|The Concept of Jihad:
|It is well known that the concept
of Jihad is subject to certain conditions. Jihad is meant
for upholding the uprightness of the Word of Allah, for
the victory of the suppressed, for safeguarding the places
of worship and for defence against the aggression and
atrocities of the tyrants. It is not meant for eliminating
other religions, destruction of their places of worship
or unwarranted massacre of Non-Muslims. For propagation
and acceptance of its teachings Islam recommends interesting
and suitable form of preaching, persuasion and discussion.
|"Invite (all) to the
Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and
argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.
"(Surah Al Nahl, verse 125) Do not utilize power
of the sword and so-called ‘Jihad'.
|Permission for Jihad has been
given for defence or in unavoidable circumstances, that
too, subject to certain conditions. It does not mean that
if you find a Non-Muslim or their group, you rush for
|In Islamic Shariah, the direction
or order for killing is applicable to those enemies of
Islam, engaged in fight against Muslims. It applies to
such enemies of Islam who are determined to seize their
lands. Not only that they are determined to deny the freedom
to pronounce the name of Allah on the earth. So far as
peace loving and non-fighting parsons are concerned,
who are not inclined to murder the servants of Allah,
nor they are interested in throwing them out of their
homes, Islamic Shariah does not recommend or permit Jihad
against them. On the contrary Islamic Shariah emphasizes
treating them in fair and just manner, as explained earlier.
|Objectives of Jihad:
|Objectives of Jihad as laid
down in Islamic Shariah do not provide that the earth
should be free from the followers of religions other than
Islam. The main object of Jihad is defence against the
tyrants by restraining the aggressor from continuing atrocities.
|"To those against whom
war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they
are wronged;-and verily, Allah is Most Powerful for their
aid;- (They are) those who have been expelled from their
homes in defiance of right, - (for no cause) except
that they say, "Our Lord is Allah". (Surah Al
Hajj. Verse 39-40)
|The suppressed are permitted
to fight against enemies of Islam and infidels, because
they are oppressed and Allah has the power to help them.
The victims are those who have been thrown out of their
houses for no fault of theirs. Their only fault is nothing
else but thy claim that their Providence is Allah.
|Verse 190 of Surah Al Baqarah
recommends fight with those who take the initiative
to fight Muslims. Further it has been provided hat there
would be no excess in the matter.
|"Fight in the cause
of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress limits."
There are many similar verses in the Holy Quran, in which
the object of Jihad has been defined 'self-defence'. The
suppressed Muslims are those who are victims of aggression.
|2. There is another purpose
of the fight. It may be fought to save others, who are
weak and suppressed by the tyrants.
|It has been stated in the verse
75 of Surah Al Nisaa: "And why should ye not
fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak,
are ill-treated (and oppressed}?- Men, women, and children,
whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town.
|Whose people are oppressors;
and raise for us from Thee one who will protect; and raise
for us from Thee one who will help!"
|The verse refers to two objects
of Jihad, for Allah as well as in support of the weak
and suppressed. The latter is included in the former.
Jihad in support of the suppressed is also for Allah.
That verse confirms that Jihad is the practical response
to the cry for assistance by the afflicted and suffering
to their God.
|3. According to Holy Quran
an important object of Islamic Jihad is the protection
of places of worship. The definition of a place of worship
does not include the places of worship belonging to only
Muslims. That refers to the places of worship belonging
to the followers of other religions also.
|"Did not Allah check
one set of people by means of another, there would
surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues,
and mosque, in which the name of Allah is commemorated
in abundant measure." (Surah Al Hajj, verse 40)
|It is worth noting that by
according priority to the places of worship, belonging
to other religions e.g. Jews and Christians, Islam has
provided an ideal specimen of tolerance.
|4. Another important object
of Jihad is end of mischief in the Society and upper hand
for the religion of Allah. Mischief implies everything,
which creates problems on account of distinction between
the Right and Wrong. Among them, the pride of place belongs
to paganism and blasphemy, as they qualify for death.
Paganism and blasphemy refer to elements that are inimical
to Believers. Those who are bent upon destroying Islam
and Muslims. That definition excludes Non-Muslims who
are peace loving and willing to live with cordial relations
|Surah AI Baqarah, which
advocates Jihad against enemies of Islam, for end of mischief,
also recommends peaceful living with fraternal and cordial
relations with peace-loving Non-Muslims. Verses 190
to 194 clarify the position, "And fight them
on until there is no more persecution and the religion
becomes Allah S. But if they cease, let there be
no hostility except to those who practice oppression."
(Surah Al Baqarah, verse 193)
|Wherever Jihad for killing
is mentioned in Holy Quran, it refers to defense in the
state of war. In normal conditions of peace, fight with
peace-loving followers of other religions is not envisaged.
However, if information is available about the preparations
for aggression by a group and if strategy demands, initiative
for Jihad is permitted. However, that is rare. In the
history of Islam many among the battles are of defensive
type and not of the aggressive type. For propagation of
Islam the right method is of peaceful proclamation and
not Jihad and fight.
|Rules and Conditions of
|Islamic Jihad is not unprovoked
armed conflict of action against enemies, motivated by
national sentiment or extension of domain, as projected
by enemies of Islam. Under Islamic Shariah certain rules
and regulations are attached to it. The first condition
of Jihad is that it should be for upholding the name of
Allah. If the conflict is for personal fame or for acquisition
of land, wealth or other material benefits, it has nothing
to do with Jihad. Judged from the standards laid down
by Shariah, it has no merit at all. Therefore, the condition,
"For the sake of Allah" has been laid down for
Jihad. In the books of Islamic history and Islamic jurisprudence
there are many traditions and events, in which, battles
have been waged for personal ends or in pursuance of regional
or national sentiments. Such conflicts have been excluded
from the category of Jihad. According to a famous tradition
of the Prophet that one who fights or dies, motivated
by prejudice is not one among us. (Kitab-ul-Jihad,
|Battle for national cause,
caste or community does not qualify for Jihad Islamic
Jihad is only for upholding the name and message of Allah.
According to Kitab-ul-Jihad of Bukhari, the fight
for upholding the name of Allah is Jihad for Allah.
|Jihad is not an individual
action. Jihad does not mean that anyone rises and starts
fighting somebody. According to Islamic Shariah, Islamic
Jihad can be conducted by a government or elected leader
according to Shariah. That has been laid down in an established
tradition. (Muslim Shareef, Kitabul-Emarat) An Imam,
according to Shariah is like a shield for leading the
fight The rules and conditions attached to Jihad have
been discussed in detail in the books of Islamic jurisprudence.
|According to Ibn-e-Qodama Hanbali,
the matters relating to Jihad depend on the discretion
of the Imam or leader. The elected leader, Imam or Ameer
shall lead Jihad, defensive or offensive. Another condition
laid down is that the required strength and resources
accompany Jihad and it is conducted independently. Unless
the required conditions are fulfilled Jihad is neither
justified nor likely to serve a useful purpose.
|When Jihad is a necessity according
to Shariah, those opting for Jihad do not have independent
or autonomous position. Without the direction or consent
of the leader, the Imam or Ameer a few individually or
as a group opt for extraordinary action like Jihad, that
is likely to cause disruption and mischief. That will
provide the aggressor with the opportunity for further
|Therefore it is essential for
Jihad that requisite strength is available under the leadership
of the elected leader, to ensure desired results.
|But if someone is killed while
defending his legitimate rights, life and property against
the aggressors, he shall be deemed a martyr and his fight
shall qualify for Jihad.
|Rules and Limitations of
|In addition to the conditions,
Islam has laid down certain rules and limitations for
Jihad. From Islamic point of view, Jihad is constructive
action for ending mischief. It is not desperate action
for loot, destruction and carnage.
|Prohibition of killing of the
aged and worshippers. Even during a battle Islam has strictly
forbidden arson, killing of women, children, aged, worshippers
and those incapable or participating in the battle. At
several places in Holy Quran, it has been emphasized that
it should be ensured that those not connected with the
battle should not be harmed. Fight should be confined
to the participants in the battle. The Prophet (Pbuh)
has clearly dissuaded from killing persons not concerned
with the battle. "Do not kill the weak, small children,
women and aged during the battle." (Kitab-ul-Jihad
by Abu Dawood)
|Islamic jurists have held that
even the intention of killing the weak, aged, women and
children is unlawful even in the course of battle. Killing
the worshippers and priests, who keep aloof from the fight,
is forbidden. Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Abu Mohammad in
'Aseer-ul-Kabeer' have cited the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa
on the subject. Other details may be found in Al Mabsoot,
Volume X by Imam Sarkhasi and Allama Mawardi in 'Ahkam-us-Sultaniya'.
|Prohibition of Devastation.
Islam has strictly forbidden general devastation. Unless
it is unavoidable, the fields, orchards and settlements
should not be destroyed. Killing innocent persons has
been declared unlawful. In the present civilized world
everything belonging to enemies, although having nothing
to do with the battle is targeted for destruction. However,
Islam regards that disorder and mischief.
|"When he turns his
back, his aim everywhere is to spread mischief through
the earth and destroy crops and progeny but Allah /oveth
not mischief" (Surah Al Baqarah, verse 205)
|Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddiq, while
sending off the troops, instructed them that fruit-bearing
trees should not be cut or burnt. Settlements and crops
should not be destroyed. (Kitab-ul-Jihad by Imam Malik)
|In the course of a battle the
prophet (pbuh) came to know that a few Muslim soldiers
had looted goats and intended to cook and eat their meat.
He turned upside down the utensil used for cooking.
|Similarly during the Battle
of Khaibar, after Peace Treaty was executed with the people
of Khaibar. A few fresher of the Islamic Army beat Jew
women, forcibly took away their fruits, took possession
of their animals and consumed them. The chiefs of the
Jews lodged a complaint with the Prophet. The Prophet
sternly addressed his soldiers, "Allah has not held
it proper for your that you may enter the houses of men
of Books, without their permission and maltreat their
women and take possession of their fruits."
|Islam forbids the murder of
prisoners. The commitment of Islam to peace is confirmed
by the provision that it forbids pursuit of men fleeing
from the scene of war.
|After the conquest of makkah,
the Prophet (P.B.U.H) issued special instructions that
Islam is dedicated and committed to peace, justice and
humanity. There is no place of disorder and terrorism
in Islam. Islam invites mankind towards virtue. Those
who link Islam, its teachings and symbols, practices,
institutions with destruction and terrorism are terrorists
themselves and pose a threat to peace, security and healthy
civilized life. Islam remains the best specimen of peace
and a lighthouse for the whole humanity.