. I hope you understand that the interpretation that you have offered is not correct.

In my opinion, this Hadīth only conveys to us the fact that Jihād will remain an option available to the Muslims to curb persecution. If their collectivity decides to undertake it, none would be able to hinder its execution or brand it as forbidden since it is perfectly allowed to combat persecution when all diplomatic efforts fail.

Your second point is about the moral character of the members of our parliament. With all due respect, I would say that these people have assumed their seats with the mandate of you and me. And if ‘you and me’ are inclined to bring such people into parliament, then those who need to be edified first are us, the public and not the outside world.

I am afraid you have passed a hard judgment against me as far as your third point is concerned. The sublime emotion that gains grounds in a person’s heart and soul after professing faith is about Islamic brotherhood which is above all color, cast and creed. How come you think that a Muslim would not be hurt for what happens to his brothers and sisters? I tell you that I ache for them. I think for them and I pray for them. But I can’t undertake something that has not been allowed to me by the Almighty. Did you ever think why Muslims did not resort to force during the Makkan life of the Prophet’s propagation? Were they devoid of the sense of brotherhood that they let the Mushrīkīn (polytheists) put their venom out on Bilāl (rta), the mother and father of ‘Ammār (rta) and the Prophet (sws) himself on many occasions. This of course cannot be conceded. It was just that they were not yet authorized to uplift arms, against the atrocities of the polytheists. As soon as the Muslims succeeded to build a political structure in Madīnah and agreed to live under the authority of  the Prophet (sws), the Almighty sanctioned them to fight those who had forced them to leave their homes (22:39-40).

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