In the perspective of Kashmir issue Summary
‘Jihad’ means to make an utmost effort to achieve some objective. Most this word, in the Quran has been used in sense of struggle and strife while the term ‘Qital’ has been used for war. However, both ‘Jihad’ and ‘Qital’ are being used, these days as synonymous terms. Hence, ‘Jihad’ is used in the sense of armed battle in this article as well.
The first principle that we establish about ‘Jihad’ is that it is only the prerogative of the state. It is solely the responsibility of the state to announce, manage and control Jihad. Islam rules out any concept of private army. The whole force has to be under the same command undertaking its duties in a disciplined and united way.
The second principle is that Jihad is deemed valid only when its purpose is to avert oppression.
The third principle is that war is disallowed against the country which has a peace accord with the state. Such a country can not be attacked without a prior declaration about the annulment of the accord even if it is found guilty of oppressing its Muslim resident.
The fourth principle is that Jihad should be declared only when all material resources are available in order to materialize the strategy and there are bright prospects of winning the war and sustaining it too.
The events taken place in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya have been analyzed in the light of the above four mentioned principles. Afterwards, the issue of Kashmir has been analyzed in the light of the same principles and some useful suggestions have been made for its solution.
The Meaning of Jihad:
Jihad means to make an utmost effort to achieve an objective; it is not just a synonym for war. The real word for war is ‘Qital’ whereas every kind of struggle is taken in the sense of Jihad. When the whole struggle is meant for the pleasure of God it is called “Jihad Fi-Sabeelillah”. This word has been used, mostly in the Quran in the connotation of struggle. However, it has also been used, on certain occasions for an armed battle (Qital). In fact, the context of this word determines the true sense everywhere.
The Quran has the specific word ‘Qital’ for an armed battle.
The Importance of this discussion:
It is widely discussed, these days among Muslims and non Muslims both what is the true concept of Jihad and where a line of demarcation can be drawn between Jihad and terrorism. It is a very important and serious discussion.
During the last two decades several fatal battles have been fought in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Palestine, Philippines, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo and many other places spanned on years which claimed more death toll among Muslims which was not less than millions in number. Out of all these ventures, just one struggle met with success in Bosnia. Kosovo is heading towards success. The Chechen government was abolished by Russia. The war has not yet reached its logical end in Afghanistan though it has claimed the lives of two million Afghans. The movement in Kashmir has been in progress for the last twelve years. During this period, some secret militant organizations engaged themselves in bloody activities in some Muslim and some no Muslim countries. These activities where termed as “Jihad” by one side whereas they were labeled as “terrorism” by the other side. It is, therefore essential for us to see what, according to Islam is Jihad and which militant activities are forbidden. Through this article, we shall discuss some basic principles about Jihad and will try to apply those principles in the perspective of the issue of Kashmir.
The first principle in the context of Jihad is that no group or organization other than state has a right to undertake some armed activity. It is essential that Jihad is declared by the government and it should be the sole responsible authority to manage and control Jihad. There is no concept of a private army in Islam.
It has the logic that the Holy Prophet was granted the permission of Jihad during his Madinite period when he had acquired power. Jihad and Qital had been forbidden during the thirteen year period of the Prophet’s stay at Makkah when he did not possess power. Mufti Muhammad Shafi says:
“There is a consensus among the whole Ummah that ‘Jihad’ and ‘Qital’ were disallowed before the migration to Madina. All Quranic verses at that time instructed the Muslims to be patient at the oppression by the pagans”. (Ma’araf-al-Quran, Vol. 1 page: 469)
The initial Quranic verses that allowed war against oppression are included in Surah Al-Hajj. The Quran Says.
“Permission (to take up arms) is hereby given to those who are attacked, because they have been wronged. Allah has power to grant them victory: those who have been unjustly driven from their homes only because they said: ‘Our lord is Allah’. (Al-Hajj 22:39-40)
The words “Permission is hereby given” indicate that permission for war had not been granted before. The words “Those who have been unjustly driven from their homes” prove that first they migrated, assumed power and then they were allowed to undertake war.
The words, “they have been wronged” prove that Islam allows ‘Jihad’ only against oppression.
The other verses in the context of Jihad were revealed in Al-Baqarah as 190---193, 216 and 224. The Quran says,
“Fight for the sake of Allah those that fight against you, but do not be aggressive.
Allah does not love the aggressors”. (Al-Baqara 2:190)
The whole history of prophets reveal that even prophets, the chief torch bearers of the faith of God were not allowed to take up Jihad without having assumed power. This is why no prophet declared Jihad unless he had control of some state. They were wronged and oppressed but neither they took up arms nor avenged themselves upon aggressors even they and their companions were dislodged from their habitations. But they never became intolerant because they were directed the same by the Almighty.
The whole lives of prophets like Noah, Loot, Saleh, Shoaib, Ibrahim, Musa, Younis and Christ are devoid of even the mention of Jihad. The prophet, Musa did not take a step towards Jihad or Qital unless the Bani-Israil had been evacuated from Egypt and organized in the free territory of the desert of Sina. Holy Christ has no reference to Jihad throughout his life because he was not granted rule though he followed and practiced ‘Torat’, which had clear instructions about Jihad.
The Holy Prophet had not been granted rule during the Makkan period therefore he never took up arms despite every kind of aggression done against him. He directed his companions during the Makkan period to show tolerance. For example when Sumayya and her husband, Yasir were martyred, he told their relatives not to take revenge rather said, “I assure you of paradise in return to this oppression”. The Prophet explained the concept of ruler and Jihad through one of his orders:
“A Muslim ruler is a shield for Muslims. Qital is just possible under his leadership and this is why people seek his shelter. (It mean that he has to take the final decision in all matters including war and peace)” (Bokhari, 2957)
The Quran instructions regarding making peace with the enemy can only be implemented by a government. The detailed discussion, in this context would come on a later stage.
Islam clearly instructs Muslims not to be divided into several factions and sects rather they should remain united. It is only possible when they remain loyal to their state and government, try to rectify every mistake of the government peacefully and follow the rule in every matter of collective nature. The Quan says:
“Cling one and all to the faith of Allah and let nothing divide you. Remember the favors He has bestowed upon you: how He united your hearts when you were enemies, so that you are now brothers through His grace; and how He delivered you from the abyss of fire when you were on the very brink of it”. (Al-Imran 3:103)
“Obey Allah and His Apostle and do not dispute with one another, lest you should lose courage and your resolve weaken. Have patience: Allah is with those that are patient”. (Al-Anfal 8:46)
The most opportune moment for unity is in the event of war the lack of which increases the prospects for the enemy’s dominace. Hence, the decision of war or peace taken at the government level if followed by the subjects, ascertains the security of the Muslim state.
The study of the history reveals that the scholars had such a consensus on the principle of restricting the prerogative of the declaration of Jihad with the state only that it had never been differed except two or three people throughout last several centuries. Al-Syed-al-Sabiq writes in “Fiqah-al-Sunnah”:
“The third kind of “Kafaya Faraiz” is conditioned with the inclusion of the ruler like Jihad and the determination of limits because the sole right in all these matters rests with the ruler. No one else has the right to fix limits for any one”. (Fiqah-al-Sunnah, Vol 3. Page: 10)
Maulana Zafar Ahmed Thanvi expressed the same opinion while throwing light on the issue in “Aala’a-al-Sunnah” Vol 12, page: 3-6.
The hazards of a war without state declaration:
“War is just the prerogative of the state”. It is a real injunction. Besides this it is reality that an armed struggle led by an army headed by its chief who possessed some territory or had a state openly at his back has met with success in history.
The reason is clear. If the people go on forming their own armed factions, different political parties erect their private armies, do not respect the state treaties and declare war at their own end, the country would be stricken with chaos and anarchy. It would affect the country negatively both internally. There is a possibility that such militant groups get entangle with one another. It is therefore, necessary that war or peace is declared just by the government.
The analysis of objections on this stance:
Since the outset of the Afghan war in 1979 has generated several private armed Jihadi organizations within the Muslim Ummah, they have laid several objections on the above stance. It seems better to analyse them all.
The first objection is that Jihad is the order of God. The Holy Prophet did not announce it during the Makkan period because he was not strong enough to do so. Had he gained sufficient strength, he would certainly have declared it there as well.
The answer to this allegation is that at one time during the Makkan period, Muslims were in such a large number that Jihad could have been declared. The code of assistance for the companions of the Prophet declared by God through Al-Anfal 65-66 says that the war would have resulted in their favour even if they had been ten against a hundred.
Apart from a few years in the beginning the ratio of the Muslim population in Makkah has always been more than 10%. The second aspect in this context is that God could have helped Muslims during the Makkan period but the war remained forbidden for them despite worst forms of cruelties against Muslims. The gravity of the oppression has lessened during the Madinite period as Muslims had left Makkah but God issued the following instruction at this moment:
“Permission (to take up arms) is hereby to those who are attacked, because they have been wronged. Allah has power to grant them victory”.
Mufti Muhammad Shafi writes in explanation to the above Quranic verse:
The first order of Jihad against the pagans:
“The pagans were so cruel against Muslims of Makkah that everyday some new victim fell to their hands. The Muslims during the last period before migration to Madinah had grown to a sizeable strength. They complained against the brutalities of the pagans and asked for the permission of Qital. The Prophet used to teach them of tolerance, as he had not yet been allowed Qital. The situation persisted for ten years (Qartabi Un Ibn-e-Arabi)……….Inn-e- Abbas says that it was the first Quranic Verse revealed about the Qital of the pagans whereas more than seventy verses revealed before disallowed it”. (Ma’araf-al-Quran) Vol. 6, page 269-270)
Hence, the above objection becomes baseless in the light of these facts.
Second is the objection that Quran had issued instructions on several issues during the Madinite period, would all such instructions be applicable after an independent Muslim state is established.
The simple reply is that the orders addressed to an individual are to be followed by the individual while those related with state and society are to be implemented just by a state. For example, fasting during the month of Tamadhan was made obligatory upon Muslims during the Madinite period but every individual has to follow it. On the contrary punishing a criminal is solely the state’s responsibility. No individual can claim to so at his own end under the pretext that such orders have been issued by God. If the i8ndividual’s claim is accepted as true, several people, on account of their fanatic attitudes might try to do the same. This certainly might ensue in disorder and lawlessness. Therefore, all matters relating the collective welfare like fixation of limits, announcement of Jihad and the similar can only be decided and enforced by the state. It is proved through the Quran and Sunnah, Ummah has always a consensus on it and the same appeals common sense.
The third objection is that the validity of a war without state is proved through the historical event of Abu Baseer’s attacks on the trade caravans of Quraish in an individual capacity.
The above statement is not true. In fact several Muslims had their dwellings outside Madinah too at the time when a peace accord had been signed between the Prophet and Quraish. The Quran, through Al-Anfal: 72 laid the clear principle that all such people would not be declared as the citizens of Madinah unless they migrate to the city and hence responsibility of any of their actions or speech does not lie on the Prophet’s shoulders. The translation of the relevant portion of this Quranic Verse is as under:
“And those that have embraced the faith but have not migrated from their homes share in no way become your responsibility until they do that. But if they seek your help in the cause of your religion, it is your duty to aid them, except against a people you have a treaty with”. (Al-Anfal 8:72)
Maulana Moudoodi explains this Quranic Verse as under:
“This verse affects foreign policy of an Islamic state as well. As per this order responsibility of a Muslim state is restricted to the Muslims living within its territories and not to this who live outside them……….. Similarly the Islamic state has uprooted the very dispute that generally causes complications at international level as whenever a government shares the responsibilities of the minorities outside its jurisdiction, it causes such complexities which cannot be set aright despite the repeated battles. (Tafheem-ul-Quran Vol 2, Page: 161-162)
Abu Baseer and several other Muslims like him lived outside Madinah and were not a responsibility of the Holy Prophet. This is why the Prophet said, “ I am not responsible for the safety of a Muslim who lives among infidels”. So far as the Prophet’s opinion regarding Abu Baseer’s individual actions is concerned, it becomes clear through the narrative no 2734 of the Bokhari:
“His mother be in misery. He will certainly wage a war if he finds some companions”.
This is why when Quraish urged upon the Prophet to check the activities of Abu Baseer, he called him alongwith his companions to the city of Madinah and made him a citizen of the city. He never took any step individually after that. (Please see Tafseer Ibn Kaseer Vol 5, Page 166-167 and Tafheem-ul-Quran Vol. 5, Page 34-42)
The fourth objection is that Hazrat Hussain Bin Ali fought against Yazeed thought he had no state to rule over.
The above statement is also historically incorrect. In fact Hazrat Hussain had been invited to visit Iraq through hundreds of letters from Iraqis who had promised their submission to him. Obviously, the letters were not self explicit to reveal the ground realities. Hence, Hazrat Hussain set off towards Iraq alongwith his family to know the real situation. He was not accompanied by an army nor he intended to fight.
It is clear that those who intend to fight do not take their family along including the infants nor take just army of seventy two persons to fight against an enemy having an army comprising of thousands of soldiers. When his caravan had been checked by the army of Ibn-e-Ziyad he proposed three possibilities to resolve the matter. First that Hazrat Hussain should return to Madinah. Second that he should meet Yazeed and accept his rule. Third that he should leave the country. All the three proposals were reasonsable and they indicated that Hussain wanted to avert confrontation in a graceful manner. But Ibn-e-Ziyad tried to insult him to submit first to Yazeed and put down his weapons if he wanted to have a dialogue. Eventually his army besieged the caravan of Hussain, attacked it and consequently the tragic event took place.
It is clear through the above narration that Hussain tried his best to avert war in every possible and graceful manner till the last moment. He did not attack anyone rather he had been attacked. He had not yet sought submission from anyone till that moment.
It is also a fact that all nobles of Madinah had tried to stop Hussain from going to Iraq as they could smell the danger. All these details can be studiedx in the book “Waqia-i-Karbala Aur Us Ka Pasmanzer” by Ibn Maulana Manzoor Nomani Maulana Atteeq-ur-Rehman Sunbehli.
The fifth object is that the rulers of the present Muslim world are cowards. They don’t have the courage to fight with the enemy and so they don’t declare Jihad. For the same reason, we’ll have to announce Jihad by ourselves instead of sitting idle waiting for the state declaration. All Muslims busy in their armed struggle today without any state declaration equip themselves with the same logic. Hence, it requires a deeper insight.
We have already discussed that even the prophets had not been authorized by God to declare Jihad unless they gained a state to rule over. It is also clear that the people in the government at the time of the proclamation of their prophethood were their worst enemies. Despite this fact noprophet had been allowed to declare Jihad. No Muslim can claim firmness of his faith more than a prophet and no of the enemies of Islam today can show more enmity towards Muslims than the worst hostility proven by the enemies of the prophets. Therefore how can ordinary Muslims claim to have a right which had been denied even to prophets. Our faith and our struggle stand nowhere in comparison with the faith and struggle of the prophets who even had the favor of God. No one else could practice Islam better than the prophets. Despite all that they were not allowed to declare Jihad without having a state to command. It is obvious that even a faction comprising of extremely pious Muslims is not allowed any armed activity without having assumed power.
It is necessary to bring the other aspect of the matter to light as well. That aspect says that according to an established principle the enforcement of Jihad and the penal laws is solely the responsibility of the state. For example no individual can punish any person himself by declaring him guilty of some crime or enforce some other penal law. Same is the case of Jihad rather Jihad has superiority over penal laws. The just point of view in this context should be to attract the attention of the ruler of the time and to convince him in the best possible manner but no step should be taken without his orders.
The third aspect of the matter is that all orders issued by Islam in the context of Jihad are related to a government and not to any private organization. For example the law for making an accord with the enemy is also applicable upon a government and not on an independent group. If private Jihad had been allowed in Islam, instructions essentially would have been issued regarding its other aspects as well while it is not so.
The fourth aspect of this matter is that such permission for Jihad on individual basis would give birth to anarchy and disorder in the whole world. People everywhere would start making decisions at their own discretion and hundreds of militant organizations would come into existence. Sectarianism would become rampant in society and official orders and agreements would become a mockery. Under the pretext of this permission several militant organizations with evil purposes would also be formed and the end result would be the disintegration of the Ummah which would be stricken with Klasinkov culture. It is the same situation which has been termed by the Quran as “standing by the ditch of fire”. Such a situation enables the enemy to crush the Muslim power.
Thus the stance that common people can also launch med struggle forming their own factions if the government of the country does not follow Islam completely is absolutely wrong and might prove disastrous.
It must be borne in mind that there has been consensus among the whole Ummah over it. Out of thousands of theologians throughout the last several centuries, just Abu Hafs Balqeeni is in favor of granting some relaxations in this context. All the four theological schools of thought in the Ummah agree on the issue that the existence of a valid government and a legal ruler is a prerequisite before the declaration of Jihad. No one other than a ruler has the right to announce Jihad. There is no room for any relaxation in this principle.
The sixth objection is that Jihad is of two kinds; attempt and defence. The Jihad in attempt is conditional with the declaration and the management by the state. Jihad in defense is a duty and it just has the condition of open announcement. The reply to this objection is that every kind of Jihad is related with an Islamic state. When a Muslim state attacks its enemy, it is called attempt while whit an Islamic state is attacked by its enemy, the action taken by the Islamic state is called defense. Since a state is bound to safeguard its geographical boundaries it must be taken for granted that it would certainly reply any attack against it. Hence it is considered an established principle on such occasions that the government has declared war against the enemy rather has ordered all people to face the enemy. This is called gereral announcement. This kind of Jihad is a duty. This kind of war is fought for the defense of a pre-established state. Thus it is also related with the state. There can be some cases of exceptions in this context. One situation could be that the head of the Islamic state is unable a general announcement for Jihad due to some foreign trip or because of his serious illness. What should be done in such a state? It should be kept in mind that these situations could only occur centuries ago when the modes of communication were very slow and there used to be impossible to inform the head in the capital hundreds of miles away and seek guidance from him in the event of war. Thus it was an established policy rather than order that the border commanders would offer resistance to the enemy with immediate effect in case of attack so that the information, in the meanwhile be communicated to the capital and the regular forces be moved. Obviously it seems suitable in such a situation that the resistance is offered immediately. Therefore our theologians in the past had distinguished between the Jihad in attempt and Jihad in defense according to the circumstances that occurred hundreds of years ago and it was also related with an Islamic state already in existence. This distinction is generated through common sense and the Quran and Sunnah don’t mention any such thing. Today when circumstances are altogether changed, we can get latest information due to fast modes of communication, the forces have their regular patrolling on the borders and the countries have regular armies for their protection, the distinction between Jihad in attempt and Jihad in defense has become null and void.
The first two verses of Quran revealed in the context of Jihad deal in fact with Jihad in defence. Surah Hajj allows Muslims to fight when their state is attacked. This instruction assumes the status of an order in Al-Baqara 2:190 urging upon Muslims to fight with those who attack them. Obviously it is the state which is addressed in both the Quranic verses.
The seventh objection is that all orders issued by the Quran in the context of Jihad are meant just for the ones who had newly embraced Islam. Those who are already Muslims and live in non-Muslim states are exempted from these orders and hence are free to devise any strategy for themselves.
This is also an invalid objection that there is no difference between the new Muslims and the born Muslims in Islam.
However, apart from this fact, Quran has discussed two such incidents in detail. Which deal with the born Muslims. One such nation was Bani Israel. They were generally Muslims and were great in number while pharaoh was the ruler. Therefore Hazrat Musa, during his stay in Egypt never talked of Jihad. He first took his nation out of the country, organized them in the form of a state and a government and then launched Jihad.
In the same way the incidents about Holy Christ are narrated in detail in the Holy Quran. We come to know that the Romans ruled Bani Israel at the time of Christ. Bani-Israel were, in fact spoiled Muslims. Christ as a prophet was sent to them. If allowed by God, Christ would have liberated Bani Israel by organizing them into an army but the Quran proves that whole of his mission excludes any such mention. On the contrary, his words registered in Bible are, “If you are slapped on one cheek, offer the other one too” and, “Give Qaiser what belongs to him and give to God what belongs to Him”.
The above quoted examples prove that the Muslims living under the rule of non-Muslim government may safeguard their rights through a peaceful strategy within the local laws but they can’t take up arms.
If the Muslims living under a non-Muslim government are persecuted religiously, it is obligatory upon independent Muslim states to help them but such help can only be accorded under international treaties.
The eighth objection is that some private Jihadi organizations claim the secret official hand at their back and insist that their activities are in progress by the consent of the government.
This plea for sin in, in fact worse than the sin itself. Religion instructs not to violate any treaty and any war initiated by a Muslim government disregarding an existing treaty would not be considered as “Jihad Fi-Sabeelillah”. It is therefore necessary to urge upon the government that every step is taken by an army working under the same discipline and answerable to the government. The government must be reminded that telling a like is a grave sin and a nation telling lies on state level loses its honor among the world community. Above all, if a government itself violates its own laws, there would be no one else to uphold the respect of law.
In fact, the matter does not merely concern with the permission. The real thing is announcement of Jihad, its management, taking its whole responsibility, entering into international treaties and tackling with the results of Jihad. All this would be in accordance with Islam on the state level under one organization which would be answerable to God, masses, law and state in all matters. The Quran clearly directs not to co-operate with anyone in the matters of sin and oppression.
Besides the above objections and questions, there are certain objections of historical and technical nature. These are all contextual objections. Therefore all such objections and their answers have been included in the supplement at the end of this article.
The purpose of Jihad:
The purpose of Jihad is to end oppression. It means that war should be declared against any kind of oppression launched by a group or some government and the oppressed ones should be helped.
The Quran says:
“And why should you not fight for the cause of Allah, and for the helpless old men, women and children who say: “Deliver us, Lord, from this city of Wrongdoers; send forth to us a guardian from your presence; send to us one that will help us?” (Al-Nisa 4:75)
The above Quranic verse makes it clear that the justification of Jihad in Islam is just against oppression.
Jihad and commitment of International treaties:
Islam has emphasized on this fact a lot that honoring the accords made with other nations is even more important than Jihad. It is essential that all such treaties are honored according to their true spirit. The offer of peace from an enemy must be accepted without doubting his sincerity. Not only is this it also not permissible to fight against a nation which has a treaty with you even if it is found guilty of doing wrong with its Muslim residents. The Quran says: “If they (your enemies) keep away from you and cease their hostility and offer you peace, Allah bids you not to harm them”. (Al-Nisa 4:90)
It further says:
“If they (your enemies) incline to peace, make peace with them, and put your trust in Allah. Surely He is the Hearing, the knowing. Should they seek to deceive you, Allah is all-sufficient for you”. (Al-Anfal 8:61-62)
The commitment to an agreement is so important to God that even the help to the oppressed Muslims is not allowed in its presence. The Quran says:
“But if they (the Muslims outside your state) seek your help in the cause of your religion, it is your duty to aid them, except against a people you have a treaty with”. (Al-Anfal 8:72)
If the Muslims fear that their enemy might break the treaty and attack them in secret, they must openly declare the cancellation of the treaty first and then think of any action of war. The Quran says:
“If you fear treachery from any of your allies, you may throw back to them (their treaty) fairly. Allah does not love the treacherous. (Thus you Muslims) must also dislike the treacherous). (Al-Anfal 8:58)
Mufti Muhammad Shafi says in its explanation:
“The Prophet, through this verse has been told about an important section of the law for war and peace which, along with the importance of commitment to an accord also tells that in case of any danger of deceit from the enemy, the Muslims are not bound to continue the agreement. But it is also not just to take any action without having cancelled it openly rather the enemy must be properly informed that their deceitfulness has been dawned upon you and that you are no more bound to honor the treaty and they are also free to take any action against you. The wording of the verse is as under:
“If you fear treachery from any of your allies, you make throw back to them (their treaty) fairly. Allah does not love the treacherous”.
It means that it is dishonesty to fight against any of your allies as Allah does not love the treacherous though it favors your enemy. However, if treachery is feared from the enemy they must be informed openly about the cancellation of the treaty but in such a way that it makes both the parties equal to each other. This declaration should not be made after having prepared yourself for war rather the enemy must be given ample time to get prepared and any preparation for war must be made after the cancellation of the treaty”. (Ma’araf-al-Quran Vol 4, Page 269).
Maulana Maudoodi, after a detailed discussion in explanation to this verse says:
“According to this verse, it is not at all valid for us to consider the annulment of treaty by ourselves and adopt a resultant attitude if we have some complaint of non-commitment from any of our allies. On the contrary, we are made bound to inform the other part, before taking any action of war that the treaty has been cancelled so that the enemy must not have any confusion. According to this instruction of God, the Holy Prophet had devised a permanent principle for the international policy of Islam, “We are not to dishonor the treaty wit any of our allies before the time limit is expired or bringing the other party in equality, their treaty must be thrown back to them”. Then enlarging the canvas under the same principle applied it on all matters, “Do not show treachery to the one who shows treachery to you”.
(……..) Moreover if we fall in dispute with any of our allies and find the other party not inclined to settle it through negotiations or any international mediation, it is just for us to use force but the above quoted Quranic verse binds us morally to use such force after an open declaration. It is immoral and against the teachings of Islam to launch secretive activities of offence which we are not ready to acknowledge openly”. (Tafheem-Ul-Quran vol 2, Page: 153-155)
Means for a successful was strategy:
It is essential before undertaking Jihad that means such a successful war strategy are devised that show clear prospects for the victory of Muslims and the absolute destruction of oppression. These means include required manpower, necessary armament and other equipment, favorable circumstances, all required resources and a strategy for the safe evacuation of Muslim army in case of emergency. Hence Jihad is not a suicidal attempt. It is also not merely an adventure rather ir is an extremely serious activity that requires befitting application of best possible mental, political and military potentials.
The Quran has pointed out on various occasions and the whole life of the Holy Prophet reflects this strategy. As we have discussed earlier that there was no concept of Jihad during the thirteen year period of Makkah rather there was just the lesson of tolerance for Muslims. Even during the early days of Madinite period when the state of Madinah was not yet stable, the Muslims were ordered not to indulge themselves in a war to every possible extent. Afterwards what it was needed that Muslims be persuaded against their enemy, Quran expressed it as under:
“Consider those to whom it has been said (before): ‘Lay down your arms; recite your prayers and pay the alms – tax ; when they were ordered to fight, some of them feared men (pagan) as much as they fear Allah or even more”. (Al-Nisa 4:77)
The Quran says about the war equipment:”Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your disposal, so that you may strike terror into the enemies of Allah and your enemy, and besides them whom you do not know but Allah does”.(Al-Anfal 8:60)
In the same way it is also essential that Muslims must have such a proportion of manpower as compared to their enemy that they have bright prospects of success. During the early period of Islam when the moral level of the Prophet’s companions was the highest in the whole human history, God promised that they would dominate their enemy even with the ratio of one to ten. Later when there was decline in faith, God reduced the ratio upto one to two. It meant that the Muslims could fight their enemies even if they were double in number. The Quran says:
“Prophet ; rouse the faithful to arms. If there are twenty steadfast men among you, you shall vanquish two hundred; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding. Allah has now lightened your burden, for He knows that you are weak. If there are a hundred steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish two hundred; and if there are a thousand, they shall, by
Allah’s will, defeat two thousand. Allah is with those that are steadfast”.(Al-Anfal 8:66)
Today, when the situation of Muslims faith is very weak, the ratio of compatibility with the enemy may be hardly one to one. However this ratio cannot be more than one to two because it was the ratio for the faith of the Prophet’s companions whereas we stand nowhere in comparison to them.
If there is no possibility of success in war, it is also necessary to devise a strategy so as to save the lives of Muslim army. The same happened in the war of Mautah when Muslims were, unexpectedly surrounded by a big army of the unbelievers and three of their chiefs of staff were martyred. When Khalid bin Waleed took the charge, he had just two options;either to continue war bravely which might harm the enemy but Muslims in a large number were likely to be martyred or to evacuate Muslims from the siege of unbelievers wisely. Khalid went for the second option and he did the right thing.
The Prophet did the same in the war of Ahzab. The number of the enemy was far greater than Muslims. Therefore dug a moat and save themselves. The Quran says:
“And do not put yourselves to destruction”. (Al-Baqara 2:275)
Although the original context of this verse conveys the sense that iit would be fatal for Muslims in this would and the world hereafter if they do not spend their money for the cause of their faith. But as these are the general words, the reference indicated through them has been discussed by Mufti Muhammad Shafi as under:
“Some people say that taking steps towards Qital amounts to killing oneself If the defeat is imminent. Qital, in such a sitaion is disallowed through this Quranic verse”. (Ma’araf-al-Quran, Vol 1, page:474)
Thus Jihad does not mean suicide, passion and purposeless bloodshed. It means that Qital itself serves no purpose if the termination of oppression is not expected through it.
Suitability of the circumstances is also necessary before Jihad. This is why Holy Prophet entered into agreements with several pagan tribes and Jewish groups. No attack was launched against a tribe or a group until it had been deserted absolutely. Muslims were grieved at the time of treaty of Hudaibya as they considered the terms of the treaty equal to humiliation. But the Prophet knew that the treaty would seclude Quraish absolutely. The same happened, when the Prophet attacked Makkah, Quraish had become aloof from rest of the Arabia and Muslims had grown far more than their size and power.
The above instructions regarding Jihad are full of wisdom. They also indicate that God’s orders are so proven and unchangeable that there can be no better instructions possible for the good of humanity. For example the principle that Jihad is not allowed without the order, management and decision of the government is unparalleled.
In fact, only a government can organize an army, safeguard their families and run the institution of army In a disciplined way. Every decision would be taken on time, law would be enforced, the criminals would be punished, the court cases would be decided and hence a shole system would be taken into effect. Once army has defeated the oppressors, their soil would be subjugated to law which would result in the rule of justice.
On the contrary, if a few people declare Jihad by forming their own respective groups it would formation of several more such organizations. All such groups, owing to no binding of any rule or law upon them would exercise absolute liberty of action. They get indulged into mutual conflicts and may face victims to sectarianism. Hence the whole purpose would end in smoke. Every organization would come up with its own political agenda. They would, at times unite while disunite on other occasions too. Such organizations oppress local settlements and become tools to other power in order to meet their requirements of food, arms and money. If the struggle of these organization with heterogeneous ideology meets with success, they might start getting entangled in disputes with one another by occupying their own respective territories. Hence, they impose greater oppression and terror on making than the one they had been fighting against. Obviously, this leads to disorder and anarchy on the sacred earth of God.
When Islam emphasizes on the commitment to treaties because it always nurtures the values which are for the collective welfare of mankind. This is why Holy Quran attaches great importance to the highest moral values even in the matters of war and Holy Prophet always acted upon these principles. All other Quranic instructions about Jihad are of similar nature.