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Unity In Islam

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have to unite on true Islam, and that true Islam is Sunni Islam with out bidah, or shirk or kufr. If you unite on something other than (true, referenced, free from innovation) Islam then you will fail. In this case you have to put your "sect" first, the saved sect, that the Prophet spoke about.

 

:D

 

:D Just a polite reminder that discussion of sects is forbidden here

:D

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Peace,

 

If it is taken as a given that violence is not the answer then what is? Pro-democracy campaigns supported with civil actions such as strikes etc?

That's a sure way of getting a few police batons connected to your skull.

 

Having peaceful demonstrations is almost forbidden (from what I've read about some Middle Eastern nations), you need prior authorization from the government, if you ever get one. There will surely be an adjacent pro-government counter demonstration. Most of the time the demonstrations turn violent, when the police and pro-government groups attack the pro-democracy/change demonstrators.

 

I don't think I've ever heard of strike against the government or any form of civil disobedience that took place, and if they did, they weren't successful, nor were they peaceful.

 

There aren't that many human rights groups around, and those that do exist are closely monitored. The reformists/pro-democracy movenments have a monumental task ahead of them...

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If it is taken as a given that violence is not the answer then what is? Pro-democracy campaigns supported with civil actions such as strikes etc?

 

:D

Well that's the issue really. At present I can't see a real way out either, though non-violent campaigns are certainly better than a bloody revolution.

:D

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Salaam Ozymandias, you seem knowledgeable on the dynamics of Islam. Strict 'Islamists' (though I don't like the term) and Orientalists often present Islam as some unchanging, despotic and homogenous force. I have fortunately read books which suggest otherwise (such as the late, great Edward Said's 'Orientalism'). However, my knowledge in this regard is basic. Can you suggest any books/links to websites?

 

Also, I think violence is justifiable as long as it is directed properly against an oppressive force. But it can also lead to one form of oppression being replaced by another. I thought for example that initially the Iranian revolution was a great thing, a show of collective force against an oppressor, despot and an agent of imperialists. But eventually it was replaced by another form of despotism.

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Way to ruin it pal. and By the way , didnt you make a thread a while back saying democracy is totally UnIslamic?

 

This topic is called UNITY IN Islam, and im guessing you are not advocating Unity and pluralism since you seem to want the United Islamic State to consider muslims only your kind of sunni Islam (so what about the shia's?)

GENIUS, PURE GENIUS!

 

:D

 

Democracy is totally UnIslamic, I could give you articles if you want.

 

Though I do not want to start anything sectarian like, Muslims must know that almost all Shi'ahs (the ones that insult and curse the Sahaba) are not Muslims at all and have their own religion.

 

:D

Edited by Sallahudeen

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:D

 

Democracy is totally UnIslamic, I could give you articles if you want.

 

Though I do not want to start anything sectarian like, Muslims must know that almost all Shi'ahs (the ones that insult and curse the Sahaba) are not Muslims at all and have their own religion.

 

:D

 

 

My fellow Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

 

Here we see the real problem. Until we find a way to deal with it, Islam and Muslims will continue to suffer and be oppressed.

 

How do we deal with it is the question and all sincere Muslims will have work out a solution. While this may involve some discussion of sectarian issues, I hope that this can take place with a certain degree of maturity, if this Forum permits.

 

If it is not permitted, then we will have to discuss something else!

 

Regards,

 

yusufar

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Salaam Ozymandias, you seem knowledgeable on the dynamics of Islam. knowledge in this regard is basic. Can you suggest any books/links to websites?

 

:D Thank you, though I don't know even 10% as much as I'd like to (or pretend to lol). One book I can recommend is Islamic History: A new interpretation by M.A Shaban (1971) by the Cambridge press. Hard to find, but worthwhile for a unromanticised depiction from A.D 600-750. I feel you have to know your history simply because if you don't know ehere you're coming from you can't tell where you're going.

:D

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Democracy is totally UnIslamic, I could give you articles if you want.

 

:D

I'd really appreciate it if you could send me those articles or links. Also, I'd like to know what system of government would be acceptable in the Islamic world. It's fine to say Sharia and Caliphate, but I'd then want to know how the Caliph will be chosen etc etc. I'd like to ask more questions, but I'll wait till I have the articles you speak of.

:D

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:D

 

Here are some articles and pages everyone:

 

 

 

(www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_salafimanhaj(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/ebook.php?ebook=26"]Relieving The People Of Understanding From The Harms of Elections[/url]

 

To understand how the Khalifa is chosen, replaced, deposed etc. please read this:

 

(www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/politics/khalifa.html"]The Muslim Khilafa[/url]

 

:D

Edited by Sallahudeen

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:D

Am in the process of reading them and formulating a response, thank you. Due to heavy workload these days and the nature of this subject it may take up to a week! But I will respond. Thanks for the articles.

:D

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Personally I would think that democracy is not intrinsically unIslamic. It may become unIslamic when the democratic process is subverted or used to put in place a governing system which is not based on Islam.

 

Islam has been able to adapt many types of governance to its principles and any type of governance can be Islamic if it is based on Islam rather than some secular ideology.

 

Islam does not exclude common people from its decision-making process and neither is governance in Islam the exclusive province of only the religious scholars - who may also have their own narrow prejudices which can influence their interpretation of Islam.

 

Islamic governance can be a combination of both factors - the recommendations of the scholars as to who are qualified to be the political leaders of the Community and the democratic decisions of the ordinary members of the Community from those so qualified to lead.

 

Let us then examine the articles recommended by Brother Sallahudeen, firstly on (www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/politics/khalifa.html"]"The Muslim Khalifa"[/url].

 

Definition of Khilafa and Khalifa

 

Khalifa is an Arabic word literally meaning "one who replaces someone else who left or died" (English: caliph). In the context of Islam, however, the word acquires a narrower meaning. The Muslim Khalifa is the successor (in a line of successors) to Prophet Muhammad's position as the political, military, and administrative leader of the Muslims. The prophetic role of Muhammad is strictly not included in this definition, as the Qur'an and Hadith clearly state that Muhammad was the last of the prophets. Khilafa is a related Arabic word which, in the context of Islam, is used to denote the government of the Muslim state, of which the Khalifa is the head. A workable analogy of Khalifa and Khilafa is president and presidency or king and monarchy. The Khilafa is a fard kifaya on the ummah.

 

If the establishment and maintenance of the Khilafa is a fard kifaya, then it is something worth striving for as far as Muslims and Muslim governments and nations/countries are concerned.

 

Why is it then that Muslims are generally not bothered? It is probably the one thing that will rid all Muslim lands of oppression, suppression and repression, both from Muslims themselves as well as non-Muslims.

 

Most Muslim ruling elites are either happy with an entirely secular form of government which is nominally democratic - i.e. only in appearance, democracy being only a tool to gain power and wealth without needing to be answerable to any Islamic principles at all. Freedom without responsibility. Subversion of human values under the guise of freedom of choice. Tyranny masquerading as opportunity.

 

Other Muslim ruling elites have gone as far as to utilize the very principles of Islam to institute forms of government which are Islamic in name only but not in actual practice - Islam becomes for them a mere tool to keep their populace under tight and ruthless control while they also control all the power and wealth without having to be answerable to any Islamic principles themselves. Repression without accountability. Oppression and suppression in disguise. Hypocrisy of the highest order.

 

Where do we find the middle path here, the right balance between absolute democracy and religious extremism, that will allow the worldwide Muslim Community a chance to realize happiness both in this life as well as the hereafter?

 

According to the article:

"The duties and responsibilities of the Khalifa

 

The Khalifa of the Muslim ummah must strive to:

 

1. Safeguard Islam in its original form, and to protect against the introduction of new things (bid'a) into Islam.

2. Establish justice (including punishments for crimes) among the people.

3. Ensure the protection of the ummah. People within the boundaries of the Muslim state (regardless of whether they are Muslims or not) should feel secure enough to be productive.

4. Protect the physical boundaries of the state through the use of arms and other methods.

5. Defend the rights of Muslims abroad, and to see to it that Islam can spread freely in non-Muslim lands (including the use of force).

6. Organize jihad against any non-Muslim government which prevents Muslim da'wah from entering its land.

7. Collect and distribute zakat and the spoils of war according to the Qur'an and Sunnah (and ijtihad, if necessary). This must be done without the use of fear as an incentive (unless a person refuses to pay). Zakat is not to be taken from the best or worst of people's possessions, but rather from the middle.

8. Pay the salaries of Bayt-ul-Mal employees, i.e., those people whose job is the collection of zakat and other state-levied taxes. Their salaries should be reasonable and be paid on time.

9. Hire honest people as helpers, aides, governors, etc. The Khalifa must appoint to public office those who are competent and who can give good advice. This especially applies to Bayt-ul-Mal officials.

10. Be heavily involved personally in the acts of governing. The Khalifa must be actively checking and overseeing the duties of the government, and constantly be guarding against internal corruption."

 

While Islam in its original form must be protected, Muslims today must also learn to deal constructively with new things or bid'a, as changes take place every second. These changes present constantly new challenges to Muslims. How do we meet them without sacrificing Islam? How do we adapt to them without ourselves changing into something which is unIslamic?

 

Not everything new is unIslamic. Muslims must continue to be in the forefront of science and knowledge and examine all things on the basis of Islam and Islamic principles and tenets.

 

Islamic justice must be properly understood by the scholars and ordinary Muslims alike.

 

While it would be ideal for the Khalifa to defend the rights of Muslims abroad, and to see to it that Islam can spread freely in non-Muslim lands, this cannot include the use of force.

 

There is no compulsion in religion and our duty is only to pass the message, the reception of which we have to leave to Allah. Islam has never needed to be spread by use of force.

 

Muslims who choose to live in non-Muslim lands are subject to the laws of the land where they live. While the Khalifa can intercede and make representations on their behalf, the Khalifa cannot use force to defend them - to do so will mean that the Islamic State will forever be at war with non-Muslim nations and this is not a tenable position.

 

However, if genocide is threatened against Muslims in non-Muslim lands, then it may be possible for the Khalifa to use such force as necessary to stop the same from taking place, if the Islamic State is in a position to do so without itself being destroyed.

 

There is no principle in Islam which justifies the organization of jihad against any non-Muslim government which prevents Muslim da'wah from entering its land and this cannot be one of the duties or responsibilities of the Khalifa. Muslim da'wah must always be peaceful.

 

Allah has given humans freedom of choice to accept Islam or reject it. Who are we to force it upon others? Do we want to be continually at war with non-Muslims who reject Islam? Is it even necessary?

 

In the next post let us examine "The prerequisites to becoming the Khalifa".

 

yusufar

 

...to be continued

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as salaamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

 

Jazakum Allahu khairan Br. yusufar for starting this thread. This topic is so important I can't believe it didn't catch my eye earlier.

 

Mālik b. Nabī once said, “History obeys the law of desire.â€

 

For this reason we should follow the most important thing concerning this topic, this verse in the Qur'an, in Surat al Anfal.

 

"...Allah will never change the grace which He hath bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls: and verily Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things)." [surat al Anfal, Verse 53]

 

After this, we are promised victory, and moreover, we are promised a Khilafa (Islamic State.)

 

"The prophet-hood will last as long as Allah (S.W.T.) is willing, then he will lift it. Then, a rightly guided Khilafah will be according to the prophet’s way and will last as long as Allah is willing, then Allah will lift it. Then, there will be a hereditary power that will last as long as Allah is willing, then Allah will lift it. Then, there will be dictatorships that will last as long as Allah is willing, then Allah will lift it. Then, there will be a Khilafah according to the prophet’s way. The prophet, then fell silent." [Authentic Hadith reported by Imams Ahmad, Al-Bazar and At-Tabrani.]

 

We are promised a Khilafa...but only after we change ourselves. Only after we implement Islam's true teachings...and stop corrupting it based on our own selfish desires. This means not only understanding Islam, but acting upon it.

 

Then the thing to do now is to change ourselves...(and what's so important here is that we are also promised Paradise if we do so.)

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:D

 

Brother Yusufar, dawah is spread by force, one must only look at the conquests of Iraq, Syria, and Palestine in the Early Years after the Prophet Muhammad :D to see that.

 

"Offensive Jihad (where the enemy is attacked in his own territory).

 

It is a duty of the Imam to assemble and send out an army unit into the land of war once or twice every year. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the Muslim population to assist him, and if he does not send an army he is in sin.- And the Ulama have mentioned that this type of jihad is for maintaining the payment of Jizya. The scholars of the principles of religion have also said: ' Jihad is Daw'ah with a force, and is obligatory to perform with all available capabilities, until there remains only Muslims or people who submit to Islam'"

 

(www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.religioscope(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/info/doc/jihad/azzam_defence_3_chap1.htm"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.religioscope(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/info/doc/jihad...nce_3_chap1.htm[/url]

 

:D

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This is probably the most important thread on the board...why is no one replying?

 

:D

:D

 

It may be, but the unity will happen in its own time and attempts to force it will probably exasperate the journey towards unity rather than help it.

 

We are only human and unity is the work of Allah.

 

:D

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Brother Yusufar, dawah is spread by force, one must only look at the conquests of Iraq, Syria, and Palestine in the Early Years after the Prophet Muhammad :D to see that.

 

"Offensive Jihad (where the enemy is attacked in his own territory).

 

It is a duty of the Imam to assemble and send out an army unit into the land of war once or twice every year. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the Muslim population to assist him, and if he does not send an army he is in sin.- And the Ulama have mentioned that this type of jihad is for maintaining the payment of Jizya. The scholars of the principles of religion have also said: ' Jihad is Daw'ah with a force, and is obligatory to perform with all available capabilities, until there remains only Muslims or people who submit to Islam'"

 

(www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.religioscope(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/info/doc/jihad/azzam_defence_3_chap1.htm"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.religioscope(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/info/doc/jihad...nce_3_chap1.htm[/url]

 

:D

 

Brother Sallahudeen, if dawah is only spread by force, then this will put the entire Islamic world forever at war with the non-Islamic world. This is such a simplistic and untenable position from the real Islamic point of view. However, Non-Muslims will absolutely agree with you on this, since it makes Islam the religion spread by force which they can then legitimately resist by force as well.

 

You have now, purposely or inadvertently, become a tool in aiding and abetting the cause of anti-Islamic propaganda.

 

Where does that put Islam and the majority of peaceful Muslims then? Is Islam a religion of war or peace?

 

More pertinent, do you see all non-Muslims as the enemy? If you do then this is the very same justification for the killing of innocent civilians, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Is this what you advocate? And is this what Islam really advocates? Must the Ummah forever be at war with the non-Muslims?

 

Perhaps you had better have a relook at what you have posted above and think about it seriously. What it advocates will lead to the destruction of Islam, not its advancement. So what will happen to your dawah then? Are there not times (most of the time) when use of force - for dawah or any other reason would be counter-productive to the interests of Islam and the Ummah?

 

Perhaps it is time that the firebrands of Islam paused to really think and study the real concepts of jihad in Islam. Or is it a case of it being easier to declare war in the name of jihad than to live up to the real principles of jihad and Islam?

 

Your mention of what "the scholars of the principles of religion" say above is a narrow-minded view which I do not find support for in the broader principles of Islam. What then is the meaning of "There is no compulsion in religion" in Islam?

 

Why then didn't the Rightly-Guided Caliphs exterminate all non-Muslims and their places of worship in the lands of Islam? Why then are there provisions for non-Muslims to come under the protection of the Islamic State by paying jizyah? Will there really come a time when ALL non-Muslims submit to Islam? Is it really God's Plan that ALL non-Muslims submit to Islam?

 

I can only quote the "fatwa" below as a more reasonable basis of the position of Jihad in Islam, whether you agree or not is immaterial.

 

(www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.themodernreligion(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/jihad/jihad-misunderstood.html"]Jihad - A Misunderstood Concept from Islam[/url]

A Judicial Ruling (fatwa) Issued by Shaykh Hisham Kabbani and Shaykh Seraj Hendricks, 1998

 

It cannot be over-emphasized that Islam upholds the values of reason, balance and responsibility in the conduct of its worldly affairs. There is nothing arbitrary about its legal provisions relating to matters of war, peace, international relationships and the rule of law. In this area there is considerable agreement between Islamic law and the legal systems currently practiced throughout the world. In addition to the real possibility that these legal systems were profoundly influenced by the legal heritage of Islam, this commonality can be explained by the fact that the protection and endorsement of basic human rights form the cornerstone of Islamic legislation.

 

The international community has come to agree, through the institution of the United Nations, on a body of human rights and interests which Islam has always endorsed. This ought not to surprise anyone if the basic realism, rationality and pragmatism of Islamic law is recognized.

 

The critics of Islam, however, insist that Islam and Muslims are openly hostile and intolerant towards communities other than their own. They refer to the Qur’anic verses that exhort the believers to fight the infidels, they point to the battles of early Islam and the eventual confrontation between the Crusaders and the Saracens or Moors, and now, the contemporary stereotype of the Arab "terrorist".

 

It must be noted that many Orientalists might object to this characterization of their views on the question. Indeed many of them subscribe to more nuanced positions. More recent scholarship has completely abandoned the emotionally-charged vocabulary of earlier Orientalism. It remains true, however, that Islam is still imagined as threatening, fanatical, violent and alien by significant sections of the world's media.

 

In formulating an answer to all of this, it is crucial to focus on a general definition of Islam, so as not to fall into any misunderstanding about Jihad and its place within the Din. The common expression that Islam is a "way of life" has become hackneyed to the point where we can well do without it. Islam is more accurately described as “establishing the kingdom of heaven on earth.”

 

This latter statement must be carefully understood if we are to avoid the superficial moralizing or equally misleading literalism that characterizes much contemporary thinking about Islam. It is far from desirable to simply quote, as an apparent show of understanding, scriptural support for this or that personal opinion we may have about a particular subject. Neither is it enough to use Qur’anic or Prophetic texts without adequate knowledge of the human situation and cultural milieu in which they were revealed and first applied, as well as the precedence of some verses over others based on order of revelation or abrogation.

 

In other words, context and circumstance of Qur’anic revelation and Hadith are crucial in coming to terms with Jihad. It is an error to judge Islam and Muslims in the light of the kind of "Jihad" that has fallen victim to ideological tendencies. The critic also has to be wary of the interpretation of "Jihad" which is projected, and sometimes imposed, by the selective "religious reformism" so rampant today. They ignore central aspects of Islam’s intellectual heritage, selectively repress important figures and disregard Islam's impeccable history of adherence to the standards of law and justice in affairs of state.

 

 

Jihad in History and Law

 

This being said, let us now consider the nature of Jihad more fully as it appears in the history and law of Islam. Jihad in Arabic means "to strive for some objective". Thus, the common assumption, that Jihad is combat, is incorrect. In fact Jihad, in its technical meaning, has several branches, among which are the combative forms of Jihad.

 

Ibn Rushd, in his Muqaddimaat, 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 (swt) ordered us to fulfill against the hypocrites in His Words, “O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites” [9:73]. So the Prophet (s) strove against the unbelievers by sword and against the hypocrites by tongue." Said Ramadan Buti, a contemporary Orthodox scholar from Syria states, in his seminal work on the subject Jihad in Islam "… even before he conducted Jihad by sword against the unbelievers, there is no doubt the Prophet (s) invited these unbelievers peacefully, lodged protests against their beliefs and strove to remove their misgivings about Islam. When they refused any other solution, but rather declared a war against him and his message and initiated the fight, there was no alternative except to fight back."

 

One form of Jihad, usually overlooked in today's pursuit of newsworthy headlines, is the Jihad of presenting the message of Islam-da`wah. Thirteen years of the Prophet's (s) 23-year mission consisted purely of this type of Jihad. Contrary to popular belief, the word Jihad and related forms of its root word <jahada> are mentioned in many Makkan verses in a non-combative context. (emphasis added)

 

Combative Jihad in the technical usage of Islamic law means "the declaration of war against belligerent and aggressive non-Muslim powers or against fellow Muslim transgressors". It is not a haphazard decision taken by anybody. The principles of Islamic jurisprudence state that the actions of the leader must be guided by the interests of the people and that the interests of the collectivity has, in some cases, precedence over the interests of the individual.

 

Jihad and Islamic Propagation

 

God states in the Qur’an, "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: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance." [16:125] (emphasis added)

 

Calling people to Islam and making them acquainted with it in all its aspects through dialogue and kind persuasion is the first type of Jihad in Islam, in contrast to the imagined belief that Jihad is only of the combative form. This is referred to in the Qur’an where Allah (swt) says, "so obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them (by preaching) with the utmost endeavor with it (the Qur’an)" [25:52]. Here the word "strive" <jaahidu>, is used to mean struggle by means of the tongue—preaching and exhortation—and to persevere despite the obstinate resistance of some unbelievers to the beliefs and ideals of Islam.

 

Imam Nawawi in his book al-Minhaj, when defining Jihad and its different categories, said, "one of the collective duties of the community as a whole (fard kifaya) is to lodge a valid protest, to solve problems of religion, to have knowledge of Divine Law, to command what is right and forbid wrong conduct".

 

The explanation of Jihad in Imam al-Dardir's book Aqarab al-Masalik is that it is propagating the knowledge of the Divine Law commending right and forbidding wrong. He emphasized that it is not permitted to skip this category of Jihad and implement the combative form, saying, "the first [islamic] duty is to call people to enter the fold of Islam, even if they had been preached to by the Prophet (s) beforehand." Similarly, Imam Bahouti commences the chapter on Jihad in his book Kashf al-Kinaa by showing the injunctions of collective religious duties (kifaya) that the Muslim Nation must achieve before embarking on combative Jihad, including preaching and education about the religion of Islam, dismissing all the uncertainties about this religion and making available all the skills and qualifications which people might need in their religious, secular, physical and financial interests because these constitute the regulations of both this life and the life to come. Hence, da`wah—performing the activities of propagating Islam and its related fields of knowledge—is the cornerstone of the 'building' of Jihad and its rules; and any attempt to build without this 'stone' would damage the meaning and reality of Jihad.

 

Removing all misconceptions and stereotypes in clarifying the image of Islam held by non-Muslims, building a trusting relationship and working with them in ways that accord with their way of thinking, are all primary forms of Jihad. Similarly, establishing a strong community and nation which can fulfill all physical needs of its people, thereby creating for them conditions in which the message will be heard, rather than being lost in the strife and struggle of everyday life, are requirements and form a basic building block of the Jihadic concept. These foundations fulfill the Qur’anic injunction, "Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: and these it is that shall be successful." [3:104] Until this is accomplished the conditions of Jihad remain unfulfilled.

 

Forced Conversion?

 

So the foundation of Jihad is Islamic propagation (da’wah). The question often asked is whether Islam condones and teaches the forced and armed conversion of non-Muslims. This is the image sometimes projected by Western scholars and as any Muslim scholar will tell you, is seriously flawed. The Qur’an clearly states "There is no compulsion in religion, the path of guidance stands out clear from error" [2:256] and [60:8]. In this verse, the word "rushd" or "path of guidance" refers to the entire domain of human life, not just to the rites and theology of Islam.

 

There is no debate about the fact that pre-Islamic Arabia was a misguided society dominated by tribalism and a blind obedience to custom. In contrast, the clarity of Islam and its emphasis on reason and rational proofs excluded any need to impose it by force. This verse is a clear indication that the Qur’an is strictly opposed to the use of compulsion in religious faith. Similarly, Allah addressed Sayiddina Muhammad (s) saying, "Remind them, for you are only one who reminds." [88:21] Allah addresses the believers, urging them to obey the injunctions of Islam, "Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and beware (of evil): if you do turn back, then know that it is Our Messenger's duty to proclaim (the message) in the clearest manner." [5:92] However, this verse makes it clear that the Messenger's duty is only to proclaim and preach the message; it remains to each individual to accept and to follow. (emphasis added)

 

 

Conditions for Combative Jihad

 

The ruler, the Imam, is completely answerable to the people and their legal apparatus, the most important representatives of whom are the scholars. The position of the law is that only at such a time when it can be reasonably proven that;

 

there are aggressive designs against Islam; and,

there are concerted efforts to eject Muslims from their legally acquired property; and,

that military campaigns are being launched to eradicate them.

 

At such a time the ruler can declare and execute the provisions of Jihad. It is a condition that there be a leader of the Muslims, an Imam, to declare combative Jihad. In al-Mughni, Ibn Qudama states "declaring Jihad is the responsibility of the Imam and is his independent legal judgment." Al-Dardir says, "proclaiming Jihad comes through the Imam's assignment of a leader". Abu Bakr Al-Jazaa'iri states that the pillars of Jihad are: "A pure intention and that it is performed behind a Muslim Imam and beneath his flag and with his permission. …it is not permissible for them to fight without an Imam."

 

Similarly the ruler, the political leader of the whole country, has the power to ratify peace treaties if they are consistent with the interests of the Muslims. Conscription has to be confined to young men of sound health on condition that they have parental permission to engage in combat. The exception is where the enemy has already entered the borders of a Muslim state in which case Jihad becomes unconditionally incumbent on every able man.

 

Islamic Terms of Ratifying Peace

 

Allah said, "Enter into peace completely and do not follow the steps of Satan." [2:208] The Prophet (s) said, after establishing the Islamic state in Madina, that the way of the Muslims is one. No single group can autonomously declare war or fight, nor can any one group make peace by itself, but the entire Muslim nation must make peace. A peace treaty can be made by the nations’ leader and all subjects of the nation are bound by that decision, regardless of whether the leader was appointed or elected. The final decision is up to the ruler after his consultation with others. (emphasis added)

 

If a state has no leader then it must select one, or all the neighboring states and nations must come together and agree on a treaty with any foreign country. This applies as much to peace as it does to war. No individual or group may come forth and declare a Jihad: such will be a false Jihad. All Muslim nations and their leaders must come together for a decision of war or peace and that is the only accepted process.

 

Naturally every community has the right to self-defense and in the case of Islam, where religion is the primary dimension of human existence, war in defense of the nation becomes a religious act. A lack of understanding of this quality of Islam, its non-secularism; has also contributed considerably to the fear that when Islam talks about war it means going to war to convert. This might be true in other cultures, but Islam must be allowed to speak for itself.

 

Al-Dardir says of this, "Jihad becomes a duty when the enemy takes [Muslims] by surprise". Said Ramadan al-Buti shows that fighting in this case is an obligation of the community as a whole. This is based on the Prophet's (s) saying "He who is killed in defence of his belongings, or in self-defence, or for his religion, is a martyr".

 

This verse mentions a fundamental principle of Islam regarding Muslim/Non-Muslim relationships. Muslims are enjoined to act kindly and justly towards members of other faiths except in two circumstances; firstly, if they dispossess Muslims of their legitimate land-rights, and; secondly, if they engage in hostilities towards Muslims or show clear intent to do so (al-hirabah) because of their religion with a clear intention to destroy the Islamic nation as a whole. In the second eventuality, it is the duty of the Muslim ruler to declare the Jihad as a defensive action to repel such attacks.

 

It is evident from the Qur’an and other sources that the armed struggle against the polytheists was legislated in the context of specific circumstances after the Prophet (s) had migrated from Makkah to Madina. There he secured a pact with the Jewish and Arab tribes of the city, who accepted him as the leader of their community. In the milieu of this newly-founded base of operations, under the governance of Divine legislation and the leadership of the Prophet (s), Islam attained the status of a nation with its corequisite territory and the accompanying need to protect its self-interests. At that time the divine command was revealed permitting Jihad, but this occurred only after:

 

Persistent refusal of the Makkan leadership (the Prophet being in Madina at the time) to allow the peaceful propagation of Islam in Makkah. This is in fact the most basic reason for armed Jihad.

Continuous unabated persecution of Muslims remaining at Makkah after the Prophet’s (s) emigration to Madina triggered an armed insurrection against Qurayshite interests in the Hijaz.

Makkans themselves starting off military campaigns against the Muslims at Madinah with the sole objective of eradicating Islam.

Key security pledges being abrogated unilaterally by a number of tribes allied to the Prophet (s), forcing him into a vulnerable position.

 

These conditions for Jihad involving armed struggle were then clearly specified in the Qur’an:

 

"And fight in the way of Allah those who fight against you, and do not transgress [limits] for Allah likes not the transgressors" [2:190] and "Will you not fight a people who have violated their oaths and intended to expel the Messenger while they did attack you first…?" [9:13] (emphasis added)

 

The picture that emerges here is that the command to fight was given in relation to specific conditions. Thus the declaration of war is not an arbitrary act at all. A further implication here, as the Hanafi school in fact argues, is that war was declared by the Prophet (s) as the head of the Islamic nation, and as such no one else can legitimately declare Jihad except a ruler who is head of an Islamic state. The duty lies squarely with the religious/political leadership to determine whether the conditions for Jihad exist and to then give the appropriate judgement.

 

In later times, the Muslims engaged in warfare to establish the "Pax Islamica" or Islamic Order. The legal and political order must flow from the divine imperative (Qur’an, Sunnah, etc.). It alone guarantees the rights of every individual by keeping in check all the dark psychic tendencies of man and so preventing him from indulging in anti-social behaviors, from political aggression, right down to the commonest criminal act. It is for this that the Qur’an calls on the believers to go forth in defense of those whose rights and liberty have been trampled by the unbridled tyranny of oppressors and conquering armies, or who are prevented from freely hearing the word of Allah espoused to them by preachers and educators. Allah says, "How should ye not fight for the cause of Allah and of the feeble among men and of the women and the children who are crying: Our Lord! Bring us forth from out this town of which the people are oppressors! Oh, give us from Thy presence some protecting friend! Oh, give us from Thy presence some defender!" [4:75]

 

No reliable evidence exists that Muslims ever intended or attempted to impose the specific rites and beliefs of Islam. The histories of Spain, India and the Balkans are concrete proof of this.

 

The idea, often postulated in the media, that Islam is hostile to non-Muslims simply because they are non-Muslims, is a major a misconception. Beyond the conditions described above there exists no valid reason to hold any hostility towards them for the Qur’an states: "Allah does not forbid you from those who do not remove you from your homes (by force) and who do not fight you because of your religion, that you act kindly and justly towards them ..." [60:8] The reference in this verse is to the non-Muslims in general. (emphasis added)

 

Jihad Between Muslims

 

Properly speaking Jihad, in the case of internal dissension, only occurs when these two conditions—a just Imam fighting unjustifiable insurrection—are met and the Muslims fight in support of the Imam against the offending parties. In Islam allegiance and obedience to a just authority is obligatory. It must be noted also that rebellions against authority and especially political authority simply for the sake of rebellion have no place in the concept of Jihad. In this age of relativism, the spirit of rebellion seems to have penetrated every layer of society. However, Islam and its principles cannot be made subservient to these cultural trends.

 

In some of the contemporary "Islamic" groups, Jihad has been adapted to a virtually Marxist or Socialist concept of class revolt aimed at overthrowing the authority of the state. In the often fervently materialistic milieu of contemporary political and revolutionary ideologies, Islam is inevitably reduced to nothing more than a social philosophy. This reductionism simply amounts to an abysmal misunderstanding of the essential function of Islam, which is to turn the "face" of the human receptacle away from the world of disharmony and illusion to the tranquillity and silence of Divine awareness and vision. Inward Jihad, as we alluded to at the beginning of this essay, has a key role to play in this respect.

 

Rebellion Against Rulers

 

The scholar Ibn Nujaym said "it is not permitted for there to be more than one state leader (Imam) in a time period. There may be many judges, even in one state, but the leader is one." Al-Bahjouri said "It is an obligation to obey the leader, even if he is not fair or trustworthy or even if he committed sins or mistakes." Abu Hanifa's school says that the head of the state, the Imam, cannot be expelled for being a corrupt person (fasiq). Hudhaifa bin al-Yaman ® narrated a hadith in which he said, "The Prophet (s) said, 'there will be after me leaders who do not follow my guidance and do not follow my sunna, and there will be among them men whose hearts are like those of satan in the body of a human being.' And I asked the Prophet (s), 'What I should do at that time if I reach it?' He said, 'listen and obey the ruler, even if he lashed your back and took your money, listen and obey.'"

 

In another narration, Auf bin Malik ® said, "O Prophet of Allah, do you recommend that we fight them?" He said, "No, don't fight them as long as they do not prevent you from your prayers. And if you see from them something that you dislike, dislike their acts, do not dislike them. And do not take your hand out from obedience to them." Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Abdullah ibn al-Abbas ®, "if someone dislikes his ruler, he must be patient, because if he comes against the ruler in a rebellious or destructive manner by only a handspan and dies, he dies in a state of pre-Islamic ignorance (jahiliyyah) and sin."

 

These source texts are clear evidence that whoever lives under a particular government must obey the ruler and live peacefully. They are prohibited from taking up arms against him. Uprising or violence by any group against the ruler is completely rejected in Islam, and was prohibited by the Prophet (s) and will be a cause of death on the way of ignorance (jahiliyya). Thus Islam considers rebellion against the ruler a great iniquity. These hadith affirm that one must be patient with one's ruler, even if he commits oppression. These hadith refer to the leader of a nation, not the leader of a small group. Therefore groups that take up violent struggle against their regimes are prohibited in Islam and are by default illegal and blameworthy.

 

In fact the true path to correction of the mistakes of a ruler is according to the hadith "a most excellent Jihad is when one speaks a word of truth in the presence of a tyrannical ruler." Note here the hadith does not mention fighting the ruler, but rather praises the one who corrects the ruler by speech. Armed and violent opposition to a state regime can never be recognized as Jihad in the way of Allah, despite the claims of many groups. Unfortunately we see today countless individuals and groups who label their rulers and their governments apostates or unbelievers, thereby giving themselves the excuse to declare "jihad" against them, asserting that this is because they do not rule by what was revealed to the Prophet (s). Even worse, they go further by terrorizing and killing government officers, members of the armed forces and public servants, simply because they are easy targets. These groups use a "militant Islamic" ideology to justify such felonious action, declaring the ruler, the government, and its officers to be criminals standing in the way of "true Islam", who must be eliminated. Thus, those who are innocent of any crime, but who are earning a living and raising their families, such as officers and officials of ministries and departments, county and city officials and police, become targets of these extremist ideologues. Such groups do not hesitate to kill them in surprise attacks, terrorizing the entire nation by blasting here and there and harming the innocent.

 

If the ruler commits wrong, it is not permitted to label him an apostate, nor to indoctrinate people to use militancy to oppose him. In the time of the Prophet (s) after the conquest of Makkah, a Companion named Hatib ibn Abi Balta, assisted some of the enemy by supporting them extensively and passing them secret information. It may be that no one today supports a tyrannical ruler as Hatib supported the unbelievers at that time. When questioned as to his motives, Hatib replied, "O Allah's Prophet! Don't hasten to give your judgment about me. I was a man closely connected with the Quraish, but I did not belong to this tribe, while the other emigrants with you, had their relatives in Mecca who would protect their dependents and property. So, I wanted to compensate for my lacking blood relation to them by doing them a favor so that they might protect my dependents. I did this neither because of disbelief nor apostasy nor out of preferring disbelief (kufr) to Islam." Allah's Prophet (s), said, "Hatib has told you the truth."

 

We see here that the Prophet (s), though fully aware of Hatib's actions, never considered him to be outside the fold of Islam, nor did he inflict any punishment on him. Regarding Hatib and his support of the unbelievers Allah revealed the following verse: "O you who believe! Do not take My enemy and your enemy for friends: would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth, driving out the Messenger and yourselves because you believe in Allah, your Lord?" [60:1] Though the verse reprimands Hatib, showing him in the wrong, nonetheless Allah (swt) did not take him out of the state of faith yet continued to address him with the honorable title "O you who believe", despite his assisting the enemies of Islam.

 

This constitutes proof that even if someone assists a regime that does not support Islam, one cannot harm that person as the Prophet (s) did not inflict any punishment on Hatib. One wonders then how today so many groups freely label those working for the government as renegades and apostates, and issue fierce edicts to kill them? Their work with the government might be for their livelihood, or for building a bridge of trust for the Islamist community to ensure a better future relationship or a better understanding of Islam. Such actions are baseless in Islam and are founded on an extremist ideology, far removed from the middle path which always constitutes this blessed religion of Allah (swt).

 

The Inner Jihad

 

Islam is not a rhetorical religion, it is based on unity, love and rational action. Soon after the Prophet’s (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) death, Islam radiated outwardly from its earthly center, the Ka’aba, implacable symbol of the faith. Jihad was the dynamic of this expansion. Outwardly it embodied the power of Islam against error and falsehood, while inwardly it represented the means of spiritual awakening and of transcending the self. Referring to this, the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said while returning from battle: "We are now returning from the lesser Jihad to the greater Jihad , the Jihad against the self." The Prophet (s) is reported to have said during the Farewell Pilgrimage, "... The Fighter in the Way of Allah is he who makes jihad against himself (jahada nafsah) for the sake of obeying Allah."

 

The means of the combative Jihad, the sword, was adopted and internalized by Islam as the charismatic symbol of sacred warfare. It symbolizes the qualities of strength and vigilance, indispensable for the spiritual wayfarer in his quest for illumination and the beatific vision. This symbolism deeply inspired Muslim artists and craftsmen. In calligraphy, for example, one finds the sword-motif embossed in gold and silver as the initial letter of the testimony of faith, the shahada. Historical evidence and current practice indicate that this symbol often forms a central feature of cultural events of the Muslim world, such as folk-dancers sporting gleaming blades as they chant and move to rhythmic Sufic recitation.

 

Allah says in the Holy Qur’an, "Those who have striven for Our sake, We guide them to Our ways" [29:96] In this verse, God uses a derivative of the linguistic root of the word“Jihad” to describe those who are deserving of guidance, and has made guidance dependent on Jihad against the false desires of the soul. Therefore, the most perfect of people are those who struggle the most against the selfish promptings of the ego for God's sake. The most obligatory Jihad is that against the base side of the ego, desires, the devil, and the lower world.

 

The great Sufi Al-Junayd said: "Those who have striven against their desires and repented for God's sake, shall be guided to the ways of sincerity. One cannot struggle against his enemy outwardly (i.e. with the sword) except he who struggles against these enemies inwardly. Then whoever is given victory over them will be victorious over his enemy, and whoever is defeated by them, his enemy defeats him."

 

 

Dhikr: the Remembrance of God

 

The Prophet peace be upon him said: "Shall I tell you something that is the best of all deeds, constitutes the best act of piety in the eyes of your Lord, elevates your rank in the hereafter, and carries more virtue than the spending of gold and silver in the service of Allah, or taking part in Jihad and slaying or being slain in the path of Allah?" They said: "Yes!" He said: "Remembrance of Allah."

 

Thus one finds the principles of the spiritual Jihad are based on eliminating the ugly, selfish and ferocious characteristics of the ego through spiritual training and mastery of dhikr, the Remembrance of God. This remembrance takes many forms: each school of Sufism focuses on a different form of ritual dhikr to enable the seeker to approach the Divine Presence, varying from individual silent recitation and chanting to vocal group sessions. It is this spiritual struggle that raises humankind and instills in him the sense of relationship with His Creator, and the proper perspective in relating to all creation, always calling for love between humanity and striving in Allah’s Way for better understanding between various communities of all faiths. Through this spiritual Jihad the effect of the selfish ego on the soul of the seeker will be removed, uplifting his state from depression, anxiety and loneliness to one of joy, satisfaction and companionship with the Most High.

 

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani is Chairman, Islamic Supreme Council of America and Shaykh Seraj Hendricks is a Mufti in Cape Town, South Africa.

 

If the above does not correctly reflect the true Islamic position, it may be refuted. However, please take note that the main theme of this thread is Unity, not Disunity. My fervent hope is that Muslims can learn what is responsible for Disunity in Islam so that by avoiding it, we may strive for and get closer to Unity.

 

yusufar

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:D

 

This is probably the most important thread on the board...why is no one replying?

 

:D

 

 

Unity of football precedes Unity in Islam for the time being. :D

Edited by yusufar

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:D

 

It may be, but the unity will happen in its own time and attempts to force it will probably exasperate the journey towards unity rather than help it.

 

We are only human and unity is the work of Allah.

 

:D

 

 

Agreed. There can be no attempts to force unity. This would be counter-productive. It all really depends on enlightenment of the general Muslim Community and needs to be worked on in a patient and constructive manner.

 

Many Muslims are unaware of the damage they do to Islam and other Muslims by trying to force their point of view on others.

 

Yes indeed, unity is the work of Allah, but human though we may be there is still a role for us to play in our own affairs, provided it is constructive and not destructive.

 

As Sister Haqqul Yaqeen likes to point out :D , we must change ourselves before we can expect Allah to change our condition.

 

It would be a derogation of our duty to Allah as Muslims to merely leave things as they are just because we think it is His work. Allah will of course have the final say in everything but we still have to endeavour and strive - for ourselves and for the general good of the Ummah.

 

yusufar

Edited by yusufar

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Agreed. There can be no attempts to force unity. This would be counter-productive. It all really depends on enlightenment of the general Muslim Community and needs to be worked on in a patient and constructive manner.

 

Many Muslims are unaware of the damage they do to Islam and other Muslims by trying to force their point of view on others.

 

Yes indeed, unity is the work of Allah, but human though we may be there is still a role for us to play in our own affairs, provided it is constructive and not destructive.

 

As Sister Haqqul Yaqeen likes to point out :D , we must change ourselves before we can expect Allah to change our condition.

 

It would be a derogation of our duty to Allah as Muslims to merely leave things as they are just because we think it is His work. Allah will of course have the final say in everything but we still have to endeavour and strive - for ourselves and for the general good of the Ummah.

 

yusufar

:D Brother

 

I did not intend my post as an invitation to do nothing but more a cautionary note not to force the pace in the name of appearance over a slower but deeper unity.

 

I agree with your post fully.

 

:D

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:D

 

I think we all agree with you Br. Abubakar but surely there is something we can do right now...most of the time we completely ignore this topic although it really is vital to discuss.

 

Also the Muslim Ummah's unity is quite dependent on the youth. We have many youths on these boards, and we all have the obligation to take advantage of our youth.

 

Surely there is something we can do, and it's time to start acting. Even if it's helping the Muslim youth come closer to Allah. Even if it's something extremely small, there must be something we can do. Of course I mean besides our own inner struggle, maybe there is something else...da'wah might be a part of this.

 

I hope people will start taking heed of the situation we are in. It's not something to mention and take lightly, but something we should all be intensely passionate about.

 

:D

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