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No Jihād Without the State
Asif Iftikhar


Prominent Muslim scholars have always maintained that jihād is allowed only under the authority of the  State:

And the third category of collective duties is one in which [the authority of] the State is a [necessary] condition; for example, jihād and the implementation of the law of punishments in Islam. (Fiqh-al-Sunnah, al-sayyid-al-Sābiq; vol.3, page 30)

Writes Ghamidi about the reason for this opinion of Muslim scholars:

The reason for this [condition] is that without political sovereignty jihād becomes fasād [disorder, chaos, anarchy, etc.]. How is it possible that a group which does not even have the right to award punishment to a criminal should be given the right to wage war? (mīzān, qānūn-e-da‘wat; Urdu; page 35)

pAn explanation of this reason can be found  in Islāhi’s da‘wat-ī-dīn or us kā tarīqah-i-kār (Urdu; Chapter 14, Pg 241 and 242):

The first reason [for this condition] is that God Almighty does not like the dissolution and disintegration of even an evil system until a strong probability exists that those who are out to disintegrate the system will provide people with an alternative and a righteous system. Anarchy and disorder are unnatural conditions. In fact, they are so contrary to human nature that even an unjust system is preferable to them....this confidence [that a group will be able to harmonise a disintegrated system and integrate it into a united whole] can be reposed in such a group only as has actually formed a political government and  has such control and discipline within the confines of its authority that the group can be termed as Al-Jamā‘ah [the State, or the government]. Until a group attains this position, it may strive [by religiously allowable means] to become Al-Jamā‘ah -- and that endeavour  would be its jihād for that time -- but it does not have the right to wage an ‘armed’ jihād.

The second reason is that the import of the power which a group engaged in war gets over the life and property of human beings is so great that sanction to wield this power cannot  be given to a group the control of whose leader over his followers is based merely on his spiritual and religious influence on them  [rather than being based on legal authority]. When the control of a leader is based merely on his spiritual and religious influence, there is not sufficient guarantee that the leader will be able to stop his followers from fassad fil’ard [creating a situation of disorder, chaos, anarchy on the earth]. Therefore, a  religious leader does not have the right to allow his followers to take out their swords [that is to wage an armed struggle] merely on the basis of his spiritual influence over them, for once the sword is unsheathed there is great danger that it will not care for right and wrong and that those who drew it will end up doing all [the wrong which] they had sought to end. Such radical groups as desire revolution and the object of whom is nothing more than disruption of the existing system and deposition of the ruling party to seize power for themselves play such games -- and they can, for in their eyes disruption of a system is no calamity, nor is cruelty of any kind an evil. Everything is right to them [ as long as it serves their purpose]. However, the leaders of a just and righteous party must see whether they are in a position to provide people with a system better than the one they seek to change and whether they will be able to stop their followers from doing such wrong as they themselves had sought to root out. If they are not in that position, then they do not have the right to play games with the life and property of people on the basis of their confidence in mere chances and to create greater disorder than the one they had sought to end.


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