THE SCHOLARS ON JIHAD
I have just presented to you some verses from the Qur'an and the noble Ahadith(prophetic traditions) concerning the importance of Jihad. Now I would like to present to you some of the opinions from jurisprudence of the Madhahib (Islamic schools of thought) including some latter day authorities regarding the rules of Jihad and the necessity for preparedness. From this we will come to realise how far the Ummah has deviated in its practice of Islam as can be seen from the consensus of its scholars on the question of Jihad.
The author of the ‘Majma' al-Anhar fi Sharh Multaqal-Abha’, in describing the rules of Jihad according to the Hanafi School, said:
“Jihad linguistically means to exert one's utmost effort in word and action; in the Sharee’ah it is the fighting of the unbelievers, and involves all possible efforts that are necessary to dismantle the power of the enemies of Islam including beating them, plundering their wealth, destroying their places of worship and smashing their idols. This means that Jihad is to strive to the utmost to ensure the strength of Islam by such means as fighting those who fight you and the Dhimmies (if they violate any of the terms of the treaty) and the apostates (who are the worst of unbelievers, for they disbelieved after they have affirmed their belief).
It is fard (obligatory) on us to fight with the enemies. The Imam must send a military expedition to the Dar-al-Harb every year at least once or twice, and the people must support him in this. If some of the people fulfil the obligation, the remainder are released from the obligation. If this fard kifayah (communal obligation) cannot be fulfiled by that group, then the responsibility lies with the closest adjacent group, and then the closest after that etc., and if the fard kifayah cannot be fulfiled except by all the people, it then becomes a fard ‘ayn (individual obligation), like prayer on everyone of the people. This obligation is by virtue of what He, the Almighty, said:
‘Then fight the polytheists...!’
(Surat at-Tawbah (9), ayah 5)
and by what the Prophet T said:
‘Jihad is in effect until the Day of Judgement’
If the whole body [of believers] abandons it, they are in a state of sin….If the enemy conquers any territory of Islam, or any regions of it, it becomes a fard ‘ayn, and the woman and the slave shall go forth without the permission of husband or master. In the same way, the child shall go forth without the permission of his parents, and the debtor without the permission of his creditor.”
And in the Kitab al Bahr:
‘Should a Muslim woman be captured in the East, it is incumbent on the people of the West to rescue her unless she is taken to the stronghold cities of the enemies, and it becomes impossible to free her.’
The author of the "Bulghat al-Salik li Aqrab al-Masalik fi Madhhab al-Imam Malik" said:
“Jihad in Allah's way for the purpose of exalting Allah Almighty's Word every year is a fard kifayah. If some fulfil it, the remainder are absolved of it. It becomes specifically designated (i.e., it becomes a fard ‘ayn like prayer and fasting), when the Imam announces it and the enemy attacks the population of a specific region, whereupon it becomes obligatory on them and if this in sufficient then it becomes obligatory on those in their vicinity. In this case it becomes obligatory on the females and the slaves even though they may not have the permission of their husbands or their masters. It is also obligatory on the debtor even though the lender may not agree to it. It also becomes fard 'ayn on that individual who vows to engage in Jihad. Parents have the right to forbid their child from taking part in it only under conditions of fard kifayah. And if a Muslim is held as a prisoner of war by enemies and he does not have enough money to pay to free himself, then it is obligatory on the others to secure his release, even if this requires all of the Muslims' wealth.”
And in Al-Minhaj of Imam Nawawi of the Shafi'i school:
“Jihad during the time of the Messenger of Allah T was a fard kifayah, though it is also alleged that it was a fard ‘ayn. Since then, there are two conditions relative to the unbelievers:
1) If they remain in their own territories, then Jihad is not an obligation on all Muslims. As long as a sufficient number of Muslims undertake it, the remainder are released from this duty.
2) If they invade one of our territories, its population are obliged to repel them with all their force. If fighting is possible then fighting becomes an obligation. Every slave, poor person, son and debtor must prepare for war, even though they may not have permission..”
And in Al-Mughni of Ibn Qudama of the Hanbali school, who said:
‘Jihad is a fard kifayah. If a group of people engage in it, the remainder are released. It becomes a fard ‘ayn under three conditions:
1) If two armies meet and two lines of soldiers confront one another, those present are forbidden to leave the battlefield, and it becomes a fard ‘ayn on each one to remain at his station.
2) If the unbelievers attack a territory, it is a fard ‘ayn on its population to fight and repel them.
3) If the Imam calls a group of people to arms, then they must join his military forces.And he should at least announce Jihad once every year.”
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said, ‘I know of nothing after the divine commandments more excellent than Jihad, and campaigning by sea is more excellent than campaigning on land.’
Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him said: ‘The Messenger of Allah T was
asleep. Then he awoke laughing, and Umm Haram said: ‘What makes you laugh, O
Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘People of my Ummah embarked on a military campaign in Allah's way, riding on the surface of this sea as kings on their thrones,’
and at the end of the Tradition, Umm Haram asked the Prophet T to beseech Allah on
her behalf that she might be one of them. So he prayed for her, and she lived long
enough to ride upon the sea in the Muslim fleet which conquered the island of Cyprus.
She died and was buried there, may Allah be pleased with her.
And it says in Al-Muhalla of Ibn Hazm:
“Jihad is obligatory on the Muslims, but if the borders of the Muslims can be protected, the enemy can be repelled and fought within his own territory, then the remainder of the people are released from it. And if not, then the obligation remains. Allah Almighty said:
‘Go ye forth, (whether equipped) light or heavily, and strive and struggle, with
your goods and your persons, in the Cause of Allah!’
(Surat at-Tawbah (9), ayah 41)
It is not permissible to participate in Jihad without the permission of the parent. But if Muslim land is invaded, then it is obligatory on those who can help even if their parents do not grant them permission. However, it is not lawful for him to abandon his parents if his parents would suffer in his absence.
And Al-Shawkani said in Al-Sayl al-Jarrar:
“The arguments regarding the Jihad being a religious obligation, both in the Qur’an and in the Sunnah, are too numerous to be set down here. Nevertheless, it is a fard kifayah as long as some people are fulfiling this fard kifayah then the rest are absolved from the duty. Otherwise, it is an fard ‘ayn incumbent on every adult by law until the duty is fulfiled. Similarly, it is a fard ‘ayn also on those people who are ordered to Jihad by the Imam.”
(CONCLUSIONS FROM THE MADHAHIB)
The scholarly people are of one opinion on this matter as should be evident and this is irrespective of whether these scholars were Mujtahideen or Muqalideen and it is irrespective of whether these scholars were salaf (early) or khalaf (late). They all agreed unanimously that Jihad is a fard kifayah imposed upon the Islamic Ummah in order to spread the Da’wah of Islam, and that Jihad is a fard ‘ayn if an enemy attacks Muslim lands. Today, my brother, the Muslims as you know are forced to be subservient before others and are ruled by disbelievers. Our lands have been besieged, and our hurruma'at (personal possessions, respect, honour, dignity and privacy) violated. Our enemies are overlooking our affairs, and the rites of our din are under their jurisdiction. Yet still the Muslims fail to fulfil the responsibility of Da’wah that is on their shoulders. Hence in this situation it becomes the duty of each and every Muslim to make Jihad. He should prepare himself mentally and physically such that when comes the decision of Allah, he will be ready.
I should not finish this discussion without mentioning to you that the Muslims, throughout every period of their history (before the present period of oppression in which their dignity has been lost) have never abandoned Jihad nor did they ever become negligent in its performance, not even their religious authorities, mystics, craftsmen, etc. They were all always ready and prepared. For example, Abdullah ibn al
Mubarak, a very learned and pious man, was a volunteer in Jihad for most of his life,
and 'Abdulwahid bin Zayd, a sufi and a devout man, was the same. And in his time, Shaqiq al Balkhi, the shaykh of the sufis encouraged his pupils towards Jihad.
And Al Badr al Ayni, the commentator on al-Bukhari would take part in Jihad one year,
study for one year and go on pilgrimage one year, while the judge Asad ibn al Furat of the Maliki School was an admiral in his day and Imam Shafi'i would shoot ten arrows and not miss once.
Such was the example set by the early generations of Muslims, may Allah's grace be
upon them! My brother, how do we compare with them?
Excerp from 'Kitab al-Jihad' by Imam Hasan al-Banna