السلسلة: هذا هو الجهاد

الكاتب: العلّامة الشهيد محمد سعيد رمضان البوطي
التاريخ: 05/04/2021




Martyr Imam, Muhammad Saeed Ramadan Al Bouti


First: What does the word "Jihad" mean?

The meaning included in this word is far wider than the narrow connotation to which many people restrict its meaning.. It means exerting efforts whatsoever, in the aim of establishing truth and to safeguard it in pursuit of God's [Exalted be He] content. It goes without saying that spending money, time and spreading knowledge and culture which participates in enlightening in the reality of Islam, and patience on all types of hardships and harm by way of such purpose; are of the types of this effort which imparts on those who perform it the attribute of Mujahidin by way of Islam.

It is known that warfare Jihad was not prescribed before God's Messenger's Hijrah to Medina. Nevertheless, the word "Jihad" and the call to it has been repeated in Meccan Surah's, and the command of Jihad was mentioned in them a couple of times.

An example of that is God's verse in Al Furqan Surah} :So do not yield to the disbelievers, but strive diligently against them with this ˹Quran˺{ (Qur'an Al Furqan:52), as well as in God's verse } :Then, indeed your Lord, to those who emigrated after they had been compelled [to say words of disbelief] and thereafter fought [for the cause of Allah] and were patient - indeed, your Lord, after that, is Forgiving and Merciful {(Qur'an Al Nahl:110). This Surah is entirely Meccan according to the majority of Exegesis (Tafseer) scholars.

Clearly, when the word "Jihad", wherever it comes across in Meccan Surahs, means everything but fighting of all various types of exerting effort in order to uphold the word of God [Exalted be He], i.e. to communicate God's message to people and to make it enter their minds with wisdom and good impeachment.

Second: Warfare Jihad, when was it prescribed? Why?

It is agreed upon that legitimacy of warfare Jihad started after immigration and God's Messenger's settlement in Medina.. but what is the purpose of it? Why restriction to such sound types of it did not continue, those which were enforced in Mecca? Could it be that the purpose is coerce people to enter in Islam, whether their minds obeyed them in that or not?

The Islamic Sharia itself has the answer to this question. Otherwise, the answer from any other body would not be useful, and would not be able to solve the problem.

So, let's listen to the answer of Islamic Sharia to this important question, starting from the first ring of the chain of this subject…

The Qur'an decides that the human being who is commissioned by God [Exalted be He] with serious missions must assume them whether with himself or other human beings. He says,} Then when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray ˹in this life˺ nor suffer ˹in the next˺. But whoever turns away from My Reminder will certainly have a miserable life {(Qur'an, Taha: 123-124).

However, what are the conditions that should be available in the human being in order to become qualified for commissioning?

That requires availability of the following conditions:

Information which is a result of an address directed from God to people through Messengers and Prophets. So those who was not reached by such address are out of the covenant of commissioning and the decision which states this conditions is God's verse: }And We would never punish ˹a people˺ until We have sent a messenger { (Qur'an, Al Israa: 15).

The capability of doing what is required, by conception and understanding concerning beliefs, as well as by practice and conduct concerning doing some acts and abandonment of others..

So if it was incapable to perform what is required from him, commissioning would fall for him, and the responsibility of God's address would be decreased away from him. The decision which states this conditions is God's verse: }Allah does not require of any soul more than what it can afford.{ (Qur'an, Al Baqara: 286).

That the human being has the perfect choice whether to yield or not to the order directed to him from God [Exalted be He], and the decision which states this condition is God's verse: }Let there be no compulsion in religion, for the truth stands out clearly from falsehood.{ )Qur'an, Al Baqara: 256) and God's verse: }And say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “˹This is˺ the truth from your Lord. Whoever wills let them believe, and whoever wills let them disbelieve.” Surely We have prepared for the wrongdoers a Fire whose walls will ˹completely˺ surround them{ (Qur'an, Al Kahf: 29).

On basis of the foregoing conditions stated by God's plain verses, the scholars of Islamic Sharia ruled not to commission the absentminded people, who know nothing of the address directed to them, who are in the state of inattention, forgetfulness or distraction.

They also ruled not to commission the one under coercion, who has no choice in the action done by him nor not done, whether he was coerced to yield or the opposite[1].

Hence, it was confirmed that response to the commissioning directed by God to his servants is impossible but in an atmosphere where the commissioned has freedom of disposal, and feels that he is capable to respond or not to the order directed to him.

This means that the mission of those who call to God, whether they were messengers, learned or scholars, is restricted in informing people God's orders and rulings, and to order them to listen and obey and yield to his rulings, then to leave them free to take the decision they like, providing to draw their attention to the award he promised or punishment he threatened his commissioned servants.

That is because if they were subdued to commit to the divine orders forcibly, without their choice, their commissioning would drop due to lack of one of its most important conditions, which is availability of freedom of choice and capability of taking the decision, and they would never have deserved any reward or award for anything they were compelled to do.

Bearing this in mind, it became clear that warfare Jihad was not prescribed by God [Exalted be He] to coerce people to obey the commissions they were addressed with. As if it was prescribed for such purpose, Jihad would be one of the most important causes of dropping commissioning due to the fact that Jihad, in such case, becomes one of the most important causes which cancels the commissioned person's freedom and eliminate him from the capacity to take decision.

Then, why was the warfare Jihad prescribed? And why its timing came after Hijrah?

To answer this question, we have to notice the difference between the status of Muslims in Mecca and their status after they settled in Medina.

In Mecca, they had nothing to fight in defense of, thus, they only had the obligation of calling and informing people by speech with patience on infidels' harm, forbearing, and enduring their misconduct.

Then, when they immigrated to Medina and settled there and the majority of its people embraced Islam, two rights entered under their reign, none of which was bestowed to them by God previously:

One of them is Dar al Islam [House of Islam], which is the first geographical container of God's religion [Exalted be He], where Muslims built their religion system and the approach of God's Sharia.

The second of which is the first Islamic society through which the meaning of one single Ummah [nation] which has been united under the shadow of all-inclusive Islamic system.

By meeting of such two gains, the Islamic state was born and integrated, with all its three indispensable pillars; namely: the land, the Ummah or people, then the sovereign system, which is meant to consolidate the Ummah existence and strengthen its relation to land.

No doubt, such three gifts constitutes the greatest humanitarian rights that God has bestowed Muslims with in the dawn of Islam. Therefore, one of the most important duties entrusted to Muslims was to safeguard the three rights, and the defense against it in front of any aggressor or anyone who lurks around it.

At such duty, the logical and human reason which required obligation of warfare Jihad which was not prescribed previously due to lack of any reason requiring its legitimacy from the three rights.

Thus, the warfare Jihad was prescribed in defense of such three rights: the land which was bestowed to them by God, and the Islamic congregation whose existence on the land has been consolidated, and the sovereign system which gave such congregation the power and shared efficiency, which was not owned by Muslims previously.

Third: Evidence on this from the Qur'an, the Sunna and the decision of the majority of Muslim scholars:

First: from the Qur'an: here we read clear verses, which does not accept any interpretation or doubt. For example, God's verse, }Fight in the cause of Allah ˹only˺ against those who wage war against you, but do not exceed the limits. Allah does not like transgressors{ (Qur'an, Al Baqara: 190).

As well as God's verse, }Allah does not forbid you from dealing kindly and fairly with those who have neither fought nor driven you out of your homes. Surely Allah loves those who are fair۝  Allah only forbids you from befriending those who have fought you for ˹your˺ faith, driven you out of your homes, or supported ˹others˺ in doing so. And whoever takes them as friends, then it is they who are the ˹true˺ wrongdoers.{ (Qur'an Al Mumtahanah: 8-9).

Along with God's verse, } And if anyone from the polytheists asks for your protection ˹O Prophet˺, grant it to them so they may hear the Word of Allah, then escort them to a place of safety, for they are a people who have no knowledge.{ (Qur'an, Al Tawbah: 6).

All these verses were revealed after Al udaybiyah Treaty, rather at the end of God's Messenger's life. So, they are muhkam (decisive) verses and was not subject to any abrogation with opposing verses.

Second: from the Sunna: For example what has been narrated by Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood and Ahmad from the Hadith of Hanthala Al Katib, he said: ((we fought with God's Messenger (PBUH) and passed by a killed woman, and people gathered around her, then, they opened the way for him, he said: this would never have been fighting among fighters, so why was she killed? Then, he said to a man: Go to Khaled Ibn Al Walid and tell him: God's Messenger orders you not to kill any woman or mercenary((.

Likewise, what has been narrated by Abu Dawood from the Hadith of Anas Ibn Malek, that God's Messenger (PBUH) said: ((Go ahead in the name of God and do not kill an old man, nor a little child nor a woman, and do not exceed limits …((.

Similarly, what has been recommended by Abu Bakr to Osama and his company when he took leave of them and mobilized and directed the first army he sent in his Caliphate.

He said in his recommendation: ((Do not trait.. do not betray .. do not exceed limits .. do not maim.., do not a child nor an old man, nor a woman.. and if you passed by people who secluded themselves in temples – i.e. for worship – leave them alone with their worship).

This recommendation of Abu Bakr is virtually like Marfou' Hadith [said by Prophet] as decided by scholars, as such recommendation is not of a kind that can be based on sole opinion.

Hence, if fighting was because of disbelief, then fighting the disbeliever women and mercenary, and those who are consecrated in temples would have been prescribed, rather obligatory. However, when the Prophet (PBUH) forbade killing those who do not fight or those can not fight such as the old man, this proves that the reason for legitimacy warfare Jihad is waging war.

Third: the applied approach adopted by God's Messenger in his battles:

It is not report about him (PBUH) that he directed in any of his battles to but to those who started fighting Muslims, making plots or betrayal to them, or to those whom he knew they are scheming to fight him, such as his departure to the Battle of Khaybar after he knew that the Jews of Khaybar are scheming with Bani Ghatafan to surprise Muslims with war..


Fourth: Consensus of majority of Muslim scholars and Imams that warfare Jihad was prescribed to protect the rights in defense of dangers of waging war when they lurk around the peace ordered by God.

Of these scholars is Malek, Abu Hanifa, Ahmad and their company, and it is one of the two statements of Imam Shafie as well.

The contexts herein is not suitable for citing their peremptory statements in setting out this ruling upon whom they all agreed. However, those who wish to refer to their literature and learn about it, they can refer to the following references: Bidayat al Mujtahid [The Distinguished Jurist's Primer], by: Ibn Rushd: 1/369-370. Al Mughni, by Ibn Qudama: 1/301. Fath al Qadir, by: Ibn al Humam: 5/452. Al Sharh Al Saghir ala Aqrab al Masalik [The Diminutive Explanation]: 2/275. Mughni al Muhtaj, by: Al Shirbini: 4/234. Al Mudawwana, by: Imam Malek: 2/6.

Fifth: Reality of Islamic Conquests which took place throughout history:

The reality of Islamic Conquests which took place previously, whether upon considering the motifs which call for it, or upon looking at the status of the country whose people entered the sanctuary and reign of Islam; what can be deemed as the best evidence of representation of this ruling indicated by both Qur'an and the Sunna, then was agreed upon the majority of scholars and Muslims.

The motifs of warfare Jihad which led to such conquests had never been coercing people to embrace Islam or infringing any of the human rights, rather, those motifs were to counter the danger of waging war which exists in reality or expected in planning and scheming. There is no doubt that proactively taking action against states planning for aggression is a defense conduct that is justified in all ages. May God have mercy upon Imam Ghazali as he said in his book, Al Mankhoul, while deepening this reality and eliminating any ambiguity around it: "The Romans, if not conquered, conquer".

While concerning the status of people who entered in the sanctuary of Islam in the conquered countries, the history bears witness that no Christian had been compelled to leave his Christianity, nor did any Jew to leave his Judaism.

This is the reality of all the countries which entered the arena of Islamic conquest without exception. For example, the Jews who had been under the shadow of the Islamic state in Andalusia had never, before nor after, enjoyed such happiness and freedom that they enjoyed in such age.

Furthermore, for example the Islamic state the reign of which extended to Levant, never coerced any of its people to relinquish their faith. It is known that most of them were Christians. The percentage of Christians to Muslims remained one third and a half under the shadow of the Islamic state, until the Crusades started. You all probably know that the leader of the first Crusade had sent to Christians of the Levant questioning them what do they select; to join their newcomers, who are brothers in faith, or their nation who are Muslims. They sent him their historic decision ruling to stand besides their nation who are Muslims[2].

I wonder! If Muslims' treatment to these Christians in the Levant contained some injustice or degrading their human rights, would they have voluntarily stood with their nation against the newcomers who are of their faith in one trench? Besides, we know that the law in accordance with which Muslims treat Christians and others is the Sharia of Islam.

The fake image today, who is responsible for it?

Let's compare now between the objective for which Jihad was prescribed which has been set out, and the literature and parameters which control it, and the scientific approach which contradicts it that we see in some of our Arab and Islamic countries, moving under an opposite name i.e. under the name of Jihad itself.

When you verify that I am did not make up for the "Jihad" a meaning from my mind, rather, I was a reporter of all of what I said from the Book of God [Exalted be He] and the Sunna of God's Messenger (PBUH), then from the consensus of majority of jurists; you would know very well that the action taking place in the name of Jihad everywhere in contradiction of the meaning of Jihad as we knew, is no more than one of the many fake images that are labelled to Islam for many reasons, and it is far away from them and innocent from them. However, let's question: who are responsible for it being firmly established and solid?

Those who hold this responsibility are those who persist to name this fake and untrue approach "Fundamentalism" and insist on linking it to Islam by way of linking the source to the branch and the fruit to its plant.. as persistence on naming the action as "fundamental" and link it to Islam is a big testimonial to those who practice their deviations, that they do not deviate from Islam and its principles at all. Hence, it contains a justification of their deviant actions as it is described – on their full ears – as "Islamic actions originating from the fundaments of Islam, and that is their holy message, or as they claim or fancy.

Yes, the persistence of Western mass media to describe the recklessness prohibited in the religion of God [Exalted be He] as fundamentalism originating from the fundaments and essence of Islam, is the strongest praise of those who practice their recklessness from their point of view. Thus, it contains the greater motif for them to continue practicing their recklessness that are asserted by the western media that they are not prohibited psychological recklessness, rather, actions originating from the core and fundaments of Islam.

However, the Islamic Sharia the rulings of which revolve around a holy axis of patronage of human rights, which did not call for Jihad if its reasons were available, but for protecting such rights, if any, or to recover them when any infringer usurp them; deny such recklessness and incriminate its perpetrators without any leniency, not to mention adopting them and considering them linked to its roots and originated from the requirements of its rules.

The fundamentalism which originates from Islam condemns any prejudice of the position of human being and the rights granted to him by God, and it says – as cited by God's Messenger who is the custodian on his Sharia – in Sahih Hadith, which is narrated by Muslim, Nasai and Ahmad: (He who revolted from my Ummah against my Ummah, striking the pious and the dissolute alike, and does not avoid its faithful and do not comply with covenant; he is not from me).

[1] Refer to: Explanation of Jalal Eddin al Mahilli of Jami' al Jawami' by Ibn al Subki: (1/40-41) Al Maymanieh Printing House.

[2] Who Protects Christian Arabs – by: Victor Sahab: Pg. 52.