Restricting Jihad to Combat

  • | Friday, 11 August, 2017
Restricting Jihad to Combat

The fanatics restricted the concept of Jihad to combat, restricted combat to killing, and confined Jihad to Jihad of demand (Jihad At-Talab) based upon certain verses and hadiths such as:

"And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers" (Q 1:191),

"Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors" (Q 1:193), and

"Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled" (Q 9:29).

This may be refuted by the fact that jurists have divided jihad into two types: jihad of demand which becomes legal when the Muslim ruler – whatever political title he may have – declares jihad in the cause of Allah in defense of and under the banner of Islam. After jihad had been approved, it was never reported that the companions of the Prophet – who were the best generation – went to the community of disbelievers to kill them except under the banner of jihad and with the permission of a Muslim leader capable of carrying out jihad.

Defensive Jihad (Jihad Al-Dafa‘): this is when disbelievers attack a Muslim country. The people of this country must fight them back with the permission of a Muslim ruler and under the banner of Islam. This matter is imposed by the need to defend the nation and its sovereignty. This sound opinion is supported and agreed upon by international laws. What we have pointed is the consensus of the scholars.

Who Are to be Fought in the Battlefield? It is impermissible to kill women, children or old people. Only for the warriors who carry weapons to fight the Muslims can be killed. This is evident in Allah's statement, "Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors" (Q 2:190). Moreover, the need for jihad of demand has vanished nowadays simply because that sort of jihad aimed mainly at conveying the message of Islam to people and combating those who stood as an obstacle to this aim. Thus, jihad was permitted to ward off hirabah, not to eliminate disbelief. They could not perceive that jihad in a more inclusive sense is done with the heart, through calling to the worship of Allah, and honoring parents as many hadiths have shown. If the main purpose of Jihad was to eradicate disbelief none of the disbelievers could ever remain alive in the countries that Muslims conquered. During this age of satellites and the internet, the message and call to Islam have become available to the whole world. All in all, Jihad is allowed only with the permission of a Muslim ruler who is able to perform it in the cause of Allah with the aim of making the Word of Allah supreme.

As for their citation of the aforementioned verses then it is not correct, for the imperative verb "fight" undoubtedly indicates defensive fighting and not the fight of demand simply because the conjugation of (Mufa'alah) in Arabic indicates involvement of more than one party, as inferred by the context of the verse: "and expel them from wherever they have expelled you" (Q 2:191). Thus, it is a fight to ward off attacks, not to initiate such attacks. This opinion is further supported by the end of the verse "And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful" (Q 2:192). The verse from chapter At-Tawbah makes it clear for any sane person that it was revealed concerning the disbelievers of Mecca and does not constitute a general case. However, it was revealed in an exaggerative word form to denote that this fighting occurs between two fighting parties. Thus, it is defensive fighting rather than demand fighting.


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