Some insights on the notion of Jihad
In my posting titled “Loving the orphans” a comment from Mr. or Mrs. B did not seem to agree with me on what I said regarding the majority of Muslim scholars’ opinion over “Jihad.” In that post I stated that “The new definition of Jihad by the majority of Muslim scholars permits the killings of innocent people in their struggle for Islamic rule” and in the comment of Mr. or Mrs, B which stated that; “I’m sorry but the majority of scholars say the opposite, you seem to be out of touch with the real world.”
First I am truly grateful for this comment and I hope it will create a constructive and useful discussion and shed some more light on this controversial issue of Jihad. And hoping to express more honest and candid insights regarding the issue of Holy War” or “holy Jihad.” There has been great amount of materials written about this issue but often the adopted approach is cautious and most likely it comes across as an apologetic and it avoids the reality on the grounds. And it never discuss the impact of these calls of “Jihad” upon the safety of the Muslim community and the overall gains which may contribute to the advancement of the human cause.
Frankly speaking I was not surprise with this type of disagreement over such controversial issue. This kind of response is certainly very common among the majority of Muslims and unfortunately has played a major role in creating religious monsters that are able to destroy the well-being of Muslims and to denigrate the true universal values of Islam and the messenger of God. Furthermore, this apologetic approach was indeed my approach for many years but I could no longer continue on this mode and I have become sick and tired of being an apologetic and continue to cover up for such kind of none sense and negative philosophy which is absolutely rejected by the true teaching of Islam and its messengers .
The apologetic attitude do not serve Islam:
Many good Muslims are reluctant to criticize or challenge our Muslim scholars in respect to many religious issues particularly the Issue of holy war or “Jihad” The reason, in my humble opinion, for this cautionary and apologetic attitude towards the religious opinions of our Muslim scholars, is due to the concerns among many Muslims that challenging or criticizing the religious decisions and verdicts means challenging or attacking the integrity of Islam and its messenger. I believe it is important for Muslims to draw a line between all Muslim scholars and Islam. We must not give these respectful scholars more than what they really are. They are ordinary human beings who are striving to please Allah and to serve their communities but we must remember that they ought to be subject to criticism, debate and accountability for their actions. We must remember that our obedience to Muslim scholars is not unconditional nor they have an absolute authority over us.
I also believe that when Muslims change their apologetic attitudes and begin to hold these Muslim scholars responsible for their actions and religious rulings then the outcome would definitely serve Islam and the Muslim scholars as well. The honorable first Khalifa, abu Bakr asidiq (rAa) has actually encouraged the Muslims to hold leaders and scholars responsible for their actions. And he (rAa) laid down an important precedent to all Muslims in respect to the notion of obediece of any Muslim leader and that is there is no absolute authority of Muslim leader over his subject when said; ““Obey me so long as I obey God and His Messenger. But if I disobey God and His Messenger, ye owe me no obedience.” Unfortunately our Muslim history do not reflect the aspirations of Abu Bakr al-ssidiq in this regard.
I have not yet seen one single Muslim religious or theo-political leader held accountable for his bad decision. For example when Mr Hassan Nasralla, the leader of Hezbollah, declared his divine victory against Israel in 2006, but at the same time he acknowledged his strategic error in provoking Israel when he made this confession on Lebanon TV, “if I had known the powerful response of Israel against Lebanon, I would not have ordered the kidnapping of the Israeli solder”. Now I must say that his admission was a good thing but the problem with this situation that Mr Hassan Nasrallah was never held responsible for his reckless actions which he himself admitted to. And his followers do not dare to question his judgment and hold him responsible for the terrible consequences which his action had brought to Lebanon. How could they criticize him when the banner he raises is “surely Hezbollah are the victorious” and how could they criticize him when he declared his divine victory.
The majority of Muslim scholars and the declaration of Jihad:
When I stated that “The new definition of Jihad by the majority of Muslim scholars permits the killings of innocent people in their struggle for Islamic rule”, in my post it was based on real and solid evidence which are very prevalent on the grounds of the Muslim world. Just to put things into perspective lets take the situation in Iraq. Since the American intervention the entire Muslim establishment of the Sunnis Muslims and some of the Shi’a Muslims were very quick in issuing “holy Jihad” against the “Occupiers.” Just to name few such Muslim establishments; al-Azhar in Egypt, al Ikhwan alumuslimoon of Egypt or what is known as the Muslim brotherly movement, al-Qaeda of bin Laden, the scholars of Saudia Arabia, Shiekh Yusif alqardawi whose based in Qatar which is the host for the occupying American military force. And other Muslim political and militia movements; Hamas of Palestine, Ansarul al Sunna in Iraq, The counsel of Iraqi Muslim shcloras; all of these groups are belong to the Sunni branch of Islam. As for the Shi’a Muslim establishment and their holy Jihad declaration; The supreme leader of Iran Ayatuala Ali Khamini, Hezbollah who abide by Ali Khamini rulings of Iran, Ayatulalla M Hussain Fadhlallah of Lebanon, altayar alsdari or known as almahdi Army lead by Muqtada alsadr who followed Iran’s position. All of these Muslim establishments and the theo-political groups have adopted the Jihadi approach towards the so called “Occupation forces” and all of them in essence had no regards to the terrible consequences upon the peace, stability and prosperity of its people. It is worth mentioning here that some of these names mentioned above are very respectful scholars, but I strongly disagree with their opinion regarding their definition of “jihad”, such as Ayatulalla M. Hussain Fadhlallah of Lebanon, whom I believe have taken a great steps in presenting a positive image of Islam but we must remember that he is still human being and not immune to the influence of some of our negative Muslim teachings and the bad Arabic social and political factors, after all he and the rest are a products of their own societies. Furthermore, many of these Muslim establishments and theo-political leaders have changed their positions regarding their declaration of “Jihad” in Iraq and how to deal with the “occupiers”, only after the entire world witnessed the terrible consequences of their actions and calls for death and destruction. Those Muslim scholars seem to awake to the horrible consequences of death and destruction which their actions brought to the well being of Muslims and to world peace, only after a global condemnation by the international community.
Implicit permission, of majority of Muslim Scholars, to kill innocent people:
It is true that these Muslim scholars did not explicitly permits the killing of the civilians rather they did so implicitly and that failing to assess the danger and horrible consequences on the well-being of the masses and just blindly call for holy Jihad with disregard to the human sufferings and socio -economic devastation then they are in essence fully responsible for the loss of lives and whatever destruction it causes. It is just like ordering the detonation of a house with the disregard of the well-being of its occupant, and killing everyone inside and say after wards that I did not order the killing of the occupants but I only ordered the detonation of the house. And when you ask these scholars about such concerns they say that victims of these Jihadi operations are going to Heaven!!!! When do we Muslims stop defending this kind of terrible philosophy and stop being apologetic and keep in denial as our Mr. or Mrs B who rejected my claim in my post about the majority of Muslim scholars whose through their naïve vision and act on the influence of our inherited Muslim hate philosophy and our irrational and emotional behaviour towards world events and realities.
Explicit permission of some Muslim scholars to kill innocent people
Jihad against the “rafidha-Shi’a”
Furthermore in addition to the Jihadi declarations of the majority of Muslim scholars against the so called “occupation forces” some of these Scholars and mainly Sunni scholars who are members of the “ahlul Sunna wal Jama’a” or some may refer to them as “salafi school”, they had issued another type of declaration of infidelity or takfeer fatwa against the Muslim Shi’as where they have been classified as “Rafidha” or “rejectors”. This fatwa alone have caused tremendous amount of death and destruction in Iraq. Even now a days if you surf the Internet you will find such miserable situation where they classify Muslims according to their own views. For example if some Muslims express their views on the legitimacy of the first three khalifas leadership then they are being condemned as “rafidhis” and hence shedding their blood. And the funny thing about these kinds of Muslims who condemn other Muslims for their views, they claim that “Islam is a peaceful religion” but if you disagree you are dead. Certainly Islam is a peaceful religion but not the version of Islam which is held by these kinds of Muslims who do not hesitate to condemn an entire Muslim community based on non-fundamental Islamic views. These people get too emotional of the criticism which are made by the Shi’a Muslims towards the honorable companions and they quickly resort towards condemnations of Shi’a Muslims who worship One God and believe in the same Prophet, instead of resorting to a rejection of these views or disagreement or rebuking or detesting some of the disrespectful claims made by the Shi’a Muslims towards the honorable companions. It is true that some of these claims which are made by the Shi’a Muslims are disrespectful of the companions but Sunni Muslims should know that these companions are not sacred people and criticizing them or challenging their legitimacy to the leadership of Muslims must not merit infidelity status “kufr“.
Holy Jihad and its legitimacy in Iraq:
Well no one should argue the notion of people’s rights to defend their land from an occupying forces. But Muslim scholars were not mature enough to assess the true reality of Iraq. None of these scholars came to the aide of the Iraqi people during the past 35 years under Saddam’s brutality and the tremendous pain and sufferings of the Iraqi people throughout his rule. The miserable situation and the oppressive reality of the Muslim people on the hands of their brutal regimes must also merit a similar stand as that against the occupiers if they feel for the legitimacy of declaring a holy Jihad. Although I strongly denounce and morally oppose a blind declaration of holy Jihad under the many pretexts and one of which is the “occupation” without assessing the overall consequences to the well-being of the people and the various political situations and realities on the ground. One important fact need to be highlighted here is that the bloody approach of the majority of Muslim scholars towards Iraq and their Jihadi fatwas has brought death, destruction, pain, millions of shattered families, thousands of orphans and widows, the decimation of infrastructures, loss of hope and sense of despair and most of all it caused more than 500 thousands of innocent lives in Iraq alone.
Now did it occur to those Muslim scholars the dire consequences of this Jihadi approach to our political struggle, upon the future of people. Were they aware of the method and nature of exercising and implementing the Jihadi operations? Did they know that the American forces have virtually seized the entire country and that engaging the American Army is extremely dangerous and put the lives of many Iraqis at real risk and eminent death? Did these scholars sit down and projected the real consequences and the danger on the well being of the Iraqi people? And did they know that the majority of the Iraqi political movements were in full coordination with the “white house administrations” before the invasion and are in co ordination with the American forces after the invasion to sort out the political future of Iraq. The Kurds of Iraq were very much in favour of the American presence and the majority of the Shi’a of Iraq were playing-with the exception of almahdi Army which is the proxy of Iran, a fine line and using wisdom in dealing with American presence. Who gave the moral authority to these Muslim scholars to override the will of the majority of the Iraqi people in handling their future and dealing with the Americans. It is also important to remember that those elements who were executing the Jihadi fatwas and the takfeery fatwas, given by the majority of Muslim scholars mentioned above, after engaging the American in Iraq for about three years, finally they have abandoned the calls of these Muslim scholars and joined the same “occupying forces” and were put on the pay roll of George W. Bush administration and instead they began joining the process of rebuilding Iraq.
The lonely voice of peace from among our Muslim scholars:
In the midst of these calls of death by the majority of Muslim scholars there is one frail voice which has proven itself to the entire world to be the most wise and peaceful approach and that is of the Grand ayatulallah Ali Sistani who was the only voice of wisdom and political rational. Ali Sistani never joined these majority of Muslim scholars in their declaration of death and destruction rather he maintained, throughout the past five years till now, a positive and peaceful stand and the only declaration that he gave in light of the events in Iraq is a declaration of rebuilding and alleviating the pain and suffering of the Iraqi people instead of escalation and killings of innocent Iraqis. The Muslim world today needs to truly adopt the “sistanian” philosophy which has proven to the entire world to yield great prospects for, the future of Iraq, Muslim theological development, and the impact on world peace. The “sistanian” philosophy has truly transcended beyond the sectarian and religious iron bars which has appealed to many Muslim and non-Muslim people of various denominations; Shi’a Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Christians and others.
I truly hope that those Muslim scholars will learn from the Iraq example and reflect upon their own involvement and reassess their political vision and religious understanding and declare that the human life to be sacred regardless of its race and denomination.
One last note to Mr B who stated that I am “out of touch with the real world” and I say to that respectfully that when I was holding a similar approach of his and that is “apologetic approach” then I must say that I was truly out of touch with the real world.
I hope I have clarified my points made in the post “Loving the orphans”
Posted on February 17, 2009, in Current Issues, Islam, Islam Versus Muslims, Islam Versus Shi'a & Sunnis, Islamic History, Muslim Theology, Muslims & The Western World, Muslims and terrorism, Politics, Religion, Resources, Shi'a Theology, Sunni Theology and tagged Iraq, Iraq's invasion, Islam, Islamic studies, Muslims and terrorism, Politics, Takfeer, Takfir, Terrorism. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.