Islam Apologist Quanta Ahmed Errantly Invokes a Canonical Hadith Giving Priority to Jihad of the Sword

By Andrew Bostom:

Quanta Ahmed, at the close of her latest standard fare apologetic on Islam versus “Islamism,” published today at NRO, writes that she “knew well” the following words of Islam’s prophet Muhammad:

Whoever sees a wrong and is able to put it right with his hand, let him do so; if he can’t, then with his tongue; if he can’t, then in his heart, and that is the bare minimum of faith.

Pace Ahmed’s contention that these words compel a Muslim to “expose injustice,” they actually sanction jihad war, a context made plain by both authoritative Islamic legists, and modern Islamologists.

DAR-2090Islam apologist, and revisionist Ahmed is invoking Sahih Muslim-Book 001, Number 0079, a canonical hadith which prioritizes the categories of jihad.

It is narrated on the authority of Tariq b. Shihab: It was Marwan who initiated (the practice) of delivering khutbah (address) before the prayer on the ‘Id day. A man stood up and said: Prayer should precede khutbah. He (Marwan) remarked, This (practice) has been done away with. Upon this Abu Sa’id remarked: This man has performed (his duty) laid on him. I heard the Messenger of Allah as saying: He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand (i.e., by force); and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue (i.e., by preaching or propaganda), and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart (i.e., soul), and that is the least of faith.

Princeton Islamologist John Ralph Willis’ 1967 essay (“Jihad fi sabil Allah- Its doctrinal basis in Islam and some aspects of its evolution in 19th century West Africa” The Journal of African History, 1967, Vol. 8 [No. 3], pp. 395-415) discusses this canonical hadith (Sahih Muslim-Book 001, Number 0079), in the following bellicose context (pp. 398-99), which establishes the priority of jihad by the sword:

The Islamic community…retained as part of its ideology the desire for world domination. According to the Sharia, the world was divided in two. That part which fell outside the abode of Islam was said to be the abode of war (dar al harb). Since the Sharia could not countenance the indefinite existence of this dichotomy, the Muslim community was under obligation to declare jihad upon those who refused to submit or pay the tax of humiliation, until all peoples were brought within the fold of Islam. The jihad came to be looked upon as the instrument by which the dar al-harb would be transformed into dar al-Islam (the abode of Islam)

Willis acknowledges that nonviolent forms of jihad certainly existed—and were lauded.

…the jihad was not seen as a single-edged instrument to be employed by violent means only

But all these methods were geared towards the purpose of Islamization, and jihad by the sword assumed the ultimate, most esteemed priority. In contrast, per, Sahih Muslim-Book 001, Number 0079, “the least of faith,” was jihad from one’s heart, alone.

The classical jurists had distinguished four ways by which the believer could fulfill his jihad obligation. The jihad was defined as an effort directed against any object of disapprobation by use of the heart, the tongue, the hands, and the sword. The jihad of the heart was directed against the flesh…It was to be accomplished by fighting temptation through purification of the soul. The jihad of the tongue and hands was undertaken in fulfillment of the Koranic injunction (for example 7:157; 12:40) to command the good and forbid the bad. And the jihad of the sword was concerned exclusively with combating unbelievers and enemies of the faith by open warfare. Before combating the object of disapprobation, however, it was necessary that the warrior should at first withdraw from it; this withdrawal was called ‘hijra’ in imitation of the Prophetic model. Turning one’s mind from evil and things temporal was hijra of the heart. Withdrawal of verbal or physical support for actions forbidden by Quran, Sunna (traditions of Muhammad and the early Muslim community), or Ijma (consensus of learned Muslim legists, etc.) realized hijra of the tongue and hands. And extrication of oneself from unbelievers—Christians, Jews, or pagans—or from those who would harm Islam, accomplished the last type of hijra.

Willis cites an exemplar of this endlessly repetitive historical “pattern of jihad”: the 11-12th century Almohad jihadst leader Ibn Tumart (d. 1128-1130). Before taking up the sword,

…he went about as a self-appointed censor of public morality—‘commanding the good and forbidding the bad’. We see him breaking the wine jars and musical instruments wherever he finds them; openly admonishing women who go about unveiled; openly blaming the established authority on the pitiful state of Islam; and publicly teaching his theological views to whomever was willing to listen.

The jihad depredations of the Almohads—inspired by Ibn Tumart—wrought enormous destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations in Spain and North Africa, permanently extinguishing the last vestiges of Augustinian Christianity in the latter region. A contemporary Judeo-Arabic account by Solomon Cohen (which comports with Arab historian Ibn Baydhaq’s sequence of events), from January 1148 C.E, described the Muslim Almohad conquests in North Africa, and Spain, as follows:

Abd al-Mumin…the leader of the Almohads after the death of Muhammad Ibn Tumart the Mahdi …captured Tlemcen [in the Maghreb] and killed all those who were in it, including the Jews, except those who embraced Islam…[In Sijilmasa] One hundred and fifty persons were killed for clinging to their [Jewish] faith…All the cities in the Almoravid [dynastic rulers of North Africa and Spain prior to the Almohads] state were conquered by the Almohads. One hundred thousand persons were killed in Fez on that occasion, and 120,000 in Marrakesh. The Jews in all [Maghreb] localities [conquered]…groaned under the heavy yoke of the Almohads; many had been killed, many others converted; none were able to appear in public as Jews…Large areas between Seville and Tortosa [in Spain] had likewise fallen into Almohad hands.

This devastation—massacre, captivity, and forced conversion—was described by the Jewish chronicler Abraham Ibn Daud, and the poet Abraham Ibn Ezra. Suspicious of the sincerity of the Jewish converts to Islam, Muslim “inquisitors”, i.e., antedating their Christian Spanish counterparts by three centuries, removed the children from such families, placing them in the care of Muslim educators.

The true doctrinal and historical context of Quanta Ahmed’s invocation of a canonical hadith she errantly claims urges Muslims to “expose injustice,” in reality exposes her own profound ignorance, and delusion. Ahmed’s witless Islamic apologetics should be reflexively dismissed in the future.

Israel’s jihad is mine

Qanta Ahmed

Qanta Ahmed

IPT:

by Qanta Ahmed Times of Israel January 10, 2013

As Israel considers building a new fence to contain the Syrian conflict to the north, which fences can keep out Hamas’s even more lethal ideologies? While Gaza and the Muslim Arab world continue to claim victory in the recent Israel-Hamas conflict, for the sane observers among us, there is only ever defeat – the defeat of morality in the desecration of a great religion. While most Muslims laud Hamas and scorn Israel, for me, an observing Muslim, Israel’s war against Hamas remains my struggle – my jihad.

Israel’s eight-day operation “Pillar of Defense” sought to dismantle the Hamas apparatus from within Gaza. The predictably seamless alignment of the Muslim world against Israel was even more breathtaking than usual in the face of Syria’s 22 months of systematic genocide, one which has consistently failed to trigger unanimous Muslim protest. What does this say about us as Muslims?

We are hypocrites.

While Muslims define Israel as the enemy, we ignore Assad, and diabolically laud Hamas. Hamas is never sated – each year it devours ever more Palestinians, regardless of age or gender. If Israelis lose fewer citizens than the Palestinians in these conflicts it is for the same reason Israel exchanges more prisoners for each captive soldier: quite simply Israel values human life more than does Hamas, which relishes ground operations taking place among densely populate civilian areas.

Explaining this to Muslims in the Twitterverse, I get sharply reminded that Hamas does not have the “luxury of launch sites” that Israel enjoys. Have we lost our minds, Muslims? How can we speak of ‘launch sites’ as ‘luxuries’ while disregarding the culling taking place in Syria? Perhaps we have not lost our minds, but we have most certainly lost our religion.

As I am not one to speak for others, allow me to let Hamas speak for themselves. They are bald-faced about their mission, seeking glory through death, annunciation through annihilation:

We are ready to offer 1,000, 2,000 or even 10,000 martyrs every year. We are ready to keep offering martyrs for twenty years because we are sure we are moving in the right direction and that we will prevail in the end” (Hamas leader Khalid Al Mish’al in Gaza”

To Hamas, a Palestinian life is worth more when “martyred,” a dead child more of a blessing than one living. “The children of the kindergarten are the shaheeds [martyrs] of tomorrow,” reads a sign displayed at a Hamas-run kindergarten. The martyrdom mantra is their anthem.

While observers speculate Hamas will shortly usurp the crumbling Fatah leadership and ideologically annex the West Bank, we must remember Hamas’ raison d’etre: Islamist nihilism, a totalitarian ideology, jet-fueled on the language and images stolen from mighty Islam. Israeli negotiators who must engage with this opponent are walking on the sharp-edged sword of Damocles and unlike Muslims, the Israelis certainly know it.

Coloring their fascism with Islam, Hamas claims religious legitimacy to openly seek destruction of the Jewish state and eradication of the Jewish people. By grafting themselves onto Into Islamic ideals – the vertebral column of that which is most sacred to Muslims – they render Islam itself heinous, representing their true ruthlessness: theirs is a willingness to sacrifice anything –including Islam – to portray Israel as evil.

This ethos was captured in a single unprecedented obscenity: Hamas’ morbid motorcade. Cocksure thugs, defiantly cruising on motorcycles trailed exposed cadavers of Palestinians – Muslim men – trousers pooled at dead ankles. To chants of ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’ as dozens of Palestinian onlookers silently watched, Hamas took its ghoulish victory lap explicitly to show Gazans how they execute ‘suspected informers to Israel’. This is the Islam of Hamas.

This is why Hamas does not represent me, or other believing Muslims. This is why Israel’s battle is mine. This is why Israel’s struggle – Israel’s jihad – is mine. These are the ‘Muslims’ that Israelis must confront and these are the “Muslims” who intimidate innocent Palestinians into subjugation to their monstrous political Islamism.

But we Muslims in particular, more than conflict-hardened Israelis, should hardly be surprised, for it was Muslims who were once forewarned of scourges such as Hamas.

The Prophet Mohammed (SAW) was once asked what he most feared for his followers. Centuries later, his response, recorded in the hadith, haunts, stating he feared those who:

…Interpret verses of the Qur’an out of context…A people that recite Qur’an….but it will not go past their throats, a people with excellent words and vile deeds. They will pass through the religion (of Islam) like the arrow passes through its quarry. They will no more come back to the religion than the arrow will come back to its course. They are the worst of human beings and the worst of all creation. They summon to the book of Allah, but they have nothing to do with it. Whoever kills them is closer to Allah than they.

This is the true nature of Hamas, which recites the Quran yet doesn’t hold it in their hearts, that “summon to the book of Allah but have nothing to do with it.” By the above, it would seem the IDF (that eliminates Hamas) is surely closer to Allah than Hamas.

Yet instead of condemning Hamas, and recognizing them as imposters among us, the Muslim world celebrates them, even as Hamas violates the most profound Islamic principle: the sanctity of life, a right man must protect even in preference to any rights God claims from man.

When Muslims support Hamas, we support no less than the signatories to Islam’s collective extinction. Muslim support renders Hamas legitimate, their methods acceptable, their ideals valid. Our support as Muslims is their lifeblood. In supporting them, we hemorrhage our only currency, our only asset – our great monotheism.

Two years into the Arab Awakening, the freshly turned soil is ripe for the seeding. Hamas operatives everywhere are already celebrated as ‘liberators’ of Gazans, when they have actually long been their jailers, ‘victors’ over Israel, when Hamas is the personal death knell of all pluralism in the region. Gazans so recently celebrating in the street are no more than hostages afflicted with the worst Stockholm Syndrome imaginable, heading to their own death through their misplaced hope in their virulently Islamist leadership.

During Operation Pillar of Defense, Jewish friends said “this must be such a difficult time for you, but I am glad of our friendship” implying that because I am Muslim, my loyalty must surely be to Gaza, my enmity automatically aligned with Israel.

Not so. As a Muslim, I am clear: my loyalty is with Islam, and therefore explicitly with justice, justice for all humanity, a humanity that must include Jews. Hamas is obscenely unjust, so how can my loyalty be with them? To be loyal to Hamas is no less than to abandon Islam. To be loyal to Hamas is the ultimate blasphemy.

While I understand the need for Israeli negotiators to engage with Hamas first to secure the current ceasefire and then for some sort of functional peace, the reality is their militant ideology must be suffocated out of existence or else the détente is little more than an illusion. For this, unlike for suicide bombers or Syrian rockets, there are no Israeli fences or walls, no Iron Domes, only Muslim barriers – robust barriers of counter-ideology.

It is Muslims who must take the first steps to excoriate Hamas, to expose them as the ruthless nihilists they explicitly announce themselves to be. We must scorn Hamas for masquerading among the poor as their savior when they are instead their executioner. Muslims must hold all media accountable for telling the truth: Palestinians are the Muslims orphaned not by Israel but by the entire Muslim world itself. Land-grabs and permanent refugee camps are testament to such.

We must ask ourselves the difficult questions. Does Hamas, who prostitute their progeny in the service of terror, represent Islam? Is Hamas emulating our Prophet as they rain rockets on unarmed, civilian, non-combatants? Do their Fajr missiles, named after Muslim prayers no less, encompass the spirit of Islam as was revealed to its followers? Do Hamas’ stated goals – including elimination of Israel – represent coexistence with the People of the Book, who are cherished in the Quran as dear to God and their Messenger, Moses, particularly admired by our Maker for his courage in the face of fear?

Don’t be fooled by Hamas’ words Muslims; we have a duty to judge them on their vile deeds.

If Islam is to truly thrive, it will only do so when more and more anti-Islamist Muslims confront and extinguish radical Islamist ideologues. Otherwise, we stand to lose both Israel and Islam in one fell swoop of the Islamist axe. Whether rescuing Palestinians and Israelis captive to the whim of Hamas, or rescuing Islam from Islamist Hamas, this is truly our jihad and no one else’s, which is why Israel’s jihad is also mine.

Qanta Ahmed is a physician and author of In the Land of Invisible Women; Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellow in Science and Religion; @MissDiagnosis; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/qanta-ahmed/

See also: