Ruling on Physical Jihad
Is it obligatory for every Muslim to go out for jihad? Or is jihad mustahabb and not obligatory?.
Praise be to Allaah.
Physical jihad is the pinnacle of Islam, and some scholars regarded it as the sixth pillar of Islam.
The Muslims have neglected jihad for a long time, so they deserve the punishment of Allaah, to be humiliated, belittled and defeated. That humiliation will never be lifted from them until they come back to their religion as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you enter into the ‘eenah transaction, hold the tails of oxen, are content with farming, and give up jihad, Allaah will cause humiliation to prevail over you, and will not withdraw it until you return to your commitment to Islam.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2956; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
[Translator’s note: ‘eenah transaction means to sell a product for a known price with deferred payment and then buy it back from the purchaser for a lesser price, so the purchaser will still have to pay the difference in the future]
One of the strangest things to note is that we are living in a time when some of the Muslims are embarrassed to quote the verses and ahaadeeth on jihad in front of their kaafir friends. Their faces turn red because they are too shy to mention the rulings on the jizyah, slavery and killing prisoners of war. They wish that they could erase these verses and ahaadeeth from the Qur’aan and Sunnah so that they would not be criticized by this world with its backward principles despite its claims to be civilized. If they cannot erase them then they try to misinterpret them and distort their meanings so that they suit the whims and desires of their masters. I will not say so that they suit their whims and desires, for they are too weak to have their own whims and desires, and too ignorant. Rather it is the whims and desires of their masters and teachers among the missionaries and colonialists, the enemies of Islam.”
‘Umdat al-Tafseer, 1/46.
The result of that is that we hardly hear anything nowadays apart from the following phrases: world peace … peaceful coexistence … safe borders … a new world order … the calamities of war…
Those who proclaim the verses and ahaadeeth of jihad nowadays are subject to a number of accusations. They are called terrorists, extremists, enemies of peace and bloodthirsty, and are accused of wanting to destroy twentieth century civilization.
This is the unfortunate reality in which the Muslim ummah is living nowadays. That is because we have given up supporting our religion and doing the duties that Allaah has enjoined upon us.
Allaah has commanded us to support His religion and to wage jihad against His enemies.
There are so many verses that enjoin jihad against the mushrikeen and fighting them until all submission is for Allaah alone; they clearly state that it is obligatory and is prescribed and is compulsory. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Jihaad (fighting in Allaah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allaah knows but you do not know”
Rulings on jihad
The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) have mentioned the rulings on jihad and have stated that jihad is of two types:
1 – Taking the initiative in fighting
This means pursuing the kaafirs in their lands and calling them to Islam and fighting them if they do not agree to submit to the rule of Islam.
This kind of jihad is fard kifaayah (a communal obligation) upon the Muslims. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allaah), and the religion (worship) will all be for Allaah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allaah), then certainly, Allaah is All-Seer of what they do”
“Then when the Sacred Months (the Ist, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikoon (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism] and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”
“and fight against the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah) collectively as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allaah is with those who are Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”
“March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor), and strive hard with your wealth and your lives in the Cause of Allaah. This is better for you, if you but knew”
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I have been commanded to fight the people until they bear witness that there is no god but Allaah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, and establish regular prayer, and pay zakaah, If they do that then their blood and wealth is safe from me, except by the laws of Islam, and their reckoning will be with Allaah.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 24; Muslim, 29.
Muslim (3533) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever dies without having fought or thought to himself about fighting has died following one of the branches of hypocrisy.”
All of these texts – and many others in the Qur’aan and Sunnah – mean that it is obligatory for the Muslims to wage jihad against the kuffaar and take the initiative in that. The scholars are unanimously agreed that jihad against the kuffar, and seeking them in their own lands, and calling them to Islam, and waging jihad against them if they do not accept Islam or accept paying the jizyah, is obligatory and has not been abrogated.
Shaykh al-Islam (28/249) said:
Everyone who hears the call of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to the religion of Allaah with which he was sent and does not respond to it must be fought so that there will be no fitnah and so that submission will all be for Allaah.
Ibn ‘Atiyah said (2/43): There remains scholarly consensus that jihad is a communal obligation upon the ummah of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and if some of the Muslims undertake this duty the rest are absolved of responsibility.
2 – Jihad in self-defence.
If the kuffaar attack and occupy a Muslim country, or they prepare to attack the Muslims, then it is obligatory for the Muslims to fight them so as to ward off their evil and foil their plots. Jihad in self-defence is fard ‘ayn (an individual obligation) upon the Muslims, according to scholarly consensus.
Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer (8/15):
When jihad becomes inevitable because the enemy has overrun one of the (Muslim) regions, then it becomes obligatory for all the people of that region to mobilize and to go out to fight, whether they are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor), each according to his abilities, with or without the permission of his parents. No one who is able to go out, warrior or helper, should stay behind. If the people of that country are unable to fight their enemy, then those in nearby and neighbouring countries have to go out to fight, in whatever numbers are required to show support, so that they will know that they have the strength to stand up to them and ward them off. Similarly everyone who knows of their weakness in the face of their enemies and knows that he can go and help them must also go out and fight. All of the Muslims should be united against their enemies. If the people of the area where the enemy has invaded and occupied fight off the enemy themselves, then the others are relieved of that duty. If the enemy approaches the Muslim lands but does not enter, the Muslims must still go out to confront them so that the religion of Allaah will prevail and in order to protect the Muslim homeland and humiliate the enemy. There is no scholarly dispute on this point.
Shaykh al-Islam (28/358-359) said:
If the enemy wants to attack the Muslims then resisting becomes obligatory on all those who are under threat, and those who are not under threat are obliged to help them, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“but if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them except against a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance”
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also commanded us to help other Muslims. This is obligatory upon each person as much as possible, by fighting himself or by giving financial support, as was the case at the time of al-Khandaq, when Allaah did not grant any concession to anyone not to fight. Rather the Qur’aan condemns those who asked the Prophet for permission [not to fight] on the grounds that their houses were vulnerable when that was not the case, rather they just wanted to flee the battle. This fighting is in order to protect the relihion, and protect lives and honour, and this is absolutely essential.
This is the ruling on physical jihad in Islam, whether that is taking the initiative to call the kuffaar to enter this religion and subjugate them to the rule of Islam, or jihad to defend the religion and honour of the Muslims.
We ask Allaah to bring the Muslims back to their religion.
And Allaah knows best.
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