This is another vain attempt by the Islamic Supreme Council of America to taqqiya the concept of jihad. My responses are in red.
Jihad: A Misunderstood Concept from Islam – What Jihad is, and is not
Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani (Chairman, Islamic Supreme Council of America) and Shaykh Seraj Hendricks (Head Mufti, Cape Town, South Africa)
WHAT JIHAD IS
The Arabic word “jihad” is often translated as “holy war,” but in a purely linguistic sense, the word ” jihad” means struggling or striving.
The arabic word for war is: “al-harb”.
Bo: This is disingenuous because the Qur’ anic use of jihad is used in texts which do refer to war. In this sense jihad is the physical struggle that takes place in harb or war.
In a religious sense, as described by the Quran and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (s), “jihad” has many meanings. It can refer to internal as well as external efforts to be a good Muslims or believer, as well as working to inform people about the faith of Islam.
Bo: Jihad has many meanings. So, what? This revelation is useless because (1) the vast majority of people who know jihad understand this and (2) it is an attempt to thwart the jihad with which everyone is concerned which is jihad bis saif.
If military jihad is required to protect the faith against others, it can be performed using anything from legal, diplomatic and economic to political means. If there is no peaceful alternative, Islam also allows the use of force, but there are strict rules of engagement. Innocents – such as women, children, or invalids – must never be harmed, and any peaceful overtures from the enemy must be accepted.
Bo: So, the author seems to justify military jihad (which he says is not associated with harb or war) because of the strict rules which are to guide it. So, the kafir who is being pursued and murdered in the name of this useless and vile religion ought to be thankful. Nope. The Qur’ an states this so the author’s justification is meaningless. Al-Baqarah 2:193 states:
“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelieve and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of ) worship is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrongdoers).”
Who cares if the Qur’ an demands that a just war is where Muslims do no violence to those who cease fighting them and become either Muslims or dhimmis. Look at what this passage says about the Az-Zalimun? This is the exception. The Az-Zalimun are those who refuse to become a Muslim or a dhimmi. Notice the author refuses to speak about this aspect of jihad bis saif. I can’t say I wonder why because if he does delve into it, it will destroy his argument.
Military action is therefore only one means of jihad, and is very rare. To highlight this point, the Prophet Mohammed told his followers returning from a military campaign: “This day we have returned from the minor jihad to the major jihad,” which he said meant returning from armed battle to the peaceful battle for self-control and betterment.
Bo: Rare? The author has a strange definition of rare. Islam grew only through military action. Islam spread from Medinah where the first Caliphate was set up through the Treaty of Medinah, to Mecca, throughout the Arab world on into Europe not through Da’ wah but jihad bis saif. The only reason Islamic military action has diminished is because the Caliphate was destroyed in the early 1900s.
Additionally, the author quotes an hadith which is Da’ if (weak) or Maudu’ (fabricated). Muslims love to quote Mohammad as saying that the major jihad is self-examination and the minor jihad is physical combat. The problem is that this hadith is weak (Da’ if) or Maudu’ (fabricated) because of the isnad or narration.
“The hadith of “We returned from the minor Jihad to the major Jihad” is fabricated. It hasn’t been narrated by any of the scholars of hadith.
Ibn Taymiyah states: The hadith of “We returned from the minor Jihad to the major Jihad” is fabricated and is not narrated by any of the scholars who have knowledge of the words of Rasulullah, his actions and his Jihad against the nonbelievers. In fact Jihad against Kufar is among the greatest of deeds. Indeed it is the greatest voluntary deed a human could do. (The Book of Jihad by By Abi Zakaryya Al Dimashqi Al Dumyati “Ibn-Nuhaas” (D. 814 Hijri) )”
Mohammad did not make this statement. The author is therefore lying because he is claiming Mohammad said something which he did not. Mohammad warned about this when he said, ‘Verily, those who invent a lie against Allah will never be successful’” (Yunis10:69)
In fact, Mohammad tied jihad (military action) so closely to Islam’s first pillar that jihad is either an extension of the first pillar or a part of the first pillar. The hadith states:
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) was asked about the best of deeds. He observed: “Belief in Allah.” He (the inquirer) asked: ‘What next?’ He (the Holy Prophet) replied: “Jihad (struggle to the utmost) in the cause of Allah.” He (the inquirer) again asked: ‘What next?’ He (the Holy Prophet) replied: “Pilgrimage accepted into the grace of the Lord.” (Sahih Muslim: 118)
Islam owes its life to jihad bis saif!
In case military action appears necessary, not everyone can declare jihad. The religious military campaign has to be declared by a proper authority, advised by scholars, who say the religion and people are under threat and violence is imperative to defend them. The concept of “just war” is very important.
Bo: Islam’s concept of a just war is summed by Mohammad himself. In a sound hadith Mohammad states, “The Messenger of Allah said: “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer and pay zakat.” (Muslim 1:33)
This is forced conversion. Mohammad claims Allah sent him to fight (kill) people until they accept the Islamic pillars which means to either become a Muslim outright or a dhimmi. So, according to Mohammad a just war is an offensive war to spread the religion.
The concept of jihad has been hijacked by many political and religious groups over the ages in a bid to justify various forms of violence. In most cases, Islamic splinter groups invoked jihad to fight against the established Islamic order. Scholars say this misuse of jihad contradicts Islam.
Examples of sanctioned military jihad include the Muslims’ defensive battles against the Crusaders in medieval times, and before that some responses by Muslims against Byzantine and Persian attacks during the period of the early Islamic conquests.
Bo: This is not a joke but the typical Islamic line. Islam is always under persecution. Really? Even Seyyid Qutb believed that each of the very battles the author mentions were actually offensive military action (jihad). Additionally, the word conquest and defensive war do not go together. It is one or the other. If these were defensive military action then the Muslims were merely protecting their homeland. But the Muslim hordes of the day did not stay in their homeland rather, they initiated the fight in other lands for booty and conversions. The very use of the term conquest demands these actions be viewed as offensive.
WHAT JIHAD IS NOT
Jihad is not a violent concept.
Bo: Really? Could this be a joke? The author just mentioned that a form of jihad is military action which is violent. Jihad bis saif means jihad of the sword. What is the purpose of a sword but a tool to kill another? Another taqqiya exposed.
Jihad is not a declaration of war against other religions. It is worth noting that the Koran specifically refers to Jews and Christians as “people of the book” who should be protected and respected. All three faiths worship the same God. Allah is just the Arabic word for God, and is used by Christian Arabs as well as Muslims.
Bo: Only a Muslim or a supporter believes that the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus is the same as Mohammad’s Allah of Ishmael. I don’t have time to show how utterly erroneous this concept is but it is ludicrous.
Here the author mixes two concepts in the Qur’ an. The people of the book (Jews and Christians) are to be protected only if they pay the jizya (At-Tawbah 9:29) In this case, they are not respected but humiliated for no other reason than they refuse to become a full-fledged Muslim. The only “Christians” and “Jews” who Islam respects are those who refuse attribute a partner to Allah. (Surah an-Nisā’ 4:48) If a Christian refuses to accept the Deity of Christ he or she then is not a Christian (John 8:24)
The author refuses to mentioned that At-Tawbah 9:29 in which Mohammad claims Allah demands that Muslims fight against those who refuse to accept Allah, the Last day, Shar’ ia and that Islam is the right religion. The two groups he specifically mentions are Christians and Jews because they attribute partners to Allah (At-Tawbah 9:30-32).
So the author is committing kitman because he is not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Nevertheless, Muslims have never allowed the truth to stand in the way of Da’ wah.
Military action in the name of Islam has not been common in the history of Islam. Scholars says most calls for violent jihad are not sanctioned by Islam.
Bo: Mohammad allowed Muslims to lie to further the religion. Therefore, who cares what an Islamic scholar does not sanction for more often than not he is lying. The author of the article under review is guilty of many lies.
Warfare in the name of God is not unique to Islam. Other faiths throughout the world have waged wars with religious justifications.
Bo: Islam is not the same as other religions for many reasons. One? Only Islam permits itself to use offensive military action (jihad) to further the religion if Da’ wah fails.
Umdat Al-Salik (o9.0) states, “(O. Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion.”
Yeah, so much for non-violence!
1) Muqaddimaat, Ibn Rushd (known in the Western world as Averroes), p. 259.
2)Jihad in Islam, Muhammad Sa’id R. Al Buti, Dar al-Fikr, 1995.
4) See al-Minhaaj, (the Method), al-Nawawi, p. 210.
5) Al-sharh al-saghir, Imam al-Dardir
6) Kashf al-kina’a, Mansour bin Yunes al-Bahhouti, p. 33.
7) Al-Mughni, Vol. 9, p. 184.
8)Al-sharh al-saghir by al-Dardir, Vol. 2, p. 274.
10)Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi.
11) The singular exception to the majority opinion was that of Imam Shafi`i, who contended the verses [9:5] and [9:29] support the condition of jihad being a continual war upon the non-Muslims until they repent and accept Islam or else pay jizya [referred to as polltax].” However the majority of jurists argued against this position, citing the succeeding verses as evidence “and if anyone of the polytheists seeks your protection then grant him protection…” [9:6]. The other Imams argued from this that as long as they are submissive and willing to live peacefully among the believers our divine obligation is to treat them peacefully, despite their denial of Islam. The next verse [9:7], is instruction to keep treaty obligations with meticulous care, and not to break them unless the unbelievers break them first, reiterated in the following verse [9:8], in which Allah orders us not to make a treaty with unbelieving enemies who break their oaths and whose intention is to overpower the Muslims. Had jihad’s objective been to fight all unbelievers, then there would have been no need for treaties and no differentiation between polytheists who remain loyal and faithful to their word and those who are treacherous. Based on these arguments of the scholars, the majority concluded that physical fighting is not a permanent condition against unbelievers, but only when treaties are broken or aggression has been made against Muslim territory (dar al-Islam) by unbelievers.
On the other hand, the call to Islam, is a continuous jihad, per the hadith “I have been ordered to fight the people until they declare that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, establish prayers, and pay zakat. If they perform all that, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by Islamic laws. Then their accounts will be done by Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim). Said Ramadan Buti in “Jihad in Islam”, explains this hadith in detail, showing that contrary to the minority opinion, fighting here does not refer to combat but to struggle, including within it da`wah, preaching, exhortation and establishment of the state apparatus whereby Islamic preaching is protected; not forcing anyone to become Muslim at the point of a sword. Many examples from the Prophet’s r life history show he never forced conversion, nor did his Successors. He explains that the linguistic scholars of hadith showed that the word used by the Prophet (saws) means “fight”, not “kill”. Its Arabic usage denotes defense against an attacker or oppressor; not to attack or assail.
12) Al-Ashbah wal-nadha’ir, Ibn al-Nujum, p.205
13) Explanation of Sahih Muslim, vol. 2, Al-Bahouri, p259.
14) Sharh al-aqa’id an-nasafiyya, Imam Abu Hanifa, p.180-181.
15) Sahih Muslim.
16) Sahih Muslim. Other hadiths with similar purport are: 1) “There will be upon you leaders who you will recognize and disapprove of; whoever rejects them is free, whoever hates them is safe as opposed to those who are pleased and obey them”, they said, “should we not fight them”. He r said, “No, as long as they pray.” 2)”The best of your leaders are those you love and they love you, you pray for them and they pray for you. The worst of your leaders are those who anger you and you anger them and you curse them and they curse you. He said we replied, “O Messenger of Allah r should we not remove them at that?” He r said, “No, as long as they establish the prayer amongst you.”
17) Narrated by Abu Said al-Khudri in Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi.
18) Sahih Bukhari.
19) Ghazali, in the Ihya’, al-`Iraqi said that Bayhaqi related it on the authority of Jabir and said: There is weakness in its chain of transmission. According to Nisa’i in al-Kuna is a saying by Ibrahim ibn Ablah.
20) Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Tabarani, Ibn Majah, and al-Hakim.
21) Related on the authority of Abu al-Darda’ by Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Abi al-Dunya, al-Hakim, Bayhaqi, and Ahmad also related it from Mu`adh ibn Jabal.