By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
27 March 2018
Both Jihad Al-Talab and Jihad Al-Difa’a Are Abrogated In the Nation States by International Law and Constitution Supported By the Consensus (Ijm’a) Of the Authoritative Islamic Scholars
The slain militant in Kashmir who was reportedly working for the ISIS, Eisa Fazili castigated all anti-terror Fatwas issuers. In a video which he probably recorded just before the Kashmir encounter, castigated the Indian Ulema who issued several anti-terror Fatwas.
Fazili asked as to why the Ulema refused to issue a fatwa for jihad against 'non-Muslim oppressors'. After several anti-terror Fatwas have recently been launched in various large Islamic conclaves in Delhi, extremists like Eisa Fazili are critical of those Ulema who participated in them. Accusing them of 'siding with the government', Fazili warned:
"One day these Ulema have to show their faces to Allah who will punish them for failing in their duties to give a call for Jihad fi Sabilillah (armed struggle in the path of Allah)".
Notably, maximum Fatwas against terrorism were issued by the Indian Ulema. Nearly all established schools and sects of Islam in India have denounced the violent offshoot of the neo-Kharijism—the ideology of Daesh (ISIS).
Indian Muslim community's resilience against the radical narratives has been stronger than that of Muslims in other parts of the world. Remarkably, India's strength in fighting off the terror ideology lies in the fact that not only did the Sunni Sufis and Shias decreed against the extremist thoughts. Even the Salafi strain of Islam in India—Ahl-e-Hadith—which is seen as the ideological underpinning behind the violent Jihadism in several Muslim countries, has reportedly issued the first fatwa against terrorism in this country. Their recent counter-terror conference in Delhi’s Ramlila ground sought to awaken the Salafi followers about the ‘terror tactics’ of the ISIS and similar extremist outfits that are working to disrupt the national security and communal harmony. Tellingly, a collective anti-terror fatwa endorsed by 40 senior clerics associated with the New Delhi-based Markazi Jamiat Ahle-Hadees Hind has been reiterated at his conference. However, this came to many as an utter surprise. They wonder how come the Ulema of Ahle Hadith who adhere to the ultra-orthodox Salafist theology, outcry against the “terror tactics” of the Daesh (ISIS).
While the significance of these conferences as collective community resilience against extremism cannot be undermined, most of the counter-terror Fatwas were not sharp rebuttals to the radical narratives in unequivocal terms.
In India, radical narratives are largely based on promoting the victimhood mentality. Aggressive social media campaigns are underfoot to promote a mindset of victimhood among Muslims to pave the way for a defensive jihad (Jihad Al-Difa’a). This sometimes influences the gullible and immature minds of even the educated youth with little religious literacy.
The hidden extremist ideologues on social media keep dictating to the Indian Muslim youth the ‘pathetic plight’ of Muslims in several parts of the world, particularly in Palestine, Kashmir, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Consequently, they influence one’s position with an indoctrination to peddle hatred for the leaders and other people of these territories as ‘oppressors’ of Muslims. These social media campaigns not show the rulers and regimes of those territories as ‘unjust’ to the believers. They also term them as lands of manifest error (Fisq o Fujur), prevailing oppression (Zulm) and dominating disbelief (Kufr al-Ashad) as prerequisites for the legitimacy of the Jihad al-Dif’a (defensive armed struggle).
An antidote to this extremist victimhood narrative is highly required which is missing from most of the counter-terror Fatwas and clerical statements recently issued in different parts of India. However, they unanimously agreed upon the illegitimacy of the combatant Jihad, non-state actors’ use of force and all forms of militancy against the state. The strong consensus (Ijma’a) of the Ulema and Muftis in India is that only state can declare jihad as defensive war. Delegitimizing every act of violence carried out in the name of Islamic expedition—Qital or jihad—the Indian Ulema of all hues have declared the war-time verses of the Qur’an as contextual and inapplicable today.
But the extremists bred by the home-grown fanatics and foreign radical ideologies feed the sword verses of the Qur’an as immutable commandments of the continuing combat against the perceived ‘disbelievers’ and ‘oppressors’. Brazenly misquoting the war-time texts of the Qur’an and Hadith, most particularly the verses of (1:191), (1:193) and (9:29), they justify the rebellious fringes’ calls for the combat against the state as ‘Jihad al-Talab’ (Jihad of demand).
Before we refute this pernicious concept of combat, it should be kept in view that the Islamic jurists (Fuqaha) of all schools of thought categorized the combatant jihad into two types:
(1) Jihad al-Talab (jihad of demand): This becomes legal when the state itself declares it in defense of the national interests.
(2) Jihad al-Difa’a (Jihad of defense): This acquired legitimacy when a Muslim country was attacked by the foreign forces in the medieval period. At that time, the Ulema decreed that people of such a country were permitted to defend themselves and fight back the attackers under the banner of the state.
Thus, both types of the combatant jihad were legalized by the rationale (Illa’t) of defending the country, its sovereignty and the national interests. But now, the reason or rationale (Illa’t) for both the Jihad al-Talab and Jihad al-Difa’a has vanished in the nation states, clearly because the international law and constitution are supported by the consensus (Ijm’a) of the authoritative Islamic scholars across the world. They have endorsed that it is the prerogative of the state to declare war in defense of the nation. No no-state actor has any role or right to fight or wage a war against the perceived ‘enemies’.
As for the above war-time verses of the Qur’an and their citations by the extremists today, they stand untenable and self-contradictory. For instance, take this verse:
“Expel them from wherever they have expelled you” (2:191).
Clearly, it was a commandment to ward off attacks, not to initiate such attacks. This position is substantiated by the end of the very verse:
“And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is the most forgiving and merciful” (2:192).
The context of all such war-time verses in Surah Taubah (9th chapter) or any other chapter of the Qur’an is self-explanatory that they do not constitute a general case. Rather, they were revealed concerning the pagans of Mecca who initiated enmity and consequent attacks against the Muslims living in the state of Madina under a peace treaty. But it was only when the peace treaty was broken that the jihad al-Difa’a was allowed. Not only the pagans, even many self-styled Muslims who were later known as ‘Munafiqun’ (hypocrites and rebels) were fought in the Jihad al-Talab explicitly declared by the state of Madina.
Regular Columnist with Newageislam.com, Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi is a classical Islamic scholar and English-Arabic-Urdu writer. He has graduated from a leading Islamic seminary of India, acquired Diploma in Qur'anic sciences and Certificate in Uloom ul Hadith from Al-Azhar Institute of Islamic Studies. Presently, he is pursuing his PhD in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
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The only sensible thing to say about the Quran or any
Scriptures is - stripped of the context, the underlying principles need to be
understood and derived and these are of eternal relevance. Every Book of
scriptures is in the form of experiential learning where the lesson is taught
in the context of a story/event, unlike a book of law. The principles of war
derived are covered in my article: The Principles of War from the Quran
Anyone can easily ascertain that these principles derive
directly from the Quran, are in perfect conformity with it, and contradict no
part of the Quran. These principles apply to all people irrespective of their
faith, and are what may be expected from scriptures with claims of being the word
of God and therefore of universal application.
With false beliefs of the Muslims who think that Islam is
the religion of only the followers of Muhammad (pbuh) and the Quran is only for
them, reaching the same conclusion for such people is not possible. The bigoted
view held by almost every Muslim and their scholars, obliterates the universal
message of the Quran, and renders the Book offensive to other people.
Islam is different from other religions which is why it is misunderstood
by Muslims themselves, who continue to hold pre-Islamic notions and continue
the same pre-Islamic practices. For example, Islam is the only religion in
which marriage is simply a contract but in other religions, it is a sacrament
with a lasting commitment to a lifelong partnership. Among Christians for
example, marriage is possible only between two baptized persons (meaning
between two Christians only) and is a sacrament. If Islam was correctly
understood, we would not have had arguments on the question, whether marriage
between a Muslim and a non-Muslim is valid in Islam or not. A marriage in Islam
is simply a social contract between two persons, and as in any other contract,
the practice is to have two witnesses. It does not require recitation of any
part of the Quran, nor require to be solemnized by a bearded Mullah or a Qadhi.
Likewise, divorce is nothing but revoking the contract following the rules of
the contract. In other religions, marriage being a sacrament, there is no
provision for divorce. The laws of marriage and divorce in Islam are based on
human nature, and are therefore eternally valid and eternally modern. The practices
and notions of the Muslims may be barbaric.
It is time to be concerned more about
the unwanted riots taking place successively. After Aurangabad, the riot broke
out in Samastipur. We have already known about many riots in Bihar and they are
still taking place. The following are two links one showing pictures of riot
and other is video of the Samastipur incident.
Very painful news!! Therefore Muslims
and Hindus of India should work together more about developing the ideas of
peaceful coexistence, tolerance and human values for the sake of the beloved
country India. This step should be done for both communities. Religion should
not be played in politics or in means of media. Law and order should be
ensured. People of both communities need to be educated to become the
protectors of human values. The slogans such as “bad RSS” or “bad Muslims” will
not benefit the country.
Necessarily good step should be taken
to curb such riots. We should not forget that the beauty of India is unity of India.
Dear Sultan Shahin sahib,
Right from our Sufi-Sunni
oriented “Barelvi” Madarsa-days, we learnt that war-related verses are
contextual and can’t be applied in today’s context.
The classical books of tafsir
are full of arguments that speak of context of the war-related verses. Based on
these arguments, I have written a series of articles on the war-related verses
and this still continues. The important thing is how to use those arguments in
The early classical theologians
are the founders of the science of Shane Nuzul and the compilers of historical
facts and traditions about the circumstances of revelation of the verses.
However you must have found
different rulings derived from the war-related verses in different contexts in
the books of theologians, despite the concept of context or shane nuzul. But in
today’s contexts, one ruling that is most circulated among the experts with
Madrasa background is that war-related command is contextual and can’t be
applied in our age.
You may get this much response
from any Sufi-Sunni oriented experts.
If you wish, we can go with this
question to any Sufi-Sunni Madarsas and ask their experts about their viewpoint
about context and inapplicability of the verses. I have met many of them and
learnt their methodological approaches of understanding the Quran and Sunnah.
But if you walk with me to their places, it will be better for your surety-matter.
Among the Sufi-sunni followers
of Shah Wali or Shaikh Sirhindi, nobody is following their war-related commands
as discussed and quoted in some of your articles. The rulings given by Shah
Wali or Shaikh Sirhindi were for different contexts which have no match with
today’s contexts in which we are living. In other words, our age is totally different
from their age. The practical situation around the world also testifies this
fact that the Sufi-Sunni “Barevli” followers are not committing acts of
terrorism in the name of Jihad, Caliphate, Sharia. [You also used to say it in
your old comments] Indeed in their today’s theory and practice they do not
consider that these war-related verses should be applied today.
The doctrines related to the
faith and universal values never change but the rulings based on context,
condition, specific or exception get influenced by the change of context and
condition. This is commonly understood in the minds of the doctors or experts who
have attained good grasp of classical sciences and methodologies.
As regards the references from
Indian ulema of all hues, you can directly or indirectly find in newspapers,
websites and magazines, reports about their conferences, seminars and programs that
they have condemned acts of terrorism played by ISIS, Taliban and their likes. They
have been effective among their huge gathering of their followers. If ever we
find a handful group of people joining the militant groups, it is because they
have learnt ‘Islam’ from the militant ideologues. I think if they had learnt
Islam from these ulema who have condemned the acts of terrorism, they would not
have joined the ranks of the militants. There are deep problems with ‘Wahabi or
‘Salafi’ theological approach and methodology but some of them have started
changing and for that matter they should be appreciated and encouraged.
میں شيخ اکبر محی الدین محمد ابن العربی کی عربی کتاب ‘‘روح القدس فی مناصحۃ النفس ’’ پڑھ
رہا تھا ، اس میں سماع کے متعلق ابن
العربی رحمۃ اللہ علیہ کا جو موقف پایا اسے قارئین کی خدمت میں پیش کر رہا ہوں ۔
ابن العربی رحمۃ اللہ علیہ فرماتے ہیں :
وأما أهل السماع
والوجد في هذه البلاد، فقد اتخذوا دينهم لعبا ولهوا، لا تسمع إلا من يقول لك: رأيت
الحق، وقال لي، وفعل وصنع، ثم تطلبه بحقيقة يمنحها، أو سر أفاده في شطحه، فلا تجد إلا
لذة نفسانية، وشهوة شيطانا، يصرخ على لسانه الشيطان فيصعق ما دام المغرور الآخر بشعره
ينعق، فلا أشبههم إلا براعي غنم ينعق بغنمه فتقبل وئتدبر بنعيقه، ولا تدري فيما ذا،
ولا لماذا، قال: فواجب على كل محقق في هذا الزمان، ممن ينظر ويقتدي به المريد الضعيف،
أن لا يقول بالسماع أصلا، وأن يقطعه قولا فصلا، وقد أوضحنا مقامه لأهل هذه البلاد،
وما يتطرق إليه من الفساد، واحتجوا علينا بأحوال من سمع من الشيوخ في الرسالة القشيرية
وغيرها، فأوضحنا فهمها وعربنا معجمها، فأقروا بنقصه في مراتب الوجود، فمنهم من عدل
عنه، ومنهم من أقام عليه مع علمه بنقصه
اس کتاب کا اردو ترجمہ
ابرار احمد شاہی نے کیا ہے جو ‘‘اصلاح
نفس کا آئینہ حق ’’ کے نام سے شائع ہو چکا ہے ۔
مندرجہ بالا عربی عبارت کا ترجمہ :
جہاں تک ان علاقوں کے اہل سماع اور وجد کا حال ہے تو
انہوں نے اپنے دین کو کھیل تماشا بنا رکھا ہے ۔تو سنتا ہے کہ کہنے والا یہی کہتا
ہے : ‘‘میں نے حق دیکھا اور اس نے مجھے یہ کہا ، پھر یہ کیا اور ایسا ہوا ’’۔ پھر
اگر تو اس سے وہ حقیقت ہی طلب کرے جو اسے دی گئی یا اپنی اس شطح میں اس نے کیا راز
پایا تو تجھے صرف نفسانی لذت اور شیطانی شہوت ہی نظر آئے گی ، شیطان اس کی زبان
سے چیختا ہے تو یہ حواس باختہ ہو جاتا ہے ۔جب تک یہ دھوکے میں رہتا ہے دوسرا اپنے
شعروں سے (کوے کی طرح ) کائیں کائیں کرتا ہے ۔میں نے انہیں چرواہے سے تشبیہ دیتا
ہوں جو اپنی بکریوں کو ہانکتا ہے ، اس کی آواز سن کر کچھ (بکریاں ) اپنا منھ
سامنے کر لیتی ہیں اور کچھ منہ موڑ لیتی ہیں ، وہ نہیں جانتی یہ (چرواہا) کیا کہہ
رہا ہے اور کیوں کہہ رہا ہے ۔ اس دور کے ہر محقق
جس کو مثال مانا جاتا ہے یا کمزور مرید جس کی پیروی کرتے ہیں پر لازم ہے کہ
سماع (قوالی) کی بالکل اجازت نہ دے بلکہ واضح لفظوں میں اس سے روکے ۔ہم نے اس ملک
کے رہنے والوں پر (سماع) کا مقام بالکل واضح کیا اور بتایا کہ اسے کیا کیا بگاڑ
آتا ہے تو انہوں نے ہمیں رسالہ قشیریہ وغیرہ میں مذکور شیوخ کے احوال سے سماع کی
مثالیں دیں ۔ پس جب ہم نے ان (مثالوں) کے ابہام کو واضح کیا اور اس کے اعجام (یعنی
الجھاو) کو کھولا تو وہ مراتب الوجود میں اس کی خرابی کو مان گئے ، یوں کچھ نےسماع
ترک کردی اور کچھ اس کی خرابی کو جانتے ہوئے بھی اس پر کاربند رہے ۔(اردو ترجمہ ا
ز اصلاح نفس کا آئینہ حق، اردو ترجمہ
ابرار احمد شاہی )
Dear Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi Sahib,
I fully endorse the truth you spoke in your article saying “The
strong consensus (Ijma’a) of the Ulema and Muftis in India is that only state can
declare jihad as defensive war. Delegitimizing every act of violence carried
out in the name of Islamic expedition—Qital or jihad—the Indian Ulema of all
hues have declared the war-time verses of the Qur’an as contextual and
To repeat it in my words, I would say that, for security and safety
of India as a national level, Jihad as a defensive war can be waged against
those who want to attack our beloved country, India. But only the Indian State
can declare such a defensive war if needed. At individual level, no one has any
right to declare this defensive war.
When Indian State defends its land it means it is defending both
Muslims and non-Muslims, it means it is defending both mosques and temples, it
is defending rights of Muslims and rights of non-Muslims. In language of
non-Muslims this would be termed as a defensive war, whereas in language of
Muslims, some may call it defensive Jihad. But we Indians preferably pray for
peace and tranquility in our country, also in other countries of the world.