PMW translation of “Jihad is the way” by Mustafa Mashhur
Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, 1996-2002
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
One of the results of the turmoil in Egypt is the rise in influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. In order to understand the implications, Palestinian Media Watch has translated the book Jihad is the way by Mustafa Mashhur, who was the official leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt 1996-2002. The book is the fifth volume of his full work called The Laws of Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity).
In his book, Jihad is the way, Mashhur explains the fundamental concepts of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology. Mashhur’s teachings encompass subjects such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s goal of establishing an Islamic state, world domination under Islam, the public and personal religious duty of military Jihad, and the warning not to rush to Jihad until it is prepared and timed for maximum benefit. Click to view full translation in PDF
PMW has selected the following quotes from Jihad is the way to illustrate central ideas of Muslim Brotherhood ideology. PMW’s translation of the book follows below.
National goal: Islamic world domination
– “…know your status, and believe firmly that you are the masters of the world, even if your enemies desire your degradation…”
– “It should be known that Jihad and preparation towards Jihad are not only for the purpose of fending-off assaults and attacks of Allah’s enemies from Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world…”
– “…Jihad for Allah is not limited to the specific region of the Islamic countries, since the Muslim homeland is one and is not divided, and the banner of Jihad has already been raised in some of its parts, and it shall continue to be raised, with the help of Allah, until every inch of the land of Islam will be liberated, the State of Islam will be established,…”
Means: Jihad – a mandatory religious duty
– “Jihad is a religious public duty… incumbent upon the Islamic nation, and is a personal duty to fend off the infidels’ attack on the nation…”
– “And the youth should know that the problems of the Islamic world, such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, or the Philippines, are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion. They are problems of Islam and all Muslims, and their resolution cannot be negotiated and bargained by recognizing the enemy’s right to the Islamic land he stole, therefore, there is no other option but Jihad for Allah, and this is why Jihad is the way.”
– “The symbol of the [Muslim] Brotherhood is the book of Allah [the Quran] between two swords. The swords symbolize Jihad and the force that protects the truth represented in Allah’s book.”
– “…that is, go out to battle, oh believers, young and old, by foot or with animal, under all circumstances and conditions…”
Timing: Don’t rush, prepare carefully for Jihad
– “… one should know that it is not necessary that the Muslims will repel every attack or damage caused by the enemies of Allah immediately, but [only] when ability and the circumstances are fit to it.”
– “Prepare yourself and train in the art of warfare, and embrace the causes of power. You must learn the ways and manners and laws of war. You must learn them and embrace them and adhere to them, so that your Jihad will be the one accepted by Allah.”
– “… there exists an unavoidable personal duty for every Muslim to equip himself and prepare and gear-up towards Jihad…”
Personal goal: Aspire to Shahada – Death for Allah
– “The Jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most lofty wish”, this is the call which we have always called,… Many of our beloved ones have already achieved this wish,… We ask Allah to accept all of them,… and may He join us with them, …”
Jihad against Israel:
Jihad is the Way
[*Mustafa Mashhur was the fifth General Guide, the official leader,
of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996 until his death in 2002.]Publishing House: “Dar al-Tawziah wal-Nashr al-Islamia”
[Islamic Publishing and Distribution House], 1995
Publishing House’s Address: Al Sayeda Zainab Square 8 [Cairo, Egypt]
Translated by Palestinian Media Watch
PMW translation policy:
PMW has included all the main texts, ideologies, policies, views, and explanations expressed in this book, while leaving out numerous repetitions as well as some of the many Quran sources cited to support the ideology. Passages left out are indicated by three dots.
Islamic terms referring to seeking and obtaining Martyrdom death are translated as follows:
Shahada = “Martyrdom for Allah”, appears as: Shahada (Martyrdom)
Shahid = “Martyr for Allah”, appears as: Shahid (Martyr)
Istish’had = “Seeking Martyrdom for Allah”, appears as: Istish’had (Martyrdom-Seeker)
Istish’had = “Achieved Martyrdom for Allah”, appears as: Istish’had (achieved Martyrdom)
Quran translations are based on USC-MSA-Compendium of Muslim Texts http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/
Jihad is the Way
Jihad is the way. We need to be fully aware of this and to act and follow in its way. The faltering of faith has led the Muslims to their current state: one of laxity, disintegration, the dominion of Allah’s enemies over the Muslim’s resources, and the succumbing of some of them to abandoning their faith. The revival of the faith is the starting point for the revival and revitalization of the Islamic Ummah [nation], so that it can regain its power and be liberated and assume its rightful position which was intended by Allah, as the most exalted nation among men , as the leaders of humanity, and through this religion of truth they will deliver humanity from darkness unto light.
Together with the power of faith, there is no escaping from the power of unity among the Muslims to unify efforts. Then comes the power of arms and weapons, when nothing else will suffice, and this is the role of Jihad. The Imam (Muslim religious leader) and Shahid (Martyr), Hassan al-Banna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood) learned of the need for these three forces, from the biography of the Prophet [Muhammad], may Allah bless him and give him peace…
Many questions arise regarding the Muslim Brotherhood’s stance as to Jihad… There is one who asks: Is the meaning of Jihad to force non-Muslims to become Muslim under threat of violence? While another says: Do you want to fight Allah’s enemies in the East and West while they are immensely powerful and you are weak…? … And some say do you want, through the Jihad, to send Muslim youth to their death and to hand them over as easy prey to the enemies of Islam? At the same time we hear those among the enthusiastic youth who say: Has the [Muslim] Brotherhood grown weary after the challenges, thrown down its weapons and abandoned Jihad? Yet another says: Do you wish, with this passivity, to weaken the youth’s vigor and kill the spirit of Jihad in them?
Another asks: How long will you content yourselves with Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) and education without Jihad, while the enemies of Allah lie in wait and attack you from time to time, and you confront their attacks with submissiveness and without resistance?
These are all questions which are brought up regarding the [Muslim] Brotherhood and their position on Jihad… We feel it necessary to make these matters clear to all of us so that there will be a unified understanding and the efforts shall be unified with Allah’s help.
…Our Islamic religion is not a religion of priests and monks, who worship their Lord individually without taking interest in others… but rather it is a complete religion which organizes peoples’ lives in this world as well as in the next life: It organizes the economic, social and political matters of Muslims and still – [is] a religion of faith, law and ritual, which addresses every minor and major issue related to man…
It is, additionally, a religion of one nation, one society, one Qibla (prayer direction, i.e., Mecca) and one book. It transforms the Muslims into one body in their mutual relations, if one of its limbs suffers; the whole body comes to its protection…
The religion [of Islam] requires its believers to perform its laws and the rules of the Quran and the prophetic traditions, and to deliver this religion of truth to all of humanity…
Is it possible for such a religion to exist and for its believers to fulfill all of its requirements without the adherents of other beliefs persecuting it with attacks on the religion and its followers, and without their attempting to prevent the believers from performing this religion and establishing it? Should the believers of this religion cease to perform it… simply because the enemies of Allah attack them? And if they [Muslims] endure patiently, does this mean that this patience has no end? Do they not have a right to repel the aggression and to remove the hurdles from their path?
From this it is evident that Jihad is an inevitable necessity, and that’s why it was made a religious duty in Islam, [a duty] which exists till the day of Resurrection. It is also the reason why [Islam] has excited the interest in [Jihad] and hastened towards it, and made it the highest pinnacle of Islam; Without it, the religion has no revival and the people of falsehood take over, and the religion of Allah becomes invalid and life is corrupted and goes astray from the path that Allah wanted. Is this appropriate for the religion of Allah, Exalted and Almighty?
In this book, we will clarify several issues pertaining to [the place of] Jihad in Islam…
Islam has dedicated much attention to the issue of Jihad and militancy and recruiting the nation and gathering it all in one line in order to defend the truth with all its might; it [Islam] has rendered Jihad a religious duty for every Muslim, which no [Muslim] can escape, and has aroused the will towards [performing] Jihad to the greatest degree; It has greatly increased the rewards for the Mujahidun (Jihad warriors) and the Shahids (Martyrs), and has threatened the procrastinators and those who avoid Jihad with the most terrible punishments…
[Translator’s note: What follows are quotes from Hassan al-Banna on Jihad, fighting and Istish’had [Martyrdom-Seeker or achieved Martyrdom]
… The Imam and Shahid (Martyr) [Hassan al-Banna] writes in his Treatise on Jihad: “All of the sages, the earlier and the later ones… agree that Jihad is a religious public duty to spread Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) incumbent upon the Islamic nation, and is a personal duty to fend off the infidels’ attack on the nation… The Muslims today, as you know, are humiliated by others, dominated by infidels, their land is overrun and their holy places are desecrated… Therefore there exists an unavoidable personal duty for every Muslim to equip himself and prepare and gear-up towards Jihad until the opportunity arises and Allah will determine His word.”
The Shahid (Martyr) Imam (Hassan al-Banna) said in another place of his Jihad Treatise about the tradition [attributed to Muhammad]: “We have returned from the smaller Jihad to the greater Jihad. They said: “And what is the greater Jihad? He said: the Jihad of the heart or the Jihad of the soul.” He said: “This tradition is not authentic Hadith (tradition) and some say that it was said by Ibrahim b. ‘Abla…
Allah has imposed the duty of Jihad on the Muslims, not as a tool for aggression or for achieving personal aspirations, but in order to defend the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity), and to ensure the peace and as fulfillment of the Muslims’ greatest mission, to guide people to truth and justice…
On mercifulness during Jihad, according to Hassan al-Banna: Allah has instructed the Muslims to be utmost merciful, when they fight they do not attack, and do not blow up (anything), and do not mutilate (dead) bodies, and do not steal, and do not plunder property, and do not desecrate (sanctity), and do not come to harm, because in their war they are the best warriors, just as they in their peace are the best peace-lovers. In addition to this it is forbidden to kill women, children and elderly, finish off wounded, provoke monks and isolated people and peaceful non-combatants.
Where is that compassion in the suffocating attacks of the civilized and the horrible atrocities and where does their International law stand in relation to this all-encompassing divine justice? Then he [Hassan al-Banna] turns to Allah and says: Allah, instruct Muslims in their religion, and save this world from this darkness through the lights of Islam.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s stance regarding Jihad
Jihad for Allah’s sake has been forcing itself upon the Islamic region in recent years, and has become tangibly noticeable in parts of the Islamic world. In other parts of the Islamic world, there is a tide of preparation for Jihad and a sense that it is unavoidable, and is the only way to retaliate against the aggressiveness of Allah’s enemies, and to liberate Islamic land from its occupiers and invaders. It has become a widespread and convincing opinion, that the way of negotiation and peace-treaties with Allah’s enemies instead of Jihad is surrender in the name of peace.
Additionally, without Jihad and the preparation towards it, the obligation cast upon every Muslim to establish an Islamic state and the Islamic Caliphate and to consolidate this religion, will not be realized…
He [Hassan al-Banna] felt the grave danger overshadowing the Muslims and the urgent need and obligation which Islam places on every Muslim, man and woman, to act in order to restore the Islamic Caliphate and to reestablish the Islamic State on strong foundations… and to liberate the Muslims and defend them from any attack, and to spread the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) of Islam in the world and to establish this great religion, which Allah wanted for his servants.
This is how the Prophet educated the Muslims through the Quran… and united them like brothers and arranged them and rushed them towards Jihad and [self-] sacrifice, until they were worthy of Allah’s victory and support, and this is how the Arabian Peninsula was cleansed of idolatry and idols, and the Persian lands were conquered, and the Greeks [the Byzantines] subdued and the Jews [were] expelled and the shadows were dispersed and the light was spread…
He (Hassan al-Banna) knew the role of Jihad in leading the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) and the importance of preparing for it, because the truth needs a force to protect it. He noticed that the spirit of Jihad was almost absent from the Muslims of that time and the spirit of surrender prevailed.
The Jihad is Our Way – The Motto of the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity)
… “Allah is our goal, the Prophet is our leader, the Quran is our constitution, the Jihad is our way, and the Death for Allah is our most exalted wish.”
The symbol of the [Muslim] Brotherhood is the book of Allah [the Quran] between two swords. The swords symbolize Jihad and the force that protects the truth represented in Allah’s book…
[I]n all his (Hassan al-Banna’s) writings and conversations, he always urged towards Jihad and aroused the desire for seeking Shahada (Martyrdom)… he did not content himself only with speech and writing, and when the opportunity arrived for Jihad in Palestine he hurried and seized it. The [Muslim] Brotherhood provided the most magnificent models [for Jihad and courage] and were it not for the [evil] scheming and the treachery on the part of the leaders of the Muslim countries of the time, the situation would have been different.
After Allah honored him with Shahada (Martyrdom) -and his murder was part of this scheme [of the Muslim leaders] – the [Muslim] Brotherhood continued on the path of Jihad against the British on the banks of the Suez canal in the early 1950’s, and also continued their Jihad against the Jews in other Islamic regions outside of Egypt, as Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) was made to disappear in the prisons during [President] Abdul Nasser’s rule. Today we witness the [Muslim] Brotherhood joining their brothers, the Mujahideen (Jihad warriors) in Afghanistan, and fighting against the infidel and repressive regime in Syria.
Has the [Muslim] Brotherhood grown weary of the challenges, thrown down their guns and abandoned Jihad?!! No! …
[D]espite this, the [Muslim] Brotherhood is not rushed by youth’s enthusiasm into immature and unplanned action which will not alter the bad reality and may even harm the Islamic activity, and will benefit the people of falsehood…
The [Muslim] Brotherhood knows that hastiness without proper preparedness may be like an aborted [action]. Likewise, they know that the negligence and hesitation after the right time [for Jihad] has come… might be a spiritual death…
When the [Muslim] Brotherhood sends their youth to Jihad in the appropriate time they do not thrust them towards destruction, rather the abstention of Jihad in its appropriate time is destruction. As well, one should know that it is not necessary that the Muslims will repel every attack or damage caused by the enemies of Allah immediately, but [only] when ability and the circumstances are fit to it.
In the early days of Islamic Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity), when the Muslims were a persecuted minority, the Prophet Muhammad did not instruct the Muslims to retaliate but rather instructed them of ‘Sabr’, patience and steadfastness … and when the conditions were right, permission to fight was given in the words of Allah: [Quran, sura 22, 39]:
“Permission [to fight] is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them.”
Jihad is not only for Repelling an Assault but also for the Purpose of Establishing an Islamic State
It should be known that Jihad and preparation towards Jihad are not only for the purpose of fending-off assaults and attacks of Allah’s enemies from Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world…
As for the incorrect saying that the aim of Jihad in Islam is to coerce the people into the religion under threat of the sword, we do not need to work hard to disprove it. Many have already written on the subject, and it should suffice that it contradicts Allah’s saying, Exalted is He: “There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error.” [Sura 2, 256] Reality and history negate this false claim.
Following this clarification and answer for the ponderings regarding Jihad in general, and the Muslim Brotherhood specifically, it is only left for us to address our Muslim youth with several basic terms which need to accompany Jihad and the preparation for Jihad so that they will be worthy of this immense honor.
To the Muslim youth in the way of Jihad
Previously we clarified the nature of our Muslim religion, the status of Jihad and its position in Islam… It may be useful, when we turn to the Muslim youth, that we first introduce a few quotes from the Imam and Shahid (Martyr), Hassan Al-Banna, in his treatise to the youth…
He says: “First, we call upon you to believe in yourselves, so you will know your status, and believe firmly that you are the masters of the world, even if your enemies desire your degradation …”
After this preface, we turn to the Muslim youth around the world, with advice and focus on the path of Jihad. We say to the youth: Know that Jihad in the way of Allah will be -Allah knows – the most prominent characteristic of Islamic action, during the next phase of the Islamic Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity). …
The Muslim youth on the path of Jihad should know that the sphere of their Jihad for Allah is not limited to the specific region of the Islamic countries, since the Muslim homeland is one and is not divided, and the banner of Jihad has already been raised in some of its parts, and it shall continue to be raised, with the help of Allah, until every inch of the land of Islam will be liberated, the State of Islam will be established, and Allah’s Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) will reach all mankind.
And the youth should know that the problems of the Islamic world, such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, or the Philippines, are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion. They are problems of Islam and all Muslims, and their resolution can not be negotiated and bargained by recognizing the enemy’s right to the Islamic land he stole, therefore, there is no other option but Jihad for Allah, and this is why Jihad is the way…
Know that the sphere of Jihad is now far-reaching, and that the enemies of Allah are numerous, and that war has many faces [lit. colors]. Therefore the struggle between the truth and the falsehood requires effort and time. So prepare yourself for this, and be of those who are patient…
And fully trust your religion – It is the true religion accepted by Allah. Have trust in your way and in your Society (the Muslim Brotherhood), being on the path of truth. Trust yourself and your brothers, that you can – with Allah’s help – confirm the truth and abolish the falsehood even if take time.
Oh the Muslim Youth,
Feel your responsibility for each Muslim on the face of Allah’s earth… who is subject to oppression or control by Allah’s enemies. Feel their pain, and may this pain motivate you to action and to Jihad in order to save all of them. Feel also your responsibility to guide Mankind and take it out of the darkness of heresy and error, into the light of Islam. Feel all of this tremendous responsibility, and gather with your brothers under the flag of the serious Islamic activity. And go in the true path of Jihad, in order to support Allah’s religion and to strengthen the Islamic Ummah [nation], so that mankind will return to what is good for them.
My young Muslim Brother,
Hurry into the goodness and make the profitable bargain, so that you gain this commerce with Allah the great achievement, and the clear triumph, and gain the enduring blessing and [you] shall be saved from the grievous punishment, according to Allah’s words:
[Translator’s note: Quran verses about the reward for the Muslims in the Afterlife, in order to encourage them to sacrifice their souls for the sake of Allah.]
My young Muslim Brother,
Prepare yourself and your household members to obtain the honor of Jihad for Allah, and equip your soul with everything that shall help it in that path, in order to continue the process until victory or the Shahada (Martyrdom)…
My young Islamic Brother, on the path of the Jihad,
Prepare yourself and train in the art of warfare, and embrace the causes of power. You must learn the ways and manners and laws of war. You must learn them and embrace them and adhere to them, so that your Jihad will be the one accepted by Allah. …
Oh Muslim Youth on the Path of Jihad,
The first, most important and most powerful weapon you must acquire for the Jihad against Allah’s enemies, is the weapon of faith. It is the provision that renews itself… and pushes its owner to turn to death without fear… The young Jihad believer scares Allah’s enemies more than a nuclear reactor, and in the balance of power is also heavier and stronger than a nuclear reactor. …
[Translator’s note: Quran verses promising the final triumph of the Muslims and threatening of whoever does not participate in Jihad that he will end in Hell.]
Know, my young Islamic Jihad [warrior] brother, Allah does not need us or our Jihad. It is we who need his reward and grace and to achieve this honor.
My young brother in the path of Jihad,
Do not fear the strength of Allah’s enemies, even if their numbers and equipment out-number yours. Since Allah is the patron of the believers, and strengthens and supports them with his forces:
“…for to Allah belong the forces of the heavens and the earth ” [Sura 48, 4]
[Translators’ note: Quran verses explaining that the triumph comes only from Allah.]
Put your hand in the hands of your brothers in the lines of the Jihad, and embrace them strongly in the tie of brotherhood for Allah, and you’ll be like a solid cemented structure, as in the words of Allah: …
[Translators’ note: text continues with examples from the Quran and allegories of comradeship and brotherhood between Muslims and Jihad warriors].
[Translators’ note: Quran verses describing the virtues of the good Muslim.]
My young Islamic Jihad brother,
Beware of the words and positions of the hypocrites in regard of the Jihad, and beware of the ones who refrain and procrastinate [from departing on the Jihad] …
Oh the young Jihad warrior
… We do not attack and do not wish to encounter the enemy but we will repel the aggression, asking the help of Allah…
[Translator’s note: The text continues with Quran verses exemplifying the above.]
Oh, the young Islamic Mujahidun [Jihad warriors], go forward in the lines of the fighters for Allah, filled with trust that you are about to meet one of the two great destinies: Victory or Shahada [Martyrdom]; Victory that believers around the world will rejoice in, or Shahada [Martyrdom] that will grant you the status of the Shuhada [Martyrs in Islam] and their rewards.
Keep aware of the grave consequences for the Muslim and the grave threat of Allah to whoever turns away from the [Muslim’s] attack…
[Translator’s note: Proof text from Quran]
Beware of weakness or acceptance that the believers will be defeated in battle. Know that the defeat is in the heart and not the battlefield. …
Therefore we must continue the Jihad without weakness…
[Translator’s note: More proof texts from Quran]
[Translator’s note: More proof texts from Quran and repeated Jihad promotion and warning not to sin.]
Know, my young Islamic Jihad [warrior], that we are called to action, but we are not responsible for the results. Allah commanded us to fight Allah’s enemies and repel their hostility, and did not require us to achieve victory, since victory is from Him. Therefore Allah will not prevent us from the award of the Mujahidun [Jihad warriors], even when the outcome is not in favor of the believers.
Know, my Islamic brother on the ranks of the Mujahidun [Jihad warriors], that you are an important target and valuable prey for Allah’s enemies…
[Translator’s note: Instructions to be disciplined and precise, study the Quran and the sections regarding Jihad and even learn them by heart.]
My Islamic sister,
And you, the Islamic sister on the path of the Jihad, you have an important role in Jihad, which starts at home educating the [young] generations, and preparing them for the Jihad. The woman is the producer of the men, and Muslim women used to teach their sons by heart the stories of the military expeditions, as they would teach them the Quran… In addition, the Islamic sister who lives by the spirit of the Jihad, is a help to her husband and encourages him in the path of the Jihad, and she doesn’t turn him away or weaken him… Likewise, she properly manages his possessions and children, and takes care of them while he is away on the Jihad.
In the past the Muslim women had a role in battle: she would give water to the soldiers and bandage the wounded, and sometimes she would even participate with weapons, like Nasiba the daughter of Ka’ab, protecting Allah’s Messenger [Muhammad] in the battle of Uhud.
The Istish’had (seeking or achieving Shahada (Martyrdom) in the way of the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity)
“The Jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most lofty wish”, this is the call which we have always called, and our people have called it by the way of the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity), people of the Da’wa… Many of our beloved ones have already achieved this wish, and among them the founder of the Society [of Muslim Brotherhood], the Imam and Shahid (Martyr) Hassan Al-Banna. We ask Allah to accept all of them, and that He may widen His gardens [of Eden] for them, and may He join us with them, and that we won’t change [our determination] and won’t fall into trial, and may He provide us with the Shahada (Martyrdom) like them, Amen.
The procession of Shahids (Martyrs) in the way of Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) has been continuing for a long time. Honorable brothers have achieved Shahada (Martyrdom) on the soil of beloved Palestine, during the years 47′ and 48′, [while] in their Jihad against the criminal, thieving, gangs of Zion. They [these Martyrs] the men of Da’wa gave outstanding examples of Jihad and Istish’had (Martyrdom-seeking) in the way of Allah. Still today memory of them horrifies the Jews and the name of the Muslim Brotherhood terrifies them…
Later was the plot which was planned by the enemies of Allah and carried out by their agents among the Arab leaders of that time, and in December 1948 the decision was announced in Egypt to dismantle the [Muslim] Brotherhood, and to arrest them [members], except the Imam [Hassan] Al-Banna, whose murder was planned… They sent Arab armies or their symbols into Palestine, in the name of saving it from the Jews, but actually [the goal was] to hand it over to the Jews…
The Imam and Shahid (Martyr) Hassan Al-Banna is considered as a Shahid (Martyr) of Palestine, even if he was not killed on its soil. …
Later the enemies of Allah [among the Arabs] forced on us another front of Shahada (Martyrdom), the one of tyranny … In the prisons of [Egyptian President] Abd al-Nasser and in the gallows. They [Muslim Brotherhood members] calmly accepted the Shahada, among them … Khaled Islambouli [assassinated the Egyptian president, Anwar al-Sadat, in Oct. 6, 1981] and his brothers. Allah’s mercy upon them all.
…Many of the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) men in occupied Palestine and in Lebanon also achieved Shahada, and they are facing it, in their Jihad against the Jews…
Some think that Shahada (Martyrdom) causes loss and damages the [Muslim Brotherhood] Society, since it has lost influential people in action and Jihad. This is wrong, since the fall of the Shahid (Martyr) for the sake of Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) is [seen as] provisions and fuel for the [next] generations, and as a symbol of self sacrifice in the way of the Da’wa…
…until realization of the goals which the [Muslim Brotherhood] Society was established for, that is, establishing the State of Islam, headed by the Islamic Caliphate, in order to establish Allah religion on Allah’s land…
Muslim youth should know that the battle between truth and falsehood is hard, long, and broad, and it reaches the entire Islamic Sphere. [They must] know that Jihad is the way, and sacrifice of lives and property is inevitable, the opportunity to achieve Jihad and Istish’had [achieved Martyrdom] – will grow during the coming decades…
Our youth should not give up hope of our [eventual] victory and establishing [Islam], due to the large number of enemies and the small number of believers. In the past, the believers with the Messenger of Allah were a minority… But Allah supported his Prophet and the believers, with His battalions…
[Translators’ note: the book now quotes two Quranic verses concerning the “Battalions of Allah”]
Indeed, oh youth, Death for Allah is our loftiest wish. And how not, here are the verses of the precious Quran, and the sayings of the honorable Messenger they make us love and encourage us towards Istish’had (seeking Martyrdom for Allah) the way of Allah, by what they mention regarding the status of the Martyrs, and the honor that Allah grants them.
The foremost among the status of the Shuhada’ [Martyrs] is that they become alive with their Lord, they are provided sustenance from their Lord, and they rejoice the kindness which Allah gives them.
Allah says [In the Quran] …
[Translator’s note: Additional Quran verses are quoted.]
[Translator’s note: Hadiths (traditions) are quoted in regard to Jihad and Martyrdom]
We shall move to [discuss] some of the sayings of Allah’s Prophet, may Allah’s blessing be upon him, regarding Jihad and Istish’had [Seeking Martyrdom for Allah]:
[Translator’s note: Some of the Prophet’s sayings regarding the issue are quoted, for example:]
[Also] It was told that the Prophet said: “Not one of those who enter paradise want to return to this world… but the Shahid (Martyr), who wishes to return to this world and be killed ten times, due to the honor which he sees”…
Oh my Brother to the path of Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity), oh you who chose the path of the honest believers who committed before Allah service and Jihad… and you called from the depths of your heart: [bold in original]: “The Jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most lofty wish”. Oh Brother, this is indeed a lofty wish …
There are matters which need to be taken into account, and to adhere to, among them:
First of all: That you make a profitable deal with Allah: “Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah [Bible] and the Injeel [Gospels] and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.” [Sura 9, 111] …
Second: In order for the deal to be carried out and for the sale to be accepted, you must impose on yourself the attributes of the believers…
Third: …Your intention in Jihad and in seeking Istish’had (seeking Martyrdom for Allah) Your intention shall be raising the word of Allah on Allah’s land…
Fourth: You will ask Shahada (Martyrdom) from Allah truthfully, not only in talk but also in your heart, and with honest decisiveness, and by waiting for opportunities. This way you will reach the status of Shahids (Martyrs) and their reward, with Allah’s will, even if you die in your bed, as said in the Hadith of the Prophet …” He who sincerely asks for the Shahada (Martyrdom) from Allah, Allah brings him to the status of the Shahids (Martyrs), even if he died in his bed”…
At the same time, there is a warning to those who do not go on a raid or do not hope for it… The Messenger of Allah said: “He who died without leaving on a raid, and without making up his mind to leave on a raid, died as a hypocrite.”
Sixth: You should be prepared to answer the call of Jihad whenever you are called, in any region of the Islamic world. Our Islam is universal not regional, and all Islamic countries are one homeland. You must overcome the earth’s attractions … which makes man vulnerable to the danger of Allah’s punishment, as in the verse:
…that is, go out to battle, oh believers, young and old, by foot or with animal, under all circumstances and conditions…
Seventh: As long as you are a soldier in the ranks [of the warriors], you must respect every request regarding the Jihad, and what was determined for you, both in time and place. Do not carry out personal actions… since there are negative consequences to personal disobedient actions. Many times, the enthusiasm pushes some of the young [soldiers] to personal hasty actions, which harm the overall [Jihad] process…
The reason for this narrow and limited perspective is that some of the young [fighters] think that this bitter struggle between truth and falsehood, can come to an end by killing a couple of people and blowing up bombs and actions of that sort, without grasping the [long term] results…
It was not hard for one of the Muslims, during the period of Mecca, to kill Abu Jahal or Abu Lahab [Muhammad’s enemies], or to shatter the idols around the Ka’ba, when they were being worshiped instead of Allah, in order to remove the evil. None of Muslims actually did any of this, due to the great harm that would befall the Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity), and would expose it to the danger of destruction, while it was still like a young plant…
Eighth: My Brother, study Islam’s laws of combat so that you will become bound by them, so that your Jihad will be sound, healthy, and flawless, because when the Muslims fight they do not attack, and do not blow up [anything], and do not mutilate [dead] bodies, and do not steal, and do not plunder property, and do not desecrate [sanctity], and do not come to harm, because in their war they are the best warriors, just as they in their peace are the best peace-lovers.
By Barida, may God be pleased with him: “Messenger of Allah, God bless him and grant him salvation, who used to say when he was commanding an army commander … ‘Raid but don’t exaggerate and do not act with treacherousness, and do not molest (dead) bodies, and do not kill newborns.’ reported Muslim [Hadith]…
Therefore, it is forbidden to kill women and elderly, finish off wounded, provoke monks and isolated people, and peaceful non-combatants… From the Jihad Treatise by the Imam al-Banna.
Ninth: [One must learn and perfect the skills of fighting…] However, achieving victory should not be attributed to preparation and skills but to the help of Allah and to the support he gives to his servants, the believers.
Tenth: My Brother, nurture your home and your family with an Islamic consciousness, and prepare them for the atmosphere of Jihad and Shahada (Martyrdom) – Seeking, then they will not weaken you, but will support and encourage [you] to Jihad, and they will receive the news that you have fallen as a Shahid (Martyr) – Allah willing – with joy…
Eleventh: The Imam the Shahid (Martyr), [Hassan al-Banna] … said:
“Oh [Muslim] brothers, the nation that excels in the death industry, and knows how to die a noble [death], Allah grants it a precious life in this world and eternal bliss in the Afterlife. The only weakness that shall humiliate us is the love of this world and hating death. Therefore we have prepared your souls for great action, strive for death – and life will be given to you. Know that there is no escaping death, and it will happen only once, and if you carry it out (death) for the sake of Allah, there will be profit in this world and reward in the Afterlife, and nothing will harm you except what Allah has decreed [for] you… Work for an honorable death, you will be thus granted full happiness. May Allah provide us and you, the honor of achieving the Shahada (Martyrdom) for Him.”
Indeed, Allah has already answered his [Hassan al-Banna’s] prayer and provided him with the Shahada (Martyrdom). We ask Allah to also provide us with it, for He is near and answers [prayers].