A very influential jihadist text, written by Abdullah Azzam (1941-1989). Reasons for jihad, clarifications about the issue of jihad today, etc.
JOIN THE CARAVAN
Imam Abdullah Azzam
The Forgotten Obligation
Bismillah Walhamdulillah Was Salaatu Was Salaam ‘ala Rasulillah
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. The Hereafter is for the pious, and there is no enmity save toward the unjust. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship save Allah alone, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger. May Allah bless him, his pure Household, his noble Companions, and all those who follow them in goodness upto the day of Judgement.
I am pleased to present this translation of the martyred Shaykh `Abdullah `Azzam’s “Join The Caravan” (Ilhaq bil-qawafilah) to our English-speaking brothers and sisters. The Shaykh has done an excellent job of informing Muslims about jihad, the topic which is so much misunderstood and neglected today. The book focuses on Afghanistan, but most of what is mentioned is applicable to jihad in general.
`Abdullah `Azzam was born in Palestine, and earned a Ph.D. in Islamic studies from Al-Azhar University in Egypt. He spent the early part of his life in Palestine, participating in the jihad there. However, matters there were not to his liking, for the people involved in jihad were far removed from Islam. He told of how these people used to spend the nights playing cards and listening to music, under the illusion that they were performing jihad to liberate Palestine. Shaykh `Abdullah mentioned that, out of the thousands in the camp he was in, the number of people who offered their salah in congregation were so few they could be counted on one hand. He tried to steer them towards Islam, but they resisted his attempts. One day he rhetorically asked one of the “Mujahideen” what the religion behind the Palestinian revolution was, to which the man replied, quite clearly and bluntly,
“This revolution has no religion behind it.”
This was the last straw. Shaykh `Abdullah left Palestine, and went to Saudi Arabia to teach in the universities there. When he learned about the Afghan jihad, he left his teaching position at King `Abdul-`Aziz University and went to Islamabad, Pakistan, in order to be able to participate in the jihad. He travelled all over the world, calling on Muslims to rally to the defence of their religion and lands. He wrote a number of books on jihad. Moreover, he himself participated bodily in the Afghan jihad, despite the fact that he was in his sixties. He traversed Afghanistan, from north to south, east and west, in snow, through the mountains, in heat and in cold, riding donkeys and on foot.
Young men with him used to tire from such exertions, but not Shaykh `Abdullah. No other Arab has worked for the Afghan jihad in such a manner. At an age of more than sixty years, he performed jihad in every way possible, truly responding to the call of Allah,
“Go forth, light and heavy, and strive with your selves and your wealth in the path of Allah. That is better for you, if only you knew.” [Qur’an, 9:41]
He reared his family also, in the same spirit, so that his wife, for example, engaged in orphan care and other humanitarian work in Afghanistan. He refused teaching positions at a number of universities, declaring that he would not quit jihad until he was either martyred or assassinated. He used to reiterate that his ultimate goal was still to liberate Palestine.
Naturally, such a pride to Islam caused great distress to the enemies of this religion, and they plotted to eliminate him. In 1989 CE, a lethal amount of TNT explosive was placed beneath the pulpit from which he delivered the sermon every Friday. It was such a formidable quantity that if it had exploded, it would have destroyed the mosque, together with everything and everybody in it. Hundreds of Muslims would have been killed, but Allah provided protection and the bomb did not explode. The enemies, determined to accomplish their ugly task, tried another plot in Peshawar, shortly after this in the same year.
They planted three bombs on a road so narrow only a single car could travel on it. It was the road Shaykh `Abdullah would use to drive to the Friday prayer. That Friday, the Shaykh, together with two of his sons, Ibrahim and Muhammad, along with one of the sons of the late Shaykh Tamim `Adnani (another hero of the Afghan jihad), drove along the road. The car stopped at the position of the first bomb, and the Shaykh alighted to walk the remainder of the way. The enemies, lying in wait, then exploded the bomb. A loud explosion and a great thundering were heard all over the city.
People emerged from the mosque, and beheld a terrible scene. Only a small fragment of the car remained; the young son Ibrahim flew 100 meters into the air; the other two youths were thrown a similar distance away, and their remains were scattered among the trees and power lines. As for Shaykh `Abdullah himself, his body was found resting against a wall, totally intact and not at all disfigured, except that some blood was seen issuing from his mouth.
It was in this way that this great hero and reformer of Islam departed from the arena of jihad and from this world, never to return. May Allah accept him as a martyr, and grant him the highest station in Paradise. The struggle, which he stood for, continues, despite the enemies of Islam.
“They seek to extinguish the light of Allah by their mouths. But Allah refuses save to perfect His light, even if the Disbelievers are averse. It is He who has sent His messenger with the guidance and the true religion, in order that He may make it prevail over all religions, even if the pagans are averse.” [Qur’an, 9:32-33]
Since the book was written, the Soviets have been expelled from Afghanistan, by Allah’s grace, and the entire Soviet Union has disintegrated. Yet, the fighting in Afghanistan continues, as those who are striving to raise Allah’s word battle against others whose motives were not purely Islamic. Doubtless, the struggle must continue until truth emerges distinct from falsehood, and the true Mujahideen attain triumph and defeat the Communists and other enemies of Islam who are trying to destroy the fruit of the Afghan jihad. It is particularly important for Muslims to acquaint themselves with the true state of affairs in Afghanistan before making unjustified, rash statements and accusations. Let us remind ourselves of the folly of speaking without being properly informed.
“When you were propagating it with your tongues, your mouths uttering that of which you had no knowledge, thinking it to be of little consequence, whereas it was serious (indeed) before Allah” [Qur’an, 24:15]
May Allah bring benefit by means of this book, and grant us all the courage and ability to respond to His call. May He grant success and victory to all those who strive in His way the world over.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and blessings and peace be upon the noblest of all the Messengers.
This is a small treatise that I wrote for those who are pining away for jihad and who hope for martyrdom in its way. The book is in 2 parts:
Part 1: Reasons for jihad
Part 2: Oh Islam!
I have concluded with a synopsis and observations. We hope that Allah will being benefit by it, and will reform us and reform others by means of us, surely He is the Hearer, the Nearby, the Answerer of Prayers. I intend the book as a reply to many letters which I receive asking for advice about coming to Afghanistan.
So come to Gardens of Eden, for they are
Your original abode and therein are camping grounds;
But we are captives of the enemy, so can we then
Return to our home countries and give up?
The Slave Needful of Allah,
17 Sha’ban n 1407 A.H.
15 April 1987 CE
Praise be to Allah alone, and blessings and peace be on (Muhammad) after whom there is no prophet.
It did not pass through my mind while I was writing this treatise that it might bring about such a great revolution, so that our numbers would increase close to tenfold. Nor did it cross my mind that there are latent capabilities lying beneath the heaps of practices which are lethal to perception and intuition. These aptitudes have the ability to respond to the true call bursting forth from the depths of hearts wounded by the condition of the Muslims. We have become conscious, in the course of our profound experiment in Afghanistan over a time-span of 7 years and some, that this Ummah is prolific and that it has not become barren of outstanding eras nor of delivery of men.
We have seen that the land of Islam is still fertile; giving its produce at all times by its Lord’s leave, whenever the plantations find a person of insight to serve as a trustworthy administrator. This Ummah only lacks exemplars to lead the journey sincerely, who are well acquainted with mobilizing an exploration, and who give priority to the commissioning of leadership.
In proportion to the determined ones comes determination,
And in proportion to noble people come noble deeds.
In the eye of the little ones, the small misfortune appears tremendous,
And diminished in the eye of the mighty are great distresses.
We have already seen lofty examples of new blossoms, which Allah has steered until they ripened in the kiln of the battlefield, and became matured by its heat. We found most of these people to be from among those of modest upbringing, good-heart, and healthy character. We have seen that much education, with the accompanying suppression of deeds brings about a cold heart, slackened determination and a greed for life, which argues, unfeelingly and feebly against evidence by way of barren disputation.
The wise instructor should look down upon hysteria, recklessness, faltering from seeing evil, losing aim due to anger over the women who have been raped, and feelings of jealous torment on seeing such profound events; all this is rashness.
It is possible for Islam to obtain many benefits from the school of the Afghan Jihad. It is also possible for loftier models, people with mature abilities and wiser, more mindful propagators to come to the land of jihad. Thousands of such people could bring about a tremendous revolution in the reality of Afghanistan, and in the inhabited regions thereafter. Those thousands may change history.
We do not deny that a large number of arrivals, with simple thinking, shallow Islamic juristic knowledge drawn from diverse founts and different pedagogic schools, and disparity in levels of age and knowledge, has brought about a kind of convulsion in education. It has cast a great burden upon our shoulders. But what could we possibly do when so few mature people are coming, and the journey has incapacitated some of the sincere people of insight?
We have tried to face the problem in its actual proportion, and to call to it anybody who cares to listen while bearing witness to the truth. However, none have come to us other than simple youths, who were therefore our raw material. Of course, it was necessary to work on them so that they could make their contribution and participate with their fortune in this noble, blessed activity. Mature propagators are still the talk of the hour in the Islamic jihad of Afghanistan, and the subject of pressing necessity and glaring need. There are still many solutions to problems in the hands of those who are not occupying the roles they should.
Perhaps I am more conscious than others of the abundant good in this place, which is veiled from those who are absent, and the great success which so many of the arrivals have attained. The encouraging word of our Lord to the Mujahideen suffices us (translated):
“Those of the believers who sit back, except for those who are incapacitated, are not equal with those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and their selves. Allah has granted a higher rank to those who strive with their possessions and selves, over those who sit back. And to all of them has Allah promised good. But Allah has favored the Mujahideen with a tremendous reward, by levels from Him, and with forgiveness and mercy, over those who sit back. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
And also the encouraging words of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace):
“It was asked, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah! Which of mankind is most excellent?’ He (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied,
‘A believer who strives in the Path of Allah with his self and his wealth.'”
“Standing for an hour in the ranks of battle in the Path of Allah is better than standing in prayer for sixty years.”
“A morning or evening spent in the Path of Allah is better than the world and all it contains.”
And in Sahih Bukhari, reported from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace):
“In Heaven are a hundred levels which Allah has prepared for those who strive in His way. The difference between two consecutive levels is like that between earth and sky.”
In any case, there are two duties, which we are trying to establish: the duty of jihad (fighting), and the duty of arousing the believers. If, in this way, we achieve success, it is from Allah, and should we miss it, it is because of Satan and ourselves. It suffices us that we have striven sincerely and called attention, with insight, to the terror of the situation. And we hope that Allah will provide us with sincerity and steadfastness and that He will accept our deeds from us, and bring us our end in martyrdom.
1st Jummad al-Awwal 1409 A.H.
9th December 1988 CE
REASONS FOR JIHAD
Praise be to Allah Whom we praise, and from Whom we seek help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our selves and from our bad deeds. Whomever Allah guides none can lead astray, and whomever He leaves to stray, none can guide him aright. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah alone, Who has no partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. Oh Allah! There is nothing easy except that which You make easy, and you make difficult things easy when You will.
Anybody who looks into the state of the Muslims today will find that their greatest misfortune is their abandonment of Jihad (due to love of this world and abhorrence of death). Because of that, the tyrants have gained dominance over the Muslims in every aspect and in every land. The reason for this is that the Disbelievers only stand in awe of fighting.
“So fight in the Path of Allah- you will be held accountable only for yourself- and arouse the believers.
Surely, Allah will subdue the might of the Disbelievers, and Allah is mightier in power and severer in exemplary punishment.”
We then are calling upon the Muslims and urging them to proceed to fight, for many reasons, at the head of which are the following:
1. In order that the Disbelievers do not dominate.
2. Due to the scarcity of men.
3. Fear of Hell-fire.
4. Fulfilling the duty of Jihad, and responding to the call of the Lord.
5. Following in the footsteps of the Pious Predecessors.
6. Establishing a solid foundation as a base for Islam.
7. Protecting those who are oppressed in the land.
8. Hoping for martyrdom.
9. A shield for the Ummah, and a means for lifting disgrace off them
10. Protecting the dignity of the Ummah, and repelling the conspiracy of its enemies
11. Preservation of the earth, and protection from corruption
12. Security of Islamic places of worship
13. Protection of the Ummah from punishment, disfiguration and displacement
14. Prosperity of the Ummah, and surplus of its resources
15. Jihad is the highest peak of Islam.
16. Jihad is the most excellent form of worship, and by means of it the Muslim can reach the highest of ranks.
1. In order that the Disbelievers do not dominate
For in the noble verse of the Qur’an, we find, (translated):
“And fight them until there is no Fitnah, and the way of life prescribed by Allah is established in its entirety. But even if they desist, Allah sees what they do.” So, if the fighting stops, the Disbelievers dominate, and the Fitnah, which is shirk, spreads.
2. Scarcity of Men
The crisis of the Islamic world is the lack of men who are competent in bearing responsibility and meriting trust, as has been reported in Sahih Bukhari:
“People are like a hundred camels out of which you will not find a mount (rahilah).”
This means that the ultimate in moderation regarding things of this world and in longing for the hereafter is as scarce as a rahilah. It has been narrated that `Umar Ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) told the cream of his companions, “Wish!” and so each of them wished something, and then they said, “Wish, oh Commander of the Believers!”
Umar then said, “I wish that I could have this house full of people like Abu `Ubaydah.”
(Abu Ubaydah was one about whom the Rasul (saws) said is the “trustworthy one” of the Ummah.)
The men who know are few, those who act are even fewer. Those who perform Jihad are rarer and scarcer, and those who remain steadfast on this path are hardly sufficient to be mentioned.
Many a time have I looked in on a gathering for Qur’anic recitation, comprising Arab youths who came to the Land of Honor and Glory (by which I mean the land of Afghanistan).
Power on the back of distinction does ride,
And distinction comes about through night journeys and vigilance.
I am saying, I have looked at the countenances of the youths, seeking one among them proficient in the rules of recitation so that I could put him in charge of the group, but I did not find a single such one. Thereupon I could well say, “How our people have served us!” which are the very words that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said when seven youths of Ansar were killed in front of him on the Day of Uhud. We are saying that our learned brethren and mature propagators have not come to us. On the contrary, some of them advise those who come forward to sit complacently in their own countries, even if they could not say a word against the injustice of the oppressors and the tyranny of the occupiers. And some of them give verdicts without knowledge, saying, “The Afghans are in need of money and not in need of men”. As for me, through the course of my day-to-day life for this Jihad, I have found that the Afghans are in severe need of money. But their need for men is more severe, and the necessity of propagators is greater. I reaffirm this while living my eighth year amongst the Mujahideen.
If you have any doubt about what I am saying, then come with us. We will pass through Afghanistan so that you can see for yourself an entire regiment in which not a single person among them who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an. Then move on with me to another regiment so that you can be convinced that there is nobody in it who knows how to perform the funeral prayer, on account of which they are forced to carry their martyr long distances in order to find somebody to pray over his body.
As for the juristic details of Jihad, such as distribution of booty and treatment of prisoners of war, these matters have arisen in many regiments. Due to ignorance about them, however, they were forced to pass them on to an area in which there was a scholar or scholars who could give their decisions according to the Islamic law. You will become aware, on account of the profound signs left by the Arab youths of modest education (possibly even not surpassing secondary school), of the severe need for propagators, Imams, reciters of the Qur’an and religious scholars. We mention, by way of example, and by no means
exhaustive at that, the brothers, Abdullah Anas, Abu Dajanah, Abu `Asim, Tahir; there are many others besides them. If I were to tell you about Abu Shu`ayb, the illiterate Arab, and the meaningful impressions he left behind in the entire province of Baghlun, you would stand speechless and astonished, dumbfounded and in unceasing wonder.
We still have hope for the brothers who have not been able to escape from the cage of communal practice, and who have not shaken off the accumulations of custom; those who have not cast off from their shoulders the traditions of defeated generations due to pressure of profound reality and before the evil, scheming onslaught of the Orientalists. I am telling these brothers that if they have not come out to us themselves, then at least those, whose souls are fluttering over the land of jihad should pray that they reach it with their bodies.
We told one of the staff of Ahmad Shah Mas`ud – the most brilliant commander in Afghanistan, without dispute – :
“Tell us about Abu `Asim, the reciter of the Qur’an, who was martyred amongst you in Andar.”
He said, “I have not seen anybody comparable to him in dignity, disposition and sedate, tranquil conduct. Because of this, none of us used to speak in his presence, nor stretch out our feet, let alone joke or laugh.”
What, then, will you say, brother, if I inform you that Abu `Asim only had a secondary school education, and was not more than twenty-three years old, but that he memorised the Qur’an?
So, now has come the time of true men, and this is a place not for words but for action.
Forget about the plundered vaults,
Tell me instead about the mounts.
This verse is by Umr al-Qays, and it means: Stop talking about the vaults whose contents have been plundered, and tell me instead about the herd of strong camels on which our life depends. This is a metaphor told to somebody who talks about insignificant things while abjuring significant matters.
Surely, weighty matters and grave, painful disasters have befallen the Muslims. So stop talking about food and styles of speech, and instead, tell me about this important matter and what the Muslims have prepared for it.
Matters which, were they to be contemplated by a child,
The child’s appearance would become that of one aged.
3. Fear of the Fire
Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic, says (translated):
“Unless you go forth, He will punish you with a severe punishment, and will replace you with another people, and you will not harm Him at all. And Allah has power over all things.”
Ibn al-`Arabi said, “The severe punishment in this world is through the occupation of the enemy, and in the Hereafter by fire.”
Qurtubi said, “It has been said that what is meant by this verse is that going out (for Jihad) is compulsory in times of need, of advent of the Disbelievers, and of severe furor of fighting.”
Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic, says, (translated):
“Those whose souls the angels take while they are wronging themselves – (the angels) say to them, ‘What was the matter with you?’ They reply, ‘We were weak and oppressed in the land.’ (The angels) say, ‘Was not Allah’s earth spacious enough that you could emigrate therein?’
Then, the abode of those people shall be Hell – how evil a destination! Except for such weak and oppressed men, women and children who were neither able to come up with a stratagem (to emigrate) nor shown any way (to do so) – those Allah will surely pardon, and Allah is Most Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.”
Bukhari has narrated, through his sound chain of narration, that `Ikrimah said, “Ibn `Abbas informed me that people from among the Muslims were with the pagans, swelling their numbers, during the time of the
Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Arrows which were shot would come and hit some of them, killing them, and then
Allah revealed (the verses meaning), “Those whose souls the angels take while they are wronging themselves…”
Thus, the believers in Mecca who were clutching on to their religion and had not emigrated went out on the day of Badr out of shame and fear of the Disbelievers, so that the ranks of the Disbelievers were swelled. Then some of these Muslims were killed, and according to Bukhari’s narration, they deserve Hell.
What then do you think about the millions of Muslims who are being humiliated with dreadful persecution, and are living the lives of cattle? They cannot repel attacks on their honor, lives and properties. Nay, such a man cannot even have his own way in growing his beard because it is an obvious sign of Islam.
Nor, in fact, is he free to have his wife wear the long garments required by Islam because it is a crime for which he may be seized anywhere and at any time. Nor can he teach the Qur’an to three Muslim youths in the mosque because it is an illegal gathering according to the law of the ignorant. Nay, in some of the countries which are called Islamic, he cannot even have his wife cover her hair, nor can he prevent the intelligence officers from taking his daughter by the hand in the deep of night, under the cover of pitch-darkness, to wherever they wish. Can he refuse a command issued by the evil authorities in which he provides a cheap sacrifice on the altar of the whims of this tyrant?
Are these millions not living lives of despicable subjugation, and do the angels not take their souls while they are wronging themselves? What then will be their reply when the angels ask them, “What was the matter with you?” Will they not say, “We were weak and oppressed in the land”? Weakness is not an excuse before the Lord of the Worlds. In fact, it is a crime making the one committing it deserving of Hell. But Allah has excused those of advanced years; the small children; and the women who neither find any scheme for liberation, nor know the path to the Land of Honor, nor are able to emigrate to the land of Islam or to arrive at the base for Jihad.
I shall turn my face away from a land which has
Made tongue ineffective and locked up my heart,
A man’s clear resolution and common sense
Dictate that he turn away from the sun’s glare.
Jihad and emigration to Jihad have a deep-rooted role which cannot be separated from the constitution of this religion. A religion, which does not have Jihad, cannot become established in any land, nor can it strengthen its frame. The steadfast Jihad, which is one of the innermost constituents of this religion and which has its weight in the scales of the Lord of the Worlds, is not a contingent phenomenon peculiar to the period in which the Qur’an was revealed; it is in fact a necessity accompanying the caravan which this religion guides.
Sayyid Qutb says, interpreting this verse, “If Jihad had been a transitory phenomenon in the life of the Muslim Ummah, all these sections of the Qur’anic text would not be flooded with this type of verse! Likewise, so much of the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), would not be occupied with such matters.
If Jihad were a passing phenomenon of Islam, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would not have said the following words to every Muslim until the Day of Judgement,
‘Whoever dies neither having fought (in Jihad), nor having made up his mind to do so, dies on a branch of hypocrisy.’
Allah, the Flawless, knows that this is a thing that kings hate! And He knows that the associates of the ruler will inevitably resist it because it is a way other than theirs. It is a manner different from their own, not only for a fixed duration, but today and tomorrow and in every land and in every era!
Allah, the Flawless, knows that Evil is a braggart and that it is not possible for it to become fair. Nor will it to allow Good to rise in whatever safe, well-established ways that the latter follows, because the very growth of Good is a risk to Evil. The very existence of truth is a danger to falsehood. And, no doubt,
Evil will turn to hostility; and certainly, Falsehood will defend itself by attempting to kill the truth and suppress it by force. This is a natural disposition, not a temporal matter! It is nature, and not a transient condition.
Hence, certainly there must be Jihad…assuredly in every form…unquestionably it should begin in the realm of ideas, and then appear in and pervade the world of truth, reality and experience…Undoubtedly, armed Evil must be taken on by armed Good…Falsehood strengthened by numbers must be confronted by Truth garbed with preparation…otherwise it would be suicide, or jest not befitting Muslims.”
I blame not the invader when he uses force or prepares,
For his way is to seize, and our concern must be to prepare.
4. Responding to the Call of the Lord
Allah, Most High, says, (translated):
“Go forth, light and heavy, and strive with your wealth and selves in the Path of Allah; that is better for you, if only you knew.”
Qurtubi has quoted ten different reports for the interpretation of “light” and “heavy”:
1. Narrated from Ibn `Abbas: youthful and mature.
2. Narrated from Ibn `Abbas and Qatadah: eager and uneager.
3. Light: rich, and heavy: poor. Reported by Mujahid.
4. Light: youthful, and heavy: old. Reported by Hasan Basri.
5. Busy and unoccupied. Reported by Zayd Ibn Ali and al-Hakam Ibn `Utaybah.
6. Heavy is the one with family, and light is the one with no family. Reported by Zayd Ibn Aslam.
7. Heavy is the one with some work, which he dislikes abandoning, and light is the one without any work. Reported by Ibn Zayd.
8. Light: infantry, and heavy: cavalry. Reported by al-Awza`i.
9. Light are the ones who rush to the war like the vanguard (the foremost rank of the army).
10. Light: brave, and heavy: cowardly. Reported by al-Naqqash.
The correct interpretation, in our understanding, is that people have been ordered as a whole. That is, “Go forth, whether the activity is light for you or heavy.” It has been narrated that Ibn Umm Maktum [the blind man] came to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and asked him,
“Do I have to do battle?” The Prophet said, “Yes,” until Allah Most High revealed the verse meaning,
“There is no blame on the blind.”
These reports are only to illustrate “light” and “heavy”, and a sensible person does not doubt that the conditions in which we are living, in Afghanistan and Palestine – nay in the major part of the Islamic world – fall under the jurisdiction of this verse.
There is agreement among mufassirin, muhaddithin, jurists and scholars of usul (religious principles) that when the enemy enters an Islamic land or a land that was once part of the Islamic lands, it is obligatory on the inhabitants of that place to go forth to face the enemy.
But if they sit back, or are incapable, lazy, or insufficient in number, the individual obligation (fard `ayn) spreads to those around them. Then if they also fall short or sit back, it goes to those around them; and so on and so on, until the individually obligatory (fard `ayn) nature of jihad encompasses the whole world. At that time, nobody can abandon it, just like salah and fasting, to the extent that the son may go out without the permission of his father, the debtor without the permission of the one he owes, the woman without the permission of her husband, and the slave without the permission of his master. The individually obligatory nature of jihad remains in effect until the lands are purified from the pollution of the Disbelievers. However, a woman going out on a journey must have a mahram.
I have not found, in my modest experience, any book of fiqh, tafsir or Hadith, which does not document this condition. None of the Predecessors have said that this condition is one in which jihad is Fard kifayah, nor have they said that the permission of parents is necessary. The sin is not lifted off the necks of the Muslims as long as any area of land (which was once Muslim) remains in the hands of the Disbelievers, and none are saved from the sin except those who perform jihad.
So, everyone not performing jihad today is forsaking a duty, just like the one who eats during the days of Ramadhan without excuse, or the rich person who withholds the Zakat from his wealth. Nay, the state of the person who abandons jihad is more severe.
As Ibn Taymiyyah says, “As for the occupying enemy who is spoiling the religion and the world, there is nothing more compulsory after faith ( man) than repelling him.”
And the clear truth which cannot be escaped is contained in the words of Abu Talhah when he recited (the words meaning), ‘Go forth, light and heavy,’
He said, ‘Young and old, Allah has not accepted the excuse of anyone.’
Then he said, ‘O son! Prepare me (for jihad), prepare me!’ His son said, ‘May Allah have mercy on you! You did battle along with the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) until he died, and together with Abu Bakr until he died, and the same alongside Umar until he died, so now we will do battle on your behalf.’ But Abu Talhah said, ‘No, prepare me.’ So he went out for jihad, and died at sea, and they did not find an island on which they could bury him until seven days later, at which time they buried him there. His corpse had not decomposed, may Allah be pleased with him.
Qurtubi says, “When jihad becomes individually obligatory because of the domination of the enemy over a piece of land, or by their occupation of a part of the Islamic heartland, then at that stage, it is obligatory on all the inhabitants of that land to go forth. They must go out light and heavy, young and old, each according to his/her capability; those with fathers without their fathers’ permission, and also those without fathers. None should linger behind from going out either to fight or to increase numbers, even if the inhabitants of that area are weak, until they know that they have amongst them the capability to withstand the enemy and repel them.
In the same way, it is also compulsory for everybody who knows of their weakness against the enemy, and knows that he could join them and help, to go out, for the Muslims are all a single hand against the enemy. This is the status of jihad until the inhabitants of the area have managed to repel the enemy that descended upon the land and occupied it, at which point the obligation is waived from the others.”
If the enemy comes close to the Land of Islam (darul-Islam) without actually entering it, it is also necessary that the people should go out towards them until the religion of Allah prevails, the territory is protected, its heartland is safeguarded, and the enemy is subdued. There is no disagreement regarding any of this. How beautiful are the verses of the poetic genius al-Ja`di in addressing his wife who wishes that he would sit with his family:
She spent the night sitting, reminding me of Allah
While tears abundantly down their channels did run.
Dear woman! The Book of Allah has taken me forth,
Averse. Shall I then forbid Allah from what He has done?
If I return, then the Lord of Creation shall have returned me;
If I meet my Lord then in my place marry another man.
I was not lame nor blind that He should excuse me,
Nor weak from any illness causing incapacitation.
5. Following the Pious Predecessors
Jihad was a way of life for the Pious Predecessors, and the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was a master of the Mujahideen and a model for fortunate, inexperienced people.
When there was fierce fighting, they used to stand resolutely by the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) lest he be closest to the enemy.
The total number of military excursions which he (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) accompanied was twenty-seven. He himself fought in nine of these; namely Badr, Uhud, al-Muraysi`, The Trench, Qurayzah, Khaybar, The Triumph of Makkah, Hunayn and Ta’if. (This is according to those who consider that Makkah was conquered by force.)
He sent out a total of forty- seven attachments. It has also been said that he participated in the fight against Banu Nadir. This means that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to go out on military expeditions or send out an army at least every two months.
The virtuous Companions continued upon the path of the Noble Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), for the Glorious Qur’an had brought up this generation with an education of Jihad. They had been bathed in Jihad and cleansed of engrossment in worldly matters, just as a wound is bathed in water.
It has been narrated that Aslam Abu `Imran said, “In Constantinople, a man of the Emigrants (muhajirin) attacked the enemy ranks until he had penetrated them. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari was with us. Some people said, ‘He has contributed to his destruction with his own hands.’ Upon this, Abu Ayyub said, “We are more knowledgeable about this verse, for it was revealed in our midst. We accompanied the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and we witnessed events with him and assisted him. Then, when Islam had spread and prevailed, a group of us Ansar, brought together by our mutual bonds of love, gathered one day and said, ‘Allah has honored us with the companionship of His Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) until Islam has spread and its adherents have become many.
We used to prefer him over our families, possessions and children, but now the war is over, so we will return to our wives and children and remain with them.’ Then the verse was revealed, (translated):
‘And spend in the Path of Allah, and do not contribute to your destruction with your own hands.’
So, the destruction lay in remaining with one’s family and wealth and abandoning Jihad.”
`Ikrimah has narrated about Dumrah Ibn `Ays, who was one of the weak and oppressed Muslims in Makkah and was sick, that when he heard what Allah revealed about hijrah he said, ‘Take me out!’
So a stretcher was brought for him and he was put on it and was taken out. He died on the way at Tan`im, 2 km from Makkah.”
Tabari has reported that Miqdad Ibn al-Aswad was seen at a money- changer’s table in Emesa. He was leaning on the table due to his corpulence, and somebody said,
“Allah has excused you!” Whereupon he said, “The surah of dispatchment has come to us, ‘Go forth, heavy and light.'”
Al-Zuhri said, “Sa`id Ibn al-Musayyib went out for Jihad when he was blind in one eye, and somebody told him, ‘You are an invalid’ but he said, ‘Allah has called forth the light and the heavy. If I cannot fight, I will increase our numbers and guard possessions.'”
It has been narrated that somebody saw, in the battles of the Levant, a man whose eyelids were sagging over his eyes on account of old age, and so he told him, “Uncle, Allah has excused you.”
But the man said, “Nephew, we have been ordered to go forth light and heavy.”
Then, there is Ibrahim Ibn Adham, who when he perceived that he was dying, said, “String my bow for me.” He died while it was in his hand, and he was buried on a Roman island. And Abdullah Ibn al-Mubaarak, who used to traverse two thousand six hundred kilometres travelling or riding his beast, in order to fight in the Path of Allah in the seaports of the Muslims. Zuhayr Ibn Qumayr al-Maruzi said, “I have been wishing for meat for forty years, and I will not eat it until I enter Rome, and then I will eat it out of the booty of Rome.” `Urwah Ibn al-Ja`d, the Judge of Kufah, used to have in his house seventy horses appointed for Jihad.
Muhammad Ibn Wasi` was a devout worshipper and a muhaddith, and also participated in military expeditions and in guarding the front-line. Commander Qutaybah Ibn Muslim al-Bahili said of him,
“That the finger of Muhammad Ibn Wasi` points to the sky in battle is more beloved to me than one hundred thousand renowned swords and strong youths.” Muhammad Ibn Ishaq al-Sulami says, “I know with certainty that I have killed one thousand Turks with this sword of mine. Were it not an innovation, I would order that it be buried with me.”
Then there is Abu Abdullah Ibn Qadus. He acquired such a reputation on account of the large number of Christians he killed in Spain that when a Christian used to try to make his own horse drink, and it would not advance to the water, he used to say to it, “What’s the matter with you? Did you see Ibn Qadus in the water?” Badr Ibn `Ammar killed a lion with his whip, and thus he was praised by al-Mutanabbi in the following couplet:
Does he sully the lion with his whip?
For whom then are you saving the burnished sword?
There is also `Umar al-Mukhtar, of whom Girasiyani, the Italian commander, says, “He plunged into 263 battles with our forces over twenty months. His total battles numbered one thousand.”
And then there is Shaykh Muhammad Farghali. The English in al- Isma`iliyyah used to declare a state of emergency in their camps when Farghali entered the city, and they offered fifty thousand pounds to anybody for him, dead or alive. Yusuf Tal`at used to be called “Butcher of the English” on account of the large numbers of them that he killed in the Suez Canal. Abdel-Nasser executed both of them to please his American masters.
Muhammad Bana, one of the general staff of Ahmad Shah Mas`ud, told me that he and his company have blown up 400 transport vehicles while passing by Salang. The Russians call him “The General”. He captured 200 Kalakovs and 200 Kalashnikovs, and Muhammad Bana has told me that he once destroyed 150 tanks all together.
6. Establishing a solid foundation as a base for Islam
Establishment of the Muslim community on an area of land is a necessity, as vital as water and air. This homeland will not come about without an organised Islamic movement which perseveres consciously and realistically upon Jihad, and which regards fighting as a decisive factor and as a protective wrapping. The Islamic movement will not be able to establish the Islamic community except through a common, people’s Jihad which has the Islamic movement as its beating heart and deliberating mind.
It will be like the small spark which ignites a large keg of explosives, for the Islamic movement brings about an eruption of the hidden capabilities of the Ummah, and a gushing forth of the springs of Good stored up in its depth. The Companions of the Prophet were exceedingly few in number compared to the troops who toppled the throne of the Persian Kisra and overthrew the Caesar of Rome.
Nay, the tribes which reneged from Islam in the days of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq were dispatched by `Umar Ibn al-Khattab, after they had announced their repentance, to fight against the Persians. Talhah Ibn Khuwaylid al-Asadi, who had laid claim to prophethood before, became one of the most outstanding and revered heroes. Sa`d chose him for the important task of reconnoitring for information about the Persians, in which he showed outstanding courage.
There are the handful of officers, some of whom may think that it is possible for them to carry out a collective Muslim effort – this is a kind of fantasy or delusion reminiscent of the past. It will be no more than a repetition of the tragedy of Abdel Nasser with the Islamic Movement once again.
The popular Jihad movement with its long path of effort, great sacrifice and serious losses, purifies souls so that they tower above the lower material world. Important matters rise above petty disputes about money, short-term desires and inferior provisions. Malice disappears and souls are sharpened; and the caravan moves on up from the foot of the mountain to the lofty summit, far away from the stench of clay and the struggles of the low ground. Along the path of Jihad, the leadership is categorized. Abilities become manifest from the offerings and sacrifices, and men come forth with bravery and service.
Do not think glory to be a wine-skin and songstress,
For glory can come only through war and severe fighting.
When important matters are the only concern, souls are uplifted above minor issues, and important things occupy people’s hearts and hopes.
When you embark on an honorable venture,
Be not content with aiming below the stars.
For the taste of death in a paltry matter
Is like the taste of death in a significant matter.
The cowards will see cowardice as reason,
And that is the treachery of the depraved disposition.
The nature of societies is precisely that of water. In stagnant water, water moss and decayed matter float on the surface, whereas flowing water will not carry scum on its surface. Similarly, the leadership of a stagnant society cannot fulfil its responsibility because leadership emerges only through movement, sacrifice, service and offering. Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman and `Ali emerged as outstanding individuals through great feats and excessive sacrifices.
Thus Abu Bakr was not in need of election propaganda when the Ummah reached a consensus to elect him. No sooner did the soul of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) ascend to meet his Lord than were all eyes turned to the open position; and they found none better than Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him).
The Ummah, which performs Jihad, pays a high price, and so it harvests ripe fruits. It is not easy to lose something that was won through sweat and blood. Those who sit at the helm of leadership of people by the power of the first announcement of a military revolution accomplished behind the scenes in one of the offices of mediation can easily lose everything.
Whoever seized a land without fighting,
It is easy for him to give it up.
The Ummah of Jihad, which is led by extraordinary people who emerged through the long Jihad movement, will not easily lose command, nor serve as easy prey for collapse. It is also not easy for its enemies to make it have suspicions about its heroes’ excursions. The Jihad movement familiarizes the Ummah with all its individuals, informing them that they have contributed to the price paid, and have participated in the sacrifice for the establishment of the Islamic community. Thus they will be trustworthy custodians of this newborn community which has relieved the whole Ummah from the agony of its labor-pains. Without a doubt, the Islamic community will be born, but birth cannot be accomplished without labor, and with labor there must be pain.
7. Protecting the oppressed in the land
Among the incentives for the Islamic Jihad is the protection of those who are weak and oppressed in the land, and lifting injustice off them.
“What is the matter with you, that you do not fight in the Path of Allah, and (in the path of) the weak and oppressed from among the men, women and children who are saying, ‘Oh our Lord! Take us out of this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from You a supporter, and give us from You a helper!” [4:75-76]
How can there be relaxation, and how can the Muslim be calm,
When the Muslim women are with the oppressing enemy?
The Islamic jurists are in consensus that Jihad becomes fard ‘ayn, an individual obligation, both physically and by material support, when a Muslim woman is abused. In al-Bazzaziyyah, it is reported,
“If a Muslim woman is abused in the West, it becomes obligatory on the people of the East to rescue her.”
I wish that, even if they will not protect the religion,
At least, they would fight defending the women’s honor.
Even if they are not interested in Jihad’s reward,
They could, at least, come and fight to win booty.
Once I was with Hikmatyar in Logar (a province of Afghanistan), when he struck a serious blow to the communist headquarters of the province. The children of the province shouted, and the tongues of the women were full of prayers for Hikmatyar.
What! Muslim women are abused in every land?
Shall the lives of Muslims then be good?
Does Allah and Islam not have the right
That every youth and aged one for it should fight?
Islam came to affirm justice on earth, “We surely sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and We revealed with them the Book and the Balance, that Mankind might establish justice.”
8. Hoping for Martyrdom and the High Station in Heaven
It has been reported in the authentic hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad and Tirmidhi, on the authority of Miqdam Ibn Ma`d, that “The martyr has seven special favours from Allah:
-He is forgiven with the first spurt of his blood,
-He sees his place in Heaven,
-He is clothed with the garment of Faith,
-He is wed with seventy-two wives from the beautiful Houris of Heaven,
-He is saved from the punishment of the grave, and he is protected from the Great Terror on Qiyamah
-On his head is placed a crown of dignity, the jewel of which is better than the world and all it contains.
-He is granted intercession for seventy people of his household.”
Bukhari has reported that Abu Hurayrah said, “In Heaven there are one hundred levels which Allah has prepared for those who strive in His Path (the Mujahideen), the difference between two levels is like the difference between heaven and earth, so when you ask Allah, ask for Firdaws”
9. A shield for the Ummah, and a means for lifting disgrace off them
An authentic hadith reported by Imam Ahmad, on the marfu` authority of Ibn `Umar, states,
“When people are stingy with dinars and dirhams, and trade in round-about ways with usury, and follow the tails of cows, Allah will establish over them a disgrace which He will not remove until they return to their religion.”
10. Protecting the dignity of the Ummah, and repelling the conspiracy of its enemies
“Fight, therefore, in the Path of Allah – you will be held accountable only for yourself – and arouse the believers. Surely, Allah will subdue the might of the Disbelievers. And Allah is stronger in power, and sterner in exemplary punishment.”
In an authentic hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud, on the authority of Thawban, we’re told:
“A time will come when the nations (of the world) will surround you from every side, just as diners gather around the main dish. Somebody asked, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, will it be on account of our scarcity at that time?’ He said, ‘No, but you will be scum, like the scum of flood water. Feebleness will be placed in your hearts, and fear will be removed from the hearts of your enemies, on account of your love for the world, and your abhorrence of death.'”
11. Preservation of the earth, and protection from corruption
“Had it not been for Allah’s countering some people by means of others, the earth would surely have become decadent.”
12. Security of Islamic places of worship
“Had it not been for Allah’s countering some people by means of others, surely cloisters, churches, synagogues and mosques, in which the name of Allah is remembered much, would have been destroyed.”
13. Protection of the Ummah from punishment, disfiguration and displacement
“Unless you go forth, He will punish you with a severe retribution, and will replace you with another people”
14. Prosperity of the Ummah, and surplus of its resources
“My sustenance has been put under the shadow of my spear.” This is an authentic hadith, reported by Imam Ahmad, on the authority of Ibn `Umar.
15. Jihad is the highest peak of Islam.
“The highest peak of it is Jihad,” we find in authentic hadith reported on the authority of Mu`adh. Jihad is also the asceticism of this Ummah: “And you should perform Jihad, for it is the asceticism of this Ummah.”
16. Jihad is the most excellent form of worship, and by means of it the Muslim can reach the highest of ranks.
Al-Fadl Ibn Ziyad said, “I heard Abu `Abdullah Ahmad Ibn Hanbal while he was talking about the enemy, and he began crying, saying there is no deed of righteousness better than fighting them.”
It was reported about him by others, that he said, “Nothing matches encountering the enemy, and face-to-face combat is the most excellent of deeds. Those who fight the enemy are the ones who protect Islam and its holy places, and what deed could be superior to that? People are safe while they are in fear, and they have contributed the their very lifeblood.”
In Bukhari appears the following hadith: “In Heaven there are a hundred levels which Allah has prepared for those who perform Jihad in the Path of Allah; the difference between every (successive) pair of these is like the difference between heaven and earth.”
Oh Muslims! Upon you be peace, and Allah’s mercy and His blessings.
The enormous sacrifices apportioned to the Afghan Muslim people are no secret to you. To date, nine years and some have passed since the start of the illustrious revolution against the Communist invasion. During this time, the Muslims in Afghanistan have endured as much as mortals can endure in the course of protecting their religion, honor and children. Not a single house remains in Afghanistan that has not been transformed into a funeral home or an orphanage.
These people have an excuse before Allah, and have called to Allah to bear witness, on the basis of the skulls, cripples, souls and blood, that there has not remained a single arrow in the bow, and the arrows of the quiver have almost broken through.
Through the course of this long period of time, the Afghans had expectations of their Muslim brethren in case their numbers became decreased, and also so that the Muslim brotherhood could be aroused in their depths. Yet, until now, the Muslims have not heeded their call. In the ears of the Muslims is a silence, rather than the cries of anguish, the screams of virgins, the wails of orphans and the sighs of old men. Many well-off people have deemed it sufficient to send some of the scraps from their tables and crumbs from their food.
But the situation is more serious, and gravely momentous, and the Muslims in Afghanistan are in severe distress and definite, menacing peril. This blessed jihad was established by a handful of youths who were nurtured in Islam, and by a group of scholars who devoted themselves to Allah. But most of this first
generation has fallen in martyrdom, and the second generation has advanced. This second generation has not been fortunate enough to receive the same share of upbringing and guidance, and have not come across a stretched-out hand showing an interest in teaching and training them. Such people are in dire need of somebody who can live amongst them to direct them toward Allah and teach them religious regulations.
According to our modest experience and knowledge, we believe that jihad in the present situation in Afghanistan is individually obligatory (fard `ayn), with one’s self and wealth as has been confirmed by the jurists of the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence, without any exception. Along with them, the same opinion has been given by the majority of exegetes (mufassirin), hadith-scholars and scholars of religious principles (usul). Ibn Taymiyah said, “When the enemy has entered an Islamic land, there is no doubt that it is obligatory on those closest to the land to defend it, and then on those around them, … for the entire Islamic land is like a single country. Also, (it is compulsory) to go forth to meet the enemy without permission from parents or people to whom one is in debt. The texts of (Imam) Ahmad are quite explicit regarding this.”
He also said, “When the enemy wants to attack the Muslims, defence becomes obligatory on all those upon whom the attack is intended, and on others besides them, just as Allah has said, (translated)
‘And if they seek your help in the matter of religion, then you must help them'”
This is just as the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has ordered the individual to help Muslims, whether or not he has been recruited for fighting. It is obligatory on every individual according to his capability and wealth, little or plenty, whether walking or riding. When the enemy proceeded towards the Muslims in the Year of the Trench, Allah did not excuse anybody. The texts of the four juristic schools are explicit and definite in this respect, and leave no room for interpretation, ambiguity or uncertainty.
Ibn `Abidin, the Hanafi scholar says, “(Jihad is) fard `ayn when the enemy has attacked any of the Islamic heartland, at which point it becomes fard `ayn on those close to the enemy … As for those beyond them, at some distance from the enemy, it is fard kifayah for them unless they are needed. The need arises when those close to the enemy fail to counter the enemy, or if they do not fail but are negligent and fail to perform jihad. In that case it becomes obligatory on those around them – fard `ayn, just like prayer and fasting, and they may not abandon it. (The circle of people on whom jihad is fard `ayn expands) until in this way, it becomes compulsory on the entire people of Islam, of the West and the East”
Verdicts in the same vein were issued also by the Hanafi scholars al-Kasani in “Bada’i` al-Sanai`”, Ibn Nujaym in “al-Bahr al-Ra’iq”, and Ibn al-Humam in “Fath al-Qadir”.
If you wish, you may also peruse the Maliki al-Dasuqi’s “Hashiyah”, “Nihayah al-Muhtaj” by the Shafi`i al-Ramali, and “al-Mughni” by the Hanbali Ibn Quddamah.
Perhaps some people find justification for themselves for avoiding jihad by the fact that many of the Afghans are not at an acceptable level of Islamic training, and they therefore make excuses for themselves, on the basis of some irregularities, to sit back. But the refutation of this is that the jurists have documented that it is obligatory to perform jihad even with an extremely sinful army. This is one of the principles of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah, “to perform jihad with every pious and sinful man”, for Allah will support this religion through a sinful man, and by means of disgraceful people who have no morals. This is in fact the way of the prime of the Ummah, of recent as well as of old. In fact, to abstain from fighting behind one’s leaders, even if they are corrupt, or with a highly unrighteous army, is the practice of the Hururiyyah (one of the sects of the Khawarij) and their like; people who adopt the way of vain cautiousness emanating from lack of knowledge.
Some others excuse themselves by claiming that their presence in their country is necessary for the purpose of education and upbringing. For such people, we present the words of al-Zuhri:
“Sa`id Ibn al-Musayyib went out to battle at the point where he had lost the use of one of his eyes. He was told, ‘You are an invalid,’ but he said, ‘Allah has summoned forth the light and the heavy. So if I cannot fight, I will swell the ranks and guard belongings.’ “
So, whose position and job can measure up to the rank of the Master of the Successors, the heir of prophetic knowledge through his father-in-law Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him)?
Matters have reached a critical point, the noose is tightening, the situation is grave for the Muslims, so when will we go forth?
And for how long will we sit back doing nothing?
The jurists used to rule, as has been reported in al-Bazzaziyyah, that “If a Muslim woman is abused in the West, it is obligatory on the people of the East to rescue her.” What then would our scholars say about the thousands of women who are being raped in their homes? How would they respond to the women who cast themselves in the Konar River in Laghman, fleeing from rape at the hands of the Red Army, in order to guard their chastity? (It is not permissible for a woman, by the agreement of scholars, to surrender to captivity if she fears for her modesty.) Do you not fear that your turn may come, and that the matter will concern your own honor?
“There is no man who forsakes another Muslim man in a situation in which his honor is being disparaged and his respect is being violated, except that Allah will forsake him in a position in which he would like to be helped. Nor is there anybody who helps a Muslim in a situation where his honor is being disparaged and his respect is being violated, except that Allah will help him in a position where he would like to be helped.”
So fear Allah with regard to your honor.
Hibban Ibn Musa says, “We went out for ribat to Syria with Ibn al-Mubarak. When he saw how the people were worshipping, making battle and sending out expeditions every day, he turned to me and said,
‘We belong to Allah and to Him shall we return. Alas for the part of our lives that we have spent, and for the nights and days that we whiled away in acquiring knowledge of the declaration of legal intent of divorce, leaving aside the open doors of Heaven here.”
This is Ibn al-Mubarak, who used to perform ribat for two months or more every year – leaving aside his trade and the lessons of hadith and going out for ribat – bewailing the fact that he has not performed ribat all his life, and that he has occupied himself with learning instead. What then should those who have not fired a single shot in the Path of Allah say?
When the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was afflicted with his terminal illness, he did not let it prevent him from reminding the Companions to dispatch the mission of Usamah (may Allah be pleased with him). When Abu Bakr al-Siddiq tried to send out Usamah’s expedition, the Companions tried to dissuade him from his resolution, whereupon he uttered the famous words,
“By He beside Whom there is no god! Even if the dogs rove around the feet of the wives of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), I will not turn back an army which has been sent out by the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
And Allah willed that the final advice of the Companion of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) should be to exhort people towards jihad. Abu Bakr, in the last hours of his life summoned `Umar and said to him,
“Listen, `Umar! I am telling you, and so act upon it afterwards, for I believe I shall die today (and that day was Monday); so if I die today, do not let the evening reach you without having taken over leadership of the people, and if I live till the night, do not let morning reach you without having taken over leadership of the people. Let not a calamity, great as it may be, distract you from matters pertaining to your religion, and the advice of your Lord. You saw me at the death of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and surely creation has never suffered such a misfortune. By Allah! If I were to delay in executing an order of His Messenger, Allah would forsake us, and afflict us with punishment and the city would be set ablaze.”
Indeed, Abu Bakr, the best man after the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), felt that delay in enforcing the command of Allah and the command of His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in going out for jihad was liable to invite destruction and loss.
This is the Book of Allah making judgement between us, and the Sunnah of His messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) speaking and testifying before us, and the way of the Companions in their understanding of the importance of jihad in this religion. Do we then have any comment on these ample, plain, clear, decisive, mutawatir texts? The villain has reached the depths of the Muslim women’s chamber – shall we then leave him be? Shall we allow him to violate honors, spoil values and uproot principles?
Perhaps a woman might utter, ‘Oh Mu`tasim!’,
And such cries fill the mouths of the orphans.
Her cry has reached the ears of the people,
But she has not touched the dignity of (any like) al-Mu`tasim.
The Russians have taken five thousand two hundred Afghan Muslim children to rear them on the Communist ideology, and to sow heresy deep within them. The Americans have confirmed the opening of six hundred schools, and they are maintaining, educating and raising one hundred fifty thousand Afghan children inside and outside the country.
Where then are the propagators of Islam? Where are the Muslim educators, and what have they prepared for saving this Muslim generation, and for safeguarding this great and blessed people?
The jurists have documented that the lands of the Muslims are like a single land, so that whichever region of the Muslims’ territory is exposed to danger, it is necessary that the whole body of the Islamic Ummah rally together to protect this organ which is exposed to the onslaught of the microbe. What is the matter with the scholars that they do not arouse the youths for jihad, especially since arousal is compulsory?
“And arouse the believers.”
What is the matter with the propagators that they do not dedicate a year of their lives to live amongst the Mujahideen, giving guidance and direction? What is the matter with the students that they do not take a year off from their studies in order to attain the distinction of jihad, and contribute with their own selves to the establishment of Allah’s religion on earth?
“They are content to be among the women who remain behind, and their hearts have been sealed, so that they do not comprehend.”
However, the Messenger and those who believe with him perform jihad with their selves and their wealth; they are the ones for whom there are blessings and reward, and they are the successful ones.”
What is the matter with the Imams, that they do not sincerely advise those who seek counsel from them regarding going out with blood and soul in the Path of Allah? For how long will the believing youths be held back and restrained from jihad? These youths, whose hearts are burning with a fire, spurting forth enthusiasm, and blazing with zeal that their pure blood may irrigate the earth of the Muslims. The one who forbids a young man from jihad is no different from the one who forbids him from prayer and fasting. Does the one who forbids people from jihad not fear that he falls under the implication (albeit indirectly) of the noble verse in which Allah says, (translated):
“Perhaps Allah knows those among you who restrain others, and those who say to their brethren, ‘Come to us,’ while they show only a little courage. They are miserly toward you. Then, when fear comes, you see them looking toward you, their eyes rolling like one who has been enshrouded on account of death. Then, when the fear departs, they lash you with sharp tongues, envious of the good. They have not believed, so Allah has rendered their deeds void, and that is easy for Allah.”
What is the matter with the mothers, that one of them does not send forward one her sons in the Path of Allah, that he might be a pride for her in this world, and a treasure for her in the Hereafter through his intercession? And what is the matter with the fathers that they do not urge one of their sons, so that he can grow up in the rearing-ground of heroes, and the lands of men, and the grounds of battle? He should consider that Allah created him infertile, and part of giving thanks for the blessing of children is to submit the charity from his children as thanks to his Lord. Did he create himself? Or provide himself with wealth?
Why then, the stinginess towards the Lord of the Worlds?
Stinginess towards the King with respect to what He owns, notwithstanding the fact that we believe “A soul will not die until its life span and sustenance have been depleted.”
What is the matter with the Muslims that they do not record some days of frontier-guarding, and some hours of battle in the books of their deeds, and the chronicles of their virtues? It has been confirmed in an authentic hadith that,
“Guarding the frontier for a day in the Path of Allah is better than the fasting and prayer of a month.”
And in a hasan hadith,
“Guarding the frontier for a day in the Path of Allah is better than a thousand days spent in other abodes, during which the nights are spent in prayer and the days in fasting.”
And in the authentic hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad and Tirmidhi,
“Standing for an hour in the ranks of battle is better than standing (in prayer) for sixty years.”
Oh brothers of Islam! Come, therefore, to the defense of your religion, and the victory of your Lord, and the elevation of the way of your prophet! Beloved brother! Draw your sword, climb onto the back of your horse, and wipe the blemish off your Ummah. If you do not assume the responsibility, who then will?
The dream of disgrace has gone on long enough
Where, then, is the roar of lions?
The party of the small birds have become eagle-like
And we are under the subjugation of slaves-
The subjugation of slaves out of submissiveness
And not as a result of military defeat.
“Surely, in their stories is a moral for intelligent people.”
So, the bloody tale of Bukhara, the narrative of mutilated Palestine, and blazing Eden, and enslaved peoples, the sorry stories of Spain, the terrible accounts of Eritrea, sore Bulgaria, the tragedy of Sudan, the devastated remnants of Lebanon, Somalia, Burma, Caucasia and its deep wounds, Uganda, Zanzibar, Indonesia, Nigeria. All these slaughters and tragedies are the best lesson for us. Will we take admonishment from the past before we lose the present? Or will history repeat itself over us while we swallow degradation, fall into oblivion as those before us did, and lose just as they lost?
We hope that Allah defeats the Russians in Afghanistan, and that they turn back on their heels in failure. If the latter occurs, then I wish I knew what catastrophe will befall the Muslims.
Abu Dawud has reported, with a strong chain of narration, on the marfu` authority of Abu Umamah,
“Whoever did not go out for jihad, nor helped equip a fighter, nor treated a mujahid’s family well in his absence, Allah will afflict him with a calamity before the Day of Judgement.”
“Surely, therein is a reminder for anybody with a heart, or who listens while bearing witness (to the truth).”
Have I not conveyed the message? Oh Allah, bear witness then.
Have I not conveyed the message? Oh Allah, bear witness then.
Have I not conveyed the message? Oh Allah, bear witness then.
CLARIFICATIONS ABOUT THE ISSUE OF JIHAD TODAY
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Blessings and peace be upon the noblest of Messengers, Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.
1. We have spoken at length about the status of jihad today in Afghanistan, Palestine, and other usurped Muslim lands of the like. We have confirmed what has been agreed upon by the earlier (salaf) and latter (khalaf) generations of hadith scholars, exegetes, jurists, and scholars of religious principles (usul), namely that : “When a span of Muslim land is occupied jihad becomes individually obligatory (fard `ayn) on the inhabitants of that piece of land. The woman may go out without her husband’s permission with a mahram, the one in debt without the permission of the one to whom he owes, the child without his father’s permission. If the inhabitants of that area are not sufficient in number, fall short, or are lazy, the individually obligatory nature of jihad extends to those around them, and so on and so on until it covers the entire Earth, being individually obligatory (fard `ayn) just like salah, fasting, and the like so that nobody may abandon it.”
2. The obligation of jihad today remains fard `ayn until the liberation of the last piece of land which was in the hands of Muslims but has been occupied by the Disbelievers.
3. Some scholars consider jihad today in Afghanistan and Palestine to be fard kifayah. We agree with them in that jihad in Afghanistan for the Arabs was initially fard kifayah. But the jihad is in need of men and the inhabitants of Afghanistan have not met the requirement which is to expel the Disbelievers from Afghanistan. In this case, the communal obligation (fard kifayah) is overturned. It becomes individually obligatory (fard `ayn) in Afghanistan, and remains so until enough Mujahideen have gathered to expel the communists in which case it again becomes fard kifayah.
4. There is no permission needed from anybody in the case of an individual obligation (fard `ayn), according to the principle,”there is no permission necessary for an individual obligation (fard `ayn)”.
5. A person who discourages people from jihad is like the one who discourages people from fasting. Whoever advises an able Muslim not to go for jihad is just like the one who advises him to eat in Ramadan while he is healthy and in residence.
6. It is best to shun the company of those who hold back from jihad and not to enter into arguments with them, for this would lead to idle disputation and hardening of the heart. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah says, “And avoidance comprises: avoiding evil and evil people, and similarly shunning those who call for innovation in religion, and sinful people and those who associate with such people or assist them in those endeavours. Similar is the case of the person who abandons jihad and from whom there is no benefit in associating with, for in this case we are liable to punishment for not having helped him by co-operating in matters of righteousness and piety.
The adulterers, homosexuals, those who abandon jihad, the innovators and the alcoholics, as well as those who associate with them are a source of harm to the religion of Islam. They will not cooperate in matters of righteousness and piety. So whoever does not shun their company is, in fact, abandoning what he has been commanded to do and is committing a despicable deed.”
IMPORTANT NOTES REGARDING APPLICATION OF THE ORDINANCE
1. When we call people for jihad and explain to them its ordinance, it does not mean that we are in a position to take care of them, advise them, and look after their families. The concern of the scholars is to clarify the Islamic legal ruling. It is neither to bring people to jihad nor to borrow money from people to take care of the families of Mujahideen. When Ibn Taymiyyah or Al-`Izz Ibn `Abd As- Salam explained the ruling concerning fighting against the Tartars they did not become obliged to equip the army.
2. Carrying out religious obligations is necessary according to one’s capability. Pilgrimage, for example, is compulsory on those who are able to perform it.
“And it is an obligation on mankind towards Allah to perform the Pilgrimage of the House for whoever is able to do so.”
Similarly, jihad must be performed according to one’s ability, as mentioned in the Qur’an,
“There is no blame on the weak, nor on the ill, nor on those who cannot find anything to spend, when they have shown goodwill toward Allah and His Messenger. There is no censure upon the righteous. Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Nor (is there any blame) on those who, when they came to you to be mounted, you said to them,
” I cannot find anything on which to mount you.’ They turned away, their eyes flowing with tears, out of grief that they did not have anything to spend (in the path of Allah).”
Ibn al-`Arabi said,
“This second verse is the strongest of evidence for the acceptability of the excuse of one who is in poverty or has a valid need which holds him back from jihad, provided goodwill has been identified in his conduct while claiming the inability.”
Qurtubi said in his tafsir,
“The verse is a basis for the dismissal of obligation from the incapable, so that whoever is incapable of performing a deed is exempted from it, sometimes by doing something else in its place, and sometimes by merely having the resolution and will to do it. There is no difference in this respect between a person who is incapable physically, and one who is financially unable. This verse is explained by the words of Allah, (translated) ‘Allah does not impose upon any soul a burden beyond its capability’ “
In Sahih Muslim, it is reported that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said,
“In Madinah are people who are with you whenever you travel any distance or traverse a valley. They were held back by (valid) excuses.”
According to another narration, “they were held back by illness.”
“The majority of scholars are of the view that anybody who cannot find anything to spend in jihad is not obliged to spend.”
“There is no blame (i.e. sin) on those with chronic diseases, who are incapable of travelling and fighting, nor on the ill, nor on those who do not find anything to spend to take them to jihad.”
Ibn Taymiyyah said,
“The commands, retributions, expiations and so on of the Islamic law are intended to be implemented according to capability.”
ADDING TO THE TEXTS OF SCHOLARS ALREADY MENTIONED:
1. Those with valid excuses are absolved of the sin of sitting back from jihad. Those validly excused include:
a) somebody with a wife and children who do not have income from any other source nor have anybody besides him who could support and maintain them. But if he is able to allocate provision for them for the duration of his absence, then he is sinful if he sits back. Every Muslim should reduce his spending and be frugal with his earnings until he is able to go out for jihad.
b) somebody who was unable, after much effort, to obtain a visa to come to Pakistan.
c) somebody whose government denied him a passport or prevented him from leaving from the airport.
d) somebody who has parents who do not have anybody besides him to support and maintain them.
THE QUESTION OF INTERROGATION BY POLICE AUTHORITIES UPON RETURN OF THE MUJAHID TO HIS HOMELAND FROM JIHAD
This point is never an excuse because it is a matter of suspicion and uncertainty. Jihad is a certainty and the fear of interrogation by the Intelligence is a matter of doubt. In fact, even if he is certain that the Intelligence will interrogate him, this is not an excuse, which absolves him from the sin of sitting back from jihad. The excuse of coercion which is admissible in the shari`ah and which would absolve him of the sin of abandoning an obligation is “direct coercion which threatens loss of life or limb”, that is, torture involving death or severance of a limb.
Similarly, fear of police authorities in the country whose passport he holds, even if he is sure that when he returns they will detain him and kill him or sever his limb, is not an acceptable excuse before Allah because in this case he is obliged to forsake his country and live in the land of jihad.
“Those whose souls the angels take while they are wronging themselves – (the angels) say to them, ‘What was the matter with you?’ They reply, ‘We were weak and oppressed in the land.’ (The angels) say, ‘Was not Allah’s earth spacious enough that you could emigrate therein?’ Then, the abode of those people shall be Hell – how evil a destination it is! Except for such weak and oppressed men, women and children who were neither able to come up with a stratagem (to emigrate) nor shown any way (to do so) – those Allah will surely pardon, and Allah is Most Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.”
THE ISSUE OF ARAB WOMEN PERFORMING JIHAD IN AFGHANISTAN
Arab women may not come without a non-marriageable male guardian (mahram). Their duties are confined to education, nursing, and assisting refugees. As for fighting, Arab women may not fight because until now, Afghan women are not participating in the fighting.
THE ISSUE OF SOMEBODY WHO HAS A HANDICAP (SUCH AS THE CRIPPLE) WHICH PREVENTS HIM FROM FIGHTING BUT DOES NOT PREVENT HIM FROM WORKING IN OTHER SPHERES
The individual obligation is not dismissed from a cripple or from an invalid whose illness is not serious because they are capable of working in the spheres of health and education which is a broad field. The Mujahideen are now more in need of propagators than they are in need of food, weapons, and medicine.
Ibn al-Humam said,
“As for the one who is not able to go out for fighting, he must go out to swell the ranks for this will help terrorise the enemy.” So if going out to swell the ranks is obligatory, then how about going out to teach the Mujahideen the regulations of their religion? This is more obligatory and more strongly compulsory.
A WORD TO THOSE WITH FAMILIES
In conclusion: We tell those with families that they may not leave their families and go out for jihad without ensuring provision for them and without ensuring that somebody will take care of them. Thus, whoever wishes to go out now with his family should realise that we are not able to take care of him. He should therefore check with the Islamic centres close to him or with well-wishers until he is able to guarantee provision for his family. The poor people with families must therefore determinedly look for somebody who could financially support their families for the duration of their absence. They should urgently hasten to take care of their financial affairs, then go out for jihad.
1. When the enemy enters the land of the Muslims, jihad becomes individually obligatory (fard `ayn), according to all the jurists, mufassirin and muhaddithin.
2. When jihad becomes fard `ayn, there is no difference between it and salah and fasting, according to the three Imams, Abu Hanifah, Malik and al-Shafi`i. As for the Hanbalis, they give priority to salah.
In “Bulghah al-Salik li-Aqrab al-Masalik fi madhhab al-Imam Malik” (“The Sufficiency of the Traveller on the Best Path in the School of Imam Malik”), the following is reported:
“Jihad in the Path of Allah, to raise the word of Allah, is fard kifayah once a year, so that if some perform it, the obligation falls from the rest. It becomes fard `ayn, like salah and fasting, if the legitimate Muslim Imam declares it so, or if there is an attack by the enemy on an area of people.”
“Majma` al-anhur”, a book of the Hanafi school, reports:
“If the sufficiency (to defeat the enemy) is not reached except by everybody participating, then at such a time it (jihad) becomes fard `ayn, like salah.”
And in “Hashiyah Ibn `Abidin”, another authoritative Hanafi text, we find,
“…and (jihad is) fard `ayn if the enemy has attacked part of the Islamic homeland. It thus becomes an obligation like salah and fasting which cannot be abandoned.”
3. When jihad becomes fard `ayn, no permission of parents is required, just as parents’ permission is not required to perform the dawn salah, or to fast Ramadan.
4. There is no difference between one who abandons jihad without excuse when it is fard `ayn, and one who eats without excuse during the day in Ramadan.
5. Donating money does not exempt a person from bodily jihad, no matter how great the amount of money given. Nor is the obligation of jihad, which is hanging over the person’s neck, lifted from him; just as it is not correct to give money to the poor for missed fasts or prayers without making them up.
6. Jihad is the obligation of a lifetime, just like salah and fasting. As it is not permissible to fast one year in Ramadan and eat in the following Ramadan, or to pray one day and abandon salah another day, similarly one cannot perform jihad one year and abandon it for some years if he is capable of continuing.
7. Jihad is currently fard `ayn – individually obligatory, in person and by wealth, in every place that the Disbelievers have occupied. It remains fard `ayn continuously until every piece of land that was once Islamic is regained.
8. The word “jihad”, when mentioned on its own, only means combat with weapons, as was mentioned by Ibn Rushd, and upon this the four Imams have agreed.
9. The implication of “fi sabilillah” (in the Path of Allah) is jihad, as Ibn Hajar has said.
10. The saying, “We have returned from the lesser jihad (battle) to the greater jihad (jihad of the soul)” which people quote on the basis that it is a hadith, is in fact a false, fabricated hadith which has no basis. It is only a saying of Ibrahim Ibn Abi `Abalah, one of the Successors, and it contradicts textual evidence and reality.
11. Jihad is the zenith of Islam, and proceeds in stages. Before it comes hijrah, then preparation (organisation), then ribat, then combat. Hijrah is necessary for jihad, for it has been reported in the authentic hadith reported by Imam Ahmad on the marfu’ authority of Junadah, that “hijrah will not cease as long as jihad continues.” Ribat refers to living on the Muslims’ front-line to protect the Muslims. It is a necessity of combat, because battles do not occur every day. A person may perform ribat for a long time and only participate in one or two battles during this time.
12. Jihad today is individually obligatory (fard `ayn), by self and wealth, on every Muslim, and the Islamic community remains sinful until the last piece of Islamic land is freed from the hands of the Disbelievers, nor are any absolved from the sin other than the Mujahideen.
13. Jihad in the time of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was of different varieties. The Battle of Badr was recommended (mustahabb). On the other hand, the battles of The Trench and Tabuk were fard `ayn upon every Muslim. The entire community was summoned forth, in the case of Tabuk because of the fact that the Disbelievers attacked Madinah, the Land of Islam. The Battle of Khaybar (in the year 7 A.H.) was communally obligatory (fard kifayah), and the Messenger of Allah only permitted those who had witnessed Hudaybiyah (6 A. H.) to participate in it.
14. Jihad in the days of the Companions and Successors was mostly fard kifayah, because they were embarking on new conquests.
15. Today jihad in person is all fard `ayn.
16. Allah has not excused anybody to abandon jihad other than the ill, the cripple and the blind, as well as children who have not yet reached puberty, and women who have no way of emigrating and performing jihad, and those advanced in years. In fact, it is better for even the sick person whose illness is not serious, as
well as the cripple and the blind person, if they are able to make their way to the training camps in order to join the Mujahideen, teach them Qur’an, talk to them and encourage them to be brave, to do so, just as Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum did in Uhud.
Anybody else has no excuse before Allah, whether he is a professional, a specialist, an employer or a great businessman. None of these is excused from performing jihad personally or permitted to merely contribute materially.
17. Jihad is a collective act of worship, and every group must have a leader. Obedience to the leader is a necessity in jihad, and thus a person must condition himself to invariably obey the leader, as has been reported in the hadith,
“You must hear and obey, whether it is easy or difficult for you, in things which are pleasant for you as well as those which are inconvenient and difficult for you.”
NOTES FOR THOSE COMING FOR JIHAD
1. The jihad of ordinary people is different from the jihad of Islamic propagators. The propagators are always few, and as a rule they are the prime of the Ummah. They alone cannot continue a prolonged jihad, nor are they capable of confronting nations, and so the Ummah must participate with them. Any people will have many faults, so let not anybody think that an entire people is outstanding, bearing the mark of elite angels.
2. The Afghan people are like any other people in that there is ignorance and shortcomings among them, so let not anybody think that he will find an entire people without any deficiencies.
However, the difference between the Afghan people and others is that the Afghans have refused disgrace in their religion, and have purchased their dignity with seas of blood and mountains of corpses and lost limbs. Other nations have submitted to colonization and disbelief from the first day.
3. The Afghan nation is illiterate, and has been reared only on the Hanafi school of thought. No other school of jurisprudence has co-existed with the Hanafi school in Afghanistan, and thus many of them think that anything, which contradicts the Hanafi school, is not part of Islam. The absence of other juristic schools in Afghanistan has led to partisanship and prejudice in favor of the Hanafi school in the hearts of the Afghan people.
Therefore anybody who wishes to perform jihad with the Afghans should respect the Hanafi school.
4. The Afghans are a faithful people who recognize manhood, chivalry and pride, and do not appreciate trickery or hypocrisy. When they love a person, they will give their life and soul for him, and if they dislike him they will not show it at all. A person should desist from certain actions of the prayer when he first mingles with them, in order to give himself a valuable chance of reaching their hearts so that he will be able to instruct and educate them and thus improve their worldly and religious conditions. Imam Ahmad and Ibn Taymiyyah have given verdicts to this effect.
5. You should certainly know that the path of jihad is long and arduous, and that it is not easy for most people to continue the journey, even if they were very eager at the start. Desires and effusive feelings for jihad must definitely take root in the soul to enable it to bear hardships, and to rear it upon difficulties and adversities. Many youth came here zealous, but then their zeal steadily diminished, until they began disputing the very ordinance of jihad.
6. Allah has undertaken to support the Mujahideen, so whoever goes forth in His path, Allah will guide him, strengthen his determination, fortify his heart and make his feet firm.
“There are three whom Allah must help: the mujahid in the path of Allah, the reporter (of a message) who wishes to discharge his responsibility, and the one seeking marriage in order to guard his modesty.”
7. Whoever wishes to come to Afghanistan should call one of the following telephone numbers in Peshawar:
So, when you reach Peshawar, call one of these numbers, and ask the person who answers the call to come to where you are. Then, somebody will come to you and take care of you.
As for the mailing address, it is:
P.O. Box 977
Oh Allah! You are free from all defect. Praise be to You. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship other than You, I seek Your forgiveness and turn to you in repentance.
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Downloaded from the website www.al-haqq.org in December 2001.