Defensive or offensive Jihad: History, exegesis vs. contemporary propagation

ShowImage (8)Jerusalem Post, Feb. 13, 2014, By David Bukay: (h/t Bill Warner)

Part one: the religious aspect.

The issue at stake is the deep gap between the horrific acts of terrorism coming from the World Jihad groups, and, at the same time, the propagation emanating from Islamists, Muslims and Westerners; firstly, that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, hijacked by extremists; secondly, that there is only one Jihād, the spiritual, that means to worship Allah; and thirdly that the Muslims are ordered to fight their enemies only defensively.

The stunned Free World witnesses atrocious acts of terror, such as slaughters and beheadings, yet is simultaneously being told that this is only a retaliation towards the Western colonialism and neo-imperialism, or, that these groups are outliers, a small minority; that the threats of demolishing modernity and bringing it back to the 7th century are only because World Jihad wished to defend its land, its lives and its honor against Western aggression.

Hence, the question that arises here is whether Jihād is defensive or offensive? The answer to this will become apparent through analyzing Islamic sources and Muslim exegetes in comparison to contemporary Islamists propagators of the West.

The Arab-Islamic terrorist organization’s strategy against the Free World is comprised of two parallel but coordinated arms: Jihād – a holy war against the infidels, and Da`wah – the persuasive methods used to convince people to join Islam. Both arms are intended to achieve the same objectives, yet both are used at the same time by different activists and are aimed against different targets. However, between both, Da`wah is more dangerous to the Free World. Jihād appears 41 times in 18 Suwar (plural of Sûrah) in the Qur’ān, mostly coupled with fi-Sabīlillah (in the way of Allah; for the sake of Allah), which transforms it into a religious sanction. Da’wah is the Islamic concept of missionary activity, aimed at persuading all human beings to believe in Allâh. Da`wah is the moderate and graceful opening address used to approach non-believers and convince them to submit to Islam, and if it fails, it is the duty of Jihād to achieve the Islamic goals.

According to a Muslim exegete, there are seven major features of the superiority of Arab-Muslims over others, based on the Qur’ān. Firstly, they are the best Ummah ever brought forth to men, bidding good (Ma’rûf) and forbidding evil (Munkar). Secondly, the Muslims are the last of all nations in history and the first on the day of resurrection. Thirdly, their Scriptures are in their breasts (they know it by heart). Furthermore, they take their own alms, yet are rewarded as if they give them away. In addition to this, they have the privilege of intercession (Shafā’ah), which is a pillar of the superiority of the Islamic community over all other communities. Moreover, they answer and are answered, which means that they are distinguished from other communities in their obedience to Allah, as well as in having invocation answered by Allah. Lastly, they will wage war on the people of error and the Anti-Christ.

As the Muslims see it, Islam is for everyone within the human race and should be expanded as a leading religion, until all human beings proclaim that “there is no God but Allâh and Muhammad is his messenger.”Jihād is universally understood as war on behalf of Islam, and its merits are described copiously in many well-respected Islamic religious works. It is called “the neglected duty” or “the forgotten obligation,” and regarded as the sixth pillar of Islam. Professor Bernard Lewis finds that an “overwhelming majority of classical theologians, jurists and traditionalists… understood the obligation of Jihād in a military sense.”

All four Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence and most of Islamic exegetes agree that the aims of Jihad are to remove the infidel’s oppression and injustice, to eliminate the barriers to the spread of Allah’s truth, and, to establish Islamic justice universally. There are four different ways in which the believer may fulfill his obligations: a) by his heart; b) by his tongue; c) by his hands; d) by the sword. This demonstrates the close connection between Jihād and Da’wah, as well as the fact that they are aimed at establishing Allah’s rule on earth, until either the non-believers embrace Islam (as a result of Da’wah), or submit to Islamic rule and agree to pay the tax poll, the Jizyah; or be killed in the battleground (as a result of Jihad war).

From the Islamic viewpoint, all wars in Islam are religious; the concept of “secular war” does not exist; and Jihād is the only just war known. So, even according to Islamic Jurisdiction, one can wage the most aggressive war using atrocious evil deeds and still see it as a defensive war. The Muslim legal theory states that Islam cannot exist in conjunction with idolatry. This is Shirk, meaning association of other gods and idols with Allah. According to a Hadīth related to Muhammad, he declared: “I am ordered to fight polytheists until they say there is no God but Allah.” Muslims are under the Qur’ān Commandments’ obligation to slay the idolaters. Hence, terrorizing Islamic enemies is Allah’s commandment.

There are four Qur’ān “sword verses” relating to different types of people against whom the believers are obliged to fight: a) Sûrah 9 (verse 5): Fighting the Idolaters; b) Sûrah 9 (verse 29): Fighting the People of the Book, Ahl al-Kitāb; c) Sûrah 9 (verse 73): Fighting the Hypocrites and the infidels; and d) Surah 47 (verse 4): Fighting the Enemies of Islam whoever they are and whenever they can be found. Of these, Sûrah 9 (verse 5) is considered to be the most important. Most Islamic exegetes claim that this verse abrogates 114 or 124 other non-militant verses from Mecca.

The Shahīd is one who is killed and has achieved martyrdom in the battle of Jihād. Islamic exegetes claim that the Shahīd is granted seven glorious gifts: a) He is forgiven at the first drop of his blood; b) He is dressed in the clothes of Imām and sees his status in paradise; c) He is protected from the punishment of the grave; d) He will be safe from the great fear of the Day of Judgment; e) A crown of glory will be placed on his head; f) He will intercede on behalf of 70 members of his family; g) He will be married to 72 Houris. Islamic exegetes take the Qur’ān statements that the Shuhadā’ are alive living beside Allah and enjoying all his grace.

According to Majid Khadduri, Muslims view peace as a tactical means for achieving their strategic objective, by defeating the enemy. Peace constitutes a temporary break in the ongoing war against the enemy, until Islam controls the whole world. They might come to terms with the enemy, provided that they resume the Jihād after the expiration of the treaty. Defeated Muslims maintained that their battle with the enemy would resume, however long they had to wait for the second round. By their very nature, treaties must be of temporary duration, for the normal relations between Muslim and non-Muslim territories are not peaceful, but war-like.

Khadduri states that Muhammad has set the classic example by concluding the Khudaybiyah Treaty, in 628 with the Meccans: a peace treaty with the enemy is a valid instrument. That is, if it serves Muslim interests. Muhammad and his successors always reserved their right to repudiate any treaty or arrangement which they considered as harmful to Islam. Muslim authorities might have come to terms with the enemy, provided it was only for a temporary period. In practice, however, Jihād underwent certain changes in its meaning to suit the changing circumstances of life. This change, did not imply an abandonment of the Jihād duty; it only meant the entry of the obligation into a period of suspension – it assumed a dormant status, from which the leader may revive it at any time he deems necessary.

Also see:

The Caliphate Means Constant War on Us on a Scale Not Yet Seen

al-baghdadi

Liberty GB, By Enza Ferreri

While the British government is making its own citizens pay for the jihadis allowed to return to the UK from Syria and Iraq, both in terms of money – through the £1.1 billion cash injection for defence announced yesterday, £800 million of which will fund an extra investment in intelligence and surveillance to deal with the threat of terrorism – and in terms of intrusion and greater state power – through emergency laws to monitor phone and internet records “to stop terrorists” –, people hear of the establishment of a caliphate in the Middle East without the media – with few exceptions – providing any explanation of its real significance.

In Islam, only a caliphate has the authority to declare offensive war on infidel countries. That’s why Osama bin Laden was so keen on it and called for Muslims to “establish the righteous caliphate of our ummah”, after Abdulhamid II’s Ottoman caliphate was abolished by the Turkish Republic of Kemal Ataturk in his secularisation (short-lived) attempts in 1924.

And that’s why jihadis always explain their acts of terrorism in terms of defensive war, as a response to the infidel’s armies occupying Muslim lands, for example.

Egyptian-American scholar of Islam and Middle East history Raymond Ibrahim over 3 years ago explained the caliphate concept and predicted the re-establishment of a caliphate. If, as in science, accurate predictions confirm the validity of the theory from which they derive, we must take his words very seriously:

The very existence of a caliphate would usher a state of constant hostility: Both historically and doctrinally, the caliphate is obligated to wage jihad, at least annually, to bring the ‘disbelieving’ world under Islamic dominion and enforce sharia law. Most of what is today called the ‘Muslim world’ – from Morocco to Pakistan – was conquered, bit by bit, by a caliphate begun in Arabia in 632.

A caliphate represents a permanent, ideological enemy, not a temporal enemy that can be bought or pacified through diplomacy or concessions – economic or otherwise. Short of agreeing either to convert to Islam or live as second-class citizens, or ‘dhimmis’ – who, among other indignities, must practice their religions quietly; pay a higher tax [‘jizyah’]; give way to Muslims on the street; wear clothing that distinguishes them from Muslims, the start of the yellow star of David required for the Jews by the Nazis during World War II; have their testimony be worth half of a Muslim’s; and never retaliate against Muslim abuses – the jihad continues.

A caliphate is precisely what Islamists around the world are feverishly seeking to establish – before people realize what it represents and try to prevent it. Without active, preemptive measures, it is only a matter of time before they succeed.

Another US expert on Islam, Robert Spencer, has recently written:

And now it [the caliphate] is here, although it is by no means clear, of course, that The Islamic State will be viable or long-lasting. If it is, however, the world could soon be engulfed in a much larger conflict with Islamic jihadists even than it has been since 9/11. For in Islamic law, only the caliph is authorized – and indeed, has the responsibility – to declare offensive jihad against non-Muslim states. In his absence, all jihad must be defensive only, which is why Islamic jihadists retail laundry lists of grievances when explaining and justifying their actions: without these grievances and a caliph, they have to cast all their actions as responses to Infidel atrocities. With a caliph, however, that obligation will be gone. And the bloodshed in that event could make the world situation since 9/11, with its 20,000 jihad attacks worldwide, seem like a harmless bit of ‘interfaith dialogue.’

Offensive jihad to force all the world to submit to Islamic law is a duty for the ummah (the worldwide Muslim community), and no amount of media whitewashing can change that. The source to consult is not The New York Times but the Quran, e.g. this from 9:29:

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Educating Conservatives About Modern ‘Shi’ite Quietists’

By Andrew G. Bostom:

The so-called “P5 +1” interim agreement [1] with Iran was announced on November 24, 2013, amidst great fanfare, and giddy expectations of continued diplomatic success. Putatively, these negotiations were going to eliminate Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons, and constrain the regime’s hegemonic aspirations, including its oft-repeated bellicose threats to destroy the Jewish State of Israel.

Less than three months later, punctuated by cries of “down with the U.S.”—and “death to Israel”—Iranians took to the streets en masse, February 11, 2014, commemorating the 35th anniversary [2] of the 1979 Islamic putsch, which firmly re-established Iran’s legacy of centuries of Shiite theocracy, transiently interrupted by the 54-year reign (r. 1925-1979) of the 20th century Pahlavi Shahs.

download (77)Many alarming developments since the P5 +1 deal was announced epitomize the abject failure of a delusive and dangerous policymaking mindset I have dubbed, “The ‘Trusting Khomeini’ Syndrome,” in my new book Iran’s Final Solution For Israel [3]. This “Syndrome” is named after infamous Princeton International Law Professor Richard Falk’s February 16, 1979 essay, “Trusting Khomeini [4],” dutifully published in the The New York Times. The parlous denial—born of willful doctrinal and historical negationism—evident in Falk’s February, 1979 essay, now shapes formal U.S. policy toward Iran, merely updated as “Trusting Khamenei,” Iran’s current “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who succeeded Ayatollah Khomeini. I further maintain that the sine qua non of this crippling mindset—bowdlerization of Islam—currently dominates policymaking circles, running the gamut from Left to Right.

The late Islamologist Maxime Rodinson warned [5] 40-years ago of a broad academic campaign—which has clearly infected policymakers across the politico-ideological spectrum—“to sanctify Islam and the contemporary ideologies of the Muslim world.” A pervasive phenomenon, Rodinson ruefully described [5] the profundity of its deleterious consequences:

Understanding [of Islam] has given way to apologetics pure and simple.

A prototypical example of how this mindset has warped intellectually honest discourse about Iran by conservative analysts, was published [6] February 17, 2014 in The Weekly Standard. The essayist decried [6] what he saw as misguided appropriation of Cold War era paradigms—“wishful thinking built around imagined Cold War analogies”—even by members of the Israeli “security establishment,” let alone their Obama Administration counterparts. Although correctly dismissive of the sham notion that Iranian President “Rouhani and his crowd are moderates,” the essayist also insisted [6] Iran’s “ayatollahs” have somehow “perverted Shia Islam with the state takeover of religion.” He then ads [6]“the older quietist school [ostensibly of Shiite Islam] still has many adherents.”

The Weekly Standard essayist’s authoritative sounding [6] reference to the “quietist school” of Shiite Islam and its “many adherents,” expressed the accepted wisdom on these matters published in a flagship conservative/neoconservative journal, and shared by a broad swath of like-minded conservative analysts. But who are exemplar  modern Shiite “quietists” and what are their views (in writing and/or speech) on such critical matters as jihad, the imposition of the Sharia, including Shiite “najis,” or “impurity” regulations—and the Jews?

Decidedly hagiographic post-mortems written by American conservatives appeared immediately after the announcement of Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri’s death at age 87, on December 20, 2009. Neoconservative Michael Ledeen opined [7],

Some of us who have long fought against the terrible regime in Tehran were fortunate to have received wise observations from Montazeri over the years, and I am confident that, with the passage of time and the changes that will take place in Iran, scholars will marvel at the international dimensions of the Grand Ayatollah’s understanding and the range of his activities. 

Perhaps the most curious of these early assessments included a contention [8] by Michael Rubin that  “…the real Achilles Heel to the Iranian regime is Shi’ism.” Reuel Marc Gerecht, writing in October, 2010, ten months after Montazeri’s death, dubbed the Ayatollah [9], simultaneously, “the spiritual father of Iran’s Green Movement,” and the erstwhile “nemesis of Ali Khamenei, Iran’s ruler,” whom Gerecht derided (in contrast to Montazeri), as “a very mediocre student of the Sharia.”

These odd viewpoints were (and remain) merely the extension of a profoundly flawed, ahistorical mindset which denies the living legacy of Shiite Islamic doctrine and its authentic, oppressive application in Iran, particularly, since the advent of the Safavid theocratic state [3] at the outset of the 16th century. Iran’s Safavid rulers, beginning with Shah Ismail I [3] (r. 1501-1524) formally established Shiite Islam as the state religion, while permitting a clerical hierarchy nearly unlimited control and influence over all aspects of public life. The profound influence of the Shiite clerical elite, continued for almost four centuries, although interrupted, between 1722-1795 (during a period precipitated by [Sunni] Afghan invasion [starting in 1719], and the subsequent attempt to re-cast Twelver Shi’ism as simply another Sunni school of Islamic Law, under Nadir Shah [3]), through the later Qajarperiod (1795-1925), as characterized by E.G. Browne [3]:

The Mujtahids [an eminent, very learned Muslim jurist/scholar who is qualified to interpret the law] and Mulla [a scholar, not of Mujtahid stature] are a great force in Persia and concern themselves with every department of human activity from the minutest detail of personal purification to the largest issues of politics.

A gimlet-eyed evaluation of Montazeri’s recorded modern opinions—entirely concordant with traditionalist Iranian Shi’ism since the Safavid era—does not comport with the conservative eulogies of the late Ayatollah by Ledeen, Rubin, Gerecht, and their ilk.

Consistent with the institutionalized codifications  of Islam’s classical Sunni and Shiite legists, Montazeri’s written views [3] (from his Islamic Law Codes[Resaleh-ye Tozih al-masael]) on jihad war reiterate the doctrine of open-ended aggression to establish global Islamic suzerainty, and the universal application of Sharia:

[T]he offensive jihad is a war that an Imam wages in order to invite infidels and non-monotheists to Islam or to prevent the violation of treaty of Ahl-e Zemmah [Ahl-al-Dhimma, the humiliating pact of submission binding non-Muslim “dhimmis” vanquished by jihad]. In fact, the goal of offensive jihad is not the conquest of other countries, but the defense of the inherent rights of nations that are deprived of power by the infidels, non-monotheists, and rebels from the worship of Allah, monotheism, and justice. “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world].,” (Koran 8:39)…This verse includes defensive as well as offensive jihad. Jihad, like prayer, is for all times and is not limited to an early period of Islam, such as Muhammad, Ali, or the other Imams. Jihad is intended to defend truth and justice, help oppressed people, and correct Islam. In the Mahdi’s occultation period, jihad is not to be abandoned; even if occultation lasts for a hundred thousand years, Muslims have to defend and fight for the expansion of Islam. Certainly, if in early Islam the goodness was in the sword, in our time the goodness is in artillery, tanks, automatic guns and missiles. . . in principle, jihad in Islam is for defense; whether defense of truth or justice, or the struggle with infidels in order to make them return to monotheism and the divine nature. This is the defense of truth, because the denial of Allah is the denial of truth.

How would non-Muslims fare under the Shiite Islamic order—forcibly imposed by jihad—as  envisioned by Montazeri?

Read more at PJ Media

Early non-Muslim Sources Concerning the Advent of Islam

The Saracen [Muslims] Joust in Via Larga, Florence, 1555

The Saracen [Muslims] Joust in Via Larga, Florence, 1555

By Jon MC at Islam Watch:

Preface: This article, whilst a separate piece in it’s own right, forms part of my series on Jihad which comprises the articles: Jihad – the four forms and the West“Greater Jihad”, “Lesser Jihad” and “Jihad in the Way of Allah”The Pact of Umar and Allah’s war covenant with the Muslims, pt.1pt.2 and pt.3.

As such this article demonstrates that the attitudes inherent in, and the aims of, Jihad as set out in the previous articles were put into practice from the earliest post-Muhammad period of Islam, which thus provides historical validation of the previous articles.

Introduction

Whilst Muslims (reasonably enough) use their own sources as to the behaviour of early Islam in the attempt to show that it was either peaceful or only “fighting defensively against the multitude of enemies, hell-bent on Islam’s annihilation, that surrounded it”, what is less well known is that there are a number of non-Muslim sources that view the advent of Islam from an external perspective.

That these sources are mostly Christian should not be a surprise given that by 600 A.D. the whole of the Mediterranean basin was part of Christian lands that stretched from Ireland to China and from Axum (Ethopia) and Nubia in the South to Scotland in the North{1}.

A second, much rarer source of such evidence comes from Jewish writers.

Robert G. Hoyland in 1997 published an important book entitled Seeing Islam as Others Saw It: A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian Writings on Early Islam. This is a comprehensive source.

Peter Kirby wrote this summary (2003): http://www.christianorigins.com/islamrefs.html in which he abstracted the references themselves. His article, though well worth a read, is over 20,000 words long.

Thus I thought it worthwhile to condense this further and summarise what the various sources said.

To place this work into its historical context I have included a limited Islamic time-line below which shows the main Theological developments within Islam across this period.

Islamic Time-line

Death of Muhammad: 632 A.D.

Uthman’s Koran:    ~650 A.D. (compiled during Uthman’s Caliphate. It is probably the textus receptus.)

First Islamic Civil War:    656–661 A.D.{2}. Fought between Ali and Muawiyah.

Caliph Muawiyah:    661 A.D.  Crowned as caliph in Jerusalem. First Ummayid Caliph.

Earliest Sharia “school”:    ~750 A.D. Hanifi school of jurisprudence.

First extant Sharia work:    ~820 A.D. The Risaala of al-Shaafi’i

Earliest Biography:    ~830 A.D. This is that of ibn Hisham and is a recension of the earlier (no  longer extant) work of Ibn Ishaq. It is known under both names.

Major Sunni Hadiths:    ~850 A.D. The “two Sahihs”, Bukhari and Muslim.

First Tafseer:    ~900 A.D. Al-Tabari. The partial Tafseer of Tustari dates to ~890 A.D.

*************

(go to the article at Islam Watch to see the survey of excerpted writings by non-Muslims about their encounters with early Islam)

****************

Conclusion

At the time of the advent of Islam the Christian Church was thoroughly established throughout the fertile crescent of the Mediterranean basin and thus we must take due account of its natural dislike for, and resistance to, the upsetting of the status quo. We can see a marked difference between those Christians who suffered the first contacts between an aggressively expanding Islamic hegemony and those who were accustomed to living life as Dhimmis under Muslim subjugation.

These later accounts show that once the Muslim “Muhajirs” (immigrants) were settled in subjugated lands and were sufficiently remote from Islam’s borders as to be freed from the need for continual sword-jihad that courteous and inquiring dialogue between the Dhimmi Christians and their Muslim overlords took place. Some, such as John of Damascus, are quite courageous though careful to avoid any “insult” in their challenges, which can only be a reflection of the confidence that they felt in their “protected” status as Dhimmis and probably the decreasing religious fervour of the later generations of Muslims themselves.

As such this reflects one aspect of the non-Muslim experience of being under Islamic domination.

But those who suffered the first contacts recount a different aspect of Islam.

There can be little doubt that the first contacts between nascent Islam and the Christian world were one-sidedly violent and bloody and that they brought much suffering on the populations of the Christian Countries attacked.

These accounts show that offensive sword-jihad was the modus vivendi of the early Muslims and that sack, pillage, the taking of (sex-)slaves and the ravaging of the land were commonplace{16}.

The sources also show that the Muslim sense of a “god-given” entitlement to Judea-Samaria, and thus modern Israel, goes back to the foundations of Islam itself.

There is evidence of the establishment of Dhimmitude and payment of Jizya{8,9} and other taxes{10} that destroyed the wealth of the non-Muslims.

The explanations for much of this can be found within the Koran, Biographic and Hadith literature.{17,18}.

Some Modern Muslims are inclined to say that the Hadith and Biographies are “inaccurate” or that they “reflect the views of the Muslims of the times [a century or more after Muhammad] rather than the truth about Islam”. What the above demonstrates is that the “views” expressed in the Ahadith and Biographies reach back to, if not the time of Muhammad himself, then to within a year or two of his death.

Given that the early records date to before the time of the textus receptus of the Koran and thus pre-date by centuries other Muslim sources and further that they reflect the actions of the Sahaba{19}, we can be quite certain that the attitudes in the later Muslim sources which reflect these earlier sources are genuine in that they are accurately accounting the beliefs of the Sahaba.

What this means is that the violence towards non-Muslims that we find in the Islamic Canon{20}is not, as some Muslims would have us believe, any later accretion as a result of the wider world’s violence towards Islam, but rather a true reflection of the militant attitudes and beliefs of the first Muslims as reflected in their violence towards the wider world.

 

Shaikh Al-Qaradawi: Muslim ‘Moderates’ endorse aggressive jihad

Cartoon for 3/23/06By Mark Durie Sunday June 5, 2011:

Two important modern reference works on jihad in Islam are Muhammad Haykal’s Jihad and Fighting according the the Shar‘i Policy (Al-Jihad wa-l-qital fi al-siyasa al-sharia’iyya) and Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s Jurisprudence of Jihad (Fiqh al-jihad).  Both these works give the lie to apologies offered by many western scholars for Islam’s militancy, such as the claim that jihad is purely defensive.

As yet, neither work is available in English translation.  Remarkably, Haykal attempts in his copyright statement to forbid anyone from quoting from or translating his work into any language other than its original Arabic.  (However David Cook’sUnderstanding Islam gives a useful overview of Haykal on pp.124-127).

The TranslatingJihad website has recently posted a translation from a key section in Al-Qaradawi’s Fiqh al-Jihad (see here), which discusses the issue of whether ‘moderate’ Muslims support aggressive jihad.  This was translated from a fatwa posted on IslamOnline.net. The fatwa is by Dr. ‘Imad Mustafa, professor at Al-Azhar University, who relies upon a passage from Al-Qaradawi’s Fiqh al-Jihad to support his ruling in support of aggressive jihad.

Al-Qaradawi is one of the most influential public intellectuals in the world today.  He is a trustee of Oxford University’s Centre for Islamic Studies, and his program on Al Jazeera reaches an estimate audience of 40 million world wide.

In the passage cited by Dr Mustafu, Al-Qaradawi defends ‘moderate’ Muslims from the charge, made by ‘extremists’, that they do not support ‘offensive jihad’, which is aggressive warfare to conquer non-Muslim territory for Islam.

That Al-Qaradawi feels the need to mount such a defense at all is in itself a matter of considerable interest.

Jihad is a highly prestigious concept in Islam.  The traditional view has always been that Islam’s conquest of non-Muslim civilizations was one of its greatest achievements, and certainly not something to be embarrassed about or to resile from.  To accuse a group of Muslims of rejecting aggressive jihad is a tactic which will discredit them in the eyes of many other Muslims.  Thus it is not surprising that Al-Qaradawi feels the need to defend ‘moderates’ – such as himself – from this charge.  He writes:

I want to clarify here the difference between the moderates and extremists, or the “defensive (jihadists)” and “offensive (jihadists)”, as they are called by some.

Some of the offensive (jihadists) have not been fair to those who hold the opposing view. They have put words in their mouths which they did not say, and accused them of that which they are innocent. They say: “They (the defensive jihadists) do not accept offensive jihad under any circumstance, in any form, or for any reason. They do not believe jihad is legitimate except in one condition, which is if Muslims are attacked in their homes and lands.” This is how they depict the opinion of the moderates or the defensive (jihadists).

I think they are not being fair with the opposing side, and are not being precise or honest in presenting their views. Whoever reads their [i.e. the moderates’] opinions, will find that they accept offensive jihad, and attacking the infidels in their lands, for several reasons…

There is a great irony here.  On the one hand, many Western scholars defend ‘moderate’ Islam on the basis that the concept of jihad is merely defensive, or not even militaristic at all.  On the other hand, as prominent and influential a scholar as Al-Qaradawi feels the need to defend ‘moderate’ Islam on the grounds that itendorses aggressive jihad.

Al-Qaradaqi lists four conditions under which aggressive jihad would be supported by ‘moderate’ Muslims:

  1. To remove all obstacles to the propagation of Islam.
  2. Preemptive warfare in the interests of the Islamic state.
  3. To rescue people (Muslims and non-Muslims) from oppressive rulers.
  4. Religious cleansing of Arabia to eliminate all non-Muslim religions (‘Allah’s favour to the Arabs’).

There is ample provision in these principles to support just about any jihad conquest of non-Muslim lands.  Just as Hitler termed the conquest of Poland an act of ‘liberation’, since time immemorial ambitious rulers have used the language of benevolence and liberation to justify their acts of aggressive conquest.

Read more at Mark Durie’s blog

pic20Author of “The Third Choice“, Dr Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist and pastor of an Anglican church. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.

 

American Muslim Jurists: Offensive Jihad — Not Yet

156x147x3LPK19nTduHE_png_pagespeed_ic_V7NAL6Wc89By Ryan Mauro:

The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) opposes offensive jihad in the West, but for reasons that may surprise you. In an Arabic fatwa (religious decree) that doesn’t appear on its English website, it states that “the Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time [emphasis added].”

This doesn’t mean that all jihad is to be abandoned. “With our current capabilities, we are aspiring towards defensive jihad, and to improve our position with regards to jurisprudence at this stage. But there is a different discussion for each situation,” it said.

It is important to notice that it was issued in Arabic on the website of its Secretary-General, Salah Al-Sawy. Even though AMJA is based in Sacramento and its mission is to serve their American Muslim audience, it decided against issuing this fatwa in English. If it wasn’t translated by the Translating Jihad blog and reported by Andrew Bostom in 2011, we probably wouldn’t know about it.

AMJA Secretary-General Salah Al-Sawy

AMJA Secretary-General Salah Al-Sawy

Deception is something that AMJA approves of. In an English-language fatwa on its website, issued by Al-Sawy inAMJA Secretary-General Salah Al-Sawy 2005, Muslims are authorized to lie for the sake of “repulsing evil” if there are “compelling strokes of necessity.” In that case, “he can indirectly say something that his listener can understand something else.”

Read more at Radical Islam

Answering Muslims: The Three Stages of Jihad

At Answering Muslims, David Wood explains that there are three stages of Jihad and this explains the contradiction between peaceful and violent passages in the Quran. The three stages of the call to Jihad depend on the status of Muslims in society. Stage one: Stealth Jihad. Stage Two: Defensive Jihad. Stage Three: Offensive Jhad

For more on the stages of Jihad, see:

Sam Shamoun, “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?”
Rev. Richard P. Bailey, “Jihad: The Teaching of Islam from Its Primary Sources”
Shaykh Ibn Humaid, “Jihad in the Qur’an and Sunnah

Islam Commands Individual Jihad

By Clare Lopez:

According to Islamic law, Jihad is warfare to spread the religion and is obligatory for all Muslims everywhere until such time as “there is no more Fitna [resistance to Islam] and the religion will all be for Allah alone.” (Q 8:39) Jihad against the infidel (kuffar) is of two types: offensive and defensive. The offensive kind, called “Fard Kifaya,” is conducted under the leadership of the Caliph and is for the purpose of defending the borders of Islam and sending out the armies of Islam at least once a year to terrorize the enemies of Allah. Offensive Jihad is a collective duty and when enough Muslim fighters respond to the call of the Caliph, the remainder of the Muslim population is relieved of this duty.

Defensive jihad is a compulsory duty upon all Muslims primarily when the kuffar enter Muslim lands. It is considered so critical to repulse the invader that Ibn Taymia even asserted it took precedence over making the hajj. This defensive jihad duty is called “Fard ‘Ayn” and means that there is a personal obligation for all Muslims in the land which has been attacked to join the fight. The scholars agree that children may march forth without permission of their parents, wives without permission of husbands, and slaves without permission of their masters. If the Muslims of the land attacked by the kuffar cannot expel the enemy for whatever reason, then the Fard ‘Ayn obligation expands outward to include other Muslims nearby and then at increasing distances from the center of the invasion. Eventually, Fard ‘Ayn can become obligatory across the entire world until the kuffar is expelled from Muslim land.  

Abd Allah ibn Abbas, a cousin of the Muslim prophet Muhammad and the author of an authoritative Tafsir (Qur’anic commentary), explained why Fard ‘Ayn is taken so seriously in Islam:

“When the Kufaar attack and control a [Muslim] country, the Ummah is endangered in its Religion, and it becomes susceptible to doubt in its belief. Fighting [the Kufaar] then becomes an obligation, to protect the Religion, the lives, the land and wealth.”

Given Islamic doctrine about offensive and defensive jihad, Fard Kifaya and Fard ‘Ayn, then, it becomes clear that the increasing number of so-called “lone wolf” attacks in the American homeland and even from within the ranks of the U.S. military in fact, are by Muslim jihadis, conducting individual jihad (Fard ‘Ayn).

Academia and the mainstream media, with their focus on “root causes” of such behavior, and U.S. national security leadership, whose main concern is to preserve the illusion that these attacks are somehow disassociated from Islamic doctrine, are all failing to describe accurately what is actually happening. The so-called “radicalization process,” of course, is nothing more than the process of “progressive revelation” as individual Muslims learn more about the obligations of their faith, become more devout, and make the decision to answer the call to violent jihad. 

American troops on bases and battlefields in a number of Muslim countries may provide a convenient excuse for individual jihadis to invoke the Islamic doctrine on Fard ‘Ayn, but if it were not Fard ‘Ayn, it would be Fard Kifaya. As long as non-Muslims live free of shariah anywhere on earth, the obligation to jihad remains in effect.

Clare M. Lopez, a senior fellow at the Clarion Fund, is a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on Middle East, national defense, and counterterrorism issues.