Saturday, March 16, 2013

Abu Basir al-Tartusi Lecture: Method of Establishing an Islamic State

Abu Basir al-Tartusi (Abu al-Mun'im Mustafa Halima), a prominent Salafi Sunni jihadi religious scholar and ideologue, discusses the process of establishing an Islamic state and why it is necessary.  He speaks in Arabic but a translator then translates into English.  Al-Tartusi is currently in Syria fighting alongside Syrian rebels, including a number of British citizens whom he is alleged to have recruited.

Friday, March 8, 2013

'Abdullah 'Azzam: "Join the Caravan", Part 3: Clarifications about the Issue of Jihad Today


Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Blessings and peace be upon the noblest of Messengers, Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.
1. We have spoken at length about the status of jihad today in Afghanistan, Palestine, and other usurped Muslim lands of the like. We have confirmed what has been agreed upon by the earlier (salaf) and latter (khalaf) generations of hadith scholars, exegetes, jurists, and scholars of religious principles (usul), namely that : "When a span of Muslim land is occupied jihad becomes individually obligatory (fard `ayn) on the inhabitants of that piece of land. The woman may go out without her husband's permission with a mahram, the one in debt without the permission of the one to whom he owes, the child without his father's permission. If the inhabitants of that area are not sufficient in number, fall short, or are lazy, the individually obligatory nature of jihad extends to those around them, and so on and so on until it covers the entire Earth, being individually obligatory (fard `ayn) just like salah, fasting, and the like so that nobody may abandon it."
2. The obligation of jihad today remains fard `ayn until the liberation of the last piece of land which was in the hands of Muslims but has been occupied by the Disbelievers.
3. Some scholars consider jihad today in Afghanistan and Palestine to be fard kifayah. We agree with them in that jihad in Afghanistan for the Arabs was initially fard kifayah. But the jihad is in need of men and the inhabitants of Afghanistan have not met the requirement which is to expel the Disbelievers from Afghanistan. In this case, the communal obligation (fard kifayah) is overturned. It becomes individually obligatory (fard `ayn) in Afghanistan, and remains so until enough Mujahideen have gathered to expel the communists in which case it again becomes fard kifayah.
4. There is no permission needed from anybody in the case of an individual obligation (fard `ayn), according to the principle,"there is no permission necessary for an individual obligation (fard `ayn)".
5. A person who discourages people from jihad is like the one who discourages people from fasting. Whoever advises an able Muslim not to go for jihad is just like the one who advises him to eat in Ramadan while he is healthy and in residence.
6. It is best to shun the company of those who hold back from jihad and not to enter into arguments with them, for this would lead to idle disputation and hardening of the heart. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah says, "And avoidance comprises: avoiding evil and evil people, and similarly shunning those who call for innovation in religion, and sinful people and those who associate with such people or assist them in those endeavours. Similar is the case of the person who abandons jihad and from whom there is no benefit in associating with, for in this case we are liable to punishment for not having helped him by co-operating in matters of righteousness and piety.
The adulterers, homosexuals, those who abandon jihad, the innovators and the alcoholics, as well as those who associate with them are a source of harm to the religion of Islam. They will not cooperate in matters of righteousness and piety. So whoever does not shun their company is, in fact, abandoning what he has been commanded to do and is committing a despicable deed."


1. When we call people for jihad and explain to them its ordinance, it does not mean that we are in a position to take care of them, advise them, and look after their families. The concern of the scholars is to clarify the Islamic legal ruling. It is neither to bring people to jihad nor to borrow money from people to take care of the families of Mujahideen. When Ibn Taymiyyah or Al-`Izz Ibn `Abd As- Salam explained the ruling concerning fighting against the Tartars they did not become obliged to equip the army.
2. Carrying out religious obligations is necessary according to one's capability. Pilgrimage, for example, is compulsory on those who are able to perform it.
"And it is an obligation on mankind towards Allah to perform the Pilgrimage of the House for whoever is able to do so."
Similarly, jihad must be performed according to one's ability, as mentioned in the Qur'an,
"There is no blame on the weak, nor on the ill, nor on those who cannot find anything to spend, when they have shown goodwill toward Allah and His Messenger. There is no censure upon the righteous. Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Nor (is there any blame) on those who, when they came to you to be mounted, you said to them,
" I cannot find anything on which to mount you.' They turned away, their eyes flowing with tears, out of grief that they did not have anything to spend (in the path of Allah)."
Ibn al-`Arabi said,
"This second verse is the strongest of evidence for the acceptability of the excuse of one who is in poverty or has a valid need which holds him back from jihad, provided goodwill has been identified in his conduct while claiming the inability."
Qurtubi said in his tafsir,
"The verse is a basis for the dismissal of obligation from the incapable, so that whoever is incapable of performing a deed is exempted from it, sometimes by doing something else in its place, and sometimes by merely having the resolution and will to do it. There is no difference in this respect between a person who is incapable physically, and one who is financially unable. This verse is explained by the words of Allah, (translated) 'Allah does not impose upon any soul a burden beyond its capability' "
In Sahih Muslim, it is reported that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said,
"In Madinah are people who are with you whenever you travel any distance or traverse a valley. They were held back by (valid) excuses."
According to another narration, "they were held back by illness."
Qurtubi said,
"The majority of scholars are of the view that anybody who cannot find anything to spend in jihad is not obliged to spend."
Tabari inferred,
"There is no blame (i.e. sin) on those with chronic diseases, who are incapable of travelling and fighting, nor on the ill, nor on those who do not find anything to spend to take them to jihad."
Ibn Taymiyyah said,
"The commands, retributions, expiations and so on of the Islamic law are intended to be implemented according to capability."


1. Those with valid excuses are absolved of the sin of sitting back from jihad. Those validly excused include:
a) somebody with a wife and children who do not have income from any other source nor have anybody besides him who could support and maintain them. But if he is able to allocate provision for them for the duration of his absence, then he is sinful if he sits back. Every Muslim should reduce his spending and be frugal with his earnings until he is able to go out for jihad.
b) somebody who was unable, after much effort, to obtain a visa to come to Pakistan.
c) somebody whose government denied him a passport or prevented him from leaving from the airport.
d) somebody who has parents who do not have anybody besides him to support and maintain them.

COMMENTARY: Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, "The Taliban’s Line of Reasoning"

 The Taliban’s Line of Reasoning

The self-appointed warriors of God known to the world as the Taliban have killed countless innocent people in the last ten years. They insist that they are doing all this for God and in submission to His directives. They have restated this stance of after their cowardly attack on Malalah Yusufsai. In support of this stance, they present the Qur’an and Hadith and certain incidents that occurred in the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (sws). Since people are generally unaware of religion and religious disciplines, they may be influenced by this line of reasoning. We, therefore, would like to present some facts in the following paragraphs in consideration of this scenario.

1. No doubt jihad is a directive of Islam. The Qur’an requires of its followers that if they have the strength, they should wage war against oppression and injustice. The primary reason for which this directive is to curb persecution which is the use of oppression and coercion to make people give up their religion. Those having insight know that Muslims are not given this directive of jihad in their individual capacity; they are addressed in their collective capacity regarding this directive. They are not individually addressed in the verses of jihad which occur in the Qur’an. Thus in this matter only the collectivity has the right to launch any such armed offensive. No individual or group of Muslims has the right to take this decision on their behalf. It is for this reason that the Prophet (sws) is reported to have said: A Muslim ruler is a shield; war can only waged under him.1 Even a little deliberation is enough for a person to conclude whether the Taliban are following this principle or blatantly violating it.

2. The directive of jihad given by Islam is war for the cause of God; therefore, it cannot be waged while disregarding moral restrictions. Ethics and morality supersede everything in all circumstances and even in matters of war and armed offensives, the Almighty has not allowed Muslims to deviate from moral principles. Hence, it is absolutely certain that jihad can only be waged against combatants. It is the law of Islam that if a person attacks through his tongue, then this attack shall be countered through the tongue and if he financially supports the warriors then he will be stopped from this support; however, unless a person picks up arms to wage war, his life cannot be taken. So much so, if right in the battle field the enemy throws down his arms and surrenders, he shall be taken a prisoner; he cannot be executed after this. The words of the verse which mention the directive of jihad are: “and fight in the way of Allah with those who fight against you and do not transgress bounds [in this fighting]. Indeed, God does not like the transgressors,” (2:190). The Prophet (sws) forbade the killing of women and children during war.2 The reason for this is also that if they have embarked upon jihad with the army, it is not in the capacity of combatants. At best, they can boost the morale of the combatants and urge them through the tongue to fight.

This then is the shari‘ah of God. But what are the Taliban doing? Men of learning like Mawlana Hasan Jan, Mawlana Sarfaraz Na‘imi and Dr Muhammad Faruq Khan never undertook to wage war against them. Malalah Yusufza’i is an innocent girl. She never took up arms against them. In spite of this, the Taliban insist that all these people deserve death. Is this merely because they had dared to differ with them? There is no doubt that in the presence of political authority in a place that authority has the right to punish criminals; it also is true that in this regard there cannot be any difference between a man and a woman. The Qur’an very explicitly states that whether a woman or a man is guilty of theft both will be punished and both have the same punishment. The same is true for an adulterer and an adulteress. However, when did the Taliban have political authority on the persons just mentioned and when did these persons commit crimes which are punishable by death as per the Islamic shari‘ah? The Qur’an very explicitly states that the death punishment can be meted out only in cases of murder and spreading anarchy in the land and not in any other crime. Who among the people pointed out above is guilty of murdering someone or was guilty of spreading anarchy by threatening the life, wealth or honour of someone? In reality, the Taliban themselves are guilty of these crimes and testify to their confessions every day.

3. Polytheism, disbelief and apostasy are indeed grave crimes; however, no human being can punish another human being for these crimes. This is the right of God alone. In the Hereafter too, He will punish them for these crimes and in this world it is He Who does so if He intends to do so. The matter of the Hereafter is not under discussion here. In this world, this punishment takes place in the following manner: when the Almighty decides to reward and punish people in this very world on the basis of their deeds, He sends His messenger towards them. This messenger conclusively communicates the truth to these people such that they are left with no excuse before God to deny it. After that the verdict of God is passed and those people who even after the conclusive communication of the truth insist on disbelief and polytheism are punished in this world. This is an established practice of God which the Qur’an describes in the following words: “And for each community, there is a messenger. Then when their messenger comes, their fate is decided with full justice and they are not wronged.” (10:47)

This punishment is generally given in the manner it was given to the people of Noah (sws), the people of Hud (sws), the people of Salih (sws), the people of Lot (sws), the people of Shu‘ayb (sws) and to some other nations. However, if a messenger has a substantial number of companions and after migrating from their people, they are also able to gain political authority at some place, then this punishment is implemented through the swords of the messenger and his companions. It is this second situation which arose in the case of Muhammad (sws). Thus the active adversaries among his opponents first met their fate; after this a general order of killing the rest of the adversaries was given. For them the declaration of this punishment came in 9th hijrah on the day of hajj-i akbar. Following are the words of this directive mentioned in the Qur’an: “Then when the sacred months [after the hajj-i akbar] have passed, kill these Idolaters wherever you find them, and [for this objective] capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent and are diligent in the prayer, and give zakāh, then leave them alone.” (9:5)

This is the punishment of God which was meted out to the Idolaters of Arabia. When such a punishment descends on the perpetrators, no exception is given to women and children and they are destroyed the way the nations of Noah (sws) Hud (sws), Salih, Lot (sws) and Shu‘ayb (sws) were destroyed. It is thus mentioned in various narratives that when troops were sent to implement this punishment, he was asked what to do about the women and children of the Idolaters who would also be there; at this, the Prophet (sws) replied that they were from among them.3 It was these people about whom he had directed that if they embraced faith at that time and then became apostates and later adopted disbelief they would deserve this same punishment of death.4

In spite of conclusive communication of the truth, the punishment of these people was deferred till 9 AH because they were not active adversaries and there was a chance that they might repent and hence be saved from punishment. On the other hand, people who besides their rejection of the truth became open and active adversaries were not given this respite. They were killed whenever it became possible. Abu Rafi‘, Ka‘b ibn Ashraf, ‘Abdullah ibn Khattal, his slave-girls and from among the prisoners of the battles of Badr and Uhud ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu‘it, Nadr ibn al-Harith and Abu ‘Izzah et al. were killed for this very reason.

This was the verdict of God which is necessarily implemented after conclusive communication of the truth by His messengers. It is about this verdict that the Qur’n has said: “You shall never see any change in this practice of God,” (17:77). Its nature is the same as of the sacrifice of Ishmael (sws) and the incident of Khidr. It is not related to us human beings. Just as we cannot drill a hole in the boat of a poor person to help him and cannot kill a disobedient boy nor embark upon slaughtering any of our sons on the basis of a dream as Abraham (sws) did, similarly, we cannot undertake this task except if a revelation comes from God or if He directly gives an order. Everyone knows that the door to this has permanently been closed.
The incidents which the Taliban are presenting to support their measures are of the nature just described. This is nothing but audacity to generalize for themselves what specifically rests in the hands of God. There can be no greater a crime than this on God’s earth. Every believer should seek God’s refuge from this.

1. Abū ‘Abdullāh Muhammad ibn Ismā‘īl al-Bukhārī, Al-Jāmi‘ al-sahīh, 2nd ed. (Riyād: Dār al-salām, 1999), 489, (no. 2957).
2. Al-Bukhārī, Al-Jāmi‘ al-sahīh, 498, (no. 3015); Abū al-Husayn ibn Hajjāj Muslim al-Nīsabūrī, Al-Jāmi‘ al-sahīh, 2nd ed. (Riyād: Dār al-salām, 2000), 303, (no. 1744).
3. Al-Bukhārī, Al-Jāmi‘ al-sahīh, 497, (no. 3012); Muslim, Al-Jāmi‘ al-sahīh, 303, (no. 1745).
4. Al-Bukhārī, Al-Jāmi‘ al-sahīh, 498, (no. 3017).


 See the Urdu version HERE.